Gabriel: Answered Prayers!

Back in June, I wrote a desperate request for prayer for Gabriel (In Need of Prayer). Then again, in August (Prayers for Gabriel).

It’s been a couple of years of seeing Gabriel decline, and for close to a year, he has struggled with his eyes, closing them almost 100% of the time, walking around like a blind man, fighting “Iritis”. We have done all sorts of tests on him and have found no cause for the recurring issue. It has been incredibly frustrating. We have also started Gabriel on psych medication for the first time. The process has been long and emotionally taxing.

But today I’m writing with more hope and better expectations, for the following reasons:

  1. Gabriel has been fully opening his eyes for almost 2 weeks! He hasn’t gotten car sick (a side effect of car rides with closed eyes), he is not running into people, and he has been drawing and writing more, just like he used to. This is so encouraging! It is so fantastic to see his beautiful, blue eyes, which have been in hiding for so long!

  2. He seems happier, overall. This means his eyes are probably not hurting and his mood is normalizing again. This also means that the psych meds are probably helping him. Again, encouraging signs for my heart!

  3. He has been approved in a program where I can hire people to work with him at home. I can choose the workers myself and design a program specifically for him! I am currently (and urgently) looking for workers… so message me if you are local and interested ūüėČ

So for all of you who have prayed for Gabriel, THANK YOU! I’m not sure if the Iritis will return or not. I really hope it doesn’t. So I ask you to continue to lift him up in prayer. Please ask the Lord to send us the right people to work with him as well, and to design the program that works best for him.

I am so grateful for all of you. The Lord is attentive to the prayers of his people.

About a month ago, Gabriel posing for the camera with his eyes closed

About a month ago, Gabriel posing for the camera with his eyes closed

Fiddler on the Roof: Musings and Pondering…

What a show! What a magically, wonderful show! As I prepare to be the music director for CWorks’ winter production, I can’t help but to ponder on the meaning and the impact this script and music will have on all of us. First of all, the show is highly entertaining due to its rich characters, fabulous music and dancing, timeless humor, and deep cultural connections. It is also thought provoking and enlightening, covering themes such as family values, tradition, and antisemitism.

I am a Christian, therefore I see everything in life through the lenses of my faith. From that perspective, I write this analysis of the content of this script. It is not exhaustive by any means. It simply reflects my own (limited) thoughts and pondering on the subject matter.

Brief Summary

In the fictional, Russian village of Anatevka, lives a milkman by the name of Tevya, along with his wife Golde and his 5 daughters. The story takes place at the turn of the 20th century, depicting life in a Jewish community coexisting with gentiles who, influenced and encouraged by the Tsar and a generalized antisemitic sentiment, persecute, drive away, and disperse the Jewish people living among them.

In the midst of this political turmoil, Tevya faces even greater challenges and difficulties in his own family. He has always held fast to the traditions of his people, but now his daughters are stepping away from his way of life, rejecting the old ways and choosing their own path. In Tevya’s mind, there is a struggle maintaining a balance between protecting the traditions of his people and supporting his loved ones. The fiddler on the roof illustrates such a struggle. In Tevya’s own words:¬†“You might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn’t easy.”

Analysis

While there are many aspects of this show that could be analyzed, my aim is to limit it to the traditions depicted in this story. I find them fascinating and worth thinking about.

In Jewish communities there are discrepancies as to what is allowed or desired according to their religion. Much like Christianity, which has differences in denominations and cultures, yet has the same core system of belief across the board, Judaism has many faces and degrees of religiosity, while being united in common beliefs. This is not an analysis of Judaism in general, but a discussion on the traditions seen in this particular family and community of Anatevka.

Traditions

As far as I’m concerned, there are two types of traditions reflected in this story: Those ordained by God, and those made up by people. The script does not make a distinction between the two, but I think it’s worth mentioning the difference.

The God-mandated traditions are the ones that were established in Scripture from the time of Moses. The ones designed by man happened through the years and have strong cultural roots.

