Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Peacemaking Authority.... the long thoughts

Peacemaking Authority:
Thoughts on Kind Parenting from a Recovering Obedience Addict
A harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.  James 3: 18
Somewhere at the beginning of our parenting journey I got some words stuck in my head that I think I’d be better off having never heard.  I could tell you the exact books and one talk that I heard around the time that our big guy was two.  I was gearing up for a hard course, but I was sure we would find a way to make it smooth sailing through these terrible twelve months.   Our big boy was giving us a few good practice runs, tantrums that stunned and stumped his starry-eyed mama, and just as I was more scared and feeling more ignorant than ever, these teachings landed in my ears and pierced my heart...
Perhaps it wasn’t so much a matter of the exact words I heard but just that the sinfulness in my own heart twisted and misapplied them according to what I felt like I could handle as a mom.  From several sources, the message seemed to all boil down to this one thing:  Teach your kids to obey.  Teach them that they need to obey the first time, every time.  Teach them to obey because obeying is a blessing for them.  Disobedience leads to death.  Disobedience kills.  Give them the blessing of learning to obey no matter how much discipline it takes.  
Clearly there is blessing in teaching our kids to obey.   Not only does the Word of God, which is our absolute, gracious, perfect authority, teach us this (Ephesians 6:1-3) but common sense and real-world life makes it plain and clear too.  “Sweetheart, please don’t put your fingers in the electric socket.”  Kids will have the blessing of no electric shock when they obey.   Needless to say, I want this blessing for our kids!
And yet, when I come at my role as mama with immediate obedience on the tip-top of my mind, and the plan set that firm discipline is The Way to teach it, I get tense and twisted fast.  Obedience should bring blessing for them and blessing to our home.  But if I am pursuing perfect obedience (read ‘perfection’) in our kids (or in me!) I’m not pursuing Christ.  If that’s so... then I loose everything.   And if I am pursuing obedience with a heart that is earthly and unspiritual (James 3:15) I will not arrive at Christ, nor bring my children to him.  
Pursuing Christ with them, in them, for them, means that I aim and train towards obedience (submission, righteousness, sanctification) like He does with me.  Pursuing Christ is a matter of the Spirit... walking in the light as he is in the light (1 John 1:7), abounding with the fruit of his Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).    It’s his kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).  It’s his patience that leads us to salvation (2 Peter 3:19).  And it’s his ways that I want to employ to work towards the goal of delighting in God and honoring him above all things....  or, we could say, towards the goal of “obeying from the heart.”   That’s the very thing I’m after here... 
I’ve written this way-too-long post for my sake.... to unpack these twisted thoughts, to lay them before my Savior and share them with my husband, to call to mind truth from His Word to repair my brokenness and recover His heart, and to help me be mindful to pray pray pray as I seek to move forward as a loving gentle mama to the precious children that I am so blessed to call mine.  
The Ugly Ambition-Roots
We’ve already covered this:  it is a blessing to teach our kids to obey.  But the trouble is that way too often when I am obedience hunting in them, I’m doing it because (a) I want my kids to be pretty near perfect so that other people can see what kind of good parent I must be (b) if they disobey, I want them to see how very responsible and diligent I am to teach, train, discipline our kids however swiftly and seriously the crime deems, (c) I want our home and our day to run conveniently according to my plans, so they’d better keep in line with my agenda (think tyrant in pursuit of total power).
Gross.   I wish it was never true, but I have disciplined and reprimanded our children with these motivations driving me way too much.  Oh God Forgive!
James 3: 16 “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”  Yep.  Those ambitions, they’re exactly what James is talking about.  
However, it also seems to go the other way as well... so that aiming at and hanging everything on outer obedience from my kids fosters and enhances the sin in my heart too!  But as I’m seeking the Lord for grace to redefine my primary goal, humble my heart and accept the process that my kids and I are in together, I am helped, and am more so anchored in His peace.   
Two Changes
I’ve called myself a “recovering obedience addict” and that does sound right in many ways.  It sounds right when I think of the common sins in my mothering as an addiction.  In retrospect, most of my terrible low points as a mom have come when I’m kind of intoxicated with false ideas of perfect obedience, perfect children, a perfect home.  Lies that it’s achievable.  That it determines my worth or value as a mom.  That it’s all that matters.  All of it, lies.  
