November 25, 2011

My Baby Is Four!

Moriah turns 4 years old today!

Happy Birthday!!

She is 4 going on 14! The things she says sometimes sound so adult it's unbelievable!

Here are some reasons why I love my baby!

She helps sanctify me by exposing my sin through direct confrontation or by her mimicking my sin.

She sees a need and takes the initiative to help out.

She is industrious and can do so many things well all by herself.

She is so smart and bright. She can read between 50 and 75 words; she knows at least 45 of the 50 United States including the Oceans; she's on question 32 in the Children's Catechism; she can count to 100 and by 100s to 1,000; and she knows that there's a place for everything and everything has a place.

She's affectionate and loves to give hugs and kisses. I love how she loves her Daddy. At night she always asks to "kiss, hug and snuggle" before falling asleep.

She's a great big sister and is always willing to help them out. She usually helps Lily with her clothing on and off. And she doesn't usually complain when I ask her to help her sisters.

She's usually happy and smiling. I love to hear her squeal in laughter and delight to play well with her sisters. She even reads books to them.

I love you Moriah! Happy Birthday!

We celebrated her birthday on Thursday after the turkey. Pictures to follow.

November 21, 2011

"Are You Crazy?!"

"You've got your hands full!"
"Are they twins?"
"Are they triplets?"
"You must be joking!"
"Don't you need a break?!"
"I don't know how you do it!"
"Better you than me!"
"You know, they make a pill for that."
"Are you part of some cult?!"
"You must be Catholic."

And other negative, presumptuous, pithy feminist comments.

I'm not going to lie. When Moriah was born, I had NEVER taken care of a newborn baby before. I didn't have any idea what I was doing and I struggled in my new role of mother just 9 months after committing to my new role as wife.

During Lily's pregnancy I was stressed out the whole time because our insurance company pinned us with the possibility of paying for all the prenatal, labor and delivery care out of pocket when we had no money. But the Lord answered our prayers and Lily came at the right time.

When Shiphrah was born, I was stressed and overwhelmed. I had two toddlers running around and a newborn that was obstinate against nursing and very gassy (colic). Quite literally I was about to lose my mind and thought often about doing just that. I prayed every time I fought Shiphrah to nurse that I wouldn't get pregnant again before she was 18 months old. I needed a break and I despaired at least 8 times a day. I cried all the time. Jeramy and I talked about taking a little break, but still in my conscience I considered that it was contrary to the decision I made before our wedding day - to give God control of our fertility - but for the sake of sanity, I would put that on hold.

As the months passed, I continued to pray in this way while struggling to decide whether or not to use contraception or let God answer in the way He wills. Month after month continued to go by and I became convinced that God was not going to answer this prayer and I had to be content getting pregnant again before Shiphrah turned 18 months. Then suddenly, one day Jeramy came home and changed his mind about contraception. It was like an answer to prayer.

However every time we came together, I felt the gnawing of the Holy Spirit that what we were doing was wrong. "This isn't what we decided to do 5 years ago. God says, "Children are a blessing . . . " not a burden. They are my life now. They are my vocation now. I pour myself into them, eternal souls, the next generation." Feminism teaches that children are burdens; they're too expensive; they impose on your freedoms and lots of other nonsense antithetical to the Gospel.

Also during this time, God did a significant work in sanctifying me more toward contentment. My role as wife and mother is difficult, but it is what God has called me to do and, by golly, I'll do it with all my might unto His glory. If I could spend hours in the practice room daily and on stage for the pursuit of some wooden box, then I could certainly use the last 10 years of my reproductive life to nurture the next generation of humanity.

What, specifically, lead to my decision? I considered that there are friends of mine who have not been blessed with children naturally. How selfish it was for me to prevent this blessing. Also I considered the many friends I have that prevented children from coming that now regret the children they didn't have. I also consider that the next 10 years of my reproductive life is brief compared to the 60 or 70 years total I might live. I further considered that I never know which pregnancy will be my last and menopause might come to me earlier than the average woman.

