Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Of Brick Walls and Brick Paths

I do a lot of talking with kids about relational issues.  One of the most influential studies we've ever done was the Peacemaker Series, and it helped shape in me a desire to teach my children how to work on and resolve issues in a Godly way.
Jesus did come to restore relationship between man and God, so I guess maybe relationships are pretty important.  Thus we spend quite a bit of our time working through issues that arise between any who live together, but particularly happen when young ones live together.

I find analogies beautiful and impactful, so I like to use them with the kids often.  I have blogged about our weed analogy and prolly a couple others... so this is just another in the line of concrete to explain abstract.
As we struggled through an issue the other day, I began to explain it as building.
Issues with others are like bricks.
We choose to make either walls or make paths.

When we have an issue, we first must evaluate it within ourselves and see if it is something that can be overlooked.
Proverbs 12:16
"A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult."
Proverbs 19:11
"A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense."

If it cannot be overlooked, or in doing so you will allow a foothold to the devil (Eph. 4:26-27,) or a place for bitterness, then it must be dealt with.

When we refuse to deal with the issue (brick) what we really do is put that brick down between us and that person.  It causes us to stumble in our dealings with them. Add to it for a time, it becomes harder and harder to deal with those issues, and they build a wall.  The wall can shut others out, but it can also shut us in. This also creates a habit in us, making it harder to deal with any others.
Walls always cause division, that is their purpose.

God's purpose, however is unity.
Psalm 133:1
" How good and pleasant it is
   when brothers live together in unity!"
John 17:23
"May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
Ephesians 4:3
"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."

So we must work on the issues!  When we take that same brick and, digging into the ground between us, make a place for it we will create a path.   Paths create a strong connection between us.  They make a smooth way for us to be together.  Their purpose is to bring unity.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gifts are meant to be Given

 I used to give my mom gift baskets of bath stuff or other little pretty things, but I noticed... if it came all wrapped up in a pretty display, she would keep it that way!  She probably has 2 or 3 bath set baskets gathering dust, and still complete, on her bathroom shelf!  She has never opened or used these gifts because they are so pretty to her.

God is so awesome in giving each of us gifts!
Sometimes we keep those gifts on our own shelf gathering dust.
  Gifts are to be used to serve others.

We don't all have the same gifts.  Just like we would not want to live without our foot or our armpit, the Body of Christ needs the diversity of each gift to work and be healthy.  Sometimes I think those of us with more armpit like gifting ;) look at the feet and mouth and think we don't have anything to share since we don't have those gifts.  I know I can feel like I'm not really doing anything of import or even wonder if I have gifts to give (which are both lies of the enemy to prevent us from using the gifts we have.) But God has given each of us gifts to share with others.

 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
  If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 
1 Corinthians 12: 18-20

 Some gifts are for the building and edifying of the Church and some for sharing Truth with the world.  Paul did not baptize many, but came preaching the Word, expecting that others would continue the work he began with the gifts they had been given.  
1 Corinthians 
1:17  For Christ did not send me to baptize, 
but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, 
lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 

3:6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.

3:10 By the grace God has given me, 
I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. 
But each one should be careful how he builds.

So we each work with what gifts the Spirit has given us. And each part builds upon the last part.  So each part is useful in it's own way, and needed to edify, and build up.Be encouraged!  Dust off those shelved gifts and use them to the Glory of God; Who gave them freely to you. :)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

2011 in Review

My mom writes an annual letter to everyone on the planet with all the doings of the family for the year.  It's called "The Christmas Letter" and is often sent out in the new year! ;)
For the last few years I have been basically writing my own letter that is included in hers.  I'm too cheap to send out that much money in ink, paper and postage!  So here I include what I wrote for her this year. :)

