Monday, October 20, 2014

You've Got To Be Kidding Me! Part 2

   So, I recently posted the first part to this post.  If you want the background, click here.  This is a two-part response to something I read recently that made me think "You've got to be kidding me!"  (More than once, actually!)

   So to continue with Point 2: All men are unable to be responsible for their thought processes and they all secretly desire young, naive girls as opposed to mature, wise women.

   And make no mistake, in the context of this book, the word "desire" was intended in all its intimate meanings.  The book basically stated that the more "childlike" we behaved as women, the more our husbands hearts would be turned to us, and we would awaken feelings of deep love and tenderness in their hearts.  And I am practically quoting the author here!  The word "childlike" was used several times.

   Let's just say, this creeped me out.  I possibly had a bigger problem with this initially than the first point I covered in the last post.  (Although it is easy how one could lead to the next.)  How could this be considered an appropriate Christian marriage?!

   First of all, it struck me as a very disrespectful attitude to take towards your husband.  This is the man God placed in your life as the leader of your home, and you are supposed to basically think of him as a lecherous, boorish person with an inability to control his baser instincts?  And not only are you to think of him this way, but you are to encourage him to feel this way--only about you?!  You have got to be kidding me!  How disrespectful of your husband!  How disrespectful of yourself!  How disrespectful of the sacred marriage God gave you!

   As wives, we are to be our husbands helpmeet.  This does not mean that we are to manipulate him or deceive him!  As I am not a man, I do not lay claim to know how much they struggle with the challenges of maintaining a pure thought life is this world of sin that they are forced to go out into every day.  I have been told that men are more visual creatures than women, and that what may not affect us is something that can cause them many years of heartache.  Every day your husband is bombarded by  visual images that can cause his mind to wander into sinful thoughts.  So rather than thinking, "Well, that's just the way he is, so I will become those images in order to help him," we need to pray for protection for our husbands.  Protection from images, thoughts, and even other people that would lead him astray.  This is being a wise helpmeet.

   As far as behaving in a "childlike" manner in order to awaken certain feeling in our husbands...just ewww.  I mean, really, is that what you want your husband to view you as--another child that he has to care for?  How is that following God's plan to be a Proverbs 31 woman?  I doubt her husband thought of her as "childlike."  Do you think David would have married Abigail if she had behaved in this way?  Not likely! What about Mrs. Noah?  Do you really think that Noah had time to deal with a "childlike" wife as he prepared for the world to end?  I mean, who do you think organized the stocking of the Ark?  Getting the food ready and stored?  Gathering the necessary items for 8 people to live on a boat for and indeterminate amount of time?  Well, who packs for vacation in your house?  Probably you--the wife--right?

   These women did not "simper" around, constantly asking what they should do next.  They did not questions, whine, complain, or behave in otherwise childish ways.  They didn't bat their eyes and say, "Oh, I just don't know how I managed before you came over to help me..."  And, ladies, neither should we.  The Bible is pretty clear that as we grow, both physically and spiritually, we are to put away childish behaviors.  Titus 2 tells the older women to be teachers of the younger women.  Well, no matter how young you are, you are always older than somebody else!  There is always going to be someone who is looking up to you.  Are you teaching them that it is okay to behave in an immature way, as long as it gets them what they want or makes someone else (a guy) feel superior?  Are we really supposed to pander to the men in our life?  Respect them, care for them, help them, pray for them--yes.  Indulge their every whim, never disagree with their behaviors, allow demeaning treatment of ourselves--no.

   Many women complain about an apparent lack of maturity in their husbands and other men in their life.  "They're so juvenile! They are just crude!  He is so spoiled...I have to have everything just right for him."  Well, it sounds to me like they are talking about an over-grown toddler rather than the man they are married to!  How is it helpful to encourage that behavior?  How is that fulfilling your purpose a a help to your husband?  After having parented several children through toddler-hood, I can tell you am I glad I am not married to one!  Is it wrong to treat your husband specially--make him favorite treats, forgive annoying habits, etc?  No, of course not.  But it is wrong to encourage him in selfishness or other immature things that have no place in a Christian's life.

