Wednesday, April 30, 2008

For the Love of Awards and Haircuts

Ok, so it's my SECOND post about "The Award" today...I'm still obviously talking about it. I know what you're thinking....it's a tad bit pathetic...but I promise it will wear off (eventually:)

I NEED to pass on the love though...and it is HARD! So, I decided that if I know you in real life...I cannot give you the award because I ABSOLUTELY can't pick between you...plus, I think all your blogs are fabulous because I know you in person...so I know how great you are :) Instead of an award, I should give you chocolate or something...I owe you


I am going to pass it along to J @ (Always) In Development...we've never met in real life, but her writing and spiritual insights are honest, and raw, and deep...all at the same time. I now call her friend, and I always admire the depth to which she takes her posts! J- you make my day!

I had no idea awards were so much fun!?!


Anyways...on to the hair-cut.


Before: (Bleh)

After: The Straight Version!

After: The Curly Version

Oh the excitement in my life... HA!

Not So Humble...

What could make a great night of Ladies Bible Study even better?!? Logging on to my blog (afterwards, of course) and seeing that my new blog friend, Kelli, at Ponderings of a Pastors Wife, gave me an AWARD!!!! WOO HOO! (She is fantastic...go check her out.) It's my first...and probably my last....so I am going to treasure it and talk on and on about it to everyone I know...because after all, how often do I get to say..."I got an award!" HA! I may even post it on my sidebar...unless that's REALLY tacky? Or just a little tacky? (Because even if its a little tacky...I'm so gonna do it!) Anyways...Wanna see it? Ok...



Too kind! She gives me an award and then says nice stuff about me...she is now my best friend ;) That's pretty much all it takes. I am smitten with blogging. Keeping up with new and old friends is just so much fun...and encouraging, to boot!

Seriously...I can't shut up about it! I better go humble myself now...

I think I get to pass the award on too! But how do I decide!?!?

For now though, I gotta go shower so I can do my hair and post ya'll some pics of the new cut. I know, I know, you're on the edge of your seat for this one...did I mention I got an AWARD!?!?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Let it All Out

Just let me say it...I REALLY like Tuesdays. On Tuesdays I do NOT have to get up to run, do not have carpool duty and only have to get one child out the door for school. LOVE Tuesday! Another bonus, is that tonight we have Ladies Bible Study, which I always look forward to.



The lesson we will be discussing in Seeking Him, is on honesty. *Deep breath* A week ago, I posted this, about my journey. Today, I am so happy to say, that because of God's incredible grace and mercy upon me, I stand a little farther up that mountain. I am a long ways from the top (trust me.) The urge to give up and slide back down is still there...but today, the desire to obey Him and do this thing His way, is far greater. Did you hear that!?!? Greater! WOO HOO!



God has shown me that there is being real, and there is being REAL. He requires complete honesty from me. He has shown me that anything less simply will not do. He has also so lovingly brought it to my attention, that His way is not the scary-hard way...my way is. I have realized that I cannot say to Him, " I'll follow you in all these areas Lord, but this one...this one (little area) is mine...I can deal with it...my way." The reason, I've discovered, is that, that one small area that I chose to not hand over to Him, really was not small at all. These past couple of weeks are ones that will stay etched in my mind...what I've learned about mercy and grace and forgiveness is something I can't put into words. Something I don't want to put into words, but rather ponder it in my heart...over and over so that I don't forget it.



It's also made me think about how God gradually and precisely reveals to me the true condition of my heart. He doesn't throw it at me all at once. Most likely because He knows in my humanness, I would not be able to bear it. Instead, he lovingly hands me it, piece by piece, when He knows I am ready, and then shows me what to do with it. Simply amazing.

The whole lesson on honesty really was outstanding. There were a few things though, that just jumped off the pages at me.



  1. "We don't have to be trained to hide or pretend - it comes naturally. Even after we are redeemed in Christ and the Holy Spirit takes up residence within us, we often battle the urge to deceive. But God cannot bless or revive a heart that refuses to acknowledge the truth." p.45


  2. "If we feel we are innocent and have nothing to be broken about, it is not that these things are not there but that we have not seen them, We have been living in a realm of illusion about ourselves." Roy Hession
I don't want to live in that realm of illusion ever again. This is one of those things where "good enough" will not do.

Father God, "thank you" seems so inadequate...(but you know my vocabulary is small) my heart cannot find words that seem, enough. Help me not to forget these lessons you have taught me, and give me the strength I need to continue on this path you have set me on. I know that on my own I will wander off...almost immediately. Help me not to be self deceived. Give me wisdom and discernment. I pray the same thing for each of the ladies in this study...and my friends in bloggy- land. Draw them close to you, Lord. I ask all of this in His Precious name...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Big Important Decisions...

Hebrews 11:1 " What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead."
It's a verse I've heard a bazillion times...but today, it was fresh. Gotta love that.
This week I get to go to the dentist (barf) and get my hair cut (YAY!)...I know...it is an exciting life I lead. Here is my dilemma. Do I get my hair cut the same OR is it time for a change. I'm thinking maybe (for summer) I should go a little shorter and just let it do it's thing..which is wild, uneven curls that drive me insane. Hmmmm....see the dilemma!?! Straightening iron = pain in the butt. White girl's afro also = pain in the butt. Help me.
I really should go get something done...there are four beds upstairs that desperately need their sheets washed...I won't tell you how desperately. And besides...I'm rambling.
Happy Monday!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Time I Waste...

