On aches, twinges, and Christ

The following was something I posted on Facebook… but the more I got thinking, the more I felt I should also share here.

I hope it helps and encourages someone today ‚̧

Knowing-when-your-family-is-completeI know I have been super crazy (blog friends, just read THIS TOO haha), back and forth, schizo mama about having more babies. I know I have probably annoyed quite a few people (especially my poor hubs haha). I am sorry for that. I wanted to share tonight how God has spoken to me, given me peace, and that I just feel content. Complete… It may be a little long, so bear with me ūüôā

Andrew and I had a wonderful talk last night. He said something to me that God REALLY used to help me. No matter how many babies we had, I would miss certain ages and stages. It is OK to feel complete with our family, yet simultaneously feeling sad certain stages are passing and just because I am sad that my babies are growing up is not a sign that I HAVE to have more. (does that make ANY sense!? HA) I can also be both sad at passing stages yet be excited for new ones to come.

I was planning on writing a blog about some of the extreme views in Christianity that I have struggled with. One of those is the “continuing to have babies” (and if God has called you to this and this is YOUR conviction, PLEASE obey. Anything less would be disobedience). I was going to write how the number of babies you have doesn’t equate to how good of a Christian you are. More kids does not mean more love from God. More kids doesn’t mean one is a better Christian than those with fewer. They are just a Christian family with less (or more) kids.

Well, thinking on this last night, God seriously threw an explosive slap on the head… He spoke (quite loudly) to my heart — “Emily, how can you write that when you don’t even believe it yourself?” (OUCH) ***hanging head in shame***

God is right (isn’t He always? HAHA)

I have been seeing SO many people having their 4th (or 5th… or 6th… or 8th! HAHA) babies that I love bunches and bunches, and look up to, that mix that with the feeling sad on certain stages being over, and it is almost like I felt I *HAD* to have another baby to be a “good enough Christian.” Dumb, right?!

I was comparing myself. I was basing my worth and value in Christ, and how much God loved me, on whether not I had more babies.

I am a person who is completely head over HEELS in love with being a mother. I would not trade the puke filled bedding or 3 AM wake up calls for ANYTHING (though I do hate puke and I do love sleep LOL). It is my JOB, and I (at least I hope HA!) am DANG good at it (though I suck with babies hahaha) I am a person, who no matter my age, will probably ALWAYS get that baby itch around a certain time. That ache, in a way (which I know is normal. Even mothers WAAAAAY past the kid phase feel that twinge sometimes.

I also LOVE loving on others around me. I love being the light of Christ to those around me. We moved here to BE that. We moved here because we know the Lord called us here. I love that we are being able to minister and love on the kids around here. I know that if we had more babies, I would hide away, struggle with PPD (not to mention pre term births, nicu babies, colic babies, back issues etc, that make pregnancy hard for me), and I would not be a very good light to others. My first and most important relationship is God. I feel so much peace that God is breathing into my soul. That I am NOT being selfish for realizing we are done. I am NOT being selfish for missing stages, yet not necessarily wanting to do them again. We have a CALLING here. An important one. One that I want to make Jesus proud with. I can admit, that I KNOW I would not do that if we were to have another. I think it, no, I KNOW, it would hinder our ministry. I almost feel *if* we were to have another, it would not be biological.

I LOVE helping in Katie’s (and soon to be Holly’s and Simon’s) school. I want to be able to do it more. A lot more. I love all the things I have been able to do with the kids now that they are older… and I don’t think it means I am selfish, or a bad Christian, because part of me is excited for that.

I want to make a difference for Christ here in Towson. I want to love others like Jesus SO HARD they don’t know what hit them, and they won’t be able to help but fall in love with this beautiful and amazing Savior. The Savior who extends grace so amazing it is almost scandalous! I want that. Desperately. And I think that desire is an important one to fulfill.

Anyway. Sorry this was so long. HA! I hope this made sense. I am just SO SO SO much at peace! I am SO beyond happy. I am joyful. I am content. I feel… complete ‚̧ Thank you for those who prayed. And congrats to all my friends popping out babies. Just message me ya’lls addresses and I will get my “buying baby clothes” fix through ya’ll ūüėČ

XOXO!!! Love all you guys! Thanks for putting up with my crazy.

