Random ramblings of a Rose…

Posts tagged ‘BSF’

I know, I suck at blogging… Lol

Well, clearly I am terrible at this! ūüė¶ Almost 7 months have passed since my last post, and much has happened, but I’ll try to summarize. ūüėČ

Jose graduated from Kindergarten (such a cute day they had for us proud relatives!) and lost a couple of teeth.  He also worked hard at the Accelerated Reader program he was accepted into early, and made great strides.  His capabilities in that area blow us away!

We went on a month-long road trip all over the country (Iowa, Michigan, Texas, back home) and SURVIVED! ¬†Squishy couldn’t wait to get home by the end, and even asked if he could just go home by himself, ha ha. :mrgreen: Jose, on the other hand, asked if we could go around the country a second time.

We had a great time on our trip. ¬†Stayed in tons of hotels, but saw no bedbugs (thank God!) ¬†Jose got to shoot a rifle. ¬†Squishy and Jose both went to the Iowa Children’s Museum, and there were no broken limbs this time. ¬†The whole family participated in a Murder Mystery dinner – totally awesome. ¬†We thought Squishy had gotten into the Blue Hawaiians, but it turned out to be a Dum Dum. ¬†**whew** ¬†Celebrated Grandma Rosie’s 90th birthday, took in a Kernels game and fireworks on the 4th of July, and spent tons of time with everyone.

In Michigan we celebrated a bunch of birthdays РJose turned 6 in June, Squishy turned 3 in July, and at least three other MI relatives had birthdays, too, so there was a ton of partying going on!  We rode 4-wheelers, went fishing from the canoe in the lake, make water features, went to a water park, and just generally made a bunch of good memories.

In Texas, we got the privilege of meeting a wonderful soul from Ethiopia who is soon to be part of our larger family. ¬†He adored Squishy’s hair and was a complete blessing to be around. ¬†Can’t wait to see him again! ¬†We also were thrilled to have a family member get baptized in the ocean while we were there. ¬†Really cool! ūüėÄ

We got the boys hamsters for their big birthday present once we were back in town Рthey named them Chocolate Cherry (Choco), and Solomon.  We also had their pictures done when we came home, because Uncle Dude bought them AWESOME Naval outfits.
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Both boys started school shortly after returning home, and Mike went back to teaching for his 30th(?) year. ¬†Mainly computers this year, which he’s not thrilled about, but knows the Lord has a reason for everything. ¬†Squishy is in the 3’s class at the same preschool Jose went to, and Jose is in first grade with his best friend. ¬†Squishy has LOVED school since day 1 – no tears from him! ¬†Jose has had a little trouble with figuring out how to be a friend to someone who is raised with different values than you, so we’ve had many talks about that. ¬†He seems to be doing well, though, and is showing more signs of not being afraid to be who he is w/o fear of what others will think/say.

At the beginning of October, I took on a long-term sub position in Squishy’s school (the Pre-K class) so that is exciting, scary, awesome, and daunting all at the same time. ¬†It’s so nice though, because I don’t have to figure out where to put Squishy for daycare while I work, because he’s right there with me. ¬†This job really fell right in my lap after a big shake-up at the Y involving my dad being laid off, and it is clearly a blessing straight from God. ¬†I am still at the Y right now, too, but it seems as though the people I know there are dropping like flies! ¬†But until God tells me, “Move!” I’ll stay right where I am. ¬†And the boys love that we are still there because it means they can stay involved in activities/sports like soccer, swimming, etc.¬†Jose got to participate in a swim meet before the “winter” season set in (meets become very limited at that point), and he got 1, 2, 3, and 5 place ribbons as well as a 3rd place all-around medal in his age/gender division. ¬†So proud! ūüėé Squishy played soccer with Aunt Eggy and had a blast!

The boys also started AWANA this year. ¬†We looked into it after the men’s BSF group failed to find leaders for the children’s program (a gross irresponsibility to our youth, in my opinion, but no one’s asking.) ¬†It has been a big hit with both of them. ¬†They’ve been memorizing Bible verses left and right, asking theological questions, and asking to tell me stories they’ve learned. ¬†Super glad to have this additional influence besides school and church. ¬†And speaking of church, we’re in a period of transition right now, but we’re listening to God for the next move and trusting that He will lead as He’s always done.

