Sunday, May 31, 2009

The New Editions!

Steve and I had such a blast yesterday, which has been a long time coming. We haven't been able to be alone together much, because he is off during the week while I am either working or schooling the kids, and then he works the weekend. Well, not yesterday! I asked him to go to an iris garden with me in the morning, which he actually liked (Wahoo!) and then we went to garage sales, had breakfast and found some more plants to add to the patio. He even got a palm tree- which he has been wanting but wouldn't spend the money for. So we were stoked to find one on sale at Yard and Garden for under $30, now we just need to keep it alive!

(as an FYI- if you want to plant something this big in a pot, plan to use over 2 cubic feet of dirt- yeah, that is like 60-80 pounds of the brown stuff!)

Spending time with Steve is truly one of my favorite things to do, he encourages me to "do better" and makes me laugh. I feel so blessed to get to live this adventure with him.

I have been missing my horses terribly. It makes it harder that all my friends mares are having babies, and sending me pictures, and I know my Woodie is raising her gorgeous colt. I miss China and all her sass, and it makes me sad that the girl we sold her to isn't having fun with her. I can't help wishing she was still ours- I would be riding her around right now, and I know we wouldn't have any trouble. Every sunny day is a reminder of trail rides, ground work, and the amazing smell of horse flesh. The girls would have shedded out by now (I would have groomed them bald to enjoy their new summer coats) and be glossy and breathtaking in the pasture. Ahhh, why doesn't everybody get the beauty of horses- my family in particular? :)

Oh well, enough self torture. In reality, my world has become a garden, and it is helping so much to distract my mind and ease the melancholy. I love playing with my plants and watching them grow, and it is almost as much fun to pick out a new flower for the patio as it was to buy grain and beet pulp. Almost. Flowers were specially created by my God too, and I am finding more peace in training them to grow up a trellis or down the edge of a pot then I thought possible. God is so good, when he removes one thing from our lives, he always gives something else- something GOOD.
"He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." Acts 14:17

I am thanking God for His faithfulness to me, and praying that we are all becoming more and more faithful to Him. Believe Him at His Word, my friends, and let's see what mighty things He wants to do!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"If I error- let me error on the side of faith."

Each day this week has reminded me of something silly, and something encouraging, and I don't want it to stop! Crazy business with school, my working and Steve's new job, but I truly wouldn't have it any other way. As I process the end of this school year, and the end of homeschooling; as I care for my patients and hear the worries on their hearts, I feel God's presence right next to me, almost like He is saying, "It's going to be alright." My new Bible study gave a name to these events, the little moments in a day where God obviously put His hand out to help (or in my case, put His hand over my mouth and said, "DO NOT say that to your husband right now!) They are called "God Stops". No matter how trivial, or how profound, we all have them every day, and yet I have often been too busy to stop and notice. Writing them down in my journal every night has helped me identify them, and I can't stop laughing at how good our God is. He really can do what He says He can do!

The song to the right on my playlist is one of my favorites, and for the first time- I finally heard the chorus...

"Cause I got a couple dents in my fender,
Got a couple rips in my jeans.
Try to fit the pieces together-
But perfection is my enemy.
On my own I'm so clumsy,
But on Your shoulders I can see...
I'm free to be me." Francesca Battistelli

I have struggled with faith for years- knowing that I don't have enough, and knowing that I don't deserve more. But that is my own ugly saying that- God doesn't see me that way at all. I constantly keep trying to do it on my own, to be perfect, to have it together- and in all honesty, I suck at it. Beth Moore says it so well in one of her lessons- "God's call on my life is scandalous!...He risks His name and reputation on a pit dweller like me..." That is how I rightly feel sometimes, because I know what a lying, cheating, mean, ugly, nasty (insert explective here) I am. But that is the awesome glory of God- that He isn't limited to my fallen state, but can perform a miracle in my heart each and every day that I choose to BELIEVE Him at His word! "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16 He has said that the old me is going away and the new me is alive, day by day, as I trust God to do a miracle. If I would be His little girl, and climb up on His shoulders to let Him take me through my day, I could "see"...and I would feel a lot freer to just "be me".
My fear of believing God- you know, in case He doesn't come through- has kept me from being able to dream and hope BIG! Hope and faith go hand in hand throughout the Bible, if I don't have faith in God, I can't have hope in what he plans to do. And what a loss.

