Friday, December 31, 2010

The Cottage Home: Laptop / Kindle / I-Pad Sleeve Tutorial

The Cottage Home: Laptop / Kindle / I-Pad Sleeve Tutorial

I so so so want to make this! Autumn...think we can?

Love Today!

You know the days that just feel too full of peace. Too much goodness in the simple, I'm feeling very undeserving. I'm enjoying the quiet of my home, as I watch my kids play pretend out in the back yard. Jason moved the spent Christmas tree into the yard and Lake is pretending he's cutting it down. The girls and I have been reading Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace, and I'm sure they are recreating the scenes from the beautiful story.

I'm cooking for a fish fry with friends (family) tonight, and also for a day with old friends tomorrow. I'm thinking about this moment, this delicious moment of peace and I'm so thankful.

Tonight I'm making cookies, salad, and evil dip that is going to cause me to gain 5 pounds before next weekend. And I'm cooking spaghetti for a favorite family of about 10 that will come down the mountain from Asheville tomorrow. They are the best, but the boys have gotten so big, so I'm cooking loads. My favorite thing about them is...well, one of my favorite things, is that they like strawberry jam on their garlic bread. I made sure to stock up.

I'll pass on this amazingly simple evil recipe given to me by one of the college girls in our church. It's pure college food, and I told her we can't be friends now that she introduced me.

Evil Dip

Hunk Cream Cheese (the whole hunk)
Can Chicken Breast
1 Cup Ranch Dressing
1 Cup Wing Sauce

Serve with tortilla chips, are just pour it down your throat.... Ugh, it's too good. I love it all mixed together cold. She said you can add cheese to the top and serve it hot. Not me, cold...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Little Nest

Having all the kids home is such a sweet gift. I love the moments with each child, hearing them play with kindness with one another. Reading books, watching movies, going to a museum, cooking, snow, snuggles, sleeping a little, it's been a ball of a break. I don't want the kids to go back...

2010 has been a Christmas break that will go down in history as one of my very most favorites!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller

In this story (of the prodigal) the father represents the Heavenly Father Jesus knew so well. St. Paul writes: "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses." (2 Cor 5:19). Jesus is showing us the God of Great Expenditure, who is nothing if not prodigal toward us, his children. God's reckless grace is our greatest hope, a life-changing experience, and the subject of this book.

After finishing Counterfeit Gods by Keller, I was excited to jump right into Prodigal God. Last night, after a long conversation with friends and reading the introduction of this book, I felt a new excitement for understanding the gospel in this season of my life.

Recently, a young woman came to my house seeking to be resorted and encouraged in her faith. She was extremely tender hearted and repentant of her sin. She needed to be reminded of the extravagent love of the Father. It was my privledge to lavish on this dear sister in Christ. I remember something she said to me, that I have been constantly been reminded of in my tough days. She said someone asked her to specifically speak the gospel into her struggle with her sin.

As I have reflected on that amazing advice, I consider how that widom applies to me in this season of my life. Where do I need to be deepened by the gospel? Where am I forsaking the lavish love of the Father? Where am I acting like the older brother? How do I represent the gospel in my day, with my children, in my community, in my mundane moments. Sometimes I hear myself speak, and I know I must repent and seek the lavish love provided in the forgiveness in Christ.

Today, I'm going to try and speak the gospel into my life.

Epic Rap Battle!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Timothy Keller: Counterfeit Gods

I just finished this wonderfully convicting book. He drew so many connections from scripture to the idol factory of our hearts. It has brought new life to old stories and connected me personally to my sin struggles and the sin struggles of the many many characters in the Old Testament. I highly recommend this book. It's a short book, but, for me, not a quick read. I had to slowly digest this book, as it was highly convicting to me personally. I'll leave you with a quote...

"We think we've learned about grace, set our idols aside, and reached a place where we're serving God not for what we're going to get from him but for who he is. There's a certain sense in which we spend our entire lives thinking we've reached the bottom of our hearts and finding it is a false bottom. Mature Christians are not people who have completely hit the bedrock. I do not believe that is possible in this life. Rather, they are people who know how to keep drilling and are getting closer and closer."

Super Power!!

