The Next Thing

Dana Sutton's Blog

Name:
Location: Cartersville, GA

I live in Cartersville, Ga with my husband, Jonathan, and my four kids, who are 5, 3,2, and 1. I am the Children's Director at Oak Leaf Church, a recently planted church, which meets in a movie theater. I love God, my family, being with people, fun, and fountain cokes

Friday, December 22, 2006

New Discoveries for a Two Year Old

Braden did it and Logan just stopped doing it. And lo and behold Kinley is now doing it. She ran away from me today.
When Braden was two, Logan was a baby, and I was pregnant with Kinley, I was purchasing an Easter dress at the maternity store (praise the Lord we went to a more casual church when I was expecting Camden) and Braden escaped from Motherhood Maternity. I left Logan with the sales clerk as I hauled my big pregnant self down the mall after Braden. He was disciplined and only tried to escape a few other times during his twos.
Logan has escaped and has ran away from me at the gym, Target, a grocery store, and at our house. Some how he has ran away from me several times and discipline takes a little longer to sink in with him. But he is approaching four so this is coming to an end.
And it is a good thing because my sassy two year old girl recently ran away from me into the street! Laughing all the while I was trying to catch her. There were no cars but I was upset. We were in our driveway when she darted away. But to my advantage she is short and is not nearly as fast as her older brothers were. So now we are in our toddler years with our third and it is fast approaching with our fourth. What we were thinking having them so close together. Wait- we weren't. :)

I also found her completely naked in her bed tonight. She had taken off her pj's and her diaper. Why is this another fascination that two year olds go through?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Oak Leaf is My Church

I looked like a crazy woman taking my children to the parade. It was beyond booty cold and all my kids were bundled with blankets around them. I put all four in a double stroller, with Logan riding on the top of the cup holder with a blanket around him. I then pushed 120something pounds worth of kids about a mile to watch a parade. We waited until the Oak Leaf Church float passed by so we could wave at our friends and see Jonathan dressed as Napoleon Dynamite (Our church did a replica of the movie theatre that we meet at and dressed up as movie characters. They passed out popcorn and invite cards.) Someone from Oak Leaf gave an invite card to Braden and he immediately turned to some teenage girls behind us and gave them the card and told them that Oak Leaf was his church and they should come! We then made the long trek back to the car. Man, it was cold!! It always helps knowing that our kids are getting it. Why we do so much at Oak Leaf is because we want people to come to church but ultimately we want people to know Jesus.

Another time at Sonic we were handing out invite cards for Oak Leaf (while I was ordering a fountain coke :) and Braden asked why we were inviting the people at Sonic to Oak Leaf. I told him when she was getting our drinks that we did this because some people don't know who Jesus is and what He has done for them. When the girl came back with our drinks, Braden asked, "So she doesn't know who Jesus is?". I told the Sonic girl thank you and rolled up the window. Kids say whatever they hear.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pics

A lot (okay a few) have asked for pictures of my kids. I am a slow computer learner so I do not have the knowledge to link or to add pics to my blog. Now Jonathan has pictures of our kids on his blog and obviously if I could link you I would but you can find him at jonathansutton.com.

Blessings

You know it has been a long time since you have blogged when you can't remember your username or password. :) I know it has been two months since my last post but life has been busy and I really haven't had too much to say. I know that death and our bathroom habits have been my last two posts but hey, I'm new to all of this stuff.

One of the things God has taught me over the past year is to be content wherever I am at in life. We often can sound like whiners when we are faced with things that are difficult, especially when the very things that are difficult are good things. Being a mom is a blessing. Being married is a blessing. Being in ministry is a blessing. Knowing God through Christ is a blessing. God blesses me beyond my comprehension but people think that blessings are synonymous with ease. This is not the case or I would have had four babies without throwing up during my pregnancy and I would never have to stay up all night with sick children. There is pain and hardship in all blessings. I am exactly where I have always dreamed of being- a child of God, married to a good man, with four kids,a wonderful family, and involved in ministry. Is life easy? No. Is it full and sometimes chaotic? Yes.

