Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review is BACK!

It has been way to long. Its so hard to blog when you have been gone for so long. Like where do I start? Is there even people out there anymore? HA!

I wanted to continue my previous blogs about books I would recommend about parenting. 

First a little back story...I did BSF last year (Bible Study Fellowship) and LOVED IT! I had an awesome group leader named Leslie. We clicked pretty instantly and one day I had the idea that I wanted her to mentor me. Like Titus talks about the older women mentoring the younger and so on...I asked her and she said she would love to! I was so excited! She is full of wisdom and so sweet. Her kids are school age so she still remembers the little years well but is at a different stage of where I am...

We decided to "mentor" by reading Christian books and discussing a chapter a week. The first book we chose was James Dobson, Dare to Discipline. Who can go wrong with Dr. Dobson, right?

A quick review on this book: It is old. Like even when you get the revised version its still pretty outdated. There are alot of Biblical truths that are eternal but some practical and cultural things are different then where we are now. I think it was a great book if you have older children especially school-aged and if you are a educator. It had a lot of good information on the education system in America and about issues that arise when your children are in school. Only about the first 4 chapters were really geared towards home discipline and were applicable with small children at home. I will keep this book and re-visit it when my children are in school.

So, when we were done that, we went to to read The Mission of Motherhood: Touching You Child's Heart for Eternity. This was such a good book! I felt like almost every chapter she was writing my heart on pages. There is too much good stuff to write about in one post, so I think I will take every chapter and discuss what touched me and what the main ideas were. And at the end of each chapter there are scripture references and questions to deepen your understanding of what you read and help you apply to your life and family. 

I will end with one of my favorite quotes from the book found in the introduction of the book. "The fundamental mission of motherhood now is the same as it always was: to nurture, protect, and instruct children, to create a home environment that enables them to learn and grow, to help them develop a heart for God, and his purposes, and to send them out into the world prepared to live both fully and meaningfully."
-Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood, pg 5

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Mom

I was going to type a status on facebook about my mom for her birthday. But I just couldnt seem to fit it in the little box they allow for a status. Time and space will not allow or couldnt even begin to tell of how much my mom means to me, but I will give you an idea...

First, my mom taught me how to be a wife. She taught me how to love my husband. She taught me how to serve him. How to put his needs above everyone else's (sometimes I am not too good at it, but she taught me how). She taught me how to be an encourager to my husband and how to pray for him daily. She taught me how to be submissive to my husband even thought I have a strong will, opinion and a loud mouth. She taught me how to be my husbands #1 cheerleader. Many of things, I learned from my mom by just watching her and my dad's relationship.

My mom taught me how to be a mom. I have never met a more loving, selfless mom. She helped my dad start churches, be on staff, preach, pastor, etc... while raising 3 children. She stayed home with all of us until we were school-aged and sacrificed alot of her time and money to keep us a priority in her life. She taught me how to show grace to my children and to make being a mom a ministry. She taught me that teaching my children about the Lord is the most important role a mom can play in her child's life. She taught me to be calm and in control when things get crazy. She taught me to sing and laugh alot with my kids. She taught me that when your a mom, you no longer have a life to yourself. She taught me that kids always come before the needs of my own. She taught me to be a mom first then a bestfriend. She taught me that sometimes you have to say tough things and give tough love to your children. She taught me that one of the most important things you can do for your children is to love and respect their daddy and make sure they know it. 

The most valuable thing my mom has taught me is how to love the Lord. My mom taught me how to have a real, genuine faith. She taught me scripture and Biblical truths. She taught me Bible story after Bible story. She taught me how to live out what I believed. She taught me how to not be ashamed of my salvation. She taught me how to love others and share Christ with them. She taught me how to always bring a meal or gift to someone who was in need. She taught me how to call or visit those who are sick and need a friend. She taught me how to keep my relationship with Christ my number 1 priority. She taught me how to love.

Happy Birthday Mama! :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ki 10 Months.

