Monthly Archives: May 2010

It Made Me Laugh Anyway

I just have to tell a few quick funnies before they escape me. They may not be funny to you, but I just had to get them down to savor these moments, so here goes. The first couple are Anders’. As you know, he comes up with zingers & so often I just can’t get them down fast enough. But the last week, I caught a couple, so here I write them.

Our kids love to spread blankets out real nice & smooth on the living room floor, lay down on one end holding the edge, & roll themselves up in it like a burrito. We call it blanket burritos or blanket tacos. Silly, but loads of fun. The other day, Anders was trying to get Jack to join in & he just wouldn’t have anything to do with it. So Anders asked me if I’d join him since the other kids were in school. “You can be the big bun, Mom.” Well… what can one say to that??? me: “Tacos don’t have buns, honey.” A: “Then you can be the sour cream.” Okay, at this point, I’m not sure which suggestion to be more offended about! Honestly!!! Needless to say, I did NOT join him in his blanket burrito! But I did take pictures & laugh heartily. Btw, he wanted Jack to be the tomato or onion, so I choose to assume he was randomly picking toppings. He, of course, was the beef & beans. How fitting.

Then just today, on the drive home from church, Anders, Callie & I had a fun conversation. (Keith stayed home with our bookend boys who were feeling under the weather last night, so this was a rare time with just the three of us.) I was telling the kids how glad I was that God gave me my four sweet babies, blah, blah, blah. They are at such a fun age right now & it was such a fun morning to simply enjoy those two without distraction, ya know? I was saying how I wouldn’t trade my awesome Nate or dear baby Jack for anything, but it sure was fun to be with those two. Anders’ comeback was, “I wouldn’t trade you for any other Mom. You’re the best! (Pause to stop & think.) I’d only trade Dad for Jesus, but that’s it. He’d be a good dad…” I just shake my head. How does he come UP with this stuff??

The last one is Keith’s. He has been such an encourager to me through the years in the fitness department! He has learned the fine manly art of not suggesting things, but rather praying for me when I’m struggling with my weight. I am hard enough on myself. He knows that. Any comments from him are not really helpful to my ears, but rather defeating. (It really isn’t what he says, it’s what I hear.) Anyway, last year I was able to get weight off with Weight Watchers & didn’t exercise at all. Course, I was also nursing so it came off, if not as fast as it did when I was 20 something. Anyway, I called last year’s initiative “Operation Dumbo Drop”. You have to understand, I psych myself up to get “on track” with a self-inflicted program complete with an official name, sticker charts, etc. Hey, whatever works, huh? Things went well with ODD last year, but the second I stopped the “program”, everything went to Hades in a hand basket. Fast forward several ridiculous months & you’ll land on April, 2010. I got myself all set on a new program: NETT GLO, I call it. That stands for: No Excuses This Time – Get the Lead Out!!!! It is the exercise regimen I set up for myself these days. Am I weird or what? Anywho, it has been going well the last two months. I am turning into one mean (notice the “lean” is missing) muscle machine. Problem is, I have this stubborn layer of blubber covering up all my awesome fitness underneath! Darn. I know the problem. As I worked out this morning, I thought to myself how I know I’ve got to do both ODD & NETT GLO simultaneously…then I’ll have it down! Bless his sweet little heart, my gentle hubby joined me in the north room (workout area) this morning & listened to my plan, eyes kinda wide & innocent looking. Trying hard to decide whether or not it would be wise to say ANYTHING here. Then came up with this one: “You know, you could call it NETT Drop. Combining both programs? Verses the opposite… which would be Dumbo GLO… not so good.” : ] Maybe it’s just me, but the picture of a giant elephant glowing to represent what happens if I don’t exercise & at the same time eat whatever my heart desires…hilarious!!! It took guts for him to say it, you could see the wheels turning in his head – should I or shouldn’t I – but I thought it was a good one. Cute! And the way he so delicately said it makes me laugh. You might not get a chuckle out of all that, but I just had to write it out to remember. In the future, if you ever hear us talk about the NETT Drop program, now you’ll know what we’re talking about – exercise AND eating right. Verses Dumbo GLO…wrong direction. *shakes head soberly* Not. good.