You'd think after the "loafers" incident, I would learn not to take these quizzes, but, as you can see..."some people gotta learn the hard way" (I'm quoting DC Talk there...but that is a whole other post) Anyways...the only statement that is completely true is...I AM addicted to caffeine...I will not deny it. There...I said it. And now...I wish I had a real latte.



What Your Latte Says About You




You are easygoing and pretty simple to please. You don't put up a fuss... ever.



You can be quite silly at times, but you know when to buckle down and be serious.



Intense and energetic, you aren't completely happy unless you are bouncing off the walls.



You're addicted to caffeine. There's no denying it.



You are a child at heart, and you don't ever miss the opportunity to do something playful.



You are deep and thoughtful, but you are never withdrawn.


Is it Monday Yet?

It has been an eventful few days for us. So much so, that I don't know how to post about it...except for a bullet point list, with pictures, of course.

  • It has been raining A LOT. We are all tired of it...but can't seem to stop talking about it.
  • Saturday at 4:30 AM we awoke to the sounds of sirens. They were meant to notify our tiny town that it was filling with water. As I peered out the front windows of our home, in the dark, all I could see was water. Not touching us...but surrounding our neighbors homes just one block south of us. I, of course, did the most helpful thing....I cried. Like a baby. For them...and the mess...and the feeling of helplessness. So helpful. After a cup of coffee I was finally able to pull myself together enough to pray (while crying.)
  • The sun is shining today...and the water is receding, and the amazing people of my tiny town will clean up, and go about life as usual. I have much to learn from them.
  • We helped my parents move to a new home this weekend. It was a long, tiring day, but lots of fun too...all hanging out together. There was lots of laughter...especially when my sister told me that she heard from mom that I signed up for a marathon. WHAT?!? My mom had read on my blog about the race, I signed up for....she apparently missed the FOUR mile part of the race :) HA! She now has to go back to work and tell everyone that her daughter is NOT running a 26.2 mile race...but a FOUR mile race! It's OK, it's happened to her before. Once, when my teenage brother bought one of those little Fiaro cars...she told the ladies at work he bought a "Ferrari." Once she realized her blunder, she understood why they had all looked at her so strangely :) What teenager buys a Ferrari?!? Cracks me up...love you mom :)

More proof that boxes are better than toys.

This is my sweet little niece, Maddy...just had to throw in the pic so you can all see how cute she is.

That's our weekend in a nutshell. Now...I seriously need a nap.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I Can Take A Hint...

I love checking email in the morning. For some reason, logging on and seeing all those messages is pure joy...it is also how I know I am a big dork. This morning I found this message, on Facebook, from one of my bestest friends and sis-in-law...

"O.K. I am at work and just checked out your blog for the first time. I am not on the clock by the way!! Why in the world haven't you mentioned me, the all important sister in law that set you up with Ben and sacrificed my relationship with you for several pitiful years to make you two happy. I expect to see a blog about me soon. Your readers deserve to know how important I am to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ha ha love reba"

Ummm...notice that she said she just checked it out for the FIRST time. I'll let it slide...this time :) She is right though...she deserves a post!

Here is us at Easter. I have a photo album filled with pictures of us, since the age of 15, in this exact same pose.


We met in Junior High, which is when our two towns join up for school. She was from the tinier town, which makes the adjustment for those kids a little harder. Girls like me did not help. I think I have blocked-out most of the events, but Rebecca remembers them all :) I was mean. She wanted to be in our "group" and I didn't want her to be. I made sure she was aware of this fact. In my defense, I had not yet met Jesus in a personal way...so I acted like a heathen :) Still to this day, I am apologizing for being so mean.

Then, in 9th grade, we sat by each other in Chorus. Why I went out for chorus, I will never know. I can't carry a tune to save my life...I have no idea what I was thinking. It was also the around the same time that I had met Jesus in a new way...a life changing way. I still had lot's of questions about the Bible, and Rebecca had grown up in a gospel-preaching church. She had answers for me...and this time, the friendship worked.

It also happened, that a few months into our new friendship, her older brother happened to catch my eye. (Read here for further details.) I was horrified to find out that Rebecca had actually told him that I thought he had a cute rear-end...but without her, I highly doubt we would have ever dated! I owe her. Dating your friend's brother is a tad difficult on a friendship. It was pretty rocky for a few years. But we survived, and for many, MANY years now, our friendship just keeps getting better and better! To know her, is to love her! She is hysterical. She continually makes me laugh...the kind of laugh that makes your stomach hurt.

I love looking back and seeing God's hand in it. There's no doubt in my mind that He was/is the one orchestrating all the details. He knew what the future held...He knew we would need each other. Rebecca, thank you for your friendship, it is priceless to me! And again...so sorry about Junior High...did I mention I didn't know Jesus then?!? :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Adjustable

I need to be upfront with ya'll today. I have tried and tried to come up with something other than what I am going to blog about today. But I can't get it out of my head. So, I figure, if I just post about it, maybe it will leave. Maybe.

What could be so important and fascinating that I just can't stop thinking about it?
Adjustable Waist Jeans.

Yep...you read it right. As I got my two year old dressed today...I did the same thing I do every day...I lifted praise to God for adjustable waist jeans. It's true...I happen to think they're genius.


Today though...it went further. I thought to myself, why just the kids jeans?!? I know they have them in khakis for men...but why not my favorite jeans from Express?!?! On those days, when I'm feeling a little extra bloated *ahem* I could just loosen that little elastic band with the button and no one would even know!!!

