Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Plugged In


So, We have been in Colorado since December 18th. I packed and planned and of course in the hustle and bustle of it all, I forgot my power adaptor to my laptop. In my laptop bag, I had my (this is simply ridiculous, but) ipod shuffle, ipod video nano, a few earbuds, two power charges for our iphones and of course the usb ports to keep everything synched while we were away!
The analogy is simple. None of these things will work if the source is NOT charged. There is some battery life to be squeezed out for some time. It will perform but only temporary.

As Nick and I were packing I had the thought that I didn't need to pack my bible. I could just use his. This analogy grew within my head that we all individually need to plug in to our power source. As Christ follower's, this is done in the Word. I have grown to love and appreciate and need the Word in my life. I feel like a drained battery and worth nothing if I haven't drawn from it's power!

Here I sit at my sister's house (who is as Mac crazy as me and has plenty of power adapters for me to get some juice!) Yet another picture of this Christian life is lived. We have family/the body to offer aid when needed.

I'm so energized by Christ within. I'm fueled by His love. Are you plugging in each day? Oh, how blessed we are to have the Word so readily available to us to keep us charged throughout each day!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Path



I went on a quick run this morning in preparation for departing for our all-too-familiar-road-trip to CO. We are actually taking the girls skiing for their first time this year! Usually, we drop them at the grandparents and hit the slopes ourselves. We are about to experience it in a whole new way....

Anyway, on my run, I began an old series that Matt Chandle,r from the Village Church did last year. It is titled: "The Path." At the end of part 1, he starts talking about how there are no guarantees that any of us will live to be 70 years old. He went on to say he was sure he would be doing someone's funeral at that church within the year. Then he stated that someone could be doing his. My point in bringing all of this up is that Matt "has it!" Do you know what I mean when I say that he "has it?" He understands God and many of His mysteries have been revealed to him through the Word of God!!! He has a malignant brain tumor that was not encapsulated. (you can read about it here!) This means that they couldn't get it all in surgery. But, see, years ago before there was any evidence of anything growing on or around his brain, he was preaching the Word of God as if any of us (including him) could have such a thing! The importance of "having it" is going to mark how we live our lives in the face of such a trial.

Please watch THIS VIDEO from him two days before the surgery where they began to discover more about this tumor! He is in the face of an ugly trial and yet he stands firm on a platform for God's goodness and His glory to be revealed.

Video from Matt

This excites me so much that I too hope that I would consider such a diagnosis an honor to display God's character to those that need to see it! Do you "have it?" The mystery can be revealed. I so get that in the face of a trial you can still call God good! I get that He doesn't change when our circumstances do. May I live like I get it!!!! As I pray for Matt to have God's peace and for his family, will you join me that God would be glorified no matter the outcome? That the circumstances of this trial do not define God! But that God's goodness is displayed for all to see!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mistletoe

So, with my mind on a possible job move and our upcoming trip to Colorado, I really didn't want to get the Christmas decorations out to put up for what I think to be too short of a time. Some single moms were walking door to door last weekend selling Mistletoe. I gave my donation and hung it in the entry way. Satisfied with my small Christmas spirit, I thought I was done decorating the house.
Well, after a facebook status discussion, I felt that I was being selfish to my girls by not making the effort. So, out they came!!! We did all but the tree. Christmas spirit dwells within my home now. In doing this, I let the girls try on their dresses from Poppi and Mimi that have patiently gone untouched all year. Here are their sweet faces after decorating together!

Friday, December 4, 2009

God is my Provider

I've known since the beginning of September that Nick's job with Young Life could no longer exist after December 31st. The funds simply aren't there. So, as we've been seeking the Lord for options I have found myself back at the basic knowledge that God is my Provider. Is it easier for me to trust Him in this because we have a cushion in savings? Because we have two sets of parents that would welcome us into their home if we couldn't pay our mortgage? These have been convicting questions to me. I know that I know- that I know -that God takes care of us. But is it easier for me to look like I'm living in that confident faith because of these "back ups" in my pocket?

Obviously we are now in the month of December and nothing has actually been decided yet. I hear my heater running all day today because it's 17 degrees outside and I think of the cost of being warm. I think about my Dr. appoint that is scheduled in January that I may have to try to move to next week simply because who knows if we'll have insurance.

Trusting God can only happen when there is something to trust Him with. I am so thankful that God has put me in this boat where I float in HIS Trustworthiness. Francis Chan talked about in a podcast I heard yesterday that in Proverbs 30:7 this man says this:
"Two things I asked of You,
Do not refuse me before I die:
Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion"

Dude!!! The guy is asking to live paycheck to paycheck. He doesn't want anything extra and he doesn't want to starve. To say, Lord, only give me what I need FOR THAT DAY! The timing of hearing this verse spoken in this way was perfect. I know that God has all the details worked out. There are conversations that are happening almost daily about options for Nick within Young Life and as they happen I wait with the Patience and Peace that God has given me during this time.

It would satisfy parts of me to come on this blog and post my big announcement of our plan. But, I have nothing to report. **Except to testify of God's Provision.**
HE has always taken care of us. I watch it through my parents generous hearts. I see it in the patience and peace that He provides. I see it in the fully stocked pantry and freezer. I see it in my girls closets that are full of hand-me-down clothes. We are set and it is because we are more than sparrows! We aren't set because I have some money in savings. We aren't set because we have parents that are generous and would take us in. We ARE set because God uses whatever he needs to to see that we are taken care of. I rest in that and will continue to even after I hear of the plan for our future. One day at a time!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Running debrief...

On my run yesterday I actually retained enough that I simply have to regurgitate some of it here.

"We care more about our comfort than our character" - Francis Chan

When using the word steadfast or endure, the definition requires the weight to hold to be steadfast or to endure in the strength. You are not enduring when it is removed. So when building endurance, you have to have the thing there that you have to endure. The discomfort. So many people want a comfortable pain-free life. Character isn't developed without struggle. So, I would want to choose the uncomfortable, painful things that make me stronger and better FOR God's glory. Grow me. Change me. Don't take it away and make it all better, because then I'm deprived of the opportunity to become who God wants me to become.

I actually prayed the strongest prayer I think I've ever prayed when listening to Francis' sermon yesterday. I'm posting it here to chronicle it. I said, "Whatever it takes!" I don't even want to type out the things I offered to God, but they were about as open handed as one could get. Then this morning, I got a little scared. Is this the last time I'll see my daughter? Are things so amazing with my husband right now, because this is the end? Regardless, my hand has no grip on anything in my life and I freely offer it all to God. As I write this, I realize He has always had the power to take and I just handed an invisible baton of control.

"Things are caught, not taught" -familiar quote requoted by Francis Chan

The best parenting advice EVER: Work on yourself first. If you are self-controlled and equipped in God's armor and filled with the Spirit and so on and so forth, your children will see and learn so much more than when you are throwing commands while suffering in your own internal battle.

For me, personally this translated into getting up in the mornings before my children. Around my house, I am blessed to have a husband that delights in doing the morning routine. This allows me to just sleep right through it all!!!! I LOVE sleep!!! But, for me, I felt like I was actually sinning by sleeping in every single morning. I was flirting with the depression that I am tempted by each day. During those morning hours I struggle with facing what my role is. Well, starting this morning, I set the alarm and obediently got out of bed to work on myself first! So far so good! I'm excited and challenged!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wrongly Delegated

I hear from my daughter's mouth, "I don't want to make you mad!" When did I give her the power of my moods? The power to hold a key to any of my emotions? She is too young. She shouldn't have to feel the weight of responsibility of my happiness. This is something that is difficult to undo.
Lord, give me wisdom in this endeavor!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gift

As I have been pounding the pavement, I've had so many podcasts going in that I don't know where to begin in everything that is coming out of me. This is transformation. I have one to two sermons every day or every other day playing in my earbuds as I've been pacing myself through the sidewalks of Edmond this Fall. It has been an overwhelming thing to take so much in. I find myself talking out loud in agreement with the pastors that ask application questions. Sometimes it is in agreement that I am so there with them living a certain way and making certain choices or sacrifices. Other times, it is sadly a discouraging confession of where I am falling short of the calling.
There is one question that is standing out to me from the dozens I've been pondering.

Am I using the gifts that God gave me?
And am I using them for His glory?


I can tell you that today God showed me a way that I can use one of my talents for His glory. A few weeks ago, my friend's two year old son died from drowning in a swimming pool. I have been praying Romans 15:13 (NLT) for every member in her family every time I think of them. I know that praying is good. But at times like these, people always want to "do" something more. The Holy Spirit very clearly told me how I can minister to the entire family. I am to make a scrapbook of his life as a gift for them. So, over these next few days, the family will be getting pictures printed and stories written for me to put in a book. I feel so honored to get to do this for this family!

With the feeling of being used by God comes fulfillment. There truly is nothing as fulfilling as living in a God-honoring way. Oh, how this has sparked a desire to find this kind of fulfillment in everything I do.

God, may I do everything as unto YOU! Help use me as I create for this family. Continue to hold this family strongly in your grip and cradle them with the Hope that is in You Alone!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

18 miles

When I read my "Runner's World" magazine or read a runner's blog I consider myself a beginner because I haven't run a marathon. Why is everything based on the scale of whether or not you have run a marathon? Maybe it's not. But, I perceive it that way. And because I perceive it that way, I'm shooting to run a marathon. I just read a friend's post on why she ran a marathon. Her intentions where so good. You can read about it here. It's rather inspiring. I can only wish that my reasons for training and running a marathon were in line with hers, but I'm still trying to figure out why I'm aiming thataway!!!
When I began my running journey in May of this year I didn't have any goals. I just wanted to run. Quickly, I realized I needed to see how far I could push myself. I still am trying to figure out what it is exactly that is driving me. I can tell you that each milestone brings such joy to me that maybe I'm just running for joy.
Well, to the title of this post...
My inspirational running buddy told me that before I even register for a full marathon, I needed to just run 18 miles to see if I felt okay. Well, I did that yesterday!!!! It's official that I can NOW register for the one I want to do. I watched her cross the finish line and only hoped that I could do it next year. Now, I'm shooting for that goal. So, I am going to register for the OKC Memorial Marathon for April 2010!!!!



On my 18 miler yesterday, I thoroughly enjoyed that for right under 3 hours, my body could maintain such a rhythm. I listened to two podcasts and a new playlist. The Fall weather was perfect! I am excited about this running, joyous journey!!!!
I still think someone should pay me for running a marathon instead of me paying $90.00 to run 26.2 miles. What's up with that? Maybe I could take up a collection ;)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Red Letter Reading

So, this morning, I picked up my husbands bible to read. (It was right by me where I landed with my coffee.) When I opened it to John I saw the beautiful red letters of Jesus' words. My Bible doesn't have His words set apart in their own color. I had this "Just give me Jesus" mentality. So, I read as much time allowed just the words of Jesus. I LOVE this and will continue to do this for some time.
But, in Bible Study today, I kept hearing Kay Arthur say these two words: Truth and Deceit. It is so important to know truth. I remembered that just this morning in reading Jesus words, numerous times He started His sentences with, "I tell you the truth!" Beautiful words to those that seek to know truth!
I'm so excited about Jesus!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Pictures

If I kept a camera in my car during all of Fall's beauty, I would be in trouble!!! Here are three I particularly like :)



My Fall

I've heard it once asked, "Which kind of pain is harder? Physical or Emotional?" Thinking about this, I am inclined to say that the pain you are IN is the hardest. I've also had discussions with many mothers. Mothers in many different stages.
Mothers of:
Infants
Toddlers
Elementary Age
Pre-teens
Teens
College Age
and finally, Grown adults.

Many of those same mothers say that the season you are in is the hardest. Do you ever find yourself literally in a season of the year and just longing to be in a different season? Like it's 100 degrees outside and you long for a blizzard that demands for you to seek comfort by a fire curled up in a blanket with hot cocoa? Or your in Spring suffering with allergies and you simply want out? Anything, but that pollen... or whatever?

Well, I was mountain biking with Nick today and I can't even begin to describe the contentment of this season I'm in. Not only Fall. But, this season of parenting. My girls still want me to sit by them when they watch a movie. But, they don't need me to bathe and dress them. They color imaginative pictures and hold them up to my eyes with pride and they don't need me to teach them how to even hold a crayon or draw a circle anymore. I had paused when I was typing the different stages of motherhood when I got to "Elementary Age." I simply wanted to say the "honeymoon" stage. I love where I am with my girls right now. I love the Fall and how it beckons me to drive slowly to admire what God miraculously does with the trees that I've been surrounded by for months. I passed three trees in a row... Yellow, DARK green, and RED. Just weeks ago, I ran past those very trees not knowing the surprise they had for me bursting with contrast to one another.




My life is in no way perfect. But, honeymoons really aren't perfect either. I struggle watching them wrestle with their own sin natures. I'm too quick to react to them some days. My fuse still runs too short. But, this season is a season I am content in.

God, I know this is because of where you have me in my walk with you. You are filling me so much with Yourself that I am able to appreciate what is around me. Walking with you is what makes me excited about the next season. For now, I'll rest in today's beauty! Thank you!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

So Much To Say

I really feel like once again I have too much to put on here. Either I need to quit blogging altogether or start posting daily. I just have too much to unload at the moment that I've decided to simply post a picture where I think Nick and I look adorable and incredibly happy. And I might add that we are! Thanks be to God!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fancy Stones

One of the routes where I run, I pass a cemetery. Each time I pass by it (running), I think the thought: "No Fancy Stones for my Bones." I actually have no idea, thankfully, how much tombstones even cost. But, when I see the highest, fanciest one in the graveyard, I actually think the thought that they might not have been saved. I sure don't want people taking out loans to give my bones something fancy for the dirt that covers only my old shell. I mean, I run by this cemetery and feel a hope that wells up within me causing me to PRAISE our God for saving me and giving me an eternal perspective on this life that we are all living. The things that maybe send me out on my run in frustration or depression seem to disappear when I look fully in HIS face because of the reminder of what this life is all about.
I once heard when I was like in Jr. High that the little dash between the year of our birth and the year of our death represents our short life. The sermon or speech or whatever it was concluded with the big statement: "How you choose to live your life is represented in that small dash." Or something like that. It is a great perspective in light of eternity, we are but a dash. I am just so thrilled to be at a place where I now run. I run past a cemetery listening to podcasts hopeful that transformation is taking place to make my dash just ultimately point to Christ. It should ALWAYS be about HIM!!!! He is so GOOD!
This is a picture taken of a cemetery I saw on my bike route this summer in NC. I think it accurately shows the perspective I am talking about :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nike +ipod



So, I have finally found a system that works for me with running. The little pod is permanently in my shoe. All I do is plug something into my nano and go. I always know how far I've gone and how long it's taken which also calculates and tells me my pace!!! I'm a happy runner!!! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Struggle

All too often when I think of hardship, trial, suffering, adversity, affliction, etc....; I think of the BIG things. Cancer. Death. Accidents. Fire. Loss. Typically, I do NOT think of the day in-day out struggle that is described as a thorn in the flesh. That constant rub. Irritation.
But as I've been discussing with some friends and looking at scripture it seems that the BIG things are almost easier to handle (when on a strong foundations of Christ) than the gnawing little things of life. Galatians 6:9 is written for such struggles: "9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
The "911 emergency" mentality of sending in the troops for help when a major, disastrous thing occurs in life brought relief for me to hypothetically live out. Whose twisted way of thinking is this? Mine. By being "in need" because of something big, the daily grind gets relief.
Father, I do not want to cop out with my daily grind. I don't want to be a coward at enduring my hard "little" things. I want to courageously confront them over and over again. Give me the humility, gentleness and self-control needed to maintain these day in-day out mundane irritations with integrity and character. May you get some glory from these efforts!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

For Heather and Stacey

Dear Mean Lady in my Neighborhood,

What a beautiful day it was today. I am so excited that after years of praying for something specific to help me bond with one of my daughters, the perfect answer has come. We decided to start running together. I have never seen her face ignite with such enthusiasm as I did on our run today.

