Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Converting Souls

Moms do a lot of picking up. Toys, food messes, clothes, bodies (I mean live ones, like from school, not dead bodies). It can get monotonous. It can feel useless. Sometimes we say, "What's the point?"

Here's the point!

What a great reminder of the beauty and ministry in the small things. Thanks Mom Squad Blogger, Julie!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Two minutes, twice a day? Seriously?

The ADA came out with some news that now we SHOULD allow our under two-year-olds to have toothpaste that contains fluoride. By "have" they don't mean "allow them to squirt it into their mouths" but rather, take a grain-of-rice-sized amount and rub it on their teeth. It's hard to keep up with what is good one day and bad the next, but one thing I do know... getting my son to brush his teeth for more than 20 seconds is pretty much impossible.

How do you do it? I've heard that setting a timer gives them a tangible time frame to work with. I've heard rewards (like a penny for the piggy bank, not a wad of sugary gum) work. My nightly experience with Liam doesn't necessarily end in me having him in a head-lock, but it's close. Part of me wants to throw in the towel, but then I think of what I would do if one of his little bitty teeth got a cavity. Ugh. Horrible mom! 

If you're fighting the same battle or just are afraid that what you're doing isn't enough to ward off cavities, here are some tips from Dr. Sears. One thing that does keep Liam brushing for a few more seconds is when we break into song. Thanks, Elmo!!

Update: Last night I set the kitchen timer for 1 minute. It worked! We will gradually work up to 2 minutes. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Place to Dwell

I will not start this blog with a note about how long it's been since I last blogged. Oh, wait. Darn it!

One of my first favorite worship songs was "Better is One Day". The opening line, "How lovely is your dwelling place, oh Lord, almighty" just sets the tone. While I loved the song, I can't say I related to the psalm all that much. Yes, of course, one day in the presence of God is worth more than everything else combined, but the dwelling place part... I couldn't quite grab on to that one. The place God resides is lovely... We should make our hearts a place of love and life for Jesus to set up camp... Both statements are true and worthy, but until yesterday I didn't quite connect with that opening line of Psalm 84. Something that Sister Ann Shields on Food for the Journey said before the morning show started resonated with me.

When you look in the mirror, do you see God's dwelling place? You should. I should. I don't do the motivational sticky-note or lipstick on the mirror thing, but if I did, I think that verse would be what I'd want to see at the start of each day.  How could it change your self-esteem, the way you treat your body, the way you talk about yourself, the way you treat others if every morning the first thing you say when looking at your sleepy-eyed, stinky-breath, ratty-haired self is, "How lovely is your dwelling place, God!"

If you truly believe that you are the dwelling place for the creator of the universe, and that Jesus, His son who now lives and reigns with him has a home within you, would you not think a little better of yourself? Of course I don't mean you'd walk around saying, "Hello! You should think I'm pretty awesome."  But it could change the thoughts you have when you get dressed and the pants don't button as easily as they could or the feeling of hopelessness when you look at a magazine cover and wish you could have the clothes or hair or lips that the cover model does. It could change the way you compare yourself to your friends. Or maybe it will just make you like yourself a little bit more.

The closer we are to accepting that truth, the closer we are to treating others (our spouse, our neighbors, strangers, the less fortunate, our children) with that same truth in mind.