Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Since we're on the subject --Sabbath

This is what I woke up to Monday morning.

And it wasn't just the kitchen. It was all over the house.


And the amazing thing about it is that the house was relatively clean on Saturday.

Seems God has gently been bringing up an issue in my heart. That's right, the Sabbath.
  • I stumble across the article I posted a few days ago about the Sabbath.
  • I called my sister Friday and she mentioned that she and her husband were "Sabbathing" (apparently it's a verb too).
  • A sermon on "The seventh day He rested" --I heard two years ago, keeps coming back into my mind. Who remembers sermons from two years ago???
So here we are, I can't get it out of my head. Sabbath means rest. Keeping the Sabbath holy is one of the ten commandments. I am probably the world's most disobediant person on this one.

It's an issue (yes, now it's become an issue) that has been a struggle for me for a long time.
Mostly because I don't know what to do with it. I don't have any clue as to how I can take a Sabbath and people won't die.


More specifically deployments with babies.

How can I:
"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." -Ex.20:8-11

I decided that Sunday I would take the day off. I did as little as was possible. Quickly made breakfast for the kids, made coffee, picked out the kids clothes. We ate out for lunch, came home and napped. Woke from our naps, went to night church. Ate out again.

Bed time.

Then Monday morning came. It would be a day of recovering the house and doing laundry.

And it was.

I started the first load of clothes and ran the dishwasher at 0630. I had most of the work done by 1600.

By Monday night, I was beat. Tuesday morning, still beat. Tuesday night: ...beat.

I'm wondering if it is worth it. One day of rest = two exhausting days.

But I think, it doesn't matter if it's worth it. I think I need to do it because God says do it. I need to trust that God will either provide me with more energy or will teach me something through my exhaustion.

Through my own personal experience I know that:
  • God's laws are good and are for my good. This one should not be an exception.
  • When I follow God's laws, I receive blessing.
  • When I disobey, I (or someone around me) experiences pain.

I just don't know how to practically live this one out.

Does this mean I prepare Sunday's meals on Saturday --because we can't keep up this eating out?

Do we need to go to bed with a spotless house on Saturday night?

Should there be special Sunday afternoon activities for the children that will keep the house from getting messy?

I don't know.

Here are some things I've observed about the Sabbath --in case anyone else out there is wondering how they can make it happen.

The Sabbath was observed starting at sun down on one day to sun down the next day. Which means, you can do work the first day (before sundown) and the second day (after sundown). It is a 24 hour period.

I don't think there is any problem with picking any day of the week to Sabbath. "Six days you shall labor and do all your work." Doesn't say which day.

God says the Sabbath is a "sign between me and you...". This makes me think that with our rest, we should spend time thinking about God, worshiping God, remembering God. Putting aside our worldly drive. House cleaning? A worldly drive when my goal is a clean house as opposed to an opportunity to serve God. And honestly, my goal is, almost always: a clean house.

We are to celebrate the Sabbath. I need to look at is as a gift and not as more hassle.

We are to remember, by observing the Sabbath, that God sanctifies us (makes us holy). By
keeping the day holy we are to be reminded that God makes us holy.

And lastly, is not a recommendation God makes. It's not a suggestion on "How to get more out of your week." No, it's a command. In fact, under Old Testament Law (before Jesus was born) people who failed to observe the Sabbath were put to death. -Ex.31:14


He must be serious.

This wasn't the priests coming up with legalistic rules for the Israelites to follow. This was straight from the mouth of God.

With Jesus came freedom from the penalty of the law. Jesus came he was often accused of working on the Sabbath. His reply was that He was the Lord of the Sabbath.

The following weeks will be experiments on how I be obedient to this command.

If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I don't know what's gotten in to me.

All of a sudden I'm loving crafts.

What? I don't do crafts with my kids! I send them to MDO just to alleviate the mother guilt for not doing crafts with them. It's not that I don't think crafts are neat, I do. The problem is they just aren't... well, neat. Boys are messy enough, but give a boy a bottle of glue, glitter or paint and it's going to look like Crayola just exploded in your house. All over your table, chair legs, the boys hair, pants and shirts, the hallway leading to the bathroom and the sink faucet. I can see it all so plainly.

