Earlier this week, I got an email that asked "what if Jesus had been in such a hurry that he walked past the woman at the well and said, “How are you?” then just walked right on by?"
And then this morning reading this is my bible study I came across this.... "I think of how Jesus lived. I've heard many a sermon on what a busy man Jesus must have been. I'm not so sure about that. He had demands pressing on Him from every direction, but he wasn't busy in the same way we are. He wasn't running from meeting to meeting or from practice to practice. He very well might have spent many nights sitting with a group of friends over dinner, lingering for hours and hours, just talking about life. By today's standards, that might even be called lazy and self indulgent. But what mattered to Jesus was PEOPLE- listening to them, loving them, and helping them. He was busy with the slow work of taking time to care for people. He was never too busy too stop and help someone. I want to be like that. But in my dreadfully busy life, I hear myself singing along with that Veggie Tales song from the story of the Good Samaritan: Busy, busy, dreadfully busy.... Much much too busy for you"
It made me think of my little brother, Aaron. He annoys the crap out of me because he refuses to live on anyone else's time table or schedule and he's hours late to almost everything. But he always has time to love on and listen to people. I admire the way he always make time to love the people in his life and is willing to set aside his own schedule to step inside other people's life!
This week I have been "dreadfully busy" and distracted by things from people. Last night me and the kids (not Drew) played hookie from some other responsibilities we had... we went to library, borrowed a radio Disney CD, and then had an impromptu dance party (really I walked in on Jimso dancing and then Ashlyn and I joined him and got our silly on). It was the most fun I have had in months! Putting aside running from meeting to meeting or thing to thing and just enjoying the precious people in my life is something I need to do more. And by the way, dancing to the Macerena, Kung Fu Fighting, and the Cha Cha slide is a pretty good aerobic workout too!
There is a quote from Spurgeon that I love... "A good character is the best tombstone. Carve your name on hearts <3 not marble."
Sometimes we just need to slow down and take time for what matters most in life.... PEOPLE!
TONIGHT we will have sign up's for our new fall Sunday school electives!!! We are going to limit the class size to 12 students per class. If the class you want is full this time around, don't worry you can catch it next time (we will be rotating through several times). Here are your choices (drum roll please)....
1. Be Transformed~Taught by Dusty Crabtree and Dondi Rodgers
In the "Be Transformed" series, we will be exploring common beliefs we have, whether we realize them or not, about our salvation, God, and ourselves and how those beliefs affect us. We will work at replacing the lies we've believed with God's truth, which is truly a freeing experience! The last few lessons also deal with letting the Spirit live through you and helping you control your emotions. I'm excited to be able to share these life-"transforming" lessons with you
2. Road Trip~ Taught by Belinda Lechtenberg and Rob Sisk
How much time do you spend each day thinking about yourself and what you need/want? How much of your life is focused on you? Well Road Trip is your chance to get out of the box and serve other people. Each week we will take a road trip to a new destination and do something entirely for someone else... what kind of road trips well..... it could be pulling weeds, serving communion, washing windows, rocking babies, singing...... you name it we can do it!!! This class is for the brave adventurous types!!
3. Hope Lives~ Taught by Tiffanie Lenhart and Christy Ausley
Jesus said the poor would be with us always. But he never mentioned ignoring them. POVERTY. The sheer size of the problem pins overwhelmed Christians to their couches. What can we do? Where should we start? And is the occasional short term mission trip enough? This 5 week series will show you God's heart for the poor, prompt you to examine your own heart, and hopefully move you to respond. This is a video and discussion based study that has an optional daily devotional for purchase for those wanting to go EVEN deeper into God's heart and God's word. By the end of the study, you will DISCOVER what keeps you from engaging in global issues, EXPLORE what scripture really says about the poor, UNDERSTAND the true nature of poverty, DRAW CLOSE to the poor through prayer, and RESPOND to God's voice as he speaks to you about poverty.
4. God is Here~ Taught by Jake Lenhart and Tristan Swang
What if your God connection was always on? You know that perfect feeling? That life is good moment on the open highway with the windows down and the radio up, when the perfect song comes on and you sing along with the carefree, top of your lungs abandon? When you and contentment and life well up from somewhere deep in your soul? What if you could live that way? A 17-century monk named Brother Lawrence figured out how, and wrote about it in the devotional classic, The Practice of the Presence of God. He found a way to connect with God moment by moment, to experience the joy of His divine presence every minute of every day-whether during deep, contemplative prayer or while washing a sink full of dishes. In this class we will unearths that 17th century wisdom and remixes it into a 21st century guide to everyday life. We will explore how to take Brother Lawrence's original writings, and apply it to your life today and show you how to connect with a God who's always available.
One of the things that we learned in our foster care parenting classes is the importance of establishing structure and a concrete set of rules for our family.... that way when new children come into our home, they have a set of clear expectations to refer to. At first I thought it was kind of dumb (especially since we will be doing infants) but the idea has really grown on me. Everyone needs and craves rules and boundaries in life. Josh Mayo wrote a really good book about growing up as a youth minister's family called "Help! I'm Raising My Kids While Doing Ministry" and in that he too suggested establishing a family creed.
