Valentine's Weekend 2014

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5

Heritage: noun-  the traditions, achievements, beliefs, etc., that are part of the history of a group or nation; something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor; property that descends to an heir.
2014 Valentine's weekend looked a little different than years past. Sarah and I have had a recent tradition of spending quality time with our best friends, the Moore's (who are now in Haiti) over the last several years for Valentine's. This year would be a little different. Instead of heading out for a "romantic" weekend outdoors...we just turned it into a family affair. Although, Sarah and I just want to tell our friends in Haiti...YOU GUYS WERE MISSED! We thought about you guys a lot...This was our weekend together and one day we will make it our own again.
This weekend, my thoughts originated from my friends Jeremy and Melissa's tattoos. They both have two arrows tattooed on their for both of their boys, Toby (pictured above) and Bear. I believe the tattoo references the scripture at the beginning of the post...if not, it derives from a similar verse...
So I've been thinking for a while now; the importance of my marriage's role in both my girls upbringing, traditions, teachings, and beliefs. These thoughts have been brewing for quite some time now, but I think I've come to a conclusion of what I believe is most important in raising our children.
For starters, know that I do not minimize the importance of all the roles our kids have...from student, to athlete, to dancer, to family member, to friend or to whatever it is that they dream about and see themselves as. Also know, that I know and understand that we (parents) dream for our kids and visualize them walking at their graduation, going off to college, being successfull men and women that will go on and make a difference in this world! We all hope for the best for our kids...Both Hannah and Pia have been saying since I could remember that Hannah will be a Chef and Pia is going to be a Baker. This is their childhood dream! And maybe one day...they will become great at what they love, have their little bakery, and make their old man fat and happy.
However, I just want to share with all my friends and family what I think is most important to regards to my girls, nephews, and my friends kids...and for that matter, all kids. What I hope and dream for our children is not straight A's, it's not for them to get in to a "great" school, it's not for them to be the next Pele or Jordan, it's not for them to get "ahead in life" and be "better" or "smarter" than everyone else. I dont want them to see success through the prism of the"American" way...where status, income, titles, degrees determine your value and happiness.
Would it be great for them to achieve that success mentioned above...of course! It's an accomplishment to be a great student, athlete, etc...etc...And those are goals to possibly strive for. But again, it's not what's most important to me.
My hope...for all my kids looks a lot different than what our society tells us is important. My children are a HERITAGE from the Lord, and they are like arrows in the hand's of a warrior! I take this scripture to heart...I believe there are scriptural truths and principals that are of the upmost importance...and it's absolutely imperative for me to teach and pass down these truths to my children. This is what will make them as sharp as the sharpest arrow...and will make them weapons of truth and love in a time of hate and darkness...
(Toby and Reid)
So again, it's not that I dont value academics or hobbies...but it's not what I value first in my kids. What I care for most is that:
They Love the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind...
...and they love their neighbors (their people, their classmates, their teamates, their teaches, their coaches, their instructors, their everybody they come to know)
And that they understand grace, and that righteousness is a gift to all. And because of grace, its no longer required of them to power themselves to be good or complete good works for them to be in good standing in their lives. To know the contrary of this is truth...that God gives righteousness to all, saves the bad through Christ, and that power comes through the Holy Spirit which in turn gives them the right path to victory, peace, and joy in this world!
I believe this principal is very important to understand early on (unlike me, which I didnt understand until later in life) because it will free them from valueing themselves according to worldy standards. Their is a sense of bondage when you feel like you have to "live up" to a certain standard...that one has to "complete" so many things to be right, or good, or successful in this world. I want my girls to know that they are victorious in Christ...and there is nothing they have to do to "earn" their status with God. It's been taken care of...they understand Grace...they understand freedom. They believe and know they are free...and when they understand this...they are capable of:
-being poor in spirit...or in essense, in desperate need and dependence of God.
-being mourners and comforters for those who hurt
-being meek, showing patience and humility, being gentle
-being hungry and thirsty for righteousness...not just for themselves, but for the world!
-being merciful
-being pure of heart
-being peacemakers
-and when time comes, being ready and prepared to be persecuted for the sake of righteousness. To stand up and fight for truth, for love, for people, for places, for ideals, for principals, for family, for marriage, for children, for what is good. For Christ. Despite the hardships and trials they know they will face...they will continue to fight, because they know what's most important in life!
You see...what I value most is a bit counter-cultural to what most people want for their kids. I already know their success has been given to them...I already know they have been given the greatest position in the Kingdom of God...I already know what God has promised each one of them. Now, I need to do my job and teach them what I know. These children have a heritage...I have to teach them and show them their future. Their Truth.
It's not in the grades they make or the goals they's in the relationships they have. Both with God and the people in their lives...This is what matters to me most. Grades and Goals will come and go...somethings are eternal.
What: Valentine's Weekend
Where: Reimer's Ranch, Austin, TX
When: Feb 15th-16th, 2014
Who: Hendrixes, Hardins, Pasquels
(Oliver...our dog when shaved)
The rest of these pics are images from this past trip report needed. Hope you enjoy!
Ok parents...let's go build our armory of arrows!!!



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