It is impossible to "live the Walk of Faith without faith", because sooner or later, life is going to throw us a curve ball we can't think, talk, work, or fight our way through. And that is when KNOWING that our God is big enough really matters. It's when we "get down to the nitty gritty" as Nacho Libre says and we realize that God has the supernatural strength and goodness to heal the brokenness of our spirit and work a miracle in our hearts more amazing than the parting of the Red Sea. Amen! With my God, ALL things are possible! Help us to remember it, Lord. And start fresh today- believing You at Your word. I love you, friends. :)
(I can finally share these photos of Shadow without crying...Wahoo!)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gardening is fun!

So, I find it incredibly funny that I have lived on acreage or with large yards for the last 10 years, and have just now found a love of gardening- now that I have NO YARD, and no acreage. Do you find that funny? I find that very, very funny in a depressing sort of way. :)

Granted, I had other things to do then, such as raising babies and training horses, but now I am kicking myself that I didn't take advantage of my resources and learn some things. Not one to forgo a challenge, I have been making up for lost time and loving it. I can't tell you what a relaxing experience it is to mess with my little plants and growing things- trimming, watering, feeding, all the while praying I don't kill them. So far so good, but I have two main issues right now. 1- is it too late to plant tomatoes? And 2- how difficult is it to keep perennials and shrubs going through the winter if they are potted rather than in the ground? I hate to put them in the garage unless I get some special lighting, which I would really rather not do. So, time for research, questioning the local nursery staff, and trial and error. Pray for me, but mostly pray for my plants- this time last year I couldn't even transplant something without putting it's roots into shock- and now I want to be a gardener. Go figure!

Had to add in my beautiful cactus garden. All for the low price of $1.99 a cactus from Ikea. Steve still loves the desert and palms, so I made this to keep the dream alive. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Amazing Race!

What a day- I feel so often that I am on this insane scavenger hunt for what God would have for me. I know what the ultimate goal is, but what road does my life take to get there? Trusting in God's goodness is the only way I can keep from having a total panic attack- that he hears me and has a plan for me, a GREAT one.
"Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3

Speaking of scavenger hunts-the kids went to an awesome youth event today- thank you, Cindy Abitz for your genius! She planned a mock Amazing Race for the students all around downtown Portland using the Max system. It was so fun, and God brought sunshine and cool temperatures so the weather was comfortable. Jasmine keeps saying, "This was the greatest day!" I love her enthusiasm, she is such a joy to be around when my OCD isn't getting in the way of her free spirit. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jordan's 14!

What a fun birthday Jo-Jo had yesterday. It was a whirlwind day, starting out with cinnamon rolls and presents, and ending with American Idol and late night movies. That is probably what I will miss the most about homeschooling. I won't be able to have a whole birthDAY for them anymore, and make up the lessons over the next week...well, maybe I will! We will just call it a "personal leave of absence" and PARTY!

Thank God for giving me this kid, trouble and all. Having a growing teen boy has it's challenges, and there are some days his attitude makes me believe aliens are real- because they must have pulled a body snatch, but more often than not I find myself smiling and this brilliant son of mine and excited to see what God has in store for him.

The look of pure joy a person has when he finds exactly what he is looking for- regardless of the bedhead and sleepy eyes.

Jordan has asked for this XBOX 360 for two birthdays now, and two Christmases, and thanks to grandparents and mom and dad pooling their resources- he finally got it! Life couldn't be sweeter for a teenage gamer.

