Sunday, October 17, 2010

Water and Salt

It finally happened! We got rain! In a hot, drought of a summer that included a fraction less than one full inch of rain up until now, Wednesday brought us a beautiful down-pour! 

I was fortunate enough to experience it in person, as I had taken myself outside to sit on the patio and listen to the thunder rumbling over the houses North West of us until finally it had settled right over our little home. 

I sighed a relaxed sigh or two, and smiled a lot as the slow rumbling brought first one or two droplets, then larger drops that might be described as 'splatters'. Still I sat outside, umbrella over my head, jacket tucked about my chin and shoulders, snapping a picture that did not speak at all for the reality of the present moment. I posted it for you to see. 

Where I was, especially before the rain and the cover of the umbrella, was a much larger space than is pictured. The sky felt like forever, even while the wispy, thickening clouds seemed to reach closer downward, as if bringing the rain a little closer to our dry portion of the world. Gusts of wind kept the chimes singing to my left, and loosened thousands of crackling, crunching leaves which in the next gust swarmed happily above and around me. It was 3D in a way a regular camera could never capture, and truly invigorating! 

I breathed deeply, enjoying the now-huge raindrops exploding against my bare toes and legs immensely. It was cool in a way the oppressive heat could no longer control. The cracking thunder, too, resonated in my soul in a way that defies words or explanation. It was pouring by then, but I did not care. In the next minute it began to hail too, but they were so tiny I thought that also did not matter... until they grew! :) 

When the hail got larger and began to hurt as they pelted anything not covered by umbrella, I decided that it was probably time to get out of my head and into the house! 

The story goes on, of course. I could tell you how we ran to the front of the house and flung the door open to watch the water swirling and rushing in the street, or the hail spilling onto the yard as if it were a colder, crispier attempt at snow. Actually, it kind of reminded me of that verse "Ye are the salt of the Earth." That same portion of Scripture (Matthew 5:13) continues to say "but if the salt have lost his savour (seasoning/flavor), wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."

I find it interesting that the Lord should use a small hailstorm on a much-needed rainy afternoon to remind me of salt; the opposite of moisture if ever there was one. Yet both things can be useful. The water, to replenish and refresh the Earth. The salt, in moderation, enhances whatever it touches, drawing out the flavor and increasing the pleasure of the experience. 

Can you imagine, that God in the form of the Holy Spirit is the savor, or essence of us, the salt. He has gifted Salvation to the world, and those who accept that gift are then infused with the Holy Spirit; not to be kept, or hidden, but to continue to spread through the world, touching more lives, and reaching more souls. 

It is easy to lose that first impression of our Savior, that newly-in-love feeling or what might be described as the refreshing the 'rain' of the Spirit has brought to our soul. Left untended, or rather, un-watered by the daily study of God's Word, and relationship growth gained through prayer, it is easy to slowly dry up and wither a bit. The Holy Spirit inside of us is quenched; His voice and influence squelched by neglect. In essence, our salt begins to lose its savor. Our eternal salvation has not been compromised, but were we to die in this state, it would be a shameful man or woman hanging their head before Almighty God. 

Like the rain and even the hail, God has a place for Himself in our lives. His Holy Spirit is to commune in our souls, refreshing us and being refreshed in a continuous mutual relationship. His Son and God the father, who worked in tandem to provide us a means to eternal forgiveness are to be worshiped and learned about as we grow. More importantly, He, is supposed to use us freely to reach others and extend this same life-changing offer.

Has drought reached your life this summer? Did you find more pleasure in the things you could do by or for yourself than in the serious continual searching for the will and applied living of the Holy Spirit? Have you brought things into your life to find meaning or fill a void that still cannot be quenched or even explained? Do not mistakenly believe that you would have to give up 'living' in order to become a serving child of Jesus Christ. Instead, open yourself up to the possibility (nay, reality) that true life begins in Christ. 

You can be cleansed and refreshed by the living water, a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. You can use that refreshing to then bring salt, or savor, the lives of others. Isn't it about time? 

God's free gift of eternal life is so easily accepted. 

You must realize that you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

Those sins are not free, there is a debt involved. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."

Who has paid this debt for us? Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth His love for us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." 

He died for us? Yes! John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

So how do I claim that everlasting life? Romans 10:9,10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Does that really work? Yes! God has reassured us that it works. 1 John 5:13 "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."

It may sound more involved than it is. In truth, those verses mean that it is as easy as praying this prayer:

"Dear Heavenly Father,

I realize that You do not intend me to live in this world happy on the outside, but lonely and confused on the inside. I believe that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to fill that void forever when He died on the cross as payment for all sin... even my sin. I am guilty of those sins Lord, and I ask your forgiveness for them. 

I know that I cannot be perfect here on Earth, but I want to be filled and used, and to live for You from now on, by Your grace and with Your help. Please, come into my heart. Fill that void and quiet that longing. I accept You as my Savior, now and forever. Amen"

Friend, your prayer does not have to be in those exact words. I strongly believe that the Lord allows us to tell Him what we need to in those moments when we finally give up all selfishness and self-will to Him in prayer. 

You will not become perfect. Life will not become instantly easier externally, but you will have the soul-sustaining presence of the Lord to help you through the rough patches and to guide you as you go, if you'll let Him. He Is the God of sinners, small and great. He will not turn you away - He is already waiting for you. Won't you call to Him now?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Out of Control

It is amazing, the way the entire world feels 'right' when one feels in control. For example, today the house is comfy and pictures are now up. Curtains have been hung, boxes unloaded, dishes washed... I feel in control of my little world. That feeling leads me to a level of comfort that is refreshing. Even the puppy, a scamp by nature, is behaving well and giving me loves by snuggling quietly in my lap.

When I realized that I had thought how good it feels to be in control, I naturally paused a moment to reflect on whether or not that was in any way against the Lord. A further realization made me think not, and yet even more comfortable. What was that second realization? Simply this: I feel that everything is under control... but I realize that the majority of it is under God's control. What a restful, peaceful thought!

My little world, as far as those things I can affect right here today; those things in my grasp are all 'okay'. Even better, however, those things I have no earthly control over are being tended by God! My health, and that of my family. Our safety... so many things are out of my control. Were I not a born again Christian, that would be frightening, but as His child it is a blessing! Says the Psalms (23) "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want..."

I'll stop here, but the point stands. The Earth and all that in her is, are the Lord's. If you are His child, you are never out of control as long as you have ceded control to Him. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Reality check... again.

I do not like to complain, but I did promise myself in writing this blog that I would be perfectly honest, in case it were to help someone else in a similar situation, so here goes.

I cried this morning. A lot. Most Sunday mornings are like this, in fact, but today was worse for some reason. 

