Friday, February 26, 2016


Jon was tired tonight and hit the sack early. I busted my butt all day with work and chores, even breaking a sweat with house cleaning after dinner and finally ending the day with stretches and arm workouts in the boys room before tucking them in. Now I'm in need of relaxation. So here I am.

It's been a long while since I've done a Miscellany post. It may take me more than tonight, but I think it's time...

What he said:

"I really want a survival knife. You should get me one because then I could get away from a kidnapper. I could just cut myself out of the seatbelt with the belt cutter. Then I could smash the window with the window breaker. I really want to try smashing a window. Oh, but don't worry: If you buy me a survival knife I won't try it out on your car window. It would probably cost like $200 or something to fix."

After watching video clips on tsunamis:

"I just don't know why those people didn't get out of there. If I saw the water coming, I'd just run to the top of that mountain."

(Jacob, I love you and I love your confidence in your ability to survive just about anything. You may not be invincible, but I love that your confidence is.)

On sin and war:

Our sin is always the result of believing a lie. Eve believed a lie, and we do the very same each time we choose sin. I am going through a small booklet by J. C. Ryle with the kids that has fanciful language, but the points are made quite well:

"[Satan] spreads his net with the most watchful carefulness, to entangle your hearts. He baits his traps with the sweetest morsels, to get you into his power. He displays his wares before your eyes with his utmost ingenuity, in order to make you buy his sugared poisons, and eat his accursed dainties. You are the grand object of his attack."  Thoughts for Young Men, by J.C. Ryle (p. 13)

Our reality is more about the spiritual world than the experiential world. What we experience is here for a while, but the Bible calls if a vapor, a mere breath. In comparison to the spiritual realm, it is like a dream that is here for a moment but will soon vanish away. Know this for yourself and teach your kids that there is a very real spiritual war going on for their souls.

Recently I read this, and copied it down for my older kids, and as a reminder for me to talk often about this subject with all my children:

"There is a war out there. It is being fought on the turf of your heart. It is fought for the control of your soul. Each situation you face today is a skirmish in the war. Be careful, be aware of the battle. Don't forget that there is a scheming enemy out there who is out to deceive, divide, and destroy. Go out knowing that to win you must fight. You must not relax, you must not forget."  Age of Opportunity, by Paul Tripp (p. 115)

All of these pictures are from our after-school hangout. The fact that they were taken a month ago  is proof that time flies. 

Thoughts on raising boys (some of these apply to girls, too):

Be affectionate, even when if it becomes awkward. Appropriate, frequent, and expressive touch is important. Maintaining affection is akin to keeping influence in your growing child's life.

Let you sons be BOYS. This will involve dirt, creatures, noise, movement, and all sorts of explorations we don't always appreciate or understand. Don't squelch their curiosity, their fascination with God's creation, and their expressions of courage and male characteristics.

Teach your boys not to be governed by their emotions and impulses. Bring to his awareness his natural tendency to be mastered by these. Teach him that to be ruled by laziness or anger, for instance, is a mark of weakness. Encourage him and motivate him to rule over anything that would keep him from honoring God. And most importantly, give him hope in succeeding by pointing him to the One who can help him overcome.

Trust your husband's evaluation of your son. An issue with one of our boys arose at school this year, and Jon's analysis of the situation was completely different than mine. But Jon is a man, and he understands the mind of a boy better than I do. Jon understands the male qualities that will benefit our son when his time comes to go out and have dominion in his sphere of the world. So I need to trust his assessment and views that may differ from mine.

Another thought along the same line: Classrooms are tailored to girls, and most classrooms and schools are run by women. I have to keep in mind that my sons will often be misunderstood, and that many of the most influential men (and godly men) got in trouble at school. I desire for my boys to become influential men; I don't want to create or enforce a fear of authority, but rather to instill appropriate respect.

Prepare your boys for girls. I pulled up to the front of the school to pick up Michael one day. Through the glass and into the lobby I could see Michael get up from where he was waiting. There was a girl skipping and dancing about, giggling, talking, flirting. As she followed him out the school doors, Michael caught my eye and gave me a goofy grin expressing his embarrassment and annoyance at the situation. She followed him all the way to the car, with me - his mom - right there, leaning in toward him and trying to get a reaction. This is junior high. Girls are already super aggressive. Teach your boys about the aggressiveness of some girls, how to respond respectfully, and how to guard their hearts. Prepare them and keep the communication constant.

