Monday, March 28, 2011

Laying Down our Lives

Laying down our lives. . . what does it look like?

Sure, we know what it looks like for the some people.  You know, the ones who have given up everything, moved halfway around the world to minister for the sake of the gospel?

Yes, it's easy to see that one. 

But what about . . . . . others?  What about. . . . me?

Ponder this quote from Sally Clarkson:

The laying down of our lives is not just about moving to the most impoverished country or preaching to thousands. But right in front of us, the child who would long to have our comforting touch and gentle voice of life-giving words, that he may imagine the voice and touch of God when He ponders faith as a young adult and chooses to believe because the reality of God was in his home.
The child who needs one more song to be comforted before sleeping, so that he might  be able  in adulthood to believe in a God who is patient and willing to answer prayer and hear our voice when we as his children cry out in faith.
The child who is lonely, confused, hormonal, who will feel the touch of God, the sacrifice of God as we give up the rights to our time and comfort to befriend and listen and show compassion and sympathy for what is on his heart.
Love is given through a candle lit and a special breakfast served one more time on Sunday before church as we open the gospel together, that the reality and beauty of God’s creativity is validated in how we live.  
It is shown with the sacrificial life of giving up what we wanted to do, or the job we hoped to have, in order to build a soul through the attention of ourselves. A looking into the eyes with true interest and compassion instead of looking at a screen while half-heartedly listening. These are the sacrifices of our love, the moment by moment giving up of ourselves, the constant, year end year out practice of worship as we serve those in our home in order to please His heart.
It is for Him, for His kingdom that we serve with willing, generous, life-giving hearts, as the building of His kingdom is one heart at a time.

Weighty and encouraging thoughts for the week.  Join me as we consider what laying down our lives looks like - right here, right now.

For the sake of Him who gave up all, that we might live with Him.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Sentiments: Why Do Bad Things Happen. . . . .

This one's short and sweet:

Why do bad things happen to good people?
That only happened once, and He volunteered.
~R.C. Sproul

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Encouragement from a Titus 2 Woman

Q:  Who is Sally Clarkson?

A:  One of the most gentle, encouraging, godly women who is speaking to mothers today.

Take the time to go and read her blog, especially this post:  Adversary or Advocate?

Here's the question she's getting at:  Is God our adversary, looking for every wrong thing we do, ready to pounce on us with a "gotcha" and devise an appropriate punishment? Or is He rather our advocate, One who is for you, defends you, and works for you?

And if we are reflecting God's heart to our children, then how about us?  Are we our child's adversary, or their advocate?

Weighty, meaty, wonderful, encouraging stuff.  Go read.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

(kinda) Wordless Wednesday - Video Edition

Go check out my daughter's blog, here.  She's put together an amazing video.  Enjoy!

. . . .and tell her that her Mom thinks she's one amazing young woman :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Creative Cell Phone Use

How am I spending my Spring Break, you wonder?

(OK, I don't think you really did. . . . but I'm going to tell you, anyways!)

Answering my cell phone.


Sweet Kathryn had her wisdom teeth out yesterday - poor kid, she's feeling miserable, and can't call out when she needs something.  Thus, the cell phone.

She just calls me!  Seriously.  Works better than a bell, and cuts through the hub-bub of our house quite effectively.

And big kudos to the other kids in the house, for being so helpful and serving me as I serve Kat. 

Prayers for swift healing are always appreciated!

Off to answer another call. . . . . .

Monday, March 7, 2011

Amy Goes Bananas!!!!

For Christmas, Amy got a cookbook entitled. . . . . .

Wait for it. . . . .  .

"Go Bananas"
Amy and her very own cookbook!
Cute, ain't she?

This past Saturday, she spent about an hour (no kidding) reading the cookbook.  All of it.  And she excitedly informed me there was a recipe called "Caramel Banana Milkshake".  Excited, because her new little Beanie Baby puppy has been named, "Caramel".  Thus the desire to have a snack with the same name as her stuffed animal.