I want very badly, even need, to get back into church with my family. Being out is so isolating, and leaves spiritual needs (and requirements) unfulfilled. I get frustrated that I cannot simply push through with will power and just get there. I get even more frustrated when the words ring through my mind "Go anyway... God will honor that."

Let me be very clear; I am not frustrated at God. I am not frustrated at the pastor who preaches that God will honor us serving Him through the difficulties and pains. I am frustrated with the reality.

Let me put it this way. There have been many times that I have gone to church in excruciating pain. I tried my hardest not to gasp and make other pain-related noises in those unforgiving pews (once my best friend) so I did not distract others. (It never works, by the way. People  nearest look over at me, or jump slightly when they hear me suck in a little air.) I cannot seem to go longer than ten or at best, fifteen, minutes without getting that feeling up and down my spine I can only describe as 'shattering glass'. 

The walk back to the car includes me grasping onto Chris' arm for dear life and biting my lip to repress the impending tears. (Walking has a different pain, especially if we are parked any distance... it feels like my low spine is being crumpled in one of those car-smashing machines. A literal grinding down feeling.)

By the time we hit the car I lean heavily on the door while I wait for it to unlock, fall inside without any grace or dignity, gasp as quietly as I can before finally dissolving into sobs behind my sunglasses as we pull down the driveway for the wracking ride home.

I apologize for the detail of that, but that is the reality. What really gets me, though, is that for up to two weeks after I can barely move to make it anywhere around my own home. I cannot teach Becka at a desk, so I teach from the couch. I cannot make dinners b/c I'm still too pain-wracked to stand over a stove or sink so the dishes and cooking fall to Chris or worse, Becka brings whatever is within reach in the pantry so I can put together her cereal bowl or sandwich from the couch. 

I could go into even more detail, but am already disgusted with myself for allowing this much out. This all brings us back around to Sunday mornings, evenings and Wednesdays. That time when I try so hard to will myself in, but then weighing the two things, choose to be a slightly better functioning parent than to get that church interaction I desperately need, only to be useless for long after.

I have been out of church longer this last time than normal. I usually can work up the will power and bite through the pain every couple or few months, but this year there has been packing, moving, unpacking... a long process that has completely wiped me out. Still, I wanted SO badly for today to be the day. I am missing so much; the sermons (a breath of fresh air to my very soul), the singing - and being able to sing (I do not sing as much around the house). Even the awkward looks I get from all the faces; faces that by now should be those of dear friends, if I had been there (or able to stick around afterward) to get to know them.

Two nights ago I sat on a wooden chair in my garage to direct the unloading of boxes. It was only 20 minutes, nowhere near the two hours I'd need to be able to tolerate a hard seat, and I have been only half-able to move since then. Even at that, I still spent all night last night telling myself today will be the day... today I can go. This morning I will grit my teeth and go. 

That lands us on this morning. Right now. I almost cannot make it between my little master bathroom and my bed. The back is decidedly NOT done punishing me yet for the other night. So, instead of getting to answer my sweet baby with a "Yes, Mommy gets to come today!" I ended up instead hugging her tight in my arms and dripping my sorrows and regrets all over her pretty blond head. 

I do not know what to tell myself, or you, at this point, really. I want so much to be that lady who one day says "It was all a bad dream." and picks up living where I was six years ago before my body fell apart. I want to tell you that God does honor those pain-wracked efforts and I can go to church, come back home and not be crippled up worse for weeks. I'm sure He honors my attempts in some way when I do make them, but it is not with the immediate or even eventual release of pain. 

What I can tell you is this; I will not quit trying. I have not quit trying, in spite of what it may appear, and I never will. My dad used to preach as I grew up that when people get out of church it gets easier for them to stay out, and that at some point they want to be out and will probably not return. I am not sure who exactly those people are, but I can guarantee before God that I am not one of them. I have to get back. I need to get back. I must get back to my church family, and in a way my little family. These services missed are breaking my heart fresh every time. I begged the Lord for my little girl so I might raise her back to Him, and I am missing an essential part of that raising, no matter how much or how diligently I teach her the Word here at home.

So, to end this selfish blog today I will just ask for prayer. Whatever God plans for me, I am fighting hard to be included in my church family even from a distance. I have to believe that one day He will allow me to get back where I belong - and that my efforts in the meantime are essential to that. I haven't given up. I will not give up. For now I will pray as hard and fervently as I can for others, and for opportunities to serve, but I still will not give up. I want back in that pew, and I will get there by God's grace.

Do you need prayer? Is there something or someone in your life I can pray about? I cannot promise answers of greed or gain, or even that God will say yes, but unspoken or detailed, I can pray with you. I can pray for you. Will you give me that privilege?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Today I am going to be tired and achy. Today I am going to sweat and huff and puff in front of people I love (which I hate to do), BUT...

today I GET to see people I love! Today I GET to use what limited mobility I have, and today by God's grace I will work HARD to move around as much as I can, be as pleasant as I can, and hopefully reap the rewards of having tried! :)

Today we go apple picking! :) I know I will mostly be in the car or leaning on the car taking pictures, but my little girl is at that age where she just doesn't want to quit picking them, so it works to let her fill the bag while daddy holds and mommy records moments! :) Can't wait to come back with pictures!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eight Years :)

My heart is so full right now I could just cry! My husband, the true love of my life, is sitting in his office with our daughter on his lap. I can hear them both singing heartily... my cup runneth over!

They are singing "I'm sailing through... above the moo-ooon... and someday soo-oon... " or however that hawiian-sounding song goes! The handsome voice of the man I love mingled with the innocent and loving voice of our one treasure is about more than I can take!

You know, nine years ago when Chris and I first began to talk I knew that he was 'the one'. It wasn't very long before I felt that nobody had ever loved another person with the strength and heart that I loved Him. I felt I knew what God was saying in the Bible when He speaks of the Bride of Christ, and the joy a newly wed couple has in each other.

It has only been eight years since our wedding day, but we already feel so tried and tempered in our marriage; so set. We have faced things that you wouldn't think were possible in such a short period of time. There was even an odd period of time where another woman had decided just by looking at me that I was not a threat or formidable foe in protecting and maintaining my own marriage, and tried to come against it. She was aggressive in a way that is so unbecoming and unladylike, not at all within the parameters of the Christian character she claimed. I found it both surprising and insulting, but in the end I also found that I have the kind of husband who will come out with it and tell a woman she has no right to try to interfere in what God has knit together. His love for me is not an appearance, it is genuine.

How did I get this gem of a man? How did I find the one guy who will love me unconditionally, be honest, supportive and yet still the very strong Godly leader of our home? I am not certain, but I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn him! :) 

It is not every girl that marries a man who thinks of her needs and happily tries to meet them. Yes, he did quit courting me after we got married, if you consider flowers and candies, presents and birthdays and such on a regular schedule; however, he has never for a moment been less than dedicated to our marriage, our home and our mutual heart towards God. In the end, I would rather have the man who is amazing and lovable every day than one who forcibly remembers me at programmed intervals. 

