When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. Isaiah 43:2

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Unintended Haircut

So, I have been completely exhausted the last few days. Wyatt is sick with some sort of whining virus--no really, whatever the bug is, it has not only given him a fever, but the uncanny ability to whine ALL DAY LONG--oh and sometimes just flat out scream at me for absolutely no reason other than I don't understand his toddler language. The only thing that has ever calmed him is a good ol' bottle of soymilk, but not now!!!! NOTHING soothes other than his "lovey" blankie and Curious George--over and over Curious George--the movie, not the show...and his way of telling me? Stomping up and down and making monkey noises. Ah yes, OF COURSE I was supposed to understand that the first time he did it!??
OK, so my point...today, I fell asleep without meaning to while taking a moment to sit on the couch. Caden and Wyatt were sleeping and Kya was quietly working away with her "arts and crafts" because "Wyatt is sleeping mommy so I can GLUE!!!"
Suddenly Kya's sweet voice was whispering in my ear, "I cut my hair mommy. Look and see." My body shook awake in shock as I looked at the ground, seeing several of my daughter's long golden locks laying there all limp and sad...oh dear oh dear oh dear...

So, I told her why we don't cut our own hair and why only adults can cut hair (this was not well reasoned considering my frustration at both being awakened and seeing my darling girl with what could only be described as a mess on her head.) And I was actually pretty calm about it all considering. I took a deep breath as I cut off a whole lot of hair to make it all even. My heart beat fast and I actually got tears in my eyes...ah, such depth--crying over hair.

But I got myself together and took her in the kitchen where I gave her a bob just above her chin. It's a good thing she's cute and can pull of this look!!!! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Complaining is a "home destroyer"

I read this today and it really touched me. I know in our home, the more I am complaining, the less happy everyone is. I hope it helps some of you too!

Part 4

Philippians 2:14-15, "Do all things without murmurings and disputing: 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."


Psalm 106:25, "They murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord." Read the story in Numbers chapter 14, especially verses 2 and 27.

Where were the people complaining? In their tents, which were their dwelling places in the wilderness. Where does most complaining happen? In the home. But what does it do? It tears down the home, whether we complain about our circumstances, the work we have to do, or our husband. Not only do the walls of our home hear it, but our children hear it--and God hears it!

The children of Israel murmured and complained against Moses and Aaron, but when God heard it, He said they were complaining against Him. God says in Numbers 14:27, "How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against Me? I have heard the murmuring of the children of Israel, which they murmur against Me." Stop press! Help! When we murmur and complain about all our problems, God hears it as murmuring against Him.

The ten spies had returned from spying out the land of Canaan. It was a land flowing with milk and honey, but they complained about the fortified cities and the giants they would have to fight. It looked impossible! Even after all the miracles of coming out of Egypt and provision in the wilderness, they did not believe God could help them. They blamed Moses for bringing them out of Egypt. They complained that all their children would be taken as salves.

What happened? God told them, "Get back into the wilderness..." He told them that they would all die in the wilderness and their children who they complained would be taken as slaves would be the ones who would go into this magnificent land. Where do we end up when we complain? In the wilderness.

Wives and mothers,
we take our families into
a wilderness journey
when we complain!

The root of complaining is unbelief. "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" The Israelites cried out in unbelief. (Psalm 78:19). "How could we ever have another baby?" you cry out in unbelief. "We can hardly make ends meet now!" "How can we afford to educate our children?" "How can I put up with this little house any longer? I need more room" And so it goes on.

Here's a good habit to start. Change every sigh into a Hallelujah! Every time you are tempted to complain, turn your heart to the Lord and acknowledge His power and His presence. "Thank you, Lord, I trust you. I know that you are ordering my footsteps. I thank you that you are with me in these circumstances." It will take time to establish this new habit, but keep at it.

It doesn't mean that your circumstances will necessarily change, but you will change. God promises in Isaiah 43:1-3 that when you pass through the waters, that "I will be with you. They will not overflow you." God says that when you go through the fire that "You will not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon you."

What is our confession? "I'm going through a fiery trial. I don't know how I can make it." Or, "Thank you, Lord, no matter how hot it gets, I will not be burned because you are with me!"

I remember when complaining as a young child that my mother would immediately direct me to think about those who were poor and suffering in the world and didn't have all the blessings that I had. It's not a bad idea. There are millions in the world who live in abject poverty, without running water, adequate food, shelter or any of the basic amenities of life which we are used to. My husband, who has ministered in the slums of India and many third world countries, often says, "Just to live in a tent in America makes you a millionaire!"

I think about the Karen people, the displaced people of Burma who have been fighting a genocidal war against them from the Burmese government for over 50 years. We complain about keeping up with homeschooling. The Karen try to school their children while they live in hiding. We complain when things are not just as we want them when we give birth. Many Karen mothers give birth while running from the enemy. No time for recovery. No time for relaxing with their baby. No gifts. No excited calls from family and friends.

