Mother’s Day

8 05 2011

It’s time to spend a time thinking about the investment of a mother again and once again I have to do so without the presence of my own as we live 2000 miles apart. It’s days like this that the distance might as well be a million miles….seems hard.

However, even though hard not to see her today, there is so much to be grateful for in her. I think becoming a mom 17 years ago has made me appreciate so much more my own mom. I did not realize what she had been asked to do in raising two daughters.

There are two kinds of mothers in the world (at least from my own observations). Those who embrace the calling, throw themselves into loving their babies and do whatever it takes to bring them up according the God-given responsibility described in the Bible. And then there are those who think little of the role, hang on the their own small life and lose the opportunity to influence the next generation by pouring into their children.

I am very happy, grateful, delighted, and humbled that my mother was the former. She loved being our mother both while we were at home wearing her clothes, messing up her house, spending her money, and taking up tons of her time and she still loves it. She still delights in us coming home with our own kids to mess up her house, raid her closet at times, spend some of her money, and takes tons of her time!!! And she makes us all feel loved.

So much of what I am today is because of her love for me and because she showed me the way to the cross. Pointing out this way, until Christ captured my heart. God used her as a tool in bringing me to Himself and He did so because she was was obedient to Him to raise her children according to His ways as best as she could. I am blessed.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama. We will celebrate more in CO in June.

I love you,


Bag it Movie

20 04 2011

I hardly ever blog any more….time is not available right now, but I plan to get back into it for lots of reasons. The primary purpose of my blog is to encourage the women who attend A&E at FBC Norco but sometimes I just share things that I am thinking about. Like this time.

Last night I had a terrible headache and ended up in my bed early. I took at nap at 7:00, woke up at 7:45 and decided to try to stay awake for a while in order to be able to sleep through the night. I flipped on the TV and it was on public television because my almost 4 year old had watched a program earlier in the day. Normally I would have changed it to a movie channel or network to be entertained but the topic on PBS was one that intrigued me…..and yes this will seem weird…. the disposal of plastic bags.

I usually don’t pay huge amounts of attention to environmentalists because they often come across as so in love in with earth that they forget the value of people. The earth is temporary, people are eternal, that’s the way I see it. However, I am ALL for good stewardship of the earth. I recycle, reuse, etc and I look for ways not to be wasteful. I never litter, etc. The guy speaking on this show seemed to have the same idea as me….do what you can intentionally. So I watched the entire hour of him talking about his journey into understanding what plastic bags (and other forms of plastic) are doing to the environment and I was inspired.

So inspired I decided to do my part! So here I am asking you to watch the trailer of the documentary and if you are so inclined to find the entire movie on an upcoming PBS station and watch. (The website has a link for available times.) The end of the movie has some practical things that ordinary people like me can do to help keep our God-given earth beautiful. After all man was given dominion over it (Gen 1:28) and my understanding of that is that we are care-takers. According to Romans 1, the earth displays the creator because it is too magnificent to have been a mistake. So I am inclined to want to preserve its beauty as a steward and for the glory of the Creator!


28 09 2010

Nineteen years ago today I married Jeff Mooney….a very different man than Dr. Jeff Mooney, who so many study under, learn from, laugh with, and follow as a Shephard.

The Jeff Mooney I married was just a kid really, just like me. He and I had so little plans for the future, we just knew we wanted to face the future together. The Jeff of 19 years ago made me laugh, made me feel loved, and made me feel secure. Those things have not changed; they have only been strengthened by the crucible of marriage. They have been tried and verified by both the fun of some great times (the birth of our kids, the numerous trips away, silly jokes, adventures galore, etc.) and by the tears of some serious trials (no money, ten years of post graduate studies, fears of parenting, fears of moving, etc.).

As I looked at my sweetheart 19 years ago, I had no idea what he would be like in 19 years and what we would do over the next 19 years. Really, I don’t think I could have imagined it: Ten moves, FOUR kids (one born at 38 and 40), a Ph.D, a move to the foreign land of CA, etc. etc. But I am so happy to have spent these 19 years with him.

I told our young marrieds class on Sunday, I would not be who I am today if God had not used this man to encourage me, critize me with love, love me knowing my faults and sin, and push me to be what God calls me to be. Jeff has encouraged me to use the gifts God has given me for Kingdom work, investing in our children and in other women. I am so blessed to have him as my life partner, encourager, friend, and lover.

Looking forward to the next 19 years as Mrs. Jeffrey Mooney!

Happy 19th, Jeff!

An Investment

20 06 2010

So two times in one week I am going to be more personal than usual in a blog post!

Today is Father’s Day and I am so grateful that I have a father that invested in me. I wish I could spend the day with him but it’s not to be this year.

