5/31/11

When the Pendulum Swings

About a decade ago I was working in the donation processing department of World Vision U.S.   I worked in a small office area with a group of other women.    In our office were people from a wide range of denominations, worship styles and peripheral doctrinal beliefs.  In this building were people from all walks of life,  races, and numerous different nations.  It was a melting pot of beautifully diverse Jesus followers.  We loved each other as we served the Lord with our everyday tasks.

One day I was sitting with my usual group of about 6 or 7 women in the cafeteria eating lunch.   A man, a temp worker, sat down at our table and started talking to us.  He went on and on about how any affliction in this life, illness, loss, financial problems, disease..even allergies was all a direct link to sin in a persons life and were linked to a specific spirit.  He went onto boast that he had not had so much as a cold in years.
 We just sat quietly stunned.  I couldn't believe he was serious.
According to him an afflicted person was proof that they not only lacked faith, but that they were living in sin and couldn't possibly have God's blessing.
None of us could eat, we all just sat there staring at him.
What this man didn't realize was that at this table, in my group of sisters, was a collection of illness, loss, disease and affliction.  We were each others support group that year as we shared our pain, loss, doubts, fears, and raw faith.  I believe God placed me in that office, with those women, to help me through the darkest pain in my life. They gave me perspective.  I doubt it was coincidence that this group of women worked every day in the same small cubicle together.

One woman suffered terribly with a degenerative disease called Scleroderma.  She lived in severe debilitating pain everyday.    She was also one of the most hilariously funny women I have ever known.
One woman was battling cervical cancer.
One young woman's husband ,who had been a police officer,  had recently suffered a stroke (at about 40yrs old).
Another young mom's husband had his leg amputated because of a gun shot wound.
I was the young woman who had just buried her only son.

We were a ragged, raw, real bunch of women.  All phoniness, illusions of self sufficiency, or arrogance had been burned away in the fires of suffering.   Each one of those women taught me about what REAL faith looks like.  They trusted God even when the story that God was writing in their lives involved pain.   They worshiped in Spirit and truth.  They laughed.   They lived each moment.   They LOVED the Lord with everything they had and it showed.

They  had enough wisdom and restraint to let this man finish his lunch and leave without blood shed.
When I think of the "name it and claim it" preachers,
when I picture the personal jet flying, money begging, televangelists promising healing for a hefty check,
I think of poor deceived men like the one that sat down at our table.

 With his theories he made the accusation, without even realizing it, that my unborn son had somehow sinned prenatally and deserved to have a broken body...or that I had done this to my child and was somehow being punished.   Once I realized he was sick it was my own lack of faith in healing that allowed my child to die.

I feel sorry for him that man.  What a horrible, fearful, delusional, guilt ridden way to go through life.  He will forever be assuming that if he isn't healthy , rich and trouble free he doesn't have God's grace.

Maybe that's why I don't drink this particular kool-aid.   I've lived the flip side of "health and wealth" and come out with a deeper relationship with Jesus because of it.




Strong words.

I have held my own dead child in my arms.
I have good  friends who live in shacks we wouldn't keep our garden tools in.
There are children I know and love living without enough to eat.
I've seen passionate followers of Christ, worshiping joyfully in cardboard and plywood churches.
There are believers who's faith put's ours to shame living on the brink of survival in Haiti.
Believers are sitting in prisons, being tortured and executed for their faith.
God's faithful ones are living through tornados, tsunamis, and earthquakes....and still finding the strength of Spirit to stand and sing songs of worship to the Lord.

Do they lack faith?   If they only believed it harder, decreed it louder, and declared it more fervently...maybe cash would come falling from the sky for them too.

That's why the whole "health and wealth " mentality baffles me.


The above video may have left you speechless, convicted, confused or even offended.
It does cut straight to the heart and gets straight to the point.

From where I stand,  prosperity gospel is one of the many pendulum swung too far the wrong way messages being spread as truth and tragically exported to other countries.
There are many good hearted, well intentioned Spirit filled believers that lean toward the declare and decree whatever your  heart desires philosophy.  The danger is in letting that pendulum swing too far over into making the Bible your personal self help book instead of God's story.  

