Friday, April 29, 2011

Great Things

“God, I want to do great things for you,
And speak to all the nations!
God replies:
That’s well and good, But for now
Fix your children’s complications.
Lord, I want to straighten up the world,
Feed the hungry and fulfill someone’s wishes!
God says: Fine, but for the present,
You need to wash the dishes.
Lord, I want to preach, proclaim your name
And bring salvation to the earth!
God says: Good! Then teach your children
And preach my name to those you’ve given birth.

At the end of the day,
I think of all I’ve done.
But as I look it seems,
I’ve accomplished nothing for the Son!
God I had no time to witness one on one,
I couldn’t join my church group,
They said I missed out on lots of fun.
My household is the only thing
That managed to be cleaned,
My neighbor is the only one,
Besides my family I could feed.

The only ones I’ve read Your Word
Are those within my home.
God I’ve done so very little
And I feel so all alone!

God says:
I’ve seen the way you cleaned and cooked
And taught your kids My name.
Tomorrow morning at eight o’ clock,
I’ll watch you do the same.
The work you do at home,
Though no one really sees,
Is helping to raise little ones
To grow and worship me.
My ways are not your ways,
I don’t expect you yet to see,
But the precepts that you’ve taught your children,
Will help others bow the knee.
Your children will reach out to others,
Your example in their mind.
They’ll do great work for Me
And their children will respond in kind.

The hand that rules the world,
Also rocks the cradle.
Because of you, your children love Me,
All their hearts are stable.
Though your house is your domain,
Your tasks seem rather plain,
Your efforts will reach the multitudes,
Though from humble work they came.”

-author unknown (to me)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm Thinking

I'm thinking about barbies, Santa Clause, fairies, magic, and Disney.

Random and weird right? Well not really. These things have the potential to be influences in my children's lives, and I just can't decide(along with Erik, of course) where I stand on them. There are so many voices, so many opinions, that it's hard for me to discern whether or not it would be wise for our family to let our children play/watch/make believe with these things. That's not to say I think every Christian should have the same convictions. I just want to know what my convictions should be.

I'm torn between not wanting to be legalistic, but at the same time I want to make right decisions about how we are raising our children.

See, I am very convicted that I am to be intentional with my children in everything. And my standard is the Bible. I try to filter every influence that comes to my home through the Word of God. I want my children to have a Biblical world view.

I'll give you one example, this past Christmas the kids were given a Mickey Mouse Christmas dvd. My kids love Mickey Mouse, and were super excited to get to watch it. About half way through the movie, however, there's a scene where the ducklings are on their knees, hands folded, talking to the stars about what they wanted Santa to bring them for Christmas. Immediately I was convicted to turn it off. Initially I fought the urge. I tried to tell myself to stop being silly, it's just a harmless movie, and the kids would understand it was pretend.

Except, here's the thing, my kids wouldn't have understood(at least not last Christmas.) Some three year olds would be able to understand, but at that time I was fairly convinced Jack and Anna did not understand the difference between reality and make believe. And I did not want them thinking they could "pray" to stars about Santa, when we teach them that when we fold our hands and go to our knees that's how we pray to God. So I turned the video off, and we didn't allow them to watch it anymore. That's not to say we won't ever let them watch it, but for now we have to be really careful about what we allow them to watch.

I think the best piece of advice I've been given about raising preschoolers is to just stick with the things that promote, "godliness, goodness, and love." And to remember that no one knows our children as well as Erik and I do. Surely if I can keep that in mind, my decisions regarding these things will fall into place.

This post is linked to Raising Homemakers and Women Living Well.

Monday, April 25, 2011


"Mommy, can I please have a drink?"

"Just a second, buddy, please be patient." I was busy cleaning out the pantry when he asked, and clearly could not stop mid project to put water in a cup.

A little time passed and I notice the trash needs taken out, and since the trash can is right next to the kitchen counter I notice the counter top needs wiped down, and while I'm cleaning that off, since my back is turned, I hear the unmistakable sound of a box of cheerios being dumped on the floor by the baby, because, silly me, I left the pantry door open. I start to sweep that up, and smell the familiar smell of a dirty diaper. Realizing I'm going to have to put Lily in her high chair if I actually intend on sweeping up the cheerios, and since she's the culprit behind the dirty diaper I head off to change her before sticking her in the high chair. Finally I can sweep up the cheerios in peace.

Jack chose that moment to ask for his long awaited drink.

I got frustrated. Couldn't he see how busy I was? I told him to just be patient.

And then I stopped. Who was the one being impatient?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Encouragement

I saw this video this morning, and was very blessed by it.

And if you have a little more time, I loved this sermon by Mark Driscoll about the Resurrection of Jesus.

And then of course there's this old favorite.

