Monday, January 31, 2011

Why God Made Babies Cute


I have this problem.  Selective amnesia. 

Everytime I have a child that enters the "mess-making" stage.
I rant and rave that surely, this is my messiest baby yet.  "None of the other children were like this" I say.
But then, my friends and family remind me "Rachel... you said that about Hannah, and Ann, and Elijah, and David too."  

"Oh, did I?"


Just recently I came out of the shower to find Mary had dumped an entire bottle of glue out.
I grabbed my camera for evidence.


I am convinced that God made babies cute so that we don't kill them when they do this.
In fact, I say a frantic "Oh my goodness Mary!!"
but melt when she gives me her *I'm so proud of myself smile*


And then we set about cleaning it up.
Ann is such a generous helper.


    "MAAAAAARY!!!".....
I have also recently washed countless stuffed animals after Mary has given them a swirly in the toilet, 
and found an entire package of baby wipes pulled out so that she could cover up her babies, a whole tube of toothpaste squeezed out on the toothbrushes she had lined up, smashed grapes all over the living room when she used the stepstool to pull them down off the counter and then pass them out to  her brothers and sisters, sharpee marker scribble on the wall!!  and other traumatic events that I'm trying to block out ;)

But...

"Love keeps no record of wrong."

So I'm just fine with all the things I don't remember. 


Thank you Lord, for the babies.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Resources

(I do hope you'll make the time follow along and click on the links I've provided, perhaps you'll have to take in this post on a few different visits.)

Eleven years ago, I turned up pregnant with our first child.  I began to check out books at the Library, suscribe to "parenting" magazines and ask lots of questions to the older women in my life.  I was hungry for knowledge and wisdom!  My Titus 2 women (and God is still sending them!), such as my mom,  a couple of ladies from our first appointment, and my in-law mom and sister,  were great examples and support to me, but what I found as far as books and magazines just weren't very satifsfying. Yes, there was some valuable knowledge, but it wasn't offering me a God-centered perspective.  Some of the more popular magazines basically left me envisioning my husband in an apron and lip gloss, all womanized, while I could go off and have all my selfish desires fulfilled with a size 2 body, after giving birth.   (btw- my husband is a great daddy, changes diapers, gives baths, anything really, and he is still all man ;)  

It seems to me that most of what the world has to offer us women is a way out of the nitty gritty of being a wife and mother. Tempting indeed.  I had to allow (continually btw!) God to change my perspective and attitude and embrace these relationships and roles in my life just as God, who ordained them, does. 

As the internet increased, I began discovering new, uncensored, non-money-motivated, Biblical perspective, resources.  Many resources were recommendations from friends, or ones that I ran across once I knew coin-phrases to google.

These resources have been so valuable and encouraging and inspiring to me as I find my way in being the woman God made me to be.  And the added bonus, is that when my "house in order" it spills over into the public ministry that God has called me to.  I feel authentic, sincere, equipped,  and quite aware of the spiritual battle that is going on in so many families. 




>The Bible- If God didn't mean it, why would He say it?  There is much to be learned in God's Word!  The Character of God, and our own nature.  The Ways of God and man's way.  And, the very pulse of it all, God's ever-reaching love for us and how we love others.   *Salvation*   *Holiness*    These are the ways that God desires us to love not just "others" but our families. 

>Blogs- I follow a few blogs and sit down very early most mornings with a cup of coffee in hand to check-up on my blog friends.  It's my "me time" when I am encouraged and inspired and come away with ideas and recipes.   My friend, Stacie, over on a fire fighter's wife, has brillantly equated blogging like being penpals.  (And I have had literally 100+ penpals back  when I was child and we wrote with pen and paper.  I was published in 2 magazines and my parents made me answer back every letter!)