I never knew that as I grew older I would gain super powers. I somehow knew the power of a kiss on a boo boo, but I have a new super power....Well, I guess I've always had it; it's just now I have a young man who is totally powerless to my super power mom strength.

In our house heavy in the girl department, I have one lone young man. This little guy has a powerful strong will. We go rounds with this amazing personality, working not to change it, but to focus his strength of will for good.

Every night when bedtime comes around, it feels like a certain victory getting 4 children off to bed. Jason and I regularly have a combined sigh at the miraculous once we meet on the couch after bedtime.

Here is where my mom super power is at it's height. My little guy plays hard all day, and has long since given up the whole nap business. He doesn't tire out, and he doesn't really get all that grumpy at night time. When the time comes he wants two things to get to dreamtown....His blanket and his mama.

My body heat is his kryptonite. We snuggle in, he regularly says, "mom, let's talk." These are some of the sweetest talks of my day. Last night we talked about kindness and when it's hard to be kind. He told me how his best friend "doesn't do's sin." I told him he did... He said, "no mom, him don't"....

As he gets all warmed up, he's out. Normally in less than three minutes. His sleeping face is so so sweet. I can normally head to the big girls and have mommy time with them after I get Lake out. Ella is the hardest to catch...That girl can sleep...

Some nights I dread bedtime, but I usually come away blessed. It's all attitude. what a gift these babies are to me!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


This morning started... Well, not like most Sunday mornings. We weren't rushed and in a dither trying to get ready for early service. The snow kept us from the regular rush of brushing hair, finding dress shoes, getting something to eat, and getting house semi-presentable for Sunday school that meets here.

Today, it was all stopped, but the Lord still had His day. Or should I say we enjoyed His day still. After a slow cup of coffee, Jason and I having time in the Word, we slowly ate breakfast with the kids, and then had a little service of our own.

Ella read Psalm 23, the kids chose hymns, and Jason shared with us about the importance of Truth from Ephesians 4. When it was all finished the preacher gave me a nice big kiss. I'm totally coming back to that church.

Jason and I brought some order to the chaos of our lingering Christmas morning all over the house.

And with Jason having a hurting back, I decked out the kids and headed to the hill. 7 inches of snow left it's beautiful mark on our back yard. The kids started as I hefted the countless bags O trash to the dumpster. That chore done, I zoomed down the hill all different ways. Frontward...backwards...with Ella on my back... You name it. Now I'm the one with the sore back.

The kids found a tree that recently fell down across the street. They climbed on it's snowy loveliness for a long time.

Now inside, I'm going to attempt a new pizza dough recipe from Pioneer Woman. We'll see I had to improvise several ingredients, as my local grocer refuses to carry arugula.

With the cold outside, and the warmth of Christmasy thoughts inside, this lowly mom has much to be thankful for this year. My blessings are countless, my babies are precious, my husband dear, and the Love of God is boundless. I'm excited of the new things I'll learn of Him this coming year. Can't wait to share pictures from this weekend. It's been a weekend that great memories are made of!! I'm not sure it gets much better than this, (this side of heaven anyway).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Love Cup

Having four kids really lends itself to learning a lot about dealing with differing personalities. I'm not an expert, but everyday I have an opportunity to learn something new about relationships.

Jason and I often use the term "love cup." We have a house full of four children and two adults in constant need of filling their love cup. Our role as parents is to point them to the ultimate filler of our cups and lover of our souls, but, as parents, we are the stewards of the hearts of our children. We are to shepherd and love our children as we point them to their Saviour.

The thing about seeing these four very different children, we realize every personality comes with different abilities at getting what they need to feel loved. We have children that are very assertive at getting the love they require to feel fullfilled, and we have children who are quiet and struggle to ask or seek the love they need.

The responsibility of the parent is not simply to love the lovable child, but to seek the one that stands off on the sidlines or attempts to withdrawl. We, as parents, must know the love of God that persues with gentle love. The God that loves us in our sin, the God that is humble in pursuit, even in our stubbornness.

To love the loveable... Well, even the tax collectors do that.

The picture... Well, that has nothing to do with my post. Who doesn't want to look at a picture you wish you could take a bite out of...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Authentic Community

Act 2:42-47

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those where were being saved.

