Saturday, October 29, 2011

It Means A Lot

Sometimes you have to hold on to what means the most...

to what you have...

in the moment.

You appreciate an expression...

a gesture...

some simple beauty...

Other times you hold on to words. Your heart fills and overflows when an adult child says, "You are the most wonderful mom." And you are told how much you mean to someone. It's not that you are so proud of yourself, because you know you made plenty of mistakes along the way. But, you know you got some things right. Before you stands someone thanking you. In that moment, not overreacting over a big issue paid off.

I know that there is a lifetime of learning ahead for all of my children. Some of them have no idea who I am right now. But, I am their mom for life. I'm not going to sweat it. I can wait it out. There were most certainly times when my oldest girl tried me to no end!

And I'll keep on holding on to what means the most. I'll cherish every memory... and make some new ones.

I'm going to live life fully. I choose to embrace hope and love.

And words from an old church hymn come to mind: "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day".

God is good. Always. A life lesson I've struggled with, but am learning to accept.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

The other evening I had a wonderful time carving my pumpkin at my daughter's house. She hosted a pumpkin carving party!

Shasta is my "mini-me". Not only do we look alike, but she got a large bit of my "craftiness" dna. She enjoys decorating up the home and she had a great time planning out this get-together. Shasta also loves to bake and cook... something she did not get from me... but, I sure am glad she's got it!!

Now, to get to those pumpkins!!

And there you have it... the pumpkin carving event of the season... We've had our first couple of cool nights and cold mornings (that means it's below 80! I'm cold if it's not 80... )(actually I think it's been down to the 60's of all things!)(60 is below 80)(I'm going to stop now...)

Have a wonderful weekend, all of you friends and family out there! Blessings!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Secure Love

My personal thoughts on secure love.... Love that doesn't have to prove itself. Knowing you are adored even if you enjoy jeans and a ponytail most days... A love based on God's demonstration and example to us... the God who loved us first and sacrificed His Son WHILE we were sinners and redeemed us... a secure love. When you don't have to measure up. When you are simply accepted. When your creativity and goals are challenged and you rise higher than ever because you are believed in! Because true, accepting love isn't some pansy, fluffy "we love you no matter what" excuse to lay around and do nothing... true love accepts AND inspires.

And moving on to my book review. Chapter 3 of Grace Based Parenting, titled A Secure Love

Secure love is "written into the hard drive of children's souls".

It's the "Secret Ingredient" God. Because parents wont always be here. I used to cringe and my heart would break when I heard my mom say, "I wont always be here!" Truth is she wont. But, God will. Kimmel points out succinctly, "There is a love that we can pass on to them that is steady, sure and available to them whether we are here or not, and I'm talking about the infinite love of God." We give that to our children by following after the way God loves us.

This chapter covers: Incomplete Love, Love Defined, and three things that provide "secure love".

Incomplete love: When parents don't invest the time into their children, but give it to their careers... and when kids have to earn love... their role is to make the parent look good, make their parent's life easier, or they don't measure up. A lot more is said in the book, but that is the overview...

*** My personal thoughts: Of course career are a necessary part of life... men need to provide for a wife and home. Many moms have careers, too. But, it has a cost. It takes away time that can never be bought back. I know lovely moms who work part time and as children grow they move in to more full time positions. But, I must say that I do believe the best choice is to let go of the monetary gain and invest in the spiritual and loving gain in your child's life (for moms, anyway). That's my personal view. Nothing can take the place of watching my children learn to walk, teaching each of them to read, doing science experiments on the porch, photographing snow men villages in the front yard... and it goes on and on. Nope I didn't have a career with income and a financial retirement plan. I had children. I was their active, stay at home mom and I find such joy in remembering those many, many days of their childhood. Now, back to the book...

Love Defined

"Love is a commitment of my will to your needs and best interests regardless of the cost."

It might not come naturally.
Our needs come 2nd to the ones we are called to love. But, we don't spoil them, fight their battles and rescue them...

Loving someone is inconvenient!! It requires money, time and sleep!
We may have to give up a promotion or a lavish vacation. We cannot put ourselves first in their life and also transfer a genuine secure love to them.
"We've got to love them in the way that God loves us, when they're unappreciative, when they don't deserve it, when it's inconvenient, when it's costly to us, even when it's painful."

