Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Beautiful Sister!

My beautiful sister got married. She was radiant on her wedding day. She has grown up to be such a wonderful woman. Our friendship is growing and growing. I love you Molly!

More Great Mommy Advise!

These quotes come from the book I am finishing up called: The Mother At Home by John S.C. Abbot. It was written in 1833! It has just as much application for today as it did then.

The two chapters I am quoting from are called: Religious Instruction Parts 1 & 2.

  • "It is certainly vain to hope that you can induce your children to fix their affections upon another world, while yours are fixed upon this one." Powerful! I think we sometimes have higher expectations of our children then we do of ourselves. He says later on "The parent must strive to be herself, just what she wishes her child to be." Do you want your children to have a kind tone? To remain calm? To be joyful? To be grateful? To not complain? To love the Lord? What do you want from YOUR children? Go display this for them so they can see how it is you wish for them to be!
  • Regularly "speak of His goodness. Show His readiness to forgive. Excite the gratitude of the child by speaking of the joys of heaven. Thus let the duties of religion ever be connected with feelings of enjoyment and images of happiness that the child may perceive that gloom and sorrow are connected only with disobedience..." and a lack of relationship with their Creator. There will be no tears in heaven. All sadness stems from sin.
  • "Our children have more right to expect that we shall be model parents than we have to require that they shall be model children."
  • When things aren't going right that is the time "in which to show loveliness and blessedness of confidence in God. A smile upon your countenance, a glance of confiding affection in your eye, a word of calm submission from your full heart, will then go to the hearts of your observing children, with great and effectual power. Words are air. They fall upon the ear and are forgotten. BUT WHO EVER FORGETS ABIDING, CONSISTENT, UNVARYING EXAMPLE? What child ever ceases to remember the daily life, of its father and mother?"
  • "Parents should never, especially in the presence of their children, give way to feelings of irritation and anger. Even when a child does wrong there should be NO EXPRESSION OF RESENTMENT OR VEXATION IN OUR LOOKS OR IN OUR WORDS. We may act firmly on such occasions and reprove effectually, while yet we maintain throughout, the quiet, gentle, and peaceful spirit by which the conduct of the Christian ought at all times to be characterized."
  • "Every mother ought to engage in the duties of religious instruction, with the confident expectation that God will accompany her exertions with His blessing." That is encouraging!

Monday, September 14, 2009

How Many to Have...

I found this awesome article over at Resolved to Worship. Such a great analogy. Encouraged me greatly. Let me know what you think!

"The fruit of the ground is a reward and a blessing."

"The fruit of the womb is a reward and a blessing."

If a farmer plants as many seeds as he can without consideration for the ground, the health of the plants, etc.
...and thinks the fruit of the ground should be God's area and we should NOT get involved whatsoever in the number of seeds planted, or the spacing of the seeds, or the size of the garden which he can reasonably and responsibly care for...

...the seeds will produce fruit of course (it is the nature of the creation) and he will have more plants!

However, the ground will suffer, the plants will not be healthy (because there are not enough nutrients in the soil to supply that many plants), and the plants will ultimately be neglected since there are more plants than the farmer has time to weed, prune, fertilize, and care for.


If a man plants as many seeds in the womb without consideration for his wife's body (the ground), the health, training, discipling, educating, providing, and loving of the children, etc. and thinks the womb should be God's area and he and his wife (the farmers) should not get involved in the consideration of the number of seeds planted, or the spacing of the plants (children), or the size of the garden (family) which they can reasonably care for, the seeds will produce fruit (children--it is the nature of the creation)...

...they will have more children.

However, the wife's body will suffer as well as her emotional state, the children will not be healthy (because there is not enough emotional, spiritual, and physical nutrients in the parents to supply that many plants/children), and the children will ultimately be neglected to some degree since there are more children than the couple have time, energy, and resources to weed (rebuke), prune (discipline), fertilize (teach, train, disciple), and care for (love and meet their emotional needs).

The farmer is responsible before God to be a good steward of his land and the fruit of the land.

The husband and wife are responsible before God to be a good steward of the womb and the fruit of the womb.

They are responsible in God's Word to provide for them, bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, keep their hearts turned to each of them, and provide a rich example of the love of Christ for the church as the children observe their love for each other and how they relate to each other.

Therefore, since we want to walk in a manner worthy of Christ and the gospel, we must have the same attitude as He had (emptying ourselves, humbly serving, and willing to lay down our lives for others) and to think about the interests of others (our wives/husbands first, and then the other children) more than our own interests (reputation or self-esteem or own desires).

Parents should remember, having children is not about them, it's about Christ. And if all of life is about Christ, then it is about others. So the question about how many children should a couple have can only be answered by each couple accurately understanding their abilities, gifting, health, and God's provision with an attitude of stewardship before God for His glory.

One farmer may have planted 10,000 seeds in his plot and there stands 10,000 stunted corn plants because the farmer did not accurately assess what the ground could supply and he care for.

