Friday, February 26, 2010

Forgiving Our Children

Forgiving Our Children

Dear Mothers,

Do you ever find yourself taking what your children say to you personally? I find that sometimes I have a really hard time forgiving my children over particular offenses. The book, “Good and Angry” addresses this very issue.

Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller say this, “Forgiving children doesn’t mean we ignore offenses. Rather, forgiveness opens the door for significant confrontation to take place. Instead of taking the offense personally, you release the emotional intensity so that you can help a child develop character. The fact of the matter is that most kids don’t appreciate the correction and amazing patience we have as parents. But the lack of gratefulness we receive in this job of parenting doesn’t lessen our task. We must continually correct our kids while looking for ways to do it that they can accept. Plan your comments and present the critique in constructive and gracious ways. Forgiveness frees you from harshness and allows for controlled, consistent training to take place. Tolerance is easier when you don’t have accumulated frustration. Forgiveness allows you to release offenses instead of saving them up.”

I love that! If I’m not emotional about every situation because I’ve taken it personally, I will be less likely to “blow my top” when misbehavior does happen. Instead of trying to control my children with my anger, I will instead be purposeful in my training techniques.

I want to develop this lifestyle of forgiveness. The only way I can do that is through intentional prayer and walking in The Spirit.

Remember that dealing with annoying behavior in children requires a huge amount of patience and forgiveness. They are still on the “assembly line”, they are not adults and yet we expect them to display adult-like maturity at all times. Children will make mistakes and they will NOT always respond well to correction. Mostly, change comes slowly. This gives us many opportunities to practice forgiveness over and over and over again!

From One Mom to Another,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Personal Battle

Lately, I have felt like I have been in a battle. It hasn't been a physical battle (although it feels like that at times), it has been more spiritual. I feel like the enemy is attacking me on all fronts as I make it my heart's cry to go deeper with God. My Bible study "Conversation Peace: The Power of Transformed Speech" has been intense to say the least. I have so much to work on. God is showing me my wrong attitudes, wrong actions and the sin of unforgiveness that I have let grow in my life. It has resulted in mental anguish and bitterness.

My new battle cry is this, "Make me a tender-hearted wife, mother, daughter and friend! Let me love as You love, God. Let me forgive as You forgive! Let me not harbor ill-feelings towards anyone. Let me be a grace-filled Christian. Help me stop withholding forgiveness and harboring resentment, assuming I know what is in people's hearts."

I am ashamed. I confess to all of you that I have not been practicing what I preach. I write devotions for women, encouraging them to live godly lives, and yet I have fallen in so many ways. I have become distracted by this machine that I am now typing on. God has convicted me once again about my time on here. I am praying about it, asking Him to help me find balance.

My problem is that I enjoy hearing from you, and I love commenting and encouraging others, but I am neglecting my family to do so. I am thinking about scheduling my blog time in when my children are sleeping.

I have found myself going from day to day aimlessly. I am not living as intentionally as I should be. I have stopped making menus, reading less to my children, and have been doing the bare minimum when it comes to homeschooling.

Enough! My first priority is my ministry to my family. All else falls after that. I need to stop worrying that if I don't post every other day people will stop following. If this thing is going to grow, it's because of Him. If it is doesn't grow, then so be it! I leave it up to Him, since it was His blog in the first place. I felt Him put blogging on my heart almost two years ago. It has been a wonderful experience. I love all of you ladies and pray for you continually.

Will you pray for me? Will you pray that God will show me what to do and how to find more balance in my life? I don't want to look back and have regrets. My time with my children is so very short. The computer and blogging will always be there. My children won't.

I love you all to pieces and thank you in advance for your prayers for me.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jacob's Turns Three!

This Saturday, my little blond-haired, blue-eyed boy has turned three. Where has the time gone? We had a very low-key celebration with just the grandparents and my sister and her children. It was a Buzz Light Year theme. This picture shows Jacob being very serious as he pretends he is Buzz. It was so cute! As soon as he put on this wing pack, he WAS Buzz!
Dad and Diana got Jacob this huge Buzz Light Year. He was so thrilled!
They didn't have any Toy Story cakes, so we had them make a background and we just put on the little toys we had bought. Jacob calls his "Baby Buzz and Baby Woody".
I started taking pictures of everyone with my phone for my Caller ID. Everyone else got into it and we all figured it out so we were taking pictures of each other left and right. It was so fun! Dad is taking one of my sister Jackie in this picture.

