No, I’m not reminding you to brush your teeth today (but if you need a reminder, you can take it that way :), I’m telling you about a great tool to get stains out of clothing.
My dear little S sat in church last Sunday and happily wrote all over his pant leg in pen. This child doesn’t ‘get’ that we don’t usually write on our clothing or our bodies. Of course, it doesn’t help that Daddy puts ‘tattoos’ in ink on their arms from time to time, and that Big A got to have everybody sign her VBS shirt in permanent marker this summer. So there is a considerable amount of mixed information coming into the little guy’s head. But still. I asked a friend after church if she ever got pen out of clothing, and she told me she scrubs out stains with soap and a toothbrush. I went home and tried it, and can announce to you that S can wear those khakis again with no embarrassment. (He doesn’t care, but I do!) There will be a lecture next Sunday on the way to church though; the content will include treating our clothing with respect and not making more work for Mommy.
But that is really the heart of my tip- the toothbrush accomplishes the task because I am willing to put some elbow grease into the task. I have to be willing to work to get things done. Deep thought, I know! I remember when we only had Big A, and she would stain her clothes. I would stand at the sink and scrub out the stains before I washed the clothes. Then came Big S and I did that a little less. A little less after each one, to now I am having to ask somebody how to get stains out. It should be common for me to work at keeping our clothes nice. They have been given to us by God, and I should be a good steward and be willing to put the work in to make them last.
Nehemiah 2:18 I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let us arise and build.” So they put their hands to the good work.
Check out classic tips at Shannon’s.
I have just heard about Susan’s baby from other blogs and wanted to share a great way to encourage someone you know who is going through a tough time.
First, I must back up to 2002, when my friend Maggie found out that the baby she was carrying was missing many of his vital organs. He would survive only until he was born. We prayed hard- for God to miraculously put those pieces into Lee where they should go. Hey, wouldn’t that bring glory to His name and show that He can do ANYTHING! But it wasn’t to be, and little Lee was born that May and died that day, never opening his eyes.
Well, the next April, I had a baby boy, and right after he was born we saw the mark on his back that indicated he had a form of spina bifida. We were told he would need surgery in early infancy to close the part of his spine that had not formed properly. When my friend Maggie heard about my son’s upcoming surgery, she thought back to her tough days leading up to Lee’s birth and what got her through it. She wanted me to have something to focus on and to encourage me through my son’s surgery, so she made me this:
Sweet, huh? It is a fold-out card full of verses that speak about God’s promises. She opens it by saying this (and remember she has lost a child! I’m only about to put my infant son through major surgery, but who can really compare thorns to thorns):
“The LORD tells us to carry one another’s burdens and when you mentioned about S I could not stop thinking about the little fellow and his future…I am praying for you…My heart goes out to you as a mother. I have had my share of heartache, but I have also had my share of how the LORD works, and you and S are going to see it too no matter what the outcome is. That will be God’s Best and only His Best. Remember someone is thinking and praying for you whether you feel it or not. I have seen my worst days wondering how I will ever get through, and look I am doing just fine, but only by the grace and love of of our wonderful LORD JESUS!! He truly is our SAVIOR.”
The boldest verse on the card is Proverbs 3:5-6. If you don’t know these verses by heart, get yourself to a Bible right now!
My son did great through his surgery, and is a healthy and active 3 year old today.
Next time you have a loved one in a trial, and you want to do something in addition to your prayers, make them something to remind them of the Lord and His perfect, loving plan.
Join the prayer chain for Susan.
Five things that won’t happen today, now that we’re passing around the stomach flu:
1. We won’t be celebrating Big A’s ‘first day of first grade’ with Ohio-shaped sugar cookies
(listen to the song here)
2. We won’t start 30 Days of Nothing exactly as planned, but this first day will be a day of nothing!
3. We won’t exhaust our neighbors’ dvd library, because they have so many
4. I won’t be cooking my usual gourmet dinner tonight
5. Luke and I will not get out to see Pirates of the Caribbean II for our monthly date.
Fortunately, I can be certain there will be better days. I have to say that we are blessed with more good days than bad. Hope you get more done today than we do, since you don’t have our excuse.
I have thought about what kinds of things I will do to participate in this 30 Days of Nothing campaign. I think my main focus will be to do something each day that raises my family’s awareness of what living conditions are like in other parts of the world. Some days it might just be reading about them, some days we may eat like them. Then, hopefully, we will have that much more appreciation for how good we have it. A few resources that I intend to use:
A Child’s Geography : They have the first two chapters of the first book available for free online. I hope to buy it eventually.
Extending the Table Cookbook : I own a copy of this. It’s sister cookbook, More With Less Cookbook is also very good. Both share tons of stories and recipes collected from all over the world.
