Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yes to Play, No to Sleep

  • It was quite the weekend! My parents and my brother with his wife and two girls all came to visit on Saturday. Activities: the toddlers played outside, met more extended family for a  reunion luncheon, watched a 5-6' black snake slither up and inside a tree (I missed it!), the toddlers "napped" in the same room which resulted in no naps, splash pad fun, dinner... It was Aolani's first time at a splash pad, so Ricky held her and ran around with her until she got bold enough to run around by herself and chase her cousin :) Sunday involved another joint church service, lunch with my parents before they left, watching Italy beat England in the Euro Cup online plus napping on the couch, and then an outdoor daughter/father soccer match ensued.

  • Yep -- we have the two blond-haired, blue-eyed, pale-skinned cousins and the two brown-haired, brown-eyed, dark-skinned cousins pictured together! Seriously, they all look totally unrelated.
  • Aolani's antics: fell asleep face-down on the hardwood floor three times yesterday morning before her nap (the weekend just wore her out), tried to scrub off Micaiah's birthmark on the side of his face using a wet wipe, naughtily unravels all of the toilet paper off of the roll constantly (and willingly does time out for it every day), stands 34.5" tall (just under 50% for her age; 75% for her weight), and is scared to death of the lawn mower (today she hid in the bedroom holding onto the baby's crib for 30 minutes). Potty-training update: She now tells us when she has to go pee while we are out -- yay! The pull-ups are now limited to naps and bed time. Story: When we put her in her crib for one of her recent time-outs, Aolani retaliated by peeing everywhere of course!
  • Micaiah's mishaps: saw his head pop up when I went to get him after his nap yesterday because he started rolling over from his back to belly (after I cheered, he cried that first time I found him because he couldn't flip back over), knows what the Boppy means and giggles when he sees me grab for it, hums while he nurses, weighed 16 lbs and measured over 26" long (50% in length for his age; 25% for his weight), ripped down his mobile in his crib today :(, reached the book I keep stashed in his crib -- sad ending, and rejected (spit them out; tongue-thrust reflex) the little bites of avocado and banana we tried yesterday (I'll wait a while to try again, at least wait for him to start mimicking our chewing motion. Remember, Aolani didn't like/eat food until a week before she turned one year old! So, no worries!).
  • Sleep documentation for self (skip this if you want): Aolani -- takes one 2-3 hr nap in the afternoon (goes down between 1-2 p.m.) and sleeps 10-11 hrs at night (we put her in her crib between 8-9 p.m. and she plays/talks for 15-45 minutes). Micaiah -- takes 2-4 naps a day totaling ~3 hrs (takes all of his naps in his crib; the first nap of the day is around 9:30 a.m. no matter what it seems and another nap occurs with Aolani napping in the bedroom, too) and sleeps 11.5-12.5 hrs at night (put him down approximately 2 hrs after he woke last and always nurse him last thing but not to sleep; sometimes he goes right to sleep after I transfer him from the Boppy to his crib, sometimes he fusses until I lay my head down with him in his crib and then drifts off, and sometimes he will fuss for an hour or more until I cave in and nurse him again).
  • Verses to memorize this week (and probably a few more weeks after!) -- this is my favorite description of my Warrior Jesus, makes me cry every time I read it (don't know how I'll be able to quote it out loud) -- Revelation 19:11-6 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Real Answers for Men with Real Needs

This article below (thanks for posting it, Randy Alcorn) just ignites a fire in my bones! I couldn't not share it.


Fake Love, Fake War: Why So Many Men Are Addicted to Internet Porn and Video Games

by Russell Moore

You know the guy I'm talking about. He spends hours into the night playing video games and surfing for pornography. He fears he's a loser.

And he has no idea just how much of a loser he is. For some time now, studies have shown us that porn and gaming can become compulsive and addicting. What we too often don't recognize, though, is why.

In a new book, The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It, psychologists Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan say we may lose an entire generation of men to pornography and video gaming addictions. Their concern isn't about morality, but instead about the nature of these addictions in reshaping the pattern of desires necessary for community.

