Officially Awesome

Today was Cory’s second day at his new job. Everything was made official on Tuesday, and we could not be happier. 🙂 He has an awesome salary, exactly what we needed, and some great benefits, too. So far, he loves going to work and it’s been very exciting. I am also enjoying being at home and being more productive. It still feels so surreal that things are finally happening. I pictured how our lives would be when we started moving forward so many times, and now it’s become a reality! My husband has an awesome job, we are finally self-sufficient financially, and we are getting really close to the next step. That’s right… it’s almost baby time.

In the spirit of caution, we are planning on waiting a month or so until we officially start trying to conceive. In the spirit of trusting in God, though, we are not planning on waiting for much longer than that. Some might say it would be more responsible to wait until he’s had the job for a longer period of time. But the truth is, anybody could lose their job at any time, no matter how long they’ve been doing it. We are not going to make our decisions based on fear, but trust in the Lord. God gave Cory this job, I have no doubt about that, and I believe that one of the reasons He did that was so that we could have a baby. It’s what we’ve been praying for, and I feel convinced that it’s one of the major purposes that He has for my life. So, I have very little interest in waiting for longer than I have to. I trust that my Provider will continue to provide. And Cory and I are so ready to be parents. I am thrilled to be able to share our journey into parenthood with you, my readers!

In the meantime, I plan on spending my summer break from school doing a lot of writing. You can expect to see more frequent posts for the next few months, on a variety of topics. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to receive emails of my posts, if you’d like! You can do so by clicking “Subscribe for Updates!” at the top of the page. Also, please feel free to pick and choose what categories you’d like to subscribe to. You can do this after you’ve created an account by logging in and changing your subscription settings. If you need help, leave me a comment or send me a message using the contact page.


As always, thanks for reading! Have a great day. 🙂

God is Good.

Yesterday was a day of incredible joy, and incredible sadness. Sadness because in the morning, I found out about the Oklahoma tornado that hit on Monday. I don’t really keep up with the news because it’s usually so depressing, but I finally heard the story through a few blogs that I follow. When I read that 24 people died in the storm, including 10 children, my mind went into lockdown. The walls went up, and I closed out any emotions that I might have otherwise felt. It was just too much. I could not let myself feel it.

I was also in full prayer-warrior mode, since Cory had just left for his job interview, and I was trying to keep my focus on God and my plea for a successful interview. As terrible as it may sound, I felt that I needed to focus on that before I could begin to process and mourn for what happened in Oklahoma.

After Cory got home from his interview, he told me that they said they would call him this weekend or next week. So we waited. We went on with our day, relieved that the interview was over but still anxious to hear back from them about the job. Fortunately, the wait was not as long as we thought it would be, and he received a phone call a few hours later. They offered him the job!

This job is what we have been hoping and praying for for months. For it to finally become a reality was so overwhelming, relieving, and emotional. It’s still not completely sinking in for us, but I’m sure it will feel more real when he actually starts next week. The anxious feeling is still hanging around, because he’s not done working out the final details of his salary and he won’t sign the employment contract until Tuesday. Until it’s official, I don’t think either of us will be able to fully relax or celebrate.

We are so happy, though, because we know that God heard us, and moved on our behalf, and that is such an amazing feeling. I feel confident that everything will go smoothly, and the job will be completely secured very soon. This final step is just one more test of our trust in God. He got us this far, and I have no doubt that He will give us what we need. God is so good!

Today, in the middle of my joy, I came across yet another blog post about the Oklahoma tornado. This time, I let myself read more and feel more. And it started to make me think, how can I be happy about a job when I know that 10 children just died in a terrifying storm? Two babies were among them. One toddler. Seven 8 and 9 year olds. It’s unthinkable. How can we live in a world where this happens, let alone be happy in it?

Yet my last sentence from the paragraph above still stands. God is good. The world is not good, not anymore. But God is. God feels this pain more than I do, more than any of us do. He feels it more than the parents who lost their children and the people who lost their family members and friends. He feels it in a way that we can’t even begin to feel or understand or describe.

