Praying My Way Out Of A Job

I just found out today that our CEF Good News Club will be starting up in January. This is late for a beginning, mainly because they are waiting for more volunteers to help with the club. It would work out for us, though, who hope to be living in the area by then, and could get there in less time and effort. But the thought keeps nagging me: if I help out, I will need to get a babysitter. And chances are, that babysitter (likely somebody local, somebody from church) could help out at the club just as easily as help me with my kids, so why would I be leaving my kids to do club? Not that I don’t want to do it- I look forward to working with the children, but is it strange to anyone else that it comes down to me having to fill the position? I’d hope there would be so many people from churches in the community available and open to helping out such an influential outreach, that my services would no longer be needed. It appears, however, that too few in our area are willing to commit themselves to this ministry, and if this trend continues, the club will disappear. My prayer has always been that people catch the vision of child evangelism, to start feeling a burden for the children in our village who need Christ. Our club needs 6 more volunteers to start successfully. Will you pray with me these spots are filled? The children come; we get the privilege and awesome opportunity to tell them about God’s love. How dare we not answer this call.

Back From Break

Well, Luke’s time off is coming to a close, and I am ready to start doing more. I made sure after this baby I really did use the down time to the least of any accomplishment; other times I get back to work rather soon, and though my body may handle it fine, emotionally I am not always ‘there’ without some amount of rest. It pleases me to no end what I did not do these last two weeks:
No school
No cloth diapers
Barely any laundry
No grocery shopping
Not much computer-related tasks
Minimal dishes
Hardly ever left the house

Here’s what I did do:
Feed the baby
Read
Feed the baby
Crochet
Feed the baby
Answer a few emails
Read a few blogs
Feed the baby

I have two big helpers and two small helpers (but who helped in big ways) to thank for all that I didn’t have to get done. Carol gets a much needed vacation now as she heads to PA, and Luke can settle back into his chair at his computer with his coffee mug, and only get up when it needs refilling. The girls, however, will be moving from part time to full time as we try our best to get back into a good routine. I’m looking forward to it.

Superman

Luke has been going above and beyond the call of duty this past week, caring for the children and taking them on day trips. This has been such a blessing to me while I spend some much-needed time off my feet. After the births of the other kids, he would have a few days off work, but he wouldn’t really be able to juggle it all for long. This time, he is off work for a longer period, and Carol helping out in huge ways (laundry, cooking, watching littles when he takes bigs out) has made this so enjoyable for me, and I think pretty fun for him. I’ll ask him to compile a photo album on his blog of their adventures when he is home long enough to do so.
So pleased with my Superman today.

Weekend Thoughts

The path of the Christian who carries her cross is difficult (in whatever occupation she finds herself, motherhood isn’t the epitome of hardship), and I don’t do anyone any favors by pretending it isn’t. It is better to say, consider the cost. It is better to say, it is only by grace. It is better to say, I am weak and the Lord is strong. I don’t do anyone any favors by hiding my failure and sin. If I make following Jesus look easy, then you need to ask me what I’m selling.
~Amy from Amy’s Humble Musings

What’s The Word For…

Today, we’re going to ignore the elephant in the room (that’d be me) still here. Let us instead talk about the new words that children teach us every day. For example, growing up we always called spaghetti “pasketti”, and green beans “bean beans”. For some reason, many times the child gets a word wrong, but it sticks anyway, adding a memory to our banks and an adage to our daily speech. The author of the book I’m reading recalled that her daughter, when seeing jonquils one spring said, “Look Mommy- tranquils!” and that’s what they continue to be to this day.
This weekend we attended a bonfire, and N was out roasting marshmallows. He came up to a friend of ours later and reported, “I made a snore!” She didn’t understand, so he explained, “…with marshmallows and graham crackers and chocolate!” We’ll see if that is what we call one of our favorite summer pastimes from now on. Another new word in our family is “sirapot”- can you guess what that is?
What kinds of words have made it into your family’s vocabulary?

