Friday, December 13, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
My writing/blogging has taken a serious downward spiral lately! I'm not sure what my ailment is nor how to fix it. I miss that urge to write and I'm not sure why it's not there! I know blogging is not a requirement, but I like blogs that are updated w/ some measure of regularity. Therefore, I am announcing a break! Remember when you were young how the big thing was to tease your little sister (that would have been me!) "I'm not going to take a bath until next year!!" or "I'm not going to school again until next year!" or still better "I won't see you until next year!"? Well, I'm taking up the old refrain: No more blogging until next year! :) Hopefully by then my writing urge will return and maybe I'll even have a few creative ideas to liven up this space...don't get too excited, I said "Maybe"! :) So, Merry Christmas to whoever might happen along and read this little old "pretend" blog. May your vacation be refreshing, and may you celebrate Jesus just as much come the New Year as you do this season!
Saturday, December 7, 2013
We had been living in OH almost a year when the news came. It was so abrupt, so shocking, so totally unexpected. Chris' cousin's husband, gone! Died instantly in a mowing accident. The news brought me face to face w/ the Reality and the Fear like never before. It had been a year of loss -I'd "lost" my house, church, home state, family... basically everything that had made me feel secure! Losing one more thing felt entirely more possible than it ever had before. It almost felt Likely! The fear threatened to clutch and strangle, the questions, the imagining... I knew I had to say "God, he's yours-they're yours. Thank you for giving them to me, I place them back in your hand." But oh! It was one of the hardest things I'd ever done! I'm still trying to learn how to face the Reality without succumbing to the Fear. The Reality is there, ignoring it is not going to make it disappear. But so is a Big God. A God who gives Grace, not for Fears and "what ifs", but for the moment! And so I choose the Big God, daily.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
You hear about it all the time. The threat is there constantly, one tiny heart beat away. Lives are snatched every day - here one minute, gone the next! A young husband, drowned. A young lady, in an accident. Another young husband, shot. And yet another, succumbed to cancer. What do you do w/ it- the threat? The reality? The nearness? Sometimes it's easy to push aside. Ignore it and it won't be possible. But it's there! The fact is it IS possible. Horribly, completely possible! These are real people, real lives, just like mine. It happens! Children, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, are snatched - gone in an instant. I don't consider myself to be a worrier, generally I just don't go to those places. What's the point? Worrying will change nothing, help nothing, fix nothing. Living in fear is a joyless, crippling state and I want no part of it! Still, the fact remains, the threat is ever present and ignoring it is no more the answer than living in fear. I remember the day when the fear struck.....hard.....
Friday, November 29, 2013
Poor little neglected blog.... every time I sit down to write these days, my mind feels blank, and the more I try to conjur up words and thoughts and profound-ness, the blank-er it feels. I once saw a motto that said, "If you have nothing to say, don't let anyone persuade you to say it!" So maybe I should just leave it blank and quit trying to persuade :) Life is full and busy these days. There's snow and sledding and games and family time up the hill going on this week. There's practicing Christmas program songs and mounds of wet clothes and boots to keep after along with the usual unending laundry, cooking, cleaning.......and all of that! It's a good life. There's a baby crawling around, cleaning up my dirty floors and charming us w/ grins, there's little girls trying to learn the fun of Dutch Blitz, there's big girl serenading us w/ Christmas songs on the keyboard as she diligently practices, there's the oldest reveling in an Uncle visiting who loves games as much as he does! Yes, my heart is Thankful.
Friday, November 22, 2013
I had spent the night wondering why I was crazy enough to consent to this. Now I was on my way for an hr and 45 min drive, by myself w/ 3 little people and me not at all confident of my driving capabilities! My mind tumbled over what ifs and my shoulders tensed and I contemplated how and when to make the dreaded stop for gas. First thing would be best, I decided, so I pulled into the empty station and began fueling. Only it didn't come, and I noticed the "Prepay" sign. As I leaned into the van, filling out my check, here comes a man out of the station. "I didn't notice the prepay sign," I explained. "Can I just give you my check?" His face became apologetic, "We don't take checks." "Oh, I guess I'll have to go on," and I prepared to do so. He stammered around a bit, then, "No, no. Just go ahead!" "No, it's fine!" "Go ahead-you look nice." Well, Ok then! :) And there was my Father, removing the need to drag everyone in to pay for gas, and I suddenly felt the tension drop like a weight. That's My Father!!!
