Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Beauty of Christ

A friend sent this my way...I love it.

Mary's Song
by Lucy Shaw

Blue homespun and the bend of my breast
keep warm this small hot naked star
fallen to my arms. (Rest ...
you who have had so far
to come.) Now nearness satisfies
the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies
whose vigour hurled
a universe. He sleeps
whose eyelids have not closed before.
His breath (so slight it seems
no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps
to sprout a world.
Charmed by dove's voices, the whisper of straw,
he dreams,
hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eyes
he is curtailed
who overflowed all skies,
all years.
Older than eternity, now he
is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed
to my poor planet, caught that I might be free,
blind in my womb to know my darkness ended,
brought to this birth
for me to be new-born,
and for him to see me mended
I must see him torn.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Doing the thing...

I've been struggling with doing the thing. You know, the living life well thing? I feel as though my life is in a perpetual state of chaos. Ughhhhh...

So, I am asking God to bring order into my life. There are a few things I really long to do well and I am asking Him to help me prioritize. I know He is faithful.

1) I want to really seek Him and know Him, you know, the Creator, our Everlasting Father, our Provider, the Prince of Peace, the Ancient One, you know, that One? I want to know Him...

2) I want to glorify Him...not as an act of show, not to please Him, but because He is worthy.

3) I want to hide His Word in my heart AND I want His Spirit to begin to instill in the hearts of my kiddos a love for His Word as they begin to hide it in their hearts as well.

4) I long for my home to be a place of refuge, a sanctuary, a place where people experience the presence of the Holy Spirit and can rest. I long for that for my husband, our children, the people we have into our home, me...

5) I want to live more simply. Yes, I mean, stuff and activities, and whatever it takes.

6) I want to sacrificially love people...even more than I love myself.

7) I want to laugh. Every.single.day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting Motivated...

So, a few of the items on my list of things I'd love to do are the following...

1) Make matching pajamas for the family for Christmas. Seriously, can we say, "Cheese!!!"? Regardless, I think it would be fun and if I don't get on the ball, my boys will be old enough to say, "No way, Mom, we ARE NOT wearing matching Christmas tree jammies!".

2) Cut, roll and hot glue pages from books to make dozens and dozens of flowers that will adorn a wreath form. The finished wreath would be so, so cute! Think the hubby would mind cutting and hot gluing while we vegged on the couch in the evenings??? Hmm...

3) Applique Christmas dishtowels for, well, for Christmas. I saw some of the cutest for sale for $21 each. No, that is NOT a typo, $21, EACH. Dollar store, here I come. I can buy two flour sack thingies for $1 and some fun Christmas fabric with a 50% off coupon and voila, darling dishtowels. If you get some as a gift, act surprised!

4) Embroider and applique some onesies for the blessed abundance of new babies in my life...mary,ian,olivia,eve,micah,brooke,benjamin,ariana. For a couple of those sweet baby girls I want to do tutus and Christmas onesies. Adorable!

5) Sew a silky blanket for my baby. His brother and sister both have two, in case one needs washed of course, and he only has one. Poor little guy has to cozy a chew toy with a silky corner if his is in the wash.

6) Make wool dryer balls, for me, Mom, and my sister-in-law.

7) Read my book club book before the afternoon of book club...

8) Get up out of this chair so I can feed my children, finish the mountains of laundry, iron clothes for the love of my life, empty the trash, feed my children again, pack for a trip...well, those are things I have to do, rather than want to do, but I'd best get moving on them, or the other will always only be a dream.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Midnight Musings...

It's midnight...I should be in bed, but my mind doesn't seem to want to shut down.

My hubby graduates from seminary with his Master of Divinity in five weeks. Seriously, in just five short weeks, we will be done. The last three and a half years have been hard, really, really hard. But, our God is faithful and I know He will redeem the time.

A dear friend from high school just brought home two precious babies from Uganda. Two.precious.babies. I cannot even begin to express what their journey has done to my heart.

An old friend and his family serve with Samaritan's Purse in Kenya. For the last several months he has been flying both people and supplies to a refugee camp on the border of Sudan. (I knew him while I lived in Nicaragua, where he flew flies. That is another story for another day...) I cannot even begin to express what the story of these Sudanese refugees has done to my heart.

I follow the blogs of a couple of women who are in Ecuador on a Compassion Blogging trip. They have shared such beautiful stories of the children in Ecuador, children whose lives have been forever changed by the love of Jesus, because He has honored the faithfulness of Compassion International and the folks who have determined to partner with Compassion through sponsorship. I cannot even begin to express what the pictures the bloggers have painted this past week have done to my heart.