So I’m hoping this little writing project will help me break this addiction.  But I must be clear on what is changing in me.  There’s mainly two things:   1) my attitude (perspective on my role as authority and expectations of our kids) and 2) the methods I’m using to train our kids. 
A Renewed Mind:  What kind of Authority?
I’m not writing about a new goal for our parenting.  I’m not abandoning obedience.  We will still be aiming for it, training towards it.... I just don’t want obedience to be the only thing, the highest thing I aim for.  It’s too narrow a target when the glory of God beckons us to much more.  It smacks too close to the “don’t just wash the outside of the cup” words with which Jesus confronted the Pharisees.  
So I want to bless our kids to raise them with healthy expectations and guidelines for them to live in, I want to teach them to obey me because God has made me their mama to bless and serve them as their authority.  I want to provide a safe structure where they can grow strong and courageous.  Tedd Tripp points out that our culture is very resistant to being under authority and even to being in a position of authority.  So we have lots to learn.... and I have lots to relearn, to correct, about my notions of authority.  
If I take “authority” to mean that I am above our kids, I set the stage in our home for Me Against Them.  I am not on their team.  I am out to correct, confront my children.... continually.  Sometimes I take it on myself to save them from every danger, every harmful anything, and separate them from every evil.   
Now, Jesus wasn’t leading twelve children... but really, how far off were these disciples of his!?  We don’t see Jesus leading his disciples like a drill sergeant, opposing them on every slip of the feet, loosing his cool over their slowness to understand.  (And they were very slow!)  They were downright ridiculous sometimes but we still don’t see Jesus embarrassed over what ideas others might have thought about him because of them.   He knew they were but dust.  He’s never urged to action out of fear of others’ opinions or desire to defend himself.  We don’t see him using force, pressure, or intellectual stun guns to intimidate his guys.  
Jesus came along side them to teach.  Russel Moore points out in a talk on Biblical Manhood how Jesus persevered to carefully, thoroughly, lovingly, teach his disciples.  Peter tells Jesus that he doesn’t want his feet washed?  Well, Jesus kindly doesn’t let him refuse.  He gently, lovingly let him know that not being washed was not an option.   
He wasn’t hovering over them and he wasn’t giving orders from the sidelines.  He was right in the mess with them.  He led from within, through relationship.  He was a clear authority He was the framework, the support that would hold these men up and lead them- through relationship- to grow into strong witnesses for him, strong servants of the church.
I want to lead and serve our kids like Him.  They’ve been made in the image of God and I’ve been given front-row seats to see His image in them unveiled.  They will be unique.  They will be different from me.  And I am unspeakably privileged to know each one of our kids, to see them, to be a part of their growth and transformation in Christ like this. 
I’m on the road together with my kids, all of us pursuing Christ, being transformed into more and more of his image.  I am with them, a join-heirs with Christ, a fellow traveller, seeking first his righteousness and panting after his holiness and pleasure and fame with them, and sometimes for them (as I lead them).   
Sanctification is the daily reality for followers of Christ.  It’s the stuff we’re commanded to work out with fear and trembling.  (Phillipians 2:12).  It’s not as if obedience is a matter for children and sanctification is a matter for Christians (or for adults).  Since obedience is a critical concern for mature Christians too, why not treat the obedience issue as the one ongoing reality that our children are engaged in now: growing and being refined in the likeness of Christ?  It’s a very good, humbling, sweet-pain realize I am with my kids in this.... 
My Job Redefined
A dear friend wrote to me “From the time when our children were young, I would say, "okay, time to pick up blocks" and if they didn't start on their own I gave them a
nonthreatening choice about doing that alone or with help.  Sometimes needing help meant holding their little hands and moving them to put the block in the bin.  The point was teaching compliance, not to bully them into clean up, and as they got older they needed help less and less.”  
