Two Tiaras and a Sword

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Terrible 2's and Teenagers

I have heard my very wise Mother-in-love say on more than one occasion that we should not label the "Terrible 2's" as terrible.  Our children live up to our expectations.  So, if we expect, dread, bemoan the age of 2 to be terrible...then our children will live up to our expectations, and give us something to dread and bemoan.  She would say not to dread that time, but to make it a sweet time of learning, growing, and training.  So, we took her advice, and we did just that. 

Of course...there were days during that time, that were, well...terrible.  But, there were also terrible days in the 3's and 4's and 5' get the picture.  BUT, those days were definitely not the norm.  They were the exceptions.

Now that we are through that for the most part, we come to a new phase in our lives.  We have a teenager.  And another very soon to be teenager.  We choose to take the same approach to teenagers as we did the "Terrible 2's".  We know that the "stigma" that comes with teenagers is that they are lazy, self absorbed and emotional.  But we choose to work together to beat the "stigma".  We talk to our kids.  We tell them that maybe that is the norm, but we expect them to be above the norm.  We will not allow them to be lazy, self absorbed and emotional.  Now, will there be days of lazy, self absorbed and emotional...yes.  I am sure there will be.  But those are the days where we point out what is going on and work on changing the attitudes together. 

We feel that the most important thing is for our children to grow in their love for the Lord and others.  So as they approach their teen years, we want to give them ample opportunities to do both.  We have them involved in their Christian school, and in our church.  We encourage them to serve others every chance they get.  They have gone with us each time we have had an opportunity to help with the tornado victims.  We limit their television time, and video game time (we do not have the latest and greatest video game system on purpose).  We encourage them to daily spend time alone with the Lord - reading their Bibles and praying, help out around the house,  play board games, and read books (and yes, they are allowed to watch television and play video games for limited times).  We do not want them to lay around all summer, so we do not let that even be an option.  We are not slave drivers.  But we do want our children to know and appreciate the value of hard work, and a job well done.

I recently read a book by Alex and Brett Harris called Do Hard Things.  I would recommend that every parent of a teenager read this book, and that every teen read it as well.  It is an excellent eye opening book that explains how society looks at teens, and the truth of what totally surrendered teens can do.  It made me excited about having not just one, but two teens in my home.  I am excited about the next few years and what God is going to do in the lives of our energetic, fun loving, serving children.

So, I guess I said all of that to matter if you are the parent of a 2 year old, or a teenager...expect great things from your children.  Encourage, love, teach and train them to be excellent young people for God's glory.  Don't dread the next stage of life...look forward to it and enjoy it to it's fullest...because before you know it, that stage is over and it's on to the next one.  I want to have precious memories of all the stages of my children's lives, and I know you do too!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Great Book

I just finished reading a great book.  It is called 10 Things Every Minister's Wife Needs to Know.  It was excellent.  It would be great for ANY Christian woman, not just minister's wives.  It was written by Jeana Floyd.  She has great insight into the ministry because she grew up in a pastor's home, and then married a pastor.  Reading her book was like sitting down across the kitchen table and just chatting.  It was like a talk I would have had with one of my pastor's wives while I was growing up, if I had known the proper questions to ask at that time.  She covers many of the aspects of a minister's wife's life, and the challenges that they face.  Anyway, it was a blessing to me, and I thought I'd share.  Hopefully, if you read it, it will be a blessing to you as well!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We HAVE to help them!!

Jude 1:22

22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 is a day that people in Alabama will never forget. It started out as a pretty normal day. There was the threat of bad weather, and facebook was full of teachers and students speculating on whether or not school would let out early. It wasn't long before we heard that we would get out around 1:00. So we worked hard to get all of the important things done before then.

At home, we watched the weather diligently. It was still sunny, with occasional wind bursts. The kids even played outside for a while. Church was cancelled, as many churches across the state decided it was going to be too dangerous for people to be out and about.

As the storms approached, my husband decided to put our youngest down for a nap. We knew it was supposed to be bad until midnight, and that she would most likely have to stay up later than usual.

