A Funny Thing Happened

So, this morning we started the traditional family Saturday kids’ sports day. It was on the way home from Josiah’s soccer practice, which I left early to put TJ down for nap and get something to eat since I missed breakfast to take Eila to gymnastics… Well, Thaddeus found it very entertaining to drop things out of the wagon periodically. He would then say, “Mama. Mama.” When I looked stopped, I’d look back where he was pointing and see his jacket or bowl or some other item chucked overboard. Then, I’d run back to get it and he’d giggle and repeat. I got a decent workout, so I didn’t really mind and he was entertained.

Fast forward several hours back at home, everyone is now home, fed and playing quietly or sleeping. I needed something from my wallet and was looking around unable to locate it. I spent about 15 minutes searching and figured that it had to have been dropped on our walk home.

So, I set out for a walk, half praying for it to be intact on the sidewalk somewhere, half mumbling to myself about how dumb I was to leave my wallet in the wagon with a kid who was emptying it onto the sidewalk.

Well, the funny thing is that at the house for sale where I was going to turn around, where several people were standing around, I found my wallet – full of money and receipts and credit cards. God answered my prayer and I’ve learned my lesson, I hope.


True Religion

Caring for orphans and widows is a very clear command in the Bible. There is simply no excuse for not helping those who need it, and the benefits are many. A simple way to care for orphans, without adopting or fostering them, is to support those who do. Here’s a link to one family that is selling shirts to raise funds to adopt a child from Ethiopia. Go. Buy. Love.

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Return to Teaching (Sort of)

Last week, I was the speaker for the MOPS group that I attend. The topic I was asked to speak on was Healthy Living, which is something that I’m fairly passionate about. I was hesitant to commit for several reasons: Thaddeus had not made it through an entire MOPS meeting without needing me, I enjoy learning about healthy living, but am no expert nor do I want others to think I am (and hold me to some sort of standard), I hadn’t spoken in front of or taught a large group in many years and was frankly a little scared at the prospect of “teaching” my peers, I was a little concerned about when and how I would prepare for a talk as I can barely keep up with the laundry and the daily tasks involved in caring for three children, helping my hubby and keeping house, and the list goes on.

Yesterday, the speaker at the women’s retreat I attended shared a quote from Henry Blackaby, “I have come to the place in my life that, if the assignment I sense God is giving me is something that I know I can handle, I know it probably is not from God. The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God-sized.” I don’t know if I agree with this statement for myself, but I do know that the MOPS speaking thing was something that I really couldn’t do on my own and yet I sensed clearly that God was asking this of me. So, I did it. It was a lot of work: 18-20 hours of total prep and practicing (and I know it didn’t have to be so much, but I am what some call an overachiever or perfectionist and don’t know how to stop!) But, truth be told, I really enjoyed it (aside from knowing that Thad had cried for an hour before he collapsed into a weary sleep).

However, I don’t think I’m ready to do anymore for a while and I’ll be returning to my little bubble at home focusing on the little ones I’ve been called to cuddle, correct, and otherwise care for…



On Monday, I will be fulfilling my civic duty and reporting downtown for jury duty. I am most distressed about this. I am still mostly exclusively nursing, since TJ doesn’t really eat any solids (although he does seem to like guacamole, pinto beans, and pancakes, so hopefully he won’t cry too much from hunger). I am really disappointed in this clear NO answer from God in my request to not go. I shouldn’t be surprised since every other avenue that I pursued (yes, I talked to my dr and this already a delay from last year’s summons) in getting out of this came up empty, but still I am. I’m also irritated at myself for being so selfish and ungrateful since jury duty is something that I should be proud to do, to serve in this simple way. My thoughtful husband tried to encourage me to recognize that I have something to learn from this all. I suppose he is right, again.

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Ten Reasons to Rejoice

1. Eila talks with God and knows that what she asks for, she’ll get.
2. Josiah only cut his eyebrow/lid and didn’t need stitches.
3. Thaddeus slept for almost 10 hours last night, without waking up to feed.
4. Brian went grocery shopping and prepared tonight’s dinner over the weekend.
5. My parents joined us for a super comfort food dinner on Saturday.
6. We had a great time at the Kraly’s church’s Christmas pageant on Sunday.
7. Our kitchen is super bright with a complete set of working lightbulbs.
8. The final book in the series I’ve been reading is on hold at the library.
9. I’m done with my Christmas shopping, mostly.
10. My bed has flannel sheets and is warm and waiting for me.

Of course, there are many more…

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Continuum Concept

A friend of mine recently emailed me this link and asked for my take on it. I generally adhere to this sort of parenting philosophy that some would call Attachment Parenting for the beginning of life, but for the toddler/preschool years I like to think I have a parenting strategy, but really I’m just trying to make it through each day while showing and teaching love and responsibility.

