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Respect

I haven’t been able to eat a meal in 9 weeks.

Yes, for 9 weeks, everytime food hits my stomach, I immediately end up in the bathroom.

And no, I’m not pregnant.

But I do have to wake up four hours before I need to be anywhere.  Yes, it takes me four hours of sitting in the bathroom sick before I am capable of going out of the house.

I’ve discovered that if I don’t eat anything, I tend to be less sick.  Very hungry, but less sick.  So that’s the plan for now.  Just don’t eat.

After a particular rough two days, I called the doctor again and the receptionist told me that since the problem had stayed the same for so long, it wasn’t urgent that I get in to be seen by the doctor this week, and she then refused to schedule me an appointment.   I asked three times if I could please come in, but she refused.  I must wait another week.

That, my friends, is not the thing to say to a woman who has not eaten in 9 weeks.

I cried as the receptionist reiterated my problem was not severe, and when she went on to say a couple more rude things, I hung up on her.  Yes, at 33 years of age, I actually hung up on someone.  I was so desperate for someone to help me, but instead I got someone who saw my problem as insignificant.  The tears came fast and I couldn’t speak, so I just hung up.

I wonder if that’s how most hurting people feel?

Just looking for a rope to grab onto.  Some sort of hope.  A possible solution.  They don’t need to be told there is no easy fix.  They just need to be respected.

The respect was missing from my conversation with the doctor’s office this morning, but I hope it is never missing from my voice as I encounter people who just need help.

Pure Joy

The kids first time to an amusement park was such a picture of pure joy.

At the end of the ride, I asked, “J did you like the ride?”  He shook his head yes.   I then asked, “Do you want to go on it again?“  He burst into tears and said “no pease” over and over again.  Maybe a roller coaster in the dark is a bit much for a two year old!

Lesson learned.  Just because Adventureland does not enforce height limits does not mean that a responsible parent should not enforce the height limit.  I forgot that small little bodies jerk quite a bit while going upside down on roller coasters.   The girls only response at the end of the ride,  “that really hurt my neck mommy!“   Oops!

I absolutely love watching my kids experience things for the first time.  No expectations of what the experience should look like; it is just pure joy.


Where to Begin?

I have three sisters. Three beautiful, lovely sisters whom I adore.

In fact, if I didn’t have sisters, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t need a cell phone or at least a texting plan. I always tell Brent to cut back on our minutes and then he forces me to look at the bill and I realize it is ME using all our minutes and texts talking to my sisters and mom!

All that to say, I LOVE my sisters and any excuse to get to hang out with them makes me happy.

But there is one tiny little problem. Two of them live in Iowa and one lives in Illinois. Makes get togethers a little tricky.

So when my older sister asked me to come up for a week and hang out with her and her kids while her husband was out of town, I only had to think about it for a few seconds before I said yes.  Brent and I and the kids were already planning on going up for the fourth of July so it just meant I would go a week early and Brent would come later. Even the thought of driving 13 hours with all three kids by myself didn’t squash the excitement.

So I took off and the first seven hours of the drive went perfectly. The last five hours were pretty rough, but we made it and my week of fun began!

My sister and I got married within a couple months of each other. Then we had our first kid within 6 weeks of each other. So for the last 8 years, every time we have been together, adult conversation has been next to impossible. We are usually chasing a kid, nursing a kid, changing a diaper, or trying to get a kid to sleep. Plus factor in those pregnancy hormones and lets just say we were past due for some good quality sister time. I’d say living together for 14 days qualifies as good sister time!

I prayed the six kids would get along. I prayed Jana and I would have fun together. I prayed we wouldn’t be a burden on her and her house. I prayed so many things and the Lord answered above and beyond. I truly cannot put into words how special the time at her house was and how much I miss waking up and hanging out with her today!

Avery actually told me over our morning snack that Uncle Mark was really nice and he would probably let us move into his house if we wanted to go back to Aunt Jana’s =) Needless to say, even after 14 days of sleeping on air mattresses, the kids were sad to leave their cousins!

All that to say, thanks Jana for an incredible two weeks full of fun and great memories.  I am so grateful for your hospitality and friendship!  What do you say for making this our new tradition =)

 

The Mind of a Five Year Old

Avery: “What does it mean “Jesus is the light of the world?”

I explained….

Avery: “How do you walk in Light then?”

I explained…

Avery: “So how will you never walk in darkness again then?”

I explained…

She sat quiet for a few minutes and then…

Avery: “This isn’t the same thing as me saying I’m going to go into my bedroom and turn on the light though is it?”

 

4 Weeks

Today I woke up sick again…4 weeks of feeling sick, not being able to eat, and much grossness that I won’t bother to detail here.  You’re welcome.

If you know me really well, you know 4 weeks of sickness is about what it takes before I am finally ready to admit I can’t fix it on my own, and I’ll go see a doctor.

Imagine that.  Seeing a doctor when you’re sick.  Actually, the idea to go to the doctor was  my brilliant husband’s.  I believe the conversation revolved around me raising my right hand and promising I would see a doctor sometime today.  Yes, sometimes I need a little extra push to take care of myself.