If you're addicted to sugar or tequila or heroin you want more and more of that substance. But porn and video games both are built on novelty, on the quest for newer and different experiences. That's why you rarely find a man addicted to a single pornographic image. He's entrapped in an ever-expanding kaleidoscope.
Quote from Russell Moore
There's a key difference between porn and gaming. Pornography can't be consumed in moderation because it is, by definition, immoral. A video game can be a harmless diversion along the lines of a low-stakes athletic competition. But the compulsive form of gaming shares a key element with porn: both are meant to simulate something, something for which men long.

Pornography promises orgasm without intimacy. Video warfare promises adrenaline without danger. The arousal that makes these so attractive is ultimately spiritual to the core.

Satan isn't a creator but a plagiarist. His power is parasitic, latching on to good impulses and directing them toward his own purpose.

God intends a man to feel the wildness of sexuality in the self-giving union with his wife. And a man is meant to, when necessary, fight for his family, his people, for the weak and vulnerable who are being oppressed.

The drive to the ecstasy of just love and to the valor of just war are gospel matters. The sexual union pictures the cosmic mystery of the union of Christ and his church. The call to fight is grounded in a God who protects his people, a Shepherd Christ who grabs his sheep from the jaws of the wolves.

When these drives are directed toward the illusion of ever-expanding novelty, they kill joy. The search for a mate is good, but blessedness isn't in the parade of novelty before Adam. It is in finding the one who is fitted for him, and living with her in the mission of cultivating the next generation. When necessary, it is right to fight.

But God's warfare isn't forever novel. It ends in a supper, and in a perpetual peace.

Moreover, these addictions foster the seemingly opposite vices of passivity and hyper-aggression. The porn addict becomes a lecherous loser, with one-flesh union supplanted by masturbatory isolation. The video game addict becomes a pugilistic coward, with other-protecting courage supplanted by aggression with no chance of losing one's life.

In both cases, one seeks the sensation of being a real lover or a real fighter, but venting one's reproductive or adrenal glands over pixilated images, not flesh and blood for which one is responsible.

Zimbardo and Duncan are right, this is a generation mired in fake love and fake war, and that is dangerous. A man who learns to be a lover through porn will simultaneously love everyone and no one. A man obsessed with violent gaming can learn to fight everyone and no one.

The answer to both addictions is to fight arousal with arousal. Set forth the gospel vision of a Christ who loves his bride and who fights to save her. And then let's train our young men to follow Christ by learning to love a real woman, sometimes by fighting his own desires and the spirit beings who would eat him up. Let's teach our men to make love, and to make war . . . for real.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Panic is a Dead-End

Another repost (from 10/21/10) that I really needed!
I have a bad habit. Actually, habit should be plural, but let's focus on the singular.

I was analyzing those thoughts that run through my head occasionally, such as I cannot do this! or This is too hard! or I think I'm going to quit! Basically, these reactions are all the same and result from the same place - panic. Something bad/hard happens, I panic, and irrational thoughts break loose.
I usually have three responses when I feel the tide rising and panic is coming after me. This is the typical order that I seem to naturally follow:
  1. Recall 2 Corinthians 10:5 ("We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.") and speak it. Yell it, if you need to :)
  2. Anxiety and faith cannot coexist. It's that simple. I remind myself that I swim in the ocean of grace. If I am anywhere else, get out and dry off. I have a choice every moment that I have to make, and I choose faith.
  3. This is very important step to me. I'll call it gaining perspective or being realistic or getting my head screwed on straight. When a tough situation would present itself, I would start to panic (aka freak out, in my head of course) - WHY? Because I would project that one occurrence onto forever. In other words, I would start to think that I cannot keep doing this one thing over and over for the rest of my life. I know, it's a preposterous thought! Time marches on, and eventually this situation will no longer even be an issue. I just take a deep breath and ask myself, "Can I do this one thing right now?" And just focus on the present and what is required in this moment.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rest for the Weary

  • Our reunion trip: left a day later, missed people, visits were not what we wanted, late to everything, little sleep (meaning lots of fuss and tears), skipped meals, frequent potty stops for the toddler, oh yeah -- and Aolani barfed in the car everywhere (she seemed fine though; first time vomiting ever). I'll skip the smell, cleaning, and laundry part. Basically, our trip did not quite meet our expectations ;)
  • Car toys: small maracas, new books, Magnadoodle, stickers... those were the best, along with lots of snacks and her favorite stuffed animal!
  • Micaiah turned six months old last week. Can't believe it. Over double his weight (at 16 lbs). Alert, interactive, wriggly, squishy, happy. Slept 11.5 hours last night -- straight! I'll introduce solids in the next week or so. Already showing his smarts!

