Tom and Laura Clifton, serving as missionaries with FamilyLife, a ministry of Cru.

On our blog you can read the latest conference quotes, find out about new things happening within FamilyLife, keep updated with our family, find links to helpful sites, and also find out how to join our support team.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Top Ten Things I Won't Miss When We Move

And now, on a lighter note...Here are the things I won't miss when we move.

10. Long distance travel

9. Hornets the size of birds

8. Humidity

7. Snakes

6. Chiggers (I will able to walk barefoot in the grass!)

5. Bugs in all shapes and sizes

4. Slow lines in the store

3. Tornadoes

2. Fire ants

1. Hmmm....I'm sure there must be one more?

Top Ten Things I'll Miss When We Move

1o. Fireflies

9. "Y'all"

8. Our Neighborhood

7. Being minutes away from FamilyLife

6. Support and encouragement

5. Family Camp

4. My friends

3. Kids' friends

2. Church

1. All the wonderful relationships that have been developed during the past 10 years!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


As a mom I have often prayed that if my children were doing something they shouldn't be doing that they would be caught in the act. Many times God has answered these prayers. Although it has been awhile since I have voiced that prayer, it is a prayer that God still answers...

Just last week while I was preparing for a friend to arrive I walked to the closet to put some things away. I noticed a folded piece of paper lying on the floor inside the closet. "It looks like someone just tossed this in here." I thought to myself. I unfolded the piece of computer paper and was immediately saddened. It had a picture that had obviously been downloaded and printed from the internet. One of my sons had gone to a place he shouldn't have been on the computer and printed off an image that was inappropriate.

"Give me wisdom, Oh Lord, as I confront my son" I whispered as I went looking for him. During those moments as I waited for him to arrive God gave me an incredible peace. Yes, I was heartbroken for him and his sin, but I was also thankful that God had opened the door for him to be caught so this sin could be dealt with now, rather than be allowed to grow in secret and silence.

"John*, I am going to ask you something, " I said as I spoke to him, "And I want your word that you will be completely honest with me." He agreed and I went on. "Have you been anywhere on the computer where you shouldn't have been?" His gaze went from my face to the floor and then he noticed that I had a folded piece of paper under my arm. "I guess you already know that I have since you have that paper. I was going to throw it away and talk to Joe* about it." (Joe is an older young man that my son had been on a youth retreat with several months earlier. Joe is a godly young man. During the retreat he had been very open about the struggles to remain pure in this generation with pornography so easy to access through the internet.)

I was thankful that John was not defensive, that he felt bad about what he had done, and that he had a plan to confess his sin to another person. As we spoke further I asked how he came upon this picture. He had not gone looking for it. He was searching for answers to his school assignment for a particular country. When he clicked on the link for the country there were models along the side. So, right there he had a choice to click on the model or to look away.

As a mom it saddens my heart to know that even though we have put safeguards in place, temptations will seek out my sons. The devil does "prowl around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Pornography is a sin that can destroy the hearts and lives of men. As parents we not only need to put safeguards in place, but we need to train them what to do when the temptation comes looking for them.

In this day of easy internet access (even through cell phones) we need to train our children how to handle the temptation. They need to know how to flee from it and how to confess it to another person if they stumble. We also need to continue to press into their lives and ask them tough questions and check up on things like the internet history on our computer to see what sites have been visited. "Trust but verify" is a favorite slogan of my husband. To think, "My son (or daughter) would never do such a thing" is to set your child up for failure. Teach them righteousness, but train them for the battle so they can stand firm in this day of temptation.

*names changed

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We are Moving

For 16 months our house has been up for sale. Over 100 different families have been in and out of our house during that time wondering if our house was right for them. We had planned to take the house off the market at the end of August to get a break from all the showings, but God had a different plan.

On Saturday afternoon we had a showing. I took Courtney school shopping because I had decided that with only 2 weeks left until our house went off the market we weren't going to move. In fact, my heart was no longer in to getting the house ready for a showing. I didn't do all the last minute "touches" to make our house appealing to others. I really didn't care. I was ready to settle in for a year (or two) and make the most of it. I had my plans and I thought I knew what was best for us and I was striving toward it.

When I got home from shopping Tom told me that he met the family that had looked at our house. They were a homeschool family. My inital thought was, "Oh no. I bet they can see themselves living in this house!" Sure enough, before dinner time we had an offer and our lives began to change.

Now I feel like life is moving much too quickly. Tom and I fly out next week to look for houses, and details are floating through my mind constantly about what needs to be done before our house closes on September 21st.

I am thankful for:

  • Ten great years in Little Rock and all the friends we have made here in Arkansas
  • A wonderful church that has encouraged us (and our children) in our walk with God
  • A faithful God who always has our best in mind (and a plan we can trust)
  • Children that don't understand why we need to move but that trust us as parents
  • God's hand in all of this and a teenager that is excited about this opportunity
  • A chance to serve God as a couple (and family) in Washington with FamilyLife

You can pray for:

  • God's peace as we make this transition
  • A home for us in Washington
  • Sleep---with all the details floating around in my head sleep is extremely difficult
  • Safety and protection for us and our children as we travel
  • That our relationship as a family will be stronger during this time and that our hearts will grow closer to God
  • My health--with all sudden stress the Crohn's disease that has attacked my body for the past 4 years is really flaring up and there are no meds that my body will tolerate to help with the symptoms (You could pray for healing too!)
  • Wisdom as we decide what to do for school for Courtney during this transition time

Thank you!!!

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