My kiddos and I have been collecting small gifts for Operation Christmas Child for the last several weeks. Tonight we got together with some folks from church to pack our shoeboxes, wrap them, and pray over them. Over the last few weeks we have watched YouTube videos of children scouring dumps for items that can be sold so their families can survive, videos of children who have treasured gifts that they have received for years after receiving them...and I have wept. I cannot even begin to express what this opportunity for us to share with children from around the world has done to my heart.

I do not know what God has in store for us after graduation. I do not know if He will redeem the last three and a half years by granting our family the privilege of serving in an orphanage in Africa or by bringing little ones into our family through adoption. I do not know if His plan for our lives will include serving refugees on the border of Sudan or somewhere in the United States, this incredible country we live in that offers asylum to so many. Maybe He will redeem the time by pouring out our lives into the lives of children who have been devastated by poverty. I simply do not know, we do not know. But, of this one thing I am certain...I cannot even begin to express what He has done to my heart. And, I cannot wait to see what He will do.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tuesday Twelve

1) It's hot here this summer...hot, hot, hot. AND, our pool has sprung a leak. What a bummer!

2) I've made my own toothpaste, am using rubbing alcohol instead of deodorant, vinegar instead of rinse in the washer, and am loving my clothesline, well, sometimes loving my clothesline. I also have plans to make my own laundry detergent and hope to wash my hair and the kids' with baking soda and rinsing with vinegar. Who knew I was such a granola?! I may begin wearing patchouli oil too. (Just teasing, Babe!)

3) My girl starts swim lessons in a couple of weeks...it is time, but I'm a little bit anxious. Thank goodness she doesn't know enough to be anxious yet. She's just excited and intent on "teaching Bubby how to swim" once she learns.

4) A friend asked my boy what his favorite thing to play with was. His reply, "My dad."

5) Speaking of playing with Dad, the two of them worked to put in a patio of sorts for our grill. They worked so hard, the littlest man lugging around a sledge hammer and giving his daddy water, the biggest man, carefully lining up pavers in the incredibly hot Texas sun. They are the two hardest working guys I have ever seen. It looks amazing!!

6) We're trying to simplify our lives, getting rid of things we haven't used since moving here, three years ago. So far, I've gone through several kitchen cabinets. I need some motivation to carry on...I certainly don't want to look in the entryway in six months and see those same three boxes full of kitchen stuff.

7) My littlest has begun pushing a small child's chair around the house...forget the toy that is supposed to serve as a walker, he wants the chair. He's going to be one in less than a month. Seriously, how did that happen?!

8) Going to the grocery store takes the entire morning and every bit of my energy...and my kiddos are usually really good. By the time I get the kids loaded in the car, to the grocery store, buy the goods, get them to the car and unloaded, kids buckled in their carseats, home, groceries to the house, kiddos out of their carseats, groceries put away...I'm tired even thinking about it!

9) Started a book club. We're reading a book called, "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. It is life-changing.

10) My girl's heart is being softened to sin and the sorrow it brings to the Father and to us, His children. The other day she said, "It makes me so sad Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins." Me too, little one, me too...

11) Homesick for the cool mornings/evenings of Colorado, my sweet grandma, and my best friend...wish it wasn't so far and my kiddos weren't so little.

12) I still want chickens...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Twelve

1) Well, my middle boy has pottied in many a public restroom. I hate to admit it, but I stand him on the seat and just let him take aim. However, we've never gone, ahem, number two. Today, we attempted to, and shall we say, the floor, my son, and his very inept mommy, were all a little more damp when we left than when we arrived. Lovely...

2) My youngest son is the fastest "inch-wormer" I do believe I have ever seen. Heaven help us when he finally figures out how to crawl!

3) My husband has a paper due on Thursday, two finals, and then, for one short week, he will be completely ours. After that, summer classes begin...we are looking forward to December.

4) There are buds on my daisies. We cannot wait until they begin blooming.

5) We filled Easter eggs with candy and stickers for our church's Easter egg hunt last week. I told the kids the church was inviting kids from the community who had not heard about Jesus and how much He loves them. We prayed for the children who would be coming while we stuffed our eggs. Then, Saturday morning, we gathered up our baskets and got ready to go to the church. My daughter asked me why we were bringing our baskets. I told her they were to hunt Easter eggs. She said, ever so sweetly, "But Mama, those eggs are for the children who have never heard about Jesus." How I love her...

6) I have reenacted, told, or sung the story of David and Goliath at least 2,000 times. I.am.not.kidding. We even tell the story while sitting on the potty and my son, who is always Goliath, leans back as far as he can on the seat, dead.

