Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Walk for Hope

If you have read my previous blog (What can you do with $50) then you know that my family are all working on projects to raise money for the Child Survival Project with Compassion International.

My Tennessee kids did a Walk for Hope this past Saturday. My son, Brian; his wife, Amy; and their four children (ages 4-10) walked 30 miles in their neighborhood. They enlisted pledges and when the day was done they had raised $850. How awesome is that!

When their legs got tired they reminded themselves of the plight of children in Ethiopia and they were easily refreshed. I am so proud of my kids and all that they are doing to help their own children get a glimpse of the needs of children in this world.

Another one of our kids will be selling cookbooks soon as a part of their project. I will keep you posted of the progress with this project.

You can read about the Walk for Hope on Brian's blog - brianseay.wordpress.com. I will also keep you informed of the cookbook project. All of the money raised will go directly to the Child Survival Project in Ethiopia.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

What can you do with a 50 dollar bill?

We are becoming increasingly aware of the need for us to give away more than we do - give to the poor, the homeless, single mothers, hurting children, and so on. The list never ends. There are so many needs in this world and so few people who feel drawn to share out of their own bounty to make a difference.

When I hear stats of how much we spend on makeup or junk food or eating out, I am embarrassed for our nation. We could skip a few nights a month eating out and save that money to help Living Water dig a well for a community who has no available clean water.

We could give $30 per month to sponsor a Compassion Child.

There are times that our hearts are touched but we seldom act upon that feeling. I want to commit to find ways to "Give Myself Away" and to be an example to others. This Christmas we are giving a unique gift to our grandkids. Each family of grandkids will receive $50. The $50 is "seed money". They are to find ways to "plant" the seed with the goal of multiplying that money. At our family Christmas they will bring the money they have raised and together we will donate the money to sponsor Child Survival Project through Compassion International. I will be posting more on the details of this project soon. I will let you know what the kids are doing to raise money.

My prayer is that we will set the example for our grandchildren to be aware of how blessed we are and the reality of the needs of children around the world and that we can all make a difference.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

37 Years!

Yesterday we celebrated our 37th anniversary. I am so blessed by that. It helps to have a husband like mine who loves the Lord with all of his heart and who has loved me, cared for me, provided for me and protected me for 2/3 of my lifetime. I love this stage of marriage - there is very little disagreement - there is mostly reading each other's mind - completing each other's sentences - knowing what makes each other smile and being comfortable just hanging out together in the quiet. I love my life and I thank God everyday for the husband he has given me and the family that followed.
If you are married, take a moment to thank God for what He has given you and know that a good marriage is a result of hard work, sacrifice, forgiveness and most of a commitment to Christ.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm Back!

We recently returned from a 10 day trip to Greece and Turkey where we visited ancient sites in cities where Paul preached. It was an amazing trip. There were 23 of us and we enjoyed one another and had fun together.

I felt that the trip gave me insight into the challenges that Paul faced as he said "Yes" to the Macedonian call and entered a region of pagan people. These people were steeped in Greek mythology and the worship of gods and godesses such as Artemis, Zeus, Diana and many, many more. Even today many of these people speak of Greek mythology as if those events actually happened.

It was moving to stand in Phillipi and think of how Paul wrote to them and told them how thankful he was for them everytime they came to mind.

And then we stood among the ruins of Miletus where Paul met with the elders of the church in Ephesus to give them his final farewell before leaving for Jerusalem.

Ephesus was amazing. We sat in the ruins of the large theatre that seated 25,000 people, where centuries ago Christians were thrown to the lions and we considered the church at Ephesus and the work that Paul had done there and then we worshipped our living God together.

Toward the end of our trip we visited the Island of Patmos where John received The Revelation. It was incredibly moving to enter the cave where it is believed that John received the vision from God.

The trip continually took us back to scripture and we found a kind of completion as we read the Word standing in the same places where Paul preached the gospel.

A highlight for me was standing on the Acropolis in Athens and hearing Ed read the passage in Acts where Paul was preaching to the philosophers on Mars Hill. As Ed read this passage many people gathered and stood and listened to the reading of God's Word and then Ed prayed the most anointed prayer - proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in a place where a majority of people are Muslim.

I am thankful for our country and our freedom to worship. I am thankful for my home and family - for my car and for my clothes and the many other abundant blessings that we so take for granted. Visiting other countries will cause you to remember that we are a blessed people.

Have a blessed day of giving thanks!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Life is Precious!

There are some days that I am blessed to be taken back to the important things in life. This week I had one of those days.
I met with a client who thought that aborting her baby was the only option she had. She was living a life of desperation and sadness.

We talked and she cried. I got the opportunity to show her the baby inside of her via ultrasound. There was no manipulation - no magic answers - no problems solved. There was only life - a tiny baby - doing somersaults inside the safety of its mother's womb - a beating heart that in reality is smaller than the eraser on a pencil.

These are the things that are really important - the miracle of a life created - a life that only God can create.