This is what all the grown ups do at birthdays now- relax! I remember the days when Jo was a little munchkin- someone always had to be running after him, keeping him from killing himself or breaking something. I kind of miss it. :)

Not to short change the "little" adults. They had a great time too!

Happy Birthday, Jordan!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

He is who He says He is...

"He is Elohim Creator, Omnipotent who rules,
Sovereign King of Glory and earth is His footstool.
He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end,
He sends forth lighting that later checks back in with Him.

He speaks worlds into existence and spins them out in space,
He gives orders to the morning and shows the dawn it's place.
He prophesies the future and orders it fulfilled,
He bears fruit from a landscape that man has never tilled.

He feeds the beasts of the field from the palm of His hand,
He watches while they bear their young then teaches them to stand.
He gives the seas their boundaries and hides His creatures deep,
He teaches eagles how to fly and nest upon the steep.

He makes the clouds His chariot,
and rides on wings of wind.
He champions the victim,
and brings proud men to end.

He is Emmanuel God with us come to earth through Christ.
He is the Kinsman Redeemer who paid the slave man's price.
He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and worthy is the Lamb.
He holds the keys to life eternal where the dead in Christ now stand.
He is enthroned between the cherub and great is His reward,
the devil His defeated foe, the weapon His swift sword.

This story has a moral so I'll hasten less you tire.
Whoever you perceived He is-
You might aim a little higher."
Beth Moore Poem Elohim from "Further Still"
Taken from the Believing God Bible Study

Monday, May 18, 2009

Remember the good things!

(Jordan was "bored" on Saturday because he couldn't hang with friends. Does he look "bored" to you? Sitting in the sun, reading great books- that's the life!)

What a great weekend! There is something about the sun coming out and the air being warm that brings out smiles and happiness for even the grumpiest people. I love it! We did nothing but spend time together and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. The kids laughed and played with friends, and it was the best reminder of the good things about living in town. In addition, Steve had a job interview on Sunday, and he is pretty certain he got it. The sermon on Sunday was a killer, but I know God is going to use it for great things- so what more could I want in a weekend?

It was interesting that right when I was thinking about how important it is to remember everything- good and bad, Jasmine asked me something that struck my heart. She was feeling really down last Thursday because she does free babysitting for people, and she had been donating hours of her time every week for awhile- and this particular mom rarely compliments her on a job well done, but always brings up any mistakes she might have made. I thought about that comment, thinking it was simply Jazz's pespective, but as I did, I realized she is right. The only time this mom mentions the favor is to say Jazz ate too many of their snacks, or didn't do whatever. I hadn't realized it before- but poor Jasmine was so sad! Crying and feeling like a loser. She said, "I have tried so hard to do my best with the kids (they are extremely difficult kids) and no one remembers all my efforts- just the ONE TIME I mess up. Why is it even worth it??" Oh, mothers- you can feel how that makes your heart break for your child! We talked and talked, and she eventually realized that her motives were pure, and it wasn't her fault if this person doesn't appreciate it. She is doing it for Jesus and He thinks she rocks. But it got me thinking- how often do I do the same thing to this poor kid? Not notice the days and days of perfect work from her, but the minute there's a wet towel left in the bathroom I bring it to her attention! How ridiculous! I want to remember and praise all that she is and does right- now and forever. I have great kids who try really hard, and I don't think I tell them often enough. Maybe forget some of the "bad" is a good thing!

I am going to get my kiddos ready for school- and tell them how fantastic they really are. I hope you do the same, friend! God bless you today!
"Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."
Hebrews 11:6

(I couldn't get a decent picture of these two because they were cracking up so bad- oh well! :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Time to stop forgetting....

(The photos are of Woodie's baby colt- Shadow. He is so big! And perfectly healthy. I can't help but wish he was mine, but I am so glad his new mama is as infatuated with him as I would have been!She said he is super friendly, and already follows her all around the stall, giving kisses, bucking and rearing, and full of life.)

