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Uncategorized » Philoxenos


Loving our neighbours

9th April 2011

Loving our neighbours

We have been talking with the kids a lot about “Who is your neighbour?” We want them to understand that our neighbours are anybody that we come in contact with. But our oldest asked “Shouldn’t we get to know our own neighbours?” She had the idea that we make cookies or muffins and take them to the neighbours on our street so we can get to know them a little bit more. Excellent idea!

Several times she and I have made cookies or muffins, with the intention of passing them out. But we’ve ended up giving them away to friends with new babies, or people on bedrest, or eating a few ourselves. The end result being that we’ve never actually managed to give them to the people on our street!

Just now she said “Mom! Let’s do it now! Let’s make cookies and pass them out today before we forget!” Unfortunately I’m suffering from a horrible cold and am still in my pajamas so there is NO WAY I’m leaving the house today. However, I suggested that we bake them and package them so that she and her daddy can pass them out tomorrow. Then I had to steer her away from peanut butter cookies because of possible allergies.

I am applauding her determination to get this project done and I am trying hard to help her accomplish it. I’m also trying hard to help her understand that although we haven’t been doing it exactly the way she wanted, we have still been able to practice hospitality with our neighbours, just not the neighbours on our street.

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8th November 2009

You’d think I’d know better

Why do I do this to myself? For some reason I have this insatiable desire to read blogs about people’s lives that are nothing like mine. Not only do they actually post PICTURES on their blogs but the pictures are of beautifully dressed children at colour-coordinated parties with lovely moms wearing HEELS, serving cake in their immaculately decorated homes.

People. That is not me. My daughters dress themselves and have since they were two. They pick out their own clothes and I’m happy for them to do it because it’s one less thing I need to do.  And okay, some days they are not at all colour coordinated. Generally I don’t care, but sometimes, like when I’m comparing my children with others, I do care. And do I even own a pair of heels? No. And yes, I wear Birkenstocks almost every day of the year and I really don’t care what anyone thinks about that. I’ve worn Birkenstocks since I was in college and I love them.

So as I read blogs about cutie-patootie baby showers and uber-decorated homes, I can start to feel bad about myself. Like, somehow, if I were more something I would be able to do all those things too. But the last week or so I have really started to evaluate who I am, what God has placed me here for, what does He want me to accomplish. And you know what? I’m pretty sure that God has not placed me here to have a home worthy of Better Homes and Gardens. And Martha Stewart certainly isn’t going to be coming by for a photo shoot unless it’s for a ‘before’ picture. She may, on the other hand, want some of my recipes :)

During this whole soul-searching process I am being required to give myself a break. Novel concept, eh? I am not superwoman. I will never be able to achieve perfection here on earth. I must focus on the things that have eternal significance. Right now, that’s my relationships with God, my marriage and my family. Everything else comes farther down the list.

My children will probably never have cutie-patootie birthday parties, but they will have memorable birthdays (thanks to a dear friend that baked Precious a Barbie doll cake this year). My children don’t look like a Gymboree ad, but they do have freedom to be creative in what they wear. My home is not magazine ready, but the door is always open and you don’t even have to call in advance.

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31st October 2009

Sometimes Facebook just isn’t enough space

My blog has been seriously neglected the last year or so since I joined Facebook. I have found that Facebook allows as much interaction with friends as I desire and somehow I can manage a few three-liners a day but a real blog post just doesn’t seem to happen as quickly on a regular basis. However, FB doesn’t allow me to write more than a short paragraph and sometimes I have more to say than that. So I think that I will try to resurrect my blog, for my own purposes rather than that anyone might actually be reading it anymore.

I will still be on Facebook frequently but hopefully I can get over here a couple times a week and actually write something a bit more meaningful.

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25th August 2009

When Your Child Does Wrong

I have been a long time member of Bible Study Fellowship and am so grateful that my children have been attending since the time they were two. The biblical truths that they learn are absolutely right on and I credit BSF with teaching much of the faith that my older kids embrace.

One of the training tools that BSF provides is the Home Training Lesson. It’s affectionately called “The Pink Sheet” and gives practical ways for parents to apply the lessons learned that week. I always keep these and the other day was sorting through papers to decide which ones I would keep. I ended up keeping only a few and this one in particuar was important to me.

I can’t reproduce it for you because of copyrights, but in summary, this is what was covered on the Home Training Lesson entitled “When Your Child Does Wrong”:

 Ask yourself…

Why did my child act this way?
What does he need?
Was my child seeking attention?
Does he want power?
Does he lack confidence?
Is he angry or frustrated?

Make sure your child understands what he did wrong. Did he know the limits before he misbehaved?


Be prompt
Be consistent
Be just
Be compassionate
Utlize consequences
Be loving

I’m writing these things out so I can remember them (and then recycle the pink sheet!) and also because I think that lots of moms just don’t know where to start when it comes to disciplining and training their children. Referring to my previous post I know that it’s something that I have to be continually aware of and improving upon.

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25th August 2009

Mommy is the model

A friend wrote on her Facebook this morning about the scene she saw out her front window:

Mother walking 3 kids to school, youngest one screaming (he’s around 3) WHAK! Yank! not good–it’s only day 2! 

I haven’t stopped thinking about it all morning. There are times that I discipline my children when I’m angry and it probably looks a bit similar to what my friend saw - in a hurry, annoyed, just spank and keep walking.  Child doesn’t know exactly why they got a smack, just knows Mommy’s not happy about something. There is no talking about the bad behaviour and what the good behaviour looks like. No praying together, no hugs and kisses and forgiveness.

