Monday, December 31, 2012

Why Order?

Everything I do, I do for a reason - a reason found in the Word.  So, here are my top reasons for keeping a tidy home:
- Check out Proverbs 31, specifically verse 27.  The woman is BUSY, hard-working and industrious.  You just get the feeling that all things are in order.  Things have been cared for well.  Many women dislike this chapter simply because they can't live up to it.  You're right, you can't, unless you're walking in grace.
- Check out Titus 2:5.  The older women are to teach the younger women all sorts of things, including how to be workers at home.  There are OODLES of things to do at home.  Can't find anything?  Go to your front porch, open the front door, think like a visitor and walk inside your home.  Suddenly, you realize what work there is to be done (if you happen to be one who has grown immune to cobwebs, dust and clutter.  Some of us know the work to be done but are on the verge of insanity at the thought of how to accomplish it.) 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Why a Christian Home Should Be Tidy

People flinch when you talk about a tidy house.  I'd like to say that I'm sorry for bringing up a sensitive topic, but I'm not.  Here's why: I believe that it is Godly to keep a tidy house.  I believe that it glorifies Him.  I also believe that an untidy, disordered home shames His name.  I'm not talking about having a perfect HGTV-friendly home.  I did not say a model home.  I said a TIDY house.  Stay with me here.  Don't stop reading because I've offended you please.  God is a God of order.  Look at the order He placed in our bodies, this world, church services and His plan.  It's amazing.  It stands to reason that our lives and even our homes ought to be a reflection of that. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Helpful stuff

Breakfast:
M - Pancakes, Waffles or French Toast (I make a big batch every few weeks and freeze them.)
Tu - Eggs (I make them in a ceramic bowl in the microwave - fluffy and cheesy!)
W - Hot Cereal (winter) or Yogurt & Toast (summer)
Th - Cold Cereal
F - Bagels

Lunch:  (I keep veggies, fruit, yogurt & applesauce stocked as sides)
M - Soup and Grilled Cheese
Tu - Bean Burritos
W - PB & J
Th - Lunch Meat & Cheese Sandwiches or Build-Your-Own Cracker Towers
F - Peanut Butter & Honey Burritos

PS - I rattled all these off the top of my head.  There was only one that Skeeter (#1) had to remind what we normally have.  My point being - that's like ten decisions I eliminated!!!!  Wahoo!!!  :) 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Why Rotate?

I've never been a fan of double work.  Actually, I often say, "I hate double work."  Then, I correct myself, "I strongly dislike double work."  My Dad and my husband both love efficiency.  I think my upbringing taught me to get the most quality work done in the smallest amount of time.  And, I strive to apply that to wifehood and motherhood.  In this instance, specifically motherhood.  Mommies get so worn out by making the same decisions time after time, day after day.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Usually, it is because we can't or don't stop the cycle long enough to organize our days a little.  I use a concept called rotations to make my life easier.  We have a breakfast rotation and a lunch rotation.  That means, every Monday we have the same thing for breakfast and lunch.  Every Tuesday we have the same thing for breakfast and lunch and so on throughout the week.  This schedule is posted.  It is planned for when I'm at the grocery store.  We always have the ingredients on hand.  They are things I know (most) of my children like or will eat.  Finally, I've (mostly) eliminated that horrid SIGH and frustrated "I DON'T KNOW," that comes out when Mommy is tired, the children are hungry and ready for lunch and Mommy doesn't want another decision to make.  Save yourself the trouble, make a rotation.  They get used to it.  (They'll hold you to it.)  And you can put your energy into bigger decisions. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

A little Daddy-Hero-Worship

"Mama, how are seashells made?"

"I don't know, Honey.  I think that's a Daddy question." 

"Yes, Daddy will know... Daddy knows almost everything..  Lowering her voice to almost a whisper, she added, "....Like God." 

- Conversation with Scooter (#2)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Godliness with Contentment is Great Gain

"Me yike my home.  It high up." 

"Me yike my chuck (truck).  Did Daddy make it?"
 
- Skipper (#3)

A Day Off for Mommy


After a nice day off, shopping with my sister, this is what Skeeter (#1) had to say to me:

"Why do you need a day off?  You get a day off every day.  You don't go to work."
 
I think I laughed so hard, I almost cried. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Some poetry I stumbled upon:


Why Suffer Again?

 

There is none like You.

None compare.

Your glory is magnificent –

Your power is amazing.

 

Imputed sin upon Your back,

The world’s guilt on Your shoulders –

Sacrifice unmatched,

Innocence unrivaled.

A torturous death

For a greater gain.

My tear may fall

For all Your pain,

Until now,

I realize,

To weep because my sin put You there

Is much more beneficial…

Then I gaze on generations

Now and to come,

Slowly I understand

The enormity of the guilt, pain and sorrow,

They still choose to carry on their backs.

My Lord suffered,

Why suffer again?
 
-7/20/02

Friday, December 14, 2012

Just a few more things being a Mom has taught me:


  • I could never pray enough for my children.

  • A toddler with a broom can touch the sky.

  • If one puffs out their chest and stands on tiptoes, one is big.

  • If one wants to know what one’s faults are, watch to see what one’s toddler is imitating.

  • Poop stinks up the nursery; Mommy’s rotten attitude stinks up the whole house.
 
  • Sleep is a relative term.  Never underestimate the value of the Power Nap!

  • Bedtime is very close to being a sacred ritual; don’t mess with it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jake & Skipper (#3)

Jake is our Golden Retriever.  He LOVES people food.  We think this is because he thinks he IS people.  And, it doesn't help that we treat him as such here.  It's just how we roll.  So, Jakey helps me load the dishwasher.  That means, he is the pre-rinse cycle.  Evidently, he now feels this is in his job description and he wouldn't want to shirk his responsibility, now would he?  So, I happened to place a dish in the dishwasher without it passing his inspection first.  He promptly inserted his head and shoulders into the dishwasher to take care of the situation.  In the process, he was dislodging other neatly stacked dishes.  Mommy scolded him.  Of course, his ears went down and he tried to apologize.  But, Mommy is somewhat cold toward his apologies, since he is sometimes a repeat-offender.  Mommy quickly gave him a sermonette on repentance and the fruit of repentance.  "Jakey, why don't you show me some fruit of repentance some time?"  To which, Skipper (#3) loudly piped up, "Mommy, Jakey CAN'T!" 

PS - I do apologize for the formatting issues showing up in the "Things Being a Mom Taught Me" series.  I have not been able to resolve these issues thus far. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More stuff being a Mom has taught me

  • How to put others’ needs and wants ahead of my own. 
  • I now say the same things as my Mom did and I understand why she said them.
  • Fingerprints on my windows are special.  They mean my children live here and have a blast.  Some day I’ll wish there were fingerprints on my windows again.
  • How to do things one-handed.
  • To count my blessings.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Those Silly Battles

Mommy & Daddy never plug the tree in until dusk.  However, Scooter (#2) and Skeeter (#1) have been taught how to safely plug a cord into an outlet.  Now, every time I turn around, the tree is on!  They rush out and turn it on first thing in the morning.  And, when I think they aren't paying attention or not in the room, I turn it off.  Mysteriously, a little while later, it is on again.  Just a silly battle that makes me chuckle on the inside!  :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Toddler-ese


  • The whispered prayers of a toddler confound the faith of a Mommy.
  • “Toddler-ese” is the most beautiful language in the whole world.
  • Being recognized by my baby is better than being recognized by any paparazzi.
  • Love is THE rule. 
  • A “Big Helper” helping does not mean one will complete the task more quickly.  Rather, it means one will have better company while completing the task.