In order to really buy what  the prosperity gospel sells, you need only to take  a few verses out of the Bible  and repeat them as a mantra.   The problem is , you need to skip the gospels, the book of acts and Paul's letters to the early church.

Cutting out chunks of the Bible, and using verses out of context, seems to be a trend in Canadian Christian circles.   North America is full of :  long-list-of-rules-legalists,  watered- down-social-gospel-liberals,  and  pasted-on-smiles-pockets- full-of- money -televangelists.....who pick out their favorite verses and skip over all the rest.

It sometimes makes me wonder where are all the Christians described in the book of Acts?  A minority for sure.  Where are the boldly passionate, Spirit empowered, love filled, truth speaking, culture engaging, uncompromising, scripture loving, grace tempered, servant hearted, self sacrificing disciples of Christ?   I suspect many of them are in  places like South America, Africa and Asia where they know the true cost of following Jesus and the word of God is still too valuable to be butchered.

Unfortunately for us in America, preaching a biblical dying to self message doesn't sell a lot of books, or win a lot of fans...so few do it.

In each of the three camps that I used as an example, there are nuggets of truth, points to be made, and glimpses of merit but so often the  baby has been thrown out with the bath water.  I believe in truth.  I believe that we should seek truth.  Not to be confused with public opinion,  wishful thinking, or warm fuzzies.   I suspect truth is lost once that pendulum swings too far in any direction.   We start to loose sight of Jesus and replace him with something out of someones imagination.

  So many times people over compensate.  They are repelled by  lifeless, loveless dogmatic religion and then swing way over to truthless, doctrineless, oprahfied love worship.

Where is the simple childlike faith Jesus referred to?   We don't have to re-write the Bible to regain balance....we just need to read it.

I believe in a terrifyingly awe inspiring holy God, and I firmly believe that he is loving beyond comprehension.  I believe that good doctrine is essential and I also believe that an intimate relationship is what defines my faith.   I believe that God sometimes allows affliction and brings beauty out of suffering...but I also believe in God's power to heal completely.   I believe in absolute truth as revealed in scripture and  I also embrace unfathomable mystery.  I love both classic hymns and contemporary worship music.  I enjoy vegetarian food and I love a good hamburger. (that one was just for fun)  I love diversity of believers and I don't sweat the small stuff of differing peripheral doctrines (I'm firmly non denominational) and I also believe in discernment, accurate interpretation and the truth of the gospel of Jesus.   The Bible is full of glorious paradox that can be embraced rather than divided up.

  I truly believe in the Holy Spirit that empowers, guides, convicts, comforts, and can give gifts displayed by wonderous works, visions, healing, and all the things listed among the New Testament believers. These things are happening everyday among believers around the globe.   God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  I believe that Jesus came to give us life lived abundantly, joyously and triumphantly!
But God is not a divine slot machine, working on our whims and desires.  Sometimes he responds with a loving "no" to the most fervent, noble requests.    We can't twist his arm with a big check, and loud chanting.

Even though I strongly disagree with the man that was sitting at our lunch table who has an almost mathematical formula for avoiding any kind of ailment... I do think there are consequences to breaking God's laws and crossing established boundaries.  A dysfunctional toxic person can wreak havoc on their families, relationships, and their own bodies.  That is not God honoring by any stretch of the imagination.   God doesn't desire for us to live addicted, oppressed, raggedy, defeated lives.  If we live a life of hatred, unforgiveness, deception, bitterness, offense, and destruction in our spirits eventually it will manifest itself in our physical bodies as well,  I've seen it happen....but a person can take that  truth and bend it to the extreme.  That extreme is the prosperity gospel that promises us health, wealth, success, and prosperity if we have enough faith.





The above video explains the problem with the health and wealth mentality so well I really didn't even need to expand with my own thoughts.

