Sunday, September 28, 2008

M- day is tomorrow!

I think I should quit doing blogs that try to "reflect" because God is definitely saying "put your money where your mouth is". This last week I have had to FIGHT to hold my tongue, control my attitude, be patient with the people in my life, and keep from feeling "dejected" due to unfulfilled desires and expectations of my family. Yeah, good times. Not to mention I feel like I have lost the majority of those fights. I was telling my best friend yesterday that I have a tendency to start well, but peter out in the finish. Well, NOT THIS TIME! hehehe I have exactly one day to finish packing my junk and be ready for the movers- except out of this next 24 hours, I have exactly 8 hours unscheduled to do that- between church, appointments, small groups, and sleep- but hey- we all know sleep is a luxury not a necessity.

So instead of yakking away here, I am going to attack the laundry room and box up all those items I have not used or needed in the last 9 months, and take them to the new house where I will probably never use or need them for the rest of my life. BUT- there is the chance that I might, and I just CAN'T throw them away (banging head on desk, wondering why I am so OCD). Pray for me if you think of it- that I don't say things to my husband I have to apologize for later, I take time to love on my kids, and I don't break my leg, arm, or back running up and down stairs with bulky, heavy objects. I will update you when I resurface as a Washougalite rather than a Vancouverite. (Not real words probably, but I like how they look- some words just LOOK funny)
The photo is just a funny one for my memory- a bit out of focus- but look at the grin on my brother's face. "He should of been a cowboy, should a learned to rope and ride, carryin' my six shooter, riding my pony on a cattle drive-ive" (me singing country music...BADLY, of course)

I would like you to note all the capitalized words in this post. Any idea that I might be a little HYPER? Muhahahaha ATTACK!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


"If depression and oppression visit me, I am to blame; god is not, nor is anyone else. Dejection springs from one of two sources- I have either satisfied a lust or I have not; lust means- I must have it at once. Spiritual lust makes me demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Who gives the answer." Oswald Chambers

Wow- so not what I wanted to read. But more true than most of us would like to admit. This brought me back to a conversation I had with a friend and family member awhile back, he called me on the carpet for my sour attitude and my constant whining about what I couldn't have, and this idea of the "source of dejection" was exactly what he was getting at. Yeah, didn't take his comments so hot then, but I definitely think God used him to smack me around a little and get me to wake up to what I was doing. If I chose to pine away for things I don't have- currently wishing for things to be the way they were two years ago- I have no right to blame God, or say "why me, Lord". God had blessed me abundantly, and when things aren't going the way I like, it's usually because I am not GOING the way God would like me to go. This is definitely a tough one for me, but one I feel that God keeps bringing in front of me- I have to check my attitude at the door before my feet hit the floor each morning so that I can be effective and truly full of joy the rest of the day. Ahhhh- what a freeing thought that I can, and do, have some control over my attitude and response. Thank you, Lord, for your wisdom, and your faithfulness to not leave me where I am at. You love me to much too let me be a stinker. :)
Side note- I looked up the definition of "dejection" to see if it would provide some insight- and I would say I pick the first definition:
  1. The state of being dejected; low spirits.
  2. Evacuation of the intestinal tract; defecation (hehehehe- immature grin on my face- way too many memories of little old men and their poop factories making my workday miserable)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our will...

