Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Power of the Tongue

When the children were all pre-school age and my days were filled with diaper changes, cleaning sticky fingers, reading lots of board books and singing silly songs I couldn't imagine life any other way. In those days all they wanted was Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, and the only peace and quiet I would get was when I had to go to the bathroom, maybe! Some of you (my friends) are still there. I remember a woman older, wiser and very dear to me encourage me to cherish every day I had with them at home because it doesn't last forever. Honestly at that point I couldn't fathom that day would ever come.

Somewhere along the way I blinked and low and behold I was finished with diapers, the walls and chairs had less stickiness on them and the board books and silly songs were ditched for video games and T.V. shows. Oh, and I have to mention I'm not #1 in their life anymore, friends are. I do get a lot more peace and quiet, but them growing up and being in the tween years ( the years between 8 and 12) is more challenging in many ways.

This is why...I found it so much easier to be that positive, happy, sweet, mommy when they were little and cute. The messes they made were, well, expected; the whining and crying they did seemed to have legitimate reasons and I could actually fix almost anything that went wrong with them. Today I found myself grumbling and complaining at my children about the messes they left. "You know better than to step over your nicely folded clothes that I worked so hard to fold. What do you think I am, your slave?" Then I ranted and raved at how ungrateful they were. I nagged about this and that and told them I couldn't take it any more. Then it hit me! Like a ton of bricks when one of my sweet ones yelled back, "Well , You don't have to yell at us like that, we can hear you just fine when you talk nicely". Ooh, did that sting!

I realized that I have been reacting with an unpleasant tone instead of instructing and training in love. Proverbs has many verses about the tongue and controlling it.

Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."

Proverbs 10:32 “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.”

Proverbs 14:1 says," the wise woman builds her house".

Romans 8 is a a chapter that deals with the Holy Spirit and his work in our life. Verse 9 says "You , however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. v.10-But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."

Daily we must consciously choose to center our lives on God and walk in the Spirit. Thanks be to God that I don't have to fix this on my own. I have been given the Holy Spirit who lives in me to be a Helper. He can help me be that positive, loving, joyful mom that I so desperately want to be to my children. It is His power not my own that is at work. My sins are forgiven and He is working on this weaknesses.

Tonight Michael is gone at worship practice and I am alone with the kids. I had a couple children tonight test me and try me in ways one should not be tested and tried. I felt my blood start to boil and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Let's just say that I was at that reaction state again.... however, I experienced great victory because I listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit and sought His power in dealing with my children with a tongue that spoke in love and encouragement. This doesn't mean I wasn't firm in my words, but they weren't damaging.

The Truth Behind Lying

Written by Marianne Neifert, M.D.
This article is courtesy of

Being able to trust one another is an essential foundation for intimate relationships. Parents naturally are distressed when they discover that their child has lied to them. Gaining a better understanding of why your child lies can help guide your response.

Children under 4 years of age have difficulty distinguishing between fantasies and lies and may tell imaginary tales without meaning to be deceptive. By age 4, children can understand that lying is wrong. However, your child is so eager to please you and to be perceived as “good” that he may lie about something he regrets doing because he sincerely wishes it were not so.

The most common reasons children lie are to avoid punishment, responsibility, embarrassment, or parental anger. At the time, lying seems easier to a child than handling the consequences of his behavior or the demands made on him. A child with low self-esteem often lies to make himself look better, exaggerating the truth in an attempt to increase his status.
Encourage your child to be truthful and preserve trust in your relationship.

Cultivate a secure relationship built on trust. This is the foundation for raising a truthful child. Eliminate deception in your interactions with your child. Keep your promises. Treat your child with dignity. Convey your confidence in him. Use appropriate discipline rather than harsh punishments.

Set the example. Your own model of honesty is a powerful influence in teaching your child to be truthful. If you arrive late and miss part of your child’s performance, confess what happened rather than pretending you saw the whole show. Do not ask your child to tell an unwanted caller that you are not home.

Help your child understand how important it is to be able to trust one another and how difficult it can be to rebuild trust. Explain that, while the short-term consequences of dishonesty often appear positive, the long-term consequences are negative and can be compounded by a web of lies that must be woven to cover the original deception.

Avoid putting your child in a situation where he is tempted to lie. When you find your child with frosting on his face, do not ask if he ate one of the cupcakes you just baked. Instead, state the obvious: “I see you ate a cupcake after I told you not to touch them.”