Mission Websites such as Independent Gospel Mission : We support a missionary from this particular mission, but many such websites can get you connected to what’s going on in world missions.
I don’t know yet if we will spend a day eating only rice, or if I will boycott Wal-Mart, but I hope this overall experience will be life-changing. It is so good for the soul to deny oneself something once in a while. It develops self control and makes us more like Jesus.
1 Timothy 6:11 But you, Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things, and follow what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
2 Days and counting…
It’s funny how a simple porch swing can add so much to a house. It is as if we now have another room, a place to go that is calm and cool (most days) to watch the world go by. Additions like these make me not mind staying in this house a bit longer. Not that we are discontent with the way things are, but we realize sooner or later that we will need a bigger, newer home.
For now, though, we have our “Pretty Blue House”, with a porch swing in front.
It is that time of year again! We received our K12 stuff via UPS this week, and are very excited to start Big A in first grade this year! We participate in a charter school called Ohio Virtual Academy, OHVA for short. This has been great for us. I am not ready to send my five year old to a public school, nor am I fully convinced that a child should be homeschooled all 13 years, either. I happily sit on the fence when it comes to this issue, because OHVA makes it possible for Big A to enjoy the benefits of public school while learning at home. For free. I sing their praises on a regular basis. Unfortunately, not all states have such a sweet deal. Ohio just happens to have a charter school that uses the K12 curriculum. It would cost families in some other states to use K12, so I realize how blessed we are.
This year A has 7 subjects-Math, Science, Language Arts, Phonics, Music, Art, and History.I’ve drawn up a schedule for our school days that I hope will work most of the time, if the littles cooperate. Ideally the first four will get done daily, while the last three will get done at least 3 times a week. Fingers crossed.
I’ve been thinking back to all the Christian music concerts I have attended. There wasn’t a single one that I didn’t enjoy immensely. Here are the artists I have seen. If you ever get a chance to see any of these talented folks, go with my blessing.
Sixpence None The Richer
Brian Hall *not a Christian artist
Selah’s, Chris Rice’s, and Casting Crowns’ concerts were my favorites. Makes me want to go to one again soon. But Baby A probably would have something to say about that.
We are in the thick of summer in Ohio- it is very hot and steamy. The other day I was soaking my feet in the kids’ baby pool and thought about how neat water is. Whether you are standing on a sandy beach and watching the waves roll along or running a soapy bath, water is pretty darn interesting.
So my first works for me wednesday post is to remind us all that if we don’t have the beach, we can at least soak our toes in a baby pool, or at the very least a bowl of cool water. Next time you get to do that, think about how it really does help beat the heat!
And my thankful Thursday post (hey, who knows when I will get back to the computer again!) is that I am so grateful for clean water. I love that I can go to my kitchen sink anytime, day or night, and fill a cup, and quench my thirst.
I’m also thankful for Jesus, who offers living water that satisfies completely. When we ask Him to come into our lives, we no longer need to search for that one more thing that eludes us. He makes all things new and complete.
That is what I think about when I see water these days.
I came across a blog called The Amazing Shrinking Mom today. Recently the mom there has decided to go on a diet, but be really transparent about it, for added accountability. I guess there was this challenge once where these people had to lose weight, or have their pictures taken wearing bikinis and put on television for all to see their failure. What motivation to get the job done!
Luke has an interview with a church in two weeks. I want to look my best so that I can make Luke look good (not that he needs a whole lot of help :), and that gets me thinking about this Dieting Naked thing. When you have something right around the corner you want to look good for, you are more likely to do the things leading up to it that will get you looking good. You better bet I’ll be running every day and eating only the essentials these next two weeks!
That is how it should be in our spiritual lives as well. Jesus is coming back SOON, and we only have so much time to get our acts together. Besides, just focusing on our outward appearances or activities and letting our hearts go to seed is like the people in Jesus’ day that He called “whitewashed sepluchres”.
So, as I prepare for that weekend, I want to be as transparent in my spiritual journey as well as my dieting. No, I am not perfect, but am working towards that goal. I don’t want to be standing before the Lord, spiritually speaking, fat and wearing a bikini.
Check this out for more on Dieting Naked.
Other than that it was available, the reason I picked the phrase “Consider it done” is because it is used by a character in some of my favorite novels, the Mitford books, by Jan Karon. Plus, I like how it goes with one of my favorite verses in the Bible. 1 Peter 1:4 talks about how we as believers have an inheritance that will not fade away. That means it is a done deal. Do I really live life like I “consider it done”- that Christ’s death for me on the cross is my only redeeming quality? Or am I still trying to make it on my own, not depending on His grace until things get tough? This blog can be a daily reminder to me to make sure I am doing this thing filled with the Spirit, not my own flesh.