His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis


I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

Weather Underground

Click for Wylie, Texas Forecast

Saturday, February 26, 2011

O Glorious Day!

I love it when old hymns are resurrected! :)

Designed for Love

There are so many hurting children, and adults that have suffered abuse, it just makes my heart heavy.
And that being the case, the case that everybody KNOWS is true, why is it such an issue?  Why do we take  precious little babies, so innocent, so sweet, and cause them harm?  How is it that a baby can in such a short time be effected for the rest of his or her life, based upon the experiences of the very first few years or months of their little lives?  It just makes me feel so angry..... WHY??? 

My heart is burdened, because I know of some folks right now who suffer from past trauma, including my  children; and I know children who are at this time unable to love or even receive the least amount of love because of the trauma handed down to them by their "parents".  
How is it the very hand that is designed to caress and love and serve and hold and snuggle and tickle and feed and change and comfort, can turn into a weapon of destruction upon the very soul of the little person they are supposed to care for?  
The destruction and havoc that child abuse wreaks on the victim is so insidious, so destructive, so encompassing, that were they not some of the strongest people on this earth, they would not survive.

The doubts that child abuse brings into the victim's mind, which carries over into their adult lives, are devastating; the doubts of being loveable, worthy of love, likable, valuable,  having something of importance to say,  worth smiling at, worthy of a home, or clothes or even a  cup of coffee.....
The doubts go deep into the soul.... and the person doubts if God could love them. How could HE? Nobody else has! Those doubts get buried for basic survival.

It takes a long time to process what happens in the early life of a child. For some children, it will be a lifetime of figuring and sorting things out.  When the right time comes, as a parent, you can be there for them, no matter what their age. The great thing is, life isn't over or decided by the time you are 5 or 12 or 15 or even 30. :)  Healing happens and continues to happen, as a person is able to let go, forgive,  trust and move on.  Notice I didn't say forget.  To forget would be to deny what happened. It happened for sure, and we shouldn't forget,  so that we can remember, REALLY remember, not to repeat it!
Now, that doesn't mean "dwell" on it either...... just don't forget.

Not all things should be discussed and talked about just because somebody else thinks you should. There is this idea that the earlier the therapy, the better.  I totally disagree! I hate the idea that children have no voice in this and are forced into therapy that very well may cause further damage, because they are not given the rights even to their own thoughts.  People, all people, big and small, if given the chance will talk about things at the right time, when they are ready.  We just need to be there, and give the opportunity, and LISTEN.

The modern way of talking to a therapist : A simple stranger with a sign on the door, who happens to get a degree in psychology and therapy as a career choice,  listens your deepest wounds and makes a living at it,  just seems WRONG to me.  It also seems so wrong that YOUR pain has to COST you money to share with somebody, because there is nobody to share with! Wow, what a slap in the face!

One of the things that I like about Heather Forbes is that she gives parents tools and ideas to help their children themselves.  Parents are the ones with the relationships of their hurting children.... and building trust in those parents is one of the keys to unlocking a new world for that child; a world of love and acceptance.  If a parent gives all of the healing over to a perfect stranger and stands on the sidelines, how can real healing happen within the context of the parent being truly involved more than a bystander?  Instead of saving up things for a therapist to hear, why not sit down with your child and hear them yourselves?  Why not share, and take on their pain, with them?  

One of the things that we read about in Scripture, is how God took on our Sin, our Pain, our Hurts.... HE absorbed them all, and took our punishment.  He waits with open arms and eternal ear, to hear our hearts, to receive our sorrow, so bear our deepest burdens, to comfort us with all comfort, to love us with unending ETERNAL PERFECT Love..... a love that none of us are capable of showing, as we are fallen creatures and imperfect in every way.

I pray that the Lord will bring TRUE HEALING and RENEWED hearts to those who have been so effected by child abuse and neglect; both parents who are picking up the pieces of shattered little lives, and for the children, who's lives are a confusing puzzle.  May the Lord  make all of our paths straight as we follow in His light and HIS footsteps. And then that image, of which way to go, or which way to turn will be perfectly clear.  Turn to HIM!

Trust in the Lord will all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE will make your paths straight!  Proverbs 3:5.
For your encouragement

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oklahoma Couple Abused Adopted Children

Here we go again. Here is another case of Adopted Children being abused.  I am shocked by the allegations.... but more shocked at the amount of bail set. 9,000 dollars for the wife, and 7,500 for the husband. 
I find that offensive to the children. This judge, if I ever find out who he is, will be getting a personal letter from me.
It is also very upsetting to find out these people were using "home schooling" to hide their deeds. These people were NOT home schoolers!
There was a case a few years ago about a 4 boy sibling group who were rescued from their adoptive home. They were so underweight it was horrible. The parents said they had eating disorders. They didn't. They were being starved to death.  The boys are now FLOURISHING in their new adoptive home 6 years later. I was so thrilled to see this!

This is my hope and prayer for these children.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sweetie Pie Giving Birth

I never get tired of new life! She had 2 boys, at the very same time, Maple was giving birth to her first baby. A girl.  Altogether, 6 babies this week.  4 boys and 2 girls.
This little guy's name is Chester. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Grandson Will

You can read all about his adventure here, on my daughter in law Ivy's Blog. :)
Will is such a sweet heart.... and so is Charlie.   But I just love Will's curiosity and sweetness.
He is at the wonderful age of 3, soon to be 4 and just exploring his wonderful world.... and his mommy, is such a WONDERFUL mommy. She enters his world and shares his excitement.