Friday, December 7, 2012

the Mouth


  • - If you want to explore or learn about something, put it in your mouth. 

  • - If you find it on the floor, put it in your mouth.

  • - If you find a hole, a slot or some other miscellaneous small opening, stuff an object into it.

  • - When lacking entertainment, simply yell, “Chase me.”

  • - “Mommy, I love you” is a Godsend phrase on the worst of days.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Toddler times


  • 5 or more snacks a day are better than 3 meals a day.

  • If one does not like Supper, hold out because snack time is coming!

  • A smile or a coo are plenty payment for numerous diapers changed and baths given. 

  • How many books one Mommy can really read in 1 day.

  • How many times the same question can be asked without boring a toddler. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Being a Mom has taught me:


- Things are not always broken; they might have been re-programmed by a toddler. 

- If something went “Bye-byes,” it might not be something one wants to go “Bye-byes.” 

- Sometimes, one ought to be concerned about the method of “Bye-byes,” the toilet, the mouth, etc.

- The value of an uninterrupted, look-me-in-the-eyes conversation.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

She's Looking

So, this morning, in church, I noticed an 11 yr old girl, looking over at a young woman in our congregation.  In that short glance, I observed that the younger girl was evaluating the older girl's clothing.  And, I thought to myself, "Don't look!"

My husband and I are raising three little girls and we want them to grow up into Godly young women - in all things... everyday life, relationships, choices, clothing, everything.  And, this very day, I decided that I would keep my mind on our own business - our family, our girls.  But, I will send out this twofold plea:

#1 - Young girls~ Don't look to the every "Christian" young woman as your example.  Not all of them are exemplifying a way of living or dressing that is pleasing to God.

#2 - Young women~ Please realize that the young girls are watching you.  Stop being so selfish and worldly. I cannot believe that you'd walk out the door looking like that.  Look in the mirror and listen to the Holy Spirit's view of your outfit and attitude.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sprout Time

I enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday  - being around family, eating good food and just being thankful for our blessings.  To cap off our visit, the other day, all of the Blossoms, the Sprouts, the Mommies and Daddies and the Grammie and Pappy went out to eat.  The waitress brought our drink orders with a wry face and said, "I'm sorry, we're out of lidded cups for the little ones."  Full glasses for the Blossoms and Sprouts who vary in age as follows: 8yrs, 7yrs, 6yrs, 5yrs, almost 3 yrs and 2 1/2 yrs!  So, we Mommies did the best we could.  All was well for a while.  I turned around to hear the Sprout Mommy say to the youngest Sprout, "Use two - - - - SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH - - - hands!"  Water flooded the table, his pants and his chair.  The (guilty) littlest Sprout shouted, "TA-DAH!!!!!"  Evidently, he likes making a splash.

We just smiled and cleaned it up, being thankful it wasn't soda and chuckling over his humor.  I'm thankful for those moments that don't become embarrassing, frustrating, mad-at-a-child moments.  It just isn't worth it.  I love my little Nephew-Sprout.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thoughts

"'All sorts of thoughts cross one's mind - it depends upon whether one gives them harbor or encouragement,' said Molly."

From Wives And Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell

Monday, November 26, 2012

Distance

Our pastor shared these thoughts recently:

Understand that satan wants you to turn your back on God.  He wants you to walk away from God.  He wants you to become distant with God little by little.  Every scheme is concocted with this in mind.  Some people don't like the devil just because he brings sickness, pain, etc.  This is all true.  We must remember that he is EVIL.  He is your adversary.  Perhaps that term doesn't mean anything to you.  He is your enemy

This challenged me to see through every scheme of the enemy, to see that he is trying to make me distant from God.  He's trying to get me to grow cold in my love for God.  If I see and realize that in the trials I go through in my life, I can fight it. 

Fight distance from God.

Friday, November 23, 2012

SP6 - Conclusion

If you're proud because you have the Holy Spirit:
Remember that God the Father is the One Who sent the Holy Spirit to us.

If you're proud because you have no lack:
Remember that it is because Jehovah Jireh is your Provider.

If you're proud because _______________________________________: 
(You fill in the blank... your kids obey, they're saved, you're husband is Godly, you're not backslidden, etc.)
I guarantee you, the response points right back to our Father.  He is Everything.  That is why pride in spirituality is truly unfounded and grossly sinful.  I hope that reading this has been a good reminder for you, as it has been for me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SP5

If you're proud because God heard your prayers:
Remember that He hears the cry of the righteous and the reason you are righteous is because of Jesus' Righteousness... not your own!

If you're proud because you have faith:
Remember that God is the One who dealt to you your measure of faith. 

If you're proud because you have grace:
Remember that God is the One who abundantly lavished His grace upon you. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

SP4

If you're proud because you bear fruit:
Remember that it is because you abode in the Vine, for apart from the Vine, you have no fruit. 

If you're proud because you are doing the work of the ministry:
Remember it is God Who called you into the ministry. 

If you're proud because you resisted the devil and he fled:
Remember that you were submitted to God's authority first and that's why the devil had to flee. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

SP3

If you're proud because you have more self control than the next person:
Remember that self control is yet another fruit of the Spirit. 

If you're proud because you do God's will:
Remember that it is he who leads you in the paths of righteousness and it is for His name's sake. 

If you're proud because you hear His voice:
Remember that He is the One who chose you to hear His voice.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

SP2

If you're proud because you're so humble:
remember that He is the One that exalts us.

If you're proud because of your patience:
Remember that patience is a fruit of the Spirit, so you can't get that on your own either.

If you're proud because you are kind, loving, joyful, peaceful, good, faithful, gentle:
Get over yourself because those are also fruit of the Spirit. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Spiritual" Pride

It's a term I don't often hear, yet I'm quite certain that anyone of us could fall to this ugly sin.  Several years back, I preached a sermon on the topic of pride in your own spirituality.  I shared the following thoughts with everyone.  I recently stumbled on them again.  Enjoy! 

If you're proud about your salvation:
Remember that it is the gift of God so that no one can boast. 

If you're proud about your holiness:
Remember that you're sanctified by the Holy Spirit and any righteousness of your own works is filthy rags in God's sight. 

If you're proud because you love God SO MUCH:
Remember that it is His love that is shed abroad in your heart.  You didn't do that either. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

the Monkey Mommy?

One friend of mine, we’ll call her Monkey Mommy, is great at something Ephesians 4:29 describes.  “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”  I think you might say that she is good at edifying or building up others.  I have often been needy in a moment – downcast or weary in this Godly parenting race.  And, she has spoken to me.  I’ve walked away with the grace to obey God and keep persevering to raise Godly children.  She doesn’t always share an easy scripture with me. But somehow, she shares it so humbly that I can receive it and assimilate it into my heart.  She shares the things the Lord has shown her.  She shares the things she has struggled with and she responds with things the Holy Spirit leads her to say.  My journal has many encouraging words spoken from her mouth, that helped me to stay the course, to not give up, to not despair, to courageously obey the Lord and to fear God instead of man.  I’m thankful that the Monkey Mommy edifies the Body of Christ, according to the need of the moment.  Her words give grace to those of us who hear.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

the M-I-L

Here’s one that surprises most people.  I have something good to say about my Mother-In-Law.  (We’ll just call her BraveHeart.  Believe me, if you’d heard the stories of my husband’s and his brother’s childhood escapades, you’d find this name quite appropriate!)  Anyway, I’ve been quite blessed in the In-Law department, so I’d like to highlight her strength in the Body of Christ.  BraveHeart’s strength is the epitome of one of my Dad’s chief principles he and Mom strove to teach me.    “Prefer others higher than yourself.”  She does this!  She is always looking out for what the other person prefers and desires.  She consistently and without fail puts others’ needs, desires and preferences above her own.  (And, she does this without making a big show of how unselfish she is!)  She is quiet – very quiet - about her own needs, desires and preferences.  Being around her has taught me to quiet down and pay attention to others.  Not everyone announces what they need, want or prefer.  My BraveHeart Mother-in-Law demonstrates unselfishness daily.  Watching her unselfishness reminds me to be unselfish – to pay attention and to make my own needs, desires and preferences take second place to others – with a happy heart too, mind you!  Isn’t that who the Lord would have us to think of – others?  Thank you, my dear BraveHeart Mother-in-Law.  You are a living example of unselfishness and I am learning from you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hmmm, Joey?

