Thursday, May 29, 2008


I have the sweetest little boy. We had a good day today. Worked hard cleaning house (the children are very motivated right now because they are earning money for new swimsuits), read in the afternoon after school time, made a yummy supper together, went to the splash park and got Slurpees on the way home. An all-around great day. We were driving home and Nate says, "Mama, if they have phones in Heaven, I hope you call me when you get there. That way I can find your house. I'm sure I'll want to come over a lot once I get there. And I think, when you die, I'll buy your house. That way I can come and sit in the living room and think about you and have good memories. Like about days like today, 'cause it was the best day ever."

Sigh...if only I could put a brick on his head to keep him from growing. Seven is such a great age. What a sweetie.

Little heathen kids

Okay, not really. But sometimes they act like it! (Case in point: they were playing in the hose this morning outside and decided to spray water into the kitchen to make a "pond". I took Gabriel up to bed and came down to a good inch of standing water in my kitchen and laundry room. Took every towel in the house to mop it up. And turned the 25 lb sack of flour in the laundry room into one giant, heavy block of glue. But I digress.)

Anyway. My friend pointed something out to me the other day and it really stuck with me. She said it's no wonder that some Christians' children rebel. She said that some Christian parents seem to treat sinners better than their own children. That struck a nerve with me.

So many times we talk with our kids about how we should treat people in the world. We sing "This Little Light of Mine" and talk about shining our light in the world. And then we are harsh and impatient to the little sinners in our own homes.

Not that we shouldn't discipline our kids or expect good behavior. But we should treat our children as the first and most important prospective converts that we know. Just as God woos us to faith, we should woo our children to belief with love, patience, and kindness. We cannot expect them to act like they are full of the fruit of the Spirit until they are actually full of the Spirit, right?

This week I've been trying to whisper with my kids instead of yell. I've been focusing on lowering my voice and speaking firmly, but gently. And I've been seeing good results.

The next time you want to scream at the kids, take a breath and ask yourself, "Would I treat an unsaved friend this way"?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Just some free advice! (PG 13 rated)

I have to share you some wisdom I've gleaned in my years as an Emergency Room nurse (Warning, not for young eyes!)

There are some things you should not bring to the ER with you. Unless it is truly necessary (a parasite that you passed, etc) leave it at home! Here are the top few things I've seen (and didn't want to):

Urine in a pickle jar
A Gladware container full of stool
The tip of someone's finger, still in the glove he was wearing when it was ripped off by the machine
A LIVE snake in a milk carton (kill it first, please!)
A wild boar that had tusked a man - his family had gone out and stabbed it to death and hauled it in the back of their pickup.
Multiple Kleenexes full of phlegm, showing the progression in color of the woman's chest congestion.

Other free advice:

If your head hurts, try a Tylenol before immediately running to the ER.

It takes antibiotics 48-72 hrs to work. Don't run back to the hospital when you're not better the next day.

It is a staph infection, not a staff infection.

Douching with Coke is not birth control.

If you notice a funky smell "down there", check to see if you left a tampon in at the end of your last cycle.

Speaking of tampons, no, your tampon cannot escape and float freely in your abdomen. If you can't get yours out, squat down and try again.

You have to actually fill your prescription and take it for the medicine to work. Just having the piece of paper really doesn't do anything.

There is no cure for stupid.

The ER does not do "check ups" or immunizations.

Tylenol is not a one time deal. Yes, you may have to give your baby more than one dose during the course of his illness. The fact that his fever returns 6 hr after you last dosed him does not mean he is deathly ill.

Try to use correct terminology on your triage forms. Especially if you are going to leave it face up on the table so God and all His people walking by can read it. We really don't need to read about your illness in X-rated terms.

There is a magical place called Walgreens. They sell pregnancy tests for cheap. So does The Dollar Tree.

Make a list of your medications and keep it in your wallet. I really DON'T know what you are talking about when you say "I take the green pill and the white one."

If you have had abdominal pain for 2 yrs and show up at the ER with it, don't expect me to be in a hurry to help you. Obviously you have not been in a hurry to get it taken care of either.

Wounds must be sutured within 12 hrs. Putting bleach and duct tape on a wound does not count as first aid.

We live in Texas. It is summer. If you go out on your boat all day and drink beer in the heat, you will get sick. Really.

Lawn mower blades are sharp. Don't put your hand it it while it is running.

Table saws and narcotic cough medicines are a bad mix.

Yes, the man having the heart attack WILL go before you when you are here for a sore throat.

If you have not had a period in nine months, have gained 30 lb in your stomach area and are having severe abdominal cramps it is called labor. You don't have a tumor, you are having a baby. Really.

That's it for now!

Friday, May 23, 2008

10 great years!

Just wanted to post a little shout out tonight to my wonderful husband, Philip. We celebrated 10 wonderful years of marriage today. It's been a (mostly) fun ride and I thank God that He gave me such a great husband and fantastic father to our kids. You rock, honey!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Yesterday, Nate and I discussed the Sixth Commandment. He wanted to know what the difference was between killing in wars and murder. We had a very thought provoking discussion and I was surprised at his depth of insight.