   So, as I wrap up this post, I want to encourage you to look carefully at your attitudes and actions as a wife.  Are you encouraging your husband to sin--even unwittingly?  Are your actions making it easier for him to have trouble with his thought life?  Are you praying a hedge of protection around him, yourself, and your marriage?  If not, start!  There are several good Christian books out there about how important our actions as wive are to our husbands.  Get in God's Word and study what the wise women in the Bible did and how they responded to situations in their lives.

   And if you come across a book or speaker-even if it is meant to be Christian--that doesn't seem to mesh with the Scripture...drop it!  Be discerning of what you allow to influence your thoughts and life.  Stay in the Scripture so that false teachings will sound like a note out of tune in your life.  Don't be a "silly woman!" (2 Timothy 3:6)         

   If you have made it this far, thanks for reading to the end!   If it gave you something to think about, I'm glad...thinking leads to growing!  I hope I can encourage you to grow a little closer to our Saviour!  :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

You've Got To Be Kidding Me! Part 1

   So, I've been writing a blog post in my head for a while now.   It is a tough subject, so I have been giving it some extra thought.  But I think I'm ready to throw it out there, so here goes...

   It all started when I skimmed through a book recently.  It seemed to have been written from a Christian viewpoint, but it didn't "click" with me.  I couldn't put my finger on a specific thing exactly, it just didn't seem to "mesh" with my spirit.  Its intended purpose was to strengthen your marriages.  It was written by a woman and aimed at women, so I thought it was just going to be another book like the many books on the topic that I have read and been able to glean wisdom from.  No, I am not going to be telling you the title, mostly because I don't want any one reading it because they learned about it from my blog!!

   This is an unusual thing for me, because I am a very eclectic reader, and am not a big supporter of the "book burning" mentality.  (You know--the "if it's not Christian fiction by Janette Oke, then you shouldn't be reading it" school of thought.)  But I just couldn't get on the same page with this lady.  (Pun intended!)

   At this point, I began to ask some questions.  Was I having these problems with this book because I was spiritually immature, and not ready for this "next level?"  Was it the writing style itself?  Was I unwilling to look at my life through the lens of this book, written by what was supposed to be a mature Christian woman?  Did this make me unwilling to be teachable; unwilling to give up my preconceived ideas on marriage and how I responded to my husband?  (the main point of the book)  As I pondered what I had read, and compared it with the Scripture I knew, the answer to these questions seemed to be "no."  But maybe I wasn't being objective enough...too close to the situation.  So, I asked the person that I could guarantee wouldn't lie to me or sugar-coat what they would say--my Hubby!

   So, I explained to him my issues with the book--1.  It seemed to me to be encouraging women to basically deceive their husbands concerning their own (the wife's) intelligence level, opinions about things, etc. 2. It seemed to paint all men with the brush of secretly (or not so secretly) desiring a young, innocent girl as opposed to a mature woman with a functioning mind and opinions of their own.  3. Well, I may have had more issues, but as I couldn't get past these two, I guess I'll just cover these.

   As I explained these concerns to my husband, I asked him what he thought about said things.  Because we were riding in the car, First-Born could hear some of the conversation.  His response from the back seat: "That sound kinda dumb to me!"  Out of the mouth of babes!  I agree!  Hubby asked, as any good spiritual leader would, "Well, what does the Bible say?"

   So, this is what I have come up with in response to these ideas.  You might be wondering why I am taking time to write about this.  I guess it's because I see this insidious idea being taught and preached in some Christian circles.  I believe there are men who are pushing this idea because they have a need for control.  Control of their wives, daughters, even the women in their church. And this is dangerous because these women are unable or unwilling to think and decide for themselves between right and wrong.  They just go with whatever the current authority in their life thinks they should do.  This is so dangerous!  And I think if you look around and think about situations you know of, you will see this mentality at work and realize how easily this power is abused and the damage it has caused in the body of Christ.

   If I write about both points in one blog, it will be way too long for you to want to read, so I am going to break it up into two posts.

   Point one: the idea that we, as women, should basically practice deception in our lives concerning our intelligence levels, opinions about things, etc.  