The continuum concept basically seems to say that we are social beings who evolved to meet the expectations placed on us and we thrive when in loving relationships. I whole-heartedly agree that humans are social and designed for relationships, but by the Creator’s plan not evolutionary adaptation. I believe that God made us to be social beings who need physical contact from birth with immediate response to signals of needs in babies (ie. nursing on demand, co-sleeping, being in arms most of the time for the first 6 months). I also believe that humans are rotten to the core (in theological terms we are sinful from birth – that is total depravity).

So, the continuum concept asserts that the reason children fight and are selfish and demanding is because we are a child-centered culture. While this may be a confounding issue I do not see it being the sole reason nor do I think that by simply going about our adult responsibilities with kids watching that we will not have any of these attitude or behavior problems. That said, I do see that when my kids are secure in the knowledge that I am confident in my roles and responsibilities there are less battles – some of that I attribute to the fact that when I am doubting myself and insecure my kids (as social beings and wanting to meet the expectations of those caring for them) pick up on that.

All this rambling basically to say that I hope that parents will be in a loving relationship with their Creator and from Him draw strength and wisdom to love their kids and care for them – meeting their needs and shaping them into loving and responsible people. God’s grace and love are limitless to cover the limitless mistakes made. I guess that is my parenting philosophy: God-centered.

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Getting Things Done

I’ve put a lot of things on hold since the end of my pregnancy, and am still recovering from the aftermath of that pregnancy (another kid!)
Having three kids is a lot harder than two and I’m pretty tired at the end of the day which is when I used to do all the things that needed to be done without my children’s “help”.
One of these days, I might get around to starting and maybe even finishing one or two things on my ever growing list.

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One More Thing

Okay, two more things to be thankful for are health and help.

I made a special trip to U of M today with Thaddeus and am so thankful for my good friend, who graciously agreed to take both of the other kids even though J was throwing up last night and not only that, she made us dinner too!

Thad has had a pretty rough go of this cold that he got from Siah and was having some signs of breathing trouble, so we were sent to the ER and after a brief check by several doctors, he was given the all clear with just a stuffy nose.

So, thank God for friends who help and for baby brother’s health.

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Answered Prayers

You probably are already aware that I place a very high value on spiritual things and believe that my God is who He says He is (in the Bible) and can do what He says He can do.

This particular pregnancy has been a little bit more difficult for me than my previous ones, which were fabulous and relatively perfect. I still enjoy pregnancy and have no real complaints. However, when this baby boy was breech I was complaining a lot. Carrying a breech baby was terribly uncomfortable for me physically, plus I was very stressed over the prospect of having major surgery just because he was in the “wrong” position. After he turned and then re-turned to breech position despite my doing all the right exercises, I prayed and knew that God was telling me to just relax and trust Him. I was assured that although I have no real control over this baby now nor will I be able to control everything when he is born, God is able to handle it all and knows exactly what should and will happen. So, I decided to relax and trust God and not do all the crazy exercises and techniques for turning a baby. I did write it on the prayer list for our church and asked a few close friends and family to pray for the baby to turn and me not to freak out no matter what happens.

This was all about 2 weeks ago and the night of our church prayer meeting (last Wednesday), I was again treated to the rather obnoxious full position change of “baby brother.” This time, however, he has stayed put and seems to be settling in nicely. I am much more comfortable and totally at peace knowing that God answered this prayer and that He has it all under control.

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Book Review: She’s Gonna Blow

My good friend, Andie, lent me a book (that I lent out to another friend) that really has changed the way I parent. I knew I had a problem and needed to get some practical help as well as deal with the root issues of my problem. Well, Julie Barnhill’s book came along at the right time and was exactly what I needed to hear and act on.

I love to read, and Julie Barnhill is a very funny gal whose books are quick, easy reads, but that was not the case for this book. This book had its funny parts and is a quick read, but she has stopping points throughout the book with questions to ponder and action points. I usually just read these types of questions and answer in my head since writing answers requires so much effort. However, I knew that I really needed to process these things and to have accountability to make changes, so I wrote down my answers to all of the questions. I was easily able to see where I struggled and what changes I needed to make.

The gist of it is that anger has its place and is a good response when things are not as they should be – injustice and evil – and as long as anger motivates us to act in love and bring about good changes then it is not a problem. For most people I know, myself included, that is not usually the case when I lose my temper. I am angry at my kids for not living up to my expectations or at myself for making poor choices and then am impatient and unkind toward those around me not out of love to make them better, but just because I’m immature and would rather throw a fit. In my angry outbursts with my kids, there are times that the anger is properly motivated, but my outburst is not loving or effective in bringing about the change that is desired. So, the way to change is through prayer and focusing on the truth and love of God, along with some very simple techniques like counting to ten or taking a deep breath before I speak, taking time outs myself when I feel my body heat rising and jaw clenching.

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