Friday, November 18, 2011

"Preferring one another in love doesn't always mean you will be preferred in return. But there is a precious joy that flows out of that obedience, knowing that God keeps His promises."

(borrowed from a friend on Facebook)





Thursday, November 17, 2011

God's Knows

  I know I keep slipping in and out of blogging...my heart is dying to get back to it, but the time to blog consistently is just not there right now.


However, I needed to pop in and say that I am always amazed, humbled and completely blessed when God brings people to mind and directs us to pray for them.  We may not know the how's or why's, but He does.  


Today a friend sent me a message on Facebook just letting me know that while she was brewing some pumpkin spice coffee God brought me to her mind and impressed upon her to pray for me.  This is what she said, "Decided to make some pumpkin spice coffee this afternoon, and prayed for you while it brewed.  Not sure what for, but just that you'd feel God's love and peace today.  Funny how He speaks to us.  Xox."


She had no idea that later on this afternoon I would be attending calling hours for a coworker that passed away suddenly.  He was only 30.


She had no idea, but God did.


Isn't that amazing?  What a mighty and awesome God we serve.  I am so thankful for a loving God and faithful friends.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Remembering

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.


Today I am remembering the two babies we lost in June (due December 16, 2009) and September (due May 26, 2010) of 2009.  I don't think I've ever felt pain that deep or devastating before.  Losing a child, no matter how tiny, is the most painful experience I've ever had to endure.


To this day I will still cry if I talk about the babies for any length of time.  Most of the time I just quickly mention it and move on because I know the tears are right around the corner.  Somehow that just feels wrong though.  As if I'm not honoring their amazing life.  I think I breeze over it because I know that crying makes other people uncomfortable.  They don't know what to do or they think they have to say something understanding or witty.


You really don't have to say anything.  Just a hug or an "I'm praying for you" or a thoughtful gesture is perfect.  Nothing forced.  You really don't need to find the right words.  Sometimes there are none.


If you do feel the need to say something please don't say, "I understand."  Unless, of course, you've been or are experiencing the loss of a child.  If you haven't then you really don't understand the pain and sadness.  You can imagine what you would feel like, but that's not the same.


Someone in my life would always say, "I completely understand."  "I know what you're feeling."  All I wanted to do was scream, "NO!  No you do NOT understand or know what I'm feeling!  You've never lost a child!"


Of course, I didn't.  I just nodded and moved on.  What good does it do if I get mad at them?  The comment may be meant as a comfort, but they are not thinking of the person, they are thinking about what they think sounds right to say.


So, today, if you speak with someone who has lost a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth, just born, infant, toddler, child, teen, adult etc please just give them a hug, ask them how you can pray for them or just provide a silent, loving gesture showing them you support them and care about them.


That is the best thing you could do for them.  Oh, and let them talk and cry if need be.  Sometimes that's the best type of support you can offer.  A shoulder.


To my two little babies in heaven:
I loved and cherished you from the moment I knew you were growing inside me.  I was so excited reading the "pregnant" test and I quickly counted the days on the calendar so I knew when I would hold you in my arms.  God brought you home soon after though and now you are resting in His arms, in His presence.  I love you both and still mourn our loss of you both.  God has bigger plans though and I don't question Him at all.  He has since blessed us with your sister, Claire.  You would absolutely love her.  I can't wait for the day when I will finally get to see you, my babies!  I love you both with all my heart, your mama.






Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Humility

Encouragement for today:


Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.
-- Andrew Murray





Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Grunt Fish, Moldy Cheese & Sin

It was just the girls in the living room this morning.  Me, Afton and Claire.  I handed Afton the new issue of Creation Magazine because she saw a very pretty, bright and colorful picture on the front. 


As she was flipping through she came to a section talking about how butterfly fish clean the parasites out of the grunt fish's mouth.


Butterfly fish

Grunt fish
  


This led us to talk about sin in our lives and how we need Christ to clean up the sin in our lives.  


To illustrate this in a way Afton would understand I explained how mold "infects" soft cheese and it spreads throughout the cheese.


  


Once it's in the middle the whole cheese has to be thrown away.  I explained how we need Jesus to "clean us" from the inside out and then how we need to be "protected" by reading our Bible and praying.  Just like the plastic wrap protects the cheese.  We need to make sure we don't expose ourselves to mold (aka: sin).


In a nutshell we had a great conversation that Afton completely understood!  


That was homeschooling at it's best!!!!  


Ever day life, a simple magazine article and a few quiet, uninterrupted minutes to talk about the things that really matter.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Extract



Do you see the lovely jars sitting in my cupboard?  Me too!  I love looking at them, admiring them and shaking them.  Yes, shaking.


In 6 months I'm also gonna love opening them up and using what's inside.  Yum!


It's so easy too.


All you need are:

  • Vanilla beans (Which I purchased from Ebay.  I was able to get 1lb for $29.99 which is a great price and they sent 1/4 lb free!)
  • Cheap vodka
  • Jars
  1. You will need 3 beans per 1 cup of vodka.
  2. Cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise while still leaving it attached at the top.
  3. Put them into the jar & add the appropriate amount of vodka.
  4. Seal and store in a cool, dry place.
  5. Don't forget to shake it once a week.
In 6 months you will have homemade vanilla extract which you can use to your little hearts content.

Just remember your homemade extract will be slightly stronger than what you are used to purchasing at the store so use a little less.

