***Update*** Kate has been peeing and pooping on the potty since I posted this!!!!!!! You all are prayer warriors!!!!!!! If you haven’t read this entry yet, this will make no sense, and this is probably an uncomfortable moment for you…yikes I am SO excited that several of you will be coming to the women’s conference in Lexington…anyone wanna do the speaking for me?
Love to you all, and thank you for all the amazing homeschooling suggestions…I have started a notebook with all of your nifty ideas. I am hoping to have another update on Bible study soon…we’re getting closer!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait!!!
Sorry I haven’t posted in a bit..we were out of town visiting family in Georgia. We had such a great week watching the girls playing with their cousins. It was great to just all be together and stay up late playing dominoes after the girls had fallen asleep to Miley Cyrus’ 3-D concert. We are truly blessed to have the kind of family that really loves to be together…
Yesterday, we went swimming with Pete and Brandi and their three precious boys (Jett, Gage, and Brewer). You may remember that Pete is the Pastor of Crosspoint church, who did the awesome video about Audrey. We had so much fun watching Jett patiently allowing Kate to follow him all around the pool, floaties working overtime, and then pounce on him as soon as he got still. I heard Ellie say to the other boys, “I think my sister is going to marry your brother.” She isn’t subtle, but she is certainly determined. I can’t wait to see what God does with her as she grows up. I think she is going to be a warrior for the Lord. On our way to meet them, she decided to test-drive the word “crap” from the backseat of the car. I whipped around and asked her what she had said and she was kind enough to repeat it. I looked at her and she realized that must be a no-no word. She looked at the floor of the car and then at me.
“We don’t say crap, do we, mommy?”
“No, Kate, we don’t say that word.” She considers this for a moment, and then says,
“What about ‘Oh my crap.’ Do we say that?” Seriously, where does she come up with this stuff?
“No, Kate, we don’t say that either.”
“How ’bout ‘What the crap.’ Is that okay?” In my mind I was thinking Yes, in certain situations, like when you can’t find the match for that stinkin’ kids shoe you JUST bought…
“No, honey, nothing with that word. Let’s think of another word to say.”
“We don’t say ‘hell’ either, right momma?” Now that’s tricky.
“Well, we say it when we are really talking about hell. That is a real place, and that is what we call it, but we don’t just say the word. Only when we are talking about the real hell.”
“So I can say ‘Oh my hell?’”
This continues through many shades of crap and hell, and by the end of it all, I am convicted because I think crap (while not a glorifying word) is sometimes the only one that sums it up. It’s kind of rebellious while not completely offensive. However, it’s not one I want to hear my two year old repeating on the way to a pool date with our friend the Pastor.
A few years ago, I was putting Abby and Ellie to bed and we were doing our night-time routine. I like to ask them to think of one thing they are grateful for, one thing they want to pray for, and one thing they would like to apologize to God about. Abby decides to go first, and starts by saying that she is grateful for colored chalk and bubbles. Then, she says that she wants to pray for our neighbor, who wants to have another baby. She pauses.
“Abby, is there anything you want to say ‘I’m sorry’ to God about?”
“Yeah. About me hitting Ellie today.”
“Okay, well then go ahead, because when you are done you will feel so much better. You will have a clean slate! Isn’t that great?” She nods, closes her eyes, and puts her little palms together reflectively.
“Jesus, I am so sorry that I hit Ellie today, because that was wrong.” My sweet Abby, humbling herself before the Lord…what a beautiful moment….
I see one of her eyes open into a little sliver. She is looking at Ellie with a smirky little expression. This is about to go downhill.
“But, Jesus, you know I hit her because she took my dolly, and I really hope she will say I’m sorry about that and that you will forgive her for what she has did.” She closes her eye again and a little smile creeps across her face…mission accomplished. Apology, complete with justification and blame. What a pleasing aroma to the Lord….
After stifling a snort-giggle, I made her do it over again, while explaining that when we come before the Lord, we must do it in humility, not righteousness. We need to seek Him, and not ourselves. I always think of this story when I am praying for something and my own agenda sneaks in. The past few weeks have had a lot of those moments.
We have these seasons in our lives where we take inventory and start to decide what needs to change, what needs to be worked on, and what we need to do to be a better steward of the gifts that we have been given. I am right in the middle of my “inventory,” and it feels like I am starting to make some progress. I told Todd on the way to Georgia that I felt like God was preparing me for some kind of ministry, and I’m not all that sure how I feel about it. Some parts of it I am comfortable with (I love writing, and I love Bible study. I love being with people and living life together. I love Jesus, and the idea of being a part of anything that brings people to Him) and others I am not (public speaking, being in the spotlight, being open enough to draw criticism for my faith and my decisions). I’m just so darned thin-skinned, and so worried about letting people down all the time. God kindly told me to get over myself and be obedient.
So, after much prayer and trepidation, I have accepted my first speaking engagement (it’s in Lexington, KY on October 3rd in association with Southland Christian Church). Please pray for me. I am a bundle of nerves, and have actually tried to back out a few times, but the Lord keeps telling me it is the right choice. Todd and the girls will be coming with me (that is part of the “deal” I made with God about these types of things…my family is my primary ministry, and I am not willing to be away from them), so that makes me feel a little better. I have been crying a lot, but wanting so badly to be in God’s will. If you live in Lexington and you decide to come, just know that there is a good possibility you will see the keynote speaker throw up, so bring your camera phones. There is also a good chance you will discover that I am actually quite ordinary, and not nearly as exciting as you might have hoped:)
A few other prayer requests while I’m at it…
~I have started homeschooling Abby and Ellie. I am really, really enjoying it. It started out as something I wanted to do so that we could travel with Todd, but it has evolved into a sweet time with my girls. I am having a little trouble figuring out how to entertain Kate while I am teaching, and welcome any thoughts or suggestions about that (and homeschooling in general).
~I am so excited about “Stepping Up,” and am still in the process of working out the details. We may have found a church to host it!!!!! I will keep you posted:) I smile every time I think about meeting some of you face to face and digging deeper into the Word with you. It is going to be a great time of fellowship, and from what I have heard, Beth knocks it out of the park again with this study. It is seven weeks long, and has a pretty fair amount of homework. I am also trying to figure out creative ways to make it feel interactive for those of you who do not live in Nashville. I am going to start another blog for the study, and I am thinking about ideas for it. There are many of you who are much smarter than me about this stuff, so feel free to email me if you have suggestions.
~I am potty-training Kate, and it isn’t going all that hot. You know her well enough by now for me to spare you the gory details (Okay, just one. She climbed up on our kitchen counter and pooped on it.) Let’s just say it is a battle of the wills, and I am losing.
This post is all over the place, isn’t it? Oh well, that’s life I guess:) If you have written me and haven’t gotten a response, please forgive me. I have really had to limit the amount of time I spend in my email because I have started the school year with my kids. I do hope you will continue to write, and know that it is a privilege I do not take lightly to be included as someone who can pray for you. I do read your words, and I do pray. It has been an incredible blessing to me to hear your hearts…thank you so, so much.
p.s. I wanted to let you know that Greg and Nicol have started a blog in honor of Luke. If you want to, please stop by and feel free to reach out to support them. The address is: thelukesponbergfoundation.blogspot.com.
p.p.s. I am in contact with a sweet woman who is expecting her fourth child. She is in the hospital, and is faced with a very difficult prognosis, although her beautiful faith is unwavering. Her blog is www.mycharmingkids.net. Please pray for her and her baby, Stellan.