Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Role: Part 5

"...and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."
Titus 2:4-5

Right before this verse, the section identifies that the older women are supposed to be the ones who are training us young women. Ah, I'll just include it: "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good..."

What do we get from this verse? I should:
  • Love my husband
  • Love my children
  • Be self controlled
  • Pure
  • Working at home
  • Kind
  • Submissive to my husband
Why? So God's word is seen in a good light.Here are some verses I felt went along with these aspects of being a wife/mom, any others are welcome:

Love my husband

"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD." Leviticus 19:18

"For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called." Isaiah 54:5

"The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband." 1 Corinthians 7:3 *wink, wink*

"To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband" 1 Corinthians 7:10

"If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him." 1 Corinthians 7:13

"For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife..." 1 Corinthians 7:1

"However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:33

"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses." Prov 10:12

"Whoever covers an offense seeks love..." Prov 17:9

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

My own thought: over and over God's love is described as steadfast

Love my children

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:18

"Whoever spares the rod hates his son,but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him." Prov 13:24

"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11

"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Matthew 10:37

"...but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4 - Says "fathers" in english, I wonder if the Greek is "parents" as spanish for parents is the plural for father "padres," either way, I think it applies

My own thoughts: To love my children I MUST NOT play favorites. See the story of, well, every sibling rivalry issue in the bible to see why not. No favorites!

Be self-controlled

"House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD." Prov 19:14

"A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls." Prov 25:28

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Galatians 5:22-24

"...likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire..." 1 Timothy 2:9

"...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age..." Titus 2:11-12

"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love." 2 Peter 5-7

I know there are more verses that apply to this idea, but can't figure out what to search for to find them. Some other words that apply to the idea of being self-controlled: disciplined, will/will power, abstain/abstinence, firm


"...the precepts of the LORD are right,rejoicing the heart;the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes" Psalm 19:8 - I can't be pure without His word.

"He who has clean hands and a pure heart,who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully." Psalm 24:4 - Don't follow false things, don't swear

"How can a young man keep his way pure?By guarding it according to your word." Psalm 119:9 - Again, God's word

"The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD,but gracious words are pure." Prov 15:26 - Speak graciously

"All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,but the LORD weighs the spirit." Prov 16:2 - Remember, it is all God's work, none are pure

"Even a child makes himself known by his acts,by whether his conduct is pure and upright." Prov 20:11 - What I DO reflects purity or not

He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend." Prov 22:11

Working at home

All of Proverbs 31

Kinda goes along with all the other words

Submissive to my husband

"But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God." 1 Corinthians 11:3

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." Ephesians 5:22

"Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands." Ephesians 5:24

"Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." Colossians 3:18

"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives," 1 Peter 3:1

"For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands," 1 Peter 3:5

"However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:33 - And there it is. I can't just submit and say "Fine, have it your way," but God asks me to respect My Favorite in my submission. Thankfully, that isn't very difficult at all.

Wow. That took a few days to work through. But how rich is HaShem's word?! Why do we, excuse me, I ever doubt that He has an answer for all my so-called woes? He is awesome.

Rest of the "My Role" series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Update: Not that it matters to anyone reading this, but I actually posted this on June 4th, not sure what blogger is thinking.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Potty Training Update

Just a few days before we go diaper free (scary) and here is where we are: She's potty training herself.

We haven't changed a dirty diaper in a week, except when I didn't understand what she was asking me. And as of yesterday evening and today, Teeny Tiny is trying to figure out peeing. So we pretty much had a dry diaper today. She asked to go 3 - 4 times this morning, actually going once. We went before nap time and after, and she went both times. She is so amazing! Praise God that He gives them the ability to figure this out!

Now, how to teach a 1 1/2 year old to whisper? Anyone out there?

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Role: Part 4

"He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments"
Psalm 78:5-7

The bold section of the above verse is the piece we were given to study. I personally don't like jumping into a verse mid thought as I've found it tends to leave something important out. You don't know what "them" is that the next generation might know unless you read the lines before that mention "testimony" and "law."

So, what is it I should be teaching my children so that even my great, great, great grandkids might have a chance to know God?

I should be telling Teeny Tiny and this new baby of God's testimonies, law and commandments. (I'll look at what these mean below)

Why? So all generations will know what God has done, did do and will do, all the while praying because of that knowledge they will want to follow His commandments to show their love and thanks.

No pressure! It does say "might know them." I wanted to see what Study Light's interlinear bible said "might" meant, but it doesn't say. So here is how I interpret that section: We are to teach our children the works, law and wonder of God so that they have a chance of understanding. If we don't, they have no chance. If we do, it doesn't guarantee they will know them on the level putting their hope in HaShem, but that is between them and God. This verse is telling me what I need to do.