This young woman left with a resolve to give life to the baby inside of her. She did not leave with a plan for her future. She knew that survival would only be possible one day at a time.

We will be there for her. We will help her determine how to relieve some of the issues that have caused the desperation in her life.

Please remember these young women - they need love - they need Jesus - they need a community that will surround them and encourage them to become the woman God has designed them to be.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I Kissed Dating Goodbye?

I need to start this by saying that if you are not already praying for your child’s future spouse, you need to begin now. There is no greater reward than spending years praying for God’s perfect choice of a mate for your child and then seeing that become a reality. God is big enough to bring your child and HIS choice of a mate together regardless of any circumstances – dating or no dating! I am four down and one more to go!

What good comes from dating? Teenage/High School relationships are taken way too seriously and there is now, seemingly, an automatic expectation for sex. Remember, I see teenage girls everyday and I hear way too much. I used to ask girls if they were single - meaning "not married". I have learned that single now means "I am not currently in a relationship". This may seem trivial but it is no longer okay with girls to be "single". I found this to be an important new trend in the teenage culture. When I ask girls if they are single they are almost always offended and quickly respond as if their very existence depends on that answer.

I spend time talking to these girls about learning to love and respect themselves and understanding that they do not NEED a relationship. The culture today tells them they are a “nobody” unless they have a boyfriend. What they need is God!

Because most dating now includes an expectation to have sex, there is less thought given to the decision of whether a teen will have sex with someone. Sex is casual for these kids. They don't even have to have a "relationship" to have sex with someone. They will have sex with "friends".

What all this means is that the culture has changed since my older kids started dating. Sex is casual, free, and found in many different settings - relationships, friends, groups, parties. Our teenagers today have lost all modesty - absolutely no inhibitions. They will have sex just about any place.

I’m sure this is way more info than you really wanted. But I believe that we have to begin to come face to face with reality and what the world is saying to our kids.

Christian kids are just as likely now to have sex than a non-Christian. The stats are pretty scary – there is virtually no difference between Christian and non-Christians as they make decisions to become involved in sexual activity. This does not just mean sexual intercourse. Oral sex is rampant now and has even been seen in kids as young as fourth grade. This is happening with younger kids because they are exposed to sex so much earlier.

I don’t mean to scare you but it is time to not only teach our kids the truth – the details – but more importantly, we must shepherd our kids hearts toward God so they will have hearts that will help them make decisions that are God-honoring.

We cannot protect our kids forever but we can prepare them for what they will face in the world.

I believe that we may have to take extreme measures to protect our kids and eliminating traditional dating may be one of those measures.
I loved watching my kids in their teenage years hang out with groups of friends. They had so much fun together and they learned a lot about male/female dynamics and relationship issues without the pressures and temptations of being alone. Alone is no longer okay. I’m not sure it ever was okay.

I use to tell my kids when confronted with questions about their curfew – “nothing good happens after midnight!”. That still holds true today but it probably can be taken a step further to say “there is little good that happens when you are alone”.

I am praying for you Moms as you find ways to prepare your kids for these issues without taking away the fact that sex is a gift from God for marriage.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jess!

My baby is 19 today! As for most moms, this creates a moment of pause. Can it be that so many years have passed so quickly? I know that many moms of small children tire of hearing some of us older moms telling them to enjoy the moment because their children will be grown before they know it. But it is so true!

This morning I am wondering how it is possible that the years have passed so quickly and I don't feel a day older (okay, maybe a day or two). This morning I am not doing the traditional french toast breakfast, instead I am calling her at college before she goes to her 8 a.m. class.

Jess came to us late on a Saturday night January 14, 1989. She was 3 months old and it didn't take long for all of us to fall in love with her. She was with us until Oct. 16 (a week after her first birthday) and then because of legal issues she left us for 8 months. It was the worst and longest time for our whole family. Together we prayed for this child - we committed to protect her and love her as long as God would allow - we stood together at court hearings every month for 8 months and we stopped everything in our lives when we were told that we could have visits with her. For this child we prayed!

God heard our prayer and allowed us to be the ones to open our family to her - to love her - to see Him work out a special plan for her - to make her our daughter forever!

Today she is 19 - she is a college freshman - she loves the Lord and she loves her family - she is growing a heart that has a passion for children and for people who are hurting.

Today I thank God for the woman that she is becoming and for grafting her into our family.

We love you Jess!

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How to Know and Do God's Will

When I am confronted with decisions, my tendency is to analyze, list the pros and cons, and determine the most logical answer to the problem. I keep a note on my computer monitor that says "I need God!" This is to remind me that I need to go to my God and seek His desires for me instead of attempting to problem-solve my way through the issues.
Recently my husband preached a very practical sermon on this subject. I am including a simple summary from the Word.

Romans 12:1-2
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

• Do this – offer ourselves as living sacrifices as an act of worship
• Don’t do this – conform to the world and what it tells you to do
• Instead… be willing to allow God to renew your mind
• Then… you will be able to discern God’s will for your life

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Temperaments, Part 7: All Strengths and No Weaknesses?

