how do you say…?

LauraAll Posts

My most recent wonderings regarding V include whether or not we should begin teaching her a foreign language while her brain is in the glory days of malleability. Because I have minimal foreign language skills and exposure, I’d have to rely heavily on a “program,” like Muzzy. I wouldn’t mind this, but I’d want to make sure we choose an effective program… and a useful language.

Until now, my argument against employing “baby talk” programs has been the seemingly arbitrariness of choosing which language to teach an infant; how am I supposed to know if she will be living in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood, working in China for the FBI, or leading a mission in Quebec 30 years from now? After all, if she needs to know a language as an adult, won’t she be able to learn enough basics to survive? I expressed these thoughts to a dear bilingual friend who set me straight with the stats about how languages open up dormant areas of the brain and expand an individual’s emotional IQ, etc. I decided to dedicate this question to prayer and wait for God to reveal which language would be best for Vivienne.

Strangely (or not), as of now, I feel like His answer is that we are free to choose; that it’s okay for me not to choose Chinese or Spanish for practical/futuristic reasons, but instead to choose, say, French because of its beauty.

Even stranger (or not) is that as soon as I began praying about it, Vivienne began asking me about the American Sign Language she saw on our beat-up VHS copy of Christmas Eve On Sesame Street. “What’s this, Mommy?” she’s been asking as she imitates Linda’s hands about taking Christmas with you all through the year. I don’t know if sign language opens the same dormant portals of the brain as auditory languages do, but I do know that using our hands to communicate language opens portals of the heart that auditory languages don’t. Perhaps we’ll pursue a bit of both here on Hickory Road…

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Do any of my five faithful commenters (or others!) have wisdom on this matter?

nature girl goes on a nature walk

LauraAll Posts

To celebrate this perfectly stunning day, Vivienne and I enjoyed a nature walk down at Millbrook Marsh. We filled a canning jar with an assortment of flowers, burs, grasses, and crab apples, learning to take a small sample with us. At one point, we both stopped to watch three butterflies flit around. I was just about to reflect on how perfect this was… how, hopefully, our entire mother-daughter relationship would be this blissful when I happened to notice the rabbit turds we were sitting in. Ah, nature at its finest. (No, I did not take a picture!)

 

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I’m glad that for now, V is content to watch the caterpillars and ladybugs in their natural surroundings without begging for them to move into ours.

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obedient thoughts

LauraAll Posts

As I lay in bed last night, I kept thinking about the times when I or one of my friends is struggling with what seems like justified — though sinful — thoughts. Sometimes, these thoughts just seem like a deserved indulgence, but sometimes they seem like a very justified part of a healing process (for example, hating someone who hurt you very deeply, etc.). Typically, I want to say, “Go for it! You have every right to feel this way!” But last night, my spirit kept breathing out one Scripture:

2 Corinthians 10:5 “…We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ…”

I made a mental note that I don’t want to counsel anyone (including myself!) that hateful, vengeful, or even obsessive thoughts are ever justified — even as “a part of the healing process”; God has shown us a more joyful — more free — Way. To aggressively capture each vividly emotional thought and command it to bow down to a Savior who died not only for the one who hurt us, but also for our sinful thought. This is the narrow part of the “narrow road”; this is the cross part. If we don’t make ourselves love our enemies when we have them, what good is Christ’s command (Matthew 5:44)? Of course it’d be much easier to love them after we’ve been through the whole healing process or after they’re dead or disappeared…but I think that would negate Jesus’ point and would keep us from becoming more like the man who, at just the right time, died for the ungodly.

We can do this because God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (read this).

hymn sing

LauraAll Posts

This song must be sung. The melody causes the life-blood to flow through the sentiments.

O The Deep Deep Love Of Jesus.

Samuel Trevor Francis (1875), Welsh melody adapted by Thomas John Williams (1890).

1. O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Thy glorious rest above!

2. O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth,
Changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth o’er them from the throne!

 

3. O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
’Tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
’Tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to Thee!

monday night

LauraAll Posts

While I went through a glorious pile of hand-me-down maternity clothes, Vivienne helped Ryan reinstall some freshly painted windows.  She would only hand a screw to him when he said, “Banana Cream Pie”.  (I made that rule up. And that’s what they’re saying instead of “cheese” in this picture. In case you can’t read lips.)

“Banana Cream Pie!”

 

 

Viv was so pumped up after helping Dad, that she danced into the kitchen, decided to try a barrel role on the rolley thing (see previous post), and landed on her head.  A minor recovery time ensued.  In fact, she completely forgot about her pain once the camera came out and she absorbed herself in the art of making a poochie face.  Honest, she did not fall out of the window.

 

Ouch!

lessons in recycling

LauraAll Posts

Inspired by Bert (who uses old egg cartons to sort his brown button and paper clip collections, of course), Vivienne decided to sort her beads using an old egg carton.

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“…worship Him who made the heavens and the earth, the sea and the springs of water…”

Rev. 14:7

the night is far spent

LauraAll Posts

Just yesterday, I was whining to my friends about Romans 13: 12 -14 where Paul pretty much says that we will have sinful lusts, but that we are to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Totally missing the beauty of putting on the Lord Jesus Christ (I mean, wow.), I focused on the inconvenient truth that we can’t escape these temptations.  Honestly, I’ve probably asked the Lord to deliver me from having temptations more often than from giving into them. I realize now that when I do, I’m shamelessly begging for the “easy-way-out,” which ultimately results in a lazy, unrefined Laura with flaccid spiritual muscles who hasn’t enjoyed the privilege of knowing Jesus so intimately by actually putting Him on… but in the moments of temptation, it often seems better just not to have the temptations at all.

Sure enough, that afternoon as I was reading The Excellent Wife (Martha Peace’s fabulous fabulous no-frills all-Scripture book), my eyes bulged as I read very familiar — but freshly alive — words from James 1 that helped to remind me that all of this is about humanity’s intimate rub up against a divine Father who loves us and wants us to be just like Jesus.

“…My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him…”

jingle bells: week 18 prayers

LauraAll Posts

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As for Jingle Bells (Vivienne’s name for her brother or sister, affectionately inspired by her favorite song)…

Our little one is about half a pound now and beginning to look more and more “human”. Pads are forming on the fingertips and toes, and the eyes are looking forward rather than out the sides of the head. The baby’s first bowel movement (“meconium”… a great word) is accumulating within the bowel. Gender-specific organs are being created and fine-tuned. Apparently, this is a big week for the skin, as the vernix protects the strengthening of the epidermis and dermis. {Which is a fantastic lead-in for a product plug that may help your own skin: Clinique’s 7-day Scrub, which is gentle enough to use every day and feels like a refreshing moment at the spa.}

Please pray for Jingle Bells’ physical and spiritual development. Even though I’ve been having to make some big changes by taking it easy, I have a deep sense of peace that the Lord, he is God; it is He who has made us — is making us — and not we ourselves.

I wrote a bit of Scripture on the nursery mirror to remind myself that this baby’s faith in God is so strong; it relies on Him for every beat of our hearts. I’m encouraged by this child who doesn’t worry about a thing, but trusts in God for everything. May this faith only grow and grow…

I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Psalm 22:10

the rolley thing

LauraAll Posts, Marriage

They’re both napping now, but at 8 o’clock this morning, my two favorite people were wrapping up a work-out by using this you-won’t-believe-it-’til-you-try-it rolley thing. (It helps to discover and work out muscle knots.) Tune in next week for pictures of Ryan’s success in running the Philadelphia Distance Run (1/2 marathon). With only a week to go, this rolley thing better do its job well!

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