Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Last night after we put Caedmon to sleep, he came out one more time to "go potty". When I took him back in his room he said to me (remember, he's 2 years old), "Holy smokes! There's a book in my bed! How'd that get in there?!"
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
But when we got home, Caedmon was taking FOREVER to get out of the car and walk to our apartment. He was climbing all over the back seat, trying to honk the horn, playing with the sand on the sidewalk, and on and on and on. I was getting really frustrated with him and was about to let him know that when God brought the mind how patiently he had just waited on me for 30 minutes at the doctor. He didn't scream at me saying, "Mommy, why don't you hurry up?! I can't wait here all day! I've got things to do!" So what makes me think I have the right to fuss at him? Just because I'm big and he's little. Just because I'm the mom and he's the child. Just because what I need to do is "important" and what he wants to do is not.
The fruit of the Spirit is PATIENCE...
Monday, May 18, 2009
My friend, Amanda, invited Mandy & me to join her and her kiddos at the park today for a play date and picnic. This park has a water play area, a sand area, and regular playground equipment. AND, it's all free! We had such a fun morning!
Most parents put sunscreen on their kids; some parents opt for a sun shield. Check out the poor kid behind Caedmon. Her parents are setting her up to be "that kid". In the words of Mandy, "Poor kid. She looks like an alien!"
Saturday, May 16, 2009
This weekend I attended a conference on human trafficking (i.e. modern day slavery) called the Freedom Summit. It's hard to wrap it all up in a concise review, but I want to at least share some astounding statistics, each documented by reliable sources such as the US State Department and various anti-trafficking groups.
- There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today...more than at any other time in history.
- Slaves generate approximately 13.6 billion dollars for slave holders per year.
- Child soldiers are being used in more than 30 countries around the world.
- In India 60-75% of all prisoners are still awaiting trial.
- In North Korea, an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 people are believed to be held in remote detention camps. Their government continues to deny the existence of such camps.
- Approximately 80% of the people trafficked across international borders each year are women and girls, up to 50% are minors.
- One million new children become victims of trafficking each year.
- In South Africa 40% of women would characterize their first experience of intercourse as "forced".
One thing that was shocking to me is how rampant human trafficking is in the United States.
I honestly have no idea what this journey will look like for me, but I know that I can no longer sit back and do nothing. These statistics are so overwhelming, but as one lady said, "Despair is not an option these victims can afford for us to choose. We have to live with the faith that God can do what we say we believe he can do."
Freedom is not free; it comes at a great cost. Just because this is not MY reality, just because it's not happening right in front of my eyes, doesn't mean that it is not reality and that it isn't actually happening.
I will keep you posted on this journey of justice. Perhaps next week I'll write a post explaining how I first became burdened for this topic.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Yesterday, I listened to Andy Stanley while I was working out, another Andy Stanley message while I got ready, a Beth Moore talk that corresponded with the place I am in my Bible study on Esther, and another DVD during Caedmon's naptime that a friend loaned me. Sometimes I listen while I'm cooking, cleaning, or if I have a long drive somewhere. It's a great way to fill my mind with truth instead of letting it sit idle or digress into something worse than idleness.
So I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis.
Steven Furtick, Elevation Church--
very inspirational and motivating, powerful communicator
Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Church--
lots of research, bold in his communication of truth, sarcastic/funny
Andy Stanley, North Point Church--
so wise. so simple.
Craig Groeschel, LifeChurch.tv--
passionate, innovative, awesome leader
Those are the ones I subscribe to and listen to almost weekly. They can all be downloaded for free on iTunes.
I know it's a little over-the-top to listen to so many podcasts and that there is no way that I could possibly absorb or remember all that truth. But, hey, most of us don't even absorb or remember the truth that we hear at church on Sunday, so I just keep pouring it into my brain and hopefully some of it will stick.
Most nights it takes me a while to fall asleep, so I lay in bed and try to remember the different talks I listened to that day. Kinda my system for review, I guess.
I'd love to hear any of your suggestions for favorite podcasts.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The tostadas can easily become soft tacos if you skip broiling the tortillas. Serve with black beans.
