As silly as…

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Teaching kids serious lessons about God, the Bible, and theology does not always happen in serious ways. We’ve talked about this before, right?

A few weeks ago we had a fun but profitable conversation at breakfast regarding our purpose in life. I can’t really remember how it started, but we began talking about how silly it was for people to think that they could take their life (which God had made) and use it for what they wanted (instead of His glory.)

One person started and then another and here is a sampling of what we came up with – minus the giggles:

Using your life to please yourself is as silly as…

…using a plate for a washcloth

…or a rosebush for a chair

…a cup of water for a hat

…or a table for a blanket

…a shark for a ship just would not be a good idea

…nor orange juice for window cleaner (but I’m tempted to think someone on Pinterest has tried)

One child who shall remain nameless suggested a piece of wood for a bench.

Actually….

****

It was a ton of fun, and yet I pray just one more tiny step towards solid thinking from good theology.

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It never ends

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“Man may work from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.”

For what it’s worth, I will still take the woman’s work; however, this post is not actually about the unending demands on wives or moms.

It is about the faithfulness of God. A precious truth that has become my constant friend. Of all the reasons to know and love the Old Testament, to let it speak for itself – this is one of the best. Over and over we see the faithfulness of God brilliantly displayed against the darkness of human faithlessness.

It used to be that in the mornings (if I was even spiritually together enough to meditate), I would try to think of things that would help me do or think what I thought  I should while making breakfast or getting the kids ready. And then a bowl of oatmeal would hit the floor, or a toddler would have an accident while I was nursing, or I would realize that we had no clean clothes to wear for the fourth day in a row, and before you know it I was thinking  things like I will never get caught up. I am so bad at this. I should have gotten up earlier to read my Bible. I should have joy no matter what. 

One morning by God’s great grace (manifested no doubt in some really good teaching and preaching of His Word at my church) it occurred to me that I should just think about the faithfulness of God. Forget thinking about all the things I couldn’t seem to do, forget about the possibility that I may never do them well, forget even for the moment about my desire to be faithful – just think about the faithfulness of God. To Abraham. To Joseph. At the Red Sea. At the walls of Jericho. Even throughout captivity. Over and over we see the steadfast love of God in His covenant-keeping faithfulness.

Honestly, that first time there wasn’t even an immediate application; it was just a rest. Just enough joy for the ordinary tasks ahead. I do remember some lame thought like Wow, that really helped.

Now I seem to need it more in the evening during those last hours before the kids go to bed. I’m so tired and yet I want to value every moment with them and then the baby is fussy while two are downstairs painting (by my consent – why?), and two are getting out of the shower, and the toddler I just bathed is sure she needs to use the restroom and threatening to take off her pajamas and accompanying diaper while I’m just trying to get this baby to stop crying and… (that was tonight). Unfortunately there is no eject button, neither is there a magic machine that will smoothly put the children to bed when you really don’t think you can take any more. So what do you think? Think about the faithfulness of God. It has never ended, and it never will. And with the faith that you have, ask Him to help you be faithful.

And He does.

From your first thought in the morning to the time you’re trying to relax before bed, He is faithful. All through the night and through every stage of life.

His faithfulness never ends.

The flower fades

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These flowers have been such a blessing to me!

I’ve enjoyed their beauty and been cheered by, well… their cheerfulness.

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It doesn’t hurt that they sit right by my rocker so I get to look at them quite frequently while caring for Owen.

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Today I can’t stop thinking about how the grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of God stands forever. How blessed we are to have God’s Word in our language, our laps, our devices, and our hearts.

Oh for grace to fill my life and mind and home more with this eternal beauty and treasure!

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What the fly on the wall heard

So many funny things have been said in the last months, but these are the three I remembered to write down. Enjoy!

We were reading one of our favorite books with the girls when we saw the page with the taxi on it. (There’s a taxi with all of one number here in town that the girls love to spot as we drive.)

“Hey girls,” I asked, “do you think that’s a 999-9999 taxi?”

Gracie hunched over the picture. “No,” she began slowly, “it’s a T, A, X, one – taxi.”

Oh the giggles!

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For breakfast one morning I cut up a good amount of oranges for the girls. While we were eating I had to take Zoe up to her nap. I found the oranges all eaten when I returned with a huge pile of peels on Mckayla’s plate.

“Uh-oh girls, you ate all the oranges already.”

The girls began to pipe up,

“I only had two.”

“I only had five.”

“I only had three.”

Mckayla joined in, her voice just as disappointed as her sisters,

“I only had fifteen.”

****

The week after Christmas we enjoyed a family hike at a nearby walking trail. I led the pack pushing Owen in the stroller with Gracie behind me and Mckayla behind her. Paul pushed Zoe in her little stroller while keeping up with Hope and Sophia who were in explorer mode complete with hats, backpacks, walking sticks, pencils, notebooks, and rulers.

Anyways.

Gracie piped up as we walked, “I’m a shepherd and you’re a star!”

That was funny enough, but she really got me when a few minutes later she added, “Why am I following a talking star?”

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New Year’s questions for your kids {2016}

I have a confession to make.

I never actually asked my kids the New Year’s questions last year.

