Friday, April 30, 2010

To Have and To Hold

Last night was another banner evening in the Scroggs household.  My dear husband, Jeff, is struggling for the second time this year with severe back pain.  It pretty much ensures his night will be spent on the floor, where there is more support for his back.  I toss and turn the night away, keeping an ear out for E, knowing that if she wakes in the night I’m tucking her back in. 

This morning, around 4:30, E shrieked from her crib.  It wasn’t a frightened cry, it was a loud “MOMMY!!”  I struggled from my lonely place in bed, careful not to disrupt Jeff, who’d finally found comfort in sleep.  I entered E’s room, where she was standing in the bed, and proudly announced “I pottied mommy!”  E always says what she’s thinking.  After stripping the sheets, changing a diaper, and finding her Ariel pj’s I was very ready to go back to bed.  E wasn’t. 

Too tired to fight a battle, E and I made the walk to mommy’s bedroom, where we settled in for some more snoozing.  We snuggled under the covers, shared a pillow, and I started to close my eyes.  That was when E reached over and put her little two year old hand on my cheek, and said “I ove you mommy,” and then closed her eyes to sleep.  I teared up and thought “E always says what she’s thinking.”

I didn’t sleep much.  I laid there instead and looked at this incredible little gift beside me and thought about the joys of motherhood, and how they happen at the most unexpected times.  It was like the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said “hold these things in your heart.”  You mommies reading might be at the end of your rope, but know this, our heavenly Father knows a thing or two about being a parent.  He has a son too, you know.  Trust in Him and know that He will give you exactly what you need when you need it. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just Like Jesus

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A couple of weeks ago Jeff and I were blessed enough to have the opportunity to visit the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, KY.  One of the things we love about this conference is the music.  Some of the music we sang in our large group was provided by a group called Sovereign Grace Ministries.  If you’ve not heard of them, do yourself a favor and visit their website.  My personal favorite right now is their KIDS CD  To Be Like JesusThis is NOT your typical kids music. It is incredible, and I like it too!!! 
The CD features songs that teach the fruits of the spirit.  The songs are catchy, the lyrics sound theologically, and the music is up-beat.  I highly recommend this CD….go over to  Sovereign Grace Ministries and give it a listen.  I think you’ll be jamming to it pretty soon.  Be sure to check out their other CD’s too! 
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Valley of Vision (currently on sale for $8!!!!!!) is another personal favorite.  Its great Bible Study music.  :)
Don’t want to wait?  You can download To Be Like Jesus here at ITunes.  Interested in Valley of Vision?  Its HERE at ITunes.  Happy Listening!

Light and Shadows

Our little girl, E, has always been a good sleeper.  She didn’t have a problem in the bassinet.  She didn’t have a problem in the crib.  Even when we converted her crib to a toddler bed, we lucked out.  She stayed in her bed, prayed with us, and then rolled over and went to sleep.  We were sufficiently spoiled. 

Then E discovered shadows.  Shadows are my little girls fear.  She would see them everywhere.  At nighttime, in a night light lit bedroom, they are in abundant supply.  I was ready with all my super mommy tricks, like monster spray and magic blankets, but my husband in his infinite wisdom, had a better idea.  He taught E to pray when she was scared.  Let me tell you, there is nothing sweeter that a two year old saying “God is good, and Jesus Loves Me”.  It worked for a little while, but fear is a powerful thing.  I was ready again with my super mommy tool belt, but Jeff, once again, answered E’s fears with Godly wisdom. 

He told E that if she looked in the dark, it would be easy to find shadows.  Shadows like the dark.  But, if E looked at her night light, which was like Jesus, then a funny think happened.  When E looked at her night light, the shadows disappeared!  Shadows, it turns out, don’t like the light.  E still struggles, but we remind her to pray, and focus on the light.  She, and we, are sleeping soundly most nights. 

Jeff pointed out that in our lives as Christians, Jesus is our light.  Shadows, it turns out, only come into view when something is between us and the light.  Its easy to find shadows.  I mean we all struggle with something, and that something often comes between us and the light of Christ.  Sometimes, like E, we feel overwhelmed by the shadows that we see.  Its scary, and it seems like we’ll be overtaken.  Its those times that we need to look only at the light, and funny enough, when we’re focused on the light, the shadows go away.  I don’t know your struggles, but God does.  Focus on the light, and when fear still creeps in, remind yourself that God is good, and Jesus, beloved, loves you. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I’m BAAACK!

Some of you may have noticed a considerable lack of writing for the past couple of weeks.  Not to fear, I didn’t drop off the face of the blogosphere yet AGAIN.  No, I was absent due to technical difficulties.  It seems that our former laptop couldn’t quite withstand the wrath of our two year old, who, as we found out, is quite immune to any firewall that Norton’s Antivirus software can throw at her.  We don’t really know what happened between her and the laptop, all we know is that she won.  :)

Soooo, after a week of NO computer capabilities, and the loss of my beloved Windows Live Writer, I am finally back in business and with a lot to share.   Jeff and I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, KY last week.  It was incredibly encouraging, and gave me a lot to blog about.  I can’t wait to get started!  So many ideas floatin’ around in this head of mine, let me tell you!!! 