Stay calm if your child is caught in a lie. Overreacting may provoke more lying in order to avoid your anger. Do not label your child as a “liar.” This negative label will damage his self-esteem and may compel him to fulfill your expectation of him. Instead, forgive your child, and have the courage to trust again.

Ask your child to practice telling the truth. Help your child feel good about himself so he will not feel he has to lie to avoid your displeasure. When your child answers honestly about something he has done wrong, praise his truthfulness and reduce his punishment. Talk about how God is pleased when he tells the truth.

Do not focus on placing blame when dealing with problem behavior. “Who spilled soda in the living room?” This encourages your child to lie. Instead, spotlight the inappropriate behavior that caused the problem and focus on solutions: “The carpet is soiled because you broke the rule about not bringing food into the living room. Please get some paper towels and help me clean the carpet up.”

Marianne Neifert, M.D., also known as Dr. Mom, is a well-known pediatrician, professional speaker, author, and mother of five grown children. Dr. Neifert holds a Master of Theological Studies and has authored four child rearing books, including Dr. Mom’s Prescription for Preschoolers.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Central Christian Talent Show

The whole family just got back from the Central Christian Talent Show. After watching 28 different students ranging from first through sixth grade and talents such as lip syncing Miley Cyrus songs, piano solos, puppet shows and much more; we finally got to see what we went there for. Mandi!! She was in two different acts: the first one she was playing and singing the worship song,"Trading My Sorrows",and then Mandi and her friend Samantha did a dance to the song "Let It Go", by a Christian group I didn't know.

It is a little nerve racking as a parent when your child comes home and says she is going to be in the talent show. I want to empower them to pursue these things, yet protect them from the mess ups and possible embarrassments. But what would life be like if we were all discouraged or too afraid to try? All I wanted to do was to give her the courage to go for it, and to let her know that with determination and hard work she CAN DO IT!! Then it was her daddy that taught her tonight to direct everything she did to the Lord, because it was God that gave her the talent and ability in the first place. No matter how things went if it was directed to Him then God would get the glory.

I try not to brag too much about my kids but I just have to say... I was extremely proud of my oldest child tonight. It brought tears to my eyes when she played the piano and sang "Trading My Sorrows". This is such a beautiful worship song and I could tell that Mandi was singing it to the Lord. Her voice was so beautiful! Maybe she will take after her daddy and be a worship leader someday. I also had a lot of fun watching her dance! They looked like they were having so much fun up there.

Memorial Day 2008

We spent Memorial Day traveling to Diamond Lake to pick up Jeffrey. He was in Grants Pass spending his birthday weekend with Nana and Papa. What fun he had there! He went to the Boatnik parade, carnival, fireworks, and boat races. Jeff was full of stories of all the fun he had there. I thought girls talked a lot, but apparently so do boys when they really want to. The only difference was that half of his conversation was filled with all sort of noises. He had to add all the sound effects!!

Because we were meeting Nana and Papa half way, part of our Memorial Day was spent in the car. We drove 4 hours! We made it fun by stopping at Gilchrist where they have 25 different flavors of soft serve ice cream. Josh had banana; Mandi had coffee/carmel; and I had strawberry cheesecake. By the time the server got to Michael and Emma the machine froze up. But not to despair because the server was very generous in the serving size for Emma's mint chocolate chip hard ice cream.

Then we were off again in the car to pick up Jeff at Diamond Lake. We had time to spare before Jeff and the grandparents arrived so the kids got to play in the snow. The lake was beautiful and I wished I would have taken a picture of it. Just before I was about to shoot a picture Josh insisted that I take him potty. I said,"just a minute Joshy, mommy wants to take this picture first". He continued to tell me that if we didn't go then, he would wet his pants. I was fumbling with the camera trying to get that perfect shot when it shut down..... the batteries were dead. Anyway, I got some cute pics of the kids and decided that we all need to go back to Diamond Lake when we had more time to enjoy it.

Everyone was so excited to see Jeff again. Our weekend was so quiet without him. This just confirms that our family needs his energy! It is so amazing when you take one child out of the mix. It is a nice for a while, but it feels incomplete.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Today is Memorial Day. It is a day that is set aside to remember and honor those who so selflessly died while serving our country. What would our country be today if we didn't have those men and women who passionately believed in the freedom of our country? They sacrificed their lives so that you and I can experience the freedom we have today.

