Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I listened to an interview with Shaunti Feldham on Family Life Today when her book For Women Only came out. It demonstrates this principle nicely. Mrs. Feldham was giving the example about how her husband gave her a romantic gift of ice skating lessons. Not only were they ice skating lessons they were in a famous location with famous skaters. Her point was that her husband didn't figure he could ever top that so she didn't even get cards for something like the next three years. What even made the point more was the two male hosts got stuck on the lessons. They immediately sized up whether they had ever done anything that staggering for their wives and how they rated in the analysis. That made the point more valid.
That brings me to the things I find romantic and not. That also is the reason for the poll in the sidebar. Feel free to vote and/or leave a comment about your tastes. Today is Saturday so I am going to do a Seven Saturday list. This is a one time deal. I am not committing to it every Saturday. I like routine, but I don't like being overly committed.
So here goes:
1. I love having my feet massaged.
2. My idea of a romantic dinner is without anyone that I HAVE to feed or pick up food off the floor from anywhere they do not ask if I want it super-sized/biggie-sized/king-sized or includes toys with the children's meals. Other than that I would even be okay with a truck stop or strangely home-cooked meal(not even exotic or great).
3. I don't like flowers after a disagreement or if my husband has done something "wrong." If it has been dealt with and forgiven the flowers just remind me of what a dork he was.
4. I do like home-picked flowers and flowers from the floral store just 'cause. They don't have to be roses (although the two-tone roses are my favorite), carnations, daisies or dandelions will do. I have many dandelion bouquets from the children. I would prefer some Willow Tree figurines or stuffed animals to flowers sometimes.
5. I like funny cards. I like cards with old-fashioned pictures. I like sweet-cards. I like home-made cards. I like e-cards. I don't like sappy, rhyming "inspirational" cards with all fluff and no real message. They make me want to hurl:)
6. I don't really care for gold or diamonds. I have always thought diamonds look like ice and I don't think something cold and frigid is fitting for representing marriage. I really prefer old celtic, poesy, silvery kind of jewelery. I like old-fashioned (really old fashioned like medieval old).
7. TODR and I used to walk on the beach where we lived all the while we were courting. I still find an outdoor walk on the beach or out in the woods to be really intimate and sweet. I love the idea of firelight. Sitting companionably with my sweetie with some hot chocolate, tea or decaf. coffee on a clear starlit night next to a roaring campfire sounds just about perfect.
Friday, September 26, 2008
When I was in YWAM a teacher gave us a definition of love that I wrote in my Bible and have since memorized.
Love is a commitment to right actions that sometimes brings pleasant feelings.
This interview is a clarion call to our generation. It is the message of Fireproof.
Our family has been blessed by the other two movies the Kendrick Brothers have made. I am thinking that God is raising a standard in our sad and selfish age. I also know that I fall woefully short. I want to give up. The Bible says that love never fails. It also says that God is love so if we don't have Him we don't have love. We cannot give what we don't have. On our own we will fail. All things are possible with the God of Love.
The thing that is amazing is how he and his family seem to be the real deal. I am convicted to pray for this man. The kids and I have been watching some footage from interviews with him. While he proclaims his love for his wife and deep commitment to her he is showing his even deeper love and commitment to his Savior. He told the talk show hostesses that he has a commitment to only kiss his wife even on screen. He told the secret that the kiss on Fireproof is actually his real wife. Good on the Kendrick Brothers and good on Kirk Cameron!
He is making a public stand. While I think that is so commendable I also know that it is a declaration of war. I am not saying he shouldn't say those things. I think acknowledging the battle lines is the only thing a godly man of honor could do. Just like those men that signed the Declaration of Independence put everything on the line with their signatures so is Kirk Cameron. The Camerons have been married for 17 years. Kirk states that is like 70 years in Hollywood. I bet that is true. Let us be diligent in upholding men who stand in the public eye with courage and honor up in prayer. The enemy will be gunning for them.
