Monday, May 14, 2012

A Privilege or Inconvenience?

 I felt very loved on Mother's Day.  My little kiddos were pumped about it 3 days in advance.  They could hardly wait to give me the cards they had made (and secretly hid in the bottom of the laundry basket?).  I also felt loved and appreciated by the 5 teenagers we have with us right now. 

And feeling appreciated by teenagers does not happen very often.

But I was showered with gifts, words of appreciation, and love.

I am disappointed in myself when I treat the children in my life like they are an inconvenience.  Someone who is in the way of what I want to selfishly accomplish.

Ugh.  I cringe with what I just wrote, but it is the sad, pathetic truth so I will leave it there.

But I also know another truth.  One that outweighs the lie that my kids are a nuisance to my already crazy day.

The truth that all of these children were placed in my life for a reason.  My three little kiddos were born to me because that is exactly where God wanted them to belong.

These teenagers were placed in our house for a reason.  Their young lives have been through some tumultuous stuff, but God brought them to this place and for this moment, this is where they belong.

And that is a privilege for me.

But lest I get too boastful about how I am here to raise them up to know Jesus and His sacrifice for them,  I remind myself that I am learning just as much from them as they are learning from me.

WHILE WE ARE BUSY TEACHING OUR CHILDREN ABOUT LIFE, 
OUR CHILDREN TEACH US WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT.

None of these children are an inconvenience to my life.  I have the privilege of getting to know each one and to share this walk of life with each of them for a little while.  Some for 9 or so months, some for years.

There was something that happened recently that caused me to check my priorities, and where exactly my little kiddos landed on that list.

Owen, Hannah, and Madeline have been entrusted to me and Paul to love them and raise them up to know their Savior.  So that they can go on to glorify God through their lives and teach more people about the Saving Grace of Jesus.

These children are my high priority.

And that is a privilege.

From Hannah:  a house and a flower in a vase of water

From Owen: a flower in a vase of water (i think Hannah got her idea from him)

A card from one of our residents that just about made me cry: 

 "Thank you for everything you do, not for your kids, but for me"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recap of April


 In the month of April we celebrated our risen Savior, enjoyed several birthday cakes, took walks in the Gateway woods, trekked to Illinois to visit family, learned to pee in the potty (that one was Maddie), read a book that made us think about how much we are willing to sacrifice for the gospel (Radical, highly recommend it!), enjoyed walks in the rain, time in the sunshine, cried through some hard times, and praised God as he saw us through to the other side.








Sunday, May 6, 2012

How am I smelling?


 

2 Corinthians 2:15-16

New International Version (NIV)
15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life
 A week or so ago, I had one of those moments that just grabs you by the shoulders, stops you in your tracks, and makes you think.

I kinda, sorta, like that when it happens.  Sometimes...

I was doing me some sewing, trying something new with a pattern I found in a library book.  A few months back I was the lucky recipient of some of my grandparents old pillowcases and sheets that no one else wanted.  I saw some potential in those old things and wanted to make them into something new.

So, I decided to take one of the old pillowcases, and turn it into this cute little hand bag.  I loved the old flower pattern and the fact that it was something that came from my grandparents house.  

At one point in the project I needed to iron some interfacing to the rest of the fabric.  As I pressed the iron to the material, a most wonderful scent filled the air:

the scent of my grandparents' house

Now, y'all, I cried.  I stood right there at the ironing board and cried.

It was such a nostalgic, beautiful scent that it took me back to the nights I would snuggle under one of my grandparents' comforters, falling asleep on their couch.

It brought back so many wonderful memories of time spent at their house.

And it also brought to mind the verse that is typed above.  What kind of 'scent' are we offering up to our God?  What kind of 'scent' are we giving off to others?

Is our scent one that reminds others of their Lord Jesus Christ?  Does it fill other believers with joy, and maybe a few happy tears, as they too long for their home in heaven?  Does your aroma give life to other believers, encouraging them on their journey?

If so, then this aroma should have the opposite effect on others.  Those that would deny that Christ exists.  Your scent should be the smell of death to them.

That one is kinda hard for me to accept.  Me the people-pleaser, wanting everyone to be happy with my 'scent.'

But if we are truly living for Christ, our aroma will be a sweet reminder to our fellow believers that Christ is living and redeeming.

But it will also smell awful to those who are hardened toward God, for it will remind them that death is all that awaits them.

But I believe it can smell sweet to those who do not yet believe, but have a soft heart, ready to receive the Truth.  Because they smell that sweet fragrance and want to have that aroma, too.

Just like how that little bit of material's scent reminded me of happy memories, I want my aroma to be pleasing to God; a scent that glorifies Him.

So, how are you smelling these days?  Is it a pleasing aroma of Christ?