Christopher is my heart, my love. He has proven himself when I never asked for or required him to. He speaks tenderly to me when I need a little bit of extra emotional care, stands for me when I am faced with the enemy, prays for me in a heart turned ever towards God, supports me in throwing my all into our daughter - my calling until she is grown - and yet will still belt out "I Got You, Babe" with me when we are feeling silly and lovey! 

He slow-dances with our daughter when she wants to be someone's loved princess, and makes her feel the same way I do - that there is no length in the world he would not go for us. We are so secure in him, so loved, so cared for... above all, so well led. He reads to us both from God's Word, and will drop the world in a moment's notice to pray with us if we ask it. That is a trait my dad has that I have always most admired. I feel secure that our daughter will not have to go elsewhere for love because he has completed the circle I can only half-make with my arms, and together we wrap her in the same loving security blanket I was gifted by my parents.

Clearly I could go on all day... there are not words enough to speak highly enough of my husband. You may say it sounds like I have him on a pedestal, but the truth is we have been tested on so many fronts that I am just that secure and confident in him. This love makes the love of our youth seem so silly and insignificant, and yet I appreciate that it was the start that brought all of this about. 

Eight years later the original vows stand, only much stronger. There is so much more I would have added to them if I had only known... but that is the blessing of being married. We get to learn and grow together. 

Thank You, Lord, for the way you set up marriage, and for the rewards reaped in loving and growing together in You instead of backing out at the first sign of trouble. Those couple who do miss the best part of real love, I believe. You lead our hearts, You lead our home and we give ourselves, our marriage, our child and our lives back into Your hands.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Fluffy mummy is having a happy, sleepy day. Hubs is watching Colts. Baby girl is playing happily... probably going to blog tomorrow. :)

Here is the picture of that wind chime that I promised! As I sit here taking a minute to type this, I hear it tinkling merrily outside my door, tickled by the breeze. 

Thank You, Lord, for this day, this breeze and this blessing we call life. :) 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nine Days :)

My little yard is trying something special... there are beautiful little grass seedlings growing! They are quite lush in the front yard, with a few spare patches. In the back yard only the tiniest shoots are starting. I would liken it to a balding head in reverse... first  it is all empty, then tiny sprouts appear in different locations before finally erupting into full-on hair! hehe (That was possibly not the best analogy, but I digress.)

Today marks nine days of living here, if you recall that we arrived in the evening hours on Wednesday. (That single fact is why I do not consider us having lived here that first day, even though we took possession that night.)

There has been little visible progress in the days since Monday, but we all feel more settled every single day. We have brought in more things; each room has the basic look it will be given, but most have not been painted and there is still much in boxes. Moving in slowly has proven to be a good idea for us, and has taken what could have been a stressful event back down into what I would refer to more as 'easing' in, rather than moving in. 

Yesterday I was able to enjoy time outside with my daughter. She wanted to play out after school, so I made us a little picnic of tuna sandwiches with lettuce, pink lemonade and Little Debbie oatmeal cream cookies. I admit to not sitting on the ground out back (I ended up seated and standing on the cement out front about an hour later for around an hour) but even so, it was a pleasant experience overall. 

Afterward, I had the pumpkin put on her bathing suit and we dragged the hose out back to water the lawn the good old-fashioned way. Imagine our surprise when every cricket and grasshopper around began to hop frantically towards us and the house instead of away from us to the trees!! For a few minutes there I was spraying them madly, with Becka dancing all around!

That plague in miniature introduced her to the fun of chasing and catching crickets, which she promptly neglected water-play for. We have a lone cricket in a jar with holes in the lid as proof. "Crickety" has not chirped at all, can you imagine? My little one expected him to sing happily even after being chased, cupped, re-captured repeatedly and finally enclosed in glass... bless her heart!

The day ended with me sore and stiff all over, but beaming inside from the fun and rollicks of the afternoon. Even better, today began with the same sense of joy, and to my surprise (as mentioned above) the grass in the back has begun to spring forth! Home school went well (and quickly), and it is time again to break out the yard shoes and take in some fresh air. I cannot promise that I will not overdo it again today, but the mere fact that I put in over two hours outside yesterday (something a week ago I would have said was impossible) has me encouraged. Maybe this home will be a place of recovering my strength after all. 

Thank YOU, Lord, for giving us this gift. Help us to continue to both earn and afford it and may all things be done to Thy glory. Amen.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In Perfect Peace

Another day in the new house, and so much to do! Instead of hopping right to it, I decided to keep some enjoyment in the 'new' of it all and intentionally settle in slowly like hubby and I said we would. 

I am learning that resting is something you must practice. The human instinct when things need to be done is something akin to stress; maybe not the worried kind of stress, but some level of it nonetheless. I also learned that the stress reaction in humans is chemically the same reaction seen in all of nature right before a creature is about to be attacked and possibly killed by a predator. 

Think about that for a moment. Our flight is late, or traffic is jammed when we need to get to work RIGHT NOW and our mind directs our bodies to jump into "I'm going to die!" mode chemically. It is no wonder that experts say stress kills! Each time we do this a toll, however small, is taken on our hearts. 

Is it any wonder then, that in His perfect Word, God speaks so many times on contentment? He would have us to be at peace with our brethren, with Him and within our own hearts and minds. Says Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. The Bible says again in 1 Timothy 6 verse 6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain." 

That second verse is an even better example because the chapter begins discussing employment (gain) and the Christian. He reminds us of what kind of servants we aught to be (How often do you allow yourself to embrace that word 'servant' rather than become offended by it?), then brings that reminder to the more important point that we entered this world naked, having brought nothing with us and will leave with with the same inability to bring material things along. 

Take time today and look into God's Word. See how many instances you can find where He recommends to you personally to strive for and attain contentment. I can say from experience that it did not take a new house for me to be content, though it is indeed a blessing. The Lord has allowed us to experience that wonderful feeling even during some pretty painful times. How special, how undeserved that our loving Heavenly Father would not only provide our needs (as He knows them better than us), but that even in serving Him He wants us to be calm, content and would keep us in perfect peace. Your mind need not rush your pulsing blood into panic over anything, He says, much less the little things! Sanity (the result of acceptance and contentment) is God's gift to YOU, today and always.

May God bless your day with some of His peace, and may you also find time to relax on purpose! Remember, the most important half of Isaiah 26:3 is 'whose mind is stayed on Thee'. Keep your beautifully-created mind on the Lord. Trust in Him even when it hurts to give up control, and reap the benefits today and always. God bless!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Wow! So, it finally happened! We moved and are for all intents and purposes residents in our new neighborhood! The first neighborhood in years of our marriage! 

