Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dear A and D

One day as you read this letter I pray it brings you hope and encouragement as you walk through this life with Jesus.

There are a few things mommy and daddy want you to learn and know, and I pray as you read this; your mind will be focused on Christ and what He has done. 

Sweet boys, as you grow in Christ there will be times in your walk, when you don't always see the fruits of your labor, but that doesn't mean you are not producing, nor does it mean that others don’t see it. But please don’t worry about man seeing it, it’s Jesus who matters the most and He does see it. Never do anything for the praise of man or out of selfish gain. For then you will not be producing godly fruit.

Right now you are too young to truly understand all of this, but one day you will, and on that day I hope this letter leaves you encouraged and only strengthens your love for Jesus even more. I pray you will see what He has done in us and through us, without Him mommy and daddy are nothing. Maybe, when you read this you will be married and it will encourage you in your marriage. However the Holy Spirit speaks to you, I know His work in you will be exactly how Jesus intends it to be. With that, here are just a few of the things daddy and mommy has learned over the last few years.

Two years ago (2012) your daddy and I stepped out in faith and entered into something we didn't quite know what to expect, and that was exactly how God wanted it. He knew if we would've known the things that would happen, that have, we probably wouldn’t have stepped out in faith. But because your daddy loves Jesus so much, He listened to His voice saying, “Trust me!” and daddy obeyed. This was a big deal for daddy because he loved football, and he loved ministering to his athletes. Your daddy has such a heart for people and was very good at what he did.  No matter where he went your daddy left an impact on the lives of people and he still does today.

From the moment your daddy heard Jesus speak to him, he boldly stepped out and committed to God's calling. He works extremely hard; always taking joy and pride in what God lays before him and everything he does is so we can have the best life possible.

It has been two years now, since we started this new journey and after a lot of hard work, faithful obedience, trials, and even Satan's attempts to attack us through situations we never expected, and many lessons learned, the greatest fruit God has produced is the transformation within us. 

Over these last two years daddy and I have learned, yet again, the importance of Godly accountability. And as I type this today, I pray, at ages 8 and 6, you’re already learning the importance of choosing godly accountability and friends who point you closer to Jesus. I can’t stress how important this will be in your faith and walk with Christ. Those you choose to surround yourself with, to make you better for Christ, should always keep you accountable according to Scripture, they should build you up, encourage you, pray with you and over you. Seek those who are older and wiser, for they have walked through some of the same things and their lives will be a living example of their relationship with Christ.

We have learned the importance of being a team. 

We have learned that patience is vital. This comes with time, but as you grow in your knowledge of Christ, you will learn to live out true wisdom.

We have learned to depend more on God and each other. 

We understand greatly the benefits of being good stewards with our money and time and I pray you will have learned from example the benefits that come from always honoring God with everything He gives you. Never allow your flesh to put you in debt; it is a sign of carelessness, laziness, and sin. Remember it was never yours to begin with. It has always been His. Don’t misuse it.

We have learned the value of hard work. When you work hard, you will never have to worry about poverty or being caught up in comparison. You gain great respect when you work hard. Take pride in your ability to work hard and be thankful you are able to do so! Never depend on others to do the work for you. Set the example, for your babies. Show them what it means to work hard, just as I hope we have shown you.

One of the most valuable lessons we have learned is the ability to discern between godly encouragement, godly accountability and godly guidance.  If we are not careful and listening to the Holy Spirit we can be easily led astray, lied to, deceived, hurt, and often times we can feel depleted and defeated. We have learned to let God's truth, His promises and His voice be the loudest. Sometimes you will find yourselves listening to the lies of the world and others, but always take what is said place it under the microscope of God’s Word and if it is not true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or worthy of praise, don’t believe it. More times than not those who are trying to hurt you, cause dissension among you and turn others against you, only want you to feel as miserable as they do. Misery loves company, so whatever you do stay far away from it, or it too will bring you down. Babies, you can love from afar. Your relationship with Christ and His love for you is far more important than anyone or anything else. If you fall into the wrong crowd, be prepared for what comes with it. I pray you always choose to stand apart from the crowd and live boldly for Jesus. Yes it can be lonely, yes it will be hard, yes others will try to tear you down and even persecute you, but in the end you will be victorious. Stand firm!

We have learned the importance of building each other up in the Word verse tearing them down. This one is so vital, especially for the Body of Christ to work as God has built it too. Jesus established the Body of Christ to work as one unit. He did not establish the Body to work against one another. Every part of the Body of Christ is significant and important. Every part of the Body is a necessary part that makes it function. Always, listen to the Holy Spirit. And please listen to me when I tell you this. Anyone can say I am a Christian, but only a few are true followers of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will help you discern the difference. Listen to Him. Make sure you never just read the Word but that you STUDY the Word. There is a huge difference between the two. Be studiers of God’s Word. Work together as one unit with the Body of Christ. Remember only a few will enter, and we believe that it is going to be a lot less than what many of us think. Make sure you have counted the cost of following Christ, and when you commit to following Him, whom you have, be all in. Never try to straddle the line. Never allow the root of jealousy or pride to take residency within you, it brings chaos to the Body and dishonors the Lord. And it will destroy a family and the Church. Be humble and always think of others as better than yourselves. Never lead others to believe more of you than what you really are.

Let your passion to help and serve others become one of your greatest joys, as it is ours. We are so thankful and humble that the Lord finds us worthy enough to be used by Him. Remember, Jesus created you for His glory and to bring honor to His name. He doesn’t have to use you, but He desires to. Be a utensil God can use for His glory.

