Wednesday, April 30, 2014

More Shoes

"Never judge a man til you've walked a mile in his shoes." 

We offer ourselves so much more grace than we do others sometimes.  It's sad.  When people are going through a tough time in their lives, they need the most grace and mercy that other Christians can offer them.  Here's a novel idea - for all the time we spend stewing about someone else's life, why don't we take it to God in prayer?  I do despise the practice of "preaching patience to the sufferer," which I find is rarely God-inspired.  It's usually bred in self-righteousness.  A Christian going through a hard time - a genuine hard time they haven't brought on themselves - covets the prayers of their friends.  And a true friend will pray.

"If I MY child did that, I would ___________."

"If I saw that, I would _____________."

Fill in the blank.  The fact is, you probably don't have all the facts.  You may have never been there before.  We should tread very lightly when it comes to speaking direction and wisdom to other folks' trying situations.  Remember, the measure that you use will be used with you!  It's a sobering thought.

Being in the tough shoes usually helps us to extend mercy and compassion the next time around.  Sadly, we realize a trifle too late, how hurtful our "helpful" words were. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Shoes/Your Shoes

The older I get, the more I understand the saying, "Never judge a man til you've walked a mile in his shoes." 

It's so easy to think you know all the factors, to point out all that somebody else is doing wrong or all that they need to do in a given situation.  The fact is, you aren't in that situation.  And, that's not to say that you have to experience the exact same thing as someone to offer a timely word.  But, you're not there.  It's up to that person to do what is right before God, despite what other people think. 

Furthermore, I now realize that moms need to be especially careful to consider the very age-specific season their children are in when comparing to other families.  I've had folks speak with superiority over me, when really, the only difference in my situation is not that I'm doing worse than them at managing my time, it's that I have much younger children.  A mom with 4 children, ages 1 to 8 has limitations that a mom of 2 children, ages 5 to 7.  The converse is true though too.  I'm very ashamed to say that I thought I was doing better than some and it was just that my season was different.  The bad part of that is that God doesn't measure you against your peers!  That little superiority things gets me nowhere in eternity.  That's very convicting. 

It reminds me of how important for me to KNOW, beyond all doubts, that I'm doing my best before God.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Babies Grow. Why is that?

I've heard so many folks say that the baby stage is SO long.  I whole-heartedly disagree.  It's too short.  The Rugged Mountain Man and I tend to cram as much cuddling and cooing over our babies in as we can.  And yet, they insist on growing.  (Despite Grandpa's promises of a quarter if she'd stop growing.)  Which is why the day-to-day is so important.  Making every day count.  I look back over the past year with BabyBlossom.  I've given all of myself and then some... every day.  She knows I love her.  She knows she'll get what she needs.  She knows who to come to with her concerns.

Photo Credit to My Generous Sister

Little "Tod" (short for Toddler) toddle-marches over to me with her latest treasure, her most recent concern, her newest request (in baby gibberish, of course) or seeking out a little snuggle or a shot of milkie.  It's a foundation of trust.  I guess I'm sorta like home base.  It's beautiful.  Being that to her this past year, reminds me to keep being that to our other three Blossoms too - only in the "bigger" girl version.  Being that home base, being that trustworthy, listening ear, being that springboard of encouragement or just being the caressing arm over their shoulder.  The overwhelming message to our girlies is this:

This is what love looks like. 
This is where you find it. 
You're safe. 
You're loved. 
We're leading you through life. 
Keep following. 
Stay in this precious circle. 

May the Lord be pleased in this daily love we model.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Study your husband, that is. 

I was cleaning my purse and I found this old, ratty piece of paper that I carried for years (and years).  It details my shorthand version of my husband's Subway order!

When I dug it out of the recesses of my purse, I thought, "I can't stop studying my husband."  I now have that Subway order memorized, but I never want to quit being a student of the Rugged, Mountain Man. 

The other day I was quizzing him on things he would put in a house if we ever built one from the ground up.  Sometimes the answers were surprising, sometimes enlightening and sometimes I knew exactly what he'd say.  It was a theoretical question, but yet, I learned more about him. 

Studying my husband is a way to always be growing closer and closer.  If I don't make sure we're growing together (by God's grace), who will?  Great marriages don't just happen.  They are built, like a beautiful cathedral is built, brick by brick, with sweat and toil.  You'd be thought to be quite  ridiculous if you believed a cathedral just happened by accident.  Why apply that to marriage?  I encourage you to study the man God gave you.  Better students make better helpmates, in my opinion.

Friday, April 18, 2014

More on the Sign

If you read on Wednesday, you noticed that I was talking about the sign that read, "Be known for what you stand FOR, rather than what you stand AGAINST."

It's thought provoking.  My thoughts turned to child-rearing.  In my "socially-deprived" homeschooling childhood (I wish you could hear the sarcasm in my voice when I say "socially-deprived"), I've been around a lot of people - all kinds of people.  All-out heathen.  Proclaiming, but not practicing Christians.  Christian families with wayward children.  Real Christians.  All sorts of people.  One kind I remember observing were families who only knew what they couldn't do.  Various daughters were my playmates at one point.  I remember - they only knew what they couldn't watch.  What they couldn't wear.  Etc.  My young mind picked up on that.  There were restrictions on my childhood too... what I couldn't wear and what I couldn't watch, but I don't remember it being about that.  I wasn't obsessed with the COULDN'T.  There was too much I COULD do.  There were plenty of things I could wear.  There was still plenty of fun and good times to keep me busy.  What I'm getting at is that I want our children to understand our standards of Holiness.  That they are good, right, reasonable, sensible and pleasing to God.  It's like my Dad's standard saying, "You don't have to, you GET to." 

