Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Strong of Heart

Praise the Lord! 
How happy is the man who honors the 
Lord with fear and finds joy in His Law!  
His children will be powerful in the land. 
Each family who is right will be happy.  
Riches and well-being are in his house. 
And his right-standing with God will last forever. 
 Light rises even in darkness for the one who is right. 
He is kind and has loving-pity and does what is right.  
Good will come to the man who is ready to give much,
 and fair in what he does.  
He will never be shaken. 
The man who is right and good will be remembered forever.  
He will not be afraid of bad news. 
His heart is strong because he trusts in the Lord. 
 His heart will not be shaken. 
He will not be afraid and will watch those lose who fight against him.
  He has given much to the poor. 
His right-standing with God lasts forever. 
His horn will be lifted high in honor.
 The sinful man will see it and be troubled and angry.
He will grind his teeth and waste away. 
The desire of the sinful will come to nothing.
Psalm 112

This Psalm is really speaking to me today. I want to walk in the path of the Lord. I want our family to be right and happy. I want us to be in right standing with God. I want to be strong of heart, not shaken, and not fearful. 

Blessings to you today. I hope that this Psalm speaks to you like it is for me. 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Chore Charts and Challenges

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.  Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,  and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.  Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,  and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Titus 2:1-8

With this in mind we are giving Little A a chore chart.  She is only two but she is a brilliant little girl and is really enjoying doing whatever she is able to do on her own.
We are trying not to do for her what she can do for herself. In doing that she is learning to be persistent : 

for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,    but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.Proverbs 27:16 

Our rule of thumb is that she must try twice on her own first before asking for help. Then we will guide her with words or a little assistance and we try not to take over entirely. When it is entirely necessary, we will take over but we try to walk her through what we are doing so that she can try on her own next time. 

Little A's chore chart has 3 divisions: 

1. Chores respecting her body. 

     ..your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God. You are not your own.1 Corinthians 6:19

2. Chores respecting our Home and Things in it.

For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 

Hebrews 3:4

 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

3. Chores respecting Others.

Love each other as Christian brothers. Show respect for each other.

Romans 12:10 

She knows that all she does needs to be done as if for the Lord and we will expect her to really try to do the chores to the best of her abilities. There is always room for growth and change and she will get better at her tasks as she learns. 

Each chore will first be explained and exampled by us so that she knows the safe and proper way to do them. (The chart says "I put away the Dishes" but she actually only does the cutlery right now, and really just spoons and forks and baby cutlery)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
Colossians 3:23

I made two charts for the chores (Click Here for just Words, and Here for the Chart with Pictures), one with just words and one that I attempted to put pictures on.  I printed out both charts and put them in a self sealing laminating pouch.  

The plan was to use littler star stickers when Little A completed a chore then at the end of the week I would just peel them off and start again.    But then I decided that I really don't want to deal with sticking and then peeling off all those stickers every week.  
So with the laminated charts I can easily use a wet erase marker (dry erase will wipe off too easily) and then wipe them off at the end of the week.  I do need to find a more exciting color than black though, it is rather boring. 

Examining the charts for the first time. (and guessing at what each chore is)

Drawing on her own reward marks.

Little A making the bed and E man climbing onto it.

And up he goes laughing the whole time.

Standing back in frustration saying, "No, I am making my bed!"
Trying to clean up her books with the little man trying to take them out.

Proud of herself for getting them all in and the lid on. 

Little A loved her little chores. She was so excited about the chart and getting to write on it herself.  
We will see if the excitement continues as the week goes on.  

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Boy Thing

I am new to this whole "boy" thing. Already, even though Little E is only 10 months old, he shows that he is a boy.  He is rougher than his sister and he already has gotten hurt more than she ever has. It blows me away how different they are and I know that it will only become more and more evident as they grow older.

I grew up in a house full of women. My poor father had four women that were hormonal and crazy and were normally all crazy at the same time (if you know what I mean . )  Dad had lots of hobbies to keep him out of the house and away from the insanity, but I am sure there were lots of times that he wished he had a son to share his hobbies with.   Now, he is blessed with 3 sons that have married into the family and he seems very happy to take them out hunting, shooting and building.

It is so very different having a little boy, I have nothing to go by since I have never been around a boy as he grows up. I have babysat a ton of boys but it is so different being the mom.

