The Mommy Bloggy

Reflections of a Mother's Heart

Hiding Broccoli November 18, 2009

Filed under: Laughter and Lessons — Michelle Ferguson @ 2:19 am

Tonight, my three-year-old tried to hide his broccoli under his plate.  The catch is that it was a glass plate!  How often do we try to hide our sin from God, using a “glass plate” to carry out the cover up?  We think we are doing a good job of keeping it secret, but the whole time it is staring God in the face.

The Bible teaches that we cannot hide anything from God.  Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”  I share this truth with my children often.  In their sin, which often shows up as disobedience, disrespect,  or a bad attitude, I want to continually point them to Jesus.  Teaching my children to confess their sin, ask for forgiveness, and turn from their sinful ways is how their relationship with the Lord and with others will grow and strengthen.

God sees us and everything we do like He’s looking through a glass plate.  His view is not obscured.  Let’s make sure we’re not hiding broccoli.

 

Patience is a Virtue November 15, 2009

Filed under: Brad and Me Plus 3 — Michelle Ferguson @ 8:23 pm

When people find out that I home school my children, the most frequent response I receive is something like this:  “Oh, I could never home school my children.  I don’t have the patience for that!”  Let me be clear, sister, I’m not patient either!  I want my children to perfectly understand everything I teach them the first time and not have to continually repeat the same instructions day after day and week after week and month after month.  Is that reality?  No!

Patience is one of the fruit of the spirit.  Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control; against such things there is no law.”  I’ve often heard the advice “Don’t ever pray for patience.”  The meaning being that if you pray for patience, God is going to give it to you by testing your patience.  Funny as that is on the human level, God cannot truly teach us patience and refine us if we are not willing to be put in situations where our patience can grow.  And believe me, you would think in our fifth year of homeschooling, I’d have made great strides with my many opportunites to grow in the area of patience, but God’s still working on that in me!  Just like my children, I am a work in progress!

I am not going to give up praying for patience.  I will persevere in my prayers for patience…and then patiently wait for Him to do His work in me!

 

A Shoe Box Party

Filed under: The Ferguson Family — Michelle Ferguson @ 8:05 pm

My daughter went to a unique birthday party yesterday afternoon.  Her little girlfriend, Alex, invited 22 girls to a birthday celebration, but instead of the guests bringing gifts for her, they each shopped for and packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.  OCC is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children around the world.  For most of these children, these shoe boxes are the only Christmas gift they will get.

The girls were loaded into three vans and driven to the Dollar Tree, where they spent $10 picking out 9 items to go into their shoe boxes.  Lindsay told me people in the Dollar Tree asked the girls what they all were doing and they got to tell them!  What a testimony!

Before Lindsay left for the party, I made our donation and printed our mailing label online.  This will allow OCC to track Lindsay’s shoe box and report to us which country it goes to!  I encouraged Lindsay to pray before deciding whether she would pack a box for a boy or a girl.  I told her that God knows exactly what little boy or what little girl will get her box, and He will make sure the right child gets the right box.  Lindsay felt like God wanted her to choose to give her shoe box to a boy because she thought not many people would pick a boy.  Out of the 23 girls, she was the only one who shopped for a boy!  I was so proud of her for sticking to her decision and not changing her mind once she saw she was the only one doing something different!

The girls returned to Alex’s house to pack their boxes with their treasures and extra treats the host family provided.  The party ended with a cake decorated like a gift-filled shoe box and ice cream.  It was a memorable party and a precious thing to be part of.

Now because of this sweet little girl and her desire to focus on others (even on her own birthday), 23 more children will receive shoe boxes and the gospel message.  What a gift!  You, too, can be part of packing a shoe box for a needy child.  Please visit samaritanspurse.org to get started!

 

Outer Town to Outer Banks November 12, 2009

Filed under: The Ferguson Family — Michelle Ferguson @ 10:39 pm

Last week, our family went “outer” town, headed for the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Now this was a secret vacation for our children, Lindsay, Logan, and Luke.  It was so much fun teasing them about where we were going and what we were going to do.  They were good sports!

We woke the children up at 4:30 in the morning and were loaded in the car by 5:00am!  We offered clues to our destination, such as direction of the sun rise and information on road signs.  They figured out we were headed east somewhere in North Carolina!

