Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fruit of the Spirit

The other day, after telling Nathan for the umpteenth time to "Be nice to the cat," I realized just how much I use the term nice when I'm instructing him on the way he should be acting.
Be nice to the cat.
Thank you for sharing. That was nice.
That's so nice when you help Mommy.
Use your nice voice.
You need to ask nicely.
Be nice to Mommy when you want something.

So I decided I need to be more specific. Because it's got to be confusing to a two year old to have one word cover all those things.

So I started being more specific....
You need to be gentle with Brutus.
Thank you for sharing. That was very kind.
You need to be patient when you want something.

Hmm.... Then I realized:

  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.... (Galatians 5:22-23)

What a perfect example of how to teach our children the way to act! I know that maybe the concept of sin/salvation is still over Nathan's head (well, not the sinning part - but the need of a Savior), but he is old enough to be learning these traits.

I haven't had time to dig in and do a word study on what each word actually means (other than my general idea of what each means). But I figure generalness is at least a starting place.

So I've written them down on a sticky note and put it on the fridge. Paul and I are trying to use any opportunity to instruct Nathan in these traits. We'd rather have a son who inhibits all the above, rather than a son who is merely nice.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I was talking to a friend this week about nagging our husbands, and it got me to thinking....
Why do we nag? Every wife does nag her husband - whether it's about helping out, their friends, the food they eat, their habits in general, or their spiritual life - we've all done it. Is it a result of The Fall? Possibly. In Genesis, God tells Eve (and by nature, all of us that followed) her "desire will be for her husband." Desire isn't lust in this verse, it's a desire to be in control. Is that why we nag?
I try not to nag Paul. He works hard at his job, and I'm at home - no outside job. So my job is to keep the house. I try to stay up on the housework and laundry and cooking and help out outside because he shouldn't have to do all that for me when he's been gone 14 or more hours every day this week. But there are a few certain things that I consider "his job" - and he would agree that I harp on him about getting them done when he's home. (And when I end up doing them myself, I let him hear about it - bad wife, I know.)
I have come to realize that some things will never change if it's me that forces the change. It has to be a desire of his to change. And the only thing I can do is pray for him.
So I've been praying for my husband this week. Praying for him at his job, and his spiritual walk (my two top requests). And really thanking God for him. I am so blessed. And I've found that in praying for someone - even if you think it's them that needs to change, you may come to realize that it is yourself that needs to change! And I know for myself, I need to develop a servant's heart.

I'm not writing this to say that Paul is a bad husband - he's a great husband - or to exalt myself as supremely spiritual (definitely not!).... I'm telling you what I realized for myself, in hopes that it might help your relationships, too.

Anyhow. That's what's rattling around in my head. I hope it makes sense to you, even if it's not the most eloquent entry.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


