Saturday, November 1, 2014

"Give Them Grace" Book Review

I have just finished reading Give Them Grace:Dazzling Your Kids with The Love of Jesus. Boy, I know that I rave about a lot of books but this one was basically like a huge relief to me. The reiterated that God is sovereign and in control. You WILL fail as a parent. You are not perfect. You are human. We need to strive to glorify God through obeidience, but even when something happens and you have a bad day, realize that God can and will use that failure as well. It is a great reminder that He is sovereign and that no matter how good or bad we do, He is in control. Here is the description of the book:

"All of us want to raise good kids. And we want to be good parents. But what exactly do we mean by “good?” And is “being good” really the point?
Mother-daughter team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson contend that every way we try to make our kids “good” is simply an extension of Old Testament Law—a set of standards that is not only unable to save our children, but also powerless to change them.
No, rules are not the answer. What they need is GRACE.
We must tell our kids of the grace-giving God who freely adopts rebels and transforms them into loving sons and daughters. If this is not the message your children hear, if you are just telling them to “be good,” then the gospel needs to transform your parenting too.
Give Them Grace is a revolutionary perspective on parenting that shows us how to receive the gospel afresh and give grace in abundance, helping our children know the dazzling love of Jesus and respond with heartfelt obedience." 

This book has just been such a huge sigh of relief for me. Knowing that I don't have to be the perfect parent. I can't be. Whew! If I don't pray often enough with my child, we don't memorize enough Bible verses, etc. no matter how we think we are failing as a parent, that isn't the point. We need to look to God. I think that sometimes God allows us to feel like bad parents to remind us that we need Him and can't do it without Him. There are so many examples in the Bible of amazing parents in the Bible that ended up having really bad and even considered evil kids. Then, there were some really awful parents who ended up having amazingly godly kids. How? Because God was ultimately in control. 

Anyways, this book was so amazing for me. She continually brought me back to the cross and the gospel. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

After Having 2 All Natural Births, I am Still a Huge Advocate....Even More So Now....Here is Why

So, as many of you readers now, I have had two natural births and am planning on having a third one Lord willing. I wanted to write a post explaining first how we came to be believers in natural birth. Second, why we became believers in natural birth. And finally, how you can avoid many of the routine processors that normally cause you to end up having to have a c-section (baby's position, low fluid, inductions, etc.).

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Is Celebrating Sin Really the New Norm?

First, I need to write a few disclaimers. This post isn't meant to purposely offend anyone. I am not writing this to specifically hurt anyone or any one particular sin. This is about sin in general--any sin. Also--and I know this is a bit of a tough statement, but please understand I am speaking to myself just as much as to my readers--if you are offended by it, exam why. Whenever we get offended or defensive, it is almost always because we are being prideful and are offended at the truth. Otherwise, if what we are offended about is not true in the least, then why bother spending the energy being offended because you know you are right. If you are reading this just to pick a fight, please stop reading. If you are honestly reading this to be open-minded and humble and really want to know what I am talking about when I say that we celebrate sin as a culture today, then I welcome you to continue to read and share this post.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mundane Monday

I have not written a "Mundane Monday" post in a while and today is definitely a day that it is needed. Yesterday at church, the youth pastor reiterated what my husband always talks to me about, especially when I have a poor attitude. That is how we need to be thankful and how that will change our attitudes drastically. It isn't an "instant fix" of course, but it does help so much.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Thoughts on Breastfeeding

I had someone recently ask me if I was breastfeeding and it then lead to a short conversation about women breastfeeding and how some think they are unable to. It sparked a ton of thoughts and it was such a brief conversation that I didn't have the time to explain some thoughts I have on the topic, so I thought why not write a whole post on it?! lol First, these are my opinions. I am not a doctor--though I have done a TON of research online and read a lot of books from medical professionals on the subject. But again, just my opinions and there are definitely different cases where someone truly just could not breastfeed.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Crying Babies and Awesome Church

So, I never want to come across as fake. I want to be honest and talk about the wonderful....and the not so wonderful. I want people to know I am real. That my family and I do have struggles. Not every day is smiles, snuggles, and just warm happy feelings; some days are just plain rough! Sometimes it helps to know others have those rough days too and that you are not alone. Maybe that is one of the reasons God blesses us with “rough” days is so that we can in turn be a blessing to someone else in their rough days and be not just sympathetic, but empathetic. Either way, today was a rough day. Let me tell you a bit about my day.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Is it Possible To Micromanage as a Parent?