***Personal take: I pretty much agree and am challenged by this. However, I've also walked the path of pouring myself day after day and going unfilled. I'm not talking about needing a "spa day". I think it is important to put out there that parents DO need to take time to grow and care for themselves. They should have moments along the way to date or to have a girl's night out or a men's camping or fishing event. Those times can totally recharge us and enable us to become more effective. You have to take care of yourself, fellow moms! Get to sleep. Get up and get your shower. Carve out some quiet time to read and pray. Meet up with your mom or another inspiring lady. Find simple ways to take care of yourself along this path! Now, back to the book...

Three things that give secure love:
1. Acceptance
2. Having a loving, honoring family
3. Regular, generous helpings of affection

Acceptance: Know not to sweat the small stuff. Know when something is a moral issue and when it is not. We don't condone or tolerate sinfulness, but we accept each person's "makeup". A child might be noisy, messy, emotional, picky, forgetful, inquisitive, have an odd physical feature, etc. Those aren't moral issues. Accept. Love. Know what a problem is and what it isn't!! "Kids inside homes where non-moral issues are elevated to a level of big problems don't get to experience the kind of acceptance that makes a heart feel securely loved."

Personal application: Betty, stop nit-picking and criticizing the curiosity, forgetfulness or other DNA related parts of who your kids are!!!! Stop it! Now, I say! Okay... back to the book....

Having a loving, honoring family: Yes, there may be sibling rivalry, arguments and disappointments, BUT children and their opinions and concerns are IMPORTANT. Children are respected. Their time and space are respected by their parents. Life isn't about being perfect, but they learn the truths of Romans 8:31-32, 37-39
"If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Trust me, this is one section you have to read from the book... I just don't articulate it well enough here!


Children feel secure when they receive regular and generous helpings of affection.

Honestly, this is a no-brainer to me. It is what comes natural. It is like breathing to me. I'm a mom. I adore them. One of the hardest times in a relationship with one of my kids was when hugs were refused and totally awkward. Dr. Kimmel seemed to pour out my own heart in this section of the chapter. He wrote about how much we respond to affection. It is like life to our souls. He wrote this one amazingly poetic line about how a touch to our skin was purposed by God to be a connection to our souls. I love touch. I'm not talking about romantic intimacy, either. I'm talking about a genuine hug. A holding of my hand. The stroking of my brow a the end of a rough day. Nothing beat the light touch of fingers sliding back and forth across my back. It's just like Dr. Kimmel said, it speaks directly to my soul. It says, "I love you. I care and I'm here." It comes from a parent, a friend, a lover.

So, there you have it, my review of chapter three in this great parenting book!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our Life Sings

Moments in time.

The instant we realize a truth that challenges us.

A conviction settling in that brings about a change in who we are or how we do something.

The thing that we do is worship.

We worship every day. Every single day.

What varies is what we worship. Our priorities display our worship. Whether it be good looks, fine clothes, cosmetics or hairstyles and nails... Hobbies... Education... Careers... the things that define us also display what we worship. It's not wrong to have incredible goals! A solid education can be used greatly in the lives of many! Hobbies are a wonderful part of life. Careers serve a responsible purpose. But who are we? What does our life worship mean?

There was a big buzz throughout my circles of friends and their acquaintances recently on facebook. Several musicians led worship, revealing where our hearts sometimes are. Sometimes. They sang songs that many Christians are familiar with, but changed up the words... I Surrender All became I Surrender Some. Instead of being in awe of God and His glory, singers sang about how they are distracted with their hair and clothes and their personal "glory". In the background you can hear some snickers. Some people were outraged at this! They proclaimed how inappropriate it was to take worship songs and change them up to represent the traps that many people fall into. Other people thought that this worship service brought a necessary, convicting message. Some pondered on how sad the reality is in our lives. We sing the words. But our lives demonstrate how much of those words we put into practice.

Now, I am not walking a line of judgement here. I am speaking to myself. From my own experiences. I've attended church with my parents as a young person and within 5 minutes of leaving church, listened to the arguing start... and thought, "Good grief, can't we just get along? Can't we practice what we just experienced in church?" Now, my parents have set a faithful example and I honor them. I am thankful to have a fine father, stepmom and mother. They each mean more than words can say. But, the reality was so "real" to me in some of those moments! We had just worshiped, looked at God's word, got into the car, and drove off... to turn right around and fuss and argue with each other!


