Wednesday, March 28, 2012

after you take vitamin c

there are some days that i want to be over. just over. that would be today. and yes, i have made it to 9:25 and the day is over. almost. i'm just waiting for hot water to boil to add to my already used tea bag. hot tea, my favorite beanie (its too nice to even call it a beanie Gus), and my covers. i'm cold.
oh, i'm sick as well.
somehow, i had a super un-fun cold before i left for my trip down to california. you can ask Gus, when she came to see me up here i had zero voice. and somehow, thankfully, for my sunday-tuesday trip my cold was simply the occasional sniffle and cough.
enter today. my chest hurts from coughing. my head aches from blinking- do you even realize how often you blink? its a lot. like a lot. blinking is lame.
but, i am thankful. i am super thankful. because if i complain, i am questioning who God is, and why oh why am i sick.
i am thankful.

245) 4 sweet little faces that came running in my front door this morning.

246) a new friend who came by to help out my dad, he could probably hire himself out as a child jungle gym- cause that's what my kids thought he was. that and a train expert, and a barbie princess dresser, and a ball kicker. and a fellow believer in Christ.

247) favorite mugs with draping tea bags.

248) knowing i am not alone in this, and listening to mumford and sons remind me of that as well.

249) a chocolate milkshake on a "i'm feeling fat day".

250) my dad for bringing me the said chocolate shake and for talking with me.

251) a dad that reschedules work to help out with his sick daughter's kids.

252) two phone calls from one of my favorite women in the world.

253) remembering that He wants me to cast all my cares upon Him. and that sometimes i need to recognize being sick and be still.

254) being still in a lot of chaos.

255) vanilla rooibos.

256) not losing hope, not losing joy, but being honest in saying, its a hard day- but that is what a trial will bring- trials aren't painless- but there is joy, you just have to have it.

257) psalms 116, 117, 118, and 119.

258) proverbs 3, 4, and 5

259) well, really all of God's Word.

260) committing my ways to the Lord, leaning not on my own understanding, trusting in Him, and loving Him.

261) for the simple things the Lord has made, like how you don't ever see one duck, but two: mr. and mrs. mallard.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

love so amazing...

Back in the air. My still favorite song playing in my ears. Proverbs 3:5-6 being repeated and repeated in my mind. a short trip for me, but I will be back, so for those of you I didn't see- I will return!
I feel such peace. I feel like i am truly seeing the truth separates from the lies. I feel like I can stand solid in the Word of God and pull all of my confidence and strength from His truth- not my own understanding- but simply trusting in His loving goodness.
My comfort in Him is being so thoroughly developed: aha- so this is what a trial starts to do!!
I am in it.
This trial that was known before I was formed in my mothers womb- I will not complain- the second i complain I question who God is.
I have tried very purposefully to never ask "why", throughout all of this. There are so things I ask why about- but I never ask God "why did this happen", because I know why. We live in a fallen world, we are a sinful people in need of a Savior. I am a sinful woman in need of my Savior.
I will never be perfect- this is not an excuse or a cop-out: but He is perfect, and I will seek Him, I will seek Him everyday. Somedays i will fail miserably, and somedays I will be of use to my Lord.
I feel like I have been so lost, living in muddled confusion, desperate for the truth, and it was always there- He is the truth.
I finally feel found.
If you know me, you know I can't help my rock out with earbuds in, and I have a problems with air drumming, i have issues with corn in food where it shouldn't be (like outside of being on the cob) and I quote way to many tv shows.
There's a scene on scrubs where JD is told to beware of a tackling Ahltimzers patient. This patient leaps and tackles JD shouting, "who am I?"
Who have I been?
I have been a girl who has not leaned on her Lord and Savior for all of her strength, and that has left me on shakey ground. I have not been the wise man who has built his house upon the rock, but instead on the sand.
Guess what? That gets to stop. Either the Lord is my strength or He isn't. Either I embrace the pain of my trials and count it all joy, or i don't. Either His is my everything, or He isn't.
He is my strength, I have joy, He is my everything.
God uses everything for His glory. And this girl knows that. This girl believes it. This girls trusts it from her head to her toes.
I either live the truth of God's Word and Love Him or I turn away.
And I have seen firsthand what that looks like. No more, never again.
The Lord is the giver of strength, He is my shield, He is my comfort, He is my constant companion, He never leaves me- and i get that. I can see this. I trust this.
This is really happening.
"go on, go on, if you were thinking that the worst was yet to come, why am i the one always packing up my stuff? for once, for once I get the feeling that i am right where i belong, why am the one always packing up my stuff?"
Every single thing in my life brings me back to this;
I am in the Lord's Hands, i am His daughter, I will call Him Lord and i will seek His name. I am RIGHT where He has me.
And all I can do, is wake up each morning, with Proverbs 3:5-6 on my heart, and tell the Lord that i do not know what the day will bring- but I will seek Him with all that I do.
And then do that.
I did not just eat an entire bag of mini Cadbury eggs. I did not.
There are still 4 in the bag.
My thankfulness to the Lord is my heart. It makes my heart swell insanely.
Great is the Lord and worthy of praise.
Be strong and take heart and wait on the Lord.
Joy, peace, love, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, goodness, kindness, self-control.
Cast my fears on Him.
Be strong and very courageous.
The goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Be still and know that He is God.
The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.
Not a sparrow falls.
He feeds the birds of the fields.
He made this day.
He knows the desires of my heart.
He made me.
He loves me.
He is love.
He is my God, my Savior.
The Creator of the Universe who gave His only son to perish on a cross wants me to not only love Him, but He wants to love me, and He wants to bless my life, He wants me to trust and obey that even if I don't understand what is happening, that He is in control and that in all my ways I can acknowledge Him and He will be there on my path.
I called, He answered. He came to my rescue, and I only want to be where He is.
"it's all alright, i guess it's all alright, I've got nothing left inside of my chest: but it's all alright"
Thank you Lord for using everything for Your Glory, I will draw near to you, and You say in Your Word, that you will draw dear to me.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

