Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Check out Family weblog

There is a LOT of new stuff on the family weblog. Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Watch Out!

I don't know how any of you ladies feel about the chicken pox vaccine, but that is one that RD and I have chosen NOT to give our children. Well, today I went in to give Cassandra her immunizations and the Health Department tried to slip in the Chicken Pox vaccine with her MMR. It was called "Vericella". At all of our past visits to the "Shot Doc", we have declined the Chicken Pox vaccine (then having to endure the "bad mom" glances from the receptionist). But today, there was no asking at all. They were simply going to slip it in unannounced. I wouldn't even have caught it if I hadn't seen her shuffle the immunization info pages together for me to take home. Good thing I said something because the nurse was just about to make the MMR/Vericella mix in the back room. If any of you are thinking about declining the Chicken Pox vaccine, WATCH OUT. I even read some stuff this afternoon that here soon the MMR-V will automatically be mixed with Vericella. You may have to specifically ask for MMR-V alone (if they'll even make it). RD and I have been meaning to do some research on immunizations because we just don't know how we feel about it all. But the Chicken Pox is a definite NO. Our Dr. even said that it wasn't necessary unless your child doesn't get the actual Chicken Pox virus by age 10. After that, they could possibly contract it as shingles, which is WAY worse than Chicken Pox. Just an FYI for you ladies as you take your kiddos in to be vaccinated.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fully Female

This is a beautiful article (from Above Rubies) that clearly portrays what it means to be a Biblical wife and mom. Our society is so confused about what it means to be a man or what it means to be a woman. May this article help motivate you to be fully feminine!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Advice- PLEASE!

For several months now (I'm talking 12 mo. +), naptime/bedtime has been an on-going struggle with Benjamin. He NEEDS a nap. Without one, he's a neurotic basket-case by 5:30pm (which is too late to give him a nap). I get him up pretty much every day at 8am. I take him outside pretty much every morning to run off all that testosterone laden energy. Between 1-1:30pm is when I "try" to put him down for a nap. Most the time, he's by himself. Sometimes though, on occasion, Arianna will need a nap and will go down along with him. Whether alone or with company, he fights tooth & nail not to fall asleep. I'm terribly frustrated. It's the same fight at bedtime (8:30pm) as well. What could I (should I) do about this?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Purge & Refuel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
-Phil. 4:8

I just got done working through a 4-week devotional by Nancy Leigh DeMoss concerning our use of words, whether we bring life to others... or death. There is TREMENDOUS power in the tongue. (Praise God we only have one of them!)

As I was pondering the Scripture Nancy had me looking at, it struck me this morning that my use of words is much more involved than just what I say. I realized in a profound way that my choice of words is directly linked to what is in my heart. Unfortunately, I've had a rather unbalanced perspective on this subject.

The imbalance looks like this: I have been so focused on seeking forgiveness for the evil that crops up in my words and actions that I have been neglecting the other half of the equation: filling my heart and mind with God's Word, His truth, His knowledge and wisdom. Yes, I go to church. Yes, I read my Bible. Yes, I pray. Yes, I fellowship with other believers. But do I make a concerted, purposeful effort to replace sinful thoughts and words with the truth of God's Scripture? Shame on me, but... no.

Here's an example from my life:
Child #1 disobeys me for the umteenth bazillionth time and I get angry, spewing forth bitter words of chastisement and filth. I think to myself: "Now, that wasn't nice. I shouldn't have said and/or done that. See how I hurt his/her feelings?... Lord, I shouldn't have thought such nastiness about child #1. Nor should I have said such hurtful words. Will you please forgive me? Thanks, God, for Your mercy and grace." I've sought forgiveness from God. I seek forgiveness from child #1. And then I move on with life. Yes, seeking forgiveness from God and from the injured party(ies) is great and should be done, but it doesn't stop there. Sure, the offense has been forgiven, but it has to be replaced with something good, true, pure, and holy... such as:

"Whoever restrains his words has knowledge and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding." (Prov. 17:27)

"Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body." (Prov. 16:24)

"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." (Prov. 12:18)

"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble." (Prov. 21:23)

"A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one's right hand." (Prov. 27:15-16)

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Prov. 15:1)

Etc.

What is in the heart WILL come out in our mouths. It's not enough to simply seek forgiveness for our words and actions. We must be replenishing and refueling our heart and mind with the truth from Scripture. Then, and only then, will a righteous, pure, holy, and honoring fragrance pour forth from our lives.