Next up is Joey.  Don’t even try to figure out where the name came from.  It’s so old none of us know the reasoning behind it.  Anyway, I’ve known Joey since I was just under 2 years old.  We go way back!  J  (Sisters, duh.)  Her strength that I appreciate is a solid, bold adherence to the Word of God.  It is often unappreciated, even scorned.  Where others waffle, where others trumpet their feelings, where others talk about what they “think,” not Joey.  What does the Word say?  Feelings don’t matter.  Preconceived opinions, thoughts, beliefs and preferences swiftly melt away.  She’s the first that will throw all that out the window when she reads the Word.  And, she’s been reading the Word and standing by her own personal convictions based on the Word since her early teenage years.  Yes, people think she should be more tolerant, even more tactful or more concerned about other people’s feelings.  Bottom line is, though, she’s been concerned about obeying the Word and pleasing God all along.  And, where others gray the line for people’s sake, not Joey.  Gray isn’t in her life color scheme.  It’s always been about what God wants and what’s in HIS Word.  Isn’t that what we should all be concerned about?  The fear of God, not the fear of man?  Thanks, Joey.  You stand, where others bow. 

By the way, Happy 30th Birthday!  May you have many more years of standing!  Continue to refuse to bow.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mom

My mother.  What can I say?  She’s the reason I am the way I am.  And, that is every bit the compliment I intend it to be.  The way I serve God now, is because of her unceasing and tireless and relentless efforts year after year.  She is virtuous.  She.works.hard.   She is loving.  She has vision.  She sacrifices.  So many things come to mind when I think of her.  I must narrow it down though, at least for the sake of the post.  Check out Romans 12:13, “When God's people are in need, be ready to help them…”    This is it.  If anyone is in need, Mom is the person to help them out.  Anything from teaching people how to sew, make salsa or build furniture, to getting started homeschooling, offering a ride, lending a vehicle, training children, fixing stuff at the church, getting projects done… anything.  If God’s people are in need, Mom is always ready to help them.  She sacrifices her schedule on a daily basis, to help people.  It is often unappreciated.  It is even taken for granted in an annoying sort of way.  However, when she does stuff like this to the least of us, she does it to Christ.  So although people aren’t always as grateful as they ought to be, she just keeps helping people and putting her gifts and strengths out there for the taking.  I’m thankful for this example, for it truly never is convenient to help people.  She just keeps doing it though.  Thanks, Mom.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Betty Crocker

Next, I’ll talk about Betty Crocker.  Of course, that’s only a fictitious name.  She does resemble Betty Crocker in some respects though.  She loves to bake and to craft.  That’s not in the Bible, you say!  Well, the thing is, she follows the leading of the Spirit to bless people with her culinary creations and crafty-ness.  My sister and I were discussing this gift of Betty Crocker’s and we decided that her gift is generosity.  She is generous toward people with the works of her hands.  (Proverbs 31:13 says that the virtuous woman works with her hands in delight.)  And, she delights in doing this!  She remembers my children’s birthday with clever little crafty gifts.  She often blesses me at the most opportune times with little crafty things or baked goods and whatnot, even notes/words of encouragement.  And, she does this for everyone in our church.  I’m also certain that she has been behind several covert operations to surprise people with little gifts.  Since these gifts are small and usually consumable, this gift is a quiet, behind-the-scenes, invisible sort of gift.  Yes, it is often unrecognized.  But, generosity is listed in Romans 12:8.  My paraphrase is something like this, “Let the person who gives, give liberally.”  She is giving liberally.  And, that giving is so often timely, in a way that encourages people at the exact moment they need it.  She may never know how many people were encouraged at exactly the right time, but they were.  The reward is in Heaven.  Even the invisible gifts are valuable.  Thanks, Betty Crocker.  We need your gift in the Body of Christ. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sprout Mommy

Then, there’s my sister-in-law, the Mommy of my 3 nephew Sprouts.  The first thing my soon-to-be husband said to me about her is, “You’ll like her.  You two will get along well.”  Boy, he was right!  My hands-down, most favorite thing about the Sprout Mommy is that, in the 10+ years I’ve known her, she has NEVER ONCE talked bad about her husband.  NEVER ONCE.  I don’t think she knows how much I appreciate this.  Perhaps you are thinking, “That isn’t a gift.  That’s just self control.”  I’ve concluded that it is really her doing her job in the Body of Christ.  How so?  Check out Titus 2:4, “That they may encourage the young women to love their husbands…”  As a woman, the Sprout Mommy is doing her job, encouraging younger women to love their husbands, simply by her day-in, day-out example.  This culture is not Godly wife or Godly husband friendly.  Period.  What the Sprout Mommy does every day is a big deal to the Body of Christ.  The Body of Christ would be lacking without people like the Sprout Mommy, who are teaching others to love their husband!  Please keep on keepin’ on, Sprout Mommy.  I’m so grateful!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Red


I’ll start with Red.  I’ve known her since I was 15 yrs old.  And, her main gift hasn’t changed a bit since then.  It has only gotten stronger.  Red’s gift is people.  She knows everybody’s name.  Really.  In our teenage years, we took a missions trip to the Philippines, where we spent much time at an orphanage there in what they call “The Armpit of the Philippines.”  While each member of our team knew an average of 5-10 names of the people there, Red knew at least 3 times as many of their names.  And, they knew her.  Red is the person that gets up to go talk to the new person that enters the room.  Red is the person that knows ALL your kids’ names.  Red meets people everywhere.  Red remembers what you like.  Red knows details about people that others forget.  Red is the person that cares that your child broke her arm.  She actually feels others’ pain rather keenly, often in a way the rest of us don’t quite relate to.  But, people are her gift and when people hurt, so does Red.  Her gift challenges me to reach out to people.  I get comfortable talking to my own circle of friends.  Watching her reminds me to get up and talk to people.  After all, sharing the Gospel starts with relationships.  And Red is always starting new relationships with anyone and everyone.  Thanks Red.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gifts & Strengths

I realized something recently.  Very few women realize their gifts and how they fit into the Body of Christ.  They may be functioning regularly and excellently in their gifts and strengths in the Body of Christ, but for whatever reason, they just don’t see how much they are helping the Body of Christ.  The non-vocal, less-visual, very quiet and unassuming parts are still important and even necessary for the healthy function of the Body of Christ. 

