Tag Archives: faith

Bedtime prayers

Every night before the boys go to bed we gather as a family, read a short devotional, and say a prayer.
The boys are very thoughtful in their prayers and are learning to prayer for others and things outside of themselves.  Their prayers are from the heart, sweet, and sometimes hilarious.
Last week Dude prayed President Obama would quit smoking. It has been a mentioned a few more times. Tonight he again prayed that Obama would quit smoking but added that “everyone should quit smoking because it is a gross and really really bad habit.” I think he has a few other people in mind but I won’t call them out by name here.  You know who you are dear family.  Dude also prayed “that the people on the naughty list would get good so they can be on the nice list.”
Our devotion tonight was about keeping the peace and seeing and believing the best in people.  Bubba’s prayer tonight “God, thank you for our family.  Help us to like each other.”
These boys crack me up.

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remembrance

Today is October 15th.  For most this is just another day on the calendar.  For others, it is a day of remembrance.  Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

A few years ago I wrote this and shared our story.  Feel free to read but please don’t feel sorry for us.  God has blessed us in so many ways.  I know that one day we will be reunited with our baby girl.  There will always be a hole in my heart but that hole has shaped who I am as a wife, mom, teacher, friend, and person.

Instead, love the families that have lost.  Listen to the mom that wants to talk about her child that was lost.  Support and pray for those experience the pain.  Remember the babies.

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bedtime prayers

Every night before bed we have our boys say prayers.  We don’t have a formal prayer but we encourage them to say thanks to God for something, ask for forgiveness of their sins, as well praying for their needs and the needs of others.

Bubba is really good at praying for the needs of others.  He has a very long list.  He is a pretty conscientious kid and he is very concerned for the people around him (he cares mostly at bedtime, though… he doesn’t really care about people when he is playing with legos or watching baseball) 

Dude is very good at being thankful.  Usually he looks around the room and lists the things he sees.  He is also thankful for things that he has heard, seen, remembers, thought of randomly.  I know he is a grateful kid but I am pretty sure he likes to prolong the bedtime process.

Tonight was meet the teacher night for our schools.  Dude is going into kindergarten. He is not looking forward to it.  When we took him for his immunizations he threw a fit.  The nurse told him that if he didn’t get his shots, he couldn’t go to kindergarten.  He responded “Great because I don’t want to go anyway!”

What does this have to do with prayers?  Well tonight when Dude started his laundry list of thankfulness he prayed the following in a very dry tone:  
      Thank you God for my new kindergarten class and my new teacher.  Even though I don’t want to be there, thanks anyway.  Thank you for thinking about letting me go back to preschool.”

I couldn’t help it and i started laughing.  Is it wrong to laugh during a prayer. Am I raising a passive aggressive child?  He seems to be trying to get God on his side with some suggestive prayers.  I think i have probably done that a time or two.

Gotta love my boys!!

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lessons learned on a mission trip

We just got back from our mission trip to Canada.  I was very nervous about returning to White Dog for a second summer to work with a new missionary and brand new church plant.  I have learned a few lessons in the last 11 days that I will share with you.

1.  Bubba has a future as a politician.  He has mastered the filibuster.  Who knew he could talk for 8 straight hours?  He talked almost the entire time we were in the car. (That was about 20 hours each way!)

2.  Dude is a thrill seeker.  We stopped at Mall of America on our trip.  He went on every single roller coaster.  Even this one.  And he loved them!! If this is what he is into at age 5, we better watch out!

3.  The further north we went the better the temperature got but the worse the bugs got. Canadian mosquitoes and flies are awful!!

4.  I shouldn’t complain about gas prices here. Gas in Kenora, ON was $1.44.  Sounded great until I realized it was per liter.  That works out to be about $5.45 per gallon.  Factor in the exchange rate and we are looking at close to $6 a gallon!!  The $3.49 we are paying right now is great and I won’t complain anymore.

5.  Kids are kids regardless of where they are.  They want to play, eat junk food, and be loved.  I hope we were able to provide that this week to the kids at White Dog as well as our own.

6.  While our we are coming from the same place and our destinations are the same, the road we take is often different and winding.  The paths may cross or run parallel for a while but ultimately we walk our own roads.  Without good communication, walking our separate paths might cause others question and disagree.  When we are passionate about something, sometimes we wear blinders. Sometimes we hurt others even though our intentions are good.

7.  I need to be careful when I am serving.  I love working and connecting with people.  But sometimes I can get caught up in loving and serving others that I forget to love and serve the ones I am closest to.  