I am also rethinking if I want to risk bawling my eyes out in public and go see Fireproof in the theatre.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This beautiful girl is the fulfillment of the Mother's Curse. You know when you have exasperated your mother and she utters, "I hope when you grow up and have children you get one that acts just like you." Of all our children this spitfire is the most like me. She goes at everything 110 percent. It is her biggest strength as well as weakness. She gets into everything and tries to help. When she is 13 she will be so helpful, but at four her idea of cleaning the toilet just means more work for me. On the other hand she gives the best hugs and loves genuinely and intensely. We could definately call her a Spice-girl:)
Four years ago I had some contractions the night of the 21st. They weren't such a big deal. We finally decided to go to the midwife's. We called the lovely lady from church that had agreed to watch the other kiddos. When she arrived TODR showed her where to park her truck. He then packed me up into the van. Then he promptly backed up into our friend's truck. I told him to tell her after we got home:)
We got to our midwife's around 1:00 a.m. I had hung on all the way there thinking of getting in the tub. When she checked me I was at ten c.m. So she broke my water and our lil girl was born twenty minutes after we arrived. I got to get in the tub afterwards. She was the easiest and shortest labor I have ever had. I was so thankful for that. Since she was born almost exactly a year after her sister I had been kind of depressed about giving birth again. God really met me there during labor. She is the only baby I remember crying for a long while after her birth. The others cried at first, but then just serenely looked around at their surroundings. Not this little girl! She cried getting in her carseat. She cried unless I put my hand near her face. I wondered what we had gotten into with our fifth child. Afterwards she did settle down and become a really complacent, sweet thing. She slept through the night at two or three months.
We drove home a couple hours later. Our friend was really sweet about the truck. Thankfully when they checked it out there was no damage to it.
Our Spicegirl chose pizza for her birthday dinner. She got a copy of the Aristo Cats. She got her princess dress for the tea party we had. We made cupcakes to take to prayer group last night. Happy Birthday Sweetheart. We are so thankful you were born.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I pulled another boo-boo in last night's soup. Sometimes our neighbor and/or my mom bring us offerings from the local food bank. I usually stick to recognizeable things if they are not labeled. I am on a crockpot binge right now trying to tighten our food budget while making nutritious filling meals for all 9 of us (and the guests we end up with from time to time). So last night I happily tossed in turkey, carrots, chicken broth, onion, garlic, herbs and spices and snowpeas (or so I thought) and simmered it altogether until dinner time. I made some garlic bread. Viola! Dinner was on.
Now snowpeas do not need to be shelled. I thought we were going to enjoy those nice, tender things in our soup. I think they were soy beans. Tasty little things, but you need to take off their inedible outer shell. We all ended up shelling our soy beans out of our soup. It made for a bit of mess. It still ended up doing the job. I am glad to know what to do with those podded things since I have four more containers of them. I will shell them BEFORE I put them in the soup.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Happy Birthday to The Ole Daddy Rabbit. Yes, 42 years ago today was the big event that ushered TODR into the world. We are having Grandma's Special Chicken today with mashed potatoes, corn and salad. Every birthday celebrant in our house gets to pick their special dinner.
May God bless you this day and the upcoming year Mr. Heath.
Lots of love from your family!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Yeah, it is teaching mommy to trust as well. It is a good opportunity to practice that relaxation breathing. Yes, all the kiddos were out there except the baby (she was sleeping).
Saturday, September 06, 2008
I have for the most part decided not to write about controversial issues or ones that might hurt or offend family reading our blog. I think in view of the greatly heralded Republican pick for vice-president it is time for me to craft a post on a deeply personal subject. I have close friends and family that might get upset when I hit the sacred cow of working mothers. I am not trying to heap guilt on the mothers that must work. They carry enough hardship. My own mother had to work while I was in Jr. High and Highschool. If she didn't we would not have eaten. I know that, but there are still times when I wish my mom had been there. I do have a big problem with moms that choose to work while popping out a couple of kids and leaving them to be raised by strangers.
