Thursday, July 30, 2009
I saw it ahead and called the boys names out:
"Jack, Ty, look at this huge puddle we are going to go through."
Both boys lean to look around the seats and see the puddle.
I drove through it and water splashed everywhere, making that low rumble as it hits the bottom of the car. It was a long puddle and lasted maybe 3 seconds, which, if you count it out, is a good while to be in a single puddle.
We got through it and onto dry ground again.
"Cool Mom. That was cool."
It was one of the few times in my life that I will be considered "cool" by my sons.
I embraced it.
In the best, "yes, I know I'm cool" voice I could come up with, I nodded my head and simply said:
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
You want to help us?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Having a delicous breakfast at the Poulters. The boys and girls LOVE each other and it is so sweet to see them play together.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Ty just couldn't seem to get the whole "relax on the boat" concept.
Maybe we just need to give it some more time before he gets his sea-legs.
Really though, who could be comfortable when wearing something like this?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
He did it.
I knew it would come.
I didn't know when, now I do. Write it down: July 22, 2009.
If they are, in fact, made out of sticks and snails and puppy dog tails than who would be surprised when they end up peeing off of the back porch.
They are boys.
They are rugged.
There are so many things that they could live without: hairdryers, jewelry, shirts, pedicures, and well, toilets.
It is so very convenient that little boys can "go" just about anywhere. When traveling, I never take Jack into gross gas station toilets. He says the word and we just pull over. He stands on the edge of the van (away from traffic) and lets it go. Done. I'm back in the driver's seat before I know it, continuing on. Emily says that any time they stop, the minimum time it takes is 20 minutes. Not us. We can be back on the road in 4, unless he's drunk alot.
So really, it should be no surprise when I look up and see my son standing in the doorway taking a leak. I've encouraged it. He is a product of my laziness. Sometimes, when we are at the park (not one any of you go to) and no one is around, he needs to go. I take him away from all the playthings, and he goes.
Maybe I should talk to him. I should give him parameters to peeing outside, a list of do's and don'ts.
I'm just not sure he can take it all in. I mean, he's a guy. He doesn't like details. Keep it simple. Whens and wheres will just confuse him.
But, I probably should explain that it is better to stand on the EDGE of the porch and pee into the grass vs. standing in the doorway and peeing ON the porch.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
2. Name something a football player wears under his uniform: A helmet goes on his head and comes out his tummy.
3. Name something people hate to find on their windshield: A doctor boys
4. Name something a man might buy before a date: Vegetables and strawberries
5. What is something you cook in the microwave: I put my hand up and say “Hi!!!”
6. Name something a dog does that embarrasses its owner: They get stuck in the tree, and they are really stuck and they can’t find the puppies…. I want to go watch Dalmatians.
If I were you, I’d hire Laken. She worked for me last school year in AWANA (a children’s program) at South Side Baptist Church. This, like most all of the programs at our church, is run by volunteers. It is crucial that we have committed people helping or the programs will fail. Laken is dependable. She was never a “no-show.” If she couldn’t make it on a particular week, I always got a phone call. She came several times with a headache from a long day. One time she even showed up after studying all night and working all day --when she could have gone home to sleep, she was there. That’s why I would hire Laken.
Several times during the year I asked Laken to do extra jobs, she accepted the tasks with a “can-do” type of attitude. She went above what was asked and served our students with a willing heart. She is energetic, motivated, and a hard worker. That’s why I would hire Laken.
Laken smiles, she laughs, she looks you in the eye when she talks to you. She would make an excellent Walmart greeter. All of the students we work with love being around her. All of the adults we work with love being around her. She is joyful and pleasant. That’s why I would hire Laken.
One of the most important things I would consider though, is that Laken is a believer. She is someone who does what she says she will do, who lives to honor God, whose ethical standards are high. Her goal is to be like Jesus. So, if you’d hire Jesus, you should hire Laken Tilly.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
I love it.
It is getting me pumped up.
I'd love to write a post on it, but since Heather has already done it, I am stealing her post on it from her blog.
Has made me think.
I made it as far as chapter two, had to pause, and pretty much rethink my entire existence.
I needed a nap and a snack to proceed.
Our pastor, Allen Duty has asked the body of NL to read this book together.
He's talking about each chapter on NL's blog. So far, our elders (Allen and Jason) have written about Chapters One, Two, Three and Four.
I wanted to share how this book has personally made me think.
To sum it up, in the first chapter, the authors point out that as Americans, when asked the question, "Who are you?" think of our identity in very individualistic terms.
Who am I?
