Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Too Blessed to Be Stressed"

The moments on this hard Tuesday ticked by - the day seemed to never end. There was much chaos as my sweet little girl pulled the dresser on top of herself during nap time. My Dyson vacuum was beheaded in the cleanup process - accidentally dropped down the stairs by the helpful child who was bringing it upstairs to suck up broken lamp glass. That vacuum was older than my children and for some reason it was hard to say good-bye.  This evening Abby stabbed a toothbrush down her throat and scratched the inside of her mouth and has been upset about it all evening - whining, whimpering and trying to make herself vomit. I've now put her back into bed 5 times and counting. It has been a rough day! I am also on day 2 of no coffee - which in general makes me hard to live with! The last time I gave up caffeine John begged me never to try it again.... I think in light of his comment, I'm actually doing much better this time!

Last night I went away to a women's dinner and laughed until my sides hurt - I needed that! I was reminded that in Jesus "I am too blessed to be stressed." So, amidst all the chaos I kept recapturing my blessings, singing praises, smiling when I didn't feel like it, serving the neighbor, and smiling as I put my child back to bed for now the 6th time! I am too blessed as a believer to let these little things rob me of joy! Even putting the little darling back into her bed for the now 8th time.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. I Peter 1:3-5

Friday, March 23, 2012

Health Update

I am so encouraged! I think we made it though Fall & Winter without any sickness - no flu, no RSV not even a severe cold. The kids asthma symptoms scaled way back and I think we only had one little bout of asthma related issues after Christmas. The chiropractor has been a huge help in that area! This cold/flu season was so different than the last 2 since Abby's birth - it was a huge encouragement that our organic foods and healthy eating and vitamin routines are working.

I spent the last few weeks working on Abby's eczema that has been really bad since birth. She is finally all nice and smooth for the fist time ever! I cleaned out her system with a few high doses of Raw Garden of Life Probiotics which I'm fairly confident she needed because she has had the grossest stools for about 3 days! Then we took away milk two weeks ago and noticed a huge improvement. So, now Abby is off dairy and eggs - but she is enjoying her raw goat milk from Homestead farms.All the kids are on vitamin supplements of: Kids probiotics (1 billion), a multivitamin, a liquid vitamin D dropped into their morning drink,  and flax seed hidden somewhere in their morning food. Drew is also on: Magnesium & Krill oil. 

Now that their health appears to not be an issue, all three of my kids seem to have boundless bottles of energy that I have a hard time containing! We've been spending a lot of time exploring parks and museums and nature because their energy seems to get them all into trouble if  I don't find something challenge them. In fact we were on our way to the park this afternoon when I ran of a rather large rock with my  back tire and ended up getting a very bad flat tire. Oops!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One Year

 One year ago I took these pictures of my kids, I can't believe the difference a year makes. My how they have grown! I love my kids - my boys are becoming such wise men, they love to protect their little sister and help me keep her out of trouble and mischief!
 Abby -you have grown so much in a year! Look at your short hair. Now you have long curly hair that I can't keep track of - it loves to get all tangled up and you hate me to brush those tangles out. I remember this picture. You had finally been well for about 1 month and I took you to a friends birthday party. This was the beginning of your health journey - you had just been taken off all medications and were breathing so well! I am so glad that I can say a year later your healthier and happier - so healthy that you get into everything and keep me on my toes!
 My boys still love each other deeply - just this last week  some  boys were being mean to Drew and timid Gabe rushed over and told them to speak kind to his "Bruther!" Drew was so proud of Gabe for standing up for him that the mean boys were forgotten and the two "bruthers" ran off to play together. Later on in the car Gabe asked if we could pray for the mean boys. Do you know what he prayed for? Gabe prayed that the Lord Jesus would come into their hearts so they would have the power to speak kind words. Wow - I cried a little because there are so many times that I repeat the same message over and over and feel like they are spoken on deaf ears. I really appreciated God sending me this special day with my boys - a simple park day turned into such an encouragement to this weary mommy!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Growing Up Conversations

My oldest baby is 7! He is growing up so much and it is becoming obvious by his questions that he is wrestling with new topics of interest. Today out of the nowhere, during casual conversation, Drew asked me " Why does my friend "so and so" have two mommies?" Wow, I wasn't expecting that one.

Our conversation went something like this:

Me: So Drew, where do you know  "so and so" from?
Drew: You know, church.
Me: Ok, Our church or school church?
Drew: Our Sunday church, she says her mommy doesn't believe in Jesus. Does that mean her mommy is going to hell?

Wow, when Drew ask questions, he really asks some doosies - hell and homosexuality all in one day!

Me: I see Drew, we certainly have some great things to talk about. Lets first talk about your friends mommies. Is it weird that she has 2 mommies?

Drew: Well, God says that we are to marry, you know , a boy or a girl, but not together. I mean, a boy and girl can marry, that is how Adam and Eve did it, right?

