Saturday, June 26, 2010

Quick Story

(If you missed the previous post you will want to read it to understand the context of Hannah's conversations).

I have always thought that it would be good to have spiritual discussions with our pediatricians. I mean, hey, we spend A LOT of time in the room together with nothing else to talk about, and I REALLY appreciate what they do. But, I always find a way to chicken out.

We finally got around to having a 3 year check-up for Emily the other day and I prepped myself to talk to our great, high-energy doctor when she came in the room. I've been reading a great book called "Share Jesus Without Fear" that I would highly recommend to anyone. Well, I had not gotten around to talking to the doctor about spiritual matters when Hannah beat me to it.

"Dr. X, guess what?"
"What, Hannah?"
"I have Jesus in my heart." Big smile.
Dr. smiles. "Isn't that precious? Mom, is this a recent thing?"
Hannah, interrupting, "My daddy teached me how to do it."
Dr. X, "Well Hannah, did you know I have Jesus in my heart, too?"
Hannah smiles.
Dr. X, "And the best thing is all we have to do is ask! Y'all just made my day."
When she left, Hannah asked me to spell heart. I looked and realized she was writing her own tracts to hand out for people "in case they don't know Jesus."

So I learned a little Witness 1:8 lesson courtesy of my 4 yr old!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How God Works; Memorial Day 2010

Memorial Day has always been special to me, having a Grandfather and Uncle who served in WWII. Four years ago, Memorial Day took on a rather sad meaning for us when Daniel's father passed away from esophageal cancer in the wee hours of Memorial Day 2005. Memorial Day 2010, however, will have a most special meaning in my heart because that is the day my firstborn gave her life to Christ.

Hard to know where to start telling this story. Hannah's birth brought on some health issues for me and a radical shift in perspective to the point that I quit a job I was basically addicted to. Soon after, Daniel's father fought a six month battle with cancer, and passed away. All those events converged on our family and my marriage and my spiritual life in a way I really can't put into words. We were never the same. Praise God, we were never the same. I began to walk with Christ in a more intimate, surrendered manner than before and sometime along that year I began to pray that Hannah would come to know God at an early age and never depart from a serious pursuit of Him all her life. Like always, I prayed in the smallness of my faith and He answered in the overwhelming greatness of who He is. I had hoped "early in life" might mean before the age of 10. God had different plans.

Hannah has always enjoyed stories from the Bible. We started praying with her when she was 2. Her Daddy showed her how to kneel by her bed, clasp her hands, and pray, and she enjoyed doing so. However, sometime between 3 and 4 she began to resist family prayer time. It would be her turn and she would say, "I don't want to pray." This broke my heart and I didn't know how to proceed other than telling her I looked forward to hearing her prayers again. Often we would give her something to repeat and she would participate half-heartedly. I sensed a hardness in her that is hard to describe. In the meantime, my friend Jo Ellen began inviting us to BSF which has fabulous children's programs. I was hesitant to start on yet another Bible study venture or take them to another church building but we tried it out. The children, even in the 2's and under program, are instructed to lay down on a towel and spend quiet time with God. This lasts for ten minutes each week at BSF. Well, the first week went okay but when we came back for the second week, Hannah said, "I don't want to go to BSF. I don't like to talk to God." Well, I calmly (despite wanting to cry and rant) said, "You know, I'd rather talk to God than anyone, Hannah, and I hope that you feel that way soon because He is my favorite."

As Hannah has stayed the course in BSF where she is taught accurate Bible stories chronologically from the book of John, she has fallen in love with Jesus. She has a suprising grasp of basic theologicacl concepts which we reinforce at home through daily Bible stories. So one day we were riding in the car and she said,
"Does the Holy Spirit live inside me?"
"Well," I answered, "He lives inside those of us who have asked Jesus to be our saviour."
"What is a saviour?"
"Someone who saves us from our bad choices and makes a way for us to be with God forever."
"I want that. I want Jesus for MY savior, to help me not make bad choices, and to go to Heaven with Him, and I want to be baptized."
Well, I about had to pull off the road. I was not prepared for this at the age of 4!

The following week at BSF, I spoke to Kim W, our awesome former children's pastor, and she encouraged me to continue talking to Hannah. We left the sanctuary to go downstairs and get the children. The home training lesson was handed to me, and I looked down at the title, "How to lead your child to Christ." I already had tears in my eyes. Her teacher then pulled me aside, "You need to read this," she said. "Hannah is asking all the right questions. You need to be ready." I began to realize that with all Hannah was at the age of 4, she wanted all of Jesus. Sure, she thinks "sin" is Spanish for "bad choices" and she still makes plenty of them but she is aware of her sin and desires a savior. Over the next week, she told me multiple times that she was ready. In the car on the way home from Alabama on Mother's Day, we asked her to bless the Wendy's we were about to inhale and she said, "Thank you for this chicken and Jesus I would like to ask you to be my savior." Boom.

