Monday, September 22, 2008

We have a decision

We may not have a middle name for this baby, but we finally came to a conclusion that might mean she's not the caboose.

This is crazy, just hang in here with me.

This may be the first time God's asked me to do something big that I've not wanted to do. At all. I feel like Jonah. If I had my druthers, I'd go the opposite direction than where it appears we're heading.

I've stated to friends and I believe here on the blog that I just don't know what to do with the fact that God probably has a good ten (or more!) more years of fertility ahead for me. I just can't make myself believe that it's okay to just cut that off. He didn't put it there by accident after all.

So, I've thought and prayed for the last few weeks. We made a vasectomy consult appt. with Shane's doctor. We cancelled per my request. I've really been wrestling with this. I came upon a passage in Let the Nations be Glad (of all books-it's about missions, not family size!). It's referring to Adam & Eve and then to all men:

They are finite and do not have the wisdom to know all the factors to take into account in living a happy life. Only God knows all that needs to be known. Therefore, humans have no right to be independent of God. Independent judgment about what is helpful and harmful is folly and rebellion.

John Piper put to words my exact thoughts.

As I read this to Shane this morning, we discussed the fact that there is no black & white way to say what decisions can be made in our own judgments and what can't. So, if we make the decision that our kids can spend the day with their grandparents without first consulting God, are we exercising independent judgment?

That's a good question, but not the point here. The point is that altering one of our bodies in a way to forever close the door on additional children (without a clear peace about it from God or a medical reason-which we have neither of) is probably an act of independent judgment. Shane and I both agreed to this. In the Sonic parking lot.

Interestingly, I don't find using non-abortifacient birth control methods convicting at all. I guess I feel God has so much more control in that situation. Our hearts can still be open to a change of mind. In the past, we've used NFP with hearts constantly open to God's intervening. If God allowed a pregnancy to occur or if He were to speak to our hearts to tell us we weren't done, we were great with it.

I can't say I'm great with it now. I am satisfied with our 5. I am not interested in being on the Discovery Channel with a family the size of a small village. Answering the questions that come to big families is not on my favorite things to do list...and weddings and college might do us in...

Yet I know to run like Jonah is not the right answer. There is no (affordable) boat back to Nineveh. It's a one way trip and I'm sure tempted to buy a ticket. I'm jealous of my friends who so easily made the decision without all this internal turmoil. Why do they get the pass? Believe me friends, there's no judgment here, just wonder about why it's been so different for me.

All I know is this: if it's true that I can't really know what will make me happy and that I can't know what will happen in the future, then I can rest in the fact that my Father does. Yet I still might have to pray strength over the Trojans before they're used, lol!

So, if any of you have a way to answer the are you done yet question to strangers in Wal Mart, I'd love your help!

Friday, September 19, 2008

10 Good Things

My new friend Vix, a fellow Sonlighter and mom of 5 (she also has a girl on the way!) invited me to play 10 Good Things. We have to list 10 things going well in our lives, and three have to be about things we're complaining about (Ahem, I do NOT complain, lol!)

1. The weather is incredible! Cool in the evenings & mornings, pleasant at the warmest part of the day.

2. We've successfully completed 3 weeks of school-3 cores going on at once (that's 3 grades to those of you not in the Sonlight world).

3. I have some sling material I got for a song waiting for me!

4. We joined Netflix last night so I can FINALLY pick out movies I want to watch (video stores disgust me with all their gruesome or R rated covers for my husband and children to see).

5. I started my Christmas shopping! Okay, only one item, but I have a nice list going!

6. Pumpkins have arrived at Wal-Mart-can't wait to get some for the porch.

7. My friend Leah and my friend Jennifer are both starting fantastic new seasons in their lives--one even got a new last name :)

8. The mystery I can't tell you about is developing nicely...maybe I've complained about this one...

9. We received our first end-of-pregnancy baby gift-a hand made blanket from Shane's boss. We received some cutie pie socks when I found out I was pregnant...

10. God is working in our family-I could write a lot more than 10 good things!

If you're reading this, consider it an invite to play along!

Missions and Money

With missions on my mind, I've been thinking of ways to be involved. One of the most obvious ways is financially but this avenue has been somewhat poo-poo'ed by some.

Let me explain: With an attitude against our wealthy American ways, people have snubbed American money being dropped into the mission's plate while the giver goes on with their selfish ways.

I'm not saying people don't give in an unsacrificial manner. I'm sure we all have been guilty.

But who does that matter to? Isn't it between the giver and their God?

Why do we get all worked up judging others' giving?

If God is our Provider and supplies all our needs, then the attitude and generosity (or lack of) shouldn't matter to us, right?

With my experience in ministry, ministry that needed funds-I can tell you we all appreciated a cheerful giver, but we'd be thankful for the provision regardless of the giver's heart!

And while we're talking about it, let me open up a can of worms: United Way money. There is a huge misunderstanding that all UW money is tainted with Planned Parenthood involvement. First, this isn't true-each local UW Organization chooses which charities they'll support. The top level has provided funds to PP, which is a shame but that doesn't mean our local PRC won't accept donations from our local, rather conservative, UW. They've been a lifeline for us!

And secondly-what is wrong with taking money away from Planned Parenthood? If the UW wants to take some of the funds from PP and give them to pro-life organizations that stand for Truth, why would PRCs want to object, possibly sending the funds right back to PP's pockets?

Money's origin and the attitude behind it...again, I'm not saying it's not an issue-I'm saying it's not OUR issue.

I think we get way too tied up in judging the origins/attitudes and miss the provision. My husband gave to a local United Way from his paycheck each week. It was a sacrifice. Was this sacrifice snubbed by a pro-life organization who didn't want to be dirtied by Planned Parenthood associations (not even knowing if they existed or not)? Ironic, huh?

So there's my soapbox. Let's be big givers to causes in which we see God moving. Let's not spin our wheels analyzing the giving of others. Sounds easy enough ;)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I've been so blessed to sit under some great teaching the last two nights. A dynamic man of God named Dave works as a missions mobilizer and he poured into our small group this week.

The first night (last night) I came home with a stirring in my heart. Don't worry, I don't feel called to be a missionary after one brush with all this global talk. What I feel is deep though. I am certain that I can't adequately convey it all here.

Last night's theme was about big picture thinking, not viewing life through our myopic tendecies. Dave started with the tower of Babel, which I'd just read to Bethany that morning. I've always thought of this little story as simply a way to explain our diverse coloring and language. I had no idea it is so central to what God's doing right now in the world. Dave explained that God is gathering his scattered people; that God's been working towards this end since the the scattering occurred.

Our little lives and our obsession with God's will for our life (and our life alone) takes us off track of working alongside God in his pursuit of the scattered people. Much of what Dave said sounded very Henry Blackaby-ish: Find out what God is doing and join him-it's not really all about us.

Last night set the theory, the foundation. My mind and heart searched long into the night for the application. I have never felt the call to board a plane as a missionary. My heart is sold out to mission work here at home in the form of rescuing the unborn and their mothers from spiritual and physical death. Yet I do have a heart to sow into other forms of missions. But how? And how do I make it real to my children?

Our homeschool curriculum, Sonlight, comes into play here. I have been thankful for this curriculum in many ways but never have I been so deeply moved by Sonlight's role in my family's missions training. Sonlight starts out introducing the world to youngest students-they purposefully order their studies to reduce the typical myopic view. Hope, as a "second grader" is learning about people groups, world religions and world culture before learning American History in a couple of years. We are praying for a people group each week and she's hearing missionary stories on a regular basis. Ashlyn, who's doing junior high level work has studied more missionaries than I can recall, but at least a couple per year. Believe it or not, even in the PreK curriculum put together by Sonlight, there are missions focused resources.