Callie-isms Revisited

It was a couple years ago that I posted some cute quotes from my sweet Callie here. I shared her list on FB, but have just been collecting other cute things she’s said over the last couple years. Tried to wait until her birthday to share, but just couldn’t wait. For whatever reason, today’s the day.
While dutifully cleaning her hampster cage, “I don’t think I’ll ever be a janitor when I grow up. My eyes are watering. It’ll be hard to be a momma!”

When at a shower for a cousin’s new baby last year, we were told to take a 3×5 card & put advice on it to the new mommy. We women were wracking our brains to think of something profound. I think I put something about cherishing every stage or some such thing. We thought it was cute that Callie took a card, wondering what kind of “motherly advice” she’d have to pass along. She ended up with the best of us all.
“Tell your baby about Jesus.”
*sniff* :_] She nailed it!
At school, there was a girl on the playground she found out had no Bible. She took time & thought to gather a bunch of little gifts (bracelet, stampers, ring, etc) to put in a bag along with an extra Bible we had. It took her a week of collecting just the right stuff & giving it at just the right time, She’s definitely got a thoughtful & sensitive spirit.
“Be a good boy. Read your Bible with Mom.” – a note she left for Anders at his place on the table before she went off to school in the morning.
Other examples of her compassionate heart & thoughtful spirit:
– holding Grandpa W’s hand the hour before he died. No hesitation or fear, she just stood by his side with his hand in hers loving on her grandpa.
– being with Grandma B when my dad died unexpectedly. At four years old, God knew she was the one that needed to be there for Mom. As Mom tried to call the ambulance, etc. she set Callie up at the table to color, trying to figure out exactly what to do. When she came back into the room to check to see if C was okay & not knowing if C understood what was going on, Callie told her, “I prayed that God would raise Grandpa from the dead, but it’s okay if he doesn’t. We’ll see him again someday. You’ll see him first, Grandma, ’cause you’re old.” Just what Mom needed to hear at that moment! The faith of a child. : ]
– A man at church had died & we’d never met his son, but they looked quite a bit alike. Callie, with a sweet smile, walked right up to his middle aged son & gave him a great big hug, telling him how much she loved his dad.
We couldn’t be prouder of our sweet Callie girl. It is a joy to have her as our daughter & we look forward to seeing how God’s going to use her tender heart & thoughtful spirit. I’ll end with this Sunday School paper collected & kept from a while back. Someday, it just might be fun to show it to her little sister if God sees fit to give her one…

Favorite Quotes Revisited

A list of great quotes was started here, but over the last couple years, a few more have floated through that need to be added. These are the ones that stuck & have been coming back a lot lately so get promoted to the list…

“I have an enemy & you’re not it.” – Pastor Yogi gave it in a sermon.
Comes in handy more than you’d think! Really puts things in perspective quickly. No matter who you’re in a stink with about what, Satan’s the one at work there. Love the other person! See the attack for what it is.

“Anything that makes me need God is a blessing.” – Nancy Leigh DeMoss

“He’s alive, you know.” – Bill Hendricks
This goes along with something Dr. Habermas shared with us. God spoke to him in the midst of his grief at the death of his young wife of about 15 years, “Didn’t I raise My Son from the dead?” Our God is not dead. He is intricately involved & loves me very much. And He can do anything!

“Pick red apples.” – James MacDonald on evangelism.
If you need the explanation on this, click here.

“Things will happen when you pray that wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t pray. Likewise, things will not happen if you don’t pray that would’ve happened if you had prayed.” – Dad
Keith & I are just scratching the surface of the mysteries of prayer. Wow. God. hears. us! Utterly amazing.

“Does it count for eternity?” – heard at a Gothard seminar years ago & various places through the years; reminded by good friend Diane recently.
Excellent measuring stick when sorting out what to say yes or no to & how to redeem the time.

“See them the way Jesus/God does.” – parenting advice from Diane.
I heard a variation on this again on Focus on the Family with Tim & Darcy Kimmel talking about grace parenting recently. (You can listen to part one & part two on line by clicking on the blue title after you open the pages linked here.) This is good to remember when dealing with people in general.

“We cannot insure success, but we can deserve it.” — John Adams

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” – Thomas Jefferson

Just found a new one…
“Be careful how you count. And if it results in pride or jealousy, stop counting. The Lord will not share his glory!” – Mark Batterson

I Got Issues. You Got Issues. All God’s Children’s Got Issues.

