Monday, October 01, 2018

Reactions

We just finished a parenting series via video by Paul Tripp who I very much respect as he uses his God-given gift to weave God's Word into real-life scenarios. After each session, I have walked away feeling a bit bruised and beaten because my parenting is not perfect. I appreciate the way that Tripp always encouraged us to keep going because God's grace is bountiful. 

What I have found interesting is the ways that people around me have reacted to this teaching. We have all realized that we are not perfect and that our parenting is not perfectly aligned with how God would want it to be, but we have had very different reactions to the teaching.

  • Regret - a feeling that I messed up many times over the years and wish I could go back to re-do them.
  • Perseverance - realizing that I have not done well recently, and I must redirect how I am parenting to get back on a better course.
  • Surrender - the attitude that because I have failed in the past, I would like to give up and throw in the towel and walk away.
What is the correct response? Is there a correct response. They obviously all recognize the wrong doing, but what should be the attitude for the future? Confession and repentance for a believer should probably be involved no matter what the initial response is. I think Philippians 3 helps us with the next step: 

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Summer 2018

So, we burst from May into summer break which turned out to be our most busy summer ever as a family or a couple. Or maybe, I'm just getting old, and it felt crazy. I think this is our life right now though, and I'm trying to enjoy it. Here's a run-down for posterity's sake. 😏

  • June
    • School's out! We enjoyed a couple days off before the craziness set in.
    • I continued my first summer semester course for my master's program.
    • Took Maleia to her summer school course every day for 3 weeks so she could go on a school trip to sleep overnight in an aquarium.
    • Traveled with some lovely ladies from our church to Indianapolis for The Gospel Coalition Women's Conference which studied Deuteronomy. Loved it!
    • Maleia went to the Mall of America to Sleep with the Sharks
  • July
    • Spent 11 days on the road visiting Geoff's family in PA
    • 2 days after arriving home I got the worst sinus infection I have ever had which overlapped with the next couple events. Also all the kids had some type of vomiting bug during that time too.
    • Our friends Chris and Liz Lovelace visited us for a little over a week and our church from Mexico where Chris works with Bible translation groups.
    • Vacation Bible School with the Lovelaces as our week's missionary family.
    • Friends from France, Illinois, and Minnesota came to visit on the same day and reunite!
    • Began the second summer semester course.
  • August
    • Celebrated three birthdays in our family!
    • Did a mini vacay in the Twin Cities for family photographs (I won a free session in January, so we got to take advantage!)
    • Successfully surprised Geoff with a get together to celebrate his birthday!
    • Registered kids for school
    • Got three kids into the dentist for check ups
    • Maleia began sewing lessons
    • Finished my summer courses and began my first fall one
    • We have another missionary family visiting us this week.
    • My parents are coming also this week to visit
So, that's a lot packed into a couple months! So grateful to have survived and also enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May-cember


Image result for perseverance in the Bible

As I review this month that will end this week, I'm weary.

May 1st arrived, and then it all went downhill. I chuckle to myself when I see the May memes with pictures of beautifully packed school lunches representing September and then a sandwich with a carrot between two pieces of bread for the month of May.

Every child in school has brought home papers and more papers. Some were to describe a project that needed to be done within a couple days, others needed to be signed for field trips that always happen in May, and then there were all the art projects coming home that had been made throughout the year. So. many. papers.

Not only was the month busy with school things, but we also had multiple church functions to either organize and execute or attend. Most were not huge, but big enough to take hours of time of planning and shopping and preparing and then cleaning up.

Then we insert the lack of sleep that is starting to feel normal after a month of interrupted sleep. We've had kids affected by allergies, so I have slept sitting up and holding a little one. We've had stomach bugs, so there are times of doing more and more laundry and more and more disinfecting. And now the sunrise is very much before when we need or plan to awake, but the 2 year old is climbing into our bed wanting a drink of milk very badly. My optimal 7.5-8 hours of sleep has now become a regular interrupted 6.

I had one master's class end and a difficult one start. I thought it would be good because I would have about half of it done before the kids were home for summer break. So far, I've been barely making deadlines and I am not happy with my quality of work that I have turned in. Last night I glanced at the clock and it as 11:53 p.m. and my assignment is due by 11:55 p.m. I tried sending it and didn't go, tried again and it went at 11:56 p.m. Thankfully my clock is off by a couple minutes because the school still accepted it.

Honestly, I usually try to encourage my kids to press towards the end with a good attitude. I'll tell them as they go out the door to keep a good attitude and want to learn what the teacher is going to show them because I know it's hard when the nice weather shows up, but this year I didn't. They kept getting up and wanting to go. I didn't need to tell them to persevere because they knew they needed to, but I desperately needed to tell myself to. God's grace is sufficient even in May, and we will push forward in glorifying Him even in May.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Fulfilled by Motherhood?