It's always the same.

And this is only when it's done correctly.
I do crafts with them occasionally, but only when I'm bored and wish there was some job to supervise and something to clean --that should give you a clue as to how often.

Well, within the last week we've done three.
Count it.
We made a pumpkin pie, painted trees with fall leaves and built a scarecrow.
It was super fun.

What's gotten in to me?

Since we had the paints out, why not get the gingerbread men painted and done with too?

I forgot what we named this guy.

Oh right! It was "SoonI'mgunna B. Butternutsquashcasserole."
--speaking of which, I've got an unbelievably good recipe for butternut squash. Who knew? Who knew something this good could be made from a gourd? If anyone is interested in the recipe let me know.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guarding Sabbath for our Children

Soon after getting married, Mike and I began looking forward to the day when we would strap our lawn chairs to our back, load up juice boxes and orange slices and children in our hybrid SUV and spend our Saturday mornings enjoying the crisp fall air as we relaxed beside the soccer field.

We're still looking forward to that day, but probably I will spend my time keeping little ones from running onto the field, wiping noses brought on by the cool air, keeping sippie cups and cheerios in stock all while bouncing the newest one in my arms. Mike will probably knock people over to get the job as coach so that he will actually be able to watch and enjoy the game.

And we won't be cruising to the game in a hybrid SUV --I'm sure of that.

Besides this out of reach dream of ours, Mike and I have had a few discussions about how involved we want our children to be in extracurricular activities.

As much as we both LOVE sports and even find lasting value in them, we must be able to find a reasonable limit.

My previous life as a high school coach revealed the ridiculous expectations that have been put on our coaches. Win or go. Coaches who enjoy a paycheck must make sure their athletes are in top physical shape. Practice, practice, practice. Remember two-a-days? The week before school starts where football players and volleyball players are up at school twice a day to practice? Now try 2+ weeks of two a days. In some cases coaches hold three-a-days.

It's a bit much.

These days, to be good enough to be considered for a college team, hours and hours and HOURS must be spent preparing --years worth of hours.

Is a free ride to school worth it?

Do we teach our children to work hard and give their all to an activity that holds "some value" When there are many thing the Bible says, "has value for all things." (1 Tim. 4:8)

A friend shared this article on Facebook, I think it will be worth your time to read it.

Guarding Sabbath for our Children

In case the link doesn't work, copy and paste this:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

It was the long anticipated trip to the pumpkin patch. Three years of living in Abilene and knowing Amanda Weems and I had never been. Being the always prepared mom that I am, I didn't have a camera. Jack and Ty's teachers have kindly gotten the pictures to me.

That's Jack, third from the right --not batman.

Austin had a nice time, the sun was just a bit bright. He is growing up so fast. Makes me mad.

A hay ride. Excited children. Not a grown up within arms reach. I was a little nervous.
Ty did great. He was the line leader today and held Ms. Kelly's hand like a champ. He paraded the whole group from the van, down the sidewalk, and into the pumpkin patch.

Best buddies.

Jack has been looking so grown up to me lately. I love my little boy. I want him to stay this age forever. He won't. I'm glad I got to be there with the boys. I'm glad I didn't miss this opportunity. I mostly just visited with grown ups, and let the kids do their thing. They did great. They didn't need me. Sometimes all I want is to not be needed. But I really don't. I like being needed. I like seeing glimpses of my children functioning well without me. Isn't that my goal as a parent? To raise children into responsible, capable adults?
I guess so.
But it's kinda hard...

Now these next three shots cracked me up last night as I looked at the attempts to get a good "Becca and the Boys" group shot.

whatever. This is more true to life anyway.

