Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 

It has been a hard few months. I am always overwhelmed by bad news. It just makes me feel impotent- paralyzed by not being able to do anything. It is sad. It hurts.

I am trying to focus on the good. There is good out there, too. That is something I can do.

I can pray. Praying is powerful. It's comfortable. It's comforting.

I can love people where they are, and not where I want them to be. It's freeing, actually. It lessens the edge of unmet expectations. It's what Jesus would do. 

We are commanded to LOVE. Not to sort of love, not to pick who we love, but to love all people. 

So, while its been hard to hear all the bad news, the scary news, and the sad news, choosing to live in a posture of love can make it better. Nothing is easy. Nothing, though, is scary. Living with purpose gives me a sense of control. It's doing something. It might just help.

One of my favorite bloggers says love wins. I agree. Also, God is good. All the time.

Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and yours:)

Be love.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

It's already November?

I can't believe how quickly time goes by.  One day, maybe, I'll stop being surprised when it's almost the middle of November and I haven't bought any Christmas presents yet, and Thanksgiving is only, like, two weeks away... Maybe someday...

We are firmly in to the school year, though, and that means craziness, because my first baby is a senior (!) this year. I think all my hair will be falling out by June. I'll have to wear a wig to graduation.  I am encouraged, though, because there is so much good in education! I homeschool my two girls, but my baby- my first baby- is a senior in public high school. His teachers are so good to us. He is on the autism spectrum, so I've been thinking hard (read: worrying, fussing, having anxiety) about next year. 

I always do that- I live with him in the five-years-from-now state. I pray about this, and try to be in the present, but I can't help it always... As in, the very human part of me goes to five years from now, even though the Holy Spirit is telling me to rest. Because I always wonder how this is going to work? I want him to launch, but I see him flapping, and pacing, and muttering to himself "Eye of the Tiger" lyrics... And. I. Just. Wonder. How?

So... True educators are out there. People that want our autistic children to succeed. People that have designed programs just for kids like mine, and who make it their mission to educate these special, challenging children. I met one this week, and I wanted to hug her! Plus she told me she just loves my kid! Maybe I won't have to get a wig after all.

This makes me so hopeful. And grateful. And a little less anxious... Because I think there are more people that want the future to be good for all of us. That's pretty cool, in my book:)


I just love him, too. And I love Him... I'm so thankful for all that I have.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bonding

Pippin cleans Tommy's face:) nightly!

Sisters... Supposed to be doing school...


The best dog ever.


We missed each other, too!:)

Events...

It's been an interesting week...

Mark is training every waking moment with Pippin- which is good- we are all so on-board with this, so I'm not trying to whine, or sound like woe-to-me- because it's fine, it's what we knew we were signing up for- this means, though, that it's just me and the kids all day for several days at a time. Again, I'm on board, the kids are on board, and Mark and Pippin are doing fantastic! 

It's just that I have to handle every issue. Light bulbs, may I say, are one of those things... I hate changing light bulbs. I know it's weird... It's just that I hate doing it.  I can do clogged toilets, but I don't do spiders (I have a threshold- if it's bigger than my pinky nail then it's too big).  I can run kids to the doctor, practices, pharmacy, etc. no worries, but I can't stand it if there's a snake in the yard - and they always show up when Mark isn't home. What is that?!

So, it's not really a struggle, moment for moment, it's just that when a big moment, a big deal happens, I'm wondering if I'll be able to deal... Like a grown-up, you know. I'm thinking yes... But...

I had to deal with this on Wednesday: 

"Mom, em em em! I lost k8 it's terrible! Me & a animal sure I can watch but a small human child with a motor scoot!!!? What do u think i am? The flash? Rainbow dash? Sonic?!!! U think I can keep up with a pink motor scooter? She's prob @ Germany by now! SOS! O ps I'm starved what's 4 din?- " 

Then: " K I might have freaked out, the bike's n the garage, but what if some1 has taken her? If some1 has Hell hath no fury like a big bro scorned I'll keep u updated"

So, I've left Tommy and Katie alone (disclaimer: they are both independent and perfectly ok to be left alone, of age and all that) for 30 minutes to run their sister to guitar practice. I'm amazed, here, because Tommy is not social. At all. He's autistic (high functioning). How does he know how to text so well? Secondly, when I left, they were both in the kitchen listening to music. What on earth? Mind you, I'm not freaked out, I'm wondering at the complexity of Tommy's brain. He's kind of quoting Shakespeare, here, yet thinks his sister is riding a pink scooter to Germany... From the east coast of the USA.  Also, he's hungry. When the crisis is over, he expects food (I stopped at Little Ceasars- can't beat $5 pizza- especially in an "event"). Also, he is thinking I expect him to be a running- type of super hero. Um, not even.

