Monday, November 24, 2008

Messy Messy!

i tell you what. Family is messy. Is it not? So, this Thanksgiving I'm going to be thankful for the messiness of my family. Norman Rockwell does not reside at my house. Martha Stewart forgot to show up....Unless we are talking about the Martha from the pokey...she can come.

The other day we had a young lady to dinner and she was lamenting the struggles of her family. She looked at Jason and I and said I'm sorry my family is such a mess. We literally laughed out loud. What this young lady didn't know is that both Jason and I daily deal with the messiness of our families. They just don't live here in our town, so it's not evident too everyone. But we enjoy daily drama comparable to daytime television.

I'm here to say I wouldn't trade it all for a neater, normal version. The lessons I've learned through the junk, sin, and sorrow of my family has shaped who I am today. And I love my family. I wouldn't trade a single one of them. I would trade some of their painful choices and Godless living, but trade them, never.

So this Thanksgiving I'm thankful for the mess of the Tippetts/Thewlies family. I'm thankful for the trials we are currently facing, I'm thankful for the crazy, the random, the painful, the hurt. May the trials ever point me to my perfect Father. I pray as you love your messy family today that your don't allow the mess to create a bitter, hardness of heart in your life. I pray that you would remember your own messiness and depravity showing your own hearts need for a saviour this holiday season.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mooshy Heart

Can I tell you nothing, and I mean nothing, softens my heart quicker than a little boy trying his best not to cry. Today at CC (classical conversations) I spotted a little boy looking forlorn and broken. I sat down beside him to find out that his body parts for a big project were MIA. He turned his face away trying not to show his broken heart. If I could have, in that moment, I would have ripped out my own organs for his project. His bottom lip was quivering and he was desperate for me to stop being kind to him so he could go back to the hard work of not crying. It just about killed me. His sweet mom came and hug, hug, hugged him and explained what happened.

I tell you if I could bottle the sweet preciousness of a broken heart I would. I would wear it around my neck close to my heart. We all try our best to avoid pain and brokenness when it is usually just the thing we need to return to sweet communion with our Saviour. So often we walk around with hard, grumpy hearts trying not to show our bottom quivering lip. Brokenness is okay, who needs to have it all together? Not me, not in this season of my life. I just can't hold it in anymore. Come on tears!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Midnight Confessions of Not a Super Mom

Yes, it's late, no, I'm not sleeping. I'm awake, not sure why, but pondering all that I have to do and wondering if my plate isn't a bit too full. This all must sound very redundant and repetitive to all my readers.

This homeschooling thing is great and terrible, wonderful and exhausting, amazing and frustrating. It's what I've wanted and nothing I imagined. Mostly, I'm pregnant and tired, which, as you know, I didn't really factor into this year. Today I started Ella on a longish assignment and snuck into bed with Harper. What?

I read these blogs with women who have ten children, have a clean house, grind their own wheat for bread, and teach at home. Is a drug on the market I don't know about? How do they do it? I'm not sure that I can. Realizing this doesn't mean I'm a failure or that homeschooling is a terrible idea. I actually love it, but the limitations I foresee are in me. Tonight I'm realizing that maybe next year it may not be in the cards for this family. I have a little boy who needs time and patience to learn to talk and a new baby needing my whole the middle of the night no less. I don't have family close willing to pitch in, and Jason does so much already. Tonight I'm ready to look at all our options.

So before I sneak off for a nap tomorrow, I'll be spending some time thinking about next year...maybe even next semester.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Praise Be!

Proverbs 11:21,24-25
The offspring of the righteous will be delivered.....One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Ella and I read Proverbs 11 together and it was so full we could hardly pick a favorite verse to copy this morning for handwriting.

The good news for this cloudy, cold morning is that Harper Joy prayed to ask Jesus to come into her heart and forgive her of her sins last night with her daddy. I was busily working at CVS scouting out the deals, when a little voice called me. She said, "Mommy, I asked Jesus in my heart, I cleaned the playroom, and can we go to Dylan's house?" The mind of a four year old is something to behold.

The gospel is ever present in our home. We use several moments in our day to explain to our children their need for Christ, our need for Christ as parents, and the many other people in our lives need for Christ. When our child is disciplined we explain sin and how we all have a need for a saviour. If we simply addressed behavior in our children they would become legalist who have no need for a heart change, simply a Pharisee learning how to perform.

Harper has a lifetime to go to understand what she did last night. The Lord has begun a great work in her long before yesterday. She is a child of the Covenant and the rich blessings of the Lord will be with her throughout her days. Pray for her young heart that she would desire to be faithful to Christ, hate sin, and live in the freedom of knowing Jesus. Praise Be!