Today, was getting back to business as usual. I homeschooled only two children (Marcus went to spend the week with Aunt Jackie), cleaned, did laundry, cooked and cleaned some more. My housecleaner came over today and spent two hours cleaning the bathrooms, windows and dusting. It feels awesome to have my house this clean. It is huge to me to know that I am going to have help with it on a regular basis.

Off to watch "I Love Lucy" reruns with the kids! Have a great evening, everyone! To infinity and beyond!!!!
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Very Busy Week!

I didn't title this "Saturday Musings", because it is now Sunday! I was too busy yesterday to post, so this will have to do. This week was simply CRAZY! I had to start actually with a picture from two Friday's ago, here is a photo of Rachel and Paul's five children plus our six eating dinner together! I fed them all lasagna and garlic bread, which was a very easy meal for such a large group. I think I managed to get all of them in this picture (that is a feat in itself!). I watched their kids so they could go on a Valentine's Date. They did REALLY well and of course had tons of fun playing together.
It has been a Buzz Light Year week! Jacob knew his birthday was coming up, so he couldn't stop talking and dreaming and talking some more about the "big Buzz Light Year" he just knew he was going to get. Praise the Lord, two Grandma's came through and gave him a large Buzz and a Wing Pack, so he could pretend he was Buzz. It was an awesome party, but I'll do a post later on it with pictures.

Sunday, was Valentine's Day. It is very low-key now that I have my routine. Just a huge box of the prettiest decorated box I can find. I put in the middle of the table, so when they wake up they get to choose two pieces. I know, I'm a terrible mom, giving them sugar before breakfast! But it's just once a year. I did give them the Bee Movie, too.

I'm trying to exercise more. Here I am attempting to do my "Yoga" stretching exercises (I don't do any meditation stuff), while Lily crawls all over me. It is challenging, but my body feels better when I am stretching regularly. I also tried walking a mile this Friday, which I don't think I'm ready to do. My hips are killing me. So I might have to go a lesser distance next time.
Dad and Diana came for dinner so they could spend some time with their grandkids. I love this picture of Dad with Lily and Hailey playing with his mustache and stampede strings.

Wednesday, Jackie and Michael (my sis and BIL) dropped off their two children so they could go to a soils conference for her work. Adding two children to the our family, shouldn't have been a big deal, but I quickly learned that it was more work than I had bargained for. Although we had our challenges, we did enjoy playing with and spending time with them. Josiah has matured so much, since the last time we had him. The Code Chart has worked wonders with this child. Having two, two-year olds that aren't fully potty trained was probably the hardest part. Also, disciplining an extra two-year old is exhausting. I seriously don't know how my mom did it with twins! One plugged toilet, poop running down into Hailey's socks (thanks to her dad feeding her two handfuls of prunes before she came), and pee on the new couch, we had one potty training crisis after another. On a good note, Hailey was really good with Lily.

I fell in love with Hailey's little voice. She has the cutest, tiniest, little voice ever, until she doesn't get what she wants, then she has the loudest scream ever! She gets over things very quickly and comes off her "break" and apologizes without much coaxing. You can click on this link to see Jackie's testimony about the "Break System".

I was very happy to see the whites of my sister's eyes when she came back from her meetings!

I asked Jackie to watch all the kids so that Steve and I could go on a date Friday night. We had a great time going to dinner and then shopping with a little of the tax return money. The rest is all designated for larger bills coming up (camp, swimming lessons, Steve's Lasix surgery).

Saturday found us getting ready for Jacob's birthday party. It was great to see family. We just had a very small party with the immediate family. I thought I would make it easy on myself.

The biggest blessing is that Lily has finally decided to sleep through the night. She started this on Monday and has continued, so I think we might be on to something! Pray it continues.

I'll be posting pictures later on this week, so stay tuned!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Dogfight is On!

"Conversation Peace: The Power of Transformed Speech" is the Bible study that I have been doing. It has been incredibly challenging, more so than I thought it would be.

"Unfortunately, conflicts are often like dogfights. Instead of resolving the conflict honestly and openly, parties engage in aggressive and defensive behavior. Fighting behavior falls under three dog-like categories: rollover, hide and bite.

Do you find yourself in one of these categories?

