Monday, December 31, 2007

New

I like new things. New shoes, new clothes, new dishes, new glassware, new mascara, new travel places, new pictures, babies, new friends. New things are, fresh and recent.

Now, a new year is just another day to me….but since everyone talks about it like it’s a new start, I’ll join in.

I dearly love the third chapter of Lamentations---it’s about things being hard and then being made new. I especially like verses 22 and 23.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Wow! Every morning! Not every year.

I don’t know about you, but I need new mercies most every morning. I’m sure glad I don’t have to wait for another year to be able to begin again! Aren’t you?

Expect new things this year…..every day!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

No Resolutions for Me


I never make New Year’s resolutions anymore. I have before. They just haven’t worked. Being determined or resolute doesn’t necessarily get the job done for me.

I have to have a plan, a daily plan. For me, it’s what works.

My 2008 Plans

*work-out plan (The Cardio-Free Diet by Jim Karas – the workout plan) with an accountability partner (every other day). I’ve been very lax in the work-out area. This plan is based on the idea of weights or flex-loops rather than cardio, which appeals to me. Dirk has been faithful to the plan for several months now. Be sure to ask me how I’m doing!

*keep using the Weight Watchers CORE plan as an eating lifestyle (I easily lost 20 lbs on this plan last year)

*a one-year Bible reading plan (this year I think I’ll use the youversion.com plan with The Message) and My Utmost for His Highest


Do you make resolutions or plans? Please share them! How do you follow-through?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Final Thoughts (for now) on Mary

I'm B-aaaack


Our Christmas was nice, as usual. We have a wonderful, loving family. We are very blessed! We did miss Jon, Erin’s husband who is in Iraq.

Dirk got me Photoshop Elements 6. Anyone have any tips to share?

Our three sons, and Dirk and I all served as greeters, cart drivers, and ushers for each one of the nine Lifechurch experiences this weekend! Whew! (but lots of fun). We got to see some people we haven’t seen in a long time, since they attend different services than we do. It was so nice to see them and hug them. It reminded me of what heaven may be like!

We are taking care of our granddaughters, Lily (3) and Sadie (1), while their parents are on a short get-away. Think I’ll be worn out by Saturday?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Think about it. Mary was a home educator! I’m sure she was home educated herself. And guess what? It didn’t ruin her! She still carried out the calling on her life.

As one of the main influences in Jesus’ life, Mary fed her willing spirit, her ears to hear her Father, and many other qualities into her first son’s life.

And just think about how much she gained from having Jesus as a son! Don’t you know he taught her things she had never even thought of before He came into her life?

Just last week, one of my children suggested maybe I was being a little judgmental about something. She was right, and I apologized. I remember another occasion when Erin, at six-years-old, asked me why I was watching soap operas. “Mom, is that good?” Hmmm….No! I had gotten into a bad habit during college and was still, now as a mom, leaving the TV on during the day, badly influencing my 6 year old daughter. The TV went off for good, for soap operas.

How much are we allowing our children to teach us? You see, I think it’s a two-way street. I know I’ve learned many things from my children. I’ll share about more of those sometime.

Besides long-suffering ;-), What are your kids teaching you?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Additional Thoughts on Mary

Mary wasn’t the only influence on Jesus. He had an earthly father, Joseph. Mary and Joseph were a team. I believe they worked together to give Jesus everything he needed to be a well rounded individual, able to later influence many in His earthly life.

Sometimes, as moms, I think we may think our husbands are harsh with our young children. Maybe we think they are too firm.

But, I believe God wants our children to have the best of both his natures, his wholeness: mothering AND fathering. There is a complete difference, yet a completeness. And I think we need to learn to celebrate it.

I know I haven’t always thought Dirk handled things the right way….after all, he handled our children as a father, something I'll never fully understand.

Are you able to celebrate the way your husband fathers your children?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More Thoughts on Mary

Do you think Mary ever said unkind or harsh words to Jesus? Do you think she was perfect, like her son Jesus?

I don’t. There is nothing in scripture that gives us any reason to believe she was above sin. She was a mom, just like you and me.

Do you think she had hard days? Do you think she ever had to apologize for losing her patience or her temper?

I do. I think she had to do all the same things we do. She experienced the same frustrations, disappointments, and concerns.

And I think she also had daily, constant prayer and interaction with her heavenly Father (weird to think he was also right in front of her!).

The same strength, guidance, and grace she relied on is still available to us today! We only have to connect, to ask, to receive.

Are you connecting daily? It is your LIFE!


… and the Word was God John 1:1
For the LORD is your life…Deut. 30:20

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thoughts on Mary


I’ve been thinking about Mary, mother of Jesus this week.

Can you imagine the thoughts and feelings she must have experienced finding out that she was going to carry the long awaited Messiah? I’m sure she experienced fear and uncertainty along with morning sickness and all the accompanying child-bearing issues.

But that’s not what I’ve been thinking most about. I’ve been thinking about why she was chosen, why she was found worthy.

You see, we know she was very young, so she had not yet been tested in long-term relationships, or maybe even much temptation. In her short life, she probably hadn’t been through enough to show how she would handle adversity. She didn’t excel at the levels we may consider a “mature”, godly person to have. We sure wouldn’t have chosen her.

But God did. And I think he chose her especially for one reason.

She was willing. Willing to follow the calling on her life. Willing to obey. Willing to do whatever her Father asked of her. She was a servant. She knew the voice of her Master.

Are we willing? Do we recognize His voice enough to be able to listen? And are we even listening?

Oh, may our hearts be willing and may our spiritual ears be open to the gentle voice of our Master! That’s really all he asks of us.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lessons From My Husband (5 of 5)


Live your life “in the open”

This is something I’ve heard Dirk say very often to our two teen sons. He has encouraged them to be open with their lives, to not hide anything, to live life “in the open”.

Wow! I wished I had learned this much earlier in my life. I don’t know why I thought I had to put up a good front, and make everyone think everything was “just perfect” with me. I didn’t even know how to be real. Now I am learning.

When we are willing to have no secrets and confess our sins to others, it will not only impact our own hearts and lives, it will impact others as well.

I don’t want to hide---I want to live freely!


