Why God Gave Us Head Lice

 

head liceNot that long ago, we dealt with a case of head lice.  Where did they come from?  We don’t know, and it really doesn’t matter.  The point is, we had head lice and they needed to be removed from our heads.

If you have never had the pleasure of having head lice, let me give you a brief summary of how you get rid of them.  First, a special shampoo is applied to the head, after ten minutes rinse.  Second, a special comb called a nit comb is used to remove the dead head lice and what ever eggs it can.  The hair must be combed every-other-day with this comb for the next 10 days.  Third, all bedding must be washed and anything that can not be washed is placed in plastic bags for two weeks.  Fourth, anything that can not be washed or placed in a plastic bag needs to be sprayed and vacuumed.  Finally, repeat the shampooing again in 10 days followed by yet another combing session.   This is a very simplified version of how to treat head lice.  I will give a detailed version in a later post as a how to and with helpful tips I learned later on.  For now, just understand that dealing with itty-bitty head lice is a HUGE task.

The process sounds so simple, and maybe if you were doing steps one and two on adults it wouldn’t be that bad.  Try doing it on three kids ages six, four, and two.  The baby, thankfully, doesn’t have thick enough hair to make a good habitat for lice so she didn’t need to be treated.  The shampoo is a chemical and should touch the least amount of skin possible, so I could not bathe my kids like normal.  They had to have their hair washed over the kitchen sink, which for some reason is terrifying to them.  The comb that you use has very tiny teeth.  Only a few strands of hair fits through at a time, and you have to comb close to the scalp as possible so after a while the scalp becomes very sore.  It is not a simple processes at all, but one that brings out many, many tears.

It was my oldest daughter Hannah, kneeling on a kitchen chair, who asked me through tearful sobs, “Mom, why would God give us head lice?” which gave me the topic for this post.  Why would God give us head lice?  Now, don’t get me wrong here.  I don’t think that for any reason God purposefully caused us to become infected with head lice.  I just think it is a fact of life, but it caused me to think a little more.  There are some character lessons to be learned from having head lice, so this is why I think God gave us head lice.

1.) God gave us head lice to keep us humble.
When I hear of a head lice outbreak, I usually think of dirty, unkempt people.  We are the furthest thing from that!  Oh, no!!  What if people think that about me?!  Oh, no!!  And now I have to notify all the parents of the children of whom my children were with recently.  Oh, no!!  It was so embarrassing!  It was so humbling.  It was a nice little reality check to remind me that I am human and I have faults.  I am not any better than anyone else.  Lice do not discriminate between classes of people, they just like people in general.   It was a nice reminder that we are not to esteem ourselves over each other.  We are all human with human characteristics.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of  you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interest of others.  You attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus”
~Philippians 2:3-5

2.) God gave us head lice to teach us perseverance.
When Hannah asked me why God would give us head lice, my pat answer to her was, “to teach us perseverance.”  I had no idea how over the next 10 days I was going to eat those words over and over again.  Head lice eggs, the nits, are very small and literally glued to an individual strand of hair.  In between the washing of hair with lice treatment, there must be several combings aka nit picking sessions.  It is a tedious process.  They only had to endure themselves being done.  I had to endure combing them, and then combing my own.  The treatment of the lice was in a very busy week.  It was not something I could just put off until we weren’t busy.  I found myself having to persevere to keep mine and my children’s attitude in check, and also to just get the job done.  A quick answer to her question became a huge lesson for me.  Having head lice will definitely teach you perseverance and builds that character quality up!

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you maybe mature and complete, not lacking in anything.”
~James 1:2-4

3.) God gave us head lice to remind us to be thankful.
I was given several reasons to be thankful while dealing with head lice.  I was thankful for living in a time where doing laundry consists of me putting it in the washer, turning a few knobs, waiting, then putting it in the dryer, turn another knob, wait, and done.  I had the girls’ bedding all washed and dried and our bedding started washing all the while we were getting ready to leave to purchase head lice treatments.  If I lived in another time that wouldn’t have happened.

I was thankful for the scientific understanding of the life cycle of head lice and the treatments available.  Years ago, we would have either shaved our heads or cut our hair very short.  No body got a hair cut except Chris, and he was due for one any way.  It takes me and the girls such a long time to grow hair, so not having to cut our hair in any way was awesome.  Also on the subject of hair, I was finally thankful for our thin, straight hair.  It was a pain to comb our hair.  I can only imagine what it would have been like if we had a head full of thick, curly hair as I have always wished us to have.

