Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spiritual Warfare on the Home-front

I love C.S. Lewis.  I am not sure if it is because he captured my heart and mind in his Chronicles of Narnia, or that when I read his theological essays or books I feel intelligent. (*wink*)  But needless to say, his work has made an impact on my life.

God has been nudging me to reread C.S. Lewis's book, The Screwtape Letters recently.  (<-- Thats a link to an online PDF version you can read for free) I read them 7-8 years ago, and I felt the need to go back to them and delve a little deeper.  If you are unfamiliar with The Screwtape Letters, it is a series of letters from the a demon named Screwtape, to his apprentice demon (also nephew) Wormwood.  Here is Wikipedia's summary of the book: 

In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis provides a series of lessons in the importance of taking a deliberate role in living out Christian faith by portraying a typical human life, with all its temptations and failings, as seen from devils' viewpoints. Screwtape holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy ("Lowerarchy") of Hell, and acts as a mentor to Wormwood, the inexperienced tempter. In the body of the thirty-one letters which make up the book, Screwtape gives Wormwood detailed advice on various methods of undermining faith and promoting sin in the Patient, interspersed with observations on human nature and Christian doctrine. Wormwood and Screwtape live in a peculiarly morally reversed world, where individual benefit and greed are seen as the greatest good, and neither demon is capable of comprehending God's love for man or acknowledging true human virtue when he sees it.

One of the main reason I love The Screwtape Letters is that it gives the reader a glimpse into the mind of the enemy in a tangible way.  So often our knees buckle at the thought of "spiritual warfare".  We hear that cliche phrase and immediately change the subject or we respond with something like "that stuff creeps me out"...  Well, unfortunately turning a blind eye, hiding in a hole of ignorance or pretending that its imaginary is exactly what the enemy wants us to do.   

In Screwtape's third letter he talks about a certain situation that has proven to take ahold of me time and time again. Wormwood's patient has recently become a believer and he has moved in with his mother.  Screwtape gives some instruction on how to drive a wedge between the patient's mother and himself.  This is what he said in the 3rd and 4th point: 
"3. When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother's eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy—if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbability of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed.

4. In civilised life domestic hatred usually expresses itself by saying things which would appear quite harmless on paper (the words are not offensive) but in such a voice, or at such a moment, that they are not far short of a blow in the face. To keep this game up you and Glubose must see to it that each of these two fools has a sort of double standard. Your patient must demand that all his own utterances are to be taken at their face value and judged simply on the actual words, while at the same time judging all his mother's utterances with the fullest and most oversensitive interpretation of the tone and the context and the suspected intention. She must be encouraged to do the same to him. Hence from every quarrel they can both go away convinced, or very nearly convinced, that they are quite innocent. You know the kind of thing: "I simply ask her what time dinner will be and she flies into a temper." 

As I read through this "instruction" from Screwtape to Wormwood, I thought about my own actions with my spouse, with family members, or co-workers... Yikes, this is a trap I can easily fall into.  Those irritating glances, or using "innocent" words but with a condescending tone... Ouch, again!!

After suddenly becoming aware of my own faults I realized that I was not only hurting those around me, but I was falling right into the hands of my enemy... Satan.  He was playing me like a fiddle.

Satan wants us to believe that Spiritual Warfare only exists in taro cards, crystal balls and seances, but the reality is that he (Satan) can be at work in patronizing remarks, judgmental thoughts, jabbing jargon and snobbish glances.  This is exactly how he creeps into or relationships with friends, family and especially our spouse.  All it takes is experiencing one or two of those "blow to the face" comments to drive a thick wedge between you and someone you love.

Just as I can be the one dishing out those arrogant arguments, I can just as easily be the party guilty of "oversensitive interpretation"....  So, count me as guilty on both counts!  (boo) 

What an easy whirlpool to get caught up in... each reaction will spawn the other spinning faster and faster until your relationship is damaged or broken.  (which is Satan's anticipated result) 


Don't be ignorant....Be ALERT and of SOBER MIND:  Before reading this letter, I knew that my behavior was not "the best" but I was ignorant (in some ways) that it was actually "falling victim to temptation" or falling into the category of "spiritual warfare".

1 Peter 5:8-9 says: "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings."

We must:

  • Be Alert and of Sober Mind by living in the reality that Satan's mission is to devour. 
  • Resist Satan by identifying his voice and turning away.
  • Stand Firm in Faith by being in the Word, praying, participating in corporate worship regularly. 
  • Not Feel Alone by knowing GOD is on your side and surrounding yourself with likeminded people. 
Satan desires the antithesis of this: to be isolated, lacking faith, and to be used by him.   Of course you read that and think, "oh, I would never be at that point", but reality is that most of us have been there.  

Remind yourself of what Jesus said in John 10:10

"The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full."

I ask this question to you and to myself.... Are you living life to the full as Christ intended?  Or are you allowing Satan to steal your joy, kill your relationships and destroy your witness? 

Its a daily process, we must reassess each day.  God is for us!  He wants our relationships to thrive, he wants our marriages to survive, he wants healthy families.  He also wants us to live in the light, and sometimes that is hard to do, because we must face our faults and fess up to our mistakes, making amends where necessary and changing our behavior when conviction takes hold of our hearts. His ways are greater than our own, and we must trust them. Even though the skeptic in us wants to believe our husband had an ulterior motive in folding the laundry for us, sometimes the reality is that he was just trying to help! 

James 4:7- 
So humble yourself before God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.

Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Before I Formed You, I Knew You... "Nurturing the Nature" of Our Children

Before having children I was a teacher. 

I thought I knew everything about children. 

I distinctly remember sitting in my education classes at The University of Oklahoma and participating in the long debate of "nature vs. nurture".  (What a naive little 19 year old I was.) After graduation I went on to teach over 500 students in my short teaching career.  After teaching that many students, I would have still argued that "nurture" had a more prominent impact in forming a personality than "nature".

Then.  I had my own children.  3 little kids changed my entire point of view. 

All three of my children are uniquely different.  Their little personalities are strong, but individual.  I never knew that 2 children could have the same biological parents, relatively the same "nurturing" environment and be polar opposites.  This simple scene explains so much about my 2 oldest children:

 A friend got our children a Disney movie with various vintage cartoons for Christmas.  The first cartoon in the line up was The Three Little Pigs.  Sadly, my children had never heard the story of the three little pigs.  So.  One Friday night we popped pop-corn, hunkered down on our couch and watched the DVD together.  
Of course, the video showed all the little pigs working hard on their houses, hammering away on the stick house, gathering hay for the straw house and laying mortar for the brick house.  The music was up beat, the sky blue, and all was hunky-dory.  The pigs were laughing and frolicking about in the front of their houses... then all of the sudden, the big-bad-wolf enters the scene....waa-waaaah.  (I am assuming you know the rest of the story)
After the wolf precedes to blow the houses down, my son looks at me with the straightest face and most serious eyes and says, "Mom, you know his breath couldn't really blow down a whole house".  I responded and then looked over at my little 2 1/2 year old daughter.  She is sitting on the couch, eyes as big as saucers, welled up with tears and says, "Dat wolf blowed down his house ... (insert dramatic pause)... daaats so saaad!".  She was in utter shock and you could feel her heart break as her eyes never left the screen.  I am sure she was thinking of the poor little piggies... where were they going to live now?  (Bless. Her. Heart.) 

This scenario depicts my children's personalities in the most perfect way.  Both watching the same exact movie, but reacting with contrasting emotion.  My son is logical, linguistic, and in some ways unemotional, where as my daughter wears her heart on her sleeve.  She is empathic, sincere and considerate.  They are polar opposites, but both amazingly unique and gifted in countless ways.  As the scene unfolded it fascinated me to think two children were reared under the same roof, from the same parents, but can be so different.  I sat amazed at how God can create such individuals, giving each person uniquely characterized personalities.  With the fundamental arguments of science aside, simply acknowledging how differently we are all created is proof of a higher power.  

okay.... on with my point.

I recently ran across the amplified verse of Proverbs 22:6- 

"Train up a child in the way he should go [keeping with his individual bent or gift], and when he is old he will not depart from it."

