Archive for April, 2008

Crazy is normal

So after all the excitement last week, I must say this week is seeming very blah in some ways. That’s ok, though, any more excitement would probably be just too much. =)

Monday morning, Meagan had an appt with the eye doc. She’s going back in glasses. I’m not surprised in the least. Actually, I was surprised she had the 3-4 years without glasses! I was afraid we’d have to out-of-pocket the glasses again in order to get a pair she would wear, but thankfully the state insurance has expanded their selection of frames they’ll pay for. She found a pair she liked, but they were brown. The gal told her she could order them in pink and there ya go! They should be ready in a week or so.

Mike’s prescriptions from the VA came in. Doc had told him he was going to be on a med for lowering his cholesterol. He neglected to mention he’d also prescribed a med for the high blood sugar. Basically Mike was told, “You have high blood sugar.” That’s it. No info on what to DO about it, no info on what to NOT do, nothing. So now I’ve got another project…learn about Type 2 Diabetes, and how to monitor blood sugar. Oy vey! We were going to out-of-pocket the monitoring supplies, since when Mike called to ask about it this morning he was told simply that they would re-check his levels in July. (Nice to mention that, guys!) Then I found out how much the test strips cost! YIKES! Even the cheap ones would run us $20 a week. =( I think Mike is going to call the clinic back and see about getting a prescription through VA. I just can’t believe they would put him on a glucose-lowering med without word one about it and with nary a care about monitoring the blood sugar levels. Makes me wanna scream! >=(

The dogs get loose like oh, I don’t know…every 3 seconds? Ok, maybe not quite that often, but close. They’re both bigger than Matthew, so neither of the kids are really able to get in or out the door without the dogs barreling over them to get out. Brownie, I am certain, has decided the ONLY appropriate place to pee is in the hall. Even if you take him out for an hour or more, once you bring him in… immediately he makes a lake in the hall. GRRRRRRR! Every time they get loose, they bring back more fleas and ticks. We simply can’t afford to keep dipping them, the collars have done NO good, and the drop stuff that you put on their backs eats Butterscotch’s skin up. To top it all off, Matthew REFUSES to obey the orders to STAY IN THE HOUSE and get his schoolwork done. Instead, he takes off the minute my back is turned to go chase the dogs. Not that he can successfully catch them most of the time, mind you… just because he enjoys getting in trouble, I think.

Sooo…I think Mike has finally given up on the fence idea. It was a lovely thought, really. Trouble is that lovely thought, while allowing us to keep the dogs, would also cost us several hundred dollars and several weeks worth of work. It’s really looking like we’re going to have to take them back to the pound. I hate that thought, because being grown dogs it will likely mean they’ll be put down, but I don’t see any other way. Matthew, of course, is NOT happy. Poor kid. =( He loves those dogs. They’re his best friends, and the whole reason we got the dogs was for him to have a friend. I just don’t see any other way. Had the dogs not destroyed the fence, maybe…

In other news… I hadn’t been doing much FLYing lately so Monday I determined to get some things done. I got the last 4 wks worth of school lessons mapped out. That took all day, but at least it is done. We know now, just how much he has to get done each day if he wants to finish up the year the same time his sister does. Of course, had he not been giving us such fits with the behavior, he’d have been done months ago and would be doing the extra stuff by now.

Yesterday he worked real hard all day. He didn’t get everything done because Monday he basically got nothing done due to massive meltdowns, but he did work. Grandma came by last night and we were so pleased to be able to tell her that yup, if he kept working good the rest of the week, he’d be able to spend the night Friday. Then today… *sigh* Well, let’s just say the Friday night sleepover is cancelled. =(

It’s looking like he’ll be headed for the public school next year, much as I hate the thought.

Yesterday I got more housework done than I’ve been able to do in one day in forever. I mopped two floors, got 2 loads of dishes done, cleaned the bathroom, swept several rooms, cleaned off the desk and all living room surfaces, and got all the kitchen counters scrubbed. Oh, and I also managed a shower and 2 lessons in my bible course AND a ladies meeting at church. MAN! I think that was the most productive day I’ve had this year! Today? Yeah notsomuch. I got the ironing done. Oh, and dinner is cooking.

So basically, everything is back to crazy… which is normal.

Advertisements

Our Missionary… Maw-Maw

I wrote this post a couple of nights ago, not knowing when I was going to post it. This morning’s preaching was on being a missionary wherever you are…whether that be on a foreign field or your own hometown. So I thought this was a good day to post it. Also tonight after church, Matthew told me while eating his grilled cheese, “Mom, I can be a missionary to my family even while I’m a kid.” Someone was paying some attention, huh? =) He then told me how easy it would be…just give them a tract or ask them if they are saved. Exactly. My hope is that we’ll all work harder at this. We can look to our missionary as an example.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Our Missionary

The night Meagan made public her surrender to the Lord’s call on her life to the mission field, I asked her if she’d like to call her great-grandmother and tell her the news.

