Today was amazing. We went to church and listened to a wonderful message by Steve Hayes (love me some Steve Hayes) about letting God see our messy lives, about forgiving ourselves so that we can forgive others and so that Christ’s forgiveness can cover us. From there we came home and went about our day, which was rattled with exwifery and chores. I sewed up the hems on a few pairs of jeans for Hayley and prayed stern words as the needle hopped up and down on my machine. As I sewed, the yucky began to stick in me and I felt so unappreciated for this extra I do for her mother. I feel invaded and bullied every day, my ‘high road’ being taken advantage of. Often, we try to be gracious, but feel bullied instead. There was work for my husband, though all of us helped him sort his paperwork on the countertops. At some point in the afternoon he and I met in the kitchen and embraced. I sighed and he knew my sigh (he vowed to do that). Then he sat beside me on the couch and laid his head on my shoulder in silence. He wrapped his arms around me and sniffed my hair and held me as close as he could, and everything dissolved. We were us again. I felt rebalanced and he thanked me for doing what I do for all of our children.
Later in the day, Bryon wrestled with the kids and they all fell in love again. It’s what they do, see. They wrestle and scream and giggle and bond. It’s weird to me having been an only child, but I love it – and so do they. Without it, they are grouchy. After this weekend circus we began to talk about adding a little friend to our home of the rodent variety, and how pistachio mustachio was a tremendous name for a guinea puss. So then I drew mustaches on everyone and I’ve never laughed so hard with my kids.
We made a night of family time and watched Courageous together. Have you seen that movie yet? It’s another Christian film by Alex Kendrick, along the same lines as Fireproof. Instead of highlighting God’s intent for marriage, it targets His intent for fatherhood. It’s a tremendous mantle, His intention. I mean, WOW. Here is the Resolution that each of the fathers agree to be bound to:
I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children. I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home. I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me. I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength. I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly. I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy. I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion. I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family. I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged. I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God. I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will. I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. ---Joshua 24:15
Bryon and I watched this movie before with Plowman and IT Jesus when it was released months ago. However, the children played and didn’t watch it with us. We were a little apprehensive about how the boys would react to this very in your face explanation of fatherhood. Would it cause questions for them? What would God have us say in response? So we all gathered downstairs in front of the fireplace with quilts all over everyplace and watched.
I sobbed, People. I just outright bawl during this movie. It’s everything I always wanted for my children and never thought they would have. But then God reminded me that He was in charge. The movie was more meaningful to Bryon this second time around because his relationships with the kids have grown so much. And the boys, well, they loved the movie. They had very few questions for us with respect to the role of “father” in their lives. In time, perhaps the kids will be moved to ask more. In time, they may realize Bryon’s unique role in their lives, what God has so clearly planned for them right now, and how Bryon has accepted loving and raising them as his own. That isn’t instead of Shoes, that is in addition to whatever relationship they have or do not have with him. It is a beautiful and rare thing for a stepfather to accept children so completely, to accept responsibility for them, and to work to father them as God intended.
I am so blessed by him and his courage every single day!