Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Lucado spends this book attacking the roots of our biggest fears – fear of not mattering, of failure, of death, of violence. He clearly and engagingly dispels these fears with truth from Jesus’ life and words while on earth. Fearless is short on practical strategies for overcoming fear of spiders. But it abounds with Christ-centered truth, reminding us that true fearlessness lies in keeping our eyes focused on Jesus – the calmer of the storm, the raiser of the dead, the healer of the blind and lame.
I needed to hear this message. Our world is driven by fear: Get the H1N1 vaccine! Take the government’s bailout money! Don’t let your kids walk down the street alone! How many daily decisions do I make based not on God’s truth but on my fear? Fearless artfully asks this question in a casual, fun, never preachy style that makes it enjoyable to read.
I wrote this review as part of Thomas Nelson's book review blogger program.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
-"Julia! Get off the piano!"
-"Ethan, stop torturing your sister!"
-"Kylie, no screaming!"
-"No! That's hot!"
-"Kylie, stop writing on your arm!"
-"Julia! Get off the counter before you kill yourself!"
-"Ethan, make your bed like I told you to!"
-"No you may not eat cookies right now."
-"Julia's doing WHAT???"
-"That's nice Ethan, but I'm trying to talk on the phone right now." (after he's been talking for 5 minutes without caring that I'm obviously not listening.)
-"Ethan, will you please help Julia off the table?"
-"Kylie, stop eating crayons!"
-The sign that I've finally given up: "Yes Ethan, please start a movie."
I'm pretty sure I can fit all these into a 15 minute phone conversation - and probably more. These are just the ones I hear myself saying most often - or that I remember saying most recently anyway. So, if you'd like to have my undivided attention, call at nap time. Of course, I might be sleeping... =)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Well, I'm breaking the rule this year. Chris Tomlin released a Christmas CD, "Glory in the Highest", and I couldn't resist. I downloaded it from iTunes. I'm listening to it right now. I love it! I just won't play it when Caleb's home for a while. =)
Monday, October 19, 2009
Ted Dekker has again written a riveting, complex novel. It’s deeper than basic good versus evil, posing questions such as: Should Christians turn the other cheek instead of fighting back? And why doesn’t God make Himself visible to a world desperate for physical proof?
Although Green is marketed as the end or the beginning of The Circle series, I would have preferred it to just be the end. I didn’t love the ending that tied it back to the beginning of the series. I wanted the perfect “happy ending” - although that unpredictability is what draws me back to Dekker’s books. I also am not a huge fan of Dekker’s graphic depictions of evil – some of which I could’ve done without in this book.
That being said, I don’t own many books because I don’t consider most worth reading more than once. But I own The Circle Series – now including Green. Green is too good to put down. I highly recommend reading it – along with the rest of the series.
If you want to be a book review blogger too, you can learn more about it at http://brb.thomasnelson.com/.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
About a month ago I turned my favorite, soft, WHITE sheets bright pink. Something about red rags from the garage being in the bottom of the washing machine when I put the sheets in. Kylie loved the new color. Caleb found another pillowcase for men's retreat. I decided a person doesn't really LOOK at their sheets, and they were still really soft. So we've been sleeping on pink sheets. Then yesterday Caleb ripped a gigantic hole in them with his pinky finger while making the bed. How? Best guess: One of the kids poked something sharp into the sheet making a hole and Caleb's pinky caught it. I have no idea in other words. So I stripped the pink sheets off the bed and put my back-up, matched the quilt we had when we got married, not so soft, blue sheets on the bed. Kylie was very disappointed. She simply could not understand why a person (a girl!) would replace pink sheets with blue ones. Now here's my thought. I decided it's a sign about our baby. We have been having girls (the pink sheets), but they're ripped now, and this time it's a boy (thus the blue sheets). I think my imagination may be working over time. Can I blame that on pregnancy hormones?
Speaking of imagination. This is something entirely unrelated that I read the other day.
"Is your imagination stayed on God or is it starved? The starvation
of the imagination is one of the most fruitful sources of exhaustion and sapping
in a worker's life. If you have never used your imagination to put
yourself before God, begin to do it now. Imagination is the greatest gift
God has given us and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him."
Oswald Chambers "My Utmost for His Highest"
This is based on Isaiah 26:3. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose
imagination is stayed on Thee." (I don't know what version he used because
NAS says "mind" instead of "imagination"). Anyway, I thought this was interesting. God wants even what goes on when I'm imagining random things in my mind. Caleb always says I have a big imagination. But I never thought of God wanting something from that imagination before - namely that it bring glory and praise to Him. I always thought my imagination was something strange that went on inside of my head for no particular reason or purpose - almost like I couldn't control or guide it. But, I should be placing myself before Jesus and the throne of God in my imagination and not waste my time imagining other things. Hmmmm...