On my relationship with Facebook:

I'm on Facebook again. I joined way back (2007?) for about 2 weeks. I didn't even post anything. It quickly became apparent that FB wasn't for me at that time in my life, so I closed my account. I just thought that it would potentially be too much of a distraction for me. It was an opportunity to escape reality, and a waste of precious time. I was in that parenting season when a physical, mental, and emotional change would be welcome, and the temptation to check out of my surroundings was only natural. But I didn't want that. I'm thankful that God has always impressed upon my hear the brevity on that season with my kids, and the fact that those years were the "sowing" years. I needed to be present, engaged, and mindful of my responsibilities. Distractions that would allow me to escape the difficulty, or the boredom, or the loneliness could become like a trap... or a narcotic. I did all I could to limit those in my life. Not that Facebook is wrong for everyone; it just wasn't right for me.

I am still very mindful of my responsibility to be a good steward of my time, but I'm giving FB another go. We'll see. Being social scares me a bit.  :)

The most recent Anthrologie Home catalogue appeared in the mail last week. I've only had a chance to quickly flip through, but I swoon! So lovely. Can't wait for a coffee break sometime soon.

An honest confession:

I am praying that the Lord will help me to enjoy big kid type nonsense. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes the jokes are funny, other times it just seems like irritating, endless nonsense. I admit that it can grate me the wrong way. In order to have the affectionate kind of love toward my kids that I desire, I need to enjoy all their stages of development. So I'm praying that I would learn to delight in the craziness of it all.

Conversations about faith, truth, and Darwin:

This school year has been a good year of testing for Olivia, and she has come to us with her questions and concerns. She has been tough. She's been determined to understand, and to own her belief. She has been mature in the way she interacts with teachers and students. She has a desire separate truth from lies, and I admire her for it.

(Falling into the "toilet.")

An update on life:

We just had a wonderful week-long visit from my mother-in-law. It was relaxing and pleasant. It was good to show her around our new church campus and my kids' schools, and the kids enjoyed playing their games and puzzles with her (she is so patient with UNO!). I'm now catching up with things that were left undone and preparing for more visit. My mom and sister, along with her three little boys will arrive early next week for the whole month of March (my brother-in-law will come for a portion of that time). It will be grand. I'm actually not sure what it will be like to just do life with my family, because I've never done it as an adult. We are usually the ones visiting them. But a whole month here will be cool. It will be fun to have a few more cheering fans on the sidelines of my boys' games, it will be neat to do meals together in my kitchen, and to exhale together on the beach while the cousins play. We'll have much to celebrate: Easter, birthdays/ half birthdays, an anniversary, a week of spring break/ vacation... and just being together.

Just a few weekend items:

School/home work
2 birthday parties for the boys
2 football games
1 football practice
1 baby shower (sadly, I don't think this one will be possible)
grocery shopping- my pantry and fridge are bare
a fundraiser auction dinner party for Jon and I
prep for Sunday (Sunday morning (which continues till mid-afternoon) is not possible for our family without prep)
ironing (a small mountain... necessary for Sunday and the coming week)

On beauty:

For the godly girl/woman who desires to please God and to be feminine in a biblical way, there is much material available on this subject. If you do not understand biblical femininity, I would encourage you to study and learn. Clearly, God prizes inward beauty and scriptures have some things to say regarding a pre-occupation on external beauty.

I've listened to messages and I've read a few books that speak to the subject of beauty. I don't want to minimize what is taught, but I do feel the subject is not dealt with in it's entirety in our Christian circles. Maybe it's because we have a tendency to swing far opposite to what the world promotes. It is not too infrequent that I hear a young married woman in the church make a negative remark about womanly beauty. It may be the pregnant 20-something newly wed that says, "Oh, I don't care how much weight I gain." It might be a frumpy mom who makes a scoffing statement about women who "waste" time and energy on their appearance. Among some women there's an attitude that says it is more righteous or more spiritual to ignore the exterior beyond basic cleanliness.

It grieves me when girls I care about think it is better to not delight in feminine beauty, and to miss out on blessing their husband and nurturing their marriage by disregarding the importance of feminine beauty.

God is the creator of beauty.

He intentionally created a woman to be beautiful, and he intentionally created her husband to appreciate and desire this beauty.

Wives should not ignore this, or deny the power of feminine beauty. She should use this for good, recognizing that her physical appearance is of great importance to her husband. She should be mindful in how she cares for herself and lives her life in order to present her best (reasonable) version of herself.

Ladies, love your husband enough to do this. And don't give up once you hit 30.

A winter "sandman."

Hybrid parakeets in the trees above the parking lot. Apparently they came from Mexico and are now naturalized.

As expected, I am clicking "publish" a day later...

Have a good weekend!


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