It would totally obliviate the need for my fat jeans. You know the ones. They're the nice old jeans, a size (or 2) bigger than the regular ones, saved especially for those days. I think I'm on to something...if anyone knows a designer at Express...please fill them in :) I'm just sayin'...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sign Me Up

Oh bloggy friends...I have just officially signed up for my first race on May 10th. Now, before you get too excited, I should tell you that it is only a 4 mile race :) For the under-achiever living in me....that is perfection! There is also coffee and bagels at the end...yeah...like I said, perfection. It's Heth's fault, really. She made it sound so fun that I couldn't resist. She also mentioned the coffee...a lot.
I have talked my other friend, Jenni, into running with me (at a slacker pace, of course) I have set my goals low, so that I may achieve them! Run without dying...that's my goal. I think that's a good first race goal. Heth will probably have enjoyed a pot of coffee and 2 bagels and be back home before I cross the finish line...she's a speedy little thing. Can I officially call myself a "racer" cause seriously...that's just funny.
I started running a year ago in January. I happened to be eating (at McDonalds) with a new friend and she mentioned she ran. For some strange reason, I did something totally out of character and blurted out that we should run together! I left McDonald's that day and headed out and bought new running shoes. So unlike me. I say it's out of character because I seriously do not enjoy running...never have. I ran cross country and track my freshman and sophomore years in high school (for social reasons) and despised the running the whole time.

Now, we run together 3 mornings a week at 6 AM. Every time the alarm goes off, I think to myself..."you are crazy." Every. Single. Time. But knowing that she is going to be waiting outside, gets me out of my nice warm bed. Afterwards...I'm always glad I did it. But getting out of bed, never gets easier. Never.

I still do not enjoy running. *Smiles* People say you get "bit" by it...but I haven't :) I love chatting with my friend while I run...and it really is a good stress reliever, but the actual running...I am not in love with. But, like it or not...I need it. My clothing tells me I need it...because when I stop running...somehow the dryer shrinks all my clothes! That's my theory.

What does training look like for a slacker runner, you ask!?! It means I have to actually be putting in 4 miles at a time :) That's pretty much it. Oh, and it also involves one of these cute little numbers...
A running skirt! This isn't actually a picture of me in mine..it's from google images:) Mine is just plain gray...and I haven't had a chance to wear it yet...but I'm sure it will help me run faster and longer on race day...I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Don't Go Breakin My Heart

This kid is breaking my heart. Ripping it out of my chest. Sigh.
Eli, the past few weeks, has decided that he does not want to go to preschool. The closer we get to the school, he starts to say, "I don't feel so good" and tears well up in his big eyes. The first day he did this, I thought maybe he really was sick, so I took him home and made him rest. But...it has continued. I have asked him a million questions trying to get to the bottom of it. Nothing definite. His teacher says he's fine after a little while...after I'm gone of course. It's just weird that it's starting now...towards the end of the year. And it's really just "not like him." He's usually mellow and easy going about school! It has made me ponder homeschooling for the rest of the year. I KNOW! ME!?!? *laughing hysterically* I would be doing it for all the wrong reasons. This is something we have to work through together...it's part of life.
Eli, you're killing me here...help me figure this out little man.

The Process

If you stop by my house today, you will find me upstairs, buried in clothes. Yesterday I started, what I like to call, "The Process." It's the bi-annual shifting of the clothes. This time it's from cold weather to warm.

It is a monumental task...involving many, MANY piles. It is also a 2-day minimum project. Yesterday I got Noah & Eli's closet (somewhat)weeded out, but I ran out of time to dig in the attic to find the containers of warm weather clothing and complete the switcheroo, so the piles that were left from yesterday have now been rummaged through. I should know better.

I am drowning in boys clothes. As many of you know, when you have 3 kids of the same sex, hand-me-downs are FANTASTIC! But...storing them, and sorting them...big job. Here's where the piles come in...
Piles: Jake too small, Eli too small but still too big for Jake, Eli grow into, Noah too small but too big for Eli, Noah grow into, will fit Jake, will fit Eli, will fit Noah, stuff I never want to see again, stuff in bad condition, stuff in good condition...and on and on and on.
The other problem I'm running into is....my attic (where I store everything) is a DISASTER (thanks to me)! I can barely get in there to get the containers in and out...really, someone should do something about that! :) Oh yeah...I guess that would be me.
Today, the to-do list is Jake's closet and mine and Ben's....it's lofty, I know. We have too much stuff (me especially.) Have you ever wanted to just get rid of everything except 5 shirts, pants, undies, etc?!? I know that there are people who do it...and I admire that. I think it would save on laundry...and this whole "process" would be MUCH easier. I'm not that brave yet. Maybe by the end of the day, I will be!
PS - blogger hates me today. It will not keep my paragraphs seperated, no matter how many times I change it. I give up.

Monday, April 21, 2008

No Turning Back

In the process of revival, this is where I started. At the bottom of a gigantic mountain. I knew it would be tough, but my optimism was high.



This is where I find myself now...

Part way up the mountain and finding the climb tiring and seemingly impossible. The point in the hike when you look up and see the huge rocks yet to climb...and then look down so see how far you've climbed. And it's decision time. Keep going, though it seems impossible, or turn around, slide back down and wonder what might have been. I won't lie...the urge to slide back down and go about life is extremely tempting.

The mountain seems impossible. Feels impossible. I am not kidding when I say it will take a miracle to move some of the mountains. A big miracle.

