Monday, November 30, 2009


Hey all! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. We did our fair share of celebrating here.We always spend Thanksgiving in Arizona, because it's too short of a holiday to drive back to Pennsylvania. So we were with the Zuck, Brazeal & Paris families. We ate way too much good food, watched a LOT of Nick Jr., and attempted to put together a HARD 1000 piece puzzle of which we maybe got a third of it done.But here are some pictures of the festivities....

Me & my niece, Kailey

An attempted shot at all the grandkids with Grandpa.
These are so hard to do! Left to right: Alaina, Kailey
Salma, Charlotte, Devin, Larissa & Hanna

She must really be enjoying the book!

Grandpa and Jennah reading a book

My nephew, Devin, in the middle of a wrestling move.

My Alaina, this is really a typical Alaina face!

Our youngest, Charlotte, hamming it up for the camera!

Baby Jennah, as our girls affectionately call her.
Unfortunately, Jennah is almost two, and not a
baby anymore!

Another smile for the camera!

I believe the highlight of the evening was the wrestling match that ensued after supper. It was hysterical because Devin is our only boy at the moment, and he has 7 girls to contend with. And he's only three and a half! So he would always go after Larissa. For those of you who know Larissa, this is funny because she is by far my more prissy and girly girl. So once she went into hiding, he and Alaina got after it. Which is also funny because Alaina is my least aggressive child. I wish I had it on video, but alas, I am not so technologically saavy with my camera, and had left my camcorder at home. Maybe at Christmas! And speaking of Christmas, can I just say, it's only 12 more days until my family, my ENTIRE family, flies out for a week, and we are going to the White Mountains for a few days and staying in a log cabin! To say I am excited is an understatment to be sure. The girls are already talking about drinking lots of hot chocolate and eating lots of popcorn. I hope it snows, so they can play in it, and maybe make a snowman. Going sledding would be awesome too, but I would be happy just seeing some white stuff. I just love this time of year. God Bless!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Wow! Twice in one week! This is amazing....but I highly doubt it will continue. Anyway, yesterday I came upon two old scrapbooks from my younger years. Like 12 years ago. Wow, that kind of hurts to say it. But I spent some time remembering and reminiscing about my college days at Hesston, and about a group of friends that I hung out with mostly after high school and college. In 1998 I lost two of these friends to car accidents two months apart, almost to the day. I was a freshman in college, and I must say it was one of the most difficult times of my life so far. I had written a poem, birthed out of the emotions I was feeling at the time. I wanted to share it here.


Empty, hollow endless sorrow
Following me, never leaving
It's supposed to get easier,
At least that's what I hear
It seems like yesterday
We were laughing and talking
Now I am the only one walking
Alone, without you near,
Constantly wishing you were here.
I hear a laugh, see a smile
Missing you with each more mile
Shedding tears and feeling pain,
Will I ever be the same?
I keep looking back, remembering
Times we have spent because I
Am afraid I will forget.
Where's the peace I am looking for?
Searching, asking, reaching for?
Is God there? Does He care?
Or is it here to stay.
My heart is breaking, my soul is
Aching for my Master's healing touch
Loving Jesus, come save me from
This pain I am feeling.
Is this my only lot in life, to
Constantly sacrifice my beloved friends
Until the very bitter end?
You are my strength, You are my light
Guide me through this endless night.
Help me lay it at Your feet,
Allowing you to carry
my burdensome load, never
Fearing where to go.
Thank you, Jesus, for
Blessing me with great
friends such as these.
Though it's hard to let
them go, their memory is
With me as You are
Rejoicing at their entry.
Say hello to Scott and Chris
And please give them an angel's kiss.

At times I like to look back, and remember what God has brought me through. In the Old Testament the Israelites would build memorials, stones, to remind them of God's faithfulness. This was a milestone in my life, for trusting God's timing, faithfulness, and that He has a most perfect plan, not to harm me, but to give me a future and a hope, even when I don't understand.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Girlhood dreams

I was driving to Douglas this morning, on my way to the grocery store, minus the kids, and my mind wandered to an old girlhood dream of mine that has just never died. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been captivated by horses, and have always wanted one. When I was younger, my dad wouldn't let me get one because he was afraid I would lose interest and it would become his responsibility. Which may have happened, because horses need to be rode and have time spent with them, and I confess, there were times in my younger days where I was kind of flighty. But this is a dream that has never died. When I was in college, a group of us went to Tulsa, OK and stayed with Corina's uncle who lived on a ranch. And yes, he had horses. He took us all out on a ride, and it was so much fun. It was pretty nerve racking too, to be on top of a horse and knowing it was a long way down! But it was so much fun! After I got married and moved out to Arizona, where there are tons of wide open spaces, it just seems natural that horses should be part of the landscape. But it has never seemed the right time to get one. Our children are small, and so I don't have the time to ride real often, not to mention the fact that my husband and I don't really know a lot about horses. But, oh I still want one! Perhaps someday. I always had this alternate personality where I wanted to be a cowgirl. Hat, boots and all. But I think about that and think everyone will realize what a poser I am! But there is something so alluring about riding across an open range, hair flying in the breeze, and feeling absolutely free. And I think that's what I want most of all. Freedom. Freedom from all life's stresses, frustrations, and pain. From the joy and time drainers of this life. Not from my family and friends, but from all the complications that come from the world. Freedom.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Beauty in Pain