Here’s a story of redemption that my friend, Cindy Beall is sharing on her blog. I hope it will encourage you to “live your life in the open”.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Another Lesson From My Husband

"Bring in the Boundaries"


I remember a time, maybe even more than one, when Dirk would come in from a hard day at work and find chaos was reigning and we were ALL sitting in the floor crying---even me! It had been a hard day for mom and I wouldn’t be doing too well emotionally. Identify?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lessons From My Husband (4 of 5)

Consider the Source


This is a little bit of a touchy topic, because it does require a measure of judgment. But, it is something that has saved me many times from believing a lie.

Dirk has taught me to “consider the source”.

Have you ever shared your thoughts, ideas, and your heart with a person who just slams you? Maybe it’s a family member who just doesn’t “get” your passion for Christ. Or maybe someone is questioning your decision to home educate your children. It might be your well-intentioned mother-in-law who suggests your child’s cold is because you didn’t have him wear a hat last time it was chilly outside. (That happened to you too?)

The “come-backs” from some of these encounters often left me feeling very devastated, and quite angry.

As I would vent to Dirk, he suggested, “Consider the source”.

I began trying it out. When someone would challenge my thoughts or actions, I began considering their point of view. Were they even Christ followers? If not, they didn’t have the basis of belief that I did. Sometimes, the other person was just a rude, self-centered person. I had to consider the heart and motive of that person’s reply. Then, I would just have to let that person’s words go, not allowing them to take root in my heart. Sometimes, the person had no idea they were hurting me.

Experiences and years have taught me that the real source behind my perception of another person’s response was satan himself. He can even take a perfectly innocent statement and twist it so that we become offended. He is the one wanting me to believe the lies, wanting me to be devastated, wanting me to see myself as a failure.

Today, I can say with confidence, this is not an area I struggle with much. If you struggle in this area, I hope you’ll learn to “consider the source”.

Proverbs 26:2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lessons From My Husband (3 of 5)


We finally have our internet back up and running again. Thanks for your patience!!


Lighten Up

I distinctly remember Dirk talking to me one day (when we were young and had a house full of kiddos) and gently saying, “Robin, you’re about to kill us all here. You’re going to have to lighten up.”

As a Godly, sweet, respectful wife, (yeah, right…) my response was, “What?? What are you talking about? I don’t even know what that means!”

He kindly said, “Well, you need to figure it out”.

Humph! I needed to change?? What about everyone else? If they would just do things my way, everything would go smoothly around here. I’m not the one with the problem!

I wrestled for several months with this issue---lighten up. Just what did that mean?

As I searched for an answer, I began to see that my standards and requirements for “proper” behavior, cleanliness, and attitudes had become “my standards”. They sure weren’t God’s standards.

He has grace. I didn’t. His requirements are tempered with love. My requirements weren’t. My expectations were high and lofty. He meets us where we are.

As I began to offer myself some grace, I also began to give it away to my family. I relaxed. I “lightened up”.

I still have quite a driven and resolute personality, but I know I’ve learned to be more flexible over the years. I still want to get better. I desire God’s grace.

Romans 5:21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Electricity....

Electricity is important! We were without yesterday!! We made it fine with our woodburning stove to keep us warm, and it did a great job of warming soup, too. Kody seranaded us with his guitar by left-over wedding candle light. Dirk's dad came down to keep warm, and even when the power came back on at 7:30 pm, he stayed until 11 doing a jig-saw puzzle. It was a good time. I think Dirk LOVED it! (What is it with men and roughing it??)

Here's the REALLY bad part....we still don't have any internet!! So, I'm posting this from church (we serve at Wednesday night Switch).

Keep checking back...surely we'll be on again soon....I still have more to come from lessons I've learned from Dirk, and I want you to share in them too!

How about you? Did you loose power or internet?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lessons From My Husband (2 of 5)

Getting on their level

Your 4 year old is being extra cranky. You’ve had your fill. He challenges your correction one more time, arguing with you and you’re losing your patience. You begin to argue with him, your voice changing to a high-pitched-not-quite-scream.

Guess what? You have sunk to the level of your 4-year-old.

I used to do this quite often, but I’ve gotten better, learning to recognize and rise above the situation.



Now, I only sink to the level of a 13 year old. = )

Here are some things Dirk helped me to remember:

1. I am the mom. My child is a child (even if they are 17)
2. It is my responsibility to train and teach them
3. Learn to quickly recognize the signs of going down this path
4. Respond rather than react—stay calm
5. Try answering, “There will be no more discussion about this”.
6. Be willing to spend the necessary time teaching a correct response to your child
7. Follow-through with consequences

Soon, you should begin to see positive changes in your child----AND in you!

Lessons From My Husband (1 of 5)


I have known Dirk Meadows since I was 15 years old, and have been married to him for 33 years. He is not only the father of our seven children, and Grandpa to our 6 grandchildren, he is my best friend!

He is the greatest husband on earth! I know many of you will disagree with me, but I can say this: He’s the greatest husband for me! He’s not perfect, but he’s perfect for me.

This week I will share with you some of the wisdom this man has passed on to me. As a pro-active father, he has objectively offered insight when I’ve been drowning in a sea of “I don’t know what to do”. Some of these things I’ve learned really well. Some of them, I’m still working on. They are all things that have radically changed my previous way of thinking. I hope you’ll be challenged and changed as well.


*Getting on their level
*Lighten up
*Consider the source
*Tighten the boundaries

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Ice Storm 2007


....or December Disturbance 2007 or Siberian Sunday 2007. Isn't it a hoot how our Oklahoma weather "events" are named?

So, what did your family do today besides watching the televised reports of salt trucks, the new salt barn, the grass with sleet, the trees with sleet, the roads with sleet, and the school, church and daycare closings?


We had a house-full here (eleven plus our usual four) for Chicken Enchilada Soup and games and a puzzle. It was a lively, rowdy time, but full of love and laughter.


The Meadows' Lifeschool does not close for inclement weather. However, if our electricity goes out (it's been flickering a lot), we may have a change of plans.


What will you do with your kids while we're iced in?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Friday Finds

Check out some good blog series written this week:


Cindy Beall A Life of Generosity (good thoughts--read the whole series)

Anna Meadows Little Things I’ve Learned Living in a Big Family (written from a home educated graduate’s perspective)

Great posts to check out:


Scott Williams: Church Diversity (are we being intentional when we teach our kids about diversity, or are we teaching them anything at all?

