Monday, March 31, 2008

A Great thing to do with Peanut Butter

This may just bump me up a notch or two in Neal's books, but perhaps down several rungs with the rest of you. But in my epicurian desperation today (that just means I was hungry with nothing to eat as I'm going grocery shopping tonight) I discovered a most delectable snack.

I should preface this by saying I really enjoying sneaking the odd spoonful of peanut butter on occassion...right out of the jar, then dipped in to my strawberry jam jar to get a little sweet, protein snack...yum.

However, I had no jam. What to do? I had a lovely jar of Picard's peanut butter (thanks Mom P.) and that on its own was going to be yummy, but highly sticky, and not nearly sweet enough.

I found to my delight that if one scoops Picard's Peanut butter onto a spoon, then makes a little indent in the middle of the peanut butter, and then pours Fort Rose Maple Syrup in to said indent, one becomes very happy in the taste bud department.

I will attempt to be deeper tomorrow. Thanks for bearing with me. :-)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Kick in the Pants

Sometimes what we need in life is a good kick in the pants. You know what I mean? So often I know exactly what I am called to do, I just resist doing it. Not that I don't want to do it. I actually really love the things the Lord has called me to do. I just don't want to do ANYTHING. So to procrastinate in doing the good things I'm called to, I consider "what if I'm missing something?".....It is a great diversion.

In line with that, I have a song to post today. My dear father in law has become hooked on Sara Groves thanks to my diligent brainwashing. He has, however, managed to buy one CD that I do not as yet have. It is her very first album called Past the Wishing, and that title song is what I am posting today.

But I also want to share these lyrics, not just as a reminder to myself to get up and DO IT, but also as a tribute to Neal and Kristina who are really living this song out in my mind. They are begiinning a new adventure, one that is so in line with the things the Lord has skilled and gifted them for, and one that is so definitely past the wishing and on to the acting. So without further ado, Past the Wishing by Sara Groves.

I'm standing at the foot of this mountain
Wishing so bad that I could touch that sky
But in the time it takes to make my wish
I never take a step and I never try

I wish that I were closer to Jesus
But not enough to get me out of bed
For an early morning prayer before the
Rushes of my life take me instead

And I'm Past the Wishing
Past the Wishing
Past the Wishing

I'm gazing in these deep well waters
Where the pennies fo my life have all been cast
I've decided I am going to save my money
To do something that lasts

You've shown me my man of Macedonia
You're calling me further on
And I'm tired of saying it's a nice idea
I wish it could be done

I'm past the Wishing
I'm Past the Wishing
Past the Wishing

I don't wish that I could go, I am going
I don't wish that I could be, I am being
I don't wish that could do it, I am doing
By the Grace of God I am doing.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Heard At My House, Easter Edition

Setting: Driving to a Family gathering. Listening to "Rushing Wind" on the iPod.
4yo son: Mommy, is that Keith Green?
Me: Yes it is.
4yo son: Is he dead?
Me: Yes he is.
4yo son: Then how is he singing?

For What Am I Made?

"Dr." Johnston, a friend of mine, has been making my head hurt lately with his posts. He keeps posting about an ongoing conversation I'm having in my head about knowing who/what God created you to be and then being/doing it. (how kind of him to link to me in those posts. I'm sure my readership has doubled. Hello all 4 of you!)

Knowing what you were made to do. Sounds simple right?

I'm finding it not so much. Clearly there are areas that I am called to serve in in this phase of my life. I have a husband. Therefore I obviously am called to be a wife. I have 7 children. Therefore I am obviously called to be a mother. I live in a home. Therefore I am obviously called to keep it. But then what? Is that all?

The running joke is that I'm good at two things: having babies and singing. Does that mean then that I ought to keep having babies since the conception, carrying, labouring, delivering and nursing typically goes extremely simply for me? Just because it is "easy" and I do it well, am I to take that as an indicator that I ought to keep on having children? But lots of people can easily have children. Some have many. Some have few. Many do it really well. Others not so much. Is that a "gifting" from the Lord, or just a natural thing, just a blessing that he puts on a family that I get to enjoy? Is it a "talent" to manage or a talent to use?

