Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Krissy just texted that they had to close the slopes early because it was too foggy to ski safely! You can pray for the youth group leaders who now have a little extra (unplanned for) time with a bunch of tired and sore teenagers! They drive home tomorrow, so hopefully the fog lifts! I have been busy today getting some information ready for a project that I get to introduce tomorrow at my church. I am REALLY EXCITED about the project - God willing my church will be too! I will share all about it with you tomorrow.
Friday, March 25, 2011
- This week we had YET ANOTHER snowstorm. Joshua responded, "Mommy, Joshua I hate it snow. Pleasie make it go away. Joshua I want camping!"
- A few days later he told me, "Mommy put it snow in booster chair (time out!)! Snow naughty!"
- This evening he met the mother of one of his favorite adults. His question for me, "When (our friend) was a tiny baby, did he drink that mommy's boob?" (Thankfully, it was whispered into my ear!) But the question behind the question surprised me. What he really wanted to know was if the mother he met had always been our friends mother OR if he, like Joshua, had a different mother when he was a tiny baby. He is so smart and such a thinker for one so young!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
When I look back over our journey in these past months, my one regret is that I did not feel EMPOWERED to simplify. We did simplify, but I did not feel empowered during that time. I felt stressed. Stressed because so many wanted to know, hold, and enjoy Joshua - while we requested they wait.
Now that it is pretty much over, I am really proud of the hard decisions we made. I am proud and thankful that we worked so hard to parent in a new, different, fairly isolated way. Chad and I have no doubt that it was exactly what we all needed. My regret is that I could not trust myself. I regret that I felt so totally stressed by the disapproval of a few people. Those months of simplified family time were so beautiful. We all grew incredibly close and made so many wonderful memories. It is unfortunate that I did not fully embrace each moment. I did not sink in and savor them nearly as much as I should have. Instead I rushed. I questioned my instincts. I felt guilty.
So my advice to you? Don't rush. Don't feel guilty. Don't question... even if others do. Those first months together can not be redone. There is no rewind button. If you need to simplify, do it joyfully. Savor every moment. Trust your instincts. And if your decisions are not popular or understood, by all means let it go!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
In the last two years of so, I have felt God shifting my focus away from ALL the kids of our church and onto MY kids. I have felt Him asking me how much I share about Him with them? How many lessons have I planned with My kids in mind? When was the last time we had devotions as a family?
As a children's ministry worker my kids had seen and heard me lead many lessons directed at them AND the rest of the kids at our church. They do know my heart. They had heard me pray and share my passion for Jesus. I have helped them learn Bible verses, brought them to program practices, and volunteered to chaperon for church lock-ins. Pretty good, right!
I thought so.
I recently read, "One Million Arrows" by Julie Ferwerda. One chapter kept me awake for two nights in a row as I processed all I had read. Did you know that:
- 3 out of 4 Christian young people leave church for good by their second year of college
- for the past 30 years youth ministry programs have exploded all across America, they are superb. Yet in the same 30 years, those superb programs have failed to produce a generation of young people who graduate ready to change the world from Christ.
- The faith retention rate is not highest among those in youth groups; it is highest among those whose parents (especially fathers) disciple them.
- Most Christian parents today rely on the superb programming of the church to provide ALL religious training for their children. They do not have a PLAN or GOALS for the spiritual growth of their kids. They leave that up to the "more qualified" staff at their church.
- However, the responsibility for raising kids who will become believers who continually seek to deepen their relationship with Christ, impact others for Christ, and accept the Bible as truth falls on parents!
Psalm 78:4-8 (selected)
"We will not hide these truths from our children but will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord. We will tell of His power
and the mighty miracles He did.
He commanded our ancestors to teach (His decrees) to their children,
so the next generation might know them - even the children not
born yet- that they might in turn teach their children.
So each new generation can set its hope anew on God,
remembering His glorious miracles and obeying His commands.
Then they will not be like their ancestors - stubborn, rebellious,
unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God."This verse and several others pierced my heart and mind. On one hand, I argued that I WAS teaching my children. On the other, I realized that what I was teaching MY kids was the curriculum that went with whatever program our church had selected. While I go to a church with a great children's ministry, and I think the curriculum we use is wonderful, it was not written for MY kids. I also was not delivering it to MY kids but to a group of their peers which they happened to be a part of.
The following verse convicted me to be more intentional about teaching MY kids.
