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How to Change a Bad Habit

I “momfessed” today that I yell at my kids.

This morning as I was reading in Ephesians 4, I saw a few things that made me think about my yelling, and what I need to do to be different.

1. In verse 21, we read that Paul is assuming the readers know Christ. So the information that follows is an exhortation and an instruction to believers (those who “have heard about him and were taught in him”.)

2. In verse 22, we are exhorted to “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires”

So my yelling-self is part off my “old self”. When I am sinful and disconnected from the Lord (through lack of the Word and prayer), and when I am hungry and tired, and oh so fleshly, I yell at my children.

It sounds easy- just put off my old self. But when you stop and think How do I put off my old self?, it starts to look a wee bit more complicated. I think the key to “putting off” is found in the next part:

3. In verses 23 and 24, we see that the old self doesn’t just need to be “put off”, it needs to be replaced— “be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

4. A little further down, verse 29 really struck me in regards to my yelling:

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

When I yell, I am not edifying my children. I am not edifying myself. It benefits no one. Those words (and the tone with which they are spoken) are not wholesome. They do not need to proceed from my mouth.

So, I prayed. Asking the Lord to help me put off the old self and put on the new self daily.

And  then I printed out Ephesians 4:29 and hung it up to be a reminder to me to only speak grace-giving words to my children. (I might post it up in every room of the house!)

Putting of the old and putting on the new is not an easy task. It takes daily prayer, daily truth from the Word, and constant work. But through God’s grace, bad habits (sin) can be put off and we can clothe ourselves with the new!

 

 

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DIY: Homemade Baby Food

When Ladybug was beginning to eat solids, I somehow decided I was going to make her baby food (maybe I was inspired by a mommy blogger out there somewhere? I can’t remember exactly!) I made Ladybug’s baby food, and once I realized how easy and cheap it was, I never looked back! I made Stinkbug’s food, and now I’m making baby food again for little Doodlebug.

My favorite resource for baby-food-making is Wholesome Baby Food. There is a wealth of information and tons of great recipes for making your baby’s food. (When I looked over there this week, I’ve noticed they’ve added a ton of new stuff since the first time I made homemade baby food in 2007!)

Basic Tips to Making Baby Food:

  • Some fruits and veggies don’t need to be cooked to be made into baby food– like banana and avocado.
  • You can bake, boil, or steam fruits and veggies before pureeing. (The Wholesome Baby Food website gives tips for preparing each fruit and veggie.)
  • A food processor or a blender will work to make your purees.
  • Freeze the baby food in ice-cube trays. After frozen, transfer to a labeled Ziploc bag in the freezer. (Each cube is about one ounce of baby food.)
  • If your baby doesn’t seem to like a food when you first introduce it, don’t stop trying!
  • When baby starts eating solid food, you can also try giving her a sippy cup to figure out. (It will probably take a while to get the hang of it!)
  • Once baby is a crawler (7-11 months), you can introduce finger foods. Cooked peas, banana chunks, avocado pieces, etc. At first baby may get really frustrated as he learns to use the pincer grasp to pick up these things, but he will get it with time and practice!
  • Keep some wipes or a wet rag handy to clean up the mess– and there will be plenty of mess!
  • Have fun! Enjoy introducing your baby to a wide range of foods, spices and flavors!


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Resurrection Sunday

John 20 {from the English Standard Version}

The Resurrection

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples went back to their homes.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

He is Risen, indeed.


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The Terrible, Horrible, Very Good Friday

John 19 { from the English Standard Version}

Jesus Delivered to Be Crucified

1Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

12From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixtion

So they took Jesus, 17and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.'” 22Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

The Death of Jesus

28After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said ( to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus’ Side Is Pierced

31Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness— his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth— that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

Jesus Is Buried

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.


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Happy Birthday to Me {How to Reflect Upon Another Year}

Today is my birthday.

In youth, as one birthday ends and the year stretches out endlessly before us, we wish time would pick up the ticking pace. We want to reach sixteen and a driver’s license. We want to hit eighteen and graduation. We want to become twenty-one, and be an “adult”. As the birthdays start whizzing by, closer and closer together, we wish we could put on the brakes– at least slow the ride down some.

Today I’m 28. It feels so young and so old all at the same time. As I realize that I won’t have forever on this earth, that my days are passing and I’ll never get them back again, I want to make each day– and each new year count.

Today, I’m reflecting in prayer on the past year, and making plans for the next one. Asking the Lord to show me where I need to grow and where I need His help to improve. Thanking Him for a year full of joys and blessings. And maybe on your next birthday, you should too.

  • What was the event/day/happening/situation that brought me the most joy this past year?
  • What was the hardest challenge I had to face this year? How did I do?
  • Where do I see growth in myself since my last birthday?
  • In what areas am I struggling the most? Do I need to ask for help?
  • If I had to describe my year in one short sentence, what would it be?
  • What do I hope to accomplish this next year?
  • Where do I want to be on my next birthday? Physically? spiritually? emotionally? relationally?
  • What small changes do I want to make to my daily life?

So, happy birthday to me. And here’s to a great 28th year!