There is a computer game that we like to play called Minesweep. For those unfamiliar with the game the player is presented with a screen that he or she has to logically flag the hidden bombs while uncovering the safe squares. If you successfully guess all squares you win the game. If you inadvertantly click a bomb, everything blows up. There are also times in the game when you flag a square and it opens up a big patch of safe area. Sometimes in life we are doing something little and God allows a big patch of truth to open up to us. Some folk refer to this as an "Ah-hah!" moment or an epiphany. I call it a mindsweep moment. There are several that changed my life and how I live today. In order to have others understand my position I need to share some more personal details of my life.
I have always been "good with children." I was one of those responsible, highly in demand babysitters from the age of 11 or so. By the time I graduated high school I had coached Jr. High volleyball, taught preschool, taught in VBS, and babysat quite a bit. Everyone always said how I was so good with children. So, of course, what should I do? Become a teacher! That is what you do when you are good with children, right? Not become a stay-at-home mom. That is not seen as a viable option for a brilliant young woman with childcare skills.
I bought into the lie hook, line and sinker that if I wanted to make a difference I should touch children for Jesus in daycare. Now I have worked other jobs not just childcare, but those jobs are not significant ones to this story.
I was a nanny to a wonderful family. It really was a very fulfilling job for me. I never turned on the TV, we went for walks almost everyday, read books and ate wholesome meals. I learned an awful lot about ordering a home while having that job. I also went to college and took lots of Child Development classes. I was more and more convinced that the way to touch the next generation was to be a Christian Childcare provider.
I got a job working for a for profit daycare after I had been married for not quite a year. Here it was that I was going to get started using all my education and gifts! At first I really enjoyed it. I was hired as an "infant teacher." That meant that I was one of two teachers with up to eight babies under one year old to care for in one small classroom. I also moved around to different classrooms as a subsitute teacher. I worked in every classroom from infants to the older after-school programers. I also advanced to handling medication as well as running the front desk. I was good, very good.
Now remember this was a for profit daycare center. It was also located not too far from the city court house. We had a few children in the center that the moms were single moms and doing everything they could to keep their children fed and clothed. I felt for those moms. The rest, however, were children that had parents that chose to work. We even had one boy in the preschool classroom that had a mom that didn't work. She openly stated that her husband could support her and she didn't need to work, but her son bored her. She figured he would be better off at the center playing with his peers than with her because she wanted to do her grown-up things. He was a nuisance.
Not all of the parents were that blatant about it. Most I would say were as duped as I was. Most parents felt somehow that they really HAD to have two incomes. None really saw that their children needed them rather than the 3500 sq. ft. house that they never really lived in. Or the second BMW, or the namebrand shoes, or the list could go on and on indefinately. The children really needed mom and dad.
One of my mindsweep moments came on the day after Thanksgiving. The center I worked in was closed 6 legal holidays a year. That meant we were closed Thanksgiving day, but open for business the day after. I worked that day. Now it wasn't a regular day as most parents had that day off. We did have about 35 kids show up. I held some sweet little ones as they cried while mom and dad left them at the center. I don't recall a single parent that left a child there that day that was going to work. There might have been a few, but I only remember that most, if not all, were going shopping. Those parents were going shopping, fighting the crowds and buying their children incredible Christmas presents. I am sure most of them spent far more on gifts than I made that month.
Now does anyone remember what they got for Christmas each year as a child? We all remember a few special Christmases that we finally got that long awaited bike or doll. For the most part we don't. We do remember those times of being with mom or dad when they chose to take us for a walk or get us an ice cream. I knew that day at the center that those children would have traded all their presents for their parents to have spent some time with them. If their parents had instead gotten an ice cream cone from McDonald's (this was before their pro-gay agenda:) and walked with them on the beach they would probably have remembered that day forever. Wow! Our children really do want us. We would see if we gave them the choice.
