26 In Life

Happy Birthday, Edie!!

I will start this post by explaining that you know when a “blog friend” is a “real life friend” when they are struck by tragedy and you grieve for them. When Patty emailed me a few days after Edie’s house burned to the ground I was completely shocked at first and then I was grief-stricken for my friend, my friend I’ve not ever met. But the reality is, through her blog and our correspondence, Edie has such an approachable and humble spirit that I really do feel as though she is a dear friend of mine. Over the last two years she has been a mentor to me in so many ways! We are theologically like-minded {even though she’s a Lutheran and I’m a Presbyterian} and when reading her posts I find myself nodding as I read her words, wishing  she could disciple me weekly, over coffee of course. As many of you know, Edie has given up a lucrative career in medicine to stay home and home school her children… her transparency about  both her love for it and struggles  with it are some of my favorite posts of hers! Her honest accounts of parenting  are a testament to her own need of a Savior and today I will leave you with her own words from a post way back in April of 2009… this post was so eloquently written I hope that you will take a second to think deeply about what she says,  I find it convicting, encouraging, and full of hope…

The speaker, Mark Hamby, from Lamplighter publishing, used Fenelon’s points to drive home the idea that parenting is about seeking relationship and not merely behavior from our children.  Far too often, I find myself so determined to achieve a certain level of obedience and respect from them, that I’m oblivious to what is really at the heart of their ‘discord’.  And admittedly, the desire for prompt obedience is often self-centered.  We want our children to make us look good;  to prove to the world that we are indeed good parents.   We’re so afraid of letting them make mistakes.   We parent them more like drill sargents than we do loving mothers and fathers.   Have we not been given the unconditional love of our heavenly Father?  Do we not defy and disobey and display profound ingratitude to Him daily?  And what does He do?  He welcomes us with open arms…..the arms of One who poured out His life for us on the cross to ransom us.   He forgives and forgets.  His mercies are new to us every morning.  God gives us grace, pressed down, shaken together, running over and  yet we measure out to our children tiny doses of mercy laced with hosts of rules and scoldings and “I told ya so’s”.
Our authority should be exercised with humility.  Christ is our supreme example:  His humility cost him His very life.  We often associate authority with power and might, but as C.S. Lewis once said,

“Authority exercised with humility and obedience accepted with delight are the very lines along which our spirits live.”

We must surrender our need to always be right and humble ourselves in service to our children.   As foreign as that may sound, that is exactly what our Father has done for us.  He could have come in power, seized upon our frailties and weaknesses and demanded right behavior.  But instead, He took on human flesh and died that we might have life.

Does this grace and humility mean that we have no rules, no boundaries.  On the contrary.   Those whom the Lord loves He chastens.    It is our primary job to ‘discipline’ our children, but that word means ‘teach’.   I think we often jump right to ‘punish’—which should be reserved for extreme cases of direct defiance.  Likewise, God has given us rules, that if followed, will lead to happiness and unity.  His standards are incredibly high, as should ours be for our children.  But the final answer does not lie in following the rules.  He has not been content to see our behavior realigned.   He went to every length to reach our hearts:  His grace and mercy cannot be exhausted.

You might think that I am providing the solution to our parenting conundrum as a simple ‘Show more grace to your children’.   I am not.

The solution is always Christ.   I will always fail to bestow enough grace.  I will always, even in my best attempts, fail to love them unconditionally.  The real answer for us all is the forgiveness and mercy of  the One perfect parent, whose love has no limits and whose grace knows no bounds.

This morning, I am thankful for Edie’s words, for the truth she shares in love and above that I am thankful for the Lord’s great mercy and preservation of her life and the life of her family. I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue to learn from her, for I know the Lord will continue to use her in a mighty way!

This post will be posted with many others on Edie’s blog, if you are interested in getting in on wishing Edie a Happy Birthday today by sharing what she has taught you or how she has encouraged you please jump on over to her blog, which as been hi-jacked for the day! In the midst of her grief, I hope these posts will be an incredible source of encouragement to her.

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  • Susan
    January 4, 2011 at 8:40 am

    This was great, Darcy! Thank you for your words and Edie’s! I loved that quote by CS Lewis…it brought me to tears! Grace…grace…grace upon our kiddos! That’s waht God has given us! You have a great day! I’m off to Edie’s to give her birthday wishes.

  • taraf
    January 4, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Edie is truly a special person that deserves a birthday filled with grace and love. Her blog has been a great source of inspiration to all of us!

  • Amy
    January 4, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Beautiful heart felt words for such a beautiful servant of Christ.

  • Melissa
    January 4, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I cannot tell you how much these words mean to me today. God has a way of giving us the words we need when needed most. Today I am grateful for your blog for leading me to these words I need to hear in a very dark hour.

  • Emily Morrice
    January 4, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I know how you feel! I’ve never met OR corresponded with her, but thinking about the enormous trial she and her family are in has brought me to tears and my knees.

    So many blogs I follow I secretly wish the writers could disciple me. On my walk with Jesus. On being a young mom. On being a wife of noble character. Oh the list goes on!

  • Beth
    January 4, 2011 at 9:33 am

    What a beautiful post. Thank you to both you and Edie for giving us a perspective on parenting that is often forgotten in the crazy bustle of day to day life.

  • Dana
    January 4, 2011 at 9:46 am

    This is a beautiful entry about Edie. I love that you included some of her writting – it was a great reminder for me this morning.

  • molly
    January 4, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Such a sweet birthday post for such an amazing woman. I’m sure she would say the same of you.

