Wednesday, February 28, 2007

#1 shares the gospel with #2

We were getting ready for church on Sunday and I could hear #1 and #2 bickering. I would hear #2 yell at #1 repeatedly and annoyingly. #1's steady response was, "Did you create the world? No, you didn't! It's not your world! It's God's world. SO STOP BEING SO BOSSY!" I liked that response so I just let them work it out. After about five minutes their Daddy and I overheard a beautiful conversation. It went something like this:
#1:When are you going to quick being bossy? Do you know Jesus? I think you need Jesus!
#2:I know Jesus. He died on "da" "cwoss".
#1:Yes, but are you a Christian? I'm a Christian!
#2:I don't know.
#1:Well, you need Jesus 'cuz you have sin and you can't get to heaven like that without Jesus....DAD!!! Come and tell him about Jesus and that prayer!!
So Daddy gets both boys on his lap in our room. He delicately shares the gospel to #2. At the end he asks #2 for a recap. He seems to get the idea...sin, separation, repentance, the cross, Jesus, heaven. Then when my man asks him if he wants to pray right then and become a Christian he says, "No, not wight now. Can I go pway now?"
We just smiled at each other and off they went back to playing. I am grateful for the time with him and the great questions he asked. I am thankful that a seed was planted. I pray that the Holy Spirit will come and water and fertilize that little seed and help it to grow. What an awesome thing it is to see God working in our children's lives!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Today one of my best friends moved away. Her family lives less than a few miles away and we saw them virtually every day when we homeschooled. My heart is so heavy and sad today. Things will not be the same around here without her. She was the friend that I swapped leftovers with on an "off" cooking night. She was always the last minute life saver for childcare. She let me borrow her jeans. Her children and mine were so close. Her house was one where we didn't knock on the door, we just came right in unannounced. We were pregnant together and our babies are only 5 weeks apart. She was the first person to guess that I was pregnant and pulled the truth out of me when I swore to myself that we would not tell anyone so early! We prayed together and read books together. We swapped advice and encouragment. We took the kids to plays and museums and parks together. We had many girls' nights out together at Mexican restaurants or Starbucks. Our husbands went out every Wednesday night for a beer together and were accountability partners. Our boys were inseparable and endlessly laughed at booger and gas jokes, despite our threats and consequences.
So many bonds, so many special memories! She left with her husband and four kids after four years of raising support to be missionaries in Slovakia. I am so thrilled to see them take the good news of the gospel to a needy country. I know God will be glorified through their efforts...but we are still losing our dear friends, and I am lamenting.
#1 has taken the move the hardest. He has cried more tears than I could count. He is afraid that he will not remember his friends' faces. He says that our house will not be the same and he is ready to move. He awoke at 6:45 this morning, crawled into my bed, turned his face away from me, and began to cry. He said, "I don't want my friends to fly away today."
We went to their house on Monday to say good-bye, but I could not find the words. I felt like maybe I could get through our farewell without a tear until I held their little girl. She is almost 2 years old and such a fiesty, funny, precious little thing. She held out her arms and asked me to take her from her Mama. I held her and she laid her head on my shoulder, stuck her thumb in her mouth, and began to string her little fingers through my hair. She looked up at me and just smiled innocently. I realized that I may not ever get to hold her again. By the time she lives in the States again she will be nearly six years old and not a baby any more. I held her tight and the tears began to pour. I took a little walk around the house with her and just enjoyed the moment. It was so overwhelmingly sad for me!

I know God is going to teach us so much for His glory. I am finding myself not able to take the pain away from my little boy, and rarely do I even feel like I am comforting him. I am learning to continually surrender his little tender heart to the Lord for comfort and strength. And I am learning the same lesson for myself.

"My hope is found in nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholy lean on Jesus' name."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Another month bites the dust...

