Saturday, October 1, 2011

A year w/o blogging. . . . at least not here ;)

I was reading my sisters blog My Life as a Lesson today (which I highly recommend) and somehow I decided to glance at the "blogs she loves" and mine was there and it said I haven't updated this in a year.

I had SUCH good intentions when I started this.  I love to write but yet it's been a year.

Why?  So many reasons.

The first is that we have gone through a lot healthwise and I have spent SO many hours in the kitchen trying to help us heal (cooking up a storm).  I have spent hours researching, I have spent hours crying out to God for help.  This summer, we finally found the GAPs diet which has put us on the road to recovery but also means I spend more time in the kitchen than I care to admit . . . like sometimes the entire weekend catching up from a busy week.

The second is that we have been passionately working to get CYT (Christian Youth Theater) to Milwaukee.  It's a time consuming passion for us.  I also teach for CYT and that is just FUN!  Check out my blog for  CYT Milwaukee.

The third reason is that sometimes I just don't even know how to begin with recording my life.  Trials and hardships have arose and I never know how much to share.  Some seems to private to share and I haven't felt that gentle nudge to disclose online like I have in the past.

A fourth reason is that my time at home has been more limited.  I am finding myself out in the world a lot more and while I enjoy the opportunity to see face to face, it is draining to me.  So much people time is draining for me as I know that my people skills need work so I am constantly on edge.  My "down time" is usually spent in a book or tap dancing so I just don't get here as much as I'd like.

I mention all of this because of the second and fourth reason.  WOW, I am really struggling during this time in my life.  When my children were really young, I spent most of my time at home and began to feel I "had to get out".  Then I'd get out and that was just exhausting with three young children.  During almost three years of that phase of my life, SurvivorBoy was on chemo so it was particularly draining to take them out with one very ill.

Now I am always out and about and find myself wishing for more time at home.  It made me realize that contentedness on earth can be elusive if we aren't careful.    It made me realize that finding peace on earth can be difficult.

On one hand, that is good.  We should never become to comfortable here.  This is NOT our home.  We should long for more but that more is not a bigger house, bigger car, more activities.  NO.  Our longing should be for Heaven and our longing should be to find ways to serve him on earth, investing in our future home!

On the other hand, I love the saying
"Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, today is a gift--that is why it's called the present!"

It's with that attitude that I have been attempting to approach my life.  I want to enjoy the moment, remembering my mistakes of the past and keeping an eye out for the future.  Enjoying the present  shouldn't mean serving our flesh, it means finding joy in the little things, smelling the roses, and being thankful for the things we've been given.  God knows any one of us could end our life on earth at any time.  I hope and pray daily that I am living my life in a way that is God honoring.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Keeping my eyes on the finish line!

I always start things and forget about them. It isn't that I don't have the energy or don't have the gumption to forget but so often I start something, plan to come back to it and find it months later. Just for kicks, I just went through and posted all the drafts to my blog that I had started.

It also made me think more carefully about my life. I am not sure but I think God is nudging me to be better about keeping my eyes on the prize! I know it's very easy to get distracted - especially during this "information age". SO many things are vying for our attention and so often we give them our attention only to realize that things we need to do are not getting done.

Today I pray that I will keep my eyes on HIM, on what HE has given me to do, and on serving others!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Home Stretch (6/9/10

So many times it's easy to move our eyes from the goal. It's easy to get distracted by whatever is coming along the road as we journey through our lives. This has been very evident to me lately. Things come and cloud our vision and we take our eyes off the prize. I think that is why Paul said what he did about being a runner!

This year hasn't been easy but the goal was to get to the other side - kind of like the chicken honestly. . . . but we did it.

This year we made it through
1. 8 months of unemployment for our primary breadwinner
2. ME working outside of the home for the first time since having children
3. ME being in school for the first time since having children
4. Swim team practices and meets averaging 2 to 3 times a week
5. Homeschooling
6. Speech went from 2x's a week, to 1x a week, to now our son has the semester off
7. Chiropractor went from 2x's a week, to 1x a week, to twice a month
8. Shawn getting a new job almost an hour away while #2 was still going on

WOW. . . it's been a wild ride. While I am thrilled to have the summer to ourselves, we'll miss Baby A (see #2) and I think we may miss knowing that our future is unknown. There is something about resting fully in Christ for your every provision (when you don't have a job) that is very amazing. Especially when you see all your needs and many of your wants being Met. It reminds us that God is a benevolent father :)

So, on the homestretch, there is some nostalgia -- we are ready for a break but kind of sad to be here -- 2 days until I am done working outside the home for the year and have the summer off!