   Well, my main problem with this is obviously the push for deception here.  The Bible is fairly clear on the matter of deceit, lying, guile, or any of the other various forms of dishonesty.  It is wrong.  Period. End of discussion.  Oh, and your motivation has no bearing on it.  "I didn't want to make him feel bad." or "It makes him feel manly to be able to do such-and-such for me...if he finds out I can do it, he will be hurt."  REALLY! I am not joking...this book actually told you that it would help your marriage relationship if you basically pretended you were helpless, confused, and unable to understand even the most basic of life's processes.  How is this a Godly relationship?!  How is basing your marriage on a deception going to work out for you in the end?  Jesus said "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life."  (emphasis added)  How can God be a part of your marriage if it is based on a lie?

   That's the spiritual conflict I have with this point.  On a purely mental level, it just annoys the mess out of me when girls (and women) pretend to be stupid.  GRRR!  God has blessed each of us with different mental abilities, and that is His plan for our life.  How can you take the talent He blessed you with and bury it in the dirt?  Pretend like it doesn't exist?  I'm pretty sure there was a Bible parable about that too...

   You may be better at something than your husband. (gasp!)  In our house, I am the reader.  I can read faster, with more comprehension, than my husband.  Does this mean that just because I don't want to bruise his sensitive male ego, that I never read in front of him?  Or that if I do, I pretend to struggle, just so he can swoop in and "rescue" me?  Does it mean I don't speak to him intelligently about the things I have read and learned?   No!  And precisely because I value my marriage is why this cannot happen.  My husband needs to be able to trust me.  How can he trust someone who practices deception on a daily basis? (Not to mention seems to struggle with the most basic concepts?)

   Now, a wise woman will learn quickly the value of discretion and humility.  If you are constantly showing off your knowledge, or bragging on your accomplishments, or always talking about how much better you are at something, of course your husband will begin to take issue with this.  Pride is not what I am talking about here.  The Bible says, about the Proverbs 31 woman, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom..." (verse 26)  It also says in verse 31 that her own works will praise her.  Pride or boasting is not becoming of a woman of God.

   However, neither is false inability.  Look at examples from God's Word:  do you think Deborah dithered around, wringing her hands and saying, "Oh, dear,  I just don't know what to do, Barak!  You're so much stronger than should just handle it however you see fit."  Ummm, no.  The Bible speaks of her wisdom.  Oh, and she was married! (Judges 4:4)  Do you think she hid her God-given wisdom from her husband?  Not likely!   He no doubt counted his blessings every day to have such a wise and Godly woman as his helpmeet!

   There is an example of a woman in the Bible who did practice deceit to  get what she wanted.  Although, not for her husband's benefit.  Delilah was obviously a smart girl who pretended to be something she wasn't to get Samson to cough up the secret of his strength.  This should be a cautionary tale to those of you who use your "feminine wiles" to get what you want...her husband was destroyed by her hand.  I'm sure her life didn't get better after that.  She may have never loved Samson, but her selfish desire for wealth blinded her long before he was blinded by the Philistines.  She may have even been destroyed when he pulled the temple down on the worshipers.  Do you think she could have resisted an opportunity to gloat over him?  It doesn't seem very likely looking at her lifestyle.

   So, my encouragement is this:  girls, if you are pretending to be something you are not to impress or get a guy's attention--STOP!  If he is the one God wants in your life, he will love you for your strengths as much as your weaknesses.  Don't base your relationship on a lie!  You will be sowing seeds that will only bring a harvest of trouble later on.  Ladies, I encourage you to  be honest with your husbands.  If you have an opinion, respectfully share it.  Yes, he is the leader of your home, but what kind of follower are you if you see a situation that will lead to trouble, and say nothing?  Then put all the blame back on him?  I have seen this happen, and it is so much more shaming to a man.  Don't worry ladies--your husband is an adult...he will be able to deal with your honest opinion much more than with your deceitful manipulations.  Be careful of the message you are passing on to the next generation--are you teaching a young girl somewhere that a Christian marriage is based in deceit?  Be a Titus 2 woman--a teacher of good things!

