Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Official Soccer Mom

“Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others.”
Philippians 2:4

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve traded pom-poms for the soccer field. Not completely – the girls are still cheering, but wrapping up their competition season. BUT, my little Jamison is hitting the ground running on the soccer field at barely 3 years old. Yes, we are nuts. But hey – he runs around the house and kicks things all day, so why not channel that energy into something more appropriate! And, we live so close to the park we can literally walk to his soccer field if we needed too. All this sports stuff just works for us.

But, today – I’ve got to tell you what God showed me on Monday. Well, Monday’s are always a little stressful around here. It’s the day before my Apples of Gold mentoring thing at my house (I’ve mentioned it in previous blogs – in short: 20 plus ladies come to my house for food and Bible study every Tuesday) so I’m cleaning more than usual. And on Monday’s the girls have cheerleading from 6-7PM. So, guess when Jamison’s soccer practice is!? Yep. Monday’s from 6-7PM. Well, this Monday was his first ever practice and being “good parents” neither my husband or I wanted to miss this!!! Since we are very comfortable with the girls’ gym – we decided to drop them off early, head to the soccer field, watch “little buddy” be cute and run around in circles, leave Jamison’s practice early and then go pick up the girls, go home, eat, take baths, put on P.J’s, and go to bed. Sounds like a good plan, huh?

Well, it’s 6:00 PM and I see LOTS of people at the soccer field, but no one for Jamison’s team. I see LOTS of coaches, but not Jamison’s coach. So, I’m going around asking everyone are you Coach So & So. After asking everyone who looks over the age of 15 if they are Coach So & So, some lady stops me and says – “I heard your coach was running late and practice would not start until 6:30.”

Gang, I was getting angrier by the minute. I thought – do people not know I have two other children to pick up across town by 7PM! Also, while I was making a fool of myself asking everyone if they were Coach So & So --- my mother in law had called my husband. She wanted us to go out to eat after the kids practices (and not somewhere quick, but a NICE sit down place.) I was screaming in my brain IT’S A SCHOOL NIGHT, PEOPLE! But, I was trying to take deep breaths. Now, my mother in law is precious and we just lost my father in law recently so – I was not angry with her at all! Any time we can spend time with her – I want to do that. But, this overall situation was making me most upset. I mean come on – what good coach is 30 minutes late to the first practice (and didn’t even let the parents know!!).

So, I decided that I was going to call Coach So & So and not be rude (of course!), but explain in no uncertain terms that I do have a life and what in the world could be the hold up on the very first night of soccer practice!!! Remember, it’s a school night!!!

When the Assistant Coach (the wife) picks up the phone I hear a baby screaming wildly in the car. That already begins to soften my attitude. I know what it’s like to be running terribly late and have a VERY upset child strapped in the car. So, I immediately change my approach and put the blame on myself by saying …… “I just wanted to make sure I hadn’t made a mistake. I’ve been here since 6:00 and I’ve not found you guys.”

With her screaming child in the background she apologizes 1,000 times for running late, but they had a death in the family. They had been out of town at a funeral all day and were stuck in traffic on the way back home. She wasn’t going to make it, but her husband was nearly to the soccer field. When he arrives – he is in dress slack and shirt the whole nine yards. His little boy in dress pants and a nice sweater --- not at all soccer attire, AND with good reason!

Oh my goodness! What had I doneL I was so wrapped up in my world, my schedule that someone ---- actually several someONES (my mother in law and now this new soccer family) were hurting all around me and I was concerned with my kids getting a good nights rest!

In an instant – God changed my attitude. So much so that on Tuesday I called the Coaches wife back just to ask if they were doing OK or needed anything. I told her how we had lost Russ’ dad recently and we have small kids too, so I understand how hard things can be. That’s not like me. I don’t up and call people I don’t really know. But God was really pushing me to do that. I could sense the thankfulness in her voice that I had called to check on her family. But what’s odd is I don’t know these people! I’ve still not personally met the wife. I don’t know if they are believers. If they are church attendees? They could be atheist !

So the moral of this blog --- don’t take your life so seriously (especially with silly things) that you fail to be used by God to those who are truly hurting all around you. Am I concerned with my own interests, OR the interests of others?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Just Give HIM Some PRAISE!

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
Colossians 2:6-8

Hi gang! I’m back:) Thank you for your patience. Due to my schedule – you might want to sign up for my e-mail notifications so you don’t have to check this site often. It will let you know when I have new thoughts posted. I plan on pushing forward and writing as much as I can but with a messed up computer (I’m using hubby’s right now!), flu season and traveling --- it’s going to be difficult.

