Friday, May 23, 2014

A message to Christian Girls... and their moms...

First, let me start by saying this... I was young once (longer ago than I wish to say).... and unfortunately I  probably was guilty of the very thing I'm writing about.  So... don't hear judgement in my voice.  Hear my "I wish I knew then what I know now" voice. i would have tried harder to help the boys around me have pure thoughts rather than worrying about being noticed. 
Luckily, some things we don't have to learn on our own, we can learn from those who have walked before us... and change the way we are going now. 

I think maybe being in Zambia has RE-SENSITIZED me to many things about American Culture. Also, as I have become a mother to 4 boys... I'm also acutely aware of things... especially girls. 

Girls, if you are claiming the name of Jesus.  Walk it. Walk it in your clothes.  Walk it in your words. Walk it in your private conversations and chats. Walk it in what you post on Facebook.  Walk it on your iPod.  Walk it on the photos you take. Just walk it out. 

If you aren't a boy, aren't married to a boy, or a mother of a boy... You do not fully understand the power you have over them.  I understand the boost you get when boys notice you.  But if you believe in Jesus... you must fully understand that there is only 1 pursuer in life that makes us whole... 

You are beautiful, and so is modesty.  I'm not just talking about clothes... but it's a good place to start. I'm not saying throw on the long jean skirt with keds and a turtle neck. You can be stylish and cute... and still honor yourself and God. I think you know where the line is. Modesty comes in your words and photos, too.  We know what is flirtatious.  We know what takes a boys mind "there." So, please, help them to think in a right way.  The things you do might make them think about you in a wrong way for a moment... but if you walk with them in a modest and right way... they will ALWAYS remember you for that. It is a battle for them that YOU should care about. Because whether you like it or not, you are involved.

Moms... modesty has to be taught and modeled by you.  It isn't something this culture teaches or values.  Saying "no" is good for our kids sometimes. Saying, "yeah, I need to check your iPod, Facebook, messages, photos"... that's ok. They need guidance to find "right"... it's not in our nature. Just as much as you wouldn't want my boy going up and grabbing your daughter inappropriately, I don't want your daughter flaunting her cute, overexposed body flashing in my boys eyes. 

And one more thing... I've learned that boys truly find purity a complete attraction.  Many don't want a girl who has tinkered around with others.  So much so, I've seen them actually fret about if their future wife will make good choices RIGHT NOW.  And my boys aren't geeks.  Their handsome, athletic, smart, funny, learning to follow-Jesus kind of boys. So girls... you know right... follow it.  There's nothing more beautiful than the glow of Jesus on you... nothing!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

God's little adventure...

So often times, life for us… and everyone… gets bogged (is that a real word?) down with things.  Some things are emotion/time worthy things… a lot is not.  But in this process we forget that God is the greatest adventurer.  He’s always inviting His children on a great adventure.  “Come. Follow me.”  To where? To the places where one can experience Him firsthand!  Just like the disciples, He is inviting us into a life filled with adventure.  He doesn’t want us to come to the end of our lives only knowing Jesus through someone else’s accounts of Him.  He invites us to KNOW Him through our own accounts, too.

Why am I saying this?  Well, recently we went on a little adventure.  This adventure began with a cool, yet tame, idea.  Then, my heart sister, Leslie… took it deeper, because God has blessed her with a sense of life and adventure.  (You know the type… she brings life and fun to all around… she reminds us Moms that life is about more than the daily tasks)

Leslie gets me.  She’s walked the same dusty roads, held the same heartbroken people, laughed together as we muddle through the unknown, and sat in the same still, quiet, dark nights with candles . We’ve shared the adventures together.  Some have been more than one heart can take.  And the adventure becomes so overwhelming… some days you forget that God is just good.  For no reason. Good.

So, about this adventure… We wanted to surprise our 2 big boys, specifically Paul, with a trip to see his favorite actor, Dule Hill, perform on Broadway.  So, we start planning and counting $...  Kinda ridiculous.  Soon, the idea seemed to be drifting away by the reality of … well. Reality.   How could we afford this trip to NYC… with plane tickets, Broadway tickets, AND hotel? (food?  Not concerned, I can eat junk with the best of them… imagine chips for dinner before a fancy night on the town!)
But the dream of my kids seeing him… I couldn’t let that memory go.  Now, on the other end, Leslie had emailed Dule’s agent and they had started talking.  Soon, it was set! We were going to MEET HIM after the show! “WHAT?” (in my best psych Gus voice) Not only that… but He and his agent gave us 2 free tickets because they wanted all 4 of us to come… not just sending the boys with Leslie! 
Now the pressure was on! How could we say NO??  So… we said YES!  AND THEN… Came the free airline tickets… AND the Free hotel!  WHAT?  I’m gonna eat dinner afterall!

Seriously… God wants us to say YES!  (no I’m not talking about blindly hopping into something that will financially sink yourself) He wants us to say Yes.. get in the boat.  I want to bless you.  And sometimes, His adventures… are just for our “filling up.”  Nothing else. Often times, some of us believe He is only in the adventure that leads to the bedside of the suffering.  But that’s not true.  In our tenacious desire to bless our children… God turned around and blessed us…  And No, it doesn’t always work out that way.  And no, God doesn’t want us spending our lives on our own selfish adventures… But sometimes… yes! Yes… He wants us to remember that He’s just good.  For no exchange. That He wants to renew our joy, our sense of security in Him, our sense of “I can do this life, and it’s worth doing!”  I didn’t find that on the streets of NYC or in Dule Hill’s dressing room (although that was really cool)… but through God’s total surprising me… while I was planning the surprise! Isn’t that cool of Him?  It’s just a love note… a… “I’m with you” kind of message. And, to be honest, I needed that.

And the trip was amazing.  We met Dule Hill.  Hung out with him in his dressing room for about 25 mintues.  Chatted about “what’s next” in his life,  Psych, and a little about Zambia. Met his brother… gave him a birthday cupcake and a card… You know… the things “friends” do.  Ha.  He was gracious to my children.  He was kind and interested. 

  And the smiles on their faces were priceless to me.  And I think the joy in my heart… was priceless to my Heavenly Father… who showered us with such an incredible adventure.