Broken Hearts & the Faithfulness of God

I used to think “brokenhearted” would never happen to me. I had enough high school breakups (only a few, but still enough!) and dramatic fall outs with “friends” growing up to know that one ought to be rather particular about the sort of people you allow yourself to become very close with. “Brokenhearted” only happens to the extremely boy-crazy or ultra-sensitive, right? Ehhh…wrong.

Care about any human being in the world (yourself included!), and you are liable to become brokenhearted at some point or another. What’s more, the Lord calls us to love one another, which leaves us wide open to heart injuries of the deepest, most painful variety.

But – there is sacred balm for this heartache, healing ointment for this crushing discouragement.

near

(via)

Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

We know the Lord is always with us, but in some magnificent and mysterious way, he is near to us in a special way when our hearts are broken. When a close friend betrays you. When your child is living in grievous sin and rebellion. When your spouse is distant, aloof, absent. When a lifelong dream slips away. When the heaviness of your heart distracts, exhausts you. When you can’t remember what joy, community, and hope feel like. When your grief overwhelms you and it seems not a soul could care.

Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “Broken hearts think God far away, when he is really most near them…” When you most need him, he is near (Merriam-Webster: “in close or intimate manner”). If you are brokenhearted or crushed in spirit, our tender-hearted Savior is especially sensitive to you. He is close. Don’t believe the lie that He is absent, or unconcerned. He is in tune with your heart, and when you are brokenhearted, know that He is near to you.

As we cry out to God, we know He is able to heal our broken relationships and remedy any problem we face, but even if he chooses not to, there is great comfort in him. In the Psalms, we also hear proclaimed, “How good it is to be near God!” (Psalm 73:28) It is good to be near God! In a great, mysterious and miraculous way, the Lord works good for us out of our brokenness as it draws us near to Him. C.S. Lewis says that in the Psalms (and to David), God is the “all-satisfying Object.” He himself, his nearness, his presence, is balm for broken hearts.

Celebrate the presence today of the dearest, most intimate Friend of your Soul. When your heart is broken, when your spirit utterly crushed, in that moment when you need him most – He is near.

Psalm 145:18 “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him; to all who call upon Him in truth.”

put ‘em in their place.

Sometimes I forget the place my children really ought to have in my life.

At times, they’re an accessory. Something pretty and charming, meant to make me look better. Are they doing well, being obedient, excelling in something? Ahh, good…maybe I’m “okay”…

At times, they’re an inconvenience, a chore, a difficult reality keeping me from some better life I’ve imagined that is less sweatpants-and-”I answered that question 13 times already” and more flattering to my ego or something.

But what are they really? How ought I really be thinking about these little ones entrusted to my care?

They’re not an idol. They’re not an obstacle.

They are a gift from the Lord. They are a blessing. {Psalm 127}

God forbid I consider them any other way.

In the midst of the mess, the expense, the exhaustion, the stretching-in-every-way, the setting-aside of other dreams…Oh, Lord! Renew my mind to truly consider them, from my heart, as a gift and a blessing, and to treasure them as You do.

<3 jc

Consider One Another

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. 

{Hebrews 10:23-25 NASB} 

Recently I’ve been reading Hebrews, and repeatedly these words have caught my attention: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”

Usually our thoughts focus around ourselves. It’s a reality of our self-centered human nature. But here, the Lord is calling us to consider our brothers and sisters. To know them, understand them, study them to discern the way the Lord made them. As we begin to comprehend, through the Spirit’s revealing, the essence of their person, we can find ways to “provoke” (KJV), “stimulate” (NASB) or “motivate” (ESV) them to love and good deeds for the body of Christ and the good of the world. To do any of this with and for our believing family, we must be connected to one another through assembling together, “all the more as you see the day drawing near.” – and it is, amen?! :)

Have you studied your spouse in this way? What makes him tick? Who has God called him to love, and how? Is there anything keeping him from that? What good deeds has the Lord given your husband to do? Do you understand what he is called to do and know how to effectively encourage him in that? Proverbs 10:11 says “the mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.” Are your words motivating and life-giving for your husband?

