Random ramblings of a Rose…

Archive for April, 2012

Dying From 10,000 Papercuts

“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.  Or take ships as an example.  Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants it to go.  Likewise, the tongues is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.  Consider what a great forest is set on a fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” ~James 3:3-10

I have been embarrassed, humiliated, and saddened by things that have come out of my mouth – and this all under normal life circumstances.  When I pair my lack of self-control over my mouth with a stressful day, a cranky or unwieldy child, lack of sleep, fatigued husband, or any number of other situations that can be burdensome, the results are…  well…  extraordinarily shameful, to say the least.  As a parent, adult, teacher, leader, and caregiver I know right from wrong, how I should act/what I should say, and the consequences that can come when I fail to live according to the will and plan of God.  I am held to a higher standard and come under greater scrutiny before the Lord because of the influence I hold in my various roles and the fact that, simply put, I know better.  As someone who has been a Christian for two decades, my level of maturity (i.e. my ability to control my tongue) really ought to be higher than it is.

My tongue can direct, destroy, or bless.  Through the grace of God, I can claim to be someone who has a pretty good handle on using my tongue for appropriate direction of those under my influence and for blessing pretty much everyone in my life, in one way or another.  However, the destruction my tongue brings – especially to Jose and Squishy – all but outweighs the benefits it brings.  And this is terribly distressing to me because it is out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34, Luke 6:45.)  Knowing that, if angry, hurtful, inconsiderate, cutting, bitter, biting, rude, careless, condescending, cold, insincere, unfair, and selfish garbage is what comes out of my mouth more than anything else, what does that mean about the content of my heart??  What is pouring into my heart and mind – the wisdom of the world, which comes from Satan himself, or the wisdom of God?

A single spark can set an entire forest on fire.  In the same way, little remarks, insults, words of disapproval, etc. are like tiny little papercuts to my children.  And I am killing them with 10,000 papercuts – the words from my mouth.  Do I make Jose and Squishy safe, worthwhile, and valuable through my words?  Or am I reckless?  Piercing them with words like swords?  What kind of effect are my words having on my children?  Yes!  I make sure there is no doubt in their minds that I love them.  I tell them daily, I show them through my actions, I praise and thank them, I build them up, I teach them the Word, I guide, direct, instruct, help, comfort, edify, and soothe them.  But when they lay down at night, is it the, “I love you”s and “You are so special!”s they remember?  Or is it the, “Don’t act so stupid!”s, the “Why are you so naughty??”s, and the “Would you just shut up!!”s????  I know for myself that I hold onto the negatives in life far longer than the positives – why would my children be any different?  I can’t dismiss the backlash my words have on others just because I am a woman and women are known for being harpies, bitches, gossipers, shrews, etc.  It’s not an excuse and it is not in line with God’s will.

So, what can I do?  I can pray, be in the Word, study alone and in groups, pray, seek the council of fellow Christians, upright leaders, and the Spirit, align myself with God, pray, and above all, pray!  Pray for heavenly wisdom – wisdom that is pure, clean, wholesome, selfless, peace-loving, considerate of others, deliberate and careful to take other’s thoughts and feelings into account, submissive (having a readiness and willingness to yield to others where I can when it is not against God), compassionate and merciful, empathetic, sympathetic, fair, sincere, and which reaps a harvest of righteousness.

“Is anyone among you in trouble?  Let them pray.  Is anyone happy?  Let them sing songs of praise.  Is anyone among you sick?  Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with the oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.  If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.  Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  ~James 5:13-16

A prayer life is the mark of a mature Christian, just as is control over the tongue.  And if I pray earnestly for the will of God (not just trying to get him to do what I want, when I want), he will work on my behalf.  The passage says that it is prayers of the righteous that are powerful and effective.  The problem is that the Bible also tells us that there is none righteous – no, not one! (Romans 3:10)  So how can my prayers change anything?  What is all that praying about my tongue situation really going to accomplish?  Where can I get the righteousness I need?  From Christ himself.  At the moment of my salvation, His righteousness was transferred to me – I need to pray on the basis of HIS righteousness.  God is not required or forced to do anything as a result of my prayer, but the earnest prayer of a righteous woman immediately causes God to act on her (my!) behalf.

So does this mean that if I pray through Christ for self-control regarding my tongue, I will immediately be given the ability to never again speak in anger, frustration, bitterness, etc?  Probably not.  Yes, God could do that for me, if it was His will.  But it is more likely that this will be a process.  I may not get exactly what I want, but God will move in new and fresh ways to bring about His will in my life – a will that includes heavenly wisdom in speaking to others, especially Jose and Squishy.  If I want to mature in my faith and gain control over my tongue, I must pray on the basis of Christ’s righteousness and patiently wait on the compassionate and sovereign God to move on my behalf.  I can’t run ahead of God’s time-table, despite my suffering for the things I’ve said and the pain I’ve caused (and will likely still cause) in the lives of my children, and others.  I must not give up on prayer – or use prayer to beat up on God – when I feel He doesn’t respond “quickly enough.”  God knows what He’s doing, He is pursuing the best for me, and I have to trust the work He’s doing behind the scenes.