So there you have it ūüôā trust God. Listen to Him. Don’t compare yourself to others, for He has different plans and purposes for all of us.

Love. Laughter. and Littles
‚̧ XOXO Emily ‚̧

P.S. This is also a wonderful post. I read this awhile back and felt peace. I need to keep that peace.

together-we-make-a-family-family-quote

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I’m on the island of mis-matched socks

Moms.

I think we have the abominable snowman living in our dryers, the tumbling noise of the dryers is him (or her. We must fight for gender equality, right!?) laughing while eating only one of each sock sending it to the Island of mis-matched socks never to be found again. Not even by the queen of lost things herself. Tinkerbell.

126590972They are banished from¬†existence. Shunned. Their torch burned out and must leave the island. Sent to the farthest corners of the universe. Or maybe the universe’s universe. Unable to be found, even by the master of time, space, and universe travel, Dr. Who.

I think my husband has an entire stack of socks with no mate. Those poor socks are left to gather dust, forgotten about, laying there depressed because it lost its other half. There is no Jerry Maguire “You complete me” to be had for this entire collection of random socks. I kinda feel sorry for them.

The combinations my girls come up with are quite interesting. Who says you can’t wear hot pink, neon purple and yellow owls with subtle blue and green stripes? Or one no show sock with one knee high¬†sock. OK. I am exaggerating there. We have no knee high socks. My girls don’t go to a private school… or play soccer.

I envy my children, for they can get away with wearing mis-matched socks. Everyone will peer down at their precious little tootsies and say “aww how cute, did they dress themselves? I love their socks” and walk away with a quiet giggle. SHH don’t tell them. There IS no match. My poor poor children. Doomed to a life of mis-matched socks.

If WE wore mis-matched socks? Not so sure that would fly. I can’t exactly see my husband walking into an important client meeting wearing one brown sock and one white sock and them taking him seriously. They would most likely be thinking. Wait. You are an architect. We are supposed to trust you for our building’s DESIGN decisions and you can’t even match your socks!?

Yeah. Don’t think so.

***insert Donald Trump shouting: YOU’RE FIRED***

I think we could only get away with wearing mis-matched socks while we have newbie babies. Others moms would look at us with pity, thinking. Oh that poor, dear, sleep deprived mama. She is so tired she can’t even match her socks. Welp. I sure hope she is at least wearing underwear (OH CRAP! I KNEW I was forgetting something!)

This blog really doesn’t have much of a point. I am not going to give some elaborate story about how mis-matched socks are some cosmic example of living life wandering about, never finding your perfect whatever you need to find something perfect of.

Nah.

I just get annoyed with mis-matched socks. Especially when I know for DARN sure that I put BOTH socks in the dryer.

That sock eating dryer monster had better watch its back. Karma is coming. All those socks stacked up in the corners of closets, or under beds, collecting dust, will one day retaliate. The will form a sock monster bigger and badder than the marshmallow monster thingy from ghost busters.

In the mean time, maybe you can make THIS with all those socks you have lying around…

mismatched-socks-snake

Love. Laughter. & Littles (and mis-matched socks)
‚̧ Emily

Raindrops

I was waiting for my oldest daughter to get home from school. It was raining. Well, drizzles really, but it was enough that the ground was saturated and there were puddles on the street. I became mesmerized watching the raindrops hit the puddles. Each drop was so small you couldn’t even see it falling from the sky. In fact, you couldn’t even see the drop actually hit the puddle.

But you saw the impact of the raindrop.

I just stood there for a few minutes silently contemplating how this can be applied to our life. How these raindrops can encourage us.

Some days I wonder if my job as a mama means anything. Sometimes I wonder if the work I am doing really matters. If it is really making a difference. Sometimes I wonder if the ministering to, helping, encouraging, and loving on to those around me is really working. Is it REALLY helping? Is it really even skimming the surface of their hearts and their lives?

Is the little things I am doing amounting to ANYTHING worthwhile? Anything big? Is it making a difference in their lives? Is it making such a difference that they will then in turn be able to make a difference in others lives?

