I told my daughter Mary that I can’t wait until Julia starts asking all the “but why Mommy?” questions. Those were the ones that always tripped me up. The good thing is that they sent me looking for answers. Parenting requires humility and a teachable attitude. There is no room for pride and selfishness. Tim and I have always said that the most beneficial preparation we had for ministry was parenting. As parents, we learned about depending on the Lord; serving even when we were exhausted; the importance of having right attitudes; admitting our short comings and weaknesses; continuing to learn so that we could teach others; and the list goes on. It is important for us to ask ourselves why we are parents. One reason would be because God desired to give us a gift, a reward, or an inheritance (Read Psalm 127:3). Children are valuable gifts that God has given us. When we begin to view them the way the Bible speaks of them, we take our role in their lives more seriously. This concept hit home for me late into the night when my daughter Bethany was about four years old. She had been suffering with an ear ache earlier in the day. We prayed for her, gave her medication and tucked her into bed. Tim and I had been asleep for quite a while when we were awakened by her crying at his side of our bed. My back was to them and as I awoke and turned toward her, there standing behind her was a tall man or woman (I couldn’t tell which). It appeared that he was watching Bethany’s interaction with her Dad and writing in a notepad as though he was taking notes. I immediately reacted by yelling, “Who are you, what are you doing here?” He looked at me with a surprised look as though I wasn't supposed to see him. As I continued to yell the question, he began to back out of the room and faded away. At that point, Tim jumped out of bed and frantically searched the house for an intruder. When he came back to the room to tell me no one was there, I couldn’t believe it! It was just so real! Whether it was a dream or a real encounter with Bethany’s guardian angel, I may never know for sure. I choose to believe the later. Nevertheless, the purpose of it was served. I was convinced more than ever that every interaction with my children was being observed by someone who cared very deeply for them and was keeping a record. Needless to say, I became a much more conscientious parent after that night. Children are valuable little people that God has given to us for a reason. As a society, we are guilty of not valuing our children and believing them to be gifts. They are every generation’s most valuable resource. In the next post, I will talk about our responsibility for this gift. Grace-works!