Thursday, November 14, 2013
I blame my battle w/ this deal on lots of things-I need to be more structured, I'm just so tired from being up at night, I should take my vitamins and B Complex consistently... There's truth in all of these. Maybe it has more to do w/ Chris' announcement the other day that "It's not that men think 'blue' and women 'pink'. It's that men Think but women don't Think, they Feel!" Before you crucify him :) let me add that he wasn't saying one was right and the other wrong. He was simply saying you have to realize that fact to understand the two. It all reminded me of something I read in the book "Tea And Trouble Brewing" - "If not having a mother is like being at sea level, and having a perfect, smiling, patient mom...is like being at the top of Mount Hood, then a flawed...mom...is actually about at Timberline Lodge." Yes, I should take my vitamins and try for a nap and more structure maybe, but at the end of the day I have to remember that my children HAVE a mom, and that is indescribably better than no mom!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
When I talk about not having enough Time, I'm not even talking about being busy. The thing is, is this: I'm not even really busy. I'm not a Minister's Wife, or School Principal's Wife, nor a SS Teacher or Food Committee Member. I don't run around spending the day w/ people or shopping or doing extras, I stay home most of the time. Granted, I'm gone sometimes. I spend time on the road to and from school and I don't just sit here doing nothing, but I'm not Busy. Somehow, w/ #5 though, I've felt this overwhelming drain on my Time. It's wearing to feel so Needed and then, in the midst of the press, to constantly be left feeling like you're satisfying no one! A mom is expected to be everything to all people in her little realm and, I confess, I fail miserably! The demands for Time in my little realm are so very important, and I think the knowledge of that fact is what sends me reeling w/ hands thrown up feeling pulled hither and yon and doing none of it well. I feel like the proverbial cat chasing it's tail!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I feel bombarded with the need of my Time these days. "It's so important, as a mom, to take time for your children!" they tell me, and I look at my 5. There's no simple formula for them-they all need a different kind: rocking chair, story reading, game playing, help w/ studying, question and answer, listening, teaching.... "You must take time for your husband," they admonish me. "You're his biggest cheerleader and you need to make time for him!" I look at my man. No simple formula there either. No once and done/this will do it every time... "It is crucial for you, as a mom, to take time for yourself" -everyone's saying it! And, "It's essential to spend time w/ God!!" My head reels w/ the need of time! As soon as I focus on Children Time, I find the Husband Time in dire need of attention. When Husband Time is satisfied, the Children Time seems to scream 'take notice'! And there sits Me Time in hopeless need of resuscitation! God Time? Non-existant. How, in a day that has only 24 hrs, do you find the time??
Friday, November 8, 2013
Have I mentioned that I am one of the world's Biggest Chickens? When I look back to days of youth, I think I've maybe shrunk to "chick" size by now, but then things come along and I realize anew that I'm still up there at Biggest status! I now have a child who is following in my footsteps and it gives me pause as I observe. I heard a story last night about Measuring Sticks and how they turn into swords to tear others down in order to make me feel better. There's another thing Measuring Sticks do, they produce Fear. They hold you back from doing good, from following His Spirit-because how would it look? Or what will they think? They hold you back from being free in your own skin, in your own convictions-what if I don't fit in? What if that's not what others would do? Fear is a monster. It hinders...cripples...kills...it keeps your mouth shut in SS class, it makes you try 3 pairs of shoes before going to *not telling* :) I could give you many more shame faced examples! And now I have a child to teach...hmmm
Monday, November 4, 2013
When I was a little girl, Sunday morning breakfast was a looked forward to treat! The fare was simple - a glass of water, a hot drink and something to dunk in it. My parents weren't coffee drinkers so the hot drink was either tea or cocoa. In my mind, mom's cocoa couldn't be beat! Warm, chocolatey, rich flavor and always with marshmallows - setting the table on Sunday morning included putting marshmallows in each cup in preparation for that lovely cocoa! Most of my children seem to have inherited my husband's distaste for hot drinks. I don't even mind! That means I can indulge in them all by myself w/o needing to fix a cup for everyone else :) Recently I found an old, orange slip of paper in my recipe file. On it was instructions mom had come up w/ for making 1 cup of her lovely cocoa in the microwave! Guess what I've been drinking lately? :) In a coffee cup place 3 heaping tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp cocoa, 1/4 tsp vanilla and 2 T water. Heat 20 sec and stir. Fill cup w/ milk and heat about 1 min. Stir and enjoy!
