Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adventures in Self-Control

Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

One of the things I've been praying for this year is for our household to speak words of life, encouragement, respect and love to each other instead of the alternative. Stepping back from just letting life happen to me and seeing how my house runs was quite an eye-opener. All over the place people are ignoring each other and making tasks or entertainment more important than relationship. We are quick to anger, slow to forgive with performance seeming to be the salve to our wounds. I'm hearing belittling instead of encouraging and self is being lifted higher than our connections together. Unacceptable. And I'm definitely included in this disappointing scenario.

Now don't get me wrong everyone has bad days and things that make them quicker to anger.

But this was becoming our norm not the exception. So I've been praying.

And the thing about praying about this kind of change is that it requires action.

You can't pray, "Oh God get me out of this mess."; thinking you have nothing to do with the equation. I heard somewhere that the mother is responsible for creating the atmosphere in her own home. And then I read this:

A wise woman builds her home. But the foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1

Guess I have some responsibility here.

Source: google.com via Faith on Pinterest

So I started by apologizing to my son Owen for fighting with daddy in front of him and for my disrespectful and unloving words. I told him that I want this to change in our house and I want it to change in me. If you want accountability tell your five year old because they will call you on your bad behavior no problem.

With my sons I try to encourage them in their passions and in perseverance for the harder things reminding them of how amazing they are. And with my husband I'm trying to check myself. Should I say this? Am I being sensitive, respectful, encouraging? I know I've got sensitivity blind spots right now so I'm praying that God would show them to me in a way I can handle. Grace. Mercy. Love.

So I'm straightening out my path before me( see proverbs below).

Trying to proactively change the atmosphere in my home with the Lord's help. Spending more time with God because out relationship with him comes peace, security, confidence, and so many more things. But the peace guards your heart out of which comes the wellsprings of life; making it easier to change the course of my words into words that are full of love instead of negativity.

Proverbs 4:20-27
20 My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
21 Don’t lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them,
and healing to their whole body.
23 Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
24 Avoid all perverse talk;
stay away from corrupt speech.
25 Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
27 Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.

Phil 4:7
Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Love this guy!

Proverbs 4:20-27

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I remember when I 1st got pregnant with my son Noah, how everyone assumed that he would be a girl. Not because of any scientific knowledge but based on the fact that I already had a boy.

How could I ever have another one?

These days when I talk about my son Noah attempting to jump off bunk beds, grab hot coffee, and run for exits everywhere I go most people say, "So your 1st son must be calm, right?"


My 1st son tried to climb up onto his changing table and into a window at about 9 months and he is usually full of more drama than I ever know what to do with.

So why is it that time and time again people assume that everything evens out in the end? Is this considered to be positive thinking or polite? Do we not like to believe that things could end up entirely different than you may have pictured? There are so many things that are out of our control. But would it be any better if it were in our control?

Would we want our children to be different?

Would we want our past to be different?

Would we want the outcome of everything turning out the way we'd planned?

I say no.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tomorrow is another day, fresh with no mistakes in it

Psalm 92:4
You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.

I've been in kind of a funk this week. Ups and downs, good news and bad news. Last night was pretty bad as was this morning but there's always second chances.
Last night I had it with my 5 yr son who with renewed interest and vigor was ignoring me and doing whatever he wanted. He was also throwing himself on the ground and crying over his snack choices, tv show choices, seating choices, etc.

Source: google.ca via Cath on Pinterest

It was kinda like that.......over everything. So by nights end when it happened during storytime I went a little ballistic.
It looked nothing like this--->

After my explosion he went to his room and I put myself in the corner. I just sat next to my window frustrated praying and waiting for my anger to subside so I could do what I knew I needed to do which was to apologize. I didn't want to say sorry but you did......laundry list that makes it ok for me to be a jerk. I wanted to truly be sorry so my going in there would have purpose. Finally I calmed down, went in and said sorry and we had a good conversation. Then Owen, Noah and I all got in Owen's bed to read a few stories and go to sleep.
Today I had to get my attitude in check again after not communicating well with my husband. I realized a few things though. I am sick, I stopped caffeine this week, and I can't walk very well on my right foot. Things that don't help my mood although they shouldn't control it either. So today decided that I would take things into my own hands.

Source: flickr.com via Hope on Pinterest

Noah and I went to the Railroad Museum in town since my husband and 5yr old weren't interested. Noah and I climbed in and out of choo-choos and even paid a little extra to ride a train powered by a car engine. As I sat in the train car I began to perk up. I wasn't going past anything all that exciting but as we passed some old historic trains something nostalgic rose up in me. I remembered playing outside as kid and making things out of twigs and leaves and anything I could find. And I love history and my heart almost bursts when I see people pay homage to those that have come before us.

Anyways, I bought my husband some flowers after the train excursion and my 5yr old a Power Ranger on clearance just to say I loved them. I'm glad I have 2nd chances. I'm glad I'm not defined my shortcomings, mistakes and weeks that get stuck in funk.

This is to God, my husband and sons--->

Love, Jess

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Breakfast Cookies

I thought I'd share this recipe since our family has recently made it a staple.

To me they taste like a cross between a good bran muffin and an oatmeal cookie.
What's most important though is that one batch is devoured is just a couple days and that's with mom(me) guarding them from secret eating.

Secret Eating- http://www.homestarrunner.com/marshie.html

The recipe is from the Sneaky Chef. I highly recommend her books. It sounds odd to put purees of vegetables or fruits in your food but I think it can take a lot of stress out of mealtime with toddlers. You still expect them to try at least a small amount of new things( new flavors, new veggies) but you're also getting them the nutrition they need without yelling "EAT IT!". Not that I would ever do that. This recipe does not have sneaky veggies though it is just a healthier "cookie".

This cookie has: Whole grains, calcium, protein, vitamins B & E, iron, potassium, folic acid & fiber

Breakfast Cookies & Milk:

2 cups whole grain cereal flakes(like wheaties or total)
3/4 cup flour mix( see below)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 ricotta cheese
cinnamon sugar for dusting

Flour mix(make ahead recipe):
1 cup all purpose unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ( or flax meal is what I used)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet w/parchment( or spray w/oil).
Using a rolling pin, gently crush the cereal( in a sealed plastic bag) into coarsely crushed flakes. They can also be pulsed in a food processor.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour mix, crushed cereal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, oil, vanilla and ricotta cheese. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mmix just enough to moisten the dry ingredients.
Drop spoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about an inch between cookies. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar(tastes good without as well). Bake about 16 to 18 minutes, or until nicely browned and a bit crispy around the edges.

They should look like this-

And this is what happens when you try to take a picture of cookies-