thoughts from 10,000 feet

Sometimes there are many things that I want to write about.
And sometimes I take a step back and don't say what I want, which I am sure is hard for a lot of you to believe. But believe it, I have been holding my tongue as of late.
There is one thing that I do want to talk about today.
Being thankful to the Lord. Honestly, it is the one thing that consistently gets me back on track. I rest fully and wonderfully in knowing that the Lord loves me, that He will mold me into the woman He wants me to be, and that He wants good for me, not pain. He is the Sovereign King- ruler of all- not a sparrow falls from the sky that He doesn't know about.
Not a sparrow.
Not a moment of my life is out of His Hands.
I am thankful and I have joy. Things have been painful. Things have hurt- but the Creator of the Universe has me in a trial to better me for His use. This is the ultimate training. I have the opportunity to recognize that every single painful word spoke at me, every painful memory, every reminder, is something the Lord will use for my good.
I have an urgency to be still before my Lord, to rest, perched on His shoulders letting Him shield me from the pain. And sometimes the pain still comes- BUT: I have His Word, the truth, the comforts of the Psalms, the wisdom of Proverbs, and lately a newfound appreciation for Isaiah. It is a Living Word- and it is the solid ground that I must stand on, all other ground is sinking sand.
I am so not perfect. And I don't crave perfection for others- I want to please the Lord. And i realize more and more that the only way I can stay calm and rest in Him is to be still and wait for the Lord.
And not speak.
I don't feel muzzled- I simply am finding wisdom in not muddling my words, but simply to stick to the truth and God's Word.
Everything else is sinking ground.
my heart right now is for my children. such a rare opportunity to be one roll right now- mother- and i am thankful to the Lord for this- my children are my great ministry, He has given me these beautiful little crazy creations, and I serve my Lord in the way I love and raise and train them.
And in doing this, the Lord pulls me closer to Him- I need my eyes on Him, my heart focused on the Truth, and to be standing on the solid rock.
This whole situation is honestly harder than I thought possible.
But: what makes me weak shows how strong He is.
because what I will tell you is this- He only is sustaining me, He is giving me strength to face each day: and each day He gives me is one more than I deserve.
He loves me.
I want this experience in my life to be life changing- I want to be stronger in the Word, i want to see every moment as an opportunity to be thankful for the Lord, and I want I count it all joy.
It is all joy. Perserverance in the greatest race ever, this life that is temporary, these moments just that: a moment in time and then: heaven with Him.
Lord, i am so thankful for the truth of your Word and for the freeing truth You have given me.
This morning in church, with my sister-in Christ and best friend at my side, we sang;
"I called, You answered, You came to my rescue, and all i want is to be where you are".
That is my prayer Lord. Sobbing uncontrollably in a bathtub 2 1/2 months ago, seeking Your help, I called and a little more than 24 hours later you answered. YOU came to my rescue. And even though the pain is still burning- You are my comfort, You are my strength, I can rest in Your love and Your mercy.
Lord you are so mercy.
And as this airplane jerks around like a low budget amusement park ride, I fear not with a smile on my face, with my best friend at my side, I know You are in control, always and forever You will rule my life, I will fail and fail again- but Lord my desire is to know You more, to Love you with all my heart, and to serve You.
You give me so much more than I deserve. I will not complain for the trials that produce what You want in me.
Your sovereignty is either my greatest comfort or my worst nightmare.
I am comforted.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

and then there was love.

i have this super vivid memory of my baby sister sitting at my table in grass valley. she had just made me grilled chicken and grilled veggies, and was teaching me to not eat after 7 pm. my little campbell couldn't have been more than 5 months old. her hair was long. my hair was long. she was happy. and content. and i was asking her, as she picked at her grilled chicken, if she was ready to start nursing school. and she just said, "oh, no, steven and i want to have a baby."
campbell turns 6 in just 2 weeks. and Hope is just 5 days old.
talk about waiting on the Lord. talk about:

i am still confident of this: i will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14