ROLLOVER RETRIEVER: Whenever faced with conflict, the Rollover Retriever chooses a passive way of protecting herself. She rolls over and gives in to the other person's opinions and desires, rationalizing or resenting the face that she has rolled over. If she rationalizes, she blames herself for the problem and/or excuses the other person's behavior. If she resents complying, she is motivated to strike back. So she retaliates in a subversive manner, attacking the underbelly by resisting, procrastinating, maligning, and/or undermining her opponent-a passive-aggressive method of dealing with conflict.

HIDING HOUND: When She feels threatened, the Hiding Hound puts up or seeks out barriers to hide behind-mental, emotional, or physical withdrawal. The silent treatment and walking out are two common behaviors. Hiding Hounds may be punitive and vindictive. This hound withdraws, but from her protected position she seeks to punish the other person. She withholds information, or betrays, gossips, slanders, and baits her opponent. Her goal is to stay hidden and protected while injuring the other.

BITING BULLDOG: She bites, snarls, and openly attacks her opponents. Yelling, accusing, swearing, screaming, berating, and belittling are common behaviors. Biting Bulldogs do not hesitate to go for the jugular. An attack bulldog walks around looking for a fight. She is the instigator. She strikes first. A defensive bulldog does not normally bite unless someone bites her first. But if bitten, she fiercely retaliates. Dog fighting does little or nothing to resolve issues. In fact, it often escalates the conflict."

If you want to learn more about how to "fight clean" check out this devotion I wrote several years ago called, "Fighting Clean". It might be of encouragement to you. This is something I struggle with. Conflict is going to happen, the way I deal with it is the constant challenge.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pastor Steve Update

If you are new on my blog, you may not know that our Pastor has been battling colon cancer for the past year and a half. It has been a very difficult road. I just recieved this update by his wife on Facebook so I am copying it here so that you can be praying for him.

Greetings to all the friends of Steve Anable,

Thank you all for your continued love and support of Steve as we walk by faith on our journey through the land of colon cancer. At the last update we were pleased to write that his CEA (cancer marker) had dropped significantly from 68 down to 41 after the first round, and then it came down to 38 after two rounds of this new chemo regimen. He became quite ill during round two, but we think it was most likely a virus and not the chemo meds. He completed round 3 with flying colors. His energy level was great, he had no nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, and felt so well that we were going to go skiing on his 54th birthday (yesterday) but the weather did not cooperate.

We went to chemo today for round #4 and he tolerated that quite well. We were home about an hour when we received a phone call from his oncologist who called to tell us Steve's CEA had not gone down as expected. His CEA actually had a significant increase, a nearly 50% increase, from 38 to almost 57, which was quite a disappointing blow considering how well he had been feeling the past few weeks.

This increase means that his tumors are not responding to this current chemo regimen and are actively growing in spite of the medications. Therefore, they will be changing his treatment regimen once again. This new regimen will begin this coming Monday, February 22 at 9:00 a.m. It will be quite similar to his first chemo treatments, in that he will have 3-4 IV infusions and then go home with a "chemo pump" for 46 hours. This particular course of treatments has the potential for being quite intense, more so that the first course of treatments. He could very well lose his hair, and could feel extreme fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, etc. He is not looking forward to these new treatments at all, but yet does not want to give-up either.

Please pray that Steve's spirit will be strong as we face this new round of treatments, and please pray that the side-effects will be minimal. Pray that I will not succumb to the fears that seem to rage in my mind; pray that the PEACE the passes ALL UNDERSTANDING will be upon our family.

We KNOW that God is in control, and we KNOW that HE answers prayers.....Steve is LIVING PROOF that God's hand has been upon him this past year, and will continue to be with him because HE himself said, " I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU" and we are standing on that promise!!!!

Walking by faith.....sometimes in baby-steps.....but still walking!

Marilyn, for Steve and the family

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Baby Lover

Marcus is my baby lover. This child is going to be an awesome daddy! He loves to play with the babies. I caught these sweet pictures of him letting Lily play with his glasses. Aren't they precious? Lily is even saying "brother" in her own way.
Today, I am looking forward to watching my sister's two children for a couple of days. After her and her hubby get back from their meeting, he is going to drop her off while he goes to National Guard drill for the weekend. I get to spend three days with her and the kids! She is even going to be here to help with Jacob's birthday party. What a blessing!
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Pleasing Words and Listening Barriers

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:15).

I'm continuing to share bits about what God is reminding me and teaching me on how to control my tongue. Most of this is taken from Mary Kassian's Bible study called, "Conversation Peace: The Power of Transformed Speech", a study that I highly recommend from Lifeway Ministries.

