Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Finding Time for God

Although I've known Christ for a long time, I go through dry seasons. Sometimes I need gentle reminders to get back to the basics. Life can get so busy and distracting that I neglect my most basic need - to spend time with the Lord. Here's an article I just read that I found helpful. Even though none of it was new to me, I needed to read it.
Are you struggling with finding time for God? Maybe this article will encourage you!
God Bless You!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Cleanup on Aisle 7

I don't usually grocery shop with my kids. Living in a small town affords me the luxury of running to the store when hubby is home for lunch. In fact, the other day I left the kids with their daddy, washed the car, grocery shopped, and was back home in 30 minutes!

Today was errand day. It required grocery shopping with the boys first. Now, our little store has one door in and one door out. Everyone who works there knows me and my little one. I normally let him loose as long as he stays fairly close by. Besides, the shopping cart is so small, there isn't much room for him and the food! The first stop is produce where little one starts grabbing tomatoes in each hand. "Oh, no, honey. Put the tomatoes back. Yes, they are red. Now put them back." This is all said in my sweet voice - it's early. Besides, my 2 year old knows the color red - he's brilliant! Next he grabs a cucumber and holds it up beside his head and says, "Hello!" like he's answering the phone. Oh, he's so cute and funny! By aisle 7 (out of 12) it wasn't cute or funny anymore - I didn't care how brilliant he was! After telling him 27 times not to touch everything in the store, he pulls off a jar of Vlasic dill pickles onto the floor. Crash, broken glass, pickle juice, vinegar smell. My sweet voice was gone! Mary Poppins had been replaced by Viola Swamp! I grabbed him and threw him in the cart. I looked at big brother whose eyes were like saucers and knew that he was the one who had learned the lesson! Of course the mother in me couldn't pass up the chance to say "See what happens when you touch things"!! Poor thing, he wasn't even the guilty one!

After dropping groceries off at home, we drove 40 minutes to Wal-Mart. Not a SuperCenter, just a regular old Wal-Mart. Once again, I let little brother try out his wings by not strapping him in the cart. We started off in the garden center where he and brother had a great time. They "rode" the lawn mowers and tried out every piece of lawn and patio furniture. Little brother only pulled the heads off of a few dozen flowers. He also had a short meltdown as we stepped back into the store because big brother beat him to the door.

In the pharmacy he touched every box of character bandages. He screamed when I took away the $40 ear thermometer he had grabbed off the hook. He "helped" me choose new candles for our house. He found a display of letters one can use for wall decoration. He had to touch each one and sing through the alphabet song while I stood there tapping my foot. He eventually became so wild I had to do the unthinkable. I spanked him in the housewares aisle after he intentionally knocked off a glass olive oil decanter. I thought it was going to be the pickles all over again. As soon as I spanked him I realized what I had done! I have always made fun of people who spank their kids at major discount department stores. Now I was one of them. For a brief moment I was sure I would end up on TV - hidden camera footage showing me beating my child in public. Luckily, no one was around. There's not much of a chance anyone in Stamford, TX cares if I spank my kids.

Well, by spanking him and strapping him into the cart seat, I broke his spirit! Dejected, he just reached out his little hand as we squeezed through the clearance in the boys section, saying "touch, touch". He just had to have his hands on everything! By the time I was ready to check out, he was sucking his thumb with his head on my chest while I maneuvered through the store.

We still hadn't had lunch!

I'm exhausted just recapping it.

My Calling as a Mom

I've been reading some powerful and convicting blogs (everydaymommy and joy in the journey). They've been discussing Moms as Missionaries. As a mom, I really need a kick in the rear sometimes to remind me how important my job is. My wonderful friend heartsjoy was challenged with this issue just this week. It's bad enough when the secular world or the Christian culture doesn't take our roles as mothers seriously. But when we don't take it seriously...shame on us!

We've all joked about our kids complaining that we are on the computer so much. We laugh about being addicted to reading and writing blogs. You need to check out the comment at the very bottom of this great website. Tremendous wisdom, but OUCH!

Holy Reverence

The Old Testament is amazing. Fascinating. Even if I live to be 90, I will never fully grasp it. I could do every Beth Moore study and it will still be a mystery to me. An amazing, fascinating mystery. Yesterday I was reading (2 Samuel 6:1-8) about the ark of the covenant - the ark of God, which is called by "the Name". God's name is so holy the Hebrews referred to it as "shem" - The Name! They revered His Name and His holiness that much! Back to the ark. His very presence was enthroned between the cherubim on the ark!