No decent Christian parenting book out there would advocate that we use “bullying” to train our kids.  But when my gaze is locked on first-time obedience every time, my focus tends to sag and drift from the ideal “obedience from the heart” to Nike style “Just Do It-ness”.  And then when and swift and severe discipline at every infraction is the way after this goal, I sputter and spark flames quickly when my instructions are not being obeyed by the little people.  Telling them something like “Honey, I love you and I’m not angry with you but I am going to teach you” is going to be flat-out insincere.  I will be angry and I will feel wronged, when I’m already breathing out the death fumes of  “my word must be obeyed or you will die!”  
Know this though, I’m not advocating a limp-wristed approach to instruction.  I know what the Word says about the wages of sin (Rom 6:23), and the way that seems right to man (Prov 16:25)... It’s a big deal.   But I’m also majorly comforted by God’s own patience with me in the midst of the dark backdrop in the world that we live in, and the very dark roots in my own heart.  
So...  what is my job then?  How am I to instruct our kids to godliness, to delighting in and honoring God, and how ought I respond to disobedience?  If I can trust God’s powerful grace at work both in them and in me, that helps me can keep calm about disobedience.  I need to stay anchored deep to the truth that teaching my kids to obey can be done positively, constructively and not just by means of discipline.    
One day, as I picked up our kiddos from morning preschool, a teacher met me with a world of disappointment written all over her face.  (We’ve had some experience with this well-intending teacher before...  She’s got some tough standards. Once she wiped off Marian’s nail polish because she personally didn’t like it.)  She told me our boy had played too roughly with others, not listened to her words and kicked a friend’s hat across the room in jest.  She was aghast.  
And he was annoyed.   He walked out the door and did not want to stand by me for the minute more I needed to hear from his teacher.  He wasn’t cooperating well when I asked him again to stand with me till she was done.  This happened to be the morning I had spent a good chunk of time writing this.... and I decided I’d try to put kindness into practice even here.  
Too often in the past, I would have met my son with firmness that overran his annoyance.   I would have told him a bit louder than normal and much sterner than he can make his voice, “young man, you can and you will stand right here by me, right now, for one minute.  ”  But, this time, I knelt down and looked at him in the eyes.  I told him, “Buddy, I hear you.  I know you’re not happy right now and I want to hear from you about it.  But I also need to hear from your teacher and I want you to stand with me for this, to honor her and to honor me, ok?”  He did.  I wouldn’t say it was the five star “obedience from the heart”... but it was better than we were looking just a minute before.  
It reminds me of Dietrich Bonhoeffer calling Jesus “the man for others.”  Lord make me like you:  a mom for my kids!
Discovering this new job description is like unwrapping the gift of freedom in mothering.  For so long I’ve felt like my highest obligation is to teach my kids to obey.  I would never want to raise up little Pharisees so I would have said that my goal was to teach them to ‘obey from their hearts.’  And, as it seemed from what I was reading, the only way for Christian parents to teach their kids this was by firm, fair discipline at the very instance of any glimmer of disobedience.  
Pressing after obedience like that leaves me pretty high strung when it comes to the amount of instruction, correction and discipline needed.  Motherhood like that strains me and usually twists me into a less gentle, less happy person.  But when my job is redefined to center on kindly leading, tenderly confronting, lovingly serving our kids, I am freed up to delight in them much more often, much more easily.    What a gift!
The Music of Home
Rachel Jankovic pointed out (and I wrote it on the window in our kitchen) “It is no abstract thing.  The state of my heart is the state of my home.”  When my heart is humming “obey, obey, obey” it’s pretty much a funeral dirge on a loud speaker and no one is happy to hear it. The tone of our home is set in stone: drone drone drone.  
Not so is the tune of our King.  Psalm 100 sets a bright and cheerful scene in the throne room of our God.  I can’t help but smile as I read it aloud to our kids.   It’s really ridiculously good, isn’t it?....  We worship so great a God that he delights in, equips us for, and even commands our joy in Him?  We’ve got it too good to be so loved by such a joyful God.
It makes me think of Rachel Barkey ( who chose four words to be her life motto, (I like to think of it as a battle cry) To Serve With Joy.  
Joy.  Serve with joy.   That’s just so much like Jesus.  (Mark 10:45 and Hebrews 12:1-2 )    There’s music in that.  “Serve the Lord with gladness!  come into his presence with singing!... Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise!”  Music in my heart... and music in our home.  Music to dance to.  The music of our King.  

