Month: April 2007

Motherhood

Lately, I’ve been doing more thinking than writing. I’ve watched my kids at work and at play and I have noticed that they tend to emulate the way my husband and I work and play. I’ve watched other kids at play and made mental notes of how their parents have interacted with them. I’ve checked out books from the library on how to get siblings to get along, how to get your kids to listen, raising motivated learners…and a plethora of other subjects. I’ve read my Bible more…oh, and I’ve been praying…probably more of that than anything else.

See, I want to be a better parent. I need to understand things. I have an appetite for knowledge in this area that can’t be satiated. I am just now after 10 years of motherhood realizing that to truly be a better parent, you can’t just WISH you were. You can’t just STOP doing something you’ve always done (like raising your voice when frustrated at your kids) if you don’t replace it with something BETTER to do. Your kids will not “automatically” get along with each other just because you say it’s the right thing to do. Your kids will not suddenly become little neat freaks who tidy up after themselves and wash their dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. It’s all about training, people.

Which brings me to my point. Last night I took Katie (age 10) to softball practice and was watching how the coach interacted with the kids. He’s fighting a losing battle, as this is the first year many of these girls have ever played…but he brings out the best in them anyway. They try harder for him, they long for his approval, they do anything he asks them to do. I had to ask myself “why?” So I watched. Every time a girl would miss the ball when at bat, or a grounder would roll past her glove, or someone was tagged out, he’d call out, “It’s okay…you’ll get it the next time!” Then he would gently walk her through how to properly hold the bat, or how she should crouch with her gloved hand between her ankles, or how she should actually touch the base as she’s rounding it. He didn’t raise his voice – he didn’t get upset – he didn’t raise his hands in disgust and say, “I give up!” He coached – he encouraged, he led by example, he breathed belief into them that they really were good enough.

It was at that moment I had an epiphany. Motherhood is the most important game I’ll ever play and I’m the coach. I am the biggest influence on my kid’s behavior – if I want my team to win, I must constantly encourage and inspire them to do more than they’ve ever done. Leadership is something I have been teaching people for years, but I’m just beginning to understand how it applies to me as a mother. I don’t need to pour myself into them…I just need to learn how to pull out of them what is already there.

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Yeehaw

Infanticide Is No Longer Legal

“Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 it left an open legal question, “When is it too late to do a legal abortion?”

Seven years ago the same court refused to answer the question when it allowed the use of partial birth abortion to remove the living baby body from the womb and allowed acts of infanticide to kill the baby. All under the guise of legal abortion.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007, the court reversed its earlier ruling when it upheld the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. And infanticide is no longer legal.”

Read the complete text of the law upheld in the biggest landmark abortion law decision since Roe v. Wade here.

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When Things Go Wrong…It is Well…

It is Well
Written by Horatio G. Spafford
Music by Philip Bliss

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to know,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin – oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin – not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh, my soul.

And, Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend-
Even so – it is well with my soul.

My heart is heavy today for my dear friend Kris, whose Grandmother went home this weekend to be with the Lord. This song has always been a comfort to me, especially knowing what Horatio Spafford went through before writing it. I am moved to tears when I think about losing those that are closest to me, but I know that it will happen one day. I pray that I will handle it as Mr. Spafford and look up to God and tell him, “It is well with my soul” and truly mean it. My family is praying earnestly for you, Kris – look to God and let Him be your Strength through this difficult time. We love you.

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Don’t Quit

For those of you that can’t read Hindi (the above title) it says, “Don’t Quit”.

Have you ever tried to do something really good in your life and felt like life was against you? One thing I’ve learned is that life’s a punk – you stand up to him, and he just walks away. Life will give you whatever you take. So whatever crap you’ll take, it will give you – but it will also give you whatever you take from it.

It’s a lot like raising kids, I think. When your kids know you mean what you say and you say what you mean, then they give you obedience in return. And when you make a major life decision, life is going to check your integrity, just like your kids do. Once you have established your integrity, then achieving your desired results becomes easier.

Breaking through the “crap barrier” is a matter of doing all you can do. If you really do all you can do, then all you can do is enough. Most people stop short of all they can do. A wise man once said that when you decide to do something great with your life, in the first 18 months – everything will turn to crap.

