Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Spirit is Willing - Eric Ludy

Serendipitous Simple Things

This guy came out to the kitchen today just as I was finishing up a batch of peppermint brownies. Funny, he seemed more interested in the spatula than in helping. =)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Such is my life...

Rambles after a week of loving on my babies...
  • This morning as I changed my big boy's diaper he was holding a formula container that had been on the changing table. You know, the kind that has dividers and a flip top so you can put your formula in ahead of time and then quickly dump it, pre-measured, into the bottle when you need it. While I was taking care to carefully wipe his diaper rashed bottom, I heard a loud howl coming from him! I looked up, started laughing, and couldn't stop! He had opened the container and dumped the formula into his mouth and was trying very hard now to get it out! He had the funniest expression on his face while he sputtered and spit and got the formula all inside his shirt. So sorry honey!
  • We had a stand off on broccoli yesterday. "You have to eat the real food before you can have a cookie!" This was after he hadn't had anything but scrambled eggs for breakfast, a few bites of kiwi at snack time, maybe one bite of broccoli at lunch, and one bite at snack time. The kid wouldn't eat it! I offered him pizza too, but he didn't want that either. Okay buddy, no cookie! When is he gonna get hungry?
  • Nap time is amazing. Especially when both boys manage to go to bed at the same time! the things you can do in an hour are amazing! Or the rest you can get!
  • I've decided that God designed infants to need feeding every two hours for their mother's(and nanny's!) sake. I haven't tested this theory after feeding one of the darlins all night, so we'll see after i do that whether I still believe my theory or not! At first I was frustrated by the interruption, but I've realized that not only is the timing about perfect for when I need a break, but it really is a good thing to be forced to sit down and just love on my baby. 
  • People ask my how my job is a lot. "Oh, you got a new job! Wow, I bet that's a lot harder than what you did before!" "Oh how nice! How do you like your job?" "Hey, how's your job going?" Well, really, sometimes my job is hard and sometimes it's easy. When my baby has gas three days in a row and the big boy's been up half the night, it's hard. And yeah, I get tired, and I have headaches, and I just want these kids to go to sleep, but I still love my job. If you're a mom, you know what I mean. Just because it's hard sometimes doesn't mean I don't love it, adore my kiddos, love their mommy, and look forward to the next couple years with them. At least after I go home and sit down for a little bit. =) Sometimes it is easy though. Like Wednesday when I managed to get the necessary cleaning jobs done before everybody got up, and then was able to just play with my babies, watch them sleep,   pop the freezer meals from my freezer cooking day in the microwave, and rest a little myself during nap time. And then it's really easy to love my job, but at the end of the day, whether it was hard or not...I feel so blessed to be where I am. 

Monday, January 23, 2012


remembering this amazing weekend and these amazing girls today...
seriously, you gotta go to PASSION. or
The websites are a under construction right now, so they're pretty basic.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This sunset was simply gorgeous! 

The heavens declare the glory of God; 
   the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 
Ps 19:1

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Prayer for a Work Day

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Ps 90:14
Father, glorify Yourself in my daily life. In all of me.
When the alarm clock goes, give me the discipline, energy, and joy I need to get up. 
Give me the motivation to buffet my body and workout.
As I sit before You, quiet my heart and let me adore You. Speak to me though Your Spirit, teach me and change me, and go with me as I leave my Sanctuary.
Give me grace and love to bless my family as they get up one by one. 
Help me eat for Your glory, and honor You, by caring for Your temple as I eat a healthy breakfast.
While I drive to work, sit in my passenger seat and let's talk on the way. Hear my prayers for others I know and change the World through me. 
When I get to work, let me still be delighting in Your sweet presence and the wonderful time we've had talking on the way. Then love through me all day. Give me wisdom and the Words to say. Life-giving Words. When both of my babies are crying and supper still isn't done, give me grace to be patient and love even more. 
When I arrive home again at night, help me keep giving, even though I'm tired. 
As I play with my family or talk with a friend, stay right there with me and help me give more love, again and again. 
And then when I lay at last in my bed, let me think of You and thank You for how You carried me today.

On my bed I remember You, I think of You through the watches of the night. Ps 63:6

Monday, January 16, 2012

All those who live with any degree of serenity
live with some assurance of grace. 
~~Reinhold Neibhuhr
Counting grace drops every day...Gifts #215-228
...a letter not sent; the symbol of a new friendship
...peanut butter pudding, waiting to go in a pie crust
...Fullness and love; there is no waiting for His goodness.
...My biggest boy's silly fake sickness
...Refreshing words from Joshua; "Be Strong and courageous."
...Hidden messages in text messages that only the person getting them can read
...Encouraging conversations overheard
...My Mom's selflessness as she washes the dishes no one else wanted to do
...Words of encouragement from those gone before
...Security and peace, knowing "As for God, His ways are perfect."
...Healing by Jesus in our hearts and family hopechest from dad crazy awesome jumper cable Christmas present from my crazy awesome best friend
...Marks of faithfulness...