Me: You are right, the bible says that marriage is to be between one man and one woman. I think that your friend is very lucky to be in church so that we can pray for her family. God says that being together with the same sex, like in marriage, is a sin. Can you think of any sin you committed today?

Drew: Well, yes, I did take all of Gabe's blocks and he wasn't happy with me.

Me: Yes, you were selfish and took your brothers blocks. When God looks at sin, it is important to remember that sin to God is sin. God doesn't rate our sin and say one is better or worse than the other. So when you took Gabe's blocks, that is sin, just like being with the same sex is sin. Is your sin going to condemn you to hell?

Drew: Well no because I have Jesus in my heart so even though I sin I'm still given grace when I sin.

Me: Yep - so we really need to pray for your friends family that they would be saved and that God would change their hearts!

We then talked about ways we could love our friend, pray for her and her mommies. I love it that we attend a church that brings the community into the church and loves them where they are. I believe in God's design - one man and one woman. I don't believe God approves of divorce or bigamy or murder or prostitution - but all are found in the Bible and the God of the Bible is the same yesterday, today and forever. The fact is, we all sin, screw up and most of the time are messy people. I know from my personal experience that when I follow the Lord's design my life is free from the trials of the world - I have different trials that normally shape and mold me into the image of God. I like those trials - I try and stay away from sin because I know it will only lead me into trouble.

I won't roll over and be stepped all over - I won't say that I agree with the way homosexuals live, but I won't stand and condemn those people either. Jesus came to seek and save the lost - His time for judgement is coming, Our jobs as Christians is to love them with our words and actions while there is still hope! We're living in the days of grace - the  days on the Lord when we can love people, share the Gospel with them and pray that their eyes would be opened to the bigger plan that God has for their life.

So - sweet Drew. I love it that you ask me big questions and keep me accountable to God for having a Biblical perspective and that I must pray for lots of wisdom as I parent you!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Children Refine Me; but God Defines Me

My children have the capacity to bring out my very best and very worst! John spent the week of Spring Break in Oregon visiting family and  friends while I enjoyed the week with my children. We had a wonderful time! As I sat one evening reflecting on the day, I was reminded why children are such a blessing from the Lord. Each one of my children work on different aspects of my fleshly self.

Abby (2) - needs a lot of patience, she requires a lot of time, observation, and training. She is into everything and has no fear. I can loose patience with this girl by 10 am if I'm not walking in the Spirit!

Drew (7) - needs a lot of encouragement and smiles, he needs physical touch and lots of back rubs. If I'm not careful I can damage him with my words or lack of hugs and kisses and encouraging smiles.

Gabe (4) - teaches me to plan my  day and stick to it, because if I don't he  gets missed. Gabe is happy to play with his siblings or alone, he doesn't demand time or hugs like the other two. If I'm not intentional about my day Gabe gets missed.

My children each work on me in various way - they don't even know it! I have grown to appreciate the unique ways the Lord designed my kids because they individually refine me towards holiness. My children are a sincere blessing; each time we've added a new heartbeat into our family, I've become a better mother, wife and friend - those heart beats are loved so much that I am inspired to become more intimate with my Father. He is the one who knows exactly what each little heart beat needs in order to become all God designed them to be. I want that for myself and I want that for my kids.

I tell my kids all the time that God has big plans for their lives - they are being equipped to be world changers for God. They are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works!

Then - Gabe smiles at me and asks his famous question - "Mom, what do you want to be when you grow up?" To which  I reply "A mom silly!" Then Gabe laughs and says "No, mom when you grow up and aren't a mom anymore!"

I love how my kids refine me!


Over the last weeks I've been working on detoxing. It is an interesting experiencing watching your body's method of shedding toxins, waste, chemicals, and disease. This last week I've broken out in pimples, had the worst body odor, smelled like yeast, itched, spent some time in the bathroom, and had lots of sneezing fits. I've been  tired and run the gamete of emotions - both highs and lows.

I spent some time today relating this to my spiritual life. I go through phases of highs and lows. I rid my sinful body of toxins through prayer and fasting and developing disciplines that carry me through the hard times. I have been going through a weary few months, thought in looking back on my journals, I see that God sends me to this place every year about this time. I have begun to expect and even appreciate this time of detoxing. I spend time with the Lord in different way, I pray more, dream more, sit in silence more, meditate on short verses instead of larger ones. I rest and sleep more. I have less energy so I spend more time reading to my kids and my house gets messy!

"Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while." For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat." Mark 16:31

I spend a lot of time coming and going, meeting the needs of my kids and husband - I love this job! But there are times when resting and getting done the things that are most basic are just fine. I have come to love the lonely place for to me it represents rest and restoration and a renewed spirit.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." Matthew 11:38-40

The Lord brings about my sabbath rest each year - around mid January through April. I am typically weary from Thanksgiving, Christmas, Anniversary, 3 birthday's & lots of company. I have the Mom Heart conference in February that inspires and challenges me in my mothering role. Once the season of business ends I take a few months to just rest in the Lord - remembering the conference and what I wanted to implement, remembering the dreams and unique ways God has wired me. I rest in His goodness and allow the Lord time to penetrate my heart in preparation for the next season. 

The season I am in now is one of rest so that I can encourage and build up my husband in his dream to once again visit Vietnam and share with the people God's presence through a special education conference. This is a huge part of our year-  planning, saving, preparing and praying. This years it has been especially hard to get all our funds together, make plans, listen to God and have faith!

We're also experiencing some changes in our home schooling. This next year, Drew's 2nd grade year, we are planning on sending Drew to Alliance Christian Academy. He will attend 3 days per week and I'll homeschool him the remaining 2. Gabe will beginning Kindergarten and I'll  be working with him at home. I can't say that I love the idea of sending my son away 3 days per week and that I love spending the money - but that is where the Lord is directing our path for this next year. My job has really exploded over the last year and it seems to be more demanding that it use to be. While I wait for the rest to come I do find peace in having someone else manage the majority of Drew's schooling. That is so hard for me to give up, but as my sweet husband reminded me, "...we're taking this one year at a time!" Who knows what the rest of 2012 will bring!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Daddy Daughter Dance

My sweet husband took are darling daughter to her first dance!

Though, she didn't do much dancing she did enjoy the eating!

Sweet girly of mine is a bundle of joy and energy!

Abby loves posing!
The boys and I made popcorn and watched a movie. I had icecream and almost threw up - oops.When you haven't eaten many sweets, ice cream isn't a good place to break the fast!

Friday, March 9, 2012

2/22 - The Day God Delivered a Miracle

This blog post should be different, I should be writing it from a hospital room or goodness, from the prospective of a grieving mother? I have a hard time writing these words today, still in shock from the events of yesterday evening. All I can keep repeating in my mind is "God performed a miracle."

I would prefer not to write this post at all - seeing as my pride says I should have known better, my mischievous little girls is way more daring than my two boys put together!

So, yesterday was a beautifully warm day, it felt like I should do some Spring cleaning. So I opened all the windows upstairs, clean out the air filters, re-arranged Abby's room so she could move to a big full size bed and cleaned all the sheets. It was a great day and I loved the cool breeze throughout the house. Daddy came home at 5:30 as usual and we all sat down for dinner. We had a neighbor over so we were all chatting after dinner. John moved to take the crib from the entry way into the van to take to my mothers for storage until my sister needs it in a few months. The boys and the neighbor were sent upstairs to clean up the bedroom.

Then the unthinkable happened. John came rushing into the house with little Abby in his arms. She was crying and John was so upset. John yelled "Abby fell out the upstairs window!" I was in shock! We weren't sure what to do. All I could do was hug my little girl and pray - prayers of healing and prayers of thanksgiving that she was breathing and had not landed on her head. I got in front of her to comfort her and she vomited up all her dinner. Then she stopped crying. We just stared at her for a few minutes - asking her to lift her arms and move her head, etc. John had witnessed the whole thing - poor guy will  be traumatized for the rest of his life.

Abby had gone upstairs with the kids to pickup the bedroom. John saw her in the window and realized the windows were open. Abby then began pushing on the solar screen and toppled right out the front window when the solar screen came unscrewed. John ran to catch her but missed by about a foot. Only God knows what happened, but it appeared that the solar screen landed first on a tall flower pot and the ground - acting like a trampoline it catapulted her softly onto her side. The solar screen cushioned her fall and she then landed a few inches away from a large rock. The window upstairs is 20 feet above the ground. Our sweet girl fell 20 feet out our front window and only had a little scratch on her shoulder as proof of her ordeal. That can only be explained as a miracle from our blessed Lord. We had chopped the branches on the tree a few months back and John had just removed the tree house he had built over Christmas. If those things hadn't been removed the branches or tree house would have caught the solar screen and Abby would have fallen without her cushion.

Each night when I put Abby to bed I pray Numbers 6:24-27

24 May the LORD bless Abby
   and keep Abby;
25 May the LORD make his face shine upon Abby
   and be gracious to Abby;
26 the LORD turn his face toward Abby
   and give you peace.”’
“Lord, put your name on her heart, and  bless her.”

I now pray that prayer with new meaning, we will forever be changed as we look into our baby's eyes and recognized that God is still in the miracle business and delights in revealing Himself to us. May the Lord be honored and glorified in us as we share this story with others!

PS - as much as we delight in God's miracles, John promptly installed locks on our windows upstairs that only allows them to be opened 1 foot! We now know that solar screens are not a deterrent to our ever  curious and "dare I say" fearless little girl!