What about your children? Consider them. What moves them? How might you nudge your daughter to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted?” (Ephesians 4:32) Do your sons open their mouths for the rights of all the unfortunate? Do they defend the rights of the afflicted and needy? (Proverbs 31:8-9) We need to exhort them every day, that none of them may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13). Let us be always seeking “to do good to one another and to everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15) In this way, we are the true salt of the earth.

Perhaps our own example of righteous living is the best way to provoke, stimulate or motivate one another to love and good deeds, as Matthew Henry says “A good example given to others is the best and most effectual provocation to love and good works.”

Of this passage in Hebrews, Henry also says: Christians ought to have a tender consideration and concern for one another; they should affectionately consider what their several wants, weaknesses, and temptations are; and they should do this, not to reproach one another, to provoke one another not to anger, but to love and good works, calling upon themselves and one another to love God and Christ more, to love duty and holiness more, to love their brethren in Christ more, and to do all the good offices of Christian affection both to the bodies and the souls of each other.” (Matthew Henry)

This is no hopeless endeavor, for we trust in One who is Faithful.

Consider one another.

 

sufficiency for a weekend-workday

Dimness falls on my weekend-workday. After kissing 3 baby faces, praying sweet dreams over each, I gather strewn socks and cups. Order occurs only after dark in this season of our family’s life. I’m tired, and have to pray for grace and strength to do each of the next tasks. The temptation of discouragement flickers through me. I sigh, grabbing broom, sweeping flour, raisins, cinnamon. But there in that growing pile of kitchen mess, I see memories represented. Chubby hands spreading raisins over dough and stuffing many more into chatty little-boy mouth. His blue eyes are bright with joy and jokes and mischief. My right hand girl is beside me; fine-and-bright haired, perched on her chair. She thoughtfully paints butter across dough, asking “Can I help roll it up?” Suggesting we make cinnamon rolls every day (!).

The mess is contained in the dust pan, in the trash. The dishes, overflowing the sink, need containing also and I turn to them next. Again, I sigh and am tempted to settle into the heaviness of discouragement – but there, in the window above the sink, I admire the dogwood branch snipped for me by dearest friend, the one my soul loves. I study the white petals, the pink-brown corners, the staggered blossoms exclaiming ‘Spring!’ up and down fresh branch. My beloved chose me, as he chose this branch for our vase. Though there are waves of new and shifting and changing circumstances threatening to upset my life – my love, imitating our sweet Savior, is a constant presence, a consistent friend. ‘Til death do us part’ – sometimes sounds like a somber life sentence, but today it’s a promise I treasure as I ought.

I’ve been praying for God to help me “get it under control.” Maybe if I could sleep a little more? If we could go a month or so with no flu bug? Maybe if the Lord would magically give me an extra 48 hours to just “get ahead”…I’ve been asking for God to let me sleep and get caught up so I can accomplish my stuff and feel good about it. But repeatedly, it seems he says to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” And here is my turning point: to make friends with my weakness, my inability to conquer my to-do list on my own, being truly content in my weakness as an instrument and gift from the Lord – or – to continue in miserable angst and dissatisfaction with myself, my life, and all the things (people) “in the way” of me feeling awesome about myself. 

“Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12)

Christ is sufficient. 

<3 jc

“The gospel stands above and beyond all the most practical, family-friendly, or cost-effective philosophies of mothering. The good news of Jesus Christ is superior to our to-do lists and metaphorical mother-of-the-year trophies. This is because the greatest problem a mother has is not a lack of creativity, accomplishment, or skill, but her inability to love God and others as Jesus loves her (John 13:34)…..God’s irresistible grace binds our wandering heart to himself and frees us to love him back and overflow in love to our neighbors…because of Christ’s work on the cross, we can live God’s way of love in our homes and in the world even as our hands are full (Gal. 5:16-26; Eph. 4:17-6:18).” – Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full

 

that dangerous place

“You will never know the peace he will give until you put yourself where you most fear.”

