Monthly Archives: May 2011

Who are you representin’ ?

Last summer, the kids and I were having lunch with my Dad at the Olive Garden.  Of course, we were in Champaign.  Otherwise translated, Illini Country.  There were a group of college guys sitting at a table across from us and one of them had on the age old “Muck Fichigan, Ann Arbor is a whore shirt.”  Now, I happen to like Ann Arbor- a lot!  As we were leaving, I walked over to the table and said, “Hey, Go Blue!”  The guys immediately doubled over, groaning in misery as another guy at the table said, “Uh Uh- Go Buckeye’s.”  Now it was my turn to groan- I mean, being an Ohio Buckeye Fan is an incurable disease.  Now, if your not a College Sports fan, then this story probably means nothing to you.  I happen to love the comradery of sports fans.   You might get excited about the Team Edward vs. Team Jacob Debate.  Or who needs to be heading home next on Idol.  The point is, we love to represent, especially against the opposing team. 

This week, there has been a lot of representing going on in the Christian community.  An 89 year old pastor, Harold Camping, from California is telling us the the rapture is going to occur- tomorrow!  And that the official end of the world is coming on October 21st.  He has found evidences in old and new testament that leads to this conclusion, but what I can’t seem to figure out is- what bible is he reading? 

While I could get super wound up about this subject, there is really no indication in the bible, what so ever, to indicate that this really going to happen tomorrow.  If anything, the bible promises that it will occur in God’s Kingdom calendar when everyone is given the opportunity to know and choose His saving grace.  Is it on May 21st, 2011?  Only God knows that.  What amuses me is how wound up the Christian community gets.  Right now, there are believers that are standing in the street, selling their possessions, quitting their jobs, over a man that could very well be misrepresenting the truth.  My question is Why.  What is our obsession with the end of times?

It is time for bible believing Christians to revive.  To stand up and represent.  Is Christ coming back?  Yes.  When? We don’t know, but the bible says He will come like a thief in the night.  Instead of creating mass chaos, it is time to take personal inventory of our lives.  Am I grounded in God’s word?  Do I check the message of the teachers and preachers in my life to be sure what they are saying is accurate and biblically based?  Am I serving where God is calling me, or am I ignoring the prompting He has placed upon my heart?  Am I representing God in an authentic manner with my life, or am I simply warming the pews on Sunday morning?  Am I trying to affect change where God has placed me, or am I keeping my mouth shut because I don’t want people to thing i’m wierd?   I have heard the Christian church best described as a football game.  There are twenty-two exhausted players on the field trying to win the game and thousands of coaches sitting on the sidelines in desperate need of exercise.  It is time for the church to get passionate about their God.  It’s time to represent.

Are you on field?  

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Mr. Rainey, I think you missed the point….

I was driving to Bloomington last week for a business plan workshop when Dennis Rainey came on the radio with his Focus on the Family minute.  He was talking about his daughter saying that she wanted to be a gymnastics coach when she grows up.  He told her that was great, but if she was called by God to be a mother, he would be just as proud.  He went on to say the break down of the home in America is coming from Mom’s pursuing careers and working outside the home.  Needless to say, as I was driving to Bloomington to pursue my own business venture, the showers of guilt washed over me like a good Illinois rain shower.    Am I a bad mom for pursuing my own career?  Should I let this dream take a back seat until my kids are older?   Most importantly, why would God lead me to this if this is wrong for my family?  Quite Honestly, I think Mr. Rainey missed the point on this one….

I point to Kendra, a fellow mom who stays at home.  But really, Kendra is more than a stay at home mom.  She is the prayer leader for moms in touch.  Twice monthly, she and a team of prayer warriors get together to pray for our schools, their teachers, students and administration.   She serves as a School Board member in our community, an advocate for the learning environment of our kids.  She works actively in our schools PTO as well as her church.  Kendra is a breath of fresh air.  Just being in her presence, I know she cares.  She is a genuine, affectionate, loving and serving right where God created her to be.  The world would call her a stay at home mom.  She sure sounds like a working mom to me.  A mom who not only works in her home, but also out in her community to make a difference.   Kendra is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of working women who stay at home.

