Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fragile. Handle with care.

Having a baby? No...I'm not. I am, however, getting one. A dear friend of mine has entrusted me with her baby for a few days every month. When I considered serving her in this way it felt like a no brainer. She's my friend, I enjoy having children in my home (especially babies) and she needed help. As soon as I told her that I would help I hung up the phone and was almost stricken with fear. What if something happens? What if he gets hurt, or sick or sad or...whatever crazy thing may happen while under my care? My friend didn't think she could have children, this little guy is a pretty big deal. I was scared to death! Then I heard this voice, "Ali, the other ones you keep aren't yours either." I may have blogged about this before, but it's on my mind now that I have his things here and we're ready for the morning.

How do I treat someone else's children? Am I more patient? More fun? More kind? Am I quick to listen to their very long stories out of kindness rather than duty? I forget very quickly that the children that I care for daily are not my "belongings." They have also been entrusted into my care for a short time. God has not given these children to me because I deserve them or because I asked for them. He gave them to me that I might rear them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. That maybe, just maybe they will live for Him. It's a huge task. Why don't I tremble with fear? Why don't I consider that their Father would expect me to parent them according to His rules. I'm not going to take this little guy and just do what I want or what I think is best. I'm going to do as his mother asks. She is the parent. Just as God is the parent of my children. His word goes...the buck stops with Him...Glory and Honor and Praise belong to Him.

I hope that as I struggle with all of His energy that works powerfully in me that I would not be a "good" parent, but rather a vessel that is poured out on a daily basis to love and serve the most amazing children I've ever known...remembering that not one of them belongs to me.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Lately the Lord has been revealing where the stench is coming from. You know how you wander around and every now and then you get a whiff of something? If you have little children you pick them up first and give them a sniff. When you don't smell anything there you give their pants a peek to see if you are missing something. Nope, not them. If you have bigger kids you check under beds and in the trash cans. Did they leave food in here (Yeah, I know they aren't supposed to be eating in their rooms)or old socks. Did they forget to throw their dirty clothes in the hamper? Did I wash the dirty clothes? You start sniffing your clothes, your hands. Where is that smell??? You tell your husband to take the trash out (Sorry, ladies, that ain't my job!!!) and still...what is that STANK??? I've been smelling it for a while and couldn't put my finger on it until finally I found it. I was reading the Word one day and all of a sudden I discovered where the stank was coming

I know that in Christ I am justified and forgiven and free. I know that I am being sanctified on a daily basis and that I will not be perfect until Jesus calls me home or comes and gets us all. However, I do go through seasons where the discipline is a bit more intense, a bit more necessary. The discovery...I am the Older Brother.

Now, that may not make any sense to you because I am not a boy and I am not entirely older than all of my siblings (most of them, though). The infamous Prodigal Son had a brother. He was older and he was good. He made the right decisions and he stayed and slaved for his father while his brother blew his inheritance doing all of the wrong things. When the "lost" brother came home the older brother was MAD! It was not fair that his brother would not be demoted to servant after the stunt he had pulled. I agree that it wasn't fair. I struggle with that...because I am the one who stayed. My friend loaned me a book by Timothy Keller (for those of you who know me it's TIM KELLER!!!). The title of the book is The Prodigal God. For those of you thinking that God is not lost or wayward, let me tell you what the word prodigal means. I was shocked: prodigal: 1.recklessly extravagant 2. having spent everything. This was a great book and this coupled with the excellent teaching that I receive on Sunday mornings I see what a wretch the older brother is. He was/is just as lost...only worse because he doesn't see his need for a Savior. He doesn't need one. Oh but I DO!!! I am in the very beginning stages of moving through this, but that's what I've been seeing and learning. It's pretty nasty...pretty stanky...pretty great that God would show this to me in order that I can repent and move forward. So that I can join Him at the feast. It's an excellent and quick read that I would highly recommend.

What else have I been doing? Flip-flopping. Do you ever do something that seems so radical but makes so much sense? I rarely do. I'm not radical and do not have a track record for doing things that make a great deal of sense. However, this I love. A couple of weeks ago Ella was whining (as usual) about being hungry and it was not even 2 hours after breakfast. I was so exhausted by her whining and moaning that I said, "I guess I'm going to have to make a big breakfast because I cannot do this another week!" Mike's response was, "Why don't you just make dinner." I thought, " I just might."

As soon as we got home I Googled it and found that someone has written a book about it and that it isn't that bad of an idea. In fact, it's a pretty good one. So, that Monday we started. We had spaghetti carbonara that first day. Ella's whining was substantially less and no one said they were hungry until the should have been, 12:15. It was great. I also loved know that dinner was already cooked, consumed, and cleaned up. So, we are still doing it. This is our third week and I LOVE it! I know that this won't work for most people, but let me tell you a few things that I love that you may help you out.
1.When the kids are the hungriest they are eating what is typically the best meal of the day.
2. Everyone wakes up and is eating at the same time. We get up at 7:00, Mike leaves for work at 7:30.
3. The whining is WAY down.
4. The dishes are finished by 9:00
5. By the end of the day the last thing I want to do is make a meal, so now I don't look forward to the evening with dread, but with delight because I am not in the kitchen.
6. Eating the meals backwards is supposed to help lose/maintain a healthy weight.
7. I don't feel like snacking because I am sufficiently full for the day.
8. I dont' feel like I need dessert when I've eaten breakfast for dinner. I eat yogurt with granola and raspberries, maybe some toast, grapefruit on some nights and that satisfies my sweet tooth.
9. I have to be prepared for my day, rising before the kids which has been something I've been wanting to do for a LONG TIME!
10. We don't go out to dinner (read waste money)because I have no problem fixing a light dinner. The excuse of "I just don't feel like it" is out the window.
11. In the evenings I am outside (or wherever my family is) because I don't have to make dinner.
12. I feel like I am ahead of my day by 8:00 and that is super helpful!!!

Those are just a few reasons for why this is working for us. It's not really as weird as you would think to eat "dinner" foods at breakfast. This morning we had lasagne, bread, and salad. We eat normal lunches and cereal, toast, yogurt, and fruit for dinner. So, it's been a neat experiment. The kids have not been fired up about it (mostly Anson) but we told him that he should build a bridge (and get on over it) because this was much better for our family for reasons that he may not understand.

So, now I have to review Anson's memory work before he tests for Memory Master tomorrow. Hooray!!! That's just a little of what has been going on here. Hope all is well wherever you are!!!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a nutrition expert. Please do not take this as advice for nutritional purposes. I'm just a Mom that needed to do something about a whiney 3 year old and this was the most logical solution.