I'm Heather. I'm a wife. I'm a mother. I love to write, cook, eat Butter Crunch ice cream. I day dream about being a hip hop dancer who also speaks several foreign languages. I'm a type A personality.
That's who I am.
Even in terms of our salvation, we've managed to take something like the gospel, the story of God's desire to rescue MANKIND, His love for the WORLD, and we've made it all about us.
God died for ME.
If I was the only person alive, Jesus would have gone to the cross...just for me.Yes...God does love me.
Thankfully, He has extended an invitation offering me an intimate and personal relationship with Him.
It's good to know God loves me. That's true. It's right. I'm just saying, it's easy, with our bent towards isolation and individualism in our country to forget that the Bible is a story about how God chose a nation...people...to be His very own. We forget that the letters in the NT were written to CHURCHES. I read them as if I just picked them up out of my own personal mail box outside....as though God's Word was written just for me, and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Instead of asking, "What does this passage say to us, as God's people," I am guilty of only asking myself what God is saying to me.In reality...we are the people of God.
We're the church.
God speaks to me, but He speaks to me within the context of speaking to His people.
This was a big deal for me to sit and think about because, if this foundational truth is even the slightest bit "off" in my mind, then that affects a lot of other things about the way I live my life.For example...If I think of myself as an individual, or our life as the Hendricks just in terms of my family, then here is what the authors of Total Church point out...
"The prevailing view of life today is that of an individual standing on his or her own, heroically juggling various responsibilities - family, friendships, career, leisure, chores, decisions and money. We could also add social responsibilities like political activities, campaigning organizations, community groups and school associations. From time to time, the pressures overwhelm us, and we drop one or more of the balls. All too often church becomes one of the balls. We juggle our responsibilities for church (measured predominantly by attendance at meetings) just as we juggle our responsibilities for work or leisure."
Basically...church can become something we do instead of who we are. This is what happens when we see ourselves at the center of our life...an individual or one family juggling all the responsibilities of life. Church is a ball in the air, just like boy scouts, or ballet.What would happen if we shifted our thinking, and instead of our family or ourselves being the center of our life, the church took that spot?"
This blew my mind. It might be basic for you...but it literally shook me.
I'm not first and foremost Heather...mom, wife, cleaner, cooker.
I'm Heather...part of the family of God...part of the church...part of a community of believers, a GROUP of people God wants to use to proclaim the gospel.
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."
Paul emphasizes here, and in many other places, that Christ wants to create a people, not merely isolated individuals who believe in him...We are not saved individually and then choose to join the church as if it were some club or support group. Christ died for his people, and we are saved when by faith we become part of the people for whom Christ died.
The authors of Total Church say it like this..."Church is not another ball for me to juggle but that which defines who I am and gives Christlike shape to my life."
They throw this thought out there..."[At] the Crowded House (their church) we expect one another to make decisions with regard to the implications for the church and to make significant decisions in consultation with the church."
They use this example that made my head spin: In one of their community groups, a couple was about to have twins. What would be normal would be for that couple to access their lives, on their own, and decide how to keep all the balls of life in the air with such a huge, new, big thing (like twins) coming into their lives. The church ball would some times get dropped. That's what it looks like to live like individuals (or individual families). When the couple didn't show up to church consistently, or had to drop out of certain things, or couldn't make it to small group bible study for awhile, in most churches, everyone would just say, "Yep...they have a lot going on right now. This is understandable. THEY just had TWINS!" The couple, for the most part is on their own, to try and keep all the balls of life in the air. The couple had twins...the community did not.If the community of believers is central, instead of the individual family, then living life as a community may look something more like this...the community had twins, not just the couple.A community of believers gets together and says, "So and so is about to have twins. What changes do we ALL need to make in our lives and in our homes so that we take into consideration this new thing going on in our church family?" Maybe my kids don't need to be in as many activities this semester so we can help this couple out. Maybe we need to move the night our small group meets. Maybe we need to move the time. Maybe one of the college students should move in with them for a semester."
See...mind boggling. Basically, this book is helping me see myself first and foremost as God's people...in this thing together, and from that point, looking at our individual lives and asking ourselves how the decisions we are making will not just affect our family, or ourselves, but how will they affect who we really are...a community of believers? How will these decisions our family is making (about our jobs, our calendars, our schedule, our priorities, our time, etc) affect our new purpose as God's people, "Going and making disciples of all men, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything scripture commands?"
