Friday, November 30, 2007

Deep thoughts from Walmart...

Henry and I went to Walmart tonight to pick up a birthday present for a friend and a few other items. There were Salvation Army Bell ringers standing by the door, so I gave Henry a couple of quarters to put in. He wanted to keep one and give one, and I said ok. So Henry put the quarter in the jar, and we went inside to get a cart. An older gentleman stopped me and thanked me for teaching my son about giving and said he wished more parents would do that. While I don't think Henry totally "gets" giving, hopefully repeated exposure will work :)

So we went back to the toy aisles to pick out a gift, which consisted of Henry pointing out all the things he wanted instead of helping find a toy for Emma. While he was eyeing the Star Wars legos, there was an older couple reading the labels, in search of toys not made in China. I pointed them to K'nex, Legos and PlayMobil toys, but that didn't really help them since they were looking for toys for a one year old. We chatted briefly about why it's hard to find American made toys. If you're trying to do a China-free Christmas, check out

Much more food for thought than the typical Walmart trip!

To get you in the holiday mood...

...go watch some of your favorite Christmas specials!

For me, it's not Christmas without Charlie Brown's Christmas and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, with Frosty and Rudolph being alternates, but not required.

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I love Psalm 136. One of these Thankful Thursdays I'm going to re-write it, describing the great things he's done for me.

What I love about this Psalm is the repeating "His love endures forever". The "love" here is the Hebrew word "checed", which is more like mercy or favor. How merciful our God is, and how many blessings he showers on us! And it isn't temporary or fickle--it's FOREVER. Not just when I feel it, but all the time. Not when I've earned it, but for eternity.

So I give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever!

You can add your thanks to Thankful Thursday by visiting Laurel Wreath

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Top ten wierd things I've found in my washer/dryer

The hazards of having kids with pockets...

10. Gravel from the school playground
9. barettes
8. toy cars
7. a calculator
6. stickers (stuck to the wall)
5. a shoe
4. magnetix toys (stuck to the wall of the dryer)
3. silly putty (what a mess!)
2. rocks
1. The TV remote (which remarkably worked after it dried out!)

At least there are no dead animals! Gotta do a better job of checking pockets...and no, these were not all in one load...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Melodic Mondays

Patrick got some new CDs last week, and we have a new favorite--Justin Roberts! He's got a cd of old testament songs, and another of new testament songs. One of the favorites is Here, Kitty, Kitty.

The king put Daniel in the lion's den,
the lion's den, that's where he's been
The king put Daniel in the lion's den,
the lion's den, and all the king's men
They though Daniel'd be cryin'
Cause he'd be afraid of dyin'
All on account of that lion and the king
But instead they heard him sing:

Here kitty kitty
Won't you come kitty kitty
I am not afraid, no, I am not afraid
And you'd hear him sing
Here kitty kitty
Won't you come kitty kitty do
'cause the Lord is with me and
the Lord is with you

Then the king got Daniel from the lion's den,
the lion's den that's where he'd been...

So the king put his men in the lion's den,
the lion's den, for how they'd been
The king put his men in the lion's den
the lion's den, for how they'd been
He thought they'd be cryin'
Cause they'd be afraid of dyin;
All on account of that lion, but the king
Instead he heard them sing:

Here kitty kitty
Won't you come kitty kitty
And it did!

How readable is your blog?

You can test the readability of your blog here

Sigh...the average target age for most written documents is 8th grade...I wonder what makes my blog less readable? You'd think Wordless Wednesdays would bring it down...So is my word choice too high?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How to make Lefse, a photo tutorial

My mom, the Lefse National Bake Off champion a couple of years ago, has taught hundreds of people to make Lefse. For several years, my mom and I demonstrated how to make lefse at a cooking store in the mall during the holiday season. It's just not the holidays without some lefse! This weekend, we started teaching Henry and Harmony--they already love eating it :)

First, mix 3 c mashed potatoes (instant are fine, nothing but potatoes), 1 t salt, 1/4 c oil and 1 T sugar. Chill well. Just before using, add 1 cup of flour and mix well. Preheat grill to 500 degrees F.

Measure out 1/4 c. dough and shape into a smooth circle. A round measuring cup or ice cream scoop works well.


Roll very thin on a well floured pastry cloth. Use a stockinnete cover on the rolling pin.

