Thursday, August 26, 2010

One Size Isn't Going to Fit 'em All

No one child is the same.  We know that, right?
We all know everyone is unique,
just like flowers & snowflakes & leaves &
God is so creative like that.

But, when it comes to tailoring our training &
mentorship of our kids to them each individually,
it can get tricky.
What about fairness & equality?
We don't want them to believe we are favoring one over the other.
And there is the truth that we are all human & have much "sameness".
They are all made in God's image.
They are all sinners, in need of a Savior.
They all need to be taught the Truths of God's Word.
They all need to be loved & provided for.

I know many people read this verse differently, but,
my pastor said he believes that when
Proverbs 22:6 says
"train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it."
It is saying to train your child toward his own individual way, his natural bent.
We should understand our particular child &
encourage them in their God-given strengths.

Scott & I have been reading The Connected Child.  
It is written particularly to adoptive or foster parents.  
It talks about reaching a traumatized child.  
It offers help in how to bond with a deeply wounded child, 
who has seen a lot of pain.
It's a great book.  We are trying to soak it all in.

But, learning about all the special needs for the orphan is a little intimidating.
And, it has caused us to rethink some things.  
We cannot parent a wounded child the same way we parent a nurtured child.
What will that look like?  
I worry a bit that it will cause tension between the children.  
But, the truth is, no two children are the same.  
One size does not fit all.
And, each one has their own special needs that need to be met.

The big thing that we have been rethinking is spanking.  
By posing these questions, I am NOT trying to say that spanking is always wrong.
But, if spanking is not appropriate for a traumatized child, 
then there are things to rethink.
Do you believe that spanking must be done, 
in order to train your children according to the Bible?
Not that spanking is always bad.  
But, that it is not necessary to parent Biblically. 

The thing that got me even thinking in that direction is this - 
If Christians believe that spanking is necessary to Biblical parenting, 
than how do the Christians fit into the adoption & foster parenting world?
If the Church teaches that spanking is the only way, 
then who should parent the abandoned & abused child?  
Are we really going to leave that for institutions?
Or only to non-Christians?

God calls us to stand up for the fatherless.  
He says that it is pure & undefiled religion to care for the widow & orphan.

This doesn't mean that all Christians should be adoptive parents.  
But, everyone has a part.
Each member of the body should stand up for the fatherless 
in the way they are called.

If the concern of having a "different" child in your life is a concern, 
I challenge you to rethink that.
If you think spanking is "the only way", therefore, you can't adopt,
I would encourage you to rethink that.

One size isn't going to fit all.  

(Speaking of fitting, why don't maternity pants ever fit right?!  
I am so tired of tugging them up.)

holy experience

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunshine Makes me Tired

I took my kids to the beach today.  
We live on the coast.
But we hardly ever go to the beach.
This was our first time in months.

Moira was content to play & dig in the sand for hours.

Gillian was a little unsure of the waves.
She required someone to hold her hands "really tight".

Peyton wanted to be held in the waves at the beginning.

But, after a while, he wanted to go into the waves, 
without even hand holding.  Eek!
And, he wants a boogie board for next time.
Yeah right!

Being in the sun too much makes me tired!
I'm gonna lay down.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Page

I just put up a new page here on the blog - Why Adoption?
It's the beginning of our adoption story, I suppose.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Confession - I don't fill in baby books.

I have something to tell you.  My baby Moira, doesn't have a baby book.
Nothing.  I didn't record her firsts.
(Such a bummer)

Peyton has a book.  But, there is very little in there.

To be honest, my recording of Gillian's firsts has not really been that great, either.

Sometimes when I think about it, I feel really guilty.
I wonder if they will be sad about it.
I wonder if I will be sad about it, when they have grown up,
& I don't have a baby book to look back in.
The truth is, memories are not really forever.
We can forget so easily.
And, I really wonder if this is a really bad thing.
I have 3 kids without much baby book stuff recorded.
My baby has nothing.
And, now I have 2 more kids on the way.
(Yes.  That's an announcement!  I am pregnant.  I'm already 16 weeks!
With 1 child.  Plus an adopted child on the way.  With child- two at a time.)

But, then I wonder -
do any of us really care at what date each different baby tooth popped out?
I don't think I care too much.  I hope my kids won't care too much, either.
I want to focus on living & making the memories sweet,
instead of spending my time recording the traditional "firsts".
The "Milestones" are important.
But, I don't really think I care when exactly they happen.
I don't think the date of a milestone is the memory
that I will be wanting to recall when I am old & gray(er).

So, I think I will ditch the traditional baby book idea.
I will get rid of it guilt-free.
And, I will try to record memories that matter to us.
Photos of sweet & funny times.
Home videos where we can hear the patter of the little feet,
and the tininess of the voices.
I want to jot down cute things the kids say.
I want to journal the things that matter to us.
A day in the life of us.
The real stuff.
I think those are the things that will still matter,
when we are all grown up.

How do you record memories?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I am a Sucker

We were at Target yesterday, just for necessities.  
Until we spotted the new Fall clothes for kids.  
I am such a sucker for the sweater dresses & flannel shirts.  
Gillian saw this dress & asked if she could get it.  
She didn't have to beg or whine.  
I couldn't resist.
I got something for all of them.

Monday, August 16, 2010


The weather was super nice yesterday in Monterey.
Scott & I went Whale Watching!

We also saw a lot of Sea Lions.
They were cute.

But, they were really stinky.  I nearly choked!

We saw two Blue Whales.  Which was incredible.  This one was so close to our boat.
We couldn't really good any cool pictures of him.  He was just huge!

