Monday, October 22, 2007

Square Dance Fun

Tell me you didn't laugh! ;) Oh...and the little boy you don't know is our neighbor (Hannah's age), Maddox Morton.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Who Wants to be First? I do! I do!

Last Friday I made a trip to Wal-Mart to return some curtains that were not the right size. I was pointed to the Customer Service desk and I was on my way to what I thought would be a five minute transaction. When I reached the desk, I realized it was going to take a bit longer than I had anticipated. I was about 5th or 6th in line. Okay. No big deal. I’m not in a hurry today anyway.

A few moments later, a guy walked up and got in line behind me. He joined the line with a “humph” and a big sigh. The line did not move. A moment later, another guy got in line behind the other. Immediately conversation picked up. It was hard not to “eavesdrop” when they were purposely being loud enough to be heard.

“This line is always like this.”
“They always put the slowest people behind the counter.”
“You’d think they’d hire some more people.”
“Why are they taking so long?”

These comments are not verbatim but you get the point. Now here’s a question. What if one of these two guys was at the front of the line? What if he was the one taking so long to be assisted? Would he be upset about the long line? Not at all. Would it bother him that other people were having to wait on him? I don’t think so, at least not judging by his comments.

The Bible frequently mentions comments about those who want to be first. It also says that these will be last and the last will be first (see Matt. 19:30, 20:16, Mk 10:31, Lk 13:30). Why is it that we always want to be first? I think it is a matter of pride. Deep down (if not out rightly), we honestly think the world revolves around us. Though I was patient in this particular instance, it was easy for me to be. As I said earlier, I was not in a hurry. Hannah was content in her stroller. Not to mention, God graced me with patience that day. My biggest struggle with patience is when I’m driving. I get furious when people cut me off, fly past me like I’m going 50 (when I’m not), ride my bumper, fail to use their turn signals, speed through red lights, etc. I could excuse my behavior by saying, “I just want to be safe and these people are endangering that safety.” While that may be partially true, the bigger problem is my heart. I want people to drive my way and not put me at a risk or think they are better than I am. Wow.

What about you? Where do you struggle with impatience and pride? Is it in lines where you want to be in front? Is it with your children who wanted to draw you a masterpiece on your living room wall? Is it with your spouse who does not understand that you been dealing with a screaming child all day? Is it with the slow waitress who may be having to deal with a difficult table and thereby not focusing on yours?

The next time you catch yourself being impatient, I challenge you to stop and evaluate the cause. Don’t evaluate the who or what is “making” you that way but the why are you reacting in such a way. I think you may be surprised at how often we get in the way of ourselves.

Grace to you,

Thursday, October 4, 2007

An Encouragement to Wives (especially those who are mothers)

Have you ever woken up to the sound of a crying baby? You get out of bed for the 2nd or 3rd time in the last 8 hours. You feed your infant and if you are lucky, you go back to bed. When the baby decides it’s time to wake up for the day, you crawl to your feet and get out of bed. Maybe the sound of an infant is in the past and you are dealing with toddlers or teens.

Or maybe you don’t have children. Maybe your husband works during the day and you at night. Or maybe you are blessed enough to not have to work a job outside of the home in the first place.

With all of these things going on around you, are you ever tempted to delay your shower? Maybe you shower but you don’t have any errands to run today (lucky you!), so you don’t bother with getting dressed or putting on makeup. Maybe you’ve given up on looking nice at all. I mean, why bother if there’s no one you are trying to impress, right?

I disagree. Let me begin with a disclaimer to what I am getting ready to say. I truly believe the beauty of a woman comes from within. 1 Peter 3:3-4 says, “Do not let your adorning be external – the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing – but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.” Some of you may read this and say that it means we are not supposed to braid our hair or wear jewelry. However, if that is true, it would also be saying that we were not supposed to wear clothes! Personally, I don’t believe that is what is being said at all. I was listening to a message by Carolyn Mahaney the other day and she made this point regarding this passage. The Bible says God has created us in His image. By nature, God creates things beautiful. It is not wrong for us to try to make ourselves beautiful (and in doing so, we’re reflecting the image of God) – as long as our beauty does not become an idol in our lives.

Now that being said, I’ll get back to the point of this blog. Do you think it blesses your husband to come home to a wife that has spent little or no time getting ready for him? Think about it. When you first dated, into engagement and maybe even when you first got married, I would be willing to bet you spent significantly more time trying to look nice for him. Now you may take less time to look (or even smell!) nice for him. There are days that I am tempted to do this, trust me.

Maybe you say, “I've never worn makeup anyway” or “I have always dressed down around him.” If that is so, I am not telling you to start wearing makeup or dressing for a night on the town. Every woman has their own beauty regimen. Some are much more elaborate than others. Maybe yours is just showering and brushing your hair. That is great – I wish I were you! The point is you still have a regimen.

Regardless of how we spend our day, whether it is with a handful of children or cleaning the house, I believe it is a service to our husbands to care for ourselves. So that is my encouragement. If you have slacked in caring for yourself, freshen up a bit today and enjoy the smile on your husband’s face when he comes home.

Grace to you,

Monday, October 1, 2007

Hannah Mai – What’s the Latest?

Last night was the last night Hannah Mai had the opportunity to breastfeed. Considering her allergies (both cow’s milk and soy), I finally decided it would be nice to see how she did on the hypoallergenic formula recommended by the pediatrician. Needless to say, after only a few substitutions, she did beautifully. The can top (of Similac Alimentum) promises “Fast Colic Relief in just 24 hours…reducing colic symptoms in most babies.” I’m telling you, though it’s twice as expensive (literally) as regular formula, it is GOLD! Hannah Mai has completely changed in demeanor. She went from crying half of the day to happy most of the day quicker than I could have prayed for! Praise God for the technology we have to make milk substitutes like this.

I have to admit though, it was a bit sad for me to give up breastfeeding. Many people claim that there is a stronger bond between mothers that breastfeed their children and those that do not. Honestly, I thought it was overstated. It wasn’t until I started switching her that I felt bad about it. They say “breast is best” and to an extent, that is true. However, as one friend pointed out to me, if the breast milk is making her sick, clearly it’s not best in this situation. Hannah is definitely a much more content baby now and it’s become much more pleasant to spend the day with her. ;)

Another issue we’ve been dealing with is the neck problem. Upon a physical therapist’s evaluation, Hannah has been diagnosed with a mild form of Torticollis, likely caused even before birth. One definition of this condition is: “an unnatural condition in which the head leans to one side because the neck muscles on that side are contracted.”1 Fortunately, she qualifies (though barely) for a Kentucky State Early Intervention program. She will be able to receive physical therapy treatments for less than $20 a month! I praise God for programs like this that our taxes help pay for. The therapist said that she expects Hannah’s problem to correct quickly.

Overall, though there have been a few struggles here and there with Hannah and her health, we are ever so blessed. She could have much weightier problems (such as cancer, spina bifida, etc.) God has carried us through and grown us in the process.

I hope this catches everyone up on Hannah’s conditions! She is enjoying her life more and more every day! Oh…and I forgot to mention… My Breyer’s Rocky Road (dairy AND soy) ice cream tasted REALLY good today. :)

Until next time…

1 - torticollis. (n.d.). WordNet® 3.0. Retrieved October 01, 2007, from website: