Monday, July 27, 2009

Montana Bound

Could Hot Jeff be any more perfect? Last night when he came to bed and found me crying and writing over Gigi he said, "You should fly out there. Get online right now and see what the tickets cost to be there for her birthday". So I did and they were $588 a piece! So we laid in bed in silence for about 30 seconds when he said, "I have some vacation time and have been wanting to take a road trip with the kids. Lets leave on Tuesday".

So we're leaving in the still-dark morning and driving 15 hours (without kids so most likely 17 with kids) to Montana to spend Gigi's 84th birthday with her. We called her this morning to tell her. I had Samuel tell her and she got so excited she actually giggled. Then she cried a little bit. Then she giggled a little bit more.

The car is just gassed and loaded and I just got back from Walmart to get a whole boat load of snacks and water. I've got the portable DVD player packed and don't think the irony of the family who just went all Little House on the Prairie on you and is now packing a portable DVD player and like 72 hours worth of Bob the Builder, The Wiggles and Pixar movies is lost on me. Yeah, its a little disturbing but so is leaving your kids along I-90 because you can't stand their screaming anymore. 6 of 1; half dozen of another I suppose...

Would you please pray for us? I would love if you would pray blessings and safety over our trip, peace and comfort for Samuel & Roo and energy and patience for Hot Jeff and me. Please pray our time with my Mom and Gigi is rich.

I'll be blogging about our trip while I'm there and will certainly have some fun this-crap-only-happens-to-us stories.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yes, I know what day it is...PYKM is just one post down.
You're getting a 2-for-1 Monday...


I've been reluctant to write this post because I know you all like the funny ones but I can't sleep tonight (and I can always sleep) so I decided to get up and write about why I can't sleep.

Gigi is my Grandma Emily, my Mom's mom, and she lives in Montana where I grew up. Once we had Samuel we started calling her Gigi and now its stuck and she loves it, so Gigi it is. Gigi is who Baby Emily is named for.

My Mom had me when she was very young and my Dad split so that left Grama to help raise me, which she did gladly. She took me to a VBS at a Baptist church across the street where she lived and I liked it so much I made her take me on Sunday too. Pretty soon we had my Mom going too and before you knew it the two of them came to know Christ as their Savior and I followed suit when I was 11 (there is a whole lot to this story that I'm leaving out).

Grama has worked her whole life...and I mean worked hard. Even after she retired she worked at the local senior center helping to prepare meals to earn a little extra money. The hard work has left her body nearly crippled with arthritis.

You would never hear her complain though so in May when she began telling my Mom about the pain she was in and stopped going to coffee with her girlfriends we all knew something was up. To make a long story short she was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which means her spine is narrowing and putting horrific pain on her joints, all a part of the arthritis that riddles her body. Oh and did I mention she also has liver failure and congenital heart failure? Yeah, she's a walking time bomb but nothing, until now, has ever kept her down. Not even her failing heart. And, before I forget, I know you're wondering, she'll be 84 on Friday.

So in May my Mom had to make the difficult decision, along with Grama, to put her in a nursing home. She's gotten where she can barely walk, needs more care than my Mom (who has to work full time) can give her and needs a lot of physical therapy. Her doctors initially said it would only be for 3-4 weeks, like a rehab stint, but since she's "gone in" her health has declined and she doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Her pain is worsening and is now having to be controlled with heavy narcotics that make her really sick to her stomach. To fight the nausea they treat her with an anti-nausea that makes her sleep all the time. They are considerably limited to what meds they can treat her with because of her heart condition. Its this Catch-22 that sucks more than I ever thought anything could suck. She has gone from being a really vibrant, spunky, feisty old lady to merely existing and sometimes the thought of her in that room makes me so sad, so sick, so pissed that I can barely breathe. And in tonight's case: I can't sleep.

