Friday, August 15, 2008

"Dear Friends, Let Us Love One Another...."

Two of my very best friends here in town are Catholic.  I am fine with that.  However, in the past, I tried to ignore our differences.  We all love God, we all want to serve Him, we all want our kids to be raised right and to love God as well.  And because I love my friends, I tried to pretend that we all believed the same.  For me, it was easy to talk about God with them, to share my struggles and pray with them or for them when they had struggles.  In many ways, they are connected to me more than my Protestant friends.  They like the same things I like.  They appreciate my "job" more than people at my church.  They are strongly "pro-life" just like me, cherish children and are supportive of bigger families.  I find this refreshing in a culture where you are weird if you don't have those "1.2" children you are SUPPOSED to have.  Also, I enjoy their company.  They are funny, serious (when necessary), and focused on the same things I am.  But, I have to admit, they believe differently than me.  They are Catholic and I am not.  I was not raised that way and have no intention of converting.  I do respect their beliefs and don't ever want to "argue" or even "discuss" our differences.  But, in learning more about Catholicism, I realize that there are some very real differences.  And for me, it is a case of agreeing to disagree.  I love them deeply and want to embrace our "likenesses" and not our differences.  Hopefully they want the same thing.  I believe that we can all three say the Apostle's Creed and believe every bit of it.  I believe that all three of us know that it is our belief in God, confession of sin and just accepting Christ's sacrifice on the cross that "save" us.  

So, there will be no more pretending.  We can love each other with "eyes wide open", knowing that there are differences.  We can give a little and focus on the things we have in common.  And we can live a life of love as Christ asked us to.  For my example, in the Bible, Christ loved people and didn't try to point out differences.  He embraced all people.  That is what we must do.   One of my favorite scriptures is 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)

 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." And there is more of course about His sacrifice on the cross as proof of His love.  (Read on when you have a chance.)  The point is that I choose love!!!  I hope you will too.  

And now for a prayer, "God, I pray that I will love as you have loved me.  I pray that my friends will sense that love and respond.  I pray that you will help me to focus on the things we have in common, and remember that YOU put us together.  You saw my needs (and maybe theirs) and put us together.  There is such a warm feeling knowing that you, with your gentle, loving hand, placed us in each other's lives.  Thank you Father, for the gift of my friends!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

For a Visit

Yesterday as I drove through the neighborhood, I saw a lady who looked like she was out running only she was stopped on the sidewalk pointing ahead of her.  I slowly rounded the corner and saw what she was looking at.  Right ahead in a neighbor's yard were four deer - two female and two fawns!!!  They were so beautiful and just gazing at us and the houses around them and occasionally eating grass.  As I struggled to find my phone and erase enough pictures on it to have room to take one, the deer startled and bounded off into the trees.  The day before, #1 and #4 said they had seen two baby deer while they were at school.  Since the schools are so close to us, they share the common woods, trails, etc. that run from one to the other, I am almost positive that these are the same deer.  We are adding to our list of animals spotted in  and around our neighborhood.  We have seen foxes, turkeys (mommys and babies) rabbits, (the usual) turtles, snakes, scorpions, a (dead) coyote, and now deer!!  We love this little extra that seeing something like that adds to our day.  But, sadly, we don't have a picture to share.  Maybe next time.  

The darling husband and I are walking at 5:00 A.M. several times a week, wishing to see some animals.  But, maybe it is too dark or (more likely) we are too loud talking and laughing while we walk to see animals.  Oh well, it is good for the health of our marriage and our bodies......

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sweet One Straight From the Heart of God

Thought you would all like to see the new beautiful baby!!!  S. (my sister) had her Friday on a lucky day 8-8-08!!  She is gorgeous, looks like her mommy.  She was 6 lb. 9 oz. (three weeks early) but healthy and too sweet for words!!!  I was there in the delivery room when my sister had her fist baby (to be placed for adoption, a little girl, almost 13 years ago).  Now God has been good and given her a little girl to bless her life!!!  We love Meg and she is a part of our lives, but S. needed her very own little girl to love and care for.  After getting married to a wonderful man in 2005 and having T.J. two years ago, this has brought it all full circle!!  We are all so blessed!!!  And I LOVE babies, can you tell?!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day 1

The kids survived!!!  The first day is always a little rough.  Yesterday was no exception.  My garage door broke and my car was inside, so my kids had to all ride the bus.  That was fine except that the high school doesn't send a bus to our neighborhood.  We live within walking distance to the back of campus.  Anyway, his teacher offered to drive him home, saving me from borrowing a neighbor's car to go get him.  Also, the two in middle school came home a little "bruised".  They didn't find friends, yet.  #3 had a hard time getting her locker open, but amazingly, ASKED FOR HELP several times!!!  For her, this was major.  And when she didn't know where her bus was, her one male teacher helped her find it and walked her to it!!!  I was very proud of her.  That was a good first day.  #2, who had such a hard time last year came home and seemed okay, but was crying last night and this morning not wanting to go back.  My heart was breaking as I sent him off.  But, I walked them to the bus stop and his male hormones kicked in.  Not wanting the other middle school kids to see him teary-eyed, he perked up and acted fine.  So, I prayed and sent them on.  That was all I could do.  God will be with them.  I know that!!  And they have to learn to stand on their own two feet.  Besides, school does teach them responsibility and independence and all kids need that.  So, as much as I wanted to keep them home and hug them a little more I put them on the bus and felt relieved that they were, at least, putting on a good front for their friends.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


So, the kids return to school tomorrow.  Public school for the second year.  I was not sure I wanted to do that again.  It is easier than planning the year myself and taking complete responsibility for their education.  I am no longer so brave.  However, in some ways, I have to trust God more than I did when we home-schooled.  I have to pray more not knowing what they face or who they are with or what they are teaching them.  I hope it brings me closer to God.  Of course, as a Christian, I hope all circumstances bring me closer to God.  As I go to bed tonight, it is with prayers for their well-being.  I want them to be okay, happy, loved, and confident, but most of all, I want them to live their lives to let others see who God is.  I want for them to pass on their faith to others.  That is my deepest hope.  I want others to see a difference in my children.  I can only pray that happens.  For my kids:  "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."