Cholerics have an answer for everything – therefore, they can dismiss any hint of a weakness by blaming it on others, circumstances, the weather, etc. Most Cholerics really believe that they are all strengths and no weaknesses.

• Cholerics are often work-aholics. They don’t like to relax. They will never be lazy. This affects marriages and children as well as friends and co-workers.
• Cholerics are only comfortable when they are in charge. They must learn to step back and relax when someone else is leading.
• Cholerics have a tendency to be arrogant – looking down on the “dummies”. The don’t tolerate incompetence and inefficiency.
• Cholerics are great manipulators. They have a way of getting people to do things without them knowing what happened.
• Cholerics are impatient and don’t handle people well.
• Cholerics speak their mind. Because they think so quickly and they know what is right, they will say what comes to mind without a thought of how it will affect others.
• Cholerics love controversy and arguments, thus stirring up trouble.
• Cholerics have difficulty admitting wrong and apologizing.

*If only the Powerful Choleric would open his mind to examine his weaknesses and admit he had a few, he could become the perfect person he thinks he is.
*(from Personality Plus by Florence Littauer)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Temperaments, Part 6: The Powerful Choleric

*Oh, how this world needs Powerful Cholerics!

The firm control when others are losing theirs.
The cut of decision for foggy minds.
The grip of leadership to head us to the good.
The willingness to take a chance in a doubtful situation.
The confidence to hold true in the face of ridicule.
The independence to stand alone and be counted.
The road map to life when we’ve gone astray.
The urge to “take arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them.”

I am sure that after you read the above, you immediately had someone in mind that fits the description. Cholerics are known – they are not afraid to be “out there”. They are always reaching and succeeding.

*“While Sanguines are talking and Melancholies are thinking, Cholerics are achieving.”

Cholerics are often outgoing and optimistic. They communicate openly with people and you will always know where they stand.

They will crusade for injustice – with a compulsiveness to make things right.

They are not afraid of opposition. They can stand their ground.
They exude confidence.

Proverbs 11:14 TLB
Without leadership, a nation is in trouble, but with good counselors there is safety.

*(from Personality Plus by Florence Littauer)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Temperaments, Part 5: Cheer Up the Melancholy

Sorry for the delay in getting back to Temperaments. - Maybe because it’s time to talk about the weaknesses of the Melancholy (that would be me).

• Melancholies have a hard time relaxing and having fun. They are often the ones in a large group that will leave the room when it’s time for a game or an icebreaker. But, if you put a few melancholies together in a group they will eventually revel in the fact that they have found someone who really understands them. They tend to feel that they are “one of a kind” creating a sense of isolation.

• Melancholies are prone to depression. They take life too seriously and they must realize that no one likes to be around gloomy people.

• Melancholies often take things too seriously. Because they are careful with their words, they assume that everyone else is also. So when the choleric speaks his mind or the sanguine blurts out their feelings, the melancholy reads much into these comments and finds a deep, hidden meaning. Developing an understanding of the other temperaments will help a melancholy. They will realize that the sanguine and the choleric are not out to get them.

• Melancholies don’t easily forget. I can recall trivial incidents in my childhood years that were traumatizing to me – elementary teachers who looked at me angrily – friends who appeared to be whispering about me- hasty words that cut straight to my heart. This can take it’s toll on a marriage.

• Melancholies often struggle with low self-esteem. Because of their need for perfection any criticism given to them leaves them reeling and insecure. We allow others to contribute to the opinions we have of ourselves.

• Melancholies can be their own worst enemy. Again, their need for perfection will keep them from taking on tasks or projects because they fear that they won’t do it perfectly.

• Melancholies have unrealistic expectations of themselves and others. This will result in a critical spirit that can destroy relationships.

• Melancholies need to relax and realize that not everything in life is perfect.

I suppose I went overboard on the weaknesses of the Melancholy because I am one. I have struggled with all of these things, but Praise God, because of the work that He has done in my life I am learning to rest in Him.

Remember, our goal as a child of God, is not simply to understand our strengths and weaknesses, it is to allow the Holy Spirit to TRANSFORM our temperaments – making us more like Christ every day.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world [the flesh], but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Robbie Seay Band

When I'm feeling really proud I like to say that without me there would be no Robbie Seay Band - well technically there would be no Robbie Seay - I can't take credit for Dan and Ryan.
Not meaning to sound cheesy, but, this morning, after enjoying three straight days of RSB concerts, I have to say that it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with God. Their spiritual journey expressed through the new album - Give Yourself Away - is amazing and the talent and giftedness that God has poured out on these guys is evident.
Yes, I am proud and I often call myself the "obnoxious mom". But more than anything I pray that God will lead these guys exactly where He wants them - that the dreams that we have for Robbie and the guys would match the plan that God has and that in all of this God would be glorified and people would be pointed toward Jesus.
I had to post the picture I took at the KSBJ Free Concert in the Woodlands Tuesday night. It was so cool to see the sun come out and a rainbow appear over the stage. I was so amazed at the hundreds of people who came out that night and sat in the rain for at least an hour and still stayed for the whole concert. I loved watching people worshipping God with no inhibition. It was a sweet time!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What a day!

