Two Tiaras and a Sword

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thankful Thursday

God is SO good! And as we know...James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." So in recognition of all the wonderful things God has blessed us with, here are a few from the past week. To God be the glory!

*For a great lunch with my two favorite guys - the prince, and the young prince

*For a fun weekend enjoying time away with the youngest princess

*For a great Youth Pastor, Youth Pastor's wife, and parent volunteers who worked hard to let our kids have a fun, crazy, wild Saturday

*For helping the prince get through Sunday even though he didn't feel good

*For the opportunity to serve by teaching a sweet Sunday School class

*For helping me feel better

*For great swim lessons for the youngest princess from a sweet friend

*For hearing the youngest princess rooting on the other little girl in her swim lesson - not just once but several times

*For another sweet friend who took the kids to The Water Course one last time

*For a coach who takes the time to help our girls be better players, even in the summer

*For a sweet Youth Pastor's wife who takes the time to spend getting to know our girls and teaching them to serve

*For a godly young lady who took the time to encourage our girls with her own testimony

*For the prince feeling good enough to support a friend

*For precious time having dinner out with the youngest princess

*For sweet time just hanging out on the front porch enjoying the evening with the youngest princess

*For having "silly" fun with our children...I love their laughter, and that they enjoy being together and with us

*For help with my Wednesday night class

*For new life and the joy it brings

*For a safe delivery and a healthy baby

*For becoming a Great Aunt -:-)!

*For a great group of young people

*For a good health report for a friend

*For the rest of us staying well, even though the prince has been sick

*For a man to "fill the gap" when the prince needed help

*For the answer to a specific prayer

*For the youngest princess, and her sweet, tender heart

Happy Thankful Thursday! Making a specific point to count my blessings, and share them with you each week has truly changed my life! I hope that it helps you to be more aware of your specific blessings, and has changed your life as well! I love you, and hope you have a wonderful Thankful Thursday!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Watching What We Watch

It was unbelievable. It had lying, disrespect, conniving, stealing, anger, and fighting. Did I mention that it had lying? Lots and lots of lying. Almost everything that was said was a lie, or a withholding of the truth. If it wasn't a lie, it was a put down to an authority figure. And it all took place during a one hour special of a popular sitcom on a popular children's channel.

We always watch several episodes of any new programs with our children before we allow them to watch the show alone. We watched several episodes of the particular show mentioned above, and decided it was too much in favor of making the kids look responsible, and the parents look like bumbling idiots. Not really the subliminal message...Oh, who am I kidding?...the overtly in- your-face, cram-it-down-your-throat message we wanted our children weekly indoctrinated by. So after the initial watching together of several episodes, and talking about them, we decided it was not in the best interest of our children for them to watch it any more.

Okay, with that said, and us not having watched any more of that show's episodes for quite a while, they began advertising for a one hour special. I thought we would give it a try - after all, the commercials made it look like a really funny episode. So I set the DVR to record it, and we watched it, and I was disgusted. It consisted of one lie after another (to which there was never a consequence). At one point, one of the son's "friends" pleads with him to steal from a store resulting in one of the only good things in the whole show, when the son stands up to his friend and says no. The friend then whines and says, "Can't we at least steal (a smaller less expensive item here)". At another point, the daughter suggests stealing something. The mother acts incredulous and asks the daughter if she is actually suggesting that they steal the said item. The daughter says yes. And the mother replies, "Yes! And the student becomes the master!" in celebration that her daughter came up with a plan to steal something, and insinuating that she is the one who taught her such behavior, and not only approves of it, but is proud of it.

Hello!?! Testing, testing...Is this thing on? Are we the only parents that are bothered by this? The whole thing was not funny (there were two small parts where we snickered in the hour long program - more from the silliness of the actors, than the content). It was really morally depressing. And kids everywhere are watching this junk on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. And we wonder why they act the way they do!