Transfer the lefse to the grill by rolling it over the rolling pin or by using the lefse turning stick. Cook on hot grill until it's lightly browned on the bottom and bubbly on the top--about 20 seconds.

Turn by sliding lefse stick under the lefse, picking it up, and rolling it off of the stick.


Cook second side like the first (usually takes less time). Remove lefse from grill with stick and place between folds of a terry kitchen towel to cool.


Cut in half or quarters, spread with butter and sprinkle with sugar, roll up, and eat!



Saturday, November 24, 2007

Not what I ordered

Jonell came down to hang out on Wednesday. We had a good time touring around the lab, visiting preschool, and having our own bakeoff for a friend who recently had a baby. It was great hanging out with her and hearing more of her story!

We went to Little Mexico for lunch. I ordered the lunch chimichanga, no cheese, no sour cream. What I got was the lunch chimichanga, no cheese, no guacamole. Not what I ordered. I kind of scraped off the sour cream as best I could (dairy and me don't go well together), and asked Jose Manuel for a little bit of guacamole on the side (and he obliged). I ate it and it was fine, but it was not what I ordered.

I'm having the same feeling about my life right now. It's not what I ordered. I'm eating it and it's ok, but it's not what I wanted.

My brother and sister in law announced that they're pregnant and due in July today. While I am ecstatic for them, tonight I just feel weighed down and burdened. It doesn't help that my emotions are a total roller coaster--one day I'm perfectly fine with not having any more kids, and the next day it's devestating.

So if you're looking for some fun reading, this isn't one of those posts, check out the next one with pictures from my mom's camera. What I am trying to do is sort out why my heart strings are getting tugged yet again, and what it is God is trying to show me in all of this.

Lots of possibilities run through my brain. Tonight's Scrubs episode centered around JD getting what he thought he couldn't have, but once he had it, he didn't want it any more. Is that it? I want a baby because I can't have one?

Another possibility is that I don't want to end my childbearing era on a bad note--kind of like ending a baseball career on a strikeout or worse. I didn't have the most wonderful pregnancy with Harmony, let alone the miscarriages. I definitely have the "if I had to do it over again, I'd do X, Y and Z differently" list, but that's not a good reason for bringing another life into the world...and I don't think that's what's driving this.

Or maybe it's just that I want the experience for me. Wow, to be a part of the miracle of life...what else can I say but it's amazing?

But maybe I do want to meet this child that is in my heart. To nurture another child of God through the "boob lean" when they're hungry and so dependent. To see all the firsts, to see a new and awesome creature, made in God's image, fulfill His purpose in life. To learn more about God and myself in the process.

But I don't want to be Henry, throwing an all out tantrum at the table because he got water instead of the Sprite he wanted (and was overridden by a parent). Maybe the vision of something shrinking in the dryer until it was just right was our family size, and two is it for us.

Come to think of it, a little sour cream hasn't killed me. Guess all I can do is wait and see what God brings to the table.

Thanks that you're not a restaurant, Lord, and that I'm not in charge of my ordering. Help me accept, cherish and find joy in what you do give us.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Thursday--Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanks Giving!! Harmony and I are having a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving at home--the stomach bug I had last Friday has hit her. So she's eating toast, and I had some popcorn, and we've been watching Dora and Kipper movies. She's definitely on the mend, but we didn't want to expose the family to her germs. So Patrick and Henry are at the family gathering, while we hold down the fort.

Many years ago I started a Thousand Thanks list. It is such a blessing to go back and read it, and add the year's blessings onto it. Now I just need to find it :)

This year I'm thankful for:
--how much my children have learned and grown, both physically and spiritually
--how much I've grown spiritually
--blogging--it really has let me reflect on what God is doing in my life--and in the lives of others around me
--the depth of relationships that have developed at my church and in our town--I think for the first time in nine years, we can say we have friends!

Here's Henry's list (he's 5):
Mom, Dad, Me, Harmony
My knights
Playing on the playground
My bike
That the TRex at the Children's Museum isn't real, because he's a meat eater and we're meat
My teachers at school
Friends at school
Going to Jacob's Farm
Swimming lessons
Star Wars movies (at the Children's Museum) and songs

Harmony's list (she's 3):
Mom, Dad, Henry, Me
Big slide at the park by grandma's
Going to Grandpa and grandma's Farm
Going to Mammaw and pappaw's House
That I was a baby
All the girls at preschool (but not the boys)
My babies
My pink fuzzy jammies
Going to the children's museum
That I can ride my trike now
story time
My princess castle cake
Emma, Ruthie and Olivia
Going to the apple orchard
computer games

Thanks, Laurel for hosting Thankful Thursday for the next four weeks!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Top Ten Tuesdays--Giving Thanks

Top Ten reasons to give thanks to God this Thanksgiving...

