Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pilgrim Children

With Thanksgiving coming up we've been reading some stories about it and our history...as far as 2nd grade level goes. One of the books we read talked about the behavior of the children...they stood at the table while eating, they did not take off their bonnets, they only spoke if they were outside playing together of if an adult talked were talking to them.

I have to admit, when there is a lot of noise and chaos it brings out my worst and I get easily irrated. We (as in all 6 of us) were making an apple pie this week, each of the kids cutting up apples and everyone chatting loudly excitedly, and after awhile I felt my frustration with the noise level excitement, rising. So I said, "let's pretend like we are pilgrims getting ready for Thanksgiving. Who can tell me how the children behaved?" Makenise and Gabby chimed in, "Oooo let's pretend and not talk until an adult talks to us!" Great! Then Brian pipes up, "Not me. I'm pretending I'm playing outside! LA LA LA RRRRRRR WATCH HOW GOOD I AM AT CUTTING THIS APPPLE! GABBY, I CAN CUT FASTER THAN YOU! HAHA HAHA I JUST POOTED! BRRRRRANNNG, CAN I EAT SOME OF THIS APPLE? DADDY? DADDY! CAN I EAT SOME OF THIS APPLE? I DROPPED MY KNIFE! MMMMMMMRREEEECH (these are all those extraneous high decibel sounds that boys seem to feel the need to fill any quiet space with)"

Lord give me strength.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's Not Called Laughing Gas for Nothing

Today Makensie woke up with a fever and said her tooth was hurting. What I thought was a canker sore just a couple of days ago, had developed into some awful, red protruding growth. We were able to get an appointment for 2 o'clock this afternoon. They took x-rays and I waited for them to bring me a note for a prescription. However, the dentist came in and said they needed to take the tooth out as it was abscessed. So she had it pulled and then they put in a spacer between the teeth to hold the spot open for when her adult tooth comes in sometime in the next 2-3 years. It was a little traumatic for her as well as for me, but she did great. I only got woosey once. We even went and got some ice cream afterwards. I was able to get help from 2 moms to take Brian and Gabby (thank you Wendy!) and Wyatt did amazingly well through the whole ordeal. The dentist and assistant were wonderful we were in and out in just 2 1/2 hours total.

While they were getting things ready they put the laughing gas on Makensie and she started to relax some and was telling the nurse how they helped daddy butcher the deer this weekend and how they saw the stomach and had to make sure not to puncture it because it would stink. Then I guess in la la land judgement just goes out the window because she added, "I'm used to stink, cause sometimes it's hard to go potty at my house, because when my daddy goes poop, it stinks up the whole bathroom and all the way into the frontroom."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

When the Going Gets Good the Good Get Guilt

Outside of God, sin and the devils influence and hold on us is the greatest power in the world today.

One day this summer I was running errands and having a rather great day, listening to the local christian radio station, my kids were at VBS, I had just found an incredible deal on formula, life in my little Christian bubble was going pretty good. Then as I walked into WalMart walking out was a classmate of mine from high school. I no longer live even in the same state as where I grew up. But there he was with his wife and children. Come to find out, his parents had moved to this small town. This is the 2nd family I have known to move here from my home town. I wonder if it in some small way was to help keep me humble or for the devil to bring up my past.

At the time I 1st moved here there used to be a large billboard posted as you entered the city gates that read, "Where Jesus Is Lord". Now we do have some trouble here, but there is a lot of influence for God at every angle. It is a dry county, the streets except WalMart and fast food roll up at 6pm, there are more churches here per capita than anywhere else in the US. There is a huge homeschool community and most everyone I know is actively involved or at least has God in there top 3 most important things in their life, it is rare to have a conversation with someone when it doesn't somewhere turn to referencing the Bible. There is a Christian College here, and DaySpring Christian Cards plant is here in town. The City's slogan is "The City of Beauty and Progress". We still have movies in the park, craft festivals, farmers market, the community building is highly used. Boring? I would say fulfilling and peaceful.

But all this is not who I was when I moved here. I have a lot to be thankful about. I have known Christ all my life, but there was a season of about 10 years when I did my own thing. One time during that rebellious phase, I committed a sin, a rather embarrassing one for me and this guy that was staring at me in WalMart this summer knew about it. Now I knew many he had committed also, but that one sin, that was committed one time, just immediately surfaced and almost choked me. I wanted to blurt out, "Hi, how are you? I have changed! What is your wife's name? Cute kids." I didn't think once of his sins, but the devil had the perfect opportunity to throw in my face the fact that no matter the life I am living now, there is always that ugly past that was his.