I greatly appreciate my fellow believers and more and more so every day.  I’ve decided to highlight the gifts and strengths of my friends in the Body of Christ.  I think it will encourage each of us to use our gifts and strengths well, whether they are loud and visual gifts or behind-the-scenes gifts. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Last Straw

It was almost the end of the day.  Skipper (#3) asked for a spoonful of honey.  This once helped soothe her sore throat and now, periodically she will ask me for one, even when her throat does not hurt.  I think honey is Skipper's Comfort Food.  I happily oblige her, more or less.  Anyway, so I hand her the spoonful of honey.  In her little rosebud mouth it goes, so I return to what I was doing.  "What was it anyway?"  I can hardly remember, but I manage to find something to do.  After a few moments, she returned her spoon and I eventually went into the living room after her - armed with a wipe.  Just a spoonful of honey gets sticky-ness e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. on Skipper.  I immediately fell back in horror and cried out in sheer almost loss of control.  There were honey drippings on the clean wash waiting to be folded.  I don't think I need to say more.  Long day.  Clean wash, no longer clean.  More work.  Overwhelmed mama. 

Moral of the Story: Fold your wash immediately. 
Moral #2: Watch your third child more closely.
Moral #3: Don't look, just fold.  (Maybe I won't notice...?)
Moral #4: Wipe the child sooner?
Moral #5: Just go to bed.  It's all better in the morning.

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Top Ten

People ask me how I feel about homeschooling. 
Here's my current Top Ten Sentimental Perks of Homeschooling:

#1 - I love that Scooter (#2) can wear a red and white striped shirt, pink pants, bare feet, purple beads, teal earrings and bug antennas in her hair and no one bats an eyelid. 

#2 - I love that Skipper (#3) can spontaneously steal a kiss while Mommy explains something. 

#3 - I love that Jake (our Golden Retriever) can and voluntarily chooses to, sleep in the School room on the couch and under our desks while our School is in session.

#4 - I love that Reading time and cuddling time with Scooter (#2) can happen at the same time. 

#5 - I love having to assign extra work because Skeeter (#1) wants more.

#6 - I love that Scooter (#2) is helping to teach Skipper (#3) how to count. 

#7 - I love that happy Blossoms can hum while working and nobody minds.

#8 - I love that Mommy can impulsively draw smileys on Blossoms' bare feet during phonics time.

#9 - I love that Skeeter (#1) learned the lesson of NOT tipping her chair, on a soft carpeted floor, in front of a concerned and unlaughing audience.

#10 - I love that character traits are being developed and cultivated here, together with me.  It's what I dreamed of.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What is Foolishness?

I mentioned this blog series to my husband and we chatted about it.  He reminded me of this verse regarding foolishness.  Proverbs 22:15 says, "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him."  Excessive childishness leads to foolishness.  And the Bible does instruct us how to deal with foolishness.  With the rod of discipline, or correction!  So, although childishness is not usually spank-worthy, childishness that is excessive is foolishness or often leads to foolishness.  The Bible does say that is spank-worthy.  For example, girls seem to tend toward silly talk or chatter.  It is normally childish, harmless, funny and even cute.  However, it can get excessive.  I mean, when they are calling everybody, "Mustache-Potato-Head!" and babbling other such nonsense and then giggling uncontrollably, it seems to have gone too far.  Left unchecked, it could cause them to think it's ok to be disrespectful to people.  We curb it there.  If they continue to insist on talking foolish talk, it does lead to a spanking.  They can end it with obedience or they can choose to be foolish and get the spanking.  Perhaps, I haven't picked the most vivid or convincing example in your mind, but I look back to my childhood/teenage years and I remember a girl I knew.  She was allowed to continue in silly, foolish talk.  She babbled it unrestrainedly.  She said such "dumbness" like I am a pear or I am a penguin friend something or other.  I remember thinking it was strange that she continued talking like that after she was done with her preschool and early elementary years.  (We're talking when she was 12ish.)  She isn't serving God now.  I'm not saying that her foolish talk is the reason why.  Looking back, it just makes me wonder what other foolishness should've been driven out with the rod.  Maybe her path would've been different.  I realize that it may be difficult to deal with foolishness.  You know what is excessive childishness in your child.  You're the parent.  Deal with it, whether well-meaning others think you should or not.  The Bible proves Itself to be true and right time and time again. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

How to deal with Childishness


Thirdly, the HOW. I think this one confounds most people. Oftentimes, myself included! One of our success stories is fixing the laying on the chairs thing and spinning the chairs thing. I warned them that Blossoms who did that, would lose their chair. I did add an extra warning before the consequences came. Then, voila, no chair... standing up for the remainder of the mealtime. Wow. Quick results. Way fewer problems in that area. Now, we need to work on the putting your feet on other people thing. Just ask my oldest nephew. Skipper is the worst about it. I don't like dumb punishments that have nothing to do with the offense... like push-ups or laps. My Blossoms would think that was a silly game. But, sitting is a privilege. If you misuse it, you lose it. I do the same with talking. If you sass, whine, complain, or misuse your words, you lose the privilege of talking for an age-appropriate amount of time. In light of that, maybe if you put your feet/hands on a person, you have to sit still for an age-appropriate amount of time? I'm not sure; I'm just thinking out loud.

I hope I've got you thinking. Childishness isn't spank-worthy, but it does need to be dealt with by training them for the appropriate behavior for the appropriate times and places. And, self control is a life-long attribute they can use. We might as well start developing it now.

Friday, October 12, 2012

When do deal with Childishness

Secondly, I feel that the place to deal with these things is at home. If I let my Blossoms shout at the dinner table, I should not be the least bit embarrassed if they do it in a restaurant. It's a case of not thinking of others when they do this. At home, we can have a happy level of noise, while teaching them to say, "Excuse me" when they'd like to talk and learning to wait til someone else is finished talking before starting themselves. (What a training process this is!!!!!!!) One of Mommy's biggest frustrations is not being able to complete a thought or sentence to Daddy in conversation. This habit, left unchecked, leads to rudeness in public. I use this line, "Look around Honey, all these people came here for peace and quiet too. So, let's think of them and quiet down, ok?" Yes, really. I say that to my 2 1/2, 5 and & 7 yr old. Don't you wish more people thought about you in this world? 

(As a side note, I can't stand parents that are ON their children, CONSTANTLY.  I try hard not to do this, but we all know that parenting is humbling.  This constant correction and reminding in public really says to me that they haven't been trained at home.  If I train my Blossoms at home, they will require less constant critical comments from my direction in public.  In essence, they can just be themselves, not a performance in public.  I think of it as teaching and training them to be genuine.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What to do about Childishness

I've always heard the saying to spank for disobedience and such, not for childishness.  If you notice though, in grocery stores and restaurants, it is often their childishness that drives us crazy.  What to do about it?!?  My sister-in-law and I were just discussing this the other day, as our children (the six cousins) ran crazily and joyfully through the house, enjoying each other's presence immensely.  And we sat philosophizing (loudly - so we could hear ourselves think, over the noise) on how and when and why to do deal with these things that I'll call "childishness." 

First, my reason for dealing with childishness.  My husband says you can't spank for every little thing.  Spankings get old and ineffective then... not too mention, just plain harsh for a case of spinning your chair at the table (as my Blossoms are fond of doing) or singing at the table (as my nephew Sprouts are fond of doing).  However, these are the very things that drive us bonkers in a restaurant.  When they reach their crescendo, my husband and I have dreaded going out to eat!!  So, it's a case of training in the manners department, I believe.  Things that are "harmless" are the very actions that drive us to that sharp tone of voice and that exasperated state of mind.  Why not deal gently with the childishness and expect a reasonable level of orderly behavior at home and out and about so as to curb the things that send us off the deep end as they add up in a day? 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Grammie laughed too


And when somebody "trimmed" Skeeter's bangs, but nobody wants to 'fess up. A parent thinks they're so great at figuring stuff out, 'til no one is really certain what happened and who should be punished. Parenting is humbling, when you realize that if you'd reacted in a slightly calmer manner, perhaps the truth would've come out sooner AND perhaps your children would've been less likely to be driven to lying.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Grandma laughed again


And when Skeeter (#1) took her first solo shower and ended up flooding the bathroom because she and Scooter (#2) usually take baths. They find the shower curtain very annoying INSIDE the tub, so they promptly put it out. Skeeter applied this to shower time. Scooter, who is very laidback and never gets excited over anything, went to check on Skeeter and came back with "She is fine, but there is a lot of water on the floor." "A lot" was understatement. Let's just say that in 5 more minutes, we would've had permanent damage. Mommy should've reiterated the importance of the shower curtain INSIDE the tub. I thought I had the bases covered, but parenting is humbling.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Grandparents

I'm convinced that grandparents enjoy grandchildren because they can finally laugh about all the things they were too tired to laugh about when their children did them.  For example, when Skipper (#3) found my chapstick somewhere and used it to decorate the living room window and end tables.  When she did this, I know not, as I thought I supervised her pretty well.  Parenting is humbling. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's the little foxes...


