Life in Lape Haven

Archive - October 2015

My Boys and the Giggles

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - My Boys and the Giggles. A joyful conclusion to a challenging 31-day writing challenge.

One of the most amazing sounds to a new parent’s ears is their baby’s first laugh. It’s is like nothing else. In that moment, your child’s individual personality really begins to show.

As your children grow, their chuckles, giggles, and chortles become the music of your home, delighting everyone who hears it (well, except for when they are doing something they aren’t supposed to be…).

So, for my last day of the Write 31 Day challenge and the last entry for my series “Out of the Mouth of Babes: 31 Quotes from My Children,” I’ve decided to end with more than a quote.

Today you get a small sampling of the beautiful, unquotable symphony of my children’s laughter.

 

Elijah and the Amusing Broom

With a seven-month-old keeping me busy, it was after Christmas by more than a month when I finally got around to taking down the tree and decorations after Elijah’s first Christmas. I was cleaning up the pine needles that fell off the tree when Elijah became rather amused by the broom.

 

Josiah and His Silly Brother

Sometimes all you need is a funny sibling to make the day hilarious. It’s so nice when they can entertain each other.

 

My Boys and the Air Conditioning

This little game was invented by my mother when she was babysitting my nephews. After hearing about it, I decided to let the boys try it out.

All you need are tiny pieces of tissues and a running air vent, and you have a recipe for fun for as long as the air is running.


 

Thank you so much for joining me on this month-long adventure through all the funny, encouraging, and amazingly wise things my children have said. I pray that you have been challenged, inspired, and delighted every day and that God has ministered to you in some way through at least one of our stories.

It has definitely been a challenge to have something ready to post every day, but I have enjoyed it and am rather proud of myself for sticking with it and managing to share something each day without fail.

Thank you for reading along and encouraging me. Your visits, comments, and shares have helped keep me inspired to continue.

In writing my posts over the last month for the Write 31 Days challenge, I began to see a recurring theme. Most of the things my boys have said have pointed me over and over again to trusting God with a childlike faith.

People might say that having childlike faith is easy for a child (it’s in the description). Apparently, they think that since adults have seen “real” life, it’s okay to become hardened and cynical, seeing the negative much quicker than the positive. Trusting God is a “nice” idea, and it’s cute for those innocent little ones. It’s not “real” life for many grown ones.

However, I would argue that if Jesus did not expect us to have a childlike faith beyond childhood (and know it was possible), He wouldn’t have told us “For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” (Mark 10: 13-15)

Over the last 31 days, God has allowed me to reflect on how much I am truly trusting Him (or not). It has been a challenge that I did not expect when I signed up, but it has been an edifying challenge nonetheless.

Again, I pray that this series has been edifying, challenging, and encouraging to you as well.

So, let me know: Have any of the posts challenged you or encouraged you? How has God used this series to minister to you? What was your favorite quote from the 31 days?

 

Elijah and the Sign

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - Elijah and the Sign. Elijah's version of hospitality leaves something to be desired.

There isn’t a day that goes by, I don’t think, that Elijah isn’t “working” on something. He loves drawing and coloring, creating “crafts” (that’s in quotes because they are his version of crafts…such as a piece of string tied to an old bolt and a paper clip), and writing out letters and words.

Last summer, Elijah made a sign for the main door of our home.  He worked on it secretly, all by himself, and then used a sticker to put it up. (Thankfully it all came off.)

When he was ready for the big reveal, he called me in and proudly showed me his creation.

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - Elijah and the Sign. Elijah's version of hospitality leaves something to be desired.

 

When I asked him what it was for, he told me, “If someone comes to our house, and it’s time for them to leave, we can show them this sign.”

His sign features a cute smiley face on the front, and then you open it up, and it reads, “Go” with a picture of a house, which means, “Go home.”

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - Elijah and the Sign. Elijah's version of hospitality leaves something to be desired.

 

Elijah apparently understands how to “speak the truth in love.”

When he explained his sign, he didn’t say it as though we would be making our guests leave, so much as it was simply time for them to go, and perhaps they needed a nudge.  The little smiley face on the top clearly indicates that we enjoyed their visit, right?

Hospitality, Elijah-style, leaves a little to be desired. 🙂

 


This post is part of my Write 31 Days series, “Out of the Mouth of Babes: 31 Quotes from My Children.” I’m posting every day in October, so if you’ve missed one and need to catch up, or if you really enjoyed a particular quote, you can find the entire series on my Write 31 Days page.

Elijah and the Birds

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - Elijah and the Birds. Expecting God to provide in unusual ways.

Names and their histories and meanings have always been a big thing for me. It may be because my name, Kishona, is unique and has its own story, and I have always loved that (I was named after the River Kishon, sometimes called the Brook Kishon, in the Bible.).

So when we began making a list of possible names for our first child, pretty much as soon as we knew that I was pregnant, you can imagine the importance I placed on finding just the right name. Once we knew for certain we were having a boy, the search was on in earnest, and we prayed for God to make our child’s name obvious to us.

We wanted a more unique name, preferably Biblical, that had a strong meaning and history. We also didn’t want one that would be easily shortened to a nickname, and it had to sound good with our last name. I really like the name “Joel” but with our last name it just sounds like “Joe Lape.” And “Gideon” is cool, but when you try it out with “Lape,” it comes out too close to “Giddy-up,” which is not the most playground-friendly.

The name “Elijah” was on our list, and we had already passed on it a couple of times when one day it just stood out. I was getting ready for work, and I kept thinking, “Elijah, Elijah, Elijah Lape.” I mentioned to Brad that we might want to reconsider it, and then later that day, in a conversation with someone we barely knew, they suggested one name for our baby. They said, “Elijah.”

After that day, since I already knew a good bit about Elijah of the Bible, I began to look into its meaning, which is “My God is the Lord.” That was promising. When combined with his middle name, his name would mean, “A strong warrior whose God is the Lord.”  Yes!

We waited until we saw our little guy for the first time before we told anyone what his name would be. We wanted to make sure that it fit, and it also gave us something to surprise our family with when he was born.

From the start, it was clear that there was only one name our boy could have been called, and as he has grown, it has only become more evident.

Just like I love my name and its history, Elijah LOVES reading all the stories about “Elijah from the Bible.” His favorite is, of course, when Elijah calls down fire from heaven at the contest on Mt. Carmel against the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). Funny enough it wasn’t until he was born that I remembered the connection of “my” river to that same story. (It’s where Elijah killed all the false prophets.)

Elijah also loves the story in 1 Kings 17 of God using the ravens to feed the prophet Elijah during the drought.

One day when he was a little over 3, he came up to me and asked,

“When is God going to have the birds feed me?”

I knew he was thinking literally, as in he expected to walk outside one day and have a flock of chickadees or robins fly over and drop down some yummies. But God, being awesome as always, already had an answer in the works for that same evening.

That day God didn’t choose to use a bird (thankfully). He chose to use a Brad… or rather, Brad’s work.

My hubby texted to let me know that he was bringing home leftovers from one of the company’s catered meetings.

Just like that, I was able to let Elijah know that God was sending him dinner. (Bonus: I didn’t have to cook!)

We talked about how God can provide for us in many different ways, sometimes completely unexpectedly, and how He knows what we need before we do.

Jesus told us in Matthew 6:31 & 32, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

As adults, we feel the responsibilities of life, and we tend to worry. We think in terms of bills, saving for unexpected expenses, and making sure we always have enough.

Yet God already knows what we need. And He is more than capable of meeting any and every need we have. It may not be how we expect Him to meet it (how many of us would want to live by a brook while birds brought us food?), but He will still provide.

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - Elijah and the Birds. Expecting God to provide in unusual ways.

It doesn’t mean we’ll have excessive amounts of things we want or even things we need. But we will have what He knows we need.

Instead of worrying, we should live in expectation, knowing that our Heavenly Father loves us, and when we ask for bread, He won’t give us a rock. (Matthew 7:7-11)

I’m not sure that we should go outside and start watching for a flock of ravens, but God knew that our Elijah was expecting Him to provide, and He didn’t let our little boy down.

“I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.”  – Psalm 37:25


 

This is part of my Write 31 Days series, “Out of the Mouth of Babes: 31 Quotes from My Children.” I’m posting every day in October, so if you’ve missed one and need to catch up, or if you really enjoyed a particular quote, you can find the entire series on my Write 31 Days page.