Monday, September 21, 2009
Somehow when it was all done we were both exhausted. She had a right to be, and I told myself that growing a baby is like running up a mountain when I'm just sitting still - right? I've decided I'm going to have to learn how to clean like that someday before she gets too old to help me. =) It won't look so good if I make my 80 year old mother-in-law come help me clean when I'm 50 years old...
The kids came home Wednesday night practically asleep. Thursday they tracked mud on the tile floor. Julia dumped a bucket of sand/dirt in the middle of the living room carpet and smeared snot on the screen door. I tripped on a pair of Mr. Potato Head glasses walking to bed last night. But I know every remote corner, window, wall, closet, and ceiling in this house is clean. Thanks Tam!
I should also thank my mom and dad who took three kids with colds for three days. Apparently Julia screamed at her the whole time. Funny, she does that to me too... It's a stage, right?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
-Ethan and I did science and history while Julia climbed on my kitchen countertops, screaming for a pencil (which she eats) because Kylie had one.
-I sorted, washed, dried, and folded, and put away enormous stacks of laundry.
-I thought the girls were playing nicely in the bedroom. I found them. Kylie was in the baby swing dumping baby powder on a washcloth, and Julia was holding the bottle of baby lotion, pushing her, and singing, "Swing, Swing, Swing, Swing"
-I read "Shiloh". Yes, the entire book in about an hour. It's about a mistreated dog and a boy who falls in love with him. I had to read it to make sure it's ok to read to Ethan. We're good!
-Ethan pestered his sisters while Kylie and Julia screamed. He also talked endlessly about absolutely nothing and made multiple unecessary noises at the supper table. Boys!
-The guys at work were bored and replied to my texts to Caleb without telling me it wasn't him. Like I said about boys!
-Kylie and Julia threw ashes from the firepit all over my patio and themselves.
-The kids took at bath at 6:30.
-I made beef and noodles for supper. When Ethan saw it, he said it looked like rubber.
-Caleb did not come home. He went straight to his chiropractor's appointment after work. Then had an hour and a half to kill on the other side of town before choir/ worship team practice tonight. So he ate out by himself, in the quiet, with no screaming. Life is not fair.
-My back hurts because I spaced off my chiropractor's appointment last Friday. And I have to drag all three kids to my glucose drinking, 27 week prenatal checkup tomorrow because I forgot about it too - and therefore forgot to find somebody to watch my kids.
-We are watching a movie until bedtime tonight.
Sorry. I'm sure you did not want to listen to me complain, but it makes me feel better to write it down. This is one of those days I'm supposed to treasure when my kids are older and I'm home alone in a nice, quiet, clean house, right?
-As I write this I'm looking out the window at Ethan spraying the gutters with a hose (he's supposed to be cleaning the ashes on the patio). The water is heading straight for the kids' OPEN bedroom windows. I should probably stop writing and do something about this now....
I think God is trying to see if I REALLY believe what I wrote in the previous post.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Now I may have been 8, but I thought I was pretty smart, and I could not figure out what was so pleasant or beautiful about Africa. My parents took six kids ages 2-8 and 13 (not sure on that number, but it was some odd number in the teens) bright red trunks holding all our belongings for a year (I'd like to see you - or me for that matter - try that!) half way around the world to Fanda, Senegal - A little village in the middle of nowhere. Our house was concrete block with a tin roof and screened windows. We had electricity for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours at night. She boiled all water before drinking or cooking with it. No hot water for showers. No washing machine or dryer - although we did get an African maid who thought we were filthy rich Americans and dug through our trash to see what valuable objects we'd thrown away, so maybe that makes up for it. One phone on the entire missionary base, no internet, and extremely slow mail that sometimes got where it was supposed to and sometimes didn't. Plenty of poisonous bugs and GIANT snakes. Plenty of missionary stories about so-and-so's kid who died from a snake bite or was eaten by alligators. Like I said, not beautiful or pleasant.
Anway, the point is I've always been fascinated by this verse, trying to figure out why my mom chose it. And then just the other day, Ding! The light popped on in my head - took 20 years, but I finally got it. All I needed to do was read the verse before.
Psalm 16:5 - 6 "The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me."
The place wasn't beautiful. The circumstances weren't pleasant. I remember it being very hard to leave everyone and everything familiar and keep six kids alive, healthy, and happy in such a foreign place.
But the heritage isn't a four bedroom, three bath house in a fancy neighborhood or a brand new minivan or even healthy kids. The heritage is Jesus! Surroundings don't matter when I have Jesus.