Thursday, October 31, 2013
it! *it was fun* :)
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Sometimes I get this startling reality check! It happened last week end when we visited my family in AR. It still feels so strange to be an over night visitor in the house I called home all my life! The startling thing though, was realizing suddenly that for my children, being there is the same as my memories of Grandpa Gingeriches. We often stayed at Grandpas when we visited IN. I can picture their house clearly - feel the feeling of arriving after traveling all day. I can picture the toys and taste the chili soup. I can feel the bedspreads and the quiet cleanness of each room. I can hear Grandpa asking a question and listening carefully because his hearing required hearing aids. I can see Grandma sitting quietly in her rocker. Sometimes it still startles me that I'm the Mom in this equation now, and it's my children memorizing the sights, smells and feeling of Grandpa's! There's a pang of sadness at the reality of Change, but there's a warmth in knowing my children's memories will be as sweet as mine!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Yes, Motherhood is not for the selfish nor faint of heart! But. (Yes, mercifully there is a "but"!) Apart from the amazement of those first flutters of life in your womb and the kicks, hiccups and gymnastics that follow-totally aside from tiny toes, little legs tucked up, cuddly bodies and sleeping expressions-is being their Mother. The world is full of children, but *this* one will be yours. You will watch every first-bath, smile, giggle, tooth.... Every skill learned will happen under your watchful care-rolling over, sitting, scooting, crawling... You will be the one *this* child recognizes, reaches for and who's touch brings instant comfort. As you watch this little piece of you outside of your body, it is true, your life will no longer be your own. But. Sometime during those hours of rocking chair time, you will begin to realize how very fleeting the ever changing "lists" are, and how very sweet the "But" in the equation of Motherhood! So Dear Mother-to-be, I can only sit back, watch, and say- Enjoy!
Monday, October 21, 2013
I'm thinking about you this evening, and marveling at how very little you know about this life you are anticipating. Apart from the moods, sickness, aches, pains, tiredness and complications that accompany the 9+ months of waiting-Totally aside from the anxiety, pain and physical alterations that actually bring you to Motherhood-there is Being a Mother. From the moment that title is placed on your head, your life is no longer your own. You will no longer go to bed whenever you want, nor eat, shower, dress, cook, clean, in other words *Do Anything* whenever you want to. You will spend hours on the rocking chair, planning what you will do next, but it may never happen. There will be sickness of every description, and more questions and decisions than you thought possible. As your children get older, the list of things you didn't know will be ever changing as your responsibility looms heavier. All this, Dear Mother-to-be, is only a faint inkling in your mind as you begin this anticipated journey.(to be cont)
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
thankful that god knew so much better than me! He always does, i should know by now...:)
Sunday, October 6, 2013
We had a little fire tonight. Just a little one, with a few bags of trash. Then one thing led to another, and suddenly we had a little ring of excited children with improvised sticks and old, sticky marshmallows. There was a tray with graham crackers, chocolate chips and a water bottle. We also had one mother. She was a slightly cranky mother, with edges of navy-est blue. A mother who's day had been spent with lots of ugliness in her heart and tears on her cheeks. The evening was perfect, the air lovely and the shadows beginning to lengthen. The mother thought she would have liked to enjoy the delicious peace all by herself! But as little faces beamed, marshmallows browned, and fingers turned sticky she found that wasn't really what she wanted at all. As her shoulders relaxed, her fingers uncurled until her palms lay open and empty before her Father. And as the little fire danced, all the ugly slipped out and peace settled in. Because *this* was really what she wanted after all... this life, this moment.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Life streams steadily along, quickly, busily, pausing for no one! There's glorious fall days, daily mundane tasks, jaunts to discover covered bridges, children coughing in the night, counting gifts with my children, lack of sleep clouding mind and body.... There's a writing project I poured mind and soul into for days and then layed aside leaving me empty and wordless... There's outside projects of sidewalk and patio and the prospect of a trip to Arkansas... There's Life. Streaming, swirling, dancing along, taking me with it. Sometimes willingly, sometimes grudgingly, but always moving steadily onward. Little things that wait for "someday" fall through the cracks as we stream along ... photo albums, sewing projects, clean windows, organizing attics and clothes boxes... Onward I go! Frantically trying to cover cracks so the important things don't find their way through as well ... stories, rocking, smiling, loving, laughing... This is Life, this busy, streaming, moving existence. And it's only lived once.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
I was there today, sat in the pew, held the song book, bowed in prayer. I was there, but so were 5 other little boddies in my row! Sunday school time found me feeding and rocking instead of listening and talking. Preaching time found me wedged into the bench with an unhappy baby and a wiggly, whispery 4 year old. It was out again, in again and a hand off to Daddy. It was Miss Wiggle on my lap and Miss Drama having a mini meltdown over "her legs being tired from hanging down!" It was "Mom make him stop touching me!" and sigh and frustration cause "I always get called down!" I was there today, I sat in the pew and did what you do, but I left wondering -what was the point of that?! I guess it's ok. I guess sometimes it's just an exercise, a way of saying "this is God's day and it's important to be here even if that's all I am - Here - when it would be easier to be anywhere else!" So, I was there today. I sat in the pew. I sang and I prayed... and I took care of babies and wiggles. And, yes, it was important!
