There is one thing I absolutely love, and that is a clean house. I came to that realization a few years back, after I had returned from a ministry trip to find my house in shambles. My children had entertained their friends with some sort of party in my absence. After I couldn’t get them to admit to the reason for the mess, I immediately got into my “cleaning mode.” After hours of cleaning and rearranging to my satisfaction, I sat on my reclining chair with a glass of water and a sense of a “Yeah! I got it done” feeling swept over my soul. This was the first time I had admitted to what my children had always jokingly accused me of, saying that while people will be worshiping in heaven, I will be cleaning.
We have rolled over into a new year, on the heels of what is traditionally a busy season. We may search for pockets of rest that can help rejuvenate our souls and our bodies when weariness sets in. Actually, it’s really not just a seasonal thing...Jesus tells us to come to Him for rest, but the demands and distractions of everyday life can keep us from enjoying that experience.
I recently saw an exhibit called “Transformart” at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit is expansive. As you enter the three-room panorama of tropical animals and plants you hear the sounds of a waterfall and birds chattering. The centerpiece is a twenty-five-foot tree made from clothes. As you look around, you see that everything is created from items that most of us discard. There is a life-like sheep of computer cables and a giant bird of shoe laces. The neck and head of a giraffe made of broken pencils protrudes from the wall above you. Perhaps the most startling creatures of all are the animals created from hundreds of empty ammunition shells.
Last month during our Children’s Choir Christmas program the first grade through the sixth grade choirs presented, “Arrest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” It was a Christmas musical that used all the events surrounding the birth of our Savior to convince skeptics in Bethlehem of Jesus’ arrival. It was cute and our children did a wonderful job with the drama and music. When I stood to close out the service, I drew attention to the children that played Mary and Joseph. I told them that Mrs. Coleman and I were Mary and Joseph in our Christmas program as teenagers and look, we got married. I kidded them that the same thing could happen to them in real life too. The little boy who played Joseph was emphatically shaking his head “no.” We all laughed. By the way, we were King and Queen at the Sweetheart Banquet as well.
A core component of my regular reading diet is books on parenting. As long as I am a parent, and especially a parent of tweens and teens (parenting babies and toddlers is straightforward by comparison!), I want to stay sharp, to be challenged, to be equipped. A good book helps me better understand the purpose of parenting and helps me better fulfill my God-given duties.
RRJ: Have you both been Christ-followers since a young age?
Lori: We both attended church from the time we were babies. We were both baptized as teenagers. However going to church is much different than living a Christ-filled life. That transformation happened while in law school for LaBarron. When adversity hit, his faith was tested and God clearly revealed Himself to him. LaBarron said it was as if he was having a conversation with God when God clearly said you cannot expect my blessing unless you live a life worthy of my mercy and grace. At that time LaBarron’s journey began anew and He strove to Honor the Lord. My journey began after law school when I had reached all of my goals and still felt something was missing from my life. I began reading the Bible and experienced my life being transformed when the words came to life for the first time.