7) I am struggling with consistency in my parenting. 'Nuff said...

8) My husband gave me the most gorgeous pot of blue hydrangea for Easter. I love hydrangea. I'm tempted to plant them in a bigger pot, rather than in the ground, so, if graduation takes us away from Fort Worth, I can take my hydrangea with me.

9) Speaking of moving...I long to live in the city. I can think of all sorts of cities I'd love to move to one day. I am a city girl. However, I would like a garden, the kind of garden that will produce enough to really feed our family, fruits and veggies we can can, freeze, dry, etc., some chickens, fresh eggs you know, a couple of cows, and some goats, cows, to eventually eat, goats, because really, who doesn't want goats? Oh, and a bunny, because my middle son loves, loves, loves his aunt's bunny. Think I kind find a space in the city that will sustain all of that?!

10) I've found a Mexican restaurant that serves a dish called chilequiles for breakfast. It's chicken and corn tortillas in a yummy tomatilla sauce. It's delicious...I wonder if I can make it at home. I could eat Mexican food every single meal. If I had my dream garden I could at least make and can salsa.

11) We had the biggest hail I have ever seen last week. There were several pieces that were bigger than golf balls. It was a bit unnerving.

12) My middle boy just told me he was doing the potty dance, suppose I'd best go. Hope we both stay dry!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Twelve

1) I have determined not to use my computer while the kiddos are awake...I've been using a dry erase board to jot down things I want to look up and saving the list for naptime or bedtime. It's been a good thing, but I'm cheating right now. Hope I'm quicker than usual!

2) In the past week we have become a family where my oldest can buckle herself into her carseat, all.by.herself. What a tremendous amount of freedom that brings. I also realized we are now a family of one diapered kiddo, one sippy cup kiddo, and three kiddos who can feed themselves cheerios. It's a new day at our place!

3) Bubby just asked his sister for some help and she responded, "Just a second, Bubby. I'm strugglin' here. I'm just strugglin'." Wonder where she's heard that phrase?! Actually, I can hear myself now, "Hold on a second, Sweetheart. Mommy's struggling here."

4) My boys are already the best of friends. And, I think they're going to be trouble!

5) We made an Easter Garden, to reflect on, and celebrate this season where we remember Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection.

I think it's going to be such a meaningful tradition for our family.

6) Somehow I deleted my pictures at least a half dozen times and had to upload them all over again (and again, and again). Why is it so difficult?!

7) How we have loved watching new life in our garden...cucumbers and green beans coming up from seeds, flowers on a watermelon vine, with the promise of watermelons this fall, green tomatoes, and strawberries that have grown and ripened and been eaten. As a matter of fact, I think we have a few out there right now that need to be picked by chubby little toddler hands and eaten, straight off the vine. The Giver of Life has blessed us so richly and we are reminded daily.

8) I put my youngest in his first pair of cloth diapers. There is something about the bulk of a cloth diapered bottom. He is a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e.

9) My sweet husband got me a new pair of clippers for the yard and a new attachment for my hose that mists, showers, sprays, etc. What joy they bring me! He knows me so well. Oh, the little things.

10) I have not become a finisher since my last post nor am I ripped. I'm not discouraged though...today is a new day!

11) My husband and I love music, but you'd be hard-pressed saying either of us is musical. I've been pondering what we can and should do in order to instill not simply a love of music in our kids, but maybe some skills, even at an early age...

12) My kiddos are jumping up and down singing Jesus is alive...maybe I'll take a moment and join them!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday Twelve

1) My sweet little girl has been sick. She is on the mend, but was the sickest she has ever been. In fact, the doctor told me this morning she is borderline dehydrated...what a horrible mommy I am!!!

2) Additionally, my girl turned four. What?! I'm not sure how it happened, and not sure I like it! She's growing up so fast. What a delight she is.

3) We've planted a garden, a container garden, but a garden nonetheless. AND, my middle guy has already enjoyed the first fruits, an overripe strawberry. How we love watering everything and watching it grow.

4) My husband's sweet mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's just after we were married, almost five years ago. She lost her battle against the dreadful disease last night. She is rejoicing with the Savior, but there is much sadness here on earth. How she will be missed!

5) I'm trying desperately to be a finisher...I'm tired to death of starting things and never getting them finished, watermelon dresses, button "P's", owl art, matching batik tees, ruffle scarves, birthday banners, and so much more. I'm going to do it. One day at a time I'm going to do it. Today, after I get some ironing out of the way, I am going to work on my batik tees. Next week a pic!

