Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Morning Gathering

We begin our school day together for "circle time".

We sing songs. We might dance a bit or practice clapping out rhythms.

Sometimes it might get a little loud.

Strength training of sorts & aerobic exercises are part of the routine.

You can vote for as many photos as you want to.)

Throwing up my hands

Recently I was talking with a woman whom I had just met.
She was a mother to one cute little toddler boy.
She admitted to me her confusion in hearing that we would want to adopt child number 5,
when she thought having one child was too hard.
Then she said, "Well, I suppose when you choose to have 5,
you just throw your hands in the air & say whatever!"
I had no response to that.
Because, I was offended.
No, I have not given up on it all!  How dare she suggest that, right?
But also, this lady didn't know me or my family.
I didn't see how to offer a polite defense.
So, I said nothing.

But I kept thinking about it.
It's not the first time I have heard a comment of this nature.
Still, it made me think.
I sort of agree.
With each child added to the family, I do throw my hands up a little higher.
Each different little soul shows me more & more how much I am unable to control.
I see more clearly the big job of being a parent.
I know my own lack.
I get it.  I am in over my head.

And I see the One who is in control.
The One who made these little people in His image.
The One who has a good plan for each of them.
The One who sustains me & even fills up my cup to overflowing.
I ask Him how I can mother all these little children well
& He says that He is more than able.
It's all about God.
I can mother these well only through Christ in me.

So I am throwing up my hands.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dad is a Scientist

We officially began our school year today.

The kids were glad about it.  (The daddy & mommy were glad, too)

Gillian was the most glad.  She was extremely excited.
(And also excited that she lost a tooth last night.  She is loving the gaping hole in mouth.)

These three youngers participated in music, story time, painting, 
bible memory, coloring, play dough, abc exercises 
& also running around the back yard, teasing the dogs & get into some mischief.   

Gillian is so fired up about seat work, using workbooks, forming letters & doing math.
I am grateful she is such an eager learner.

This is true outside of seat work and the official school season, too.
She especially has a great memory for all the life science stuff Scott teaches the kids,
as they tromp around the yard, or read bed time books, or where ever.
These kids are so lucky to have a dad who is a scientist.  
(Though they can't believe he is one, 
because they thought "that scientists wear white coats & know everything".)
He has tons of scientific facts filed in his brain.  
When they ask him a question about a bug or a bird or a flower or a cloud 
or whatever they see in the natural world around them, he probably knows the answer.

Last week, Gillian found a couple of salamanders in our backyard, 
while poking in a hole in the driveway.  
She was looking for garbage to throw away & pulled up these guys, instead.

I get a little squeamish over critters like this.
But, learning from their father, these kids are fascinated & unafraid.

(All those cool bugs in the above pictures?  
Those are Scott's & they hang on our wall, 
greeting people at the front door as they enter our house.)

Learning inside & outside, from books & during play - 
a few blessing of learning at home together!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Empathizing with Weakness {does not mean excusing sin]

So.  I read relationship advice on Yahoo! Shine sometimes.
I do.  
Like anytime I am looking at the news headlines & there is a relationship headline, 
I click on it.
Also?  My husband occasionally does this, too.

Recently I was mucking about in the kitchen & he was browsing the online world.
He asked me if I wanted to know, finally, finally know -
the one key to lasting & happy marriages.
Yes.  Of course I did.  Read to me Yahoo! Shine, sweet darling.
Empathy, he declared.
And I was pleasantly surprised.  I think Yahoo! Shine got it pretty right on with this one.
We both agreed.  This was a job well done.

We all want to be understood and accepted, right? 
But, as Christians shouldn't we hate the sin, you ask?  
How can we have empathy for all that bad stuff we have to witness in our spouses?
And this applies to any relationship we are in, I would think.
Parent/child, friends, siblings, etc.

Empathy is the ability to understand.
That does not mean we have to excuse sin, though.
In order for our marriages to be pointing to God's glory, 
we should be encouraging one another in holiness.
We should be growing more like Jesus. 

Allow me to quote my current book love, "Just How Married Do You Want To Be?"
"Marry a person who isn't entertained by your sin.  
Marry someone who isn't fun to be with 
whenever you are indulging in your favorite way of being unlike Christ.  
Marry someone who likes you best when you are following God, 
and likes you least when you're not.  
Otherwise, it will be too easy to fall into the trap 
of conspiring in sin with the person you marry while yet telling yourself 
'we're so good for each other'"

By God's goodness, my husband & I are, most of the time,  this way to each other.
He planned us as a good match.  We do have opposite strengths & weaknesses.
Sometimes that can make it hard to empathize with the other's weakness.
How can it be done, if you don't really struggle with the same issues to the same extent?