Since this was not the full confession of sin, desire to repent, and life surrender prayer I believed she needed to pray we knew we needed to follow up. It is with joy that I write that when this time came, I had ultimate confidence in my husband to spiritually discern this situation and lead Hannah in the way she should go. I took Emily shopping and he took Hannah on a date. A couple of hours passed, and when I came in the house they were quietly reading a book. I went to the kitchen to put some things away and I heard her come up behind me. "Mommy," she said, "I have Jesus in my heart." I turned around to look at her and what I saw physically affected me. She looked radiant and peaceful in a way I have not seen and she ran into my arms and threw all of herself around me in the best hug. If I drew this story out or included too much information for some of you, I'm sorry, but that moment blew me away. I don't want to forget any of it.

After she left, I called Daniel into the kitchen and covered his shirt in mascara. Then he retold me some of the conversation. What struck me is that even as ready as she was, when he brought it up again there was resistance there. Even at the age of 4 there was a war for Hannah's soul. "I don't want to talk about that now," she said. So he waited and she said, "Well Daddy, maybe I do want to talk about it. About Jesus being in my heart." Why do we resist a love that is so encompassing and so radical and so thorough?

Thanks for hanging in there and reading this story. Hope you have one, too. There is nothing like knowing He is yours and you are His. Forever.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I changed the girls' clothes out this morning and came up with this list rather quickly.

5. It takes forever.
4. My children, well, let's say they are not content to play quietly and let me get the job done.
3. It never really ends. There's always that load of laundry you pull out right after you move everything over so you have to hall the storage boxes back out. Not to mention April cold snaps. Huh.
2. It's tedious. Should I hang all the skirts together? Will this still fit this year or not? Etc, etc.

1. It is such a tangible/visual reminder of how quickly my babies are becoming women. There. I've said it. Every time I put a shirt or pair of pants away knowing the little person who wore it would never be that little again...ouch!

On a lighter note, I was pulling out the large, under-the-bed storage totes today and Hannah, age 4, was watching me closely. And then, no lie, she looked me straight in the face and said,
"Mom, have you ever tried the 'shoes under'?"
Wait, was my 4 year old really quoting an infomercial to me?
"What did you say?"
"The shoes under" she said, as if I was really slow on this one. "It's a special package for holding your shoes. Fits right under the bed. Works great. I saw it on television."
Oh, yes. My very own Jack Lalanne/Billy Mays. I got a good laugh out of that one.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Confessions of a Slack Blogger

Can I really refer to myself as a blogger anymore? :) I apologize for letting the blog go, but there have been so many things going on that I have just chosen not to blog.

The main thing God has been teaching me over the past 3 months is the value of relationships. I have never been the world's greatest friend...I get so absorbed in my to-do list and my own immediate family that I often neglect friendships, etc. I am still struggling with this. However, God has allowed me to be in several relationships that are stretching me on that front. I am learning the art of the phone call, hanging out, etc. I am learning how to give my time away rather than horde it, or at least I realize that's what I need to learn and I'm trying to learn it! Because of this, I have chosen to spend less time blogging.

I've also been working on some things for our consignment sale next week (see pictures).

But, more and more, I am falling in love with what God is doing in my children. Don't get me wrong, they are still 2 and 4 and act like it every day. But to hear them discussing the power of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus is their favorite, etc, etc, well, it's just the blessing of my life. Hannah's newest catch phrase is "new mercies." She has a very strong will, and some days she hits a point where she really struggles to do anything the way I've asked her to. After she is punished, I remind her at the end of the day that "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" Lamentations 3:22-23. She loves to kiss me in the morning and tell me she has new mercies. Oh, that we would all have the faith of a little child!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Toddler Tuesdays

Okay, so I am quickly realzing my children are no longer toddlers. :( :) They are big girls and even though Mama has a hard time letting go I am very blessed to watch them grow. And they still say some hilarious stuff. Some entertaining things said in the Snook household of late:

"Mama, this is Goliath. He gots big muscles cuz he's a giant. I don't like him. I don't like Goliath cuz Jesus is my favorite."

HANNAH:(counting to 50)
"Forty-five, forty-six, forty-seven, forty-eight, forty-nine...." pained expression, deep thought, then confident smile and shouts, "FIVER!!"
I laughed so hard that she does it on purpose now.

And after dancing around to kids gospel songs today they dressed up in finery and asked me to take a picture so enjoy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A New Year

Well, I have really fallen off the blogwagon. :) I think deep down I just want my India trip to be the first thing everyone sees when they visit my blog! :)

Someone asked me the other day if I was glad 2009 was over. Well, I am excited about 2010 but blown away by 2009. I could write for a while about the things God taught and showed me in 2009 but it all started with our student pastor's message on the first Sunday of 2009 and his challenge to "make Jesus your New Year's Resolution." My resolution was to know Christ. I think I'll just keep that one going for 2010.

Hannah and Emily sure grew a lot in 2009. To my many friends who have two under two or two under three, be encouraged! In 2009, we left diapers behind! Hannah can now do the entire process of turning on the light, using the toilet, washing and drying her hands, and turning off the light all by herself! And Emily only needs help washing her hands. What a nice change! Our schedule is pretty flexible now...lunch is anywhere between 11:00 and 1:30. Nap time starts around 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, or even 3 and everyone rolls with it. That's nice. Emily's speech and personality are blowing me away. And Hannah is old enough now to build an authentic relationship with! And I am watching God woo her into the best relationship of all and that's amazing!

So with all fo that in mind I thought I'd post a picture of last year's gathering with cousins and this year's