Introducing, Melodious Mondays

A friend of mine that blogs does “Wordless Wednesday” where she only posts a picture or two. Sometimes it’s of something very natural, like a clear Texas sky. Sometimes it’s of her children. Sometimes it’s something like a cup of coffee. Whatever the picture is it speaks for itself, thus the name Wordless Wednesday. I like simple. 🙂 So I wanted to use the concept but with a different spin on it. I just like the idea of posting something and the reader (if any exist, ha!) allowing it to speak to them without my input. Sort of “This spoke to me maybe it will speak to you.”

Our family loves music. I mean like a lot. I can not tell you the hours Jason and I have spent singing, dancing, (silly, not like romantic dancing, please.) or sitting by a fire, listening to song after song after song. We talk about lyrics and what they mean to us and we unashamedly belt those lyrics out as if we were in the car alone. Sometimes Jason will learn guitar chords and then we really have a private concert going. I wish I could sing as well as he plays. One thing we like about this house is sitting on the porch and enjoying our music loud and proud under a clear sky and only the cows to complain. Music is just wonderful and I have no problem making a joyful noise whatsoever, hehe.

So I thought I would share our love for music here. Music is incredibly influential in my life and there are so many wonderful songs out there so on Mondays, hopefully weekly, I will post one. My hope is that you’ll find it to be uplifting and encouraging. And more importantly that it would lead you in praise and adoration of our gracious Savior. That’s what I love about music. It blows my mind how people are able to put into lyrics things I feel but can hardly verbalize much less formulate into a song. So, here’s to the new “Melodious Mondays”. I pray it blesses you and your Monday. 😉

This song we’ve all heard but what is said in this live version before they sing is so awesome. You’ll listen to the song with new understanding. Oceans by Hillsong United, enjoy!

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The dangers of being cute

Having Caleb has brought on some different challenges to parenting. Some of you can relate to the scenario.

He is the youngest of three and his older siblings are two darling girls who love to mother him. There is four years difference between him and our middle daughter so it had been a little while having a baby around. Because of our girls being slightly older they are more interactive with him. Every one of us has been guilty of laughing at that silly boy. He is a clown! It’s different with him, he’s a typical toddler, but he has older siblings to mimic. He says and does a lot of things neither of the girls ever did, good and bad. Over the course of his two and a half years of life by our sheer amusement with him we have encouraged his desire for attention. There’s nothing wrong with liking a little attention but I’m learning, sometimes the hard way, that how and what we give attention to can be dangerous.

Beware of cuteness.

Caleb is constantly being affirmed that he is funny and cute. Yet even at his young age he is learning to use his cuteness to get away with disobedience and rebellion. Sometimes even THAT is cute, except it shouldn’t be. On plenty of occasions we have buried our faces to conceal our laughter at something he shouldn’t be doing but it’s just “so cute”. The offense being minor and he being funny begins the slow process of undermining a rule or boundary and feeds the idea in his little mind that “I can get away with…… if I act silly and cute.” He has the ability to smile and talk in such a charismatic way it is often difficult to be firm and follow through with discipline. I regret the times I’ve let him charm his way out of consequences.

One evening we had finished dinner and were winding down before bedtime. I was sitting on the couch and Caleb came to me and asked if he may have a waffle. All of my kids have a habit of wanting to eat out of boredom. I reminded him we just ate dinner and no you may not have a waffle it’s almost time for bed. That answer seemed to appease him and he walked off. Moments later Ryann announces that the freezer is wide open and then I began to hear noises from the laundry room. I knew exactly what was going on and I was honestly tempted to pretend I didn’t. I sat on the couch and contemplated if I felt like parenting lol. I credit the Holy Spirit for impressing on me big time that this most definitely needed to be addressed.

The door to the laundry room was closed which is unusual, it’s rarely closed. I open the door and not to my surprise find Caleb; Sitting in the laundry room…. in the corner behind the door….. eating a frozen waffle.

I looked at him very seriously and in a soft, calm, yet firm voice (which was definitely evidence of the Spirit!) I asked “What are you doing?” To which, in all his adorableness, he responded “Nuuuufffiiiiing” with a big grin.

The quick and easy thing to do would have been to smile and laugh at him, take the waffle away, and simply remind him that “Mommy said no waffles.” The end. I mean it was just a frozen waffle right? No harm, no foul.

