Friday, July 31, 2009

I like to breathe, breathing's my favorite

That's how I feel these days, now that baseball is officially done at our house and we can actually be home in the evenings and just, well, breathe! We aren't shoving chicken nuggets or pizza at our kids and rushing back out the door to a baseball game. We have actually been cooking real meals, like the pork rib, potato & vegie dish that Vince concocted (is that how you spell that?) last night with some herbs fresh off our very own deck. Yum!! Anyway, it's nice to just be, and breathe, and relax in our home.

So in the spirit of favorite things, like breathing and relaxing, I offer you this cinematic gem that makes me laugh alot!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What we do not see

"This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life, and you survive."

That song from my last post has been in my mind for days. I can't stop singing it and for some reason I am clinging to it right now. I'm not sure why. It might have something to do with this precious mother and the possibility that her 9 month old son may not survive the heart problems he is enduring. I don't know them personally, I just read her blog (along with thousands of other moms like me) and I pray for her baby boy. And for her. Because I simply cannot imagine what she is going through. And I don't understand why a mother like her - deeply committed to her husband and children, and her Savior - would ever have to pray for her child to live.

It makes me wonder about the power of prayer. Ssssh, I didn't say that. I know better. I am much stronger in my faith to ever wonder about such things. I never ask the question "why does God allow the prayers of His faithful to go unanswered?" I am so rock solid in my belief that God knows what is best and blesses those who call Him Savior, that I would never doubt Him like that.

Except that I'm not.

Sometimes God doesn't make sense to me. Even after a lifetime of believing in Him. Even after all the times and countless ways He has proven Himself faithful to me. Even during times of devastation in my life. Especially then, when He has created beauty out of my ashes and has drawn me closer to Him than I ever could have gotten had I not endured suffering. And even after going through at least 4 Beth Moore studies, sometimes He still doesn't make sense to me.

Here's where I segue into a paragraph about how our feeble human minds can't comprehend God's wisdom and awesomeness. I'll talk about how, even in questioning Him, I have grown in my faith and that only God can pull that off. I'll wrap it up by quoting a few scriptures like Matthew 5:45 or Proverbs 3:5 and maybe even a prayer for God to continue to strengthen my faith.

Except that I'm not going to.

Even though those things are true, I'm not there right now. I'm still on my knees crying out to God saying (sometimes loudly) "I don't get this!"

Why are some things allowed? Why is this little baby still struggling for life, when his parents have been on their knees countless times, pleading for mercy? When there are thousands and thousands of others praying on their behalf. Why are some faithless people, living far outside of God's will, given blessings that the faithful are denied? And why last night was I helping a little girl make a wreath to place on her mother's grave...her mother, who had placed her faith and life in God's hands and whose family and friends prayed for fervently. Who died anyway.

What good do all of these prayers do? I wonder sometimes. It's so easy to say, "God answers prayers! Praise the Lord!"...when we get what we pray for. It's not so easy when those prayers are still hanging in the balance between earth and heaven. Or when it seems they dissipated on their journey like a mist, and never made it to the throne.

How quickly I forget.

All I know is this...whether God makes sense or not, nothing sends me running to the throne faster than realizing that I have reached the end of myself. When a situation in my life has overwhelmed me, and I'm standing there...helpless to get myself out on my own power.

It's in these moments of doubt and confusion and sometimes even anger that I need to cling to the God that I know to be faithful, despite what my deceptive heart tells me. When I need to stop questioning, stop trying to make sense of a senseless world, and trust a God that is sometimes hard to see.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

Sunday, July 26, 2009


This song is one of the most beautiful lyrics I've ever heard. Help me to remember Your promise, Lord, when times are hard. That I am held...

Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

If hope is born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our savior

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held
We'd be held

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This is what it means to be held.....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Just in case anyone was wondering...

I have not fallen off the face of the planet. I've wanted to blog so many times, but life is pulling me in all kinds of directions these days and it just didn't happen. I haven't even been keeping up on reading my favorite blogs, which has me saying "AAAK!" But here I am now, living in the moment, ready to write about some of the things I have been pondering lately...however it is 11pm and I am choosing to go to bed rather than staying up 'til midnight for the umpteenth time this month. But I will be back tomorrow sometime, so be prepared for some spewage. I have no idea what will come rambling out of me, but whatever it will be it's long overdue.

