"Your body is the first thing any child of man ever wanted. Therefore dispose yourself to be loved, to be wanted, to be available. Be there for them with a vengeance. Be a gracious, bending woman. Incline your ear, your heart, your hands to them.... To be a Mother is to be the sacrament - the effective symbol - of place. Mothers do not make homes, they are our home." from Bed and Board, Robert Farrar Capon

Monday, July 21, 2014

*MY* Oxen Are In

After that last post, "The Oxen Are In", I just had to share the exciting happenings of my own little oxen stall this morning.

I was feeding my 2 month old baby girl at 6:00am, after Daddy left for work. She's a very smiley, sweet baby who still wakes every 2 or 3 hours through the night to eat. Now that's a LOT of special "bonding time". Then I heard my 1 1/2 year old son's cheerful, wide awake voice calling "momma, Momma, MOMMA". Another special experience, since he's the first of my children to wake up cheerfully everyday. Truthfully, somedays I just don't feel ready for THAT much exuberance THAT early, but to continue on...  Next I heard my "just-turned-three year old" daughter moving around in her room.

Her morning ritual is to wake up and instantly begin gathering every doll, stuffed animal, blanket, bottle, and doll brush from her room to carry out to the living room. If she had a motto I believe it might be "start the day prepared to play" or something like that. but to continue on with the story...

I got my little boy up and changed his diaper, and then I thought I'd get an early jump start on the day. (good decision, considering I really had no choice in the matter, right?) so I started the bathtub filling with a nice bubble bath for the kids. As always, my little boy came in to reach into the tub and help stir those bubbles in anticipation for his much loved bath. So sweet.

From down the hall came my 3 olds wailing (yes, she "wails", doesn't usually cry or scream but moans and wails - very unique). I ran to find out the reason for her grief and alas, she had inadvertently locked herself into her bedroom, when she had tried to turn the door knob while juggling all her babies and animals... Now she doesn't know how to unlock the door by herself and try as I might I've never got that little poky metal door-unlocky thingy to work on that particular door so the only solution seemed to be to wake up my oldest, the peacefully sleeping 4 year old girl in that same very room, and have her unlock the door. Sounds like a simple solution, right? Only if you don't know my oldest daughter. She has the amazing gift of being able to sleep through practically anything, and once she does finally begin to wake up it's a few minutes before she is actually a functioning little person. I won't expand on how long I called, sang, and yelled through the door until she was up and able to understand the problem and walk over and unlock the door. Yay! A small victory.

But wait - why is my little boy suddenly SCREAMING from the bathroom? Another quick jaunt back down the hall to discover he had leaned just a little too far over the bathtub edge trying to reach that elusive rubber ducky. He was fine - just standing in the tub crying, with pj's and diaper soaking wet. The second I undressed him and put him back in the bath he was overjoyed and started laughing and playing. In went the other two girls and lastly baby girl, and tada - I had four happy children playing (or laying in baby's case) happily in the tub together.

What an organized systematic Mama I must be to have things going so well by 7:30 in the morning ;-)

This was an extreme - though not too out-of-the-ordinary - morning for me, and once again I was thankful for all the words we hear on vocation. Just last week a friend showed me another quote from the Book "Luther on the Christian Home" by William Lazareth. (same book this post is based on)

"Coming to know and love Christ does not necessarily change what we do, but rather how, why, and for whom we do it. 
~
Faith transforms our occupations into Christian vocations." 
William Lazareth

Since some people asked about this book I thought I'd let you know I ordered mine from Amazon. It's pricey but I think it's worth it. So far I've only read the chapter "The Common Life" ~ I skipped right up to it ~ but I'm planning on going back and reading the book through. (maybe during some of those middle of the night "bonding" times with my baby ;-)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dear daughter, please believe me that you’re beautiful. -by Matt Walsh



"Dear Daughter,
I hope you never notice the magazine rack at the supermarket.
I hope you never see the billboards on the highway or the ads on the side of the city bus.
I hope you never learn about Hollywood and the fashion industry.
I hope you never listen to pop music.
I hope you never walk down the makeup aisle.
I hope you never hate your own appearance.
I hope you never pick up the habit of putting yourself down whenever someone compliments you.
I hope you never feel the pressure to physically conform to the perverse standards of a disordered world.

...Modern humans spend every waking minute surrounded by advertisements and product placements and carefully crafted, focused group ‘messaging’ of all kinds....but the lesson is always the same: you are not good enough. You need to be ‘improved,’ they’ll tell you. Demolished and rebuilt. Shamed and made over.... They create a void in your conscience and pour their propaganda into it. This is why we have an unachievable, inhuman, digitized idea of beauty in our society.

... Apparently, the shops in the mall have collectively determined that every woman is a size zero and none of them care about dressing modestly (I still don't understand how there can even be such a thing as a ‘size zero’ — all human beings must, according to physics, have some mass, right?).