When we were pregnant with Little A, we decided to find out the sex of the baby. They told us a girl and we both started to cry. Hearing the sex of the baby somehow made everything so much more real. We left the ultrasound clinic and got into the car. We hugged, we kissed, we looked at the little picture of our cute little baby girl.  And then it hit me.

"We were going to have a teenage girl someday!" I cried out to Hubby.

 Girls are mean. Growing up I was rarely friends with girls. And when I was friends with them it always was  horrible, we would fight, we would tease, and we would judge. Even with my sisters it was the same. With them we would fight and tease and judge but if anyone else did it we would band together. " I can be mean to my sister, but if you do it watch out."

As we drove home, reality set in and I started to have a bit of a melt down. "I am not ready to be a parent. I can't be the mom of a girl. Someday she is going to hate me. She could end up being mean and crazy and rebellious. "  

"Your going to have to buy a gun!" I told Hubby through tears and hysterics.

Thankfully, Hubby is calm cool and collected most of the time and he just laughed at me and told me to calm down. He reminded me that I have never hated my mother. That I never was that mean, crazy or rebellious. He encouraged me and told me that I would be a great mom and that we would just take it a day at a time. No need to worry about teen years before she is even born.

See, I was not so frightened of having a boy.  I was aware of the fact that I would have no idea what I was doing, but it really didn't scare me so much while I was pregnant.  Maybe that was because I didn't have much time to think about it with a 9 to 18 month old baby running around and going a mile a minute.

But now that he is here and his "boyness" is starting to show more and more everyday, I am starting to wonder how on earth I can really train this little man to be a man of God that lives daily with integrity and love.

Thankfully, I have an amazing man that just so happens to live with us and is the other parent to our special kids. God really knew what he was doing when he made both man and woman. We are so different and fit so well together. Where I fail he excels and where he fails (like taking care of vomit and bowel movements,  seriously if our kids vomit so will hubby (thankfully it hasn't happened yet but we have had some close calls)) I excel.

Hubby is a great example for both of our children because he can teach E man to be like him and he can teach Little A what kind of man she should look for.

Also, I am glad to have this great book that helps to train little men in the ways they should go.  It talks about having righteous anger and when to hold back or hold your tongue. It talks about love and wisdom and honor. It talks about being a warrior and a hero. It tells what kind of wife to look for and what kind of husband to be. And has great stories of how God has used men and women, young and old,  for His great purpose.

Thankfully we already have multiple copies of this book in our house so I didn't have to go out and spend a fortune on any of those other parenting books.

(I hope that you caught on that I was talking about the bible.)

I am so excited to read some of the amazing stories in that great book to my kids.   Stories of David, Moses, Abigail, Ruth, Solomon, Jonah, Sampson, and Jesus.

Honestly, the more I worry about my children's character and who they will be, the more stories God has brought to mind to show them Godly character and great things that God has done with his people. No parenting book necessary...well one I guess.

Way more fun to climb up a slide than go down it. (his 2nd time playing with this slide)

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Rejoice Always

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 
Romans 12:12

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5

The past few days I have really been struggling to find peace and patience. What is crazy is that this week hasn't been anything overly stressful or crazy. I am just feeling more and more burnt out. 

Little A's new favourite word is "Why?". It is driving me up the wall.   Honestly, I have no problem with her asking me questions and I love that she is curious, the thing that is making me crazy is that she asks why and then asks it again and again and again about the same thing.  She is not genuinely interested, she is just normally asking to get out of doing what she was asked to do. 

On top of her new favourite word, A has been whining constantly, well lets be honest, it feels like its constant but is more like only   99%   75%  of the time. She has been doing it so much that by the time that E man is getting tired and is hungry for supper and starting to whine, I have little patience left for him. (Thankfully he is normally the happiest kid I have ever met and loves to come and climb on me and give me kisses) 

I don't know what triggers it but every so often I start to feel like this. The feeling of being constantly on empty and yet still managing to give whatever I have left to my family. I begin to feel like I give and give and nothing ever gets easier or seems to ever get finished (like that stupid pile of laundry that never seems to end). 

In the world right now, it is often talked about how moms need to take care of themselves.  That they need to put themselves first and that if they dont do what they have to do for themselves then they wont have anything for their families.  Our society normally ties in the idea that we need to pamper ourselves, buy what we want, go out shopping, dancing, or doing whatever we want to do by ourselves so that we are taken care of. 

