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A Bundle of Myrrh

"My beloved is unto me as a bundle of myrrh." Song of Solomon 1:13

Never A Dull Moment

August 22nd, 2014 by Aubri

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Bacon, on my shoulder, makes me happy.”

 

 

Church Is For Babies

August 20th, 2014 by Aubri

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Going to church with littles is not easy. Yes, this is old news. For a lot of us, many Sundays look like this and this.

Likewise, Family Devotion time is yet one more firestorm of defeat.

But as I wrote about last week, for the Christian parent, life in the Church, prayer and teaching our babies the faith are serious matters. Priorities. These are greater than anything else our children will need in their lives.

So, we continue in dragging ourselves and our loud, fussy babies to church every week. We continue in etching out sometime in our day or our week to speak God’s Word into their ears, to pray for something, to sing a few lines of our faith.

We fail again and again. We yell again and again. We give up, we start over and we hope. We trust God to be faithful to His children despite how many times we forget, drop the ball, throw our hands or angrily send everyone off to bed in the middle of a hymn.

Our babies need to be in church as much as we mothers do. As a Mama who weekly considers whether or not this is “worth it,” I found these posts to be helpful and encouraging.

Steadfast Moms “The Divine Service is especially meant for mothers with young children! A mother with small children during a church service needs to teach by example about what is happening. Jesus is talking to us! The Sunday morning Church Service is the high point of the week for the Christian family. The Christian family goes to Church to be welcomed as God’s children through baptism, to repent of their sins, to receive forgiveness for their sins, for wisdom, comfort, encouragement, and strength so that they can face another week in the sinful world that threatens to destroy and tempt them away from Jesus. The Christian family is the sheep and lambs who learn and listen to their Good Shepherd. If the Christian family fail to listen and learn to their Good Shepherd they are likely to wander and lose their way from the pasture that feeds them with the marks of the Church.”

Getting Kids to Behave in Church “Basically the whole issue of getting kids to behave in church boils down to this:  From the very beginning, teach them why they are there in the first place.  Remove as many distractions as you can.  Model how to behave in church.  Expect them to do the same.  Children will live up or down to your expectations.” — I’ll tell you, I break most of her rules. The adults are heavily outnumbered in our pew on Sunday. She speaks the ideal, and I’d love to have that, but reality is a little different. I bring books, coloring and snacks for the 2 and under crowd but I’m trying to get away from so much of that with the bigger ones.

The Secret to Church Growth “If church isn’t a priority for you, it won’t be for them either. If you go to church casually and do little at home to pray, learn Bible stories, memorize Bible verses and the catechism, chances are they’ll follow suit. Like I said, this is serious business. So what’s a parent to do?  Teach your kids Bible stories from the time they are babies.  Read age appropriate devotions with them.  Ask them for prayer requests and pray with them often.  Teach the catechism so that when they get to confirmation class the memory portion is review. ”

Family Devotions: A Work in Progress “Remember, you’re not a terrible mother if your kids don’t know the entire catechism by heart. We (and our families) are all works in progress. Don’t compare your own family devotions to those of other families. Do what is manageable, and rest in the confidence that God works through His Word, however imperfect our efforts to read it.”

Nurturing our Children with the Language of Luther “Luther packed a lot of punch; he filled his catechism with rich teaching into relatively short statements.  Do we believe that even the youngest children should hear the richest expression of our faith as found in the catechism and creeds?  Yes.  Emphatically, yes.”

God help us in this great task!

 

The Things They Say – A Tragic Tale

August 16th, 2014 by Aubri

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Clara: “We’re very poor and everyone in our town is rich and they all laughed at Lily when she fell in the river and it was so cold that she got really sick.
Lily: “They stole our bathtub and now we have to take a bath in the sea and one day a shark came up and bit me. They ate our baby chicken and all our eggs and they took the rest of our house, and all our winter clothes so we get so cold in the winter time.”
Clara: “But God gave us food. One time we didn’t have any ketchup or french fries but God gave us some! But the rich people came and took it all so God had to give us more.”
Lily: “Oh and you know what else they took? They took my glasses.”

 

Fertility in a Fallen World: Leigh’s Story

August 15th, 2014 by Aubri

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 I asked if anyone would be willing to discuss a topic that isn’t easy and share the story of their fertility journey. I have had a very good response from many of you and I’m honored to finally begin presenting some of the stories that have graciously been provided by some wonderful women.  

In this series women with different experiences will share the pain and blessings that the gift of fertility carries with it, in the hope of bringing out God’s grace and promise to those couples struggling to welcome this gift when it is not known how it will turn out in a sinful world. 

Whether the result be a healthy child, a child who goes almost immediately to be with Christ, or there is no gift of life, all women of child-bearing age wrestle with this cross and the unforeseen works of God that are to come.

While we might envy God’s work in another woman or couple, Christ alone designs the cross appropriately for each. To desire to please God in this sinful world will entail suffering. But there is comfort in knowing we are not alone. There is value in hearing each other stories, that while our paths are different, it is still a struggle of faith, which all God’s children share. 

And it is a great comfort to know that God’s love is not found in how many children we are given or have taken from us, but in the saving sacrifice of Christ on the cross and in His glorious resurrection.

This is Leigh’s story.

My mother said she loved children. She wanted lots of them. But she had only two for reasons due to her own depression and anxiety she suffered. She was sure she couldn’t “handle” more than two. She had a boy and a girl, so I guess that was the perfect time to stop. I don’t remember ever talking about children and how many a couple “should have.” I only recently learned that she originally wanted several. My mom’s two sisters each had two children. On my dad’s side, his sister had two and his brother had five. To me, at that time, that was large family.

I never thought about how many children I wanted to have, only that I wanted to have them. I remember watching my mother’s reaction to a friend at church one Sunday when she confided in my mom that she was pregnant. I baby sat for this family and was thrilled that she was expecting number three. My mother gave no congratulations, though, only sympathy. I was confused by that but did not ask for an explanation. My guess is that there were financial strains on the family. My mother also gave a deflated, “Oh no” to me when I called her with the news of baby number three years ago. I was shocked by that. She was thinking of the financial strain on the family and the emotional strain on me, I can only assume. I had a new life growing inside of me! Her grandchild, even! I expected excitement; words of congratulations, not sympathy.

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