Happy Mother’s Day!

Here’s something to lift you up on Mother’s Day, a song, a poem, and a little encouragement. Happy Mother’s Day to you all! And hats off for doing the hard and rewarding task of homeschooling! I admire you!

What a beautiful message is in that song (lyrics below)! It’s a song with a serious message isn’t it? As mothers we carry a big load, but God is in our midst. He has already won our battles and paved the way for us and our children. I love this reminder as I am asking the Lord to help me grapple with some things in my own family… all good things though! God is so good!! Can I get an “amen”?! (Is saying that a southern thing? Haha) I also love the broken down acoustic version of that video. 
The following poem just perfectly describes where I am right now in my appreciation of the little ones in my home. I hope you feel blessed by this little sentiment too!
“Oh Precious Little Child of Mine”, a poem by Ashley Plourd in “Above Rubies”, Feb 2017, no 93, page 27

“Oh precious little one of mine,

How can I stop the hands of time?

And forever hold you in my arms,

To keep you safe from worldly harms?
But you’ll grow up one day it’s true,

And then I’ll know not what to do!

So for now I’ll cherish the time,

That you are so completely mine.
You breath smells sweet like mamma’s milk,

Your skin is soft and smooth as silk,

I love to cuddle you against my breasts,

And watch your expressions while you rest.
Your dreamy smiles and flickering frowns,

Your sleepy whimpers and baby sounds,

Your dimples hands and pudgy feet,

Your chunky cheeks are oh, so sweet!
It’s really amazing to think of the way

Your smile can brighten my darkest days,

I love it when you snuggle close,

That’s one of the things I love the most.”
Lyrics to “Overcome”:

“Now the darkness fades

Into new beginnings

As we lift our eyes to a hope beyond
All creation waits

With an expectation

To declare the reign of the Lord our God
We will not be moved

When the earth gives way

For the risen One has overcome
And for every fear

There’s an empty grave

For the risen One has overcome
Now the silence breaks

In the name of Jesus

As the heavens cry let the earth respond
All creation shouts

With a voice of triumph

To declare the reign of the Lord our God
We will not be moved

When the earth gives way

For the risen One has overcome
And for every fear

There’s an empty grave

For the risen One has overcome
He shall reign forever

Strongholds now surrender

For the Lord our God has overcome
Who can be against us?

Jesus our Defender

He is Lord and He has overcome
He shall reign forever

Strongholds now surrender

For the Lord our God has overcome
Who can be against us?

Jesus our Defender

He is Lord and He has overcome!
We will not be moved

When the earth gives way

For the risen One has overcome
And for every fear

There’s an empty grave

For the risen One has overcome
We will not be moved

When the earth gives way

For the risen One has overcome
And for every fear

There’s an empty grave

For the risen One has overcome…”
God calls us to be simple like children. And in my simplicity I can do a better job… in hearing and obeying God, in honoring and respecting my husband, and in caring for and shepherding my children. My desire is to raise world-changers who stand up and are workmen and work-ladies in the Word, rightly dividing truth from post-modern humanistic relativism. I’ve been making the effort to incorporate a family worship time at night. I hope my children will develop a muscle for this over time, and they will learn how to worship God through song and prayer with us, and I’m asking God to cut through some issues for me and provide more wisdom to us. Please pray for us! We need your prayers! Thank you!
I’m using this summer to carefully consume “The Core”, and “Home Education”. Honestly, I commend you for taking up the challenge from God to school your young ones… and your older ones! I’m a bit intimidated by what it takes to teach older ones! Use this summer to be simple, to learn, and above all to enjoy your “arrows”. I know I am!!
I hope you will be blessed by this! Happy Mother’s Day!!

The struggle is real

This is a day that we got back to school work after having two sick days off. My toddler had a doctor’s appointment that involved numbing cream and a freezing cold cotton swab to continue to attack a wart on his ring finger that got bigger. We just couldn’t take him when his little sister was born – we were just trying to eat well and stay hydrated.

This was after we lugged all our heavy bags to the playground next door, because I planned on homeschooling my kids there. Except when I called my doctor about the numbing cream, come to find out it needs an hour to sit on the boy’s finger, which means we had to leave the playground and go to the pharmacy. At the pharmacy, we learn about how the Lord helped Jephthah and how Jephthah had to kill his daughter to fulfill his oath to the Lord.

