Thursday, May 31, 2012

Makes Me Smile

This little boy makes me smile!

And, I am also smiling because today we finished our school year!!!

Summer and ice cream we come!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why I Love Elisabeth Elliot

Right after I meet Jesus in heaven, I will head right on over to Elisabeth Elliot.  (Ok, I don't think she is dead this morning, but I am assuming that she will head to glory before I get there.)  She has been widowed twice, lived as a missionary for several years, and therefore experienced the suffering of loneliness for a good portion of her life.  Her writings largely deal with suffering with hope.  She is plainly honest without the fluff of some women writers, and even though I have never met her, I love her.  Wait, have I said that before?

The combination of motherhood and military life make for a lonely life.  And, so these words this morning from Elliot's book, The Path of Loneliness, ministered to my heart.

"Pain, as C.S. Lewis said, is God's megaphone ("He whispers to us in our joys, speaks to us in our conscience, and shouts to us in our pain.")  The pain of loneliness is one way in which He wants to get our attention.  We may be earnestly desiring to be obedient and holy.  But we may be missing the fact that it is here, where we happen to be at this moment and not in another place or another time, that we may learn to love Him-here where it seems He is not at work, where His will seems obscure or frightening, where He is not doing what we expected Him to do, where He is most absent.  Here and nowhere else is the appointed place.  If faith does not go to work here, it will not got to work at all."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Abide with Me

My friend in college gave me a Trinity Hymnal when we graduated.  It has been a treasured gift. 

Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour;
What but thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting?  Where grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heavens morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chick-fil-A 5K

One of my goals this year was to run in at least one 5K.  So, a few months back I began looking into what races were upcoming in our area.  The Chick-fil-A 5K stood out above all the rest because they guessed it...a FREE Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich at the end of the race.   Sold.  So, I told my friend she had to run with me or else.

Here we are before the race.

And, after with our goofy, random shirts.  Don't ask...we don't know either. But, you know, chickens do come from eggs.

My free sandwich.

And, of course, you can't forget the cow.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Mind Stayed on Him

aren't these pictures beautiful??

Mothering is mental anguish.  "I should have done this."  "I should have done that."  "If only I could this."  "If only I could have that."  "Why can't I just this."  "Why can't I just that."   All. Day. Long.

I go to bed exhausted each night not necessarily from the demands of my children (although that is a big part of it!), but I go to bed each night exhausted by my 'if onlys' and 'should haves' and 'why can't I justs".

But, I was reminded of a verse this morning that brought help to this madness. 

Taking every thought captive, I need to stay my seemingly well-intentioned mothering thoughts back to Christ...what He accomplished for me.  What "I should have done", He did.  "If only I could have", He is.  "Why can't I just", He finished.  There is hope because all our mothering inadequacies have been paid in full at the Cross.  We can't add anymore or detract anything from His completed, perfect work accomplished for us.  We are only to receive this grace and trust Him and daily stay our minds on Him.   

Saturday, May 19, 2012

the gift of reading

we are wrapping up our school year this week.  emily is finishing first grade and this past week completed the last reading lesson in the ordinary parent's guide to teaching reading. 

there are many little lessons in this simple and systematic, phonics-based reading program, and so i told her a while ago that once she completed the last lesson we would go to a bookstore so she could pick out a book or two to celebrate finishing every lesson. 

so, we had a special one-on-one time together today as she looked through several books before deciding on two books.  she was looking at books, and i was looking at her. 

and, right in barnes and noble, i almost burst into tears.  i am so thankful to have this little tenderhearted girl in my life.  it is such a privilege to love and nurture a child.

it has been a privilege to teach her to read and now i hope to nurture a love for reading lots of good stories, with an emphasis on loving the Best Story...the most important reason to learn to know Him, the Word written out for us.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

strawberry fun

thankful for fun with sweet little children and the beauty of a quaint farm with strawberries!

and, thankful for a dear friend who can take pretty pictures!

Monday, May 14, 2012

new every morning

thankful for the lilies that bloomed this morning!

"the Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
for His compassions never fail.
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!" 
(Lam. 3:22-23)

thankful for my running view as i run during this season of life.

thankful for healthy little boys...caleb covered in charcoal dust right before we ate lunch.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!  And, wishing a special Mother's Day to my mother who daily loves and prays for her children and grandchildren.  I love you and am thankful for you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

9th Anniversary!!!

Hee Hee...This is what one's pictures look like when the budding photographer is shorter than you. 
And, yesterday, Adam and I celebrated our 9th Wedding Anniversary!  I am thankful for him and our marriage.  In His providence, the second week of May every year I get to celebrate marriage and motherhood...two good gifts from my Heavenly Father.

Speaking of marriage...have you seen this....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beauty Secret

Hope in God

Produces a Gentle and Quiet Spirit

Which Shows Itself in Submission and Respect To One's Husband

And Fearless Courage to Do Right

1 Peter 3:1-6

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Ultimate Boyscout

I know the Ultimate Boyscout.  You know, the guy who has near his person at all times no matter the time of year: ponchos, a hammer, snow shovel, snow boots, a gun, batteries, breaker bars, hack saws, extensions, lug nuts (what in the world), tin snips, and twix candy bars.  This just scratches the surface.  All these things are strategically placed in his Subaru.  I once asked the Ultimate Boyscout what he did for a living.  His response was, "I prepare for a breakdown."  I like to tease the Ultimate Boyscout.  Because, you may have guessed it...he's my Daddy!

And, he makes killer omelets.  And, I love him!

Monday Morning Hoping in God

Monday mornings are always a shock to my system.  But, God is teaching me to hope in Him through a lot of mundane little, here is what my Monday morning hoping in God looks like.

In getting drinks and food ready...hope in God.

In getting drawing journals and Bible listening time ready...hope in God.

When littlest one babbles on (loudly) during Bible listening time...hope in God.

When Pap Pap can't hear because he silenced his hearing aids...hope in God.

When I see drawings of what the kids are hearing...hope in God.

When children complain about whats for breakfast...hope in God.

When littlest one needs his hands washed because he drew on his hands rather than in his journal...hope in God.

When the smell of yummy omelets are in the air...hope in God.

When littlest one spills his bowl of milk all over the table and floor right as I am ready to take my first bite of yummy omelet...hope in God.

In cleaning up the mess...hope in God (with gritted teeth).

When I take my first (cold) bite of yummy omelet...hope in God.

When children yell throughout the whole meal and need to be reminded to quiet down...hope in God.

When Honda service calls and the ongoing problem with my van is still not discovered...hope in God.

When children are done and start running throughout the house...hope in God.

When children are reminded to do their chores and not run through the house...hope in God.

Motherhood is (for me) a series of small trials, one right after the other. 

"Knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame."