Saturday, March 31, 2012

Leaving God out of it....(And extreme run-on sentence alert)

I've been playing around online, checking out various sites and blogs that I've visited over the last couple of years, deleting bookmarks to sites that are either no longer in use, or of any use to me. And in checking out one site,   I found a post that speaks about "leaving God out of" it.  Never mind what the blogger's post was about (it wasn't an inconsequential topic, actually a very serious one, worthy of debate, or actually - in my opinion - there wouldn't BE a debate on the issue if more people DIDN"T leave God out of it). I'm speaking to the ever increasing mind set - prejudice, if you will - against those of us who are followers of Christ. Can you imagine a conversation with, let's say, a militant feminist, about a matter close to her heart, and expecting her feminism NOT to play a part in her viewpoint? Wouldn't it be an insult to her (not to mention POLITICALLY INCORRECT!) to ask that she leave her gender "out of it?" Or how about someone who is homosexual? Apparently, some of them are so fearful of a certain fast food chain's Christian values that they are "afraid" to be on a campus where the chain would be serving food. So, I imagine that asking them to leave their sexual preferences (by which, it appears, many of them choose to be defined) "out of it" would be considered offensive and "homophobic." Please note - while I definitely do think that practicing homosexuality is wrong, I am NOT "phobic" about them as a group in general, any more than I am afraid of any of the rest of us sinners. And how about informing a follower of Islam that "Allah" should have no part in their publicly claimed views, their lives, and actions. Yet, when it comes to anything that might offend someone else, it's all right for a believer in God, who has faith in Christ for their eternal salvation - which should, by it's very impact on our lives - affect everything that we are, that we think, that we do - that we can be expected to leave our central beliefs: that there is a Creator God (Elohim, as we've just recently discussed in AWANA!); a loving, caring Adonai, who is master, Lord; a holy God, who WILL judge the world and who calls those who believe to be holy as He is holy - WE are told to just "leave God out of it." To leave out that which should define who we are. I did say SHOULD define who we are. And therein, possibly, lies the problem. Not with the rest of the world, but with us. Are we really living what we profess to believe? Inside our homes, outside in our neighborhoods, at the grocery store, at our places of employment, at school, at entertainment venues, by our words, our tastes, our spending habits, our choices, the way we treat our spouses (the way we talk about them), how we raise our children, what we expect of them, what we expect of ourselves? Do we live in a way that acknowledges who we are? I'm not. Unless I allow Christ to saturate my entire life, I am missing out on so much. And so are those around me. What opportunities of blessings have I  missed, what opportunities to be a part of others being blessed? And, as a group, what opportunities have we as Christians missed to bless our nation? The blame for the present increasing hostility to anything that is honorable, anything that is right, that is pure, that is lovely, that is of good repute, excellent and worthy of praise, the things on which, in Philippians 4 we are called to think upon, to dwell on, the increasing hostility to us as a group - could it be that the blame in large amount needs to fall upon us? Have we, by not thoroughly living in and enjoying our beliefs in our Savior, Jesus Christ, whom so many of us address as "Lord" by word only, missed out on encouraging those around us to be blessed by the same loving, holy God, in experiencing eternal delight in living in His presence. That blessing comes with accountability, an accountability to acknowledge that there are standards by which we should live. Holy standards, unchanging standards (not the newest trends) set by a holy, unchanging God. Are we really living as salt and light? I'm afraid that by looking at the state of the neighborhoods in which we live, in which I live, that we, that I,  may need to get down on my knees and repent, asking Christ to really live in me, to change me into that new creation, before calling upon the rest of those awful sinners to do so.

 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?  Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONGWE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED."  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8: 31-39

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year

January 1, 2012. Where does the time go? Time for new goals, resolutions, clearing out the old, bad habits, and on with the newer, better ones! I'll be posting some of them over the next few days..... hopefully putting them out  in public will help me to keep going with some of the new, better habits! One of which is getting a better night's sleep! And for that reason, at 9:26 eastern time, I'm going to turn off the computer off and get my bedtime routine started! I'm up at 5 a.m. on Mondays to fill in for Meredith's paper route, so, to bed a little earlier.

Happy New Year all! May it be a blessed one!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Waaaaay off track now!

Posting went out the window this past week! My mother was in town, as previously mentioned, and there were a few days where I didn't even turn the computer on. We had a wonderful visit, and hopefully will be seeing each other again in June when Meredith gets married!
So, how to get back on track? 
I was so encouraged this afternoon. My three oldest sons had their last soccer game of the season. One of the other team's family has a darling little girl who has Down Syndrome. She's nine now..... I haven't seen her in at least two years. She was talking a mile a minute, clear as a bell, absolutely adorable! I got to speak briefly to her mother and found out that she wasn't talking at the age of three either! She said it was a couple of years later and then she just got going! She also babbled non-stop, just like Samuel does now. I'm praying the same for Samuel, in his own time! He seems to always have so much to say to us, just in his own language! And if he gets a chance to get in front of a mirror for any length of time he has looooong, loud conversations with himself. 
Time to get to bed...... lots to do tomorrow.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Well, so much for not missing another day. I had car problems late last night, and didn't even think about doing this. 
I got to spend some one-on-one alone time with my favorite three-year-old today. Most of the family was at the livestock auction this afternoon, including six-year-old Braedan (thanks, Shelbi) so it was just Samuel and I. He's really good company. Until he passed out. Then it was just me for a little bit. Confession time........ I LIKED it! I've always been a need my own space from time to time kind of person. And my own space can be hard to find in a large family. Hence staying up too late at night, then being miserable in the morning. But it was just me (and about 100 chores that needed to be done) and I could walk without bumping into or tripping over someone, or have someone ask me questions when my head is stuck in my washing machine (I have a front loader and often have to lean in and get the last bits of laundry out), or shoes to be tied or someone else's agenda that needs to come first. Of course, I was glad when everyone got home (Okay, okay, I could have used another hour or so!). And now they're mostly in bed and I'm finishing some odds and ends. 
My mother is flying in tomorrow night! I am so excited for her visit. Hoping the youngest are on their best behavior, of course. And very curious to see what she thinks about Sam. That's another thing that I handle differently because of Sam's ds - I watch people's reactions to him much more closely. I don't think I mind when they notice delays, or the "down's" facial characteristics, and so on. What I mind is when they seem to feel sorry for me. There is NOTHING here to feel sorry about........ in fact..... everyone else should feel a little let down that they don't have the cutie pie that I do! But we share.... as long as we get him back!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dirty Laundry

