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!