Monthly Archives: October 2011

A Lost Generation

We are so proud to have our first guest blogger!  Matt Hurley is the author of the blog Everymans’s Guide to Becoming a Sane Housedad . He and his wife Jennifer have a handsome son who is about to turn one.  Matt used to be a youth minister until he found out that his wife was pregnant and losing her job.  They found the perfect job for her in Texas so they made the decision to take the job, and he would be the stay-at-home parent.  His blog is very encouraging! Check it out!


“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Proverbs 22:6

By: Matt Hurley

It’s an interesting feeling when you realize you’ve lost something. Of course, the first inclination is to consider whether you’ve really lost the item at all. Your mind races with the possibilities of where and when you last saw the item. But after you’ve retraced your steps and searched everywhere you can think of to search, your though process shifts from, “I will find it” to the hopelessness of “I will never see it again.”

I once lost a prized leather jacket. I had just finished my undergraduate degree and decided to treat myself by purchasing it. Now, I’m not one for fashion, but in this case, I thought the ladies would think I was smooth if I owned a tan leather jacket. So, I bought myself one in hope of adding a wife to my newly-acquired educational achievement. I wore it for a solid week, with limited success drawing more attention from girls, when I accidentally left it at work (or so I think, because I lost it and really have no idea where it ended up). I retraced my steps and searched everywhere I could think of, but to no avail. I was really upset that my joy of owning such a fashionable article of clothing had turned into a depression, knowing that I would never see it again (and thus never get a wife).

Of course, the disappointment of never wearing that fine leather again is nothing compared to the loss that is described in the book of Judges. There, we find the recurring situation of one faithful generation raising a lost and unfaithful generation. In that story, God sends a punishing force that oppresses the people, who then turn back to God and repeat the whole process over again.

Just like I did with my leather jacket, we can retrace the steps of the Israelites to discover just how they could be so irresponsible with the most valuable thing they had: their children. According to the book of Judges, the Israelites allowed the influences of outside cultures to distract them from worshiping God. They chased after the foreign gods and replaced the real God with them.

How is this relevant for our discussion on stay-at-home parents? Well, as a stay-at-home moms and dads, the outside culture often tries to tell us that we are the ones who have lost something. Maybe it’s the careers we worked so hard to achieve, or the income that comes with those jobs. It could be that people feel like you lose respect in the community. We must ignore these outside influences so that we do not repeat Israel’s mistake—at the expense of our children.

We can learn a lesson from the failed experience in Judges. Instead of enduring the painful experience of losing our children and their generation, we stay-at-home parents are the ones who are getting out ahead of problem. By accepting our roles and ignoring the outside culture’s definition of what “success” is, we have the ability to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6. To me, that’s the ultimate measure of success.



Games Babies Play

Proverbs 10:14 – The Message

The wise accumulate knowledge—a true treasure; know-it-alls talk too much—a sheer waste.

I really like how The Message states things. It helps me rethink Bible verses I’ve read many times and see their instruction in a new light.

When I first became a mom (10 years and 3 months ago) I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with all the time I had to spend with my precious daughter. I didn’t feel very creative or playful. I gathered chorus sheets from church and would sing through them with her. There were also different toys that were supposed to stimulate and entertain. In a parenting magazine I found a reference to Vicki Lansky and her book Games Babies Play. I bought a copy and found a treasure box full of fun activities!

Here are a few I will share with you:

Birth to 3 months:

Thumbkin, Pointer

Thumbkin, pointer, middleman big.

(Point to each of baby’s fingers.)

Silly man, wee man, rig-a-jig-jig.

(Roll baby’s hands around each other.)


3 to 6 months:

Eye Winker

Eye winker, (point to eyes)

Tom Tinker, (point to ears)

Nose smeller, (point to nose)

Mouth eater, (point to mouth)

Chin chopper, (tap chin)

Chin chopper, (tap chin)

Chin chopper, chin. (tickle under chin)


6 to 9 months:

Holding your baby in your arms, gallop around the room singing:

Riding on My Pony

Riding on my pony,

My pony, my pony,

Riding on my pony,

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

(Pull your pony to a stop with each ‘whoa’.)


9 to 12 months:

Fingers are for counting!

One, Two, Three, Four, Five

One, two, three, four, five (count on fingers)

Once I caught a fish alive. (wiggle hand like a fish)

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten. (count fingers on second hand)

Then I let him go again. (pretend to throw fish back)

Why did I let that fishie go?

Because he bit my finger so! (shake hand as though in pain)

Which finger did he bite?

This little finger on the right! (hold up little finger on the right hand)

Who says you have to stick to these age ranges? I think I’ll play some with my 5 year old now!

Hope you enjoy them. Melissa

A Challenge

From Psalm 19 (The Message)

11-14 “There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
God, Priest-of-My-Altar.”

By: Melissa Pope
I’m blessed to be studying the life of King David in Beth Moore’s Seeking a Heart Like His. The Bible holds so many truths for our life. I honestly don’t know what my life would be like without my relationship with God, His Word and my church family.
If you don’t have a daily Bible reading routine I encourage you to start one now. Also, spend time in prayer asking God to direct you. I also can’t speak highly enough for finding a healthy church family that preaches and believes the Bible and loves people.
I can look back over my life and see how God has used these things to bless me, guide me and give me wisdom. I pray that my life will encourage someone to grow closer to our Father in heaven.

