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Choosing to Serve at Chick-fil-a

One of the key verses for the Chosen Women’s Conference that Seacoast Church is hosting January 19-20, purchase 2012 is Isaiah 43:10, treatment “You are my witnesses, medicine declares the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.” What does it mean to be God’s chosen servant? Almost daily, I talk with other moms who don’t have enough time to get it all done. Sure, most of us want to serve the Lord and fulfill His calling for our lives, but who has margin to add one more thing to their plate? We are all busy, but when we slow down enough in the middle of what we are already doing and pray for opportunities to show His love, God can do wondrous things. Being God’s chosen servant means choosing to serve. The following is an example of how an extremely busy 10 year old – in addition to her school work, she is heavily involved in tennis, horseback riding and drama – has made an incredible impact by choosing to serve…

Our family often frequents Chick-fil-a on Tuesday evenings – kids eat free and it is a sweet gift from my husband for me to not have to cook on the day that I’m in the office. A 10 year old girl, Addison, is there every single week and has adopted our family. She feeds, plays, assists in hand washing and helps us get the kids to and from the car. This week we went to a different Chick-fil-a because we were visiting friends in the hospital and she actually had her dad drive her across town so she could serve us. She does all of these things with such joy – not because we pay her (though sometimes I feel like we should!) or even ask her – she does it because she has a servant’s heart. She does it because she is there… and sometimes she even goes a little out of her way.

We have gotten to know Addison and came to find out that she also serves at our church on the weekends. Her dad does too. I see a trend there. If we want our children to grow up to serve the Lord, to be good friends, to pray for others, to reach out to the lost, to feed the hungry, then we have to model it for them NOW. We have to do it right where we are… and sometimes, we have to go a little out of our way.

 

Missional Motherhood

Our new baby is coming soon… forget the fact that we don’t have a nursery, more about we need a mini-van to transport all of our children in the same vehicle. The condo we are renting is under contract – do we build or buy? What can we wisely afford? Starting a new business is an incredible adventure and has been such a blessing from the Lord, obesity but how will we maintain it? What are we going to name our third baby girl? What am I going to make for dinner this week? Among others, these thoughts swirled around my mind and kept me awake all night. When I finally gave up the battle for sleep and read by the light of the Christmas tree, Psalm 16:11 leaped off the page at me.

“You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11 (italics mine)

What a verse! What a promise! I’ve read and overlooked this incredible verse many times, but these three wonderful promises from the Lord became alive to me today.

The Path of Life
Psalm 32:8 says “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” When we spend time with Christ, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to gain the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) and become able to discern God’s plans and actions. In the age old story of Mary and Martha, “Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said… Martha was worried about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary [chose] what is better and it will not be taken away.” (Luke 10:38-42, emphasis mine) During busy seasons, it is so easy to become consumed with our lists of things to do that we neglect to spend time just sitting at the Lord’s feet. I’m learning that during the times of seeking wisdom and direction from God, the most important thing, the better thing, is to sit at His feet and listen to what He says.

What more could we ask for than wisdom for life’s decisions, complete joy and eternal pleasure? God is so good. Amongst the chaos of my life, my prayer is that I will be able to stay in His presence and walk alongside Him. I’m pretty sure that if I seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, the rest will follow (Matthew 6:33).
Though Truthcards has only been up and running for about a month, there
the Lord has been stirring our hearts to give back to our local community, anemia
specifically to families of children with special needs (to read more, cialis click here). Black Friday (11/26/10) through Cyber Monday (11/29/10), for every two sets of Truthcards purchased, we will donate one set to the MUSC Children’s Hospital. We look forward to sharing pictures and stories soon.  To place an order, click here.
April 6, epidemic
2011 was significant to me for many reasons. It was my precious daughter Addison’s 3rd birthday, health
the 3rd year anniversary of me becoming a mom and the day I left behind the phrase I’ve come to love over the past several months, dentist
“I’ve got three under three.” The house being a wreck, frozen pizza for dinner, not showering for a couple of days, running late… somehow all completely justifiable because I had three under three.

The original disciples were called to leave everything and follow Jesus. Sure, it would have been a little scary to be Peter, Andrew, James and John and just walk away from their jobs and families, but there are moments when I’ve thought that leaving it all would be easier than following Him in the midst of my crazy life. Nursing, potty training, disciplining, cooking most meals (on a tight budget), couponing, laundry, trying to look halfway decent, lose babyweight, support a husband in ministry, build a house and run a small business out of the home… this is my life and is not identical, but typical of many moms I know. Pursuing Jesus in the chaos of life – knowing Him, striving to make Him known and, all the while relying on Him to give us the strength to do it.