The Sabbath: The show opens with preparations for the Sabbath.¬†The day of rest was most definitely established by God. In the Genesis account of the creation of the world, God worked for 6 days and rested on the 7th. One of the 10 commandments given by God to Moses said to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”. The Jewish nation was strictly ordered to maintain a day of rest, from generation to generation. The purpose of the Sabbath was to 1. provide time for everyone (including servants, slaves, and animals) to rest; 2. have a day dedicated to the worship of God, free of distractions; 3. to point to the Messiah. In fact, from Christianity’s world view, all God-mandated laws were given to prepare the way for Jesus, and in Jesus, all the law is perfectly kept and fulfilled (‚ÄúDo not think that I have come to abolish the¬†Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill it” – Matt 5:17).¬†So how did Jesus fulfill the law? 1. By keeping it. 2. By becoming our rest. This sounds simplistic, but it truly is a remarkable, deep truth:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus provides rest. This profound truth shows us that in our quest for salvation and in our desire to be right with God, man has always struggled to perform, do good, please a perfect God, and has always failed. Through religion, we cannot possibly reach God, because He is holy and we are not, he is perfect and we are flawed. All our efforts, in the end, are tiring and heavy. So when Jesus stretched out his arms on a cross and died on our behalf, He unequivocally declared that He, the only perfect sacrifice, paid the penalty for our sins. Therefore, we need to struggle no more. We can actually rest from trying to be right with God. We are right in Him. We now please God because we love him, not because we hope He will avert his wrath. It is the greatest of news! And it is most certainly true rest from our labor. JESUS IS OUR SABBATH.

Match-making:¬†Now here we see a tradition that is not mandated in Scripture. This is a cultural custom which in many cases has proven to be very practical (I guess?) Match making is at the center of this story, as one of the traditions that is upheld, almost at the same level of the other God-given laws. We see examples of matches being made in Scripture, but there is no law dictating it as the only way to marry. Tevya’s daughters go against this tradition by choosing their own husbands. Even though he struggles with this, Tevya goes along with their choices (at least with two of the three daughters), proving he is progressive and caring enough to break from his own way of life in order to support and love his family.

Marriage:¬†The topic of marriage is central to the story. Again, marriage is mandated by God back in the creation of Adam and Eve. It is the holiest of unions in the human realm and it is to be highly valued by God’s people. In Fiddler on the Roof, the issue of mixed marriages comes to light. We see in Scripture that God created all races and colors and He doesn’t have an issue with inter-racial marriages. However, it was clearly mandated to the Jewish nation that they were to marry within their own faith. Why? 1. To preserve the worship and the knowledge of God throughout the generations, and 2. Of course, to point to Christ.

First, the Jews were the only monotheistic people group for thousands of years. They were the only ones who had the truth of God in their minds, hearts, and in the written law of Moses. They were to marry each other to preserve and advance this knowledge. In Christianity, we see the same principle at work. God calls us to not be unequally yoked (II Co 6:14). This inequality has nothing to do with race, education, or cultural differences, and all to do with our faith.

Second, marriage points to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-32). More specifically, it points to the relationship between Jesus and his people (the church). What used to be a distant relationship between man and God, worshiping in a temple containing a big, heavy curtain for the purpose of separating man from God, has become a close, intimate relationship. Jesus has drawn near to us, opening the door for us to have access to God. Ephesians calls it a “great mystery”. I am very thankful for this reality. During this Christmas season, I am especially blessed by the knowledge that Jesus condescended and became a human, in order to be like me, make atonement for me, and have an intimate relationship with me.

Conclusion

I am so thankful for the Jewish people. They have been the recipients of God’s covenant and love, as well as His law and prophets. In spite of persecution, dispersion, attempts of annihilation, and hatred, God has preserved the Jews and has been true to His promise.

I am grateful for Jesus Christ, who was a Jew and fulfilled all the laws and the prophets. He has broken the divides that once separated the people of God from all other nations. In Christ, there is no longer Jew or gentile, male or female, master or slave. Salvation is equally available to all, through faith. There is no longer a need to strive to gain salvation, for He has done that for us. He is truly our rest.

Aside from the conceptual analysis of the main themes of this play, I am beyond excited to be a part of it, simply because it is fun and entertaining. And, of course, the music is fantastic! In fact, I need to stop writing this oh-so-long post and get downstairs to my piano to finish studying the music. After all, auditions start tomorrow!

If you live in RVA and want to see this amazing production, you can buy tickets here.

Shalom!

