Verse of the Day – July 27th

September 12th, 2016

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

 

Father,  today is a low strength day for me.  I need your strength to make it through this day.  Keep me in your sites.  Lift me when I start to fall.  There is so much to do lately.   I am pulled so many ways.

Give me wisdom to work with each situation but most of all, give me the strength promised in Your word.

November 11 Verse of the Day

September 11th, 2016

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

 

Father,

Our country has just elected a very controversial president.  Many are angry.

Many, including a former President, had refused to vote for either candidate.  Those who did felt strongly about their choice.  Now there are protests and destruction in many cities.

You have promised to heal our land if Your people, called by Your Name would humble themselves and pray.

Father, I am one of Your people.

I am called by Your Name.

I am joining now with so many across our country to ask You to heal the divisions. Speak peace to those who fear for our country now.

Give our leaders, especially our newly elected President, wisdom to guide our country.  Silence those who would cause dissent.  Above all, Lord, may Your will be done in this country.

Verse of the Day – July 28

September 3rd, 2016

Isaiah 1:2 (NET)

Listen, O heavens, pay attention,  O earth! For the Lord speaks:
“I raised children, I brought them up, but they have rebelled against me!

Father,

You are the only perfect parent and, yet, even You have children who rebel against You just as we do.  You know the pain of parents whose children are rejecting them, their advice, their lifestyles,  their values, everything. You love us even more fully than we can love our children. You know the pain and anguish we are feeling.

Thank you, Lord, for letting us know this.

 

Verse of the Day

September 2nd, 2016

Matthew 1: 1-17

The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew is traced through Joseph. I won’t copy all of it from the Bible. You can look it up and read it for yourself.

It interests me to note that Joseph was not the genetic father of Jesus but, by law, he was the legal father and so Jesus was his legal heir.  It was an important point to the Father. Important enough to place it in the Bible. It interests me because, in essence, it says Jesus was adopted but was also fully heir to his adopted father. Jesus was totally his son, enough so that His family tree was traced through Joseph.  But he was also the Son of God. Interesting concept. We, too, are adopted. We are adopted by God through Jesus. We are fully his heirs. We are fully members of His family. Not outsiders. Brothers and Sisters of Christ. May we always live so that He is not ashamed of who we are or what we do.

 

Our Little Shadows

September 29th, 2014

Remember the childhood poem “I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me”? Grandpa has one of those. It just isn’t his own shadow. It is actually Nature Boy.

Nature Boy adores his Grandpa. He wants to see and do everything that Grandpa does. There are a couple of problems with this. One – he is only four years old. And two – he is developmentally delayed. So everything he does to imitate Grandpa or to ‘help’ him turns out to be not so helpful after all. Grandpa spends a lot of his time at the computer so Nature Boy often sits with him and stares at that computer as if he knows all about it. Every now and then – when Grandpa isn’t looking – he pushes all kinds of buttons which sometimes delete things Grandpa really doesn’t want deleted. He follows Grandpa into the garage and ‘helps’ him repair little rocking chairs or other toys that have been overused.

One of Nature Boy’s favorite things is a cord that he can flap up and down like bird wings. Grandpa has all kinds of tie-downs, power tools, and extention cords that suit him perfectly. He happily flaps them up and down and, sometimes sneaks them out of the garage and into other places in the house. Then we get to hear Grandpa complaining ‘All right, where did you put them this time?” But, Nature Boy, being developmentally delayed, doesn’t talk. He just stands there looking innocent.

Anyone with small children has variations of this scene in their homes as well. Little girls watch Mommy and try to cook, dress and put on make-up. (My make-up gets hidden whenever possible to keep Princess from ‘borrowing’ it). Little boys the world over try to fix cars, paint houses, or otherwise imitate Daddy.

It’s a joy to watch them try to be like us. We smile when our little girls rock their dolls to sleep and we hear them say ‘go night night, sweet baby’. We know they are learning to love and cherish their young.

We laugh to see our little boys sitting at the computer table moving the mouse and clicking away.  They can be so much fun sometimes.

Then there are the other times. Times when we see and hear things we aren’t so proud of.  That time when I hear our Princess use a tone of voice when talking to her friends that sounds so unkind but sounds a lot like me. Or the times when we hear those not-so-special words that shouldn’t be used around children but are coming out of our children’s mouths. The ones that sort of slip out on occasion.