5 long years. and in an instant, forgotten. well, not totally forgotten. but you realize, when you see how someone waits, and wait, and waits for what they want- joy. pure joy.
and my sister and steven, they waited. and many, many babies were born. and they waited on the Lord. many heartaches were had. and they waited.
and do you know what they got? sure, Hope.
but HOPE.
they found themselves, and their trust in our Lord. they learned what it meant to put complete trust in our Savior, and that even if He didn't give them the desires of their heart- as quickly as they wanted it- they still would call Him Lord. they still would Love Him.
and. they found each other. two "kids" when they were married. they had years together, waiting on the Lord, and growing together. growing in Him, and growing in love.
i know my sister loves her husband. its pretty evident. because she is my sister, we share a lot.
but, i didn't realize just how much her husband loved her, until i watched him while she was in labor.
and honestly, i have never witnessed a man who loved his wife more. the pain she felt was bore on his face. her contractions were felt by his expressions. her hand was always held. he whispered in her ear, prayed for her, touched her belly, rubbed her back.
and he never left her side.
i am not sure if that man peed in 36 hours.
i know he didn't sleep. and even i stole 2 hours.
it brings tears to my eyes, just thinking about it. the devotion in this man. for someone that i love so dearly. the concern and care that was in his eyes. the never ending support that he gave her.
it was the most beautiful thing i have yet to see in my life.
until that baby was born.
nothing went as planned. but it is the Lord's plan, not ours. it is His timing, not ours. it is His will, and we are His children.
and even when every single thing these two wanted was slowly disappearing from their grasp, steven stood strong in His trust of His Savior, and his devotion to my sweet sister.
and when i would catch his glance during contractions, i just knew. he loved her. he really loved her.
and then that baby.
that beautiful baby. that baby that resembles her daddy. this sweet little Hope that has been waited for, for so many years, was here.
and i have never seen a man cling so tight to a baby. hold a child so completely in his arms.
my sister said that if he was going to hold her, he'd have to do skin to skin. she said it was less than seconds that he had whipped his sweatshirt off and reached out for that baby.
his daughter. her daughter.
i was so privileged to be a part of this. to watch the transition, from desire of a baby, to struggle for a baby, to trusting for a baby. i remember praying with my sister after the first set of shots. i remember when she called me with the news. LEAPING off my couch. shaking with joy.
i was the first person, outside of hospital staff and her sweet parents to hold this beautiful baby.
and i couldn't be more in love.
however. my sister, she loves this baby. she coos with this baby, she snuggles this baby, she texts me constantly about this baby.
and steven. his world is this baby.
and my sister.
i am deep gratitude and praise to my Savior, for staying truthful to His Word. He does give us the desires of our heart. He does.

Monday, March 19, 2012

oh and yes.

i have many different reasons for being absent from this space for so long. i have actually been debating whether or not i would continue to blog. i'm not overly thrilled about some things. some stupid things. and i will not make this blog by subscription only. not because i am on a soap box, but because i want the Lord to be able to use this space, i want to be able to encourage others.
and so, if i have to continue to take a little bit of slack, well, then i will take a little bit of slack. i'm growing thicker skin. i am remembering that the Lord doesn't speak to us out of guilt or shame or hurt or pain, but through the truth of His Word. nobody else's words.
i have had a lot to say. which isn't surprising. i am wordy.
however, a little bit of amazing-ness entered the world this week.
and i have been fairly busy falling in love. in a wonderful way.
but, this post isn't about beautiful Hope Olive Hopper. another one will come. soon.

this post is about what i have been processing for the last week.
i find that when i re-tell my story (which i have done countless times in the last 10 days) i spend a lot of time talking about what happened to me, and what other people did. and that really seems to dwell mostly on the pain and anger and betrayal that was involved.
and i don't want to do that anymore.
my life isn't about what happened to me. it is about what the Lord has done. it is about what the Lord is doing.

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them. i will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good. For he has delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.
Psalm 54: 4-7