I will share this tho...I will be turning this many roses tomorrow (40 to be exact!) and these beautiful roses are from my equally beautiful and wonderful husband Vince. He surprised me with them tonight, and we spent some time together trimming and arranging them in this vase (aka glass pitcher, because I don't have a vase this big as I have never received such a big bouquet of flowers in all my life!)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Just say Jesus

The other night, Kyle was afraid. I'm sure it had nothing to do with this (cue mommy guilt...again). It was time to take his shower and he wanted me to come in the bathroom with him because he was scared to be alone. In my own defense (as if I deserve any), this has been going on long before I showed him the horrifying video, so it's not totally from that incident, although that obviously added to it. Sigh. And it's not just Kyle. Nick has fears of his own at night and hates being downstairs in his room by himself.

When my kids are afraid I have such empathy for them because I dealt with alot of fear and anxiety as a child. I remember, as the youngest in our family, having to go to bed earlier than my brother and sister, while the rest of the family was watching tv downstairs. My room was at the end of the hallway upstairs, as far away from everyone as possible. I was terrified!! Of what, I don't know. I just remember the fear that someone was behind me, or would grab me or something. The more I focused on it, the worse it got. My dad would come and tuck me into bed, sing to me, then go back downstairs. The fear would start as soon as he left the room, and when I couldn't take it anymore I mustered up the courage to run across the house to the top of the stairs, and softly call out "Daaaaaad. I'm scared." He'd come back up, reassure me that there was nothing to be scared of, and usher me back to bed. It had a mighty grip on my soul and it haunted me for years, this sense of fear.

Now, I see this same type of fear rearing it's ugly head in my boys. Maybe this is normal for alot of kids, but normal or not it robs them of their sense of security, as it did for me, and honestly it makes me angry. Angry at satan because he's the one doing it to them. He is the father of lies and that is what irrational fear is, a lie. It really is a spiritual battle. Satan knows our weaknesses and if you are prone to fear, then he uses any opportunity he can to cause fear to rise up within you and cause you to doubt yourself, and doubt God. Even when you are only 7. I am determined not to allow fear to take root in my children's hearts.

So, when Kyle comes to me saying he's afraid, the mommy in me wants to hold him and go with him and make him feel secure. And that is what I have been doing for both boys since they were born, until recently. I have been realizing that might not be the best thing for them. In the moment, it helps, but somehow I know that if I let them rely on me to make the fear go away, it won't. Not really. It will still be there, hiding and waiting for the next opportunity to attack. And when it does they will have no defense against it, and will come running to me again. And again.

So, with that in mind, I decided to wage war against the enemy. I calmed Kyle down, and explained to him why he has nothing to be afraid of, and that he needs to stand up to his fears and ask God to help him be brave. This took some time, but he finally did. So as I tucked him into bed after his shower, I could see the sense of relief on his face, and even pride that he had stood up to his fears. We talked more about what he can do when he is afraid. How he can face his fears and pray and be brave. And I explained the spiritual aspect of this in a way that I hoped he could grasp. That's when, after all the wisdom I had spent so much time conveying to him, my 7 year old said something quite profound...

"And I can say Jesus. Because when I say Jesus, whatever I'm afraid of goes away."

Well said, son.

"No one is like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power." Jeremiah 10:6

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Blog hopping back in time, baby!

It's time for the weekly blog hop again! Woo hoo! Last week's was soooo much fun!!

This week's theme is to post a photo with a caption, and my oh my, do I have a treat for you! Well, actually it's a treat for me, but I just can't keep this golden nugget all to myself. One of these hot studs is my husband in 1981. The other is a JC Penney catalog model from 1977. Both were FASHION SENSATIONS, right down to the tight polyesters!

Sorry ladies, this bad boy is ALLLL mine!!!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Kyle and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mommy mistake

Ok. This is prolly the worst parental mistake, oversight, screw up that I've ever committed. And it was a doozy.

I am not a Michael Jackson fan, but when a celebrity of that calibre dies you can't help but take an interest. At least I can't. And even though I've never been a MJ fan, I was singing "I Want You Back" for like 3 days.

Anyway, the day he died we were all kind of talking about it. The kids had alot of questions (what's the big deal? why was his face so weird?) So we were watching the newsclips on FoxNews online and there was a link to his Thriller video and I thought "Cool!" I hadn't seen that video in like 20 years, but I remembered bits and pieces from it...great costuming, awesome choreography...a classic. For some reason I completely forgot about how scary it was, namely the beginning part where MJ turns into a werewolf. Hmmm. I really should have remembered. Especially before I had the idea that I should play it for our kids.