The other day after coming home from the library, I was mentally exhausted. First, I am so thankful for a husband who is patient with me especially when I try to communicate...sometimes it takes a very long time. :P But anyways, that is another blog post. The reason I was so frustrated and mentally exhausted was because the whole time we were there, I felt like I was constantly telling Levi not to do something.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The First Few Years of Marriage Rollercoaster No One Warned Me About

Once again, I want to share the "real" us. The first year maybe the first two years of our marriage where such a  rollercoaster ride. There were definitely highs and we were madly in love, but the lows--the bad times--were really bad.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Do Not Grow Weary in Well Doing

First, I apologize, I have not been keeping up with my blog like I would have hoped. I could name all sorts of excuses, but it honestly just boils down to time management issues. My hopes or rather my goal is to write at LEAST one blog post a week. I really want to write more, but right now I think that is a realistic goal and if more posts get written, wonderful!

Anywho, so I have been reading a lot about parenting the past few weeks. I am delving into “The Faithful Parent” by Stuart Scott and Martha Peace and also reading from the blog GirlTalk on all their parenting posts. Let me say, both of these resources have been such a huge, huge comfort to me. This toddler stage has been trying for me. My husband on the other hand, loves it. He does great and is savoring it. For me, I am struggling with all the energy, noises, testing, and mainly with how do I preach the gospel to myself and to my toddler? This has been such a daunting task for me. I have been thinking it has to be so complicated and elaborate, but as have been reading from “The Faithful Parent” I was reminded that our goal as parents is not to be perfect, but to be faithful; we are called to be faithful to God and to His word. That should be my biggest goal. How “Un-complicated” is that? Is it always easy? No, but it sure isn’t complicated! Me and my silly woman brain wanting to make things harder than they need to be.

In the blog posts I have been reading, one other theme kept coming up, obiedience in the gateway to the gospel. I feel like right now I am just managing my little one. There are no heart to hearts, no explaining that He is in need of a Savior just barely over 4 word sentences that manage. But I was reminded that this is crucial. He needs to learn to obey. This will begin the process of opening the gateway of his heart for the gospel. He will sin, I do every day. He will fail, I do every day. But in this failing and sinning we are pointed back to the cross. We are reminded of the gospel. What I am doing now is laying a foundation for more “crucial” stuff later on.

God is sovereign. On days where we sit at the table for over an hour working on obeying mommy and daddy and swallowing our food (and boy do we rejoice when that food is swallowed despite the tears and frustrations and sinning that happened just moments both of us), or days where there is testing to see if I am going to be consistent in my discipline, or when there is the never seeming to end whining, I can know that these are opportunities for me to rejoice and realize I am laying a foundation. “Obedience is the gateway to the gospel.”

My new life verse for this season (one I wouldn’t mind incorporating into a tattoo somehow as a reminder like my 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 one) is Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” (Emphasis added.)

I would implore you to do a few things my friend if you feel as if you are growing weary of well doing. First, run to God. Second, meditate on this verse. Post it all over as a reminder. Third, check out this wonderful treasure of a book. It is short and sweet and offers wonderfully practical advice on specifics of what to do with each age. And lastly, check out the girl talk blog under the children/parenting category. And now I must go, my toddler woke up from his nap.....crying very grouchy like. :P “Do not grow weary”

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Edification is a Great Opportunity to Praise God

Today I was extremely happy and proud of Levi. He can be such a helper sometimes and I feel bad because I don't know if I express to him how proud I am of him or when I do, if he understands it. It made me almost feel bad and sad because I want him to know how happy I am of him. Then, I got to thinking, instead of me being so concerned about him understanding how proud I am, I should be concerned about showing him that I am thankful to God for giving him the desires, the strength, and the heart to be such a helper. I need to give GOD the glory; even when it comes to my two-year-old. He can start to understand even early on.