Now that I am a mother, and my children are old enough to let their little personalities be known... this verse means so much more.  That small part that the amplified Bible adds is so important "Keeping with his individual bent or gift"... wow.  Yes!!  I am in total agreement, and what a key part in parenting our children. 

1:  Cultivating your child's strength.  First of all, as mothers (and fathers) we need to be sensitive to the natural "bent" that our children arrive in our arms with.  You may be a biological parent, or a parent through adoption or foster care, no matter how your child ended up in your nuclear family, it is your responsibility to identify the gifts of your children.  As their personality develops, be sensitive to distinguish their gifts.  Watch for how their little minds work, and pick out their strengths.  Sometimes their strengths are hard to identify until their communication skills are better developed, but no matter what the age, their gifts still have a way to shine through.  Foster their gift, and communicate to your child what you see in them, affirming that you notice their uniqueness and giving credit to the Creator.  

2: After you have identified the strengths of their personalities, take notice of their weakness.  Weaknesses in our children do not have to be their detriment.  So often I see parents speak negatively about their children, pointing out their ornery attributes and exploiting them to other adults in conversation or via Facebook  and even to strangers out in public.  Parents might say things like, 
  • "My child has no impulse control, he is so ADD..." As their child runs through the aisles of the grocery store... 
  • "He just does what he wants..." The parent says while shaking their head after their child pushed my child down to get to the swings first...
  • "I am sorry, she doesn't know personal space..." The parent apologizes after their crusty nosed 3 year old kisses all over my newborn babies face. 
Well guess what, just because your child has some weaknesses doesn't mean that allowing them to  act out is OKAY!?!  Do something about it for-crying-out-loud.  If I were to allow myself (as a adult) to have no self control, yes... I would be apologizing all day long.  With as many strengths we come into the world with, we carry along a backpack full of deficiencies.  My husband and I have worked endlessly with my oldest son to promote thinking with compassion, consideration and respect. 

Like I said before, Daxx is logical and very "black and white".  At times he does not have a filter; when he says something he can come across rude or insincere.  To counter that we have worked really hard at practicing dialog with him.  Instead of screaming "GET OUT OF MY STUFF!" we have coached him to say to his sister, "Excuse me, I prefer to play alone".  Having conversations with our children about their areas of weakness is okay!  We can get down on their level and explain, "Yes, I know babies are so cute, but we cannot kiss every baby we see... they might be sleeping and we don't want to disturb them".... Using these moments as opportunities to teach explicitly how to counter their impulse is key.  

We live in society where we want to tout our strengths and will not admit our weaknesses.  This bad habit has overflowed into parenting.  We want to brag on what our children can do, but we never work hard on correcting the things that don't come so naturally, like self control or respecting others.  

Zadie, my daughter doesn't exhibit the same weakness as Daxx, her strength is kindness.  But don't worry she is not perfect, she can be controlling in other ways that we have had to work on in a different manner.  And even my 9 month old son... his strength is being adventurous, but it is also his weakness. I am sure he will be a fun one to raise up. :) 

3:  Respect each child's gift.   So often I have heard mothers compare children.  One mother may say,  "Well his sister was so verbal at this age, and he only has said 2 words".  I have even over heard mothers in public say, "Do you see that kid?!?  He is behaving so well and YOU are being wild".  I can assure you right now that having a condescending approach to parenting will backfire on you like a bad burrito... (Thats a gross analogy, huh!)   

With guidance and protection we must allow our children to develop their unique natural gifts as they mature.  With television, facebook, Instagram and even blogging we often compare our children to those of our friends or even famous strangers.  Maybe all of your friends kids play football, and you know your child is not cut out for full contact sports... that's okay.  Don't hold it against him, don't force him to be who he isn't,  be sensitive to his personality and allow him an opportunity to be successful in something different.  I can only imagine this gets exponentially worse as kids get older... well "so-in-so got accepted to this college" or "her daughter received "this scholarship""....( bleck, bleck, bleck )

Basically what I am saying is we must "nurture the nature" of our children 

One of my favorite verses as a mother is Jeremiah 1:5:

"Before I formed you in your mother's womb I knew you.  Before you were born I set you apart."