Hope everyone has a Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Storms and Babies

I've never been one to get terribly worked up over weather. Tornadoes and thunderstorms are just a fact of life in Illinois. Then a few years ago our town had an unexpected earthquake. That was a bit scary, but it still didn't necessarily bother me. 

Yep I used to be calm and in control of myself whenever bad weather hit. 

Until I had babies.

It's pretty pitiful, people. And I've been even worse  since we moved last month. I get panicky the second I hear a storm is coming. Some of it probably has to do with the tree that's above Jack's room, and some of it probably has to do with the fact that our new house has a lot more windows that could potentially shatter and hurt one of the kids, and then again a lot of it could just be me not being quite used to our new home yet. Whatever the reason, storms make me a nervous wreck!

For example, last night we had severe weather coming through. My husband was debating whether or not we should just head down to our cellar, or go down the block to his parents house. His parents have an incredibly nice basement and weather radios, cable, and plenty of flashlights. Ordinarily I would've left the decision up to Erik, and probably would've preferred staying home. But not last night. Last night I just wanted everyone out of the house just in case things got really bad.

I think his family was a little amused when we showed up about two minutes before the storm hit, but knowing we were in about the safest place we could possibly be made me feel so much better. 

The kids did great seeing as how we had to wake them up and put them in the car at 10 o' clock at night! Jack and Lily laid their heads on both sides of my stomach and drifted in and out of sleep. Anna was excited to be on an adventure and was keeping all of us entertained. They weren't even scared when they came home to a completely pitch black home. They just wanted something to drink before going back to bed(which was hilarious because they knew whose cup was whose even in the dark!) 

There was a time when I'd smile or roll my eyes at my mom when she'd worry about all the potential bad things that could happen to my brother or I. Now I see where she was coming from. 

Speaking Truth

Last Friday I was at a Moms group meeting(similar to MOPS, but not directly affiliated.) During our small group discussion, the subject of teaching our children to speak the truth in love came up. One of my friends pointed out that the only reason we know anything at all about God is because the Holy Spirit revealed it to us. That comment made me stop in my tracks

You see, I tend to be a black and white person. Sure I believe there are some areas that God has given us the freedom to choose in, but when it comes to direct principles and commands laid out in the Bible I tend to not have any patience with Christians who interpret things differently than I do. But the truth is, the only reason I have any knowledge whatsoever is because God has seen fit to reveal it to me. Yelling and arguing with someone who interprets things differently isn't going to change their mind, and it isn't going to make for a very good witness to people who aren't believers. 

The very fact that the Lord would reveal anything to me should be enough to keep me humble when dealing with others, but unfortunately that's not always the case. But there has to be a way to speak the Truth in love. If there wasn't, then it would be impossible to be a Biblical Christian. And as I've been considering this topic in the last few days, I think one key to speaking the Truth in love is by remembering Who revealed it to us in the first place. 

If we can remember that, imagine how humble and loving we could be when  it is time to defend what we believe!

Raising Homemakers

Friday, April 15, 2011

Boys vs. Girls

Today I had an interesting encounter with my three year old and two year old.

I was sitting next to Anna, and Anna was trying to talk to the baby in mommy's tummy.

"Hello, baby! I love you! MUAH!" Actually it sounded more like, "Hewo, beebee! I wuv you! MUAH!" but that's beside the point.

So Anna was talking to my stomach while Jack played quietly nearby. I asked Jack if he wanted to say hi to the baby.

Jack looked up from what he was doing, thought for a moment, and replied, "No. I think I'd just like a snack."

And that is the difference between boys and girls.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The LONG days

Spring is finally here! I'm so happy winter is over, but when the inevitable cold and rainy spring days come our way, the days stuck inside with little ones seem to last forever. Here are some ideas I've come up with to make the time go by faster, and keep the little people entertained.

1. Do bath time in the morning instead of the evening.

2. Pull out some measuring cups and bowls and fill them up with beans, rice, and water. Let the little people in your life pour to their hearts content. Sure it will get messy, but if your kids are anything like mine they'll be entertained for a long time.

3. Bake and decorate cupcakes! And let the kids lick the egg beaters. ;)

4.Have their stuffed animals "read" them stories. My kids love this!

5. Go to you tube, find some favorite songs(our favorite is Sovereign Grace Kids), pull off couch cushions and pull out blankets, and let them go to town building "mountains" and tents. It might be a good excuse to clean underneath the furniture too!

6. And if all else fails, rent a movie you know the kids would love to see, pop pocorn, and enjoy snuggling in front of a movie.

What things have you thought of to do on the loooong days?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

High and Low

Filled With Praise


My high for this week would have to be having my mom and dad come in town. It had been a couple of months since the kids had seen them, so they were of course spoiled rotten(as was I!) 


As I mentioned in a previous post, my low was dealing with my crazy pregnancy hormones. Tuesday was an especially hard day, one where I was feeling like,"I can't wait two more months for this child to arrive I'm so uncomfortable!"