For instance the recent incident of the group of children bullying, and mercilessly taunting the New York bus monitor. Where on earth would they get the idea that they could treat an adult (an authority figure) in such a demeaning manner? has to look no farther than their own living room, and the absolute junk that comes over the airwaves under the guise of entertainment.

Am I saying the television is the only reason? No, I am not. But I do strongly believe that it plays a large part in how children behave today.

The old saying, "Garbage in - Garbage out" comes to mind. Society is all worried about what our children eat, and the size of the sodas that they drink, and how much exercise they receive, but is no one concerned about the moral poisoning of our children's hearts and minds? And keep in mind that I'm talking about a show on mainstream children's programming, nothing controversial, just average everyday programming. I know I would be bothered by the controversial shows. And don't allow yourself to fall into the trap of thinking that if it is animated, it must be okay, because the animated shows can be just as influential and damaging.

Our family IS concerned. We watch what we watch, and we watch what our children watch as well.
We are not perfect parents, and we make our share of mistakes, but this is one area where we don't compromise. And I totally believe our children benefit from not watching all of that garbage.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

What a great guideline! And what a different world we would live in, if we all followed this guideline. And if you do not watch the shows that your children watch, I strongly encourage you to do so. Watch how the children on the show interact with the "authority" figures. Then ask yourself, if that is the way you want your children to interact with the authority figures in their life. Watch how the authority figures are portrayed. Are they really the people in charge, or are they always out of the loop, put down and disrespected by the kids? Is this the way you want your children to see you, and treat you? If it isn't, maybe it would be best if your children weren't getting a steady diet of that particular show.

I will say that as our children have gotten older, we allow them to watch a little more, but we also discuss things with them, and help them sharpen their discerning skills. We want them to be able to decide if a show is appropriate or not, by themselves, from a Biblical standpoint, not just blindly sit and watch everything and totally accept it. I love it when they decide it is time to turn the channel on their own. They are learning to watch what they watch, but it is a learning process, and until they have mastered the skill, we will continue to watch what they watch as well.

What about you? Do you watch what your children watch? If so, are you as disturbed by the trends that you see on television as I am? What bothers you the most about children's/teen's television programs today? What guidelines do you have in place to protect your children?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Could Have Had Dirt Cakes For Dinner

"They would get SO hungry, that they would take dirt and water and make cakes of mud. Then they would eat them, so that they could get enough relief that they could finally fall asleep."

Those may not be her EXACT words, but Karen Kingsbury said something very close to this in a speech I heard her give several years ago. She was talking about her sons, that were adopted from a Haitian orphanage.

I could have had dirt cakes for dinner, but instead, I had leftover steak. Did you catch that? Leftover steak, as in we had more than enough the first time we had steak THIS WEEK.

I can not get rid of the image her words burned into my heart. Nor can I imagine children so hungry that they actually eat mud cakes just to stem their hunger pains.

I often think of Karen's words, when my children do not like something that is on their plate, or even worse when they complain about where we are going out to eat. I am a picky eater myself, but believe me when I say that I will eat ANY food over mud cakes ANY day.

I am thankful that I was born in America, and I am thankful that I have never had to go without basic needs. Wants, sure, but needs, never. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the poverty that many people in the world face. I have been to a third world country, I have looked poverty in the eye, and then, I've gotten on an airplane and come back to my home, and all of the comforts it affords.

Today, I heard a precious missionary tell a story of a friend of hers. A woman who had very little. A woman we would consider very poor. And by earthly standards she was poor, but, by spiritual standards, she was rich. Rich in love, and in faith. As is often the case with Christians who have nothing. They are often some of the most joyful people alive. They find their joy not in fleeting material belongings, but in a never changing God.

So often I take how blessed I am for granted. I complain about things that are minuscule compared to conditions that other people face as normal on a daily basis. Too often, I allow things (or the lack of things) to clutter up my life - spiritually.

