Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pray for your sons

I was introduced to this site today and it made my heart smile.

I'm committing to praying for my boys, all three of them, during the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons Challenge.

If you have one or five sons, won't you join me?  Prayer is a powerful tool that God has graciously given us.  These boys are future men.  We owe it to them to cover them in prayer daily.

I'll be giving away a free book that is donated from The Moms of Boys Society.  Just leave me a comment that tells how many boys you have and their ages.

Looking forward to changing the world by praying for our sons.

*updated to add link to sign-up page: 21 days sign up

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Life in the Slow Lane

Some days I feel like a horse and buggy on the Autobahn.

I want life to just slow down already.  It all seems to be speeding by at a dizzying pace that leaves me spent; emotionally, physically, mentally, and sometimes even spiritually.

Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we fill our lives with so much activity to the point that our "down time" does nothing to recharge or refuel us?  We're so exhausted, that in order to adequately recover, we would need more than just a token hour or two snatched here and there.

I didn't grow up this way.  And I'm trying to make sure my kids don't get over-involved either.  It's tricky stuff, to be sure.  Each kid is only allowed one activity at a time.  But with four kids, that alone can be daunting at times. 

Baseball season is underway.  Soccer has begun.  Gymnastics never takes a break. 

Spring, with its promise of warm days and blue skies, used to be a wonderful reprieve from the coldness and quietness of Winter.  Now, it is a signal that life is kicking into high gear for the next four months.  And while I welcome the warmer temps, I also long for the days of quiet.

I like the slow lane.  But I drive like a crazy woman sometimes.  Why?  Because I tend to be late.  I hate being late.  I like the luxury of taking my time.  I like time to get settled.

I like the slow life.  I like homemade cooking, grow-your-own-ingredients cooking.  I like to knit and sew, read and sketch, walk and talk.

However, life right now is busy.  BUSY.  With no signs of slowing down for the next few months.

So, how do I keep up?  How do I keep from being "cranky mommy"?  I slow down myself and take some time to focus on God and His care of me.  I rest, drink plenty of water, rest, say "no", rest. 

I've found I have to be intentional about all of this.  Otherwise, it is incredibly easy to get swept up and swept away by the tide of busyness.

It's part of why I like Lent.  It's an intentional time for me to refocus, regroup, reframe my life.

I like to study the habits and lifestyles of bygone eras.  I always find something fascinating about their way of life.  And I've found that while they may not have had the luxury of technological "advances" we have today, they have other things we are slowly losing.

A sense of community.  Of family.  A rhythm to their days that is dependent on their Creator, and not their smartphones.

That is the life I long for, the life I seek.  Life in the slow lane.



Life has been a bit crazy round these parts the past week or so.  We've had a visit to the ER (all is fine now), recovery from a nasty stomach bug, and all four kids were home!

Now, I know there are plenty of families who have four (or even more) kids and handle it all with style and grace. I'm not there.  At least not yet.

I have some posts I'm working on, but a lack of sleep has kept them unfinished. 

Thanks for hanging in there with me and continuing to visit, although I have nothing new to offer just yet.  Your grace is comforting.

My weekly Bible study and our new sermon series, as well as some life stuff right now, have given me plenty of writing material.  I'll be posting again soon. 

Until then, have an amazing week!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Walking with Grief

There are all sorts of clubs, groups, and even cliques.  Membership usually requires some sort of checklist and possibly even dues.  Once membership is attained, certain privileges become yours. You are allowed to eat at the prestigious country club, workout at the "in" gym, have lunch with the "in" crowd.

Sometimes, however, we become members of clubs with which we never wanted to be, or thought we ever would be, associated.  Miscarriage, divorce, death, unemployment.  Who wants a membership in those clubs?  Not me.  I'm betting not you, either.

But loss seeks us out, grabs us when we least expect it.  The baby you prayed for months to conceive, suddenly has no heartbeat.  The marriage you thought would make it, and seemed to for a while, crumbles.  Cancer robs your husband, grandfather, mother, friend of their life, and it robs you of the relationship.  The job that had so much potential is cut, or worse yet, given to someone else.

Life is full of hurts and disappointments.  Memberships in clubs we'd rather not have.  

Twelve years ago, the excitement and anticipation of my first pregnancy came to a screeching halt when the nurse couldn't locate my baby's heartbeat.  She was very calm and suggested that perhaps I wasn't as far along as originally determined.  My heart knew otherwise.  The next ultrasound confirmed my fear.  My baby was gone.

I collapsed.  I weeped.  I wailed.

Grief came.  Grief stayed.

