Unbelievably Blessed

While packing up our trailer, I had a flashback of a conversation I had with Papa Bear, in the first week of our marriage, that caused him to exclaim, “Well, I would rather live in this tiny loft than in the biggest trailer!”

And I had to laugh. Well, Papa Bear, how would you feel about five kids, and a few extras, in a small trailer?

We tend to think that we’re some of God’s favorite people cause we really appreciate a good joke!

But the truth is, neither one of us are opposed to moving back to a trailer (or any other humble space) if it turns out to be in God’s plan. We no longer see blessing the way we used to, and we’ve been truly happy in the tiny space that God provided.

Even down to the last lunch.

And without all of our junk, it doesn’t even look that small!

I’m humbled that God would offer us something “better,” but as I sit here today (in more space than I really need) I realize that better doesn’t make me feel more blessed. My truest blessings are my salvation, my marriage, and my five healthy children. Everything else is just icing on an already unbelievably sweet life.

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Cute, Not So Cute

Not so cute.

OK, she’s still cute, but you know what I mean. At four years old the thumb has completely lost its charm. That is, it has completely lost its charm for me. As far as Tiny Dancer is concerned, her thumb is her best friend.

Do you have a thumb sucker? What kind of cruel, ridiculous, or possibly even remarkably effective things did you try when it was time to make him/her stop sucking?
I really want to know.
I mean, I really want to know.
In fact, I want to know so badly that I’m willing to offer an incentive in exchange for your advice.
Also, I’m curious, for those of you who do not have thumb suckers (I have one and I’m obviously fighting with a second), did they take a pacifier or nothing at all? I recently heard about a woman who encouraged thumb sucking because she wanted her children to self-sooth. Did any of you try that, and did you regret it when it was time to break them of the habit?
Neither (which, I know for many kids is simply impossible)?
I want to hear from you all.
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We Still Laugh

Whenever I post on a topic as serious as yesterday’s, I feel the need to remind you that we are indeed a happy bunch. And we definitely laugh more than we cry.

Well, I do anyway. Certain whiny three-year-olds really need to work on that.

But I laughed to myself, entering a word verification on one of your blogs, when the thought briefly crossed my mind, “Is that a real word? OH! What if they’re all real words my vocabulary just stinks!?”

And I chuckled when Tiny Dancer ran up to me and said, “Mama, ‘Rucco’ starts with ‘R,’ right?”



“Ummm, I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Rrrrr, Rrrrrr, RUCCO!”

“Well, ‘Rucco’ would start with ‘R,’ that’s really good, but I don’t think (again questioning my vocabulary) that ‘Rucco’ is a word.”

“Oh, Mama,” she giggled as she ran away.

Seriously, is “Rucco” a word!?

I didn’t even try to contain my laughter when Cuddle Bug sprinted in from the backyard and urgently yelled, “MAMA, can I POOP in the yard?”

“NO!” I yelled. “Did you poop in the yard?”

“No,” she replied, dancing around.

“Well no, only dogs poop in the yard.”

“Oh,” she said as she ran down the hall to the bathroom. “And I’m not a dog, right?”


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Like a Moth to the Flame

Last night, for a few minutes before bedtime, I sat in a darkened room (all too consumed by the details of my day). One light burned brightly in my kitchen ceiling, and a moth circled madly around it.

It’s not as if I’ve never seen a moth meet his maker, or been morbidly entertained by the crackling of a bug zapper. But there was something in this moment that God wanted me to witness. And I continued to watch.

The dizzy moth drew up slowly within the beam and momentarily disappeared inside the fixture. After a second or two he made his escape, like a rocket reentering the atmosphere, grateful to have survived a death by fire. I looked on as he continued, swirling and diving as if controlled by a force other than his own mind, plunging down to safety and then pulling fiercely back into the radiating rays.

Each time he would enter the fixture he would stay a second longer. I found myself cheering him on, wondering how his fragile wings were withstanding the intense heat of the 75 watt bulb.

“Come on, you can do it,” I whispered as he lingered on his fourth visit to the seventh circle of hell.

But he couldn’t do it.

I sat dumbfounded, wondering if he had tried to escape that last time. After all, I had watched him do it three times before. I knew it was possible. Had he simply grown tired, or did the warmth of the bulb seduce him until the very moment that it burned him alive?

“Why did you want me to see that?” I thought, feeling much more despair than I would normally allow over the destruction of a household pest.

God clearly spoke to my heart, “Because I’m reminding you how to pray.”

And He brought to my mind the verses I had so fervently prayed over Papa Bear while the forces of Hell worked, night and day, to destroy his soul.

Proverbs 5

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.

Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly.”

Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?

For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.

Proverbs 4:3-8

When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.

The Proverbs 4 reference reminds me of an old preachers’ joke (the kind with a little truth in it) that says, “My wife sounds like the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit sounds like my wife.”

I do not see it as coincidence that wisdom is written as a woman. As Christian wives we have a responsibility to uplift and protect our husband’s spirits, in prayer. And lest our voices become confused with the wayward woman’s, we should treat even the most insignificant conversation as an opportunity to speak the [few, purposed, anointed] words that bring life.

God has chosen to remind me who the real victims are in these terrible times. I was not the victim when my husband left our marriage; he was. Because I saw him as the victim, and because I prayed for him as such, God snatched him from the fire before it was able to consume him. I believe this with all my heart.

Your marriage might not be perfect, and you might need improvement as a wife (don’t we all), but if your husband has strayed, the baseline reason is spiritual. For whatever reason, he was left unprotected and unaccountable, and in a moment of insecurity and weakness, he followed the seductive warmth of a flame (whether that flame be another woman, pornography, drugs, or anything else that would seek to separate his soul from God). Before he knew it that flame had engulfed him, and it now threatens to burn him alive.
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.

I’m tempted to apologize for the seriousness of this post, but I’m not going to do it. I fully believe that someone out there needs to hear these words, and she needs to be reminded how to pray. And I’m reminded that this principle of seduction and destruction is not only relevant to men and husbands (especially in the society we live in today). Please stay close to Jesus, ladies, it is the only way to avoid the flame!

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