Last time, I posted about difficulties in our lives beyond our control & our response to them. But what about when I’ve messed up & it was something really stupid & frankly, sinful on my part? Wow, God couldn’t use that, could He? What’s the right response to sin in my past? Or sinful bents in my life I’m wrestling with right now?

Confess & repent of your past sin, & give your weaknesses to God. Don’t wallow in it, either by excusing it as “just the way I am” or letting it get you so discouraged you feel worthless. Understand that He delights in turning that very weakness into a strength so He alone gets the glory for it.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”

The Bible is full of examples of God taking someone with major issues & turning those very issues around for His glory. (Btw, newsflash: EVERYONE has major issues!! It’s called a sin nature. You’re born with it. So am I. So is every living human being on this planet. This would be a whole other post, but since we’re skirting various issues here, I love Keith’s answer to whether some people are born with homosexual tendencies or not. He doesn’t argue that, but instead agrees that yes, someone may be born with that bent, but that’s not unique. Others are born with a bent toward anger or gossip or gluttony. It’s all the same thing – sin nature. None of it is excused or should be accepted or celebrated. I got me a pretty wise hubby if I do say so myself!)


Moses – ran from responsibilities, murderer, out of control anger issues. Turned around to become an intercessor for God’s people when God was angry enough to destroy them, even to the point of being willing to give his own life & posterity up for them. (Exodus 32:9-14,31,32; Numbers 14:12-20)

Peter – so fearful he denied Jesus three times. Turned around to become the one chosen to preach the first gospel sermon a few weeks later on Pentecost, leading thousands to Christ at one time.

Paul – legalistic Jew, murderer of Christians. Turned around to become the one hand picked to show the Jews God’s covenant had been extended to the gentiles. Then being the first to go out & spread Christianity around the known world.

David – committed adultery with Bathsheba, even having her husband murdered! These two turned around to become the very couple God used to bring Solomon into the world, & Solomon was the one who ushered in the golden era of Israel & built the greatest temple to our God this side of Heaven. God could’ve chosen any other of David’s vast array of sons, but He chose one from the union with Bathsheba; one that really never should’ve ever been. Yet God didn’t forever curse that line as we would humanly expect, but instead used it greatly, even leaving us with three books in His Word from the mouth of that very seed. Interesting.

These guys were all in pretty bad shape due to poor choices they had made in their past. They all had choices about where they were going to go from there. Each chose to give it to God: their past, their present, & future. They all took their sinful nature to the Potter’s house to shape as He wished & look what God did!

God has given each of us our personalities, strengths as well as weaknesses, for a reason. We all have some of both. Don’t make the mistake of thinking He only can use your natural talents or certain spiritual gift for His good uses. More often, I’ve seen Him take weaknesses & shine His glory through them. Into a self-centered person, He wants to infuse thoughtfulness & genuine kindness to others. He wants to tame loose lips & set them free to speak encouragement & Truth instead of gossip & discord. He wants to turn our anger into peace, patience, & gentleness. Our greed into generosity. Our jealousy into contentment. Lust into true love. Laziness into diligence. Worry into faith. Fearful hearts into trusting ones. Pride into gratefulness for all that others have done for you. Gluttony into self-control. Gloomy dispositions into joyful hearts. Rebellious hearts into ones that desire goodness & to be obedient.

What’s your issue? We all have at least one. Whatever it is, God wants to take that & turn it into His victory badge, shining out for the world to see HIM. Don’t wallow in your weakness. We serve a powerful God! He can turn it around. In fact, THAT’S HIS PLAN! Trying to change those things any other way won’t work. You can’t turn it around in your own effort. That doesn’t make you bad or uniquely broken (so don’t go blaming yo momma), that makes you human & in need of a Savior. Welcome!! If you’ve been discouraged by your weaknesses, take heart. He can take that very issue & make it His shining moment. He WANTS to do that. But in order for that to happen, you have to daily hand that issue over to Him to handle. And that, my friend, is exactly the point. That’s where He wants us! On our knees & fully dependent on Him daily. Think about it. How else would He get us there? Just like the ten commandments are there to show us our sin & point us to God, those weak spots in each life are there to remind us we aren’t God & we need Him desperately.

