No Harm Done

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Superbowl's Coming! The Superbowl's Coming!

And since I care about neither the Patriots (cheaters!) nor the Giants ( won't give big-headed Eli Manning the satisfaction of cheering for him OR his team), I'm going to be excited for the commercials.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Last week there was a baby shower for a woman at church, and I'd been ask to give the devotional. A couple of people have asked for a copy (flattery goes a loooooong way, here at the No Harm Done blog), and so I'm posting it here.

Here is the text of what I said, and a picture I held up for everyone to read. Try to imagine me reading this out loud, while simultaneously trying not to pass out and attempting to hide my shaking hands.

Baby Devotional:
No one’s ever asked me to do a devotional like this before, so as a disclaimer, and in the interest of full disclosure I need to make the following things clear:

1. Know that you are listening to a mother who has given her oldest son a reverse Mohawk while trying to cut his hair.

3. A mother who jumped fully-clothed into a YMCA pool to save her 2 year old, who she thought was drowning, but really wasn’t.

I’m sure you’re beginning to understand why no one’s ever asked me to give a devotional before.

Also, know that all of my children are under 13, and so much of my parenting perspective revolves around younger children. But I’ve always appreciated hearing from mothers who are a few steps ahead on the journey.

God’s View of Motherhood
Throughout the Bible, God exalts motherhood: Sarah, Rachel, Jochebed, Deborah, Ruth, Elizabeth and Mary. Scripture makes it clear that motherhood is a great and wonderful thing.

Over and over the Bible communicates that children are a blessing and a gift:
Psa 127:3-4 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth.

Genesis 4:1, Eve "conceived and bore Cain and said, ‘I have gotten a man from the Lord.’" At the very beginning, Eve knew who was the source of her children. They are gifts from God.

Children," says the Old Testament, "are a heritage from the Lord."

Expectations of Parenthood
We have in our heads, consciously or unconsciously, our own images and expectations of motherhood. We may remember our mothers and plan what we will do similarly or differently from them. We may spend the months of pregnancy planning the nursery, closely observing friends and family members with children, and imagining what our lives will be like when this new life is added.

But no matter how much you read beforehand or plan ahead, you still find yourself home from the hospital with a little one who is completely dependent upon you, thinking, “Now what do I do?” or “Will I ever sleep again?”

Beforehand, you think you’re prepared. You think you have an idea of what parenthood is like. But your imaginings usually have little in common with reality. At times like that, and there will be many of them, a sense of humor will be your greatest asset.

We’ve been working on Brogan’s first grade reading and writing skills this year. I’ve been anxious for him to begin writing sentences. Real sentences. Not sentences that I’ve dictated to him, but ones that he’s generated himself.I remember when my sister and brother were in this stage, and they wrote cute little notes to Mom like “I luv yoo,” with all of the phonetic misspellings. Things of that nature. It was sweet and adorable. I was eagerly awaiting that with Brogan.

A couple of weeks ago, that moment finally arrived, and Brogan was so proud of his first sentence that he had to show it to me:

If Brogan had been my first child, I’m sure I would’ve felt a twinge of disappointment and letdown with this reality that didn’t quite meet my expectations. But at this point in my journey, I just thought, “At least it’s spelled correctly.”

Preparing children for God
Our priority as mothers is to be evangelists in our homes. We need to teach our children God’s law, show them their need for a Savior, and then point them to Jesus as the only one who can save them. We need to teach them the Gospel clearly and pray for God to regenerate their hearts.

When we’re new parents, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and pressured about this calling as mothers. But remember that when God chose Moses and David, He chose shepherds, men who had been prepared for the tough assignment of leading God’s people by leading sheep. God has lent us His children for a short time, so that we may train them for Him. "The job of a mother," as someone has said, "is giving saints to God."

Mothering Changes ME
The most surprising thing about motherhood is how it changes us. I think we never realize how selfish we really are until we have children. Motherhood also changes our perspective of God and His discipline.

When we discipline our children it upsets them and hurts us, but we are training children for God’s kingdom. But training requires discipline.

I’m going to read a short passage from Hebrews 12:


"It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom {his} father does not discipline?

"But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

"Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?

"For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He {disciplines us} for {our} good, so that we may share His holiness.

"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. "

Any father who really loves and delights in his child will discipline him, reprove him, and correct him. Knowing that our discipline comes from a God who loves us and delights in us, should change our response and enable us to feel secure in His love and sovereignty.

In Hebrews 12, God shows us how valuable His discipline is. Of course, I want my children to value discipline as well. Recently, during a trip to WalMart, I had opportunity to bless my children with discipline.

