Deception Can Be A Beautiful Thing

My friend got me the Deceptively Delicious cookbook for my birthday. And I AM LOVING IT! Yes, the recipes are easy and delicious - but what I'm really loving is deceiving the grumbles out of my herd. This week has been so much fun! If you haven't jumped on the bandwagon, here's the idea: puree some veggies that your kids are likely to never eat and then mix them in with what you are already cooking. Serve it up and your kids never know they just got a whopping dose of antioxidants and Vitamin C. It's a beautiful thing to sit at the dinner table and smile while Peter gobbles down his vegetables. What's even better is when he turns to me and says, "Thanks Mom for making the food I like!" I am counting down the days until he's an adult and I can spring the surprise on him. What? You don't like sweet potatoes? Really? Huh, that's've been eating them in your French Toast for the last 10 years!!! MMWAHH-HA-HA!

Here's what I've done so far or plan to do this week....
sweet potatoes in French Toast
spinach in ground beef/tacos
squash in mac & cheese
cauliflower in scrambled eggs

My cookbook is by Jessica Seinfeld. There is also a cookbook/website, published earlier by Missy Chase Lapine which has even easier tips for hiding vegetables in your kids food.


Noise To God

We've had our share of bumps and bruises these last few weeks. We have cabin fever and the kids are literally bouncing off the walls. Just this evening, Gideon (3) banged his head on the wall during a pillow fight. I was comforting him and said, "Calm down and be quiet so we can pray for you." John (7) piped in, "Uh, Mom, God can hear us through all the noise." Thanks for that reminder.

Choosing Children

UPDATE: There is a good discussion going on at Mommy Life about this question. Barbara posted it for me - I asked for her input - and others have weighed in on the topic.

A friend recently told me that she and her husband are thinking about not having children. She asked for my input and below is my response to her. (This is what you'd call ranting and raving, hence the name of this blog.) If you are a couple who has chosen not to have children I am sure you have very good reasons for your decision. But, I have yet to come across Believers who can in good conscience choose not to bring life into the world.

I'm assuming my position is obvious. Are you thinking of adopting or just no kids at all? Is this something you believe God has told you or is this your plan? I firmly believe that God created the institution of marriage for the express purposes of 1) helping our spouse fulfill the plan God has for him/her 2) to raise up an army of little God-followers. (Like arrows in his quiver....) Choosing to not have children once you are married is like choosing to travel to a tropical island, but opting to stay inside the airport the whole time. What's the point? Don't get me started. Oh, wait - you already did. The main reasons I hear couples choose to not have children is because of a) money, b) the desire to keep things the way they are/fear of the unknown, c) careers are first priority, d) ministry opportunities aren't family friendly, e) fear of failure

She responded..."Our main worry is that we are too selfish to be good parents, and that our ministry isn't well suited for children."

I agree that ministry requires a lot of time and effort. You have to decide if this is what God is calling you to do for this season, or for your lifetime. I tend to believe we live our life in seasons. Rarely are we doing the same thing 20 years from now - if so maybe we aren't growing the way God wants. If you choose ministry over children and go so far as to prevent pregnancy what does that say about the level of trust you have in God. Can't He give us the provision to do both? If God wants you to be so commited to this ministry that you shouldn't become parents then maybe He'll prevent pregnancy?

Also - the selfishness factor. We are ALL too selfish to become good parents. That's the work of grace in our lives. Being a parent is the closest resemblance to the love God has for us in that He gave us His only Son. (I would venture to say that adoption is an even clearer picture of what God does for us.) When you become a mother something spiritual happens. You are totally given over to another human. You care about them more than yourself. You think about their needs more than your own. It is agape love at it's best human definition. I fail daily. My selfishness creeps in daily. It is hard - it is very, very hard; but there is no greater joy... and that is an understatement.

When I read the Bible, there are dozens of scriptures which assume that women have children. I have never read Paul say, "If you decide to become a mother." It is an assumed role in that is how God created women.

