At first I considered writing about my five favorite herbs, or maybe five summer recipes. And then I made another connection. I have three grandchildren that are five years old. Children are a blessing.
Being a mom is the best thing I have done. There have been moments of wonder. There have been hard times. Sometimes I have stumbled. I have learned my need for God’s help and have been blessed by His presence. My adult children are a source of joy and blessing. And now there are grandchildren.
Children are a gift from God. Here are five Bible verses that instruct us.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3
Jesus said, “Truly I say unto you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3
But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart . . . Make them known to your children and your children’s children. Deuteronomy 4:9
Grandchildren are the crown of the aged. Proverbs 17:6a
In this new year our women’s precept group has begun to study the book of Deuteronomy. As the book begins Moses is reviewing the history of Israel’s release from slavery in Egypt and their years in the wilderness. Then he goes on to give them specific instructions.
In chapter six he gives God’s command for the families. Orthodox Jews recite these verses daily as a part of the Shema. Click here for explanation of the Shema.
These verses apply to us as Christians.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6: 4-9
My eyes cloud with tears as I think about our culture and the state of the Church in America.
This is a reminder to me— a verse that I want to memorize. The Bible needs to be a consistent part of daily life. It is important to notice God’s hand in our lives.
We need to tell our stories of faith to our children and grandchildren, to the people in our circle of influence. Do you have a story to tell?
This post is linked to Five Minute Friday. To read more inspiring thoughts based on the prompt, INFLUENCE, click here.
Every Friday the FMF community writes for five minutes on a prompt given by Kate Motaung. Sometimes the first five minutes of writing stimulates more thought, and I continue on . . . Today’s prompt is: FUTURE
When I look back over my years of parenting, I realize that I have made mistakes. I would do some things differently. But I have also done some things right.
I prayed for my children consistently.
We made dietary changes. The combination of vaccines and courses of antibiotics led to health problems. I removed all refined sugar from our diet for a period of time. And then I removed wheat. We learned to appreciate a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and grains.
I found ways to include garlic in my cooking and made garlic tea for colds. Garlic has antibacterial qualities.
When I think about the future, I have concerns about children and the number of medications they receive. If you have read my blog, you probably know that I am concerned about the number of vaccines recommended for children. I support informed consent for parents. //
The Bible says that we are wonderfully made.
God has given us a body with an amazing immune system. We can support it with a healthy diet, regular hours of sleep, exercise and sunshine.
Cathy Areu was a guest on Tucker Carlson Friday night. She argued that breastfeeding was not natural because it put too much pressure on a woman to feed her baby. She insisted that it was natural for a dad to feed the infant formula. She referenced a recent “study”.
I watched the astonished expression on Tucker’s face as she made her case. Lol.
The argument was so bizarre that I looked for the study on-line. Ms. Areu was referring to an article that was published by Heatstreet on April 26, 2017. The article, “Study: Describing Breastfeeding as ‘Natural’ Is Unethical Because It Reinforces Gender Roles” was written by Jillian Kay Melchior. She writes:
It’s “ethically inappropriate” for government and medical organizations to describe breastfeeding as “natural” because the term enforces rigid notions about gender roles, claims a new study in Pediatrics.
I checked the link to Pediatrics and found the opinion piece that was published on April 1, 2016, a little over a year ago. Not a recent study. The article, “Unintended Consequences of Invoking the “Natural” in Breastfeeding Promotion,” * was written by Jessica Martucci and Anne Barnhill.
They wrote: Promoting breastfeeding as “natural” may be ethically problematic, and, even more troublingly, it may bolster this belief that “natural” approaches are presumptively healthier. This may ultimately challenge public health’s aims in other contexts, particularly childhood vaccination.
In her article she included this quote: “(The authors) are using this article to label the breast-feeding group in a very negative way, and to equate breast-feeding with people who don’t want to take immunizations,” said Eidelman, who was lead author of the 2012 AAP policy statement on breast-feeding.
It was troubling to me that, in the Pediatrics article, assumptions were being made about women who breast-feed and women who have questions about vaccines. It is true that some parents are reluctant to vaccinate their child because their child was injured by a vaccine. Some have studied the issue and are concerned about the risks. They have legitimate concerns. The vaccine controversy will not go away by labeling people and denigrating them.
Wow! Over the next few hours I kept thinking about the dismissal of breastfeeding. We know that breast milk has immune factors that formula cannot provide. We know that it is most easily digested and absorbed by an infant. It is recommended that a mother breastfeed her infant for six months to avoid food allergies. The benefits are too many to enumerate.