Maybe it's the gloomy winter weather.

Maybe it's because I just got over the influenza after a week down.

Maybe it's because my 2 year old just got over influenza symptoms that lasted almost 3 weeks.

Maybe it's because what I've been reading just doesn't match Scripture.

But, man I am exhausted by many of the articles I have read about motherhood recently.

I just finished reading one about how a mom regretted yelling at her kids after a bad day of nothing going her way. Yes, I have been there. No, I do not think it was right. 

At the end of the article, it wraps up with a sentiment of knowing that motherhood is rough, and she's  thankful there's a tomorrow, and that motherhood is a beautiful thing. But, really, where is the Gospel in that? Where is the admittance that it's wrong to react this way and then follow through on repentance because we can in Christ? I am not trying to shame this lady because I don't know if she is a believer, but I think to myself that it seems so hopeless to just call something that is hard to do a beautiful thing and hope for the best for tomorrow.

As believers we can nod in agreement in the failures - and yes, it's nice to know you're not the only one. But, let's not stop there. God's grace is sufficient; His mercies are new every morning. We have hope because of the Gospel, so let's act on it. Turn away from what our sin nature draws us to, and strive to be Christ-like in our mothering by turning our kids to Him. We might have to humbly apologize for our behavior against them, but we get to show them that forgiveness is real in our home and real with God. Don't just embrace the messiness of life, but embrace the Giver of your life. He's right there along side you, and you are not doing this alone.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Judging Others' Choices

Since stepping into a parent role ten years ago, I feel like I've been in a losing snowball fight. So many issues get thrown at you from instant your baby is placed in your arms.
  • Formula or breast milk? Bottles or nursing? 
  • Immunizations-yay or nay? 
  • Cloth or disposable? 
  • Pacifier? 
  • Sleeping on back or belly? 
  • Potty training from newborn days or waiting a couple years? 
  • Co-sleeping or crib? 
  • Cry it out or rock them? 
  • Baby-wearing or just carrying when necessary? 
  • Make your own baby food or buy a jar/plastic container? 
  • Home-school education or church-sponsored school education or private school education or public school education?

So.many.choices. And they never stop being lobbed at us.

The thing is that none of those choices are sinful based on what the Bible says. We cannot find Scripture to cover any of these exact points. But we make a choice based on what is best for our family, and suddenly anyone who does not follow our path is wrong. Why is that? Why do we continuously try to persuade others to do what we do? Is it because we are looking for affirmation? Is it because we feel so strongly about our decisions that we want to sway those who are searching to come to our side?  Why do we feel so strongly - pride? Are we placing too much trust in our choices when it should be placed in God?

If we are not choosing between wrong and right, then let us give grace to those who choose differently. The thing is that your choice may be a moral choice to you, but that does not mean it is a moral choice to others. This is where Christian liberty jumps in, and so we choose to not sin against our consciences. Rest in this knowledge that God is not granting you extra grace for your choice in this realm or that you are locked into one of these choices and cannot change your mind later-that is liberty. When making these type of decisions, be a good steward of the children and goods that God has lent to you, but remember that ultimately they are His. 

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,

Friday, February 23, 2018

One more time around

There are so many thoughts swirling in my head recently, so I thought, maybe I should jot some of them down - like start a blog. Then I remembered: I already have one.

Back before Facebook was a thing, many friendships were started or strengthened through the blossoming blogging world, and then FB killed it. Not really, because there are still numerous blogs with perfect pictures ready to be shared on Pinterest so that we can attempt to attain the perfect diet, home, children, crafts, and you fill in the blank with what you want. But, then we went from sharing our lives in paragraphs on our little family blogs to 1-2 sentences to a quote or phrase from a good article with a link to a picture of offspring with a catchy caption.  Occasionally there was a pic announcing big news, and you start checking comments, likes, and now other emotions.

And now, I want to share a little more again. When this was first started we had no kids, and now we have five. There was a little more down time to share thoughts and ideas over ten years ago, but now that our youngest is two, I feel like survival mode has been shifted in the off position more often than the thriving mode. Even if no one reads these thoughts, it will be nice to get them out of my head into an organized way and maybe someday, I'll come back and reflect on them again.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

First Day of Pre-K 2012

 Here's a couple pictures for the family to see what's going in our lives.
Maleia's first day of school.  She's attending our local public school for PreK.  It's 2 days a week - Mondays & Wednesdays.  She did great with the drop off & had a wonderful day learning the rules! :)
 Happy & Excited Girl!


 Showing off the backpack

 Maleia's Pose

2 kids watching the picture taking - love squinty eyes smiles!

By her cubby - "OK, Mom, that's enough pictures, there's a lot of people here!"