According to the Bible, our heart is that part of us that makes us who we are. It is what directs all of our emotions as well as all of our thoughts, intents, and actions.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."- Proverbs 4:23

"For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." -Matthew 12:34

Kind, pure words indicate a kind, pure heart. Words that are ugly point to ugliness within. Our hearts represent the ground from which our words spring.

Are you struggling with bad speech? What might be the problem? (See Matthew 12:35)

Ask yourself:

1. Am I surrounded by irritating people who make me angry?

2. Are my circumstances are unbearable?

3. Where my parents were poor role models?

4. Am I tired and overly sensitive?

5. Have I not "stored up" enough good in my heart?

To "store up" means "to collect, accumulate or stock something as a reserve for future use; to lay up or put away." When we speak, particularly in unplanned situations of being irritated, tired, sensitive, or stressed, we reach down into the storehouse of our hearts and bring out what has been stored up over time. Words spring from the ground of our hearts. If we have stored up good in our hearts, our words will be good. If we haven't, or if our stores are meager, we may not have the resources available to speak good, kind and gracious words.

More than half of communicating is listening. Active listening means giving our undivided attention-hearing with our ears, observing carefully with our eyes, and understanding with our hearts.

Listening Barriers:

The average person speaks between 100 to 150 words per minute but thinks up to 600 words per minute. As a result, our minds have a lot of spare time to use while others are talking. Use this time to focus on understanding the speaker's ideas. Otherwise, you will create listening barriers such as:

Running Ahead-thinking about what you are going to say next; planning a rebuttal. (Don't we all do this with our husband's and kids?)

Wandering Off-being pre-occupied,thinking about personal interests, or daydreaming.

Jumping In-interrupting the other person's thoughts to interject your own.

Brushing Away-mentally categorizing the speaker's thoughts as unimportant or insignificant without duly considering them or assuming you already understand his or her perspective.

Do you find yourself doing this as people are talking to you? I am very guilty of "jumping in", and "running ahead".

Ask God to show you if you have a problem with any of these barriers to listening. If the Holy Spirit is speaking to you, confess your sin and ask Him to help you in the area of active listening.

This study is making me much more intentional as I go about my daily life. I've never had much success in the area of listening. I guess I've been too concerned with my own agenda. I am seeing an amazing difference in my marriage and with my relationships with my 11 and 9 year olds.

God is so amazing and I thank Him for His continual working in my life. I'm being refined daily. Even though it is painful at times, I am sort of enjoying this process. Knowing that I'm getting myself into less trouble is a huge motivator! LOL!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday's Musings

I'm going to try to make "Saturday's Musings" a regular thing around here. I'm trying to post less, so that I am not being distracted from caring from my family. I tend to "overdo" even good things and then they become a hindrance to what my true mission is, which is my family.

Some of the highlights of this week were cooking with my kids (don't you just love the aprons that my stepmom made for them for Christmas). It is typical now for me to have to rotate the children because they all want to "help". It stresses me out when they are throwing eggs in before it's time or dumping flour all over the floor, you know stuff like that. I must have been feeling really good this day! LOL!

Steve and I talked about it and we decided to budget in a house cleaner. My friend, Cassie, has agreed to come and deep clean the bathrooms, dust, and do some odd jobs (wash cupboards, dust picture frames, wash windows). I am hiring her every other week for two hours, and then on the odd weeks, once an hour. This is exciting and a huge stress relief, knowing my bathrooms are getting deep-cleaned and that things like dusting won't be put on the backburner.

I love this picture of Jacob asleep on the couch with his "turnouts" on. Typical fireman, the only thing missing is the recliner! This kid even snores like a fireman!
The sun peeked out from behind the clouds several times this week. I found some bulbs starting to come up. So exciting!!!!!! I trimmed my roses and did some prep work on my beds. I even removed some of the dead leaves. I'm teaching the children how identify weeds. The little ones love to help.

