Thursday, March 01, 2007


Well, God's been gently reminding me of showing LOVE to my fellow man. Why is that so hard? B/c I'm still so self-absorbed. In my own little Mommy world.
I am realizing it more though and that's the first step, right? I did notice that the deli worker's name was Pam but still didn't say, "Thank you, Pam." Just "thank you." I'll get up the nerve next week. I always think people may think it a little creepy if I use their name and don't know them. I'm sure they wouldn't-they'd be glad someone actually acknowledged them as a person and not just a worker, but that's just my female mind doing way too much analyzing. And I failed to engage in a conversation w/a lady while out walking around the neighborhood b/c I was worried Ella would get too bored in her stroller. But at least God made me aware of the need to.

What God has brought to my mind the most since reading Matthew is Jesus eating w/sinners. (Because the sick are the ones in need of a physician.) And I've been thinking, "Do I even know any non-Christian friends?" Shouldn't I meet some and have them over? In Blue Like Jazz, Don talks about his pastor encouraging them to go out and just love on people-show them Christ's love and kindness. Not to try to get them to come to the church, but just to be like Christ. The result was many did end of coming to the church and finding a relationship w/Christ b/c those church-goers put their faith into practice.

I've been thinking about our next door neighbors-should we invite them over? This would take a major step of faith and God-given courage b/c I don't like feeling awkward, and when you're getting to know someone it tends to be that way. They could be Christians, who knows? Isn't that the sad thing-I hardly know anything about them.

So pray for me, dear friends, that I'll not just hear God's voice but respond as well.

Ella's been on a "Mama" phase for about a week now. She says it ALL the time-I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say at least a few hundred times a day. I have to admit, it gets on my nerves. Even if I'm in her sight, if my attention is not 100% on her, I hear it, "Mama, MAma, MAMA!" But when I was on the treadmill yesterday, I saw the beginning Dr. Phil. A mom was on there who had triplets who were all deaf and blind. And I was so rebuked and ashamed. This mom would do anything to hear her girls say "Mama." And here I was complaining.

Sometimes Ella will mix it up a bit, "Mama, Dada, Mama, Dada," but Dada is usually at a higher pitch. She'll do this when Will's not even here. I'm currently trying to figure out how to curb her yelling though. Yesterday in the grocery store it got quite loud-people were staring-and my "Shhh, Ella" wasn't working. Maybe they were just amazed that someone so tiny could be soooo loud. So, more practice at home, I guess.

Here's a recent pic-thanks for taking it, Uncle Jeff!

You can see she's getting a little more hair. She had her mouth full of grapes at the time and was pushing her corn popper.


rcsnickers said...

I had kinda a similar conversation with Daniel. Topic was witnessing. I do not witness to anyone. He said I witness to the children. True but outside of my home, no one. How can I witness to someone? Who can I witness to? How do you witness in the grocery store with children pulling you in different directions? Besides they are probably in a hurry to get somewhere.

I will pray that God shows you the path he wants you to take. If it is inviting neighbors over then let it be. I would invite them but would have a hard time going to there's. Is that bad? I mean if I am in their home then it is their rule. They can drink, smoke, watch tv, music and we or my children do not want to be under that influence. But they still need to be witnessed to.

Could go on, but these are my thoughts as of late.


Emily said...

Thanks for this post, Laura...insightful as usual. Jeff & I have been thinking along the same lines...about using our new house as a tool for witnessing. We have even been doing kind of an informal study on hospitality to learn how to do it better. (Neither of us is very good at making people feel at ease!) We have some friends who are great at extending hospitality, though they live in a tiny apartment and don't have much. They make everyone feel wanted and valued, and their home is always open. I guess the secret really isn't having the perfect Martha Stewart spread, but being genuinely interested in others, which is hard since we're all naturally selfish...

I hadn't thought about it before but I guess hospitality gets harder as your family grows! And it's harder, too, to make the choices as to what you will expose them to.

Elizabeth said...

