Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Setting Goals

I read books that tell me I should set goals daily as a mother. I do, but often fall short. Especially being 29 weeks pregnant! I vacuum, then I need to sit down. I mop the floor, then I need to sit down (lest my heart pound out of my chest-I'm telling you, pregnancy mopping should be banned!) I fold laundry, and I need to rest. Yes, these days, I'm only feeling about 1/2 myself, although I'm really about twice myself!! I can't get everything done. So, I'm trying to be more realistic. This morning I was thinking of what I needed to get done today, and many things came to my mind...but one thing was most pressing.

See, we had a friend over the other day and had a wonderful time. But, the friend had an accident in their pants and took them off upstairs. We realized four days later that some of the residue was left behind on the carpet! This was yesterday. Dare I say that I had planned to get to it when I could get upstairs (gross, I know, but sometimes I am tired!), and I forgot! (How could I forget?) So, today I woke up with ONE goal. Clean up the five day old poo-poo residue on the carpet. And, I can proudly say that I accomplished my goal today! I did do more than that today, by the way, but that was my great accomplishment for the day! Aren't you inspired now?

"In all labor, there is profit." Proverbs 14:23

Caring for their spiritual needs

More from C.H. Spurgeon on his mother....(from C.H. Spurgeon Autobiography, volume 1)

"Well, I do remember hearing my father speak of an incident that
greatly impressed him. He used to frequently be away from home preaching, and at
one time, as he was on his way to a service, he feared that he was neglecting
his own family while caring for the souls of others. He therefore turned back,
and went to his home. On arriving there, he was surprised to find no one in the
lower rooms of the house but, on ascending the stairs, he heard a sound as of
someone engaged in prayer. It was my mother, pleading most earnestly for the
salvation of all her children, and specially for Charles, her first-born and
strong-willed son. My father felt that he might safely go about his Master's
business while his dear wife was caring so well for the spiritual interests of
the boys and girls at home, so he did not disturb her, but proceeded at once to
fulfill his preaching engagement."
What a blessing to her husband and her family! She could be remembered as griping that her husband was never home to minister to the spiritual needs of his family or maybe that she never got a break! (I'm guilty of that one.) But, what she is being remembered for is her faithfulness to the Lord and her high calling as a mother. She is remembered for earnestly seeking after the Lord for the spiritual well-being of her children, and she blessed her husband and allowed him to do what the Lord had called him to. May we learn from Mrs. Spurgeon and heed her example.

Monday, May 22, 2006

This Might Change Your Life

I know I already posted today, but I was on our friend's blog, and found this article again, and wanted to share it with you. May we pray carefully about what we are devoting our time to-me, first and foremost. Since I don't know how to link (I am NOT computer savy), I just copied the article and pasted it here. I'm not sure if that's legal, but I'm sure Brad and Carrie won't mind! (www.happymills.com) Warning: you may be convicted-I know I am!

"You cannot serve both God and the remote control.

You’ve been in my shoes if you’ve ever sat down to pray and found yourself daydreaming of things you still need to get done, things you’ve already done, or things you wish you could do. Our minds are so easily distracted by that which merely offer us temporary joy. As a result, it is the things of eternal value that we are the least willing to pay for.

We have it rough here in America. We have too many entertaining options to distract us from giving our full attention to God. The moment we’re able to prepare our minds for prayer, the phone rings or the kitchen timer dings.

Every day we war with our flesh to determine how we will spend our time. Our Goliath enemy is the television, who’s relentless shouts of mockery sideline us from ever entering the battle.

Would we rather abide with the Savior of our lives or The Days of Our Lives? Are we more interested in Grey’s Anatomy than the God of Eternity? Do we compromise and watch Desperate Housewives? Or would we rather learn what it means to be satisfied servants? We rarely turn from American Idol to serve the living and true God. We would rather be Lost for an hour than redeem an hour with the One who found us?

We need to make sure that we aren’t sacrificing the much weightier issues of spiritual growth. And that we aren’t shamelessly enduring blasphemous and God belittling talk for fleeting pleasures. Lest you feel I’m going overboard in my assessment consider these challenging words from a book called Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper: (see photo above)

A mind fed daily on TV diminishes. Your mind was made to know and love God. Its facility for this greater calling is ruined by excessive TV. The content is so trivial and so shallow that the capacity of the mind to think worthy thoughts withers, and the capacity of the heart to feel deep emotions shrivels.”

Psalm 84:10 says, “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.” Let me put this verse into perspective for you. At that ratio, spending one hour on our knees before God is better than watching all the episodes of Friends, Law and Order, The Simpsons, That 70s Show and dare I say 7th Heaven combined. "

C.H. Spurgeon's Mother

C.H. Spurgeon, "the price among preachers", is one of my favorites! I love reading his sermons-I am always inspired, convicted, and encouraged. I will always remember what he wrote about his mother in the first volume of his autobiography, in the chapter entitled, "Early Religious Impression." We can certainly learn from her example:

"..I cannot tell you how much I owe to the solemn words of my good mother. It was the custom on Sunday evenings, while we were yet little children, for her to stay at home with us, and then we sat round the table, and read verse by verse, and she explained the Scriptures to us. After that was done, then came the time of pleading...and the question was asked, how long would it be before we would think about our state, how long before we seek the Lord. Then came a mother's prayer, and some of the words of that prayer we shall never forget, even when our hair is grey. I remember on one occassion, her praying thus: 'Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear a swift witness against them at the day of judgement if they lay not hold of Christ.' That thought of a mother's bearing swift witness against me, pierced my conscience, and stirred my heart....

