Saturday, December 31, 2011

And the list continues

Thankful for:

24. the breathing machine humming softly, twice a day, offering hope
to the wee one that he will be able to breath, sleep, live.

25. the gift of a friend, buying us some sparkling juice to celebrate another year.

26. the sticky kiss of the wee one when he wakes from his nap.

27. the twinkle of the lights on the Christmas tree.

28. gas in the tank.

29. laundry all folded and ready for another day.

30. glow sticks illuminating the dark night.

31. a refrigerator that works,and is filled with His bounty.

32. the opportunity to serve my family.

33. the cracked sugar on top of my lemon poppy seed muffin.

34. the music of the dog's nails as they click on the kitchen floor.

35. the seed of a strawberry.

36. shoes that fit.

37. the hope of a new year.

38. the lavish hugs of the boy-man, as he looks for acceptance and hungers for love.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Counting the Gifts

And I thank Him for...

14. the quiet early morning hours, when He calls me out of sit at His
feet, soak Him in, preparing me for the day, renewing my thoughts of Him,
causing me to crave His presence, refreshing my perspective, giving me eyes to

15. the pangs of hunger that awaken my physical body to its need.

16. the refreshing night's sleep.

17. the two sons, still warmly tucked into their beds...sleeping,

18. eyes that are beginning to see.

19. morning's fresh start, the promise of His mercies, new every morning.

20. Christmas decorations, just one more hour, day, week...of remembering Him whom
we are meant to see in all things every moment of every hour of every day.

21. the bats scuttling in the attic, not having made it again into the living space.

22. water on night-parched lips.

23. soft feel of blanket on cool skin.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Finding Joy in ThanksGiving

Words are not beautiful when I write them. I don't sound as eloquent or as heartfelt as some, but I know that God has me doing this...writing it...writing that for which I am thankful. I always have, I mean, kept a thankfulness journal - but not for anyone to see. It has always been a key for know and understand the goodness of God, to see His presence in the details of my life. He is there, in every good thing that every tear that has spilled from the corners of my every giggle that has escaped my lips...He has been and always will be with me. For that I give thanks.

In those lonely, dark years, as we sought to have a child...crying out to Him, begging Him to be real to me, I learned His secret...that secret that enabled my heart to rejoice in the midst of longing...and I thanked Him.

When the news came that our first child would never be held in my aching arms, He engulfed me, drowned me in His love - through His people, His Word, my husband. His breath in my heart was like a warm balm. And I thank Him.

As I listened to the doctor tell me that my oldest was never going to be "normal," that the disease that held him captive would change all of our lives forever...He whispered His peace to my heart. And I thank Him.

When the news came that our fourth child would never breath this side of Heaven, He reached into the inky blackness to remind me He was there. He wrote the child's life. He enabled the barren woman to have a child - four children. And I thanked Him.

As the doctor stood before me, telling me that the two years of allergies for my youngest were not...he suspected something worse, God clutched me to Him, enabling me to breath, enabling me to know He was there. He steadied me, assuring me that this little precious one is perfectly known by Him. And I thank Him.

His fingerprint can be seen in the gut-wrenching heartache, as much as in the inexpressible joy....and I thank Him.

1. I thank Him for the joy of knowing another day.

2. For the cloud's promise of snow.

3. For the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree.

4. For the laughter of the little one who holds so many hearts.

5. For the desire of the wee one to sit in my lap and snuggle.

6. For the peace of the morning before the sun peeks over the horizon.

7. For the life-giving Water that He meant for me to drink. For the truth of His
Word, washing over me, engulfing me, renewing me again.

8. For the unexpected warm embrace of my man as I am washing dishes.

9. For the pitter-patter of little feet, seeking mama in the middle of the night.

10. For the clean, fresh whiteness of the first winter's snow.

11. For the playful squirrels, nibbling the pumpkin in the the kids
squeal with delight.

12. For the laughter of a friend as we remember...remember who we once were
and celebrate who God has grown us up into.

13. For the sparkle of stars in the sky, a reminder of His promise to Abraham,
the hope of Christ and the joy of walking in His presence.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tears that Won't Come

Yesterday was one of those of those days when tears wouldn't come...when I felt overwhelmed by the "what if's." What if Jacob does have Cystic Fibrosis? What if the doctors missed it for all this time? What if...what if...what if...

For those of you who have been asked to pray for us. Thank you! I am sure that it is in answer to your prayers that God brought me a river of peace in the midst of the questions. The thought, as we spent the day at the hospital with our sweet little guy, was that this could become our new reality: frequent hospital visits, doctors appointments, medications (as if 7 isn't enough). Or perhaps, a correct diagnosis that will lead to a healthy child...a child who can run and jump and play....a child who can breath and sleep...

I long for God. I cry to Him. I long for Him to step in and relieve my every fear, to overcome my every uphold me with His righteous right hand. He who has never failed will not fail now. He who has never disappointed will not disappoint me now. I cling to Him, I cry to Him and I wait...wait in confidence that whatever the outcome of the test done yesterday is, He knew it beforehand, He is not surprised and His purposes are not thwarted....

