Friday, November 30, 2007

Some reflecting...

I am stopping for a few moments from a morning of just putting things away. I am amazed at how quickly things pile up, build up, and grow if they are not dealt with immediately.

Here are a few examples:
  • The toy cars lined up all along the kitchen floor where my two year old son has been playing all week while I am in the kitchen. We've just left them parked there.
  • The enormous amount of school papers piled 6 inches higher than the basket they sit in.
  • Shoes...I think my children have a secret game they are playing on me and trying to leave as many pair of shoes piled just inside the door of the mudroom as they possibly can. (and why when it is something like 26 degrees outside right now are there still flip-flops sitting there when I know I had put those away?)
  • And I won't even begin to go into the gloves, mittens, and hat dilemma. I am determined this year to come up with a better system for locating these items upon arriving and leaving the house.
  • Hooks...are the answer to all the coats, hoodies, backpacks, and multitude of other things that come into this home. I need to go here again soon!

I know I spend half my time keeping everyone and everything organized and the other half actually cleaning something.

I can remember back to my very idealistic views when I first became a mother. I remember having high hopes of always having the laundry folded and put away or never leaving dishes in the sink once I had a dishwasher and always having dinner ready when my husband walked in the door. Who was that girl?

These were not bad goals or even totally unrealistic, the problem was with my heart. I wanted to look good in the eyes of others more than I wanted to please the Lord and my husband. And I haven't even mentioned the new mommy ideals that I held. But the Lord in His most gracious and loving way humbled me. First, after the birth of my first child it was necessary for me to continue to work full-time. This was very hard on me and my husband. So, right from the beginning many of my idealism went right out the window. Next, when I stopped working outside the home full-time and became a full-time homemaker, I was waist deep into laundry, dishes, and the early phases of home schooling, in addition to whatever ways I was serving in the church at the time. I knew how to run an accounting office, but manage two little ones, while expecting my third and taking care of a home sent me crying out for help. (another deeply humbling experience) I could write a book about the difficulties of those early days. The Lord has taught me so much. But mostly that over the last ten years of working at home full-time has by far been the most challenging and rewarding work even when my days are full of picking up and putting away.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Cafe - He has not forgotten you

I am over here today! Do you ever feel forgotten...ok lately I have

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Just some thoughts...

This morning I woke up early. Earlier than I would have liked. I couldn't sleep any longer. Yesterday was my mom's birthday and I wasn't able to get a hold of her. My parents are in route right now on their way to be with my brother whose wife is expecting their first child any day now. I am not sure if her cell phone was out of range or she just didn't hear it in her purse, but we left several messages including some singing for her enjoyment! I spoke with her on Thanksgiving and I told her I would be calling on Monday. I am not worried, just a wee bit sad that we didn't connect.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving Day with a family from our church, but no matter how difficult or even dysfunctional a family can be, nothing can replace family. The realization that our family may never or rarely be able to join together for a Thanksgiving Dinner or any family dinner for that matter, hit me hard this year. My family (parents and three brothers) which used to all live within the same city (or county) just a few years back is now all over the world. Literally! My husband's family is all in the same state, but not the same as us. I know it is just as hard for them as it is for us. We knew as God directed our steps that it included living many miles away from our extended family. My husband and I have prayed about this and accepted God's portion and plan for our lives, but I still miss my mom's cooking. And I don't think that will ever change. The meal was simple and very traditional, her table was simply decorated with her favorite tablecloth, we used the everyday dishes, but the smells, their laughter , and the joy of being with one another was how we spent the holiday. This wasn't the first year we have been apart, it has been many by now, but somehow this year was just harder.

I often think about the saying, "bloom where you are planted!" That is my prayer. God has planted me where I am. It may not look like others. I am often told, "I could never live away from my family ." Well guess what, "neither can I!" I don't do it because I want to or because I am cold hearted and don't care, I do it because I believe with all my heart that this is where God has planted me. And I am choosing to bloom! I know the bud is small, but be patient I need watering, fertilizer, and some sonshine. And someday I hope to be a beautiful rose that reflects the Glory of God.

Just some thoughts...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekly Menu Plan

Here is my menu plan for the week. And I also thought I would share a biblical reason for planning ahead....

She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.

Proverbs 31:15

I have been studying Proverbs 31 and reviewing the virtues or the character qualities of this Godly Woman. There are twenty one qualities listed in this passage of scripture. I have been working on these for over twenty years and I am sure I will be in the next twenty as well. I once read verse fifteen as, "oh yea, I am the one who needs to do all the cooking," but after careful study, I have learned that this verse is about the virtue of discipline and not cooking. Meals and other needs in the home don't just happen. And certainly will not happen well if we do not plan. Planning takes discipline. Truly this Godly woman rose early to take care of the planning for the day for herself and those who would help her. I like to cook but I don't want to spend all my time in the kitchen. Planning and discipline allows me to best use my time and provide food for my family.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

Proverbs 21:5

Monday: Tostadas with beans and rice

Tuesday: Harvest Stew

Wednesday: Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

Thursday: Baked Potato Cheese Soup

Friday: Pizza for the kids

For more menu plans go here

Friday, November 23, 2007

Walk Slowly

Today I actually ventured out to shop on the day after Thanksgiving. I don't know if I have ever done this before. I may do it again only because so much was on sale! But in the midst of so many people I walked slowly, looking, waiting, and I was reminded of this little piece I wrote last year at this time.