It  bugs me when people look at their own little kingdoms, their stored up wealth and say with satisfaction...look how God has blessed me.    I'm such a swell guy, such a righteous woman, that God has given me my due reward.  The focus is "me".  I deserve the best in this life...others don't.   Little by little we kill our conscience and blind our own eyes while the world around us dies.

Money doesn't make a person unrighteous just like being poor doesn't make a person holy,
but riches shouldn't be what we pursue.  Jesus should be the object of our affections...not what he can give us.  Being sick doesn't mean that God has forgotten you, or that you are being punished, it means that maybe we can't see the bigger picture right now.


With any preacher, teacher, or writer....take the meat and leave the bones, don't swallow it all without chewing it over or you just might choke.  If all that you're left with is a plate of bones...you might want to get your nourishment elsewhere.  

Again...it's all about that pendulum swinging too far.  Hype without foundation...it's a dangerous thing.


"I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world."  John 16:33  (Just a little quote from Jesus)


 As Christians we need to live out the lives God has purposed for us...passionately, radically, lovingly and transparently...whether that means a big house or a shack, a healthy body or one inflicted with disability...all the while trusting that God is faithful to carry us through to the finish line.

5/29/11

It's in the Jeans..and random babbling


This goof ball not only looks like a little clone of his daddy...
he inherited his silly streak too.


He used to hate having his picture taken.  Now he's a camera hog.
"Look , I'm wearing Dad's jeans,  take my picture!"


Apparently there is a clown gene running in the family. 
I didn't know the below picture existed until my sister in law sent it to me after she saw the above photo of Silas.   My husband wearing his father's jeans.   Too cute.


His sister is the little girl in the photo.  
(taken just a few years before they were completely separated by foster care and decades of dysfunction...not that the dysfunction has ended, in fact the grief of it all has contributed to a mighty fine ulcer that I'm now nurturing.)
The mess is just one more thing I daily give over to God as I learn to trust in his power to heal and restore what has been broken.  It is amazing to see how God has  now restored these two siblings into such a strong genuine friendship.  They are both clowns!



Sometimes my husband snaps random pictures, which I usually find irritating at the time.  Occasionally his candid shots catch my eye.   I don't make it into very many pictures since I'm usually the one taking them.
I really liked this one.  

In it I'm  having one of my long phone chats with a very dear friend ...the grown up little girl pictured above.  We had talked the battery dead in my portable so I was stuck to the wall phone.   We do a lot of laughing..mostly at ourselves.  I've never been much of a phone chatter (in fact I usually avoid the phone) but since she lives so far away we keep up with each others day to day lives by phone chats every couple days...usually late at night while we both wash our dishes.  
(In fairness my husband and her talk just as often..so he can't make fun of me)

Her and I share the joys, and challenges, of parenting our awesomely quirky kids.  
We share what God is doing in our lives and what we're learning.  
We challenge each other to deeper faith and grace filled love. 
She is such an encouragement to me.  I'm so thankful that God brought her into our lives ( I know I've said that before..but I really am!) 
After 2 years...there's not too much we don't know about each other.   Neither one of us are phony facade kind of people.  We are  spill your heart, share your life (even when it's messy), get to the deep stuff,  laugh at life, give God the glory, 
candid women.  
She may even know me too well!...that's ok she loves me anyway :)
She understands forgiveness and grace.
That is the best kind of friend.  
 I CAN'T WAIT for her to spend another summer with us in Canada!




This is my talented sweetheart working in his wood shop (our converted garage).  His current project is re-making all the woodwork in his  Tanzer 22 sailboat.   He's hoping to have it out sailing for the first time soon.  He's been working hard getting it sea worthy...or in our case lake worthy.   We have no shortage of wind here on the Canadian Prairie!


Just a picture of "mini-me" I took before church this morning.  
She is actually wearing my sweater...I gave it to her because it was a tad small on me.  
Crazy.

