Nov 16, 2004

Hectic Times

Hectic Times in the Rodriguez Household. Bless my dear sweet children and husband for putting up with such a looney mom! I have been doing the oddest things lately... I am both a scatter brain and an exhausted mental case! lol :o) I threw away my toothbrush and put a dirty diaper in my cabinet!

From appearances, it may " LOOK " like I have things together and under control.. do not be deceived. :o) I put the nose suction in my fridge, I left the Milk on my counter... I am making lists for everything now as I forget anything not written before me in text. The kids have been a bit sick here and there making it hard for me to keep any scheduled engagements.

I a fanatically CONSTANTLY cleaning my home only to discover it filthy with moments of me proclaiming it finished! I feel like I am running around like a chicken with no head... or "a toddler trying to hold 15 things with two hands!" LOL. NEVERTHELESS...

This is such a beautiful blessed time in my life. Even though this has been a challenging year, I am SO blessed. I have had quite a few friends that have either been sick or have relatives that are dying from some type of cancer or illness. I have three beautifully healthy children. One of the gals from my LLL just lost her two month old baby. I couldn't imagine it.

I have such a sweet considerate husband. He supports whatever I do. It really is wonderful. Since Anaiah had been born, our relationship has gone to a whole new level. Who knew that 3's a charm.

We are checking out our options for the boys education. We went to a "considering homeschooling" meeting and I am truly inspired. My dear husband is OK with whatever choice the Lord would lead us to do. I think we will Homeschool.

That means for me that I will not return back to school or work for a long time, maybe not another 20 years or so. Once it sank in it was sobering. I feel encouraged though. I know this will reap eternal rewards and it will touch my children's lives and relationship with the Lord forever. GOD IS GOOD!

I am reading through Ecclesiastes. It is so touching and beautiful. I read through it and it gives me such joy and hope. For everything there is a season! This is the season I am in. I am learning contentment in where ever the Lord puts me. Be Blessed!~ Alida

Ecclesiastes 3:1- "To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

Nov 4, 2004

She's gonna BLOW! Part 1&2

Part 1

Kids are so amusing... With childrearing, days can be SO frustrating and some days downright embarrassing. A wise woman that I know.. tells me.. " It is all humbling. It ALL Keeps you humble..". Never before have I REALLY appreciated those words... It is my MANTRA when things are going so horribly horribly wrong.. If I remember that it keeps me humble I feel there is purpose behind it.

Lets start off.. (My birthday) Tuesday started off with not much food in the home. The kids asking for candy. I said sure.. we all ended up eating a TON Of candy as I didn't cook till much later. I know I am awful for allowing such a thing. After a loooooong day of refereeing squabbles and hurt feelings, I am near exhausted and looking forward to adult conversation with a friend later on.

Today is one of the toughest days I have had in awhile. the KIDS UNUSUALLY CRANKY.

After awhile I take them out to go vote. EVERYONE there was saying "wow how wonderful your twins are". "They are SO well behaved... What ANGELS!" One woman mentioned that her twins are monsters but mine we so upstanding and obedient. ... HA!They did fine until we went up to Tina's home (she invited us over for dinner)

... I had to wake them in the car, so they had no nap... One of the boys kept trying to hug Isabella.. By picking her up by her neck... Then kept pushing Anaiah WAY to hard in the swing, arguing over toys, tantrums! NO amount of redirecting will help against tired hungry amped on sugar TWIN BOYS.

I will be SHOCKED if she ever has us back again.. I tried to explain it is because they are amped on candy and haven't had a nap.. not sure if she was convinced or not. I feel like that mom of twins on that show (haven't seen much of it) Desperate Housewives. I bet MANY folks with twins have boys like that...

Afterward we peeled out of her home EXHAUSTED!


Wednesday, A new day, a new start. Fresh beginnings. We go to a fantastic Bible study. Community Bible Study that is held at a church/private school. I ask the teachers how they did cringing at the recollection of Tuesday's chain of events. They did wonderfully... Little boogers. I was pleased and thankful to hear those words.

AS we were leaving I noticed Elijah looking at the fire alarm. My gut said to move QUICKLY! Alas not quick enough. He pulled and the alarm went off everyone darts for the field. THE WHOLE SCHOOL HAD TO BE EVACUATED! The fire truck came and circled around the school and after 20 minutes of the alarm sironing off we all could leave and the students could return to their classes.

EVERYONE knew it was the lady with the twins who pulled the fire alarm! No one could know my horror! LOL.I then had to go get groceries. Once again they feel asleep in the car and I had to wake them up. I should have KNOWN better.

A wise woman has a saying.. "When your hungry or tired your prone to sin." how true that is how true.Here I am wearing Anaiah in the sling and pushing them in the cart and they are pulling things off the shelves wrestling, poking each other in the eye... jumping out the cart to dance. I RACED through the store grabbing the things I needed and vowed NEVER ever again to take them anywhere with me in public.

We then went down to San Diego. My dear sweet hubby coaches Special Olympics. The kids were wrestling with the athletes, swinging around their equipment... fairly behaved though. They ran around training with the athletes. Not sure how many miles they ran, do you think that wore them out at all? Not in the least! OH to be young and have energy.

Every where we go I feel like a circus show! I am always slinging Anaiah and having to drop everything to race ALL three to the bathroom, or having to referee arguments... or folks will come by to ask questions on the twins and tell me how a niece of there has twins or how they always wanted twins...or how cute and well behaved they are...

Maybe if they read my blog they'd think twice. We will politely stop and chat with them for a bit. The attention started the moment we brought them home from the hospital and hasn't stopped since.

AHH the fame of having multiples... If they aren't staring at them folks are coming up and loving on Anaiah. It is very sweet. Sometimes however, you just want to get in a store and out and not be chatty.

Anyhoo. Hope this makes SOMEONE SMILE. I can only laugh now that time has passed. Perhaps someone will not feel so alone to read this. Perhaps SOME GOOD WILL COME OUT OF THESE TWO LOOOOONG painful days. :o) Oh God is good to let us not think we have things all together. Not sure about you all, but when my home is calm, I start to feel like I am self sufficient, and like I am Miss wonderful altogether Mama.

Again I quote... "It all keeps up humble."

Oct 27, 2004

Parenting Positively

We all have big emotions. Especially our children!! Here are some suggested ways of helping our children deal with their big emotions.

General Tips:

Have you tried doing angry dances? Do you state your feelings out loud? I will tell my children, "I am starting to get angry. I am frustrated that you are doing . . . . You need to stop yourself." And I very very rarely actually get to where I'm saying, "That's it, I'm angry." I've learned all the little levels before that and we can usually resolve things before it's too late. You knowing how to work through your feelings is a major need before you can model it. So like homeschooling, learn with her :)

I've found one of the best helps is watching me respond appropriately to my own feelings. I've realized how important it is to vocalize my thoughts and feelings. I am sure to say out loud, "this project is frustrating me. I need to take a break!" or something similar.

Identifying the feelings is the biggie, but you also need to be teaching her things she *can* do when she's got big feelings. Drawing pictures, creating songs or dances that express her feelings. Have you created a *Comfort Corner* yet? Make sure you teach her about when her body is saying she needs space tosort through feelings.