These tender shoots remind me so much of my own soul. I want to grow towards the "Sonlight". I want to bloom in the Lord's mercy and grace. I want to have joy and gratitude beyond comprehension!
I accidentally locked Jessica and Andrew in their room! I asked Steve to fix the door handle on the kid's bedroom. He took the door handle off, but left some of the hardware in. I was on the phone and the two kids were being naughty so I put them in their room and shut the door. Oops! The hardware that was left locked into place and locked them in. Oh my! Steve was gone on a call back and then his Tae Kwon Do class. I tried everything I could think of to pry open the door, thinking it would be so humiliating to have to call the Fire Department. I would never live this one down with guys! I had the idea to call the friendly neighbor, Loren. He came immediately and tore the thing apart so I could get the kids out. This guy is a Godsend! He has been my hero several times when Steve is working. Loren is a retired math teacher. When I get stuck teaching Marcus a math concept, I send him to Loren's. Marcus learns from Loren and then I have Marcus teach me. It has been working out great!

Yesterday, I was in such a good mood! I felt like I had some "happy" hormones rushing through my body. I have been more playful, joyful and grateful. I think my hormones are evening out now that Lily is nursing a little less and I am getting my cycles back. It feels wonderful. I felt so good that I was even able to watch Paul and Rachel's five children by myself for several hours last night so they could go on a Valentine's date. I kept thinking to myself, "This has got to be illegal! Eleven children, 11 years to nine months by myself!" LOL! They did great, played outside most of the time and I watched the babies really closely so they didn't scratch each other or pull one another's hair. They were fascinated with each other! It felt good to be able to help Paul and Rachel out. They are in the ministry and need to have that time alone.

Today, Steve and I are going to go on our Valentine's Day date (thanks to our friend, Candy). Can't wait to spend some quality time with my hubby!
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Toy Story Mania!

This ensemble was totally by accident! Cowboy PJs, Indiana Jones hat, and brother's boots=Woody from Toy Story. Jacob is loving Toy Story. We are all looking forward to watching it when it comes to the theaters.
He's showing us his "Andy" signature that he had me write on the sole of his boot. He goes around telling Steve and I that we are "his best friends", which is a line in Toy Story 2. He doesn't know it but he is going to have an awesome three year old birthday party. He will be getting lots Toy Story stuff!
Jacob came up to me in the kitchen while I was cooking and shot me with his "laser" like Buzz Lightyear does. Instead my usual, "Oh that's cute", I decided to surprise my children by getting into a laser war with them. I "shot" him back and hid behind the counter, then I did the James Bond thing and ran into the homeschool room, took another shot and then ran to the living room and took cover behind the couch. My children were FREAKING OUT! Josh had this look of amazement as he watched me play. He kept saying, "I've never seen you do that!" One of the other children said, "Mom, I've never seen you run!" I wanted to shout, "That's because I'm always pregnant!"LOL! It was a fun moment and I knew my friend, Rachel would be proud of me. I need to try to have more fun with my kids and stop being so serious all the time. I'm actively praying for this into my life. I need to have more joy and show more joy. Life is good!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lily Antics

Our sweet little girl, Lily is just a delight to us. I am still not tired of dressing her up. I actually like it when she pukes on her clothes, so I get to change her outfit (I know I'm pathetic!).
This was one of my favorite outfits that Jessica used to wear. Jess and I think it looks superb on our little Lily. Green is Jess and I's favorite color.

This is what Lily has been up to lately. She loves to crawl into rooms and quietly dump all the contents out of the drawers and laundry baskets. She is quite proficient at it, as you can tell by the picture. Looks like I have another mess-maker on my hands!

Lily is fascinated with Snickers! As big as this dog is, she loves the kids. The only thing lethal about her is her tail!

Yep, she's starting early! Like mother, like daughter. Cell phone in one hand, baby in the other. LOL! She is probably talking to Aunt Jackie, cause that's what I'm always doing! Love ya, Sis!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Can You Freely Give?

My Bible study "Conversation Peace" by Mary Kassian, had a very convicting and pointed message to my heart this afternoon. I wanted to share it with you. Perhaps you have struggled with "freely giving" to your husband, children, family and friends.

"If we focus on the resources of God, we realize we have an abundance to give. On the other hand, if we focus on what we should be getting from others, we become "stingy" and reluctant to give.

This principle extends to all areas of our lives, including our speech. Case in point...

We become increasingly patient the more we realize how patient God is with us.

We love more when we realize how much God loves us.

Our capacity to forgive increases as we become aware of how much God forgives us.

We are gracious because we have been the recipients of so much grace .

We are generous because of God's generosity.

We are kind because God is kind to us.

We are merciful because we receive mercy.

"Our ability to give good to others springs from the abundance of good we receive from God.

