Dearest Mommy…

IMG_1604I wrote a letter to Morgan, and a letter to Eliza a few weeks before the birth. After Eliza was born Morgan and I spent some time alone together with the baby. It was a beautiful time of worship as I prayed over, and read these letters to my wife & new baby girl.

7.12.2009

“Dearest mommy,

You did it baby. You made it through this pregnancy, and brought this little baby girl into the world. You didn’t just make it through, but you insisted on making this a worshipful experience that brought glory to God. You set a wonderful example by disciplining yourself, and being determined to acquire as much knowledge about this process as possible. You ate well, exercised, and took care of yourself for the sake of our baby girl.

You have sought the Lord, and prayed countless hours for this baby. You have spent even more time in thought about this baby. You have a deep desire to raise her as a lover of Jesus. I want to declare the same victory we experienced in this birth over you as a mommy right now in Jesus’ name. You will have the same determination to raise this baby girl up as you did to care for her while she was in your womb. You will make your job as her mommy a worshipful experience that brings glory to God. You will set an example for many women of what parenting, and being a mommy can & should be like. From this point on this will be a new part of your purpose and life in Christ; this will be your biggest kingdom pursuit yet-to be a mommy to our children. You will continue to discipline yourself, and acquire as much knowledge about this process as possible. You will continue to be in deep thought, and prayer for this little girl. I know these things to be true based upon who Christ is to you, and your obedience to Him.

It is these things that cause me to fall more and more in love with you each and every day. I am lucky to be the husband and father of two of the most wonderful women on the planet. As your husband I commit to being right beside you every step of the way. I commit to leading the two of you, and providing for you in every way necessary. I have a responsibility to hold the below “family values” as priority throughout the rest of our lives as a family…

To family:
…This is a commitment to one another, as a family, that we are entering into by the grace of God, through Christ Jesus, made possible by His activity in our lives. We make this commitment as parents, and have invited you, as our children into this commitment in Jesus’ name. May this commitment, and purpose become real to you as you grow in maturity of faith by the grace of Jesus. (Using this statement as a filter by which all of our life decisions as a family are run through)

“Family Values”
→ To be giving of ourselves in every aspect of life. (Spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc.) To be sacrificial in that. Phil. 2:4 putting others before ourselves. This applies not only to one another, but friends, family, and strangers.
→ We will have open hands & open hearts, a loose grip on our stuff/possessions.
→ We will make decisions as a family as we seek the Lord.
→ We commit to being open and honest with one another about everything. (How we feel, etc.) We will clearly communicate our feelings to one another in a timely manner, refusing to allow a lack of communication to produce bitterness and resentment in our hearts towards one another.
→ We will have a time or rest/Sabbath as a family on a weekly basis. Family time will be a priority in our lives, and not just something we do once per week.
→ We will look to scripture for guidance, and have a solid foundation of Biblical Truth in which our family is built upon.
→ We will pursue our individual callings in the Lord, and help one another discover those callings/gifts. As we discover them we will encourage one another to walk them out through the power of the Holy Spirit.
→ We will teach one another to love deeply.

Morgan, I love you and am so proud of you. I can’t wait to begin walking these commitments out with you on a daily basis. I know it will get tough, and at times feel impossible, but I want you to rest in the fact that we are being led by the Holy Spirit. He will sanctify us through this entire process, and we will welcome it in Jesus’ name. I love you more now then I ever have before, and can’t wait to continue this journey with you.”

-Aaron-

Stay tuned for the “Dearest Eliza” letter in a couple days…

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“What if…?”

pondering-manThose of you reading who are my loyal Twitter, and Facebook “followers” have already been commenting on many of the “what if?” questions I have been posting over the past week. I am compiling them, and plan on posting an entire entry dedicated to the many different “what if?” questions that I come up with in the process. Please feel free to contribute your own “what if?” questions in the comments section of this post, and I will add them into the compilation. (You are also welcome to leave any thoughts about this particular “what if?” question in the form of a comment)

I felt the need to give this “what if?” question it’s own post because Twitter posts only give you 140 characters…being the detail guy that I am, I had a terribly hard time narrowing this down to 140 characters. In fact, it hurt so bad after I posted the “Tweet” that I decided I HAD to elaborate by posting this blog. Here goes…

“What if” a person’s success, worth, or value was measured by the amount of time they spend with family, friends, and other important people as opposed to how much money they make, how many people they know, the car they drive, the size of their house, how “busy” they are, etc.?

These days a person is accused of being irresponsible or lazy if they work any less than 50 hours/week, and don’t have a hefty retirement fund awaiting them. A person’s importance is weighed by the title they hold at “work”, the square footage of their house, the fanciness of their car…you get the point. Husbands and fathers begin finding their worth in these things rather than the love of their wife and kids. Somehow, in this completely screwy world we live in it is somehow a “difficult” decision for a man to wrestle with choosing between taking the higher paying job that will consume everything, or keep the less paying job so he can pour himself into his wife and kids. Oh wait, he gets the job so he can make money to be able “take care of the kids”, and send them to college, right? That seems to have worked out wonderfully in the last 50 years hasn’t it…?

So, here we are in a time in the world when the people we pledge our lives to in marriage, and the human beings that we create and bring into the world become less important to us than our status, income, retirement fund, comfort, security, and vacations. Everything in me screams out that this is wrong. Though I have VERY intentionally pursued something drastically different in my life, the world, my flesh, and those around me seem to constantly pull me into this vicious cycle of idolatrous sin. I am determined…

Side note: These things have seemingly crept into, and plagued the “church” in America. Oh, the lovely life sacrificed to “ministry”. The amazing titles, and salaries that grow with those titles. The business plans, and elaborate infrastructure. The hiring and firing. The need to perform, succeed, and maximize the “return on our investment”(ROI for you business majors. Oh, and i’m not lying: I was once told that by my “boss” while on staff at an institutional church) The husbands spending hours away from their wives and kids for the “sake of the ministry”, which somehow makes it ok. No need to keep going. Oh wait, the business models, strategies, COMPETITION for numerical growth, and fancy offices. Ok, i’m done.

So, I have made a lifelong commitment to value the TIME I spend with my wife, and children above the amount of money I make, the title/position I hold in any career, etc. I believe, and will continue to rely on the grace of Christ to model that deep relationships with REAL people are more important to me a vacation home in the mountains, TV’s in my car, or a bunch of people knowing who I am, but not KNOWING ME. I believe that I am not at all alone in this pursuit…

Won’t you join me in asking the hard, and gasped at “What if?” questions that MUST be asked…?