What all this means is that while I didn't even know to appreciate the global missions mindset, I've been teaching it to my children all along. I had some of the applications in place, just because of the curriculum, and my new understanding is now adding passion. How thankful I am that Sonlight is wise and already so missions focused (they actually started by putting together curriculum for missionaries without access to libraries and bookstores). My children have already had their hearts pointed in this direction in spite of my ignorance!

I feel I'm just getting a glimpse of all this...I am drawn to study more, pray more and prepare more. What if my child is called to serve an unreached people group? That's not safe! What if she's persecuted or even worse--martyred?

Yet, if that's what brings God the most glory...I need to be okay with that...

I'm sure I'll be back on this topic as I've picked (back) up John Piper's Let the Nations be Glad and my heart has forever been changed with the charge to pray like never before...

If you'd like to read some of Dave's teachings, go to this blog and scroll down to the July & August entries. You'll be challenged and blessed, I promise!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Picture Day

Yesterday morning we spent some time at an old church building I'd passed a million times but never really noticed. A friend who just happens to be a stellar photographer showed us the place and took some shots of the family and my baby belly. Shane grabbed our camera as well and had fun shooting the girls while Jonna did my pictures.
Let me back up though-we all wore white shirts. Jaybird wasn't dressed yet and she came to me while I was getting ready. She had a white shirt with dark purple flowers on it. Her heart was set on wearing it, but no one would help her put it on since that wasn't what she was supposed to wear. Being the girl who knows what she wants, she ran away to find her pink plaid swim suit. Yep, she put it on right over her purple flowered shirt. Ta-da! She's ready for her picture to be made! This is so "her" by the way.

I'll be putting more in my sidebar as well as showing off the professional ones as soon as we get them!
We are in a stage of closing doors. The most obvious is the closing the door of me working outside our home. The transition has gone better than I anticipated. When I left the other center to stay home with Ashlyn and Hope, it took quite some time to adjust to the switch from professional clothes and meetings to mommy clothes and diaper changes.

Our family is larger now, with more work to be done, which accounts for part of the ease. Maybe since I'm older I can more appreciate the peace that comes from a less harried lifestyle.

Of course, there's the closing of the door to our land. I had to write a description of our land for a realtor this weekend and I had to fight back the tears. Yes, me who's ready to just sell and move on. I can't go out there now that the days are so nice or I'll change my mind! Once the leaves start changing, there's no way any of us should set foot on that property!

Another door needs to stay a mystery for a little longer, but believe me, it still comes with a bittersweet taste. In the long run, we believe it will bring a more peaceful pace to our abode. Plans are underway right now to close this door. I can't wait to update you when the time is right.

A final door that I'm just not sure about closing is the door to more children. I told my cousin in an email this morning that I find it quite unfair that couples with two children often find it so easy to make the permanent decision while here I am with five children and I'm faltering! It's not that I necessarily want more children, but I am so unsure about ending our fertile years. It seems that if God gave us fertility for a good ten more years, who are we to tell God we don't want it? To be honest, I feel like we're considering making a quick leap and not looking back. I just can't do it yet. I need more time to work through the philosophical I crazy?

May the Lord help us all as we navigate our open & closed doors :) Many blessings to you this week as you seek his will.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Half-way living

At life group this week we talked about being light out in the world and what consequences come from being a "Jesus Freak".

We also talked about being pro-life but struggling when people around us, also claiming to be pro-life say that abortion is okay in some circumstances.

The Lord (or the Benadryl) put something in my heart I can't move past. I don't know yet what He's trying to tell me but I keep thinking about how the above examples illustrate living in the middle of the road. It's easiest to be a Christian but not be a witness or to be pro-life but still tolerate some cases of abortion.

Our culture does not pride itself on being excellent, praiseworthy, or fully dedicated to anything (other than oneself or pop culture). America's favorite value right now is tolerance. Not tolerance of strong Christian beliefs, but tolerance of everything else under the sun.

I am an all-or-nothing type. I don't go into any project without being armed with information. It's a coping device for insecurity, I'm sure, but it's still my reality. I don't get half way into anything-I go overboard, just ask my poor husband who's patiently listened to me drone on about scores of ideas & plans over the years.