We love our little ones with all our hearts. I’m sure you love yours as well. If we want them to be the truly great men and women of tomorrow, we need to show them how. It might be time to take stock of ourselves.  Do a little self-improvement.

Spring Cleaning

September 20th, 2014

All I wanted to do today was spring clean the kitchen. I didn’t want to spring clean the whole house. I knew that would never happen. I just wanted the kitchen to be nice and freshly cleaned. Did it happen? Of course not!

The lawyer had let us know yesterday that all background checks were in and Grandpa and I had to go down to sign the final legal papers on the boys. No problem. We could be home by 11 and still get everything done.

 

Courthouses do not have small children. Therefore, court houses stay on schedule. We were home by 11. Homes are where the scheduling problems begin. Children live there. Children who decide to sleep in for the babysitter (never for me) so are still lounging around in their pajamas, finishing breakfast. I’m still on a roll. I can do this.

An hour later the kids are dressed and playing and I am reminded the poodle needs a haircut and bath. I do this myself to save money and to cause frustration for myself just because I don’t have enough things to frustrate me. An hour and a half later, the dog is looking good. I wash one of the kitchen windows and the bench for our breakfast nook. The Little Guy screams for lunch. The Little Guy falls asleep in his high chair while everyone is eating. If I lay him in his crib, he will wake up in ten minutes and realize that he has been abandoned – God forbid!- and he will protest this injustice loudly. So I bow to the inevitable and lay down on my bed with him. He wakes up just enough to squirm closer to me. Happily cuddled up against me, he falls back to sleep. I decide I wouldn’t trade anything for this little naptime with the our special boy.

Two hours later, Grandpa wakes me to let me know he needs to run an errand so I get up to keep an eye on Nature Boy and Princess. Nature Boy is finally learning to leave his clothes on. Someday he will learn to stay out of the pool in the middle of March. Until then, he needs to be closely supervised when outdoors. And, of course, the Little Guy soon realizes he has been left alone and is sobbing on the bed. The three of them keep me moving until Grandpa returns. Yes, I’m ready to start again!

The Girl Scouts arrive with their cookies.  Who can turn down Girl Scout cookies? We have to take a break for those.  The Little Guy has to have his picture taken eating his very first Girl Scout cookie. It’s peanut butter and chocolate and is the best food he has every had. By the time he is done, he is chocolate from head to toe. More time consumed.

 

 

Nature Boy then insists on ‘dink peas tank you’. The refrigerator yields only white milk and precious little of that. I give him a cup. He patiently returns the cup to the refrigerator and again asks for ‘dink peas tank you’. I make grape kool- aid.  He takes a sip. Grape is not to his liking. In frustration, he goes to the fridge and pulls out a diet coke. ‘Dink peas tank you.’ Arrgh!!! Fine! Just take it and go outside!!!!

 

It’s time to make dinner. I AM NOT MAKING DINNER. I am going to spring clean the kitchen. I run to the store for milk and chocolate and through the drive thru for burgers and fries. At home, Princess meets me at the door. The dog got out. More time spent finding the dog! Grandpa, busy trying to find out how the dog got out, is otherwise distracted while the Little Guy spreads dog food and dog water all over the kitchen floor and Nature Boy covers himself in mud. By 9 o’clock the children are fed, bathed and in bed. The dog water has been wiped up from the kitchen floor and I figure the dogs will eat the food before morning.

I am not spring cleaning the kitchen. I am resting.

So why do I tell you this? Because this is the Advice From Mom column and I – as the reigning Mom – have some advice. If you have small children, don’t set your sights too high when it comes to housework. As a matter of fact, as long as the house isn’t toxic, consider yourself a success. Enjoy that special time when your little one cuddles up beside you. Enjoy the ‘firsts’ that come for your offspring. The kitchen will still be there tomorrow and the next day and the next day after that. It remains the same.

 

Your children change. Don’t miss it. When you’re old and retired, you can have a clean house. Unless, of course, you’re like Grandpa and I and start a family all over again.

Hangman

September 20th, 2014

Our 8-year-old granddaughter has reached the age where board games and other type of two player games are just her cup of tea.