Never mind that she doesn't really like the flavor caramel.

Never mind that really she's not even crazy about bananas.

Never mind that she has entirely too many Beanie Babies.  (I think that's another post)

I'm a sucker for a kid who wants to create in the kitchen.  So off I trot to the store, and here is the result.  Presenting. . . . . . . . .

Banana Caramel Milkshake Smoothie

Step One:  Read the cookbook. Always helps.
Step Two:  Slice and freeze two bananas.  Once frozen, put the in a blender.

Step Three:  Add two cups of Hagen-Daas Dulce du Caramel Ice Cream.
If you can look as cute as Amy does, you get bonus points.

Ignore the comments from your husband when he says, 
"Hagen-Daas??  She gets Hagen-Daas?"
Step Three Point Five: add 1 tsp. of vanilla, and about 1 cup of milk.

Step Four:  Prepare to hit the "Smoothie" button on the blender.
Again, bonus points for looking cute.
Step Five:  Step away from the blender and cover your ears.
Step Six:  Sip your creation.  Bendy straw optional.
Step Seven:  Vote on the taste!

Step Eight (not pictured):  Take one sip of the smoothie, leave the cup on the counter, untouched, until Mommy finds it the next day.  

I think I need to find that Beanie Baby she has that's named "Chocolate".

Yeah, that's the ticket. . . . . . . .

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Sentiments: My Neighborhood, My Mission Field

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word:  "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  Galatians 5:14
For some time now, I've been contemplating the whole idea of mission.  Who am I sharing the gospel with, who am I ministering to, who am I serving in the name of Christ?

At this moment, I am hearing my mommy-friends:  "Your children, your husband!  They are your mission field!"

I know that.  Really.  I do.

But I also think it does no good for me to ONLY focus on those 6 people, to the neglect of others that God has put in my path. And lately, that's honestly how I've been operating.

Fast forward to last week.  When God wants to get my attention, He does so in a big way.  Suffice it to say, we had a situation occur so that we needed - for a variety of reasons - to go around the neighborhood and bless our neighbors with a delivery of homemade muffins.

And I was struck, full in the face, with the reality.

You want a mission field?  Here it is. 

We have 3 neighbors - two adjacent and one just one house up the road - who are widowers.  They were so thankful for my little homemade treats.  We have other neighbors who are from another country - I'm not sure anyone talks to them. 

And I've been closing my eyes, wrapped up in my own private world and drama, not being the hands and feet and love of Christ to them.

So as missions week at our church closes, I have been challenged and humbled by our great God to go forth and serve - not in Kenya, not in Appalachia, not even in downtown Birmingham.

But here.  Where we've been planted.  Where God has shown us unmistakenly that we are to stay.

I pray that He will find me faithful, and give me ideas as to how to minister to those who are - literally- right next door.

I think a pot of soup may be in order. . . . . . . .

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Science Center Therapy

After our incredibly difficult Thursday, the kids and I headed to McWane Science Center for a field trip on Friday morning.

 You know, us and about 500 of our closest public school friends.

Have I mentioned that I hate crowds?


We stayed for about two hours, blew off some steam, and made some sweet memories.  Here are some pictures to enjoy!
Playing with light - all four of them!

Amy brought her puppies with her EVERYWHERE.  They were especially appropriate in the dog house!

This adorable girl on the left made fast friends with Amy, as only kindergarteners can do.  They held hands and played together for quite a long time.  Precious.

McWane entertains them all!  From the littlest to one of the biggest.

Final group project - building the arch.

Mission Accomplished!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Whatever. . . . . .

Dearest friends and faithful readers (all two of you!)

It's been a tough, tough week.

Details I won't go into now but - well - it's been tough.

But the Lord is so faithful to direct my steps - and this morning, He directed my steps here to this blog.

Would you go read it, please?  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Whatever God wants - that is all for me.

More later - thanks for your friendship and love.

Edited to add:  Anna recommended you specifically read this post.  It's amazing.  Go read that one, too.
 Thanks, Anna!