Keri Austin : Cars with Overbearing Christmas Wreaths (A great perspective on waiting)


Crossroads Movement
– my new blogging friend, JW, from the Washington DC area. Some great words on “marks” – (you’ve just got to read it)

------------------------------------------------------

We had Black Beans and Brown Rice for dinner last night! Yum! Check out this healthy, high-fiber recipe:

A few modifications: I used a pound of dry beans and simmered them for several hours. (easy, if you’re home.) I always rinse the canned ones---the finished appearance is better. Try one can for each two servings. Add water to desired consistency.

I didn’t measure the vegetables---just put them in the food processor and chopped them up and added them to the beans about an hour before we ate. The peppers were not jalapenos!

I didn’t add any oil or red pepper.

I added a package of turkey kielbasa, sliced, in place of the ham.

We ate this over brown rice, which I cooked and served separately. Add hot sauce as desired. Even my teen boys and three grands that were here liked it.

Next week: Things I learned from my husband

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Choices (Part 2 of 2)




Encourage Yourself

It’s another overwhelming day. Everything has gone wrong. The kids are especially loud and disobedient, they have left everything they played with all over the house, and the rice you left simmering on the stove has now burned to a nice black crisp on the bottom of the pan. No one has called to check on you today and you’re feeling more than a little bit lonely and forgotten.

OK – maybe the scenario for you isn’t the same, but we’ve all had days when it seems like no one even cares. No one is there to lift you up and encourage you.

Well, guess what? The same thing happened to David in I Samuel 30. David and his men had been away from home, battling the enemy. While they were gone, the Amalekites raided and burned their city and took away the women and children. When David and his men returned, they found their homes destroyed and their families gone, (including David’s wives). They were distraught! And in their distress, David’s own men started talking of stoning him! Now, that’s what I call having a really bad day. It trumps dirty diapers and cranky kids any day!

The story goes on in the very next verse to tell us David’s response: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. (KJV) Wow! His wife couldn’t encourage him; his friends had rejected him. Guess who was left? Only himself! He had to encourage himself!

Once again, it’s all about making a choice. Do we drown in a sea of our own self-pity, or do we choose to pull ourselves up and be encouraged? Sometimes, you are all you have. With God, I’d say that’s MORE than enough!

Are you going through something difficult? Do you need to encourage yourself?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Choices (Part 1 of 2)


Determine in Your Heart


The year was 1990. I was pregnant (again….) and Katie, our fifth child, was nearing 4 years old. I remember sitting on the porch swing, praying (agonizing, really) and reading my Bible. And I distinctly remember making a choice. Right then, I determined in my heart that I was going to enjoy this pregnancy. I even took that thought a step further. I was determined to enjoy this child.


I can be quite a self-willed, self-directed person. And I’m not condoning that sort of behavior. In fact, I believe the Holy Spirit is the one who empowers us to do this, if we allow him. I am suggesting that sometimes we have to make a decision in our hearts to force ourselves to choose the right thing, or the right way. It almost has to be a gritting-your-teeth, digging-in-your-feet determination. And sometimes, that determination or choice has to be made over and over again, many times in the same day or even the same hour!


Whatever you may be struggling with today, consider making a determination in your heart to choose God’s very best for you. Don’t allow your old thought patterns to pull and weigh you down. Make the choice to reach out and accept the grace and power that is there for us all. Determine in your heart that you’ll make the best of any situation you’re in.


Oh, and on the pregnancy, it wasn’t such a bad one, but the baby that was born, Kody (now 15 years old) was an extremely difficult baby. It’s sure a good thing I determined to enjoy him! Even through the difficulties of an extra-cranky baby, I often reflected back to that choice I made on the porch swing.


I really did enjoy him. And I still do!

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Student Becomes the Teacher

This week I e-mailed a blog I was working on to my daughter. What I was really looking for was confirmation I was making sense, heading in the right direction. What I received back were some red marks, noting some grammatical errors and a few suggestions to make my writing more complete and concise.

I tell you this, not so you can feel sorry for me, or think that she was being rude. Or even to try to figure out which article received help.

I tell you this to encourage you.

This same child I worked with on spelling, grammar, writing, life skills, emotional and spiritual direction, and every other attribute a mother tries to convey to her daughter has now become my teacher! She has surpassed my skills as a writing teacher, praise God! Her gift of writing has not been hindered by my lack, ineptness or insecurities, for she has a Teacher who has no lack.

I pray she surpasses me in every area of her life!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Perfect Christmas


I’m sure by now you’ve got your advent calendar out, your lesson plans for teaching generosity and the timeline of the Magi’s travels all worked out. Did you remember the coloring sheets of the maps of travel to Bethlehem and the family lineage of Mary and Joseph memorized so you can share it with your kids? Oh, and you handmade your wreath, already addressed your Christmas cards and remembered to get enough of the same color wrapping paper so your gifts can all be neatly wrapped like the magazine picture, and you found the recipe for Sugar(free) Plums and remembered to get all the ingredients while you were at the store. Right? Right?

OK, so maybe I’m overdoing it a bit. But, admit it. You often feel guilty if you don’t try to do something new and exciting for Christmas. You want your family to have some great memories.

This can be a very hectic time of year with many extra activities, the making or purchasing of gifts; there are additional meal preparations, additional guests, additional services at church, etc, etc.

I remember some of the most spiritual, memorable Christmases we had when the children were young were when we made life easier by relaxing, and keeping things very simple by:

*Lessening the academic load for December
*Limiting the amount of time we were away from home to the “musts”.
*Spending more time reading, listening to music, doing puzzles, playing games, and just being together
*Not fretting about the decorations, the food, the gifts

The best memory your children can have of Christmas is not the gifts, or the creative things you made or baked or taught them. It’s them knowing that you love them; that they come before any Christmas trappings or holiday concerns you may have. This year, keep it simple. You’ll like yourself better, and so will your family!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Soup Search

El Chico has the best chicken tortilla soup around. It’s our favorite rainy-day place to eat out. The problem is, they are no longer located in Edmond (the closest one is May and Britton) so Dirk and I have been on a quest to find a substitute. And we haven’t found anything that even comes close!