Well, this was a very random odds 'n ends post.  
Sorry for the lack of wisdom, humor, or intelligent comments.
 I'm too tired to  form the words rattling around  in my brain cohesively into one thought process....just a bunch of pictures and rabbit trail commentary today.
My stomach hurts.   I think I should give up coffee, but I really love coffee.
My body feels like it's eating itself from the inside out.  I'm finally noticing that it's flying the white flag of exhaustion and stress.
I'm realizing that something needs to change...physically, spiritually, emotionally...or something more than just my stomach is going to snap.

It's a good thing our home school year is wrapping up and seeding time (aka single parenting for a month) on the farm is done.   I may survive to tell another tale.

Until then...I'll see if I can survive without coffee.



5/26/11

I remember his feet


He had perfect little feet with adorable little toes.
I didn't get enough time to enjoy those feet.

Not enough nibbles or tickles,
no muddy foot prints left in my kitchen.
No tickely grass or squishy mud.
No trying to clip toenails on wiggling feet, 
or checking to see if the shoes fit just right.

Just a few kisses on those tiny feet and it was time for goodbye.

It makes me wonder how amazing the grass in heaven feels.  
Next time I kiss those toes, our time together won't run out. 
I'll get enough. 
We will squish our toes into warm sand and run barefoot through the grass.    



Happy 11th birthday sweet boy.





5/23/11

Discovery

Watching a toddler explore and discover the world around them for the first time never gets old.


Miss Cece exuberantly embraces each moment.



experiences God's creation with wide eyed wonder,


loves with no reservations,




 and notices the little things that others miss.


I learn so much by just watching her. 

5/22/11

A seeding time birthday


"As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease."  
Genesis 8:22



If you are a farmer, particularly a Canadian farmer, your life revolves around the seasons.   Our seasons are extreme and distinct.  With each season comes different tasks on the farm.   We have only one seeding time in the spring and one harvest in the fall...then a long cold winter.  In between seeding time and harvest is typically a hot dry summer.  
Every aspect of our life here on the Canadian prairie rotates around the seasons, and the weather.  We pray for rain some years, other's we hope it stops raining long enough to get the seed in the ground.  We  watch for frost and signs of winter coming.  Our live's are connected to and dependent on nature, which we believe God is in total control of.   In a way that makes dependence on God a little more tangible. Throughout the Bible there are so many parables and metaphors that relate to farming, seasons, seeding and harvest.  For most of the world these things are somewhat obscure references, since few people know what it is to put seeds in the ground each spring and hope for a harvest.  For us, season's are a way of life, our livelihood.

After a month of  15 hour work days (on average) ,6 days a week we are coming to the end of seeding time.   Only a couple more days left and I will once again eat meals with my husband!



Saturday was my husbands birthday so we popped over to the field to say hello.
The kids were excited, as always, to go for a ride in the tractor.



Rain clouds rolling in to give us a much needed little shower.   Some parts of our province are swamped with rain and flooding.  We were fortunate to be dry enough to seed this year.  Farmer's not too far from us haven't even been able to get into their fields yet.



After a quick spin in the tractor the kids and I headed over to my parents house to fix up a quick party. 
 Nathanael was working in the field right next to mom and dad's house so it was quick for him to pop in for a Birthday dinner.   My husband (the former city boy from Seattle) has been working for my Dad on my family's farm for several years..on and off for most of 15 years actually.  
My kids are the 5th generation  in my family living and farming in this area...well they're not exactly farming yet but they are getting their feet dirty in the same dirt that my great grandfather broke with his team of horses.  


Aili and my mom preparing a vegi tray for the birthday dinner.  Aili is becoming such a grown up girl lately...I find myself watching her, wondering where the years went.  I am loving this pre-teen age.
It was cute to see them working in the kitchen together.  My daughter and my mom. 




My Dad enjoying some time with his youngest grand-daughter.   
I really love my family!   
We are so blessed to have 2 wonderful grandparents so involved in our kids lives.  

5/21/11

My husband is a ....


Hardworking provider. 
Talented woodworker.
Passionate Hobiecat sailor.


Loving father who connects with each one of his kids 
and invests in his relationship with them. 