10. To proclaim to the nations what he has done (1 Chronicles 16:8)
9. He is present (2 Chronicles 5:13)
8. Because God is righteous (Psalm 7:17)
7. It'll make your heart sing (Psalm 30:12)
6. The Lord is strong and is your protection (Psalm 28:7)
5. Salvation (Psalm 118:21)
4. God's love endures forever! (Psalm 136, and everywhere else)
3. Grace (1 Corinthians 1:4)
2. Victory in Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:57)
1. Our God reigns! (Revelation 11:17)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Melodic Mondays

Thanks, Jonell for the idea! This is the song that's been going through my head, getting ready for Thanksgiving...

Forever by Chris Tomlin

Give thanks to the Lord
Our God and King
His love endures forever
For He is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise
With a mighty hand
and outstretched arm
His love endures forever
For the life that's been reborn
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise
Sing praise, sing praise

Forever God is faithful
Forever God is strong
Forever God is with us
Forever, forever

From the rising to the setting sun
His love endures forever
By the grace of God
We will carry on
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise
Sing praise, sing praise
Forever God is faithful
Forever God is strong
Forever God is with us
Forever, forever

His love endures forever (3x)

Sing praise, sing praise
Sing praise, sing praise
Forever you are faithful
Forever you are strong
Foerver you are with us
And ever

Forever you are faithful
Forever you are strong
Forever you are with us
Forever, forever
You are God.....
And ever and ever ....

Thanks, Lord, that you are faithful, strong and with us forever. Help me share that great news this Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Mosquito

I grew up on a farm in Northwestern Minnesota, where the mosquito is the state bird. Since we lived right next to a very slow moving river, the mosquitos were especially prevalent--my brother and I would be covered by bites from head to toe, all summer. I remember swatting my arm one time, and killing five at once--I think that was a record. So one of the things I love about Indiana is that there are relatively few mosquitos.

But that doesn't mean there are no mosquitos. Earlier this fall I set up an appointment with the President of my college--needless to say, I was a little tense. We had company during the meeting; one of my pesky mosquito friends kept flitting from the President's collar, to his ear, to his arm, and back again. But I didn't feel quite right swatting at the President, even though his attempts at getting it weren't successful.

But a couple of minutes later, the mosquito journeyed into my range, and with a lucky clap, I got it mid-air. It was at a fitting moment in the conversation, and we both laughed about the appropriateness of the object lesson. While I'm not always that lucky, it was a memorable moment, and I made a joke about my Minnesotan experience being useful on occasion.

There are mosquitos in my life right now--the ulcerative colitis, miscarriage recovery, even the getting old feeling. They're distracting, and make it easy to focus on me instead of focusing on God. It's one of Satan's favorite strategies--be an annoying gnat to take our eyes off the prize and focus on him instead.

So that's my goal for this week: to memorize and apply Phillipians 3:13b-14: But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Send your flyswatter, God, and remove the distractions--and help me focus on you.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Minus seven pounds...

Weight loss is good, but seven pounds in one night is a bit much :( I have ulcerative colitis, but it's been well behaved for about a year. But earlier this week I had a sinus infection, which was enough to sound the alarm for my immune system, and it's back to attacking me. So last night I was up almost every 20 minutes...ugh. Here's hoping tonight is better...I haven't dared be more than five feet from a bathroom, and I'd really like to go to church tomorrow. I'm debating about calling the doctor--I really don't want to be hospitalized, and that's what they'd probably do.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Clear packing tape to the rescue!

So guys love duct tape. I think it looks gross and leaves a really yuckky residue behind when you remove it--kind of like those killer bandaids that leave bigger marks than the original owie.

But I must admit, I include a roll of clear packing tape in my gifts to new parents. It is definitely a godsend! What for, you wonder?

Well, this morning I fixed Harmony's princess purse. Belle was peeling off, so a selective application on the front and the backside, and voila! Harmony's favorite bag is back to being useful.