Our founding fathers believed in this freedom and built this Nation on the strong foundation of God.

Jesus, God's son is the ultimate example of sacrifice. God has made a way for us to be free from sin. He has given us his Son whom He loves to be the sacrifice and atonement for all sin. Romans 6:22-" But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." This gift is free to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, confess their sins and accept Jesus as their personal Savior.

I came across a song that was written by Twila Paris that parallels these two sacrifices: the sacrifice a soldier makes for the freedom of his country and the sacrifice that Jesus made for mankind so that all may have the opportunity to be free from the penalty of sin.

Lyrics to "What Did He Die For?"
Written by Twila Paris
Copyright 1996 Ariose Music/Mountain Spring Music

He was 21 in 1944
He was hope and he was courage on a lonely shore
Sent there by a mother with love beyond her tears
Just a young American who chose to rise above his fears
And as I watch him struggle up that hill
Without a thought of turning back
I cannot help but wonder

What did he die for?
When he died for you and me
Made the sacrifice
So that we could all be free
I believe we will answer each to heaven
For the way we spend a priceless liberty
Look inside and ask the question
What did he die for?
When he died for me

To the darkest day in A.D. 33
Came the mercy and compassion of eternity
Sent there by a Father with love beyond His tears
Blameless One, the only Son
to bear the guilt of all these years
And as I watch Him struggle up that hill
Without a thought of turning back
I cannot help but wonder

What did He die for?
When He died for you and me
Made the sacrifice
So that we could all be free
I believe we will answer each to heaven
For the way we spend a priceless liberty
Look inside and ask the question
What did He die for?

He died for freedom
He died for love
And all the things we do to pay Him back
Could never be enough

What did He die for?
When He died for you and me
Made the sacrifice
So that we could all be free
I believe we will answer each to heaven
For the way we spend a priceless liberty
Look inside and ask the question
What did He die for?
When He died for me

Remember to thank God today for all the men and women who sacrificially gave up their lives so that we could experience freedom in our country. Also remember to thank Him for loving us so much and sending His only son to be the sacrificial lamb who gave us freedom from sin. (John 3:16)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The HOPE We Have In Christ

Today while watching the news, I heard about Steven Curtis Chapman's daughter, Maria, who was killed yesterday at the family home by a SUV while she was playing in the driveway. Maria had celebrated her 5th birthday just days before.

Like many others, I am so heart broken for this family. It reminds me that we are not exempt from such great tragedy. One may ask- "how do you move on from here?" And those who don't have Jesus Christ for their reason of hope are wondering how could such a loving God allow something like this to happen.

This I know to be true. Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ doesn't guarantee happiness or a pain free life. However, it does offer us HOPE. The hope that God offers us is eternal. This hope, empowers us to make it through the most difficult circumstances. If we dwell on these circumstances alone and on nothing else, despair is all that we will see. But if we look to God then we do have great hope because He is the Sovereign God of the universe and is active in our problems, working them out for His purpose and Glory.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, his covenant, his blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ, the sold rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found!
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Edward Mote, 1797-1874
"The Solid Rock"

Lamentations 3:21-226

"This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassion's fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him! The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

The lyrics of the Hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" is taken from this portion of scripture in Lamentations. It reminds us that even in the gloomiest of circumstances we have hope.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed They hand hath provided-
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Thomas Chrisholm
"Great is Thy Faithfulness

I want to leave you with this- a quote by Charles Stanley.

"Take hope in who God is, specifically, who God desires to manifest Himself to be in your life today. He is your Hope. Anchor your soul in Him, and no storm can defeat you."

Below is the link to Steven Curtis Chapman's website that features the song "Cinderella". This is the song that he wrote for his daughter. It is a beautiful video and story of the song.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Decade Old

May 20, 1998 at 4:31 p.m. you entered the world weighing in at 7 lbs. and 1 oz. You were 18 1/2 inches long. I saw immediately that you had your daddy's good looks and my dimple. A boy!! I was thrilled.

I didn't grow up with brothers so I new nothing about little boys and what they were like. I saw many commercials on T.V. that would show a boy interact with his mother and I new I wanted one. They seemed to have a very special kind of relationship with their mommy. Now I have one and can experience that special relationship.

