This article is from Fusion, and I thought it was worth sharing.

Getty ImagesMore than 60 million people had been forcibly displaced from their homes at the end of 2015, the highest number of displaced people since World War II. And most of them remain in their own countries, rather than seeking asylum elsewhere, according to Pew data newly compiled from the United Nations. The data show…

via There are more displaced people in the world than at any point since World War II — Fusion

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Black Lives Matter or After Dallas I’m Terrified for My Husband in Blue

I may be too emotionally close to this to write objectively, and I’m also flooded with some serious pregnancy hormones on top of everything here. If I’m missing something major, please feel free to point it out in a kind manner. Please note that all of this is mostly a rambling of me trying to make sense of the cognitive dissonance that has become my life!

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Christian Anger or What Did Jesus Do

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Our pastor spoke about Jesus’ anger at the Pharisees in church on Sunday, and while he was talking I thought back over what I knew of Scripture, and I couldn’t think of an example of Jesus ever being angry at anyone but the religious elite of his day. He did express occasional frustration at the thickheadedness of his own disciples as well. However, he seemed to reserve his hot anger for those that claimed to have religious authority over people and then abused that power. He flipped tables in the temple, got angry over their “test” of him healing the man with a withered hand, and called them a brood of vipers.

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Mother’s Day- Joy and Sadness

Mother’s Day always brings mixed feelings for me. I am incredibly blessed with a wonderful mother, a beautiful little boy, and a baby girl on the way. All of which cause me to feel very thankful. I’ve had a lovely Mother’s Day weekend so far aside from being sick. My husband graduated with his Master’s degree, my in-laws were able to come down for a visit, so we had a lovely time with family.

However, It is hard to forget a time not so long ago when Mother’s Day was one of the hardest days of the year for me. There was a three year period where we struggled with infertility. When we finally did manage to get pregnant, we ended up having two miscarriages before Harrison was born.

For years I avoided this day. Of course I bought my mom something and tried to spend time with her, but the hurt of those losses always hung over the day. I say all of this because I want to remind everyone to pray for and encourage those that have lost mothers, children, suffer from infertility, or have a strained relationship with their mother or child.

You don’t know what a kind word may mean to someone that ‘s really hurting during what should be a time of celebration. Send that card to your friend that lost a loved one. Don’t question why the middle aged couple with out children aren’t in church that Sunday. Take a meal to the mom with a sick kid. Take cookies to the older lady next door that you know doesn’t get any visitors. Do something. Celebrate by going out and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Your mom will be proud of you if you do.

Teaching Little Ones to Make Amends

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Harrison had a rough day at school today. It was a seriously bad day. He hit three friends and kicked another one. He also struggled to listen to his teacher about other matters. Now my child is by no means perfect, in fact I would say that he can be a handful, but this was beyond the pale.

When I found out what had happened, I tried to come up with a way both to impress upon him the seriousness of his offenses while also helping him try to “fix” what he had broken. We had a long talk about friendship, using gentle hands, and treating people how we want to be treated. I also reminded him that Jesus wants us to be kind to each other. Then I tried to remind him of times when he was on the receiving end of bad treatment.

My issue wasn’t with how to punish him, but with how I could make the punishment fit the crime so to speak. I decided that after supper he would not get any play time or tv time. He was instead required to write an apology note to each student he had hurt and his teacher. He and I discussed what he should say ,and I wrote the notes in highlighter so that he  could trace the letters. This took him over a half an hour to complete, but he seemed to understand why it was important to show that he really was sorry for hurting others.  After he finished his cards, it was bed time, so he did not get any play time.

It remains to be seen rather this activity will make enough of an impression to curb any of this type of behavior tomorrow or in the future. I hope to speak with him more tomorrow and to use this as a lesson in the future about not only making good choices but also offering forgiveness to others since we all need forgiveness ourselves sometimes.

I think that our next Bible memory verse will be:

Ephesians 4:32King James Version (KJV)

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

How do you encourage your children to apologize? Do you sometimes require that they go beyond an apology and do some sort of work to restore a broken relationship? How can we show our children their individual need for Christ when they’ve made poor choices?

Developing Generosity In Children or Fighting the Entitlement Attitude

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I have recently taken on a project with the grade that I sponsor at my school. We are running a school wide preschool (k2) through 11th grade food drive for a local food pantry. Amazingly one of the first things that I was asked by many people both children and adults alike was, “Will there be a prize for class or student that brings the most.” I’m not saying that it’s always wrong to offer rewards for this type of event, but it worries me that it seems to have become expected in our culture at large.

Generosity and lack of entitlement seem to go hand in hand. Children that feel entitled to everything struggle to see how others could be in need. I can’t control the culture, but I can work to shape my child, so that he is counter culture when it counts. To be fair, this is speculation since he’s only three and not “done” yet. However, here is my plan for creating a generous non entilted kid and one day grown up.