I have a lot of work ahead of me. Working on me is one of them, because if I don't show them I put my hope in HaShem, how should they ever expect to do it?


testimony (v. 5) - edot - online definitions: an assertion offering firsthand authentication of a fact; something that serves as evidence
FFOZ definition: Revelation, or Torah as a witness of God and His righteousness
Translated as:
admonitions, ordinance, testimonies, testimony, warnings, witness (in KJV and NAS from Study Light)

(v. 5) - torah - instruction, connotes the whole will of God as imparted to man for his teaching (FFOZ)
Translated as: Law, custom, instruction, instructions, law, laws, ruling, teaching, teachings

(v. 5) - tzavah - command form of mitzvah/commandment(s)
Translated as: yikes, too many to include here, check Study Light's Interlinear Bible

(v. 7) - mitzvah - actions, deeds, the things we can do, described in detail by God
Translated as:
command, commanded, commandment, commandments, commands, obligation, prescribed, precepts, terms, things, tradition, what (yes, NAS translates it once as "what"... good question)

Rest of the "My Role" series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Role: Part 3

"The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down."
Proverbs 14:1

Sometimes the internet is such a bother. In the case of looking at this verse, it was both a bother and a joy for me. I find myself looking for what other people think before really thinking through a verse all the way. Not cool. But I did come across a blog post that was really helpful to me, so, thanks be to God that He used my laziness.

I think this translation, ESV, could make it look like the wise woman builds her house and then tears it down with folly. Others make it look like what I suspect it really means. A wise woman is one who builds her house. A foolish woman pulls it down on her head. 2 seperate women.

On the other hand, I think this is a moment to moment choice we women have too. Somedays we are wise, choosing the activities and attitudes that help us build and manage our homes and families. Other days, yeah, not so much. When doubt, laziness, dispare, frustration, feelings of "unfairness" are allowed to take over, I know I tend to start ripping pieces of the wall off. Not literally of course, but its like I am watching myself scream, yell, pout and cry while both enjoying my pitty party and wondering who in the heck that who is whining. My poor Favorite! And Teeny Tiny. And pets.

I have been struggling with this noticably since Teeny Tiny was born. I'm not sure I did enough managing before that for it to be an issue. That and God has really been doing some refining since she was born, of which I am glad and willing to take part in. Hurts though.

If you get a chance, read the post Tearing Down Our Homes at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. She just posted it on the 29th of last month, and I've never even seen this site before, but it came up in my search on this verse and really helped me keep every thought captive yesterday. I feel like it is the first victory in a long battle. The first day I really chose to be content with how things went before spiraling down. Anyway, go read it!

Rest of the "My Role" series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Thursday, May 08, 2008

My Role: Part 2

I decided to to these next few verses 1 by 1 or so. This is a lot of thinking for me, and if anyone is reading this, I don't want it to be too overwhelming. Small chunks, small chunks.

"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."
Hebrews 12:11

Our job as moms, as parents, is to train these gifts from God in His ways. Life is going to have consequences, walking outside His path has consequenses, it is part of our job to help them learn this. This is not a fun part of parenting. And my kid isn't even 2 yet.

The pastor's wife emphasized that for kids you need to lay out what the expected behavior is, what happens when behavior fits what is "good" and to clearly let them know what the consequences are for behavior that doesn't fit the rules. This is what HaShem did, and we are to be like Him to our children. He stood there, told Israel who He was, who He would always be, what He expected of them, what He promised to do, and what they would face if they didn't hold up their end of the contract. He was very detailed.

In her words, our kids need to here this: "All of us sin, we will all willingly do things we are not supposed to. Even Mom and Dad." But to emphasize that "you always have a choice" she would do something I never thought of doing. In certain areas, especially areas where she or her husband struggled, the whole family would come up with an acceptable consequence. They would look at the action in question and ask "What could the consequence for this be?" For example, if someone screamed at someone else, the punishment would be so many push ups. The logic that follows is that when a child does something he shouldn't do, it makes it easier to turn the question on him "What would an appropriate consequence be for you in this situation?" You always have a choice. If I scream at you, I chose wrong. I pay the consequences too.

And then stand back and let them and face the consequences for their actions. No matter how much it hurts to watch, they deserve to be allowed to face all sin brings. Only then can they hope to show fruits of righteousness.

Rest of the "My Role" series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

My Role: Part 1

I went to a bible study for moms today, and was challenged by the topic. The pastor's wife leads the group, and really focused on what it means to be a mom, what God's word says we are to do, and then left us with questions to ask ourselves about ourselves and our children. It is nice to see that everyone struggles with the same things, and it gave us a few chances for people to ask specific questions about problems with their kids.

Here are the verses we went through or didn't get a chance to go through (we talk so much!)

"So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander." 1 Timothy 5:14

None of us are widows in the group, but that isn't the point. From this, God lets us know what He expects of us as wives: we are to bear children (as He wills), manage our household and give no occasion for slander. Food for thought.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward."
Psalm 127:3

Here we learn very basic info: children are both a gift and a reward from God.

It was pointed out that for some reason, He chooses not to bestow this particular reward on some women and some women who have this opportunity don't see it as a reward. In the world, many mom's see their children as a burden and a nuisance. This leads to strained relationships through generations, choosing not to have children at all to continue one's own hobbies, or the horrific choice of abortion. This can also be a moment to moment blindness I think, with all mom's forgetting that each and ever moment is a gift, no matter how incredibly frustrating. We have lost that knowledge in I guess.

