Recently, our church has seen the departure of what turns out to be about half of our congregation considering the number of people we began with. In one of the last services we had together with those who were about to depart for the mission field, new jobs, and other destinations, I decided to move away from the seat I originally chose in order to go stand and sing beside someone I consider a good friend. It’s always better to sing with someone, after all, especially if they are leaving next week. We happened to be singing “Shadows” by DC*B ft. Lecrae, and I was overwhelmed with praise for the God who brings us through our trials. I was arms-raised and weeping overwhelmed, and I was not alone. There is a unity the Holy Spirit brings to Christ’s church when we truly worship together. It is beautiful and solidifying, it breaks any fear we have of separation because we know we will be worshipping together in Heaven. Worshiping the same God, all of us. It’s glorious, and glory-bestowing on the one who made it happen, when we praise Him together. Continue reading
Category Archives: Deep and Wide
A word of caution, since this will automatically post to Facebook: There may be some content in this post that is too advanced for those who, say, don’t know exactly how it is that God makes babies happen. Wait until you are older to read it, if you fall into that category.
Also, I don’t intend to get into a debate with anyone about anything I have just written. If you disagree, that’s fine, and thanks for reading. This is just a presentation of our stance on these things, since people have actually asked.
While there have been plenty of very much appreciated joyful responses from people upon the realization that I am yet again with child, there have also been these gems:
- “What!? Really? Can you even afford another one? Do you guys not believe in birth control?”
- “You guys trying for twelve? Really, how many? How many do you want?”
- (Aside to his wife-) “He must climb her like a tree!”
- “This must be payback for all those years you were dating and I wouldn’t let you have sex.”
So, here are my answers to the above questions and assumptions:
1. Yes. We do believe in birth control, provided that it is non-abortifacient. We used the pill, until we watched this interview together, and we threw it all out the next day.
If you are not willing to watch a 7 minute video on the internet, here’s the gist. The birth control “pill” and some other forms of hormonal birth control* work in three ways: preventing ovulation, closing the cervix to keep sperm out, and finally, in the event that conception occurs, the lining of the uterus is diminished so that the fertilized egg is incapable of implanting to the point that it is flushed out with your next period. As Christians, who believe in the beginning of life at conception, we consider that third function to be the preventing of a human life’s ability to thrive and grow. We consider that death. This was especially difficult for me, after losing our first child in the early stages of pregnancy to miscarriage, after only very recently discontinuing taking the pill. I knew there was the possibility that it had a part to play in the loss of my child. I wish someone had told me this, but my doctor, my parents, my church friends, no one told me. Maybe they didn’t know. So, here I am telling you. If you wonder why so many Christians are in uproar about being forced to pay taxes for other people to use this stuff, and why Christian business owners are fighting against being forced by our government to provide this to their employees, it is against our belief in the sacredness of human life- all life, even the tiniest life.
That being said, we, after several months of discussion and prayer, decided that it was simply best to trust God with how many children we have and when. If he could prevent Sarah and Hannah from having kids up until he decided it was the right time, then he can prevent us from having them as he sees fit. If he made them pregnant when he decided it was the right time, then the same is true no matter what measures we would take to prevent it. Some of those measures add up and there’s no reason for us to buy them right now. We try to control so many things in our life, and often it is against God’s wishes that we trust him that we do so. We felt the leading to totally surrender control to him in this area of our lives. However, we are all for human responsibility + God’s sovereignty, so this is not something we would push on other Christians. Do what the Spirit leads you to do. If he tells us to start using something to space out or other wise plan or prevent future babies, we will do so, provided that the method that we use is consistent with the sanctity of human life.
With regard to whether or not we can afford another one, I would like to simply say that God has provided well beyond all that we have asked for our children so far. While I had some doubt when I first gave up my job, after Bug’s birth, that everything would be ok, I am not one bit afraid of anything now. I have not bought any clothing out of need since her first birthday party, and that goes for Gus too, thanks to the generosity of Mindy, Jacque, Dawn, Nora, Tonya, and many others. They have been entirely clothed and fed, by the hand of God, through the hands of generous people, on half the income that we had before their coming into this world. He is Jehovah Jireh, he feeds the sparrows and clothes the flowers of the field, and He is trustworthy!