Since I moved to Oregon in '98 I have called her almost every day. We rarely go more than 2 days without speaking. She's got a cell phone and I can call that and still speak to her and I am really, really grateful for that. She has a roommate that she likes and she seems to like the staff and nurses--more things that I'm thankful for. She is, however, so unhappy and so desperately wants to go home. I can't imagine being faced with the prospect of going into a place and never coming out. I find myself wondering, almost daily now, if she will leave only to go Home and be with Jesus.

Because of her heart condition I always thought she would die suddenly. I would have never imagined this slow, dwindling death. Its in these teary nights that I think about God's mercy and His will and I wonder how it all works and I question if I know how to pray or not.

I also think about playing endless hours of cards. I think about riding around in an orange truck she called "Shasta" ("She hasta have gas. She hasta have oil."). I think about learning to make french toast, and No Bake cookes. I think about the look on her face when she met my children for the first time. I think about her seeing my Uncle Bob, her first born son who died in 2007, in heaven and how she will run to him, pain free, and hold him and tell him how much we've all missed him. Mostly I think about kissing her and telling her I'm sorry for all the times I was a punk and that even if the whole world forgets her I will always remember her and she has made a difference.

* a comment regarding the congetal heart disease. I meant congestive. I was tired and can't keep it all straight.
Praying for Your Kids Monday-- Self-Control

Could it be that Paul saved the hardest for last? Yikes. As I was rocking M to sleep tonight I was thinking of all the ways a person needs to have self-control. The list is really endless: time in the Word, emotions, spending, time management, actions, thoughts, speech (taming the tongue), physical health, eating/drinking, addictions etc. etc. And I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I think of all the fruits we've covered, this one is where the way we live our life has the most influential on our kids without even saying a word.

I'm not going to say a whole lot about this because we all know the areas in our life that need more self-control and unless you're a chump you probably know you need to change those areas. Go boldly before the Throne of Grace and ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, motivation, and strength so that you can be a godly example to your children. Self-control is not easy; I'm the first to admit that, but its worth it.

With that said... in Galatians the word self-control is the translation of the Greek enkrateia which means "possessing power, strong, having mastery or possession of, continent, self-controlled". I like what Proverbs 25:28 implies about self-control, "Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls." In the time this was written a city without walls was defenseless against outside enemies; its occupants were vulnerable to any foe who would wish evil upon them. Like a city without walls, when we have no self-control we have no defense against anger, lust, desires, selfishness and pride. Without self-control we weaken ourselves.

So this week let's pray for kids but ourselves too. I encourage you to pray this week that God will show you areas in your life that are open and defenseless and where you need to exercise more self-control. God I am so grateful that You haven't left me alone to wander without hope. You continuously guide me through Your Word what I should be doing and how I should be raising my kids. Thank You. Lord, this week I pray You will give me clear focus on the areas in my life that I need more self-control and even though it may be painful I pray You will give me strength to begin to make changes. God I pray for _________ that You will begin to show her what it means to have self-control and that You will put people in her life to be godly examples of self-control. You are the matchless example of self-control and I pray _______ will long to be like You. Amen.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Starting to Figure It Out

The precious first born of mine that we call Samuel is spirited. You're all familiar with the crazy things he's always saying which I take as a sign of sheer genius but for as quick witted as he is and as wickedly smart as he is, he is pretty much socially retarded. I say that with as much love as a mother can have for her child but its the truth. I'm certain much of it comes from the fact that he's never done the daycare scene and hasn't been old enough for preschool until this coming Fall. Plus, he's a first child. Plus, he's only 3. Plus, he's nuts.

Regardless, the kid can throw a tantrum like nobody's business. He's got this high pitched scream that can clear a room. If there is life on another planet they can hear Samuel's screaming--that's how loud it is. And if there is life on another planet and they are planning on coming to earth, killing all human life form and keeping Planet Earth as their own they are now rethinking that because they have heard Samuel's screaming and it has pierced their ears and struck fear in their hearts and any human who can scream like that is too much for them to take.