What would it look like for me to make decisions "with regard for my church community" as Total Church suggests? This took some thinking for me. I'll admit...when I think of the church, I am less likely to think of a community of people and more likely to think of programs. Don't get me wrong. In my thought process, I do eventually get to community...but first and foremost, when I think of church, I think of all the things it takes to make a church "run effectively." When I feel "good" about my contribution to the church, I am guilty of basing those feelings on whether or not I'm "doing enough" in the programs. Am I serving on enough ministry teams? I'm not saying programs in a church are bad. But I am saying, that's how my mind is guilty of working. I feel like a crappy church member when I'm not performing well in the programs. Programs can be great, but I need to remind myself that Christ didn't die for programs. Christ laid his life down for the church...for people. If your mind is a little like mine, then it would seem like I'm saying make the church...the building and all its programs the center of your life. That's not what I'm saying. That's not what Total Church is saying. Program like things can still be important, but I'm not suggesting making church programs and meetings the center of existence. When thinking about the church being at the center of our life...being the way we identify ourselves, I'm not saying that this means start identifying myself by how well I'm performing within the programs of a church.
Like I've said...I've done that before. I've been the most involved church member, served my guts out, and yet at the same time, lived a very selfish, isolated life, never truly connecting with anyone, or letting anyone truly know me.
I felt good. I felt like I was performing well...but I wasn't loving people, or letting people know and love me.
Looking back on that time, I don't even remember myself as being a person...I was a machine...not vulnerable, honest...not a real person. People didn't really know me, and I had no interest in really knowing others. I look back and remember what a weirdo I was. I've been guilty of seeing church as something I do...a place where I serve, instead of the church being first and foremost who I am. I want to see the church, first and foremost as people...not programs.
Again...my goodness...no one get their church panties in a wad. I'm not saying programs are necessarily bad. I'm just saying, I put way too much importance on "being involved in programs" instead of seeing the church as people to know, love, and do life with.
When I think about our life as an individual family, I want to begin asking myself, "How am I loving these people God has connected us with? How am I serving them...not just in a building...but in their real, every day lives? How am I sharing with them? How am I adjusting our schedule to intimately know others, have them in our home, do life with them? How are we as a community of believers, intimately connected with one another, being salt and light to the people around us? How am I making adjustments in our schedule, in our home to love people living in other homes?
"In Christ we who are many form one body and each member belongs to all the others (Romans 12:5).
How am I living like I belong to all the "others" Christ has saved?
Is church something I do, or who I am?
When I think of the church, do I think of people, people who I belong to, and who belong to me, or do I think of programs?
Is church just another ball I juggle...or is it who we are?
Do I feel "good" about myself and my church life by how well I'm performing within programs, or how well I'm living out the things Acts and other parts of scripture say are important for the church...sharing my life...my gifts...my treasure...my possessions...my time...the gospel?
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Me: "...Come on Mike, I think it will grow on you."
Mike: "Becca, things that grow on you are not usually good things... pause ... like warts, funguses...."
Wow. I don't know where to start with this one.
I guess I'll start with telling you how incredibly smart I think God is.
He knows exactly what is best for us and tells us --very plainly, in His Word.
He knows what will fulfill us, give us joy, peace, contentment. He knows what will harm us: bitterness, pride, anger, lust, selfishness.
He tells us things like:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! -Phil.4:16
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. -Gal. 5:13
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. -Col.3:15
God doesn't tell us these things because he wants to be bossy. He tells us these because he loves us! He wants the very best for us. He doesn't want us to suffer unnecessary pain.
God is good.
So, now that that is noted, we can move on.
I've been involved --for about 6 weeks now, in a Bible study with several of my sisters from church. (From now on I'm going to refer to my good friends as sisters, because that is what they are. They are my sisters in Christ.) We have been reading and discussing the book/blog, Her Hands. It has been so wonderful to have such deep fellowship with each other. Each week we share our personal struggles and pray for each other, we discuss Scriptures and how they apply to our lives, we learn about community and HOW CRUCIAL that is to the Gospel.
Today, those of us who could, got to go serve another girl in our group. I called people up and told them of the opportunity and was so blessed to hear the excitement in each of their voices as I explained what the plan was. Everyone who came was pumped and looking forward to the chance to serve. We had the best time getting to work together for about 3 1/2 hours.
Here are what a few people said afterward:
(emphasis NOT mine)
First off, I LOOOOOOVED what took place today. It really has brought me GREAT joy to think on how beautiful the Body of Christ is when we serve one another. I am so thankful that the Lord used you to bring this opportunity to serve about b/c it was such an encouraging time of worship for me.... A sweeeeet, sweeeeet time for sure!