Closing day was exciting and stressful; our closing paperwork was completed and we were waiting on the wire transfer which, inexplicably was not coming through. We were told if it did not get through by 5pm we would face yet another delay... yikes! At two minutes to five we got the call; the transfer came through at 4:56pm!! Hallelujah! Chris told me he got the keys in hand and I replied in the only way that was on my mind after this wait: "Don't give them to ANYONE else!" haha

Eager to get into our home and start the process, we loaded up the car and headed over with nothing to sleep or sit on but one air mattress. (I only used it at night, for fear it would deflate... they all seem to, you know?) Three nights we used the mattress and two full days I sat on the carpet... my body was KILLING me! Even so, it was the strangest happy feeling I have ever had in the world!

As we drove up to the house it was familiar, from all the pictures hubs had taken for me. Even at that, pulling into the driveway was like being asleep. I saw it all, and I saw nothing at the same time. The garage door opened and instantly I smelled it... the same smell of my mother's father's woodshed! Stepping out of the car, I walked for the first time the pathway leading off the driveway around the corner to the front door. Yes, I live here, but you cannot enter your home for the first time ever through the garage!!

Chris rang the bell so we could hear the chime. It was loud enough, but definitely not overpowering; pleasant in its own way. The first thing that got me, however, was the smell. All the houses and modular homes that my parents had visited and never been able to purchased smelled just like this... it was the smell of 'new'! I felt guilty and excited in an odd blend, just that second. I was still seeing everything and absolutely nothing. To be honest, walking through it was a bit of a blur. I could probably only describe it to you in terms of the pictures that are already up on Facebook.

The last three days were incredibly long, as Chris had to work, but when yesterday arrived, bringing with it the movers and our furniture I suddenly went from living in a semi-real hotel feeling (I was literally waiting for the suited manager to ring the doorbell and declare our time was up!) to having the sense that yes, I was in fact, home!

The moment I truly relaxed came when my husband hung up my lighthouse wind chimes (the first I've owned) just outside the double door over the patio, and the breeze blowing through the house (we have the best cross-breeze ever - exactly what I'd hoped for!) sent them into a shimmer of tinkling that was neither too quiet nor too loud. I felt every muscle settle and I watched the trees rustle, truly content.

There will be so much more involved in our journey of settling in; I am sure I will return to blogging instead of being neglectful, even if that happens slowly. As of today, I can tell you buying a home is already paying off in mind, body and spirit. The Lord is greater than we deserve; may He help us to use this home to His glory, and keep us able to pay for it!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Creation Perfected

In the beginning God created
the heavens, Earth and the seas.
Thousands of years later His
continuing creation produced me.
How interesting that He wrought me
with His own words, not hands.
You'd think so much practice over time
would by now produce something grand.
But I am not a whit amazing; and
am flawed in so very many ways.
I must struggle every blessed moment
for my lips to form goodly words and praise.
These hands are shapen in iniquity,
as was this sinful, untrustworthy heart.
God's creation not perfected over time,
but given free will from the start.
So now how does the creation live up
to the Creator and His great name?
When we get so wrapped up in imperfection
and casting upon others our own blame?
One thing I know for certain is true
before one hefts the very first stone,
is that God in His deity declared it,
we will face His judgment standing alone.
Nobody to blame for imperfections, for sins.
No excuse of simple humanity for our flaws.
When God demands your accounting to Him,
He is not judging that moment what you deem the cause.
Creation moves on, has continued; I have a child.
These questions she too will someday face.
I have no report to give her of our lives
except of course "By His grace..."
Yes, God did not create perfection in man;
He wanted repentance to be a choice.
So while on Earth I am with myself afflicted
I will practice His Words and in praise raise my voice.
Echos of mercy ring loudly throughout my life;
again, they are there only by His saving grace.
So I will echo back with my service with full heart
until I see 'welcome home' across His face.

Heaven attained is creation perfected... man simply cannot do this on his own.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bear :)

I had to laugh at this story! :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

3rd July

Just putting it out into the atmosphere that I'm a little nervous about trying to go to the fireworks tonight. I suppose that feeds off the fact that I'm in enough pain lately as to be somewhat discouraged. Do not take that admission for defeat, though. I know in time things will get better as I'm able to finally get some help. I beg God in prayer for that day.

Oh, by the way, lest you freak out that I miss church but am trying to attend the fireworks... they are down the street from me, close enough to be seen off my balcony anyway. It is all of a two minute car ride. The problem is that, and especially sitting on the lawn, are enough to send me reeling even further down the pain spiral.

Anyhow, sorry for complaining. I hate doing it but like I said, I'm a little low today. Prayers always welcome.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Great Commission

Where is your conviction, America? Born-again Christians of the world, where is your happily returned life of service in appreciation of your salvation? For a change I am not talking about physical service, but lip service.

On any given Sunday in any Bible-believing church you may hear a sermon (I hope) about God's 'great commission' to us; that is, His call to His children to spread the Gospel to those who have not heard.

Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

We may understand from this that we are to spread the Gospel of Salvation all over the world, not just to those people we have immediate contact with or personal care for. God would literally have born again Christians to focus not on having been forgiven alone, but on spreading His Words of that which brings about forgiveness and salvation (the precious blood of Christ) to continually more people; literally to 'all kinds’, no matter what language or location. Consider what happened after He rose from the dead...

Mark 16:14-20 "Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."

The word 'world' in the Greek refers everyone; even to elect Jews during the time of Christ. He did not intend that the Gospel be restricted to the Gentiles, but that it also flows freely to and through the Jewish community; this, as does His commission to the Gentiles, still stands today as His wishes for His chosen people. He never intended His death on the cross to alienate the Jews or to cause anti-Semitism: He meant them to receive the same love, strength and above all, eternal salvation from it.

Do you remember the passage about the Lord walking along the road to Emmaeus with the two witnesses? They had no clue that He was Christ yet He expounded to them all the things of Scripture concerning Him, beginning with Moses. (Luke 24:27) That same evening when He blessed them at dinner, He allowed their eyes to be open, and they knew Him; He then vanished. They immediately got back up and went back to Jerusalem (to the disciples), where God appeared to them again and spoke, allowing their eyes to be opened to the scriptures with understanding.

Luke 24:45-48 "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.”

It is clear through the Bible that God would have us to tell. Nobody is exempt from this commission once they become a child of God, so I ask again: where is your conviction, America? How many wars and natural disasters do we have to be distracted by, playing the blame game, before we realize that He has set up the existence of the world; indeed, the exact pattern laid out over time? Does it even matter what any natural disaster really means based on whom it hits?