He doesn’t want this ugly, painful, tragic world for us. He wants our lives to be full of beauty, joy, and perfection. That’s why He gave up His only son and let Him die in this broken place, so that we could have something better. And those precious children who died are with Him now, in that place of perfection. I know that for the victims of this tragedy, there are no words that will bring comfort. It is a pain beyond words. But God is there, too. He’s with them, feeling their pain and feeling more.

Today, I will cry for the devastation of people and lives in Oklahoma. I will pray for supernatural comfort for those who are suffering unimaginable losses. And then, I will let myself be happy again and continue to live my life with joy. Because as ugly as things may get here in this world, there is still so much beauty to be found. I will praise the Lord for that.

A Future and a Hope

These last two weeks have been packed full of activity for my husband and I. We both had final papers, projects, and exams to get through for school, and I am very happy to say that we are officially done with another tough semester. An even more exciting development has been Cory finding a job opening at a company he would really love to work for. After applying and meeting with the hiring manager to get to know the company more, his interview was scheduled for Friday (tomorrow!). We’ve been preparing for it all week, practicing and gathering his materials. I actually had to learn how to tie a tie, and iron!

We are both so excited for this opportunity. After meeting with our church group last night and receiving prayers and encouragement, we feel very confident that this is the job that we’ve been waiting and hoping for. Honestly, I was a little bit uncertain about posting anything about it until after the interview was done and a job offer was extended. But I am taking a step of faith by writing about it, and sharing it with my readers. We trust in our God, and we know that He will come through for us. In our hearts, we are already celebrating this awesome blessing!

It is both exciting and strange to think of what our lives will be like from now on. We will no longer be home together all day, every day. I’ll be an official housewife with a husband who works in an office— how traditional! I’m planning to continue school, most likely at or near full-time, and I’ve also recently started a new part-time “babysitting” job (I prefer to call it kid-sitting, because they aren’t babies). Between school and kid-sitting, I should be staying pretty productive. And of course, as you probably know Cory and I do want to start a family soon after he gets his job, so hopefully that will be happening in the near future.

For now, I have summer break to look forward to, with only one summer class to take up my time. I plan to do some writing, especially working on my novel Eliza and my short story Sink; You can learn more about them here. I am also teaching myself to play the keyboard (piano) which has been fun. I’d like to learn to play the ukulele, too, which I started to do about a year ago but I didn’t continue with it and promptly forgot everything I learned. It’s always been an aspiration of mine to learn to play an instrument, so I hope I can accomplish that, or at least get started, this summer. I’m also hoping to spend some more time with my 12-year-old brother, who is finally showing an interest in hanging out with me! It’ll probably be short-lived since he’s almost a teenager and soon will probably want nothing to do with his annoying older sister, so I may as well enjoy it while I can. 😉

Anyway, that is my life at the moment. I’m eagerly looking forward to what is in store for me and my hubby soon. It makes me wonder, what did I ever do to deserve such an awesome God who looks out for me and directs my life for the good? Oh, that’s right, I didn’t do anything. God’s just awesome. 🙂

Thanks for reading about little ol’ me. I hope you have a great day!


For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord.

-Jeremiah 29:11-14a NLT

Parental Guidance Suggested – Part 5

This is the fifth and final post in my Parental Guidance Suggested series. I’ve been writing not from the perspective of a parent, but from the perspective of somebody who has studied child development (and is continuing to study it) and has had some experience working with children. That being said, I do not want to pretend that I know how to parent a child, because I’ve never done it! I have tremendous respect for all of the parents out there, and I hope that my posts have been informative and helpful. When I do become a parent, I plan to post a lot about my real-life experiences and how I apply what I’ve learned in my studies. I want to be the best parent that I can be, and this series has been a way for me to record all of the methods that I want to use when the time comes.

