Monday, November 24, 2008

Shea's Note to Daddy

Shea love wrote another note to her daddy yesterday. I love her expression, and am compelled to share it again.
Dear Dad,
Your love and protectoin is really strong. You are soooooooo sweet and loving. You (I can tell) are a really kind citizen. Thanks for tucking me in every night. Sweetly! TUCK IN time can sometimes be soooooooooo FUN! Love, Shea
Then she drew these awesome pictures that may try to post later. Shea took the camera on her field trip to the zoo today, so I have no means to do that now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shea Love

I realize I already posted once today, but Kurt and I agreed that Shea's napkin letter to Reilly was worth posting as well. Here it is.
Dear Reilly,
I love you sooo much!!! You have been so helpful today! Do you think you can be like this every day? Love is like a root that grows into a plant, the fruit means joy and privliges. I think we can memorize a special verse! Love, Shea

Presidential Museum


Last night we had the privelege of attending the third grade "play", where Reilly starred as President George Washington. He had several lines to memorize, and did a great job! The play was great, though it would have been better if you could hear (the sound system was a disaster). Reilly spoke loud and clear into the mic, and sang a solo! Some of his lines are worth repeating here.
Question for Reilly (George): "How did you get your men through that terrible winter at Valley Forge?"
George: "One word, Mrs. Griffin. SMORES. While the Redcoats were trying to survive on boiled mutton, my men and I were sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows."
Then the solo..."Just say no to permanent alliances....don't make treaties that can lead you into war....Just say yes, to politic neutrality....then settle back and have another SMORE..."
I'm pretty sure the 3rd graders didn't realize how funny many of the lines were, though again, it would have been nice to have heard the other lines. Anyway... Reilly did a great job and we are proud of him!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Deep Thoughts

I was reading through Matthew Henry's commentary on Romans 8, and when I got to verse 5, my thoughts were captivated. Take a minute to evaluate the direction and impulse of your heart, and see if you are "after the flesh or after the Spirit".

How may we know whether we are after the flesh or after the Spirit? By examining what we mind, the things of the flesh or the things of the spirit. Carnal pleasure, worldly profit and honour, the things of sense and time, are the things of the flesh, which unregenerate people mind. The favour of God, the welfare of the soul, the concerns of eternity, are the things of the Spirit, which those that are after the Spirit do mind. The man is as the mind is. The mind is the forge of thoughts. As he thinketh in his heart, so is he, Prov. 23:7. Which way do the thoughts move with most pleasure? On what do they dwell with most satisfaction? The mind is the seat of wisdom. Which way go the projects and contrivances? whether are we more wise for the world or for our souls? phronousi ta te┬Ás sarkos—they savour the things of the flesh; so the word is rendered, Mt. 16:23. It is a great matter what our savour is, what truths, what tidings, what comforts, we do most relish, and are most agreeable to us.

A great matter. A life and death matter. I praise God that though I struggle with my flesh, my thoughts settle most comfortably with satisfaction on matters of the soul. I strive to put to death the desires of the flesh, though I know how weak I am and how far I have to go. But I'm in the fight, and my thoughts are taken by spiritual matters, and I relish in my salvation and God's grace to me!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Motherhood...

Here's another long one... sorry! This began as a letter to a friend, and I decided I thought it might be worth something to you young moms out there that blog-hop! By the way, this morning's message (Every Woman's Grace)was from Logan Carr. I highly recommend you listen to her if you haven't already! She is high energy, and all out striving after the Lord. And she's hilarious. I laughed, I cried (and yes, it was better than "Cats"... I fell asleep watching "Cats" in London!! Seriously!). And I learned a lot. Anyway, here's the letter.

Dear Shineequa (not her real name),

I have been thinking about you so much recently, and especially this morning when I was at Bible Study. Let me tell you why, and then maybe you can see if it connects at all to your current sentiment about parenting! This morning's talk (at Every Woman's Grace) was titled, "Submission and Sovereignty". Oddly enough, her intro related so much to what I've been thinking about, and am wondering if it isn't at least part of your struggle. Our culture is so inundated with feminism, and tragically, we don't even notice it. Her point was that we (women) have been trained without our even knowing it, that we have to stand up and fight for our rights to be equal with men, to be heard, to be seen, respected, etc.- not for our femininity, but rather for something else (equality of some sort?? I'm not sure).

