Friday, July 29, 2011

Lay Down Your Life

I am currently doing a Bible study with a group of ladies called "The Ministry of Motherhood". It has opened my eyes to so many truths about the high calling of motherhood and the fact that this job is not for the faint of heart.

In all my years of desperately wanting children, I would see the commercials of sleeping infants being tenderly rocked by their mothers or sweet holiday scenes that made my holidays seem so empty, and I would think that those peaceful times would be the overarching theme of motherhood. It is NOT! Those commercials lie! Those peaceful moments are few and far between. Motherhood is messy, exhausting, chaotic, irritating, repetitive.....but oh, so rewarding. I am grateful this morning for the two blessings that God placed in my life.

Anyway, back to my Bible study.... Each morning, we basically read a few verses and then apply those verses to motherhood. Today my verse was John 15:13 which reads, " Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

Did you see the important phrase? LAY DOWN HIS LIFE

This verse hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt the knot in my stomach. I felt the weight of the call on my life. This is serious stuff.

In my moments of complete irritation for picking up things all over my house for the "millionth" time or disciplining my children AGAIN and wanting to scream, "When are you going to get this?", or desperately trying to find some me time to exercise, date my husband, or just read a book, I am failing to LAY DOWN MY LIFE. I am failing.

It sounds so simple....LAY DOWN MY LIFE....In almost six years of being a mother, I haven't learned to lay down my life for the high calling of motherhood. I am involved in a greater good, something that is so much bigger than myself, bigger than today. The souls of my children are at risk as I model Christianity to them. Service is an important part of loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. They learn service from me. They will learn to serve out of complete joy and love or they will learn to serve with grumpiness. Jesus calls me to serve in a way that replaces self. He calls me to lay down myself, my wants, and my desires in service for my husband and my children.

I have never viewed this verse in relation to being a wife and a mother. Jesus is calling me to love my husband and my children so much that I will stop at nothing to serve the point that I will lay down my life.

I confess, I am not there yet. So today I am praying that during each moment of irritation, God would bring this verse to my mind...more specifically the phrase..."Lesley, LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE!"

Until next time...

Thursday, July 28, 2011


My husband has accepted a new job at our previous church as the Associate Pastor of Education and Youth. Yes, after six years of ministry at East Memorial Baptist Church, we are returning home to Shoal Creek.

When you leave a place of employment, you never expect to least we did not. It is amazing how this has come about and how God has taken us, we can't do that, to...that's an interesting thought, to...that would be really cool, to....let's start praying for God's will, to...yes, this is where we see ourselves, to....hurry up Lord and open this door, to...saying goodbye to so many friends at EMBC and saying hello to new and old friends at SCBC.

God is doing an amazing work at Shoal Creek. We were there this past Sunday and it was packed with people, most of whom we did not know, the worship was Spirit-filled, the sermon was convicting, and God was at work as many people were moved to the altar to pray, to join the church, or accept Jesus as Lord. We were amazed at how much change has occurred in the life of the church since we left 6 years ago. We are humbled and excited to be apart of what God is doing in this church and in this community.

Speaking of community, we have missed going to church in our community. We have been driving 25 minutes to Prattville to attend church and that has limited some of my ministry opportunities as a mom with young children. There are some things that I chose not to be a part of because I felt like we were constantly on the road, especially when gas went up to almost $4.00 per gallon. I am looking forward to having small groups meet in our home again and being fully involved in the ministry of the local church. I am excited for my children to see the Body of Christ in action. Reagan is also starting kindergarten in a few weeks and her school is just a few miles from our home and the church. We are looking forward to saying, "Hey, do you attend church anywhere?", when we meet people in the school, and being able to point them to the one right up the street. I also know that Reagan will love going to church and school with some of the same people. It will also be much more convenient to invite her little friends over to play or to take her to a friend's house.

We will be working with teenagers for a season and we have missed that. I am eager to teach youth girls again and have been preparing lessons for a few months now. I also plan to start a "mom group", similar to the ministry that I had at East Memorial. I need the fellowship and encouragement from other Christian moms. I don't have all the details worked out yet, but I would love to do a book club that will meet here at my house on a monthly basis.

We are so thankful to God for so many DIFFERENT reasons. This new calling has come at the perfect time....of course God is never late!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I am in the middle of a 5 day getaway from my children. Words cannot describe how much I have needed some time away. Time to just be with my husband. Time to have uninterrupted conversation. Time to sit quietly beside him. Time to sleep a little later than normal. Time to just be Lesley and not mommy. Time to eat a meal before it gets cold. Time to not change diapers or wipe bottoms. Time to not referee fights. Time to not answer questions all day long. Time to not clean constantly. Time to not plan 3 meals a day and then to listen to the various complaints about what has been cooked. Time to know that you will not be awakened in the middle of the night. Time to not run a thousand errands. Time to read and be self-reflective. Time to study my Bible. Time to be still and know that God is God.