So, of course, I text back "have you found her yet?"

He replies:: "Not yet!!! I looked around, & n the house, n the backyard & the front 1 2 also n the garage, n her room around the block, @ her closest hood friends houses & even @ the school playground! The only thing lft 2 do is post a nwa (hood wide alert) just n case u didn't know, she couldn't have gotten far!"

Ok, so reason is returning. Somewhat. She isn't in Germany anymore, but now I have a hand-flapping-seventeen-year-old getting ready to start knocking on doors. I'm impressed he's thought through where to look for her, actually. He's wanting to utilize community resources. She's 11, and little-miss-independent (unless it's cloudy, but that is another story), so I'm getting upset (between fits of laughter) because I'm fairly certain she's toying with him, and hiding.

So, I'm handling this right? I reply to him that we are 30 seconds out, don't worry the neighbors, I'm almost home.

Here's the resolution:  "Just found her!:) the lil bugger took a walk & listened 2 some music somewhere without my permission!!! She almost gave me a heart atak the lil stink!!! Just wait till u get home! "

Crisis averted, all is well, pizza is ready. It turns out she did tell him she was walking around our very safe little block, but was listening to music (Ariana Grande. On repeat, people), so she didn't hear him calling for her. He was also listening to music ("eye of the tiger" on repeat) when she told him, so he didn't hear her.

I love my crew!!! My sweet family drives me crazy sometimes! I struggle with making all the right choices, infusing responsibility, but not hovering!!! I need to give all my anxieties to God, and be peaceful... It is such a struggle, though, for someone who has anxiety (that would be me). I think in this little story, though, we are seeing a few victories: I wasn't scared, God showed a sense of humor, everyone rose to the occasion and showed responsibility and love (after the initial scare, of course,and the fight over which piece of pizza they were getting), and we all talked about the buddy system, and paying attention, and teachable moments like that. It's all good. For real.

Then we laughed, and laughed, and joked about how our family would make a great reality TV show. 
Bless it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Last week in September!

My goodness... 


We have a lot of these moments...

So...

The weather has been so nice, here, in Virginia! I can't believe it:) we are usually SO over being hot, but it has been nice. It's been temperate.  The way, I think, Virginia is supposed to feel.  The way I want everything to feel (temperate, right? Life is so not temperate).  The weather, it turns out, affects me way more than I think it should.  Which is why I was surprised to wake up 'full of the cold' (as my Scottish friend says).  Again (like, every two weeks I'm sick! What is that?).

So, like everything else in my life that is unexpected (which is, like, everything), I rolled with it, took some airborne (not working so much for me anymore), some extra vitamins, too, and took some bubble baths.  My favorite thing in the world when I'm sick is a hot bubble bath. And chicken noodle soup. But now I have to be gluten free, so I don't have any gluten free chicken noodle soup in my house... So bubble baths it was.  I also like to read, so I'm reading Outlander- it's good:) I'm on the upswing I think, and the weather is still pretty nice.





We are loving having a dog!  Pippin is awesome, and totally sweet.  He is training to be a search and rescue dog, and is doing sooooooo good!!!  He is very smart, and cute, and sweet. So, we are totally becoming dog people.  I have to say, though, that lab hair is everywhere! When I tell my friends about this I get an eye roll and pretty much the same response: give it up. The hair is everywhere. All the time. Yes, even after you vacuum. Yes. All over. Even on the counters. Even after he goes to work (with Mark). Give. It. Up.

It's all good. I do love him:)

We are doing well with school, too. I think it's possible that I'm becoming more laid back, because if we don't do something or don't finish a lesson, or the girls just don't get something, I'm like... Alright. We'll try again later. Let's have some pretzels.  Let's go for a walk.  Let's read some Harry Potter. That will probably all change when it's test time... But I hope not. I like being less stressed. 

And that is the heart of it all, right? That thing I keep coming back to... God has it. I don't know when that will stop surprising me- you know, when at the last minute everything just works out, and it's okay. Things fall into place, the situation works itself out, pain becomes understandable, stress becomes less.  I have to remind myself that sometimes I just need to wait. Wait and be still. Wait to see the possibility in what seems like an impossible moment. 

It isn't easy. I know I don't have all the answers. I'm so not a having-it-all-together person.  I've come a long way, though:) God is so not finished, either.❤️




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

three weeks in:)

yes.... so.... week three of being back in a routine.

