Saturday, May 30, 2009

"How Can I Help Her?" - Tip #4

Just Do It!
Instead of saying, "Let me know if you need anything...a meal or someone to watch the kids." Say, "I would like to bring you a meal this week, which day & time would work best for you?" or "I would like to take your kids to the park on Saturday, would that be o'kay?" She is most likely overwhelmed with all that is going on in her life. She can't even think straight so she probably won't have any immediate answers when she's asked, "How can I help you?" or "What do you need?" As the old Nike Ad. said, "Just Do It!" Bring over meals, babysit their kids, do their gardening, give gas cards & gift cards to local restaurants. I even heard of a group of friends pitching in to hire a maid to clean their friend's house.
Our friends, Mike & Robin, were a huge blessing to us when Christian was in the hospital. Mike would just call Kempton up and ask him to go to lunch. Robin would bless Christian with gifts for his bedside and also give me gifts. They bought us a gas card because we had to travel each day to the hospital. They did all of this without asking. We felt so encouraged & loved by their service to us. So, do whatever you can to help your friend's family. They will appreciate any effort you do to show you care.

Molly Piper wrote a detailed list of "
10 Tips for Bringing Meals to a Grieving Friend." It is very informative & insightful.

(Read the previous posts in this series.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Schedule and Priorities

The following is today's devotional from Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

“They want me to help decorate the church Saturday night, but I can’t even get my own house straightened up! What should I do?”

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: There are a lot of books and seminars on time management, but the best counsel comes from God Himself. I’m learning to submit my calendar and daily schedule to the Lord to seek His will for my priorities.

When interruptions come, I ask Him for wisdom to know whether they’re from Him or whether I should avoid them as unnecessary distractions. I try to remember Proverbs 16:3: “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

There will probably never be enough time in a day for you to finish your whole to-do list. There definitely won’t be time for you to do everything everybody else wants you to do. But there will always be enough time for you to do everything on God’s to-do list for your day. When is the last time you asked for His direction?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"How Can I Help Her?" - Tip #3

Pray, Pray, Pray
Many people think, “I guess all I can do is pray.” On the contrary, praying is not the least thing that you can do, but the best. I really believe that the supernatural peace and joy that I have had during my journey is the evidence of God hearing the prayers of His people on my behalf. The Word says, “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6:18). We must pray for one another at all times with all types of prayers. However, how do you pray for a mom in a situation that we have been discussing? First, ask her how you can specifically pray for her. In addition, here are some other things that you can pray.

1. Her walk with the Lord – If she’s not a believer, pray that the Lord will use this situation to draw her to Himself. If she is a believer, pray that her faith will not fail. Pray Romans 15:13 for her.

2. Her marriage – Pray that her and her spouse will be grace-filled & peaceful towards one another. Pray thay they would turn to one another for comfort & encouragement and not away from one another. Pray that they would set aside alone time with one another to cultivate intimacy & oneness. Pray Col 3:12-15 for them.

3. Her children – Pray that they would be covered with God’s protection and favor. Pray that the siblings would not be bitter or jealous of the time & care given to the child in need but instead grow a loving heart of understanding and have an increased desire to serve and help. Pray Numbers 6:24-26 for them.

4. Her family time – Depending on the situation, they may not be able to spend a lot of time together as a family. Pray that those times would be sweet moments of grace, unity, peace, and joy. Pray that each member would be given the grace to accept their family’s “new normal”. Pray Ephesians 3:14-21 for them.

5. Her child in need – Pray for healing of the body &/or mind according to God's will. Pray that they would grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Pray that they would feel God’s love through their family & others. Pray that the works of God will be displayed in them (John 9:3).

(Read the previous posts in this series.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Carysse Graduated!!!

From Baby Storytime that is!
We actually had this last storytime at an elderly home. What a blessed opportunity to bring bright smiles to the residents' faces as they watched the kids sing, dance, and play. I’ve taken Carysse to storytime at the library since she was 9 months. It’s been a joy watching her love for books blossom over these 15 months. Now that she is 2, she has “graduated” out of baby storytime. This toddler stage is exhausting, but I desire to cherish every moment of it. I want to do more cuddling with her and reading to her because way to soon this stage will be over. Just being at the elderly home reminded me about the brevity of life.

So, I will read with my baby girl

While she is here in my arms

I don't want to miss even one book

'Cause all too soon we’ll reach the last chapter

And she'll be gone

Monday, May 18, 2009

"How Can I Help Her?" - Tip #2

Understand that she may grieve
Her child may be living; however she may still grieve for various reasons. She may grieve the death of a dream (i.e. all the things she & her husband had planned for their child before they found out he/she would have special needs). She may grieve the easier life or typical family that she once had. She may also grieve the abrupt end to a pregnancy. For example, here are some thoughts that I wrote down a month after my pregnancy ended.