Today was a big day for us. We took our "baby girl" to college. Granted it's only a little more than an hour away and she is not really a baby, but for us this is huge. We know that God gave Jess to us to nurture - to help her grow in her walk with Christ and then to ultimatley "launch" her so that she could fully become what God wants her to be. She has been a special gift to us and now after 36 years of parenting we seem to be ALMOST done.
I am so proud of Jess. She has worked hard to overcome obstacles in her life. She loves the Lord and truly desires to serve Him. She has a sweet and tender heart. I can't wait to see what God has for her.
Please pray for her as she starts this exciting college adventure.
I love you, Jess!
Check out her blog at seay-pictureperfect.blogspot.com

Monday, August 20, 2007

Storm or No Storm - Here we come!

Yesterday we made our way to Galveston Island. It seemed like a safe decision as far as the hurricane goes. As we crossed the causeway there were lots of cars going the other direction - leaving the island. This would just leave more of the island for us.

I know that many people find Galveston beaches disgusting. I get a little defensive when people say bad things about Galveston. I am a native Houstonian (there aren't many of us around) and the only beach I knew growing up was Galveston. The beach is my "happy place". It doesn't matter that the sand is not white or that sea weed is abundant. I go for the beauty and sound of the waves and for the feel of the wind blowing off the water. I just love it! (yes, I have been to great beaches - Destin - Cayman - Jamaica)

Today we spent the day on the beach with Robbie and his kids and Chris and Lisa and their kids. It was an awesome day. The sky was blue - the breeze was nice - the waves were amazing (for Galveston). The kids went crazy on the boogie boards and it was just plain wonderful hanging out with my family. I love my family!

We finished up our family day at Rain Forest Cafe. This is not just a restaurant - it's an experience. You have to love the looks on the kids faces when the elephants and gorillas come alive. It was all topped off with the VOLCANO! If you haven't tried it you really should - brownies and ice cream with a sparkler on top.

I hope that you all have opportunities to simply stop and enjoy the important things in life - like family. I am a task-oriented person so I often find it hard to sit, relax and do nothing. Today I did nothing (except take pictures of my beautiful grandkids) and I was reminded of the importance of just being still in the moment - talking to my kids - enjoying the grandkids and living in the moment. Don't miss your opportunities!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Raising Spiritually Healthy Children

Raising Spiritually Healthy Kids

1. Start praying for your child’s salvation and relationship with Christ before they are born. Prayer will intervene in the spiritual realm where the enemy battles for the souls of our children!

2. Start early
Begin to tell your child that God loves them, God made the flowers and so on. I have heard parents say, “My child is too young to understand about God”. How sad! Children accept what we teach them by faith. The scripture speaks of child-like faith. This faith comes easily for them. Their innocent minds are not overcrowded with reason and doubt.

3. Be real
Our faith in Christ does not mean that life is without difficulties. Children need to see how our faith helps us handle tough times. They need to understand that having a relationship with Christ does not mean that we are immune to illness or people being mean to us.
The key – how we respond to these events teaches our children how they can deal with life.

4. Model your love for Christ
Do you love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?
Our children will not know what a true love for Christ looks like without seeing it in us.

5. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me!”
Do your children see that God is a priority in your home and in your life?
Is it understood that you and your family will be in Bible study and corporate worship every week?
Do your children see that everything in your lives center on Jesus?
Do other things in your world interfere with the things of God?
For instance, do you allow your children to miss church due to sports events or other activities?
Do you plan your church life after you plan your kid’s activities?
We allow “things” in our lives to become gods. If they are more important than God – they have become gods or idols.
Idols can be TV, an obsession with appearance, a desire to have “things”, or simply placing our own children above God.
Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not saying you can’t have a TV or fun things. I’m not saying that your kids can’t play sports or wear cute clothes. I’m not saying it’s wrong to love your children.
I am saying that in everything there should be a balance with Christ at the center.