She just struck this pose on her own!
  • Our trip wore our baby out! For three days, no nap time for Aolani. For three nights, bed time was 11 p.m. No sleeping in late. Both kids averaged five hours less of sleep a day! Yesterday, Micaiah napped for six hours; he would wake to eat and have his diaper changed before wanting to go back to sleep ;)
  • Our cutie had a blast going to the preschool program -- other kids, name tags, new toys, movies, late nights :)

  • Verse to memorize this week: Zephaniah 3:17 ~ "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thankfully Receive All

"Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things.  
We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. 
We think we dare not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be looking forward eagerly for the highest good. Then we deplore the fact that we lack the deep certainty, the strong faith, and the rich experience that God has given to others, and we consider this lament to be pious. 
We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. 
How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things?"
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thank you, Ann Voskamp, for sharing this quote :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Perpetual Playtime

  • We are going to our five-year college reunion in a few days, and we are excited! I'll comment on the car trip next week ;)
  • Micaiah's mishaps: reaches for everything possible (now I have four grabby hands to watch), screams a lot (finding his vocal cords; Aolani screamed worse and more though), is moving into Stage 3 diapers (ahhh, I want to cry -- too big, too fast), naps 3-4 times a day, tries so hard to sit up on his own, loves me (melts my heart the way he looks at me), usually only wakes twice at night, and still avidly sucks his thumb.
  • Aolani is speaking rapid-fire mumbo-jumbo ;) But, she also repeats every word and action of Ricky... scary!

  • Micaiah is alive! Here is proof: This video is of them playing and interacting together some :) It's three minutes.
  • Verse to memorize this week: Romans 5:2 ~ Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Passions, Mine and Yours

If you know me or have fed me, then you might think that I am a vegetarian. Probably because I've told you so. But... well... I'm not.

Actually, I do eat meat that has been humanely-raised. {This post is not about eating meat, but I will clarify a few points here. I use to be a vegetarian for years -- not because I thought that eating meat was wrong or killing animals was wrong, but because I thought (and still think so) that animals should be able to see the sunlight, breathe fresh air, and play outdoors. Basically, factory-farms were a no-go, and the farm life is my ideal. Once I found meat that I supported, I once again became an omnivore :) Now, it is fairly easy to find the meat I eat. However, I do not eat meat at restaurants. We eat a lot of vegetarian meals because the meat I eat does cost more (so we eat less and make it stretch). Typically, I tell others that are feeding me that I am a vegetarian because I do not want them to feel like they have to buy expensive meat for me.} Ricky eats whatever is in front of him. He agrees with me, but not to the level that I take it.

Okay, that was a long intro!

Point is that this is something that I feel passionate about, but Ricky does not. And, guess what? That's okay by me. I am not bothered by it (greatly). I do not judge him or think less of him for not living or thinking the way I do. Why?

God has a BIG heart. Full of passions. Like millions. I have a very small heart. It might hold a dozen passions at the most. I like to think that when God created me, He selected a few of His passions and placed them in my heart -- to pursue, to care about, to steward, and to faithfully honor. Like callings.

When I read the Bible, I notice that there are a lot of good things to do -- adopt orphans, care for widows, give work to aliens, feed the hungry, house the homeless, clothe the naked, help the poor, pursue criminal justice, respect animals, seek peace and fairness, (and I'll add a few newer problems) stop sex-slavery, end human-trafficking, fight the pornography industry... murder, rape, spousal abuse, abortion, the breakdown of the family unit and definition of marriage, suicide, drug abuse, animals are beaten... oh, the list goes on!

Anyway, we need to be against such horrors, but seriously, can any one person invest time, energy, or money into all these things? NO. I used to feel bad about not doing or praying for or donating to this or that. Then, I realized -- it's impossible. I'm ONE person. I can't do it all.