So David and his men are carrying the ark very carefully, so as not to touch it. They had gone to great lengths to slide poles underneath before they placed it on the new cart. As they are moving along it appears the ark might fall off. Naturally, Uzzah reaches out and grabs it to keep it from hitting the ground. Big mistake. Deadly mistake. God is angry. (The word here also means "nose, nostril". Could it be that His holy nostrils were flared? I'm picturing a bull with hot air blazing out of it's nose.) Wrath.

Wow. Wouldn't you have done the same thing? It's easy to understand his human nature taking over and reaching out. It was the ark for goodness sake. No one would ever let it fall to the ground, right? How many times have you reached out to catch something that is falling? It's human reaction. I got to thinking about what I would let fall. A hot iron. If my iron were falling off the board, I think I would jump back and let it fall. It's not worth getting burned. I have too much respect for the power of the heat coming out of my iron.

See, God didn't need Uzzah to reach out and save the ark. God created the gravity that would have sent it to the ground! Besides, God had made it clear the ark was NEVER to be touched. Here's the real problem - Uzzah got casual with God's presence. Had he been mindful of God, he would never have reached out. In fact, if the whole gang had taken God's presence seriously, the ark would not have been placed on a cart to begin with.

Oh, I don't want to be casual with God's presence. There are so many Sundays I join my church family for corporate worship and I'm on autopilot. I might genuinely enjoy the music and learn from the sermon. I have gotten good at playing the "pastor's wife". I know how to act and what to say. At home, I often put my time with Him aside to accomplish other, more pressing things. How arrogant of me! There are many days I spend more time reading blogs than reading God's Word. Do I really think the words of all these nameless women will bring power into my life? Why do I care more about what everyone else is saying in blogworld, than His fresh, healing words for me. Uzzah was struck dead because of his casual attitude toward God. When am I going to grow up and get serious? I don't want to be casual. I want holy reverence.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

My Little Sluggers

My older son began his baseball career this spring. I dreaded it because once they start sports it doesn't end for a long time. I dreaded adding one more thing to our family life. I guess I thought it would be an intrusion. But when the time came to sign up, I was all for it - maybe because the T-ball season is so short! He was on the Astros, which couldn't be more perfect for us. We already had all the stuff!

I loved watching him play! He just got better and better and cuter and cuter as the "season" went on! He's a good hitter, but he got distracted when his team was on the field. They finally moved him off first base since he never paid attention to the ball. It was comical!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Britney's Boobs and Mrs. Duggar

This morning I caught a few minutes of Matt Lauer's interview with Britney Spears. I sorta wish I hadn't! Being pregnant, her boobs are enormous and spilling over. Her skirt was slit up to her thigh. She's lost all modesty. She really looked like a scared little girl in a woman's body. The saddest part wasn't even how she looked, it was what I saw in her eyes and on her face. When asked how she deals with the world thinking she's a bad mother, she blew it off and acted like she didn't know what he was talking about. When asked how she feels about the papparazzi, she broke down crying. I know it must be horrendous dealing with the constant invasion, but why didn't she show any emotion when asked about mothering? She must be addicted to approval like most of us. Doesn't it bother her that many think she has terrible mothering skills? What kind emotion would that bring out of you? Although she has tremendous influence on many many girls and young women, I'm glad she isn't the average young mother!

On the other end of the spectrum, there's Michelle Duggar. You know, the mom from Springdale, AR with 16 kids. Did I mention she homeschools and makes a lot of their clothes? I know there are many out there who don't get this family, but I'm fascinated! Everytime they are on Discovery Health, I have to watch. They are so organized and intentional. The parents seem so sane. Michelle is the picture of submission and mothering. There is no TV in the house (7000 sq ft, by the way). All the kids play an instrument, have a buddy, do specific chores, etc. It is the picture of efficiency. When I watch them I can't help but think she can't be real. What I'm seeing is sugar-coated. She has the sweetest, most gentle voice. Does she ever scream at all those kids? Do they bang on the door when she's in the bathroom? Or do the kids bang on the bathroom door when their older buddies are in the bathroom? Does she ever get time by herself? Has she had time to give herself a pedicure this summer (like Supermom suggested in Summer Pledge?) Does she ever have cheerios stuck on her butt? How many times a day does she hear "Mom, look at me!"

I'm glad there is a woman out there like Michelle Duggar. I think what she and her husband are doing is great! The kids appear to be wonderful, responsible children who love the Lord and can probably out-quote all of us in Scripture! I am also disturbed there are so many mothers out there similar to Britney Spears. What really comforts me is that there are millions of us who fall comfortably between the two! I don't have to be like either one of them! I can be a devoted mother by day and wear tight shirts with my boobs hanging out at night! LOL!!!