The months that followed were tricky.  Immediately I had to have surgery.  Two days later, I hemorrhaged and had to be readmitted to the hospital for another surgery.  When I finally was home, I didn't want to leave.  I just wanted my baby back.  I was physically unwell, spiritually unwell, and emotionally a wreck.

Eventually, the days got a little easier.  I began to venture out of my house.  I began to think I was going to be ok.  But then, I would see something, hear something, or even smell something; grief flooded back.  Its trigger evasive, sneaky; wrapping its fingers around me, pulling me down, tripping me up.

I eventually became pregnant again and delivered a beautiful baby boy.  I love that boy!  His birth helped me to face my grief more fully and be able to walk with it in peace.  The grief was still there.  Still is.  But it no longer consumes me.  It can still surprise me, but it no longer defines me.

A few years ago, my marriage of almost 13 years ended in divorce.  I fought it for years before I actually made the decision to walk away.  I didn't want to be divorced.   I didn't want to be "that girl".  God hates divorce.  So do I.  It's an ugly, painful, deeply grieving walk.

It's a grief that I thought would eventually be gone.  It doesn't go away, especially when there are children and ex-spouses involved.  I'm learning to walk with that grief.  Learning to help my children walk with their grief.  Learning to lean on God for my strength.

I've since remarried.  My husband is an amazing man who loves God.  I am blessed beyond measure.  He was married before as well, and has two boys from that marriage.  They have their own grief, too.

But we're all learning to walk through our grief together.  Be sensitive to each other, remembering that what we all really want is to be loved and accepted in the midst of a messy life.  Some days we do really well.  Some days not so much.  

But love and grace and mercy live in our house, right alongside our grief.  It mixes with our joy and laughter, becoming a beautiful thing that only God could orchestrate and sustain.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:9

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Baby Biscuits

Growing up, we had biscuits on a pretty regular basis.  Not those canned biscuits either.  Real biscuits.  Flour-on-your-hands, knead-the-dough biscuits.

Sometimes my mama would use cookie cutters to make fun shapes, but most often it was her biscuit cutter.  I loved to watch her knead the dough, pat it out, and cut all those circles.  We would talk and laugh and enjoy this little slice of life.

My favorite part was my baby biscuit.  Yes, MY baby biscuit.  I'm the baby in my family. My mama was never one to waste something, especially biscuit dough.  So, when she had cut out every biscuit she possibly could, she would take the leftover bits of dough and combine them to make a baby biscuit.  Just for me.

This baby biscuit looked nothing like the others lined up neatly on the pan.  It was misshapen, odd, squished together.  But it was my favorite.

Ten minutes later the timer would ding and the blissful aroma of fresh baked bread beckoned me.  Before my mama could get them off the pan and buttered, my fingers were excitedly laying claim to the one made just for me.

The outside lightly browned; the inside fluffy and light.  Steam rising as I cracked it open, butter dripping down my hand as I popped the entire thing into my mouth, savoring this wonderful creation.  Sure, I would eat one or two or five more of the others; but this one was, and still is, far and away my favorite.

I have my own children to make biscuits for now.  My daughter, when she was still the baby of the family, would stand in a kitchen chair while I made biscuits.  We would talk and laugh and enjoy this little slice of life.  And she would get the baby biscuit.  Her sweet eyes would light up every time I told her the story of her grandmother and me doing the very same thing thirty years before. 

Earlier this week I made biscuits as part of our supper.  The baby biscuit was sitting on the pan, hot and ready, just waiting for my daughter to come along and claim it.  We had a full house that night.  The kitchen was loud and busy.
I turned to get the baby biscuit for my daughter's plate.  Something was missing.  Part of the biscuit was gone.  Who would do such a thing?  Doesn't everyone know she's the baby and that biscuit is hers?

Apparently not my husband.  It seems he likes baby biscuits, too.  And so does the now-baby in our family, our seven-year-old son.  Turns out EVERYONE likes, and wants, the baby biscuit. 

This got me thinking about how many times in life we tend to pursue the seemingly perfect things (relationship, job, home, church, etc.); desperately wanting to be like everyone else and fit into what we think is the best place, or what society has convinced us is the ONLY place, to be.  All the while forgetting that if we will just give our bits (the hurt, the questions, the insecurities) to God, He will make something so unique and beautiful in us, that everyone will want what we have.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Check out Crystal's free routine cards.  These go right along with my desire to frame my days better.  I did something similar with my kiddos when they were preschoolers and when we homeschooled.  Time for this mama to make some for herself. :)

Free Routine Cards