I was in bed the other night thinking about this passage. I love how in the presence of true and selfless community the Lord added to the community. In the absence of such community and love what happens? I look at the first verse... Devoted to teaching and fellowship. Devoted, that's a big word. I want this kind of authentic community and fellowship. It's a hard passage to put up to your life and examine oneself with daily...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Pressure

Before we were married, someone gave us the very wise advice to not travel on Christmas. They said if we started the habit of traveling to see everyone in the beginning we would feel the obligation to continue it.

So for our family tradition we stick close to home. We spend the morning with the family and the afternoon with dear friends playing Christmas Bingo. Christmas for us has always been a relaxed time. Our children have always been realistic with their want for presents. I think I may have gone bigger than I intended this year. I just hit some good deals on black Friday.

Another tradition Jason and I started was to wrap all our presents on Christmas Eve. A friend of mine reminded me of the fact that we did that because one Christmas Harper Joy kept unwrapping the presents. Isn't it funny I have no memory of that. My friend, who gets more sleep than I do, told me about Harper so I know to believe her. From that, a fun evening with my guy was created that I look forward to every year.

Our traditions are simple, church on Christmas Eve, pajamas for presents that night, and family time together. With Jason entering the pastorate, we knew sticking close to home would be a good bet for us... When I read of the stress others face traveling, I feel thankful for the choice we made early on in our marriage.

Monday, December 13, 2010


From Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller

At every point in the Bible, the writers are at pains to stress that God's grace and forgiveness, while free to the recipient, are always costly for the giver. From the earliest parts of the Bible, it was understood that God could not forgive without a sacrifice. No one who is seriously wronged can "just forgive" the perpetrator. If you have been robbed of money, opportunity, or happiness, you can either make the wrongdoer pay it back or you can forgive. But when you forgive, that means you absorb the loss and the debt. You bear it yourself. All forgiveness, then, is costly.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hard Work Pays Off

The young years of child raising are difficult and sometimes a little frustrating. People often encourage being consistent in discipline, but frankly there are moments when the fruit of consistency doesn't show. We have one young person in our house who has tried me at every turn. But I remember, love is kind, and discipline is love. I prayed, I prayed, and I sometimes cried, but alas, FRUIT!!

I have seen the softening of a heart of a certain young man in my home that has brought tears to my eyes. I hear thank you mommy, excuse me, and I see countless kind kisses placed on a certain baby sister. The other day I heard Lake say to Story, "I'm going to teach you how to be kind." Music, music to my ears.

Last night when I was snuggled up to him putting him to bed, I said, "What was the best part of your day Lake?" He said, "right now." I was so content in that moment... I fell right to sleep beside him. Jason came and woke me up and put me in our bed. Could life be any better? Parenting is tough, but the joy is boundless. I love the hard mommy work that I do. I love the gift of seeing the victories in the softening of a heart. I'm blessed beyond all understanding.

When you are weary of the work... Pray, wait, and watch what the Lord will do. It is not our job to be the Holy Spirit. It's our job to give consistent, kind direction to the hearts we have been entrusted with, the Lord will do the work. I'm just not very good at waiting. I have bought into the instant results mode. But, my oh my, it was worth the wait! It always is!!

Friday, December 10, 2010


So I'm a little behind on posting things. But I cannot deny my three fans Halloween. My babies were so cute. Lake was a blue monster, Ella was Cleopatra, Harper changed last minute into a fairy I think.. And sweet baby Story was a giraffe. Such a fun night with friends. I always look forward to it. So without further delay...two months. . here they are in all their cuteness.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Soft or Right?

So often that is the choice, to be soft or to be right. I find so many who come to me, come with an indignant sense of being right and not a soft hearted hope for restoration. How is it that when we reach a sense of right we lose our softness towards the one with whom we feel we are right... Or from the one we feel that has wronged us. I believe when we are hurting, needing to confront, the Lord gives us the ability to be both honest and soft. It's the gospel. If love is kind, then it has the ability to be kind all the time....Even in the face of struggle and conflict. And where we fail, there is repentance.

Psalm 40:16,17

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
say continually, "Great is the LORD!"
As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer,
do not delay, O my God!

May You be glorified in me today. May you be my help and not my own feeble attempts at help or reason. May you be pleased to look at my needy state and fill it with yourself. Great You are!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fret Not

I am loving Psalm 37. It is rich in wisdom to not fret, to not delight in anger but to trust in the Lord.

"refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land." (v8)

"I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his chidlren become a blessing. Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever. For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints." (v25-28)

Great reminders for me today. I tend towards fretting. I'm praying for more belief and trust today.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Yesterday during the church service Lake turned to me and quickly said, "Mom I really like your blue socks, how high do they go?" And started lifting my skirt really quickly.

"They go up all the way Lake, all the way, you MUST stop." You see, I was wearing tights. Funny kid.

Proverbs 31

Frankly, for a long time I have avoided the woman in Proverbs 31. She seemed like the Jesus of women. A person I could never be. It was an immature and silly point of view I see now. Like Jesus, we all need an example. Certainly, I may never never get anywhere near to living like her, but why not try.

I recently had a friend tell me she was going to read it every morning in her personal worship time. I decided to copy her. I'm rarely original. This morning, I noticed so many things I had not before seen (I know this because I had not highlighted it).

Three things I loved today:

She worked, that is obvious. But I noticed today that she had willing hands. The idea of willing hands seems very closely linked to a heart attitude. (v 13)

The teaching of kindness was on her tongue. Again, not just something she taught Sunday morning, but something she lived and modeled throughout the week. This too must come from a heart attitude that is fixed on the Lord.

She does not eat the bread of idleness. Here I see a decision. A choice not to be lazy, to work with her willing hands, and to not choose slothful living.

I remember once I was repenting to a Bible study my struggle with being lazy. One woman in the group and turned to me and said, "you aren't lazy, you have four kids." I remember thinking, wow, I have them all fooled. It's true four kids does keep a person busy, but laziness and sloth is a heart attitude. I could even be doing my every task and still be lazy. It's the same thing as doing all the right things to appear Christlike, but if my heart if far from the Lord... Well, it's a heart attitude. I desire to live an authentic life before the Lord, not a show for the masses.

So today, Jesus, give me the strength to have willing hand, to have kindness in my speech and teaching, and to forsake idleness. I need your grace to accomplish such a high calling. I know your Holy Spirit will strengthen me. I could never do it in my own strength.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Why is living in the present so difficult. When I look at my son content to dig a hole, my baby content in my lap...hand down my shirt (constantly)... My oldest sitting with my guy and my second arranging her small little toys. Why do I struggle with the present?

My mind struggles to quiet these days of hurt, my heart struggles to understand our present. I'm thankful to the one who holds my future, and I know my worry is futile. Life must be lived today. Enjoyed today, and shared with my special family.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This is a topic which is constantly on my heart. Heavy on my heart. I have felt so very torn lately about the education of our children. I know there is no perfect option, but I'm struggling feeling like my oldest daughter is getting the short end of the stick. As a family, we are in transition. So my prayer contiues to be that the transition in our life will cause some changes to occur in the education of my daughter.

I love the "idea" of homeschooling. I even love homeschooling. It's just really hard for me to consider with two little ones, who need me to help them be little. Plus, right now, everything has felt harder in the unknown areas of our life.

God is bigger than all my concerns. He knows what it is my daughter needs more than I could ever imagine. Praying He would direct me to that perfect peace I know to be mine in Him !

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The best kiss

Tonight I was putting Lake to bed. We were together in his bed, and I asked him what the best part of his day was. He paused. He was clearly thinking through his day. His sweet face looked at me and gave me a big kiss, and he said, "that's it, right there." "Mine too Lake, mine too."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hiking with a Super Lake

Today we went hiking with the family. As was the case, it was cooler outside than we expected. We reached in the sleepover bag of our oldest and found some extra shirts for the girls, but nothing for Lake.

I opened the trunk, and there was his velvet super hero cape. Lake and I looked at each other. I said, "want to wear it." He simply turned around for me to put it on him. It was AWESOME! I love him in that cape. People kept trying to talk to him about it. He simply couldn't be distracted from his duties as a SUPER LAKE. He kept on his way killing spiders and throwing sticks.

