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Archive for the ‘Life Lessons’ Category

This song has a challenging message. What are your kids learning from you?

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Do you want your kids to be happy? Think about it before you answer!

I read this blog entry the other day and I loved it. Please check her blog out here.

Dear Shepherd, Sissy, Maggie and Ikey,

Recently we were told by people whom we love and respect why they oppose our plans to adopt. One of the reasons given was that we would not be able to pay for your college education.

It’s true.

You all have college funds – college funds which recently took a terrible hit – but “they” say that by the time you’re 18, college will cost anywhere between $200,000 to half a million dollars each. You might as well know now, we won’t be covering that. I’m telling you now, babies.

The people said that the day would come when you would look at us with resentment because you had to apply for school loans while many of your friends got a free ride from their parents.

Maybe you will. Maybe you’ll resent us. I really hope not. But maybe I should tell y’all now why your dad and I have decided to do what we are doing.

I know you’re going to think I am going off topic (I do that a lot) but several years I saw a story on a TV show about how the latest trend was for parents to give their daughters boob jobs for high school graduation (I don’t know what they gave their sons.) When interviewing one of the moms, she said, “I just want my daughter to be happy.” And as I tossed a throw pillow at the television, this really huge thought occurred to me: I don’t want my children to be happy.

My goal as your mom is not your happiness, sugars. In fact, I spend at least half my day making you unhappy. If I had a nickle for every tear that falls in this home on a daily basis, we wouldn’t need to worry about college tuition at all.

Happiness is fleeting, sweet babies. That means it doesn’t last. It’s a quick feeling that comes from a funny movie or a heart shaped lollipop or a really good birthday present. It’s great. I love to be happy. But happiness is a reaction that is based on our surroundings. And our surroundings are so very rarely under our control. Even when – especially when – we think they are. So no, I absolutely don’t want you to spend your life chasing something that has so little to do with your own abilities. You’ll just be constantly frustrated.

There are two things I desire for you, precious loves. There are two things that I spend most of my time as a mother trying cultivate in you. Happiness ain’t one of them. (This means, sorry, no boob jobs for you.)

The first is, I want you to be content. Being content is so much different from being happy. Being content is not based on your surroundings. Being content comes from within. Contentment is a spirit of gratitude. It’s the choice you make to either be thankful for the things you do have, or to whine about the things you don’t have.

Being content and grateful leads to consistent joy.

As you know, because I’ve told you lots of times, Paul talked about being content. Paul said that he had “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” And Paul was in some rotten situations, kiddos, really rotten.

How could Paul be content whether he was in prison or if his life was literally a shipwreck? Because Paul was constantly seeking to be in the will of God instead of his own, was constantly sacrificing his own comfort for the sake of the gospel, and was constantly being confirmed, strengthened, and blessed by God because of his obedience. He was given a supernatural power – that means something kind of like magic, God magic – to do things that most other humans could not do. And guess what? The bible tells us (in Ephesians 1) that God will give you the exact same power! If you want it!

Which leads me to my second desire for y’all.

I don’t want you to be happy. I want you to be holy. That means, I want you to seek that God-power to make you content. I want you to want the Kingdom of God more than your own kingdom. And that’s hard, babies, that is so hard. And that usually means passing up a lot of what the world considers happiness. But it means that you will achieve blessings directly from God that most of the world never dreams of because they are too occupied with the achieving the perfect birthday present!

This means you may be poor, ‘in want’ as Paul said, and that’s okay. It will never, ever be okay with the world for you to be poor. So you’ll be up against the world. But not your dad and me, loves, because it was never our goal for you to be wealthy – at least not in the way that the world considers wealthy.

Darlings, we love you so much. You will never even grasp how much we love you until you have children of your own, and then you’ll get it, and then you’ll apologize for the ways you treated us 😉 But our goal is not to please you. Our goal is to please our Heavenly Father. And nowhere in the bible does the Lord command that we save our money to send our kids to college.

But the Lord does command us to care for the orphan around fifty times. He does tell us to care for the poor around 300 times. He does tell us that when we care for the neediest, we are caring for Jesus Himself. And in chapter six of the book of Matthew, He tells us to seek His kingdom first, and let Him worry about the rest, like college tuition. Because it’s all His anyway.

They said that one day y’all would resent us for using ‘your’ college money to go and get your sister out of an orphanage in Ethiopia and bring her home to you.

But I know my babies. Even at your tender ages, I know your hearts, and I have already seen you weep for the least of these. I know the prayers I offer up to God that He and not the world would shape the desires of your hearts. I am trusting Him to answer those prayers.

