27 September 2007
22 September 2007
It went like this,
20 September 2007
So read this and tell me what do you think?
Disclaimer: Let me state for the record that I realize it is spectacularly unfair to analyze just a few paragraphs of a book as representative of the entire book. Also, the authors pretty clearly advocate teaching children respect, also, so no accusations of chucking out the baby with the bath ,ok?
Do We Teach Honor or Respect?
When families think about honor, they often restrict their thinking to respectful behavior, being polite, courteous, and having good manners. This is a rather narrow understanding and is only a small portion of what honor actually is. Respectful behavior, although a subset of honor, is incomplete in and of itself. Susie learned manners at an early age. "What a nice girl," people would say. Susie learned acceptable behavior but as she grew older she rebelled against the rules, finding them empty and overly restrictive. Teaching respect is not enough.
Honor comes when you recognize a person's worth or value. Respect focuses on behavior, doing the appropriate thing, whereas honor comes from the heart. Respect acknowledges a person's position, while honor attaches worth to that person. Respect teaches manners and proper behavior in the presence of others. Honor teaches something deeper, an appreciation of that person. Respect can become an outward technique to make a family look good to others, but honor builds the hidden bonds that provide great strength and long-lasting unity. It's one thing to obey the crossing guard out of respect for his position. It's yet another to show honor to him because you know him as a friend.
Although we're making a contrast between respect and honor, don't assume that honor is good and respect is bad. Both have their place. When children are young, they learn respectful behavior, but as they grow older, they can develop a heart response of honor as well. It's good to teach respectful behavior but it's important that you not stop there. Honor adds a deeper dimension to relationships.
Honor deals with meanness in relationships. Honor does a job thoroughly and with a good attitude. Honor looks for what needs to be done before being asked. All children (and adults) need to learn honor. Teaching it makes a big difference in family life.
18 September 2007
17 September 2007
16 September 2007
In the time he's been home, however, the kids have had a real treat. Annalivia and her babies were treated to a pretty cool house.
And Daniel and Annalivia and Arnold got to go on a chilly morning walk with Daddy. Apparently Daddy's concern for proper outerwear only extends to his own children. Poor Arnold.
Today Annalivia went to church with Dennis' mom. I picked out her cherry outfit and she decided to wear the matching hat herself. She was pretty willing to let us take some pictures.
14 September 2007
I've noticed that lots of Christian bloggers like to be stretched. But some of the time, exploration of difference in the blogosphere or anywhere on the internet, actually, becomes dogmatic debate. Chrisitians of any ilk have a tendency to lob theology bombs in these conversations and if we can be clever or sarcastic in doing so, well... more points for our side.
And while I'm all for a good arm-pumping, "BOOYAH!!" every once in a while, I want to point out something unique I came across yesterday. An excellent example of gracious conversation can be seen here and here. I can't really add anything to the discussion, because I think it is just one of those that doesn't resolve, but I am SO IMPRESSED by the respect shown in these women's views. And most of the commenters follow suit, I think. Well done, Makeesha and Angela. Thanks for challenging the box with such wisdom. Very, very cool.
13 September 2007
I was talking with Catrina on the phone today about life and why some people find it easier to roll with the punches and come up smiling than other people do. We decided it has a lot to do with temperament and a lot to do with your understanding of God and a lot to do with your world view. And in Catrina's case, it has a lot to do with finding humor in everything:):):).
Generally speaking, I find it easy to deal with the boring, mundane and frustrating -I'm one of those people with an easy temperament type and I was raised well- so people who read my blog may look at me and think that my life is hunky-dory pretty much all the time. Well. It probably isn't. I just think it is.
I was telling Catrina that I look at my day sort of like this.
I see the children coloring nicely at the table for 5 seconds and I think "Ah. My life is perfect. Look at those beautiful children. They are so kind and good. I am the most blessed woman in the world. God is so good to me." That thought gets stuck in my mind so that the next minute, when Lyra writes on Solomon's page and he whacks her and she starts screaming, I just think "oops! we need to deal with this little problem so that these beautiful children can get back to their delightful day." Then I deal with the problem and go back to living the perfect life for the next 5 seconds until something else comes up that I need to deal with. LOL!
I guess you would call that optimism or ostrich-ism. Whatever you like.
My life isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It's not exciting. It's just a day to day walk of doing pretty much the same thing. I enjoy it because I have vision for what I am doing. I believe from the bottom of my heart that God put me in the place where He put me because He knew that I could not only get the job done, but that I could do it beautifully. I believe that it is my personal job to see that my home is a thriving, delightful, happy place for my family to live. I believe that it is my job to teach and train my children in love, love, love so that they have every opportunity to live without regret if they continue to follow God. When I set them down and let them go, I want to set them down at the highest point I can reach. I want them to have the very best of starts! I want my husband to find delight in his home. I want him to enjoy his children. I want to make his life easier and more beautiful in every way. I want him to be richer because I am in his life. I want to honor God by dying to my own selfish desires and living in obedience to Him. I want to become more and more Christlike every day.
This focus gives me unbelievable joy. It helps me to look past the circumstances of the moment, to see the goal and to go for it. I really believe that I have been given everything I need to do what I am doing really, really well!!! I want my home to be a reflection of the love of God, so that is what I aim for - when I'm in my right mind.