I live in a small house (with no family room for my kids' toys!) on the wrong side of town. My husband is gone more than I think he should be, leaving me with three screaming, whining, arguing kids who need Jesus to radically change their lives if they're going to be godly adults. The everyday chores that no one really wants to do (anyone excited to change diapers or fold laundry?) are endless. I often think I have something to complain about - and I have it alot easier than my mom did! My circumstances are not beautiful or pleasant to me many days.
I have to focus my eyes on verse 2, "I said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.'" I think of Corrie TenBoom in a concentration camp in Germany where there was literally no good anywhere around her, and yet, Jesus was still enough! When I keep Jesus in front of my eyes constantly in all his beauty and glory and holiness, I stop complaining about my circumstances and rejoice in Him. My job is to faithfully do the work He has given me to do (no matter how lowly and constant it seems) and keep my eyes focused continually on Him.
"Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Monday, August 17, 2009
Fortunately, Ethan's a smart little boy. He can figure out most stuff on his own without a lot of teaching. Unfortunately, I picked a science and history curriculum that requires me to do alot of reading, writing, and projects with him. He needs one-on-one time with me - something in short supply around here.
I have a feeling I'm going to have to resist the urge to flag down the bus that drives by our house every morning and beg them to take him to "real school" with them!
Monday, August 3, 2009
"That's what I feel like all the time!" I live with a house full of people who need/ want something from me ALL the time."
"Mommy! Kylie's being mean to Julia!"
"Mommy! I can't find my ballerina!"
"Mommy, I'm bored"
"Mommy, I'm hungry"
"Mommy, can we listen to Odyssey?"
You hear the repitition? Just like the song.
"I'm Cinderella!" I thought.
Then I thought, "How did Cinderella respond to all the nagging, whining, and unfair endless lists of chores and cleaning and cooking?"
She didn't complain. She didn't whine to her husband about how overwhelmed she felt. She smiled. She sang. She talked to animals. Her attitude made life joyful when it shouldn't have been.
I have a few benefits over Cinderella. I'm not a slave with no other options. My children don't order me around. And I have a husband who helps me out now and then. So does my joy in God and in life make things fun when they shouldn't be? Or do I whine and complain about my endless to - do list?
Really, I'd just like to know: When do I get my fancy dress and get to go to the ball?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
And Caleb said I had to blog what Kylie said to me today.
It's 9:30 in the morning. I'm on the computer trying to research a car charger for my laptop so the kids can watch movies on the long drive to New Orleans in July (yes, we are crazy for wanting to go to New Orleans in July, and if you know anything about car laptop chargers, we could use some advice).
Kylie has been suspiciously quiet for a couple of minutes, and I am just beginning to wonder why.
I hear Ethan yelling, "Kylie! You can't do that!" and half a minute later Kylie walks into my bedroom with something hiding behind her back.
She says rather sheepishly, "Mommy, can I have some ice cream?", pulls out the ice cream scoop from behind her back, and grins at me with her best "Aren't I too cute to say no to?" look.
I look at her like she's crazy. I'm very sure we have never eaten ice cream at 9:30 in the morning. Without hesistating, I answer, "No."
"But mommy, Satan's tempting me."
My mouth drops open as I try not to laugh hilariously.
Does she even know what tempting means? What three year old blames their desire for ice cream on Satan? No fit throwing. No whining. Just, "Satan's tempting me."
I try to reply something coherent and smart-sounding.
"Kylie, it's ok if Satan tempts you, but you don't have to do it" - or something lame like that.
Kylie leaves - surprisingly seeming to have forgotten all about ice cream.
Who knew I'd have to be so smart to keep ahead of a three year old.
Monday, March 30, 2009
We just got the new one in the mail that afternoon, and I laid it with the rest of the mail in a pile on the table. Then I started making supper. I got supper finished and cleared the table so I could set it. I noticed there was no pink paper and no stickers. So I asked Kylie, who was sitting at the table watching me, if she had seen the pink paper and the stickers.
"I ate it," she said matter of factly.
I didn't even know what to say. I looked under the table thinking surely she did not eat ALL the van registration. She probably just tasted a corner. All I found on the floor were two stickers with obvious teeth marks in them. Apparently she hadn't been able to chew them. The pink paper was gone.
I knew Kylie liked pink paper and stickers, but I didn't know she liked to EAT pink paper and stickers. I'll add that to the lightbulb eating incident and the time she sprayed "Home Defense" insecticide in her mouth as things to remember to tell her friends when she gets older.
The question is, what am I supposed to do? Can you just see me walking into the car registration office and saying, "I'm sorry. I need a new copy of my van registration because my daughter ATE the last one." Doesn't that sound suspiciously like, "No, teacher, My dog really did eat my homework!"? I'm sure the office workers are going to get a good laugh out of this one....