Then at the pharmacy, the prescription hadn’t come over, and my toddler needed the toilet, so we had to leave with all our bags again to see the doctor’s office and use their toilet. By the time we got there, my toddler decided he didn’t need the toilet anymore.  Then I had to go back next door to fill the prescription. Then come back to the doctor’s office so my toddler to be seen by the doctor. This is the story of how 1 stop became 5 small stops, much to my chagrin. 

At the doctor’s office my children learned about Samson, his riddle, and his betraying wife; his revenge on the Philistine’s using foxes tied together, and how he became a judge. Then we learned about temperate forests, and how deciduous forests are different from coniferous forests. The toddler then gets called back for his appointment.

In the waiting room, I get my kindergartener started on his handwriting. He wrote 4 or 5 letters before the doctor arrived.

You would have thought the doctor was cutting my toddler’s finger off, all before anything even touched my toddler’s finger. And this is the most gentle doctor I’ve ever taken my children to, and believe me, we’ve had some good doctors! I had to hand my baby off to a front desk lady, because my toddler was such a mess. This was not easy!

The doctor gave my children peeps for good listening, even after my toddler was screaming bloody murder. Ewe. But they were both delighted.

We go to get in the car. Lo and behold, I had to withhold the peep from the toddler because he didn’t listen to me in the parking lot. This ensures more screaming.

Once home, my toddler refused to follow directions. That means, he wouldn’t carry his book-bag and walk into the house. I had to discipline him on the sidewalk four times before he decided he better listen to me.

After that, my children wouldn’t eat their lunch. Lunch was a delicious homemade chicken soup. Come on now.

I make chicken chili in the crock pot… which I’m thinking they are going to complain about later tonight, but I’m no short order cook.

The toddler goes for quiet time. He comes out 5 times in 40 minutes. During this, I nurse the baby, and finish school work with the kindergartener. Why are we doing school until 2pm in the afternoon?! Oh, that’s right, because it’s our first day back after two days off, and we lost our sense of discipline and concentration.

I lay down with grumpy toddler and the baby, and give grumpy toddler a bottle. He rejuvenates himself an is happy again. My kindergartener has quiet time now. He asked me no less than 5 times when his quiet time was over. I told him twice to stop asking me, and then the third time, I extended his quiet time. But I let him out early if he said some Bible verses with me about anger and self-control. I realized, though he’s learning to write cursive, he has a hard time reading it.

Today I started writing verses about disobedience and obedience. These verses will benefit the whole family.

I send the children outside to play. They play for 15 minutes or so. I let them see a show for a half hour.

The neighbor brings over a delicious Tres Leche treat. I change and nurse the baby. I discover my other neighbor has a birthday today. We will make her a card.

My kids are going to go back outside to play after they finish their treat.

I am wiped out.

This is homeschooling some days. This is reality. The struggle is real.

Tomorrow will be better.

Tiny hands

Tiny hands, dependent eyes, unsure feet. I love mothering these little ones. I love their messes, their cries, their hugs, their clumsy ways, their laughs, their pats, and their squeals. I wish I could put it in a bottle and open it 30 years from now when I am having a hard time remembering. But then, maybe they’ll fill my arms with grand babies that can help remind me.

Children are utterly dependent on us. Perhaps this is why mothers are anxious that they are doing their jobs the best way, in a way that could gain God’s nod of approval. You cannot rely on the day-to-day to measure how well you are doing in this kind of job. There’s no performance review, no checklist to follow. There’s only quarter after quarter, or year after year, or maybe even decade after decade that will help you see what kinds of seeds you sowed. But these results are muddled by the fact that children will one day choose to go their own way. 

All this, to point to the fact that we are utterly reliant on God, who is merciful to cover our faults and smooth over our gaps, and deliver our children from the ruthless results of our own sin.

Lord, help my children love you more than life itself, more than me, more than their father, and more than their children. Help us all abide in You, and find life in You. And keep us from harm, that we would not harm others, but instead, that we could be useful in introducing others to Your perfect love. Amen.

Electric light

The presence of God does so much. It seems to change the quality of the air in the room. It puts an aura over us. It’s like electric light filling a space. It’s feeling emotions heightened in a way you never thought possible. It’s feeling the expanse of creation and at the same size knowing how finite you are. It’s being vulnerable and powerful at the same time. It’s finding clarity where there was none, or finding the arms you’ve needed to hold you. It’s knowing you are known in the ways you don’t even know yourself. 

