Category Archives: Contemplations

The Joy of Isolation

Recently, the Lord had me in a period of isolation. Recently, as in it is ending tomorrow.

Two weeks ago, my oldest son woke with some nasty pink eye. Time to invoke quarantine. I was able to get out here and there, like church, for a brief time, but I couldn’t go anywhere with the kids.

Four days later, in the late evening, I was told some rough and painful news. Too late to call any friends. The next morning, my other three children woke with pink eye.

All events canceled. Four fussy children to care for. I didn’t have time to call anyone. So I did the only thing I could do, lean on the Lord.

Oh wait! THAT is what I needed to do. I see!

For two weeks, I have been in isolation from friends and from leaving the house. But for two weeks the communion with the Lord has been joyful. The words of affirmation, love and affection have been a balm to my soul. The songs of praise He has been bringing to my mind and my lips, have been uplifting. The songs on the radio, or my children’s music cd’s, have been timely. His Word has been confirming and spot on. It has reminded me of His peace and His mercy.

I have to wonder. Would I have had the same communion with the Lord if I hadn’t been in isolation? The Lord knows that I have a failing, a weakness, a propensity to seek human counseling and affirmation before I seek His. The Lord knew that I would need Him, that I would need to hear His voice, that I would need to feel His touch. How gracious He was to me, to put me in isolation, so that all the noise would be gone. Sometimes that noise is truthful and affirming but can still be noise that distracts me from what should be my main source of comfort, the Lord.

Do you need to feel the touch of the Lord, to hear Him, to know you are loved, beautiful, and important? Try a little isolation.

I Have A Dream

I have dreams for my children.

I want them to grow up and be known as those who “turned the world upside down”.

I have a dream for my children that when they grow up, and if it is still legal, they will band together to fight and defeat the great sin of abortion.

And this, this is why we homeschool. Because we don’t have time to send them to school. I don’t have time for them to be gone 8 hours a day. I don’t have time to work outside of the home.

There is so much that I need to to teach them. I need to pour everything into them. I need them to learn the word of God, I need them to be able to practice on their brothers and sister. They need time to learn to love their neighbor as themselves. They need to learn to resolve conflict. They need to learn compassion, justice, forgiveness, contentment, truth, stewardship, love, and righteous anger. They need to see me make mistakes, to sin, and then repent. They need to see me do hard and impossible things and learn to give the glory to God. They need to see me struggle through life but be victorious through Christ. They need to learn to clean a toilet, do laundry, clean a floor, cook, and wait patiently for others,

There is NO TIME. Do you feel the urgency? I can’t afford to miss one opportunity to live life with my children, to prepare them and to train them. If I do my job correctly, this world will hate them. I have to prepare them for that. They need a firm foundation so when their world rocks, they will not sink.

Oh God help me!

Humbleness

I have been contemplating humbleness lately. Why? Because as I learn about evils in the world, that although not new, are new to me, then I come to a crisis of sorts. If I acknowledge and believe that something is evil, that I have never known about before, then I have to acknowledge and feel grief about the people I know who have committed such evil. They may have committed that evil out of ignorance and not out of maliciousness but evil is evil and wrong is wrong. So, my question then is do we, do I, have the humbleness to acknowledge and apply what I have learned to my life? Can I be okay emotionally and spiritually knowing what I now know? If the time comes when it is shown to me that my actions in the past were evil or wrong in some way, do I have the spiritual maturity to repent?

I think this is something lacking in the American church. If we say something is evil and we know Christians who have committed that evil, we feel that we are saying that that person is evil, or bad, or wrong. Well, they are wrong. Why is that bad? Why is it bad to grow in the Lord, grow in knowledge, repent of past actions (whatever the reason for committing them), learn and change? Isn’t that part of the refining, the sanctifying process?

We, the Church, I, need humbleness. I need to be able to be reproached, to be taught, to be challenged to do what is right, to repent of the past, to grow.