“YEAH!!!”

she answered.

When we got home, Matthew said something like, “why do you want to call Maw-Maw?”

I replied, “Because she’s OUR missionary!”

And then it hit me. She really is. I mean originally I’d said it because we’d all grown up knowing the story of how Maw-Maw had been a missionary to Argentina when my mom was little, and so by “our missionary” I meant the missionary we knew personally, and best…for a long, long time the only one we knew at all.

As soon as I said it, though, I saw much more to it than that. Yes, she HAD been a missionary to Argentina when my mom was little. (All three of my uncles were born on the mission field.) When they came back to the States one time (on furlough??), though, my grandfather left her and the six kids. She did not return to the mission field…or rather not the SAME mission field.

I realized then that while she didn’t return as a missionary to Argentina, she did return to a mission field. Her family.

All throughout my life, the first person I’ve thought of when I think of a Christian has been my Maw-Maw. When I look back and think about the person I’ve known to be a Christian the longest…it’s Maw-Maw.

I can’t remember a time I did not view her as a Christian. I can not remember a time when I did not know she loved Jesus. I can not remember a time when she wasn’t SHARING WITH OTHERS that Jesus loved them, too. I can not remember a time when she wasn’t influential in my life.

Even when I was at my punkiest worst, it still bothered me to think about Maw-Maw knowing how horrible I was being. She became the standard to which I held up my behavior… “Is this something I would want Maw-Maw knowing I did/said/read/etc?” Even if the answer was no AND I STILL DID IT ANYWAY (which I’m ashamed to say happened a lot in my teens…) the question was still in the back of my mind.

When I got saved and started my new life as a Christian, it was HER life as a Christian that I tried to model my own after. I tried to think about what I knew about being a Christian…that is, I tried to think about what I knew about Maw-Maw being a Christian. What did she do? How did she handle things? React? When I wanted to turn my home into a Christian home, it was hers I looked to as a model. Her house resonated with bible songs in my mind. It was her home that housed the Christmas play in which I played Mary… her house where the whole extended family (when I was young there were a dozen grandkids, we’ve since swelled to 17??) met for family get-togethers where Maw-Maw had us all hold hands in a giant swirly-circle and prayed before we dug into the massive quantities of culinary goodness.

I also can’t remember a time when Maw-Maw was not actively sharing with ME and the rest of my generation the stories, songs, and lessons from the bible.

Maw-Maw took me to Sunday School, dressed up in my little girl finery, and then to Piccadilly’s for lunch and jello afterwards. Maw-Maw taught me the songs “Zacchaeus was a wee little man…” and “This is the day that the Lord has made…” and “Jesus loves me, this I know…” She taught me the little hand-rhyme about the church, the steeple, the doors, and the people. It was Maw-Maw who let me listen to her kids’ praise records for hours and hours at her house. It was Maw-Maw who had a little plastic box in the shape of a loaf of bread that housed bible verses. She taught me the wordless book. She sent me books about being a Christian girl as a young teen. She sent me tracts. It was Maw-Maw who sent me to church camp at 10 years old where I overhead a camp counselor telling a fellow camper that in order to go to Heaven we had to ask Jesus to forgive us.

All these little pieces, along with the bible verse (John 3:16) and the deep conviction that God would help us and never give us more than we could handle that my mom shared with me, added up and paid off when in the spring of 2000 I accepted Jesus as the Truth…and my Savior.

So you see, my grandmother really is OUR missionary. Her influence played such a huge part of my own salvation! She reached out of her home and to me (after a fashion…I was SO stubborn and bull-headed!) and it’s trickled down to my own children as well. Without her influence on me, I don’t know if I ever would have come to Jesus. And if I hadn’t…and hadn’t started teaching the kids…would they have ever come to know Jesus? I don’t know. I do know that we see her as OUR missionary.

That is why I thought it OH-SO special and sweet that Meagan surrendered to be a missionary on the night when we had a missionary family headed to… ARGENTINA! And more than that? They have 3 girls and 4 boys. (Maw-Maw had 3 and 3.) And even more than that?

I’d learned in an old newspaper (?) article that it was Maw-Maw who was called to the mission field first. I’d always assumed she kind of followed along… I also learned that where she ended up (Cordoba, near Buenos Aires) was not where she’d wanted to go. She’d wanted to go and reach the Indians up in the mountains of Argentina. Guess where the visiting missionary family is headed? Yup! =)

A most wonderful circle of coincidences. God seems to surround me in these circles often. I love being caught up in the middle of them. They’re so beautiful!

Thank you, Maw-Maw, for being my missionary!

I am so very thankful that the Lord blessed me with the family I have. I’m so grateful to have the grandmother that I do. She’s one of my heroes of faith.

