Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Anyhow, Pea climbed up immediately and layed down like an old pro too, even before Princess, but they told him he had to go play first. So when it was his turn, he just layed down again. (For all of you English teachers - I can't remember if it should be laid or layed?) They brushed his teeth, and he did great, even when other kids were screaming! Then he got the fluoride treatment and still did great. He loves to brush at home, but now we have to floss his teach too. His teeth are spaced closer together than Princess' are.
They got their prizes - a ball (of course) for Pea and a frog for Princess, stickers, floss, and toothbrushes for each.
I'm so proud of my little dental patients!
Sidenote: I have been studying her lately - trying to figure out her learning style, trying to figure out how to best communicate with her at this age during the strong-willed outbursts. She is very much a visual auditory learner. I think she could learn anything on a video, but of course, I want more involvement than that. Yesterday, we purchased a feelings chart, (a tip from a library book) and it has already helped communications enormously, and though I could have made one, it only cost $1.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Then, today, I went through the drive-thru of same said establishment. (I know horrible crime to go to a fast food place 2 days in a row - don't even think about that part of the story.) Oops. Shame on me. I forgot to order my drink at the ordering window. I asked at the payment window if it was too late to order. If it was, I would happily go home without a drink. The cashier rolled her eyes with disgust, and let me order.
So I was thinking about all of this bad customer service and how horribly I was treated. I could stand up and say, "This is an injustice. Your workers have not treated me with respect." Why do so many of us feel that all injustices have to be fought?
Normally, I would not say such a thing. You see I grew up in a home with a dad who believed he should always be respected and treated very well, and even now, as I write, I do not wish to dishonor him as my parent. But these things are true statements that were well known facts about my dad. If we were poorly treated in a restaurant, we would have to get up in the middle of the meal, tell the owners we should not have to pay for such a crime, and everyone would know that he had poor service and he would act like a horses's behind so that everyone knew his injustice. So I grew up wanting to be totally opposite of this. I did not care if everyone and their brother ran over me, I would NOT treat someone like that.
So, I am not natually inclined to want my rights to be fulfilled in a situation such as that. As I was thinking, this came to mind: I have no idea if the ladies at that particular restaurant know anything about God at all. I do. I have the responsibility to show them proper respect. They have no responsibility to show me respect at all. So I shouldn't call the manager or stop going to the restaurant. I know these same ladies work there every day. Maybe I could do something totally opposite - like an unexpected kindness. Perhaps I could get to know their names, and build a relationship with them somehow by the extra courtesies that one does not usually do. So that is what I want to do. I'm not sure what unexpected kindness to do yet, but I want to be proactive in my thoughts and attitudes toward them.
I guess I should adopt a similar attitude to those who have offended me time and time again too. What do you think? Please leave a comment. I would love to know your thoughts!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I can be brave, but right now I am fearful. Fearful of having another child, because I am fearful of not being the mother that I should/need to be. I really desire to have another, and it seems that all around me people are either having another one or are talking about it too, but I just don't know how I could manage. I already feel as though I fail at motherhood daily. For a while, parenting these two was getting easier, but we are going through a rough patch again, and I haven't submitted my plans for another child to God to know His will. Actually, I think I understand His will for us in this area, but I am struggling with the plans He has for me. However, I know that children are a gift from the Lord.
In today's study, Beth Moore had a great observation about perfectionism, which I mention because in regards to parenting, I want to be perfect. In other areas, I am able to let things go easier, but in parenting, I struggle. She writes, "I'm not suggesting we shouldn't do our best. I'm simply saying that sometimes just surviving certain tasks without falling apart IS our best and in those times God is not ashamed of our performance....God isn't interested in our stellar performance but in our hearts. He loves our willingness and obedience despite our insecurities." How much I need to hear those words as a mother.
When I was thinking of my greatest fear, of course, my children came to mind. In the middle of the night Princess woke up screaming Monday night, and I came back to bed wide awake and all I could do was pray. So often I want to hear encouraging words from others, but as I was laying there, I realized that God alone is my strength and my encouragement. He, even though we think of him as a male, is my mother figure too. He can give me advise on what to do when I'm confused as a mom. He is my children's very best parent. When I fail, He is still parenting them over and beyond any of my earthly efforts, so I should not worry. Thank you and amen for that, Lord!
What is your greatest fear and how can it be used for the kingdom of God for a time such as this?
This morning he climbed out of his crib and landed with a thud in his bedroom. I guess it is time for a big boy bed for him!