How does a Dad invest in a daughter? Well there is probably not one recipe for solid investment, but because of the way I was cared for, I know some winning ideas…

Actions of a Good Dad
1. He rocks his baby daughter and sings to her (even if it’s Ray Charles tunes!)
2. He takes her out in the ocean on a raft and rescues her when she loses her balance and falls off.
3. He disciplines her for lying about drawing on the wall and blaming it on the infant!
4. He attends ballet and jazz dance recitals even if they are goofy and his daughter is NOT the best dancer.
5. He shares his love of music by making opportunities for her to learn, hear, and appreciate, EVEN if she is not as talented as he.
6. He attends every piano recital, every band concert, every band show (even when the football team is losing every game and it’s freezing outside.)
7. He spends time listening to endless girl chatter even if it seems insignificant and interjects some real-world thoughts in there from time to time.
8. He dresses up and scares her friends at pajama parties even though they squeal for hours afterward….lol
9. He takes his daughter to church even when he has serious theology questions himself that aren’t answered AND even when there is a hypocrite there making everyone miserable.
10. He prays for her.
11. He lets her makes mistakes when she is beginning to take “the driver’s seat” of life and still has her back.
12. He checks out the boys that come around his house wanting to spend time with his daughters and might even ask one or two to move on if he figures out before her that he’s not the right one.
13. He takes responsibilities for his own mistakes and takes the hard road to makes matters right, living a life of integrity for her to see.
14. He shares his dreams for her, including going to college, graduating but more than that, he shares his desire for her to become a life learner….able and willing to investigate new interests.
15. He gently pushes her out of the nest, even though it’s a painful process, making it clear he is in her corner.
16. He attends every awards ceremony, graduation, special occasion, that is held in her honor.
17. He walks her down an aisle and gives her hand to a young eager man even though his heart is breaking and he’s wondering where his little girl went.
18. He travels to visit her no matter how far she moves away and is eager to see her and her family when she arrives “home” again.
19. He travels to see every newborn grandchild and poses for pics with the little red ones even though they all “look the same” to him! lol
20. He still has time to talk when his adult daughter needs her Daddy!

That’s the kind of investment I received and I’m grateful to God that he gave the responsibility of raising me to Charles Ray Baker.

I love you, Daddy and I wish I could spend today with you,

Stages of Life

16 06 2010

I have neglected my blog most of this semester, due to starting a second accountability group and just due to running in several directions. I started this blog for the A&E ladies (Accountability and Encouragement) but have spent more time with them in person lately than I have in writing. I hope to have some time this summer to get back to blogging on a regular basis. We’ll see!

Most of the time I don’t blog about my personal life too much. The purpose of the blog was to encourage the women in my life that running the race of life takes endurance especially when you are running in light of eternity and working to invest in eternal things. (Although occasionally I have addressed social and political issues too.) Today I am going to be a little more personal but hope it will also be applicable to my young friends who are moms and who are running that part of the race for His glory.

This day I put my 14 year old daughter on a plane to go to several Asian cities. She will be visiting three teams from our fellowship that are serving people in three different countries. She has known for a year that she would get this opportunity and she has worked like crazy to make it happen.

This morning as I watched her check and recheck her bag, her paperwork, and her carry-on, a part of me could not believe this beautiful, put-together person (who behaves well past her 14 years) was the same five pound, five ounce child that was placed in my arms 14 and 1/2 years ago.

She had applied for her passport on her own. Set up the passport appt. on her own. Applied for her visa to one of the countries on her own and called the agency several times when they messed up her paperwork. She raised the money needed to go on her own. She figured out what proper attire she needed to be culturally sensitive by asking questions of the right people, then made a date with me to go and get what she needed. I sat on the couch and looked at my almost grown daughter like she was a stranger for a minute. Where did the time go?

As most of you know I have homeschooled her. We have had tons of time together…not all of those days were easy days…but there were tons of fun ones. It struck me again that more than half of them are gone.

I have heard all my mothering life that I should be treasuring the time, “it will not last forever” and today as I watched her walk out the door, confident, excited, prepared, and sporting a beautiful smile and attitude, I felt that truth sting very sharply. She is growing up.

I do not feel at all like I can take credit for all that she is right now, nor do I think that her strength is the result of being homeschooled. In no way is this post about me or about homeschooling.

I only want to say, my dear young friends, INVEST in your children. Love them, talk to them, get to know them, treasure the time….. It is so worth it, and it is so temporary.

My prayer today is that I will be able to watch, with grace, her (and my others too) fly away from the nest one day. Though I know that will sting extremely sharply, I hope that I will trust God to direct them on the paths He has ordained for them. Help me, Father, to not waste any more time.

My Mom, Sherry Baker

9 05 2010

It’s time for another Mother’s Day that I will celebrate without the presence of my own mom…..such a bummer. But what is not a bummer is that my mom is my friend now that I am adult.

I am grateful and blessed to have had a mom that invested in me in such an intentional way and continues to do so.

Twenty investments:
1. hours of rocking a colicky baby.
2. hours of reading to a little girl
3. hours of being silly
4. hours at church and church-related activities
5. hours of shopping for just the right dress
6. hours of learning to put on make-up!!
7. hours of conversations
8. hours of entertaining friends
9. hours at the beach
10. hours of learning to drive a car
11. hours of working in the yard
12. hours of talks about the future
13. hours of concerts (band concerts, band shows, piano recitals, and voice recitals)
14. hours of deciding where to go to college
15. hours of prayer
16. hours of talks about boys
17. hours of planning a wedding
18. hours of laughing about the crazy things my kids do
19. hours of checking in to see if I’m ok
20. hours of touring CA!

All adds up to a lifetime of mothering!
Thank you, Mama!
I love you,

Growing in Christ

14 04 2010

Wanted to point out that I added a person to my blogroll, Devyn Smith. She just started blogging and has written a beautiful piece about growing in Christ.

I hope it encourages you. Click on her name and it should take you there!