When I'm in my *wrong* mind, I start focusing on circumstances and I get ROBBED!!!! I mean really robbed of all joy. I can barely make it through 5 minutes without feeling like I am going to loose it at least once. Everything drives me nuts, even ridiculous things. My expectations rise and I start finding fault with the children instead of enjoying them (they leave their things everywhere, they are noisy, they are lazy, they are whiney, they are arguing...) oh, and their behavior is SOOO much worse when I'm off balance. (I can't even tell you how much further a smiling, playing, singing mother can get with her children than an annoyed, distracted, naggy one.) I get annoyed with Landon (why does he work so much, why does he not come to dinner when I call him...blah, blah, blah). I get annoyed with myself and I feel like I am ruining my entire family (I'm not consistent, I'm too busy, I'm not busy enough, I need to clean out the fridge and I hate cleaning out the fridge...). Do you see my point? When mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. I am absolutely the mood setter in my home.
Now, fortunately for me, I like being happy. I like feeling like I am getting ready to bubble over. I like having a song constantly on my lips. It's addicting. So I avoid focusing on my circumstances as huge obstacles and only think of them as opportunities to honor God. That makes them exciting. I start smiling and singing and taking every thought captive. I start doing my own job and leaving everyone else to do theirs (without putting high expectations on them), and in a very short time, I am out of my funk and back to my "perfect life".
When my focus is on God, my creator, my Lord, the one who died for me, the reason I am alive today both physically and spiritually, the one who has given me everything good thing that I have, I stop thinking about me and my own irritations or problems and I think of Him and how good He is. I think of how He has always come through for me with a change of heart when I am obedient and I think of how merciful He is to put up with all the times I forget to live in an attitude of thankfulness, even though I know better. Then I *want* to live to honor and obey Him so everything I do when I'm in my "right mind" is out of a heart of love for God, not out of obligation or even out of a heart of love for my family (although I certainly do love them!) It makes the biggest difference for me! I feel calm, I feel peaceful, I feel content and I feel effervescent. I laugh with my children instead of getting annoyed. I train calmly with a clear mind and with understanding, not in the heat of the moment. I am happy to see Landon at the end of the day and not just so he can take the kids off of my hands.
How did I learn this? I don't know. By the grace of God, for sure, but I don't know how or when I actually got ahold of this concept for real. It started growing in my quite a while back - at least 4 or 5 years ago, and it keeps growing. My problem is that since I know it - experientially - I am responsible for it. The days I go downhill by not keeping my focus right, I am responsible for that too. I can't bury this or try to play down my joy in order to keep stressed out moms who haven't found this truth to be self-evident yet:) from feeling bad about their daily troubles when my life "looks" so good. I have to try to share the wealth!!! I want everyone to be so joyful!!! It's available for every Christian. My temperament makes it easy for me. Other people will struggle more. You could name a plethora of reasons for this but I won't go into those here.
Okay, well I like to throw out the ole' "don't judge a person's life by the tiny slice of it you see on their blog" post every now and again. It's easy to read people and feel like everything runs perfectly at their house. Not the case in mine. Just so you know. I deal in the imperfect all day, but I'm happy anyway:):):).
10 September 2007
Apparently, in these letters, she writes to several confessors/ spiritual directors about her inability to sense the presence of God, or hear God's voice. She is able to see God's work, but feels as though God is removed and far from her. At some points she even voices her terrifying doubt that God is there, though she quickly apologizes for her "unbelief."
Despite the fact that Teresa's wishes were ignored, which is somewhat troubling, I think, I'm glad that these letters are published. Mother Teresa is arguably the most well-known servant of Christ in the world. To find that she was someone who struggled in ways familiar to most of us, yet still did extraordinary things will be helpful to many, I think.
Of course, as the article mentions and recent letters to Time following the publication of the article demonstrate, those who wish to disprove the existence of God quickly latch on to Mother Teresa's seeking and distress. They find it hypocritical that she would profess the joy of Christ even while not feeling it herself.
09 September 2007
08 September 2007
07 September 2007
06 September 2007
First, fold the towel horizontally about 1/3 of the length. Then fold it in half lengthwise.
Next, cut a quarter-circle out of the folded corner for the neck. Cut smaller first. You can lengthen or widen if necessary.
Open up the towel lengthwise and cut up to neck opening. You should have a lollipop-shaped opening now.
Hem the sides of the bib by turning them under twice. Alternatively, you can use bias tape rather than hemming, but this way is more thrifty.
Sew bias tape around the neckline leaving ends that are long enough to fasten the bib. I sew it to the wrong side of the towel first, then fold it over and sew it on the right side. It makes it look nicer on the right side. Be sure to sew the extra length of bias tape shut so that it doesn't unravel in the wash.
And there it is! This can go super-fast, or you can take a little longer and make it look really nice. This would probably even be a nice gift for somebody if you are actually capable of sewing a straight line, unlike myself.
04 September 2007
03 September 2007
These are the terrible reception pics as the camera battery died.
Gramps gets to dance with his youngest granddaughter.