Friday, December 30, 2011

Hat(s)

Despite our best efforts in teaching financial responsibility (or at least despite some effort), when our children receive gift money, they are merciless with whining until we can make the trek to the nearest Target.

We took that trek recently, which became even more of a road trip when we needed to track down Megan's desired purchase at a more distant store. The robotic dog she wanted was $25 off with a $10 bonus puppy. We found out why they were discounted when we got home.

Battery leakage.

That required a can of Sprite be poured over the connection parts.

Anyway.

These trips take forever. Too much money and indecisive little people who actually need nothing are a combination that required much input from caring mothers.

But I'm not a caring mother, so I went and looked at hats.

HA.

Trouble is, I am trying to be financially responsible with my gift money, so I only allowed myself to buy one hat.

Plaid and perfect for a bad hair day.

The other coveted, but not procured, hat gave me inspiration only. Warm and cozy with ear flaps for the frigid winter wind that blows out here in farm country, it was perfect. But it was also $20. Not so perfect.

However, I have pinterest and creativity and a daring that is not afraid to cut up old sweaters.

What else can one need?

Alas. Pinterest failed me for the first time ever. I could not uncover one single pattern like the one at the store.

Creativity and inginuity would have to suffice.

Old sweater.

Jersey knit sheet that never got used.

Ribbon.

Viola!


It's not pinkish like the one I wanted, (I used the old pink sweater I had to make mittens for my girls.) but it's fun, and I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. :) My budget thanks me.

And I'm not a moment too soon. The snow is finally falling here!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

While I'm waiting....I sew.

I just tried to tap out a catch-up piece about life and hope and waiting, but it would be way more fun to show you what I made this week!

Meet Michelle, a lookalike doll of my friend.


You see, her friend moved far away, and Michelle thought it would be funny to send her a doll of herself as a Christmas gift. You know, since she can't be with her friend, at least the doll can be!

Who doesn't want a doll of their best friend??

(*I sheepishly raise my hand*  ;) )

Either way, I cannot believe how much enjoyment I got making a doll modeled after an adult. It challenged my creativity and I came away with great ideas for my {So}Sartina doll line. It is true that necessity is the mother of invention!

And you know what? Creativity is also a great distraction while waiting. And waiting. And...

Well, you get the idea. :)

P.S. {So}Sartina now has a FB page! Comon' over and "like" us, if you please! 


Thursday, December 8, 2011

{So}Sartina {So}Busy {So}Sewing

This is what has been keeping me busy lately! I am so excited about some of the new products I've been working on! Click on the screen shot below to go see for yourself!



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's in your locket?

Megan stood in front of the mirror, Sunday best on, rare clip in hair, lip gloss shining. I finger combed her mussed-up-by-sleeping but freshly-washed-last-night curls and she held the ends of a necklace up for me to clasp.

"I need to put a picture in this locket. A locket isn't a locket without something in it."

Oh, my heart, child.

Yes, truer words were never spoken.

For what is a heart without anything in it?
What comes of an empty heart?
or one filled with all the wrong things?


Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 
Luke 12:34

Do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 
Luke 12:29

He purified their hearts by faith. 
Acts 15:9

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 5:5

He set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, 
guaranteeing what is to come. 
2 Corinthian 1:22

What's in your heart, 
your locket?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Let's get this show on the road already!

A sister calls from Mexico and we chat about guest lists and food and party games. Our youngest sister is getting married in 36 days. We have a shower to plan.

Time marches on with things to do and celebrations and friends, new things and old things, fresh starts and old routines.

And yet I feel the same as I'm sure my engaged sister feels; on a sort of anxious hold, excited to get started already and find out what my new life will look like.

After a rather difficult year, our family prayed, considered priorities, weighed options, researched and one thing led to another (with enough light for each step ahead ) and here we are starting an in-home daycare.




This is not something I dreamed about or ever even really considered until recently, but here we are. God's plans are not ours, but we can take ownership when he makes the way clear. Robb moved his realty office home, and amidst some small amount of friendly scorn and doubtful looks, we have plunged ahead in the process.

My kitchen has never been cleaner!

We consider this a family endeavor.

The kitchen cleaning is Robb's chosen responsibility, however.

We've never spend this much time together as a family, but we are adjusting!

Robb comes to this new venture with years of watching his mom run a successful daycare, and he's excited to come to a whole new understanding of what homeschooling looks like on a day to day basis. My homeschooling experience will now be applied to preschoolers as we create a fun curriculum of crafts, lessons, music and more.

