Thursday, January 27, 2011

What did you eat today?

The other night at bed time, which as all parents know is when the great questions get pulled out, I was wrangled into a conversation about pregnancy. My sister and her husband had come up earlier in a previous conversation and Gabe had asked me if I thought Aunt Emmy would ever be able to have kids. I didn't think much of it and just said, sure when they were ready they would probably have kids, they just didn't want to get pregnant right now. So as I tucked him in he asks, "how can you only get pregnant when you are ready?" (Insert long pause I tried to fill with much tucking and fluffing.) So, he continued, "cause Aunt Emmy is married so she could get pregnant any time." "Well, " I said, "in order to get pregnant you don't have to just be married. You have to do something." At this point I believe I am actually holding my breath. He says, "You mean like a special diet?"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Life as Ministry

I've done alot of reading, soul searching and seeking the Lord over the past year (or so) about what it really means to actually DO what the Bible says. I gradually came to the realization that many people who claim the title "Christian" don't, in reality, take the words of the Bible or the commands in it very seriously. I also discovered that I was one of them. So I find myself trying to figure out what it looks like to die to self, take up your cross, and FOLLOW HIM. Well, I think it looks different for each person, but it boils down to motivation and end goals in my opinion.

If I live my life for me and my motivation is happiness, ease or comfort then I will choose my house, my job, my number of children, my spending habits based on exactly that. Many Christians do this without even thinking about it. They are just living. Haven't we all answered the questions, 'how many kids do you want?' or 'where do you want to live' or 'what do you want to be when you grow up?' We think we get to choose, and that "full-time ministry" is a calling for the few. (No not the proud, the humble.) But is it? Can you read Jesus' words and actually believe that any of us can escape full-time ministry? Can you take up your cross and simultaneously be devoted to dreams such as a nicer house, or a job with more prestige, or more leisure time and the toys with which to fill it? Well, I guess you then come to the question of the end you seek. Or maybe not even the end you seek, but the end you believe will be. The way I see it, if you truly believe that everything on this earth and in this life will be nothing and all you will have left is what you sent on to Heaven, then WHY IN THE WORLD would you seek after these things? And if you believe that you truly are eternal and will be spending your eternity in the presence of the Creator God who formed you out of nothing and loved you enough to send His son to die for you, and asked of you some very specific things, then WHY IN THE WORLD would you avoid those things in favor of momentary comfort?
So I have decided that I AM IN full time ministry. If I am going to die to self and live for Christ as Paul says we are called to do, then my life is not mine to choose. Things start to look very different when you realize that your life is your ministry. Decision making becomes more prayerful and less analytical. Whether I want something holds no weight. Whether I feel able holds no weight. Whether happiness follows holds no weight. The ONLY factor that holds weight is the will of my Heavenly Father. He gets to decide. It is simultaeously utterly terrifying and utterly freeing. My present definition of faith is choosing to see it as utterly freeing.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


If I had to sum up what 2010 brought for me it would be contentment. The year I stopped striving for I don't even know what and finally looked around and saw with fresh eyes what God is doing right in front of me. It's strange because after the earthquake I was so broken and sad and guilt ridden. I wanted to be in Haiti and I had this sort of sick jealousy that those who were there are now part of a brotherhood of suffering that I will never know. And I gieved the loss of the only Haiti I knew. My dreams of taking Daniel to St. Josephs and showing him the room we slept in when we finally held him in our arms, of taking him to the chapel on the roof where I held him and wept and cried wordless prayers of praise and gratitude, of walking the streets and seeing the places familiar to my heart, those dreams were gone. And for a while were replaced by nightmares of what could've happened to his family, to the countless others I have loved there. I thought of the children who stole my heart and how I may never know if they lived. Sweet Johnson and his sisters. All these years later I still ache for that boy, and he was first in my heart when disaster struck. Does he live today?

So, how did the contentment come? I'm not sure except to say that through my wrestling and arguing with the Lord He didn't chastise me. He only somehow unveiled my eyes. He gave me a vision for the ministry right in front of me. And the year of contenment was topped off with the most blessed Christmas we have ever had. We throttled back our checking account giving and tried to point our children toward worship instead. And despite my fears of rebellion and mutiny my kids blessed my socks off. Christmas Eve we worshiped at church and I watched my kids love on Bean's birth mom. At home all snuggly in jammies they gathered around Jason as he read the story of Jesus' birth. My sweet little Daniel pondered the theology of grace vs. works in his precious six year old way. "But mom, I'm confused how that works about going to heaven."
"Well, honey remember when you asked Jesus to come and be Lord of your life and promised to love and obey him?"
"Yeah, but I did lots of bad stuff again."

Oh my heart. The joy of eternal salvation swept over me fresh and new as I was able to say to my son that when God looks at him he sees perfection in Jesus and nothing could keep Him from bringing you to heaven with him. His wide moist eyes said it all. May we all feel that gratefullness and may it never become mundane.

Christmas morning, for the first time in my memory, before presents were opened my children were glad to retrieve our baby Jesus from his treasure box and place him lovingly in the manger of our nativity. And I saw them, all four of them, pause and ponder. A moment, that lasted perhaps seconds, will live forever in my Mother Heart as I continue in 2011 to nurture in them that sense of awe and wonder at a Saviour who came and died.