scones & wisdom for breakfast ,)

 My ultra cool husband made scones for breakfast today & he makes a fantastic scone!  While we were eating, my kids & I had an interesting discussion about friendships with the importance of their various influences.  In my morning Bible time, I read Prov 13:20, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Here’s a quick synopsis of our conversation, chose your friends wisely because they will have either a harmful or wise influence in your life – affecting your choices, preferences and values.  A companion of fools will suffer harm, but the person who walks with others who are wise, will himself be wise.  Let’s be sure to chose wisely who we allow to be close to us, with whom we share our heart & allow ourselves to be vulnerable 🙂

cavities, consequences & grace

I took my kids to the dentist today for the lovely Summer check-up.  Let me say up front, that I like our current dentist for my kids even though the last one was shady, but that’s a different story.  So today’s report from their check up wasn’t very whippy.  One of my kids (who will remain nameless) has more than 3 cavities – which gives evidence to them tuning out my daily reminders to brush their teeth  (maybe God has some similar thoughts when I blow Him off).
When the hygienist called me in to give me the report, I felt like I was being scolded for my kid’s negligence, just compounding my frustration level.   Grrrrrrr

So here are my take-aways from today’s dentist adventure:

  • even though I’m their mom, if they don’t cooperate with my instructions they will increase the probability of negative consequences, despite my best efforts
  • the point of grace isn’t to get away with something but rather to change our behaviors
  • even though I may be frustrated with my kids, this doesn’t give me license to be mean or insensitive to everyone around me
  • obedience is better than cavities ,)
All of this is on the heels of me leaving for Asia, to watch God work His wonders for @savingmoses in Cambodia – please don’t fight the urge to send up some prayers for us!  I’ll keep you posted with blogs, etc about what’s happening 🙂

don’t ask for patience ,)

My dad always has this saying, “Sarah, don’t ask a question that you don’t really want to know the answer.”  When I was younger & he would tell me this, I was always perplexed by why he would occasionally discourage me from asking questions – then I got some answers to various questions that were just TMI (too much info)!!!

Sometimes, I think this is also true with the idea of patience.  When I was younger, I used to ask God to help me to be more patient.  Then when He started to help me with the patience thing, I didn’t necessarily liked how He was helping me, so I stopped asking for His help with patience 🙂

I think I’m kind of starting to come full circle.  I can’t say that I’m just chasing God down on the patience topic, but I am most certainly appreciating the importance of developing patience.  Here are some things that I’m finding helpful for me with the development of patience (although I’m not even close to arriving at being patient):

  • remove the microwave mentality:  I’ve noticed that when I marinate meat for a long time (even a few days in the refrigerator), it just gets continually better the longer I marinate the meat.  In contrast, if I throw some ground beef in the microwave & nuke it for 2min, the flavor is lame at best (nothing compared to the marinated meat).  Immediate and microwave results aren’t always better than cultivated & marinated efforts
  • perhaps my kids are impatient with getting an answer from me because I’ve modeled impatience to them when I want them to clean their rooms, brush their teeth, empty the dishwasher, sweep the floor, etc in less than 4min.  I often hear the Holy Spirit whispering to me as it relates to my kids, “Slow down”
  • the journey versus destination perspective:  maybe I’m impatient because I don’t feel like “I’ve arrived” rather than considering that each day is an adventure to explore God’s love to me & through me
  • running late makes me impatient & I frequently run late – perhaps I should stop scheduling things to be so close together & give more “breathing” space between appointments rather than seeing that space as wasted time
  • something that really helps me is when I consider that God is in charge of my life – I’ve surrendered my life to God & because of this, He directs my steps, organizes my time & the demands on me.  I always find it to be so interesting that when I find myself backed against the wall with a deadline & worried that I won’t make it, He almost always comes up with some creative solution, either through eliminating a task / expectation or through making my efforts supernaturally efficient.
Being patient grows over time ,)