God knew us BEFORE He formed us!!!!   The same is true with our children.  God knew Daxx before He formed him, God knew Zadie before he formed her, and God knew little baby Dutch before he was formed (<---to our own surprise!).  God has given each of us an "individual bent or gift" for a reason.  That reason is so that someday we may act out the very will HE has created us for.  Just as He set Jeremiah aside to be a prophet, he has chosen a purpose for each of us... each purpose different, yet equally important.  

Proverbs 19:21
"Many plans are in a mans mind, but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand." 

It's hard to parent.  We all make mistakes!!!!!  Satan wants to derail our efforts at all costs because he wants future generations to be egocentric, narcissistic, and numb to the call of God.  Satan is THE deceiver.... you are foolish to think you can outwit him or outplay him.  The only thing we can trump Satan with is TRUTH.  

TRUTH is training up our children.  
TRUTH is knowing they have a purpose that extends beyond the 18 years they are in our care. 
TRUTH is acknowledging they are ultimately GOD's property. 

And, always look confidently into their future and have an eternal mindset when parenting.    

Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Joy" Always Trumps "Happiness"...

Before having children I was a teacher.  One of the rituals I had every year was filling in my school calendar.  At the beginning of each school year I would buy a large desk calendar.  I would fill out the calendar with important events, most importantly the days we had off, decorating it with markers, color coding each event.   It was my holy grail of calendars.  If I was having a particularly hard day I could sit back in my fancy "swively" desk chair, look at my calendar and anticipate the next vacation, birthday party, or free day to sleep in until noon.  Often I would repeat to myself (or sometimes to the students), "Only three more weeks until Spring Break... you can do this!".  I seemed to be living from "calendar event to calendar event".

We do this so often in everyday life as well.  We have count downs for baby arrivals, marriages or even the return of a family member from war.  Though these events are life changing and weighty on the scale of importance, they have a pending end.  The internet has made our countdowns even more exciting by offering us handy countdown apps, or calendars you can subscribe to that tell you how many days, minutes (or even seconds) are left until the anticipated date and time.  I love living in anticipation.  There have been times in my life that I thrive on it, especially when I am anticipating something HUGE!

As we get older, we check off some of these "life milestones" like graduation, marriage, babies... then we hit a plateau in life.  I suddenly have no need for a fancy countdown calendar to reel by, and I hit a lull.

My mom is a wise woman.   (If you only knew the depth of her wisdom.)  She is the person in my life that I can count on to give me an honest answer, even if it is hard to hear.  She can be my sounding board when thinking through decisions.  Lately, I was talking to her about some different situations and she shared with me something that has been pinging back and forth in my head for the last few weeks.

She said.
 "Heather, you find HAPPINESS in "happenings", and JOY is constant no matter what our circumstance."

When she said this to me, I agreed and then we kept talking, eventually moving on from that topic.  But as I am still and listen, I keep coming back to this phrase.

First of all, am I seeking happiness or joy?  Am I depending on my life to be filled with exciting "happenings" one after the other, that lead me to believe that I am "happy"?  Am I putting more weight on being "happy" than being "joyful"?  Should I even seek out happiness, or is it a byproduct of joy?  (These are all questions that have entered my mind the last few weeks when thinking about my Mom's statement) 

I once had a friend of mine tell me "But, I deserve happiness...".  Really, DO WE?  Probably not.  Most likely not.  Actually the answer is NO, we don't deserve "happiness", what we deserve is the opposite.  Because of Christ, we are offered something far greater than happiness, Joy.

 Joy is internal contentment that comes from internal factors like our faith in the Lord, whereas  happiness is dependent on external circumstance.  

Over and over scripture talks about the Lord being a source of Joy.  "The joy of the Lord is my strength"(Nehemiah 8:10), "the fruit of the spirit is... joy" (Galatians 5:22) , the Lord is the "joy of our salvation"(Psalm 51:12)... you see what I am saying?  Joy is referred to over 300 times in the Bible, where as the word "happy" is only referred to 30.  The fountain from where joy flows is from the Lord alone, not by our own accomplishments, and not through any exciting situations.  Joy is unconditional, cross cultural, interdenominational, it breaks all socioeconomic rules,  it is intergenerational, non-gender-specific and uncircumstantial.