"It really was a blessing for me also:)))"
"I really feel like I did something worthwhile today. A lot of time, I just feel like I waste days."
"I'm so encouraged by the group that came to meet her needs. Nothing gets me more excited than seeing the Body be servants"
I want to encourage YOU now. Those of us who claim to be in Christ have got to work together with believers to show the world who Christ is.
Read this excerpt from the book Total Church by Chester and Timmis:
Jesus asserted the centrality of the gospel community in the evangelistic task during his final night on earth. In John 13 he predicts his betrayal. For Jesus it means the hour of his glorification (vv.31-32). For the disciples it means new responsibilities, and their primary responsibility is to love one another (vv. 34-35). At this crucial moment in the purposes of God, Jesus is concerned for the mutual love of these people. This must mean that love is crucial! Jesus' exhortation is not vague. He turns their attention once more to his own example (vv.1, 14-17). They are to love in the same way and to the same extent that he has loved them. And the gauge of that love will prove to be the cross.
What is the purpose of this mutual, self-giving love? Don Carson says:
The new command is not only the obligation of the new community to respond to the God who has loved them and set them free by the offering of his Son. Neither is it merely their response to his gracious choice of them as his people. It is a privilege, which when rightly lived out, proclaims the true God before a watching world. That is why Jesus ends his injunction with the words: 'All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.'
Before they are preachers, leaders, or church planters, the disciples are to be lovers! This is the test of whether or not they have known Jesus.
That remains the case today: this cross-love is the primary, dynamic test of whether or not we have understood the gospel word and experienced its power.... It is our cross-love for each that proclaims the truth of the gospel to a watching and skeptical world. Our love for one another, to the extent that it imitates and conforms to the cross-love of Jesus for us, is evangelistic.
What does it look like, in our lives, to love like Christ loved?
We need to keep our eyes open and our ears perked so that we will be able to see the needs of people. Then we need to keep our schedules clear enough to find time to serve. If ever it is possible, I think we need to invite others in the Body (church) to serve with us. There is just something sweet about getting to work with people. Besides, it's lots more fun. The best bonding always takes place when there is some obsitcal to overcome, a challenge. That's why they have ropes courses --team building challenges.
Really. I'm not making this stuff up. People have done studies on it.
What a joyful day I have had.
It really is so sweet to trust in Jesus,
just to take Him at His word.
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know "Thus saith the Lord."
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!
Yes, tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking,
Life and rest and joy and peace.
I'm so glad I learned to trust Him,
Precious Jesus, Savior Friend
And I know that He is with me,
Will be with me to the end. -Stead, Louisa
Monday, July 6, 2009
You are special. Not just because you are my mom, but because you are a great mom!
Thank you for years of loving me and supporting me and my family.
I hope you have a great birthday!
You are incredible... and I don't tell many people that. I'm so thankful for you every single day as I work to be a woman who glorifies God by the way I serve my family. I'm so blessed to have you as an example and a motivation. Your hard work inspires me to keep loving and keep giving. I figure if you could do it for 8 kids, I can do it for 2. We all love you so much and today are especially celebrating having you in our lives. You make sure you celebrate too. You're the best.
Happy Birthday Mom! Growing up you always made my birthdays so special and i hope today you have one of those special days. Remember today is all about you, no school work and it is OK to eat sweets! I love you! Stan
I love you mom! You're the bestest. Sorry you have to do that icky presentation on your birthday, but YOU GOT THIS! It'll all be over this afternoon, then you can relax for the rest of the day. Happy Birthday!!! -Hannah
Thanks for working so hard for us. Thanks for all you've taught is about life: how to clean-up the kitchen after you eat, how to do hair, how to shop smart, how to cook, healthy eating, how to take care of and love people, how to be a good wife. Thanks for all the real-life advice and training. So many moms don't take time for that. All of this shows us how much you love us and how much you love Jesus. We are so lucky to have you. Put your feet up and have a good birthday.
I love you,
Happy Birthday mom! I wish I could be there, but have the best birthday you can even though you have work to do. Good luck on your presentation! -Grant
Happy Birthday Mom,
Thank you for everything you do for us!
Happy Birthday Mom! Thank you so much for all you have done for all of us kids. You truly are the best mom ever! Thanks for going through all this school to help support our family! Thanks again! Love you, Laura
Claire, tell me what is special about Gigi."
"Gigi loves me and I love her. I like her games a lot.