2011 was rather uneventful for Our family.  We had several rounds of illness in the spring that kept us from going and doing too much, which we later discovered were allergy based issues.  (Which means they will reappear in the autumn and spring.)  We continued homeschooling and had a lot of fun with some new curriculum we got for the 2011-12 school year!  We also managed to get rained on during the only two camping trips we got to take!  (And, yes, we are still in California!)  We started our own garden this year and all really enjoyed it more than expected. 
At the beginning of October we had a scare to remind us to be more careful when outside here, as one of our dogs, Smith, got bit by a Mojave Green Rattlesnake.  With the help of a friend who is a Vet Tech, we were able to nurse him back to health, and we figure he probably got more of a warning bite with less venom.  Dave found and killed *both* of the snakes that were in our front yard and none of us will quickly forget!  We were glad that it was not a bite to one of our kids!!!
We also got to have some visits with out of state family that were highlights to our year!
Going in backward order,
     Karissa celebrated her first birthday on the 9th of November, though it remained low key with conflicts in weather, health and work schedule keeping it from being a big to do.  She weighs in at 17 lbs, and is 28 1/4 in tall as of her 1 year old check up.  She is smaller, but similar to her oldest sister.  This kid has been a scary one for mom and dad (who may have thought they were seasoned veterans) as she seems to be able to fall down at just the wrong place and so smack her head off of a door frame, or corner of wall, instead of just the floor; and has found more things to choke on than all of the others combined!  She is very adventurous; started walking at 8 months and is now climbing things!  She can be very silly and enjoys playing games, the latest of which being peek-a-boo, but half the time she says "cu-koo" from The Sound Of Music.
     Brianna, Our Curly Girlie, is the Shirley Temple look-a-like (attitude included) in our picture (below). At 3 years old she is 30 lbs, 3 ft 2 in tall and full to the brim of personality!  She has a strong sense of self and is authoritative in her demeanor (which is the nice way of saying: bossiest kid I've ever encountered)  She spends most of her day in role playing games with her older sister and dearest friend "Pie" (Aliyah) and Neno when he isn't doing his school work.  She can't seem to wait until she also has school work to do (if only that lasted!) and so asks to do her "Cat-Kitty Math" ~which is just a coloring book she really likes.  She would live out of doors if we would let her, but would also live in the bath tub or shower. ;)  She has really enjoyed getting to be a big sister, and is mostly sweet to Karissa.  She also likes to look after others, often bringing mommy or daddy a cup of water whenever she thinks we need one. 
     Aliyah Miechelle Pumpkin Pie (as she would introduce herself to you) turned 5 on the first of September!  She chose to celebrate with a camping trip instead of a big party, but we celebrated all day on her birthday as well!  She is 39 1/2 lbs, 3 ft 7 1/2 in tall, and would tell you that the most important development in her life lately is that she can ride her bike now without training wheels!  :)  We continue to monitor her kidney condition with her Pediatric Urologist, doing ultrasounds mostly.  Her right kidney looks atrophic, and her left kidney is still holding fluid.  By her activity level and general health, you would never know that her kidneys have issues!  She has learned to love her ultrasound appointments, and looks forward to them; all of the special attention she has gotten for her kidneys has given her a strong sense of being the most special Pumpkin on the planet, which is both good and bad.  This year we only had to have one appointment, but
her Dr ordered the  next for in 6 months, and it is likely he will follow that with an Isotope (Nuclear) Scan.  She will be starting first grade in June, as we school year round, and is excited that she will be "doing school." Currently she works with me on some preschool-kindergarten level work, but she is jealous of "the bigs." (as she calls her older siblings)

