Sunday, January 24, 2010

Almost Home

We are in the final stages of building our home. Which is great and terrible all at the same time. Great in that we are sooo excited and ready and can't wait to live back in the hood. But terrible in that these final stages seem to take the longest and be the most tedious.

I go in and see things that overwhelm me and think there is no way this can be finished in several days and then I leave and come back a few hours later and some of those things are done. Which is incredible to see! It is weird to think back just a few short 6 months ago and think we were just praying for the Lord to sell our house so we could someday build on this lot. Now here it is the end of January and we are almost home.

And yet we are constantly reminding ourselves and our kids that this is not our home. That our final destination is not this house, this street, this city or even this world. Yes, this is where the Lord has us for now and it is our job and our joy to serve him where he has us. But to always keep in the back of our mind where our "real" home is. To live with the end in mind.

Thank you for all of your prayers, words of encouragement and help picking out paint colors, Leigh and Brooke :). We are truly blessed by friends and family and can't wait to have you over to our new place. It is beautiful and we wait with great anticipation for the day that we will live there!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Mayor Ain't Payin' for Chicken

Last week I said a prayer and asked God for opportunities to serve Him and to have a "gospel response" in every situation. Well, it wasn't long after that I had to run into the grocery store to grab a few items. As I got in line I noticed the lady in front of me. She was an older lady, with dirty hair, tattered coat, beat up shoes and a worn out look on her face. As I was standing behind her I felt the holy spirit nudge me in my heart and whisper, "pay her bill."

At first I thought maybe I just made it up and my heart was just feeling for her. She then proceeded to pull out a card out of her little change purse that was a food stamps card that would purchase her groceries. The clerk rang her up, she swiped her card and loaded her groceries in her basket. She was starting to walk away when the clerk called her back. "Ma'am, your card only had a $39 balance on there and your total was $44.45, you have a balance due of $5.45." The lady turned to him and said, okay, take off the chicken. I won't buy the chicken. I looked at the clerk and said, "I will pay her bill, just put her balance on me." Both of them stared at me for a few moments and then the lady said, thank you and God bless you."

I paid for my groceries and her balance and then headed to the car. I told my kids the story of what happened in the store and told them that it could be related to what Jesus did for us. He paid our balance, one he did not accumulate, one he did not have to pay, and for nothing in return. Just like I paid for that stranger's groceries, I did not pick out her groceries, I did not have to pay the bill and I was going to get nothing in return. But I did it because as Christ followers our call is to model the gospel in every opportunity we have. Shane Claiborne says, "The gospel is best spread not by force but by fascination."

Yesterday Bennett came home from school and told me that he had told his class what happened at the grocery store. Mom, I told our class that there was a lady in the grocery store and she had a card where the mayor would pay for her groceries but the mayor ain't payin' for chicken, so you bought her chicken for her.

Not exactly Bennett, but close. I pray that even though they may not completely get it now that someday it will sink in and take root in their hearts that our calling is to love like Jesus and "do unto the least of these" even if it means paying for someone else's chicken.

Friday, January 8, 2010


The definition for evacuation as defined by whatever site I googled says this:
Emptying: the act of removing the contents of something; leaving a place in an orderly fashion; especially for protection and elimination: the bodily process of discharging waste matter.

For the Brady family this whole entire week has been about evacuation both on a literal and figurative level. Oh where do I begin....

Tuesday of this week started out as a normal day. Kids got up and went to school, I started my daily routine of laundry, playing with Emma, picking up the house, etc... I went up to the school about 2:30 to pick up Bennett a little early due to the fact that he and Emma would be getting the 2nd half of their H1N1 shots. I knew that may cause a little drama but I had no idea what I was in for and that it would have nothing to do with a vaccination. In fact their shots went really well. Bennett did not cry at all and Emma only cried for a second. We left the room where they were giving shots and headed to the gym. Braxton was coaching a 4th grade basketball game and Preston was in an after school Math help session. Bennett asked to stay and watch some of the game and I needed to wait on Preston anyway so I thought it would be a great idea to hang in the gym. Emma and I climb to the top of the bleachers and sat against the wall. I hand her something to play with and begin a conversation with a mom next to me. Approximately 5 minutes later the fire alarm at PDS begins to go off. I look at the mom I am talking to and say, umm...I wonder if someone pulled that. We then begin to question if we should leave the gym. In fact you can see on everyone's faces the same question. It is at this juncture in time where I turn and for the first time look at my two year old, who I thought was playing quietly next to me. (It has been approx 3 minutes since the fire alarm first sounded.) Emma looks at me and with all the elation of someone who has just won the lottery she exclaims, "I did it!" with both arms raised in the air. Oh sweet goodness, it hits me and I am pretty sure I turned 18 shades of red and my blood pressure sky rocketed as I realized, yes in fact someone had pulled the fire alarm, my child. I pick her up and run to the front desk to let them know that Emma is the reason for all the panic. The girl at the front desk tells me that the fire truck is on the way. NICE. I then proceed to take Bennett and Emma and head for the car, trying to dodge their daddy on the way out. As we step into the parking lot I see two people headed our direction, okay, several people evacuating the building, but two that I locked eyes with. One was Lee Burns the headmaster of the school and the other was Preston. It is here where an already embarrassing situation gets worse. Bennett sees Preston and from across the parking lot shouts at the top of his lungs..."Preston, our sister did it." He does this with hand motions pointing to Emma drawing EVERYONE'S attention to us, including Lee Burns. I immediately shove Bennett's head into my jacket pretty much smother him as I don't make announcements like that. At which he makes a giggle a muffled giggle because I am still smothering him.