But as I stood there the Holy Spirit revealed to me clearly what was taking place.
1.) He flat out disobeyed. Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death. If I don’t address his disobedience with firm discipline it will result in future disobedience. It will erode not only my authority but other authorities in his life. He must learn now in the small things to obey his parents and trust our rules because as he gets older he will need to learn to trust and obey God his Heavenly Father.
2.) He tried to hide his disobedience, which is a form of dishonesty. Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. It was very obvious that he was hiding. I needed to address this behavior and explain that we don’t hide things in this home. If you have to hide it or keep it a secret it’s more than likely not a good thing. We want our children to learn how to be honest and transparent in every circumstance.

Caleb received a few spankings after our chat. Proverbs 29:15 The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother. As I wiped the tears from his sweet chunky face I told him that I loved him and that it was very important for him to learn to obey mommy and daddy and to be honest. Now I recognize he’s two and there was a lot said that maybe he doesn’t understand….. but he will. 🙂

I also felt in all that God reminded me of this; Caleb has two older sisters that watch and absorb everything going on around them. This lesson was not taught just to my two and a half year old there were two others that were learning through observation. We can’t forget the impact our parenting has for those watching. Doing the right thing takes a lot of effort but I trust what scriptures promise and that we will see the fruits of our labor in due time.

Proverbs 2:11-12 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.photo

Nerf Wars

I admit that as a parent I am not necessarily the “playful” type. This has always been Jason’s strength and I’m grateful for that. Somehow he can even involve our kids in projects around the house like painting and building and make it fun. That’s a gift if you ask me! My attempts to play with our children usually feel tired, forced and mechanical. I guess I left my imagination back in middle school when I used to pretend I was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy playing and having fun,… mostly with Jason and other adults. With my children I lean towards the serious, structured, caregiving side. Somebody’s gotta do it. 😉 Jason on the other hand is naturally playful and being married to him is helping develop more of that spirit in me. 🙂 It’s so neat to see how God uses our differences to help strengthen each other’s weaknesses.

Back to becoming a more playful mommy because I recognize its importance. I heard this said, in regards to parenting teens, “Rules without relationship lead to rebellion.” We begin forming a certain kind of relationship with our kids long before the teen years. I see my weak areas and honestly, it terrifies me to consider the possible negative effects my flaws could have on my children. Being a parent is a seriously scary responsibility. Am I the only one who ever considers “What if I totally mess my kids up?” Having confessed that though….. I also have Jesus. 🙂 I know He can change me as I acknowledge my need for Him.

Philippians 1:4-6 “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Can I get an Amen?!

So to the fun part! Our girls were given nerf guns for Christmas. Also- I have discovered the toy that brings ol’ Buffy out to play with the kiddos. Enter the crossbow and darts; this is so totally on! We have been having so much fun with these things that Jason decided it was necessary for him to purchase a few more. I mean, it’s for quality time’s sake. 🙂 Last week, after buying our new weapons, Jason devised a surprise attack for when the girls came home from school. To say it was awesome is an understatement. If you have older kids you need to get some nerf wars going. Actually, if you have no kids you should get some nerf wars going. I recommend having dinner already made though because you will play for hours and probably lose track of time and then be hungry from all the energy you just expelled. And yes, people will most likely get shot in the face and that’s why you wear sunglasses. Caleb shot me point blank in the forehead. Traitor.

But not every night can be a nerf war night. I feel it necessary to paint a more accurate picture. Some nights we are tired,…. okay me…. like every night. There’s math to be done and we’re wishing we had a homework pass. Dinner needs to be made and honestly I don’t love to cook. Some evenings Caleb is a hot mess working toward a hot bottom. Other nights the girls are having their attitude adjusted by privileges being revoked.

It’s not always one way or the other. Some days are joyful, sweet and fun, other days are long, tough and weary. Then there are those days that just pass. God is always at work and is always good even if I’m not “feeling it”.

I just love what Paul says in Acts 20:24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

And there you have it. 🙂

Still a newbie country girl

Some days I think to myself “I can’t believe this is happening to me.” In my wildest dreams I never thought I would have to wrestle a goat out of my house….. or my car….. One minute I’m bringing in groceries the next minute I see a black bearded Ramsey trapped in our suv. Seriously? Don’t you dare pee in my car! He knows we store his food in the laundry room so he’s frequently trying to slip through the back door unnoticed. The only problem; his putrid scent comes wafting in the house with him. Who let the goat in? He jumps on the counters and leaves a trail of poop behind him just for laughs. You would not believe the pleasure I get from chasing him around with a broom. He runs off and does his goat thing, leaping in the air, wiggling and kicking his whole body. Goat shenanigans, it’s pretty entertaining.

