Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mary and Martha

For some reason the story of Mary and Martha keeps showing up in my life lately. First I heard a brief thing on the radio, then it showed up in a book I was reading (Max Lucado's "Cast of Charecters". Then it was the theme of the retreat I went to. Not only that, but the retreat center we were at was also hosting a "walk to Emmaus" and so of course this reminded me of when I went on a walk and I was at the table of Martha. This last weekend I was paired with two women for a small group session. Both are beautiful women, inside and out and both have been blessed with incredible musical gifts. I think they are both Mary's. When they sing, they truly worship, they positively glow when they sing praises to the Lord.

Max talks about how every church needs some of each.
I think he is right, in the church you can find Martha's in the kitchen cooking or cleaning, in the nursery rocking babies, teaching Sunday school, and doing all the little things that people take for granted. When you see the santuary decorated for a holiday, it's likely a Martha was involved.
In my life I have had Martha's. I think a gift got left out in the Bible, the gift of the Cassarole. Some women have this gift (not me!) I have been blessed by it. After surgery it was so nice to see someone bring me a meal so I didn't have to cook, after a baby or an adoption it left me more time with my new child. When my daughter was a baby and had surgery, I didn't want to leave her side, but my pastor's wife brought me a basket with fruit and granola bars and other healthy snacks that kept me going as I stayed by my babies side. Those cassarole women are Martha's. They feed the soul by feeding the body. I have seen Jesus through thier actions.
I have also been blessed by the Mary's in my life. On Sunday look around and you will see these people, they worship with thier entire being. Don't worry about looking around, they won't notice they are consumed with worship, like the two ladies I was with this weekend, they glow when they worship. I have been so blessed by these kinds of people. They are the ones you want to pray for you when things are tough, they won't question you, but if they say they will pray, they will. They will not forget and they will pray hard. Mary's write and sing and pray in ways that inspire others and bring us closer to God. They are also the ones you want to talk to when you have a problem, they will listen and give you Godly advice but won't try to fix it as a Martha is lible to do (maybe with a cassarole!)
It is sad when differences in people cause differences in God's family. God made us all different and gave us all different tasks. One thing that our speaker at our retreat did was she gave us all cups, they were in a basket and all wrapped in napkins or bags so we could not see what we were choosing. All were different. In them we put little pieces of paper representing our lives, the good, the bad and the nuetral. We were told that God gave us our Cup and our Portion. No two were the same, nor were the contents the same. There is so much work to be done here so God gives everyone different jobs to do. We need to respect each other and each other's callings. I happen to beleive that God called us to adopt, but not everyone is called to do that. I have a friend who felt God wanted her to wear a head covering. It had to do with her own vanity and soemthing God was teaching her. She took a lot of flack for that, even though she never said anyone else should do it. I have seen people fight over homeschooling, end times theology, when and how to baptize, how to parent, what time to have church, what age to start youth group and other stuff. I remember one time seeing a cartoon. You could see a group of people who had been wearing church clothes and sitting around a table, but thier clothing was torn, some had black eyes, furniture had been upturned. There had obviously been a fight. The words underneath said. "It's settled then, we will paint the Sunday School room blue." Christ came to unite Us. He asked us to Love each other, not judge each other. I guess this problem won't be going away soon, half of Paul's letters deal with settling petty arguments in the early church. I am going to pray that I will do my part to do better to get along with others. Whether a person is a Mary or a Marth or whatever, we are all sisters (and brother's) in Christ.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

An awesome weekend!

This weekend our church had our annual ladies retreat. At first I was a little bummed cause my bff (oooh don't I sound cool!) Best friend was not able to go. However, this turned out to be a good thing for me. I got to know other people better. I would not have done this if I had been with my friend. I was room mates with a lady who has kids who are friends with my kids and we had a good time getting to know each other better, I spent time getting to know the very sweet wife of your music director. Best of all on the way home and then standing in the parking lot of our church I met someone who has raised (and survived) a child a with attachment disorder. She totally understood the stuff I go through. The way the child will be one way in public and another at home makes it hard to talk to other people about things because they totally don't see the same child. They don't see the issues. I thought I was prepared, but the truth is you can never, ever be totally prepared to deal with these types of issues. Those who have not lived it cannot truly understand, though they can try. This lady has lived it, and it was amazing how wonderful it felt to talk to someone who really understood. She talked about so many things that had me saying Yes, yes, yes! So today I am thanking God for a wonderful refreshing weekend.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Challenger baseball