In this post, I want to discuss proactive guidance through establishing rules, as well as defining misbehavior. Discipline is important and necessary for every child, and the first step in disciplining is to decide what behavior you expect from a child. I think that one of the most important things to remember is to keep reasonable expectations. A long time ago, a friend gave me this simple piece of parenting advice: “save your no’s!” If you say “no” to every little thing that your child does or wants to do, the word becomes meaningless. It is so important for us to think carefully and critically about what kinds of behavior are truly unacceptable.

One of the books that I’ve been reading, Positive Child Guidance by Darla Ferris Miller, offers these guidelines when it comes to deciding when and how to intervene in a child’s behavior: ignore mildly annoying behavior that is not against the ground rules, immediately interrupt behavior that is harmful or unfair, assertively shape positive behavior (by teaching the rules and encouraging good choices), and adapt situations to remove possible causes of problem behavior. Let’s look at each of these concepts in more detail.

First, we need to decide what behaviors need to be stopped. A behavior that is annoying, but otherwise harmless, can usually be ignored. Remember, we want the word “no” to be reserved for things that are truly important! There are three general rules, called the three ground rules, that can be used to determine whether a specific rule is necessary.  The three ground rules are be safe, be respectful, and be responsible.

The rule be safe prohibits children from 1) intentionally harming themselves or others, and 2) taking risks that are unnecessary and/or can lead to serious injury. It is important to realize that literally everything a person can do has some risk. Driving a car, eating, and even walking all present risks because we live in a dangerous world; car accidents, choking, food poisoning, tripping and falling are all risks that we take on a daily basis, because we have to. The same idea can be applied to children. Kids need to be allowed to run, play, climb, and explore. Sometimes, they will fall. Sometimes, they will even bleed. This is a normal part of being a human. The rule be safe means that children cannot do things that are too risky, or risky unnecessarily. Hanging off the outside rail on a tall playground would be too risky for a 3 year old, and throwing sand would be unnecessarily risky for anyone (because sand hurts when it gets in peoples’ eyes, and there’s no good reason to throw sand anyway!). This, of course, still leaves plenty of room for parental discretion. The idea is to give children the least restrictive environment that is reasonably safe.

The rule be respectful is also sometimes phrased as be kind. The idea is that we need to respect the rights of others. Children should be taught to respect others’ rights to be safe, avoid unnecessary discomfort, have their possessions, be given privacy when possible, and be treated fairly. A child who pushes another child is breaking this rule (and the first rule) because they are denying the other child’s right to be safe and avoid unnecessary discomfort. Yelling in somebody’s ear, taking somebody else’s toy, and bullying are all behaviors that should not be allowed, based on this rule.

Sharing is of special concern. Many people have strange ideas about children and sharing; they seem to believe that sharing means you must immediately give up anything that you are using if somebody else wants it. Yet in the real world, when somebody is using something (whether it’s something that he or she owns or a communal object) it would be rude and unacceptable for another person to grab it away. We should teach children to be generous and altruistic because they want to, not because they have no choice. When a child is using a toy, crayon, swing, or any other communal object, he has the right to continue using it until he is finished. The rule be respectful is both a protection and a boundary.

The final rule, be responsible, means that a behavior is not allowed if it unreasonably harms the environment, animals, or objects. Leaving messes without cleaning up after oneself, purposefully hurting animals for fun, and intentionally breaking community belongings are all examples of behavior that should not be allowed.

As you can see, these rules are simple and easy to remember, and they can logically support many other necessary and important rules. It is easier for a child (and a caregiver) to remember the three ground rules than it is to remember a thousand little rules like “no throwing sand,” “no pushing,” and “no throwing trash on the ground.” When a child breaks one of the ground rules, a caregiver can simply say “Be safe! Don’t push others, because that can hurt them,” or “Be responsible! Clean up your spilled water.” This way, children understand clearly why the rules are in place, and they are more likely to follow them.