But apparently there is a magic pill.  Well, I’m calling it a magic pill; the doctor called it my best hope before he would want to do some sort of test that didn’t sound pleasant at all.   When will things be invented that make all medical testing pleasant??!!!!

So I just swallowed my first magic pill.  I leave in a day for a long trip with 3 children and no husband.  Who’s praying with me that this magic pill works fast?

First Game

Avery’s first baseball game may have been the sweetest thing I’ve seen in awhile.  All these 5 & 6 year olds just filled with joy and confusion as they attempt to figure out the game of baseball.  It was a blast.

So this post is mainly for the grandparents who can’t be a part of all these little fun moments.  Enjoy the video of my baby learning the sport of baseball =)

 

No Wimpy Fingerpainters Around Here

Avery’s Request

If any of you know me, you know that I have a heart for children. I would adopt a million of them if I could.

Brent and I have discussed fostering, adopting, and a whole range of ideas, but the Lord has clearly said no to all of it for now.  If I’m being honest, I would tell you that at least weekly, maybe as kind of a way to get around having to wait for God to give us the go ahead, I pray that someone would walk up to me in the street, tell me they can’t care for their baby, and ask me to adopt him/her.  But since that probably won’t ever happen,  I  sit here with this huge heart to help hurting children but no avenue to accomplish this desire.

Then my five year old looks at me with her huge blue eyes and tells me what to do. Don’t you love it when your wisdom comes from a child.

See, we were on the Compassion website, and we were looking at the little girl we sponsor. We were talking all about her country and finding pictures of other children who were waiting for a sponsor. After scrolling through page after page of children, Avery turned to me confused and asked

Why can’t we sponsor them all?

In that moment, as I looked into her eyes glistening with tears, I was ready to sell a kidney so we could sponsor some more kids.  Luckily, Brent was sitting next to me and began to try to explain money to her.  Her reply was

Well, what will happen to those kids if we don’t send them money?

Don’t you love how the concept of money is lost on children.  They only focus on the right thing to do, not the financial strain that might result!

We talked through how we can pray for those children and how God will provide for them.

What about your website?  Can you ask them to send money?

Yes, Avery is very persistent, some might say stubborn, and I do believe she has caught my heart for helping children in need.  So here is the request from my oldest daughter.  We know not everyone is in a position to sponsor a child every month, but her desire is for 10 children to be helped.

Avery is asking:

  1. Click on the link on the side of my blog or click here to see a list of all children needing sponsored and begin sponsoring a child today.  Its only $38 a month!!
  2. If you are not able to commit to sponsoring a child, visit the Compassion site and donate SOMETHING.  At the top of their site there is a “Make a Contribution” link.  If you click on that, you can send money for anything from water filtration to AIDS initiative to wherever the greatest need is.  You can donate $5, $10, or any other amount you feel like you can handle this month. Every dollar counts. And although this money goes into a general fund and not to a specific child, with these contributions, 10 children will ultimately be helped.
  3. (this one isn’t necessary but it would be neat for Avery to see her idea in motion)  After you have donated, let me know either by a comment here or through an email.  I would love for Avery to see her wish of 10 children being helped come true.

If you really want to get a feel for what your money does for these children, there is a trip to the Philippians coming up and many bloggers will be on the trip blogging about it.  These posts will give you a real life look at where your money is going.  Check out this link if you are interested in following the bloggers, and go help some kids!

 

When She Grows Up

Mommy, when I grow up I want to work in a hospital.

But not with all the sick people or anything.   I just want to sit in an office and work with the money.


Denying

I’m definitely procrastinating writing this post. Coming back from seeing my family always stirs up so many emotions in my heart.

  • Longing to be close to those who love me and to whom we belong to.
  • Deep rooted desires to live where I could swap date night babysitting with my sisters or even take turns going on trips with our husbands because we live close enough to watch each others kids for long periods of time.
  • Jealousy because my sisters all live close enough to see my parents more than twice a year.
  • Sadness over the fact that my kids will grow up not living life with their cousins, aunts, uncles, and Grandma and Grandpa
  • Anger that my desires always have to be denied
  • Love for my husband who knows my struggle and so makes it possible for me to visit my family as much as possible
  • Trust that God knows the best plan for me and obviously His best is for me to live in Texas.

See, inward the struggle is hard. While the car ride North is spent in constant conversation, the 14 hour drive home is usually spent in silence. Brent will ask what I want to talk about, and I reply, “nothing. All I can think of is what it would be like to live near family and that’s not possible, so I just need to sit here.”

The struggle to give up my own selfish desires is hard. Especially when those desires FEEL right and noble and honest and best.

I sat down in the sanctuary on Sunday morning and began singing, “Your grace is enough” and then “I’m amazed by your love” and the Holy Spirit quietly began reminding me that yes, God is enough. He loves me way too much to put me in a place that is not the best place for me. And I know without a doubt, God has called us to this place. Because He has called us here, I know it is the best place for us.

I love where we live. I love the church we serve and work for. I love my friends. I love our neighborhood. Its just the thought of having the support of my family sometimes makes me lose sight of the sovereignty of God.

So I sit here not wanting to admit my struggle, but wholeheartedly knowing the sacrifice of my fleshly desires for the advancement of the Kingdom of God is more than worth it.

 

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