Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Friendly Reminder

It has been a while since I have posted. Life has just been carrying on. But I felt led to share something with my small corner of the world wide web. The last two weeks I have been struggling with pretty painful back pain. Some days I had to crawl around. Others I thought I was getting better. It can be a pretty defeating feeling at times. You start to believe that you are never going to get better. But God gave me this little, I don't know what you would call it, maybe manifesto? Anyway, maybe it will bless you…

I believe God is good.
Even when my back hurts and there is no relief in sight.
I believe God loves me.
That I am His precious daughter.
I believe that He is with me, even when I feel alone.
I believe my tears are precious to Him and that He saves them.
I believe I am the apple of His eye. I believe that He has the power to heal.
I believe that He could heal me right now, but even if He doesn't, I believe He is good.
He is healer.
He is faithful.
I will choose thankfulness.
I choose trusting Him.
He is kind.
He is generous.
He is patient.
He is loving.
He is faithful.
He is gentle.
He is long-suffering.
He is FOR me.
Even when my feelings and my body say differently, I know in my heart, these are TRUE.

Some of my most sacred moments have been when I was in the worst pain. And as I slowly start to get better, I don't want to forget that. And sometimes you have to say these truths out loud to really believe them in your heart.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bitter or Better

So it's 1 in the morning. Since becoming a mother, most of my nights end around 10, maybe 10:30 if I am feeling a little dangerous. But I've been awake since midnight and the Lord and I have been talking. And I had the feeling He wanted me to write, so here I am. Perhaps these late night thoughts will speak to someone….

This past week has been tough. Having five children down with the flu is not for the faint hearted. And don't let me fool you that I am tough. I have been beyond weak during this ordeal, and it ain't over yet. But tonight after dinner, I was lying on the couch, disappointment and frustration eating away at me. Silently in my head, I started naming all the injustices and inconveniences that I felt I was given this week. I will spare you that one, but a small voice whispered to me, "But what are you thankful for?"

And I felt quite convicted. Because I am a gift lister. I have a little notebook that I write down things that I notice during my days that I am thankful for. Do you think I touched it this week? Noooooo. "But Lord, if only I could cough this junk up and out and breathe deeply, I'd be able to be more thankful."

"In all things, give thanks."

"Oh, right. I am sorry. I will try."

"Right now?"

"I am thankful that even though we are under the weather now, it won't last forever. I am thankful for eyes that can still see beautiful sunsets. For a husband who even though he is sick, is still out working and providing for us. For friends who call or text to see how we are doing. For children who are playing and trying to get along even though they don't feel well. For little girls that want to cuddle and a little boy who will walk through a room and tell me he loves me."

"Feeling better?"

"Yes, Lord. Please forgive me. I forgot."

I forgot that when we close our hand to God, we think we are protecting ourselves and what is "ours", but we are only closing ourselves off from receiving His gifts. Sometimes they don't feel like gifts, sometimes we feel like we are on the punching block, but there is always something to be thankful for. Look for it. It's there. You might not see it that day, but a week from now, a month, it could take years. There are things I have experienced in life that have taken years for me to see the gift.

I want to live life openhanded. Not just so I can receive and receive from the Lord, and believe me, I do want to receive good things from the Lord. But I also want to give back to the Lord. Give back myself, and allow Him to mold me and change me, to draw me closer to Himself. To take my eyes off myself and what I feel I am owed or deserved.

We have an amazing example in Christ. On the night he was betrayed, he broke bread and gave thanks. The night before he was to go through the most agonizing pain ever experienced to man, He gave thanks. And there are many other times throughout Scripture where it is mentioned Jesus gave thanks. That isn't in there just to sound amazing. It's there to teach us an important truth. Even in the midst of intense battle and heartache, we are to give thanks. God is there.

I just want to encourage you today, friend, that God is there. Always there. But we must live open handed. Giving and receiving, and always, in everything, giving thanks.

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." I Thessalonians 5:18

Thursday, January 15, 2015

This past week the flu came to visit our family. And unfortunately, the flu doesn't know or care that it has overextended its stay. Alaina started on Saturday, by Sunday it had infected Larissa, Charlotte and Landon. By Monday it was Anne and my turn. Tuesday evening it was Nate's. And we are still suffering from the repercussions.  This picture of my son is basically how we spent Monday and Tuesday. 

A few months ago I had shared that I would be running in a 10k in January. I had started a fundraising page on Compassion International to raise money for children. Unfortunately, because of the flu and that the race is this Sunday and I still have congestion and coughing up my lungs, I have decided to not run. Not to mention that my son has started running a fever AGAIN tonight. Sometimes being a grown up  isn't a whole lot of fun. Like right now. But there are lots of other races and I will just do another one. Maybe spring or early summer would be better, when I am not apt to be sick. We haven't had the flu since our oldest was 18 months old. So none of our children have ever experienced the aches and chills and listlessness that accompanies it. It's actually been kind of funny to hear how they describe how they feel. Alaina kept saying that her body felt so heavy. And we'd kind of smile and say, you mean achy. That's what achy feels like. But recovering is a slow process and so we are taking it easy and not going out or doing anything until after the weekend.