Hearing that we were following God into a new place, a new ministry, a friend of mine who is a missionary in a closed SE Asian country shared a story with me about a big step their family took a few years ago. They were moving from one more populated, somewhat Westernized larger city, into a more remote area in their country where there was no health care (she has 3 young children) and some real political tensions. She had some anxieties about the potential dangers, but they saw God was leading them to reach the unreached in that place. Their leader encouraged her, “you will never know the peace he will give until you put yourself where you most fear.”

The story was encouraging to me as we moved across the country, leaving friends and family and familiarity…I did have peace. And joy. God was taking us.

But the words continued to rattle and clang in my mind – the way they do when God has something else for me to glean from them.

Today I was responding to some over-due e-mails and re-read her encouraging words (and can I just say, it’s pretty humbling to be encouraged by someone I so admire and consider the truest salt of the earth I know!). I couldn’t help but ask myself - “What do I fear that is holding me back? What do I need to give over to the Lord, in exchange for His peace?” 

I had tasted fear before, but wasn’t intimately acquainted with it until I had children. Suddenly a new world of dangers has burst into vibrant life. Mostly they are fears for my children and their physical and spiritual safety, but then there are also fears that I will never sleep again, have a rational thought in the next decade, or be able to leave the house without forgetting somebody’s something till the day I die. I fear messing my kids’ lives up. I fear I’ve already messed up mine. I fear that if I am in certain situations, I will be depressed and in despair.

But I love these words from the Savior:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid…” {Jesus, recorded in John 14

The peace Jesus gives us is “not as the world gives”…worldly peace might be a fat bank account, and safe suburb, a promise of health and security. But Jesus’ peace is different. It is over-and-above circumstances, filled with the Holy Spirit, unafraid – even in the face of “the ruler of this world” (our enemy).

What do you fear?

Maybe, like me, it’s discouragement and depression, or some unspeakable harm befalling your children. Maybe it’s a financial or health concern. Maybe it’s vulnerability with a loved one. Can we throw off these fears, begging God to clear our minds of the fog they bring – and ask Him for peace instead? Let us enter bravely into those places that Satan would make us fear. The Lord has ordained peace for us (Isaiah 26:12)! Is there a dangerous place that God is calling you? Can I urge you, friend – step out. There is peace. Sweet peace and freedom.

My sweet friend is experiencing the peace that passes understanding, in a dark and hostile place. Let us throw off our fears! – and every sin that hinders us, so we can “run with endurance the race that is zset before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12)

Peace to you, friend.

<3 jc

A Morning Prayer {Psalm 5}

“In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”  Psalm 5:3, NASB

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Psalm 5:3, KJV

morning kissies

Mothers of young children expect, almost invariably, to be awakened by their little ones early in the morning. Asking – “Can I get up now?”, slipping in for cuddles, crying out for a clean diaper, “staaaaaarving” for breakfast. It is routine; predictable as the sunrise and the cock’s crow. If a morning came when I didn’t hear a little voice calling for me, for help – the silence would be terribly alarming. But, by God’s grace, I do hear sweet voices every morning. They wait expectantly for me to provide them with all they need for their day – food, clothes, the days’ ‘agenda’ and love. That is the only way for them to start the day. Oh, how I love to hear their voices! The groggiest, most painfully tired morning is somehow made beautiful with the sound of their voices.

And how else could we, the children of the LORD, start our day? Do we not need all from Him, and have every reason to expect that He will generously give it? Are our voices routine and predictable, a sweet morning fragrance and aroma to our King who never sleeps? He is a king! The King of kings, but He is our Father too, and we have reason to believe he delights to satisfy our needs and desires. We tumble out of bed and tip-toe into His presence with messy heads and hearts and ravenous appetite, and believe, childlike – He will smile; anticipate – He will provide.

Are we too proud? Starting our day on our own? Making fools of ourselves and frustrations of our lives, when God delights in our morning requests?

Instead,  let us “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

Our time of need is first thing in the morning.

