A Father- the Family Shepherd

1123144_walk_on_pierI’ve heard it said that a father is the family shepherd of the home. I just love that title. By God’s divine order, the father is head of the house. His role is to tenderly lead and guide his family like a shepherd would for his sheep.

The great truth however, is that a family shepherd isn’t perfect. He’s an imperfect man who follows a perfect God. He isn’t afraid to confess his sins or when he’s screwed up because his ultimate goal and desire is to love and fear God. His ambition is to genuinely live out his faith in front of his wife and children.

When I first got married, my husband asked me one day, “How’s your heart?” Those words really caught me off guard—I’d never been asked that before or at least asked in that way. But knowing that my husband cared about my heart meant the world to me. Three years later, he’s mentioned his desire to make sure our newborn son John, will know in the future that he can bring his whole heart before his father. And that John will have that security knowing it will be protected.

Proverbs 20:5 says, The purpose of a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out (ESV).

It’s the business of a father to draw out from his wife and children the deeper matters of the heart. While this takes time and some humility, his role is to draw this out so there will be healing, love, respect and harmony among his family.

If you’re a Daddy on this Father’s Day, remember that you are the family shepherd and what an awesome role that is!

Thanks for all you do and Happy Father’s Day!

Finding Love in my Son

IMG_9289Last night, for the first time, John Samuel fell asleep on my chest. Typically, I nurse him before his bedtime and he falls asleep that way. But last night was so special. I rocked him while he was still awake, sucking on his green soothie. His big brown eyes just stared into mine. It was a moment for just the two of us- Mommy and son. He was calm and so content. Then eventually, his eyes just closed.

My eyes welled up with tears because of the joy that lie in my arms. And to think that God loves us the way a mother and father loves their own child. The love is so deep and profound that it’s difficult to handle.

God is our Abba father who tenderly guides and protects us in his arms. His love is so wide and so rich. I am just now starting to get a glimpse of that love through my son. I truly can’t imagine life without him and I’m so thankful for the gift of motherhood and how it reminds me so much of Christ’s love.

Musings on Being a New Mama

3113_618605228558_55713931_36595474_2109231_nMy first Mother’s Day was really special. My pastor Todd spoke on the role of women in the church (God’s created order for man to be above women- not in equality but in our roles) and how that applies to being a Mama on Mother’s Day. This couldn’t have been a more timely message as God has been teaching me a ton on this very topic and I wrote an article about it a few weeks ago for Ungrind.

The message focused around 1 Timothy 2: 11-15: A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

I had never heard these verses explained the way Todd did. He said how this verse isn’t saying we shouldn’t “speak”- rather we should let men lead. This is the created order. It doesn’t mean we can’t lead other women or teach other women, but when it comes to teaching or being over men, the way God designed it is for men to have the authority- the assignment. To have it any other way is to jack with God’s word.

I am definitely okay with this. I would much rather let all the responsibilities be on a man’s shoulders and not my own. I’m much more comfortable following the way God has set it up. When it comes to marriage… God’s created order is for wives to submit to their husbands (Eph 5). This isn’t an oppressive, duty-filled submission but rather a natural response from the love our husbands display. But, it’s difficult to do and it has been since the fall. Because our husbands fail at times and we do too.

BUT, when we follow God’s created order, it’s beautiful. There is peace. We allow men to be men and the ship is sailing in the right direction.

This speaks volumes to me in being a new Mother. I never understood the verse that says, “But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” In the role that God has given me to help shape and invest in the lives of my children, if I continue living as a godly wife and mother in faith, love, holiness, and propriety, there is an opportunity for me to be preserved today. So basically I have the opportunity to make or break my role as a woman, wife, and mother by choosing to walk in the Spirit or not.

I’ve been encouraged to allow God to use me to help shape and mold my son John into the man God wants him to be and to most of all, allow my husband to lead and thrive in the role God has established for him. This encourages me as a new Mama in that the investment I’m making in my son and Lord willing, future children is a great and significant one because of the God-given role I’ve been given.

A Passion for Marriage

sex-was-gods-idea-01Recently, my friend Cheli challenged me with something simple and profound. She said what if I lived my whole life with a passion for my marriage? Just how different would my marriage look?

I haven’t run into too many people who say they want to have a lifelong passion for their marriage. I often hear of a passion for a career, a life-long goal, sport, hobby, or whatever but not necessarily for their marriage. If we were passionate about working hard at our marriage, I bet people would stay together. Any time we have a passion for something, we tend to invest tons of time into that one thing. We can’t go a day with out it. And our life just isn’t complete without.

I’m determined to begin viewing my marriage with more passion. It’s not that I haven’t before but I want to have the mindset that my marriage is the most important thing than anything else right after my relationship with Christ. In the end, I think my son’s life will be most impacted by the kind of relationship I have with my husband, even more than the relationship I have with him. Did I love and respect my husband well? Did I show my son truly how to love another person with passion?

I sure hope so.

What does it look like for you to have a passion for your marriage? If you’re single, what does it look like to start becoming passionate about having the kind of marriage you dream of and working hard towards that?

Why Chick-fil-a is the best Chain Restaurant Ever

In my opinion, no greater restaurant chain exists than Chick-fil-a. I don’t eat fast food barely at all, but if I do it’s Chick-fil-a.

They’ve probably asked you the same question at the drive-in: “How may I serve you?” Just look at that question and its contrast with “Can I take your order?” like you would experience at a Wendy’s or a Taco Bell.

I’ve always been greeted with a smile at Chick-fil-a and a readiness to refill my sweet tea. This kind of service is just unmatchable. This morning, I was running behind and grabbed a chicken biscuit from them and once again, they delivered their best and helped get my morning off to a better start. On my way to work, I started thinking about Chick-fil-a and Christianity. (as I often think about random connections while driving down the interstate).

