Anneka Jones Turns 16

BIBLE READING: 2 Thess. 2: 7 - 12 7 As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but instead we were like children among you. Or we were like a mother feeding and caring for her own children. 8 We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God's Good News but our own lives, too.

9 Don't you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God's Good News to you. 10 You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. 11 And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. 12 We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory.

BLOG: Today is my daughters 16th birthday. Admitting that I have a 16-year-old daughter is a little overwhelming. The old saying, "Blink, and you'll miss it, is true." The years have flown by. 

I've shared with you some of our stories. We had four miscarriages before Anneka. There were a couple of times we thought we were going to miscarry her. Then the ultrasounds said that there were cysts on her brain. The doctor begged us to have an abortion. She was a month late. The doctor insisted she was on time and said, "Oops! My bad." when she arrived. 

But when she arrived, oh my!! The nurses said, "Oh, what a beautiful baby!" I thanked them for their kindness, mentioning that they say that about all babies. My head was handed to me very quickly, and I was told that Anneka was a VERY beautiful baby. 

She has turned into a stunning young woman, both inside and out. Smart, talented, and funny. She has been an awesome pastors kid, which means she has had to put up with the typical stereotypes people have about PK's. She has a strong faith in Christ and loves the church.

She is an accomplished ballet dancer and teacher. That's right; she has a job doing what she loves, dance. Her dream is to dance with a professional ballet company. She is well on her way. 

Now you may ask, what does this have to do with your morning devotion? Ask yourself, "How did that happen?" My answer might surprise you. 

We started with the end in mind. From day one, we said. 
- God Your will be done in her life. 
- We will not shelter her from life, but allow her to experience it through Your eyes. 
- We will invest everything we have in her. 
- She will learn from us, not from this world. 

Every day we spend time together in the car talking about life and life decisions. 
I coach her and teach her life truths from God's will. 
We tried not to be a helicopter or lawnmower parents. (Not perfect, but we tried.) 
I encourage her to use her voice and help her use it. 

That's it. So, what out of this can you incorporate into your life and family? 

PRAY: Dear Jesus, I start today with the end in mind. How do you want me to finish my life? AMEN