As I shared earlier, becoming a mother was truly the beginning of my walk with Christ. I may have only had a couple of short term “real jobs” before David and I were married, but I took this lifelong career of mothering very seriously. After all the classes and books, praying and fasting, crying out and pleading to God for wisdom, I truly began to sense a confidence in my heart that through His Word and an abiding relationship with Christ, David and I could do this job. When that peace came, it felt like a warm sunny Sunday afternoon. My heart finally stilled from all the fears of parenting. Over the years, as we have shared our hopes and visions for the futures of our children with friends, family members, or even curious aquaintances, we have had mixed reactions. In the past year, I have begun to see a definite pattern emerging in these reactions, so through this realization, the name for this website, “Believe With Me” was born. In less than 24 hours last February, my husband had bought a plane ticket, gotten a hotel room, and purchased my admittance to a writer’s conference that would begin within 48 hours. He had been encouraging me to write a book for years. In fact, the ipad I am using today was a Christmas gift from him, meant to write just such a composition! Nervously, I left my family for five days (the longest span of time ever in the history of my mommyhood!) and went to learn all about the writing/editting/publishing business. I did learn about the writing industry, and since this was a Christian writer’s conference, I enjoyed fellowship with other believers as well. Encouraged by different publishers and even magazines that there was a market for what I was wanting to write about, I came away with another interesting observation as well. Every mother who was there and still had children still in their home, generally the 45 year old and under moms, and even alot of the dads in that age range that I spoke to about what I was writing, were genuinely excited. They would ask for my contact information and overall I got a very positive response. I would share our Christmas card with them and they would ask all kinds of questions and just really wanted to hear about vision and purpose in parenting…how they could learn from God and His Word about the purpose of their child’s life. They were thrilled to discover an alternative to fear and regret in their parenting. All of them looking forward to grace and faith in their decisions as a mom and dad. Hopeful. They believed it was possible, they just didn’t know how to get there. The older parents, the ones who had children that had grown up and left the nest, or had left the faith, were cynical. Skeptical. They looked at me like I was a 19 year old kid convinced that in six weeks I would be a millionaire selling Amway. (Absolutely nothing wrong with an ambitious 19 year old…but do you get the idea? Oh, and I think Amway is a terrific company, but any success comes with much much hard work…as I am sure anyone successful at Amway or any other career can attest to.) These older moms and dads just shook their heads. Many giving me their experiences and sad stories of children who had disappointed them for various reasons. They had given up believing. In a matter of time, they said, I would too. I would see, they were right. By Sunday morning, I was literally in a state of anxiety. Something was brewing in my heart that had me so worked up I just could not shake it. Instead of join in for the closing of the conference and say goodbye to all my new aquaintances, I ordered breakfast to my room and began to have my own little church service. As I read through Ephesians, I just felt stronger and stronger that there was a challenge here that could be bridged, an attitude which must not prevail. I prayed. I cried. I sang praise songs. I read some more scripture and journaled. Then, overlooking the city of Denver from my 26th floor hotel room window, I became truly saddened. In my quest to train up these children, I had never had a “Titus 2” older woman come along side of me to teach and encourage me. To tell me that just because my two year old was giving me a tough time with her naps, her future purity was not at stake (can I get a witness, especially you new mommies? Every small challenge I had with my first few children just seemed like it would lead to their ultimate destruction, every small little attitude was a signal that I was certainly doing something wrong. Where was my Titus 2 senior saint to encourage me and remind me, every human is a sinner! It is going to be ok! Just keep plugging along!). I felt so alone. All these older women and men, these skeptical parents, some of them were pretty famous people! Some of them were very successful authors. This less-than-glowing response from them during the conference really had me shaking. I came home and discussed all I had learned and witnessed with David. He reminded me that it has always been that way. Family members and friends who didn’t mean to be hurtful, would laugh at some of our parenting decisions, deride us for others. Tell us we were too overprotective. Too niave. Out of touch. No way you can raise a child in this day and age to be pure before marriage. No way you can have all 13….now 14 grow up and stay strong in their faith. No way all this Bible stuff really works. I had to choose. Faith or Fear. Trust God, or trust what the world says. Look to him for wisdom, or believe the world that said it is not possible. For me, the choice was easy. I had to choose faith. I needed His Word and His promises. I may fail, but He will not. I may screw this job up seven ways to Sunday, but my faith is not in me. It is in Him who is faithful, even when I am faithless (Romans 3:3). And I was looking for people who would believe with me. “Believe With Me” is inclusive. I am asking moms and dads, grandparents, foster parents, teachers and Sunday School leaders to believe with me for the goodness and wisdom of God to give us grace and success in our parenting and the training up of this generation. I don’t care if you are an expecting mom for the first time, or if your 33 year old son has gone “off the reservation” and walked out on all you have taught him. I am not looking for perfect parents (uh….whoever THEY are…I would definitely NOT be in that group), I am just looking for folks to believe WITH me that through the strength and wisdom of God Almighty, we can accompplish this great work He has given us. We will be ultimately successful. We will fail many times along the way. We may stumble and loose our cool. We may even (gasp!) use a “wirty dord” when we have HAD it with this kiddo, but we will not give up. We will be victorious. Every child accepts Christ. Every child walking with Him. Every child living righteously in Him. No one slips through the cracks. Not nobody, not no-how! So that is what “Believe With Me” is all about. I am not asking you to believe IN me, ’cause I am just as broken as the next bag of wind. I am not asking you to believe FOR me, because only He can give me the gift of faith to continue walking and trodging through this calling. Believe With Me. Believe that God is good, His grace and Wisdom are sufficient. Believe that He wants us to succeed at parenting and wants to use our children to accomplish great and amazing tasks. Believe that He will carry us through our parenting season, and we will laugh with joy in old age at His mercy and goodness as we watch our grandchildren play and ask about our Lord and take that faith to the next generation. Believe….because the only other choice….is not good. Then, while teaching the children through the book of Isaiah, I came upon this verse in chapter 7:9 “If you do not believe, surely you will not be established.” I never read a more concise statement in my whole ding dang life. You gotta believe God’s word, not your circumstances. You have to dig in to the scriptures and hold tight to every promise He gave. If you want your life, or for heaven’s sake your CHILDREN’S life to be established in faith, in righteousness, in amazing works…you have to believe His word and live it out as best you can, leaving everything else to His grace. You have to believe to have these things established in your heart, in the heart of your children, in the heart of your grandchildren. If you won’t believe, you (and most likely your progeny after you) will not be established. And that cynicism will take over. And you will have lost a battle that was already fought and won for you on the cross of Calvary. Always remember, you fight FROM victory, not for victory. So establish that in your heart and in your mind, and when you believe it, He will do it.