I continued watching the raindrops hit the shallow puddles on the asphalt. Drip after drip. Drop after drop. They were hitting the ground like an elegant dance. I watched as that seemingly invisible drop of life giving water made its mark on the ground. I watched as the drop I didn’t ever see skim the surface of that puddle made circle after circle. The circle growing bigger and bigger and bigger as it radiated outward like the warmth of the sun that was hiding behind the gray clouds.

That’s when it hit me.

rain_original_originalWE are raindrops. Everything we do, whether seen by many or not, is making a difference. Our one small gesture of kindness can create a ripple effect that can cause an explosion of love later on. We may never see it, but it will expand outward. That’s what love does. That’s what grace does. That’s what kindness does.

They are like raindrops. Each act, seemingly meaningless, multiplies itself. Each kind word spoken, or hug given, or I love you spoken may seem too small to amount to a life altering change… but just as a raindrop is minuscule when it hits the surface of a puddle, that small action expands outwards and those around the drop cannot help but be effected.

So, when you are out there loving on people… when you are giving all you can… when you are loving the seemingly unlovable, remember the raindrop. Remember, be encouraged, and keep going. Keep loving.

You ARE making a difference. WE are making a difference.

When it seems that changing diapers or cleaning up projectile vomit at 3:34 am won’t amount to anything. Keep going forward mama’s. You ARE making a difference. Those littles you are loving on are soaking in everything you give. Everything you do. All the ways you love… and one day, they will be new raindrops, making their impact in the waters of life and people around them.

‚̧ XOXO ‚̧
~Emily

Dependent

10389704_10152450008136961_4765859514145111048_nI saw this on Facebook today. I loved it. In fact, I shared it on my Facebook page, along with a “little” note:

NOT rules. NOT works. NOT how much you know. NOT how much theology you understand. NOT how much you “get it right.” NOT if you homeschool or private school or public school. NOT about how many children you have. NOT about what “denomination” you are. NOT about what kind of music your church plays. NOT about what you wear. NOT about what you look like. NOT about how mean you are “in Jesus’ name”. NOT about how many people hate you “in Jesus’ name”. NOT about how much you do. NOT about a checklist. NOT about do’s and don’t. It is about FAITH. TRUST.¬†LOVE‚Ĩ.

It is about a ‚Ä™RELATIONSHIP‚Ĩ. The Lord God wants a relationship with you, not a spreadsheet of how many rules you followed, how often you followed them, how much you did, how much money you gave, how many theology books you read… You can have all the knowledge ABOUT God in the world, but without love, without that relationship WITH God, dependence ON Him, it means nothing.

I wanted to expand upon my “short” little tidbit by sharing some verses. Folks. It isn’t about what you KNOW. DO (or don’t do). It is not about YOU. It is about Christ and what he has ALREADY done. When we try and make it about what we should or shouldn’t do, we negate everything Christ did on that cross.

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs‚ÄĒbeautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people‚Äôs bones and all sorts of impurity.¬†(28)¬†Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:27-28

“If you claim to be religious but don‚Äôt control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.” James 1:26

It isn’t about religion

Yes, when we follow him, our hearts should align with his. We should WANT to follow him. Follow his truth. His Word… but that is because our relationship with him and our love FOR him, has caused a heart change. We have a DESIRE to please him.

The thing is, we have to FIRST have that love. That faith. That relationship.

We cannot start with do’s and don’ts. We can’t start with a checklist. We will burn ourselves out chasing something that is impossible. Christ loves us… and he loves YOU.

AS. YOU. ARE. 

When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5¬†he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.¬†6¬†He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7¬†Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can‚Äôt take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9¬†Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10¬†For we are God‚Äôs masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:8-10

Relationship. NOT religion.

To the mom who feels worthless

Hey psst. You over there. I know you. You are that mama who is so tired she can barely keep her eyes open, and that is WITH coffee. You are the one who feels that there has to be something more than dirty diapers and spit up. You are the one who feels your life is on a continuous loop of bedtime battles, morning tantrums, picky eaters, cleaning up the dinner off the floor that you spent an hour making, and wiping dirty faces, runny noses, and poopy butts.

I know you sometimes feel worthless.

