Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The One With More Thoughts On "Training"

I can't stop thinking about the verse "To train up a child..." This verse evokes a lot of frustration and anger in some of my friends because of it's very strong ties to Michael Pearl and his teachings. He wrote a book with those very words as it's title. But he isn't the one who coined the phrase. It was Solomon. In all of his wisdom. Tho one has to wonder if he truly trained his children or if the mothers and nurses of his children did. :) It's interesting that he threw that thought in there along w/ thoughts like " The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender" or "Thorns [and] snares [are] in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them. " Those are both the verses below and above it. He just throws it in the mix w/ all these other thoughts that he is having. And it has caused a lot of stir in parenting 'gurus' and a lot of angst for us parents. We wonder "What is the best way to train up the child?" or "What IS the way he should go?" or "He's old now, why isn't he following the way I've trained him?" I grew up in a tight knit, legalistic church. I loved that church & I miss some aspects of it. But I have to say that in spite of all that the parents did to train up their children in that church, many, many of the children are not even following the Lord anymore. Some are complete agnostics, some are atheists, some just don't care and some claim to be Christian, but live a lifestyle that begs to differ. (Tho I am in no position to judge. I'm merely making an observation)

So that brings the question... what is the best way to "train up" our children? I have seen punitive measure work wonderfuly for some children. I've also seen them fail miserably for some children. I have seen permissive parenting work well for some children and fail miserably for others. I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing some raise their children in a Grace Based Discipline manner from birth to adulthood, but my guess is that for some children it would be wonderful and others maybe not.

What are children to us anyway? I was talking w/ someone the other day and mentioned that "they aren't *my* possessions." And they aren't. They aren't *mine* at all. They are each individuals. They each have their own thoughts, feelings, desires, likes, dislikes, etc. God placed within each of them these things. Isn't it best to train them in how to make those thoughts, etc. pleasing to the Lord? Isn't it best to train them in the proper way to use their likes for the Lord?

What, exactly, does 'train' mean? According to the dictionary it means "
to give the discipline and instruction, drill, practice, etc., designed to impart proficiency or efficiency. " So what, exactly, does 'discipline' mean? "To disciple. To teach" And every good teacher knows that the best way to get kids to learn is to make it fun. To make it interesting. To make them want to know the information and apply it. And especially, to model it for them.

So training up a child in the way he should go really makes you have to delve into each of the children you have been entrusted to raise. Makes you have to know that child, to train that child and teach him/her what s/he should know for life skills. And intertwined with all of that training we teach faith, love & hope in the Lord.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6). This verse is not a promise about faith. It is not speaking of training a child to follow Christ or promising that if you do, the grown child will continue to follow Him. Sorry. The proverb is about raising a child to know who he is and to guide him in becoming ever more himself. In the way he should go. Not in the way you would like him to go in order to validate you as a mother and a woman. It speaks of teaching a child to live from his heart, attuned to it, awake to it, aware of it, and when that child is grown he will continue to life a life from the heart. It is about seeing who a person really is and calling him out to be that person.

This quote is from the book "Captivating" by John & Stasi Eldrige. I must have read it three times in awe. I had never ever thought of this verse in that light before. I've always thought of it in that we should raise our children in faith and they won't depart from that faith. But this explanation makes so much sense! And I think it does speak a little of faith. Our hearts and souls were created to worship the Lord. If we teach our children to follow their hearts, be attuned to their hearts and awake to their hearts desires they will automatically be drawn to the Lord. What an interesting thought on parenting.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Venty One About House Buying

Why does house buying have to be stressful? The lenders know what need to be done. The sellers (especially in our case as the seller is Fannie Mae) knows what need to be done. We are on top of every piece of paperwork they need from us. So why does it seem like there is always something that is stressful?

Right now we need an appraisal. In order to get one we need the electric/water on. In order to get that they need to dewinterize. Matt could dewinterize, but he's not allowed to. I think what I hate the most is being at the 'mercy' of everyone else. Do they not realize there is a time crunch? We've told them, our lender has told them... THEY (the sellers) are the ones who created the time crunch by saying '30 days til closing'. So... why don't people just do what they need to do when they need to do it?

Vent Over. :P

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The One Where I Don't Feel Well

I haven't been feeling well for quite a while. I'm exhausted all. the. time. I was talking w/ Rachael the other day and she asked why I'm so tired all the time. I started thinking about it and realized that I'm constantly tired. I have different levels of exhaustion, but I'm always tired. I have headaches almost daily that get progressively worse as the day goes on. I have heart palpatations and can't even go up the stairs w/out getting winded. I am starting to think it's more than just 'mommy' tiredness. My guess is anemia (I've always been borderline anemic and am wondering if it's gotten worse w/ age or the number of cihldren I have or something...)

So I'm trying to decide if I should go in and get checked out or just wait and see if I can improve it by getting more iron into me...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The One With The Auction

Wow! That was interesting. I've never been to an auction before... and certainly not one in which I was willing to bid up to $135,000 on something! To say I was nervous would be an understandment. I was literaly shaking in my boots (er. um. sneakers, actually). I was more nervous than I was at my wedding.

It was an actual auction, with the auctioneer talking fast and people raising their cards or nodding their heads to up their price. There were only a few other bidders. We ALMOST got it for $90,000, but then the man next to us decided to keep going up... finally we bid $120,000 and no one else bid. It was a bit surreal when he said "Sold! To the man in the red shirt!" Woohoo!!

So we were the highest bidders at $120,000 for a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in the town we REALLY wanted to be in. In a house that was built in the late 90's! in VERMONT! That's amazing for this area of VT, so we're pretty excited!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The One About An Auction

Gah! They said we were too late to get our pre-auction bid in. Gah! You told us 72 business hours, people!! It's not our fault if you didn't bother opening it until today when you received it yesterday! ARGH!

