Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Recapped

Remembering this past year and looking forward to many more beautiful memories to create in 2012!


Thursday, December 29, 2011


Tonight Ayla and I  cleaned out her bedroom.  We purged of old toys and organized the left overs and added in the new Christmas gifts.

Unlike me, Ayla has no problem making room for the new and saying good bye to the old. 

 On more than one occasion this evening I had to ask her over again if she was sure that she didn't want to hold on to a certain item.  I mean what if she wanted it on a rainy day?  Or even worse, what if she regretted making a quick decision to toss a trinket that could one day be a treasure?

If she were at all like her mama, she would be torn over parting with her belongings and be frazzled and worried about where she was going to stash them making sure it was somewhere hidden like a drawer or closet that could be pushed shut tight in a crunch situation like unexpected guests...

After my sweet husband took down the donation bags to the garage for me, I decided to dust the cobwebs out of the corners of the ceilings and off of the overhead lights.  A simple task I haven't tackled in (ahem....) 4 years!  

And as I was ridding my high corners of sticky cobwebs an all too familiar section of scripture popped into this not-so-natural-blonde head of mine...

Matthew 6:19-21

    19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This scripture has been in my head also because...

In October we came home from a hockey weekend away and noticed quite a few moths in our house.  Over the next few weeks they multiplied and were EVERYWHERE!!!  We got some moth traps and I cleaned out my cupboards but every night we would continue to see them flying around.  I finally got some moth balls and that seemed to help. (Thank you God, even if the smell of mothballs is HORRIFIC!!!)   

I continued to clean out corners...

And it dawned on me that...

I want to hold on to this comfortable life of mine all too often grasping at empty pleasures that I stash away and hide, shoving in stuffed drawers and closets busting at the seams when I feel the presence of God show up unexpectedly in my life.

And what am I holding onto?  This life and all of it's hoarding and stashing are just diversions and obstacles that seem to trip me up constantly.   Whether I am pushing my pride in a corner or hiding a habit in the closet.  I need to purge and say good bye to certain things that I am hoarding.  I need to tie them up tight in a garbage bag and donate them right at the feet of the only One in whom there is true freedom!  

Because there are new mercies waiting to fill up all of that empty space that has been freed up in the deep dark closets of my soul!

As this year comes to a close and a new one is approaching I hope to cling hard and fast to the unfailing love of a God who never gives up on anyone but continually shows up in the shadows and corners of each and every life flooding His never-ending light into every nook and cranny and exposing only Himself and the grace that He alone offers!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Exalt or Insult?

Dimmed lights and lit candles flicker glowing yellow and brightening up the dark house as the snow flurries dance lightly out the window.

It's my favorite time of day...a quieted house and our family gathered around the table celebrating advent together, rejoicing and anticipating the coming of Christ, remembering His immaculate conception and entrance into a lost and dying world.

Reflecting on our sin, my sin and thanking Him for His amazing grace.

That's the picture I have in my mind.  The children are all quiet and deer-eyed, waiting to praise and learn and hold onto their siblings' hands tight as they bow their heads and pray perfectly....

HAHAHAHA!!! LOL!!! (and I mean belly-deep!!)

Instead, I tell them all that we are going to light the candle.  It's time to gather and reflect...

They all come running but they are arguing over who gets to light the candle...who gets to blow it out...

As they take their seats, more arguments over who is touching who and dirty looks are blazing back and forth and my perfect little advent time isn't turning out quite so perfect after all...

They argue over who gets to move the donkey with Mary carrying the Christ child in her belly...they almost catch on fire reaching and pulling back and forth over the lit candles.

Eyes are rolling and I am trying to take deep breaths but my heart is racing as my picture perfect vision quickly blurs into this flawed reality of my painted life.

And unfortunately my beating heart escalates and I don't bite my tongue but bite hard with loud words, begging everyone just to behave and be kind and not so quietly tell (yell) at all to "BE QUIET!"

And briefly the mood turns more reverent as the children glance at the glowing ember...

I say a few words, and reference a quick verse or two and end in a song.

We sing "WE EXA---LT THEE" over a few times...