I really want to serve those I come in contact with every day and be genuine about it. To greet them with a smile, look them in the eyes, and say their name. I want to genuinely seek to meet their needs whatever they might be. And it’s my hope that when I’m gone, a lasting mark would be made and they would know when they see me again, that I am one who seeks to serve.

S. Truett Cathy, you had it right.

Tim Hawkins wrote a song about his obsession:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsJHqstPuNo]

The Greatest Gift

your-word-is-a-lampBeing a new mom, I’ve definitely been thinking about the legacy I want to leave and the kind of gifts I want to give my children. I think the greatest gift I could give to John and Jeremiah is to be a wife and mother who is consistently in God’s Word. Here’s why:

1.) God’s Word penetrates the heart- changing us. While the places you go, the people you meet, and the books you read do that too, it is His word that  is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Through the Holy Spirit, God’s word speaks to us, showing us how to walk and revealing the love story of Christ.

2.) God’s Word helps us see our sin, leading us to confession. Jonathan Edwards said, “Confession is the detergent of the soul.” While we must be careful not to be legalistic or ritualistic about confessing our offenses to God, a daily acknowledgment of our sin is critical so that it doesn’t harbor day after day. God’s word is like a mirror showing me who I really am. Helping me see the sin I don’t always see.

3.) God’s Word encourages us to be all that we can for Christ and His glory. While worship, church, prayer, and fellowship with others do that, it is His word that gives us the greater hope and perseverance to continue on in this difficult life. To glorify him with my heart, body, soul, and mind. His Word is my number one fan, helping me to press on and reminding me that I’m not crazy!

4.) God’s Word Challenges me to Selflessness and to Serving others. When I see that I am nothing a part from Christ, and that only he can make me self-less, I’m encouraged all the more to be the person I need to be for my family. I long to serve them through my actions and words. To build my house, and not tear it down with my  hands.

Growing up, my Mom was a woman who meditated on and loved the Bible. That was the greatest gift she gave to me… and to my whole family.

How has His word been a gift in your life?

A Day at the Park

On the days I’m at work, Jeremiah and John get to have “Daddy day-care” together. When daddy’s present, John gets thrown high up in the air, gut laughs after daddy blows on his belly and tickles his armpits and feet over and over again, and loves looking up at the birdies and breathing in the air on their walks together.

Yesterday, they went to one of our favorite parks a few blocks down from our apartment. And here is their beautiful creation. John is mastering his poses.

john1john3john5john6john7johnsepa

John Samuel’s Shower

On Saturday, Sept. 13, my dear friends in Dallas (including my Mom and Sister who flew in) threw me a baby shower. One of my best friends here, Julia surprised me with having the shower at a clubhouse in her community called the Village. It was the perfect location and so homey. She made home-made chocolates and decorations. My mom made her incredible punch and my sister was the main host. Around 30 of my closest friends celebrated with me. One of my best friends from college, Bethany, even came all the way from Florida.

We played some incredibly creative games like guessing what’s in the bag (each item in the bag started with the initials in John Samuel) and the crazy fun game where you crush up chocolate candy bars and put them in a diaper to guess what candy bar it is. My sister and Bethany read a toast/tribute written for both Jeremiah and I. Then a few others went around the room and gave me words of encouragement. It was so meaningful and really added an extra touch to the shower.

I’m so thankful for the friends and family God has given me. A time like this can feel overwhelming but when I know I have community around me- it makes everything so much better. Yesterday marked one month until baby John arrives and my and Jeremiah’s 2 year and 9 month anniversary of being married. We have this “17” thing going on. We can’t wait to see his little face and to learn even more about selflessness. As Bethany’s mom’s advice was that marriage strips away a layer of selfishness and having a child strips away the rest.

It’s coming…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julia’s home-made chocolates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

an amazing cake from a Mexican bakery in Midland.

 

 

 

 

 

Nautical theme (like John’s nursery)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

getting ready to open gifts

 

 

Sis, me, and Mom

You are loved, John Samuel Krieger

Yesterday baby John hadn’t been moving the usual way he had been in the past few days. His punches and kicks had subsided quite a bit. My doctor has me counting 10 kicks within two hours each night. A few nights ago, there weren’t really kicks but subtle movements. I remember the doctor telling me to call if I ever didn’t feel much going on.

This is strange, I thought. I told Jeremiah and he got a little worried as well so we called my doctor. The doctor said he didn’t think anything was wrong and not to panic, but to come in anyway and get a biophysical exam. Jeremiah was quiet and thinking about things the whole time as we waited. He was so nervous.

They did an ultrasound and he was moving and I caught another glimpse of his precious little face. He had grown and matured so much. I really fell in love getting to see him again and everything was absolutely perfect with little John. The doctor said his movements will change now as he is running out of room and that his head has dropped into position, so the movements may different now as well. We were very thankful to hear this. My doctor also told me he would have been mad if I didn’t call about it. I was glad about that too because I didn’t just want to go in to go in for nothing.

So we are at ease now and if anything, we are more excited for John to enter the world in approx. two months. I also forgot to officially post that we are naming our baby, John. He has been named after Jeremiah’s father. Life was pretty hard at times for Jeremiah growing up due to several things, but he wanted his dad to know that despite anything, he loves him and there is favor towards him. We chose to honor his name in this way. We are also delighted that the name John is strong and is a biblical name. Samuel comes from the fact that we liked the way it flowed and that it’s like my name: Sam-antha.

the meaning of JOHN– Hebrew for “God is Gracious”  SAMUEL– Hebrew for “God heard” ; “requested of God”

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