When David was focused on what he should have been receiving from the people who bothered him-respect and kindness, for example-he had nothing good to say. Yet when he became focused on his relationship to God and kept his focus there, he found himself filled with "a new song" and began to say good things to his adversaries.

I am learning some really good stuff here. The hard part is applying it to my life and making this kind of lasting change a reality. Only the Lord can do that! I will continue to pray for it!

Thanks for letting me share.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

You're Everything!

My favorite worship song is "Everything". When I watch this video it sends chills down my spine and I can't help by raise my arms and fall to my knees. I love the way it builds. I love how it speaks about God's grace. I remember myself trying to get find satisfaction in so many things other than Him, even when I knew Jesus as a teenager. He has wiped me clean and made me whole! Praise the Lord!

I can't figure out how to embed it, but if you click on this link it will take you there. It has hit almost 9,000,000 views so far! Wow!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday's Musings

This week seemed to go by so quickly. Lots of activities, lots of sick kids , lots of tears and lots of fun! After coming back from scrapbook camp, I was faced with a mountain of laundry, I didn't get caught up until Wednesday. Friday night was so wonderful! My friends, Toni (mother of four) and Rachel (mother of 5) came over and we had our informal "Mom's of Many" chat night. We all agreed ahead of time that we would only chat from 7:30 p.m. till 10:30. We were all shocked when we looked at the clock and it was almost 12:00 a.m.! Rachel and I are starting to experience some teenage stuff, and Toni is walking the path now, so we peppered her with lots of questions, encouraged each other in our marriages and swapped some funny stories. LOVED IT!!!!!!!!
Today, Rachel, Paul and the whole family came over for lunch. I made a simple meat dip and served it with chips and applesauce. She brought dessert and we chatted for another three hours! It is so great when your husbands get along. I know we are blessed! The kids played outside and even were jumping on the trampoline in the rain! I have actually lost my voice from talking so much. Not good, because I'm supposed to be singing a solo tomorrow at church. My children are probably wondering why I'm being really quiet now! LOL!

Lily is walking everywhere now. It is so fun to watch and cheer her on. She is still so tiny, it's amazing that someone so small can be walking around so well. Jacob is still trying to pee off and on in the toilet. He has no interest whatsoever is pooping in the darn thing, but that's OK.

I've had a roller coaster week, emotionally. I've been experiencing more healing, as more things have come up from my parents divorce. It feels like God has ripped a giant band aid off my heart and took his scouring sponge and went to work. The wound was raw and open, but now that the air has been let in, I am starting to truly heal. It is extremely painful, but very encouraging to know that I am moving forward in this area. I want to get to a place of true forgiveness. I am shocked that I still had baggage after 20 years. It goes to show that the consequences from a traumatic event in a child's life, has a lasting effect. That reason alone, makes me want to work at my marriage with a new fervor. I want the best marriage I can possibly have. That takes work and the determination beyond what I can do on my own. We are two sinful people, with two completely different upbringings. If you look at it that way, marriage is truly a miracle.

The only thing I think I can say right now is this:

Keep working at it ladies! Don't give up. Let God heal.

Love you all!
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Friday, February 5, 2010

"The Fireman's Wife"

I started a new book the other night called, "The Fireman's Wife" by Susan Farren. It is a good read if your husband is interested in becoming a firefighter or if you have been a firefighter's wife for awhile already. There are parts of the book that I could have written.

My experience is a little bit different, because I married into the job. I was not with Steve during the interviewing process, probation, ect. The "guys" welcomed me with open arms, disbelieving that someone actually wanted to marry such a goofball! They loved Steve and I could tell they loved me.

The firehouse humor seems to be a theme in every firehouse around the country. Jabs, digs, and poking fun at each other, not only relieves tensions due to the stress of their job, but also helps keep everyone friendly towards each other, since these "guys" are their second family. Sometimes, they love each other and sometimes they hate each other, but if one of them was in trouble, it is "all for one and one for all". They would seriously lay their lives down for each other without a second thought.

I have been a firefighter's wife for almost 15 years. My husband has been on his "tour of duty" for all that time. The shift work goes like this: 24 hours on, 24 off, 24 on, 24 off, 24 on and then four days off. Those four days are coveted even though it is peppered with overtime. I don't count on my husband being here anymore. I've been disappointed too many times. I am at peace with this schedule and I have embraced it to a certain degree. I try to look at the positive. I can make whatever I want for dinner and I can make plans for the day without consulting him first. The days he is working are more predictable. When he is off, anything can happen! Overtime, patient transfers, shift coverage, fires, you name it!