Can I repeat this? We need routine.  I need it, the kids need it, the husband needs it, and our new dog needs it.  We are routine people (and critters).



Next summer, I believe, will have to be more structured! That, or someone is going on a very long vacation (hint: me, me, me)!

We are busy, but not over-committed.  The meals are being more intentionally planned (which, can I add, makes a huge difference in the evening stress level).  We keep the house more tidy.  Even the kids are realizing that routine is 'more better'

I still need to figure out the exercise issue, though, for me.  I'm horribly out of shape, and I like to watch the Avengers, and then I feel worse because Black Widow would be able to save her children from attacking aliens, while I would not... Of course, Black Widow doesn't have children, so there might be something to that.  Plus, she's ex-Russian, and a spy, and in fabulous shape.  The point is, I need to exercise more than I do.



We are also on the up-curve of the whole gluten-free thing (yes, again... hopefully there will be no nervous breakdown this time).  It's not that it is SO HARD; it is, however, a drag for someone who loves pancakes and pizza- at IHOP and Pizza Hut, mind you.  There is no such thing as eating out gluten free at these establishments.  It is what it is, though.  I'm learning.  I also feel better when I'm eating better (I still can't kick any alien's backside, though, as I am not yet training with the Avengers). I guess we all need to start somewhere:)



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never Forget.

Please join me in prayer for our country, and all the survivors of 9-11-01.  Life will never be the same, yet we can rest in the hope that everything has purpose. I pray for all of us, that we would honor this day every year as a tribute to the many heros who answered the call to help, and to the every-day people that helped socially, medically, financially, and prayerfully since the attacks on our country.  Our work is not done, here. I believe we are all survivors and as such, the tragedy of 9-11 should not be in vain. Be vigilant. Pray hard. 



Saturday, September 6, 2014

School time:)

Well, summer is officially done... Praise God (for real) we are back in a routine. We (I especially) do so much better when in a routine.  I love sleeping in, and not having to be anywhere for about two weeks. After that, we (I) tend to fall apart mentally, emotionally, well- you probably get the picture, right? It's a fine line to balance being too scheduled, and completely unscheduled. For me at least.


So- here are a few snapshots of our last few weeks:

The whole crew played in the waves

Father and son bonded some in the water

The girls, of course, looked adorable...


And then, just like that (!) I have a senior in Highschool!  (whaaaaaaattttt!???)

I homeschool the girly-goos... 10th-ish, and 6th-ish

So- it was a good first week! I feel good about it, at least. Everyone was smiling on Friday (a good indication), and we even watched The Avengers for movie night (who doesn't like that?)!

To every thing there is a season... Embrace the one you're in!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Psych 101

Oh. My. Goodness.

I knew raising teenagers would be unlike anything I have ever known.  The idea of said teenagers did not deter me from having children, wanting to raise children, etc., probably because I was not so far removed from those years when I actually started having children and bringing children home to start raising them...

Oh. My. Goodness.

AGAIN!  My seventeen year old is a senior this year. I can't believe I am the parent of a senior. In Highschool. I have not had enough time to impress upon him the craziness of life, and he is a senior.  Also, he is autistic.  I can write a book about that- but not today. He doesn't drive,and I'm the one worrying about next year, not him...but still. A senior.

My thirteen year old daughter is currently the child that is making me say, "Oh. My. Goodness."

I remember being 13, I remember it being awful and awkward.  I remember mean girls, clothes, and clueless boys, and changing bodies, and hormones.  I didn't have to deal with social media, though, and that kind of bullying, and none of us did (or didn't) do the ice bucket challenge (my sweet girl feels left out because she hasn't been nominated), and certainly none of us were involved with twerking or sending nude selfies (and neither is my daughter.  But people... It's out there!) and it's all so... Obsessive (?) Awful. Awkward.

I know, for sure, that I had friends that I could just walk over to- and show up at their house to hang out with.  Apparently teenagers don't do that anymore. I remember phone calls- I remember begging for my own phone- I remember call waiting! Man, that was the thing when I was teenager! I could talk on the phone, and let my parents know that the neighbor was calling to borrow a cup of sugar! At the same time!

Guess what?!? Antiquated!! Kids don't talk on phones- they text- or Instagram- or email. 

And they want to be entertained. C-O-N-S-T-A-N-T-L-Y.  I'm like, "We are spending the day doing laundry, cooking dinner, and maybe going to Target for dish detergent and cheese."

