Friday, December 25, 2009
I am sure everyone is busy over the next few days, as are we, but I will let you know that my gift from my (AND to my husband) is a trip to Niagara Falls. We very rarely buy items for each other at Christmas, mostly we choose to purchase 'something' for the family. Our choice this year was the trip.
So...have a wonderful week, and I will bring some pictures back with me.
(P.S. Andrea, your comments don't get lost, I am just very slow at getting to the computer recently. Don't worry, eventually it gets done.)
Friday, December 18, 2009
No one in this area is afraid of snow - it is a part of our life for at least 8 months of the year, usually. On the days of the storm, the emergency personnel were telling everyone to stay home. "Don't bother getting into your car, you can't get anywhere." They weren't kidding. I had worked the night shift and walked home in the snow. Thankfully, the plows had cleared the sidewalks most of the way home, but there were very large drifts to climb over at some points. Some people had ignored the warning to stay home (being good northerners!), and several cars were simply abandoned in the streets where they couldn't move any further. The greatest challenge for pedestrians was the oncoming street plows spraying a wall of snow over your head!
Without worry, but not without heavy breathing, I made it home. The walk that usually takes 20-25 minutes took almost 1 and 1/2 hours! An experience, for sure.
Later in the week, with a few more flurries adding to our snow pile, I had to run some errands in town. Fortunately, we have good snow tires on our car and have been manuevering in the snow covered streets/hills well. When I left that day, I noticed that our hill was quite slushy and messy and I slid to a stop at the bottom the hill. All I could think was, "There is no way I am getting back into my driveway." With a shrug of my shoulders I said an 'off-the-cuff' comment to the Lord, "It would nice if the plow and sander came through while I'm out."
Shopping completed, not a plow seen in the entire town, I decided to take a round-about approach to home. One of the hills that runs perpendicular to our hill is much more travelled, therefore the slush and snow is cleared quicker. I decided if I climbed this hill and travelled around the block, I could approach my turn with more acceleration and hopefully get up to the driveway. As I travelled up the main street hill, I passed my street and looked up the hill - slushy and messy, no plowing done. Hope was failing.
I came around the corner and headed down the street that would bring me back to my corner. My hopes of sneaking up the hill with some extra speed came crashing down - oncoming traffic and pedestrians were everywhere - meaning I would have to come to a dead stop before I took the turn and try to make the hill. Hopeless.
Then, truly a gift from God, ten feet before I reached my turn, a plow and sander drove up my hill and cleared the way. My mouth dropped open. You must realize that this makes absolutely no sense. Our road is generally the last to be cleared and sanded. There had been main streets that were still waiting to be cleared.
Just when I think the small stuff in my life isn't important enough to lay at the Lord's feet, He hears my 'off-the-cuff' desire. Then proves, again, that He is listening.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
So, I am having a hard time blogging lately. Not because there aren't events happening that I would like to share. No, I have several posts in my mind, actually. The problem is getting up from the computer when I'm done. Getting into the bean bag chair isn't difficult. Just plop down. However, when I am ready to get up, my increasing baby belly adds a new dimension to awkward.
Picture this: I have to roll to one side of the bean bag chair to get on all fours. Depending on which direction I roll, the coffee table or the fireplace provides support as I lift myself to a standing position. The dog thinks I'm playing a game with him.
Generally, it is more worth the effort when I can sit and write several posts all at once. Now that you know, be patient with me and my irregular posting. Of course, each time you do visit and read a new post, picture me rolling back to a standing position - it's okay to laugh, I do.
Monday, November 30, 2009
His receptionist called me at home to set up an initial prenatal appointment and I could hear the tone of his voice in hers. Especially when I started arguing that it wasn't necessary to come in to the office yet. At the time, I was only 8 weeks along.
It isn't that, as a nurse, I think I know everything. It's just that I see no need to have my doctor tell me what I do already know...
Prenatal vitamins: check
Monitor weight: check
Moderate exercise: check
Proper nutrition: check
Other than that, the first prenatal includes blood tests that check for pregnancy or infections and to establish my blood type. All of which I also already know. So why hurry in?
That would be my personal philosophy on all my medical needs. If I have signs & symptoms of cold or flu, I live through it without ever discussing it with my doctor. Even if unusual symptoms become part of my days, I generally ignore it and wait to see if it goes away. That is sort of how he found out about this pregnancy so early on.
For several weeks (OK, months) I was having pain just below my left shoulder. When I finally went in for an appointment, my doctor scolded me - literally. I presented weak arguments that I do take these things seriously and I do understand the possibility of potential disease, but my trust isn't in the medical sciences. My trust is in the Lord for whatever may be happening to my body.
I get a blank stare., and an order for a mammogram.
Well, by the time I got around to actually going in for the mammo, I was pregnant - which means the test cannot be completed. Then the hospital staff calls the doctor's office and tattle-tales on me, and the doctor calls me and that brings us back to the phone call.
After a lengthy discussion with the receptionist, we agreed on an appointment date after my 1st trimester was up. She probably got in trouble for letting me convince her to put it off.
Anyway, the appointment is this week (which is actually my 13th week, not quite the 2nd trimester, so I did compromise!). Now, I prepare myself for the lecture. Really, I don't think I know everything. However, I do know God is in charge. So why worry?
He's thinking we could start using this as a practical way to encourage different skills for Duck. Forget the books, forget timeframes, just work through individual projects. Can you hear me hyperventilating?
The idea of removing structured learning is kind of scary. What if we forget to teach something really important? What if the school board decides to test all homeschool students and Duck is no longer able to work through test? What am I going to do without a daily schedule?!
My husband asked me to consider the idea and we've come to a compromise. Text books in the morning and practical projects after lunch. The projects we are looking at are sewing, meal preparation, grocery budgeting, photography, etc. By setting each project up as a unit study, Duck will need to work each one from beginning to end and include math, english/reading, research, etc.
I am sure there will be bumps along the way. I am also sure that I 'can do all things through Christ who strengthens me'...as long as I can keep some form of a schedule.
