Friday, May 15, 2009

It's The Heart

I had heard a lot about the Miss USA response to gay marriage and finally read a bunch of stuff about it myself. You know the story, the beautiful California girl that said she thought marriage should be between a man and a woman. I know when you stand up for what you believe you can expect attack. And attacked she has been, but to me, this isn’t about gay marriage.

We’ve got bigger problems. The photos that are being dug up of her are not God-honoring. Even if it was just like a "wardrobe malfunction", she should never have been dressed like that to begin with. She actually sat on a couch with Donald Trump and let him say he thought those pictures were beautiful. Marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman, but we are also supposed to save those intimate features for our spouses eyes alone.

We all make mistakes and there’s forgiveness, but she is justifying it instead of repenting of it. She said that it’s just a part of modeling to wear swimsuits and lingerie in photos. I argue that if you are a Christian, you do not.

Now all the right wing groups are jumping on the bandwagon because she said one thing they agree with and all the other issues are in the background. I’d like to hear a Christian radio commentator ask her about her commitment to following the promptings of Christ while being photographed half-dressed on a cliff.

And this begs the question, Is it Godly to spend your whole life pursuing outward beauty? Entering contests for people to judge you, having surgery and parading around in a bikini and high heels in front of people?

I used to like watching pageants. I couldn’t understand why Mike didn’t like them. He explained that they are basically pre-pornography to men. Watching women dressed like that just leads to wanting to see more. It takes your mind into places it should not go. He doesn’t want to see that and does not want our son to either. And neither do I now that I think about it.

Why do we think this is okay in our society? Pornography is rampant. It’s easier and cheaper to get than ever. Most people condemn it. But this is okay? To have 50 young girls parading around half-dressed on national television. I beg to differ.

I don’t want my daughters to get caught in the trap that being beautiful on the outside is the most important thing. We can strive to look nice for sure, but I don’t want them to compare themselves to women and their fake, surgically altered looks. We are created in God’s image to serve Him.

1 Peter 3:3-4
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

And I don’t want my God dragged into this kind of ugly controversy. It is opening up the door for people to mock God and his ways.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.

I'm sure there are differing opinions on this, so feel free to let me know your disagreements and thoughts!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wayward Child

The other night while half of the family was at baseball, the other half of us took a walk and bike ride. We biked to the playground at school and played for a while with all the other people who were waiting for their baseball players.

On our way home we took the "main road". I usually don't mind if the older kids go ahead of me a little. They know to stop and wait at the intersections. That night my daughter did not stop. I was calling to her and running after her as fast as I could while pulling Annie on her bike and pushing Maren in the stroller (so...not very fast).

She has been known to pretend she doesn't hear us and just keep on going down the path to disobedience. There was nothing I could do. I couldn't leave Annie behind. And it was useless to keep calling; she was too far ahead to hear now. Eventually I couldn't see her anymore.

As I got close to our house, I could see her sitting on the porch. I was STEAMED! She knows better and I had a pretty good notion that she heard me calling her. Maren and I took a slow walk down the driveway since she likes to get out and push the stroller which gave me some much needed time to calm down and regroup.

After spending some time in her room, we had a little chat. She admitted she did hear me. I explained to her that it was a reckless and dangerous thing to do. She's too young to have enough judgment to ride by herself on a busy road. Most of all, it hurts me when she doesn't obey.

I regret that I am also a wayward child. Though I know what my Father desires and hear Him calling, I often choose to keep going down my own rebellious and dangerous path. I choose not to turn back to the safety of his arms because I think my way is better. It's a cheap freedom.

Maybe now I have the ability to see it from God's view. He desires to keep me safe and He loves me; that's why He calls out to us.

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."
John 10:27-28

I have seen in a new way all the times I have hurt my heavenly Father by running on ahead. I do not want to hurt the One who loves me so much He gave his life for me. But I do and it's miserable.

I am beyond thankful that I have a forgiving and compassionate Father. When I turn away from my rebellion, He is there with open arms.

It's easy for me to miss the restoration part of discipline. Sometimes I want to just give out a punishment and let them know they messed up. But that's not the point. I want to offer my kids my earthly version of Christ's love and forgiveness through which they can see Him.