Monday, November 10, 2008


How do you manage the puzzles in your home? I realize that my way is certainly not the best way to encourage actually doing the puzzles. That has now all changed. My sweet number three has found the puzzle stash in my antique cabinet, and he is adept at opening it. Puzzles now cover every surface of my home.

It seems like an exciting time in our home. But the mess is likely to set me over the edge. I certainly do not have a perfectly clean home. Messes abound in corners, on counters, in the laundry room, on bookshelves, and in not so secret drawers all through the house. But puzzle pieces...they make me nutty. I hate missing pieces to our puzzles. But this seems better, they are actually DOING the puzzles. Isn't that the point.

I need a better plan. Managing kids, puzzles, my own quirks and this home can be daunting.

Just one last random thought. Yesterday, in church, our pastor was expressing appreciation for Jason and his hard work passing his test. He mentioned all that Jason does and in his list he talked about how he is going to soon have a fourth child. I don't know why it struck me, but hearing that we will be having four children took my breath away. My body has certainly been telling me it's coming, but somehow yesterday...hearing it from the pulpit really struck me. I still haven't wrapped my mind around this addition. On that point, if anyone has any boy name suggestions...I'm all ears. Not that we think it is a boy....we just have many more ideas for girl names. Boy names are so hard. Especially if you want a unique name. And just to irritate you all, we never find out the sex of our babies. Especially you Autumn.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Who's Coming to Dinner

When is the last time you had someone to your house for dinner? What keeps you from opening your home to someone else? Have you ever thought of what you are missing by being isolated. Do you ever feel like you are lacking community, but you want someone else to fix it for you? Do you feel disconnected from your church family?

I think we can make many correlations from opening our homes to opening our hearts to others and Christ. I think many of us believe if I hide my cold, hard heart then no one will see it. If I shelter my pain, it will lessen. If I withdrawal from others they will see that I need someone to bring me out of myself.

I challenge you. Open your home. Not to impress....I actually challenge you not to impress anyone. Just open your home and consider being willing to be venerable about your struggles and strengths. No complaining about failures of others, just honest talk. No gossip.

Here is the question Jenny Gates asked me that always, always stopped me in my tracks and brought me instantly to tears. How is your heart? I have found it is a tough question to ask. It is a tough question to be asked, but isn't it our greatest have our heart loved and cared for in a real way. More than what you put on the menu, be sure to ask the hard question. How is your heart? How can I encourage you today? Do you know you are loved today? How? Pass the salt.

So, grow your heart, make a pot of soup. Ask the person next to you at church if they could come by for lunch. If they can't, ask someone else. Tommorrow we are having a young college couple newly facing the challenges of love. I can hardly wait.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Miss Nasty

Oh, what a failure I am. Morning by morning new sins I enjoy. Morning by morning new ugly I see. Morning by Miss Nasty awakes. Okay, so it's Morning by morning new mercies I see. But I don't see them. I don't look for them. I get woken before 6a.m. and the depraved, ugly side of me rears it's head to my husband.

I'm embarrassed to say how badly I acted this morning toward Jason before he left for his very important final licensure test. I can write about it now because I have repented, my husband has forgiven me, and I am now holding myself accountable by sharing my ugly to my tens and tens of readers.

Jason was in a flurry of getting ready for the men's retreat, his final tests before presbytery, and his Friday morning Bible study. He hates getting ready in the morning without wearing shoes. We have hardwood floors. You get the picture. All I could lay there and think when I heard him busily getting ready, was not... get out of bed and help. Not.... make him a cup of coffee Not... get out of bed to pray with him. It was simply the selfish, angry, when are those loud shoes going to wake up Lake? And, doesn't he know I'm going to be here alone with the kids for two days?

You can imagine what happened. Lake awake....5:45a.m., mom mad, Jason stressed and wanting kindness....not a pretty picture, ey.

I called my good friend and confessed. She was great! She stopped me, prayed for Jason's difficult day, and we laughed a bit over my bad, embarrassing behavior. But, she made no excuses for it. Thank you Autumn. I then got off the phone, called and repented to my husband. Who, thankfully, forgave me.

I hate these lost opportunities to love our husbands well. They can be loud and goofy, but we are quiet and grumpy. I hate how I behaved, and want to better next time. Just because it's early and more difficult for me to be kind does not give me an excuse to forsake the high calling of "love is kind." It's in those difficult moments that love really counts, not when it is easy.