As I was pondering this half-way living thing, I kept thinking that I was above it. After all, I'm sold out to everything I'm involved in: pro-life work, mothering, being the best wife I can be...this obviously doesn't apply to me.

Oh, but it does. And I think the Lord wants to show me in just how many ways it applies to me. Ouch.

I know when I worked, my parenting was not what it is now. I didn't have the patience I now have and I did a lot of parenting in auto-pilot mode. It's probable that I still meander into that half-way mothering.

After reading Same Kind of Different as Me, I could identify more with Ron, the rich man who starting serving the homeless because his wife was passionate about it. He wasn't comfortable getting too close; he mainly wanted to do his serving in the food line and go home. Denver, in contrast, quietly & regularly cleaned up an invalid lying in his own bodily fluids in a shoddy nursing home. Would I do that? Not for someone who treated me the way that man treated Denver, that's for sure.

Right now that's all I've got. But I have a strong feeling the Lord wants to show me more. I'll leave you with this verse to ponder:

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Oh, one little thing-I don't want this to come across as a legalistic thing. As Christians we are called to do all things as unto the Lord (with excellence). I want what I'm called to do to be done wholeheartedly for Him, nothing halfway. No floating along with the culture. Make sense?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Purist Me

I am such a purist. Well, if I claim to be a purist just in this one way, can I carry it out to the rest of my life? I like that idea, so I say that I can ;)

When I had Beth via planned C-section, obviously I had an epidural. At my 6 week check up I told my doctor of my terrible headache that pulsed like lightening every time I bent over. He gently laughed and said that since I'm a "clean girl" who doesn't drink, smoke or do any drugs, the anesthetic affected me more severely.

Well, apparently that "clean girl" stuff works the same way with Benadryl. I took 2 just before life group tonight. I have no idea if what I shared was coherent, but if it were like my driving on the way home, it's safe to say I made zero sense. On the way home I had to fully concentrate to drive. I kept trying to get the windshield clear of the fine mist that kept forming and veered eerily close to a row of telephone poles. My reaction time was so slow that I just gently veered back to my station on the road. Then I needed to turn right on red and did so. With no real concern for the cars on my left who had the right-of-way. Thankfully, one turned left without a blinker, so all was well. Or maybe they just saw me coming. I wasn't trying to drive this way, I just felt like I was drunk, but with much less laughter.

I called Shane at work to tell him goodnight at 9:30. He commented that it was a little early. I assured him I was safer in bed. We have water in the phone line somewhere and the connection became too full of static to hear him, but I think he was trying to ask me if the kids knew what to do if Momma flipped out. Poor guy!

Pride comes before a fall. At my OB appt this week, Shane (aka the germ freak) got onto me for touching the elevator buttons. I said, "I made it just fine through two rounds of strep throat, I'm not getting sick from these stupid buttons. Here, let me just lick them for you." Of course I didn't, but I was tempted.

Now here I sit miserable waiting for my third dose of Benadryl of the day to kick in. I felt fine until the powder incident, but surely the powder couldn't cause all this pain & pressure in my sinuses-my teeth even hurt! I'm sticking to the powder, though, 'cause if I don't, I have to admit I shouldn't have touched those elevator buttons.

I just finished Same Kind of Different As Me. It may be one of the best books I've read. I don't like to re-read books, but I would this one. I need my own copy. I hope to have less medicine head soon so I can blog about it. There were some great quotes in there. Amazing story.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hey, Jay, that's kinda how I felt when I saw the bathroom covered in baby powder!

Sometimes Jaybird's antics make me laugh...sometimes they make me cry. I now know why God gave me such a good day yesterday-so my heart could handle this mess today! Check her out:
Y'all, that was about 3/4 of a big bottle of powder-all over the bathroom floor, toilet, tub and anything else in the 20ft area!

Hey, at least she's repentant, right?