We also talked about the fact that the King of Kings chose these specific children, with their specific personalities, talents and weaknesses for His gift to us. And that our job is to raise them to serve Him. We are raising His children! Yikes!

"She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens."
Proverbs 31:13-15

Some odd descriptions of a wonderful wife here. I'm not thinking He expects me to go out and knit my family clothes. Here we see that: she clothes her family, she feeds her family and anyone else in her household, she does it awfully early in the morning :0) and she does it willingly. Some translations say "gladly." Something to work on.

I was about to say that I enjoy doing most activities in my day, but I'm not sure that is true. There are quite a few things I avoid (dishes, floors) even though they really aren't that bad. And I get really irritated with some of the parenting duties, feeling like Teeny Tiny and my niece get in the way of me doing my job. Wow. That is not something I ever expected. The Prov 31 wife provides for her household. I think that means everyone who is in it. So lets work on getting things in the right perspective.

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
Proverbs 31:21

Scarlet is also translated as "double thickness," which I take to mean warm. We shouldn't worry about our families for they are provided for. I think this also stems from the above section. If we are doing what we should (provide clothes and food) we don't have to worry. If we sit around idly it won't happen and we will worry. I would like to say that I don't think this means we are to work outside the home necessarily, but to use the resources we have to ensure our family has what it needs. Whether it be buying clothes, learning to take care of the clothes we have, living frugally/within our means, or asking for help when we don't know how to do these things. Then any worry that rears its ugly head can be pushed back with the knowledge that we are doing what we are supposed to and God is taking care of our family.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

Ouch. This has been bothering me for the last few days, so it was a good reminder to listen to that. I am to do my job and not enjoy being idle. Reading blogs when laundry has been on the couch for days? I need to have My Favorite hide my computer again. I don't enjoy wasting time, but I like doing it. It leaves me feeling guilty and lazy, but that doesn't stop me.

"Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her"
Proverbs 31:28

The pastor's wife wanted to point out that while this is true, if we do our job, our family should be thankful, it isn't a promise. Our children might never thank us, most likely will not. Our husbands might never notice. But we are still to be the wives and mothers God calls us to be.

"...and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
2 Timothy 3:15

This is obviously showing what Timothy's family did for him. It isn't directly speaking to moms about what we are to do, but indirectly it is pretty clear. We should teach our children, from infancy, the Word of God. How else will they understand and choose His salvation? I don't do this well. I don't read the word to her and I don't pray with her.

Okay, I will have to make this a continued post. There are way more things we went through. But my mind needs to work through this and I need to get the laundry done.

Lets have a quick breakdown of what I need to be focusing on here:
  • Bear Children - working on that :0)
  • Manage household - always working to do that better
  • Give no occasion for slander - need to work on attitude, idleness and a wayward tongue
  • Children are a reward - remember Teeny Tiny is God's child who He chose for me to raise
  • Provide for my family - continue to plan meals, cook, have snacks, take care of clothes, help to make what He provides through My Favorite to be more then enough
  • Don't be afraid - rest in knowing He is providing and has provided
  • Idleness - hide computer
  • Being called blessed - do the work God has asked of me, but don't expect a reward while on earth
  • Scripture from childhood - figure out how to speak His word into Teeny Tiny's life at Teeny Tiny's level of understanding (or close to it)
Whew. Laundry sounds easier, why have I procrastinated?!

Rest of the "My Role" series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Friday, May 02, 2008

Potty Training

Arghhhhh! This parenting stuff is so hard to figure out.

A few months ago, I've lost track, Teen Tiny walked up to My Favorite and said "Poo Poo" with a grunt. Since then we have been potty training. Sort of.

Today I had to admit I'm not being very diligent about it. More so then before the above moment in time, but not enough to say it really isn't working because of her.

She has no fears of the toilet, pee, poop or being wet. Three of the 4 are good, and I am seriously thankful for them. 1 of the 4 is the issue.

I get tired of being in the bathroom all the time. So does she. I don't want it to turn into an argument or negative thing. Therefor, I don't always keep up with the training. Especially if we are going somewhere. Unless she asks.

I give her a penny for going pee and 2 pennies for going poo poo. Does she care? Most of the time no. Once her cousin got excited about it, Teeny Tiny started asking for them when she went. But sometimes she doesn't. Is it helping? I don't know. Hurting? I doubt it.

Here is my plan of attack:
  • Take at least 2 weeks off
  • Get mattress pad
  • Research what to do about carseat
  • Sanitary wipes for diaper bag, in case we are out and have an accident
  • Start, 24-7, no diapers (night time? nap time?)
  • Stay home unless I have to go somewhere
  • Every 15 minutes, 20 if she goes
  • 5 min or under on timer while sitting
  • She gets off toilet as soon as she goes
  • Continue penny reward and/or
  • Try M&M reward
  • Go right when she wakes up, right before goes to sleep
  • Pack suitcase with clothes (for her and me)
  • Know where the bathroom is everywhere I go
After setting this as the plan, I put Teeny Tiny down for a nap. 15 minutes later, still not asleep, she calls for me. And tells me her feet are "icky." I think she is trying to get up :0) Then she says "pee pee." Oh. So, off to the potty we go. And so does she, right away.