I know. Because I have been there. Some days I have to fight those feelings. Some days I feel like while others around me are so successful at others things, I am sitting here wondering what am I good at!?

~Pinterest perfect mama’s with their hand made diapers and handbags made out of woven pieces of grass.
~Mama’s who seem to have it all together. ALL the time.¬†
~Mama’s who seem to so effortlessly look beautiful and have the perfect skin, body, and hair
~Mama’s who seem to never get tired, no matter HOW little sleep they are running on
~Mama’s who naturally seem good at EVERY. SINGLE. STAGE. with their children, while you are wondering WHEN will this “phase” be over!?!?!
~Mama’s who seem to not only be good at being a mom, but who also work from home, selling their crafts, or what-not.
~Mama’s who seem to have everything go their way. ALL the time, while you feel no matter what you try, it never seems to work out.

I know. I know you. I AM you. In fact, just this morning I had every single one of those thoughts I listed flash through my head. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE…and a few more.

This race of motherhood is pretty crazy, huh? Some days we feel on top of the World, and the next day (or even the next HOUR) we wonder what in the HECK we were thinking and why in the WORLD did God entrust us with these tiny little needy¬†beings who can’t even wipe their own butts!?

We wonder if anyone hears our cries for help
We wonder if anyone sees our efforts
We wonder if anyone knows that while we have a smile on our faces, our insides are in knots
We wonder if anyone sees the little non-Pinterest worthy things we do
We wonder if anyone knows that sometimes we just want to run away. FAR. FAR. AWAY.
We wonder if anyone can see through our plastered on smile and see what we are REALLY thinking.
We wonder if then people would hate us and think we are bad mothers if they DID know what we were really thinking

Well. There is one who knows. It may sound scary, but it isn’t. It is so comforting. Not only does this person know.

HE UNDERSTANDS.

He understands because he has been there
He understands because he would see people walk away hopeless
He understands because he was betrayed by someone who was supposed to be a friend
He understand because he was misunderstood
He understands because the very people who loved and admired him, turned on him, and had him killed

No matter what you are facing today, sweet mama’s… ¬†JESUS understands. Run to him. God created you in HIS image. He knows you. He knows your innermost thoughts, fears, secrets. He knows what makes you tick. He knows what makes you tired. He knows what makes you excited. He knows what makes you sad.

And He knows when you feel worthless.

But He wants you to know you are far from worthless. You are wonderful. All those things you do day in and day out? They are important. They matter. They are far from meaningless.

Don’t let the taunting whispers of the Enemy drown out the quiet melody of the Father.

Mama’s. You are anything but worthless. We may do a lot of things. We may do a lot of gross, dirty, unappreciated things.¬†We may be a lot of things to a lot of people… but WORTHLESS isn’t one of them. It never was. It never is. It never will be.

As¬†Aibileen in “The Help” says:

You is KIND.
You is SMART.
You is IMPORTANT
and you are SO SO SO much more.

God thinks you are Beautiful. Amazing. Wonderful. Magnificent. Nothing you do goes unnoticed by Him.

You. Are. Beautiful.

XOXO
‚̧ ~Emily

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

I Can’t Stop Singing

dancingThe Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
~Zephaniah 3:17

I woke up with this message in my head yesterday morning. It is still there. I know God put this verse in my head for a reason. I mean, honestly? I know this passage. We sing the song “He is mighty to save” but who even remembers there is a book in the Bible called Zephaniah!? I know I don’t. Psalms, proverbs, the Gospels, even Ecclesiastes? Sure. Yup. But I don’t often remember this little book. Same goes for Habakkuk and Haggai. Poor crazy named prophets.

Ever realize there is an Italian prophet in the Bible? Yea! Malachi! (Ma-la-chee) LOL.

Anyways, I am off on a crazy tangent, as usual, and now I kinda want some lasagna.

The Lord put this verse in my head because I (and I think most of us women, especially) tend to worry more what others think of me than God. I worry if OTHER people are rejoicing over me, giving me affirmation, singing my praises, like what I do, think I am this or that or the other.

We WANT other people to like us.