El Chico’s soup is a savory, thick, red enchilada-type sauce poured over grilled chicken breast, shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, tortilla strips, and cubed fresh avocado. Yum! It warms you all over!

We’ve recently tried the tortilla or enchilada soups at:

On the Border – it was ho-hum and the service was really lousy
Planet Subs – a good bowl of soup, but missing the tortilla chips and salsa
Los Arcos – a local Edmond restaurant. The bowl was very pricey -$9.00!! (eek!) and it wasn’t even close to that good!

So, I ask you. Do you have a suggestion for a place to get a good bowl of chicken tortilla soup?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not Enough to Go Around



By the end of the day, you’re a frazzled mess. Today your only “alone” time was in the bathroom and that was with a child or two beating on the door and crying for you. Everyone needs you at the same time (even your husband, bless his heart). You wish you had a clone, or at least a full-time housekeeper, chauffer, and teacher! There’s just not enough of you to go around. And guess what? You’re right! And it’s ok! Really! In fact, it’s a good thing.

It gives you opportunity to teach your children


*that some needs are greater than others. (A baby, a sick or special needs child)
*patience (waiting without complaining)
*independence (learning to play by themselves, if necessary)
*leadership (older children can take care of many needs of younger children)
*life isn’t fair (and neither are moms and dads) ; )

So, take a deep breath. Learn to rest in the truth that as moms we’ll never be enough to everyone.

And go lock yourself in the bathroom for five minutes again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You may be a home educator if.......

*You teach your children to love God
*You teach your children obedience
*You teach your children to love and respect others
*You teach your children manners
*You teach your children how to do chores
*You teach your children to give
*You read to your child
*Building family relationships is very important to you

You are a home educator if you are intentional in your efforts to “teach a child in the way he should go”.

Somehow, we get caught up in thinking it's all about academics.

Are you a home educator?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Are You Raising a Leader?

Your two-year old daughter is telling you what to do--again. Your four-year old son has a better idea on getting the job done. They are bossy, opinionated, argumentative and exasperating. Welcome to the world of roller-coaster parenting.

You are raising a strong-willed child. You are raising a leader.

Those very behaviors you never imagined your child exhibiting are the characteristics and personality traits that God placed in him. These are the virtues, that when directed and challenged, shaped and molded, will someday make him into a strong leader.

Recognize the tendencies of rebellion and rethink them as strengths of character that need redirection. See the challenge your child gives you to your way of doing things as a God-given gift of leadership and train it with the truth of God’s Word.

God gave you that particular child because He knew you could direct him into the person God called him to be.

In the meantime, you may discover some very revealing things about your self. Enjoy the ride!

Have any future leaders in your home?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lessons from.....

A Compost Pile


I keep a compost pile. It’s where my fruit and vegetable scraps go, along with grass clippings and many oak leaves. It sits on the north end of our house and heats up to a great soil. And each spring I ask my boys to take several loads of rich, loamy compost to our vegetable garden.

This year, we had a vine begin growing from an almost finished compost heap. It was lush, with dark green leaves. Curious person that I am, I allowed it to grow. And grow. And grow. It took over most of the yard at the end of the house. And it began producing many yellow flowers, which turned into beautiful butternut squash. Thirteen of them!

This was the best growing vegetable we had all year. And I didn’t have to do anything to it but keep it supplied with water. It never had any insect problems; I never had to feed it. It just grew.

Isn’t that how it is with our lives? Out of the garbage, God can make something beautiful. And fruitful. All we need to do is supply the water of the Word, and leave the rest up to him.

I guess we just need to be willing to let go of the garbage.

Monday, November 19, 2007

THANKSGIVING!!



This is Dirk’s and my favorite holiday.

Here are some reasons:

The meaning and purpose
Family
It hasn’t become all “junked” up

Some memories I have:

Walks to the park when I was a kid
My dad always smoked a turkey (in the smoker--he liked that joke); Dirk has now taken on that responsibility
For many years the kids always colored pictures of The Mayflower and always made “hand” turkeys. We did the "I'm Thankful" papers and wrote poems about Thanksgiving. I miss those kids’ crafts. Maybe I’ll make some with the grandkids this year!

Some fun things we do:

Invite anyone who doesn’t have a family to come join us. There are so many of us already, a few more just makes it more fun. This year Anna is bringing a single friend and Erin has invited a family!

Wednesday nights before Thanksgiving have become family night; we eat soup and play games. This year we will miss Jon since he is in Iraq. (Last year we enjoyed him being "Miss America" during a charades game).

If your holiday time is not filled with family, friends, and fun, consider making some changes this year. Make some new memories. It all begins with a heart of THANKSGIVING!

PS – I’ll be busy cooking tomorrow, spending time with family on Thursday, and shopping with my crazy girls on Friday morning (they asked me to come with them again!!). I’ll be back on Monday, November 25. In the meantime, read Anna’s or Scott’s blog—they’re going to keep writing this week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Mother's Prayer

For years, I have kept this prayer on the mirror in my closet where I can see it every morning. I remember plenty of times when I needed to sneak back to my closet to read it again, for my sake and the sake of my children!


Oh give me patience when tiny hands
Tug at me with their small demands.
And give me gentle and smiling eyes;
Keep my lips from sharp replies.
And let not fatigue, confusion or noise
Obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys.
So when, years later, my house is still--
No bitter memories its room may fill.
~Anonymous


Do you have any special prayers or scriptures hanging where you can see them often? Share them!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

100 Years


Today is Centennial Day in Oklahoma---100 years! In honor of the day I’m sharing some statistics for the year 1907.


*Only 14% of homes in the US had a bathtub
*A 3 minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11
*The average wage in the US was 22 cents per hour
*More than 95% of all births took place at home
*Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo

*Sugar cost 4 cents a pound
*Eggs were 14 cents a dozen
*Coffee was 15 cents a pound
*A gallon of milk cost 31 cents
*A house cost $4,500.

