Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm moving...

to Word Press! Though I've enjoyed my time at Blogger, it's time for a change and after playing around at Word Press, I decided it was just what I needed. You will still be able to read old favorites here for awhile--I'm learning that moving my posts isn't as easy as it sounds--and I'll keep this open until my new site is fully functioning.

So, follow me to:

See you there!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

You're six today and off with Dad watching fireworks. He watched fireworks with me, too, the night before you were born. You are somewhat of a fire cracker yourself. Surprising, illuminating, beautiful. I'm so glad you were born!

Happy Birthday, Roo!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Views from Vacation...

We're only home for a few hours to do laundry and re-pack, but here are just a few of the highlights from part one of our summer vacation.
Isn't my cousin a stunning bride?!?!
Cousins at the lake
Rolling down the dunes

He likes the sand more than the surf

They've been working on the railroad
More to come later this week!

An Open Letter of Thanks to My Swim Suit

Dear Swim Suit,

I just wanted to thank you profusely for your recent service to my strong sense of modesty. I am so grateful that you not only covered all the appropriate places, but also provided the additional task of staying in place during a poorly timed series of waves. You went above and beyond your job description when my son needed to nurse--thanks for being flexible and accommodating for about 20 minutes. Lastly, if you would share my gratitude with your team mate Elastic, I would appreciate it ever so much. She really hung in there for me and I couldn't have survived our family vacation without her help.

Jen Henze

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


After months of hard work, Samuel is now crawling! This is a huge achievement for him and a very proud moment for us. I almost cried and all the girls clapped and cheered as we watched him crawl across the room over and over again.

When your child is struggling and you are praying through each little movement and motion, it's sometimes hard to be happy for other parents as they share how their babies are developing normally (or even ahead of the curve). It's especially hard when those same parents don't realize or forget that our days are filled with special exercises and equipment and extra appointments and therapists, all designed to help your child do the very thing they are describing. Spiritually speaking, I realize that my reaction to others needs some work. It isn't realistic for anyone else to be as invested in my child's development, not should I expect our friends and family to walk on egg shells around us. I can, however know that God our Father is intimately interested in our son's struggle and achievements. He listens and cares about all that is going on with our boy. After all, He designed Sam's life!

So, we are rejoicing today in a milestone achieved and I am feeling justifiably humbled concerning my heart attitude. Thanks, Lord, for visible evidence that You are working in our son's life. Thank You for reminding me that You are the only One I need to turn to for support and concern. Forgive me for being overly sensitive. Help me to rejoice whenever one of Your little ones grows--however that happens. Just thanks for being all that I need all of the time...In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Impatient House Seller

I'm discovering that selling our house isn't easy. Not that I thought it would be a snap, but I figured if God was leading it would all just fall in place and happen rather easily and peacefully. Hmph. (That's my mystified shrugging of the shoulders.)

First, we cleaned like crazy people. We were obsessed. Like the President or Queen or both were coming to dinner. Like our lives depended on it. We put furniture in the garage and our floors were literally clean enough to eat off of. It was exhausting. The photographs were taken and turned out lovely. In fact, they really make our house look, well, like someone else lives here.

About a minute after the photographs were taken, we all sighed and the house basically let out her gut and the dust began to accumulate again. Then we got busy making the necessary repairs before our first open house. Replacing columns on the front porch, replacing the ceiling in our living room, painting the porch, cleaning up the landscaping, pressure washing the basement floors, cleaning out the sewer line (thank you , Mr. Plumber for going the extra mile--literally!) My poor husband has been working around the clock--sometimes through the night--to get things in order. Now, we have to clean the house yet again for the open house this Sunday. Oh, and did I mention we are leaving for our vacation this Friday as well?

I'm confirming my suspicions that I am an incredibly impatient person at heart. I want to know when the house will sell, for how much, where we are moving, what color the grass will be in that yard, whether or not we can raise chickens, whether or not I need to save all my extra curtains, how big the closets are...can you tell I'm a detail person?! But, worrying and being anxious is sin and sin gets in the way of seeing all that God is doing. As a reminder to myself (and maybe to encourage someone else in the process!), here is a list of some of the things I've seen God doing:

--Although it has been exhausting work, we've been able to do it! Every tool and supply we've needed has been found either in our garage or been lent to us by a family member.
--Our family has been AMAZING spending lots of their own time and money traveling to our house to help us complete the projects.
--God has supplied all the extra money we've needed to carry on with our projects. We haven't gone hungry or had the electricity turned off:) We've even been able to share some of our abundance with others!
--Charlie and I have been able to study Proverbs together as we have been praying through our decision to sell this house. It's been good to make time to study together again.
--We have a wonderful realtor, Jane, who is fast becoming a friend.
--We're still going to be able to have a nice family vacation this summer.
--Every time we have felt overwhelmed or discouraged, a friend or brother or sister in Christ has come alongside us to encourage us and help us continue.
--Our kids are resilient.

Thanks, Lord, for being with us in all this. Help us to be faithful and to have complete faith in You and what You are doing...even when and especially when we can't see. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Keeping Up Appearances

Our realtor, Jane, came to take photographs of the house last Thursday. After she left, I was walking around the house enjoying the once-in-a-blue-moon-ness of our house being ultra clean. It used to really shine BK (Before Kids), but now I'm happy if the dishes are washed, beds are made and the laundry is (mostly) done. Really, our house looked almost foreign to me. We've removed a few pieces of furniture to make things a little less cluttered and we've already started the lengthy process of sorting our stuff into three piles: keep, donate, pitch. I'd like to argue there should be another category: where did this come from?

One of the challenges of putting our house on the market is being prepared for others to see our house at a moment's notice. I can pull the house together well for a planned birthday party or a planned sleepover, but this spur-of-the-moment thing is a stretch for me. I mean I need time to hide things.

When the photos appeared online late Friday night I had the sense I was looking at someone else's house (and let's be honest, I really want this to be someone else's house very soon!). Where were all the toys and books and papers and crayons and mess that follows our family wherever we go? I suppose that's all part of the strategy of marketing our home to another family--make the house feel warm, inviting, clean, but impersonal.

I do that spiritually, too. On the outside, I want to present a good impression. I'm a super mom who has it all together. I'm a good wife, daughter, friend. I love Jesus. I cook, I clean, I sew, I launder, I teach, I pray. I'm the whole package. But those are the planned moments. There are other moments--when my kids are arguing through the entire grocery store culminating in me stomping my foot at them just as our pastor's wife rounds the corner. Or, when I say something harsh and argumentative to my husband not realizing he's got a young woman on the phone holding for me--the same young woman I've been giving marriage counseling to for weeks. Or, when after my friend listens to my newest diatribe on diapers and fabric softener for 30 minutes, she mentions casually that she's struggling spiritually and I realize I've just wasted all the time we both have talking about nonsense. My outward appearance doesn't match the inner heart. And it's grieving. Grieving because it isn't a reflection of Jesus but a reflection of a false image--really a false god, the god of self.

I want to work on that. Check that-- I want God to work on that in me. I want my outside to match my inside, even if it means not measuring up to anyone else's standards. Even if it means sacrificing the appearance I've worked hard to present. Especially if it means that Christ becomes greater and I become smaller.

Lord, help me to be more like you. Change me. Really, I'm begging You to change me. Conform me into Your likeness and image--into a loving, caring, Christ-sharing person. Into who and what You have planned for me to be. Forgive me for my selfishness. Forgive me for my carelessness. Forgive me for worshipping myself instead of You. Change my heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.