Fiddler on the Roof

For my friends who have recently lost loved ones…

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I pray for those (especially my friends) who have lost loved ones this year. For those sitting at the table without their father or spouse, for the first time. For those unable to bear the pain of not having their son with them any longer, I lift up my eyes to the Lord. He is good, and his strength is powerful enough to sustain the hurting, even when it feels impossible. Death is part of this broken world of ours, but just because it is normal, it doesn’t mean it’s easy, especially when we seem to think it happens prematurely. But the truth is that there is no premature timing in God’s eyes. He holds all our days in his hands. He is bigger than our bad choices. He is bigger than fate or destiny. In his miraculous foreknowledge and his compassionate sovereignty, He uses the bad for good and redeems all circumstances.

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I pray that the hurting children of God will be able to thank him even in their pain. Jesus knows pain. Jesus understands death. He went through both in order to give us life. May He overwhelm my friends with life and hope, even as they sit together and dine with a missing loved one. His mercies are new every morning.

My Son is Autistic. There, I said it.

My son is autistic. There, I said it.

During the last few years, advocacy groups for the disabled have encouraged the use of “People-First Language”. This concept has become the new and “correct” way of identifying an individual with disabilities. This means that, in my case, it would be incorrect to refer to my son as being autistic. Instead, I would need to say that he has autism. While I do appreciate the effort to not define the person by the disability, I think this is a matter of semantics. And it’s ridiculous.

Think about it. If we were to separate the condition or characteristic from the person, in every instance:

Wrong would be: “I am overweight”. Right would be: “I have extra weight”

Wrong would be: “I am a musician”. Right would be: “I have musicianship” — yeah, that doesn’t even translate.

Wrong would be: “I am talented”. Right would be: “I have talent” — Fine, they both work, but the first one is not really “wrong”

Wrong would be: “I am an American”. Right would be: “I am from America”

So what is the point? Is it to make sure that the autistic individual is not defined by a label? I think the label stands even if we say that someone “has” autism. Being a diabetic and having diabetes are one and the same! Either way, the person is medically defined by the pancreatic decease. Whether the person is or has, he still needs to stay away from sweets, inject insulin, and wear a medical warning on the wrist.

My son has autism, therefore he is autistic. Does it define him? Well, yes. And no. Autism influences the way he perceives the world, the way he processes information, the way he communicates, the way he conducts himself. His extreme talents and equally extreme disabilities and obstacles are because of autism. So yes, autism -not the label- defines him. And yet, autism does not define him. He is my son, autistic or not, he is loved and cared for, autistic or not. He can know God, autistic or not. He has feelings and desires, autistic or not. He loves. He is precious and valuable. So whether he is autistic or has autism, his essence as a person will never change.

My humble opinion is that we should just stop being silly pretending that the use of our verbs will alter the perception of the person. The overweight person can lose the weight, but the autistic person will more than likely never lose his autism. It is what it is. Let’s drop the semantics, people. It’s all good.

Gabriel and Juan hanging out in DC

Gabriel and Juan hanging out in DC

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14

A Prayer For Our Kids

Father, may our children love you more than anyone else in this world, and may they live to please you and glorify you. But if they stumble and fall, if they forget or neglect you, may they remember to call out to you because you are a merciful God who restores the humble.

May they enjoy good health and a long life, and be grateful for the blessings you bestow on them. But if their health fails, may they trust that you are in control of all things and find comfort and joy in you.

May they go through school and get a good education which leads to great jobs, and may they enjoy financial stability. But if they don’t, may they learn to be content and grow in their dependence on you. May they remember that their worth does not derive from their education or financial status, but from the fact that they belong to you.

May they marry great partners and have healthy children, and may their love for their family bring them fulfillment and purpose. But if they ever find themselves alone or childless, may they know that you are the lover of their souls. May they experience your strong presence and peace.

May they always be surrounded by faithful, supportive friends. But if they live through betrayal or abandonment, may they know you and understand you more because you were betrayed and abandoned by your friends.

May they live a life of service to you and to others, and so glorify Christ in all that they do. But if they are driven by selfish ambition and negate your lordship, may your loving chastisement and kind discipline bring them to repentance. May they find rest only in you.

I pray this knowing full well that you love them more than I do because they belong more to you than to me. I trust that you will complete the work that you have begun in each one of them.