Friday, November 27, 2009
So over several weeks now, I have purchased some 'Trucker Bob' pants. A term my loving husband has labelled them. I fondly remember a pair of brown, corduroy maternity pants I had when I was pregnant with Duck. They were ugly - seriously, the ugliest pants you could imagine, but the most comfortable!
It seems maternity wear has not progressed much as far as esthetics. I am sure if I wanted to go to the high-end stores and spend a fortune on clothes (that I will only wear for another year) maybe there would be some real fashion treasures. However, Value Village and a little consignment shop called Once Upon a Child have provided 3 bottoms and several tops for the same (or lesser) price of one outfit at a 'maternity' shop. The choice between frugal or vanity is pretty easy for me. Just call me 'Bob'.
Friday, November 20, 2009
We drove through town and then down the highways to next village. We were met with pretty sights dotting the darkness. Christmas lights twinkling in different colours. What a sight! What a quick way to raise the spirits!
The next time you're feeling the green Christmas blues, take a ride after dark. You won't regret it!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Too many times this debate deteriorates into "the mom with the most kids wins", or "the more children you have the more righteous you are". Of course, if this were true, than women who have twins or other multiples would need to be praised alot more than women who give birth to one measly child at a time.
Of course children are a blessing when raised in God's way. But go back to verses 1 & 2 of this Psalm. Only God can put the building in motion for an actual heritage. 'It is vain' for any of us to concern ourselves with the number of arrows in our quiver. For a 'mighty man' (specifically a godly man) can raise up and shoot off the perfect arrow with great aim - even if he only has one. The true quiverful issue lies with trusting God for the number of arrows with which He blesses the womb.
I, as a mother of one beautiful 10 year old, cannot stand the foolishness that surrounds these discussions. Whether it is people who scorn at large families with the worldly arguments of overpopulation; or those who use every scientific means possible (surgeries, medications, surrogates) to give birth over and over. It is a lack of trust that fuels each of these opposing views. A lack of trust that the Lord knows what He is doing.
I have learned that lesson of faith. I didn't have any choice, God built my faith in this area. Ten years without further children sent me to the scriptures many times! I prayed and laid my desires at God's throne, always with the understanding of "Thy will be done". There were plenty of times I considered placing my will over His - after all God allows all these medical technologies to exist - doesn't He expect us to use them? Non-christians are given babies all the time and hand them over to the prince of this world - it's only right and fair that I force my womb to produce more children for His glory. Right?
Even with all the arguments I had with myself I couldn't do it. I know it would be done for my glory - or the glory for some doctor, but not God's glory. I know that there is nothing wrong with my body that God cannot fix if that is His will.
So for ten years, I wait for an answer. For ten years God has built my trust in Him that has affected many areas of my life and can now be passed on to my daughter with confidence.
A lesson that He obviously wanted me to learn. Because now I'm 40 years old and pregnant.
That's right - no grandstanding intended. This is for God's glory! No explanation, no warning. Just pregnant. Eleven weeks today, actually. And the most excited person in the house is the 10 year big sister.
How's that for a story on the building of faith and answered prayer?
Thursday, November 5, 2009
God is gracious with me. He has provided some encouragement in the real world, too. After my last post explaining my disillusionment with the christian people around me, one of the women at my church asked me about starting up the ladies' study. I explained that I was not looking at starting a group study, but would be happy to be part of one that someone else may want to start. After a short conversation (where my doubt believed she was looking for a way to get out of the suggestion she had made), she actually suggested a one-on-one study between the two of us.
We are currently seeking a study that we will both enjoy sharing together - and I am looking forward to it.
There are other great things to write about - things that have kept me away from my keyboard, but I will get back in the saddle soon!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Today, we tossed school aside to take hold of an opportunity to help a complete stranger. It all started on Thanksgiving weekend when a large apartment complex near our home was on fire. It was such a spectacular sight that most of the town was out to see it - I even got Duck out of bed to walk over. Most people were there to help the more than 150 residents of the building that were soon to realize they were homeless. Not having anything to offer at that time, Duck and I went home and talked about how an event like this can show us how easily our 'stuff' can disappear but, at the same time, why we are so thankful for what we do have in this world.
Then this morning we received a phone call from a woman from our church. She was trying to get some help organized for a woman who had lived in the burned out building. Could we come down and help her clean out anything that still remained in her apartment? Absolutely!
Um...okay, maybe I didn't exactly jump at the chance...my first thought was 'what about school?' If I fall behind this early in the year, it sets a bad precedent for the rest of the year - should I really be leaving to clean out someone elses' house when I haven't done my vaccuuming yet? All these thoughts were pretty selfish, I know. My husband quickly squashed them and volunteered us all for the job. So I quickly got over it and agreed to go.
When we arrived, two teen boys from church were already carrying furniture out of the building. Our job was to wrap any ceramics, china or pack up books and clothes that survived the fire. The smell was awful and the sight of the hallway and apartments was incredible. Paint peeling off the walls, floor tiles lifts up, ceiling panels crumbled to the ground - and this was the part of the building that was not touched by fire. This was all water and smoke damage. Walking through reminded me of the conversation Duck and I had spoken on the night of the fire. We really are blessed.
I am so thankful that we could help, even in a small way. Most of all, I am thankful that when we arrived back home my husband read Matthew 25 to Duck and remind us that anything we do "for the least" is done for the glory of God. The woman we helped claims to be saved, but has limited knowledge of scripture or practical day to day living for the Lord. She likely (I didn't delve into details) lives on welfare, is a serious smoker and displayed a 'woe-is-me' attitude all day. However, with no family in the area and significant health problems, there was no way she could have recovered any belongings on her own. She was very grateful for the help - but that wasn't why we did it.
When the Son of man shall come in all his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon his throne of glory:
Add before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall seperate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Matthew 25:31 - 34
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This past trip had one exception. Early in the week several young people arrived to camp at the park (a whole bus load). The ages seem to range from 17-25ish. Their campsites were no where near ours, but we would meet up with them at the comfort station (showers and bathrooms) and park areas. These kids were definitely rough around the edges. Tattoos, shaved heads, immodest dress and vulgarity of speech and behaviour - and that was the girls!
