Wednesday, May 16, 2007

WooHOO Josiah's GRAND day!

Here you see Josiah answering the LAST Lit Discussion question (I have them type out notes so I have paperwork to document our discussion for NARHS).
I bought a cake to celebrate! Unfortunately, I had a doc apt and Josiah and Mike are both out tonight. I left instructions that the children could enjoy the cake after lunch, but to be sure to get a photo of Cy cutting the cake....
...boys are so LITERAL! ::snort::

In other school news....Jared, Arielle and Nolan are done with TOG. We're working on math all summer as we changed course and want to make some progress. We also read all summer. I may see if there are areas they wanted to study further this year and get info for THAT for them....I know the boys haven't totally satiated their desire for WW2 knowledge.
AND Dr. Laura started me on a THIRD week of antibiotics to kick this UTI. I'm not sure what in the world is going on with my body - at times lately I feel like it is a traitor. ::snort::

Pregnancy Thoughts....

Hmmm....Expecting a Miracle? Some thought that title a bit persumptious. Some know my story and smiled big. Let me share a bit.

I don't talk about this often because the past is redeemed and I see no reason to wallow in it...and God is constantly amazing me with new things, no time to dwell in the past. ::snort:: I'm a conqueror of child abuse (not a survivor, not a victim). It happened a LOOOONNNNGG time ago when I was a wee child in Africa. Anyhow, because of the abuse I was told that I'd never conceive. I remember well the day I told God that He was enough and I would be content with whatever children He blessed us with.

THEN I conceived our first child and lost it, I was told because of the abuse and my whacked out thyroid, I'd never carry a child to term. With those dire predictions ringing in my spirit I found myself pregnant within 6 weeks. Obviously, I was conceiving. I had yet to carry a child to term. I was depressed for the first trimester - I don't think I got out of bed for 3 months except to go to the doctor. Mike deserves an award. Bre was born. Over the years, I've had several docs comment on how hard conception must be for me - so I know the comments of the first doc weren't simply off the wall.

A friend told me several years ago that Satan meant the abuse for ill and that every time I conceive it's God saying "take that - I redeem". Not sure how doctrinally sound that is - but it gives me a big smile. I've had 15 pregnancies to date - 9 children carried not only to term but PAST TERM and 5 miscarriages. I believe each one of those 14 children are a gift of grace and a miracle. I can't begin to explain the WHY of the miscarriages. I won't try. I simply know that God is good and loving and that He has blessed me more than I ever imagined when I prayed that prayer of surrender over 22 years ago.

And so today, when I'm so nauesated that I can't even EAT CHOCOLATE, I remember that I'm living a miracle. Life is precious and being pregnant today is a blessing.

Book Review: The Ministry of Motherhood, Ch 2

Chapter Two Quotes - The Grace of Time Together (My comments italicized)

" dreams are not necessarily what really motivate my children to become the best they can be. What matters to them is my loving presence. " p 33

"If I want them to be open to my messages, I need to be willing to serve them - to voluntarily give up my rights and my time to meet their felt needs - just as Jesus was willing to give for his disciples." p 33.

"But instead of just telling them what to do, harshly commanding their allegiance with orders and threats or guilt and manipulative statements, he (Jesus) chose to tie the cords of his heart to theirs with the strong and unbreakable bond of a loving, serving relationship." p 35

Lots of great things about Jesus' servant leadership in this chapter. It's hard to pull a few thoughts, but I don't want to retype the whole chapter.

"He (Jesus) was not a God who lorded it over his followers and demanded they follow him or coerced their obedience through authoritarianism and fear. Instead, he called them to the excellence of holiness and yet lovingly served them in order to win their hears and show them the means of reaching others' hearts as well." p 35

"In observing his whole life.....they began to build a true understanding of what walking with God looked like in real flesh". p 36 May our children get an true understanding of who God is by observing our lives in the flesh!

"Serving children does not mean letting them order us around or giving in to all their whims This was certainly not Jesus' example of servant leadership. The disciples were always clear who was the leader in their little band, and Jesus commanded their obedience. But he earned that obedience not by pulling rank but by putting their welfare second only to the will of his Father. " p 37

"Discipline and teaching are most effective when administered in a context of a close, ongoing relationship of love." p 37

From the prayer:
"Help us remember they want our attention, more than our service."