I find myself running back to God's word...for (constant) re-assurement that the miracles I need are really possible. You know what I find? They are. My God is a big God...bigger than any of these mountains. I just need to believe it and carry on with what He has called me to. It's not about how I feel...or how things seem to be. No more turning around and running back down the mountain. It's all the way this time.

Have any mountains this Monday?

*images from www.googleimages.com *

Sunday, April 20, 2008

There Are Reasons...

I may have mentioned (a few hundred times) that I do not really enjoy cooking. Granted, there have been times when I sort of get on a cooking "kick"...but it is seldom and short lived. I think I've narrowed it down to why...

  1. It makes a mess. All I do is clean up messes...why would I want to create another one?

  2. I do not enjoy buying groceries. The lists, the kids in the store, forgetting stuff, menus, unloading groceries etc. If I cook...I use up the groceries...thus having to return to the store. :)

  3. My kids pretty much never like anything good that I make.

  4. My children turn into wild animals when I try to cook. Trying to kill each other, or constantly getting into things they shouldn't.

  5. I am convinced that one can live on cheese quesadillas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and pizza...along with a Flintstones Vitamin. :)

So...they're not very good reasons...but nonetheless, they are my reasons.


However...the other night I was hungry for these:


Kabobs :) ...Marinated. I know, I know, you're now way impressed that I marinated (for 8 hours) and cut up all that stuff AND put it on skewers. I myself, was quite impressed. Impressed enough to take a picture, HA! They were delicious and healthy...my kids of course only ate a little bit and then proceeded to stab each other with the skewers....but that is another post.

Here is the marinade recipe if you're interested: 1/3 C olive oil, 1/4 C lemon juice, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, 1/2 tsp lemon pepper. YUM :)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Reunited

We all have them...best friends that we've lost contact with. It happens. It's life. You say it will never happen to you...but it does.

Yesterday, I had the chance to reconnect with my very best friend growing up. Laurin and I became friends in 3rd grade. Our moms' decided that we should walk home (to my house) together after school. We were not crazy about this idea...we didn't care much for each other. It took some time and I don't know when it happened, but it did. We became friends...inseparable friends...all the way through high school.

Most all of my memories growing up include her and her family. Our personalities were opposite of each other. She was quiet and I was more outgoing. She was extremely intelligent and driven (now has her PHD in heart disease research) and I was just an average student and a bit of an under-achiever. But together, our friendship just...worked.



*notice my mullet...with a perm...lovely. I also think I'm wearing Laurin's shirt...I borrowed her clothes constantly! *

We had not seen each other for years...and its been even longer since we've just sat down to chat and catch up. Yesterday, as we sat and visited for two hours, its as if no time had gone by. She'll always be on my best friends list. I can't explain it. No matter the time, or how much we grow and change...the history is the same. Nothing can change it. I still adore her :)


* This is us as Sophomores. It was a prom. Look at her beautiful- naturally curly- red hair. I am still jealous of it...and of my sophomore body :) *


We've now swapped email addresses, and plan on keeping in touch better. Sometimes its that initial first step of reconnecting that's the most awkward...but now, we're back :) If you have those friends...long lost friends...find them...it's SO worth it!

Friday, April 18, 2008

It Doesn't Get Any Better...

Seriously...does it get any better than this for supper!?!

Coco-Puffs with a little Fruit Loops thrown in...only Eli.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Suddenly

It's been one of those mornings...again. Amidst the craziness, my mind is constantly trying to find something "bloggable" about it all. Nothing. Nothing very original anyways.

So I sat down with my Cheerios, Bible, Sansa, and ginormous mug of coffee, and handed it over to God. Finally. And He took me to two things simultaneously. Both are things I've read/heard countless times...but today, I heard them differently.

The first was in John 17. It's the passage where Jesus is praying and pouring out his heart to his heavenly father. There's something about it that is so intimate...and amazing. Today, I was plugging along and then got to verse 10. It so struck my heart that I sobbed. Immediately! Now...I'm a crier...I cry easily, but not usually like this. God hit me with this.

V10 (The Living Bible) " And all of them, since they are mine, belong to you; and you have given them back to me with everything else of yours, and so they are my glory!"

...we are His glory...I am His GLORY!?!? What? I thought this version must have it wrong, so I pulled out my NIV, and it pretty much said the same idea. Wow. Today, He hit me with just what I needed...that awesome reminder of how HUGE His love is for me. He knows me inside and out...all the ugly stuff, and still...because I'm covered in Him....I bring Him glory. Something to think about...

The second thing that made my heart stop, was the song Suddenly by Toby Mac. I've heard it a million times...I love it, but today it's as if I heard it differently. It's a fun song...and then suddenly, in the middle, it changes a little and there's this huge block of amazing truth...and it hit me today!

Here it is...

"Sometimes it’s in an instant, Sometimes we wait for years

But it comes down to the moment when faith eclipses fear

Your wandering is over The other side is real

You’ve broken through Your mountain moved

And mercy is revealed His mercy is revealed, yeah "

This hits on so many areas in my life right now. Faith eclipsing fear. His mercy revealed.

In case you want to hear the song, here it is. Fair warning: video and sound quality are not the greatest, but you'll get the idea :) I wish I could have you all over, to my mini-van...then we could ride around my tiny town listening to Toby Mac, while my children cover their ears and beg me to turn it down. Good times.



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Do-Over





*Disclaimer* You should read this post, from today, FIRST...otherwise, the following is not funny...at all.


After visiting Dull As Dishwater today, I felt the need to take this quiz. The need, today, was wrong.