Did you see her face when you passed by? Or were you too busy being concerned about how much of our neighborhood street the two of us were taking up? Multiple times on our run together, I spotted potentially dangerous areas where the sidewalk was necessary and chose that option for the two of us. However, when you approached, I saw that there were no parked cars on the road to make it too tight to go on and pass us by. I saw that we were on a straight portion of road. And I ALSO saw that as your car came dangerously close to our bodies, you didn't budge!

Thanks for honking because that was really polite.... just in case I didn't notice that you didn't like that we were running on the street two wide. My daughter thought you honked because we might have known each other. You can imagine how hard I had to bite my tongue on my response to that innocent observation.

In the future, if it's clear enough to give up your space on the road for a mother and daughter to enjoy spending some quality time outside together, THEN GIVE THEM SPACE. And you can even honk IF you are going to smile and wave!

With a little bit of weight lifted,
Rachel <><

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blog Post Titles

Blogs I've started in my head that haven't made it here:

Dear Spider

Not one particular Idol...

Dear Mean lady in my neighborhood

Verbal Abuse

In Christ

The Grass isn't as green...

Maybe by actually putting these here, I'll refer to them when I finally get a chance to write again. :)
Hope all is well.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Work Out

After my duel with the bike last weekend it seems that I'm just in a dueling mode. I found an old Garmin Forerunner on Craigslist to try to run with. My desire in having a Forerunner type product is simple: I want to look at my watch and know how far I've gone. I don't need much else. The frustrations of this endeavor are stacking way too high for me to re-tell. My duel with the actual running is that I haven't been doing it much. Here I was on a wonderful pattern or routine and it was all broken up with me stupid bike episode from my last post. So, I'm trying once again to get back into a great routine. I keep thinking that things will get much better in me if I do.

See, I'm having that inner junk that rises within so often. Kind of too complex to put into words. It's right here in this assessment that I almost always "Work Out" the problem. Isn't almost ALWAYS a Heart Issue? Today, I will go on a run and call it a "work out", but really I am going to work out what is going on within my heart!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Enchanted Circle

Usually, I come back from trips and tell about how wonderful they were on here. Well, Nick calls it "The Perfect Storm for my Bad Ride!!!"
Where to begin? I'll start with sharing the album of our whole trip here!!!!

So, if you looked at the pictures, you'll see the smiles on my girls faces!!! It was a wonderful memory maker for them. Papa and Grammy drove down from the Springs to meet us and we had a great reunion together. If we had met to do just that, then the trip would have been fine. BUT~

.....I wanted to ride 100 miles from Red River to Taos to Angel Fire, and back to Red River...... yeah, in the mountains at altitude without training! So, we load up the family in the car. We make it halfway before realizing that we can't make it there that night. We get a hotel (a fun memory for the kids!!!!) and a whopping price tag for us. We hit the road again. The 4 1/2 hours in the car the day before wasn't the best thing for the sciatic pain I was having in my back/leg. So the 4 1/2 this next day certainly didn't help it either. We have s'mores that night and that made for a good day :) (another fun memory for the kids!)

Nick and I hit it early in the morning..... I could have told you from the first 5 miles that were downhill that was proving to be challenging for me that I wouldn't be riding a century that day, but no.... I had to keep going. Finally around mile 40, my muscles cramped up tight enough to communicate to my brain that this ride wasn't going to happen. It was at that time that we found out that most people who do this ride usually come with their own SAG (support and Gear....aka a car to get into when you cramp up or bonk.) So, some kind guy takes us up to the next rest stop where we wait and wait and wait for some mythical SAG wagon to show up. It never does. So, same nice guy takes us to Angel Fire where Nick's parents help us out. The next four hours are too painful to re-live so, I'll just say that after the hail storm that even cars couldn't get over the pass in, only half of the riders crossed the finish line that day.

Guess what? I got to get in the car the next day with that same sciatic pain and grin and bear it for 9 hours until we made it home scratching our heads about the trip in general. I actually sent my kids to school wearing dirty clothes and having tangles in their hair and in dire need of a bath this morning. :( Bad parent? Nope, just one that needed to re-group a bit. So, if you see me wearing and "Enchanted Circle Century" t-shirt, just know that there is a story there that I will never re-tell.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Bad Mix

There are just some days where events keep colliding, causing an explosion. Here I sit with the aftermath of such an exploded day. It began last night. I had a procedure that was to free me from pain every month. I am not freed. Last night, the unwelcomed pain began. My morning commitments of volunteering for my daughter's Kindergarten class and my daughter's 1st grade class came. Dedicated, I showed up. With cramps, I did the tedious work all the way until 11:45. Then, I hurried home to take food to a friend recovering from surgery. I hustled back up to the school where my new commitment of media center volunteer began. The training was quick and painless and I jumped right in helping children with their choices!
The bad mix began when I picked up the girls from their classes and walked outside. It is September. You'd think it would be nice to walk outside in September.... Well, I forget that OK is ridiculous! It was a heat index of a blazin' 98 degrees!!!! Uuugh.

Air conditioner blaring and headed to run a quick errand, my children fall apart, each in their own way :(
I find that I have nothing left after a wonderful day of serving. Don't get me wrong..... I actually ENJOYED what I did today (ALL day) at the school. I LOVED the brief, but golden conversation that I had with everyone there. I was just spent and truly felt empty of anything to give to my girls or to respond in a decent way. I grit my teeth and tried to just make it home.

So, at home, my loving, amazing, wonderful and patient husband begins tackling the attitudes while I sit in my room and cry. The tears fall from frustration of feeling like I'm getting no where with the girls. ARe they seriously not learning these lessons that I've been teaching for all these years? When they say that, "Mom is being mean!" I truly want to BE MEAN just to show them what MEAN is. They don't even know how much discipline I am showing by what I am withholding.

So, in reflection, I have decided that some things just don't mix. Today I found one combination I don't prefer. Onto better mixes for other days!!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Great Season, Bad Day

So, I didn't stretch in a sprint across a finish line and break the finisher tape. Because if I did, I wouldn't still be struggling. I do love and appreciate this new season of parenting I'm in, but when these bad days come, I can't be shocked. (especially when they didn't have school yesterday and today!)

I wanted to update on this new season. Along with the kiddos being back in school, I am back in Fall Bible Study. I am doing a Precept Study of Ephesians. Right before starting the homework, I had a prayer. I want to WANT to study His Word MORE. I want to want it for the right reasons. I want a new passion that is really just within. I'm not begging for a mountain top experience, just a simple kindling within me to study with the purpose of KNOWING our God more and glorifying HIM.

Well, I believe He has already answered. On my runs, I no longer have to have loud up-itty music blaring to get me through the routine of it anymore. I have started using some of the time to listen to podcasts. Sermons. The WORD going in more continually. I am thrilled at being fed in more than one area in my walk with Jesus. I kind of feel at times that I'm taking too much in.

Soooooo......I might start changing some of my posts to be more about what I'm learning so that I work on retention and application.

Plus, all of this will help me through those bad days :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

What do you do?