ETA: Yes, Jay really is praying in the last picture...her new favorite hobby-in which she yells a loud "Amen" at the end (wherever she may think the end is).
If you feel inspired by her little praying hands, maybe you'll pray for me. Did you know breathing baby powder can cause a sinus infection? I have no idea if it really is an infection but my sinuses, nose & throat are in full rebellion and have been since the Big Clean Up :( How is it that I avoid both rounds of strep throat but then get sick by baby powder!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Good Lord + Good friends = Good days!

May I brag on the Lord?

This has been a very good day for me and I just gotta share! Our kids' best grown up friend, Andrea volunteered to take ALL our girls for the day. We met this morning in the doctor's office parking lot and didn't see the girls again until bedtime!

I got to walk this morning before we left town and boy is the Lord good! Do you think it's a coincidence that His mercies are new every morning and the earth smells and feels new at the start of each new day? My favorite time to be outside is morning-when the air is still damp and the town is just getting going. You can just smell how good God is, ya know?

The rest of the day was full of fun stuff too:

*Lunch with my husband at Chili's. Adult conversation!

*A trip to the library (I tried to find In Defense of Food, but it was checked out. I got Same Kind of Different as Me and can't wait to get further into it, it seems great so far).

*We found some clearance stuff at Wal-Mart that I needed to complete my hospital bag-nursing bras, PJs that will be modest for nursing with guests around and Shane finally bought himself some Dickie's uniform pants so I can stop washing the same ONE pair he's been limping by with (what's with it with guys and shopping, he had a valid reason for buying clothes and put it off forever...).

*I carried around a $14,000 check for a few hours. I'm not too special, I just happened to be the only signer on the account still around and the Pregnancy Center wanted to close out that account. Fun while it lasted!

*Came home to a quiet house where no one needed a diaper change or a referee! We enjoyed dinner alone, had some time to hang out and I topped it off with a Bible Study lesson and a chick flick before the girls got home!

I know my day's events aren't really blog worthy, but I want to give props to people who invest in others' lives. Andrea isn't just babysitting my kids, she's investing in them, sowing good stuff into their hearts. She's a mentor to Ashlyn, a coach to Hope and Beth and she's ready to take Jay on as soon as it's time! She does fun stuff with them and treats us to a day alone at the same time. Because of her work today, I feel I have a great start to my week.

I am not a selfless person like that. I'm amazed at her energy, stamina and willingness to work so hard for others. I hope my kids get that good stuff from her, they sure don't get it from their hermit-stay on task kind of mom.

She has my vote

I was a Huckabee fan...I don't necessarily like McCain, but I don't trust Obama in the least. I have struggled in the past over the issue of not voting at all if there's not a candidate that matches my beliefs verses voting for the lesser of two evils (potentially "giving" my vote to the other side). I recall being utterly astounded that Bill Clinton could be elected to a second term. I really, really don't want Obama as our Commander in Chief. I'll be voting for McCain, not abstaining.

As I've read a tiny bit about Palin, I found this article and just couldn't resist copying a little paragraph of it here:

Palin installed a travel crib in her Anchorage office and a baby swing in her Juneau one. For much of the summer, she carried Trig in a sling as she signed bills and sat through hearings, even nursing him unseen during conference calls.

You know, I can see how she can balance her work & motherhood. Obviously on a MUCH smaller scale, I've been in a leadership position and had a new baby. You just do it, you put the baby in a sling or you bring someone to help you and just get it done. I can't say I'd do it as governor, but obviously, it can be done or she wouldn't be doing it. Plenty of moms work from home (or an office) with their babies near by, doing paperwork, making phone calls, conducting meetings-it's just that a governor's phone calls, meetings, and paperwork are possibly more important than the average mom's.

My first reaction to the conservatives booing of Palin is this: What exactly do you want? How about a lesbian feminist with no children?

Well, a lesbian feminist with no children doesn't get slings, so I wouldn't vote for her team.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

God loves a good joke

When you come into a marriage, you bring all kinds of stuff, you know? There's the base personality that God built in, then there are the habits, traditions, and thinking style of your family of origin.