The following PROVES, once and for all,that I am a seriously bad test-taker! Always have been and apparently I always will be.

How appropriate that, on the day I post about being a tiny-town girl, I take a quiz that tells me I should live in the big city. Hilarious!


I am not loafers....I am simply a terrible quiz taker. :)

Why couldn't I be flip flops!?! I need a do-over.





You Are Loafers





You are confident, powerful, and successful.

Hard working and business like, you always dress and act appropriately.



You are consistent and a bit conservative.

You aren't really susceptible to trends, although you always dress well.



While you tend to be formal, you know how to adapt to your surroundings.

So are professional at work... but more laid back when your with your friends.



You should live: In a huge city



You should work: In a competitive field where you can rise to the top



Tiny Town

Yesterday's post on the quirkiness of my tiny town has got me thinking. Every tiny town has its quirks...its part of what makes them so wonderful. I am, of course, biased, but I happen to think that my tiny town is one of the absolute best.
I grew up is a small town (only about 20 minutes from the tiny town I live in now.) The town I grew up in was about 10,000 people. It had a private college, Wal-Mart, 2 grocery stores, fast food and lots of pizza places. I loved growing up there...until high-school...when I decided in all my infinite knowledge...that I was meant to live in the city. I came to this conclusion after endless nights of sitting around with friends, trying to think of something to do!
After Ben and I got married, we immediately moved up to Minneapolis, MN so he could go to seminary. I loved the city. I especially loved shopping in the city. And then...it happened. I had my first baby about 3 years into our stay there...and I was ready to head back to the small town.
It's not that there was anything wrong with the city...it was the simple fact that I am a small town girl, through and through. Little did I know how small town I really am!!! Had you told me, in high school, that I would eventually live in a smaller town, I would have given you a hearty "what- Ever." It turns out, I'm not just a small-town girl...I'm a tiny town girl. A "population of 637 people" tiny town, (according to the US Census Bureau.) I happen to think that the town is a tad bigger than that...but who am I to argue with The Bureau.
What on earth can possibly be so fantastic about this town?!? (I know you're dying to find out)
Here are just some of things that make it great...
  • My neighbors. Especially Marlas (& her fam.) We car-pool, swap kids, and she even puts up with having to look at all the toys that get left all over our yard :) She also grew up in this tiny town, and was kind enough to introduce me to lots of people. I still call her to ask who is who and how they're connected to so and so (because everyone here is connected somehow!) She helped me, in all my weirdness, to feel like I fit in, and that it priceless!
  • Everyone that lives in town has a PO Box rather than getting mail delivered to your home (unless you live on Main St. I think) Anyways, everyday I go and get to run into people at the post office...usually the same people, because, apparently we're on the same schedule :)
  • The post office is closed from 12-2. I'm not quite sure why. It just is.
  • We have a bank, library, tiny cafe, and a hardware store (which is run by my other neighbor.) People can smoke in the hardware store...but not in the bank or library.
  • We did have a bar...but it closed. I don't care for bars, so it made me *smile*
  • On Main St...you park in the center of the road. But only on Main St. I really need to get a pic of that...
  • 3 churches. Ours is the little one, across from the big one...that's generally how I give directions :)
  • The school system is AWESOME! We combine with another small town and so far I love it. I had always told Ben, that if we were within an hour of our home town, that I would drive our kids to that school :) Well, we're 20 minutes, but I have no urge to open enroll, and that says something :)
  • The town floods. It used to flood much worse...but now there's a dike so its not as bad. People from other towns like to joke about it...I like to launch into a lengthy explanation of the dike that was built :) We live on "Water Street"...but we don't get water...Praise God!
  • We're only 10 minutes from a small city...and 20 minutes to get into the city to Starbucks. That is important.
  • I frequent the gas station on a daily basis, for bread, milk and cheap bananas. And donuts, but lets not talk about that.
  • The people are just...kind. Everyone waves to everyone, and you chat like you're friends...even if you've just met.
  • There's so much more...but this is getting way too long...you get the idea!
In the end...I know that my true love for this town is something supernatural that God has done in my heart. There are no logical explanations for the love. It is simply that this is where He has called us to minister to His people...this is where He's made us fit. I am so crazy-thankful for that!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It May Be Boring...

Ya'll must have had a s-l-o-w Monday! Know how I know?!? Here's how...I had a record number of visitors AND comments on a post about old, dated wallpaper :) God Bless you all for humoring me and totally making my day! I sure wish I had something really wonderful and spiritual to share with you in return...but...I don't. I'm afraid it's a bullet-point list day...
  • Interesting thing about projects...when you update one thing, then the rest of the stuff all of a sudden looks worse than it did before. Why?!? For example...the gold carpet in the hallway perfectly matched the wallpaper. Back in the day...I'm sure it was wonderful. Then, along comes me, and changes the wall color and behold: now the gold carpet looks like...well...gold carpet :) Let's all begin praying that I now fall head over heels with gold!
  • I have been hearing the sounds of lawnmowers...which is music to my ears. Now, you should know, the grass here is just barely starting to turn green. People in my tiny town are not actually riding their lawnmowers in order to mow...they're just taking them for a cruise around town. When we first moved here, I found this a tad peculiar. But now...its part of me. You can't miss the sound of a riding lawn mower coming down the street...my kids run to the windows to see who it is this time. I haven't actually participated in this yet...but this just might be the summer. Now you know why I love this town...and why I just "fit." Quirky.
  • We have Ladies Bible Study tonight, YAY! This weeks study is on pride...and Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been doing a great job of hurting mine the past two weeks! Whatever it takes for there to be more of Him and LESS of me!!!
  • Today I get to clean the bathroom. Joy. If it weren't for 10 ladies coming to my home every-other week, it may never get done. Hopefully none of them pull back the shower curtain, because I am not responsible for what they may see...it is not on the list today.
  • I'll actually leave you with something worthwhile. In my Bible reading this morning, God brought me to this passage...and I know why.

