Friday, April 12, 2013

I Want My Kids To Be Popular

Confession, I want my kids to be popular. I want them to be included and not feel left out. I want them to feel wanted by their peers. I want them to be accepted. I dont want them to feel like I did as a kid. Made fun of, left out of the cool birthday parties, isolated at recess.

Yes, believe it or not that was me as a kid. It began in 5th grade for me or at least thats my most clear memories. I was skinny. I wore glasses. I had an awful haircut. Its funny to look back now, but I hated it then.

I have had to face these memories and those feelings and face my sinful desire for my kids to be cool. No its not sinful for my kids to be cool, but it is sinful for me to put their coolness above their identity as a Christian.

Recently Trevor and I attended a parent teacher conference for our ten year old. It was a routine conference. But at this meeting we discovered that our son may be being bullied and made fun of. It breaks my heart. I wanted nothing more than to tell Micah all that his heart wanted to hear. But what I wanted to tell him would have been contrary to want the Bible says about who we are and the character of a Godly man.

-Except Responsibly
-Reject Passivity
-Lead Courageously
-Invest Eternally

You see these are the character traits of a Godly man that we are trying to instill in our boys. These have nothing to do with what they wear, if their included in the cool clique or if they have swagger {Ha! Yes I just said swagger, in all seriousness.}

But my deceitful heart tells me they will have a much easier road ahead in school if they are popular. If they will just fit in. If they will just be loved and accepted by other kids. As a parent its my responsibility to provided whatever avenue they need to obtain these things. Then they will have an easy life.

These are lies straight from Satan. Popular kids are searching for the same thing. Love and acceptance. And they will do whatever necessary to hold tight to their identity, the popular kid.

But I must cling to Truth and scripture that says, my identity is in Christ. That I am a new creation. I must show my children that the approval of man leads to death but the approval of God gives life. I must live I life that shows that in my weakness I am strong. I must live a life not for created things but for the Creator. This is where our identity if formed, where it is molded.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I pray I will lead my kids in my weakness.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Home Run Stretch

"To the faithless You are faithful
To the broken You are able
To the captives You are liberty
To the orphan You are Father
To the widow You are a lover
To the blind You are eyes to see"


Dust off your shoes. Get that jogging stroller out of the garage. Start stretching those legs.

Why? Adoption

If you have been touched by adoption in any way, maybe you were adopted, maybe you're an adoptive family, maybe your niece or nephew where adopted, maybe you know you have been spiritually adopted by Jesus, maybe you're in the process of adopting.

Whatever your story. I want you to come out and support our friends, who are adopting 3 beautiful children from Columbia. They are in the home run stretch. This race will help fund there travel expenses. Which excludes but is not limited too, plane tickets for 5 and lodging and food for 6 weeks.

The last thing we want is for them to be distracted by this expense or have this debt to come home too.

You may be saying I don't know these people. Why should I give up my Saturday? Are you an adoptive family? Then you know them. Do you love Jesus? Then you're family. Do you live in Murfreesboro? Then you can be friends.

My family will be there. Will yours?

Meet this family and register here, or

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Dream Job??

"We should neither eat, nor drink, nor sleep, but eat to God, and sleep to God, and work to God, and talk to God, do all to his glory and praise...." Richard Sibbes

When we moved to Murfreesboro to plant City Church many of the people coming with us needed a job. Once we got here we've had several of our covenant members lose jobs, desire new jobs and find them. In all of it I've heard my husband ask them, "What's your dream job?" "What do you want to do?"

This question has been bouncing around in my head for the last week or so. The question of a dream job. I know we probably all have passions, goals and things that make us happy. That we would love to turn into a dream job. But there's something else I've realized, once you/I find it, does it fulfill us? Does it truly make us happy?

Once I turned that question onto myself it became all the more personal. Am I doing what makes me happy? Am I passionate about what I do? Do I have my dream job?


I am a wife and a mother. Both make me happy. Both fulfill me. But both also leave me drained, empty and frustrated many days.

Just the other day I was lamenting over the fact that everyday looks the same. Practically. I get up, make lunches, breakfasts, change diapers, wipe noses, correct behaviors, discipline my disobedient children, do homework, make snacks, make dinner, clean up said dinner, do bedtime and then relax, hopefully, with my husband.