So now, I embrace however many children God will bless us with. Yes, it is hard. Yes, I pray for God's grace daily. Yes, I make mistakes. Yes, I get stressed out. No, my children are not a burden. No, I wouldn't trade them for anything. Yes, I know they're beautiful. No, you can't have any - not one. And when I'm old and dying in my bed, I'll look back over my life without regret in this area, knowing that I allowed God to do as He pleased with me, and I'll be satisfied.

November 19, 2011

Provocative Parents

Currently I'm reading a book by Lou Priolo entitled, "The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for the Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children." This work is endorsed by John MacArthur and Jay E. Adams, it's really very good and easily applies to every family. This is one of the best parenting works I've ever read. I highly recommend it to every parent.

Based on Ephesians 6:4, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord," Priolo gives parents practical ways that they wittingly and unwittingly provoke their children to anger. After reading this I see how most every parent provokes their children to wrath, how I provoke my children and how my parents and grandparents provoked me. Now I understand better the phrase, " . . . visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and on the third and fourth generations . . . " (Ex 20:5, 34:7, Num 14:18, and Deu 5:9).

  1. Lack of Marital Harmony. (Gen 2:24 and Heb 12:15) Children can be angered when parents do not live in Biblical harmony.
  2. Establishing and Maintaining a Child-Centered Home. (Prov 29:15) "The child perceives that the entire family exists essentially to please and make him or her happy. Mother, Father and siblings exist only to serve and meet the child's needs and desires." (28)
  3. Modeling Sinful Anger. (Prov 22:24-25)
  4. Habitually Disciplining While Angry. (Ps 38:1, Eph 4:26-27 and Jas 1:19-20) When parents are angry, it is tempting to over-discipline. Your child might perceive this as a vindictive personal attack.
  5. Scolding. (Eph 4:29 and Mark 14:3-5) "To snort with anger" or it "is always an expression of a bad spirit and of a loss of temper . . . the essence of the scolding is in the multiplication of hot words in expression of strong feelings that, while eminently natural, ought to be held in better control." (34)
  6. Being Inconsistent with Discipline. (2 Cor 1:17-18 and Ecc 8:11) Either by differing parental standards or vacillating from day to day on what is punishable and/or how severe the punishment should be.
  7. Having Double Standards. (Phil 4:9) Hypocritical parents who do not practice what they preach.
  8. Being Legalistic. (Matt 15:8-9) Failure to discern for the child the difference between God's Rules and Parent's house/family rules.
  9. Not Admitting You're Wrong and Not Asking for Forgiveness. (Matt 5:23-24 and Jas 5:16) It's difficult for parents to admit when we're wrong, but we must swallow that humble pie and point our children to Christ as the perfect example.
  10. Constantly Finding Fault. (Job 32:2-3 and Prov 19:11) This is a "critical, condemning, accusing, judgmental attitude" where the child ends up believing that there is nothing he or she can do to win the parents approval.
  11. Parents Reversing God-Given Roles. (Eph 5:22-24) "Wives tend to become embittered over husbands not managing their homes as the Bible directs. Husbands tend to become embittered and lose respect for wives who are not fulfilling their God-given roles." In other words, male headship and wifely submission.
  12. Not Listening to Your Child's Opinion or Taking His or Her "Side of the Story" Seriously. (Prov 18:3 and 17) Parent and child may not agree but in order for the parent to correct the child, you need to understand his perspective to guide him to the truth.
  13. Comparing Them to Others. (2 Cor 10:12) Don't compare them to other children. You may compare them to Biblical standards of maturity in Christ or to their former manner of living to demonstrate 'how far they've come'.
  14. Not Making Time "Just to Talk". (Jas 1:19 and Ecc 3:7) Build your relationship with honest and open communication.
  15. Not Praising or Encouraging Your Child. (Rev 2:2-4)
  16. Failing to Keep Your Promises. (Matt 5:37, Ps 15:4-5 and Col 3:9)
  17. Chastening in Front of Others. (Matt 18:15) Some parents think humiliation helps modify their child's behavior, but over time, it will provoke them.
  18. Not Allowing Enough Freedom. (Jas 3:17 and Luke 12:48) Children need to demonstrate responsibility, faithfulness and trust.
  19. Allowing Too Much Freedom. (Prov 29:15, Gal 4:1-2, and Heb 12:6-9) Problems develop if children habitually practice sin, don't demonstrate appropriate levels of responsibility and maturity or live an undisciplined life.
  20. Mocking Your Child. (Job 17:1-2 and Ex 4:11) Teasing about "inadequacies about which the child can do nothing" and joking about sinful behavior are both unbiblical.
  21. Abusing Them Physically. (1 Tim 3:3 and Num 22:27-29) Children are not to be treated like animals and parents must control their anger.
  22. Ridiculing or Name Calling. (Eph 4:29)
  23. Unrealistic Expectations. (1 Cor 13:11) Children are not adults and need time to develop.
  24. Practicing Favoritism. (Luke 15:25-30)
  25. Child Training with Worldly Methodologies Inconsistent with God's Word. (Eph 6:4) This refers to man-made pop psychology, behavior modification and cognitive therapy techniques which replace Christ with human wisdom.