I think the key here is to remember that nothing will make the feelings go away. You can do things that shove them underground where they come out later in other ways, or you can take the time to teach her how to process and handle them herself. Either way the only way to get through this stage is to bide your time and do what you can to keep the relationship in tact :) What will be different is the relationship you have with her on the other side of this stage! And you can do it.

When she starts acting out I'd simply say to her, "You are having big feelings. This is your body's way of saying you need to take a break. Would you like to find a quiet place alone or would you like to sit in my lap?"

We do a lot of labeling emotions, but the only ones DS really labels himself are happy and sad. I acknowledge his feelings, give him a word for them, and allow him to experience them within reasonable and safe boundaries. I can't tell you how many people have looked at me like I was nuts because I was on my knees at his's eye level, in Target or the grocery store, speaking gently to him and letting him feel his big feelings. I say something like "I know you want that toy really badly, and you are really MAD because Mommy said no. It is so hard when you want something! I know you are mad, but you may not hit me (or throw things, or whatever)." I usually don't try to pick him up and take him out right in the middle of it, because that makes it worse, and I end up getting hurt! I allow him his feelings, stay close and offer support and hugs if he needs them, and take him out when he has calmed down a little

Let your child know you hear him, then offer the appropriate choices. For example, your child wants cereal, but cereal is not an option, for whatever reason. First tell him what you hear him saying. "You really want cereal." Then you can add, " You may have cereal another time. Right now your choices for food are _____ or _____. Which would you like?"

Crying is definitely an appropriate release for big emotions. Drawing a picture. Talking about it. Talking to someone else who has felt/is feeling the same thing. Telling stories from our childhood when similar things happened to us. Doing an angry/sad/etc dance. All of these help release the built-up emotions inside.

As for when and if he starts screaming at you I would keep it simple. "I don't like to be talked to this way. I am going to walk away and you may come talk to me when you can be kind." Then you don't have to walk very far away, even to the other side of the kitchen, but let him know that you won't be abused that way. This also helps teach our children that they don’t have to stay in a situation where they are being hurt (by another person’s body or words).

If her feelings provoke her to screaming or being too physical, I patiently and emphatically repeat our house rules and remind her of alternatives to express her emotions.

I'm also careful to avoid the triggers that tend to intensify her emotions. If she is hungry, tired or thirsty, of course she is much more likely to be experience big feelings. Also, if we've been mostly indoors one day, I think 'cabin fever' exacerbates emotions, so we try to spend a good chunk of time outdoors in fresh air.

Many big emotional outbursts are due to not having enough time to comfortably transition. So, I remember to give her ample warnings (for nearly everything. . . if I'm nearing the end of a read aloud book, I might pause with an aside that we have 3 more pages to read, and then I'll be standing up and walking to the kitchen

The Comfort Corner

It's a corner of the main living area where you might put pillows, a blanket, a small rocker or the glider, some books, stuffed animals--whatever! Let the kids help decorate it with what give them comfort. And if they're getting out of control you can suggest they go there to cool off. Jane Nelson calls them "Positive Time Outs" but Joanne thought the Comfort aspect was more AP. There's also the option of asking mom to go with you and making it cuddle time. And I definitely make a point of telling the kids when I have to take a break and get it together.

With a pre-verbal toddler, you can say: "You're very upset. Let's go nurse in our special place." Then when he's old enough to go on his own you can just help him set up his own *special place*

Dealing With Sadness:

"I know you're sad." Just acknowledging her feelings helps!

I tell her it's okay to cry if she needs to. I add that we all need to cry sometimes.

I offer hugs and cuddles.

For sadness I reflect the feelings, "You are sad" and offer comfort, "Do you want me to comfort you?" This way they get to decide if they want to handle it themselves or with me.

If they are getting out of control I will tell them, "You may be sad, but you may not . . . (scream, hit, whatever)." If it gets too bad I'll insist on a bear hug so I can help them handle their sadness.

I try to validate her feelings. I feel this is the most useful approach. If I say something like, "We can buy another toy" when her toy breaks, it does not help! If I say, "I know you're really sad that your toy broke. Sometimes we just need to cry when we're sad", then she feels better. She knows that her emotions are okay to experience, and she is learning proper releases for those feelings.

Dealing With Anger:

Anger is a secondary emotion. The primary emotions behind anger are frustration, sadness, fear, and disappointment. The best way of coping with anger is to work very hard to identify the primary emotions before they get so big that they erupt as anger. Of course, when I don't catch it in time I try not to raise my voice and to gently touch--very counter to what I'm feeling, but very effective and my way of acting *as if* Remember…fake it till you make it. Sometimes our feelings follow our actions!

When we don't catch the sadness and disappointment, and it escalates to anger, usually I offer comfort/snuggling or suggest quiet, alone time. I wouldn't suggest quiet, alone time to a child who seesthis as punitive, so it is important to know our children. And we certainly need to avoid making them think they have to leave when they're really angry or experiencing emotions we "don't like". But sometimes she just needs some quiet time.

On Frustration:

I try to notice when DD is getting frustrated and stop it before she becomes angry. If she's trying to do something that's difficult, I'll acknowledge that what's she's doing is hard. I also tell her to let me knowif she wants my help, although I do have to catch myself to make sure I'm not offering help too soon.

I've found that if I quietly step in and ask her if she'd like to take a break and read a story (or go downstairs and unload the drier with me, or check the mail, or a few other things like that), she'll usually sigh in relief and say "yes". At that point, once she is somewhat removed from the situation, we can reflect her feelings.

I always try to remember is that anger and frustration are valid emotions they should be allowed to have and not expect them to be "jollied" out of it or for them to deny them. Sometimes, I wait calmly nearby and let the storm blow. Sometimes I grab a child in a bear hug. Sometimes, they are not so set off that distraction will work. You just have to know your child well enough to know what they need!

On Disappointment: Lots of times our children have specific ideas on how something should happen. Maybe they are planning on opening the door or going through first. Or they want to turn the light on. But then, we the parent, do it differently. And the child is upset. Sometimes we can do a “do over”, where the situation is repeated and the child gets to do it their way

When that’s not an option, offering to do it their way next time might help. Oftentimes, at this suggestion, the child will say no and the parent will say, “Ok, you don’t have to do it that way next time.” At that suggestion, the child might be ok to say they will do it their way next time.

For many children, a “do over” or a “do next time” simply won’t work. One thing that might work is proactively giving her choices, before I do something. I ask her very often if she would like to do something herself, or if she would like help.

On Hitting: The reason for the punching (and other physical ways of acting out) is easy--all those very big feelings arebuilding up until they erupt out of her fists (feet, etc). For this reason when you see her getting more intense with her feelings you need to be on hand to intervene if she goes to hit. Grabbing her hand firmly and stating clearly, "Hitting hurts. We do not hurt with our hands. You may . . . . (whatever she can do instead)."

Basically what I'd do for her is take her hand in mine and tell her, "Hands are not for hurting people. Nohitting. Hitting hurts." Then I'd apologize to her child who she hurt and ask her if she meant to hurt her. If not then I'd encourage an apology (never force, but encourage :) ) and if she did then I'd tell her thathurting is not allowed and they can play apart until they can play together again. This would be a good time to suggest she find someplace to be alone until she can be social again.

Oct 26, 2004

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Oct 20, 2004

A Biblical study on the Rod verses

A Word Study by Joan!