After leaving the pumpkin patch, Austin and I went grocery shopping. I'd been inspired by my morning activities. A story had been read to the group about how a farmer takes a pumpkin from a seed to a jack-o-lantern. I walked by the pumpkin display and saw a 49 cent pie pumpkin. I bought it.
I was about to show the boys how to take a pumpkin and turn it in to dessert. I'd seen my mother-in-law do it once. It looked hard. My motto is: if it's not hard, then it probably won't turn into a disaster and if it doesn't turn into a disaster, then it won't make a good blog post.
After school I asked the boys if they wanted to help me make a pumpkin pie. They did!
I cleared off the train table, instructed the boys to strip, put a huge tarp on the floor and a plastic table clothe on top. I decided to take the cooking off of the high counters and down to their level.
I cut that pumpkin in half and handed each of the boys a spoon and a bowl.
"Get all the seeds out" I instructed.
After a few moments hesitation, they embraced the slimy sticky pumpkin goo and got to work. I had awesome pictures... the disk got messed up before I could get them all off.
After cooking the pumpkin I had the boys puree it. Ty loved the fact that the tool made little noise. He kept mentioning how quiet it was.

Four eggs. No Ty, we've got to crack 'em first.

Almost ready.

And yes, for those who are wondering. We made a homemade crust. Jack got to handle a knife for the first time in his life. I let him cut the extra crust off of the pie. Ty's job was to find a spot to stick it back on.

Jack could hardly wait to eat it!
Extra filling meant that each boy gets to take a small pie to school with him tomorrow in his lunch.

He loved it.

So did he. I think Jack was in shock over the delicious taste.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I don't even know what to say.
I've been sitting here for 20 minutes trying to decide on captions for the photos below.
It was Austin's first bath with the big guys.
I'm pretty beat after today, these "little angels" (pah-haha) wore me out.
I took the kids to Walmart today and a woman commented their exceptional behavior. I shook my head, "If you only were around them earlier..." I told her. She laughed and encouraged me anyway.
The problem here is that the kids look happy and cute in the photos but it's been a cross your eyes and hold your head kind of a day.
So I guess I'll tell you what I told the lady at Walmart:
"If you were only around them earlier..."

Don't believe them for a second. They are not inocent.

Bear Hug #6

We love AWANA.

Jack has been enjoying doing the lessons with me during nap time.

Today we were getting ready for Wednesday's lesson. Some questions were listed for us to go over. They seemed a little hard, or at least not easy for the children. Looked like his workers require something out of the kids --which I like!

Questions Jack was supposed to answer:

1What did God make on each day of creation?


2What is sin?


3What is a promise?


4Who were Adam and Eve?

They sinneded

5What was Gabriel's message to Mary?

She's gunna have a baby

6Who was Simeon?

Didn't know, I had to remind him.

7With whom was Jesus talking at the temple?

The leaders of the temple

Pretty good huh? :-)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ty takes a quiz

I asked Jack these same questions a little over a year ago. It's interesting to see their different levels of development. Jack was about 4 months older than Ty when he answered the questions. Click HERE to see Jack's answers to these questions.

1. Name something a football player wears under his uniform: Yeah! (happy and excited tone)

2. Name something people hate to find on their windshield: yeah (agreement)

3. Name something a man might buy before a date: yes (confident in his answer)

4. What is something you cook in the microwave: umm... Yes! (considered it carefully then agreed)

5. Name something a dog does that embarrasses its owner: yeah...yes. (figures he's gotten all the others right with a "yes")

6. Name something you use in the bath: It's hard (admission that he really doesn't know what I'm talking about)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Apparently I'm cheap.

Not just, "Don't want to be snookered," or even "Likes to get a good deal," no.

I am cha-eep.

I know because my little children say things like:

"Hey Mom, do you have a coupon for this store?" -When buying Jack new shoes

"Is this on sale?" -Buying Austin some onesies

"Mom this penny is Miiiine." -Ty, as he clings to a flat penny. "I have a flat penny and this penny is mine."

"Mommy can I have your coupon?" Me: Ty, this is a credit card. "Can I have your credit card?"

"Mommy did you remember your coupons?" -As we are walking into Walmart

There was yesterday when I went to Starbucks with Austin during MDO, walked to the counter, ordered an Artisan breakfast sandwich, handed them a voucher for the sandwich then ordered a plain coffee. $1.75.


Sat down at their largest table and clipped coupons from the Sunday paper.


But the event that inspired this post?

Jack and Ty were playing with a toy bead maze (similar to the one pictured below)
They both were holding little train engines and Jack says, "Mom, we are trying to figure out which track on this ride is on sale."

Kids listen. They repeat what they hear. I just think it's funny that Emily's (my older sister) girls are caught saying things like:

"I think that would be a wise choice." and "Aren't you a cute little boy."

