The Christian life is like sitting in church with kids


Ever been frustrated by the tension of all that’s (wonderfully) true about the Christian life and actually trying to live it out among others?

A few months ago I had this humorous experience which seemed not unlike the experience of being a child of God still in this world.

Our church was blessed to have a special speaker and he was taking us on a whirlwind tour of the book of Hebrews. (You can hear the sermon here) It was so wonderful! Jesus was exalted. The Word came alive, and my heart and mind were literally thrilled with the truth.

My wonderful four oldest children were sitting with me (Paul was filling in elsewhere during that hour so unlike normal I was alone with the kids), and I guess their experience and interaction with the Word that morning wasn’t quite the same as mine. Exclude the oldest from that statement; she was not causing any problems. I’m too far removed from the scene to remember the particulars, but I had to deal with all sorts of nonsense during that sermon. Wiggles, questions, flipping pages, elbows… it went on and on even more than usual. Not all of it was bad! Of course I want the one just learning to read to ask for help to know where he is when reading Scripture, and of course I want to give a quick definition of an unfamiliar word to the four-year-old.

But I also want to just sit and listen!

See the pattern:

LISTEN: Wow! that is amazing! I cannot believe Christ would lower himself to suffer like we did. I want to love Him more! I want to go home and read the whole book of Hebrews! I am so thankful we have the Bible! God is so good! 

DISTRACTION: ***addresses wiggling***

LISTEN: Wow! This is so wonderful! I’m so thankful my kids can be in church with me. 

DISTRACTION: ***finds verse for child***

LISTEN: I hope I didn’t miss anything. Wow, that is so good. 

DISTRACTION: ***warns child about wiggling***

TRYING TO LISTEN: I wish these kids would just let me listen to the Word! 

GRACE: Wait! This is what it’s all about!

Being filled with the knowledge of Jesus and then lovingly coming alongside others to help them to know Him, too. 

Often, simultaneously.

Why doesn’t God save us and take us out of this world? His image redeemed in us brings us back to a life of worshipping Him and displaying His glory to others.

But often displaying that glory doesn’t seem so glorious. Like reminding a child to listen to the preacher, or encouraging a sibling to be kind, or confronting someone in their sin, or forgiving someone for thoughtlessness, or doing that menial task for the hundredth time, but with joy.

It’s not enough for the pastor to sit in his study and feast on the truths of Scripture – he has to communicate it to the flock and then actively help them grow and mature in what has been said, as messy and hard as that may be.

It’s not enough to sit in your quiet time and be filled with a desire for righteousness – you have to take that into the workplace and shine the light through darkness and confusion.

It’s not enough for a mom to be thrilled with the truths of Scripture in the pew on Sunday morning. She has to translate that to the nitty-gritty lives of her children. Sometimes during the sermon.

The Christian life is both a deep well of knowledge and fellowship with Christ and also a cross-channel swim against the currents of sin, time, and limitations from ourselves and others. We both rest in our position in Christ and work tirelessly to become more like Him and to make Him known in the world around us.

Don’t be discouraged when it all happens at once. God is absolutely able to make all grace abound to you in every situation.

Even when you’re alone in church with little kids.

P.S. You really should listen to that sermon.


lyrics i love


Beneath the cross of Jesus

I find a place to stand,

And wonder at such mercy

That calls me as I am;

For hands that should discard me

Hold wounds which tell me, “Come.”

Beneath the cross of Jesus

My unworthy soul is won.

Beneath the cross of Jesus

His family is my own—

Once strangers chasing selfish dreams,

Now one through grace alone.

How could I now dishonor

The ones that You have loved?

Beneath the cross of Jesus

See the children called by God.

Beneath the cross of Jesus—

The path before the crown—

We follow in His footsteps

Where promised hope is found.

How great the joy before us

To be His perfect bride;

Beneath the cross of Jesus

We will gladly live our lives.

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Keith and Kristyn Getty

The Sounds of Saturday Night

photo credit
photo credit

A few weeks ago, the funniest thing happened while I was preparing to iron on a Saturday night.

I took a skirt off of it’s hanger and mindlessly hung it on a nearby doorknob. A little “clink” sounded when the hanger hit the door. Instantly, my mind was flooded with sweet sounds and memories.

I used to hear that “clink” sound a lot on Saturday night.

My mom would be quietly ironing in the corner of the family room closest to the laundry area. I hear the spritz of the spray starch, the poof of the steam, the fabric being readjusted on the board, and of course, the clink of the hanger either coming or going from the doorknob.