However, when I  worry too much if other people like me, I forget the one who MADE me loves me with an everlasting love. I get so focused on what people think of me, I forget that I have a God who thinks I am stunning and unique. A beautiful creation. A creation made in HIS image.

Now, I am not saying to tell people to you know what, and not care about others. We should love others and put them before ourselves, as the Bible commands… but sometimes people assume things about us, gossip about us rather than talking TO us, misunderstand us, hate us simply because we love Jesus. They may not like us because they are secretly harboring jealousy about something in our life that seems good compared to their life. They may be harboring bitterness. We can do everything in our power to try and get people to like us, but sometimes people just won’t, no matter HOW hard we try. We will do everything we can to be open and honest, and we will still be shut out and misunderstood. People will assume things about our intentions that are not true.

These are the times we need to take our focus off caring so much what they think and focus on the One who already thinks we are magnificent.

JUST the way we are.

When we spend so much energy worrying over if other people think we are enough, we are missing out on the amazing relationships God is giving us in our lives. We are missing out on growing closer with the Lord.

We cannot aim to please the Lord while still seeking to please man.

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” Galatians 1:10 (Yeah. Yikes. right!?)

So mama’s, daddy’s, friends, kids, teenagers, young adults, those who just finished college and cannot seem to find a job, those who are single desperately wanting to find a soul mate, those who are married who seem to be struggling with pleasing their spouse, those who are misunderstood by family, those who have strained relationships with family, those who feel they are not enough… Remember:

so happy

*Disclaimer: I was kidding. Malachi really is not an Italian prophet. He is just some dude with a funny name who wrote a book in the Bible… which I should go read now. It only seems fair.

Love, Laughter, and Jesus
‚̧ XOXO¬†~Emily

Clean sweep

It has been 2 weeks since I have last blogged. I know you were all super sad. Well, those of you who care and actually read my blog ūüėČ Regardless of how many people actually read my blog, I missed writing. I may not be the best at it, but I enjoy it! Anyhoo. I am babble typing again…

I have had some technical difficulties. My computer went on the fritz, like REALLY on the fritz. It would freeze up, stop allowing me to type or click, and even doing a Ctrl – Alt- Delete wasn’t working. My awesome hubs went through and tried to do a clean sweep to see if that helps. This is my first attempt on it since the clean sweep, so we shall see how this goes. Apparently there was some junk on there from Java that they are a wee bit sketchy about when you do an “update”. Stupid Java. So, Andrew had to clean off a bunch of stuff that was clogging up the hard drive, making it slow, dirty, and just overall useless. The computer may have still looked polished and pretty and clean on the outside, but the hard drive was corrupt. Dirty. Broken. Useless. So I pretty much had a really expensive paper weight.

This got me thinking…

How many times are we all pretty, polished, and “Christian” on the outside, how we dress, look, talk, we go to church, sing the songs, even read the Bible… but our insides are still REALLY far from Christ. We are not where we should be. We have things clogging up our “hard-drives” causing our faith to suffer. Causing us to look nice on the outside, but we are broken on the inside. Our light has been blown out, our salt has lost its flavor. It then made me think of this verse:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28¬†So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:27-28

WHOA. I don’t know about you, but that verse is pretty shocking. Scary. It makes me shudder just a little bit. OK, maybe a lot.

Many of us read this verse and think we are better. The Pharisees were the ones Jesus (almost) hated! He hated what they stood for, how they acted, what they did, how they made Christ and the Lord God into a check list of do’s and don’ts, and made it about how much you KNEW. We think we are better than them and we don’t do that.

But we do. 

There are many times where we get this arrogance about us. We turn what Christ did into a competition of who is the better Christian. We turn it into a checklist of what we DO for Christ, rather than remembering it is about what Christ already DID for us.

There are also many times we fake it. We are hypocrites. We appear good and Christian on the outside, yet we are harboring bitterness, lust, pride, anger issues, alcohol problems, depression, arrogance, sexual sins, idolatry, etc etc etc.

Some call themselves “Christian” when really it is merely a cultural adjective with no relationship or meaning behind it.

11737-God-Looks-At-The-HeartIf we are honest with ourselves, there are many times that the outside looks good and clean and Christian, but our hearts are far from God. Our computer looks awesome on the outside, but it is nothing more than a paperweight, because the hard drive is corrupt. Our hearts are corrupt. We need a clean sweep.

