Only fun & games?

The boys were already bored at the skate park. Doing  tricks on a skateboard takes a lot of energy. Pumping your skate board around makes you sweat. You gotta take a break. The sun is finally out, but you better have a drink with you. Charlie’s mind  normally spinning, but he has to sit still and listen at school. His thoughts don’t have to though!

‘Phew! The sun is out! Let’s go.’ Barely dressed, throwing his school uniform, as a tornado, he jumps on one foot to the front door. Mum, we are off! His dad starts the car. He drives him to the local skate park. Strong, athletic looking, unemployed by choice, he doesn’t mind hanging around skate park for hours. What else to do? Hoping one day his son will rise to a Pro- skater. ‘We will be laughing then, mate!’ At the moment, as his inheritance sleeping through his fingers, he is putting his trust in to a lottery.’Euro lotto winner! That would be a day!’ We will be straight on the plane to California, son.  

‘Dad, can we decorate on a Christmas tree?’ A tradition to decorate the closest tree with old skate shoes was instantly born. Never mind it is June. ‘ Go on, then.’ Lifting his tall body lazily off the concrete, where he was catching his free tan, his dad starts to tie the shoe string on to a branch.

I will go home and bring my pair, – excitedly joins with the idea, Tom. Just a sec, I will be right back.

Tom rushes through the door as a fresh wind. Mum, can I have my old skate shoes please?

What for?- she inquires

We are making a Christmas tree at the park, pleeeese, begging with those deep dark eyes. 

Let’s just check with you dad, if he says ‘yes’, I don’t mind.

Tom’s dad is nothing like Charlie’s dad.  He is the man with a vision. He is well aware that  there are poor around the world. He says: ‘No’. Tom sadly walks out, his head hanging low.

  

It took me a while to agree with my husband. Yes, I understand he wants to send those old shoes to Africa or Eastern Europe – wherever the need is, but shall we deprive our own children from fun? It was a good question. The problem was I or my children haven’t seen real poverty that much. Since my husband started traveling around the world, he comes home and tells us stories that are hard to imagine. Picture children running bare  feet, drinking dirty water right from the pool in Jakarta; a widow, kissing him hands for giving her a fiver in Tanzania. And these stories keep coming.

While considering the others, who have much less, ‘fun & games’ are somehow not that funny. I do get moved to give these days reluctantly, since when ‘single and not fussy about food’ makes it so much easier to give. My husband keeps telling me that we can cut here and there to give more. He wants to give till it hurts us. I find it hard to swallow, but the Lord slowly opens my eyes to the needs of others. Once, I was in the shop and run into a man who takes goods to help with a Romanian ministry. He was leaving that day on his trip. I had 20 pounds on me, but I needed that money for shopping. ‘What shall I do?’ I had to think fast. Somehow this seemed strange & too much of a mere coincidence. I gave him the money, not knowing how I was going to buy shopping & feed my own children. The Lord had provided for us. The priced for the  food dropped, lots of bargains and we eat like kings. Compare to some people around the world.

On another occasion, I felt I should give  money to certain people. Weeks went by and did nothing about it. Until someone directly shared with me that these people have a great need. Why do we wait to bless someone when we can? Why out love for the Lord and His people often so lukewarm? The answer is plainly simple. We are obsessed with ourselves. It really makes me wonder when some therapist say that first thing you need to learn how to love yourself. Yes, really?!! For most of us – it is not a problem, easy!

An Encouraging thought

When we are willing to recognize that everything we have comes straight from the hand of God. He loves a cheerful/hilarious giver & will repay a hundredfold when we are willing to share with poor or those who bring Good News to the lost, we never can out give God, but we can robe ourselves from great joy. Just do it! Simple as that. As the Lord prompts. Don’t wait for triple conformations.

Top Tip

As mother’s we do get carried away, wishing the best & the more for our own children. I met a lot of families when children have everything … yet they are still ‘not happy’. They become unhappy consumers who are never satisfied no matter what you do for them – for the rest of their lives, perhaps. They scream to their mothers, driving in Chrysler with the movie on: ‘I hate you!’

This doesn’t have to be your case. Take control of your kid’s minds & hearts. Teach them how to appreciate little things in life & you will give them something that no one can take away. Teach them how to consider others because it is hard. But the reward of their gratitude & appreciation of life itself later on is worth it. And the Lord is on your side because:

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. The Lord will keep you from all evil;he will keep your life.’

What must we fight?

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One day I was standing on the high pier about to jump off it in to the Black Sea. I was in my early 20’s, not a great swimmer, but loving a challenge.  It is one thing to set up a challenge, it is  completely different to   go through it. Often we say ‘this year is going to be a year of changes’, the year comes to an end, but still no changes.  So, I stood there for about 20 minutes which seems like forever.  Two spectators were passing by, one of them commented: ‘And how long are you going to stand there?’  After that I knew ‘if I don’t jump now, I will never respect myself again.’ So I did. It is hard to describe, but  that was one of the most liberating experience of my life. I wasn’t a good swimmer, I just learned how to dive, and I was jumping off the high pier. When I came up from the depth of the water, I was so full of joy and confidence. I jumped tirelessly from that and other places  since.  The first step towards a challenge is often defines who you  will be. Once you done it, you have conquered your particular fear!

I can see that the Bible plain clear about fighting  against our sin. The Lord Himself is on our side: ‘And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ .’ Any believer can rest assured that God will do it no matter what, and even in spite of ourselves at times. But what is really interesting to me is where our personality and habits fit in? You have two Christian mothers going to the same church and yet  they miles apart by their personalities (which is fine), but also habits. That is puzzling indeed.

I don’t know if my theory is correct or not, but this has been my experience, so I might as well share about it. After I became a Christian, I realized that I must fight my habits. Even my  very own personality. I think when we by the grace of God come to that conclusion, we present more opportunities for God to use us for His glory. I believe this is exceptionally vital for the future mothers. Children will copy everything that you do even if you don’t want them to. So that is another generation at stake right there. One of the Christian mothers I know of struggles with a messy house. You can’t even imagine it. She suddenly decided to home school of  her children. This is rather commendable, but how can you organize your thoughts and actions if your house is one big tip?

On one of the travels my husband met a pastor of a massive church in Indonesia. After getting to know him a bit, he learnt that this pastor’s mother made a habit of praying for him and his brothers. Today he is not only a pastor, but a leader of many missions around the world. That’s what God can do when we develop and nourish godly habits in our lives.

An encouraging thought.

Every time when we decide to do something against the main stream, take a stand for the Lord or simply live a quiet but godly lives, it will present a challenge. If not to ourselves, possibly to the world around us. Our stand in life won’t be popular, will be criticized & ridiculed. So what? All that opposition & swimming against the tide  only make a fish stronger and tastier, I mean a more Christlike person out of a Christian! Let’s do it & let’s not forget that we are not the only one’s.

Top Tip

Godly habits & challenges to our personalities are vital. When I started this blog I thought: ‘there is no chance, English is my second language, it can’t be done and ect.’ A few months later, I’m still writing away with bigger plans as ever before, finding more & more like-minded or completely diverse from me fellow bloggers. One more fear got conquered. Blessings are abounding. This battle will carry on till we die. Then it can safely cease it. Not because we are no more, because we will have superior, up to total perfection personalities!