Micah starts to sing,

"THIS INSU---LTS ME,"  instead... 

Instead of the right words and I lose it on him...right there over the lit advent candles...I DEMAND respect...
Not only to me but to our God (who we happen to be exalting, mind you)...

And all hush quiet around the table but my heart wells with grief and guilt as this picture absorbs a much darker hue than anticipated in the first place.

And I can't help but wonder if maybe what I think might be exalting really just may be insulting to my God after all...

Because when I control and try to turn all to exalt under my own pretenses and not His...that is probably just an insult...

When am I going to change me from the inside out?

When am I going to exalt instead of insult?

And He reminds me that in Him and Him alone, the Christ child made flesh and who dwelt among us and who died and was raised from the dead three days later and is now alive and living in all who believe...

He provides the power to exalt instead of insult. 

Him and Him alone...and tonight I choose to cling hard and fast on just that...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratitude and Contentment

Gratitude and contentment are kin to one another.

Most of the time they go hand and hand.

Lately I have been flooded with guilt that has morphed into discontentment and in turn has bound up my heart... from thankfulness.

Instead I have been questioning why I have so much when so many have so little...

Why do my children have access to medication, doctors, hospitals....when so many in this world go without?

Why do I not only have a piping hot dinner every night, but one that consists of whatever my palate is desiring that certain day...when people are hungry for any type of food?

When I have the choice of beverage whether it be an expensive wine or a diet cola...and others are choking on dry tongues, longing for clean water to quench their thirst?

And this guilt is kind of a disguise for discontentment that partners with a type of ingratitude that lurks and masks itself as unworthiness or even humility.

But when stripped down and standing unclothed in the light of truth...ingratitude is exposed and has no chance of faking its way into a different appearance.

And the words of Paul breathed by the God of the universe written in the book of Philippians, chapter 4, strike a nerve down deep:

'for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.'

Paul had lived with plenty and he had lived in want.  He understood both sides of the coin.  With and without...

And God has fed me this Word of His tonight and filled me up with enough reminding me to be satisfied in ALL circumstances of my life.  When I have plenty and when I am in dire need of basic necessities.

The guilt has been replaced with a grateful heart that is content with enough.

And I am not encouraging or condoning hoarding material wealth.

What I would like to convey is that God has placed me in this life, this well-fed, soaped and shampooed up hydrated life...

...and so much of the time, lately especially, I have been consumed with this immobilizing guilt that never goes away... even after signing the check that not only feeds those hungry stomachs but also nourishes empty souls with the living bread of life that gives eternal hope.

Tonight I am letting go.  I am going to choose to live in the freedom that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

And tonight I am asking Him to grant me the gift of contentment as I hand over the guilt and instead thank Him for ALL situations!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Harmonious Compositions

My husband made a comment about someone the other day.

"That woman has 'Hurried Mother Syndrome', " He says.

And I'm not sure if that really is a condition or not...

It very well could be.  He would know since he has sold prescription drugs for many different disorders the last several years. But I didn't even bother to ask him if he was kidding or being serious.

All I thought was that I certainly hope and pray that I don't have "Hurried Mother Syndrome".

At least not to the extent that people notice (for goodness sake).

But those simple words uttered out of those lips that I know all too well has struck a chord that rings loud.

And the sound of that clashing instrument beats deep within... reminding me that I am, beyond a reasonable doubt, living with this horrible disease.

And the melody most definitely isn't appealing or even the least bit desirable.

Instead the notes are pounded out creating more of an ear-piercing noise. A wretched sound that puts the worst jazz to shame.

And with this in the front of my mind, I wake up to morning chaos, scrambling as usual but with a bit more self-awareness...maybe even a bit of conviction in my tread.

And I find myself hurrying the kids out the door because they have a REALLY hard time staying on task.

But I am so much more aware now of the type of music I want to dance to in my daily routines with the children.

And I was reminded this morning that much of the time, most of the time, I end up hurrying them when I have been the worst culprit by fitting in too much in too little time.

Most of the time, I don't give enough time.

I am playing triplet notes instead of whole notes, trying to fit in more than I have allotted time for, squishing more than one measure can hold.