i love this verse.
for the last 2 1/2 months, i have been thinking about what the Lord is teaching others involved in this situation, and have thought more about how He is my help, and has delivered me from my troubles.
i really haven't thought about what i lost. because for me, my loss is His gain.
for the last 1-2 years of my life, there has been a lot of pain, and a lot of confusion. and a lot of feeling crazy. so when, i was finally given the truth i had been desiring, i felt relief. relief, shock, pain, hurt... a lot of emotions bundled into one, that unfortunately came out in me as anger.
and now, that i sit back and sort of process through what has happened, what the Lord has done, what He is doing, i do see what i have lost. a life. a life that i had. a life that i didn't plan to go this way. and i realize now, what the Lord will take to grab you and hold you close to Him. i wasn't far from Him. not by any means. but i wasn't where i am now. and i am very content with where i am with Him. i am eager to know Him more, eager to draw closer to Him, and i want His Word written on my heart.
and no, i am not sad about the cost of this. the Lord gives and He takes away. i am not sad, because i asked for this. in my utter despair, i asked for the craziness that was overcrowding my brain to go away.
the Lord wants me. He has a purpose for me. He's got me. and i know that this trial in my life is anything but over. i am only at the beginning of what is to come. and everyone is watching. do i choose to dwell in anger and bitterness- or to i embrace joy through my trial.
joy. i want it, and i know that i have it. i just don't always use it.
its been on my heart a lot today. to be joyful and loving. to have a smile of my face that isn't forced, but is there because the Lord puts it there, because He is my joy, because He is the giver of joy, because He wants my joy to be a reflection of who He is.
the trials that we go through are not meant to destroy us- but to reshape us, to mold us, the Lord uses them to work us into who He wants us to be- for Him.
at church we are going through James. how thankful am i for God's Providence? i have learned:
-the deepest happiness comes from being like Christ- the leading cause of becoming more like Christ is trials- God is allowing me this trial so that i can be changed into the image of Christ- this is what i want! what do i want to learn? if i try to cut this trial short, i cut myself short- because the Lord will use this trial for His glory. and in knowing that, in knowing that currently through every day where things don't feel great, the Lord is using it for His Glory and my good. just like a contraction brings you closer to your baby, this pain brings me closer to Him.
there was a little prayer in our handout:
"Lord I gladly embrace whatever You need to do to make me like Jesus. If it's a trial, please don't remove it until all the benefits You intend are in place in me and in others."
i know with great certainty, with complete trust in the Lord, that He desires a relationship with me, more than anything, He wants my love, and He wants to love me. and that is where i am. i am working everyday on growing in my love for Him, and there is so much more that i have to learn, so much more love to give.
and i know that the Lord has set me on a new path, a path that leads to Him, to eternity, to my future with Him who loves me.
and this path rocks.
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
Acts 17: 26-27
and He is not far from us. and he has determined the times set for us and the exact places where we should live.
our Sovereign God reigns!
and i am thankful to the Lord, and for the Lord.

Friday, March 9, 2012

bad thoughts, good days, and better days

purely random thoughts from a fairly excellent day. i did awaken in the early hours of the morning to a phone call. and no, it wasn't my sister, but i do not even remember hearing the phone ring, or answering the phone for that matter, i just remembered talking. so ashley- i am so ready for a 2 am phone call from you.
bad thoughts. there is a verse in second timothy 1:7 for God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self‑discipline.
self-discipline of my mind. one thing that i can definitely see the Lord doing in me is how i am handling my thoughts. things pop into my mind that utterly frustrate me. things from the past.
memories. truths. not lies. truth. but, things that i cannot change. and i know that when i let myself dwell in the lies of the past, or the many many many unanswered questions, or infuriating feelings of injustice start to flood me.
i just stop. i remember who the Lord is, and just what He has done for me. and not just my current state. but everything.
specifically the cross. His work on the cross. Christs Work.
and i know that i must let it go. when the thoughts that anger or sadden me enter my mind- i know that the Lord does not want me dwelling on these. because it is time and energy that i simple waste.
and i have gotten so much better. but not because of me. because when i get upset i go to His Word.
the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever. isaiah 40: 8
so. that is what i go to. and i set my thoughts above. on the promises of the Lord, on eternity with Him, on beautiful days outside, on the laughter of my baby, on the silly faces of my henry, on the sweet girl i have who happily painted my toes, on my oldest son who rambles off facts about dinosaurs like he's ross from friends.
and heart shapes in foam from a fairly delicious- and nutritious latte.
serena (and derek) would be happy- i had drew mix more whole than nonfat into this.
whole foods. right?

i am still confident of this: i will the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait on the Lord.

229) vanilla chai tea, something hot to drink that keeps me from aimlessly snacking throughout the day.

230) running- not stopping- running for 1 mile, in 12 1/2 minutes. for someone who never runs, i think this is good.

231) nutritious foods. i am fairly digging avocado these days. on everything. i'm debating if it will go in my oatmeal.

232) asking the Lord for self-control in many things. like late night eating. and the chinese food my parents brought home at 9:30 pm. who does that?

233) scratch avocado in my oatmeal for breakfast- see number 232,

234) a little bit of lace and a little bit of glitter. the small things that make me feel like a woman.

235) four smiling faces that make me still feel like a kid.

236) four smiling faces that push me with great force into the arms of my Savior.

237) a soft chair that has a bit of bounce to it. i'm a bouncing to fun right now.

238) the weekend. my brother should be here tomorrow. that punk. he better be here tomorrow. he is getting a very long hug.

239) top food grocery store. and mixing things up a bit in my day to day routine.

240) green finger nail polish.

241) salsa verde.

242) henry's nervous little face as i make my lunch, and his "no thanks mama, no thanks mama".

243) for accepting who i am. i don't feel like i am "back" to my old self. instead i find myself becoming the woman the Lord wants me to be.