This is the question everybody is asking me now that my girls are in school all day. It's not bon bons and soap operas, but cottage cheese with peaches and the Today show featuring Moms in different stages of life! At least in this very moment. This moment of munching on my healthy snack after a run with the tv on in the background has me thinking about how blessed I am to finally have this kind of time on my hands!

So far I've:
*done two 10 mile runs
*done one 50 mile bike ride
*dated my husband for a day
*meal planned & grocery shopped
*finished my novel (American Wife- which was really a great read!)
*hung out with some sweet, special friends!

While all of that stuff is absolutely wonderful, I want to share what God has been doing in my heart in the quieter moments. For those of you that have walked along with me in much of my struggle as a mother can really appreciate the sweetness of this victory. It was the first day of school when God had it rain ALL day. This kept me from going out on a long run or a bike ride. Rather, I spent more time with the Lord that day. I stumbled upon a great little devotion thing written in my Sanctuary Bible. I am going to type it out because I believe it is just that good.
"Custom-Fit Armor
A battle is raging- a battle that we can't see. The concept of spiritual warfare is difficult enough for me to comprehend, much less teach my children. They need to understand, however, that there are powers beyond our senses, beyond what we can see and hear. The battles we wage in our lives are part of a huge cosmic battle that has been going on since Satan's fall. The battle will not end until he is destroyed.
In the meantime, God promises that if we wear his armor, we can stand firm. As we pray God's promises for our children, we need to pray for strength in the unseen spiritual battles.
In prayer, put on the belt of truth, praying that she will be a truthful person who not only believes the truth but also lives it. Then prayerfully add the body armor of God's righteousness, protecting her heart and giving her the ability to stand up to Satan's attacks because the righteousness is not her own, but God's. Next, "for shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News: (Ephesians 6:15). When you put on these shoes, your child is ready for any battle because ...she [knows] that she is already on the winning side.
Give her the shield of faith. Satan will shoot his fiery arrows of temptation, doubt, fear, despair, accusation, or problems, and only strong faith can deflect these arrows. Help her to put on the helmet of salvation, protecting her mind from the doubts that can so easily creep in and undermine her faith. Doubt can deal death blows to those not protected by the assurance of salvation, so this helmet will protect her.
Finally, pray that she will have the sword of the Spirit- the Word of God. This is her only offensive weapon. When she knows God's Word, she is prepared to answer Satan's attacks as well as other people's doubts and questions. Pray that she will learn God's Word and apply it correctly to her life."
-Linda K. Taylor

See, I was able on the very first day away from my girls to realize that I get to use this time while they are "out there" (essentially in the world) to pray for them. When they were right there beside me ALL THE TIME, I didn't necessarily want to pray for them. Now, that they are away, I see that my behind the scenes role for them is to pray for them. I thought it was so precious of God to show me that the first day and to gently teach and lead me into this new position!

This in turn has given me a new tenderness towards them. Nick is out of town so I've been doing the routine alone the past two days. This very morning, I felt God Himself gently loving them through me as I walked in their rooms to wake them up. It began with a quiet singing voice that I put on for them. It sounded like this:
♫ ♫ ♫ "So, rise and shine and give God the glory glory, rise and shine and give God the glory, glory! Rise. And. Shine. And. Give God the glory, glory, children of the Lord. ...... Good Morning, good morning, it's time to rise and shine!!! This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it, and be glad in it. This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. This is the day, This is the day that the Lord Has Made!"♫ ♫ ♫
All the while, caressing them and awakening them. I just thought this was such a gift as I can't recall too many times I've felt that endearing, mothering feeling that I think most Moms feel. Thank you, Lord for making this day for me to be glad in :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Spiders

I finally took a picture of this spider that has been in our backyard this past month. Actually, I think there have been a few of them as Nick has reported killing one already. Anyway, I googled pictures of spiders until I found one that looked like the picture I took. They are called Black and Yellow Garden Spiders (or writing spiders because of how they spin their webs.) After reading about them, I discovered that they are harmless. They aren't poisonous even though I feared they were. I am realizing that we do a lot of judging by how things appear.

I wonder how many things appear harmless but are really killers. Or how many things are killers but appear to be harmless? I know that I am all too often guilty of misjudging things. And I was reminded of this all because of a scary looking innocent spider in my backyard!




Friday, August 21, 2009

10 YEARS!!!!

Happy Anniversary to us!!! Today!!!! I am thrilled to be celebrating this day! God is so good and one way that I have seen that is through this marriage that is centered around HIM! Thank you God for being the Constant in our Marriage! Thank you for bringing us ten years down this road.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Elementary Empty Nest

It is here. I am filled with peaceful excitement. The drop off was a bit crazy due to the rain and all the parked cars from parents in the building taking pictures. But, my girls couldn't get to their classrooms fast enough!!! They were so excited! And I am too!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hummingbirds Swarming

They are everywhere. What an answer to prayer!!! It began last night. I went out to move the feeder so I'd see them better and one came to me and drank from the very feeder in my hand. I knew this was God. I smiled a joyous smile. Today, the little friends have been out there ALL day. They are usually there only two different times a day. I believe this is God's way of displaying to me that He is here in my midst.

Today I read:
"I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is."
Ephesians 3:16-18


I am empowered. I "feel" empowered. I am loved! I "feel" loved!" I trust HIM!!! How quickly God translated Knowing Truth to Feeling Truth (an answer to my sister's prayer for me!)

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Hummingbird, My Joy

I have been fighting back tears for awhile. They are so readily there because I am sensing an unhappiness within me. Flirting with the borders of depression. I don't understand this though. I was on my bike a couple of days ago and Dave Crowder was worshipping in my ear buds. I had the strongest realization that the POWER of the LIVING GOD is within me. This is why I don't understand that I can feel this way. If I can intellectually balance the truth that He is more powerful and He holds the Victory, then why must I "feel" the emotions of defeat and sadness?

I try to simply will it away, but my first thought that I had as I woke up this morning, was that I am not happy. I'm exhausted in the battle for my children's hearts. They are crooked and mine is too. In my exhaustion, I want to run. In fact, today I have. I left my house to come to a quiet place. To reflect. To cry. To pray. To write. To think. Here I am not wanting to return because of the hopelessness I "feel." I keep writing "feel" with the quotations because I know that is a big part of the problem. I KNOW TRUTH. I KNOW the verses. They collide at me in my brain and that's where the rub is wrong. I'm standing on Truth but "feeling" so helpless.

I've just spent some time reading some friends blogs and I am struggling with the fact that most of them are beginning their school year in this incredible obedience to God's call for them to homeschool. And here I am "just a-passin' the time" until my girls school year begins. Since we've returned from our travels, I have admittedly been waiting and counting down the days. This says to me that I am waiting for one big band-aid. I keep thinking that things will get much better when they are all gone for a full day of school. So, in these next two days before they go off, I am deciding to look at this right in its face! Here I am, tears and all facing whatever this is. I am begging for God to deal with me in this place of my heart that is messed up.

One last little thought/story: I LOVE hummingbirds (as I've shared on here before.) When one comes to my feeder in my back yard, my heart "feels" happiness. Last night, the happiness I felt from my little visitors was much needed. Over these next two days, I anticipate on overwhelming feeling of happiness delivered straight from God to me because I am believing, I am seeking, asking, desiring, crying out for joy!
God, hear my heart's cry of sadness. Take, take, take it all away! I want you. I crave the JOY you bring. Deal with me. I want the places of my heart to be dealt with that are wrong.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Responses

The reports are constant:

"Mommy, my arm hurts."
"I can't get to sleep"
"My eye is burning"
"Mommy, watch what I can do" (this is a big one..... especially at the pool!)
"Look at my boo boo"

They continually come at me each day. My Mom is probably laughing right now because I was that very child. "Mommy, watch me draw this. Mommy, look at my bug bite. It itches. Will you scratch is for me?" Admittedly, I was the worst. But, you aren't capable of seeing that then. You don't even know it when you're doing it. Better yet, you don't know how much it drives your mom crazy.

