South America – Day 97

I just realized that I am past the half way point.  I have a calendar with the days numbered according to how long Derick has been gone.  He is scheduled to return to the States on February 15.  So, I only have 87 days left until that day.  I missed the half way point by 10 days.  I guess if this is a journal of my life while Derick is gone, I should write about Thanksgiving.  I kind of had a rotten Thanksgiving.  But at the same time I was getting Twitter updates from a friend whose Thanksgiving was worse than mine. 

My kids and I layed around all morning, yesterday, and watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Then at 2:00 we went to my aunt and uncle’s house.  I wasn’t there 20 minutes before Allyn peed his pants.  My mom came and told me while I was feeding Brody.  I gave her new pants and told her that if he pooped I was going home.  Well, sure enough, about 20 minutes later, my little cousins came and found me and told me that he pooped his pants.  I started sobbing.  I took him to the bathroom and gave him a wet wipe bath.  Then I loaded up him and Brody and I went home.  I was there one hour and I had one plate of food.  I wanted to feel sorry for myself but I kept getting these Twitter updates from a friend who got turkey caught in his throat yesterday and had to have emergency surgery to remove it.  Now that’s a rotten Thanksgiving!  At least I ate my turkey!

I read another chapter in my book, “My Heart’s at Home” by Jill Savage.  This one is called Home as a Church.  I think one of the biggest things that I got out of this chapter is being able to pray with my kids.  I have friends in my life that pray as a family and their little kids pray on their own and they all talk about God as if it is just overflowing from their life.  Every word of encouragement that comes out of their mouth is to keep strong in the faith.  Every situation that they talk about involves what God is currently doing in their life.  It is woven through every part of everyday.  It is not their church life, their home life, their work life.  Its all one.  And God encompasses every area.  They open their mouth and God just spills out.  But its never in a way condemning to the people around them.  It is always in a way that demonstrates Christ’s love. 

There are two things I took away from this chapter in the book.  The first one is that I want to be able to pray about everything in my life as if it is second nature.  And the second is that I want to teach my kids to do the same.  In order for me to do that, I have to make sure that I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, not just the religion of Christianity.  If Christianity were my religion, I would be able to seperate it from the rest of my life.  When I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, he is part of everything I do, much like the relationship that I have with Derick.  Even though Derick is out of the country, we are still “one flesh”, (Genesis 2:24). 

So, how do I do this, and teach my kids to do this?  I think the first thing is to get beyond meal-time and bed-time prayers and begin to pray about everyday situations and people in our lives.  Start by asking them what they think we should pray for instead of having a “routine” prayer every night.  Or pray for little things like skinned knees.  Also, thanking God for things that he has given us and for keeping us safe.  I remember once when Christian bumped his face and got a nose-bleed (he was 3), Derick and I told him to pray for his nose-bleed.  He promptly put his head between his knees and said, “Dear God, Thank you for my blood!”  And after that for a long time he thanked God every night at bedtime, for his blood.

I don’t know why, but I think this can be a tough chapter to apply.  (Its even tough to write about.)  I think praying with someone is so intimate that it just feels awkward at first, almost intimidating.  I want to teach my kids to have faith that God can do anything.  That “If you ask anything in my [Jesus] name, I will do it.” (John 14:14).  But in order to teach it, I have to believe it.  Sometimes, the actions have to come first.  I need to pray about something  just because I know that I need to and believe that God will give me the faith required.  Othertimes, I seem to have the faith first and its just natural to follow with prayer.  The best way to teach this is to be an example.  I have to be faithful in praying for my friends if I expect my children to pray for theirs.  If I don’t believe God can change my situations, then I can’t expect my kids to pray about situations that they are faced with.  And if I am not praying for my children then they are lost, because I can’t expect anyone else to do it for me.  

“When home is a church, I know my heart will find faith when I’m at home.”

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1 Comment

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One response to “South America – Day 97

  1. Leslie,
    Wanted you to know that I am praying for you during this time that Derick is gone. We used to go to church with Derick before we moved to Oregon. I can not imagine how hard it is that he has been gone for so long. I have 9 children seven whom I am really parenting right now and it is hard when the dad is gone overnight. Just know that God is with you and I will continue to lift you up in prayer as you progress through this journey. I don’t know if you guys go to the Northfield church or not but they are an awesome bunch of believers and are always willing to help out in someway if you need a break. May the Lord richly bless you.

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