Shane and I are really complete opposites, I believe. On top of the differing ways we were raised, he's laid back and I'm driven. With 13 years of marriage and 17 years of relationship behind us, for the most part we've learned how to merge these differences into successful daily life while avoiding clashes.

Today however, we threw sparks. It was probably my fault. Maybe.

Being driven means that there is always a never-ending to-do list in my head. It's not only the list of things I need to do, but things I need to have the kids do or things Shane needs to follow up on. They never leave. Ever. Sometimes they get so heavy my shoulders can't hold anymore and I break.

I wish I could be inside the brain of a laid back person. It must be similar to a never ending vacation. Not a vacation for me, mind you, because I work on my vacations-work to keep everyone happy, fed, clean, and all our stuff & events organized. It must be like being on vacation with a type A person who does most of the work for you...

Does God think it's funny to match up two people like us? You know he's sees it coming when I have my agenda going full speed in my head, the day planned out with tasks for everyone and Shane...well, doesn't. He may have rightly planned a nap, it is the Sabbath after all, and his day off from work...Does God plant the idea in our tween's head to go watch the football game at Memaw's house? Although I'm sure it's not God who whispers in my ear, "Nothing will get done yet again this weekend..." but you know He saw it coming.

I neglected to blog about how irritated I was on our trip-so much so that I couldn't make myself open my Bible study until after we got home. I won't detail why-it was probably my fault then, too (well, at least a little). I am thankful that even though Shane wasn't thrilled with my delivery of such irritation today, he kissed me goodbye and held my hand for a moment before volunteering to load up all the kids for his mom's (I actually had it on my agenda that he'd take them all, so he scored, lol). Now I can freely work on my Bible study this afternoon ;)

I do have a good guy...but if you find the "Type A personality" lying around that was supposed to be pumped into his brain at his formation, give me a call, it might help us out!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Recap of our first week

I know this is long, but as I've noted before, I want to spend more blogging time talking about homeschooling for my readers who are new to the art of home education...feel free to skip it if it's not your thing. Believe me, I'm random enough that there will be a different topic here soon!

This week has been intense but good. Shane thinks it is in part to being tired after the Arkansas trip, and of course adding sickness in didn't help. It was very nice to be able to spend as much time on school as necessary without having to worry about running off to work.

The first two days I felt like something was missing. Part of it was my heart-attitude, which leads to the atmosphere of the home being off. Another factor is that some of the work the girls are doing-especially Beth's pre K, seems disjointed. We jump from story to story and she can't understand why we don't just read one book (lots of it at one sitting). In her science we're reading about New Year's Day and snow, yet it's obviously turning to fall outside. I don't think I have the energy to weave her stuff into more of a unit study, so we'll probably just continue on.

Bethany is also needing more meat. She's at such an in between age-she turned 5 just days before the PS deadline for K. She's ready to do letter sounds, but I still have her doing the SL PreK for 4 & 5 year olds. Not a big deal, just something I need to tweak soon.

I'm pleased with our schedule-which now includes a real breakfast. It's more work, but instead of having the girls get their own cereal each morning (whenever they got around to it), I decided to actually have a sit down breakfast with real food. They enjoy a new breakfast item each day and it gives us a unified start time.

Here's roughly what we do each day:
*I get up, eat a small bowl of cereal, quickly check my email and do my Bible Study. Hopefully I can shower as everyone else is waking up, if not before.
*The girls start to get up and I send them to do their morning chores & dress.
*I make breakfast while they're doing chores. I've put on a hymns for kids CD so they can get some old fashioned God honoring music in their lives while settling in.
*While they eat, I read the Bible, read Everyday Graces (manners), and poetry. Oh, and we open in prayer.
*The big girls start their workbooks (math, handwriting, LA) while I work with Beth on her school work.
*They all finish about the same time and I send Beth to play on her own. She might get her Polly Pockets out or play her PreK games (thanks for the PreK in a Bag goodies, Brandi!).
*I read Apologia elementary science to Ash & Hope. Ash takes notes & Hope draws something from the lesson.
*The girls do their LA dictation &/or activities and I make lunch.
*We take our lunch break, clean up and get ready for the afternoon school work.
*I read Hope's Bible Study (Leading Little Ones to God) and history to her.
*Ashlyn takes her history & Bible elsewhere (the porch swing is the favorite place!) and reads on her own.
*About 2 or 3ish, we have a quiet time. I lie down with Jay and rest while the other girls read their Bible assignment, listen to a book on tape, or other quiet activity (but no screens-no game boys, TV, computer...)