Thankfully the Lord provided me with some good rest that night, and then my family came in town so I was able to stop feeling so weary. :)


There are so many lessons I could share, but I think the most important lesson I learned was that I need to rely on the Lord to be my strength. When I feel the urge to snap at the children or my husband, I need to turn it over to God and ask for His help in getting me through a problem-no matter how small or overwhelming it seems. 

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him." Psalm 28:7

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Truth and Lies

I've been having a battle of sorts this past week. The battle to keep my hormones under control. One minute I'm about to start yelling at someone, the next I'm fighting back tears. Basically I've been the stereotypical pregnant woman! But just because I'm pregnant and hormonal isn't an excuse for me to start believing lies and giving into temptations.

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. wGod is faithful, and xhe will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

It's a battle. And honestly the only way I've been able to endure is by fighting the lies with the Truth of God's Word.

Lies tell me I can't be intentional with the children the way I feel called to, but Truth reminds me I can do all things through Christ.

Lies make me wonder if any of this matters, Truth reminds me that there are no accidents and that I'm here on purpose.

Lies tell me I've messed up too much, but Truth whispers that His grace is sufficient.

Lies tell me this baby is never going to arrive. Truth reminds me that Lord willing, next year at this time I'll be chasing an almost one year old.

Yes it's a battle that I'm fighting. And truthfully as much as I fight, I still give into my emotions instead of taking them to the Lord. But on the nights I go to bed feeling like a failure, I'm reminded tomorrow is another day. Another day to depend on the Lord. Another day to point my kids back to Jesus. Another day to show them I'm not perfect, and need a savior just as much as they do. 

"Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace." 
 Jerry Bridges

Raising Homemakers

Monday, April 4, 2011

Encouraging Quotes

 "For the Christian there is always a connection between ordinary events of life and the stupendous work of God in history.
Everything we do in obedience to God, no matter how small, is significant. It is part of a cosmic mosaic that God is painting to display the greatness of his powers and kingdom to the world and to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:10). A deep satisfaction of the Christian life is that we are not given over to trifles. Serving a widowed mother in law, gleaning in a field, falling in love, having a baby—for the Christian these things are connected to eternity. They are part of something so much bigger than they seem."
John Piper

I have often said to women, the building of your home–your family, legacy, children, depends on how large your vision is. The greater the vision, the bigger the task and foundation laid, and the more prominent the house….Motherhood provides us with an opportunity to build in such a way as to influence generations–literally thousands–by the life we choose to live. But, building such a legacy comes with planning. An architect planning to build must prepare his blueprints. And so it is with women. Designing a blueprint for living will insure that I am better able to know what I am building; what the cost will be; what is needed; and how long it will take to build such a home.”
~Sally Clarkson

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ultimate Party 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

A few of the blogs I read are participating in 5 minutes for mom's blog party, and I thought it would be fun to join in too!

My name is Jessica. I'm blessed to be a stay at home mom to my three(almost four!) children. I love to bake, shop, and read..oh and also blog. I'm not crafty in the least, but what I lack in that area my husband more than makes up for! Click here if you'd like to see our awesome table, and here to see my little mans amazing bed. This blog started out as a way for me to keep my family informed and up to date on my children, but has become more oriented towards what God is teaching me. I blog mainly about motherhood but also about books I'm enjoying and struggles I'm having.

My husband and I have been married for five years. We met a few months after I graduated high school-at my best friends wedding- and were married within a year and a half. He's my best friend, and we are absolutely crazy about each other, though we have had plenty of trials and maturing to go through. This past year has been one of the toughest, but also the best year we have had together. This has been the year we have really tried to keep Christ at the center of our marriage, and it's been amazing to see how the Lord has blessed our efforts.

This is Jack who is three and a half. Jack is one of the sweetest little guys you'll ever meet. He talks to just about everyone, and from the time he was two he has enjoyed asking anyone and everyone about their day. He's also incredibly smart when it comes to memorization, if you tell him something once he remembers. He loves all things musical, especially drums and violins.

This little girl is our two year old, Anna. Anna is a ball of energy and full of spunk. She's every bit of a girly girl, but also not afraid to rough house. When she puts on a pretty dress she actually puts her head in her hands and says, "Tee hee hee."

Lily is 13 months old, and curious about everything. She's usually a happy little girl, and loves trying to keep up with Anna and Jack. She's probably our shiest child, and loves to bury her head in my shoulder when she meets someone she doesn't know.

This is baby number four at twenty weeks. I'm 29 weeks now, and much bigger, but I still haven't found my camera from the move so you'll have to take my word for it :). We like to wait and be surprised about the baby's gender, but for what it's worth I feel like it's probably a boy. Baby is due in June, probably the first or second week, so for about a month and half we'll have four children three and under!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Be sure to leave a comment/ follow so I can be sure to return the favor! I look forward to meeting you. 

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