  • Erica
    January 4, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Thank you for this amazing post. Thank you for sharing your friend’s post as well. Very inspiring. Having more patience with my three little ones and viewing discipline as a teaching opportunity is something that I have been trying to work on as a parent. When things get chaotic (which they often do), I find it is so difficult not to parent in the moment. I am currently reading Barbara Coloroso’s book, “Kids Are Worth It: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline”, and it echoes some of the same sentiments expressed in this post. Thank you so much for this post, Darby! I hope you and you family have a very Happy 2011.

  • Kate from Party Resources
    January 4, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Thank you for the post and the inspiration!

  • Lynn Campbell
    January 4, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Wonderful post. I had only been reading Edie’s blog for about 6 months or so when this terrible fire occurred. How sweet it is when we come alongside of one another and lift up one another – in the good times as well as the bad. What a sweet fellowship we have when we are in the Lord’s family.


  • Kathy
    January 4, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I want you to know that there are so many fun and wonderful things that I enjoy about your blog, but these are the posts that I return for. I truly thank you for sharing your faith. It is a blessing in my life. Have a wonderful day!

  • Snekcip
    January 4, 2011 at 11:01 am

    What a beautiful and eye-opening post! Just simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing Darby and I will indeed hop over to her blog and wish Edie a “happy birthday”!

  • Mandy
    January 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    So sweet. I stumbled on her blog a few months ago and have been reading and was, like you, overwhelmed with grief for her sweet family, yet grateful for protection from our Heavenly Father for their lives. Such a sweet lady and in need of much love, peace, mercy, and grace. Thanks for sharing! Mandy

  • patty
    January 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    i am so thankful for your part in this! you chose a great post of hers, and your words are so warm and full of love. xo

  • Jeannette
    January 4, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    WOW Darby, thanks for sharing, that spoke right to my heart!!!! Before this horrible tragedy I did not know Edie, she has so many people out here in the blog world praying for her and telling her story. She sounds like an amazing person and I will continue to pray for her and her family!!!!! Happy Birthday and may Gods Blessings be upon you this next year.

  • Shannon
    January 4, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Thanks to you Darby over a year ago I found Edie! I am not a blogger BUT LOVE following the both of you! Each of you inspire me in so many ways. I’ll be the Southern Baptist in your Lutheran, Presbyterian mix! I love that now matter what our denominations we all serve and love a very mighty and all powerful God. I sent Edie a message and included a quote that has carried me through some tough times….”God is too good to do evil and He is too wise to make a mistake!” God is soooo good ALL the time! I am thankful for the blessing of each of you!

  • Sandy
    January 5, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Praying with faith and confidence that God’s love and grace will carry Edie and her family through this terrible trial. I also wanted to say that I appreciate your heart of compassion for them. My daughter shared your blog with me a while back and I have enjoyed reading and following your posts. May God’s abundant blessings be yours this year as you shine His light here and wherever your life’s journey leads.

  • Susan
    January 5, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Thanks for sharing your tribute to Edie. I follow both of your blogs and I too am thankful for the blessing of each of you! Also, please tell Erika that whatever she is dealing with, I am praying for her as well.

    Hope 2011 is a good year for us all!

  • Konie
    January 5, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Thanks for sharing Edie with us. I “jumped over ” to her blog. Reading back over some of the months and then now…..my heart broke for her. But through their trial or “bend in the road”, it will give many of us alot to ponder over and learn from. I actually just condensed this. I had a PAGE written on this comment and as I usually do…went back and erased! I write my thoughts and then realize I’ve written like I talk…a lot! : (( HAPPY NEW YEAR and I LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING YOU IN 2011 :))

  • andrea
    January 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks D,

    I was not aware that this had happened to Edie. I was able to participate. Thank you so very much!

    Andrea (raising peanut)

  • Allie
    January 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Thanks for re-posting this post of Edie’s. I hope she knows what a treasure she is to all of us! I’ve been reading her blog for a long time, and she is who helped me find your blog! I frequently visit both to enjoy the love and intelligence found there. You both make me “be a better mama”–thanks again!

  • Haverlee
    January 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Hey there. I just found your blog for the first time today (my sister linked to it from her blog: thingsidothinkwearseelovedream.blogspot.com). I just wanted to tell you your post from Edie on parenting was so encouraging and I spent a couple of hours today perusing through your previous entries. Your family is so precious, I could look at your pictures all day. I just love your style. I was born a Southern girl but am now stuck in dreary Iowa. I loved hearing your sweet girls recite the Christmas story from Luke and wondered how you have them memorize scripture like that.
    (Sorry for my randomness but just had to say how much I enjoyed reading your blog today!)

  • Teresa
    January 6, 2011 at 3:04 am

    I love, love your blog….and I love how you captured Edie….She has so touched my life…

  • edie
    January 8, 2011 at 7:24 am

    my dear friend darby,
    you are one of those rare finds. a special kind of a friend whose life and faith continually inspires me. i am forever grateful for the meeting up of our kindred hearts–which was hardly by chance. i am humbled and blessed by your love and care and praying. you are a dear true friend and meeting you has left a mark on my heart that is permanent.
    thank you for bearing our burdens, for keeping us in your heart and prayers.
    maybe this will be our year. i really need that hug in person.
    love you,

  • edie
    January 8, 2011 at 7:26 am

    oh and btw, my children (even the older ones) are smitten with yours. we’ve watched the videos too many times to count.
    we all now say ‘bespecting’.
    hug those babies for us.