Book Review: The Ministry of Motherhood, Ch 1

Chapter One Quotes - Out of the Boat - a Model for Grace
Simply quotes that stood out to me. Feel free to share your favorite quotes in the comment section. I'm finding that it takes 10 - 15 minutes to read each chapter.
"He allowed Peter to fail spectacularly so he would finally understand that grace was the key to serving God and his kingdom. Not by his own strength and courage, but only by God's constant grace and mercy would Peter be able to deliver Jesus' message to the world - a message that would then be wrapped in the grace and mercy he had come to know so well." p27
"Each of us is designed by God to whisper his words to the hearts of our children so they will feel the call of God in their own lives to become "fishers of men". Yet we must always remember that our children, like Peter, will never be perfect. Each of them needs for us, like Jesus, to extend to him or her the gift of constant love, grace, and forgiveness. And we can only do this by relying continually on the grace of our own relationship with the Lord." p 28
"...we will live out the definition of grace and love in such a way that our message will be written on their hearts. They will understand that the God who calls them to a great task will STAY WITH THEM as they strive to complete it. . . .And they will know all this in part because of the hands-on grace they have experienced at home." p 28 - my emphasis
"Giving the gift of grace to our children is a two part process. First, we need to help our children receive grace. .....we must train our children to give grace." p 28
"In all this, however, I must acknowledge, as Peter learned, that it's not all up to me. The Author of grace will himself draw my children to him, even as he did Peter, as I rest in his ability to work through the life of my family. Perfection is not a standard he requires of me as a mother, for his grace extends to me as well as to my children. My heartfelt trust in him will be the fuel that energizes my days as I see him draw my children through this gift that will serve them their whole lives. (emphasis mine) p 29.

Book Review: YADA YADA Prayer Group

The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough and The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Caught - by Neta Jackson.
I've finished the series....Hmmm....well....just discovered book number 6 was released LAST MONTH. It's not listed on paperback swap....guess I may have to buy the last one. THIS is what comes of reading a current series. ::snort::
Book number 4 centers on the theme of Spiritual Warfare. Book number 5 centers on getting caught in past sins etc and catching on to what God is doing.
I have really enjoyed this series. It's LIGHT reading....but I've laughed, cried, had light bulb moments....I usually find Christian fiction to be hokey but honestly....I loved the way Scripture is used in this series. I learned instead of going "oh boy here it comes". LOL

Yesterday's Busy-ness

I planned to spend yesterday getting details for Josiah's graduation done. I wanted all done early.

I had planned a trip to Hobby Lobby (where worship songs play throughout the store and the clerks are calm and helpful) but the boys needed hair cuts and talked me into getting everything at The Gates of Hell (where the pace is frantic and the clerks are snarly). Welll......They had two hair stylists sitting in the salon. SITTING. I asked how long the wait would be - 45 minutes. They had perms to do and couldn't work with hair until they were done. This led to comments from my kids about being able to tell the stylists here are paid hourly and not be commission (out of their ear shot OF COURSE). I told them that we were not going to wait 45 minutes and then 1 1/2 hours for 3 haircuts. We DID go ahead and buy socks, gel pens (which I ended up not using) and a photo album.

I called Heather - of "the cool salon" and asked if we could get three boys in. She came in early to do it. Yippee! She charges LESS than Walmart for hair cuts!!!! and we had NO wait - in and out in an hour.
I then finished labels for the display board. Took a picture of our current home and put it all together. I put the photos that didn't fit on the board into the album I'd bought at the Gates of er. . . Walmart. Wow - 50 photos in the album in under 3 minutes. I tell you I can live with this new commitment to simplify. The important thing is our memories and photos....The photos are in an acid safe album and there is room to journal. When we take the display board down those photos, as well as ones from his early life will go into this album. Josiah is much happier at the idea of this album than the scrapbook I was planning. ::snort:: This was so easy that it made me wonder if I should rethink what I'm currently doing....putting photos into CM albums - no frills or whistles - and journaling....
While at Walmart - I was suckered! I swear it is terrible. Things just jump off the shelves at that "cheap" store, grab my wallet and there you have it. I bought summer toys. Two big bouncy balls for volleyball at the lake (and for beaning each other in the backyard and on the trampoline), a set of squirt guns (yeah - right OUTSIDE toys), bubble wands, and a sprinkler attachment.
Bible study rounded out the day. Mike had softball practice. His first game is tonight.