Wednesday, May 31, 2006

About that article

Thanks to all of you who shared your thoughts about the article in this post. I promised you my thoughts, so here they are.

I have only recently begun to accept that my main ministry is to my family. I have always known that I wanted to stay home with any children that we were blessed to have, but seeing that as my ministry wasn't a natural thought process for me. I have learned so much in the last few months from Ann at Holy Experience and Laura at Here and Now. Ann wrote recently (May 17) that "Waves lap…wind brushes by…trees rustle and dance and wave. All of Earth sings Your praises. In rhythmic, daily constancy. Without end. Quotidian praises to You. Quotidian: occurring or returning daily. Over and over and over again. Like the work I do: cooking meals, baking bread, hanging laundry, changing diapers, sweeping dirt. Quotidian work. Like the endless waves lapping on the shore, quietly lilting its song of adoration, so we dance our quotidian dance of praise: dishes and dusting, laundry and… liturgy."

I have struggled with these new roles I find myself in. Deciding that cleaning and laundry and changing diapers is my ministry has not been easy. I love my husband and I love my son, but this list of things I do not love. Sacrifice. Worship. Quotidian work. Again, Ann encourages me with her words: "I frame this cleaning as my monastic beauty, my daily wrestle, to create, in imperfect ways, a world for these loved ones... like You created so perfectly for humanity when the world began...."

It's not easy, this ministry of mine. But I have learned to find the utter joy in it. I struggle daily with my attitude, but am learning to think of everything I do around this house for my family as worshiping my Father. He has graced me and blessed me with this family; my thanks to Him comes in the form of laundry and dishes and dusting and diapers. It blesses my family and it blesses me.
Recently I was made to feel guilty for not volunteering to participate in our church's VBS coming up in a couple of weeks. I've been begged on more than one occasion to teach that week. I never had a good feeling about it, and I put off giving an answer. I had been mulling over some things in my head and didn't want to give an answer until I was sure my guilty feelings were not just from a desire to be anywhere else that week but at the church building. Finally, I was prepared. Again, I was begged to please come and help. I know they need help, and I desperately wanted to answer that plea with a resounding, "Yes, I'll come save you and teach those precious children at VBS!" But, I just couldn't. Why? Because my son would suffer. VBS is from 9-12 for 5 days in a row. That is naptime and lunchtime for my little sweetie. One day wouldn't hurt him, but 5 days in a row of a messed-up schedule would be torture. My main ministry is to my family; everything else comes second to them.

What I first read the journal, I wasn't sure what to think. I don't agree with all the points, but am thankful to have read it and considered my ministry opportunities here at home.

I do participate in ministries at church, go to Bible study weekly away from home, and occasionally need to get out of the house or spend some time alone. I don't think these things are bad or sinful. In fact, it's a good time for some "daddy time" with Caleb without me trying to tell him how to do everything the "right" way. The vast majority of my time, though, is spent with and for my family. My attitude about everything is really what matters. If I fulfill my ministry at home begrudingly and desire more and more opportunities to be away from home, I am not heeding God's call on my life. My attitude toward serving my husband and my son are of utmost importance. God is glorified when I serve my family humbly with love. I'm still learning how to do this. Every day.

Updated to add: This turned out much longer than I expected! Thanks for reading it if you made it all the way through!

Works for Me Wednesday, Part 2



It's time for another installment of Works for Me Wednesday. Another laundry tip. I have two laundry baskets in our closet. One is white for light/white clothes. The other is blue for dark/colored clothing. The dirty clothes are put immediately into the proper basket which saves time sorting later. I just take the one that's almost full to the washing machine and start the process. Works for Me!