Here is a study on the Rod verses by Joan: (her site is below)

The Biblical Rod The "Rod" or "Shebet": An In-depth Examination
A close examination of the "rod" Scriptures in Proverbs:

Which verses are being referred to as the "rod" scriptures?

Pr 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Pr 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Pr 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
Pr 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Pr 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

The word rod is "shebet" in Hebrew. This word is defined as following in Strong's Hebrew Lexicon #7626: rod, staff, branch, offshoot, club, sceptre, tribe a. rod, staff b. shaft (of spear, dart) c. club (of shepherd's implement) d. truncheon, sceptre (mark of authority) e. clan, tribe
Strong's definition: From an unused root probably meaning to branch off; a scion, for example literally a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, walking, ruling, etc.) or figuratively a clan.

King James Word Usage tribe 140, rod 34, sceptre 10, staff 2, miscellaneous 4

Matteh is another Hebrew word for rod. This word can mean branch as a vine and is not used here. Maqqel, which has no meaning that can be applied here and is not used in this Scripture anyway. Choter, another Hebrew word, is branch, twig, rod and is not used here.

Therefore, the focus is on shebet.

There are 31 other Scriptures using this word, translated "rod" in the KJV. These verses will be grouped into categories according to how the word "rod" (translated from "shebet") is used.

Leviticus 27:32: And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. Psalm 23:4: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 2:9: Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Isaiah 28:27: For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. Exodus 21:20: And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

Psalm 74:2: Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt Jeremiah 10:16: The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name. Jeremiah 51:19: The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.

Psalm 125:3: For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. Proverbs 22:8: He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

A ROD TO BE USED ON A FOOL (Fool meaning stupid or silly, literally meaning fat...has a connotation of cocky)
Proverbs 10:13: In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding. Proverbs 26:3: A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.

II Samuel 7:14: I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: Ezekiel 19:11: And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches. Ezekiel 19:14: And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.

Job 9:34: Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me: Job 21:9: Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Psalm 89:32: Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Isaiah 10:5: O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation Isaiah 10:15: Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.

Isaiah 11:4: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. Lamentations 3:1: I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. Micah 7:14: Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. Ezekiel 20:37: And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:

Ezekiel 21:10: It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree.
Ezekiel 21:13: Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod? it shall be no more, saith the Lord GOD.

Isaiah 9:4: For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. Isaiah 14:29: Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.

Isaiah 30:31: For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod. Micah 5:1: Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.

Thus all 36 places where this word is used "rod" in the KJV has been recorded in conjunction with the full counsel of God.
There are only a few places that "shebet" is possibly referring to a literal rod in connection with hitting someone.

First let us look at Exodus 21:20:
Exodus 21:20: And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
This Scripture in Exodus says that if this rod were used on a maid or servant and killed them that it was punishable. So, one can see that it had to be a heavy duty instrument capable of killing someone which would be consistent with the idea of a staff or club. If it is ok to spank a child using this instrument, then it is not mentioned here and if it were, then the child could die by it's use.

Next, one should examine the meaning of "the stripes of the children of men" in II Samuel 7:14:
II Samuel 7:14: I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
Here is a lengthy quote from Matthew Henry's Commentary on this particular verse:
I will be his father, and he shall be my son. We need no more to make us and ours happy than to have God to be a Father to us and them; and all those to whom God is a Father he by his grace makes his sons, by giving them the disposition of children. If he be a careful, tender, bountiful Father to us, we must be obedient, tractable, dutiful children to him. The promise here speaks as unto sons. [1.] That his Father would correct him when there was occasion; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? Afflictions are an article of the covenant, and are not only consistent with, but flow from, God's fatherly love. "If he commit iniquity, as it proved he did

(1 Ki. 11:1), I will chasten him to bring him to repentance, but it shall be with the rod of men, such a rod as men may wieldÂ-I will not plead against him with the great power of God,'' Job 23:6. Or rather such a rod as men may bear Â-"I will consider his frame, and correct him with all possible tenderness and compassion when there is need, and no more than there is need of; it shall be with the stripes, the touches (so the word is) of the children of men; not a stroke, or wound, but a gentle touch.''

[2.] That yet he would not disinherit him (v. 15): My mercy (and that is the inheritance of sons) shall not depart from him. The revolt of the ten tribes from the house of David was their correction for iniquity, but the constant adherence of the other two to that family, which was a competent support of the royal dignity, perpetuated the mercy of God to the seed of David, according to this promise; though that family was cut short, yet it was not cut off, as the house of Saul was.

Never any other family swayed the sceptre of Judah than that of David. This is that covenant of royalty celebrated (Ps. 89:3, etc.) as typical of the covenant of redemption and grace. 2. Others of them relate to Christ, who is often called David and the Son of David, that Son of David to whom these promises pointed and in whom they had their full accomplishment. He was of the se

When one observes the use of the rod on fools, this would be adults who are "fools" because they are grown and still have no self-control. It would be comparable to a criminal being beaten. This is not speaking of a young child. There are examples of criminals being beaten in Scripture. There are NO examples of children being beaten with any rod.
In most other instances the word "rod" is used to symbolize God's authority or the authority of a nation.

Upon reading the "shebet" passages in Proverbs, one will notice that you can always substitute the word "authority" for "rod". "Rod" is referring to God's authority and the authority of nations in the above verses. Thus, the word "rod" is referring to a parent's authority in all five of the Proverbs references, including the following verses:

Pr 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Pr 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

In the preceding verses, one can see that the child shall not die with this rod. Yet in Exodus, we saw that a man COULD cause someone to die with a literal shebet. If Scripture were talking about a literal rod here, this would be a contradiction because it says he SHALL NOT die.

A person cannot kill another with their authority. They can be striking (beating) the other person with their authority by using their authority to discipline (teach, disciple, educate, instruct) and guide them.
IF this Scripture were referring to a literal beating, taken in context, it would have to be speaking about a grown child.

The verses before and after Proverbs 23:13-14 was written by a father who was instructing his adolescent son. However, one still has the problem of the contradiction as far as whether or not a "shebet" can cause someone to die.

Another observation worth mention is the Hebrew word translated "child" in the "rod" Scriptures of Proverbs.
This word is "na'ar".

Meaning of "na'ar": a boy, lad, servant, youth, retainer a. boy, lad, youth b. servant, retainer
Concretely a boy (as active), from the age of infancy to adolescence; by implication a servant; also (by interchange of sex) a girl (of similar latitude in age).

The KJV translates it as follows: young man 76, servant 54, child 44, lad 33, young 15, children 7, youth 6, babe 1, boys 1
This word "na'ar" is referring to boys most of the time (since a lad would be a male) and usually young men.

Therefore, *if* one took these Scriptures to mean literal physical punishment, than it would possibly only apply to fathers spanking their sons who are older (since adolescence can go through the early 20's). Most Christian discipline "experts" do not mention this. Yet, if one is to interpret this verse literally, this would have to be the explanation.

Law-based Christian parenting authors say a parent should be able to STOP spanking by the time their children reach 12 or 13, yet according to this Scripture, this parent would not even START using physical punishment until then. These verses, if taken literally, would be referring to this form of punishment as an absolute last resort to save the child (which was possibly a boy only) from hell.