So I guess we're going to an auction on Monday. *gulp* I've never been to one... I don't know what to expect. It should be interesting... and a learning experience. :) Suppose I should bring all the children with me? ;)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The One About the House & Isolation

So we placed our pre-auction offer on the house we really want. IF this works out it will be such an answer to prayer in so many ways. There are hoops to jump through.. there's a ton of paperwork that we need to work on... but we're taking it one step at a time.

Competely different topic here:

Why is that we stay at home Moms easily isolate ourselves from the world around us? I do this all the time. If I wasn't forced out of the house for children's activities the world would only see me emerge for church & grocery shopping and then I'd hide back in my little bubble. But I've come to realize over the years that the more I do that the more depressed I become and it creates a big awful cycle that I cannot pull myself out of easily.

So to avoid that happening this Summer (now that children's activities are done for the school year), I am having coffee w/ a friend one morning per week. It's not much, but it's a start. I'm also thinking of starting a "Girl's Game Night" once/month or if we all can, once every other week. It'll be good for me... Just a week ago I could feel myself spiraling downward into that negative trend. It has to be stopped.... I cannot let myself go there again. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

The One With the Long Night

Last night was one of those nights when you get up in the morning and wonder why you even bothered going to bed. First there was the dog... scratching, licking, eating... whatever she was doing it was making noise & annoying me. Then, right at midnight, the girl's alarm clock went off, waking up Katie. It was LOUD. And Karah didn't bother to get up to fix it, instead she buried her head under the pillow... Then Katie was up and didn't want to go back to sleep. She cried for Matt when I was rocking her, so he took her and then she cried for me, so I took her back. Of course then she cried for Matt again... crazy girl. Then there was the dog again...

So this morning I'm a bit tired. I'm already ready for a nap and it's only 1/4 to 8. Thankfully we don't have big plans this morning. Just the library & regular housework.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The One on Failing

Failing. I've been thinking about this a lot late. I fail daily in my walk as a mother by not giving my children 100%. I fail daily in my walk as a wife by not giving my husband all that he needs from me. I failed as a college student. Not failing as in poor academics, but by not finishing my degree I failed by default. I fail as a child of God daily. I know you cannot truly fail God unless you renounce Him, but I definitely fail daily at giving Him my all. I fail daily at my diet. I fail daily at my exercise. I fail daily at using my time wisely... I fail.

This isn't a depressed post, I promise. Just an observation.

I fail. But I find that through failure comes growth. If I never failed I'd never strive to do better. If I never failed, I'd never be truly grateful for the times I do not fail.

How many times did Einstein fail before becoming one of the most famous inventors of all time? How many times did the Apostle Paul mention he felt like a failure? Only a few, but if he wrote about it I'm sure he felt that way more than those few times. The Psalms are riddled with feelings of failure.

Failure isn't failing... I think it's how we handle our failures that show who we truly are.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The One With a Clean House & Auction News.

I'm finding that the messier my house is, the more stressed and anxious I feel. Last night Matt did the dishes while the kids & I put away the 7 loads of laundry I had done earlier in the day. While putting away his laundry, Nathan looked around his bedroom and decided it's much nicer to wake up with a clean bedroom, so he cleaned it. After I put away the laundry I started picking up the living room and again, Nathan was there helping me out. (This is the boy who FIGHTS about chores almost daily. I guess when it's not a "chore" he doesn't mind helping out. hmmm...)

All of that to say that I woke up to a clean house this morning and it completely made my day. It was so nice to know that I didn't need to do dishes right away... they were done! I didn't need to do or put away laundry right away... it was done! We vacuumed, swept, mopped yesterday so I didn't even need to do that. Today has been a low stress/low anxiety day for me and I haven't had one of those in a long time. The children are still children, the house is still getting messy from time to time... but not in the overwhelming way. What a blessing.

In Other News:
We are putting an offer on the house up for auction. We found out we can do a pre-auction bid so we are pursuing that right now. I am really hoping & praying this will work out. It would be such a huge blessing to us!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The One About Running Away

Some days I want to run away. I told Matt this recently and I think I freaked him out a bit. If I could I'd take him with me... but one of us needs to be the responsible one and stay put.

I often feel like life is overwhelming lately. I'm not quite sure why. It's no more stressful than last year. In fact, maybe it's a little less stressful than last year. I'm not sure... But I'm overwhelmed, tired and often thinking of what I *could* be doing if I was committed to raising my 5 children. It's obviously not that I don't love my children. It's not that I want to get away from them per say. I just want to escape the stress... I wish I could go back to 'real' school. I wish that I could study midwifery and not have a gazzillion and one things interrupting my studies. I wish I could decide I want to go out for coffee and just go. I wish I could decide I want to pick up a project & just do it w/out it getting interrupted.

I guess that's just how life is right now... and the time with the children is really short (so people tell me) & I'll have time for myself later.... but in the meantime I hope I keep my sanity in tact and don't loose myself in the midst of Lego Wars & Ponies.

The One About Uncle Bob

Uncle Bob & Aunt Cathy are leaving today. They live in WA and I haven't seen Uncle Bob in 12 years. 12 years too many. He has always been my favorite uncle. When I was a child he would come out to visit every year and he was a lot of fun. When I was a teenager he was wonderful to talk with and never seemed to judge me. This was the first time I've seen him since I became an adult. I have gotten married & had 5 children since last time I saw him. We didn't get a chance to talk like we used to... but we had a good time hanging out with family. I hope there aren't so many years between visits next time.