Monday, August 19, 2013

10 Ways To Be Gracious Toward Your Husband

1. Bite your tongue. Want to get in the last word? Want to say something straight up mean to "really get back at him"? Don't. Just bite your tongue. Literally bite it if you have to. Pray this instead: "Set a guard over my mouth, LORD..." Psalm 141:3

2. Get over it. Stop thinking about it. Move on. Is it really worth ruining your marriage? Your family? Your kid's upbringing? Get over it. Tell your husband how you feel (once... maybe twice) and move on. Bring your issue to the Lord and leave it there. You are what you practice. If you keep meditating on the wrong done to you then you will have a harder time moving on. "
drop the matter before a dispute breaks out." Prov. 17:14

3. Don't ever, ever say: "I told you so." Really? How much do you like to hear that? I hate to hear that. No one likes to hear "I told you so." He knows you were right. "I told you so" screams: "I'm prideful!" "Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips." Prov. 27:2.

4. Forget about it. Don't keep a record of wrongs. This kind of goes with number 2. In order to not keep a record of wrongs you have to get over it :) Don't keep track of anything bad. Keep a record of rights instead. A record of how he has blessed you. "love does not keep a record of wrongs." 1 Cor. 13:5 Remember being bitter is like swallowing poison hoping the other person will die. 

5. Just DON'T say no. I'll keep this one short. Don't deny your husband. "The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband." 1 Cor. 7:4

6. Don't ever say: "Why didn't you _____?!" or "You should have _____."  This is similar to number 3. It is just as annoying and prideful. (see verse above :) 

7. Ignore his weaknesses and praise his strengths. Enter marriage with eyes wide open, stay married with eyes half way open :) You are not the Holy Spirit in your husband's life. "When he [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict..." John 16:8

8. To be gracious means to be "pleasantly kind", according to Be pleasantly kind toward your husband. Did he do something to tick you off today? Why don't you be pleasantly kind and make him his favorite thing for dinner? "with humility think of others as better than yourselves." Phil. 2:3 and "they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." 1 Peter 3:1-2

9. Praise him in front of the kids. Let them know how proud you are of their daddy. "Isn't daddy the best?!" "Man your daddy sure loves you guys!" "Doesn't daddy take good care of us?" Think of something. Anything positive. And then say it in front of your kids.

10. Saving the best for last! Forgive your husband as Christ forgave and forgives you! One night after Scott and I had a fight and I was laying there in bed seething and wanting to hold onto my bitterness when this verse came to mind: "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Co. 3:13 Ouch. I immediately felt the bitterness leave me. Forgive as You forgave me Lord?! Really? Wow Lord.... Well, you forgave me while I was yet a sinner. You have forgiven me of SOOOOO much...You continue to forgive me for things I don't apologize for. You forgive me completely! You want me to forgive my husband like that? You want me to be gracious toward him like you are toward me? Okay Lord. Help me.

p.s. I stink at numbers 1-10... which is why I could write this so quickly. I know I need to work on these daily!

Monday, August 12, 2013

My First Homebirth

Charis is six months old! Can you believe it?! We love our sweet girl and are so glad we reversed our decision to not have any more children. Look what we would have missed out on!

After six months of reflection I thought it would be good to post about my home birth experience. Let me open by saying: I NEVER...EVER THOUGHT I WOULD DO A HOME BIRTH :) With Rhea (my first) I had every intention in the world to have a natural childbirth in the hospital... um, yeah right. I went on and on the months before going into labor about how women have done it for thousands of years, I can do it to! I remember my sister said something like: "Um, sister, you might want to wait until you have a baby before you go talking about how easy it is..." Yeah, wish I would have listened to her. After about 12 hours of labor with Rhea and being dilated to only a three I called it quits and got that lovely thing called an: epidural :) WOWZA. that thing made me feel like I wasn't even having a baby. It did wear off at the pushing point though... I pushed for over an excruciating hour and then my beautiful baby girl was FINALLY there!

My second birth was my son Ricky. I told Scott: "well, I'll go as long as 'possible' without the epidural." (I think we both knew that wouldn't be very long). Once I started puking over and over I decided to "hook it up". Ricky was a much easier labor over all. But he came out with a 104 temp and was immediately taken from me and put on antibiotics... still not sure what happened there.

18 months later Johnny came. This time I was a week overdue and my blood pressure was through the roof. My mother had died suddenly a couple days before I was due and I think I was internalizing a lot of things (obviously) and they broke my water to start labor... and I got the epidural..... again. It was a very UN-eventful labor...if there is such a thing :)

Fast forward two years. I am pregnant with Charis and seriously considering a home birth. The only reason for that is because of where I now live: Washington. The state with the highest rate of home births. Almost every single one of my closest friends here does home births (a lot of them with the same Christian mid-wife).