My Dad always had a saying that went like this, "It's the little foxes that spoil the vine."  He was referring to Song of Solomon 2:15.  He was teaching me a principle that little things, left un-checked, will spoil big things.  Now, for the application in this instance.  After my husband washes his hands at the kitchen sink, he dries them on the hand towel and the above photo chronicles how he hangs it up when he is done.  It was a Saturday when I took this picture.  I was at the sink after him.  I took one look at it and I had a choice to make.  I could be glad that he hangs up the hand towel, or I can gripe about HOW he hangs it up. (After all, I do love things tidy around the house.)  I don't know what you're thinking of me as you read this, but if you're judging me for being a nit-picky neat-freak wife, I'm sad to say that you're totally missing the point.  Every wife I know has an application in this example.  I can choose to let some dumb little hand towel annoy me and lead me to complaining, grumbling and whining, or I can be thankful that he hung it up or even that he washes his hands!  Enter your application here.  Instead of griping that he doesn't have a job, be thankful he's looking.  Instead of complaining that he isn't as good a husband as somebody else's, be thankful you HAVE a husband.  (A single girl would probaby envy you your less-than-perfect husband.)  Instead of whining about his dirty clothes on the floor, be thankful that he was alive to make the clothes dirty or that he worked in those clothes to make them dirty.  Instead of bemoaning his spending habits, be thankful that he has a generous heart.  If I let it, a little fox can spoil the vine.  The little thoughts leads to bigger sins.  I want God to help me think the best of my husband in every situation. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

A New Way to Praise

A new way to praise your kids, that is!!!  So, a few days ago, I was chatting with my sister and she shared this article with me.  http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/  Now this article is about 5 pages long, so let me share the long and short of it with you.  (I did some major speed-reading while my Monkey Blossoms climbed on my lap!)  There was a study done on kids who were praised by telling them how smart they are and kids who were praised by telling them how hard they tried.  And the results were astounding!  Children who were constantly told they were smart, quit trying, got frustrated in adversity and frequently avoided hard problems and situations.  Children who were praised for real effort, tried harder, enjoyed a challenge and looked for more difficult things to attempt.  In short, failure freaked out and devastated the "smart" kids.  The others dealt better with failure.  After reading, it made sense.  I think a child unknowingly thinks, "I'm smart, so this should come easy."  When it doesn't, they get scared.  ("What's wrong with me?")  The other children learn eventually that their genuine effort is rewarded and consequently, they work harder to succeed.  Praise now sounds something like this here:

- I love how hard you are working to write so neatly. 

- I noticed you were trying hard to spell that word correctly.

- I saw that you were trying hard to be nice to your sister, when she was mean to you.

- I was grateful that you worked hard to clear the table so nicely for Mommy. 

I'm pleasantly surprised at how well this is reinforcing hard work and good, consistent effort in our house.  Try it.  Betcha won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Experimenting Time...

The Sparkly Explosion!
 
 
Microwaving Ivory Soap
 


 
Good times!!!  :) 

A New Favorite Tradition

At the beginning of the school year, I instituted a new tradition.  It is referred to as the "Friday Experiment" here.  Every Friday, I have scheduled a hands-on, science experiment/experience.  "Oh," you say, "what is so impressive about that?"  Well, it's big stuff to me.  I don't like messes that can be avoided.  Read: I avoid Play Doh like the Bubonic Plague.  It is not allowed inside the house here.  I. just. can't. take. it.  However, I was raised with a Hands-On kind of Mom.  I know that is how kids learn so many important things!  So, I have to make myself do messy things with my Blossoms.  And, we're a few weeks into it.  I'm loving this new tradition!  We have microwaved Ivory Soap (just to see what happens) and made our own "bouncy" balls.  We are looking forward to a Sparkly Explosion tomorrow and making our own Fluffy Bath Paint too.  Pinterest is loaded with good ideas for our new tradition.  And I'm glad we're getting our hands dirty trying them. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

More on www.blueletterbible.org

An entirely different option is available on the home page of this amazing site.  Type in a passage of Scripture (ex. Ephesians 5).  In the right column, click Read/Print.  You can read the Bible in two formats (verse or paragraph) in the translation of your choice. 

Additionally, click LISTEN and you can choose from 4 translations for an audio version of the Bible.  (My husband paid a lot of money for my full set of Bible audio CDs.)  This truly is an amazing (free) tool for wives and moms.

Studying the Bible isn't just for pastors and Bible school students.  We, the average Christian, need to feed our spirits and be able to defend our faith.  We need to grow in doctrine!  It is our responsibility! 

Do you think that Bible study takes too much time?  www.blueletterbible.org removes that excuse, The answers are instantaneous.  You can find out what a Greek or Hebrew word means.  You CAN study the Bible.  I've been truly blessed by this web site.  I hope you find it as useful as I do.  Be blessed in your study of the Word!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A New Resource

My sister and I were recently discussing word studies and the easiest way to find where else in the Bible that same Greek or Hebrew word was used, no matter how it was translated.  I've used Strong's Concordance, as well as Dake's Annotated Reference Bible.  Voila!  She shared www.blueletterbible.org with me!  What an amazing resource!  I love it!!!!  I've been tickled pink with it every time I've used it since then.  Here's why:

- With the Bible/Dictionary search, you can search for a word in 18 different translations (rather than just KJV with a Strong's Concordance)  OR
You can search for a specific scripture.

- From there, you can check out the meaning of that word by clicking the Strong's Number superscript.  OR
You can click the Scripture reference and look at each individual reference and context with that word you searched for in it.

- Then, when you've clicked the Strong's Number superscript (that's the little tiny upper numbers), it will bring up the meaning of the word, how it is often translated and all the other references using that same word.  Also, you can click to check out connected Greek or Hebrew words. 

More next time...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Don't Miss My Point

I'm not attacking Pinterest or creativity.  I like and can appreciate parties that match and are well-coordinated.  My point is that fancy favors and matching water bottles and ornate decorations, don't make me as a guest have a better time at the party or in your home.  Maybe you don't consider yourself a great entertainer.  It doesn't matter.  The Biblical point is to think of others.  According to the dictionary, hospitality actually means, "The friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers and the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests in a warm, friendly, generous way."  All the matchy-matchy-ness in the world isn't going to make you any warmer, friendlier or more generous toward your guests.  So, think of your guests and balance that with the little touches that the Lord would approve.  Be blessed in your hospitality!  I know I feel challenged to a renewed dedication to hospitality.