Monday, September 16, 2013
It's 2 a.m. and I'm up for the second time and it was nearly 11 before I climbed in to start with! My head aches and I'm just so.tired. "Please God. Please will you make my baby sleep? Please will you let him stay asleep when I lay him down? I just can't do this anymore! Please God, please....please...." and I find myself pleading for this and pleading for that because, well, I'm t.i.r.e.d. Just so tired! I feel like putty that's been stretched further than humanly possible and at any moment I will snap! And I just can't do this anymore. But really? Really I sound like my 4 yr old and I'm whining! So, I exhale slowly, "Thank You Lord. Thank you for a healthy baby. Thank you for a wonderful husband. Thank you for a school my children enjoy..." As quickly as things come to mind, I spill my thanks and my shoulders slowly relax as the thank yous flow and I sway in the dark while my baby's head droops lower. There is no room in a thankful heart for whining and as my hand unclenches, my heart knows peace!
Friday, September 13, 2013
Chris was off at a Tire Seminar this week and we went daddy-less for 2 nights. Strange as it may seem, I relished those nights. See, I realized I'm becoming those women I used to roll my eyes at several yrs back! In AR Chris' job meant late hours. Many, many times we went to bed before daddy came home and it wasn't that unusual to have daddy gone a whole night. It was tough! I had a 20 month old and a new born and my "biggers" weren't big enough to do a whole lot. I used to listen to women fussing about their husbands "having to go to a meeting after supper" or "not getting home at 5:30 like usual" and think, "You poor dears! You missed daddy at 1 meal out of the week?! Oh my my! If we HAVE daddy for 1 meal a week we feel privileged!!" :) Well, now I'm one of those women who's husband comes home regularly at 5:30-40 and I am so.very.thankful. But! There is one thing about those days that was special. We never took each other for granted!! That was the feeling I relished this wk. So glad he's back tho!!:)
Monday, September 9, 2013
things! Maybe that's something i could learn from the creative little people i live with :)
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
I sit on the bathroom step, desperately trying to carve out a few minutes for words. Life has been a crazy rat race of busy lately and so many things have slipped away w/o making it from mind to keyboard. I am tempted to mourn the loss of so many words formulated in mind, but not recorded! Words are important to my life, and finding time to let them flow out and stand, like little monuments along my journey, is life giving for me. Sometimes though, I have to accept the fact that life itself is even more important than my journal of words. That canning the beans, and packing and unpacking the suitcases, and re-filling drawers with clean laundry, and making birthday cakes and presents and holding fussy babies is life giving to these people around me who make up my life. And if it is true that "He who will lose his life shall find it..." than the giving and losing are more important than anything else. Still, if a few minutes on the bathroom step can be grabbed while laundry spins an children babble happy...
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Confession: I like order. I like to organize and plan. I get a kind of "high" (or maybe it's just called pride) out of having everything packed and ready to go so that if Chris says "We're leaving at 4 a.m.", we leave at 4 A.M.! Sometimes I get the feeling God likes nothing better than to foil my careful organization! That He enjoys changing the day I thought I would do corn so many times that when the morning actually arrives I'm totally over having food stashed in the fridge for an easy lunch, and the freezer all straightened up, and the girls dressed and combed before we head out at 7:55 a.m. He seems to like seeing my carefully planned days tumble like dominoes and me ending up taking a bushel of green beans the same day we are having company for supper. Oh, and how about a tooth that requires a dentist appointment? And, by the way, this holiday wk end would be a good one for that long talked about trip to VA to visit Chris' aging grandparents! Yes Lord, I hear you. Flexibility is a virtue, right? :)
Thursday, August 22, 2013
The floor is cluttered w/ toys and the leftovers of 2 little girls' card making session. Dishes are stacked in the sink and the sewing machine is strewn with dress pieces. The washer is finally silent after churning out it's fourth load of clean clothes, and the lines hang full in the sun and breeze. From the playroom loft comes the chatter of 2 little girls busily at play and the baby is peacefully sleeping. It's just a normal day around here. Granted, it's a bit unusual since my baby only woke up once last night and now he's taking a 3 hour nap, but basically normal. Too often I find myself only taking note of the unusual - The Terrible Day! The Wonderful Day! - and the normal, uneventful days slide by without recognition! Today I'm pausing to savor the "normal" - the mess, the work, the clutter, the happy chatter, the peaceful slumber, the sun dried laundry, the interruptions of little people... And saying, "Thank You. Thank You for being God of the normal and ordinary, too. Thank You for Today!"
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
shoes!!) :) happy school year my children! May the newness and excitement linger!
