Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Emma's Dedication

Sunday, November 26, 2008 we dedicated Emma Raeleigh Acklen to the Lord. Rev. Scott Loper conducted the service, taking his text from the book of Luke (I think), "What manner of child is this?" He focused on John the Baptist, and how God had a specific and special plan for his life. He was to be the forerunner of Jesus Christ, and prepare people's hearts for the Savior's message. In the same manner, God has a special plan for our little Emma, and it is our responsibility to raise her in a manner that she will be able to hear God's calling and fulfill His will in her life, when that time comes. My brother and sis-in-law sang, "As For Me And My House (We Will Serve the Lord)", which we also had in our wedding. They did a wonderful job!

It was a very sweet service, and possibly the best dedication message I have ever heard. It was an honor to have my grandparents, my great-Aunt Emma (Emma named after her), as well as John's mother there to share this sweet occasion. I will never forget the message or the spirit of the Lord that was so present in the service.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


1.pertaining to or characterized by the flesh or the body, its passions and appetites; sensual: carnal pleasures.
2. not spiritual; merely human; temporal; worldly: a man of secular, rather carnal, leanings.

Recently, God has been pulling me out of a fog of carnality that I have been wandering in for far too long. I used to hear that word, "carnal", and something about the very sound of it would make me bristle inside, like a porcupine raising its spikes in defense. I don't think I ever knew the true meaning of the word because I would deduce what I thought it meant from the context it was used in the sermon. I think deep down inside I didn't really want to know what it meant. My flesh wanted to reject the chastening of the Spirit that came with the word.

A known weakness of mine is the unwillingness to submit to authority, and I have struggled with this from the time I was a child. In school, I would always get a "NI" (Needs Improvement) beside the character trait "responds well to correction" on my report card. BIG problem! The root of it? Carnality! The part of me that it is of our base, sinful nature as humans. The part that thinks of only me, me, me. What feels good for me? What do I deserve? What do I want? How can I manipulate those around me to do, say think, what I want them to?

What is amazing to me is how God has opened my eyes to this awful, ugly, filthy condition of my heart. It is through Motherhood. We all know that to be a Mother is to be a servant to your family. How does the saying go? "A man's work is from sun to sun, but the work of a woman is never done"? Being a stay at home Mom, I believe, is the hardest, most exhausting, all-consuming job there ever was or ever could be. Not that I am complaining, because God has given me peace and joy in doing this. But I am just saying that one cannot fulfill God's will for a mother and wife in her home if one is full of the flesh. It will make it VERY HARD. Every whine, every cry, every underwear/panty full of poop you have to clean up will grate at your nerves, infuriate, and drive you into a deep hole of depression. One CANNOT be selfish and be a Biblical, God-fearing, home-serving Mother if one is full of the flesh.

God's Word says that in child bearing, shall a woman be saved. I need to study it out, but I don't think this is means exclusively the act of pushing a baby out of your uterus (or having one cut out, as is my case). No, the very act of motherhood can save you from yourself, from the very nature of sin. Open your eyes. Watch yourself, and how you respond to the needs of your children and husband. Is it with dread? Is it with an "Do I ever great a break?" attitude? If so, then whup! That's your flesh speaking. Join me in seeking to rid myself of my carnal nature. I'm right there with ya :).

I guess that's enough of my sermon for today. Expect more on this subject, as God is daily revealing his spiritual truths to me.

On a lighter note, I will share Elijah's funny conversation for today. We were playing with their play horses and barns when Elijah says, "This is Uncle ____'s church." I kind of laughed, because Uncle ___ does not go to church. I said, "We need to pray for Uncle ___ so he will get saved and go to church and then he can go to heaven." Elijah said, "No!" I said, "You don't want Uncle ___ to go to heaven?" Elijah--"No!" Me--"Where do you want him to go?" Elijah--"The petting zoo!" LOL Well, so much for my spiritual application for the day :).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Worst Mother of the Year

And the award goes to............

Yours trully!! I took the kids for their checkups today. They have not been to the doctor in over a year, and Emma was having some problems with colic and Grace with reflux. I pictured going in and discussing these things with a doctor and finding out what was triggering them and what we could do besides medicating them (I prefer not to medicate until it's a last resort). Here is what happened:

