Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Wow! You must be due any day now!"

Along with being pregnant I get some realllly interesting comments. At first I thought, "Man, I must be extra sensitive". Then I realized if I heard those things and I wasn't pregnant I would be very offended and just because I am pregnant doesn't mean I want to hear them.

This blog post is not to call anyone out. For the most part the comments come from strangers and this is a place I can write about it and laugh. However, I will be really careful from now on what I say to someone who is pregnant. I get comments like:

"You are going to get soooo much bigger"
"How far along are you again?!?!"
People I don't know touching my stomach. *weird*
People I don't know telling me what I 'should' be doing to not get stretch marks. haha... *weird again*

When you think about comments or actions like that for women who are not pregnant it is soooo rude and out of line. Despite the fact that there is a little person in me it is still my body. I am just graciously sharing the space. :)

I was at a birthday party last night and my sister-in-law's grandmother said, "Wow, you only have 81/2 weeks to go! You look great and don't look like you have gained a pound anywhere else!" I felt like I could kiss her. :) I love to hear "You are glowing" (don't really get the pregnancy glow thing but don't mind the comment) I guess all of that to say there ARE alternative comments if you feel you must comment.

So, to the lady at Wal-Mart - I think I figured out that for me a few stretch marks are inevitable and I am doing what I can to help them. Thank you for your input. (or not) :)

Have you ever been pregnant? What is something shocking that someone said to you?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Discipleship As A Mother

I was recently talking to a friend who shared with me a bit of a conversation that she had with another
mother/wife. My friend was asking her what she thought about incorporating discipleship in her home
while being a wife and mother and the reply was: “My Husband and I feel like right now my ministry is to
our children and they should be my sole focus.”

Your initial thought in hearing this comment might be admiration. I would never deny the fact that being
a wife and mother is beyond admirable and one of the greatest callings we as women can have. (Psalm
127:3) To neglect the gift that God gives through children is foolish. However, when I hear comments
like the one made my initial thought is not admiration but sorrow. Somewhere along the way that
couple missed the mark of what God has called us to do first and foremost - To make Him known!

If you make your children your ONLY focus what are you teaching them? That they are the most
important thing and nothing is more important. Once again, another statement that can so quickly
sound admirable but is not biblically correct. We need to be teaching our children that the kingdom of
God and His glory is the most important thing. “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and
honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation

If you create a “Holy Huddle” within your family you are making the goal of advancing Christ and His
kingdom impossible. Are you teaching them to reach the world by focusing on nothing but them? I
would dare to say no.

People often ask my parents what they did to raise us. They see my parents as successful because
they have four children who all love the Lord and desire to make Him known above all else. One of the
greatest things my parents ever did for my walk with God is opening their home to the lost and having a
continuous ministry. They protected us when necessary but they were also not afraid to get their hands
dirty. We had many talks on what we believe and why we believe it. These talks did NOT keep us from
reaching people who did not believe what we do.

Because of the choices my parents made to reach a lost world I saw firsthand Jesus in them. I saw what
it looked like to reach a lost world. “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let
him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but
whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’” Matthew 16:24-25.

My parents continually denied themselves and followed after Christ. They recognized the impact a

family could have for the kingdom. As a result, my love for discipleship and the lost was born. This
change in my heart did not take place by hearing one amazing sermon, reading a great book or reaching
adulthood. This happened in my heart and life as a result of seeing it lived out in my parents’ lives.

To feel like you should not be making disciples because you are a mom is really not a favor to your
children. You are doing your children a HUGE disfavor. They are missing a part of Jesus that they could
see in you!

The past school year I discipled 4 college age girls by meeting with them during my lunch break and in
the evenings. I know that when my son arrives this summer things will look different for me. My life will
change in drastic ways. However, discipleship will be incorporated into that life. When my son arrives I
will be having girls come to my home and they may be there while I am feeding Brightson, changing his
diaper, cooking dinner, doing laundry, etc… But the meeting will still take place. You see, the method of
how I disciple will change but the principle remains.

The principle that we are ALL called to make disciples (there was no clause in the great commission for
mothers) is there. (Matthew 28:18-20) But everyone’s method may look different because discipleship
is “life-on-life” and every life is different. What is your method? If you don’t have a method what could
your method be?

I believe with all my heart that as you reach the world for Christ your children will watch, learn and
mimic what you do. They will see firsthand the principle of discipleship. They will know what it means
to “Go!” and make disciples. It happened in my life and a lot of the credit for that is due to my parents.
God willing my son will see a heart to reach the world and make Christ known because of my example.

So don’t let statements like the one that mother made make you think that it is ok to not be reaching
the lost and making disciples. It sounds good to the ears but it is not the way Christ intended the
Christian home to be used. We should not withdraw as believers and create a “safe”, “Holy Huddle” with
our children. We should prepare our children while we have the ability to influence them in the greatest
way possible - By showing them the love of Jesus as we reach a lost world.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Should you vote? Is that a question?

I have read several posts recently about the fact that Obama and Romney appear to be THE candidates. A lot of people who are unhappy with Obama are also concerned with the fact that Romney is a Mormon and therefore they are drawing the conclusion to not vote at all.

This makes me furious.

When we, as believers, decide we don’t like something and therefore choose to remove ourselves completely from the situation how is that helping and WHAT is it accomplishing?

It is the same mentality that I have seen my whole life in people who hold more conservative values. When they feel “threatened” they withdraw and create their own “Holy Huddle”. I ask again, what is that accomplishing???

Thousands of men have fought and died for our freedom and right to vote. No matter what SOMEONE will be elected and just because it is not the “far out right-winged conservative” that you wanted you STILL have a voice and you should STILL use it. Not only that but it is a way to be good stewards of our God given right.