I found that I agreed with one statement that Ms. Areu made. Breastfeeding is hard. The first time a woman breastfeeds she needs support and guidance. But her labor and birth experience have also had an impact .
My observation as a labor/delivery nurse is that the interventions that take place in the hospital can influence the breastfeeding experience. Medications given to induce labor and for pain management can have negative side effects. Women that have cesarean sections have a more difficult time establishing breastfeeding.
How soon the baby is placed in the mother’s arms (hopefully skin to skin in the first hour of life) influences early success in breastfeeding. If the mother has been traumatized by the manner of birth, breastfeeding may be more difficult to establish.
As I tried to understand the upside-down way of thinking that Ms. Areu was demonstrating I wondered what has happened to science.
Are we being asked to consider all medical interventions as natural? When we observe normal physiology and gain practical insights, are these unnatural?
I am sad because the turmoil in science and medicine is only making it hard on parents. My hope is that the medical community will listen to the concerns parents have and treat them with respect.
If you found this article interesting I hope you will visit my Facebook page.
*Jessica Martucci and Ann Barnhill, “Unintended Consequences of Invoking the “Natural” in Breastfeeding Promotion”, PEDIATRICS Vol. 137 No. 4 April 01, 2016
It’s Five Minute Friday! I am joining Kate Motaung’s community where we gather to write like crazy for five minutes on the one word prompt. Today’s word is: sing
Our granddaughter’s school held a Spring Sing in their new gymnasium. People filled the seats, the bleachers and the space along the walls.
The children (first, second & third grade) sang with enthusiasm with motions that they performed in unison. The theme of the program was songs from countries around the world. The opening song was We Are the World. Here is the chorus:
We are the world, we are the children We are the ones who make a brighter day So let’s start giving There’s a choice we’re making We’re saving our own lives It’s true we’ll make a better day Just you and me.
The children are the future. We are blessed to be the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. We have a sacred trust to guide, nurture and advocate for them.
We are imperfect but we can seek God’s help. We have the avenue of prayer.
Someone was ringing the doorbell persistently. My husband went to the door and I looked on, curious. A deliveryman handed a wrapped florist parcel to him. Who is sending flowers? I wondered.
The enclosed card was inscribed, Happy Anniversary. It was from our sister-in-law. And then I remembered. Our 40th anniversary was just days away.
We have been blessed and refined by many years of marriage. The day after the flowers arrived, my husband and I attended a world-view conference led by Dr. Frank Turek. During the course of his presentation he spoke about the benefits of marriage between one man and one woman—and the reason why the government has had an interest in marriage historically. Here are the benefits I jotted down;
Children are raised by a mom and a dad
Perpetuates and stabilizes society
Dr. Turek covers this topic in his book, Correct, Not Politically Correct. He also has a website: cross-examined.org
When God set down the pattern for marriage it was for our good, as a couple, and for society as a whole.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
Jesus affirmed this view of marriage: Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?” Matthew 19: 4-5
In our marriage, my husband and I have grown in our faith and helped each other with new skills. We have had good times and hard times. We have sometimes communicated well and at other times not very well. We have learned forgiveness and self-sacrifice. We have raised children and now have three married adult children and seven grandchildren.
How can we pass on a healthy view of marriage to children and grandchildren?
1. When the Bible is a part of our daily life it becomes a guidebook for healthy living. Regular Bible reading and prayer at home is a good thing.
2. We need to discuss sexuality with the children God has placed in our influence. God’s design for sex is healthy and fulfilling; it requires boundaries. Surveys have shown that teens wish that their parents would discuss this topic with them.
3. We can give our testimony as a couple, explaining how God has worked in our life.
4. We can pray for the young people in our circle of influence and look for opportunities to offer words of guidance and encouragement. This morning my husband and I prayed for our grandchildren.
Can you think of additional ways to promote healthy marriages?
It’s Friday and I am joining the community hosted by Kate Motaung. For five minutes we write fast and free. The prompt is: WEAK
Above my writing desk I have a frame with a picture of each of my children. Below their picture is the verse that my husband and I chose for their dedication. Our desire was for each child to know and depend on the Lord.
For our oldest daughter: The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11
For our son who has gone on to be with the Lord: Be my rock of refuge to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Psalm 71: 3
For our second daughter: But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
And for our second son: As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Psalm 18: 30-32
Each of these verses point to the Lord’s strength. When we chose these verses we did not know the trials that would come and the depth of our family’s need for God’s strength. Now, when I read these verses I can praise God because He has been faithful in providing strength and refuge for each of our children.