6) Speaking of finishing...check out my fabric canvas. My mantle is on it's way to being completed! Isn't that fabric fabulous?

7) And, while we're at it, speaking of fabulous...aren't my candlesticks pretty fabulous as well? Mom passed those on to me last time I was home. They were her grandmothers. I.love.them.

8) I started "Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30". I'm not shooting for ripped, but I am hoping at the end of 30 days to be healthier than I am today! It's a journey and I am hoping I will stay the course...

9) How did I do life before I had a van with doors and a back hatch that all opened with the touch of a button?!

10) I'm trying to talk my husband into selling our house and buying a motor home once he's done with school. I say let's travel the U.S. while we can...I don't know if he's game, but I've been internet shopping for the perfect home on wheels.

11) My middle son loves to play Lazarus...when I get him out of the tub at night I have to wrap him in his towel like he's a mummy so his daddy or I can say, in a really loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" He is such a joy!!

12) Once the baby is weaned I think I may try to get a job at Starbucks...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Twelve

1) A couple of weeks ago I got online and looked up 'women's Bible study + childcare + Fort Worth'. I found a church just down the road that has a Bible study Tuesday mornings, with childcare. It began last week, but I had sick kiddos. This morning we were slow getting around, and even though I was a week behind and we were half an hour late, I loaded up the kids and took them. I'm so glad I did...

2) For the last few weeks when I have gotten my middle son out of bed he has told me his big toes hurt. I've looked at them, kissed them, clipped his toenails. Finally I realized he's outgrown his pajamas, the footies are too small. What kind of mommy am I?!

3) I made homemade chicken noodle soup for the first time this weekend, yep, the first time. My husband asked me if the recipe really was supposed to take all day to make. I don't know if it was me or the recipe! Regardless, it was good...

4) My daughter has a pair of shoes that don't quite fit. She keeps telling me, "These make my hips hurt, Momma." (Ha! That would be her heals!!)

5) We bought the kids some toy cleaning items, a broom & dust pan, mop & bucket and a dust mop. My daughter told me I no longer have to clean. She and her brother will clean and I can take a nap. If only it was so!!

6) I found some new bread at Wal-Mart, Sara Lee 45 Calories and Delightful. Seriously, that's the name! It.is.delightful. I'm sad though; I mistakenly thought it was whole wheat. It is not.

7) My daughter just started fastening herself into her car seat...thank you, Jesus!! I still have to help her unfasten it, but she's doing great getting herself fastened. How did she get so big?!

8) I backed into my husband's truck. He was parked behind me, me in the garage, him directly outside the garage. Seriously, how does a person miss a super-size, maroon, Toyota Tundra?! Ugh...

9) Naptime ritual with my middle son...he tells me, "I not get out of bed." I ask, "What are you going to do when you wake up?" He says, "I call you guys." At night, similar exchange...he says, "I cry for you." I tell him, "Don't cry for me." And he asks, "You come get me?" I tell him, "Absolutely, I'll come get you." How I love him...

10) After reading our Bible tonight I put my middle child into his crib and came back to my daughter's room to tuck her into her bed. She, her dad and the baby were all waiting. We played with the baby for a few minutes, resulting in much laughter. I eventually sent the baby with his dad for a bath, sang a song to my daughter and as I left her room heard my middle son calling me. He was still awake and so sad. He'd heard us all 'yucking it up' and asked, "I come with you guys?" I felt so bad. I took him to talk with baby as he prepared for his bath, tried to recreate some of the frivolity, but to no avail. Poor little guy.

11) I'm going to the Fort Worth Home and Garden show this weekend...hope I come home with some ideas!

12) A lawn crew stopped at our place today to see if they could rake the leaves in our front yard. We have an oak tree whose branches are bigger than our house, not kidding...GORGEOUS!! But, it does drop a lot of leaves. A.lot.of.leaves. Guess the kids and I'll try to get out tomorrow and rake some of them.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday Twelve, on Wednesday

1) My middle son has started taking naps in his "car" bed, a twin bed with car sheets. He's totally ready for it...I am not.

2) We have little ones in bed with us every night, and I like it that way...I feel guilty about loving toasty, soft, squirmy little bodies pressed up next to me, sharing my pillow and my space, like I'm much too submissive as a mommy. Is there something wrong with me?!

3) I cooked with kale last week, love, love, loved it...this week, I branched out and tried beets. Um, delicious, and oh so pretty. I missed the opportunity to use the greens as well, but plan to next time. Wish I had space for a garden!