Micah 6:8 "God has told you that He wants, and this is all it is: to be fair and just and merciful, and to walk humbly with your God."

Enjoy your Tuesday!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Good Enough

I re-learned some things about myself this weekend.
  1. I get all these great project ideas in my head...and then I plunge ahead, and midway though, think to myself...."WHY!?!? Why couldn't you just leave it alone!?!?" Every. Single. Time.

  2. I am NOT a perfectionist. Not even close. I sometimes like to pretend I am...but I'm not. I'm the... "Yeah, that's good enough" kinda person.

  3. My husband always steps in to help with the project...without ever saying..."Why on earth, woman!?!" (that's what I would say, if I were him :)

Apparently I was inspired by the ceiling fan this weekend. Inspired enough to begin the dreaded task of taking down the wallpaper in the hallway and then painting. In my head...it sounded easy. In real life...not so much.

Old home + Old walls + Old wallpaper + Me = Big Fat Mess!



Here's the Journey...

Old wallpaper, which I'm sure in its day, was fantastic.

The beginning of scraping...seemed like fun...
The more we scraped...the more trouble we found...

This was all over the house...it's fun to track all over, I guess.

Here is Jake in front of the partially finished wall. A lovely shade of "gingerbread"

I really do love the quirkiness of old homes. And I really do love the odd texture that the uneven walls created when I painted over it. It's perfectly imperfect....and good enough!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ceiling Fan Update...

Back in February, when I first started blogging, this was one of my first posts. If you weren't an avid reader back then, and let's face it...you probably weren't, then you should definitely go read the post, otherwise the picture below will not seem nearly as wonderful and amazing!!

OK, for those of you who are caught up on the situation, you will be happy to know that the old has been replaced with a "free & still in great condition thanks to Ben's brother and his wife used ceiling fan." It's fabulous.





Look at those blades...all five of them. Our boys have been threatened with their lives if they EVER even ponder the idea of hanging from the ceiling fan again...I know...we are terribly cruel parents.
*BIG thanks to our friend Todd for coming over (at 9AM on a Saturday) and installing it. I promise we will not try to think of other things that you could fix...except, there is that...*

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Smorgasbord

OK, so here's some more on yesterday's topic. I opened up my Bible today to Galatians. This is significant because I have no organized order for my daily reading. I like to open it up and trust God to take me where I need to go...because I haven't a clue. He knew Galatians was the right place.
For those of you, who are like me, and can't remember off the top of your head what Galatians is about...I'll give you my super quick overview: Paul wrote to churches in Southern Galatia (and for Christians everywhere) a call to faith and freedom in Jesus i.e. no more legalism. GOOD STUFF!

Here's what grabbed me.. Galatians 5:22-23,
"But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control..."
Key here: Spirit controls our lives...

I need all of that fruit. You may remember from this that I do not particularly enjoy eating fruit. BUT, that Holy Spirit fruit...it's kinda like this to me....

Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 11, 2008

All About the Heart

We have rules in our house. Rules like...
  • no band-aid unless there is blood.
  • no hitting,kicking,punching etc, each other.
  • at home, you must pee sitting down. For mom's sanity, you must.
  • you don't have to make your bed, but you do need to clear a path in the Legos so that she can put away your clothes.
  • There are others, but you get the idea

Do you know what happens? My children find ways around these rules. For example, Jakob came up to me this morning with an old "owie" (it had a scab already) He claimed he needed a band-aid and I gave him "the rule." Two minutes later, he returned, to show me the blood he now had...due to peeling the scab off. Even a 2 year old knows there's ways around the rules. He got the band-aid.

I've been thinking (again.) This time, it's about legalism. Probably because it's the last chapter I've read in Breaking Free :) There is such a fine line between godly rules and legalism, and it all has to do with the heart. Anyways, I've been pondering why legalism, or rules to follow is so much easier than genuinely opening ourselves up to loving Jesus and those around us and examining our own hearts.

Here's what I think it all breaks down to...legalism allows us to not look at our motives, which means we never really have to deal with ourselves. It only requires a list of do's and dont's. Obeying a list of rules we've made never requires us to even connect with God, instead, we look at the list and check it off. Yuck.

I am completely and utterly annoyed by legalistic people. I meet them, and I want to run for the hills. It's the very thing I never want to be. Yet, there have been times in my own life when legalism has ruled. At the time, I didn't realize it. But, looking back, I can see it now. It also coincides with the times in my life that pride had free reign. Beth Moore uses a phrase that "Microscopes replace mirrors." How true that is. May the Holy Spirit never allow me to look away from the mirror.

With my boys...I want them to grow up seeing first hand how wonderful a relationship with Jesus is. They will have rules, obviously. But I don't want them to just learn how to obey the rules without understanding and accepting where they come from AND learning how to examine their own hearts. We can find ways around rules, but when confronted with the state of our own hearts...there's just no way around that. Legalism creates resentment in peoples hearts...because deep down inside, we know we can't be good enough.