But when I knew he was a super hero was when he took a big spill. He tripped, he fell, his knee was bleeding and dirty. He looked up at me with his very brave, very blue eyes and said, "I'm okay mommy," with gritted teeth. I scooped him up. Because no matter how super Lake is, and he's pretty super, I'm still mommy. He snuggled in on my shoulder until we rounded the corner where the waterfall was. Not a tear in his eye, Super Lake was off. But I know I'm his soft place to fall.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Gift

Tonight we took the kids on a walk after dinner. It was a lovely night, and it was so nice to be outside. I decided to walk ahead a little for some quiet. Jason was with the kids throwing rocks in the creek. The quiet was beautiful and I was enjoying time in prayer. I was praying for the future of our family and that my heart would be content as we wait on the Lord for answers about our future.

Then I heard the quick patter of footsteps. Out of breath, my oldest daughter came running. She quietly came beside me and held onto my hand. She is the age where she could easily choose to not be so closely connected to me. But the sweet gift of her hand made my heart smile. She will grow up, but I hope we always will hold hands. I love you sweet daughter.


It's lonely for one little boy in my home who is down two sisters. He spent the day yesterday longing for school. I tried everything to distract him. Today, he is happy and playful. Train track built, tools out, and my happy hearted boy is back. It was an adjustment, but I love having my happy boy back.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I love them dirty!

It's a great day when I have to clean off faces of my littles more than once. Today Jason and I sat outside drinking coffee as we chatted and watched the kids create games with Tonka trucks. Often, they are wheelchairs where they care for one another. Sometimes they are actually used as dump truck, but that's rare. Today it acted as a summertime sled on the hill, trailer, wheelchair, and well... source of joy.

I love the imagination of a child. I love seeing the community that my children have created with one another. It's full of love, conflict, frustration, forgiveness, anger, manipulation, conversation and lots and lots of giggles. Sounds like real life. It reminds me I need to giggle and forgive more and conflict less.

I hope your weekend was filled with dirty faces, cooperation and play!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


In the chaos of now, He is unmoved
In the uncertain, He is certain
In the midst of sorrow, there is comfort
In the presence of happiness, there is grief
In the today, there is hope for tomorrow
In tomorrow, there is something left in yesterday

Could you just eat her?

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I spend far too much time thinking about tomorrow. The future, the place we cannot know... The place my control cannot arrange. The endless tomorrow thinking can steal my peace like a dog under a high chair. Peace in the now is hard enough, when you add worry of the future, well you just add unnecessary sin in your life.

I know the truth. I know future thinking is wrong. I know when I imagine our future, it's a place I see myself absent of the grace the Lord has provided for me. Worry alone is wrong, but worry over the unknown is just plain silly.

If my days are numbered and the hairs on my head counted....then today I'm going to choose to live in today. Today, I'll snuggle, wash clothes, clean house for my guys arrival, cook a vegetable of two for my kids, and count the chub rolls on my babies legs. Who needs to worry about tomorrow when today is so full?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Audience of One

When I'm at the pool the one thing I am sure to hear at least one hundred times is, "Mama, watch this." "Mama, are you watching?" "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, did you see that?" At moments I love it, and frankly sometimes I struggle. Trying to keep kids safe (constantly counting to 4), have a semi-adult conversation (with someone who has her own, "hey mom watch me" gang), truthfully, watching a jump from the side for the 100th time can at times be unnerving.

That is until I am quietly in my bed thinking about my day. Praying about my grumpy mom heart and thinking how, for this season in my life, my kids crave my attention. They long for my approval and unconditional love and presence and they beam under my approval. So in the quiet I repent my grumpy heart that isn't excited about jump 123. Then the lord allows me to see the great gift I have in the now being totally present for the first dive, first can opener, first everything.

In the mundane moments of my life, I always have a choice....Allow the Holy Spirit to reign in my heart and attitude or let Kara reign. Today, this day, I'm striving to be there for jump 213 that is going to look like a crane truck but really just looked like jump 212. And I will be a thankful proud mama of that jump. Thankful for my kids, my husband who champions me being home, my saviour who loves my children far better than I ever could.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Sometimes I don't potty for so long....I think it may not be good
Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the huge responsibility of being a mom
Sometimes I want to just play and not think
Sometimes I want to think and not talk
Sometimes I get sad about unkind people
Sometimes I want to be wildly eccentric
Sometimes I wonder what my life will be like when my children are grown
Sometimes I grieve that my kids are growing
Sometimes I just feel so blessed I cry

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bitter Sweet

I love the fourth of July. I always have. It's a time for too much sun and too little sleep. My childhood remembers long nights on the lake watching fireworks. The food, friends and fun always reminds me of time with family.

