"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, December 30, 2013

Dedicated to all husbands everywhere.

   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -  

But I bet we all do this!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Heaven Came to Earth

Heaven Came to Earth
by Second Chapter of Acts

Heaven came to earth in a small package,
for a child was born, a gift to men.
Yes, the living light came to the darkness,
Wore the harness of mankind.

Laid His body down to be sin for us,
Gave His earthly crown so we could be kings.
Yes, He came to break the yoke of darkness
That would harness all mankind.

This morning star of love still shines, and shines.
We buried Him within our sin but He rose again.
Gave His heart away so we could find it,
Changed our night to day, so we'd live in light,
Tore the veil between the light and darkness,
Broke the harness of mankind.

This morning star of love still shines, and shines.
We buried Him within our sin but He rose again.
Let our hearts rejoice in Christ our Savior,
Let us come before His throne with grace.
Let us pray for peace so we'll break the darkness,
Melt the hardness of mankind.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Normal Life Victories

The Latest big news in our household
potty training success image of

This may seem normal to an outsider but around here it's pretty life altering.
How can I keep from singing? (Or blogging). 

That's all for today.  I know.  It's not much of a post. But sometimes it's the little things in life that seem pretty important. Maybe it will encourage someone else who feels like they may never win the potty training battle.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Can we get two?

This morning Lucy, my "big girl" at 3 1/2 years old, said "maybe when we get the brand new baby in March we should get two, 'cause we don't just want only one baby." Hmmm... Although I think saying we're going to "get" a new baby slightly trivializes the part my rickety old body will be playing in this process I do see her point. Imagine how dull life will be for me in spring with only one baby, one 1 year old, one 2 year old, and one 3 year old!

Whew. I think I'll just focus on the ONE that's on the way ;-)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Article Recommended: "Frantic"

If you are looking for some live encouragement for your "motherhood in the trenches" moments, here is an article I encourage you to read.

 "Frantic"  by Rachel Jankovic

 Here's an excerpt -

"His path for us was not our path for us, but it was a path of mercy, and joy, and delight, and tears, and sweat, and growth beyond what we would have ever tried for. I often think of our children as one of God’s most amazing investment plans for our life. And because we are seeking to honor God, things get deducted automatically. We have signed up to give more than we ever, ever could have of our own strength. When you are up in the middle of the night, God is not letting your life go to waste. When you are up earlier than you ever should have been – God is telling you that He has a plan for this life of yours. If every moment of child care was voluntary – if you could put your kids’ needs on pause, or postpone that work for another month or two, we would all be doing it. We would want the DVR version of our children’s lives. Skip the commercials of potty training, and feeding them every hour, and the croup moments, and the snarls over toys, and the heaviness of worry. Skip morning sickness. We would skip all the things that refine us, because our flesh is weak. But God, in His merciful kindness, has more for us than our flesh would ever volunteer for.....

So continue to rely on Him. Live in joy. Believe His mercy. Know that your trials, lived in obedience, are yielding more profit and fruit in your life than anything else could, at least in part because investments from you are being taken against your will, and probably against your better judgment. You couldn’t be who God wants you to be without this. Your children would not be who God wants them to be without this, because this is what He has given you, and you are who He has given them. And when you know all these things, and you believe all these things, just hang on like crazy, and laugh."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I'm Dashed

“I find that my fine generalities have dashed themselves to pieces against the six 
very concrete children that I have.  I live surrounded by a mixture of violence and loveliness, 
 of music and insensitivity. I take my meals with clods and poets, but I am seldom certain which is which.”

Robert Farrar Capon
Bed and Board

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Just Because I Love "Bed and Board"

"What can be said of [mothers] is that while they do fulfill their functions, they are increasingly 
tempted to do so for the wrong reason.  They are led, subtly but surely, to look on the mothering they 
do as a mere necessity - even a penance - and they live as if they were reserving their real enthusiasm for something else, usually unspecified.   They list themselves apologetically as "only a mother"; and they accumulate endless labor-saving devices, in order to conserve themselves for some other or better role than motherhood.  The labor-saving devices, of course, are a trap.  More often than not,  they simply make more work; and what time they do save is usually devoured by the car and the TV.   But occasionally the other role does materialize.  

Women go to work: sometimes simply to find fulfillment, sometimes on the basis of necessity:
but often only to get more money to buy more devices to spare themselves for more work.  
Yet in few cases do they work at anything worth saving themselves for.  They plow through their motherly functions every day - most of them do fabulously well; they area remarkable breed - 
but then they escape for fulfillment to some bit of ten-to-four clerking or six-to-twelve piecework 
that is less fulfilling than making instant chocolate pudding.  The really dreadful part of it all the wear and tear; for by definition, and by choice, they are not substituting one function for another, but acting two roles on the strength of only one small heart.  It's beginning to sound like one of the usual pleas to send women back to Kinder, Kuche, and Kirche.   But not quite.  There is a principle.