I did remember that it was kind of creepy, but my memory told me it was creepy in a fun sort of way. Not in a pee your pants and have nightmares for a week sort of way. At least that is what it was like for Kyle, who was sitting on my lap and whose face was about 6 inches from the computer screen when the video got to exactly 2:24...

I have seen scared before. But never in my life have I seen the look of of sheer terror, and heard my child scream like that. I scrambled for the mouse as fast as I could and clicked on the X to close the screen, which of course didn't work. It seemed like an eternity as I tried to shield his eyes and carry him out of the kitchen.

And not laugh.

I know, it's terrible, but it was freaking hilarious. I felt terrible, I really did. He cried so hard that he couldn't breathe, and I began to wonder how much it's going to cost us in therapy to undo this indiscretion of epic proportions.

If there is any positive to this story at all, it is that Hope was not here to see it, as she was in Baraboo spending a few days with Brittany. I can only imagine the magnitude of her terror that we would have had to deal with because that girl knows how to obsess about things even more than I do. As it was, we only had to deal with three scared boys. I bet you can guess what their prayers were about that night as we were going to bed. "Lord, please help us to forget the horrifying images that mom showed us tonight." I'm not even kidding, that was what they prayed. Nice.

Anyone for some happy thoughts? Anyone?

Not Me! Monday

Oooh, where to begin. I haven't posted a "Not Me" in several weeks, so I have a virtual plethora of things that I have, umm not done, to choose from...
Such as the "Snowy Blessings" sign that isn't still hanging on my wall above my piano that I put up as a Christmas decoration and have since left up because I don't have anything else to hang in it's place. And even though it's July and over half the year is already over, I am definitely not considering leaving it up (you know, the sign that really isn't there) until next Christmas because now it's actually closer to next Christmas than it is to the last. Not me!
Upon deciding on Saturday to make a spontaneous trip to my hometown to spend with my best friends' family, I did not pull a dirty and embarassingly wrinkled shirt out of our hamper and put it on because that's the one I wanted to wear, and we were going to be hanging out at the lake anyway. Especially when I had several clean shirts hanging in my closet to choose from. That is gross and I would never do that!
And I definitely did not procrastinate about ordering more contacts until I was two weeks into my last pair, which are only supposed to be worn for two weeks in the first place. I am way more responsible and on top of things than that! It also wasn't me who, while still waiting for my new contacts to arrive, sprayed hairspray in my eye and thus ruining one of my contacts. How careless that would have been had I actually done that! Then, about five seconds later I absolutely did NOT procede to spray hairspray directly into my other eye. That would be pathetic and even more blonde than this. Well, maybe...
So, there ya go...just a samplin' of some of the dumb things I may or may not have been doing as of late. If you want to read about all the embarassing things that everyone else at Mckmama's bloggy universe have not been doing this week, hop on over to her blog!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

I am Free!!

And so are YOU! If you know Jesus, that is! It boggles my mind to think of the awesomeness of God...His unfailing love for us, despite our selfishness. His faithfulness despite our faithlessness! We are truly free, and I am feeling that freedom today. It's when I forget or neglect to rely on Him that I am in bondage. I feel weighed down and although I am still free, I live like a prisoner. Well, not today!! God woke me up this morning with a new revelation of His awesomeness, because I AM FREE!!!!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy hopping!

I've been inspired to participate in a Blog Hop! What's a blog hop? It's where you "hop" from blog to blog, getting to know other bloggers and their blog!
So, welcome to my blog! A random collection of my thoughts (which may or may not include movie quotes), my faith, and the goings on in our blending family. And trust me, there's alot going on! About a year ago a family of 3 (me and my two boys) collided with a family of 5 (my husband and his four children) and life has not been the same since. It truly is a modern day "Brady Bunch", except I have no idea where Alice is. Last time I saw her she was running away, flailing her arms and screaming hysterically. Poor thing.
Anyway, we are a busy family with kids coming and going every which way and I'm trying my best to keep up...and keep us all focused on Jesus. I tend to ramble alot, which is no surprise to those who know me. I have been blogging for a couple of years, but my rambling goes way back.
Thanks for stopping, and happy hopping!!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Don't believe everything you think!