I have discovered that I am an introvert of sorts. I not shy, but I am rejuvenated by time by myself. I don't like too many days of going. I don't like too many days of busy. I don't like too many hours of noise. When life gets crazy, I really like to retreat into my house and be still and quiet. I don't need the television on or any music playing. I just like the quiet. As a stay home mom, it is easy to plan days at home, but the stillness and the quiet are hard to come by. Some days I long for quiet.

Today, I am hanging out in a hotel room by myself. Gene left at 8:30 to go and speak at a youth camp and he will return around 3:00...maybe earlier....maybe later. I am elated, not because Gene is gone, but for the time alone. The time for quiet.

I have talked to my kids twice a day. They are wonderful, enjoying two nights with my parents and two nights with Gene's parents. Knowing they are doing well, sleeping well, and having fun make my time alone even better.

I am thankful today for complete solitude.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What I Am Learning

It has been over 3 months since I have written a blog entry, so I thought I would share some of what I have been studying and learning in my time with God. I have been reading a great deal on the calling of motherhood since that is my full-time profession. If you are a Christian mom, I highly recommend these books:

  1. 1.The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

  2. The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

  3. Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham, Jr.

I desperately want to bring God glory in the area of motherhood, and most days I feel like a complete failure. A failure in the sense that Reagan and Gracen are with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I am their constant model of Christianity. We all know that so much more is "caught rather than taught" and I wonder what I am truly teaching them. I know that I cannot stay "up" all the time. I'm human. I get tired. I get frustrated. I get lonely when Gene has to be out of town or works long hours. I get selfish. I get snappy. You get the idea. These are not behaviors that I want to teach my girls.

I want them to learn to be joyful in all things, to sacrifice for the greater good, to trust God in all situations, to be content with what they have, to love one another, to love themselves...knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, to rise above fear, to trust and not worry, to fall in love with a very Holy God who expects His children to live a life worthy of His calling, etc. These things overwhelm me and when I have a day when I am snappy, for example, I feel guilty for not displaying a constant joy and peace before their little eyes.

I am learning in my failures that I have to be quick to go to God, confess my sin, and ask forgiveness, and I have to go and ask forgiveness from my daughters. The second seems to be a much more humbling process. I have done this enough that now when I raise my voice, Reagan will say, "Mommy, you are not using self-control with your voice and that does not please God", to which I would like to respond, "Oh, hush...put a cork in it!" But, I cannot say that because she is right. God uses these moments to remind me that my girls do learn from my imperfections.

The books that I mentioned are changing my view of motherhood from a season that I "get through" to a calling for my life. The calling is to biblically disciple my children. This means that I use the moments of my day to point them to Jesus, to teach them everything that I know about life and godliness, to model Christianity, and teach a Biblical worldview rather than a cultural worldview. As a mom, I can teach them lots of good things like good manners, good hygiene, success in school, excellence in dance or sports.....But if I fail to teach them to love God greatly, then I have failed...plain and simple. I have to focus on the things that have eternal value.

Through these books, I am learning that I have to cling to Jesus through daily Bible reading and prayer. I can NOT pass on something to my children that I do not have myself. I am still committed to rising early in the morning to spend time with my Creator, getting to know Him through His Word, and pouring out my heart to Him in prayer. But, I have also come to realize that my children don't see me spending that time with God because they are sleeping. Yes, that personal time is still vitally important, but to model these spiritual disciplines, I have to have a little Bible time with them during the day, not just at bedtime with Dad, as well as talk to them about my own Bible time. When Reagan wakes up in the morning, I try to say, "Let me show you what I read this morning in God's Word." I then read from my Bible and from my prayer journal to model this back and forth relationship with God. I want my girls to know that God has to consume our lives...not just our Sunday morning. I think that is why so many teenagers and college students fall away from the church. According to researchers, between 70 and 88 percent of Christian teens are leaving the church by their second year of college. That means that 8 out of 10 do not continue in their faith. According to Voddie Baucham, the reason is because religion is compartmentalized to Sunday only and minimal weight is given to spiritual matters in our daily lives. I do not want Reagan and Gracen to be in that percent and so I press on.

Philippians 3:13-14
"Brethen, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I truly miss my blog.
I miss sharing what God is teaching me. I have all these thoughts rolling around in my head with no where to share them.
I miss sharing pictures of my kids.
I miss sharing what is going on in my world.

I am debating on whether or not I should return to the blog world.

Any thoughts from anyone?