Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pause: How do you prepare for Christmas

The Christmas Season is upon us! Christmas music is playing, twinkling lights are shining, and there is peace on Earth… or is there? While every Christmas story starts like this blog, real life during the holidays often becomes nothing more than hustle and bustle. I have spent the past few years changing the way Christmas looks in the Rainwater house. My children now only get 3 gifts each. If 3 gifts were good enough for Jesus, that is surely enough for my little ones. I have also created an Advent calendar (click to link to my Advent Calendar). Each day the kids pull out a box and in it is a scripture that is part of the Christmas story and an “activity”… things as simple as “watch a Christmas movie” or “read a Christmas book” to more time consuming activities such as “make Christmas ornaments” or “donate toys to the needy” or “buy something for the person behind you in line”. Most activities are aimed to point us back to the reason for the season… Jesus’ birthday!

This weekend at church, the new sermon series encouraged us to “Pause” and prepare our hearts for Christmas. I had just done a “double check” with my kids earlier that morning, so I thought I was set. I asked them “What is Christmas? And why do we celebrate?” My heart jumped for joy when they didn’t answer presents or  trees or Santa or other symbols of Christmas that too often become the focus. They quickly responded that is was Jesus’ Birthday! Whew… or maybe not!

As I sat there in church, I felt the Lord ask me “Christie, what have YOU done to prepare your heart for Christmas?” With young children, I know I am in a season where my focus is mostly on them and I know that this season will pass all too soon. But, with that being said, I personally still need to prepare MY heart to welcome the Savior. I am not sure exactly what this will look like yet, but I am surely praying about it. I am doing my best to posture my heart like the wise men to look, purposefully look, on how I can offer gifts and celebrate the King, and to follow where ever He may lead me. I am wanting to prepare like Mary… to be ready to say yes to any call He has upon my life. To prepare like Joseph and understand that things may not look like the perfect situation, but God is aware and present and using it for His glory. What do you do to prepare your heart for Christmas? I would love some ideas!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Prince!

Haley was the first of the little ones up this morning. She usually is. We started our morning routine... I pick her up out of her crib, sit down on my glider with her on my lap, and we snuggle. After a minute or two the first word out of her mouth is "Bible" as she wants me to read her a Bible story. I am not sure why she does this every morning, but it's so sweet and also a great reminder to me of the best way to start one's day. We then move on to some of her other favorite books... God loves Haley, If You Give a Pig a Pancake, and a new recent favorite, I Love You As Much.

As we were reading, we heard the door knob turn, and there was an adorable little boy with his blankie draped over his arm and a golf ball in his hand. So precious! Haley jumped down to greet him and then he crawled into my lap. He snuggled and and looked up to me and said, "Mommy, I'm a Prince!" I smiled and said, "Yes, you are! And if you are a Prince, who is your King?" and Daniel grinned and answered, "Jesus!"

It was such a sweet moment; I wanted to capture it forever! The next thing he said was, "I want to go golfing again." Yup, he's a boy, just like any other boy. But he's special because of who he is and whose he is. Sometimes I wonder how different life would be for the church if we woke up each morning and reminded ourselves of who we are and whose we are. 

Daniel Wesley, 3 year old

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I have heard statistics that people that spend time with the Lord each day in prayer and reading His Word are 50% more peaceful and joyful... and I believe it! I find the same is true for myself; and who couldn't use more joy? more peace? I sure can!

Each person's quiet time looks different, but for me, specifically in this season of life, my quiet times are not your average. I remember the days of sitting in a cozy spot with a cup of hot tea, my Bible (with Bible cover that I made myself), and a journal and pen in hand. I don't even think that scene would be possible if I tried with three young kids, including two that are ages two and under. So, for now, when I awake in the morning, I roll over, grab my phone, and pull up the Bible app on my phone for a read before I hit the ground running.

Yesterday morning, as I rolled over to grab my phone I found a guest had just arrived into my room... my sweet, red headed, two year old Daniel. I pulled him into bed with me and told him we were going to read something. As I pulled up the app I hit "Verse of the Day" instead of my Bible reading plan and up popped the following -
Mathew 6:34
 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
So being the teacher I am, I started to break down this verse for Daniel in "kids terms". I told him that God is in control of everything so we don't need to be worried or afraid of... of... I suddenly found myself struggling to say the word "anything" to him. Really? We don't need to worry about anything? But I should be able to worry about... and it's reasonable to have some fear with... Nope. There is no * with fine print in the Bible.

I think sometimes we actually make life harder than it is. What if we did not worry about ANYTHING? What if we really did love all our neighbors as our self? Jesus said how amazing is the faith of a child... I think it's time to get back there. Daniel had no problem with what I said. He didn't question it or ask for exceptions. I want THAT faith!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Grace and Strength for the Young and Old

So this morning I was reflecting on my parenting and praying for some divine wisdom. The Lord revealed the following to me...
Why is it that the moments I feel too tired to "parent" seem to coincide with the moments my children are too tired to obey? #InChristalone
I decided to post my new revelation in the world of social media and I was quickly encouraged by the best friends in the world - "Hang in there"; "Agree.Agree." etc. So thankful for real friends who are in the thick of it with me. This parenting thing isn't for wimps, and it isn't for loners either. It sure takes a village.

The cool thing about this word is the angle of interpretation the Lord gave to me. In those moments when I want to yell and punish, I probably need to remember that we all need more Jesus. He wants me to shine that Jesus to my kids at that moment. I am so thankful for grace that is sufficient and for HIS strength which is perfect when mine is gone (2 Cor 12:9). I know I can gently correct by pointing my kids to the same grace and strength I need to parent that they will need to obey. 

The Lord truly is our everything!