Monday, January 31, 2011

My Man

This week my gratefulness is centered around the things I love and appreciate about my husband Aaron.

He is a very loving, kind and patient man. It is a good thing because he lives with me!

#241 - #255

~ He reads the kids scripture before bedtime.

~ He comes home to me every single night.

~ He works very hard everyday to take care of us.

~ He commutes long hours to get to that job that takes care of us (1 hr 45 min. one way)

~ He always tells me to "ask for help" instead of stress out.

~ He will take all 3 kids to give me a break and is happy to do so...he nevers makes me feel bad about getting some time to myself.

~ He will fold and put away laundry when I am behind

~ He never says anything about the house when it is a mess...he knows I am working hard too.

~ He doesn't complain when I serve him soup from a can (or even a bowl of cereal ) for dinner when it has been a kid crazy day

~ He buys me flowers sometimes just for the heck of it.

~ He does the dinner dishes pretty much every night after dinner.

~ He brushes teeth and puts the kids to bed every night he is home.

~ He actually wants to hear my opinions, thoughts and ideas (not sure why).

~ He is a servant at heart and loves to help people.

~ He still loves me after 13 years of seeing my true colors.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Books 2011 (finally)

This year I have a gnawing desire to see grace and mercy in action.

Over the last several years God has done a work in my heart to show me His grace and mercy. I have grown so much in my understanding of His grace toward me. I have learned to apply and preach the gospel to myself regularly which is something that I never knew I needed to do. This one practice has changed my life. It has addressed shame, guilt, condemnation and learning to rest like no other spiritual discipline. The gospel isn’t just for the salvation process it is for the everyday life until I get to heaven process.

Now, I am more hungry to see grace at work outside of myself. I want to be more about giving mercy and grace away, like the free gift that it is and has been to me. I want to walk this out more with my kids and husband, with others and their stories and with those most in need. I am not sure what that actually means but I trust God to show me.

All that said, my reading list is very different from my typical fare. Much less theology and more real life application. Some of these books I have not read so bear that in mind as you browse for reading suggestions.

There are more books here then I will probably read. Just the nature of who I am :o) I  am always reading more then one book at a time.

I will mark the ones I plan to read for sure and leave the hopefuls blank. I have left off links to save myself time. :o)


Love and Respect ~ Dr. E. Eggerichs *

The Ministry of Motherhood ~ Sally Clarkson *

Age of Opportunity ~ P. Tripp *

For Women Only ~ S. Feldhann *

Families Where Grace in In Place ~ J. Vanvonderon

Grace Based Parenting ~ T. Kimmel

Amusing Ourselves to Death ~ N. Postman

Organized Simplicity ~ T. Oxenreider (half way through this one)

Real Learning ~ E. Foss * (I try to read one home education book a year)

The Shallows What the Internet Does to Our Brains ~ N. Carr

Spiritual/ Missions

One Thousand Gifts ~ A. Voskamp (been waiting forever to get this... hopefully this week) *

Don’t Waste Your Life ~ J. Piper (finished already…great book)

Respectable Sins ~ J. Bridges *

Spiritual Rhythms ~ M. Buchanan

Too Small to Ignore ~ Dr. W. Stafford *

The Hole In Our Gospel ~ R. Stearns*

Soul Survivor ~ P. Yancy * ( He talks about the 12 people who shaped his life)

The Gift of Pain ~ P. Brand (more on this one at the end) *

Autism /Special Needs

Finding Your Childs Way on the Autism Spectrum ~ Dr. L Hendrickson (finished)
 ~Best book to date on living daily with this…she is a mother of an autistic child, a Christian and a psychologists.

Help Your Anxious Child ~ Rapee (finished)

The Way I see It ~ T. Grandin * (half way done)

Thinking In Pictures ~ T. Grandin *

Boys Should Be Boys ~ M. Meeker


The Healthy Family ~ S. Richards (working through this…love her meal plan ideas)

The End of Overeating ~ D. Keesler *

Real Food ~ N. Planck *

Novels /Others

House Rules ~ J. Picoult (almost done.. the plot is about a boy with Aspergers. She writes from his perspective and it is such good insight at times. Just be warned there is language and the plot is based around a murder but with very few details.)

Oliver Twist ~ C. Dickens *

The Man Who Was Thursday ~ GK Chesterton *

I will read other novels as they come along.

I have saved the best for last. I am re-reading my most favourite book ever this year. I think this is my fourth time through.