Combating the Lies

My little girl turns 4 on Saturday. We had a birthday celebration last week. One of the presents she received was a dress with flowers, lace and pink. She loves it and I can barely get it off of her. Today she asked if I liked her when she was wearing her dress. It made my heart hurt.

You see, we are already having to combat the lie that she is beautiful based on what she wears. We are having to combat the lie that how God created her is not enough.

It is so hard to take her into public because she gets comments all the time about how beautiful her hair is, or how pretty she looks. Rarely does someone mention a character trait.

You see, my daughter has deep insecurities. She doesn’t feel good enough. She isn’t secure in the knowledge that she is an image bearer of Christ and that her value is that God created her and she was made in His image.

Don’t let the world lie to your daughter (and your son for that matter) and tell them that they are only special when they look a certain way, or wear certain clothes, or have certain skills or aspirations. Combat the lies with the truth. Tell your daughter she is beautiful because God created her, tell her that beauty comes from a heart that wants to please God, and yes, also tell her she is pretty and has pretty hair but that she is loved no matter what color her hair is or if she even has hair.

 

After the Storm

I live in Texas. We can get some fierce storms. A couple of weeks ago we had a storm complete with thunder, lightning, a chance of tornadoes, and the power going out. The next morning the sky was blue and the sun was shining. The temperature was perfect.

We are amateur gardeners. I like the idea of growing my own food but with 4 children under the age of 6, the garden ends up taking more time then I can often give it. We did plant a few things like peas, spinach, and beets.

The garden takes care and attention. If we leave it alone to long, it will wither from thirst. If we don’t know what we planted, then it is more difficult to weed or we chance pulling up the good stuff and not the bad.

I find it fascinating that when I water the garden or it rains, the plants will stay alive and sometimes grow and sometimes produce fruit but it takes time. However, when there is a storm, I can go out the next day and the plants will have literally growing several inches over night. The rain helps it but something about a storm makes the plants stronger, taller, and more vibrant.

What are you planting in your life that needs care and attention? Are you going to be able to tell the difference between the good plants and the bad when it is time to weed out your life? What storm are you going through right now? Are you going to allow it to make you stronger and produce fruit or are you going to bend and break?

After the storm, comes the most beautiful of days!

10 Annoying Things About Being A Parent

1. NEVER QUIET

2. NEVER ALONE

3. When finally alone, you miss your children

4. Getting a shower with 3 other people in the bathroom with you.

5. Only getting to take a 5 minute shower

6. Not getting a shower

7. Going to the bathroom with 3 other people in the bathroom with you

8. Cleaning the food crumbs up from under the table and repeating and repeating and repeating…………

9. Screaming (them not me)

10. Cutting fingernails for years

My favorite baby things

Tis the season!

To be pregnant!

I have a number of friends who are currently pregnant. Several of them are first time mom’s so I decided to write a post about my favourite baby things. Therefore, they can all come here to look at the list instead of me repeatedly sending it out.

There are two lists. The first is the quick mini list of my “must” haves. The list following contains various links, more information and comments about some of the various items.

1st list:
Aden and Anais Muslim Swaddle Blankets
Graco pack n play with bassinet
Dresser with changing table conversion piece
Diapers 🙂
Pampers Sensitive wipes (softest and work well)
Fisher Price booster high chair
Oxo baby spoons
Bright Starts lots of links
Stacking cups toy
Bright Starts take’n shake toy
Moby wrap (over the K’tan only because you can use it for heavier children)
Britax car seat
Safe Sippy 2
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste in the green box.
2nd list:

 

Toys:

(Now normally we don’t give our kids anything will flashing lights as I believe the lights are to fast for their brain to process, however, this toy is sooo fun and they love it so we waited until they were at least a year old to give it to them)http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Einstein-Take-Along-Tunes/dp/B000YDDF6O/ref=pd_sim_t_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0WYH97P5RFZ8VZTMNEVX

http://www.amazon.com/Bright-Starts-Taken-Shake-Bear/dp/B00KH6OYB8/ref=sr_1_18?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1420726496&sr=1-18&keywords=bright+starts+pull+toy

 

Gear:
Now in this category you just have to look and see what you like best but for car seats I love Britax (wonderful reviews, we love ours), for pack n play’s I really like Graco, swings or bouncy seats it is just a matter of reading reviews and finding the one you like.
For a baby carrier, again there is a huge variety out there. Look around and find the one you like best. In general, especially when they are little, you want one that keeps the babies knees up above their bum, instead of hanging down straight. It is better for their pelvis. Try out all your friends carriers with kids in them and see which one you like best.
 