Finally, I was thankful that head lice are just a nuisance and very treatable.  The treatment is tedious, but doable.  There are no long lasting effects of head lice other than the memories because they do not carry diseases.  There are, by far, so many other things that could happen to our family which we would not recover from so fast and without residual effect.  Yes, having head lice makes one very thankful for the things in life that are often under-appreciated or taken for granted.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
~ I Thessalonians 5:16-18

The next time you hear of, or deal with a head lice out break, think of it as a huge character building session.  It is not pleasant at the time, but in the end it gives you something to laugh about and puts the small stuff of life into perspective.

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Learning the Value of a Dollar

value of a dollar

We strive every day to instill in our children values that are going to last them a life-time.  At this point, our main focus with them right now is learning to obey the first time and without grumbling or complaining.  We hope that by having them learn this at a young age, we will enjoy the teenage years more because the foundation was laid solid in the beginning.  Recently I got the chance to teach my oldest two girls not only the importance of obeying, but also the value of a dollar.

The other day, they crossed the line.  They disobeyed, and their disobedience was an expensive mistake.  They played in Hannah’s diabetic supplies and wasted her emergency Glucagon.  Now the needle is no longer sterile and I don’t have enough solution to properly reconstitute the Glucagon if needed.  What was the response?  “That’s OK, Mom.  We can just get another one.”

No.  It is not OK.  First of all, what would happen if Hannah actually found herself in an emergency and needed the Glucagon?  Since we live in the middle of no where she would probably suffer extreme consequences from not having it, with one of those possibly being death.  Secondly, diabetic supplies are EXPENSIVE.  Who is going to pay for that?  At that point, I realized we have been letting our children down in teaching them the value of a dollar.

I realize they are young.  Hannah is just learning to count money and Jessa is just learning to count, but that does not mean that they can not be held responsible for their actions and learn from them.  They often break a toy and have even had their trike ran over.  Their response is, “Oh well, we’ll just buy another one.”  That really translates to, “Mom and Dad will replace it later.”

I had two different lessons to teach them, each requiring a different action.  The immediate was to deal with the behavior of out-right disobedience.  They knew better, and their disobedience could have had serious consequences attached to it.  For that, they got a good old fashion paddling.  The next behavior I had to deal with is the idea that money is easy to come by and everything is replaceable.  I called the pharmacy, reordered the Glucagon, and got the cash price–which is what we pay until our deductible is met.  Glucagon costs an amazing $200!  As I said, they made an expensive mistake.

So what now?  I bet you are thinking that a six year old and four year old could not possibly be held accountable for that kind of money.  Think again.  We marched down to the bank.  The bank teller was kind enough to show them a few different ways that $200 looks like to impress upon them that it was a lot of money.  After the visual lesson came the hard lesson.  They each had to withdraw $100 from their savings.  I had the money withdrawn come out as twenty, five dollar bills so they could see the dollar amount was large.  A $100 bill doesn’t look like much to a child that is just learning numeric values.  Drawing money out of the bank was just the first step in this lesson.

My kids have chores, but I have never actually paid them for doing the chores.  Their payment comes in other ways besides the exchange of cash, and apparently that method is failing us because they don’t see the value of money.  They are now going to earn cash for their chores.  They will see the return on their labor, which will hopefully instill in them the lesson that money comes with a certain amount of effort and not per request.

Instead of the money just going back into the bank, they are going to start practicing the “envelope system.”  They will have three envelopes, one for giving, one for saving, and one for spending.  Certain amounts of money will be place in each envelope based on a percentage.  Now instead of just teaching them to save their money, they are going to learn to how to give and they will get some joy in spending the money they have earned.  Once again, laying the foundation at a young age to benefit them when they are are older is the goal of this lesson.

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That Man Just Nailed It!

0011 Chris does many things on a daily basis that demonstrates his love for me.  He did something that happened to be so selfless and pure, I couldn’t help but to share it.   I mentioned to my husband that I would like to have a few small-square bales of hay so that I could take my horses on a couple of overnight camping trips.  The operative word was “few.”  He comes home the next day with 107 small-square bales of hay.   For the next two days following, he hauled home more.  He told me, “That should give you enough hay for trail riding, and hopefully some for your goats.  I made the bales between 50-60lbs so you could handle them easily.”

