Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An Apology

I am of the belief that you ought to love the church you attend. You ought to love your pastor. However, there is a difference in having a love for your church and being prideful about your church.

I've been prideful about my church. We have attended our current church for 10 years. We love it. We love our pastors. We love the people we worship with. However, I've had this idea that "our" way was not only the best way but the only way.

(NOTE: This attitude is NOT conveyed from the pulpit. If anything, it is preached against.)

Recently, for various reasons, I realized that Eric and I grew up in another church that operates differently from ours. It has Sunday School. It has AWANA. It has a Christian school. We were a part of all these things - and loved it. You know what? We turned out ok. We love the Lord and are trying to serve Him by His grace. There are several people in our church who came from the same church we grew up in. They, too, are strong Christians. Our home church (the church we were raised in) is turning out young missionary families left and right. They have home Bible studies. Many of the bloggers I link to are from my home church. The love of God is alive in their lives.

Our church is wonderful. We turn out missionaries. We have an institute. We have young people who love the Lord.

There are reasons we have chosen the church we attend. We believe strongly in our choice. But, I have been convicted - ours is not the ONLY way.

Now, for the apology. I know my attitude has probably been conveyed to some dear friends of mine - maybe not in words, but in other ways. Please forgive me if I have seemed to have a prideful attitude about my church and a condescending attitude regarding your various churches. Praise the Lord for what you all are doing to further the cause of Christ. Praise the Lord for my brothers and sisters all over this wonderful country and the world. Praise the Lord for the many pastors who shepherd the children of Christ.

I love my church. I love my pastors. I hope you love your church and your pastor as well. You have every right to do so!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's Tough Being a Baby...

You wonder why I scream from my little cage...

My sisters think I'm the greatest doll...and I'm a BOY...

this is my pureed mexican lasagna...

...that I am forced to eat...

the "milk" I drink looks like this when it's spilled all over the floor...

I mean...come on, are you SERIOUS?!

BUT, this is my mommy and I forgive her for this treatment...

Because she loves me with all of her heart!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm Still Here!

Last Friday, I flew down to Virginia to visit my "sis" - BY MYSELF!!!! All of you mothers out there now know why I haven't blogged in two weeks.

For those of you with no children, or for those men, it would take too long to explain all that goes on in the days leading to a mom's departure. It's so complicated, it would make a military general's head spin.

It has now been two years in a row that I've gone away alone. It's something I look forward to. However, though I loved my time with my "sis", being away from the family"responsibilities" is not all it's cracked up to be. I can go away with my husband, and I don't worry about my children at all because I'm still fulfilling my role as a wife and best friend to my husband. But, when I leave my entire family, I'm completely stepping out of my God-given role.

As I left the three babies at my mother in law's, I cut a part of my heart out and left it with them. As two of my children left for their various homes on Thursday night, they each reached in and took their portion. Then, just before I went through the security gate at the airport, I looked into the eyes of two more of my children and the love of my life and ripped the remaining part of my heart out, dropped it on the floor, and stepped on it as I walked away.

At least, that's how it felt.

Again, don't get me wrong. I had a wonderful time spending time with my "sis" - time I haven't been able to spend with her in years. It was good to laugh until my sides ached, talk about the past and dream about the future. It was nice to go shopping without worrying about the kids. It was nice to get pedicures and get pampered like I never have been before! I'm glad I got to be with her.

But, it was nice to come home.

I did laundry today. I scolded children today. I changed three dirty diapers, so far. I've made dinner. I helped with schoolwork. I listened to children argue.

I thanked God for the blessing of my family and the blessing of being home. Home is where the heart is and my heart is back where it belongs, beating stronger than ever!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Of Petitions and Freedom

Many of you may have already heard about the freedom of homeschooling being virtually taken away in California. Long story short - unless you are a certified teacher, you are no longer allowed to teach your children at home in California.

However, this is a long story that ought not be cut short. Thankfully, Rebecca posted all the necessary information on her blog. I was going to have you click on her link to the HSLDA petition, but I've decided to put it here. Please fill out this petition - New York tends to follow close behind California. This DOES concern you. Even if you are not an HSLDA member, even if you are not a homeschooling parent, you can still fill out this petition! PLEASE do so!

My cousin and his wife live in Los Angeles. They have been missionaries out there for a couple of years. Both Todd and Sarah are certified teachers (I just found out today that Sarah was certified), yet they homeschool their five children. Earlier this week, they informed me that they will be moving out of the state of California. When I found out the news of the homeschool ban, I asked Sarah if this were the reason they were leaving. I am posting her response as it was an encouragement to me:

Most of the ladies around me are going crazy with this. I am at such
peace...and not because we are moving (because it can effect us all) and
not because I also have my teaching credential...I have a peace that God
is going to move in this in a mighty way. Whether that is to bring
"family education" into the center light or to move his jugdement on a
nation as a whole. Call me strange...I will continue to pray but trust
God completely!
It is awesome timing for us that we are moving and had no idea about
this issue. Also the housing market is the most "under valued" in Texas
of all the states right now. I continue to praise the Lord for his
provision! He is the Almighty.
So in light of who he says he is, I will not worry over the homeschool
issue (although I have no intentions of stopping and will sign all the
Todd and I joked about opening a private school for homeschoolers. I
have my credential and he has his and a Masters in education. We
actually asked God about 4months ago for a vision where Todd could be
home more and yet be involved with other homeschoolers for a
"job"...maybe there is an answer in there somewhere.
Praying peace on everyone and God's mighty hand to preserve

My first response to something like this tends to be fear. Sarah helped remind me of the fact that my God is the all powerful creator of this world. NOTHING happens without His knowledge. My family and I are held in the palm of His loving hand!

We all need to trust that the Lord is in control and will do a mighty work - one way or another. He is good - ALL the time!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Sober Thought

On Saturday, Eric was sick. So sick he actually decided he needed to see a doctor. Turns out, his doctor doesn't have Saturday hours and has no back up. So, off to the hospital it was.

Anyone who has ever gone to the ER knows you're never just "in and out." All they had to do was listen to his lungs, take a couple of x-rays, and send him off with a prescription in hand. But, it took 3 hours. Because they like seeing people suffer? No. Because, like moms, they have many other people to attend to and they have to re-prioritize constantly.

Eric said that two ambulances came in while he was at the hospital. Obviously, someone coming in an ambulance has to be tended to a bit quicker than the man with bronchitis. Eric had a bed in his "room", so he just took a nap.

Later, we found out who was in one of those ambulances.

There had been an accident nearby involving a man who hit a patch of ice and veered into oncoming traffic. He hit a car which was being driven by a mom with her 19 year old daughter in the passenger seat. The man and the mom were taken to a city hospital. The daughter was taken to the same hospital Eric was at.

He later remembered hearing the "Codes" and "Stats." In a room or two away from my husband, this 19 year old girl was pronounced dead.

My husband went to get a prescription for bronchitis while this young girl went into eternity.

I sit here wondering what words of wisdom I can add to this story to encourage or challenge you. There is nothing that I can add. The soberness, the reality, of it is enough.

A few yards from my husband, a girl entered eternity.