The only one who can give us a clean sweep and make our hard drive function properly again, is Christ. When we put this fake front on, it not only harms others, but it harms ourselves. It harms our relationship with others. Our witness to others. It pushes people farther from Christ. Our corrupt hard drive will eventually show through.

When I was battling PPD after my last child, I did my best to fake it. I pretended I was OK. I was a “good Christian” (because you know, good Christians wouldn’t get depressed). I read my Bible, prayed, had faith, prayed some more, read the Bible some more, had more faith. I told people how blessed I was, how awesome having three children was. I told people what a blessing children were (and I did believe it. I knew it to be true). But my heart, my insides… my hard drive… was corrupt. That eventually came through, and it wasn’t pretty. I needed help. A clean sweep.

If you are struggling today, tell Christ! He already knows. If you are struggling with your faith, or anger, or bitterness, or whatever…tell Christ. Tell others (someone you trust, who is a Christian as well). You don’t have to go through it alone. You don’t have to fake it. You don’t have to just be pretty and good on the outside. Your heart can also be beautiful. Cleaned. Fixed.

All Christians go through struggles. We ALL have periods of doubt. We ALL struggle with anger, doubt, pride, bitterness, etc. We all have hard drive issues, so to speak. Being a Christian is not about making sure you are doing a checklist, and doing it perfect. It is about a relationship. A heart change.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

What is in our hard drives is a lot more important than what the computer looks like.

Do you need a clean sweep?

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

1aaa18

Stop making it so complicated.

Whoever-believes-in-me-has-eternal-life-john647Why do we Christians like to over complicate the Gospel!? Charts, graphs, diagrams, etc etc etc… Then we wonder why so many think they are “too messed up” or “too broken” or “too bad” to come to the saving Grace of Christ. We make it seem impossible. The Gospel is simple:

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Repent. Believe. Be Baptized. (Acts 2:38)

Walking around with our little sticks taking jabs at people doing this wrong, or that wrong, or what not, is not bringing glory to Christ, and it sure isn’t advancing the Gospel. It is doing the complete opposite. We are all broken. We have all done wrong. We are all unworthy of Christ’s amazing and glorious sacrifice. Yet, Christ says COME AS YOU ARE. When we do, HE will then work to change us from the inside out. We don’t have to do everything and change everything FIRST.

In fact, that IS impossible. Here on this Earth, we will always struggle against sin, against the enemy, against flesh and blood, and everything else. We will ALWAYS screw up. Daily. The sins I have repented of? It doesn’t mean I won’t ever struggle with them anymore, or still do them, or mess up, just because I have chosen to put my faith in Christ. It just means that I have a desire to cast off that sin and that struggle and become more like Christ.

One must simply take that first step of Faith. Admit we HAVE messed up and that Christ died for those mess ups. Have a desire to be changed. God will take care of the rest, and we, as Christ followers should be the hands and feet to help, and above all else. LOVE.

Part of the beauty of the Gospel is we don’t have to EARN it. We don’t DESERVE it. We don’t have to get our ducks in a row BEFORE Christ would cover us in His glorious grace. Christ, in His love, gave it freely, so that ALL who believe (did you hear that ALL, we don’t have the right to pick and choose who we think are worthy of Christ’s gift) will be saved.

“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”Romans 10:13

STOP making it so complicated.

I ignore my kids

5853611cb3f0f1b9ea59762cef36b10edcNow, before anyone goes off on me, I don’t ignore REAL needs. I feed them, clothe them, bathe them (though I will admit, probably not as often as I should), I kiss and hug them when they get boo boo’s, if they are sorda kinda bleeding I will put a band-aid on it (though currently we don’t have any. Oops), and if they are REALLY REALLY bleeding, I will take them to the doctor, I give them meds and care for them when they are sick, I sing to them, cuddle them, love on them, rock them, etc etc etc, you know all the things good moms do. I even play with them:

Sometimes. 

