Reason # 1,000,001 Why God Knew I Needed a Husband


The phone rang early this morning, and Papa Bear received the news that he was taking an unexpected day off work. This is not good news, but I did smile when he told me to “sleep in.” I woke when the phone rang, and Papa Bear brought it to me, thinking it was important. It wasn’t. It was an elderly woman who needed her sewing machine repaired (the closest sewing machine repair is an hour away, they are booked three months in advance, and they charge fifty dollars an hour), and somehow she heard that I might be her girl (I had to learn to fix mine because I couldn’t wait three months).

Papa Bear ran to get the machine, and after a little tinkering and re-threading, I had it working like a new machine. Actually, I sewed with it for a minute or two just to listen to it purr. I don’t remember the last time mine purred. I was so jealous. Papa Bear returned it and she offered him ten dollars. Then, she offered to raise it to twenty if I would do “a little” sewing for her. He put me on the phone. I do not know how to say ‘no’.

When he walked in the door with her material, I almost burst into tears. I looked at the mess in my kitchen, and then I looked at the rest of the house.

“Oh, no,” I said, as I looked at my husband with desperation.

Then, the most miraculous thing happened. My husband offered to take the material back, to do what I couldn’t do, to say ‘no’.

To protect me.

I love him even more right now than I did when he told me I could sleep in this morning!

When it took him fifteen or twenty minutes to return home, I started to get worried. As it turns out, he’d said ‘no’ for me, but had then been talked into moving a piano…for free. He trudged into the house, plunked down a ten dollar check, and animatedly demonstrated his harrowing experience.

“Well, at least we did something for God,” I said.

“What?” he looked up.

“She is a widow.”

Still frustrated, he quickly replied, “He probably died to get away!”

And after laughing heartily, we both hung our heads in shame.

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This Show Was Not Taped in Front of a Live Studio Audience

Last week we got on the topic of Adam and Eve (I can’t remember why), and how God sometimes asks of us things that are very hard…that we just have to trust, etc. We have a regular tradition around here of practicing obedience. We do this at times when obedience isn’t necessary and there would be no natural consequence for disobedience. When they “fail” in these practice sessions, the consequence is usually that they miss out on reward (which just might be the biggest consequence of all -and the hardest to enforce).

Lately, we have seen some reverting, especially in the older girls. I have been concerned over their ability to obey when I am not in the room. So, I devised a little plan. Honestly, I had no intention of ever posting this video (you can tell because they are in their pjs and their hair isn’t brushed). I had no intention of saving this video. I planned to watch it with them once, use it as an object lesson, encourage them in obedience (doing better next time), and then delete it. But, because this particular practice sessions turned out much better than I had feared, I saved it. And because it goes along with the track I have been on this week, I’m posting it.

I placed a plate of Oreo cookies in the middle of the t.v. room, and I went downstairs, leaving the kids to themselves. I did not tell them that they needed to watch the cookies or to stay in the same room with the cookies. I simply told them not to eat the cookies, and I compared them to the forbidden fruit. No, they did not know they were being taped. Some of you will think that I’m a horrible mother, I’m sure. But I can tell you that watching this video with my children was one of the most fun training sessions ever. There were too many high fives, hugs, and smiles to count. I just don’t think they’re old enough to have the expectation of privacy!

The time actually elapsing here is about ten minutes. You’ll notice that Bay Bit left the room (smart girl – flee those temptations!).

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Practical Application

This morning over coffee, I sat down to read the comments from yesterday’s post. And when Krystal asked, “Where does the rubber meet the road,” I knew I needed another cup of coffee.

But seriously, it’s an excellent question. At least I think it is, it is one that I work through every morning around eight o’clock when the first fight of the day breaks out upstairs. And if there is any wisdom in my reaction, well, it is only by the grace of God.

We do discipline behaviors.

However, disciplining behaviors without parenting hearts is, I believe, a very poor, substandard approach. The outcome will either be children who obey only when their authority is present, or children who believe they are good. It is because of this that we teach our children, every second of every day, about the war that is happening over their souls. I don’t want them to think they are good, but I don’t want them think they are bad either.

“Baby girl, you are not disobedient! You are an obedient child of God!”

“Honey, you don’t hate. You are a Love person because the Spirit of God lives in you!”

“Oh, no, Sweetheart, that is not the voice that God gave you.”

