The Past Six Days

The past six days have been an intense mixture of emotions. The dreaded phone call saying my dad had had a seizure, was unconscious, and on his way to the hospital began the emotional roller coaster.

Sitting in traffic, attempting to meet friends to see an IMAX movie, and hearing my sister saying my dad was on his way to the hospital is an image that will never be erased from my mind. I thought I would be calm, or super, over the top, organized/planner when I got a call about one of my parents. Instead I was just a mess. I pulled into the IMAX movie and my middle daughter said, “hey mom, do you think you could stop doing that once we get inside?” I asked her what I needed to stop doing and she replied, “crying. Please don’t do that when we go inside.” Yes, mercy and compassion seem to be on the bottom of her giftings at this stage of the game.

By the time I made it home that night to fall into my husbands arms, my dad was awake, but couldn’t remember anything.  And not just couldn’t remember what happened to him, he couldn’t remember ANYTHING.    I had prayed the whole way home that the Lord would make it possible for me to get to Chicago by the next day.   I later learned friends had given us some airline miles so I could get a ticket up to Chicago the next morning.   The Lord always provides.

The next 48 hours were a mixture of relief, confusion, tension, love, and gratefulness.  I was surrounded by my sisters, my mom, my nephews,and my brother-in-law and together we all walked through this frightful scenario together.   As each test can back clean, I could feel the tension among us decrease bit by bit.  As each doctor answered more and more questions, I could feel me begin to relax more and more. 

On the plane on the way home, I began to recount all the blessings of the trip.  Everything from plane tickets, to the neurologist, to my sister’s willingness to get all of us where we needed to go, to being able to switch plane tickets with no cost, to time with  my nephews, to conversations with my sisters, to good cardiologists, to thorough doctors, to private hospital rooms, and the list could go on and on.  In fact, the list of things I was thankful for grew so long that I could no longer be scared for my dad.

Its amazing how fear seems to dissipate when your eyes are on the Lord.

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control  2 Timothy 1:7

(sorry about the poor quality of photos but very thankful to have a phone with a photo option on it!)

Is There Anything Cuter..

than a little kid in a hooded towel? I giggle every time they put one on after a bath =)

Overflowing

The smell of sickness is being challenged by the smell of bleach.  Load after load of soiled laundry calls my name while sick little children follow me crying “just hold me”.  I want to tell them to leave me alone.  To just give me five minutes without the crying, without the asking, without the needing of something, without the fevers.  I’m appalled at the emotions swirling through my mind, but I say to myself, “you’re just grouchy because its been four weeks of little sleep and sick children.  Everyone would be grouchy after this.” But something about that statement doesn’t sit right with me.  I try to ignore that uncomfortable feeling and attempt to tune out the chaos in my four walls. Denial always has been my defense mechanism.

Then God speaks softly about the heart.  I hear His voice, and I am forced to look at myself with honesty.  The grouchiness in my heart is held up against the truth of scripture.

“Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

My circumstances aren’t the problem.  My heart is.    I want to blame someone else for my emotions, but the blame is mine.

“Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

God leads me to open up I John and nudges me to begin memorizing the book.  So I start and I have Brent test me, and I work on it and begin to see love come out of my heart instead of hate.  The Book of Life begins again to take ownership over my heart.

“Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Today, may my thoughts and emotions be a reflection of a heart that is being transformed into the image of our Savior.

Daily Gifts

I started 2 weeks ago counting daily blessings and I’m going to continue until I reach 1000.


So this week I’m thankful for..
.
11. Early morning quiet before the house and kids wake up

12. Gluten free flour that allows me to still bake and enjoy the kitchen

13. Early morning and late night conversations with Brent

14. God putting me in the pool at the same time a physical therapist was in the pool. She gave me great suggestions for how to rehab my knee so there is a better chance I won’t need surgery in 6 weeks.

15. Enjoying my first pool workout EVER.

16. Little boy’s favorite 3 word sentence to say is “I wuv you” followed with a kiss.

17. Little boy calling from around the house “I need you mommy”. It is good to be needed.

18. Mother-in-law who spent the weekend with us entering into the kids’ world and giving me a bit of a break from my mommy duties.

19. Our desire to “run with gazelle like intensity” to pay off our student loan. We can see the end in site.

20. Avery and Elliana jumping into their new “jobs” and earning money. The joy they have as they split the money, share the money with others, and give the money to Jesus is contagious.

This is WAY too long

Elliana got out of the car after her first gymnastics “meet”, looked at her medal and said to the medal, “I never got a medal before.  I love you medal. (kisses the medal) I just KNEW I would earn you today


Two Main Reasons I am Really Impressed with My Kiddos Today:

1: Elliana is 3 yrs old.  This is a 5 yr. old class.  She works her little tail off to stay up with the other kids and I love watching her work hard and never ever ever give up

2. We came home and discovered Avery had a fever of 102.8.  I thought she didn’t look quite like herself during the meet, but she never complained once.  She finished what she started, pushed through feeling sick, and was so proud of herself at the end.