Fathers and mothers are the most natural agents for God to use in the salvation of their children. I am sure that, in my early youth, no teaching ever made such an impression upon my mind as the instruction of my mother; neither can I conceive that, to any child, there can be one who will have such influence over the young heart as the mother who has so tenderly cared for her offspring. A man with a soul so dead as not to be moved by the sacred name 'mother' is creation's blot. Never could it be possible for any man to estimate what he owes to a godly mother. Certainly I have not the powers of speech with which to set forth my valuation of the choice blessing which the Lord bestowed upon me in making me the son of one who prayed for me, and prayed with me. How can I ever forget her tearful eye when she warned me to escape from the wrath to come?...How can I ever forget when she bowed her knee, and with her arms about my neck, prayed, 'Oh, that my son might live before Thee!' Nor can her frown be effaced from my memory-that solemn, loving frown, when she rebuked my budding iniquities; and her smiles have never faded from my recollections-the beamin of her countenance when she rejoiced to see some good thing in me towards the Lord God of Israel."

(More on Spurgeon's mother to come...)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Kids make waking up worthwhile

My youngest daughter came in this morning quietly and said, "Mom, you haven't seen me in a while, have you?" I said, "No, I haven't and I've missed you." She then went on to inform me that it was only because she had been sleeping. So, I told her I was so glad she was awake and we hugged and cuddled. She had to go to the bathroom, so she got off the bed and was walking there, but then turned around and came back to my bed, put her arms around me and said, "Just 'member, mom, I will always, always love you." As my heart was melting, she then asked me if her prayers last night made me feel better.

The short story...last night when we got home from church, I was feeling nauseous, and my back hurt and my hips hurt, and my throat hurt. Most of it just last trimester stuff. But, I was not feeling good! So, before she kissed me before bedtime, she told me she wanted to pray for me. So, she asked God to help mommy feel better and not be hurt anymore! Well, it was a long, restless night, but eventually I fell asleep and slept well.

So, this morning when she asked me if her prayers had helped, I said yes that they did. I told her that I was able to sleep, and I thanked her for praying. And, she threw her arms around me and said, "Oh, mom, God is a lovely God!" Yes, He is, Lizzie. Yes, He is.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I don't always have an answer...

Well, my kids ask questions. Lots of them. Most of the time, I have an answer. This amazes them, and they often ask, "how do you know?" To which I most humbly reply, "I am a mommy. Mommies know everything." This appeases them and the conversation is over. As a matter of fact, I have often heard my youngest daughter ask other adult females a question, and then say, "How do you know? Oh, are you a mommy?"

But, sometimes they just stump you. Sometimes you realize you don't have all the answers. Like yesterday...

Lizzie was sitting next to me on the couch. I had a friend over, who I am glad to say is a good friend and has already seen us at our not so best, so not much in our family phases her anymore! So, Lizzie (my youngest) proceeds to pick her nose, or so I thought. I told her not to pick her nose, but she informed me she was just scratching an itch. But, out came a little booger. So, I told her that she needed to go get a kleenex and wipe it off. She said, "it's okay mom, I'll just put it back." And, she proceeded to put it back where it came from! (They must get these things from their father.) I was trying to be a good mother and inform her that we don't put boogers back where we got them, we get rid of them. (the conversations you have as mothers to your children!)

Well, she couldn't get it back anyways, it just wouldn't stay, so she conceded and got up to get a kleenex. When she got back, she said, "Mom, sometimes I do this (she proceeded to pick around her right nostril) and sometimes I do this (she then dug around her left nostril) and I don't get any boogers. Why?"

Okay, I have to honestly say that this is one question I have never pondered. I had no answer. She stumped me there. I guess there's always some things that even we as mothers don't have answers to. But, you have to admit, it was a pretty good question! And, it gave us quite a laugh.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.." Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pleasing in His sight...

I'm not sure where I got this from or who originally wrote it, so forgive me whoever you are. I give you anonymous credit.

"'Alas! Must I rock the baby? Wash its diapers? Make it's bed? Smell its stench? Stay at nights with it? Take care of it when it cries? Heal its rashes and sores? And on top of that care for my spouse... take care of this and take care of that? Do this and do that? And, endure this and endure that? Why should I make such a prisoner of myself?'

What then does Christian faith say to this? It opens its eyes, looks unto all these insignificant, distateful and despised duties in the spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels.

