Thursday, February 24, 2011

10 step program for those thinking of having kids

I read this article by Amy Lawrence a few weeks ago and couldn't resist saving it. For those of you who haven't had children yet it will give you an idea of what its like, and for those of you who have had children I think it will give you a good chuckle as it did me. So grab a drink, relaz, read and enjoy!!

Lesson 1 
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2 
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3 
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and have a drink.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)
 Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4 
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out...
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5 
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6 
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7 
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8 
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
 You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9 
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 10 
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 9 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say 'it's all worth it!' Share it with your friends, both those who do and don't have kids. I guarantee they'll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you'll need when you become a parent!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lessons from a Homeless Man

It was a Monday morning. The kids were off to school and my husband and I were each beginning our daily routine when the doorbell rang. Now this is not an unusual event. We both started to the door but he arrived first and opened it up. There outside our front door stood a man who looked like he needed food, a shower and a haircut and I’m not sure in what order. I quickly slunk back into the shadows around the corner but not too far that I couldn’t hear what he was saying. The conversation went something like this:
Man: Good morning sir is this part of the church?
My Husband: Yes it is can I help you?
Man: Well I was walking along the road last night and I saw the church sign so I slept overnight in the ditch and thought I would come this morning to see if there would be anything at the church I could eat before I went on my way.
Me (in my thoughts): What! This guy actually slept in the ditch by our house?
My Husband: Well there is nothing at the church but you can come in and my wife will get you some coffee and something to eat.
Man as he enters our house: Thank you…that is very kind of you.
Now by this point I am nervously, visibly shaking just thinking about having this guy in our house…and who knows what he is up to. I try to give my husband that signal like, ‘you’ve got to be crazy,’ but he seems to not want to catch on. He leaves the man on the chair by our front entrance and comes into the kitchen where I am still frozen on the spot and shaking. Seeing that I’m not budging he starts to get some coffee ready, leftover breakfast and cookies.
As the man downs the food they continue talking. The man then asks how far it is to Ingersoll to which my husband inquires if that is where he needs to go next. He answers in the affirmative. “Well,” says my husband, “we are actually heading out in a few minutes and that is on our way so we could drop you off somewhere there.” Now at this point I am in a state of panic and fury. We are now going to have this dirty, smelly homeless guy in our vehicle? He will be sitting behind me and who knows what will happen. But the arrangements are made and much to my horror we are soon on our way.
As we drove down the road this man had many stories to tell. He had walked across almost all of Canada and had witnessed much in his travels. But then he told us a little of his family and how he became a wanderer. We told him that he should write a book about his travels. As the conversation progressed my husband asked him if he had or ever had read the Bible and it was then that he dug into his backpack and pulled out his own worn copy. Not only did he have one but we could tell it was used. And then it was my turn to sit in shame. Nobody knew but I felt worse than that dirty, smelly homeless man. For who knows all the reasons why he was doing what he was doing? Why couldn’t I have put aside my fears and welcomed this man into our home in hopes of spreading the gospel to him? By the time we dropped him off I was almost wishing he could come back so that we could take care of him but I realized that this was his life and that my husband (not myself) had brightened his day by giving food and drink to this perfect stranger. Those are the times we wish we could turn the clock back and start the day over but since that is impossible we must learn the lesson that is being taught and continue on, striving to live our life more and more as Christ would have us to do.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Burden

At some time or other we all have felt burdened by one thing or other – whether it be the loss of a loved one; uncertainty regarding a health related matter; trouble in relationships; money difficulties and the list could go on and on. And we know the weight that these burdens can cause us.
Over the last while I too have felt a burden but it’s a different burden. This burden is caused by the awareness of a certain sin in my life. This is not what we would call a gross sin but a more hidden sin – a sin that you would not realize that I was struggling with even if you knew me well. Now I always knew that I had this weakness or tendency (actually sin) but it seems in the last while that the Lord is peeling back its layers and revealing to me layer by layer the depth of it. As each layer is peeled away I am more and more humbled and sorrowful. The burden at times can feel like there is a hundred pound weight hanging around my neck, arms and feet and often my reaction is that I could never root this out yet knowing that He has promised to strengthen.
As I lay in bed the other night contemplating this, another thought came to mind. If this is the way I feel over one sin that the Lord is beginning to show me the sinfulness of (and I’m sure I don’t even know half of the magnitude of it) then what will it be like for the lost in eternity? To think of an eternity realizing the complete sinfulness of every single sin that was ever committed and to feel the burden of each one of those sins is unimaginable. And yet so much more inconceivable is the thought that the lost sinner will realize that the God who told them so many times in their lifetime that He was gracious and ready to forgive sins will forever turn a deaf ear to their cries. The depth and weight of this burden is something that we in our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend. And this thought made me weep. I wept out of thankfulness – thankfulness that the Lord is still dealing with me and then I wept for all those who I know and love who are continuing on in their sin week by week, ignoring the messages they hear. And so my weeping has turned to much prayer not only for forgiveness of my sin but also that the Lord would have mercy on the many who are going lost.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Little Speck

According to weather predictions over the next 24 hours 100 million Americans and Canadians will be experiencing a massive snowstorm and in some cases a blizzard. As I looked online at the weather forecast and warnings I looked a bit further to see the satellite radar. Zooming out to see the entire US and Canada there was a small area on the map which didn’t seem to be such a threatening storm but as I zoomed in it became increasingly larger. I have often done this when a major storm is approaching and often the same thoughts come to mind and that is how small and insignificant things look from a distance. Here I am looking at a massive snowstorm and it looks like a little speck. How much more like a speck of dust must we look like from the throne of heaven. And yet….we know that our heavenly Maker not only sees us but cares for us and has “fearfully and wonderfully” made everyone of us that not even one hair can fall from our heads without His direction; no tear can run down our face without Him seeing it; no cry can come from our lips and no prayer from our hearts without Him hearing. What a great God we have! Psalm 145