Monday, January 30, 2012

One Moment...

It only takes only a moment, sometimes a split a second for life to hit you. My children are young, and our days are spent at home. Luk's day is: I teach, he learns, I correct, he learns, I play, he plays. Logan teaches me the value of moments every day when he says, "now you sit, momma, and play!"  Now, what I find amazing is how many of these moments I had while being in Peru to see Compassion at its' best.

A picture captured one of those moments for Smith and me, it is a picture of a picture taken by the Compassion photographer.

It was at that moment that I realized 1) Smith thought he would never see me again. 2) This hug meant more to him than I realized. As I forced myself to stop crying, I pulled him back to look at his face, and it was covered in tears. I spontaneously brought him back into my arms crying harder. Through the translator I let him know I was coming back to see him in July. It was at that moment he realized I would be in his life more than just letters or more than just one visit.

As I plan our family trip in July, I wonder what moments will be in store for us on that trip. Luk and Smith meeting for the first time. Two young boys coming from different worlds. You see, I learned that our day together meant more than just a visit to the zoo, however it created a bond that will never be broken, a hope that will forever be engrained in his heart, and a peace knowing that an eternal God love him!

Cherish your moments. Every letter you write to your Compassion child is letter that brings a moment to them. Don't waste it! Just a moment brings a life time of change.

Check our Compassion's CEO new book "Just a Minute" here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


My five year old has an idol!

In the mornings I have let Luk play on his DSi before doing his schoolwork. IF he does it without a hassle he gets to play again before nap. However, even with this I have noticed the attachment, and need to have it on him at all times. 

Insert crazy hobbit:

This morning he got the warning to not ignore his brother and me over the DS. I will say I expected failure, and I was right. Within five minutes he was telling me wait, and telling his brother he was too busy. In comes momma looking over him waiting to get his attention. After about a minute he looks up at me, then looks back down, then back up again saying, "but wait..."

Those have been his famous last words for the past week. I hold out my hand, and immediate tears and surrendering occurs. My speech went something like this:

I have been telling you that when you play your DS you ignore me, your dad, and your brother, this is unacceptable. Do you know what you have turned this DS into? (a low whimper) a stumbling block? 

Yes, but it has become an idol to you. 

He began to sob. 

I explained that such emotion over this has proven his attachment to it, and that it has become his devotion, his idol. He slowed his crying. I let him know that the DS was on lock down to only times that I give him to play instead of free time play. 

I left the room.

I come back. "Luk, what is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?" Without hesitation in his normal tone, "my DS." We made eye contact, he knew. 

It was a sad, but accomplished morning. We can make idols out of anything: work, money, television, house work, and for a five year old a DS, a toy... Our devotion and attachment, our reliance on these things, it's so very dangerous. Remember to guard your children's heart, love them in truth. It hurt to tell my son no to his DS and what it had become, but in the end he must know that his idols must leave their pedestals. They must go into a lesser priority, and we must magnify the Son. He needs to see how easy it is to create them. 

Don't think that your children are too young to create an idol out of something. Don't let them think they are too young because when they do get a bit older they will wonder why it's an idol now, but it wasn't back when they had the same behavior before.  What is your devotion to?      

Monday, January 16, 2012

one thousand gifts

one thousand gifts:
November 25, 2011 to January 16, 2012

1) Brothers, sons, below Him and His grace!

2) The anonymous gift of mulch 
for our church playground.

3) Sick baby, chill of his juice, and tears. 
Tantrums a grace warning that it's not just a common cold.

4) At the moment when your at your wits end after spending 
two days with a sick temper tantrum child; remembering your 
personal prayer for patience and hearing, "and I, find myself 
here on my knees again, caught up in grace like an avalanche, 
nothing compares to this love..." Thank you, Father, thank you!

5) The moment a hug begins, and you know you have an amazing 
thing in your arms, a person made in the image of God!

6) Handsome Smith and his updated picture...

7) Quiet morning... The soothing of a pacifier and baby; 
my baby letting me hold to the tunes of lullabies.

8) Libraries- They have walls of creativity and knowledge!