In James 1:2 Paul actually commands us to consider it "pure joy" when we are confronted with trials... (what!!  Talk about counterintuitive.)  Our human nature wants to look at the trails in our life, no matter what they might be, and focus on the negative.  When we give power to the "happenings" in our life, we allow them to lift us up (when they are good)... but to also bring us down (when they stink).  Instead we need to surrender that "power" to Christ, and when we do so, he replaces it with Joy.

If you find yourself in the plateau of life, and you don't have "joy"... you will either make up exciting "happenings" to get you through (sometimes these are detrimental to your relationships, jobs, or responsibilities) or you may sink into a circumstantial depression, because "things just are not going your way".  When I catch myself in this frame of mind, I pause and I pose the question:

"Am I seeking happiness or am I relying on joy?"

Really think, are you allowing the "happenings" in your life to dictate your emotions, or are you depending on the strength of the Lord to provide you with the internal contentment that we call "Joy".

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I spilled Orange Juice on Jen Hatmaker

Do you see this woman above... Did you play her video...Don't you love her scarf?

Well, this woman has been a catalyst in my life.  Some people have been transformed by books, authors, individuals that they run into on their path of life, and God has used this woman, Jen Hatmaker to change me.  I am an example of the person she talks about in the clip above.

Let me start at the very beginning... it's a very good place to start (so they say).

5 years ago I attended the BGCO's woman's conference at Falls Creek, America.  I sat in a breakout session on "How to Study Your Bible" (or something to that affect) with 50 other women.  There I was, sitting next to one of my dearest friends JenN (who will come back up in a minute) and we listened.  Jen Hatmaker got straight to the point, and spoke on the importance of God's word.  She debunked any excuses I had for NOT reading through the Old Testament.  She expected me to read the names that I couldn't pronounce, and told me I was to love the law, the genealogies, and the rich history of Israel because God purposefully put it in his WORD!  I sat there, probably with my jaw wide open, because I was guilty on all accounts.  I skipped the long names, I had never intentionally studied the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy), and I was a disciple of bible study authors, NOT THE WORD OF GOD!! I had attended church my entire life and did not know the God whom I served.   (This is my story... Yours might be completely different)

She handed out an UGLY 2 page list of questions (Not even 1 piece of clip art for crying out loud!) and resources to aid in studying the BIBLE, and she introduced me to my favorite man EVER, Matthew Henry.  It was as if she handed me the map and set me assail on a journey that changed my life.  The most important thing she told me in that session was to STUDY the Bible, do not merely read it through.  And don't be ashamed if in that process you are stuck in one chapter for a month, because you are there to understand it, not to read it!  

It was the first time in my life a woman looked at me and talked straight.  She did not talk about self doubt, worry/anxiety, body image, raising godly kids, or other "typical" woman topics... she basically said, if you do not know what is in here (and she held up the Bible) then you are kidding yourself if you say you are a Christian. (And that is when my head went down and my heart sank, because she was speaking to me)

So... I left that weekend, which was in March 2009 (I believe) and I opened my Bible and began to study.  A fire was lit in my heart, I suddenly had a hunger for God's word that was untamed and unquenched.  God began speaking to me.  He chipped away the scales from my eyes and showed me that the God I serve is incomprehensible, unpredictable, jealous, loving, sovereign and purposeful.

My Bible is LITERALLY falling APART!!!  This is all because it has been read, reread and read again.  

The ugly list of questions still reside in my Bible.  Along with my own doodles of genealogies, timelines, and family trees.
Fast forward 2 years... A friend of mine called me up and said that Jen Hatmaker was coming to Laverne, OK... A teensy town in NW Oklahoma.  My husband is from a town near Laverne so we made the destination to see the woman who had changed our life.   I am pretty sure no more than 30 women showed up to this conference, so we got to meet Jen.  I was thrilled.  Finally I could meet the woman who had given me the keys to unlocking this thing called "Christianity"...  what was I to say?  Maybe I should just fall to her feet and cry.  I had no words to express how thankful to her I am...


The time came for us to introduce ourselves.  My friends and I walk up to the table.