They were not overtly rude to us or anyone that we witness. However, none of our kids were permitted to go to the comfort station without an adult and we did look forward to them going home - partly because we like the campground to ourselves ;o)
One morning I was in washroom to dry my hair after a shower. Two of these young women (I can't bring myself to call them ladies) were sharing the counter space with me and chatting to each other. Every other word was profane, however the entire conversation was gross. One girl was complaining how her multiple sexual partners (both genders) couldn't get along with each other 'for her sake'. They also detailed the physical fight they had apparently both been involved in where they congratulated each other for the successful assault they had accomplished.
There was no attempt to hush their conversation or alter the vulgarity in anyway for the stranger standing beside them - me. This was their 'normal'. They likely knew nothing else. That's why I wasn't really offended. I was just sad. Sad for these lost little girls - because they are someone's little girls. Sad for the whole group of them because they had accepted debauchery as the way to live. It isn't likely that they were taught debauchery, it comes naturally, but they obviously did not have parents to teach them otherwise.
Than, as if on cue, Duck came running in to the washroom.
"Mommy! Daddy said he's going to take all of the girls on a morning trip to town!" referring to herself, her friend HH and HH's little sister).
Duck went on excitedly about Daddy's plan while she used the bathroom, washed her hands and left to get ready for the big 'Daddy date'.
I think at that point I wasn't the only one who felt sad. These girls had said nothing while Duck described her dad with such love and admiration. They kept silent as she gave me a big hug and a we said, 'I love you' to each other. They said nothing after Duck was gone. They packed up and smiled goodbye to me before leaving.
Maybe I'm reading too much into their silence. Likely they will make fun of the whole thing. Hopefully, they will recognize that debauchery is not the only choice in life.
Maybe Duck's natural testimony was put there for them from the Lord. I know Duck was not influenced by them - maybe they were influenced by Duck. Another reason to live out loud - someone is always watching!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
About mid-afternoon Friday, as Duck is getting the hamster and his accoutrements ready to be delivered I get this mournful cry from her room "MOM!". Now hamsters only live 1-2 years, and Teddy Bear is over the annual mark. So right away I think she has found his little body without signs of life. Automatically I start rehearsing 'the speech' in my head about life and death. However, when I arrive at her sobbing side and she regains enough control to talk, I find out the hamster is not dead. The hamster is missing. When she had cleaned the cage the day before, she had left a door open.
Keep in mind that we had been out of the house all night. The hamster had the run of the house, along with the dog.
A frantic search began, without a lot of hope. When I could get away without too many questions, I went out to check dog poop. Yes, I checked dog poop. No fur or bones, that was a good sign. The dog was not showing signs of indigestion either. Also a good sign.
After almost an hour of fruitless searching, I sat down with Duck for a hard talk. The hamster was likely gone for good. Even if he was still alive in the house, he was curled up somewhere sleeping at this time of day. Then we talked about the error she had made by leaving the door open. Duck has been in a phase of life lately that has shown a lack of diligence. This situation was bringing that fact out to the forefront. A very hard lesson to learn.
We set out traps for the hamster that night, as we were all out of the house again. A hamster trap is the use of deep pots or buckets with a ramp for the hamster to get into the pot, but not be able to get out - fill the pot with food and a water dish to lure him into the trap.
Saturday morning...no hamster. We were leaving at noon for the camping trip. More tears. Duck was in her room crying out to the Lord (a blessing to hear even during this hard lesson). She wasn't just asking for Him to bring back the hamster, she was asking Him to help her learn greater diligence and gave thanks for having the hamster in the first place. Sigh! If I could have pulled a hamster out of thin air for her at that point, I would have done it. But God knew best.
As we were packing the car, our downstairs neighbour happen to be outside and I mentioned that Duck's hamster may find his way down to his apartment. I wasn't telling him so he could set out traps or anything - there is a dog and a cat in the downstairs apartment. I just wanted him to know where it came from if he did find a body. We did leave the traps out in our place with extra food and water. The final signs of hope for a return.
We left for camping and all the kids from our friend's family were told of the tragedy - and asked not make fun of it. Duck was really hurting when the topic came up. However, as hours and days past, she talked little about it and had fun on her trip.
Nine days later, we arrive home and find empty traps.
'OK, Ducky. It's time to clean up the traps and say goodbye to Teddy Bear for good.' Teary eyes, but no sobbing anymore.
We are still unloading and unpacking when there is a knock at the door. The downstairs neighbour knocks on the door. He smiles as he holds out a large spaghetti pot,
"I thought you would like to try some of the sauce I made this week"
Now, I like my neighbour well enough, but we do not have the kind of relationship where we share recipes. I look in the pot and there is Teddy Bear. Dirty with a funny blue colour to his head fur, but it is Teddy Bear. The neighbour found him the day after we left for camping and had been taking care of him all week. I thanked him profusely! And took the pot.
When Duck looked into the pot, the tears returned. Happy ones this time.
It is a minor miracle that this animal is now back in his cage (and he was happy to be back!). We don't know where the blue colour on his head came from and he has spent several days cleaning himself, but the lesson learned in all this is irreplaceable.
Maybe my emotional side wanted to solve the problem for Duck by just giving back the hamster (I even thought about buying a new one that looked the same and slipping into the traps). But God knew where the hamster was all along and what His plans were for the whole event. Just as scripture talks about His care of the sparrows, He cared for this hamster, too. All for helping a little girl grow in her faith and in her fruits of the Spirit. Duck is actively working on her diligence.