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I don't get the "how are you adjusting" questions nearly as often as I used to. That suits me fine! I don't know what to say anyway. What does adjusted mean anyhow? If you're talking about whether my children are excited about school and love their friends here, then Yes! Well adjusted. If you're talking about feeling at ease going to events like, oh-church house cleaning for example, then No. Not at all. I get weary of these conflicting "Oh, that was a good evening!"/"Ugh, let's leave right away!" feelings. Then I hear people say "I really felt like 5 years was a turning point for me" or "Oh, it was 10 years at least before I really felt at home!" and I wonder why I even bother?! True, I suppose there are things that can be done to move the adjusting process along. But there is a certain part of "adjusting" that can't be moved along by outward forces. There's a part of it that just happens over the course of time. Maybe it's better to just let yourself be adjusted slowly than to figure out what it means!
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Days fly by - Bright days, grey days, listen to what I say days. Wet days, dry days, make me laugh and cry days. Hot days, cool days, getting ready for school days. Bean days, corn days, almost can't be borne days. Short days, long days, heart is full of song days. Slow days, fast days, what if these are last days? Cleaning days, mopping days, shopping til we're dropping days. Washing days, cooking days, wonder how we're looking days. Good days, sad days, glad I'm not the dad days ... then there are the bad days, wish I WAS the dad days! Quiet days, loud days, lonely in the crowd days. Grumpy days, cheery days, these things make me weary days. Gone days, home days, make me want to roam days. Busy days, lazy days, must be going crazy days. Sick days, well days, I am gonna tell days. Fussy days, happy days, sorry that I'm snappy days. Humble days, proud days, thoughts that make a cloud days. Work days, rest days, put you to the test days, knowing that I'm blessed days, "These years are the best" days!
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Two years ago we left Arkansas for Ohio. We left part of our hearts, most of our belongings, and quite a few wet kleenx in our wake! We went not knowing exactly what was before us (good thing!) but feeling pretty certain that this was the door God had opened. I struggled a lot with the whole thing mostly because I couldn't understand why God wanted us to move to a big, Beachy-land USA church. Two years later our belongings are here, the kleenx are dry in the box, our hearts are *mostly* here :) and I still don't understand! Several weeks ago we were sitting in church singing and the words suddenly hit me like a punch in the stomach: "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord..." My eyes opened wide and then filled with tears! A big Beachy-land USA church is not what I've taken that song to mean but in all honesty that is what it means for me. It doesn't matter where, it doesn't matter why. It doesn't matter if it makes sense or looks like I think it should. What matters is whether He said Go and I went!
Friday, August 2, 2013
14 years ago today a young man in OH gathered his courage, picked up the phone and dialed. Heart beating rapidly, he waited. This was a call that could radically alter the rest of his life. It was a call that could fan the flame in his heart or blow it out cold. It had taken 5 months of careful thought, prayer and counsel to get to this all important phone call. And now there was no turning back, the number was dialed, the phone was ringing. I guess when the voice said "Hello" he could have stammered around and said, " Uh, I must have the wrong number..." But he didn't. And am I ever glad! You see, the young man was a certain Christopher Eicher from Antrim, OH and the call was to an Elmer Gingerich in AR. Twelve anniversaries, 5 children, and many memories later, here we are. And if the call would come again, and Elmer Gingerich would sit his youngest daughter down and say, "Chris Eicher would like to begin a friendship with you", my answer would be quick and sure. "Yes. Yes! I'd do it all over again!!"
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Do I have to stay engaged all the time? Always check that whining voice, always choose the better choice, always keeping up w/ duties all the time? Do I have to stay in tune all the time? Always sending up a prayer, always set to do and dare, always loving, always caring all the time? Do I have to count the gifts all the time? Always when I wipe that nose, always when I clean those toes, always cooking, always cleaning all the time? Do I have to be consistent all the time? Always spank that naughty child, always answer meek and mild, always say my "no" is "no" all the time? Do I have to be a model all the time? Always show a cheerful face, always do my deeds w/ grace, always teach them how to live all the time? Do I have to think of others all the time? Always put the others first, always quench another's thirst, always self-less, always giving all the time? Do I have to be on duty all the time? Always there to answer questions, always ready with suggestions, does life have to be so *daily* all the time?
Thursday, July 25, 2013
parts can go so far!! So what all can we enjoy in 5 wks time...We'll never have this summer again!
Monday, July 22, 2013
moments every "regular" day that we spend together! Special moments from "regular" is the best legacy!!