A Slow Matter
It’s no accident that the verses on wisdom and meekness, on peacemaking and reaping righteousness in James evoke the image of a farmer in the soil with his seeds and his crops.  It’s slow, hard, dirty work for a farmer and a parent.  It’s not a harvest we’ll be able to reap tomorrow after tossing seeds out today.   Obedience isn’t an issue they learn at two and are then done with.  They will learn it and relearn it daily.  (At least I know do.)
When I can keep in mind that we are headed in the right direction even if we don’t reach our goal this instant, I’m doing well.   I’m especially doing well when I remember that how we journey, what spirit I speak and serve out of when I confront and correct my kids, is more important than any particular words or parenting methodology I serve up for them.   
Wisdom from Above
Yes, a wise woman should choose her words carefully (Proverbs 31:26) and she also delivers them kindly.  The wisdom and the kindness is a package deal and the whole thing is my job.  I can’t loose sight of this!  How wisdom is delivered, imparted matters everything.  
I could lay my wisdom down and Wap Bam Zam!  I could zing them with questions that bind them tight in little straight jackets of no escape.  My infallible wisdom and inerrant perspective stunning them like a tazer.  Or I could, perhaps still use wisely prepared questions to guide our kids, but be even more mindful of seeking to demonstrate my wisdom with love and understanding in meekness.    As Ann Voskamp says, “guide them gently.”
We are told plainly that the “wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”   Oh God make me wise according to you, to the character of your heart, the fruit of your Spirit, the Truth of your Word.  Don’t let me bank on psychological or proof-texted Scriptural wisdom if it’s not all of you.  
“Who is wise and understanding among you?  By his good works let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.”  (James 3:13)
Some Practical How-To’s
I remember too well when Isaiah was not quite two.  He wanted to be with me in the kitchen and I was busy making dinner.  I asked him to sit on the rug so that I could get around him with knives and boiling water and not trip over him.  But he was too curious.  He got up and I swatted him hard.  He got up and I swatted him again.  And it went on and ridiculously on.  
What about teaching him to obey by sitting next to him on the rug and tickle-giggling with him for a moment?  I could have started like that (if I made that my first effort it probably would have lightened me up a good bit too!)  and then drawn his attention to the sharp things I would need to use and the boiling water we’d need for our noodles.  I could have nibbled his neck with a few more kisses and told him kindly and seriously that I need him to obey or he will not be allowed in the kitchen with me.  
That would be training him to obey, helping him to obey, modeling obedience, enjoying him, establishing my love for him and explaining good reason for my instructions.... and it would’ve been fun and we could’ve been happy.  Even if it was only a moment of happiness before having to send him out of the kitchen and deal with the wailing that would no doubt ensue after that.  Still, I like this plan much better than the continual swat approach.  
And I know... even for me, when I reread my own words here, I think “yea, right!”  When we’re in the midst of some parental pressure point I almost always run with the notion that I’ve got to speak quick, act quick, deal quickly with every one, and try my darndest to fix every need.  There are some moments when that’s true.  I must address an urgent issue.... but Lord help me to do that kindly, firmly, humbly.  And for the times, much more often, when I actually could take time to be with my kids to teach them a good lesson, please help me to love them in the moment, speak kindly, tenderly, firmly, and be patient with my little loves.  
Like Christ, I want to lift up the weak hands, bend low to look into drooping eyes and sad faces, I want to listen to their hearts and gently care for these precious gifts.  I want to remember that I am on their team and I really want that truth to reverberate in their whole soul.  They are the tender little lambs that have been entrusted to me by my Gentle Shepherd and my job is to bring them to Him.  
Sovereign Protection
One of the easiest triggers for a grumpy spring from my heart is when my kids are hurting each other or being unsafe.  Katherine’s post, Sheltering Is Not A Place, is a must-read for me on this topic.  (See several links to her parenting thoughts below.)  
It is so good for me to be humbled to know that I am not omnipotent or omnipresent to protect my kids from everything, all the time, everywhere.  I have got to take his yoke upon me, learn from him, trust him.  He alone is able to save.  He alone has perfect plans for their good, plans which he is unhindered from fulfilling.  