My faith has been increased, too. Nothing like a reminder from God, Himself to trust Him in all things. Even if the hamster had never returned, we would have studied how He takes care of all His creatures. Now we can study it with a Teddy Bear curled up in his little cage.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
We did stay pretty dry despite the weather. That is, of course, part of camping! One of the 'big deals' of the week were that Duck and her friend HH got their own tent. Both moms had some qualms about it and I kind of expected to hear "mom!" in the middle of the night, but they slept well and only had one night where dad had to do a security check for the boogie man. The noise turned out to be raccoons having a party behind their tent - note the potty right outside their door:
We did have some beach days during the week - although I find the water frighteningly cold! My husband was game to play with Duck. I have to warn you their is a dirty picture from the beach - I apologize if it offends anyone, it was too good to pass up the shot!:
We also took a couple of day trips. One afternoon we went to my dad's neighbourhood and spent the afternoon at a local farm. They have a petting zoo, corn maze and a whole section of games and playground stuff for kids:
" Hello little fella!"
Here's real camping treat - garbage can turkey! Obviously we used a new garbage can ;o). It cooked in just under two hours, but I have to say it wasn't as good as oven roasted:
Finally, what's a camping trip without camping hair! My rag-a-muffin girl:
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Then the other day one of my co-workers noticed the book I just started to read, "What He Must Be...if he wants to marry my daughter" by Voddie Baucham.
"Do you really think you can control your kid like that?"
me: "well, it's more about teaching her to have standards for marriage."
"No way! You can't control who she falls in love with - that's crazy."
I carried on the conversation explaining that if we accept emotional responses to situations as solid reasoning than every pedophile has a reason for what they do - if they claim to be 'in love'. I talked about teaching our kids to make decisions with their brain rather than emotions. The ideals of what marriage is will come from somewhere, whether it is from peers or media based entertainment...neither of which will teach kids logically never mind biblically!
By having both sons and daughters recognize their value in Christ and have non-negotiable standards for future relationships/marriage, then they are alot less likely to end up dealing with teen pregnancy or STDs that haunt them for the rest of their lives; they are alot less likely to give themselves away to the first person who pays any romantic attention to them; alot less likely to feel like being single is a failure and settle for less than God's BEST.
At which point in the conversation I realize my co-workers are staring blankly at me and you can hear the sound of crickets in the room - no doubt they are thinking, 'weirdo'.
Still...I'm OK with that. After all, we are called to be peculiar people for God! ;o)
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
So she started her own church - because her god is a god of love. Her god is accepting and tolerant of different people's lifestyle choices. Her god is not God.
When God describes Himself as jealous, it is not negative. In fact, He is talking about the very basis of the first two commandments:
God doesn't approve of His children turning our hearts away from Him to anything else. It isn't hard for our small minds to grasp this aspect of God. Let's consider it in temporal terms.
Oprah has alot of dogs, she is an animal lover. One time when she arrives to her country home, she find that the next door neighbour has left a note stating that the fence between their properties has a hole in it and the dogs have been coming over to her property everyday. Oprah apologizes and promises to repair the fence ASAP - but wait, the neighbour likes the dogs and says there is no need to hurry with the repair. The neighbour has made a habit of feeding the dogs treats and encourages them to visit. The dogs are at the neighbour's house everyday, most of the day and Oprah has to go to get them. They no longer return home on their own and the treats that the neighbour is feeding them are giving them foul gas and causing some vomiting. Oprah asks the neighbour to stop feeding them and the neighbour just smiles and says 'it is only a little treat, they like it'. Oprah get the fence repaired, but finds it knocked down again and the dos over at the neighbour's house. The vet bills are piling up and the repairs on the fence are weekly. Worst yet, the dogs seem to prefer the neighbour over her. There may be room for several emotions in this situation but jealousy is likely one of them. Those are HER dogs.
We, as God's children are not unlike those dogs. Easily enticed to wander from our home (the path of righteousness); attracted to things or people that are not good for us; sinfully and selfishly seeking out other gods to serve and be served by. Of course the Lord is a jealous God. We are HIS children.
Obviously in an understanding of God's sovereignty, I believe that those who are entice away permanently through vain doctrines are like waves upon the sea (tossed to and fro Ephesians 4:14). They were never really part of the kingdom in the first place.
The key for those of us who are truly His children is to constantly be wary of anything that is taking us away from God. Satan is very good at this tactic - we need to listen to the Spirit and wrap ourselves in the Word. Otherwise, we could end up joining the church of Oprah.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3:2 - 7 (emphasis mine)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
My computer has again decided to crash at intermittent points of usage. I can be right in the middle of a brilliant post and it dies before I save - then I wonder if there is an appropriate time to swear...not really :o)
So, for the few of you who do read my thoughts and opinions...please hang in there. I'm at the mercy of computer repair guys.
Monday, September 14, 2009
'I have a report before me from the University of North Carolina warning about a kiddies' minefield that your offspring may be playing in right now.
Yes, I am talking about "the beach." Did you know that beach goers who innocently build sandcastles or fill pails with beach sand are 13 per cent more likely to suffer a stomach ailment - and 20 per cent more likely to get diarrhea?
Are you one of those sun idolaters who mindlessly let their kids bury each other up to their nostrils in sand? Loser. The study says your kids have 24 per cent better chance of suffering gastrointestinal distress than that sensible family in their Sunday church clothes whose feet never leave the boardwalk. Meanwhile, your kids might as well be playing Russian roulette with a Glock nine mil.
As Chris Heaney, the study's lead author, so wisely warns us: "the beach is not a sterile environment." Who knew?
It's not just the beach, of course. Kiddy traps lurk everywhere, just waiting to snare the unwary. That's why school kids in Chicago recently got to sit through a 20 minute lecture on the dangers of the hula hoop. Meanwhile, an elementary school in Attleboro, Massachusetts has prudently banned the game of tag on school grounds because, as the principal points out, "accidents can happen."
He's right - and they can happen anywhere. That's why it's now possible to buy lid locks for your toilet seats (what if little Ashton or Kimberly fell in and drowned?). There is also a market for tiny gloves and mini-kneepads specifically designed to protect your wee ones during their first crawling experience across the perilous, hazard-strewn, bacteria-ridden war zone also known as the living room floor.
Just nutty Americans, you think? Think again. Last month the chief medical officer for the Vancouver Island Health Authority went public about the dangers of...
