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And the rest truly IS all gravy...

I'm so proud of my kids.  They all love and serve God.  No matter what else they accomplish in life, nothing will EVER mean more to me and to their father than this.  Whatever else they do or don't do in life is inconsequential to us compared to the fact that they love God and serve Him.  The rest is all gravy, truly...and I mean that.

Friday we went on a hospital visit as a family.  While Jordan and I were walking hand in hand through the parking garage together (yes, we still do that and he's not ashamed) and speaking of  paths he could take in life he says to me, "Momma, would you be proud of me if I do such and such?" and "Momma would you be proud of me if I did such and such instead?"  I simply told him what I have said over and over and over again to him throughout his life, "Jordan, I will always love you unconditionally, AND of course I will always be proud of you.  Loving and serving God with your whole heart is all that matters to me."     Really, all else is RUBBISH compared to knowing Jesus.  Seriously.  In fact I told him I didn't even care if he hauled rubbish for a living as long as he loved Jesus!!  (His response:  "Mom, I'm definitely NOT going to haul rubbish, but I promise I'll always love Jesus.") 

I could give SO many examples of the importance of emphasizing serving God over anything else, but just one is a family we pastored years ago who let their daughter skip church and youth group all the time in order to follow after a full ride scholarship to an ivy league school.  She was working hard on academic and sports scholarships, both of which she received.  This was the most important thing to her parents and they felt it was acceptable because she was "missing for good cause."  I realize there are times here and there we all have to miss, and the point is not to legislate any certain number of services we should attend.  However, wisdom and common sense exists for a reason as well as the Word of God which tells us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together on a regular basis.  And for teenagers this is especially crucial, because they are at a critical juncture in their lives.  We warned the parents of the dangers of this, as we have with many.   Their daughter received a full scholarship as well as a great paying job when she graduated, but it was at QUITE A COST.  At that school they were introduced to a party life that took them on a downward spiral to a point of no longer serving God and even questioning whether they believe in Him!   Let's hope the rapture holds off for however long it takes her to come to her senses.  This is her parents prayer every day as they cry and plead with God in their prayer time.  Oh that all that could have been avoided.  

What things my children accomplish or careers they choose or education they complete is all secondary to serving Jesus.  Jordan was playing the drums so hard recently in some services under the lights and with such a passion that he passed out twice due to being overheated and just not quitting.  I know that's crazy, but that's just Jordan -- he's crazy like that. And I love it!!!

I love seeing the passion with which my children serve God and how they express it.  They tend to say it like it is (where in the world did they get this trait?!) and I am so grateful for their zeal.   Sunday morning Larry was telling our church a story about an experience our son Dustin recently had when he was leading worship at a  youth service.  He was leading a song called, "Madly" and the lyrics say, "and what we do in here
will fill the streets out there..."   Well, there would have been nothing wrong with that except for the fact that a lot of the teens were standing there going through the motions singing this song.  Most had no expression or real participation and were standing there stone cold.  Some were checked out -- texting or talking to their neighbor.  Dustin stopped the worship song and just said, "Hey guys, please, I beg you -- DO NOT TAKE THIS INTO THE STREETS.  Please do not spread this beyond here -- we do not want it to 'fill the streets out there', because nobody needs what's going on in this room right now.  To have something that's worth taking into the streets, we have to go after God with our whole hearts!  So please re-examine whether you have something that's worth taking into the streets before you start singing about it."  Interestingly enough the teens in the room began to come to the front of the room, fall on their knees before God and cry or go the altar with hands raised in surrender and cry out to God.  What started as a bland youth meeting with unengaged teenagers ended up to be a youth service that lasted for hours beyond what was expected.

What could be better than our children serving God?  NOTHING, I'm telling you, absolutely NOTHING.  I count myself the richest woman in the world.

We had a fantastic day  yesterday at CC with five people coming to Jesus in our morning services (adult & KidZone) and a dynamic prayer service last night.  We just kicked off the annual week of prayer and I'm so anticipating what God is going to do.  We unveiled goals for 2011 yesterday and the people are responding just as we thought they would.  It's great to have a family that serves God and it's so great to lead a congregation that actually follows...What a concept -- leaders who lead, and people who follow!  Parents who lead and children who follow!  As Paul said in I Corinthians 11:1 ~"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."


Anonymous said…
Your post brought tears to my eyes. As a Mom, there is nothing sweeter than to see my children, hands raised in worship, seeking after God!
Anonymous said…
Wow, Deanna - brought tears to my eyes as well with your post...nothing is sweeter!!! I pray mine follow the Lord with ALL their heart too!!!

Had to laugh at your comment.."They tend to say it like it is (where in the world did they get this trait?!)" I wonder :-) Yep that's the Deanna I remember from church growing up!!!
Blessings gal!!!
Rhonda said…
Incredible post and and an honor you have brought to your children. Our children - especially teenagers need to hear this: no matter what, as long as they are serving the Lord, we are proud of them. Words of affirmation are underrated. Kids may not act like they "need" it but I think they do. They are always looking for an approval in what they do and who they are. Praying that for my children, they come to me for that approval and not to their peers. Thanks for sharing!

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