Monday, November 30, 2009

thankful for thanksgiving...

love my sweet family and the fact that they came to us since adam's work schedule would not allow us to travel as a family. we had so much fun planning the big meal, eating together (all 19 of us), exchanging Christmas gifts (we won't be all together on Christmas and so we drew names early this year), going on a chilly but beautiful boat tour (and aida got to drive!), played outside, snuggled, so, so much fun...though we are all a bit worn out now. oh! and my turkey turned out great, thanks to the several emergency phone calls to my father-in-law. he showed up just in time to carve it and make the gravy. i forgot to get a picture of the bird before carving, but it was a pretty one i promise. we ate all 23 lbs of it by friday...

Monday, November 23, 2009

worry to worship

holy experience

been struggling here lately. call it a change in hormones (after being pregnant or nursing for so long, my body is finally getting back to normal), sin (name the sin-self-pity, selfishness, worry etc), tiredness...but i am so thankful for God's grace and mercy and for His good gifts. as thanksgiving and advent draw near, i have been encouraged by this luke series. my sis-in-law blogged about this already, but you can listen or watch this wonderful sermon on turning worry to worship. i need to listen to this again.

just listen:

here are some of God's good gifts that i have written down. there are so many more that i have taken for granted...47-95
warm sun shining through my window
deer sighting on our run
mixed cds (from a sweet friend)
parish dinners
weekend roadtrips
Thy mercy
old college friends and their hospitality
running water
his dirty dishes-so glad he is home to make them
elective rotations
dinner guests
the thrill of a balloon to a child
long run with dear sisters
date with sweet adam-1st real conversation in days
a friend to cut my hair
the privilege of comforting a frightened child
cooler weather
"our God is a shield"
perfect weather for playground romping
spontaneous lunch-dates
God's loving "I will care for you" promises
husband unloading dishwasher (before he left house at 5am)
morning baby snuggles
cheerios everywhere
fall colors
mountains with beautiful half-dressed trees
the ability to run and the "good sore"
provision for what we need, not what we want
27 years
snuggly children
husband enjoying work
silence in the morning
smooth warm coffee with the silence
preparations for family
the love of Christ settling deep down into the crevices of my heart-slowly learning to what extent He loves
mommy friends
a season of thanks
warm november weather
the kindness of my husband reminding me of God's kindness
beautiful leaves and the delight marit takes in discovering God's creation
kind a generous dentist
cookies and milk
toddler eating her peas!

happy monday friends...and happy thanksgiving as i may not get back on her until after. notice His grace all around you today. what a kind Father we have.

Friday, November 20, 2009

did this today

with marit and home-from-work daddy

we gathered leaves yesterday. they did not turn out quite as beautiful as Clover lane's (maybe because my helper is 2?), but the simple joy marit took in noticing "pwetty yeaves" was totally worth the effort. what a fun fall project!

Monday, November 16, 2009

do you want to know why

i blog?

it's ok if you don't care. i do it mostly to slow down-to remember what is happening all around me in such rapid ways. i want to remember God's faithfulness and provision. i want to remember when my kids say and do the silliest and cutest things.

i link blog to facebook?

because i figure maybe one of my many friends who do not know the Lord will stumble upon it and can maybe see a little through our lives that He is good and that He cares for people individually and tenderly. maybe they can see that we have very real failures and flaws, but that God's love is unchanged...they too can be so secured by Christ. no one has to read it, but it is there nonetheless.

my homeschooling post (which was really just a plead for mommies to be gracious to one another and brought back all kinds of homeschooling memories) received very unhelpful and hateful comments from a random friend of a friend. i quickly deleted them, but the damage had been done. of course he would misunderstand because he does not know me or my family. it made me wonder if linking to facebook was such a good idea. i did put some better filters on my profile. my blog is public, so anyone can read it. i don't write to get in arguments with commenters and such. have you ever watched a youtube video and noticed all the CRAZY and sometimes foul comments? seriously, i do not have time for that craziness. of course thoughtful debate or encouragment are entirely different.

i don't know.

in slowing down, i should note that i had a lovely birthday with many greetings, phone calls, hugs, and gifts. i feel loved...all 27 years of me! thank you (you know who you are). adam had the last 2 years of my blog printed in a book which is such a thoughtful gift i think. since most of my blog is happenings and pictures, it will be a sweet hard copy of many memories. it has not yet arrived, but if i like it we may do one every couple years. adam had the day off so that was really fun (even if just to have help changing diapers!), though he did sneak a nap in and marit enjoyed watching over him.

and he surpised this shoe-loving woman with these...SWEET!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

a recovering home-schooler?

disclaimer #1: i am preaching to myself as well in this post
disclaimer #2: we are seriously considering home-schooling our kids
disclaimer #3: maybe i'm writing this post before my thoughts are cohesive enough, but the kids are sleeping so i want to jump on the chance

a dear sweet blogging and real life friend posted this the other day and it has got me thinking a little bit about a whole string of things. hang with me if you like.

