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Worried about me?

I am excited that I finally long for Heaven - even on my best of days (which are by far happier now than they ever have been)! For my whole Christian life I have always struggled with loving earth so much that the idea of praying "thy Kingdom come" or "Come, Lord Jesus" have never made since to me.  The only time the subject of Heaven brought any comfort was when a believing loved one passed away or when I was incredibly depressed.  I don't think I'm the only one who has felt that way, as a matter of fact I stumbled across this quote by Randy Alcorn (who was quoting a pastor) this morning...

"Whenever I think about Heaven, it makes me depressed. I’d rather just cease to exist when I die. I can’t stand the thought of that endless tedium. To float around in the clouds with nothing to do but strum a harp … it’s all so terribly boring. Heaven doesn’t sound much better than Hell. I’d rather be annihilated than spend eternity in a place like that.”

I…

Flesh, Mistakes, Forgiveness, & Heaven

In case I gave the impression in my last post that I regularly submit to the voice of the Spirit and not my flesh - my husband can attest to the fact that that is definitely not the case.  Actually, on the very day that I chose to listen to the Spirit and stop writing for a time - I also chose to listen to the flesh and say one of the most cruel things I have ever said to my husband.  It hurt.  It hurt him and it hurt me.  And in a way I think it proves the point of my last post profoundly.  If I had listened to the Spirit and not gotten angrily defensive, how much lighter the burden would have been - for both of us.  The incredibly challenging part of "being crucified in Christ" and "dying to ourselves" is the choice in itself.  The giving up of what we want in a particular moment.  The results, however, of listening to the Spirit instead of the flesh are so much easier and lighter.  So much better.  He knows what we need more than we do.  Just as I know that lett…

Dying daily & an easy Yoke?

"Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.  Sing praise to him; tell of his wonderful acts." Psalm 105:2

New born babies can't talk.  And even if they could, they are pretty much concerned with their own needs.  They literally can't see more than a foot in front of them.  They are treasured.  Loved.  Delighted in.  But, they don't even realize it.  Most of the time, their mommies care for them so much that they would give their own life to protect them.  But, as babies, they haven't grown up enough to tell the world how amazing their mommy is.

I am tired of being a baby believer.  For years I believed.  But, I couldn't see past my own needs and wants.  And sadly, whenever I grew just the tinyist bit (or thought I did), it quickly became easy to see other peoples' rough edges.  Often I was much more aware of their rough edges than I was of my own.  Although I've spent years beating myself up and not …

For the record...

I've been praying for the ability to discern what thoughts, desires & inklings come from my flesh (meaning my body...like say, cravings), which ones come from my soul (mind, emotions etc...) and which one's come from my spirit (which, praise be to God, includes the Holy Spirit who lives within me).  I'm hoping to get better at following the leadings of my spirit and less likely to follow the leadings of my body and soul.  Tonight, I am not sure if the writing of this post stems from the spirit (which, I am surely hoping) or from the body (as I gave into my ever-tempting desire for multiple pieces of dark chocolate).  Either way, here I am - fully awake at midnight - with words pouring from my fingers.
     I just climbed down the ladder of my three year old's loft bed.  He and I, we had a rough day - and I just wanted to be near him.  To reassure him of my love (though, I'm not sure if he even knew I was there), to pray over him (something new to me, I…

Muddy faces

For those of you who read my last post, "not my cup of tea", I am curious what you thought my main point was? After re-reading it a few times, I realized that it may have come across that I was pointing the finger at people who point the finger when I often struggle with pointing the finger. You might have to read that line a few times :) I'd like to take a moment to clarify the heart of my message.  It is not so much that I want to come down on people (including myself) who sometimes struggle with "the log in the eye" syndrome, as it is that I want to encourage each of us to constantly hold the things that we feel the most strongly about before the Lord.  You just might find, as I did even yesterday, that God often changes our hearts & mind on the very things we find ourselves pointing at.

Consider this verse for a moment - 
James 1:22-25 
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but…

Not my cup of tea

I recently had a conversation with a friend in which the subject of large families came up.  When I mentioned a new arrival (baby) to an already large family, her response was - "that is not my cup of tea."  I already knew that and it was/is ok with me, but for some reason the "not my cup of tea" statement as a reaction to someone else's news bugged me.