How many verses do you need to read about God knowing us from before birth (Jeremiah 1:4), knowing the hairs of our head (Luke 12:7), and knowing the time that we will die (Job 14:5) to realize that our free will lies within the natural boundaries God has placed in His timeline?

Can you really say that the processes of His Earth are removed from His overall plans for us? Get your heads out of the sand, people. Tornadoes hit the good and the bad. Rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous; the constant is that it IS allowed by God's hand for any or even no particular reason. However you personally choose to interpret or ignore the natural happenings of God's creation, know this: His message for us to reach the world has not changed since the beginning of time, and will never change.

Don’t waste time bickering that God's judgment has fallen on this person and that for reasons x, y, and z; spend it fulfilling His commission. There are souls to be won and you, my friend, are accountable to God for each soul you make contact with whether you like it or not.

Get on your knees, Beg God until His conviction falls over you in such a mighty way that you cannot help but witness for Him. You may have lost the ability to physically serve God in some way, but there has never been a more accommodating time to serve Him by spreading the Gospel. We may spread it from our own living room if we have to, thanks to modern technology.

Grieve the loss of your conviction, America. Confess those sins and vices which hold you back, no matter how small, and then move forward, never looking back. Recognize and fulfill the Great Commission in your life in whatever way the Lord God allows you to.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Squirrely busines...

Over the last three summers, we have had a repeat visitor out on our deck. (Photo here grainy b/c it was taken through the screen.) He is the cutest squirrel, and I can swear that he is getting used to us!

The first summer we lived here he would run away if we as much as flinched involuntarily on our side of the window. The second summer he would stay longer, but scurry off if my daughter began to move closer for a better look. By last winter he was getting pudgy again, and did not seem to care if we watched him mosey about his business. 

Yesterday he showed back up, and for a minimum of twenty minutes recording time (not to mention the time before that of watching, deciding to record, locating and carefully moving closer with the video camera) we got to enjoy watching him! 

He certainly is a funny little fellow. First he walked back and forth on the railing for a bit. He tried a time or two to come down the large tomato plant using the wire cage around it, to no avail. He was just too heavy. His solution to this was to run across the rail and come down the left wall. From there, he went to the smaller container of tomato seedlings (the billies), and dug in the dirt, removing and eating something three times. I think he was maybe snatching the little nutrient balls moisture balls that are included, and supposed to pop when the soil needs them to.

Whatever he ate, it made him sleepy. He worked his way back up a rail and onto the top of it, where he promptly laid out as if sleepy. We had to laugh; he clung to it a bit like he was afraid to fall! At one point (seen in photo) he looked down over the railing at something below.

He spent a good number of minutes resting like this, and my little bean and I spent it chatting back and forth watching him. I guess he got tired of rest too, because he perked his little head up and spent another considerable amount of minutes cleaning and grooming himself with no shame.

The last segment of squirrel watching was spent laughing at him trying - again - to get down the big tomato plant using the wire cage. It just didn't work! He moved along the top of the railing over to the right, down a single pole part-way, and grabbed onto Becka's scooter. No dice! The moment he put weight on the handle of it, he knocked it clattering to the floor and scared himself along the rail, up the wall and off the porch altogether! His escape to the roof was hard to get, but was still pretty silly to us all the same.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trees :)

In the almost three years that we have lived in this place, I have very often enjoyed the tree outside. In summer it provides a barrier between apartment buildings, making what could be a very exposed life feel a bit more private. The leaves are plentiful, rich green and glossy, the tree itself somewhat pyramid shaped, with more rounding at the sides each year.

This same tree comes alive with color in the fall, even as the leaves on it die in preparation for winter's sleep, and provides a sumptuous feast of oranges and reds. Even in death, she is magnificent; her colors flaming bright, outlasting with defiance even the staunchest other trees, save the ever-green pines. I mourn the eventual loss of her leaves, my  privacy, but not for long! Come Spring she is an early riser, waking with the first thaw and welcoming birds returning from their Southern vacation.

In truth, I am enchanted by trees; always have been. When we lived in Union Valley, I used to sit out in the thick country grass of the back yard, off to the side of our ample deck and gaze across the field at the tree making a lonely island amongst the stubble of last year's crop. That tree was my muse, both for writing and drawing. I would get lost in the details of her leaves and branches, drifting off into introspection or deep thought. The same was true if I needed a break from thought. I could plant myself outside and simple breathe, feeling the breeze I saw rustling through the tree.

Farther back were the trees of my childhood. At age five and six I delighted in the trees of our front yard on Arch Street. The ceder tree smelled of heaven, and was nice and low - a good climber - yet was very sticky. The pine trees, situated close together skirted low enough to the ground to look full, but just enough off of the grass to make a tempting hiding place. The catalpa tree, the master of the yard, stood tall and strong high above us, mocking us with her out-of-reach branches. Oh, how I longed to scale that tree, I should never have come down had I only made it up one time!

Plumb trees along the neighboring yard would drop their fruits in the grass, providing us a sweet warm snack on days momma gave permission to ask the neighbor if they minded us gathering one or two that fell in our grass. The lilac bushes on the other neighboring side made wonderfully scented forts, sweetening many hours of playtime with their yearly purple and white blossoms. Last, the friendliest tree of all, a single tree forked into two  sturdy trunks low enough for us to get on with help but high enough to provide the satisfaction of being off the ground.

Cleveland Avenue also had a wealth of trees. The pines there were much, much taller, and could be walked under with ease. Four of them in a row with branches hanging down around the side and back, but not down the middle or on our side... they made a solid wall between ourselves and the neighbors, but were so dense high above that they sheltered amply from the rain. The ground around them was dirt hidden beneath a million dry needles. Across the same yard space (mostly dirt, used for parking) was a towering mulberry tree. I thought I loved that tree, uselessness be hanged, until enough birds splattered purple doo over the cars and on occasion, our clothing.

The trees in the back-back yard behind the long garage also provided some mystery. Over 100 trees of all sizes grew along a fence, shielding us from the public life of the local YMCA beyond, encasing our world in privacy, even as we were unable to play or climb in them. Some of these trees were also home to trumpet vines (for lack of the real term), that produced bright red trumpet-shaped flowers every year. I loved to examine them up close, fingering them carefully and noting how strong the petals were compared to other flowers.

In one portion of the back yard, which extended behind the neighbor's yard, there was a cluster of trees that made a natural fort. Had we better neighbors, we might have played in this very often, but we did not (at least in that home) and ours were prone to leaving pornographic materials, broken beer bottles and cans, and cigarette butts around, so we rarely entered there. There was a time or two after a session of cleaning this mess up that we spent an afternoon playing in it, but the trees were a bit flimsy to hold growing girls for any amount of time. A unique discovery there was a grape vine, and half-grown (and might I add, sour!) grapes on it. I used to imagine that the vine would become stronger and larger and the whole area a private vineyard. That was not to be, however; the vine was smaller each year and eventually dried up altogether.

