Thursday, December 31, 2009
(written a couple of years ago)
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.”
I was recently convicted after reading this verse about my tongue. I felt the Lord repeating that last part over and over in my head “The law of kindness is on her tongue”. I knew He was telling me that this is an area that I certainly need to work on. One of my biggest frustrations as a mother is that I have an extremely hard time being kind when I’m disciplining. Most of the time I sound mean, angry, disappointed and frustrated. I have been asking God to help me change this, so I wasn’t surprised when He spoke to me about it again.
He has brought a wonderful word picture in my life that I have had the opportunity to use many times with my children. Recently, I was pulled over by a policeman because I did not come to a complete stop at a stop-sign. I was so embarrassed that I had failed my children by letting them see that I had broken the law (and gotten caught), but I prayed that something good would come out of it. When I would discipline them I would try to remember what the policeman did to me. Do you think he ranted and raved as he threw a ticket at me? Or did he calmly tell me what I did wrong, ask me why I did it, and then quietly hand me a ticket? I think we know that the answer to that is the latter. I am learning that yelling, screaming, ranting and raving are not the key to disciplining. It is a calm, quiet spirit. It is kindness after the disciplining is over. The hug, the kiss, the “I love you even though you messed up”. This is what produces the lasting effects of discipline that we so desire to see in our children. After all, this is how God disciplines us, isn’t it?
Oh yes, it was highly embarrassing to be caught doing something so foolish, but to be able to use this experience is invaluable. My children also got to see that adults suffer consequences too, when they mess up (although they were worried that Mommy was going to go to jail!).
Soooo, is the law of kindness on your tongue? Are you providing gentle or harsh instruction? Are you opening your mouth with wisdom? If not, pray and ask God to remind you to be kind while you are disciplining. Ask God to help you be the “police-officer” who calmly gives the consequence. He will honor your request, I guarantee it.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
“Death and Life are in the power of the tongue” –Proverbs 18:21(a)
Let’s speak life-giving words to our children, not words that bring death to their spirit!
From One Mom to Another,
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I promised that I would tell you more about these videos. You can buy them at from Voice of The Martyrs. As some of you know, God has given me a passion for the persecuted church. When you are passionate about something, you naturally want to teach your children about it as well. When I found these videos online for a special of $5 a piece! I thought what a great stocking stuffer they would make.
These cartoons of the Heroes of the Faith are well done. My children ages 11-2 (not including Lily) are fascinated! They hold just enough drama and violence to keep their attention without grossing them out. If you have Netflix, you can watch some of these instantly on your computer. This is how I previewed them and how my children fell in love with them. I highly recommend you watching these videos with your childrne because there will be LOTS of questions.
The coolest thing for me is that these videos have some awesome special features. There are some well-done documentaries about the actual martyrs. Also, there are study guides with Scripture verses that you can print out for discussion and activity sheets as well. I think I am going to incorporate this into my homeschooling. We might study one a month.
These videos open up a very good discussion between parent and child. My children's faith is being cemented even more by the examples of these persecuted Christians. They are historically accurate and told on a level they can understand. God's love shines through each story!
"The Jim Elliot Story" is the story of the five missionaries in Ecuador that were killed for their faith.
"The Gladys Aylward Story" is about the tiny single missionary named Gladys who was called to China when she was older and saved hundreds of orphans from being killed at the beginning of WWII.
"The John Bunyan Story" is about the man who wrote "Pilgrim's Progress" and was persecuted for his writings.
"The Perpetua Story" is about the oldest known woman in history that wrote down her story before she was martyred for her faith by the Romans.
"The "Eric Lindell Story" is about the man who was in the movie "Chariots of Fire". He did great things for Christ during WWII.
Last, by not least, is "William Tyndale" who experienced massive amount of persecution as he began printing the Bible so that the common folk would be able to read God's Word.
This is a wonderful way to help build your child's faith and to also introduce them to Christian martyrdom. More than likely, our children will experience persecution at a whole different level than us. We need to be equipping them, so that they will be able to stand up under it and also to stand in the gap and pray for the millions of Christians who are being persecuted everyday around the world.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Torchlighter's "The Jim Elliot Story". I will post more about these amazing cartoons for kids later.
Revolutionary War set called "The Battle of Yorktown". I love anything that gets them excited about history! I just want them to pick the darn things up when they are done playing with them!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Of course, here is the tooth. She pulled it out herself and was thrilled to discover a dollar from the Tooth Fairy!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Jakers and got him the outfit! That's Nana in the background. At first I think he was overwhelmed with all the new stuff. He didn't know what to do with it all. He didn't seem that interested in it, but I know once things settle down, I'll have a "rookie" running around, putting out my candles!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I simply love having a baby during Christmas! I've had six Christmases with six different babies. It has been a joy to put myself in Mary's skin and try to get inside her head.
When I look at my baby while she is nursing, I feel connected to a woman that lived 2,000 years ago. To know that she also felt the same tug as her Savior nursed. I wonder if she really thought of Him as being her Savior, or that he was just the cutest little baby ever!
Surely, the ordinariness of the whole situation must have been confusing. Shepherds, animals, and dung must have caked the floor of the cave/stable. Not exactly what she probably had in mind when she was told that she was to give birth to the King of Kings.
Baby Jesus was like any other baby, He pooped, peed, hiccuped and cried when He was hungry. As He grew older, He probably laughed like other 10 month olds as His parents played peek-a-boo with him. He was so much like other babies, but as He grew it must have been painfully evident that this child was different and that He actually OBEYED His parents in everything.