So, sugarbears – I just don’t believe those people.

Love,
Mommy

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My Bride

I am thankful for March 6th, for that is the day that Carrie Luna Brady entered the world. I know I usually talk about parenting but I think this is fits as well as anything I have ever written. My kids are going to get a picture of marriage from me so I want them to see how much I love and care for my wife. Husbands, let your kids see you loving and serving your wife. They are going to get a picture of marriage from you so the question is: What picture are you showing them? Although I could write pages, I will give you a blog list of some of the things I love about Carrie (and some funny ones to). This is by no means all of them.

  • She is the greatest servant I know.
  • She constantly puts her needs behind the needs of the family.
  • She loves our kids in ways that I cannot.
  • She is an expert in cooking King Ranch Chicken.
  • She loves Jesus passionately and is consumed with serving Him in all she does.
  • She is the most organized person I know.
  • She is constantly encouraging and loving me when I am not very lovable.
  • She actually thinks I am funny.
  • She will sit down and watch Tiger basketball, Grizzlies basketball, and any other basketball with me.
  • She gets just as mad at the Tigers as I do.
  • She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and known.
  • She is my best friend and I love her more today than I ever have.

If you know Carrie, send her a message on facebook, email her and tell her how much you appreciate her!

Spouses, take time today and show your significant other how much you love and care for them. Your kids are watching! Be intentional!

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Real

I am currently reading the book Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian and enjoying it. He opens up the book talking about his family and how he was raised. As I was reading, one sentence (one word actually) jumped out at me and got me thinking:

“The Christianity they cultivated in our family was joyful, warm, inviting, hospitable, and REAL, not legalistic or oppressive.”

REAL

Are you real:

In the way you treat others

In the way you treat your spouse

In the way you parent

In the way you love others

In your relationship with Christ

Do your kids see a sinner in need of a savior or do they see someone who is putting up a front.

What do your kids see in you?

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Yes, I know. What a cute picture. Don’t let the cute exterior fool you! You might be asking why I would say this. Well, here’s the story:

Part of my job, in addition to being chaplain at PDS, is to coach after school sports. We have a great intramural program and it is a great way to establish closer relationships with our students. I was coaching an intramural basketball game yesterday when the fire alarm went off. All of the teams playing and their parents were sent out into the Memphis cold (somewhere around 15 degrees yesterday). You know where this is going don’t you. I find out that it was indeed my lovely 2 year old daughter that had pulled the fire alarm. She was watching the game with Carrie and Bennett and obviously thought the red box was quite appealing. Either that or she knew my team was losing and tried to put the other team in the deep freeze! Needless to say, I have been given a little grief over this one by my friends and co-workers. As I was thinking about this today, I realized how cool and calm I actually was when I found out that is was our child who pulled the alarm. That is only the power of Christ in my life. A few years ago, my reaction would have been different (my oldest could tell you that). After reading for the second time a great book by Dr. Tim Kimmel, called Grace Based Parenting, God has really been working on my heart. I am so thankful that God doesn’t act that way when I mess things up. I pull the fire alarm multiple times every day in my life. I am so thankful to serve a God of grace, love and mercy. As we start off the new year, my prayer is that our homes are full of grace! May your kids see a picture of Christ’s love in how you act and react.

Question of the day to you parents: What is the most embarrassing thing your child has done in public? Looking forward to some answers!

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PDS is a great place to work.

Love having my boys here with me each day.

Yesterday, I brought them to school and took them home.

Needed to transition from being a teacher to being dad.

Failed miserably yesterday.

They needed love and I gave them lectures.

They needed grace and I said “unacceptable.”

Praise be to God that He did not do that with me.

Transition is tough.

The good news is that today is a new day filled with the grace and love of Jesus Christ. My prayer is that I parent through the lens of grace today.

Transition is tough but the grace of our Lord is sufficient.

What kind of parenting struggles do you have? Do you transition well?

Be intentional!

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Yesterday, I attended a luncheon hosted by the Hope Christian Community Foundation. My buddy Chris Hill did an interview with one of my mentors, David Montague. David talks about giving and gives us a very clear picture of what it looks like to live out the Gospel through our finances. I must admit that early on (and still some now) Carrie and I made some poor decisions with our finances. I am so thankful that God placed guys like David Montague in my life to help guide me in that difficult area. I hope this encourages and challenges you to live out the Gospel through your finances.

What picture are you painting for your kids about giving?

Do they see a picture of the gospel in how you steward your money?

Be intentional about discussing with your kids how and why you give.

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