Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why We Celebrate

We are a Christian family.  (Some might use the word conservative to describe us)

Our children's education in firmly rooted in Christianity.

We are active and engaged in our church.

And yes, we celebrate Halloween.

This year I'm sending out into the neighborhood, Dr Who, a  Policeman and an Autumn Fairy.

I can't wait to see who appears at my door: Princesses, Superhero's and I'm guessing a few Duck Dynasty guys are sure to make their way to us to get some candy.

When our oldest was tiny we wrestled with what to do regarding this most controversial of holidays.

And we came to the conclusion you just can't always say No.

We are called to be light to a dark world. What better way than shinning some light in the middle of a dark night?

Especially, important for us we believe, since we don't attend our local schools.
What a great way to reach out to our neighbors.

Of course we invite them to VBS, Trunk or Treat, Church, but should it always be that they have to come to us? Don't we need to go to them sometimes as well?

So that's what we do.

We hand out the GOOD candy with a smile - no tract, no invitation- just fun.

We see neighbors we don't always get to see often.
It's a fun night that we look forward to for months.

It's our family's PREFERENCE.

If it's  your family's PREFERENCE to not participate that fine to.

I get it. I really do.

Here's the thing though. . .could you please ask you kids not to tell mine that they are celebrating the Devil's birthday?  
That we are engaged in some sort of pagan holiday. . . 

Because if we are truly TRULY honest, MODERN day Halloween has as much to do with Devil worship as  the celebration of MODERN Christmas has to do with Jesus.

If you don't celebrate, can I encourage you to point out that 'all families are different, this is what works best for our family'-this is a mantra at our house concerning movies, video games, and music.

Don't look down on another family for not being exactly like you.

Our world doesn't need anymore Christians who look down their nose at them, saying loudly in the store so everyone around them can hear "WE DON'T CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN LIKE THOSE PEOPLE"

Love people where they are  and yes, sometimes that's in the dark.

And really-who doesn't love free candy??


Monday, October 28, 2013

An Ordinary Mom's thoughts on Immigration

Immigration . . .

Yes, I'm diving in some deepwater and yes I am in way over my head.
Not my usually topic.

But, because of somethings going on in our church family, the news out of DC, an a Critical Issues Forum my church recently hosted featuring Dr. Richard Land and also a local pastor who's ministry is to those who have recently come to our country, I found my self having some thoughts, some things I feel need saying.


I hope you can hang with me, and if not I totally understand.
Also, I know it's a complicated and far reaching subject and I also understand if we don't agree.
But, we can all be kind.


Listen there are no easy answers to this place in history where we find our country.
Jesus says love your neighbor has yourself and I feel like that is what I'm called to do. No matter where my neighbor is from originally .
Also, keep in mind, I haven't been elected to anything since my Senior year of High School when I was Student Body Secretary, so you know, I'm in a different position than those in DC.

I believe we do need some sort of immigration reform, can we all acknowledge that what we have now is not working.
And no, I don't think it's right to ignore the laws we have, however those laws aren't doing anyone any good.
So, with it's flaws and all (because there is no perfect solution) I would ask my representatives to support the bill that is coming up for a vote.
English must be learned. A fine paid. Any crimes and you're deported back to country of origin.
No bringing anyone with you except for immediate family, and then after 13 years if you pass all of that and a test, you can become a citizen.

But, I say all that to really talk about the children.  Because  this is what has stuck with me for a while now.  When families get torn apart, it's the children that suffer the most.  It's also no fault of the children if they were brought here illegally or not.
In the whole process, they are the ones who are truly innocent.

We should love them, support them and care for them.

It was mentioned a few times when talking of educating the children that what if by not educating them (offering in state tuition for students whether or not they had legal status if they came here when they were young children) we were saying NO to the next great doctor, scientist, inventor ect.

But, here's the part I can't let go of (not that  either man was implying this but it's an argument I hear often used when talking about abortion, and I've used it myself)

What if we're not?
What if we're not educating the next great thinkers of a generation.
What if we're educating a Down Syndrome kid, a kid with autism, a kid with a medical history as long as one of my kiddos?

These children shouldn't be educated and cared for because of what they *might* be able to do for us as a society  someday.  They aren't a  utilitarian object here for our use and if they're of no use to us we discard them.

We are called to love and do justly, expecting nothing in return.


Like I said, ordinary thoughts from the most ordinary of girls.

May it be said of me

I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. Job 29:16

Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Blessings along the way,

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Uneven Lanes

Several weeks ago there was a sink hole about two blocks from our home.
A water main line broke and in caved the ground.
No warning-just giant hole in the ground.

Lots of sirens,  news coverage and damage. (thankfully no one was hurt.)

A mere few hours later that hole was filled in and covered.
The street was even open to drive on the very spot that had just been an open hole in the ground only hours before.

It was marked by a sign though.

Because, although, it might be drivable it wasn't quite the same.

Sometimes, life is like that.