No, seriously, I've got a boatload of dirty laundry, the sort it out, haul it to the washing machine in the basement, load it up and get the machine going, switch it over, take it out, fold it..... and then, ideally, put it away type. And some of it's pretty gross. The kids washed sheep today, then got them to the fairgrounds, did all the maintenance type stuff and had their show. It rained most of the day, so there's mud, sweat, grease from the lambs, and stuff that looks like mud, but, well, I'm pretty sure isn't! Most of the older ones do their own laundry, I just try to oversee the boys on these types of loads, and consolidate some of them. 
I spent the day here with just the two younger boys. Samuel had therapy this morning. He really is beginning to use more word approximations and doing it deliberately. He also colored for a bit, and I realize I'm not having him do some of the typical toddler things. Not because I don't think he can, but because I've been too lazy! So if I want Samuel to succeed at things which may be a little harder for him..... what kind of example am I setting? What kinds of opportunities am I allowing him? To be honest, today I had projects I wanted to work on by myself, and with no older children to occupy him... I let him and Braedan plop down in front of the television for most of the day. Not quite mother of the year material! Even this post is lame tonight. I am aware of this. I will attempt to do better on all counts tomorrow. But I have posted, I have folded laundry, I am ready to throw another load in, there are all kinds of plans in my head for tomorrow - hopefully there will be bodies to help me accomplish those!
Good night.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

After a few days of beautiful, sunny autumn weather, we're back to rain again. With accompanying thunder and lightning.

Tomorrow is an abbreviated version of our postponed fair. The boys have 4H lambs to clean, haul down, weigh in, and then show. It's not been one of our better years for raising lambs. So we're making a few adjustments as we get ready to breed for last year's flock. A new Suffolk ram was purchased, as our old one passed away a few weeks ago. It would be time for new stock anyway, to keep from too much inbreeding. So we got one with good lines, who has already produced quality offspring. We also raise Katahdin sheep, a hair breed that doesn't require shearing. Yesterday, that ram was found in the pen with the ewes. He was moved out quickly, we don't want him breeding with the Suffolk ewes. We're looking to produce a certain quality of animal, not a cross breed. And we don't want to keep animals that aren't producing well. The breeding is done with the purpose of having a certain outcome.... a "normal" outcome, if you will.

It seems to me that that's what a lot of people would like to do nowadays. Not breed quality sheep (!) but do everything they can to have quality or "normal" offspring. Please understand, I ate reasonably healthy during all my pregnancies, saw my doctor, even managed my gestational diabetes on several pregnancies. I, of course, wanted to have healthy babies. No one wants to have a child who has a painful or life threatening condition. But I'm talking about people who want to make sure that they don't end up with a child who has a problem, who is different, who is, well, like Samuel. So there's been a lot of focus on non-invasive testing to determine if a child has that extra 21st chromosome. I don't think it's terrible to want to know, I just have concerns about WHY a lot of people want to know. Being aware of Down Syndrome in utero would help parents and doctors look for some of the attending physical problems the baby could have, and prepare them to deal with them when the baby is born. If only that were always the case. I look at the beautiful boy that I have, who is more "normal" than not (which in my family is really something!), and can't imagine why he shouldn't have
been born.

Fearfully and WONDERFULLY made!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sitting Here Staring at the Computer and trying to come up with something.....

light and quick. I have a draft on Truth that I started but put away for later because it needs more thought and prayer, and I have to get off of this machine and get some work done!
Well, how about some of the things I wonder about?

Will Samuel ever start using real words, ones that other people can understand?
Will I baby him too much as he gets older, letting him get away with things because, well, you know...?
Will he ever live independently?
What about college?
How far can he go?
Do I focus so much on him that I sometimes neglect the others?
What do other people think about Samuel?
What will they think about him when the little boy "cute" wears off?
Does he get enough to eat? (he can be picky)
Should he be sent to preschool? (none of the others were, I'm not comfortable sending my young children to spend a good portion of the day with someone else)
Will he rebel as a teen?
What does he understand about our prayer time? (he fold his hand, whispers soft s sound, then says Ma Ma, Ma Ma for amen)

These are just a few of the questions. But then, I guess we have questions about all of our children. And we don't need all the answers. God knows. We just have to trust and obey.

  1. When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
    What a glory He sheds on our way!
    While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
    And with all who will trust and obey.
    • Refrain:
      Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
      To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
  2. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
    But His smile quickly drives it away;
    Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
    Can abide while we trust and obey.
  3. Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
    But our toil He doth richly repay;
    Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
    But is blessed if we trust and obey.
  4. But we never can prove the delights of His love
    Until all on the altar we lay;
    For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
    Are for them who will trust and obey.
  5. Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
    Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
    What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
    Never fear, only trust and obey.