I am such a blessed Ya-Ya!

Abortion and The Handicapped

This little girl doesn't have an adoptive family because of her handicaps.
She is a precious child. But many will not adopt her, just like many people choose to abort.
So she gets to rot in a bed, because there are those who only want perfect children.

I'm not feeling very politically correct today.  Sometimes, there is a time to throw up on your blog. Since it is my blog, I will.

Technology being what it is today, gives parents the ability to see into the womb. It gives parents information about their baby ahead of time.  This information can be a blessing and a curse.

What if, you were given information that the baby you were carrying had a birth defect, or deformity or disease or condition that would lead to a "quality of life" issue?

I am so disturbed that the common line is "We can abort"..... ABORT!  GET RID OF! DESTROY!!!
Why? Because our kids aren't perfect?  There is actually PRESSURE to abort.  Just like there was pressure for us to remove our son from Life Support.  "He will never have a life. You're life will be ruined.... you can have another baby....he will be a burden."  These words were spoken to me about my son who was already born!
Why do we not treasure our children? Why do we not protect those who need the most protection?
What gives US the right to decide who lives and who dies and for that matter, who has a better QUALITY OF LIFE?
I was talking to a woman one time after Erika had her feet amputated. She said, "If I had a 'mongoloid' child, I would have kept it, but anything else, I would have aborted!"  I was so stunned I couldn't speak.  This was while my little girl was sitting in the next room healing, with no feet, my other little girl was running around happily playing and my son who has Cerebral Palsy and is a happily married man, was in college!
This woman knew each of these children, yet said this!  As if I had made a bad decision.

I will never understand this type of thinking.  Our lives are not given to us to be selfish.  Our lives are not our own.  True JOY in life and true QUALITY OF LIFE comes from Giving, Loving, Caring.....
A handicap is NOT the end of the world! Ask Nic Vuyjic!
Ask Erika!  Ask Sarah! Ask Tim!  and Many Many More!

If you are reading this and you would like to link your blog sight in the comments section, so those who are considering Abortion can see that there is abundant LIFE even with handicaps or special needs, please feel free to do so!

LIFE IS PRECIOUS! Don't Waste another person's life out of fear.  There are MANY willing to help.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Birthday To SAM

I cannot believe it is Sam's 4th Birthday!  He is growing up so fast! 
This is one of my favorite pictures of 4 of my favorite people. :)
3 of them have February Birthdays!

Praying For New Zealand!

A very large earthquake just hit Christchurch NZ.  I have a regular reader from that area. Our prayers are with you!

It's Your Kindness

 "It's Your Kindness That Leads Us To Repentance"..... Romans 2:4

As I was describing working with a child who has difficult behaviors, I was asked, "But what if they aren't sorry for what they have done?"  I was describing a process of bringing a child to your side, rocking them and talking about a behavior that is unacceptable.... I mentioned that the child would then be sorry, you could come up with ways together to do things differently, and then you move on.

The question was really a great question because we have had that happen before. 
But first off, I'd like to say that life is a process. Discipline is a process.... bringing a hurting child to wholeness is a process that may take the rest of their lives!

So with that in mind.  I think sometimes we can be really short sighted. There are books out there that demand a child be repentant, and if they aren't, you continue to punish them until they are.
To me, all that does is set a child up for being fake. They don't want to be punished again so they say they are sorry and they say what you want them to say.  Inside, they may be exploding with anger. Long term this is destructive!

On the other hand, when our little girls have had unrepentant hearts, we have asked to pray for them. I am not interested in false confessions, false sorrow or fake repentance and neither is God.

So, what have done, is let our child participate in  the discussion if they will, and then ask to pray for them.  I have prayed prayers such as, "Lord, please help Anna see that we love her so very much. Help her to know that we will never leave her. Please soften her heart so that she too can receive forgiveness and so that she can be loved.  Help her to see what the right path is for her life. Help her to know you.
Help her to come to you for forgiveness. Please take her heart of stone and make it a heart of flesh. And then, we would hug her, and that was it. 
This was a long process. We had a very hard hearted little girl.  But, eventually her heart began to change. She didn't always refuse to be sorrowful for disobedience like before, her heart began to soften and then, the day came where she came to us on her own and said, "Mama, I want my stone heart to be a heart of flesh. I want a soft heart." And the tears of repentance began to flow. 
This change came about over a period of a couple of years; and it was genuine, not forced.

As Mike and I were talking tonight, we found that there was a common word to describe how children need to be treated.  The word was Kindness.  We need to be KIND to our children.  Kindness is a word that has a certain feel to it for me.  I think we can sometimes be loving, or intend to be loving without being kind.  Kindness is a form of gentleness in both thought and action.
Here is the definition for Wikipedia:
Kindness is the act or the state of being kind —ie. marked by goodness and charitable behaviour, mild disposition, pleasantness, tenderness and concern for others. 
Isn't that a great definition?
We can look at that and ask ourselves: Am I being good, charitable, of mild disposition, pleasant and tender towards my child?  Many of our children's reactions to us, can happen when we are NOT doing the above.....
Why is it, we don't think we need to be as kind to our children as we are to a stranger? Why is the stranger more deserving of our gentle spirit than our own children?

Our own Heavenly Father is kind to us.... faithfully forgiving us, and bringing us to repentance through his tender, loving mercy and kindness.