My baby boy is 10 months old!!! AHH! That is so close to 1! :(

Here is what he is up to these days:
  • He is crusin everywhere!
  • He loves walking with his walking toy
  • He has taken 6 steps without assistance
  • He is now eating veggies by himself!
  • He loves pancakes!
  • He has 6 teeth and another coming in. 
  • He is getting much more of a personality and being much more defiant. 
  • He loves his big sister alot!
  • He loves playing peek-a-boo.
  • He is so funny.
  • He likes pointing to other peoples noses and mouths.
  • He still only says mama when he is upset.
  • He loves playing with doors and cabinets.
  • He is very observant and meticulous (like his daddy).
  • He dances.
  • He loves his squeaky sandals! He bounces in them to make them squeak.
  • He still sucks his thumb and loves his blue minkey blanket.
  • He is still such a sweet boy even though he is much more active as he gets older!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Revolutionary Parenting Review 2

I will finish my thoughts on Revolutionary Parenting in this post. It is not as long as I thought it would be at all! 

In chapter 3, Barna discusses going against the social norms when it comes to parenting. GT and I talk about this often. How does our parenting look different then the majority of the world? What are teaching/doing/ro-modeling that reflects Christ and not just what society deems acceptable or "good" parenting?

I am a firm believer that the few years before our children enter into formal education are the most important. I dont want to do things a certain way just because thats what my parents did, thats what my friend does, that what society does, thats what this article said to do, thats what my pastor said to do, etc... Those are all GREAT resources to learn from and to gather information, but I want to do what Jesus tells me to do. How do I know what He tells me to do? The Bible! His word has all the answers. And when it doesnt seem black and white, I have prayer and the Holy Spirit to guide us as a family into the will of God. 

One of the sections in chapter 3 is "God Wins First Place". To me, that says it all. God is first place in all of our decisions. One of the statistics found in Chapter 3 states, "Nationwide, fewer than one out of every ten born-again families read the Bible together during a typical week or pray together during a typical week, excluding meal times." This breaks my heart. It convicted me. GT does a devotion with Audrie every night and we pray often, but we werent reading the Bible as a family unit.

So we started to. Sunday night we have family worship time. Right now, this is what it looks like for us: I put a blanket on the living room floor, we all sit on it (criss cross applesauce style). We each pick a favorite song (about Jesus of course) and take turns singing. Then we do a faith talk (which include scripture) provided by our church. You can find those here. We pray then play. So less than 10 minutes right now because Audrie is 2. During the week, GT and I try to find ways to bring the topic up again. I ask Audrie all the time, how many Gods are there? She replies 1, I ask her what does that make God? She says special and so on... For us, we had to have a set time to be intentional on reading Gods word as a family. 

I know that it isnt a one-size fits all kind of deal. I am sure family worship time will look different in years to come. This is where we are right now. I encourage you to find some time in your week for your family to come together and read Gods word and pray together. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ki 9 Months.

  Well. My goals didnt work out. This is day 4 and I got on facebook and cleaned house. I realized that was way too far. I did it the first day and my house was a MESS and I had 4 people needing responses from me on facebook for early in the day. So I am back to cleaning and facebooking. However, I am more aware of how much I do both and try to make a better balance.

Anyway, this post was/is meant to be about my baby boy Ki!!!!  I already put this on fb but my blog needs it too!

Look at this handsome man...

He is my sunshine! I love this boy more than my heart thought it could love another human!
It is so strange how much I love both of my kids the same but separately. They both have my heart but in different ways. 

Here is what my boy is up to these days:

  • He is crawling realllly fast. 
  • He is pulling up. He has just started to take 2 or 3 steps around furniture. But the he realizes what he is doing and stops.
  • He is eating more finger food now. He had scrambled eggs for the first time last night and LOVES them!
  • He claps.
  • He signs "more".
  • He wears 18 mos clothes.
  • He is soooooo tall. He was 31 inches last week. 
  • He loves his sister!
  • He is so happy.
  • He takes 2 naps a day but one is usually really short.
  • He still drinks 4 5oz bottles a day.
  • He says dada all day long. Every now and then he will say mama when he is fussy.
  • He loves for me to read to him. 
  • He LOVES being outside. 
  • He can play the baby apps on my phone.
  • He has 6 teeth!
  • He loves to eat! He hasnt refused any baby food yet!
  • He has the cutest little laugh!
  • He is such a daddy's boy! When GT walks in the room, he lights up and forgets about mama! 
  • He loves music and has started dancing some when he hears it.
  • He is 21 lbs!
  • He makes his mama proud!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review. Revolutionary Parenting Chapters 1 & 2.