Deciding On Our Church Home

I’m not verbal. I’m verbose, maybe, but not verbal. I do NOT communicate well with my mouth. In fact, I mostly just completely flub anything and everything I attempt to communicate that way. I find myself saying the stupidest things on a more than regular basis.

I came home the other night and was kicking myself in the proverbial rear for flubbing up the answer to an oh-so-simple question, and thought, ya know? This would actually make pretty good copy for the blog, what with it being part of the music God is spinning, and all…

That said, I’m going to write what I was trying to say the other night when my Sunday School teacher asked me a very interesting question. Because basically? I completely did NOT convey the whole story like I would have liked to. Because I’m not verbal. I said that already, though, didn’t I? =)

He asked me simply- what made me decide to come to this church? Well, I’m going to answer that better here than I did there

God.

There. That’s it. Very verbose, I know. Seriously, though. That’s the whole story. What? You want more specifics? Yeah, that would probably help to clarify the flubbed version, anyway. Ok…

Our church (can I just take a second here to pause and praise the Lord that I can say “our” or “my”?? I can’t possibly explain just how VERY special it is to me that I have a church home…that I am allowed to say “my church”… it’s a source of continual wonderment for me, and sometimes I don’t really remember it and get scared when there’s talk about moving buildings because then I think “NO! I DON’T WANT IT TO END! PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME!” I digress…)

Our church has a bus ministry. That is, each Saturday morning various church members (pastor, preachers, men, women, kids….) go out to the different towns in our county and knock on doors inviting kids to ride the church bus to Sunday School the next morning. I’m not sure how many routes we (again with the personal pronouns… LOVING it!!) have, maybe 5 or 6?, but we generally have around 50-70 kids come in on the buses. (Ok, I’m guessing here, really… it is a lot, though.)

So, on any given Sunday if you live in our county, you just might get a knock on the door and an invitation to church…especially if they see that you have young-uns runnin’ round your yard (like I frequently do).

Well, one Saturday several years back (too much like work to count up how many), I got a knock on the door, and this nicely dressed man who loved kids (this observation was based on most careful scientific research… that is: he was SMILING about all the rapscallions runnin’ rampant in my yard, so obviously he liked kids) told me his church ran a church bus and asked if my kids would like to ride.

I told him something akin to “I don’t know”. Yeah, real eloquent, I know. Anyway, he gave me a flyer and told me to give a call if they wanted a ride. (Little did he know then that ME making first contact…like as in making a phone call?…is ummm, well…..HAHAHAHA… 3 letters… S H Y. Besides which- it was a cell phone # if I recall correctly, and that was just way too personal for me. I wasn’t going to bother someone on their CELL, for goodness sakes. I had no idea at that time that – cell phones have taken over the world – because basically I’d been sequestered in my house for like 5 or 6 years living as a nocturnal hermit.)

Let me break from this plotline for a moment and take you back probably about… ok, I don’t know how long, a year or so maybe? (Please excuse the fuzzy dates…trying to remember the passage of time is a HUGE struggle for me, I’m afraid…)

I got saved when the kids were both still in diapers. I immediately started passing down my newfound faith, BUT it was slow and small for awhile. Toddler bible storybooks, casual observations about how God made the flowers, that kind of thing. Then when I started homeschooling the first preschooler… it was a set of bible cards (stories, biographies, etc). As she moved up into the more ‘formal’ schooling, I added our first bible course/curriculum. -A side note that I know will grow into its own post or six eventually is that these bible teachings were done for 3 children…Meagan, Matt, and myself. I was learning right along with them, on purpose I was starting as a toddler.

I know I said I’d go a year back, but it wouldn’t have made since without that quick trip there. So as I homeschooled the kids, I taught them from prepared bible curriculum that I had PRAYED ABOUT using because I was bound and determined to NOT teach them (or ME) anything false.

Meagan loved bible class, as did Matthew and I. She would bring up the stories or ask questions during other classes too, and so she earned a Faith Award one of those early homeschool years. Somewhere around this time I started thinking about maybe going to a church. I wasn’t real sure why I even wanted to, because I’d grown up believing they were for the fakes. Maybe it was because those bible lessons talked about going to church on Sundays and going to church on Wednesdays. Maybe it was because they talked about going to Sunday School class and singing. (I love to sing…too bad I have an awful voice!) Maybe it was the bible and devotion reading I had just started for the first ever time in my life. (My reward to myself for keeping my kitchen sink shiny for one full month was my very own bible with devotions…course it turns out later all my careful researching of accurate and ‘ok’ translations was all for naught…I still messed it up, but anyway….)

Or maybe it was just the Holy Spirit whispering to me that it was time I took another step. Yeah, that’s probably more like it.

Whatever the reason, the wanting to go to a church was growing on me…and Meagan, too, it seemed. She started asking when we could go to church. I answered her with “I don’t know” or “I’ll have to check it out first” a lot.