I also need to fix one of their favorite Bible story books--right now it ends with half of a whale showing up to get Jonah. Clear packing tape has added time onto some of the kid's favorite books, both in repairing the binding and torn pages.

It's also saved my ear drums from more than a couple of way too noisy toys--a piece over the speaker is enough to reduce the volume to manageable.

I also used it to build a "drip guard" for our cat's litter box--somehow she manages to pee through the crack between the lid and the base. I pieced three strips together, folded almost in half, and taped it along the inside, and voila! No more cat pee on the floor. I think that gave the cat a few more years in our house...

So that's my Frivolous Friday you have other good uses for clear packing tape?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankful Thursday--Psalm 23, part 2

First, thanks to Crystal for hosting this week's Thankful Thursday!

I started praying through the 23rd Psalm last week, so it seems appropriate to finish it!

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Thanks for your never leaving presence--there is nowhere I can go, physically or emotionally, where you are not there with me. Thank you that death is just a shadow for those who know and love you.

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Thanks that You guide us and discipline us; you do not let us wander astray.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Thanks for the many, many ways you bless us! You provide in abudance for us, you heal us, and you protect us from the enemy. Thanks for the awesome "object lesson" Tony did with Dan--I will never forget the oil dripping all over Dan, and imagery of how God coats us with his love.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Thanks that You are merciful and good, and that we don't get what we deserve. Thanks for the promise of eternal life! Thank you for musicians who set the Bible to songs. I was sure that Selah did a version of this, but I can't find it--thanks that we got to see them before they went "national". ETA: It was Ashley Cleveland that did this song--I still love it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Yes-Buts

I have a bad case of the yes-buts. I also have a sinus infection and haven't slept well in a while, so that contributes to the yes-buts.

So what are the yes-buts? It's an awful disease. It's when someone tells you something, and your response is yes, but... which means you're digging in your heels instead of doing what you're supposed to do.

Example: see previous post.

YES, I need prayer, BUT...blah, blah blah see previous post
YES, I should have our life group pray for me, BUT...we're supposed to be pouring out not taking since we're the leaders.
YES, seeing a leader need prayer can lead to better prayer times and real relationships overall, BUT we've already done that for me with the miscarriage anniversary AND the second miscarriage AND... See prayer hog reference in last post...
YES, I should go to the Women's Ministry Center, BUT miscarriage and midlife crisis aren't on their "list" of mentor areas.

I know I've had the yes-buts before, my mom commonly diagnosed them in my teen years. But I'm not sure what the cure is, other than a good night's sleep and just saying yes, despite the buts...

(Sorry, no Top Ten this week....I tried coming up with Top Ten good things about "Fall" and could only think of bad things, so if someone wants to generate one for me, I'd appreciate it...)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Prayer chicken

The correct answer when Tony asked who needs prayer at the Life Group Leaders meeting tonight would have been ME. But that's not what I said. Why not?

I don't wanna be a prayer hog. Is it just me or do I seem to be asking for the same prayer issues every. single. time? It's not like I don't ever ask for prayer, it's just that there are bigger and more pressing issues than me.

I don't want to explain it. No one in that room would have understood. They're all entering or in the prime of summer, it's not fair to make them think about fall.

Fear of looking like an idiot. I was pretty sure I couldn't even say what was wrong without falling apart, and what kind of idiot is upset about getting old??

Pride. Who wants to be the one to say I need help?

Feeling like a failure. Our group is the only one that isn't growing, "multiplying" or showing incredible stories of God working in their small group. Probably not the first or the last time I feel totally unequipped and ungifted in leading a small group. I am not beautiful, popular, charismatic or otherwise attractive, so there's no way our group is going to grow by my power...and as is the theme in my life right now, God's not choosing to show up in this way. Not to mention that life group leading doesn't really overlap with my spiritual gifts inventory, either. Maybe it's a good thing I spend almost every meeting with the kids instead of the adults!

Lord help me say yes when I need it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Changing seasons

It's definitely fall. On Friday when I was walking to work, the gingko tree was dropping all of its leaves--the ground was covered, and it almost looked like it was snowing.

The seasons are also changing in my life--I think that's a good share of the "blackness" I talked about in my last post.