2 Corinthians 12:9,10 – “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Romans 8:37-39 – “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John 16:32-34 – “But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for My Father is with Me. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


Keith & I were having our Saturday morning chit-chat this morning. We talk about the kids, house, stories we didn’t have time to share during the week, the future, etc. One thing leads to another usually & we kind of bump along. Anyway, this morning we started talking about a certain situation we have no control over & we were giving each other the pep talk – God’s got it handled & will change it when it’s time.

It’s one thing to say God can change the situation. He can! That’s true. I’ve often reminded myself that God changed Pharoah’s heart with the ten plagues. He can use all kinds of things to change this situation we’re in if & when He chooses. But for whatever reason (& we don’t have to know), He chooses not to right now. We just need to trust Him in that. “All things work together for good to those who love Him & are called…” I know that. Somehow, God’ll work all this mess out for His good purposes. Ever thought that way?

That’s all true, but we got to thinking beyond that this morning. What if Joseph thought that way? He probably did for a while. But somewhere in all that prison stuff, he must have made the switch to thinking… God IS working IN all this. He’s not just allowing this & choosing not to change it for whatever reason. He is working His will IN it. He wants this to happen. This is GOOD. I’m pretty sure Joseph made that thought switch because he didn’t spend his life wallowing in the prisons. He would’ve had every right to get all sorry for himself & feel like all the talent & privileges God gave him had been squashed due to his brothers’ stupid sinful hearts. If only they… But he didn’t. He got busy being productive in spite of all that pain & unfair treatment.

Keith brought up Paul. The very last verses in Acts say this, “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul was under house arrest here. A guard was always by his side & he was not permitted to go to the mission field like he had been “called” to do. Some might say his life calling had been thwarted or stunted. Doggone it! He wasn’t free to do what God wanted him to do! Yet it says “without hindrance”. God was orchestrating the whole thing & Paul knew it. Paul was aware that God was working IN his imprisonment, not that He could change that situation if He wanted to but for some reason was choosing not to. See the difference? That’s huge!

To make the shift in thinking not just that God will eventually work all this out, but that God is doing His good purpose right now in the midst of it all is very important. Joseph had to have switched to do what he did. Paul obviously had that perspective. He didn’t sulk in the difficulty of prison or beatings or his many, MANY trials. He recognized those trials as the trail to God’s good work in His life & those around him. That’s how Paul could say, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…” just before He wrote “I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4)

Whatever is going on in your life right now, yes, God could change it if He wanted. Yes, He is choosing not to for His own good reasons. But try telling yourself this truth, too: He is working His good purpose in that circumstance right now. In the middle of the pain. The frustration. The limitation. Don’t think that the end is good, but the means getting there is just to be endured. He could’ve made a different means to get there but He didn’t. He chose this path for a reason.

And don’t think for a moment He is not aware of what is happening. Not only is He fully aware, He brought THAT to you for a reason. Yes, I said THAT. Even that!!! Whatever “it” is. Rest in the fact that He IS WORKING in that. Right now. Know that YOU are not hindered from God’s great plan in any way. I needed to hear that this morning. Maybe you do, too.

2 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, ALWAYS be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

This whole post is assuming we have no control over our situation & there’s no sin on our part involved. Next post: when we’re in a bad circumstance that was or is in our control – due to bad choices.

Lessons From Captain Underpants

My seven year old & I had one of those awesome teachable moments today. First of all, this child is all boy. And he hasn’t found his reading genre yet. Let me get those two pieces of information out right now. He’s a very good reader, but my older two had already found several series they loved by the time they were this age. Anders, my seven year old, likes action more than sitting & reading in general. When he does sit & read, he reads what I tell him to & that’s about it. Enter stage right, Dav Pilkey.

If you haven’t seen a Dav Pilkey book, I’d have to say count yourself lucky. To say he’s geared to the six to eight year old boy is an understatement. Check out his site to see what I mean. Anyway, our oldest boy happenstanced upon the Pilkey shelf one day at our library, much to my chagrin, & Daddy said he could check out a few of his books. Six plus years later, he still likes them. The legalist in me wants to ban them entirely, but I try not to say anything about it – it’s a boy thing between the boys & their dad who by the way is a very godly man so for me, it’s a trust issue God’s teaching ME here. Anders does every once in a while get them out & sits to read/laugh at them. He pulled out a stack of them just this morning.