"Will is to grace as the horse is to the rider." St. Augustine

Love that quote! And I have never consider that idea. A horse without a rider never travels in a straight line, never goes anywhere really with intention, and doesn't plan to do anything really exciting- they just want water and food. But a horse and RIDER- now that is the stuff that great stories are made from! Knights and battles, romances and cowboys, you don't have to be horse crazy like me to see a beautiful horse and rider and find a smile on your face. We smile all the time at the thought of God's grace, but I always frown when I think of human will. All that comes to mind is the bad things about our will- our stubborn, ridiculous sinfulness. But what about the will that God gives us to stand up to temptation, speak out as His witness, the will to say no when everyone else says yes, the endurance to "keep on, keepin' on" in this life that throws us curve balls and sometimes even sledge hammers- things that not only rock, but feel like they are destroying our world.
I have been fretting about the things I can't control lately- problems with families, moving complications, and circumstances while I occupy this" earthy tent"- like getting older. This week has got me thinking a lot about how much we can control- how much my WILL can affect with God's grace and guidance. You know me, all about the PLAN- the goal, the things in my life I CAN manipulate. I was so excited to read something that really hit me, and it finally struck me that God's grace is free and given, but to really receive it fully and enjoy His plan, we have to exert our will. We have to willingly put one foot in front of the other, make choices, make decisions and walk with HIM. And that is ok!
I am constantly worrying about if what I am doing is the "right" thing to do, is this what God wants me to say, what would Jesus do in this situation. All important questions, but when they stop you from actually DOING something- red sirens should be going off. We hear all the time to let Jesus carry our burdens, that God can carry us through our problems- but a lot of times I think we "nice Christians" translate these statements into passive thoughts. Could it be possible that God wants us to be running along side Him too? We think that some how being empowered by God to DO THINGS, is taking away from hearing from God what we should do. We don't want to speak out, we don't want to be first, we don't accept the pat on the back. In our attempts to be humble, we are afraid to take pride in doing anything well.
I say all these things in the plural sense, but maybe it is only me that struggles with this idea. I am finally realizing that it is ok to be good at your job, it's not bragging to praise your children, and defending yourself when being bullied or wrongly accused IS a true Christian virtue. Conflict is rapant in the Old and New Testaments, and many times with God's approval and design! Through these troubles we learn fortitude, perseverance, and discipline.
God wants us to take an active role in our lives and really LIVE. A professor at USC, Dallas Willard said" We all know that Jesus said, in John 15 'without me you can do nothing.' We need to add, 'if we do nothing, it will most assuredly be without Him.'"

By the way: The photo is my awesome Samson, and our dear friend Toby. He came to visit this last week, and oh, the fun we had! Steve and I miss our "parents in Christ"- Toby was one of the people who lead us both to Christ, and those first few years of knowing the Lord were filled with debates, discussions, and so much learning about God and His Word. Steve and I enjoyed bouncing ideas off of Toby, and hearing what he thought. What a blessing it was, in a rough time for us. Yet again, God proves He is faithful, and His timing is always perfect.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The greatest weapon ever made...

"And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God has willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
We tremble not for him-
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure:
One little word shall fell him." - Martin Luther (taken from his biography written by Roland Bainton, quoted in Desiring God by John Piper)

With all the ugly out there, it is hard sometimes for me to remember that the deed has already been done, so to speak. My hope and my promise in Christ is guaranteed, and nothing I do or don't do will ever change that. And not only do I have the promise- He has provide me with ammo against sin and evil- His Word. Every time I get discouraged, if I would just immediately pick up the Bible, I feel relief and peace, even if nothing in my environment has changed. Unfortunately, I usually have to whine and cry for a bit before realizing that- what a waste. :) Thank you, God- for giving me the weapons needed to fight the battle of the flesh, and the battle of the world. (Ephesians 6:10-17)

"The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statues of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure and
altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey
than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward."
Psalm 19:7-11

Monday, September 15, 2008

Great medicine for a sad day...

I woke up this morning dreading getting out of bed for various reasons, so after some quiet time, I decided to find some good medicine- humor. After watching various youtube videos, this one needed to be shared. Unfortunately, I find injuries and embarrassing moments the most funny, so hopefully you do to. Don't be mad that I laugh at others errors, everybody knows I am the clumsiest, least graceful person ever born. Which is why it is so funny- I can totally imagine biting the dust like some of these guys, and laughing my head off over it.

Hope it cheers you up, like it did me. And if you are already having a great day, I hope it makes it better.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

For all the "nice" Christian girls out there...

Lynne Hybels wrote a great book called "Nice Girls Don't Change the World"- basically regarding the topic of how some Christian doctrine- doesn't follow God's biblical design and we end up making timid and fearful kids, who become passive, ineffective adults. I have really been trying to work on how I can empower my kiddos, so this book came at a great time. In it, Hybels covers so much- but I wanted to share a piece- food for thought. It's about the difference between a NICE Christian girl and a GOOD Christian woman:

"Whereas a girl of any age lives out the script she learned as a child- a script too often grounded in powerlessness- a woman acknowledges and accepts her power to change, and grow, and be a force for good in the world.
Whereas a nice girl tends to live according to the will of others, a good woman has only one goal: to discern and live out the will of God.
A good woman knows that her ultimate calling in life is to be part of God's plan for redeeming all things in this sin-touched world.
A good woman knows she cannot be all things to all people, and she may, in fact, displease those who think she should just be nice. She is not strident or petty or demanding, but she does live according to conviction. She knows that the Jesus she follows was a revolutionary who never tried to keep everyone happy.
That picture of a good woman made me want to be one. It made me want to grow up and trade the innocuous acceptability of niceness for the world-changing power and passion of true goodness. "