Last night Marceli had his first Challanger baseball game of the season. He was so excited, especially when a coach told him he was the player of the game!
Challanger baseball is part of little leauge, but its for special kids. Kids of all abilities can play. The kids on Marceli's team may be Autistic or have Downs syndrome, or muscular dystrophy or any number of mental, cognative or physical disabilities. The rules are different too. The bases are closer together and the runs are tiled with stuff that makes it easier for kids in wheelchairs or walkers to run the bases. The players have buddies that help them, with the batting if they need it or in the fields, some that don't want to use walkers to run the bases run holding hands of buddies. The buddies might be regular kids from a regular baseball team, college or high school kids, sibings or parents. Each kid bats until they hit the ball and then they can run as many bases as they want while the pitcher (a coach) plays catch basically wtih the team in the field. Marceli of course likes to run all the bases for a home run. After every kid on the team bats they change places and the other team bats. Each team gets two turns at bat, so every kid bats twice. The kids love it. In the pictures he is trying to show his tough face. I made him take his hat off for one so he could show his new summer haircut, but he loves his hat so we have a frown on that one. (he hates haircuts so I did it very short so it will be a while before he needs one again) The one of him up to bat is hard to see.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter loot

One of my kids took this picture of some of his Easter loot.

Easter memories

Here are some Easter pictures. Easter baskets, coloring eggs, indoor Easter Egg hunt, and new clothes. I did not get any pictures of our performance at church. I was Mary Magadaline and Bob was Peter and Shiloh and Wes split the part of John (Shiloh had to work on Saturday so he did it Sunday morning, while Wes did it Saturday night) Sorry, I was too busy messing with costumes and mic's and trying to remember my lines to mess with pictures. That and making sure my little ones behaved. (sign language is very useful!)

Easter Fun

So lots of pictures of Easter fun. The big white bunny at the citywide Easter egg hung was (shhhh) Wesley. He got pretty hot, but really had fun. There were tons of kids and tons of eggs and the fire department brought trucks for the kids to climb on. Wesley I mean the Easter bunny was a big hit. There is a picture with Marceli in his manual chair. (he uses his power chair for school, but we are making him use the manual some on weekends to get practice). Paulina did not want her picture taken with the bunny, but he grabbed her anyway. Wesley's friend Jacob (seen hugging the bunny) came along to help Marceli find eggs and to help Wesley get into the costume. Wesley only counted three babies that cried and would not have anything to do with him. Several little girls followed him around hugging him. He plans to brag in school about all the girls hugging on him, and just leave out the fact that most were 3-4 years old.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Yesterday my son thought we were just going to meet his girlfriend for breakfast. which we did, but afterwards we went to six flags over Texas for the day. It was Christian youth weekend so we also went to a concert. The headliner was Reliant K (needtobreath was also there and they were great) Anyway, at the begining of the concert they asked the people to send a text to a certain number. Then they texted ten people back. There were tons of people there, but Amy (Shiloh's girlfriend) happened to be one of the ten. They got to take one person and go back stage and meet Reliant K. They were very excited and really enjoyed it. Here is the picture!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What if?

My kids love asking that question. "What if I clear the table without being asked, can I stay up later?" "What if our car could fly?" "What if I had been born with two normal feet?".

Most of the time we don't know the answers to these and it's probably not healthy to dwell too much on things we can't change. Sometimes though it's good to ask the questions. Like when my daughter wondered what would happen if she tried being really nice to her brothers for a week. We made it a homeschool science project. She was shocked at how they responded. They were nicer to her!

I was reading a book by Max Lucado the other day called Cast of Characters. When he talked about Moses he compared his time in the dessert to school. God was preparing him to lead the people. He was learning the ways of the dessert, where the good watering holes were, how to survive, what plants you can eat, and how to deal with children and families. I had never thought about it that way. God uses the hard times and things that seem bad to teach us or prepare us for the future. It's pretty plainly stated in the story of Joseph when he told his brothers "What you intended for Evil, God used for good."

