Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!"

Have you seen the movie Finding Nemo?  Do you remember the part where all the birds are fighting over the fish and squawking "Mine!" over and over again?

Do you have kids, or have you been around young kids?  Almost without fail you will hear them shout "Mine!" many times throughout a day.

Most of the arguments between my kids have to do with this battle over what is  "Mine."  Whether it is a toy or an opinion about how something should be done, they both want things their way.   Human nature is just plain selfish and self-centered.

I've been asking myself this week, "How do I behave in this regard?"  I don't run around yelling "Mine!" and demanding that everything is done my way.  I don't hold tightly to my possessions.  But I do hold on too tightly to "my time"  "my kids"  "my husband" and "my plans" for life.  None of these things are "Mine!"  I gave them to God many years ago.  I asked Jesus to live in my heart, to be my savior, my guide.  I gave my life to him.  My time, my husband, my kids, my plan...  these are the things that make up my life.  Only it isn't my life.

My time belongs to God.  I don't always think about that.  When I am wasting time, doing things that are meaningless, I am wasting God's time.  I want to stop and pray each morning, "God, what do you want me to do with your time today?"

My husband and my kids belong to God.  I don't always remember that.  When I spend time worrying about their safety or their futures, I am not fully trusting in God to take care of them or in his plan for their lives.  "God, my family belongs to you.  How do you want me to serve them today?"

My plans, my future, belong to God.  I don't always focus on that.  I can get caught up in my plans for the future, and my timeline for when I want things to happen.  I think most of my plans and dreams are things that would be honoring to God.  But no matter how good my plans seem to be, I can only truly honor God by following his plans in his perfect timing.  "God, please help me to live in the present.  Please help me to be patient and joyful in following your plans for each day of my life."

My kids go to bed at 7:30 each night.  "Whew!  It's my time now,'  I think to myself.  Half an hour later, I hear a door creak open and I get frustrated.  I don't want to help my kids now, I did that all day!  This is my time!  But wait a minute.  It isn't my time.  When Jesus was on earth, he was busy, but he took time to show love to children.  Perhaps he would respond to my child with love and patience, even if it was after bedtime?

My husband is later coming home than usual.  I start to worry about whether he is okay.  Did he get into an accident on the way home?  Wait, Joel belongs to God too.  God is big enough to take care of him.  And if God does call one of my loved ones to be with him in heaven?  God is big enough to comfort and care for me in my grief.

I'm pretty sure God told me he wants me to do x, y, and z with my life.  Those things are on my heart God, they are good things.  Don't you mean now God?  If it is God's plan, he will make it happen in his perfect timing.  I just need to be ready to jump in when God opens up those doors.

When my selfish nature starts screaming "Mine!" I want to remember that these things truly belong to God.  God's time, God's children, God's plans.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Little hands and little feet

Little hands and little feet make great starts for art and craft projects.  They are just so cute!  Why didn't I figure this out sooner?  I really wish I had my kids' hand and foot prints from when they were teeny tiny.  Or that I'd made prints each year on their birthdays to go with the yearly birthday photos.  Better now than never...

Here are some of the crafts we've done this spring with hand prints and foot prints.  I imagine I will treasure these memories for years to come!

Spring Flowers by Anna
 My son hid his flower hand prints somewhere.  I need to find it and put it in a safe spot!

The following pictures were made by tracing each person's foot, and then painting it to create something new.  The kids are really into fairies right now (thanks to Tinkerbell).

Vidia the Fairy by Arik

Fawn the Fairy by Anna

I decided to join the fun!

 I think it is time to dip two sets of little feet into some paint and get some real foot prints!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Stories of how couples met and started dating are often so fun to hear.  Thought I'd share a bit of my own story with you today.

Seven and a half years ago (from yesterday), my husband and I went on our first date.  Seven and one quarter years ago (from yesterday), we got married.  It didn't take us long to figure out we'd both found the person we wanted to spend the rest of our life with.

Joel and I went to the same high school.  We were in the same graduating class.  We worked at the same grocery store.  He knew who I was; I knew who he was.  But we were both very shy and I don't know that we ever talked to each other more than saying hi or communicating briefly for the sake of our job!  I was particularly nervous about talking to him because he was "older" than me.  8 whole months older.

We graduated from high school.  Joel spent 5 years in the Marines.  I spent 5 years going to college, getting married, being miserable, and eventually getting divorced (a story for another day perhaps).

