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Monday, April 25, 2011

Passover, Good Friday, Easter...and Good Deeds

First things first:

91. Bonfires
92. Singing songs around said fire
93. Worshiping with 20,000 other people!
94. Prayer time
95. Knowing there are less than 6 weeks until summer!
96. Sitting in the rocking chair on the front porch on a sunny spring day
97. Watching buds turn into flowers, then turn into fruit
98. Homegrown eggs
99. My niece, Jelena, going home from the hospital!
100. Reflecting on Easter and the significance it bears in my life
101. Enjoying chocolate after a looooooonnnngg time away from it!

We had grand plans for Easter break. We had a mental list of things to get done around the property by the time Superman went back to work today. It didn't quite work out the way we planned, as so often is the case. We imagined each day, accomplishing tasks and neatly checking them off our lists. Instead, weather, laziness, and sheer enjoyment of down time took over. We pretty much got nothing done. Well, nothing we had planned. But we did do some other things:

Tina had her first haircut (with us): 

Her previous owner gave me a halter lesson so I can take her on walks. Now I can force her to love me! 

On Palm Sunday, my sister did a little activity with the kids, laying palm branches down and having them walk over them as Jesus did: 

On Passover, we read the Passover story and had the kids paint ketchup on our door frame to symbolize what the Israelites did: 

On Good Friday, we had a bonfire with the kids and read the passage of Jesus' death. We sang songs around the campfire, roasted hot dogs, and just had an all-around good time: 

Superman likes to say he doesn't know how to play the guitar, but he does. And now, I have evidence: 

N wanted to pray with daddy after hearing the Bible passage about Jesus' death: 

And then, of course, Miss G wanted to follow! 

And for Easter, we joined 20,000 other people in worship to raise funds and awareness for 3 very worthy causes. It was an incredible time of worship, and I'm so excited to hear what kind of funds we raised! Here we are lighting up the arena: 

30 days of Service wraps up this Friday! Can't believe it's already been almost a month. Here's what we did over the last few weeks: 

*Mailed packages to family for Easter
*Wrote notes to teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week
*Weeded at Granny's house
*Let someone go in front of us at the store and bought their child (with mommy's approval) a pack of gum
*Cleaned the office of our favorite adoption agency: 

*After getting my new iPhone (WOO HOO!!!), I wrote a letter to the supervisor of the sales gal, saying what an excellent job she did
*Washed dinner dishes for Granny and Grandpa after eating dinner at their house
*Took cookies to Superman's grandparents
*Had a day where each kid picked something kind to do for someone else that day
*Loaded groceries into the car for an older couple at Costco
*Put flowers on graves at the local cemetery with cousins:

*Picked up trash for Earth Day:

*Took Easter eggs and a note to friends thanking them for their friendship
*Paid for parking for the person behind us going in for Easter services at Arco Arena

We only have 5 more days left! This week we'll be mailing off a package to our "adopted" soldier! 

So, we didn't get anything on our list accomplished. But, we did get a lot of life accomplished, and it was worth slacking off so we could experience that life with the kids!

I'll be writing up a summary of my Lent experience this week. I need to reflect a bit before I put it into writing!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Multitudes on Monday and a Big Boy Birthday

79. Easter break!
80. Moments of quiet focusing on what the Lord has been doing in our lives
81. Having dinner with family at my mom's house
82. Reading a good book
83. Warm cookies fresh out of the oven
84. Lost teeth and tooth fairies
85. Celebrating birthdays
86. Seeing M-Dog smile
87. My new iPhone!
88. Hearing J-Man play a new chord on the guitar
89. Laser eye surgery
90. Hanging with friends

It's drizzly outside today, but nothing could dampen the spirits of this NEWLY 6-year-old boy, who turned 6 just today. He lost his first two teeth this week, and got a new bike from Nana and Papa. We celebrated him this morning with breakfast at Mimi's Cafe, and M-Dog polished off a "manly" Belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. M-Dog, you have such a sweet spirit. We love you and are so thankful the Lord trusted us to raise you!! Happy birthday, big boy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

30 Days of Service Update and Multitude Mondays

So, how are your 30 Days of Service going? We've had a blast thinking of things to do for people each day. Most of our "acts of kindness" have been small, but deliberate. So far, we have: 
*Given a big tip to a waitress and invited her to the Easter service at our church
*Taken a friend's kids cocoa on a cool, overcast morning
*Given a thank you note w/a See's gift card to a doctor that worked on a Sunday in order to help Mr. C w/his ear infection
*Sent special letters to the kids we sponsor through Compassion International
*Given a Jamba Juice gift card/thank you to a dad who volunteers every week to play soccer with a group of kids
*Helped a neighbor haul brush
*Paid for the person behind me in the drive-thru at Starbucks and left a note wishing them a happy day and inviting them to church
*Made fudge babies for a friend as a thank you
*Sang a special song to my {93-year-old} grandma that her mom used to sing to her, she used to sing to my mom, my mom used to sing to me, and now I sing to my girls:

*Donated clothes and diapers to a mom in need

So, you see, most of our acts haven't been difficult, but they've required a bit of thought. It really has been a blessing so far...can't wait for the next few weeks to see what else we get to do! 

68. The dentist and the ability to have our teeth cleaned
69. Having my grandma chime in and sing with the girls and I
70. Looking  up in the dark and seeing a sky filled with bright stars
71. Doctors that work on Sundays!
72. Watching our kids ride on our pigs
73. Making it through a week of no coffee and feeling better for it!
74. Spring cleaning, a.k.a. purging
75. Eating a ripe, cold, sweet mango
76. Seeing my sister
77. Being so close to a hummingbird, I can hear its wings buzzing
78. Clean sheets! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Everything is Permissible, Not Everything is Beneficial

I was chatting with a friend the other day and discussing the Biblical issues related to diet that I talked about here. She reminded me of a very important verse that had slipped my mind and melted into the unknown of my subconscious: 1 Corinthians 10:23 (thanks, Lori!). I looked it up in a few different versions, and I love the various translations:

NIV: "Everything is permissible--but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible--but not everything is constructive."

