Thursday, October 30, 2008

Little poop

This morning Abigail was acting terrible. She just kept getting into one scuffle after another, harrassing her brothers and sisters constantly. The last straw was when Gabriel began to scream. I turned and found Abby sitting next to him trying to look innocent. I asked her if she knew why he was screaming. She smiled and said, "Yes, I pinched him."

"Abby," I exclaimed, "You are not acting very nice today. You are acting like a little poop instead of a little princess."

She grinned at me. "Oh Mommy, that is so silly. Poops don't do anything. They just lay there in the toilet. I don't ever lay in the toilet."

Can't really argue with her logic.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

To put it another way....

I love Randy Alcorn. He has a way of putting things in perspective. This is why he says he is voting for McCain instead of Obama:

"What would you think if a politician said 'I'm not pro-rape, I'm simply prochoice about rape. And though I would not choose to rape a woman, I believe that every man should be free to rape a woman if that is his personal choice.?"

Yet we accept this type of logic regarding abortion. Ack, my brain hurts from the cognitive dissonance.

Check out more of his insights here.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Taking a large brood of children to Target requires planning. I tempt them with the promise of a cookie (free over in the bakery) if I see good behavior. I strap Gabriel onto my back, put Luke in the cart seat and admonish the other three with the Prime Directive (Stay with Mommy!) We head into the store and are moving through the aisles with ease. No squabbling, things I need are on sale, all is good.

And then I realize Anna is not behind me. What? She was just with me in office supplies. I begin to shout for her and search the aisles. I find her two aisles over, staring straight ahead, frozen against the endcap with her arms in bent position.

I tap her on the shoulder. "Anna, why aren't you with Mommy?"

Anna turns, eyes incredulous, and says plaintively, "Mommy, don't you know? I'm a robot. I can only turn if you tap me on the shoulder and tell me how many steps to take. Duh!"

I explain that there is only one of me and five of them and I really need her to keep her eyes on me. Her lip pops out in a pout and she says, "Mommy, you can't blame me. The people at the factory made me this way. I'm just a robot."

O brother.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

So easy a child could understand

Nate asked me the other day why I was not voting for Obama. They had seen some presidential ads on TV and Nate said, "Mom, he talks really nice. And he wants us all to share and be nice to our neighbors. That's good stuff." I agreed and explained that while I do agree with and can respect Obama's positions on some issues, I disagree with him on others, like abortion.

Nate asked what abortion was. After taking a deep breath to consider how I should respond, I explained that sometimes when a mommy has a baby in her tummy, she decides for some reason that she doesn't want to have a baby and she goes to a special doctor who kills the baby in her tummy and takes it out. (I assured him that I would never even think about such a thing, and my doctors would never hurt a baby in my tummy.)

Nate's eyes got huge and wet and he whispered, "But Mama, that is wrong. How could someone do that to a baby? God says babies are a gift. Don't they know that?" I began to weep and hugged him close.

"Yes, Nate, babies are a gift. Some people just don't know it," I said as I comforted him.

"Well, Mama, why don't we tell them? Why don't we make a movie and show them how great babies are? Maybe we could give them our address and they could just give their babies to us when they are born. We need more babies, Mama."

I explained that people did not understand because they were held captive by sin. The eyes of their understanding are blinded because they are slaves to the devil. I told him we needed to pray that people would be freed. That they would come to know Jesus and believe in the truth. That when people know God, they understand His blessings. We prayed together and snuggled for a while.

Why is it that an eight year old who loves God can see clearly what many grownups cannot?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stay down....

So, I was really getting in the groove in mid September. We were getting into a great rhythm with homeschooling, the house was staying relatively clean, and I was attending a fantastic Bible study ("Lord, I Need Grace Just to Make It Today" by Kay Arthur - totally amazing and life changing).

And then, the sickness started. I spent a total of 13 days in the hospital. My kids missed out on a ton of school time (though we can make it up easily since hs'ing takes much less time than ps). I missed Bible study. Philip and I ended up stressed beyond belief and floundering financially.