This week my mind has been a whirl. I am really starting to think I need some kind of medication. :)
I know that my biggest issue is just being too busy, but how do you hit the pause button to put life on hold so you can get some much needed "peace" time? Let me know when you figure it out.
Today will be great because I am off and it is SUNNY. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. It is like a breath of cool wind after walking though deep, dark caves. I love the sun, it always makes things seem prettier.

I read something on a blog I follow the other day, and I can't stop thinking about it:
“Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Deut 4:9
This passage is speaking on the miracles that God had preformed getting the Israelites out of Egypt, and moving into their Promised Land, but I felt like it applies directly to me. I keep trying so hard to FORGET things- forget old friendships, fun memories with now estranged family, mistakes, sins, horses, Arizona- and maybe I am not suppose to spend so much time forgetting them- but rather spend time seeing God's hand in it, and remembering "the things my eyes have seen". He has been so faithful to guide and provide, I wouldn't want to forget that. Yet, if I forget the reasons He had to guide us, or provide new friends, activities, whatever- I will forget how grateful I really am. I need to remember everything, good and bad, and say THANK YOU. No matter what. Because looking now, I can see the things that I thought were "bad" at the time, were really huge blessings for my family. Ways that God has protected us from the insanity of this world.

In reality, I am so utterly happy right now- and it has absolutely nothing to do with what I think my life should look like, or how blessed I am. Happy isn't what I use to think- that giddy goofiness that sometimes strikes (especially when I am sleep deprived!)Happiness is something more- feeling like you are right, smack dab, in the middle of God's will. It solely rests on the fact that God has been merciful, and been better to me than I could ever deserve. When I keep my focus on that, none of the other stuff can make me sad. Isn't that what He wanted us to do? Not allow His great deeds to "slip from (our) hearts"?
So today, I choose to be thankful. Thankful for mean people who help me appreciate my friends all the more, arguments that remind me that "when you argue with one fool, there are two", thankful for animals who bring so much light to my life even if the time is short, just enough struggle to keep me on my knees, and enough mistakes to keep me humble. That is always easier of course, before I have to actually open my mouth and interact with this world! :)
Praying for you this morning, and that God would bless you with a great memory- a storehouse of all the ways He has freed you and yours, and how he does not repay as our sins deserve. Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Check this out-

This was so encouraging to me today. Copy and past the link below to your address field and just scroll down on this web post to the comments- more amazing words we will never find- God's Words heal hearts.

The LPM Blog, Beth Moore

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Woodie had a boy!

I know she isn't mine anymore, but I can't help feeling like she is. Hollywood had a HUGE colt this morning about 3 am. He is big and beautiful, and perfectly healthy so the new owner says. I am so glad, and so sad at the same time. I would have loved to have been there and experienced it all with her. Woodie is such a good mare too, so easy going- I could have been right in there with her. wasn't meant to be. :( At least I have an hour before work to bawl and feel sorry for myself, then I will pull it together.

If you want to see them on the webcam, go to and click on "foal cam". It is so cool!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Believing God...

What a week, and I can't even be glad it is Friday yet because it's only Wednesday. Bah! I hate starting a new job, so how is it that I keep torturing myself with new hospitals, clinics, whatever? I know- the benefits far out way the trouble, but today I feel like my brain is mush from all the new information. Let's hope in a month or so it will be old hat, and then I can whine about being bored again.

Things are busy on the home front- trying to find out what needs to happen for Jordan to be able to get into Biology next year rather than Earth Science, Jasmine is rocking her studies, and Steve is still looking for work, but God is using this experience to grow patience and faith (mostly in me as I have to adjust my PLANS to accommodate another person- yeah, little control freak is busting some blood vessels).
(BTW: The photos were just for entertainment- I just can't figure out my crazy husband. What is up with the beards, and the hair? Hahahaha! Gotta love him!)

I started a new study this week, and it was truly a God thing. I haven't wanted to get too involved with people in general over the last couple of years, and I don't know why, but God always seems to have other plans. He literally FORCED me into a Beth Moore Study with three other ladies- and I am so glad! I walked away Tuesday feeling totally blessed by their words, the Scriptures, and the prayer time. Hmmmm...God's way is certainly the best way!