I'm scared that my fake and patented responses will be seen for what they are..... annoyed settlements. My "uh-huh" and my "I'm sorry" are simply not genuine. I feel almost robotic now when I hear the tone and the approach of "Mommy... (enter your own report.)"

I guess this realization that they will one day be in my position of "uh-huhing" their own offspring makes it feel better in some way. It helps to understand that my dislike for both how I respond and how they continually come, stem from my dislike of sin. There reports are driven by selfishness. That is the part that I am repulsed by and that is the part that I see myself struggling with.

There's actually so much more that I could say about my struggle with watching them sin all day long. It feels so defeating as a parent to watch them repeat the same mistakes over and over again. I'm not God. I simply can't parent as He does. He is so patient. For now, I'll just keep on keeping on!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Audience

I hate it when I actually stop to think about who might be reading this little blog of mine. It really is intended to:
1. Glorify God
2. Promote Growth in the midst of what I'm in
3. An aid to help me process stuff
4. Allow for friends from afar to stay "in the know" with me
5. Document the good, bad and ugly

So, really it shouldn't matter to me who reads or anything. What brought this up was the fact that I wanted to share a video from youtube on here. I laughed at it. I desired to share it. Then, I wondered what different individuals would think. Funny how I can write extremely openly on my heart issues and not wonder what people will think, but when sharing content that others might not think as funny or whatever had me questioning.

I'm going to attach the video just because of principle alone that I am not concerned about what others think or even who my audience is. I also will continue to write about the things God is using to glorify Himself, grow me and keep my friends involved in some part of my life :)


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blog-worthy

I don't have anything blog-worthy to post. I have returned from all of my summer travels. The normal stuff of returning to my reality is here and in my face. I've cleaned, I've grocery shopped. I began recalling my post about my need for an extreme heart makeover where I truly desired to initiate with my girls. To be intentional. I have slacked off of that with all of our traveling and I have now found myself counting down the days for school to start. Once again my heart is starting to feel selfish. I can feel the tendencies to make choices that will ultimately satisfy ME. I am disgusted at this. I wish that I could simply wish it away. I try to pray it away.

I was just disrupted by my tantruming, disobedient, disrespectful youngest. Can you tell I'm in the middle of a bad one? I am. Here I sit writing about my heart being in the wrong place and I lean over her trying to explain to her that her issue is a heart issue. Then I feel hypocritical and like I'm in no place to effectively teach her anything about her behavior and responses. Oh, how thankful I am that the Lord is in my midst and will help me with both of our hearts!!! Until then, I must say that it is only 17 days until school starts ;)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Train up a child...

....in the way he should go, and he shall not depart from it."

It's a great verse and I understand the truth in it. But, I am so tired of the now and not seeing the results. I feel so defeated in the immediate. This verse truly talks about beginning to end. Infancy to Adulthood. Seeing that we are in the elementary stages, I am not seeing the stick-to-it-ness that I want to see that my children have learned. How many more times do I have to prompt them on their responses?

I am sure this defeat is heightened since we have just left family camp. A place where their little self-side was satisfied. We are reigning back in on the answer "no" and it is rubbing them wrong. I am tired from camp. It wasn't a kick back and relax on a vacation type setting. Please hear that I am NOT complaining. It was undoubtedly the best week of our lives (as far as family unity is concerned.)

That transition to normalcy is tricky. I loved watching these kids have fun and play together! But, in the van on the way back down to the Springs to stay for a few days, I could hear the sin natures loud and clear and it makes me cringe. My cringing is the best attempt that I have at self-control. I'd rather sit there with my teeth gritting together than explode or roll my eyes. But, I have the power of the Holy Spirit living within me. Can't I do better than cringe?

I have a strong desire within me to give up as well. Now, this feels balanced by my husband who is continually encouraging me to not give up. That helps having that support. But, this is where I am and these are my prayers as we are transitioning ♫ back to life and back to reality ♫

God, I can do NOTHING without YOU! Thank you for offering and supplying Your help! I need it as I am not seeing Victory within the battle of raising children up in Your Ways. Thank you for the opportunity to go to camp and make wonderful memories. Help me as we drive back home and jump back into where You have us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Colorado






We are in Colorado for Family Camp. I can't even do words yet...... so, I"m packing this post out with some great pictures!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hot Doggett 100


I DID it!!!!!! My first century!!! And this particular one was the hardest thing I think I've ever done. We pedalled for 8 hours and 14 minutes.... with stops we were one the course for 9 1/2 hours total. It was a long, grueling day! There were times where I felt like hours passed and not many miles because I was averaging like 5 mph. The climbs were tough. The downhills ROCKED. I maxed 43.8 mph (I think.) We climbed 9,600 feet total elevation. I'm pretty sure I already posted a link to this ride. Here's a decent map!!



Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pack the Pacifiers

I had a dream last night that a free spot opened up on a trip to a desirable destination. I had only minutes to decide if I wanted to go. Upon deciding, I found out I didn't have much time to pack much of anything as the flight was soon approaching. Then, at the very last minute, it was strongly suggested that I take my youngest daughter, Kenna, along with me. All this for free. All I had to do was say yes!

So I did. I learned a few things about myself in this dream. All the pre-traveling jitters that come as a package deal when I take a trip are really quite unnecessary. There really is nothing I can't live without. I was so freed on this trip to have my baby and a growing relationship with her as my luggage. We had the clothes on our back. Plus, we happened to have enough time to grab literally a change of clothes and something to sleep in.

See, I go on trips and I think of all the "things" I need to buy and pack so that the kiddos stay content. So that we have luxury where our destination finds us. Making sure to include the dvd's and the ipods. REALLY. These "things" are more grown up "pacifiers." When traveling with an infant, it is crucial to have a binkie, blankie, bottle or whatever it is that pacifies the discontentment of a baby. But, my true heart's desire from this dream is that I may only be pacified by Christ. Contentment in Him and His Provision. And this "carpe diem" mentality with life. Saying yes to adventure without preparation.

If offered the same thing, would you go?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Windy Gap

I am in kick-back-mode for the week. No kiddos. The last two Harry Potter books. Meals prepared and served. What more can I say?

It is strange to just be an observer this week at camp. This time last year I remember posting about being on our first assignment and beggin' for prayer. Now, I am watching it all going on and remember how hard it can be. I'm meeting the families that are all in their third week of "bonding" and just remembering. I have even seen a couple people that were with us at SharpTop Cove last year.

I have the big bike ride lingering in the back of my mind. I know it's Saturday and I want to do it well. But, I also want to eat all these amazing desserts and sit around camp and be lazy. Right now, we're contemplating getting out of here to go for a ride this afternoon. Maybe if I get myself off of this computer and make Nick close his book, we'll go..... we'll see!!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Wahoo!!!


I love trips! Nick and I are in Nashville. I'm about to meet up with a bloggy friend :) We are headed to Windy Gap (a Young Life camp outside of Asheville, NC.) We get to be adult guests hosts for a week of camp. Then, we are finally doing our 100 mile bike ride in the Blue Ridge Mountains!!!!

Funny story of why I'm even here blogging right now. We pulled up to a Starbucks outside of a hotel where I ran in to get our addictions satisfied. I came out and the van wouldn't start. The Hotel people graciously helped us out by giving us a jump start. As I saw the cables that transferred the juice needed to properly get out engine started, I thought about the body of Christ. It is essential to have jumper cables ready in our brother and sisters in Christ lives. Those jumper cables can come in the form of prayer. They can be a hug. They can look so different for each individual need. You don't lose anything by giving someone a jump start. People are usually always willing to do it. There is no hidden fee or agenda. A good ole' jump start gets you going so you can go on and fix your problem.

