Parenting for Generations

Thankful for some encouragement in Apparent Privilege today.

Do you ever wonder if it’s worth it?
By “it” I mean: the time you seek to invest in your children, the moments of discipline, the many repeated prayers for your kiddos (and yourself!), the time spent on laundry/dishes/meal preparation/grocery shopping/family budgeting/diaper changing, etc..?

In his book, Steve Wright says:
“We cannot look past the blessing of the parenting years and the unparalleled privilege we have as parents to show our children they are our blessings…. The goal of Christian parents is to see our children captivated by Jesus….They must see His death on the cross as the most tragic and glorious event in history.”

We are given such a short time to have our little ones at home.
Such a short time to pour out the love of Christ and communicate His sweet gospel message to them.
The sleepless nights, the diaper changes, and the dependent nature of your children will not last very long.
The impact you have on them spiritually will last for generations.

Steve Wright listed several passages in Scripture that relate to this, here are a couple:

“For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”
-Genesis 18:19

“I will establish your offspring forever, and build your throne for all generations.”
-Psalm 89:4

It is through our marriages and families that the Lord is seeking to make His appeal to the world.
I just encourage you, dear readers, don’t lose hope as you face the many challenges of parenting.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
-Romans 15:13

It is so absolutely worth it…

More Alabama….

As was promised, here are a few more things to add to my list of things about the South…
This is sort of a “you know you’re in Alabama when _____________”

1) It starts pouring rain outside and you think that may mean a break from the heat… but it is still probably 90 degrees outside.

2) You pass places called “Hens and Hogs” when driving on the highway.

3) Everything is being monogrammed. Everything.

4) Pageants are considered an actual profession for small children. People that meet Little E say “She is so beautiful!” This is almost ALWAYS followed up with encouragement to enlist her in a local pageant. I. think. not. There may be a future post dedicated entirely to this subject matter.

5) Beach pictures are more important than the actual trip you take to the beach.

6) Squalling is a word used for “crying”.

7) When you play the game “Mad Gab” with your husband and he does really well because, as he says, “All the words being jumbled together just sound like how people talk in the South.”

Happy Wednesday! 🙂

Sick days. Resting in the Lord.

Sneezing. Sore Throat. Congestion. Never ending runny nose.
This is how my morning started.

So thankful that we are called to walk in the strength of the Lord and not in our own. These days are good reminders of that.
When I feel rested, healthy and ready for what my day might bring… it is so tempting to think I can do it all on my own.

Wise words from Elisabeth Elliot:
“We can rest assured that the situation in which we find ourselves (and nowhere else) is the very place where God wants to meet us”

Even on days that you have two little ones needing more of your energy than you think you can give.

Seeking to remember the words in 2 Peter 1:3
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”

Relying on His power to help me walk in righteousness… to be patient with little E and L and have the energy to care for all their needs!

Sick days.
Sometimes the grace of the Lord comes in an un-expected way.
Praising the Lord that He always knows what is best for His glory and my holiness.

Whirlwind.

Dear readers,

I’m sorry it has been so long since my last post…

Over the past couple of weeks my husband and I received news that he got a new job (one that will potentially require a move) and we have been at work updating the house. Everything from painting and removing wall-paper to planting new bushes and pressure washing the outside of our home. Needless to say…we have been busy/tired/barely functioning.

In the midst of yet another big change, we are so thankful for this job opportunity and the Lord’s kind provision for our family!

Some sweet encouragement has come to me over the past couple of months as I have (slowly!) listened to a sermon series from John Piper.
It is entitled: “Battling Unbelief”
You can access these sermons at this link:
http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/by-series/battling-unbelief

There are 12 sermons (each only about 30 minutes) and they address specific sin issues and their relation to unbelief in the promises of God.

The Lord has revealed so many things in my heart that I was honestly not even aware of before I came across this series.
I had rarely, if ever, linked any of my sins to a lack of faith. It has been such an eye-opening time in the Word and I have been so thankful for both the warnings and promises that Piper deals with in Scripture.

For those that are looking to be challenged in their fight against sin— I highly recommend these sermons.
I also pray that as you interact with your sweet brothers and sisters in Christ that you would allow your conversation to be fueled with the promises of God. We are constantly in need of their reminders!! Our God Who promised is faithful!

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
-Hebrews 3:12-13

Still to come… new additions to the ever-increasing list of things about the south….

Till next time.

Sweet Chocolatey Goodness.

For as much as I love homemade ice-cream, it’s a little surprising that I don’t actually own an ice-cream maker.
This, however, has not deterred me from a couple of experiments in this area.

My first attempt was last year.
I was craving some cinnamon ice-cream (a favorite, thanks to a little place in Louisville, KY).
I just looked up a recipe online and went to work.
After hours and hours of stirring/letting it sit in the freezer I had my finished product. It was essentially milky cinnamon ice. I did eat some of it…mostly because I spent so much work on it, I just couldn’t let all of it go to waste. But yes, I did end up tossing a lot of it. What a let down. I had almost resigned myself to avoiding any further attempts till I had an ice-cream maker.