We are sinners. We hurt each other at times. We gossip. We lie. We take pride in ourselves. We have goals that are not at all inclusive of our faith (not always, but definitely some goals!). Or we have great goals with the wrong motivation.

Our lives are our worship. Not a 30 minute collection of songs on a Sunday morning or a worship service on a Friday night. Our lives.


Moments that hit us... when we realize we are not living what we are singing.

As a teen singing "Jesus, be the Lord of all... Jesus, be the Lord of all... Jesus be the Lord of all the kingdoms of my heart" while in the back of my mind I was saying "All the kingdoms except this one over here... you can't have that kingdom".

Watching a worship video and the words, "I Surrender Some" convicting me. Knowing that I still trip up on that one...

Driving home from church this very morning and singing along with Darlene Zscheck...

"My Jesus, My Savior
Lord, there is none like you
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of your mighty love

My comfort, My shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship you"

And there it is once more. All that I am.... Not some. All.... Worship. May all that I am never cease to worship Him. That means SO much!!! I don't want to sing the words and not live them out. That means that I forgive someone who offended me. That means I live out those words during the day. That means the choices I make should line up with worship.

And one morning in the week to come I will wake up and get irritated and snap at one of the boys... One evening I will make a self-centered choice and ignore my relationship with my husband... I will choose entertainment instead of prayer and devotion. And I will wonder why I don't overcome and change. And I will call upon God once more and ask Him to forgive me and help me. I will cling to Him and with His help, try once more to make better choices. And one great day I will enter God's Kingdom and the cycle will be broken. I will sing of His mercies forever.

Blessings to you. May you think carefully on the words that you sing this week and in weeks to come. May you mean what you sing. May you turn to our God, glory in the cross and give all that you are to Him. And may I do that, too.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Now it's time for the nursery...

Many months ago Shasta and I picked out materials for Jayden's nursery. Then I had one thing to do and another. I knew I wouldn't get to sewing until after my house was painted and organized a bit. Now is the time!!

When we picked out the material (jungle theme, of course!) I purchased a "panel". A pre-sewn side of a blanket. The one I chose had 4 jungle animals appliqued and was SO soft! Then I selected a contrasting flannel for the back. I included these steps to how I made the blanket, which seem simple to me... If you know how to sew and all, just skip this "almost a tutorial" (because I don't have pictures of the steps!) and enjoy the pictures!

I wasn't overly thrilled with the panel, as far as it's precision... not all rectangles sewn in were perpendicular, etc. But, it had a high "cuteness" rating, so I just went with it. I placed the panel on top of batting and the flannel backing and cut those pieces out to match.

Then I took the leftover flannel and cut it into 3 inch strips, sewing them the length of each side plus an additional half of each length. I folded it in half, wrong sides together and did a long running stitch along the edge of the 1-1/2 inch strip. Then I pinned the strips along the right side of the blanket panel, pulling the gathers as I went. Next I machine basted the strip along the edges of the blanket to make a ruffle WITH the batting on the underside of it all. I had also rounded the corners of the blanket so that I would not have to mess with folding corners of the ruffle... that made it nice, quick and easy.

The layers were stacked... batting on the bottom, blanket on top and the backing facing down on top of the blanket. I took time to pin this in place all around the edges, about 5 inches from pin to pin. I was able to follow the stitching on the back of the batting as my guide to sew through the layers, keeping them straight and without mess ups. I left open about 6 inches when I sewed around, so that I could turn it all right side out. Once this was done, I hand stitched the opening closed. Because Jayden is a big guy who is VERY busy nowadays, I machine stitched over that opening, too, because I would hate for him to pull open any stitches...

I still have the crib skirt and curtains to sew up... Yesterday I popped over to his house and painted his room... So, in a couple of weeks I should have some nursery pictures to share. I hope this little guy likes the jungle theme, because we're not switching it up until he is 3!!

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CCParty! 006

That is what I was up to last week in my "free time".


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

At the Pumpkin Patch!

Well, I could sit and write all sorts of things... but, really? I have nothing spectacular to share. Just had a fun afternoon at the pumpkin patch with my 3 grandchildren! I'll let the photos do the talkin'!

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