But as I was sitting in my frustration I read something that jarred me awake. Everyday does look the same in a lot of ways. But because of Gods grace I have that day, to do all the above, but also to: hugs my kids when they wake up, kiss them goodbye as they walk out the door and trust God with them, laugh and play with my baby who changes everyday, greet my kids at the door when they safely make it home, cook dinner with my husband and talk about our day, eat dinner and enjoy conversation with my kids, rock my baby to sleep and sing to him and tell him over and over how much I love him, tuck my oldest into bed and say sweet dreams, enjoy and evening with my husband, just the two of us.

Yes I have my dream job. But that doesn't mean it will ever be all I need for happiness. I need Jesus to ultimately fulfill me, so that I can love my family well, serve them and do my job to the best of my ability. Trust that when I am weak, He is strong enough for the both of us. Let go of that blasted need for control and know that when my mind, body and soul are nourished I can face the mundane, chaotic and fun days of doing, my dream job.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Parenthood And Our Illusion Of Control

Well after all the hubbub on Facebook about how amazing "Parenthood" is, I had to see for myself. However, I cannot begin a new show in its 3rd season, so I began watching season 1 episode 1 a couple of weeks ago. They had me hooked at the pilot. And I'm now well into season 2. Hoping to catch up soon to real time.

I enjoy the show's writing. I believe they paint a pretty accurate portrayal of many of the characters. The most realistic couple is Adam and Kristina. I enjoy, for once, watching a show where the husband isn't an idiot, but actually loves and respects his wife and disciplines his children.

I'm sure each person who watches relates to someone or some couple in the show. I relate to Kristina (although Sarah is a reminder of who I could have been if not for the grace of God and His intervention). I'm a stay at home mom, with a loving husband and fabulous, yet challenging, children, so the relationship between Kristina and Max (their 9 year old son with Aspergers) is most endearing.

You see, I have a son who has exhibited some odd behaviors since he was two years old. I have watched him struggle to control his impulses (yelling, hitting, repeating words or phrases ad nauseam, flipping toys over and over). He has an amazing ability to recall and memorize details and repeat them with great precision. He needs routine and struggles when its disrupted. After seven years of consulting with pediatricians, a GI specialist, and an endocrinologist, we were referred to Vanderbilt for a psychological evaluation. I inwardly wanted a diagnosis, even if it was Aspergers. I was ready once and for all to know what we were up against and begin working to help my sweet boy.

His "diagnosis" came back as Anxiety Disorder. Really?? Not Aspergers? I challenged our psychologist on this diagnosis. But she explained that while yes, he has some "quirky" behavior that can seem in line with an Aspergers diagnosis, he was not autistic. Ugh, I thought. What I'm I supposed to do with an Anxiety Disorder? It's so broad and there's no simple "fix." I had convinced myself that while an Aspergers diagnosis would be difficult, I was ready to tackle it. I wanted to read the books, put into practice the methods, hire a behavioral therapist, but what was I going to do with this new challenge? I know this all sounds absurd. Why would I want anything to be wrong with my son? Because I needed to feel as if I could fix something. As long as there was something wrong, there was something I could do, right?

Now we know, he has anxiety. After letting the news settle, its plainly obvious. We have begun to take the steps to help him. Its no easy fix. Its painful to watch him struggle. While he cannot be easily labeled and "fixed" there are things we can do to encourage, lend stability and provide an environment he can function in.

I have shared this because I empathize with Kristina. I want to be her friend. I want to jump into the screen and have coffee with her. I want to share with her, hope. Jesus. She and I are very similar. We both want to help our children. We feel crushed when we can't. We both live with the illusion we are in control.

However, Scripture shatters that belief. It reminds me that God is in control. Hebrews says, "Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control."

God has put me as authority over my children, in order that they may see God. That they may see the love of God and trust Him. But God is my authority, His Word is my authority. I have been entrusted with precious gifts to shepherd, protect, provide for, and love unconditionally, but I cannot do any of that without understanding that, in Jesus, all of the above has been done for me so that, I can, with grace,parent my children.

Colossians 1:16-17, says, "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

My temptation is to believe I am in control. I must constantly acknowledge my unbelief, that God is in control and I am not. I must constantly recognize that I live in an illusion of control.

