Archive for July 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Being a Mom on Sundays: Preparation Tips


I had a coach one time that always shouted to us while we were running laps or doing drills over and over and over, "Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!!!!!" I don't know that preparing our hearts prior to Sunday prevents all challenges on the Lord's day, but preparing does help.

In this final post about being a mom on Sundays, I thought I'd share some random preparation tips. Pretty much any thoughts I have come from others, so thank you to all you wise friends for helping me!

Preparing for Sundays: Some Tips
  • Talk with your husband about the temptations you face on Sundays and ask for his prayers and input on how you can grow in those areas
  • Thank God for the input your husband gave and seek to apply it
  • Talk with other ladies in your care group about your temptations related to Sunday morning and seek their accountability and prayer
  • Pray on Saturday night: ask for the Lord's help to glorify Him on Sunday, ask Him to give you wisdom in caring for your kids during the service, ask Him to use to bless others, ask Him to meet with you
  • Lay out your clothes and all of the kids' clothes on Saturday (including things that are hard to find when you need them...like socks, shoes, etc)
  • Pack the diaper bag completely on Saturday & then check it over on Sunday morning
  • Talk with your kids on Saturday about what is coming in the morning; we like to pump Tali up for church Saturday night by talking about what all we'll do at church
  • Try to spend your Saturdays with Sundays in mind; don't stay up super late on Saturday
  • If you're able, get Sunday lunch ready on Saturday so that you don't feel rushed when the service is over
  • Pump some worship music when you get up on Sunday morning (we have a regular song that I play every Sunday for Tali as a special little Sunday tradition)
  • Before heading to church (or on the way) pray for the Lord to help you seek to serve others, ask Him to lead you to who He wants you to talk with, encourage, or pray for
  • Leave much earlier than you need to (wow, do I need to work on this one!!!); it always takes longer than you think to get out the door
  • On the way to church, review your expectations with your kids (for us right now this is basically a reminder about greeting people with "hi" and a reminder about worshiping or at least standing up, not climbing up on chairs!)
  • When you get to church, thank God for the opportunity to meet with Him and pray for His blessing on the service
  • If your number flashes on the screen, remind yourself, "This is God's appointed call for me right now; I can glorify Him by joyfully helping my child."
  • If you aren't able to stay in the service to hear the sermon, download it and listen to it at some point later in the week
Ok, ladies, this is not an exhaustive list. Help me out here! I would love to learn from you (whether you are a mom right now or not). What ideas do you have for preparing for Sundays? Please stick a comment in with some of your thoughts. (Jessy Phelps and Barbie P., I know you ladies have some great ideas so you better share some.)

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Thank You, Lord!


Isn’t He good, isn’t He kind
Hasn’t He blessed us time after time
Isn’t He good, all of our days
With endless mercies And ceaseless grace
Oh let us sing: He is good!
(by S.Altrogge)

Well, it's hard to believe but after months of negotiations, we are finally homeowners! We are so grateful to God for His kindness in leading us to this home and so grateful for the generosity of family who are helping make this possible. Thank you for all of your prayers! We're planning on doing some work on the house for a while and starting to live there sometime near the end of August. Thank You, Lord!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Being a Mom on Sundays: Anticipating His Work

As one dear woman put it, "Church is a glorious opportunity to meet God, even in the midst of goldfish and raisins!"

It's not every week that I think that way. Often on Sundays, I see my sinful tendency to complain. I can whine to the Lord, "God, all I got to sing was one verse of a song before Owen started crying!" Or, "When is the last time I actually got to listen to an entire sermon at church?" On any given Sunday, I may be found complaining to the Lord rather than looking for the ways that God is at work, meeting me.

God wants to meet us as we arrive on Sunday mornings. Am I looking for Him to meet me or am I too busy complaining to see how He's at work?

What a humbling thing to think that each Sunday as I arrive at church, the Living God wants to meet with me! He desires that my faith be strengthened each Sunday and that my love for Him grow deeper. So even if I only get to sing one song, I can praise Him for His kindness in allowing me to sing it! What kindness! What mercy! He is giving me the opportunity to sing one song! If I get to hear a bit of a sermon, I can thank Him for that blessing. Even a little bit of truth is still truth that I need to hear! If I only get the opportunity to catch up with one person, I can thank God for the way He made that possible. How kind of God to provide me with friends to talk to! What a difference it makes when I'm looking for God to meet me rather than complaining about how I feel I'm "missing out."