Girlies, you don't HAVE to be holy.  You GET to be holy. 

I do want our children to know what we stand for, more than what we stand against.  But, you gotta know that standing for something, is going to mean you are standing against some things.  So, if some people think that us and ours only stand against stuff, I'm fine with that.  I know the truth of what we live at home.  We're standing for Holiness, until the glorious day of the Rapture, by God's grace.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Sign

I saw a sign the other day.  It said,

"Be know for what you stand FOR, rather than what you stand AGAINST."  It's a great idea, in concept at least. 

It often doesn't pan out as I'd like though.  Let me explain.  Practical Holiness is really important to me, very near and dear to my heart.  It drives what I do every day.  How I talk.  What I wear.  What I think about.  What I do with our children.  How I treat my husband.  Everything is connected to it.  Holiness is what I stand FOR.  However, not everyone likes holiness.  It convicts them.  All they can see is the finger it (super)naturally points to what doesn't align in their own life.  I rarely have to say anything any more, or if I do, it isn't in a confrontation.  It's just me talking about life in general.  It's just that people know how I live, what I stand for and what matters to me.  But, when something convicts them, they only notice what they can't do, what they can't wear, where they can't go... they only remember what I stand AGAINST.  (They think, "There's Dominique, the girl that thinks my shirt is too low.)  That's not my fault.  I live every day, striving after holiness.  Something beautiful... this process of becoming holier every day (it's actually called sanctification) is a joyous process mostly.  Sure, when the Holy Spirit convicts, it can be painful, but mostly the whole thing is just about pleasing Him.  Yes, I stand for Holiness.  I'm really not sorry that it reminds you of what I stand against. 

Monday, April 14, 2014


That wonderful time of year when people by your children Lindt Dark Chocolate bunnies. 


Friday, April 11, 2014

Of water, time and stewardship

Yesterday, I took the Blossoms for a walk.  As Blossom3 is the last girlie to recover from a recent cold-turned-torturous sickness, we dawdled by the creek, rather than meandering to the fish hatchery as we planned.  (Poor bigger Blossoms!  They were trying hard to be selfless, but it was rough!  They had their hearts set on a good, long walk.)  I stood beside the peaceful waters, soaking some P&Q (Peace & Quiet) into my soul, letting God talk to my spirit, interspersing spiritual things with cries of,

"Stay out of the water." 
"Don't get your feet wet." 
"No, larger stepping stones do NOT make it ok to be in the water."
(I should make shirts that say, "You can't keep a country girl out of her creek.)

All photo Credit to my creatively talented Sister!

I thought, "Water is like time.  It just keeps going, no matter what."  Maybe that's not new revelation to you, but it's sobering to me.  I let my gaze linger - truly linger - on the four beautiful Blossoms that we call our own.  Such an abundance of blessings.  It amazes me.  And the thought of the time that just keeps passing, with me, powerless to stop it, even for a moment, makes me grasp after what truly matters more diligently than ever.  I am a steward of this time I've been given with these precious gems.  How badly I long to hear, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" in the end! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Current favorite pastimes:
Baby Blossom -
Gleefully slamming cupboard doors.
 Pulling compost buckets out of the kitchen cabinet and smacking lips while trying to get the buckets open.  Though that cupboard door is usually tied shut, she is very much an opportunist, biding her time til the doors are open.

Blossom3 -
Following mommy around the house, asking "What letter next, mama?" This so she can repeatedly write names all over her white board slate.  Letters are her "thang!"

Blossom2 & Blossom1 -
Discussing (squabbling?) which theme to have for their annual joint birthday party (which isn't til August!!!!)  "How about a Western leopard print party???" (That'd be unique!)

Blossom2 -
Telling us all about the most recent bok she has finished - The Blue Bay Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner (A Boxcar Children book).

Blossom1 -
Rereading a stack of 8 anthologies so she can find the one particular short story she remembers reading in them.

Monday, April 7, 2014

What Friends Do

During a particularly trying/tiring week of sick children, a friend offered the following assistance.  It brought a smile to my face in more ways than one!  The subject line of her email was "", her fictitious ministry name!  :)

Dear Dominique,

 It has recently come to our attention that you have put in a tremendous amount of overtime this week caring for your sick wee ones. Your name has been entered  in a drawing and subsequently selected to receive our special grand prize for such weeks.
We have selected two choices of a homemade dinner that you may choose from.
They are the following:

Chicken pot pie and salad
With a dessert of lemon  creamcheese bars and a single serving of coconut custard pie( that's for just you)


Sesame chicken
Stir fried rice
Sesame green beans
With the same dessert

We offer free delivery to be brought to your church on Sunday.

Please be advised :
Our ministry does not take no for an answer- hehe
Please notify us promptly with your reply.

In Christ's service,
 Betty Crocker - director of operations