Village life

So today we visited a village in the countryside & I got to meet some completely beautiful & strong women. I met a grandma who survived the Khmer rouge regime by hiding in the jungle for 2 yrs. Her husband was the only person to survive in his family during the Khmer Rouge. I met a mom who is 5mnths pregnant, but very scared to deliver bc of the complications from her preceding deliveries & no resources to get medical help w her delivery. I met lots of little people who need toothbrushes bc their teeth are rotting out of their heads from eating the sweet syrup from the palm trees. Finally, I met a single mom of 5 kids whose husband abandoned his family 3 yrs ago. Her sole means to provide for her kids is to sell desserts to her village & surrounding areas. This is an amazing country & the people here never fail to grab my heart

grow charts

Over the summer, i’ve instituted “grow charts” for my kids.  Here’s the general vibe:  each child has their own weekly to-do list they’re supposed to work on everyday.  The plan has been for every box they check, they get 10cents.  At the end of the week, we count up the boxes & they get somewhere between $1-$3 / week for their grow charts.  They’re supposed to save their money every week, after tithing & at the end of each month, we deposit their money in their kids bank by my hair salon.  So far, this has worked pretty well over the summer.  The key to the success of this is consistency on my part. 

Today, i ramped it up a notch.  I circled about 3-5 “tasks” that are required everyday (brush teeth, clean room, etc).  For every circled task that is not completed for each week, i take away 10cents.  So far, i think this is working pretty well.  Its teaching my kids to importance of daily work & discipline, its giving them a constructive incentive to earn money, teaching them the importance of saving money (they compete w each other to see who has the most in the bank) & its teaching them the value of everyone pitching in to help & contribute to our family.  Personally, its helping me to work on being consistent w my kids.  With all of this planning & structure, i don’t really see a downside, especially if i stay consistent. 

Key word: consistent

some random thoughts

my daughter has finally grown into the skirt & jacket my brother bought her 2 years ago – she’s really beautiful & very confident! 

my son, Benji & i did a butt black yesterday.  translation:  we got on an expert ski run by accident & slid down on our butts

David & I had a “walking home together” date.  We discussed his friends, different books he’s read & kicking rocks

Reece & i took Benji skiing yesterday – he let me sleep in the car on the way home.  very peaceful!

Some spiritual thoughts / considerations floating through my mind of late:

  • when i feel cold-blooded, i look for the Son to get warm
  • contentment is internal & not external – so they say
  • God has life for me underneath the frustrations, worries & cares that will change tomorrow
  • doing is a consequence of being
  • I’m made to be w God

I’ve also been thinking about Jesus’ parable related to living a productive life, so i’ll be blogging on that over the next few days.  keep your eyes peeled!

insights on my kids

Watching my kids grow is simply fascinating – full of delight, awe, pleasant surprises & very astounding.  Here are some recent developments:

David – wants to buy a box of girlscout cookies & keep them for awhile & then re-sell them for more than he bought them for.  He COMPLETELY came up w this scheme on his own.  Furthermore, he also has the plan to sell part of the ABC juice (apples, beets & carrots – uber healthy) that we make to mimi (grandma) twice a month to make money.  This entrepeuner thing just surfaced recently.  Needless to say, I’m speechless bc i didn’t even consider thinking this way until at least high school & probably more like post college.  (pawns in chess are ponds)

Isabell:  the long hair is pretty much lost on me, given that i’ve enjoyed short hair & its simplicity for close to 2 decades.  She is growing her hair to cut if off & donate it to locks of love for kids w cancer.  Furthermore, its really cool to watch her confidence grow as she overcomes various insecurities to achieve goals that she has set for her self – selling girlscout cookies has been the recent platform for this personal growth.  I see her thinking, growing & living in the present w great contentment.

Benji:  everything he does has some wiggle (except now as I’m watching him play Reece in chess – take it back, he just went to the bathroom).  Anyways, he’s wonderfully generous & relational, with eyes full of life, creativity & happiness.  And today, we got to ski w Benji & he was simply fantastic.  I love that he watches his older brother to grow, learn & play.  I’m glad he’s a kind person because a mean person with his intelligence would be scarey.

I’m blown away by my kids.