     Nathaniel, Neno, is so close to 8 years old, 55 1/2 lbs, and 4 ft. 2 in tall.  He has been in 2nd grade this year and is improving well, his struggle area still being in his reading.  He can keep up with the girls in their science and history studies, and does quite well at math.  (But that is when he will sit still and work on school!)  He is most fond of being outside in the dirt digging, or riding his bike, but will content himself with fort building, blocks and role play if it's too cold, too hot, or too windy.  He continues to talk just as much as the girls do, and now mostly retells his favorite movie scenes, or things that he thinks are funny he has heard or seen.  He is really tender with his baby sister, but can be quite short tempered with the other girls. (He's working on that one.)  He now really enjoys helping with starting the fires in our fireplace, and can even do so with flint and steel tools, but that can also be a struggle.
     Moriah, Our Mo, continues to be a very active young lady, and very proud of her tomboy status, but has settled into an appreciation of a "good book, a cuppa tea and a place to be cozy."
At 9 years 9 months old she is 58 lbs, and 4 ft 4 in tall.  She has been excelling in the 4th grade, and spelling seems to be the biggest difficulty to her in learning.  Like her dad, and Mark Twain, she's not worried about stifling her imagination by only single spellings of words. ;) She is usually a very hard worker, is often done with her school first and is very helpful for her momma.  She rides her bike, runs a lot, plays well with her siblings and is often up way too late laughing with her best friend, and older sister Ysa.  She is entering that difficult place between being a younger kid and being a young lady, but she is mostly adjusting well.  Aside from spelling, her biggest struggle seems to be her emotions, or how quickly she seems to cry, but even that is much less than when she was little.
     Ysabella is so much a young lady now at 12 years old, going on 20, and Monica's "mini-me."  She has finally been gaining in height and weight and this year got back on the growth chart!  She is 71 1/2 lbs, 4 ft 8 1/2 in tall, and is counting down to the time til she can ride in the front seat of the car!  This year she has been in 7th grade, and excelled at math for the first time in her life!  She is usually found behind some book or other, and pines for "something new to read" as she has exhausted most of the books I have for her.  Most of her time is spent indoors reading, knitting/crocheting, or helping momma; but she does enjoy riding her bike, looking about in the garden, and camping.  She is becoming a good cook, and can bake several things on her own.  We allowed her an email address all her own, and she really enjoys sending email or ecards to friends and family.  She also has a fondness for taking pictures or videos.  She struggles most with loosing track of time in fun things, and so not completing the important things in her day.
      Monica is really wondering about why she isn't sending out her own letter now, as this is shaping up to be!  This year brought her 30th birthday and she now doesn't mind sharing her age with all those curious people she meets when she is out... the ones who also ask, "Are they all yours?" ;) She continues to mostly enjoy teaching the kids and the many nuances of running a home.  The garden project we undertook this year was quite a bit of hard labor, but amazingly fulfilling and enjoyable to her.  She continues to struggle as Ysa does with managing her time wisely and spends more evenings than she would like to admit wondering what was actually accomplished that day, but is also trying to make an effort to enjoy the small blessings of each day with her children while they last.  So in 2011, we have seen many beautiful sunsets, many little insects, small flowers, and watched seeds turn to fruits; we have read many books, learned together many interesting lessons, and stopped everything to watch birds flying; we have played in rain and mud, in wind and sun and lots of dirt! and have looked for the Hand of God in the circling of the stars over head as well as in the answers to our many prayers.  Looking back at the year, she has had, is leaving her feeling overwhelmingly blessed! :)
     Dave, who will be 29 again (for the 6th time) next month, continues to work hard at work and home.  He has also been enthralled with gardening and watching things grow this year. He is often at some project or another, and even when sitting he is not still, (is he where Mo gets it?) as he will sharpen knives, work on a wood or para-cord project, or is busy planning the next thing!  This year he taught himself to work with leather, as well as a special material for making sheaths, and has been working on some fabrication as well as refinishing older tools!  He prefers to be at home with us as much as possible, but has had plenty of overtime needed at work this year; he has a position there that is as secure as we could hope for, and we are thankful to the Lord for employment.  (We are praying for any of you who are struggling with employment.)  

Monday, December 05, 2011

My Brain

I keep these note books, that I have nicknamed "my brain," though for a year or so I have not been as faithful to take it everywhere and help me stay on track... They have important information, current grocery lists, meal plans, notes from Dr appts or phone calls, and a myriad of other things I jot down.  The most valuable to me are the things the kids do that I just have to write down *now* ~ no leaving it to be forgotten later!
Here is a recent excerpt:
"7pm      Monday, November 28th, 2011
I sit nursing Karissa & attempting to write out meal plans/ shopping lists...
Neno (7 3/4 years) comes into the room ~ six shooters drawn, red construction paper eye brows  and mustache taped to his face ~ and he quotes Yosemite Sam: "I said I was gonna see that high divin' act, and I'm gonna see that high divin' act." which is followed by fake shooting noises and hopping around.  I look to the side to see that Pumpkin (5 years) is "pregnant" with a stuffed toy under her shirt; Brianna (3 years), who is apparently in the same game as Pie ~ who is the mom and Bri is "Mo-Ysa"~ is driving a table to Costco.  Mo (9 2/3 years) is prepping the scene on her cardboard box car; and Ysa (12 years) is trying to fit herself into a pillowcase."

And this with other things tucked away inside these "old brains" that I have, are why I cannot seem to part with them!  They have such funny antics of little people, important things like the days when I wrote down everything I did, so I could see that I did do something! and resolutions like "Why I Clean" and my list of priorities... I could never keep it all in my real brain! ;)

Anyway, I found that story in this one as I got ready (transferring important numbers for Drs from the front of the old one) my new brain and thought you may enjoy the moment with me. :)  Kids are so fun to observe! :) lol
(It is rather funny to hear me ask: "Has anyone seen my brain? and have every one respond like it is a normal thing to ask & look for!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

~Thanksgiving Prayer~

Thank You Lord, for the Gift of Jesus ~Who gave Himself so I could come to You freely!

