Nov 032012

30 Days of Thankfulness

(A good reminder to do what we are commanded to do explicitly in Scripture.)

November 3rd, 2012. Day 3.

I am thankful for my beautiful daughter, Jewel.

After raising Nick, and swooning over the adorable little girl things, it was my prayer for many long and lonely years that I would have more children, and especially a little girl.

Jewel is 100% girly girl, and I am so blessed to be the one God chose to be her mother. She is sweet and loving, compassionate, intelligent, musical, and already loves the Lord and strives to follow in His ways.

Nov 022012

30 Days of Thankfulness

(A good “excuse” to do what the Lord commands us to do explicitly in Scripture.)

November 2nd, 2012. Day 2.

I am thankful for my incredible husband, Wolf.

(Without intending any slight to the Lord, who naturally is our all in all – and a post for another day).

I am so blessed that the Lord brought such an amazing man into my life 10 years ago. We had each been on such a journey to reach that place in our lives!

  • Wolf is my rock, always an island of calm in my emotional world.
  • He is the true spiritual head of our home.
  • I can always count on him to care for me, and for our children, without stint and without hesitation – “Whatever it takes”, as he often says.
  • And he is the one who makes me laugh, and my one true love – my knight in shining armor.

I don’t tell him often enough, so today I am shouting it out for all the world to hear:

I love you!
I appreciate you!
I am thankful for who you are, and for all you do!

Nov 012012

I have decided to take on the meme that’s running wild this Thanksgiving month:

30 Days of Thankfulness

This is a good “excuse” to do what the Lord commands us to do explicitly in Scripture.

November 1st, 2012. Day 1.

I am thankful for my brilliant and amazing son Nick.

Even though he is no longer living under my roof, he is never far from my thoughts. It is and has been a privilege and a blessing to be a part of his life.

Aug 072012

It’s not often on my blog that I make a post specifically to direct you to someone else’s blog post. I’m not even sure I’ve ever done it before.

But Mike Patz wrote a truly inspired piece, and I felt it was important enough to warrant a blog post rather than just the usual Facebook “Share”.

It ties together thoughts from the recent Chick-Fil-A uproar (which I posted a bit about here, and sum up with this eCard (no attribution found)) with some very, very important larger issues about our Christian walk and witness.

Here are a couple of my favorite “sound bites”:

Church people ask, why won’t our culture repent? My answer: because repentance is a learned behavior. Someone has to model it. I tell parents that it’s silly to expect a child to repent when they have never seen a parent repent. And it’s futile to wait for a culture to repent when a culture has never seen the Church repent.

I am so sorry for the way we pick and choose which sins to condemn. I am so sorry that we have claimed to follow Jesus while we neglected widows and orphans, and then engaged in gossip and gluttony. I am so sorry that we have provided such a bad example for the rest of society to follow.

We have reached the point where disagreement is now seen as hatred. I read an article today where a woman was appealing to Christians to recognize their hateful crimes against the homosexual community … Paragraph after paragraph described the hurt and rejection resulting from these offenses, but it took a while to get to the actual crime: Christians claim that homosexuality is a sin. I was stunned. Disagreement was equated with hate.

Trust me, though, there’s much more to his post. It’s long enough that I know many people will take one look at it and decide not to bother (and the small font doesn’t help the readability any, I know!), but I encourage you to take a moment to give this your undivided, and ever prayerful, attention:

The morning after Chick-fil-A day

I mean, you have to want to know what in the world he’s talking about when he says,

I’m not asking Christians to stop telling the truth, I’m asking them to brush their teeth.

Jul 292012

Here’s what I don’t understand about the Chick-fil-A furor…

The man spoke about his beliefs. And not only that, but it was only in response to a direct question. He didn’t even go out of his way to put this out there.

Yes, he holds the Biblical value that marriage is between one man and one woman. Yes, he donates to Christian causes that support that belief.

So why the vitriol?

Nowhere did he say he HATED anyone. Nowhere did he slander or demean people. Never did he assault people based on their various beliefs or preferences.

Yet those whose behavior falls outside of his beliefs (and, yes, mine) for some reason have decided that they need to launch hateful, spiteful, ad hominem attacks.

Why don’t they simply calmly state their beliefs, as he did? Don’t eat at CFA if they don’t like it. Fine.