Both backyards in that home held many other interesting aspects of nature (flowers, fruits and vegetables) as time went on. We planted the very largest garden in the far back, the length and width of a building, and enjoyed many hours back there. That garden was especially fun to be in after my sister purchased an iguana for a pet. He loved to be taken into it on his leash, and we thoroughly enjoyed watching him scale the poles pea plants were growing up along, sampling pea leaves as he went.

Yes, life as an adult is busy and rushed. Yes, there are pains, trials and chaos. These things are natural, even acceptable. At any given time of the day, however, I may but look out my window at the handsome gum tree in my yard to be literally brought back to Earth. God has allowed us brains to develop technology and industrialize our lives, yet He has also grounded our very souls in the nature around us. We are all His creation, and even in an apartment complex in a busy city, a single tree is enough to draw my spirit back towards Him and bring a measure of peace and contentment unavailable anywhere else. I need the trees, even as we all need the sunshine and rain. They are oxygen to my soul.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Rain

What an absolutely beautiful day! It was sunny and hot, then a refreshing summer rain fell. The landowners had mowed the lawn earlier too, so that coupled with the rain made for a really fresh-smelling rainfall.

There is not a lot going on in fluffy mummy land today, but I am soaking in every minute of it anyway. :)  It is a good feeling to realize that no matter what life brings, we can be happy! I was reminded today of the year I spent depressed and on medication, and how this far out I am still becoming a little more myself every day. I cannot help but feel thankful and joyful; our Lord has been so good to me!

When I got married, like many young people, I had an exact idea of what it was going to be. Then life did the usual and began to kick us from every side. First finding out about our 'mild' infertility, then going through miscarriages, then the years of having a sick and broken baby. Just when things began to look up I had to be honest with myself and everyone and realized I was and had been very, very depressed. 

Fast forward two and a half years from that diagnosis, and I am much happier, but still find myself feeling sad when life hands us lemons and happy when we make lemonade! It took eight years, but I am just now truly accepting that this is what life does: it rolls along up and down - sometimes gently like the green hills of Ohio, sometimes much more sharply like the peaks and valleys of the Grand Canyon or a steep mountain range. It is up to us to climb out of the valleys, rest on the plateaus and keep growing as we go. 

No longer a child or naive youth, I am a woman. I have seen that life swerves and dips, rises and falls, and I accept that with grace, peace and the ever-welcome contentment that God offers when we trust in Him. I do not have to fall apart when the valleys dip. I can shed a tear or two if I need, but then with God's strength I can mount (as He says) on Eagle's wings and soar back up. 

I cannot vouch for tomorrow, but on this beautiful day of refreshing and renewing summer rain, I am better than okay; I accept my life as it is, and I am very happy!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


In other news, summer is bearing fruit and our tomatoes are coming on!  I noticed earlier in the week that we had yellow flowers showing up each day, and wondered when they would wilt into the stems of young tomatoes. (As seen to the right)

It turns out that today was that day! Perhaps overnight is a more accurate time description, because yesterday there was no tomato and this afternoon POOF, there was!
This is the close up photo my husband took, and the tomato in it looks much closer than it actually is, but it is actually a baby... about the size of your thumb, I'd say. (I have big thumbs, so it's hard to tell for other folks!) It really is a beautiful little thing, and I am hoping against hope that the blight which hit the tomatoes last year will bug off and leave them alone this year. After all, last year I had regular, unstellar tomatoes (also grape tomatoes, which came on wonderfully) but this year we have hillbilly tomatoes!

Otherwise known as 'beefsteak' tomatoes, these are the big, juicy jobs that fill up your hand and which a single slice, cut thick enough, is perfect for a tomato sandwich! I have two more 'billies' (seedling hillbilly tomato plants) growing in a pot right from the seed, but the one that is already fruiting is a hybrid. I shudder at that word; I'd much rather have a tomato that is as God intended it to be instead of a hybrid, but that is what the store had already started so we took it.

This particular hybrid beefsteak was bred to be smooth and round not as oddly shaped and lumpy... why in Heaven they want perfectly smooth tomatoes, I'll never know... to me it loses some of the home-grown feel. That said, I'll still take a hybrid grown on my own deck under my tender care and God's sunshine and rain over the tomatoes I buy at the store the rest of the year! Amen! lol

She's ba-ack! Well... sort of!

So, I am finally taking the time to blog again! I'd promise it will be long or short, but the truth is I don't know. I don't even know it if will be pertinent! Ha!

Anyway... where have I been? The quick answer is that I was wrapping up Kindergarten, making sure my paperwork was complete and ready to store (have to keep these things when you are home schooling in case the state wants them later), trying to clean up and pack up some of the apartment... which made it look more and more MESSY, and also have been very sore and very tired. The last part of that makes me complain more, which in spite of being guilty of it, I can't stand to do or hear! lol Gooo figure!

A good example is the happenings of today. I found out my daughter has to have a tooth pulled and even though Chris gets paid in several days, I got frustrated about not being able to take care of her RIGHT THIS MINUTE, and after something like ten calls to different places trying to work something out I did let the selfishness get the best of me and cried for a minute.

Now that the tears are gone, I'm able to step back and see that once again, I need to practice NOT fixing my own problems and DO hand them over to God. I am reminded that this is good timing. Yes, there is no money today or tomorrow or the next day for that matter, but God's timing is still good because I have been looking forward to this week for over a month because it held a full amount of grocery money! This could have happened on a week when we did not have it, so that is a huge blessing.

I have to be careful in saying that, too. I am absolutely not complaining about money. Part of being an adult, a parent, or even alive is that things come up. We have to be ready to do what we can when we can. This, then, instead of being the big stressful trial it came wrapped up as, is actually a valuable exercise in trust and in faith.

I am not worthy of God's mercy, but I pray that He helps me to be ever learning, ever receptive, and ever willing to suffer (I use the term mildly as applies to this instance) whatever it takes for my faith in Him to grow and thus, my relationship.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I just realize I have not posted in days... I will try my level best to find time tomorrow!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010


I was talking to someone the other day who related the story of a person who had lived their life loudly being one way, only to suddenly change directions and begin living loudly in a directly opposite fashion. This person made the statement "Some people are such hypocrites."

While I do agree that the world is full of hypocrites, I began to wonder later if that wasn't perhaps a bit mis-stated. Think about it. We say or hear all the time that life is a journey; that we are each a work in progress. We hope to be progressing forwards but at times we all slide backwards a bit instead. If the person in the scenario had a true change of heart, sudden or not, and was living better isn't that evidence of a person in progress instead of a hypocrite?