...crazy love that brings more pleasure than anything on earth
...dirty dishes...


Sunday, January 15, 2012

I was so excited to use my new camera for its first photo session today! I needed a picture for an application so I pulled Melody and our friend Jay outside, made her take some pictures of me and then convinced Jay to pose for me. I had sooo much fun! The colors and sharpness and ease of picture taking were so awesome!

Oh yes. Someone got out the horrible eighties looking 3D glasses and stuck them on Melody who did a wonderful attempt at looking geeky. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Well, I did have one bright spot in my day yesterday! My long-awaited SLR camera came!!!

Joyous unpacking!!
I am just amazed at the colors and sharpness! It's incredible!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Marks of Faithfulness

This morning in my quiet time I was reading Psalm 86. I've been trying to memorize a verse every day this year, and I'd fallen behind in memorizing this wonderful chapter. Often when I read Psalms about God protecting us and defeating our enemies, I think of my enemy as my sin nature and the temptations that come against me. I consider them kind of metaphorical, you know? I was actually thinking a lot about that this morning. I had no idea God would literally answer my prayer today. 
 That picture is really amazing. If it weren't that those scratches might rust, I wouldn't want to do anything about them, just to remind me. Marks of faithfulness, that's what they are. That car should be smashed. But it isn't. I should be seriously hurt or killed. But I'm not.

I left work at 11:30 this morning to go enjoy dinner with my former boss and coworkers. I was a little late and wishing to get there on time, so I was hurrying. I got behind a small semi truck and trailer going 50 or 55, and it wasn't fast enough or me. I wanted to set my cruise at 60. So, the first time that it looked clear, I passed him. Or, that's what I was going to do. Here in Missouri the roads dip and rise a lot. I thought I could see clear for a quarter mile or so, but about the time that I drove up next to the trailer, a van popped over the hill. And not far away. I couldn't get in front of the truck, I couldn't go back behind. So, the only way to avoid the oncoming vehicle was to go on the shoulder. Now, I don't know how fast I was going, but it was pretty fast. I drove on the shoulder past the van and thought, "Okay, I'm gonna be alright." However, when I tried to get back on the road I was still going too fast(I had tried to not just slam on the brakes because I figured that would send me flying). I lost control and started careening back and forth, very very close to the semi. I was desperately trying to slow down(thinking, "This can NOT be happening to me! I'm going to crash with the semi!") and gain control, but it just wasn't happening. Finally, I must have jerked hard to the left because I spun around and off the road, sliding sideways into a fence. The barbed wire is actually what finally stopped me, even though I knocked a few fence posts down. So when it was all over I got out and found my car(actually not my car yet; I'm buying it from a friend!) all intact with the only damage being a busted tail light, part of the spoiler knocked off by the wire, and plenty of scratches. I was rather shook up to say the least. I was SO thankful that God protected me and saved me from what could have been a horrible accident!

After a couple hours spent talking to a neighbor, trooper, and my Dad and eventually getting my car out of the ditch, I switched vehicles with Dad and drove to lunch a few hours late. I thought of the quote by C.S. Lewis that I posted the other day:
 The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life- the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one's 'real life' is a phantom of one's own imagination. C.S. Lewis

And I thought about how just this morning I prayed about that and asked God to help me see this things I think are "interruptions" as the things that he wants me to go through. All through those couple hours I saw God's hand taking care of me. Even when the Trooper gave me a court date. Just Monday I rather grudgingly decided to take a sick day next month to see a doctor. Turns out my court date is that same day. I have to wonder what God's greater purpose was in all of it, but I trust He did have one. I was able to praise the Lord to the kind people that stopped to help me, so maybe that affected them in some way. Hm, I just remembered that I've been praying for opportunities to share the gospel...=)

This afternoon when I finally got home I walked in the door and put my things away, and then I saw the 3x5 card that I had written the first verses of Psalm 86 on to help me memorize them. Wow.
Hear, O LORD, and answer me,
   for I am poor and needy.  

Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.
   You are my God; save your servant
   who trusts in you. 

Have mercy on me, O Lord,
   for I call to you all day long. Psalm 86:1-3

"I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave
You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness!" Ps 86:12, 13, &15

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Today's simple thing...Struesal Apple Pie! Recipe coming Tuesday!

I just realized this is my 100th post! Yay! I was thinking I would do a special blog post to celebrate 100, but time has slipped away. Maybe on another milestone day. =)

"Pray he will enjoy God and seek God's pleasure above his own--
and that God will give him the desires of his heart. 
Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps 37:4)"
~Praying for Your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Just wanted to let you know about Crystal Paine's new book, The Money Saving Mom's Budget! Crystal has blogged at for years, and has published several helpful e-books, but this is her first book. She has so much valuable knowledge to share about saving, spending wisely, and time management. I've gained much helpful information about freezer cooking and all sorts of other things for her. If you're looking for some help budgeting, I highly recommend this book!