A tragedy happens, or a major event -even a good one-, a move, a job change and we're left with a gapping hole.

And, yes, we may be able to 'fill' in that hole pretty quickly as if 'there's nothing to see here', but deep inside we know we still have some Uneven Lanes we're going to have to drive over.

That first day that hole was filled, I have to admit I was a bit timid to drive over the spot.
But, if I didn't what was supposed to be a quick run to the grocery store suddenly wouldn't have been, so drive over it I did.
And, absolutely yes, I can testify to the unevenness of the lanes.

Now though, do you know what's happened?
It's settled, been smoothed over by time and  diligent work, and is a much less terrifying drive, in fact, except for a small bump in the road, you'd hardly know it was there.

Can I encourage you that whatever 'hole' is in your life right now-whatever thing has caused so much damage you're wondering if you will ever recover. . . just hold on.
Eventually, if  you'll let Him, Jesus can fill up that void like only He can.
And while things may never be the same, they can still be 'drivable',  until one day you may be the only one who knows the bump is still there.

Change  happens for everyone. Marriage, babies, jobs, moves across state or across the world.
Sometimes change leaves gapping holes, death, divorce, hurts that leave you wondering if you'll ever get out of the giant 'sinkhole' you fear will swallow you whole.

Whatever hole you find yourself at the bottom of right now,  it doesn't define your whole life.  It doesn't get to decided who you are or where you're going to stay.
Seasons change. Life changes.
Fill up that 'sink hole' with Jesus.

The one constant you can count on-Jesus never changes, He will never let you go or fall further than his reach can grab.

Never. Not once in all of eternity.
You can count on him.

If you're angry, confused. You can tell him.
If you're doubting. You can tell him.
If you just do not understand. You can tell him that too.
If you're tired, He can be your rest.
If  you're lonely, He's the one true friend.
If you're scared, He's promised to protect you.

He isn't afraid of your questions.
He sees and understands your humanity.
He's never afraid, He's never wondering 'what's next'.

You can trust him.

Let Him fill up those 'sink hole's' we've all found ourselves in from time to time.
He's the only one who can.
Eventually, all those Uneven Lanes will be drivable again.

He's promised. And He alone is trustworthy.

Psalm 40:1-2 (NIV)

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.

Blessings in the Uneven places,

Monday, October 7, 2013

Non Essential Workers

Non Essential is a term, that if you watched the news at all in the past week,  you've heard used over and over again.

{There is a part of me that's wants to go find  everyone of those 'non essentials' and give them a hug. That can not feel good to be called that in front of the world}

As I've been apart of this Start Experiment with Jon Acuff, and maybe even before that, I've wondered that about myself. . .

Am I really 'essential'?

I mean there are a thousands of Christian bloggers.

Thousands  of speakers/teachers, who are way WAY more essential to the Kingdom than I am.

And millions of mothers around the world, who I am sure are doing a much better job than I am at this whole 'bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord' thing.

It doesn't take long for the those questions to rise, for  the enemy's whispers in my ear of 'see He doesn't really NEED you', to be drowned out by my own voice declaring, "I am so very Non essential to this kingdom work!".

So instead of feelings I need facts. . .I'm betting you do to.

The fact is: If you have chosen to be a Jesus Follower, He has a plan for your life.

The fact is: It is essential for the Kingdom that you do what you're called to do.
Maybe it's mom, maybe it's teacher, maybe it's minister to the person in the cubical next to you, maybe it's hospitality. . .maybe it's a 1,000 other things I can't think of


The fact is: We all (Yep, every single one of us) have been given gifts and talents that we are to use.

The fact is: You (and me too-because I seriously need this reminder) have been written into the Kingdom story. We have a part to fulfill.  We are essential.

Absolutely essential.

Yes, He could write the story of time without us, but fact is, He's chosen to use the flawed people that He loves.

The fact is: your talent is not the predictor of how 'essential' you are.

God loves to use the most 'non essential' looking among us.

Even a chunky, 40+ mom of three in the middle of the United States, who's life looks so very ordinary.

Because no matter how talented you may be,

the fact is: without Him, none of it matters.

On this first day of work week, when your life can really feel so very non essential, will you join me in
the very essential kingdom work He's called us too?

Each of our jobs may look different. But, they're so very essential. Do not  be fooled into believing otherwise.

Because of Jesus in us, we are essential.

When the mundane overwhelms and threatens to take over and you just feel like quitting because you think no one really notices anyway. . .hold on to the  promise that He SEES you and all the hard work you're doing.
Not only does he see, he VALUES your efforts as well.

And not only does he see and value your effort, He's promised to REWARD all your effort on His behalf as well.

So, change the diapers, fold the laundry, encourage a co worker, take a meal to a hurting friend, and even though no one may acknowledge it today and you may feel like a 1,000 others could line up and take your place, hold on to the fact that He has called

YOU to what He thinks is a very essential task.

Blessings, My Friends, you are so valued by me and by the One who called you!