Tuesday, August 2, 2016

In Memory of Chuck Peters

My sister delivered the news today that Chuck Peters has arrived in heaven.  My heart is so full.  As I tucked my little three year old in for his nap, I wept.  I asked God to provide Moses with a friend like Chuck.

My high school years were years of hard questioning.  Everything was up for grabs: the speed of light (ha!  changeable!), validity of Scripture (ha!  Best historical document, but not perfect!), the existence of any God (surely...), the existence of one, true, Jesus-God (but these hypocrites!).  With whom could these conversations take place?  With whom would I dare to present my questions?

The druggy crowd at my high-school listened my sophomore year, but, at some point one requires answers. Friends listened, but usually could not track with the depths of my questioning.  Teachers listened until they were annoyed at the never-ending questions and concluded they would "pray for me."

Chuck spent hours and hours listening to me.  He listened to things that hurt me.  He listened to the despair I felt when exploring the possibility of Jesus Christ being a farce.  He listened, and---by listening---he LOVED me.  Chuch spent countless hours in the foyer of our school gym holding conversations just like this with many others.  He would take the guys out to eat.  He would get me out of classes to persue (the much more advantageous) dialogue with me.  He would ALWAYS, ALWAYS point me to Jesus.  He didn't always attempt answers to my questions.  He would allow the weight of them to linger.  This alone was a blessing.  Yet he never wavered from holding to the truths of the Scriptures.  He always loved Jesus in front of me.

The summer after my Junior Year no one answered my questions.  But I lived with a woman who lived with the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I watched her.  Because Chuck had listened and faithfully presented Christ as glorious, I kept watching.  I didn't rule out Christianity.  God saved me that summer and has been proving Himself true to me ever since.  This was certainly God's doing...and He did His work in part through Chuck Peters.

Chuck cheerfully drove around a bunch of chattering, non-driving, foolish children.  He told us about God.  He played with us.  He listened.  He was a huge player in my story of salvation.  I am overwhelmed, 20 years later, at God's goodness to me through Chuck.  Now I drive around my own brood of five chattering, non-driving, working-on-gaining-wisdom children.  I have an opportunity to love them for the sake of the Kingdom, just as Chuck loved me.

You, Chuck, have fought the good fight.  You have finished the race.  You have the kept the faith.  Praise be to our one, true God!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On Gosnell, the Christian, and Children

You've probably heard about Kermit Gosnell and the babies he killed and the women whose lives he ravished.  But you may not have; apparently, the media doesn't want to cover the horrific story.

You may have heard that Christians don't believe in abortion.  It's true.  God hates abortion.  But you may not have actually heard your Christian friends talk about it.  You may have heard your Christian friends complain and fail to see life - their life, your life, their children's lives, your children's lives - as a gift.  A real, amazing, thanks-inducing gift to a real, amazing, thanks-producing God.

Ann Voskamp, in her take on Gosnell, says this:
"For Christ followers, it’s more than being pro-choice and pro-life — it’s about always being pro-the-least-of-these.
The abortion debate draws women and children as unexpected enemies; the Gospel defends both as unexpectedly vulnerable.
The abortion debate offers that a woman is ultimately responsible alone for her child; the Gospel offers that no woman is ever alone and the Body of Christ is response-able to both woman and child.
The abortion debate is not so much about how we can somehow change the law, but right now change how we love. To have credibility in lobbying for laws against the abortion of babies, we must have the dependability of opening our doors for the welcoming of children.
 If the compassion of the world is “We do not want unwanted children born into the world,” then the compassion of the Gospel has to be far more powerful. The compassion of Christ-followers needs to literally and practically and sacrificially be: “We do want all the children born into this world.” 
If we are truly pro-the-least-of-these: How does each and every Christian live in a way that witnesses to wanting all children, to welcoming all children, to wrapping around all children?
And how do we value the worth of every single woman?"
So to you, dear Christian, you who agree that this whole Gosnell mess is horrific: how are you proclaiming the truth, the antithesis of Gosnell's message?  Are you acting like you want all the children born into this world?  Are you acting like your own children are a gift?  Are you acting like the children in your local church are a gift?  Are you embracing the least of these?

And to you who see abortion as a necessary evil: may you find a Christian who so values your life that you begin to see all lives as a gift from a good God.

And to myself: how can I welcome all children, wrap around all children, love them?  How, tomorrow, can I treat my own children as gifts?  {thankful for grace...}


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sweetest Baby

Isn't he lovely?

Monday, January 7, 2013


From the Big Brother
- "Mom, can you believe that Baby Moses was this small {holding out two barely separated fingers}? He was as small as a dot, smaller than a booger in my nose."

- "Sooooo.....when's he gonna get bigger?"

- "Can I take care of him by myself?" "No, not yet. He has to get a little bit bigger." "Oh...when he has legs?" {His take-away from Froggy's Baby Sister. Clearly, I should have explained the differences between a baby tadpole and our New Baby.}

- "Mom, remember that time you were kissing and kissing Baby Moses and he pooped everywhere?  Haven, one time Momma was kissing and kissing Baby Moses and he pooped everywhere!"  {laughing}  Haven: "Well, Elijah, we won't talk about those potty words."