As usual, your post had me thinking for days. And so did Letisha and Emily's comments. This is an area in my life where I feel very comfortable: so something must be wrong, right? Kris and I are pretty easy to get along with, have an open door/home policy, and tend to make people feel welcome: in my mind anyway.
But in reality, we do only socialize frequently with our close friends and family. We rarely have people in need over, and we should, and we should go there too: thats what Jesus did. For example, a coworker stopped over while we were packing, and we were nice, opened our home, but she had to ask for a drink (luckily she felt comfortable enough to say, I'm thirsty) and we were honestly glad to get packing again after she left: how selfish. She really needed someone to talk to as she is going through a terrible time with her kids and seperation. So just inviting people over and making them feel welcome when its not easy is a challenge, must less witnessing to her.
I learn best from experience, like most people. In my experience, the most effective witnessing is by example, not words. Heart felt blessings at dinner, an open line of questioning, all were entirely more effective than any outright tract or confrontation "are you saved?" The couple who inspired us to join our church had us for dinner a few times and we talked about life and only a little about the church. They had a few books out, and if someone asked, they would lend or give away the books like purpose driven life, etc. Also, when I inquired about the church, they brought me a bulletin to look over: very thoughtful.
Just being involved and seeing the support given to them and us is a strong witness to my coworkers as well, but there is always room for growth. Thanks for allowing me to ramble, and spark this thought! And you do this with a 18 month old? Super...

Nene said...

Thanks for this post,'s had all of us thinking. I've been pondering this for several days now and I've been reminded of a young man I met at Walmart one day. I was standing in a very slow checkout line (without Gracie, thank goodness, as it was a very crowded day)as usual, when the man in front of me struck up a conversation. He was with what looked like maybe his sister and her children. He is what people today would consider "a little slow". He was hard to understand, but he started out talking about the slow line, and how we just need to try to be happy in all situations. He talked about how this world can be a hard place to live in because of all the bad things going on. He told me that he prayed every day that Jesus would come back and take us home where everything was happy and good. I thought to myself, Wow, what a smart guy! If we could all have such a simple heart and share our love for Jesus in this way without wondering what others think of us.

I, too, over-analyze everything I say and do. I try to be kind to everyone I meet, hoping my actions speak louder than (sometimes my lack of) words.

Laura said...

WOW-thanks guys! Your comments have had me thinking for days! And Karanena, yours brought tears to my eyes. I guess that's why Jesus talked so much about having faith like a little child. That man was like a child in his mind and thus could talk about Jesus so simply and yet so beautifully.

Letisha, Will's mom always wanted to be a missionary, and Will's dad always told her, "You already are-to 5 little sinners." So, it's true we SAHM are mainly supposed to witness to our own kids, but like you, I have this yearning to do more. Re: going over to a neighbors house-I think if we were asked over and things got too bad, we would just politely excuse ourselves. Or if during dinner someone cursed then afterwards (when we got home) we'd just explain to Ella (well maybe not at this age she wouldn't understand, but if she was a little older) why we don't say those things that but that the man/woman may not be saved and that's why they do it. They need Jesus and we need to be kind to them. But these are just my thoughts-I'll have to let you know what I really think when it happens to us. I guess there's a fine line there b/c you want to show Christ's love but you don't want your kids exposed. But they will be eventually and should know how to respond, right?

That's what I want, Em, a true interest in others-and like you said our sinful nature keeps fighting that. That was neat reading about your friends in their tiny apartment who still make everyone feel so valued. So, that means in my giant 1250 sq.foot house, I'm left without excuse! And you're doing your own private study in hospitality-please share what you learn-I do think y'all are wonderful at it already though!

And Liz, thank you for your great advice-heartfelt blessing at supper, open line of questioning, leaving books out for others to borrow-all super things and I agree would be much more effective than cornering people about their salvation. And I think you do make people feel so at ease and naturally have a very welcoming personality. I don't think I do so much, so it's something Christ is showing me I need to work on. Please feel free to give me some pointers.