Our license is about to come in the mail, homeschooling routines and detailed schedules are ready, lockers stand in the entry awaiting little coats and boots, and new toys are organized as we await the additions to our home and hearts.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Silence is not always golden.

There is a time when there is so much to say, nothing comes out.
The page remains blank, and no matter how many times you check that blog the same picture remains at the top.

Nothing new,
yet there is.
And,
there isn't.


Like the times you lay in bed next to each other, and you know if you start the flow of words, it will just take too long to sort it through, so you roll over and go to sleep instead.


I've been rolling over and turning my back to you.

It's been easier.

But it hasn't.

I've been busy, achieving boundaries on my time, choosing what is needed and hopefully profitable.
Yet I've neglected this one thing that could benefit us both.
 
Silence is not always golden.

I read this today. Maybe only other bloggers can understand this struggle. The rest just think we are crazy to put our hearts out in black and white anyway. Maybe we are. And yet relationship is born of honesty and communication and people who don't tell the truth about who they are are never really known by each other.

Loneliness is born of pretending, hiding.

To be honest, I've quit this venue and as a result, lost track of His voice. I've plugged my ears, stilled my tapping fingers, and closed up my heart so you can't see what is there, so I don't have to process and make sense of what I am:

An ungrateful mess.

How many times must I read the book, jot out gifts, lead the book club?
How many ways do I need to frame it up in my home, reminding myself, that this is all gift, grace?



I am broken.

But when I come here, I can only be honest.
Could it be that this place is where I best face what and who I am?
If I lose track of the stories, I’ll lose track of part of me. Lose track of His voice in this life. Telling our stories, keeping traces of His graces, even in a venue such as this, may indeed be important, sacred work, because in these stories, God meets us. We listen to our life and hear God. ~Ann Voskamp
I cannot roll over and turn my back anymore.

Thank you for still being here, for not giving up on this mess, even when she has nothing she is willing to say. Thanks for listening as I listen, that together, we might hear God.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Beyond Opinion by Ravi Zacharias


Author and speaker, Ravi Zacharias gathered a team of apologists to contribute to this book. They aim for a apologetic method focused on winning people, instead of arguing about faith. This book begins by addressing the difficult questions posed to those of faith in Jesus by postmodernism, atheism, youth, Islam, eastern religions, and science, and then discusses "the questions behind the questions" involving controversial apologetics, cultural and philosophical challenges, and the challenges of evil and suffering,

Beyond Opinion is varied in writing style as it is written by many contributors. The book was marketed as one that could by read and understood by the general public, but I think that is a stretch. Though I have a degree from a Bible college and excelled in my Bible and Theology classes, I am slightly embarrassed to admit I struggled through parts of this book.

Regardless of my personal struggles to wade through the content of Beyond Opinion, I found it thorough, thoughtful, and a great resource for anyone being asked or asking intelligent questions about why we still believe and why faith "is a gift, but it is not the gift of stupidity" (p 139).

Ravi Zacharias has said, "The greatest obstacle to the impact of the gospel has not been its inability to provide answers, but the failure on our part to live it out."

The arguments can be won, but the key is winning hearts by living out the love of Christ.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Random hello

Hi!


This picture is to prove that, yes, I am alive and well. Mostly. ha.

I still have a smile on my face.

Writing has taken a back burner to child care (of my own and extras) planning, gardening, paperwork. CPR training. And more paperwork.

With an occasional trip to the local pool thrown in.

Summer is half over. Sob. But it's supposed to reach nearly !00* this week again, and we plan to cram as much summer into summer as we can!

Last night, as I crawled into bed and Robb reached for me, I asked him why he loves me. He sleepily mumbled, "Because you didn't run me over with the boat."

Bahahaha! My laughter burst out into the sleepy quiet of our house. Funny guy. I love him.

There was a day when the boat accident was no laughing matter. It's curious how with enough years, times of pain can become the brunt of jokes, and how one light heart can ease the burdens of another.

Laughter is great stress relief, have you learned it's power?


Psalm 126:2 
Our mouths were filled with laughter, 
our tongues with songs of joy. 
Then it was said among the nations, 
“The LORD has done great things for them.”

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stones, an Altar, an Anniversary

"We've been through a lot together."

My husband lay on his back, the day and sermon running through his head as he waited for slumber to claim him.

Yes. We have.

