Monday, February 23, 2009

Conflict Resolution

So my husband is a youth minister at a church in Early, TX which may or not be something that you already knew and lately there has been some conflict and strife in the church. I grew up in a church that was full of conflict and strife and I often wondered why anyone from the outside looking in would ever want to be a part of it. What I have come to realize is that they don't. The church spends all sorts of time arguing with each other over ridiculous, let me say it again, ridiculous stuff. So often the church as a whole can be swallowed up by this conflict because so many people are set upon getting their way. It is a constant power struggle. Isn't this a reflection of what goes on in all sorts of relationships in all sorts of organizations? Now I don't think that is any excuse since as Christians we should be set apart, but some resort to saying that it is just going to happen sometimes. It isn't like I am not being realistic and don't agree with the fact that inevitably, because we are by nature selfish, there will be fighting in the church from time to time, but I am disappointed that people's selfish desires that have no biblical foundations find their place in hurting and often tearing our churches apart. We are so lucky to live in a country where we are free to believe whatever we choose. We are also lucky that there are so many Christians around us, especially here in the south. What if we stopped to think about how in other parts of the world just having belief in Jesus is enough for people in other parts of the world because Christianity is so sparse? What if we really started to understand that the church was a gift from God that was meant to be a place for us to find encouragement and passion from one another so that we could be energized to go unto all the world preaching the good news that is Jesus Christ our savior who came to give us the hope of Heaven? We are so selfish, all of us, but we must daily challenge and push ourselves to think about the things we said and believed the day before because God is constantly refining our hearts and minds. Sometimes, we were wrong the day before. The more we read and study His word with the idea in mind that He may have something new to teach us the better servants we will be. And, the more we realize that SERVANT is what we are supposed to be, the more people will come to a knowledge and understanding of Jesus simply by seeing our gracious, humble examples.

I know I usually just talk about my family and stuff, but this is something I have been thinking about a lot and am being challenged daily by God to really live out a life that possesses Christ-like qualities. Man, it is hard. Twice this week my orders got screwed up. I had to go back to Wendy's to get my burger that they left out of my meal. It had been a rough night at our church, but I could feel God urging me to be gracious even though I was frustrated already. So, I just smiled and told them it was no big deal and thanked them for getting it to me so quickly. The next day we were eating out with some friends after church and everyone's order came out except mine. I waited and waited and she never came back. So, once everyone was about halfway finished, I politely told the lady I never received my meal. She, of course, felt horrible, but I did all I could to assure her that it was no big deal. I just got my meal to go, took it home and ate it later.

I do believe there is a time to be confrontational, but when people make obviously honest mistakes, it is not okay for anyone, especially Christians to take on an attitude of entitlement and rudely correct the mistake. That may be the only time we ever encounter that person and what if it is the only opportunity in their life to encounter Jesus' love and humility. It is also the way we should behave in the church when we have differences or are offended. We should just talk to each other out of mutual love and respect. Even if we still disagree about a church issue when the conversation is over, at least we didn't behave in a way that damaged the relationship. Just something I've been thinking about. Sorry so heavy.

Here are some recent pics of my family to lighten the mood.

I know, they are the cutest kids you've ever seen. I know...they are pure joy in my life.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just a glimpse of our Holiday

Before all of our Christmas traveling began, we celebrated Reese's 2nd Birthday! It was a firetruck themed party. A whole bunch of family came for the party and we had a great time.

Uncle David is going to slide with the birthday boy.
Here is Reese with his friends who came to the party. Avery is holding the teddy bear and you can barely see little Mason peaking around the back.

They had so much fun playing together.
Reese was so excited that everyone was there. He just smiled the whole time.

Reese's spot at the table before the party. It isn't a party without cake and icecream!
Papa and Uncle David were trying to help me get a good picture of the kids together. They were so tired, we weren't going to get smiles at this point.
Here is a half smile from Reese, but a good one from Papa.
Reese and Aubrie got a wagon from Papa and Dede. It has seats that face each other. They love it! Here is Aubrie hanging out and reading a book in the wagon.
Reese got a tricycle from Mommy and Daddy. He is already a pro at peddling.
This was when we had Christmas at Grandmother and Poppy's house. The kids got some wonderful gifts.

Aubrie can sit up all on her own.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Busy Holidays

My goodness, it has been a while.Until Saturday I had only been home for a total of 2 days in three weeks. First, the kids and I went to Arkansas with my mom and brother to visit my mom
s side of the family. We had so much fun, but I didn't even take a singal picture the whole time. Shame on me. I am really sad about that. THen we spent some time with our families in DFW. Caleb came up to meet us the Tuesday before CHristmas. We had a wonderful time with both sides of the family. We went to my sister's fiance's families CHristmas Eve party. His family in Honduran so we got to see how another culture celebrate's Christ's birht. It was so great. At midnight everyone goes around hugging and saying Feliz Navidad, and Merry Christmas. We left shortly after that, but they continue celebrating and opening gifts into the early morning. We got to eat traditional Honduran tamales which were delicious. It was a great time. When we got back to my parent's house little Reese was sitting on the couch with a pillow propped up behind him, probably so he wouldn't get too comfortable and fall asleep. He was just happy chillin with grandpa. I wish I had taken a picture of that, but he got off the couch quickly to greet us as we walked in. He is such a funny guy. We spent the holidays driving back and forth from family to family. We also had to make a quick trip home since Caleb was preaching the Sunday after Christmas. Then we went back to DFW to have one more Christmas and celebrate New Year's.

From there we headed to Denver again for the National Conference of Youth Ministers. We got to see Blake and Whitney again. But like before, it just isn't enough. We have got to do something about the distance between us. We need our best friends!

That's all for now. I have to go change a stinky diaper. Ah, life.