Friday, March 18, 2011
These conversations creep up all the time. You can not hide from grief or from the truth, but I believe when they are faced and embraced healing occurs.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
- Joshua went with his daddy and I to do some shopping. When we got into the vehicle Chad walked around to open my door for me. As Chad was walking around the SUV to his door Joshua asked,"Why daddy open the door for mommy?" I explained that really nice boys open doors for girls to be kind. When we got home, Joshua INSISTED on getting unbuckled and then crawling into the front seat and onto my lap. He wanted to make sure mommy knew he was a "nicey boy." He sat on my lap and proudly opened the door for me. (sniff, sniff)
- I asked Joshua if mommy loves him this week. He responded, "Mommy, I love you Joshua SOOOOOO MUCH!"
- One of his favorite new sayings is, "Mommy Give Me Your LIPS!" I am supposed to respond, "Joshua Give Me Your LIPS!" Then we kiss and giggle.
- Joshua loves to have me (or anyone for that matter) watch his tricks. He yells, "Mommy, watchie this." If the trick works, I am supposed to clap. If not, he quickly says, "Not Yet. Watchie THIS!"
- Joshua loves to tattle on everyone. His most common phrase is, "no really nice!" This morning Brenna told him he better wear green or he would be pinched. He came to me in tears because "no really nice pinch Joshua!" (We found some green and no one pinched Joshua!)
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
The agency that did our homestudy is now supporting an orphanage in Haiti. One of the volunteers there blogs. She posted about the birthday party she attended for a teenage girl. This girl turned 15, just like my Krissy will shortly. But instead of being thrilled about turning 15, she was devastated.
Because she only has one year left... one year until she turns 16 and becomes too old for adoption. One year before her hope for parents are dashed once and for all.
You can read about her party at the link below. (I dare you! I understand wanting to skip this link, but I dare you to feel her pain and read her story.)
Somewhere Between Who I Was And Who You're Making Me: Mommy: "Tonight we celebrated a big birthday for one of the girls at a local orphanage. She turned 15 and while we sang to her, in the dim light of ..."
Haiti requires that adoptive parents are 35, have been married 10 years, and have two or less biological children in the home. (Some exceptions are made.) We do not qualify for this program, but perhaps you do. Perhaps you are the answer to this girl's prayers.
If she keeps you awake at night, pray for her at minimum. But maybe, just maybe you are called to do MORE than pray? For more information about adoption in Haiti, click here.
Father God, I pray Your blessing over this young girl. Please grant her her heart's desire... an earthly mom and dad. Grant her hope, grace, and peace as she waits.
What made me decide this? Trying to schedule a work-out became so difficult and frustrating that I decided for a short time I needed to give it up. Our kids' activity schedule was crazy for a couple months, making evening workouts out of the question. My treadmill has been moved into the family room, making early morning workouts impossible. The kids fought like crazy when I tried to workout after school. Joshua still NEEDED mommy the moment he woke up in the morning. Chad needed some time with me after the younger kids were in bed. Trust me, I had examined all angles and I just needed to take a break.
In the past two weeks, I have begun to workout again. I feel like a part of me that was lost is found! It has been found, but still compromised. In order to exercise, I have to be up by about 5 AM. I can not run on the treadmill, which is my true love, as it is too noisy. I only have 30 to 45 minutes to complete my workout.
One thing I realized recently is that my kids have forgotten how to behave while I am on the treadmill or working out. I have never had a membership to a gym and the older kids were "trained" early on that while mom was on the treadmill, leave her alone. I am really, really good at being interrupted... EXCEPT while I am working out. Being interrupted mid-run makes me MAD. (Which is one of the reasons I decided to take a break! Joshua was not ready to be expected to leave mommy alone for 30 to 45 minutes. It was unfair and unrealistic to ask it of him. It made me crazy when he would interrupt me while I was running, so since I could not "play nice" I needed to take a break!)
So I have begun to "retrain" them. There was no school this morning, so I traded 35 minutes on the treadmill for a ride to the mall for the big sisters. I reminded them that while I am not proud of it, treadmill interruptions bring the worst out of me! They agreed to keep Joshua (and themselves) busy while I ran! They kept reminding Joshua that mommy is almost done, she can not talk when she is breathing so hard, just 10 more minutes... I kept my Ipod turned up and did my best to relax. In the end, I did have to get off the treadmill once or twice - but all in all it was one of the most relaxing runs I have had in months.
So... what is my point? Sometimes even good things have to be done in moderation (or put on hold) in order to maintain family balance. Many times we have to "train" or kids... give them specific instructions on what we expect of them... in order to do the things we love. Compromise is hard. I get bugged sometimes by "all I have given up" as a mom. But then I remember to look around and see that I have been given so much more than I have ever "given up." I am living proof that "the best of both worlds" means compromising like crazy!
Anybody have a favorite 30 to 45 minute workout video? It is time to build up my library.