It's bitter sweet to me this year. I find myself walking a familiar path. This fourth will remind me of something I've lost and something I've gained. This time last year I was driving home from a visit to see my grandma. The trip ended at home in the yard with a friend watching fireworks.

This year I find myself in a different yard. My heart is saddened by this, but my family is strengthed this year in ways I never imagined. So thankful I enter this potato salad and sunscreen holiday....

hot sticky loveliness
endless play
night sky lights snuggled safely
sleep, don't come too soon

Monday, June 28, 2010


Colossians 3:1-5
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Is He your life?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm not jealous

Okay, today when I was driving through some country to pick up my girl at camp, I was thinking.... What would make me jealous.

Your big house wouldn't
But your barn would
Your fancy car wouldn't
But your vintage truck would
Your fancy kitchen you don't use wouldn't
But your perfect garden spot would
Your expensive clothes wouldn't
But your ability to sew would

I strive to be content. I struggle striving in this area, but I know the One who creates in me peace. As I seek Him, I find true life changing peace. But I have desperate longing for a big ole yard.... And yesterday after reading the most beautiful adoption story...My heart is longing to be a forever family to a child (actually two children) who would otherwise not know one. When I mentioned this to Jason he was not surprised. I know it is in his heart too. He said someday the finances will come. Bless him. So my anxious heart that craves a yard, barn, baby, old truck...well, it's praying.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Love

My baby loves jazz

My boy loves to cut with scissors

My girl loves her new hair pretty

She's been away to camp! My heart has missed her style of sweetness!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddy's Day

You know... I knew Jason was special when I first met him. The first conversation we ever really had, I asked him what he wanted to do with his life. He said he didn't care about making money or things, but that he wanted to play toys with kids and love Jesus. That very evening I wrote my parent's a letter stating I had finally met the type of guy I wanted to marry. I really didn't know such a man existed.

Jason has stayed true to his calling. I could keep having babies and babies just to watch the wonderful daddy my guy is. His endless kindness and patience in the midst of struggles and exhaustion from work, he never sacrifices the children. He walks through the door ready for our crazy, busy, fun life with four children.

I love you today, tomorrow and forever. The Lord was smiling on me the day you came into my life.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Best Today!!

Jason and I spend a lot of time talking about how much we live our lives on the threshold waiting to pass through to the next season of our lives. As we have waited here, we have managed to have four amazing children, enjoy the company of many, and seek to know Jesus. What I'm learning about this perception of the threshold is the lie in which it holds.

It is the constant temptation to think... With XYZ complete (namely seminary), then our lives will somehow begin. Faithfulness to today is the challenge, right? It is for me. I have made an idol out of tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'll clean out my endless junk drawers
Tomorrow I'll really teach my kids about money
Tomorrow I'll maybe understand our budget
Tomorrow we'll know where it is we are to serve
Tomorrow I'll start training for a 5k
Tomorrow I'll read more books to the kids

So today, this day, this very day... I will giggle with my girls, wrestle my son, do phonics with my second born, take my oldest out for her birthday dinner, chew on the thighs of my chubby baby, kiss my husband without stopping, clean out my freezer, and find a new recipe. Today I'm mom, and I want to be the best mom I can be today.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I'm Ready

So I wrote about getting on my A game. Then I came down with a breast infection. I remember crying feeling like my plans were being sabotaged. I was so upset. My guy came through as did the medicine.

Well, now I'm doing my best to get back on track. Every night Jason and I look at each other and ask a few questions.... What will life without school be like, and wouldn't it be so nice for our house to sell quickly?

In the midst of everything, we are trying to sell our little house we bought when we moved here. We had some great renters for a couple of years, but we are ready to hang up our landlord hats. We have been painting, cleaning, repairing, and making our little place look sweet and happy. We have been trying to find extra hours in the day to finish numerous projects. And with most projects, one begets another, begets another.

