Monday, April 01, 2013

Fiercely pursing Jesus

Chasing, Clinging, Focusing
Pursuing Jesus this year.  Fiercely.  Passionately.  Relentlessly.  Having known Christ for over 13 years...  sometimes following at more of a distance than I care to admit.  Digging to the Word.  Praying without ceasing.  Fasting for the first time.  Growing in faith.  Keeping our eyes (hearts, minds) focused on things of Heaven.

Dropping some school lessons and replacing them with Bible lessons.  Focusing on love, character, and community.  Service.  Boldly following Christ and The Spirit wherever they lead. Being misunderstood.  Confounding family and friends with our choices.  (not unlike Jesus)

Joyously. Knowing this place is not our home.  Feeling out of place in this world... but in line with His will for us.  Feeling Him moving... knowing something is in the works. One step at a time.  Obedience is rewarded with another peek.  A bit more of His plan unveiled.  Excited to see how He wraps up and orchestrates all things.  Wanting to move with Him, work with Him, give up to Him and not stand in His way. Rather, follow The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  Knowing, trusting.  As good (and content) as we were with things... it's always better wherever He leads you.  Following the Pillar of Fire.

Praying.  Decided.  Having peace.

Big changes in store for us... one step at a time.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Life is never simple.  6 days after my last post, my dad passed away.  It's been 3.5 months.  Some days it is easier to bear than others.  The kids and home life keep me busy, but the hole and  the grief is still there.  It's always the odd moments when the reality of his death sneaks up on me, thundering like a wave and threatening to knock me off my feet.  

Often, it's something the kids say.  Or I'll burst into tears when I'm in the shower.  Or when I know my mom needs help and it's just not something we can do.  

I thought I was doing 'okay' when my husband's grandma when into the hospital.  She's getting on in years and is poor health at the best of times, so it was unsurprising when she was hospitalized.  At the same city hospital we took my dad.  And then she got worse.  Like my dad.  And ended up in ICU with pneumonia.  Like my dad.  We went up to be with the family and see her.  She was in the room right beside the one where my father died.  

Walking past the same nurses, the familiar sounds and smells.  It was just too much.  Walking past his room.  It took my breath away.  It was as if we were right back there going through it all again.  Making the decision at his bedside to turn off life support when nothing further could be done.  Keeping him tethered to this world  when we all knew the world that awaited him on the other side was so much better.  Sitting there as his breathing and pulse slowed.  And slowed.  And slowed some more.  Until it ceased.  Explaining to the kids.  Walking up to the casket for the first time... and the last.  Clinging to my brother as we cried at the end of the funeral.  Full military honors at the cemetery.  The presenting of the flag.  And the aching emptiness that follows.  

Trusting the Lord through it all, in spite of the heartache.  Or perhaps because of it.  Knowing His promises are true, His time perfect, and His love everlasting.  Seeing Him work in our lives (and the lives of others) in our darkest hour.  I'm not used to being on the receiving end of the prayers, the support, the help and outpouring of love that the Church shows to the hurting.  I much prefer to be the one giving.  It is an experience to learn from.  Humbling.  Growing us.  The breaking of our hearts.  The breaking of the mold.  Being remade and renewed.  Coming out on the other side.  

Deep breath.  It's nearly spring.  Creation is waking from it's rest.  A quiet time.  Ecclisiastes 3:1-4 says, 
 "There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance"

I am looking forward to dancing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

Giving thanks to the Lord of All.  All He has given us.  These 3 amazing, crazy, beautiful children.  Their bright eyes, kind hearts, dirty hands, loud voices, and all.  Our safe home.  Warm with the wood stove, cozy with lamps and warm blankets, inviting with smells of home-cooked meals, and lived-in with it's familiar clutter.  My husband; who is more than my best friend and partner.  Who's hand fits perfectly with mine.

Sun shining during a Michigan November.

 Prayers and love and support during trying times.  Modern medicine and hospitals.  My father, always my biggest fan, biggest supporter, and strongest person I know.  My turn to be strong when he cannot be, sit with him through chemo - cancer - and uncertain times.  Hugs from friends nearby emails and texts from those for away.  Family who the Lord chose for us and friends who are like family.  Community.

A Savior.  Him, whose love shines all the brighter when the darker moments of life threaten to overwhelm us.  His grace... extending, circling, giving peace in all circumstances.  Being the rock when life seems so precarious.

