Saturday, July 31, 2010

Loving Our Children

This picture is of the "boo boos" I talked about in the last post. They had all three hit the same bump in our road one right after the other and fell off their bikes/tricycles. Isn't it terrible of me that I thought it was so funny?! Not that they got hurt, but the situation.

Right now I am going through "The Titus Two Woman Study Guide" by Pastor John Barnett. I love it and there is so so so much to apply from it. I want to share some things from it on loving our children. Maybe some time I will share some on loving our husbands too.

"A mother builds something far more magnificent than any cathedral the dwelling place for an immortal soul. No professional pursuit so uniquely combines the most menial tasks with the most meaningful opportunities." (I put an emphasis on those two words because I think we all understand! ;) )
Dorothy Patterson, one of the authors of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

I want to summarize some of the main points:

*Express ways you want to be a deeper part of their life (monthly dates, weekly prayer studies, nightly prayer times, ongoing shared prayer list)...

I know my brother and sister-in-law often take the cousins out on a "daddy/daughter date" or "mother/son"... Derrick takes turns taking one of the kids out to breakfast to meet with his mom sometimes.

*Start a life-long prayer list with specific areas that you have learned from them need prayer, and then PRAY. Ask for updates. Celebrate answers. Pray Together. If you are not praying for them each day, who is?

He pointed out Christ's model prayer in John 17.
v.15-17- "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."

Another scripture came to my mind to pray that they would be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

*Another point is to be students of our children.
We can do this by knowing their interests. "Get into his or her world." Be lovingly persistent in communicating with your children, share activities, take the initiative in asking them questions, and listen to your children with full attention- "Let them see your eyes light up when they talk to you."

That last point I definitely want to work on by being off the phone more and by not being distracted with something else such as the dishes or something. It is sad but sometimes I may not hear my daughters voice until the 4th, "Mom."

He writes," Grace-energized-mothers love their children in a way that can be felt when they meet their needs with love: through a regular schedule of nutritious meals, clean clothes, clean bodies, adequate sleep and rest. Give them a heart that serves. And as we do so, we add to that more gifts:
Give them a heart that rejoices and is filled with happiness. Psalm 113:9 describes a 'joyful' mother.
Give them a heart that gives like Christ's (Mark 10:45): because love gives (John 3:16); because love is generous (II Cor.9:6); because love expects nothing back (Luke 6:35)
Give them a heart that plays and is full of fun.
Give them a heart that celebrates all their special days (Matthew 5:41); and since we have to do all those things in the family, why not make them special!
Give them a heart that prefers you family first (Titus 2:4 says they are your first priority).
Give them a heart that is focused (Matthew 6:24).
Give them a heart that is present and attentive (Psalm 119:10 'my whole heart').
Give them a heart that trusts in the Lord (Isaiah 26:3 'perfect peace trusts')."

Oh, how I long to have perfect peace from trusting in the Lord, especially when it comes to the lives of my children. Oh, how I often I fail in this area. Fearing is not trusting in the sovereignty of the Lord. Maybe, Lordwilling, one day I will get better at trusting instead of fearing. Sometimes I think that I think it is in my control how my children turn out rather than in the Lord's control. How overwhelming, especially seeing how imperfect I am! He may use this broken vessel (me) in the lives of my children but they are ultimately not in my hands. They are in His. Remind me of this from time to time, would you?

"You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You." Isaiah 26:3

Thursday, July 29, 2010

We love our cousins!

I'm pretty sure if these babies weren't in there own daddy's arms that one could still tell who they belonged to!
The picture of the older cousins in the tub is actually the night I went into labor with Livi. We watched them that night. We ate dinner out on the picnic table and took them down the street to ride bikes and play. Just before midnight that night I was eating some fried potatoes, I think. I hadn't had a lick of contractions except for earlier on in the pregnancy and thought I remembered always having the warning of contractions.I was just reading one of my old pregnancy journals and realized I really didn't have very many with one of the other babies & realized I didn't necessarily have to. I thought to myself, "I better get to bed! What IF I went into labor anyway? That would not be good to not be well rested." Of course, I truly didn't expect to go into labor and was always telling people, "My babies never come early!" Sam came on time, Bay was 5 days late, and Bella 2 days late. The girls even had due dates that got moved up a week on top of that! This day was 6 days before my due date. You can imagine my surprise when my water broke just one hour after I had been in bed at 1:00 a.m.! I couldn't believe it. I told Derrick, "I'm not ready for this! I haven't rested! I haven't packed!" He said, "Shouldn't you have done that a couple of weeks ago?" I said, "My babies never come early!" In actuality, I really have had my hospital bag packed way early but we had just moved out of one house and into another one and I had been focusing on getting the new house in order before the baby came. Add on top of that I had to pack bags for 3 children. Derrick wanted to be of more help but I knew what I wanted and needed and ran around packing, which was a bit tricky with broken water. Anyway, it was a fun night with the cousins. Two of mine and one of the cousins flew off their bikes or tricycle all three right in a row that night. Derrick had all three of them sitting next to each other crying as he bandaged them up (maybe if I find the picture we took of it I can put it on here). Then they all hopped in the whirlpool bath with their swimsuits on. What an exciting day!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Mama's Sore Heart