That was so good for me to read, and reflect on- because guilt is my one talent. :) I forget sometimes that Jesus brought the heat, and didn't regret it. Not everyone is going to like it if you choose to live your life for God, and not every Christian will like it when they see things about themselves that aren't so cool in the reflection of your life and words. And that is OK. I have been raising a daughter who is so "nice", and often at the expense of her own conviction. God, help me to live the life you designed, so she can see a model of a healthy self- concept, and a "good Christian woman".

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In honor of Jamine

Jasmine- the wonderful...

Yep- nostalgia. No getting around it when your baby girl is turning 12 tomorrow. What's happening? I look at her, and think- how is this beautiful young lady related to me at all!?! Jasmine is so amazing, I hope I grow up to be just like her- minus the disorganization. Hehehehe Truly, she is a free spirit, with so much love to give, patience and forgiveness- it seems to come so easily to her. She has the greatest sense of humor, you can't be around her for more than a few minutes before you start smiling or laughing, she really does radiate laughter. As her mom, there are times when her goofiness makes me mad- like when she's suppose to be paying attention in school- but I regret it the second I give her the evil eye. I regret being so busy, and worrying about other insignificant things, when God has blessed me with this wonderful person to love. Only a handful of years and she will be moving on with her life- moving away from "daughter" as her main role, and into "college woman, wife, mother, professional"- you know, all the other titles women hold, and people start forgetting that their nurse, teacher, friend, salesperson, doctor, or neighbor- was and still is, somebody's baby girl....

Friday, September 12, 2008

The race...

"For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall."

God has such perfect timing. I have been up all morning praying and worrying for my dear husband, and making PLANS- you know how I am, I have to have a 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year plan with all goals clearly outline or I can't function. Doesn't matter that, as of yet, I have never actually stuck to any of those outlines, but I feel better to have them. :) Anyways, Steve just has a tough job, with some tough people, and when he worries, I worry. THEN- I come down to check my email, and here is a message from my awesome brother-in-law, with a poem that reminds me how God sees us and our efforts. Our Father is so amazing, and if I could just stop putting Him in my little box, trying to conform Him to my pathetic understanding, oh! Happy day that would be. God sees our struggles, and our failures- and what matters to him is that we GET UP every time, that we keep trying, and pushing- because we believe and we know, that the end is worth it, that- at the end of our race we will be face to face with the Creator of the Universe, the One True God, and we will be so supremely fulfilled and happy, all the bumps and bruises will be too insignificant to even remember. That thought makes the "getting up" so much easier! Thank you, Lord, for the reminder, and thank you for being faithful to us, even when we forget to be faithful and trust you.
Check it out, and I hope you get up with joy today!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Can we really be this stupid?

I took my dad to outpatient surgery again yesterday, he was having a cataract repair, and I was yet again surprised to realize what idiots people can be. Apparently, he was on the table, and with this procedure you are only lightly sedated, and the doctor and nurses were just chatting his ear off about the glories of Obama, and "you're going to vote for Obama, right?" type questions. Now, I love our freedoms, and I love that we have the right to vote as we see fit- even if you are WRONG, but how totally unprofessional of healthcare providers to not be sensitive to those very rights? My dad could have been a staunch Republican, with Mcain stickers all over his car, and here he lies with a laser in his eye, unable to comfortably tell this lovely doctor why he thinks she's a loon. "Go sex ed for Kindergarteners! Hurray for more taxes to those of us who actually work legally in the US! Come on back, soldiers- and leave those terrorists alone so they can plan another September 11!" All plans of the Obama camp, and people actually think it is a GOOD thing. I am sorry, but I just can't handle it sometimes. It just irritated me to no end. As a nurse, I can see how uncomfortable lay people feel with the procedures and tasks we do to them. For us it is an everyday norm, but for them, they really feel that they have no control, and their health is in our hands. So telling them personal information, discussing very sensitive issues with them that DO NOT relate to their health- is just so totally inappropriate. Ugh!

Ok, off my soap box. All in all it was a pretty good day. Totally unproductive, but the kids and I found a small little farm's market to visit while my dad was in surgery, and had lots of time to visit and get some school done. Just no packing yet. But, today is a new day. God bless you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The new place...