Around noon, we arrived at Nags Head, checked into our hotel room, and headed to Jockey’s Ridge State Park for a picnic lunch, which Brad had packed for us.  After a bite to eat, we headed for the sand dunes.  Jockey’s Ridge is home to the highest, natural sand dunes on the East Coast.  We took our shoes off, rolled up our pants legs and found ourselves running to the dunes.  We climbed, rolled, crawled, and ran all over those dunes.  Playing tag at the top of one dune was a highlight!  The view from the top was gorgeous, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Pamlico Sound on the other.  It was by far the kids’ favorite place!

Then we headed to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills.  We learned the Brothers’ first flight lasted only 12 seconds!  If only Wilbur and Orville could see a space shuttle!  We visited the museum, walked up the hill to the monument, and then the kids played on a playground airplane.

The next day, we drove down the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and passed through communities called Pea Island, Rodanthe, Waves, and Frisco.  We stopped at the Bodie Island Lighthouse.  There is a wonderful boardwalk there that leads out to the water.  The scenery is beautiful.  I had made up a scavenger hunt list and brought along paper bags so the kids could have a purpose in our nature walk.  We found everything from animal tracks in the mud to seeds, pinecones, feathers, and shiny rocks.  They loved this and got so excited when they found something on the list!  After collecting our treasures, we got back into the car and headed south again.  We stopped at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which has been moved away from it’s orginal location due to erosion.  It’s amazing to think of all that went in to moving that thing!

We caught the 2:00 ferry to Ocracoke Island.  The kids loved the ride and thought it was way cool to drive our car onto a boat!  On the island, we stopped to view some ponies and crossed the street to see the beach.  We visited the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse and then checked into our hotel.  After skipping lunch, opting for snacks, we were all very hungry for dinner.  Jason’s Restaurant had been recommended to us, and we went there for pizza, and it was very good!  Since we ordered with our eyes and not our stomachs, we had a good bit of pizza left over.  I ordered a piece of homemade key lime pie to go.  Brad and the kids wanted ice cream, but after dinner we found the ice cream place closed, so we went to The Community Store and purchased ice cream bars out of the freezer section.  The kids (all four) were delighted!

After a little souvenir shopping at the Pirate’s Chest, we headed for the ferry landing.  We took the 2 1/2 hour ride to Cedar Island.  This is where our left over pizza comes in the picture.  Brad went to the car and pulled it out, and we all ate pizza for lunch in the inside lounge area, plus our snacks of carrots, gold fish, and chocolate chip granola bars.

On landing, we headed for Beaufort (Bow – furt), NC.  I’m from South Carolina, and we have a Beaufort too, so I had to learn that the NC Beaufort is pronounced differently than the SC Beaufort.   We spent the afternoon walking the water front and eating fudge.  We decided to go into Morehead City for dinner and on the way found a wonderful playground for the kids to play and get some energy used up!  Brad and I even found ourselves climbing, sliding, and swinging!  As we ate dinner at the waterfront Sanitary Seafood Market and Restaurant, we witnessed the most gorgeous sunset.

We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast this night in Beaufort, and breakfast was brought to our room.  The kids thought that was pretty nice…I told them not to get used to it!  Outside the B&B, two swings were hung from the branch of a strong, low tree.  Lindsay, Logan, and Luke enjoyed playing on these, while we loaded the car to head home.

We had a wonderful vacation.  It was a great get-away and refreshing to our souls.  It’s good to spend time with your family away from the distractions of everyday life!

 

Dental Woes

Filed under: Brad and Me Plus 3 — Michelle Ferguson @ 8:54 pm

Did you happen to hear a scream today, oh, around noon?  If so, it was Luke.  He was scheduled for his first dentist apointment this morning.  Let me start from the beginning…

In my hurry to get out of the house with three kids, three pairs of water-proof shoes (“No, Logan, flip flops won’t work on a cold, rainy day.”), and three jackets on the right kid, I forgot my camera.  I always like to catch those “firsts” on camera in the hopes that one day those photos will find their way into an album.

Lindsay and Logan love going to the dentist.  They actually look forward to their appointments.  I don’t know if it’s for the new toothbrush, the stickers, or the balloons…or maybe they just really like having their teeth cleaned!!  When I told Luke Monday we were going to the dentist this week, he asked “Do they have lollipops?”  I explained that the dentist doesn’t promote candy, but I don’t think he understood.  Then he cried, so I didn’t mention the dentist any more until this morning…while grabbing shoes and coats.