What am I teaching my kids? I watch them and watch how they interact with each other and I believe that what I’m seeing is the result of what they’re experiencing. And I’m starting to wonder - am I doing the right thing? Surely they shouldn’t be acting like this.

I’ve been spending a lot of time praying about this the last few weeks because I’m seeing behaviour in my children that I am not at all pleased with and I’m trying to figure out how to teach and train them in order to extinguish this behaviour. As I’ve prayed I’ve been reminded of a few things:

  1.  Every person ever born, except for Jesus Christ, is sinful.
  2. Even a 2, 3, or 5 year old, no matter how adorable, is sinful.
  3. Sin is when we choose to do things that are wrong. This can be a thought or action. When my children choose to disobey, they are sinning.
  5. As their mother and primary caregiver, they are learning how to behave from me. When they hear me yell, they are going to learn that yelling is how we talk to people when we’re upset. When I don’t follow through with something that I say I’m going to do, they learn that they can’t always trust people to do what they say they will do. When I don’t keep my bedroom tidy, they are learning that it’s not so important after all (ouch!!!)

So I know that God works in my children in spite of my failures. But I also know that God has called me to be their mother and they are my primary mission field. I never want my sin to be a barrier to them coming to know God’s extreme love for them.

God, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.

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19th August 2009


Good friends are people that can call us up and invite us to share a meal with them and their parents but then ask that we eat at our house, since it’s bigger.

Good  friends are people that we can have a mild spousal disagreement in front of and not worry about what they’re going to think.

Good friends are people that I can call and invite to dinner on their voicemail and they feel free to call back at 5pm and ask if the offer is still available.

Good friends are people that we can share prayer requests with and know that they will be prayed for.

God is so good to us.

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15th August 2009

sometimes it’s a lot of work

Recently my husband took me to task for something: I was acting like a brat. He had every reason to point it out and I knew he was right when he did. It still hurt a little, but only because it was my sin and sin is always painful in the end.

I’ve written previously about the three young ladies that are living with us for the summer. They have been here since 4 July and I can honestly say that the honeymoon is over, for all of us. They are tired of working 12 hrs a day, 6 days a week, going door to door out in the heat trying to sell books. I am tired of finding cups and spoons and tea bags stains on the counter and having to put a robe on before I go out to the living room in the morning. I’m sure that they would love to live in a place that didn’t include screaming children at 7:30am and be able to choose their own breakfast. But this is it for all of us and we’re dealing with it. But as my husband pointed out to me one recent morning, I have got to get over the pettiness of my thoughts and focus on the extreme ministry opportunity that has been presented to us. For 12 weeks these girls will be living with us and for 12 weeks we have the opportunity to show them who Christ is. And every time I gruffly wish them good morning or grumble because they don’t separate the recycling properly (I know, I’m ridiculous. I’m embarassed even to write this down) is that really who I want them to see? I’m not saying that I have to be Polly Peppy in the morning, but I need to be gracious and welcoming.

This being like Jesus stuff is hard work. And I’m finding that the more I work at it, the harder it gets.

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10th July 2009

The things we really miss when away from home

I am really enjoying having our guests with us. They are pleasant, easy to talk to, not a bother at all. They leave early in the morning and get home late at night.

This evening I took one of the girls to the supermarket because they needed to buy some food. I asked her what she needed and she said “Chocolate!!” It’s obviously universal :) And she was so excited to buy real cheese instead of the processed cheese slices that they’ve been eating. When I suggested tuna for a sandwich instead of the bologna they’ve been eating, she got very animated and started dancing around singing “tuna, tuna, tuna”. When you’re far from home it’s the simple things that you miss so much.

When we got home I asked one of the other girls what she missed the most from home and she said “tomato soup.” Really? Tomato soup? I went to the pantry and got out a can of Campbell’s tomato soup and showed it to her. She said yes, that’s what she eats at home. Not Campbell’s of course, but out of a can. She said she loves tomatoes of any variety.

This morning they cycled 50 minutes in order to get to a restaurant for breakfast. It’s part of their company policy that they get away from their residence each morning and have breakfast together before they start their day selling. I believe the purpose is to motivate them which of course helps them sell more. But our area is very suburban so the nearest restaurant is probably three miles away, at least. They were very disheartened by this and not keen to repeat that. I suggested that they pay a little extra each week and I can make sure that they have breakfast. I won’t charge them much, they can have a good breakfast that didn’t cost a lot, and they don’t have to bike so far! Hopefully they take me up on it.

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3rd July 2009

how quickly we forget

This summer we have the privilege of hosting three university students from Czech Republic. They are here in the States to work and need a place to stay so they are renting our guest room. They just arrived about an hour ago and as we’ve been talking, getting them settled, I realised how quickly I have forgotten what it’s like to be in a new country, trying to figure out things, like how to turn off the ceiling fan or figuring out how to describe a throat lozenge when you don’t actually know that word in English.

It’s going to be a good summer. I’m glad that we’re able to provide them with a place to stay that’s comfortable and safe.

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21st June 2009

giving haircuts

I bought a clipper set today so that I could start giving Little Boy haircuts. Tonight one of the guys in our home group volunteered so that I could practice! One of the other guys, who cuts his own hair, showed me what to do. What fun! I love our small group, such a great group of people.

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