She's 5 months old today. The months are flying by. For some reason, I am faithful at recording her life here on my blog, but not at all in her baby book. I'll have to copy all the info into her book soon. Maybe one Saturday when I'm sitting around sipping mint juleps and eating bon-bons. haha

#3 has filled our house with new sounds and moves this month. She has started to babble, lots of dadada, nanana and some mamas, too. She also screams occasionally. She began to notice and protest when I leave, but then her love for attention pacifies her. She discovered rice cereal and likes it. She began to play in her excersaucer. She can hold up her hands and stare at them, twisting them back and forth, for a good five to ten minutes. She became impossible to put in our lap at the table or computer because she grabs and throws everything. She decided to sleep 9 hour stretches some nights, and wake up twice others. But she has become a great napper- two 2-3 hour naps a day. She figured out how to roll the other way, but often still gets "stuck" on her tummy. She got off of Zantac, shows no signs of relux and now I can eat dairy again. Her wardrobe has finally ventured away from pink, but it is still our favorite. Still no bottles or passies!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's day

My Valentine's day was a little different this year. Due to the financial struggles of my man having a new company, we decided not to celebrate this year. I can honestly say, by God's grace, that my love tank is completely full and I had no need to have a special day with him. So we exchanged cards and had some time alone after the kids went to bed and that was that.

I had plans to light red candles for breakfast before school and have heart shaped cinnamon toast. It never happened. I did slip a home-made valentine in their snack bags with a Reese's cup. Point is, by the end of the day I just kept reassuring myself, "There's always next year." I had chalked this year's celebration to being meaningless. Then at bed time my mood changed...

My man was gone to help with the youth at church. I was attempting to get all of my little ones to sleep. #1 was reading #2 a story on the floor in #3's room while I nursed her. He suddenly said ,"Oh, Mama, I want to give you something for Valentine's day." He went and got a dollar from his bank. "Here, Mama just for you. I love you." As he handed it to me he kissed #3 on the head and said, "And you're my sweetest lil' Valentine!" I could feel a tear trickling down. I knew that his dollars are so precious to him because he is saving for our trip to Disney. I said, "Here honey take this back. It's your Disney money!" He said, "You can spend it in Disney, Mama." Thank you, Jesus, for that moment of selflessness! Then a funny moment came next when #2 walked up behind him and kissed me on the cheek and said, "Dat's all I got, Mommy."

To celebrate Valentine's day at school the kids exchanged cards and candy, but they also participated in a service project. They put together vday bags for the local homeless shelter. There are currently 14 kids sleeping there, the exact # of kids in #1's class. So each child got to make one special gift. They talked about the story of the Good Samaritan and watched a video explaining homelessness. I can't imagine a more beautiful lesson of love for my tender-hearted 6 year old. I wish you could have heard him pour out is heart last night for the children that he had served. It was one of those moments, which are more common than not, when I was so thankful to not be homeschooling. (But I am cheering on all of you who continue to serve your children in that way!)

Despite my neglegence, this was my very favorite Valentine's day with the kids. God is so gracious. He is really working on the hearts of our family to give us a love for others outside of our own little family. I hope he will continue to squish our selfishness and replace it with His love.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Awkward mom moments

Today #1 went home with a friend after school. This little boy played on his t-ball team last year so we have known his parents for a while. When he saw that #1 was going to join his kindergarten class in January they became best buds instantly. I was so thrilled that he invited my little guy over because it is a BIG deal to get invited over after school. You get to sit in the carpool line together and walk out together and all of your friends know that you are the special friend who got the big invite. Anyway, #1 has hoped to be the "chosen one" since the first week of school.

So when his mom called last week to invite him, we had friends over. I immediately said yes and thank you and that I would call her later for directions and details. It just so happens that #2 and her daughter go to the same preschool. So I saw her yesterday and we agreed that the playdate was still on for today and I would pick him up at 3:30. We were all settled.

So last night when I got up to feed #3 I realized that this playdate was a brand new experience for us. Neither of my kids have been dropped off for a playdate, or a birthday party for that matter, with adults that we don't know really intimately. I began to wonder if I had really thought this all through! As I prayed about it I really felt a peace about this particular family, but I decided that we needed "ground rules". I came up with four of them: 1. He can't play computer away from home. (pop ups and crazy websites are too much of a risk) 2. He needs to stick to G movies. (We have made a lot of exceptions, but it's just easier to have this generic rule.) 3. He got a bb gun for Christmas and is learning gun safety with his Dad's supervision. So if there are any firearms in the house he will have a false sense of security and they should be put away. 4. There needs to be no po*nography in the house.

Yep, #4 is a little uncomfortable to discuss with someone that I don't know well. But as I was praying, I began to ask myself what he could discover at a friend's house that would have irreversable harm. Loaded guns and por*ography were the two things that kept coming to mind. I spent the better part of the morning praying for the words to call and discuss my "rules". When I finally made the call, the other mom was of course gracious and reassuring. The play date turned out to be so much fun for the kids. And I was glad that I had set the rules and discussed them with her because next time it would be easier if we are in this situation again and because now this mom knows that our home is a safe place for her child.