I wanted to go, but I was terrified. I was. Of what, you ask?

Going to the WRONG church, for one.

So I started praying. I knew that God wanted me to give or do or teach or SOMETHING in a church. I knew that. I just knew I was supposed to be in a church because there was a specific something I needed to do. I knew that as surely as I knew I was breathing. I also knew these things: it had to be a church that taught the TRUTH and it had to be THE church that God wanted me in. I highly suspected (as in was 99.99% certain) that if such a truth-teaching church existed it was a Baptist one. This based on my grandmother (the missionary and totally my example of a Christian…post about her is also planned) being a Baptist.

Oh sure! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about the fantasy of having loving friends and a “church family”… people who would care about me and my kids and love us and help us and take care of us. Absolutely I did fantasize about that, but I didn’t focus on that. I figured that was a pipe dream. I KNEW, though, that I needed to get to that church and soon.

Problem was how would I know which church was right? I knew very little about the bible or Christianity. I did know enough, though, to know that there are a LOT of wrong churches. Churches that profess Christianity but are just WRONG. I’d found myself in a few of those throughout high school. Scared me plum outta my skin, some of them. Others just made me want to bolt to the door the teaching was so, so… not right! THAT was a most uncomfortable one. I was almost seething by the time I left.

My plan at first was to try and get my mom to go with me to check out the churches. Why was that my plan? My reasoning was…she grew up on the mission field. She, a missionary’s daughter, would be able to tell a truth-following church from a not-truth-following church better than me. No question about it. Hands down, better qualified. Certainly she had been exposed to more Christianity and bible than I ever had been…

Problem again. I never could convince her to go. I really, really wanted to go, though, as did Meagan, and by now I was convinced the Lord wanted us in a church, too.

But which one? How was I, so very ignorant in the things of God to know which one? I knew what I would like for one…something small because I’m shy. But wait. Would a bigger one be better? You might can hide better in a big one. I mean you might could ‘do your own thing’ and kinda just blend into the walls and crowd easier that way, so maybe a bigger one would be better… Except think of the crowded auditorium…think about standing up and sitting down, stumbling through the bible to find the bible verse, SINGING, passing the collection plate…in a crowd of hundreds… all watching you and thinking how stupid you are. Ummm, yeah, maybe that smaller one is looking better. Maybe a nice quiet pew in the back. Out of earshot of anybody, lest I damage their eardrums with my high-pitched awful singing.

I never got much further than that. I truly had NO idea how to pick a church. I had no idea how to even begin. I did the ONLY thing I knew to do. Sit on my backside and wait for God to do it for me. I didn’t do that out of some deep faith, though mind you. I did it out of laziness and fear. I was too lazy to actually GO and start the search (if you’re gonna learn to swim, you’re gonna have to get in the water). I was too scared to start the search and find another wrong one. I didn’t want to expose my kids to it, and frankly I was scared to death that maybe I was wrong in thinking there even WAS a church that followed the truth. I mean, after all, I’d been believing for a long time that churches were fake, and certainly the few I’d seen in recent years had done nothing to disspell that belief.

I was scared of what would happen to ME if I landed in another one of those kinds of churches. I wanted no part of it, I dreaded it…really, I did.

I kept praying that the Lord would please lead me to the right church for our family (I learned about doing that through an email group for Christians in TX who were learning to FLY with some help from FLYlady.net). I prayed that God would help me to know which church was right. Then I did a teensy bit of homework.

Like basically none. One thing you need to know right now is this: I do NOT know my city. That is to say I know my city has a Wal-Mart, a hospital, a library, a McDonalds, a bank, and a post office. Outside of that? Yeah notsomuch. Also? I am SEVERELY directionally challenged. I’m talking horrible case here. Did I tell you I got lost driving the new van home from the dealership? Yeah, that was like 1/2 a mile STRAIGHT DOWN THE HIGHWAY from my house. I live like 2 blocks from said highway. It’s a no-brainer. For anyone but me.

So this is what I did. I drew upon my vast wealth of knowledge of my city to “look about a church”. I knew of about 5…sorta. I drove right past one at the end of my street every time I went to the store, library, doctor, or soccer practice. It was a Baptist church. Check one on the “points to consider” list. Church numbers 2 and 3 I passed on the way to soccer practice or the doctor’s office. One was definitely out. I’d been there once. Yeah, that one was definitely not it. The other I knew very little about. I think it is Baptist. Not sure. Regardless it seemed hard to figure out how to get to, since it wasn’t like ON THE HIGHWAY, but instead could only be SEEN from the highway. Yeah, I’m that directionally challenged. It’s a major pain, I tell you.