This is the reply:  First, imagine a blank stare with the mouth slightly ajar... Then, "awwwwwwwwww-uhhh! I've been in the house for, like, two days!! It's so boring!! What am I supposed to do?!"

Um, call one of your friends?

Apparently not.  Teenagers don't talk on phones anymore.  Too awkward. No ice bucket challenge. No twerking. And, She's homeschooled! Nobody likes me... Blah-blah- I'm the good girl who doesn't twerk or say bad words...

First of all, sweetheart, I'm thankful for all of that (Praise!) 

But then, I'm kind of caught between feeling sorry for her because I remember that awkward time, and being truthful, because she does have friends that she can call (or text) to come over, and they are not the nude-selfie girls, or the saying-bad-word girls, and I am sure that they all feel awkward too!  

I also think about this:  what if we were all judged on our mistakes?  Those girls that have made some bad choices need and want good friends, and they probably know they did a stupid thing and need forgiveness- not judgement. Trying to impart that information to my young girl, though, doesn't come across right; the words get twisted, the line of thinking becomes weird; it's like I'm defending bad choices, or asking my daughter to take un-necessary chances on a relationship with someone who could very well turn out to influence her decisions in a negative way.  I want to protect her, yet help her learn that we all make mistakes.  I don't want her to hurt. I don't want her to get caught up in judgement. I want to help. I want to hover.  I don't want to hover.  I'm so proud of her, because she is awesome. I just LOVE her to pieces, and that is what I want her to know most of all, so I try to tell her. Often. I even text it to her.  It is a serious business being a mother of teens; even very young teens; especially today's teens... And I don't have a lot of the answers- even about what to do tomorrow- except that we need cheese, and dish washing detergent. And a psychology course, apparently.

I am convinced that loving these young souls is some serious, crazy, wonderful, scary, frightening, amazing business! I am both undone and convicted. I am humbled and praying.  I am sure I'm messing up, but doing the best I can with God's grace and guidance.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Lord, please see us through.  I lift our children in prayer to You, that they may be kept safe and surrounded by those that can guide them, disciple them, and help them to make good choices.  Help us parents and caregivers to have the right words and to enforce good boundaries. Help us to help our children learn to turn to You, Lord. Endeavor us to be the salt and the light and to lead by good example.  In Jesus' name, AMEN.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

courage

It's raining today, which is fine by me because I am still in my pajamas...

My brain is attempting to make me feel not-so-good- you know: the rain, the problems in the world, the issues facing our country.  Add to that, I am taking advantage of said rain to attempt to organize a bit for the upcoming school year (yikes! Did I really sign up for that?  Do I really think I can teach that? Are there seriously 16 kids in my little co-op dance class?!?) wow- Am I so easily frightened? And overwhelmed? And feeling not-so-good?

I think that sometimes it is easier to give in to the despair of emotions that plague us than it is to spiritually fight them.

Yet, God commands us to be not afraid.  He is bigger than all of this.




Robin Williams- a man that always made people laugh- died yesterday. His demons won.  It's so, so sad. Children are being killed and trafficked and attacked.  Families are being torn apart.  Christians are being persecuted.  The economy is falling apart. Again.

Yet, there is still so. much. good.

For starters, my baby (she's eleven) is happily putting together her Kragle Lego set she got for her birthday. My oldest (17) is reading, and reluctantly looking at some college choices.  My middle (13) is crafting, and art-ing, and piano-ing, and guitar-ing.  The husband is unpacking from his recent trip, and cleaning.  I'm writing.  Franklin Graham's foundation is aiding refugees in Iraq. Whole communities are praying for each other.  People are reaching out in support of the hurting and the broken. Campaigns to free slaves are growing, and they are making rescues.

Why do we, as a nation, it seems, focus on all the bad stuff?  The bad stuff is awful, don't get me wrong.  I am horrified, and admittedly feeling a bit incapacitated by all that bad stuff! I can't explain it, or understand it, but I know that the bad stuff doesn't win in the end.  I know that. It's promised.  And, in the meantime, people that are sensitive (like me, and most of my family), need to know that good is fighting the bad.  On every front, if you look just past the bad news, you can find the warriors that are fighting for the good; fighting for the right; striving to "seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God".



We were made to be courageous!



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer sightings around town...

Tommy with his favorite stuff- a Tardis, a book, and a library!

Danielle practicing❤️

Katie-cat swinging where she shouldn't... But it's ok:)

Shady spot!!!

A really pretty sky

Hello...

It's always good to check in:) 

The summer is going by way. too. fast... I keep saying, "oh, we have plenty of time..."