I can't believe how many times I have said that over the years. We are crazy. Went to look at the house in Washougal again yesterday, and I have to say, it made all the work worth it. It is such a beautiful setting, and having our family next door again is going to be a blast. As long as we all behave ourselves. hehehehe Somehow, I did manage to acquire another horse because of the visit though. The previous tenants had offered to sell me their fencing, charger, etc. But- upon arrival, he made us a deal it was impossible to refuse. Well, not impossible, but pretty sweet. All the fencing, the charger, horse supplies, trampoline, wood, and RIDING LAWN MOWER- if we took the horse. Poor guy. He must have been desperate.

So, long story short, Steve- being sensible, saw how easy it would be to add ONE MORE horse to the herd, and save over a thousand dollars. Smart guy. I am actually glad for the old gelding. He is 17 years young, blind in one eye, and a pretty chestnut paint. It didn't look like he had his feet trimmed in a year, and was so hungry for attention he was just standing at the stall door waiting for us to come visit. Supposedly, he was a dressage horse, but due to his eye, no one has wanted him since. Very ridable per the owners, and quiet. We will see, but for now, at least he has a home, and loving on sad horses is what we do best.

God be with you today, and me, as we embark on our next adventure!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rollin' rollin' Rollin'- Keep those doggies rollin....

We are officially moving- again. Hehehe Yes, I am laughing with you. I have decided our nomad existence has really gotten ridiculous, but I am not sure how to fix it until after THIS move. You see, we have found a great place with two homes and 5 acres, and my dear sweet sister- in- law will be moving there too. It's a great opportunity for all of us to spend time together, save some money and make lots of memories. I don't think they will stay more than a year, and after that I am bound and determined not to get the "onward and forward!" mentality again. No more moves for us until the kids are gone! Remind me of that if you see me getting the twitch again. I won't have any excuses- we will be out in the country, have horses at home, no neighbors, and a beautiful park as a front yard. I guess I can start complaining about gas prices, but if I do- smack me.

I really am excited, just a little worried about the logistics. We walked through the open doors, and this should be at least an interesting adventure- if not a wonderful experience. I will post some pics once we get settled.

"Life is like art. You have to work hard to keep it simple and still have meaning."
- Charles De Lint (What a terrible name....snicker)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Another day, another chance...

What a crazy week, waiting to hear if we got the house we wanted, waiting to move, waiting to have a day off with my kiddos. Now that I have the day, I feel like it will all be wasted. My daughter doesn't want to get up yet, my son has Pokemon on the brain, and I can only scrub so many counters. Having patience is always going to be a difficult thing for me, but I so hope I can learn how to do it. Instant gratification is my downfall. :(

Today I think I will praise God for His goodness to me- when it is so totally undeserved, and I will enjoy the moments I have with my kids, no matter what they look like.

"Patience and fortitude conquer all things." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mcain and Palin- Go for it!

Ok, greatest political article in the world. Enjoy!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Faithful- faithless...

It is so strange to me how, literally, one day I can feel full of hope, and faith that God is here and working, and all I have to do is follow the "bread crumbs" in His Word and I will be a-ok; and the very next day I can feel defeated and frustrated, not having a clue which way to turn no matter how many passages I read. I can say this now because I am back on track and determined to "trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus- but to trust and obey." (Sunday School song that kids sing and low and behold! Still totally applies to us smarty pants adults who try to make everything way more complicated.) But in the midst of it, I am- and probably always will be- a fickle pickle who relies too much on feelings and too little on faith. We are hoping desperately for a God-sized break right now, have applied and now are waiting for a really cool place to live, and for a couple days, the stress of wanting and worrying, waiting and wondering, was about to drive me off the Grand Canyon in my minivan.

Thank God that He is so much more faithful than I am, that when I despair He doesn't, and when I fret, I think He smiles and gives a little pat, as we do our children, to reassure me that all is still right in the world, and the sun will still rise and set whether I get what I want or not. This morning I woke up and just knew that I would get what I need (don't know what that is right now, but He does) and I didn't have to be anxious anymore. Why he gives me an extra measure of grace all the time, I don't know, but I am so glad. Today is a new day, and I am so happy that I have Jesus- where I live, or who I live with is just frosting. :) Now, if I can just hang on to that promise for the next week- things will be good. Anyone have some ideas on how? This fickle pickle can use all the help she can get.