The other mindsweep moment was much more intense. We had two little girls at our center. Even now thinking of them makes my heart constrict. Their parents both held high-powered important jobs. Those two girls, aged 1 and 3 when they started, were the first ones at 6:00a.m. to be dropped off. They were also the ones usually left after 6:00p.m. when the center closed. Often times the "back-up" babysitter was the one that showed up to pick them up. When these little girls had chicken pox the babysitter kept them at her house because they were not allowed at our center until their pox had cleared. The younger girl had gotten pink-eye. She was back at our center after the required 24 hour antibiotics had been administered. I was on meds. that day so I got to give her the drops. Here I was holding this precious little girl with the puffy eyes trying to get her to let me drop the antibiotic into her eyes. It dawned on me that while this was my job, "THIS WASN'T MY JOB." Her mother should have been the one holding her and comforting her. Her mom should be there when she was sick. It dawned on me that this was not right. It also dawned on me that I was not honestly making a difference.
I ended up leaving the center after my first son was born. It took me a bit longer to figure out that a mom isn't replaceable and that God gave me my own children to make an eternal impact on. God didn't give me other folks' children to raise, but mine. I look back and see those two instances that set my feet on a different path. I also read those heart-warming stories of teachers that make a huge difference in one child's life and sigh. Yes, those teachers after years of sacrifice help a handful of children that might not have been helped otherwise. The fact is that I make an eternal, irreplaceable difference in seven children's lives. I do make a difference when I take care of my God-given responsibilities and then maybe give hope to others that might see the path I have taken and have the courage to take that same path.
The way I see my calling clearly now makes it impossible for me to uphold Sarah Palin as a great VP choice. She might be politically savvy, she might champion causes that I stand behind, she might honestly make a great vice-president. Unfortunately, she has five children that need her desperately. There are other people that could do a good job as governor or as vice-president. No one can fill a mom's shoes when it comes to her own children. Trust me I have tried. I was very good. I was not good enough because I wasn't the mom.
I have witnessed the hurt desperation in innumerable children. I cannot stand by and silently condone this travesty. May God open mothers' eyes to the privilege our children really are. Now not only am I good at what I do, I hold a position no one else in the world can hold. That is power. It is power that I can only wield on my knees and from my heart. How I mother my own children is what I will stand accountable for one day.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Acts 9: 36-43 contains my favorite Bible story of all time. It is about a disciple named Tabitha. The thing that has always grabbed me about this story is the character of Tabitha. It isn't that Peter raises her from the dead. The thing about her that touches me is that the widows and orphans are beside themselves when she dies. They show Peter the garments she has made them, displaying the tender care she had for them. She was not even known to Peter. She was kind of a nobody quietly serving the Lord by taking care of widows and orphans. She was not, however, a nobody to the Lord. He saw fit to even put her story into the Bible for all time. It reminds me that we may not have the recognition from man (in fact the Bible tells us not to look for that), but God sees.
So seven years ago when our first daughter was born we named her after that wonderful woman. We were expecting another nine pounder (our second son was pretty big). After a really horrible, tiring labor and delivery out pops (quite literally, our midwife almost dropped her) a beautiful little peanut. She was born just after ten at night and was the smallest baby I have born. Of course, one look at her and she was worth every stitch of agony.
Today that little peanut is such an incredible little girl. She loves pink and Barbie princessy things. Yet she is a trooper and able to keep up with the boys. She surprised me with being packed and ready to go ahead of schedule for her camping trip this week. She is learning to read and use the computer. She amazes me every day with how capable she is. She can cook Ramen noodles and eggs. She can make sandwiches. She draws and colors very well. She is beautiful, but not vain. I never thought I would enjoy being a mom to girls. I am so privileged to be blessed with such wonderful girls.
Happy Birthday to my Tabitha girl, you are a real princess.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
We were headed home last night. We came around a corner and this is what we saw:
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Five years ago today we were blessed with our second daughter. She was our first child to be born in the morning. She looked like a china doll. She has grown quite a bit since then. She is still very petite. We tell her she may be small, but she is mighty. She loves her dollies. She also loves her sisters. She likes purple and pink. She has gotten big enough to do a good job brushing her teeth and making her own bed. She has started doing some chores in the morning like putting dirty clothes in the laundry and wiping down the table after meals. She has green eyes and straight brown hair like her mama. She has a tender heart and a great smile. I love to see her running across the yard towards me with her big smile all over her face. She is great at playing imaginitive games by herself. She is also good for a cuddle most times. Happy Birthday to one of our biggest blessings.