Reaping a Harvest

I fully believe in the principle that you reap what you sow, primarily because the Bible states it over and over throughout its pages, but also because I’ve lived long enough to see it played out in people’s lives.

Mike and I have made many parenting mistakes, but demanding that they maintain close personal relationships with each other ranks high on the list of things we did right. There seemed to always be one or two going through a difficult time relationally, but our insistence has paid great dividends, because all seven are extremely close. Every opportunity they have to spend time together, they do. And this Thanksgiving all but Jill, who cooked her first ever turkey dinner with all the trimmings, was here under our roof. We put the cleaning on hold to Skype with her and OJ. (Disclaimer…Jackie was nursing a cold, and dragged the toilet paper roll everywhere she went; we don’t normally have tp rolls in the kitchen!)

I wanted to share a little about Matt. Does it ever seem like the attention and focus is on one particular child for an extended period of time? I referred to 2009 as the Year of Kristen; she graduated from college, she moved, and then she got married at the end of that year…lots of focus on Kristen! Well, we’re entering into the Year of Matt. I was delighted to be able to attend the last home game of his collegiate career a couple weeks ago when I went out to Cal Poly. No more Singletary bearing a #91 jersey for the Mustangs, and thankfully, no more cast on the hand.

It was fun and exciting, yet I was acutely aware that we were on the threshold of major changes in his life. While he was home for Thanksgiving he met with an agent (and his father 🙂 ) to formulate a plan to take a shot at playing at the next level in the NFL. If I could articulate the hours that Mike and I discussed, argued about, and sought counsel over, how to raise him for the first 20 years of his life, you would be able to get only a tiny glimpse into the joy and delight we have in being able to reap the harvest of patience, understanding, discipline, love, more patience, and tons of turning him over to God that we poured into him. He has grown into a guy that is equal parts huge video-game-playing 11-year-old hanging with friends and family, and hard-working, bright, intelligent, dedicated God-fearing young man. We anticipate great things for his future, because of the seeds that have been sown into his life.

We’ve also tried to instill the importance of great friendship into the kids’ lives. I am honored that my girlfriends from grade school are such a great source of joy for me, and Mike still speaks regularly with his life-long friend Ron. Even though we’ve moved from schools and communities of friends that the kids don’t have the privilege of seeing every day, they are still dedicated to cultivating the special relationships. Three of the kids’ friends, Darell, Kayla and Kendall spent the holiday with us, and it was such a joy to watch them do all of the simple things that make spending the holidays special:

It saddens me to know that there are so many families out there celebrating another year of disharmony and discord during the holiday season. I would encourage you to forgive…overlook….love. Sow some seeds of kindness and love, and watch the beautiful harvest develop.

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