*The population of Las Vegas was 30
*Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write
*Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at the local drugstores. Heroin was said to clear the complexion, give buoyancy to the mind, and regulate the stomach and bowels
*My grandmother, Eva Maude McMurtrey Swingle was 7 years old as was her twin, Ava Mildred

I wonder what life will look like in another 100 years?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Things



Things I’m pretty good at

Sewing
Cooking
Singing and playing piano
Meeting new people
Typing
Spelling
Gardening
Taking lots of pictures


Things I’m really bad at
keeping my refrigerator, closets, and drawers neat and orderly
memorizing
baseball
remembering names
keeping scrapbooks and baby books
organizing and framing new photos
remembering to take my vitamins
(there seems to be a “memory” theme here)
making my bed every day


Things I’m getting better at
Being lighthearted
Having fun
Really enjoying life
Not worrying
Letting go
Getting wrinkles

Come on---share your things.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lasting Effects #5

Honor

Dirk and I have felt very honored by our children lately.

It’s often just in little things they say or how they respond toward us. It’s a nice feeling.

It’s things like hearing one of my daughters say that I’m her mentor, or another one inviting me to lunch at her house. One inviting me to coffee or wanting to go shopping with me. It’s our youngest daughter choosing to be married on our wedding day. It’s my oldest son sharing his heart. It’s the bear hugs of our macho teen boys.

It’s hearing how glad they are that Dirk finally did something for himself when he recently bought a motorcycle.

It’s the respect of a son-in-law wanting your advice, or one telling you how much he loves his wife, your daughter.

Today, our daughter, Anna wrote a comment on a blog listing her parents as people who speak into her life. She said we were amazing and relevant. Wow! I like that. Relevant.

We love them all so much and we are honored to be not only their parents, but also their friends.
--------------------------------------------------------------

PS - Check out Anna's new blog here.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Proud (The Parent Kind)

Our youngest daughter, Katie, 19, received her letter of acceptance today from the Nursing School of the University of Central Oklahoma. Hearing the news brought tears to our eyes. It was a moment of confirmation. Confirmation that Katie is on the path God planned for her before she was even born. Out of 400 applicants, 120 were considered and only 60 accepted. She was one of them!

Katie knew at age 11 she wanted to be a nurse. While caring for my dad who was dying of lymphoma, she would sleep on the floor of his room, “in case he needs something during the night”.

For the next few years we began looking for places Katie could grow and learn more about medicine. We took her to science classes at the Omniplex. When she was 15, she volunteered at The Surgery Center of Edmond. More opportunities continued to come without us even having to look.

Prov. 22:6 tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go.” Knowing Katie’s way was easy. She knew what she was called to do.

Her dad and I sure are proud of her!

Gal. 6:9-- So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I'm siding with satan on this one....


I’m a nothing. A big, fat zero. A nobody, zilch, nada, nil. Aren’t those the lies we hear whispered in our ears on a daily basis? Lies satan wants us to live and believe? Lies that will keep us beaten down and discouraged?

Well, guess what? This time I’m siding with satan! Yep, I’ve crossed the line and I’m agreeing with him.

But, I know a truth satan doesn’t get. You see, I've decided it's good to be a zero. A zero, in mathematics, is a placeholder. It has no value. It only represents a place. It is a position holder. Alone, zero actually is nothing. But with even the lowest number, number one, standing in front of it, it suddenly has value!

So, satan, while I’ll agree that I’m nothing, with The One standing before me, and with my willingness to be a placeholder in His Kingdom, well, I’ve got a greater value than you’ll ever know!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Drill, Drill, Drill

Addition to 10

Recently, I’ve talked with some people who are teaching their children reading and math, but didn’t understand the importance of speed and accuracy. One of the best ways to build speed is with flash cards. Get your flash cards out, purchase a set, or make your own. We’re going to drill!

Flash cards should probably be used around a 1st grade level, once your child understands the concept of addition. Begin with the 1’s plus another number. Sometimes, doubles up through 5’s are an easy concept for younger children. Then, begin adding in the 2’s. Counting by 2’s is one way to teach this concept. Don’t be tempted to add in new facts until the first ones are mastered and memorized. They should be quick with the correct answer without having to think about it. A card with the wrong answer, or a slow answer, gets moved to the back of the pack for another try. Add in other numbers until your child knows all addition through 10 quickly and accurately. Keep this activity positive and upbeat, not berating for wrong answers, but praising right ones.

Another method is to use timed tests. Produce your own tests using 20 problems and set the timer or your cell phone stopwatch for one minute (or 10 for 30 seconds). If your child is not able to do the 20 problems you’ve chosen that quickly, get the flash cards out again, drilling some more. Write down the time encouraging them to see if they can beat it next time. Keep the papers, letting them see their improvement over time. Timing puts a little more pressure on your child, but helps them see the importance of knowing the right answer, not guessing.

Generate your own timed tests here.
Or download a free speed test generator here.


Share your methods of teaching addition. Do you think speed is important?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Tears don't stream down your face in space


In December, former New York Yankee great and fellow Oklahoman, Bobby Murcer, a neighbor of my husband’s dad, underwent surgery in Houston. The mother of NASA astronaut, Army Col. Doug Wheelock, informed her son that his childhood baseball hero was in Houston. The Murcers were invited to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and a friendship began.

So, last week, when the spaceshuttle went up in space a series of e-mails began between Col. Wheelock, and the Murcers. (Isn’t technology amazing?) These e-mails were forwarded to my husband’s father and he shared them with us. I think Bobby now has a hero of his own!

Here is an excerpt from one of Col. Doug Wheelock’s e-mails:


“It is an incredible experience out here in space and it quite frankly takes my breath away and brings me to tears when I look out the window at the Earth just hanging there in space! It’s almost as if my mind has such a difficult time comprehending the sight, that it doesn’t seem real. Last night, while Scott (Parazynski) and Dan (Tani ) were in the airlock, I took just a few minutes, by myself, and just looked out the window at the Earth. I figured out that tears don’t stream down your face in space, they just combine into one big tear-ball! I just can’t believe I am here! I just keep singing to myself, “How Great Thou Art”, when I look at the power and majesty of God’s beautiful creation!”

What an amazing and poignant accounting of God’s majestic creation!

Watch and pray for the seven astronauts as the shuttle lands on Wednesday, November 7.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

And we thought it was all about the war.......