A few things you should know about my blog-
  • On my side bar is a list of blogs I follow and recommend.
  • I have no idea who visits my blog.  I have a tally ticker on the bottom of my blog, so I just see numbers but my readers are free to come and go, lurk or whatever, I don't care. 
  • If you visit my blog, I gaurantee you will feel better about your life- either you will be encouraged by our life or you will say "I'm glad I'm not them" and thank the good Lord for yours.
  • I aim to be transparent and honest, but obviously there are still private matters, and even though it is a main part of our lives,  I mostly avoid public ministry posts because I do not want to divulge the things that aren't my story to share, nor cross the line of taking personal credit for the works of God in ministry.  
  • I am fully aware of opening myself up for judgment, sometimes harsh or misunderstood (or fully deserved!)  But we are all to shine before others, not micromanage other's perception of us. 
>Websites-  I also have websites that are favorites of mine.  Those are also listed on my sidebar. Take a visit, I bet there is something there for you too.  I most highly recommend Vision Forum and Above Rubies.

>Education- Dare I go here??  Well, yes, I should.  There is an incredible amount of educating materials available on the internet.  While the Textbooks in public schools are edited with a particular agenda in mind (non-"offensive" non-"religious" non-"racist" non-"challenging") , the stuff you can find on the internet makes it so that you, as a parent, can resource your children above and beyond public-education. The  1911 Encyclopedia  is a great resource that answers lots of questions.   I also love the Happy Hearts Homeschooling blog that shares all sorts of old fashioned treasures for learning solid material.


And before I get to carried away here since this post is already quite long,
may I suggest that you take the time to read the following link:
Our Children
Written by the eldest daughter of General William and Catherine Booth.




 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
-Psalm 111:10

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Zoo



On Saturday morning, our neighbors took us to the zoo.
Isn't that sweet?
They have twin boys.


           We had a wonderful time. 
           The weather was perfect. 
           The animals are fascinating. 
           And we got friendly with our neighbors.


       For Narnia!



     We thought this sign was funny.
     Notice the bottom line.


 We brushed goats for a looooong time. 
 This goat was so longsuffering. 

         And this goat.


This one too.


             I call this one "Man and Goat"


                   Ann had a rough ride.


                      Mine was rougher though.

Does Paul look scared here? Confused? 
She scares me too ;)  lol!


           What's worse than pushing around a 9 year old?


           Trying to reach high speeds with your 11 year old.


~The earth is filled with His Glory~




Friday, January 14, 2011

Tick-Tock

Wednesday was my birthday (my twin brothers too!)

35 and counting.  I want to celebrate, I love having a day of guilt free my way day, but for me, it also reminds me that 
  I am running out of time... 


"Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
                                                                    Psalm 90:12

I'm trying to squeeze a lot out of this life, but I see that as I grow older, that some things just require more time, energy, and attention than others. That is where the wisdom has to come in.  I need to seek God,"what do I really need to be doing right now?"  I hate wasting time.  Probably because there seems to be so little of it.  I pray that the things that are most important to God, are most important to me.


Birthday Happenings!
After the usual early morning routine,
and taking the boys to school and getting gas,
I went to meet Paul at the ARC with the girls.
He was taking me to pick out my birthday present,
but before that, I was surprised with cake from our most wonderful staff.
I was also gifted by my 2 of my Comrads, an aromatic candle on my desk and later a decorative plate that is SO my taste and goes with my dream kitchen of cobalt blue and white and my heart for my home.
Paul put a lot of effort into my birthday, because he took me and the girls to a really nice shopping mall that of course he first "researched" to make sure they had the food and store I wanted.  We ate at this really delicious Japanese place.  I had teriyaki salmon salad.  Very fresh and delicious.
Then he wandered the girls and I around the mall to the Lady Footlocker store where I picked out a quality pair of running shoes.  I figured it's time to get serious with the shoes.  I don't want to hurt my feet.  
I had to hurry home after dropping Paul off at the ARC so I could change into my uniform and get the boys in time from school.  Then back to the ARC with a stop in the Thrift Store to buy David a tye-dye shirt for his 70's day today. 
We ate dinner and headed to Chapel.  Mary was quite the stinker because in all my birthday festivities she didn't get  her nap.  BIG mistake.  And that girl will not sleep anywhere but her crib.  Paul took the girls out for Chapel because it was my birthday and I wanted to sit with my sons and hear the sermon.
When we got home around 7pm, we still had more celebrating to do.  Paul had snuck home at some point and decorated!  I was really surprised.  We had cake with trick candles, and then Paul and the kids had me "hot and cold" for my hidden birthday gifts.  One gift card to Ross from each of the children- that made 5!  It was so much FUN!  (loud too)   And can you believe that I waited to open my birthday present from my Great Aunt Ruby until my birthday.  A lovely stationary set.
I was blessed- happy, content, refreshed.
God so loves us!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Daughters

