Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jack and Annisms

I don't think a day goes by that one of the kids doesn't have Erik or I in a fit of laughter. Here are some of the funniest things we've heard(or seen) in the last month.

Jack giving me a hug and proceeding to tell me, "Mommy, I'm so glad you're not a dinosaur!" Me too, kid, me too.

While Erik was building the kids a tent the other day Jack became so excited he exclaimed, "Oh, Daddy you're such a wonderful man! I think your a best friend!"

Later, after the tent was built, Anna and Jack decided to pretend Lily was a bear trying to attack their campsite...

Last week we had a beautiful day, so I decided to take the kids for a walk, as soon as Anna saw the stroller she started jumping up and down excitedly and yelling, "Yes! Yes!"

After Erik had tickled Jack one night, Jack said,"Good job, daddy! Great tickling. Thank you so much for tickling!" He's such an encouraging little man.

"Mommy, can Anna and I use Lily as a basketball?" I hope you know I didn't tell him yes to that one!

One day Anna was running through the house with her Woody doll from Toy Story when she tripped and fell. Jack looked up from the picture he was coloring and said, "Oh, Woody, are you ok?"

This one is a personal favorite, and if your follow me on facebook you've already heard it. Jack's favorite Bible story is about Jacob and Esau. He literally wants to read it, or watch it, every day. Awhile ago Anna was trying to take a toy he was playing with. He looks at her and says,"Give me your rights as the firstborn, and I'll give you the toy." Not quite the lesson we were hoping he'd glean, and after all he is the first born!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Beautiful Challenge

When I saw this list written by John Piper on another blog, I decided I had to share it with you all, if for no other reason than for it to serve as a reminder for me. It's beautiful and convicting, but of course what else do you expect from Piper? :)

1. That all of your life—in whatever calling—be devoted to the glory of God.

2. That the promises of Christ be trusted so fully that peace and joy and strength fill your soul to overflowing.

3. That this fullness of God overflow in daily acts of love so that people might see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in heaven.

4. That you be women of the Book, who love and study and obey the Bible in every area of its teaching. That meditation on Biblical truth be the source of hope and faith. And that you continue to grow in understanding through all the chapters of your life, never thinking that study and growth are only for others.

5. That you be women of prayer, so that the Word of God would open to you; and the power of faith and holiness would descend upon you; and your spiritual influence would increase at home and at church and in the world.

6. That you be women who have a deep grasp of the sovereign grace of God undergirding all these spiritual processes, that you be deep thinkers about the doctrines of grace, and even deeper lovers and believers of these things.

7. That you be totally committed to ministry, whatever your specific role, that you not fritter your time away on soaps or ladies magazines or aimless hobbies, any more than men should fritter theirs away on excessive sports or aimless diddling in the garage. That you redeem the time for Christ and his Kingdom.

8. That, if you are single, you exploit your singleness to the full in devotion to Christ and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married.

9. That, if you are married, you creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of your husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow; that you encourage him in his God-appointed role as head; that you influence him spiritually primarily through your fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer.

10. That, if you have children, you accept responsibility with your husband (or alone if necessary) to raise up children who hope in the triumph of God, sharing with him the teaching and discipline of the children, and giving to the children that special nurturing touch and care that you are uniquely fitted to give.

11. That you not assume that secular employment is a greater challenge or a better use of your life than the countless opportunities of service and witness in the home the neighborhood, the community, the church, and the world. That you not only pose the question: Career vs. full time mom? But that you ask as seriously: Full time career vs. freedom for ministry? That you ask: Which would be greater for the Kingdom— to be in the employ of someone telling you what to do to make his business prosper, or to be God's free agent dreaming your own dream about how your time and your home and your creativity could make God's business prosper? And that in all this you make your choices not on the basis of secular trends or yuppie lifestyle expectations, but on the basis of what will strengthen the family and advance the cause of Christ.

12. That you step back and (with your husband, if you are married) plan the various forms of your life's ministry in chapters. Chapters are divided by various things—age, strength, singleness, marriage, employment choices, children at home, children in college, grandchildren, retirement, etc. No chapter has all the joys. Finite life is a series of tradeoffs. Finding God's will, and living for the glory of Christ to the full in every chapter is what makes it a success, not whether it reads like somebody else's chapter or whether it has in it what chapter five will have.

13. That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might, and maximizing your joy in ministry to people's needs.

14. That in all your relationships with men you seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in applying the Biblical vision of manhood and womanhood; that you develop a style and demeanor that does justice to the unique role God has given to man to feel responsible for gracious leadership in relation to women—a leadership which involves elements of protection and care and initiative. That you think creatively and with cultural sensitivity (just as he must do) in shaping the style and setting the tone of your interaction with men.

15. That you see Biblical guidelines for what is appropriate and inappropriate for men and women in relation to each other not as arbitrary constraints on freedom but as wise and gracious prescriptions for how to discover the true freedom of God's ideal of complementarity. That you not measure your potential by the few roles withheld but by the countless roles offered. That you turn off the TV and Radio and think about...