I was thinking/praying about it and I found myself visualizing an actual ladies tea party.  Imagine if instead of each lady enjoying their own cup of tea, they spent their time arguing (or perhaps just thinking negative thoughts to themselves) about what everyone else was drinking.

"I can't believe you like decaffeinated, how unfortunate!"
"What, you take yours black?  That's disgusting."
"That caffeine is killing you, you know!"
"Tea isn't even tea if it doesn't have at least 3 tablespoons of sugar."

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to …

1949-2000!

1949. Being on the other side (well, almost anyway) of a trial
1950. Friends, family & even strangers - sacrificially loving and blessing our family in our time of need
1951. Not having to cook for almost a month
1952. My mom "just so happened" to live in Maine when I got my hip replaced
1953. Recognizing that every moment with my family is a gift - especially after coming closer to losing those moments (at least here on earth) than I expected to
1954. The ability to walk
1955. Extra love & attention poured upon Teal (both by those who babysat him recently & by his mama)- our fourth little guy got to be like our first little guy for a few weeks
1956. Time to work on our website
1957. Missing my family
1958. Quiet days
1959. Returning to the norm - Loud days :)
1960. People who donate their blood
1961. Doctors who save lives
1962. Picking up Avonlea
1963. Three weeks worth of help with our children...and it all coming together so smoothly
1964. Ugly/Beautiful - al…

Mr. Mom

I've always been one of those "oops, I forgot to buy the orange juice" kind of moms.  I'm typically so busy chasing the kids around that I can't quite wrap my head (or hands) around all of the things that need to be done to keep the house running in an organized fashion.  So, we often run out of toilet paper - or use some random condiment on our steak (rather than the preferred A1). Matt has never quite understood what is/was so difficult about being organized and efficient.  And, to be completely honest it has been a source of contention.  Here's the thing though, I have always thought - "if he only knew how much energy it takes taking care of the kiddos all day, every day - he would understand that sometimes the other things take a back burner".  Well for the past three weeks (as I have been recovering from my hip replacement) Matt has been Mr. Mom.  I got home on Friday night and expected to find the house in complete disarray and in major need o…

Reflections & big boys

It has been two weeks exactly since I went under the knife.  In some ways it feels like it has been so much longer and in other ways it feels like it was just yesterday.  I am definitely doing better than I have been in my  last few posts.  I'd say 75% of the time I'm doing pretty well and 25% of the time I'm fighting of bouts of discouragement.  On Saturday, I spent some time with Matt and the kids and I felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, but of course I overdid it and on Sunday I felt like I was back to square one.  The rash is starting to clear up because I removed every last bit of tape.  The wound, however has gotten worse - I'm thinking because it has been more exposed...and because the staples need to come out. My friends, family and readers have been super supportive and I've never felt so loved.  I've gotten lots of phone calls and emails which have meant the world (even though I've hardly called or emailed anyone back). Peop…

Tornados & blood pressure

It's 3:30 am - I'd usually be nursing Teal sometime between now and 4:30 am. But he is not here. I can't sleep because I can't seem to get comfortable. Between my poison oak like rash (actually an allergic reaction to the medical tape), the dull ache of my leg, and the many positions I'm not supposed to be in, sleep seems to be a lost cause.  I am trying to muster up the energy to plug in my enormous cow maker (breast pump) so I can stay on Teal's schedule.  But plastic doesn't compare to precious half asleep eyes, or soft mohawky hair...and especially not dimply (tiny as they might be) smiles.  This missing of my baby and children is so strange.  On the one hand I long for them, on the other hand I am scared of returning to them.  This is one of the tough moments of this journey.  There have been many positive moments as well.  I quickly transitioned from a walker, to crutches, to one crutch.  I  can pour myself a glass of water - and even take a shower. D…