I do not agree with those things as things to fill us up or keep us happy. 

I am not saying that we should never do them, I am just trying to point out that as followers of Christ we are called to something different.  Something so much better. 

What I have been struggling to do this past week is to rely on the Lord.  To set aside time for me to come and talk with him and to read the bible and listen to his words.  

My first response to the hard week I have been having was that I needed some time alone. Time out to do whatever I wanted without two little ones in tow. Then I was reminded about living counter culture and that despite what magazines and talk shows are spewing into the world, I will be so much more refreshed and renewed by having time with my saviour.  

We have been called to walk out life in a way that takes much more work as we follow the path less traveled. But we as followers of Christ have been blessed with the Holy Spirit (referred to in the Bible as our Helper). And through the Holy Spirit we have the strength to follow God and live how we should. 
God wants to help us through the hard times. He wants us to have the fruit of the Spirit. 

This Psalm is what I have been thinking about today and I hope that it helps you when you need an extra reminder of where your help comes from. 

 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
 He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
 indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
 The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
 The Lord will keep you from all harm
    he will watch over your life;
 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121

Friday, 17 May 2013

the Winner

Since there was only 2 entries into my little giveaway I wrote the names on papers, folded them up, and left them on the floor. I then told Little A to pick one and give it to me.  

DaniB I will email you a gift card right away.... Thanks you two for commenting :)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

A Funny Story

Little A:   "Mom. Can I tell you a funny story?"

Me:      "Sure Honey, what's your story?"

A:          "Once upon a time,
There was a dinosaur walking towards God.
He was getting some leaves.
hahaha  was that a funny story mommy?"

Me:      (confused look on my face.... ? What?)
          "Yeah that was funny sweetie.  Can you tell me another funny story?"

A:    "Yeah, (giggle)
Once upon a time,
There was a dragon walking towards God.
He was looking for some leaves.
hahaha  its funny mommy!"

Me:     "um....yupp, thats pretty silly babe. Did you make that up yourself?"

Silence as she goes back to eating her food.

What a nut.
She has told me this story about 8 times since yesterday and every time it was pretty much the exact same thing. The only slight difference that may occur is that she changes up the animal. So far I have heard this story told about a dinosaur, a dragon, an alligator, and a bear.

Seriously, whats up with that?

I have no idea where she got it from. And when I asked her where it was from she replied, "The Bible."

I don't know about you but, I have never heard this story.   Maybe her little kids version is very different than mine but I really do doubt it.

She has such a strange and wonderful imagination. I would love to understand it all a little better, but at this point I just have to smile and nod and laugh about it later. Seriously, I wish I could record all of the things she says during the day, it would make me laugh and cry for years to come.

Little A and Hubby,  last year at the Fair.  Who is she waving to in that cage you might ask? Oh, just a snake that was attempting to climb out and was giving her mommy the heebie jeebies.  She was not phased at all. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

5000 Views and a Prize Draw

Well the Blog has hit 5000 views since I began writing sometime in September.  

To celebrate this milestone ( I was actually super shocked to be getting any views in the first place, so Thanks a million)  I am going to do a give away. 

To be entered to win all you have to do is  Comment Below telling me:
Your Name and your Favourite Post and Why. 

The Prize....a $25 gift card for Christianbook.com (Sorry its not more) 

The Draw will close End of Day Tomorrow, you can only enter once.  

Thanks again everyone, it is a scary but wonderful thing sharing my thoughts and feelings with you all and I am so blessed to see that people are reading and that people care. 

God Bless you. 

Oh and my favourite post.... I am leaning toward  Who Am I?   mostly because it is close to my heart this week and I have been reading and rereading those scriptures a lot lately. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Who Am I?

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
Exodus 3:4

The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”...
 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
Genesis 16:8-10 & 13-14

Most of us struggle with low self image. I feel like that is because we struggle to understand who we are, who we were made to be and what our purpose is. 

God knows who we are. Many times in the Bible He calls people by name Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Samuel,Saul...  

Moses had been living with the Egyptians for years and likely had very little idea of who this God of his Father was.  But God knew him.  