I remember once when I was a youth director. There was a teen age girl who was sitting apart after worship. We could tell she was upset and had been worried about her for several weeks. My friend who was helping me with youth went with me and we sat beside her in the dim sanctuary. She was sitting on the floor so that's where we sat too, one on each side of her. As we began to talk to her, she said she could not tell us what was happening to her becuase we would not understand it. She gave us enough clues that we both understood the idea of what was happening to her. It just so happened that it was something each of us had experienced. Because we were able to tell her that and share our experiences with her, she opened up to us and told us what her step father was doing to her. She said over and over that she could never have talked to us if we had not gone through something similar. We were able to help her and more important, get the abuse stopped. I don't think that God years ago decided that my friend and I should both experience such terrible things. However, once people with free will made the decisions to hurt us, God was able to redeem that and use it for us to help someone else. So often I think God does use hard times to prepare us for what we may have to deal with in the future.
When we were first trying to adopt, there was a little boy we wanted to adopt in Russia. Some missionaries had told us about him. He had a clubbed foot and a missing foot. My first thought was that we were in a two story home, there was no way we could adopt such a child. But the missionaries talked about him so much that I researched it and found that the stairs would not be something that would deter this child. So we proceeded. I was heartbroken when I found out it was not going to work. I had been so sure that God had been opening the doors! When I finally was called to go to Russia, I was asked to travel blind. I was given a list of 9 children I could choose from. Each had a birthdate, gender and a one sentance diagnosis. Arriving in Russia and having had only a couple of hours of sleep in several days, I was asked which children I wanted to see first. I knew that I could not go through seeing lots of children. The list had some with heart conditions, some with conditions I had never heard of and three with limb differences. Wow, what a co-incidence, I had researched limb differences. (LOL, I know it was not a co-incidence, but a God-incidence) The very top child on that list was a little girl with the diagnosis of "halfs of legs". That girl is now my beautiful Paulina.
Go back and look at these posts of her dancing.
God most certainly had a plan. What if I had not stepped onto that plane in faith? What if I had not researched limb differences? I would have totally missed out.
If we had not adopted Paulina and been exposed to different limb different children, we would not have had the courage to adopt Marceli. If a domestic adoption had not fallen through, we would not have been ready to adopt Marceli. So many things. Isn't it good to know that God has all the details in hand? He has a plan and he will prepare us for each thing we will need to go through. He knows the answers to the "what if" questions.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good news

So often when I read or watch news, it's mostly bad. So today it was refreshing to find a couple of positive stories. There are good people out there!


Last night a storm woke me up and for some reason I started thinking about a certain Bible story. Do you remember the one where Jesus was preaching in a house and four guys pulled off part of the roof to lower thier paralyzed friend down for Jesus to heal? I got to thinking about that story and that man. How blessed he was to have the friends he had.

Lets just look at what the poor guy had going against him.
First off a society that was pretty supersitious about things like disabilities and illnesses, they saw them as a punishment from God. Remember the blind man? Jesus was asked who had sinned, him or his parents. Notice they didn't ask if it was caused by sin, they assumed that, they just weren't sure who was being punished.
Then we have the fact that they did not have the technology we have. No wheelchairs, no beds that are specially made to prevent bedsores. Even if someone did come up with a wheelchair they only had dirt roads and I can tell you from experience, wheelchairs don't do so well on dirt roads. Not only that but depending on the severity of his paralysis, they had to deal with the fact that he may have needed diaper. So not only did someone have to cook and clean for him and bath him and feed him, but change his diapers - cloth diapers that would need washing. I did cloth diapers with my boys, and cannot imagine having to do that for a grown man!
I find it interesting that it was not his family who brought him to Jesus, but his friends. Where was his family? The Bible doesn't tell us. These friends of his loved him so much that they carried him to Jesus, they actually had to pick him up and carry him. Can you imagine what it would take to get a paralized man up to the roof? Then getting through the roof. I had one teacher who said that was no big deap because it was probably only a thatch roof made of only hay. HMM, it occurs to me that the roof was sturdy enough for five people to stand on without it collapsing. The friends also risked the wrath of the homeowner. I don't know what the penatly was for destroying someone's roof, but I bet it could have been severe. Remember this was an age where people could be stoned for all sorts of things.

Yet these guys risked, ridicule, bad luck, back problems, angry home owners and climbing on a roof to help thier friend. Do you have friends like that? I have a friend whom I beleive would do that for me. I know she carries me to Jesus daily in her prayers as I do her. I know I would do that for my children. For those of us who are adoptive parents, it reminds us of what we already know. It's not blood that counts, it's love. It was love that compeled this guys friends to do what they did. It's love that makes our children so precious to us. A lot of people will be your friend when things are going good, but how many take that committment to the extreme of being there when things are bad. It's the same with parenting, it's easy to be a parent when our children are making us proud, but what about when it's hard? God doesn't give up on us when we are difficult or when we behave badly or even when reject him. With his help, we can be the same with our children and our spouses and our friends.