Wednesday, May 20, 2009

# 1-ORANGE!

I promised to talk about things from my list and I will-after I share from my heart about my experience on the playground today.  A dear friend called this morning and invited us to the park for a picnic and playdate.  The cool thing is we haven't been able to do this in forever because our dates never work out and the other cool thing is this friend is one of Nathan's "girlfriends."  The other cool thing is that this friend is one of those very few people I can totally be myself with, I have a hard time doing that with everyone.  It's not about them, it's all about me, you know the stinky old self image deal.  Aims is about the only one I let myself just "be" with.  So it's nice to have someone like her around here.  BUT, I woke up having one of those really down days where I wanted to just stay in bed and cuddle with two little monkeys.  I guess God made her call me or I would still be in my sweats without a shower right now (Jim's so thankful for her!).  I got a move on despite my funk, worked out despite feeling like it's useless right now and actually got to the park only 10 minutes later than planned.  Nathan was so excited to see his girlfriend and eat his BK lunch, don't think he's even had one before.  Brady was excited to have my fries and his apples and his nuggets!  They ate quickly and voraciously attacked Springwood Park.  Fun, fun, fun!  Brady doesn't think there's anything that he can't do, he'll even tell you that.  Some of those climby things freak me out, his legs just don't stretch that far-geez, mine have a hard time stretching that far!!!  He was in that tubey thing trying to go up because he had seen Nathan do it and if Nathan can do it, Brady will try his best to do it. So there he is, trying hard to do it when three older chicks stand at the top of the tubey thing look down at him.  They then proceed to slide on down, right over my Brady.  I'm standing right there, HELLO?!!  Brady just lets it all pass, no sweat, he's used to falling and getting right back up, right?  He tries again, this time his big brother has noticed the big girls (about 7-8 years old, why aren't they in school?) so Nathan is behind him and his girlfriend is behind him.  Nathan is trying to boost Brady up and the big girls slide down AGAIN.  My crowd again is not too phased, I think I have smoke coming from my ears, but I try to let kids manage playground stuff.  Brady tries again with Nathan giving his bottom a boost.  The now titled MEGs (mean elementary girls) stand at the top of the tube and starting laughing.  One even says, "Let's make fun of them and laugh at them."  WHOA, now that's just not nice.  And Nathan tells them they are not being nice.  They continue laughing and my crowd continues pushing. Finally I crawl in the tube (no laughing at the image created with that one!) and begin to push a bum up the tube.  MEGs come back and start laughing until they see me and I respond with, "Must be easy to make fun of someone half your age."  I finish pushing my two bums up and Nathan's girlfriend makes it up on her own.  The MEGs continued to laugh at my boys throughout our time at the park until my friend and I were just done and ready to go.  Hate leaving a park because of three little mean elementary girls.  Seriously, now they will grow up to be mean adult women who treat others rudely.  Unless someone intervenes and changes their hearts which leads this brokenhearted mama into her discussion on ORANGE!  In a minute, though.  I must confess that I am SOOOO very proud of Nathan for standing up for his brother and his friend by telling those older girls that laughing at them was not nice.  He's one pretty amazingly awesome wonderful kid!  I'm blessed beyond measure to have those two guys.  And just this morning Nathan and I were talking about others and how we treat them.  My pastor talked a while ago about a classmate of his named Leonard and I was sharing that with Nathan.  The essence of the Leonard story is that there will be different people in this world; some will dress differently, wear glasses, smell funny, some may not walk well, some may be in wheelchairs, some may not be good readers, some may be have different colored skin, hair, eyes or no hair at all.  But, God made each and every one of them and He has called us to love them and treat them the way we want to be treated.  No matter what. Love God, Love People, that's what it's all about.  Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.  I got tons of support from my facebook friends.  But starting my day off in a funk and having my sweet, precious boys picked on is not great.  