In addition I will continue Tot School updates (one for this week will post soon!) and my meanderings through Ecclesiastes.  Just thought I would let you all know what was up with me!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Diamond in the Rough

So my hubby, knowing me the way he does, called me this morning with an interesting prospect.  Someone a couple of streets over from where we live was throwing away a ton of kids play stuff.  Since I am a committed dumpster diver who knows no shame I drove over to scout for prospects.  A LOT of the stuff was admittedly junk, but I found a dirty, disgusting diamond in the rough. 
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Now, don’t let the pictures fool you.  This bad boy was even more horrid in real life.  :) 

I drilled a couple of holes in the base so some trapped rain water could drain out.  I went through an entire roll of paper towels and half a bottle of Lysol Multi-Purpose cleaner (which happens to have a FABULOUS lemon scent), but boy oh boy, was it worth it.  This table is perfect for E, and it will be a great place to color and have tea parties all year long!
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Anybody else out there search for diamonds in the rough?  What are your best finds?  Let me know!!! 
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

stART-Noah’s Ark and What Makes a Rainbow

For those of you new to the tot school thing, stART revolves around a story, and, you guessed it, art! You can check out more stART activities at A Mommy’s Adventures

This was our first OFFICIAL stART activity.  We’ve combined stories and projects, but never this directly.  Today we read the story of Noah’s Ark in E’s Jesus Storybook Bible.  E LOVES this book, but she did not really dig the whole Noah story.  We read it though, and we talked about the rainbow and God’s promise.  We also read What Makes a Rainbow, which was a request of E’s and fit with our project.
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We made this collage rainbow that my friend, Sarah, told me about.  We went through old magazines and looked for colored pictures and she got to tear them up in little pieces.  She then got to glue them, which I think was her favorite part. 

I really liked this activity, and I know E did too.  We had some guests for dinner and she really wanted them to see her “ainbow”.  Let me know if any of you try it and how it goes!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tot School Recap-March

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                                            E is 26 months old

So I have been kicking myself for Tot School, or the lack of Tot School, for the entire month of March.  I really don’t know what happened!  Our month has been crazy…and its taken its toll on me!  We did activities, but our schooling lacked the structure we had established in January and February.  Those of you following the blog have probably noticed that the blogs have been fewer and farther between.
 A few things I’m seeing though, I thought I would share….

1. Tot School changes the way I interact with E.  While I try to set aside a set time to do learning play with E, I’ve noticed our activities go all day long, and aren’t confined to the house. 

2.  It isn’t worth stressing over the plans.  Plans have to change!  We’re working with toddlers here!

3. If Tot School ain’t fun, it ain’t worth doing. :)

4. Some days Tot School doesn’t happen.  Let it go, and move on.

5. We’re using a LOT of printer ink. :)  

I know that some of you already know these things,  I mean these aren’t Earth shattering revelations here.  I personally have just had to encourage myself here lately.  The main benefit and reason for Tot School isn’t to show off E’s latest tricks to the world wide web.  She loves Tot School because we spend time together, and I hope that is what she remembers. 
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                       Here is a pic of our Easter Egg Hunt! 
Remember to check out what others are doing at 1+1+1=1.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Time to Plant

There is an art to farming.  Every crop has a place and a time to be planted.  Soil has to be turned and prepared.  Fields have to be plowed and worked.  Even after the soil is ready, you have to be careful.  Plant to early, and your crop falls victim to frost.  Plant to late and roots aren’t deep enough to withstand the summer sun.  Yes, there is an art to planting, and there is a time to plant.

If you are a believer in Christ today, it isn’t an accident.  We live in a world where serendipity often gets the credit for an act of the Holy Spirit.  Someone, whether it was a pastor, a friend, or a complete stranger, was obedient in presenting the gospel to your unbelieving heart.  They looked for thorns and help you dig out painful shrubs of doubt before they told you of Christ.  They were faithful and God, knowing that you had been worked into good soil, knew that it was time to plant. 

It isn’t enough though to simply believe and not do some planting of our own.  Each of us, if we are honest with ourselves, knows someone who doesn’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior.  It is impossible to know whether or not the time has come to plant if we don’t spend some time working the soil.  Work takes a relationship, and sometimes that relationship is hard.  The burden seems too heavy.  Some lives are riddled with thorns, and when we go after them we are the ones whose hands get bloody.  We might fear that working the soil of a dry heart will leave us tired, and hurting.  In that case we should take comfort yet again in Christ.  It was Christ who carried the cross of our burden.  It was Christ who bore thorns from sins He didn’t own.  It was Christ who bloodied His hands so that we might live.  It is from Him that we draw not only the strength, but the wisdom, to know when its time to plant.
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