Even the blessing of being forgiven and accepting Christ did not come without Jesus dying on the cross as a sacrifice. There is life in death.(There is my reference to death :) There is blessing in pain. Job was blessed but he had scars. People often miss out on blessings because they don't see the value in the pain and hard work.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Am I Good

Okay, since Michael made fun of me that my first post in a month was about death I decided to post something more lighthearted.:) It is really embarrassing when you have company over and your son comes from the bathroom with his pants down, bends over and asks, "Am I good?"

My two year old girl, who we are beginning to potty train, thinks she's suppose to stand up and lean forward to pee. (She has two older brothers.) So that's our bathroom stories for the week. Having kids is never boring!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Loss in life

This sounds morbid but I have been thinking a lot about death. This thinking has made me realize that our life on earth is but a breath. We only have so long to impact others for Christ and to experience life. This thinking has made me thankful to God for each day I have. It has made me want others to know Christ as soon as possible. It has made me cherish my husband and children deeper than before and to let my family and friends know how much I love them. Even people from my past that have had such a huge impact on my life I have wanted to write and let them know thank you.

So since I haven't posted in a month, I am sure people have stopped checking my blog. And I know that a post this serious isn't the first thing people want to read but it has been on my mind over the past year. Up until two and a half years ago the closest person that had ever passed away in my life was my dog and although this was sad, you can't compare that value to a human life. Since two and a half years ago I have lost 6 people that I am close to or who have had a huge impact on my life. They all knew and loved God. They all are with Jesus. They feel no pain and are worshipping Him. I know this logically but it is weird grieving the loss of a Christian. You know the spiritual side of them going on but then there is this huge since of loss that hits your core. It is like missing someone but knowing that it may be a long time before you are able to see them again. It is knowing that your world and the world that you grew up in is not the same with out these people. And it is not just about your world-it is seeing the world of the people who were really close to these people being turned upside down. You feel the loss for them.

But praise the Lord for the lives of these faithful servants of God! Thank you Lord for John Jordan, Edward and Miriam Salluard the best grandparents a girl could ever have.I was very close to them and loved them a lot. Thank you for Jill Thornhill, a wonderful mother and wife to her family, a great friend to my family. She was like an aunt to me. Thank you for Colby Hayes who was a man that impacted many for the kingdom. He was a very special friend during highschool and my beginning walk with God. Even as a young person he loved God wholeheartedly and had a great sense of humor. Thank you for Clete Sipes who also impacted the world for Christ. His view on discipleship and his love for young college students was important in the development of who Jonathan and I are today.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Go with the flow

I try to be a fairly scheduled person, although there is always a gliche in the plan. Today I met my mom half way to pick up her van since we are currently in the process of buying another vehicle to fit our crew. I drove 45 minutes to meet her and 45 minutes back only to find out that I had left my way into my house in the car that my mom is now driving. I proceeded to then drive 40 minutes to my husband's work to pick up the garage door opener in the rain. On the way home there was a back up on the interstate and it took me an hour and a half to get in town to pick up a cake for a shower and then my oldest from Kindergarten. Husband got stuck in the same traffic so we were late to preschool open house and then late to a baby shower.
I could not do anything about these situations except to go with the flow. There is nothing proactive necessarily that I could do to change my circumstances except to choose to be calm and roll with it. Life often calls for times of being proactive, but we equally need to know when to sit back, trust, and go with the flow. We are not in control and it is often in crazy days that we need to realize this fact. When I feel like I can no longer be proactive in my circumstances then I need to relax and to trust God.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Stressed

So, I think my kids are a little worried about me having four children so close together. I had to apologize the other day and let them know that I love each one of them and I am sooo glad to have them! Two things prompted me to do this- the first being that when we were in the mall my three year old was hiding in a rack of clothes. I proceeded to walk out of the store with the double stroller and my 5 year old and said, "Logan we are leaving now." My five year old started to cry and said, "Mom we can't leave Logan, we really like him."