Sadly, the message has permeated the church as well. The priority of family has really diminished as a result, and the role of women has been changed- though not in the Bible! In fact, the woman who spoke was an avid feminist before she came to Christ. She also noted that the beginning of the feminist movement documents their own purpose which includes outright ignoring the Bible/despising it and what it says about women and the role of a woman, because it contradicts the ideas of the movement. As a result of the movement, the ideas have spread far and wide. Even the church has been affected by the sentiments. Unknowingly, we have adopted partially- if not wholly, this garbage from the world. I think this message must affect women who stay at home to raise their family- to some degree or another. We are fed the lie from the world that this "parenting stage" is just a phase to get through until we can get back to "our life". We push through this difficult time of having little ones, only so that we can move on with life and get back to what we used to do, and what used to define us.

"WHAT IN THE WORLD?!???!?!!" This is what defines me!!! This is who I am!! Once we become moms, this is what defines us, and we should be proud of it (not sinfully proud ;). I am just so angry that the world is tearing down our families, and their lies have reached into the church. Can I remind you (and me!!) of what God has to say about mothering and having little ones? From Titus 2:3-5, God clearly wants women to be trained in loving their husbands and their children, self-controlled and pure, busy at home, kind, and subject to their husbands. "Oh, but that sounds so old-fashioned". Does it? This is the Word of God!! We have to remember this, and prize what it tells us to be, over and above- NO!- rather than what the world tell us. The world tells us that we won't be fulfilled unless we "find ourselves" and fulfill our (selfish) goals and dreams (LIE). If our goals and dreams align with God's Word, then I agree with the world. But the problem is that the world has fed us the lie that supporting our husbands, and simply raising a family (godly or not) isn't a real or legitimate goal. That is the garbage of the world. The Biggest LIE. That is what we are fed, and so often buy into. Don't give in! Don't believe it! Believe what the Bible tells you!

Let's look at the famous passage extolling the characteristics of the godly woman in Proverbs 31. First, look at verses 10 and 11. "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." How I want to be this! I want to be worth more than rubies! I want my husband to have full confidence in me and for him to lack nothing of value because he has me- this couldn't be more fulfilling! Nothing means more to me than for the person I love the most to have "full confidence" in me. Would I be as fulfilled if "my boss" (if I had one) had "full confidence" in me? Not nearly. My husband's confidence in me is much more "fulfilling" and "empowering" to me (using Oprah terms) than any praise I could receive from anyone else (except for the Lord). Moving on.

Look at Proverbs 31:25-31. "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.' Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." What a beautiful picture! Are you inspired? Strength and dignity are not found in a pants suit with stilettos. They are not found in cashing a hearty paycheck after picking up the kids from daycare. Strength and dignity aren't even found in earning a promotion in front of your coworkers.

At the end of the day, (or at the end of your life), would you be pleased and fulfilled if your boss stood by your bedside telling you what a hard worker you were? What an asset you were to the company? Or would you prefer your husband and children to be there extolling your virtue as a wife and mom? Your husband extolling the nobility of the support you gave him enabling him to lead your home, be the provider, and your children lovingly speaking of the way that you loved them and wisely instructed them? Of how you diligently cared for the matters of the home and took such good care of them? Of how you prepared them for life by your example and teaching? I'm pretty sure we'd all agree on that one.