I recently finished an incredible book by Helen Lee called The Missional Mom (check out http://themissionalmom.com/). The book spoke my heart. Now that I no longer have three under three, the fog has cleared a little and I feel that God is making my mission clear – to encourage, support, celebrate and spur on moms toward love and good deeds. For those who know the Lord, to help them know Him more. And to actively pursue those who don’t.

Maternity Leave

There are several things that I miss about working – mostly the people and the projects, purchase but one thing that I have not yet had the opportunity to miss is getting paid to have a baby. At my preivious job, audiologist  I had disability insurance that sent me a check every week for six weeks while I was off work on maternity leave! Tomorrow, thumb we are anticipating the arrival of our newest addition and, unfortunately, I won’t be getting those disability checks to supplement the income that I don’t have. However, I’m still planning to take a little maternity leave and while I do, I’m so excited to announce that I will have a guest blogger. Jessica Carpenter is one of my dearest friends who recently re-entered the blogging world and you are sure to find her posts to be humorous, enlightening, entertaining and inspiring. This is her first guest post:

Galatians 5:22, 23- The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. We are using my friend Jenna’s Truth Cards each week to learn a different Bible verse with Austin. I’m going to share how we are using the Truth Cards and incorporating them into our daily routine and school and training time.

A little background: Austin is a typical 4 year old boy. So, a lot of our training time is spent practicing getting self control, following instructions, focusing on the task we are doing for more than 2 minutes, holding still, and slowing down a bit. Having fun is not something we have to work on. He is a good combination of Travis and I; but he definitely has some of my crazy hurricane-like excitement. So, when we learn a verse, we also usually learn a song, dance, or motions to it by request from Austin. I try not to make them seem too much like a cheer; but they do end up that way on occasion. So, here are some of our ideas and ways we are using the Truth Cards to learn the verse and other learning activities:

Learning with Motions: This week we made up motions for each word of the verse. I think this works well for him when it’s a verse that has a list. We did this for Isaiah 9:6, too.  Love – hands over our heart. Joy- hands in the air. Peace- peace sing. Aren’t I original. Patience- hands at our side. Kindness- Austin made this one up, he leans forward and smiles. Well, usually he then falls on the floor, too. Goodness- thumbs up. Faithfulness- marching in place. Gentleness- hands on our face. Self-control- folded hands in front of us. He likes to do some sort of crazy motion at the end for the reference and either have a reason to hit something or play air guitar or punch the air.

Video:We also googled a fruit of the spirit song/video to watch. Honestly, super cheezy. I’m not gonna post a link to that here. But, it was fun to watch with him a couple times.  He loves to look things up on the computer.

Keeping them In Sight: We keep the Truth Card on the kitchen table so that he sees it at every meal. I put it in a plastic picture frame. I really believe in the importance of teaching the Word of God to him. I also believe that using the time to focus and memorize and learn concepts is going to help him developmentally, too. So, honestly, the Truth Cards have become a major source of our training/school time and are helping me have a focus for my sort of randomly created home-pre-school.  2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness..(ESV).

Activity following the Theme: This week I decided to add an activity to match the verse, too. Sort of help me focus my activity/school time with him. So, obviously, there is so much to do with the fruit of the spirit. But, here is something we started impromptu this week to help with the coloring and focusing area. Austin likes to color really fast and without looking at the page. Yep. Boy! Cracks me up. But, seriously, we need to be able to color and actually look at the page.

So, I googled fruit of the spirit, found this clip art. Printed two copies. I colored one, and I let him color one. We used mine as the base. Then we cut the fruit off the one he was coloring (with his new scissors) and pasted the fruit to the matches. Again, these are things he loves to do. Cut. Paste. Match things. I have incorporated that he needs to listen to my instructions. So, I had him color each fruit the same color that I colored mine. I also asked him to match them in order and say them with me. Then we looked for the letter to each word. He likes to sound things out. So, we said “k-k-k…where is the word that starts w/ ‘K’?” I did use this activity again a few days later.