9) Two mornings in a row being asked to please 
stay in bed to cuddle from Logan. I'm game!

10) The older teaching the younger...

11) A wall of past, present, & future LOVE!

12) A friend coming on her day off to bring me 
coffee and a husband making breakfast...

13) Children's Department Christmas Party and 
walking through our Advent lessons.

14) Our kiddos

15) It finally grew back *5 yr old humor*

16) Sewing a wiseman costume for a wee one, 
thankful for my aunts' teaching me this family trade

17) Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast

18) Calm of the night, slow of the breath, joy in my heart.

19) My boys lying on my side of the bed, snuggled, 
watching Bob & Larry... What an honor to be their mom!

20) The moments when my rambunctious temper tantrum filled baby becomes 
quiet in awe of God's creation. It was a moment of incredible grace!

21) Loving his time with papa, missing our sick CooCoo

22) Breakfast with two of my boys.

23) Logan watching and listening to "Galaxies" 
saying, "it's good song!"

24) Choosing to see Him everyday- 
joy, thanksgiving, peace, grace abound!

25) Shapes- discovering, imaging, creativity

26) Creating prayer cards for Luka. Teaching 
while learning myself to diligently pray!

27) He makes me laugh.

28) Precooking and freezing my meals cuts 
dinner cooking time to 5 minutes!

29) His hands

30) no caption needed for this gift

31) Lazy, precious, always content with her momma.

32) Learning with friends

33) gathering together

34) imagining

35) becoming what you imagine

36) Building the mind

37) sharing

38) eating with friends

39) Books

40)  A letter written by a boy countries away to 
my boy, the start of a beautiful relationship!

41)  Using his bath towel as a blanket. Comfort, warmth...

42) F ever warning, body forcing to the bed, now sitting on my 
lap hugging like he when he was a baby. Precious moment!

43)  He's ready for bed. Thanksgiving in a bed 
and room he can call his own!

44) 88 keys to play a tune

45) the crisp of Bible pages

46) smell of bread out of the bag

47) hot water- it's process

48) welcoming front door

49) the sound of the awake

50) two year old warning signs

51) caring doctor

52) committed mom 

53) a compassionate five year old

54) my new found patience level

55) my honesty

56) my ability to love

57) Luk sharing love

58) Logan accepting love

59) Reson's "worker bee" mind

60) Logan understanding

61) Logan taking medicine calmly

62) Luk caring for Logan

63) morning with no migraine 

64) Reson's listening

65) warm house

66) the smell of work

67) enough, Lord, just enough

68) peanut butter and jelly

69) soft bed

70) letters sent with love

71) caring pastor and wife

72) organization

73) prayerful husband

74) brothers/friends

75) the mess from the day

76) the stack of homeschool folders

Monday, January 9, 2012

Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, friendship, and life together by Mark & Grace Driscoll Book Review

The new book "Real Marriage" by Mark and Grace Driscoll is an in depth book about some of the hard truths in marriage. The idea is that we must submit, end selfishness, and trust another human being with every aspect of our hearts. This of course seems like an impossibility in a fallen world; but when putting Christ in the forefront of your marriage the impossible becomes a reality. The couple targets friendship, abuse, sex, and truth in a real marriage, while seeking to help the warped marriage idea of America today.

For the Book Sneeze "My Reaction" go to the end.

The book divides into three parts:

For a person who learned through her parents that friendship is key in a marriage, my favorite chapter in the book is chapter two, "Friends with Benefits." I think this simple fact gets thrown out the window in today's society, and working with the youth of today, a main reason they use to not date someone is because they will NEVER date a friend. I suggest this is a bad philosophy to practice, and the Driscolls do a great job reiterating why this is so important to a marriage. The idea behind the chapter is seeing people marry that weren't even in love, but came together after marriage and steward a friendship unbreakable. The friendship opens door for love, companionship, fun, and a truth that other marriages lack.

The Marriage portion of the book encourages friendship, challenges men to stop being boys and be men, and encourages women to not see submissiveness and respect for a husband as weak, but rather attractive and commendable. They work out woman who suffer from sexual abuse, men that battle depression and anger issues, and in the last chapter "Taking Out the Trash" suggest that being real with your spouse creates healing, bonding, and understanding.