We were both living near our home town once again.  I went out to a restaurant with my roommate and her grandmother.  Joel was at the restaurant, taking his mom out for Mother's Day.  And we actually got up the courage to say hello and chat a little bit!  We said goodbye, but I kept thinking about him and he kept thinking about me.

A couple months later, Joel saw my roommate and asked her to give me his phone number.  I wanted to call, but didn't want to be the one to initiate (that, and I was still quite shy).  A few more months passed and my roommate asked me if I minded if she called him.  She gave him a call and he said he was busy the night she wanted to go out, but asked her if I would be available sometime.  (So, to my lovely roommate, I thank you for your instrumental role in getting Joel and I together!)

Joel and I went on our first date after my sign language class on November 6, 2003.  In typical Shauna style, I had a raging migraine and could barely think or see straight.  But no way was I going to let that keep me from spending those hours with Joel.  After that, we just kept on seeing each other.  I'm not sure exactly when plans for marriage entered our conversations.  With just 3 months from our first date until our wedding day, it obviously didn't take too long!

We decided on a Sunday that we were going to elope on Friday.  We bought our rings on Tuesday.  On Thursday, I reminded Joel that he hadn't actually proposed yet and he better do it or I wouldn't be able to marry him the next day!  We were married beside the Willamette River in Salem, Oregon, between showers of rain.  I couldn't have made a better choice.  Thank you, Joel, for 7 1/2 wonderful years!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

His Grace is sufficient

I read a wonderful blog, "A Place Called Simplicity," on a regular basis.  From time to time, Linny the author of the blog, leads a day of prayer and fasting.  Prayer, yes I can do that.  But I have always been fearful of fasting.  I have a very quick metabolism and start to get shaky if I don't eat every 2 to 3 hours.  If I wait longer than that I usually start to get kind of faint, severe headaches, etc.  Not a great way to feel when I am trying to take care of my young kids.

Recently, another opportunity for prayer and fasting was presented.  I really felt like maybe I should join in.  I tried to think of some good excuses, but paused to ask God what his opinion was.  "Do you want me to fast today?"  And immediately I heard, "Yes."  Next I asked, "Do you want me to keep fasting if I start to get dizzy and shaky or have a bad headache?  What about the kids?"  And quickly I heard, "My grace is sufficient for you."  Wow, those were quick responses.  I'd been hoping God would answer my questions after I had time for breakfast!

Feeling very hungry, I sat down to read my Bible.  As I was reading, my feeling of hunger went away. God's word is good food!  The feeling of hunger returned throughout the day and I used it as a reminder to spend the time either praying or reading my Bible.  I was certainly hungry, but I didn't experience my usual symptoms from not eating frequently enough.  I didn't even have a headache until I broke the fast and ate again.  The kids and I had a great day.  God's grace is way more than sufficient.  I am so glad that he takes the time to speak to me and teach me new things.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Messy Lessons

Getting messy makes learning fun!  With a "classroom" of two students the cleanup for messy projects isn't too bad.  I know I've said it before, but I really love teaching my kids at home!  Here is a small sampling of memorable science experiments, and art and history projects that we have enjoyed lately.

 The kids made their own cave paintings after learning about the nomads.  We learned that cave painters often painted animals and signed their work with a hand print.

  We made "Gruesome Goo" by mixing cornstarch and water.  This was a science lesson about viscosity, but I'm not so sure the kids remember that part!  After washing it down the sink, I read that wasn't a good idea as it is likely to clog pipes.  Oops.

We learned about various types of animal and plant cells and their parts.  Did you know that an egg is one huge cell?  Very convenient since we don't have a microscope at home yet.  We were able to find the egg's nucleus, view the cell membrane, and then play in the cytoplasm.  When my son saw this picture today he said, "Mom, can we play with eggs again today?"

 This project, a directed drawing of Uncle Sam, wasn't messy, but it was still fun.  The kids drew the various parts of the picture as I described it to them.  We then learned about Uncle Sam and many other American symbols.  The picture on top was drawn by my daughter at age 5.  The second picture of Uncle Sam was drawn by my son at age 3.

Field trip day at the beach gave us another opportunity to get good and messy!  We are loving the sun and warmth of spring.

P.S.  If you enjoy pictures, check out some of my older posts.  I've gone back and added photos to a few.