Oh, and if you get this started sooner rather than later you will have a wonderful, homemade Christmas gift to give to the bakers in your life!

Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Day You Will Remember

"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles." Proverbs 24:17


I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, 
not even an enemy. 
~unknown~


Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: 
only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. 
Martin Luther King Jr.

I listened and watched with mixed emotions as the local news proclaimed Osama Bin Laden was dead.  
I think I mostly sat there feeling slightly shocked.  It's been almost 10 years in the making and
now that it's finally happened it feels unreal.

I can see why people would be celebrating in the streets, but I'll be honest...I felt very mixed emotions.  While I am happy his live influence will never again pollute our life I do know his teachings will live on.

I also felt a sense of sadness.  Sadness over the amount of rejoicing over the death of human beings.  He was an evil human being, but to be joyful over his death?  I can't feel good about that.  

God does not wish that anyone perish, but that all would come to Him.  He gives us each a choice though.  We can choose to follow him (even as we take our last breath) or we can choose to think we have it all figured out and that we'll get to heaven on our own deeds.

The verse, the first quote and the MLK Jr. quote sum up my feelings perfectly.

I just wanted to put that out there.  It's been on my mind all day and I wanted to make sure I would remember what I was thinking this very day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My "5 Months After the New Year" Resolution


I believe 100% that you do not have to wait until the start of a new year to make a resolution.  Or Monday.  Or your next birthday.  Or Lent.


So, starting tomorrow I am on a sugar fast.


I will allow myself to have only the sugar I put in my coffee & oatmeal.  That's it.  No cookies.  No discounted Easter candy that only comes out once a year.  No delicious, homemade baked yumminess.  Nope.


As a sign of my commitment I gave Mike my tin of Cadbury Mini Eggs and Hershey chocolate eggs and told him to hide them.  That way I won't be tempted to dig in on "one of those days".  I'm the type of person that has to go cold turkey.  I can't have one foot in and one foot out.


So, here goes nothin'.  Well, something, actually.  And it better be some loss of poundage and newfound energy 'cause this baby belly has GOT to go!


Feel free to join in if you want to.  I could use all the support I can get.  It helps keep me accountable!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Leaving My Burden at the Foot of the Cross

There are people in this life who will criticize your decisions.  They will tell you you could be doing something different.  That you should make better choices.  They will imply that your decision was the wrong one and to change it.


No matter what other people say just remember that the only one you need to please is God.  If you are making the wisest decisions possible and your spouse is 100% supportive than you have nothing to worry about.


The decisions may not be the easiest or most comfortable (physically, emotionally or spiritually), but sometimes they are necessary because that's what it takes to raise your children, tend to your family and serve others.


Some will not understand that and may ridicule you for it.  Especially if it cramps their style.  It is coming from a very selfish place in their heart.  


Your obligation is to love your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.  Second is to love your neighbor as yourself.  That does not mean doing what they think is right.


With that said I will leave my burden at the foot of the cross, commit my actions to God through prayer, pray for a good attitude and continue doing what He has called me to do.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My "gloomy" Monday

It's Monday morning, about 10:45.  Claire fell asleep on my chest and is making smacking noises with her lips and gently snoring.


I can hear the dryer running.  A button is clinking the inside of the dryer.


Afton and Caleb are playing Legos in the living room.  I can hear the Legos being moved around.


It's grey and damp outside and some would look at this as a gloomy Monday.  However, inside my house the sun is shining.  We are warm, kids are playing peacefully and I have a beautiful baby girl asleep on my chest.


As I listen to her sleepy baby noises I couldn't be more thankful for this "gloomy Monday.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Joy In Motherhood

I have found a new joy in becoming a mother for the 3rd time.

One could argue that it's age & wisdom. Others could say it's because I know what I'm doing now. I can tell you one thing...it's definitely not because it's easier. Going from two to three children has been the biggest adjustment of my life. Things take longer. More people need me. Work load is increased and I still have all the “normal” things that need to be done.

So, while age, wisdom and knowledge may be true I think it's something deeper. Something only God can give to a mom. It's a joy that only comes from Him. Knowing this is what I was created to do is so comforting. I am exactly where God wants me to be right now.

Even through many sleepless nights and crazy days I still look at Claire when she is nursing and am filled with a love that I can't describe.

I look at my other two children, Afton and Caleb, and feel so blessed that God would see fit to make me their mama.

So when things get tough and I get tired...when I feel so exhausted and discouraged...I try to remember that “this too shall pass” and I should enjoy every kid filled moment while I can. They will soon be grown and gone and I will wish for these moments again.

My house may be covered with kid items, but I will treasure it while I have it because soon enough my house will be empty and spotless. It is then I will be wishing for another load of laundry to do, more homemade pictures on the wall and endless amounts of toys to step over.

Psalm 127:3 (NASB) "Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

True Confessions - Mommy Style

(I'm trying to come back slowly...I really am...I make no promises though!)


Only three confessions today:


  • The other night Claire spit up all over one of my shoulders. I was so tired I just wiped my shirt off with a towel and went to bed.  It dried.
  • Last night Mike taught the kids how to play Halo on Xbox. They are having a blast shooting things.  (Even though I normally don't condone shooting!)
  • Last night I danced with Claire to The Doors “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)” - she loved it!  (I don't condone drinking with children :)  The song has a nifty sound though...very dance-able!)
That's all I can come up with right now.