He also wandered away from me at the library as he has absolutely no fear of anything. I was momentarily terrified, but sighed with relief when I heard him say, "Yay!" as he put his newly checked out book into the returned books bin.
I already have to watch him like a hawk - what kind of eyes will I have to get now? I have always been anti-leash, but now I am thinking of buying one. At least he will be safe. Got any thoughts?
Princess was a piece of cake compared to Pea in regards to obeying and staying right by my side when she was that age (and still). Emotionally, even though he is quick tempered, Pea is a piece of cake compared to her.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
"No, don't stand on the couch."
"No, don't hit your sister."
"No, don't run toward the ledge in our yard."
"No, that's not a ball. Don't throw it."
And in times of plain desperation, I simply say, "NOOOOO!" So, now I will get to hear "no" over and over again too. Due to the vocabulary mastery, little Pea appears to have an opinion on everything, and he can express it. However, the good thing is that he can also say, "yes!" And he does. Occasionally.
Me: Do you want a banana? Pea: "yesh"
Me: Any food? Pea: "yesh"
And he says "please," "thank-you," and attempts to say, "I'm sorry." Isn't it so cute!
Comparatively speaking, this is about the same timeframe in Princess's life when she was gaining another sibling and her vocabulary was leaping off the page each day too. I can't imagine Pea gaining another sibling now.
If we do have a third, I do pray Pea can go to the potty easier than Princess. I am learning as a mom and teacher though. I should have majored in family and child development, because I have to go to the library regularly to learn how to teach my children. Who knew?
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Tuesday of this week I was overwhelmed and stressed. Overwhelmed with a child who has been sick for 7 weeks. Worried about the other child who has grown distant and uncommunicative. Wondering if I could possibly have another child in the midst of these two. Wanting to go on a mission trip, but not knowing if it is part of God's plan or how that would work.
Wednesday we finally got into the doctor to find out that Pea has a double ear infection. Hallelujah! Finally, we can take medicine for it, and hopefully he will get better. Unlike Princess whose body immediately rejected the idea of an ear infection (when she had her only one a few years ago) with an extremely high fever, Pea's body was slow to react with almost no fever at all. The power went out at 1:15 pm, while my sister was visiting. The kids napped as usual, but the power was still not on by dinner time, so we went out to eat at Taziki's. We did not get to see Lost this week, as the power came on as I predicted right on the dot of 9 pm. The kids had fun in the candlelight anyway.
Thursday, I went to the Mommy Connection for some much needed mommy time and encouragement. I am not insane after all. Parenting really is hard for others too. Then after nap time I drove to my mom's and back to drop the kids off, so Daniel and I could have a date. We went to Sol y Luna and had a great time. Stress and the air of depression were still lingering on me, so it was nice to be refreshed with him.
Friday, I went back to my mom's to take the kids to visit the grandparents. My grandmother was very sick, and we did not get to visit with her. I went to the grocery store after the kid's went to bed. Later, Daniel and I talked more about my worries.
Today, Saturday, daddy made breakfast for the family. We gave each other Valentine's. Pea was happier and definitely getting better. Thank the Good Lord! Then daddy went to referee Upward as usual. We met him up there and let the kids see part of a game. Then we had a Valentine's family lunch. Naptime for Pea. Quiet time for Princess. Then a 1st birthday party that Princess and I attended. Then playing outside with the neighbor kids. Then we babysat the C&Z! What a fun filled long day we had.
Tomorrow, we hope to keep the kids in Sunday school. Go to our own Sunday school. Have nap time and then go to Life Group as usual.
Monday, February 9, 2009
- In the book, "Multiple Blessings," Kate Gosselin writes, "I learned that being the mother of six infants I was going to need to tend to the most critical problems first; from that point on, Collin and Aaden received most, if not all, of my "liquid gold." I took this "milk lesson" to heart, knowing that I, just like the milk, could easily be of little good to anyone if I spread myself too thin. I was most helpful if I gave my full attention to whoever needed me the most at any given time."
- Last night we looked at Esther in our small group, which is separate from my Beth Moore study. We were discussing how we can be Esthers and "make the most of every opportunity" (Col. 4:5). I said that sometimes it is hard to see opportunities when you are a stay at home mom, except for the children. To which Brandon replied with a story that I do not remember exactly, but the gist was that sometimes you make better disciples when you only invest in one or two rather than six, eight, or two hundred, so that perhaps my disciples are my children and that's all God has called me to do at this time in my life, considering that no other doors have opened yet.