  1. We don’t give him everything he wants. This feels hard sometimes because we all want our children to be happy, but temporary happiness isn’t the goal of parenting. We intentionally say no to some things that could be seen as easy request. He needs to learn that special treats are just that special! It’s hard to be generous if you’ve never felt want of any kind yourself.
  2. We practice giving. By no means are we major philanthropist, but he does see us give to the church and other non profits. We also try to volunteer as much as possible. I want him to know that generosity isn’t always related to money. People need to give of themselves as well.
  3. We encourage him to give. This started out with him being the ones to put the cans in the box for a food drive or even letting him hand a family member a gift that we had purchased. I’m trying to move  toward his ownership of it. This time I’m planning on giving him a few small jobs around the house to earn money, so that he can go buy some cans of food for the pantry. He natural seems to want to share (most of the time), and we try to praise that whenever we see it.
  4. We educate him about those in need. He’s only three, so these talks have to be adjusted for his age, but he has seen some pictures of the Syrian refugees and  those recently hit by the earthquakes. I have also tried to explain that there are people near us that don’t have enough to eat. One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me was to raise me on the grounds of a homeless shelter. We were not homeless, but my parents worked and lived on site. Getting to really know people in need changes your perspective on poverty.  I want my son to share in what I see as the family tradition of coming into someone’s need or suffering and trying to make a difference.
  5. We expect thankfulness. I work with him on saying thank you which I know all parents do. I’ve also tried to model thankfulness when he does something for me or gives me something. This can be as small as making over a flower that he picks for me. I also encourage him to explain exactly what he is thankful for when he shows gratitude. For example we might have a conversation like this, “Why do you like the sweater that Grand gave you?” and he might say, “I like it because it’s my favorite color.” I’ll then take time to explain that he should tell her that he is tankful for the nice color.

I’m not sure that all of these things will work to create a grateful and generous adult. I do however hope that it works. Surely there will be times when he fails just like there are times when I fail, but I hope to develop the habit of helping early.

Home Again!

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Harrison and my Dad dying eggs this year at Easter. It’s a family tradition that Dad and I and now Harrison do it together. Mom hates the mess so she always just boiled the eggs and let Dad deal with the dye. It’s nice to pass this on. I look forward to adding more traditions to our new home!

 

 

As you may know, one of the main issues that is dear to my heart is multigenerational living. We have been looking to combine households with my parents for some time now. My Mom’s Parkinson’s is not going to get better, and my dad isn’t getting any younger. We had hoped to buy a house last year, but we could not find one that suited our needs. We have just had a bid accepted on a home that is almost perfect for us. Right now we’re in the process of getting it inspected. Once that clears things should be a go as we’re pre approved for the loan.

The really awesome thing is that my parents are starting to buy into the small homesteading idea. My dad really wants to keep bees, and my mom has asked for us to plant watermelons in the garden. She also wants some indoor fruit trees  like lemons that she can care for.

Mom and I are currently working on how to divide the house up so that we have shared and personal spaces. We are also trying to figure out how to deal with two sets of everything. It won’t be a lot of doubling over since there are separate living areas. Both of us love our dinning sets, but we’re lucky enough to each care more about the other person than the design of the dinning room. The men of the house don’t care as long as we serve meals at regular times.

The layout of the house is good in that we will have our own spaces. The kitchen and dining room will be shared, but even at that if we wanted to have separate meals there is room for my parents to eat in the kitchen while my husband, son, soon to be baby, and I eat in the dinning room. I look for us to eat most of our evening meals together. My part of the family doesn’t eat breakfast other than cereal or granola bars, but I know mom normally makes dad something for breakfast. Mom is home for lunch, and dad is sometimes too while the rest of us are at school or work. We all get on well, so I’m not too worried, but it will be an adjustment.

Have any of you lived multigenerational? If so, what are you tips? What were some issues you faced and how did you resolve them? I’m thinking that open communication and both shared and personal space is key.

 

 

Life Intrudes

I’ve not blogged in awhile not that many people are following or anything. I mainly started this as a place for me, and if anyone likes it they’re welcome to follow along. Life intrudes on lots of the things that we mean to do for ourselves rather it’s healthy eating, gardening, a manicure, or just finishing that novel that was started a week ago. In this case life has seriously interfered with my blogging.

I teach at a private Christian school, and the last year or more has been spent preparing for the independent accreditation team to come. This consisted of endless meeting and a ton of paper work. I think that the resulting information was really helpful for our school, but it sure did eat up a lot of time!

Our family is also due to expand in August. We’re very excited to welcome this new little life, but I have been SO sick. At the last Dr. appointment I had lost 7 lbs. I’ve also had low iron which nearly put me out. I have never been so tired in my life.

There have been some other changes around the house, but I’ll write about those soon if all goes well, and I don’t die from busyness and tiredness.

Through the Barren Places

Through the Barren Places

It’s been a hard week, well…year… Ok, it’s been a hard couple of years. I feel dry and wrung out all while being pulled in multiple directions. One crisis settles and two more start. I’m tired, but I can’t sleep. I’m parched, and I try to drink, but the water only comes in drabs. I am as is usual for me lonely in a room full of people. It’s not the other people’s fault. I think it’s just something about my internal makeup.

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