So now that “business” is done – let’s have some fun!

I was so tickled by this verse this morning during my quiet time. I wish I had put the date in my Bible of when I first started this, but I pray these verses in Colossians often for my children. And just a few days ago my eight year old was overflowing with thankfulness!!!!

It was just the two of us in the van running a few errands before cheerleading practice. Her sister was at home sick and obviously her 3 year old brother was not going to practice cheerleading so Russ was taking care of that part of the crew. It was just Savannah and I – and I was actually enjoying some semi-adult conversations.

It was a beautiful day and unseasonably warm for February. So out of no where, I hear from the back of the van, “I can not believe this weather we are having! We need to stop and give God some praise!! I mean, I don’t like it cold at all. It is so warm today – I love it!!”

I was praying – Oh Lord, help me remember every word she just said because that was precious! The sincerity, the excitement, --- her understanding of Who is in control of the weather – it was a very proud moment AND a humbling one.

I started wondering – when was the last time that I just gave God a “shout out”? I’m talking about just busting from the seams praise like my child just did!?

I’ve shared this story with some gals at church and so now we pass each other and say “We need to stop and give God some praise!” It’s been a little “joke” with a very serious reminder. So - have you given God praise today?

Monday, February 11, 2008

MILEY CYRUS (aka Hannah Montana)

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:8-9
I had a wonderful day at church! I have missed so many Sunday’s lately due to Cheerleading Competitions and my trip to Mexico. It was so nice to be in such a worshipful setting. I LOVED our message by out pastor yesterday – but one thing really stuck out to me and I want to use that comment today, but in a different direction.

The title of yesterday’s sermon was, “Rest in Peace” using Philippians 4:6-9 and Galatians 5:22 (fruit of the spirit – peace). He gave several celebrity examples of those in the “lime light” who are obviously – by their choices – struggling to find peace. He shared the words of Britney Spears in a 1998 interview of what an important role faith played in her life and how she wanted to be always known as the girl next door. It’s really heart breaking to think what all has happened to her since 1998 (again, mainly her poor choices).

Having young girls – I quickly made a comparison in my mind of Britney’s 1998 comment with that of Miley Cyrus, AKA Hannah Montana, in 2007 about her faith and always wanting to be known as a good girl. Miley has gone so far as talking about attending a Bible Study on her Miley World website (which thrilled me and my daughter to read!!). She also recently explained to the news media how it was Satan attacking her when someone made a big deal about several slumber party photo’s.

I have thought so often about what someone like Miley could do for Christ. What if she gave a testimony and busted out with an invitation at one of her sold out concerts! Over the years, the Lord has led me to pray for several “stars” and for the last several months – Miley Cyrus has been added to that list.

My girls LOVE her. And so far – Miley has done nothing for me to crack down on my girls admiration of her. I actually enjoy her TV show myself! I heard a rumor just a few weeks ago that the Cyrus family was buying some property not far from our house (like bike riding distance) --- remember, I live in Nashville – so it was possible. After all, this is where she was born. Savannah and Cassidy envisioned Miley coming over to play at our house on a regular basis – doing nails, singing and having snacks. My Cassidy said, “Momma, I can’t wait for Miley to move next door. We are going to be best friends!” Then Savannah chimed in, “Maybe she can go to church with us!”

Oh how I hope she is able to go to church somewhere! From what I hear, they use to be very faithful before moving to LA. I hope that in the midst of all the money and fame she is able to keep her thoughts on what is true, honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Boy – that’s hard for me and I’m just a stay at home Mom surrounded by mainly only Christian people!!!!!!

Is there anyone out there – someone famous, that God brings to your mind often? It’s not a fluke!! Pray for them. Hollywood needs Christ – and that’s not a major news flash for any of us. Now, I’m not negating the fact that our neighbors need Christ as well – today, I’m just asking, Have you thought about stretching your prayers out farther than that? Who will you pray for today?

Sometimes our prayer life can be so overwhelming. We have personal needs to be brought before the Lord, then there is family and friends, our country and so on. A Bible Study Leader once shared with our class how she keeps from being so overwhelmed in her prayer life ---- and this was great advice! You might already be doing this – but this was a life saver for me!!!!