November 17, 2011

Presenting . . .

Baby #4!
Here are my first ultrasound pictures!
It's so awesome to see a fully formed baby that is only 1 inch long!
It's amazing!

November 14, 2011

Sorry For the Lag

I'm very sorry to all you who eagerly look to my blog for something new. Lately my fatigue and nausea have increased and getting the essential daily things done is more of a challenge.

I pray God's mercy that I will not endure fatigue and nausea the entire length of my pregnancy but that it will be over soon. I have many things to share, but I'll just have to eat some humble pie and learn some patience before I can do that.

Check back on occasion, I promise to return with more regular, predictable posts soon.


November 9, 2011

Shiphrah Walking!

Shiphrah started taking some serious official steps, 5 and 6 at a time, on Monday October 17th when we had some friends over for dinner. Since then she has gained a lot of momentum, with the absence of a Birthday Walker, and is now walking like a professional! She bends down to pick things up without sitting to do so. She gets to a standing position without first crawling to a wall. I'm so excited that she is finally walking! She's so cute waddling around the house - the sound of little feet pitter pattering on our hardwood floors! I love it.

November 5, 2011

Horseback Riding!

G'Wanda took the girls to her choir retreat/fellowship and the owners also had two horses: Penny & Fancy. After they got some necessary energy out, they were calm enough to stroll with Moriah & Lily. Here is Lily petting the long face, getting acquainted.

High ho silver, away!

Look! All by herself!

Making the loop.

There's a good little equestrian!

Moriah, doesn't look so confident at first, but after a good petting, she's raring to go.

Look at her now!

All by herself!

Get along little doggies, get along, get along!

And don't forget the horse tire swing by the catfish pond!

My turn!

They had a blast!

November 4, 2011

The Freedom to Choose What Is Right

Now the Lord is the Spirit,
and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is liberty.
2 Corinthians 3:17

Reflection by Fr. Frank Pavone

Norma McCorvey (the former Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade)
used to work at an abortion mill named "A Choice for
Women." She now realizes what a cruel irony that
title was.

She saw first hand, just as pregnancy resource center
counselors see, that women don't get abortions
because of freedom of choice, but rather because they
feel they have no freedom and no choice.

They feel trapped, abandoned, desperate and afraid,
and have been led to believe that abortion is their
only option.

As Frederica Mathewes-Green has written, no woman
wants an abortion like she wants a Porsche or an ice
cream; rather, she wants it like an animal caught in
a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
That doesn't mean that the Spirit allows us to do
whatever we want or to decide for ourselves what's
right and wrong.

Rather, it means that the Spirit gives us the freedom
to do what is right, the power to choose what is
good, when we see it before us and yet feel pulled in
the opposite direction. Liberty means that we no
longer have to feel doomed to do what we know is

We are the people of the Spirit of the Lord, and when
we take action on behalf of life, especially by being
present at abortion mills, we are acting on behalf of
true freedom, and imparting to those who are in
bondage the power to do what is right.

November 1, 2011

Gone Fishing

G'Wanda took Moriah and Lily to a choir retreat fellowship hosted by her choir director at her church. They had a potluck lunch, horseback riding, fishing and plenty of toys and some new friends too. Rods, reels, hooks, bait, etc were all provided. They had a great time!

Moriah with one of her catches, but not so keen on touching it.

Now she's a little more proud.

Lily caught a big catfish like this one, but it was too big to reel in and got away. Maybe next time.