Dr. Richard Stanwick counsels that children sitting around a campfire should:
- apply hand sanitizer before selecting a marshmallow;
- sterilize their roasting twig before impaling marshmallow thereon;
- use clean tissue to carefully remove carbon from twig;
- put clean marshmallow on clean stick with clean hand and proceed.
Hold it! The doctor's not finished! He also warns to be wary of ingesting molten marshmallows.
"If there's a flame coming out of it, it's probably too hot", he says.
Ya think, doc?"
The author of the news article, Arthur Black, is generally a tongue-in-cheek kind of guy. That's why I enjoy reading him.
How does socialism play into all this foolishness. For starters, these studies were paid for with government money - our tax money. Also, as I pointed out in the beginning, there are people who take this stuff seriously. People who believe that the good 'doctors', or anyone with a piece of paper declaring them to be 'educated', know more about parenting than parents.
Someone, somewhere will read these studies (and others like them) and then criticize a parent for taking their kids to the beach without wrapping them up sterile scuba suits and surgical masks. Someone, somewhere will be treated like an ignorant or dangerous parent because the recommendations of these studies are not implemented into their child-rearing tactics as if it is gospel.
Take note - worldly wisdom may sound completely ludicrous, but someone is listening. Maybe we, who have the benefit of Godly wisdom, need to start speaking louder.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
There was tricycle race track. Take note ladies, if you sit on a small vehicle it just makes you look big:
Here's my husband joining in the fun. The little house had a loft with a slide:Here's what happens the next day when two little ladies have had a good time - even though they were determined to be up before everyone else!:
Monday, September 7, 2009
I have often told my husband that I planned on having dementia by the time I was 40years old. Well...that benchmark passed by a couple of weeks back and I'm starting to see the signs. So is my family - and I thought I was just joking!
For years I warned him that he would need to keep track of my activities for me - in case I got lost, or forgot what I was supposed to be doing. We would smile at our little joke. Well, no joke. Lately I keep losing my train of thought, not to mention pretty much any article that was in my hand a minute ago! Most definately pleasantly confused. I just wrote it off to being on summer vacation and not having a regular routine - it would be fine as soon as school started again.
Then, several weeks ago...I lost a twenty dollar bill (TWENTY DOLLARS!). I spent hours freaking out about it - days, really. For someone like me who is so cheap about spending money, losing it was horrible! (BTW, I still haven't actually confessed this to my husband - he'll read it for the first time right here)
I do know how it happened. The bill (TWENTY DOLLARS!)was in my hand while I was driving - because I was going to the store to use it. I got into the store and realized it was not in my hand anymore (did I mention it was TWENTY DOLLLARS!). I tried to give it over to the Lord. I prayed, "OK, Lord. It's your money anyway so you must have plans for it. Right?"
Over and over again I told myself that it really was God's money - as I frantically searched the car and my pockets for the bill (TWENTY DOLLARS!). Finally, I had to admit that it was gone for good. This is where I would like to say I took hold of peace about it. Nope.
I fretted inside my head constantly after that day. Every time the price of something was close to twenty dollars it would remind me of my dementia moment (TWENTY DOLLARS!). Then the Lord hammered my head with the very fact that I had been trying to grasp all along - He was in charge of the money. How did He show me? Read on...
On one of our camping trips we intended on visiting the Canadian Canoe Museum. It was the only planned stop in-town for this particular trip. We arrived and the admission price list was laughing at me with a family rate of, you guessed it, twenty dollars. The doubts and self-centred thoughts were raging in my head again. We entered the museum and the hostess at the door came over and whispered to us:
"We have a guest speaker here right now for the Liberal Party of Canada, so the you can't enter one part of the museum right now. Don't worry, you can still come in - but admission is free because of the speaker."
There was the twenty dollars back into our family funds. Just like that. I could have laughed out loud at the wonderful grace He was showing me. It was grace simply because He didn't have to show me - it is all His money. I mean, really, I'm not even a Liberal!
So there you have it. Maybe I am entering into dementia or maybe this was another way for God to show me who is in control of everything - even a twenty dollar bill. Sooner or later I hope to learn this lesson for good!
Friday, September 4, 2009
It is so simple, it's brilliant! A fruit roll-up filled with Nerds candy and a Mike and Ike jelly bean in the middle to help roll it all up.
Yes...it is total sugar and I wouldn't let my Duck eat more than two - however, I took this one home to take the pictures. You'll have to guess who got to eat it! Although, I imagine my dentist will be able to tell ;o)
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
"Well, the Calvinist doctrine states some very dangerous theology."
Me: "Like what?"
"A big one is total depravity of man. They believe we cannot choose (big emphasis on this word - stretch out the oooo) to receive salvation."
Me: "Oh, but you don't believe that?"
"NO (raise voice here), God gives everyone the opportunity to be saved. Then we can cho(oooo)ose to receive salvation or not."
Me: "Why would anyone choose not to receive salvation?"
"I don't know, but the point is we are given the choice - we're not robots being programmed by God."
There seemed to be great vehemence for this doctrine, but very little discussion as to why it was wrong. It was just wrong. Anyone who followed it was ignorant, arrogant or abhorrent.
Well...I've never been much of a bandwagon person. In anything from fashion and trends right through to my growing faith, the bandwagon wasn't an attractive place for me. Quite frankly, anything that is presented by people as THE only way brings instant suspicion to my mind.
Why is this doctrine wrong? Where in scripture is it outlined as heresy? Where did the doctrine come from? Who is John Calvin? Does he know Hobbs?
The more questions that I asked the more it became that obvious I would have to find out on my own (actually, I am blessed with a husband who avoids the bandwagon, as well, and had just as many questions). I looked at both sides of the debate. Turns out the Doctrines of Grace, a.k.a. the 5 points of Calvinism, make for enlightening reading. Calvin, himself comes across as a no-nonsense type of fellow. He doesn't pad the truth to make it soft. I liked it. I understood it. It opened up a greater relationship with the Lord.