And isn’t it good that being humbled, lifting my eyes up to him with trust that He is the ultimate protection for our kids, that this will bring me grace!?  Ahhh.... that’s the very thing that I need.
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble”  James 4:6
Bearing the Reproof
Rachel Jankovic writes in her must-have for every mother of young kiddos book, Loving the Little Years, that motherhood is a “wonderful opportunity for repentance and growth and not an opportunity for us to exact penance. (p 14)” She goes on... “When they disobey, do you talk about your own hurt?  Are you pointing to all the work that you have to do now that they screwed up?  Do you want to elaborate at all on how bad, bad, bad a particular thing was?  Do you want to see them feel bad, or see them with a clear conscience so you can have a little snuggle tickle-fest?” (p 18-19)
Tim Keller points to this same need when he exhorts us to see the debt of our sin against God and the wealth of God’s forgiveness and grace.  He then applies Christ’s forgiveness to us to how we ought to serve up the same generous love and forgiveness for others... paying the debt out of the wealth of God’s love for us in Christ.    Christians are called to pay the price for each other, and Christian parents especially get to do this for their kids.   (  click on The Prodigal God to see the sermons in this series).
Katherine wrote about this in her own story with her dad, at her blog, Raising Five.  She shares how his kindness and patience and gentle communication won her over...  
When I was about 13, I had cultivated a nasty habit of rolling my eyes at everything my dad said. Now, my dad is a big jokester, but I was intent on letting him know in no uncertain terms that I thought his sense of humor was lame, and that his constant comedy was a complete embarrassment.
One day he went on an errand and invited me to come along. At one point the stopped the car, looked over at me and gently said, “Is there a problem between you and me?”
Of course I denied it, but I knew exactly what he was talking about.
“Well, I love you so much and I just wouldn’t want anything to come between us.”
That day, I believe, was a turning point in my relationship with my parents, forever emblazoned on the heart of a would-be sarcastic teenage rebel. In one day I went from thinking my dad was the stupidest man in the world, to thinking there was no one greater.
He could have forced his paternal authority over me and made me stop acting like such the defiant teenager that I was intent on becoming. Instead, he came to me with gentleness. He came to me because he loved me and valued our relationship.
He came to me in a way that represented God to me - a still small voice inviting me back into relationship with him.
Katherine’s dad bore the reproach she was giving him.  He could have nailed her for her disobedience, but her bore her reproach.  Christ is the Savior and we will never be savior to our kids.  But this is true of us:  
“ this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”  I Peter 2:21-24   
What if, in some way, this characterized me as a mom?
As I think of it, this has got to be one of the central characteristics of my heart and work as a mom if I am following Christ.  This was The central characteristic of his life and mission in our world:  He paid the price for us, not because we deserved it, but out of his limitless wealth of love and compassion and all for his glory and for our joy.  He is able and desirous to provide for us, to serve and care for us, and he gives strength to all who trust in him so that we might give to others in his name.  Oh God, so work in me that I might pay the price for my kids... to show them your love and lead them to You!
What will it be then?
What will this look like?  Really?  On the hard days, the everyone’s in a bad mood, sky’s are grey, power just went out (China style), and the fridge is empty days?   We’ve had our share of all that and I know every time, every moment is a battle for God’s glory in our kids lives, in my life, in our home.  Some battles are harder than others and some days there will be bloody wounded hearts.  But... there. is. hope.     
Honestly I don’t know what all these words might bring, but I do know this one thing:   that I want my mothering to be distinctly marked with by my own attitude that speaks and demonstrates clearly for me kids “I’m on your team.  I will be firm and loving and fun with you and for you.  And we will grow to love and honor God together”.  I want them to see and know that their mama will get dirty in this life-battle with them and for them.  Their mistakes won’t be shame that I will shun... and shun them.  I’ll run to them and embrace them in their pig slop clothes.  I’ll serve them, teach them, bless them and let every day end in affirmations of unconditional love.   
And, I’m going to have to swallow my selfish ambition.  Better yet, I yearn for that ogre to be nailed to the cross.  To open our home to a more tenderly loving, kind approach to parenting means that I’m going to have to lay down my hunger for a crisp clean home and kids that make me look like a A+ mom.  I’m going to have to let it be loud and (at least sometimes) let them be silly even when it annoys me to the bone.  