Lord, today, may I not just stop at seeking forgiveness from You for the sin I conduct in my life. May I make a purposeful effort to seek Your Word and Your truth, to fill my mind and my heart with Your wisdom. May my heart be so overflowing with knowledge, wisdom, and praise, that it spills out into my words and actions. I love You, God."

Friday, May 04, 2007

Tearing down your house

I found this excerpt from a weblog a while back. Unfortunately, I don't remember where I found this or who penned it. Anyways, it has been a huge reality check for me as a wife and mom. Thought I would share it with you ladies. May it motivate you to be a "wise woman".

"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands."
-Proverbs 14:1

In what ways can we tear down our own homes?:

-Do I nag to get people to respond to me?

-Am I raising my voice continuously to my family?

-Am I respecting my husband's authority?

-How about honoring him?

-Are my children being disciplined consistently to bring about peaceful coexistence?

-Do I share my husband's faults with others?

-Am I quick to overlook my husband's faults?

-Do I spend time in the Word, daily, seeking God's wisdom and strength?

-Am I striving to be gentle and kind to my family?

-Am I serving my family to the best of my ability?

-Time... am I using it well?

-Am I argumentative most the time?

-Am I ill-natured? Do I find fault with most everything?

-Am I trying to make my home a place without discord? Being harmonious instead?

-Are my children being encouraged to seek God?

-How much time do I spend being angry?

-Do my children know that I love them? Have I told them? Shown them?

-Does my husband know that I love him? Have I told him? Shown him?

-How is my overall attitude?

-Do I spend time whining about circumstances?

-Do I strive to be good-natured?

-Do I complain too much?

-Are the Fruits of the Spirit evident in my life? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control?

...

We need to recognize sin for what it is, repent and ask God to help us gain victory in the area we each struggle in. We need to also ask our families for forgiveness as well. If we do not have self-control over these areas we will continue to tear down our homes. Join with me in the pursuit of building up our homes not tearing them down.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Broken Expectations- Part I

A few weeks back, I was invited to speak to a group of ladies that had gathered at our church for a Celebration of Life party held for my sister and her new baby, Aiden. I spoke on "broken expectations" and how they can frustrate mothers. Thought maybe some of you women may be interested in reading my presentation. This is just an excerpt... more to come.

I'm sure everyone here is familiar with the book series entitled "What To Expect When You're Expecting/the First Year/the Toddler Years" etc. What I wish they had created 4 years ago was a book entitled "What To Expect When You're A Mom".

Here's a brief history of my life:
-youngest of two children
-youngest cousin was only 4 years younger than myself
-worked (1) summer at a Day Care (all ages)
I have had VERY LIMITED EXPERIENCE with children. In fact, the first few diapers I have ever changed were Arianna's (my firstborn). I was CLUELESS when entering into motherhood.

I have recently been struck with the realization that much of my frustration/anger revolving around motherhood stems from broken expectations, either of myself or my kids.

I brainstormed and created a list of my top 10 most false expectations of motherhood. (Perhaps you young moms can relate. You seasoned moms, go back in time and see if you caught yourself with some of these, too.):

1) that I would be able to spend just as much time in God's Word and in prayer that I used to

2) that my husband and I would naturally fall into a parenting routine/groove and that we'd be on the same page concerning discipline (or other hot topics)

3) that once the baby began sleeping through the night they would NOT relapse into sleeplessness again

4) that I would be the exception and would not experience postpartum depression; or if I did, it would be mild and manageable

5) that I would be able to maintain order and cleanliness in my home consistently

6) that I'd always be willing and available to meet my husband's intimacy needs

7) that I'd adequately be able to balance husband, children, chores, meals, church involvement, fellowship, acts of service, friendships, extracurricular activities, hobbies, finances, etc.

8) that by 6 months postpartum, I would be back to my pre-pregnancy weight AND shape

9) that there'd always be that sense of awe and wonder every time I gazed at my children (like in all those Hallmark commercials)

10) that I'd wisely be able to interpret and handle every mothering experience

This list is not only humorous, but it's also sad because these were just some of the MANY false, but real, expectations I carried walking into this role as "mom".
The reality is (as I've slowly come to realize) is that my expectations are typically not met in my way or in my timing... if at all.