<3 jc

“When first thy eyes unveil, give thy soul leave to do the like; our bodies but forerun the spirit’s duty: true hearts spread and heave unto their God, as flowers do to the sun; Give him thy first thoughts, then, so shalt thou keep Him company all day…” – Henry Vaughn

 

 

“When I awake, I am still with you.” – Psalm 139:18

on parenting failures and God’s abundant faithfulness

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True…” 

 

One evening last week I lay in bed late, eyes wide open, mind still busy.

It’d been a long and full and hard couple of weeks. I was exhausted and stressed and irritable. Unfortunately, my dear first born had been the one who suffered most.

I was convicted that I needed to apologize to her for hurrying her so much. For being frustrated with normal little kid antics, for sighing deeply and dramatically over innocent (or not!) messes, for responding in anger and for not spending as much time just talking and playing with her. My heart was so heavy. I wanted to tell her that, with Jesus’ help, I would try to be a better Mommy tomorrow.

photo

But. It was after 11. She was sound asleep. I sighed, and prayed, and opened up a book, deciding that I would try to talk with her first thing in the morning.

It was maybe 2 minutes later that I heard her call out from her room “Mommy, mommy, mommy!!!” And I smiled, knowing the Lord’s presence and gift of a special moment – the chance to make things right, even in the middle of the night. He heard me! A dream had woken my girl up, and I knew that moment was God’s “second chance” for me. My sleepy little 4 year old was practically purring like a kitten, loving every second of cuddling in mommy’s bed. She was quick with forgiveness and hugs and kisses and “It’s okay, I love you Mommy.”

In an amazingly redemptive moment, my own sin, followed by my apology and the forgiveness of God and my child gave me a fresh and powerful encounter with the Gospel, and allowed me an opportunity to share it with my first-born disciple.

I was so happy to have my conscience relieved, to share a special moment with my daughter, and to see the Lord being faithful to help me as a parent. I confessed my sin, He forgave me, and then provided me an immediate opportunity to make things right. It is such an overwhelmingly strenuous and monumental thing to be a parent! I’m so grateful that God doesn’t leave me to go it alone. He is FAITHFUL and He is TRUE.

With His help, I’ll be a better mommy tomorrow…;-)

<3 jc

the half-baked & over-due moving update

This morning I have escaped to the “Upper Room” (our upstairs guest bedroom/office) for my mommy time away. I try to sneak away from time to time to a coffee shop for more focused Bible study, reading, journaling, blogging (and just a break!). With the hecticness of our cross-country move, it has not happened for some time, which means I am savoring it all the more today!

I am feeling rather fancy dipping biscotti (a sweet gift from a church member!) in my steaming coffee…never mind that I am waist-deep in unpacked boxes up here except for one chair in the corner. Unpacking and settling into a new home is taking me quite a lot longer than I anticipated. I don’t know exactly what I expected, but I honestly thought I would be “done” by now and able to spend a couple days thrifting for a few rugs, curtains, end tables, etc. to pull it all together. But that is a joke. We’ve had an obnoxious, rough round of colds (well, only Nels and I so far, and hoping it stays that way) that has slowed us down, and we’ve also been wanting to spend some time at church and with new friends, and also setting up all the new internet, insurance, utilities, etc…and it just takes a lot of time. While it frustrates my impatient and sometimes perfectionistic nature, I do see that the Lord has been speaking to me about slowing down, savoring life, not hurrying through every task but living each day to His honor and glory. (A convicting read? “Why Slowing Down is Paramount…”) Efficiency has often been my (somewhat accidental) highest value.

ANYWAY – the move. I have not updated my blog much about it, since we have had so much going on, but I’m sure most of you kind readers have already heard. In February Nels was called by the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church of Morgantown, West Virginia to come and be the Pastor of Youth. Long and crazy story short, we had visited a few weeks prior and initially declined. The week following that decision we both felt like we were grieving and were really happy when one of the elders contacted us and asked a few questions, and wondered if we would reconsider. We literally had a host of faithful saints praying for us, and as God helped us work through some of our concerns, we were happy and at peace in answering ‘yes’ to the call. There was a sweet and quiet but profound joy in seeing the Lord open the right door. I could tell quite a few amazing stories about the whole candidating process, and it was really difficult, but because of all that we have a strong inner certainty about being where the Lord intended for us to be.