So in one regard, thank you Samuel for single handedly saving us from evil other life forms hell bent to destroy us. On the other hand, FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY PLEASE TAKE IT DOWN A NOTCH YOU LITTLE KNUCKLEHEAD. MY EARS ARE BLEEDING AND I'M ON THE VERGE OF SLAPPING YOU RIGHT HERE IN THE MIDDLE OF WINCO.

Ok, so here's where I get to the little nugget of where I am learning, albeit slowly, of what it means to put my children before myself. I have a Bible study at my house every Thursday morning with 3 dear friends. They all bring their kids and we have my 12 year old neighbor boy watch 7 kids under 6 (I know that is almost criminal but he likes the extra money and we're just in the other room if they try tying him up...). So anyway, back to my story, we had friends over for dinner last night and Samuel didn't get to bed until almost 9:45 verses his usual 7:30. Yikes. And so this morning, my very sweet on-a-good-day-not-a-morning-person son was done. I mean, like super-over- cooked-give-it-to-the-dog done. He was crying, rubbing his eyes, crying, hitting his sister, crying, couldn't decide on what video he wanted to watch, crying, holding his penis 'cause had to pee but was crying too hard to go, and crying.

After talking to the other ladies we decided it would be best if we cancelled this morning (Shannon's actual words upon hearing Samuel screaming in the background: "I'm not comin' over".) If Samuel is already strugging with being a good friend why would I subject him to other children on a morning when I know he's not emotionally capable of dealing. It would be setting up him to fail; I might as well put him in a timeout in his room right now because that's where he would end up. Of course putting him in a pre-emptive time out would eliminate the arm pulling, body dragging that would certainly accompany the time out following him hitting Claire over the head with a sandbox shovel.

Here are the two lessons I'm taking away from this morning's cancellation. For the record, neither came from me but from two people way smarter than me, one of who is of course, Sensei Jen Roth. 1) When we put our kids in difficult situations (i.e. keeping them up past their bedtime for our dinner guests) we have to show extra grace. It is not Samuel's fault he's tired and as a result grumpy and whiny. It would be easier on both of us, not to mention gracious, for me not to do everything that I am able to help ease him through the morning until he can get a good, fat nap in.

2) Recognize the difference between immaturity (developmentally normal immaturity) and disobedience and react appropriately. Sometimes, not all the times, Samuel just can't handle the social situations I put him in because he's just not emotionally mature enough to handle them. He's still little and figuring out the best way to handle frustration and anger without hitting or throwing himself on the floor. Its my job to be patient and give him the tools to figure it out. (By the way, I'm still trying to figure out what those tools are. I'm not ok with Samuel's tantrums and I don't want him to evolve in to a crazy brat that no one likes to be around but I'm confident this is just a stage and we'll get through it together with a lot of love, patience and tequila).

So that's it and I gotta go because Roo needs her diaper changed. And you know how much I love to chase her around just to catch her and have her flip out because God forbid I'm going to give her a nice dry diaper instead of the urine soaked one she's happily wearing right now...This post begs the question, What is up with my kids?? Seriously. They are trying to kill me, I just know it.

Don't let me forget to tell you about Samuel's playdate with Jackson earlier in the week and the lesson I learned about forgiveness.

p.s. I'm editing this 10 minutes later because I got distracted with M's diaper and forgot to add one point. God has blessed me this morning for showing kindness and grace to Samuel. Instead of having to get myself ready for Bible study I was able to snuggle in pajamas on the couch and watch Bob the Builder. The three of us snuggled and kissed and had breakfast. He came right out of his foul mood and we went outside and the kids played in the sandbox, in their pajamas, while I wrote this post. Samuel, while still needing a monster nap, is in a great mood. He's loving, affectionate and showing kindness to his sister. I firmly believe had I pressed on with the Bible study and mongo playdate it would have been a different story.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Things That Make You Go "Hmm"

If you're reading this in the morning before or during breakfast like Bestie Kim I just apologize right now because I am about to ASSAULT YOUR SENSES with my latest attempt to put my kids in therapy.