So what are the seasons of life? Well, if your life is a year, there are four seasons in a year, and the average lifespan of a person is 80 years (give or take), each season is 20 years. So springtime is the time of everything being new--so that would be ages 0-20. Summer is when everything is "hot" and fruits are rapidly developing--that would be ages 20-40, the prime times of career and family. Fall is 40-60, and winter is 60-you meet new life in heaven with Jesus.

But just like the weather doesn't always pay attention to the calendar, neither does our life-- there are days during spring that feel more like summer, and an "Indian Summer" isn't unexpected. While I'm not 40 yet, the winds of fall are beginning to appear--ever since the miscarriage in March, I've started showing signs of perimenopause--the details are more than you want to know :)

The problem is, my whole life has been aimed at achieving "summer" stuff. I don't know what my goals are for winter and fall, and I don't want to be done with "summer" activities. I think I have good company--who isn't sad when school starts (even though it's still August) and the pool closes, when watermelon becomes scarce, and the stores start advertising Christmas (or at least it's how it feels!)

I wouldn't say I'm having a mid-life crisis--I just want to hang onto summer for as long as I can--I'm not ready for fall!

Here's an example of why:
Yesterday we were shopping at Target, and had just succeeded in our mission to find a dark skinned baby doll for our shoebox that's bound for an orphanage in Nigeria. Here's the conversation as we walked by the baby gear section:
Harmony: Mooooom, when are we gonna get a baby? A real baby?
Me (ouch! Ouch! Ouch!): When God sends us one.
Harmony: Well, I want God to grow one in your tummy.
Me: Do you think it would be a brother or a sister?
Henry and Harmony at the same time: A brother!

Conversations like that make me think that God's not done with our family it can't be fall yet! I know God has given fall and winter babies before (Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth), but that's a hard row to hoe physically....ugh. It's hard to be patient when you hear the clock ticking!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Joseph's coat

Last night Emma, Ruthie, and Olivia came over for a pajama party. I was talking with Jen about maybe watching a movie towards the end, and she mentioned that they had checked out Joseph: King of Dreams from the library. Things always go a little smoother if we have a couple of structured things planned, so I did the Joseph--a coat of many colors lesson from Danielle's Place (you might need a membership to get to the Joseph lesson--if you don't have one, consider it! I definitely get my money's worth out of it!)

In the lesson, the kids listened for me to say a color, and then colored a stripe on Joseph's coat that color--like I'd say "his brothers were green with envy" and they'd color a stripe green.

Two things struck me as I read the story from my Bible last night. First, how many times it said, "And God was with him." The other was now long it was between when his brothers sold him to the slave traders and when they saw him again. A lot of that time was pretty "black" time--neither being a slave nor being in prison for something he didn't do would be very pleasant, and I'm sure that even after he was raised up, it was a hollow victory without his family. I'm sure there were many days that he wondered when, if ever, his dreams would come true.

Those are good reminders for me. I've been in a bit of a black spell since March, which feels like a long time, but is nothing compared to the two years Joseph was in jail, or the many (maybe 20? just my guesstimate--several years in Potipher's house, 2 in jail, 7 years of plenty, some number less than seven years of drought) years of waiting to see his family.

It's one thing to know in your head that black is an important color in the tapestry of your life, and another to believe it in your heart when it's a long time coming.

Thanks, Lord that you are with us and that you weave it all together for good. I'm ready for another color, please.

Friday, November 9, 2007

If you love me... will obey what I command. John 14:15

That's my bible memory verse this week. If you haven't checked out Bible Memory USA, you should!!! I am not good about memorizing Bible verses, but I think it is very important, and this is a tool that really has worked for me--I've learned 14 verses since June, though I'm bad at remembering the citation.

Back to the verse...

Talk about something you don't understand until you're a parent! I'm so thankful for how God uses both our children and our experiences as parents to teach us about Him.

Oh, what I would give for my children to obey me because they love me! The current obedience strategy is a "chore chart", with the basic things that I'd like the kids to do without me having to remind them--clear their dishes, get dressed, brush their teeth, and clean up their messes. Every day they do all their chores with minimal reminding (which still happens more than I'd like), they get a star. After a week of stars, we'll do something fun...Henry's totally into it because of the lesson they did in Sunday school this week...and because he really, really, really wants to go to the Children's Museum. (Little does he know the Star Wars display is gone...he's going to be heartbroken!)

