Tuesday, December 18

Let us pray!

Thirteen years ago a gunman walked into my church on a Wednesday night during the See You at the Pole rally.  He shot and killed seven, physically wounded seven and emotionally and spiritually wounded hundreds.  I remember that next Sunday, as we were determined to gather at church, fear overcame me.  I remember shaking as I sat in my pew with my 1 month old daughter.  All the questions of why, how and what now went through my mind.  My eyes were opened to the evil in the world and my faith was being tested.  The questions about gun control came up.  Even the discussion on whether to lock down the church and have security to get in and out.  Really?  At church?  It just didn't seem right.  To tell you the truth, it wouldn't stop anyone that was crazy enough to fill their jackets with bullets and carry several guns anyway.  So we didn't lock down the church but we did become vigilant and more aware.  Then you have the questions about mental illness.  Yes, he was mentally ill.  His story is sad and the details don't bring any answers that would tell us how to prevent such an act.  Parents do the best they can sometimes.  His family grieves as well.  Lastly, and what gets less press is the question of the need for more of God.

I imagine those are similar feelings for many parents this week in the Newtown area and nationwide.  I have read Facebook postings from friends that hugged their children extra on Monday mornings and had a hard time sending them to school.  It was because of fear.  Their eyes have once again opened and it's frightening.  We want something, anything to be done quickly.  The media screams for gun control and more help for the mentally ill and asks for pastors and ministers to come in and do damage control.  They ask God to help us, comfort us and heal us, yet after a few weeks is past, God will be swept under the rug and it's back to a political debate.  

It has been said that God has been removed from the schools and therefore we shouldn't be surprised by the turn of our culture and I get where some people are coming from.  I do think that even though our kids can not openly pray in school, doesn't mean we as parents shouldn't teach them to pray on their own.  I am sure that many children and adults prayed in that Newtown school last week.  God was available to them to cry out.  He is available to us to comfort.

John 10:10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.  I have come so that you may have life and have it in abundance.

Psalm 121:1-2 I lift my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Let us pray for the children and families in Newtown.  Let us pray for our children.  Let us pray for our schools.  Let us pray for our nation.

Please join me and thousands of moms tomorrow at 9:45am (CST) for the MOPS National Call to Prayer.  Let's lift up the families who have been devastated and pray that they will feel God's arms around them during these difficult days.

Friday, April 20

The Love of Money and Insulation

Today is one of those days the thought crosses my head to go back to work...but only briefly.  You see, I would like more insulation in the attic.  Now hang with me here.  I get in the childish, "I don't want to do this" mood and start wishing I had more money to not have to worry about things like attic insulation.  Then the thought crosses my mind that why would I go back to "work" just to pay someone to do attic insulation?  What would I really be doing with the money I would potentially make?  I know what I would do (because I've been there before) and will tell you.  

I would:
Eat out more often
Hire work done
Get a house keeper
Spend money on nicer clothes
Lavish my kids with things they don't need
and probably get my nails done and pedicures regularly.

I don't see anything wrong with any of these at all.  In fact there was a time I enjoyed all of these things at the same time.  Let me explain.

I am at the stage right now where I am not volunteering for anything, don't have a full time job and my days consist of keeping the house picked up in case someone might want to see it since it's for sale.  The twins are home most of the time so there are arguments, screaming, crying, knock down drag out fights.  These moments scream to me, "GO BACK TO WORK".  

BUT, then their are the brief and very few moments like today when Izzy, for the first time with out being prompted and out of the blue says, "I love you mommy".  Tears come to my eyes just thinking about it.  I think to myself would I have missed that moment or it never happened if I were working full time?  I don't know and before you think I'm anti-working mom, let me back up further.  

I worked during the first 7 years of my first two children's lives.  Not full time all the time but towards the end of that seven year stint, I was working three part time jobs at once.  I had to work.  I enjoyed working!  I realized a long time ago that God makes us mothers in many shapes and fashions and some of us want to work, some of us don't, and some don't have a choice!  I was thrown in the I didn't mind working but also the I had to work categories.  I taught pre-k, was a dance instructor and worked nights at a retention marketing company.  It was an exhausting schedule.  I remember Katie at age 3 crying as I left her with babysitters.  I hated that part.  Any parent hates that part.  Then we moved.

When we moved my husband and I made some hard choices that allowed me to stay home but without the extra's in life.  No cable tv, no magazine subscriptions, no clothing allowance.... you get the picture.  I was always handy around the house to begin with but now it was necessity.  As my mother put it, "You do things I never dreamed you could do."  I choose to take this as a compliment.  I made my own baby food and laundry soap, learned to tile, lay hardwood floors, did my own plumbing, yard work and as it turns out, may be blowing insulation in my attic soon.  Why?  Because I can.  I am able to read directions, watch youtube and have been blessed with the time to stay home and figure these things out. This is now my "full time work". It's not for everyone and I get that.  But I feel God has given this opportunity to me for a reason and most of the time, I enjoy the feeling of satisfaction from saving hundreds or thousands of dollars.  In reality I'm not saving anything, I'm just spending what I can afford.  I wish sometimes that I could take that money I save and have my hair cut, a new pair of jeans or other extras but in reality, I want for nothing.  I have decent clothes (I think ;)), a nice home, food on my table, four outstanding girls and more love from a family than I know what to do with sometimes.  I know so many that have much, much less. 

So again I will say, I have so much more than what I deserve. I forget that sometimes. Hebrews 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

I think that someday I will work more but today I thank God that I am able to be home.  

Insulation, here I come-


Tuesday, January 3

Prayer and Facebook?

Tonight I was reading through my Facebook page after everyone went to bed (because my family get's annoyed when I tie up our family time on it).  I noticed I was praying for those that were hurting, had missing family members, had lost loved ones during this holiday season and then for my own child as I wonder what news we will get tomorrow.  In the middle of this, I was going back and forth between Facebook and my favorite scripture website, www.biblegateway.com.  There, I can look up phrases that I recall but can't remember the exact scripture for.

I prayed and Facebooked and posted and commented.  The thought just crossed my mind, can you have a quiet time, or quality time praying and be Facebooking?  The Bible says to pray without ceasing right?  I know that it is probably a bit more safe than when I am praying in the car while I'm driving.  And to tell you the truth, I think that in the quiet, peaceful bliss with all the sleeping children in bed, that a little prayer with Facebook might just be okay.

Now don't get me wrong.  I don't think this is the only way to pray but when you read about and are reminded about all that your friends and family are going through, why not stop and pray for them?!

My thoughts for the day-