It may feel like you are voting for the lesser of two evils (no matter who you choose to vote for) but all that I ask it that you vote. This is not a post about whether or not Obama or Romney should be who you vote for. I am not getting paid to help on their campaign. I am just fed up with Christians who withdraw when things seem difficult or they are out of their comfort zone. I am pretty sure that is NOT how we will reach the world or make a difference. NOTHING will change if you adopt this philosophy. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

4.10.10 - 4.10.12

Two Years ago today, mid afternoon, I was laying in bed taking a short nap before going out to meet some good friends for a dinner and "girl time". My phone rang and I thought, "I'll call them back in a few..." Then Britt's phone rang. And then mine again. I rushed to answer it seeing that it was my mom. Before I even answered the phone I had a gut wrenching feeling that something was not right. 

To my horror when I answered I knew instantly. Something was not right at all! As my mom tried to talk stumbling over her words through fear and a lot of tears she began to tell me that dad and Justin were in a horrible car accident. She said that as far as she knew Justin was stable and she 'thought' dad was breathing but wasn't sure. Those are not words that you want to hear. 

As I listened to her talk, trying to tell her it was going to be okay and feeling at the same time that nothing was okay, I stumbled around the apartment moving as quickly as possible trying to get out the door. I have never felt so weak at the knees like I might pass out. I grabbed my purse and for whatever reason actually thought, "I should grab a jacket, hospitals are cold." Why or how I thought of that I will never know. 

Of course all of this time Britt is looking at me wondering what is going on. I just said, "Get ready fast. Dad. Justin. Hospital." In the blink of an eye we were in the car. I picked up my phone to call one of the friends I was meeting to tell her I would not be there. The moment she picked up and I tried to start to talk and tell her the tears fell in full force. I had not really said out loud what had happened. It was like until the moment of saying it out loud it had not happened yet. 

We made it to OU Medical center in record time from Norman. I was fearful that we would not get to say goodbye if the Lord chose to take one of them. If possible, I would not miss that chance. Once we arrived I ran into the emergency room entrance. My mom was there. I hugged her and she just cried. It was awful. 

More family arrived and we were put in a small waiting room. More and more people began to arrive and we were moved to a large area. I don't remember the exact number, it is written down somewhere, but in the ballpark of 200-300 people came through that night alone. It is overwhelming to see how loved we are. 

We were able to go back and see Justin. He was beat up with a broken ankle and shoulder. He also lost the tips of some fingers and he had a TON of scratches and bruises as well as very blood shot eyes. He was honestly better than I had prepared myself for which was good. We even joked a bit about some money he thought he lost in the accident. I told him the paramedics probably stole it. :) Mom said, "Oh, you guys stop, Justin I will give you the $20." He soon followed with saying, "Will you put it in my hand right now?" :) Our world felt like it was falling apart but in that moment I smiled and laughed and man did I need it. 

At this point we still did not know much about dad. We knew he was still alive but the wait to see him or hear was agonizing. Finally a Dr. called my older brother Brandon, my younger brother Jon, my mom and myself back to talk. My heart was racing. He began to list off dad's injuries that they were aware of. The list was ridiculously long and scary. My mom frantically signed papers that would allow emergency surgery to remove a bleeding/busted organ, inflate his lungs and anything else needed. Injuries I remember:

Busted Spleen
Most if not all ribs broken
Collapsed lungs
Shattered pelvic bone
Possible other broken bones 
Possible Trauma to the Head

There were more. I just can't remember them all. The Dr. said they were doing everything that they could and we should pray he would make it through the night. He told us it was bad, really bad. 

We waited and waited and waited. It was close to 11 that evening I believe before we were FINALLY able to go and see him. It was scary. They believed their was bleeding in the brain and they induced a coma medically to help him rest. That first night he was VERY restless. We would tell him what happened. That he was hurt but they were taking care of him. That Justin was okay. He would calm down for a bit. He looked bad but so much of what was wrong we couldn't see. We just knew it was there. 

After that restless night he became still. So still it was scary. They decided to wing him off the medicine to see if he would wake up. After several days of nothing it was determined that the coma they thought was only medically induced was not. He was in a coma and there was no way to know if or when he would wake up and in what state he would wake up. 

It was a little over a month before I saw him awake. Longer than that before I talked to him. Over two months before he even began to remember things. 

While he was sleeping so many things happened. They repaired, to the best of their ability his pelvic bone, lungs and other things. It was by God's mercy he was not awake for it. It saved him severe pain. 

When he woke up he was able to talk and after a while he knew who we were. That was by God's mercy as well. We saw, ever so slightly, improvement. Some days a lot and some says it felt like none. But God was working. 

The questions rang in our head, "God why?" I looked at my mom and thought "God why?" I cried myself to sleep too many nights thinking "God why? What is your plan in this?" I just could not see it. A lot of people told me a LOT of things but I remember two very specific things said by two people. 

"God NEVER gives us more than we can carry even though it may feel like to much to bare." 
"Sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes God calms the child." 

I have said these two things to myself many times. I still remind myself of them to this day. 

The road was long. It is still a long road. Our life is more different then we could ever imagine. However, my God is the same! He was the same on April 10, 2010 and He is the same today April 10, 2012. Twenty years form now He will still be the same. So who is He you ask?

He is sustainer
He is enough
He is healer
He is provider
He is good
He is aba father
He is faithful
He is mercy
He is all that I need. 

I knew these things before that awful day. But I never knew them in the way that I know them now. My ability to relate with others suffering is so much greater. My ability to rely on God in times of utter confusion and defeat is greater. My faith has increased. I could have walked away bitter. Things are still different. They will never be the same. But I find myself loving and praising God all the more. 

I can say with all my heart that He is good!