2. We want as many children as God sees fit for us to have. Daniel once joked that he did in fact want 12 and was going to name them after all the disciples except Judas, but we had a girl first so that didn’t turn out. Plus he said 3+ on our marriage counseling survey, so I guess he’s doing fine. We truly have no number in mind, and no spacing in mind. We found that our ideal spacing requests were not God’s plan, so we abandoned them in favor of His will. He knows better than us anyway. We do want a larger family because we both grew up in smaller families, and we want lots of siblings for our kids. One couple advised us that this was a great idea, saying, “It’s better to give your child siblings instead of toys. You don’t have to learn to share, forgive, or help anyone with a bunch of toys surrounding you. You do with other people.”
3. Dear Friend, While it is truly none of anyone’s business, and that’s probably just some redneck expression, the Bible is all for a husband climbing his own wife like a tree:
Your stature is like a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters.
I say I will climb the palm tree
and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
and the scent of your breath like apples,
(Song of Solomon 7:7-8 ESV, emphasis added.)
4. Dear Milly, I love you, and you are hilarious! In the present you left for me at the lingerie shower that you *cough-thankfully-cough* did not attend, there was a sweet note on top of a beautiful white gown, covered up by a hideous grandma-style muumuu which I still intend to give back to you on your 60th birthday. That note read, “Just kidding. I want you to be happy in every area of your marriage life.” Thank you so much. It was not simply you, but God who helped us maintain our virginity to give to one another on our wedding night. He answered many of both yours and my mother’s prayers, I assure you. Otherwise, I would not have been so naive after 12 years in public school, plus college. While we have struggled to overcome areas of hidden sin in both of our lives, God has conquered them and forgiven us, and we have truly begun to enjoy this special gift He has given to us. Thank you for your sweet wish on the note, and I pray the same for you as well.
*Curious about your birth control? Read the pharmaceutical information insert that comes with it. It should detail exactly how it works.
Three reasons I will be attending Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.
Breakfast: Their Valet Service
This is just one of the many things I appreciate. There’s already delicious food, a play area, and clean seating all in one location. Why on earth would I not want to go with my kids? However, taking two children, the oldest of whom is two, and sometimes three or four children if I am babysitting, is rather difficult. Leave it to the caring staff and management of Chick-fil-A to come to my rescue. It’s called Valet Service. I can drive up, order and pay for everyone’s meal at the window, park my big red family van, and walk into the restaurant. Awaiting me is a table already laid out with everyone’s food and the appropriate amount of high chairs. Did I mention if it’s raining they’ve been known to meet me with an umbrella? Their service is undeniably superb.
Lunch: Their Kind Staff
Yes. I assume they are trained to be polite. I also assume they comb through their potential employees with a politeness aptitude check of some sort. The employees at my three local Chick-Fil-A locations are the sweetest, most helpful, and most service oriented individuals I have come across in a fast food setting. I have never once walked in and surprised two of them making out behind the counter (Backyard Burgers) or had my order taken by a young man trying to hide his trip under a ball cap while staring at the breasts of the customer behind me (McDonald’s).
- been greeted with a door held open for my double stroller.
- been remembered at the drive through. (Hey! How are you doing? I thought that was you with the #1 no-pickle and a Cherry Coke. Oh! You had your baby! How wonderful!…)
- had my order cheerfully fixed from pickle to no-pickle.
- brought my kids to princess night/ pirate night/ cow appreciation day, complete with staff dressed up and appropriately in character.
- been helped to my car with an umbrella in the rain.
- had fresh fries brought out to my table (not by request) because the worker thought my original batch had cooled too much by the time it reached me.
Dinner: The Reason Behind It All
If you haven’t read Dan Cathy’s original statement, please feel free to do so in an excerpt below. Also, read the secondary report of the interviewer who published the content here: http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38314
Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.
“We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized.
