Archives for May 2013

The Power of Catch

Winning the heart of your child can make this parenting thing light years easier.

Never Underestimate the power of a game of catch

Engaging in activities that show you care about who they are, what they love, and where the path is that leads to their heart.

Currently reading: Shepherding a Child's Heart
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How-to Make Scramble Eggs in the Microwave

Thoughtful Thursday a weekly series on

Last summer, I visited my mom who was working at a diner. Being a "home cook'n" kinda place, they needed to make real food while still pretty fast. She taught me that you can make scrambled eggs in a microwave in about 2-3 minutes. You an also do individual servings of eggs without dirtying an entire pan! They turn out incredibly fluffy!

Scrambled Eggs in the MICROWAVE

Scrambled Eggs {in the microwave}


  • 2 eggs
  • Tsp Milk
  • Shredded Cheese {optional for added yumminess}
  • Salt/Pepper {to taste}


  1. Crack eggs into a microwave-safe dish {preferably the one you will eat them in so you don't have to do more dishes}
  2. Scramble the eggs with a whisk {or fork- again on the saving on washing dishes}\
  3. Blend in the milk {and cheese}
  4. Place dish into microwave and cook for ~2 minutes {maybe less if your is high-powered}
  5. Remove & fluff with fork
  6. If there is still more liquid {eggs or milk} in the bottom of the dish, return it to the microwave, cooking for 30 sec at a time
  7. When ready, salt & pepper to taste and serve!

Did you try it? Does it work? I really enjoy this...especially being pregnant, craving eggs, but getting nauseous at the smell of them cooking over the stove.


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Motherhood Redefined

Today, I am blessed to have my sweet friend Abby guest post for us. I've ask her to share with us out of her experience with war-torn nations. My hope is that our world view will be expanded and we will act in compassion for those living in these conditions. This being the month of celebrating mothers, Abby will be sharing from the point of view of a mother in one of the countries she has worked with recently. Keep in mind, there are various types of suffering, and poverty is not the only cause, but in some developed countries, like Iraq, violence is the reason for hardship.

AbbyAbby Davidson is an Idaho native, economics grad student, and wife/partner to the founder of ForgottenSong, a non-profit organization working to sustainably improve the lives of women and children in war-torn countries. She thrives on experiencing new cultures, loves adventure, and has a passion for seeing hope and love restored to people all over the world. Learn more HERE.



Motherhood Redefined - ForgottenSong

It’s a quiet, peaceful evening here in Duhok, Iraq. Almost one million people live here, and yet surrounded by treeless mountains and without another town in sight, it doesn’t feel that large. The sun is just setting, and families are beginning to gather in the park nestled in the center of town. Mothers and fathers walk and play with their young children, giving into pleas for candy and soda. I smile to myself, remembering when my children were young and when I was a new mother with my whole life ahead of me. I had so many dreams and desires, but none as great as having children. My experience was not what I had anticipated however.  Memories begin to flash back in my mind, as they always do, and I am reminded of what motherhood truly is, or at least what it has become to me.

Four years ago, when we were still living in Baghdad, violence was common and affected many on a weekly basis. It was just after my daughter’s fifteenth birthday, and I sent her off to school like any normal weekday.  During her third class, a man walked into the room, pulled out a gun, and shot her classmate in the head.  My daughter was only several meters away and saw her friend’s life stolen from her almost instantaneously.  We were later told he was part of a terrorist group that targeted girls wearing heavy makeup in order to make a statement to society.  Sometimes I still cannot believe it when I say it.

My daughter changed that day. The innocence in her eyes was lost, and the hope in her laughter was reduced to a confused depression. The guarantee of happiness was ripped away as she witnessed a tragedy that shook her foundations and her naivety to its core. It was at that time that we decided to leave our home and come here, to join the thousands of other refugees that have fled Baghdad to seek some sense of normalcy in the north. My daughter never did go back to school. As hard as we tried to persuade her to return, she couldn’t do it. She acts strong, but I can see it in her eyes, she is afraid, confused, and broken. 