I know there are thousands of Believers who desire children but are experiencing infertility. I pray for those families and hope that God chooses to expand their family either through pregnancy or adoption. It is not these families that I am addressing, but rather those who have chosen NOT to expand their family beyond the husband and wife relationship.

What's your feeling on this?


Don't Like It - Switch!

One of the best things I've learned from Barbara's journey from Evangelical to Catholic is that we in the Protestant world have too much of a smorgasboard mentality. Don't like the worship leader? Go to another church! Don't think women should wear pants? Find a church that supports dresses only. Don't like the pastor's preaching style? Find a church where Sunday morning consists of 3 songs and a poem. We use our freedom in Christ as an excuse for this lack of commitment.

This article just popped up on My Yahoo. Seems like Evangelicals aren't the only ones.

From America's Unfaithful Faithful by David Van Biema...

"The report does not speculate on the implications of its data. But Lugo suggests, 'What it says is that this marketplace is highly competitive and that no one can sit on their laurels, because another group out there will make [its tenets] available' for potential converts to try out. While this dynamic 'may be partly responsible for the religious vitality of the American people,' he says, 'it also 'suggests that there is an institutional loosening of ties,' with less individual commitment to a given faith or denomination."


Look at THIS Book!

This is the first in a series of posts where we'll take a look at our favorite books on a certain topic. (No, this isn't Oprah's Book Club. I'm no where near that serious. I need mush for my brain.) In between diapers, homeschooling, errands and breathing - I like to read. That's a hard thing for me admit. See, I attended law school (didn't finish) and each night we were required to read about 200 pages. At the end of that year, I swore I'd never pick up another book as long as I lived. Two hundred pages is a lot of reading, people! Reading was the last thing I wanted to do for fun! That was then. Things change. And now I enjoy it. But, I don't have hours to spend browsing Amazon or the library to figure out which book to read next. I usually rely on the recommendations of friends. As I've mentioned before, Francine Rivers' books are always on the top of my list. But, I've read everything she's written and until a new one comes out I need some ideas. Here's where you come in.

Every week I will post a book recommendation and ask you to share your ideas as well. What fiction book are you currently reading? Who is your favorite biography? Which cookbook do you turn to in a pinch? Which books do you choose for your children? What book changed your life?

I plan to post Look at THIS Book! every Monday, but don't hold me to it. I'm going to do my best to be here for you every Monday with a good book recommendation. This is assuming there are no trips to the emergency room, laundry catastrophes or sick children in the mix. That could hold things up a bit. (I know today is not Monday, we've had 2 snow days and it feels like Wednesday, so what's your point?)

Here goes....


I'm asking b/c we've never accomplished this goal. I have lists of suggestions, but we haven't found a good system for getting this done at our house. As a child, my favorite book series was Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke. I really don't remember much about the series, just that I enjoyed the process of reading this with my mom and my sister.

Now it's your turn. Don't let me down, even you lurkers out there are welcome to join in. You do not have to have a blog to post a comment, and you do not have to sign up with Google to contribute. You can be anonymous if you like, or you can link us to your blog so we can read more of your ideas.

Let's Go!



After living vicariously through Shannon and the bloggers' trip to Uganda, I find myself in an odd place. Do I sell all my possessions and give my money to the poor? Do I continue to live in my over-indulgent, Wal-Martified, super-sized world? Where's the balance? I'm not sure yet.

Last night my husband was reading and listening to Jeff Deyo (one of our favorite worship leaders.) Here's a quote that I won't easily forget...

We need to speak and live out this quote from a national pastor who was later martyred in Zimbabwe Africa:
"The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I'm a disciple of His! I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, depend on His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. That's what it means to be a disciple of Jesus."


What's Your Gift?

If you have been in church for any amount of time, chances are you have been asked about your spiritual gift. Go here to see what gifts God has given you to use to bless others. As for me? No surprise. I scored high on the Administration/Hospitality questions and embarrasingly low on the Mercy/Intercession questions. What does that mean? I like to be in charge and need to pray for compassion! What's your gift?


A Must Read

I'm assuming you are reading this. If you are online at all, and if you've ever read a blog then you've got to read this. There is a team of bloggers in Uganda right now on a trip with Compassion International. Every day I read about their journey and tears fill my eyes. We are so blessed. God help me to remember that.


Day to Day

As a stay-at-home mom, most days I feel like I haven't gotten anything worth while accomplished. I have my to-do lists, I run essential errands, and I feed the masses. But it's easy to look at the world around me and feel like what I'm doing under this roof doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things.

I know better. In my heart I know that I am planting seeds for the future. I know that today's work won't be rewarded for another 10 years or so. I know when I'm 60 I'll look back on my life and be glad that I made this sacrifice.

But, then there are days (lots of them) when I can't see the forest for the trees. Bickering siblings, rising grocery bills, multiple laundry piles and shower-less days seem to pile up more quickly than good stuff.

This song made me cry and made me stop and remember why I'm doing this. Maybe you feel discouraged, too? Please listen and know you are changing the world One Heartbeat At A Time.


When I Was A Kid

Does your child have an imagination? That seems like a stupid question, but really think about it. When you turn off the tv or the computer can your child entertain himself? Pete at The Rabbit Room has me thinking about this because of his experiences with teenage boys...

Often when boys are asked what they want to do when they grow up, they don’t have an answer, not even a wild and crazy one like ‘be a rapper’ or ‘play in the NFL’, they just shrug. They’ve never thought about it because they’ve been spoon fed their entertainment for the whole of their short lives and have never had to entertain themselves with their own imaginations.

Read the whole article here.


Things Have Changed

Over at Scribbit she wrote about her daughter's reaction to a rated PG movie. I don't think being the youngest (or oldest or middlest) is a curse, but there sure is a new set of rules! For example...I let Gideon get away with things that I never (ever in a gazillion years) would have even contemplated letting Peter say or do. But, then again 7 years have passed between parenting them. What's in store for Rachel? Oh, my.

How you know he's not an only child....
*he runs through the kitchen yelling, "I Anakin, I kill Darth Vader!"
*I hear him say, "Shut Up!" in the other room and when I address the issue with him, he immediately says, "I not say it, John did!"
*while our family sits in a gym full of cheering fans, he runs off by himself to use the restroom and comes back without blinking an eye that something could be awry
*He says, "Mom can I play Lego Star Wars after I drink my chloklut milk?" (
*while the other children squiggle and writhe while I'm giving them haircuts, Gideon brings the haircutting kit to me at least once a week asking if it's his turn yet
*I walk in the kitchen to find him climbing up into the freezer to retreive a popscicle (the one I told him he couldn't have 5 minutes ago)
*he dresses himself (I'll just leave it at that.)


The Student or The Money...Which Is More Important?

This article from the New York Times looks at the rising numbers of students who are being taught at home using online programs, some funded by public school systems. But, when the experts take a look at the benefits of these public-school-at-home programs they almost always refer to the loss of money the programs create. Never mind that the children are benefitting and receiving (sometimes) a higher level of education.

Despite enthusiastic support from parents, the schools have met with opposition from some educators, who say elementary students may be too young for Internet learning, and from teachers, unions and school boards, partly because they divert state payments from the online student’s home district.


Does It Take Good Preaching To Be A Good Preacher?

Just read this article at Crosswalk. Here's an excerpt...

Preaching may seem foolish to a generation steeped in high-tech entertainment, clever comedic monologues, and spectacular imagery and sound. But preaching has always seemed foolish to those outside the pale of faith. The problem is not that preaching is foolish to unbelievers. The problem is that preaching has become foolish—through mere adequacy—to those who claim to be followers of Christ.