The study is "Believing God", and focuses on the fact that as long as our "Theology" doesn't merge with our "Reality", we won't ever really know what it is to live by faith. Beth Moore said something that really struck me: "You confess that you believe in God- but do you BELIEVE God?" That is something that has always been a struggle for me, because I know what a louse I am, and why would God bless me? But in even the first week- Beth Moore just reiterates all the promises God made to those who love Him, and talked about our "Promised Land". It was awesome. The study revolves around 5 key points, so if you see me walking around making strange hand gestures, know that it is part of the lesson- and not that I am finally losing it. :)

5 Statements of Faith
1. God is who He says He is.
2. God can do what He says He can do.
3. I am who God says I am.
4. I can do all things through Christ.
5. God's Word is alive and active in me.

Hurray for that! God bless you, friends- find the "Promised Land" God made for you here!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Someone sent this to me in an email- the email was long and weird, but this part was an interesting perspective. I don't know any woman who measures up to all these things all of the time, but I know some great women who measure up to some of the things, some of the time. :) Happy Mother's Day to my dear sisters who see their children as their greatest disciples and train them so faithfully to love the Lord. God bless you!

"Women have strengths that amaze men. They carry hardships, they carry burdens but they hold happiness, love, joy and hope. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous. They fight for what they believe in. They stand up for injustice. They don’t take “no” for an answer when they believe there is a better solution. They go without so their family can have. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or a new marriage. Their hearts break when a friend dies. They have sorrow at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all sizes, colors and shapes. They’ll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you. The heart of a woman is what makes the world spin! They bring joy and hope. They give compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. Women have a lot to say but a lot more to give.
Ahh, the incredible worth of a Woman!"

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I was thinking about God's story today, and how when you look back- you see it clearly, but when you are in the midst of it, you can't figure anything out. Today has been so fun, and so relaxing. I love those kinds of days, where anything goes. Now that I have to get ready to head to work, lets see if I can "hold that thought".

Taking account of the last year, and all it's changes- I can see so clearly where God's hand was in the midst of it all. Had we just stayed comfortable, stayed with what we wanted- we would never have the joy we have now, having fought the battles and won. What an awesome gift God gives us...our struggles. (Weird. Saying that feels a little scary!hehehehe)

Yet another excerpt for you. This was a scene where the Assyrians were talking about the Israelites/Jews. I wonder how many world leaders in Egypt, Assyria, even Rome over the years expected this "tiny nation" of Yahweh followers to disappear- rather than what happened, with them impacting every country in the world through Jesus. No one cares about Assyria anymore, but Israel is still present in the news. How interesting. "His-Story" most definitely.

"That evening Iddina went to see the Assyrian high priest, unloading his arsenal of anger and frustration on him. "How can Yahweh be the god of war, the god of fertility, the god of the dead- and the god of everything at the same time?" he shouted...Iddina struggled to contain his temper and disguise his fear.
(High Priest of Assyria speaking) "Why does it bother you so much, my lord? Judah is an insignificant country with an obscure religion. Soon both will disappear from the map and from the history books as if they had never existed. A thousand years from now, no one will even remember the name of their god, much less worship him. But the Assyrian religion, her gods- they will endure throughout time." pg 278 "The Strength Of His Hand" by Lynn Austin

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ever wanted more faith?

Yet again- great books can truly heal a heart. I always get frustrated that I don't have more faith, that I get discouraged so easily- but then this little novel said it in a way that got my attention. Eavesdrop on King Hezekiah and his grandfather's conversation with me:
"...Yahweh revealed Himself to you as the Eternal One, whose plan reaches throughout all the ages. That's why the people wanted to celebrate; Yahweh revealed Himself to them, and they hungered for more. As long as you continue to seek Him, son, your love will continue to grow. And as you express your love for Him through obedience, He'll reveal more of Himself to you."
"Will I ever have a faith like yours?" (King Hezekiah speaking)
"That's up to you. The only way to grow in faith is to put your faith to the test. You must place yourself in His hands and let Him prove Himself faithful. Unless you make up your mind to trust Him, you'll never know that Yahweh is faithful."

