Monday, August 19, 2013

Kids Are So Mean...Really?

Over the past four years my daughter has taught me many lessons.  Today was another lesson learned.  You always hear adults saying that children are so mean.  They say things they shouldn't, tease one another, become bullies.  I think we could not be more wrong. Do kids magically come up with prejudices?  An idea of what's "weird"?  Do they instinctively know someone is doing something they should make fun of?  I would say no.  I would say WE are so mean.
Today I took Reagan for her four-year-old physical.  In the waiting room there was a little boy that came over and started playing in the same area she was.  Reagan said, "Hi!  My name is Reagan.  What's your name?"
The little boy didn't say anything.  After a minute he started grunting and making noises, but not talking.  He started gesturing at his shirt.  It was obvious that he was on the Autism spectrum and not able to communicate well through speaking.  Reagan has never been around many kids that have trouble communicating and has no idea what Autism is.  I immediately thought, "Please don't say anything wrong, Reagan.  Please don't freak out."
You know what Reagan did?  She said, "Angry Birds?  I like Angry Birds too!"  She then proceeded to play with him and continued to talk to him until they were called back for their appointment.  When he yelled out or got a little rough she just raised her eyebrows and giggled.  She looked at me to make sure everything was fine and, after a smile from me, kept right on playing.
After they left she never said anything about it.  She didn't make fun of him or say he was weird.  She didn't tease him when he tried to communicate with her.  She just kept treating him like she treats everyone else.
Kids get a bad wrap.  They aren't inherently mean, they are just outspoken.  They say exactly what is on their mind.  You know where I think they get these mean ideas?  From us.  Grown ups are the ones that teach children prejudices.  They see how we react to others.  They hear the things we whisper behind other's backs.  They learn to tease and bully from us.  WE are the problem!
Jesus knew what He was talking about.  When the disciples were concerned with who was the best, this happened.
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:2-4
And again, in chapter 19 of Matthew children were brought to Jesus so He could pray for them and the disciples tried to turn them away.
But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 19:14
Children have such pure hearts.  We are the ones that ruin that.  Be careful of what you are teaching the precious little ones around you.  Be careful of the things you think and say.  We are shaping the way they think.  Reagan definitely reminded me of that today.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Focus

This week I started a workout program called "Focus T 25."  The premise is that you focus on nothing but working out for 25 minutes a day.  All of the programs last 25 minutes and have a specific focus.  For example, today's workout focused on the core.  Let me just say, ouch.  Core work after a c-section does NOT come easy.  For the past four days I've managed to find the 25 minutes to dedicate to becoming more healthy in between feeding Harrison, changing his diapers, helping Reagan with something, preparing meals, etc, etc.  You want to know something I had not found time for, even once, in the past four days?

Reading my Bible.

Ouch.  I admit that I have a problem with studying my Bible on a regular basis.  After our gospel meeting in July I was determined to get back in the habit, but I have not.

That changes today.

I realized earlier tonight that I have found 25 minutes each of the past four days to work on my physical health.  Surely I can find 25 minutes to work on my spiritual health.  Which is of more importance?  Obviously my spiritual health.  I say God is my number one priority.  I need to act like it.  Tonight, after everyone else was asleep, I turned off facebook, the tv, and my phone, and spent 25 minutes focused on reading the Word of God.  I need to remember my goal: Heaven.


Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Thank You, God.

I have been thanking God all night.  Things could have been really bad, but thankfully, they are not.
Justin's family got together today to swim and have a cookout.  We were having a great time.  Reagan and I were swimming in the pool with several others.  She wanted to go down the slide again so I was waiting at the bottom to catch her.  She's still not very fond of going all the way under water.  As she climbed the ladder I thought, "It's kind of slick.  Maybe I should be behind her just in case."  She climbed to the top and then decided she was too scared to go.  This was the second time she'd done this so I told her she had to either slide or climb back down and she wouldn't be going up it again.  As she was trying to climb down she slipped and fell.  I couldn't see it happen because the ladder part is solid and I was down in the pool.  But I heard a sickening thud and then her screaming.  I swam to the side as fast as I could and kept slipping trying to climb out.  I was yelling that I was coming as others were running to her side.  I wasn't sure how far she had fallen, but it was at least a few feet.  When I got to her I expected to see her busted up pretty badly and bleeding a lot or with broken bones.  Thankfully, SO THANKFULLY, that's not what I found.  She was hurting alright, but she only had a small scratch on her ankle, a scrape on her head, a knot starting to form on the back of her head, and said the whole side she landed on and her head were hurting.  She complained later of her hand hurting where we figure she tried to catch herself and it looks like she may have hit her back as well.  The scrape on her head seems to be the only thing still bothering her.  I just sat there on the ground holding her.  I felt so guilty for not standing behind her or having someone else do it while I caught her.  I know I can't blame myself, and kids get hurt all the time, but it was so scary.  I am so, SO thankful to God that she wasn't injured badly.  I was also thankful there was a nurse there to help us check her out, give her Motrin, get ice on her head, and assure us she was fine.  So, again, thank you, God.

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Um, What is This Called Again?

I'm hearing a lot of this question these days.  I mentioned in the previous post that we are eating much healthier now.  As a result, we are trying lots of new foods cooked in lots of new ways.  A lot of things Justin and I have never had before and Reagan has never even heard of.  Tonight was one of those nights.  We had Tilapia with Kale and Tomato.  None of us had ever tried kale before.  Listening to Reagan try to pronounce tilapia was fun.  In the end we just called it fish. :)  We all really enjoyed it.  I loved it, in fact.  Even Reagan was eating it.  I'm not sure if she ate all her kale because I had to leave to go to a teachers work night at church, but she had eaten all her tilapia so I consider it a victory.  It will definitely be put into regular rotation.  It is one of the recipes from the Focus T25 nutrition guide.  There have actually been a lot of good ones in there.  It was super easy and quick to fix, always a bonus for a busy mommy (and what mommy isn't busy)!

Here's the recipe for one serving:
8 oz raw tilapia
1 pinch sea salt (optional)
Ground black pepper (to taste, optional)
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 cups chopped fresh kale
3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes, with juice (I actually found organic, no salt added canned tomatoes at Walmart!)

Season both sides of tilapia with salt and pepper if desired; set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic and kale; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes (with juice); bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.
Place tilapia fillet on top of kale mixture; cook, covered, for 1 minute.  Gently turn tilapia over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tilapia is cooked through and flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Remove from heat and serve.

Now I'm hungry again...