That left 2. One of those two, church #4, I only had a very vague sense of where it was. It was “that way somewhere”. We’d walked to it once (rest assured…Mom led the way) when the kids were tiny to get their vaccinations at the free clinic there. It was huge and had big stained glass windows. I don’t know what denomination or whatever it is (and though I knew it was only about 3 or 4 blocks from the house I had NO idea how to find it to figure out what denomination), but stained glass always makes me think of Catholic churches, so I guessed that church might not be the one.

The fifth one is my church home, but I did NOT figure that out by process of elimination. There’s more.

I had only narrowed (based on my vast wealth of knowledge) the choices to 2. Church #1 and Church #5. At the time, this is what I knew of Church #5:

I passed it sorta-kinda-I-think on my way to the post office. It was the church that my ex-fiance and his sister rode the bus to before they moved to my then-hometown (where I went to high school…not to be confused with my current hometown).

They had told me a story about this church. Basically they told me that they had ridden the bus there, and that the preacher had called them names and told them they were banned and basically told them they were no good. Let me just state right here, right now… I have NO idea whether any of what they told me was truth. I also want to say that knowing the current preachers at least, (I don’t even know if the same preachers were there that many years ago…) I can NOT imagine this to be true. I really can’t. Maybe they were told not to ride the bus anymore…maybe…but that would have only been if they’d been causing major problems….repeatedly…and had refused the dozens and dozens of chances given to QUIT and behave. This is a scenario I can TOTALLY imagine having happened. Anyway….

When I heard the story back in high school, I did not live in this town, so I really had no idea who or what or where they were talking about. (They told me the name and I remember thinking it sounded like a funny name for a church, and so that’s how years later I knew to connect the two. I saw the sign with the name on it at some point and went that’s that church that banned them.) I did know, however, that I didn’t like what I heard about the church. I mean… a preacher who would tell a kid they’re no good and not to come back and call them names?? Uh-UH! Definitely NOT a good church. Obviously.

So later on, when I was eliminating churches I found myself narrowed down to this church with the questionable reputation and the church down at the end of my street. One is big, one is little. Both are close enough to walk. One is evidently affluent (not exactly “my kind of people”) and “up-to-date”. The other appears more old-fashioned and reaches out and touches the decidely less affluent people (my kind of people) at least in the form of kids (I knew that because my ex had said he rode their bus, so they came and got him), but there’s that story about them turning away those same kids, too…

I did not completely eliminate Church #5 based on the questionable reputation because by this point in my life I had learned 3 things (well, lots of things, but 3 that are crucial here…):

  • my ex-fiance and sister were not exactly completely honest, upright Christians, if you catch my drift…(of course I wasn’t at that time either….by FAR!) and so it was entirely possible that they had the story a bit mixed-up or exaggerated.
  • don’t let others pick your friends/opinions/beliefs/etc. Make your own.

Ok, I know had a 3rd point lined out when I started this train of thought, but by the time I’d written point 2, it had evaporated, so I’ll move on. If I remember it later, so be it…

So I prayed and prayed and asked God to please help me to know which of these two (perhaps I should not have limited Him?? but anyhow…) churches was the one He had in mind for the kids and I.

About now is where that first knock on my door came in. “Hi. I’m So-and-So with Such-and-Such Church. I noticed you have some kids playing out here and we have a bus that comes by and takes the kids to Sunday School, and I was just wondering if they’d be interested in riding the bus and coming to church.”

*the gears in my head gasped*

He’s from that church? They bus kids in? Oh yeah, I knew that. Well, he seems nice enough. Of course, ‘seems’ doesn’t always mean anything. Surely THIS wasn’t the guy who supposedly banned them? Hmmm….

I smiled (at least I hope I did) and kindly (at least I hope it was) showed him on his way with my oh-so-eloquently put non-commital. Something to think about, though, certainly.

I kept praying and praying, asking for guidance. Help me to know, Lord! I prayed.

He came back.

Nothing if not persistent. He really does seem nice. Not at all pushy, which is always good. Hasn’t screamed at me that I’m going to hell if I don’t go to church (like that couple did to Mom that time). Meagan would get a kick out of the riding the bus part, for sure. She’s always wanted to “ride the bus and go to the big school”…guess a church bus would be next-best, even if the ride would be short. BUT I am not ABOUT to just send her without checking them out, besides…I want to go to church too. *pout*

This time he said something like, “We’d love it if you’d come visit us sometime.”

I told him, “Well we just might do that.” as I politely (I hope!) closed the door.