I don't want to allow things to hinder my faith in God, or my relationship with Him. I want to look to Him to supply ALL my needs. I want a faith that is not shaken by the economy, or job security, or health reports. I want an active, living, faith. This has really been a burden on my heart lately, and a lesson God is trying to get through my stubbornness, because it seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life lately...the message from the missionary, a book I'm reading, a Sunday School lesson, a Bible study lesson.

So, my prayer is that I will complain less (both in word and attitude), and be thankful, and grateful more. That I will not take for granted even the smallest things that the Lord blesses me with, and that I will teach and train my children to do the same.

Philippians 2:14-16
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

No more complaining, because we COULD be eating dirt cakes.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thankful Thursday

*For a chance to spend some time alone with my prince

*For a lovely, relaxing, fun day for the whole family with great company

*For a father who loved the Lord, and modeled to me what a godly, Christian man should look like

*For a husband who loves my children dearly, and is a great father to them

*For two families, and their commitment to dedicate their two precious children to the Lord

*For 17 years of marriage to the man God created just for me

*For the opportunity to be present for a friend

*For a day with my prince

*For being able to help someone in need

*For the abundance that God has blessed our family with

*For time to play a game with the oldest princes

*For dinner time conversations with my family

*For spending time with, and having good talks with the oldest princess

*For a job for the young prince

*For meeting new people, and being able to talk to them about how great God is

*For being able to reschedule my dentist appointment (for the third time)

*For understanding receptionists

*For a freshly mowed lawn

*For an awesome family

*For putting together puzzles and spending time with both of the princesses

*For a good report at the dentist

*For God's hand of protection during an accident

*For a fun time at a fun birthday party

*For the opportunity to spend time with some great kids, and teach them about the Lord

*For beautiful summer days and wonderful friends and family to spend them with

Thank You, Lord, for these blessings, and many, many more.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I love Daddy because...

I love my Dad because he did everything he was supposed to do, and he led me to Christ. Without him, I wouldn't be saved. - The youngest prince

I love him that he's special to me and he's always there when I need him. He makes me chocolate milk, and he makes me laugh. - The youngest princess

I love Daddy because he loves and cares for me, and he makes me laugh. - The oldest princess

If He Were Here

On Mother's Day, I posted some of the things I would do or say, if I could spend one more Mother's Day with my Mom. So, on Father's Day, I want to do the same...some of the things I would do or say, if I could spend one more Father's Day with my Daddy.

~I would tell him how MUCH I love him

~I would thank him for all the hours he spent working overtime so that I could have things I wanted, but didn't need

~I would ask him to tell me more stories about his childhood

~I would watch him spin his ring on the table and savor each second of it

~I would thank him for his faithfulness to church, and making sure I was faithful as well

~I would thank him for believing in me

~I would tell him how much I love and appreciate his example of quiet strength

~I would tell him how much I miss his dry sense of humor

~I would listen closely when he spoke, and hold his words of wisdom tightly in my heart

~I would thank him for teaching me love for God, family, and country

~I would be more understanding of him falling asleep in his chair due to sheer weariness

~I would tell him that I think of him every time I hear a wind chime

~I would tell him how I can watch the young prince, and just see him at that age

~I would introduce him to the wonders of DVR an MP3's...He would never have to miss another weather report, and he wouldn't have stacks of cassette tapes to keep up with...he would be amazed :-)!

~I would tell him that I miss hearing him play his harmonica

~I would memorize in even more detail the way he smiled, and raised his eyebrows

~I would enjoy his boyish antics more

~I would tell him I miss his quiet observations when life is chaotic

~I would tell him how the young prince inherited not just some of his looks and mannerisms, but also his creative ability to "fix" things in unconventional ways

~I would tell him that the oldest princess is the basketball player he always wanted me to be

~I would tell him that the youngest princess inherited his love for chocolate milk

~I would give him a HUGE hug

~I would watch a basketball game with him

~I would tell him how much I miss him being the first to tell me Happy Birthday each year

~I would tell him how much I miss his child-like love of holidays

~I would tell him how special and wonderful and talented and loving all of his grandkids are

~I would tell him he's going to be a Great-grandpa :-)!