The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life- the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one's 'real life' is a phantom of one's own imagination. C.S. Lewis

Maybe what the New Year needs 
more than resolutions 
is a fresh revelation of God?
 ~Ann Voskamp

Friday, January 6, 2012

The place where God calls you to is the place
where your deep gladness 
and the world's deep hunger 
~Fredeick Buechner

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Looking forward to reading...

And We are Changed; Encounters with a Transforming God, by Priscilla Shirer
He Speaks to Me, by Priscilla Shirer
The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer (I'm really excited about this one!!)
One Million Arrows, by Julie Ferwerda
Don't Waste Your Life, by John Piper( I've read this once, but I'm excited about reading it again with the study guide!)
The Bible is a Girl's Best Friend, by Sally Miller

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Today, January 4th, I really feel like throwing all of my New Years Resolutions to the wind. I ate sugar things without even thinking, haven't exercised yet, overslept because my alarm didn't go off, and I would just like to chill with a story, a movie, or FB. LOL, you see how dedicated I am right? =) Ah no, I will stick with it. When I am weak, then I am strong... Not because I am super disciplined, or because I want a healthy, trim body more than I want relaxation and sweet things, but because I'm trading my dead body for His power, His strength, His patterns.
     I sat with Jesus Monday morning and begged Him to give me His power and presence each day of this new year; pleading teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Ps 86:11 I asked for a passage to take with me this year; one I could take as my shield, knowing it was a special gift from Him. As I thought about how much I wanted His presence with me, a verse came to mind from the Old Testament. Moses was talking to God and he pleaded with the Lord, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here." I turned towards the Old Testament and my Bible fell open to Exodus 33, where I found God's kiss to me. This was soon after Aaron and the Israelites had committed idolatry with the golden calf at Mount Sinai, and God had told the people to leave, conquer Canaan and be prosperous--without Him. Moses then went to speak to the Lord.

Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”Ex. 33:12-18

It was so reassuring to me to read this and know that God promises to go with me and give me rest! That's all the time I have for today, so may He be with you as well today!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Just had to share these thoughts from Ann Voskamp at today. I'm saving it in my inbox to be read again and again, softly reminding me what I know in my head. It's all about Jesus. Just about coming close to Him and sitting at His feet. All the time.

When I wake up terrified on the first morning of the New Year, he’s shaving in front of the mirror.