- "He's really cute, especially when he doesn't smell like a rotten egg." {poop reference}

From the Momma
{At 245 AM} "He's already been eating for 45 minutes, and I can't take it anymore!"

From the Biggest Sister
- "Mom, he kind of smells weird.  But...I still like him." {umbilical cord herb reference}

From the Littlest Big Sister
- {after meeting Baby Moses for the first time} {pointing} "Baby Jesus???"
- {telling my friend Maria} "Yea!  New Baby is here!  Baby Moses came OUT of Momma's bottom!"
- "Two bottles!"

From the Daddy
- "There is really a LOT of laundry."
- "Yeah.  I realized that if you go do errands, nothing gets done at the house."
- {As he finished handling another throw-up episode}"It's like one step forward, eight steps back around here."


Day Five

At breakfast - Eric: "Well, Lydia, what would you like to accomplish today?"
Lydia: "I just want everyone to be clean."
Trying to eat a pedialyte popsicle.
Watching (another) movie
Mombo: made breakfast.  made lunch.  served dinner.  Cleaned the kitchen about five times.  Folded laundry.  Read lots of books.  Cleaned up spills.  Helped a little girl go potty.  Ironed.  Held the baby.  Cleaned up more messes. 

Throw-up bucket at the ready.  Cream applied to hands that have been thoroughly scoured a few too many times.
Eric: helped a little boy throw up all night long. Cleaned a rug. Comforted a little boy. Got medicine from the pharmacy. Encouraged fluid intake. Gave all four children a bath. Slept with Elijah while he watched Narnia. Washed clothes and sheets and blankets.

A sweet cake from Ronda!
Lydia: fed the baby, fed the baby, fed the baby, fed the baby, fed the baby. Took a shower. Fed the baby, fed the baby, fed the baby. Read to the three big kids (a highlight!).
Pretty much my favorite thing about a newborn: sleeping on your belly!
My other favorite thing: his tiny little butt!  {tired, but happy Momma}
Elijah: threw up. Didn't want to read TinTin. Didn't want to read Tink & Leeli. Didn't even want to watch a movie. Finally started feeling better this afternoon.
Taking turns holding Baby Moses
Haven: built forts. Worked on being truthful. Made up games for Polly Jane. Ate four plates of spaghetti. Had growing pains.

Polly Jane: Made phone calls, mostly to Margie.  Read books with Momma during Narnia.  Asked Daddy "what happened?" numerous times when she was watching the movie.  Was, overall, wonderful.

Moses: ate, slept, ate, slept.  Slept well during the day to prepare for the big all-night-long party with Momma.  Took a bath.  Pooped out of two outfits.  Heard Happy Birthday and saw his first birthday cake.  Ate.  Ate.  Ate.....


Our New Arrival

Moses Bennett joined our family on Sunday, December 30th, 2012 at 3:44 AM.  He weighed in at 8#2, a healthy chub of a son!  We are so, so thankful to have him safely here!  God, once again, answered many of our prayers regarding this child's arrival.  We are thanking God for:

- A 2012 baby!
- A little boy who can go pee-pee!
- A fast delivery
- Susie Meeks, my very favorite midwife
- A placenta which sustained our son (although it was scrawny)
- Enough fluid to keep Baby Moses safe (although I had so little this time!)
- His good gift of another baby
- A baby BOY!!!  Elijah is particularly thankful for this good providence.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Birthday Baby

The day my mother turned 31, I was born. 

Yesterday marked my own 31st year.  I spent the day with my own contractions.  Here's how it went.

Contractions started on Sunday and continued all.day.long.  We took the kids for a hike in the dark Sunday night and told them the baby might come tomorrow.  We put the kids to bed and cleaned the house.  I kept contracting.  Around 1 AM I was no longer able to sleep through the contractions.  I started timing them and was excited to find they came just five minutes apart.  An hour and a half later, I called my midwife to give her a heads up.  We asked Mammie and Poppa to come get the kids.

{Elijah sat up in bed and said, "Oh!  Is the baby coming out?"  Then he climbed out of his bunkbed and prayed for me.}

The children left around 3 AM.  I tried to sleep again - and did, fitfully, for about two hours.

Then I walked around the house and the neighborhood having contractions.  The contractions would space out - but still come at least every 10 minutes - and then pick back up.  I felt like I was riding a rollercoaster, and I was reaching the point of exhaustion.  The tell-tale sign?  Yesterday evening, per our midwife's advice, we were going to run and get some food.  I got ready and then had a meltdown that would rival any of my children's.  The kind of meltdown where you just stare at your kid and think, "Wow.  What happened?  Is something wrong with their brain?"  (Eric was actually giving me that look.)

I've always been jealous of those people that walk around halfway dilated for days and days before their baby comes.  And I've wondered what it would feel like.  Well, it feels just the same as walking around with a closed cervix...only, in my case, there have been a lot more contractions.

Eric is off to work where he can explain to people that yes, we are planning a homebirth and no, you can't get pitocin at home. 

I'm off to pick up the children who I'm sure will have lots of great questions as to how/why/when the baby HAS NOT COME.