The book I am currently reading, I will post reviews a few chapters at time. The reasons are that it is hardcore and each chapter has given me alot to think about. Plus, there are hands-on things to do at the end of the some of the chapters. I wanted to share with you guys what I plan to do and challenge you to join with me! :)

The book is Revolutionary Parenting by George Barna. Ever heard of the Barna group? To read more about it go here. But basically is it researchers whose research is based on the Christianity in the world.

So this book is based on research. The Barna group researched what they call "spiritual champions" which is young adults who are actively living for Christ. They studied the young adults as well as their parents to discover what their parenting was like and how it was different from mainstream society. And wrote the correlations in this book to help us have an idea of a direction we should go in if we want to raise spiritual champions.

Barna makes the point that there is no conclusive formula to raising children. There are many similarities in these families and the decisions they made on raising children that we can learn from. From other books I have read and from my college studies, it is believed 85% of children's personalities are developed by age 6. Barna included that he believes "that the spiritual war occurring in individual lives is pretty much won or lost by the age of thirteen." Wow.

Chapter 1 is all about society's idea of parenting vs. Biblical parenting. Barna gives alot of frightening statistics on what young people believe today about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity as a whole. He goes into lengthy discussion about how many people leave the job of spiritual training up to churches, government programs and other things outside of the home. This is not Gods intention for families. As I said in my last post, GT and I have the sole responsibility of raising our children and doing it in accordance with God's word. Going to church only adds to what we are currently doing in our home.

Chapter 2 compares parenting to being like a coach. We are the spiritual coaches for our children. We are the ones who train them, discipline them, encourage them and love them in all aspects of life. All of this is in vain if we do not have a genuine relationship with our children. I want to take a little side bar here to talk about spirituality. Christianity, spirituality, religion all have different meanings to different people. I believe all of life is spiritual.  Living for Christ is our life. No matter what we are doing or where we are doing it. My relationship with Christ isnt only active on Sundays. Its all day every day, which pours over into my parenting. Its not a formal, pull out the Bible thing every time, but simple things like praying when we see the sun, singing songs, talking about God and His word. There are so many times throughout the day that I see God in things and share it with my children because EVERYTHING is spiritual.

The main conclusion made in Chapter 2 is that people who produce spiritual champions make parenting their "primary job in life". I know this can cause all kinds of controversy about staying home vs working. I think the main point is whether you work or not, your life is about your family. GT works 50 plus hours a week and I know his heart is here with us. As soon as he is home his life is all about his family. At the end of this chapter is a hands-on challenge GT and I are going to start on Monday.

Hands On Chapter 2

Lydia's list: 

  • 3 Things I will commit to do during the next thirty days that will improve my relationship with my kids:
           1. Read Gods word daily.
           2. Be more intentional to spend just me and Audrie time daily.
           3. Take more time to sing songs to Ki and tell him how much Jesus loves him.
  • 3 Things I will change in my behavior during the next thirty days in order to have a more positive and biblical influence on the lives of my children.
         1. I will not get on facebook from 7am to 8pm. Including on my phone. 
         2. I will not clean any part of my house while my children are awake. 
         3. I will take 30 minutes a day or more to teach Audrie a Bible story (I will do one story a week) 

GT's list:
  • 3 Things I will commit to do during the next thirty days that will improve my relationship with my kids:
           1. Spend more quality time with them.
           2. Hold Ki more.
           3. Gripe less and teach more. 
  • 3 Things I will change in my behavior during the next thirty days in order to have a more positive and biblical influence on the lives of my children.
         1. Say yes more instead of no.
         2. Play on my phone and Ipad less.
         3.  Pray for them more. 

Will you join us? What are things you will commit to for the next 30 days that will enhance your ability to raise spiritual champions?



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Review 2. Loving the Little Years.

For my second review, I am going to discuss Loving the Little Years by Rachel Janvocich.  I was very hesitant about reading the book because of the title. I thought it was going to be another book about how we should soak in every moment because the little years go by so quickly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Seriously, how many people tell you that??? A guy told GT that in the bathroom at a restruant while he was changing Ki's diaper! HA! Really people? I mean I get it. Sometimes though in the midst of the spit up, poop, pee, tiredness, whiny children, etc...I dont feel like loving every minute of it.

The book is a short read with short chapters. I just downloaded the Kindle app on my Iphone and I love it! This was the perfect book to read on it. It was simple to read like I was having a conversation with a friend.