Even though #1 goes to a Christian school and the parents have had a background check, have been extensively interviewed and have professed faith in Christ there are certainly no guarantees that every home is safe. I vividly remember seeing pornography and a loaded gun in the home of a girl who went to the same Christian elementary school. I felt a total peace about him going after our conversation. I knew I had done what God was asking me to do as his Mom and from there I had to trust Him to protect him and go with him. But man, being a parent is hard sometimes! Does any one have any other advice or guidelines that you have used in similar situations?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Discoveries

#3 loved cereal from the first bite! She would squeal and then open wide! All the "firsts" we get to experience with our little ones. Such treasures!

She's finally able to sit well enough to play with some new toys. Look at those little dimpled knuckles! This toy has brought her many laughs this week!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Filthy rags

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." Matthew 5:8

This morning I read the Beatitudes. I have always been so interested in these special words that Jesus preached. Some of them have baffled me over the years. For example, what exactly is the "pure in heart"? Well, I think I have an idea. I believe the pure in heart are those who obey God simply because they love Him and for His name's sake.

I began to think of how little I really do that! I do that sometimes when the consequences are big. But day to day, do I really? I mean, my husband thinks I'm so sweet and gracious but really most times I am just selfish. I am sweet to him because I want him to love and adore me and think I'm sweet! Often times it has nothing to do with my love for Jesus or for him! It is more about my reputation or my need for praise. And with parenting, often times I just want my kids to turn out well. Sometimes my effort has nothing to do with them loving Jesus or furthering his kingdom, but I just want to look like a good mom or escape embarassment! Of course there is nothing wrong with not being embarassed, my kids turning out well, or being sweet. But my motives are all wrong, quite often.

The thing about being "pure in heart" is you can't muster it up. I am a do-er and a perfectionist. Give me a point scale on Weight Watchers and I will follow it and lose weight. Give me a housework agenda and I will follow it and have a clean house. Give me "100 Easy Lessons..." and my child will be reading in 100 days. I am a fix it kind of person with a lot of will power. But grace towards others and love for Jesus are only found through prayer and time in His Word. That's it. It is not a matter of will, but a matter purely of the heart.

So this morning, I sat at the foot of His throne and asked for His grace and mercy. I begged His forgiveness for my selfishness and asked Him for understanding, wisdom and "pureness of heart". I basked in His love. My friend gave me an analogy straight from Scripture that I loved and used this morning. We tend to want to stand before God in our own righteousness. The problem is, we are naked and filthy in ourselves. But through the blood of Jesus, we are presented before God with a robe of righteousness. (See Galatians) Even in our sin, he wraps it tightly around us. It is warm and smells fresh and looks clean. Knowing what Christ has done for me, reminding myself daily, talking to Him and reading His Word is what leads to being "pure in heart". That is my heart's true desire! And I am so very, very thankful that I have His robe to stand in and not my own filth!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Boys' space room

Here's the space room. I can not take credit for the idea. I got the paint colors and the idea to have the space ship on the wall from a magazine. The boys have really enjoyed it!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Lots of finished projects...yeah!!

I've been on a kick around here lately. Here are some of my home projects that I've completed since Christmas. Last night I stayed up until 4:15 painting the dining room. I hosted a church-wide playgroup here and became obsessed with wanting this room to look nice. So I painted and cleaned all night! I got one hour of sleep until #3 woke up hungry! Oh well, serves me right! It's hard to tell the colors. The top is a dark orange-red and the bottom is a brown-tan. It looks olive, but it's not.

Above is my new kitchen color. I posted in December about the brown that I didn't like. I forgot to post the final color. Again, hard to tell color exactly, but I am happy with it now!

Here's my lime green bookshelf. It used to be moss green and red and in the boys' camping room.

Now the boys have a space room. The walls used to be solid cream and I've been promising them a space room since August when we moved in. Saturday I stayed up until 2 am completing this project. I'll post that room tomorrow.

In February I have two goals: touch up the paint in #3's room, spackle a few nail holes in the family room and get a few more things hung on the wall. I'll post pictures then! (yahoo, a break from painting!)