May I be so sensitive to see how my friends and family could use any of my battery life to jump start them. As I go into this week of watching high schoolers have the best week of their lives at camp and hearing about Christ possibly for the first time, may I be sensitive to the Holy Spirit!!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Voice Memo






















So, I just did the software update on my old iPhone which put a new feature on it called, "Voice Memo." This has become a new game-like application for my youngest daughter. She will walk away alone with the phone in her hand and press record. She always starts with an introduction of herself and then her performance..... singing, pledge of allegiance, etc... They have been so fun to listen to! I should see if there is a way to upload one on here just so you can hear how precious she is.

Well, this morning, she had record on a bit longer than usual. Let's just say that she captured what life sounds like around here. I sat in my room alone listening to my recorded voice pouring out of this device and wanted to cry. It's not like I was yelling or angry or anything. It's that the teaching tone that I have with my children did not sound like one of adoration or patience or lovingkindness. The conviction engulfed me. I quickly hit delete and still sat and pondered this revelation that my voice is not a pleasing one when teaching my children. Because I know myself so well, I could hear the 8 years of bottled-up frustration, the tired of fighting the sin nature within them, the surviving as best as I can TONE! I so badly wanted to hear a tone of a mother in control and filled with the fruits of the Spirit.

I wonder, I just try to wonder, what God's voice sounds like??!! The way that I imagine it, is the way that I want mine to sound (female version) when speaking to my children. I can't even pretend to hear a tone from Him that is exhausted, frustrated, spent or even bothered. This is what I heard in my tone in dealing with the sibling rivalry here this morning.

God, you know how much I desire to teach my girls about You and Your Perfect Love. I not only want to do that in word, but also in action. In my leading them, I want them to know YOU! Give me the ability to speak to them the way I know you would sound if I audibly heard You! Thank you for revealing Yourself to me in a way that I can imagine Your calming voice that would welcome instruction! I love You and am thankful for the silly little updated application on my phone that You used to teach me something about myself today. Help me with this never-ending endeavor!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Entitlement

Entitlement can be a dangerous word when used alongside a relationship with God. I am shocked at the selfish nature that drives us to believe we are "entitled" to anything. We are deserving of DEATH. Ultimate spiritual death. Separation from God. And yet, we have a Savior Whom has rescued us from such a penalty.

I wonder how we can train ourselves to keep the perspective that we are not entitled to anything from God at the forefront of our mind. I watch people "follow the rules" and basically get screwed. It sucks. Yes. But, we aren't entitled to blessing if we but follow the rules. If we seek God and obey Him and trust Him, it does not mean that we are exempt from certain tragedies. It does not give us immunity. We are not entitled to have things a certain way in our life.

I recently heard Francis Chan quoting J Vernon McGee.
"This is God's Universe. God does things His way. You may have a better way, but You don't have a universe." Right around minute 20 and 21, you'll hear what he's talking about!

So, who are we to think that we should know or want things to be a certain way? It's like us taking matters into our own hands and trying to control things. See, God has a plan. We need to trust that plan ALWAYS. Good. Bad. Hard. Easy.

Lord, I am entitled to nothing. I simply inherit everything You give. You provide for me. This includes you providing the winds that blow struggles into my life that are to strengthen me, prepare me or whatever. You provide food for my family. You have revealed Yourself to me because that was a part of your Providential Plan. I trust you. I trust that you alone are good and you love me. Even when I get a "life's not fair" mentality or that I think I am entitled to something, allow your Holy Spirit to gently remind me these things!!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dinner
I have not been wanting to make dinner on these summer evenings. We are at the pool until 4 or 5 or 6.... Than I'm spent. Crockpot seems to winterish. Grilling? It's 100 degrees!!!! Sandwiches... Making that for lunch daily!!! I just needed to vent. Summer makes me feel like I don't have my act together. Oh, and I'm posting via text. So, I have no idea how this will turn out :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

My First 10k!!!



I found out the day of this event that I'd be running in a 10k that night. That's the way I like it! Not too long to be nervous. It was called the Downtown Dash and it was at night! I really enjoyed it and will probably plan to do more.... now that I have the first race ever under my belt. I feel funny calling it a race as a 10 minute mile isn't really a race pace. But, it was good enough for me after my mere six weeks of running!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kenna!


My baby is FIVE today. In some ways I can't believe it. As I've been thinking about writing this simple post, I have really seen the answer to prayer that I have seen since beginning this blog a couple of years ago. God has been my foundation through the struggle that I have had as a mother. As I praised Him with worshipful words like, "You remain the same through the ages. Your love never changes," I realized how beautiful a truth that is. We can read the God of the Old Testament and know that He is still that. We can read the Jesus of the New Testament and build our lives completely around that.

In my changing life I have a Constant. He was there when she was born and He was the there when she drove me up a wall. He is still there as she is getting too big to carry! His Love NEVER fails!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Taking the Day Off

After starting this new schedule of running 3 to 5 times a week (plus fitting in a bike ride 1 to 2 times a week in order to train for my 100 mile ride in the Blue Ridge Mountains in a month), I'm understanding the importance of taking the day off. I did like 13 miles of running and 97 of biking last week. I continued on starting this week like that and I was wiped. I found that my emotions were pretty low too. Yesterday was a day off from working out. I liked it so much that I took today off too! Today's was more than that one way. I got a sitter and ran around town with the to do's of preparing for tomorrow's birthday party. My BABY is turning FIVE!!!!!

After all that, I'm finally having some "me" time before relieving the sitter. I've started to think about how we all need time off from some things at some point. I take comfort in the fact that our God doesn't ever need time off. He doesn't need a break from me. He doesn't leave me with a sitter to pull Himself together. Funny, I just thought, "if we are to become like Him then, that means no more sitters for me" ..... AAAaaaahhhh.... I'm going to assume that this doesn't apply :)

Well, I'm back at it tomorrow! Hope you are all having a good week :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tone Setter

Some sort of grumpy version of myself has taken over and all that's left is this person writing. How do I find my way back? Uuuggh! Today, I have isolated my grumpy self in my room and taken refuge in the wrong thing..... a game on my iPhone. Sad, huh? Well, it's true. I keep playing it in hopes that the perfectly played game will find the "me" that was replaced by this person. Only, I fear it's getting worse with each low score that is produced. The game: Scramble. It's like Boggle for the iPhone and I have scrambled thoughts now just from playing it.
I truly do set the tone in this home. This is a huge responsibility. My boggled brain is confusing this concept and thinking that I could twist those letters around so that I no longer carry the responsibility of setting the tone here.
Well, some days are better than others. Today is not one of the best, but I get to go on a bike ride later. Maybe this funk will unscramble its way out as I pedal away the last hours of this not so good day.

God, I thank you that Your mercies are new every morning. Great is Your Faithfulness. I'm so glad I can bring to you my scrambled up moods in hopes of changing and improving. Protect my girls from my failures! Amen

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blogging or Jogging

I guess I have found a new form of therapy. I used to post more frequently than I have since I began my pursuit of becoming a runner. I must be getting a release within because I don't feel like I have to assess my heart as much. Maybe that's what's really going on during my 45 minutes or so along a sidewalk.

I have so enjoyed seeing that I have the ability to stick to something. I've kind of always put running in the same category of homeschooling. "It's for every body else. I could never do it! Who would ever really truly want to do that?"
So, just because I run now does not mean that I'm ready to start homeschooling. It has just shown me that until you do it, you really can't know if it's "for you." I do know that I haven't felt "called" by God to home school my children. If I do, I'll probably find things about myself that I never knew.

I have always had bad knees. They creak loudly when I squat down. So, naturally I assumed that my knees could not endure such a hardship as running. I have actually found that by building the muscles around the joints, they are stronger and can handle much more when conditioned.