I love being a firefighter's wife. It gives me such a sense of pride to know what my husband does for a living. He helps people. He is the one that is out in the middle of night comforting an injured person in a car wreck, fighting a fire that is trying to consume someone's home, or helping a frightened elderly person who just fell and broke her hip. I have tremendous respect for all who are in this line of work.

We have 18 paid firefighters in our small department. This is our second family. While Steve has been on duty many emergencies have arrived. We firewives know that we can call any of the guys any time of the day or night if need be. I have had batteries charged, kids watched, and had been helped with many other household emergencies (washing machine flooding, ect.) by fellow firefighters and their wives.

We save each other money, too! We re-roof each other's houses, help pour concrete, give each other sick leave, trade shifts for family emergencies, and much, much more. In essence, we watch each other's backs.

If you are a firefighter's wife, I think you would enjoy reading this book. You will laugh, cry and be able to identify with this book. If your husband wants to become a firefighter, this book will help you go into this situation with eyes wide-open. It covers all the basis, especially the fear that can consume you as you kiss your husband goodbye, wondering if it will be the last time you see him.

I personally, do not struggle with this fear. I think I gave it to God a long time ago. I can't change any outcome by worrying, but instead, I know God hears my prayers for his safe return.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stubborn Mother

Stubborn Mother

Dear Mothers,

Yesterday, my nine-month old baby decided she didn’t want something, and she arched her back and became as stiff as a board. I almost dropped her! After nursing her, holding her, distracting her with toys, and trying to snuggle with her, I finally gave up and put Lily down in her playpen. I told her, “If you don’t want me, then you’re going to have to be by yourself until you do.”

Afterwards, I was pondering how amazing it was that even a small baby like that could be so stubborn. What makes them start arching their back? The Lord spoke quietly to my heart. He said, “Stacie, that is exactly how you sometimes act when I ask you to do something. Instead of being obedient, you arch your back and refuse to comply.” I asked God, when I had done that very thing. He brought to mind a book I have been trying to get through called “The Love Dare”. It is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to learn to love his or her spouse with a deeper, Godly love. I had come to a particular chapter and as I read the dare, I could feel my back arching, and I wanted to scream and throw the book across the room! It shook me up so bad, that I started praying and sought Godly counsel before I could continue on with the book. The Lord is good, and I was able to work through this particular issue in my heart that needed to apparently be dealt with.

When we refuse to deal with the bad-attitudes and “issues” in our lives, sometimes God has to put us in “the playpen”. He will let us be stubborn, but He will not force His Will on us. He takes a step back and essentially says, “OK, have it your way. When you are done with your stubborn fit, I’m here ready to pick you back up.” Don’t you love God and His loving Arms? I love the times when I’m finished in the playpen and I run back into the safety net of my Father.

What issues are you “arching your back” too? Are you willing to face them or are you already in the “play pen” so-to-speak? I want to challenge you to face some of these issues head on. It brings peace and joy back to your life. Your relationship with God is to be prized above all things.
Don’t sacrifice it on the alter of stubbornness.

From One Mom To Another,

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter Scrapbook Camp

Every winter my sister, mom and I try to get together to catch up on our scrapbooking. As you can see by Jackie and I's piles (mine's on the left), we were successful once again! It feels so good to be caught up. Jackie got 80 pages done (minus the journaling) and I still haven't counted mine. It was a lot, I know that!

Something I am determined to do is to make sure that my sixth child has the same amount of scrapbook pages as my first two children. So far, I have succeeded! Lily has a full album already and she is only 10 months old.
Yes, we make quite the mess, don't we? Here is a picture of my sis and I getting ready to pack up. Our backs were both killing us! It feels like you have been in some kind of athletic competition when you are all through. I need to go to the chiropracter!
Here is a picture of Mom, Lily, Jackie and I. We ate good food, watched some fun movies, played with Lily and scrapped our little hearts out.
I just had to throw my Lily Pie in here. I just love the stroller. It has really helped her to learn how to walk. She loves pushing her babies around already. She is going to make a good mommy!

Lily missed her brothers and sister so much. She didn't know what to do without her entertainment committee! They couldn't keep their hands off of her when she came home. She got a lot of lovin' from them and she ate it up! When I got home, Marcus (nine-year old) gave me the nicest, deepest massage on my neck and shoulders. It was so sweet! I love that kid!
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