And so on, and so on. We spank. We have time-out spots. We have even resorted to throwing away toys. But in those moment of discipline, the goal is not simply to stop the one, specific (possibly very embarrassing), negative behavior. The goal is a heart change. And every single sin, every single tantrum, is another chance for us, as parents, to reinforce who our children are in Christ.

No, this is not an easy thing to do. Especially in those moments of Cheerio-throwing public tantrums where you’d rather hide in a whole than grab a little hand for some face-to-face church. But it’s possible, because we are children of God too, even if we don’t have someone reinforcing it for us as often as we should.

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God Looks at My Heart

I have wanted to write this post for awhile. I think it might be important, because I’ve had a ridiculous amount of trouble with it. If you’re a writer, or even if you just write down your thoughts from time-to-time, you probably know what I mean.

Anyway, the topic came up again, briefly, at my parenting and marriage study, so I’m determined to put my thoughts on paper today.

By the way, this post could be alternatively, and verbosely, titled, “If My Kids are Hanging with Your Kids, and My Kids Say ‘Butt,’ or Start Talking About a Witch Because We Let Them Watch ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ I Might Possibly Die of Shame…And I’m Pretty Sure That God Wants to Kick My BUTT (I do know where they get it) Over My Attitude.”


When we’re at McDonald’s and our kids are eating angelically (a scene rarely duplicated at home) while everyone else’s are kicking and biting, I feel like I’ve won an award.

When the lady behind me in church leans forward and whispers, “You are such a wonderful mother,” I don’t stop to think that she might simply be offering encouragement to the young woman with the spit-up-covered Family Dollar sweater. I just treasure it.

In a “My Preeeessious” kind of way.

I want to raise well-behaved children. I want my children to make me proud. And when I’m in this mode (which is even more often than I care to admit), I am dangerously missing the point.

Not to mention that I’m risking and out-and-out panic attack.

I would argue against parenting being the most difficult job in the world. I mean, I can’t even imagine being a surgeon or, ummm, The President, or having any one of the Dirty Jobs (that show is so gross, but I love it). Actually, I used to be a shoe shine girl, and that was a pretty hard job. But parenting* is, without a doubt, the most important job in the world.

*n. The rearing of a child or children, especially the care, love, and guidance given by a parent.

It is not something done for blog fodder.

It is not the raising of showhorseschildren.

It is not an insurance policy for old age.

Parenting is the shaping of souls who will shape souls who will shape souls. And it is weighty, and it is awe-inspiring.

I know that God cares about my children’s mouths. But their mouths are not His primary concern. Because God, unlike me, is not restricted by embarrassment. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Therefore the mouth has little to do with it.

Are you parenting your children’s behaviors, or are you parenting your children’s hearts? Are you endeavoring to raise well-behaved children, or are you committed to godly great-great-grandchildren?

I believe that every good thing (that I wish I was seeing now) will come in time if my children truly squeeze their Savior. I believe that the passion of my explosive cherubs will be used powerfully one day.

If my pride doesn’t snuff it cold.

And I believe that rather than teaching my children to be good, I need only to pour Jesus into them until their flesh begins oozing out…

…to make room for more of Him.

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What Do You Make?

**Warning** It’s not even Halloween, and I am about to post about Christmas. **Warning**

Fa lala lala la la la la.

Is it just me, or has Christmas become anything but the most wonderful time of the year? I mean, I still get warm fuzzies listening to Christmas music, and I have priceless childhood memories that make me smile. But I’m officially declaring, for all the world a very small population of the blog world to read and scorn…

Christmas, as a grown-up, pretty much stinks is a little overwhelming!

In my best Ebenezer impersonation.

If you were around last year you’ll remember that we attempted, and then basically blew, our plans to tame Christmas. This year we will succeed! How, you ask? This year we will be making most of our Christmas presents.

A homemade Christmas, how fun is that?!

I’m excited, In fact, I’m so excited that I want to share our Christmas with all of you! Or, at least one of you. Meaning the one that I draw in Kingdom Twindom’s first Secret Santa!

Wanna play?!

The only requirement is that the gift you swap be homemade! And if you’re a blogger, keep in mind that we will be meeting all of the swappers once we get started!

Fun, fun, fun!

SS Button linkSo, do you bake? Sew? Craft? Create?!

Just e-mail me with your name and address, and I’ll put you on the list!

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