I hear that children in other countries are too poor to go to school. That is not the plight of myself and other mothers here in Iraq. Money cannot solve our problems. There is no understanding these attacks, no way to avoid them. As a mother, I am supposed to be the keeper of my children, yet my love and care has not been enough to keep them safe. Mothers feel an urgency to protect and comfort their children, and when life makes this impossible, the pain is unbearable. Yet we press on. We hope for peace, which we work for consistently here in our new home. We strive for happiness, and find it in even the smallest of things. Motherhood has been redefined to me. It is no longer about protecting my children from harm, but rather my purpose now is to consistently release them into the hands of God and remind myself that every day is a gift. Sometimes certain gifts, like motherhood, can only come with pain as well.

As I continue to watch groups stroll through the park, I wonder how many of those young smiling faces are hiding fear and pain. And I think about the mothers and wonder how many have had their hearts broken like mine. But at this moment, it seems peaceful here. We pretend as though our hearts are whole, and we enjoy this moment together.  The plight of mothers in countries like mine isn’t shouted from the rooftops. It’s hidden in our hearts, and although the rest of the world may not understand, motherhood will forever be redefined for every one of us.


You can celebrate and support mothers who are living in poverty, through ongoing support of a Child Survival Program or by making a one time donation to Compassion International.

As Abby addressed, simply money cannot solve some of these mothers' problems. Partnering with organizations like ForgottenSong can help by sustainably improving the lives of women and children in war-torn countries. Currently, ForgottenSong is in Iraq and Uganda. Learn more HERE.


Events coming up that you might be interested:

  • Tri for Febby: Upon completion of the Fundraising, ForgottenSong will fully fund a trip for you to travel to East Africa to visit the Chicken Farm that YOU have funded!
  • Go Out for a Change: Local businesses are helping us in our efforts to change the lives of widows and orphans in war-torn countries across the world by donating a percentage of profits for the day.
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“I Wanna Be Like Other Girls”

warning: rambley

We were given several awesome kids movies recently. If you are a SAHM, you know this is really a bigger treat for you than it is the kids. There were a couple great ones and then theirs the "Princess Sing Along"...

I don't wanna be like other girls

I'm not a huge fan of Disney Princess in general but we don't avoid them like they're diseased. My girls have like 5 of those baby princess dolls- just the right tottable size! They have the giant princess story book from one of their adopted aunts. We have seen a couple Disney princess movies...sorta. We've seen pieces of Little Mermaid, Brave, and the snipets on this new sing-along. Let me real, some of those would still give Me nightmares.

Let's get back to the sing along. {note: there's really nothing wrong with the movie- this is just a personal quirk} Watching it the first time, I just thought it was awkward. Having grown up with all these movies, I knew the context. My girls {and sadly Jamin who was stuck watching it as well} have no idea what any of these unrealistically beautiful singing women are much less their assumed gentlemen friends, or so we assume even though most of whom these women only met moments before dancing & lusting after gazing at one another. I digress again...

The song. The song I'm trying to get to is one from Mulan II. With having seen only the clip of this song, I can only assume...and Google. This song was birthed in the heart of these 3 sisters under the tyrany of China rule around 200 BC when China was practicing Heqin (Ho-chin) or marriage alliances. Basically, the Chinese Emperor marries off a "princess" (usually a pseudo-princess or concubine whom he had never met before, some heqin princesses were at least noblewomen of recent imperial descent, but had no direct kinship) to an aggressive ethnic minority chieftain or ruler. The theory was that in this arranged marriage the would cease all aggressive/rebellious actions toward China.

In the movie, Mulan {feminist who rebelled against tradition} is helping escort 3 "princesses" to their "aggressive ethnic minority chieftain or ruler" soon-to-be-fiance's. Ironic, ehh? The clip we got to "sing along" with was the "I wanna be like other girls" song. Now with all of this background, heck to the YES, we want these sisters to be like other girls! Not sex-trafficked for "peace" between nations. Do you think I stopped and explained all this to my month-away-from-being-5-year-old? Uuuuhhhh, no. She only heard pretty painted sisters having fun, tossing 'pointy shoes' in the air, and celebrating desirable freedom. What did I tell her an hour later when she was prancing through the kitchen, finding things to doll herself up with, while singing, "I just wanna be like other girls!"?

Stop it.