I literally had a sore heart yesterday. It all began at the library. I had the kids in my sit-n-stand stroller that I love so much and was standing in an aisle at the library. Samantha gave Bella a "knudge" or whatever it was when they were sitting on the bench of the stroller together. She said she didn't mean to knock her over. Isabella fell down to the floor and started crying. At first I was thinking more along the lines of "be quiet!" rather than "are you hurt"? I quickly realized that Isabella wasn't going to stop crying even though I was trying to help her. A woman next to me said, "Can I help you?!" She seemed to think it was more urgent than I did. Then I saw what she saw. The blood. It was dripping down from Isabella's head to her shirt to the floor... Again she said, "Can I help you? Can I hold the baby?" She looked at Bella and was saying, "Sweet Jesus!" softly. I was holding Livi because she had gotten fussy before Isabella fell. I let her hold her and asked her to put the baby in her carrier on the stroller. I was holding Isabella's head with her blood on my hands. The lady went for help. I had Bailey push the stroller and made it to the counter where a man was trying to get an ice pack to work but it wouldn't. At one point I looked and saw all eyes in the "used to be quiet library" were on us and the blood running down Isabella's back. Some were gasping or saying something along the lines of, "Oh, my!" I was glad when the lady reminded me what I have already learned from the other kids that head injuries tend to bleed a lot. The lady helped us to the car. She was so sweet. We got the kids in the car and suddenly it started pouring down rain. I welcomed it as it washed the blood off my hands. I called Derrick and he said I should go back in the library & get ice and apply pressure but I told him how difficult it was in there and just getting to the car and that it was now pouring down rain. I assessed her head well enough to know I could go to my grandma's down the road. When I took her inside there I was able to get a better look at it. I knew we needed to get it closed up. My grandpa sent my grandma with me because he thought I was a little out of sorts. She drove and I applied pressure with ice to Bella's head, tried to feed the baby that was now overdue for a feeding, called the doctor, some other calls, tried to instruct my grandma how to turn my wipers on because it was still pouring down rain (I thought we were all going to die!)... Then we got turned away at an urgent care because they don't stitch 2 year olds. So, finally we got to the emergency room and walked in looking like wet rats. Isabella's hairs were standing up on her arms being cold from the ice and rain. We put a blanket on her. The doctor told me to hold her arms and legs down because we were all sure she going to be pretty upset when he stuck the needle around the wound. She layed on her stomach as quiet as a mouse and still as she could be. She didn't move or make a sound. She hadn't cried since we left the library. I watched him stick the needle all around and then staple it six times. It hurt me! Even with the staples she just layed there! We couldn't believe it. The nurse said in her 14 years of experience Isabella was the best patient she ever had. I thought maybe she has a high pain tolerance. When she sat up I said, "Isabella? Did that hurt?" She just quietly nodded her head yes. Then she said, "Can I have a piece of gum?" I laughed and said, "YES! Yes, you can have a piece of gum." She smiled and chewed her gum heartily. On the way home I decided we were going to pick up dinner. My body was physically spent and my heart literally hurting. We smelled of the metallic blood smell with blood all over the back of Bella's shirt and dried in her hair and on me as well. Bella was starving so I let her eat some leftover Chik-fil-a fries in the car. She spent some time visting with Derrick and he was looking at her head when we got home. Then we showered before we ate our dinner. It happened to be one of those days that I was ready to be over with. The toilet clogged and yucky from a Weeble Bailey had flushed down it, Bailey slinging hot sauce into the refrigerator that resulted in having to take out shelves and drawers to wipe it clean, couldn't find my wallet to pay for dinner and had to get back in the drive-thru line just to pay for it (thankfully Sam had reminded me that it was thrown in the stroller at the library that was now in the back of the car)...And Bella, I thought she would have passed out, still had a lot of energy at bedtime. I couldn't sleep when I finally did get to bed. But I am so thankful to God that Isabella is okay.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Another Book (for adults this time)

Derrick got in from Kentucky last night. He took a short summer course. I thought about taking the kids and going with him but decided not to take the 10 hour drive with him. I wasn't sure if we'd get much time with him between being in class and doing homework so thought it would be best if we stayed here. It turns out Derrick thought Kentucky was fabulous and there was free time for him as well as lots of fun free stuff the kids and I could have done when he was in class. Rats! We will remember that next time. He brought back some really good kids books, a Greek t-shirt for me, and a book for me called,"Don't Make Me Count to Three!" A Mom's look at heart-oriented discipline. It is hilarious so far (I'm only to Chapter 2)! But, the best part about it is that it gives biblical and practical advice on how to reach your children's hearts rather than just dealing with their outward behavior. It is not going to take me long to get through this book. Something she said made me feel so much better or like I'm not the only one, ya know? She was describing her life before kids and said, "...I never found the milk in the pantry, and I never experienced the sheer panic of trying to remember whom I was calling before the voice at the other end said, "Hello?" Yesterday, I placed an order by phone. When the sales lady asked me for my address, I had to put her on hold. I absolutely could not recall my own address. It did finally come to me as I was reaching for the phone book to look it up." If you know me, it will not surprise you to know that I sometimes do that with the phone but I have yet to forget my address. I thought I was the only one that did stuff like that so it made me feel better to know someone who is actually "solid" does stuff like that too. ;) Adding Livi's birthday to my brain was a little bit challenging (more numbers to remember now) and it sometimes takes a minute for me to think of the correct birthday for a child at the doctor's office. She also told of an experience she had while she was in the process of writing the book. She said, "Recently, I actually waited in line at the bank drive-through, pulled up to the window, and stared blankly at the teller as I said, 'I have no idea why I'm here. I'm supposed to be going to the post office.' She looked very concerned as I drove off." There is something she shared that made me laugh the most but it is too embarrassing for me to even write it. Anyway, I strongly recommend it. Tedd Tripp (author of my favorite parenting book, Sheperding a Child's Heart) endorses it.