Monday, May 24, 2010

Mack - 6 Months

May 23rd Mack reached his half-year birthday. I can hardly believe it! At 6 months here he is, sporting his first pair of shoes.

Socializing is rapidly becoming more entertaining for both Mack and his audience. He can now squeal, grunt, spit, smack his lips, blow raspberries, and click his tongue. He mimics many other expressions and gestures as well. In fact he babbles a great deal now, uttering a growing variety of consonant sounds. By the end of the month, he may respond by looking at one or two objects as we name them. He's gaining an understanding of speech by the tones he hears and will respond with different facial expressions to voices that sound angry, comforting, or approving. It's so cute how compassionate Mack gets if I'm coughing and can sense if I'm upset or the least bit emotional.  He is also learning to express different feelings. In a flash, he may display his temper when something doesn't suit him, and an interesting object or new toy may calm him just as quickly.
Mack grabs for everything within arms reach, shaking first and of course testing it in his mouth as well.  He's even gotten to where if he drops something he'll pick it back up. He can manipulate large objects well and may sometimes hold two items together. You will see him deliberately practicing releasing items by transferring things from hand to hand. Oh, he just loves to play now.  And when wants your attention or he gets sleeping he covers his eyes and puts his head down to pout.
At this age, Mack constantly studies my face from different angles and wants to touch it at every opportunity. His new favorite is sticking his fingers in my mouth or grabbing my nose (those little fingernails hurt though). This is his way of learning more about me and testing the fact that I am a separate person from him. With games like peekaboo, he is also gaining a sense of security about loved ones who disappear and then return almost immediately. He will try to attract attention frequently if I wander away from him. 
Eating provides heightened interest for Mack now that he can manipulate some of his own food. He's now had rice cereal (which he didn't care for) peas, green beans, carrots (so far his favorite), bananas, peaches, prunes (um,didn't go as well so we took a break from this) and lastly sweet potatoes. They say once your baby is consuming a variety of solid foods--and receiving a large portion of his nutrients from them--he may need less milk each day. Mack's never been a big eater from the beginning... as soon as we started solids he immediately stopped drinking as much formula. He loves to help me feed him.
Here he is after eating prunes...

Mack is quite capable of rolling over with stronger neck and arm muscles however he never liked being on his tummy (even in the womb he refused to be face down) so we've pretty much skipped it altogether and moved on the the next milestone: sitting up, although he still needs to be monitored with occasional assistance.

Mack said his first word this past week... my mother-in-law was singing & signing to him when at the end of the song she said amen and he copied her - so yes I have a witness! Although he hasn't said it since, he just smiles real big when we try to get him to say it. 

We also had our first trip to the beach this past month and of course the first thing Mack did after we got in the sand was stick those cute little feet in his mouth.

We were able to dedicate Mack at church on Mother's Day. Here's a few of my favorites.

Monday, May 3, 2010

No Substitutions Allowed

Read this devotional and thought it was worthy enough to share.


"Instead of buttermilk, use yogurt.
Instead of lemon juice, use vinegar..."

The cookbook’s substitution chart provides a useful list of replacements for common ingredients.

When dealing with food, substitution is smart.
But substitution is sabotage when dealing with the heart.

Instructed to destroy everything associated with the Amalekites' idolatrous culture, King Saul preserved the best of the spoils. He explained to Samuel that he disobeyed in order "to sacrifice to the Lord." But no sacrifice can substitute for obedience. King Saul's substitution sabotaged his reign.

Substitutions can likewise sabotage our futures. God asks for commitment, we offer excuses. God asks for purity, we substitute activity. God asks for time, we substitute money. God asks for love, we substitute things.

The recipe for bringing God delight reads simply:
1 heart of obedience
(no substitutions allowed)

Guidance for reflective journaling

One~ Begin your time of reflection in quietness for 2-3 minutes. In stillness, as your mind becomes less cluttered, hold one simple question in your soul before God: “Father, what have You truly asked me to do in this season of life.” Write down the thoughts that collect in your heart in this time of prayer.

Two~ Looking over the list, prayerfully evaluate whether you are offering obedience or some other substitute for each focus/task/goal/objective that God has given you.

Three~ If you have become aware that in some area you are offering substitutes for pure obedience, consider the counsel of the prophet Samuel:

So Samuel said: "has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15.22

Father God, forgive us for offering You substitutes for obedience. To obey You is better than any substitute sacrifice we could offer. May we follow Your voice faithfully with willing minds and obedient hearts.