There are lots of reasons that H&H don't obey...ok, why Henry doesn't obey. Sometime's he's so totally engrossed in what he's doing, he doesn't hear us, or if he does hear us, he'd rather continue what he's doing. Other times, he'd rather do it his own way, or for it to be his own idea. And sometimes, he just is being defiant and rebelling against our authority. Huh, sounds a lot like me and God somedays.

Harmony is another story. She's very concerned with following the rules and wanting approval, so she is very compliant. So part of parenting her is showing her that we love her unconditionally, that there is nothing she can do that will make her earn or lose our love. Hmm, sounds like a God lesson too.

Thanks, God for our children and the multitude of things you teach us through them. Help us point our children to you, and use these teachable moments to learn about you and learn to love you.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thankful Thursday--the 23rd Psalm

Many thanks to Crystal for hosting this week's Thankful Thursday!

The kids are studying the 23rd Psalm, and since I'm teaching, it's a natural guide for my not-feeling-so-thankful-at-the-moment, but-knowing-there-is-lots-to-be-thankful-for heart. As I've been working on it, there is SO much there! So this week is going to be the first three verses, since that's what I'm teaching on Sunday. Stay tuned for the last half next week :)

The LORD is my shepherd,
Thanks, Lord, that you guide us, care for us, watch over us, and don't let us wander too far off. Thanks for your vision that exceeds ours, and that you direct us towards safety and away from danger before we can even see it. Thanks that you bind up our wounds and work tirelessly for us, your sometimes ungrateful sheep.

I shall not want.
Thank you for providing above and beyond our needs--good jobs, stable housing, a budget that has room for the extras. Thanks for Crown Financial Ministries, Dave Ramsey, and other groups that encourage Christians (and others) to "not want"--and realize how blessed they are.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;
Thanks for a nice bed in a safe house...and that I don't have to sleep outside in the grass! Thanks for the kids enjoying the leaves this week.

He leads me beside quiet waters.
Thanks for the tranquility that I often find beside bodies of water. Thanks that you refresh us with your living water, even when we wrestle with you. Thanks for River Vineyard Church, and the impact it's had already in both individuals and our community.

He restores my soul;
Thanks that you heal and restore people both physically and emotionally. Thanks for how you use music to restore our soul, and I'm thankful for the many musical settings of this Psalm, especially "The King of Love my Shepherd is" and "Yea though I wander" (track 7 of this CD) that I learned in choir...and my entire college choir career.

He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Thanks, Lord that you not only KNOW the way, you ARE the way. Thanks for revealing yourself to us, and for bringing glory to you through your leading. Help us to be good followers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Top Ten Tuesdays: Mom initiation

Top ten signs you've been initiated into motherhood:

10. Pee on a stick (which can be harder than it sounds) and seen two lines appear
9. Be sent home from the hospital with a tiny creature to care for
8. Hear something your mother used to say...come out of your mouth
7. Get peed on, barfed on, sneezed on, and seen pretty much any imaginable bodily fluid end up on your clothes
6. Clean said body fluids out of your car.
5. Reach into your purse and pull out a race car, rock, bouncy ball, broken crayon and goldfish crumbs ...and find the same items in your dryer
4. You know all the words to Veggie Tales songs...and sing them in the shower
3. You ask someone where the potty is
2. Have a broken heart for something you can't fix for your child
1. Hear an unsolicited "I love you"

Now it's you're turn! Write your own Top Ten list and add your link!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Meme: Finish this sentence

Stolen from another NaBloPoMo member:

1. My where my family is.
2. I am listening to...the hum of the air handling system.
3. Maybe I should...send an e-mail to an unknown colleague
4. I love it when...there's something fun in the mailbox
5. My best Jesus
6. I don't understand...why people can't just get along
7. I Bible...but praise God, Patrick found it!
8. People say...more than they should
9. The meaning of my blog name is...that I have lots of questions for God, but not many of the answers
10. Love is... putting the other's needs first
11. Right now, somewhere, someone is... eating something chocolate
12. I will always... avoid using always statements
13. Once upon a time, I... thought I was good at everything
14. Now, I... know that isn't anywhere close to true
15. I never want to... forget to appreciate each day
16. My personal motto is... Today is your only chance at today--enjoy it
17. When I wake up in the morning... I wish for a few minutes of peace
18. I get annoyed when... people tell me what to do but don't help in the doing
19. People always...surprise me
20. I sing...all the time
21. Hugs are the best when...they come from my kids, unsolicited
22. Today I... went to the gym at lunch and ran--it felt good
23. Tomorrow I will... vote for my husband!
24. I really want... more time with my kids

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Be careful what you wish for...

