Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Cup of Ramble

So, yesterday I was just sort of unsettled and wanted to look around at what everyone else's school rooms looked like. That's a super bad idea for me because I do not have a school room. I do not have a dining room, bonus room, laundry room...blah.blah.blah. I will say, that I love where we are. We are about central to everything and our little house has taught us a great deal. However, sometimes I just get the wants. I saw one picture where the family had a basement as their school room (I'd say most basements are bigger than our home!) and they had massive bookshelves and tables and chairs and supplies OH MY! I was frustrated, and then I saw these cute "nature shelves." They were simply CD towers that must have been wood and were painted green (a nice soothing green)and the children were able to store their treasures there. You know what treasures I'm talking about don't you? Sticks, rocks, shells, bits of string...stuff that belongs outside! There is one stick currently on a table by my door, and another piece of interesting wood on the porch, after I asked someone to get it out of my room. My kids would love that. So, I glanced around my house wondering where this could go and thought, "Yeah, right. One more thing." Then I considered the porch. AHA! We could build some little tables and the children can sort and do whatever they want with their treasures. I felt like a winner, and was reminded that God has always and will always have a spare corner for what we need. All that to say, when I was telling my Mom about it I said, "You know how my kids always have their pockets crammed with heaven." Wow. What else would I want them to cram their pockets with? If you aren't cramming your pockets full of heaven, do you know what you are cramming them full of? Hmmm. This world. This perishable, fallen world.

I consider my own pockets. The nooks and crannies of my home and my heart. What am I cramming them full of? I read an article recently that stated American homes are getting bigger, but our families are getting smaller. We are, essentially, replacing people with stuff. I wish I could remember the article because the author said that parents are essentially parenting stuff. That was hard to hear. Hard to consider. Am I cramming my house full of heaven or earth?

On those same lines we were reading from Joshua in our Chronological Bible (we are in March and we started last year) and Mike and I were so tired of hearing what clan got what land and on and on and on and...the kids listened so carefully. It was shocking. When I shut the Bible I said, "Why is this in here? What can we learn about God from all this?" We came up with the fact that God assigns land. There was always land enough for the people and even pastureland. So we talked about how this house, on this street...this is God's provision for us. Isn't that something that some long passages in Joshua about the allotment of land can speak to the dark secret places. Those places that wander around looking at what everyone else has.

Meanwhile, my children are cramming their pockets full of Heaven. Let me come to Him as one of them.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where theives cannot break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

So, today, Father, help me to empty my pockets so that I can cram them jam-packed full of Heaven. Amen

Friday, June 25, 2010

Need Anything?

Some friends of ours are currently in the process of adopting from China. There is a yardsale tomorrow and the proceeds will go towards the cost of the adoption. If you are in Augusta and want to support them...head on over there tomorrow morning!

HUGE Multi-family
Yard Sale and Bake Sale
at Queensborough National Bank in Evans by the Ford Dealership (on the SHADY side :)
7am - 1pm this Saturday 6/26

TONS of Baby and Toddler gear and clothes, train table, strollers, nursing pump, toys,
bikes, furniture, matching twin beds, desk, dresser, decor, pet accessories, tons of DVDs (good ones!), lots of books, and much more!
And last but not least....chocolate, fresh baked bread and other goodies! Lots of yummy baked goods!!!
All proceeds go to our adoption - getting our baby girl here from China!
(All those who want to pay by check can receive a tax deduction receipt through our partnership with Lifesong for Orphans).

So, as you tuck your little ones in, say a little prayer for this family, and so many others that are waiting on all of their children to be home!

Friday, June 18, 2010

I think I'm "flea" years old

"And den what are we gonna do? Are we gonna ride in our car or in Mrs. Kelli's car? Are you staying here? Then are we gonna take a baf? I'm hungry. Can I have a snack? Can I have some gum? Can I have it after my nap?"

This is Ella. Ella is beautiful and funny and a blessing. Ella is also "flea" years old. I suppose at some point I have diappointed her or let her down or something because she does not trust me. She follows me around asking what will come next and what will be after that. I don't know how many times I have looked into her sweet little face with her curls crazy on her head and said, "Ella, I am a good Mom. Would you PLEASE TRUST ME???" It makes me crazy. I have good things planned for her. I only think of what will be best for her, and yet she doesn't believe me. I have never left her, in fact, I don't even threaten that to my kids. I have never made her go without something that she needed. I have taken her to the ER when she needed a cast (maybe the fact that I was 2 days late bothered her). I can't figure out why we are having this problem. It's probably just immaturity. Hmmmm

"Lord, if we actually move forward with this decision what will we do next? What will happen if PE teachers are cut? What will we do after next year? If we spend our money like that will you provide more? What if I let the kids go and they aren't ready? What if I'm not good enough and everyone finds out? What if I do what you tell me to do and I look stupid and no one understands? Lord, what is next? Can I please just take a nap???"