I like to snuggle with her in the night and...l like my room at Gigi's house." -Love, Claire
"Ava, tell me about Gigi"
she has floaties,
she has gloves,
she has beds,
she has a kitty cat,
she doesn't have stairs,
she has a computer,
Happy Birthday Gigi!
She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her houshold;
for all of them are clothed in fine linen and purple;
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
and she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue;
She watches over the affairs of her houshold
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.
Give her the reward she has earned
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Ashtone and Dustin came with us. Actually, I called them and dragged them out of bed to come to the parade.... they missed it, but made the band concert.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Are you with me?
Do you feel the same since of pride and excitement this time every year?
Are you thankful? Do you realize how blessed we are?
Do you want to celebrate? Shout? Shoot off firecrackers?
Laugh? Smile? Do you want to watch people parading down the street sporting their red, white and blue?
Does just the site of patriotic bunting make you grin?
Does the flag make you think of honor, of sacrifice, of principles?
Do you remember the history lessons of men who gave their entire life's work to building a government that was "for the people"? Do you remember hearing of people who selflessly gave years of their life to fight for freedom?
Remember hearing of men who thought it worthy enough to leave their wives, their children, their livelihoods to pursue freedom?
The probability of death was higher than that of life.
They decided that dying --fighting for freedom, for the generations to come... was worth it.
For you.... for me.... for our children.
They fought for our Independence.
They gave us our Independence.
We should be proud. We should be excited. We should want to celebrate.
We should party.
And I think that is exactly what those who came before us would want us to do.
We need to celebrate the victory and all of the more recent victories in the name of freedom.
I'm thankful that our family can continue serving our country without having to pay the ultimate price (so far).
If this video doesn't make you want to celebrate, not much will.
Don't whine and complain about all of the ways we abuse our freedoms, today be thankful and celebrate the lives of those who gave it all for us.
So go find a party and join in.
Mike and I took a walk last week with the boys. We went to some of the older streets in Abilene where the houses are beautiful. Mike loves looking at homes and I am acquiring the same excitement for architecture. Unfortunatly when we got down there and got the stroller set up we realized that we had a very flat tire. So ended up the boys got to roam as we walked. It was so fun. We are going to do it again soon I hope.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Nothing for a week and then two posts in one day....
The little boys and I were outside playing this afternoon. I went inside for a second and came back and the National Anthem had started. (It plays every day at 5:00.)
Both boys were sitting on bicycles with training wheels on them, not moving. Jack had his hand on his heart and Ty didn't.
I said, "Ty, put your hand on your heart."
He didn't move.
"Ty, put your hand on your heart."
This time he reached up, grabbed his belly fat and pulled on it. Then he put his hand down again. --must have thought "This hurts, there's no way I'm doing this for the duration of the song."
Again I encourage him to be patriotic. I mean, come on, his Dad could possibly die defending our country, the least he can do is stand still, place his hand on his heart and be respectful.
"Ty, put your hand on your heart."
Ty looked up at me, then reached down and grabbed his crotch...
nice... so much for being respectful.
Mike is home.
I was sitting in the recliner today, after lunch, holding Jack. Mike was a sleep on the couch despite Ty climbing all over him. Jack looked up at me and said: "Everybody's here, Mommy."
He's right. We are all here. Now we just have to relearn how to make things flow smoothly with "Everybody here."
It shouldn't be too hard. My biggest challenge is adjusting my mind from being the "Boss" to being the assistant. Instead of making the plans, I'm writing them down. Instead of working to keep things tidy and orderly all the time, I'm trying to relax. No longer having people over to the house 4 days a week, now trying to enjoy "bumming around".
Most of you think I'm crazy.
But, relaxing is really hard for me.
I'm trying to make myself wind down.
Mike's four months have been very different paced than mine. He has been working and then trying to find ways to be productive during his time off (going to the gym, working on college classes, reading books on raising kids).
Me. I have to keep myself very busy to keep from going crazy. So I work to keep the laundry and house clean, spend lots of time playing with the boys, then I hang out with friends. Often the boys time and the friend time overlap. Also, I think it's very important to serve others so that takes what time we have left.
I keep so busy because little boys that are bored will drive you nuts and they will wreck the house. So we keep activities going a lot.
Right now everyone is napping.
I think I will go outside and rest here in a minute. I've got a magazine full of beautiful pictures that I want to look at.
Mike has the rest of this week off then he is going to hit it hard at work. He will be flying often. In September he will be gone for a month and a half to LR, Ark. Then hopefully back home and will miss the next deployment. We'll see.
I've gotten a few pictures from the previous week. I'll post those up soon so you can see what life looks like with "Everybody here."