Committed, playful, and affectionate husband.
Man of integrity and strength, even when surrounded by turmoil, stress, or heartache.
Bold and adventurous follower of Jesus.
Man who seeks God's heart and strives to live His purpose.


We are so thankful for you today my love.

For all you do,
for who you are.
for all the years we've spent together 
and all the years yet to come...
I thank God for you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY my love  




5/19/11

Hi, We're Home-schoolers



It might be because we live out in the sticks.
It could be because Roman found the one pair of jeans in his dresser that are  too short and decided to wear them with his "muscle shirt".
Maybe it's because my boys need haircuts but  I haven't bothered to take them into town to get sheered.
It could be my 7 yr old boy frolicking skipping down the sidewalk beside me,
or the baby that doesn't quite match the rest of us,
or the 4 year old who also picked out his own clothes


but for some reason I think we scream "homeschoolers".
That realization dawned on me today as we wandered through town shopping, going to appointments, and running errands.
We may as well start wearing matching denim jumpers.


 I thought we could take our kids out of school and somehow still be cool.   I think I was mistaken.  First of all we never were cool. Now it's just a hopeless cause.

When you spend most of your time at home where it doesn't matter if your t-shirts say "QuickSilver" or "Billabong"....or even if you are wearing a shirt at all...social standards are quick to slide.   Trendy runners and the latest pre-teen fashions are traded for barefeet and and pajama pants.  Carefully gelled  hair is traded for bed head.   That's just the way it is.   Homeschooling is a slippery slope to freakishness.


It struck me today as I walked around town with my well behaved, mismatched, shaggy haired, wide eyed children....we are those homeschoolers that I thought we'd never be.

Of course, I did try to make it out of the house by 9 am with some imitation of normalcy.  Most of their teeth were brushed,  they all had shoes of some sort on their feet, they had combed hair, and were fully dressed.  That seemed like a raving success to me.

We live near a town that doesn't see a whole lot of "different" anything.    It's really no wonder that when school age kids are skipping along side my shopping cart  at 10 am people stop and stare...and ask my children  "Why aren't you in school?".   It's not really a rude question..albeit a little nosey...but seriously my kids are sick of explaining to strangers why they aren't on lock down somewhere until 3.30.   Maybe it's a good thing it's a small town.  Eventually people will stop asking why my kids aren't in school and they can just say "there goes that home school family..oh..and look Roman finally got new jeans!".

I can't really blame the town folk.  We are the ones bucking societal standards.   Although, after  being asked "My God! Those can't all be yours can they?" (I didn't think 4 quite put us on the same bus as the Duggars)  I start to feel like I'm parading a circus through town.

I fully realize that my own insecurity and fear of being "weird" takes over at that point and I suddenly start to notice my child's mismatched socks and high water home-schooler jeans.  It could be only a misguided assumption that we are being stared at because of those things,  rather than because we are all just so stinking cute, but I suspect we are careening down the road to becoming full fledged freaks.

If we stay on this path our kids may never know what it's like to be ashamed of the Walmart clearance rack clothes they're wearing.
How can they ever learn to be the leader of a cool pack when they proudly prance around in second hand shoes?   So NOT cool.

I may be scarring them for life or stunting them socially.


I mean, how will they ever learn their place in the social pecking order if they aren't mocked  and ridiculed on a daily basis?  How will they learn to climb their way up a social ladder by stepping on those below them?
They are destined to be bottom of the rung!

How will they ever learn to comply, and show respect to adults if they aren't institutionalized by the age of 3?  Parents certainly can't demand the sort of respect a teacher can...can they?

How will they ever learn to sit in a classroom  if they aren't sitting in a classroom?  Isn't that what education is all about?...learning to conform?

It's enough to worry any parent.

I suppose, they may never completely fit into societal norms.
They may always be respectful to authority, confident in their individuality,  inspired to follow their natural curiosity  ...and I suspect home educating them may even be making that worse.   Their closest friends may always be their siblings....such a pity it is.