   I hope you read part two of this post.  Prayerfully consider how you are treating your husband...begin practicing honesty in your marriage.  I guarantee that it will be healthier than one based in deceit! :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Double Digit Birthday Boy and Other Milestones of Life!

   We have reached two milestones here at Legos in my Make-up Drawer!  The biggest one is our first double-digit birthday!!  First-Born is 10!  I am still struggling with the passage of time...a couple of weeks back it was the hubby's and my 15th anniversary (quite a milestone in itself!!), and now I have a ten-year old!!  What has happened to my little baby?  It seems like yesterday he was all: "Hi world!"

Or: "Merry Christmas!"

Now, I can barely get him to be still and get a decent pic!

But, I can't complain. He is a pretty great kid--most of the time.  He has random moments of thoughtfulness that give a glimpse into his heart. He got some gum for his birthday, and we recently ran out of "family" gum.  Since then, there has not been one time as we were heading out the door that he did not offer his own gum to myself and his dad because he knew we were out.

He is a good big brother...always looking out for the little guys.  We have to remind him a lot that he is not a parent, so his siblings might not always appreciate his efforts!  He is best buddies with Middle Biscuit, and they are always working together on some project or another.

So, happy TENTH birthday, First-Born!  We are so blessed that God gave you to us!  Thank you for putting up with our mistakes as parents, and we pray we didn't mess you up too badly!  We love you and couldn't imagine life without you!

Oh, yeah, the other milestone...(I bet you thought I forgot, huh?)  This is officially the (drumroll please!) 100th post for this lil ol' blogger!  So thanks to my readers ('cause without you I would just be a crazy lady typing words that no one reads--which is pretty much the same thing as talking to yourself-ha!) and to my kiddos, who were the inspiration behind this idea to begin with!  Love to all of you, and keep looking for the "Lego" moments! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's the First Week of School (or Where'd My Summer Go?!)

     Well, we have just finished the first week of the new school year around here!  Our school actually started 1 or 2 weeks later than most of the local schools (feel sorry for those poor kids!!), so I kept telling the boys not to complain too loudly!

     We had a fun family summer.  Of course, the highlight of the summer was our trip to the Creation Museum in Kentucky.  This was practically the next best thing to Heaven for my budding scientists!  We spent two very full days there, but I think they would have gladly spent the whole week!  I highly recommend a trip there if you ever get a chance.  It was such a relief to go somewhere that you knew you were safe from the constant anti-Christian negativity that pervades our society today.  I didn't have to re-explain one single plaque from the Christian worldview, I didn't have to worry that a certain exhibit would have something the boys couldn't see, and it was actually fun.  Our whole family enjoyed it...even Baby Sister!
Our first glimpse of the museum! 
Getting ready for our class on....

"Cool Critters of the Ice Age!" with Mr. Buddy Davis

Buddy Davis signing the clay sculptures
we made in the class. 

The boys and the new Allosaurus skull.  One of the most
complete skulls ever found! 
Baby Sister loved the petting zoo!

Hi Mr. Llama!

How about a snack?

Open wide!
Mommy & Baby Sister! 

Daddy and the boys meeting Dr. Ken Ham! 

     The next highlight of our summer is always our family reunion!  This is a fun time of fellowship with extended family, most of whom we only get to see once a year!  We also got to go visit daddy's sister and swim in her swimming pool!

     It wasn't all fun and games this summer, though.  We were all busy working in and around the school, getting ready for the new school year.  The Lord had sent some changes our way, so we needed to prepare for these "adjustments."  After much cleaning, prep work, furniture moving, and even some wall moving, we were ready to start this new school year!

     The first week of school is usually dreaded by students and longed for by parents!  Teachers are somewhere in the middle--excited to see what God has in store, but nervous as to exactly how you are going to pull it all together!  We added a few changes to the program, and I was definitely nervous as to how things were going to work out.  But of course, it was in the control of the Master Planner, and things went off without a hitch!  In fact, I believe it was one of the best first weeks of school we have had here.  The new students settled into the routine quickly, the "old" students set great examples, and everyone seemed to be excited about what the new year was going to hold.  They all really worked hard and got off to a great start, which really set my mind at ease.