i was home-schooled until i reached high school and then we were sent to public high school. my mom did that with all four of us. it was great. my mom loved to teach and learn with us and public high school and college (though shocking in some ways) ended up being a really good next step for us. i loved school and may still go back one day...i think that love of learning is largely due to my mom's enjoyment of it as well. anyway, lest i lose my train of thought (disclaimer #4: my skull houses a somewhat scattered and occasionally frazzled mommy-brain). in the home-schooling world, we ran across all types of people...some were so weird, disconnected from society, judgemental, joyless, isolated, hurtful and i remember a lot of jabs, especially as we went on to public education. thinking back on it now, the thing that caused some of these relationships to be so painful was the fact that these families would take up causes that were not essential to Christianity and make them law, offering no grace to those who did things differently. since that time, i have developed a sensitivity to gracelessness.

i know i have opinions that i sometimes express too strongly too, but i think offering grace to others on the non-essentials is Biblical. graciousness only comes from true humility. pride is the opposite and looks like thinking and expressing that your way of doing something is the right way for every family. true humility comes from knowing the depth of your/my broken-ness and the greatness of our Savior...knowing that the amount of grace that has been and is offered is unfathomable. ok, so if someone does not know Jesus, there is not a framework of grace there...surely these people make decisions and judgements as best as they can, but they are not held to the same standard as someone who professes to know and love Jesus. "and this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us." 1john 3:23. ok, so if loving Jesus and calling ourselves one of His means we are to love one another...what does that look like? "patient and kind, does not envy or boast; is not arrogant or rude. it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong-doing, but rejoices with the truth. love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." i corinthians 13:4-7 familiar passage?

what is my point? not exactly sure, but i want to be gracious like Jesus has been to me. i want to teach my kids to know truth and to offer grace. i long for them to love Jesus and for a genuine love of others to burn out of their lives because of that Christ-love. i want them to know what is going on in our culture and to strive for redemption in their little spheres of life. this friend is homeschooling and i have the privilege of watching her, dialoguing with her, tagging along on some field trips (and i must say that i was thrilled to meet other wonderful, grace-offering, Jesus-loving families in her little group). this lady has also helped me to think about these things as well. so i might home-school, but please offer me grace if i don't do it the way you would or if i don't do it at all. i promise, we are already praying about this and most other family decisions and we hope to do what God desires for our family.

one more thought...before i reached motherhood, i was unprepared for the unsolicited advice i would receive on nearly everything. new moms are particularly vulnerable to feelings of inadequacy as their heads get muddled with all the different ways to do things. in reality, each child and family is so different and there are lots of "right" and "good" ways to do things. mommy friends, let's be gracious with one another. if we can't depend on one another for this, who can we depend on? none of us has a perfect life...

Monday, November 9, 2009

this and that

i have been such a terrible blogger lately. there has been a lot to do and think about, but some of it by nature is just not great blogging material. or, i've already said it or something. anyway, i remembered that i mentioned on here that i was training for a half-marathon (which was really just an excuse to get in good running shape again post baby 1 and 2 and to hang out with my sweet friend tara a little extra). i used your picture tara...

well we did it together in just under two hours and it was so fun because we chattered the entire way, thanks to me drinking STRONG coffee beforehand. i was sore for a good 3-4 days afterwards and now i feel bewildered about my running purposes. goals really help me:).

the day before we celebrated graham's birthday with a couple of his sweet friends at a little neighborhood party. it was Halloween, so the kiddos dressed up like animals. it was out of control cuteness for sure.

i have not talked much on here about what has been going on in our neighborhood lately. ask me in person if you like, but we covet your prayers for our sweet little urban community. there is opportunity for the Gospel and God is working. He always has the last word, remember? if you pray, pray that God would do His redemptive work as only He can and save a remnant for Himself to further His kingdom.

we are 9 days into another 90ish hrs/week month, but thus far God has been gracious (His grace surprises me all the time) to provide time for our family to be together. and adam has been really intentional about not falling asleep in the middle of our conversations...or if he does he recovers well somehow:).

local peeps, the kids and i have LOTS of free time to hang out, so don't hesitate to ask us to the park or wherever. we like to be busy while adam is working so much. maybe we should take a road trip or paint the living room or something? we definitely need to get ready for BOTH of our families to descend cheerfully upon our house for thanksgiving. it is going to be the absolute best kind of chaos and i need to learn how to cook a turkey!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

to the mountains we went

we held hands, hiked, rested, ate (i froze casseroles to take so i wouldn't have to spend much time in the kitchen). dr honey bunny and i hung out in the hot tub while kids slept. we enjoyed each other, bought a new car battery, left our camera at wendys (thankfully someone turned it in), made up skits for old-fashioned entertainment. we enjoyed silence and God's creation (especially the leaves!) and we played. it was wonderful...