Despicable Me Review From This Mom

When we were at Camp over the weekend, we were introduced to a movie we had never seen.  "Despicable Me".....

It is a animated feature film about a man who is a career criminal, who uses 3 orphaned little girls to further his life of crime and pull off stealing the moon.  It sounds really silly, which it was...... it was also somewhat clever and humorous in parts..... and the little girls were all adorable...... and they made you like them..... Then there was the Orphanage director who was supposed to look nice and motherly, yet she was sinister beneath the surface and untrustworthy.  She used the children, and then, when they didn't please her, placed them in "The Box of Shame"...... and everybody laughed.   But me.

It was a little too real and surreal at the same time and I had trouble processing what I was watching.  As a parent to 3 little girls who were orphaned at one time, it was a little too close to home.  One of our girls didn't watch the movie but chose to play pool instead.... another wanted to see it, and as soon as the "Box of Shame" showed up, she went from the front row to sitting right next to us and I could feel her breathing...... she said it didn't bother her.... but her body language said something different.
Our other little girl laughed through the movie and enjoyed it.

Apart from the strong adoption - neglect theme throughout the movie.... here is what REALLY bothered me.
There was nothing moral about this movie.  The criminal did not give up his life of crime. He did fall in love with the little girls and wanted to be their father, but he never apologized for being a career criminal..... so it was mixed between a really bad guy, who had a loving heart towards his kids.

That is sort of like, praising a bank robber who quits robbing at 3:00 to be on time to his daughter's ballet recital.... Is that something to praise?  I don't think so. 
I am concerned about this type of movie, because the message is subtly placed within a humorous plot and it is FUN.... some of it.   So why be so fuddy duddy about it?
Because it is IMMORAL.
The bad guy was made to look good. There was no good guy in the movie at all.

You do not adopt children to use them.  Stealing is WRONG. A life of crime is wrong.  Just because a child gets a hug good night and a bedtime story at the end of the movie, it doesn't mean it is good.
I really did not like this movie.

For a child who is insecure in their placement, I could see that it could be devastating.  Had it been 2 years ago, we would have all left to go and play pool or do video games or air hockey.  I can't expect everybody to understand this, and I don't....but for those who might accidently get introduced to this movie; Beware.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Out On A Limb Family Retreat

I have blogged before about the wonderful camp the girls go to in the Summer. During the Winter time, there is a family retreat that takes place as a follow up to summer camp. The entire family goes, so the siblings and other parents can have part of the special experience that makes up Peaceable Kingdom for Children.
We had a really great time this weekend!  As Abigail said, "It is amazing how 1 week in the summer and a weekend in the winter each year can bring you together like a family."  And that is exactly how it feels; like a very special family reunion each year.  Some of us see each other at the hospital during the year off and on as our appointments come together at the same time, yet sometimes the only time we see each other is at camp.

This weekend Anna's favorite thing was trying the Swing. It was her first time. She really loved it.

Sarah's favorite thing was playing the games. I didn't get many pictures of the crazy games they had us do, but it was fun.....
Here she is getting ready to swing.  Scott the Owner of the camp is getting her ready:

And here is her epic swing! :)
Erika's favorite was teasing her Prosthetist in training Nathan.  They got him with Water!  Erika also loves to visit her best friend Brittany.
It is funny how in the clinic, everything is so "Clinical".... "Hello, can you stand, can you walk, let me fix that, how does it feel..... "..... and at camp the very same rather stoic fellow is like, "GET EM!!! WHOOO HOOOO!" LOL   That was Nathan. :)
Erika had a great swing too!

Overall it was a really great weekend.  Here are some shots of the cabin and 
other activity shots:

 Getting ready for the day
 Getting out of the web
 Anna, enjoying a bird's eye view. :)
 Team work!

 They made the parents walk the plank too!
 This was Erika walking a tight rope wire.  It was a lot of work for her but she did it!
Sarah waiting to be hoisted up on the swing.

 Playing a game on an I pad.

The pictures do not do justice to what this camp is like. :)  A group of Motorcyclists came also from a local community and let the kids get on their bikes, honk the horns and rev the engines, then they joined us for dinner and games.  They were really nice people. They raise money for this camp each year.
There are a lot of wonderful people out there who really do care to make a difference in the life of somebody else..... We are hoping, HOPING that this summer, some Veterans who have lost limbs will be able to join us at Summer camp to encourage them.... They will go home changed.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Child Abuse and Adoption

I was sickened and horrified to read about yet another child abuse/murder case of an adopted child/children.  It is just too much.....

We are all capable of much sin, I know this...... and I also know there are stresses out there with parenting that can bring you to the brink...... but honestly, it SEEMS that abuse is just over the top and out of control!  I don't know if it is just that there is more reporting of it, but what I came across today really disturbed me to my core.