They’d love it… WHO’D love it? How can he possibly speak for the whole church? I mean I guess I could see him saying HE would love it, but how does he know everyone else would? And isn’t “we’d love it” a little strong? I mean come on. How many people actually mean it when they say “We’d love for you to come and stay with us?” or “We’d love for you to … ” just about anything. Really! Well, anyhow, at least the guy is putting up a good show. He smiles, he’s polite. He really does seem to like kids. That’s a big plus, there. At least one person there likes kids as much as I do. Of course I don’t KNOW, but I think he just might maybe feel like I do about the forgotten kids. That is, that they have to be loved, that somebody needs to tell them about Jesus and let them come to church. That somebody needs to show them they care about and love them. That far too many kids are being left out and forgotten and WHY DOESN”T ANYONE PAY ATTENTION TO THE KIDS? Do they not SEE them? HOW CAN YOU NOT CARE ENOUGH ABOUT THE KIDS TO TELL THEM JESUS LOVES THEM??? Ok, yeah I see that churches have all kinds of programs and services and blahblahblahyaddayadda for adults… and teenagers even, and that’s great. Really. Fine and dandy, but WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS? Especially those forgotten, unloved kids. The ones whose own parents don’t even really care. Oh how my heart breaks for them. And I just wonder… this guy… I think maybe he might share a little of that “don’t forget about the kids” thing. So this church?…well, maybe we’ll try this church first…at least they aren’t keeping the church for their own kids and no one else’s like it seems so many do. The ones I have seen or heard about mostly seem to keep their church for their own kids…like they don’t want to share their oh-so-special church with the ones who “don’t belong”. Yeah, maybe we’ll try this one first.

And so for a few weeks I tried to convince my mom (because ummm, yeah, I was still CHICKEN to go anywhere on my own, especially if the anywhere was a CHURCH!) to come with me to church. (Have I mentioned that I used to have severe panic attacks if I went out of the house alone? Like 15min parked in WalMart’s parking lot trying to get calmed down enough after dropping off library books -yeah, like that was a big crowd…but the librarian SAID SOMETHING TO ME- to go in and buy groceries?? which of course was more tense, anxious torture….) Yeaaaaahhhhh… So I was really, really, really hoping I could get Mom to come. Like you wouldn’t believe.

Except she wasn’t budging. Man! Ok, so I guess I’m just gonna have to do it. I mean, ok, Lord, if you want us to go to church, I’ll go, but MAN! I could sure use some courage here….

I don’t have a clue how I got the guts up (ok, yeah I do…it was Jesus) to pack the kids up one Sunday and head up to that church. I can’t remember now if we drove or walked. (Very possibly walked, I know I did walk a lot right at the beginning because I remember singing “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus” on the way in the hopes of calming the ragin’ freakin’ out mind and tummy.)

I don’t remember much about the sermon or singing or anything. Just that the preacher laughed and smiled and got downright tickled with himself…and I thought that was cool. He was just so INTO Jesus! Excited about Him! He was ECSTATIC about Him, even! Yeah, I sure liked that guy. Right off! =) This kind of preachin’ I could listen to forever! I thought. Kinda weird, I guess(?), since I’d only heard maybe 4 or 5 sermons total since I was old enough to really listen.

And also? I felt totally… home. It just felt so right. I felt so right being there. It WAS just… right. No explanation for that outside of God. None. Why? Because I freak at crowds (by the way, a crowd is one more than me), and even though I did and do still “freak” more than a little at the crowd, it STILL feels like home… in spite of the freakin’ out! Because even the nice, good church (interestingly about the same size as my church) I went to a few times as a kid with my uncle still felt uncomfortable wrapped around me. It was scary because I was alone and no one seemed to care that it was scary to me. They just kinda glanced over me, it seemed. And while that was nice in some ways (I did mention I freak when people talk to me, right?), it also left me feeling unwanted, unloved, and forgotten. Not that that was really a new feeling, mind you. More familiar than anything, but still…there was something I wanted and I certainly wasn’t getting it there.

At least they didn’t kick me out of children’s church for being too old (I snuck in every time we went so I would at least have my little brother in the same room with me. In big church it was just my uncle… and he was in the sound booth.) And of course, all the other church experiences I’d had had been downright HORRID. I mean I really wanted nothing to do with a church for a long, long time because of that. I wanted Jesus, I wanted to follow Him, I wanted to learn about and worship Him… just not in a church.

This church, though? One visit really was all it took for me to feel ok with my kids attending. (Though to be sure, I did check the Sunday School papers Meagan brought home and ‘felt out’ what the teacher talked about in class for awhile still. I’m not completely stupid.) It was just… home. Sure as I am typing this up in the middle of the night (because when else do I not have a 9-year chattering in my ear??), I felt during that first visit that the Lord was telling me:

“This is where I was trying to get you to go. This is where I want you.”

Other things happened in the next year that make up other stories, but here are a couple of real quick (I promise!) highlights. A little over a year later, I was baptized in this church, and shortly after that not knowing a thing about ‘the way things are done’, I talked to the pastor (a word/position I’d only recently figured out) about being an actual MEMBER, after church. I don’t remember what all I said, but I do remember telling him that THIS church was where God wanted me. I also remember him telling the rest of the church that after they’d voted me in. (I won the election!! WOOHOO!! haha)

So that’s the whole story that I’d wanted to tell, (but totally flubbed), about how I decided to come to this church. To sum it up:

I didn’t. God did.

