January 11, 2015

On country-living and Starbucks...





                So we have moved and we now live in the country.  It is really beautiful out here.  Peaceful.  We moved away from sitting within 8 minutes of every convenience imagineable, from malls, a hundred grocery stores, more restaurants than there are days in a year, music schools, art classes, and just an abundance of choices, choices, choices.  So why did we move?? I sometimes have to remind myself when I am taking the 35 minute trek back to the city.  35 minutes…not too bad.  Factor in traffic, and well, it takes some extra patience, but so far it has proven itself, worth it. 
                We did it so that the kids would grow up with a little room to run and stretch their legs and imaginations.  We did it, because hubby always wanted a little workshop of his own and a long stretch of yard to call his own.  We did it, because honestly, the “too many choices” that we thought were great, were actually a source of added stress for me.  The “too many” choices, left me always second guessing myself, feeling overwhelmed with the decision-making process.  At one point, I found myself grocery shopping at 5 different grocery stores because they all had something different that we liked!  For me…that creates chaos.  I needed to simplify and I needed to not have so many choices.  Living just far enough from all the convenience forces me to pick and choose carefully what it is that we really need. No more time is spent or wasted driving to this store or that one 4 times a week.  When I go to run errands, I go with a purpose and realize that if I miss something, we will do without it until my next trip in a week or two.  And of course, there is always the handy and much-needed Amazon prime.  hehe
                But I have to admit, for you city slickers, that on days like today, when the winter weather is sitting thick and the sun continues to hide, I do miss the days of a quick trip to the mall to sip on a Starbucks beverage and peruse the aisles of my favorite department stores. :)   With everything, there is the good and the bad.  I am content in knowing that despite the smallish annoyances that might come from living in the country, I am right where God wants me.  And that is worth more than a yummy Starbucks drink any day. 

May 15, 2014

When I am Alone




It’s that time of evening again, when I have just finished tucking my kids into their beds, I walk away from my son’s room and I find myself…alone.  Husband is traveling again and it has been me and my two kids all day, for the past few days—weeks.  The days become muddled and long and all the “need-to-be-done’s” are neglected.  It is just me…alone…doing the best I can at keeping the house in decent shape, the meals prepared, the kids clean, the lessons planned, and just trying to be a home. 
 
But this is my alone time.  My alone time with God.  This is when I sit at His feet and pour my heart out to Him because He is the only one who can give me the peace and mental strength to continue.  He is the only one who will listen to the same complaints over and over and watch me not “get it” again, and He loves me anyway.  He is patient with me and lets me know that He is always by my side.  He encourages me and helps me feel- not alone. 

And so I continue.  I hold on to my ideals.  I keep striving for what God has laid on my heart and I keep striving to be the woman He knows that I can one day be.  And so if God loves me and if He is for me, then I am confident that I will make it through these demanding years, I will rise up out of these years stronger, wiser, and blessed. 

October 14, 2013

His grace, my daily miracle



I have been reading in 1 Samuel this week and I have found myself pondering, once again, why there is so much death and killing in the Old Testament. I see the big picture and what was being accomplished in some of the stories of the kings and leaders of the past. But I know God is merciful and loving, and so I struggle. I struggle with the idea of God, my God, allowing and even demanding at times, so much death. So I searched and found an excellent explanation given by John Piper.  An explanation that I have realized in my heart through prayer, but so quickly forget when I am tempted to believe that I am "good". I am not "good", but I am forgiven, loved, and accepted by Him...each and every day.  So what John Piper said was,

"God is taking life every day. He will take 50,000 lives today. Life is in God's hand. God decides when your last heartbeat will be, and whether it ends through cancer or a bullet wound. God governs.
So God is God! He rules and governs everything. And everything he does is just and right and good. God owes us nothing". 

"God. Owes. Us. Nothing". How true is that statement?!  It is only by his mercy and grace that I am living and breathing today. It is by His mercy alone, that I will wake in the morning and see a sunrise and greet two precious babies that call me mama.  With that realization, I see now that each day given to me is truly a miracle and God given. I don't "deserve" anything...but He has given me much anyway...Grace.