Another fun part of the Write 31 Days is that you can enter to win a $500 Shopping Spree from DaySpring.com!

DaySpring is celebrating all the amazing Write 31 Days READERS who are supporting the nearly 2,000 writers this month! Enter to win a $500 shopping spree by clicking this link and following the giveaway widget instructions.

I would love it if one of MY readers won!!!  So, good luck and THANK YOU, THANK YOU for reading!

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - Dayspring Giveaway. Win a $500 shopping spree!

Elijah and the Morning

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - Elijah and the Morning. Determining to make each day wonderful by choosing a positive attitude.

When I was pregnant with Josiah, part of our preparation for his arrival was having two-and-a-half-year-old Elijah spend the night at either my parents’ or Brad’s parents’ house every so often. Since Elijah was still so little, he hadn’t had too many sleepovers, and we wanted him to be used to being away from Mommy and Daddy overnight when he had to stay with his grandparents while we were at the hospital.

My mom was taking care of my nephew at my brother’s home during the week, so whenever Elijah stayed with my parents, he got to go with her in the morning and spend the day with his best friend in the world, his cousin Christian. Both of the boys loved that.

One evening when I went to pick up Elijah from my parents’ house, my mom shared a cute story about how their day had started.

Since she needs to be over at my brother’s home in time for his wife and him to leave for work, my mom’s day starts early. She was up, getting ready, when Elijah woke up at 6 a.m. (So glad he was over at her house!)

He was still lying in bed when Mom heard him declare, “It’s a wonderful day!”

Knowing that he was going to be playing with his cousin all day, I’m sure he was anticipating all the fun they were going to have together with each other and with their grandma.

However, he hadn’t even gotten out of bed before he decreed how his day was going to go. He hadn’t looked outside to see if it was sunny, cloudy, windy, or rainy to determine what the morning would be like (it still would have been dark, anyway).

He had already decided that it was a wonderful day.

So many more of our days would be wonderful ones if we started them off this way, if even before we opened our eyes, we reminded ourselves that “this is the day the Lord has made;” and determined that “we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - Elijah and the Morning. Determining to make each day wonderful by choosing a positive attitude.

Our attitudes, perspectives, and expectations can make a great situation miserable or miserable situation great or, like Elijah, a good situation wonderful.

Today, I’m challenging you to find your inner “Pollyanna,” and just like the little girl who could find something to be glad about in any circumstance, look for joy, look for good, and look for God working in, around, and through you.

When you’re tempted to complain, remember all the many things for which you have to be thankful. When you want to criticize, find something to praise. If someone frowns your way, hit them with a megawatt smile (sometimes just annoying that grumpy person will be enough to make your smile last all day).

Yes, we have hard days and trials, and sometimes the silver lining is hard to find in an overcast sky. When that happens, here’s a jumpstart for your positive thinking: you are not alone. You are NEVER alone. We have a God Who loves us, and He will walk with us, comfort us, guide us, work miracles on our behalf, carry any burden we entrust to Him, and give us hope and peace in every circumstance if we ask Him and let Him.

With God, we can begin every day with anticipation, knowing that it can be a wonderful day.

So how is YOUR day going to be wonderful? Let me know in the comments below!


 

This is part of my Write 31 Days series, “Out of the Mouth of Babes: 31 Quotes from My Children.” I’m posting every day in October, so if you’ve missed one and need to catch up, or if you really enjoyed a particular quote, you can find the entire series on my Write 31 Days page.

Another fun part of the Write 31 Days is that you can enter to win a $500 Shopping Spree from DaySpring.com!

DaySpring is celebrating all the amazing Write 31 Days READERS who are supporting the nearly 2,000 writers this month! Enter to win a $500 shopping spree by clicking this link and following the giveaway widget instructions. There will be a link at the end of each day’s post from October 15 through October 29.

I would love it if one of MY readers won!!!  So, good luck and THANK YOU, THANK YOU for reading!

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - Dayspring Giveaway. Win a $500 shopping spree!

The Boy and Halloween

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - The Boy and Halloween. One child's quote sums up the dilemma Christians can face with Halloween and other choices

*I was really hesitant to write this post for today, or any day, but I have such a great quote to use that I felt I needed to share it. My heart is to encourage and challenge you to know what God wants you to do above anything else.*

 

I like October, but I don’t love it like many people that I know. Sorry.

