Almost exactly four years ago, members of our church sat down and had a “Dream Meeting” where we shared wishes, hopes and dreams for the future of Eastport Bible Church. One of the biggest shared goals that I remember from that meeting from both young and old, was the desire to connect with young families and to get them plugged into our church community. Well, fast forward four years and I’m happy to share that we have certainly accomplished that goal!
One way we wanted to continue to help and support these amazing young families, was to host a Big Picture Parenting Seminar which happened this past weekend. We met first on Friday evening and then finished up on Sunday evening. Because I love a good family picture, and realize that they are sometimes hard to get, I took a few moments before our Sunday session to capture some memories for a few of the families that attended.
We have such love for these families!
There is nothing greater, in my mind, than raising children to know and love Jesus and we are so thankful that these parents have committed to doing just that.
For our Sunday evening session, the parents enjoyed a beautiful meal that was both gifted and catered by Rhumba. For the record, the Hersh family is the brilliance behind three local restaurants, Rhumba, Cowfish and Rhum and if you haven’t, you should totally check them all out. These restaurants have been our family’s favorites for years because of their beautiful locations and oustandingly delicious food. We are so thankful to Rachel and David Hersh for their generosity in supporting our Parenting Seminar!
While our parents all enjoyed their meals below…
We had an excellent team of adults and helpers looking after the kids upstairs.
Years ago, I remember our nursery being empty some Sundays. But now, it’s bursting and busy with the most beautiful babies around.
During the seminar, the babies kept busy with toys and snacks (it’s amazing the joy that comes from one container of puffs and a few boxes of raisins).
We also had a big kids room with coloring and activities for all.
After our delicious meal, we met as parents to learn and discuss and be encouraged. Our seminar was themed after Paul David Tripp’s Parenting Series based off his book called Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that Can Radically Change your Family. (By the way, that link will take you to Amazon, where you can check out the book or even buy the Kindle version for $2.99. Having read and been encouraged by this book, I guarantee you, it will be the best $2.99 you’ve spent!)
Brenda and Nathan Tuttle, and Anna and AK McNall were the driving force behind our parenting seminar. It was their dream to host this for our families and they all did an absolutely amazing job!
In between video clips we also had time to discuss and it was so good to hear the thoughts and ideas of other parents. Sometimes, being a parent can make you feel incredibly isolated.
But putting yourself out with other parents is an incredible experience. You learn quickly that you’re not alone, but that others are going through the same things you are and through our seminar we gained an opportunity to share and support each other.
I got to enjoy a big part of the seminar on both evenings, but also spent some time helping out in the nursery with the many babies that I love. That being said, if I could share a few things I learned from our Big Picture Parenting Seminar they would be:
- We shouldn’t be surprised when we see sin in the home, we should be surprised when we don’t.
- The call for parenting is captured in one diagnostic word: Ambassadors. II Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.” We are ambassadors for Christ to our kids and they can learn about God and His will from us.
- God reveals the needs of our kids so we can be a tool of His Grace in their lives.
- And finally, “If your eyes ever see and your ears ever hear the sin, weakness, and failure of your children- it is never an accident, it is never an interruption, it is never a hassle, it is always grace.” For me, this was a completely different way to look at the struggles that our kids have and to change my thinking from negative to positive!
And friends, that was only the surface! There was so many great things to take away from the Big Picture Parenting Seminar and I’m so thankful that I got to be a part of it. Again, a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in the planning and to those who were able to come and participate with us. Eastport Bible Church is an incredible place for families (young and old) to get plugged in to sharing life together. For more information on our church, you can check out our website here.