I’m even going to have to let them be angry, frustrated, and sometimes moody (just like their mama!)  A dear friend told me about Families Where Grace is in Place and how she read there about the healthiest families being the ones where faces are most connected to behavior and mood.  If you’re feeling grumpy, your face can look like it.  Don’t make the kids be fake!
There will be times when I’ll have to ask them to sit on their bed to get out their frustration over something, so as not to drag everyone else into their gloom...  but give them grace for bad days and let them be real.  Real does of course mean messy and loud and it will take more, (probably much more) time from me to deal with well in relationship with each kiddo... but I do think it will be worth it.  
Years ago I read this section entitled “Teacup Theology” from Linda Dillow’s book Calm My Anxious Heart and it has stayed with me in a very powerful way.  It seems entirely applicable to my parenting neediness, so I will include it here:
“God has lovingly assigned each of us to be a uniquely special teacup.... Then God fills our cup with our portion, what He determines best.  Our portion is our physical and emotional being, our abilities, circumstances, roles and relationships.  
“Sometimes we don’t like what’s been poured into our cup.  Remember the Lord Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane?  When He saw the suffering He was about to endure, He pleaded, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done”  (Luke 22: 42).  Christ grasped the handle of His cup and lifted it to God and said, “I accept my portion.  Infuse me with Your strength that I may drink it.  
“Every cup - whether dainty china or rough-hewn pottery - has a handle.  God has placed our portion in our cup.  We either choose to grasp it by the handle and lift it to Him, saying, “I accept my portion;  I accept this cup,”  or we choose to smash our cup to pieces, saying, “God, I refuse my portion.  This cup is not the right size for me and I don’t like what You’ve put in it.  I’ll control my life myself.” (p18)
Oh God, You have first loved us, first laid down your life....  You have given your strength to us, you infuse us with your grace and power to mightily work within your followers.  Would you empower me to receive what you have given and all the daily difficulties you allow.  Help me to accept it all as your design, your choosing- through which you will work my sanctification and my kids and through which you can gain glory.  
Give me a love that resembles yours... that sacrifices like you. Enable me to lay down my life for these little ones, for your glory God!  And may there be a harvest in their lives and in our home, fruit that will last and will brightly ring with your praise for all eternity!
Related Reading:  {needed wisdom, needed confrontation to my proud tendencies to think that I can train perfectly obedient children (hello, sin nature!?)  and to think that obedience is all that matters.}    {Yep.... this is one to reread every time I find myself in the storms of that addiction to perfect behavior & obedience}  {Just sweet to read and refocus on the glories of this job of motherhood... such a privilege!}   {so grateful to find this wise and articulate woman.  Well said parenting advice here, kick in the pants style}    {From Ann V.  Oh Yes, Lord, make me like this!}
{The point in linking this to this topic list is that introverts are as much at place in the church as extroverts because gregariousness is not a fruit of the Spirit but kindness is... and kindness can be demonstrated one on one or to dozens...  the point is kindness, kindness, kindness.} 
People are born with different temperaments, which is all part of God’s rich and beautiful design for His body, but kindness is what we’re all called to.
Kindness is what God is working in us through the implanted seed of the gospel.” - Adam McHugh, guest writer @
Rachel Jankovic.  Loving the Little Years:  Motherhood in the Trenches. Canon Press:  Moscow, Idaho.  2010.    {My favorite parenting book yet.   Matt and I read portions and laughed aloud together....  an absolute must.}
Karen Andreola.  The Charlotte Mason Companion:  Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning.  {Honestly, these were the quotes that got me thinking about all this in the first place.  I am so grateful for Charlotte Mason not only as a first rate educational advisor but as a parenting teacher too.  Oh.  So.  Profoundly.  Grateful.}  


  1. No comments??? I haven't read it all Jill, but what I have read has been so well written and clear. Thank you!! I hope to use this as a launching pad for my own personal reflections. I'll let you know how it goes! Keep going! Love, Megan

  2. Good words, dear sister. I'm sure I will be referencing this often in the years to come. Love you.