Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Mom, I don't like Walmart....."

Today our 2 oldest girls said to me, "Mom, I don't like Walmart." They are forever bothering me to go shopping at Walmart and I try to go only once a month. I shop at other stores for groceries, thus saving TONS on our grocery bills. My trip to Walmart usually is for things I can get only there and not at the other stores. The kids think it's a blast to walk through there as I shop but they badger me to no end. They know I'm not buying anything but they ask anyway....they even bring their hard earned money and try to buy things for more than what they have- yea, I know, typical kid stuff.....

Anyway, the girls have saved enough that they wanted to get some posters. High School Musical and Hanna Montana are huge around here so of course, those are the posters they wanted. I told them if that's what they chose to spend their money on- that was their decision. We left earlier than normal for DD#3's dance class so we could go to Walmart before-hand.

Come to find out each poster was $4.50 and the big girls wanted 3 each. They got to the register and didn't even have enough for 2 posters. They had to learn the lesson of putting something back and then 'borrowing' from mom to pay their bill. This was also the 3rd or 4th lesson in paying tax. We got in the car and the older girls were somewhat exasperated. They looked at their two posters and then proceeded to tell me that they don't like Walmart anymore because it costs too much money to shop there. They didn't have any money left and were in the negative!

A few weeks ago the kids also each begged me for a disposable camera. I spent the money and as I gave them each one, I told them they must pay half for the developing. That took the wind out of their sails. I dropped off two of the cameras today and you could see the wheels spinning. They were thinking about the cost of their posters and now they would have to pay another few dollars to develop their pictures...

We got home and they went into their 'stash' and paid me what they each owed me for the posters. Hubby came home and they told him right away that they won't be shopping again at Walmart anytime soon. I followed those statements with this reply, "I don't like spending all our money at Walmart either- so stop asking me to go there all the time!" I laughed hysterically- they didn't. I think they're beginning to understand....

Humble vs. Pride

The Noah's Webster 1828 dictionary defines the two words as this:

PRIDE: to pride one's self; to indulge pride; to value one's self; to gratify self-esteem (prideful: full of pride; insolent; scornful).

HUMBLE: to make humble, to abase the pride of; to reduce arrogance and self-dependence; to make meek and submissive to the divine will.

Last night during a simple game of checkers, one of our children set into motion the learning of a very important life lesson- without even knowing it. What began as a fun game turned into a lesson in pride for the entire family. We've been talking a lot about the importance of 'saying what you mean and meaning what you say.'

This particular child made a statement and then later refused to follow through. The statement alone wasn't important at all, it was the refusal and sheer disobedience that was shown. Proverbs 13:10 says, "By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom."
Proverbs 29: 23 says, " A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor."

Hubby and I explained to this child, many times, that because of his/her actions the game turned from fun to not-so-fun. The child fought and fought and fought....making it obvious that pride was the issue. Even though the experience wasn't delightful to watch, the other children in the family learned something very valuable. We, as parents, were not mean but were firm in our parenting (and taught this lesson with love)- they all understood that pride is not a good trait and that it doesn't get one very far. One of the older children sat right on the couch and 'confessed' to us that sometimes he/she has pride and it's not a good thing. That was a HUGE moment because even though we all knew it, the breakthrough was that this particular child confessed it on his/her own. And this child also confessed that he/she doesn't desire to have a prideful heart like that...

After the 'event' was over and the child finally 'followed through,' everyone went on a walk together and rode bikes as Hubby pushed our smallest one in the stroller. The night ended well and we were able spend some more good family time together.... and a very important lesson was learned by all.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Too good to pass up

Have you ever seen something that you just couldn't pass up? Of course you have....this is something my dad sent me today and I just loved it- I had to share! My grandparents lived through the Great Depression and this cute, little grandma reminds me of my grandparents. There's always something we can learn from generations past. And of course, it has to do with cooking so it's right up my alley! I could actually feed our crew these meals- cheaply! I hope you get a little nugget of joy out of these videos just as I did.

Monday, July 14, 2008

End of Pregnancy

I read this article this morning:

End of Pregnancy
As my pregnancy comes to an end, I'm often feeling uncomfortable. It's easy to fall into the world's comments and think, "This is just torture. Woe is me." I get comments about how big I am, how big this little one is going to be, how "brave" I am to have 5 children (
I just received such comments like that yesterday). They aren't comments to encourage or uplift but to get a little snicker out of me because I want to be a Mother.

I sit here this morning, and I begin my time of quiet with God, ACTS-Adoration, Confession, Thankfulness, and Supplication. I find that motherhood and the capacity for life within falls into every category.

As I closed my prayer this morning, my little baby moved. Not the foot in your ribs kind of move, but a gentle little wiggle of his legs and his hands. It reminds me of how precious life is. In a few days it will be one year since we lost our little one. My heart still grieves and I find myself stricken with pain and fear at times. I immediately ask God to take that away, for He is not a God of fear, but a God of compassion and loving-kindness. (Jonah 4:2 and Exodus 34:6-7)

Are you nearing the end of your pregnancy and feeling very uncomfortable? Remember that the blessing of movement in your womb is like no other blessing from God. How gracious He is to give us life within. How gracious He is to have given us Jesus so we can have life more abundantly! Don't fall into the trap of the world that wants to make us think that this is supposed to be hard on us. Be honored that life grows within you and that you will have the privilege of pushing your precious babe into the world so very soon.

ADORATION- I simply ADORE the God that created me, and created life within me!

CONFESSION- I confess at times I wonder why the end tends to be so difficult with breathing, swelling and bladder,etc.

THANKFULNESS- I'm so thankful that He has allowed life to grow in my womb once again!

SUPPLICATION- I pray for a healthy birth, a healthy baby, and that my little baby will come to know Him as well.

I couldn't have said it better myself.....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Recognized again

I mentioned in a previous post how I often thought about if people recognized our family as we moved around town doing our every day errands, etc. On Tuesday, as I brought the little boys to karate, a nurse from the clinic called my cellphone. She called to tell me that the Liberian kids need another round of meds for certain lingering bacteria they've been dealing with.... but before she told me what each child needed- we had about a 10 minute conversation. I don't know her, but she (as well as many people working in the clinic) knows our family very well. That just reaffirmed to me that as God gives us certain jobs or ministries, we should be thinking of that at all times. Yes, we are human and we often mess up but as people approach me- I be sure to tell them that we are just like everyone else and are trying our best- we are FAR from perfect people or parents!

I was left thinking about my actions, tone of voice, posture and if I leave people with a word of encouragement as I walk away from our brief encounters. That's really my number one job, right? To show Jesus' love and compassion to others and encourage them!!

Today when we were at the summer reading program at the library (I had just 6 of our children along)- we were recognized again. I had a lovely conversation with one of the women who works there and she commented on how she's kept track of our family through the newspaper articles. Just one more example of the awesome ministry God has given our family. Because of our story (and just the sheer number of children we have!), we are more likely to be recognized by people we don't know. Remember when I posted on the woman at Taco Bell?? Exactly... There was also a woman at the library who knew my Liberian girls- I don't know her but she knows about us. As the mother of these children, I have a very special responsibility not only in raising them every day but also how I teach them to respond to each other and to others. It is true that they are watching me 100% of the time...

Back to the thought (and previous post) I had about shepherding our children... what a privilege God has given me.

Thank you, Father, for seeing the potential in me and trusting me to mother these children. I promise to do my best and try every day to carry out your will and not my own. Please fix anything within me so I can be a vessel to carry out your work. In Jesus name, Amen!