Squishy had school pictures done that turned out SO adorable we just had to get them, too, despite having ones done this summer.  See??
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This past weekend, Jose and I did the “Color Me Rad” 5K with his best friend and another friend from class – total blast, even if I didn’t manage to set the color into the shirts properly before washing them. ūüėź
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And I think that just about brings me up to date on all/most of the important stuff. ¬†There’s lots of other little things that have happened that I should have been writing about all along, but I don’t *think* I missed anything vital, ha ha! ¬†Here’s hoping my next post won’t wait till next June… ūüė≥

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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 Рespecially to Jose and Squishy Рall 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 Рthe 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 Рno, 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 РI 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.

Growing Up :(

As I was working with the 2-year-olds today at BSF (http://bsfinternational.org/), while¬†Jose was down the hall in his own 4-year-old class, I got to pondering how much and how quickly my boys have grown up.¬† Jose has gone to BSF with me since he was 2 and now he is finishing up his final year before going to school full-time.¬† Since he began, BSF started a program for younger children (down to 6 weeks, I believe) which I was planning to put Squishy in, but my dad (Pop-pop)¬†lamented the fact that he wouldn’t get the same one-on-one time with Squishy as he had with Jose, so we put off enrolling him.¬† But now, alas, the time has almost come to sign him up for next the fall, and that means he is going to be 2 soon.¬† How did this happen??

Jose is going to be 5 and in kindergarten before I even have time to catch my breath.¬† For him, at least, this doesn’t seem so odd.¬† He’s been an old soul since the moment he was born.¬† Hubby and I have always had the hardest time remembering just how young he is.¬† We expect too much of him, too soon, too often.¬† And yet, now that he is “grown up” and suddenly perfectly able to fulfill almost all the tasks and responsibilities we request of him (including tying his shoes, which he learned after 2 tries – one with mom’s way, one with dad’s; he chose dad’s – back on February 12!) I find myself wishing he was just a little tyke again.¬† I knew as I was doing it that I would regret the high expectations we held for him, but I knew if we didn’t hold those expectations of him, he just wouldn’t be who he was meant to be.¬† He is just mature beyond his years and far too intelligent for his own good, sometimes.¬† ūüėȬ† But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And then there is Squishy.¬† Squishy, my little one whom everyone still refers to as “the baby.”¬† I think he is called that more often than he is called his name!¬† That’s just who he is though.¬† He’s a little cuddly bug, typically non-speaking (at least not in phrases), and destructive boy through and through!¬† In fact, at the Y Monday morning, I realized with horror, “My gosh!¬† He’s one of those kids!”¬† He leaves nothing alone, can’t walk by something without touching it, puts everything in his mouth – EVERYTHING – repeatedly does the same thing over and over, etc.¬† But he is seriously so stinking adorable that even strangers just smile and coo at him despite his behavior.¬† It’s a good thing God made kids so cute!¬† But despite his “baby” persona, he definitely has a brain in his head that is whirling and spinning at top-speed all the time.¬† He is constantly learning and absorbing what is around him.¬† He amazes me with his intelligence sometimes, because I forget that despite how he portrays himself, he really isn’t a baby anymore.¬† He can build block towers 11+ blocks high, BY HIMSELF.¬† He knows when he has gone potty in his diaper and hates having number 2 in there.¬† He is so frustrated because he can’t figure out how to make things work when he’s sitting on the toilet.¬† He literally cries sometimes when he realizes that he’s gone in his diaper again and says, “Toyet? Toyet?”

Where did the time go?¬† How did I get to have an almost-5 and almost-2-year-old?¬† When and why did they grow up?¬† I don’t recall giving them permission to do so.¬† In fact, I specifically remember asking¬†Jose at 2 months to quit growing so I could keep him that way for awhile.¬† See how well that worked out?¬† And so I have one leaving BSF this spring to enter Kindergarten, and another entering BSF this fall for his 3-year run.¬† Next thing you know, I’ll be writing about enrolling Squishy and getting his uniforms for school…

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