So, I wonder how much more I really could handle when I'm strengthening different spiritual muscles? I self-diagnosed (if you will) that I could not handle having more children. I was "at my max." Really? Having four or five children definitely would have me using things within me I didn't know I had. I'm not saying, I'm ready to go have a baby, adopt or even begin homeschooling. I'm just going to pursue more in hopes of growing newer and stronger muscles!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Addicted



Today was supposed to be a "rest" day from running and biking. I just couldn't do it. I am addicted to the endorphins that are released when I run. I came in from today's run and saw the smiles on all of our faces in this picture. I knew that my running is something that is greatly helping to make these smiles as genuine as they are :)

Wahoo!!!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Runner's World

My heart is not the only thing I've been working on. As most of you know, I have been a cyclist now for a couple of years. Well, after my friend finished her first marathon, I got so inspired, I decided to give running a whirl. So, the day after the marathon I began training to become a runner. I started with a 30 minute run 3 times a week. And now, only four weeks later, I'm up to 4 and 5 miles about 4 times a week with some 30 mile bike rides in between.

I'm so excited about this new adventure. I NEVER thought of myself as a runner and never really thought I would. It feels like such an accomplishment every single time. I've been tracking my runs on a log. Now, if I could just get control of eating like I am about exercise... One thing at a time. I'm still glad that I've tackled the heart issue I struggled with for so long first.

Well, we have four days of school left after Memorial Day then, who knows what my workout schedule will look like. I'm not much of a morning person, so staying so committed might be something I do and am only while the kiddos are in school.

Enjoy your holiday weekend! :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Blessing

I believe that this recent transformation and the praise I've given is in and of itself a "blessing." I was calling myself blessed and I spoke it loud and clear what God was doing in my heart. And then......drum roll........
hours after posting that last Praise I got the biggest blessing (or gift) straight from God.

Let me preface so that I don't sound too cold-hearted here. For the last five years, I have been counting down until Fall 2010. I knew that was when I would have all three girls in all day school. As a struggling mother of pre-schoolers, this literally has been the light at the end of my tunnel. My mom has always told me that I'd be a great, fun Mom to "school-aged" kids. That work and involvement is more natural to me than the toddler and baby stage!

Well, the City of Edmond made the decision to go to all day Kindergarten but the change was a slow moving snail. It wasn't going to happen before my last was out of Kindergarten. So, there sat the Fall 2010 date. She'd be in 1st grade and I could make it to that date!!!! To my surprise three schools in Edmond are going to ALL day Kindergarten THIS FALL.... yeah, 2009!!!! Our school is one of them and had we not down-sized our house and moved to go into ministry we wouldn't be in the school that was one of the three chosen!!!! How good and perfect is God?!!! He knew what He was orchestrated over two years ago!

A pastor spoke on God's glory yesterday. Without sounding trite, I believe that God wanted to bless me for my obedience. I believe that I saw a small glimpse of His glory in putting together all the pieces! I felt blessed just from listening and obeying Him. Now I feel giddy from this blessing. This news is equivalent to a husband surprising his wife with the one thing she loves the most. I have held this stage of my life as something to make it to and God just moved that particular finish line up a whole year!

Disclaimer: I do NOT expect for my life with my girls to all of the sudden get easy or anything like that. I am just thrilled to have some time where I can possibly go to scrub tech school or get a job to help our family (being in the ministry and all) or any number of things. This is a spiritual stroke that the Lord has given me that I am so excited about!!!!
(I just re-read this and have no idea if I've communicated this accurately, but I've had WAY too many distractions in trying to write this. I'm just posting....)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Divine Invasion

Seriously!!!! I remember writing a post back in Jan of 2007 where God delivered me from depression. It was a life changing moment. It was one where I remember what He did and I have been in a place hoping for Him to do something like that again in my life. I have wanted to be delivered from this unhappiness or unfulfilled place in life. He HAS DONE IT AGAIN!!!!

My Extreme Heart Makeover was an act of obedience. Scripture clearly portrays that God responds to obedience with blessing. I am pronounced blessed when God is present and involved in my life. Sometimes the circumstances of our suffering may not change, but the circumstances of our hearts are changed in the midst of them through a keen sense of God's presence and a lively perception of His activity. The result of this DIVINE INVASION is that the life operates overall at optimum earth-satisfaction, joy, and purpose and without the crushing burdens of self-glory and sin. In other words, my life actually works!!!! (the bold text is paraphrased stuff that was in my Beth Moore study this morning that applied so perfectly to where I am.... paraphrased because I plugged it in to this miracle that God has done!!!)

I posted that last post about needing to have my heart blown to smithereens and I copied it in an email to a handful of praying friends. Immediately I felt carried! God's PEACE instantly came over me and began to RULE in my heart and in my house. The renovations are coming along miraculously!!! Like I wrote above that the circumstances haven't changed, but my heart has and that has made ALL the difference :)

Thank you for praying and please continue to as He brings me to mind. I am so excited to share some of the practical changes that have been made with all my new INTENTIONS!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Extreme Heart Makeover

I have been in need of an Extreme Heart Makeover. Much like the seeds of God's word being consumed rather than sown in my life, I have been stuck in a rut of survival. I have mentioned this word a LOT in the last five years. I have been struggling to merely survive each day and each set of struggles that I am in. I actually feel rather proud of myself for surviving some of what I've survived.
But, I'm ready for my heart to be blown to smithereens so that I can re-build with a new strategy. With prayer, I'm tackling this mental picture. So far two words are going up as new rooms in my heart. They are:
INTENTIONAL
INVESTING

I have not been intentional with my girls.....using every day life experience to teach and grow in a relationship with them. I have found that I have still been operating as a Mother of Pre-schoolers. Ya know, wipe the bottom, change the diaper, put the bib on, shake the bottle, pack the diaper bag, bring a snack, buckle the seat belt mode! While I'm no longer doing those things, I haven't switched gears and grown with them. They are getting so much more independent but instead of staying involved with intention of building a wonderful Mother-Daughter relationship, I've pulled away and become the lifeguard or referee. Like a monitor, I am in the same home as them but doing my own thing and only jumping in to explosively break up a fight and pull tight on the reigns. Operating like this has driven me to the unfulfillment that I have sensed as a Mother. Renovations are beginning today! You can prayerfully invest on this one with me :)

Speaking of INVESTing. This word feels like a synonym to the idea of being intentional. They are NOT in fact synonyms but I just want to invest in the relationships with my daughters by being intentional. So, there is the plan on the makeover on my heart. The tricky thing: Nick left town today for 8 DAYS!!!! Uuugh, am I really going to tackle such a project at a time like this? Scary. I want to just jump into survival mode and then do it. But, I believe that God has put these things in my heart and therefore, I will obey!!!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Seed

"Some just eat the seed and never sow it for a harvest." This is taken from the Beth Moore "Stepping Up" study I am doing on my own.
"Sometimes we don't even realize the difference. We'll think we accepted the teaching (the seed, the word of God) because we were so moved by it. But you see, the seed of God's Word can fill our stomachs and give us immediate satisfaction and still not produce a harvest -- that's when we eat it but don't sow it." (taken without permission from Beth Moore's study mainly because I don't really know how to go about getting such permission and I didn't want to murder it by re-wording it. So, all credit to her and her wonderful study!!!)

But, I'm really chewing on this today. I have written before how we can hear hundreds of sermons and basically remain unchanged. I understand this now because of the visual of what we are doing with that seed.... that word of the LORD!!! I so want to plant it in good soil and nurture it so that it can produce a harvest. My harvest would look like the fruits of the spirit fleshed out in my day to day struggle. Instead, I feel like I have all this information sitting in my stomach wondering why it's not working!

God, I absolutely want to sow your word into a productive harvest that will set me free. I don't want to eat the seed in an instant, impulsive gratifying fix. I want to patiently endure as Your Promises take root in my life! Amen

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"River to Skate Away On...