March 13, 2003
I can’t help but to be constantly reminded of my grief. I had to buy an insulated bag to carry my bottles to the hospital after I pump. Kempton & I went to Babies R Us. I remembered that I was in there just a week before when I was still pregnant. At the sight of the first pregnant woman, I burst into tears.
At another time, we were eating at a restaurant. As soon as I saw a pregnant woman, I played back in my mind the last time I was eating in a restaurant while I was pregnant. I became upset and thought, “I’m STILL suppose to be pregnant!”
It seems like I have a radar for all pregnant women & moms with babies. I see them EVERYWHERE! I want so much to be pregnant again. I truly miss the feel of my baby’s heartbeat, hiccups, and movements.
I am still in shock. My pregnancy came to a sudden stop as with the changing of a traffic signal but without the yellow warning light.

The grieving period looks different for every woman. It could last several weeks or even years. Be sensitive & patient towards your friend in this stage. She could be very moody; one day she may be cheerful and talkative and the next day she could be angry & withdrawn. Remember that “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, & endures all things” (I Cor. 13:7). Pray for the strength and wisdom on how to love her during this stage. You can also ask her how you can best provide encouragement & support to her. Some women won’t know, but others may actually have a few things to share.

(Read the previous posts in this series.)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

More Birthday Pics

Daddy-Daughter Bike Ride

Opening card from Grandma & Grandpa
Book from daddy

Dress from our sweet friends - The Hornings

Another book from daddy
Birthday Buddies

Christian's having lots of fun

Beautiful Birthday Girl & Her Balloon
Yummy Birthday Cake

Mommy & Daughter

See, my sister is 2!

Birthday Pose

Friday, May 15, 2009

Doubly Blessed

The Turner Family has the wonderful privilege of celebrating 2 birthdays today!!!

To my sweetie pie: Happy 34th Birthday!
You have always been the milk in my cereal bowl, but now you are also the chocolate chip in my granola bar. I love you more each day!

Kempton enjoying his favorite birthday gift.

To my sweet pea: Happy 2nd Birthday!
I can't believe you are already 2 years old! It seems like we just celebrated your 1st Birthday. Mommy loves watching you grow up, but you will always be my baby girl!

Carysse enjoying her favorite birthday gift.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"How Can I Help Her?" - Tip #1

That is a question I get often from friends who are seeking ways on how they can help a mom who has just experienced one or more of the following.

*Had a premature baby.
*Had a baby with a serious medical condition.
*Received the diagnosis of her child’s disability.

I have had the “special” blessing of wearing all of those hats. So, I want to start a series and share things that have helped me or would have greatly helped me.

#1 – Listen more, talk less. Talk as little as possible especially if you can’t relate. Every mom is different and every situation is different. No two women respond exactly the same way in a given situation. Even if you can somewhat relate, only talk when spoken through (i.e. when God leads you). The best present you can offer her is your presence. So, be slow to speak and quick to listen. There were so many people who tried to help me by coming up with what they thought I wanted to hear. Many times what they said caused me to feel worse than I already did. Contrary to Job’s friends, it’s a good idea to remember Prov. 21:23. It was such a blessing to me when my friends just sat and wept with me (Romans 12:15b). Also, in the initial stage, do not bombard her with theology. At this stage, she needs a friend not a theologian. The time will come when you will have plenty of opportunities to share many scriptures & words of encouragement (Prov. 15:23). At that time, God will bless your gracious words to be “like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Prov. 16:24).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Take a Stroll (or should I say Scroll) Down My Interesting Mother’s Day

1. I received this absolutely beautiful bouquet of flowers from my mom!
2. I received this crazy video from one of my closest friends in Texas. Shawn, you are too funny! Miss you much!
3. I spent the morning at the pediatrician's office with both of my sick kids. My hubby had to be at church because he was in charge of leading both services.
4. Kempton came home and said one of my gifts is to have a mommy day away and not to come back til dinner time. Yippee!!!
5. First, I had to go pick up my kids’ antibiotic meds. The pharmacist probably thought I was one of those paranoid mommies because I had them double check Carysse’s dose with her weight and asked if it tasted good or needed flavoring because this was her very 1st time needing medication other than Tylenol.
6. Then, I went here. This is where I ALWAYS go on my mommy breaks!
7. When I got home, Kempton had prepared a delicious dinner for us--You're a sweetie!
8. Then, he showed me that he had completed his entire “Honey, Will You Please Do” list--Way to go babe!
9. After dinner, we went here to get our favorite ice cream and drove around Lake Harriet & Lake Calhoun.
10. We returned home and I was completely exhausted. What a Blessed Day!