My Birthday

The past week or so has been, as it is in the lives of the average person, packed with a variety of circumstances, obligations, and emotional responses. I’ve had a mixture of good news, terrible news, difficulties, and wonderful experiences, all bunched up together. I’ve had news of new births, news of death and abandonment, business at work (which is fun and rewarding), frustration with dealing with Virginia’s service for adult services for the disabled (which are almost non-existent), while going through the fun and difficulties of the mundane. Oh, and did I mention tech week? We are in the middle of tech for the amazing show, Tom Sawyer (opening night is tomorrow). While I must admit that it is LOADS of fun, I also recognize that it has been slightly nerve-wracking to direct a pit band for the first time while making sure that the entire musical/vocal show holds together.

And in the midst of it all, t’was my birthday. Truth is, my birthday has never been a big deal for me. This year, however, I’ve been dreading the thought of approaching 50. I just hate getting old (Lord, help me have a better outlook!). So turning 48 is a painful reminder that I’m almost there and aging is inevitable. While dealing with my heart’s attitude is a topic for another blog post, I do admit that this fear of mine has made this week slightly more tense than it should have been.

So yesterday marked the anniversary of my birth, and I am so thankful that what could have been a fearful, busy, stressful day, turned out to be a happy one. I’m thankful for the family and friends who pampered me and showered me with love and affection, probably not knowing the deep effect they were having on me. My family expressed their love in MY love language: my husband rented a monster cleaning machine and shampooed the carpet, my kids cleaned and blew leaves in the yard, and my mother made the most amazing arroz-con-pollo (cus she makes the best one in the world) for dinner. They did it deliberately and joyfully, for me, because they love me. My friends and students at work brought me cup cakes and fresh-baked cookies and Starbucks drinks and soup and scented candles and gave me hugs and sang embarrassing birthday songs, and my friends from near and far sent me over 500,000 messages (and yes, I answered every one. Boom.)

Today I feel gratitude for my age and the fact that these 48 years on earth have yielded a big, loving family; They have afforded me the time to build lasting friendships, all over the world; They have given me experience and know-how which allow me to enjoy a wonderful job, which surrounds me with wonderful people; They have grown me in the ability to appreciate little things and enjoy smaller moments.

Third and final day of tech week, here I go! The show is gonna rock. Besides the 5 lbs I am sure to gain from all the sugary goodness I received yesterday, this week will be a blast.

Oh, and one more birthday present to me: Today I logged in to discover I have 101 blog followers! Here’s to another year of blogging!!

It’s Your Breath in Our Lungs

I’m sitting at the table doing the mundane: Checking my email, filling out my calendar with upcoming events, wasting my last minutes of the day playing a few rounds of Scramble online, and then I hear them. My husband and one of my daughters singing downstairs. Juan is at the piano. Elise is harmonizing to his voice. They blend and make a beautiful sound together. They’re worshiping, going from one song to another and another.

And I listen to the words of one of the songs they’re singing, “Great Are You Lord” by All Sons and Daughters. The chorus says

It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only.

And I remember a summer just like this one, exactly three years ago. Juan was hospitalized. A good portion of his lung had been removed because he had, what we later came to find out, a rare lung infection. But the removal of the lobe did not make him well. It made him sicker. He was deteriorating quickly, unable to breathe. Unbeknownst to us, there was another infection brewing, a post-surgical one. His heart was working overtime. He looked and felt as if he were dying. He would soon need to undergo a second, emergency surgery, but this time, in a very weak body. This was one of the scariest times in the life of our family.

I remember we celebrated Daniel’s birthday by his bedside in the hospital room. He was awake long enough for Daniel to blow the candles and eat a piece of cake. We took pictures and smiled, but we were terrified.

Then came the second surgery, the intubation, and the very long recovery process. How many weeks? Months? It felt like years in that hospital room. Ultimately, there was healing. He slowly walked out of the hospital sometime in October. We went home. My husband was alive.

I remember the first time he returned to church and sang. The box of tissues made a few rotations through the congregation that Sunday morning. It was glorious. 

Today I recall that trial and I am so thankful that my husband is sitting at the piano with his sweet daughter, and they are both singing¬†It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only.¬†

Aug. 19th, Daniel’s 18th birthday

Kissing the birthday boy

Kissing the birthday boy

The birthday table

The birthday table

In ICU, right after the tube was removed after surgery #2.