Many Christians have taken FIVE verses and hung a whole child rearing philosophy on them! Parents are told to use this as a primary form of punishment (what these experts refer to as discipline). Some use the word "punishment" and the term "discipline" interchangeably when they mean two entirely different things. These people are basing their theology on nothing more than the traditions of men!

Further, we are told in Deuteronomy 21:18-21:
18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. 21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

The parents are told first to talk to their child (he has not heard their voice). Then, they are told to chasten him. Chasten simply means correct with words or blows. It seems they were supposed to instruct, then correct him if he did not heed their verbal correction. Then, if this does not work, he is to be stoned.

If we are no longer to stone, then why do we assume we should use physical beatings to bring about repentance? Shouldn't we make examples of a few children and stone them too? Why were they to go ahead and stone them to death if they would not repent and be obedient? This was because the Holy Spirit was not actively convicting hearts and they did not yet have direct access to God.

Jesus said in the case of the adulterous woman to let him who was without sin to cast the first stone. Parents don't stone their kids because the parents themselves are just as much a sinner as their rebellious child.
Jesus was gentle with children. He is a shepherd to the sheep. The shepherd uses HIS rod to guide the sheep, not to beat them! Psalm 23 uses "shebet" to describe the shepherd's "rod". People have mentioned to this author that the shepherd would use his "rod" to break the legs of a wandering sheep to keep it from going away and getting hurt, so this is proof of how we should physically punish our children.

However, this only proves that we should try to keep our children's hearts and keep them on the right path by praying for God to convict and protect them. He is the GREAT Shepherd and He will work in their lives in a much more effective manner than we can. If He chooses to allow some kind of circumstance or situation (to break their legs) in their life, to keep them in the fold, then so be it! He is much stronger than human parents. Our children's "legs can be broken" by natural, spiritual and logical consequences (which God allows in their lives) even more effectively than by man made pain.

Oct 19, 2004

Filling Up Mama (tips/ideas for self care)

Filling Up Mama:

*spend time in prayer, praise, and Bible reading daily
*listen to Christian music
*spend time with your husband
*watch a movie with your hubby after children have gone to

*take time to snuggle and connect with your children
*watch your children sleep
*nurse your baby
*take a walk (with hubby, children, the whole family, pets, or

*go outside at night and look at stars
*do something pampering for yourself, like a manicure and

*take a long, hot bubble bath with candles lit
*get enough rest*take a family nap
*exercise: do aerobics, lift weights, stretch, use an exercise ball *spend time doing a hobby: scrapbook, knit, crochet, sew,

*stay in your PJs on a Saturday morning and snuggle on the

couch with your children
*have a friend and her children over for breakfast in their PJs
*play in the park with friends.
*drink a cup of coffee/tea
*read a book
*read email or surf the internet*make a cup of coffee and talk

to a loved one or friend
*make a conscious effort to be a blessing to someone around


Oct 15, 2004

Tips for Positive Discipline

1) ³You need to stop yourself from doing ___________.² And then give a
Example: ³You need to stop yourself from walking with scissors. That is
not safe.²
Then, if they don¹t stop, or start doing it again:
2) Get their attention, look them in the eye, and, if necessary, get down
on their level and say, ³Listen to my words, OYou need to stop yourself from
________¹. ³ And tell them what to do instead.
Example: ³Listen to my words, OYou need to stop yourself from walking with
the scissors. Either set them down, or sit down yourself and use them at
the table.²
Then, if it continues:
3) ³You are having a hard time stopping yourself. Can you stop yourself,
or do you need my help?² And let your child answer. If they say they need
your help, help them. Remove the scissors from their hand and/or help them
sit down at the table where it is safe to have the scissors. If they say
they can stop themselves, let them try. If they can¹t:
4) ³You¹re having a very hard time stopping yourself. Here, let me help
you.² Then you move in and help the child as stated in step number three.
5) The Bear Hug.
This step is the highest step and is to be used when your child resists
your help or, at any time during the steps if your child becomes
out-of-control. By this I mean they are unable to control themselves and
might hurt either themselves or you. Stand behind your child and put your
arms over their shoulders and crossed over their chest. Your hands can be
used, if necessary, to hold their arms so that no one gets hit. Slight
pressure can be put on the child¹s shoulders to hold their feet down on the
ground so that they cannot kick or try to run away. You are standing behind
your child so while holding them this way you can speak softly into their
ear--rather than yelling in their face while looking down on them. When
this happens, the child usually relaxes into your body and you can feel the
tension leave their body. At the least, they will be more willing to listen
to your instructions.
As you get to know your child you can cut out unnecessary steps and go to
the step you know your child needs. This may mean going from step one to
step four--where you move in to help them. And, as your child grows, you
may only have to use step one, or you may add back in steps that were
skipped when your child was younger. Regardless, it is very important to
always use at least step one.

With my spirited children, once I've asked for nice words and they just can't do it, I let it go and try to model nice words myself and give them what they're asking for.Something like, "I see you're too upset to speak more nicely. We'll try again later, because I know you can do it." I've actually found that averting that power struggle at that moment leads to more moments in the future where they just ask nicely the first time. Otherwise, when I push in the moment, it's mainly coming from my own pride and ends up feeling humiliating to them.I guess I just try to put myself in their shoes. I know when I've been crabby inthe past and just said to dh, "Gimme that!" it's a huge act of love just to give it to me and not call me on my mouth right in that moment. Better I should have a chance to apologize on my own (which often happens with my kiddos) than to be pushed in the moment to feel even worse. Redirecting Anger:1) Turn on music and start dancing2) Hand each kid paper and pen3) Fill a sink with water and bubbles and let them clean toys4) Give them play doh to pound.5) Take everyone to a cuddle corner
6) Lead a angry march
No more yelling long distance! Drop what you are doing and walk to wherever they are. Get eye level.

You can raise your voice firmly, but not loudly, to let them know they have overstepped their boundaries.

Be brief. Use 1 word

Don’t phrase commands as requests!

Oct 12, 2004

And the Bible Sayeth, Train up a Child in the Way He Should GoBy Dr. William Sears Issue 93, March/April 1999

And the Bible Sayeth, Train up a Child in the Way He Should Go

By Dr. William SearsIssue 93, March/April 1999

So many religious "experts" now offer inflexible childrearing advice. But can any of us truly know God's will? And which do you trust, your teacher or your heart? A primer on Christian parenting "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you." - Isaiah 66:13

Over the past few years, there has been increasing confusion as to what it means to be a "Christian parent," or what is "God's way." Many churches offer advice and even prescriptions for proper, biblical childrearing. If you don't follow these systems, you're told, you will not raise a godly child.
But the Bible is surprisingly nonspecific about the day-to-day aspects of parenting. It would be easy if God's word, the Bible, laid out a list of parenting commandments, but it does not. There are no specific references on whether to let a baby cry, how long a mother should breastfeed, or where a baby should sleep. Still, many well-meaning advisers have taken it upon themselves to presume to know God's intent for parents, producing elaborate programs for parents to follow.

Some parents welcome this. Others wonder if their newborns really are benefiting - and whether anyone else can know God's intentions for their family. As a pediatrician, Christian, and father of eight children, I would like to reassure all worried parents who find themselves asking, "Will I be a good parent? Will I be able to raise a godly child?" God would not give you a child without also giving you the ability and means to raise that child. He would never give you a child with, for example, a temperament that you couldn't handle. This would violate the very concept of "creator."