So today, I choose a heart of gratitude. I choose to be grateful for the miracle I have been given today in the gift of life, the gift of a warm (or cold) meal, hugs, cuddles, love, and the other things that wiggle its way into my day. I am undeserving of it all, but blessed in abundance to obtain it today.  


August 22, 2013

Some of our favorite Summer memories...

 Climbing trees and outdoor play
 
Puzzles puzzles and more puzzles!
Story Time! Always a favorite!

Lego Creations!

 We got to enjoy a 4th of July baseball game from the balcony of our hotel room...
 And an amazing fireworks display at the end of the game!

 Always music in our home
We began the construction of a pool and deck in our not-so-Texas-sized yard :)

It was a fun summer and certainly a HOT one!  I am getting ready for some fall weather, but not before we get to use the pool a few times.  But I have no problem putting the splashing on hold if it means fall leaves, pumpkin pie, and sipping apple cider near a fire. 

August 06, 2013

Learning at Home

So we have ended our first year of homeschooling and have begun our second year. Matthew is now in first grade and is in full swing with his new curriculum. We have had a fun beginning but as with anything, it is not without it's challenges.  Alegra, my almost three year old daughter, does not appreciate the extra attention Matthew might sometimes get :) and of course, there are never-ending chores that beckon daily and I have not quite mastered how to balance it all.  I am learning that it's okay though. The perfectionist in me wants everything done just so and on schedule, but I am slowly learning that laundry will always be there, meals can sometimes just be tossed together and still provide nutrients, and it is beneficial to stop and smell the roses when I would much rather stay focused on checking off lists.
Who is learning more here, me or the kids?!  The past year was one of growth accompanied by many growing pains and many tears...on my end.  I have been stretched and pulled and have found myself in my closet way too many times talking crying to God and seeking His wisdom.  He is so good.  He reminds me often just how much He is for me. He patiently and lovingly nudges me along and reminds me I am not alone even when it seems that I am.  I am learning, daily, to let go of my fears and to let go of  me, which is my greatest struggle. I'm terribly selfish but am improving week by week, month by month. When the selfishness within is too strong, I am reminded how Christ laid down his life for us and that we ought to lay down our lives for each other. (1John 3:16) Serving my husband and children has not come as naturally to me as it should have, but with patience and time and a lot of prayer, God is changing me, changing my heart.  He is strengthening me and I am so grateful for it.
So as my children learn and grow at home, their momma is learning and growing too. What a precious gift and what a good Father we serve.


No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:13, 14 NLT)

February 19, 2013


park  autumn

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.  
He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.
Psalm 84:11

I read this today as my son and I had our devotionals.  My son's bible (NIrV) said it a little different...

The Lord God is like the sun that gives us light.
He is like a sheild that keeps us safe.
The Lord blesses us with favor and honor.
He doesn't hold back anything good
from those whose lives are without blame.

Either way it is written, these promises are true.  He IS our light, our protector, and giver of good gifts...but I have to do my part.   I have to stay true to His Word.  I have to strive to keep his commandments and follow His lead, His path.  Will I fail, do I fail?  Yes, daily I fail.  But I believe that the Lord looks at the heart.  God knows that my heart wants to please Him and desperately wants to follow His lead each and every day, but He knows that I am but dust (Psalm 103:14), He knows I will sometimes fail, but His grace is sufficient and His promises remain true.  He is still my protector, my shield, my light, and wants to give me good gifts even when I fail.  

I love that we have a God who cares and wants to pour His favor out upon us.  I choose today to believe that even in my weakness and even when I fall short, He will still bless me.  I choose to believe it because I have seen it. God loves His children and He does indeed bless them...abundantly. 

 

September 15, 2012

Growth



Growing pains are inevitable when it comes to...well, growth!  My son will sometimes complain that one of his ankles hurt or his toe or some other part of his leg.  We pray for it and then I will sit by his bed and massage the ankle or leg that hurts until he thinks he feels better.  I explain to him that these are natural pains that are associated with growth and that he is on his way to becoming a big, strong man.  