What Goes In Probably Comes Out

“Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have them ready on your lips.”  Proverbs 22:17-18 

By: Kerri Young

As a wife, a mother of three young children, and a coach to 16 college students, I wish I could say life is always stress-free, but that would be a big, fat lie. J When reading Proverbs 22 recently, verses 17-18 stood out to me: “Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have them ready on your lips.”

These verses reminded me it is so important to meditate on God’s Word so that in challenging or frustrating times (like, say, when you might be potty training your three year old J), words of life and truth get squeezed out rather than words that are hurtful and selfish. This led me to recall Psalm 19, one of my favorites because it paints a beautiful picture of what happens when one hides God’s Word in her heart. The simple are made wise; the heart becomes joyful; the eyes are given light (v.7-8).  

I love that Psalm 19 ends by reminding us we can’t be who we want to be on our own.  I need to remember this right now. There is no way to get through the fifth wet pair of underpants in two hours from a child who refuses to sit on the potty with a loving and patient response without some supernatural help, if you know what I’m saying.  

King David, the psalmist, knew more than anyone how capable we are of messing up when we go it alone. (Read 2 Samuel if you haven’t read about David before.) We need God’s Word but we also need God’s Spirit to help. And that is why I think David concluded Psalm 19 by asking God for help. He uttered this prayer that I like to pray and encourage you to pray each morning: 

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”


A New Thing

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19

 By: Kerri Young

Today is a big day. My sweet C is turning three. I have been looking forward to this birthday for about four months now because we decided it will be the day we are done with diapers. I thought about trying to potty train little man back in April before number three came along, but after he became hysterical at the mere sight of the potty seat I figured he wasn’t ready and came up with another plan.


Instead we decided to hype up his birthday because that’s what we did with his big sister, and it worked. After a month of talking about it, K was potty trained the day she turned two. Literally, she woke up that morning and said, “I’m going to wear big girl panties” and quit wearing diapers cold turkey…without accidents…even overnight. It did take her about a week to go number two on the potty, but the promise of a trip to Chick-Fil-A was all it took to persuade her.


So, we have gone to all lengths to make going on the “big boy potty” sound like the greatest thing ever; including purchasing underpants with every character imaginable from Thomas the Train to Lightning McQueen to Buzz Lightyear, promising a reward of going swimming in the indoor pool at the university where we work without big sister, and selling him on the joy of standing up to go pee pee just like Daddy and taking aim at things like Cheerios and Fruit Loops floating in the potty. Yet I have zero confidence that potty training C is going to be as simple as potty training K, because, really, K trained herself.


Nevertheless, we have talked this day up so much that if you ask him what happens on October 17th, C will tell you it’s his birthday and he’s not going to wear diapers anymore. Interestingly enough, in the last week as the “big day” has inched closer C has started to say things like, “I don’t want to grow bigger.” Or, while looking at his baby brother as I change his pants, “I want to be little like D.” Last night as I was baking his birthday cake he looked in the window of the oven and grumbled, “I don’t want a birthday cake.”


I’m 99.9 percent sure that this is preschooler speak for, “I don’t want a birthday if you are going to take away my diapers and make me go on the toilet.”  As a matter of fact, while my husband was changing his pants before he went to bed last night, we asked him if he was excited to be three and he held up the lone diaper lying in the basket and said, “I still have one diaper.” Sigh.


Even still, it’s time. Changing dirty diapers has become a torturous experience for all of us because his bottom gets raw in less than five minutes of contact with poo. Because his bottom hurts when we wipe it, he’s not really excited about coming to tell me when he’s stinky…thus creating a vicious cycle of a bottom that sits way too long in poo and can’t ever get better. I just keep thinking, “If you only understood how much easier it will be when you can go on the potty….”


One day last week as I was wrestling with him to be still so I could get his bottom clean (not an easy task with a 30 pound ball of energy), I was getting increasingly frustrated and I yelled, “Please, be still! I’m trying to help you! If you don’t let me help you it’s going to hurt even more!” He stopped kicking, and flailing and screaming just long enough for me to finish the job and as I was putting a new diaper on him I had another one of those “aha” moments that seem to come so frequently with parenting.


How many times in my life is God thinking, “If you only understood how much easier life will be when….”  as I have acted just like my little C?  When God wants to teach me something new or take me someplace for my own good that I’ve never been, how often do I cling to what I know even though it’s clear it’s not God’s best? How many times have I balked at God’s direction or leading because I’m afraid or even too content with the way things are even though I’m miserable? How often have I stubbornly sat in my “poo” or, worse yet, thrown a fit wallowing in my “poo” while God has been whispering to my heart, “Be still! I’m trying to help you! If you don’t let me help you it’s going to hurt even more!”


Let’s be encouraged! God has a unique plan and purpose for my life and yours. He sees the big picture and knows the best way to move us along for our good and His glory.  Thank goodness He is also full of grace (so much more than I am!) and meets us right where we are to help us accomplish this new thing one day at a time.


So, today as we celebrate my sweet boy’s third year of life, I want to remember that just like he doesn’t understand how much not having to wear diapers anymore will improve his daily life, I am not always capable of understanding why it’s necessary for God to do a new thing. But, that’s okay, because God IS and as long as I trust Him, He won’t let me sit in my “poo” forever.