- I'll give a plug for another blog I read, Desiring God, to this post in particular. Again, I cannot meet all of my children's needs, because I cannot even know all of the needs. However, God does and He can.
- And a few months ago I was having an email conversation with a friend. We only chat via email. We met at a playgroup while I was pregnant with Pea, (I've only seen her once since), but God has used her to encourage me. I had requested prayer and this was what she emailed me in response:
I only have two kids, but I struggle with meeting their needs. God is telling me that He can meet the needs that I cannot meet and that is is indeed okay. He knows that I cannot do it all! What a comfort and blessing this is, especially as I've had trouble making peace with having a third one in knowing how chaotic I already feel at times.
"So having four kids and managing it all is a dance...it is quite clumsy and chaotic! Most people who observe the first few times around us are overwhelmed and probably don't want so many kids. Once you are around long enough, you see the grace and beauty of having four kids. No, I will never be able to give them ample one on one time, but God gave me peace. No, their needs are never met as promptly, but God gives them peace! I feel like the greatest gift I can give my children is the knowledge that they are not the center of the universe, nor does it revolve around them. From early on they had to deal with patiently waiting for me to tend to their needs. They had to patiently share toys with siblings. God's grace abounds in their hearts because they need it! They need God's help to love and share with their siblings. The greatest gift my children have is the knowledge that they need God. They don't need me-I can't do it all. They don't need friends-they aren't always available. They don't need family-they have their own needs. Of course thriving involves a healthy balance of all these gifts God gave us all. But my kids do not rely on any earthly thing or person too heavily because they have never had the luxury! Any problem or situation we point their hearts to God through prayers, forgiveness, asking for help, etc. Daily I see the things my children go without, but I know and have seen God meet their needs (according to his riches in glory)!!! I rely on God to manage and enjoy the life I asked for and the one he gave me. I am teaching my children to do the same. In the end, what more can you ask for?!?"
However, a second question came to my mind. Is this blog a watered down version of discipleship since I cannot fully speak with all of you? or is it indeed a worthy way to use my time for His glory? Your thoughts?
Saturday, February 7, 2009
“There was no bitterness within her, though Helen had experienced terrible, mindless evil. It would have been so easy to demand of God why He allowed these atrocities, when she had been so faithful to His service. But in her heart of hearts, she felt that God’s question would be, “Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?”
I wanted to also participate in the Cafe Chat today, though I will have a hard time answering the question. This question reminds me of the questions asked in "The Shack," which is a wonderful book if you have never read it. In a past post I talked about being in the darkness with God, but it was because I could not find Him. That is as Beth Moore calls it in her new Esther video, Session 1, "a fate worse than death." I think the most difficult thing one can experience is the absence of God's presence when you have been so close to Him. With that said, I do wonder just how I would react to suffering of this kind - the sudden death of my children or my husband, getting sick while the children are young, etc.
I want to trust God in all things, and having experienced the withdrawal, so to speak, of His presence, I realized that He is exactly who He says He is. He is a good God even if I cannot feel Him. He is my very breath and sustenance. Without Him and only Him, I am nothing. Nothing else defines me, even my children and husband. God is in control all the time, and even when Satan gets his foot in our door with a hurt of this magnitude, how awesome our response is when we trust in Christ and do not allow Satan a victory by graveling or blaming God. These experiences are the fire that purifies us as in 1 Peter 1:6-7, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
All that to say, I doubt I would be so trusting, but I certainly hope that through God's power I would be.
Today I am responding to a question I read over at Keeper of the Home. I don't know that I am naturally a Type A personality, but I am inclined to want to be the best and do the best at everything I do. Some of this is rooted in insecurity which is a sin struggle I have. I too often compare myself to other's accomplishments, especially in regard to housework and parenting. Yesterday, I was having an internal battle about some choices that I am trying to make, that I have not fully given over to God. I don't always have a clean home as in everything is not always in its perfect spot. My kids don't always do and know everything that other kids do and know. They are still young and developing, but I make comparisions, and instead of accepting and seeing what I am doing right, I place more expectations on myself as a mother, wife, and believer of the King. I fail to make the right priorities. Then, when my child has an accident going to the potty, I think, this is all my fault. I am a failure here. Then I proceed to list off everything that I am doing wrong.