The sermon had been on Joshua 22.  The eastern tribes returned home, across the boundary of the Jordan that separated them from the Israelites. They built an altar, fearing that the decedents of Israel would one day say,

"What do you have to do with the Lord? The Lord has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you! You have no share in the Lord!"


We've been through a lot and some days we fear the same words. We have our own Jordan and we've crossed the boundary between then and now. A marker exists.

Except for Grace, what have we to do with the Lord?

The eastern tribes said, "That is why we said, 'Let us get ready and build an altar...it is to be a witness between us and you and the generations that follow, that we will worship the Lord. Then in the future your descendants will not be able to say to ours, You have no share in the Lord."

Not many build altars now. We remember in different ways. We pile no stones. And yet.

I catch Robb's eye and hold out my left hand, fingering my wedding ring and the glinting circle I received for our tenth anniversary after our Jordan.


I smile gratefulness at his face. "These are my stones."

My altar has the same name: A Witness Between Us that the Lord is God.

These rings are a witness between us in our marriage that when we believe God, not just believe in Him, but believe that He is who He says He is, He is enough, He is big enough, and He can do what he says He can do, nothing is impossible.

Happy Anniversary, Love. 

I love you,
more deeply because of sorrow.
I cherish you,
because you faithfully nurture.
I trust you,
for you trust your heart to me.
I respect you,
for you humbly offer grace.

I want to remember it all
and count it all as joy, 
for He is our God. 
And He has been good 
to give me 
you.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I sit at my computer,
desperately adding hours to my log,
busy, concentrating,

and then
I hear soft whispers,
clinking,
and I wonder.

is there trouble?
are they naughty?

minutes pass
I log time

then two girls enter
dressed for party
or something

and instead of naughty
I find nice

they lead me

through one door
and short hall
eyes closed
we bump ankles
but I open to find

this:


a table decorated by two


like me.


Tonight is pizza night, but I think we'll be eating on better than paper plates.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Herbed Butter Crackers


"Crackers? Who makes homemade crackers?"

That's what a friend said, when I brought these (minus the herbs) to a potluck on a platter beside venison sausage and cheese.

( I love the herbed ones by themselves, but was unsure how the flavors would mingle with sausage.)

One note on the recipe: I put the powdered milk in with the warm water so it dissolves properly.  

Or if you want, this is my new version, kinda like wheat thins:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 cup white flour
1cup wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
 3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
sea salt for sprinkling

Mix well, knead a bit, and let sit, covered, for 1 hour.

I split the dough in two balls, roll each out on a jelly roll pan with my Baker's Roller, cut with a pizza cutter and poke with a fork.

Bake 400* for 11-13 minutes. They need to be lightly browned to be crisp.

They are nice and thin, crispy, melt in your mouth yummy.

Now you can join the likes of those who make their own crackers!



Tasty Thursday (beacuse I'm delinquent and forgot on Tues: Ginger Cran- Apple Granola





The Flat Belly Diet comes through once again, with a superb recipe. I've experimented with granola recipes in the past and this has great flavor, good crunchy chunks and best of all, makes use of the dried apples from our trees!

Here's what you'll need:

2 c oatmeal

1 and 1/4 c walnuts, chopped 

1/2 c unprocessed bran

1/3 c ground flaxseed

1/3 c apple juice or applesauce

1/2 c maple syrup (I use the real thing.)

1 tsp minced crystallized ginger

1 c dried apples, chopped

1/3 c dried sweetened cranberries

For my daughter I leave out the ginger and cranberries and add a teaspoon of cinnamon. That was a big hit!
For cooking and baking directions, and a parfait recipe, follow this link.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Garden Planning, also, I'm not really a girly girl


This is the pretty part of gardening.
The lists and pretty packages and lovely doodles and neat handwriting.
The flowers plucked from a bed of disarray, brought in, tamed, displayed in glass on doily.


The is the truth of gardening and me:


I'm really not such a girly girl.
I have garden gloves, but rarely wear them.
I wear open toed sandals in the dirt and let my feet feel the earth squish up and around my soles.

It's hard work, of course.

But oh, it feels good.

My list of good things:

 Her and her.


safety in storms
breezy picnics
garage sale with friends
free stuff
deals
finding just what I needed
and a few things I didn't
bikes all the right size
motors that start after sitting idle for a season
asparagus that planted itself, put proper in its row
things reorganized
study guide I don't have to write

Other thoughts of mine on gardening:
Meeting in the Garden
A Warm Healing

sharing this list with others who count....