6. Love the Word.
If you aren’t already, fall in the love with the Word of God. Teach your children the beauty of getting to know our God through His Word. If you don’t understand the importance of this, read Psalm 119.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

6. Be consistent.
In everything you do – your relationship with Christ, the discipline of your children, your marriage, your friendships – be consistent.
We should be examples of integrity – the kind of people who always keep their word.
The scripture speaks of the double-minded man being tossed back and forth by the waves. Don’t let that be you.
Know what you believe, live it, teach it to your children!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Back To School I.N.C. (in the name of Christ)

It's been an amazing day! Every year in August our church women's ministry organizes a project called Back to School, I.N.C. (in the name of Christ). This is an outreach to our community. We offer free tennis shoes and backpacks (these are all new) and haircuts. Today we saw almost 1300 kids smile and show off their new tennis shoes and backpacks. The faces tell it all. They are always so excited.
This is our 5th year to do this. We open the doors at 8 a.m. but by 6 a.m. the people are lined up outside the church. We don't require that these families meet any kind of criteria, we don't use this as an opportunity to add their names to a database, we require nothing of them. We believe that the families that need these things will have their needs met. We share Jesus with them through the written gospel but mostly we share the love of Jesus through our touch, our smiles and our sincere concern for the welfare of these families.
Before the day ended I had an opportunity to pray with a single mom who had just lost her job. She stood on our sidewalk, tears flowing freely, overwhelmed with her life. Afterward we talked about ways that we as a church would like to help her. To do ministry the way that Jesus did ministry is to touch people's lives at the point of their need. I pray that God will continually convict me of this every day - not just on the occasion of a single event. How are we being Jesus to the world closest to us?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

8 Random Facts & Habits about Me

I've been tagged by my daughter-in-law, Liz!
Here is some info you may or may not care to know about me...

The Rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (**if you’re a non-blogger, you can email them!)
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

8 Random Facts or Habits about me:
1. I don't like to make left turns. I plan my route for the day with ways to avoid them .
2. I love the ocean - don't really like to swim in it, but I love to listen to the sound of crashing waves and I love to cruise on it. I call the beach/ocean "My happy place"
3. I am a recovering Diet Coke-aholic. No Diet Coke has touched my lips for 5 years.
4. I am addicted to Ms. Pac Man and The Amazing Race.
5. Deep inside me I want to dance - ballroom or two-stepping. I feel like if I could dance it would be the most freeing feeling ever.
6. I'm afraid of heights but I wish that I had the nerve to do one of those bungee jumps on The Amazing Race.
7. Relaxation to me is playing the piano or deep-cleaning closets and re-organizing stuff.
8. Someday I hope that Ed and I can take a sabatical and live in New York City for 3 months. I want to know how New Yorkers live in the city. I love New York!
This is the bonus fact:
I have the most amazing husband and kids-including son-in-law and daughters-in-law - and 15 beautiful grandkids. I am so blessed and I love my life.

Now, tag you're it! Jenn, Jess, Amy, Holly, Sara, Susan, Liz and Michelle

Friday, August 3, 2007

Temperaments: Part 4 None of us are Perfect (though some of us think we are close)

In the last discussion of temperaments I shared all the wonderful attributes of my very own Phlegmatic. He is wonderful! But, we all have to be aware of the weaknesses of our temperaments so we can strive to improve and be more of what God designed us to be.

Phlegmatics tend to be indecisive procrastinators with no real need to set goals. Some phlegmatics could even be accused of being lazy. As a husband, a Phlegmatic could easily surrender his role as the spiritual leader to his Choleric wife. This is not what God had in mind when He created us. All temperaments, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses are called to be holy, seeking righteousness and following the scriptural guidelines set for us as husbands and wives. God doesn’t exempt us from those directives just because we are not natural leaders or because, as a wife we are strong-willed and opinionated. Thus, the challenge – to surrender who we are in our flesh and allow the Holy Spirit to use our strengths and minimize our weaknesses.

I am a full-on Melancholy with a bent for perfection that could drive all of those around me crazy. I am so blessed to have a husband who so gently knows how to handle my craziness when I have over-extended myself or my outrage when things are not done right. In Florence Littauer’s book she summarizes Melancholies like this…

The depth to see into the heart and soul of life.
The artistic nature to appreciate the beauty of the world.
The talent to create a masterpiece where nothing existed before.
The ability to analyze and arrive at the proper solution.
The eye for detail while others do shoddy work.
The aim to finish what they start.
The pledge, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”
The desire to “do all things decently and in order.”

Because Melancholies are so analytical, we have a tendency to be pessimistic – not because we just want to be negative, but because we think consequentially – we can look ahead and see the problems before they ever happen. This can feel like a curse. Sometimes I just want to not think about things so I will not be critical.

We like schedules, lists, order and bargains. We expect our friends to be loyal and we don’t understand when others don’t have the same high standards that we have. The very things that make Melancholies so valuable are the same things that make them almost intolerable. Our strengths can kill us.

We often have the gift of mercy. We see things in people – their fears, their needs, their pain and we are moved to tears for them. We are often very sentimental and have difficulty throwing things away because of the meaning and the memories.

We make good leaders, organizers and counselors. We will often give up our own plans to help someone else. We are creative and appreciate beauty. You would want to have a Melancholy around if you are planning an event. For Melancholies the joy is in the planning and the execution of the plan.

Next time, we will look at the weaknesses of the melancholy and how our strengths and weaknesses affect our relationships.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We love you, Treston!