Thank You that You made such a wonderful creation that even after so much has declined from the Fall to now, it is still so awe inspiring and beautiful! 

Thank You for life and breath and all of the innumerable blessings I take each day as though they were nothing of note.

Thank You for teaching me with Patient Hand and Loving Heart, and abundant Grace and Strength for all of my weakness!

Thank You for my Honey!  For the perfect completion of my quirkiness! :)

Thank You for Ysabella, Moriah, Nathaniel, Aliyah, Brianna, and Karissa!  Thank You for the Joy and the Struggle, the teaching me of myself through their behaviors, the learning of Your Father's Heart toward Your Children through loving and training my own!
Thank You for the 3 You have with You.  Thank You that they touched my life, and taught me of Your Comfort and a Closeness that nothing can rival.  Thank You for holding me, and carrying me through, and for helping me to stand again when it was time.

Thank You for teaching me to worship and pray in Spirit and in Truth.

Thank You for my family.  My Mom, and Mom-in-Love; My sisters with their husbands, and nieces and nephews.  My Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, and Grandma.

Thank You for my family in the faith, for the iron sharpening iron.

Thank You for  the friends You have brought into my life.  For their love and care, and the opportunity to be to them what they are to me.

Thank You Lord!
Please help me to be worthy of the calling you have given me.  Please continue to teach me Your Way and Guide me in Your Truth... in Your paths of righteousness for Your Name's Sake.
Help me to love You and love others!

In Jesus Name!
~Let it be~

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Materialist American Christmas

In May 2008 I ranted about this Materialist American Gifting Holiday Obsession, but I seem to follow the same currents of thought, so here we go again! ;)

Since I posted that before Mother's Day 08, I have found that I do have more of a gift giving love language than I had before, or realized before.  I like to give things to others.  Especially if I find the perfect thing for that person!  :)  I like to make someone's day with a card for no reason, or a "I saw this and thought of you."  I also do like to receive things, and had felt on certain occasions a little down when there seemed to be no thought put into me. (which was sad to realize after the rant before!)

I don't think gift giving is wrong, but I do question the motive and the elaborate obsession we seem to have with giving others things at the holidays.  Sure that holiday giving spirit seems sweet, until people are trampled because the door busters on Black Friday sales just opened!  Some spirit! No thanks!

And what of real needs that are not being met?
"I can't afford to take care of my family and an orphan in another country."  Oh, but you *can* afford the Disney Vacation?  The XBox 360?  The latest and greatest I-pad?  So you are ok with this person drinking water from a common, sewage rich, pond where livestock is washed, and cannot afford to do anything about it; while you drink bottled Fugi water and Google the-newest-desire-you-have on your I-pad?
You don't even have to go that far away!  What about the under-dressed, under-fed in our own towns?  Maybe they don't have raw animal filth in their water, but maybe they also don't have a jacket, or shoes that fit?  Maybe they haven't eaten but once this week?

How can I justify spending hundreds of dollars on my already materially spoiled children, while another child dies from lack of basic life needs!?!
If we all just spent less this CHRISTmas on our own decadence, and put the rest of that usual spending toward charity, or toward a family you already know who is struggling... that's the kind of spirit I think would honor God and bless, truly bless, others.

~Exiting Soap Box~ for now ;)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Leaving room in *your* plans for God's

I don't like to talk too much about things I do that are motivated by the Spirit. 
I get lost somewhere between "Don't let the right hand know what the left is doing..." and "Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."  But sometimes it needs to be shared or recorded so I can have my memorial stone.

Some days when I feel God is prompting my heart to do something, I over analyze it: "Is this really from Him or out of my own desire to be loved by others?" "Am I doing this to please Him, them, or me?" and many such questionings.  While I think we do need to check our motives, I think over analyzing them will hinder our impact and blessing.

