I have seven children who love to eat. We eat by day, and we would eat by night if we were allowed to. Keeping up with the appetites makes me feel not unlike the man on the old coal-powered train whose job it was to never stop shoveling coal. Some of my children are the fire that runs extra hot. Blaire, for instance, is a major breakfast eater, and cereal is a special thrill around here. I don’t know if it was just the knowledge of the Cheerios in the house that caused it, but the other week she got up so early it was still dark out, and while we were in bed, she ate two bowls of cheerios in the dark, went back to bed, and woke up at the normal time thinking she had only dreamed of Cheerios. Two bowls of the precious Cheerios, shot down in the dark and forgotten completely. Read More
Now that I am a Nana of seventeen wonderful grandkids, I have the leisure to look back at the “glory days” from a different perspective than I had when I was home in the trenches. If I could speak to that self of mine home with the littles, here are a few things I would say.
1. Repetition is a glorious thing! Enjoy the repeat performance every day.
2. Steward the events (the planned and especially the unplanned) of each day with contentment.
3. Pray more! Worry less. Much less.
4. Express thanks and praise every chance.
5. At the end of the day, never say, “I didn’t get anything done.”
And just to be fair, here are a few things I look back on with gratitude. Gratitude that God inspired us to do these things. They were far more potent than we realized at the time.
1. After-dinner reading that sometimes stretched on for hours.
2. Hot towels from the dryer after baths.
3. Jammy rides for ice cream and a visit to grandparents.
4. Open tap on the milk in the fridge.
5. Bedtime songs and stories.
Let me tell you a little something about myself as a way of breaking the rather prolonged silence on my part. Life has been so wildly busy! We are getting deeper and deeper into what feels like the splits of parenting. A nursing baby but also junior high track meets. Moses is a darling, wonderful, lively and cheerful 6 month old. So far, his spiritual gifts have not included napping. He dabbles in them at best. I am not complaining, because really he is so happy and thriving – but he certainly makes sure that even though he is number 7, he gets his full share of our attention. He has initiative, that one.
The other day, it took me about 3 hours to do 15 minutes’worth of dishes. Because every two or three minutes I had to go nurse, or go change the venue of play, or put the baby in the ergo on my back, or take a shower, or whatever. Read More
A close cousin to worry is fear. But fear is not always bad, depending on the object of the fear. For example, we are to fear God and not man, like those courageous midwives in Egypt. They had to overcome their fear of the king, which they did by fearing God.
“But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.” (Exodus 1:17)
Fearing God results in obedience and blessing. It is the prerequisite for good moral choices. In Leviticus, the people are told to fear God as opposed to doing evil. They were not simply told to “be nice” to people. They must fear God which will affect how they treat people. Consider this sampling of verses.
“You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:32)
The other day I posted the following on my Facebook page and it got quite a response. (This photo was taken while I was nursing Moses on the stairs and realizing that I very much needed this message to myself.)
“I can’t imagine that in 20 years when my kids get together they will look back in joy on the year Mom finally figured out a way to keep the snow clothes tidy. A bunch of adults sitting around, “Remember that year when everything was clean before Christmas? That was the best! I hope we can do that for our kids this year!” Somehow doesn’t ring true, does it?
Once upon a time, more than three years ago, I found out I was pregnant. I had been pregnant before of course, (and I am pregnant now too), but I remember this time as being particularly hard. I had five busy children all over the house, and this pregnancy thing is no little commitment. We love babies in this house, but we are forced to greet their arrival with a lot of realism. The hopeful mist of sweetness is very quickly dispelled by a period of really serious darkness. Because when our babies are the size of a poppy seed they upset the entire freight train of our household flow. I get sick. So sick. I can’t walk in the kitchen, think about food, hear about food, or eat food. I try to eat it of course, and I lose most of it right after. For my husband it means a few months of constantly trying to find things to feed me, feed the children, trying to handle the other essentials of life, picking up my part of carpool, etc. etc. Read More