And then singing. I love to do it. People say I do it well. My pastor told me 8 years ago after our church led the service at "Church in the Park" where I helped lead worship "Well, Barbara. It looks as though we've found your niche." But as a stay at home mom, do I persue that? Do I initiate something or wait to be called up? How do I fit the training and practice time necessary to further this 'gift', if that's what it is, when I'm up to my neck in laundry and diapers? And there are many ladies in our church who can sing and lead. How am I to know if I am actually made for this, or if it is just a nice thing I can do to contribute?

Which leads me to what I am struggling with most lately. My husband has already given me his answer, which was reassuring, but didn't take the question away; Could it be possible, that, as a wife and mother, my only real calling is to ensure that my husband has the opportunity and time and support to persue and further HIS calling? Maybe my calling is only to be "the best supporting actress"? Maybe all I ought to be doing is taking such good and thorough care of him and the home and the children that he is in a place where he is set up to shine in the roles that God has called him to do. That doesn't seem far fetched to me. Maybe the other things I do well at outside of the domestic duties are just a result of common grace. Maybe the singing is not a gift or a calling, but rather just a pleasant side effect of how the Lord designed the human body and the vocal chords. (I'm assuming you can guess my husband's take on this. He is not seeing my only calling as being his flag waver and biggest fan. He believes the Lord has other arenas for me to serve Him outside of the home as well. I would love to agree with him wholeheartedly, but I just wonder....)

I am not done here. I have more questions and more issues to discuss. There are things I've been reading lately that I will bring up in Part Two. But for now, I do hope that some of you wiser folks, and some of you mechanics, might have an insight or two.
Post A Comment!
• Monday, March 24, 2008 - Untitled Comment
Posted by "Dr" J (halfpint's hubby) (… Firstly, by adding more of my thoughts to this discussion, I am in no way claiming to be “wise,” and secondly, I am not a doctor… I recently preached to a wonderful congregation in Kingston; the experience was incredibly refreshing. I had taken a year long hiatus from preaching and the Lord opened this door to preach again. When I got back, I was ecstatic. I said to a friend of mine, “What am I doing teaching high school English? I ought to be preaching.” He replied, “How can you expect God to place you in pastoral ministry if you are not exercising your gifts in your own local church.” True enough. My own congregation is in need of pulpit supply, and I wasn’t “stepping up.” The reason for the hiatus was that I was tired of itinerant preaching. God opened the door, however, and I am slated to preach a “series” of sermons in April and May at my church. The question I pose, then, is this: “What gifts CAN you use right now but are NOT using?” Considering where you are now, at home, with seven beautiful children, what are you able to do? If you are able to do something, but are not doing it, then you need to start. Going on a singing tour might not be an option right now, unless you decide to take the kids (for example, the von Trapps… by the way, the real Maria went on to have three more children of her own with the Captain…). We need to be faithful with the supposed “little” things God gives us to do. Not that you are doing “little” things anyway, right now. Raising children is this day and age is a colossal challenge and an incredible responsibility. As parents, we are investing in the lives of the next generation of Christians. However, this ministry is also inglorious, commonplace and mundane. Humdrum. I suppose I could say we need to be faithful with the supposedly “ordinary” things God gives us to do. Remember Susanna Wesley, mother of Charles and John Wesley (and 17 other children)? She would sit down in her kitchen and pull her apron up over her head top spend time in prayer. She is quoted to have prayed, “Help me, Lord, to remember that religion is not to be confined to the church... nor exercised only in prayer and meditation, but that every where I am in Thy Presence.” As a praying and faithful mother, what an incredible ministry she was to the church of Jesus Christ. You and I need to fight the urge of our generational “zeitgeist”, the urge to be self-absorbed. We cannot say things like, “When can I start living my own life?” This is the battle cry of the 30-something generation. Christians of this generation might say, “When can I start using MY gifts…” or “When can I do something meaningful with MY life.” This seems all well and good, but I think we echo our “individualistic” generation too much when we think this way. The Christian way is sacrifice.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Heard At My House

Setting: 4yo son getting ready for his afternoon nap. Trying to stall.
Son: Daddy! There are ladybugs in the window!
Daddy: (killing the easy obvious ones) I think you'll be okay.
Son: But there is another one there (shoved in the track of the window...looking lifeless)
Daddy: Honey, it can't hurt you. It's a lady bug. Besides, it's half dead.
Son: Yeah but it's half not dead too.

can't argue that logic.