...It's coming upon (whatever occasion)" as I hear the words of Joni Mitchell's song.... except I hear the voices of Indigo Girls. As I was riding home with my family from church I wished I had a horse I could ride away on. There is something terrible that happens within me when I'm in the car with my family. I truly can't explain it. I have zero tolerance and patience. I just sit there like an angry cobra swelling up before an attack (thus the reason for the picture.)

We could be out having a pleasant experience, but the moment we get into the car..... UUUuuugh.... It ALL goes to pots for me 99% of the time. So, what is wrong with me? Is it just me or does everyone have ONE struggle place? The van with my entire family is a definite battle ground for me. Especially to and from church which I KNOW we all have such attack stories about that alone that we could share. I just am ready to be more pleasant for my children's and husband's sake. Bless their hearts for having to ride in a car with a snake that could attack at any second.

Lord, help me to remain self-controlled in this particular battlefield. I desire for that van to be a place of PEACE for our family! I know you are powerful enough to change the tone in that place. I beg of you to move in me during our times spent together in the car!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Call this my midlife crisis, but AGE has certainly crept up on me. All of the sudden, like in the last couple of months, I'm OLD. The gradual recognition has been there.....
being finished having children
15 year reunion
going to weddings and baby showers of people I used to BABYSIT!!!!

It wasn't until I walked into a room for a couple's wedding shower that I realized I was not one of the young girls that was a part of the wedding party. No, sadly, I wasn't one of the young marrieds that had just had a baby for everyone to gawk over either. I was over in the crowd with the parents of the one's getting married. I'm old.

I'm actually doing talk of, "I used to be able to eat like that!" or "I didn't ever have to exercise!" But, it's like that day just flew past me and here I am thinking about life.... all of it. (however long it is for each of us.) My hands are getting wrinkled and one day they'll be baby soft like they were when they were chubby and learning how to grab.

I've needed a bit of perspective. The Bible tells us that our life is but a vapor! Think of all eternity! Spending not the rest of our lives with Jesus, but ALL eternity..... the rest of our lives is still in the vapor that vanishes so quickly!!! So, about that dash which represents our time between life and death.....how do we spend it? How do we choose to live our days? I want to do it with my eyes fixed on Jesus and eternity and worshipping the ONE who sits on the throne. He sits there now! While we plug away and wash the dishes, the clothes, the house. While we watch our children grow, He is there reigning!!! He is above all Kings and Kingdoms.

I think of the movie "Click" often. There are so many times I've just wanted to fast forward my way through certain seasons of life. I never really want to pause, stop or rewind. It's like I have this drive to make it to the end. I believe that spiritually, I am driven to run the race with endurance and perseverance and make it. But, I am often so focused on the end that I am missing so much of my now. May I learn to relish in the NOW! Wrinkles and Acceptance and ALL :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

No Wonder


I've heard it once said that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. No wonder I am so tired every day. I sure do frown a LOT. I am trying to smile more. I want my children to see a smiling mother. Not one with a frown on her face throughout the day a glass of wine in her hand at the end of each day. If I am in fact using more energy to frown, then I need to be using more of the Spirit's Power within me to smile.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Riding my Trial

Today, I finished the Grace study I've referred to a few times on here. I sat in the class where ladies shared what they learned and are applying from the 10 week study. Defeat began to come over me as I realized that once again, I poured myself into a study and I'm walking out the other side of it unchanged. So badly I wanted to stand up with a transformation testimony. Something like:
"I came here not knowing how grace could be appropriated in a day to day life. I learned it as we searched the scripture. And since then, I have applied it. Now that grace has been activated in my life I am experiencing victory!"

Well, this is not me. I see it and understand it a bit more but have no difference in how my life looks. I know most of it is in my head and just deciding to do it, but really I must be stubborn or lazy but I don't want to do anything.

Pretend for a moment that I didn't like roller coaster rides. (in fact, I do and that is one of the many reasons I am "ridermeyergirl") But, IF I didn't and I knew clearly that God was calling me to get on that ride (or for analogy sake: hop into that trial.) In obedience I get on. BUT, I grit my teeth, close my eyes and grab with a death grip and decide to do just that until the ride is over. Would you say kudos for even getting on? Yay for obeying? Well, I am sure that I missed ALL that roller coaster rides are intended for.


In my life, I have said that I would obey God by "doing" what He has called. But, I am gritting my teeth and holding on in a survival mode. My eyes are closed most of the time. I'm sure that I could have an exhilarating time full of adrenaline and love and excitement if I would but let go of something that is so hard for me.

In humility and weakness, I surrender that grip that is holding me back from being filled with joy right where I am. Here we go.... even if it is one finger at a time and one eye open for the first part. I desperately want applied obedience from my study! Lord, give me all that I need to glorify you in this transition!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gifts and Grace

I have always loved the analogy that the Word uses to describe the believers as members of ONE Body!!! It just makes such great sense to me. Because of the picture, I truly get how our giftedness is used in the Body of Christ.
I am Rachel. I need my liver, my brain, my pinky toe, my heart, my eyes, etc... They all work to do different things but for the benefit and purpose of Rachel.
Believers (Jesus followers) all work for the purpose of glorying and serving God. One may be evangelistical... bringing the gospel to people who have not heard. Some may rock babies during a church service so that the parents can worship and grow. You know that the list could go on.... So, to my new revelation:

I've been in a Bible Study on GRACE. As you read the scriptures that talk about our Spiritual Gifts you find that each gift is given by grace. The amount of grace that is given FOR each gift is appropriate to each gift given. Sooo..... to apply GRACE to the already wonderful analogy of the body of Christ.....Picture Grace as the blood flow!!! If I am the pinky toe in the body of Christ, then I don't NEED as much blood flow as say the Heart. The amount of blood given to each part is the perfect amount.

God gives us the perfect amount of grace to exercise our spiritual gifts. Do you know what your spiritual gift is? I just took a test to re-discover mine (it had been a few years.) You can take it here. Share your gift with me and tell me if you have always had enough grace to practice that gift!!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bad Mood

No kidding. I took my girls to the dentist for a check up today and just came home in a plain, flat-out bad mood. They aren't brushing correctly. They don't floss. They need fluoride treatments because their teeth are on "watch." One has a cavity and sealant needs. It just made me in a bad mood. I came home and opened an email from my brother with this link. I'm not in a bad mood anymore. It was perfectly timed and perfectly hilarious to me!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm a NINE with a ONE wing


I've been reading a book called "The ENNEAGRAM A Christian Perspective" by Richard Rohr. As I've been reading about the nine types of the Enneagram I was afraid to discover things about myself because I didn't want to have a label and then use it as a crutch. And, essentially it is what I have done. I read about the unhealthy NINE and it sounds like me exactly. Then, I read about the healthy NINE and I feel nowhere close to what they describe. Thankfully the Christian perspective directs each individual to how God can use this "wiring" within us to make us better. (Which I know really happens by dying to self!)

So, I'm putting it out there that in my journey of discovering a bit more about myself, I've been saddened. I am finally going to read specifically about the other types so I can know and understand those around me a bit better. But for those of you who don't know me IRL (in real life) and just through this blog, you'll see how some of my stuff written makes sense because of who I am. Check this out:

"The defense mechanism of NINEs is narcosis, or numbing. Because they often don't feel adequate to the many strains and challenges of life, they take refuge more than other types do in some sort of addiction. They have a hard time getting going... and seek stimulants and strong sensations from outside."
"The root sin of NINEs is laziness."
"The pitfall of NINEs is lethargy and comfort."

The ONE wing side is my organizational, anal retentive, ocd, clean-freak, perfectionists side.

It's just interesting. I need to get out of this title becasuse it feels more like a diagnosis. Right now I'm going to leave this with the tone of:
"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you."
Psalm 139:13-18