The second portion begins a new era for "sex talk" in the Christian church. I remember thinking that "S-e-x" was not something we talked about out loud, or the teacher would go insane over the word. However, we see Mark and Grace attack this word unashamedly knowing that people ARE talking about it. They know the controversy that lies behind many sexual taboos, and they hit many with these three questions in the most controversial book chapter 10:
- Is it Lawful?
- Is it Helful?
- Is it Enslaving?

The third and last portion creates a large application for a marriage. What will your last day of marriage look like? The first is a bang with partying, dresses, cake, and family, but how will it end? There is an in depth questionnaire that follows.

I could say that there was a scripture that I really wished they would have talked of more (Ephesians 5- The body of Christ, Christ (bridegroom) and the church (His bride), but really if you want a great theological review look to Denny Burk. I see his points, I agree with many, but I do think that I would recommend the book to couples as a chapter-by-chapter marriage study. I would also see the maturity level of each individual couple before recommending. There are people with different backgrounds, struggles, and sexual knowledge, however I believe in talking through books like this not avoiding them strictly because of one chapter.  The tenth chapter does give headings to each sexual act talked of, and can easily be skipped if the couple chooses to do so. The book was encouraging, given much thought, and is gospel-driven. The Driscolls church at the highest non-churched city in the U.S., they hear unimaginable questions, and they strive to answer and deal with this type of congregation with much love and hard truth. The book should be looked at in this light, too. I think it will help many, but can see were Denny thinks it can hurt others. Again, you and your spouse know your relationship, your Christian walk maturity, so before reading, pray about it. If you don't know Mark, read his biography, listen to some of his sermons, you will quickly learn he is not a sugar coating pastor. You can learn for yourself if you will even be interested in any book he writes. This goes the same for if you aren't a fan of Francis Chan (what?!) or David Platt (huh?!), you know the writer, you know their voice, determine if the read will benefit you or not. I enjoyed it, found parts difficult to read, but overall found that the couple's heart is to encourage, help, and teach scripture truthfully in an area so widely ignored!

You can get the book at The Resurgence - the proceeds through buying here goes to the church ministry not the Driscolls.

I review for BookSneeze®

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

One Word 2012

Do you have a theme for the upcoming year? A single word that you focus on to transform your thought... your moment...


I have chosen this word because seeking joy in this life is a challenge. We are immersed in materialism, when owning things is far more important than the truth behind that mentality. However, it is highly possible to find joy when you look to the right things. The joy is found in His words, His promise.

There have been two experiences in my life that have helped me better SEE that the Gospel is all I need to find JOY:
1) reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp 
2) meeting Smith (part 1/part 2)

In reading Ann's book, I learned to focus, to SEE all my gifts (good and bad), view it, SEE it all as grace, and it is through this that thanksgiving comes and produces joy. Yet, it was in meeting Smith that he taught me what true joy meant. It's hard to explain, really. Just look.

A squatter home on the top of a very steep hill... joy

four walls with tarp roof, no floor... joy

a sponsor for his sister, her daughter... joy

a simple sinner living a selfish life in the United States giving sacrificially because really he is mine, she is mine, they are mine... joy

It was a moment of complete humility that joy surrounded my heart, and has still to leave. SEEing the gospel, the love of God play out in a developing country, and knowing that apart of my family is living in joy brings joy. You see poverty is a lack of hope. My boy, my girl, my Peruvian sister don't lack hope anymore! Compassion gives me this opportunity to seek a joy I didn't know I could have, and it gives my beautiful family the opportunity to experience joy.

The year has begun, where do you find your joy? It was through the word of God that I found You see through the gospel, loving my brothers and sisters, giving, diligently praying, and seeking His will brings an ultimate joy. A joy that is unexplainable. A joy that is found in floorless roofless house. A joy that is found in the midst of heart ache. A joy that stays embedded in your inner most self no matter the circumstances.

The word of God spreading to the nations because all joy comes from His love, His sacrifice, His omnipotence.

A year of Joy! Do you SEE it!?