Jen Hatmaker is talking and babbling... random things are the typical subject of conversation like, "I love your necklace", "Where are you from?"...  I over heard she was awaiting to adopt 2 children from Africa.... I kept listening to other women talk and carry on effortless conversation with her.  All of them seemed so funny and cute... the line was inching closer to my turn... and still... I had no idea what to say.  This woman doesn't know me.  She has no clue that I sat in that room a few years ago and since then my life has been transformed....

Finally it was my turn.

I walk up to the table.

I didn't have any books for her to "sign" let alone anything to say.  I was at a loss for words (which has never happened in my entire life!!)

My mouth opens and out comes, "Hi... " then an awkward silence sets in.  A pause that both Jen Hatmaker and I could tell was just a little too long.  The scene almost mimicked a 12 year old girl meeting Justin Beiber for the first time, or when my husband's friend Taylor comes over and my 2 1/2 daughter hides between my legs because she is just so overcome.

After the awkward pause... we bring up some random topic, talk to a few seconds and I then let the girl behind me take over.


Big. Fat. Meetingmysuperhero. FAIL.


I cried 1 tear, then my friends and I laughed.

And to this day, it is a moment we laugh about ALL.THE.TIME.  "Remember when Heather bombed in front of Jen Hatmaker...bahahahhaha".

Through the major disappointment of my social fail, God still moved.... in the middle of "Nowhere America" God used Jen Hatmaker to change my life...AGAIN.  This time.  She addressed the verse John 1:17

"For the law was given through Moses; GRACE and TRUTH came through Jesus Christ".

What a small verse, with such grand meaning.  Here, I was studying through the Old Testament, seeing God use Moses in so many ways... And now she hits me with GRACE and TRUTH.  Yes.  Jesus came to bring truth, to break the curse of sin, to allow us communion with God the Father... oh... but yes, He also brought GRACE... and GRACE must precede TRUTH.  Is that how I communicate my friends, family, children... by letting grace precede truth?! (Guilty again!)

Well... because of that encounter and the impact of this verse on my life it has become our household mission.  "To live in Grace and Truth"  ANNNDDDD  my husband wrote a song about Grace and Truth.  (And this song was recently put onto a CD that will be distributed through Interlinc  and will be in the hands of over 60,000 high school graduates.  Who else could use more Grace and Truth than fresh little 18 year olds about to enter the real world!!).  Here is a shameless link to my husbands song, please have a listen. 

Sooo... again.  God used that encounter with Jen to impact so many.

My story is not over.

1 year after my Laverne, OK encounter I was given an opportunity to redeem myself.  I volunteer for a non-profit organization in Oklahoma City called The Spero Project.  Once a year The Spero Project puts on an event called MARKED.  They did a short 3 day seminar following Marked focusing on Women who work with marginalized women.  Sadly my son had the flu, so I couldn't attend the entire event, but I did attend the session that Jen was speaking at.  It was by invitation only, and 15-20 women were expected to attend.  I called up my friend Jenn, (the one mentioned above) and gloated a bit.  And of course she paid me back by sending me texts like, "So are you holding Jen's hand yet?", "Are you braiding each other's hair?"  Which just made me laugh and increased my a million.

So after Jen Hatmaker rocked my world yet again with a message on the Sabbath, we had some "socializing" time...  I tried to plan my approach a little better than the last one.  I had words to say.  It was a less formal setting.  I could be real... Finally she had made the rounds, and it was my turn to say my spiel.

I took a deep breath, walked up and introduced myself.  As I was introducing myself... I kicked over a tall glass of Orange juice, causing a gigantic mess.  Ahhhhh.... fooled again!!!  Of course we stopped cleaned up the mess, and each went our separate ways.  (Doh, Heather!)  And.  Again.  I was a clumsy klutz and missed my opportunity to spill my heart and guts out to the person who helped to refocus my life.

So... 6 months ago 2 different PEOPLE bought me tickets to see Jen Hatmaker when she came to our city... lol.  I guess word had spread inside my inner circle that I kinda liked her.  My friend Jenn (the one who sent me the funny texts during my last JH encounter) and I let our husbands watch the kiddos and we went to see our lovely lady, expecting to be changed.. yet again.