We saw lots & lots of Humpbacks.  
They were fun to watch, as they would bend up from the water often.

They were all around us.  

Here's a bad picture of us.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Praying Parent - Spontaneous & Purposed

The most important thing we can do for our kids is pray for them.
Don't you think?
What is your approach?  Purposed or spontaneous?
Right now, I don't really have a lot of planned out,
intentional prayer life for my kids.
I want to work on developing that.
I want to write down things to pray for, for each child.
I want to specifically be petitioning for them, for what they need.

Right now, it is generally a spontaneous thing.
"Lord, please give me the right words for her..."
"Please calm her fears"
"Give him patience (Oh, & some patience for me, too!)"

Sometimes a spontaneous prayer is said inside,
sometimes it is aloud.

The other night, we had a sweet meal time prayer,
where Gillian just jumped right in,
praying aloud, right alongside her Daddy.
She had a lot to pray about.  And was eager.
It was really beautiful.
Then Scott asked Peyton if he had anything
he wanted to pray about.
"Yes."  And his prayer was for us to be kind.

I was thanking God for our little blessings.
What a special gift to hear a little one talk to Jesus.

Tell us about your prayer life for your kids.
Do you plan it & how?
Is it usually spontaneous?

holy experience

This post is written in participation with Walk with Him Wednesday @ Holy Experience

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Receiving Love & Giving Love

The plants are bursting with love.

When our cup is being filled up with love, 
it makes it easier to give love away.
Don't you think?

So, I brought these to a friend today.

She is going to pass them on to another friend, later this week.

Jesus gives us love beyond what we can comprehend.
That should help inspire us to give love away.
He'll just refill your cup.
Don't be afraid of running out of His love.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Like A Fruitful Vine

Scott had an incredible amount of concord grapes to harvest today. 
 I can't believe how fruitful his one little vine has been!

The kids were happy to dig in (as was I).

I asked what they wanted for lunch & Gillian said, "Just grapes".  

Our day in general, has seemed rather fruitful.  
We started out with a bit of a bomb, though.  
After we did some general pick up of our sloppy little house, 
we headed out in the car, to try to get a little adventure in, before Moira
completely melted down, in desperate need of a morning nap.

We drove just a few minutes away, where we had seen
a little herd of adorable Alpacas last week.
They had been freshly shorn & were wearing cute little jackets, 
since the days have been chilly.

Alas, we arrived at the little farm this morning & couldn't spot a single Alpaca.  
We sure hope they were just in the barn or something. 
We need to get a close look at them someday soon!

Our plan B was to continue to search for cool animals & drive over to a near by property,
where a few Llamas are kept.
STRANGE.  They also were missing.  
We drive by that field, at a distance, several times a week.
Those llamas are always there.
But, this morning they were not.  

All we got to see was a Llama mailbox.

The kids were still in fairly good spirits.  No screaming.  
Gillian was doing something that sounded a lot like whining to me.
I asked her please to not whine.
She says, "Mom, I'm not whining.  I'm just really frustrated."

We got home & Mo took a nap & the rest of us settled in to read 
Little House in the Big Woods.
Both Gillian & Peyton like the book so far.
The attention span didn't get us through a chapter yet.
But, they enjoyed it.
And, they told their dad about the story at lunch time.

Peyton had a hankering to paint all morning.  
So, we did that after lunch.

Gillian painted her first portrait.  
It is her new little birdie toy.
See, it's a pink, big, headed bird.
It has a blue curly feather on the top of its head.
purple eyes, & a blue smile.
The bird is perched on a purple branch.

Peyton's painting is a bunch of bears, who intend to eat Gillian's precious little bird.

I wiped down some of the filthy floor today.  And washed some of my dishes.  
I am making some bread.
Now I think I'll nap!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Shades of Citrus

Tonight's wedding is themed with the colors of Citrus + a splash of blue & gray.
Lemons, Tweedia, Echinops (those cool gray-blue balls), Dahlias, Marigolds, 
Super Green Roses, Yarrow & Mini Gerbera Daisies.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cults & the "Dark Side"

I've been reading a lot stuff across the web about cults.
And, people who are claiming to reveal the dark side of various doctrines.
I am grieved to see so many Christians who are making it their mission
to point fingers at other Christians.
We need to speak truth & point people to Christ.
Why are so many focused on dragging fellow Christians through the mud?
Is it easier to point the finger at a group of people & call them names,
than "looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted"?

Are the Ezzos "cult" leaders, because they have a large "following"?
Does a church become a cult, because people are hesitant to leave?
Are families cults, if they are tight-knit & value the leadership of the father?
Read this very thoughtful blog post by the Protestant Knight,
calling us to be careful on who we call a cult.
It might just come back around to bite you, too.

What about exposing the "dark side"?
If there are wicked people who abuse & control their children,
and also homeschool them,
does that prove the "dark side" of homeschooling?
If there are wicked men who abuse & treat their wife with condescension,
and also say their are part of the Patriarchy movement,
does that expose a dark side of the doctrine?
If there are child molesters masquerading as priests in the Catholic church,
does that prove a darkness to celibacy?

I would say, "NO"!
I am not saying that I believe all the doctrines or ideas or groups to be correct.
But, are they to blame for people's sin?
People sin & sin wickedly & identify with may different groups & ideas.
We could therefore end up exposing the "dark side" of everything.
Where does it end?  What is the point?
Why don't we just expose untruth & sin?

Be gracious.  Not just to a person's face.  But also online.
Remember that what you write online, can't be taken back.