Yes, Octobers in Ohio can be beautiful with all the leaves changing, and yes, I enjoy pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin rolls just as much as the next girl. (Another sorry – I’m not a coffee drinker, so pumpkin spice lattes don’t excite me.)

However, I really dislike facing an entire month of Halloween everywhere, especially now that I have to navigate that entire month with my two boys in tow.

Television alone becomes a nightmare, possibly literally. Hubby and I are constantly saying, “Don’t look – la, la, LA, LA, LAAA,” while we frantically try to change the channel so that our boys aren’t seeing or hearing  bad-dream inducing ugly, nasty, demonic things in a 30-second commercial on even the generally family-friendly stations. (Come November 1, it’ll be Christmas commercials for every toy known to mankind, which is almost as bad)

In our home, we do not observe Halloween. We do not decorate or go trick-or-treating or give out candy. However, we do attend our church’s Fall Fun Fest outreach, complete with “good” costumes, and Elijah has his fall party at school.

I know the season and the day are a big debatable topic in Christian circles because lots of people have a very nostalgic view of the holiday based on how they grew up. (Although, anyone who has seen the Halloween scene in “Meet Me in St. Louis” knows that even way-back-when, the day was not exactly wholesome, innocent fun. Those were some creepy little kids…) There are those who see it as a chance to interact and share their faith with their friends and neighbors. Some people observe the All Saints’ Day roots while others avoid it altogether because of its pagan history. (Many like to point out that Easter and Christmas have pagan history, too, but I think that if you look at how the three holidays are celebrated now, Halloween still embraces evil. The other two don’t.)

I LOVE dressing up in creative costumes (birthday parties, dramas, school spirit days), and I LOVE me some Snickers and Almond Joys. I adore ministering to children and making certain they know how much Jesus loves them. So I understand how that’s the appealing part of Halloween for Christians. It’s why we do all the fall outreaches at our churches.

Life in Lape Haven: Write 31 Days - The Boy and Halloween. One child's quote sums up the dilemma Christians can face with Halloween and other choices

Last year we did a family theme of “The Wizard of Oz” for our costumes at the Fall Fun Fest.

However, in my heart, I just can’t justify doing the traditional Halloween holiday. I can’t celebrate a day that so completely embraces darkness, fear, death, and evil, even for the sake of the candy and fun it mixes with it. As a parent, I’m responsible for what I expose my children to, and while I don’t plan to keep them in a bubble, I prefer that my 2-year-old doesn’t have to deal with fears I presented to him as fun. Knowing that the supernatural world is very real, I also don’t want my 5-year-old to see demonic things as cool. Honestly, I want him to see them as defeated by the blood of Jesus.

Do I judge other people for taking their children around the neighborhood to get candy? Nope. Not at all. And I hope they give our family the grace to be true to what we feel God has said is right for us.

When I lived in northeast Ohio, I was a part of the midweek children’s ministry at our church, and I remember one October talking about Halloween with the kids. They had lots of questions about it, so we discussed the origins, both good and bad, of the day. We talked about what the Bible says about fear and evil, what it says about being set apart, what it says about loving your neighbor. I told them that what they did with Halloween was something they needed to pray about with their parents.

I don’t want kids to just say, “Well, Miss Kishona says it’s good/bad.” They need to know what THEY believe and why. They need to hear God’s voice and follow His leading in everything – in the things where the Bible absolutely makes it clear and addresses the issue, but also, and especially, in those things where it doesn’t give a definite “thou shalt/shalt not” directive.

Toward the end of class, one boy raised his hand and summarized the whole dilemma facing every Christian child when it comes to this holiday and life in a fallen world in general.

He said, “I don’t believe in Halloween, but I DO believe in candy.”

The accuracy of that statement is both amusing and sobering.

Our children are caught in the conflict of do-we or don’t-we. And the answer to that is not always an easy “yes” or “no.”

It needs to be, “Ask God, seek Him, read His Word, find His will.”

Because here’s the thing:  Halloween won’t be the only area of their life where they will face this decision.

There will be plenty of times where something will have fun, exciting, or even good aspects mixed with those gray, shady, or completely dark, bad areas. School, work, relationships.