God, as creator, designed within every mother and father the necessary tools to parent each individual child. The key to compassionate, successful Christian parenting is simply to discover your tools and use them according to the plan that God has for you and your child.

This may be a different plan than your neighbor's or anyone else's in your church. That's fine. Just trust in the concept of creator and know that within you He has put the tools to become an expert on your baby. To show you how to discover your God-given skills - and how devout, concerned Christians can be misled into certain styles of parenting that may not be God's design for their individual child -

I wish to use a long parable, the form of teaching that was most common in biblical days. Read it, and ponder it for a while. Afterward you should have a clearer understanding of what it truly means to care for your baby as God would have you do.

THE JOURNEY OF MICHAEL AND SUSAN Michael and Susan were expecting their first child. Dedicated to being godly parents and raising godly children, they also, like most new parents, weren't sure how to achieve this. So they decided to take a parenting class offered at their church. After the first class, they realized that there were different opinions, especially in their own church, about raising godly children.

Feeling a little confused, they decided to talk over the various childrearing issues with their family physician, Dr. Joan, an experienced mother of three and a devout Christian. Dr. Joan's advice was simple and clear: "By all means study up on parenting. Read books and attend classes. Learn all you can about babies. But remember, too, that this is your unique baby, and you are his or her parents. You must become an expert on your baby and develop your own method for raising him or her. No one else can create a method for your baby." Michael and Susan nodded in agreement. Dr. Joan went on, looking stern. "The burning desire to be godly parents makes you vulnerable to all kinds of advice that promises you godly children. But no one can guarantee that.

Parenting advice is often a matter of opinion. There is no one way to raise every child. If there were, we would all be clones, children would all have the same temperament, and this would be a dull world. So be discerning. Remember that much of what you will hear in this church-led parenting class is opinion, even if it's presented as fact."

LEARNING TO CONTROL The next evening Michael and Susan attended a parenting class on the subject of control. The teacher kept a tight rein on the class by not allowing any debate. Almost immediately he announced that God had ordained that parents control their children, responding to them only when the parents choose to. No picking up a baby whenever he or she cries, no comforting that child late at night. Order and schedules would establish the household's proper authority. "Who's in charge," the teacher challenged, "you or the baby?"

A few veteran parents in the class stirred uneasily. "What if you have a fussy baby or one with high needs?" one parent asked. "This sounds like a way of making childraising convenient for parents, in spite of the baby's needs." The teacher was insistent. "Remember the original-sin nature of a baby," he said. "Don't let that baby manipulate you." It was becoming clear to the class that this Christian teacher believed that a baby comes into this world an adversary and is out to overpower you if you don't overpower him first. Several mothers frowned. But Michael perked up.

Control, order, authority, setting a schedule. He liked those ideas; they gave him a feeling of power in a situation where he'd been feeling helpless. Maybe this baby would not change their lives much after all. Susan, however, didn't share his enthusiasm. "Something isn't quite right here," she told Michael. "I honestly can not imagine letting our baby cry and not responding."

Michael dismissed her concerns. "You are just being emotional. The teacher warned us that mothers need to react out of logic and order, not 'intuition,' and that I might need to insist on that as your husband." Susan, still struggling, called Dr. Joan later that week. The doctor's comments were succinct:

"Mother's intuition is a God-given way for you to develop a sense of what is right for your baby," she said, adding: "Remember, you'll find some useful information in each parenting class, but be discerning.

" THE STRUGGLE TO NOURISH The next class began with the teacher reiterating the control issue: "In this class, you're going to learn some practical ways to establish authority over your baby," he said. "One of the most important is feeding. Get your baby on a three-hour feeding schedule, and feed him only during the day so he will learn to sleep during the night."

The dads looked thrilled, especially the first-time fathers. No exhausting late-night feedings. No worries about whether a child was truly hungry. The baby would be fed on schedule; he or she would be content. Period. Susan, however, had the same niggling feelings of uneasiness she'd had in the earlier class. This military-style scheduling of her baby's life didn't feel right somehow. She and Michael had already decided they were going to feed their baby the milk designed by God and not by man. But must they stick to a strict nursing timetable? Susan decided they should discuss this idea of controlled feeding with Dr. Joan, who sighed.

"Michael, what do you do when you're hungry?" she asked. "Do you look at your watch?" "No," Michael responded, "I get something to eat." "Yet you propose looking at your watch before feeding your child. Do you really think the creator of the universe would design the tiniest of human beings to have no awareness of when he or she is hungry? Don't even the sunflowers turn to the sun when they need nourishment? And isn't your baby much more intricately designed than the flowers?"

Dr. Joan went on, "All babies grow, but not all babies thrive. Thriving means growing to your fullest potential - physically, emotionally, and intellectually. In my experience as a doctor, rigidly scheduled babies grow, but many of them don't thrive. Do you sincerely believe God would wish that?"

CRIES IN THE NIGHT The next class began with another control issue - crying. The teacher warned parents against responding to their baby's cries. "He will learn to manipulate you," the teacher said ominously. "Do not pick up your baby, and he will stop crying. You'll then have a good baby."

The novices nodded enthusiastically. That's what they wanted: a good baby. Michael was especially pleased. Susan, as before, was much more hesitant. So once again, the couple went to talk to Dr. Joan, who shook her head sadly when they told her of the class's latest lesson. "Let him cry it out; that old line again," she said. "I thought that philosophy had died out, but I guess it is coming back again."

"It sounds so easy and desirable," Michael persisted. "I want to be in charge of our child, just as God is in charge of us." "But I don't know if I can do it," Susan said. Dr. Joan looked from one to the other. "I'm going to have you consult with a friend of mine, Dr. Johnson, a developmental specialist who is also a Christian and a father. I think you will profit from what he has to say."

Dr. Johnson had a learned, grandfatherly demeanor, and both Michael and Susan immediately felt comfortable in his presence. He got to the point without preamble. "Crying it out - there is probably more difference of opinion on this issue than any in parenting," he said. "Volumes have been written about the signal value of the infant's cry and its effect on the mother." He turned to Michael.

"There are reasons why an infant's cries affect you and Susan differently," he said. "A baby's cry is a baby's language," he continued, "designed for the survival of the baby and for the development of the mother. It is the only way babies have of communicating their needs. The key is to learn how to listen." "But I don't want our baby to manipulate us," Michael interjected. "Tiny babies do not manipulate, they communicate," Dr. Johnson corrected.

"That is why your baby's cry will produce especially strong reactions in you, Susan. Blood flow to your breasts will increase, your heart rate will go up, the hormones in your system will increase, and you will have a biological urge to pick up, nurse, and comfort your baby. Susan, you are biologically wired - and I believe God designed you this way - so you will give a nurturing response to your baby when she cries, not restrain yourself."

"Something just dawned on me," Susan interrupted, "What does the it mean in the 'cry-it-out' advice?" "Ah," Dr. Johnson smiled at her, "You have put your finger on the weak point of this philosophy. The 'controllers,' as I call them, feel it's a habit, a manipulation, a gambit for goading parents.

I don't believe this. In the early months especially, stay on the safe side. Consider your baby's cry a call for help of some kind and give a nurturing response according to your God-given mother's instinct. In time you 'll learn when to pick up your baby, when to put your baby down, when to give a quick response, and when to let your baby fuss a bit.