So, we packed up our lives in Kansas City and moved 869 miles (give or take!) to our new home in Morgantown. God provided a quaint rental farm house just outside of town for us at an affordable price, which we were so thankful for (one of my major concerns was lack of great housing in the area, so to see this answered was a kind provision!). The weeks leading up to the move were so bittersweet. We had many goodbyes to say, and felt near to bursting with love and appreciation for our life and many relationships in Kansas City. We met, were engaged and married at Midwestern. I had my 3 babies at the same hospital 12 minutes from our apartment. And while Nels grew up in the Army, relocating often, I spent 20 years in and around the Kansas City metro and my parents live there. Our favorite haunts will be missed, my Bible study ladies will be missed, Nels’ hunting and fishing buddies and coworkers will be missed, and on and on. The time was ripe for us to move on, and we know God is continuing to work in and grow our family, friends in KC. He was gracious to allow us very special goodbye parties and we got to see most of our closest friends one last time before heading out. Our church sent us off so sweetly as well.

We loaded the bright yellow Penske truck and our big gray Suburban and headed east on I-70. Nels’s mom and dad travelled with us, doing the heftier (and more nerve-wracking!) chore of driving the big truck. On their advice, we decided to make the journey in 3 days, which allowed for a slower pace for the huge truck and my carsick Hudson, Ezra’s couple of blowout diapers, terrible rash discomfort, etc. While we did not enjoy 3 hotel stays with 3 little ones (ahhh!!), we did enjoy seeing Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and finally Pennsylvania and then West Virginia. Having Mormor and Papa Tim along helped the kids emotionally as they were quite concerned about missing their friends and Hudson kept asking to go “homey”…Nels and I were also encouraged to have them making the trip with us and praying together as we went.

On our final travel day, we travelled east through Ohio, into Pennsylvania and then south to West Virginia. The flat farm lands gave way to rolling hills and then very steep grades, massive evergreen trees and mountains. It was a very epic-feeling final hour’s drive…we kept calling Mormor and Papa Tim back and forth, excited with tidbits of conversation about the new scenery, praises that we were almost out of the car, songs of thanksgiving, etc. We had been listening to “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” on CD in the car, and were at the exciting part when the children first arrived in Narnia, when they were told that “Aslan is on the move.” And, though I was exhausted and overwhelmed, I knew God was gently leading us. I know that He has called us to Morgantown, and I know He has plans for us, for serving Him – here.

That evening we walked through our house (which I had only seen a few pictures of!) but stayed in a hotel in Morgantown. It was one of the worst nights of sleep I can imagine, with baby up and fevering and the 5 of us in one bedroom. Nels and I were terribly disheartened because we were hoping to be at our best for our huge move in day, the day that we would meet a lot of new people and need to make lots of decisions about the house.

But, somehow the Lord gave me a boost of energy to get up early and read my Bible in the hotel lobby. I read Psalm 139. I was amazed by the love of God. I felt so loved, and His love pushed out my fear. It was also comforting to know that even though “home” was 800+ miles behind, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” I was so humbled that infinite, sovereign God cared to encourage and speak lovingly to me on that difficult morning. It also brought to mind a portion I’d heard the day before in “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”…“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

So, here we are in Morgantown! We have been blown away by the warmest welcome imaginable by the CMA church family. They helped unload the truck, have brought meals, came to pray for sick Ezra, invited us to their homes, etc. The kids already talk about their friends here (though they don’t know anyone’s names!), and I about bawled when Hudson exclaimed “homey!” when we pulled into our little white farmhouse the other day. It is starting to feel like that, and I am enjoying exploring our new surroundings and meeting many new friends. We are so excited to be serving our “unsafe” but very good King here. It is certainly an exciting adventure to follow Christ.