God met Hagar in the desert, He called her by name and knew her situation. She was so amazed by it that she called the Lord, the God who sees me (El Roi in Hebrew). 

We often struggle to understand who we are in Christ. We forget that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. And that we were created with purpose.  I know that I personally, get caught up in the world and what they view as important. I find myself trying to measure up to their standards of importance, beauty, wealth, power, and situation. 

What happens when I fall into that is that I loose sight of who I am in Christ. Who I was created by and what I was created to be. My self image ends up being tied up in others and their view of me when it should be solely based on what the Father thinks of me. 

There are a few things that we need to believe about ourselves so that we can begin to grasp the truth about who we are in God. (Interesting thing about the ASL sign for believe: it is a combination of Think and Hold onto

He knows us, and calls us by name.  He stands at the door and knocks waiting and hoping that we will let him in. He knows us inside and out and still chooses to pursue us. 

But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.

Isaiah 43:1

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
John 10:3

 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 
John 10:14-15

He knows us. 

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5

everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”

Isaiah 43:7

I am made new in Him

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19

We are God's Children

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 
1 John 5:1

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 
1 John 3:1

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
John 1:12-13

 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 
1 Thessalonians 1:4

And most importantly,  We are in Christ and Christ is in Us. We are Alive in Him.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised usup together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:5-10

Monday, 13 May 2013

Call Her Blessed

Happy Mothers Day!

Sorry I am late to say it but things were pretty busy last week. Hubby went to help his parents move from 8 hours away from us to only 2 hours from us! It will be so nice to be able to visit them more and have them more involved in our kids lives.

While Hubby went to help them, I stopped halfway there and stayed with my parents for a few days. It was a blast.  We haven't traveled with the little E man much yet so we were a little hesitant but he did well (after the first night). It took him a little getting used to being in a different bed and house but he figured it out.

Our first evening there we had a fun supper, took the kids on a wagon rife to the park with Grandma and Grandpa, and visited with one of my best friends. The kids were very excited to see my parents new puppies and fish and it took them a little while to get to sleep after all the excitement of the day.

Over the 5 days we were there we played at the park, shopped at 2 different malls, went to my mom's work for lunch, visited my dad's work, saw some fossils and crawling critters with my mom, had a wiener and marshmallow roast with old friends, and had pizza at Hubby's parents new place.  To finish off the weekend we threw a little surprise get together for Hubby's Birthday and then had a great breakfast and lunch to celebrate Mother's Day.

It was a great weekend.

Hubby always has a hard time with me for Mother's Day.  He figures that since I am not his mom, he doesn't need to do anything for me. But now that we have done this a few times, he understands that I expect a little bit of effort from him since our kids are too small to do it themselves.

This year he made me a beautiful, giant ruler that I found on Pinterest. It is a growth chart and he did an amazing job. I love it and am so excited to use it. 

That is the kind of present I really cherish. Something that I can use for years and that will be a keepsake forever. Also it means so much more to me that he had to put some effort into it. That is one of the biggest things that speaks to my heart, effort. I love knowing that some thought and effort had to be put into something.  A quick love note is wonderful, but a notebook full of love notes from our youth, that would blow me away. 

Hubby made a joke this weekend after he had already given me my gift from him and the kids but before they had given me the cute little card that he had purchased and they coloured all over. He was laughing and making light of my desires to be honoured by him and my kids on Mother's Day.  When we finally had a moment to ourselves I told him how much that hurt and how really, all I want is a nice day with my family and to hear how loved I am.  

I know I am not a perfect mother. I have finally accepted the fact that I will never be like my mom. And I know that I will learn and grow each year and that sometimes I will feel like I am failing miserably as a parent.  But at least one day a year I long to hear how much they love me (Hopefully it will happen more than that since my love language is words of affirmation) and how they appreciate what I do. 

I am pretty proud of being a mom.  I wouldn't pick any other job and I love that I have the chance to stay at home with my kids.  I am happy to be growing smart, healthy, loving, compassionate, and hopefully, God following children. 

Even if we think Mother's Day is stupid and a "Hallmark holiday", its a good reminder to, at least, say thank you to the people who have given us life. 

 I hope your days were wonderful and God Blessed. 

Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things,     
but you surpass them all."
Proverbs 31:28-29

little man climbing up a slide
swinging with Grandpa
So excited by every "dinosaur" she saw