Certainly, you do not have to pick up a seven-month-old baby as quickly as you do a seven-day-old baby. That is a cue-response network that you and your baby will eventually work out." "But God let Jesus cry on the cross," Michael protested. Dr. Johnson looked deeply troubled. "Michael, that was for our very salvation. And it was so hard for Jesus because before that God had always responded to His son.

That's the lesson I hope new parents will learn from the Bible. Because what we've discovered in recent years is that babies whose mothers give an appropriate and nurturing response to their cries learn to cry less. They feel the world is a friendly, responsive place. But babies who are insecure and don't know whether they are going to get picked up or not are the ones who become clingy and whiny. Or worse, they simply shut down, clam up. Sure, they become 'good' babies, but at the price of their inner happiness. I don't think that is what you or God want."

THE SLEEP OF THE GOOD The next parenting class was about how to training babies to sleep through the night, and it proved to be extremely popular. "Have you seen your friends drained from the nighttime feeding demands of their newborns?" the teacher asked. "This is unnecessary and avoidable." The soon-to-be new fathers practically cheered. "Be sure your baby is well-fed, changed, not sick, and then let him cry, perhaps checking him occasionally," the teacher said. "Soon he'll be sleeping through the night.

But," he glared at some of the mothers in the class, "you cannot, even once, give in and go to your child during the night. If you do, your baby will learn that if he just keeps crying, he can control you and get his way. You will have lost your godly authority over your infant." Michael was eager to share this parenting advice with Dr. Joan. "Last week, we learned how to train our baby to sleep through the night by the time he's eight weeks old," he told her happily.

Dr. Joan pursed her lips. "Susan and Michael," she said earnestly, sounding more like a mother than a doctor, "let me warn you against easy, quick-fix methods. If I teach you only one thing about parenting, it is to consider it a long-term investment. The more you put into your parenting, the better your return will be. Lose a little sleep with your child now and sleep better when he is a teen. In other words, listen to your child early, and the child will listen to you later. Doesn't that seem as if it would be God's plan for you and your family?" Susan nodded eagerly. Michael looked confused and thoughtful.

WHAT IS GOD'S WAY? The next class opened with the teacher declaring loudly: "What I've been teaching you is the correct way of childrearing; this is God's way." Immediately the novices perked up their ears. That was why they were coming to the class. They truly wanted to be godly parents. Michael and Susan were both impressed. But afterward, they stopped to talk to Pastor Paul, who had not been involved with the class.

"We're both feeling torn," Michael told the pastor. "We have been hearing so many different opinions about God's way for true Christian parenting, and these differences are now dividing our friends, dividing our church, even dividing Susan and me." "I have certainly seen the dissension," Pastor Paul said. "So I've been giving the issue a great deal of thought lately, and here's what I have found.

First of all, the Bible isn't clear or dogmatic on the day-to-day issues of baby care. Different verses can be interpreted differently by whomever reads them. The problem is that, in biblical teaching, as in every profession, we are guilty sometimes of manipulating God's words to support our own bias. This is known as 'scripture twisting.' It's a natural, human weakness that all teachers have to guard against.

What concerns you most about the advice you've been hearing in the church parenting class?" Pastor Paul asked. "I guess it's the let-baby-cry-it-out advice," Susan volunteered. "It seems that much of the controlling style of parenting boils down to that, and I do not think I'm going to be able to let my baby cry." "In times of need, when you cry out to God, what do you expect?" Pastor Paul asked Susan.

"The Bible says that God will never leave me or forsake me," Susan said slowly. "Even when He says 'no' or 'wait' to what I'm asking for, I know He's there for me. And that is very comforting. I know that I won't give my baby everything he wants either, but I surely want to be there for him when he cries." "And what would you think of God if He didn't seem to hear you or respond?" asked Pastor Paul. Michael hesitated.

"I guess it would cause me to lower my expectations," he said finally. "It is important to me to know that God hears my prayers and responds to me." Pastor Paul looked pleased. "The Bible makes it clear that God hears our prayers," he said. "Psalm 34:17 says: 'The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.' Psalm 55:17 says: 'Evening, morning, and noon I cry out in distress and He hears my voice.' Psalm 145:18 says: 'The Lord is near to all who call on Him in truth.'"

Pastor Paul stopped and looked closely at Susan and Michael. "I believe God wants you to develop your own method for raising your baby," he said. "The Bible tells us clearly to 'Train up a child in the way he should go, and' - this is a passage with a promise - 'when he is old he will not depart from it.' So remember that it's good to go to a variety of classes and talk to lots of parents. But use only what fits your temperament and your desire for your child's happiness. In that way you will learn how to train up your child in the way he should go."

A CHILD'S GARDEN Susan and Michael's baby was almost due. They had finished their last church-led parenting class and were visiting Dr. Joan for one of their final prenatal appointments. "So," Dr. Joan asked, "do you feel prepared for the arrival of your child?" Susan smiled at her. "I don't know if we can ever be prepared," she said. "But I do feel ready to meet my child." Michael looked more worried. "I am still concerned about losing control of my household," he said. Dr. Joan shook her head at him affectionately. "

Michael and Susan, I'd like you to leave me with one important lesson. Consider your responsibility as parents to be to shape your child rather than to control him or her. Think of being a parent like being a gardener. You can not control the color of the flower or when it blooms, but you can pick the weeds and prune the plants so that the flower blossoms to greatest advantage. Parents who accept and love the child God has given them will produce loving, godly children. And those parents will be loved in return." She paused. "Whenever I myself struggle as a parent," she said after a moment, "I like to remind myself of one of my favorite biblical verses, from Isaiah: 'See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.' That is how God sees us - that is how familiar and beloved we are to him. And that is how we feel toward our family members when love guides us."

Michael smiled and briefly laid his hand on his wife's growing belly. "I'll do my best to love and guide our child," he said. "In the end, that must be what God requires of us."

FINDING GRACE Our tale is done. I hope it's provided food for thought and fuel for soul searching. But I won't pontificate further on Christian parenting. Let me only say that being a parent is a dynamic process, not a series of dictated recipes. It is a relationship built on mutual knowledge and trust between parent and child, an ability to read and respond to the cues of one another. Different children, however, offer different cues.

Bear this in mind if you begin to be swayed by the Christian baby trainers. Systems that make no allowances for differences in temperament eventually become one-size-fits-no-one systems. Children can't be made to conform to someone else's view of what a child is supposed to be - even if those views spring from deep and sincere spiritual belief.

Those who promote childraising "systems" have no biological relationship to your child, no investment in your child's future, and no responsibility for your child's outcome. Tragically, those parents who adopt "systems" too blindly can lose their own sense of investment, of responsibility, even of unique love for their child. The system creates distance, not closeness.

An ideal parenting relationship mirrors the profound relationship that we have with God. As young people, we grope our way towards faith. And as new parents, we move slowly and hesitatingly toward greater knowledge of our children. We grow together - the child growing in size and strength, the parents growing in wisdom and empathy. This is the journey that leads to understanding. And that is the surest way to grace.