The awesome significance of motherhood

Complementing a man's life as his wife

Friday, February 18, 2011

Things I didn't Believe

Despite the fact that people told me otherwise, there have been many times in the last few years where I've wondered if my kids were ever going to reach certain milestones.

Things like..

1. Your baby will be here before you know it.

2. Those sleepless nights with a newborn won't last forever.

3. Your baby will walk when she's ready.

4. It doesn't matter that Jack is three and not potty trained, he will be eventually(when HE'S ready.)

And wouldn't you know? All those things did happen, just like everyone told me. So it has me thinking. Maybe when those older women stop me in the grocery store and remind me to enjoy my babies while they're young, because these days will be over before I know it, I should listen. Maybe I shouldn't just laugh to myself and wonder if those ladies really remember how hard it is to have little kids.

Because wouldn't you know? I actually look back at some of the times I was waiting for my kids to reach certain milestones, and miss those days.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Birthday Girl!

One year ago today at 5:29 pm, Lily Faith was welcomed  into this world at 7 pounds 14 ounces, and 19 inches long.

We couldn't imagine life without her!

She's had to be at the mercy of two very caring, but also very silly older siblings!

But they're all crazy about each other! 

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl! I can't wait to see what the Lord does in your life!

Monday, February 7, 2011


After all my talk about teaching my children to obey me the first time I give a command, I thought I'd share an incident that happened several weeks ago.

Dinner time at our house can sometimes be very frustrating. Sometimes the kids don't like what I've prepared, and other times I think they're probably just being stubborn. Right now my two year old, Anna, gives me the toughest time when it comes to eating. Erik and I haven't figured out what the best way to deal with pickiness is, but for right now we say they need to eat a bite of everything even if they don't like it. I told Anna she needed to eat a bite of her carrot before she could get down and play, but for whatever reason she refused. I didn't think this was an issue worthy or discipline, but still insisted  she eat her bite. After a few minutes she put the carrot in her mouth, but refused to swallow!

I took a deep breath, and reminded myself she'd have to swallow the bite eventually. I gave myself a pep talk that I was the mommy and she had to learn to obey me. Little did I realize just how long a single bite of carrot could stay in a mouth without being swallowed! Literally an hour went by before she swallowed the bite, and by this point she was covered in drool. I'll admit I was close to loosing it! I just kept praying that the Lord would give me grace not to get angry with her.

I’m not the first mom to face the challenge of a disobedient child. In the introduction to Elisabeth Elliot’s book The Shaping of a Christian Family she reprints an article by her mom recounting a similar battle with her firstborn son, Phillip. It was milk instead of carrots, but Mom patiently waited and insisted on full obedience. Phil eventually drank his milk.

Years later he wrote a letter to his parents thanking them for teaching him to obey. It worked! By the grace of God, their consistent discipline bore fruit! As a grown man, their son was grateful for all the benefits of their faithful correction. What a perfect illustration of Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The difference between Jack and Anna

This morning I had the bright idea to let the kids finger paint. I'm working with Anna on her colors, and teaching Jack how to write letters, so I thought finger paint might be a fun way to teach these things. The kids had a lot of fun, and eventually I just let them paint whatever they wanted. As I was getting ready to throw them in the bath, I decided I had to take pictures of them to post on here, because this pretty much describes their personalities.

Notice the mess she's made? lol

And now see how clean Jack is, and how everything is on his paper?

Just for fun, here's an up close look at Anna's hands. 

Oh well at least I knew not to let them wear clothes while we did this!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Lately I've been thinking about this concept of first time obedience in my children. A year ago I would've told you without a doubt that we believe in teaching our children to obey the first time, right away, and with a happy heart. But back then I had an easy going two year old and a one year old who only needed to learn not to touch electrical outlets. Things are a bit more complicated this year as my three year old is learning how to disobey in ways that don't always seem defiant, and I now have a feisty, but sometimes whiny, 2 year old. People who advocate first time obedience in their children have all defended themselves by saying that teaching children to obey the first time prepares them to obey God's commands, because after all God expects us to obey the first time.

I have been really seeking the Lord on this issue, trying to decide if God honestly expects us to obey him the first time he commands us to do something. As I have been seeking Him, knowing He gives wisdom to those who ask,  Adam and Eve came to my mind. Then Jonah. Did Adam and Eve get a few extra chances to stay in the Garden of Eden after they disobeyed or were they corrected after they disobeyed the first time? How about Jonah? After he disobeyed God, wasn't he punished by being thrown into the belly of a whale?

And what about the scripture that tells children to obey their parents as unto the Lord(Col. 3:20)? Obviously children are not going to obey their parents unless their mom and dad teach them.

My husband and I are young parents and don't have much wisdom in child training yet. All we can do is seek the Lord and strive to glean wisdom from older and wiser Christians. Most everyone we've talked to has told us the same thing, "Train your children to obey the first time, but be willing to pick your battles. And always point them back to Christ" There is such wisdom in this, and I'm striving to keep that in my mind at all times, because ultimately I don't care how "well behaved" my children might seem, the only thing I care about is teaching them to obey so that, if the Lord wills, one day it will be easier for them to obey the Lord.


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