Yes, I am a Calvinist. However, I don't generally introduce myself this way. My church does not have a banner over the entrance that says 'Armenianists stink!'. But, there is no denying that the Doctrines of Grace have lead me to serve the Lord in ways I never did before, because I understand and am humbled by the love Lord has shown me.
I know I was blind and He gave me sight: And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 (emphasis mine)
I know I was dead and He gave me life: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1 (emphasis mine)
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Ephesians 2:5 (emphasis mine)
I know I was not capable of choosing righteousness while happily wallowing in my sin. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Romans 8:30
I know He had to drag me kicking and screaming from the life I lived for me, to a life for His Son to live through me. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why has thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? Romans 9:19-21
My husband has an analogy for the term 'receiving' salvation - if we receive a beating, it isn't something we ask for! However, we have received it nonetheless. Our salvation is completed in the same manner - against our sinful desires.
Does that make me a heretical zealot who lives as a robot under God? I can live with that. For eternity.
How do you hate a Calvinist? Jump on the bandwagon, you'll have lots of company!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
There was a time when that meant alot of wordly issues to me. Raised by a feminist, I believed that I, as a woman, would never be given a fair chance. That I would have to work twice as hard, and achieve twice as much to be given half the 'success' that my male counterparts would experience. To say that I bought into it hook, line and sinker would be an exaggeration; but, I believed that I alone would have to make things happen for a happy, successful life. What I gleaned from the feminist mantra was that I could trust no one, depend on no one and expect nothing from those around me. I - was - it. Hence the makings of a control freak.
Even after I was saved, my need for control was immense. This is not to say I didn't confess a recognition of God as soveriegn - I just wanted to keep that soveriegnty in a little box. Even my husband suffered through the times when I 'knew' I was right and everybody else was wrong. For instance if my husband was working outside of God's will, I took the opportunity to teach him my opinion(how many times have I seen other women doing the same thing with their husbands!). We, as women, need to learn to get out of God's way to see His power in our lives. After many years, I think I finally get it. John the Baptist helped me with this little tidbit:
He must increase, and I must decrease. John 3:30
So the wisdom I follow now is much, much different - but it is still a struggle for me to ignore my old teachings. Although I am not a biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination, my Lord is patiently showing me truth.
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith; Philippians 3:9
How can I claim any kind of growth in my faith by trying to do it myself. My faith came from God and only He can cause it to grow - if I get out of the way and watch Him work!
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesian 4:22-24
I picture this in simple terms. When Christ came into my heart, he only needed to have a crack in the door to enter. As I grow in my faith and understanding of how to give Him my 'all', I need to throw open the door and step out of the way. If anyone around me is outside of God's will, I can encourage them to turn back, I can even lead by example if it is a peer, but I can't change them. Trust me, nagging and manipulating may get the outcome we as women desire, but it doesn't lead anyone to the Lord. I have learned that the best way to allow God to do the work, is to shut my mouth and concentrate on my own walk of faith. Try it, I recommend this technique highly! The results are nothing short of miraculous.
I CAN'T DO ANYTHING RIGHTEOUS IN GOD'S EYES, but Christ can through me - through any Christian. All we need to do is stay out of his way.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
We reached to gorilla's outdoor enclosure just at lunchtime - for them and for us. So we decided to watch the action of their meal before digging into our picnic basket. What a show we got!
The authority of the dominant male was unmistakable because only he was allowed to eat - all the other gorillas, teenagers and one mama with baby, were sitting around the perimeter of the enclosure while the king gorged himself on the delivered food. There was some dissension in the ranks as one teenager (probably male) snuck a handful of celery and headed to the highest perch to eat as discreetly as he could. Otherwise, everyone seemed to know that there was no eating until the king was finished.
It wasn't any wonder why he was the king. He outweighed every other gorilla in that enclosure by several hundred pounds. He was the king of the castle and all the men standing around were making comments about it and elbowing their wives about how everything seemed to be in order with this system.
In the mean time, the zoo attendants were on the far side of the enclosure with some type of branches that must be a tasty treat because they were trying to entice the mama and her baby to eat some. The king took great exception to their attempts to override his authority and took a running leap at one of the staff - she was completely protected behind the fence line, but still fell back on her behind in shock and fear of this 500lb+ animal charging her. The whole enclosure shook from his body weight slamming against it in attempt to get at the staff. As a final note he grabbed the branch as his treat and headed back to the center of the feeding area - quite pleased with his performance. All the human watchers were duly impressed with his kingship.
After only a few moments the staff were again pushing branches through and mama had been inching her way over - always on the perimeter. When she and her baby reached the branches, she nonchalantly reached and pulled the branch to her with little to no notice by the king. The baby had one taste of the leaves on the branch and lost all sense of fear for the king - he jumped from mama's belly to the fence and actively began eating.
Well, the king may have been willing to ignore the actions of his wife (mama), because she knew enough to be discreet. However, the outward defiance of a the baby eating before permission was given was too much for him. In seconds of mama reaching for the baby to pull him away from the fence, the king was snorting and rampaging toward them just as he had done to the staff member - only there was no fence to stop this attack.
Every parent standing around the enclosure with us had the same thought at the same time, 'this gorilla is going to hurt or kill the baby - we've got to get our kids away from the view!'. My husband and I were making our way to step in front of the girls as other parents were corralling their kids to move away from what looked to become a gruesome scene. Then we all heard it. The baby let out a horrified screamed that raised the hair on my neck - this was it!
Then another strange sound rose from the midst of the snorting aggression of the king and crying hopelessness of the baby. Anger. Deep, maternal, anger. Turning to look, everyone focused on was the sudden change in events within the enclosure. Mama had heard her babies cries. Mama wasn't happy!
The king was running for his life! Mama, with baby attached again to her furry belly, was inches behind the king with a murderous look on her face. The king knew he wouldn't live to reign another day if he stopped. The teenagers in the enclosure were whooping it up - literally, laughing and chattering and swinging with delight to see the king getting a strip tore off of him.
And as quickly as it started, it was over. The king sitting in a corner now, sulking, and all the other gorillas eating with gaiety! Every man in the audience felt sorry for the big fella - every woman was laughing at the calamity.