I thought: "well, I would like to do a natural child-birth and I KNOW I won't do that at a hospital with that epidural so readily available. I also hate them waking me up all night and not really feeling like my baby is mine until I leave the hospital." So, Scott and I talked and decided yep, we're gonna do it! I had no idea what I said yep to.

On February 6th around 7 a.m. Johnny came in the room with me and cuddled. I had some pretty strong contractions about 10 min. apart.... I thought: "I bet this isn't it." The morning proceeded. Scott was at his office in an important meeting so I didn't bother him. The kids started making fun of the silly/crazy sounds/breathing noises I was making every five minutes or so. They were impersonating me and laughing pretty hard. not. funny. I called my dad and his lovely wife and asked if they could come over and help me out with the kiddos (they were staying at my in-laws waiting for me to have the baby).

They came over around 10 a.m. Kathleen offered to make me a omelet and I gladly accepted the offer (I puked it up a couple hours later). At this point I was laying on my bed breathing through sporadic contractions. Scott came home around 10:30. I called my midwife around 11. She said: "Hmmm, we might be having a baby today." I still didn't believe it. I called my friend Bonnie and she said: "I think this is it!" I still didn't believe it. Around noon though, I told my dad: "I think this is it."

Scott got the birthing tub out and... POPPED IT! I was like: "What is that sound?!" It was a hilarious sight (now I think it's hilarious). Our dear friend/contractor, my father in law, step mom and dad were frantically running around looking for duct tape! :) They found the duct tape and I asked my dad to take the kiddos back to my in-laws. IT WAS HAPPENING... and I was puking... and in so much pain....

Scott started to fill the tub and we called our midwife and told her this was the real deal. She got there around 1. The tub was full and I was in there....dying.... or at least that's what it felt like. I just kept telling myself: "Next time I can get the epidural..." That was the only thing making me feel better :)

She checked me and said I was at a five. I was depressed. A five?!!! This is going to take FOREVER! The contractions were strong but the water helped SO much. I didn't realize how much the water was helping until I got out to try and go to the bathroom... I had three contractions right on top of each other that were INTENSE. I couldn't even stand. My husband was holding me up and I said: "I want to go back into that tub... NOW."

Well, it didn't take forever... in fact after only 2 more hours of labor and 7 minutes of pushing, she was in my arms at 3 p.m.!!! All I kept saying was: "Isn't she beautiful?! Isn't she beautiful?!!" Scott was crying lots of tears of joy. We called my family (my parents, his parents and our kiddos) immediately and skyped with them via i-phone (sometimes I love technology :)

I got to hold her as long as I wanted. Then I passed her off to one proud and happy daddy.

After that I got into my OWN shower. And walked down the hall to my OWN bed. My whole family got to come in and share in the excitement. It was wonderful. The pain stunk. I hated it. Suffering is never fun. BUT the joy of having my baby in my own home made it all worth it.

It was amazing... My husband was such a champ! He did a great job doing whatever I asked promptly! :) I about broke his hand from squeezing it so hard. My midwives were awesome! They have delivered well over a thousand babies in homes! There are so many other details I could share. But I figure that's enough for now. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts!

Will I do it again? Yes.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Beautiful Songs-Lullaby Songs with Scriptures

I LOVE these songs. The bible says that we are to hide the Word in our hearts that we may not sin against our great God. This CD is made for children but I can see how it would bless people of ALL ages. Go here and check it out!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Top 5 Benefits of Getting Rid of Stuff!

I have been in a major: "Get all this stuff out of my house!" mode. It has blessed my soul! :) Here are some of the ways I have benefited from simplifying my life:

1. I find I am cleaning less and less. The kids room is clean, there is less laundry, there is less stuff to put away, etc. Less stuff=less cleaning.

2. I have more time! The less things you have the more time you have to do other things. Things you like (like for me, blogging). Things you love. More time also means more time with the ones you love. My kids and husband get more of me because there is more to go around :)

3. Less stress! Stuff=stress. My house feels free-er. It feels... lighter. I enjoy being home more because there aren't so many things staring at me in the face saying: "Put me away. Clean me. Do something with me...."

4. My house feels bigger. It's easy to understand why getting rid of junk leads to feeling like you have more room. More room to move... to breathe.