The Gift of Pain ~ Dr. Paul Brand/P/ Yancy ****

It follows Dr. Brand’s life story and his work with leprosy patients in India. It is not for the faint at heart. It deals head on with pain. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who wants to read it, but it WILL effect you…I promise.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


My friend Tonia has started something. :o)

I am super excited about it!

It is a group of ladies who want to connect via the pen and paper trail. No instant message, quick three word text, no facebook and not even email...gasp. We are using ink and good old fashion trees to communicate.

It is a lost art.

I find my my heart finds better expression when hand and ink are connected. The clicking of the key board works but ya just is not the same.

I love the expression that comes through the individual formation of the letters from one person to another. No two hands write the same, yet with a key board it is all STANDARD ROMAN. I get a kick out of how different people write their J's and I's.

And so you will be thoroughly convince I am loosing it, I'll let you in on a little secret. I like the sound of pen on paper. The methodical strokes are like the lapping of waves on the beach. Okay,  I'll stop now.  I love to write. Though my writing can be sparse around here my journal is not a lonely book.

To give you a little taste

''Whenever we take up a pen and write we are capturing moments in time.  When we send those captured moments across the miles in the form of a letter, we are sharing our histories with each other.''

''Because this world is too fast, too virtual, too shallow.  We need slow, deep, tangible beauty in our lives and going to the mailbox to find a friend's words captured on paper and sent across the miles is one of those beauties.''

So will you join us?


.Will you write some life history with me?

 I know there are a few lurkers out there. Maybe you prefer pen and paper too.

 Anyone who wants to start a pen and paper trail together let me know. Go under my profile and send me an email and we will get started.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pondering This

"I realize that I have taken on the role of the peace-maker and conducting harmony in our home. Soothing this one, encouraging that one, pushing the toe of one under the dinner table to gently encourage then to stop talking! But ultimately, it is the normal jousting of a family, all sinners, redeemed but at different points of maturity. I cannot make all of these sweet ones be at peace - but I can be at peace."

Sally Clarkson

Monday, January 24, 2011


#233 - 240

~ stories with little boys
~ animated animal sounds
~ learning to say cousin Dawson's name......Daw..Daw
~ favorite books we love to read over and over
~ blankets, hot drinks and read alouds
~ writing poetry with my girl
~ drawing dragons with my big boy

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Books 2011

I am working out my 2011 reading list. I am focusing mostly on books I already have at this time. I don't know about you, but can tend to get them but not read them right away. There are three still on their way and then I have them all.

I have been ordering from Book Depository over the last several months and love it. No shipping cost even if you order only one book. I like being able to order one at a time and not having to wait till I have over a certain amount like with Amazon. The shipping is a bit slower but that doesn’t bother me. They also don't have everything I am interested in.

A disclaimer......some of these books are exploratory reading for me. Meaning I wouldn’t recommend everything on my list just yet because I haven’t read it. I have spent many years reading almost exclusively doctrine and theologically rich books. It has been an amazing season and so life changing. I am feeling drawn this year toward books on grace and mercy ministries for the most part.

I have decided not to create links except to the bible reading in order to save time. Just mosey on over to Book Depo or Amazon and search away!

The Bible ~

I am reading through the bible with the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan this year. Two chapters in the morning and two chapters at night. The habit of adding bible reading at night has been a challenge. But I am determined to make it work. I also discovered these commentary/ devotionals that go along with this reading plan:

For Love of God Vol 1 & Vol 2 by D.A. Carson

(Book Depository doesn't carry these)

I like how they provide devotional and explanation along the way. I am no bible scholar and enjoy others thoughts to get my own flowing. We may start reading portions of this as our family bible reading.

Book list to follow this week.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More of You

During the break between Christmas and New Year my husband had a full week off. I cannot remember the last time he was home for seven straight days in a row. Though he did work several hours in those seven days he didn't make the trip downtown into the city. It was bliss.

My thoughtful husband sent me off by myself for a day and a half of those seven days.....this falls in the bliss category too. I packed a small clothes bag and then another large one for all the books, journal, paper and bible. Left with my last dollar, I'd rather be in rags with a good book then looking good with nothing to read. :o)

The whole family drove me off to the hotel on the beach, inspected my room which met approval and drove away. I just sat on the bed for the longest time.

My soul and body craved this. I didn't really get that until I was there.

I then set to unpacking my things. I am weird that way. I always need to settle my things in a new place before I can relax and think. The clothes bag took all of two seconds but I slowly stacked my books, papers and journal on the table, thinking about how the next 40 hours might go.

I got what a gift this was and so longed to use it wisely.