Christmas is coming...hopefully snow will be falling.
The decorations, the smells, the gifts are all because of a loving God who chose to give the greatest gift of all, His own son!

Walk slowly and enjoy each moment! No matter what our circumstances we already have the greatest gift of all.

Walk slowly through your home. The hands that touch all the pretty decorations will not be the same next year.

Walk slowly through the stores. It is not about what we
give, but what has been given to us.

Walk slowly through the parties and family traditions. People matter most to God. He died for them.

Walk slowly and look at the beautiful lights, savor the smells, and worship the King who came for us.

Walk Slowly!

(originally posted
November 2006)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Working Hard

Christmas Music

mws banner

Michael W. Smith has a new Christmas Album and if you go here you may have an opportunity to get one for free.
I have enjoyed his music for many years. I remember after my first child was born picking up a copy of Today's Christian Women with Michael & Debbie Smith on the cover. The article was about her and the wonderful support she was to her husband. But I think what really grabbed the heart of this young mom at the time was she had five children. At this time in my life, I never dreamed I would someday have five children. It just seemed huge! I still have the magazine as a result of the article.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I am sure it has something to do with the season, but really it has to do more with where it forces me to focus. Too often I focus on what I need, or what I would like to see changed in my life, or what I still don't have, or what I am still struggling with instead of on what He has shown me, mercy. As Thanksgiving approaches this year, I am conscious of the benefit I have received (the meaning of being thankful). I am grateful to God and His great mercy towards me. Take a moment and meditate on the words of Charles Spurgeon:

"The fear of a man who really knows the love and goodness of God, will be somewhat of this kind: He will fear lest he should really be, or should seem to be, ungrateful. 'What' he asks, 'can I do? I am drowned in mercy. It is not as though my ship were sailing in a sea of mercy; I have been so loaded with the favour of the Lord that my vessel has gone right down, and the ocean of God’s love and mercy has rolled right over the masthead. What can I do O Lord? If thou had given me only a little mercy, I might have done something, in return, to express my gratitude. But oh! Thy great mercy in electing me, in redeeming me, in converting me, and in preserving me, and in all the goodness of thy providence toward me;--what can I do in return for all these favour? I feel struck dumb; and I am afraid, lest I should have a dumb heart as well as a dumb tongue; I fear lest I should grieve Thee by anything that looks like ingratitude.”

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Cafe

It seems the days and weeks are just rolling by. Today the air outside was a bit more brisk. The wind was blowing which made it feel colder than the actual temperature. What leaves may have been left on the trees for my pure enjoyment are all but gone. Piles of leaves are slowly building up on lawns throughout my neighborhood. Which brings me to my post at CWO's Internet Cafe, "I want to be like those trees!" Join me!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Happy Birthday Theo! I remember this day eleven years ago like it was yesterday. From the moment they placed you in my arms I knew that God had placed a tender heart within this little man. As the younger brother to two sisters and the older brother to two younger brothers, you hold your position well. The girls look up to you and admire your strengths, and the little guys lean on you for help.

Someday you may ask me what you were like when you were ten. I would say you were compassionate and caring. I would say when I needed help with something, you were there. I would say that you loved school, did very well in school, had a gift for writing and it was the year you learned to play the trumpet. I would remind you that it was your first year in football. Number 52 to be exact and do you remember those blocks and the first time you recovered a fumble?

I would remind you of our family camping trip and the wild summer thunder storm we endured. But it is all the fishing you did in those three days that I won't forget. I would remind you of playing baseball, swimming at the pool, and all the snow days and that "Clue" was one of your new favorite board games.

I will remind you that I witnessed you pray each night on the bottom step of the ladder to your bunk and the many entries you have made in your journal. And someday if you ever ask me about when you were ten, I will say, "it was wonderful!"
Happy 11th Birthday Theo!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Out to lunch

Well, not really. It's the semi-annual dumping and re-loading of closets. And it's messy. Be back later!

Friday, November 02, 2007

I'm at the Cafe today

It's not something that is easy to admit. Some may have to face it each and every day. Often times it creeps in slowly and other times it is thrown right into our face. We think to ourselves, "I am not sure what is wrong, oh, but I know it is not that." It sits right in the middle of the room like an elephant and yet we choose to completely ignore it.

To discover what I am talking about...grab a cup of coffee and join me over at CWO's Internet Cafe.

And please let me know if you stopped by!