Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Will Stand

Standards suck.  There's no way around it.  The standards I have layered up in my heart from years of being told the "right" way to be and do creep up on me at the most inopportune times. The really horrible part is that I catch myself putting my standards on my children without even thinking about it.  My house is less than perfect.  But I've decided to make training my children a priority.  My wardrobe is outdated by nearly a decade.  But I've decided to stay home with my children rather than make money to shop.  It's hard to choose the quite eternal aspects of life when the flashy temporal things are just so much better looking! 

It's affirming to see the fruit of our "labors" in our kids.  Caleb has an amazing depth of understand about God's thoughts and ways.  We had our first splinter-pulling surgery this morning.  After carefully sanitizing his finger with hydrogen peroxide, I started digging into his hand with a needle.  Pretty traumatic when you are two.  When asked what we should do when in pain, he says "Pain go away in Christ.  All healed."  We are teaching him to believe God's thoughts and ways above the circumstances.  He knows that the band-aid did not make him feel better, but that God healed his finger through Christ.  Wow.  He watches us to see that our actions match our words.  Larry has been having back pain.  Caleb mimics Larry by putting both hands on his back and shouting to us and God that he is "all healed, Christ." Pretty cool.

Evelynn is a sweet pea.  She is enamored with her brother.  She may be all fussy and upset, but as soon as Caleb walks into her line of vision, she gurgles and smiles.  Caleb is significantly less fond of Evie at this point.  He will only kiss her when we press him to.  Yesterday, he did bring her the binky.  Before he put it into her mouth, he popped it into his own (like Larry and I do to ensure there's no dirty, fuzz or anything harmful).  He learns so much by watching us. 

I'm learning how to fight spiritually for these two darlings of mine.  God says that I don't fight against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities of darkness.  I'm the guardian of my home.  I am just now learning that satan was totally defeated at the cross and that he has no "legal" power or authority on his own.  All he has is the authority and rights that I give him by subjecting my will, authority, and rights to his demonic control.  We operate from heavenly places because we are IN CHRIST, seated at the right hand of God.  I will stand at the door way of my home and claim the blood of Christ over my home, my family, and our hearts.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What a trip!

Well God has come through for us again!  We have completed the state inspection for our RCFE (Residential Care Facility for the Elderly) - Abundant Living For Seniors.  I was unnerved to watch our case worker step out of her car with a huge brief case and a loaded clip board.  She walked ceremoniously towards our front door as I nervously pulled the car out of the drive way with the kids.  We went to the park so we wouldn't be in the way while she conducted her inspection of our home.  Yikes. We spent the previous 24 hours organizing, folding, wiping, adjusting and cleaning our home.  I was sure we weren't going to pass.  The check list for the inspection was three PAGES long!  Good grief.  But God is good, and our home is ship shape and ready for residents. 

The other big news is our new Honda!  We recently sold my '03 Honda Pilot to get out from under the steep payment every month.   Right now Larry is picking up my new Honda minivan!  It's amazing that when I decide to trust God with my little life (giving up my Pilot was difficult as it was the first new vehicle I've ever owned), He blesses me in abundance.  The new van is completely loaded (6 CD changer, DVD, butt warmers, etc.!) and has less miles on it that my Pilot!  Wow.

Before Larry left to go pick up the van, he took Caleb aside and in a serious voice told him to take care of his mommy.  A few minutes after the kids and I came back inside, Caleb touches my shoulder and says, "How you doing, Mommy?"  Then he motions for me to kiss him on one cheek, then the other.  Just when I thought he couldn't be any sweeter, he lifts both arms up and says "hug too please."  He certainly knows how to take care of his mommy!

Larry being away has given me chance to really appreciate him and to trust my Father.  I feel much more vulnerable without my husband in the house.  I find myself having to push fear out of my mind and replace it with truth all the time. Fears about my kids, their health, and our safety creep in when I least expect them.   This has been the first time Larry has been away since before Evelynn was born.  God is working into me the reality that I have authority in Christ over all darkness.  Colossians 2: 15 says that Christ disarmed the rulers and authorities of darkness and made a public display of them having triumphed over them through the cross.  I've been practicing!  Sickness, fear, and doubt have no place in the Newman household (even when my husband is gone) because I am in Christ who has triumphed over satan. What a trip!  :)   

I continue to be amazed at God's goodness and grace towards me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Holding hands in the dark

While rocking my boy before bed this evening, he reached his chubby baby hand down to find mine.  He intertwined our fingers.  What a sweet gesture.  Even amongst all the difficulties of the day, real and imagined, I am blessed.   

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cheese tortillas at noon

At Caleb's request, we had cheese tortillas for lunch today.  He's such an interesting little boy.  I was humming a hymn that was stuck in my head from Sunday when I put him into his high chair.  Caleb looked up and said "redeemed!" which is the name of the song I was humming. My smart little parrot!  Half way through his tortilla he looked right at me and said "Christ healed you."  Which really struck my heart as I have been thinking about this reality a lot lately.  I believe this was his second full sentence (if you want to count his debut with "I'm buff" a couple weeks ago as his first).  I was nearly speechless for a minute.

Our lunch together got me thinking about how different my life could be right now.  I recently resigned from teaching at COS.  If I were working, I would have missed so much!  I would be busy thinking about lesson plans, grading, and curriculum.  It was such a difficult decision to make, but I daily find so many blessings in being home with my children and husband.  Even so, I often find myself wondering if I shouldn't be "doing" more.  You know, contributing to the gross national product or something.  As if I ought to be busy and stressed and earning my keep.  My wonderful husband continues to tell me to relax and enjoy my life in Christ, babies, and home.  That's new.  Relax?  Tempting for sure.

More often than not I find myself fighting the desire to do things out of obligation.  For example, Larry is outside picking weeds.  Because he is working, I feel obligated to work outside as well.  My motivation is a matter of feeling right in his sight (I don't want my husband thinking he married a lazy wife...) when in reality I am right in God's sight.  Why do I work so hard to please others when God says that as a result of Christ's work, I am righteous?

My kids continue to be great reminders of spiritual realities.  They are children; they don't over analyze things.  Caleb accepts the provision we give him (cheese tortillas at noon).  Evelynn's heart is easily comforted by our words when she is upset.  Neither of them desire to earn their keep.  Their entire "job" rests in being loved.  And so they are.