So, I blew it today, I pray that tomorrow when I wake up without the help of my husband, my heart will be kind to my household. Pray for me. I hope you have had victories of kindness today.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Little Pills

My husband and I regularly offer our children "little pills." We give them vitamins, but we tell them they are used to keep them small. We so cherish this time with our children. We know it is fleeting and full. We are especially enjoying right now because all of the children are sleeping through the night. We know when #4 comes our nights will be long. So, before I'm huge and uncomfortable or with newborn and tired, I'm going to use this blog to cherish my children.

Last week I wrote about Ella Grace our oldest daughter. I have spent the afternoon with my sweet ticket number two. Harper Joy Sonnet Tippetts. For a little person, she has a big name. And little she is. Last week she put on her bothers 18 month pants and the fit. They were short, but they were actually big around the waist.

She is a yummy little bite of sweet sweet, love. She has many quirky speech issues that are endearing and she is my lap child. She has the cutest space between her front teeth and she often tells me she has an "impertinent question." She means important, but I just cannot bring myself to correct her.

In public, she is quiet and a bit shy. In private, watch out! When, in a group, she doesn't seek attention, but she notices everything. She remembers things to the most minute detail. She wakes up kind and doesn't need a nap in order to have a good attitude. She struggles sharing with her brother, but adores her big sister. She is intense with her schooling. She loves handwriting. She always wants to be the first to pray. Not really for the love of prayer, but more the love of being first. I'll take it how I can get it. Her prayers are sweet and long.

What a gift our children are!

A Heavy Heart

Are you this morning thirsting for the living God, and unhappy because you cannot find him to the delight of your heart? Have you lost the joy of religion, and is this your prayer, "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation"? Are you conscious also that you are barren like the dry ground; that you are not bringing forth the fruit unto God which he has a right to expect of you; that you are not so useful in the Church, or in the world, as your heart desires to be? Then here is exactly the promise which you need, "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty." You shall receive the grace you so much require, and you shall have it to the utmost reach of your needs. Water refreshes the thirsty: you shall be refreshed; your desires shall be gratified. Water quickens sleeping vegetable life: your life shall be quickened by fresh grace.....Whatever good quality there is in divine grace, you shall enjoy it to the full.
Morning by Morning Charles H. Spurgeon

My heart is a bit heavy and uncertain this morning. My greatest fear is that life in it's most tender form will be further threatened. So, for the unborn my heart is a heavy. I do fear current laws against partial birth abortion will be overturned.

That said, I also do not think this came as a surprise to the Lord. I still know Him today as I did yesterday. I woke up with the freedom to read and pray and enjoy my coffee this morning. I am still at liberty to teach my children at home and the day is shaping up to be beautiful. My heart may be heavy today, but today I still have much to be thankful for in my life. He is still on the throne, and still very concerned about the affairs of my day, more importantly, the state of my heart. I do not wish for my soul to become hard and unkind. I may disagree, but I will not become ugly in the process. I hope to remain soft and kind in the conversation about the future of this country. I will certainly be praying for our new elected officials.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

For my strength is made perfect in weakness. 2Cor:12:9

A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God's work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness......God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength.....That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth he casteth away; he will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that thou hast before he will put his own into thee; he will first clean out thy granaries before he will fill them with the finest of wheat....The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in his battles but the strength which he himself imparts. Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give thee victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.
Morning by Morning By Charles H. Spurgeon

A broken, deflated spirit is not something to forsake. We spend so much of our daily energy chasing after happiness and forget the lessons of the season of suffering we are facing. We are in the pursuit of filling ourselves up in order to reach that point of what we think, must be the joy we are after or are deserved. As believers, we should seek fervently after being emptied of ourselves in order to be used by the Lord. When the false pursuit of happiness fades a true, mature understanding of who Christ is can enter into our lives.....The daily mundane moments of our lives. So, here's to expecting the Lord today more that my own satisfaction and pleasure.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Okay, here goes. I've been tagged before, but I didn't really know what it meant. So this is my first attempt at one of these. Thanks Amy. It's been making me tabulate my random thoughts....Which lately, they all feel random. And on a loop. Does that ever happen to any of you? The same thoughts repeating in my head over and over. It could be the drugs, the pregnancy, or just all the crazy in my mom brain. So here goes. Seven things you may or may not know about me.

