Salt Lake City trip

Here’s a short post about our trip to Salt Lake City, Park City, and Ogden, Utah.

Our trip there was to serve at and through Redemption Church as our local church has “adopted” them while we are also seeking direction and provision for our own church plant in the area.

We have already been in contact with their pastor and his wife. We have grown fast friends with them and our children love each other. We have such a burden for this area and are prayerfully thoughtful of this place on a daily basis.

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This was Drake’s first time to fly! He loved it and maybe loved the escalator and sky link more!

He loved the block parties where we reached out to the community. There were hot dogs, chips, cotton candy, snocones, popcorn, bounce houses/slides, other children, and an incredible park with a spray/splash park! His favorite new friend, Gia made it all the more fun!

We also enjoyed a visit to Utah Olympic Park! We watched people ski into the pool! Drake squealed with delight watching them fly high and flip!

Drake watched his dadda serve by leading, organizing, debriefing, and most of all he watched him serve by building relationships. Our team helped host these block parties, canvased the neighborhoods to invite the community, painted some at the theater the church is using, walked through temple square, and much more ministry that cannot be contained or described by words.

We will be praying for this overarching mission as several are committed to reaching SLC. It was a trip we’ll always remember and look forward to making happen again.

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on call wife and mom

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uttering those words “i’m JUST a stay at home mom” or feeling the guilt of a few bemoaning thoughts towards switching hats from your career to mom and wife when you get home are heavy loads we carry as married women with children.

right now, it seems less than glamorous to be a stay at home mom. i’m wearing shorts and a tshirt and got dirty and sweaty playing outside this morning. i didn’t have anyone writing me a memo that said “wow, that lesson was awesome” or “your class was so well behaved today” or “great presentation in that meeting today” or over hear someone say “that Melissa sure can ____________”.

two things to remember here::

1. no one gets these sorts of accolades and praises on a regular basis.

2. my accolades and praises will come in the form of healthy, sought-after relationship with my children and husband. (i am growing alongside my children in what it means to relate to and with them. i still have a long way to go with my husband. i didn’t get him until i was 26).

as a stay at home mom, my days are what i make them. i count the cost to leave the house with my children (will it be worth it if everyone loses their mind and we are a huge mess out in public?) you know those thought processes. some days i know before we even start that day that i am personally not operating on a full tank of patience and wisdom and probably shouldn’t venture into new territory (whether that be an activity at home or leaving the house). but some days i feel confident with my boys to conquer the world (whether that’s going to the grocery store or to a grandparents’ house).

as a stay at home mom, sometimes it feels like days happen to me. spilled milk, meals refused, constant fussing and disobedience, and skipped naps are all ripe ingredients for a momma melt down. add to that feeling like a failure if there are millions of messes that got left because clean up was interrupted by a hungry baby or runaway two year old. add to that feelings of inadequacy if i’m still in my sweatpants and tshirt when my husband comes home from work and i haven’t put on any make-up or cooked dinner.

i can never seem to accomplish all of these things in one day::a play date, all meals at home, clean up from all meals, at least one activity with Drake and/Holt, a sufficient nap time/s for all, daily cleaning, bath/shower for everyone, and daily cleaning. but i read over those expectations, that’s more than i felt like i accomplished when i was at work.

are my children observing/judging what gets done? no, but they are learning. so my efforts to teach them must focus more on what my decisions and priorities are rather than my task list. they aren’t a task list. they are hungry for relationship and interaction. that is my priority. when my 7 month old cries because i leave, he needs something. (he doesn’t ALWAYS cry, so this isn’t just spoiled…he’s usually hungry, has a diaper need, is bored, etc) or when my 2 year old says “come play with me momma!” he needs me. i remember very specific moments and occasions from my childhood-positive and negative. i want my children to have positive, healthy memories of their time with me at home. it’s so short. 1 year a few months ago we started teaching my 2 1/2 year old. now he knows his abc’s (recognition and some spelling), can spell his name and recognize his name, count, colors, shapes (he’s known octagon since 15 months), has spoken in complete sentences since 15 months, has a creative and imaginative mind, has better manners than some adults, can sort and make patterns, i could go on (as i already have). my point….in just a few months he has grown and learned so much. he’s only 2 1/2 and i feel him slipping into curiosity and comfort where relationship with others is concerned. he wants to know others and relate to others. i was his world for a short time and it’s already time to share him.

