Sometimes my children fight like cats and dogs. A while back, I used to regularly listen to a good 15 minute radio program. It was called "Gateway to Joy" with the host, a very godly older woman named Elizabeth Elliot. I learned bunches from her radio program and was sad when she decided to stop doing the program. She once said when you pray you should pray Bible verses. How much closer can you get to praying God's will than that!?
The other day I heard a Bible passage read that interested me. It was from I Peter 3:8-12. Basically, it was about being nice to others. I liked it so much I'm gonna do an experiment that will be fun to see the final results. I'm gonna pray that passage for my four squabbling children. And you know what else? I'll pray it right in front of them too so hopefully I can slowly brainwash them into doing the right thing. I'll keep prayin' and just wait and watch and let God show me what He can do:)
Here's the passage in the New Living Translation version:
Finally, all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds.
Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.
For the Scriptures say, "If you want a happy life and good days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and keep your lips from telling lies.
Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil."
I spent about $3.50 last week to buy all I would need to help our little Sunday school class make birdfeeders. I had extra leftover so we made four for our own little tree. Oh, you know, I've never told you about our only tree.
It's an Elm and is about three years old. Right now its leaves are dry with brown specks. (I hope its not sick.) We have no tree around our home except for our little Elm. Its near a big field behind our house. I have always wanted to plant some trees around and watch them grow as my children do but never did it.
Our tree is not around any other trees. I always tell people God was kind and planted it for us. Its in direct view of my bedroom window that I look out alot. Its near a fence post so I figure some bird ate an Elm seed and then decided to perch on the fencepost. Needless to say, it got fertilized and then planted in some soft soil and some rain came to nurture it. I've looked at it probably every other day since it looked like a tall weed.
Everyone hung their own on the tree. There was a small competition to see who could get theirs the highest. Impromptu, as I hung a homemade birdfeeder, Ginny sang, "The leaves are the hair . . . the leaves are the hair" to some nursery rhyme sounding tune. A little later she needed to express her excitement a little more and told the birds, "Come on birdies, come get your food!" We used a big concrete brick to stand on. Benjamin didn't like his being so low so he moved it to a higher branch.
Here's the really simple recipe for our bagel birdfeeders.
1 yarn string
Smooth the peanut butter on the sliced side of a bagel. Then pour the birdfeed all over it and press it into the peanut butter. Shake off the excess. Tie a string of yarn through the hole of the bagel and then go hang it on a tree.
"When there's no gettin' over that rainbow . . . When my smallest of dreams won't come true . . ." As we were on our way to the Akin's Health Food Store in Tulsa, Oklahoma I was enjoying singing that song rather loudly. Danny had downloaded the somewhat cheesy but fun sing-a-long from I-tunes. As a sang I was trying to modify it so I could sing it to Ginny. I wanted to make her laugh.
We were having fun. It was pouring rain. This rain could calm our 90+ temps. I would drive on my side in the lane closest to the edge of the road. Ginny rolled her window up tight and was enjoying the big splash so near to her face. I imagine she pretended it was going to hit her face but it never did of course. As we drove down Memorial Drive my car finally let me know I was having too much fun when the engine light flashed on three times. Okay, I'll stop and drive slower causing less of a splash.
When we got to the health food store I spent too much. (You should expect this when you go there.) But I got things we needed. I spent over $50 on five items! I bought my favorite most beneficial health product--Mineral Rich. Then I got some Pau D'Arco tea, which is a natural immune system booster. Then I bought some natural kid vitamins that were on sale. My mom taught me it's good to give your children vitamins especially when the fall cold season arrives. Then I bought Danny a bottled drink of green tea. And finally I bought Ginny a 100% natural strawberry popsicle.
On the way home the rain had mostly ended. The sun was out. We would soon hit the interstate which would dump us out very close to our home. Ginny and I had begun a treasure hunt in the cloudy but bright sky. We were rainbow hunting. We found part of one mostly hidden by the clouds. I looked for the other side, not there. Just a few minutes later we saw something I had never seen before. The first rainbow had disappeared and there appeared another, curved in the opposite direction. The clouds hid most of this one too but we could see the other end. I like to think of rainbows as lovenotes written by God across the sky for us.
I don't like to pretend that rainbows are places that leprechans hide their gold at their ends. And I've never told my children this. Rainbows are a promise reminder from God to Noah. After the flood dried and Noah and his family could stand on solid ground again God placed a rainbow in the sky to say He would never destroy the earth by a flood again. I once heard a woman speaker who was a pilot. She said that from the sky a rainbow is an entire circle. Just like a wedding band symbolizes a continuous covenant until death the rainbow symbolizes a continuous convenant between God and man. When I see a rainbow I think of a Bible verse promise God has given to me since I'm a Christian. It is found in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know thy thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
I'm glad I saw that rainbow. It gave me some encouragement I needed:)
Last Sunday I went to Toy's R Us toy store and happened to hit a big sale. So I thoroughly searched for sale items that would interest my children. I found two that my little girl Ginny would love. They were Barbies. One box contained a Cinderella and Prince Charming doll for just $10. Another was a pregnant Barbie for $10 also. I could only choose one. The pregnant Barbie was too cute to pass up. Now I'm saving it for Ginny for either Christmas or her birthday in January.