I was blessed to visit the Rescue Kennel with my kids this week, and knowing the dear saints running the place had a busy day, and little funds, I decided to make them a dinner.  Save them some time, and some money... to me a really small contribution to their health and well being.  I started in on the over analyzation (that can just be another Monicaism) yet I could not shake the need, and did not feel it was just from me.  I made something, packed it all up and showed up early (earlier than I meant!) to give it to them without the other members of the field trip.
When they received it, they were both very appreciative, but the thing that struck me most was when Kathy told me they had no food in the house!  She had not had a chance to get to a store, and wouldn't until late that evening, if then, so she had no idea what they would eat!  It struck me again, when she wrote on my facebook (so much for that left hand being ignorant!) that it was the first meal she ate that day!!!  
What if I had analyzed it until I was certain I had wrong motives, or just "didn't have the time with all the getting ready for the day?"  Or what ever other excuse I could have come up with...

Thank You Lord for impressing upon me to follow Your lead!  Thank You for the opportunity to bless others, and may I give You the glory for the good You accomplish in me.  Thank You for over coming my over analyzing! and always meeting me right where I'm at!
I love You!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Conversations at our house...

It's been awhile since I posted the fun/odd conversations that sometimes transpire around here...

(Background info. I sometimes tease I'm the 24 hour dairy, or my mom teases that I'm a Jersey cow since my milk supply is so abundant... so ~all in fun~ I joke at times about being a cow)

As we were making and eating lunch the other day, Ysa (12) asks who wants milk.
After explaining all the kids could have milk, except Karissa, I had her covered...

Ysa: "Mom, I meant this kind of milk... cow's milk."
Me: "Mooo"
Ysa: "Mom!  You're probably smarter than a cow!"
Me:  "Probably?!?"
Ysa: "Well, I don't know how smart a cow is."

Aliyah(5) and Nathaniel(7 3/4) talking this morning about their "kids" in their "lands." (Do your kids have their own imaginary lands too?)
Aliyah: "Danny has really been disobedient lately."
Nathaniel: "Well, all I have left at home is one little girl and my little Josh." *sighs* "All the others are grown now.  They really all grow up too fast!  like Ysa."

Conversation with Honey.
Me:  "Karissa is really smart!  I mean *really* smart!  You can just see it in her eyes... and how she figures things out...
And I ought to know... I do already have 5 geniuses!" ;)

(Aren't just about everybody's kids geniuses?)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Funny things from today

We had the opportunity to visit a Rescue Dog Boarding Kennel today.  While there, they passed out some dog treats to the kids, so they could be friendly.... Brianna (3 years old) gets 3 dog cookies in her hand....and... Takes a bite! LOL I didn't realize she misunderstood until she was spitting and spitting it out! LOL :)
She also stuffed one back pocket on her little jeans FULL of the pea gravel and rocks they have there.  Mementos? ;)  I told her she had to take them out, so one at a time she starts to pull them out, seeing this will take awhile I start to help with a one finger scoop method... this will take a bit too, so I lift her, give her a 90 degree turn and let gravity assist ;)

No comes the "laugh-with-me-because-only-crazy-people laugh alone" story.
Our local Cinemark/IMAX is hosting a Special Needs friendly showing soon.  They plan on making it friendly for the sensory issues many Special Needs kids have.  I shared it on my facebook page, but then I saw a stranger with a cutie pie little boy who has Downs while I was doing my Costco shopping...
I think "I have to tell her (cutie pie's mom I assume) about the movie!!"  Then I think, "you'll seem like a freak!"  So I go to do it and (I kid not!) Said "Excuse me ma'am, I'm not a freak.  I'm Monica.  I saw your little guys and wanted to tell you about this Special Needs Day the Movies is having......"

Yup.  I introduced myself as "I'm not a freak.  I'm Monica." LOL LOL
I couldn't believe the words were out before the self edit kicked in!
She took it well, and in the end thanked me for sharing the info.
But OH!  I will get no end of laughing at that! At least until the next rogue odd statement gushes forth without my brain! LOL

Friday, November 11, 2011

These are my disciples

I have been very impressed lately with thoughts of training my children.
These *are* my disciples. 
Deuteronomy 6:7-9
  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. 

I often can get discouraged that I am not "impacting the world" or "reaching others," but this thought keeps coming back to me... These are my disciples.
I would not give up these 6 little people that *were* given to me  to train in everything! yet somehow I find myself discouraged in my lack of evangelizing the rest of society.

I think it comes back to a misunderstanding prevalent in our Christian circles, "Missionary means those in foreign lands not me."  But the Bible doesn't use the word Missionary it uses Witness.
Acts 1:8
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

To be a witness I don't need to leave and go anywhere, I need to share right where I am. And for now that happens to be in the kitchen and laundry room and the teaching and training phases of child-rearing.  This is where I have a real impact anyway.  They see how I live and act, good and bad; they hear what I say and how I say it to them and to others.  Is my life a reflection of Christ?  They would be the best ones to ask since they see me in all situations and at all times.