“We intend to stay the course,” he said. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
The upper management personally cares about Christian values. That’s all Cathy claimed to be guilty of. He denied being a Christian corporation. He personally claimed to be a Christian individual. (Not in this excerpt. Go read the whole article.) He said nothing whatsoever against homosexual people. He welcomes all people to his restaurant. He credits God with his profit and success, and thanks God that he lives in America where he has the freedom to run his business with good values. He mentioned his financial success funding orphanages, marriage retreats, and college scholarships. He cares about families. He is thankful that he is married to his first wife. It is out of his belief and gratitude that he runs his business in such a wonderful manner and generously gives out of his financial gain to others.
They are not only good at what they do, they have a reason behind it which drives them toward excellence.
So, there you have it. The three main reasons I will be joining in on Chick-Fil-A appreciation day on August 1, 2012. Don’t go anywhere Chick-Fil-A. I’m glad you are here.
What are yours? Post them as your status if you’d like so I can read them. 🙂
I rarely get to see a movie in the theatre, but I was super excited to see Brave this past weekend. I had been looking forward to it as the “If I get to go to the movies, I’m going to see that” movie. I didn’t have any reason to want to see it other than the fact that the girl is beautifully animated and has a seemingly confident personality in the previews. I didn’t even know the plot line. It was a redheaded girl, and something about being brave. Good enough.
I was happily surprised to find out that it was not your traditional Disney Princess story at all.
Spoiler Alert, don’t read any more unless you want to know the entire movie, not that I’m not three weeks into it’s release or anything.
So, here’s what I appreciated about the film:
While it seems that the conflict hinges on the daughter’s desire not to marry a firstborn son from one of the three other clans, the conflict is not played out between her and her suitors. It is between Merida and her mother, Queen Elinor, that the conflict and resolution occur throughout the story. We see glimpses into their past as a loving pair- contrasted with the current “Why won’t she ever listen to me?” relationship they have in Merida’s young adult years. Family ties and tradition are upheld in this story, not just in a “something you ought to appreciate” manner, but in a deep “You’ve got to love your Momma” manner. A win for Disney Pixar, in my opinion.
Once the mother is turned into a bear, more on that later, she is forced into a position of listening to her daughter. Merida, is on the other hand, forced to care for and protect her mother, from her father who is out to kill the dreaded Mor’du, a huge crazy-strong bear, that once took his leg in battle. Being a bear is not in her mother’s best interest. Being forced into these new roles, they learn to understand each other. Queen Elinor discovers that her daughter is wise and capable, and even catches her explaining the family history to the other clans in order to pacify their discord. She had been listening all along. Merida discovers that there are, in fact, consequences to her actions. She also learns that, while she may be a strong individual, other people in her life are there for a reason, and she still needs them. In the end, repentance and love are embraced by both mother and daughter and they enjoy a renewed relationship. Win for Disney Pixar number 2.
Oh, yes, and there is that little bit about witchcraft and magic. But if you don’t know me well, then you may be surprised by what I’m about to say. Yes, I’m a Christian. Yes, I appreciate this aspect of the movie. For this reason, witchcraft and magic and other supernatural things do in fact exist. You can’t make them go away by pretending they are not there as the father does in the movie. I’ve spent the last month pondering the pool in Bethesda in John 5. It is there, recorded in Scripture, something very odd, and Jesus didn’t attack that man for waiting there for years in hopes of being healed, he healed him. There is no sin in the existence of the supernatural. There is opportunity for sin in how and why we interact with it. In first world countries, we tend to behave as if it doesn’t exist at all, except in stories and legends. We are too afraid of it. In third world countries, the opposite is the trend. They know it is real and they often worship it. I vote that we ought to do neither, and go read Ephesians 6.
In the movie Brave, the daughter deals with a witch, and with selfishness seeks to change her mother, and actually in classically Biblical fashion, gets exactly what she asks for as punishment. Her mother turns into a bear. A change which will be permanent by the second sunrise unless they “mend the bond torn by pride.” This provides you with PLENTY of things to discuss with your children. Go do it.
Can I just throw in that I love the characters voices?
Back to my analysis.