I have no clue why I started this now because I have a ton more to add to this but no time. . . . .

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Held (9/2/9

Held by natalie grant is such an awesome song. I love it. This part screams loudest to me. So often we want to be bitter and let hatred NUMB our sorrow :( NO. . . we need to remember that we are HELD in his arms! Always no matter what happens.

This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred know our sorrow.
The wise hands opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sometimes He calms the storm. . . and yesterday HE DID!

Names are omitted for internet safety ;)

Yesterday morning we had 3 things on the agenda
1.  central library (downtown)
2.  marquette speech
3.  betty brinn - meeting a friend there.

As I was getting off freeway for library, I realized I didn't have my phone.  I paused, thought and said "people survived for many years without phones, we'll be fine".  Had fun at library, went to speech, came out of speech and van wouldn't start.  

I head back into speech thinking "hmm. . . I have no phone and don't know Brother in Law's cell number who works at marquette and I don't know who will recognize the speech clinic number and actually answer their phone".  I bump into Skater Surivor Boy's speech pathologist who finds out that Marquette Public Safety will jump us.  Receptionist calls public safety and they rescue us - also inform us that we can pick up blue phone in any emergency and yes, this is an appropriate emergency.

SO we drive slowly to betty brinn.  Me, assuming that 15 minutes will recharge the battery.  Get there, get out of car, turn around and realize that window is down on car.  Turn key to put up electric window, car won't start.  Thankfully, my friend was RIGHT by us in the parking lot and came over to jump me.  No dice.  Won't jump.  After about 15 minutes of unsuccessfully trying to get van to start,  we head upstairs to eat.  My kids are starved (1:15 by now) and we are at the museum so we can figure it out.

Have to eat outside because food area JAM PACKED with about 100 kids on a field trip.  While we are outside, my friend's  son get away from us.  One second he was there, the next second GONE!  It was TERRIFYING.  Betty Brinn is RIGHT downtown Milwaukee by the art museum and Light the Night takes place.  I had all the kids (the other 5) with me as we looked.    The kids were starting to get stressed and scared cuz it was starting to feel that we.   I kept telling them to pray and Jesus was with Friend's Son.    I think it took us 45 minutes to find him.  30 minutes in we had people EVERYWHERE looking for him -- park employees, people eating lunch on the terrace, the betty Brinn employees.  My friend's husband was on the way up and she had just called 911 when we found him.  Friend had gone into the museum to look but didn't find him.  The museum employees found him somewhere.  Next, friend calls her hubbie and couldn't get in touch with him-- he was already on the way and his phone was off.  He was RUNNING full speed towards us when he saw Friend's Son in my arms and the look on his face ran my heart cold - the terror .  Friend and I had already cried when we found him and seeing how friend's hubbie was feeling made me realize that friend and I were only holding it together because we had 5 children that we needed to keep calm.   I honestly am not sure that I have experienced that type of terror ever and it wasn't my child, although it is a child I love.  But still, no one loves a child the way his parents do.   I seriously don't know how my friend and hubbie held it together.

Well, we pack up and go in the museum so that we can feel "safe".  I tell the kids the normal directive.  "you must tell me before you move on to another exhibit"  Even more important today because it is JAM PACKED.  I look down at my purse to put my parking ticket in my purse and look up Little Bit is gone.  OBVIOUSLY, she didn't understand the lecture about telling people where they went and how dangerous it was that Friend's Son left us.  So SkaterSurvivor Boy and Rainbow Girl and I begin to run around looking.  In 5 minutes she was right back where we started  *sigh*  I wasn't very nervous because we were IN THE museum but so close to the terror of losing friend's son, my heart was pounding.  I did realize that a three year old just can't comprehend the consequences of running away from mom.  

About a half hour later when people are leaving the museum and it wasn't so crazy, I remember I have a dead van in the parking structure.  By now, it is 3pm.  I had talked to Hubbie about 5 minutes before we lost Friend's Son and he told me we had free road side service through our car insurance. 