Warning: The following pictures may be offensive to some. I give you Hot Dog Octopuses (or is the plural octopusi?):

Facebook friend Margaret posted these pictures on Rachel's Facebook page because Rachel is always making fun things for her kids to eat. I was so intrigued by them I had to make them for my kids. They gobbled them right up and were totally enamored by "sgetti" coming out of hotdogs. Can you blame them??

Here's how you make them: quarter a hotdog and with a toothpick poke holes all the way through the dog. Insert uncooked noodle. Boil until noodle is tender.
Tip: I only inserted 4 noodles per hotdog and thought they came out looking a little wimpy. Next time I will use more noodles even though it will make my octopus anatomically incorrect.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hey there friends. I got an email from my dear friend Janet asking me to post some information here about a friend of hers whose son has cancer. It is a horrific story and I am happy to post an excerpt from her email so that we can get as many people praying for this little baby as possible. Feel free to cut and copy her email and send to your praying friends. I hope to post updates about Tyson's condition and progress as they learn more.

With such a grateful heart for praying and caring readers... Jen

I wanted to tell you about a little boy named Tyson. He is 6 months old. On July 10th, his mother Lori (a H.S. friend of mine) took Tyson into the Dr. for his 6 months check up. At that time they discussed a hard mass in Tyson's belly that Lori thought might be from constipation. Well, in the course of that day and a trip to the ER, Tyson was then taken to Doernbecher's Pediatric Oncology Unit. He is now being treated for Hepatoblastoma that is only found in children under 4 years of age. I am told there are less than 100 cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Tyson is now undergoing a series of chemo treatments. The cancer tumor is found on/in his liver and at this point is believed to not have spread to other organs.

Lori and Steve tried to have a child and finally Tyson came into their world in January of this year. As you can imagine, this was something that never would have occurred to them since Tyson was born a very healthy baby boy. I am sending you this so that you can post this in your blog and please share so that others can pray for Tyson, Lori and Steve.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Praying for Your Kids Monday--Gentleness

When I was younger I used to equate gentleness weakness. Thankfully, as I've gotten older, met more people and allowed the Holy Spirit to work in my life I've seen that gentleness is actually a sign of great strength.

God has blessed me with a very gentle husband. He's thoughtful in his words, tender in his teaching and cautious of others' feelings. As I watch him with Samuel and Emily I am grateful they have such a godly example of gentleness (as well as many other wonderful virtues that Jeff has). What's interesting though is while his gentle spirit is how I am quick to describe him I have never thought of him as weak, actually quite the opposite as though his gentleness gives him a quiet strength. I wasn't surprised then as I began researching for tonight to find the following passage:

The Greek translation of gentleness is prah-ot’-ace. The Greek language is a precise and expressive language. When the Greeks developed a word, they not only gave it a careful definition, but they almost always illustrated it. A tamed horse has yielded or submitted it’s strength; the strength of the animal is no longer wasted wildly, but has been focused in order to fulfill a purpose.

Gentleness then is power under control, submitted strength.

I believe gentleness is one of those virtues that tells the world we are followers of Christ. In ourselves we are unable to reign in strength and power and have gentle spirits. Paul tells us in Colossians to clothe ourselves in gentleness and we learn in Galatians that gentleness is a direct result of having the Spirit living in us and "Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives." (5:24-25; The Message)

So let us pray for our children to clothe themselves in gentleness and point others to Christ through their gentle words and actions. Lord, I pray for _________ to have a gentle spirit. I pray You will put people in his life that will be an example of power under control and that he will see submitted strength as a virtue and not a weakness. I pray You will draw ________ to You and pour Your Spirit out on him. It is in the gentle and powerful name of Christ I pray, Amen.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

NOT Pork Chop Slop

I've learned a valuable lesson in crock pot cooking: if you're using cream of chicken soup it doesn't really matter what else you're putting in it, its going to taste the same. Go ahead and send me you volatile emails telling me about your favorite cream-of-chicken-crock-pot-recipe that is sooooo good and doesn't taste like Pork Chop Slop but I doubt its going to change my mind.