Plenty of time to make that decision... To get that hair cut... To plan for the school year...

For us there are officially only five weeks of summer left (!) my mantra is, lately, "what?! Where'd the time go?!"

I had a list of all the awesome stuff we were going to do, and of all that school work we were going to finish up, and that "summer schedule" we were going to adapt.

Um, no.

So, thank goodness for new days, new moments and new school years.  And really, we are so, so blessed. It is so natural for us (me) to count all the negatives (why, why, why do I do that?) instead of focusing on all the positives (lists are nice for that, though... The positive stuff... Don't count or list the negatives- just some practical advice, there)...

Last week the Tomster got his (gulp) senior pictures... It'll feel like tomorrow when he graduates next spring... The baby will be a middle-schooler (ish- we homeschool her, after all), and the middle one is six feet tall, and sporting a pixie cut (!), and is still. growing... like today- she grew today- even though I denied it out loud- inside I was like, 'she is taller. Again.' And her shoe size... People... Size 12... When your daughter is thirteen, and wants to go shoe shopping, you need to pre-medicate on a good day! When your daughter is thirteen, and wants to go shoe shopping, and has a size 12 foot, you need to pre-medicate, devise an escape plan, and have the emergency room on stand-by for defcon1. And it's also nice to have some wine at the end of the day, or before, or whenever.

It's true.

So, embrace your little ones (even if they are bigger than you), pray over them, pray for yourself, and Thank Him who blessed you with what you need. He knows what He is doing, even when we don't know what we are doing.

And that is my little check-in and my humble perspective:)

❤️❤️❤️




Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!!!


God bless America! 

Join me as I thank God for all the men and women He has equipped to preserve our freedom, and for the brave men, who, with His guidance, led this land to be free, to be a democracy, and to become our United States of America.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Rock on!

My family rocks.  I mean,believe me, we have our moments... But all-in-all, we're a cool group.  Life is crazy, and never easy, but God is able to use dysfunction and drama for His glory.

We've come a long way.

And God isn't finished with us, yet.

So, I can praise Him in those sweet moments, for sure.  But when I praise Him when it hurts, or I'm heartbroken, I know He sees me. Because, for His glory, I've been given this life and these people to love and nurture... even when it isn't so sweet, and we're all so sensitive.

He is the rock. And because He is, we can rock on along, praising because we get another day, new chances, hopeful moments, and journeys that are worth it all.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

All the time....

There is something lovely about that first week of summer.

No early mornings... No alarm clocks... No major busy schedules...

We look forward to it every year, and I know I am blessed to be able to share that with my kiddos, because of the many (and long) shifts that my husband works (he does still have the alarm clocks and early mornings). So this isn't a 'oh-how-I-love-summer-but-when-do-the-kids-go-back-to-school' post.  Because I really do look forward to it, and I really do homeschool.... So they are with me anyway. Tommy, though, goes to school outside of the home, and that first week without the 0630 alarm clock is delicious, like eating big colossal doughnuts with extra frosting (can you tell I'm on a diet?)....

And then it's time, by the end of that first week, to set up a (loose) routine because everyone starts falling apart because there isn't a routine- but there is resistance to it (the routine), because it is summer (duh), but then I have to ask them, why are there tantrums every afternoon? - and point out to them said tantrums, allegedly due to lack of schedule/routine... And I have big kids. Tantrums. Not ever pretty, but especially not fun when everyone is in double digit ages.

Not kidding.

But that is another post, for another time, too... Because, really, I'm needing to remind myself, that life is so much more than what I see, or what I am going through. It's bigger than me. It has a purpose. Every little thing means something, and it all fits together in something bigger than anything we can even imagine- the good things, the hard things, the painful things.

Because:  God is good. All the time.  (I'm borrowing that from a movie).  He is, though, good.
All. The. Time.

Here is how I know (it's really a million little things, but here are a few of them):

I get to know that my ten year old is, well, sensitive, and amazing. I get to see the growth of another amazing young girl into an amazing young teen. I get to hear about the future of time travel, and all things not impossible.  I now know all about many fandoms (Dr.Who, Sherlock, Marvel, DC, Arrow, Pretty Little Pony, all things Disney, all things reading.... This list can take up SO much space)... I get to learn patience (often many times a day. Every day). I get hugs from younger-than-me-but-taller-than-me people. I see my kids growing (like, literally. Getting taller. Over night).  My husband tells me he still would (and in this culture of for better or for worse, but not for long, that is something).

We are learning about grace. We are growing in faith.  We are doing life.