Another useful concept is related to objects, and how children should be allowed to use them. Misusing objects often means breaking one or more ground rule, so children can be helped to remember to be safe, be respectful, and be responsible by thinking about objects in three categories: toys, tools, and weapons. Some objects fit into only one category, and should only be used in one way. A toy baby bottle should be used to play with, but not as a tool to drink from or put in the mouth, or as a weapon to throw at somebody. A metal fork should be used as a tool to eat, but not as a toy or weapon. A weapon certainly should not be used as a toy or a tool— in fact, children should be taught to recognize the danger of weapons such as guns and knives and tell a trusted adult immediately if they see one, but that’s a topic for another day.

Some objects can fit into multiple categories. A stick can be a toy if it is used as a pretend magic wand, or as a tool if it is used to reach something, or even as a weapon if it is used to hit or jab somebody. Children may be allowed to use a stick as a toy or a tool, but never as a weapon. In fact, children should not be allowed to use any object as a weapon except for appropriate self-defense. Helping children identify correct uses for objects can teach them critical thinking and help them remember to be respectful.

When a child breaks a ground rule or misuses an object, it is the caregiver’s responsibility to intervene. Caregivers can stop problem behaviors by intervening “as firmly as necessary but as gently as possible” (from Positive Child Guidance). A child who is biting another child must be physically removed from the situation, but it can still be done with gentleness.

That being said, it is important to recognize that sometimes what we perceive as misbehaving is actually the result of an accident or misunderstanding. Food and drinks are spilled, pages are ripped, and lamps are broken, often purely by accident. Messes are made when children misunderstand instructions. Children should not be scolded or punished for accidents or misunderstandings, though, because they are not intentionally misbehaving. They can, however, be encouraged to make reparations by helping to clean up messes, tape pages back together, etc.

Even when children do misbehave, there are often reasons that we need to consider and address. Children commonly misbehave out of boredom, discomfort, lack of self-control, peer pressure, frustration, the need for attention, and rebellion from being pushed too hard or treated unfairly. Although children will eventually need to learn to control themselves even in these difficult situations, we can and should have empathy for children when they are still struggling to learn self-control. It would be silly to expect a two-year old to sit still and be quiet when he’s bored, hungry, and frustrated! We should always consider the circumstances of misbehavior before we correct a child. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we can’t correct a behavior and improve the circumstance at the same time. It all depends on the specifics of the situation.

The goal of positive child guidance is to help children to grow, learn self-control, and reach their full potential with minimal need for punishment. Setting clear and logical expectations for behavior and enforcing the rules in a positive way through appropriate discipline are probably the two most useful concepts that I’ve learned. That, and the fact that babies are babies and should be treated as such. Personally, I’m look forward to putting these principles into practice with my own children in the future.

What about you? What experiences have you had with parenting and trying out different approaches? What has worked for you, and what hasn’t? I’d love to hear about it in the comments, below!


A couple of months ago, Cory and I decided to add another cockatiel to our home. We thought that Rocky could benefit from a feathery friend, and we were excited about the idea of having two! So we went to our favorite exotic bird store, Omar’s, and picked out a little baby to reserve. Then, after a long wait while he grew up a bit, we finally got to take him home 2 ½ weeks ago.

We named him Samson. He’s really quite adorable, and it has been fun to watch his personality emerge! Best of all, he and Rocky are getting along very well and Rocky seems to be happier with little Sammy around.

Fortunately, having two birds has not been much more work than having one. We moved them to quite a large cage, which certainly takes longer to clean, but the larger cage (with plenty of toys) and the fact that they have each other now has made it easier to keep them entertained. Rocky doesn’t scream quite as much, but the real benefit has been the joy of seeing the two of them interacting and playing together. Lately, Samson has taken to singing and making other really cute bird chuckly-noises, which always makes me smile.

Shortly before we decided to get Samson, my pet mouse named Nilly passed away. She was about 2 years old, and lived a happy life, as far as being a mouse goes. So now we are a one dog, one cat, two cockatiel household. And we love each of our pets dearly!

Here’s a picture of Samson, and another of him and Rocky in their new cage.