Pride, Patience and Potty Training

I was planning on writing a Sunday Sermon post this week, but was a little side tracked. Okay a lot side tracked. This week we decided to get serious and start potty training Sophia. Since the baby is due in a few months we thought it was better to get Sophia out of diapers so we would only have one in diapers instead of two. The cost was a big factor, but also Sophia is big enough to learn. I knew that the task of potty training would be difficult, but I guess just like any other task or big project you just never know what you are getting into until you are in it.

I am always talking with mom’s about potty training and looking at websites with their tips and good advice about potty training, but there really is no substitute for the actual process. It is long, it is hard and it is frustrating. I am proud of my daughter for how well she is doing. Overall it is much better than a previous time when we tried it and it just wasn’t time. So, I am happy that things are progressing, but I am just never prepared for the disappointment I have in myself. At times I wonder, Do other mom’s feel like this?  Do other mom’s find themselves crying because they are cleaning the 5th dirty pants in 2 hours? Do they feel like they are going to have to chase their kid around every ten minutes for the rest of their lives asking them if they have to use the potty to avoid accidents?

Last night as I laid in bed, exhausted, I was trying to think why I was so frustrated with myself. Why is this so hard? Think about it. I’ve changed diapers for the last 2 years, so why so frustrated when I am changing wet pants? As I was praying and feeling sorry for myself I realized, I wasn’t frustrated at the process, it was my pride that was frustrated. As a mom we all want to feel like we are successful. We want bragging rights that our child learned how to use the potty like a pro. We want to show other people how great we are at teaching our children. How good we are at producing a result.

What I realized is that I need to let go of my pride and realize that Sophia using the potty is just as much in God’s control as everything else. I need patience to wait on the Lord to help her with this new task. I need to fall on my knees and ask God to give me patience. Patience with Sophia, patience with the timing of when things are going to happen, and patience to work hard day after day. But also, I need to use this process as a teachable moment to help my daughter realize she needs God. Why not pray with her and ask God to help her use the potty. Why not take a minute when she wets herself and explain that we need God’s help when we make mistakes. That God cares about us and wants to help us when we fail and use that to show her pieces of the gospel.

So, today is a new day of training. Not just for Sophia, but for me. I need patience. I need to stamp out my pride. I need God.

I Don’t Know About This New Baby

Today we had our 20 week ultrasound. They check the heart, kidneys, and overall development. But the real reason we go is to find the gender. I’ve been asked several times over the last couple of weeks what the baby is, boy or girl! I was hoping today to finally have a definitive answer, but no such luck! The baby was moving all around. In addition, the cord was right in between the legs (just like before) and the legs were crossed. So, we just don’t know.
This is not too surprising for me since there has been nothing ordinary about this pregnancy, but I was really hoping we would find out. Derick and I have the hardest time agreeing on baby names and now we have to pick two just in case.
The doctor’s were somewhat sure it was a girl, but really couldn’t give us a definite. Some people ask me if I have a intuition about it, but I never do. Well, I think sometimes I do, but I wind up being wrong. So, we will see if in a couple of weeks we will go back for another shot or wait to be surprised.
My sister-in-law gave me the most encouraging thoughts when I told her the situation she said, “He or she is definitely known to God, and I guess God wants us to know later.” Thank you Becky. I like the thought of God having his special secret with my newest little one. I hope to know soon what I am having, but if we don’t find out until the birth it will be one great surprise. It also might give me some kind of distraction while in labor.

Sunday Sermons – Baptism

I am the first to admit that I cry at everything. Well, really Derick is the first to admit that about me, so I guess I’m the second to admit it. I cry at weddings, I cry reading books, I cry during sad movies and even not so sad ones (i.e. Toy Story 3).  It is how I have always been. I blame my mom. She was known to cry as a child during episodes of Popeye. I wish I could blame the fact that it is because I’m a mom or because I’m pregnant, but the truth is I’ve always been this way. Although I will admit it has gotten worse after having Sophia. But one thing I am not ashamed to say I cry about is baptisms. Every time our church has a baptismal service I always tear up. However, if I am going to cry at Toy Story 3 (which in light of eternity doesn’t matter) why not be touched by the testimonies of fellow brothers and sisters who have been changed by the work of Christ and are identifying with their Savior in baptism.

Normally we have our baptismal services on Sunday nights; however, this past Sunday we had our baptismal service on Sunday morning. It was a real treat to use our whole service to worship Christ and rejoice with those who were obeying Christ’s command to be baptized. There were four who were baptized yesterday and my heart was filled with joy and awe of God’s grace and salvation. It was amazing to hear testimony after testimony of how Christ has transformed lives with His word and by His blood.

There was a father and son who were able to be baptized together. The father was a man who’s testimony I recently posted in a previous post. His son, another testimony I shared earlier who recently came to Christ at camp. A woman in her 50s who we have seen grow in the Lord in wonderful ways. And a 12 year old girl who was the flower girl in my wedding when 6 years old. Just amazing at the diversity and the richness of their testimonies. God can save anyone at any time and it was so awesome to watch. Praise the Lord for His saving grace.

The Villain With a Thousand Faces by Kevin DeYoung

Below is an article that Keven DeYoung posted on his facebook page. I love his teachings and articles. I hope you enjoy the below article.