I was reading about the recent case in Florida where the children were tied up regularly. The twins were adopted, and the family had numerous issues with CPS.  But it all came to an end, with a child dead and another clinging to life with severe burns.  I wanted to find a local update from Florida so I googled adopted children abused... and came across this. The case of Cassandra Killpack, a 4 year old girl, adopted... not sure where from.....but murdered at the hands of her parents.  The first article I read was about how the mom wanted out of prison so she could raise her biological children. They missed her.  There was much blame placed upon her 4 year old who was said to have RAD.  This family was from Utah and went to therapy at a Utah clinic in Orem.  They claimed that they were told to do what they did. The clinic denied it.
However, I wonder......
Frankly, I have read some things that I find downright dangerous and abusive..... placed into the hands of a stressed out mother, I could easily see how things could spiral out of control..... it is the human factor. 
I don't know why it is harder to do something out of a place of love and control than anger and hostility..... but it seems to be, even though the results of kindness and self control go FAR with a child who has RAD.
Why oh WHY would a RAD child WANT to attach to a scary, angry person? 
 There is the recent case of the angry mother who gave her child cold showers and hot sauce, there is the awful case of the little girls from Liberia who were both systematically BEATEN with plumbers pipeline until one of them died and the other was in critical condition..... and the list goes ON.....and ON!
What is sad, is the kids are being blamed.
THAT, I DO NOT get.  I DO get that children can have very difficult behaviors. I DO get that it can cause a parent to be frazzled..... but I DO NOT get, how you can come to the conclusion that extreme punishments, exercises, holding positions, forced rages, forcing a child to ask for each and every direction, including if they can have a sip of water or go to the bathroom...... etc. etc. all done in the name of "THERAPY" have EVER made it out of a person's mind, into a book or article and somehow became "professional therapy"..... Where did these people go to school? Auschwitz?

I feel sad for people who have been caught up into these types of child torture, only to find their children harder to reach and further down the path of destruction, because now they can't even trust the one who claims to love them.

There are MANY great resources available for parents who are struggling.... but honestly..... as parents, we need to take responsibility for our OWN actions, our OWN control issues, our OWN temper fits..... and stop blaming our children.

It does not mean anything is easy.. ..... but GREAT things come from GREAT struggle, IF you are struggling in the right direction TOGETHER on the SAME TEAM.....

If you are caught up into some "therapies" that do not feel right, or you are not having success;
or, if you are parenting, not necessarily seeking help, and you are finding yourself frustrated and things are not working.... ask yourself, "How long do I do the same thing and expect a different result?"  1 year, 2 years?  "If what I am doing isn't working, WHY am I still doing it?"

If my children have figured out how to press my buttons, why do I have my buttons exposed?
What do I need to deal with before I can help my own children?
It does seem sort of silly to try to help a child not have temper tantrums, when the adults in his/her life are throwing fits themselves.

We are the ADULTS.... WE  ARE responsible!  TAKE CONTROL! Be Empowered and Energized!

And if you are thinking about adopting, EDUCATE yourself......do your homework, research and investigate.... and PRAY.  Sometimes Life can throw us some real curve balls.... sometimes life is hard for a season..... but keep it in perspective. Our children come to us broken and hurt....they didn't get that way overnight and they will not heal overnight.  It is a process.... a LONG process.

Excellent resources:
Scripture: all about love, all about self control, all about relationship......
Heather Forbes - Dare to Love, Beyond Consequences Logic and Control volumes 1 and 2
Karyn Purvis- The Connected Child,  and her website.   
Clay and Sally Clarkson- Heartfelt Discipline
and Sally's Blog  is full of wonderful advice for moms.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Kid

One of our little baby goats is still having trouble competing for milk and standing..... not sure why.... but he is in for the night with 3 little mothers waiting to feed him.  He is eating really well and getting stronger.  He really sounds like a kid! :)

New Babies

Introducing, Tarzan, Phillip and Suzy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tim's Birthday

It is another birthday for Timothy!  I am so excited about him being THIRTY!!!!! :)
I wrote this post a few months ago about Tim and Em and their announcement.  What a wonderful Gift God has given us, in Tim.
I wrote this post about Tim a while back....

Happy Birthday Dear Son!

A Slide show

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day Thoughts

On the Subject of Love.....
What is Love Exactly! It is amazing how many ways we use the word Love.
I "Love" Pizza!
I "Love" chocolate!
I "Love" my shoes!
I "Love" my husband!
I "Love" my children!

Somehow, this over used word loses it's true meaning when we apply it to food and clothing.
So, since Love is an abstract word, it is hard to understand it's meaning sometimes.
The Bible has a wonderful description of Love in 1 Corinthians 13.
This chapter not only explains what love IS, it also says what LOVE isn't. 

One of the stand out portions of this scripture is:
If I speak with the tongues of Men and Angels but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have prophetic powers, understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I AM NOTHING. If I give away all I have and if I deliver up my body to be burned but have not love, I gain NOTHING.

Does this mean that I could actually sacrifice all that I have, and actually NOT love?
 Love, is a verb YES, but it is NOT just giving everything up sacrificially with the "woe is me, look at all the sacrifices I am giving up for you!"  
TRUE LOVE is patient and kind! KIND! Not resentful! True love does not envy or boast.
True love does not rejoice when something bad happens to somebody or in wrong doing, but rejoices in the truth. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Morning Cup of Feminine Joe

 We both felt quite Feminine by using our favorite delicate cups!
She prefers hers with Milk.
I think we need to get a couple of different fine cups so we can all enjoy a feminine cup of Tea
each day while chatting about various topics......
Earl Grey is my Favorite! What is yours?

Joseph's Birthday Today!