Monday, September 17, 2012

And then, there's the TIME issue

There are more questions to ask myself.  I oftentimes, must prioritize the simple activities in our home.  Believe me, I love crafty things like scrapbooking and decorating cakes and making snazzy favors, but really, they aren't the most important thing.  I wonder, will the time spent on this glorify God?   Does using my time in this manner glorify God? Am I being a good steward of my time when I spend time making fancy signs with impressive flourishes and ornate gift bags with fancy name tags at the expense of my own personal devotion time with God and giving my family the attention they need? My free time is very limited and I really want to do what pleases Him. So, lots of times, I put aside what I enjoy and would like to do.  I make sure my relationship with God is cared for first and foremost and then caring for my family factors in as well.  Instead of all those pretty gift bag labels, my daughters write the names on the bags and decorate them.  I use it as a learning experience for them.  It doesn't have to be perfect!!!  This is about hospitality, not impressing folks.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Questions I ask myself...

Here is where the Lord has brought me. I look at each wonderfully, creative idea that pops into my brain and I say to myself, "Will this help my guest have a better time? Will this meet a need of my guest? Will this make my guest more comfortable?  Do I want to do this idea just to illicit a complimentary response from people? Do I want to do this idea because everyone will say how creative I am?" Usually, the answers are pretty obvious to me and although, my flesh doesn't like to be "shown up" by nicer parties with prettier, more coordinated decorations, I opt for the simpler route, trying always to keep the guests in mind.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You know you're distracted when...

Actually, I prefer to use the term, "Deep in thought," as opposed to "distracted."  Anyway, you know you're deep in thought when, you're attempting to wash your hands, you squirt the soap and it lands in the bottom of the kitchen sink because you neglected to place your other hand under the soap dispenser.  The only thing I could think to say to myself was, "Duh." 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Original Point

So, here's my original point - Christians are falling into the world's version of entertaining.  Christians are starting to try to IMPRESS people when guests come to their house or party.  Yes, ladies, God gave each of us special talents.  But, we must remember the point of using them.  We must ask ourselves.  I see so many beautiful, smart, creative ideas on Pinterest.  I look at them and I know I could do them.  But, WHO is the point of this idea?  Is it ME (my "mad skills") or is it my guest?  As a Christian, my guest matters.  How I treat the guests, sends the message of God's love.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Hospitality Word


You'll also find hospitality in the Bible. In various verses, Christian pastors and Christians themselves are called on to be hospitable to one another (1 Peter 4:9 or 1 Timothy 3:2).  It means to be hospitable and generous to guests. Another word also translated hospitality means, "Love to strangers and hospitality."  The point of both words - entertaining and hospitality - in their use in the Bible is bringing someone (stranger or believer) into your home and treating them in a way that would please our Lord.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Entertaining vs. Hospitality

With the rise of sites such as Pinterest, I've noticed that Christians are falling into the trap of entertaining.  You wonder what I mean.  Yes, the word, "entertaining" is in the Bible.  "Some of you will entertain angels unaware." (Hebrews 13:2)  I love the possibility of angels that the verse is sharing.  The word, "entertain" means to receive as a guest, to entertain hospitably, to lodge or be lodged.  Most of the other times in the NT that it is used, it is translated, "lodge."  My point is that it is referring to the generous sharing of your home, not an impressive meal or party. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Scooter & Her Dust-buster

Scooter was doing post-supper chores, which involve dust-busting the kitchen chairs.  I heard giggling from her and Skipper, along with some dust-buster noises.  I turned around from the kitchen sink only to bark out, "Scooter, do NOT dustbust your sister."

Happy Birthday, Scooter!  You're a sweetie!

Monday, September 3, 2012

I noticed something

I decided to be quiet... really quiet about my husband's "flaws" or even little "habits."  If the Bible says an unsaved husband can be won without a word, it made me wonder what difference a quiet, Godly woman could make in her saved, Godly husband by being quiet. 

Big Shocker - - - - The difference I noticed was in ME. 

When I started being quiet, mustering all the self control in me and every bit of grace that was offered to me by the Holy Spirit, I noticed that I prayed more for my husband... in the right attitude.  Wow.  Is that what quietness does?  Does is make a Godly woman focus on the right things?  Praying instead of nagging or "enlightening" or reminding. 

Lord, help me to be more quiet.  Help me to pray more fervently.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Not Harping

Perhaps I sound like I'm harping on submission. I know that the Lord gave our husbands a pretty hefty command - to love us like Christ loved the church. Wow.   That's a tall order.  But, I noticed this: The more I stick my nose in what my husband should be doing, the less I work on what I'm supposed to be doing.  The devil is constantly trying to inundate us with mouthy, bossy, mean, nagging women as our examples.  I've found that I have to review submission.  I take "doses" of submission by mulling over Ephesians 5:22-33 or Colossians 3:18.  That helps me get back on track and it helps me to be glad in my role.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mid-bossy-sentence

The ultra-independence thing is counter to what the Bible teaches. This is the very reason that your flesh may be squirming as you read this. Lest I sound bossy or preachy or arrogant, understand this, I struggle with bossiness and insubordination sometimes. It is truly a journey of letting the Lord convict and change me.  My conscience pricks me mid-bossy-sentence and I have to stop and apologize.  My husband is so gracious to me.  Sometimes, the way I learn not to be bossy to him, is to just be quiet.  And, if you know me, that's hard.  Really hard.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A moral

The moral of the previous story is this:
A husband and a wife each have a role in a marriage.  Faithfully and happily serving in your role pleases God and somehow makes a marriage thrive..
The world likes to peddle "ultra-independence" to women, as if we are less valuable because we depend on our husband.  I assure you, God values women.  In a patriarchal society, He had 4 women listed in Jesus' geneology (Matthew 1:3,5-6).  That's big stuff.  And, He made sure that the same salvation offered to men, is offered to women.  It's level ground in front of the Cross.  Our husband will answer for how he led his family and we will answer for how we cared for our family.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Strong Independent Young Woman

Long ago, when I worked outside the home, I casually mentioned that I'd take my health insurance information home for my husband to read, since he handled that stuff.  A co-worker retorted, "Whatever happened to being a strong, independent young woman?!"  Ironically, I am the happily married one of the two of us and she is divorced (for no good reason) and living with a boyfriend with 2 confused kids.  If that is being a strong, independent young woman, count me out.

(And today I am very happily married for 10 years to my best friend!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Our Words

What does a wife do when she hears someone speak against her husband's decision?  She mulls and it grows... she mulls more and it grows larger.  In my experience, discontentment only leads me to further sin - anger, bitterness, etc.  Being a Godly wife is already like swimming upstream these days.  We as Christians ought to cheer each other on toward more Godliness!  Let our words encourage wives to submit to their own husband.  Let our comments help a wife to be content and graciously supportive of her husband's decisions.  If she doesn't like the decision, let our words help her to be quietly submissive until the time when the Holy Spirit wants to her to speak out. 

"Oh Lord, let my conversation, encourage every wife I encounter to be content in her marriage and obedient to her husband."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Help the Young Women

I'm tired of hearing women bash their husbands.  In fact, some of my most favorite friends to be around have never spoken a nasty word about their husbands.  I'm very proud of them and grateful to them for their humble graciousness and edifying words.  Yet lately, I've encountered other Christians who, without thinking, are cheering and commenting to wives against their own husband.  For example, a man might make an unpopular decision that affects his wife and her extended family.  And, other Christians, yes, other CHRISTIANS, cheer the wife on to nag and push her husband to change that decision at once!  I'm not saying that the man is 100% right (I feel that is irrelevant), but I'm saying that with our comments we can lead others into discontentment and bitterness.