Jenn (my friend) had recently finished "7" and she wanted Jen Hatmaker to sign her book.  I kindly obliged and accompanied her in line whilee she waited.  My plan of action this time was to smile and look cute...surely I couldn't screw that up???  We finally got to the front and Jen Hatmaker looks right in my eyes and says... "Have we met before?"....

This is me... 3 weeks POST BABY... So don't mind my swollen face and frumpy clothes.  I was just happy to be out of the house AND....  my friend Jenn on the right, ain't she purty?! 

My friend Jenn and I looked at each other and laughed.... (Oh, if you only knew Jen Hatmaker, if you only knew). Without divulging any details of our encounter(S), I told her I attended last years Post-Marked put on by The Spero Project and then took a picture with her.  (ABOVE...AND a picture which my dear friend framed and gave me for Christmas so I could keep it by my bedside. She is just that funny.)

The root of this post is that ONE Person can make a difference.  I am forever grateful that Jen Hatmaker has been obedient to her call.  (Her other books as equally amazing, but Modern Girls Guide to Bible Study is BY FAR THE BEST and most important book she has ever put an ounce of energy into.  You can give your clothes away all day, you can eat spinach for a year, but if you do not know how to study the Bible your are missing out)

Jen Hatmaker...
Keep being super bold.
Keep uniquely equipping women.
Keep looking injustice in the eye.
Keep building up the bride of Christ.
Keep bringing honesty and truth to the stage.
Keep your humor.
Keep being a Mom, a wife, and a disciple.

Thank. You.

(and you are lucky Christine Caine join Women of Faith with you.... I almost had to jump ship) ;)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Random Mom Confessions: Lies I Have Told My Children

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I must confess.

I have lied.

To my children.

On multiple occasions.  BUT.  They were justified.  

My sanity was at stake in every.single.sitution.  Do not judge me.  You know you have lied too.  (wink.wink)

Sometimes when our children askandaskandaskandaskandaskandask againandagainandagainandagainandagain the things that come out of our mouths are just for basic survival.

Of course, honesty is the best policy, but when you feel that you might have a mental break down or snap at the thought of one more Veggie Tales song playing in your car, it is best to put the physical and emotional safety of your children above your valor of honesty.

Hopefully you can get a few laughs, and then we can just smile and admit that we are trying our best, and sometimes our "best" can be humorous in hindsight.

Lies I Have Told My Children: 

  • Sorry, I cannot turn on the interior car lights at night, then I can't see the road.  :-/ This lie was told to me when I was young, and it never did make sense.  Now, I tell it to my kids, and I have no apologies.  
  • No, you can't use my phone, it is almost out of batteries.  What I really mean to say is...."NO, you may not play with my phone.  It is MY PHONE, that I bought with MY money.... I know it keeps you quite for 5 minutes, but your boogery fingers leave smudges, you sneeze grossness all over the screen, and I have no idea what the crusty residue is that always appears after you use it"  
  • I am not sure where that paper went?!  OH, are you talking about that paper you brought home from church with 2 streaks of crayon on it?  Oh, that one?  Yea, I dug down to the bottom of the trash can and buried it so deep you will never unearth it.  You're welcome. 
  • The Veggie Tales CD must not be working?!  I am sorry.  NO, I just don't like to talk to tomatoes, and a talking squash doesn't make me smile.  ahhhhhhhh.......... 
  • If you take a nap, then we can do something fun tonight.  Surprise!!!!  The "something fun" is looking at me all night!!!  Woohoo.  But, didn't that nap feel good. 
  • You HAVE to get dressed... No one else wears their PJs when they go to Wal-mart.  Actually.  They do.  I am sorry. 
  • Ahh man, we must be out of batteries. Shucks.  Really I am too lazy to find the miniature gnome screwdriver to unscrew 8 screws to replace 10 batteries in a toy that I had been praying would disappear for 3 months.  
  • What gum?  Oh... the gum stuck to the top of my mouth that I am hiding from you??   Well, I don't want to dig into my purse to find you a piece of gum right now because then your sister will want gum too and it will turn into a giant ordeal here, in the middle of Target?  (gulp...what gum?)
Do you have any mommy-confessions to make?  Comment below with any funny ones.

Thanks for reading.

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