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Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Smack in the Face

Have you ever had the experience of reading a familiar passage of the Bible... one you know you have read many times but you see something completely new... something you never noticed?

That happened to me a few weeks ago and the passage of scripture has not left my mind. It was so convicting, showing me a big area of my life that I need to change.

The passage is 2 Timothy 4: 1-2 (NIV)
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

The part that smacked me in the face is the last six words:


the Amplified Bible says: being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.

As a homeschooling mom I have many opportunities during the day to correct, rebuke, and encourage my children. These verses made me pause and consider if I am doing these things biblically.
  • Am I using the Word of God to show them the folly of their ways or am I just barking orders at them.
  • Are my expectations of their behaviour based on biblical principles or do I just want them to "behave" for my convenience or so I won't look bad as a parent.
  • And most of all, am I doing this with GREAT PATIENCE...inexhaustible patience?

Ouch! I didn't like my answers to those questions but all I could think was "Is inexhaustible patience even possible with 3.5 kids?! "

This morning I was reading a devotional I receive each day via email... it was on the same topic (isn't that how God works :) You can read the whole text here but this is a little part of that email that reinforced what God was speaking to me about:

Patience is more than a virtue. It is a fruit of the spirit that must be developed in our children's character (Galatians 5:22). As we teach our children to discipline their selfish emotions, they learn to wait on God and trust Him for all their needs. However, leading our children through this growing process requires a patience of its own. As homeschooling parents, we may find ourselves failing to demonstrate the very patience we are attempting to instill. What about you? Are you speaking crossly, acting perturbed, or responding negatively to your child's request for help during the day? Homeschooling requires an intense amount of love and patience that only comes from walking with the Lord.

Just like my kids, I am a work in progress. I MUST depend on God for the patience I need as I carefully instruct my kids... it is when I try to do it in my own strength that things go awry. I must practice what I preach to them... they are more likely to follow my example than to listen to my words only... for their sake as well as mine, I have to get it right. It won't be easy and I know I will have good days and bad days but with God all things are possible. He has entrusted me with these little lambs... He will help me to lead them. Thank God for his grace and mercy!

A quote I read recently by Fredrick Douglass has also made me think of how I am influencing my kids and helping to shape them...

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."

One day I hopefully look at my grown kids and know that the hard work and patience was worth it!

What about you... what has God "smacked you in the face with lately?" Accept His correction, rebuke and encouragement and ask Him to show you how to change.

"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." Phil 1:6 (NIV)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Winning Entries

Last weekend was the annual Ag Show (our version of a county fair) I always enjoy the Ag show and this year was no exception. The sights, the sounds, the smells! The kids loved looking at the animals, baked goods and other exhibits and most of all they loved the cotton candy and snow cones. Kai Kai sang with our church's children's choir... they did a good job and were well received.

We spent the beginning of last week preparing the exhibits the kids has chosen to enter. This was LiLi's first year exhibiting and he was really excited. He kept asking if he would win a ribbon like his big brother did last year...

He was not disappointed! The boys did really well... they each entered 3 exhibits and came home with 3 ribbons each... 3 first place for KaiKai and a first, second and 3rd place for LiLi.

Here are their entries...

wishing wells made with clothes pegs and filled with branches and flowers.

KaiKai's guitar playing robot made of recyclable items

LiLi's Teddy Bear Island cake decorated with Teddy grahams and goldfish...he had fun making this one.

and my favourite... the decorated Easter eggs... We planted rye grass seeds in eggshells and watched the "hair" grow on our "little people".

The kids have already started talking about what they want to make for next year!

I am linking this to Mama Jenn's Kiddos Create Blog carnival... if you want to see other creations with everyday items check it out here.

Our cloth diaper journey begins...

10 weeks to Baby #4!!

When I discovered baby four was on the way, I started thinking about how many diapers our 3 kids had gone through over the past 6 years... 3 kids, diapers for 2.5 years each, 5- 10 diaper changes a day.. you do the math. The impact on our environment and on our bank account... especially here where disposable diapers are around $15 a package.

After talking with friends using cloth diapers, reading blogs of cloth diapering moms, and researching the MANY cloth diaper options available I decided to go for it.

Now let me say, I remember someone suggesting cloth diapers when I had KaiKai and I could not imagine even considering that... all I could think about was poo on the diapers and me having to remove that poo! Maybe I have grown up, or maybe having 3 kids has made me a little less squeamish or maybe it's the latest conveniences such as the Diaper sprayer... a handy little shower head that attaches to the toilet... whatever the case, that thought no longer bothers me.
The extra laundry probably won't make much of a difference to my already out of control laundry pile, and the money we will save going this route makes it more than worth it.

So once I decided to go with cloth, I then had to decide which ones... there are so many options. I was first overwhelmed by the choices... all in ones, pocket diapers, one size, diaper covers, prefolds, inserts, hemp, bamboo, cotton... I thought I would never figure it out. After a few nights of reading through a few good cloth diapering websites it didn't seem as complicated.

I finally decided on 3 different brands.

Applecheeks diapers are manufactured in Canada and can be used as a diaper cover by laying a prefold diaper inside it or as an envelope (pocket) diaper by stuffing it with a diaper insert. The versatility was attractive to me, and they also have a unique feature... the insert comes out in the washer, no need to unstuff them before washing. They were a little more pricy than other similar types but the ability to use them as a diaper cover, meaning the same one can be used with several diaper changes as long as it doesn't get too soiled, means that I didn't have to buy as many as if I bought all in one diapers. The colour choices were great and the customer service was exceptional. I fired off many questions to them and they always got back to me immediately. I ended up buying them from a US distributor, Fluff Envy because I had a 15 % off coupon that was only valid in the US. Applecheeks comes in 2 sizes so if I love them I will have to purchase new ones once the baby out grows size one... when he is about 20lbs.

The second type I purchased is new product from Cotton Babies, the maker of the popular BumGenius brand diapers... the Flip. This is a diaper cover that you use with a prefold or insert. It too can be reused with a new insert. This brand also has disposable inserts which will be handy when we are out and about or for a babysitter that doesn't want to deal with cloth diapers. These are one size so I will not have to worry about the little one outgrowing them and they too come in great colors!

The third brand is the gDiaper... these are basically the same as the Flip but with a flushable insert (reusable inserts are also available). These too are sized and I have the medium so I will have to wait until the baby is about 13lbs to use them. They are cute with their little signature "g"on the back.

Now of course the test of all these will be once I start using them. I'll update once I can give some feedback on how they actually work.