William Sears, MD, one of the nation's most renowned pediatricians, is an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine. Among the more than 20 books he has written or coauthored are The Baby Book, The Family Health and Nutrition Book, Parenting the Fussy Baby (all from Little Brown), and The Complete Guide to Christian Parenting and Child Care (Broadman & Holman, 1997). He lives and practices in San Clemente , California , with his wife and eight children.

Oct 4, 2004

Speak a word in season to him who is weary

“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4

This passage of the Scriptures is actually prophetic and it refers specifically to Jesus.

Jesus is saying that His Father is the One that awakened Him every morning to speak to Him, and gave Him the words to say to people.

We should pray that prayer more: Lord, wake me up every morning! What a beautiful thing to wake up to the sound of His voice and to the touch of His Spirit… And through the day, how can we speak a word to someone who needs it? By first listening to the Lord daily and letting Him speak to our hearts, in the secret…

The Lord reminded me also that He desires to awaken me all day long! In other words, He wants us to be aware of His presence and sensitive to His Spirit all the time. When He promised to never leave us or forsake us, He meant it (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8). In believing that, we will find much comfort and guidance when we are facing trials, decisions, or when we are in need of finding refuge in Him. We can know He is there, always.
Finally, think about this…

Wait, pray, and being ready to be used by the Lord. The Lord is trying to tell you and me something… Wake up! Are your ears awake to the voice of the Lord? Are the ears of your heart ready to listen to what He has to say? Continue to wait, pray, and be aware of His presence and you will find that the voice of the Lord is always there to speak to you… a word in season if you are weary… or just sleepy!

By (Zaza)

Oct 3, 2004

God the perfect Parent

I have been thinking about the family I come from.

My father was a deeply disturbed individual. He was violent and abusive. He never contributed anything for me or my sisters financiallly and spent most his time in jail or on drugs or drunk.

My mother was could often be uncaring, very distant, and very punitive. She would withhold love if I displeased her. We aren't very close and that is a shame.

God is gracious enough though to put it in my heart, all the time the question... " How did they get that way"?

Someone had to be very cruel to my father to make him the way he was, my poor mother had such a terrible childhood and I can see why she is the way she is.

That is what being a child of God is, it is looking beyond yourself to see beyond someone's actions and mistakes. This is why we are commanded to love our enemies.

Mat 5:44 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

Luke speaks of this "Luk 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil.

It is looking at the heart. That is how Christ is with us.

Oct 2, 2004

My Coming to Christ

I have shared this in a group I am in. I am now becoming a bit more comfortable sharing this as time goes by. It is my hope that this can encourage someone by my sharing, so here goes

Alida- Rom 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose."

This would be the verse that gives me SO much hope! This verse tells the story of my life. My life has been one catastrophe from another, but everything done to me, every bad decision I've made, everything wrong in my life, even the hurts that I have, the Lord has used them all to bring glory to His name and to the benefit so someone else.

My family is one of the most dysfunctional families that I have ever known and are the most violent people I have heard of. When I was 9 months old my dad who was an explosive evil violent man, beat my mom with me in her arms. Broke her ribs, many bones and many facial parts were damaged. Praise God, I wasn’t hurt at all. She fled to California and tried as best she could to raise me. Sadly she got on heroine. I got taken away from her and placed in foster care.

Ladies, I urge you to please prayerfully consider fostering a child. Many folks who do this do so w/evil motives. I can tell you horror stories. If we were to have anymore children I will be fostering them. My foster mom was racist and very cruel. I got shipped to go live with my grandparents and father, thinking this would be better, I was joyful, as I never had a dad before.

My grandfather was very violent and I remember going to domestic violence shelter with my grandma who would promise to leave my grandpa and always went back. My grandma took out her frustrations on me and I was often whipped with cords & various objects for no reason. I remember one time getting beat for drinking my grandma's "Crown Royal" by like three different people in my family! I was like 7 years old! like a 7 year old would drink alcohol! I remember having suicidal thoughts when I was 7. I remember thinking “I gotta get away from here or I’ll die. I never thought I’d make it to adulthood and had constant nightmares of me dying.

I’d go stay with my dad but he was worse. He dated women and I always saw him beating them. Some of them he forced into prostitution. It’s sad the women with kids the kids saw there mom getting beat up constantly. I often wonder how these girls are now as adults. He was in or prison often. My dad would threaten to kill me. (One of his brothers had committed suicide and shot his infant son before he did it, my dad always thought that was so heroic) He always swore he do the same to me. A weird situation to be in knowing your dad wants to kill you.

One day he slapped me so hard, He was a very muscular man from years of prison, and left a huge hand mark on my face for a weeks! I was teased at school and felt horrible. I was 8, I think. After that I refused to speak to him for a year! I was a determined child.

My mom received reports from social services of my abuse and got herself off drugs. She moved to California again and got custody of me when I was 9. I had panic attacks from the getting beat all the time that didn’t really stop until I was about 12. In the middle of the night I’d be gripped with fear for no reason. My poor mom. When she got me back she didn’t know how to help me. She did her best but we fought constantly and she had lots of guilt for my years with my grandparents. She was clean for many years then started heroine again when the man who is now my step dad moved out.

I was sent to shelters a lot for being a “bad kid”. ( really for having messed up parents) Eventually I met this guy who I dated for 3 years. I was 13, he was 17. He ended up being so much like my father it was uncanny. He was violent/obsessed. I ended up getting pregnant at 14. I should have left him then but didn’t. My mom found out and made me get an abortion. I thought to myself, it’s for the better. Abused people abuse their kids. I won’t do to my kids what’s been done to me. That haunted me for years.I hated my mom, and felt like I was a burden to her. I had suicidal thoughts for a while. My arms still have many scars form many cuts on them. They are reminders to me of my life without God.

I have seen and lived through some VERY disturbing situations. Someone must have seriously been praying for me. I knew in my heart there is a God, but just that He must not like me! lol. I experimented in a few other religions for a while including witchcraft, Muslim, and new age, astrology, some Mormonism, etc. I was VERY into the occult. I started reading the Bible but never got saved. When my mom kicked me out at 17, I went wild from all the freedom, but the Lord sent Christians in my path to minister to me.

Finally at 18 I truly became born again. I backslid more than a few times still wrestling with demons from my past and trying to conquer the hate in my heart. To be honest I just didn’t fully trust that God had the best thoughts for me. I got pregnant by my now husband and recommitted me life to the Lord. I have been on fire for Him ever since. The Lord has used me in many ways! I can’t even tell you all the things He has brought me through, the people He has made me to witness to. It is awesome and beautiful. I shouldn’t even be here and here I am thriving and sharing the love of Christ.

Many of my friends that saw what I came from and how I am such a loving mom, and how I am still here and can PRAISE The Lord despite my childhood have told me they think about God more because it’s me telling them about it. I tell them it is the Lord who had a purpose for me and them and that the Lord will bring something good out of ANYTHING if you just let Him. Can I update on you now on those people in my life?

My grandma passed away but re-dedicated her life to Christ before she died. My dad whom I hated passed away from cancer, but I forgave him for my childhood because the Lord forgave me. I helped lead him to the Lord and this evil horrible wicked man accepted CHRIST before he died. If that’s not a testimony I don’t know what is. My mom is sober and a good mom to my brother and sister. As for me, I have an abundant life through Christ with no guilt, no hate in my heart and am the ONLY one in my WHOLE family who is married and in a loving relationship. I am an awesome mama.

