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


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


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.