BREAKING NEWS!!!

The Lord was in mission conference tonight, let me tell ya! Woohoo! Have I got news for you…

He called one of our youth to be a missionary. Oh yes. He did!! Praise the Lord!

And now I weep. He also gave me one of the biggest blessings to date…

the one He called?

meg1.JPG

 

 

.

.

.

.

..

.

.

.

 

 

That there is this one 5 years ago…waiting to go to the tip-top of the Washington Monument in D.C. (thank you, Bumpa!!) to look out and see the world!

megxmas08.JPG

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Yes friends. That’s my baby girl. He called my Meagan! How sweet it is!!

Thank you, Lord, thank you!

More about the daisies…

Oh how I love the way the Lord orchestrates everything to fall into place just-so and at just-the-right-time. =) Just look…

Yesterday I wrote this. Today on my blog-hopping, I found this. From there, I clicked and found this, (we won’t even open the can of worms on HOW SO VERY appropriate this is for my life right-this-very-minute after my first-ever-dr-appt-for-ME-in-countless-years…), with this post right before it.

Ta-da! More about the daisies!!

I’m more than kinda spent myself here lately (ok, actually biggest issue today has been replaying yesterday and banging myself on forehead getting all embarrassed and going “I can’t believe I did that.”)

Quitthinkingquitthinking random-groaning-brow-furrowing-and-shiveryshakes-in-an-attempt-to quitthinkingquitthinking.

Repeat.

ad nauseum.

I digress. Just go and read more about the daisies. She’s so right. =) Oh, and my hubby has it made too. Daisies are above and beyond all other flowers in my estimation. =)

And also? Could someone please explain to the daisies I planted years ago (pick a year) that they are, in fact, a very hardy, easy-to-grow plant? Because I don’t think they actually understood that. Do you think they would make a miraculous comeback, maybe?

Who Wouldn’t

So last week I wrote about Matthew and a $2.00 deal in Seriously Good. Towards the end of the post I wrote that I needed to write it down because I would need something to look back on to see progress when the going is rough. Little was I to know that would be the next day.

Ay de mi! Thursday night was a problem. At least I figured out that the massive meltdowns are almost guaranteed if there is company over at bedtime. (Looking for that sometimes elusive silver lining here…)

Friday came and went with only some tremors on the meltdown scale, but Saturday? Oy vey! Saturday was the BIG one. (Well, the most recent big one, they’re pretty familiar around these parts…imagine that.)

Both kids were told to pick up the yard and clean up some things off the porch they’d left out…dishes, broken umbrellas, bikes…the usual. Both were protesting (loudly, I might add) that THEY didn’t make the mess. Riiiiiight. Both got spanked. Meagan sulked and stomped, but did go out and start picking up. Matthew…not so much. All out fit. Screaming, throwing, name-calling, outright REFUSAL to do anything he was told. Period.

Anyway. I only mention this because the real story in this post would make no sense otherwise. See, during his terronical (new word…I kinda like it…it suits) tirade, I got a phone call from a friend. At some point in the conversation it came up that in searching far and wide, high and low, hither and thither for some explanation for his continued massive maniacal meltdowns, the question had come to mind, “Well is he saved?”.

Oh boy! the hours and hours and hours that boy and I have spent deep in theological conversation. Many spent on this very subject. We’ve covered things like “I’m too bad so maybe I wasn’t saved” to “Jesus won’t help me because He doesn’t love me” to “How can you be sure the spirit telling you you are saved is the Holy Spirit and not satan?”

Oh yes. We have talked, that child and I. Some most of the questions or issues he brings up that relate to theology or spirituality or Christianity or ______, I feel like I am HIGHLY unqualified to answer. I FEEL like telling him “How should I know? I’m not a preacher! I haven’t been to seminary! Why don’t you go ask so-and-so?” Thing is, the kid wants needs answers and comfort and reassurance right then…not at some scheduled point in the future. Also? The kid is shyer than shy about coming out and talking about the real stuff, if ya know what I mean.

So, I take a deep breath, murmur a little prayer for HELP!!! and plod on. I sincerely hope I’m not totally warping the kid by confusing the snot out of him. In all honesty I’m not TOO awful worried about that, though. Why not? Well, because the Lord will watch out for him better than I can anyway. I’ve asked the Lord to help me not mess things up with the kids when it comes to this kind of stuff, and He is faithful to help. Where’s the evidence? I think it’s right here–

Sunday afternoon, after Matthew had calmed back down (it generally takes at LEAST one overnight), he and I were conversing again. His good friend at church had just been baptized, and my heart stung a little. A couple of weeks prior, this little boy and my (not-so-little) boy had been talking after church and discovered they had BOTH been thinking about being baptized that night (the thinking part…not the baptizing part).

