Saturday, December 29, 2007

Turning a blessing into a curse.

This is something that I think of at least once every other day and have found very challenging and encouraging.

Nancy Wilson once explained Deut 14:21b "Do not cook a young goat in it's mother's milk." She said that the mother's milk was meant to be a source of nourishment and blessing to the baby. This verse says that that blessing should not be turned into a curse for the young goat by cooking him in it. She then makes this application: You as a mother are supposed to be a blessing to your children. You are supposed to bestow blessings on them and be a delight for them to enjoy (much like a mother's milk for her baby). Are you a blessing, or are you turning that blessing into a curse by being a fussy, impatient, grouchy mommy. Ouch. Don't turn the blessing of a mother into a curse for your children. I hope that word picture sticks with you like is has with me.

Scream Savers

I loved this little book. I have even given a few copies as gifts. Sure some of it is common sense, but lets face the middle of a tough afternoon with toddlers sometimes we moms are lacking in common sense! We go into survival mode and need someone to tell us EXACTLY WHAT TO DO. This book is small and easy to read. It has 4 sections: 1. Prescriptions for peace (How to stay on top of things in the first place). 2. Keeping your cool in the heat of the moment (How to get a grip when you are loosing yours). 3. Quiet activities for kids (A little treasure trove of ideas when you need things a little quieter). 4. Mommy moments (Some things that you can enjoy...just for you).

I will give you one tip from this book, and end with a great tip I got from a wise friend...

From the book: You are thankful for your kids. There are times when you get short and impatient with them, but you know that they are wonderful blessings God has given you. Take time to thank Him for them. Jot down the little things you love about each of them and keep that little list in a handy place (or at the very least, keep it in your mind). When you are getting frustrated with them or about to pull your hair out, pull out the list and reset your mind. Give thanks and stop fussing. Just enjoy your kids!

From the wise friend: Teresa Hardin once told me to always remember that I am "TRAINING" my kids. I should not get frustrated when they sin, are mean to each other, are disrespectful, are messy, or are disobedient. I should not be shocked or surprised. After all, they are sinners and then will sin just like I do. My job (and very high calling) is to train them. It is my business. I don't need to take it personally or get my feelings hurt when they sin. I need to see it as God sees it and train them with love and patience.

One more note on that topic. We have to be willing to *SEE* our kids sins. We don't want to pick them apart, but to train them effectively we should pray that God would show us particular sins that our kids are prone to. We should want to see it for what it is and train them to quit doing it. It will be a blessing to them!

Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul. Prov 29:17

Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death. Prov 19:18

N.T. Wright on suffering

In his book Reflecting the Glory, N.T. Wright gives us a new perspective on how our suffering shows the glory of God. Good stuff!


What Paul wants his hearers to grasp is that they already have, in the gospel of Jesus Christ, all the glory they could possibly want. He will shortly explain that in more detail. But we can imagine the Corinthians being very puzzled, just as people today might be very puzzled. Outsiders often look at the church, full of muddle and sin and shame and half-heartedness and back-biting, and clergy who don't know what they are talking about and laity who go wandering off the point, and they say, "Well, if that's all you've got to show for the wonderful message you talk about, you really are a muddled lot. How can you possibly be the body of Christ, the temple of the living God, as you say you are called to be?"

The answer comes again and again in 2 Corinthians. The glory of Christ is not revealed in spectacular show of success, in people who get everything right all the time. People like that, as we know, can sometimes be a pain in the neck. The church reveals the glory of Christ through suffering and shame as much as through what the world counts as success.


In another article he mentions how Christ is the ultimate revelation of the glory of God and yet He suffered greatly! God's glory is truly revealed in suffering. Even OUR suffering! What a blessed reminder.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sayers on Christmas

Our pastor introduced us to this quote by Dorothy Sayers and I thought it was definitely worth passing along to you. It has some great things to say about God becoming man and just how amazing and awesome that is!


The central dogma of the Incarnation is that by which its [that is, Christianity's] relevance stands or falls. If Christ were only man, then he is irrelevant to any thought about God; if he is only God, then he is entirely irrelevant to any experience of human life.