A man playing "Life with Father" at his own table is ludicrous: a woman kneading bread is still lovely.  In the case of motherhood there is a great deal to be said for trying on the old hats first.  
They might look funny, and it's a woman's right not to wear them; but she should at least try them on - and work them over for a while.  A few snips here and a bit of ribbon there, and some of them can be as stunning as ever.

Don't burn the kneading trough yet... remember you are a landmark.  You are and remain the bodily link with our origin.  You are the oldest thing in the world; don't be in a hurry to forget any of your history.

You are not only a link with something.  You are the thing itself; and you are the sacrament, the instrument, by which we learn to love the things that are.  Your body is the first object 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. Be found warm and comfortable, and disposed
to affection. Be ready to be done by and to welcome their casual effusions with something better than preoccupation and indifference.   It isn't a matter of how much time; only how much intensity."

From Bed and Board, by Robert Farrar Capon

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Amazon Mom

There is always much rejoicing at our house when Amazon delivers each month's supply of diapers. The children are glad that we have so many new boxes to play with. I am glad because I have another month's worth of vocational supplies - although I'm hoping to cut back a little on diapers when I can get my three year old finally, completely, once-and-for-all potty trained. (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...)

I don't usually endorse programs or products but I LOVE the Amazon Mom "subscribe and save" program. If you've never heard about it you can check it out here. Basically you setup a reoccurring order for anything baby related (diapers, wipes, powder, shampoo, etc) and specify how often to deliver (once a month, every other month...) Amazon gives a 15%-20% discount on the supplies and ships them free of charge. I've found the prices to be better than Costco's, plus it saves a lot of space in my shopping cart for actual groceries. 

That's my "two-cents worth" for today. (or for this month. considering how often I actually post here)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

On the Flipside

Then there's the other side of that last post about raising your older children, the awesome part, the part where you begin to see your children growing up into people, people with unique personalities and gifts, and you find yourself really enjoying their company (most of the time ;) and actually missing them when they're not around. Not to mention, they can team up and do the whole dinner clean up together!

And there are those moments, like when your sixteen year old son sitting beside you offers to give you a neck rub, and tells you something he heard in the sermon that you hadn't realized he had the depth to appreciate or understand and your heart inwardly leaps for joy; or when you're making apple pies with your fourteen year old daughter, one peeling and cutting the apples, the other making the crusts, and you are suddenly surprised by the fact that you are in the middle of a really interesting conversation with your own daughter, and laughing, and having a good time.  Who could have imagined this? And you get a tiny glimpse of the deep friendship, God willing and we live, and He grants, you will have with him and with her in the years to come.

Those times make you realize it's all worth it. The pain. The conflict. The battles. The nights of crying and praying like mad that God will win their hearts and give them a fear and a love for Himself of their own that will keep them through the difficult years to come.

And you smile when you think that, as far as your relationship with that "teenage" child goes, the best is yet to come.

Friday, November 1, 2013

More on Deadness

Speaking of being killed all the day long (at least Emily was), there's nothing that will do it like training older children.  That's my take on it this morning anyway. 


"Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter," 

Psalm 44:22


True, training younger children can do it too, but it shifts into high gear around the teenage years it seems. And if you've got both? Little kids and big kids?? Forget it. Dead. 

Dead that is, if you are counting yourself as that sheep for the slaughter today, picking up the cross lying there, the one of loving your kids, bearing with and battling their attitudes, their arguing, laziness, ignorance, pushiness, sensitivity, ungratefulness, etc., all while nimbly avoiding the wooden stool your toddler is constantly moving around your feet, for one more day.

I mean think about this. You could just walk away. You could just say, you know what? forget it! I'm done telling you this for the two hundredth time. I'm done putting up with you, dealing with you, trying to do my job and drown your old Adam and being pulled down under by the neck with you, every single day. Done. Why should I suffer you anymore???

(That's why the children of this world are now saying "Done" before they even start.  They're not going to suffer for a child's sake. Nope. They ain't gonna be nobody's fool. Nobody's. They are their own. Their will be done. They have their reward.  Besides, who in their right unbaptized mind would sign up to be "killed all the day long?"  With Christ nowhere in the picture, I certainly wouldn't. But for His sake I am now a fool.)

Yes, as Christians, we have another story. We are not our own. We have been bought with a price. 

For Christ's sake, and by the grace of God, we will suffer the ones God gives us. Year, after month, after day.


So as to that young adult you're bringing up. Look at all the shortcomings, failings, and downright disobedience of that child, and take a step back, calm your soul, breathe, ask God to help you to be tenderhearted and forgiving to him or her, and confess your impatience, receive forgiveness one more time, remembering how Christ unceasingly loves and suffers with you, and then get back to work.  Some of the hardest work there is in this life.

When your teenager walks in the room calmly (*cough*) show him or her the toothpaste spot that's been sitting on the bathroom floor for a week, and instruct them once more to clean. it. up.  
And that goes for a lot of things.

Yes self. I'm talking to you. 
Let the slaughter begin. 

God's peace, fellow sheep.