I guess they'll likely never have a healthy social life now that they are destined to be freaks.


  I suppose I have no choice at this point but to embrace "weird".   It will make it that much easier when we get to town only to realize that Silas snuck into the car without his shoes on.   I'll just shrug and say to those who scrutinize us with their stares ...."Hi, we're home-schoolers".

5/13/11

love without a safety net





For some reason I have a whole bunch of current and past situations, losses, dreams, passions, and heartaches swirling around in my heart the last couple days. Sometimes it's hard to stop the vortex long enough to stop and look for God, to seek direction, clarity, and peace.

 I really have no idea what God's doing in me right now.  I find myself fighting for control and asking for a safety net.

Christ's command for us to live our lives defined by love also came with a sacrificial, scandalous example to follow but our western Christian culture has created it's own ideals and models.   I think too many Christians fall for the assumption that God's favor upon us generally  includes comfort,  health,  respect and esteem by others, possessions, and financial security.
  Maybe it's partly because of that notion that we love with limits.

We love when it's safe.
We love when we are shown love in return.
We love when it is in our best interest.
We love when we are feeling fulfilled and happy.
We love when it feels right.

What if loving means losing?   What if loving means being hated in return?
What if God's hand upon our life includes not only blessing but tragedy, vulnerability, illness and loss?  What if the story he is beautifully writing in our lives has whole chapters that we will never fully understand?   What if choosing truth means that we will  be despised, and misunderstood  as we swim against a stream of deception?  What if God is asking us to trust, risk and take a leap without a safety net?

I am a slow learner.  I want so desperately to do things my way.  In my timing.

God's greatest blessings are sometimes found in the places that we fear being taken the most,
or in the moments that are so easily overlooked.











I recently read Mary Beth Chapmans "Choosing to see".  She shares the  heartwrenching, inspiring, beautiful
story that God has written in her life all the way through from her childhood,  to 3 adoption journey's and  the loss of their five year old daughter.   It impacted me over and over as it surfaced emotions, joy, dreams, and even grief that is rarely ever unleashed from it's vault.  Could it be that we stuff all of our  losses, fears, and heartaches into one place where they all kind of combine together ,stored away...until you read a book that describes so many of your own thoughts, fears, and past emotions.  Then they all come trickling out mixed up together until one is indistinguishable from  another.

 The Chapman's heart for the world's parentless, abandoned, and neglected children inspired and challenged me.  It reminded me again of the calling that God placed on my own life years ago.

These were lines in the book that jumped out at me when I read them.

"We felt called to do something about the care and needs of orphans and vulnerable children who might not be adoptable.  We believe that even those children who may not survive for very long are still little treasures  whom God has put in our world to reveal something about himself.
We committed to help , however we could, those who could be cared for medically and eventually become adoptable, those who would need long term care and not be adopted, and those who would simply need a place to be held and rocked until they peacefully entered heaven. "  
Mary Beth Chapman


That is the calling that beats in my own heart.  I can see how God has brought us through so many experiences to show us his faithfulness, our capacity to love, and that we can do hard when he asks us to.










"God is always working to make His children aware of a dream that remains alive beneath the rubble of every shattered dream, a new dream that when realized will release a new song, sung with tears, till God wipes them away and we sing with nothing but joy in our hearts. " Larry Crab






Speaking of loving even when it's hard, this guest blogger on one of my favorite foster mom blogs had some good things to say.  
Letting go when a foster child leaves
Such a strange kind of loss.  Too many people fear, and few understand.





5/11/11

Little ones to Him belong

video


Jesus loves me
this I know
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong.
They are weak but He is Strong.

Thankyou Si-Fry for reminding me once again of that we may be weak but HE is strong.


5/10/11

Perfect in Weakness



"My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9

I found this verse on a little card under a bed as I was cleaning up mountains of clutter and muttering/complaining to God that I didn't know why he thought I could handle this many kids, with this many extreme personalities, who get their clothes dirty, use dishes, and pee on the toilet seat.  
I'm pretty sure I'm under qualified and that He way over estimated me.  