4) I haven't gotten to work on my mantle yet, but did make two scarves from jersey knit, matching scarves for a sweet friend of mine and her daughter. They're adorable, if I do say so myself.

5) My littlest has been sick for weeks, finally took him to the doctor and he has severe bronchitis, an ear infection, and a wheeze. Bless his heart, what kind of mommy does he have? He is the best baby, in the midst of spraying saline up his sweet nose, suctioning out buggies, giving him medicine, pounding on his back and lathering him with Vicks, he always has a smile. Wish his mommy was as good natured...

6) Oh.my.word, my house looks as though a tornado has struck. I.am.not.kidding!

7) I think my littlest is hungry. He was just trying to suck on my chin. He's almost ready to begin trying solid food. He watches every move we make while we're eating. I dread the thought! Do they all have to keep growing up so fast?!

8) I want to begin reading books without pictures again, having adult conversations, using words with more than 2 syllables. My pediatrician quoted Plato and I thought to myself, "Plato, I think I've heard of Plato, but what in the world is this guy talking about?" He had to explain the quote to me, and while it sounded good, I'm still not sure I completely understood it. Will my mommy brain ever function properly again?!

9) My phone line/data line went out for a day and a half...it was a blessed inconvenience.

10) Thinking about the people of Haiti today. Is God pleased with our response to the people of that tiny country? Not the people of the U.S., but the people in my immediate family. Have we prayed faithfully, given sacrificially, served selflessly? What has our role been? What is it to be?

11) Every time I hear stories of adoption I want to adopt. Every.single.time.

12) I want to do something new before I turn 40. I have just over a year. Compete in a sprint triathlon? Go to New York? Dye my hair blond? Get a tatoo?? Nah, just kidding about that last one!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday Twelve

1) I just turned on a television show about Detroit, brought back some fun memories. My husband and I visited Detroit our first year of marriage. Believe it or not, several of the best museums I've ever been to were either in Detroit or right outside the city. Additionally, Detroit has a great tram that circles downtown. We loved the "tour", circled around several times. That same year Charles went to Connecticut and initially I complained about missing out on Connect - I - cut and going to Detroit instead. You know what, I'm glad I got to go to Motor City.

2) My middle son is the hardest working thing I ever have seen. He reminds me so much of his daddy...if I get the vacuum cleaner out he runs to get his as well. Together, we vacuum. He is meticulous, moves the furniture he can move, vacuums behind doors. I'm telling you, he's going to make his future wife a happy woman!

3) My mantel is bare. I'm planning to use some fabulous fabric I bought last year, some pitchers I will paint white and some cool stick thingies I have to decorate it with. My friend got a Compound Miter Saw and air compressor for Christmas she's planning to use to decorate at her place. She's much more ambitious than I am. I don't even know what a Compound Miter Saw is. I am planning to use my husband's staple gun. That's pretty wild and crazy for me. I'm going to staple that fabulous fabric I got to a frame, wha-la, instant art. Maybe I'll post a picture when I'm done.

4) Dad goes in Thursday for the results from his biopsy. We're ready to know what is next...

5) We're battling food issues at our place. I've always been a bit prideful about how well my kiddos eat, serves me right. I am determined to stand firm; trouble is, so are they.

6) I tried to make a pot of pinto beans today, pinto beans from the pinto bean capitol of the world, Dove Creek, CO. They are mushy and flavorless. I'm pretty sure it's the cook, not the beans, and I am sad. Guess I'll try again. Maybe I'll add bacon next time. As a culinary side note, I did make some pretty tasty soup tonight using chicken sausage and kale. Who knew kale had such incredible flavor?!

7) I want to open my home more this year, to my sweet neighbors, to other mommies, to some young couples we know from my husband's job. We bought our house because it was perfect for entertaining. This is the year...

8) Every time I see the new Weight Watchers commercial I tell myself I absolutely have to get serious about losing some weight. I weigh 45 lbs more than I did 10 years ago...wish I looked like Jennifer Hudson.

9) We drove around and looked at Christmas lights over the holidays. After seeing home after home with no nativity, no evidence of the Babe in a manger, my daughter said, "I guess all these people don't know Christmas is Jesus' birthday." Pretty profound, if you ask me.

10) My sister passed on a book on potty training, her youngest is 6. It's a bit more descriptive than I'd probably have chosen, but my middle son has asked to have it read to him twice in the last two days. I think he's probably ready to begin the potty training adventure whenever I am. Wonder when I'll be ready.

11) It feels like it should be Thursday...

12) I miss my best friend. It's been way too long since I've seen her. She's not met either one of my sons. Yep, way, way too long.