244) the pain that is involved as the Lord molds us.

245) growth in obscure places.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


i have spent this week taking my kids one at a time into my coffee shop. i've created friends there over the last 2 months, and i was ready to introduce them to the real part of my life. not just the gal who sits with headphones, and laughs at stupid things, and drinks way to much coffee.
so far i've taken 3 in, and i'm hoping to take henry sometime tomorrow. wilder and i went in for just a few minutes today. my littlest boy stayed in my arms, rested his tired head on my chest, and got mad as all heck when i wouldn't give him a drink of my latte.
i surprised the boys, i drink americanos, but today i wanted a latte, and was convinced to get 1 % not non fat, so i could get some foam art.
simple joys.
it may seem really insignificant, but this little coffee shop has made a big difference in my life. i have somewhere fun and safe to go, where i feel accepted, and where i know people genuinely care about me. so after wilder and i left, i went home and whipped up another batch of my oatmeal cookies (this recipe i do not share, and i actually love watching people eat one for the first time- eyes widen and mouths turn up). i usually spend an hour or so at my coffee shop when the older kids are at awanas. its my special alone time, in the middle of a week.
i wrote a card to all the staff. because i have met almost everyone. all the boys, all the girls. i told them how i literally wandered off the street, broken, and sat in the corner and sobbed. and it wasn't till i left that i realized that it was a Jesus loving coffee shop. and how that each one of them had been such a huge blessing to me, how when my life has been in such despair, i had this safe place to go where i was accepted and had people who knew my name. and that i was so deeply thankful to the Lord for all of them.
i took my cookies and card in. i also wanted to talk to a couple of the boys, and make sure that they knew that i didn't come in as regularly as i did, because i was "trolling for tail". i don't want to give off the wrong impression. i adore these boys. and the girls. they all know my name, they all talk to me- i talk to them. but they know i am going through a rough time- and i just don't want my friendly, "i'm the hulk, i'm the hulk, i'm the hulk" jokester attitude to come across as anything other than: joy. joy in the Lord, joy in them for how He is using them in my life.
it happened that several of my favorites were in that night.
plus, the owner stopped by. someone gave him my card, he instantly came out and talked to me for a good 15 minutes. with a cookie in hand. he was so thankful for my card, and to see that the business he wanted to run for the Lord was doing what He was asking the Lord for it to do.
and it is.
it was a wonderful night. i had 3 cups of coffee in an hour. i laughed with my favorites. i watched people i care about eat something amazing i make.
and i felt blessed by the Lord. i left a wonderful body of friends and loved ones. and i have not been left alone. i have built in friends already (my jill, my kristine) and i have a family that loves me, and i have a place that is mine- where i can be me.
where i can be who He is molding me to be.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


mt. rainer. some mornings i step outside my parents house and am greeted with this. huge, magnificent. solid. some mornings i can't see anything. just a little cloud coverage. when its clear here and i drive around this mountain just seems to pop out of nowhere, and the total awe i get from seeing has not stopped knocking my socks off.
and i grew up at the base of it.
oh, what we don't appreciate in our youth. or really, what we don't truly appreciate until our eyes are fixed solidly on the Lord.

when i saw this mountain today, as i drove my sweet overdue sister my famous oatmeal cookies (at which she accepted, looked at, and said, "this is all? this is a snack". i won't reveal how many she was given. or how many i ate.) i realized how surprised it makes me to see it. i never forget its there. i know it is there. even if i can't see it. even if i don't think about that i can or can't see it- its there.
but when it is in full view and in its glory it just stops me in my tracks.
and it made me think of the Lord. i never forget He is there, I know He is always present, and some days when i draw very near to Him, He is very near to me. other days, i know He is there, but i don't see Him as clearly, i don't know what He is doing, what is working out in me.
and then- there He is, just like the mountain on a clear day. and He takes my breath away with His Faithfulness and Love for me. His mercies every day.
i know He has me on a path. and that ultimately His path leads me to eternity. i keep looking up. i may not always know the route of His path, or how long it will take, or what will happen- but on clear days i can see Him, and i can rest in knowing that His plan is still there- HE is still there. and just like a mountain, He is strong and solid, and He is not going anywhere.
if it is another beautiful day tomorrow, perhaps i will actually take a camera and try to get some better pictures.
or perhaps i will eat cookies and sing with my kids.
or maybe a new baby will be born.
or maybe the Lord will bring a new challenge into my life.
whatever happens tomorrow: He is center of my life. i can rest in Him, i can trust in Him.
and i do.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

i didn't realize i was a single mom.