"Ali, I am a good Father. Actually, let's visit my track record...I am a PERFECT Father. Every good and perfect gift has come from me. I did not spare my own Son, but gave Him up for you. Why would I not, along with Him graciously give you all things? Why wouldn't I give you wisdom to parent? Why wouldn't I give you grace for the journey? If I withhold a job, do you not think it is for your own good? If I withhold anything isn't it because I know more than you? Your needs will always be met because they have been met in Christ. There is nothing you need anymore. I have given you fullness in Christ. I have sent my Spirit. You are not alone. I will never leave you or forsake you. I am the same yesterday, today and forever. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I own the cattle on a thousand hills. Let the county go bankrupt...the state...the whole country...I am not bankrupt. You cannot and will not exhaust me. I never sleep nor slumber. I will not let the sun harm you by day or the moon at night. I rejoice over you with singing. You are my treasured possession. I could go on. Do you understand me, Ali? I love you. I have called you by name. You are mine. Rest in me. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. I will never ask you to do anything that I haven't done myself. So, yes, take a nap. I'll be up...singing...over you."

Amen? Amen.

Friday, June 4, 2010


"This is such a buzz-kill."
"Seriously, how long does it take to tell people to bend over and kiss their *hiney* good-bye."

Lord, I think that's how I feel. The reality of this conversation sobered me a bit. I wasn't having this conversation, but the people sitting behind me at a mandatory safety meeting were.

Mike and I will celebrate our 10th (can you believe it) anniversary this July. This past weekend we went on a 3 day cruise with my folks who were celebrating my mother's (final) retirement. So, for those of you who have never cruised, you aren't required to do ANYTHING on a cruise other than what you want. EXCEPT for the mandatory meeting to go over what would happen should the ship begin to, well, go under.

These folks seemed nice enough. They were ready for a good time and not super pumped about this mandatory meeting. Their drinks were fresh and their party was getting started! To listen to them I thought, "You must not have children." I do want to see Jesus, I do, but the thought of dying and knowing I was leaving my children behind grieves me. I was totally paying attention. I wanted to know where my life jacket was, where the little light was on it so that someone could rescue me. Where I needed to meet to get on the lifeboat...I wanted the facts. I've seen Titanic...things happen!!! As these people mocked the demonstration my heart sort of sank for them, and those who have mocked other demonstrations before.

I thought of those who find Christ to be somewhat of a buzz-kill. He just comes in, demands their time and ruins all the fun. Such a party-pooper that Redeemer. I thought about the people who have given their lives that others would know, and how they were foolish and unrealistic. To these folks sitting behind us the boat would NOT sink. They are NOT going to die. They are going to live and have fun and it's gonna be awesome. I know the Truth. I know that we do need to pay attention. We do need a Redeemer. I do need a life jacket because I'm on a sinking ship.

I thought about Noah and how he was declaring the coming wrath and warning the people for what, 150 years, that they should get a plan together. What kept him hammering one nail after the other? He believed. He knew God. He knew that whatever the rain looked and felt like when it fell, it wasn't going to be good.

So, I didn't share the gospel with these people. I did watch them at other times, though, to just see if they were still having a good time. It was good enough, I suppose. Perhaps a bit empty when the buzz did wear off...I don't know, I'm not them. I have been. I've had some super awesome times. Really, really fun. There was always a let down, though. Always a nagging feeling in my heart. Always a voice whispering that my ship was leaking, slowly, steadily.

I don't want to find Christ as a buzz kill. Sometimes I think maybe I do. When I'm convicted about music or movies or even TV shows that others aren't bothered by. I'm like, "Seriously, Lord, a little fun wouldn't kill me." Perhaps it would. That's such a painful realization. To believe that whatever I could find "fun" would be more fulfilling than anything that the Lord would have for me. Really? That's silly.

So, I'm not quite sure how to end this, only that for me, I want to be really living...robust and let the watching world know that Christ is not a buzz kill. His boundaries bring life to my bones. He satisfies me in the morning with His unfailing love and because His love is better than life, my lips will praise Him. I want to want to forget what is behind and press on toward the goal, the prize that Christ has called me to. Oh, Father, grant me grace that I might do just that. Help me to listen to you with open ears and a quiet heart and rejoicing in the only One who can truly save me from my sinking ship. Amen