A possible reason I think it is easy to fall into the pit of discouragement, is if you are doing what God has called you to, you will be in conflict with the world and with the enemy of our souls.

Another key point that's been on my heart...
Even "purposeful parenting" won't work if you aren't modeling what you are teaching.  "More is caught than taught."  It can be as simple as talking with your mouth full to tell them not to do so; or as important as not hearing both sides to an argument before deciding which child was wronged... "everyone should be quick to listen."  <<< ouch!  How many times have I convicted my little man without hearing him out?!? :/

So discipleship is living out my faith in the presence of the little disciples I am blessed to have, and all others that God places in my path, doing what I can to be a faithful witness. :) Right where I am.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Thoughts on Trust

Today is a special day in our home.
Our sweet Karissa is 1 year old! :-O

Hard to think that 365 days ago I was wondering what in the world it was this time, not realizing that "it" was labor! LOL 

As I have been reflecting on her birth and the Hand of the Lord in her arrival I have been thinking of
I worry when it comes close to delivery time for our little ones.  I get anxious about the when and where and "how are we going to get there in time."  All this is needless concern of course!  It just so happened that I had my chosen sitter coming over anyway that day, so I could practice worship with her sister; my Honey was here for the process of indecision ;) and we actually made it to the hospital in time!  Sure it was a nerve wracking ride, but it could've been a little less stressful if I didn't fight going so hard!
As I look back, I always see God's provision...
and not only in my experiences, but in the experiences of others too.  

A friend of mine recently had her little son via emergency C-section, but God paved the way for it so completely!  First, her parents "happened" to be stopping by right at the time they found out she was hemorrhaging; then, no one was in the triage at our hospital, which is highly unusual!  There was no wait for a doctor or surgery room, no time was lost anywhere, and within 10 minutes of arriving, they were already in the process of the surgery!

Maybe this is why God puts such emphasis on remembering in the Old Testament.  I think remembering these things helps me to trust more... but when I forget! :/  I can be consumed in "What if " and "but what about when" and other such needless worries! 
just trust.

God has always shown His path is best; I should rest in the trust He has proven to me over and over, even if it looks wrong to me.  
Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I can know God is able and will take care of and save me (the situation, the person I'm worried about, etc.) And if not... still know His plan and will are perfect.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Forget look before you leap... it's look before you sit! ~a small collection of funny things I've learned because of child-rearing~

As the title states, I have a few things that I find funny that I've learned "in the trenches" so to speak. ;)

1) Look before you sit.  Yup... potty humor, but truthfully, we potty training mommas really should be looking first!  Our particular toilet seat is wood and has a pattern that hides any such "misses" that small ones have left behind them, so in my case, wipe the seat first would be more accurate!  Better to be cautious than damp ;) lol

2) Put the toilet paper on with the flap going toward the back... I know my dear Brother-in-Love would go nuts with it on "backward" but it buys some time, and less tp ruined, as you train the little one not to play with the paper.  Most only hit the roll and see it unravel a lovely pile and then continue to hit the roll... so with it on in the other direction they hit the roll and it does nothing fun! ;)

3) Learn to laugh now at the things your kids do... why save that for when they are all grown?  Laugh now, laugh with them... it really makes life easier!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reflections on Sin

We've been talking a lot around here lately about sin.
Sin is Sin is Sin.
Aside from the societal need for a justice system, why do we categorize sin?

Surely there is need for us to differentiate murder and lying in court, but in spirit they both lead to Hell!

I believe that this hierarchy of sins is part of what Jesus referred to in the plank/speck parable.  When I list certain things higher than others, I am usually comparing my "specks" to the "planks" I don't think I possess.  The "well, I'm not a murderer, "sinner" or tax collector" mentality leads to death.  My sins may not be deserving of jail time here, but apart from Jesus, I am surely worthy of Hell.

I believe the Bible is pretty clear on some issues being wrong.  One of the more recent topics of conversation has been "alternative lifestyles." I believe these are wrong and that the Bible has been fairly clear on that.  BUT I also believe that people in this sin are no different than people in any relationship outside of God's design.