I can't wait to see how the Lord will use each thing in my life to give Him glory now. God is good. Jeremiah 29:11 for I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Oct 1, 2004

My Sweet CuddleBug Angel Posted by Hello

My Day 9/30/04

Today was good. Woke up exhausted. Addicted to this DANG computer! lol. Went to a class in Yorba Linda with Danine, my pal. The boys are now enrolled in a reading readiness class that they LOVE. It is sort of like preschool. i don't know what I will do. They talk about going to school ALL THE TIME! YEt, I want to Homeschool. Hmm, Lord give me wisdom.

They loved it. it was great. Danine is such a sweetie, she paid for the class for the boys and I! I will pay for Madison's class next time around. I am so blessed to have such a sweet caring awesome friend. It means alot to me since I never had much family. The friends I have are my family, along with my husband and kids of course. The boys ADORE Danine and Madison. They say the love Danine all the time. This all good since Canaan is betrothed to Madison! Goodthing he likes his future mother in law. hehehe.

We came home and took a nap. I just LOVE cuddling up to my sweet precious cuddlebug angel Anaiah. I LOVE co sleeping with her. I get to smell her sweet baby breath, wake up next to her beautiful precious face. OH I just soak up the baby smells like a SPONGE! Give me a baby and I am AT PEACE! I don't know how folks can have just one or two kids. I can't see myself without a baby. guess we'll have a big family.

We woke up and went to the Fullerton Farmers Market with sairyuu (Brooke) her family is so sweet! Her boy is ADORABLE! Gosh he is a cutie. The boys Loved it. I was annoyed, Canaan had to poop so i lugged all the stuff out of the car so he could use the potty back there. He took FOREVER! I was so annoyed. Then I felt all trashy carrying a potty full of poop to a trash can! Trying to be all LOW PRO, but Canaan is waving frantically at everyone going by while hes on his toilet throne. BTW he's partially naked AND waving.

Got home exhuasted, took a nice long hot bath reading my Mothering magazine. PRAISE GOD FOR hot bubble baths! Didn't read my word at all today. Better luck tomorrow. I feel like Superwoman with three kids, how do folks do it with 7 or more ? I'm gonna curl up with my baby and drift off to sleep! All my love, Alida

My pic

Alida~Young Mom of Twins  Posted by Hello

Sep 29, 2004

Alida's Blog

Hey All,
My name is Alida. I am a 23 year old mom of three. Alot of kids for my age you say...
Let me first explain that my first two are twins. Two for the price of one. Neat huh. Canaan & Elijah are my sweet precious boys. My newest beloved addition is Anaiah Grace. She was born 7/6/04.

I am married to wonderful Huatzin Kohl Rodriguez. He is an wonderful hardworking husband and an exceptional father.

Life is great, hectic at times but what can you say. God is good and always gives me strength and energy to face another day.

Bye for now.  I'll write more later. To see more about me and pictures of our family and friends

Blessings and Peace in Him, Alida

"What is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal"

Sep 1, 2004

My Birth Story!

My Birth Story!

I feel SO Blessed! God is so good! We are finally home. We gave birth to Anaiah Grace Rodriguez Tuesday July 6 at 3:15 pm. She was 9 pound 9 ounces! She is nursing like a champ. It was a hard labor but it was the most beautiful rewarding experience I have ever had! Monday evening after a VERY long day my water broke around 11:30 pm. Contractions started pretty soon after that. I was exhausted as I had been at an amusement park earlier (Knott's Soak City, foolish huh?)and really wanted to sleep. But, the contractions weren't ones that I could sleep through. My own fault for not resting more for my delivery!

By about one or two I was not able to lay down anymore, so I started cleaning and breathing through the contractions. & getting last minute things ready. The birth ball was great for the beginning of labor. I woke up hubby at around 3 or so and around I believe 5 my WONDERFUL friend/doula Sue came over. Sue helped me find a more comfortable position during the intense contractions. I REALLY wanted to sleep but couldn't so we tried walking around the complex. We were also waiting for my family to come down from San Diego and waiting until further on in the labor to get to the hospital. The boys slept soundly during all of this.

The contractions were SO close together we thought she'd come quickly. About 1 1/2 to two minutes apart at times! At around 6:40 we headed to the hospital armed with donuts for the nurses and my birth plan! lol. When we got on the freeway I almost died! It was Horrendus! Traffic was pretty bad and it was hard to deal with contractions in the car all the way from La Habra to SADDLEBACK HOSPITAL in Laguna Hills! We got the BEST nurse ever! Nurse Judy said she was thrilled I would be having a natural birth and that she had two natural homebirths herself! Through all my sounding and even my whining not one time was I offered medication!

The next few hours weren't so bad, I found a great position and everything was manageable. It was hard because they didn't check me so I had no idea how long the labor would last and I was beginning to get very weary. It started to drag on and on. Daddy was awesome. He gave back rubs, gave ice chips, held my hand and gave encouraging words. He read scripture which I thought was beautiful!

(Isaiah 40:28) "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Sue was such a gentle presence. She would pray, rub my shoulders, get cold or hot cloths. Her singing along with the praise music was very calming. It was funny. In the middle of active labor I insisted the radio be turned to KWAV 107.9 to hear Chuck Smith do a sermon. ( I ALWAYS Listen to him at 12, today was no exception hehehe) That gave me such peace and strength. Sue teased that I was taking notes. ( I wasn't)

The last hour the Lord really humbled me. I had to totally lean on Him and pray and cry out to him as things were very intense. I felt like I'd never get to hold my baby! This wasn't as easy as I thought it would be and I wasn't as proud and confident as I WAS BEFORE. I thank the Lord for Sue who was so sweet and supportive through the whole ordeal, I couldn't have done it with out her. I am also thankful for the Bradley Childbirth class that both informed and prepared us for this natural birth. Thanks Pauline, you are an AWESOME instructor!

Finally I was able to start pushing when they checked me I was dilated to 10 w/a slight lip. THANK GOD! I pushed on all fours not being modest anymore. I was very upset that her head would come out and go back in! Not very amusing for me! Finally her head was out but her shoulders got stuck so they had to flip me over, she also had the cord around her neck, but I don't think it was that tight. I finally pushed the rest of her out and was surprised to look over and see daddy filming!! hehehe She is so beautiful and precious. I appreciate her so much as it was such work to get her out! Her apgars were 8, 9 (surprising to me as she didn't cry right away and the nurse seemed concerned)

It was a humbling thing for me and I feel so much closer to my wonderful husband and to my children. Thank you Sue you are amazing and inspiring! Your prayers helped me more than you will ever know. Anaiah means God answered me. Her name is so beautiful. Meaning, the Lord answered me with Grace. (Doesn't the Lord ALWAYS answer you when you need Him!)I can't wait to see how the Lord uses this precious beautiful baby girl and how He'll use our family. Pictures are available at the password is 07048482 Thank you all for the well wishes. Hope to see you all soon. Blessings and peace in Christ Jesus, Alida, Huatzin, Canaan, Elijah, & Anaiah

Atheism-Pull the Plug

Unless someone care's

Unless someone care's

Compassion Verse

"Lifehouse Anything Skit"

Our Mighty Arrows

Our Mighty Arrows