So yes, I get stressed out and very overwhelmed, and it is most always my doing. As I was talking to my husband last night about the decisions and things I was pondering, I realized that I was the one who set myself up to explode - me and no one else. I had my expectations up so high that I was having trouble believing that I could make a decision to go down another road that perhaps God wants. Setting my expectations too high affects me, my self esteem, my children, my husband, the atmosphere of our home, and my obedience to the Father. When I set expectations for myself and the children that are too high, I do not show the Savior's loving kindness when the children make mistakes. They probably do not realize that I am upset with myself and not them, and I do not want to devalue my children at all. I want them to know without a doubt that they are valuable and loved by Christ.
For me to release the expectations and lighten the burden, I need to stop making comparisions and focus more on the accomplishments. I need to give every moment and task over to the Father and ask him what is the most important thing that I achieve in that moment. I need to renew my mind and take on the mind of Christ.
Friday, February 6, 2009
To know the background, a couple of days ago Daniel was bathing the kids. I was taking a break, and I hear him and the kids yelling, "Mommy! Mommy! Where are you?! Where are you!?" Well, Pea had pooped in the bathtub, and this is the first time I recall him ever doing it, and Princess and Pea were both in there, so Daniel panicked a little bit. He managed to take care of the problem all by himself. However, he totally freaked Pea out. So then a couple of days later, at their next bath, Daniel made a big point of saying,"Don't poo-poo in the tub." So Pea proceded to stand there and point to the drain, where he had last seen the poo-poo, and he said in his tiny voice, "poo-poo." You could tell that he was totally worried about it.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
So, I have a couple of postscripts to add to Esther:
1. Just because I was advocating being yourself does not mean I advocate being yourself. I advocate being yourself within the context of God and His expectations for you.
2. Even though I said I would like to be the "it" girl, I would never actually want to be part of a harem. I can't imagine I would handle the pressure of a year's worth of beautification procedures and being around all those women for so long. I'm sure I would make some friends, but then again, how many hateful words would I have to hear? Not to mention that none of these girls were asked if they wanted to be queen. They were virgins who upon chosen had to one by one spend a night with the king. What do you suppose went on in there? You know! If one was not chosen to be queen, they were left with none of their virtuosity and might have been disposable, so to say that I would like to be "it" was not saying that I wanted to undergo any of this. I am glad that I got to choose my husband and that he chose me.
If you are up past bedtime, you can ramble, right?
I do not like to wait, but I know God has called me to wait. I don't think one ever truly stops waiting for something. So, as I wait, I place my trust in Him. Lord, help me to pray more and expect to see You more in the areas that I wait! The word of the Lord is my strength...
And, if you've been following my blog, you know that my Princess does not nap, and even though she is able to get through the day without fussing, so to speak, I do wonder if some of her stubbornness does come from needing more sleep, so I would love to read this particular book, "The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems" by Elizabeth Pantley. I would like to read about the research she has done on sleep pressure. She says that a 3 year old should only be awake for 6-8 hours in a span, and my Princess is up for 12 hours and sleeps 12 hours. I doubt I can reverse time to make her nap again, but I would still love to have this as a future resource. To anyone who believes that I have done something wrong in getting my child to sleep during the day, I would say to them, that I would LOVE for them to show me how to achieve the nap. I am very much pro-nap, so I was shocked when Princess stopped taking one. And if this book happens to give more tips on getting a child to nap when napping seems impossible, I'm all for seeing what it says.
For more information about this book, you can visit: http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth.
Hoping that I win,
P. S. I'm also very interested in the potty training book, as I am sure that I have done something wrong even though my child goes potty. She has been so stubborn in this area!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
When Daniel and I got married, each one of us had a lot of junk. We still have some junk from the past, but most of it has now been sorted and kept, given away, or thrown in the trash. Now, the overabundance is really children's items - like toys and clothes.
The main thing is the toys. I miss the simplicity we had before children came along with a bunch of baby supplies and toys. Every few months I have to store some new clothes in the attic, just in case we have a new baby. And at first, when there was just one, we did not have a lot of toys, but now we have an abundance, one set for a girl, and one set for a boy. Cars and balls for Pea, babies and dressup items for Princess. Ugh!
I think we have so many toys that the only thing Pea is able to do with them is dump them out into big piles, move to the next storage area, dump it out, and so on and so on. This is not my idea of fun. When there was less toys, I could focus on playing with one with Princess (before Pea was here) and teach her very detailed information. Now I am left to clean up behind the whirlwind that is Pea, and I don't feel like I get to enjoy playing or teaching as much as I want, so all these toys feel like a hindrance.