It says, ' O God, I confess I am not WORTHY to rock that little babe or wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of a child... How is it that I without any merit have come to this distinction of being certain that I am serving thy creature and they most precious will? Oh, how gladly will I do so. Though the duty shoud be even more insignificant and despised, neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labor will distress me FOR I AM CERTAIN THAT IT IS THUS PLEASING IN THY SIGHT.'"

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day

Mother's Day...Let me share my day with you.....

So, I woke up yesterday morning. Now, I had already told my children on Saturday night that Sunday was Mother's Day, so they had to obey and be perfect. They were fine with that-they understood what I said, there was no confusion. Now, I wake up (my husband is at work for the 14th day in a row-camp season has started) to get myself and the kids ready for church. Shane was planning to come home at 9:15am, just in time to go to church. Things started out normal-I hopped in the shower, the kids dressed themselves. All was going well...then my daughters started fighting, just picking at each other, really. Until my youngest kicked the oldest and my oldest told my youngest that she hated her. Now, I do not know where they get this from. They have never been taught this way. I suppose it just goes to prove that they were NOT born good, like so many say. No, they have to be taught to be good-being naughty comes very naturally!!

I stop blow drying my hair to deal with them. One received her punishment with no argument, the other fought me-but you'll be glad to know that I won! We hug, we pray, and I continue to try to get ready. As I am blow drying my hair, I look in the mirror. What has happened to that cute, 19 year old I once was? Some women get pregnant and look like they are carrying basketballs. I look like I am carry basketballs, too-just a few of them, and in many places besides my stomach. Now, I know this is my pride-not my insecurities, as my husband would tell me. Okay, so my pride got ahold of me as I was getting ready for church. Then, the girls start fussing at each other again. This all goes on and on and on. By the time Shane gets home, I am crying my eyes out. Poor man has seen too much of that lately. I suppose 50% or more is hormones. He holds me and prays with me, as he is so good to do. He assures me that I'm beautiful, and ushers the kids into the car. Once in the car, he tells the girls that he will have no more of their fighting as they have already given mom a nervous breakdown before church! And, off to church we go....

At church, there's the usual "how are you?" To which I replied mostly, "How are YOU?" with a smile! Of course, some saw through that, but I promised myself I wouldn't cry at church, since I cried last week at church when people asked how I was! I saved my crying for after church, when we were in the packed out restaurant.

As I couldn't decide what sounded good to eat, Shane took charge and chose Carraba's. Great italian restaurant, it was our first time there. We are seated quickly, which was nice because it was packed. We are on a budget, so looking at the menu did little to relieve my stress. The girls split a dinner, and I chose something on the less-expensive side. My husband-who is an avid carnivore-can't help himself but to go for the $17 steak. It was nothing really, but I had to excuse myself to the ladies' room. I sat in the nice stall, and cried and cried. Why? More or less the last six months of being tired, the last two weeks of having him home less than normal, and some of it the $17 steak! And, I cried some more! I wiped my eyes, went to the table trying for him not to notice my puffy, red eyes. He said, "you've been crying, haven't you?" And, I started crying again!

After I got it out of my system, I suppose I was feeling a bit better. I enjoyed my manicotti and salad, and we even laughed some at our silly girls. Shane went to Starbucks, and then took us to Coldstone Creamery. Now, I quite quickly forgot the budget we were on and ordered a peanut butter cup chocolate concoction of ice cream in a chocolate dipped waffle bowl...then the crying was miraculously over. As a matter of fact, Shane said he should have taken me there first, because I couldn't stop smiling. I ate about 1/4 of it and couldn't eat anymore!

I'm happy to say the rest of the day was nice. I got to take a nap, spend time with my family, and be assured over and over that I am loved. It's nice to be loved when you don't feel lovely, when all you want to do is cry and sleep. It's great to be part of a family who doesn't think you're crazy even when you think you just might be! I love my little family God has given me. I love being a mom, even on the rough days. And, I'm so thankful for a husband who will just hold me and kiss my forehead as much as it takes to reassure me I am his and I can be at rest there. He's a good example of God to me. I am truly blessed. Kari

I'm a blogger now!

Okay, I've done it! I have officially entered the world of blogging. Now, I wonder who will get the computer at night-my husband (who is an avid blogger) or me? I know he will laugh when I tell him I have started my own blog to inspire all the mothers of the world. Watch out Elizabeth George!

So, who am I? (I'm assuming that many women around the world will be reading my blog. More likely, it will only be my friends who love me and already know me-so all this will be common knowledge to them.) However, I am a mother of two beautiful girls and one little boy who's still developing in my womb! I am a wife to the most wonderful, Godly husband who is an assistant camp director. We live in the sticks of Kentucky. I would tell you the name of the city, but you would laugh. I am a stay at home mom, and I homeschool my darling children. They keep me busy and tired!

I am a mom like most of you who strives to daily do better, love God more, love my children more like He does, and be the best wife there ever was. Unfortunately, I have not arrived. So, come with me on my journey....you may laugh, you may cry. More likely, you will laugh at me. That's okay. Kari