I am quite familiar with growing pains.  I often pray for growth in an area where I am weak.  I pray for strength and patience and that the fruits of the Spirit would just shine through me.  So God begins a work in my heart and life and it begins...to hurt.  How could it not hurt?  Love, joy, peace, and patience are not naturally in me.  It is quite unnatural for me to have self control when all I feel I have is to grumble and complain about this or that.  It is unnatural for me to bite my tongue when I just want to have the last word...I mean, how else will anyone understand me and my feelings??  But I know that this "self" that is within can harm me and my family.  The self that wants the last word, or wants to feel better by complaining can do so much damage to our family environment.  "Self control", I say to myself.  "If I desire to learn and grow in Christ, I must have self control".  And so, it hurts.  The flesh fights the Spirit and I can only fall to my knees and pray that the Spirit will win.  I need the Spirit to win because only then, will there be peace in my home and I will experience joy;  joy that comes from knowing Christ and obeying His Word. 

And He comforts me and lets me know that He sees my frustration, He sees my struggle and my pain.  I don't need to ruin my home atmosphere by grumbling and complaining to be heard and understood.  God understands. 
I am thankful for the growing pains.  I am thankful for the growth.  And step by step, He will one day complete the work that He has begun in me. 

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns".
Philippians 1:6

June 20, 2012

Pondering...

This June morning I am thinking about this... If I believe that God's Word is true and He is who it says He is, then what should my life look like to reflect that belief? Am I living it out, and if not, what does that look like? Just thinking... :)

June 12, 2012

God Smiled at Me Today

Today, I received a gift.  It was from God.  I know that it was from God because He is so good to me...even when I don't deserve it.  He is so good to us all, and not one of us deserves it.  But He hears our heart's prayers and He cares.  Even for the smallest of prayers. 

Today was supposed to be a stormy day and instead I found myself outside with my kids at 3 IN THE AFTERNOON! enjoying the shade from the cloudy skies that threatened rain, but never did pour.  I took the kids out to get some fresh air before we would have to spend the rest of the day stuck indoors listening to crashing thunder and lightning. But as we watched the skies, the rain just seemed to be waiting...waiting for us to finish enjoying God's beautiful handiwork.  And we did enjoy it!  I sat and watched my children build sand castles in a sand box, dig into the earth in search of earth worms, and spray each other with water until their clothes were sandy and soaked.  And I knew.  I knew that today God smiled at me and in His loving mercy and grace gave me a mid-June afternoon that was refreshing to my soul.  


Thank you Lord for gifts like today; moments in our day or week where we can stop and soak in the beauty of this earth and feel the warmth of Your smile as You watch and listen and care.

April 17, 2012

I LOVE MY JOB

I love my "job".  I love being a mom.  I may not always have the right attitude on those hard days and in those hard days, I may not always feel completely contented in my role as "mother", but when I stop for a moment; amidst all the busy-ness, noise, and goings on in my home, I am grateful for this gift that I have been given of precious time with two wonderful souls.  

My heart melts every time my one year old daughter comes running to me the moment she feels pain or discomfort.  Like when her hair gets tangled in the buttons on her dress, she immediately runs to me and places her head against my leg in search of comfort.  She knows that I, her mother, will find exactly what it is that bothers her and if I do not know immediately, I will continue to search for an answer, and if I still can't find her problem, I will find the right people to help.  And I will comfort her all the while.   My son does the same.  He is five years old and way too "rough and tough", but when he is hurt he will immediately bury his head in my chest as if to hide from the world until his pain is gone.  He trusts that I will hold him and help all I can to ease his pain.  


My children look to me for comfort, shelter, love, food, direction, and guidance.  God has given me this role as mother to, along with my husband, provide these things for my children.  These things, these very necessary things, that I look to Christ for, my children look to me for.  I am to love and serve my children just as Jesus loved and served his disciples.  And I am to teach or disciple them so that when they are grown they will know that they too can look to Christ to fill these needs.  So while I may be a comforter and protector for my children while they are small, they will one day need to know that Christ is their ultimate comforter and protector.  


It is my job, my privilege, to train up these children in the knowledge of God, serve them, love them, and point them to a merciful God who will love them, and comfort them, and guide them as they make their way through this world.  


Thank you God for the privilege of mothering two beautiful and eternal souls.