A few nights ago, Jake and I were watching Glen Beck interview Rev Run (from Run DMC and Run's House) and although he presented a lot of ideas I do not agree with.... he also suggested that you run your family much like you would run a business (with family meetings, family manuals with policies and procedures). So after stewing on it a bit, we came up with a Lenhart family creed (more like goals for our family and the kind of atmosphere/ culture we would like to see in our home and less like "rules" set in stone). So here is what we have come up with so far....
Lenhart Family Creed/ Rules for Family Life
1.Choices in life are everything! Every choice has a natural consequence (good or bad). Parents are here to guide you and empower you to make healthy choices that will lead you into becoming a responsible adult. We choose our destiny. Choose joy. No person or circumstance has the power to impact your happiness without your permission to do so.
2.Daily time with the Lord (although sometimes unfeeling or routine) is the cornerstone of your spiritual walk and the “oxygen” of life. We must fight and protect each other’s quiet time and spiritual wellness. We must go to battle for each other in prayer daily and remember that we have an enemy who would like to devour us (especially by attacking the family unit).
3.LOVE IS SPOKEN HERE! Ephesians 4:29 guides our daily conversations. We only speak words that build each other up and encourage each other. Our home is a refuge and a safe place for each other and others.
4.In regards to all media influences (music, TV, movies, books, etc), Psalm 101:3 is the standard, “I will set before my eyes, NO vile thing.”
5.All relationships require grace; therefore grace (unmerited favor) will be given freely and DAILY.
6.Because we are painfully aware of our shortcomings and weaknesses, we need to embrace correction (constructive criticism) and the art of apologies. Every proper apology consists of three components: admitting the wrong, asking for forgiveness, and then asking what I can do to make the situation better.
7.No member of this precious family is here by accident. God has hand created this family together for greater purposes and greater things. Though friends come and go, family is FOREVER! We remain deeply committed to each other. The Lenhart family is your God given anchor in life and your “cheering squad” that is always in your corner in life’s battles.
8.In a world of self centeredness, we choose to “throw the one starfish back in.” Our daily prayer is to be “Jesus with skin on” to those around us. Knowing that treasures of this world are temporary and could be gone tomorrow; we choose to invest in people rather than things. We are very blessed and according to Luke 12:48, “he who has been given much, much will be required”. We have a responsibility to care for the people and things God has loaned us or entrusted us with.
9.Priorities determine all decisions (whether big or small). God first, family second, work/ school/ friends third.
10. Finally, we are not our own, we were bought at a price and must remember “he is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose."
The last few days I have been evaluating my parenting skills and falling short of my own standards. It kind of started on Saturday when I was trying to overcome a case of guilt because on that day I missed not one but two of Jimso’s soccer games (which then lead me to realize that although he has been playing soccer for 4 weeks, I have attended 0 , count them, 0 games). All week long, I found myself having to be in two places at one time and since cloning myself is not scientifically possible (yet), I came to realize some things are going to have to change before I lose my sanity and /or my children end up in a lifetime of therapy due to my poor parenting skills, poor time management skills, and my inability to say “no” when I need to. Here’s a sample of parenting report card lately…
• I lose my temper because my youngest son has taken 45 minutes to brush his teeth in morning and thrown a severe loop in our tight morning schedule = Bad Mom
• My daughter and oldest son actually want to spend time hanging out with me in the evening= Good Mom, but I have too much to do and don’t make it in there until its already past bedtime= Bad Mom
• I send lunch money (BEFORE I start getting ugly notes about the negative balance) and fill out the field trip permission slip on the first day it comes home (which I have graciously volunteered to help with)= Good Mom
• I am 20 minutes late to my son’s football game, sit and cheer obnoxiously on the opposing team’s side of the bleachers, and embarrassingly insist on waving at him until he realizes we are in fact there = Bad Mom
• Because of a schedule that is completely unmanageable, I have yet to have one meaningful conversation with their Dad all week long = Bad Mom
• My baby reminds me that he loves me to the “moon and back” as I tuck him into bed= Good Mom
Whether it is my own perfectionist standards that I am failing to meet or that annoying little Proverbs 31 woman that seems to be reminding me over and over how short I am falling, I don’t know but I do know that this particular season we are in is teaching me to slow down or else. Sometimes saying “no” to one thing means being able to say “yes” to something else that matters most (which usually mean my precious family). Proverbs 31:28 says, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:” I learned this weekend at DIVA day, that the word for blessed in that verse means is “Asher” and means “happy”. If you asked my children or husband to describe me in the last few days, I am pretty sure “happy” would not be on the list. But when they are grown up and look back on their childhood and the woman that raised them, I hope that they would describe me as “happy.” Not tired, not worried, not stressed, not organized, not clean, not really busy…. Just happy. I want them to be able to say “my mom was really really happy”. Cuz we all know, “if Momma aint happy, aint no one happy”
I am a nurse and most importantly mom of 6 precious children( 2 are homegrown, 1 on loan,& 3 are hand picked). Drew (age 15) Ashlyn (age 13) We have adopted 3 Haitian miracles Jimso (age10), Jackson (age 13) a&Jedone (age 14) We also have a foster daughter who is a constant source of joy!We are passionate about orphan/ foster care. My husband is the lead pastor at Cherokee Hills Christian Church in Oklahoma City.