Away In A Manger

This is a guest post by Lauren Sparks who is “a wife, mom, fitness instructor, proud Baylor Bear, and grateful believer in Jesus Christ.” She shares the ups and downs of the faith of a special needs mom at The Sparks Notes and Facebook. If you are interested in writing a post for us, visit our Guest Post page. You can also view other guest posts by clicking here.

Away In A Manger

“No crib for a bed. The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head.” In my opinion, it’s one of the sweetest Christmas carols. Small children learn and sing it; and it brings to mind the gentle and serene picture of the new family our Savior was born into on a peaceful night (whether or not it really happened that way). But I heard a sermon on heaven at church that made me think about what God’s Son really gave up to be born here on the first Christmas morning. That manger – the feeding trough for horses and cattle – became an altar. To me, now, it’s a symbol of the sacrifices of Christ.

Revelation 21 gives us the vision of heaven given to John. We know from his account that there is no death, mourning, crying or pain there. It is described as brilliant, of pure gold with a wall of jasper adorned with every kind of precious stone. The “glory of God has illumined it”. Philippians 3:21 tells us that Jesus had (and now has again) a glorified body. I long for heaven and love to picture the magnificence of it all. The presence of God is everywhere, with nothing that can hinder communication and fellowship with Him.

Heavenly Brag Book

This is a guest post by Lauren Sparks who is “a wife, mom, fitness instructor, proud Baylor Bear, and grateful believer in Jesus Christ.” She shares the ups and downs of the faith of a special needs mom at The Sparks Notes and Facebook. If you are interested in writing a post for us, visit our Guest Post page. You can also view other guest posts by clicking here.

Heavenly Brag Book

My transition (although it’s now been years ago) from corporate America to stay-at-home mom was a little rocky. And I’m not just talking about dealing with the uncontrolled seizures of my first-born. The people-pleaser in me struggled with the lack of feedback available when I wasn’t working for someone else’s approval.

I came from a rather high-achieving background. I took honors classes and made excellent grades, graduating second in my high school class (behind only my twin sister). I was an obedient child who gave my parents very little trouble and received praise from other adults for my maturity and behavior. As an employee I always did what was asked and gave good customer service. Even in things I didn’t excel – I was a mediocre athlete – I worked hard enough to receive an occasional pat on the back. That was enough to keep me motivated.

Errands I Don’t Need to Run

This is a guest post by Lauren Sparks who is “a wife, mom, fitness instructor, proud Baylor Bear, and grateful believer in Jesus Christ.” She shares the ups and downs of the faith of a special needs mom at The Sparks Notes and Facebook. If you are interested in writing a post for us, visit our Guest Post page. You can also view other guest posts by clicking here.

Errands I Don't Need To Run

I LOVE to read. It is one of my great pleasures in life. I enjoy getting lost in novels, reading God’s Word, Biographies, Christian non-fiction, a good magazine, blog posts and my Facebook feed. I’ll pretty much read anything I can get my hands on! Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time to read as I would like. If I didn’t ever watch TV, or go to the movies…or sleep, I might get a few more pages in, but I have 2 part time jobs, a special needs child with doctors appointments and therapies, a typical kiddo who loves her sports and activities, and church and volunteer commitments. I also have a loving and tolerant husband who enjoys me looking in his direction occasionally. So what is a busy story-lover to do?

I’ve taken to audio books. They are entertaining and convenient. By downloading them on my phone, I can listen while I do chores, shower and dress, and put thousands of around-town miles on my car. No, it’s not as relaxing as sitting in an over-stuffed chair with my feet up devouring an old-fashioned paperback (you pictured a delicious cup of coffee in my hand too didn’t you? Just me?), but it keeps my Good Reader “want to read” list in the hundreds instead of millions.

I recently finished listening to “The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman (on the recommendation of my BFF Jen Hatmaker). In this period piece, a childless couple (having endured 3 miscarriages) lives isolated on an island where they tend the lighthouse. When a small boat crashes on their shore, they find a dead man and an alive newborn on board. In their grief over the loss of their last unborn baby (not 2 weeks before), the couple jumps to the conclusion (without bothering to research) that the baby’s mother must have died at sea as well. They take her in and raise her as their own.

Wisdom For The Internet From The 1940’s

This is a guest post by Lauren Sparks who is “a wife, mom, fitness instructor, proud Baylor Bear, and grateful believer in Jesus Christ.” She shares the ups and downs of the faith of a special needs mom at Sparkover Blog and Facebook. If you are interested in writing a post for us, visit our Guest Post page. You can also view other guest posts by clicking here.

Wisdom For The Internet From The 1940s

Recently, the pastor of my church spoke from the pulpit of tackling, and finally finishing, the book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. This centuries old classic of apologetics is one of the most popular resources of the Christian faith ever written. But I am embarrassed to say that The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from the Chronicles of Narnia series is the extent of my knowledge of the famed Mr. Lewis.

And you’ll notice that I didn’t even say I read the Narnia series. Just the one book.

I asked my LifeGroup (the small group of church members I meet with for study and fellowship every week) how many of them had read Mere Christianity. Only 1 out of 13. We decided to remedy that and book -club it together. Because I am an aerobics instructor and not a scholar, I am taking it in small chunks. I have completed the Preface so far – feel free to be impressed – and already can’t believe how content written between 1942 and 1944 speaks so exactly to what is going on in the world today!