NASB: "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify."

Basic English Bible: "We are free to do all things, but there are things which are not wise to do. We are free to do all things, but not all things are for the common good."

They all say the same thing, but in different ways. Of course we are permitted to eat what we want--Jesus' death on the cross is what released us from the old law. But does that mean everything is beneficial? Of course not. Profitable? Nope. Wise? Uh-uh. When Adam and Eve decided to blow it for all mankind (ok, ok, they're human...), it changed things. We are not perfect. Thus, when we are in charge of things, they don't go perfectly. Crops get messed with, animals are treated inhumanely, and we no longer follow basic healthy guidelines for living that were once common sense. 

So what does this mean for our no-grain lifestyle? Well, Superman is not part of the equation...his body attacks itself when he eats gluten or pretty much any other grain. I can't change his diet at this point, because it eats up his insides. Unless my fervent prayer miraculously heals him, which is more than possible! As for the rest of us...I think I've come to the conclusion that we will still avoid all grains and dairy and sugar in our house, but I'm ok with the occasional treat, especially if it is whole, organic, and I know its source. I really want our kids to understand about moderation and treating our bodies the way the Lord intended (or as close to it as we can). If we are at someone's house, they are welcome to eat what is being served (with the exception of J-Man and's better for him to avoid). The hope is that they will listen to their bodies, and realize what affects them in a negative way, so they can make better choices as they get older...not because I tell them to, but because they know what's best for them.

By the way, Romans 14 is an excellent passage as well, and really sums up how I feel we should be living in regards to what we eat. You can read it here.

Enjoy your weekend, and enjoy some good food! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What the Bible Says About My Diet

Most of you know about Superman's food allergies. His auto-immune response to gluten (and seemingly never-ending list of food sensitivities) thrust us into a new realm of eating. I've read book after book after book about food allergies and ways to deal with them. A friend recommended "The Paleo Solution," which I discuss here. It changed our way of life. We went from eating like everyone else (pre-diagnosis) to eating gluten-free, but still many processed foods, to eating no grains, dairy, sugar or legumes. I had never felt so good as I did after taking those foods out of my diet. It was amazing. Our kids were healthier, more focused in school, and I could just see the difference the diet change had made in their lives. J-Man, for the first time in his life, has not had to take any asthma or allergy medication this season. His eczema? Gone. His labored wheezing? Gone. His constant sneezing, itchy eyes? Gone. It's truly been a miracle. Superman improved dramatically, although not entirely. My morning joint pain disappeared...and so did my afternoon slump.

But something kept eating at me {no pun intended}. Why is it that the Bible not only mentions eating grains, but actually encourages it? Why is it that God told our ancestors that every "plant bearing seed" was theirs and why is it that "One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grain fields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels" (Luke 6:1)? Why in Ezekiel 4:9 did He say, "Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself"? If grains are so bad for us, why would He advise us to eat them? 

I started researching the topic, and came across a book titled, "What the Bible Says About Healthy Living." I'm only about halfway through it right now, but it's giving me a lot of things to think about. I think, unfortunately, that we have messed too much with something God had already made perfect. We genetically modify wheat and corn and soy and expect them to be just as good as the way God made them. But what about organic, whole, unprocessed grains? Are those better for us?

I would rather my kids eat healthfully based on Biblical reasoning than just do it "because mom and dad say so." I want them to own their eating habits, and when someone asks why they eat a certain way, be able to respond with good, sound Biblical reasons that they understand and agree with. 

So, are we going to ditch the no-grain diet? I'm not sure. This issue is near the top of my prayer list right now as I see it as something valuable and important. Obviously, I can't go feeding Superman a bunch of grains. Well, unless I want him to keel over...which I don't. But there are six other people in our family, and I only want to be doing what the Lord would want us to do. 

So, what are your feelings on this? 

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Prayer That Brought Tears to My Eyes

Every night the girls and I pray together. We hold hands in a little circle and each of us prays. I think N has a special gift for prayer, as every time she prays, she amazes me with her thoughtfulness for others and ability to remember things we should be praying for. Superman says it's probably just because it's the one time she can talk as much as she wants, and we won't ask her to be quiet. =) I like my idea better, though. 

Anyhoo, the other night, we were praying together, and N surprised me with her usual articulation. And then she said this, "Thank you for dying on the cross. And thank you that you are alive today!" And she said it with such conviction and appreciation! It wasn't an empty prayer. She was genuinely thankful for our Savior. And it filled my heart to overflowing with pride. In a good way. I was just so darn proud of her, and her sweet little 4-year-old innocent prayer. Isn't that what it all boils down to, anyway? We would be nowhere if it weren't for the gift of salvation given to us by a Grace-filled Father. Enter mommy tears. 

56. Quiet moments with a sick boy in the middle of the night
57. Experiencing spring for the first time in our house
58. Sharing our farm with others
59. The llama coming to me for the first time
60. Family dinners
61. Running outside in overcast weather
62. Evening walks
63. Picnics with friends
64. Seeing Superman happy
65. Homeopathic ways of healing a sick child
66. Sleeping deeply
67. Counting down the days until summer!

P.S. We are smack dab in the midst of our 30 Days of Service, and what a blessing it's been! I'll soon be sharing what we've done so far, and what we have on our plate for the next few weeks!

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