 

Theodore Dalrymple is one of my favorite writers.  He’s a retired British physician who often worked in inner-city hospitals and prisons.  Given these settings, he saw and heard a lot of nasty stuff over the years.  In one of his essays he talks about how he used to believe people were basically good (Dalrymple’s not a Christian).  He had been to countries where dictators ruled and people were massacred, but he thought unless you have these tyrants widespread evil was impossible.  He gradually changed his mind after hearing countless stories of the horrible things his patients had experienced and done.  “Perhaps the most alarming feature of this low-level but endemic evil, the one that brings it close to the conception of original sin, is that it is unforced and spontaneous.  No one requires people to commit it.”

 

Dalrymple says in a dictatorship you can understand people doing bad things to protect themselves.  But in a free country like Britain no one forces you to be wicked.  In fact, oftentimes you’ll be punished if you do evil.  And yet people freely choose to what is evil.  “Never again,” he writes, “will I be tempted to believe in the fundamental goodness of man, or that evil is something exceptional or alien to human nature” (Our Culture, What’s Left of It, 7-8).

 

Sin is in every human heart. It is the villain with a thousand faces.  It’s the man who gets a woman pregnant and leaves town.  It’s also the reputable family man who cuts down his wife and ignores his kids.  It’s the mean-spirited woman who talks bad about everyone, but it’s also the sweet lady who never says an unkind word but harbors all kind of resentment and grudges.  It’s the kid who swears at his parents and blows off everyone who tries to help.  It’s also the kid who gets straight A’s, keeps curfew, and smiles at church, but is one enormous bundle of pride and self-righteousness.

 

Sin is lust and greed and murder.  But sin is also impatience, petty self-absorption, and the need to control everyone and everything.  Sin is hating yourself because in your pride you want to be the most beautiful, the most intelligent, and the most athletic.  Sin is being disgusted with all the judgmental people in the world that you enjoy judging.  Sin is the self-importance we feel in our intellectual snobbery at those who are not as enlightened as we are, and in our aesthetic snobbery at those who don’t appreciate the fine things we appreciate.

 

Sin is preaching and serving and being a good Christian because others will notice and think well of us for it.  Sin is talking about other people’s faults more than praying for them.  Sin is refusing to give one inch of mercy to those who hurt us, even when we have been given miles of mercy in Jesus.  Sin is loving people to be liked by them and helping people so we can be applauded by them.  Sin is the laziness that we call a short attention span, the fear of man that we call anxiety, and the ignoring of God that we call busyness.

 

We desperately need the word “sin” in our vocabulary.  When a famous politician or athlete sins the mea culpa is almost always in the language of “I’m sorry to have disappointed so many people.”  Or, “I regret my error in judgment.”  Or, “I admit this has been a struggle for me and I am seeking help.”  Rarely, does anyone say “I sinned.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.”  Even as Christians we find ways to avoid the word sin.  We will speak of our imperfections, our flaws, our inadequacies, our dysfunctions, our weaknesses, our insecurities, and our growth edges.  But how often do we call sin “sin”?

 

The Bible says sin is the problem in the world.  We are rebellious traitors disloyal to our King.  We are ungrateful creatures thumbing our noses at the Creator.  We are foolish lovers going after other people and things that don’t satisfy.  We have polluted hearts that like what is bad and don’t like what is good, corrupted hearts that seek the glory of self instead of God. Sin is the besetting sin of us all.

 

Except for Jesus of course. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. For sin may have a thousand faces, but salvation has only one.

Coming home and Going HOME

Today was one of those Sundays where the presence of God is undeniable. It was a Sunday that I will not forget any time soon. I hope I never forget it.

Today we had some long lost members from our church return home to our congregation. One man we haven’t seen since he was about 10 years old. Now he is 24. His parents came when he was little, but then left our church. Since then this boy (now a man) fell away from the Lord and His teachings. He ran into all kinds of sin and trouble and as a result a lot of misery. In the last month he has found the Lord. Or should I say the Lord found him. He started to going to another church but was unable to meet with the pastor of the other church. He remembered our church from his childhood and reconnected with Pastor (my father-in-law). Amazing how the Lord brought us to his mind. He has been to every service since. I watched his face today and just saw a comfort and a feeling that he was home. Everyone who remembered him rejoiced at his return. We are praying for him and looking to help him in his growth with the Lord.

There was another family who returned home this Sunday. They were away for a while but have kept in touch here and there. The Lord led them back again this Sunday. There were tears and more rejoicing of there coming back. I love the fellowship we share in Christ. Both of these examples were of fellow brothers and sisters coming, in a sense, to a church home with their church family.

However, there was one more example of a precious sister in Christ who went HOME today. This wasn’t someone who came to be with the local church today, but someone who went to their eternal home. The woman struggling with cancer I spoke about in an earlier post went to be with the Savior this morning. She was such a dear woman. A woman of faithfulness and joy. I will miss her greatly as will a lot of people in our church, but mostly we are rejoicing that she is now with her Redeemer where there is no more pain or cancer.

In all of these instances the Lord was present. The Lord was glorified in a soul’s repentance, in Christian fellowship, and in bringing a daughter of grace into His very presence. The Lord is at work. He is working in lives of His beloved and I am so overjoyed and overwhelmed to see it happening.