One of the greatest transformations that has taken place is in our marriage. For the first ten years, your daddy was gone a lot coaching. So the times we did get to spend together were precious. We each had our routine and way of doing things and it worked for us, but that all changed in April of 2012. Since April we have had to re-learn new ways of doing things together, especially now, being we spend from sun up to sun down together. In your marriages, always make sure Jesus is in the center. Jesus established marriage because He knew people needed each other. He designed Eve to be Adam’s helper, and He designed Adam to be the Spiritual leader of the home. It is give and give. Work through your arguments at the foot of the Cross-.  Build each other up, and respect the qualities God has placed in each of you. They are for your good.  I pray your wife loves Jesus more than she loves you. I pray her relationship with Christ is stronger than any other relationship. I pray she never places you above Christ. I pray you never place her above Christ, nor that you depend on her more than you do the Lord. This took daddy and I awhile to learn, but what a difference it has made in our marriage. The way we treat Christ is the way we treat each other. Always remember that, it will be a true sign of what your relationship with Christ really looks like.

Like I said this was tough for us at first, we are both strong willed individuals so it took the Lord teaching us many lessons, humbling us and showing us what selflessness and humility really meant. Just as you will find in your marriage, it is a life long process that requires you to wake up each day and make the choice to put the other one above yourself.

We have learned to focus on each other’s strength's rather than their weaknesses. We fill each other’s holes, in mommy’s cup she has holes, those represent my weaknesses. So when daddy places his cup over mine, his strengths cover my holes and where daddy has holes, my strengths cover up his. When you understand that, you will understand why Jesus said, two is better than one. When we reached this point our ability to be better for Jesus, for you boys, and in our business magnified and only got stronger. 

We have learned the power of praying together is the most important thing we can do. There is just something amazingly powerful when your daddy grabs my hands and walks us both into the Most Holy Place to meet with Jesus. Pray with your wife every night! Pray with each other and for each other every night!

Together your daddy and I have definitely walked through a few fires together these past two years (and will probably walk through many more until Christ calls us home) and as we did, we have seen the hand of God upon us both walking through them with us. Jesus will do the exact same thing for you, if you let Him. Invite Jesus into every single part of your life, the good, bad and ugly. Boys, as you walk through these fiery trials, know they are for your good, even if at the time you can’t see that, trust me, they are. Through them Jesus will reveal areas to you that need purifying and cleansing. Let Him bring those impurities to the top and remove them. Let Him teach you and show you how to keep from walking through that same trial again. Even if it means making some really, really tough decisions once you get out, it is for your eternal good!!

In just 2 years your daddy and I have learned more than we could ever have imagined, and we are so grateful, for what God has taught us and shown us. Everyday we grow closer to Jesus and one another. Everyday we grow in awe of Jesus. Everyday we grow in knowledge and wisdom. Yes we have our setbacks and moments, but we react a lot differently today then we would have two years ago. Everyday we are learning to step aside and let Jesus be in complete control. Everyday we are making the conscious effort and choice to allow our thoughts to be filled with Christ, so His Word will then determine our feelings, which then will determine godly decision-making.

Never let your feelings control you. Let the Holy Spirit control you, let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think, for then you will grow in wisdom and truth.

I pray Jesus fills you with the discernment to know the difference between the Holy Spirit’s voice verse the voice of your feelings.

You can always tell who is in control in your own life and the life of others by their actions and speech. If they are always up and down, more than likely their feelings are in control of them rather than the Holy Spirit.  Learn and know the difference, the Holy Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Your feelings produce, disorder, dissension, jealousy, pride, selfishness, worldly living, etc.

Now, don’t get me wrong God created feelings, but He created them to be placed in the order for which he established, which is second.

And finally the most important thing you can ever do, that we have learned is to always encourage one another to grow in their walk with Christ. Never use each other’s love for Jesus against them. Never, speak hateful words towards one another or anyone else. Never, talk bad about each other to others! Never let jealousy, pride or anger separate you.

Never seek to turns others against each other. Love each other as Christ loves you. Forgive one another.  I pray you never experience bitterness towards each other. I pray you never go out of your way to hurt each other. I pray you always speak the truth in love. I pray you stand boldly on the Word of God. I pray you never tear each other down so much, one walks away broken or limp.

I pray you fight the fight together. I pray you love each other like your daddy and his brothers love each other. I pray you always respect each other and others.

I pray you never boast or brag about your accomplishments but that you let the Lord brag on you.

I pray you never become conceited. I pray you always listen and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. I pray you always give God the credit. I pray you never seek to find fulfillment in the things of this World. I pray you always desire for each other to be their absolute best, and that you encourage them to live out the gifts God has given them. I pray you never compare yourselves to anyone other than Jesus.

I pray you wake up everyday and make the choice to study God’s Word and grow in your relationship with Him.
I pray your daddy and I set a godly example for you in every area of our lives. I pray I live a life in such a way, which points you to Jesus, that you desire the same things in your wife. I pray you desire to grow up and be like Christ and live like He did. I pray you desire to be the man your dad is and will continue to be, a godly man who fears the Lord, works hard, loves others, and is passionate for Jesus and His family.

And remember this, as you grow and walk the path Jesus has laid before both of you, you will at times find yourselves walking through paths that are hard, amazing, fiery, rocky and smooth. As you walk this path you both will have times of joy, hope, fear, sorrow, shame, and even some doubt. But never let them define you. Instead, let them shape you to be the men God has designed you to be. May they teach you more about His faithfulness and goodness then anything else, and whatever you do, always keep your eyes on Jesus, your thoughts filled with His Word, and always pray for one another, with one another and encourage one another. Build each other up in the Word and put your heads together so you are stronger in the fight than you are apart.

Sweet boys, no one loves you more than Jesus does. He died for you. His love for you is more than enough. If everything is taken away from you, I pray you can stand there and say, Jesus is enough for me. We are so thankful to be your earthly parents. We love and adore you beyond words.

Choose Jesus always!

-Love mommy