Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fun blog

I am always on the look out for fun and creative kid centered blogs - mostly for crafts and activities. I use a lot of the ideas here at home, but more and more, I am taking the ideas with me to church. I have about 20 kids every Wednesday evening, age 5-12 that are hungry for action. We are also working on adding more craft centered learning to our Sunday morning program with 100+ children. I need inspiration!!

Enter the Crafty Crow - a fabulous compilation of fun crafts. Grab a drink and do some browsing. You (and your kids) will be blessed.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A beautiful bond


This is a recent picture of my two oldest, Emily (15) and Sarah (14). I caught them in the middle of a talk after Sarah got home from gymnastics. I think the picture says so much.

It seems like only yesterday I was a young 23 year old heading to the hospital to have Emily. The labor was especially difficult and it took nearly 24 hours for her to arrive safely. I vowed to anyone that would listen that all future children would be adopted after the experience.

A short 8 months later I was pregnant with Sarah and eager to start the whole process all over again. God is merciful with a mother's memory.

I remember holding Sarah in my arms and having Emily burst into the hospital room, excited to see me, ambivalent to see her new sister. Emily was 17 months old. When it was time to leave the hospital I felt so many things -- mainly, "How in the world am I going to take care of two babies?" Little did I know what the Lord had in store for me in the years to come......

When I look at this picture I see so much. I see the little girls that once played dress up and tea party at their little pink table. I see first days of school. I see giggles from secrets only they share. I see genuine love and friendship. I see feisty attitudes and quick wit. I see dreams.
I see a forever bond.

I see His blessing (and I give thanks).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

God is good



Over the past few weeks, I have become acutely aware of how fast our children grow, learn, and love.

I enjoy motherhood with all of its blessings and challenges. I wouldn't change places with anyone in the world. I have been called to a wonderful place.

The source of all goodness, of course, is God, and God can't wait to pour his goodness on all of us - every single day. Praises! I don't have to wait for heaven to get the full power of God's love and mercy. Every day when I tend to the kids, run them around town, help with schoolwork, and watch them play, I enjoy the goodness of God. Every time I settle a squabble, wipe a tear, hold a hand, give a hug or wave good-bye, I touch His goodness.

I am a mother. I am blessed. I have seen the goodness of the Lord in my life.

I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints. Psalm 52:9

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A special day

.....18 years ago I went on a blind date at the urging of a good friend. I almost backed out several times. I was tired of the dating scene and had heard my fair share of blind date horror stories.

I kept my word to my friend and showed up at her place. I waited.

The door opened up.

He smiled. I smiled.

We spent the whole day together. We were in Seal Beach, CA. It was a picture perfect summer day. We spent time at a beach volleyball tournament and had lunch out at Ruby's Diner on the pier.

We went to the movies that evening and thanked our friends for knowing us better than we knew ourselves.

He kissed my cheek and promised to call in a few days.

3 months later, on a bay dock just down the street from his apartment, we became engaged.


We were married one year later (November 16, 1991).
We have been blessed.

Monday, August 04, 2008

God's peace

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is my strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?"
Psalm 27:1 KJV


The summer has been crazy busy. A lot of the plans for quiet and relaxation have yet to occur. I'm beginning to think they may be a distant dream at this point.

Raising a family is challenging. Family, friends, and media have told us how challenging a mother's job can be...

"There goes sleep." "Ha. Wait until she grows up." "Privacy is long gone." "Paying for college will take massive sacrifices." "Your life will never be your own."
"Marriage will change."
"Well, what did you expect with so many kids?"

As if we didn't know these things to be true -- but so what? I know that motherhood is the toughest job I'll ever love - yes, even the challenges.

I find myself leaning on the Lord more and more these days. I need His infinite wisdom, grace, and mercy. I pray for a quiet spirit and peace of mind. I pray for the hearts of my children. I pray for discernment when I look at the family calendar.

With God in our corner as we raise and love our children, no situation is too complicated. God is the rock of my life. Yes, being a mother can be tough - but it's also a job filled with joy, especially when I trust God to work all things for good.

As I sit here in the quiet house, sipping on hot coffee and awaiting the first rush of feet on the stairs, I am reminded of the great joy I experience on a daily basis. Yes, there are challenges but when I allow myself to breath and look around - what an honor He has bestowed upon me.
It's all good. It's all God.

"I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints."
Psalm 52:9 NIV

Friday, August 01, 2008

Expectations

I am re-reading Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, this time with our oldest, Emily.

I blogged about this book a few months ago. I think it is should be put in to the hands of every teenager, parent, church member, and teacher.

page 36
"With all this money and attention focused on teens, the teen years are viewed as some sort of vacation. Society doesn't expect much of anything from young people during their teen years -- except trouble. And it certainly doesn't expect competence, maturity, or productivity. The saddest part is that, as the culture around them has come to expect less and less, young people have dropped to meet those lower expectations. Since most of us have grown up surrounded by these low expectations, meeting them is like breathing to us -- we never give it a thought. And we never realize what we've lost.

As one education expert put it, "Our ceiling for students is really much closer to where the floor ought to be." Think about that. The most our society expects from teens is really much closer to the least we should expect. Does that strike you as extreme?"

page 39
"It's almost gotten to the point that people expect less of teenagers than they do of toddlers. Think about it. Why do babies, with inferior motor skills, reasoning ability, and physical strength, experience nearly 100 percent success in overcoming difficult challenges, while teens often falter?
Well, one is expected, and the other is not.


Why does every healthy baby learn to walk while very few teenagers have learned to dance?
One is expected, and the other is not.


Why does every healthy baby overcome communication barriers by learning to talk while very few teenagers overcome barriers between themselves and their parents by learning to communicate?
One is expected, and the other is not.


The truth is that all of us are susceptible to low expectations.
Once we have satisfied the minimum requirements, we tend to stop pushing ourselves."



"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
1 Timothy 4:12

When expectations are high, we strive to meet them. When expectation are low, we tend to drop to meet them. What does the Bible say?

"Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but
in your thinking be adults."
1 Corinthians 14:20

Right now, we have too many people living according to society standards.
Be mature in evil, but in your thinking, be childish.

Look around your own community for glaring examples. It hurts.