He taught me so much, just by being himself. :)
I am proud of you Joseph!   So, do I get an "I Survived Raising Joe Button?"
 I really like this picture! LOL

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Our Beautiful Truman

This is our 4 month old Grandson Truman! He is soooo sweet! I cannot wait to hold and hug him.
He live EON's away! :(
BUT..... His Mommy Becca has emerged from early babyhood and is blogging again!
You can visit her blog HERE! :)
I love all of my daughter's in law..... Becca is a VERY SWEET mama! She loves her sons so very much and you can see it in her blogging. She is an awesome photographer and is a wonderful wife to our son Joseph. 
Glad to see you blogging again Becca!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Thought Provoking Quote by John Piper

"The Gospel is not a picture of adoption, adoption is a picture of the Gospel". ..  john piper

Monday, February 7, 2011


I know more than one family or person who is in extreme pain right now. Pain from physical issues, pain from emotional trauma, pain from the unexpected loss of a loved one, pain from fear, pain from anxiety, pain from evil, pain from sin......

Folks, we live in a fallen world.... and it hurts to see all the pain that surrounds us.

I pray that the Lord will surround these people with His LOVE and Compassion. I pray that He will heal their hearts, souls, wounds, diseases, and that He will open the hearts of those who oppose Him.
I pray that the Lord will bring peace in the midst of terrible storms.  Comfort in the midst to trauma and loss.  Peace and healing  in dealing with disease, and Spiritual Wholeness and Life to all.  I pray that the Lord will DIRECTLY INTERVENE in the cases of adoptions being held up by Evil.
I pray for continued Miracles.

My heart is broken and overwhelmed tonight......
Thank you Lord for allowing us to bear each other's burdens and hold each other in our prayers.
I give all of these to you...... YOU HOLD us ALL in your hands....your merciful, loving hands.

Please join me in prayer for all of these unspoken requests.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies

Oat Meal Cookies

1 cup of butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
2 TSP Vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 cups of Bob's Redmill Gluten Free Oatmeal
1 cup of Tapioca Flour
1 cup of raisins (optional)
1 cup of chocolate chips  (optional)

(I like the taste of the raisins and chocolate together.)

Beat butter sugars eggs and Vanilla together until creamy

Add flour, soda, salt and oatmeal
Mix VERY well.

Preheat oven to 350ยบ
line a pan with parchment paper
bake for about 8-10 minutes or until desired doneness
do not remove from parchment onto wire racks until slightly cooled
If you removed when they are too hot they will fall apart.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Stylish Blogger Award"

A fellow bloggy world friend, Katie, whom I was able to meet late last year at the President's 5K in honor of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, and fellow mommy to a precious daughter with Arthrogryposis.... btw- one of the cutest babies ever..... gave me this "Stylish Blogger Award"......   If anybody is in need of an spiritual Uplift, read Katie's blog! She is a huge blessing from the Lord.  She has insight that many times just blesses me so very much!

Now, Stylish?  LOL
I am the no makeup, sweat wearing, wearing my husband's sweat socks to keep warm kinda girl. LOL
BUT THANK YOU! It is very sweet to know others read. :)

Upon receiving this award, I am supposed to:
1) Thank, and link back to the person who awarded it.
2) Share 7 things about myself.
3) Award 10 great bloggers.
4) Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

 7 Things about myself:

1. I Love the Lord Jesus Christ and want to glorify Him in all I do.
I fail at that many times a day. But I know HE knows and picks me up and holds me in his Hands.

2. I have been a Mom since I was 20 years old.  I still think it is an amazing, wonderful, thrilling, gift..... 

3. I am a Ya-Ya, and there is great joy in Ya-Ya-hood. :)

4. One of the biggest pleasures in my life was teaching a group of  4th - 6th graders for a Wednesday Night Bible study.  They were sort of the "reform class" like in Reform school.... and all the teachers would quit after a few weeks.  I volunteered.  These kids were in need of serious truth. So we started a simple verse by verse bible Study through the book of John and little lives were transformed in that class.  I miss those kids.  (they are all grown up now) :)

5. I waited all week to go outside so I wouldn't fall on the ice. I have this bad habit of falling on ice and it takes a while to get over.  So I kept a really safe distance from the porch, or made sure the snow was heavy enough not to slip.  And then, last night my daughter in law called. I went in my BEDROOM to talk to her, sat in the antique rocking chair and it BROKE, throwing me back.... I was so embarrassed that I didn't make a peep, but while we were talking, it took me about 5 minutes to get out of that mess.
And yes, today I am sore! UGH

6.  I am actually an Introvert.   For some reason that shocks people. :)

7.I still don't know how to wear my hair!  (that's deep) LOL       

Now, for 10 bloggers awards:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Facing The Giants

Since this was Super Bowl Weekend, and we live about an hour from where the  Super bowl is being played, and won't be in attendance there, we decided to watch a movie that had a Football Theme.
Frankly, THIS movie is the REAL SUPER BOWL...... it was really good on many fronts.
Glad we watched it. :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Ball Fight

My Own Personal Snow Plower :) Thanks Mike!

More Snow

Is This Really Texas?????

The SuperBowl activities have been hampered all week, not that it has effected us personally,
but I do feel for all the folks who came for the event. I feel especially for the small businesses that are losing out on all that revenue! Our business has been a ghost town all week.
Mike had to go out and get hay for the animals again to put in the shelters and he said it was pretty treacherous. I am REALLY glad I bought extra groceries on Monday just in case~!
The just in Case happened.
 Sarah fell yesterday while playing on the ice hill. But she said it was WAY worth it. :)
 This is as far as Erika goes! We promised to carry her out into the snow today for a little while.
 Time for a snow ball fight with daddy. :)  But right now, it is just pretty for a picture.