5. My marriage is better. My husband hates, I mean HATES, clutter. It is a stresser for him and therefore for me too. Our marriage has benefited greatly from simply simplifying our lives. 

“By wisdom a house is built, & through understanding it is established.”
Proverbs 24:3

“The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

Proverbs 14:1

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Seven Thoughts After Seven Years

Scott and I have been married seven years (as of yesterday)! What a joy it has been! He is my strong leader. The one who makes me laugh and laugh! He enjoys our kids immensely. He enjoys just sitting and visiting with me. He is a great bible teacher and we thrive on doing ministry together.

I have been pondering marriage a lot the last couple days and wanted to share seven thoughts I have after seven years:

1. Adapting to my husband makes him and me happier. I am seeing with each passing year the benefit of adapting to Scott. I am also seeing the detrimental affects of not adapting to him and pushing my own agenda. As I adapt to Scott's vision for our family and home I find there is less and less strife. No husband is going to have the exact same agenda as his wife in all things and we must submit to them as unto the Lord, ultimately doing it for God and leaving the results up to Him.  I am a lot happier when I walk in my God ordained boundaries. Scott leading and me following works best because it's God's best.

"Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:22, amplified)

2. Nagging isn't good. It's bad. Real bad. Not sure when you are nagging? Give your husband the freedom to tell you when he thinks you are. :) For me it is best to present my side and drop it. (Lord knows I need to improve in this area!)

"Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." (prov. 25:24)

"It is not the nagging, but the behavior, that shows Christ in a life. The quiet winsomeness of a wife speaks eloquently of Jesus Christ." Jay E. Adams

"A gracious wife satisfieth a good husband, and silenceth a bad one." George Swinnock


3. Our children are watching us. As Rhea is getting older and understanding more I am sobered. Big time. She is watching. So is Ricky... and Johnny... and soon to be Charis as well. Our children are learning from us every moment they are around us. Rhea is learning from me about how to be a mom and a wife. Am I a joyful mom? Do I whine and complain about my house-wife duties? Or do I do them promptly and with thankfulness? How am I treating my husband? With respect? With love? Kids notice these things. They are constantly, sometimes sub-consciously, taking mental notes that are shaping who they will be as spouses and parents some day. Generations will reap what we sow.

4. Marriage is a GIFT from the Lord! The more I concentrate on his strengths the more I see what a gift he is! So many of us focus on our husband's flaws (which they all have... which WE all have). what fun is that?! That never gets me ANYwhere. Marriage can be such a gift or such a burden. The more we as wives seek to honor our husbands the more we will be blessed and enjoy marriage. The more we resist our man and push our way the more of a burden marriage will be. It's our choice. I have met some women out there married to JERKS! LOSERS! and yet, by God's grace and their desire to please Him they are living happy, fulfilled lives! I have also met some women married to hardworking, kind men and they are miserable. It's all about our focus. Our hope is to always be in God. Our identity is in Him, not our husbands.

5. I am much happier when I accept my husband for who he is! Don't try and force your husband to be someone he isn't! My favorite "wife verses": "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,  when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." (1 Peter 3:1-2). Reminds me of the Jay Adams quote from earlier. No man is perfect in all ways except our Savior. Be thankful for the man you got! Praise him for his strengths and ignore his weaknesses.

6. Marriage is good for lots of things, like showing me what a selfish/self-righteous person I am. Unfortunately marriage has brought out the worst in me at times... I have done and said some pretty ugly things. All my ugliness, however, brings me closer to Jesus, makes me more thankful for His sacrifice and makes me more dependent on Him... that's always a good thing. Marriage is best when I put Scott's interests before my own. Marriage is not about me (although it does bless me!) It is about Him! It is for Him! It is a representation of Him and His bride!

7. Lastly, marriage doesn't last. It is temporary. In heaven we will no longer have the marriage relationship we have now (Matt. 22:30). Don't take your focus off the Lord! Your relationship with Him WILL last forever. Pour into that relationship the most and all your earthly relationships, including marriage, will be better. He makes all things better.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Why I Am No Longer "Babywise"

I guess I am officially Babydumb. I was an avid babywise mama (which some of you KNOW) with my first three kiddos. Especially my first one. I felt like I had lost my mind and babywise seemed to bring some sanity. Rhea, my first, seemed to be the perfect "babywise baby". But there were times I would let her cry and cry and cry... I regret that now. FOR ME babywise was really to feed my selfishness. I am not saying this is the case with all babywise moms, but it was undoubtedly the case for me. I didn't want to be inconvenienced by a needy baby all day and night so the idea of letting my baby cry in the room and having a book tell me that I had every right to do so made that selfish side of me very happy and content.

