The verses that have REALLY spoken to me (Sarah) lately....
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." Matthew 7:24-25
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. I Peter 5:8-9
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' Acts 17:26-28
May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Deuteronomy 5:32-33
God, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It's up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this Revelation. Deuteronomy 29:29 (The Message)
We are Marc, Sarah, Luke, and Kate Friesen. We were married June 5, 2004. We have one son, born July 21, 2008, named Luke Andrew -- now 4 years old. We also have a daughter named Kate Christine -- born June 6, 2012. Marc is working at Cessna as a Senior Accountant, and Sarah stays home full-time with Luke. Sarah also gets to work very part-time at home for Graber Backhoe -- an excavation company AND VERY part-time at our church. We LOVE being a part of Grace Community Church here in Newton, KS. We lead a Community Life Group of other wonderful couples. Marc thoroughly enjoys long-distance running and Taekwondo. Sarah thoroughly enjoys walking -- especially when the weather is nice to take Luke and/or out in the stroller. Thanks for reading our blog!
Luke's preschool class did a little "Fall Sampler/Thanksgiving" program a couple of days before Thanksgiving. It was a very LOW KEY (thankfully) program in the chapel inside of the nursing home where the preschool is located. Basically, the teacher and kiddos performed some songs and such -- things they've worked on since September. Marc took the afternoon off to come, and Kate was woken up from her nap early to come (she had no choice -- it's called NOT being the first child where everything revolves around you). Luke has been in a couple of small Christmas performances at church in the past....but, this past fall has been a new leaf for Luke. We weren't sure what to expect. Before that day, we actually told him he could have a new book IF he stayed with his class to perform AND obeyed his teachers despite us being there. SO, after we arrived in the chapel and waited for just a bit, the class came in. Luke showed some extreme nervousness when walking in.
RIGHT after I snapped that pic, and I don't if it was because he saw us OR he saw me taking the pic, Luke started to cry and ran over to us. Marc, the "much more compassionate parent than me," picked him up on his lap and gently encouraged him to go sit with the rest of the class. Luke said, "No," and then proceeded to sit on Marc's lap. SO, for the first couple of songs, we saw an empty spot where Luke should have been sitting.
After a bit, Luke decided to go and sit in his assigned spot. He even participated for a bit -- which was very exciting for this Mama (and probably his Dad as well).
And then, they would sing a song with motions that he simply didn't want to do. So, we witnessed this....
Occasionally, Luke would "slip in" some motions while looking at us, very unsurely.
Then, it was back to doing what he was supposed to be doing....
Then, once again, fingers were nervously in the mouth...
After the program was over, the children were to follow their teacher in a line to their classroom for snacks. The parents/guests were to follow. Luke, instead of obeying and following in a line with his class, ran to us and cried. He wanted to go with us. Uughh....SO, we took him downstairs for a snack. Then, we had him apologize to both of his teachers for disobeying them. Nope, Luke did not earn his book that was promised if he stayed with his class in the program and obeyed his teachers. Secretly, I was sad for him, but at the same time, admittedly, I was SELFISHLY annoyed by the whole thing.
Fast forward to LAST weekend at church. The kids were to going to get on stage in front of MANY more people (in a much larger room and much LESS low-key environment) and sing a couple of songs. SO, once again, we talked with Luke about what he was to do -- including obeying his teachers. We also promised him a book if he did just that. Marc and I actually sat almost in the back row at church so he wouldn't see us. Admittedly, I was nervous about the morning. Marc and I planned out who would go on stage and get him if needed (Marc would...I would stay with Kate in the audience). When we saw the kids walk in, we noticed Luke, BUT we ducked down so he wouldn't see us. He went on stage....seemingly doing O.K. Since we were ducking down, it was hard to see, but he was pretending to have binoculars (through his hands), looking for us. At this point, I chuckled out loud. The songs started. He did them. He did NOT cry. I was elated! Unfortunately, because we were sitting so far back and were partially ducking down, I have ZERO pics. BUT, his teacher's mom took a pic with Luke in it. This pic is FANTASTIC. It shows Luke looking at another little girl, and they both are looking through their binoculars. It just so happens that this little girl is the photographer's granddaughter. I'm thinking it was taken with laughter! YES -- Luke did earn his book, and I personally breathed a sigh of relief.
More and more as Luke has gotten older, I'm thinking he has a definite perfectionism side to him -- that comes out in certain times. He's ALWAYS been tender-hearted. We noticed that side of him seriously starting around the age of 5-6 months. He's definitely a people-pleaser -- especially wanting to please us. I think that, combining all of those little personality traits and add some stage fright to the mix, one has Luke while performing. NOW -- here's the "Keepin' It Real/Thankful" part of this post....Admittedly, pure sin-filled, self-absorbed selfishness on my part takes over in handling this situation. My VERY first thought in all of this has been, "It's embarrassing to have the only crying child in the preschool class. What is LUKE'S problem?" Goodness -- who's the adult here? (But, let's be honest, we're all selfish in some way - we're human, after all). There have been times throughout all of this where, admittedly, I've hardly thought of Luke's heart...I've only worried about myself. WOW -- that's honesty that makes me cry when I think about it. Finally, my extremely wise husband made a comment that he was actually glad this has happened to Luke....WHAT? Marc went on to say that he wants Luke to have to have something difficult -- not to have everything come easy. This is something he'll have to work on. Whoa!!!! Great thought, Marc....(Now, to my own words)....Luke certainly does NOT have a hard life. He lives in a very stable home with a mother and a father who love each other. His mom stays home with him all day. He NEVER has to wonder where his next meal will come from. He has more than an adequate amount of toys to play with. His bed is overly warm. The house is warm in the winter and plenty cool in the HOT Kansas summer. He comes from a family with two vehicles. He has four grandparents who love him. He has a sweet little sister. He attends a very safe and caring church who believes in the Truth of the Bible and teaches it. So far, academics don't make him struggle (even at a preschool level). Luke's blessings could go on and on and on....Then, I was recently reading through the book of Genesis in the Bible....a book I've read through numerous times in my life. (As a side note -- the Bible is an endless book of God's knowledge and wisdom...it's amazing how it works to read the same thing over and over...I encourage reading it if you don't currently). In chapter 3, sin enters the world. Man falls (in a spiritual sense). In chapter 4, the first "family unit" in the world falls. One brother kills another brother. At the very end of chapter 4, it is stated, "At that time men began to call on the Lord." (Genesis 4:26b)....You see, at the beginning of creation, everything was PERFECT. God gave everything anybody could've needed. He gave one simple instruction of NOT eating one specific fruit. But, Eve did, and Adam didn't stop her....the first disobedience toward God which caused the whole world to fall. BUT, it wasn't until after that fall and things went awry that God was called upon. When things were perfect, God was not called upon. SO, my point is this -- Luke has a wonderful life with ALL he needs and then some. If everything were perfect and EASY all of the time, Luke would NEVER call upon God. If our (meaning mine and Marc's) ultimate desire for our kids is to love and obey God, then something in their lives has to be difficult. AND, we have to allow that to happen. OH, how I'm grateful for God in our lives and a husband who is wise and recognizes things when I'm too selfish!