Made an Advent comment on Facebook to generate some ideas. It's really hard to do Advent activities with a 1 year old, as he doesn't have patience for intricacies or understanding of the activities, reason for the season yet. I think we're going to do a few things, have to chat with Quinn about it yet, we have 1 tradition to do for sure, drive around North of the city looking at lights, then up to Lockport, Half Moon's for supper!! Quinn and I have done the past 2 years :)
I would like to purchase some kids Christmas music and some books particularly with Christmas story(ies).
So much on my mind and things God lays on my heart. This morning as I do other mornings, I ask God to be with me this day, to help me throughout the day with the boys, for patience, wisdom in teaching them and for love and compassion to come from me. God gives so much on those days I ask for help. I notice such a huge difference in my actions, reactions on these days. Days I forget to pray in the morning, those days throughout the day are harder, noticeably harder. Why don't we trust sometimes? Why do we try to do it on our own? Why do we think we're more able than God, the creator and sustainer?
I think I've talked about this topic before. Not that God magically makes your day a cake-walk, no whining, the kids just magically share their toys :), nope, that's not the lesson here, but He certainly gives me patience when I need it, wisdom to make the right decision, moments in the day to just treasure.
Quinn's best man said at our wedding for Quinn to daily pray for his wife...likewise I try to daily pray for my husband. Quinn provides for the family, I'm thankful for the job God's given Quinn that he can do so and I pray that God helps him carry out his work there.
145 I call with all my heart; answer me, LORD, and I will obey your decrees. 146 I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes. 147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. 148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. 149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, LORD, according to your laws. 150 Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your law. 151 Yet you are near, LORD, and all your commands are true. 152 Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever.
I get these weekly devotional emails from John Piper (Author and Pastor), this weeks was "compelling"!
A Compelling Reason for Rigorous Training of the Mind John Piper I was reading and meditating on the book of Hebrews recently, when it hit me forcefully that a basic and compelling reason for education — the rigorous training of the mind — is so that a person can read the Bible with understanding.
This sounds too obvious to be useful or compelling. But that's just because we take the preciousness of reading so for granted; or, even more, because we appreciate so little the kind of thinking that a complex Bible passage requires of us.
The book of Hebrews, for example, is an intellectually challenging argument from Old Testament texts. The points that the author makes hang on biblical observations that come only from rigorous reading, not light skimming. And the understanding of these Old Testament interpretations in the text of Hebrews requires rigorous thought and mental effort. The same could be said for the extended argumentation of Romans and Galatians and the other books of the Bible.
This is an overwhelming argument for giving our children a disciplined and rigorous training in how to think an author's thoughts after him from a text — especially a biblical text. An alphabet must be learned, as well as vocabulary, grammar, syntax, the rudiments of logic, and the way meaning is imparted through sustained connections of sentences and paragraphs.
The reason Christians have always planted schools where they have planted churches is because we are a people of THE BOOK. It is true that THE BOOK will never have its proper effect without prayer and the Holy Spirit. It is not a textbook to be debated; it is a fountain for spiritual thirst, and food for the soul, and a revelation of God, and a living power, and a two-edged sword. But none of this changes the fact: apart from the discipline of reading, the Bible is as powerless as paper. Someone might have to read it for you; but without reading, the meaning and the power of it are locked up.
Is it not remarkable how often Jesus settled great issues with a reference to reading? For example, in the issue of the Sabbath he said, "Have you not read what David did?" (Matthew 12:3). In the issue of divorce and remarriage he said, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?" (Matthew 19:4). In the issue of true worship and praise he said, "Have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes you have prepared praise for yourself'?" (Matthew 21:16). In the issue of the resurrection he said, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone'?" (Matthew 21:42). And to the lawyer who queried him about eternal life he said, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" (Luke 10:26).
The apostle Paul also gave reading a great place in the life of the church. For example, he said to the Corinthians, "We write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end" (1 Corinthians 1:13). To the Ephesians he said, "When you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ" (Ephesians 3:3). To the Colossians he said, "When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part readmy letter that is coming from Laodicea" (Colossians 4:16). Reading the letters of Paul was so important that he commands it with an oath: "I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren" (1 Thessalonians 5:27).
The ability to read does not come intuitively. It must be taught. And learning to read with understanding is a life-long labor. The implications for Christians are immense. Education of the mind in the rigorous discipline of thoughtful reading is a primary goal of school. The church of Jesus is debilitated when his people are lulled into thinking that it is humble or democratic or relevant to give a merely practical education that does not involve the rigorous training of the mind to think hard and to construe meaning from difficult texts.
The issue of earning a living is not nearly so important as whether the next generation has direct access to the meaning of the Word of God. We need an education that puts the highest premium under God on knowing the meaning of God's Book, and growing in the abilities that will unlock its riches for a lifetime. It would be better to starve for lack of food than to fail to grasp the meaning of the book of Romans. Lord, let us not fail the next generation! By John Piper.
I found these little wonders at A Child's Place in the mall, the company that makes them, Small Potatoes, sells all sorts of great things. They're kinda pricey (?) $11, but I figure either I buy one pair of these or 3 pairs of mitts over the winter.
In 3 days we will be moving to a new home, a new apartment home. Since finding out early this week that we would get to move this weekend, I've been excited. Excited with the prospect of a new place for many reasons. Now its sinking in that we will be living alone, no more help and that closeness with my in-laws and Caden's grandparents.
It has been a wonderful experience. Not surprisingly, each time I told someone we were currently living with my in-laws, their jaws dropped and this worried look covered their face. They showed surprise that for me and us, it has been a really great experience. It's only with Christ-like love within them and us (probably more them) that a living situation like this is possible.
Surely, my in-laws must have at times wondered at a decision I made or shook the inside of their head :) at me. Out of the 4 of us adults in this small place, I'm the messiest. I willingly admit; I'm not super organized, I leave the dishes a little too long sometimes and I'm sort've a messy cook. It's definitely made me step it up in notch - even so, I don't know if I succeeded in bettering myself.
With babysitting, its tough to find the time to clean your house or prep dinner with ease, having them here in the evenings gave me the time to cook dinner ALONE. We made the agreement that I would cook dinner during the week, they clean up dinner and they cook on the weekends. Dad would come home first from the workday, he would entertain Caden and I could just cook. It's SO satisfying to do something completely and well within that hour, it really made me feel efficient again and I love that feeling of cooking a good meal.
Caden loves the entertainment and love he gets from them. I think he'll miss it. :(
What a great period of time its been, if I said I wasn't emotional about it, I would be lying. If God has shown me something in this period of life, its been how to love unconditionally. I know so many people struggle with in-law relationships. Thankfully for me, its not so. The way they've accepted me and been so gracious with my faults...it's real love is what it is.
Mom, I don't know if you still read my blog, you already know how appreciative I am, and I hope we see lots of you and Dad still.