Then the phone call to my brother happened.
He said he had tried some of the best homemade ice-cream and they didn’t use a maker. Though a little skeptical, I was willing to listen.
He had already tested the recipe out himself and found it very successful.

As you have probably seen from my last post, I have given this a shot.
I will tell you… It worked perfectly and it was delicious! My husband loves it as well and wants me to continue using this recipe in the future.

Here’s the recipe:

Homemade Chocolate Ice-Cream

2 cups of heavy whipping cream
2 and half cups of whole milk
2 eggs
1 and quarter cups of sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/3 cup of baking cocoa
nutella- optional and amount is based on preference (I used 2 generous spoonfuls)

1. Beat the eggs separately from the rest of the ingredients.
2. Pour all the ingredients (including the eggs) together in a pot with the stove off. Once its all combined, turn it on medium. Then continue to stir and heat it until you have a consistency similar to making pudding (so slightly thicker, but not really thick).  Make sure you do not bring it to a boil and keep stirring it.
3. If you would like- Stir in a little nutella for creaminess and slight flavor enhancement.
4. Pour it through a strainer into a pan or container (I’ve used a 13×9 cake pan) and then cover and freeze over night.

In the morning it should look something like this:

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5. Next, cut into cubes and mix it with hand/stand-mixer. Then pour it back into the container and freeze it again.

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6. You will need to cube/mix the ice-cream 3 or 4 total times. Then re-freeze overnight and it will be all set!

Alternate flavors:

Vanilla: Leave out the nutella and baking cocoa.
Cinnamon: Leave out the nutella and baking cocoa. Add 3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.

Enjoy!

The good. The bad.

Yesterday was rough.
It was one of those days where I wish I could have climbed back in bed and pulled the covers over my head.
Little E is growing up–she’ll be 2 next week, which is so hard to believe…
As she has gotten “older” (funny using that word for such a small person) it seems like dis-obedience has become a more frequent occurrence.
Yesterday I felt like I was pleading, almost by the minute, for the Lord to fill me with extra love, patience, grace, and wisdom.
Thankful for this reminder:
“And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.'”
-Hebrews 12:5-6
The Lord’s discipline in my own life is a mark of my place as His child! What a sweet truth. Praying the Lord will help me remember this (and one day help Emma to see) that in those difficult moments of discipline, it is because I love her.

For those that might be interested in reading a little more on the matter of disciplining children, here is a post on Dr. Denny Burk’s blog that I found so helpful:
http://www.dennyburk.com/what-the-bible-teaches-about-spanking/

Today, however, has been a much different day with the kiddo’s. Lots of sweet moments, and grace in that there wasn’t as much need for discipline.

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This will be our second experience making homemade ice-cream… I am really hopeful that it will go better than last time.

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Emma’s first experience tasting Nutella… An instant favorite.

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We also had some sweet mommy/daughter time and painted her toe-nails. The colors: her pick 🙂

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Days like today make the harder days so worth it.
So thankful for the Lord’s sweet gift of E and L…

P.S: Recipe/ Pictures for the Ice-Cream to follow!

little things

Today I thought I would add a post of some recent favorites…
Here are a few things I would highly recommend:

1) Forever Red Perfume (Bath and Body Works)

perfume

I am seriously a sucker for smell good things… candles, lotion, perfume… I get even more excited when I find something in these categories that is in-expensive. This has been the perfect scent for moving into the fall season…

If you don’t mind spending the extra penny, a few of my favorite pricier scents are: Clinique’s ‘Happy’ and Ralph Lauren’s ‘Romance’.

2) Sharpie Pens- Fine Point

pen

I started using these pens in college and they have been an absolute favorite for years. I love writing and these are my go-to…

3) Zensation Zalad, Zaxby’s

zensation zalad

I love a good salad… You know, the kind that you’re eating and thinking to yourself “this is so good, I am pretty sure there is no way I’m getting any health benefits from it.” This is on my salad list… Not for health, for incredible taste.
They also throw in an egg roll, which is a wonderful added bonus. Yum.

4) The Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones

bible

We had some sweet friends gift this to us for Christmas last year and it has been a favorite in our house ever since. We read this to little E every night before bed (or at least, most every night) and I have loved it. We are constantly praying for the Lord to help us in this task of training and discipling our little ones… This Bible is a great tool for starting conversations about Jesus and his life/death/resurrection.

5) Gin Rummy

gin rummy

Adam and I have just recently picked up this game… I really love card games (spades being an all-time favorite) and this has been something fun we can play with just the two of us.

6) Candid Camera, TV Land

candid camera

2 pretty major things about me: I love laughing. I love pranks. Both of those are reasons why I love NBC’s The Office. I recently saw a preview showing that Candid Camera was coming back for a new season and I was really intrigued. I loved this show as a kid and am loving it again as an adult.

That’s my list for today…

Hope you had a wonderful Sunday and enjoyed worshipping with the Body of Christ— So thankful for the faithfulness of our ministers and their devotion to the Word of God.. Sweet morning in the house of God today.