Friday, February 26, 2010
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
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.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
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!!!!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
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
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
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)
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
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
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!
Friday, February 5, 2010
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
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.
From One Mom To Another,
Monday, February 1, 2010
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.
ackie and I. We ate good food, watched some fun movies, played with Lily and scrapped our little hearts out.
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!