My oldest daughter, Erin, whose husband is in Iraq, has been keeping up with some of the Marine wives and girlfriends while their men are gone.

One girl, in particular, Erin has spoken with several times. Erin has shared her faith in Jesus Christ with these women, and this conversation led to the woman telling Erin that she thought she was a Buddhist, and she just didn’t have much use for Jesus. Erin also discovered that the family was having financial difficulties and were renting their furniture. Erin told her to have the rental company come pick up the furniture, because she was going to locate her a houseful! Then she began asking people to donate any unused furniture. During this time, Erin shared with the lady about viewing some sermons on-line, never guessing that she would. She did and called Erin excitedly explaining that those words were just what she needed to hear! A few nights later, she called Erin asking how she could get plugged into a Lifegroup. The Marine wife was talking to her husband in Iraq and he began sharing some things he had been reading in a Bible the “Buddhist” had purchased for him before he left for the war.

Last week our family took a houseful of beautiful furniture, an almost new refrigerator and a really nice washer/dryer set donated by loving friends to this mother and her three children in Wagoner, OK. It was a blessing to bless them!

We learned that they had all attended a church in Wagoner, given their hearts to the Lord, and signed up to serve in the youth program!

And we thought Jon going to Iraq was all about the war…….

…………………………………
If you or your children would be interested in writing a note or letter to any of the 28 men in Jon’s unit, or their wives, please send me an e-mail. I’ll get you a name and address.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Go See It!


Last week Dirk and I went to the movies! It's a rare occasion for us these days, but we enjoy a good flick now and then.


Dan in Real Life is a great film. We enjoyed the reality, humor, lack of sex and profanity, and the great message about family.


Treat yourself and your spouse to a fun movie this weekend.


You'll be glad you did!
PS - The music is AWESOME -check it out here.
Have any good movies to recommend?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Last week I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Cheryl Lange about home education. Cheryl produces a series of monthly Landmark CD’s on various topics relating to home schooling and asked me to record a couple with her. It was a fun time. Cheryl and I have both been homeschooling forever. In fact, we came over together on the Mayflower, as she likes to say!

Later in the week I received an e-mail sent out to her subscribers. In it she says, “Meet the amazing Robin Meadows…..” I laughed out loud when I read that!

Isn’t it funny? My kids just think I’m their MOM!

From Cheryl:
If you would like to receive not only this CD but find out how to be a part of our subscription program, please email us.
LodestarOrders@ cox.net .

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

OCTOBER 31


Dirk and I have fond childhood memories of Halloween. We’ve talked about how we would look forward to the day, planning our costumes and anticipating going out with our family and friends trick-or-treating. Our dads would carve jack-o-lanterns a few weeks before the 31st and we’d light the candle each night in anticipation of the big day. In my small town, my parents would drop my sister and I off at one end of the block and wait for us to go door-to-door with our large brown paper bags gathering candy, popcorn balls, and other often times homemade treats. It was a fun time!

Then, when our first child was born, we would take her in her cute costume to our parents’ homes and a few others that we felt comfortable with. A few years later we began learning more about the occult and Satanism. The Christian culture of the 80’s was very fearful about the occult, and demonic activity. In our own area news stories of animal sacrifices would surface on occasion, especially around Halloween. So, we began having parties at home or going to alternative church Hallelujah Nights.

It was during this time we began to realize that while we didn’t need to be naïve about the occult and the significance of October 31 to the Satanist religion, we also didn’t need to be fearful that we were celebrating it by doing something fun. In trying to figure out what was best for our children, we had focused on what was wrong with the day instead of what was right. (And yes, I know all the arguments against observing the holiday).

You see, I’ve since figured out that everything is right about October 31. Because, this is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps. 118:24)

Hopefully, our children haven’t been too warped by our learning curve. At least their children are enjoying the day!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Brain Surgery?

This is really a no-brainer…but I thought it would be fun to do together!
First, gather an old bath towel or some newspaper, and a damp cloth. Lay the towel or newspaper on your bed or tabletop.

Ready? Dump the contents of your purse onto the towel. Shake out your purse really well.

Discard the gum wrappers, used tissues, sucker sticks, etc.

Put notes, cards, receipts (that you didn’t put into your wallet when you received them) into a pile.

Now, take your damp cloth and wipe down the outside of your purse (unless it’s leather). Next, wipe down the inside, including pockets. Get into the corners really well. Hope you didn’t find melted lipstick like I did one time! But, if so, clean it with paper towels.

Begin placing the necessary items back into your purse. Put away or discard the remaining items.

Make note to self:

Do NOT put some of those things into my purse EVER again!
Buy myself a nice, new purse (if it’s really not cleanable).
Remember that my purse really does reveal my brain……

PS – I’ve decided to make a new chore card for myself----a reminder to clean out my purse on a regular basis. Maybe every two weeks?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Clearheaded?


Years ago I heard it said that the inside of your purse reveals the inside of your head.

Wow! Mine was constantly full of clutter! It seems when you have young children your purse is everything from the lunch bag to the trash can. And mine could have qualified for both!

Since the time I first heard that statement, I’ve worked to keep my purse much more clean and cleaned out. And it really has helped me be a bit more organized in other areas of my life.

Here are a few things I’ve learned from experience that have helped me:

Carry a small purse.

It should hold only:

Your keys
Your cell phone
Your wallet
A lipstick
A pen and some paper
A pack of tissues (if needed)

Anything else should go into another bag. (toys, snacks, books, etc.)

If you carry a diaper bag, consider having your purse items fit inside it. Then you won’t be carrying two bags. (and losing or leaving one).

When grocery shopping, consider carrying your cash, keys and cell phone in jeans or jacket pockets. Leave your purse locked up in the car.

When the cashier gives you a receipt, put it immediately into your wallet.

When purchasing a purse, make sure there is at least one inside pocket for holding your keys. They should be placed in that pocket each time you turn off your car. (check before you get out of the car).

Carry only one or two purses per season.

Put it in the same location every time you come home.

Get ready…..tomorrow we clean out our purse!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Enduring or Embracing?(Part 2)

My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. II Cor. 12:9 –The Message


His grace is enough. Did you guess it? I know it sounds to our well-worn religious ears like an old cliché. But, it is truth and is powerful for us if we’ll accept it. (Paul knew; read his account in the surrounding scriptures). God’s grace is enough for every difficult situation we will ever go through even if it doesn’t seem like it.