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons canola oil
12 ounces chicken breast tenders
1 cup chopped red onion (about 1)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup chopped zucchini (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup green salsa
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I showed this comic to Andy today and he said, "There's nothing funny about that."
I replied, "No, there's not. But it is the way so many women feel. Stay-at-home moms can feel like they're not living up to their potential. They feel empty."
This Sunday Filipe preached a sermon about restoring honor to motherhood. He described how, in times past, being a mother was a desirable role, something that young women would aspire toward. Children were a symbol of blessing, and women who were unable to bear children felt as if they were being cursed or punished.
Today, people often see motherhood as a limitation. There is so much pressure on women to work outside of the home, to prove themselves, to help provide for their families, etc... Women who stay home to raise their children often feel like (or are blatantly told) they are "wasting their potential". Nothing could be further from the truth!
In the Bible, women are specifically instructed to "love their husbands and children" and "to be busy at home." (Titus 2) Everything else in our lives needs to fall in under those specific commands. God values mothers and places a high priority on the role of motherhood. We would be wise to do the same.
One thing is for sure, children require A LOT of training. That is why, over and over again in the book of Proverbs, the Bible instructs parents to be intentional about training their children. This kind of training requires more time and energy than a couple hours in the evening with exhausted parents and exhausted children.
So, to all you stay-at-home moms out there, you have a worthy calling. Invest everything you've got into your kids! Let your most creative energy be focused on raising up kids who glorify God. Thank God for every minute you get to spend with those children, even if it's doing the most menial tasks...there are so many working moms who would love to be in your position. And what Elly Patterson in the comic strip above needed to know was, as you pour yourself out, you've got to let God fill you up! Press on, Warrior Princess! You have a high calling!
Monday, May 11, 2009
In planning the evening I had considered getting reservations somewhere really nice, like Morton's. But this was just as romantic and only a fraction of the money.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
On Sunday, May 10th, Andy and I will have been married for 6 years! We are celebrating tonight with a special date I planned. I did some research and found a beautiful local park and put together an awesome picnic complete with sparkling grape juice, an assortment of cheeses, and chocolate covered strawberries that I made myself! I included real (as opposed to plastic) wine glasses and dishes to make it a little fancier. I even packed music and a couple of games. I'm very excited because Andy doesn't know what I have planned. I love to surprise him!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
We had a total of 18 people get baptized today! 9 people had decided ahead of time to get baptized and 9 others decided spontaneously this morning. Andy gave a powerful and inspiring message explaining the significance of baptism and then people came forward to make their decision to follow Christ public.
This was a huge decision for many people. A stake in the ground. This marks a moment in time that they will always remember and look back on as the point of no return. Today their faith became more than just their own personal experience; it became a public declaration. Faith was always intended to be personal, but never private.
I was so proud of these 18 people, most of whose stories I know. I talked to two different ladies before the service who were struggling with the decision whether or not to be baptized. They both had tears in their eyes and heavy hearts as they considered what to do. I encouraged them to just allow the Word of God to teach them this morning and not hold on to any preconceived beliefs, traditions, or others’ opinions. Both of those ladies took the courageous step of obedience to be baptized today! I’m so proud of you Cynthia and Jennifer!
So many other stories I would love to share. What an awesome day of celebration! Here is a short video with a couple of stories:
Friday, May 1, 2009
Normally on Family Day we get up and out. Andy is not easily entertained just sitting around the house, so we like to plan something fun to do as a family. The playground, children's museum, and trips to the city seem to be the most popular lately. But it is a rainy day here in San Jose and I didn't want to take Caedmon to the Children's Museum where he and hundreds of other children put their mouths on things since the swine flu rage. So we planned on just staying around the house.
Well, poor Caedo woke up this morning throwing up. Talk about break your heart! Have you ever seen a two year old dry-heave while sobbing? It's awful. He kept trying to turn towards me so I would hold him and I kept trying to comfort him from behind so I didn't end up with vomit (really just bile) all over me!
He threw up twice, but thankfully, since then has seemed like he's back to his ol' self! Andy and I took turns going to the gym/playing with Caedmon this morning. Caedmon is now down for his afternoon nap and I'm about to spend some time with two of my best friends: Jesus and Beth Moore. Good times!