What a great opportunity to start introducing my son to God and His glory and show him how we need to strive to glorify God each day and grow to be more and more Christlike. And when we do “good” things, it should make us happy, not because it makes God happy, but because GOD is sanctifying us and helping us to become more like Christ. When the Holy Spirit softens our hearts and gives us the desire to willingly and joyfully help like my little man does so often, we need to be so thankful and rejoice.

I am so thankful that God has once again taught me a lesson through my son. One of the things I know I need to work on is always pointing Levi (and Jahs) to Christ. When I discipline, I need to show him that he is in need of a savior. When I praise him, I need to show him that Christ was the only perfect Man but God gives us the grace to grow each day more like him and we should rejoice. When we are out for a walk, I should show him the wonderful things God created for us to enjoy. At meal times or whenever we pray, I need to pray a heartfelt prayer to God not just the memorized “habit” prayer.

Boy, having kids sure places a lot of responsibility, but I am ever so thankful for my little mission's field God has blessed me with. :) As my good friend and mentor Miss. Diana Parker always used to say, “God rocks!”

Have a wonderful day my friends!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Holiday Reading

Wow, are the holidays over yet? Lol For our family, November to February are just busy and full of eating lots of JUNK!! Ick! November is of course Thanksgiving. December 4th is the day we went out on our first date so we celebrate that day by going to the restaurant we went to on our first date–Olive Garden. December is also of course Christmas and we celebrate Christmas with both our sides. Then New Years. Then my birthday. Then in February is our anniversary and the annual Super Bowl party. It is a blast, but holy cow, lots of food. Lol

Anywho, we had a wonderful holiday season. John and I joked that we had no fights. We were both pretty happy and grateful. Lol

Over the break, I read three amazing books by Shiela Gregorie–“The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex,” “Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache,” “To Love, Honor, and Vacuum.” The first two are absolutely amazing and really helped re-define how I think about sex. I borrowed them from the library but they were so amazing , I want to buy them to keep them on the shelf because they are definitely ones I want to read again but also because they are great go-to books.

I would highly recommend this book to any married woman (she talks to singles in the first book I mentioned, but personally, I would read it until you are married because it might cause some temptation, but that is just my opinion. Like I said, the author wrote parts specifically for singles.).

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's Been a While!

I have not really written in my blog in a long time. Almost two months. The biggest reason for that is since Jahs has been born and it is nap time, I take a nap too...normally. And lately that is the only time I am able to write only because it is quiet. I have just enough sanguine in me that I get distracted and I have a hard time concentrating when there is noise and playing going on around me. Lol

Sipping on a hot cup of tea and looking out the window, I am sitting here typing this post. Christmas is only a few short days away. Honestly, it feels like any old time of year this year for me. I'm not sure why and it kind of bums me out. Cindy Lou Who and I are pals this year. I am not depressed, but I am just not excited about Christmas as I normally am.

After I put the kids to bed, I was trying to motivate myself to get the house tidy again and do some laundry. After a while, I saw my Bible sitting lonely and unread on the table and the Lord convicted me. I sat down with my hot cup of tea and enjoyed some quiet time. I am doing a chronological Bible reading program and it is really interesting. Yesterday and today have been all about Jesus casting out demons and healing.

One of my biggest struggles has always been my devotions. I have no idea why. When I have days like today when I am convicted and long for the word of God, I am so grateful for that feeling. God is good. Most days it is something I know I should do, so the days where God blesses me with the desire are sweet.

Let us pray for each other and pray that God gives us opportunities to do devotions each day. When you have littles at home, sometimes it takes some creativity to carve in time, but there is always time. My prayer is that God helps me see that time like He did today. Laundry can wait. Hot tea and talks with my Lord need to come first.