I want to go to church this Sunday anticipating His work and thanking Him for it.

p.s.-Thanks to Betsy for her teaching on this!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tali's Boo-boo

We're back! The Lord was so faithful to answer all of our prayers; thanks for praying. I've got tons of fun pictures to post, but for now I wanted to share a conversation Tali had with me today before naptime. She somehow bumped her foot a little and got extremely dramatic about the severity of the "boo-boo." Here's what the little drama-queen said:

"Oh! Tahee boo-boo un foot. Need dahtuh, hep Tahee. Tahee hut! My toe hut! Need ban-daid, Mommy! Foot hut. Mommy fine ban-daid, Tahee foot. Teh Baybee, teh bane-kee, Tahee boo-boo un foot. (We couldn't find her blankie so she wanted Owen's.) Bane-kee in die-uh? Use O-wen bane-kee. (Now she started talking to Owen's blankie and to her baby.) O-wen bane-kee? Tahee boo-boo un toe. Hut toe! Bay-bee, Tahee boo-boo un foot. Tahee ban-daid trib."

Translation:
("Oh! Tali boo-boo on foot. Need doctor, help Tali. Tali hurt! My toe hurt! Need bandaid, Mommy. Foot hurts. Mommy find bandaid for Tali's foot. Tell Baby. Tell blankie. Tali boo-boo on foot. Blankie in the dryer? Use Owen's blankie. Owen's blankie? Tali boo-boo on toe. Hurt toe! Baby, Tali boo-boo on foot. Tali bandaid crib.")

She's so funny!

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

California

We fly out tonight at 8pm for a week with Josh's family. It'll be our first flight w/two kids so it should be an adventure! If you think of us, we'd love prayers:

-for the kids to sleep on the plane

-for Josh's grandma to be blessed at her 80th birthday celebration

-grace for Tali & Owen to quickly adjust and to warm up to family

-for my heart to reflect the Savior's, seeking to serve and not wanting to be served

-for Josh's allergies to be minimal and for him to get some good rest

Thank you! I'm off to finish packing...

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Being A Mom on Sundays: What About Their Naps?

I love having my kids on a routine. This is partially because I think that routine does serve them and serve our family, but also because I can sinfully crave predictability. I like my kids going down for naps at exactly the same time, waking up at the same time (if only!), eating at the same time, etc. And guess what? No one consulted me about my kids' routines before they decided what time to start church. (Can you believe it??!!)

Looking at Sundays as something that "gets in the way" of Tali & Owen's routine is a huge hindrance to my joy at church. When I sigh over Owen missing his nap or grumble in my heart about Tali not getting her lunch as early as usual, I am missing the point of Sunday mornings. The point is to meet with the Lord and His people; the point is not for my kids to keep their schedule. What they need most, what I need most is not a consistent routine each and every day of the week. What we need most is a Savior.

As I drive to Sovereign Grace, I want to thank God for the gift of being able to raise my kids in a Gospel-centered church. The fact is that Tali and Owen (and their mommy) need the saving truth that we hear each week much more than we need to maintain my schedule.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Being a Mom on Sundays

Since I've had Tali, my love for Sunday mornings has not come easily. Sadly, each week it is a fight to see the blessing of Sundays. Sunday mornings involve hours of preparation on Saturday evening (packing diaper bag, getting clothes set out, loading the car), occasionally catching a tiny bit of a sermon, handing Cheerio after Cheerio to Tali, nursing Owen, walking the halls, etc. Yes, this is just for a season. But while I'm in this season, I need God's help to view Sundays through the lens of the Gospel instead of through my sinful selfishness. I've not perfected this at all but it's something that I'm seeking to think about.

One way that I can do this is to look at Sundays as a day for serving God's people, not a day about me. When we were at the Pastor's College, one woman shared about going on Sundays looking for ways to serve. What a difference that makes when we take our eyes off of ourselves and look for ways to serve others! She made the comment, "Someone here needs to be edified. Lord, who is it today?" Her practice has been to walk into church praying, asking the Lord to direct her to a person that she can encourage or pray for. Instead of going to church, looking for how I can be built up, I want to go looking for who I can encourage.