We are LOVING IT! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Question Regarding The Proverbs Verses

A very nice person visited my blog here, and posed a question, which I think is a very fair question.
They asked about what my thoughts were on the Proverbs Vrs... particularly
Proverbs 23: 13-14 and Proverbs  22:15.

I am going to attempt to answer this the best I can, with how I believe the Lord has brought us to understand these most controversial of verses.  Please understand in my answering these directly, that I do not hold judgement or condemnation on those who think differently than I do, as I know very well the church in general and America in general holds to a very different view.  I also know personally, many family and friends who do things different than we do. 
I believe the Word of God to be inerrant in it's original form. I believe it is GOD breathed and is the word of GOD and take it very seriously.  With all respect and honor, I will attempt to rightfully divide the truth as best I can.  I am not a theologian, but a simple Berean.  I do not believe God's word is so complicated that you must have a degree to understand it, but I do believe the Holy Spirit  can lead us into all Truth.  Life is a process. Spiritual life is a process too. :)

With that said:

There are many things in scripture that are not "Literal" but maybe more "General" observation.  The book of Proverbs is full of observation, and thought, in a Poetic form, but that does not mean that we are supposed to take it Literally that it is something we should do.  There are also scriptures that ARE literal, that we do not adhere to today. I will explain later.

A few examples might be:
Proverbs 19:23-  The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

However, a dear friend of mine, who's father was probably one of the most godly men I ever knew, WAS visited by harm. He was murdered in his little business that he had owned for 30 years.
So, I guess I cannot take that one literally.

Proberbs 20:30- Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts.
This particular scripture is not aimed at children but adults.  Do you believe that if you sin, you should have blows to your body to cleanse away your evil?  Do strokes to your body make your innermost parts clean?
 Or do you go to your Heavenly Father and ask for his forgiveness and HE makes you clean?

Proverbs 25:15- With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.
Can a soft tongue really break a bone?

Those are just a FEW verses off the top of my head.
There is NO QUESTION that the verses in which you refer are speaking about discipline. The question is: What is discipline?
He who does not discipline his son, HATES his son. This is  very true. But discipline does not mean punish, nor is it equal to punish.
Discipline comes from the word Disciple. To teach.

Proverbs 22:15-Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
   but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

In this verse, it appears that DISCIPLINE IS the ROD, and the word ROD is being used metaphorically.  So this verse could be read, Folly is bound up  in the heart of a child but Godly instruction will drive it far away.
Proverbs 23:13-14-  Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod he will not die. If you strike him with the rod you will save his soul from Sheol.

I do agree that we should NOT withhold discipline from our children. We should disciple them as is written in Numbers.  When you wake up, when you walk, when you eat, when you lay down..... teach your children the ways of the Lord.
It does say, if you strike him he will not die.  That is true, sometimes. Some kids die.  But does it mean we are supposed to strike our kids? How many times? 1? 2? 3? 20?
The word child in this verse is very interesting. It is Naar.  It means a young MAN between the ages of around 16-24.
Now, that puts a new spin on this verse. If you are talking about a foolish young person who is out of control,  such as the young man in Singapore in the 1990's who destroyed a bunch of cars in a car lot, and got in trouble with the police. The actual punishment was 2 lashes.  In his case, I could actually see a justice there.  He wasn't 2. He was 17.    But in our society, we consider a 17 year old untouchable! LOL  Why? Because a group of Christians, who have PSYCHOLOGY degrees say that children learn everything by the time they are 5 and are set in their ways and if you don't punish them for every infraction possible, they will turn into hellions and go to hell...AND... It isn't true, nor is it biblical.
The truth is: YOU CANNOT SAVE YOUR CHILD. Nobody can come to the Father unless the Spirit Draws them. We come to faith by hearing the word of GOD and by trusting in the Death and Resurreciton of Jesus Christ.   HE cleanses us from sin, not us.

Which brings up the verse Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a Child in the Way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."
This scripture has been so misused over the years to put parents in bondage and fear.
It puts the salvation of the children ONTO the parent.  The Jewish interpretation of this scripture is more like, "train them according to their bent", speaking of occupation and when they are older, they will have a job that they will keep.

It is GOD's Desire that none of us should perish.  He leads us to repentence through HIS kindness.
Romans 2:4.
There are 2 verses in the Entire New Testament that speak to child raising.
1. Ephesians 6:4
2. Collosians 3:21
Both of these verses say the same thing:
Father's do not Frustrate your children, and the other Father's do not provoke your children to anger.

There is much in scripture to help us in raising our children to serve the Lord, but from the very best I can see, leading them by example, as Christ was an example to the Disciples and ultimately all of us, seems to be a clear way we are supposed to behave towards our children.
Christ did not berate the disciples or beat them. He instructed them.

One thing that is interesting to me in regards to the old testament scriptures regarding the raising of children is the verses within the law.
What about the verse for STONING children?
Deuteronomy 21:18-21
by the way, the same word for child is used.

There are many verses in scripture that speak of things we do not adhere to today, including slavery, beating a slave,  cities of refuge for murderers,  if a woman was raped she was required to marry her rapist and stay married to him her entire life......!

It is funny, I personally believe that the scripture in 1 Corinthians 11 regarding a woman covering her head in public worship is a command for today, so I cover my head..... but many I know do not. :)

There are plenty of scriptures that tell us to not be in debt. Yet, most people carry a home mortage, if not more, including car payments and credit card payments.