I'm encouraged myself and energized to do my "job" with excellence! As Christian women, we need to love what we do, and do it with joy to the Lord! He has given us a much more fulfilling and amazing job than the V.P. of any company. Remember this! We have the task and challenge to raise our kids, being dignified and noble in the process, receiving praise from our husband and children, and pleasing the Lord in it all. We need to have the correct (BIBLICAL)view of our job as wife and mom, or I think we will be continually frustrated and confused by the messages that the world sends our way. We need to have a clear picture of what our role is according to the Word of God. If we take our cues from the world, we will search for fulfillment and constantly be disappointed. If we live in accordance with God's Word, believing all of what it says about women, I believe we will find the truest joy and the richest blessing of fulfillment as we press on!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Wii Obsession

Today I found myself laughing out loud when I saw what the kids were doing. Reilly and Kinley had been playing "Lego Star Wars" on the Wii, when I noticed something a little odd. Took me a minute to actually figure out what was going on. Reilly was yelling (not angrily, just in an excited boy playing video games way) at Kinley certain commands which she typically follows happily since she doesn't have a clue what is going on in the game. Reilly is just glad to have someone indulge in his world, even a 5 year old sister. Anyway he was shouting commands, and repeating the same one. "Turn around! Kinley turn around!!" Kinley wasn't in the room. His voice was raised, because he was aware of this. "Turn around! Turn around!" He was persistent. Then I heard a giggle from the bathroom. "I'm trying!!" I had to laugh when I figured out that Kinley had brought the Wii remote with her into the bathroom and was trying to follow her commands from there. Reilly thought it was a bit humorous as well, but was certainly happy when she returned and could actually see what she was doing. Kids.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tumble-Bumble


Ouch!! Macy "BooBoos" toppled from the arm of the couch, straight onto her face (according to witnesses) two days ago, and this was the result. It's hard to tell, but it does look like she may have put her teeth through her lip. It was super swollen for two days, but today it is much better. The outside is a big black scab (looks icky), but it's healing! Poor baby!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thoughts for Young Moms

Proverbs 12:18 "There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."


There are times when we as mothers can rebuke with such severity (even with scripture!) and repetition, that our rebukes are more like "sword thrusts". If we aren't careful and wise with our rebukes to our children, we will be assaulting them emotionally with our words, as well as hurting them spiritually. We must be wise with our words (timing and content!), and always strive to bring healing to them. Our conversations with our children shouldn't end with a rebuke, but rather with the hope of and the clear path to restoration or, "healing". How exhausting for a child (or anyone!) to endure severe words about their disobedience on a regular basis. Another danger is that often, these rebuking conversations end up being the only "spiritual" conversations that happen in our homes. This can be eternally damaging to a child. I have found that it is easy to slip into patterns of constantly correcting and rebuking my children. They seem to constantly be finding trouble on some days, and we get tired of hearing ourselves telling them, "stop doing that!" How can we snap the pattern? How can we bring change to the day that seems to be spiraling downward out of our control? When you catch yourself in the pattern of constantly sharply correcting, stop and take a moment to repent. I don't mean stop what you're doing, (cooking, cleaning, helping with homework), I mean stop the sword thrusts. Here's what might at first seem like a strange "remedy". Find something in the deep recesses of your mind (haha) that your "disobedient child" had done that was good, remind him of it, and then praise him for it. In that very moment. Mean it with all your heart. Your child won't think it strange of you. Just watch. Here's an example. "Reilly, remember when you emptied all of the trash last night? When I asked you, you immediately obeyed, and you did it without complaining or arguing. You had a great attitude. Thank you so much for doing that." When he remembers how he can please you and be a good kid, you will have excited those feelings of honor in him, and his attitude and actions will change. You will have penetrated his heart with your kindness, and stirred him to be good. Isn't this our aim? Not to just get our children to "do what we say, when we say to do it" (danger: hypocrisy ahead), but to help them to want to obey and to long to please their parents? And aren't the means stated above God's given means to us (kindness, spurring one another on to love and good deeds, encouragement, love covering a multitude of sins, timely wise words)?? When we are inspired by God's Word to train our children, and when we are motivated by God's glory to draw our children to the Lord, and when we employ God's means in the process, God will bless us and we will see Him working not only in the lives of our children, but in our own lives as well.

Resolved today to not be rash and thrusting swords with my words. ("Words" so easily become "Swords"...)
Resolved today to carefully guide the "rebuking conversations" with the kids full circle to repentance and restoration.
Resolved today to do all that I can to stimulate my children to love and good deeds, rather than demanding them to love and good deeds.