and then i realized i was. part of the team is gone. and that is an adjustment. and this post is about what makes that adjustment so manageable. manageable to the point that half of the time it feels like i am on vacation.
my family.
let me break down life here for you. i am really only doing all full time mom duties tuesdays through thursdays. and by full time i mean from about 8 am till roughly 3 pm.
my dad has friday's through monday's off. and if you know my dad, you know he moves around a lot. in fact, i am kind of surprised that i have been here for 2 months and my bedroom hasn't been rearranged... i'll have to talk to him about that. that was- without a doubt- one of my most favorite things about being a child, i would come home one day and my bedroom would be completely rearranged. i LOVED it. even know, at 55 years, my dad is still moving furniture around. and i still love it. it was a little habit i picked up over the last 10 years, constantly rearranging something to find a better way. i wonder why he wasn't rearranged my room... maybe its because he asked me kindly to please just clean my bed (glorified acting junk drawer) off so he could make my bed.
sheepish grin.
so my dad is home. and he is very engaged with the kids. although i do need to give him a couple of sleep in days. henry sleeps adjacent to my parents room and he wakes up at 5:15.
i don't. in fact, i have been here since january 14th? (serena?) and i haven't been woken up once.
i mentioned that i was spoiled right? don't feel to sorry for me, single mom of 4. no, don't feel sorry- be thankful with me! my parents have allowed me and the kids to completely uproot their lives. and i think they love it. even my brother eric. because henry loves to yell out eric's name.
plus my mom. she is here. all day. for me. i've watched her spend hours talking to my children. she'll drop anything to help me out. she makes the best dinners. she has great ideas for getting me and the kids on a good schedule. and she has basically sacrificed being a mom to 1 son at home, to know having 2 children at home, plus 4 slightly hyped up little ones.
it is in these moments that i am realizing that having 4 children in 4 years was... um... insert your own adjective here.
today was long. i overslept more than i wanted. and we all loaded up to go to bible study. it was adventurous just getting out the door- melt downs, falling spills, locating all our items. and we left for bible study (a 15 minute drive) at 9:27.
oh, bible study starts at 9:30. did i forget to mention that? but i wasn't deterred! i wanted to be there. even though i knew i wouldn't get to participate, these days i am trying to teach wilder how to go into the nursery. its a challenge. but i wanted to be around a group of women. i wanted that. and i wasn't going to let little hang-ups that usually hung me up stop me from going out alone with 4 children.
so we hit the road, sang our songs- henry always asks me to sing, mason knows the words now, and we drove.
and when we got there, i turned around to see that wilder had thrown up.
but i was joyful. i had tried. i had given my best attempt. and you know what, it just didn't work out this time. i am slowly catching on to that i need to be joyful regardless of the outcome.
i cleaned my baby up, and we headed home.
by 5 pm, with no one excited about my dinner (which was awesome by the way) i was at that moment of... where is my BACK UP? my mom who hasn't been feeling well, came into help me, another adult at dinner. and my little brother took everyone outside to play. and then i plopped up on the kitchen counter and power ate york peppermint patties.
they are 70% lower in fat.
and delicious.
and i was thankful for the support. for the help. for someone to grab the kids and go enjoy them when i just need a moment to recharge. to clean the kitchen, to gear myself for the rest of the night.
and the rest of the night was long- baths and books, prayers and lots of talking.
it was long, but it was good.
and i realized. i couldn't be doing this without all the loving support i am getting. my friends- who are always available. my phone is constantly blowing up with people checking on me, praying for me, wanting to be there for me.
and my family. it is strange to be 30 years old and back home. and what's more, another brother comes home soon. it will be a full house. but it will be awesome.
in this moment, i am very happy. its 8:21, there is still so much more night to have. my dad comes home soon, i've got my music, and the occasional night time snacking (why can't i stop eating late at night??) and the knowing that tomorrow may be long- but there is so much to be thankful for. i have 4 beautiful children, who, as i am lovingly reminded:
are just kids.

Monday, March 5, 2012

i know i could be more clever

and i know i could be more strong.

pretty much most of the first lines of my posts come from whatever is currently blaring in my ears. yes. i said blaring. yes, vera- i'm trying to quit. and yes, occasionally my ears ring... when it's fairly quiet. this is all future mary's problem. i'll let her take care of it.
i've been listening to fun. a lot. i'm not exactly off listening to my worship music, i just choose to hear what i want to hear in all music. i'm sorry if nate ruess isn't exactly writing worship music- but you know what, its about what is in my heart when i listen to it. and i know my heart.
i am so excited with this album, and so excited to go and see them live in just a few short months. this band is about to hit it: big time. so, i'd like to take 3 seconds here to point out that i have been following nate ruess for 8 years. okay, i am not just jumping on the bandwagon of a glee covered band. nope. look at my itunes- it can tell you how many times i have listened to the format and fun.
but when one of your favorites starts to make it big, and you have seen them in small clubs, and love their music. well, its pretty dang exciting.
thank the Lord for looking young, cause i will probably be as close to the front of that stage as possible. and i will probably jump up and down. and i will probably try to get on stage.
and i will embarrass the pants off my brothers and their girlfriends.
i'm a 5th wheel.
but that's ok. i've got joy. i've got Him. He's got me. i've got simple little pleasures every day.
like today. i took my big boy out on a date. sure i kissed him, and he wiped it off. but i won't dwell on that. i'll remember how big he was, how polite and kind. how when i took him to the coffee place and introduced him to my buddy derek, he shook derek's hand and this was their conversation:
c: oh hi, i'm campbell, i am my mom's oldest son, what is your name.
d: hi campbell, i'm derek.
c: oh, you know, in thomas' the trains misty island adventure there is a diesel named derek, i have him at home.

then later, after campbell had his hot chocolate, he stands up at the bar and says, "derek, this hot chocolate is very delicious, thank you for making it."

when did my baby turn into such a boy? such a joy in my life, as we get to sit and talk and spend special one on one time together. its been quite awhile since it was just the two of us.
and i'm thankful.