It is interesting to me that the Church seems to by hyperfocused on the "ROD" verses in Proverbs.

I believe that the ROD, can be used both as a real term for a rod, and metaphorically.  It seems there are places where it is interchanged.  The Rod of Correction may not necessarily be a rod but a word.
They Rod and Thy Staff they comfort me..... Rods and Staffs are used to PROTECT sheep.  The Rod is actually used to beat of wolves and those who would HARM sheep.
I believe that Paul uses this term in 1 Corinthians 4:18-21 when he says, "Should I come to you with a Rod or with Love in a spirit of gentleness?"

Honestly, the things that bother me most, about the "spanking" issue, are not the person who sees their little one running in the parking lot and in a heat of panic gives them a swat on the tush..... in a rare moment of wanting to keep their child safe.
It is the books written that put parents in bondage. The "If you do this GOD's WAY, your kids will grow up to be angels, and be saved and if you don't do it exactly like we say, everybody is headed to hell in a handbasket and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT!   What horrible burdens to put on parents.
There are books out there that give you information on what implement of destruction to use, how to use it, when to use it, if the child doesn't receive the punishment, do it again, and again, and again, and then you have cases as in the little girl from Liberia and her sister who were severely abused and one of them died! 
The parents in this case were following teachings they believed to be "biblical".
I have to say, that when one of our sons was 3, the book, "The Strong Willed Child" came out.
I remember reading it and thinking, HOLY COW, if I were to follow this advice with my strong willed child,  he'd die.  I got rid of the book.  I am so glad I did, and that the Lord gave me understanding of my son, not long after that, as I sought HIS wisdom and not the wisdom of a Christian Psychologist,
that my son needed my tender hearted guidance and not a fear based parenting style.  He is serving the Lord today and is a huge delight to my heart.

Parenting is serious business and how we parent IS important! VERY important.  But one of the scriptures that really sticks in my head the most is the warning in Matthew 18: 1-6.... That scripture to me is CLEAR!   If I couple that with the other scriptures about not causing little ones to be exasperated or driven to wrath,  I find myself looking to my Lord for honest and true direction for how to raise my children in a God honoring way and I am continually reminded of my own need for forgiveness for my own failures.

I do ask this for contemplation:  Why do we hold our children to law, yet desire mercy from God for our own sin?  Why do we not lead our children to a life of repentence through grace and mercy given to all who believe? Why do we think we should make our children pay for sin, yet we do things every single day, that were it not for the mercy of God in our lives, we would be condemned?

Micah 6:8-  He has shown thee, Oh Man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you!
But to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk Humbly with your God.

Thanks for visiting my blog and asking! :)

Playing in the Ice

Here are Anna and Sarah playing in the ice and sleet!  If the camera was shaking it is because it is COLD!!!!!!!!  (about 25 degrees)  It has been in the teens most of the day.  And we are expecting more snow overnight.
Poor Erika cannot go out there in this stuff. She is resigned to observe.  I told her a head injury or trip to the hospital is just not worth it.  There is NO WAY she could balance on this stuff, and I cannot carry her. We'd both wind up in the hospital. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Birthday To My Mike

I am married to an amazing man, who happens to be an amazing DAD!
Happy Birthday to My Mike! Our Daddy! My Love!

A REAL conversation part 2

I wrote about our dilemma here.

And now, I want to write about what came from it.

Sarah said she actually really enjoys taking care of the chickens, but sometimes she get distracted with other things. She said she knows she needs to try harder to get her chicken work done before she does anything else.

So we have agreed that a.m. is best for getting coop work done, and then eggs need to be brought in 2 x's a day. Early and later when she puts the chickens away.

She also  agreed that she had much room to improve in listening and responding.
We gave each other big hugs, and she is back to her normal self and I'm back to mine.
We both apologized.

I learned that I need to trust the Lord with every situation and not get to frustrated during the learning process.  It takes a long time to teach children to do things  in a manner that is beyond  kid approved. :)
I also remembered that HOW I present something can make all the difference in its reception.

I know this to be true,  and yet there are days when I become slothful in my parenting.
The funny thing is:   Slothful leads to more work in the end because you have to correct things. :)

Respond don't react!  RESPOND don't REACT!
A soft answer turns away wrath!
I was thinking about the hymn:
Softly and Tenderly

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, 
 calling for you and for me; 
 see, on the portals he's waiting and watching, 
 watching for you and for me. 
 Come home, come home; 
 ye who are weary come home; 
 earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, 
 calling, O sinner, come home! 

2. Why should we tary when Jesus is pleading, 
 pleading for you and for me? 
 Why should we linger and heed not his mercies, 
 mercies for you and for me? 

3. Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, 
 passing from you and from me; 
 shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, 
 coming for you and for me. 

4. O for the wonderful love he has promised, 
 promised for you and for me! 
 Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon, 
 pardon for you and for me
I am mostly familiar with the first and fourth verses of this song.... but it gave me
time to think about How God Deals with His children, softly and tenderly, 
with great mercy and pardon.
Why should we be any different...? 

A REAL Conversation

 An alternative title could have been: Salvaging a BCLC moment. :)  When a mom blows it!

As much of the nation is cold, so is Texas.  In fact, it is about 18 degrees outside.  Everything is frozen.
We knew it was coming, and I asked the girls to make sure the animal's bedding was changed, their sleeping areas clean, and to get prepared for a long week.
Anna takes care of the goats. Sarah takes care of the chickens.

