Best parenting advice

A few weeks ago, I got to speak at our church's baby and child dedication.  I must say it was the most challenging audience I have ever spoken to because of all the young children in the room.  In fact, about midway through, I paused and said, "Hey, don't anybody worry.  I am really good at talking over crying children.  I do it every day."  Needless to say, while it was the cutest audience ever, it was not the most attentive.

So, in one part of my message, I shared the best parenting advice I had ever heard, and I thought I would pass it along here…  Several months ago I was listening to a sermon series by Voddie Baucham  on the family (and Marybeth, if you are reading this, I still plan on returning your set.  Apologies:)) and he said something that has really stuck with me.  Here's the gist of he said…

During the first five years of your child's life, your primary objective as the parent is to teach them to do what you tell them to do, when you tell them to do it with a good attitude.  In short, to obey all the way.  He said that if your children do not learn to obey you, their parents, they will never be able to listen and obey God. 

This is so simply put but when you carry this out day to day, it can get pretty hard.  Its comforting to know that the most important thing I teach my children is not how to read before they go to kindergarten or how to identify every species of dinosaur before age 2.5.  Its also not to teach them to recite the confessions of our faith and the corresponding scripture.

The simple truth of obedience: Mommy and Daddy are in charge, not you (no matter how cute you are when you "no").  When I remember that that's the most important thing I teach them, its easier to be consistent.

How does this look in our house right now?
    For Graham (age 2), it seems like every time I ask him to come lay down to get his diaper changed he gives me this super cute, evil grin and backs away from me.  I have to be consistent with the consequences of not obeying, even for something so seemingly small.
    For Elijah (age 4), we are working on the attitude part.  Its hard to correct this one when technically he did obey.  But all throughout scripture we find God's true concern for the heart.  As Elijah's mom, I have to teach him that this is not acceptable.

I am preaching to myself.  No super-mom here.  Just a woman who wants to raise world changers and who knows that it all starts with the small things.


Pumkin activities 028I cooked Quinoa for the first time the other night.  You may be wondering what Quinoa is (pictured right).  Its like a type of grain, in the category of rice, wheat, couscous thats grown in South America (although technically it is a psuedoceral but you can read more about it on Wiki like I did).  It is super good for you .  Gluten free, full of fiber and protein.

You are probably wondering how it tasted.  Good actually.  After a little research online, I decided to cook it in my rice cooker with chicken broth (two parts liquid to one part Quinoa), pressed garlic and a good bit of parmesan cheese.  I dumped all this into the rice cooker and about 20 minutes later, it was pretty tasty.  We served it with tilapia.

My boys actually liked it too.  Elijah had seconds. Please excuse Graham for saying "cheese" with his mouthful.

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Monday Morning (or Afternoon) Commentary


Yesterday we began our new series, the Joy Genome.  I told my husband that he preached the most practical sermon on joy that I have ever heard.  Many people have preached about the difference between joy and happiness, but they have never really taken me much past that.

The sermon yesterday began in Philippians 1:12-20 where Paul wrote about joy while in a prison cell.  My husband said,

My joy is not determined by what happens to me, but what Christ is doing in me and through me.

I loved the reminder that I must stop looking for joy all around me, but remember that joy is within me because Jesus is in me.

As Christians, we are not immune from difficulties, yet we get the opportunity to show our neighbors, co-workers, and family the joy that remains in spite of our difficult circumstances. 

My friend Stephanie is a shining example of this.  For the past 11 months, her 6 year old son, Jacob, has suffered from Chronic Ulcerative Colitis.  They have been in and out of the hospital numerous times and faced difficulties which I cannot imagine (including multiple surgeries, time spent in the PICU, and months of caring for a child with a colostomy bag).  As I have walked with her through this, she has been a picture of joy even in the darkest moments when her faith was shaken.  When I listened to the message yesterday, I couldn't help but think of what an amazing example of joy she has been.  You can read more about them on their Caring Bridge site

You can also watch the sermon here (Part 1, the Joy Genome).

Pumpkin week… pumpkin carving

The boys and I had a great time carving our pumpkins.  Wait, let me re-phrase that… The boys had a great time watching me carve our pumpkins the other night.  They did a great job scraping out the insides.  Elijah wouldn't touch the pulp with his hands.  He said it was too slimy.  Graham dug right in.

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When it came time to carve, I did my best.  Elijah was really insistent on a scary pumpkin.  When I was finished with his, he said "Spook-tacular!"  I guess that's good.  For Graham's pumpkin, I attempted the Elevation logo.

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I would love to see your pumpkins too!  Leave a link to your pics in the comments.