Side note: If you paste the fruit on, most of the time it can be peeled off later. So, I peeled it off & we re-pasted it in order of the fruit. And P.S. Yes, that is a crumb on my table in the photo. Thought y’all might like that.  I also found all kinds of ideas on spreading out weeks and lessons on fruit of the spirit and baking things, etc. Obviously, the fruit of the spirit is an easy topic to google search for ideas.

To check out Jessica’s incredible blog, please visit: http://jessicacarpenter.wordpress.com/

Wisdom, Joy & Endless Pleasure? Yes, please!

Our new baby is coming soon… forget the fact that we don’t have a nursery, more about we need a mini-van to transport all of our children in the same vehicle. The condo we are renting is under contract – do we build or buy? What can we wisely afford? Starting a new business is an incredible adventure and has been such a blessing from the Lord, obesity but how will we maintain it? What are we going to name our third baby girl? What am I going to make for dinner this week? Among others, these thoughts swirled around my mind and kept me awake all night. When I finally gave up the battle for sleep and read by the light of the Christmas tree, Psalm 16:11 leaped off the page at me.

“You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11 (italics mine)

What a verse! What a promise! I’ve read and overlooked this incredible verse many times, but these three wonderful promises from the Lord became alive to me today.

The Path of Life
Psalm 32:8 says “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” When we spend time with Christ, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to gain the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) and become able to discern God’s plans and actions. In the age old story of Mary and Martha, “Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said… Martha was worried about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary [chose] what is better and it will not be taken away.” (Luke 10:38-42, emphasis mine) During busy seasons, it is so easy to become consumed with our lists of things to do that we neglect to spend time just sitting at the Lord’s feet. I’m learning that during the times of seeking wisdom and direction from God, the most important thing, the better thing, is to sit at His feet and listen to what He says.

What more could we ask for than wisdom for life’s decisions, complete joy and eternal pleasure? God is so good. Amongst the chaos of my life, my prayer is that I will be able to stay in His presence and walk alongside Him. I’m pretty sure that if I seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, the rest will follow (Matthew 6:33).

Black Fri – Cyber Mon Truthcards Giveaway

One year ago today, bronchi after several months of maternity leave, contagion my former employer allowed me to come back to work for an hour so that my health benefits would cover the delivery of our second daughter. That was just one of the blessings and confirmations that the Lord gave us throughout the long decision making journey for me to become a stay-at-home mom. Almost a year of seeking the Lord, prothesis consulting wise council and financial planning preceded the decision to actually take the plunge. These are just a few of the promptings that the Lord used to confirm the calling:

  • Ironically, our financial advisor was the one who first suggested that we consider the option of me staying at home. “Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Matthew 6:20-21)
  • “Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14) Jason and I were blessed to win a trip to Kauai, Hawaii through a silent auction – quite possibly the best adventure we’ve ever had together. It was on that trip that I began reading Women Leaving the Workplace by Larry Burkett. Page after page was more confirmation. Since this journey began, God has been so faithful. He has not only taken care of us financially, but He has done abundantly more than all we could have ever asked or imagined (Ephesians 3:20).
  • We were in Greenville, SC when I was pregnant with Everleigh and really wanted Thai food, but it was beyond our budget. We continued walking around downtown and stumbled upon an art gallery opening where there was free Thai food being served. “This is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear… seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:25, 33)
  • “She provides food for her family.” (Proverbs 31:15) As we were weighing the financial sacrifices that would come with the career change, a great friend taught me how to coupon. We went from spending around $200/week on groceries to less than $100. Over time, I’ve gotten better at couponing and we now spend even less.

Today I celebrate my one year anniversary of becoming a stay-at-home mom. It has been one of the biggest blessings of my life to have the privilege of raising my two precious little girls. It has also been the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. Recently, I heard a wise woman say that, next to salvation, parenting is the next biggest faith step we will take because it will be years before we see the fruit of the seeds we are currently sowing. I want to encourage you to persevere – the seeds you plant in your children today will yield a great harvest in the future (2 Corinthians 9:6).
Though Truthcards has only been up and running for about a month, sales
the Lord has been stirring our hearts to give back to our local community, shop specifically to families of children with special needs (to read more, click here). Black Friday (11/26/10) through Cyber Monday (11/29/10), for every two sets of Truthcards purchased, we will donate one set to the MUSC Children’s Hospital. We look forward to sharing pictures and stories soon.  To place an order, click here.



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