I wanted to share something that was weighing on my heart while I read the first chapter of Lynnette's story.
I was very drawn to what Lynnette was saying about being a "charity case". God using the love and generosity of other people to shed rays of kindness onto Lynnette and her husband. I recently read Bob Lenz's book entitled Grace. Bob is an international speaker for Life! Promotions. I had the priviledge of unknowingly attended a sermon presented by Bob at our church Pathways, he spoke about God's grace. He illustrating his passion about how we receive grace and how it has nothing to do with what we can offer to Christ. He has one specific chapter of his book entitled Charity Case (Chapter 3). I was pulled right back to this book when I read Lynnette's closing in chapter one. Being a charity case is all about becoming a christian. While Lynnette used the name to describe the state of her well being when receiving such generous offerings from church peers - Bob expresses Christians as needing to be a charity case in order to receive grace from God. We need to admit that we have nothing. Nothing that we have can give us a pass into heaven. It's about accepting His unconditional love. It's about allowing ourselves to receive the gift that He is offering - a gift that we do not deserve and have not earned. I highly recommend reading 'Grace', it's a book that tells it like it is!
"When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners." Romans 5:6
When did you first decide you wanted to have children? Was it planned or unplanned?
Wanting children was a big thing for us. We definitely were on the same page about wanting to start a family. When we were married, we had decided that we wanted to start having kids within three years. However, two months after we got married, Paul's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Paul and I made the decision that we wanted our children to know who their grandmother was and when it came down to it - what were we waiting for? So within four months after we tied the knot - we were pregnant. It took only one attempt!
What feelings did you have for your child when you first found out you were pregnant?
Oh my goodness - the feeling was overwhelming. As I mentioned earlier in the post, it was feeling that was completely out of my control. I found out we were pregnant within 10 days after we conceived and I was so excited. Read that crazy story here! It took about 4 weeks before I started to think about all the bad things that could happen (I let myself go to the hormones). I took several pregnancy tests within the 1st trimester to alleviate any doubt. But I was more exhilarated than worried. I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mother and I am so priviledged to have the option to be one.At what point in your life did you start searching for God?
Lynnette begins to talk about her happy marriage with Kyle and the moment that they decided they needed more in their lives. It was a similar experience for me. Although Lynnette became a christian while still pregnant, I had my awakening after my child was born. I saw that I could not do this on my own, nor did I want to do this on my own.
Lynnette had commented on my Taking The Back Seat post, saying "God used my first son to draw me (and my husband) to himself. There's just something about having a child depend on you...look up to you. You have this huge amount of love, but you also have a sudden awareness of needing the guidance of the one who really knows what that little life needs...what you need. I'm so glad that God gave you that baby to draw you closer to his side." There is something remarkable that happens to you when you become a mother. This greater level of emotions take over your whole being, you can't control it. I had to say to myself, "If I have this overwhelming amount of unconditional love for this little boy, then God's love for me must be beyond fathomable."
Has there been a time in your life that God provided?
Paul and I became a "charity case" in the summer of 2005. Paul had been unexpectedly let go from his job. We had a decision to make about our future, should he go find a job elsewhere - or go back to school to finish an uncompleted degree. While we chose the latter, it left us in a difficult financial position. Paul's parents graciously invited us into their home while Paul completed school. My income alone could never sustain the two of us in an unnecessarily expensive deluxe apartment in downtown Milwaukee. So, we moved out and moved into Paul's parents house. We are very grateful for the selflessness of these two people that allowed us to save our money, and give their son a chance to finish his degree. We wouldn't be where are today if they hadn't reached out kindly to help us along. At the time I didn't give thanks to God for his mercy in providing for us, however now I looking at my life through a new pair of eyes. I recognize his glory now.