…the outline of the official story—the tale of the time when God was the underdog and got beaten, when he submitted to the conditions he had laid down and became a man like the men he had made, and the men he had made broke him and killed him. This is the dogma we find so dull—this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and the hero.

If this is dull, then what, in Heaven's name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore; on the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him 'meek and mild,' and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies....

For what it [that is, the Incarnation] means is this, among other things: that for whatever reason God chose to make man as he is—limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—he had the honesty and the courage to take his own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile....

And here Christianity has its enormous advantage over every other religion in the world. It is the only religion that gives value to evil and suffering.

What do we find God 'doing about' this business of sin and evil?...God did not abolish the fact of evil; He transformed it. He did not stop the Crucifixion; He rose from the dead...


AMEN! God be praised.

Monday, December 17, 2007

We're In!

We are officially settled in our very first house! Granted there are a couple of boxes left filled with things that I just can't find a home for. But, those are in the garage and the rest of the house already feels like home. This quick set up was possible because of my sweet husband who has had kid duty for the last few days so I could work hard at getting things back to normal. What a sweetie! Well, hopefully in the next week or so, I will be in some sort of grove. I hope to have something "meaty" to offer you here on my blog. Meaty food for thought that is...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Move

We'll we start moving into our new house tonight! I am so excited I can hardly stand it! I have always wanted a house and this will be our first one. When the dust settles I will try to find something very helpful and edifying to post here! Until then...please say a little prayer for my family that all goes very smoothly with the move. I am particularly trying to make sure that we still take time to enjoy, love on, and train our little boys during this transition.

I will leave you with a funny story...there was a pile of small limbs that had been raked up in the yard of this house. Later when we told the boys that we were going to buy the house they exclaimed, "The house with the sticks?!?" They were so happy that we were buying them all those sticks.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sugar Cookies





Here are my little guys making a big Christmas mess! I don't think I will give the ones that they made to anyone. Too much finger licking was going on at their stations!
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More Christmas...

I just found another helpful post by Nancy Wilson about Christmas and it got me to thinking... The book I recommended a few posts ago (Unplug the Christmas Machine) has a few things in it I disagree with. Don't get me wrong. I still highly recommend it and have enjoyed this year in a new way as a result of reading it. I just want to point out a few things.

That books makes you want to minimize Christmas a little bit. Mostly in a good way. Don't run yourself ragged and do so much that you and your family can't enjoy the month of December at all. BUT, these Christmas posts have reminded me of how wonderfully LAVISH our celebration should be. We should bestow wonderful gifts on each other during this season. We should feast like no other time of year. We should put up as many lights as we want...afterall the Light of the world has come and He is worth celebrating! But we should do all this with cheerfulness and thankfulness. We should not "fit it all in" grumbling all the while.

Now for a few things from the Unplug book that I liked a suggested to let the season happen more naturally. That sounds a little hokey, but let me explain. I am sure you have noticed that Christmas decorations start coming out WAY before Halloween! Well, this year I just sort of ignored it all. I did not play the Christmas music, or shop ahead, or plan our holidays months in advance. I enjoyed our kids dressing up for Halloween. We feasted with friends for Thanksgiving and enjoyed the fall colors. Then, on Thanksgiving night I pulled out the Christmas music and got to thinking about all the fun ahead in the next few WEEKS! I enjoyed that it did not build up for months and months. It felt a lot different to enjoy each season as it came. I highly recommend it.

One last interesting thought from the book. It suggests that we have forgotten how to celebrate. Now instead of playing indoor games together, dancing, or going outside for sledding we just watch others do those things. We watch sports or watch movies about times when they did those fun things together. Why don't we do them ourselves anymore? Let's crank up the Christmas music, grab your sweetie or one of your little ones and celebrate the birth of Christ by dancing and breaking a sweat! Let your kids roll out the sugar cookie dough, use the cookie cutters and make a huge mess! They'll love it!

Great Christmas Post

A GREAT post on Christmas can be found here. It is my favorite blog...Femina by Nancy Wilson and her daughters and daughter-in-law. You should just put that blog on your bloglines account and read them all for yourself. But for now just look at the great Christmas post linked above. Merry Christmas!
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