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I’m BAAAAAAAACK!!!

Okay, so I won’t even bother to try and apologize for how long I’ve been away.  Totally my bad.  Sometimes I’m great at this blog thing, sometimes I stink.  More often the latter than the former, lol.  At any rate, let me catch you up on what you’ve missed!

October 2011

  • I discovered Pinterest (I’ll see if I can figure out how to post a link to my page…)
  • I organized our whole kitchen and we stopped using paper towels except for disgusting messes – the boys enjoy using facecloths for everything!
  • Jose found Squishy’s old swim trunks (size 0-3 months) and put them on – picture to follow
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  • I pinned way too many things on Pinterest, lol
  • The boys learned a hard lesson about reality. Reality dictates that when you are told you must behave in order to go to your friend’s birthday party in the afternoon, that doesn’t mean use your plates as frisbees and break one of them (Squishy), eat the food mom specifically set aside for her lunch and then lie and claim your brother did it (Jose), open your father’s computer and mess around on it while mom’s in the bathroom (Squishy), scream at your brother repeatedly at the top of your lungs (Jose), or continue to take your brother’s toys over and over and over after being told to knock it off (Squishy.)  They didn’t get to go to the birthday party.
  • I got my Facebook timeline, which I personally LOVE
  • The boys’ grandpa on Daddy’s side passed away (Oct 11, 2011) after having serious health issues for what seems like forever, and Jose was extremely upset that he didn’t get a chance to see him again before he died – cried for a long time 😥
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  • Jose had some night-time accidents out of the blue, but then stopped again (praise God!)
  • Squishy and I made awesome Halloween crafts at the YMCA
  • Squishy and I had a playdate with/babysat two adorable kiddos
  • My friend’s father went missing and was just found yesterday after six months of intense prayer and searching – his family is obviously saddened at the loss, but rejoicing that they know where his is and where he is spending eternity
  • Jose got sick and had to miss his first day of school, but got well and went back the next day to do his school’s Harvest Walk during which he walked 4.63 miles in 2 hours – he also won a giftcard for having the most sponsors of all the Kindergartners
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  • Squishy and I found a Starbucks gift card hiding in an old envelope and went out to get a treat
  • The boys lost a half a roll of stamps – it was found 5 1/2 months later
  • We all went to Flagstaff and enjoyed some time with Badi and Pop-pop – carved awesome pumpkins while we were there.  Jose had to go back to Phoenix for school, of course, and unfortunately, we ended up with no pictures of him on Halloween because the cameras were in Flagstaff and he wasn’t!  He was a doctor again, though, so we can just copy the ones from last year, lol. 😉

November 2011

  • Jose learned how to ride his bike without training wheels!!  He went from training wheels to pushing off, riding all up and down the street, and stopping all in one day!
  • Jose lost a 2nd tooth (November 8) – right next to the other one.  No more loose ones since then, though
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  • Aunt Laurla graduated with her nursing degree – woo hoo!!!
  • Jose learned how to be even more of a smart-ass.  Case in point: “Daddy: Do you want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Jose: No. Daddy: You don’t?? Jose: No. Daddy: Well, what DO you want? Jose: A poke in the eye with a sharp stick.”  Ha ha ha ha!!! 😀
  • Jose was blessed with a gift (to be kept till Christmas) from an anonymous donor – the one thing he had specifically been talking about wanting, the Littlest Pet Shop Rescue Tails Center  ❤
  • Jose and I made apple pie
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  • We celebrated Thanksgiving with EVERYONE!  Not all at the same time, but we saw my family and Daddy’s family, including the boys’ older half-siblings and their families
  • We celebrated Daddy’s birthday (Mommy and Daddy got to try out the new AMC dine-in theater and Studio Movie Grill – so cool!)
  • I pinned way too many more things to Pinterest
  • Squishy and I went to the mall with friends and he played Monkey Preschool Lunchbox for a good 20 minutes at least while they got help at the Apple store
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December 2011

  • We all tried out the fire pit at Badi and Pop-pop’s house
  • Squishy got sick and had to have breathing treatments – fortunately, we already have the machine and everything we need at home!
  • Got pictures with Santa and his (giant) Elf at the YMCA
  • Pinned a butt-load more things to Pinterest
  • Discovered Erin Condren
  • Aunt Eggy graduated from college!!!!  Woo hoo!  Jose got an awesome hat while there
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  • Jose’s Kindergarten class had a Cowboy Christmas Party at McCormick Railroad Park, for which Badi bought him INCREDIBLE cowboy boots – Aunt Laurla got to go with him!
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  • Squishy fell off the toilet and bashed his head on the toilet paper holder – it wasn’t bad, but he bled like a stuck pig and I was scared out of my mind
  • Jose and I made an awesome Christmas gift for his teacher
  • The biscuits exploded in our fridge
  • We celebrated an AMAZING Christmas
  • Jose perfected his spiral football pass to Uncle Jimmy (henceforth referred to as “Dude”, thanks to Squishy) whild he was in town
  • We (the adults) went to the Insight Bowl game and witnessed the trouncing of the Iowa Hawkeyes – the boys got to be babysat by Aunt Laurla, which they loved!