One of the favorite games she likes to play is ‘hangman’. Her favorite person she likes to play it with is Grandpa. I find it interesting that two people who don’t know how to spell enjoy playing this game together. So I listened for a while and learned something. Turns out being a good speller isn’t really a requirement of ‘hangman’. You just need to agree on the rules.  For them, words can be spelled phonetically (or fun-ed-dick-lee) if you prefer. As long as the two of you can ultimately fill in the blanks, everything is good.

I guess it’s a lot like driving down the road.

If you live in the United States, don’t drive on the same side of the road as you would in England.  As long as you and the rest of the drivers agree on the rules of the road, you have a fair chance of getting to your destination.

If you stop to think about it, your success in any endeavor you undertake with one or more people, is almost always assured if you can just agree on the rules. Some of the most unlikely couples, make a success of their marriages. Why? Because the two of them agreed on the important things of life; their finances, their living situations, their plans for the future and their plans for their careers and family. Why do some families have so little conflict while others struggle to make it through a day without an argument? Because the rules are agreed on and obeyed by all. Conflict comes when rules get broken.  And when you talk about the people you love, emotional hurt from the broken rules is so much more painful than it would be in the general public.

Are you and your spouse going through some difficult times? Maybe this would be a good time to sit down and establish some guidelines to live by.  Are the kids totally out of control? Might be good to sit them down and explain that there are rules of conduct that they are expected to observe.

All relationships are complicated.  Set up some rules. Peace will reign a lot more often if you can make and observe them.

August 9th Quote of the Day

September 18th, 2014

Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.
Richard Bach

I was thinking about this and wondering how this applies to the teenager in the wheelchair, unable to lift his head or speak. Or maybe the elderly person lying on the nursing home bed paralyzed by a stroke, knowing what it is they are thinking and what it is they wish to say but unable to speak the correct words so that those around them understand. It’s easy to see a ‘normal’ person and say “you have a mission.” After all, you just look at their talents and their level of education, you look at where they are and how they can improve.

A mission can be found.

What mission could there be for those others less fortunate in life? And then it came to me – their mission is to be who they are because who they are teaches the rest of us who we should be. We should be more nurturing. We learn it by providing for their daily comfort. We should be more giving. They teach us how when we meet their needs. We should be more accepting of others and their faults. They insist that we be that simply because they can’t change who and what they are. They teach us patience when we learn to accept that they cannot hurry. Everyone who has been blessed by their presence, gains character traits that are so sorely needed in this world.  We call these people ‘handicapped’ but in reality, it is we who are handicapped.  We are handicapped by the idea that we can’t complete a mission without doing something.  Yet, it might be that sometimes our mission is simply to be.

August 7th Quote of the Day

September 18th, 2014

•”Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
Albert Einstein

I know a few people who subscribe wholeheartedly to this attitude. Reality is an illusion so why not just shape it to fit yourself.

If something isn’t the way you like it or want it, just make up a story and stick to it! Who cares if nobody else saw the same thing you did? Who cares if nobody else remembers things the way you do? It’s an illusion anyway so just enjoy the one you made and let the others enjoy their memories. So what if people call you delusional, daft, wacko and other not-so-favorable names. You like your life the way you remember it. Let the rest of the world beat their heads against brick walls when you come around because you just don’t care!

 

Let me say to those of you dealing with people like that – give up on the idea of changing them.  They are not going to come around! You are just going to give yourself a headache hitting those brick walls.

 

After all, what is the reason for working to change them? Just because they’re wrong? They like themselves that way! People only change when they are ready. If they have no reason suitable for them to want to change, they won’t. If you’re trying to work with them because what they are doing and saying is hurting themselves or others, then give yourself that headache. It’s worth it if you can keep someone from hurting themselves.

But if it’s not hurting anyone, let it go. If hanging around them just bugs you that much, then distance yourself wherever you can. I realize family members, co-workers and others aren’t so easy to avoid but you can limit your contact. For your own peace of mind, for your own emotional well-being, sometimes that’s all you can do. If you have to meet up with them – if you have to take a stand because others are being harmed – then do it.

 

If not, there are plenty of other people who are uplifting to be around and who can ease your daily walk.

July 24 Verse of the Day

September 17th, 2014

“Because he loves me”, says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him.” Psalm 91: 14-16

Father. in a world where danger meets us at every turn, we need Your protection. Just everyday living brings turmoil and, often, outright danger to ourselves and those we love. When those times come, Lord, when tornadoes strike, when flooding threatens our homes, rescue us. Protect us in times of trouble.  Deliver us, Lord, from all evil.