While the New Year is here, I have one final reflection on this past Advent season. This year my attention returned again and again to the subject of Shepherds. Particularly the shepherds to which the angel came and proclaimed the birth of Christ.
At the time of Jesus’ birth shepherds were on one of lowest rungs of the social ladder. They were marginalized people. But as God tends to do, He came first to the shepherds and proclaimed the good news of his birth. This year I have a new appreciation and understanding of the Shepherds.
During this time Bethlehem was known for providing spotless lambs to the temple to be sacrificed. The shepherds here were specially trained to raise these spotless lambs for temple use. That was their job.
Today I am delighted to have the fearless leader of Oppermania, my husband, James Opperman on the show. His testimony is a powerful one of how the can Lord completely transform a person’s life.
James lived a life of crime, drugs, and alcohol that eventually landed him in the penitentiary. Thankfully the story didn’t end there. The Lord used these circumstances and placed the perfect people in his path to eventually humble him and lead him to the cross where there is lasting change.
Having now nursed six babies in my motherhood journey, I can tell you that it hasn’t always been easy. One would think that it would come completely natural, but unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Right off the bat let me say it can be painful at first. Usually, the reason for this is a bad latch especially if the pain continues past the first week or so.
Within the first week, you can get chapped and be in pain just because it’s all new, even if you are doing everything entirely correct. My favorite balm to help soothe chapped nipples is a product called Earth Mama Angel Baby Non GMO Natural Nipple Butter Nursing Cream. I know, I know that names of some of these things make me laugh, but if you are in enough pain to need it, you will not care what they call it.
Mom, do you feel like you are losing control of your children? Are you constantly repeating yourself? Are you frustrated and overwhelmed?
Lately, I’ve been feeling like my home is a war zone. I feel like I’m walking onto a battlefield every morning. It’s thoroughly exhausting. In a parenting class many years ago our pastor told us “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Sadly, I’ve been finding myself doing more and more of that a lot lately.
When we find ourselves in this situation, we have two options. We can either take cover and pretend everything is alright or we can face the “enemy” head-on.
If you find you are constantly repeating yourself, out of routine, or wondering what your kids are doing with their time, you need to go back to the basics.
Recently, in conversation with an elderly friend, the question was asked, “What is one of the biggest things you have learned in all of your years of mothering and being a wife?”
She thought for a minute, and her response was, “I learned that I needed to wake up each morning and purpose to die to self that day: especially in the years of mothering. If I didn’t purpose to do this, things usually went awry.”
There is so much truth in that statement. I started to think about my daily interactions. What are things that anger me? Why do I get so frazzled? Why do I get overwhelmed?
Today we are talking about the very sensitive topic of self-injury. We have a special guest, Kathleen DeWitt who is joining us to discuss her struggle and victory over self-injury. We hope to gain some insight as to the why’s behind the struggle, some things that you can look for if you have or think you have a child who is self-injuring.
While there haven’t been extensive studies published on this topic because it is a behavior that is private a 2008 publication by the US National Library of Medicine reports the following nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) statistics:
- 1/3 to 1/2 of US adolescents have engaged in self-injury.
- Cutting and burning are the most common types of non-suicidal self-injury.
- 70% of teens engaging in self-injury behavior have made at least one suicide attempt.
- 55% had made multiple suicide attempts.
- 70% of self-injurers are cutters.
Be honest mom, every year you say you aren’t going to go crazy with gifts this year. And if you are like me every year you look back and say “Oh dear, I bought too much.”
This Christmas season, I’ve been doing much reflecting on my childhood and the Christmases we had together. While there are a few standout gifts, what has stood out the most is the time spent together as a family. I don’t know anyone who ever looks back and regrets time well spent with their children, family, and friends.
The best gift that you can give your family is your time. You can’t get it back or trade it in for something better. Time is a precious commodity that we all too often squander away.
I live with a reformed Ebenezer Scrooge. As a child who bounced around a lot, my husband has never been a big fan of the holidays. Growing up he didn’t have great memories of the holidays, and they were just shallow to him.
I, on the other hand, have many fond memories of Christmas. My parents instilled in us the true meaning of Christmas. These are precious and sweet memories that I have and I want to pass down to my kids, building memories and bonds that will last a lifetime.
Growing up with completely different backgrounds, it has taken years for my joy of Christmas to light the fire and warm my husband’s heart.
For the past few years, I can say that we have had a full blown Christmas. Stockings, Trees, Music and have even started pointing up lights outside. For anyone that knows my husband, this is a huge accomplishment. In fact last year he couldn’t wait to get the house decorated for Christmas!
With Christmas just around the corner, theOppermom jumps into the controversial topic of “Inviting Santa into Christmas.” In some Christian circles, Santa Claus represents all that is wrong with Christmas. Focusing on materialism, and a make-believe elf who steals glory from God.
On the other end of the spectrum there are those who call foul, and see Santa as an opportunity to add joy and magic to the time of year that centers on the Greatest Gift ever given.
What is a parent to do?
As the mother of a large family, one would think that we have had years of athletics in our home. My husband always enjoyed sports and athletic competitions of any type so of course, our children would be athletes, right? Wrong.
Our first two children were very apathetic to sports, so our family is new to the world of youth sports. My seven-year-old son, whom we affectionately refer to as Triple-O, decided on a whim this past summer, he wanted to play football. And if you know him, you probably would have thought him the least likely of our children to follow in his father’s footsteps.
However, at seven, here we are jumping all into the world of youth football. We practice three times a week with games on the weekends. It has become a family affair. We go to practice with all of the brood. We have traveled around the country. It has been a great way to get out in the fresh air and cheer on our little guy.
But I digress.
About six weeks into the season I noticed my little guy starting to limp. We visited the trainer and got diagnosed with every runner’s nightmare, shin splints.