Then there’s the time I was feeding the chickens and realized I had scooped a brand new nest of baby mice out of their grain bucket into their eating pan. What in the world? As much as I felt bad I was equally disgusted. They were tiny and translucent and I was reasonably confident I just killed them. Meanwhile their mom is just staring at me from the bottom of the bin probably thinking “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Knowing the feed was definitely compromised I set the little critters back in the bucket and hoped for the best. The next day I had to face the music and ended up setting the mom free and laying the babies in the woods. I’m sure they made a nice snack for something. :-/

There have been other occasions where I showed more compassion towards mice. Like the time three older babies fell out of our tractor. We did try to rescue those. They had fur though! Way cuter. After the first two died I decided to set the third “free” and spare us the grief. We haven’t had much luck rescuing wild baby animals.

Since we’re on the subject I might as well get it on record that we lost our only laying hen, Penny, shortly after Thanksgiving. We had several hawks hanging around and they managed to snatch her and one of our pullets. It’s never the roosters! We’ve gone from nine to five chickens, two of which have proven to be useless cockadoodles that I can’t bring myself to slaughtering for dinner. I suppose they make for great photos. 😉 If I hadn’t read that book “Made from Scratch” I’d be thinking we should call it quits, obviously it’s us! But the best things we experience in life require us to press on, keep trying and gain wisdom from the past. Our family is learning new and unique things on a regular basis. And fortunately we get to do all this without worrying about whether we succeed at “farming” or not. I imagine it was a way bigger deal years ago when the farmer lost a few hens. I have a growing respect for that day and age but I sure am thankful for a conveniently located grocery store. 🙂

Enough about death, let’s talk about some life! Last Sunday the girls had the pleasure of meeting our neighbors’ day old baby cow. How cool is that?! Someday I hope we get to witness our own animals giving birth or hatching eggs. I suppose we need to first master keeping them alive!

With winter settling in nicely (lows of 8 degrees!) things are calming down around here. This means we have time to plan and dream about what all the spring may have in store. Until then, I’m hoping to have some great snow memories to share later. The little retention area in our front pasture froze! We got a big kick out of that. Ice-skating anyone? 😉OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My Word for 2015

Happy new year family and friends! I don’t know about you but, honestly, I get pretty excited about January 1st. Heck I get excited about the beginning of a new week or a new day!

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”” Lamentations 3:23-24

I am so grateful for grace, forgiveness, and fresh starts. It is because of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that we can be a new creation, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24) The start of a new year is not the only time we should be evaluating our life and relationship with Christ, sanctification is ongoing. Having said that, it is a new year…. Why not take the opportunity to ask our Heavenly Father to reveal areas where we can grow closer to Him and His likeness? I like how in the book How People Change they write, “He (God) calls us to wrestle, meditate, examine, fight, run, persevere, confess, resist, submit, follow, and pray until we have been transformed into his likeness.”

Now those are some good words! 😉

My friend Jessika from The Knight Five blog approaches the New Year with a word instead of a resolution. I like this concept because it’s simple. This is the first year I have decided to pick one word and as simple as it seems it’s quite difficult! Jessika’s word for this year is intentional. And just in her choosing that word challenged me even more to pray and ask God “What is a word you would have me meditate on throughout this year?”

As I began skimming through my mental dictionary God gave me one pretty quickly. I was hesitant though. In fact, I think I cringed a little and didn’t want to admit that my initial response is EXACTLY why God put this word on my mind. This morning as I prayed and went about my day the Lord sought to make himself REAL clear with the scripture he brought to my attention.

Philippians 1:27-28 “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.”

To further affirm me of the word laid on my heart our pastor quoted another verse from Philippians.

Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and act according to his good purpose.”

My word is obedience.

Obviously I know that as a Christian it is imperative that I live in obedience to God. I am human though and there is ALWAYS going to be room for improvement. The choices I make are supposed to reflect my surrender to Christ. Unfortunately not every act or choice does. It’s tempting to excuse or justify “small” areas of disobedience and act like in the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter or even tell myself it’s NOT disobedience. Especially if no one sees or no one knows. If it is only my husband and children that are exposed to my disobedience than I can easily blow it off and be unaccountable and unchallenged. Satan is the master of subtleties. We are told in 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 “Everything is permissible”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”- but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good but the good of others.”

I think the reason God brought this word to me is because obedience is all about trust. I tend to limit obedience to following a set of rules. God wants me to understand that when I obey him it conveys that I trust him over anything else and I believe he loves me deeply. I have a lot to learn this year in regards to obedience!

Do you have a word, goal, or resolution for 2015? 🙂