“Afraid? Why?” He shakes the razor over the sink.
The rain’s falling hard on the windows, like this washing away of everything before.
If you count each “Fear Not” in Scripture, there’s apparently 366 — one for every day of the year.” He grins from over the bathroom sink. “That means even on a leap year you have to have enough faith to jump into His arms — every day.
I find my purple sweater dress for church. I try to just breathe slow.
The expanse of a whole fresh year knocks at the door and I have no idea how to rise to it — to scared to answer it.
How to educate six kids and read aloud a few hundred books and wash 3 loads of laundry for about 314 days and get 1098 meals on the table this year? How to bite my tongue more and eat sugar less and read His Word daily and never fear ever and lead these half a dozen kids higher up and deeper into God and not slip in my own sin? A woman can know faith in her head and fear in her heart. I bear the stretchmarks of my 2011.
“I think I should have christened this coming 2012: The Year of No Fear.” I rummage for my boots, speak the words into the dark of the closet.
“What did you name it?” He knows how I need a word to give the year a theme, a focus
2008, I had named the year, “eucharisteo.” And 2009: “communion.” 2010 was the “the Year of Yes” And 2011: “The Year of Here.” Some of those years, they really needed do-overs.
“The Year of No Fear” — it has a ring to it, don’t you think? Maybe next year?” I find my boots.
Last January first, I’d gotten out of bed, found my boots, and I had no idea that the odd, idiosyncratic words I’d tapped out in the dark of the margin hours, my first feeble book, would make it’s way out into the world during the second week of January, 2011 to spend 22 weeks on the New York Times Best-seller’s list — that the words would be translated into six languages, that a reader in Iraq would pick up the book and give their heart to Jesus. That there would be raw exposure and critics and awkwardness and so much joy. And that in the final days of that same long year, One Thousand Gifts, those pages with a bit a of my heart for Him in them, would come back after it’s wandering year in the world, with a mark on it , a scar of it’s own— an award in Christianity Today’s Books of the Year.
Sometimes you don’t know you’re taking the first step through a door — until you’re already inside.
And no matter what room you step into — every space holds the possibility of this profound joy and deep pain and the two always mingle together. There is no other place to arrive at.
There’s only one address anyone lives at and it’s always a duplex: Joy and pain always co-habit every season of life.
Accept them both and keep company with the joy while the pain does it’s necessary renovations.
I can see it out the window — how the rain’s washing away the snowman out under the spruce trees, how the snow man tilts, careening to the left, and still hangs on.
Koinonia. That’s what I’d already prayed about naming my 2012: The Year of Koinonia.” I put on both boots.
“Because?” He slips his shirt of the hanger.
“It’s like ‘eucharisteo’ — I like Greek words.” I wink.
I tell him that koinonia, it’s Greek for union — “communion.” That I never stop needing that: communion with God every moment of the year. That ‘koinonia’ means too — “community, communicate.”
That I need community with the Body to stay attached to the head, Christ. That I need to to dig deep channels of communication between my God, my children, my husband. A three-fold cord — communion, community, communication — ‘koinonia’ may be this lifeline that careening days can hold on to.
And more — ‘koinonia,’ it means sharing. Sharing — breaking of oneself and giving oneself away. We only have what we hand away.
It means sharing out of brokenness to bring healing to community. We only are broken and this is beautiful: in brokenness, we are instruments in the hands of the Wounded Healer.
It means in our brokenness, we share in the sufferings of Christ, and this is communion. God, He calls His people to share –  not out out any sense of perfection –  but out of brokenness, patterning life after the God who broke Himself and gave. Would koinonia let me accept my brokenness instead of being terrified by it?
We drive to the chapel.
On the first day of the New Year, we sit with community and we bow our heads in the sanctuary.
The bread is passed from hand to hand. We share it. We break it. We remember. We sustain on the brokenness of Christ. Could I really not run from mine?
We pass the cup. I swallow down this grace I never get over and never want to get over and I close my eyes and Christ alone washes clean. Christ alone washes clean. We begin the new year the only way we can begin anything — with Communion with God. With brokenness.
Maybe in communion, in koinonia, I could embrace the broken parts of my life:
Embrace every scar as surgery — to make me more like His Son.
Embrace every pain as a peeling away of something — to make me know it in new ways, that He is enough.
Embrace every moment as a miracle — that it might never have been. That makes me wake to all as grace.
When we get home from chapel, sticky cereal bowls are stacked and teetering on the counter.
One small person leaves her shoes strewn in the hallway — right behind a pile of her coat and mitts.
I didn’t have time to make my bed. There’s nothing in the crockpot and seven people want to know what’s for lunch. I try to breathe slow and smile and remember what is the thing:
Contentment isn’t a state of organization, a weight on the scale, a state of betterbetter kids, better marriage, better health, better house. Contentment is never a matter of circumstances; contentment is always a state of communion — a daily embracing of God. A thankfulness for all the gifts – and moments and life, just as He gives itTrying harder may only bring harder trials and contentment, it won’t be be found in the resolutions, but in the revolutions – in the turning round to God.
Communion, koinonia — could it make it too, my year of no fear?
My year of contentment, of eucharisteo, the year of yes, the year of here? Might koinonia give me my do-overs?
Where else could the dare to fully live be but at the table of communion, the table of eucharisteo, of thanksgiving? Is this ‘koinonia’ the deepening of ‘eucharisteo’, the deepening of thanksgiving, the dare to really live?
The first day of 2012, it begins with a Sabbath rest. I need it. It sets the tone. And in the first work hours of the year, I paint the wall behind the farm table with chalkboard paint. The rain, it’s turning to to snow outside.
The year and day dawn. I put the last touches on the year’s fresh slate. I commune with God in the quiet — what the New Year needs most.
And it’s right outside the window in the first light — the snowman finding this fearless strength right in the midst of the deepening cold.
It standing straighter, surer, stronger….
#210-214 of the crazy gifts He sends...
...a long nap on a Sunday
...watching my biggest boy's silly dancing to the music
...exactly what I needed in a camera kit for way less than I thought I would have to spend
...just the right verses to begin the year with

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Simple Things Sunday

please pardon that annoying lens blur. I hope to have a new camera to remedy that very soon. This was just too good not to share.
Linking up at:


New Year Beginnings

Today is the first day of the rest of my life

Yes well, this blog has been rather neglected for the past month or so. I've been busy with living, and living, as we all of course know, is much more important than blogging. However, this year I'm shutting down facebook, novels, and movies unless I'm with my family, so I hope to have more time to invest not only in my relationships, but in my blog. =)
I hope to have a posting schedule like this, flexible at any time and subject to a lack of better things to do:
Simple Things Sunday

Multitudes on Monday 
Tasty Tuesday--a recipe I enjoy
Walk With Him Wednesday
And the rest of the time I hope to be taking LOTS of pictures with the SLR camera I'll be getting soon, so I'll share plenty of those, quotes that inspire me, and books that invigorate me! 
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