When he told me, “Hey Mom guess what? Me and ____ were both thinking about being baptized.” my heart went pitter patter and I had about 3 instantaneous thoughts…

  • YES! Thank you Jesus! (been in prayer for him to have the courage to be baptized for over a year now)
  • That’d be cool for them to do it together
  • What if this is just one of those “so-and-so is doing it, so I guess I will” things?

Soooo, we talked. Went back over baptism and what it is, so forth and so on. He was encouraged to think that maybe the two of them could be baptized the same night because then he would have someone in the changing room that he was comfortable around (remember the kid is superdy-super shy!). He was soooo hopeful they could go together. And then Mom has to come in and mess it up… I was concerned it would come across that he was only following and not sincerely ready to be baptized, so we left it at- in order that it would be clear to others that he was not just following the friend, he would trust Jesus to give him the courage to tell the pastor himself (instead of me doing it) before church one night. I told him I would most certainly go with him, but he had to do the talking and then we’d see what happened. If he was told ok, and given a date other than what his friend had…so be it.

I guess I messed up, because Wed night came…and went…and he said nothing. I had promised him I would not continually ask him about it, though, so I held my tongue. His little buddy didn’t get baptized the next Sunday either. Maybe it would still work out, I thought. Maybe Matthew would get the courage to step forward before it happened.

Not so. And so my heart swelled and stung as that little one was baptized. It was so wonderful to see, and yet I knew Matthew had just missed his opportunity to have a buddy with him at his baptism.

We got in the van afterwards and I told Matthew, “See what happens when you keep putting off for tomorrow what you should do today?” (Another something I’ve been attempting to get through the kids’ thick skulls…just take care of what you were told to do NOW instead of putting it off.)

The conversation continued at home. We talked again about how baptism was something we’re told to do, and how it is to show people that you’ve been saved…that a change was made in your heart. There was more that I don’t remember all of now, but it ended pretty much like this:

Me- “You know, when you act the way you do sometimes and just flat-out REFUSE to quit and start obeying again it can and does sometimes make people wonder if you really are saved. Of course, only you and God know for sure, but it does make people wonder.”

Matthew- “Mom,” in that teenagerly drawl…ya’ll know the one…the one that conveys duh, you are so dense and unknowing, how can you even ask me that? DUH “Mom,” he said, “do you think that if I knew about God and how to be saved I would be walking around not being saved?”

And then he turned and walked out of the room. I could almost feel and hear him shaking his head and sighing (he didn’t, but you know what I mean) “man she really is thick” .

We were looking for evidence that the Lord was going to keep me from messin’ the kids up totally, remember? (Yeah I was having a hard time remembering too, what with the sidetracked baptism story and all) Here we go.

We’re having a missions conference at church. Last night the preacher shared a story about a woman he’d shared the gospel with. He went through the whole plan of salvation, and then at the end he asked her if she would like to accept Jesus as her personal Savior. He said she looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said simply,

“Who wouldn’t?”

Not so very different from the sentiment Matthew shared with me just the day before. A preacher who’d been to seminary and who doubtless is MUCH better qualified and adept at explaining things and discussing things shared the plan and got that response. I, who am terrified of screwing it up, but plod on as best I can, stumbling over my words and thoughts, wondering if I’m making ANY sense or at least not causing more confusion… well by golly, look at that?! It got through not too horribly muddled after all! Not me, folks, that much is evident… my Jesus. =)

Today’s pell mell

The other night in the shower I had this totally random(??) thought…

“Denim and daisies are like Jesus”

Then I thought of these words:

  • Tough
  • Durable
  • Strong
  • Protective
  • Simple
  • Pure
  • Gentle
  • Bright

I don’t really have any other earth-shattering anything to report, just thought I’d share that observation. =)

Still working on the penguin, almost done. I am thinking I am going to add a bib for baby, because the penguin’s smaller than the monkey. Anyhow. Should be through soon…I hope.

Oh! Update on the expensive teefies girl!… she had another appointment today. She still didn’t get an A in brushing because there was still FOOD on her teeth… OY VEY! I have been checking her teeth soooooo carefully every night. I warned her before the appt (via a note, as I was busy out of town) to be SUPER careful in brushing when she got home from school. Guess she wasn’t careful enough. ugg. At least she still has the metal, so we’ve staved off losing the $3,000 for another month. She is getting closer to having those 4 loose baby teeth pulled though, since she won’t wiggle them. uggggg!

Ok. That’s all for today. =) Off to throw something in the microwave for dinner.

***update- Found out from Meagan that she didn’t see the note I left till after they got back. Also? She got a B!! She says they didn’t say anything about taking the metal off, either. A B!! Best grade yet. Man! I’m so wishin’ she’d brushed a little better, though. I keep thinkin, could she have gotten an A?


Click to see posts written on a certain date

April 2008
S M T W T F S
« Mar   May »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930