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
we try that again? Love always, mom
Monday, July 8, 2013
I've been a mother of small children for 11 years. I love small children! To me small children are cute, trusting, loving, impressionable, fun. I'm slowly realizing though that my life is entering a new phase. My husband informed me recently that my name should not be on the dish washing schedule- I should never need to wash the dishes! Oh? Novel idea! Sure enough. I have children quite capable of clearing the table, putting the food away and washing the dishes w/ very little help from mom! I also have children capable of hanging out wash, folding it all, cleaning the bathroom, mixing up baked stuff.... You might say, Think how much easier your life is about to be! True, but you have to realize that I'm not naturally a teacher. It takes thought and effort and being intentional for this stuff to happen. Some days it's nice to say "Here's the recipe, mix up some cookies!" A lot of days that takes too much energy! Yes, it's a new stage of Mom. That being said, I can't say I'm missing after meal clean up! :)
Friday, July 5, 2013
It's one of those mornings when I'd like to just quietly clock out on my job. A late evening and a baby settling after midnight coupled w/ a dreary looking day and five children in the house does not equal energetic, cheerful mother! The house is in need of a good cleaning and I should put all 5 to the task but the very thought removes the tiniest bit of energy I might have had. And there's no leftovers in the fridge for dinner which erases even the faintest notion of cheerfulness... Yes, clocking out sounds like a great idea! But then I'd miss watching 2 little girls in their imaginary world where scarves, hats and gloves transform them into other people and places. And I'd miss the Memory tournament spread on the floor (coupled w/ much laughter and fun) between the 2 oldest. Sigh... While slipping out the door and doing something quietly (far away, alone!) sounds enticing, there are rainbows in the clouds if I will decide to notice them. So I will choose to notice and, if need be, paint a few myself!
Friday, June 28, 2013
I actually got a whole lot more out of reading the Bible in a month than just the coveted prize! #1 It proved to me that my oft used excuse of "no time to read the Bible" is just that: an excuse! And a lame one at that. What I really want to do, I make time for. Nuff said! #2 I got the whole picture of the Bible story from beginning to end in a way that I never have before. #3 The amazing and wonderful gift of the New vs. the Old was driven home like never before! I can't imagine living in the days of "You messed up? Stoning for you!" "Your forgot that law? Off with your head!" I mean, seriously! That's how it was in the O.T.! Thank you Jesus for the Cross and Grace!! #4 I proved to myself that I could stick w/ it and read the whole thing! There's something about doing a "huge, impossible" thing that makes you feel capable of maybe tackling more "huge, impossible" things! So, yes. It was very worth it in many ways. And now I've been reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker. Hmmm... What is God saying about huge things?!
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
It all started at the tire shop: Sell enough tires of a certain model and win an all expenses paid day at an amusement park! Chris, being the creative father that he is, gave Isaac and Jasmine the challenge of reading the Bible in a month. If they did, they could go along. Since I wasn't interested in the prize (and, frankly, didn't think I could do it) I looked on w/ interest and a bit of skepticism. Then Chris offered me a prize: My WISH for this summer. And I decided to reconsider! It feels a little lame to admit that's why I took up the challenge, but there it is. Since I'll never get Chris to go camping, I'd been wishing we could get a cabin this summer, close to water, for a couple nights - just us! And that's my prize...and I can hardly wait!! He chose the cutest little cabin, nestled in the woods and it's ours for July 17 - 18! Oh, and Saturday Chris, Ryan, Isaac and Jasmine are off to King's Island, expenses paid. So that's the story of our month in: The June Bible Reading Extravaganza! :)
Monday, June 24, 2013
I don't think I've ever read the whole Bible through. I've started numerous times and I've read the whole New Testament, but I've never accomplished the whole Bible. So, when Chris announced in May that he was challenging Isaac and Jasmine to read the whole Bible in a month I smiled quietly and knew there was no point in me starting. See, this is the man I'm married to -you do something far fetched or you do nothing, you jump in up to your neck or stay out! I'm not made that way. And I knew my Bible reading record! But he challenged me to join the club...and laid out a pretty sweet prize...and so I joined. And so began a month like we've never experienced! People sitting around w/ Bibles constantly, reading reading, pushing to reach our daily goals and maybe a bit extra. Doing the work that had to be done, then back to the Bible reading! Chris finished yesterday and today I finished!!! Isaac and Jasmine are neck and neck on the home stretch! It's been a "good for us" month and I'm glad I joined the club!
Thursday, June 20, 2013
I wonder, does every mom become more "mom-ish" as the yrs go by? I'm just not that mom! You know, the worrying, hovering, reminding kind. But it seems that 12 yrs of marriage and 5 children has "messed me up" and I'm feeling it, feeling it deep, that there's 5 pieces of my heart walking around outside my body! The big boy is gone for a whole week at camp and he's w/ uncles, but I worr....wonder: is he taking showers? Keeping his clothes together? Having fun? Being hurt? Being understood? Oh my heart! Do they have to just keep growing up, up and away? Then there's the little boy with the stuffy nose an watery eyes. Babies cause enough emotion w/o being sick and I worr...wonder: will he sleep tonight? Will he get worse? What should I be doing? Oh my heart! Do they have to be so little, so little and utterly dependent? Yes, I'm a "messed up" mom and my heart is wandering around in 5 different directions. But would I tuck the pieces safely back inside? No. No, I'll just become more "mom-ish" as the yrs go by!