While mine are make-believe sale shopping.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Leading Little Ones to God

One of my all time favorite books.

I'll probably start giving this as my standard baby shower present. I've been meaning to call Aunt Nancy and have her put it on the list to look for any time she is in Half Priced Books. My parents own this book, and although I don't remember going through it with them, the picture on the cover has stuck in my memory.

Leading Little Ones to God is written as a devotional book with each small chapter conveying to the child a truth about God.

It contains chapters titled:
Our Hearts ask for God
We Cannot see God
We See God's Works
God talked to People Long Ago
God Talks to Us
God Sent His Son

It speaks of God's goodness, it explains how sin entered the world. It tells about God's purpose in giving us His law. Then after it clearly and gently makes known our hopelessness,... Jesus.

It teaches our children about who Jesus is and how we can become children of God.

It's amazing. I mean, it's the Gospel. What else would it be?

I tend to over explain things to Jack, and well, anyone who will listen. This book is perfect for me because in only a page or page and a half, I am able to guide Jack through the story of God.

Yesterday morning, this simple-to-understand children's book spoke to me.

Chapter 24, God's Law is Good

Are you happy when you are naughty?
Oh, no! Being naughty never makes children really happy.
Disobeying God's law never makes grownups happy, either.
To be happy, we must obey God's law. We must love God and know that He loves us.
God made us for Himself, you know. And we cannot be happy unless we make Him happy. We are happy only when we are what He wants us to be.
Are you happy when Mother is cross with you? No! But you are happy when Mother is pleased with you. And so we are happy when God is pleased with us. That is why we should obey His law.

Wow. Have you ever heard that explained more clearly? Ever thought of a better comparison? I hadn't.

We were made by God.

We were made for God.

It makes perfect sense that we will be happy when God is pleased with us.

I always forget this. For some dumb reason I subconsciously think that pleasing myself will make me happy. At least I must. Because that is the thinking I always find myself in.

What pleases me?
  • A clean house.
  • Well behaved children.
  • A husband who lives every day to serve me.
  • Free time.
  • Getting my way.

But will this stuff result in happiness? No, it would just result in pride.

On the other hand, if I'm concerned with pleasing God I will do things like:
  • Work diligently in my home.
  • Tirelessly (or tired-ly) train my children.
  • Serve my husband out of my love for God.
  • Offer Him my every moment to use as He plans.
  • Seek His will.
Remember that saying, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."?

It's true isn't it? But picture a child's face when he receives praise from a pleased parent.

It's so beautiful.

It's contentment.
It's satisfaction.
It's joy.

"And we cannot be happy unless we make Him happy. We are happy only when we are what He wants us to be."

From now on, I'm going to try to picture Jack's "I made Mom proud" face, when I get pouty about things not going my way.

I'm going to try to remember that I was created for God and will only be truly happy when I am doing what I was created to do.

The dentist (and other stories)

About a month ago on a Tuesday (MDO day) I got a call from one of the teachers. This is never good, it usually means someone needs new underwear. This time underwear would have been ideal. It was Mrs. Amy telling me that Ty had had an accident (again, not the kind that requires fresh pants). He had fallen off of a short ledge and caught himself by the face. His teeth and gums were bleeding and his chin scraped.

To the dentist we went.

Since it was baby teeth that were damaged there wasn't really anything that had to be done. We did schedule a follow up appointment for today.

Ty was a little nervous.

But after riding on the chair, checking out the new light-up toothbrush, and catching a glimpse of his new race car, he settled right in.

It went so well that we asked if the Doc could check out Jack while we were there. They had time. Here is Jack sitting PERFECTLY still while they took x-rays of his teeth.

And... (drum roll please)

No Cavities!!

Brushing the kids teeth is really a chore for me, but I do it, ya know, cause I love 'em. I feel rewarded for all my hard work. ahh. It's nice that something is paying off!

Those are just cute toes. :-)
Below is Austin's first trip to the Abilene zoo.

He loved it.

Jack is so creative. If I've said it before, I've said it a thousand times, "He's a thinker!"

I'd imagine Percy had as much fun as Jack with his Ferris wheel-like ride.