The wife the founder of the "Free Burma Rangers" shares about the love, forgiveness and generosity of the Karen, even in the midst of suffering and hardship. She says, "The gifts they gave were of themselves--their time, energy and love. In my experience in the West it is easier to go to the store and buy a trinket as a gift. For this reason I have chosen to raise my children in this war. The influence of these people is something I have never experienced anywhere else."



"Oh Lord, I find it so easy to complain. Please give me strength to create a new habit of praising instead of protesting, gladdening others instead of grumbling and being content instead of complaining. Amen."


"Not for the lip of praise alone,
Nor e'en the praising heart
I ask, but for a life made up
Of praise in every part!"

Horatius Bonar

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Decorating the outside tree

This morning, it was so coooooold. So we put some garland on our pine tree and then ran back in the house...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tree Trimming with Toddlers

Today we got out the ol' artificial tree (donated by fabulous friend Aimee) and trimmed it without daddy. :( Daddy is busy runnin', whistling and waving his arms around this time of year as high school basketball season is underway. (As most of you know, he's a referee.) So we are often here at the Haner home fending for ourselves--some more than others.
I had to smile at the way the kids' eyes lit up when I opened that big tub of garlands, ornaments, santa hats, snowmen and angels. Seeing Christmas through Kya's eyes especially has given me the renewed energy (WHICH I DESPERATELY NEEDED TODAY) to face Christmas head on and with joy and fervor.

As a sidenote, my energy issue stems from one small person who has taken to being awake every night from 2:30 to 4:30 AM (Caden), and my choice to continue abstaining from coffee to avoid any digestive disturbances in said small person. Diet Pepsi just aint cuttin' it. (Where does the apostrophe go in the word "aint?")
OK, so back to the tree...we got it out, decorated it, and marveled at it...together!! Did you know that small children do not understand the need for decorative balance? If you visit our home and see our tree, you will notice large clusters of angels and other ornaments on just two or three very droopy branches...I tried to explain, "Kya, some of these other branches might be lonely and need some angels and snowmen to keep them company..." This creative explanation fell on deaf ears...so be it, the year of the lopsided Christmas tree...

You'll also note Wyatt spent much of the "decorating time" in the Xmas tree box.
But it's done! We have our decorations up, the wreath on the door, the Grinch and Max atop the entertainment center, and all is well...to tell the kids about Santa or not...now that is the question...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to not sound so ANNOYED with your kids...

Well, I haven't actually figured that out yet, but I'm going to try...

So, I have kind of been listening to myself lately as though I were a third party hovering above the chaos of my home and I found myself to sound dreadful! I sound constantly annoyed and impatient when I talk to my toddlers. "Did you seriously just write on the floor with a purple Sharpie?" "WHAT are you thinking cleaning the mirror with bar soap?!" "WHY do you feel the need to push and scream at your brother all the time?" "WHY oh WHY did you spill the poopy fish water all over the counter? (during this last comment, I was thanking God every minute the little fish didn't spill out with it!")...

Hence (isn't that a fabulous word?) I am going to try for the next 24 hours (and perhaps longer if it goes well) not to raise my voice or be "annoyed sounding" (or sarcastic--which is completely lost on toddlers and though witty and amusing to my husband and me, terribly unappreciated by the younger set).

I'll let you know how it goes. My poor kids need my voice to be music to their ears not a harsh tearing down of their little self esteems...Pray for me.

In the Kitchen today

YESTERDAY's GOALS: Accomplished all but one. I did not get to my thank you notes, so today, I will do four thank you notes. My sweet hubby accomplished the laundry goal FOR me while I was at Christmas bunco, which was SO fun!

Inspired by the beautiful home I visited last night, I am doing a little redecorating today. I am starting in the kitchen with the following goals:

1. Declutter all surfaces.

2. Thoroughly clean all surfaces and floors.

3. Make sure all dishes are clean and put away.

4. Clean crock pot.

5. Start dinner around 4:00 and make a delicious dessert.

6. Write four thank yous.

7. Start secret sister gift and make present for Ilona's birthday.

8. Touch up paint in the kitchen and add one decorative element.

I received a special gift from my MOPS secret sister last night--a new mug and some Lipton Mango green tea. YUMMY! I am starting the day right with a little caffeine (only 12 mg) and a delicious warm beverage to help my demeanor be calm and loving (we'll see how long that lasts! Everyone is still sleeping; LOL!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Goals for the Day

1. Clean Kya's room.
2. Do one complete load of laundry including putting away (this is hard for me).
3. Make cookies for daddy.
4. Write and send two thank you cards.
5. Spend fifteen minutes of learning time with Kya individually.
6. Spend fifteen minutes reading Wyatt a book by himself.