But not ALL the time.

and I don’t think it makes me a bad mom. I think it makes me a pretty darn good one. A child needs to learn how to play independently and mama needs to get things done… like write this blog ūüėČ Which I am doing while 2 of three children are playing nicely alone. The oldest is at school. And yes, the oldest could play alone even when she was the only child.

I have three children. I definitely don’t have ALL the answers, but I do have three completely different children, with three completely different personalities, yet all three of them can play calmly and independently at times. Now, of course there are high needs days where the kiddies just need their mama more. I am totally cool with that. We all have days like that, where we just need more love, more support, more encouragement, more affirmation, etc.

However, I have seen mothers who are CONSTANTLY playing with their children. They are constantly asking their babies (even under 2) questions, teaching them how to read, shapes, colors, quantum physics (OK, so maybe that is a slight exaggeration with that last one). They are constantly telling their kids what everything they pick up is. Oh that little speck? That is a piece of dust, and did you know that in that one speck of dust lives 50 bajillion dust mites that look like tiny life sucking beings? Speaking of dust, we should probably wash your hands now, because that dust isn’t sanitary.¬†They are constantly telling their young toddlers/babies/kids¬†what to do, what to say: say please, say thank you, say supercalafragilisticexpialadocious (OK, again, that last one may be a slight exaggeration).

***disclaimer: It is TOTALLY not bad to label things. We should do that! That is how our little ones learn to talk and what things are. I am referring to those who never let their child explore on their own, and seem to have to always be telling them what to do, say, whatever. They hoover and don’t allow a child the freedom to explore. I love when my children explore, bring something to me, and THEN I label it ūüôā BUT, I don’t think a parent needs to constantly be picking up things, shoving it in the kids face forcing them to look at it, so they can label it… THAT Is more what I mean***

It’s exhausting to watch!¬†I cannot even begin to fathom how friggin’ exhausting it is for the parent. Yikes.

Plus because these children have parents who are CONSTANTLY playing with them, doing everything with them, talking to them constantly, etc, they are Let-them-be-little-programmed to ALWAYS need that stimulation. They are a lot of times unable to play alone, have times to be creative, use their imaginations, figure things out for themselves. They become demanding because they cannot function without constant attention. They need constant attention, constant noise, constant talking or singing, or whatever. Helicopter parenting at its finest, right?

I am sorry. I just DON’T. HAVE. THE. ENERGY.

Maybe I am mean, but I don’t constantly play with my kids. Nope, not even the 1 year old. They need to learn how to play alone sometimes. I still have laundry, and cleaning, you know and all that other stuff that comes with having a house and kids? Yup. Still has to be done. Everyone, even children, need calm and quiet sometimes. They don’t need us always trying to teach or do or sing or talk or read or whatever. Plus, I will be honest, I don’t have the energy to constantly be shoving colors, letters, science, math, whatever else down their pint size throats, or playing with them ALL the time. Plus, I don’t think I need to. I need to let them BE KIDS sometimes. Let them be little.¬†

There is plenty of time for quantum physics later.

Yes. I am Christian. No. I am not homeschooling: Part 2

School-HouseAwhile back I gave a little intro on the fact that we are a Christian family, totally and faithfully in love with Jesus Christ… but we are not homeschooling. Here is the first little tidbit I gave on this discussion. READ IT HERE

Yes. I am REALLY a Christian. Yes. I believe Jesus Christ is THE way. THE truth. and THE life. The ONLY way. The ONLY truth. The ONLY life. I believe without Him, I can do nothing and I am nothing. Without accepting his free gift of salvation, I will be eternally separated from him after death. I believe that Jesus Christ is God. I believe He is God in human form. I believe he died for our sins, experienced separation from the Father on our behalf, because He loved us so much. I believe he experienced utter agony and torture being crucified for my horrible sins. I believe He rose again on the 3rd day. I believe that putting our faith in Christ is the only way to get to heaven.

I believe that my children are a blessing. I believe that we are to train them up in God and His Word. His Truth. His way.

Train up a child in the way he should go;¬†even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

Yup. I believe that verse. And yup. I also believe this passage:

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7¬†You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8¬†You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9¬†You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (ESV)

What I don’t believe?

That this passage is COMMANDING us, as Christians, that in order to successfully obey these passages that we must absolutely, without a doubt, no argument, 100%, no questions asked… HOMESCHOOL our children.

