Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Guess What I Found...

The other night while Hannah and I were doing dishes, John walks in with a silly grin.
Our conversation went something like this:

John: “If you can guess what I found in John Alexander’s diaper I will give you twenty bucks. I have NEVER seen this before in 9 years of changing diapers.”

Nicole: “A penny?”

Hannah: “A grape?”

Nicole: “A bean,…a quarter?”

Hannah “A crayon!”

John just sat there shaking his head at every random answer we threw his way! He finally smiled and showed us this:

A SOCK?! Now soaked and a little discolored. Apparently when I asked one of the kids to change the baby’s diaper…this wound up inside! Oh the adventures of parenting!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Missionary In My Own Home

God is so faithful to speak when we are willing to listen. Last Tuesday was an incredibly hard day…everything seemed to go wrong! I literally sat on the couch at the end of the night and felt like I could not move or speak! My husband asked me if I needed some counseling! Yes...it was that bad. Although he was joking with me, I really did need someone to talk to!! I lay in bed that night and cried. I felt like such a loser mom! I had been so fleshy…so easily frustrated, not walking in peace, not being gentle in my tone of voice, etc. The next morning I woke up early (totally God because I am NOT a morning person) and pulled out my Bible. I told God I had to hear from Him, that I could not make it without some direction from Him.

First I read some Psalms and then turned to 1Thessalonians.

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but instead we were as gentle among your as a mother feeding and caring for her own children. 8 We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God's Good News but our own lives, too.

Ouch!! God showed me that as a mother I could be demanding but I should be gentle and caring. I should not only share His Word with them but also my LIFE. How many times had I been demanding and not gentle with them? How many times was I frustrated if they interrupted what I wanted to do...or in other words MY life? God has called me to lay down my life for my children. Surely if Paul did this for people that weren’t his flesh and blood, how much more should this be true for my own children that God blessed me with? I then remembered reading a few verses before when Paul said:

1 Thessalonians 1:5-6 5 For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance* that what we said was true. And you know that the way we lived among you was further proof of the truth in our message.

Sometimes we Christians can get so caught up in “our ministry” or in “saving the lost” and yet we don’t live in a way that is proof of God’s goodness & love in our own home. I am guilty! If I am grumpy, frustrated, or tired-- if things aren’t easy and going my way it seems that I give myself the right to be fleshy. What kind of gospel am I showing to my own children? It is not attractive I know that. I would never let my flesh rear its ugly head if I was trying to witness to someone that was lost. I surely would never talk to my friends like that! Yet with the most important people in my life, I can sometimes live in a way that does not draw them to the Good News.

Now please let me clarify!! I am not saying ministry and reaching out to the lost is wrong. I believe in both. I am also not saying to be fake and put on a front for our children. I desire to be genuine but I also desire to give them my best.

God was so kind to give me this correction. I desperately want to present my Savior as one who is loving, merciful, powerful, and gentle. I definitely don’t want my children (or anyone for that matter) to be turned off by the “way I live.” Later I shared with my kids what God had shown me and asked their forgiveness. They were all shocked and reassured me that I was a great mom. God is so kind to cover our mistakes! But I still want them to know that I mess up and God can not only forgive me but also change me. I want them to know that His word is powerful and alive and can speak to us today. They all laid their sweet little hands on me and prayed the most amazing things. God ministered to me through their heartfelt prayers.

I thank you Lord that you do lead and guide us. Thank you that I know I am your child when you discipline me. Lord God, help me to be gentle and lay my life down for my children’s sake. Help me to live in a way so that my children can taste and see that you are good…because you are that and so much more!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Onde e a Barbearia?

This means, "Where is the barber shop?" in Portugese. You see, this blog is dedicated to my dear friend Michawn at Michawn's Meanderings - a missionary in Brazil! She has been a part of the "family" for almost 9 years now. She and I were in an accountability group together and then she lived with us for a while. Now she is all married and grown up with a little family of her own! Michawn and Joel recently moved to Brazil to be missionaries. They have 3 little ones under 4 and... a bun in the oven! She is THE woman. When she was single working as a nurse, she sold EVERYTHING because she wanted to go on the mission field. God wanted her to marry a wonderful man of God FIRST, have 3 kids and wait several years before He brought her desire to pass!! :)

We have had some really great memories (it scares me that so many revolve around food...bowls of brownie mix, lemon pepper chicken, SWEEEEt tea). But there are many other awesome ones as well like praying for the fullness of God in my kitchen, talking about her future man, watching God bring them together, her wedding.....the list goes on! As I was driving home last night I saw something that brought another memory to mind! Before they left for Brazil, we got to hang out a bit...that is go eat!!! On our way home we passed this barber shop:

We got hysterical! Only in East Texas!! Can't you just hear the barber saying, "Who next?" Maybe you had to be there : ) Michawn and I definitely bring out a certain chemistry in each other when we are together! But for you, Michawn...a little bit of East Texas and hopefully a good laugh! Know that I cherish your friendship and love and MISSSS you dearly! Ate mais tarde...