This past week our #15 grandchild, Treston, celebrated his first year birthday. I worked on a short video project for his party and as my husband and I (aka Nana and Pop-Pop) were watching the final product we both found ourselves near tears because of the immense love we feel for this little guy.
Treston came into our family through New Life and we are still waiting for his adoption to be completed. But, the moment he came to us we all loved him instantly. Our love is in no way diminished because he was not "birthed" into our family, but in some ways our love for him is very strong because we can so clearly see the hand of God as He placed Treston in Jenn and Rusty's home - his forever family.
Adoption is just one way that God builds families. We see evidences of adoption in the scripture and in those instances it is a beautiful picture of God's sovereignty and His plan for each of us. It just seems more evident when you watch a family grow through adoption.
I have worked in adoption for 18 1/2 years - I am an adoptive mom and a Nana to two adopted granchildren. Often I have birthmoms and adoptive families ask "Is it hard to love someone else's child?". The answer is this - No! Though not flesh of our flesh - Treston has been grafted by God's hand into a family that will love him, encourage him, be an example of godliness and cheer him on to become exactly what God has already planned for him.
We love you, Treston!

Beautiful Feet

I know that I am going to reveal a bit of a strange side of me - but I love feet! I love to take pictures of feet. What is cuter than these two sets of chubby baby feet (they belong to my grandkids)? I love snuggling on the sofa and wrapping my feet around whoever's feet are available. I cannot comprehed the foot phobia thing. I think feet are beautiful!

Unless we have a foot problem we rarely think about the importance of feet. We move on, walking, running - barefoot or flip-flops - without a foot care. Wasn't God creative when he gave us feet with toes to give us the ability to walk and to balance.

Recently I began to experience foot pain and learned that I have a neuroma. I have tried several things to take care of this problem and now after exhausting all my option I will have surgery Wednesday morning to remove it.
I love how the surgeon and his nurse are constantly telling me "it's no big deal" - "it's just a minor surgery" - and so on.
So, whether it's no big deal or not, please pray for my foot and my patience. I have so enjoyed the ability to move around since my healing after knee replacement surgery that I can't imagine being down again.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Flowers in your hair and rings on your fingers

Jess and I are doing a study of Proverbs this summer and I am struck again by the richness of this book. Did you know that when God said He would give Solomon whatever he wanted, Solomon asked for a discerning heart? It’s pretty scary to think of what we might ask for if God gave us that choice.

In working with teenagers and their families for more than 18 years, I find that a missing element in their lives is discernment – common sense – good judgment.
How do children learn these things? As a parent we have been given an incredible responsibility of teaching our children the source of wisdom – the meaning of discernment – the importance of the truth. Have you asked God for a discerning heart?

When you read the first chapter of Proverbs it quickly becomes clear that living a godly life is not rocket science. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” It’s simple – just respect, reverence, be in awe of, honor who God is and obey His Word.

The Message says in Proverbs 1:7
“Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God;
only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.”

I have read verse 8 many times and thought of my own parents instructions but re-read that verse and think of what it means to you as a parent. Are you giving your children instruction that is pleasing to the Lord – something that they will hold to for a lifetime?

1:8 My child, listen when your father corrects you.
Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
What will they remember about your instruction? Do you feel the responsibility as a parent to be constantly in the Word – attempting to discern God’s direction for you? Do you know the Word well enough that you can easily teach your child TRUTH– not situational ethics – not “if it feels right do it” or “every man for himself” – but God’s TRUTH. You have to know it to teach it.
And then there is a promise –
9 Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair,
like rings on your fingers. (The Message)

We must be teachers and we must be teachable. If we do this, the rewards will come back to us in the form of children who love the Lord and seek to follow Him with all their hearts- like flowers in your hair and rings on your fingers.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Temperaments: Part 3 - My Very Own Phlegmatic

My husband, the Phlegmatic - He is the opposite of me! (duh!) I wish that I had understood him better in the earliest years of our marriage. I feel that I would have been more encouraging and appreciative.

Ed is easy-going, calm (even when he is excited on the inside), peace-loving, good under pressure (except when one of our kids had an accident that involved blood) and happily reconciled to life. You might say - who wouldn't want to be married to this guy - Exactly! But, in the early years of our marriage I didn't understand that his lack of enthusiasm didn't mean that he wasn't excited. I wanted him to jump up and down and go crazy sometimes. But he just couldn't. I had a picture that perfectly portrayed this. We had just come home from the hospital with our newborn daughter, Jennifer. We had 2 boys (Chris and Brian) and we were so excited to have a girl. When we arrived home I took a picture of Ed holding Jenn with the boys on each side of him. His face was completely "expressionless". I wanted it to reflect the excitement we were feeling. He has said to me through the years – “Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean I’m not excited.”

Florence Litauer, in her book, Personality Plus, says that Phlegmatics are the closet thing to being a balanced person: one who does not function in the extremes or excesses of life, but walks solidly down the middle road, avoiding conflict on either side. He does not often offend or call attention to himself (you won’t see his picture on the church billboard) and he quickly does what is expected of him without looking for credit. Phlegmatics also often have great administrative skills.