Because, at the end of the day, especially after a no-routine-and-we-can-all-barely-stand-to-be-around-each-other kind of day, there is still hope... Even if it's just hope for a better day tomorrow, because (praise God), His mercies are new every day.

There is still love, even when it is just- 'I love you all, now everyone go to bed,'  because we all falter in many ways... and  I'm not wanting to do that any more tonight...

There is still the Father, loving us, the Son, saving us, the Holy Spirit, guiding us.

I am growing.  God is growing me through so many things:  kids, puberty, autism, marriage, new floors (trust me- a growth process), (ultra) sensitive children, aging parents, friends in all different stages of life, my sweet, wise, old G-ma...

Stars, oceans, roses, birds, the moon, the sun..

I have everything I need. And a lot of what I don't.

All the time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Superhero

There are always situations in life that give us pause.  Some things can make us feel like all is lost, hopeless, why me(?), why now (?)

Why. Period.

I know that it's easy to get lost in the struggle, and even easier, sometimes, to just give in to bitterness and anger. It can be overwhelming. It can even be justified. Hard situations are just that: hard.

Faith has never been hard for me.  I may question the why, and the timing of any number of things... but I've never lost faith.  -- I'm not bragging, or boasting- I'm simply stating a fact.  God gave me the gift of faith.  I know that God is in control. I know His timing is perfect (even when I think about how awful the timing might be). I know God sees me, and hears me.

It's taken me a while, though, to figure out forgiveness.  It's really a tough topic for most of us grown-up type of people (people with and without faith).  Why must I forgive so-and-so for such-and-such?  Here's the easy answer: because God commands it. He also demonstrates it. We forgive because He forgives. Everyday. All the time.

So- what is the point of all of this?

Well... I'm in one of those type of positions.  Again. I'm so not trying to sound like a toddler, but I feel that way... Again? Really? And it hurts. And I am angry. It pretty much just stinks. 

Now- I can choose to hold on to all that (after all, I'm right... Right? I have a right to my anger...right?)...or...I can choose to give all of that to God... (What?)...Just let it go. Really.

He will take care of it. He sees you. He hears you. He has you.

Forgiveness releases me from the insidious bitterness that hangs out in my heart when I don't forgive. As difficult as it may seem, God takes it if we let Him. This doesn't mean to let just anybody trample all over your heart, and it doesn't mean forgetting (although we can be confident that God does).

It is the act of obedience that gives you (me) the peace. Step into your faith, forgive out of obedience (because, if the hurt is big enough, and if you are in any way like me, you won't feel like it), and then the peace will come.  God's mercies are new everyday. I can't even explain it very well with words, even though I'm trying to... But I had to share this.  Because it is actually pretty amazing.

It's actually supernatural.  

I don't need to cite all of the "studies" that prove this to be true:  when you forgive, you become less angry, and that makes you healthier, happier, and more likely to be resilient in every other area of your life.  It's true. You can google it.

So- you want to be like a superhero?

Forgive. All sorts of un-natural (supernatural) things will happen.  And not just for you- but for everyone around you, too!




Thursday, May 8, 2014

Always


Even on cloudy days, the light shines still behind the clouds.

Crisis mode...

Do you ever feel like you are in crisis mode? Like, all the time?  I know I do.  I know that most of the crisis modes are really just I'm-stressed-I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing mode...

Not really a crisis.

Mind you, I have two teenagers and a 10 year old. I should know what I'm doing by now... Right?

In the time span of three minutes yesterday, I went from having three kids in their normal cranky-before-dinner-and-why-can't-I-have-ice-cream state, to nuclear meltdown state of we-need-to-evacuate-now.  There are no fall out shelters nearby...

This is what I see: my sweet child (the super sensitive ten year old) having a panic attack (this is not an exaggeration- she really has them), running away from our home, down our street, snot running out of her nose, tears freely flowing (and it's allergy season), carrying a little sack containing three green apples (slung over her shoulder) so she "wouldn't starve to death" - Praise God, she had the presence of mind to think about provisions, and make a healthy choice- as I am driving back up my street (just in time to catch her) as she was fleeing from the house (I had driven the middle child to piano- 3 minutes earlier, remember, everything was fine....).  And I can't understand what she is saying...we speak english... I'm pretty sure she wasn't.

If I were famous at all, the paparazzi would have a field day with me. It would be not pretty.

So, I get her (crying, screaming, heaving) into the car (please, God, no witnesses!), and then into the house, I think before anyone could see us. Yes, it was like that. We have drama, people. It's a family trait that spans generations.