It was like God had dropped me an instant message directly answering my questions.  

I picked up the card with a picture of a woman running up a hill and read those words over..and over again. 
Sometimes life feels like a cross-country run.  You "hit the wall", feel the burn, wonder what you signed up for, and are pretty much sure you won't make it out alive.  


My grace  is enough for you to bear up under whatever I chose to give  you.
Your weakness, your inadequacy, your inability is a part of my plan, it is the very way that I 
 will show you my complete strength and provision. 
Rest in me.  Keep running.  




I'm not really sure what the photos of my geeky, adorable four year old has to do with that verse but 
I suppose most of the 'weakness' that I have involves my children and my ability to parent, teach, feed, and keep the dust bunnies from taking over the house. 

Seeding season has begun on the farm.  We have entered "spring fever".  The time of year when life gets more hectic.  Hubster is working long hours  in the field and will become a sort of phantom  for the next month.  There have been brief sightings, and traces left by him..but for the most part the man of the house is illusive.  Such is the seasonal life of a farmer.  I am thankful for both him and his work.

On the home front spring sports have begun, our  homeschooling has not yet finished (although the sooner the better),  yard work and my unplanted garden are beckoning,  the laundry continues to be my nemesis, and the baby's teeth are wreaking havoc.  Life continues to spin.

I  LOVE that winter is over and spring has arrived.  The kids are spending hours a day outside lost in their imaginations.

I'm tired.  Nothing new.  This is mostly an overtired, slightly sleep deprived, pointless, ramble...in case you haven't noticed.
I don't know how people manage more than 4 kids. Honestly.  The laundry alone is unbelievable.

.......I wonder if someday we will have more than 4 children?   How's that for a rabbit trail ramble?
I have no idea what God has for our future.   I'd probably be terrified if I did. 
It's a good thing He only gives us light enough for the next step.  He's writing our story and as much as I'd like to skip ahead to the end for a sneak peak,  that's not how God works.  
I know the passion he has placed at the very heart of our family, what I don't know is what God is going to do with that.





I have weird kids.  No really, I do.
Spazzy.  Quirky.  Dorky.  
I know everyone is made unique...but honestly I think some are more unique than others.
That's a nice way of saying odd.




It's a good thing they're cute.


The big kids took a hiphop class this winter  and this was their costumes.  The big recital was this past Sunday   
It was cute to watch.  They both love a stage.  Where they lack in talent they made up for with enthusiasm and swagger. 
They had a lot of fun with it.  Romeo was the only boy in the bunch but he didn't seem to mind. 

My kids may be diagnosably unique but they are good for entertainment value.  
I may keep them around for that purpose alone.

With all the "weakness" going on in this house...we're leaving a whole lotta room for God's glory to shine.  

5/8/11

Motherhood is not for sissies


Motherhood is not for women with weak stomachs,
or white carpets.
It's not for women afraid to fight for a child, even if it means sleeping on the streets of Port au Prince.  


Motherhood is not for women who refuse to believe in miracles or 
refuse to have a car filled with cracker crumbs and cheerios.



Motherhood is not for women unwilling to protect,
unable to sacrifice,
too wimpy to discipline,
or incapable of pulling Legos out of the toilet with her bare hands.



Motherhood is not for woman too proud to stand and cheer the last runner across the finish line,
or too weak to pull a door off of it's hinges. 



Motherhood is for the caring and courageous women who change the world
 with every diaper they change,
skinned knee they kiss,
car pool they drive,
and lecture they give.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
 to all you warrior mama's who face blood ,sweat and tears
to sacrifice your hearts, your time, your sleep, and your own bodies...
for the life of another.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
to the single mama's,
the  empty nest mama's,
the mama's to many,
the mama's to one,
the waiting mama's ,
hoping mama's,
and expecting mama's.

Take this day to cherish your family, enjoy some rest, and reflect on this high calling of Motherhood.

5/5/11

Easter in Seattle and a special Happy Birthday!