"Often I go through the motions of acknowledging you on the outside, but on the inside, especially in times of fear and threat, I shift my trust from you to me—and it never works out well. I grieve this illusion of control and self-sufficiency, and I ask you to free me from my unbelief and orphan-like fears." - A prayer from Scotty Ward Smith, The Gospel Coalition

Monday, December 31, 2012

It's Been A While

I realize its been 6 longs months since I last posted. A lot has happened, and well, I probably will not be able to get you up to speed. Lets just say there has been a huge adjustment to adding another human to our family. And he is the best little human. We are all enamored and in love.

I have thought of many things I want to blog about and hopefully I will take the time to actually do it. Everything from how to sort your laundry to be most efficient to how budgeting is a good discipline. Oh and I'm sure there will be plenty about my kiddos and food.

For now I'm off to take care of my sick family and enjoy the warmth of a fire.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Simon Is One Month Old

It is hard to believe that Simon is one month old {as of June 18th, yes I'm behind}.  He spent two long weeks in the NICU at Vanderbilt.  Those were the longest and most exhausting days.  The first few days were very difficult, because we just didn't know what was going to happen.  Having lost our son Chai at 25 hours old, the scene was all to familiar {Trevor told me, the smell of the NICU was very hard for him each time he would go visit Simon, because it smelt exactly the same as with Chai}. As the days past and our faith was again strengthen and we began to see God answer our prayers and many of yours, Simon began to get well and we believed he would be coming home with us.  It was a slow process, but looking at him now you would never know just how sick he was. Even I forget.

We have been home now for three weeks. I have been surprised by many things; how to survive on very little sleep; how difficult and wonderful the early stages of breastfeeding and ALL that it requires is {now I know why my sister-in-law said, "If your not committed, you will never keep going."( Please know I realize there are many legitimate reasons for why some moms cannot breastfeed)}; how every time he smiles it melts my heart; how badly I want to protect him from everything; how difficult it is to just get out of the house; how mentally challenging every task that once took no time or thought is exhausting {like blogging}; how you have to schedule everything in small blocks of time because he eats all the time; how much I miss time in the evenings with my husband; how precious it is to watch my older boys love on and take care of him.  I could go on and on, these are just a few.

Simon is a pure joy. He is getting bigger and changing so quickly. There have been several times that Ive peeked into his room and looked at him in his crib sleeping and he looks like his older brother Chai. I'm thankful for all the little ways Simon reminds of his "Big Brother." He is already rotten and oh is he loved.

We are simply thankful. And no matter what, we have learned to say, "God is good."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Not Forgotten

Tonight I will be sitting down to watch the Oscars like I enjoy doing every year, but this year it will be with the rememberence of this night one year ago.

The dates are not the same, but Sunday night of the Oscars is. Last year I remember sitting in my living room with Trevor and several college students who had come over to watch the show with us and getting the call.

My dearest friend who was 11 weeks pregnant called crying and telling me that she had begun spotting and she had not been sick all day much like she had been the weeks leading up. She was scared and asking for prayer. She knew something wasn't right and her fears were confirmed. She was losing her baby. Number 3. Maybe even the little girl they hoped for. After all this pregnancy had been different than the previous two. Right there on the phone feeling helpless, I prayed for her, for the baby. Asking God to save this baby.

Just 7 months before we had prayed a similar prayer for our baby boy. Please God save him. It felt numbing to be asking God to have to do this again, knowing the outcome might be the same as ours. Death, lose, empty arms.

On February 28th, Rae Joanna went to be with Jesus. Leaving this family with a forever whole. Leaving this family with only the thoughts of what life would be like with four little ones running around one day. Only the thoughts of what life would be like with two big brothers and two little sisters.

So today, even though its not the 28th, I remember, my sweet friend, who when death became a fabric forever woven into my family, loved me well and always, even a year and a half out, never forgets these tough days. Never fails to say I'm thinking about you today. So to the one who helped me walk through those dark days, I want you to know...Rae is NOT FORGOTTEN. Her absence is felt by many.

God comfort this family in the coming days. Let them not lose heart, continue to be there peace and refuge in days of sorrow. You Jesus, are our hope.

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, "I believed, and so I spoke," we also believe, and so we also speak,
14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.
15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.