Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Danger of "Ears Only Friends"

"A listener." This is one of the best qualities someone can have as a friend. The ability and desire to sit and listen to the ideas, complaints, and hurts of a friend; to empathize, and to hear the intent behind the words.

But I think there is another important side to friendship that we often ignore:
Proverbs 27:5 - "Better is open rebuke than hidden love."
Proverbs 27:6 - "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."
Prov 28:23 - "He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue."

Good friends sometimes need to challenge, correct, and even rebuke each other. It is pretty clear that none of us are perfect. In fact, all of us are pretty messed up. Even mature Christians still have blind spots of sin. Part of what God uses to make us more like him is the loving correction and rebuke of those that are close to us.

When our friends and family will never challenge us. When all they do is listen, we are in danger. We are in danger of settling in to patterns of sin that are destructive and do not glorify God. We need friends that love us enough to challenge us and correct us sometimes.

What do you think? Do you agree that we need this? Why do you think it doesn't happen? What are some ways we can be better at both correcting and taking correction?

Prov 15:31 - "He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Job

My dear friend Suzanne asked me a few days ago at lunch how I liked being a stay at home mom and if I ever got lonely. I reflected on her question more when I got home. I thought about why I do like being a stay at home mom, and this is what I came up with.

I love Hope. Not only do I love Hope, but I like her. I really can't get enough of her. I miss her about an hour after I put her to bed at night. She's my best girlfriend and hopefully it will stay that way (even through the teenage years). I want to take care of her the best I can. I truly desire nothing but the best for her life. But the best for her life takes thought and time. Therefore, I study Hope, and I study things about her. Right now I am studying up on how to make baby food. It is my new hobby. How and when do I feed it to her? Green or orange veggies first? 2 or 3 times a day? And many other questions. I want her awake time to be full of opportunities to grow and learn. I like being there to see what color her poopy diapers are, how long of a nap she takes, and to see if she'll finally roll over. All of this probably seems very mundane, I know. But I enjoy her so much that I love her mundane. So, when you ask me how life is going for me, and I give you a run down on what Hope has been up to, this is why. I love being a stay at home mom, because I love Hope. I love my job.

Here she is sitting up like a big girl.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Baby's First Christmas

Stephanie writing - - Here are some pictures from our trip to California during the holidays. We had a good long trip - but it is never long enough. It was fun spending time with college friends. It felt good for them to tease me and for us to talk about the good 'ol days and to introduce them to Hope. Thanks for putting on such a great Christmas Tea, Sherry. It was beautiful in many ways. Mark's parents made us feel nice and cozy in their newly renovated loft, complete with its own Christmas tree and fireplace :) Linda had 2 Christmas dresses waiting for Hope. She said she'd been waiting all her life to buy little girl Christmas dresses :) It snowed while we were there, so we were forced to just sit and relax. Then we headed down to Southern California to see my family. My mom pulled out my old sheets and blankets that my Ma-maw had made me, for Hope to use. We had a second Christmas there and were spoiled. My dad taught Hope how to run and jump and she giggled about it :) We were fed very well everywhere we went. It is always a special time for us to get to spend time with family. It is always short, but sweet.

Hope on Christmas morning.

The Moore family at Claim Jumper. mmm....

Hope and Nannie in one of her Christmas dresses.

Auntie Sherry and Hope at the annual Christmas Tea.