We have had some difficulty with understanding the importance of doing things right and timely, AND how important it is for the chickens and eggs.  I SHOULD have checked on Sarah's work as she is still not fully understanding her job .

Sarah doesn't care for taking care of the chickens, but it is her job right now.  So, while the weather was in the 70's, I requested the above get done, so that all would be warm and secure.

Well, today, after she went out to fetch the eggs, several were FROZEN and cracked, meaning she didn't pick them up yesterday, and they had poop on them, meaning the bedding wasn't clean.

I had also told her this a.m. to be sure to open just the little door so the chickens could go in and out, but wouldn't get too cold.

SO.... I went out to investigate. I found that the coop had not been cleaned as requested. I found that the bedding was not fresh, just a little on the floor.  I was not happy.  I WAS NOT HAPPY!
And I was especailly NOT HAPPY that the chickens had been let out and both doors were closed so they couldn't get back in!
Now I was MAD!

So, I took care of the immediate problem so the chickens had enough warmth, and then worked my way back in the house .  It is very icy outside and dangerous to walk around.  I don't want her out there carrying arm loads of hay, so I did it.

When I came in I asked to talk with her. I let her know I was not pleased that she didn't do what she was supposed to, and said, there is no new hay in the coop, the eggs were not picked up, the chickens are locked out and the coop has not been cleaned! WHY?
Her instant reaction was anger.  She tried to defend herself. "I DID put hay in the coop!"  Then me:
"There is NO WAY you put hay in the coop!"  and her countenance fell.  I could see this was not going to be good, and honestly, I came in the house, freezing, glasses fogged up, covered in hay, and probably looked rather foreboding. :)
 Actually, I look abit like a terrorist! LOL

So, what do I do?  I say, "NO COMPUTER!"  duh... like that had anything to do with anything.

I shot up a quick prayer and took a deep breath. And the scripture in Proverbs popped into my mind:
"A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath".....
I had not been tender or soft in my delivery.

And then, I asked Sarah to write down what happened and how she saw things.  The following is our correspondence, word for word. (we wrote notes to each other)

First, I don't like eggs! (this is what I really think)
And I think I should be able to write this.  I don't think it is fair that you don't let me talk.
And I'm sure you don't care, like you said yesterday. Now yesterday I got hay! NOT a HANDFUL!
I didn't clean the poop because I didn't want to. I'm sorry, I'm not taking care of the chickens right.
Maybe someone else should do it.
Mad Sarah
P.S.-  I really did put hay in there, but you won't believe me! PLUS: I opened the big door (I didn't put in in the hook because I was oing to open the small door and close the big door, BUT I FORGOT!) ugg!!!!!
P.S.S.- I'm glad I wrote this on paper, because I would have been to scared to say this.

I'm glad you wrote it too. :)
I don't want you to be scared, but I DO want you to be respectful. When you interrupt and huff and cross your arms, and act mad when I am speaking, that makes me feel MAD!
I am sorry I raised my voice at you, BUT....
I am not sorry to point out where correction is needed.
1. We need to pray for a heart change.
2. You need to take responsibility for what you have been given.
3. Eggs are a good thing. They are used in many things you like, including cheese cake and cookies!
4. Responsibility is not about liking or not liking eggs. I don't like laundry. :)
5. Can we talk now? :)

I'd like hot chocolate. (You don't have to get it)
I'm shakey, but not cold. Well, you were saying all these things that weren't true.
I'm sure you would get mad if a person was saying all these untrue things about you.
Can I pray in my heart? If I pray out loud, I don't think I'd really mean it. I would smile if we
talked right now and you'd probably give me a look.

I don't mind if you smile, You do that when you are upset, I know that.
What did I say that was untrue?

That I put a handful of hay in teh coop. I didn't. Then you said I didn't forget, I did!
P.S.- Thanks for the hot chocolate. What do you want to talk about?

What we are talking about now, and other stuff.
How much Hay did you put in?

Uhh Ohh! What other stuff? I put in an armful.

Your armful is my handful.
Responsibility nad being respectful to each other.

No, the chicken move it around with their feet to look for food and I'm sure the wind blows the hay too! Uh oh again!

Are you saying you don't want to talk to me? WAAAHHHH! :)

No, but maybe I don't want to talk about R and R.

She says disrespectfully.

LOL! :)

 I appreciate Sarah's honesty. I appreciate when she gets calm, she can receive the instruction that she so needed today.  I also appreciate that she let me see where I had done some things wrong too.

And then, we drank our hot cocoa and talked. Really talked. :)
And then we came up with a solution.
And yes, she is still responsible for chickens, and yes I apologized for not listening better and she apologized for not doing her job.
And yes, she cannot do computer until chores are done properly first.
And yes, I do have this look..... glasses down, over the nose..... all 7 of them are used to seeing "the look". :)

I love my Sarah..... we are both back to norm, and she has a new outlook on taking care of the chickens and being responsible.  She understands that making excuses does not work..... if something isn't done, it isn't done, and if she needs help, she can ask.

I reinforced what I already in my heart know to be true.  How I handle something can make things go very simply, or complicate them.  Instead of dealing head on with the issue, in a tender and gentle way, I bulldozed through it.... that is never a good idea. I know I respond much better to loving instruction than accusation without complete fact.  duh

Brought to you today by Mama and Sarah!
signing off! :)

You Are Still Holy