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rhubarb (Nut) Muffins


I cut the oil in half in this traditional church cookbook recipe and substituted vanilla yogurt. Also, I swapped one cup of whole wheat flour for white to add a bit of fiber.

I left the sugar as it was. There is such a thing as too great a sacrifice. :) The result is fluffy and moist without being too chewy.

I left the nuts out in mine, but shouldn't have, as Megan loudly protested that she would prefer zucchini muffins and I will probably end up eating the majority of these myself. I'm not complaining. Not at all.

Rhubarb (Nut) Muffins

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup milk soured with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped rhubarb
1/2 cups nuts (optional)

Mix wet ingredients together. Add flours, soda, salt and mix. Stir in rhubarb and nuts.

Spoon into greased muffin pan.

Sprinkle tops with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake 15-20 minutes at 325* F.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Good and Perfect


 Just popping in to say, yes, I am counting. 

Amidst last week's raindrops 
and this week's sunny glimmers, 
my list grows, 
sometimes more.

boy - belting it out
red hair
remade hats
all things vintage
slicked back hair
quiet ticking clock
warm sun spots
guacamole
cotton balls and Vaseline (Minute to Win It church game I played)
a tile, rub-ons and a dry erase marker
weeds that pull easy
first dandelions
freshly tilled garden
new leaves


late sun glimmer on the underside
first sunburn of spring
the good tired and sore of hard work
clip art
neices chubby arms
shunshine
warm toes
lunch at Mom's 
donuts and coffee with Robb
baby kisses
four signed up and at least four more, to read One Thousand Gifts with me. 
things waiting to be counted, unopened gifts for tomorrow

Every Good and perfect gift 
is from above 
coming down from the Father 
of heavenly lights 
who does not change 
like shifting shadows.
 James 1:17

Sharing my list with the Counters of Gifts at Ann's.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dandelions While We Wait

The sun came out from hiding yesterday, and so did I.

Rows of dead, crisp things lingered in my garden from the early arrival of winter so many months ago, still stubbornly clinging to the soil. I slipped into sandals, stripped off my top layers down to cami, entered my patch of scratched dirt and let the sun kiss my shoulders.

Then, for Mother's Day, I asked Robb to help till my garden.

Some manure may also be in my future.

It strikes me ironic that even poop can be re-purposed. What one could not gain any nutrients from, another can use.

Lord, work the hard places in my heart, 
the settled-down-in-my-own-ways places. 
Use the excrement of my life,
the thing I thought I couldn't use, 
didn't understand. 
Furrow it in, 
till it deep. 
Make me fertile ground 
for your Word to take root, 
grow fruit.


Soon we'll work the hard settled ground, dreaming of days long and baskets full.


But for now, while we wait, we'll rummage around for an appropriate sized vase and notice the beauty of first dandelions on the kitchen table.

Today, I'm sharing When God Seems Late for Elizabeth Ester's Saturday Evening Blog Post. Thank you for your comments, encouragement. God is faithful. And you are faithful friends.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Hot Fudge Sauce


This recipe has been added to my list of homemade things to keep on hand, because you never know when you're really really really gonna need some good ole hot fudge sauce. I make a double batch and there's always a jar of it in my fridge. YUM!

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sifted cocoa
1/3 cup cream

Put all above ingredients in pan.
Over low heat, melt butter.
Stir continuously.
Turn up heat to medium until boil.
Boil 1 minute.

Add:
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup white corn syrup

Drizzle over mint chocolate chip, orange sherbet....or whatever your craving demands.

Quirky fact: When my twin sister requests this recipe from my grandma....she asks for it grainy! If you  like your hot fudge grainy too, (why you would, I don't have know..) don't sift the cocoa. Happy drizzling!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Surfing the Waves




I didn't want to brag, so I've not posted or said a thing (here, at least) about our recent vacation. We've been home a month now, spring has yet to come, and I'm tempted to forget how blessed I am.

We went to Mexico for a week. And we didn't have to pay for it. You'd think the gratefulness would carry me through for a while. 

The waves have come, we're storm tossed, sucked under, sand worn, and I've complained about the waves that pull at my anchor.

I've forgotten that waves are meant to be surfed.

Gratefulness can carry me to shore.

Today's List:

Planning a book club on One Thousand Gifts. I can't wait to share it with my real life community!
Relaxed Sunday
Vintage gloves and shoes
Little girls having tea in gloves and dresses and shoes
YouTube (Do I really need my own channel? I say yes. :) )
Dance recital
Formal wear
Growing up girls
Little girls who worship and pray together
An agreeable committee
Walking with friends
New hobby for Mitchell
Unexpected Bible Quizzing awards (Megan's team got 1st and Mitchell placed 15th individually.)
Gifts we don't deserve
Justice
Hope
And love that never fails.