Ashlyn is supposed to be reading her reader in the evening but she's opted instead to rush ahead in her Awana book. We've not gotten to her Read Aloud (thankfully, Hope is listening to hers on tape), so we'll have some weekend work to do.

Next week we'll add in the Rosetta Stone and typing practice for Ashlyn.

I'm missing exercise. My aim was to do it before or after my morning Bible study, but I just can't get up that early. I figured out yesterday that I need to simply find a few times each week to get in some activity. Our weekly Beth Moore study will be letting out half an hour early so while my mom has the kids, I think I'll plan to walk or something. I need to find a couple more slots in my week and I'll be good to go.

See Luke, I can solve all my household issues, lol. Well, one at a time I can. I'm sure more will crop up!

I'm really enjoying pondering the thoughts in the comments section of the previous post. Thanks for contributing guys.

To add some clarity, I want to make it clear that the tongue can be very destructive, even deadly. It is a weapon and scripture warns against letting it wag freely. If we can tame the tongue, we've gained much for sure. In my previous post I was focusing on the cursing issue, not the tongue as a whole. I've read that if your love language (or is it spiritual gift?) is encouragement (like mine) then the opposite quality (discouragement, criticism) can be a weakness. Unfortunately, I know this to be true in my life, so the scriptures about the tongue are not lost on me :( I sure wish taming my tongue were not an issue for me!

Regarding the issue of Jesus' death, I don't have any more answers, but I want to share an exercise I did yesterday. You may remember I said it was just Jesus' thing to go to the cross, his calling you might say. So I tried to imagine someone else I love going to the cross. I tried to imagine Shane being stripped, bleeding from thorns pressed down onto his head, and beat in the head over and over. This brought some emotional response but not until I put my child in that place did I feel strong emotions. Of course, Jesus was God's only son...

I'm not sure why my emotions are skewed here. Maybe because Shane is an adult...and my child is more innocent (I know that's not exactly biblical, but you know what I mean). Yet Jesus was innocent-more innocent than a newborn baby. Maybe because my child is my offspring...

Told you I didn't have any answers. Maybe I need to watch the Passion of the Christ again. I honestly don't recall my reaction the first time, but like Luke I do remember being moved by Mary's reaction. I have wanted to show the movie to Ashlyn around Easter but wondered if she's old enough, so I know it is strong.

Thanks for talking through this with me, continue the discussion with me, iron sharpening iron is a good thing!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Much Better

I was writing a blog post in my head as I took my afternoon siesta's deep guys.

My Beth Moore Bible study asked us to walk through the crucifixion of Jesus again. I'm just going to put this out there, maybe I'm the only one. Maybe not. It is hard for me to really even touch the agony of his death. I've been a believer for over 15 years, active in church all that time. Of course, His death wasn't new to me back then, even before professing Christ, I grew up with an understanding of Jesus. It's become common to me. It's just Jesus. It was his job, he did it, I believe it, let's move on. I don't mean at all to be flippant, I promise. I am just not usually an emotional person, so it's hard for me to work up emotions about something that's become...I don't know the right word...just so common. I need a better word, I know, but I think you get it.

What do you do about that? Well, you pray I suppose. I did. I prayed that God would show me. Then I immediately regretted it. What am I doing praying God would show me agony?