There are two more “wins” for Disney Pixar in this film. First, the daughter, who engages in activities uncommon for a lady or a princess, does not seek to turn herself into a man or lose her status as the daughter of royalty. Major win. We see way too often characters who would rather give up their position in life to “be themselves” without realizing that it is also a part of themselves the position which they would so willingly lose. Has God made you a princess? a beggar? a student? a single person? a widow? Go think about that. Merida simply does not want to marry and be tied down so soon. As I’ve already mentioned, she also does not ask the witch to make her a man. Good choice, Writers. Way to uphold the fact that women can do awesome things, and stay feminine. Beauty and strength are an excellent combination found in varying expressions within every woman.
For the fourth and final win, the mother-bear and daughter combo ride back to the castle seeking to “mend the bond” and turn her mother back into a human before the father finds out and kills her. They believe that this means they must sew back the embroidery of their family that her mother had been working on, which Merida slashed with a sword in a fit of anger. I am delighted to find that this did not work. In the end, as the sun is slowly rising, Merida places the tapestry over her mother, as a “see, I did it, I mended the bond” expression, in the hopes that it will do the trick, and her human mother will return. As the bears eyes grow black again, and she finds that it is not working, she breaks down crying and says, (paraphrased, my kid was trying to play with the lights on the stairs at this point) “I am sorry. This is my fault. I did this to you.” This is exactly the way we are teaching our kids to apologize. To own up to their own fault in a matter, admit it, and seek forgiveness. Superficial stitches never hold. True confession and repentance are what change relationships and lives. Upon her admission and begging, the familiar hand of her mother brushes her thick frizzy hair, and she is joyfully surprised at her return.
Oh, and maybe a post-script fifth win for this movie is that, at least twice, the mother becomes a real bear, and even attempts to attack her daughter. Yet her daughter stays true to their relationship and never abandons her. This has serious implications in any relationship. We are all sinners, and the effects of sin cause some serious consequences. It can turn us into “real bears”, but we are not to abandon anyone we are joined to- friend, spouse, parent or otherwise. This is going to step on some toes, but if God has called you to be faithful, loyal, to a person, you must be. We have far too many marriages and families being torn apart by the consequences of one or more person becoming a “bear.” Stick with them. It may be scary. They may even attack you. But love and pray and be loyal to God first, and to them as He has called you.
Go hug your Mom.
I promised myself I was going to write more now that I have two kiddos. Haha.
Regardless, I did intend to post about the first six weeks around the six week old mark. I don’t remember hardly any of Bug’s first five weeks or so. Therefore, I would like to at least document parts of this before I lose it as well.
Well, it’s two months. Eight weeks is close enough.
DGA is growing steadily and has reached a whopping 14 pounds and a long 25.5 inches(ish). He is the size of my friends’ four month old. I picked him up yesterday morning and thought to myself, “He grew overnight.” Voicing this opinion to my husband, I had to prove it when he did not believe me. Considering I measured him only four days ago, and he had grown another 1/3 an inch and now did not fit into my favorite 3-6 mo size monkey shirt that says “Hunk” on the front- I am right, he did in fact grow overnight.
He’s very fussy because he’s sick. He’s also really looking forward to playing with his sister. There’s much more awareness in his eyes recently and when she gets in his face and looks at him he just coos and wiggles like crazy. He can hold his head up pretty well and has pretty good control of his limbs for how old he is.
Bug is really starting to get into imaginative play and it’s awesome to see what her brain is capable of understanding… some of these concepts surprise me. She’s understanding right and left decently and used “me” and “I” correctly the other day, although I don’t know that it will stick. She still gets some new words backwards (Truck is Kurt) but eventually gets them out right in the end. She LOVES the moon. It’s her favorite thing now to say “Moon! Thank you God!” She also likes firetrucks.
Me: What is this candle for?
Me: Who do we hope in?
Me: What is Jesus going to do?
Precious. Our washing machine is broken, so it makes sense for her to repeat what I’ve been talking about non-stop.
Speaking of Christmas, I find it surprising how many random strangers have no problem coming up to my kids and talking about Santa. We’re not teaching her about him yet. This probably deserves its own post, but we are going to teach her about the real story of Christmas first (Jesus) and later explain Santa historically and let her enjoy the story but know that it’s fake. We will also teach her to be nice to the other children, don’t worry.