They need to be able to stand in those times, solid in their relationship with God, not swayed by opinions, not bound by traditions, not just grabbing at compromise for the sake of fun, while also not just running from evil because they don’t know how to deal with it.

While they live in the liberty that Jesus gives us, they need to be able to recognize the difference between the things that are permissible versus the things that truly benefit them and their walk with God.

Paul wrote about this to the church in Corinth. He told them that “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)

We want our children to always choose the things that are helpful and edifying, instead of just doing something because they can.

If you believe that trick-or-treating falls under edifying for you and your family, then shine your light and enjoy the candy. If it falls under “not edifying,” then shine your light and make sure you pick up some half-priced candy on November 1.

That’s probably what I’ll do because, you know, I don’t believe in Halloween, but I do believe in candy, especially when it’s on sale!  🙂


 

This is part of my Write 31 Days series, “Out of the Mouth of Babes: 31 Quotes from My Children.” I’m posting every day in October, so if you’ve missed one and need to catch up, or if you really enjoyed a particular quote, you can find the entire series on my Write 31 Days page.

 

Josiah and the Smile

Life in Lape Haven: Josiah and the Smile. Sometimes we just need to take a second to close our eyes and listen for God.

One night about a month ago, Josiah began throwing a fit when it was time for him to get into his bed. I’m not sure what sparked it, but he was not his usual, sweet, bedtime-compliant self.

As he was crying and screaming in his bed, kicking off the blanket that I had just placed over him, my mind was searching for a distraction that would calm him down. When he’s over-tired, which he was, he will fight correction and comforting both. So, getting him to focus on something new is the best course of action.

For some reason, my mind latched onto a memory, a family story of my mom and her sister talking on the phone.

My mom has a rather creaky smile, so when she smiles, you can hear it. One day while they were talking on the phone, my aunt must have said something to which my mom hadn’t responded but had smiled about, and my aunt said, “I hear you smiling!”

It became a saying in our family – “I hear you smiling”- and not only does my mom’s smile creak, mine does, too. I inherited the creaky-smile gene.

Listening to Josiah crying in the dark, I had an idea.

“Listen,” I told him. “Shh. Shh. Listen. See if you can hear Mommy smile. Close your eyes and listen.”

The request caught his attention enough for him to settle down, close his eyes, and lie quietly, waiting for me to smile.

*Creak*

A little giggle, and his eyes popped open.

“Did you hear it?” I asked him.

Smiling, he nodded. Then he said, “Now you close yours eyes, and I smile.”

Of course, I did.

He has inherited the creaky-smile gene, as well. (Maybe everybody’s smile creaks. I don’t know. I just know that ours do in our family… How many people just tested their smiles? Did you close your eyes and listen?)

The funny thing is, sitting there with my eyes closed, it was nearly impossible NOT to smile whenever I heard Josiah’s little *creak*.

Life in Lape Haven: Josiah and the Smile. Sometimes we just need to take a second to close our eyes and listen for God.

We took turns, closing our eyes and smiling at each other and smiling back and giggling in the dark.

After a few minutes, Josiah was ready to sleep, all the fight and fit completely forgotten, replaced with creaky smiles.

Isn’t it amazing what a smile can do? Even one in the dark? Our little game immediately calms Josiah now. Even in the middle of the day, he’ll come up to me and say, “Close yours eyes, and I smile.”

Something about it all makes me think of God and how He is always with us.

We can be in a big struggle or storm, and the Holy Spirit is right beside us. It might be dark, but He’s there. We might not be receptive to His correction or comfort, being wrapped up in wanting things our own way, but He’s there.

Then He’ll whisper, “Listen. Close your eyes, and see if you can hear Me smile.”

If we do it, if we turn our attention to Him for even a moment, we’ll hear Him. If we focus on being in His presence, listening for Him, we can hear Him smile.

Why would God be smiling when we’re in a struggle?

Because He’s is in control.

Because when our attention is on Him, He can help us so much more.

Because in those quiet moments, He can soften our hearts, preparing them for whatever He needs to speak to us, be it encouragement or correction.

Because in His presence is peace and “fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11)

So instead of fighting, “close yours eyes” and listen.

When God smiles, you’ll hear it. You’ll feel it. You’ll know. And you won’t be able to help but smile, too.