Jan 31, 2011

Kid Stuff I Want to Remember

Well, a few important milestones have been reached around here and I want to get them down before I forget when they happened. First of all, Matthew is officially potty trained! Hooray!! I am very proud of my "Big Boy"!

Also, Michael broke his top right tooth yesterday. This is his 3rd tooth. He's such a sweet baby, he just doesn't moan or groan too much even though you can tell he is uncomfortable. Also, he is CRAWLING! Well, sort of crawling. He is getting around. I think it's safe to say that he really is crawling backward, but really just pushing himself around in every other direction. He gets up on all 4's and rocks, and he has started moving his arms in a forward direction, but his rear end just lies flat on the ground when he tries to go forward. I know it's just a matter of time before he is crawling forward. Baby life goes by so very fast!

Also, Mandie get's reading. She has even read a few words on her own. Today she wrote MOM on a piece of paper (I think she knows that these letters make a word because I always put "MOM *hearts* MANDIE on the note in her lunchbox). And she asked me to read what she wrote, I said "Mom, Mandie, you just wrote the word Mom! Great job!!" and you could just see the light come on in her head. It just clicked for her and she was so proud of herself, and I am proud of her as well!

Speaking of Mom, this Mama just donated about a foot of hair to Locks of Love. I'm pretty sure this is the shortest my hair has ever been, but I really do like the change. Luke said it's the first hair cut I've ever gotten that he's actually been able to tell that I got a haircut. I'll have to post a picture later.

I'm so glad to be able to track events on this blog. Goodness knows I would never remember otherwise!

Jan 16, 2011

From the Bottom of My Heart

I guess I just had a rough day today. It was a hard day. I made some bad choices, blamed my husband for things that weren't his fault, and proved to be weak in the area of self discipline and self control. The result of my actions have brought me to a place of self inventory, and a turning of my eyes upon Jesus.

As I look back over the last couple of years, I am literally silenced by the amount of healing and recovery God has allowed me to experience. I am not kidding, this time two and a half years ago I was unable to stand up straight when I got out of bed. I would cry when I had to change a diaper because it hurt my fingers so badly. I couldn't put any weight in the balls of my feet because of the pain. I was angry, bitter, and resentful. And for lack of a better way of putting it, I just didn't know how to live my life. Seriously, I was doing a horrible job at just being alive.

There was some point in all of this when I began to shift my gaze from self hate and self pitty toward the hope that Jesus Christ had not forgotten me, and that he just might be willing to take me back in even though I had not earnestly made him a priority in my life for several years. I did my best to take little awkward steps of faith. I cried my way through church on a weekly basis, especially during praise and worship, for 2 months solid as I realized how great my need was for someone to save me from my darkness. I was able to see how proud and puffed up I had become. I was able to see how flawed my perception of people was, I would judge them. But I began to see that the Lord does not see people that way, he sees people through eyes of love and grace.

I began to pray more and read my Bible. The Lord really used the Word to speak to me. He made his will for me so clear and so plain. At that time I knew that what he wanted me to do was teach Physical Education at the King's Academy. I was scared to death to apply for that job. I was afraid the person hiring would simply look at me like I was some kind of joke and say, "Now don't be silly, Cassie. We both know that you are in no condition to be teaching anyone about physical education. You can hardly move!" And the truth is that that is exactly what should have happened. However, the Lord in all of his perfect faithfulness sent me into an interview with a woman that He had already worked on, and she told me that she thought I was supposed to be there, too. I had the job. I walked away from that interview more scared and excited than I have ever been in my life. And I was so grateful, and so shocked that the Lord could, or would, use me at all. My life started over at that point. I had stepped out in faith for God, and He did not leave me out in the cold.

I have been teaching at the King's Academy for a year and a half now. I love my job. I love the people I work with. And I love the kid's that I teach, even though their circumstances have truly broken my heart. I have a large percentage of students who come to school sick; be it a headache, or stomache ache or whatever. This is the result of their parents smoking "black stuff", which I won't describe here, or some other drug that the child is exposed to. Many have mouths that are full of rotted teeth. Two sisters have a mother that was working as a prostitute when school started last year. Many stuff their faces full at breakfast because they were not fed dinner the night before. One over eats and ends up throwing up many times a week.One came to school one day last year with a cigarette burn on his arm from his father. Many live in small homes with ten to fifteen other people. One of our families has 11 chilren, a family that CPS is most interested in at the moment. Most have no respectable male presence in their lives. I have a very, very, very, strong suspicion that one boy is being "mistreated" by his mom's new boyfriend and last week took my concern to the new administrator. All are in desperate, desperate need of the saving power of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Being at the King's Academy has been a wonderful opportunity for me to do work for God. I think the Lord has used that time to teach me how to live. More than that, I should probably say how not to live. I care for kids every day who are simply not cared for enough by their own family. They are exposed to drugs, sex, violence, and a complete and total lack of reverent, holy living. They are so very poor. And they are very likely to repeat the life that their parents have modeled for them. I pray that they are able to break the curse, and live a different way than the example given to them by their parents.

My time teaching at the King's Academy has caused me to reflect upon myself as a parent. It seems so strange to me that someone else is watching my kids while I am watching someone else's kids. Every day I see a powerful picture from the student's, a picture depicting what happens to kids when their parent's fail to train them, guide them, teach them, direct them. And I can feel the Lord convicting me again. He convicts me as a parent. I know that the most important thing for me to do in this world is to love the people God has put in my home with me. To love them, train them, share with them, and go through experiences together with them so that they will learn to view the world through the Lord's lenses.

That is why after a long while of consideration, Luke and I have decided to homeschool our children. We are strongly convicted that this is the Lord's will for our family, and we feel that this is the best we can do for our children. Next year I will no longer be working at The King's Academy, but I will still be trusting in and following the guidance of God. I am so glad that I can trust him. He has been so very faithful to me. The fact is that in the past seven days I have been able to feel great with little aid from my homeopathic anti-inflammatory pills. I have been on a run and two walks. I have been able to hop out of bed without any thought of pain. I truly feel that the Lord is healing me. And I am grateful beyond words. As my mother in law put it, I am like a walking testimony. Even I can't believe how sick I used to be in light of how good I feel now. When I sit back and really remember the work of his hand in my life, it causes me to re-commit myself to Him. It makes me realize that I have no reason to act the way I acted today; no reason to waste whatever time I have doing anything less than my God's holy standards.

Dear Lord, I thank you with all of my being for saving me from my sin. I thank you for saving me from my sick body. I thank you for teaching me how to live. You are so worthy of all of the praise, all of the glory, and all of the honor. You are so trustworthy. You are faithful. Thank you for taking me in. Please continue to save souls and change lives. Please use this testimony in any way you want. In Jesus wonderful name, Amen.

Jan 6, 2011

Thursday's Wednesday in the Word

I tried doing this last night, but it did not work. Luckily tonight blogger is in business.

Ephesians 2:8-10

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Now get up, get going, go do those good things people!!

Jan 2, 2011

Haney Holiday Pictures

Some more Christmas favorites:

 I love Michael's face in this one!

 Do you think Matthew is ready to go inside for a hot chocolate break?

Silly Christmas Faces :)

Michael cut his bottom two teeth a couple of weeks before these pictures were taken. These silly Christmas faces are what you get when you are 5 months old and you like to feel your new teeth:

 Except this next one, this is just one happy baby.