On Saturday we had the privilege of hosting Mama and Papa Gillespie Senior. I say privilege. It was such a JOY...John and Tessa are absolute heroes of ours...and to be honest my personal parenting gurus. Parents to 7 and grandparents to 15. I can hear them laughing as I say this, reminding me they get things wrong too, but all that aside we respect these two and what they stand for!
These two have been dear to my heart since I was a kid. I was fascinated by the way they did life and still recall the amazing meal times at their table. The atmosphere and the love shared around it really was incredible!! Always a new face and always so much love there. Always so much life and conversation. Those of you who have sat at that table will understand! It was always something I knew I wanted for my own family one day.
Last weekend they sat around our table and it was a really a precious time!
These guys have a presence they carry which instantly makes the most chaotic situation seem peaceful and restful. My husband and I lay in bed discussing this the other night. Is it the way they speak? Is it the way children don't seem to be an inconvenience to them? Or is it the 'aroma of Christ' that they carry? Is it the precious way they engage with each child making them feel unique and special?
It's probably a little of all of the above!
Recently it's been on my heart how we generally live in a culture where people often grumble and complain about their children. Children seem a nuisance more than often. I'M GUILTY and I'm not a happy mama when I choose to partner with these lies. They are lies.
I really think John and Tessa have such a passion for children because they don't just say kids are a blessing, they really believe it.
I became increasingly aware that I need to cultivate a spirit of truly believeing this at all times. Believing this when I am woken up at 5am by a screaming and grumpy child. Believe this when I walk into my daughters room and she has chosen to shred six books and then dip the bits into her potty of wee and THEN (yes it gets worse) throw these urine saturated pieces of books and stick them to the wall, making a beautiful (in her eyes) collage!!
I am still a blessed mummy.
"Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him". Psalm 127; 3
One of the highlights of this week was attending a parenting seminar, these guys are so humble in their teaching. Their words rocked our hearts. Not because we haven't heard it before but because it was such a refreshing reminder of the truths we need and must carry into our parenting. One of the biggest take home messages for me was we need to have grace based homes, not performance based homes. Homes which aren't religious and legalistic but homes where we point our children to the feet of Jesus.
We as parents need to understand this word 'grace' in order to extend this valuable lesson to our children (see last post). Our homes must be grace based. Not performance based.
Our words have so much power. It's so easy to lash out when your tired, irratable warn down by the stresses of life. But we can build our kids up with what we say and how we encourage. I'm on a constant journey to remember this and discipline my mind into this. I've read in so many books to try to encourage way more than you discourage. So I'm asking you to partner with me in doing this with our precious children. Each day I believe we have choices we can make about our own behaviour towards those around us.
I'm forever thankful to John and Tessa for their inspiration, their encouragement and their steadfastness.