Clumsy Compassion

We took the older four over to Mohican State Park (thanks for babysitting, Grandma!). I sat in the river and read a very interesting book (review to come later), while Luke took the kids on a hike to the falls. It was a really good time- the kind of getaway we hope to do more of when we are living in the area.
On the way home, we had to stop at Wal-Mart for some things. Luke ran in for what we needed, and I propped my book on my belly and read as we waited for him to return. A little later, this woman with a baby on her hip and a little boy in her hand caught my eye. She was pacing back and forth behind her car (I could tell it was hers because she would put the boy in the back seat from time to time, only to pull him back out and walk around the car again), looking this way and that. She then started across the parking lot with the children. I returned to my book, but soon noticed that she was back at the car. I decided to get out of the van and see if there was something I could do, like lend her my cell phone. I called across the pavement, “Can I help you?” and she answered back, “Yeah, there is something I’d like to ask you.”
Suddenly all this traffic came down our row, so we waited it out before she crossed over to talk to me. She then told me a rather involved and somewhat fishy story, about a friend still inside shopping, her husband needing picked up, but the main gist I got was that her baby needed a prescription she couldn’t afford. I gave her directions to my church, but beyond that, I wasn’t sure what else to do.
Break here: What would you do? My perfect little scene includes me launching into a thought-provoking gospel presentation, and maybe even having a few answers that will help her practically as well as spiritually. Might even gain a new church attendee! But what actually comes out of my mouth is something more sloppy and clumsy, definitely not enough.
Having given Luke the last of my cash, it didn’t occur to me to try to help monetarily. But when he came out of the store and we pulled away, I told him what she’d said about her situation and he mentioned that we maybe should pay for the prescription. As Great White was filling with gas, we weighed our options. We have seen my mother-in-law, Carol, model such generosity in these kinds of circumstances, and I noted that if it were her, that is what she would do. She often talks about how we needn’t worry about false motives in the one asking for help; God will take care of us. So, we headed back over to the parking lot; if she was there, I would offer to go in with her and pay for her baby’s prescription.
She was, and I did, but she politely refused. I pressed her a bit, telling her that I thought this would probably help her the most, but she thanked me and continued to refuse the offer.
We left, and when Luke heard that she said no, it was another indication to him that she wasn’t being completely honest with us- she probably just wanted cash. Between the extreme heat she was exposing her kids to, and the apparently little importance she ended up placing on her daughter’s health, I started to feel this way about her story, too. This, of course, bothers me if she was being dishonest; how could she use her kids to try and take advantage of me? Still, I know I couldn’t have been completely taken in with Luke around; my husband provides me with fair and balanced coverage. 🙂

Somewhere in the Mansfield area tonight, there is a woman who is in great need. It isn’t the kind that she wanted me to think she had, and it isn’t the kind I can meet. Only Jesus Christ can fill the deficit that is evident in her life. Her name is Paula; please pray that she finds this Hope soon, not for her sake alone, but for that of her children as well.

He’d Only Just Begun

The kids and I are going through the book of Acts right now. In my personal study I try to stay a chapter ahead of what we do together, and there was something that caught my eye back in the very first verse that I meant to get down here when we were in it, but forgot.

1:1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach…

It only lasted three years, but when I think about all that Jesus did during His ministry, the word “began” wouldn’t be the one come to mind. John notes in his gospel the fact that much more went on than was recorded (John 20:30), and that if it all had, the world couldn’t contain all the books written about it (John 21:25). But this was only the beginning.
The plan was for Him to come, but for Him then to go away, too- so that the Holy Spirit could come. When that happened, Jesus said that His disciples would do greater works than His (John 14:12). Incredible!
That word “began” stuck out to me bigtime. It was a fresh call to action, like God saying, “Now it is your turn, because all that I began has its completion in you.” May I be faithful in this work.

He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6