Linking with friends who count here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When God Seems Late

I'll admit it.

For the first time in my life, I'm mad at God.

It is unusual to me, strange even, that I would be mad at him now. I've faced worse things in the not so distant past, so why now? Why would the current set of circumstances make me angry at the one I claim to trust?

Why not back then, when what I thought we were crumbled and I had to redefine my life by grace. Why not all the other years I've lived with an uncertain future? Why not when Robb resigned and I was embarrassed, feared church gossip, and was confused about what God was doing in our lives. Why not those times?

Why now?

I'm tired of change and stress. Unknowns. Waiting.

Tired...

....and whiny.

I think I do know the why of now. In the past when we made decisions, I voiced my opinion, and then let my husband decide. I left all the responsibility on his handsome broad shoulders. Then when things went south, or at least happened in a way that made me unhappy, I could blame him.

Lovely, huh? Convenient, certainly. Pleasant? Not so much. I disgust myself.

This time around, in the roller coaster of our work/finances we sought after God's leading more than we ever have in the past. We were eye's open wide to closing doors and an open one. We walked through, full of faith and dependence and trust.

And you know what? I wrongly assumed that just because we made a decision to walk this path, to follow this road of His will, somehow He would magically provide and we'd have a Disney ending.

But it just hasn't been that clean cut, that easy.

I've said that God is never late, but rarely early.

 Photo credit: Astronomical Clock (Souvenir) (Anthony Dodd) / CC BY-NC 3.0

It feels like he's late.

You know, there's danger in claiming God's leading. Because when things don't pan out the way we thought  and it doesn't look all nice and tidy, we need to be prepared for God to take the blame, or else we need to admit we were wrong. Neither option is easy, especially when we're just as committed to God's reputation as our own.

I'm just being gut honest here. This is hard. Of course I still trust him. He says he'll provide everything we need. It's just that what I think I need and what he thinks I need may look very different.

Somewhere in the Word,* it says that God is not slow in keeping his promises, as some think. He is patient. He has something in mind. He's not on my timetable.

Lyrics to a song come to mind.
"There's a time to be angry and a time to let it go...He is with you." ~Mandisa's With You

With me. I've been waiting for God to show up big.

But he's already here.

So he's not late after all.

Photo Credit: Astronomical Clock (Anthony Dodd) / CC BY-NC 3.0

Time makes no difference to him because he is the God to whom a thousand years is like a day, who calls what isn't into existence, who knows the beginning from the end, who redeems years. And yet His timing is perfect, precise.

It's time to let it go. It being my plan, my expectations, my right to feel sorry for myself, my silly anger at a God whose plans are always better than mine.  I'd better quit whining, learn to be patient like He is patient, get with His program.

He is with me. And He is all I really need.

*2 Peter 3:9



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Waldorf Salad Pita


Waldorf Salad Pita

Mmmmm. Summer's a-comin' and my taste buds are ready!

This is what you'll need:

Apple
Walnuts
Celery
Lettuce
2 Laughing Cow Cheese wedges in Swiss Light
Whole Wheat pita

Dice a nice amount of apple, walnuts and celery.
I can't be bothered with precise measurements. Your guess is as good as mine. :)
Spread cheese on pita, insert lettuce, stuff with chopped yumminess.

Didn't guess accurately with the quantity of apples, etc? Store in fridge for a craving later.
You'll have one. Believe me!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The blog me...the real me.

"I love the blog you."

He says it and I struggle. I know he loves the regular old me too, I just don't like the two being differentiated.

Because the blog me is me.

No, I don't really talk flowery, metaphorically and spiritual all the time. Of course I don't. Out of no ones mouth, except perhaps Anne of Green Gables or another fictitious character, can such witty or sappy or spiritual words flow so easily. I use a thesaurus when my brain freezes and I can't remember a word, or I just want variety in my paragraph. My thoughts are encumbered by what I sometimes consider a sluggish intellect.

No, I'm not always rational and calm and faith filled. I strive to be, greatly desire to move toward wisdom. But I yell, and fuss and fume. I do. I don't like that I do. But I do. It's ironic.. I'm most likely the "blog me" when facing a large crisis than dealing with the everyday.