And my lack of practice all too often results in a frazzled hurried mother pointing a wrong finger at an innocent child.

I rush through the music in front of me.

I bang it out in the wrong key.

I take my eyes and ears off of the music.

But tonight I am so thankful for the light that has been shone brightly on each and every harmonious note laid out in front of me.

This beautiful composition named "Motherhood" stands upright against the dark wooden music stand called life...

And tonight the writing has been clearly written by my divine God who spoke through my better half who didn't even realize what impact he was making as I read what He was saying...

And sometimes the light is dimmed and the notes aren't clear and that is when I just fill in and play by ear...

But many times the writing is clear and flooded with light and my job is to play as written...

And this, my friend, is one of those times....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Unexpected

For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just writewithout worrying if it’s just right or not.
Won’t you join us?
    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:



I am a planner.  I planned each one of my three pregnancies.  I plan our family vacation every year.  I like to know the plan and not be blind-sided however, some of the best times in life are often those that are unanticipated, unplanned and UNEXPECTED.

Whether it be the breath being taken from my lungs as a dramatic sunrise canvases my front window or a simple smile curled on the lips of one of those three cherished beings who call me mama.

It could be an UNEXPECTED win with 22 seconds left in a Pee Wee travel hockey game where 2 amazing goals are scored shorthanded (because of a penalty) and the other team has pulled their goalie making the competition 6 on 4 and two different players break out and score, back to back and we hold them bringing on a  VICTORY!!

Mundane routines sprinkled with UNEXPECTED events often confirm and remind me that this peace that passes all understanding is actively alive and working in all circumstances.

It could be as simple as hearing my girl sing her heart out and taking me somewhere over the rainbow at 6:30 am after she crawled and sprawled her way into my bed taking what little is left of my imagination far above the chimney tops...I totally did not EXPECT to go to the land of Oz so early this morning, but I sure am glad that I did!!

I love these UNEXPECTED moments!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gathering 'Round Really Does Make A Difference...

Lately I've begun to realize something:  Living a chaotic life helps me appreciate the moments when we aren't running.  Our free nights are few and far between and lately, when we are graced with one, I have been enjoying turning off the television, computer and video games and sitting down to a candlelit dinner with our little family.

This was mostly prompted by my cousin giving me my grandma's old dining room table.  I just love sliding on the benches and gathering around the darkly stained and varnished piece of wood that stands on my wood floors and reminds me of my childhood.  I spent many Christmases piled around that trestle table squished between two of my nine cousins or two sisters feasting on a family smorgasbord.

And that same happiness and joy of being a child on Christmas day fills me up as I light the candle tapers and set the table.

We gather 'round and I grasp small hands next to me as we offer thanks to our Provider.

The warmth of the soup runs through me and this treasured moment with my little family pours warmth into me as well.

Children are chattering and slurping and every bit is music to my ears.

These sacred times together are much too few and far between but these same moments help get me through the chaos and the running.

And sometimes when I'm having a really bad day or just feeling overwhelmed, I remember times like these and I cling to them tight and it helps.  Almost like the focal point that I went to in my mind when I was in labor with my 2nd and 3rd children (unfortunately I didn't know about the technique for Jonah...that would have been nice).

And sometimes life gets that intense, just like I'm back in the delivery room panicked and in pain with all of the unknowns pressing in from all sides...

...When there aren't enough minutes in the day or I just don't have the motivation to get it done, even if there were.

...When fears creep that I have crushed their sweet spirits because of careless words tossed from my fast tongue into their tiny ears.

...When the guilt rises high all over and failure floods ferociously.

...When inadequacy chimes loud, clanging hard in my ears.

...Or when I am lonely because work called him out of town, again...And not only am missing his company, I am missing his help!

That is when I can close my eyes and remember our special moments around that warmly lit dining room table.


I can see twinkling eyes and curled up lips.

I can hear high-pitched voices sharing sports stats and Cinderella stories.

I can taste simmered soup and can feel my my sweetie's toes finding mine under the table.