     It's funny how surprised we always are when things work out well.  I mean, we say we trust God, and we know He has plans for us that work out for good (Romans 8:28), and yet we always have those moments of "HOW am I going to handle this?!  What was I thinking?!  There's no way!!"  And our wise Heavenly Father always comes through for us and shows us once again that He was always there, guiding each element of each situation so that it is better than we could ever expect!  So thankful for His guidance and loving hand in my life!

     So, here's to a great school year from our family to yours!  Remember, keep doing what's right, and keep looking for those "Lego moments" in your everyday life!  They're God's little love notes to you! :)

P.S. I almost forgot!! The movie I blogged about in my last post ("Keep Going") is coming out on DVD September 2nd!  I highly recommend it for all my mommy friends--and even if you're not a mommy.  Great, funny, poignant movie with a message for everyone.  Go watch it!! :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Keep Going!

     For Mother's Day this year, my mom and I decided that it would be fun to spend time together rather than do the whole "gift" thing.  (Let's face it...we probably don't need more "stuff" anyway, right?)  So, we decided to eat lunch and have a movie date.  There was a movie I had been hearing good things about (Christian; homeschooled filmmakers; set in Birmingham; about moms) so I decided to take her and go see it. 

     It was a great movie.  Very down-to-earth, honest, and totally "Hey, that's SO my life!"  And funny.  I haven't laughed so much at a movie since I can't remember when!  But I guess what I took away most from the movie was what the film makers were trying to say.  Keep going, moms.  Your job is important.  

     Through humor (and a few tear-inducing moments) they sent a message loud and clear.  Moms are important.  Family is important.  God-honoring families are important.  Moms are important to their kids.  Moms are important to their husbands.  Moms are important to other moms.  Moms are important to the Lord.

     I wanted to pass this message on.  Keep going, moms.  Your work is important.  Keep going on days when everything is crazy.  When you wake up excited because it is the first week of summer break, and two kids have runny noses, two kids have poison ivy, and hubby is sick. On the day when you just want to have a fun family day, but the phone is ringing off the hook with things.  And when you finally get out the door, you realize that the baby doesn't have shoes, and you have on your grubby work-in-the-yard shoes with your cute top and jeans.  *Sigh. 

     Keep going on days where you look around and it seems like everyone else has it so totally together.  Those days where you see other moms whose kids are pristine in their smocked, ironed playclothes.  Whose life is filled Pinterest-inspired items that they have actually done.  Gourmet, organic meals adorn their tables, and they look like they just got back from the spa, where they also lost every molecule of baby-weight from their already super-thin bodies.  Keep going.

     Keep going on days where you are the one (gasp!) who "has it all together" in someone else's eyes.  Be real to them.  Come alongside and help.  Let them know that it is hard work, but they can keep going too.  That mommy who seems overwhelmed with her two little ones, and you are thinking, "Girl, just wait until you have _____________ to deal with!"  Smile at her.  Sit with her.  Smile at her little ones.  Chat with them.  Let her know that it does get worse...but it also gets better.  So much better.  Keep going.

     Keep going on days when your heart is breaking because your adult child is wrecking their life.  Keep being their mom.  Keep loving them.  Keep praying.  And praying. And praying. Keep standing strong in your faith.  Hold on to God's promises.  Keep going.

     Keep going on days that people who should know better, don't.  Keep going on days when you just want to quit, cry, stomp, whine, yell, or all of the above at once.  Keep going on days that you are the first one up, and the last to go to bed.  Keep going on days that you hear bad news.  Keep going on days on which you clean the same messes up all day.  When you have a list that nothing seems to get crossed off on.  On days when you need a list, but it's so hectic you couldn't even begin to make one.  On days where you have heard all the fighting, whining, tattling, and complaining you can handle....and then Hubby comes home with a whole list of why his day was the worst.  Keep going.

      Keep going because "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  (Philippians 4:13, emphasis added)  Keep going because "Let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  (Galatians 6:9, emphasis added)  Keep going.  :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Middle Biscuit Is 8!