It is true. We are weak and have a great need for God’s grace, mercy and strength.
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:14
A couple weeks ago I received an e-mail from the University of Illinois about the MMR vaccine. Here is an excerpt from that message: The Illinois Department of Public Health and Champaign-Urbana Public Health District have recommended that students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign receive a booster shot of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine as soon as possible, even if they have already received one or two previous vaccinations with the MMR vaccine.
This recommendation is based on the ongoing occurrence of mumps infection in a number of students through the recent spring semester and summer sessions. Most cases on campus had two previous MMR vaccinations.
My son is no longer a student at the University, so he doesn’t have to deal with this. If he were a student, I would encourage him to have titers drawn to determine whether he still had immunity before doing another vaccine. He has already had two doses of this vaccine.
According to the CDC’s website these are the ingredients in the MMR: Medium 199, Minimum Essential Medium, Phosphate, recombinant human albumin, neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, chick embryo cell culture, WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts. For a full list of vaccines and their ingredients click here.
Knowing what I know now I probably would have refused the vaccine when my son was a toddler. The fact that the rubella portion of the vaccine is developed off of aborted fetal cells (human diploid lung fibroblasts) goes against my view of the sanctity of human life and my faith in God’s design of the immune system. If a child gets the measles or mumps it is possible to support the immune system while they are sick. Measles is most virulent for malnourished individuals. Rest, plenty of oral fluids and vitamin A supplementation (for the measles) is recommended. By getting the measles and mumps in childhood an individual develops lifetime immunity.
As a society we are now in an unfortunate position. The vaccine wears off over time. Women that were vaccinated and did not actually have the measles do not have lifetime immunity. They don’t pass an immunity to their infants, which would last 6 to 9 months. Infants and adults may get the measles if exposed to the virus or even exposed to someone who has recently been vaccinated. (It is interesting that during the outbreak in Palatine, Illinois this year the cases involved an adult and infants. Not school age children. No one died.)
Lee Hieb, M.D. wrote about the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine:
In 2006 an epidemic of mumps broke out in my state of Iowa. Ultimately, 11 states reported 2,597 cases of mumps. The majority of mumps cases (1,487) were reported from Iowa. As reported in “Mumps Epidemic – Iowa, 2006,” “Despite control efforts and a highly vaccinated population, this epidemic has spread across Iowa and potentially to neighboring states.” According to the CDC, “During the prevaccine era, nearly everyone in the United States experienced mumps, and 90 percent of cases occurred among children, although 97 percent of children entering school in Iowa had received two doses of MMR vaccine. ” Of note, this outbreak mostly occurred in young adults of college age who had received the vaccine. Only 6 percent of those affected were known to be unvaccinated, 12 percent received one dose of MMR vaccine, 51 percent had two doses of MMR vaccine, and 31 percent (mostly adults) were not sure of their immunization history.
To read her entire article listing the risks and side effects of vaccines click here.
I am not against vaccines for life-threatening epidemics. Vaccines have been helpful, but more research is needed for our vaccine schedule.
My opinion is that we have become increasingly dependent on medications and vaccines while forgetting to address principles of health that support the immune system. Our medical system encourages a quick fix mentality.
Over years of parenting my husband and I became more actively involved in our family’s health. We have made healthy changes. Of course change in habits is difficult. It took time and persistence and we can still improve. Here are seven practices that our family has adopted to support the immune system.
Eliminate (begin by reducing) refined sugar and flour from the diet. Sugar, in a variety of forms, is in every processed food. I learned to read labels.
Less antibiotics. With my youngest son we avoided antibiotics unless truly necessary. We learned that we could wait and see with symptoms of an ear infection. We took milk out of the diet and added garlic for treatment.
Drink plenty of water.
Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet. Once we eliminated refined sugar our appetite for and enjoyment of fruits and vegetables grew.
Increase the use of garlic and herbs in the diet.
Get adequate sleep. For children this should be 8 to 10 hours each night. We could have done better during the high school years.
Raw honey and elderberry syrup are more recent additions that we have made for cold and flu treatment. More about elderberry syrup in a future post. NOTE: Honey should not be given to a child under one year of age.
For additional thoughts on the MMR vaccine, click here.
UPDATE: The MMR is in the news also because data from vaccine safety studies was destroyed by the research team. Documents from a whistleblower have been given to congress. You can learn more and contact your House Rep. and Senators by clicking here.