I believe in living out your faith and convictions. I try by my example to show people what I stand for and what I believe. And truth be told, I’m a pretty outspoken person in real life. I have an opinion about just about everything and most of the time I’m pretty okay sharing it with you (whether you really want to hear it or not). But I have a little confession to make. When it comes right down to it…I’m a chicken about coming right out and sharing the gospel. I can tell you where I stand on birth control, abortion, politics and how I think you should solve whatever problem you’re having in your life. But put me in a situation where I need to share the gospel, something so integral to my life (and my opinions), and I fumble around like an idiot. I’m fearful because I may not have every answer you need to hear, I’m fearful because what if I say the wrong thing and turn you off from God forever, I’m fearful because I’m completely inadequate. It’s weak I know, it’s lame, I know and it’s completely wrong. While my actions may speak of my faith, if I don’t actually share my faith with someone…they may get the wrong idea…that I’m a “good person”. But I’m not, I am able to be and do what I do because God gives me the gifts and the strength I need.
My eldest son is very non-confrontational. He’s a firstborn in every sense of the word EXCEPT he’s not really the most assertive kid around. He wants to be “perfect” and works really hard to please those around him. He likes to be bossy and in charge, but really isn’t a “grab a challenge head on” kind of guy.
Last night we were out for dinner with a family member “P”. We have had a difficult relationship lately, but we all love “P” and Gabe has a tremendous amount of respect for P. We agreed to meet for dinner as a step of faith and forgiveness. During the course of our meal the boys had good conversation and interaction with P. Towards the end of the meal Gabe leans over to P and says “Do you know how to be a Christian?” P says “yeah I do”. Gabe responds “Well I’m going to tell you anyway because won’t it be wonderful to be in heaven when we die and to know God?!?” He continues “You need to believe that Jesus is the son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins. You have to confess your sins to Him. You also have to believe that Jesus died and then rose again 3 days later.” P is getting a little uncomfortable, but listens politely simply saying “yeah”. Gabe then tells P “You should read your Bible. A good place to start is reading the Proverb of the day. There are 31 Proverbs and whatever day you’re on is the day you should read…there’s a lot of wisdom in the Proverbs…or you could read Psalms. There’s more than 31 of those, but you should still read them.” P just says “thanks.” and the goes on with another conversation with one of our other boys.
Now I don’t know about you, but if I had tried to share the gospel with someone and got a cool response like that I would have been kind of bummed and really maybe even a little embarrassed with myself. But not Gabe. He just went on like nothing had happened or like the response hadn’t even phased him, like it was an everyday occurrence to share his faith with those around him. He even talked later in the car with Otto about when he wasn’t a believer (when he was 4) and what that was like. Gabe was so willing and so matter of fact about what he was saying I was amazed. He was so bold in sharing about God and what it means to have faith in God. It was so uncharacteristic for my oldest son to be bold about it and to continue pressing on until the message was out and he was sure P had heard it.
I would like to take all the credit truthfully. I’d like to say “yep…it’s because we raise him in such a Godly home or because we live the gospel in our house” But it has nothing to do with me. Sure we make sure he goes to church each week and that he has a good Biblical foundation but you know what…I have nothing to do with making him bold for Christ. I have nothing to do with how God chose to use him yesterday. It was totally a God thing. I don’t know today the impact that Gabe’s witness had on P and I may never know for years or even until I get to eternity. But I am thankful for the grace and mercy God has shown and I am thankful that He used my totally un-bold son to share His message.
I’m sharing our menu for this week. I recently revised (and am still working on) our family menu and shopping list. We’re getting ready to leave back to visit family on Friday so it’s a little lighter toward the end of the week.
Monday: BBQ Meatloaf — it’s a great twist on the “stand by” our kids love it and it’s easy enough that my husband can make it if I’m not going to be home. You can see the recipe here
. I change mine a bit and use regular mustard and instead of bread crumbs I use oatmeal.
Tuesday : Broccoli and cheese soup and Semmel. Here’s
the recipe I’m using for my soup…I’m still trying to find the perfect one. I plan on sauteing some chicken to add to it for a little protein. Semmel is a German hardroll that is fairly easy to make and really yummy to eat. I’ll add the recipe at the bottom of this post.
Wednesday: We have AWANA and 2 young ladies from our church have offered to help make dinner for our family each week. We have to be there from 5 – 8:30pm. It is such a blessing to have them willing to do this for our family, and takes a lot of stress off because I usually work on Wednesdays.
Thursday: Breakfast pizza (it’s actually called heart attack breakfast pizza). I got the recipe from a new cookbook, so I don’t have a link yet, but will include it in the future. This is the first time I’ve made it so we’ll see how it turns out but it sounds really yummy!
Friday: Leftovers. We’ll probably eat leftovers during the week for lunch too. But I’m guessing we won’t have as many as I hope. We’ll use this night to clean out the fridge before we leave on Saturday morning.
Here’s my recipe for Semmel:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup milk
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
Mix warm water, sugar, milk and dry yeast and let rise for 10 minutes.
Heat 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup milk in a saucepan until warm.
Sift flour and salt onto pastry board. Make a groove in the flour and mix in yeast mixture and then warmed milk and water. Knead or beat with wooden spoon vigorously for approximately 10 minutes until dough makes air bubbles and is soft and smooth. Let rise for approximately 1 hour or until doubled in volume. Shape into round rolls and let rise again for 10 minutes.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Brush with water for crispness. (I don’t do this)
Babies!! At least in our family this year. (Kerry said technically it’s not April showers, but I thought it made a cute rhyme). We are expecting baby #5 at our house around mid-May. We are thrilled!!
For those who are wondering…
Yes. We’re planning a home birth again. Our last one was so awesome why not?
No we weren’t “trying” for a girl…we’d be delighted with another son (our 5th) or a daughter. We can’t put an order in anyway so we’ll take what we’re blessed with. One that note though…Otto and Zeke were praying for a sister. We’ll see.
One of the next questions (or comments) that comes up…at least this week is “are you competing with that lady (Mrs. Duggar) who is going to have 20 kids”. No. Having babies is not a competition…BUT we, like the Duggar family, leave our family size up to God. We believe that children truly are a blessing and that if we desire God’s blessing, that we should allow Him to decide what He sees fit for our family. We realize it’s not a conviction everyone has, but it’s one that we have. We believe that “He who gives mouths…will give meat to feed them”. We trust God for His blessings and His provision.
We know that having a larger than normal family is unusual, but we’re okay with being “weird”. 🙂 In addition to trusting God for blessings we also trust His timing. The space between Z and T is 21 months, the space between T and this baby will be 21 months.
So that’s the big news at our house. We’re all pretty excited. One of the neat things about our large family is that the big siblings don’t dread having another baby…they look forward to it with anticipation. The think about what this baby is going to look like and who gets to hold the baby first. They’re excited to be big brothers again and we’re excited to welcome another child to our family.