The thoughts started rattling through my mind. I had already gotten into my pajama's at 4pm and put on my favorite coffee in preparation for operation "productive planning". As I am shuffling papers getting things in order I am praying quietly about where to start and it comes..........

This inner quiet nudge. A quiet voice.


I looked up and the sun was going down (yes, it sets around 4 ish where I live) over the water. It took my breathe away. My craving and desire for God was overwhelming at that moment. As I looked out the window there were power lines and poles and deck railings, all obstacles to seeing the beauty in it's fullness but yet, I was swept away by the awe of creation. The sun, the water and the one who made it all for me to enjoy.

My eyes were opened in that moment to many things in my life that were obstacles to SEEing him. So much of life had cluttered my vision, taken my eyes off of the prize and caused this aching lack. Instead of SEEing the beauty and awe of  Him, I was fixed on the power lines, power pole and deck railings. I was seeking less obstacles and less trouble more then I was HIM.

I wanted less struggle, less work, less to overcome and battle through each day. This is where my time, thoughts and prayers were being spent. I needed to stop moving away from trouble and my daily attempt at trying to protect myself  from it.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46

It was as if God was saying move toward ME in the midst of trouble.

Wade through the mud setting your gaze on ME not the sludge.
Climb over those boulders leaning on MY shoulder.
Face the words and disappointments cradled in MY arms.

It's NOT less of that's more and more and more of Him!

MORE Thanks
MORE rest
more TRUST
More AWE

I had begun to believe that relief would come from removal of the difficulty or trouble. Reality is that with just the removal of trouble I would still be seeking help and satisfaction in my own self not in Christ. I need him even without obvious trouble. He knows that, but I on the other hand tend to think the lack of trouble is the answer not satisfaction in Him. This makes trouble a mercy not an enemy. It is a tool to get me where I need to be to SEE Him.

I felt I  needed to soak my thoughts and trouble with more of Him. In doing that I  will have a trouble repellent shield. It reminded me of flame resistant material. It gets hot but it doesn't burn. The trouble will still exist but it won't touch my heart the same and cause me to retreat, run, stress or loose hope. It will make me run home!

More and More of You Lord,
not less trouble.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Choosing the Small

Choosing to SEE the small, 
The insignificant moments,
The little things as the great treasures they are.
So much to mark as grace,
So much to give thanks for.


~ Eli's new facial expressions (they are many)
~ Eli's slow coming but progressive attempts at words.
~ Boys and snow
~ Boys and snowballs
~ The wonder of white in his eyes

~ sweet love of big sister and little brother
~ her begging for a baby kiss
~ him sticking out his cute little lips
~ the belly laugh when she tickles
~ the push and grunt when he has had enough

~ big boy and new bike
~ his love of the color red
~ his joy over anything with wheels
~ his desire to go fast and feel the wind
~ his love of nature

~ my boy and his toys
~  his passion for flying and wings

~ cousins
~ sleepovers
~ late night giggles
~ life long friends
~ each girl a gift, gift, gift

Monday, January 10, 2011

In All Things

Giving thanks in all things, a practice I long to grow in, causes me to be more present in this moment.

It changes ..........

how I SEE


how I ACT.

So I begin again, marking the goodness of God.

One hundred ninety one to two hundred ten

~ Sun in winter
~ Ice on boardwalks
~ Walks in peace and quiet
~ Matt Redman leading my heart in worship

~ Ocean and houses
~ Water and rocks
~ Seagulls and clam shells
~ Dogs and tidepools

~ Sunsets at dusk
~ Birds in winter
~ Quiet meditation
~ Hot coffee

~ Snow cap mountains by the sea
~ City sandwiched in between

~ Glimmer of the sun on water
~ Hats, mittens and throwing rocks
~ Baby boots and waddles
~ The grimace of baby against boulder
~ Ice covered logs to slick for walking
~ My peeps and me


Thursday, January 06, 2011

I have been following Jess' blog for some time now. She is mom to a young girl with autism. She writes about their daily life together in such a honest yet encouraging hopeful way.

This post is well worth your read.

It rings so true with where I am in my autism journey.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

My (two) Word(s)

Present ~ be all there where I am


This last year has been whirlwind of change. We moved again and I think we are pushing a world record in that area.  Long hours for Aaron, health issues, depression, and the introduction of autism into our lives. Honestly, I have never felt more weak nor distracted in my whole life. I have had my fair share of intense life prior to this year but this year took the cake.