The two under two thing isn’t all that bad. I mean there are moments I want to just completely throw in the towel, but most of the time it’s just plain wonderful. I love both of these children so much and I can’t imagine my life without them now. The main troubles I’m having are sleep deprivation, balancing activities and family, and the big one of feeling like I don’t get to spend enough time actively loving on and playing with my little Bug. I would love to have a Mommy and Me date with her again.
Now, my house- yes it is suffering. I could really use a clean floor. But right now they are both sick and so am I and I don’t have time to clean the floor except for to spot clean puke. I’ve learned to sleep in a small amount of baby spit up, considering my washing machine is broken and I don’t have massive amounts of laundry doing time on my hands.
This little boy is so precious I find that I really wouldn’t mind having another one at all. Someone told us to stop now because there is always “a bad one in the bunch.” I’m not really worried. The only thing we are concerned about is my health. Plan A was to wait a few years and give my body time to heal and recover, then have two more. (As much as that’s even something one can plan.) But I’m already back into my pre-preggo jeans, and I find that I’m not even really afraid of the idea of Irish-twins. So, now that the concept of birth control has become something that must be considered and not simply put off into the future, I’m really wondering about it all. I did pray recently that God would make me have legitimate twins next time, as a “sign,” if He wants me to not have any more. #’TwouldBeAwesome
Now, I’m convicted. I really do complain entirely too much if what I just wrote is true. Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me, sweet Husband.
I was wondering the other day if Mary complained at all about swollen ankles or the bumpy donkey ride, or even about the fact that she was pregnant and not given a room at that inn. C’mon, I would have. But it was all part of God’s plan right? Pondering.
Check out my son! He’s already doing his part to help the world in need.
Ok, in reality, it’s me, but wouldn’t it be great to tell him that this is what he helped do the first Christmas of his life? We gave him his name because it means “Beloved Vigilant Defender.” That’s exactly what we want him to grow up to be, someone who sees and stand up for the defenseless, the wee ones, the overlooked, the poor, the voiceless, the fatherless, the oppressed…
Please help us rescue a baby in Guatemala suffering from nutritional and medical need. We’re trying to raise a total of $1,200, which will save one child. Any amount will help, so will spreading the word. 🙂
David’s Christmas Gift: Rescue a Baby
O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
(Psalm 10:17-18 ESV)
Just so that, when it returns to its chaotic -toys in the floor, five pacifiers under the bed I can’t reach, clothes overflowing the hamper- status, I can look back and say it was once organized and really awesome. Also, in case you come to babysit, here’s where everything is!
Now for my corner of the room-
I have, I think, everything close at hand that will be needed. Cloths and a blanket draped on the rocker. Convenient side table and shelf. Side table has blankets at the ready (these will not be as pretty once in use), my night lamp, and softy storage underneath. High shelf for medicines, lotions and other stuff Bug doesn’t need her hands on.
This changing station is just a chest of drawers with a mat on top. I got the drawers organized too. (*yay!*) –
Drawer two with his night clothes on the left and hers on the right. I feel like I must switch these all of a sudden, realizing everything else in the room is reversed- she’s left and he’s right. (#brb. #done.)
Bug’s reading shelf. I really love this thing- the books are easy to get to and easy to put away, and it only cost $14 to make. Link to tutorial below.
Plus the laundry basket is conveniently by the place I change their clothes. Necessary, because I’m fairly lazy.
The clock. Bug’s first steps. Animals. And height chart, which I intend to embellish this week.
Toys are on shelves and the floor- mostly at Bug’s reach except the annoying ones.Left of the softy bin is a box for hats. His row of clothes are organized three through twelve months with each size group labeled by Target hangers facing backwards. Behind them and under the legos in the next picture, are larger bins for their respective clothes that will fit in the more distant future. (This helps my desire to buy future clothes from the sale racks stay organized and clean.)
Bug’s (current) and Dally’s (3-12m) pants are in these plastic and cloth bins. There’s another basket full of blankets on the shelf. Next to it is Bug’s sock box. That other box has some stuff in it that I just realized I can move in order to get an empty box. In the far corner, the slide is folded and stored but still easy to reach (for me).