Another farmer may have planted 1000 seeds in his plot and there stands 1000 healthy, fruitful corn plants because the farmer did accurately assess what the ground could supply and he care for.

Which farmer brings more glory to God in his stewardship?

One husband plants as many seeds as he feels like and his wife allows in her womb and there stands # of children (the number is not important) emotionally, spiritually, physically, neglected children because the couple did not accurately assess what they could reasonably care for.

One husband plants seeds wisely and lovingly guided by the Holy Spirit in the womb of his wife and there stands # of children (the number is not important) emotionally, spiritually, physically healthy children because the couple did accurately assess what they could reasonably care for with the Lord's fulness and strength.

Which couple brings more glory to God in their stewardship?

One couple may not pray or seek the Lord in his (their) stewardship because the law (what is being taught by some as God's law) is "have as many children as God wants you to have". On the other hand, another may have their children conceived and birthed out of faith in fellowship and prayer with Jesus Christ. They may have 1 child after many attempts or they may have 10, but they come together freely and with excitement because they are living by the Spirit, in fellowship with God, and with His attitude for His glory.

So the most important consideration isn't how large the family is, but are they walking by faith, in love with God, living with the attitude of Christ for His glory..."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More adoption stats...

Planned Parenthood preformed 250,000 abortions in 2004 and made a profit of $35 million. (Family News in Focus, 12/22/04)

"What we know from research is that the longer a child stays in foster care the worse the child's outcomes." (US Health and Human Services Undersecretary Wade Horn, Focus on the Family web site, May 20, 2004.)

Each year November is designated National Adoption Month by the President of the United States. This was first declared in 1990. (US Census Bureau web site.)

21,616 immigrant visas were issued to orphans coming to the United States for adoption in 2003, up from 7,377 a decade earlier. (US Census Bureau web site.)

1.7 million households contain adopted children. These households comprise 4 percent of all households in which children reside. (US Census Bureau web site.)

Average age of parents with adopted children is 43 or about 5 years older than the average age of parents with biological children. (US Census Bureau web site.)

Median income of adoptive parents is approximately $5,000 more than the median income of biological parents. (US Census Bureau web site.)

There are over 40 references to orphans in the Old Testament found in 12 of the Old Testament books!

China released 6,859 children for adoption to the United States in 2003 (US Dept. of State web site).There are approximately 8,000,000 children in orphanages in China.

"About four in ten Americans have considered adopting a child at one time in their lives. This equates to about 81.5 million adults. Considering there are 134,000 children in foster care awaiting families, these children would all have a home today is just 0.2% (1 in 500) of these adults actually pursued and completed the adoption process." (National Adoption Attitudes Survey, June 2002).

78% of Americans think the country should be doing more to encourage adoption. (National Adoption Attitudes Survey, June 2002).

Americans have a very positive opinion about adoptive parents. They are seen as lucky by 94% of Americans. (National Adoption Attitudes Survey, June 2002)

Sweet Encouragement

This is A. Ann over at Resolved to Worship. Which is another one of my all time favorite blogs. There are so many things to admire about this woman! This little list she made encouraged me so much:

*All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

*Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

*Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

*Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

*Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

*What other people think of you is none of your business.

Me and My BIG Mouth/I Am Peter

This has been a very humiliating couple months for me... I have a BIG mouth. I often feel like Peter. "I will NEVER Lord." Yeah, I have heard that whole "never say never thing." I am really good at saying never and at being very bold about it! I am also very good at changing my mind.

Let me explain...

I had never had a baby before but I made sure to tell everyone and their... hippo... that I was not going to get an epidural... NEVER EVER! My wise sister said: "maybe you should wait to say things like that until after you have had a baby." "Whatever" was my reply. Low and behold, Rhea came on July 17th 2007 and I told the nurse to hook "it" up... it being the wonderful epidural. When Ricky came you better believe I had them hook it up as well :0)

Next, and possibly most embarrassing, I told everyone that would listen (or rather not listen) that I was going to "let God plan my family". My mom said: "Maybe you should wait to see how you feel after you have a couple of kids." Again, my response: "Whatever". Low and behold, a couple kids later, I am changing my mind. Why can't I just keep my BIG mouth shut? The Lord is using this season to teach me SO much and to humble me greatly.

My wonderful husband was telling me that even though this time is very embarrassing and very humiliating God is going to use it greatly. He does tend to use those embarrassing and humiliating times, doesn't He? He is very good that :0) For when we are weak, then He is strong.

I love this proverb: Proverbs 17:28 "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." I've got the whole fool part down... now I just need to work on keeping silent/holding my tongue.

So for now, Scott and I are allowing number 3 to come as the Lord wills. After that... who knows I AM KEEPING MY MOUTH SHUT. James 4:13-14 says: "13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." SO GOOD! Why do I even bother telling others what I am going to do in the future? I don't even know what will happen tomorrow. Please help me Lord to KEEP MY BIG MOUTH SHUT.