And all of this remembering helps remind me to make sure that we never stop making time to shut off the noise so we can really hear one another.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

BEYOND: Five Minute Friday

Linking up with Lisa Jo from
On Fridays around these parts we stop, drop, and write.
We write bold and beautiful and free. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.
Won’t you join us?
    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:



"To infinity and BEYOND!"  my boys used to yell these words with their sweet little toddler voices dressed up in their buzz lightyear costumes.  And now I think of that same phrase every single time I tell each one of my three children that I love them..."How much?" they ask..."To infinity and beyond!"  I answer...

BEYOND....The BEYOND...the unknown...

I think of the Holy Trinity and how understanding of it is BEYOND my human capabilities, Father, Son and Holy Spirit...three separate persons yet one in the same...I also think of eternity or the idea that God was here forever before He breathed life into existence.  It is all just BEYOND my understanding...

What gives me hope is that my God, who was and always has been and always will the definition of wisdom in it's truest and purest form and with that being said He understands and knows EVERYTHING BEYOND a resonable doubt because He has spoken it into existense in the first place.

He knows intricately each detail His paintbrush strokes because He is the artist...and even though the masterpiece is BEYOND my understanding....because I haven't been allowed to take in the whole big picture...I know that He is the most brilliant painter that ever was or ever will be....BEYOND a reasonable doubt...

And one day when I have the chance to step back and steal a glimpse of the whole mural I will be blown away, 'To infinity and BEYOND!!!"


Monday, October 10, 2011

Anger Management

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday.  Joe even brought me coffee and breakfast upstairs and I still was crabby.  I was irritated that it was such a beautiful day and Jonah had an away hockey scrimmage late afternoon.  I wanted to go out to a nice apple orchard and enjoy a family day, not be stuck in a freezing ice rink.  Joe's the coach, the one who scheduled the stinking thing and I was irritated.  Not only that we had to freeze on a nice day but also because Jonah and him would miss part of church.  We decided to make a quick trip to a local one anyway and on the way I was still boiling, and bickering with Joe.

Anger was rising up from down deep and spilling out of my mouth.

All of a sudden it left, just as quick and swift as it came.

We ended up having a nice time at the orchard and enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite places nearby.

I decided to skip the hockey game and take Micah and Ayla to the park.

On the way home we stopped for ice-cream.

We sat out on a picnic table and as I was inhaling my pumpkin pie blizzard a cute young couple walk right by us and stand in line.  They seemed happy and smiley and as they gazed our way, Ayla decides to ask me a question directly in their earshot,

"Mama, why were you so angry today?"

"Angry, when was I angry?"

Warm flames of red flash fast on my cheeks as the couple look at one another lips curling into grins.

"You know when you were angry at daddy in the car this morning?"

They turn around, probably embarrassed for me as I fumble for an answer and I secretly wish that I could shrink down and jump into my whipped ice-cream and hide.

And as I mumble something back to appease her and cover up my embarrassment, I realize God is showing me something loud and clear.

Not only that my kids hear and pick up on everything but that He knows exactly how to teach me a lesson.

And not only do I learn something new I am also just in awe of Him.  How He cares enough for me to reveal things like this in my life.

Sometimes life lessons are hard...they can embarrass...they can hurt.

But how thankful I am to have a God who loves me so much that He cares about what kind of person I am, what kind of wife I am, what kind of mother I am.

He cares enough to get through to me exactly as my unique personality requires.

He knows how to teach like no other, how to make it absorb.

Proverbs 29:11
NIVA fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
NLTFools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.
ESVA fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Keep me quiet Lord and help me not to vent my anger.  Help me to remember that my mouth speaks loudly what is deep in my heart.  Give me a pure heart today.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Five Minute Friday: FRIENDS

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.
We write because we want to, not because we have to. We write for fun, for joy, for discovery.
We just write without worrying if it’s just write or not.
Won’t you join us?
    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes:

It's a listening ear who never has too much noise in her life for me.
It's a helping hand always reaching and giving in unselfish ways, teaching me to love and reach out to those around me...
It's a shoulder to cry on (even when the tears are filled with hormones)...
It's a conversation that ends with communion of prayer, understanding that "where two or more are gathered in my name..."
Mere acquaintance turned into unexpected, unanticipated deep friendship with a woman who has much in common, raising three children, running around, feeling pulled in every direction...oh how we relate!
A friendship that is more than skin deep and a kinship that is bonded through faith.
A relationship blessed and granted by Him and Him alone, who hears all my prayers.
Him who makes every hole...WHOLE in Himself alone by satisfying my deepest desire to have a close girlfriend to do LIFE with.
Tonight I thank the "GOD who sees me" who fills every crack and crevice in my broken life and I give him the glory for this friendship.