Pumpkin week… pumpkin seeds

Pumkin activities 031 Sometimes I think my husband must be part squirrel.  Funny thought, I know.  But seriously, he loves nuts and seeds.  Peanuts are his favorite (at least I didn't call him an elephant), but pretty much any nut will do.  Where am I going with this? 

I toasted the seeds I removed from our pumpkins and they were delicious.  They tasted kinda like popcorn.  I had to make him leave some for our boys to taste the next morning.

Here's what I did (with some help from the internet).

  • Wash seeds in colander removing all pulp
  • Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees
  • Dry seeds thoroughly using paper towel
  • Spread seeds on cookie sheet
  • Pour melted butter over seeds (I used 2 tbsp, but I didn't have even a full cookie sheet)
  • Sprinkle with sea salt
  • Use hands to make sure that all seeds are coated with butter and salt
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, turning every 5-10 minutes until done

Pumpkin week… a visit to the pumpkin patch

This past Friday we visited Riverbend Pumpkin patch.  This is the third pumpkin patch in our area that we have been to since living here and by far the best.  The boys enjoyed the animals, got to select their pumpkin from a real pumpkin patch (not a pile), and played on a really cool playground.  We had a great time, they didn't want to leave.  We will definitely go back next year.

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Pumpkin week: All things orange

Pumkin patch 238Its pumpkin week here on my blog, but I couldn't start the week without a picture of the beautiful orange roses I received from our church Saturday night.  The bouquet was so larger, I felt like a pageant queen.  I have filled three vases and I smile each time I pass them.

On to more things orange… I made my first batch of pumpkin bread this weekend.  Yum!  It turned out perfect and it makes plenty so you can share it with others.  We actually made two large loaves and four mini loaves.


Here's the recipe, resurrected from the archives of this blog…

  • 3 1/3 cup all purpose flour  Pumpkin-bread
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

Mix everything together, add flour gradually at the end.

Pour into 3 greased 9 x5 loaf pans (or substitute 3 mini loafs for
one of the large loaf pans).  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to an hour
(less time if using mini loaves).

Hint: I like to dust the pan with cinnamon/sugar mixture after greasing to give the crust extra sweetness.

Monday Morning (or Afternoon) Commentary

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Well, its Monday afternoon here at the Furtick household.  After a full day of errands, the boys are napping/resting and I am finally getting back around to this blog. 

Yesterday, Kill Switch, the last week of the series.  And an awesome message to bring it all to a close.  It really was awesome.  I know I say that every week.  And maybe, that lessons the effect.  But it really is awesome every week.  My husband is an awesome preacher.

Ok, Yesterday… the message was based out of 1Sam 16:1 and the premise was, how long will I continue to cling to something God has rejected?  Maybe something that at one time was good, but something that God wants to close so He can open up something new.  A job, a relationship, a dream, a paradigm.

My favorite line?  Glad you asked…
    Don't miss out on the this that God has for you because you are holding on to that.

I actually overheard one Target employee telling another that very line today as she was trying to give her Monday morning commentary.

What a great word for all of us.  I think women, especially, tend to hate change.  We want to hold on to something long after it is dead, like a friendship, or a routine, or our child's teacher from last year, or our last house/neighborhood.  Often, we get so tied up looking back, we miss out on what God has for us moving forward.

Let go, fill up, and be on your way.  You can listen to the message (part 4, Kill Switch series) here later today.

Its pumkin week here at  Pumkin bread, pumkin seeds, pumkin carving, pumkin patch.  Its going to be a great week!

Better and better

Better and betterA few weeks ago we had an incident…  you see, against my better judgment, I allowed Graham to have a cup if milk in the car. You know the voice inside your head?  As I was pouring the milk, mine said, “You shouldn’t be doing that.  If that gets left in the car, it will be gross.”  Well I didn’t listen to myself.

Fast forward a few very hot days… and rancid odor filled my car on a rainy day when we couldn’t roll down the windows. When we got back home, I started to clean the car (fully prepared to find a dead animal, completely forgetting about the milk).  Well in the process, we found the aforementioned cup, tipped upside down. Nice. The milk that remained in the cup was now solid.  But as we all know, there is no such thing as a leak-proof sippy cup, and just enough milk had seeped into my carpet to cause the horrific odor.  After much scrubbing, febreezing, and even a carpet cleaning a few days later, the smell still lingered (although not nearly as strong as the first day).

The smell comes and goes, especially if the weather is hot.  So this week I bought an air freshener.  I forked out a whole dollar for it at Walmart (don’s worry, I took the picture at a stop light).  When Elijah got in the car this morning he said, “Wow, it smews betta and betta in here!”

Yes, it does.  And now we have a new rule, which I am sure you can guess… no more milk in the car (I have only broken it once :)).

PS.  Thank you Carrie for pointing out in your comment that there is a dairy truck in the picture.  That made me laugh out loud.  What a coincidence!