Everyone in general was spread out sort of doing their own thing.

My dad’s chair creaks in his office. He must have sat back to think for a minute about his Sunday school lesson. The chair creaks again as it’s returned to upright position; smooth dark fingers return to typing and clicking away.

I can hear my brother walking back and forth in the hallway, thinking out loud to no one in particular.

There are a number of sounds my sister might have been making. Practicing that offertory one more time, fussing in front of the closet, or moving positions on the couch while she devoured a book.

I really can’t for the life of me remember what I would have been doing. Certainly not paying attention to anyone around me.

Funny now, how it all seems so clear.

Kristin: Ob/gyn to stay-at-home mom

Hello everyone and welcome to Mother’s Week! 

I’m so excited to pass along a story today from one of my dear friend’s here at our seminary. Kristin is one of the kindest and most caring people I know. Her love for Christ and her service to others were evident the first time I met her! She organized meals for our family after Mckayla was born, has babysat our children just so we could have an evening together, and regularly encourages all who know her with her sweet spirit. Several months ago, she shared her testimony with our seminary wives group. It was so touching; I asked her right after if she would let me put it up here. She was so sweet to say yes, and so I’m been saving it for this Mother’s Day week. I know you’ll love getting to know her and be blessed by the story of God working in her life.

Hi! My name is Kristin, and my husband Kevin is a Masters of Divinity student here at Shepherds. We should hopefully be finished by May of next year.

I appreciate the opportunity to give you all my testimony and share with you what God has done in my life. I, like many people, do not feel comfortable speaking in front of people so when Lucy asked me to do this, my hands typed back “sure” while the rest of my body said “NO!! Are you crazy?!” The very next day, we had a Seminary Wives Fellowship and our very own sweet Marsha gave us a talk on how to give a presentation. What perfect timing! Well, she talked about how important it was to have an illustration that could relate to people. Well, my mind began thinking of what I could possibly use…and in 5 months, I could only come up with one thing. And after my testimony, hopefully it will make more sense why this something is near and dear to me!

****At this point, Kristin held up a diagram of a uterus! We were all like, “Wha?” but just hang on, you’ll soon understand, too. = )****

Does anyone know what this is?

Right! A uterus!

Just in case you don’t know, it is the female organ which is responsible for our lovely menstrual cycles but also the wonderful organ that carries babies!

The uterus is an amazing organ. When a woman becomes pregnant, the uterus will stretch up to 500 times its normal size! 500 times! And it doesn’t bust open! That is amazing!

Well, God may choose to stretch you more than you think you could ever be stretched, but don’t worry, you won’t bust open either!

Let me tell you how God is stretching me!

I was raised in a Christian home. I heard the gospel, and at the age of 8 years old, I accepted that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. And that God had sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sin, so that I could spend eternity with him in heaven. I continued to believe this throughout the rest of my childhood and into my adult years. There were several years when my walk with Christ was not close, and there was little fruit in my life, but by God’s grace, he drew me near again about 10 years ago.

Let’s back up about 15 years.

I was in medical school pursuing my life-long dream of being a doctor. I knew I would get married someday, but I figured it would be when I finished medical school and then started my Obstetrics and Gynecology career in Denver, CO. The man of my dreams would be found skiing in the newly fallen snow on the slopes!

And then before I was able to finish medical school, I met my future husband, at a billiard hall. Oh, and by the way, he hates cold weather and certainly does not like to spend all day in it skiing! Good-bye Colorado….Hello sunny Florida!

Kevin was not a believer when we met, and he subsequently met weekly with the pastor of my parents church and by God’s grace, he accepted the gift of salvation. We were married in 2001 and then moved to Jacksonville, Florida for my residency. When we moved to Florida, we had no idea how to look for a church. The Lord was so kind to us and placed us in an amazing Bible-believing church where we could be mentored and our faith began to grow.

Kevin was immediately on fire for Christ and he just couldn’t get enough. He would get together with guys from the church and talk theology into the wee hours of the morning. He had truly put off his “old self” and was putting on a “new self.” And it was a totally different Kevin than the one I met in a pool hall and married!

I was pretty consumed with work, practically living at the hospital delivering babies day and night. That made it easier for me to avoid dealing with the fact that we were not growing in Christ together. I began to resent that he was trying to be a spiritual leader when he hadn’t even became a Christian until recently. I was the one who had been a Christian for a LONG time, who is he to tell me about God? However, I was becoming to feel more convicted about the double-life I was living, outside of church and inside church. And my now “goodie-twoshoes” husband wasn’t helping any!