Pain. Heartbreak. Those are two words that most people do not want to willingly experience. For any reason at all. But I have learned through various experiences throughout my life, that there is beauty in pain. Through our pain, our eyes are opened to the beauty around us, causing us to really see it, and not take it for granted like we usually may do. It brings healing to us. Pain can bring us closer to God, if we allow Him into our pain, to walk through it with us, instead of closing the door and hardening our hearts.
On Saturday, I was reading through one of my old Beth Moore Bible studies, A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place. It takes you through the Old Testament tabernacle and how in the tabernacle God dwelled among his people, but today we are his tabernacle, and God dwells with us within us. And the week I was reading over was on idols and if there are any idols in our lives. And the last question of the lesson was if you felt like your heart had grown cool to God, and if it has, then you need to pray to ask God to restore your passion for Him, no matter what it takes. And as I was dwelling on that thought, I realized that had happened to me. In my quest to run an efficient household, to raise well behaved kids and to have everything appear "great" on the outside, I had sacrificed my heart. It has grown cold. I hadn't felt a touch from God in a while. I hadn't really even had a heart to heart talk with God in a while. A compassionate spirit towards others had long dried up. I felt convicted. So I prayed. And I told God all the things on my heart, and then asked Him to restore that passion, that first love in my soul for Him, no matter what it took. Little did I know, that the next morning, Sunday morning, would be a devastating blow to my spirit. But even as my heart was broken, and I was questioning why, I found my heart saying deep inside, No matter what, Lord, I will praise You. I will not let go of You. You have a plan for me, not to harm me, but to bring me life. And while my heart may be breaking, I am feeling again! The most beautiful sunset, the colors of a flower, the healing music of a song, or the laughter of my children, or a kiss from my husband bring tears to my eyes. Something that hasn't happened in a while. And my Lord and I commune everyday, because He is my strength and the only Reason I am making it through each day right now. But I have allowed Him to enter into my pain, and open my eyes to the ways it is making me stronger giving me compassion for those who go through the same thing. I want to have a continual passion for my God and this life, for my husband and children, and those friends and family that have been placed in my tiny section of the world, to see the beauty in all things, even those that hurt. Because I believe that only when our hearts have been broken, can the real healing begin.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Long time

Wow! I realized that my last blog was written almost five months ago! That's a long time. Not that there hasn't been anything to write about, I guess just taking the time is difficult. And even right now, I don't have anything really profound to write about, but thought maybe I'd just share some random thoughts. My husband is going to be trucking the rest of June and it's not something I particularly love. I usually have to take a Tylenol pm at night before I go to bed and then read until the words are running together and I fall asleep. He usually leaves the night before and I have a really hard time falling asleep when he isn't here. I have an overactive imagination and so every little noise I hear causes me to lay awake for hours and dream up all kinds of possibilities for the noises. And this of course gets my heart racing and I lay stiff in fear of what might be out there. Ridiculous, isn't it? I'm not a kid, I mean, I did turn 30 this year. Oh yeah, I had my thirtieth birthday. When the day finally arrived it wasn't as traumatic as I thought. Now, the weeks before it were. I hated the idea of turning thirty and heading into a new decade. I had a lot of fun in my twenties. I got married, had kids, moved to Arizona, did some traveling...not all in that order! :0 ) But I am noticing more gray hairs. I guess I need to start highlighting regularly! And I need to start putting on my Mary Kay eye firming cream to try to keep my wrinkles at bay. You know, trying to stay young can be so expensive!
Oh, yes, back to Nate trucking.....well, with my man gone in the evenings a lot right now, it's also made me realize how much I miss my sisters. I really wish they would consider a career change and move out here to me! I think about how fun it would be in the evenings if they were here and we could watch a movie together. I absolutely love watching movies with my sisters because they see humor in things I never would of thought of. Watching a movie commentated by them is truly an experience worth having. And just the silliness and the teasing....but I do get plenty of silliness with my own three girls. Unfortunately I don't always think it's funny. Like on Monday. I was cleaning my bathrooms and the girls were outside playing. Now with my kids, if there is mud outside within two hundred feet of the house, they have this built in homing device that directs them to the mud. Mostly Alaina and Charlotte. So I just finished cleaning their bathroom when Alaina bursts in and announces that she needs to wash her hands. I look up and her hands are CAKED in mud. And her shoes. And then Charlotte is on the scene, hands, feet, legs, arms all caked in mud. How do they know? I mean, does the thought go through their mind that, hey mom is cleaning our bathroom, lets go out and get totally dirty and undo everything she's done. Sometimes, I seriously think so. Like the quote says, " A mother's job is never done....."(dramatic sigh).
Well, I guess I don't really have much more to say. I just started drinking my first cup of coffee and so now my mind should stop running in all random directions.....should, but it doesn't always happen!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Holding too tight