Friday, August 17, 2012

More quietness

A note to my friends who may not have believing husbands.  1 Peter says to be quiet also.  They are won to Christ without a word!  That tells me that quietness is loud.  Actions DO speak louder than words.  Being submissive is loud.  Being loving is loud.  Being a servant is loud.  Being respectful is loud.  Helping is loud.  It is a blaring witness.  So, although you may be tempted to nag and remind and whine him into spiritual-looking behavior, you serve God.  You do what you know Godly wives and mothers ought to do (with a smile).  There is nothing louder than that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Still thinking...

I was chatting with my husband and he brought up a very good point. 
Flesh doesn't produce Spirit! 
When I nag
or
hint
or
remind
or
badger
or
yell
or
give the cold shoulder
or
whine,
I'm in the flesh.  We Godly women need to realize that.  These things will NOT produce the will of God.  Flesh doesn't produce Spirit.  Whether you have a super Godly man or a barely saved man, keep your mouth shut and serve God whole-heartedly by serving your husband, loving him, loving your children and caring for the home.  It helps you focus on getting the logs or splinters out of your eyes, so God can deal directly with your husband to take care of whatever might be in his eye.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Put the shoe on the other foot

When I don't like some little flaw I see, I'm resolved to be quiet.  I'm resolved to love God and continue to love my husband.  Perhaps in being quiet, I'll learn something about self control and I know I need more of that.  Put the shoe on the other foot.  If my husband reminded me of every flaw and little besetting sin or habit he noticed, how offended I might be!  I'm so glad he extends grace to me as I grow in Christ.  Lord willing, I will extend that same grace to him always.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Whose voice?

I love my husband dearly and he is a very Godly man.  Period.  I am also married for forever.  That is the covenant I made with him before God.  My job is to remember my role in our marriage.  And my role is not the role of the Holy Spirit's little helper.  The still small voice doesn't manifest in my little nagging voice.  What am I supposed to be doing?  Submitting.  Loving.  Respecting.  Serving.  Helping.  I try to fit nagging or "reminding" or hinting under one of those categories.  It just doesn't fit anywhere.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Does it matter?

Does my "smaller" sin give me a license to pick on my husband's "bigger" sin?  Shouldn't I look at my own life?  Shouldn't I mind my own business?  Don't I have enough things to work on in my walk with God?  Usually, if I find myself picking on my husband's flaws, it is because I think I have all of my own figured out.  Bad thought.  Didn't somebody say that the moment you think you've arrived, is the moment you start to slide back (or backslide)?

Monday, August 6, 2012

An object in somebody's eye

"Nobody's perfect."  I've heard it so many times.  The problem is, we think that we are close enough to perfection, that we can hold our husbands to that perfect standard.  That verse in Matthew comes to mind... you know, the one about the log in my eye and the splinter in someone else's.  I have to be reminded of that.  Inevitably, I find myself, picking at something in his eye (so to speak), when I have something in my own.  And, I THINK that the object in mine is much smaller than the object in his.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A story for the ages

"Skipper" is 2 years old.  And she is potty-training herself.  Or, she's really ready for potty-training.  Actually, we've finally started the formal potty-training, now that the garden is in, is under control, the wood is stacked, the 4th of July picnic/bash has passed and the cross-country trip to visit relatives is over.  But, on our way back from that cross-country trip, Skipper made a doozy of a story.  We were in Taco Bell.  And, Mommy was asking questions about what's on which taco or burrito.  It'd been a long time since I'd taken the crew there!  So, I'm almost done, and I hear a gentle, pleading voice, "Poopy, Mommy."  "Ok, just a second, Honey."  "Blah, blah, blah" to the cashier.  I smell a smell... I proceed to finish the order and pay.  And then, it registers, I hear hysterical laughter.  It is in our direction.  With a sinking heart, I look down only to be properly horrified.  I find that she is standing there, shorts down and diaper down, patiently waiting for Mommy to help her.  GAH!!!  The problem is, when she pulled the diaper down, it smeared down her leg, on her clothes and sandals and when she lovingly leaned against my leg, it smeared on me.  Well, I always say that parenting is humbling!  My child's pants were down in a public place!!!!!!!!!!!  We got it all cleaned up and we had a pleasant meal.  And, the lovely laughing crowd thanked me for the entertainment.  They were also glad that their 3yr old son isn't the only one who does that stuff.   

Moral: You can only laugh if your kid does it too.

or

Second Moral:  When she says "poopy," she means NOW.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Be Thoroughly Convinced...

I do think that one ought to be thoroughly convinced that how they are raising their children is the way God would have them to raise them. Period. No questions asked. A friend of mine has been encouraging me in this area lately. If you're parenting a certain way as a result of your convictions from Him, standards He has given you and what the Word says, then, it doesn't matter what people think or say. Ever. How I am growing in this lately! We ought to mind our own business... meaning, keep our eyes on our own kids. (Don't we have enough to work on in the realm of our own family?!) So, if they get it, take it as a gift from God, rather than a badge for you or confirmation that your way is right. If they don't get it, take it to God too. He grants that perseverance that we need. That's the beauty of parenting - it drives us to our knees either way.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pride & Parenting

We, as parents, are commanded to train up a child in the way he should go.  Training takes time and lots of patience.  And, it is easy to believe that your parenting methods are the only right ones.  This can lead to pride.  And, pride is bad news.  Pride is sin, even if it pride in how holy you are raising your childen.  My husband and I are steadily plodding down this Godly parenting road.  Oh, how humbling it is!  How much I thought I knew at first!  How little I really know now!  I've come to this.  If your child “gets” something the first time you say it, kneel down and humbly thank the Lord.  If he doesn’t, kneel down and humbly ask the Lord for grace to persevere until he does. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What to Teach


"Teach your child to believe the Word of God.

Teach your child to know the Word of God.

Teach your child to love God's Word.

And teach your child to obey God's Word."

Andrew Murray from How to Raise Your Children for Christ

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Manners Don't Come Naturally


"Manners turn to morals."

Dr. James Dobson from Bringing Up Girls

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Parenting & Discipleship are one and the same?!

"He (Jesus) stayed with them (the disciples)." "To know was to be with."

Robert E. Coleman, from The Master Plan of Evangelism

Perhaps you're thinking, "How does that relate to our children?" Our children are our disciples! Our first ones! The most important ones! Therefore, I strive to apply the same principles that Jesus did... being WITH them.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Now or Later?


"Far better that children should cry under healthful correction, than that parents should afterwards cry under the bitter fruit to themselves and children, of neglected discipline."

Charles Bridges

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dominique's Parents Speak


"We're going to break you of that."

"You choose your attitude."

"I spank you because I love you."
Dominique's parents

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spurgeon Speaks


Here's a new one that I stumbled upon today, when I was double-checking the wording on the previous quote:

"You cannot control your children, you say. Then the Lord have mercy on you! It is your business to do it, and you must do it, or else you will soon find they will control you. No one knows what judgment will come from God upon those who allow sin in children to go unrebuked."

C.H. Spurgeon

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's the end?


"The chief end of their lives is the salvation of their souls."

J.C. Ryle

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Favorite Parenting Quotes

For a few days, I'd like to share some of my favorite quotes relating to children.  Reading them now brings fresh determination for me to finish this race strongly.