I saw that on a bumper sticker today. I love it! It's my new motto.

We are getting ready for a 3 day weekend!!! Yay!!! (How many exclaimation points are allowed in one post?) I don't care, I'm excited!!! We had originally planned on going to Worthington and seeing my grandma and family, but since we just made the trip there for her funeral earlier this week, we don't feel real motivated to make the trip again. So, we are spending the weekend at home. We will make our own fun!!! And if you have no other plans and would like to join us you are MORE than welcome to come over!!!

As I speak, er - I mean type, Vince is choppin' broccoli along with onions, peppers, and various other vegies for his famous "grilled vegies"! It is so yummy and beautiful that I just have to take pictures! Oh, AND he's adding some of our fresh herbs from the herb garden on our deck!!! Woo hoo!!!

Ain't he just the cutest thang? AND he can cook!!!

Along with that yummy array of colorful nutritious goodness, we are having grilled terryaki and butter garlic chicken breasts for supper. I'm also getting excited about the 4th of July fruit pizza that I am making...and sitting around the campfire tonight!!! Oh the joy!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Things I like the "idea" of, but don't actually like

1. Camping - Being outside enjoying nature, sitting around a campfire listening to the crickets and the sound of the fire crackling, watching lightening bugs, making smores and other yummy campfire cooked food. All that is awesome! If camping was that, and only that, I would go every weekend. What is not awesome is the fact that it takes approximately 49 hours to prepare for a camping trip. And the probability that it will be 110 degrees in your tent and not the slightest breeze all night is increased exponentially when I am part of the camping party. Oh, and there will also be one mosquito that buzzes around your head until 2am, and everytime it stops you wonder if it's going to sting you somewhere so you wiggle a little and it starts buzzing again. It is alot of work for a terrible night's sleep.

2. Golf - I really, honestly wish I liked to golf. I do. In theory it is very relaxing. The golf courses are so beautiful, and spending some quality time together with my husband, kids, or golfing friends as we walk along tees and putting greens is right up my alley fairway. But that's not exactly how golfing goes for me. For me, it generally goes more like this. Hit the ball off the tee so that it goes flying kittywampus off into the rough. Walk in circles the equivalent of 6 miles through the rough to find said ball, while my golfing friends are happily continuing up the fairway. Find my ball, and then procede to hit it fifteen more times just to get onto the green...where my golfing friends are either a) patiently waiting for me and chuckling, or b) allowing the next party to play through.

3. Laying on the beach - It sounds so relaxing & beautiful, doesn't it? Laying there on a beautiful beach, soaking up some sun without a care in the world. However, in my experience laying on sand is not the least bit comfortable. It looks like it will be soft, but it is really hard and lumpy. And then there's the sand, which gets everywhere. Not a fan.

4. Being intimate with my husband on the beach - It is supposed to be incredibly romantic...the sunset and the waves crashing and all. While I have never actually done this myself, because of #3, I just know it wouldn't go well. And then there is always the chance that someone will see you, which would just be horrifying for all involved.

5. Eggs - I really don't like eggs, but sometimes I fool myself into thinking that I do. Well, actually the menu at Perkins tricks me. The pictures of their omelets always look so scrumptious that I lose my mind and just have to order one. Then I take a few bites and remember, "oh yea. I don't really like eggs." I can't tell you how many times in my life this has happened.

Disclaimer: I do love, LOVE my husband's omelets. They rock! Seriously! All others? Ick.

6. Exercise - I don't think I need to elaborate on this.

7. Gardening - I love to garden and if you ask me, I will tell you it is one of my hobbies! I look forward every year to planting flowers in pots and flower boxes on our decks. I truly do enjoy it, even the getting dirt under my fingernails part. I also love the idea of planting a vegetable garden. Picking fresh carrots, peas, green beans, and lettuce straight from the garden to the dinner table - well, there is nothing tastier than that! And if that were all there was to it, I would have one in a heartbeat. So why don't I actually have a vegetable garden? Because I hate to weed. They really shouldn't call it gardening, they should call it weeding because that is 98% of what it is. I'm not committed enough for that kind of labor and I simply don't have the time. I also have no idea how to plant or care for most green things. I know from experience that a vegetable garden would soon turn into a big ugly weed patch that by August I would just tell the boys to mow over. This is why God invented the farmer's market!

So, there you go...more than you ever really wanted or needed to know about things I think I like but actually don't!