In doing research, finding help, addressing daily life issues with a child on the spectrum our lives became somewhat of a busy crazy mess. Routine and rhythm were out the window. To much information and research plus slugging though each day battling depression almost consumed me. I didn't even realize I was sinking. I lost the ability to think well and clearly. I stopped reading for fun or learning except for information on Autism. It's as if I've lost most of my ability to think deep thoughts and for extended periods of time. I literally thought I was losing my mind at times. Just taking in snippets of information always scanning quickly and never lingering long really does change how your brain functions......I am convinced of it. 

So, after coming to terms with these things over the last few months I have made some other discoveries. One being that I have a B12 deficiency that mimics depression  and focus problems. I also let the anxiety over my sons autism take me for a ride. Not abnormal but unacceptable. I know the God who is the designer and creator of this little boy and who provides all I need for life and godliness. There are still days I wrestle this one to the ground.

I let the urgent become the dictator in our house, giving into it's very whim. The unknown (autism) made me feel out of control and panicky. The help we pursued took along time to come. As I type this 4 months later it has produced little real help for us but has come at a great cost to us on many levels. I was relying on professionals and analysts to fix things. And there is valid help but IT is not my hope or quick fix. I know my child more and better then anyone else. Though professionals can be of help we have to do what is best for our child, on our terms, even if it doesn't look right to others. I stopped listening to myself, to the Holy Spirit in me and that intuition that He has gifted me with (as he has all of us).  What was I thinking? The point is I wasn't.

My life got complicated, stressful and out of control on many levels. This New Year I am gaining that ground back. I am backing off of information addiction for His presence and rest. It is SO easy when your tired, stressed and overwhelmed to zone instead of think, seek and wait. I am digging myself out of that hole right now.  And for those of you who know me well and my all to common habit of being hard on assured that I accept the learning curve we are on to be steep and I'm not being too hard on myself. Grace upon grace!

I am returning to a simple life. No more tons of people coming and going. Going back to learning in a flexible joy filled way without all the time frames and agenda's. Finding peace and beauty in the basics of life...reading together, just talking about whatever, eating simple heathly meals, enjoying friends, playing games, getting outside  in nature (even when it's freezing) and just being together. And taking the difficult days right along with the breezy ones.

I want to be intentional this year with ~

~ being fully where I am instead of projecting into tomorrow or even that afternoon. When they say "Mama look at my drawing" I want to look at it like it was the first time I have ever seen a dragon drawing even though they are drawn in my house daily.

~ making simple nutrious meals for my people. I don't really enjoying this but am working at that. Finding joy and beauty in it.

~ taking in to much information, to fast and doing nothing with it. It is like a drug in some ways and is such a time waster. I need to use the internet wisely and not let it use me. I want to ponder and think instead of gather information.

~ reading for enjoyment and for influencing my heart in that slow thougtful way that only reading can do. I am creating my book list and plan to read ones I already have on hand. Very different from my typical choices.

~ taking care of myself by managing my B12 issues well and getting regular exercise

~ with my words. The ones I write, the ones I say, the ones I read and the ones I memorize.

This quote has been circling my head the last few days:

“Time is a relentless river and it rages on, respecter of no one.

And the only way to slow time is this: Enter fully into the current moment and the stream of time slows — slows — with the weight of a soul’s full attention.

We slow the torrent by being all here.
Life at its fullest is this sensitive, detonating sphere, and it can be carried only in the hands of the unhurried and reverential—a bubble held in awe.”

A. Voskamp

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Ahh...A New Year

Typically about this time I am re-thinking and evaluating the last year and gearing up for the new one....both feet forward. This year that is not the plan nor the desire. We are doing the basics, just purposeful simple daily life and that is good enough.

I have no expectation except that God is with me and at work.  I want to take and live each day to it's fullest. Seeing the mess, chaos, sin, joys, disappointments and growth. Not wasting my time on tomorrow.

I am not even ready to start our learning routine tomorrow...gasp! Instead of prep I have been catching the stomach flu in a bucket. That's the plan today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Last year my word for the year was Relationships. Are you seeing the trend with the stomach flu?

As I have prayed and thought about 2011 two words were stirring in my heart. Not sure if it's okay to have two words instead of one....wait sure it is! My life, my words and my blog, hopefully for His glory.

One thing I have come to terms with over the last few months is being at rest with myself in this cyber space. I definitely have standards about what I will and won't share here but I spent far to much time being concerned about how things would be perceived.

So as 2011 kicks off, I feel a sense of freedom as I muse about God's work in this little family of mine. I hope that my words, my sharing, my story will be of some good to someone else for His glory.  

For that to happen I actually need to show up here and write something. Hoping to improve on that in the New Year.

Happy New Year friends.

Words still to come.