This was from the second book in the Chronicles of the Kings series, and King Hezekiah is trying to decide if he can risk rebelling against the Assyrians. He is a newborn to His faith, and His grandfather spends the beginning portion of the book teaching him about the Torah- having him memorize scripture, and testing all his political decisions against what God would say.
Yeah, like I said- phenomenal series. Not for the literary merits, but for the INCREDIBLE message. Even the 5th book, although it doesn't have a historical accuracy note, draws your heart to 2 Chronicles 33 to find out what King Manasseh REALLY did.
Needless to say, I got through all 5 books in about 3 days because they are just that good. (And I have nothing else to do with my free time since I live in the 'burbs.)Buy them, borrow them, whatever- summer reading must haves when you are lying by the lake, sitting on the porch, or like me- can't sleep and hate t.v.

"Hear O Israel, Yahweh is our God. Yahweh alone." The beautiful shema that is said as the motto in all 5 books. If only we still applied that fiercely. Our idols don't look like the Israelite's false gods- but our pride, self interest, love of money, beauty and earthly pleasure are just as deadly.

You will cry at the greatness of our God, and His amazing mercy. You will laugh, and you will be outraged at the ugliness of our sin.

Excerpt taking from "Song of Redemption" Lynn Austin

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Civil War Reenactment Lebanon, Oregon

Friday we went on a field trip with Riverlink because the kids have been studying the Civil War, and it was so cool! The people were dressed in period outfits, and stayed in character for the entire day. It was funny to hear some of their crazy stories, and sad to hear how many died and how much we didn't know about wartime medicine or artillery. They have more weekends scheduled in the area, and we have two free student tickets if anyone wants them! It was well worth the time, and the kids really liked it. There website is

This woman was dressed as a Kentucky gentlewoman might have been during that time. They described the number of petticoats wore, the laundering time frame for clothing, and even how the pieces were put together. Plus she threw in some jokes about loose woman and crossing your legs. It was pretty funny.

The kids had a lot of funny hanging with their friends and goofing around. That is usually the best part of a field trip. :)

The canons were all of our favorite thing. I was surprised by how much the ground shook when they shot it. Apparently during the war they would pack the canons with 1 1/2 pounds of powder and 5 pound shells. For the demonstration, they only used 5 OUNCES of powder, and it still wow'ed us. I can't imagine how the soldiers could even focus with all the smoke, noise and adrenaline during battles. It must have been overwhelming. Makes me yet again accept that men and women are very different. :) God made men single focused for a reason. To get the job done.

Of course you know what captivated my interest...only things of the four legged variety. When I first got there and saw the horses, I was determined to stay far away and pretend they weren't there. That lasted about an hour, before I couldn't help myself. The expected tears came, but then it got better and I could talk to the owners and pet the pretty babies. It was a good first step in being a "non-horse owning" horse person. (But it still stinks.)

All in all, yet another great time with the greatest kids ever.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Josiah Venture in Slovenia

(Don't forget to pause the playlist on the right so you can hear the video.)

This country (the country that looks like a chicken on a map- hahahaha!)is so limited in their access to God's Word, to God's people. 1% of people are born again Christians. That is so sad- in our modern world of technology and instant communication world wide, that so few have heard, or touched by the millions of professing Christians on the planet. We so much want to see our friends, the Wynn's, there- preaching, teaching and loving God's children. Pray with us, consider donating, supporting, whatever. Just because we can't go physically, doesn't mean we can't participate with our prayers, our love, and our fundage. :) Good things happen when we listen to the tug of God on our hearts.

Check out Josiah Venture, and see what they do. We first heard about them at our church in Arizona, and as an organization- they are active and in love with Jesus.