When I was pregnant with Raphael, Peregrine was so excited to have a brother so they could sword fight! Well, Raphael is still a ways off from sword fighting, but who says he can't be dressed up? This is what I found yesterday morning when I went into the boys' room: Sir Lancelot (Peregrine), King Arthur (Raphael), and their baby dragon (Stuffed Iguana). They were all dressed up and ready for a great adventure, in spite of the fact that the King can't leave the crib on his own. King Arthur looks like he's about to say something very intelligent to the Dragon, does he not?
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
'If he trespass against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to you, saying, I repent; you shall forgive him' (Luke 17:4). As the searcher of hearts, the Lord knows that men are liable to very frequent trespass, and that, having fallen, they often rise up again; therefore He has given us the commandment to frequently forgive trespasses, and He Himself is the first to fulfill His holy word. As soon as you say from your whole heart, 'I repent,' you will be immediately forgiven. -St. John of Kronstadt
So many times each day I fall; I speak impatiently to my precious children, get irritated with my loved ones, judge others in my heart, seek selfish pursuits instead of serving my family. The list could go on and on. I'm challenged by this quote on two levels. The first, is to repent, quickly, when I've sinned, and to receive God's grace and forgiveness. This repentance includes asking my children and husband, who are the most frequent recipients of my selfishness, for their forgiveness. I do this often, and am humbled by how quickly they forgive and move on.
The second aspect is for me to forgive quickly. When the children have disobeyed, or been unkind to each other, or complained, or whatever it is, I need to deal with it quickly and compassionately, and move on. "The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in mercy... As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear them." (Psalm 103:8, 13) I've been convicted lately by my lack of compassion for my children. Compassion is defined as "a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering." When my children sin, I must confess that most often what I feel is not "deep sympathy". It is more akin to anger, frustration, impatience. They are suffering under the yoke of sin, and as their mama, it is my job to lead them gently to the One who can alleviate this suffering. I expect so much of them, but they are children. They are not miniature adults. And while that doesn't mean I should let them be disobedient, or mean, or rude, I do need to remember that they are young and impulsive and innately selfish. Kind of like their mother (only I'm older and know better.) I need to forgive them quickly, and by God's grace, even if they repeat their folly two minutes later, not throw up my hands in exasperation!
If God so quickly forgives me all day long, then I need to do the same for my precious children. By His grace, may I learn to know His forgiveness, great mercy, love, and compassion so that these things will spill out of me onto my little ones. I want to become like Him, slow to anger and abounding in mercy. I have a long, long way to go toward this, but, I believe that if I walk in repentance and humility, getting up when I have fallen, He will continue to change me by His grace.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Some days I let Peregrine pick out clothes for his brother. He is sure that, in this outfit, we have the cutest baby in the world! He thought it would be better, though, if he had a real beaver-fur top hat to complete the look. Ummm, I don't personally claim to care much about fashion, but I don't know where he comes up with some of this stuff. Maybe from Erik, who put together this ensemble?
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
A big thanks to all of you who have been praying for us over the last few days. God answered our prayers and we are all doing much better today. Alethea, whom I was so concerned for yesterday morning, was acting like her normal self by last night. I praise God for such a quick recovery, because I really thought we may need to take her to the hospital for an IV. She is very thin to start with, and the two days without food really weakened her. She responded well to the fruit juice and broth, and by afternoon ate a little cottage cheese, which my nurse friend recommended as an easy to digest protein to help her regain muscle strength. At dinnertime I thought maybe she'd eat a little yogurt, but she wanted fried rice, and even asked for seconds! Praise God! Today the kids seem mostly back to normal, and Erik and I are still tired, but feeling much better.
Here are a few other things that are going on around here:
- I've started reading the Little House on the Prairie books to the kids. Yeah! I've read Farmer Boy to Peregrine but wanted to wait until Poppy was older to read the rest. So far, we are really enjoying them. And while I don't want to give up many of my modern conveniences, I really think a simpler life is calling to me.
- We are also reading Little Pilgrim's Progress, at Peregrine's request. His name means Pilgrim, and we've read this two or three times before. I'm so glad he likes it, because it's a good one for young and old.
- I'm dreaming of gardening! I'm reading Gardening When it Counts; Growing Food in Hard Times at the moment and am inspired. I'm pretty much a wanna-be gardener, but am learning, and this book has tons of good, down-to-earth information. I'm studying my seed catalog with red pen in hand! I'm also very inspired by the Pathway to Freedom family and this challenge they're hosting. I'm far, far, from growing a significant amount our food, but am encouraged that even a small start is a start.
- I love my kids. No surprise here, but watching them go through sickness and come through it and return to their normal active selves gives me a new appreciation and tenderness toward them. We are so, so blessed.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Thanks to all of you who've been praying for our family. The sickness has spread, and the last few days have been rough, but we're getting through it. Peregrine recovered pretty quickly, and Raphael started in the next night. It's so hard to watch your wee little one being sick. He's a sturdy little fellow though, and it didn't seem to bother him as much as it bothered me to see him that way! He just wanted to be held, and as he's at that busy age where he isn't as snugly in general, I had no complaints about sitting around holding him for several hours! He seems to be fine now.
Poppy came down with it on Saturday and it hit my girl hard and fast. She threw up every twenty minutes for several hours, and then it tapered off. She is the one though, with the least reserves, weighing in at a mere 31 pounds (at almost 4 years old) prior to getting sick. She was a bit more perky yesterday, then threw up in the night again. This morning she was so weak she couldn't walk and still refused to eat anything for fear of "barfing". Poor little thing. She's been on the couch all day, and I've been giving her alternating spoons of fruit juice and broth every five minutes.She's kept in all down and seems to be a little more lively than earlier today. If she doesn't continue to improve I will call our doctor. She's is asleep at the moment.
Oh, and somewhere in there I was sick too. Saturday night, I guess. I laid on the couch all day yesterday and Erik took care of the kids. Today he's on the couch, resting and not feeling too well. We just had a good laugh when one of his co-workers called up to tell him he won a Wii and a WiiFit in a contest sponsored by his employer. The joke was that if he won it we'd have to buy a television so that we could use it! I wonder if it could be hooked up to the computer monitor?
Anyway, we appreciate your prayers very, very much, especially for our little Poppy to recover quickly and regain her strength. Thanks to all!