The really cool thing is that these very traits are what makes him a great pastor. He exemplifies the passage that says “When at all possible, live in peace with one another.” He can diffuse conflict and can be a great listener. He can show compassion to those who are hurting and bring words of peace to a marriage in trouble.

My very own phlegmatic brings calm to my craziness. He reassures me when I can’t achieve the perfection I was striving for. He brings order to my over-committed lifestyle. He loves me and protects me. He is generous and selfless. He is always looking out for my best interest or the best interest of his children and grandchildren. This family would not be what it is without the deep love and the peaceful balance that he brings.

Everyone should have a phlegmatic of their very own!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Celebrate Life

Every day we have reason to be thankful for life but this past Saturday (July 14) is my personal anniversary to thank God for His gift of life.
On Wednesday, July 14, 1993, my daughter, Jennifer was admitted to Hermann Hospital to have brain surgery to remove a tumor from her pituitary gland. Jenn had had a long journey with many doctors, lab tests and MRI's before finally learning that there was a tumor in her head that was causing some of her problems. When we were given the diagnosis, we were told that some people chose not to have the surgery. When we told Jenn of the diagnosis she immediately said "I just want them to get it out of my head" We researched the surgery and God gave us a great surgeon. Jenn was convinced that it was the right thing to do. She was 18 - had just graduated from high school and she was the one that had to make the decision.
We arrived that morning feeling "prayed up" and ready to go. We have had many experiences with illness, surgeries and accidents with my children, but I was not totally prepared for this one. The idea that someone would cut into my daughter's brain was more than I could take. Being a nurse I knew exactly what they were going to do (I will spare you the details). When they took Jenn to the holding area they told me that because she was 18 she was not allowed to have a parent wait with her. I kissed her and walked away bravely so as not to upset her. I kept walking - bypassing the waiting room full of friends and family who had come to support us - and eventually ran to the bathroom where I fell apart. I found myself in a bathroom stall bargaining with God. I wrestled with God until I realized that what He really wanted me to do was to give Him my daughter and then trust Him. When I did that a peace that "passes all understanding" washed over me.
God was with her during the surgery - HE gave skills to the surgeon and brought healing to her body with great speed. We give Him glory for all of that. But on that day, 14 years ago, I gave my daughter to Him and with much gratitude to the Lord we can celebrate her life and ministry because of who HE is.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Temperaments - Part 2

The four temperaments were originally proposed by Hippocrates (the "father of medical science") 350 years before the birth of Christ, to explain differences in personalities, based on the predominant bodily fluid—hence the rather unappealing names: choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, and melancholic. Even today these same terms are used to describe temperament, by which we mean an individual's tendency to react in a certain way throughout their life, forming an identifiable pattern.

For example...
The choleric tends to react quickly and intensely, and to take action immediately and decisively- believing that he is always right.
The sanguine is your classic "people person," known for their warmth, enthusiasm, and cheerful optimism.
The melancholy is deeply thoughtful and analytic, slow to respond, skeptical, sensitive, somewhat idealistic and usually creative.
The phlegmatic is usually a "peace-maker"—slow to react, calm, cooperative, and reserved.

In the late 70’s (why do I feel the need to date myself like that) I read Tim Lahaye’s book "Spirit Controlled Temperament" and it clarified for me why I was so intense and so different from my husband. As a melancholy, details meant everything to me and since it meant so little to Ed, who is phlegmatic, I assumed that I was right and he was wrong. Of course, my goal was to change him. We both began to look at temperaments and discovered that we are pretty much opposites and that we could be very different and both be right. This was more important for me to learn than him. It was huge for us to finally understand HOW we were different – what made us react to life the way we did and then how we could work together to blend these two very different temperaments into a successful marriage. This may sound trivial to some, but for us it freed us both to be ourselves and allowed us to enjoy the process of understanding each other and appreciate who God made us to be.

One of the dangers of studying temperaments is allowing ourselves to make excuses for who we are - the “God made me this way so get used to it” mentality. For instance, I’m a melancholy – I need a plan – I need order- so of course I’m right and everyone else needs to follow suit mentality. The main purpose of identifying your temperament is to help clarify your strengths and your weaknesses- thank God for making you just the way you are and then allow Him to use your strengths in serving Him and obviously, through the Holy Spirit in our lives to minimize the weaknesses. It cannot be an excuse to justify our sin!

If learning about your temperament has helped you "get" yourself - has contributed to improving your relationship with your husband or has allowed you to see your chid's God-given bent, would you share that with us?