In ICU, right after the tube was removed after surgery #2.

In ICU, celebrating life!

In ICU, celebrating life!

Can I just brag?

After 25 years of mommy-hood, I think I have earned some decent bragging rights. Therefore today’s post is all about my four. These four hold my heart and fill me with joy, expectation, wonder, and pride.

Meet my children:

Lizette is often the life of the party. She has a boisterous laugh and sometimes spontaneously breaks out in dance. She can have us all in stitches in no time. She has great recollection and can quote a movie even after seeing it only once. She is not afraid to make fun of herself. She is both fierce and a scaredy-cat at the same time; bold and timid; extrovert and loner. She is creative: writes, draws, sings, composes beautiful music, and records. She enjoys history and literature, and writes like a pro. She uses big words and can spontaneously turn into the family’s grammar Nazi. Lizette is honest and transparent about who she is and what she thinks, and takes the time to understand herself and grow. She is committed to those whom she loves and will not give up on relationships that matter. After years of having her gone from our home, it’s wonderful to have her back, even if it’s for a little while. I’m so grateful.

Gabriel has the most contagious laugh I have ever heard. He has amazing musical and visual talents: He has had perfect pitch since he was born (we realized it when he was about a year and a half old) and has very little tolerance for those who sing or play off key. He has photographic memory and can map anywhere he’s been, even if he navigated it only once. Gabriel loves food and delights in planning what he will eat two meals ahead of schedule. We know when he really, really likes the food he is about to eat, because he makes up a little jingle as an introduction to his meal, and he heartily performs it (even in restaurants where we¬†try¬†to have him lower his voice). Even when he loves his food, he is willing to share a little, if we ask nicely. Even though he prefers to be alone and away from crowds, he also craves intimate connections with family members, inviting bear hugs once and again. Gabriel understands a lot more than he lets on and picks up on others’ moods and attitudes. I cannot picture my world without him.

Daniel serves wholeheartedly. He is reliable and helps with a smile. Like-able is a word that describes him. He is discrete and very aware of others. He goes out of his way to make others feel appreciated and valuable. He enjoys British comedy, science fiction, and humorous political shows. He is in constant pursuit of learning about the newest technology and often uses his own computers and phones as guinea pigs, installing, re-programming, jail-breaking, and whatever else he does which I completely do NOT understand. He is an expert BBQ-er and loves to cook delicious meals for himself and others. He is romantic and sweet, and will be a great husband one day. Daniel appreciates family, has strong convictions, and likes to foster intimate, close relationships. He can also be silly, funny, and playful, and can steal the show in a dance party. This kid just puts a smile in my face and melts my heart.

Elise is intuitive and perceptive. She is deeply emotional and in tune with the feelings of others. She is naturally shy and introverted but continually decides to push herself out of her comfort zone. She sings and acts and plays instruments. She composes music and appreciates art and nature, and all things beautiful. She has a good eye for hair, make-up, and fashion. She enjoys poetry and the art of spoken word. She¬†stays clear of fiction but reads psychology books for fun. Elise eats sushi and Asian noodle salads, and drinks green tea. She enjoys quiet moments in coffee shops, as well as deep conversations and witty humor. She loves God. She loves her family. She is a concerned and caring friend. Elise is responsible and reliable at work and appreciated by her superiors and teachers.¬†She is driven and daring. She will go places. She has changed my life for the better and I’m so blessed to be her mom.

MANY MOONS AGO. From left to right: Daniel, Lizette, Elise, and Gabriel

In Need of Prayer

I’m not gonna lie. I’m feeling very discouraged today. Gabriel is not doing well. Not sure what the issue is but it seems to me he is drowning in anxiety. He has regressed years, to the point where simple tasks like putting on a pair of flip-flops takes 15 minutes and the activities he used to do independently, he can no longer handle. It’s been a steady decline for the past 3 years or so.

He’s slipping away.

Today I was ready to head to church. My family had left already in a separate car and I stayed behind trying to get Gabriel to finish getting ready. But it became impossible to leave the house. He was upset because, apparently, he did want to go to church. I was crying on the inside, filled with frustration, self-pity, empathy, worry, and a whole other list of feelings.