They had been laying down for about 30 minutes when it started. I watched in disbelief for a few minutes, and then called upstairs to tell my husband he might want to come downstairs to watch. We were watching a real live horror movie play out before our eyes. A huge tornado was hitting the city of Cullman, Al. It was surreal. I was sitting in my living room watching a tornado literally tear across the northern part of my state.

Then almost before we could totally process that, another tornado hit the city of Tuscaloosa and tore a path across to Birmingham and beyond. Again we watched in disbelief. I could only pray, "God, please be with all those people!" I have seen the devastation a small tornado can cause, and this was a huge tornado.

As the whole state seemed to be a boiling mass of tornadoes, we decided we might better seek shelter ourselves. We have precious friends who have a finished basement, that always invite us over during tornado warnings. So we loaded up some snacks and went there. The kids played as we sat and watched the news, and monitored how friends and loved ones were doing via facebook and texts.

We were definitely blessed as tornadoes hit both north and south of us, but missed us completely. When we got home, our youngest was a little anxious about going to bed, so I told her she could lay with me. We talked about how blessed we were that we had a bed to sleep in, as many people now did not. We prayed and thanked God for keeping us safe, and asking Him to be with those affected by the storm.

When I finished praying, my littlest princess was crying. She told me we should invite the people who no longer had beds to sleep in to come to our house to stay. I told her there were so many people, that there was no way we could invite them all to stay with us. She looked at me and with great conviction and compassion said, "But Mommy, we HAVE to help them!!!" I promised her we would find a way to help.

The next day, I told my husband I wanted to do something to help. We prayed for God to guide us, and we made several contacts. We found through a member of our church, a church just outside a devastated area that was taking donations, and making meals. We called on our church members to make donations, and we called on our teens to serve.

Then Saturday morning, we loaded up a van load of supplies, and a van load of teen volunteers, and headed out to keep my promise to my daughter. We got there, helped unload, and then organize the supplies. Then we got to work making sandwiches. About the time we would get finished, another call would come in from another place that needed food, and we would start working again. It was pretty much nonstop for three hours. We stopped when they told us that they would not have time to deliver any more before the lock down.

As I came home, and ate hot food, I thought of those who were eating our sandwiches. As I got in a hot shower, I thought of those who were bathing with baby wipes. As I crawled into my comfortable bed, I thought of those sleeping on cots, and floors. As I snuggled with my
precious little one, whose compassion for others started the ball rolling for us to minister to those precious people, I thought of those who are mourning the loss of their loved ones.

I am by no means finished with my promise to her. We have helped, but it was just a very small help. I will do everything possible to continue to help. I want to do everything I can to help share God's love with them. We will also encourage others to do the same...Jude 22! You may not have people whose lives have been wrecked by a tornado living near you, but we all know people whose lives have been devastated by sin. Let's have as much compassion on them,
as we do for those affected by the tornadoes. Let's reach out to anyone and everyone we can with God's love. Let's make a difference today! We HAVE to help them!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Please Forgive Me...Jesus Does

If you are expecting me to be perfect, I have to tell you straight up, you are going to be disappointed. For I am far from perfect.

I am going to have tough days. Days where the pressure is just a little too much. Days when I try to do it on my own, in my own strength, and fail miserably.

Days when I have too much to do, and too little time to get it all done.

Days when I just do not feel good.

Days when Satan has been on my case, and plagues me with doubts and insecurities.

Days when things rub me the wrong way.

I will say things I regret. I will allow my emotions to get the best of me. I will fail, and I will sin...not because I want to. Because I never want to hurt the cause of the Savior who loves me, and died on the cross for me. But because I am human. And humans have a sin nature.

You understand this I hope, because you are human too, and fight the same battles I do.
So, when I fail, please don't hold it against me, or condemn me. Please pray for me instead.

Please pray that I will be stronger in areas where I am weak. Please pray that I will be more Christlike tomorrow than I am today. Pray that I will walk in His strength, and not my own. Pray that I won't get emotional, and give in to the flesh, when it would be so easy to do, but that I will be daily yielded to the Lord.

Know that I am praying these things for you too, my friends. Philippians 1:3-6

Yes, I am far from perfect, but I have a personal relationship with the Perfect One. And He offers forgiveness freely to all who ask.