It must have been hard to not be prideful of an "always obedient" child! As the women at the well complained about the "terrible two's", Mary would have had nothing to say. If you think Satan did not scream in her head, "Look, it's because of your mothering He is the way He is," you are mistaken. I know how the enemy tempts me when I get even one compliment on my children's behavior. I believe this was probably one of Mary's greatest temptations that she had to fight. Satan knew she would obey outwardly, so he probably played severe mind games with her, increasing her doubt, making her question Jesus' role as the Messiah.
Was she not also waiting for the Messiah, who would throw off the chains of Rome? Was she not expecting Jesus to be a Warrior-King? As every year went by , did she not ask herself at Passover, "Why does He not proclaim Himself as the Messiah?"
She would have been proven right, her reputation would have been restored and she would be made known as the "Mother to the King of Kings" a lot sooner than she was.
I cannot imagine facing the temptations that woman faced. A humble, pheasant girl, who loved God fiercely and longed to do His Will. He used her because He knew she would say "yes".
He can do the same for me. What hope I have in Him! He chose me to bear these beautiful children because He knew I would say, "yes". I have doubts, fears and longings, but God will work everything out to His glory! My job is to obey and not look to far ahead and second-guess my Father.
(This is not meant to be doctrine, just things that I have meditated on and journalled.)
Have a Merry Christmas everyone! May God richly bless you.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Christmassy, it is nice to know that people will be safer traveling to us. Yes, that is one pathetic snowman. I think the WWII helmet got knocked off of it.
My neck and back continue to be very stiff, but I am thinking about using my free massage I got from some friends for my last baby shower. Thank you for all your well-wishes and prayers. It is better, just not great. I've been trying to take it easy this week.
I am enjoying doing all of our advents with the children. The little ones are really getting into it and they seem to have the Christmas story down pat. All the presents are wrapped and now we are focused on the cooking. The little ones are so stoked and it is enchanting watching their anticipation! I'm so looking forward to having Steve be off this year for Christmas Eve and Christmas. This is the sweet shift set! You wait YEARS to have both off. All of you firefighter wives know exactly what I'm talkin' about!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Today has been pretty mellow. I homeschooled the three older ones and then had my Beth Moore Bible study while the kids watched a movie. Still pretty sore from my fall, I'm just hoping I didn't do any permanent damage. I'm waiting for my mom and stepdad to show up at any moment. They are coming up for the weekend, so the kids have been wild with excitement! We will be having an early Christmas with them. Steve and I might even get to go on a date tomorrow! It's been a long, long time.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
After decorating Nana and Papa's Christmas tree, they made Santa cookies with Nana.
On a not so good note, I slipped and fell on the ice. I banged my head, shoulders and back pretty good and knocked the wind out of myself. I now have a not so fun case of whiplash and my neck is so stinking sore, I can hardly stand it. I am just so thankful to the Lord that I didn't have a child in my arms when I fell. That would have been really bad.
I was able to go on my annual shopping date with my father last night. It is always fun to get his undivided attention (even after all these years). We look forward to this date all year. He always ends it by taking me out to dinner. Thanks, Dad! I'm so glad we live close to each other.
The kids and I wrapped some gifts today. We have been reading a great book by Francine Rivers called, "Unafraid". It is all about Mary's story. It is very good and getting "inside the skin" of Mary. The older kids are fascinated. It should take us all the way into Easter, as it goes into Jesus' earthly ministry and death from Mary's perspective.
Thank you to all of you how commented on my Christmas Waiting Tree. I don't have a pattern and I can't find one of the Internet that is even remotely close. You'll have to kind of look at mine and go from there. If you are serious about making one, I can take pictures of each ornament and send it to you by email.
Love you all and I hope you are finding JOY this Christmas season!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Well, it was Christmas morning and I woke up waiting in anticipation of small feet pittering and pattering up to me, accompanied by loud whispers, “Is it time to wake up yet?” As I was lying there, I started praying. God reminded me of a conversation that I had with Marcus, my seven-year-old. Marcus was telling me how he felt Christmas was all about Jesus, not gifts. I was thankful that he knew this (he oughta’, I’ve drilled it into his head enough times”, but I felt the Spirit say, “That’s not enough. Stacie, explain to him about what a Gift-Giver I am.”
I explained to Marcus, that yes, Christmas is all about Jesus, but I felt like he had the wrong impression about gifts. Like somehow they were bad. The gifts themselves aren’t bad. Being obsessed about receiving them is. I explained to him that his dad and I love to be able to give our children gifts. It makes us feel so good to be able to give our children something they have desired or maybe haven’t even asked for, but we know they could use it or that it would bless them. God is the same way!
Now there is a catch to this. I’ve known parents to stand in line for hours, fighting the masses to get their children a special video game, doll, or whatever it might be. Before you do something like this, ask yourself, “Is this gift going to benefit my child?” “Will it hinder them or help them?” “Will this gift draw my child closer to God or away from Him”? It says in the Bible that God loves to give good gifts to His children. That may not mean that we get the new car or new kitchen appliance we’ve been dreaming about. He will give us gifts that ONLY benefit us. As parents, we need to do the same to our children. But have you noticed, God gives us gifts that we haven’t even asked for? He delights to satisfy us with every good thing! How I love to do this to my children as well.
As I’m writing this, a funny thing happened. Two of the children got up. I told Andrew, my two-year-old, that he needed to go plug in the tree. As he walked into the living room (half-asleep, I might add) he looked under the tree and exclaimed in a disgusted voice, “Presents!” He really looked mad that they were there blocking his way to plugging in that Christmas tree. O.K., I don’t think that has ever happened in this family before!
May God bless you this coming year! I encourage you to only give the “best” gifts to your children. Remember, give them things that have eternal value. Your love, your legacy of faith in Jesus, and give them your example of how to be a godly Christian, it will speak volumes! Enjoy being a gift-giver!
From One Mom to Another,