There is so much more I would love to write about friends.
God has granted me with my two sisters who will always be my friends if they like me or not..they still have to love me, right?  And two sister-in-laws who I love deep.
He has also blessed me with my life-long friend, who even though still doesn't live down and across the street, her parents do and I get to wake up every morning and look out my front window to her childhood home that I spent many a night in...I think of her most days, how she and I bonded in Junior High when we both felt so alone and out of place.  I think about how God sent her to me, and I to her...and how he has kept us in touch after all these years...I think of all of the movie lines we had memorized and code names we signed on our notes and how all of that is so near and dear to she is so dear to me, how I love her....
And I think about my other friend who moved to another state a few years back and how I thought my heart was going to break when she did, how it did break...I think of our kidless memories and the good times we shared, Joe and I and her and her husband...Young and full of life and dreams and how we enjoyed being together much of the time.  How rare it is for two couples to "click".  I miss our nights eating "bear claw" ice cream and watching the "X-Files".  But most of all I miss the years that passed when we got busy raising families and working jobs and not getting together enough when they were here.  
I cherish my phone conversations and sporadic  meetings in person with both...I want to make sure not to ever stop these get-togethers!  
True friendships are hard to come by in this world where most are out to gain for themselves.  I have learned to hold on tight and make every effort to stay in touch with those I call dearly loved because life can steam roll over meaningful friendships and time can pass quickly and before too long days can turn into months that turn into years...
So hold those friendships near and dear and nurture them, so they can grow into something beautiful.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Simply Enough

I hear the music to this song echoing off of the walls in the bathroom as the shower runs hard and fast.

Joe turns up the stereo and the boys walk on their hands and flip upside down and it sounds like they are going to bust through the ceiling as I wipe off left-over dinner crumbs underneath them all.

The water spills as the music blares as the boys pound and my patience thins all at the same time.

I had asked him to get Ayla ready for bed and had sent the boys up to read, not to do gymnastics.

General Mama storms up the stairs and breaks up the bash yet once again.

And as I turn the music down and make my way down the hall to settle the boys down to bed, my spirits fall down as well.

And not only because I was enforcing my mama-police duties but also because I let the anger creep up and overwhelm and have allowed it to overflow out onto the family yet once again...

And poor Joe was having a moment with the boys, sharing a song special to his heart and a story about a cousin who could walk clear across the driveway on his hands...

And I stomped up all puffed up and chirp in and ruin it...

And the guilt fills and spills thick.

And I turn it over as the words of the song strike a chord in my soul,,,

"All I want for you is to be satisfied"

And that is what I want for my children, for my family, for myself...

To be satisfied with "enough"

"Not to (as the song says) lust for rich mans gold (but to remember that) all you need is in your soul."

And I think about a blog I read a little while back about "Enough" click here

Those words typed and his song sang and Joe's favorite song all resounding loud help me focus on the important...issues of the heart.

And as I settle into bed I refuse to allow myself to be swallowed up by guilt but instead I agree to be saturated in thanks.

Because tonight I am satisfied with "enough".

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Growing

Today isn't actually Friday, the late hour has turned to Saturday...But I am still linking up with Lisa Jo at for Five-Minute Friday....

Today's subject GROWING


The clock reads a bit after midnight as we carry and lead the children in the dark house.  We come home late night, stars dark after a warm visit with friends who are more like family...The chill of autumn nips at bare arms and bites a bit but in a good way, we are home...

I had told Micah that I found his baby blankets earlier today in the attic while I was looking for something...He begs me to get them for him.  I tell him that they are dusty, would aggravate his asthma...He pleads with me that he just wants to see them...