She of course has daily prayer needs. Then, aside from that – she breaks down her prayer list by days of the week. For example – it could look like this: Monday’s are for extended family and friends, Tuesday’s are for the leader’s in our nation, what is going on around the world (Miley would fall in this category for me), Wednesday’s are for missionaries and various ministries. Thursday’s are for those suffering with illnesses, widows, etc…Friday….Saturday… She wraps up on Sunday by praying for her church and those in various ministry roles, and teachers at our church.
I hope this post was helpful to you today! Please – be in prayer for the people your kids look up too. IN and OUTSIDE the church

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tennessee Tornado

"For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker."

Psalm 95:3-6

This was NOT yesterday, but the tornado that hit my subdivision in Spring 2006. Our house was OK, but this was a neighbors.

I'm sure you have heard about out the Tornado damage here in Tennessee. My ministry partner Leigh and I (and our spouses) graduated from Union University (the school is all over the news). We have several from our church that are at Union right now. My sister-in-law has been texting her friends at Union all morning and they are all OK, but their dorm was severely damaged. About all that was salvageable were some clothes.

I get a little out of sorts with bad weather. However, this didn't happen to me until several years ago. I was a newly-wed working in downtown Nashville on the 9th floor of a 13 story building. When - out my office window I saw a tornado!!!! YES, gang. I saw it and will never forget it. The wind was whistling in the stairwell as hundreds quickly raced down all those steps to the basement. All the phones were out and I had no way to contact my husband. It happened around 2PM and it was 8PM before I was able to get home.

Last night, my kids were a little freaked out as well. You could hear the sirens warning of bad weather. The lightening was wild and the hail falling from the sky was huge! My middle child asked if we were going to die!!! The girls sleep upstairs by a HUGE window and were very nervous. So, last night I made a pallet in the floor by our bed for all three kiddos. They were pleased and after lots of giggles and silliness - were sound asleep by 10:30PM. At 1AM the storm really kicked up and I was on stand by to scoop them up and head to the closet. Luckily, that was not necessary.

My oldest is also out of school today due to the damage in our county. Our neighborhood is fine this time, but we were hit in Spring 2006. My house (we were building at the time) was not hit directly, but MANY in my subdivision were --- taking the complete back side off some of the houses. They looked like doll houses (see the above pic)! Walking around the debris was just creepy. The weather immediately after a storm like that is very weird. The air is still and dark - you see wondering pets, lawn chairs in tree tops, metal twisted in shapes that would blow your mind!

What can really blow your mind is knowing that God is still in control. That is a difficult concept to grasp during tragedy. In times like this I just think of so many different Psalms passages. I think of Psalm 5:4 that talks about how our God does not delight or take pleasure in tragedy/evil. I think of Psalm 56:3 "When I am afraid I will trust in you." Even Psalms 95 talks of how in His hands are the depths of the earth and the sea is His - He created it all AND it is all (even the weather) under His control.

Please pray today for those affected by yesterday's terrible storm.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Return To The Garden Pictures

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Psalm 19:14

This is Kay and the gals in the taping! What an amazing two days:) God even worked it out where I got to sit beside her at lunch and talk about Speaking Thru Me Ministries! It's a great story I will post one day. She gave some wonderful wisdom for ministry that I will cherish:) Also - she has one of my scripture bags that I sell for ministry. As a group, we decided to give her one in memory of our fun time together.

Hi all! Since my computer is down I don't have much time before hubby comes in and needs to start his work day so I will be brief today. By the way - my husband works from home:) Lucky ME!!!! He has a HUGE project due on Friday that he has been working on for months now - say a prayer that all goes well:)

Here are some Kay pics from our video taping of her newest Bible Study, "Return To The Garden". The study shows what the Bible says about purity. She talk about man being Protector (as God intends) VS Predator (as Satan intends) and woman being Saint VS Seductress. I am so embarassed now as to how I use to dress years ago. YIKES! Someone should have stopped me!!! Oh dear - my college dress was an absolute nightmare. It was obvious that the "meditation of my heart was not pleasing" because my dress showed it!!! I've already started working on my girls at ages 8 & 5 about modesty AND sharing age appropriate information about WHY modesty is important. My mother-in-law was a great example for me. When I met Russ, his youngest sister was only 6 years old! (Boy I'm old - she's now married!!) Anyway, I remember shopping with his sister and her mom during her teenage years. What a task! But, Amanda always looked stylish, adorable and modest.

If you have young girls in your home, begin praying about their purity. God will show you ways --- creative ways - to guide them in the area of modesty and purity.