You see, we all have a choice. We can buck and fight against our situations, or we can choose to embrace what God has given us. And here’s the key. We don’t receive His grace until we humble ourselves and admit that we can’t do it on our own. ( God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble. James 4:6)

Your “it” may be home educating your children. It may be dealing with a difficult child or even choosing to love your husband when he’s not so loveable. It may be your financial situation, your job, your singleness, or dealing with parents. Whatever “it” is, when we quit seeing our circumstances as obstacles to defeat or overcome, and choose to embrace them, that is when we receive His grace. It means choosing to let go, and letting Him be in control. And that’s sometimes a hard choice to make.

Interestingly, when we only endure our circumstances, they may eventually overtake us, drown us, and defeat us, while embracing can do a mighty work in our hearts.

So, if you find yourself fighting, striving and bucking against the hard things in your life, let go!

Embrace to receive His grace!


II Cor. 9:8
God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.

Col 1:10-11
As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.




Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Enduring or Embracing?

I remember one day when my children were young, Dirk coming home from work, finding us all sitting in the floor crying. Even me! I was done. Done in, over-done, and un-done. I was looking for the place where mothers go to resign. I was looking past the now, and looking forward to the time when my mundane, hard days would be over. I was only enduring, but I wasn’t even doing that very well.

After settling us all down he later talked to me about a concept I’ve since used again and again.

Embracing the situation. He told me, “Robin, it’s not going to get any easier for quite a while. You’re going to have to decide to accept that and do the best you can.” My attitude needed changing.

After much complaining and gnashing of teeth, I started making the choice to accept that my days were going to be boring and uneventful-----unless I made them more fun. I was always going to be stressed and overwhelmed, unless I learned to give up and accept the fact that with all God had given me, He’d also provide a way for me to deal with it in a loving, patient manner.

As I learned to give up and give in, life got easier. Well, maybe it really didn’t, but it seemed like it.

God has given us all something that enables us to embrace every difficult situation we’ll ever encounter. You probably already know, but I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

Are you enduring or embracing?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ten Years Ago....


Yesterday’s blog got me to thinking about what life was like for me ten years ago.

Ten years ago….

I was 42.
My youngest son was three years old.
We had six children living at home.
I was teaching five children academics (16, 13, 12, 10, and 5)
I cooked meals for at least eight people each night
I did 4-5 loads of laundry daily
I worried more and cared more what other people thought
My hair was long
I had less white hair and fewer wrinkles
I still had carpet in my house


Yeah…..life is easier now. Hang in there! In ten (or maybe 15) years it will probably be easier for you.

OK, I can handle it….what was going on with you in 1997?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

In ten years.....



Our camping trip was so much fun! We camped at beautiful Greenleaf State Park. Friday we took a pontoon boat out on the lake for a few hours. Some of us fished. We went on walks, took naps and played. We experienced wonderful weather, great food and enjoyable conversations. Jackets were needed for the cool evenings and we stayed warm by the campfire. Our meals were yummy comfort foods like chili, grilled steaks and chicken, breakfast burritos with biscuits cooked over the campfire, and of course the requisite “smores”. The grandchildren (ages 2-8) enjoyed their time together and were so cute (I only took 433 pictures). We all agreed to camp together again next Fall Break. And the conversation the first night turned to Dirk’s usual question, “What will you be doing in ten years?”

According to the answers, in ten years……

We will have at least four more grandchildren
Two more in-laws
One son-in-law will be finishing up residency as a physician
One daughter will be educating her children at home.
One daughter will be working as an RN
One son-in-law will be working in his new career.
One son-in-law will be home from Iraq
I won’t be teaching any children at home; my youngest will have graduated from college!
One daughter will have finished writing a book and will be speaking to groups around the US
Some of our children will live out of state
My youngest son will be 23
My oldest grandchild will be 18 going to college on a rodeo scholarship
Some of us will still be happily doing what we’re doing now

I wonder what I’ll blog about when I’m 62?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Family Camping


Raising seven children didn’t allow for many vacations in the Meadows’ household. But we did go camping fairly often at various places in Oklahoma.

One year we even traveled to New Mexico for a week of camping in the mountains!

Camping is an inexpensive way to spend quality time together and make lasting memories. I do remember when the kids were young telling Dirk that camping was “doing the same thing I always do, only harder”. It was a lot of work, but fun anyway.

This weekend, 14 members of our family are going camping! We’re loading up and going to one of our favorite Oklahoma state parks.

Some of our favorite things to do include:

Fishing
Hiking
Nature Scavenger Hunts
Canoeing
Sitting around the camp fire (one of Dirk’s favorite questions to ask is “Where do you see yourself in ten years?”
Roasting marshmallows and hot dogs

Camping together gives you time to focus on each other without the normal distractions of life. It’s time well spent!

What are your camping experiences?
Where do you like to camp?

PS – I still get out my “Camping List” found in my Household Notebook.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Spin-ghetti?


Last week we left the TV on after the news and Oprah’s late show came on. Her guest that day was Jennifer Seinfeld (Jerry’s wife). She was sharing about her new cookbook, Deceptively Delicious. She steams vegetables, purees them, and then adds them to foods that her kids will eat. For example, she uses pureed butternut squash and mixes it into macaroni and cheese. A great idea for adding nutrition and fiber to her kids’ diets. You can read more about it at my new friend’s blog here or at Jennifer’s blog here.

BUT DON’T TRY WHAT I DID!! Previously, I’ve successfully added minced or blended fresh vegetables to things like meatloaf and even spaghetti sauce. In keeping with Jessica’s idea this week, I decided to add some nutrition to my spaghetti sauce. It’s not unusual for me to add onions, garlic, peppers, and even wheat bran to canned spaghetti sauce before I cook it. But this week, I only had tomato juice. So, I added an onion (red), a pepper, several cloves of garlic, some fresh basil and oregano from the garden, and on a “healthy whim” added a large handful of fresh spinach to the blender jar full of tomato juice. I covered it, and turned it on, and the previously red tomato juice turned …….an awful shade of muddy brown! Duh! What was I thinking? Being the frugal person that I am, I decided to go ahead and add the sauce to my already browned ground beef. Interestingly, the sauce was the same shade as the ground beef! I simmered it for about an hour. It looked a bit better. It smelled really good and tasted great! Some of my family came through the kitchen wondering what we were eating for dinner that evening.

