Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Locks of Love and why you should always wear a helmet

OK, the two topics have nothing to do with each other, except that two members of our family decided to alter their physical appearance this weekend, both voluntarily and accidentally.

My oldest daughter has needed a haircut for quite a while. Her hair was LONG--she could almost sit on it! She loved her long hair, loved putting it up, but the ends were not in great shape so we were going to get a trim. Then, the day before the appointment, she tells me that she wants to donate her hair to Locks of Love, the charity that makes hair prosthetics for sick children. I was surprised. She donated once before, a few years ago, but she really likes her hair long, and the hair must be at least 10 inches to qualify for a donation. When I asked if she was sure, she said she was a little reluctant, but it helped to know that she was helping someone else.

So, here's the moment of truth:

And eleven inches later, here's how she looks:

Now...the makeover that doesn't look so good.

My sweet little boy was racing along on his Spiderman scooter Sunday afternoon, racing his mommy when he got tripped up and crashed onto the asphalt driveway. I tripped over him and couldn't catch his fall. He smacked his head hard and instantly the biggest goose egg I've ever seen popped up on his forhead. I was just sick. To be so close and so helpless to stop it!

We watched him closely. My husband is a volunteer firefighter/first responder (kinda like an EMT) so he knows a bit about emergency medicine. Praise God, he is alright, but he looks just awful!

He actually looks a little worse now, because the knot is all dark and scabby. Nasty.

The irony of it all is that the next morning he was up and running around like nothing happened. I have the smallest abrasion on my knee, but have been half crippled since Sunday. My hip, my knee and my ankle are all out of whack. Seeing the chiropractor again tomorrow. This old body doesn't rebound like it once did.

Friday, March 10, 2006

faith like a child

I have to share an experience I had with my 8yo daughter, Mackenzie, a few weeks ago. It happened on the day of her birthday party, actually, and I can't seem to get it out of my mind.

We are blessed in the fact that most of our family are believers. However, one relative and his family do not attend church. They might tell you they believe in God, but that's about it. His language is a bit coarse, and he particularly has a habit of taking God's name in vain. I think he does try to clean it up around our family, which I appreciate, but at the party he must have let one slip because Mackenzie came to me and asked me why he would say that.

I explained that ____ and his family don't go to church, and don't know the Lord, so we shouldn't be too surprised when they say or do something that seems ungodly. (I thought she already knew this)

I was stunned when she burst into tears. "You mean they're going to go to hell?" she sobbed.

I wasn't sure what to say. Her party was taking place in the other room. I wasn't prepared for this topic. So I told her I honestly didn't know, that I knew _____ had been raised in the church, and God knows his heart. I told her we can invite them to church, tell them about Jesus and pray for them, but ultimately the choice is theirs. She calmed down and the rest of the party went uneventfully.

But I keep pondering. _______ and his family married into our family five years ago. We do not have a lot in common, but we have come to care for them very much. So why hasn't my heart been broken before now for the condition of their souls? I have friends who do not know the Lord. Have I ever wept for them?

My eight year old daughter immediately recognized the desperate condition of a life without Jesus. Her response touched a chord in me. How can I be so complacent about the fact that people I know and love do not know and love my Lord? I have been so focused the last several years about leading my children to Christ that I have forgotten that my circle of influence does not stop at the door of my home.

Thank you for reminding me, Mackenzie.

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Katie's pancakes

My lovely daughter Katie made pancakes for her family's breakfast this morning. She got up first and just fixed them without being asked. From scratch. With chocolate chips and everything.

Here she is, my little apprentice:

Here are the adorable mini pancakes she made for her baby sister.

Notice that she added colored sprinkles and Mickey Mouse ears. Yeah, she's a gem.

Teaching my girls to work in the kitchen has been such a blessing. My mom is a good cook, but she doesn't like to cook and doesn't do it much. We ate a lot of frozen/convenience foods and take out when I was growing up. When she did cook, it was easier and faster for her just to do it, and so I didn't know how to cook anything beyond frozen pizza when I got married. My poor husband.

After 13 years, I have learned to cook and love preparing meals for my family. I also love passing on those skills to my girls. When the time comes for them to be married, I want them to be prepared to take care of their homes and families. Some of our best conversations and teachable moments have taken place over a batch of cookies.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

keepin me humble

I was over at granolamom6's blog and she talked about how her toddler's behavior keeps her humble. I can so identify. In fact it seems like whenever I start to feel a bit prideful about my abilities as a parent, God uses my children to remind me that I am still a very cracked pot.

Wednesday evening, for example. Our church held a revival this week, and after each service we had refreshments in the fellowship hall. During this time, my husband and I were visiting with a friend at our church. He was very complimentary of our family and supportive of our decision to homeschool. As he was sharing about how pleasant and well-mannered he found our children, I'm starting to feel just a wee bit... well, prideful. After all, my kids did sit through four nights of revival. My oldest even took notes! And they dressed up, unlike some of the kids there who looked like they'd just rolled out of bed. And, really, it is a wise choice we have made to educate our children at home rather than abdicating our responsibility and sending them through the gates of hell into public school. Yep, I am a quite the godly woman. Yessiree.

Oh, how the tiniest seed of pride can grow and grow.

So, as I sat there feeling so satisfied, my 8yo daughter runs up to me and exclaims:

"Mom, Elijah just knocked a big hole in the wall of my Sunday School classroom!"


I went to see what had happened and sadly, her report was true. My polite, well behaved, well dressed, homeschooled son had disobeyed me by going upstairs, running around in the unsupervised classrooms and ultimately crashed into a wall, leaving a very large dent in the drywall. I was angry and embarrassed and humbled.

The church was very gracious about the damage. Later that evening, as I was mulling over the incident, I thought about how ironic it was that I was informed of the problem just as I was basking in the praise of our friend. Obviously, I was not pleased that my son had disobeyed me by going upstairs or that he was running around the church like a wild man. But what a reality check. Any "good" that my kids do is not my doing, it is God working in them. I should never allow myself to take credit for the work that He has done. All of the glory rightly belongs to Him and Him alone.