Sound like the work of anyone we know? Why are we surprised that when we get moving in God's direction we get attacked?

I was napping fitfully at the hospital and had a dream. I was fighting in a boxing ring. I kept taking these hard jabs to ribs and falling to the mat. Each time I would struggle back up and keep fighting. Finally I fell and didn't think I could stand again.

I heard a voice whisper in my ear, "Stay down. Don't get up. Just stay down and you'll be okay." And I was sorely tempted to throw in the towel.

That was not the voice of the Lord. It was the voice of the enemy. Satan wants us to give up. He wants to convince us to lay low and not struggle. I know God has amazing things to do through me for my family and the world. And I know the enemy wants to stop me from doing these things. He wants to convince me to give up, to stay down and be a mediocre Christian. He wants me to go through the motions and walk a shallow Christian life, filled with activity but lacking true relationship with Christ. He wants me to be an antagonist to my husband, and focus on our failures as a couple. He wants me to let our dead culture raise my children.

But he's not going to win. I will hold on. I will persevere. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier to lay low, to not lead the charge and draw fire. But I know that when the enemy speaks, it is the language of lies, his native tongue. There is victory to be had if I will persevere.

To this end, I have posted encouraging Scripture around our house to remind me to press on. If you come over to see us, don't be surprised to hear us singing Scripture - my heart is weak and needs constant reminder of my purpose and God's promise.

The great thing is, I've read the Book. I know Who wins the fight in the end. I just need to do my best to stay in it and press on.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Naked and dirty

So, I was in the hospital again last week. Apparently the multiple rounds of antibiotics for the sepsis destroyed the good bacteria in my intestines, leaving me open for a nasty bout with colitis. But I am home now, and on the mend. My friends have come through for me, taking care of my kids and cooking meals and even coming over and cleaning my house. I tear up thinking of the amazing group of ladies I am priviledged to call "friend."

But, oh the humility that lies in true Christian community. I was lying in my hospital bed when my friend Stephanie called to say that a group of ladies from my homeschool co-op had descended upon our house and were cleaning away. I was thankful, but so embarrassed. I like to clean up before folks come over. I don't have the natural gift of housekeeping. I was mortified to hear that my dear friend Kathie was cleaning the toilet in my master bathroom (the last room in our house to ever get cleaned). How would I ever look these ladies in the eye when they knew what a mess I was?

But that's just the point. I am a mess and I need help. On a physical and spiritual level. And as long as I continue to tidy up and put on lipstick and go to church with a pasted-on grin, no one will come to my aid. It is when we finally break that we can be mended. When we give up on going it alone and admit our broken, shameful nakedness, others can step in to help. I was embarrassed to let others see the mess I had got my house into, but the only way for them to help was for them to fully see the need. (And so far, none of them has sent me any emails berating my dirty floors.)

And ultimately, this is how we are with our Savior. We try to clean up. We make an effort to show Him how sincere we are. But we aren't honest. Maybe it's a product of our cheap grace, self-esteem driven culture, but our conversions aren't what they used to be. Rarely do we hear these words from in the 1776 hymn "Rock of Ages":

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die

Past salvation, we continue to try and pretty ourselves up spiritually when we go to our Bible studies, never admitting our sins to one another. We might say we are "struggling" in an area or some other such nicety, but it is rare to hear honest confession of sin nowdays.

What freedom we would find if we could be honest, naked and dirty as that might be. What healing we would find if we could admit our brokeness to one another and our God. And what friendship we would find if we would lay down our defenses and let others see the truth about our situation. We are all in this together: broken, bleeding, sin drenched and pitiful.

But there is hope, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (Is 53:6)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Waiting for the day

Recently, a friend so mine went quite a few days "overdue" with her baby (since we know due dates are inaccurate at best). She was so patient, waiting for the perfect time for God to bring her baby into the world. And when her time came, she had a quick labor and birthed a ten and half pound baby boy with no problems.

