Producing Salty Water or Fresh?

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I met today’s guest blogger for the first time several years ago when she was in college. Carrie Vance had come to Taiwan on a summer trip and the next thing I knew she was Carrie Vipperman. Where did the time go?


Carrie has plenty on her plate right now with her third child due in two weeks. Once you read today’s post, you’ll know just what a blessing that really is…..




When you look at your children, what do you see? 


Do you see so much adorableness that you just can’t stand it?  (I know I do!


Do you see silliness?  (They must get that from their father…I’m so normal!


Do you see yourself? 


In the four years since my sweet Eliana introduced me to parenthood, I have learned that my children are definitely a reflection of me.  They repeat the words that I say.  They copy the attitudes that I display in front of them. 


Are my children seeing who God really is from me? 


Are they seeing how to live out this Christian life in a way that is real and authentic and will change their lives forever? 


Or, are they getting a set of rules to follow? 


Are they seeing a game that I play a 1-2 days a week when we go to church?  They will likely copy me.  


Over the last year, I was given a crash course in this important parenting lesson.  It’s been about a year now since I last wrote a blog or anything other than my personal thoughts and prayers in my journal.  It’s been about a year since we lost our baby to a miscarriage. 


It’s an awful club to join. 


We were living in Asia at the time and already dealing with a long list of stressors, and losing our baby served to be a bomb to wake us up and force us to face some tough realities.  It was a time of intense grief and even more intense dependence on Father.   


There were days when I wanted to just run away from it all, but then I would think of the other two children God had blessed me with, whose lives I got to enjoy. 


I saw Eliana, 3 years old at the time, react to the news of losing the baby.  We were in our hallway for some reason…I don’t remember why.  When we told her that our baby had gotten sick and gone to heaven she screamed out in anger and grief. 


“No, I don’t want our baby to go to Heaven!”  She collapsed to the floor. 


We held her and just let her scream and cry there on the tile floor in our hallway.  We knew then that we were going to be her guide to getting through this.  We were going to be her teachers in this sad new skill she was going to have to learn.  How would her young life reflect how we were dealing with this trial?  Would she wallow in the pain and run away?  Or, would she look to God?  


As we waded through all the grief, we learned that sometimes our children just need to see us throw our hands up to our Heavenly Father, bury our heads in His chest, and let Him heal us and take us where He needs us to go.  They need to see us cry into our Bibles and pray openly and honestly in front of them to the only One who can heal our hurts and give us true joy that never goes away.  


Maybe this is how we can truly allow the Spirit within us to produce His particular fruit. Both within us as well as our children.


Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs?  Nor can salt water produce fresh.”  (James 3:12)


What ways have your children or mentees seen you struggle? What good came from it?