But really, if someone were to remove the ISSUE and look at the behavior, there’s a pretty wide gulf.

Why do they go there?

Do they think that will endear them to people?

For the record, we don’t eat at Chick-Fil-A, since they use MSG in their chicken seasoning.

But we will be going to have some milkshakes there next Wednesday, August 1st, to support Mr. Cathy and his business.

Jun 262012

This is not something I would normally do, and not something I hope to ever have to do again… But over and over again it is pointed out to me that there are people out there who would be happy to help others, but they are not aware of the need.

Because, after all, we are the Body of Christ – we are His helping hands.

Well, it’s our turn to be in need.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, let me summarize the recent events as briefly as I can (I’ll probably have any number of posts about individual aspects of this nightmarish journey coming up):

The one sentence back-story: We only recently came through a period of several years of unemployment and underemployment, followed by a cross-country move here to Mississippi, so we have no savings or cushion.

The recent history: Nine months ago we moved (from the tiny place next to the railroad tracks) into a rental with a bigger yard and definite potential — but it turns out it has mold in the walls, or some other toxic quality. Within a month everyone was getting sick all the time. I had bronchitis in the fall, and everyone except Wolf went through a bout of antibiotic resistant strep throat in the winter. Nick nearly didn’t graduate from High School, and Jewel has still not completed her 1st Grade work, due to health issues. I suffered from daily migraines for over seven months, until a desperation treatment (Botox injections) gave me some measure of relief (down to 3 or 4 a week, with a headache most other days).

It took a while to put it all together, but it seemed clear when someone pointed out the dates that the house was almost certainly the cause of our malaise. So, on very short notice, we prepared to move, still not knowing whether we will get our deposit back from the old house (since we are breaking our lease – another long story!). We were strained to the breaking point trying to pay the (large) deposit required at the new place, and moving expenses.

The past two weeks:

  • Sunday: Nick (not quite 18) set off on his first solo trip, driving two days to a writing workshop at a college in Kansas. He broke down in the way there, and much stress and drama interrupted my frantic packing, trying to get him some help. This includes a lot of drama because (as a minor) he could not simply rent himself a hotel room.
  • Monday: After having his radiator replaced, Nick made it to his workshop. (I had to purchase the radiator online for him to pick up there, since he had only enough money scrounged up to pay for his gas for the trip!)
  • Tuesday: While packing, I sell our gas dryer, and buy a used washer and electric dryer. The seller explains that the washer needs a belt, which costs $8 and is widely available. Maybe I was foolish to believe this, but in my defense, Wolf agreed to the deal as well. Naturally, the washer does not work, and the belt is fine.
  • Friday: Nick calls and he’s having car trouble, as well as being lost (since his GPS was stolen out of his car at the workshop). He finally breaks down completely in Lowell, AR, which looks like the exact middle of nowhere on a map. More “minor needs a hotel room” drama, more “how to get him help” stress. He does get checked into a hotel, thanks to local law enforcement and a kind elderly desk clerk. But the head gasket is blown, so he’s not going anywhere.
  • Saturday: Moving Day. Most of our friends had prior commitments, and I had a migraine. We were blessed with the help of a few valiant friends at various times, or we’d never have made it at all. Three loads with the Penske truck, then loading Wolf’s (non-running) project car on a trailer and hauling it over here, plus returning the borrowed trailer. Wolf didn’t get to bed until after midnight, and I was actually worried about just how over-extended he was.
  • Sunday: We dropped off the Penske truck, switched the car seats around, and Wolf took off in my Suburban to rescue Nick – an estimated 14 hour drive. He only got as far as Harrisburg before the truck broke down, and he spent the day (and almost $500) replacing the fuel pump in the parking lot of an auto parts store. He is still healing from the chemical burns across his back from laying in gasoline for so long. Needless to say, he didn’t make it to Nick.
  • Monday: Wolf drives the rest of the way to Lowell. U-Haul didn’t bother to tell us that the tow dolly was not, in fact, at the location where I had reserved it, nor at the one that dealer sent him to. After wasting an hour in being shuffled around, they finally found it (and paid almost $250!). Nick’s vehicle’s steering wouldn’t lock, so they had to tie off the steering wheel to make it even marginally tow-able, and the U-Haul dealer didn’t have the magnetic tow lights that would have made the procedure actually safe. But they started driving. Naturally, the Air Force Inn in Little Rock, where they had had reservations the previous night, was booked up.
  • Tuesday: Wolf and Nick make it home about 2:00 pm! HOORAY! After parking Nick’s vehicle we hurry to return the tow dolly, get Wolf a haircut, switch the car seats back, and send him on his way. He has to drive 4+ hours to Columbus Air Force Base for three days of Reserves duty.