Easter at Qwest … Without the Rain | The Mars Hill Blog




This year in Seattle, WA there was an enormous Easter church service held at a sports stadium.  God is doing great things in what was once the most "unchurched" city in America.  I have a few ties to that city.   I married a man  that grew up near Seattle.  He and I spent 3 years living in the Pacific Northwest.  Our first son was born and died  in Federal Way, WA.    My husband's only sister lives in Seattle and last year she began attending Mars hill down town campus church.  Since then, I have been actively following sermons, events and the work being done in and through this church.   God has done an incredible work in my sister in law and he used this loving, bold, truth speaking body of believers to breath life and faith into her.  Needless to say , I'm a fan.

I conspired, wished and dreamed of attending this event with her but alas it was not to be.  Maybe another year.  Fortunately for us we can watch it online.  If you're curious about who Jesus is and what all the fuss is about 2000 years later...or if you just want to be encouraged by around 18,000 other Christ followers celebrating Easter Sunday take a look.  It's pretty sweet.  Click on the link above.

The first part of the video shows a little clip of some kids talking about Easter.  After that the singing, sermon and nearly 700 baptisms begins.  I loved the old school music!   Don't miss the "resurrection/baptism" party at the end.  



I can't post about this service without also bragging about my dear bsff ( "Best sister friend forever" I know that's totally cheesy but it's kind of our inside joke...well not so much "inside" anymore).  She is one of my very dearest friends as well as a sister.  I am so blessed to have her in my life.

If you watch three row up  behind the drummer ,in the golden robed choir, you might catch a glimpse of  her.
There is a moment that absolutely made me cry...and I'm not a crier.
"How Great Thou Art" transitions into "How Great is Our God" (quite possibly two of my fav. songs) and you can see my sister with her hand raised belting it out, knowing and believing every word she is singing.

Our God is great!

 It is a painful, tragic and stunningly beautiful redemptive story that God continues to write in her life.   I  mentioned our long lost sister here briefly before when she spent a few weeks with us last July.    God brought her into our lives 2 1/2 years ago after more than 2 decades of no contact.  My husband hadn't seen her since they were children, and I had never met her.  To know where she came from,  what God brought her through and where she is standing now...in this video....leaves me speechless.   I  can't help but share with you one of the dearest people in my life.

 I am looking forward to spending another month this summer with her and her adorably goofy son. We have so much fun together!  She is hilarious.
  She is an inspiration to me and one of the most genuine people I've ever known.  A beautiful example of extreme forgiveness, grace in the midst of persecution,  and unselfish love even towards those who could not show her love in return.   She exudes a quiet trust that God is her defender, her Father and her partner.

She lives an inner city life as a single mama. She spent most of her life without a family (which makes me wish we didn't live 1000 miles away!).  Her own life is still not easy , but she is a blessing to all those who know her.   Her apartment is always open to those in need, she usually has a few extra kids around,  she has been a surrogate mom to abandoned babies, and she sews quilts for prostitutes...just to brag on her a little.  She will be embarrassed.  She is learning, growing, and passionate about her new faith in Jesus.  You really can't even shut her up about it...she'll tell anyone she can how much Christ has done for her.


My blog friends, TODAY is her birthday.  She will be celebrating it by riding city buses with her son, being a mama, plugging coins into a machine at the laundry mat, and getting ready for her son's big birthday party tomorrow.  This special lady's birthday may just come and go like any other day.   I wish so badly that we could spoil her, make her a cake and have a big old family party...but she's there and her family is here.  She does have a lot of really great friends in Seattle and a fantastic church family.

If you have a minute pop on over to her knew blog  "We are more than"   browse a little, follow,  and wish her a happy birthday.  

I love her title "We are more than.."
Maybe you've heard that song from 10th Avenue North "You are more than" ?

She is so much more than...
Brook, you are a beautiful woman, a beloved daughter of the most high God,  a warrior mama, and a faithful servant of Christ.  (even if you're sink is always full of dirty dishes)


Today we celebrate you and all that you are in the eyes of God!

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