"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Letting the Little Ones Help

Being a naturally impatient person, I don't always let my younger children "help" as much as I should, but when I do, I find that I grow in patience, which is what I should always be seeking to do. So that is one of the many benefits of including the young ones in the work.

Some of the other benefits include:
*developing a closer relationship,
*learning to laugh together even about things that might want to frustrate you,
*teaching the child a new skill,
*getting to praise your child for following instructions,
*being forced to actually wash the kitchen floor since you've made such a mess on it that you can't ignore that job any more,
*the child discovers a new interest to pursue more fully now or when she's older and a chance to learn a different way of doing or thinking which your child may bring out.

I love the way that Rachel Jankovic describes this in her new book, Loving the Little Years. I so enjoyed this book even though most of my children are past the "little" years. The book is so full of humor, wisdom beyond Mrs. Jankovic's years and creativity that I plan to buy a copy for each of my children. It is a quick read and the chapters are short, but so full that one chapter leaves plenty for meditation. A nice length for those who are in the trenches and unable to sit down for a long read. Well worth the money.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I can't help it. This virus name cracks me up!

Two of my darling children have had a minor virus lately called Fifth Disease (it's one of the five common childhood diseases) or "Slapface". It's not at all serious, in fact, I'm sure some of my other children had it without us really noticing. It's a human parvovirus (not at all related to the dog and cat kind of parvo) and it passes in 7 - 10 days. The nickname "Slapface" comes from the bright red cheeks which last about a day, but look like you've been slapped on the cheeks.

Then follows an interesting looking rash. The rash is not usually itchy or bumpy, just kind of lacy looking. It shows up best when the child is warm, like when they first crawl out from under their covers in the morning. Mostly the rash is on the arms and legs, but some of our little friends have had rashes on the trunk part of their bodies. My older daughter also had some achiness in her joints. It also starts out with general cold symptoms which pass quickly.

So, all in all, it's just kind of a funny sickness.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Today's words of wisdom come from one of my favorite authors, Elisabeth Elliot.

The ordering of a peaceful home is not possible without the application of eternal principles. It is, after all, mostly little, common things that make up our lives. This is the raw material for the spiritual life. If we despise small things, regard normal household duties as burdens, routines as boring, rules too confining, we will never learn, nor can we teach our children, to live a life of holy harmony. This takes faithfulness in the troublesome details first of all, learning to do them well that we may make of them an offering to the Lord, for it is His work, after all, given to us. It is our daily bread for which we should learn to be thankful. Such faithfulness is the groundwork for all God may ever ask us to do.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Poison of the Sidelong Glances - Monday Musing (a day late)

Often on Mondays I'm still musing over our pastor's sermon, and his sermon on the transfiguration and it's gloriousness and the way it was eclipsed by the glory of the resurrection is still in my mind, but I want to share thoughts from another sermon today.

Since our son is now member of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, I took advantage their offer to recive on CD their sermons. Not only do they help keep us connected spiritually to The Guinea Pig, but they are an excellent way for us to grow through using them in our family worship especially when my Huggy is gone.

Just a couple of days ago we listened to a sermon by Ben Merkle (author of The White Horse King, about Alfred the Great) entitled "The Poison of the Sidelong Glances". Ooh, was it convicting! The text was Matthew 20:1-16 about workers being hired to work in a vineyard, some hired for a denarius at daybreak, others being hired for "whatever is right" later throughout the day. Though those who had worked all day were paid what they'd agreed on, they began to complain as they cast a sidelong glance and saw how the others were getting as much as they though the latter crews had worked less.  But the owner of the vineyard pointed out to them that the first bunch were getting what they had contracted for.

"If we look at the horizontal/subjective standard, they appear to have been wronged. But according to the vertical/objective standard, they were done no wrong. This is a sidelong glance. It is the preferring to evaluate your own circumstances relatively rather than objectively. Not only that, it is preferring the most negative relative evaluation out of all the possible comparisons. It can become such an all consuming vice that we begin to evaluate our own lot based entirely on how much we are currently inspriring this kind of jealousy in others. We look to the side just to see if others are looking sideways at us."

Mr. Merkle then went on to point out that mostly these thoughts are petty little thoughts, but they add up and become a great poison. "And all the reasons are so petty that we can't point to any one thing (because it would be so stupid) so that we just point to the whole person and say I can't stand him." Of course, this is sin and leads to broken relationships within the body of Christ and within our homes.

To combat the sidelong glance of jealousy, he suggests the following things:
1) An upward gaze - "An infinite God does not have a divided attention when he regards you. Your story is your story, lived out before God."
2) Remember that we are not in the resurrection yet. "Your current circumstances are not your final inheritance. These circumstances are merely your assignment...The circumstances are not the comparison. It's waht you do with your circumstances that matters."
3) Grace is grace. "Sideways glances depend on us getting convinced that we are owed something." God owes us nothing and yet He gives us so much.
4) Confess the petty. Be brutally honest with yourself regularly. "What are you fussing about? What is eating you? Who can you not stand to hear from? Nothing is too petty to be addressed. Confess it. Get rid of it. Don't let the cancer grow."

Of course, he fleshed this all out so well and gave probing examples and word pictures. It made me think about the things that annoy me about other people just might have their roots in jealousy. That snappy retort from junior high days, "You're just jealous" might have a ring of truth in it. More to the point, admitting that "I'm just jealous" and need to confess my sin, would cause an awful lot of growth in me and in my relationship with that person.

This was such a good thought provoking, get-to-the-heart-of-the-matter sermon, that I know we're going to listen to it quite a few more times and I highly recommend that you look up http://www.canonpress.com/ and see how you can request the sermon from February 27, 2011 sermon number 1606.

This one sin, left to grow, has brought down many a church and family. If dealt with humbly and truthfully, I see great growth for the cause of Christ in our hearts and nations.

A sinner, saved by grace, I

Friday, March 4, 2011

March Finishing Stitiches - 2 blocks

Though my picture is sideways, I'll show it anyhow. The left two blocks are the two I finished this week for a plaid sampler quilt I'm making for Sweetie. She made the right two blocks when we were thinking that she'd make the quilt herself. She's discovered that she's content to learn how to mend and that other sewing machine adventures are fine left to others. She has enough of a basis in sewing and is comfortable enough with the machine that I'm fine with her not pursuing it much. If someday she decides that she'd like to learn more and do more sewing, she's got enough of a foundation that she will be able to do that on her own. \

Now I'm off to report my finishes on Joy's Finishing Stitches here http://www.joysquilts.blogspot.com/.

Hoping your day is beautful, I