It's been a long while since I've updated, so here's what's going on, and what's on my mind - in no particular order.
Let the rambling begin.
I'm ready for spring. The seed catalogs have been coming in the mail. And I know I need to get my stuff ordered to have it here for when it actually DOES warm up.
I'm tired of mud. It's either bitterly cold with wind, or it's slightly above freezing and sloppy. I'm ready for dry weather.
I'm trying to teach Nathan about emotions. It's really hard when he's in the middle of a meltdown to explain to him that not eating breakfast OR lunch makes him feel upset and sad and angry. So far he's got sleepy and sad and scared. Although the scared he just uses when he's being silly. And it's also hard to make a hungry two-year-old understand why he needs to eat food and not just drink milk. (I think he could put away a half gallon a day if we let him.)
We're also working on colors. He knows the names of most of the colors, and knows there's a difference, but can't always peg the right color to the right name. Tonight, he got red, orange, blue, and green on items in the bathroom, but then got stumped on purple. And he recognizes pink. And likes saying it. That's just weird. (Most kids I've babysat just call pink, orange, and red all "red" at first.)
Jacob is getting huge. At his last appointment, he weighed in at 15 pounds! He pretty much blasted right through 3-6 month clothes. He's now in 6-9 month size (at 3 1/2 months). He doesn't seem that big to me - maybe it's just the way he's proportioned. He's rolling over now - both ways, and trying hard to sit up. I was sure he was about to pop a tooth, but a month later, it's still not in. He does still have that white spot on his gum (and no, it's not thrush). But I think it's more or less just a callous from chewing so much. His poor little fingers are taking a lot of abuse these days. Those teeth have GOT to be close! He's a really smiley guy - he smiles all the time, and loves making gurgly giggles. He just makes me smile! He really is a happy baby.
Jacob is having surgery in April for his undecended testicle. They will do an orthoscope surgery to go in and look for it, make sure there actually is a second one, and then begin the process of drawing it down. It will take a second surgery to finish everything. The good thing is, it's a very "minor" surgery, and he won't really have any down time. I'm just nervous about the fact that they have to put him under to do it.
Paul's work is coming out of the recession, I guess. They are hiring back the fourth shift that they laid off almost a year ago. I'm really happy about this, because him working 60 hours a week really cuts into my nagging time. :) March 1 they're supposed to go back to the old schedule. It's weird, but it's predictable. And he'll be almost twice as much as he is right now.
I've been doing good with my new resolution to quit wasting time. Some days I find myself parked in front of the computer when I should be doing other stuff. I've found that shutting the computer down really makes it easy to not just plop down to check my email and Facebook whenever I have a couple extra minutes (knowing I'll have to wait 10 minutes for it to boot up really takes away some of the appeal). I've come to realize that I'm not that important. If I get an email or a Facebook comment and don't respond to it immediately, the world is not going to end. The house looks good, though. My mom hasn't been over to recently, but if she did, I'm pretty sure she'd die. Or think I was dying. Or ask if someone died and we were going to be hosting guests. (I have a bit of a reputation as a slob.) It's a bit cluttered right now (result of a two-year-old and laundry day), but a half hour would whip it into shape.
We didn't give in to the Valentine's hype this year. I think every year we've done a little something - and I do mean little... A card usually is it. This year I baked Paul a caramel apple pie (with heart cutouts in the crust and red sugar sprinkled on top), and he told me "Happy Valentine's Day," as soon as we woke up. But that's it. Usually we save up for "our" romantic day (as opposed to "everyone's" romantic day) in March for our anniversary. But being as Jacob is nursing and has decided he's no longer interested in taking a bottle..... It's not going to be anything big this year, and will probably be restricted to after Jacob's in bed. My brother gave me AMC tickets "to be used for Fork & Screen", so that's what we're planning on doing. (And I'm taking suggestions for movies, since I am SO out of the loop when it comes to what's out right now!)
I'm working on getting rid of some stuff. We just don't have room for so much stuff. So right now I'm trying to weed out some clothes, shoes, and jackets that I only wear because I'm obligated to because they're in my closet - not because I love wearing them. I realize that by holding on to "things" I'm keeping someone else from being able to have something that they may really need. There may be a single mom out there that desperately needs dress shoes for a job interview, yet can't find them at Goodwill because I think it's necessary to have four pairs of brown dress shoes. Things like that I'm trying to cut out. I wish Nathan was old enough to understand giving to those less fortunate, because we could get rid of some toys, too. The toy situation was under control until we brought out the baby toys. Now we're bursting at the seams.
Speaking of "toys" - Nathan has really started loving his tricyle. (Which - why do we say it "sickle" when the singular is "cycle"? Maybe because bi-cycle just sounds awkward?) Anyways. Tricycle. That's where we were....
He rides the trike all over the house, makes the "L" shape from our living room to the bathroom, does a three point turn, then back again. He's getting really good at backing it up. He's got a little "trunk" between the back wheels that he stores all manner of treasures in. If I'm missing something - say my hairbrush, or a measuring tape, or my cell phone - that's one of the first places I look. He calls it his "bike" or sometimes even his "motorcycle". So when he accidentally rolls it off the big step into the fireplace room, I call him Evil Kneivel. He doesn't get it. (See - in "motorcycle" we pronounce the "cycle" correctly! Gaah - English!)
And may I just say, I LOVE the show Chuck. I just finished up watching Season 2 on DVD. I even let Nathan watch it with me some - that's how decent of a show it is! There were a couple fight sequences I distracted him during (don't want him to get any ideas), but otherwise.... I think it's a great show. The characters are perfectly cast.
Jacob is waking up to eat. Better get to it. You get an idea of what's going on now, at least. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How You Know It's Love

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share with you some little ways you can tell your husband loves you.
  • He lets you put your cold feet against his warm ones at night, and doesn't pull his away 'til yours are warm, too.
  • He turns up the heater while you're in the shower so the bathroom is nice and toasty when you get out.
  • And after turning up the heater, comes in and puts your towel on the vent so it's nice and toasty, too.
  • He gets up with the kids so you can sleep in, even though he'd rather be sleeping in himself.
  • He lets you drink coffee, even though he hates the smell and taste of it. (And lets you kiss him after you've drank it!)
  • He pulls the heavy blanket up on the bed when he leaves for work in the early morning, even though he thinks your "blanket weight=warmth" theory is dumb.
  • He takes charge of your older son's nighttime routines, even after he's been at work all day, because he knows you're tired of having the battle of wills all day.
  • He doesn't even mention the fact that your son hasn't had pants on when he got home from work every night this week (or even a shirt, half of those nights).

Yeah, there were some more, but I've been mulling over this post for a month, so by now I've forgotten half of them. That's what I get for waiting for Valentine's Day for a post about "love." ☺

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I'm doing really bad at posting. It just doesn't seem like it's been that long since I posted, let alone posted something of substance. Time is going fast.... Which is good - spring is hurrying closer! :)
Soon, I promise. I've got some stuff mulling in my head that should make for a good post.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


God has really blessed us. When we pray, we thank Him for "everything", but I don't often stop and reflect on exactly what that everything is. We enjoy so many things that a lot of people don't have - and not just people in Africa or third-world countries... Even people in our own neighborhood don't have some of the things we are blessed with. Our house, Paul's job (and mine too!), two beautiful and healthy boys, a church family we love, food to eat, and enough money to be able to do some extras, and not just merely scrape by.

On a separate note, I read this yesterday, and it just spoke to me. Even though the passage doesn't explicitly say this, what I get from it is we have a reason for JOY! We are justified, we are learning by our experiences, we are redeemed.... And we are friends of God!
I hope His Word will bless you today.

Romans 5:New Living Translation
Faith Brings Joy
1 Therefore,
since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God
because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith,
Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now
stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know
that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of
character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this
hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us,
because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for
us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright
person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is
especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die
for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s
sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while
we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his
Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because
our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God."