I think we can empathize with the weakness of the one who is different from us, 
by being grateful for their strengths.
If you look at the complete personality of yourself, 
do you not see that your strengths & your weakness are connected?  
God gave me a personality, just for me.  
It is not more prone to sin or more prone toward greatness than any other personality.
In all the things He made me strong in, if I use those apart from His truth, 
then I will end up twisting those to sin & they are my weaknesses.

Example - a person whose great strength is a nurturing heart 
will have their weaknesses within this same sphere.  
The nurturing heart may turn into a controlling person 
apart from trusting the work of the Holy Spirit in others.
Or perhaps a guilt ridden person, apart from believing God's grace.

As the empathizing party, try looking at your spouse (child/friend/whomever) 
& see what great potential is underneath that weakness.
What is the "other side of the coin"?  
That stubbornness has potential for so much, under the power of Jesus.
That obnoxiousness could have another side
of someone being able to see reasons for joy in all things.
That attention-needy person has potential for strong connection.

When we are grateful for the strengths of the personality, 
we are better able to empathize with the weakness.
And when we show empathy, correction is better received by anyone.

Perhaps empathy is key to a happy, lasting marriage.
And, accountability is a key to a growing, holy marriage.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Great Staycation of 2012

Last week we vacationed in our home area.  
The Daddy took the week off of work & we ventured out daily for a new adventure.
It was great!

Ocean View Park.  Slides & Picnics.
Exploring new neighborhoods, via bikes & walking, too.
Burgers at Betty's.

San Francisco Zoo.
Getting rear ended in traffic.  (no car damage, just coffee splatted all over my husband.)

Breakfast at Trailside Cafe.
Monterey Tide Pool exploration.
MY children's Museum of Monterey.

More traffic issues mean we don't make it to the Palo Alto duck pond.
We choose the Arboretum at USCS instead.

On our last day we went hiking at Henry Cowell & I did not bring our camera.
But, Gillian declared the swimming hole in Fall Creek as being "gooder than good."
It was awesome.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

About the Web {It's God in You}

I Think We Should Do it Anyway - Sarah Bessey
"So stop asking whether or not anyone wants it or needs it, and simply do it because you were made to do it, because it makes you fully alive to do it, because you are working out what God has already worked in, because it matters."

It's Okay to Not be Enough - Amber Haines

My grace is sufficient for you.” When He says this, it’s the same as saying, “Don’t give me your excuses,” while simultaneously saying, “You’re not the one doing it anyway.”  I suddenly feel so free to shirk the pretense that I could possibly have anything together, and I’m learning that boasting in this weakness – it’s the gospel."

Living with a Heart Made New - Elizabeth Esther
"The moral man (and the immoral man) is put to death. The life that is hid with Christ in God is the new man. He is more than moral – he is good. He is no longer dead – he is alive. And it is for this man fully alive that Christ died."

Unrelated to the links, my weekend news is getting a fabulous new used bike.
The bike is from the 1960's, made in China, made for China.
I've been for 4 bike rides in two days.  I'm in love.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Five Minute Friday {Here}

Here is where we are.  Here is where I want to live.
Who can know what tomorrow will bring?

Here, right now, my little children,
I see your wonder as we watch jelly fish glide by.
I see your delight in dressing up as bunny, sniffing your little nose.
I hear your happy squeals when daddy brings home his garage sale find - el cozy coupe
Right now, right here, I am grateful for all we have in today.

Here, right now, today, I see all you are to me, my husband.
Today, I see you remember me through your day.
I know your forgiveness & your faithfulness.
I am grateful for today.
Right here, in this kitchen, you dance with me & sing,
while I prepare our food.
You hand me my cup of tea & we sit and talk about here, right now, today.

Here, right now, I praise God for his good gifts.
He meets us in our needs.
Here, we are blessed.
During all of our tomorrows,
I pray we will remember this right here.

Five minute Friday is hosted by Lisa-Jo at Gypsy Mama

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Whole & Holy, Two equals One


The two shall become one.
Marriage is an ongoing merging.
The wholeness of two different people, continually coming together in unity.

By wholeness I don't mean perfect.
I mean quite the opposite.
Every bit of those two persons are to come together.
We continually meet together, baring all ourselves to the other,
the dreams, the darkness, the beauty, the struggles.

Marriage is learning to love the wholeness of that other one.
But a marriage with Christ at the center will be two who are becoming more holy.
These two becoming more holy, becoming more united,
are becoming a more accurate reflection of the wholeness of God's character.

Marriage is a mystery.
Whole & Holy, Two equals One.

p.s.  Have you read "Just How Married do you Want to be?"  I've started handing out copies.  You may be next.

photo Source: via Karah on Pinterest