I can honestly remember during those years thinking at times, "I know this is wrong, Lord forgive me, I won't do it again after this time" Before I had actually committed the sin. Thinking that once an act was over, I'd ask forgiveness and move on. The power of sin is not the sin itself, felt just in that moment, but what satan can build or destroy out of that sin. This is why we should run, flee from sin, this is why God provides us with an escape, because the devil can easily put us under the thumb of quilt and condemnation. We may commit the sin only once, yet we will have to live with that memory and that shadow of darkness for the rest of our lives.

I wonder if that is why some young Christians with rough pasts, sometimes don't make it. One of the most powerful ways the devil keeps his hands in our lives is through quilt. If the devil puts so much guilt in their lives when God is shining the light on their sins, that the condemnation feels so much worse after accepting God, that it is easier to accept the sin as something that is ok, that is truth, rather than turning from it. God does forgive and casts it far away once we have truly repented, but we as humans find that much harder to do.

After I ran into this guy, I have relived my stupidity many times, and each time I have had to remind myself, I'm forgiven, and literally tell the devil to leave me alone. The devil puts little thoughts in my head...Why would should you be leading a women's bible study? Why should you be in the Christian homeschool group? Why should you be speaking at the mom's group? Don't they all know you're not that great? What if they all find out your past?

I've heard it once said the God can even use an atheist to have His plans succeed. I'm sure God can continue to use me too. I wish I didn't have such a worn coat that I have to wear, but that is the consequences of my decisions. Those who have much to be forgiven for have much to be thankful for. The answer is God's grace. First he sheds light on our sins, because what we cannot see we cannot deal with. This gives us conviction, condemnation is from satan. Conviction gives us a desire for true repentance. Then He washes us clean. Once we repent of our sins, we can let Him have it. We can even have peace with the problems in our lives that have we are facing because of the sins we have committed.

When God's grace covers us, even if the process is painful, He is still big enough to handle the side effects of our decisions for His ultimate plan and our ultimate good.

Friday, November 09, 2007

How to win an argument.

Brian and Gabby were getting a little heated with each other as they debated over who got to be Captain Jack Sparrow.
Gabby: It was my idea to play in the 1st place.
Brian: But I have the sword.
Gabby: But we are playing in MY room.
Brian: But captains are usually boys.
Gabby: OK. But we have to poke out your eye then, because Captains usually only have one eye.
Brian: fine. You can be the Captain.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Created To Be His Help Meet Study Group

Christian women: Have you ever given your husband the cold, silent treatment? Have you ever submitted to your husband's decision only after pitching a fit? Do you ever criticize your husband for the little things? Have you ever wondered why you should respect a husband who doesn't earn it? Have you often thought that your marriage could be better if only HE would change? Do you feel you have to be the spiritual leader in your family because your husband isn't doing the job? Do you worry that your husband's sins are hurting your children?

If so, you might be interested to know that we have started up a study group on the book Created to Be His Help Meet. I'll be posting each Monday night some discussion questions of what we have talked about. If you are interested in following along on this study, please do. There is also a link on the right hand side bar to take you to it. If you would like to participate actively with the group click the cafemom button to join us.

Blessings

I am finally getting to go to the grocery store today. Since we own our own business when things slow down, we still have to pay the business rent, the business truck, the business phone, order materials for jobs we have in the future that we haven't been paid for yet.....it's tiring and trying this time of the year when things slow down.

Blessing #1: In the past 6 weeks, I have only went for milk and one $30 trip for bare basics. However, God has completely provided our pantry just yesterday looked really bare. 2 weeks ago I looked in my flour jar and there looked to be about 1 cup of flour left and there still is today. We've been out of several items but the frig and freezers look like we haven't used hardly anything. And we've been eating fine, ask my scale. Last night I used the last of our potatoes for hashbrowns, hushpuppies, had deer steak and homemade bread and sliced fresh tomatoes that Allen's mom had dropped off green a couple of weeks ago. Gabby didn't even know that it was a concern of when I'ld be getting groceries and it was her night to pray, she prayed in thanks for the great food and then added, "and I pray that it fills us up and keeps our bodies healthy." There was plenty on the table, so I got a little teary. I hadn't thought of praying that the food would stretch and fill up, I had just been praying Allen would be paid for several jobs so we could go to the store and pay some bills.