Tommy, meets us at the door (God bless him. And me.)- flapping, all six feet, 170 pounds of him- quivering.... I'm not sure he was speaking english either, but I kind of heard 'iPod' and 'bad' and 'sword' ...yikes!

It was like there were two feral cats (the big kind) hissing and screeching at each other.

Still- not exaggerating- I separate my children, but now I'm hissing and screeching, too; I'm sure to gain control of this situation? I'm the adult, right? What do cats (or banshees) do to show that they are the alpha?

Well, now... Nothing too crazy, actually... Loud (like,very) prayers are effective, after the "you both go to your rooms and sit on your beds" command.  It turns out that everyone is still human in the end, and we are all capable of english.

The story does have a happy ending- the curtains are all back where they belong, the iPod has been restored, no one is missing in action, the apples are back in the fruit bowl, the only sword brandished was wooden, and it attacked an old birthday balloon...

So... Crisis? Yep, think so. I had wine with dinner last night. 

Here's the thing, though... My little mid-week epiphany.... 

God is still good. My "crisis"? It interrupted a good day, it made me morph into a banshee (or a cat, still not sure), it even had me thinking I don't understand how to parent... which, actually, I may not, but I'm still trying... But it was just a distraction- just an interruption ----- of crisis proportions, maybe, in the perspective of the day, but not in the perspective over a life... Why?

Because, God is bigger, and better.  All the time. Not changing.

I'm really wanting to do things right, so I need to turn to the One who has it right.  He created us, and pieced us all together, just so.  I may not think God has it right (like, really? What are You thinking?), but God knows He has it right! That's why God is God, and I am not.
I'm learning and reading that to learn to hear God, and be obedient to Him, I have to know Him, and accept Him. Completely (thank you, Priscilla Shirer).

And the crisis? Well, this too, shall pass.  Usually with even bigger blessings on the other side.

My kids losing it and tantruming are not the biggest crisis ever, not even currently; although for about 15 minutes yesterday I was sure someone was going to see my not perfect crisis moment and call for back up. (Not really, though.). I just don't like having not perfect moments- but life is full of them. Again, I am not famous for big reasons... Instead, I'm just trying to live out life, and raise my family and my marriage, the best way I know how.

On my knees.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter weekend pictures!

Cousins and G-ma

The family, at church:) we filled a row!


Reading the note from the bunny that eggs arrived early for us;)


The cousins visiting DC!


And, a picture too cute, that I just had to share:)

Happy Easter:)

We love our family!

I was so excited to hear about my brother and his family coming to stay, and then I realized I was going to be hosting Easter at my house...

I went into anxiety/OCD over-drive... We're talking about me, on my knees, 10 o'clock at night, scrubbing the kitchen floor with a magic eraser (the same floor I vowed NOT to clean, since it's going to be replaced)...

I'm not proud of it, but those feelings come flooding in- the need, the desire to be- Great. Perfect. Creative.  I know, in my head, that my niece and nephew wouldn't even look at my floor; my sister-in-law is SO sweet, and gracious that she wouldn't see the dust-dirt-looking-stuff in the corners of the grout; my brother could care less how clean the ceiling fans were... They just wanted to visit.

I even know that my mom and dad just wanted to visit with the people in their family- not my carpets... And sweet, wise, old G-ma  is 90.  She is just loving being able to love and be loved.

The anxiety and OCD overdrive was so NOT necessary. I know this. It's in my head. I know it is a tool of the enemy... Definitely not from God.

And, there it is: Grace.

Only one person has been perfect. Ever. And he walked on water. And he didn't judge dirty floors and old carpets... He loved. He loved. He loved!

And... It is Easter Sunday.

An epiphany.

He came, He loved, He died, He rose again, and He is coming back for us, all because He loves us. He loves people- not carpets, or ceiling fans, or any of the trying-to-be-perfect housewives, like me:)

He forgives us our pride.

So, those of us that are challenged by these feelings, we need to go beyond the feeling of needing to be perfect- because we aren't. And we won't be. Not in this lifetime,anyway.  Perfection is not part of our life on Earth- it is only what we can anticipate for Heaven.

So- on this side of my Easter weekend:  we had fun, and loved on each other.  We took up a whole row at Easter service. We had a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt, that did NOT go as planned, but was still fun (and the easter-bunny's reputation came out intact- us moms can get pretty creative with our story telling, when we need to be). We ate on paper plates this morning- not the plan, but clean up was so easy!  And we got to just visit, love, and build relationship with one another, and  celebrate the hope that is in Christ.

