Another Blog?

Yes, I am starting another blog for sharing more of homeschool types of things as well as similar family-centered posts.  I envision this blog being more for other topics that are less about my particular family and more about life in general, though the posts may often be prompted by my or my family’s experiences.  If you are interested in the homeschool/family side of things and would like to take a peek at the new blog you can see it here.   http://www.chillinwiththebaggetts.wordpress.com

Thanks for stopping by.

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FRIENDLY PHRASES

One of my children (not naming names) has gotten into a habit of sorts.  This was likely not intentional but it is not beneficial to her and is counterproductive to keeping peace in the family.  This habit grew for a long while, as it was difficult to actually identify and express accurately.  Have you ever thought something was just not right, but it was hard to put your finger on exactly what it was in any given situation, or rather as with us, recurring similar situations that were problematic?  This child has a habit of being less than friendly and perceived as rude, especially by our youngest son who you may know is deaf and is a real handful (if you get my drift).  Facial expressions are very important in communicating to him so although she might not say anything rude, it is there in her face and in the absence of friendly words or tone.  (Remember the saying, “if looks could kill . . . “?)  She recently admitted that she has decided not to show her teeth when she smiles.  (This is another issue; she had problem baby teeth but now her permanent teeth are beautiful – – a delayed reaction to earlier days I guess.) Therefore, it seemed for a while like all the conflicts stemmed from my son’s behavior since she hadn’t said/done anything.  But I began to notice that he would often start off in a playful, friendly manner with this particular sibling and that it would quickly escalate.  My daughter wouldn’t respond to him so he retaliated.  Or her response would always be in the negative, not at all receptive of the younger son’s initiation of play.

Over the course of time I have often intervened by telling her to respond nicely/friendly/playful – – all with little if any progress.  Tonight, I suggested that she think of some words she could use that would be friendly, make a list and practice since it seemed to be so difficult for her to think of anything friendly to say.  She also has FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) which may explain in part the difficulty of connecting her behavior to what others think.  Later, I was thinking that it might be good advice for me as well, as I tend to get so exasperated with these constant episodes and my patience — and friendliness — wears a bit thin.  Since we homeschool, my assignment for the week for all my students as well as myself is  going to be to write out and practice friendly phrases we can be armed with when faced with the temptation is to be less than friendly or rude to our family members. I will start and we can brainstorm some good ones for our particular family. Then we can practice them, perhaps with flash cards or a poster of friendly phrases. We may need to add ASL and copy them a few times over to get the new habit going. Homeschooling, with or without special needs, is a great vehicle to address needs that are particular to one person or family member. Perhaps you would like to think of some friendly phrases of your own, especially if there is someone whom you have a hard time being pleasant to.  Let’s face it — some folks are harder to connect with and some just tend to push our buttons.  Planning ahead may be just the thing to keep conflicts from erupting into arguments.

Eager Anticipation

After my daughter left on her first trip out of the country on a mission trip with a large group from our new church, I found myself waiting with eager anticipation for contact from or about her and the group.  When each one came I was thrilled for the news and soon awaiting the next communication with similar eagerness, but with a peace and absence of worry.  I knew communication would be limited. At one point she mentioned in a brief message she had been feeling sick and I eagerly awaited more news, but knowing I had been told that “no news is good news” and feeling mostly confident that the group leaders would contact me if there was much of a problem, I was not terribly worried.  Because of her battle with Lyme disease (a second daughter to get this disease; see the link in the sidebar to read about the first) I know that something that is a minor annoyance to others has the potential to cause major problems for her.   So, with Facebook at the ready I posted a brief note and was pleasantly delighted in having many folks register not only their well wishes, but their prayers for her and the next communication received said she was feeling better!  Delightedly thankful to God and our prayerful Facebook friends I am now awaiting the news that they have safely landed back in the U.S.

On a different note, I am finding a lot more commentary lately referring to the end times and the coming of our Lord Jesus as so much in the news and the world’s state of affairs seem to have gotten people thinking more along that line.   We sing songs and hear sermons and read Bible verses about the second coming of Jesus Christ, and know it is imminent, yet it also seems hard to grasp at times.  There have been many times and places across the span of decades when it appeared to folks that it must be on the brink, yet here we are all these years later. We know we should wait with eager anticipation for his coming.  Yet we also know that there is work to be done.  Are we putting it off; are we frantically rushing to get it all done (as if company’s coming and you don’t want them to see your house in a mess)?  What is the right/best response or course of action?  When things seem to be falling apart it seems easier to wish for Jesus to come and put a stop to it all, lamenting the state of our surroundings.  Yet, when we remember the purpose of the wait – – so that as many as will would have the opportunity to come to Jesus and be saved from their sins and destruction – – it points to the need to consider what we do during the wait, however long or short it may be.  Do we wait and lament that the longer it takes the more the world goes crazy?  Or do we realize that while we wait, we have something to do, perhaps even to hasten the coming of Jesus, in the work of bringing the lost to him?  Could it be that WE Christians are partly responsible for the things going on in the world around us, and that it CONTINUES for so long because we aren’t as diligent in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we should be?

As this mamma waits on her daughter’s return from her first mission trip, where I know she was way outside her comfort zone, and waits for the trickle of stories and insights from the past several days to unfold, I wait with eager anticipation knowing she has grown in her relationship to God and has helped to spread the Gospel of Christ and perhaps brought his second coming just a little bit closer.

In & Out, Up & Down

“I’m in, right out, right up, right down, right happy all the time . . .” – – so the children’s song goes.  Yet, even as a child I wasn’t so sure about that “happy all the time” part.  Is anyone really happy ALL the time?  Later I learned about biblical, spiritual joy.  JOY:  A deep down happiness that supersedes the surface emotion and that, for a Christian, can really be had because of their deep, personal relationship with Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  And I believe that.

But, it sometimes feels like that joy is buried really deep down, and that the surface emotions are getting the better of me/us.  This past month has had it’s ups and downs for our family and for me personally, and as I reflect on the circumstances and those REAL surface emotions, I realize that the joy that was seemingly buried, was really not so deep after all, and that with a little dusting off it was quickly brought back to the surface.  But that joy needs to be fed, and nurtured, just as any relationship does.  That is what my personal prayer time and Bible study and fellowship with other Christians at Church (such as this great worship service this morning https://vimeo.com/131588047) and one on one does for me.  It nurtures my inner joy so that is never buried too deep, whatever comes my way.  How about you?