Something my husband has preached about is “The Hagar Principle”. (He made that up himself, thank you). Hagar was the bondwoman of Abraham and Sarah and in charge of taking care of Sarah. She was Abraham’s concubine and bore him a child, Ishmael. When Sarah’s son Isaac was born, she wanted to Hagar to go and Abraham sent her away with minimum provisions. She wound up out in the desert with no water, wondering if she and her child would die. She had no resources left. And God appeared to her and pointed out a well nearby. The question may arise, did God perform a miracle? Yes, but instead of making the well instantly appear out of nowhere, I believe he opened her eyes. The miracle was that he opened her eyes to resources he had already provided. The well was there all along, she just didn’t see it.

Ultimately, you have to decide if you are going to be a victim, or if you are going to take responsibility for your life. A victim doesn’t see the resources available for them and therefore takes whatever life hands them and whines about doing their best. A champion chooses to take responsibility, asks God for understanding and help, and then gets off their butt and does something. To return to Hagar – God pointed the well out – but if she had wanted to think about how tired she was and had been too lazy to get up off her butt and go get the water, then she still would have died.

Right now, we are feeling a lot of growing pains and there are a lot of learning curves in our business. Money is tight…some weeks we eat beans for dinner…sometimes there isn’t enough gas to take us where we need to go…frequently my kids go without. But every time that we suffer a setback, the means to overcome it is within our reach as long as we’re willing to move and take it. I refuse to be a victim of life. I will take whatever resources I need from it and I will make it happen. Sorry, punk…I’m here to stay. I’m not quitting.

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Hair and Makeup

See those funny boxes up above, Blogger people? That’s what I’m trying to tell you!!! They. Aren’t. Supposed. To. Be. There.

But I digress…

Had some fun playing on the Ladies Home Journal site tonight. I won’t show you my photo because it’s simply…well, frightening is one word that comes to mind. But I uploaded Katie’s photo in to play around with hairstyles (she’s wanting a new ‘do). Frankly, the only one that looked good on her face was Cameron Diaz’s…and she’s not going to be dyeing (is that even spelled right? dying? (no) dye-ing? (hmmm) – I’m too lazy to look it up, internets, sorry!) her hair anytime soon.

PHOTO HAS BEEN REMOVED TO PROTECT THE SAFETY OF MY CHILDREN!!!!

So tell us what you think…just for fun, we added makeup which I personally think is hideous…I much prefer her to look like the girl of 10 that she is, but she thought this was a very “sophisticated” look for her.

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Environmentally Safe Household Cleaners

I am all about saving money – here are some things I do in my home that you may or may not want to try:

Vinegar – Vinegar naturally cleans like all those store-bought household cleaners I used to pay so much money for. Mix a solution of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar in a new store bought spray bottle and you have a solution that will clean most areas of your home. Vinegar is a great natural cleaning product as well as a disinfectant and deodorizer. (don’t stress about the smell – it disappears once it is dry)I use vinegar for cleaning our bathtubs, toilets, sinks, and countertops. Use pure vinegar in the toilet bowl to get rid of rings. Flush the toilet to allow the water level to go down. Pour the undiluted vinegar around the inside of the rim. Scrub that bowl and watch the rings disappear. Mop your bathroom floor with a vinegar/water solution. It will also eat away the soap scum and hard water stains on your fixtures and tile.

You can also use vinegar as a natural fabric softener. My son has sensitive skin and many detergents and softeners make him itchy. Add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of store bought fabric softener. Vinegar has the added benefit of breaking down laundry detergent more effectively. (A plus when you have a family member whose skin detects every trace of detergent.)

Lemon juice is another natural substance that can be used to clean your home. Lemon juice can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits. Lemon is a great substance to clean and shine brass and copper. Lemon juice can be mixed with vinegar and or baking soda to make cleaning pastes. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on the cut section. Use the lemon to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stains. Mix 1 cup olive oil with ½ cup lemon juice and you have a furniture polish for your hardwood furniture.

One of my favorite uses for the fruit is to put a whole lemon peel through the garbage disposal. It freshens the drain and the kitchen. Orange peels can be used with the same results.

Baking soda can be used to scrub surfaces in much the same way as commercial abrasive cleansers. Baking soda is great as a deodorizer. Place a box in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors. Put it anywhere you need deodorizing action. If you have pets, before you vacuum, you can sprinkle it on the carpet to absorb pet odors.

Head on over to Shannon’s for more Works for Me Wednesday tips!

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