Anyway, I know that I have come through changes in my life, and that things I felt strongly about before I now feel strongly about, but differently. Perhaps we are a little hypocritical, but as long as we are genuine and honest each moment, that hypocrisy is probably more evidence of a person in transition than anything else. I for one will work harder today to choose to see the changing person rather than get a chip about everyone for every little thing. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mom stuff, Kid stuff, Earth stuff :)

**Mom stuff... I'm pooped! ha ha I have been working on wrapping up our first-ever school year as a family, researching and putting my all into the process of deciding to build a home, scouring through bills and potential bills and carriers for prices and estimates and also well, you know... all the other typical mom stuff.

When we began home school it was with preschool in 2008 and was sooo easy! We went into kindergarten and suddenly, poof, tons of paperwork involved as well as lots of mom-hours (instead of man get it? hehe) spent reading and writing instructions so I could then write up 185 days of nine subjects, so I could then grade each, record progress etc, etc, etc.

**Kid stuff... age five ushered in talking. I am not referring to learning to speak, I am talking about real, all-the-time talking!!

I always appreciated that my daughter was never a simple 'why' child; that she has always asked instead really informed and complicated questions for a child her age. I took it as a sign of intelligence. I still do. Somewhere in there though, I began to notice that other girls seem to talk more and more the closer they get to the age of seven until it is intense, in-your-face all the time yap, yap, yapping about everything under the sun.

I crossed my fingers and hoped with all my heart but no, age five hit and so did 24-hour talking. I think it is amplified by my daughter being an 'only', because there are no siblings to take the brunt of her chatter. There is also no daddy until evening hours so all day there is just me!! More and more often lately she walks right up to me, presses in close and... you get it, TALKS!! It is non-stop, and while adorable by the time I have been alone in chatter central for eleven hours straight, I could willingly yank a few hairs from my own scalp and run away screaming! (Aren't you glad mommies run this sort of insanity daily through a mental shredder and start fresh so we don't actually do these things!?!?!)

Combine mom stuff and kid stuff, with the stress (albeit the good kind) about moving, schooling and preparing for both of those items to hit again in a big way a few short months from now and... well, Mommy could really use a break!  lol  Not a long one. I would miss my precious angel oh-so much and that non-stop chatter being suddenly swapped for dead silence would probably get to me too. *Shrugs shoulders 'what can ya do' style and chuckles*

**Earth stuff... Several months back I learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located in the Great Pacific Gyre. One of many videos on this subject It was devastating! I had already wondered how beneficial it would be for us to live more responsibly, but that gave me a stronger sense of urgency.

Whether or not you believe it is true, a bad thing, or that we are personally being affected; regardless how you feel about the environment in general, this much trash in God's ocean is unacceptable! 

I do not buy for a moment that caring about the Earth is a political or lost vs. saved issue, or that it means believing in global warming. Bear in mind that when God gave Adam (and thus, mankind) dominion over the Earth, He also gave knowledge for the care of it. God made the world, whole and beautiful. The only 'bad' things He himself created into the world were weeds and thorns stated to be man's laboring punishment for sin. True to the nature of man, our tending of the Earth has decomposed along with our morals, conscience, sense of obligation to each other etc.

We will not be the cause of the destruction of planet Earth, but only because God has laid out how He will bring about the end of the world. That said, I do believe that we are to be good stewards. (plenty of verses on that) I also think that the less of any toxins we can use, the better. I am about sick of finding out that toys, food packaging etc has been made with toxins! We just don't need it!

Hopping off my soapbox soon, I will say that I was relieved to learn that our family carbon footprint is rather small, and that we will be able to make it even smaller soon. What that translates to in Christian terms is that we will inhabit this planet in a somewhat more Adam-like fashion. I will never value a tree over the eternal soul of man, but I do believe there is nothing wrong with living responsibly through better habits even while you fight the good fight, as they say.

Now, time to move back into Mom stuff and get dinner on.    :0)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Even lazy days make me sleepy. :)

Today was good all around, though it seemed both long and short. Short because I got to leave the house today to go in and choose out the colorings for our new home. (More on that in a minute!) Long because of course, I cannot seem to go anywhere without wreaking havoc on my pain-levels, my stature (spine), and without becoming just bone-tired afterwards. To be fair, the tiredness was probably related to the night spent not sleeping (for excitement and angst) and losing the chance to keep trying to sleep when the alarm rang at 7 o'clock!

I have written in this blog (on my former site) that I wish to be open, even frank, about what it is like to live with chronic intense pain. I also state that I am an open book... because of that I will get vulnerable for a moment and describe for you the state of mind I was in before leaving this morning. 

Part of this long journey of spinal changes and health issues (all post-pregnancy *sigh*) has been a battle with weight gain. After my daughter was born I began to lose weight quickly (I weighed less after birth than I did pre-pregnancy), but also developed symptoms of depression. Imagine my relief when my doctor said that I was not depressed, just suffering the symptoms of "Pregnancy Thyroiditis"... also imagine my horror when he explained that other symptoms included weight loss reversing into rapid weight gain! ARGH! There was a treatment, but to have it I would have to quit nursing. This was my one chance - perhaps only chance - at having that bond with a baby, so I refused.

One hundred pounds later I was feeling shocked and in denial. In 2006 I learned that I had transitioned into flat-out hypothyroid and now weighed just over 400 pounds. I have not been weighed since, but given the progress of pictures of myself since then, I'd say I am still gaining. With no health insurance it is hard to find a treatment, and with genes that are already inclined to fatness with inactivity, all of this sitting around is literally layering me in more and more fat. (Frank enough?)

All that to say that I am generally 'okay' with who I am. However, I have noticed that when I come around people - especially at first meetings - their eyes widen and they stare hard at my eyes as if trying to avoid looking at my body and showing the feelings they are already betraying. That my friends, is an AWFUL feeling! So, the long and the short of it is that for a brief minute or two while washing my hair in the sink, I cried tears down the drain along with the soapy water. Anxiety had struck, vulnerability had entered and I succumbed.

That said, I did buck up and paint the old barn (literally), put on my church shoes and hose and wobbled out to the car to make the journey into the home building office. It was worth it! The sales manager, Matt, was very enthusiastic (My was he young!), kind and accommodating. He did not flash shock or repulsion when we met (Thank God!) the way the television teaches us to, and was kind enough to find me a chair without arms when I failed to be comfortable with only one 'cheek' planted in the small chair provided. We quickly engaged in discussion and that was the end of that - it all went smoothly from there!

Now, before I end this rather long and telling tirade, allow me to say as a woman of some (unwanted) girth... ALL chairs in places of business should be armless!! ha ha I know that some people think you can embarrass a heavy person right out of their 'morbid' obesity if you can shame them hard enough often enough... but for this chubby princess and others who cannot control their weight for legitimate reasons, in spite of eating well and not in excess, it is just another embarrassment that is not conducive to good self-esteem... that only leads to shame spirals and hermit-ness, not motivation. Nuff said!