The crazy story ends in roadside jumping me -- had to use friends phone to arrange roadside service and then wait.  As we meet roadside service, LittleBit starts crying that she left her favorite shoes (her red cowboy boots) in the museum so I give them the keys and go to retrieve the boots.  At this point, my foot is hurting and I am EXHAUSTED.  But up we go.  We get to the museum to learn Friend had picked up boots and had them.  Say goodbye again and back to the parkind structure.

Roadside service got us jumped and we headed home.  BUT the crazy part.  AS we pulled into the garage, the van died.  Right there in the alley.  All I could say was "thank you Jesus for getting us home" and call hubbie.   Turns out the connections on the battery were loosening up and I think God carried us home.  We aren't sure how the jump even took when the guy came from the rescue service.   Normal life began again.  We ate, went to swim, and came home.  All was well and back to normal after a long crazy day.  

So many things today to reflect on. . one is my bartering with God.  Our kids were worried about something being stolen from the car when we couldn't get the window up because I had said "I just want to make sure there is nothing super valuable in the car".  THe car was A MESS and had TONS of library books, toys, etc.  As we ran around looking for Friend's Son I started to beg God - "please let someone strip our car, just give him back.  please God"  I know that it's impossible to barter with God but in our human state, it is just something that happens.

God was so merciful to us today.  Sweet Friend's Son is totally safe AND HOME!  Our family didn't have to  take the bus.  We wouldn't have fit in Friend's  car so if Hubbie had to work too late and we had to get towed, we would have taken the bus :)  No biggie as I had cash on me. If I hadn't had cash, there are ATM's everywhere - we WERE downtown ;)  Van was dead in a children's museum and not a dreary place.  We made it home and Hubbie fixed the car in less than 10 minutes without ever leaving the house :)

It just goes to show that in the big (losing a 3 year old in downtown Milwaukee) and the small (a car problem), God is there and getting us through it.    We had an amazing outcome today but when trouble comes your way, trust Jesus.  He will get you to the other side.  I love the song "sometimes he calms the storm"   Don't forget -- "Sometimes he calms the storms and other times he calms his child"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Life's what you make it!

Truly over and over, I believe life is what you make it - thanks Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus for such a  fun song to remember this concept.

I am always telling our children this and it's such a great practice but truly how much our lives do we control.  I believe life is about 10% what happens to you and 90% what you make of it.

For example, our diet, it's a pain to be gluten free and dairy free, to avoid rice at home and now be minimizing corn and eggs at home also.  On the other hand, what a blessed life it is to have the freedom to make such decisions and not just be stuck eating what is on hand.  I truly believe 90% of Americans have no clue what real hunger is and even on a diet like our families, we have more choices than the majority of the world.

It's like toilets. . . we recently went to Cornerstone Music Festival - rock on.  Amazing time.  Anyways, we had to use outhouses.  What an amazing relief to come home. . . well to even head home and use the toilets at a gas station LOL.  When we got home, we pulled out "a life like mine" which is children's literature about how children around the world live.  We talked about how many would be THANKFUL for outhouses.  We also expressed thanks to Daddy for his continuing use of outhouses day in, day out.  This is an aspect of construction that we forget about!  

Recently, I thought about this because I had such sympathy towards someone who is having a REALLY rough time -- I stopped myself suddenly and realized that if life is what we make it, they too can find their lemon bar amidst the lemons ;)  

The question I guess is how to do this? Rest in Jesus and ask you how do it in your specific situation.   And always remember Romans 8:28.  Whether it appears to be true or not, IT IS TRUE!

Romans 8:28  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, [fn] who [fn] have been called according to his purpose.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Content (6/28/9

Lately, I feel particularly content. Being a restless person at heart, this isn't a state of being I enjoy very often and so it's a bit odd and almost uncomfortable as much as I feel "settled". A few weeks ago, I was in constant rebellion over our busy summer schedule and stressed like you can barely imagine. I was not wanting to do it. I felt most of it had been imposed upon me (speech, chiropractor and physical therapy) and many was I crabby about it. Outwardly, I just kept plugging along trying to keep up with it and make the most of it but my heart wasn't in it. My heart was in a total state of rebellion. I am not sure when it changed, when I realized I was only making myself miserable and it certainly wasn't helping. Maybe when our vacation began to get close? or maybe when I realized how childish it was to have these feelings.

While I still feel a bit harried and out of sync, mostly I feel calm and content. I am not stressed about the every day sometimes twice a day doctors appointments for either me, one of my children or both my children. I just do it.

It made me think about the Christian walk and how we grumble as we go through pain and sufferen