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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



     There are things that happen in life which make a person proud to be a parent. Some days it’s the little things, kids putting their toys away, discovering that they really do like pea salad or even being able to take them out in public without having to yell at them half a dozen times. There are other days that seem just like most normal days that are huge though, and stick with us for a very long time. This past Sunday was one of those days for me.

     When our kids are little we worry about what kind of parents we will become. We fret over the little things and most of the time realize that we’re doing a pretty good job of raising them, at least until we become so overwhelmed and wrapped up in our own egos and desires that we tend to forget to do what is best for them, and instead do what we want. It’s at that point that the balance is upset and we have kids parenting parents…and believe me I know a few adults that this applies to. It doesn’t do any good pointing fingers and naming names; they know who they are, although I’m sure wouldn’t admit it.

     I was standing in the isle at Wellspring over the weekend looking for a confirmation gift for my oldest. To be quite honest, most of what I saw was novelty crap that really didn’t even begin to convey the message I wanted this gift to. How do you sum up in some trinket the pride you feel in your child at this time? There wasn’t anything on the shelf that jumped up and said, “I’m the perfect gift and my message is that you hope her walk with God is humble and strong like yours.”

     I kept walking back and forth until I saw a little figurine of a girl reading a book. It was titled, “Wisdom”, and it continued to call out to me as I looked around. Maybe it was the fact that my daughter loves books and doesn’t ever seem to far from a book, or perhaps it was the hope inside of me that as a parent I’ve instilled a bit of wisdom in her. Regardless of the reason I picked it up and took it home.

     As I stood in the check out line a little book caught my eye. It was one of those books with blank pages and written on the cover was the title “The Story of Me.”. I picked it up for a moment and opened to find all but the first and last page blank. On each of those pages were the words… “God loved me.” I thought a lot about that little book on my drive home. God loved me…before I was born, before I grew up, before I found joy and sorrow. God loved me…through all that I have done; good and bad. God loved me….in the times when I stood up and shouted his name in praise, and when I sank to my knees and cried out his name in anger. God loved me…When I get up on Sunday morning and head to church, and when I get up on Sunday morning and God and I go fishing. God loved me…those important days, when I asked him to help me, and those dark days when I denied him in order to please someone else. God loved me…when I had money to give, and when I was so poor I ate saltines and peanut butter for a month. And after I’m gone, when my time on this earth is over…God loved me.

     It seemed to make perfect sense to me, and yet seems to be something I too often take for granted. Emily, Hannah, James, Megan, Zeb: We have watched you grow from toddlers to young adults. Every single one of you has something to share with the world. Each of you will minister in ways you never imagined. And even when you stray from the path he has set forth for you, always remember that you can go back home. For just as I have learned, I hope this piece of wisdom travels on with you…God loved you and always will.

     See you next week…Remember, we’re all in this together.