I just wanted to let you all know, just in case you were wondering. Thanks for your support and encouragement.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I think I have a problem with social media. Well, not all social media. Just Facebook. And honestly, I don't "think" I have a problem, I know I do. Three weeks away, I kind of got out of the habit of checking email, Facebook, and reading blogs. And I thought that once I returned home, I would not go back to some of those addicting behaviors. Wrong!!!! After about a week home, I noticed I had slipped back into some bad habits. You know, Instagram, Pinterest, they don't suck me in like Facebook. I can literally space out on Facebook, completely become oblivious to what's going on around me. I found myself even getting on while on the phone. And if I posted a picture or a status update? I was constantly checking to see if anyone liked it or commented. The Lord very kindly showed me that I was seeking approval and affirmation through this form of social media and it needed to stop. So I deactivated myself Friday night, the 31st. Today is day 2 of my detox. I deleted it off my phone, my computer's opening page….just realized I need to delete it off our iPad, but I don't use that very often. It's almost a relief. For right now. I am sure after a few days the novelty of it will wear off, and I will start to downplay my need for it and talk myself into checking to see if anyone posted anything earth shattering, or if anyone has missed me. But I am sticking to my guns.

I found that even on Friday night, family movie night, I would fix the kids up with a video and retreat to the computer. Now the computer is in the same room, but I wasn't actively sitting on the couch and watching with my kids. And I also found I would waste time during school time or in the afternoon when I should be doing something else, just scrolling. So now I am hoping this month of November my house will be cleaner, my laundry caught up, my meal plans completed, and my children interacted with more. Who knows, perhaps I will even blog more regularly?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Running the Race

Well, hello there! It's been a while since we've visited. I've been busy with beginning of the year schooling, and then a big trip to the East Coast and now we are knee deep in harvest. But I did want to get on and share with ya'll something special I have signed up to do. I signed up last week to run the 10k in the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon/Half Marathon race in Phoenix in January 2015. I signed up with Team Compassion to run as an individual and raise money for Compassion International. The money I raise will go toward their Child Survival Program (CSP) and for clean drinking water. My goal is to raise $1,000.00.

I started running a few months ago with a friend, mainly to get out and exercise and to feel better. I was really struggling with midday burnout and exhaustion. We run three times a week and it has helped me a lot. I am sleeping better, feeling better, and can be a better mama and wife to those near and dear to me. But the other day I read an inspiring post here. It inspired me to run for more than myself. Running for myself will get old rather quickly. I already find it hard to get out of bed and run when I know my friend won't be able to meet me. But to run for someone else, to have a goal to help others, will hopefully continue to be my incentive. Plus, my husband and I were just in Haiti in February, (you can read about our trip here) and we know how this money will impact the communities it is sent to. So that is what I am doing. I am running for clean drinking water and for babies to have a chance at life. As my feet pound the pavement and I am getting closer to that 6.1 mile mark (which is what a 10k is, for us Americans), I can pray that God will take the intentions of my heart and this small offering, and increase it a hundredfold. Will you join me? This is where you can go to my personal page and donate money to a great cause. I love this because I don't have to be responsible for any money. It never touches my hands.  Team Compassion .

So, moving on from that, I am also finding myself struggling with social media. I have come to the realization that a Facebook fast may be in order. I end up wasting so much time on there. Time that could be spent with my kids, reading a book (you know I have a stack of about 10 books to read), or writing on here. There was a time in my life when I thought I was going to be a writer. But even if I don't write a blockbuster novel, part of the reason I started this blog was to document our life for our children. I don't scrapbook or put together cute photo albums, so this is it. I should put diligence into my efforts, instead of getting sucked into the world of Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by and listening to my ramblings. May you have a blessed last week of October.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Daybook

Yes, I am still here….I can't believe how the months have flown by. Here's a little of what's going on in my corner of the world…..

Outside my window….the corn is growing as high as an elephant's eye (know that musical?), my flowers are blooming, and the grass is green!

I am thinking….of all the activities we have tonight….piano lessons for three, a 4-H meeting, and worship team practice, and what am I going to do for supper?

I am thankful for….line dried sheets on the beds, healthy children, letters from two of our sponsored kids, my hard working farmer

From the learning room….I am reading some books on social justice and the Christian faith and how they are connected

From the kitchen….just made peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies - yummy!

I am reading….Good News to the Poor and Nurturing the Nations

I am hoping….it was will rain again - soon

I am hearing…. the radio and my children outside playing nicely, along with the intermittent crying and lashing out

Around the house…my floors need swept, my floors need washed, my stove needs cleaning, but the sheets are clean!

One of my favorite things….freshly mowed yard

A few plans for the rest of the week…we have a big surprise for the kids and I CANNOT wait!!!!

Here is a  picture thought I am sharing…..

This boy…be still my heart…turned 4 yesterday! Four years old. Where did the years go? I still remember pulling him up to my chest, all 9 pounds, 3 ounces of him after delivering him. I see so much of my dad in him…his smile, the way his eyes crinkle up and almost disappear, his laugh and his mischievous ways. There are no words to describe how full he makes my heart.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Friday's Photos from the Farm

Here are a few photos from around the farm. It is starting to green up and it's so lovely to see. Color is a beautiful thing! 

And the kids have enjoyed the warm weather and being able to play outside! Enjoy your weekend!