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
Someday, when we're old and grey, I can see us sitting on the couch, me w/ his head in my lap like usual, and one of us will say, "Remember our 12th anniversary?" And the other will say, "Was that the time we had company 3 week ends in a row, the last right on our anniversary?" "That was the week you ended up at the Dr with a kidney stone attack, remember that? We didn't know what was up!" "Yeah, and we were so tired cause Charles was only 8 wks old!" "Oh yes! Remember how we got a motel later in the week, just for some alone time?" "Yes, and as soon as the baby slept we both crashed at like 8:15 with the light still on?!" *chuckle* "The sleep was worth the motel cost if nothing else!" "Those were the days weren't they? We had no plan for the next day, just some wandering about here and there..." Long pause as I run my fingers through his hair and we remember... "It was all about just being together, me and you, wasn't it?" And then we'll look at each other, and one of us will say softly, "It still is."
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
I think God loves to take our theories and just see what we'll actually do w/ them! It's so easy to spin out theory. To wax eloquent and wise and sound good! It's quite another thing to put the theories in shoe leather and live them out. When your husband calls 15 min on his way to work and says, in a pain filled voice, "Are you gonna come pick me up and take me to the hospital?" When it's after lunch and there's still strawberries laying on the table to be made into jam and all I can do is hold a fussy baby. When two poor little girls are still wearing nighties and running around with bed heads at 2 p.m. because mom just hasn't gotten that far yet. When the 3 year old pleads "hold me, mom!" and it's impossible. Warm Paws anyone? Oh, it's so easy not to choose them! To scoff at the idea of a 3rd option and wonder who's idea that was anyway?! But it is possible, however small and reluctant the choosing may be, and just the thinking of it can turn the tide of gloom! I know. Because this was my day Tuesday.
Monday, June 3, 2013
So, the question is, how many times is there a "3rd option" that we could choose? The baby decides at 4:00 a.m. that he's slept enough tonight... I'm in town and have already pumped my gas when I realize I've left my wallet and check book at home... The children are not getting along and I'm sooo tired... The supper I worked to prepare didn't turn out and nobody wants to eat it... There is no end to the situations in life that make us feel like our "paws are freezing" and the only other option seems to be to have our seat in the same situation! Maybe the 4:00 a.m. Rising could be my opportunity for lengthy prayer (which I never have time for). Maybe I can laugh at the forgotten money and be thankful my sister's purse is in my van! Maybe I'll feel less tired if I say "ok, lets clean up and then we'll play games awhile!" Maybe it's a good night to eat cereal (or pretend you're in a poor country w/ nothing else to eat :) ). At any rate, I do believe Drover had a point. Maybe soon we'll all be grinning! :)
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Thursday, May 30, 2013
We have this saying around here, it comes from a Hank the Cowdog Tape. Now, Hank the Cowdog is part funny, part ridiculous and part plain dumb but every once in awhile you come across a gem. This is one of them! Hank and Drover are walking in the snow and Drover is complaining about how cold his paws are. Hank tells him he could sit down and then his paws would be warm! Drover says no, cause then his seat would be cold! Hank informs him that he can't have it both ways, those are his only two options. The conversation makes Hank aware now of his cold paws and how miserable it is until suddenly, as they keep walking along, Hank notices that Drover is grinning! He grumpily inquires what Drover could possibly be grinning about on this freezing cold walk? Drover replies that he chose a third option! Hank, as usual, chaulks this up to Drovers stupidity and points out how ridiculous Drover is being because there IS no third option. Drover goes on grinning and explains happily, "Yeah there is! I chose warm paws!"
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
There's a little girl at my house who loves to play! In her wake lie crayons, markers, paper, dolls, toys... Clean up time, however, is not something she loves! Her favorite excuse for not getting the job done is "I just don't know where to start!!" Lately I can identify with her. My soul feels like a mess. Failures here, mistakes there, selfishness galore...I know it's a mess, I know I need to change, I even know somewhat what needs to be done to accomplish it. But I just don't know where to start! It looks hard, hopeless, too much. When it comes down to it my flesh doesn't really want to lay down and die! So I continue struggling, fighting doggedly against repentance and surrender. Dragging out the childish excuse "I just don't know where to start!!" Pray for me to find time to get before the Lord and deal with this horrible selfishness in my life. Pray that God would bring about repentance in my heart and satan and his lies would be defeated. Pray that I would lay down excuses and just start already!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
lights up when he's talked to and the children (and parents) never tire of seeing his wide grin!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
We women have a problem. Maybe some more than others, but the world over we share it. Somehow we've bought into the lie that doing what God called us to do isn't enough. He's asked us to clean the ball closet in the church basement and all we can focus on, as we grudgingly straighten balls and bats, is how gifted we really are for the job of cleaning the whole basement! Some console us, "God is preparing you for a bigger job someday!" And maybe He is. But if He calls us to clean the ball closet for the rest of our lives, then what? Why is it that God's call for us to lift up our husbands and stay at home and train children and keep house isn't enough? "But I have so many other interests, talents, gifts! Why can't I use them?! It's not fair that I have to be 'squashed' just because I'm a woman!" The fact is, God called me to clean the ball closet. It doesn't matter how well I use the gifts He gave me to do other things. Unless I can be content keeping that closet spic and span, I've failed in Obedience!