I found this recipe on and it is exactly the same as Pork Chop Slop except there is some dijon mustard and lemon juice in it. Oh yeah, and you use chicken instead of pork chops. I omitted the carrots it called for because I didn't have any and served with noodles and steamed vegetables: zucchini straight from my not-a-square-foot garden. Rock on.

NOT Pork Chop Slop
Mix 2 cans of cream of chicken soup with 2T of lemon juice and 2T of dijon mustard. Add 2 T of minced garlic. Toss in 4 chicken breasts and 4 chopped carrots; stir to coat. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 4-5. Serve over egg noodles.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I would never speak bad of Hot Jeff, especially not on the internet for goodness sakes, but we did have a really funny conversation a couple of nights ago.

Here's the transcript:
Jen: I'm going up to take a shower; can you boil some pasta so its ready and we can eat when I get out?
HJ: Yes. What do I do?
Jen: Um, really?
HJ: Yeah, what do you want me to do?
Jen: I want you to bring this water to a boil and then put the pasta in it. Boil it until the noodles are al dente and then drain and put a little olive oil on them.
HJ: Ok, so I put the noodles in when the water boils....How do I know when they are done?
Jen: I'll set a timer and when it goes off pull one out and eat it and see if its tender.
HJ: Why olive oil?

This is where I decided to go get that shower in. There's no punch line to this story; I was just dumbfounded by it and wanted to share it all with you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Today I told Baby Roo to "come here" so I could change her diaper. Like every diaper change for the last 2 months, she took off running the opposite direction but this time it ended with a BAM as she ran right into her crib. She went down with a thud and loud wailing ensued. Later that day I was inspecting the knotted bruise on her forehead and thinking of how many times I've had the same experience with God.

He calls to me and I go running the opposite direction. Like Emily, my "running" isn't meant to be disobedient, its more because I don't want to stop doing what I'm doing or because of immaturity but don't be fooled, it is still disobedience. Like Emily, I don't think ahead of consequences, I just know I want my own way.

And let's be clear here friends, I didn't make Emily run into the crib and hit her head. I didn't wave a magic wand to place that hard, wooden crib in her path and "teach her a lesson". The consequence came naturally as she was running from me and not paying attention to where she was going. I think we're sometimes quick to blame God for when actually it may just be a natural consequence to sin. I know many of you of have a picture of God that He is just waiting for you to mess up so that He can thump you with his Holy Hammer. May I give you a tender reminder today of your Father's astounding love for you? Jeremiah 31:3 says, "The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Need a little more? How about John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

There are two more parallels I want to draw from Roo's folly today. One is that she's got a good ol' bump on her head as a little reminder. We too sometimes are left with scars when we run from God; you know what your scar is, maybe its physical and visible for the world to see or maybe its just a spot on your heart but you know what it is. Let it remind you that God only wants what's best for you. He's not calling you to do something that isn't the absolute best thing for you; He is unable of being anything other than good and while you may have other plans it may save you some heartache if you give in sooner rather than later.

Finally, what do you think I did as Emily lie crying on the floor? Do you think I turned my head from her and ignored her cry? Do you think I stomped over to her and admonished, "Well that's what you get you foolish little thing"? No, I ran to her, swept her up in my arms and kissed her. I whispered how much I loved her and that she was going to be ok. I explained she still needed her diaper changed and that I would be fast and then we would go downstairs and have a snack. And like a loving mother, how much more loving, forgiving and gracious is our Heavenly Father: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail (Lam 3:22).

*For more on God's astounding love and not treating us as our sins deserve check out Luke 15.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Well Hot Jeff and I have decided to go and get all Little House on the Prairie on you. We got rid of our cable (AND free TV too). I wish I could tell you it is because of moral reasons but it really isn't. When I tell you how the whole thing started it will appear to be heading down the road of moral reasons but it isn't so don't get your hopes up.