Peace!








Saturday, April 12, 2014

A few pictures from my phone roll...

A pretty sunset last week, our cherry blossoms, and a sweet little moment:)





Golly!!

We have been hibernating... Like, really.

This crazy winter got to me, right around the end of February. I was cold. And tired. And cold. And it kept. On. Snowing. And I was so. Cold.

When it snowed on April 2nd, I started crying. Like, for real. My family thought I was joking, but I kind of lost it... I needed the sunshine to come back.  For it to come back and STAY. So, I insisted on pancakes at IHOP (don't pancakes make everyone feel better?)... But then my stomach was hurting for a full week (which is what happens when you eat gluten after avoiding it for three months- a cautionary tale). So, that wasn't so good... But it's better, now.

We've had a full week of sun and warm weather, and I'm starting to feel slightly motivated again:)

SO... We (the man and I) are still juicing- but not every day, and (obviously) not exclusively.  I'm still trying to be committed to the gluten-free lifestyle - I really do feel better when I'm eating clean, fresh fruits and veggies, and meat. I made a G-F birthday cake tonight, and it was yummy, but I feel it- that I-don't-feel-quite-right feeling.  So, I keep trying to figure out this nutrition stuff...

D is playing lacrosse (!)  she loves it, and it is so fun to watch her play!  Tom-Tom is 17 on Tuesday (!) and we are in the throws of wondering what transition will look like for him. He wants to either be Dr.Who, or Indiana Jones.... The future's so bright... We gotta wear shades.  Katie-cat is active, tree-climbing, rope-climbing, jumping, flipping, twirling, moving, and busy! She is definitely my wild child, and happy. Mostly, anyway. We all have our moments.

AND... Here I am again, saying I'll write more, post more, do more.  God's mercies are new everyday, thank goodness!  He knows what He is doing, for sure. He wants us to use our gifts, though, to further His kingdom.  This week I have come across obedience to His callings more than once, and that we need to acknowledge Him.  Also, that God wants to have relationship with us...  It's in Matthew (not sure of which verse):  "My sheep hear My voice,and I know them, and they follow Me"

SO thankful that HE knows me, and calls to me.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Health


One of my breakfasts


One of my lunches

Day 5

OK... So, I found out that I can't fast, as in abstaining from eating food- you know, the normal way...

Also, SO not ready to give up caffeine.  Like, really not ready... Like I thought I was going to have a real, live, actual seizure- which would have really freaked everybody out...

I need to be a little more gentle to myself, and realize that I am accountable to two homeschooled kids, one autistic kid, and one attentive husband.  I can't be snapping and snarling at my family:)

THAT being said.... I still want to embrace the healthy and snub my nose at what the government thinks is OK for us to eat and feed our children.  I'll give you a hint:  (psst: it's upside down). It has to do with the food pyramid...

Anyway.

So, we are lowering grains DRAMATICALLY for the children, and pretty much avoiding them altogether for the grown ups.  We are just saying NO  (grew up with the Reagan family in the White House) to MsG, FD&C color of whatever, and no high fructose corn syrup.  Also avoiding soy (a lot of it is genetically modified).

The children, at this point are staging a coup.... I just know it.  Tommy asked about anarchist government last night, and Katie plainly told me that she hates the food in the house... She is going away.... Good luck, sweetheart.

I'm thinking we are all experiencing sugar and preservative withdrawal (the only excuse for the kids behavior this week).  I'm hoping that the return of smiles and good moods will accompany next week- hopefully less snapping- hopefully we won't be diagnosed as a bipolar/schizophrenic family in a week, hopefully no seizures... I'm relying on the grace of God. I'm trying to remember the verses about our bodies being temples, and then any Proverbs verse about patience...

Seriously... Katie thought it was ok to decorate her carpet with a SHARPIE!,,,

Prayers accepted. For real.


Monday, February 17, 2014

See what $100.00 of produce looks like?

Day 1
:)

It is

Really? It is AFTER Valentine's Day and I have yet to post anything?

Really?

It. Is.

So... The New Year and all....

Not so bad. I'm older. More experienced (that does not translate to more wise, even though some would argue that it does).

Here is what is very new, though...

Day 1:  Juicing. Today. For 14 (originally 10) days.

I (it is Mark's idea, for real) am doing it. We (Mark and I) started at lunchtime today.

I'm slightly hungry, and my tummy is making a lot of noise. I've had two green juices, and we spent $100.00 on produce, people... Like, vegetables! Mostly...

I'll keep you posted;)