I sat down beside him & read a few chapters & laughed with him. They are funny if you put yourself in a seven year old boy’s world. I have to admit, there is something great about a cute little seven year old boys giggle. Even if it’s at a certain Captain Underpants. Okay, so I thoroughly enjoyed & laughed heartily at the chapter where a robot drinks prune juice & the people he ate are “released”. The drawings got me. And I got carried away with the moment, I’ll admit it; I was intoxicated by Anders’ giggle. Anyway, something possessed me to show Anders the website to let him color some pages, activate a few flip-o-ramas on line, hear a song or two. Nate showed me that site years ago, but Anders has never seen it. We enjoyed a good laugh over the burp song (the real title is s bit more crude). He had Super Diaper Baby dance a few jigs. I assured him that if I ever caught wind of him singing the burp song, etc. at church, in front of Grandma, etc. he would never get another Pilkey book out again NOR see that site again. We talked briefly about discretion & a few more minutes went by.

I wanted to make sure he understood the difference between “bad” & funny but only in the right context & place. I mean, I dont’ want our children thinking we’re hiding stuff here. I don’t want them thinking there are two sets of rules or that we are faking it out & about. You have to admit, discretion is a difficult concept for a little guy. We talked about how there’s nothing bad about tooting or burping – God made our bodies to do that. And it IS funny! I’m sure Jesus laughed a time or two about those things as a little boy growing up. We talked about the songs & how the one song that did bother me was the one about Mr. Krupp, the principal. It didn’t talk highly of him; not horribly disrespectful, but enough to make me talk about it. I asked Anders if Jesus would be happy or sad about anything we listened to or read today. We talked about how Jesus IS here with us. Does He think this is funny or if not, what would He be sad about? We talked about the “funny feeling” you get in your heart when something’s just not right. I explained how right now, Dad & Mom are Anders’ protection & when we feel something’s not right for you, you’re not allowed to watch, read, hear it. Once something goes in the brain, it’s pretty much permenant. As he gets older, the goal is for him slowly but surely, a little at a time, take that over until when he’s in college, he needs to be able to hear God & know that “funny feeling” when something’s not right, turn it off, close the book, etc. all on his own without Dad & Mom’s protection. That takes practice. He mentioned Runescape, a game Nate plays on line that makes Anders feel funny. I explained that Runescape is one of those areas we are letting Nate practice on right now. What is wrong for Anders may or may not be wrong for Nate. It’s between God & Nate right now. THAT’s why it’s so important to be in God’s Word every day & talk to Jesus about everything. The Bible doesn’t say “You can listen to the burp song, but the principal song is bad.” We need to know what the Bible says about honoring our authority & to everything there is a season, etc. Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit to let us know when something’s not right using God’s Word. We need to listen & respond every time we feel that tug. THAT’s how the Holy Spirit guides us. Our job is to be “in tune” to Him.

It’s very easy to just ban something or tell your child something’s bad. And many things are in the world today. But there are some opportunities for us as parents to loosen the reigns a bit & let them find out what the Holy Spirit’s conviction feels like. Knowing most of Pilkey stuff is just really gross, I let Anders hear a few songs & dance a dance or two. It didn’t take long before the funny wasn’t quite so funny & you could tell he didn’t feel real good about it. We talked about how Seeds songs are different from say, these Pilkey songs, because God’s Word is living & unique & straight from God. Those words never make you feel weird or gross & it’s never wrong to sing them in any circumstance. Lots to chew on. He thought about it & took it all in. So, when it’s all said & done, I thank Pilkey for our discussion today. Thanks for giving us a springboard to talk about discretion, discernment, and conviction. Great lessons there for a seven year old or a forty year old!

A side-note conversation I wanted to remember was Anders saying he wanted to share Jesus with others, but everyone he’s ever around already knows Jesus. SO, we also talked about how that is why it’s so important for us to be on our best behavior when we’re out & about running errands, etc. We represent Jesus to those around us who may not know Jesus or us, but they see us pray before we eat, etc. And if we are then nasty to little brother, disobedient to Mom, or just disrespectful in general to others in the store, they see that! Likewise, we witness to them when we show patience with brother, love to Mom by instant obedience, have a joyful heart, are gentle, self-controlled, etc. Those fruit of the Holy Spirit are what we want those around us to see in us & know that Jesus makes a difference in our lives. THAT’s how we share Jesus with those around us.

Yep, good conversations today. : ]