She is much more patient than I am. I get to about 32 weeks and start feeling like a stuffed turkey. I moan and whine and wish for time to speed up until my baby comes. (Philip always tells me to enjoy it, because someday soon I will be wishing I were pregnant again. I roll my eyes like a petulant child and tell him that I won't. Of course, now I'm all twitchy for a new babe and totally wish I were pregnant again - but that's another subject). God, in His mercy, ignores my cries for deliverance and gives me strength to forbear until the proper time. And, when the time is perfect, the baby is born. And somehow, within a few days, I no longer remember the pains and travails of pregnancy. It seems like a very distant memory.

The Bible says that all creation groans for deliverance from sin (Rom 8:22). We too, long for the day of Christ's coming, when wrongs are made right and we are made into His likeness. Some days it just seems cruel that the earth continues to spin unaltered. So much sin, so much pain, so much evil exists. Like a heavily pregnant woman, we long for it to finally be the time of deliverance. Yet the Bible also tells us in II Peter 3 that it is the kindness of the Lord that causes Him to wait. He wishes that none would perish and so He lets creation groan in labor, knowing that every day more lost souls are found in Him.

But the day will come when His patience ends. Just as a woman cannot be pregnant forever (even though it feels like it), so creation will not groan in labor in vain. Someday, we will rise and find it is indeed that day, the day of deliverance we have longed for. And when it happens, we will count these days of trouble as a distant memory.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is puberty just around the corner?

A few weeks ago Nate came to me and said he needed to talk privately. He wanted me to pick up some hair gel for him at the store, so he could spike it up in the front (good luck, since he has my brother Logan's wirey curls) and "look handsome for the girls in my class."

Then today, at the pumpkin patch (which was a special piece o' heck to be discussed later), we rode on the hay wagon. He was sitting next to me, looking around. I asked if he was sleepy. He said no, he was looking for pretty girls. I said, "I thought you were going to marry Summer." (my friend Amy's little girl, we've joked about their betrothal since they were a year old).

"Oh, Mom," he replies, "Summer's not my girlfriend. I don't have a girlfried yet. But I'm looking."

Ack! I did not realize this would be happening at eight!

Monday, October 06, 2008


Today we began our Colonization study. When the littles were napping, Nate, Susannah and I began reading a book about two Pilgrim children moving to the New World. (I highly recommend the Sisters In Time series - both of my older kids love them). We discussed the prohibitions on religious expression under King James and how this type of religious persecution still persists today in some areas of the world.

As I snuggled my children on the couch, free to read to them and teach them about God, I started to cry. Do we realize how truly blessed we are? How many people in the world TODAY would literally die for the freedom to worship and and raise their children in faith? We are so foolish to take this for granted. I have a friend who talks about how Christians in America are persecuted. While I'm sure there are isolated cases of pressure against public expression of faith, for the most part we enjoy amazing freedom. How many in China, India, Indonesia, the Middle East, North Africa and Vietnam would rejoice to suffer the silly "persecutions" of America? Daily, there are Christians martyred for their faith, and we fuss about something as silly as wearing a Christian Tshirt or praying at a graduation.

I was grateful today that my children can read the Bible in their own language. That I am allowed to teach them the Apostle's Creed and help them memorize Scripture. That we can sing songs about our Father and not worry about being overheard and reported to the police. May God give us the wisdom to take full advantage of our freedoms to raise up a generation of children who will take the Good News to those who cannot and have not heard.

Abby's stitches

Last month Abigail had the opportunity to check out our fine emergency room. She was jumping on her bed and fell, hitting the window sill and gashing her head. She got 6 fancy stitches placed on her forhead and we were home in under an hour (including a trip to QT for Slurpees).

I asked her a few days ago what she had learned from the whole experience. Her brow furrowed thoughtfully and she replied, "I learned to not jump on my bed. I should jump on Nate's bed. His is not by the window."

That, my friends, is why my hair falls out.

You may be wondering...

where I disappeared to.

I apologize for my absence. I was in the hospital twice over the last 10 days. But I'm home now with my IV line sewn in and I'm receiving antibiotics here. So it's all good.

More updates on fun and exciting happenings to come.