Monday, May 31, 2010

Journey to Joy

I have been reading this book during my devotional time. Seems appropriate here. It has been such a blessing. She has a term in her book called "Going Gratitudinal", it has really stuck with me. The last section of the book is a 30 day devotional on growing in gratitude. I started today.

"If I fail to choose gratitude, by default, I choose ingratitude. And once allowed into my life, ingratitude brings with it a lot of other undesirable companions that only succeed in tearing things up, then walking off with my joy. To not choose gratitude-daily and deliberately- is more costly than most realize" pg. 165

This book is practical and convicting. It is a must read in my opinion and one to be revisited again and again.

I have what I call my 3 Anchors. These are the truths that all of life hangs on. No matter what comes my way they help me keep perspective and remind me to have a grateful heart.

(#160 - 163)

~ That my GREATEST need, to be rescued, has already been met. Every other need pales in comparison to this one need. The debt has been paid. I deserve wrath and will never taste it...ever.

~ God has given me everything I need for my life today and a means to live it in a godly manner. He has made promises to me that he will never fail to keep. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

~ This will all come to an end one day. He has made a future for me that is sure. A forever life that will be perfect fullness and satisfaction. This world serves to cause me to long for that one.
There is always hope!

My desire is to wear these everyday. To stand on them, in them and rest on this unshakable foundation.

Some today.....I forget.

And some undesirable companions came marching in my world, tore things up and stomped off with my joy.

Paying a visit to my anchors saved the day. He has rescued me, saved me from myself. He has gifted me everything I need to walk in Him and give Him glory. Not my own perfection but His. And on top of that, He will usher me into a sinless perfection one and wholly satisfied.

Those unwanted companions ran in terror.

I'm Going Gratitudinal!

holy experience

Friday, May 28, 2010

Nitty Gritty

Some of my best thoughts for a blog post come about when I am least likely to have a means to write it down. It's usually the shower, driving, changing a diaper.....all places where pen and a paper aren't available. And for whatever reason, whether old age or baby brain, I cannot seem to remember my thoughts in detail without writing them down.

I write everyday. I much prefer a nice pen and thick paper over a keyboard. Many of my blog posts are scratched out on paper prior to making it to the screen. For example, my Measure of Success posts are finished but finding time to type them out is the only delay.

My blog tends to ebb and flow with my daily life. I am sure if you track my blog week by week you could tell the fairly intense weeks from the easier ones. The more intense the less present I am here. The more ease the more frequent I post.

This past week, sticking to my habit, has been intense which explains my absence.

I live with a child who struggles with every life. There are some days that struggle is fairly hidden from the outside world and others when it's not. I am reluctant to write about it here honestly due to the potential for judgement. Not in the online community but in the day to day one. The one where people see my son all the time and really can't see what we face on a regular basis. It is not the harsh kind of judgment (though I've had my share of that), it's more about the minimizing of the struggle based on such a small amount of exposure. It is done in a desire to comfort us when people comment on how normal he seems to them. I totally understand this but yet then walk away struggling with my own doubts of overreacting. His struggles are very real and on a good day difficult.

We never know the whole story until it's our story. A very sweet friend of mine, who is now helping me process through many decisions we are making with our son IS one of those people I said the very same things to.

"Oh", I would say "it's not that bad. It's not that obvious".

I now can imagine what she was thinking in her mind...something have no clue!

I lived in denial for a LONG time and still do depending on the day of the week you ask me. I waffle back and forth just like his behaviors do and his moods and his cognitive ability and adaptive function and his impulsivity and hyperactivity and his social anxiety. I never know what kind of day I have coming. This can wear me out. One day he can read words easily and the next he struggles to get through them....reading them backward for instance.

You may remember this post or this post about the evaluations we had done last summer. We have come a long way sense then in our understanding. We are not sure we agree this is all we are dealing with. At the end of June we will be finding out if we are right.

Why am I writing this? Partly for selfish reasons. It feels good to write it out for me. To express in written form the mark it. It's how I process. Secondly, I have chosen here because I have gained unbelievable encouragement from my online community. My hopes are that someone out there reading this won't feel so alone in this walk with special needs and the unknown...which go hand in hand. It is a lonely road parenting a child with social, emotional and adaptive struggles. It limits your world on many levels.

It's the mystery of it that gets me. And not knowing exactly how to help my child be his best. In due time this will change, I have faith for that. This consumes much of my time, thoughts and energy yet I've said very little here about it. I think those days are coming to an end. There is much encouragement to be given and had in sharing our stories and lives. You know, the real nitty gritty not just the pretty.

Now you know where I am when I disappear :o)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Eli Eyes

He face planted in the gravel at the zoo, poor guy but I just love his expression here

My little man goes in for a little surgery tomorrow morning. His tear ducts have never opened and continue to cause him trouble. It's really not a big deal but they do have to put him out and I don't like it.