Last week I was telling (well, complaining) to Patrick about how I don't like it when the radio is off and no one is talking in the car--it brings back too many memories of the silence in the car whenever my dad was in it growing up.

Today on the way to church, we not only had a CD on (trying to find worship songs with few enough words that the preschoolers can sing), but Harmony talked the whole way. Mostly saying, "Jesus Loves Me, Away in a Manger, Jesus Loves Me, Away in a Manger"...repeat, repeat, repeat for 28 miles. I'm glad she knows what she wants to sing in Kid's Church! Meanwhile, Henry is saying "Stop it, Dad, Stop singing, Dad, stop snapping, Dad..." ARGH! Made me wish for the silent car I was not liking the week before.

So thank you, God, for not always giving me what I wish for.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Your Kingdom Come

Today Jeff Heidcamp from the Minneapolis Vineyard Church was the speaker at our church's fall conference. The theme for the meeting was "The Kingdom of God". We missed the Friday night session, and spent the Saturday morning session praying with some friends from our Life Group, but if the third session was an indicator, it was a powerful conference!

The third session was titled "The Kingdom of God in the 21st Century." Jeff talked about five big areas, and how the Kingdom of God might be seen--mental illness, political division, ethnic diversity, singleness (and marriedness), and being involved. (Pretty good that I remembered the list without notes!)

One thing that really resonated with me was the singleness section, even though I'm married. Jeff talked about the search for someone to fulfill you in every aspect of your life, and how hard that is. But the Kingdom of God in this world is that Jesus can meet all those needs...and if you're looking to a spouse to complete you, your marriage is in trouble. Marriage is really the opportunity to share the great love you've received from your savior with another, not about meeting your needs.

Amen. I've said to Patrick that marriage is about being God's agent of grace to your spouse...though it sure is nice when God works through my spouse to meet my needs!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Sherpa mom

There are days I wonder if I'm a mom or a sherpa. Like last night, on the way to Life Group. I had in my hands/arms/back: a bag with snack, my Bible, a backpack with activities for the kids, phone lists to give to everyone, the keys to the church office where we meet and my purse. And yet I didn't have everything; the kids very vocally reminded me that I forgot their water bottles, and they would surely die of dehydration on the way. I shut the door with one finger, but had to put stuff down to open the car doors.

The irony was the lesson I had just prepared for the kids was on Hebrews 12:1-2a...
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

Ugh. It's definitely a case where God uses the lesson I'm preparing for me, not the kids--we didn't even end up doing the lesson last night (though I'm using it with my kids and their friends right now). What burdens am I carrying that are impeding my progress? I'm definitely carrying around junk that I should just give to God--worrying about my Grandma and uncle's health, wondering about whether we're done with our family, guilt about working, guilt about being driven crazy by my children when I am caring for them, guilt about making an inedible supper last night and not being a good "reflective listener" to Patrick. 1 Peter 5:7 says "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you," but sometimes I think I'd rather carry them myself and focus on them rather than looking to Jesus at the finish line--my burdens seem more immediate.

But that's not what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to give them to God! So sing along with me...

I'm Trading My Sorrows by Darryl Evans

I'm trading my sorrows
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying them 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

We say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord

I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I am blessed beyond the curse
For His promise will endure
That His joy's gonna be my strength
Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning

I'm trading my sorrows
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying them 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

We say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thankful Thursday--All Saints Day edition

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40

Today I'd like to give thanks for all those saints, some living, some with Jesus, who may not have seen the fruits of their labor.

--Cathy, my babysitter and preschool Sunday School teacher. She always had an enthusiastic greeting for everyone, and she made Sunday School a place you wanted to go.

--Shannon, who helped me heal from much of my garbage, and showed me what sacrifice looks like.

--My Principia teacher in college, who always had two listening ears and a few wise the right proportion.

--My religion 101 teachers--one of htem taught me to look for the big themes in the Bible, and the other taught me that worship is what happens in the pews, not up front...even though that wasn't the way the class was taught.

--My grandparents. What amazing champions of the faith. They ran the race well.