Some factions of the church are accepting this life style in a way that is harmful because it undermines God's clear call to repent of sin to turn to Him.  Yet others are making the dangerous mistake of elevating this sin above the others of similar nature.  Is it more sinful to be in a relationship outside of God's plan for marriage if you are the same sex?  I don't believe there is a condition on the sin of fornication.

I don't believe we should not speak out on sin issues because we sin too, but that we should examine ourselves, our motives (must be in Love,) and avoid the pitfalls of using unjust measures. It says as we measure it will be measured to us!  It also says that if we see someone in sin and we are to warn them.
Others with a strong sense of justice have a hard time with mercy, but they really balance eachother on the scales.
"Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook 10/20


Outside my window... the early dawn is brightening the sky with rosy pink and orangy-yellow hues; it is still, calm and crisp.  A lovely autumn morning.  (time for tea)

I am thinking... is little Karissa getting sick, teething, or suffering from allergies?  It made for a rough night for us to have her congested and restless no matter the cause, but it would be nice to give her some help.

I am thankful... oh, for so much!  But right at this moment for the sweet sleep my nursling is getting now, and the restful quiet I can enjoy with her.

From the learning rooms... we had soooooo much fun with report giving for our Israel: Moses through Divided Kingdom study. 
Neno (2nd grade) gave a report on the important ancient trade routes, items and transport methods which included a map the others had to recreate. 
Moriah (4th grade) spoke about ancient Phoenicia and some neat facts she found out about them... like farming elephants! 
Ysa (7th grade) studied archaeology and a few excavation sites in Israel and Egypt.  She spoke to the kids about the interesting things she learned and created (with help) her own excavation site that they all got to dig. :)  They had so much fun that they are planning to do it for their new "game."  We took a box, dirt and a few items we didn't mind burying (like some clay  trinkets, coins, some (cardboard) clay tablets with heiroglyphics (sharpie markered on) and a couple of sharpened sticks as spears or arrows.  The kids took turns digging with a couple garden trowels and a small paint brush.  They each found 2 things, then allowed someone else a turn.  :)

In the kitchen... I made stew yesterday.  Well, Ysa and Mo really helped out and did quite a bit of the work I had left.  I was a hot... fairly warm day, but it was still a nice, comforting dinner *and* I don't really have to make dinner tonight. :)

I am wearing... My pjs still :) Some of the only pink I wear as they are comfy and were a gift from a sweet friend.  Also a grey nursing top and cozy knit socks.

I am creating... lots of fun school papers on our paint program.  We have made a few connect the dots (numbers and letters) pictures, and math designs pages.  You can easily make the math pages with a set of problems in your particular level for lower level math.  Just make dots on a page, 2 for each problem that are spaced around the page.  No order is necessary, just put dots around.  Then place a problem (2 + 2) by one dot, pick any other dot on the page and place the answer (4.)  The student then connects the dots from problem to answer with a straight line.  Some times I will have several with the same answer, the effect is cool, but you need fewer dots as they all connect to the same one answer.  Once all the problems are matched, they color their design any way they like. :)
I made this one, to show you, on google docs. You should be able to print that too :)

I am going... to be staying home while we figure out if this is allergy or germy congestion going on around here.

I am wondering... if I may be getting it too,  or if I'm just tired this week.

I am reading... Bible, Streams in the Desert, Jo's Boys (read aloud for story-nap) and our school stuff.

I am hoping... to get to have some play-dates soon.

I am looking forward to... visiting a couple dear friends.

I am hearing... Neno and Punkin talking over the Vision Forum Catalog in my bed as they just woke up.

Around the house... it's all upside down!  We were trying the 31 days to clean, but if you haven't organized or cleaned certain places... you'll take more than 31 days!  We are stuck in the kitchen cupboard reorganizing and cleaning!  And really, other things have been more pressing of late.  Today's plan will be to accomplish the dishes and schooling, then try for some extra work in bedroom disaster zones.

I am pondering... if my expectations are too high, or if we really don't work well... or efficiently.

One of my favorite things...  baby snuggles (have I said that several times?)  what about the little curl that is starting to show on the side of Karissa's head? :)

A few plans for the rest of the week:  will be contingent on illnesses... or lack there of.  I hope for church and a play day that has been postponed a few times; and the usuals of life.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Brianna with her happy faraway look. :)
Makes me think I should have the kids do a creative writing page about the picture.
What does it make you think?

Join us at the Simple Woman's Daybook and enjoy simplicity.