This morning I was trying to get my floors vacuumed before company arrived. Charlotte was following me around trying to carry two books, five magnets and a necklace. I say trying because every couple of steps she would drop something, bend over, try to pick it up without dropping everything else. Of course, something else would fall out of her hand and she would start to cry and try to pick it up again. I told her several times to put something down, but she refused. Instead she only became more frustrated and upset. And suddenly, something clicked in my mind. It was like God was saying to me, you do this all the time. There are things in your life that you desperately are trying to hang on to. You need to let go and lay it down. Wow. I am always amazed at how God speaks to me through my children. I know there are things in my life that I feel I can't let go of. In a way, I am afraid to let go of my children. I am afraid they will do or say something that will embarrass me, so I try to control their every moment, and if I don't get an immediate response or the respect I feel I am owed, I get frustrated or angry. I sometimes am fearful of death and what life will look like after death, in Heaven, and I desperately try to cling to anything on this earth to avoid thinking of the afterwards. Doesn't change the fact it's still coming. It's coming to us all. I have to get it through my thick head that this world is not my home. This is not my final destination, and I need to live my life looking forward to my final destination: standing before my Lord and giving an answer for the way I've lived my life, the words I have chosen to speak or not speak, and the way I've treated those He placed in my life. Why is it so hard to lay down the fleshly desires of this world? I am so thankful that my heavenly Father is one who understands what it's like to be human and fight against those feelings and desires everyday. He knows, He understands, and yet He still is there, rooting for us, willing to help us fight. He never turns away no matter how long or ugly it gets. I am so thankful for these little moments almost every day when God gives me a little insight into what it's like for Him, watching me struggle and grow. Oh, to be more like Him!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Living the Story

Last night I had received some news that a family member on my husband's side had passed away. I felt like crying all night, and even today, the sting is still there. This precious woman, succombed to death, leaving behind a husband and four small children. She was only in her early thirties. And it hit me how life is truly a vapor. Death is hard for anyone to understand and devastating to work through. It's especially so when it's someone young, who is to be full of life and have many years ahead of them. I kept thinking that it could be me. And it also made me feel so guilty. I think of all the times I get frustrated and angry with my children, or just wish for one day to myself, and I think of how this young mother felt, probably wishing for just one more day with her children. One more time to wipe runny noses, to break up a fight, to hold a little one and wipe their tears, to make one more meal. In reality, though, her story is just beginning. She is now before her Father, complete and whole, in perfect health. But for those of us here, it's so hard to wrap our minds around that concept. I've been thinking about that a lot lately. There's part of me that just wants to go on living here, on earth. And I think it's because I have a scewed view of what Heaven truly is and what we will do there. And I must confess there is a certain fear in death for me. But the truth is we are never absent from God. When we breath our final breath on earth, we are immediately before the Father. My human mind just can't comprehend it.
My grandparents were here for almost two weeks and we had a great time. It means so much to me that they would drive all the way out here. Especially because they are almost 80 years old! While they were here, my grandma insisted on washing my dishes everyday. I don't have a dishwasher......someday!! But, anyway, almost once each day she would make comment about the view and how beautiful the mountains are. The one day I mentioned to her that the sad thing was, I don't even see them anymore. I mean, I see them with my eyes, but not with my heart. I don't stop and look and think, wow, thank you God for putting that view right before my window everyday. Just to think that the mountains are your footstool. You are truly amazing Lord! Isn't that sad? We are surrounded by an amazing and vast creation, yet do we really see the beauty that God has lavished on us?
I just finished reading John Eldredge's book, Desire, and it talks about how we can become so loaded down with this life, and we were meant for so much more. It really challenged me to be aware of my attitude and how I can let myself become complacent. I want to have a fire and a passion for life. To see my life as a play that God has the main role and I am in His cast. To live my life on purpose. To not forfeit any joy or beauty for the burdens of my day, but to let Christ handle that for me.