214) for my dad, he's watching bambi with my big kids, and he watched three of them so i was able to get some one on one time with campbell.

215) more thankfulness for my dad- he makes my coffee in the morning. and he texts me to tell me its ready. its fairly awesome.

216) did i mention he makes my bed? yes, i am spoiled.

217) starting the day with dark clouds and rain and driving home this afternoon to beautiful blue skies and the sun shinning.

218) for driving such an awesome vehicle that when you go run errands with your son for an hour and come back to your parking spot and find the side door wide open you finally realize, no one wants this thing.

219) thankful no one realizes how stinkin' expensive car seats are.

220) serena. yesterday i was all up in my head, and she sent me scripture and than kicked my butt outside to run and listen to my music. this advice was taken, and would have come better before the 1/2 donut i had eaten.

221) sore thighs. i didn't realize that i had muscle there that could be sore. this pleases me. because it reminds me of the Lord, and what He is doing in me, my heart, my life, my usefulness to Him- He is working me in areas i didn't know that i had.

222) pretty pink fingernails.

223) playing beauty shop with my girl, telling her no, she couldn't paint mine, and then realizing, i should have just let her paint mine, cause i'm going to have to tell people that i didn't do this shabby job.

224) the sweet smell of corn bread, and the great memories of my dear friend kecia.

225) iMessage: how wonderful it is to be able to stay in touch with the gals i love.

226) the amazing race. i'm sorry, but i am thankful that my favorite show comes on at a time when i need it.

227) church yesterday, arriving late, sitting in the front row, and having the pastor say "some of you have arrived with big trials today" really? am i that transparent? terrific.

228) tortilla soup. and the memories of monday nights. and couples that i dearly love. and miss.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

in tears by 6:30

i have this private space in the world where i keep little notes to the bff. a little corner of the internet that we have long neglected.
and this morning, as i wake up way earlier than i want too, and prepare for my day, with music already blaring in my ears, and coffee not yet in my system, i find a little note that i wrote- almost 4 years ago- to the bff, for my sister.
and i sit here, with hot tears pouring down my cheeks, at the true Faithfulness of God, knowing that He doesn't leave us, He doesn't forsake us, and that His love for us is there.
and it all happens in His time.

from June of 2009:

to the bff:
I did devotions for the first time today. After i cleaned up from our fun (which only takes a few minutes when the children are contained!) and all i really wanted to do was either sit down and watch tv, or smock my dress.
but i knew better, i want to be an example to my children (even if they don't see me doing it, my heart reaps the benefits and that is the example)
and it was very worth it.
after my devotions, i felt (and i really feel strange saying this) that the Spirit was really moving me to write to my sister,

I wrote her this:

so i finally got down today to trying to find some time for devotions. something i have been neglecting for awhile. i started reading, Having Mary Heart in a Martha World.
basically meaning, going to worship the Lord, instead of letting yourself be overcome with work.
The author talks about the 3 deadly D's:
Satan distracts us so we take our eyes of the Lord, being distracted leads to being discouraged, which then leads us to doubting who God is.
something she talked about in the second chapter made me really think of you, she said that women really want itineraries from God- we want to now when things are going to happen, what the plan is, and we get frustrated when He doesn't give that to us.
but God only wants this: we need to trust Him.
So hard.
but if we can remember:
He has our ultimate good in mind.
He love us- how much love you want to give to your future children- He has that for you, but in spades. More than you can imagine. He feels your pain- and he wants to own it. He wants to take your pain, so that He can wrap HIS arms around you and allow you to feel warm.
You said that Steven wants this year, to see that God can create a miracle.
He may choose to do that, He may not.
But He will do something, and the miracle may not be what you expect.
Can you open your heart, and say, "yes Steven and yes Lord- I can trust, I can believe, I can hope" and know that whatever happens, the Lord is going to give to you everything you desire?
and what if a year goes by, and that trust doesn't lead to a baby? you will have spent a year, learning to trust and obey, both your husband and Your Creator and Savior.
And whatever happens- He has your ultimate good in mind. He will NOT leave you empty. But He will fill you up, with His love.
Can you say yes Lord?
Remember this song?
I'm trading my sorrow
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

And we say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen
I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I'm blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
And his joy's gonna be my strength

Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning

let that be your song, and your prayer. Before you are anything, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and someday a mother- you are a daughter of God, and His promise will endure.
you are not living for today- but for eternity. where you will sit at His feet and worship. Where when you get goosebumps on your arms from feeling worship music- it is going to be like that, only magnified, like Christmas morning at Disneyland without any lines with Hillsong singing worship for ever, and with Jesus reigning King.
That is what you have to look forward to. A forever like that.
I am praying for you, I am praying that you can hand your burdens to the Lord- He will gladly take them.
I love you.