Thankfully, God spoke to my heart, and with His help, and Kevin’s patience, we, as a couple, began to make some big life changes and grow together in the knowledge of Christ.

One big change was the desire to have children.

We didn’t think kids were for us. Whoa, being stretched here! Kids? Really? But God laid the desire on both of our hearts, so…well, I won’t get into that- you figure that one out yourself. But then we had our first child, Brendan in 2005, right before we moved to Virginia so I could join a private practice there.

OK…so now the uterus has been stretched a bit. That is good, right God? No more stretching necessary!

This is great! Picture this! I’m now a partner in a private Ob/Gyn practice. Did I mention it was a Christian practice? We gave Bibles to all of our 6 week postpartum patients with their baby’s name in it. I have the BEST office staff, the BEST hospital staff, the BEST patients. I have no financial woes. I am able to aggressively pay off my student loans. We have a nice house. I have a husband who has quit his job and has joyfully devoted his life to raising our children. We now have 2, Kayla was born in 2006. My parents live 5 minutes away and are available to help any time we need it.

Everything is great on the outside…except that inside, my heart is hurting.

I don’t get very much time with my family at all. Being responsible for the lives of moms and babies is taking a toll on me. I want to do everything right, I don’t ever want to make a mistake with a patient. I am obsessed with every detail of every labor, every delivery, every annual exam, every surgery. But in return, I am missing my own baby’s first steps, and first words, and preschool plays.

But Lord, who goes to school for all these years and then finally is a successful doctor, and then quits? To do what? Be a stay-at-home mom? What will my husband say? We agreed that he would stay home and I would work. What will my office say? What will my parents think? I can’t stretch that much Lord. I’m not going to say anything. I figure this is probably just a phase, and I’ll get through it.

Well, little did I know, that God had laid the same thing on my husband’s heart. He had heard a message by Alistair Begg about motherhood. And he became convicted that we were not following the Biblical guidelines for how a family should run, with me working and him staying home. Now, I understand that there are reasons that a woman works outside of the home and I am not passing judgment on anyone else or making a blanket statement. But for our specific situation, ours was purely by choice. Our debts were now paid off, there was no reason why I had to be the breadwinner anymore.

So, Kevin dropped the bomb and spoke to me about quitting my job and becoming a stay-at-home mom. He was so worried that I would have a negative reaction! He had no idea that I longed to be home with my children but I was just too scared to say anything. God had prepared both of us for this idea…unbeknownst to the other person! Wow God!

But let’s keep stretching that uterus. I start the process of quitting practice. It takes almost 2 years to jump through all the hoops and stop work. I’ll spare you the painful details. As we worked all of that out, Kevin and I started discussing what he would do. Would he go back into the secular work force, or would he pursue this growing desire to attend seminary? We prayed and felt that seminary was the way God was leading us.

Also, during that time of transition, God blesses us with an unexpected pregnancy. Yes, an Ob/Gyn doctor can have an unexpected pregnancy! My last day of work was the day my water broke with Josie on June 30, 2010. And then Kevin started seminary 2 months later.

And here we are! Josie will be 3 in June, her sister is 6, and her brother is almost 8. I am a full time stay-at-home mom and I love it. My uterus is still stretching but not because of any more babies (I think!), but now because in a little over a year, we will be done with seminary. And then I may find myself as a preacher’s wife! What??? Me? Sometimes I wonder if I can really stretch that much. But I know that God is in control and I am so thankful for Seminary Wives Fellowship and the ladies that pour into us here.

Maybe some of you always thought you would end up here, but I sure didn’t. But I know that God will equip me and I already see how he has provided such wonderful people to help me along. One last uterine fact, the uterus starts out about 2-3 inches big, then expands to up to 500 times its normal size, then after birth, it goes back to about 4 inches big. Not the original 2-3 inches, but closer to 4 inches. God will stretch you, sometimes farther than you ever expected, but he will be with you the whole time and will protect and guide you. And you may never be the same again, but it is all part of God’s sovereign plan. God is molding you and making you just what he wants you to be.

I want to close with a verse. I have carried around an index card in my purse for many years with the scripture verses Philippians 4:6-7 on it. As my life goes in directions I never thought it would go, it is easy for me to be anxious about the future. What does God have next for me? His Word says, “Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

Thank you so much, Kristin! Your story is an inspiration to me every time I hear it.