I wrote this in case you were wondering or curious what God makes possible for His children.

If you’ve never felt God’s presence, you need to. It’s life-changing.

A hammer

My husband and I were discussing our living situation now that we have three little ones in our care. We live in a beautiful state where the weather is good, if not radiantly glorious, most of the time. 

As I was recalling our past living situations, God showed me how good He’s been to me over the years.

We have never lived in what one would call a stately or a large home by American standards. We have lived in nice homes though, and just what we needed. We used to own a nice and humble home. Now we live in under 200 sq ft per person, and it’s perfect. 

We’ve had two cars since we were 16 years old. We have one car now and I love “old faithful”. I’m more appreciative of that old bird than ever.

It’s less than we have ever had…
It’s now about two weeks since I first wrote this post. God has showed me more as I was complaining to Him. 

He blessed me in His reply: If I always had my “eternity goggles” on, I’d view a house like a tool, a hammer. It doesn’t matter what the hammer looks like if it does its job. It could be big and pink hammer with a diamond-encrusted handle. It could have a marble or granite head. Or it could be made of iron or wood and be tiny. The point is, God gave me a hammer. 

“As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭9:57-58‬ ‭NLT‬‬ 

You see, Jesus had no home, but He equipped us with one, even if it’s on rent. After all, don’t we know it’s all on rent?

Now then, how am I using my hammer? That’s the question.

Perfect design

God knows exactly what He’s doing. Again and again I’m astonished by His handiwork.

I’m snuggling my third baby who is five and a half days old right now. We’ve had a day of snuggling in, and that’s what we are doing the rest of the day.

Yesterday, at four days old, we went for her newborn and family pictures so it was a busy day for all of us, but especially her and I. The day earlier she had a tongue and lip tie repaired. She was three days old. That meant for our busy day yesterday, she was in the throes of recovery. And the stress of her procedure Tuesday and her grueling heart-breaking post-surgery care, on top of recovery from childbirth, lack of sleep, and stress from getting ready and out for pictures, lowered my immune system again, and my throat started worsening… again. This is on top of my head-ache-inducing cough which has been with me since mid-January. My post-birth body is suffering from separated abs, a pinched nerve in my mid-low back, a hip that threatens popping out, a hemmoroid, and soreness from nursing a tongue-tied infant, and the tail end of pink eye. That’s TMI, for sure, but this is real life. Almost laughable. Except it’s painful. So instead, sometimes I’m laughing and sometimes I’m crying. Thank God for family and generous friends who are bringing us meals!!

You shouldn’t plan anything that soon after birth. But I wanted my mom in our pictures. That’s the choice I made. And I’m grateful.

I’m glad that with sleep and rest this morning my throat feels better today. Except my mom left for Atlanta this morning, so I’m weepy and emotional. Love her!

I’m so glad my sister flew in Tuesday night! 

So lil’ bit and I went for the shortest walk. And are laying around again nursing my body back to health and bonding with this precious baby of mine.

I wondered how a relationship with a daughter might be different than a son. It’s so different. And wonderous. And both kinds of relationships are revelational and precious and one of a kind. I’m not sure if the difference has to do with gender or just the chemistry God gives you with each little spirit. So special though.

And it just struck me how God designed babies so perfectly, to garner instantaneous love at a capacity greater than you ever thought possible before you had kids. And compassion, mercy, gentleness, tolerance, and the determination to endure pain. I praise Him! Thank you Lord for giving us this love.

My birth plan

There’s the hospital birth plan and the thing I really want to happen.

What I really envision happening is for my water to break at some point, hopefully st home, though many women don’t have waters break before labor, and to labor for many hours (Micah was 30 hours, and Kade was 19 hours) during a calm day, and then have the baby in the middle of the night while the children are sleeping. 

And I want to be listening to praise music, smelling essential oils, and praying. I want to have a quiet labor in low lighting and end with deep low long breaths and a loose relaxed jaw.

I envision baby breathing just fine with great color and muscle tone and lots of hair like her brothers had at birth.

This is how I prepare for labor. I play it out in my head. I conceive what could be, in many scenarios. And I pray.

If it turns out differently – quicker, requiring surgery, requiring help, being late, baby struggling etc – I’ve imagined those scenarios too and how I might deal with them. 

God is in control, not me. Thank the Lord for that!