So that was the first of our evacuations. One I am sure I will never live down.

The 2nd evacuation actually was of a planned type, my sweet father in law had knee replacement surgery on Wednesday. So his evacuation was that of a bad knee. Not nearly embarrassing as Emma evacuating an entire school and church on a Tuesday afternoon but as defined by Webster's an evacuation nonetheless. He is doing well and hopefully after some rehab will be doing better than ever.

Another evacuation happened yesterday as I went to an ENT to have my ear checked. My right ear has been stopped up since before Christmas and was starting to hurt. I put off going to the doctor as long as possible thinking it would clear itself up. Yesterday I gave in and went. The ENT looked in my ear and found the problem immediately. Both of my ears were clogged with an "excessive amount of wax." Excessive, really? I thought, surely not. Well, he then begins to use a suction tool and evacuate the wax from my ears. He then shows me the wax. I am not kidding it was the most disgusting, discolored and disturbing thing I have seen ever. I was so embarrassed. Now that I can definitely hear better and my ears feel wonderful I am thinking about going into the candle making business. Seriously.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Today we got back to a little routine. Amen. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah! I have never been one for flexing when it comes to lack of schedule. Now don't get me wrong I love to have a change of pace, sleeping in late, wearing PJ's until 10, not making lunches, etc... but after two weeks of that I welcome the routine. Today everyone was up and running despite the frigid temps outside. After I got everyone off to school I had about 15 minutes of time to read my Bible and pray before Emma woke up. It was refreshing to read in Psalms this morning and in Ephesians. Part of what I read was in Ephesians chapter 5, where it reads that we no longer live in darkness, we are children of light and we should live that way.

About two hours later I get an email from my husband telling me about a blog I should read. It is a blog from a girl who lives in Uganda raising 12 girls and mentoring about 150 more. Read it sometime if you get the chance. I read through tears as I read about her challenges, her excitement and her passion for Jesus as well as for the children of Uganda. And then it hit me. Children of light. We no longer live in darkness. And I started thinking. What am I doing? Truly, what do I do that shows tangibly that I am a child of light. Nothing to even compare to what Katie Davis is doing. I am not saying that we should all hop on a plane to Uganda but I do think if we know the truth of the gospel then it must compel us to step outside into the light. It commands us to be extraordinary in our living and giving.

I don't want to get to heaven and have the Lord say, "what did you do with the resources I gave you on earth?" And for my response to be, "well Lord, I bought a really nice T.V., I sent my kids to a great private school, I had a nice car and some amazing vacation time at the beach." I want to live boldly, I want to do things that make people say, "Is she crazy?" So I spent some more time praying and asking the Lord what that looks like for the Brady family. What opportunities does he have for us? It is a scary prayer because it is one of total surrender. And control, just like routine is hard for me to give up. But it is there where I find the most peace, the most fulfillment, the most light.

Be challenged today in your living and your giving. If you are a child of light, live that way and ask God how he would have you do that. I know on Katie's website it says that it only cost $300 a year to send a child to school and give them three meals a day. $300??? Some of us spend that at the hair salon. Not me sweetheart, if you are reading this, just some people. :)

Good friends and neighbors of ours are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia and are trying to raise support to do that. She is asking for 250 people to step up and give $100 each.

Those are just a few ways but there is so much more and a thousand more ways you can give of yourself and not money.

I don't want to live in darkness when He has called me to light and I don't want to waste this day before its time to say goodnight.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-11