Well, not exactly. I was quickly taken back and suddenly said, "No Mags! We don't want you to be like other girls." She looked at me like I was crazy and must have missed the compelling performance the geisha dolls gave. She told me again, the line she was singing to reassure me it must be okay since I had allowed her to watch the song. I scooped her up to have a lil...moment. "Maggie, we do not want to be like other girls. We want to be exactly who God made us to be. We are all different and that's good. He wants to use us all differently." I thought that was pretty compelling. Or at least more compelling than the geisha song. Nope. "But mom, why did those princess want to be like all the other girls?" Deep breath, "They don't know Jesus." To this my husband snickers behind me. Mags replies, "oh" with a solemn face. "They don't know God loves them and they haven't met Jesus yet. God wants us to look different than the rest of the world."

We continued our conversation and I attempted to explain to Maggie that this was just one of the reasons I had discouraged her from picking that movie to watch. She reluctantly agreed that I probably couldn't correct every doctrinally wrong thing in the movie at this time, with her being so young and all. I was hoping to feel like victorious. But instead, I felt rather defeated. Having let that falsehood into her mind. You can't take that way. It will always be part of the mold that is Magdalene Reese. What other lies had satan snuck into her tiny brain in that 20 minutes of entertainment?

I know I can't live in fear or guard against everything satan is through my kids' way but I hope that God's truth sunk in deeper than that lie.


update: Mags had now created a song entitled, "I don't wanna be like other girls..." to the same tune and still including the cute lyrics about 'pointy shoes'. LOL

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Caution, Wet Floor

I've trained myself to say "No one is perfect. Everyone will disappoint you except Christ." but I often don't live this out.


I mean, I know that's true. I know having high expectations of people will always disappoint me but I don't know how to LIVE in that. I've always been told, "don't get your hopes up" and often I live in my negative little world telling myself the hopeful thing I wish to happen...won't. I do the same thing with people.

I jump all in; trying to love without restraint yet have no expectations. I look past the 'wet floor' signs. I run straight into the soaking wet floors of other people's lives. I get hurt. It sucks. But the awkward aftermath seems much worse. Don't get me wrong, I don't like the initial hurt but its the living life after the fall that is something I just don't know how to do.

I don't know how to live cautious but not scared. I don't know how to use wisdom and not over-analogize. How do I tip toe through with care, not knowing if its flooded or if it dry after being slightly damp and no one took the sign down hours {or years} before? Will I end up in the middle of a danger zone, catastrophized by unbearable disaster or just slip and bump my toosh?

I have high hopes for their life. I see potential. I know God could do unspeakable things through them.

Then. They just don't get it. They sin. They miss the bigger picture. They don't see what you saw for them. Or what I fantasized of them.

That's fine and well but I am terrible at living and loving through that. Relationships get weird. I get weird. I see them in an entirely new light. A tainted one. I still want to see them like Christ would- the complete product of His handy work.

I do this over and over again. Different seasons of life. Different kinds of relationships. Different hurts.

At the valley today we talked about the passover. I've heard Matt speak about the passover many times and even down to the logistical set up that was likely the seating arrangement but today I saw it differently. Something clicked. Well, less clicked more...ouched.

During the passover, these men would be reclining at a horseshoe shaped table. They would lean onto their left arm and eat with their right hand. There was even ritual seating arrangements for the guest. The youngest was probably sitting at the front of the table with no one reclining into him. Behind him would be the host. Then the person the host would lean back into for conversation would be considered the "person of honor".

You can send your questions about the details of this to Matt {at} the valley church {dot} org but that means John would have been 1st at the table, laying back into Jesus, who was laying back into Judas. Judas was in the seat of HONOR! This. Is. Convicting.

Jesus knew Judas was gonna be a tool and a sell out. He placed him in the seat of honor. Jesus knew! Jesus still honored Judas. He didn't just play nice, have polite chit chat, or smile and nod when they happened to pass one another. Jesus HONORS him. If anyone had an excuse to be a turd toward someone it would be JESUS. If any relationship would be understandably awkward, it would be this one! Jesus treats him no differently.

I'm baffled.

Where do I get off acting like I have any right to be weird toward people when they didn't do/act/say/smell the way I thought they ought.

Jesus, give me your eyes. Eyes to see your children how you see them. The potential. The real. The hurts. The strengths. Give me your love.

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