Today I am praying that in my own heart, and in the hearts of my boys, legalism would not be allowed. That we wouldn't minimize who Jesus is...into a bunch of rules. Rather, that the Holy Spirit will help us to show our faith for what it really is. May we not get in the way of Jesus. May we fully appreciate the love, mercy, and forgiveness He has shown us and then go out and show that to others.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You...

So I went to the doctor this morning, to see if I had strep throat or not. Turns out I don't...but my tonsils looked disgusting enough for the doc to give me antibiotics anyway. If only you could have seen my happy dance. I'm all for the antibiotics...I'm feeling better already! This has bummed my kids out...they are now being supervised again...the mischief continues though.

I also got some groceries today, (man, aren't you glad you stopped by to read all this exciting information, HA!) After their feeding frenzy yesterday, there was nothing left.
I happened to pick up a bag of these...

and I thought to myself...Sarah, warn them. So, here is my warning to you ladies. If you see these lovely chips on the supermarket shelf, DO NOT BUY them, resist the urge. Walk yourself back to the produce aisle and get some carrots or grapes or something. Do you know why you should not buy these!?! Because you will eat 3/4 of the bag without even realizing it!!!! TRUST ME! Been there, done that (today.) I am apparently not feeling well enough to run...but have no problem devouring a bag of potato chips. Great. Just Great. *smiles*

The Consequences...

Remember this? Well, today this is life in the parsonage. Do you think the other pastor's wives that lived in this parsonage had days like this? I have not been feeling so hot the past few days. I think I may have gotten Jake's "sore throat, headache, chills, achy all over, leave me alone so I can get better" sickness. I just needed to rest...who I am kidding...with my children,


You Rest: You Pay the Consequences.


Yes...that is our obese Wiener Dog eating a cheese quesadilla that was prepared by a 2 year old. Good times.


This is Jake playing in his mess of

Cheese.

The boy can get into all kinds of naughty...just give him a chair.



WHY?!? Why the need to eat everything!


My sweet little Jakob, how do you do it? How do you instinctively know you can get away with all kinds of stuff when I am sick OR on the phone or *cough* computer?!? And how do you know to immediately say "I sorry! I sorry!" and then flash me those little dimples that seem to make even the naughtiest of things seem...cute? You are a brilliant little creature, you really are...but mommy is tired...time for Dora :)


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Run-On and On and On...

I've stumbled across some new blogs lately, and a few mentioned their dislike for bad grammar. *gasp* I immediately hoped they never stumble across my blog! Now I have a new complex. My grammar is very bad...I am fully aware of it. I am particularly prone to using run-on sentences. Actually, more like excessively prone to using them. The title of my blog should probably have been My Life as a Run-On Sentence.

I decided to look up the definition of a run-on sentence: a sentence containing two or more clauses not connected by the correct conjunction or punctuation. OR blah blah blah, blah blah blah :)

Here is my justification for bad sentences: I want my "voice" to be heard in my writing, I want it to sound like me. For those of you who know me, in real life, you know that when I talk, it's ONE BIG run-on sentence. So...in order for me to keep it real, I am forced to continually commit to using run-on's. It is for your benefit...really.

For those who can fully appreciate and appropriately use the English language, God bless you...for the rest of you, who can no longer remember (or care) about clauses and conjunctions, write on sister...write on :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Resisting

I am realizing that there are areas in my spiritual walk that I am resisting God. Certain areas that I see Him wanting to change, and feel Him changing, and my gut instinct is to resist Him and flee back to what is comfortable.


I am about a quarter through Breaking Free. I'm usually a speedy reader...but this one I need to really let sink in. When I read a book, I always need my own copy because I like to underline sentences that stick out to me, so that later on I can skim back through and find what I'm looking for (you should see what my Bible looks like) Anyways, needless to say, much of this book is underlined already! It's amazing how well it fits in with the Seeking Him study...maybe too well :)

Here's some of what I'm learning so far...
  • Changing my behavior & thoughts is HARD. And not fun...at all. I want a quick fix. And yet the deeper I get into this study, the more I realize how far I have left to go! I want God to do it for me...I want to just magically love difficult people...instead, God gives me opportunities to follow His instructions and love them. *God has said to me: Too bad little lady...I have a better way, keep on following Me and you'll see it*
  • Pride...it is a problem. It may be at the root of all problems. I sort of had my own definition of pride: Anyone who thinks they're better than someone else, or believes they don't need anyone else. Somewhere along the way, I adopted that definition...probably to convince myself that since I don't see myself as "better" then I obviously do not have an issue with pride. Wrong definition. SO WRONG. Seriously, any person who thinks they don't have an issue with pride is likely the very person with a HUGE pride problem!
  • Pride = Self. That's what I'm learning. At the root of all the areas that need changing, self is the problem. I am learning to humble myself, because I do not want God to do it for me :) On a side note: humbling myself is something I have to do constantly. CONSTANTLY.

There's more...so much more..but for now, the main thing is that I do not want to resist God changing me! And I'm looking ahead, longingly, for the day when changing seems easier...or there is less changing to be done! I know it will be worth it!

- A new blog friend has a wonderful post on longings...it spoke to my heart because it just "fits" with all this stuff I'm learning. She has a great way with words and God's truth!

I Said I Would...

Here goes. I may have mentioned something in this post about sharing preggo pics. I am a woman of my word...even when my word, this time, is probably a really bad idea.

It all started when my beautiful friend, Shell, who's having her first baby, said she felt huge. HA!...Oh Shell....this ones for you, hope it makes you feel better :)
This is me 3 weeks before Noah was born (2001)...THIS is huge.

