Sunday, August 21

The Tongue

When I first started up this blog last year, I thought I would use it to express my feelings, vent, and bounce ideas off of anyone who would listen. When I got serious about this blog two months ago and started posting, I discovered that the Lord had something else in mind. Several times I have drafted a post and went to publish it but then had absolutely no peace about it. So I deleted those posts and didn't think much about it.

Today as I was typing a new post, the scriptures from James just kept coming to my mind. "For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well...For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way." James 3:2,7-10

May the Lord help me to keep my blogs glorifying to Him. I guess my mom was right when she preached the infamous saying, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!"

Wednesday, August 10

Guestbook #2

I had a technical glitch with my other guestbook, so here's the new and improved one. Sorry to BOTH of you who already signed in! (Could you do it again?) Also, thanks again, Darcy. I took the easy way out and went with the guestbook you used.

Failure is Not an Option

I don't fail much. That may sound like bragging, but really it's just an outcome to the embarrassing fact that I don't try things if I think I will not be good at them. I am basically a coward. The last year or so I have felt like such a failure, and the irony is that I thought I'd be a really great Mommy. After all, it's what I've wanted to do ALL my life, I've thought about it for decades, and I thought I knew what to do and how to do it.

The first year, maybe even year and a half, of Ryan's life, I thought I was doing great (I certainly was in heavenly bliss enjoying myself). Then God humbled me. He is always faithful to do that for me. Abigail is a HUGE blessing in our lives, but getting her with so little warning, having two so close in age (14 months apart), and two so different in personality just seemed to throw all my "great" parenting out the window.

After about two years of trying to find the right "formula," reading endless parenting books (there's a lot of nonsense out there), and spending much time in prayer, I have come full circle. My current philosophy is the same as it was in the beginning: be very consistent, spend lots of time with the kids, pray and pray, and NO YELLING! This is working as well as it did before, only now I depend on the Lord so much more.

Recently I ran across a website that I really like. It is pretty similar to my own "parenting philosophy," but it has just a few subtle differences that have made quite a change in my children's behavior and attitudes. The site is called Raising Godly Tomatoes, or it used to be known as Loving Parenting With Only Occasional Trips to the Woodshed.

"The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." Proverbs 29:15

Monday, August 8


I figured out the guestbook add-on and have set one up. So if you feel so inclined, please sign in!

Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is discord, unity.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is sadness, joy.

Where these is darkness, light.

Divine Master, grant me that I may not so much seek,

To be consoled, as to console,

To be understood, as to understand,

To be loved, as to love,

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Sunday, August 7

Perspective is Everything

I used to be a court reporter, and I got pretty good at pegging people and whether they were telling the truth or not. But even after years of listening to trials, I was still impressed at how a skillful attorney could suck me onto his side before I heard the cross-examination. I remember the case where a federal prison inmate was suing because he had to be taken to the emergency room for a severe head injury inflicted by a prison guard. Only on cross-examination did it come out that he was stabbing the prison guard at the time he received the head injury! Instantaneously, my perspective shifted.

So much of life is perspective. I have been in the position of seeing an ongoing conflict between some people, and I have a fair amount of information on both sides. Each side is right on some things, and each side is wrong on other things. Neither has attempted to share their perspective with the other or sought to bring reconciliation, so misunderstandings abound and hurt feelings and emotions rule instead of the love of Christ (both sides involve Christians). Nobody is uncivil (except behind the other's backs), but neither is there unity or true love and fellowship.

It has caused me to reevaluate a couple of tense relationships that I have. Perhaps I am not seeking to understand the other person's perspective, and/or maybe I am blinded by my own hurt feelings or need to be "right." So I have been asking the Lord to give me His perspective on these relationships and to give me direction on what action to take. Do I need to just change my heart toward them, do I need to let love cover a multitude of sins, or maybe I have to do the harder thing, go to them and seek reconciliation and try to understand their perspective. I want to know I've done everything in my power to bring reconciliation. "Lord, change me into your image."

"Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

"The first to plead his case seems just, until another comes and examines him." Proverbs 18:17

Tuesday, August 2

I Corinthians for Moms

I am not having a very good Mommy day today, and I needed a reminder of what love looks like:

I can read bedtime stories till the cow jumps over the moon and sing "Ten Little Monkeys" until I want to call the doctor--but if I don't have love, I'm as annoying as a ringing phone.

I can chase a naked toddler through the house while cooking dinner and listening to voice mail, I can fix the best cookies and Kool-Aid in the neighborhood, and I can tell a sick child's temperature with one touch of my finger, but if I don't have love, I am nothing.

Love is patient while watching and praying by the front window when it's 30 minutes past curfew.

Love is kind when my teen says, "I hate you!"

It does not envy the neighbor's swimming pool or their brand new minivan, but trusts the Lord to provide every need.

Love does not brag when other parents share their disappointments and insecurities, and love rejoices when other families succeed.

It doesn't boast, even when I've multi-tasked all day long and my husband can't do more than one thing at a time.

Love is not rude when my spouse innocently asks, "What have you done today?"

It does not immediately seek after glory when we see talent in our children, but encourages them to get training and make wise choices.

It is not easily angered, even when my 15-year-old acts like the world revolves around her.

It does not delight in evil (is not self-righteous) when I remind my 17-year-old that he's going 83 in a 55-mph zone, but rejoices in the truth.

Love does not give up hope. It always protects our children's dignity and spirit, even while doling out discipline.

It always trusts God to protect our children when we cannot.

It always perseveres, through blue nail polish, burps and other bodily functions, rolled eyes and crossed arms, messy rooms and sleepovers.

Love never fails. But where there are memories of thousands of diaper changes and sleepless nights, they will fade away. Where there is talking back, it will (eventually) cease. (Please, Lord?)

Where there is a teenager who thinks she knows everything, there will one day be an adult who knows you did your best.

For we know we fail our children, and we pray they don't end up in therapy, but when we get to Heaven, our imperfect parenting will disappear. (Thank you, God!)

When we were children, we needed a parent to love and protect us. Now that we're parents ourselves, we have a heavenly Father who adores us, shelters us and holds us when we need to cry.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Monday, August 1

Am I Cheap or What?

We spent this weekend doing some fun activities, but it got me wondering if I am frugal, cheap, or just totally out of touch with today's expenses. Ed won tickets to the Le Mans Grand Prix this weekend. When we got to the Portland Raceway, of course we had to pay to park. It was a modest $5, but we had to walk at least a mile to get to the races (I honestly think it was farther, but I am trying to be conservative)! We brought water and snacks and had lunch before we entered, but we still ended up buying some drinks because it was so terribly hot. I guess I've seen worse prices than $12 for four drinks, but it still seems high to me.

I watched people buying programs and hats for $20 each, shaved ice (very popular) for $6 each, and then of course there's the alcohol! Margaritas for $6 and beer for $5, and people just kept drinking all day long. I haven't even mentioned that the tickets to get in cost $65 each day and the paddock passes are $10 per day, though kids 12 and under were free. The races weren't sold out, but there were plenty of people who plunked down that much money to see these cars zipping past at 180 mph.

Ed also went with a coworker on Friday, so if we had had to pay for what we did Friday and Saturday it would have cost us over $325. It was fun, but not THAT fun! Our family of four could spend two days at Disneyland for that price (okay, so maybe I just have different priorities and ideas about what's fun)! So I guess I've answered my own question: I am frugal AND cheap AND out of touch. Did I mention we went to the fair on Sunday...


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