Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sticky floors at the Bird House

This chunky, funky wooden plaque was given to me by my almost 15 year-old daughter after a weekend with pals serving, waiting, and busing tables for hundreds at Young Life’s Windy Gap Camp. She presented me this wall art and I let out my best Hispanic squeal of absolute delight!

Sticky floors – all too familiar – check.

Dirty oven – not so bad at the moment but give it a minute… check.

Happy kids?! Oh may it be!!

To receive this from my lovely, mostly-happy daughter was so significant. She gets it. Life, home and family – these are not about appearances. They are about relationships and investing deeply in them.

Our little home at any moment is in the throws of life being lived together. Foam and paint, glue gun and exacto knives covered the kitchen counter for 10 year-old Lina’s Cardiff castle model. It is an art gallery for homemade valentines love letters we exchange every year over dinner on our best china. Once the living room was hi-jacked by me and 5 year-old Jo Jo’s zoo made up of shoe boxes, cookie racks for gates and stuffed animals. Or Dad and Isi making chocolate and vanilla checkered shortbread cookies. We are often on the floor, couch or the kitchen playing, being, building, talking, “ref-ing”, laughing – hence the sticky.

Three things last forever – people, God and His word. To invest in these three things is an investment with infinite returns.

A good mom - THAT is what I want and hope to be. If you are a mom or dad, don’t you hope your children will say you are a good parent – a great parent?

So what does it mean to be a great parent? You might already guess that since I’m posing the question, I’m gonna take a stab at answering it.

It begins by parenting from principle rather than rule. To believe that your child was created by the Triune God to display His greatness. That Adam and Eve eating that blasted apple changed everything in us all. That Christ came to remove every obstacle that stands between us and the Father so we can BE His, to BE with Him and in Him; and that the hope of heaven is so real it has implications on what to eat for dinner. For real.

These principles are based in immovable truths that literally change the way you think and interact with your world. Basing your parenting decisions on these principles that become your convictions creates an environment within which your family will thrive.

As my husband Peter and I have been reflecting on what we are learning through parenting, and sharing our stories and experiences with others, we settled on TruthBilt as the umbrella name of our ministry to families. We hope it communicates the essential fact that in order to be a good parent one must be established and rooted in the truth about who we really are, why we are really here and what our role as parents really is.

“Sticky floors” hopefully means that I am accepting the invitation of one of our little birds to BE together. And there is no substitute for this time to display our love for them, for life in Christ, and our commitment to spend ourselves for the sake of their growth, maturity and security.

One of Christ’s beloved,



  1. Amen, sister. A very good beginning. love.

  2. oh, diana - i love you so much. and i really needed this today!!!

  3. if I could see through my tears I would leave you some amazing comment right now!

  4. Thanks, D, for sharing with us what God is sharing with you. Good stuff.

  5. Diana! I am so glad you are blogging and after reading this post I am certain that you will have many words of wisdom to share and I look forward to reading! Miss you and miss Tennessee!

  6. Dear friends, thank you. I hope to be a conduit of creativity and wisdom in one of the most important callings on our lives. Muah.

  7. "by my almost 15 year-old daughter" I got stuck here. Seriously!!?? but once I moved on from that, truly I got very happy inside when I saw you'd started a blog on parenting. almost 3 is proving to be a new phase of pushing boundaries, being influenced by other little friends, and a need for more discipline than was ever needed before and some days I mourn the loss of how easy my relationship with E was before this. So looking forward to new insight, most especially from you! :)

  8. Genevieve, Isi is now the age you were when you began to babysit her! and Evangeline - almost 3 is a show stopper too! Thank you for your encouragement! I still need to meet the baby!!

  9. I am most definitely a "follower." :) Certainly needed this reminder today (and probably everyday)! Looking forward to hearing more from you Diana!

  10. Diana, I too was struck by the "almost 15-year-old" bit... I remember well 2-yr-old Isa's adorable sleepy face, after waking up from a nap... How time flies! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your timing was phenomenal! Just yesterday I debated whether to mop the floors or to work on translating and adapting two songs for Shana, who will come home from college tomorrow, for Spring break, ready to sing her heart out for a week!! And I am proud to announce that the floors are properly sticky this morning, yet I have three songs for her! Thanks also for reminding us what it is like to really "believe that your child was created by the Triune God to display His greatness". So often we are tempted to turn these poor kids into mirrors that reflect our own "greatness" to our peers... all along labeling our desire for "greatness" as the need to be a good witness in the world. I am not in the least surprised that your first blog entry would be so insightfully rich... I have always thought of you as a grace-aware person living a grace-filled life and it shows here. Looking forward to the future of this blog. Much love, friend.

  11. Wow! So needed this today!

  12. You've got another follower in me! Love this post - the abandon to parent by principle has always been a hard one for me. I'm a rules-follower and learning from those around me about grace and liberty is something I really enjoy pushing myself to try. Can't wait to see all this unfold!

  13. So glad you're doing this and sharing your wisdom with the world. It's God displaying his greatness through you =)