I love watching them gain that feeling of satisfaction that comes after having worked hard to accomplish a goal!

Love watching it to the extent that I think you should all be blessed with the privilege of watching a 7 minute video of my kids =) Enjoy

Sisters

Avery is sick and has been quarantined to my bedroom to sleep and watch cartoons all day.

Elliana’s view of the day was revealed tonight as she got ready for bed:

Mom, I sure do love Avery. (long pause) But I really wish I was the one in the room watching cartoons.”

It seems being sick is a privilege around here.

In Constant Prayer

If you have followed my blog at all over the past few years, you know that the Lord has been taking me on a journey of discovering the Spiritual Disciplines.  A lot of my journey has been focused on my prayer life and how to live out the mandate to “pray without ceasing” in a world that so desperately wants me NOT to “pray without ceasing”.

So imagine my delight when I received this complementary book from Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for agreeing to review the book on this site.  A free book to help me pursue the passion God has already stirred in my heart!

The book focuses on The Daily Office prayers.  Not having grown up in a liturgical church, I was unfamiliar with this term but not unfamiliar with the practice it teaches.  The Daily Office is simply set times throughout the day to pray and read scripture.  They are written prayers that have been around for centuries that are used for both corporate prayer and individual prayer.   The idea is that if you plan out certain times throughout the day where you will sit and pray, you will become a person of prayer.

I truly did enjoy reading this book.  The author is not a theologian so the book is not written in an academic, dry sort of way.  He’s funny and yet gets straight to the point.  Its an easy read and clearly explains the history of the practice as well as the need for the practice.   I especially enjoyed the study guide and the examples of prayers that were included at the end of the book.

Overall, I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is on the journey of a deeper prayer life.  Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this book because God was not pushing me in this direction, but now, I honestly think I will reread it so that I can truly grasp the importance of this ancient tradition.

Transitions

Life is one big transition.

Eight years ago, I was in the engaged category

Then transitioned into the newlywed category.  I then jumped straight into the pregnancy/nursing category where I remained for the next 6 years. 


I know all about baby transitions.  They transition from eating every 3 hrs. to every 3.5 to every 4.  Their sleep schedule transitions as they can only stay awake 20 minutes to then 30 minutes to finally an hour.  Their schedule gets shifted and moved as they get older.  I can do baby transitions.  For some reason I forgot that adults have transitions too.

Now I’m wandering around wondering what to do with myself. I just figured out that I’m in another transition. I know I’ve been baby free for awhile, but I’ve been wandering for awhile.  This last year has been a year of learning to obey God and listening to Him as he led me to get rid of everything I was a part of during the last 6 years.  The ministries, the groups, everything.  Now that I’m a clean slate again, I guess its time for me to transition into whatever this next step is that God has for me.

My kids aren’t quite as needy, I’m not so emotional or physically exhausted, I have a little bit of brain power back, and am now fighting that restlessness that comes when life changes and you’re not quite sure where your place is anymore.

So I’m transitioning.  One of many transitions to come, but one I wasn’t prepared for. 

Here’s to waiting on the Lord to see what He has for me in this season of life.

Its Happening!

Two weeks ago, I still had a baby.

Now the little guy wears underwear and goes on a pottyCombine a haircut with the undies, and it looks like a little BOY walking around my houseTo make matters worse, someone taught him about pronouns, and he looked at me this morning and said,  “hold you…no…hold ME”.   I think my heart broke just a bit.I’m not ready to give up my baby yet!

Thankfulness

I started reading this new book by Ann VosKamp.  I’ve been reading extremely slow on purpose.   The whole idea that before we can truly walk in the Kingdom of God and participate in His joy daily, we need to live a life of gratitude is easy to agree with but yet hard to live out.  Gratitude for EVERYTHING all day long is difficult.  I’ve really had to search out and repent about the fact that my frustration and anger comes from a deep rooted belief that in the moment I was frustrated, I chose to believe that I was in control, not God.   Its that moment by moment walking in thankfulness that takes a lot of concentration.

I’ve been reading Ann’s blog off and on for a while.  Her thoughts, ideas, and reflections from the Lord just resonate with my soul, and so I’m taking her challenge of living a life full of gratefulness.  My list begins today as well as my journey to live a more thankful life. We’ll see how long it takes me to get to 1000.  Anyone want to join me?

So Today I’m Thankful For…

#1. lots of  cuddle time with my youngest as he recovers from sickness

#2.Sunshine that sweeps through the house in the afternoon

#3. Warmer temps so the kids can go outside and play “Jack and Annie” all afternoon.

#4. Doctors who have wisdom so the family will start to feel better

#5. A husband who will work late, work from home, and help take kids to the doctor while we all recover from sickness

#6. Codine to help me sleep through the coughing

#7. Friends who show up with food when they know I’m exhausted

#8. Neighbors who help with car trouble when the temps are below freezing

#9. Apple TV…being able to pull up youtube videos of  “Cookie Monster” at a moments notice has helped a very sick little boy calm down

#10. Having my husband home after 7 days without him.  I love him dearly.