As a mom with small kids, this may take place in the nursing mom's room or in the hall or even for 2 minutes before the service starts. Maybe it's not the lengthy discussion that I was once able to have, but I can still pray for someone in 30 second version if I'm looking at how I can serve instead of lamenting the ways that I'm not being served (aka: not sitting through an entire sermon, etc).

More thoughts later.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What Can You Thank God For?

After I shared on Mother's Day at our church, I remember thinking, "This just falls so short of the honor that she deserves. It's not saying enough. There's so much more I want to say!" I still feel that way, but I hope that it blessed my mom and encouraged others as well.

Josh, Tali, Owen and I have now been living at my parent's house for a month. After a month of being here, I have so many more reasons to thank God for my mom. She and my dad graciously gave us their upstairs and moved to the basement so that we could have more room. She joyfully plays with our kids each day, helping me do the normal life routines like diaper changes, meals, laundry, holding crying children, etc. She has never complained about the enormous amount of toys covering her floor or the extra work that we are bringing about in her life. I know that it simply doesn't seem like a big deal to her because God has really given her a gift for hospitality and she loves being a mom. She loves serving and she does it so well. I have much to learn from her example...

I know that I am incredibly blessed with the mom that God has given me and I don't want to forget that! For you, it may be harder to think of things that you can thank your mom for. Remember, God is perfect in His orchestration of families! You are handpicked for your mom and she is handpicked for you. (Likewise, your daughter is handpicked by God for you and you are handpicked by God for her!) I would encourage you to take just a moment to ask the Lord for something to thank your mom for, then call and let her know that you're thankful for her! It's a small way that we can honor the Lord by being grateful-after all, He gave up His only son for us! And, I'm sure it will bless your mom more than you know.

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Honoring My Mom, Part 3

But as much as I’d like to say more about each of those things…I really want to thank you today for the enduring/the lasting influence that you’re having. Now, all that I’ve learned from you over the years about being a mom is having an influence on another generation. Though Tali and Owey are just babies, their lives are all ready being shaped by the way that you live.

It is a joy to see Tali and Owen experience the same rich love from you that I have experienced all of my life. You’re making a lasting difference in their lives.

Mom, I’ll never be able to even begin thanking you for all of the influence you’ve had. But I hope today that you see that the way you faithfully devoted yourself to building our relationship in my early years, the way you invested so much time entering into my world as a teenager, and the way you are faithfully caring for me throughout the transitions into adult-hood, those things all continue to bear much fruit now. And they will continue to have a lasting impact, not only on me, but on your grandchildren and even beyond that. In the midst of learning to be a mom with two small children, looking at your life gives me encouragement and hope. I am excited as I consider that what I’m doing right now really does have a lasting effect for years and years to come. Mom, thank you for your influence on my life; I want to follow your example. I pray that one day Tali will grow up to be a mom like you and that her daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters will do the same. I love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day.

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Honoring My Mom, Part 2

Mom, I’ve learned from the way you sacrificially invested so much time entering into my world when I was a teenager. You came to our youth group on Monday nights to serve and share in what was such an important time for me. You not only attended literally hundreds of my softball games, you helped me keep the perspective that softball isn’t life, but is “just a game.” When I had friends over, you spent hours getting to know them, hanging out with us, asking us questions, and just being around. You took the time to love and know my friends and because of your genuine care for them, you were and are like a second mom to some of them.

Sadly, I know that I did not always honor you as I should have, but you were faithful to keep on entering into my world to build our relationship and demonstrate a Christ-like love in my teen years. And your influence on me didn’t end when I moved out of the house. I’ve also learned from the way you have faithfully cared for me throughout my transitions until adult-hood

During the college years you would write me countless letters telling me you were praying for me and you and dad would regularly drive 2 ½ hours to visit me on weekends. And then, as I have become a wife and now a mom, that faithful care has only continued. You constantly model Philippians 2:3-4, which says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interest, but also to the interests of others.” Mom, that’s the kind of faithful care you’ve loved me with.

Each and every day I find new examples of how you put my interests above your own. For example, you eagerly listen to my daily phone calls sharing new stories about the kids, you selflessly give up your plans for the day on a moment’s notice to help me adjust to life with two babies, you gladly watch the kids so that Josh and I can go out on a date and enjoy time alone. Really, this list goes on and on and on as you add to it each week.

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