That thought brought me to wondering about superstitions and how intertwined they might be with our Christianity. You know, like when we say don't pray for patience because you'll be put in a place to gain it? Is that truth? I don't know...but I sure don't want to pray for agony to find out.

Speaking of superstitions, I'm going to put something else out there that might get me in trouble with some of my friends. I've weighed the consequences of speaking about this here and decided that since this isn't black & white or clearly outlined in scripture, there's no reason to be shy about sharing my opinion on this topic. I believe some believers put too much power in the tongue. I don't believe we can curse our children, for instance, by saying that if we don't get their disobedience under control when they're 5, there's a good chance they'll be hard to handle at 15. Is there a problem with telling your child they'll never amount to anything? Of course, but simply saying something negative about your child going to curse them? Can an unbeliever have that much power in their tongue? Can an off the cuff negative comment curse someone? I can't believe we have that much power. If so, why can't I simply speak health over my sick child? God had power to speak all creation into existence, we aren't even close.

I'd love to be shown legitimate scripture on this topic-on either side of it. I'm surely not above correction...

How about those spiritual ramblings?

I'm glad for them-even if I don't have the answers. If I'm working through scripture and my beliefs, it means my day has been better than the first two school days of this week. I didn't need to go anywhere during school today, I started out the day with an hour with Beth Moore and the Lord, and there was a peace in my heart that I've not had all week.

I still have some unresolved schooling/household issues, but what's important is that my peace is back. I can work through anything with that peace, amen? Does anyone know what I'm talkin' about? (Can you hear Beth Moore saying that? lol).

Peace Out friends,

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day

Wow it's been a long day! I'm way past thinking every other homeschool family has it together June Cleaver style and I'm the only one with my house & sanity falling apart, but there are days that I wonder...

Seriously, today wasn't too bad. Hope woke me up at 5 am to tell me her nose was running. I wasn't a nice mommy. I said, "I have one more hour to sleep and I can't fix your nose, go blow it and stay in bed!"

Did I mention I'm starting Beth Moore's Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study? Looks like my workbook won't go unused.

I wanted to be a cheery sweet mommy today but I was soooo tired. I over did the cleaning yesterday and was still exhausted when I got up...and I didn't exactly get up at 6 (more like the last minute before Adri arrived at 7:30).

School went smoother than I anticipated, but I had to work at not getting frustrated. Hope has a little attention issue (Shane has said more than once she has ADD) and got behind in her work, making it hard to move on with Ashlyn (we do several subjects together).

Ashlyn, who had been looking forward to school the most forced herself to the table this morning. Her throat hurt (again) and she was run down. Once she crashed this afternoon, I knew I had to suck it up and make her an appointment (remember she was just in for strep 2 weeks ago).

My lifesaver brother in law sat with the other girls while I ran Ashlyn to the night clinic a half hour away (Shane was at work-in my car with the car seats to boot). They are usually pretty fast, but tonight they were packed and we spent 2 hours there. Poor girl had to have a shot and another round of more effective antibiotics. Thankfully, she already feels better. Oh, and my brother in law, I offered to take him on our next family vacation as a token of our appreciation...not sure why he quickly declined my offer.

Hope had a meltdown just before we got home...something about thinking we were never coming back. My brother in law kinda freaked when Hope spazzed out, but it ended fine once Daddy talked her off the wall, lol. Of course, a male sitter means I have a little house cleaning to do tonight but that beats taking all the kids I own into the clinic, right?

Since our evening was spent, we are already behind on our read-alouds and chore schedule. To top off my evening, I sent out an email with words like "philosophically" and "penicillin" and forgot to run spell check. I probably spelled those right and misspelled something simple, lol. Oh, and my next email blunder-I responded to a spoof that looked like our bank email telling me our account was suspended due to two unsuccessful log in attempts. I didn't even think about it-Shane has prompted those emails before with his faulty memory for passwords. I thought about it AFTER I took the bait...arghhh.

Over and Out-I gotta get outta here and go to bed so I can get up at hit the snooze for an hour or so before actually dragging out of bed...