January 2012

  • Squishy and I went and visited Ms. Jess – always a great time when we do that!!!  Love her  ❤
  • Jose got to have a playdate with his twin friends from preschool!
  • Pastor Frank left our church 😦
  • Jose went on a hike with Daddy, Badi, and Aunt Eggy
  • I inexplicably deleted everything off my external hard-drive and am still working on recovering files to this day – including all of my photos from around February 2011 through January 2012.  GO ME!!!

February 2012

  • Squishy got his 2nd official haircut – I hated it and probably won’t be taking him again till he has to go to Kindergarten
  • Jose and Squishy had a mud day – Squishy was covered from head to toe; I had to insist that Jose get dirty.  Those two!!  LOL!
  • Badi and I organized our entire book collection (well, not quite – we still need shelves for all of the early reader/picture books)
  • Jose had a Valentine’s celebration at school that I went in to help with; we also celebrated at home, of course
  • I got a new camera!
  • The boys played a lot of baseball and soccer, went on hikes, and went to the park – mostly with Badi and Aunt Eggy
  • Jose and Daddy went on a hike with Pastor Frank, because Jose really misses him and is hoping to stay his friend
  • Jose got fancied up for his “Elegant Event” at school
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  • The boys did a LOT of bike riding – even going a couple miles at a time with Daddy (well, Squishy sat in the seat on the back of Daddy’s bike for that, lol)
  • We discovered that Jose is an amazing artist
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  • Jose went and saw Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace in theaters with me – I saw it with my dad for my birthday 13 years ago
  • Squishy got to have his very first Dunkin Donut
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March 2012

  • Squishy and I went and spent the day with Ms. Jess and we got to see horses, too!
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  • The boys started soccer with Aunt Eggy as their coach – they love it but have a little bit of a hard time staying focused
  • Jose watched Labyrinth for the first time. He was completely engrossed and looked equal parts horrified and amused, lol!
  • Jose took part in his first art contest – it ended this past week and he didn’t win, but he did get tickets to see Van Gogh Live! at the Science Center
  • Daddy and I celebrated our 8th anniversary and Jose bought me flowers because he wanted me to know how much he loved me, lol
  • Dude and his girlfriend came and visited Phoenix and we had a great time with them – especially getting to know Ms. Caitie!
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  • The boys fell in love with Party Rock Anthem thanks to Kia’s Hamster commercial
  • Jose had his first “official” kiss – well, she actually kissed him, and it was at the prompting of the class troublemaker, but still… 😉
  • Jose got to go to Pump It Up to celebrate a friend’s birthday and had a BLAST!
  • Aunt Eggy and I took the boys to see The Lorax – even Squishy did pretty good despite asking if the movie was done 5 minutes into it
  • Jose sent Flat Stanley to Dude in North Carolina
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  • Badi and I had to tell Jose the story of Adam Walsh. He just will not stay by me in stores lately – insists on disappearing and he about gave me a heart attack in Bookmans. I was a little worried it would give him nightmares (it didn’t seem to), but honestly? When the other option is him being kidnapped, I’ll take a few nightmares any day. 😐
  • We got an iPad.  Enough said.
  • Jose went to another friend’s birthday party – this one at a park and hosted by High 5 Sports (it was supposed to have been the day after his other one, but was postponed due to rain.) Since Momma and Daddy were leaving for Flagstaff that day, he got to be picked up after school by his friend’s mom.  He felt so grown up. :mrgreen:
  • We spent Spring Break in Flagstaff in a BIG condo – Badi and Pop-pop joined us for a few days. We went to the park, played sports, hiked, saw Indian ruins – all kinds of fun!!  Jose’s favorite part was getting to use our hot tub, lol.
  • Jose discovered Tim Hawkins.  He is in love.  Ha ha!

April 2012:

  • The boys started swim lessons – Squishy in the pool with Aunt Eggy, Jose in the pool independently, of course
  • Squishy got sick and have to have breathing treatments again, but he got better really quick!
  • Daddy and I finished the boys’ re-purposed crib chalkboard desk just in time for Easter!
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  • We celebrated Easter in style – egg and basket search at home; Sunday School, Eggstravaganza, and service at church; another egg search (real eggs, this time!) at Badi and Pop-pop’s house; dinner with everyone at our house
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And now you’re all caught up!!!  And so am I.  WHEW!!! 😛

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