Sunday, November 17, 2013

Catch 22

PKs. Images comes to mind,stereotypes of the typical Pastor Kid. Somehow these children are deemed "more wild, more disobedient" than other children. They are restrained, restricted, judged so much that some day they flee the nest and church in a burst of freedom from hypocrisy and rules. We all know them. Overlooked, but very present, are the other PKs. The ones living within the church as pharisees, trying hard to keep all the rules and earn approval based on their good works. Knowing truth, trying to obey in their own efforts, but hearts far from the Lord. We all know them.

It changes when you are raising them.

Next time you starting thinking negative (judging?) your pastor based on the actions and attitudes of his children - consider this, it's a catch 22. If the pastor's children are sitting quietly and responding to questions of great spiritual depth, it's no surprise - right? They are the pastor's kids. They are supposed to be super spiritual and well- behaved. Timothy clearly outlines the elder/pastor's home management. Somehow we read this and assume a well-managed home is completely obedient children. Free from sin and childish behavior. I think at times I do. No, a pastor (and wife) who are diligent in this area recognize all too well that their children are born depraved and fall short of the glory of God. They recognize that their children, because they are children, are prone to foolishness and childishness and because they are sinners, are destined to sin.

So while we should train our children to sit quietly and behave in church, we recognize that quiet children are not the goal. Listening children, actively engaging in the proclamation of the Word and being changed is the goal. Children move, they ask questions, they even speak a bit loud. Is our children's consecretion more important than our concentration?

When you see PKs - pray. Pray for God's grace in their lives as they live under an unspoken burden of expectation and approval, knowing that their father's job is on the line because of them. Pray for grace. A pastor can no more save his children than he could save himself. Pray. Pray for mercy, that God would save this next generation, grant them a HUGE view of Himself, and sustain them to proclaim His glory to the ends of the earth. Instead of critiqueing - PRAY.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Marking Manhood

My boys. How quickly they have grown. And I was concerned they would fall off the horse. . .now we have weapons.
Sarah and Gray Gray welcome little Boo! Sarah was hoping for a sister:)
Marking manhood in the Micu home usually involves weapons! Jonathan prefers more unconventional weapons and is enjoying a new bow set. The last one he received was a bit too manly - he'll have to hit 18 perhaps!

When the boys have turned 13 we have then sent them into the wild with their weapon of choice to hunt, kill and provide food for their party that evening. Ok, not really but it sounded cool. Jon's favorite food is pizza, but Paul did feel the manly thing to do was to BBQ - so burgers and dogs it was! (hotdogs, that is.) The fathers of his closest friends and significant men in Jonthan's life enjoyed gourmet burgers and then it was fireside time. The fire pit installed in time for Josh's big 13 was lit and the men enjoyed time around the pit as the older men ushered Jonathan into manhood. I'm not part of that time. The girls and little Joe hung out inside getting the birthday dessert ready - dirt cake complete with gummy worms.

Paul reported it was a special time and I don't doubt our boys will remember the evening that marked their manhood. Why 13? It's just an age we have chosen to officially mark the end of childhood and the entering of manhood. I've always enjoyed the line from the movie Courageous - "when did you know you were a man?" The one response - "when my dad said I was." Many chose other ages. Age 16 with the acquisition of a driver's license, age 14 entering high school, etc. However, we noticed that the ntertainment industry marks the age 13. Children's meals and tickets and reduced prices are for those 12 and under. There is not a teenage price. You are a child or an adult. The rest of the society has difficulty with out this plays out - allowing for young men to remain children in their thinking and actions until way past 13.

Manhood. The training takes on a new urgency. My son's role to provide, protect, care and lead is called out. He is to sacrifice. He is to serve. He is to submit. He will be called to suffer. He is to put off childish ways and embrace becoming a man. As a Mama, this is huge. Moms struggle to let their boys become men and often handicap them in their manhood, keeping them their "baby boys" far too long.

We were thrilled on September 21, 2000  - a Thursday - to welcome a baby boy into our home. Joining 3 year old Sarah and big brother, Joshua (18months) it was a joy to have our Boo-Boo. Jonathan was unexpected. In fact, having to take some medicines early in the year, I was given a pregnancy test prior and told it was negative. So, not having avoided hot tubs, snow skiing and other dangerous activities our Boo Boo was born.

Of all births, the day of Jon's was the most relaxing. Due to contractions on and off in the morning, Paul came home and the two little ones went with family. We enjoyed lunch out, time to wash cars and afternoon nap before leaving for the hospital around 4:30. We even stopped by a friend's home to have a photo taken:). Jon's birth and delivery were uneventful. A beautiful son.