May He silence my what ifs with His holy presence. May He write His peace on my heart. He is Lord of this circumstance, of every circumstance....may I learn to live this Truth...

Monday, September 5, 2011


GRACE....God has been whispering this word into my ear over the last few days. I posted it to facebook and someone added "MERCY" to it. Yes, grace and mercy. All of us need it, but few of us offer it. Why is that? I am in desperate need of God pouring His grace and mercy out on me!! Without it I am a mess.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fitful Rest

I watched him- little Jake, that is- screaming like there was no back arch to avoid being buckled into the car seat, the feet kicking, arms flailing. Smart kid. Patience, patience, I silently reminded myself...

"Jake, honey, please get in your car seat." "BO." "Jake, honey, please get in your car seat or Mommy will put you there." "Bo. I do it." "Thank you Jake. Now, please get in your car seat." "BO." And so the battle continued...

Imagine, every "bo" punctuated with high pitched screams and hysterical cries. Onlookers gathering...including a sheriff -oh yeah. It was really quite amusing. I remembered these days from long ago with another son..and I smiled. I couldn't help myself. Years ago, it would have been a battle of wills that left me frustrated, maybe even angry...but this time, I knew better. I knew that in the end, Jake was going to be right where I wanted him...safely belted in his seat.

How many times have I done the same thing in my walk with God? How many times have I arched my back, kicked and screamed because I thought my ways were better than His? How many times did I plead with God to just give this one thing? How many times did I try to tell Him no? Oh, I've been where Jake is...and ya know what? It ended the same...I obeyed God, sank exhausted back into the safety of His arms, and rested.

The end of Jake's fit came unexpectedly, 10 minutes into it...he looked at me with his tear-stained, snotty face and crawled into the car seat, exhausted...and (smile) asked for my help. Poor. Exhausted. Little. Guy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Homeschooling Blues

I am having the homeschooling blues....gray skies....not a tulip up in my garden yet (beginning to wonder if the squirrels ate all the bulbs again)...spring cleaning in full swing (is all this washing of walls and windows really necessary?)...and I just want to stop school here for the year (does it really matter if he misses 10 weeks of his sixth grade year?)...pick back up in the fall. I know, I know, what kind of mama am I? Well, a tired one, for sure. And, don't worry...we won't quit here. We will press on..until we have completely finished this year's curriculum. Our family, especially, Jake, has been battling illness since Christmas...and it is almost Easter. Really?? So, I am tired. Jake is sick again. Josh is obviously not feeling well - either that or he caught a bad case of a lousy attitude from his mama....not at all like him. Enough already! I am praising and thanking God that He has blessed me with these two dear children. He has entrusted them to me and is giving me all that I need to train them in His ways. I pray that He will renew my heart and give me a right attitude. May the Lord renew my strength and cause me to rise up above my current circumstances like an eagle.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Least of These

My heart is broken today...not for myself...not for my children...but for all of the children who will never have a home...never know the love of a family...never have a mother to come home to...never know the love and acceptance of a father...never have anyone to celebrate every success with them, comfort them during every trial, stand beside them when it seems like the world is against place to go home to for the holidays...they stand ALONE in a world that tells them they are worthless, unloveable, unacceptable....

My heart cries for them. Who will be the voice of the orphan? Who will rise up and fight for these little ones that are unloved, but not unloveable? Who will give these precious ones a place to call home? Who will give them a place to belong, a family to call their own? Who will assure them that they are worth more than diamonds or fact, they are worth so much that God sent Jesus for them? Who will tell them that? Who will show them their great worth, accept them, love them, embrace them?? Who will be the arms and feet of Jesus? Who will lay aside their own wants and needs, move outside their comfort zone and go...go to the orphan, bring him into a family and give him a place to belong?

Will you? Will I?

Yes, the least of these...the orphan. He is not forgotten by the One who sees everything. Her tears don't fall unseen by a Mighty God. His creis don't go unheard by a Faithful Father.

Who will God prompt to action today...and will that family answer the call? I pray so...I pray so.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Forget Him Not Friday: Meeting God

Okay, so it is Saturday...I tried to do this yesterday, but with a little one near throwing up and feverish, not much was accomplished yesterday! Anyway, here it goes:

December of 1987 was the most life-changing month of my existence. I was a Freshmen on campus, just trying to survive. My favorite song and the motto of my college years was going to be Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna have Fun." Yep, that was depth there. My dad told me I was going to school & that was that. So, there I was, almost at the end of my first semester - and having a ball. I hadn't roomed with my best friend on purpose because she was a C.H.R.I.S.T.I.A.N. - and if you know anything about them, then you know they are in direct opposition to F.U.N. It was early afternoon and she and I were chatting over a game of Monopoly. Life was good. I had a full-ride scholarship, was passing all of my classes and was experiencing all that fun I was so desperate for. Odd thing about kind of left me hollow inside & it seemed like it really wasn't accomplishing what I had wasn't making me the kind of person that I wanted to be and it had actually led to some deep wounds which stay with me as scars, even today.