I like the Baby K’tan for when they are little. I haven’t really found “the one” for when they are older but I have a Moby, which I like, and am going to try and learn how to use it for heavier children.
For a stroller, nothing beats the ease of a bike stroller:
http://www.amazon.com/InStep-Quick-Double-Bicycle-Trailer/dp/B002QAZ8ZY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420725443&sr=8-1&keywords=bike+stroller
This is similar to the one we have. It doesn’t work well in crowds due to the arm sticking straight out or for running errands but for going on walks it is wonderful. So smooth.
 
Feeding:
I like the Medela hand pump.
 
Dr. Brown’s glass bottles are wonderful. We prefer to use as little as plastic as possible, especially for something that will be holding warm liquids.
 
I make all of our own baby food. I loved the mash and serve bowl.
 http://www.amazon.com/NUK-Mash-and-Serve-Bowl/dp/B006Z6E8AG/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420572220&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=nuk+baby+food+maker
I was using a knock off version of the Magic Bullet to make baby food. It worked okay. It was free. This time around I was given the NUK smoothie and baby food maker. I haven’t used it yet but am excited to try it. If I am making a large batch of food to freeze, I just use the Vitamix.
http://www.amazon.com/NUK-Smoothie-Baby-Food-Maker/dp/B00GEF7JEU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1420572569&sr=8-2&keywords=nuk+baby+food+maker
Oxo spoons are great. They are my husband’s favorite. They are deep so the food stays in it better when the children are learning to feed themselves. They are also silicone not plastic.
http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Feeding-Spoon-Soft-Silicone/dp/B0038JDV0Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1420572650&sr=1-1&keywords=oxo+spoons
Burpy bibs are awesome! They cover the shoulder which keeps more of the baby clean.
http://www.amazon.com/Anais-Muslin-Burpy-Jungle-count/dp/B002SW3CAS/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1420572728&sr=1-1&keywords=aden+and+anais+burpy+bib
For self-feeding a bib with a pocket is ideal. I haven’t found the “perfect” brand. I do know that it is nice to sometimes put the burpy bib under the pocket bib for even more coverage.
Sippy cup for water. LOVE this. Stainless steel and silicone. We skipped the sippy part and taught our kids straight to the straw so I can’t tell you how it works for the sippy part.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Safe-Sippy-Straw-Bottle/dp/B002DND57M/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1420726153&sr=1-1&keywords=safe+sippy+2
 Sleeping:
 
Absolute best things ever: Aden and Anais Muslim Swaddle blankets. I use these for nursing covers, swaddle blankets, blankets, for burping, car seat cover. Everything! Love them!!!!
 
Depending on your child, some children need to be very tightly swaddled to sleep. For that I use the Summer Infant Swaddles. I have heard that the miracle swaddle is great but I already had the Summer Infant brand.
 
If your child doesn’t need to be swaddled and you are concerned about them kicking off their blanket, Halo Sleepsacks are awesome.
 
Read the book, Babywise. People seem to either hate this book or love it. If you take it to strictly, you will hate it. However, read it and take out the parts that will work well for you. It was perfect for our oldest son and not that applicable for our 2nd child. We found a lot of helpful information in the book.
Furniture:
The trick here is to buy versatile things. A crib that converts into a toddler bed or a dresser that has the ability to convert to a changing table are a better use of your space and money.
 
For a high chair, we use and love this booster seat from fisher price. It is portable and doesn’t take up much space. Easy to clean and can be used for a long time.
http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Healthy-Care-Deluxe-Booster/dp/B00KA8I58G/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1420726044&sr=1-1&keywords=booster+seat+fisher+price
Well, that’s all folks. I hope this list is helpful.

 

 

 

 

Self Control-Way underrated

I must give credit where credit is due, as my sister began talking about self-control which got me thinking about this topic in more depth.

Don’t get me wrong, I have often thought about self-control but will be the first to admit that I have erroneously applied self-control in my life. My parents are not known for their self-control. The lack in this area created quite a bit of havoc in my life growing up. I came out of that with the belief that a lack of self-control equaled weakness. Unfortunately, not the right kind of weakness. I didn’t see it as an opportunity for God to be strong in our weakness but instead as a personality and character flaw that one chooses. It was a choice to not have self-control and as such I would never be that weak and I would chose to be strong enough to have self-control.

This is what largely drove me through my college years. This is what drove me to literally have no food or only 1 box of dry Cherrios to eat from for 3 days because I would have the self-control over my hunger to wait until pay day to buy food. I would also have the pride to not ask anyone for help but that is a different post. I would be in severe pain from a headache but I would have the self-control to handle the pain and would refuse to take medicine as that would have demonstrate a weakness in my character as well as a propensity to be like my parents. I could go on.

Here is the catch! We ARE to have self-control. It is a fruit of the Spirit. However, as with all things of the Spirit, the heart and it’s motivations are of paramount importance. I didn’t have the right motivation for my “self-control”. It wasn’t motivated out of giving God glory and learning more about Him. It was motivated out of fear and a reliance on self.

Self-control in America seems to be a thing of the past. Commercials, credit cards, media, fast food, etc. all push us towards the idea that whatever we want, we “deserve” and therefore, we should get it immediately.

Here is what my sister brought up that I thought was a wonderful insight. If we don’t teach people to have self control over the simple things like what they eat, whether they take pain medication immediately for a headache, or how to not spend money they don’t have via credit cards, then how can we expect them to have self control over their sexual life, their thought life, their motivations, and their sin?

This thought reminds me Luke 16:10 where God says that if you aren’t faithful in the little things, you won’t be faithful in the big things. If you don’t have self-control in the little things, how can you have self-control in the big things? It is a learned behavior/skill that has to be practiced and grow with usage.

I have seen how this process of NOT learning self-control can have a detrimental effect on someone and the lives of their family. My father is currently in jail because he didn’t chose to learn self-control. Looking back, I see all the little things he never required himself to have control over i.e. the food he ate, the things he bought, his words, etc. and he was therefore never able to cultivate an attitude of self- control and he and his whole family are paying for that.

My prayer is that I would cultivate an attitude of self-control. Not for the sake of self-righteousness, not to show up my father, but with the desire to honor God and be able to support my husband, and give my children a good example.

 

 

 

Great spiritual revelation…. or not?

Several people have asked Jason and I this question: “What spiritual lesson or revelation has God given you through the snakebite incident?” I find it to be a very interesting question. Does the question stem from an assumption that the purpose of the snakebite was to show us a spiritual lesson or revelation or from the idea that God always has a spiritual lesson or revelation to give us in difficult circumstances? I don’t know. Whatever the reason for the question, no I didn’t think to ask this of the questioners at the time, Jason and I were both rather blank on the answer. To this day, I still can’t tell you what great spiritual revelation or lesson it is that we have received from this event.

What I do know is that God showed Himself to be merciful, faithful, providential, and caring. He has provided where no provision was, He has sustained us through this time and the continuing on of the unknown as Jason heals. These are all things that God has always been to us. Oh sure, sometimes we forget and God needs to remind us. Had we forgotten at the time? I don’t think so but frankly that was 4 months ago. Maybe this is to help us build even more trust for something in the future. Is that what we were supposed to learn or be reminded of? Or is there a piece of the puzzle that we are still missing and waiting on?