Last week when I was over there cleaning, I remembered what a blessing our sweet house was. We have been so focused on working on the house, I forgot how very thankful I am for the place that holds many fond memories. I hope a little family will be blessed by our sweet home.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Son Swords and Speech

I tell you having three little girls and one boy is a riot. Today Jason and I switched roles. I cleaned at the house we are getting ready to list and Jason kept the kids. When I called to check on my brood, Jason planned a daddy date with a friend. The kids had a ball and now they are currently zonked, totally out napping. Go DADDY!

Jason relayed a funny story of looking over at Lake only to find him pants down peeing in the yard. Did I say we recently finished potty training. I don't remember training him in this. Oh well, the kid is a crack up.

The other night Lake was refusing to sleep. He came into the room where we were sitting, sword in hand ready to take on the parent who said it was bed time. He was serious. How do you stay composed?

It just so happens that all of our children have some speech issues. I was in the chair working with my oldest in front of a large mirror showing her what my mouth looks like saying a particular sound... We laughed and had a good time. Each kid was so excited to have a turn. Lucky for us, everyone had their turn working on various sound problems. I've never watched myself speak so much.

Life with kids! Never a dull moment...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Life in Pajamas

I realize it's time to stop playing the tired card. So what I'm tired; so are a lot of people I know. I love that I have four kids. I love that my nights are filled with them sometimes as much as my days. I have kids I enjoy. I have a husband I love. My life is full. So full I have to buy lots of concealer to cover the dark rings under my eyes.

Jason is attempting to complete a CRAZY amount of school in an extremely short amount of time. I need to be on my super A game. I need to be the mom on the go that I don't like to be. I love that I live near the place my husband works (across the street). But his focus is so much greater when I'm not here. I'm so excited for Jason to be done.... Well, I'm heading out. I don't know where. But out I'll be.

I have this terrible excuse I make for myself. I "think" to myself... Self, you will get more cleaning done if you stay in your pajamas. Well, as much as I've been in those pajamas you'd think my house was spotless. Wrong answer. The other day I was getting dressed and one of the children said, "Mommy, why are you being so fancy?" Seriously, because I was getting dressed. What a wake up call.

So self.... A game. No stretchy pant. Get out of the house. Love. Love. Love. Crazy love your kids your husband and your saviour.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Ecclesiastes 9:17
The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.

Without outing the offender, I will speak to the stubbornness of toddlers. I am in a particularly tough season with one of my children. At moments I question my own sanity in the midst of loving and shaping the character of my children. But worthy is the battle waged for instruction of my children.

I think I have had moments in my own life where I put value, even high value, on my own stubbornness. Seeing it in it's simplest (or most complex) form through a young person has shown me the truth of such wrong thinking. Well, I see just how ugly it is. How painful and hurtful it can be. How maybe the whole idea of, "tell it like you see it." Well, it may not be helpful or even kind.

In a book by Tedd and Margy Tripp, Instructing a Child's Heart, he makes the case for kind words in the correction of our children. Here's what they have to say about our speech.

Pleasant words promote instruction. Words that are kind and good, words spoken with love and graciousness, promote instruction. Words that are courteous and tactful evoke a good response.
Harsh, loud, demanding and demeaning words do not reflect the gentle confidence of one who delights in joyful, reverent awe of God. They reflect a heart that is fearful, angry, and controlling. Such words make instruction hard to receive.

My mantra with the moms in my life is...LOVE IS KIND! Love is KIND! That if you are yelling... Well, you are not loving. I know it is a weighty challenge. I know the temptation when faced with the stubborn sin of a young child the strong desire to yell. TRUST ME! I know.

Yesterday I faced one of the longest hardest challenges to my kindness. Check that, if I were depending on my own kindness it would end before I finished my first cup of coffee every morning. But yesterday the Lord showed me how in the midst of TOTAL frustration He would supply the kindness needed to love my child.

When Jason returned late in the evening from school. I was able to explain that without my total dependence on the Lord, I would devastate and hurt with my words. But as my child entered into fits of epic proportion, I was able to show them the gospel with a calm kind spirit. It's amazing how strongly stubbornness can keep a child holding out in anger.

This morning I see the fruit of that tough battle waged. I see a gentleness in my child. It was a long battle, but to God be the glory. He loves the hearts of this poor sinner, and He loves the heart of my child. He supplied the grace to speak with kind, gentle words in the red faced anger of my small sinner.

Proverbs 16:23-24
A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
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!