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Spiritual Meme

I was tagged by GiBee to do this spiritual meme made up by the oh-so-wise-beyond-her-years Heather. Here goes:

1. What is your life verse? Psalm 139. So many of my daily struggles can be answered here. "I don't like the way I look." Answer: "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (v. 14) "I'm afraid." Answer: "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?" (v. 7) "I feel invisible." Answer: "How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand." (v. 17-18) "I'm not good enough, smart enough, etc." Answer: "...your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (v 14) My prayer for a long time has been v. 23-24: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

2. Give a bit of your testimony: I was raised going to church since I was about a week old. During my growing up years, we lived across the street from my mom's parents (in the country, we were the only ones on this "street") and attended church with them. It was very conservative and legalism thrived there. When I was quite young, I could spout off the reasons why it was wrong to celebrate Christ's birthday on December 25, celebrate Easter on any specific day, use instruments to glorify God in anyway, why we shouldn't eat in the church building (actually, I couldn't have answered this one; I just knew it to be true), and why every other denomination was wrong. Now, don't get me wrong, I am so thankful that my parents raised me in a Christian home!! As I got older, I began to question why I believed some of these things and whether or not they were really that important. In my early college years, I didn't go to church unless I was at home with my parents. My junior year, I started attending a church with a friend that had the same name as the church I grew up in, but was very different! What I found here changed my life and my relationship with Christ forever. I went on a mission trip with a group of college students to SE Asia the summer after my junior year, then went back and spent 6 1/2 months working with a college student ministry in northern Thailand in 2001. I am continually growing in my faith and learning more about who God is everyday.

3. Do you have a favorite preacher? Not really. I love the preacher at our church now, though. I have learned so much through many people God has placed in my life.

4. What's the best Bible Study you've ever done? I did Beth Moore's A Woman's Heart: God's Dwelling Place this past Spring. It was amazing!

5. What do you feel God's calling is on your life? to be a Godly wife and mother; to serve my family joyfully and with humility. (I'm with GiBee...do I win a million dollars?) :-)

And, there you have it! Thanks for tagging me GiBee. Anyone else game for this one? I would love to learn more about the spiritual side of you.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

On His Knees

my son. on his knees.

That's what I saw when I went in his room earlier. There he was on his hands and knees inside his crib. This is the first time he's actually stayed like that for any length of time.

And I almost began to cry. Why? Because I want him to stay like that forever. No, I don't want him to stay a crawling baby forever. I want him to stay on his knees forever. In prayer.

Lord, help me to teach my son to get on his knees long after he learns to walk. May he see his mommy and his daddy on their knees often. In prayer. To you. For him. Our greatest desire is for him to know you and love you. Grant us the wisdom to teach this child what it means to be Yours. And may the tiny carpet burns remain as evidence that he has met You there. On his knees.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Working is Prayer

Ann's words today are priceless. You must read them. Be blessed.

Works for Me Wednesday

Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer has a weekly column called "Works for Me Wednesday" where everyone shares tips that make life easier for them. My tip this week is homemade laundry detergent. It's easy and cheap! Works for me.

The ingredients:




The storage container:





The recipe:
1 cup grated bar soap (I use Zote Mexican laundry soap--we get it at the dollar store 3/$1)
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup washing soda (made by Arm & Hammer; in the laundry aisle)

Mix together and store in a container with a lid. Use 1 TBS per load, 2 if heavily soiled. This mixture is a fraction of the cost of store bought laundry detergent.

It's that easy!!

(I found another homemade laundry detergent I want to try here, but I need to obtain a 5 gallon bucket first.)

Homemade laundry detergent saves me money and works for me!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

One Surrendered Day at a Time




"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Jesus, Luke 9:23

Jesus calls us to surrender our lives to Him daily. I'm just beginning to figure out that it takes a daily commitment...committing my life over and over to Him...for it to work. When I don't, this life takes over and my mind and heart become flooded with other things. I am amazed at how I can let the things of this life, the things God has given me to do and to enjoy, take control. That's not how He designed it. That's not how it works. So many times I feel like Peter...one minute I'm focused on the things of God and the next minute I'm trying to fit my thinking and my will into His divine plan. It just doesn't work.