On the flip side, I point to Michelle.  Michelle has been working, for as long as I have know her, to get (and advance) her degree in nursing.  In the past year (or so), she completed her nurse practioners license and is now working in the Express ER at Sarah Bush.   I am not as familiar with Michelle’s work as I am her love for people.  She was the Sunday School teacher for Lucas and Chloe in their Preschool class.  She has a kind smile, a loving voice, and a gentle spirit.  Her love for God is as genuine as her love for people.  She has worked hard to pursue her education and she hopes that if she accomplishes anything, it is that her son see’s how hard she has had to work.  She hopes he will make his education a priority so that he too will achieve his dreams.  But, this past Thursday, I saw Michelle at work.  I took Lucas in to the ER from his unfortunate encounter with the cereal bowls.  By the time they were able to see us, I felt silly for even taking him.  His head had stopped bleeding and overall, he was doing fine.  She instantly soothed my concern and said that if it were her, she would have done the exact same thing.  She checked Lucas out, confirmed he was OK and said a prayer with us Praising God for his protection and love over us- right in the treatment room.  The world would label her a working mom.  They would be right.  But again, she is a woman of God who affects change not only in her community & church, but also in her home AND work.  As a woman of God, she left a lasting impression on me that I will not soon forget.  She helped me to remember, in that moment, that no prayer or praise is too small for God’s ears to hear. 
 
I guess my point is this.  It’s time to lay down the stones.  As women, we were created for work.  Only our creator knows exactly the work we were created for. Inside the home, or out,  let’s raise up and support each other in the work that God has called us to do.  As women, we may be provide the spiritual temperature & management of our homes, but God provides the adhesive to keep the family bonded together.  As He knit us together in our mothers womb, he also wrote the publication for our lives.  This includes our hopes and dreams.   Lets stop selling ourselves short for the decisions that we have made for our lives.  God’s creation of our lives are too complex to stick in a box with a label.  In closing, I leave you with a verse from Galatians 6:1, 4-5 (msg): 

“Live Creatively, friends…Make careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.  Don’t be impressed with yourself.  Don’t COMPARE yourself with others.  Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your OWN life!”

Now ladies, lets get to work!

Insomnia Blogs: Security Blankets

Chloe and I attended the “Sleeping Beauty” Ballet at the Virginia Theater this past weekend in Champaign.  I have to say that this was my first ballet and even though I am familiar with the plot, I was thankful for the narrator they had on behalf of the kids.  In the classic fairy tale, Carabose’s invitation to the princesses dedication is over looked and Carabose shows up uninvited and super angry.   He places a spell on the baby saying she will prick her finger and die.  Luckily, the Lilac Fairy was in attendance at this amazing event and said, “No, she will prick her finger and fall asleep.”  Needless to say, the King was not taking any chances with the life of his daughter.  He immediately ordered all sharp objects to be removed from the kingdom so there would be no chance of his daughter getting pricked.  He took security in his decision and went on about his day.  Of course, we all know the rest of the story.  Carabose sweeps in to make sure the Princess pricks her finger and she sleeps for 100 years to be awakened by a handsome prince at least 85 years her junior, but who’s counting?

I found myself relating to the King in the story.  I find myself putting security in false places, only to be let down time and time again.  For example, my kids and their activities.  Of course I want them to be the best and most successful at everything they do, but the bottom line- that’s not realistic.  When they fail, it is not a direct reflection of my ability to be a Mom.  It is simply a character lesson they need to learn.   When my jeans don’t fit quite right and I find cellulite in new found territory, it does not matter.  It makes me no less beautiful to those who truly love me.   This past Mother’s Day weekend, my eyes were opened to the fact that sometimes, as a woman, a wife, a mom- I am just trying too hard to be perfect.  I need to let go and let God take the reigns.  I need to spend a little less time actively trying to appear that I have it all together and spend a little more time seeking guidance from my Beloved Creator. 

So this week, as I go about the busyness of our life, I need to ask myself, “What am I putting my security in?”   For where my treasure is, my heart will be also.