Monday, August 11, 2014

Loving Your Middle Child Well

I have read a few books and online narratives that speak of the "forgotten middle child."  It goes like this:

Child A is attentive, helpful, first-in-line and needs mom and dad's attention for complex, hard-to-understand ideas.  Child C is the littlest and cannot do things for him/herself.  Child A has academic deadlines and sports and pressing discipleship issues.  Child C wakes in the middle of the night, cannot reach the kitchen sink, dreams of hairy monsters who make noises in the closet, and easily gets frightened when large dogs approach.

And, then there's the middle child.  The easy child.  The child who doesn't make as much noise.  Who can go under your radar for long periods of time.  Quiet.  Easy.  Doesn't rock the boat.  And...can easily get forgotten.

I was not a middle child.  I will never know the pains that can ache the heart of "the forgotten child."  But, I can see in her eyes at times that it is possible.  My oldest child speaks of being an oncologist and chases after studying and complex ideas.  My littlest one cannot reach the kitchen sink, cannot pour his own apple juice, and needs help with small, out-of-reach tasks.  We have four children, not three.  But, one of our middle children can easily fall into the forgotten category if I am not careful.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Indoor Sidewalk Chalk

If the outdoor climate you are in is too hot, too cold, or too wet and your kids are wild about being active and creative, then this one tip may help you a bit.


Not everyone has large areas of tiled surfaces to work with.  However, you may have some indoor garage floor space that could work nicely for this project.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dear Lord, Grant Me Grace...

Typically, I don't confess my sin here on my blog.

Real?  I've been real.  I have shown you here how my life falls apart, at times.  Or remember the time I showed you the grime under my refrigerator?  It is not my passion to show you the tidy side of life and completely ignore the not-so-tidy bits.

There are days honestly, where I ponder the idea of pulling the plug on my blog.  I find, at times, that I am fearfully concerned about my heart.  When is it my motivation to put me on display and when is it my genuine motivation to put God on display?  When I can't tell, I don't blog.  It's not worth it.  When in doubt, don't--a worthy motto to work with.

Maybe I'm not the only one who wrestles with that.  Maybe it is a typical inner-wrestling that most Christians face.  Maybe I should be terrified when the wrestling stops.  At that point my heart could be cold.  Cold to the Holy Spirit's leading.  Cold to the answer.  The result, the byproduct.  The root.  The process of pulling the bad weed.  When I don't care I should be terrified.

So, four-and-a-half years later.  I'm still blogging.  I still post stuff.

I'm not afraid to leave my blog inactive for months at a time.  I think it's offensive, worthless, and dangerous for me to blog for the sake of blogging.  I truly want each word to mean something valuable for the Kingdom.  And if my "pen" can't make that happen--because the Spirit is not leading--then I want the pen to lie still.

Sin.  I won't typically put my sin on display.  I tend to think that those bits should be confessed to my husband, my pastor when necessary, and my close, intimate circle of Christian sisters.  But, here I can easily say that waiting is bothersome for me.

Waiting can be an irritant, but my response to that irritation can be sin.


Irritable.  Hostile.  Frustrated.  Angry.  Bitter.  Resentful.  Full of worry.  Doubt.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rid of My Disgrace -- Review

Just the other day I posted a list of books that I am reading.  Feel free to check out that post here.

In that list I posted this text:

Rid of My Disgrace by Justin Holcomb and Lindsey Holcomb

Today I wanted to pause for a bit to review this text.  In a nutshell I can say this: Five stars; well done.  I HIGHLY recommend this text.

To whom would I recommend it?  I actually see huge overlap in this book as to whom it would apply to.  Sexual assault victims are at the top of my list.  Divorcees could actually benefit from this text as well.  And...people who have suffered a dirty, painful church split could benefit from this book as well.

You may wonder why I say that.  I'll expand my answer here:
In 2 Samuel 13 we read the narrative of Tamar.  She is incestuously raped by her brother and her father (the king) does nothing about it.  This is the narrative in outline form:

                  I. Relationship
                  II. Trauma (relationship ruined) 
                  III. Heartbreak (the aftermath of the pain)
                  IV. Isolation
                  V. Silence


Tamar's narrative followed this pattern.  Her brother lured her into his room under false pretenses.  He overtook her.  She was broken with shame and disgrace.  She told few people what happened.  She was told to keep silent about the matter.  She went into isolation.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Reading List 2014

On a few occasions I have posted books that I am reading.  So, here's a current list of my summer reads and my in-progress books.  One book is on my kindle, so I wasn't able to place it in the stack (image below).  But, I will list that in the links below.


List of books:
    1. Bad Memories: Getting Past Your Past by Robert D. Jones
    2. Uprooting Anger by Robert D. Jones
    3. Rid of My Disgrace by Justin Holcomb and Lindsey Holcomb
    4. Critical Stages of Biblical Counseling by Jay Adams
    5. Nine Marks of A Healthy Church by Mark Dever
    6. Slave by John MacArthur
    7. Shame Interrupted by Ed Welch (not listed in image above)

A few of you might wonder: Does she read all of them at once?  I actually do have several books going at one time.  After reading a chapter or two from one book I'll

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Gospel

I'll introduce the good news of Christ's redeeming work with one theme that should stand alone: grace.  Grace is oftentimes classified as "God's unmerited favor."  I find that this particular phrase needs defining.  I'm not a huge fan of using that term to define grace because it leaves too many people confused, in my opinion.  What is merit?  What is unmerited?  What is favor?  Can the people in the room explain that?

Grace is unmerited favor, yes.  Grace is goodness that has been granted to us when we were incapable of working for it.  Grace is our account being wiped clean when the debt was impossible to pay--even over a lifetime.  Grace is the kindness of God to us in the sending of His Son.  Grace is the kindness to us in that Christ Jesus died for our sins.  Christ Jesus died in our place.  We deserved the punishment and He bore that punishment in His body on the cross for us (1 Peter 2:24).

Grace is your ability to read this.  Grace is your ability to breathe.  Grace is the roof over your head at night when you sleep.  Grace is the food you have eaten today--or will eat today.  Grace is your mode of transportation each day (wheelchair, legs, bicycle, car, motorcycle, whatever).  Grace is the clothing you wear each day.  Grace is the relationships you have.  Grace is the bank account that bears your name.  Grace is the eyesight God has granted you (if you can see), or maybe blindness is the grace that God has granted you.  Grace is seeing in color.  Grace is tasting food that is appealing and delightful.  Grace is your ability to feel positive touch (hug, kiss, massage, warm, water, etc.).  Grace is your ability to communicate.

Heaven is grace.  Repentance is grace.  Hope is grace.  Joy is grace.  Peace is grace.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Discernment and Music

Once I was at a behind-the-stage, before-the-concert meet and greet and the band was informally interviewed by the people in attendance.  At one point, I was quite disappointed with what the band members had to say.  (I won't mention the band.)  They were asked this question: "What books are you reading right now?"  They were given a golden ticket opportunity to say The Bible followed by a few theologians who are strong in teaching sound doctrine.  And, they did neither.  Nothing of what they were reading had anything to do with magnifying or exalting Christ Jesus as Lord, Savior, Master, King, Redeemer, or the like.  I couldn't find the gospel in their lyrics.  Sadly, I couldn't find our Savior on display.

Here is one artist to consider:  Need To Breathe.  This particular band does not have an "About" tab on their website.  So, I cannot easily ascertain their theological position, their motivation for what they do, or their desire to advance the gospel for the glory of God.