This passage is calling US, as the parents, to be the ones instilling God’s truth in their lives. We should not depend on the church, or Sunday School, or Youth Group, or the Pastor… It is OUR job to instill that truth. However, this passage does NOT mean that others cannot teach them reading, writing, and¬†arithmetic.

il_570xN.485937227_rbjuI don’t see anywhere in either of these passages, or anywhere else in scripture for that matter, a black and white, without a doubt, COMMAND that in order to teach your children the ways of God, it means you have to homeschool. Do you? This is NOT a black and white issue.

So why do so many Christians make it one? Why do we argue over things such as this, push people away, bash people, tell people they are ignorant and foolish, not obeying God, etc etc etc. when it comes to where we feel lead to school our children? It must be mighty windy up there on your pedestal huh? We better be careful when we start acting this way (on anything that is not black and white) because one gust of wind can knock us off there REAL quick, and it would be a pretty far way to fall.

Now, before I go any further, I need to make one thing clear: I do NOT have anything AGAINST homeschooling. We thought about it! We prayed about it. If God ever leads us that way, I will do it without hesitation. I think it is AWESOME for some families. If God is calling you to homeschool, and you don’t, you are being disobedient to Him and His will.

However, what I DO have something against, and what I have a problem with, are people who like to project THEIR convictions onto others. Convictions that are NOT black and white in scripture. 

Those who homeschool? I trust that you have prayed and are following God’s call for your children’s education. I will not question your decision to homeschool. PLEASE, extend the same courtesy to me and my family as we feel God’s current calling for our children are to first allow them to attend our public school system here. Those who argue saying how can we possibly choose public schools as a devout Christian? God would never tell a Christian to use public schools… Hmm. I am glad you have the direct line to God to know His plans for everyone else in the universe. You do NOT know,and cannot possibly know, what God has told us. If you claim to? Well, that is pretty gosh darn arrogant, and we know how Christ handled people like that.

My daughter had her first day of Kindergarten today! I am very excited for her. She is excited. She was beaming!

Will it be challenging? Yes.
Will it require faith to trust God can overcome the most seeming of negative influences? Yes. (but we should always have faith)
Will it require faithful study, reading, and prayer on our part as parents? Yes. (but we should do this regardless)
Will it require us to let go and trust God more, even though the unknowns can be scary? Yes. (But aren’t we commanded not to fear anyway?)
Will I have to work harder to make sure we continue to feed her Truth in the time she is at home? Yes.
Will it take some time to explain why certain teachings in her school are not really true, even though teachers and books say they are? Yes.
Will it require my participation and constant attention to what she is studying? Yes.
Will it require me to be an extra involved parent in her school system? Yes.
Will it make me more tired? Probably.
Will it be more work for me as far as teaching her the ways of the Lord? Probably.
Will it take time to undo some things she may learn? Probably.

Is it impossible? NO.schoolhouse
“For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

Does it mean that I cannot faithfully teach her the ways of God, His Word, and His Truth? NO.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

Does it mean that I should worry my child will turn away from God just because they are in the public school system? NO.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Does it mean because public schools can’t teach of God¬†that¬†He¬†isn’t there? NO.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?¬†Or where shall I flee from your presence?¬†8¬†If I ascend to heaven, you are there!¬†If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” Psalm 139:7-8
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Does it mean that our children cannot experience God in public schools or that God won’t be with them? NO.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;¬†and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;¬†when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,¬†and the flame shall not consume you.”¬†Isaiah¬†43:2
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”¬†Deuteronomy¬†31:8
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.¬†With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

There is SO SO SO much more that I want to talk about, but this would go on forever and ever and ever… AMEN. LOL… So, I will continue writing bits and pieces to WHY we are choosing to FIRST use public schools.

This decision was not made lightly. This decision came about through much prayer, discussion, reading of scriptures, seeking counsel from wise brothers and sisters in Christ, seeking advice from those who have been there. This decision does not make us less of a Christian. This decision is not sinful.

The decision to choose public schools does NOT make us foolish… it makes us OBEDIENT, and anything else would be¬†DISobedient.¬†

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