i’m on call. being a mother means taking care of the sick (even if you’re sick). it means taking care of all in the middle of the night and all day (even if you’re tired). it means having all the answers (the constant “why” and the expectation that you really do know everything). it means bringing comfort and healing (medicines, kisses for ouchies, ice bags, “you’re okay”s for when it’s not that bad).

it means selflessness. but as we’re stripped of ourselves for our husband and children, we’re filled with so much more of Him. we become so much more like Christ. we give of ourselves. we consider others. we want the best for others. we become sensitive and tender and need-meeters. we are stripped of ourselves because our flesh is what has driven us and motivated us. when we lean and rely on the Spirit for our relationship with our husband and children, we bring holiness and wholeness to those relationships. we are on call to live by the moment in the Spirit.

we can’t plan every moment if we’re on call. we can be focused on our vision/purpose statement for our family and run everything that approaches our family through that filter. do we have some illness? do we have some trial? do we have some conflict? do we have some disappointment? what do we say our family is to be about and how can we manage that through the filter of our vision/purpose statement for our family? that’s how we live on call.

that’s not “JUST” a stay at home mom. that’s a mom taking advantage of the largest responsibility and accountability in my sphere of existence (save that of my relationship with Christ and my husband). that’s a mom leading and mothering her children to one day have vision and purpose.

what’s your motivation?

i’m so convicted.

being a believer is messy. you’re called to be involved in the lives of others and accountable for your own growth and character. it is hard work and takes diligence with discipline and a fervent prayer life. we all stumble and falter because we are in the world with vast amounts of distraction. the Lord has put people in your life to edify and by which you may be challenged. but with that diligence and discipline comes new growth, opportunity, successes, and changed lives. being a part of that is messy too. but Jesus didn’t take breaks to do other things. being like Christ doesn’t come with breaks or time-outs. He’s with you during the highs, lows, and in-betweens. and He ordained them. attempting to do life without Him or aside from Him will bring disappointment and frustration as you create your own wildernesses instead of walking through the Lot He’s given you and claiming the freedom He has for you as you’re sifted. let your YES be YES and your NO, NO.

Jesus didn’t invest in people and love them for what they could/would do for them. what’s your motivation?

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:9-10 NIV

6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[a] Matthew 5:37 (NIV)

12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned. James 5:12 (NIV)

know your role

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(art found here)

it’s a slippery slope when we find ourselves comparing ourselves. sometimes, the worst comparison is the comparison to what we once were, or our own perspective thereof.

add to that, the comparison to those around us. the comparison to those around us who are “so good at _______________”. the comparison to others, who, FOR WHAT WE CAN SEE, don’t struggle at all to live their lives fully and faithfully. the comparison to others who SEEM to be constantly growing, changing, moving towards something far more exciting than what we can see in our lives.

i received a text from a very faithful, yet struggling young woman today. Struggling only because she has some major trials and thorns in her flesh right now. but, she is struggling well. her question was “do you ever feel needy?” she went on to clarify “not in an emotional way, but like something is missing and you need “it”‘ now, to give you a better idea of her question, you must know that she very intimately knows and walks with the Lord, even in her questions and frustrations over her circumstances. so her “needy” question stems from her experiences with the Lord, not a void she’s looking to fill.

to that, i replied, absolutely. there are so many lies in the world and even christian culture right now. they are speaking to women about what will meet their needs. marriage, children, different or more friends, materials, sometimes even different lifestyle choices of eating, working out, or the spiritual deceit of “if i read this or do this” something will get better.

rarely is it taught to be still. really TAUGHT. no just mentioned. or quoted from scripture. but taught how it looks, how it thinks, how it talks, how it manifests, and how it’s practiced. again, so much of culture, even christian, throws around great advice. “just be still”. well, ok. how?

think i’m going to tell you? no. not today. honestly, i want to share. but i’m going to work through that myself this week. so, for my next tuesday without baby boys, i will tell you how i journeyed through being still this week. my prayer would be for you to work through being still also.

some questions and matters of prayer::

1. how am i comparing myself? to whom? for what purpose?

2. how am i walking with the Lord? how am i intimately getting more acquainted with Him?

3. do i know what it is to be crucified with Christ?

4. am i standing firm in the places God has called and led and being focused there?

5. am i being tossed and turned with everything that comes my way? what’s my foundation?

i would love to hear from you. and i would even be honored to pray for you.

“My determined purpose is that I may know Him-that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His person more strongly and more clearly.” Phil. 3:10