Friday, June 30, 2006


We have been without our computer for over a week now. Hopefully everything will be back to normal by this evening. This past week, I realized how computer-dependent we are! I went to print out my grocery list - but no computer. I went to check the weather - no computer. I went to pay bills - no computer. I wanted to turn on some music in the playroom - yep, you know the routine. We use the computer all the time in our home - for church, music, research, etc. I feel like I have been out of touch with everyone - but we’re almost back. As I was thinking about this today, my prayer has been that I will be as dependent on the Spirit as I am on the computer in my daily life. May my focus be continually drawn back to the Savior and the grace that He provides me to live each day for His glory.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Free Stuff!

Who likes free stuff? Go to Amy's blog and enter your name in the contest for a free book. And check out the rest of her site while you're there!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Process of Sanctification - Dirty Diapers

(Disclaimer – subject matter may not be appropriate for those with a weak stomach!)

My third child is such a sweet little boy. So kind, tenderhearted, easy-going (I know, he sounds just like me, well, ok - maybe that's a stretch). He continually makes us laugh and loves to give us hugs and kisses. But this adorable little 23-month old has also thrown us for a loop. He often surprises us with his antics. I think I have this toddler/preschooler thing down and then he teaches me a lesson. He has no fear and loves to jump blindly off furniture. He began chewing on things (furniture, people, animals, his bed) during a teething episode and hasn’t stopped. Seriously, he gnaws on the trees outside! Bark is fiber, right?

I heard him wake up from nap last Friday and he was playing happily in his crib so I continued to finish a few chores before getting him out of his bed. As I walked toward the door, I smelled something funny. As I entered his room, I tried to control myself. I wanted to run out and pretend I didn’t see it (I could just leave him in the baby bed until Daddy got home right?), but I couldn’t as my older 2 preschoolers came running in the room. “Mommy! Oh no! Why did Calvin poop on his head?” I said, “I don’t know – I’m trying to figure that one out myself!”

Now, you have to know that dirty diapers and throw-up aren’t my favorite thing (I know, there’s not many people who would probably list it under their “favorites” but I have a particular aversion to it). Yet God is using all of this to sanctify me and teach me about selfless service (or so I keep telling myself). Back to the room - the particular substance in question was everywhere – even around his mouth. Now, I told you earlier that Calvin eats everything – and now I can truly say “everything!” My neighbor suggested that I call the nurse and make sure he was alright. I already know that if the baby eats money, you’re supposed to check the diapers to make sure it all comes out. But what do you check the diaper for in this situation? Well, the nurse said it was fine since it had come from his own body. Well, isn’t that good to know? So, I guess what I learned from this whole situation is that it’s fine for your children to eat their own ‘substance’, just not someone else’s. Thank you Calvin!

It’s important to remember in this journey of Mothering that God’s grace is sufficient for all things. I am thankful that I can serve these children and that God is using things like dirty diapers to help make me more like His Son.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Beatitudes

I just started a study on the The Beatitudes (Matthew 5). As a part of the study, I am listening to a sermon series by John Piper during my morning walks. This morning Piper preached on "the poor in spirit." He reminded me that the world teaches that "real joy and fulfillment in life are to be found in the pursuit of self-reliance, self-confidence, self-determination, and self-esteem ... [but] the Biblical answer to the paralysis of low self-esteem is not high self-esteem; it is sovereign grace." He used the example of God telling Moses to go to Pharoah to free the Israelites. Moses basically said he couldn't do it. God, in essence, told Moses to stop looking at himself and look to God. He didn't tell Moses "you can do it, you have it within you, etc." He told Moses that He would be with him and He would work through him. We as Christians should not be about promoting "self-esteem". We need to take our eyes off of ourselves and look to God. By grace, He is our Help and He is our Redeemer.

Monday, June 05, 2006

What's In A Name?

How do you choose a name for a blog? I asked my husband what he thought the name of my blog should be. It took him a while to answer me since he thought it was some sort of trick question that I already knew the answer to and he was hoping to answer it correctly! After careful consideration, he suggested “SolaJenn”. What a funny man! “Jenn Alone.” Now, that might describe how I act sometimes (rarely of course) but in reality I truly want to honor Christ with my life. Daily I am reminded that it is not all about me. Something about having 3 small children forces me to forget about myself and I am thankful for that. "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30) That is my prayer - that more and more of Christ would be evident in my life. I decided to name this blog "Only By Grace" because that phrase seems to sum it up for me at this place in my life. I am a child of God – only by God's Grace. I am married to an incredible husband and have precious children – only by God's Grace. I am forgiven when I act like “Sola Jenn” – only by God's Grace. I want to be the wife and mother that God has called me to be – and that is only possible – by God's Grace!

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Beginning

This is it! I've started a blog. I'm not sure who will read it - probably just my husband. But this will be a place to share the stories of our family as we daily strive to live a life of Grace - in the midst of diapers, laundry, and more!