Did I mention it was terrible? My family and I just moved here in May, and since my husband has taken a lower-paying job, we got our kids on Medicaid. Medicaid has this new thing where they will actually pay for your monthly premiums if you can get insurance through your job. So that insurance is primary and Medicaid is secondary.
It has been very hard finding a pediatrician who will take both insurances in this manner. I finally picked a doctor from the list who did not sound foreign and who was in practical driving distance. I made an appointment for all three kids at 9:15 this morning. I got there at 8:45 so I could get all of the paper work filled out. by 9:00 it was all done. We waited in the waiting room for about 30 minutes, and then were called back. We got all three of them undressed and weighed and then were taken to a room. We sat and sat. My 3 1/2 year old, 2 year old, were getting a little hard to handle. So we started singing kids' songs to get them to sit still. My son loves the drums, and had brought his drumsticks along. He was playing them on the vinyl-coveed chair along with our singing. The nurse came to the door and informd us we were making too much noise. It wasn't like we were singing to the top of our lungs or anything. Just trying to make the time go faster.
Finally, at 11:00, I told my friend (who so graciously went along to help) that if no one came by 11:30, we were leaving. At 11:30, I began to get 6 wk old dressed when the nurse came to the door and said the doctor had arrived (we didnt' know she was gone). Apparantly, she had had an emergency admit that morning and things got a little haywire. It would've been nice to have been told that when we arrived and given the choice to wait or reschedule!! Anyway, we decided to wait a little longer. After all, I had gotten them all up very early and fed and dressed them to get them there on time. Why not just get it over with instead of coming back and doing it all over again? So, we waited more. Finally, at 12:30, I said this is it, we are leaving. I got them all dressed and as we were walking down the hall we met the Dr. and nurse. I told them we were leaving, that I would reschedule at a later date (not). The Dr. starts asking me please don't leave I am about to get started. I said I am sorry, I'll just reschedule. As we were walking out the door, a nurse comes running out and said the Dr. says if you will stay she will see you RIGHT NOW. So I agreed. Back in the room we go, undress all three kids again. Wait another 20 minutes. When the doctor comes in, she is rushing around, giving excuses about why she was late. She didn't take time to talk to the kids, get them comfortable with her. She just started poking and prodding and examining. Needless to say they did not cooperate.
Then came the shot issue. I knew my 2 year old was behind, and I didn't want to do them all at one time. I asked if we could do a couple today and come and do the rest later. She said no, we need to do them all today, there's only 3. I reluctantly agreed. Then she says oh no there's 4. I said I really don't want to do that. She kept pushing me, saying she's gonna scream the same with 4 as she would with two. Which really wasn't the point. The point was I don't want all those chemicals in my daughter's body at one time. Then she starts going off about she has to have these to start Kindergarten. Well, hon, she's not starting kindergarten next week! Ya know? So we wait longer. Six week old is screaming unsconsolably. The Dr. says, "Can't you give her that pacifier and calm her down?" I said, "No, I can't. She is tired and mad and she won't have this pacifier in this condition." I mean, dont' you think I would calm her down if I could? (thought, not said).
So my friend takes 6 week old and 3 1/2 year old to the waiting room. It's time for 2 year old's shots. When the Dr. comes back in she says, "Oh, I forgot, there's a 5th shot that she needs." I should have stood up right then and there and said, "NO! We are leaving. You are not injecting my daughter." But I didn't. I sat there and let them stick her FIVE times. I was crying, she was screaming and crying. I signed the papers and went out to the waiting room to my screaming infant.
I get them all loaded into the van when a nurse runs out to our van and says, "I need you to wait so I can give you these papers for proof of shots." So I said OK. Wait 8-10 minutes. Put the van in drive, drive across the parking lot. Another nurse runs out and stops us. She says, "We need you to come back in. We need to do a pulse ox on them [(whatever that is)]." I said, "No, ma'am.We are leaving." She says OK. We leave. Five minutes down I-20 the Dr. calls me on my cell. "We need you to come back and get these papers and their presciptions." OH! I forgot to mention that 6 wk old has a double ear infection and she prescribed antibiotics. I know this is controversial, but I do not feel comfortable giving antibiotics to an infant." I said, "Nnnnnnnnoo. I am on my way home. I am not coming back." She says ok and hangs up. It is now 1:00! Needles to say, I will NOT be returning to this office and have a word of advice for everyone: if there is more duct tape then vinyl on the waiting room chairs, LEAVE!! Stand up for what you want for your kids, don't do like me and give into the pressure. That's why I feel like the worst Mother in the world.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ordinary Joy

As I tried to think what to blog about, I realized there's not been very much of interest going on around here lately. We've been going about our days, getting established in a routine and just being a family. Our home is pretty ordinary, with ordinary messes, mishaps, and merriment. I find myself singing more lately, and I see that joy spilling over onto my children. The Lord is stirring me, drawing me closer. There is something in my soul that says we don't have long. Not only are the signs all around us, but they are inside me as well. Something is saying, "Get ready. Draw closer. Get away from this, put away that. It doesn't matter. It will rob you of your desire for Me. Come near. Sup with me." Does anyone else feel it? This Christian life, it really does get sweeter as the days go by. It has matured me, changed my view of myself and where I fit in this world. I want more of it!