Well, I sent Girl #1 off to a D-Now weekend. I am sure that she will have a wonderful time. My prayer is that she will hear exactly what the Lord has for her and grows in her walk. But it sure was hard to leave her at the church. I know that she’s not a baby anymore but she will always be MY baby :)
Girl #1 (and Girl #2 and Girl #3) is growing up so fast. I still want to have control of everything she does. This is a control issue (yes, I occassionally have control issues), and I have to turn this over to the Lord daily. I trust that His ways are best. And that He loves her more than I ever could.
I pray for strength (for me) to release her into God’s hands – If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11
I pray for her safety – I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
I pray that she will seek the Lord in all she does and be able to listen when He answers – Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart. Psalm 119:2
I pray that she will recognize the talents and gifts that God has given her – To each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:7
I love you Girl #1 – attitude and all! :)
I worked today. And enjoyed an enlightening conversation with a co-worker. It started simply by me telling him that we had gone to the St Patrick’s Day parade in uptown this past weekend. He explained that he had never been. He is a New Orleans native, so it was surprising to me that he had NEVER been to this parade. After expressing my surprise, I received an education about the Catholic faith as related to saints :)
I have never really thought about St Patrick’s Day – other than the fact that it is also my grandmother’s birthday, you have to wear green, and it is somehow a celebration for the Irish. Things I didn’t know…..Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland…he “Christianized” Ireland…Saint Patrick died on March 17 in A.D. 461…the legend states that he also drove all the snakes out of Ireland (but there are no snakes that are native to Ireland…the first St Patrick’s Day in America was celebrated in Boston in 1737…the shamrock is supposedly used by St Patrick to explain the Trinity. WOW! That was a lot of information for a 30 minute lunch conversation. But it did not stop there.
Why doesn’t he celebrate St Patrick’s Day? He’s not Irish – he is Italian. Did you know that St. Joseph’s Day is March 19th. There’s even a St Joseph’s Day parade :) Ok so then I proceed to ask a question. Who is St Joseph? DUH!! The step-father of Jesus!!!! Some interesting facts….March 19th is said to be Joseph’s birthday….he is considered the protector of the Holy family…Italian Catholics started praying to St Joseph to protect their families during a famine in Sicily…Italain families and churches set up St Joseph altars yearly as offerings to St Joseph for his protection…St Joseph altars are made of different foods…all the food used to make the altar are given to the poor. There are numerous St Joseph Altars around the city of New Orleans that you can see this weekend.
I love learning about and experiencing other cultures. I love that the girls are getting to experience the many cultures of this city. I am learning that I don’t have to agree with all the beliefs or traditions of a people group to love them like Jesus!
I am amazed with the job that the NOPD do. They have crowd control down to an art. They have probably written the books on how to control a crowd and clear a street. It is amazing to watch them clear a street for a parade. I think my bucket list will include being on Bourbon St at midnight on Fat Tuesday. I have watched them clear that famous street on the news for two years. It must be awesome to watch it in person :)
I am amazed with the sanitation departments of Orleans and Jefferson Parish. They have street clean up down to an art. They can clean Napoleon Ave in uptown New Orleans after three Mardi Gras parades faster than I can clean our 4 bedroom apartment. They are in the business of cleaning!
I am amazed with God’s provisions. I have recently been worried about things that have cluttered my mind and my attitude – kids, work, bills, etc, etc. But God has my worries down to an art. Paul writes to the Philippians “Do not be anxious about anything.” I say, “God, I am a worrier by nature!” He knows that! He wants to de-clutter my thoughts and my attitude. And He knows exactly how to do that. SO….will I stop worrying!?! I will try – I will turn it over to Him daily and know that He loves me even when I do worry.
NOPD, sanitation workers, and God – I have been blessed to watch each do their work. NOPD and the sanitation workers have amazed me through Carnival season. God has amazed me throughout my life – and especially on the journey we are on at this. Not because He hasn’t always been there but because I haven’t always been willing to turn it over to Him. It is so much better with Him leading than I ever imagined it could be!
WE LOVE MARDI GRAS!! This is hard for many friends and family to understand. Actually several don’t even understand why we are in NOLA, but that is a different blog for a different time. For this moment, we love Mardi Gras. We love the parades. We have been called “parade fanatics” and I guess you could say that is true. We love beads – although we could never get rid of all the ones that we have. We love the throws. For those not familiar with Mardi Gras language, throws are things such as stuffed animals, cups, candy, etc that the maskers (those riding on the floats) throw off the floats into the crowds. We love King Cake. We love the happiness and the fun that goes along with hundreds (or thousands depending on where you are parading) sitting on the side of the road waiting to catch beads. We love the marching bands. We love the music of Mardi Gras.
Several people have ask us how and why we would be willing to take our kids to a Mardi Gras parade. LIFE LESSONS!!! Is there alcohol, and are there drunk people at Mardi Gras? YES! Are there people dressed inappropriately at Mardi Gras parades? YES! However, if you pick your spots and parades wisely you can minimize the exposure to these things. Can Mardi Gras be family friendly? ABSOLUTELY! I have found that Mardi Gras has given me the opportunity to have very candid conversations with my daughters. We have discussed the appropriate way to dress. We have examples of dressing and modesty (or lack of modesty) that is not pleasing or honoring to the Lord. We have discussed actions that are and are not pleasing to the Lord. Indeed these conversations have made an impact. At one parade, Girl 1 looked at me and said “Mom, that girl’s shirt is not appropriate. She needs to put something else on.” YES! Or Girl 2 turned away from an inappropriately dressed woman and said “be careful little eyes what you see.” They recognize that these things do not honor the Lord. Of course, Girl 3 is much more verbal and confrontational about these things and is likely to just go tell them the errors of their ways. At this point we have a conversation about not judging others and showing the love of Jesus in a dark place.
We are the light. We are His light. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put in under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
I do want to protect my children, but I don’t want them to be ignorant of things that go on in our world. I want them to know how to respond in a way that honors God and why honoring Him is important. I want them to talk to me so that we can seek God’s way together. I want them to learn that His ways are right and true. I want them to see that the ways of the world are not His way. And I want them to do that with me. I want them to have the answers to the hard questions before they have to face those choices. And I want them to be the light in a dark world.
So, YES, we love Mardi Gras. Throw me sumthin’ mister!!!
Hello World! When we started this journey called seminary life, my mother-in-law gave me a journal and told me to start journaling. She said that one day I would read back through it and be amazed at what God has done in our life. I must confess that I have not been very good about journaling. But I did look back through some of the stuff I had written and am amazed at all that He has done. And I thought – why should I keep this in a journal. It should be shouted from the highest mountain. God is good! He is amazing!
So I begin this blog. I don’t know what He has planned for us next year – or even tomorrow. I do know that we are exactly where we are suppose to be. We aren’t here to simply live on a seminary campus and pass the next few years with our heads in the sand. We are going to serve Him where we are and in whatever way He leads us. We will help show the love of Jesus to a dark city. And we will say “hello world” we are here!