Watching him go limp is not up there on my favorite things list. Once you've held and seen your child go limp and make his journey to heaven it's just hard. I know Eli will wake up and that his going to sleep is not for good BUT once you've been there you return there so easily.
Pray for me. I probably need it more then he does. But pray for him too
~ doctors who know what they are doing
~ friends the watch the our big kids (thanks Heather and Sue)
~ friends that will pray for us
~ those green gray eyes
~ that contagious little smile
~ sweet little lips
~ the many cheesy grins I get daily showing that mouth full of teeth
~ how he says "yes" by nodding his head and hissing like a snake
~ a day off for Aaron to come with me

holy experience

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I usually only share what I read on line in my Shared items but this....well I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee and sit a while.

Her description of courage is so dead on and encouraging.

Let this wash over you.

Be blessed friends.

Friday, May 21, 2010

You Know You Really Need To Do Laundry

When this your dinner conversation.

A little back story. My husband works in an office where he needs to look nice on a regular basis with clients coming and going. So I have tried to be more diligent at ironing his shirts faithfully. Still working on the faithfully part.

So in good wife fashion I dropped this question at dinner last night.

"So honey, do you have a shirt for work tomorrow? I'd be happy to iron one before I go out"

My husband in his charming way says "Actually, what I really need are some clean underwear"

We both burst out laughing. He wasn't kidding but it was just SO funny.

Thankfully I have a guy who gets that between home educating our kids, his work schedule, a very passionate six year old and daily life there are a few things that slip through the cracks. Underwear shouldn't be one of those things but hey...can't be perfect :o)

Can you guess what I am doing this weekend?

Hope you enjoy yours and have nice clean underwear too!

As a side note I'm really craving one of these.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Life Around Here

It's been busy days around here. I find if I home learn like I really want to there is little time left for anything else. And I have been inspired of late to put more effort into finding ways to read aloud more with a my bouncing and noisy 6 year old boy. That takes time and mental effort.

I am on the learning curve of how to have a toddler who needs to destroy block towers and read Goodnight Moon 10 times a day with a budding young women who wants to hang, talk and do crafts together. Then there is the bouncing, talking, ever passionate middle guy wanting to just be with us all.

Picture this.....big girl at table doing novel study. Little man plopping in my lap with his third book which happens to be Goodnight Moon while middle boy is climbing on to my shoulders to perch and listen. Once I start reading it....big girl drifts over to listen, little man growls at the moon and middle man wiggles back and forth on my shoulders. Pretty comical, but it's my life and worth it. And for the record, today is the first time I actually paid attention to the pictures in Good Night Moon and they are way cool.

Off for more reading.

Good Stuff I've been reading online:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Beautiful Day

Glorious day outside, dear friend coming for dinner...... simple gifts to enjoy.

Have a great weekend.

The little cares that fretted me

I lost them yesterday.

Among the fields, above the sea,

Among the winds at play;

Among the lowing of the herds,

The rustling of the trees,

Among the singing of the birds,

The humming of the bees.

The foolish fears of what may happen,

I cast them all away

Among the clover scented grass,

Among the new-mown hay.

Among the rustling of the corm,

Where drowsy poppies nod,

Where ill thoughts die and good are born-

Out in the fields with God!

~Elizabeth Barrett Browning~

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Measure of Sucess ~ Part 2

I am sure that "Success is Mess" would never go over well as a motto or bumper sticker in our culture. Being a successful mess just doesn't sound all that appealing or fulfilling. Couldn't be more far from the truth. Being filled up is where it's at, just not with the stuff we do.

You know that feeling ....that rushes over you when you've crossed everything off the To Do List, the kids are sleeping soundly, the kitchen is clean. You know the "I did it" feeling. That's what we crave everyday, that feeling of satisfaction.

But it's counterfeit!

We crave finding rest in what we do. There is a more true real satisfaction that has nothing to do with dishes, clean floors, organic natural food or the perfect homeschool curriculum.

It's a satisfaction that finds joy and peace with five loads of folded put away laundry or five loads piled in the corner of your bedroom. A deep fullness no matter if dinner is organic from scratch or from a can. A present rest if there is $2 or $20,000 in the bank account.

True satisfaction is unrelated to our duties. The things done or left undone. The victories and failures that mark everyday life.

His death is our perfection so we don't need to be. We don't have to pay for those imperfect moments, as is our due. The payment has been made.

What more relief or satisfaction could we want?

You don't have to work harder.
You don't have to be better.
You don't need to be more then you are because.....


Read Part 1 here

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sixty Seconds on Tuesday

I can't begin to explain the special relationship these two have.

The oldest and the youngest so similar in many ways.

She cares for him like a second mom and he will do most things she asks.

Yesterday, he said her name for the first time. Big news around here.