We had run errands in town. The boys behaved very nicely until we got to WalMart. Something about WalMart brings out their inner rascals, and I spent much of the time working on behavior issues instead of getting the shopping done.

Near the end of our trip, I saw Colson sitting in the cart with his head bowed, eyes closed, and hands folded. "How precious," I sighed to myself. When Colson finished praying, he very seriously said, "I was praying that God would make you a nice mommy."

Hopefully Colson was right, and that God is changing me into a nicer mommy. This world is the proving ground for Heaven. While here, God shapes us and changes us through interactions with people and experiences. We have a God-given responsibility to train our children for the Lord, and we are growing along with our children. All the time we’re working, He’s changing us. Through the process of raising children we are blessed with images and insight in the Lord that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This is Not A Political Endorsement Of Any Kind.

But this photo, sent to me by my sister-in-law, really made me laugh!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

In the past, my friend Julie proudly told anyone who'd listen that she only ran when chased. But last September she began training to (willingly) run a marathon.

Julie worked toward her goal with the help of Team in Training in order to raise money for leukemia and lymphoma research. She also ran with the goal of honoring her mother, Phyllis, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004.

Two weeks ago, Julie successfully completed her marathon in Phoenix, four and a half months after beginning her training.

Congratulations, Julie! Your hard work and determination are inspirational!

You overcame your slothfulness and man's natural desire to lay on the couch and eat cheetos by running for a goal larger than yourself, and more important than fleshly desires.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'm Sensing a Theme, Here.....

Or at the very least, a bandwagon.

Thsi video made me laugh.

Enjoy! We'll get back to blogging this week!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pickup Lines For Married People

Okay, I'm posting this video with a bit of a warning. At first, it seems like it's going to be kind of sleazy. But it's not. It's really not.

It's sort of a parody of that which I think many married people can relate. Especially those of us who've moved and had to start all over. :)

Hat tip to
List of the Day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm A Sucker For A Quiz.

I can't say that the results were at all surprising, though. The questions were a bit leading.

Take it yourselves, and let me know where on the spectrum you've fallen.
Your Political Profile:

Overall: 95% Conservative, 5% Liberal

Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Ethics: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Monday, January 14, 2008

Context. It’s All About Context.

Last night, as I was cleaning the kitchen, Braden called in from the living room, “Mom? What’s abstinence?”

I paused, and thought of aaaaaaall the ways I could answer that question. How much information is too much? How do I present this information?

Finally, I just asked, “Um……. where did you hear it?”

He answered, “Oh, well in the book I’m reading (Journey to the Center of the Earth), one character is abstaining from telling his uncle the contents of a letter.”

Whew! OK. The context in which he encountered the word made that question MUCH easier to answer!

It reminded me of a time, nearly 10 years ago, when Braden and I had a similar exchange. He was nearly 3 and asked me, “Mom, what’s a ‘climax?’ ”

Thankfully, before answering, I asked where he’d heard the word.

“Timothy the mouse tells the ringmaster that Dumbo will be the climax at the circus show.” (Braden was deep into a circus infatuation that summer, and watched “Dumbo” nearly every day.)

Again, the context made his question much easier to answer.

I think we just may successfully navigate the upcoming teenage years if I can just remember to ask before I speak!

Monday, January 07, 2008


If you are under the age of 13, and you decide to place a moist piece of bread in the drawer under the oven so that it will mold, please, please, please remember to remove the bread at some point.

Apparently a boy (who shall remain nameless) left his bread under the stove some time around Thanksgiving.

He thinks.

He can't be quite sure.

It was probably near Thanksgiving.

And so this was the lovely sight which greeted me last evening as I opened the drawer.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

On the Plus Side.....

I haven’t felt up to blogging the past week. We had a wonderful Christmas up north, and came home to a family crisis. (E-mail me if you’d like to know more. I won’t go into it here. )

So I’ve spent the past week riding the roller-coaster of emotions:






Whew! I've been busy!

Here's what I've been up to for the past 7 days:

Hours I’ve slept: Not many.
Movies I’ve watched: Four, not including countless episodes of “Full House” that the boys and I have watched.
Hours spent at the gym: 5
Miles run on the treadmill: 9.5
Meals I’ve felt like eating: Ummm….. none
Loaves of bread made: four.
Alcoholic beverages I’ve *thought* about consuming: 12
Alcoholic beverages I’ve actually consumed: Zero. Because I don’t drink. Sigh.....
Pounds I’ve lost due to lack of appetite: 10. Woo-hoo!

Not the best way to diet, perhaps, but I’ll take any silver lining I can get at this point.