It was funny!
However, I couldn't help but think how this could easily be transferred into North American homes. The husbands, who now cower in their lazyboy chairs because mama ain't happy!
I know we're talking about gorillas. I also know that any feminist watching the same scene that day would have said, 'See, it's natural for women to seek authority in the family. It's obvious men can be brutish when given the opportunity.'
All I have to say is, those were gorillas. We are God's children. Never should those two be placed in the same category! Never do I want to be compared to gorilla mama who was teaching her child to disobey, even discreetly. Never do I want my husband to feel it is easier, and safer, to simply let me be the head of the house.
Lord, let me never forget that!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Fourth question...what if the debt load is too high for one income? Well, that didn't happen by accident, did it? Absolutely take responsibility for debt that has been incurred in past times - but changing to a frugal lifestyle will show a walk toward God's BEST for the family. Our family is in this situation right now. I work part time as a nurse to pay off the debt that my husband and I incurred in the first part of our marriage. Keep in mind that my previous full time income was almost twice what my husband makes working full time now. But, since making the decision to seek God's BEST for our family, we have paid more than $28,000 off (some of it was simply removed by the grace of God!) in only 5 years! With just $14,000 left to go, my work time outside of the home is lessening every year. God has been gracious in this area by giving my husband a job that is flexible for scheduling and giving me a job that I can pick and choose my shifts. These two things make sure that homeschool is not affected and that one of us is home with Duck at all times - no need for babysitters. Blessings always follow when we seek out God's BEST for our lives. Why should we believe the blessings will come?
Last question...what if a woman is in an abusive situation? Get out. Take the kids and get out. God's authority structure does not include abuse of any kind. However, seek your heart for the truth first. Physical abuse is an obvious reason to leave, but emotional and verbal abuse are slippery ones. There are times that I have been guilty of emotionally and verbally abusing my husband! Sometimes, as wives, we must suffer under the persecution of our husbands who have yet to follow God's BEST for their role in the marriage. By challenging ourselves as wives to be a biblical woman, God can change your husband.
There are probably several more 'what if' questions that come up when discussing a woman's decision to stay at home, whether married or single. The ones that I did bring up in this series are the ones that come up most frequently among my community of friends and acquaintances and strangers. I do know that the decision to be wives and mothers at home, to make that a plan for the future when still single, has to be a conviction with solid biblical grounding. A woman without the conviction will find it is only a matter of time before the 'what if' arguments break down any shallow decisions and home life will never be good enough for her.
Just today as I was looking for a way to wrap up this series, Duck and I were picking wild raspberries. We were hindered by bees, thorns, heat and thick brush. All these hindrances were a perfect example of what living lives as women of conviction is like - there will always be something or someone that is intent on pushing us away from following the BEST path that God has for us. However, perseverance, patience and trust in God will always end in blessing - in this case by working past the bees, thorns, heat and thick brush we filled a basket full of raspberries!
So let me repeat my conviction from the first installment on this series - God's BEST path for every woman is to be a wife and mother. Period. Spare me the 'what if' arguments and show me the scripture!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Well, we have been searching for quite awhile to find the best canoe for our family and just found this beautiful vessel on Monday past. After trying out multiple canoes, we purchased this Clipper Tripper for an excellent price: In our part of the country the Swift Canoe is the most well known and is recommended highly by anyone who has used one. We did try out the Swift brand, and we did like it, but the price of that line of canoes was a little high ($2500+). This brand, Clipper, is mostly associated with Mary's end of the country - British Columbia. We found it at a local canoe store after someone had traded it in for a purchase. It was the perfect size and handles great in the water:
For more Show and Tell, go visit Mary!
We're continuing to look at the 'what if' questions that always seem to come up when the topic turns to women staying at home to be full time wives and mothers. First we are covering the idea of daughters being raised to see this choice as God's BEST:
Second question...what if the girl never finds a spouse that meets her standards for marriage and stays single? Oh, boy...has this been on my mind! There are very few choices available at this point in time for the young, single women that I know. However, dropping scriptural standards just for the sake of being married is not God's BEST. A woman who remains single should still be prepared for marriage and children - we can never know when God will send the husband He has prepared for her. If a husband is never found, a woman's life can still be full by working with other woman and helping in their families; by serving in great ways within a church structure; by standing firmly on her conviction of purity as a testimony to her trust in God. Yes, it would be hard. Yes, it would be worth it! James knew it:
Monday, August 3, 2009
There is no doubt that the secular worldview is that every family should be a two income family. If a woman is not working and building her career there must be something wrong with her - she's lazy - or she's being held back by her husband and children, etc. In the end, the current culture believes a woman who is a housewife and stay-at-home-mom is missing out on her full potential. Sometimes the christian realm isn't much different when weighing in on this topic. The questions about women staying at home, or daughters being raised with this future plan, almost always turns to the 'what if'.
- your daughter never marries,
- your husband were to pass away,
- that woman really is in an abusive situation,
- that young girl wants to go to college and have a career,
- the family has a debt load greater than the husband's salary?
God's BEST path for every woman is to be a wife and mother. Period.
This isn't something that is repressive or subjugating. It is a freeing and edifying role. Let me tell you why I believe this:
Ephesians 5:22&23 (emphasis mine)
Obeying God is never wrong and never degrading. He built this relationship into marriage as a protection for women. We are first under the protection of our fathers, then that responsibility is passed onto our husbands.
First question...what if the father is not a strong christian(or not a christian at all) who will take the responsibility to heart? This happens - we live in a sinful world and there are no guarantees that those around us will follow God's BEST. The key for young girls in this situation is to honour their earthly father without dishonouring our heavenly Father. If 'dad' says his daughter could or should date (or most often heard, doesn't care!), the daughter needs to purpose in her heart to seek God's BEST for this area of her life. Dating is 'normal' and easy and even fun - but it is not God's BEST for a single girl. If 'dad' does not actively support following a courtship model to marriage, there will likely be a pastor who can counsel the young girl during her single years. Regardless, young women cannot use those around them as an excuse to ignore God's BEST.