Visions & pain

"It hurts so bad, can I have some more pain medicine?!  Please!"  "Hello?  This really hurts I need something else for the pain.  Someone, help!"
     "Maam, you lost a lot of blood.  We've had to do multiple transfusions.  Your blood pressure is too low.  There is nothing we can do for the pain until you are more stable."
     "Please, please - pain medicine, please!"
     "I'm sorry, Maam - you are going to have to wait."
This conversation repeated itself over and over again for  hours and hours after the surgery. I'm not sure exactly how long it was, but it felt like FOREVER! When they finally got me stabilized (thank you, Jesus) they were able to send some relief my way. But, it was a little bit too late emotionally. I had definitely entered the, oh no, what have I gotten myself into, mindset.  I was scared. Tired. Still in pain (though thankfully not quite as much) and regretting my decision.  I don't remember…

Old hips & new hope

It is 5:30 am, the perfect time for me to spend some quality time with Jesus - but, I don't want to.  So, I'm writing this blog post instead.  You know what?  As I typed that I heard a still small voice (hopefully the Holy Spirit and not the Oxycodone) say - "I am with you always."  So, I guess officially I am spending time with Jesus...and my blog.  I thought I'd take a few moments to record some thoughts about the journey I'm walking (well, actually NOT walking) through in regards to my recent hip replacement. 
     The few weeks before the hip replacement were quite intense.  I had no idea how much time and energy it would take to figure out what to do with four kiddos for two weeks. You would probably laugh if you could see the size of the spreadsheet labeled "Hip Surgery - Kiddos".  There were soooo many needs.  God is pretty incredible though!  Every day either someone would come to mind or call me out of the blue asking what they could …

Fear & trust

I ended my last post with the following paragraph - 
"I am really thankful that I am starting to recognize that choosing stress and worry is like kicking God of His throne.  I hope and pray that each time I find myself heading in that direction, I will say - not my will but yours be done.  Please, Lord - stay on the throne of my life.  I KNOW you'll do a much better job than I could ever do!"

And yet tonight - I am having a hard time trusting Him.  I'm, well - scared.  A week from today I'm having my right hip replaced.  I'm not sure exactly what the source of my fear is...I think it mostly has to do with being away from my four children for more than a week.  They have never been away from me for more than 2 days.  


Who's going to tickle Cole's neck, back & legs (in that order) as he makes his way up the stairs to his loft bed at nap time?  What will Avonlea think when I just disappear (I've tried to explain it to her, but she's only two).  …

Dishwashers & presidents

Remember that kid in grade school that wanted to be the next President of the United States?  I didn't (and still don't) relate in any way. I can't imagine shouldering that kind of responsibility.  I am thankful that the economy, our troops, our health plans, and the many other decisions that lie on the presidents shoulders, don't lie on mine.  I seriously can't imagine the stress involved.

I am also incredibly thankful that Jesus Christ sits on the throne in Heaven - and in my life (on the days that I let Him).  Lately, as I have been asking God to teach me how to pray, I keep coming back to the Lord's prayer.  I pray through it slowly every day and am amazed how relevant it is in every area of my life.  Recently as I was praying through it and asking God to ease some tension I was feeling, I realized that giving in to stress is pretty much kicking Him off the throne.  On this particular day I was replaying a conversation and hoping for my desired outcome.  W…

1918 - 1948

1918. Friday night guests, breakfast for dinner & conversations about cows


1919. Sun following rain
1920. Bell the Cat, gluten free sandwiches & heart to hearts with my mom
1921. Knowing Avonlea's just around the bend, cuz of the adorable sound her chunky little feet make as they land on our wood floor
1922. Avonlea saying "hi" to anyone & everyone...and meaning "hi" or "bye"


1923. Fruit basket rainbows
1924. Accidentally walking in on Matt and the boys making Mother's day gifts
1925. 3 moms, free Mother's day lunches, & a quick stroll through the Botanical gardens
1926. Cole's dance of excitement as he examined his new helmet (looking right past his new bike)
1927. Ruby red grapefruit & kiddos that love it
1928. The quiet that summer brings (my boys spend more time outside than in)
1929. Medical technology, hip replacements & looking forward to much less pain
1930. Mohawks