~I would watch Wheel-Of-Fortune with him

~I would be quicker to help when he asked me to

~I would tell him two of my most prized possessions are his Bible, and his sermon notes notebook

~I would sit as close as I could by his side, and just bask in the moment of being with him one more time

I know that he is in Heaven, and none of this would matter much, if at all, to him, but it would mean the world to me. Happy Father's Day to the best Daddy a girl could have ever been blessed with, my Daddy, RRM.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Here are a few of the things I am thankful for this week...

*For a sweet aunt who took the time to teach me how to quilt - it is a day I will treasure forever

*For the strength, and plenty of help to do a big job

*For the worm lady who fearlessly baited our hooks

*For help in fixing up my really cool shelf

*For the peaceful lake, and fish that bite

*For wonderful testimonies of lives that have been changed

*For getting to go to a store that I love

*For seeds that hold the promise of new life and beautiful memories

*For a million dollar smile on the young prince's face

*For the opportunity to do something I've never done before

*For God's protection

*For family time

*For delicious cupcakes

*For a good talk with my nephew

*For meeting a sweet young lady who fits right in

*For a fun day with the girls

*For a cool pool on a HOT summer day

*For a sweet little puppy named Abby

*For Jack In The Box tacos

*For allergy medicine

*For rest when I am exhausted

*For safe travels

*For being together as a family

*For small surprises

*For great friends

*For fun fellowship

*For the privilege of working along with my husband in the ministry

*For happy, healthy children

*For changes for the better

*For a fun evening with the family and a friend

*For true friends who stand the test of time and circumstances

*For friends who garden and share their increase

*For a fantastic night of fun with a great group of kids

*For the greatest family I could ever ask for

Thank You, Lord for all of the above and SO much, much, more!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pedicures and Prayers

The girls and I, and my sister-in-love got pedicures this morning, at a very nice nail salon that even had a youngest princess sized pink chair with butterfly wings.

It was a delightful experience. We all picked out our colors, and sat down to be pampered. The lady who did the youngest princess was great with her, and her nails and toes are adorable. Mine were finished after hers, so instead of making her move and mess up her nails, I tried to scoot around her (in a very tight space) and I royally messed up my left big toe...yes, the one that had the fancy little painted flower painstakingly hand-painted on just mere seconds before by the man who did my pedicure.

I hated to have to tell him, and I felt REALLY bad about it, but tell him I did. He wasn't very happy with me, but I apologized profusely, and hopefully he recovered from having his artwork smeared and ruined, and then having to start all over and do it again.

So after all of that was said and done, and we were waiting for everyone else to finish up, the youngest princess noticed a large golden Buddah statue on the counter. It had something written in a different language on the front of it. She asked me if I knew what it said, and I told her that I did not. She wanted me to ask the person behind the counter, and I told her no.

As we were leaving, the owner of the nail salon came out behind us. As I got in the car I noticed that he had bent over and was standing up. I thought maybe he was picking up trash. About that same time, my sister-in-love said that he had laid down some incense. He stood up with his hands together and his eyes closed, and prayed on the sidewalk in front of his store.

I was instantly convicted. I am a Christian. I believe in, love, and serve the one, true God. Yet I don't know if I would have the courage to do what that man did, as boldly as he did it. I teach about Daniel praying three times a day, but do I have that kind of courage? I WANT to have that kind of courage. Dearly want it, but have I exhibited it with my life? I plan to be more deliberate (not pushy or in your face, but just more deliberate) in how I live out my faith in front of those around me. So, with God's help, that is a goal I have renewed today.

And I am glad that when I make mistakes, even unintentional ones, God doesn't get upset with me. He just removes the polish, and begins again, even if He had just done a beautiful job mere seconds before. Isn't it wonderful to know that we serve a merciful, and longsuffering God!