Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

AWANA works!

I have the privilege of serving in my church at the AWANA Cubbies director (3 & 4 yr olds), and tonight was our last night and our awards night. I also have an 8 yr old in Sparks and a 2 yr old in Puggles. Tonight was a celebration, but at the end of our awards and thank yous to all the leaders and parents, our Pastor Joe gave a brief message and invitation. At first I thought no one would come, as sometimes happens at these type of events, but then a girl went forward and another child and then my child, and some parents with their child! It was amazing! I went with Nathan to pray after he talked to the Pastor and he told me he wanted to renew his heart. We prayed and then continued to watch as several children made decisions. I don't know at this point if these were salvation decisions or re dedications, but whatever they were, God was moving in the midst of these children! These children have been learning scripture all year long and are being able to put that scripture into practice. It was a wonderful site to behold! !

My 2 yr old at this point will be an AWANA kid for life! He is in Puggles a little early (the teacher moved up 3 children after they turned 2 who had not made the cutoff at the first of the year) and he gets so excited to go to Puggles and sing "God made me!" He also knows about Cubbies because he goes with me when I set up for it each week. Right now he is sleeping with a tiny Cubbie Bear that is the award for finishing the first book! He got it a little early, but his request for Cubbie was to precious to ignore!

My 8 yr old has just finished Sparks and earned his Sparkie award tonight! He and one other girl are 2 of my Cubbie graduates who have now finished Sparks (i.e., 2nd grade). It is so neat to see kids starting at 3 learning Bible verses and continuing to do so in elementary school

But the true excitement tonight was watching children open their hearts to God's calling! That is why we do what we do!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Camden's playmate

Nathan keeps complaining that Camden is not growing fast enough! He really wants a brother who can play ball with him! But Camden is quite content with the way things are right now. When I have to take them both to the gym, Camden's sweet comment is that "Nathan go play with me!" He is so excited! And when Nathan leaves for the older kids class, Camden starts crying. He must be having a good time with Nathan if he misses him when he leaves!

I can't see them in the gym childcare area, but I do get to observe them in the bathtub! Camden's latest thing is to pour water all over Nathan (and outside the tub usually!) Then Nathan will lay down and Camden will try to tackle him in the tub! Our tub really is not that big!?! But they have fun and get a little clean!

Brothers! My prayer is that they will continue to enjoy each other even when Camden is big enough to play ball with Nathan.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Mother's Hands

I have challenged myself to write about the topic of My Mother's Hands and at first I was perplexed. What can I say about her hands? How to describe her hands? I know that sometimes I look down at my hands and see how they are starting to look like my mom's and I think, "Oh, no, I am getting old!!" She bites her nails so her hands are not ones with manicured polished nails. And she wears a white gold wedding band set. That's how they look, but that is not very interesting.

But then I was watching her the other day playing with Camden. She was helping him with her hands and she was hugging him with her hands and she was walking with him while holding his hand! And I have seen her with Nathan using her hands to mend his clothes and hem his school uniform and clap loudly for him as he hits the ball in baseball. I have seen her hands diaper and powder and bathe all of her grandchildren with tender loving care. And use them to open up books and read to them.

Every time she comes to my house she uses her hands to fold my clothes and wash my dishes and get them really dirty when she works in the yard with me. She still will use her hands to encourage me and give me a boost when needed. And is always ready to make a dessert for me with her hands.

Of course she tries to use her hands to take pictures, and although the number of pictures on her camera show that she has success, her hands generally have trouble getting the camera to work! And heaven help her try to use her hands to get the pictures off the camera! But she has always used her hands to sew clothes for her girls and is now using them to learn to quilt! She also continues to use her hands to make special presents like seat cushions and unique pillow cases for her grandchildren.

I have also seen her use her hands to work with her kids in Sunday School. She uses her hands to help her tell a Bible story to them; to help them glue a picture on an activity; and to give them their much desired snack! She also uses her hands to drive some children home whose parents won't bring them to church.

Her hands have worked hard over the years being a mom and a wife and a volunteer and a worker. She has always used her hands in a tender and gentle way, and even though they are showing their years, they are a thing of beauty. Next time I look at my hands and think they are looking like my mom's, my next thought is going to be, "I can only hope that they do!"


Monday, May 4, 2009

Pray for Chase

I have been reminded this year about how precious life is and how I need to constantly thank God for the health of my family. This past year, we have lost one friend to cancer and our lives have been touched by the cancer of 2 little boys. One is Forrester, whom most of you know about, and the other is our 8 month old neighbor with a brain tumor and subsequent cancer that has spread through his body. It is discouraging to hear of such suffering and although I know in my head that God is in control, I also know that evil does exist and it rears its ugly head all the time. If goodness comes only from God, then where do things like cancer come from? And why does it have to strike little children? And how does an 8 month old come down with stage 4 cancer? These are questions I cannot honestly answer and don't know if I will ever know the answers on earth.

But what I do know is that God is love and He is ultimately in control. This family is hurting and I don't know what their spiritual state is, but I know they are praying and asking for prayer and giving God the credit for things going as well as they are. Chase is home now and only has to go to the clinic one time this week! He still has a long journey, but his parents seem to be leaning on God and their family for support. This is a blessing and I pray that I can do my part in showing God to them and helping them whenever possible.

So I am asking you; please pray for Chase.

Friday, May 1, 2009

We are no longer turned off!

Last week we participated in the National Turn Off Week. It is interesting that to tell a person they can't do something makes them want to do it more! There are many regular days in which Nathan does not play the Wii or watch TV, but to say he can't do so for a week makes him very distressed! He kept trying to deal and say that he should only be restricted from one thing! And that he should be able to check his email like me-what email!! But we made it through the week unscathed! It really made for a quiet peaceful time, although we were so busy with everyday life stuff that we didn't really do extra family stuff instead of TV.

Dave and I stopped the TV (although I caught him watching the news one night!), but we did record 24 and continued to use the computer. I don't think I could give communicating with people for a week-and many were necessary emails!! I did give up writing on this blog, but since it took me until Friday to write this week, I don't know how hard that was for me!?!

Nathan stuck with it, even when his friends came over and wanted to play the Wii! He did get to cheat at his grandparents where they had on the NFL draft, though!

Camden, however, did not see the point! He kept trying to open the TV cabinet doors and learned to clearly say "Moe and the Big Exit". I almost gave in to his constant "Want to watch TV" mantra, but I persevered! As much as he says he wants to watch TV, you would think he watched it all the time! Maybe we should give it up more and he would not say it as much!

So that was our week without TV. I think we should make this an annual thing!