On a final, more ironic note, I always hated fat people crying 'thyroid' but have been oh-so firmly put in my place! Wobble by me in all your heavy glory out in public and instead of smirking in my head I now think "Good for them, they are still using their own two legs!"  :0)

Great news on a birthday... :)

Yesterday my daddy turned 56. He's still the handsomest man I know (other than my hubby), and has held his age very well. (Not that he's even old yet! lol) In all his family he is the strongest and the best looking... in all the world, perhaps! But then, I am a notorious daddy's girl and even as an adult I value and appreciate my parents more every day; they really are the best a set of kids could ever have!

In addition to the day marking my father's birth, we also got some great news... we are officially going to buy/build our first home! Nothing major, but closer to hubs work and get this - cheaper! Who knew that it would one day be cheaper to build a home than to rent an apartment!?!

I not only look forward to getting the process started, finished and moving in, I also look forward immensely to never again having inspections! I did not mind the maintenance visits, and the lady who comes once a year to make sure we are not abusing the apartment or property is very kind and yet... and yet...

There is something intrinsically NOT MINE in having people stream through at will to maintain or inspect our living place. When we take possession and move into our home this fall it will be one thing, and one thing only... OURS. We will change our own heater, check our own smoke detector batteries and see to our own other maintenance issues. True, there will be no landlord to pay for it when the toilet seat unhinges or breaks or whatever, but those responsibilities are part of growing up and you know what? I believe we are quite ready! :)

*Tune in tomorrow when I am more 'awake' and can tell you the heart-load of praise, honor and glory I have to the Lord for this, as well as the most recent updates on our progress! :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Little Runaway...

Today held a mini emotional roller coaster for me, but it was one I kind of knew to expect... allow me to explain.

A few days ago (technically last week) my daughter was watching cartoons when one of them allowed a young character to make a remark about running away from home. Knowing how intelligent and perceptive my child is - and how children her age try on every little thing they see to find the feel of it (bad or good), I thought "Oh no. If she caught the meaning of that, this is likely to bite me in the bun down the road." 

I felt her out to see what she picked up (yes, she had gotten the gist of it) and explained to her that we do not solve our problems by leaving (in kid-friendly terms of course) and that children who run away are at risk of getting hurt. Hoping I patched the leak I let it go (you can't really harp on these things to a small child) and moved on. Then comes today...

I was on the phone with my mother when she walked into the kitchen. I turned to ask what she wanted to see her scaling and then sitting atop the cabinets/counter top. I told her to get down and please go to her room. She walked right back out of her room to talk (typically 'go to your room' means 5 minutes) about toys, pinching me hard on the arm with all four fingers and a thumb when I put up my 'shush, wait a minute' finger. Surprised, I frowned and shooed her back to her room. Out she came again, holding an art book. What was written on the clean, white page??

"I ran u-wae."

Now, I do give her credit for remembering the phonics lesson about ae making the long 'a' sound. However, as a generally lenient mother who's only offence was sending to her room (and having been pinched for my trouble), I was somewhat offended! If this is a bad living situation, imagine her living with any other more strict parent!

My shock must have shown on my face, because she began to cry and ran back to her room... only to come out with a cardboard Fancy Nancy game piece with "I am sorey" written across the back of the white board in pencil. I couldn't help but tell her I forgave her and that I always love her, no matter what. I did take the time to explain to her all over again that it is not funny or nice to say you will leave home if you get sent to your room or do not get your way, and that the world contains a lot of bad people who would not take as good care of her as mommy does because nobody in the world loves her as much as I do.

Even now I find myself a little disturbed at the thought. I know it is because the topic of running away has brushed my life one time in the past and was devastating. Thankfully, I am aware enough to know not to take that out on my little girl who was doing as all little children do at first; trying out something new to test the reaction she would get. Even so, the mother's heart in me cannot help but say a silent prayer that she will never feel the need to leave our home, even as I remind myself again what value there is in raising her well on purpose.

Tonight I look at that piece of paper and I can smile. Perhaps tomorrow I will laugh outright at the audacity of one so little for the mere infraction of asking her to go to her room! Either way, I will never do anything but praise the Lord for her presence in my life, and cherish her little friendship even as I snicker or get exasperated at her unexpected thoughts, phrases and actions while she feels her way around this big, wide world. :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Night and Day

What a difference a day makes! Last night I signed off into a pleasant evening... right before my little girl took a turn for the worse. Before I knew it her cough turned into the kind that is more of a hoarse bark with whooshing gasps in between. I looked up whooping cough and then viewed videos of it online, only to hear almost exactly the same cough she was making. I was terrified, but we had given her some Tylenol for coughs so we decided to wait and see if that would kick in.

Fifteen minutes later she was still coughing and sucking for air. Hubs prayed over her and it stopped! Praise the Lord, it stayed stopped through the night. She resumed the same awful coughing/sucking/whooshing/more coughing this morning before seven, so we decided to take her in and have her seen. There was no reason to risk it being something lighter, you know?

Praise the Lord again, she does not have whooping cough! She is on antibiotic medicine for the next five days to help her get better and to keep it out of her lungs, but after that she should be fine using OTC medicine. I am so thankful to have an urgent care center right next door, and admittedly a little nervous to no longer have that security once we move. (Hopefully we'll move this fall!) Still the Lord is in control of all, and He knows how to provide our needs and what/when we most need [of] Him.

This situation with her did make me revisit my faith. After our struggle with miscarriages at first and then infertility, I began to quash the urge to be hopeful. After being burned a couple of big times, I also quashed the need to trust people very easily. This morning I realized that I have finally trusted the Lord's hand in allowing us to build this home or not, but I do not trust Him with my child? That seemed half-committed, and I had to repent of it immediately, replacing my trust and asking forgiveness for ever withholding it. It was not too long afterwards that we got the good news for her.

A lot of people in the world approach God and the Bible from the point of unbelief. That is natural for people who hold no relationship with Him or are skeptical, but it is not okay of His own children. We are to live in faith - with our testimony bolstered by our works, not the other way around. Part of being a parent is submitting not just yourself but your child(ren) to the will of God and to His care. It is not simple coincidence that brings about good things after prayer. It is not karma or the greater sense that we somehow earned good will in our lives. It is heartbreaking when people would rather credit non-existent theories (karma) than a loving, caring God who it is declared " shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus".

Believer or not, there are far too many 'coincidences' (even the 'bad' ones) shaping our lives for God not to be involved. I give Him credit for the facets of my life, and honor and praise His  name for He is good. What a truly blessed day I am living, and what a mighty God we serve!