So today I could use prayers from my friends. Don’t need suggestions, really, or opinions on what I should do next. Just prayer. Juan and I need discernment on how to help our son. Gabriel needs a touch from God. The whole family needs peace and wisdom and buckets of love.

Image

 

Parenting Disney Style

As I was flipping channels looking for something to watch on TV, I briefly came across a reality TV show. All I could watch was about 7 or 8 minutes before I couldn’t take it anymore. Several girls had traveled to England to meet their Prince Charming. They did not know the man in question was an impostor and at the end of the show, after they “fell in love”, he would reveal his true identity (probably to the horror of the winning contestant).

But this is not a criticism of reality shows (I confess I do watch a couple of them; Have you seen Master Chef?) Rather, this is a perplexed observation of the interviews with these girls as they entered into their quest to find love. The words “fairy tale”, “prince charming”, “happily ever after”, and “soul mate” easily flowed from their mouths, garnished with deep sighs, bright eyes, and pensive smiles.

Let’s face it, girls are practically born romantic. Our little princesses love the idea of growing up and finding their prince. Not just any prince, but the perfect one, you know, like their dad. Through a steady diet of fairy tales, their feminine, little hearts are persuaded they will grow up, meet a great looking boy, fall in love instantaneously, and marry for sheer, eternal joy. Teenage girls’ Pinterest boards are packed with ideas for wedding dresses, wedding hair, wedding pictures, decorations, themes, and menus. Their minds are full of dreams of happily ever afters. It is natural and adorable when they are young. It is worrisome as they grow older.

I don’t claim to have an expert opinion on this issue, but it seems to me that it is actually unhealthy for parents to foster this idea of finding a soul mate, as if each of our kids are “meant” for a specific other person, and that this person will provide the happily-ever-after their hearts long for. It could seem harmless to instill this romantic idea that destiny (in a secular world) or God (in believers) has chosen this one, perfect match.

Am I just a cynic and a pessimist? I’m open to hearing other views, so feel free to chime in. But before you do, let me clarify my point of view:

I believe in marriage. I believe in marriage to one person, until death-do-us-part.

I believe in God, and I know that all things are ordained by him. Everything works out for the good of those who belong to him. Even bad marriages.

I believe that marriage is a really, really good thing. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful husband who has been my absolute best friend for the past 28 years.

I also know that marriage is hard, even painful. Spouses hurt each other, betray each other’s trust, and are hard to live with. Marriage takes WORK and perseverance. The idea of sheer happiness in a marriage, in my opinion, is non-existent. A good, intimate marriage develops in a battle ground where two people are striving and fighting against their own selfishness to love their spouse. It takes time and effort and lots of I’m sorry’s. It takes forgiving and forgetting. It takes self-sacrifice.

It is naive to think that bad things won’t happen, even in the lives of young people who take all the necessary steps to “insure” a future, good marriage. Death happens. Abandonment happens. Abuse and betrayal.

Finally, there are people who remain single, either by choice or by circumstance. The truth is that not all women find their “prince”. Our daughters could be called to God-ordained singleness, which is not a life any less worth living than a married one.

So if our girls, while maturing in age, do not simultaneously mature their thinking from fairy tale to fact, they could find themselves facing the harsh reality of life and not knowing how to respond to it. They could be so disillusioned by their crushed dreams, even to the point of a weakening of their faith in the providence of God.

I’ve been guilty of over-spiritualizing this concept of awaiting for this sole chosen mate. And while I don’t think we should crush little girls’ illusions and dreams, I am also convicted that we are to communicate realistically about their options. Marriage is an option. Singleness is an option. Hopefully they will marry one man and live intimately and lovingly with the same person until their old age. But sometimes things don’t work out that way. To me, what is important is to ground our children in a personal faith in GOD, not in marriage or circumstances in life. A spouse can abandon, but God will never abandon. A spouse can betray, but God has laid it all down for us, proving his faithfulness. We may feel lonely in our life’s journey, but in God we can find steadfast and fulfilling fellowship. So no matter what happens to our little girls as they grow up, if they are anchored in God, by trust, then they’ll not only be OK, but they will be prepared to face whatever comes their way.

Let us reject Disney and fairy tale parenting. Let us, instead, point our children to Christ, regardless of where life takes them.