After our sons come our daughters. We almost didn't have them.  We almost "fixed" something that wasn't broken because we had already had 2.  Surely there's not enough time, money, energy, love for more ;)
What a crock.
Thank you Lord for taking us beyond our limits!   (You still are, oh me-oh my!)

Mary
Mary
Mary
Mary is such a go-getter. She dances from morning till night, jumping, twirling.  She can keep up with her brothers and sisters quite well.  She is full of self-initiative.  When I didn't immediately respond to get her a drink of water, she took her cup to the toilet and helped herself.


Hannah
Hannah
 Hannah
Hannah has selective hearing.  She will flat out ignore me if I'm getting in the way of her plans.  She loves to play hard, get down and dirty, let her hair go wild.  But she still likes to dress up and have beauty shows.  Hannah is really good about approaching things from every angle, like patiently walking Mary down the stairs one minute and then sharing her string cheese with her and the next minute pinching her foot till she screams.  Hannah likes to make sure all the bases are covered.  


 Ann
 Ann
 Ann
Ann is a mother-hen.  Having a big family has drawn out her nurturing and "keep-order" side.  She loves to preach.  She stands on top of the coffee table with the Bible open and preaches on and on and on.   
Just the other day, she went to lead her congregation in a song and she began to bellow out "It's raining men, hallelujah !"
I laughed so hard!  Still am! She hears it on  my Just Dance Wii game.  She swears it must be a Christian song because it says Hallelujah.  Okay Ann.


Am I in for it or what??




Thursday, January 6, 2011

Still A New Year


Christmas is packed up and put away.  Now it's as if it never happened except for the chocolates lurking in the cupboards and the toys that still haven't found a place to belong. 
I wonder where our next Christmas will be...



"Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23

I'm glad every day is a fresh start.
Most every night, on my way to dream land I say to myself, and God,
tomorrow is a fresh start, and I'll do better.

I'm not all that much into New Year's resolutions.  Why wait until Jan. 1 to resolve to do something that I'm not already doing, but should be.  I make resolutions all year long.    Not that they always stay.  But even if I do or don't do something a few times, atleast I'm better off  than had I never tried at all.

This year, I'm asking God to make a resolution to me.  I want to be satisfied with Him alone.  He says He is ENOUGH.  I want to really *get that*.    Sure, at times I get it.  But I want more of Him.  See, I'm not satisfied ;)     I just know that when He is enough for me, I'm not looking to other places.  I'm not putting that demand/expectation on my husband, or family, or people around me.  I'm not even looking to the ministry for fulfillment.  None of those things will ever be enough for me.  But God says HE IS.  (Must I always have to re-visit this "lesson" in my life!?!)

So, I am going to make a habit of bringing my every need to Him.  Yes, I pray.  I pray hard.  Like when I am facing a serious temptation- when my heart is racing and I have to will my flesh (mouth and mind) to behave! -that kind of temptation- I plead hard.  But what about the subtle little temptations that God brings to my attention that I just dismiss as -well that's just the way I am- or -just the way I've always done it- I am going to pray about those too.  And when I am feeling needy, lonely, mis-understood, I don't always want to tell God, because I know he'll deal with me- I am going to pray about that.  When I am praying for others, I will pray about their details.  Because God is enough for them too.   When I am dealing with my children, who I plead and pray for daily, I am going to pray about the "little" things too.  Like- God please help me when the little girls are making me crazy trying to keep them quiet in church.   And my unspoken needs will go before His throne of grace too.  I know I have them because I was listening to the Scripture the other day "ask and it will be given" and I am still stuck- what should I ask?  What are my needs really?

~Enough is Enough~
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