Notice the black from head to toe...who was I kidding?!? Not even black could slim that baby body down!

And here is why it was totally worth it...Absolutely Priceless!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Before and After

Today I had somewhere to go where I actually got to put on heels, trouser pants, and my trench coat...as opposed to the usual jeans and ballet flats. As I was heading out of our tiny town, I stopped by our gas station (like I do every day) to buy some treats :) As I was paying for my coffee, bag of Starburst and Skittles, the cashier said to me, "You look like Tom Cruise's wife...what's her name again?" At that moment, I wanted to jump over the counter and give her a great big bear hug! How sweet! How kind! How lovely of her! How vain of me, I know :) But she did make my day with her kind words! We decided it was the haircut...(which I had seriously copied, by the way.)

This is Tom's wife, Katie Holmes...totally copying me :)
So, when I got home this afternoon I had to dig out my before & after pics from this summer when I cut my hair to copy Katie...because, honestly, who doesn't like some before & after shots!?!
Here goes.... Before: (I shouldn't have smiled...I should have looked miserably pathetic like they do in real before & after shots...what was I thinking!?!)
and the back...
and after



So there's been some slight changes since this summer cut...you can check here if you're not already completely bored :) If you've got some before & after shots, you better let me know!!

Count Me In

I've mentioned before, that I just so happen to kinda like the band Leeland.
Just a little bit, HA! I had to share this video with you...I not only love this song, but the video just cracks me up! I'm so gonna get me some yellow shorts, tube socks, and red sweatshirt to wear while I'm running around my tiny town at 6 AM!

It makes me think of the verse Nehemiah 8:10 "...the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Count Me In!




Sunday, April 6, 2008

Weird Without Church

After Jake's 3rd night of misery, I knew this morning I needed to make the trip to Urgent Care. He just looked miserable...oh, how it just rips my heart out! It seems my children prefer to get really sick during non-office hours...I am really thankful for Urgent Care! He's a trooper, and it ended up just being an ear infection, which was really the best of all the options it could be...because it's not contagious and medicine can fix it! *sigh of relief*
After Urgent Care, Jake & I had 40 minutes before the pharmacy opened, so we headed to Wal-Mart to get a few groceries. It was the strangest feeling, being in Wal-Mart, when I should have been in Sunday School! We ended up getting home about 20 minutes into the church service, so Jake and I snuck into our house so he could go back to sleep. We weren't actually sneaking...but when you live next to the church, and everyone is there but you...it feels like sneaking :)
Sundays are never the same for me, when I miss church. It's hard to explain...I think it's because I so need it...that time, set apart, to worship Him, with other believers. On days like today, I realize how often I take it for granted. I'm hoping that after a dose of antibiotics and some rest, we will be able to catch the evening service!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Things That Break...

I'm a "lamp" person. I can't explain it, but I have something against over-head lighting...I love the ambiance of lamps. I also have three boys...so almost every single lamp in our house has been taped back together with electrical tape (more than once.) The tape works great...the lamp shades...not so much. No matter how much I try to bend them back into shape, they're really never quite the same after the fall. In this pic, they were playing "spies." In their ever sneaky attempt to clobber quietly out of the office, they took my desk lamp with them. As you can see from their faces...they've done this before! It's okay...its all part of life with boys :)

Friday, April 4, 2008

New Day!

We had one of those nights last night. The kind where several kids wake up multiple times. One wet through his diaper and all over the bed, another time he needed a drink, one had a bad dream and on the way to tell us, ran into our closet door...you get the picture. But! Today is a new day! YAY!

It got off to a bit of a rough start...It had to do with Noah not liking the new jeans I got him (even though the are the SAME as his old ones!) He's been going to school for weeks in jeans with holes...not matter how many I buy, I can't keep up!


Last night, my bro Ryan, aka The Computer Whisperer, graciously fixed all my computer troubles! He also informed me he's never read a blog. *Gasp* I told him if he really loved me he'd read mine...what are sisters for?!? In 6 weeks he will graduate college and be a "Electrical Systems Engineer" or, as I think it should be called....Computer Guru. Love you, Ryan...even though you'll never read this :)


And, with these little rays of sunshine on my feet, I am ready for a NEW Day! Um...for those of you who remember this, let me explain. I blame it on Wal-Mart really, them and their every day low prices...$7 ...what could I do?!? Shame on them ;)



Happy Friday!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another Installment...

Wow! It's Thursday already?!? So, it's another installment of the little bit I like to call,

Do you think the other pastors' wives that lived in this parsonage...
  • woke up some mornings and just wanted to crawl back into bed for a few more hours.
  • wondered if any 2 year old could possibly throw more crying fits than hers does by 8:30 am.
  • had "Fill My Cup, Lord" as their favorite hymn and life theme?
  • randomly prayed that their children got their husbands math & Science genes and not hers.
  • ate Catch-A-Man dip for every meal since lunch on Tuesday?
  • was disappointed to find that her house in fact does not clean itself...but does mess itself up...interesting.
  • had days where she was certain that her computer was just "messing" with her on purpose...testing her patience?
  • felt the same special anxiety when visiting the dentist and nursing homes?!? Both of which she gets to do next week :)
  • made daily "to-do" lists, and every day for 3 weeks kept moving "sort paperwork" to the next day?
  • had God keep taking her to 1&2 Peter, over and over everyday. Good stuff.
  • fell in love with women's ministries and fell to her knees in awe of all He's accomplishing!

Happy Thursday and Happy Birthday to my sweet little neighbor girl, Sydney!