Then today he comes up and says, "Mommy, how come if God hates murder, and we're supposed to love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates, you like to watch CSI and Law and Order? Aren't those just about murder? I don't think you really love the things God loves if you think those shows are so interesting."


Out of the mouths of babes...

Ten Commandments, continued

So, does anyone know a good way to explain adultery to a seven year old? I thought I had explained it decently until Nate was watching Dancing With the Stars and started shrieking for me to come into the room. "Mommy, Kristy just committed adultery!" Actually, she just kissed Bruno on the cheek during their routine.

Monday, May 19, 2008


We've been memorizing the Ten Commandments. Nate was reciting them tonight for Philip and got stuck. I prompted him with "Remember..." He looked at me triumphantly and said "Remember the Fourth Commandment!"

(The Fourth Commandment is "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy" - in case you forgot too. :) )

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bad housekeeping

So, I'm not the best housekeeper. Our house is not a pit, but it will never grace the cover of Ladies Home Journal. And now, I have scientific data to back up my preference for "good enough" instead of perfect.

Scientists have found that rising rates of asthma and auto-immune disorders may trace back to having oversanitized our environments. Our immune systems are like elementary school boys. If we don't give them challenges and obstacles in the form of germs and dirt, they will over react to minor threats, causing us to be sick. This is one cause of the swelling tide of lupus, crohn's disease, asthma and severe food allergies. We're doing it to ourselves.

I'm going to cut this short and go vacuum. Or on second thought, take a nap.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Does God lie?

So, the Bible is pretty clear about children.

They are:
Rewards (Psalm 127:3)
Crowns (Proverbs 17:6)
A Heritage (Psalm 127:3)
Gifts (Genesis 33:5)
Arrows (Psalm 127:4)
Fruit (Genesis 28:3)
Known and Ordained by God (Jeremiah 1:5)
Olive shoots (Psalm 128:3)
Blessings (Genesis 1:28)

While some of these things seems strange to us, if you really think about them they have have a deep and rich meaning. Olive shoots, for example, were very special to the Hebrew people. They would grow into olive trees, which were symbols of Israel itself, and produced life-giving olive oil (which has many symbolic meanings: anointing, gladness, joy, healing, etc).

The question is, why don't I always think my kids are blessings, rewards, gifts, etc? Is God a liar, or have I failed to train them to be blessings.

Recently, we went to the zoo. While we were there, I had some problems with Nathan. He kept wandering off. It is difficult enough to keep an eye on 4 kids (Gabe was sleeping in the sling) without having one of them running off. Finally, I took him aside and said, "Nate, you are old enough to obey Mommy. You should be a blessing and helper to Mommy instead of being a problem." He came to me later and apologized for running off. He was very helpful for the rest of the day.

I think one issue in our society today is that we do not train our children to be helpers and blessings. They spend so much time sitting in desks at school, being shuttled from one activity to another, and doing homework that we feel guilty making them do anything around the house. So we wait on them like servants and then wonder why we feel put out and slavish. Maybe because we are not expecting them to fulfill the role God has made for them.

Philip teaches in his class that when you do good things you feel good about yourself. His students have been taught for years all this psycho babble about self-esteem. That they are inherently worthy of feeling high self esteem. But the kids already know deep down that self-esteem based of false praise is worthless. The best way to truly feel good about yourself is to do something good (and deal with guilt, but that's a whole other post).

There is a family in Arkansas that is expecting their 18th child. They have been featured in several specials on TLC. I have heard so much criticism of this family. People complain that the older children must have no childhood because they have to work hard, or that the younger ones have no individuality or time alone with Mom and Dad. But the children appear very happy. They seem content in knowing what their responsibilities are. Compare that to the dissatisfied smirks and general petulance of most American teens. We have reared them to be tiny dictators instead of helpers and blessings.

The next time you find yourself bemoaning your child's attitude, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you have helped create their sense of entitlement by not training them to be blessings.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Many of my friends enjoy horror movies. I hear my co-workers discuss how terrified they were at the latest slasher flick and recount with joy how they had horrible dreams afterward. When I say I don't like horror films (I still have occasional nightmares about "Silence of the Lambs"), they act shocked. "You have to work up to it," they say. "The more you watch, the more it won't bother you." Possibly true, but is that a good thing?

Should we inoculate ourselves against fear? Should we scratch ourselves with the sandpaper of horror flicks/books/media until we develop spiritual calluses? Should we desire nice little numb spots on our souls where we can't feel fear? Because there are real things in life to fear. A death without Christ, eternal damnation (yes, it's real, folks!), falling prey to the devil's schemes, the wrath of a just God: these are all things to be feared. But when we have numbed our souls to fear we cannot rightly feel the fear we should. Pain is a gift (just ask a leper), just as real fear is a gift. We are scared of jumping off a cliff because of a little thing called gravity.

The old hymn says, "'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved..." God has given us healthy fear so we will understand the gravity of the judgment to come. But He has also given us a release from fear - the assurance of salvation through His Son. I think this is what is meant by I John 4:18, "There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out all fear." We need not fear judgment and damnation when we are saved by the One who loved us and gave Himself up for us.