Exodus 34:6-7
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming
"The Lord, The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness,
maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.
Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished;
he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers
to the third and fourth generation."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Me!

I sadly have a lot more things to unconfess this week.

I did not hang off the side of the dump trailer to give it “enough weight” to go back down.

I did not have to leave my children’s Grandparent’s Day program because Maren’s diaper leaked all over her and me. When I got out to the van, I did not realize that I had no extra diapers along because I have five kids and would think of that. Then I did not realize that Mike had the keys to the van and take her back into the program bare-bottomed under her dress. I'm now very thankful that they dim the lights during those productions!

I did not bribe a child with a sucker to get their haircut and then let her win by leaving still long-haired- with the sucker in her mouth.

I did not get all mushy over feeding a friend’s baby. She is not scrumptious and I don’t at all miss babies. After all, isn’t five enough?

I did not get to church to find another diaper problem and again realize that I had no diapers. I did not have to run home during Sunday School opening to get her changed and hurry back in time to teach my lesson.

I did not tell my oldest to let Dad know I was taking Maren home from church to take care of the diaper issue. Mike did not call frantically looking for her. That would never happen here.

I did not hear my daughter yell, “She Hates Me!”. She is not very dramatic and does not take after her mother.

I did not tell someone to wear “decent” clothes to their school concert. We always dress appropriately in this family and never wear our older brother’s hand-me-down sweats with holes in them.

I did not lay down for a few minutes to get Maren to sleep and wake up two hours later. I need to use my time wisely and would never squander away a few hours like that!

Thanks, Dr. Not Me! You can see what other people have not been doing on

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

So far Mother’s Day weekend has had its ups and downs. We had to run some errands yesterday and Maren was not amused. She refused to get her haircut and screamed all through the store.

When we got home she cried for a long time in her crib. I picked her up and laid down with her.
I was going to get back up when Mike left with the other kids for the annual “Mother’s Day Craft”. All the guys and kids make something to hand out to the Mom’s at church. Last year it was corsages, this year: chocolates in hand- decorated bags. They practiced music and are using the kids as the Worship Team. After I laid down with Maren I fell asleep, didn’t wake up until I heard them come back 2 hours later! Awesome. I haven’t had a nap like that in years!

I got an ice cream maker. The kids had already spoiled the surprise but I still put on a good show. Now I have a good use for all the cream we take off our farm milk.

Waking up to hugs and homemade cards are great parts of Mother’s Day. After church I made egg salad sandwiches which most people did not appreciate and chased around a naked child. I cleaned up the mess. I broke up numerous fights involving a light sabre while Mike watched NASCAR. Mother’s Day can’t be perfect right? And although I like the feelings Mother’s Day brings, I want to feel this way EVERYDAY! I want to feel like there is nothing more important for me to do on this earth. I know that I just don’t always feel it.

As I was thinking about Mother’s Day, I was reminded of the passion God has given me for mothering. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with my wonderful, wild, imperfect, lovable kids and trusted me with the job of raising them to love Him. I am so thankful that He has transformed me through this job into a more humble, less selfish person: someone more like Him.

When Mother’s Day comes I am thankful for the time my Mom and Mother-in Law poured into me and Mike and the example our parents were (and are) to us.

And I’m thankful for you, because you are doing important work in the lives of your kids. As you pour your time, energy and love into them they are seeing the love of Jesus. The people around you may not notice, the world may think you are wasting your life and talent, but God knows. God cares. And God loves the work you are doing. That gives me just what I need to keep at it, to work as unto the Lord giving myself completely and humbly to Him, in thankfulness.

I think it’s so amazing that God uses examples from parenting and marriage in the Bible. He uses the things we know so well to drive home his point! Once you’ve nursed a baby and know how all-consuming that is, you get what God is trying to say here!

Isaiah 49:15-18
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.
Your sons hasten back,
and those who laid you waste depart from you.
Lift up your eyes and look around;
all your sons gather and come to you.
As surely as I live,” declares the Lord,
“you will wear them as ornaments;
you will put them on, like a bride.”

Even when we feel like we’ve been forgotten and left behind, there is One that has not forgotten. He has our names engraved on the palm of his hands. Isn’t that amazing?

So, Happy Mother’s Day! May you have a day filled with joy and family. And may you press on in your missionary adventures for His glory!