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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Month of Thanksgiving: Day 9

"My counsel for you is simple and straightforward:  Just go ahead with what you've been given," says Paul.  "You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live Him.  You're deeply rooted in Him.  You're well constructed upon Him.  You know your way around the faith.  Now do what you've been taught.  School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it!  And let your living spill over into thanksgiving."  Colossians 2:6-7 MSG
I was finishing up a book this morning I've been reading (Costly Grace:  A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship) and came across this passage out of Colossians in the Message Version of the Bible.  I was struck by the wording "quit studying the subject and start living it" and "let your living spill over into thanksgiving".  

One of the grace gifts Mike and I have in our lives that allows us to do those very two things are supportive parents.  That's what I'm very thankful for today.

Mike and I have been married for a little over 18 years.  He was surrendered to the ministry when I married him; so I knew "what I was getting into" so to speak.  One of the things I was fully aware of was the fact that most likely we wouldn't always live close to our families.  Some of our places of service have been close, but the last few have not been.

Mike currently serves as Associate Pastor at our church in SW Florida which puts about 1,000 miles away from our families in Mississippi and Alabama.  Living such a distance from them, we only get to see our parents and siblings once a year.  My mom and stepdad and my dad and stepmom have been able to make a couple of trips to see us in the Summer, which has been very nice!

Our parents, both mine and Mike's, have always been so encouraging and supportive of our life in the ministry.  They understand the supreme importance of our obedience and trust in God for the places He would have us serve.  They pray for us.  We have never once been given the guilt trip of "Why are you moving the grandchildren so far away?".   We don't have the pressure of "When are ya'll gonna move back home?"  This gift of supportive parents frees us up to "live a life of extraordinary quality, one that carries significance beyond ourselves" (Costly Grace, by Jon Walker).

Now I won't lie to you and have you believe that there are never tears or sadness on one side or the other.  It's natural to miss them and them miss us!  I'd be a little concerned if they didn't miss us!  I'm 39 years old and there are still times that I just plain ole miss my mama!  And yes there are days I shed a few tears at what they are missing when it comes to the grandchildren growing up.  But God always gives much grace on those days and they are the ones that the phone calls last an hour or longer.

And I am thankful for the internet!  One of the primary reasons I started blogging was to provide a way for our families to keep up with what our family is doing and what the grandkids are up to at any given time.

So, on that note...

I'll post this picture of the grand younguns and say, "We love you and miss you Granny and Pops, Papaw Sonny and Mamaw Judy and Papaw Conrad and Nana.  We can't wait to see ya'll at Thanksgiving!"

Continuing to be thankful with Rebecca and others,


Mariel said...

supportive parents are truly a gift...we have one side of supportive parents and one side of unsupportive parents---it makes all the difference!

Trisha said...

We live far from family, too, Jen. The internet is a great way to share pictures, etc. What a blessing you have in supportive parents, too!