My favorite quote I took from this book and have read many, many times, "It is no abstract thing-the state of your heart is the state of your home. You cannot harbor resentment secretly towards your children and expect their hearts to be submissive and tender. You cannot be greedy with your time and expect them to share their toys. And perhaps most importantly, you cannot resist your opportunities to be corrected by God and expect them to receive correction from you."

Seriously, parenting makes me feel like biggest hypocrite sometimes. How in the world am I expecting my children to do things that I am not even doing. It is the biggest reminder to give them grace as the Lord shows me His grace. And also a huge reminder that I need my heart right with God to keep my heart right with my husband and children.

It is so true the state of our hearts sets a tone in our home. I dont know about you but I want my home to be one of love, security and acceptance. I know the times that I am out of sync with God, my whole house is out of sync and I hate it. 

This book was also a reminder that parenting the right way takes alot of time and attention.I dont know about you but alot of times I get so exhausted. And sometime throw a pity party. Who knew that when I just wanted to have a baby it would be SO hard. So tiring. That they wouldnt stay an infant forever. Then God reminds me that He has commanded me to this job. GT and I are the people who have SOLE responsibility in raising our children. I need to get up and put my big girl panties on and get over it. I need to face it head on like I am going into battle. Because honestly, it is a battle. There is spiritual warfare going on and satan wants my children. And you know what! He aint gettin them!

Whew, I am a little heated today!  Sin just really ticks me off sometimes! 

I want my home and heart to be a place of love. 

If I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13:2-8

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Review 1.

My husband and I got into a discussion last night about reading books that further our growth spiritually. I love to read first of all. Fiction or non-fiction, I enjoy reading when I have the time. My dad is always reading 3 or 4 books at a time. He is always giving me books and telling me what he has learned.

Our discussion was why I thought it was important and what it does for me. The ultimate authority in books is of course the Bible. God gives people wisdom and experiences that they write about whichin turn teaches me. I know not everything I read is truth because it isnt the Bible. That is where the Holy Spirit and its discernment comes in. I dont always think every sermon I hear is complete truth. And of course, I think it has to be paired with reading your Bible. And should never replace Bible reading.

For me, if I am not reading then I am not spiritually growing.

Anyway, so with that-- I dont know about everyone out there, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed with what to read and I love hearing from others what they learned and if it is worth my time. So I thought I would expound a little on my previous post about books I have (and are reading) and share some good things I have learned and if I would recommend it.

The first book I will start out with is "Dont Make Me Count to Three" by Ginger Plowman.

This book could not have come to me at  a better time. Like I said in my last post, I was drowning and couldnt get ahold of things when it came to discipling Audrie. This book helped me learn (and I am still learning) big time, how to probe Audrie's heart when she needs correcting. It goes into major detail about the reproof part of discipline and little about rod part. The rod is still in there of course and we do spank in our home. And it has made all the difference. Along with correct reproofing methods.

Confession: I was counting to three prior to reading this book. It taught me that Audrie and Ki eventually should obey on the first command. We dont follow this strictly, but I do expect it. And at first I thought it was impossible, but we are making way. Now, Audrie listens the first time occasionally, which used to be never!

It taught me how to use appropriate scripture when disciplining Audrie. And something my parents did that this book teaches as well is how to show your children to pray and ask for forgiveness for sins just like we do. I used to hate that my parents did this. When I was older, I used to make fun of it and thought it was so weird. But now it makes perfect sense. We are a romodel to our children and they are watching our every move even when it comes to our relationship with Christ.

It taught me to be consistent. Before reading this book, a big part of our problem was that I was lacking consistency. There are times I have to get back on track and I ask for Audries forgiveness for not disciplining her like I should and we continue where we left off. On that note, it taught me to show Audrie and Ki my humaness. I apologize to them, sometimes daily, for the sins I commit and when I do not do things that are in line with God's word.

I would recommend this book strongly. I think this is a book I will read yearly and I will learn much from each time.

There are a few things I dont do from the book and things that I think you fit into your family. We do spank but we do not spank at every act of disobedience. And as Audrie is getting older we have started using a few other types of discipline. Like taking away Diego time, etc...