I'll be back soon with more on each specific temperament type.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Rainbows on my way to church

This morning as I was driving to church I turned a corner and had an unexpected surprise. There in the sky was the most beautiful rainbow. The colors were almost fluorescent. Because I always have my camera in my purse, I pulled over, got out of my car and took pictures. A little farther down the road I looked up to find a double rainbow. It was such an sweet blessing this morning and it started my worship early. I can't see a rainbow without remembering that it is a picture of God's covenant with us - a promise that He will always keep His word. (See Gen. 9:12-17)
We don't often get to see rainbows in the sky but we can find joy in the reminders all around us of God's faithfulness.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Robbie Seay Band

Many of you may know me from my frequest "obnoxious mom reports" so you shouldn't be surprised that I would be anxious to let you know of Robbie's new CD "Give Yourself Away". I promise even if I wasn't his mom I would love this CD. Promise!
His band is releasing their new album in August and today you can listen to one of the songs on their myspace page. Enjoy.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Temperaments - Part 1

Recently I met a friend for coffee and we talked about relationships and how different personalities affect those relationships and I was reminded again that understanding our differences can be so helpful. I first read about the study of temperaments when my children were just entering their teenage years (I wish I had known earlier). You can find many books written on the topic. Gary Smalley compared the temperaments to animals but I could never get the whole lion, otter, golden retriever and beaver thing. Florence Littauer wrote Personality Plus - her book is just fun to read.
I know that some people can take something like this and go crazy with it and make it their guide to living. I don't think it is the answer to all of our problems but it really helped me to understand myself and my family. I also found that it helped me to better understand God's calling in my life.
God created each of us with unique characteristics - Psalm 139:14 says "Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. Ephesians 2:10 tells us "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." He planned who we were to be - gave us our very own unique temperament and then when we accepted Him as our Lord He gifted us with spiritual gifts that were "fueled" by our temperament so that we could do the things He planned for us to do to glofiy Him and further His kingdom. When He calls us to do something - He has already equipped us!
God could have made us all Sanguines. We could have lots of fun but accomplish little.
He could have made us all Melancholies. We would have been organized and charted but not very cheerful.
He could have made us all Cholerics. We would have been set to lead, but impatient that no one would follow!
He could have made us all Phlegmatics. We would have had a peaceful world but not much enthusiasm for life.
We need each temperament for the total function of the body.
Each part should do its work to unify the actionand produce harmonious results.
-Florence Littauer in The Gift of Encouraging Words
If nothing else, learning a little about temperaments is fun. I'll be back with more...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I love books!

Cicero said "A room without books is like a body without a soul." My bedroom definitely has soul because it seems to overflow with books. My bedside table is always stacked with several books that I am trying to read at once. I think it is a crime to throw books away and I find it really difficult to part with books even after I have read them. I have taken them to Half-Price Books on occasion and come away with 25 cents per book.
I ran across an ad in Today's Christian Woman magazine that I found interesting. Christian Library International lends Christian books to the public through small outreach libraries located in YMCAs and distributes Christian books to prisons, homeless shelters, airport chaplains, hospitals, USOs and international missions. They also sponsor a program called Angel Book Mission where they send brand new, gift wrapped, prayed over, Christian children's books to the children in homeless shelters, orphanages and detention centers.

I think I can part with my books a little more easily if I know they are going to someone who would love to read them. You can go to www.cli-nc.org for more information.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Many Hats

I have always wanted to wear hats but I don't seem to have a head for hats. I try them on and try to tell myself that I can do it, but I can't.
Though I can't wear hats and make any kind of fashion statement, I seem to have plenty of "hats" (metaphorically speaking) to wear every day.
Hat #1 - I am a wife to the most wonderful husband ever. I don't deserve him and I am reminded regularaly as I listen to women whose marriages are in trouble, that I am blessed! We are going strong after almost 37 years!
Hat #2 - I am a mom to 5 amazing children. Sometimes I wonder how this all came together and I have these kids that are out changing the world. Only God! I love my children and their wives/husband and their children. Family is important to us. Family times are a real event. (really you must be an Event Planner to pull off our family gatherings)
Hat #3 - I am a NANA to 15 (almost 17, we pray) beautiful grandchildren. Psalm 128 has been a very special passage to me as it reminds us that children and family are blessings directly from God's hand. It ends with verse 6 saying "May you live to see your children's children." I'm living it and I am in awe of God's blessings on our family. My one prayer is that I can know how to be the best NANA to all of these children.
Hat #4 - I am the Director of Pregnancy Services and Birthmother Counselor for New Life Pregnancy Center. I was called in an amazing way to New Life and I have worked there for 18 1/2 years. I'm an advocate for adoption and passionate about saving babies and ministering to women. I can't imagine not working there.
Hat #5 - I am a Pastor's wife. There was a time when I thought I would not want to be this. Thank God that He knows what He has prepared us to do. I love being a Pastor's wife and sharing life with so many special people. I love teaching God's Word to some very special women.
Hat #6 - I am a musician. I love to play the piano and I use this love to communicate my praise and worship to my Lord.
Hat #7 - I am ME - cindy seay. I am still trying to figure what that means exactly in light of the other 6 hats. Every day, if I listen, God reveals a little bit about his plan for me and what His design looks like for me.
I love my life - I love my family - I love my job and most of all I love my God!