Saturday, June 13, 2009

Why Men LOVE Grocery Shopping

Most women I know loathe grocery shopping. It's not just physically being at the grocery store. It's the lists, coupons, menu planning and stopping at the bank to take out a small loan. Then there's the loading of the food, the unloading, having to get two carts (which I'm not embarrassed about anymore), getting it home, putting it away and then .... cooking.

A few years ago I was at the store, struggling to pack the groceries with my three young children running in circles around me and I saw Jeff from church. He was all by himself and happy as could be. He couldn't understand why I didn't love grocery shopping. He said he loves it because he loves food. Then he picked up his one bag and was off.

For a while, Mike went to the grocery store a lot more than me. I was home breast feeding, diapering, bathing and cleaning up after our kids. He didn't mind at all. I would send him with a nice long list. One night, he came home with a map of the grocery store. For real! They have those. He thought it might be handy if I made my list in the order of the store. Then he would find a way to put as much as geometrically possible in each bag and bring it home and leave it on the counter. Then he would look at me like, "well, aren't you going to cook something?" and take his chips and salsa downstairs feeling like he had just done me a huge favor.

It was kind of like the moment I opened my Mother's Day present - an ice cream maker. They all looked at me like, "well, make some ice cream already!"

So, today I took my young man to the store with me after watching him eat half his weight in fast food. He was giddy with excitement about all the food. His first plan was to read the list to me. Then he told me my writing was too messy and decided to start driving the cart. Halfway through the store he told me we weren't getting things in a smart order. We should get the heavy stuff first. I told him those comments are why I left dad at home.

Then as we were bagging he was carefully lining up all the items that should go together and putting them in bags like legos. And true to form, when we got home he absolutely disappeared! I spent the next hour putting things away and getting ready to make dinner. He did miraculously reappear when dinner was on the table.

Dare I say that I might like grocery shopping if I could do the same?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

LOST: Courage

We don't watch much T.V. anymore. LOST is the one show Mike and I really like to watch. What always amazes me about LOST is how brave they are. They forge into the jungle, guns in hand, ready for whatever comes at them. I would be shaking in my boots and crying like a baby. I know it's all fiction and everything, but I was trying to figure out why they are so brave and I think it's because they've already lost everything. They've already died.

As we've been talking more and more with our kids about sharing their faith with their friends, it's been a little difficult for me. As a mom, I just want them to have it good and to avoid hurt. But I know that if they truly stand for Jesus, they'll be different. There will be things they don't do, things they don't say, movies they don't watch, places they don't go. But we've already died too: died to ourselves, to this world and now live to Jesus. Galatians 2:20:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

In one of the Passport2Purity sessions that Jenna and I did, they talked about courage. What does it take to stand for your convictions even if you are the only one? Dennis Rainey said that courage is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets.

As a kid when someone at church asked what we would do if someone walked into the room with a gun and asked everyone who loved Jesus to stand up so they could be shot, I really thought that I would say yes. It's easy to say that you are going to take a stand on something you know will probably never happen. But at school, if someone was being picked on would I stand? Unfortunately, no I did not.

So, how do I teach my kids to have the courage to stand for their convictions in the big stuff and the small stuff? A key piece of the puzzle that I often miss is to pray for them. That God will be the most important thing in their lives and that He will give them what they need to stand up for their beliefs.

And by doing it myself.

I am shocked how much, even now in my adult life, I'm motivated by what others think. And I'm surprised at how many parents would do anything to make sure their kid has it all. Even Christian parents.

Here's a few examples from my own life. A while back I figured out how to feed my blog to facebook. Then I stopped. Why? Because I was worried that my facebook friends might not agree or might be offended by what I had to say. And I was thinking that they might not like me - for real, am I in 7th grade? A little while later, I put it back on. I'm not out to be famous or liked, I just want to share what Jesus is showing me, no matter who the audience is or what they think. The only audience I care about pleasing in my writing is the audience of One.

The other night I had a very odd experience. I was with some friends and was kind of shocked at what they thought we should do to have a good time. As I watch less and less T.V. and movies, the more I am disturbed when I watch them. I'm not perfect. I have watched and done things that aren't God-honoring (I just mentioned how much I love LOST!?). But I was sad that this was how we chose to spend our time together. So am I a total prude and spoil sport? I don't want to be. I still haven't spoken my heart on that situation.