Blessing #2: Dana stopped by with an extra gallon of milk she had been blessed with and was afraid it would expire before they could finish it. Thank you!

Blessing #3: Leanne stopped by with a coffee grinder...I had been wanting one to grind out some wheat that Wendy gave me. So I made another loaf of homemade bread with some freshly ground wheat mixed it and it was the perfect loaf. Delicious.

Blessing #4: Wendy felt sorry for us and gave us a box of goodies out of her pantry a couple of weeks ago. For some reason I just left the box in tact and thought I would only take out what I needed. I took out 2 bags of popcorn as the kids were really eyeing those. Then another friend of ours expressed that they were struggling. I was able to pass the box onto her and bless her with knowing that God will always provide for us.

Blessing #5: a friend stopped by and had taken advantage of the sale at Walgreens and dropped off some baby food the day after I had used my last jar for Wyatt. I have several foods for him frozen that I've made, but all vegetables.

Blessing #6: Walgreen had a sale: Buy $20 (certain items) get an instore credit of $12. I bought 20 2-packs of baby food for $1 each = $20, got $12 instore credit and I had coupons, so the baby food only cost me $3. Then I used the instore credit for some medicine we were needing.

God is good and faithful to provide for our needs. He also provides for our wants at times if he can trust us with them. As we have fallen behind on our house payment, at 1st that fear of what if we lose the house set in? But as I prayed for peace and started joyfully praising HIM for HIS plans I asked. Worst case? We lose the house. We lose our equity. Then what? We still have our family, God will provide the amount of money Allen can handle and the lifestyle that He wants us to have. We rent a house, make it our home, pray for more direction, suck up our pride, stand on the promise that God has our best in mind with HIS plans.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Buckle up, or else!

The other day we were out running errands and I looked in the rear view mirror to see that Gabby and Brian had unbuckled their car seats. I asked, "Is everyone buckled up?" "YES!" of course was the answer. So I turned down a side street and by no means was going fast, but felt the sudden urge to stop. Abruptly. They both stopped when they hit the seats in front of them. I apologized with as much compassion and sympathy as crazy women could muster without laughing.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Finally some stories about Makensie

Usually all the funny and silly little things that happen around here are thanks to Gabby smarting off or Brian exercising his boyish tendencies, while Makensie is my sugar and spice. She is either quietly stirring up strife or being the other momma and caring for Wyatt and her babies, helping me cook and just chatting along with me.

Tuesday night we had a girls night out just her and I. We went to a mom and daughter Mary Kay facial and then afterwards we shared a coke float at A&W. I enjoyed asking her question after question about what she enjoys, her dreams, her wants. She is so precious, while the other kids would list a page of toys she hopes to go to Africa to work with the poor someday. She is so sweet. How can she be the same one who drives me to the edge of madness sometimes with her talking back and rebellion?

Yesterday we handed out candy to the kids walking downtown and have plenty left over, guess what everyone's getting for Christmas? So before we started we had a little talk to just give 1 bar or peice to each kid walking by to make sure everyone got one. So our 1st visitors were some friends of ours. Makensie put one piece in her bag and then the little girl asked for a different kind that she liked better and took one. Makensie very politely said, "That is fine, but can I get that other peice back then?" I made sure to step in and let her know that was fine.

When we were all sitting outside handing out and greeting the trick-or-treaters, Makensie had went in the shop to use the restroom, and after several minutes comes running out dripping of water. "Somethings happened in the bathroom, I just barely touched it." I took off running as fast as a heavy girl can and looked in to see water spraying up to the ceiling. After turning off the water valve I realized that she had tried to use the squirt hose beside the sink and the sprayer part came off. So the bathroom was flooded. Poor baby, she is always the one things like this happen to.

Finally as we took the kids for their turn to trick or treat, a friend of mine gave them each a homemade sugar cookie cut and decorated like pumpkins, very cute. Makensie had eaten half of hers and then when we got in the van offered the remainder to Allen. I thought...Ok....Thanks! He said, "Thank you Makensie, that was really yummy." I told her, "And very thoughtful to share with daddy." She said sweetly, "Yeah, I dropped it on the way to the car and it landed icing side down and didn't want it." I burst out laughing of course and was quite grateful she didn't offer it to me.

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