Fast forward to baby number three. Johnny.

He was sickly. I have my suspicions at this point that it was actually vaccines that made him terribly sick. He was in the 1 percentile for weight and 103 percentile for head circumference... his head kept growing and his body kept shrinking. It was terribly frustrating and scary. I was told to stop breast feeding him or they would have to tube feed him... so I stopped. Johnny was sickly and needy and I "babywised" him. Big regret. I wish I would have nurtured him... comforted him... ran to him instead of running away from him... I still cry about it to Scott....

Our fourth was born on February 6th 2013. Charis (greek word for grace) Hope LaPierre. Man oh man, she is so sweeeeeetttttt :)

I felt different this time. Charis is our first "reversal baby". I felt more thankful this time than ever before. I was looking forward to being a mom more than ever before. For the first time I wasn't viewing my newborn as a nuisance... but as a gift. Not as an inconvenience but as a blessing. I was seeing her not as "work" but as a baby to enjoy. Such a difference. I found myself not wanting to let her "cry it out" (which often turns into "screaming it out"). I wanted to hold her longer.... nurse her longer and more often... but I felt guilty for that!

Then I found these four articles from

1. Breastfeeding God's Way

2. Baby Three Changed My Heart
3. Why Does My Baby Want To Suck All The Time?
4. Breastfeeding, Bell Bottoms and Birth Control

They encouraged me GREATLY! I felt like they were confirming my mothering instincts and allowing me to ENJOY being a mom of a baby!

Here are a couple quotes from the above article that in particular encouraged me:

"Hindsight is always 20/20. Mothering my first two children, I was selfish and controlling. I didn’t want to lose sleep! The book said to let the baby cry. Slowly, I became numb to his cries and my heart turned to stone. Even my husband would ask to pick up the crying baby to rock and comfort him, but I said, 'No, the book says…' Mothering this way is such a beautiful picture of the love of God! Is it always easy? NO! With every baby I learn more about dying to myself. But, knowing my breasts comfort my little ones brings much peace to me. Now my husband has the opportunity to comfort and rock his little ones too!"

"I was full of great intentions as I set out to nurse my first baby—nearly 50 years ago! My mother was by my side to encourage me in the way she thought best—to feed my baby on a four-hourly schedule. But sadly, this way brought me heartache and frustration. Every time my baby woke before the four hours were up, I paced the floor in agony waiting to feed him. My heart ached while my baby cried...(the fourth baby she transitioned to not scheduling) But, now I was in a dilemma! I was enjoying life, but the old wives’ tales haunted me. I certainly wanted to do it God’s way. I cried out to God for direction. He was faithful and revealed His truth to me through Isaiah 66:10-13. In this passage God likens Jerusalem to a nursing mother. As we read the passage we see God's plan for nursing mothers. We do not even see the word "food" mentioned. Instead. it talks about satisfying, consoling, delighting, and comforting. The revelation hit me. Nursing is not an alternative method to bottle feeding. It is total mothering! It is ministering to the total needs of the baby, whether it is for hunger or emotional security. This “freeing” way of mothering blesses mother and baby. Not only does the mother meet the needs of her baby through sucking, but God provides natural contraception. It takes a lot more sucking than scheduled feeding provides to hold back ovulation."

I could quote so much more but don't want this post to be a bajillion words. The part in particular that resonated with me is how God likens Himself to a nursing mother.... nursing is not just for food but for consoling and comforting. I love to console and comfort Charis now. I only wish I could go back and do that with my other three...Thankful for this opportunity the fourth time around!

This post is not meant to offend people! It is meant to encourage mamas who are maybe on the fence in their nursing "style"/approach. It is for moms like me. Moms who feel guilty for nursing their babies. That is sad. Nursing is such a gift to mama and baby! It is a privilege to be able to comfort our babies!

I still did some "sleep training" with Charis. She has never slept with me (just doesn't work... tried it numerous times... and it doesn't work for my husband either). She sleeps in her crib happily and peacefully. She looks forward to going to bed. She slept through the night as early as my boys did (whom I did babywise with). She is happy and so am I. I no longer dread the newborn stage and I am thankful.

p.s. sorry to all my mom friends that I shoved babywise down your throat... now I will be trying not to shove babydumb down other mom's throats.

UPDATE: This is by far my MOST READ POST EVER. So I decided to give an update on how it is going with my second "non-babywise" baby. I have included six tips to help your baby sleep without "babywising" them. Check it out here!