I have been learning lessons 6 and 7 over the last few years but this trip helped me to see them from a different angle. I don’t know if our trip was successful. I pray we didn’t put forth a bad image while dealing with conflict within our team.  I pray for futures of the awesome kids we got to hang out with. I am thankful for Facebook to keep up the adults I connected with.

Have you been on a mission trip?  What did you learn?

 

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mission planning

In less than three weeks The Hubs, Bubba, Dude and I will be on the road to with a team from our church heading to the Wabaseemoong (White Dog) First Nation Indian Reserve in Canada.  We are going to work with a missionary in the area that is planting churches.  Our goal is to build relationships with the members of the Ojibway tribe through acts of service, times of fellowship, and a Vacation Bible School for the kids.

We are really excited to go and are gathering everything we will need.  The Hubs, Bubba and I got our passports yesterday.  We are hoping Dude’s comes tomorrow and that there are no problems with his.

Our team has been meeting regularly to plan the logistics of an 18+ hour drive, sleeping in a school, preparing VBS and fellowship activities.  Most importantly we have been spending time prayer for our trip.  We ask that you would join us in prayer for this mission trip. Pray for guidance and safety for our team.  We also ask you to pray for us as we meet and visit with people that have been hurt by missionaries in the past.  Our trip will not be successful unless it is filled with prayer.  Please join us in that.

If you would like to help financially or by donating supplies, let me know and I will contact you directly on how to do that.

Also, I am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed/under prepared with the idea of sharing my faith and ministering with people that A. have been hurt by people in the past or B. people that have absolutely NO clue about the Christian faith.

Do you have any words of wisdom or advice in talking to people?  Can you recommend a book that I can read in the next few weeks?  Do you have any experiences that you can share that would be helpful (where you have done what we are doing or you have been burned by people doing what we are doing)?

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sudden tears

Tonight we had two meetings at church.

The first was an organizational/information meeting for our summer mission trip.  The Campbell family is going to Canada in July to work with native groups and  help with church planting.  We are feeling a strong call to go and are really excited.  (However, Bubba is pretty concerned about the 18 hour car ride.)

The second meeting was a leader debriefing following our spring semester of the Alpha course.  This is a ministry that the Hubs and I head up at our church.  We have seen some really great things happen through our involvement in the Alpha course over the last 7+ years.  Our lives were transformed through the Alpha course flowing the death of our baby.

It has been a little over 8 years since Sarah went to be with Jesus.  This year I made it through her birthday on April 23rd with no tears.  The boys made it easier to celebrate her because they love talking about their sister the angel.

Tonight however, it was mentioned that a financial gift was given to our church that was designated specifically for the Alpha ministry.  Our pastor said it was from someone that is not affiliated with our church.  He then said the name.  I lost it immediately.

On April 23rd someone very close to the Hubs and I made a donation in memory of Sarah to a ministry that means so much to us.

I have recently been connected another family that has lost a baby in a similar manner.  As I read their blog, my emotions are raw.  My heart is breaking for them and my wounds are reopening.  After 8 years my tears are fewer and further between but tonight they flowed easily.

Tonight I encourage you to pray for families that have dealt with infant loss.  I also encourage you to explore where God is leading you to serve.  Then take the risk and serve Him.

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8 years

This would be the year that Sarah would have been in 2nd grade.  April 23 marks 8 yrs since I delivered our stillborn baby girl.  I can’t believe how much time has passed and how much life has been lived since that day.

I remember the ultrasound where we saw that she had stopped growing.  That her heart was no longer beating.  I remember the doctor giving us the news.  I remember the waiting in Stones River Hospital.  Waiting for labor to progress.  Waiting for the pain to be over.  Waiting for an answer.

I remember the feeling of being hit by a truck- the pain of mourning.  I remember the tears.  I remember feeling like I would never be able to move on.  I remember all of the love, support, and encouragement from all of my family, friends, and coworkers.  I remember feeling so alone in our crowed little apartment.

I remember her first birthday and the fear that I was the only one that would think of Sarah.  I remember the fear that my pregnancy with Bubba (and later Dude) would end the same way Sarah’s did.  I remember being afraid of how I would tell people.

8 years later all of that seems so small in comparison to God’s grace.  In the last 8 years, we have been more than blessed.  We have been loved, encouraged, and supported.

Sarah is a part of our family.  When the boys draw pictures of all of us, they always include Sarah with angel wings.  When people ask about our family, I think about how I explain Sarah.  The boys freely tell about their sister in heaven- about their personal angel.

God has used this tragedy to shape and direct our lives.  We know that every second is a blessing.  The hope in meeting our baby in heaven is great.  God is good and we are so lucky to have so much even in such a loss.

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