Her name is Midge. She's got long red hair and freckles. She belongs to the "Happy family" series. She has a husband named Alan and there's a big brother of about 3 named Ryan. Midge wears a shiny silver ring on her left hand.
She's as big and pregnant as she can get. Here dress is pink with tiny flowers. I had to (carefully) open the package to check everything out. Her little baby was wrapped in a yellow blanket and wore a velco diaper the size of a finger tip! The baby could bend into a ball so (s)he could fit snugly into her mommy's tummy. Her head bobbles and her arms could be pulled up snuggly to her face like a real, brand new baby.
I love the many cute details put into this Barbie. I keep thinking the toy engineers had to be women or had to have a lot of input from new mothers. To hold the belly on they used four magnets two at the top and bottom of the belly and two on the inside of the doll. Mom and baby also came with many of the accessories needed when you bring a new little one home, a crib, cradle and a changing table plus other small necessities.
I took the doll to work so I could show everyone. Most had never seen a pregnant Barbie before. I remember them telling about her on the news over 10 years ago when she first came out. I finally found one. And I'm glad because I really wanted to get one. Ginny will be so excited too when she finally gets her. Ginny loves babies and she likes to play with Barbies. Let's see . . . this is August. It's gonna be four to five months before I get to give it to her. It'll be hard but I'll have to wait.
As I write this it is 9:36 pm (past my bedtime)on Sunday, August 7, 2005. Just a few minutes ago my eldest son Samuel came to me and said, "Hey Mom, today is my last day as a child." When he said this I came to him and let out a pouty whine. Then I grabbed his "taller than me" body and hugged him. I then had to do something as thoughts of his babyhood raced through my mind. I called him a babydoll because that's what he was when he was very little. He was my live babydoll. The one I had dreamed of when I was a young girl as I wrapped my hard plastic doll baby in a blanket. He was the first of four that made my dreams come true. As I hugged him, he stood still with a slight smile on his face probably thinking something like, "Mom, It's gonna happen."
Tomorrow I will step into being the parent of a teenager just like I stepped into parenthood most nearly 13 years ago at 12:57 pm on August 8, 1992 at Claremore Regional Hospital. But it's okay because such things are intended to happen and besides, to prepare I've been praying for him and all my children. I'm not scared because I know we've been helping develop the foundation of his life on the things of God.
. . . I think I need some of the best chocolate I can find.
Last Friday night my son Samuel and I participated in a 5K race for the Tulsa Area United Way. I thought it was fun. I don't know if Samuel liked it too much. But I know it's something we could enjoy together. I'm so hoping he would get a passion for running and then get so good he would run with the fastest of them at the front of the line.
I saw lots of different runners there. There were probably over a 1000 participants. Young fast athletic men, an entire family--husband, wife, two daughters and a son!, a four year old boy, a group of three fast walkers, a middle-aged somewhat overweight man, a young couple, not perfect runners for the race, but just enjoying each other anyway and an energetic Grandma moving at a slow steady pace. I loved the feeling I got while everyone waited at the starting line. Yeah, I could feel it. The buzz of excitement in the air. People were excited to be together doing this. I liked the underlying thought of it all. It's healthy for you!! Lots more Americans should do this.
I hadn't practiced very much but I surprised myself at my energy level. If I didn't slow to a walk so my son could catch me I probably could have run 3/4 of the race. Samuel and I hadn't practiced running very much either.
So now I'm makin' plans. Samuel and I officially now have a project going and we're telling you to "officialize" it. I went to the Tulsa Running Club website and found an excellent list of 5K races in our area. I figure we can do one a month through October. There were several so I chose the lowest cost ones near us. Now we'll just have to do the practice to get us in better shape. That'll be fun since there's a very nice running track within walking distance of our home.
Chuck Swindoll is a humble man of God who loves words and helping others learn the purest truth from God. He is a pastor, a speaker and an author. Currently on his radio program, Insight for Living, he is preaching a sermon about attitude. There is a quote by him that has been passed around in recent years and it helps me when I stop and read it from time to time. Maybe you've never heard it. If so I would encourage you to print it out. Every time I read it, it makes me want to do better :)
This big quote is like a little treasure chest full of gold nuggets. Everytime I have seen its all put in one paragraph. If its sitting out to be read the length of it may cause someone to not read it. It's full of lots of meaning. Many of its sentences could be a quote to stand alone. It's thought provoking enough to read through twice to gather what you didn't get at first and then to memorize.
By Chuck Swindoll
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than
than what other people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance,
It will make or break a company, a church, a home.
The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past.
We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string that we have, and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% of how I react to it.
And so it is with you. ... we are in charge of our attitudes.