So I tell my sweet middle child, who keeps mostly to himself and is so much like his mama-this middle sister, that I will get them for him...just to glance at before his eyelids shut and he dreams deep...

I flick the light on in the garage and pull down the chord to the attic....

As I climb each wooden length I recollect the tiny baby I held in my arms 8 and a half years ago...

He was so bright eyed and precious Micah...who resides quietly in the middle, sandwiched between siblings...oh how I can relate....

And as I grab the dusty blankets in my hands memories flash of the day we brought him home from the hospital...

His big brother, Jonah was 2 years and five months...

He begged us to bring Micah directly into his playroom and after we did, asked us to take him out...he thought that his new playmate was gonna start to play right then and there...

And as I gather the blankets in my arms, these thoughts are fluttering...

I carefully make my way down the ladder and back in the house...

I tip toe upstairs  and into his room making my way up another ladder and whisper..."are you still awake?"

He pops up, all bright eyed as I flick the switch..."Yes!!!"

He's been waiting...and I show him the blankets and he smiles big...cheek to cheek that are not so chubby anymore...

I tell him that I'll wash them tonight, he can have them tomorrow and he hugs me and falls down fast...

And as I make my way down the ladder of his bunk bed, I think about my sweet boy and how fast he has sprouted...growing up right in front of me, so rapidly...

And my heart swells...grows with love overflowing...

He and his big brother are best buddies and favorite's all more than I could ever ask for...

And all too quickly he has turned 8 and a half... and I hold onto this love and turn it into a thanks to my Creator, my Lord who is the gardener, the one who waters my soul and grows this mama's heart up tall...


Five Minute Friday  Check it out!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Five Minute Friday: JOY

    It's FRIDAY!!  Today I am linking up with Lisa Jo @ and writing for 5 minutes, unedited on:


When my husband Joe was a little boy, he was called Joey...

He thought the words to the song "Joy to the world" were about him..."Joey to the world"

and even though the song was originally written about Christ and the joy and good tidings he has brought by coming into this world.

And even though I believe that same Christ is the one who brings all joy to my soul...

I believe that he has gifted me with a deep down fulfillment in my partner who I still refer to as "Joey" and will until the day death do us part.

Whether it's the mundane everyday routine of our lives or the mountaintop (or should I say hilltop) experiences we share...

God has blessed me with this joy in my Joey that I will never grow tired and will always return to at the end of each day, as long as we share the breath of this life here on earth.

So thank you God above for my Joey, my joy...


Last weekend we celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary in beautiful northern Michigan and I felt a piece of heaven as we took in the gorgeous sunrise together...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Filled to Overflowing

Tonight I washed a few potatoes and sliced them skinny layering them in a baking dish.

As I cut into the second to last one I realized the whole potato wouldn't fit in the glass pan.

Half of the potato was wasted and normally I would just toss it in the trash without thinking twice.

But tonight, I stopped dead in my tracks and almost lost it in the middle of preparing dinner for my family who never skips a meal let alone goes a whole day without food.

Images of starving children worldwide filled my mind as I held the wet halved root vegetable in my hand, this hand that has never been empty of any of life's needs.

I thought of Sajin, our sponsored child in India (through Compassion)  and glanced at the picture we received last week in the mail of him with his new birthday present he was able to buy from the money we sent.

No it wasn't a bike, or a game system or a pair of customized Reebok Zig Techs...No, Sajin didn't receive the latest and greatest sought after items like my spoiled children I do...

Instead, Sajin bought a goat and her kid for his birthday present from us.

My heart is heavy and my hand is filled with much, too much...

This life we live and all of our stuff...overfilled stomachs, overfilled house, overfilled garage...

And Sajin gets a goat and kid for a birthday.

Who am I to ever be dissatisfied and ungrateful?

Who am I not to dig deeper and give more?

Not only monetarily but also of my time?

The words of a Keith Green song are ringing loudly tonight

"To obey is better than sacrifice, I don't want your money I want your life"

And I hand my guilt over to my God in Heaven whose hand will never let go and never give up on me...but who will always remind me that this life is not my own...

