Thursday, April 17, 2014

Realization

I am going to go ahead and say that since apparently I am not allowed to write through my processes or publicly acknowledge issues within a church (that by the way I never mentioned the name of) without the retaliation upon my children and my mother and in-laws, I will not be writing about it anymore. For grown people to tell children that they are not welcome in a church because their parents are publicly acknowledging issues they had with that congregation even though we never hid them and did the "Biblical thing" and went to the people who offended us with responses with ranges of "you are imagining things" to "you are just a trouble maker".  So I'm sorry to anyone who needed to know that they were not alone in feeling like they were in the wrong congregation or that is trying to overcome being placed in a spot where you cannot use your talents or constantly being told you are not good enough. But for the sake of my children, I will not be using this space to write about that journey. And if you agree that this is a very petty sounding post, it is in response to some very petty and childish comments made to me and to my in-laws in the past few days.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Saying Yes in My Mess

I am in the process of reading "Rhinestone Jesus" by Kristin Welch. The theme of the book is saying yes to God in the middle of your mess. Well let me just say that apparently I created a mess earlier this week by stating part of one reason (which I will admit I did not explain very well) why we recently changed churches. I realize that this is a public blog and there is a reason that I have not mentioned names of the church or the members. But I also realize that in order for me to say "yes in my mess", I have to work through some things that have happened over the past 13 years. Emotional and spiritual injuries caused by a church family that when you try to talk to them treat you like your thoughts, feelings, and opinions are not worth their time of day. The funny thing is that the ones who are starting the spreading of gossip and trying to put me down and sanction me now are the ones that have nothing to do with us leaving. So if you notice over the next few months that I start opening up more about hurts and issues within myself that started in the church please know it's because this is my safe space. This is where I pour my heart out and hope that by doing so I reach one other person over a lifetime who just needed to know that they were not alone.

And if I lose readers over the topic or I lose relationships with people who will not even speak to me in person about all of it but instead go behind my back or leave comments trying to publicly shame me- fine. I am prepared for that. Because over the last couple of months it has become very apparent who the people who really care are. 

So I am going to say "yes in my mess" and I am going to share and write and heal. Because I have a purpose and reason for being here. It is God's and he will show me where that will lead. I am done being shut down and ignored because of who I am. 

"If you have never stepped on any toes, then you have never taken a walk out into the world."


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Alone Yet Not Alone" {a review and a giveaway}

I LOVE this book!!!!!!! It is just such a great story! I wish that we could make this a required reader in schools. It is a wonderful story about faith and not giving up even when it looks like all hope is lost.

 
  Alone Yet Not Alone: Their faith became their freedom is the story of two young girls who witness the brutal murder of their father and are then kidnapped by the Indians who did it. When separated into different tribes, Barbara never loses the hope of finding her sister and returning home. This is the story of how she gets back home and how a song that defines their faith brings the sisters back together.

Oh y'all. This story is so heartwarming. I know that it is actually written for children but it is worth handing it to people of any age. And it will soon be a movie. (That I really want to go see.) The soundtrack is amazing and the following song is breathtaking.



And I am also going to include the trailer for the movie. It comes to theaters in June. I will be taking my children to see it in the theaters as part of their summer break.




I have a copy of this book for one of you. Become a fan of the Hentown Mama on Facebook and I will enter your name in a drawing for a copy!

**I was provided with a copy of this book and soundtrack for review and giveaway. All opinions are my own. **

Monday, April 14, 2014

Compromise

Sitting in church yesterday listening to the preacher talking about how much we are compromising as Christians was a very eye opening experience. The entire book of Jude warns us to not compromise our faith and to continue to stand up for what is right and for God's word. In fact, "compromising on God's word undermines God's authority" ~Tim Mahler. So how much do we compromise?

I know as a mom, I compromise with my kids on small things to get them done. For example, "if you just get everything picked up off the floor and put up, I will finish cleaning your room" (after 3 days of begging on my part). But we (John and I) don't tend to compromise on the big things. There are just certain rules that no one tries to break anymore and they know that we mean business. We even make compromises in marriage to make things go smoothly. But never on the big things. So why in the world do we compromise so much as Christians?

Let's just go ahead and talk about the biggest thing in the media right now. Promiscuity. People living together, sleeping with a bunch of different people, having children by 10 different guys and thinking that is cool, adultery left and right and the whole LGBT issue. It is really hard to explain to my kids that all of that goes against God's teachings when it is such a common place thing. Now hear me out before you get mad. I'm not saying you aren't supposed to love people and show them love BUT you aren't supposed to love the sin. And it is just that, sin. It is plain as day all the way through the Old and New Testaments. And yet, we compromise. There are people who say that it's okay because if the Bible was written today none of that would be a sin. Well I disagree. God said it was a sin for thousands of years. Why would he change his tune now? There are some wonderful people who commit these sins. People with the biggest hearts in the world. But regardless they are sinning. Repeatedly. They have no shame in throwing Jesus under the bus again and again. They have no respect for the fact that he died for them. We can't even voice our opinions anymore and stand up for our beliefs because now all of a sudden freedom of speech and freedom of religion are trumped by LGBT rights and  Hollywood. We are considered haters and we are wrong. It makes it hard to parent when your kids can't watch a movie or a television show without promiscuity being the norm- yes, even in a kid's show.