**I usually only refer to Audrie because she is 2 1/2 and the only little person we discipline in this home. We have started with Ki a little, but not really and not enough to talk about.**

This is my wish list of books I want to read. Let me know if you have any for me to add!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I really really miss blogging. And writing. A few times I have sat at my computer wanting to type but having so much to say and so much time in between post, not knowing where to start. My good friend Randi did the same on her blog. But she came back. SO I decided I could too.

Our days are full. From the second we wake up until nap is go go go. Always a mouth to feed, diaper to change, toys to play with or something to clean up. Having two mobile children is twice the fun and twice the challenge. I cannot think of a bigger blessing than my children. Sure the days aren't always full of fun and some feel very stressful, but morning always comes. And when it does I can't wait to hold my sweet babies again and start the day. We start our day singing "This is the day that the Lord has made" and "Rise and Shine", something I swore to myself I wouldn't sing with my children. Now, I am so grateful my parents did and I am passing it on! So funny how all the things I said I would never do with my kids and am doing and praying I am doing it close to as well as my parents did.

The main topic and thoughts of our life right now is discipline. WhenI started out being a parent, I thought it was hard. My life was forever changed, good and bad. Now, I had this person who was totally and utterly dependent on me, night and day. THEN Audrie got older and around 18 months things started getting REALLY hard. She suddenly had this will and attitude. She was pushing the boundaries. She was being defiant. My sweet little baby was testing me! It was a little easier that I was working, little harder that I was pregnant, but we made it through. We toughed it out. I made excuses for her and me. THEN baby brother was born. What a shock to all of us. Life got hard. I had NO idea what two kids would be like. It took awhile in the beginning for me to find the joy in having two children.

So Ki was born and I was at home all day with two children. Audrie's behavior became harder for me to handle. Going out of our house was usually a disaster. But staying home felt like a disaster too. We got through those first few months too. I was tired. Audrie had enough energy for an army. I thanked God everyday for a calm baby boy who enjoyed sleeping. I counted down the days until Audrie started Mother's Day Out.

My life, well our life, changed when I started going to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). God began to work in my heart. He showed me that the discipline and stress I felt in parenting had NOTHING to do with my kids but EVERYTHING to do with me. I was trying to do things on my own. I was trying to discipline and parent the way the world tells me to. And I was failing miserably. I felt like I was drowning and taking the kids down with me. God placed a few Godly women in my life to come along me and help me.

First, my friend, Kristin recommended the book, "Dont Make Me Count to Three", by Ginger Plowman and "Shepherding a Child's Heart", by Tedd Tripp.  Honestly, I didnt read the second book all the way through. I tried but couldnt. The first book I read in two days. I realized through these pages that I was trying to manage Audrie's behavior and control it instead of looking at the heart issues behind the behavior.

Secondly, my friend Amy, suggested the book, "Loving the Little Years" by Rachel Jankovic. This just added to my re-thinking discipline, as I saw Audrie in the same light as Christ sees me. I am a sinner just like our children. And just like Christ comes along side of us to gently and loving direct us in the right path, that is what we have to do with our children.

My dad gave me a book written in the 70's called "Christian Child-Rearing and Personality Development" by Paul Meier. It was quite an interesting read to say the least. My dad also gave me a sermon he preached when I was younger about discipline. I will treasure this for the rest of my life.

I asked my BSF leader, Leslie, to become a mentor to me. She is such a sweet, gentle woman. Something I am not for sure. We are starting out reading, "Dare to Discipline" by James Dobson. I have already started it but can only do a chapter a week.

God is putting the puzzle pieces together and teaching me so much about mine and His relationship that affects how I discipline and love my children.  Parenting is so hard. Parenting God's way is even harder. I know the investment is worth it. I will be tired the rest of my life if it means I am teaching my children to love the Lord with all their hearts.

I have found the joy in having two children. (And of course I want more now!) Everyday I cant wait to see what God has for us. Is it perfect? Heck no. Do I still cry some days? Yes. Is Audrie's behavior perfect? No. But it has improved significantly. Do I still have alot to learn? Yes. Am I the perfect mother? No and there is not one on the planet. I am not EVEN close if there was one.

I hope to write more about my parenting journey in details as God changes my heart and grows my relationship with Him. I will end with an article Lysa TerKeurst wrote this week about parenting called "I dont want to raise a good child". Such a great reminder that we aren't called to raise a good child but a God child.