Thursday, September 24, 2009


I'm 29 weeks pregnant as of yesterday, and we still don't know whether this baby is a boy or a girl. Caleb thinks it's fun this way. He likes surprises. I like to plan. It's kinda driving me nuts, but I actually thought I was handling it pretty well. And then last night I caught myself thinking this:
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

I'm gonna have to learn how to do that...

Caleb's mom came and spent three entire days last week helping me clean my house. I mean really, really clean. Like, the bathroom fan got cleaned - which didn't even happen when we moved in three years ago. Tam is an absolutely amazing cleaner. I'm not. I'm still not sure what exactly I did in those three days. I wiped down baseboard trim and scrubbed crayon off the wall while she painted the girl's bedroom with Kilz (that stuff smells nasty!). She washed every window in the house. I took a nap. I painted the trim in the girl's room; she rolled all the walls and had to paint around the ceiling because it made me dizzy to hold my arms above my head. I napped and when I woke up my bathroom was clean! I talked to her while she washed windows. I did manage to clean all the kitchen cabinets inside and out. She cleaned my oven and the inside of my microwave. She moved furniture so we could clean the carpet. I took a nap while she cleaned the carpet. I mopped the kitchen floor.
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

This afternoon

-I did not get a nap because Kylie got out of bed to tell me she had to go potty and woke Julia up.

-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

I used to think my mom was crazy. I know. That's a weird way to start a blog, but let me explain. When I was 8, my family moved to Senegal, West Africa as missionaries. My mom always said her verse for that year was Psalm 16:6. "The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me."
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.

Psalm 37:3-4
"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."