There has been an on going debate over what he would call her.

Ernie? Bernie? Nernie?

His version of her "Na-nee".

So Na-nee it is!

Join in capturing the moments at Just a Minute.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Daily Bits

#120 ~ My daughter playing "My Favorite Things" form the Sound of Music

#121 ~ That my daughter wants to read a novel with me

#122 ~ Baby giggles when you ask Eli to find his belly button and he does

#123 ~ The thumbs up sign from Ike which is his non verbal "You got it mom!"

#124 ~ Good strong coffee in the quiet

#124 ~ Ike expressing thanks for the cross in his own unique way

#125 ~ Ike beginning to ponder about Christ and some of the things He has done

#126 ~ Ike talking about serving being about washing a friends feet (boys at six have dirty feet)

#127 ~ My big girls desire to study doctrine and understand why

#128 ~ For a man who helps me when it's tough

#129 ~ For amazing friends like the one who sat across my dining room table today

# 130 ~ Dead spiders

#131 ~ Applesauce chocolate chip banana bread

#132 ~ The pastors (and their wives) of my church and their genuine heart for people

#133 ~ Eternal hope not based on or in this life

#134 ~ Good books

#135 ~ The art of photography

#136 ~ Little chubby cheeks and feet

#137 ~ The miracle of my son Eli after so much loss

#138 ~ My kitchen island that has created more conversation and hang out time with the kids

#139 ~ The bird feeder outside my window

#140 ~ The home education system in British truly is the best

#141 ~ That my kids are home all day

#142 ~ The ocean near by

#143 ~ Baby saying his sisters name for the first time today

#144 ~ Big boy working alone for a short period of time

#145 ~ Really comfy cotton PJ's

#146 ~ My duvet...need I say more

#147 ~ Classical music

#148 ~ Real cream

#149 ~ Laughing with my husband

#150 ~ Ike yelling "baby alert" every time Eli tries to climb the dining room table. He is his brothers keeper.

holy experience

Friday, May 07, 2010

My Daily Resolve

"Preaching the gospel to myself each day nourishes within me a holy brazenness to believe what God says, enjoy what He offers and do what He commands. Admittedly, I don't deserve to be a child of God and I don't deserve to be free of sin's guilt and power. I don't deserve the staggering privilege of intimacy with God, nor any other blessings that Christ has purchased for me with His blood. I don't even deserve to be useful to God.

But by the grace of God I am what I am and I have what I have, and I hereby resolve not to let any portion of God's grace prove vain in me! And to the degree that I fail to live up to this resolve, I will boldly take for myself the forgiveness that God says is mine and continue walking in His grace. This is my manifesto, my daily resolve; and may God be glorified by this confidence that I place in Him."

The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent
page 52

This little book is one of my most favorite next to the bible itself. It has helped me like no other book apply and embrace the gospel in my everyday life, from mundane laundry to theology chats with my 10 year old. It takes the gift of the cross and breaks it down into one amazing morsel after another.

Happy Mother's Day weekend!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Measure of Success ~ Part 1

What is our measure of success?

This battle with perfection has been one I've fought for much of my life. Failure being the barometer of my worth and feeling like I just didn't measure up. I knew there was joy and freedom out there in Christ but it just always eluded me.

What was my measure of success?

It was to never mess up, to never fail or fall short but to get it right every time. It wasn't a blatant thought but an expectation that flew under the radar waiting to make it's appearance the minute I messed up. And trust me, there were and still are ample mess up moments.

If I could obtain my measure of success I would not need to be rescued.

I would have no need to be saved.

His death would have been absurd.

I don't need to be better, more organized, smarter, thinner and more together.

I need to change my measure of success.

Success is surrender
Success is dependence
Success is letting go
Success is mess

In that mess I've tasted joy ~ the everlasting kind not dependant on me but in the unearned, undeserved grace and mercy extended to me, overflowing in every moment of every day.

That is my measure of success.....what He has already done not what I can or will do.

More to come.....

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sixty Seconds on Tuesday

If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something
that makes one feel aware of God, one not need go far to find it. I think I see
something deeper, more infinite, more eternal then the ocean in the
expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or
laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.

Vincent van Gogh

Had to snap a picture of these curly Q's

Before they were captured by these.
First haircut ........bye-bye curls we will miss you.

Join us in capturing those precious moments in everyday life.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Oh Well!

Just spent 30 minutes creating my One Thousand Gifts post and blogger cut out on me and I lost it. For some reason didn't save it and no time to redo it.

It was about how grateful I am for my blogging buddies (you).


My amazing in real life friends.

I am very grateful for both, hope you feel the LOVE. :o)
Have a grateful Monday!

Saturday, May 01, 2010


Things are quiet around here because I am more drawn outdoors then to the keyboard.

"God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars."

Martin Luther