Anyway, Lisa and I were in the middle of Monopoly, when the conversation took a wrong turn. She asked me about GOD. The conversation remains clearly set in my mind. It would change me forever. I remember saying, "I'm not good enough to have that kind of relationship with God. You don't know what I've done."

To my shock, her response was, "You're right, you can never be good enough."

Long pause. Yeah, right, let me absorb that for a few seconds. I was about ready to cry. I really wanted her to assure me that I was a good person, that God loved me, that He would accept me because I was basically good, but deep down, I knew she was right and that I was not good enough. I knew that I would never claim to be a good person again. I knew all of the awful things I had done since coming to campus four short months earlier.

Then, she gently continued, "None of us are good enough, that is why Christ died...He paid the price for our sins. All you have to do is accept Him as your Savior."

Lisa, in God's wisdom, did not ask me to pray with her that day. Instead, we took a walk to downtown and shopped...but my life and heart were never to be the same. Late that night, in the quiet of my room, I cried out to Jesus and accepted Him as my Savior - the only One able to save me from the righteous punishment my sins deserve, the only One who could heal the hurts I had brought upon myself...and I have spent the last two decades growing in my understanding of what He has done, of what being loved by Him means, of what it means to belong to God, His own possession..and learning how to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

That one brief conversation, that one true friend who was willing to step out of her comfort zone and be used by God. I praise and thank God for that day and for all that He did and continues to do in my life. What an incredible Savior, what a blessed Friend!

Friday, March 11, 2011

What a yucky past couple of weeks we have had. Jacob has been sick...better...sick...better...sick. He has been to the doctor twice, on antibiotics for sinus infection type stuff, thrown up, been feverish, gotten better, only to start the whole cycle over again (minus the antibiotics). Last night was a sleepless night. He had a fever over 104 and was babbling about "papa" (grandpa). It was so cute, although it did concern me that he was so incoherent. But, today he is so much better. I just praise God for bringing him through those high temperatures.

Yesterday I took Jake to the doctor because of his high fever and other symptoms. She assured me it was just a cold-type virus. So, then while I was putting the little guy into his car seat, he became a human fountain...nothing as disgusting as throw up in the car, then having to drive home in such a confined space with the smell. Poor guy, after that, his nose began flowing like a river...S.N.O.T. everywhere...I mean eeewwww. I know, too much information!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beyond My Circumstances hard is it to be content? I would be content if...I were thin and pretty, I had a nicer house, a better car, more money, a husband who complimented me, a husband at all, more children - ummm - when I was younger, that is. And so the list goes on...and on...and on. Add that one more thing, improve this one thing and I will be content.....or will I obtain all that, just to be left with this aching, gnawing emptiness that seems unquenchable, all consuming? Oh, where will I find this contentment? How will my heart hunger ever be satisfied?

Contentment is not something found in the have's and have not's of daily living. Contentment is not something found in things or husband can not make me content by his wonderful, god-honoring attitude. My children can not make me content by behaving everyday or picking up after themselves once in a while. A positive balance in my checkbook today does not equal contentment tomorrow. must be something beyond my circumstances.

Contentment is in that One perfect gift God gave....His Son....abiding in Christ, resting in Him, being confident that His Word is true. He is the One who makes it all right. He is the One who enables me to say that I am content no matter what my circumstances. I have lived in plenty, and I was not content. I have lived with little, and I was not content. My broken womb was opened and I was blessed with children, but that did not make my heart content. Those things I long for, that next bigger and better thing that I think will satisfy some ache or that I hope will heal some brokenness inside of me, will not. It will make it feel better for a while, but the feeling lasts only a fleeting moment. The only place to find the true contentment and satisfaction that I long for is in the arms of Jesus, abiding in Him. Trusting His promises. Believing His Words. Spending time with Him daily. Drinking Him in. Knowing Him. Talking to Him. Listening to Him. Ahh..there is rest for my soul.

Yes, there is a secret to contentment, as the apostle Paul writes. It is a simple secret. It is a secret that should be shouted from the mountaintops, shared with the clerk at the grocery store, whispered to our children in their goodnight hugs, clung to when the pain of loss is searing our souls, remembered when our cup overflows. His name is Jesus, and without Him there is not contentment, just constant striving and searching, filling a pitcher, only to find the water seeps out, won't last, doesn't satisfy, leaves us thirsty for...something more. Jesus is far more than we could ever hope for or imagine...if we invite Him to satisfy our desires, He will. If we trust Him to fill our needs, He does. If we ask Him to be our contentment, He is. What a Wonderful Savior, what an incredible Friend!

Will you join me in drinking in Jesus today? Will you experience true contentment? He will teach us together to let go of our "if only's" and live contentedly for Him only!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13-14

How can I be content in any and every situation?? What is this secret Paul writes about?

What, if anything, does my situation have to do with my contentment?

Just something to think about today.