   As I looked at my blog to write this post, I noticed that the last post I did was also a birthday post.  So, it's probably appropriate that I begin another blogging season with another birthday post.

    Happy birthday to our Middle Biscuit!  He is the quiet, artistic, giggly, tenderhearted one of this crazy bunch.  He is our most talented Lego architect, and can often be found sitting alone and drawing or building a Lego creation of his own design.  He is not boisterous or loud, but does enjoy rough-housing with Daddy and the brothers. But he also take time to give his little sister cuddles and kisses, and very patiently helps her as she is learning to walk down the stairs.  He is a peacemaker in our house, and doesn't like it when his brothers are fighting.  But don't think he is a push-over!  Both his brothers have learned the hard way that he is only so patient, and you better watch out if you go too far!

     We love you, Middle Biscuit, and are so thankful for the sweet smile and kind heart you bring into our family!  :)
Hello, Daddy! 

Swing-time smiles!
Valentine kisses for brother--Middle Biscuit looks so much like little sister in this picture!

Batter up!

Our sweet....
....silly boy! :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Baby Sister Is ONE!

     I know I just posted yesterday, but I couldn't let this special occasion slip by!  Our little Sister is ONE!  It has been such a fun time watching her grow and change into a happy little girl!  Emphasis on the growing part...she is already wearing 18 months clothes, and 24 months isn't too far away!  She loves to eat, and is her Daddy's little junk food buddy! 

     It seems such a short time ago that she was a new little bundle of pink:


     Her first holiday was Valentine's Day, which I thought was appropriate for our new little love!


She has fit right in to all our family adventures...and doesn't like to be left out of anything!

    And how could she be anything but happy when she is surrounded by so many people who love her?!

So, happiest of birthdays my little have been such a ray of joy in our lives...and we couldn't imagine what it would be like without you!  :) 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Last Year Was Brought to You by the Word "Flexibility!"

    So, as this is my first post of the new year (how is it 2014 already, and where's my flying car?!) I was thinking about the things people do to "turn over a new leaf."  I've never been one for making resolutions at the new year, or having a theme for our family, or thinking of a word that I want to emphasize.  If I ever do have inclinations for that sort of thing, I would be more likely to begin them at the start of the school year.  (In a mom's life, that's when big changes happen anyway right?)

     However, I do tend to look back at the new year and try to reflect a little on what has happened in my life and in my family's life over the previous year.  And sometimes, whether I planned it or not, I can find a theme that crops up throughout the year.  For example, a couple of years ago, the theme seemed to be "trust".  My family went through several things that were completely out of our control and allowed me to deepen my dependence on My Heavenly Father.

    As I look back over 2013, the one thing that really seemed to come up over and over again was the trait of flexibility.  For those of you who follow this blog, or know me personally, you know that I enjoy having a plan and sticking to it.  I feel much more ready to tackle life if I have a clear direction, and and end-game in mind.  However, that did not seem to be the lesson God wanted me to learn this year!

     Our family went through some big changes this year, most notably the addition of a new member, Baby Sister!  This event meant changes to our family life, and also our ministry at the school.  My role at the school changed several times--sometimes I expected it, and sometimes it came out of nowhere!  There have been ups and downs, growth and change, and complications that--I admit it--discouraged me. 

      That is where flexibility comes in.  You have to be able to realize that God can see to the end, and even though He has added to your plan-or changed it completely-He is the One in control and knows what is best.  This is difficult for little ol' me and my OCD!  I have had to practice sitting back and saying, "Well, I don't know how You're going to work this mess out, but I can't!"  And (surprise, surprise) He always is faithful to be there, leading and guiding, even though I can't figure it out!

     So, in this new year, I am going to try and put into practice more flexibility.  Because one thing has become abundantly clear: in my crazy life I need it! To wrap up, here is the definition of the character trait flexible that our kiddos learn in school and the Bible verse that goes with it.  Hope you have a surrendered New Year!  :) 

Flexible: surrendering or yielding affections to God, not to earthly things that can be changed by others

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
Colossians 3:2