Friday, March 14, 2008


You know you have children and only children with you all day when...
We just spent our entire breakfast discussing the differences, both negative and positive, between TVOKids and KidsCBC.

Particularly interesting was the heated discussion regarding the hosts of the in-between segments (CBC won hands down for their humour and lack of condescending talk).

However, we did come to agree that TVO airs some of our favourite shows. But even in that area it is a bit of a draw. You see TVO has Peep in the Big Wide World (my personal favourite), Dora, and Bear in the Big Blue House. However, CBC has Tractor Tom and Peppa Pig (both being closely in line with my favourite), both being very funny British cartoons.

Overall, the debate was quite amiable, and all parties walked away having been heard and respected. Of course, interesting to note is the fact that we haven't had an antenna hooked up for 3-4 months and no one has noticed the lack of TV.

My only wish is that this same level of thought and willingness to share opinions will extend to the days when we can compare Jane Austin novels to one another, or discuss the merits of one Shakespearean sonnet over another.

And in the same way that the children now recite and have entire conversations based on the script of The Aristocats and Nanny McPhee, I hope one day for them to quote monologues from Henry the Fifth (complete with accents and hand gestures, of course).

They will grow up. I just hope I can keep up with them.

Monday, March 10, 2008

By The Numbers

My dear friend Steve who is blogless, (but boy would I LOVE to read a blog by him. It would be most funny and excellent. Of course, I'm pretty sure he doesn't read blogs either, but still) inspired this post. He was emailing us about something Cell Group related and mentioned he was off to do laundry. They do 10 -12 loads a week he said. Then he shuddered wondering how many we do with now 7 children.

So I thought hmmmm, how many loads do I do? And how much of other frequently done things do I do? Hence this post (I used the word "Hence" for my dear friend Mike, who also doesn't read this blog, but his daughter does, so maybe she'll tell him that I'm often inspired by him too).

Looking Back on This Week (Mar. 2-9) By the Numbers

10 Dishwasher Loads

41 Diapers Changed

15 Cups of Tea (aren't you surprised it wasn't more? because seriously.....)

15 Ounces (that Zachary gained! Praise the Lord)

9 Double Rolls of Toilet Paper Used (this most assuredly would have been greater on a normal week, but there was only 1 full day this week with all 7 kids home. My brilliant inlaws had 2-3 of the kids at other days of the week)

500+ Chicken Pox marks popping up all over the kids (Wish I was kidding. honestly... the baby is 4 weeks old now, and sleeping not too badly. Let's just shake things up with an epidemic....I was planning on posting a picture of their backs, but that's just cruel and truthfully a little gaggy.)

5 Coffee (actually, not coffee so much as Melange and other espresso based drinks...all decaf of course!)

and now, what we've all been waiting for .....

20 Loads of laundry (which is actually less than I expected)

This is a great exercise to change your thinking if you ever are feeling like you are a big fat lazy do nothing housewife with no excuse for being tired all the time. You say "wow, I did a lot this week". Except then it is a tad depressing to realize that your life can be summed up in laundry and paper products...not to mention I'm sure some green-minded lurker will read this and blast me as being proof that a large family has a large carbon foot print, but hey too bad for them because when my kids get jobs they'll be paying their CPP....

Cheerio! Off to do more laundry. It is Monday again after all.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Heard At My House

Setting: Delighful suppertime complete with delectable garlic cheese pull apart buns. 8 yo 2nd born daughter holding said bun and poking its soft, white goodness.

8yo J: Hey, this bun feels like mom's belly did when she was pregnant.

Awkward pause, lots of laughing, me wishing somehow she was not being accurate.

8yo J: Um. I guess maybe I should have said that in my head.