1. Makeup. I don't get it. I don't. I know I would be improved by it, but I truly cannot wrap my mind around how it works. When I say this, people always go on about natural beauty and you don't need it yadda, yadda, yadda. I totally disagree (which, I know, they must also). I don't have good skin, I really could use some color, and I see really pretty makeup out there. So I'm really not hunting a compliment. I don't get it. I don't know when I would put it on during my day. I don't really know what to buy, and I am terrible at getting in the habit of doing anything besides snuggling, reading and drinking coffee. Oh, and having babies I guess.

2. I'm a tomboy through and through. Hence above issues. But I don't like the term tomboy really. I'm Kara. Kara Tippetts to be exact. I've never thought of myself as a boy, I've always enjoyed being a girl. Except when I got these enormous boobs. Then, I felt like my body did a major betrayal to me. No matter, I've always just felt like me. Luckily Jason met me as a backpack guide when I went unshowered for weeks at a time. I like pretty things, I just don't need them to feel complete. My sister is the beauty in our family. I love seeing her look great. I love her nice things, but I do not covet them. I feel so glad for her, because she is who she is. It has always been so great that we are so different. We have such a freedom in our relationship because of that. She could not wrap her mind around being me, and I couldn't imagine being her. But I am so VERY thankful that she is my sister, I wouldn't want another me to deal with in this world.

3. I love people. I love really knowing people. I sometimes feel limited in the time I have to know people in a real way. I don't like casual relationships, and will rarely enter into surface conversation. I like asking hard questions. I like knowing the struggles of others. I feel encouraged when someone shares a heavy burden with me they have never turned loose. I feel thankful for people who are truthful about pain and not trying to cover it up with false happy.

4. I love cooking, but mostly because dinner is a place #3 happens in our home. The food is icing. I like people in my home. I hope when my kids are older, our house will be full of kids staying into the wee hours just to have a place to have fun, be honest, and feel safe.

5. I have always wanted to write a book. It would be based on my hero. If you read this blog you should know who that is. Other than Jason.... I love, love, love books. I see a book I've read and loved and feel sad that I've met it. Sometimes I say to the book, (in my head), "I wish I hadn't already met you, I sure could use a book like you in my life right now." I could re-read it, but it's just not the same. I think books and authors stretch my mind and heart in ways that is so personal and encouraging that I will always make time to read. I especially love a male author that captures female characters in real, meaningful, tender ways. I think they are men I would like to know. I think they must be like Jason. Like my new favorite friend Wendell Berry. Amy, if you can't get him, let me know...I ship a new friend to you.

6. I have gotten my daughter out of bed in the middle of the night to apologize to her about a bad attitude or sin that I've hurt her with. It's often in the quiet before sleep where God gently shows me the ugly in my heart. I sneak into her bed in tears and we have a sweet quiet conversation together. I always re-apologize in the morning, but I want her to know how very important saying I'm sorry to her really is to me. I'm very thankful for the moments the Lord speaks in the still small voice to soften my heart. Oh, by the way, Jason has had many a middle of the night apology too. Or the sudden waking up, where I tell him he isn't allowed to die. Have any of you done that?

7. Final random thought, I don't like being around women who are negative and sarcastic about their husbands. Or women who talk like sex is a chore instead of a gift....and great fun! I invite women to share struggles in their marriage if they are looking for ways to love their husbands better, but not if they are just wanting to vent and be hateful. Someone once told me to keep from circles of women who speak ill of their husbands. That advice has served me well. I certainly do not have a perfect marriage or husband, but it is my desire to esteem my husband with my speech, actions, and attitudes. I enjoy having friends that do the same for me. When I can share a particularly difficult season in my marriage and they help me brainstorm ways for me to be kind to and love Jason better, rather than jump on the grumpy train with me.
So, I have a lot of people I'd like to tag, but not a lot that actually blog. First, Angela, you have a blog, or you should get one started. She is my sister-in-law (love). I would love to hear the random thoughts that are sneaking around in her awesome, tired mommy brain.

Megan and Jess, two wonderful writers and friends from my camp days. I feel like I almost know them better now through blogging than I did at camp. They have both changed and are both so much the same. We have all married our camp loves. Craig, I would tag you, but I just don't see you doing this. You could surprise me though.

Monica, a new blog friend from Homespun Heart. We have never met, but have many mutual friends. I love your heart.

Now, people that should have a blog so I can read what you have to say...Autumn and Jonna, but I'm glad I get to hear your voices almost every day. That's it Amy, I hope I did you proud. I'm tired and slow at linking. I'll try and figure it out in the morning.
A place to find encouragement to love your little ones, your husbands and those you come in contact with daily. Two does not have to be terrible. These are years to grow not simply get through!