I've given much thought to this. The blog me and the real-life me, are we really that different? Am I pretending to be something I'm not, more spiritual, more of something I only wish to be?

I think on this and after a while I just quit writing.

I ask myself why I keep coming here, talking to myself, and to anyone listening.

A month passes and as we lay in bed one night, he shares with me a verse he's read. It's in the context of a verse I've claimed for a long time. "Do not be anxious...with thanksgiving....peace that passes understanding...."(Philippians 4:6-7) I know these phrases, and he's learned what I noticed once but since forgot: what follows.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

He's thoughtful when he says, "This verse. It's the blog you."

I think he's right. I process, press keys, and as I do, I filter my life through a lens of truth. God's truth. Life only makes sense when seen through that lens.

As I empty my heart on a bright screen, cursor blinking in wait as I thoughtfully consider my life, I pass on what I have learned or received or heard or seen...in Him.

I begin to put it into practice.

And every blog post diminishes the cyberspace between the blog me and the real life me.

So, love me in real life, or love me here, it's all me. But I think the blog me, the thoughtful me that pauses and considers and remembers, is what God intended for me to be.

I think the blog me is the real me.


Where are you the real you, the best you God intends you to be?

sharing at Hyacynth's today for The Bigger Picture....

Monday, April 18, 2011

With everything....hope.

I am weak today, tired, and feel not-quite-right, but can't put my finger on why. The day looms ahead with its chores, checklists, all of which I need to motivate self and children to fulfill.

I don't have it in me.

I press on anyway, and as is usual, they press back.

Sigh... Why is this so hard?

I answer my own question: Because we do not live in a void. There will always be resistance when we seek to live contrary to the prowling prince of this world.

I face off in the bathroom with one child who hates me and hates school and sit there on the only seat in the room, finally calm, yet sadly listening to lies.This is my reality for the moment, but it's not the only reality. A heart spewing is not the end of the story. I will not let angry words deafen me to truth.

The words of a song unexpectedly interrupt the barrage in my ears.

Let hope rise, and darkness tremble in your holy light,
that every eye will see, Jesus our God,
great and mighty to be praised. 
God of all days, glorious in all of your ways,
your majesty, the wonder and grace,
In the light of your name...with everything,
we will shout for your glory....your praise....
Hope...the knowledge that the Light of truth reaches through the darkest anger, His word hidden in my heart overcomes self-deception, and His power is great enough to change the thoughts and attitudes of an angry child or my own. His ways are glorious, though the way is sometimes wrought with struggle, his grace is wonderful, though the pain of sin is still remembered. I hope....knowing that He loves us too much to leave us the same.

Hope. It changes everything.

There are days I will sit in the bathroom hearing words that grieve my heart, but I must remember, his work is not yet complete. He is at work. In my children. In me.

With everything, in hope, and for his glory and praise, I list gratitude.

subtraction with seashells we picked off the beach
"beautiful beyond beautiful dresses" for a beautiful price
treats and compliments "You're the best Mrs. S!"
combed hair
freshly showered boy
early bedtime for a sleepover
relaxed evening
skype
spring snow that melts by noon
the smell of ground thawing
a made bed
a husband who knows what my heart needs
A God who knows even better

Saturday, April 16, 2011

LRC on my heart

It is never a good idea to go a whole month without writing. Far too many things are in my head now, and some are no longer complete thoughts. I've no idea where to even begin...

I will tell you this to start:

This winter has been hard.

 snowy February sunset on our farm


Besides being comparable to Laura Ingalls' book "The Long Winter" our church family has been through what feels like a ringer. Every family has their own story of trial. We're all tired and ready for spring; the spring that God promises seasonally and the joy he promises in the morning.

God knows it's been night far too long.

Our founding pastor and friend resigned at the beginning of the year, and though the Walls remain with us, we miss hearing from Jon every Sunday. In 8 years we've become a family, and change hurts.


We've been blessed with wonderful interim preaching, and fresh green shoots are beginning to sprout. Prayer has never been so prominent a focus, and hope is bubbling up, a fresh spring of water to a thirsty people.

On a personal level, our hearts have been stirred and we are looking for new ways to invest in our church community. Past hurts heal, and God calls us to move past fear and serve again.

Will you keep Living Rock Church in your prayers, please? I have been given the challenge of a place on the pastoral search committee. The elders and our team would appreciate your prayers that we would have eyes to see and ears to hear as we seek the man God would have lead us into the future.

Thank you.
(and.... I've missed you.)

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