If you are not from an agricultural back ground, let me take a minute to explain to you the intense labor of small-square bales. Up to the point of baling, they take about the same amount of effort.  It is the point between baling the hay and storing the hay that it gets real.  You see, small-square bales can not be left out over night.  If you do, the dew will get them moist and ruin them.  So after a hard day’s work of haying, one must pick up, stack and load them on a trailer.  Once the trailer arrives home, it must be covered in some way to keep the dew off during the night.  The next day, the hay must be unloaded and re-stacked to be stored for the winter.    So, the next time you see a small-square bale, just know there is big labor behind it.

As I was guiding my husband while he was backing the trailer of hay into our shop I thought, “That man just nailed it!”  What did he nail?  He nailed 1 Corinthians 13.  He made sure that I was going to have enough hay to go trail riding–an activity he has no desire to do.  He made sure I would have enough hay so that this winter I can feed my goats during the stormy weather without having to wrestle with frozen hay and a pitch fork.  He made sure that I could easily handle the bales without pulling a muscle.   He did not need, nor desire the small-square bales.  I did.  He put my needs and desires ahead of his.

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Flowers and cards are always nice ways to remind someone that you love them, but  eventually the flowers die and the cards are put away.  I will be reminded of his love long into the winter and into next summer as I am using the bales he so selflessly made for me.  Each time I cut the strings on a new bale, it will be like reading a love letter or getting some flowers!  As I said, “That man just nailed it!”

 

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Time Changes Everything……Maybe

We always talk about how different next year is going to be, and all the changes that are going to happen.  Some things do indeed change, while others don’t change very much at all.  Here are pictures that show not much has changed in the past year, and I honestly hope there is not much change in the next few years to come.

no change

 

I don’t know if I will get to look like this again, but I sure hope I get the chance.   How many more times?  Only God knows.  There will be a small change in the fact that there is a completely new little person just waiting to come out and meet us.  Very little change will happen in the way I look, other than the size of my belly depending on how far along the pregnancy is at that point.

cuddles

 

I hope this never ends!  I do realize there will come a day when my own kids are going to be too big to snuggle into Momma.  I am banking on the fact there will be grandkids to help keep this activity going!

Time did change some things for me this past year.  Time changed the life growing inside, and the size of the little one that I hold close.  As you can see, not much has changed.  I think from now on instead of saying, “Time changes everything,” I am going to start saying, “Time changes somethings.”

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven”
~Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is indeed a time for everything, and right now I am having the time of my life.  I am so glad that time really does not change EVERYTHING!

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Are You Thirsty?

It has been hot out here in the Sandhills lately.  Really hot.  Our high temperature yesterday was 104* F!!  That is too warm for this girl!  When I was out doing all the little critter chores I couldn’t help but notice how, even though they had water, as soon as I refreshed each animal’s water they came and took a nice long drink.  Ahhhh……a nice fresh drink of Sandhill’s water.  How refreshing?

That got me thinking about water. If you have never had a glass of water from the Sandhills, you don’t know how wonderful water can be!  There is not a bottled or filtered water that can even compare to the crisp, clean taste of Sandhill water.  I often hear from people that have moved away from the area, one of the greatest things they miss is the water.  How awesome to have one of the world’s finest resources flowing freely from my hydrant?

are you thirsty

 

One thought on water led to the next.   There is this beautiful, pure water flowing from my hydrant that is refreshing to my body and that of my animals.  There is also another type of water that does so much more.  It refreshes your soul.  It is vital your daily living.  Everyone has access to the Water, but not many take advantage of the awesomeness of the Water.  This water is called Living Water, and it flows just as freely from an unlimited source.

In the book of John, Jesus is talking to a woman at a well.  He asks her for a drink of water.  She is surprised that He would talk to her because she was a Samaritan and He was a Jew.  Jews and Samaritans just didn’t talk!  They have a short discussion about the water in the well, and about Living Water.  In chapter 4, verse 13, Jesus answers her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Never be thirsty again?

The woman was in awe, and wanted some of this water so that she didn’t have to come draw water from the well again.  How wonderful to have this resource and never to be thirsty!  She misunderstood Him.  He was not talking about the physical water that we drink.  He was talking about Himself. How can we get a drink of this Living Water?  Jesus answers this question in the book of Matthew, chapter 7, verses 7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”  It is a very simple process to get to one of the most complex, yet wonderful resources.  Ask and you will receive.