(And we still had a great year)

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But it is my favorite holiday, and I really want to do it this year. Here’s my brainstorm of things to ask them about.

  1. What is your favorite memory from 2015?
  2. Who is your favorite friend that you played with (other than your family)? Why?
  3. What is your favorite thing about having a brother?
  4. What do you think are the things that you really have a hard time loving more than God?
  5. What is one thing you worry about?
  6. What is something fun that you would like to learn about this year?
  7. What is something important you would like to learn about this year?
  8. What is something you would like to do more with Daddy and Mommy this year?

I think that’s all for now. It may take a couple of days to sit down with the girls and ask all of these. Let me know if you try it!

Happy New Year!

Kids, conversations, and convenience

Last night, I almost – almost wished we could just have a flat tire episode so the girls would learn everything they need to know about the “extra tire” and stop asking me questions!

Also on the docket for conversations last night (all of this just on the drive home from church) was Gracie’s manifesto on why cupcakes are better than muffins and cake better than cupcakes, and an in-depth discussion of prisons and jails and juvenile detention centers including but not limited to whether I had ever been to one personally; why; why someone might end up there; would it always be for something wrong or bad; and what kind of questions do those staying there ask. Don’t forget the long, long, long, long, long conversation about spare tires.

And just in case you were unaware, driving home on a Sunday night while you are thirty-seven weeks pregnant is not an optimum time for brain function, patience, or creative teaching moments.

But then again, God doesn’t usually choose to hand us important teaching moments during optimum times. “Thanks for that opportunity, Lord; I was completely prepared,” said no one ever.”

Not sure why I thought a shot of big sister trying to help little sister eat her spinach was appropriate here, but there you go.
Not sure why I thought a shot of big sister trying to help little sister eat her spinach was appropriate here, but there you go.

It’s come to my attention that “important” conversations with your kids will occur at a time that could be described by some or all of the following :

Inconvenient

Unprepared

Exhausted

Spontaneous

Spiritually weak

Et cetera

Before we’re parents we imagine having these heart-to-heart conversations with our kids on a neatly made bed while the smells of dinner are wafting around from the crockpot and the other kids are in the next room praying for sister to grow in grace. Or something like that.

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But more than likely you will find out what they’re thinking through when you get in the car at the end of a long day or are rushing out the door to the grocery store.

I love that my girls ask things at random times and little by little I’m learning to be amused and thankful for the opportunity to talk. You never quite know what they will remember or really learn from so I pray for grace to be faithful in those opportunities.

Nothing we talked about last night was all that earth-shattering, but it did remind me of other occasions where we were able to talk about pretty important stuff at hilariously unpredictable times.

Does this happen at your house? I’m guessing we’re not the only ones. = )

 

For family and friends: well that was close…

Since you all know about the soon-arriving boy now, you will understand how I very nearly let this blog expire! The past two years I have questioned myself whether it’s worth it to continue, but the truth is if it’s a blessing to you all to see snippets of our life here, then it’s twenty-six whopping dollars well spent.

So in honor of another year of mass communication, here are some pictures from life lately.

My new dishwasher assistant.
My new dishwasher assistant.
The shot that didn't make it into the Father's Day present #thanksmckayla
The shot that didn’t make it into the Father’s Day present #thanksmckayla
sweet summer vacation photo
sweet summer vacation photo
Never a dull moment
Never a dull moment
Yum! A fourth of July salad even I liked (minus the lettuce).
Yum! A fourth of July salad even I liked.
Birthday cupcake!
Birthday cupcake!
One-year-old cutie
One-year-old cutie
Birthday date with Daddy. No wonder she doesn't want to get married.
Birthday date with Daddy. No wonder she doesn’t want to get married.
Five-year-old sweetie
Five-year-old sweetie
This girl
This girl
Mckayla and her colors
Mckayla and her colors
What happens when I say, "Can you watch her for just a minute?"
What happens when I say, “Can you watch her for just a minute?”
You know those moms who can line their kids up against a brick wall, have them look off in the distance and turn it into an amazing photo? Yeah, I'm not one of those.
You know those moms who can line their kids up against a brick wall, have them look off in the distance and turn it into an amazing photo? Yeah, I’m not one of those.
But this style we can do all day long!
But this style we can do all day long!
Don't miss the fact that Gracie actually let go with one hand for that thumbs up.
Don’t miss the fact that Gracie actually let go with one hand for that thumbs up.
Love my big girls
Love my big girls
Reading with Daddy
Reading with Daddy
Kindergarden desk
Kindergarden desk
Looking for a promotion to floor sweeper
Looking for a promotion to floor sweeper
Had to capture this when it happened
Had to capture this when it happened
Those mornings when your sisters get to you before mom...
Those mornings when your sisters get to you before mom…
How many times have we eaten burrito bowls since I've been pregnant, honey?
How many times have we eaten burrito bowls since I’ve been pregnant, honey? (a lot!)
I couldn't quite take her seriously when she came inside whining about her sister and looking like this!
I couldn’t quite take her seriously when she came inside whining about her sister and looking like this!

And that’s that!

Feeling caught up? Me too. = )

Love you all,

Christie