...For [women] even something as simple as clothes shopping becomes an all out assault on their values, priorities, and body image...."


The above is an excerpt from this blog post .  Written in the form of a letter to the author's infant daughter,  it will strengthen any  woman who is standing against the torrents of modernity, in upholding a godly standard of beauty and worth for herself and  her daughters.

We've also  linked to The Matt Walsh Blog with:

"You are JUST a mother" here , and,  "You don't have to erase every sign of childbirth from your body"  here  .

Painting: Paul Seignac 1826-1904, The Reading Lesson

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Poured From A Steady Hand

I miss the Concordian Sisters of Perpetual Parturition. One post in particular comes to my mind a lot.  Poured From A Steady Hand. You will surely be edified and inspired to thankfulness. It's a stunningly beautiful tribute to God's faithfulness and His generosity toward us.

Here's how it starts:

"The other day I sat and rocked my baby for an entire hour. My fifthborn--Can you imagine? I just sat and rocked him...." Then further in she says, "So I snuggled my nursling under a fleece blanket, and he settled, and sighed, and periodically shuddered in utter contentment." Then even further in she says, "And I thought, My Life is impossibly rich." 

     
Painting: Sweet Dreams by Firmin Baes (1874-1945, Belgian) 
My Pastor has continually over the years reminded us mothers to just sit and rock our babies and look at them. Enjoy them. Don't be too busy. 
And lately he's been asking, How rich are you? Don't be tricked into thinking about what you don't have and what God hasn't done (that you think He should have). Adam and Eve were given an entire garden full of trees--but what did they think about? The one tree they weren't given. Instead, think about all you've been given, and all that God has done for you. You are very, very rich. As one woman said, "All this, and Christ too!"


Here's a link to the complete post  Poured From a Steady Hand ,  on the CSPP blog. 
(Thank you, Concordian Sisters, and may the Lord bless you.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Matching Game... for Moms

Sometimes I feel like I'm playing "Matching." Only in real life. You remember the game where you flip two cards face up at a time within neatly laid rows of face down cards and try to match the cards with their doubles by remembering where each previous card you've flipped lies?

Well with me it goes like this. While taking the laundry upstairs, out of the corner of my eye I spy, under the upstairs couch, the DVD case to the "Elijah" video that we've been missing.
(Good Elijah video for kids by the way. Especially if you like opera. You can find it here or here.)

I don't have time out pull the case out at that precise moment so I move on.

Later, while cleaning my bedroom, I see the Elijah DVD that belongs to said case on the stack of books on the changing table.  The matching game begins. "Oooh! Now where did I see that case? I know. I know. It's on the tip of my brain." I mentally re-track, but to no avail. There's been too much water under the bridge since then. Too much other stuff too.

No match. Try flipping again on the next upstairs laundry haul.

It goes the same with shoes. Oh, there's my daughter's right sandal. Can't grab it now cause I have too many dishes in my hand, and of course, every available child to which I could hand over this sandal recovery mission has suddenly vanished from the room. So I tell myself, remember, it's under the side table in the living room.
Days later, I find the left sandal, in the garage.  But the memory of where the right was spotted or has been moved to since is forever beyond my reach.

Thus it goes.
So you see, moms get to play fun games too.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Oxen are In


I am no stranger to household messes.  My husband and I had our first five babies in six years. Lots of messes there. Then we continued on, to have six more babies.   Five children plus six more children equals eleven, which equals mess after mess, and messes on top of messes!  Our oldest was 21 when our youngest was born, so even when we had older children that weren't still making messes, we also always had younger children that were. I remember sometimes, back then, I would think of  Proverbs 14:4 (Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox) and I would comfort myself those words.  Not that our children were oxen, or our house  a barn.  But somehow I drew comfort from the fact that all my hard work wouldn't be in vain. Someday much increase would come through those little mess makers. So when this title caught my eye, on the Femina blog, I had to smile. I knew what it would be about.  The Oxen Are In.  Read it here on the Femina blog.

                                                                He looks innocent enough.

                                             

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Good Friday


William Adolphe Bouguereau (William Bouguereau)
 Painting: William Bouguereau (1825-1905) Pieta

And Simeon blessed them,
and said unto Mary his mother, 

Behold this child is set for the fall and rising again of many  in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A children's alternative to YouTube

Here is a helpful app if you ever let your young children  watch videos from YouTube on your iPhone or iPad.  If you're like me you cringe at all the "related videos" that are on the side or bottom of the screen.  Try this app.  It is called KidsTube.  
Step 1. Search for the videos you want for you child and click the add button - these will be added to your child's library
Step 2. Lock the library - passcode so no videos can be added or deleted with out you
Step. 3 let your child watch the videos you selected without additional content bombarding them. 

There is also a feature to save the videos to your device for future playing when not connected to the internet.