Today it is May 20, 2008 and my darling boy, you are a decade old. You are tall, handsome, very loving, and sensitive to those who are hurting. You love to draw, build forts, skate board and ride bikes. Your into maps of any kind, love history of the United States and I believe you would make a great lawyer someday, because you are so good at arguing. You're definitely black and white in your thinking and desire justice. You love to read your Bible in bed, you're very funny, and will still sit on my lap in the rocking chair. You always remember to kiss me goodbye in the morning, or hug me tight when I pick you up from school. Oh yeah, I have to mention that I appreciate how you usually empty the dishwasher in the mornings without being told.

I thank God every day for giving me such a beautiful boy for me to raise. I ask him to give me wisdom and lots of patience, and help me to do my job in disciplining, teaching, nurturing, and to "train up a child in the way he should go" knowing that "when he is old , he will not depart form it" (Proverbs 22:6).

Thank you Jeffrey for being you!! God made you very special and has a wonderful plan for your life. Your daddy and I love you very much and look forward to all the JOY you will bring us in the next decade. Happy 10th Birthday beautiful boy!!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'll Love You Forever

Another Sunday! I love Sundays and seem to live my life waiting for them. Most Sundays of my married life, I wake up with my husband gone (at Church) and four beautiful children to get ready for church. I remember the hard years when the children were much younger and getting them ready meant doing everything. We struggled getting to church on time and I was that frazzled mommy walking into church looking for anyone to help me.

Wow, has it changed. It is very sad in a way because it means my little ones are not so little. Now they can feed, bathe, and dress themselves and usually they are waiting on me to hurry up so we are not late. In a way, I really miss those days when they were younger. How nice it would be to sit them around the kitchen table again and throw them a lump of play dough and watch them create (a mess) something beautiful with their tiny hands. Or to have them sit on my lap in the rocker and just cuddle with me. O.K., I do have a couple kids yet who love to do that; one's over 100 pounds and has no reservation about plopping down on my lap. May it never end!

There is a sweet book out there that shows the mamma rocking her son every night and even when he grew older she would go in the night to his house and rock him. She would sing to him, "I love you forever, I will love you for always, as long as I am living my baby you'll be." The end of the book shows a very old lady, the mommy being rocked by her son, and he is sing that same sweet song to her. It is so precious. The book is called, "I'll Love You Forever".

So today, I awoke to a quiet house thinking I was the first one up pleasantly surprised to find my children contently playing with one another in a bedroom. My husband had thoughtfully opened all the windows downstairs to let in the cool air in preparation for the 95 degree weather we are having and I made a bee-line to the coffee maker to make my cup of Joe. It is so peaceful. No one knows I am up, so for a few short minutes I can reflect how my children are growing up so quickly. It is a little sad, but mostly happy because I can't wait to see who they become. Until then I will continue to hold them tight and tell them I love them forever and always and most importantly tell them just how much God loves them.

I'll Love You Forever

Friday, May 16, 2008


It has been a month since my surgery. I am rejoicing that it hasn't been that hard of a recovery. I still have hard days and wish my body felt like my mind does. I saw the doctor Wednesday and he confirmed that what I was feeling is very normal for this surgery. He said he'd see me in a month and should be feeling back to my normal self. The surgery has been a huge success. I have had no numbness and tingling in my hand. I'm not dropping things, can feel hot and cold and my handwriting is so much better.

Looking back over the last few months I can say that God is so good. I have felt much love from friends and family and our church. As I am writing this, a song is playing on KLOVE that has words that say"He makes all things GOOD....there is a reason." Over the last decade I have experienced that so much in my life. I have seen the goodness of God over and over. I have learned to praise Him in any and all situations and let Him work in my life as He desires. Mercy Me's song, "Bring the Rain" says it best!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"More Love to Thee, O Christ"

Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
-Ephesians 6:24

More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee.
This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek, give what is best.
This all my prayer shall be: More love, O Christ to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Let sorrow do its work, come grief or pain;
Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
This still its prayer shall be: More love, O Christ to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

This beautiful Hymn that I have come to adore was written by Elizabeth Prentiss. She sums it up so well in saying,"To love Christ more-this is the deepest need, the constant cry of my soul. Down in the bowling alley, and out in the woods, and on my bed, and out driving, when I am happy and busy, and when I am sad and idle, the whisper keeps going up for more love, more love, more love!"
I pray that this is my true and only passion in life. May my husband and children see this love for Christ play out day after day. As I daily abide in Christ, yielding wholly to Him, I want to step Heavenward; living a life of holiness, humility, and hope.

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