Sometimes, when I think about it, I think the solution would be to move into a bigger home. Afterall, we would like to have more children. However, we are to be good stewards of the things God has given us, and everything we own is on loan from God. We are abundantly blessed and were able to pay off our home last year. I don't think it would really be very wise to go from having no debt to quickly gaining another mortgage, even though the housing prices are down and we could perhaps get a good deal. We've been given a great gift in owning this home, so I know that a bigger house would not be the solution. Besides, I can barely clean the one I've got, not to imagine cleaning a bigger one!
We are studying the Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn at church, so today as I was working on the children's rooms and storing their items, I thought about this verses from Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." I am very doubtful that there are as many treasures stored up for me in heaven as I store up here on earth. I spend so much time storing treasures that I wonder if I am storing up the right treatures, the treasures that matter. Investing in a kingdom that is unseen must be deliberate and decisive in a world that is run by excess and distractive opportunities. We tithe, but I dare say we are not deliberate enough in our service to others. Honestly, I think those who are willing to sell off this earthly junk and move into an unknown land to serve Him have the right idea. Like my friend, Jess, or my blogger bud, Shirley.
How can you be more deliberate about storing up heavenly treasures?
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
As I told you here, I am studying the book of Esther at church. It is a Beth Moore study and so very good. As a result of the study, in the back of my mind, I have been asking myself, "Why am I here for such a time as this?" or more directly, "What is my purpose?" The very beginning of the study we are talking about beauty treatments and such and rest assured Beth does not rest on outer beauty, but if you are at least a little insecure like I am, then you are uncomfortable, because by golly, I would really like to be the "it" girl - the girl chosen to be the queen. Not only was Esther chosen by the king, but she was favored among the eunuch who prepared her and the rest of the women in the harem. She was indeed the popular one that John Locke and I so desperately want to be. If you need some background, see my post here about my struggles with loneliness and imitating the wrong things. However, I don't think Esther was really trying to win a popularity contest, she was simply being Esther!!
Some facts about Esther (just for your enjoyment):
- she was an orphan
- she was Jewish
- she was raised by her cousin Mordecai (a man)
- she was lovely to look at
- she was favored by the eunuch who attended to the harem of women who were to be potentially selected as queen by Xerxes
- when she was to go into the king she took only what the eunuch advised
- she told no one in the harem, including the eunuch and the king, that she was orphaned and Jewish
One thing I know for sure - God has guided me every step of my life even when I felt alone and misguided. In all things God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). And even though I feel lost in my own generation, I know God has placed me in this generation for a purpose!
Are you living the life God designed for you? And how are you made for such a time as this? I write all of these things to make you aware that God has intricately designed every detail of our lives, and sometimes even the things that seem insignificant and small, even what seems to be a hopeless, mistake-filled life is just a step on the path leading you to your purpose. We all struggle - mine currently is insecurity, yours may be homosexuality. Whatever the case may be, we die to self to allow Him to live in us and fulfill our destinies for Him and His glory.
Monday, February 2, 2009
First I want to tell you about the character John Locke from Lost. If you've never seen this show, you can skip the details about him, and you should really look into watching it - it's the best written show on television.
John Locke is my least favorite character on Lost. I will spare you all the details from the show just to give a few highlights. When the plane crashed on the island, he was in a wheelchair paralyzed from the waist down and upon crashing, he was miraculously healed and was able to walk again. He is classified as "the man of faith" and fought for leadership over the crashees. Lost tells stories about each character out of sequence, but here are some things I have gathered about John Locke over the course of his life for the rest of you Losties who read my blog too.
- he was born out of wedlock to a young teenager who wanted him but abandoned him.
- he was born premature and had to struggle to survive.
- he lived in and out of foster care all of his life.
- when he was a young boy, he was visited by Richard Alpert and chose the knife but thought about choosing the compass (I think)
- when he was a teenager he was chosen to go to a special school that I think may have been run by the Others (Richard Alpert), a science camp, but he denied going because he wanted to be popular, an athlete like the other kids.
- he gave his kidney to his con-man father and continued to chase his father even after he found out that his dad conned him to get his kidney.
- he was part of a combine, religous cult type group.
- his father actually pushed him out of the window and caused his paralysis.
- he wanted his con-man father's love over his girlfriend's.
To pass the time, be thinking about how you too try to be something you are not. Do you help or hinder others in being who they are created?