A week later that beautiful boy had a 105 fever and was being rushed to Children's Hospital. . .what a time. While we know each child is a blessing and gift from God to be enjoyed for the time He allows, this cemented our faith in our Sovereign Lord. If we only had Jonathan a week it was enough and God was good. The meningitis left a toll - hearing loss and seizures. Speech therapy. Learning struggles. But we were allowed to enjoy our son 13 more years - a precious gift. His role in our family is unique. Laughter, wit, humor, creativity, intelligence, musical. . .sound like Paul?! Jon is his father's son.While Josh shares many other aspects of his father, Jonathan is the closest in personality leading to interesting conflicts at times between these two "show stoppers." If Jon is gone, the house seems dull and quiet. What would I do without all his inventions on my counter. He loves making treasures from trash.

Jonathan Samuel Micu. Named not only for the two outstanding men in the Bible but for the two oldest uncles on both sides of the family. Paul's oldest brother Samuel and my older brother Jonathan. May he continue to grow into men like these.
Enjoying his special day!


Error.It appears to be woven into my life. I've attempted to post several events in the history of our family's life to no avail. Wrapping up the memorable family reunion from August, marking Jonathan's manhood by celebrating his 13th birthday, Reformation Day fun, Jael's first birthday ever - early!, and many musings. Error. Not a day goes by without error. Mistakes in math, reading, spelling. Mispronunciations. Errors in thought. Those are the ones that plague me. Thinking too much of myself, too highly of myself, thinking of myself at all. Error. Thankful for the One who lives without error. Whose thoughts are perfect and ways are perfect. So thankful to daily point myself and my family to the flawless, blameless One. Jesus.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

KG, Knowing God Conference

Well, this is pretty exciting! Check it out!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Chick-fil-a Date with Daddy

Chick-fil-a hosted a lovely "Daddy/Daughter" date night a few weeks ago. Paul was able to reserve a time with the girlies and enjoy some daddy/daughter time. He thinks he won "most girls" contest! A few dads came in with four daughters, but six is pretty special!
Excited for their special date with Dad!

Special treatment added to the fun, memorable night.

Nice that to have a photographer:). Thanks, Sarah! Bekah is a bit unsure about the crown thing. She came straight from soccer which is more her comfort zone.

Ok, is Nay Nay hysterical or what?! What a face!
 I loved reading Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, and other novels involving groups of sisters. I always wanted a sister. So blessed to have these girls in my life. I love watching these sisters be sisters!
Wow. That's all I can say. Wow.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Colorado Springs

Moving on eastward, we traveled to Colorado Springs. It hit some incredible thunderstorms and arrived late afternoon in the middle of one. We stopped off at Focus on the Family and the kids all enjoyed the exhibits there. Sadly, none of the photos turned out well.

Stalking Tim and girls, we stayed at the same hotel. Some kids enjoyed a cool, evening swim while others bundled up for games in the lounge. We all ate to our hearts content the next morning! A very good breakfast buffet.

The next morning was beautiful and we headed on the Garden of the Gods before completing the final leg of the journey up to Estes Park for the reunion.

 The kids all enjoyed Garden of the Gods. It's a big, natural playground for all ages:).

 We enjoyed family devotions in an isolated setting, even watching deer go by. Then there was Joe! Little man had to go!
What is vacation without a trip to the Apple Store? The only store designed for a family of nine children! I love it. Ipads for everyone. Wish there were one closer to home because it would be worth it for everyone to have "computer time" at the same time each day:). Just 30 minutes per kid/per day at our home equates to 4 hours!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oddly Encouraged. . .

Last Sunday, 10/13, the Fresno Bee ran an article on Fresno State quarterback, Derek Carr. It was a look at this man's life as he handles not only a football career, taking the Bulldogs into the Top 20, but as a full-time student, husband and new father. I enjoyed the article and was impressed by his maturity.

Why the big deal? Because taking on the responsibilities of husband and father is a mark of manhood. No, all men will not play out these roles, but will they be men marked by protection, provision and sacrifice? The world applauds boyhood with it's foolishness, frivolity, and fun. It scratches its head at a young man like Derek Carr. A star quarterback married with a child? Shouldn't this guy just be concentrating on football, freedom, and fun during these years? Yet the article affirms his leadership is heightened by the very institutions (marriage and family) that most boys flee from.

Sadly, as the world/culture goes so goes the church. The majority of parents I encounter have swallowed the lie, unintentionally perhaps. Their focus for their young person is to pursue self and prolong sacrifice. Have fun: achieve your educational goals and monetary desires and spend your time, money and loves on feeding your lusts. It's never worded like that, but it plays out like that. The young adult years are encouraged to be self-focused. It becomes a dichotomy where preparation for the future world of husband/father is sadly lacking. In fact, most of the "preparation" prepares them better for divorce, not marriage.

Recently one of our young adults wrote an article naively stirring up his campus. Be encouraged by those boys bursting into manhood and calling out their peers. I am.