He seemed really fine, as there were no tears this time.  However when we arrived at the office and were called back, it was an ugly scene!  Luke cried and screamed, refusing to sit in the chair, open his mouth, or even look at the dental equipment as the very patient hygienist talked with him.  I was getting a little frustrated over his lack of obedience.

Then it hit me!  It’s been not quite two months since his hospitalization for a staph infection.  I think the hygienists in their scrubs, the equipment, and the “medical” atmosphere brought back those memories and caused great anxiety in him.  I immediately gained much sympathy and compassion for him and decided this just was not the day to have his teeth cleaned.  The dentist came into the room and was able to take a quick glance at his teeth, but that happened with him on my lap, holding his arms down.

On the way out, he got his balloon, sticker, and toothbrush and was a happy camper again.  I didn’t need my camera after all!  We will try again in six months!

 

Moments Like These November 1, 2009

Filed under: Brad and Me Plus 3 — Michelle Ferguson @ 9:16 pm

October 2009 109Last week as I was throwing silverware on the table…I mean setting the table, I spilled Logan’s milk.  I wished I could have blamed it on him, but there was no doubt I was the one who had knocked it over!  (Aren’t we always looking for someone else to blame?)

After dinner that night, I attempted to clean up the kitchen, unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher (I just hate that job!), and put leftovers away.  In the process, I knocked over my glass of water on the counter.  In my frustration to try and do everything quickly, I had made yet another mess.  I left the kitchen and went to lie down on my bed.  I was tired, and it was showing up in my carelessness.

After a few minutes, Brad came upstairs to tell me he had finished cleaning the kitchen (bless that man!) and he was taking Lindsay and Logan with him to church (double bless that man!).  So that left Luke and me home alone.  Luke came into my room and said, “Mommy, I want you to walk with me.”  I was so tired, yet I was compelled to get up in the Lord’s strength and spend time with my youngest son.

October 2009 108He and I headed to a favorite spot, a pond near our house surrounded by woods.  On the way, Luke chattered and carried on about a boat, an airplane, and a “big, big dog.”  He found a penny he carefully placed in his pocket like it was a gold nugget.  We stopped to throw sticks and rocks in the water and watch the ripples form and disappear.  Then we decided to be adventurous and walk down a gravel path that led past some houses.  We saw an old tractor, rocks, and leaves which were fascinating topics for Luke to discuss.

As the sun began to set, we headed home back past the pond.  Luke noticed an animal swimming in the pond and asked me what it was.  I had not even noticed it, so we stopped to watch it.  It was a furry animal, like an otter, but I cannot be sure what it was, as it was getting dark.  We watched for awhile and then left.

It was fun to spend a spontaneous adventure with my three-year old.  He brings such a different perspective to life.  He notices everything and talks about it all!  To think I would have missed the wonder and excitement on his face if I had said, “Not today, Luke, mommy is too tired.”  Thank you, God, for moments like these!

 

Free Heart Wash

Filed under: Laughter and Lessons — Michelle Ferguson @ 6:49 pm

Yesterday on the way to Logan’s soccer game, we passed a car dealership where a car wash was taking place.  A couple of girls were holding a sign near the road advertising “Free Car Wash with Donation.”  I laughed and thought, “Now is that REALLY a FREE car wash, if you have to give a donation?”

I’m thankful that God’s forgiveness and salvation are free!  The Bible tells us that eternal life with Jesus is a gift, which means it’s free to us.  “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  It is not earned or deserved, meaning no amount of good works on our part will get us a place in heaven because “it is by grace you are saved through faith…it is the gift of God, not of works” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

Even though this gift is free to us, Someone did have to pay a price, and that Someone was Jesus.  He came to earth to suffer and die in our place on the Cross.  If you are struggling to find peace, lasting joy, and the meaning of life,  understand that you cannot find these things in and of yourself.  Surrender to Christ.  Tell Him you’ve messed up and that you cannot save yourself no matter how “good” a person you think you are.  He loves you and willingly waits to forgive you.  He will come into your life, clean you up, and give you “life and give it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Now that’s what I call a “Free Heart Wash.”  No donations needed!