ORANGE
Yep, it's a great, cheerful color, one of Jim's favorites and it can speak volumes for your ministry!  Last year our youth and childrens ministry team went ORANGE and tried to share that vision with the church.  I thought I had the vision, I understood it enough to explain it, but it was not in my heart.  It was not my passion, it was not transforming me or the way I want to do ministry.  If you're reading and thinking, oh, I'm not in ministry, this doesn't apply to me, you're wrong.  If you have children and you want to grow in teaching them to have a relationship with Christ, then you may want to read a bit more, I have a great tool for you.  After attending the ORANGE conference last month I now have the vision, I am transformed, I cannot wait to make it a contagious force within my church.  I want my entire church (and yours) to capture this ORANGE vision and create a change that will strengthen families.  

The ORANGE Conference is about bringing children and youth leaders together to guide and direct them on leading our children to Christ and a relationship with Him.  I just had a typo where I had REALationship.  Hmmm, not quite a typo is it?  Sorry, got distracted there.  I don't know about you, but there's nothing I want more in this world than for Nathan and Brady to have a real personal relationship with Him.  When they were first born I struggled with singing classic children's songs or Christian songs or reading Christian stories over secular stories.  I know, it shouldn't be that big of a deal, but I'm weird like that.  I realized two things.  1.  If I make sure God always has first place in their lives He's going to take care of everything else in their lives (from the alphabet to their future finances). 2.  He's going to take care of everything so we'll do a good mix of both! So far, I think it's working. :)

I experienced an amazing time of worship (love Steve Fee, Kristian Stanfill and Phil Wickham) and Francis Chan totally knocked my socks off!  I had breakout sessions with some people who are doing church in ways that made me say, I want us to do that, how can we do that???  My brain started going on overdrive and it's not slowing down!!  SMC watch out!  I heard some great speakers and bought a book that I'm slowly devouring.  I bet if I enjoyed my food as much as I enjoy this book I would lose some weight!  It talks about what ORANGE is all about.  I'm only on page 91, yes if you know me I normally read a book a day.  The entire Twilight series in 4 days anyone?  I'm taking this one piece by piece because it's meaningful for not just our ministry, but for my family.  My prayer while at ORANGE was that I would be a better parent.  I came home and felt like my prayer had been immediately answered.  There was so much peace in my home. That peace has slowly dissolved and I need to get at the heart of what created that peace and how it can be a constant.  I feel like that can be found in this book because this book is about families and making sure our connection to God is our top priority.  Or maybe I just need to get away again... It will be available for purchase soon, it's called Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide.  It's "about two entities partnering to make a greater impact or to create a better solution." It's good, well, the first 91 pages are and if you only get something out of those pages, you've spent good money.  I think my highlighter is spent from those 91 pages!

If you ever have the chance to attend an ORANGE Conference or a Catalyst Conference, GO!  I was hesitant because that means leaving my family, but this was beyond worth it!  I'm so thankful my church thinks enough of me to send me.  I'm hopeful I can give back a little something of what I gained there.  We're off to a great ORANGE summer.  If you have any ideas of any ORANGE things, anything no matter how whacky or outrageous they may seem, send them my way.  ORANGE foods, ORANGE games, ORANGE skits, you name it, if it's ORANGE, I want to know about it!  Also looking for some ORANGE clothes, my one ORANGE t-shirt from last summer may not make it.  If you see something that looks nice on sale in the area, let me know so I can grab it!  

Oh, and what does ORANGE mean?  Here you go, if you haven't heard it, I hope you love it as much as I do!  We all know that red and yellow together make ORANGE.  Imagine the church being yellow (the light of Christ) and families being red (the heart).  Put it together and you get ORANGE.  You get the heart/love and the light of Christ in one as it should be.  They weren't meant to be separated.  Be ORANGE.  

1 comment:

  1. WOW GIRL!!! You ROCK! I love reading your entries. I haven't kept up with being online and reading as often as I'd like but I'm trying to catch up a bit today. You are amazing...I love the ORANGE concept!!!
    As far as the park incident goes, I'm PROUD of you!!! I totally would have gotten involved. I think you did a great job at letting your boys take care of things. I would have killed the girls with my eyes at the very least. Wrong, I know, but I'm being honest. Good job! Keep up the good work...you are an amazing friend, mother, wife, and daughter of Christ!
    I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Aims

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