I’d appreciate your prayers for our church, the elders and pastors, our youth leaders, and the youth group – as well as our family! <3

jordan

P.S. I hope to share a house-tour photo blog sometime (if we ever get settled in!! ha!) and maybe a few photos of Morgantown. Stay tuned! ;-)

Homesick at Home

[Hello, happy Tuesday all! Hope you're having a great week and looking forward to loving on the special people in your life this Valentine's Day. Today I am sharing with you something that has been on my mind and heart lately that I took time to try to sort out and write about for a ladies' group…hope you will be encouraged. Blessings to you & yours!]

Homesick at Home

Maybe you have heard this oft-quoted line from C.S. Lewis: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” (Mere Christianity)

I, like many of you, have chosen to be a homemaker. Most of the time I love it and find it immensely fulfilling. Yet while there is joy and satisfaction in living out this calling, doing work “heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men,” there are days when I feel inexplicably sad. Out-of-place. Maybe even a little lost.

Was I really made for this?

“This world is beautiful but badly broken.” N.D. Wilson says. It’s true, isn’t it? I’m sure you feel that every day. It can been seen even in the simple beauty of breast feeding, and then the brokenness and pain of mastitis when things go awry. I feel the beauty and the brokenness of our world in my marriage – it can be so sweet, such a tender blessing, then at times it is disappointing because it doesn’t live up to my expectations or make me feel as brim-full of happiness as I want to. And it’s not just the world that’s broken – it’s you and I, too. Do you feel it? We’re not satisfied here – with who we are, what our work is, or the way our husbands/children make us feel.

But be encouraged! Recognizing this brokenness is truly a freeing thing. We are not meant to be satisfied with earthly things, for: “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 3:20) Lewis said it this way: “I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others do the same.” Hebrews 11 says we are strangers and exiles on the earth! Mama, sometimes I feel exiled to an island of laundry and screaming natives! ;-)

Press on today, in your work at home. Don’t be discouraged if your work does not satisfy you. Have faith in the unseen. Christ is our joy and satisfaction. Your feeling of dissatisfaction is not because you “belong” somewhere else, like in a career or office setting. You “belong” where God’s word instructs you to be – in your home. And there is joy and satisfaction to be found here. But you are a citizen of heaven! Christ is in you, the hope of glory! (Col. 1:27) If you are aching, longing, unsatisfied – recognize that it is Christ and the better country you ultimately desire. Press on toward the goal and prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14).

“Stop weeping; behold the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah…” (Revelation 5:5)

The Christian pleasure was poetic, for it dwelt on the unnaturalness of everything in light of the supernatural…I had heard that I was in the wrong place, and my soul sang for joy, like a bird in spring…I knew now…why I could feel homesick at home.” – G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)

 

 

 

awkward things your kids might say {if you read them Bible stories!}

best buddies…also known as 'Joseph & Mary'

best buddies…also known as ‘Joseph & Mary’

“Let’s play Rahab!!!” my daughter shrieks as she runs to meet her friends at the playground.

I inwardly groan, loving that she knows (and lives) the story of Israel’s victory over Jericho, but slightly embarrassed that one of her favorite Bible characters is (unbeknownst to her) a prostitute….:-/

Routinely, Kaya and Hudson offer: “Mom, do you want us to paint lamb’s blood on your door?”

A favorite scene to act out is the slaying of Goliath. I am often called in to choose who will play David (and we usually end up with two of him!).

I’m not sure what that lady at the grocery store thought when Hudson looked at me, very serious, “Mom, don’t fro me in da yions (lions) den.” Okay, son.

Hudson’s oft-repeated line is “I don’t yike (like) dat mean Pharaoh.”

But, perhaps my favorite, that has also caused me to blush a bit, was when my daughter held out her blue sippy cup, with a rather loud request: “Mom, we need more of this better wine in our sippy cups!” Imagine my mortification, while living on an alcohol-free seminary campus. Ha! My kids had just watched a “The Miracles of Jesus” DVD…:)

I mean I don’t even want to read stories about Jael and the tent peg or Eglon, etc!!!

Sometimes it’s a little awkward, but I love the imagination and energy of my little ones and I’m so privileged to get to teach them about the Lord!…even if we get some weird looks from time to time! ;-)

<3 jc