“What is that, Mom?”

“It’s spaghetti,” I’d answer.

“It doesn’t look like spaghetti…”
They were right....

Guess what? When we sat down for dinner, everyone enjoyed the meal! Covered with plenty of grated parmesan cheese, it didn’t even look so bad! The dish has since been lovingly entitled “Spin-ghetti”.

And my picky eater, Kody ate spinach without even realizing it!

I think Jessica is on to something here. I just need to learn to color coordinate better!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Crisis? No Way!



Yeah, my husband got a motorcycle.

A younger friend made the comment, “Oh, a mid-life crisis!”

I have to admit, that put me a little on the defensive. I didn’t say anything, but got to thinking about it later.

Why does a 54 year old man getting a brand new Honda VTX 1300 cruiser have to be having a crisis? This is the same man who sold his first motorcycle when our first child was born so we could buy a second car. It’s the same man who has owned his own business for over 30 years, helped me raise seven children, allowed me to stay home with them, and has been married to me for 34 years!

I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis! I call it a CELEBRATION!! Yea!!

And riding on the back is a LOT of fun!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It Was One of Those Days......


It was one of “those” days. It started off okay, but from there everything just went downhill. There seemed to be interruption, after interruption. Neither of the boys seemed to be able to focus on their schoolwork. I was getting a headache. One that
starts in your shoulders and keeps moving up until your head is pounding. Stress! But, we kept pressing on. Must get that schoolwork done!

Next, it was time to go over the science the boys had just read. Fun stuff about genetics, chromosomes, and heridity. I try to make it interesting, but….., well, sometimes it’s just not. My headache was getting worse. Must press on! So, I began asking review questions from what we had just read about genetics.

“What is a fraternal twin?” I ask in my most upbeat “teacher” voice.

Jacob, 13, answers with a grin, “It’s a twin that goes to college and joins a fraternity!”

That broke the monotony for the day! We laughed a lot, tried to get back on track and my headache even lessened a bit. And then we reviewed the correct meaning of a fraternal twin.

A friend told me the other day that you retain information seven times better when you laugh!

I’ll bet my boys never forget what a fraternal twin is.

Now, if I could just think of some great spelling and grammar jokes….

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Which Are You? Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee?





An anonymous story with a great message.....enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil.

In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she said, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the Mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich brew.

The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, Mother?" Her Mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


You hear the frequent horror stories of how some teenage girl ran away with a sexual predator that she met on Myspace. I believe that with a few precautions, those children and parents would never have had such a heartbreaking experience.

Myspace, Facebook and AIM instant messaging do have security measures. And with the added accountability of a family those sites can actually be safe.


Here are some precautions we take:

· “no secret” policy. I know your password you know mine. If you’re not willing to share what you are writing you will lose your privilege.


· the computer is in the living room or another public room


· myspace has private settings that only allow your approved ‘friends” to view your page or to message you


· facebook—only your approved friends can see your page and talk to you


· AIM instant messaging – you are the one to approve or deny a message


· my boys are instructed never to speak to a person they don’t know or accept them as a “friend”


· use good judgment on the sorts of things you allow others to see (don’t post your address or phone number or other personal information)


· I check my kids’ pages daily.

Do you have some good precautions to add?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Confessions of an Internet Junkie!



I’ll shamelessly admit it. I have a Myspace, a Facebook, and even a AIM instant message account.

Here’s why.

Some of my younger teens wanted to have a Myspace. So, I decided to check it out for myself.

The positives:

· I’ve learned more about my kids (even my grown ones!) and their friends than I would have ever known otherwise.
· I’ve been able to stay in touch with my friends on a different level than e-mail or phone.
· I’ve “met” some really great people from my church and other groups because of the technology
· It’s a fun way to communicate with my children, even the ones living in the same house!

The negatives:


· Some of the advertising on Myspace is unprincipled
· It can take quite a bit of time.

So far, the positives outweigh the negatives.

My Myspace


AIM – robinlmeadows


Do you have Facebook, Myspace or AIM? Sign up for yours today, then send me a friend request!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Transplant

You’ve blown it. It’s been a horrible day, the kids have been extra-disobedient, everything has gotten on your nerves and you finally lost it. You yelled at them, or your husband, and maybe even said some things you wished you could take back. Maybe, you think, they’d even be better off without you.

Guess what? You’re not a bad person. In fact, you’re quite normal.

But, you might consider a heart transplant.

In heart transplant surgery, when the surgeon removes the old, diseased heart, he replaces it with a newer, but cold and lifeless heart. He begins his work and about 30 minutes later, takes the patient off the pump that has been keeping them alive and tests the series of stitches he has just made. Then, he places the patient back on the pump and continues to stitch the remaining arteries. After about an hour, the surgeon removes the patient from the pump again, removes a final clamp, and watches as blood fills the heart, turning it a bright, vibrant red. Life! Because life is where the blood flows.

A person whose life was fading quickly away now awakens to a new hope. A future.

Not, however, without challenges. The patient will forever be on a strict regimen of a dozen medications a day, designed to force the body to accept the new organ.

And here’s another amazing thing. Heart transplant patients are guaranteed they will never physically feel heart pain again. When a heart is transplanted, all the nerve endings leading to it are severed. It is impossible to reattach those nerve endings. If they have another heart attack, they won’t even feel it.

Now, think about it. We have a Great Physician who is just waiting for our permission to give us a “heart transplant”. In fact, He says we can have a new heart every day! It doesn’t take a few hours to perform the transplant; it happens the moment we make the choice to have that new heart. We trade our worn, lifeless, blackened heart for one that is flowing with the lifeblood of the One who went before us to take every burden we would ever have. And the nerve endings are severed! He took our pain as well.

Today, trade in your tired, hurting heart for a transplant. And keep it healthy and alive with a strict regimen of reading, believing, and walking in His Truth.

Lamentations 3:23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Ezekial 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.