Special Words for My Kids

A prayer for our growing children

As they mature and leave the home
provide them adequate finances, but not riches
spouses who will love them, but not worship them
Give them sorrows, but not too deep
struggles, but not too great
Make them seasoned, but not hopeless
comfortable in their own skin, but not vain
zealous, but equally wise
knowledgeable, but filled with humility
content, but continually striving
Allow them to be confident, but not cocky
humble, but not sheepish
gracious, but not fearful
Mature their body in strength
their emotions with sophistication
and their imaginations with grounding
Fill their lungs with deep laughter
and their souls with joy
But even as I pray these things,
there is one prayer that soars above the rest
Bestow upon them your grace
Lavish them with your mercy
Drench them with your love
Give them the gift of faith
Satiate all their appetites with you
Fill them with your Holy Spirit
Set them apart for your holy service
Bring them into union with Christ
Let their hearts know a peace that surpasses understanding
Grant that my children would be Your children
That would make this child exceedingly thankful
Hear my prayer, O Father of mercy and grace
A timely prayer from Growing Faith
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Communication

Who is this pink eyed girl? The youngest of our five sat on my knee and said her name. She is almost 18 months and every day is amazing us with something new. Language is an amazing thing. Communication is complex….these small people seem to know so much and can say so much with their “developing” language, noises and body gestures.

It makes me realise how often we fail to communicate, to listen well, because we limit ourselves to words and don’t “read” another’s body language or tone of voice.

Communication is the key to success…in our marriage, family, business, workplace, school and church.

Thankfully our God is a God of communication. As C. S. Lewis says:

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world 

Oranges and Lemons…

I am sure I remember reading somewhere that this ditty “oranges and lemons…” was about the plague? It sure feels like the plague here.
Lily was sick last week. And last night Jake and Bella fell ill. This has left me with several questions about the universe:
1. Why do children always vomit at night?
2. Why does the last supper before the vomit always seem to consist of rice?
3. Are you really meant to wash whole beds of linen covered in vomit? (I am sure somewhere on the label it says to bin it.)
4. Isn’t there are warning on all white goods(washing machines included) not to operate in the middle of the night?
5. Why is it that when they are only 5 steps from the bathroom children still manage to aim for the bed when vomitting?
So we are tucked in here at home. It is raining. I have cancelled work for a bit and I am running around washing and making toast and diluted cordial.
Sympathy please.

Deception – is it ever ok?

As I attempt to feed 6mouths each day I find myself in constant discussion about the quality and variety and affordability of our food. It is easy to buy a whole range of ready made goodies to get through a meal time. Take store bought pasta sauce – a true God send and a must in my pantry. It is a true staple that I find myself using for pasta, soup, casseroles, curries…you name it, if it needs a tomato base I use it!
But when you find yourself time poor you can take many short cuts that tend to end up in highly processed high fat food being served at your table.
When I am being really committed to good food I am aware of ALL the ingredients going into the meal – so yes it means free range eggs, fresh spinach (not frozen), home made bread, whole foods. And this is a real challenge because the kids are fussy.
But for those of you who have even glanced at this newish book from comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica you will know that it takes the basics of good, kid friendly food and endeavours to deceive. I was intrigued….so I dedicated some of my child free time at Borders one day to have a coffee and read the book.
Is it good? Well it is nicely presented. It has a range of good ideas. But do you really feel good about deceiving your kids. Spinach in the brownies? How long can you add purees to basic dishes – when they are 2, 10, 35 years old? At some point they need to experience texture, new tastes and cope with the lumps and bumps and mouth feel of good food.
I am an advocate of the food processor. It saves me time and allows me to add dozens of vegetables to bulk up a pasta sauce. But at the end of the day I think the kids need to know what they are eating.
Tonight we had a red curry made with Chicken, potatoes, peas and coriander. It was quite spicy but with a few spoon fulls of natural yogurt and some streamed rice everyone ate it…even the two year old.
So don’t deceive them, simply feed them!