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. – Matthew 16:24-25

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Afraid of Heights

I am afraid of heights.

As I have aged and joined the ranks of motherhood this fear has increased.

It's a wonder that I'm the daughter of a roofer, who spent much of his adulthood tarring pitch on tops of buildings and climbing ladders up, up, up...

That fear and so many more have amplified these last number of years.

The other night we took the kids to a new play area and the boys spotted the webbed climbing net from the road...

They couldn't wait to climb...

They must take after their Papa...

Joe went down to cast a line in the canal and I plopped on the bench and opened the 
new read I couldn't wait to dive into that was just delivered to my door a few hours prior. 

Butterflies flutter in my gut as I glance up at Jonah, already up to the top... 

And as I skim the pages in my new read,  as panic tries to rear it's ugly head...I see these words black and bold printed right under my nose,

"I see a woman teetering on a tightrope, holding a long pole as she tries to balance herself in light of the truth of God.  It takes concentration, it takes work and it takes a whole lot of faith....Situations come up and cause us to tip a little, and we cry out in fear.  We often feel like just as we get it figured out, the wire begins to shake and we have to adjust it all over again.  ....What are we depending on when we start to tip?"

I glance over at Ayla she is balancing...reaching out and grabbing at the pole before she cautiously steps to the little platform

And the words I am reading are now visual as I picture myself carefully reaching and balancing, ...

and I am inspired to reach up in faith to my Heavenly Father as I take my next step...

And a bit of courage bursts through as I jump to my feet and run up to the web.  I am heedful as I step up but nevertheless I climb rope by rope all the way to the top!   

Invigorated and feeling like a kid again as I take in the view...

Maybe I did inherit a bit of my daddy in me after all...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Five Minute Friday (REST)

It's FRIDAY!!  Join in if you will

    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.


The subject:  REST

Today is the third day we have risen before sunrise to a dark quiet house.

And even though my eyes are stinging and my body is tired, my soul finds REST.

I REST in each red word that my eyes strain to read.

"Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it"  

I let it penetrate deep as we hold hands and come before our Lord in prayer, together, seeking Him in the dawn.

We decided to wake early and ask Him what His will is for our lives.

Coffee drips as His Holy Spirit filters these words as they soak deep.

And I REST-assured in His promise to find life in Him when I surrender all of my life...


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Look At Me

Today I rolled out of bed early.

I promised him that I would and it was all my bright idea.  To wake up before the crack of dawn together and seek Him out.

I didn't even hear the alarm but instead woke to the yellow glaring light he had flicked on in the bathroom.

How I am NOT a morning person.  It takes everything in me to get out of bed at a normal hour and I think to myself how this is insane but stand firm on my word and plant my feet on the cream plush carpet almost begrudgingly and arise.

I stumble down the creaky stairway and find him sitting there, looking at his phone and almost roll my eyes until I come closer and realize that he is reading scripture on it.

He tells me how he woke up, right before the alarm went off, from a dream.

In the dream, he tells me,

There was a hand reaching out and water around and he was fearful but the man behind the hand urged him and spoke...

 "Don't look left or right...LOOK AT ME!"

and then he awoke...moments before the alarm...

He immediately thought of the story in Matthew of Peter walking on the water.

And that's what he was reading on his phone when I almost rolled my eyes at him.

He reads it for me...

Matthew 14:26-32 (NIV)

26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
   29 “Come,” he said.
   Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.“You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.

And as I let the words, this bread of life, in...a chill runs through my veins and out my skin, goosebumps all over...

We woke early to seek and He speaks...

And we are listening with ears perked out because He has shown up BIG...

And I don't doubt now...

My faith has been increased...

I know we can walk on water, if we look to Him, not to the wind or the storms of life, not left or right but straight on ahead to Him...

I am encouraged, we both are!  Our eyes are straight ahead...

But the question isn't:

"Will we walk on water?"

He has assured us that we will, if we look to Him...not left, not right...

and He has enabled us this morning in the early hours of the day as the children still dream fast asleep to do just that... look to HIM...

The question is:

"Will we get out of the boat?"