And i am not sure why at 6:38 am on a saturday morning i am sitting, crying. i am not sad. i see the faithfulness of the Lord. and i am reminded of my own words to my sister nearly 4 years ago, and how these words are still applicable, now to me. God wants us to trust Him.
written hope from 4 years ago, and new Hope which is arriving any day.
my hope rests in Him.

i am still confident of this: i will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14

some nights.

"some nights i stay up cashing in my bad luck.... some nights i call it a draw"
and some nights, the Lord shows me more of who He wants me to be.
i have not be intentionally quiet these last few days. i was suffering from a bit of a stomach bug, that even today still doesn't feel quite right. however, i'm not complaining. it hasn't kept me down. and the Lord uses everything. everything.
i tend to stay up in my brain a lot. i tend to act and then dread what i've done. i told my sister i don't think i am an "over thinker" and she rolled her eyes. and then i realized what i do- i don't think things through first but after i choose a course or do something than i over think what i've done. and i tend to drive a lot of people crazy in the process.
mom, dad, ashley, serena: i am sorry.
i have this nagging desire to see everything in my life play out right now. i am not the most patient person in the world, and apparently it was evident from a young age (so says my dad).
patience is the first characteristic described about love in 1 corinthinans 13.
love is patient.
God is patient in His love to us.
God is love, so God is patient.
i am not patient. it is a fruit of the spirit. i can be patient. i need to be patient. not only because God asks me to patient, but because He desires me to patient because He wants what is best for me. He wants my good. and He knows that my patience will mold me into who He wants me to be. and through patience, amazing things will happen:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:1-5
i have been guilty these days of lacking in trusting the Lord- even though i know i trust Him, and i want to trust Him- i have been failing in how i trust Him. and what i need to do. i need to trust in Him. and that means, being less in my mind. less over-thinking. instead, staying rooted in His Truth, and trusting Him with everything, and knowing that even if one little thing doesn't turn out the way i think it should or will, i am still standing strong in trusting Him.

i am still confident of this: i will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of living.
wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14

this is my verse. this is me. i am confident- i trust- i will see the goodness of the Lord, i will wait for the Lord- i will be strong- i take heart- i will wait for the Lord.

that means, this girl must get out of her head. she must stop trying to figure everything out. she must wait for the Lord. she must cling to her confidence, she must be strong and take heart.
and why? because patience is a good thing. because i must count it all joy. because He wants me to have joy in my trials, and trust in His time, and that He will mold me into the woman He wants me to be in Him.
and there is something i know about myself, that i have known for awhile. i am an encourager. i can say this with complete confidence- because i know when i am encouraging someone, i feel different. i don't feel like myself. and feelings are fleeting. i am encouraging, because the Lord is doing something.
and all i really want is to be used by the Lord. i want to serve the Lord.

and when i allow my brain to dwell on things instead of trusting the Lord, i am taking myself away from the things He would be using me to do. yes- something life-changing (to put it mildly) has happened in my life, but He has given me joy, He is providing for all of my needs, His Grace is enough, and His blessings pour into this silly girl abundantly.
so: now it is time to get out of the pain, and into Him. and what He wants me to do.
1) devote myself to the ministry of motherhood; love and teach and cherish and train my beautiful children.
2) grow in Him.
3) encourage. be an encouragement, and be willing and able to encourage.
and you know what- if i am no good for the Lord, if i am not trusting Him, if i am not confident in Him, than how can i be any good for Him? He's standing next to me, saying, "hey, this situation might be a bit complicated, how about i take care of things, and could you just let Me use you, and love you, and will you the love the Lord your God, and Love others?"
i'd be happy to.
but? let me dwell and put my brain through misery?
nope. someone slap some sense into me.
not literally... i bruise like a peach (never hit a woman... ross bruises like a peach)
but oh my goodness, i don't want to dwell in my brain- i want to LIVE in the Lord. i want to soak up His Truth, and i want to be USED for HIS GLORY.

"i guess its all alright, i've got nothing left inside of my chest, but it's all alright"

~ both quotes at the beginning and the end, were the first and last song i heard as i wrote this. seriously, i'm not making this up. this is the truth.

i am praying that i seek Him only, and not let myself dwell in confusion, but embrace His loving mercies, embrace the goodness in the land of the living, and that i draw near to Him so that He will draw near to me, and that i can be molded into a better woman for Him and be a blessing and a light of Him to all around me.

He is so good to me.