The second thing happened today at gymnastics-my two year old fell of the bleachers after I had told her numerous times to get down. I was holding my baby so another woman offered to hold him while I comforted her. My two year old began screaming louder and I asked her if she was hurt really bad. She screamed, " That's our baby Camden!" She did not stop until I took them both in my arms!
So I think my children can sense my stress with all the activity! I think they are afraid I am trying to give someone away. I apologized and reassured them that I am indeed blessed to have them. I wouldn't trade my chaos for anything but I do need to take more breaks to enjoy them more! :)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Booty Shaker

My two year old dances only with her rear! We are not quite sure where she learned to dance like this but it is cracking me up. She stands still as she moves her backside. Go girl!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Life Without God

As Christians we desire to share with people who do not know Christ ultimately because we are concerned about their eternal state. We want them to be saved and reconciled to God eternally. But there is something that burdens me- How do people go through their time here on earth without God? Life is hard and sometimes I am so amazed at what people go through and have nothing to hold on to, no absolute, no love that is unconditional, and no One that is strong enough to bear their burdens, no hope.

I wouldn't make it without my relationship with Christ. I know that my life matters a lot but my purpose is part of a plan that is way beyond me! I have a God that is very personal but is also a big God that is far grander than I could ever imagine. How do people go through the betrayal of a spouse, a sick child, and the death of a loved one without something to hold onto. Just another reason to share with those around us who do not know Him!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Next Thing

Elizabeth Elliot is a wise woman. She has lived a life that has been filled with tragedy, pain and great joy. I have heard her say that when you are at your end and you don't know what to do you do the next thing!

I am a dreamer, planner, and a futuristic thinker. I often worry about things that never happen and dream things that never come to be. I love the way my mind works and the way God has made me. I often view life as an adventure-I was the girl that wanted to be a ballerina, a doctor, a mommy, a wife, and ten other things. But there are many downfalls in this thinking- you miss the blessing of today and you worry too much about how tomorrow will be played out.
A person's life (and especially a woman's life) occur in seasons and you have to enjoy the season that you are currently in.

So this is why I love the saying "Do the next thing". When I am frustrated by the season that I am in (which is being a wife and mother of four children five and under) I do the next thing- which usually has to do with changing a diaper. And all of a sudden I realize how blessed I am by the season I am in-I love this! I will miss babies, hugs, and not being able to use the bathroom by myself. I will miss the chaos and the fullness of Jonathan and I's life together.
But then I will go on to the next thing which will have an equal amount of blessings and trials-though I do have to say I would like to reach a point where I don't have anyone in the bathroom with me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Grown Up Temper Tantrums

Okay, so I am an official blogger. It feels weird putting thoughts about life and other issues on the blog world for everyone to read and comment on but I am sure I will get use to the whole process! So my first post, since I am a mom of four young children, has to do with temper tantrums. Here is a thought that hit me as I was driving on 75 in Atlanta, viewing the road rage that was occurring-Grown ups have temper tantrums!! I am not judging because I have had my moments when I am tired, hungry, or stressed! Adults have just shifted most of their tantrums into a more socially acceptable situation. Our families may see our tantrums but most adults still have them.

We frown upon little kids when they throw tantrums in grocery stores, even though their brains are only developed two years and they are tired and hungry. We try to discipline and redirect for we need to get the child past throwing tantrums. (Which I am sooo in favor of doing.) But temper tantrums are not just an issue of behavior, they are an issue of the heart.

As Christians we are being transformed to become more like Christ. Somehow we forget this when we are tired, hungry, traffic doesn't move fast enough, or things don't go our way! We forget this most around the closest people to us-I can discipline my 3 year old for throwing a tantrum and then get frustrated when he doesn't move fast enough through a store. But how do we change this? I think this is done through prayer. Not fake prayer where we tell God what we ought to be saying. We have to be honest to God with what we are feeling! He is the only one who can change us. Prayer benefits us! 1 Thessalonian 5:17- Pray without ceasing! And the next time you see a toddler throwing a tantrum in the grocery store take time to reflect on your own heart. (This will give me an opportunity to get out of the store with all my screaming little blessings :))