I want to have the courage to stand for my convictions. What is it so hard? True courage takes the path of humility. It doesn't seek to be the best, but the least. It seeks those who are hurting and need a friend, not the most pleasant and popular person. It seeks truth and righteousness over fun and frolic. It seeks to honor someone other than yourself. It probably means you are going to be knocked around and put down - like Jesus was and promises we will be too. And that's true whether you are 6, 16 or 60.

John 15:18-19
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. "

Matthew 10:37-39
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. "

Matthew 10:22
"All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

Monday, June 08, 2009

Dear Jenna

Last night Jenna and I went away on an overnight. Just the two of us. I don't think that's ever happened. Grant gets to do a lot of stuff one on one with his dad because, well, he's the only boy and the oldest. It was fun to get away without the chaos of the other kids and just focus on her.
The other purpose of the trip was to talk about s-e-x.

When we went to Family Life's Weekend to Remember , (which is also totally worth it)marriage conference a few years ago, the speaker asked how many people's parents had the sex talk with them and the number was really really low. It's tough to talk about but I guess that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it!

There have been a lot of questions and things she's picked up on over the last year and I just wanted her to hear about it from me; not on T.V. and not on the bus. We did the first few sessions of Family Life's Passport2Purity. I can't really say enough about how great of a tool it was! It approached the whole thing in the framework of God's design for sex. There are sessions to listen to, a workbook, plus some hands on activities.

They encourage you to go away somewhere special. Originally, I was going to take her to my parent's house that they don't live in. But we got a card for a free night at a hotel with a waterpark from someone who stays there a lot for business. She was more than a little excited about that! We went down the waterslides around 200 times and had a blast swimming together. We ate at Subway twice. We slept together in a King sized bed.

The first session covers making sure God is first place in your life. The second session is about peer pressure and the third session is about sex. It covers body changes and periods too. The last few sections cover dating and purity which I thought she was too young for.

At the beginning they encourage you to write a letter to you child and give some guidelines. This is what I wrote:

June 6, 2009

Dear Jenna,

As we are about to take off on our first ever trip alone, I’m amazed at the young lady you have grown into. I will never forget the day you were born and Dad said, “It’s A Girl”! I was thrilled to have a daughter and excited about all the things we’d share together. I tried dressing you up in pink dresses and putting bows in your hair. That didn't last long! The minute you learned to crawl you cried and got mad when you had a dress on that slowed you down! You ripped out your hair bows and played outside with trucks, dirt and rocks.

And here you are about to turn 9. As much as I’ve enjoyed the last nine years watching you learn to walk and talk and read and ride bike, I’m looking forward to the future and enjoying the next stages of life with you.

I am so proud of you. You are a good friend and are always willing to help. You work hard at everything you do. I love the way you work at things until you succeed. Your zest for life is fun and catchy and sometimes exhausting. You enjoy every minute and are fun to be around!

You are smart and a great athlete. I love seeing the awards you bring home from school and watching you hit the baseball. You are becoming a good piano player, even though that is one thing you do not have excitement for!

God has given you all these gifts and talents for a reason. He wants you to use them for His glory: to make Him known and praised. You wanted to trust Jesus with your life at a young age. There is so much God will do in and through you. It’s important because using the gifts and talents he has given you for His glory is what He wants you to do while you’re here on earth.

I’m sorry that I’m not always the Mom I should be. I get mad, frustrated and tired. You and I are a lot alike and sometimes that will make us not get along. I pray that as you grow we will always be honest, loving and understanding with each other. I love you so much but I don’t always show it. After God and Dad, I give my whole life and self for you and the other kids. There is nothing more important for me to do.

I’m as excited as you are about this trip. We will have fun swimming at the waterpark together and partying at the hotel. There are things that we don’t have the time to talk about at home with all the other things going on and the other kids, sometimes it’s too chaotic. But that’s what this trip is for! I hope we can do it again soon.

Dad and I love you so much. NOTHING will ever change that! We are your biggest fans and will always be on the sidelines cheering you on. You are a special gift from God.

But God loves you so much more. He made you and nothing can separate you from Him and his love. When you are hurting, lonely, happy, sad; go to Him.

So, here’s to a great weekend. I hope I can keep up with you on the waterslide!

Love, Mom

"He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."
Colossians 1:18