Meanwhile, we continue frantically packing up the seemingly endless amount of “odds and ends” that are left at the old house, since so many factors contrived to limit our packing and preparation. We also have to find a way to mow about an acre of yard (we only have a push mower!), some of which is quite overgrown (we had been nurturing the wild-growing dewberry plants, but the landlord doesn’t want them there).

The landlord is anxiously looking for a way to keep our deposit, after apparently grudgingly allowing us to break the lease (they never have said for sure one way or the other, even after we provided the letter they demanded from our family doctor!). So I’m personally quite overwhelmed with the amount of packing and moving left to do, plus the cleaning (including cleaning the carpets with my little Bissell carpet cleaner), the impossibility of the yard…

All without Wolf here for the rest of the week.

All done by this weekend.

And meanwhile there is the additional financial stress – we did what we had to do to get our son home, but now the rent and other bills are due, and the money is gone.

I am stepping out of my comfort zone, in faith, to ask the Body of Christ to help us bear this burden.

Angels could come in many forms at this point:

  • PRAYING for us!
  • Locally: Mowing the lawn, or at letting us borrow a riding mower
  • Locally: Bringing your truck or SUV to haul a load to the new house
  • Locally: Cleaning one or more areas of the house – bathrooms, kitchen, carpet cleaning, or ?
  • Making a financial contribution to help repay the “Nick Rescue Safari” expenses, which totaled out at over $2,000!
  • SHARING this story and the “Chip In” information (below). This is SUCH a simple, vital gift you can give! Please spread the word, and give others the opportunity to help.

If you would be able to help, however much or little you feel led, you may click the link below to “Chip In”. Every mite is seen by the Lord, and will add us to an overflowing measure of blessing for our family in this dark hour.


May 062012

I had big plans for Easter activities with the kids.

But the Easter activities didn’t seem to be on board with my plans.

We got a bit of a late start trying to grow grass on our Easter Garden after seeing the idea posted on Facebook (I apologize – I have no idea who to credit with the idea and the lovely garden pictured here).

First we discovered that Lowe’s didn’t really have a terra cotta pot small enough. Since we were already behind, we got the smallest one they had. [We have since learned that Michael's has adorable small sized pots for craft use].

We had trouble with the steep slope this created for our hill, but we soldiered on. Jewel and R.T. dutifully took turns watering the seeds with a spray bottle.

The grass was JUST beginning to sprout by Easter. Not ideal, but, it worked…

On “Easter Eve,” we made Easter Story Cookies.

The kids had fun making them, and we enjoyed reading the Easter story to them along the way.

The first batch, I realized I was in trouble when I got to the final step that said “add the nuts” … since I had put the nuts into the bowl after breaking them up in the first step!

Yes, I know I should have read through more thoroughly first, but it was the best I could do with a migraine.

So we put them in the oven and sent the kids to bed.

Then Wolf and I set about re-making them. (Yeah, we were going to “cheat” and stick them in the oven and not tell the kids!)

We beat and beat and beat, but they never fluffed. We read some other meringue recipes to try and figure out what the problem might have been.

Throwing them out, we made another whole batch with a couple of tweaks. We burned out the cheap hand mixer I’d just picked up (I should have known better). Then we burned out my stick blender! Ack! And still, no fluff.

We did put them in the oven, but with no hope of success.

The kids were surprised to see that they had “baked” overnight, but there was no miraculous “cracked open” or “empty (hollow) tomb”.

And I don’t even know what to do differently next year!

The only up side?

We couldn’t find a rock big enough to cover the overly-large tomb opening in our Easter Garden… But one of our Easter Story cookie-patties worked as an excellent stand-in!

Some good lessons learned for next year, and one mystery unsolved.

Good thing Easter isn’t about my homemaking endeavors!