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Ethan loves Josh, and I'm sure most of the time Josh likes the attention, but I bet this is one time he'd rather not be the favorite. =)
Monday, February 23, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
1.) My favorite food is chocolate! White chocolate. Dark chocolate. Mint chocolate. Chocolate with caramel. I'm not picky. I eat some chocolate virtually every day.
2.) I'm TERRIFIED of heights - which I've decided is genetic b/c so is my dad. You should've seen us at the top of the Sears Tower.
3.) When I was a teeneager, I shared a bedroom with my three younger sisters and shared the single bathroom in our home with all seven family members.
4.) I love black and white pictures of trees!
5.) I am very, very bad at dogs. Our first and last puppy lasted three weeks.
6.) I had a kitten I used to rock/sing to sleep!
7.) My dream when I was in elementary was to be a sprinter! Yes, running. Which any of you who watched me "run" in highschool will know was an incredibly ridiculous dream.
8.) The ocean is my absolute favorite place.
9.) I HATE to be hot! Over 80 or 85 degrees is too hot for me!
10.) For the first 20 years of my life, I thought farmers were extremely lazy people who only worked a few weeks in the spring to plant and a few weeks in the fall to harvest.
11.) My sister and I vowed to never, ever marry a farmer or a missionary.
12.) I'm now married to a farm boy who dreams of being a missionary pilot. And my sister married his brother.
13.) While living in Senegal, West Africa I learned that I am extremely allergic to cashew trees.
14.) My favorite class in college was Western Civilizations. We studied what ancient architecture and city planning reveals about their culture. Fascinating stuff!
15.) I sing ALL the time. A song is always playing in my head. So if you're in the middle of a conversation with me and I start singing (and listening at the same time, of course), sorry.
16.) I am forever grateful to Larry and Virginia Cooper who got me in the habit of reading my Bible every day.
17.) I cannot read Mary Higgins Clark books. Some creepy man is always sneaking up behind some unsuspecting girl and throwing a plastic bag over her head or something. They give me nightmares.
18.) Caleb and I got married on my sister's 16th (?) birthday. Sorry for stealing your day, Kristi!
19.) Someday I want to adopt a little boy from Africa.
20.) Flying makes me sick. As we landed in Dakar, Senegal when I was 8, I threw up all over my sister. Sorry Becca. Thank goodness for Dramamine!
21.) The night Caleb proposed to me, I dropped the gift he'd hidden the ring in - in the middle of a gravel road in the middle of nowhere in the pitch black dark. I think the poor man almost had a heart attack!
22.) I liked dissecting things in biology class. One time my brothers went fishing, and I dissected their fish just for fun. I think that's probably really weird....
23.) I'm terrified of parties! Having to mingle in a big group of people and find something not stupid to say totally freaks me out! I panic every time, and Caleb has to talk me out of it.
24.)My kids are much more entertaining, more adventurous, more trusting, more energetic, and more joyful than I am.
25.) I have spent way too much time talking about myself. Maybe you should do this, so I can learn something fun about you! =)
Thursday, January 15, 2009
But THINK about it! God spoke into being billions of light years containing billions of galaxies, most of which we cannot even see let alone understand. Then on one tiny speck in one average galaxy, circling one of billions of stars,God poured inestimable care. He fashioned it to be a perfect environment for life. And then He created us. Fallible humans who would one day torture and kill His only Son. Why go to all this trouble and sorrow? Beth Moore says,
"For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that
whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
"I am absolutely convinced that mankind exists out of the holy passion of the Trinity to draw others into their fellowship." pg. 205God LOVES us, and He longs for relationship with us! Not because he needs us. He is self-sufficient. Yet He loves us - me - enough to come to this earth and die for me!
I have a hard time comprehending His love. It seems like love on earth is based on performance. "I love you IF...." If you're nice to me. If you give me what I need. If you listen to what I tell you to do. Somehow I have the tendancy (the audacity) to put God into that box. God loves me if I obey Him. If I'm good enough. If I'm loving towards my husband. If.
Cramming God into the confines of what my limited mind can comprehend.
Ok, so after thinking all of this, I came to the quote that blew me away.
"And when the God of all the universe stoops down and a single child recognizes the tender condescension and bends her knee to stoop as well, the heart of God surges with unbridled emotion. And there they are. Just the two of them." pg. 207Wow! One-on-one with God! My heart pretty much stops beating at the thought. And yet that is where I long to be - to spend eternity in the presence of God. Thank you Jesus for your love!
All this richness in what we mindlessly, repetitively quote with our kids.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land. Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul. Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For the sake of Your name, O LORD, revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble.
This is my "I'm overwhelmed again today!" verse.
2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything you may have an abundance for every good deed.
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
I could tell you lots of things God says to me through His words in these verses, but I think I'll let Him speak directly to your hearts without my personal commentary getting in the way.