1931. Invitations, introductions & vis…

Donkeys and chocolate

I've always been the type of person who wants to do things perfectly.  I figure if I try hard enough I can eventually get things right.  One area that I've failed at though -again and again - is spending regular quality time with my Savior.  I've tried lots of different methods - The Bible in a Year,  a Proverb a day, topical studies, prayer journals etc...but as hard as I tried I kept coming up short.  I'd miss a few days here and there, feel guilty and give up.  A few weeks later I'd tell myself, this time I'm going to do it.  I will make myself wake up early...or stay up late - I will do this thing.  But there was a big problem - I didn't really care about the word of God.  I didn't really want to pray.  I was doing it because every sermon I ever heard said that if you want to get close to God (or at least feel close to Him, cuz He is always with you) you have to pray and read the bible.  Last year, a pastor and friend delivered a sermon that really …

Fill in the blanks

Lately, I've been pondering a few quotes a friend of mine wrote down as we were discussing how overwhelmed I get with too much STUFF.

"What you NEED is buried underneath what you THINK you have to have."

"GOOD things are the enemy of the BEST things."

These quotes are helping me tremendously as I strive towards de-cluttering my home.  But, I think they have pretty amazing spiritual implications as well.

I'm going to try a little experiment.  Quickly, without too much analyzing (like that is really possible...this is me we are talking about) I am going to fill in the following blanks:
 ___________ is buried underneath ____________
 ____________ is the enemy of _______________
with the first things that pop into my head.

Whoops, I said I wasn't going to analyze...but I'm analyzing so I want to provide the following disclaimer before you write me off as a friend:

These thoughts are not coming from a standpoint of judgement.  And, I am in no way planni…

1889 - 1917

1889. A BOY on his bike (without training wheels...and Oh, so excited about that)!
1890. Bibs bigger than the baby they are on
1891. Baby baths in kitchen sinks
1892. God's sense of humor...just after I scratched "baby baths in sinks" down onto paper, I was blessed (ALL IS GRACE) with a very large stinky mess to clean out of my sink!
1893. Lego crosses
1894. Boys fighting over kissing Teal (ALL IS GRACE)
1895. Fun, old restored vehicles - and the fact that my eyes are open and searching for gifts...so, I took the time to notice a couple of particularly incredible ones and allow God to bless me through something I have honestly NEVER even noticed before.
1896. Triangle kisses - I kiss Avonlea, Avonlea kisses Cole, Cole kisses me
1897. Cole laughing so hard that he could hardly believe - especially since I was getting him tucked in for nap
1898. All of the times there are tears at nap time, instead of laughter - ALL IS GRACE
1899. Three shades of yellow on one piece of cor…

Losing Bear

On our way back from Florida we lost "bear".  He was Blake's lovey - and he was very, very loved.  Blake got him as a gift when he was a baby - and had snuggled with him every day since.  He lost him on his fifth birthday.  I cried.  I mean really, really cried.  I felt like I wasn't just saying goodbye to bear - but to my little boy.  He is big now.  I mean really, really big.  He is riding his bike, swimming under water and playing baseball (ok, ok Tee Ball).  I begged God to help us find him, to work a miracle, I KNEW God had the power.  We lost him on an airplane - he could be anywhere.  But I begged and begged God to send him back.  One morning, while once again begging God to help us find this precious lost bear I was totally and completely convicted.  I have never once begged God so passionately, so fervently for a lost soul.  I mean I shed some serious tears over this furry little creature and I can't remember shedding a single tear for a truly lost soul.…

1845 - 1888

1845. The fact that there is absolutely, positively NO WAY I can even begin to number the incredibly large amount of blessing He has poured out on me in the past few months...and that the following list is just a teeny, tiny, tip of the iceburg
1846. Friends who encourage me to blog
1847. A dear friend who reminded me how life changing the book One Thousand Gifts was (by asking me about it) and encouraged me to read it again - and the words (well, God working through them) continue to touch my heart and change my days
1848. The verse "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" and the fact that he gave me enough strength (and help) to take four kiddos on an airplane to Florida
1849.  Prayers answered doubly (specifically in regards to our trip).
1850. I asked Him for an extra seat on the plane, He gave me two extra seats.
1851. I asked Him for an extra pair of hands, He blessed me with two extra sets of hands (two of the sweetest ladies in the world)
1852. I aske…

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