...to be continued...
Thursday, July 30, 2009
3/4 cups warm water
1 cup Elmers glue
food colour of choice
2 tsp. borax (cleaning product)
1/2 cup warm water
In first bowl, mix top three ingredients. In a second bowl, mix last two ingredients
Make sure both bowls are well mixed.
Pour bowl one into bowl two.
No need to stir, just reach in a pull out the glob of flubber.
The consistency improves by 'kneading' the glob for a few minutes.
Lasts way longer than playdough...and, if I didn't mention it yet - it's way cooler!
For more great show and tell stuff, go over and visit Mary's place.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
ZIPPY CORN CHOWDER
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 tbsp. margarine
1 can chicken broth
2 large potatoes, cubed
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups corn
4 green onions, chopped
3 cups milk, divided
1/4 cup flour
- saute onion and green pepper in margarine until tender
- add broth and potatoes; bring to boil and then simmer until potatoes tender
- add jalapeno, mustard, salt, paprika and pepper flakes; blend well
- add corn, green onions, and 2 1/2 cups milk
- make a roux with remaining milk and flour and add to soup; bring to boil and stir while cooking until thickened and bubbly
Monday, July 27, 2009
What a load of manure!
(Now God has been showing me to hold my sarcasm and derogatory tones to myself, but this is one area that really tests my resolve to use 'soft answers'. Today as I write, some of my disdain for these 'martyrs' may leak out - for that, I apologize)
Most of the time I just stare blankly at these women while they attempt to convince me that God's plan is not working in their marriage. Generally they end up telling me (and other wives) that we likely can't understand their situation because of our perfect marriages.
Could someone please hand me a shovel, it's time to remove a few layers of crap and share some truth.
There was nothing perfect about my husband and I when we married - there's nothing perfect now. There have been countless times when one or both of us has openly refused to yield to God's plan for our marriage and we have paid the price for it with hurt feelings and lost time as "heirs together in the grace of life". Since this is my blog, I'll share an example of when my husband was being a complete jerk - I'll share a jerk story about me some other time ;o)
This occasion occurred when I was thoroughly examining my role as a wife. The Lord was showing me that my attempts to persuade or manipulate changes in my husband were futile - that only He could change him, if it were His will. We had been through a particularly nasty set of arguments over several weeks, so I put my hands up and said, "OK, God. I'll give him over to you and concentrate on how I should be acting."
And, I did. And it got worse - or at least, it felt like it was worse because I had to bite my tongue each time I believed my husband was baiting me or insulting me. Looking back, of course, I know Satan was giving me every opportunity to ignore God's advice - he never wants God's people to succeed and grow!
One particularly bad day I came home from work (still working full time) and my husband had been home with Duck all day. The house was a royal mess. I had had a long day at work. Not exactly a situation that made me want to love and honour my husband! But I determined to follow my deal with God. I smiled and made supper. Helped Duck to bed. Headed for the kitchen to clean. My husband headed to the couch and TV. Grrrr!
THEN, as I was elbow deep in the second load of dishes, my husband wanders into the kitchen, pours himself a pop and on the way out of the room tosses this comment over his shoulder.
"Dog needs water."
There are only a few time in my life where I have been angry enough to do physical damage. This was one.
I held onto the sink so hard my knuckles were white. God, Himself must have been holding my feet, because my husband is still alive today. Through gritted teeth (not exactly a submissive spirit) I prayed. For both of us. And God was gracious to give me peace about the situation. Again, I determined to work on my role as wife and leave my husband to God. I finished the kitchen and joined him to watch the news.
The little battles within myself continued but I did see glimpses of change in my marriage. Any positive events were held in my heart like gold! These golden moments were a treasure but they left me unconvinced that there was real change happening in my husband. Pessimism is a terrible waste of energy!
On a sunny Sunday we returned home from church and my husband was in foul mood. He changed his clothes and announced that he was taking the dog for a walk. Apparently there were spiritual battles happening in his mind because he unceremoniously stated, "I'm not going back to church tonight" and walked out the door.
"Why isn't daddy going to church, mommy?"
"I don't know, babe."
"Is daddy mad?"
"I don't know, sweetie. Let him talk to God for awhile." That was what I told myself, too. Again.
Duck was napping when my husband returned. He had taken the dog to walk at the river park across the road. The park area is on the other side of the river and there are boat locks that provide a walkway over the water. When no boats are travelling through, the walkway splits in two to let the boats through (kind of like french doors). He had been gone a long time, but even if I looked over, I wouldn't expect to see him on the other side.
He came home with a testimony of how God had been working on his life and heart.
I was all ears!
He admitted he had been acting selfishly and had, at times, been deliberately antagonizing. He confessed of his refusal to except responsibilities as leader in the family and co-participant in our marriage. Basically, his testimony was how he had been living with an its-all-about-me attitude and God had been making a change in that.
You see, he was telling this testimony as he was dripping wet.
He had left the house clouded in selfishness and bitterness. So much self involved he didn't look to see if the walkway of the locks was closed. While walking across the first half of the walkway, he was calling for the dog, who had run down the riverbank. The dog turned to follow. My husband turned just in time to see his next step into mid-air. There was no stopping.
Coming up for air, he looked up to the walkway to see our dog looking down and smiling at him. He says he knew it was God telling him to snap out of it - that it wasn't all-about-him.
That, ladies, is better than any resolution or approach any wife could manage. That, my friends, built my faith that God listens and participates in our lives.
I gave thanks that day (and repeatedly since) that, not only did God hear my prayers, but He was gracious to show me that He had heard me! I gave thanks that He cares for me in my role as a wife, as well as His daughter. I gave thanks that His plan for marriage is the best and only way to strive for perfection.
There have been times since then that I have tried to 'fix' my husband and each time God reminds me that that is His job. And, I give thanks again. Because nothing I could ever do would ever be as effective (and satisfying) as throwing my husband in a river!
What's the point of this story?