"Life life one surrendered day at a time. Eyes to the East. Hands to the cross. Feet to the path." ~Beth Moore

Monday, May 22, 2006

Your thoughts, please

I read this article the other day and wanted to know what you think about it. The subject is women in ministry. At first it angered me, but the more I read it and thought about it, I realize she makes some really good points. I would really like to know what you think.

Mothering From the Heart Journal

After you've read it, go here to read her explanation of why she wrote it.

I'll post my thoughts later. It's sparked some interesting discussions in my head and with others lately.

Monday, May 15, 2006

ABC's about Me

A...B...C...D...MEME!

Heather tagged me for this Meme, so here it is...

Accent: I don't think I have much of one, but those from the north might disagree! I'm from Texas, but my accent is not heavy.
Bible Book that I like: Psalms, Isaiah, Hebrews, James, 1 John, All of Paul's Epistles...I really can't narrow it down.
Chore I don't care for: Laundry
Dog or Cat: Dogs
Essential Electronics: Cell phone, computer
Favorite Cologne: for girls: Very Irresistible by Givenchy, for guys: Obsession
Gold or Silver: Gold...my wedding ring and Aggie ring are all I wear most of the time (both gold)
Handbag I Carry Most Often: Diaper Bag
Insomnia: No
Job Title: Mommy
Kids: 1 adorable baby boy--8 months old
Living Arrangement: hubby, me, baby, 2 dogs in a house in suburbia
Most Admirable Trait: Compassion
Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: I convinced my sister to climb out her window with me after bedtime (it was summer and still light outside) and run across the street and touch the fake windmill our neighbors had in their front yard. We were about 4 (me) and 2 (her).
Overnight Hospital Stays: tonsils out (age 6), appendix out (age 15), baby by c-section (age 26)...I think that's all
Phobias: people seeing me when I can't see them (blinds are closed when night falls at our house, can't stand people dressed up as animals/cartoon characters at amusement parks and other places)
Quote: "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." ~Theodore Roosevelt
Religion: I follow Christ.
Siblings: 1 sister (younger), 3 brothers-in-law (1 married to my sister, 2 my hubby's brothers)
Time I Wake Up: 6:00 or earlier thanks to the little one!
Unusual Talent or Skill: Coming up with a song (real or made up by me) for ANY occasion or moment of the day
Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: Cauliflower, Asparagus
Worst Habit: Popping my knuckles
X-rays: So many...hip (fracture), feet (2 bunion surgeries), shoulder (dislocation), etc.
Yummy Stuff I Cook: King Ranch Chicken w/ extra green chile for my New Mexican hubby
Zoo Animal I Like Most: Elephant

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Convicted

Last night at Bible study, I was totally convicted about "loving your enemies." I don't feel I really have enemies, so I usually think, "yeah, yeah, I know." But there is a certain someone that I don't really care for who's dating one of my family members . Ok, I really dislike this person. Mostly because of the way this person treats my family member and other family members and the lack of moral value I see in this person's life. It hurts to see my family member in a relationship with someone who doesn't value a relationship with God. I always say, "you can fall in love with a non-Christian just as soon as you can fall in love with a Christian;" we have to be smart about these things! So, it hit me last night as we were studying about Christ's words to "love your enemies" that I need to love this person. And, it needs to be sincere love, not just the fakey nice kind I've been doing so far. This is really hard! I am definitely going to have to "live beyond myself" with this one (as Beth Moore would say). It is much easier just to complain about this person's behavior and put up a good front when I have to be around this person. But, God has called me to LOVE everyone, even those who say nasty things to me, about me, in front of me, etc. Even those who hurt my family members. Even those I would rather not have to spend any amount of time with WHATSOEVER. How they act is not my concern; how I act is completely my concern. I have been called to a life of love, forgiveness, humility, self-control, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness...and so many other things that are "beyond" me. This is not easy. No one ever said it would be.

Praying for a mighty work of the Spirit on this one.


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