I need to focus on the passions in my heart, realize that they are from Him, and try to devote my limited resources to them. If those passions are deemed lesser than other passions in someone else's eyes, oh well. God has put different passions from His own heart into our hearts. And, I just need to respect the ones He has given me. Not feel bad about my own or look down on others for their passions -- just thank Him because He is the giver!

Notes: I am not saying that how faithful you are to your passions has anything to do with salvation By no means! Salvation and heaven are strictly obtainable by faith in Jesus -- not by what you do or don't do. Also, I am mentioning secondary passions. A Christian's first calling is to share the Gospel. Evangelism is more important than anything else.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Stadium Seating

  •  Just another weekend full of activity --
  • We wanted to go into our downtown to go knock on doors and pray with people, but we were running late. So, we just went down our little street to meet and pray with our neighbors.
  • A family came over again to play Settlers of Catan (during Aolani's nap), play outdoors, and eat dinner.
  • I do not remember mentioning this, but our church is combining with another church (what a beautiful rarity and act of unity). Anyway, we had our first joint service this weekend and a picnic down by a river afterwards. Some friends took Aolani wading in the water and to throw rocks :) Also...
  • At the picnic, we met up with a growing family from this church that we use to be in a small group with in our old church in Wilmington! This was years ago, and we lost contact with them. Yet, we both move to the same small town and join churches soon to wed. And, they had their first child last year and are now expecting #2! What a small world! Praise God for random happenings like this!
  • Potty-training update: Aolani is absolutely perfect at home -- poops in the potty (she announces it and we go help her wipe) and even leaves guests (fun/play) to go pee-pee. She does well out in public; however, we're still working on her telling us when she has to potty while we are out...

  • Verses to memorize this week: Hebrews 12:1-3 ~ Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Right Order Is Important

A good friend and mentor of ours passed away a month or so ago, and I always associate 1 Peter 5:10 with him. I wrote this thought of mine regarding this verse in a previous post from January 2011. I keep thinking on this and found it a good reread for my soul, so here it is --

While I recite my memorized verses to Aolani, I get caught on the very last one. Every time.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. ~ 1 Peter 5:10
I make either one of two mistakes. One, I forget and completely leave out the "after you have suffered a little while," so I quote, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." Or two, I misplace that same phrase and put it in the beginning, so I say, "After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." The second error just seems to flow naturally out of my mouth, and I always have to catch and correct myself.

So, I got to thinking. Since the wrong way seems more natural, Peter most likely had a definite reason for the order of the phrases in that verse. Surely he had a purpose if it requires more effort to say it like he wrote it.
Let me sum up the phrases, in my own layman terms, into three parts. First, God calls me. Second, I suffer [for a brief period of time comparative to eternity]. Third, He restores me.
The calling.
The suffering.
The restoring.
Okay, back to my two mistakes. I was either: A) skipping the suffering part. Yeah, wouldn't we all like to do that! Ha! B) suffer alone (playing the victim), then bring God in to call and restore me. But...
That is not how it works -- thank Jesus! We do not have to suffer alone. We do not have to suffer to somehow merit His calling.
This is what we get: God freely calls us and beckons our hearts to come unto Him. Then, He walks with us, holds our hands, and never leaves us for one second while we endure suffering on this present earth. Finally, He brings complete restoration to us, in all fullness and wholeness. {The restoration having both a present and future fulfillment.}
Intentional? It looks to me like Peter knew what he was doing. With the Spirit.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Color Me Beautiful

  • Am I behind this week or what?! Short and sweet --
  • We got the scale out last weekend: Aolani was 30 pounds, and Micaiah was 15.8 pounds.
  • Ricky's parents came for the holiday weekend. Ricky and I got to sleep in one morning, go to a nice restaurant, go to the movie theater, and... we spent one night in a local bed and breakfast to celebrate our fifth anniversary! The grands stayed with the toddler, and we took the baby with us. Our time was short but still super nice, and our room even had a jacuzzi ;) [I am still nursing them both. So, I just pumped some while away to keep milk production high, and Aolani just went without her mee-mee until we returned.]
Bathtub painting w/ shaving cream -- great activity!

Micaiah is in the Babee Tenda already
  • Verse to memorize this week: 1 Corinthians 2:2 ~ For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.