My Family Fall 2011

My Family Fall 2011
Photo by Christina Brady

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Today I had the pleasure of witnessing a dear friend's baptism in the river.  I'd never been to a baptism outside of the church, so I was anxious not only to witness the event but to see what it was all about.  On my long drive to Pineville, my mind began to wonder about baptisms during Jesus' walk on the earth.  Church can become so ritualistic and dry at times that our man-made routines seem to take away from the WOW factor of a baptism.  (Don't get me wrong; I love my church and church family, but sometimes wish things weren't always the same.)  I wondered what it would be like to not worry about how warm the baptistry water is or if we had the batteries charged on our camera and camcorder.  I pondered the thought of a simplistic time when you didn't need an image to capture the event because the event was imbedded in your mind and so intimate between you and the Lord that it couldn't ever possibly be forgotten.  Isn't it ironic that we create these inventions to make our life simpler and fuller, yet our lives become more cluttered and we never feel full?  I think we're being mislead.          

Once I arrived in Pineville and I followed my friend to the river after church services, we stood along the riverbank.  Before anything proceded, the minister read through some doctrines with the church encouraging those being baptised as well as requested for the church itself to uplift and teach the babies of the faith.  Then, while the church was waiting for the new Christians to get down into the river, we began singing beautiful hymns.  Before long, it was one by one, "down with the old man and up with the new," as Randy Travis and Kenny Chesney described in a duet which I'd grown fond of years ago.  And you know what, it was simplistic.  It was real.  It was perfect.  There were no destractions from anything except for God's creation.  I found myself wishing I, myself, had a river baptism.  I quickly reminded myself it doesn't matter where you do it, as the water isn't what saves you, but I was still so moved by the experience that I wished I'd experienced it from the river.  See, I'm one of those "don't-wanna-get-dirty-or-sweaty-type-of-people."  However today, it just didn't matter.

So, I challenge you to this:  Don't get hung up on the modern-day comforts of our churches.  Don't inhibit the Holy Spirit to move in your life because the temperature in the sanctuary was a little warm today, so-and-so brought her noisy kids to church again, or because some tall guy blocked your view from the pew.  Life is short and we tend to make it so shallow.  I feel like Paul because that which I know I should do, I don't do and that which I know I shouldn't do, I do.  So trust me, I'm preaching to myself.  How aggravating to fight yourself!  I want to be able to reflect on what the Lord wants me to learn each day and not on man-made inventions or rituals.  I almost didn't go this morning due to lack of sleep, but I sure would've missed a blessing.  I hope you have a blessed week enjoying God's creation and dwelling upon the things that matter.    

Sweet Peace

So, I haven't taken the time to post anything for some time.  However, I do have some good excuses.  As if 2011 hasn't brought on enough changes and adventures for our family, we decided to add another one.  And, it's not small.  We are officially homeschooling our children!  When I say "we", I mean "me", with the support of my husband.  :)  We have discussed this for years, but I never saw it actually happening.  As our 1st day of school approached, I felt panicked and bounced my doubts off of my husband just about every night in bed.  His responses were always short and simple and sounded something like, "You can do this.  It'll be fine."  He never seemed to have doubts, or if he did, he didn't share them with me.  I believe that God knows our needs and hears our pleads.  I prayed and prayed and prayed.  I prayed for signs, I prayed for wisdom, and I prayed for peace. 

We started our school year on Tuesday, August 16th.... and we haven't looked back.  I know we made the right decision.  I feel it and I see it.  I have struggled in becoming a stay-at-home-mom.  Going from a well-paying career to a no-paying (monetarily speaking) position was shocking to say the least.  Oh, and add in there having a 4th baby.  I felt overwhelmed and confused.  Did I make the right decision?  Are we going to experience financial disaster now?  Would the kids ever get along and respect me?  Or did I wait too long to make the sacrifice?  After only (almost) 3 weeks into our school year, I can see some fruits of our labor.  Thank you, Lord!  I can see my sons bonding like never before.  I can see the look on my children's faces when I talk to them.  It's a look of respect that I had never known.  I can hear their quick responses to my requests when I had gotten used to not getting responses at all.  Is everything perfect?  Heck no!  But it's drastically better.  See, my expectations of my children have elevated and you might think that would cause more tension, but I've seen the opposite affect.  They see that I love them enough to invest my time on them.  I love them enough to sacrifice my selfish desires so that they might be nurtured in an amazing way. 

I am thankful that I am where I am, right now.  I am eternally grateful for some heaven-sent friendships as well, especially Mrs. Brady.  Encouragement from her was what kept me from running back to what seemed to be the easy way out.  That's right... public school would've been easier on my daytime schedule, but it wouldn't have been worth it because it would have costed much more than what it was worth.  Homeschooling may not have worked one year ago or if we had waited one year from now, but it's working today.  I was diligently praying for signs, but I overlooked the gift of peace.  And, I feel peace, sweet peace