Then there is covetousness. I don't just mean over money. Which apparently the original paragraph that was here put across. There is coveting another's wife/ husband, status, and, yes, their belongings. And then there are the people who have a problem with this and try to point it out and then are called trouble makers. There are the busy bodies and gossips who spend their time reading a blog post, assuming they know what is behind it, and then passing it around with their personal opinions attached or spinning their opinion on it before they pass it on. I have written and removed a post before about how people assuming that they know everything about a family makes me want to scream. When you stifle a person and their desire to go beyond where you think they should be because, let's face it- status is a lot in this world we live in, they will one day do one of two things- they will shrink and give up trying to grow and do something more or they will break away and leave. And when you cut a person down for so long as a person they start to lose their sense of worth within themselves and the church. No one person has a monopoly on the roles the members play in the church. Members should be allowed to serve as their strengths and desires fit in.


As a mom and a wife- I have to compromise daily. It's about getting things done. But as a Christian- I shouldn't compromise. I should stand up for what God's word says. I shouldn't back down just to not have others mad at me. Because God's word is clear. We as humans just don't want to accept that. But as Christians we have to. Are you compromising on your faith?

*Also I deleted a comment below and edited this post. I am going to publicly go on record as saying that I have a problem with people telling me I am not being truthful with myself about my faith. Faith is personal and there is no way you can tell someone that they are not being truthful with themselves about their faith.

**I also realize that this post has been changed from what I originally wrote and meant because of people making assumptions and comments and then spreading around their opinions. If you thought I was talking about you, the irony is that I wasn't. It had nothing to do with you. But if it spoke to you, you may need to think about why. And if you are going around spreading the word that I am bad mouthing a church that I didn't name and bringing my children into your apparent attack on me, you may need to re-examine yourself.

*** Also- my children still attend our former church with their grandparents. We are not going to deny our parents when they want the kids to spend the night with them or to go to church with them. And if you have a problem with us not telling a 3, 7, 9, and 13 year old all of our reasons for leaving then maybe you should take that up with us as parents instead of taking it out on our children.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"The God First Life" {a review}

The God-First Life: Uncomplicate Your Life, God's Way by Stovall Weems is one of the most convicting books I have read. I mean that in a really good way.

I had to keep putting this book down simply because something that Weems said made me realize that I was so guilty. Guilty of letting everything else come first and God being on the bottom of the totem pole. This book made me take a very hard look at my life, my days, and my habits. It will definitely not be an overnight process, but I do have a list that I am working on thanks to this book. I am going to be recommending this book to several people that I know and will probably be passing my copy around to some others. If you really think that you are putting God first in your life then read this book, if you know that you aren't then read this book. Basically- read this book. This is not written from the stand point of any one denomination and I love that everything in this book applies across the board to all denominations. Which is a positive point for some people that I would recommend this book to. It is also not written just for men, women, teens, or adults- it is written for everyone.


** I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. All  opinions are my own.**

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wow- It's April!

I actually did not mean to take last week off from the blog. It just kind of happened with Spring Break. I did some housework (not like you would know it now), laundry, and pulled out all of my scrapbooking supplies (because I was looking for a particular picture). Now today, the older boys are back at school, I am back to housework, and back to writing to you here on this blog. So I thought I would do a little family update.

We start state testing next week. I dread it since the middle boys went back to a brick and mortar school in the middle of the year and I am worried about them passing. Josh is having some testing done this week to determine if he has a learning disorder called dysgraphia and starts speech services. I am kind of glad that there is finally someone else noticing that something is there and doing something about it that I can't. Calvin is just Calvin and testing my patience level to the max. Pacey has turned in to a teenager who thinks I am stupid. Miles has become a threenager- a three year old with the attitude of a teenager. We are really busy as a family with two kids playing ball- Josh on a pitching machine and Miles in tee ball. They both play on the same nights and most of those nights at the same time. We have also spent a lot of time fishing as a family lately. Miles even caught his first fish.

We have found a new church and plan on placing membership this coming week. It is has been a very hard decision personally but one that will be good for our family.

Rainy season seems to have set in before I could get all of the grass cut but with trenches all over the yard we hope to not have the flooding we had last year. I am getting back into some old hobbies like scrapbooking this week- making a huge mess pulling everything out.

I think that is about as concise a summary of what's happening as I can make right now. I will leave you with a couple of ball pictures.





Friday, March 28, 2014

Creating Traditions {a review and a giveaway}

I love traditions. So when I read this book to Miles and he asked if we could make an egg I said yes in a heartbeat.

The Sparkle Egg by Jill Hardie is a great book for kids of all ages. This is the story of Sam. Sam tells his parents a lie and can't shake the feeling of guilt that follows. He has apologized and everything. Sam's mom then comes up with an idea. As Easter approaches, she sets up Sam's favorite activity- egg decorating. She has him decorate one special egg. Inside that egg, he places a piece of paper with what has him feeling guilty written on it. On Easter morning, he opens the egg and the paper is gone. That piece of paper represents our sins being washed away and the forgiveness that comes through Jesus.

What a great idea! Of course at 3, I am sure that Miles doesn't feel guilty about much of anything but I know three other boys in my house that get that feeling. So I am heading out to buy the eggs and decorations this weekend and we are going to make these over Spring Break. I am excited and they are too.

Doesn't this sound like a great tradition to start with your kids? Would you like to win a copy of the book? Leave a comment with a fun Easter tradition you have in your house and I will randomly pick someone to win a copy next Wednesday.


**I was provided with a copy of this book through FlyBy Promotions for review and for giveaway. All opinions are my own. **