Last week I was discussing with a group of girlfriends on Facebook whether or not Miley Cyrus is a tramp. You know, just your typical Facebook conversation. Portland BFF Leah commented, in passing, that she and her husband didn't have a TV FOR FIVE YEARS. Well that changed my thinking from whether or not M. Cyrus was a tramp or not to what would it be like in our house with no TV? We love TV. I mean LOVE TV. We put the kids down and we are all about whatever crap is on. And in the Fall when all the good shows come on...well, there's just no question where we'll be after 8:00. We've tried the whole lets-just-watch-less-TV-and-read-more-thing but that just never works for us because the television has a great and strong power over us.

So we're sitting around on Saturday morning playing with the midgets, reading the paper, not watching TV and I say to Hot Jeff, "Hey, let's get rid of our TV" and without blinking an eye he says, "Ok". Now I know I have red hot persuasion power over Hot Jeff but even this astounded me. So we called the cable company (and we'll save $80 a month!!!) and started the no TV journey.

Now I gotta tell you, just so you know, we STILL have the TV. We're keeping it so we can watch videos. We spent all day Sunday debating just getting rid of the whole darn thing but decided it will be nice to have if we EVER GET A BABYSITTER and have a date night. Its also nice when the midgets go ape crazy and the only thing you can do to keep yourself from killing them is to put them in front The Wiggles (and then you just want to kill yourself).

I think Hot Jeff's hopes are really up because he commented that he thinks its a good thing he got the vasectomy (oh yes I did just go there) but I actually think I'll also probably spend a lot of my time blogging (lucky you), reading, studying and churning my own butter. Please someone step in and do an intervention if I start using Opal Francis to sew my children's clothes. Can't you just see Hot Jeff going to work in a stunning new shirt with a tag sewn in it that says, "Handmade with Love"?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

While I may joke about head shots please know I am incredibly humbled that any one takes the time to read this blog. It is so much fun for me to do and I am truly moved when someone says it made them laugh or encouraged them. I'm truly blessed when someone says they enjoy PYKM as it is a passion God has given me and I long for us to be a generation of Moms who are known for their commitment to praying for their kids, husbands and homes. -Jen

Praying for Your Kids Monday--Faithfulness

William Barclay in his "Book of Virtues" describes faithfulness as "a great word. It describes the person on whose faithful service we may rely, on whose loyalty we may depend, whose word we can unreservedly accept. It describes the person in whom there is the unswerving and inflexible fidelity of Jesus Christ, and the utter dependability of God."

Wow, wouldn't we all want to be described that way? Wouldn't we love to hear others describe our children like that? Faithfulness isn't a virtue that comes easily and in fact David says, "Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.
They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak."
(Psalm 12: 1-2).

In a society where the faithful disappear how ever more important it is for us to pray for God to raise up this virtue in our children so that they will be known as faithful men and women.

God You are so faithful to me and to my family; Your Word abounds with descriptions of Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your son Jesus who was faithful even unto death. I pray for _________ to see the example of Jesus and His faithfulness to You and Your work and be inspired to become a woman of faithfulness. Lord, please pour Your Spirit out on ________ so that people will say of her that she is reliable and loyal. I pray she will have unswerving and inflexible devotion to You. Amen.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Its official: I have a fan. Tonight after church we went to our church's coffee "shop" to get a couple iced mochas for the road and the gal taking my order said, "Are you Jen?" I figured church was a pretty safe place to admit that yes, indeed I was Jen. She told me she saw my gig at the Womens Retreat and then found my blog through Sensei Jen Roth's blog and she "loves it". EVEN HER HUSBAND READS IT. She's a true fan as she's made Submissive Chicken and had Ranch Nite at her place. Are you kidding me?!?! Jessica, as I found out was her name, is my one true love. Now true, she didn't say my blog "read like a good book" like new BFF Dena said but I'm pretty sure if Jessica wouldn't have had other customers she would have asked for my autograph.