Today when you reach for your glass of water to satisfy your physical thirst, don’t forget to ask for a drink of Living Water to satisfy your spiritual thirst.  You will notice a difference in your day for sure!

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Count Your Blessings

count your blessings

Yesterday morning I was feeling awfully sorry for myself.  You see, I had the entire day planned.  The day was so well planned that I even had my Suburban ready.  All that we needed was loaded and ready to go.  The girls and I were going to take Gus to the vet, and run errands.  At least that was the plan, until we discovered Rainne was running a fever.

GRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!  A SICK KID!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Nothing can throw  a monkey wrench in your plans like a sick kid.  There is nothing you can do but cancel all your perfectly laid plans.  I did not want to do this!  I did not have time for this!  I was completely annoyed.

My plans were canceled, but not with a loving attitude.  I wasn’t mad at Rainne, but I was irritated with situation.   When was Gus going to see the vet?  When was I going to fill that monster list of groceries that I had made?  When and how is all this going to get done?  When will the next kid get sick?  Am I going to get sick?  The questions just mounted, and the more I could not answer the questions, the more irritated I became.

I had to hold Rainne or else she would cry because only Momma’s arms were going to comfort her.  During my irritated thoughts while I was holding her, I decided to let myself do something that I rarely do–linger on Facebook.  I  looked at and read everything I possibly could.  I came across a picture from a photography group in which I belong that slapped me upside the head, shamed and convicted me.  All of the sudden everything that seemed so important and now ruined was suddenly…………. insignificant.

I was looking at a picture of a beautiful, little, baby girl laying in a bed of irises.  The photo was taken when she was six months old.  Her family buried her the day before the picture was posted at the tender age of 19 months.  My day’s plans were changed because of a sick child, but this momma’s entire life was changed!  How selfish could I be?!

From the moment that I saw the picture my thoughts began to change.  My arms were full.  I couldn’t get much else done, but at least I was holding my baby.  My baby was sick, and I was pretty sure that after a few days she would be just fine.  I was only dealing with a small inconvenience to my plans, and not a major change in my life.  I spent the later part of the day either holding Rainne or wearing her in a carrier.  Both done most gladly and gratefully.

It really got me thinking that maybe my actions don’t match my words all the time.  When I get asked how many more children we are going to have I always respond with , “I don’t know.  Children are a blessing, and I am in no hurry to stop the blessings.”   Does that mean that my children are only a blessing when they do what they are supposed to?   When they are healthy?  When they don’t change my plans?  I realized what a walking contradiction I am!  My children are a blessing at all times, not just when I want them to be.  Therefore, my actions need to reflect this at all times, and not when it is convenient for me.  This incident is proof that I am a work in progress.  I still have a long ways to go, and God is working on me.

My plans were changed only by the day they happened because my husband was able to watch the kids today, Rainne’s fever is now controlled, hopefully meaning she is on the road to recovery, and finally another one of Life’s Lessons in the books for this girl.

“Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.  They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”
~Psalm 127:3-5

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Goats Galore!!

Last spring, after pulling weeds until I couldn’t stand it any more the year before, I had a marvelous idea: buy some goats and let them mow the weeds.  It worked wonderfully, and brought my girls a great deal of enjoyment.  This spring after the kidding was over, and I had some extra cash on hand I learned something else: you can sell a registered goat for a lot more than an unregistered goat.  Since the work for a non-registered animal is almost the same as a registered animal, the search was on for registered goats. Hours spent on the computer resulted in finding the perfect goats.  The only problem was they were located in Colorado.  After some careful planning, I left the house at 5am!  Once in Colorado, I made various stops.  I returned the same night around 8:30pm with our registered Nigerian Dwarf goat herd. I hear you asking, “What are you going to do with all those goats?”  My answer is, “I am going to milk them and sell the babies!”  In addition to drinking the milk, I am hoping to make some soaps and lotions with it.

Meet the new gals ????????? Duchess, Marie, and Ginger Can you see the pleased looks on my kids’ faces?

Don’t worry, we still kept our other gals

?????????

Liza

?????????

Izzy

And the new “man” of the place ????????? Caveman

When I told the girls it was time to put Marie in her cage, this is what they did.  Since Hannah was supposed to be watching Rainne she took her in there too! ?????????

I think I am raising girls that love animals just as much as their momma does! ?????????

Look me up next spring if you are interest in weed-eliminating lawn mowers, milk shares, lotion or soap!

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