Happy Thanksgiving

Friday, May 04, 2012

Lovely Messes

My house is a mess.  There are baskets of clean, folded clothes on the floor.  Dirty dishes on the counter.  Bits of yarn, thread, and fabric strewn about.Grass and mud tracked across the floor.  Blessings, all of it.  We are blessed enough to have more clothes than the ones we are wearing.  I have strong arms and a strong back to carry the laundry to the washer and out to the clothesline.  But I have 3 lovely little distractions that keep me from actually putting the freshly laundered items back in their drawers.  Dirty dishes mean we have been feed.  Our bellies are not empty and neither is our pantry.  We've prepared meals together and sat down to enjoy them together, as a family.  But the mess can wait because little hands tug at my clothes and small voices beg for my attention.  The fabric and notions... tangible bits of creativity.  Accomplished during naptime and after bedtime.  Blessings.  I don't mind the dirty floor.  It means we have a yard.  A sanctuary for the kids to go out, explore, have an adventure.  The mud and grass comes in on little (and not so little) shoes as they share their tales and excitement.  Blessed.  We are the stewards of this patch of earth.  These three children.  My husband.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


My almost-brother-in-law (he's really my SIL fiance') came over Sunday after church to till our garden.  He increased the size for me and it's nearly double what it had been in previous years.  There it is.  Fresh dirt, green grass around, our little maple tree that grew up in the middle.  You can see our woods out back behind the garden.  (the woods have become the children's favorite new place to play.  they're finding the magic in creation)  The front right corner (that you cannot see) is my little herb garden.

So... as I sit in the house on this windy day with my sore throat and full sinuses ... I dream.  Of my hands in the dirt.  Rows and rows of tomatoes and peppers, popcorn and sunflowers, cukes and onions, potatoes, carrots, and garlic...mmmmmm.  The children chasing the chickens and the dog chasing the children.  Sunshine and laughter in the air.


I cannot do everything.  :)  (surprise!)  To me, an important thing about homeschooling is taking an honest look at myself, my skills, and my abilities; knowing where I fall short and supplementing the kids' education in those areas.  I'm not an artist.  I like to take part in crafty endeavors.  I'm on pinterest.  (isn't everyone?!)  But even after all that, I'm not an artist.  Knowing that, I decided to enroll Carlie in art at the local museum where they offer classes once a week for homeschoolers.  She was nervous for me to leave her... but she was incredible!  They learned all about tapestries and started to learn the basics of weaving.  (since embroidery is her favorite craft at home, this was perfect for her!!)  She left the class all smiles.  And she made a friend.  Even better.  Now we're all looking forward to next week.  :)  (and this momma can breathe a little easier next time knowing carlie is okay going off by herself to class for few hours)  

This handsome guy keeps me company while Carlie is in class.  It's he great!?  Such a personality on this kid.  :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Going up

Over the past two weeks we've been putting up the playscape for the kids.  It was given to us a few years back, but life happened and we never had a chance to get it up.  But, God's timing is perfect.  The kids are the perfect age to enjoy it now!  I admit, the playscape is huge and as the mom... it scares me a bit to see my little folks scampering all over it.  But, once it's all assembled it'll be safe for everyone.  (and maybe I'll breathe a easier!)

Jack helping out.  :)

Bruce working hard.

Carlie on the slide.  (the 'scared face' was just for effect.  she's my little actress.)  :)

Scampering about.

My little helper chewing on my camera strap.  :)  (notice her white-blonde hair?!?!)

Friday, April 13, 2012


The little sugar plum is 6 months old already!  Already!  Where did 1/2 a year go???  She went from this teeny sleepy thing to this noisy girl with grabby hands and a great big smile.  (grabbing hair, spoons, toys, etc)

So busy.  Began homeschooling the oldest in January.  It's an adjustment... but so wonderful.  Carlie went from being anxious, crying each day, hating school back to our happy and cheerful girl.  Big blessings.  The public school was far behind, so we're playing catch up.  Even doing school a few hours a day, most days of the week we are doing more than she ever did in 7 hrs a day in a classroom.  (the benefits of not having 30 kids in a room and spending 1/2 the day waiting in line)  The boy will finish up pre-school and then do kindergarten at home.  They only offer full day kdg next year and I don't think that's the way to go (not for him). 

Some days I feel so on top of things...other days I feel like I'm hardly staying afloat.  That's normal, right?!  I accomplished more before 8 am today than I do on most days.  I'm trying not to squander the rest of the day on the internet or with my nose in a book.  My big goal for the afternoon:  fix the chicken coop.  There are some holes under the fence (those hens love to dig!) and it won't be safe for the new baby chicks we bought.  Carlie and Jack's goal for the afternoon:  walk to the store across the road and buy donuts!  Ha!  I'm pretty sure we can manage that...

Speaking of donuts... here is a 6 months post-baby picture of me.  My lovely sis-in-law knitted the cowl for me.