I totally need to start carrying glossy head shots around.

Cheers to you Jessica. Thanks for making my day. Heck, who am I kidding? You made MY WHOLE LIFE!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Yes I have had a sinus infection but the reason why I haven't been blogging isn't because of that. I haven't been blogging because I have been so busy answering questions. Samuel's questions. From the mundane to the brilliant here are is a list of some of the questions I've been answering lately.

  • Mama, why does Daddy go to work?
  • Mama, why do we go outside?
  • Mama, why is our car silver?
  • Mama, why is our house brown?
  • Mama, why can't I see God?
  • Mama, why does the sun come in windows?
  • Mama, why is Emmy a girl?
  • Mama, why is Nana living far away?
  • Mama, why does Abigail wear big girl panties?
  • Mama, why is Hailey a cat?
  • Mama, why do you cook on a stove?

Seriously...from the minute I wake up in the morning to the minute I put him to bed, I hear Samuel's little questions. I always answer them but sometimes its through gritted teeth. :) Today we were coming home from the grocery store and he was firing questions at me and after I answered the last one I said, "Samuel, can we have some quiet time and can you please not ask me any questions until we get home?" Samuel's response: "Mama, why don't you want me to ask you questions?".

You can't make that stuff up.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

PYKM-- Goodness

Goodness seems to be a word of implication; people seem to use the word good to imply a bunch of other things. Here are some examples of what I mean: "He's a good kid" implies he obeys his parents, does well in school and stays out of trouble. "She's a good employee" implies she shows up on time, is efficient, thorough and ethical. So generally when I think of the fruit goodness I think of it as an umbrella over all the other fruits or rather that it is a fruit that encompasses all the other fruits.

As I thought about this virtue much of the weekend I wondered if it were just a blend of the other fruits why would Paul reference it all mixed in with the others? Why not say "the fruit of the Spirit is goodness, you know: love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."?

So I did my homework. If you're bored already then go ahead and skip to the bottom and start praying for goodness for your kids. If you're not, then keep reading and will unpack this together.

"Goodness" in this passage is the Greek translation for agathosune meaning "uprightness of heart and life". It seems to me Paul is asking us to live honest, ethical lives because others are watching us when we claim to be Christ followers. As the Spirit transforms us from old to new our lives should dramatically look different and when they do it points to Christ and God is glorified.

If we preach the message of Christ but don't live an upright life or have goodness then how much of our message is diminished? Matthew 5 tells us that we are the light of the world and that we are to let our "light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven". And perhaps if we're letting our goodness be our message then a lot less words will need to be used.

Finally, we are to live an upright life and pray goodness for our children because ultimately we want them to be like God and He is good. "And He said, 'I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.' (Exodus 33:19)

Usually I write my own prayers but Paul's prayer for goodness to the church in Thessalonica is just to beautiful and poetic not to use. I will paraphrase it for us (plus, there is nothing more powerful than praying God's word over your kids!):

God of goodness, I pray for You to fulfil my every desire of goodness and every work of faith for _________. I pray You will transform his life with Your amazing Spirit so that those around him will be drawn to You and come to know Your saving power. I pray ________ will live an upright life so the mighty and powerful name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Two years ago Saturday (July 4th 07) we found out we were having a second baby! We told our parents by emailing them this picture with the following written with it:
American Flag: $25.00
Barbecue Fixins': $50.00
Fireworks: $100.00
Realizing there is a 4th person in this picture: Priceless

(And yes, in case you were wondering,
this is the worst picture of me ever taken.
Note: I'm like 4 weeks pregnant in this picture, not 40.)

Alas, 2 days later we met the baby.
She was about the size of bean but had a strong heartbeat already!

And now, 2 years later... Look at her...
Skinned knees and taking in the dog show.

Lettin' those bubbles know who is boss...

We're crazy about you, Roo. Thanks for making our family complete.

Happy 4th of July, friends.
Thanks for taking this journey called life with me.