"When you are challenged defiantly, win decisively."
Dr. James Dobson from Dare to Discipline

Saturday, July 14, 2012

New Snacks

Hey there.  Skeeter, Scooter and Skipper are bored.  Bored of Goldfish crackers, that is!  If you have children under 6, I'm sure you may have had the same trouble at some point in time.  Lately, my Crew have asked for some unusual snacks.  I couldn't complain, since I felt they were still good for them.  So, move over "fishies," Rice Chex has taken over.  They also like Kashi Cinnamon Harvest shredded wheat cereal.  (Poor Daddy, I bought it for him and they are eating it all!)  Multigrain Cheerios (and any other cheerio variety) have been a hit as well. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy - Conclusion

#13 - Happy is the woman who is reproached for the name of Christ.  I Peter 4:14
Wacky, you say!  While, as of yet, I haven't seen all-out persecution for Christ's name, there are subtle forms of it that I may encounter.  Since I love God, I love my husband and serve him in tangible ways.  Since I love God, I love my children and raise them in anti-worldly ways.  Inevitably, it makes a line in the sand.  I don't seek to broadcast how different my life is.  The Lord is helping me to mind my own business and lead a quiet life.  Sometimes though, a quiet life is really loud.  Like, really loud.  And, instead of being offended if people criticize or even if I think they don't approve (and are criticizing behind my back), I think I'll just be happy about it.  I'll be happy that God is working in my life and leading me to obey.  And, if that is something to be reproached about, GLORY to God. 

I really can't get away from happiness.  It isn't based in shallow nothing-ness.  It is real and it is found living for Him day-in and day-out.  I'm refreshed and my heart is light, just thinking about it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy VI

#12 - Happy is the woman who endures in trouble.  James 5:11
In trouble, often the only thing to actually do is endure.  There is comfort and happiness in knowing that I can keep going.  At first, my heart has ached.  I feel numb.  But I know my feelings aren't the real deal.  It is all a part of something bigger.  I get up and I just keep going... but I'm not talking about getting up, getting dressed and caring for the family and home with a bitter, careless attitude.  No, I'm talking about enduring with the best attitude possible.  I'm talking about trusting God, when I don't understand.  I'm talking about serving Him practically in all the ways I always have, because I know (not feel) that is right.  Because I know (not feel), that is how I obey.  Because I know (not feel), God's true and faithful always.  And, eventually my feelings catch up.  I see and know firsthand that there is happiness in enduring in trouble.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy V

#10 - Happy is she who fears the Lord.  Proverbs 28:14
"Fear and happiness can't go together, you say."  And yet, I truly believe it can.  In fact, I feel comforted as I read this verse.  Living a holy life often seems like a tightrope walk.  It is precarious and it feels as if the world is pulling you off at every moment.  To make it more complicated, me, my husband and our children are on the tightrope too.  The world wants our children so bad.  And it wants to destroy me and my husband.  At the end of the tightrope is Heaven.  I do like I did on the balance beam years ago.  I keep face toward the end of the beam... the dismount.  I fear the Lord... it keeps me on the tightrope.  And, it's comforting to think that, although it feels like a tightrope walk... happy is she who fears the Lord.  I know that Heaven is the result of living this holy life to please Him. 

#11 - Happy is she who keeps God's law.  Proverbs 29:19
Happiness stems from obedience.  It is that satisfaction I feel as I obey.  There is grace to obey, grace to continue.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy IV

#8 - Happy is she that has mercy on the poor.  Proverbs 14:21
She gives real action to her faith.  Her attitude is merciful and humble. 

#9 - Happy is she that trusts in the Lord.  Proverbs 16:20
She doesn't just abide by His rules, she puts her trust in Him completely.  I must not hold back from Him.  I must not simply pray for His help.  I must lay myself down on the altar and surrender to His will.  It isn't cliche.  It is real.  It is a heart that must be continually given over.  Just when I think I'm totally surrendered, the Lord leads me further in and asks me for more.  Maybe I feel tentative.  Maybe I think a little on it.  I must surrender.  I lay my self down again, in yet another way on His altar.  And, He can be pleased in my life ultimately.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Happy III

#5 - Happy is the woman that has God for her help.  Psalm 146:5
My help!  My lifeline.  The Holy Spirit who walks beside me to help me!

#6 - Happy is she who has hope in the Lord.  Psalm 146:5
When there is no hope, there is yet Hope.  Where so many woman struggle with hopelessness, He is Hope.  He is the constant for my life.

#7 - Happy is the woman who finds wisdom and gets understanding.  Proverbs 3:13
It is a journey, a constant search, in fact... pressing forward in this walk, finding wisdom and understanding.  He IS the Spirit of wisdom and so pressing on to know Him, leads to more wisdom and more understanding. And, I need it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy II

#3 - Happy is the woman who has children.  Psalm 127:5
Children and happiness are congruent.  God gave the marvelous things to me.  I rejoice in them, even in tough days and trying times.  I'm happy they're here!  I'm happy that the Lord has given me the opportunity to persevere day-in and day-out to raise them to please Him.

#4 - Happy is the woman whose God is the Lord.  Psalm 144:15
I'm virtually speechless as I mull over those words.  What to say about a wonderful, all-knowing, ever-loving, eternal, massively awesome God?!  And, He is my God and my Shepherd!  No wonder I am happy as a result.  Such security ever grows in my heart as a result of His love!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Happy"

I came across this scripture not long ago.  "Happy is the man who does not condemn himself in what he approves."  Romans 14:22  And, as a result, a song was stuck in my head... a song, based on this verse: "Happy is the man whose God is the Lord."  I like being happy, but more importantly, I like being happy about real stuff, stuff that lasts.  So, I've paraphrased a few scriptures I found that contained this phrase, "Happy is the man..." 

#1 - Happy is the woman who doesn't condemn herself in what she approves.  Romans 14:22 
I will know and adhere to the convictions God has laid upon my heart and I will not be moved from them despite outside pressure or other people. 

#2 - Happy is the woman God corrects.  Job 5:17 
Ahhhh, the dreaded "correction" word, but alas, it is assurance of the Father's love!  Knowing this helps me walk through correction without getting dragged down and without getting lost in discouragement.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fake Candy

Our youngest, "Skipper" is addicted to candy!  She pesters about 10 times a day for it.  And, we're not big candy people.  So, she ends up with approximately 1 piece a day.  That's it.  So, that requires lots of perseverance and patience on Mommy's part.  Two days ago the candy "mysteriously disappeared."  This plan is working well, except Daddy and the middlest daughter "Scooter" almost blew Mommy's cover!  Now that the candy is "gone," I had to come up with an alternative.  Flashback to when daughter #1 ("Skeeter") was little, I gave her "Strawberry Candy."  It was simply frozen strawberries.  She loved them!  So, this morning, I refilled Skipper's snack cup 4 times with "Strawberry Candy."  Yay for Mommy and yay for a happy Skipper! 

PS - Other fruit can be frozen too.  Try berries, grapes, bananas and such.  It's the newest candy rage here in our house!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy-Go-Lucky Little Ladies or Mini-Monsters Conclusion

#9 - Spend time WITH them. I have to take stock often because there is so much to do and I get caught in the busyness. Inevitably, I notice trends of unhappy children. And, I realize that I haven't sat down and played with them lately. I vividly remember the days with only a 6 month old. And, there was a marked difference in her behavior when I had played on the floor with her and when I just worked on housework with her in the room. Take time to play and interact. Don't use this as an excuse for their disobedience. Use it a motivation to keep things in balance - keeping a tidy house AND spending real time with your children. I've found that the immediate benefit is that I enjoy motherhood so much more.

So there are my favorite pointers or rules-of-thumb. These are things that the Lord convicts me of, works in me, has taught or is teaching me. Please pray, seek the Lord and use what you can. Maybe you and yours will be blessed. If I've learned anything, it is that I really know very little. Ask me about parenting in 25 years and I wonder what I'll say. Probably something like pray, pray, PRAY as you parent them.