Do you have anything interesting to share about your Mother’s Day???

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

God's Special Grace since 2/10/03

My friend, Sue Hume, asked if I would be a guest on her blog. I enjoyed answering the interview questions because it gave me an opportunity to reflect on God's Goodness and how He's changed my heart over these 6 years. Thanks Sue for blessing me with this privilege!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Final Words: Feminist vs. Biblical Influence

I understand that this may have been a hard series for some of you. Someone may have an unsaved husband and someone may have a saved husband that is not spiritually leading the family. No matter the case, we are to be our husband's helper and submit to him (unless we're asked to sin).

If you have an unsaved husband:
1. Pray that the Lord will give you the strength and desire to have pure and respectful conduct towards him. I Peter 3:1-2
2. Pray that the Lord will guide you to a spiritual mentor who you can pray with and who will keep you accountable in this area.
3. Pray continuously for your husband's salvation.

If you have a husband who is not spiritually leading the family:
1. Pray that the Lord will give you a selfless, serving, & submissive heart towards your husband.
2. Pray that the Lord will help your husband to see areas in his life that need changing.
3. Pray that the Lord will give you the strength to humbly & graciously share your concerns with your husband.
4. Pray that the Lord will lead you two to a small group where the wives encourage one another in their biblical role and the men do the same.
5. Pray that the Lord will lead you two to an older couple who can be a Godly example/mentor/accountability for you two.

These are just a few practical ways. Of course there are many others. Seek the Lord for what He desires for you to do. May each of our actions towards our husbands be "very precious in God's sight" (I Peter 3:4).

Part 4: Feminist vs. Biblical Influence

How We Have Been Influenced - 10. "He makes me so mad. I'll show him what it's like." (She cries, pouts, becomes angry, manipulates to have her way)

How We Can Change - 10. "What he has done is wrong. My responsibility is to overcome evil with good and to biblically confront him in love with his sin." (Romans 12:17-21)

How We Have Been Influenced - 11. "I want to be the director of the Crisis Pregnancy Center. God is calling me to do that and my husband doesn't want me to. I must obey God rather than man!"

How We Can Change - 11. "If God wants me to be the director of the Crisis Pregnancy Center, He will open that door of opportunity and my husband will be all for it. It is more important that I be holy before the Lord by submitting graciously to my husband's authority than it is that I be director of the pregnancy center." (1 Peter 3:1-6)

How We Have Been Influenced - 12. "Can you believe that our pastor won't let my friend teach the couples Sunday School class. How ridiculous! She is the best teacher in the entire church!"

How We Can Change - 12. "According to the Bible, women are not to teach and exercise authority over the men. My pastor is right. I need to support his decision." (1 Tim. 2:12)

~Taken from a handout by Martha Peace at BBC Women's Conference 4-25-09

Monday, May 4, 2009

Part 3: Feminist vs. Biblical Influence

How We Have Been Influenced - 7. "My children are lazy and disrespectful. There's nothing I can do. I'm just their maid."

How We Can Change - 7. "My children are lazy and disrespectful. My responsibility is to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. I can glorify God whether they do or not." (Deut. 6:4-9, Eph 6:4)

How We Have Been Influenced - 8. "I deserve better than this."

How We Can Change - 8. "If I got what I really deserved, it would be death and hell. I am here to serve the Lord however He chooses." (Romans 5:8-11, 6:23)

How We Have Been Influenced - 9. "Nobody is going to tell me what to do."

How We Can Change - 9. "Lord, let my desire be more to please You and for You to have Your way in my life than it is for me to rebel against You." (Psalm 19:13-14, 119:9-16)

~Taken from a handout by Martha Peace at BBC Women's Conference 4-25-09

Friday, May 1, 2009

Part 2: Feminist vs. Biblical Influence

How We Have Been Influenced - 4. "Women are not inferior to men. I have just as much right to my opinion and way as he does."

How We Can Change - 4. "There is no partiality with God - whether we are male or female. But that doesn't mean I have a right to demand my opinion. My role is to be under my husband's authority. God knows better than anyone how I can glorify Him." (1 Cor 11:3, 7-8)

How We Have Been Influenced - 5. "I can't take much more of this. Nobody cares about me."

How We Can Change - 5. "I am to be thankful for all things for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me." If I'm not like this, I need to pray for a thankful heart. (1 Thes. 5:18, Phil 2:14-15)

How We Have Been Influenced - 6. "I'm going to do this for my family, but I resent it."

How We Can Change - 6. "I am going to serve my family and do my work heartily as unto the Lord." (Col 3:23-24)

Note: In Martha Peace's handout, most of the 12 points did not have the scripture references written. Although her points were all biblical, I added the references so you would know that they were not her opinion but God's :-).