Saturday, May 11, 2013
11 yrs ago today I became a Mother. It was the day before Mother's Day, just like today. Not much of the significance of that moment sank into my brain 11 yrs ago. I felt mostly numb and what-do-we-do-now-ish as I looked at the tiny little man who transported me from the ranks of "married woman" to "Mother". 11 yrs and many late nights, tears, spankings, chuckles, diaper changes, owies kissed, baths given, stories read, lunches packed, reprimands administered and jokes shared later, I look at the tall young man who is my son and there's a lot of different feelings in my heart. The seriousness of my role in this child's life has sunk into my conciousness long ago! As I watch him begin to change from little boy to little man my heart aches with pride at his accomplishments, anguish at the knocks life will yet administer, despair at the human-ness of his heart and the weaknesses he inherited from his mother, and love for the tender heart that lies under all the boy-ishness. Happy Birthday Isaac! Love, Mom
Thursday, May 9, 2013
I wish there were a way to hook my brain up to the key board! If I could, there would have been a whole row of posts lately. Posts about Stomach Flu and A New Baby, A Mother's Sacrifice, When Mom Is Sick, My Secret Baby Calming Trick, A Father and A New Baby, When You Think You're Losing Your Mind, The #1 No No When Asking Your Husband For Advice...... I've written some really outstanding posts on these subjects...in my head... Sadly, they've stayed there. And disappeared. Amidst the chaos of life, the quicklydoingworkwhilethebabysleeps and holdingandfeedingandholdingandfeeding and Imusttakeanap.imust. the words just don't make it to the key board! Oh well, (throw in the much used for moms phrase "this too shall pass") it really is ok. After all, if I'm always waiting for things to pass I'll end up never enjoying anything! So, I'm purposing to "choose warm paws" and enjoy what I can before it all passes away. Maybe I really will write a post about that quote ...someday...
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Why, when grace appears, do I refuse it? Maybe it's because I fail to consider how Creative the grace-giver is. I didn't know grace looked like a mother-in-law busily cleaning, baking and preparing. And two lovely ladies brainstorming, decorating and planning. And a sister-in-law scouring stores for that perfect gift and driving 1 1/2 hours to be here. And a whole host of ladies bringing w/ them gift bags, smiles, cheerful chatter and laughter... No, I never pictured grace that way. Then too, I was much too busy thinking about Me to accept the free gift. *oh, they'll all be looking at me! *oh, I hate being fussed over! *oh, my baby will fuss all evening! *oh, I really don't need more stuff in my little house! And all the time there was Grace, loving and free, just waiting to be received. Sometimes the Grace-giver is very creative. Sometimes He uses earthen vessels to distribute His grace and bless with His love and all He wants from me is open handed acceptance. Because sometimes Grace is a Baby Shower!
Saturday, April 27, 2013
You certainly couldn't call life "normal" right now! Or could you? Is it just normal to grab bites of food between caring for little people? Normal to need a shower desperately and still not get one taken? Normal to have a 5 yr old throwing up and sick for 3 days? Normal to call washing clothes a big accomplishment? Normal to think carefully before you grab bites "will this affect the baby"? Normal to wonder if you'll ever be able to do anything 'fun' again? Normal to sleepily mumble "good night" and "good bye" to your husband and that's about it? Normal to have one child better and the next one struck down? Normal to make the difficult decision of what to do quickly when the baby finally naps? Normal to squeeze baby's sweetness one minute and the next wipe dripping tears over the craziness of life? Hmmm... somehow I didn't consider this life as normal. But who am I to say? Maybe it is? Seems to me I've been this way several times before. And, after all, I think normal is just a setting on the dryer!!
Friday, April 19, 2013
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
I am not going to be blogging for awhile. Right, I know I haven't been anyway but I'm officially not. See, it's always there in the back of my mind bugging me - "I should write something" "Why can't I think of anything to write??" type. delete. repeat...... So, I'm not gonna think about it anymore. I don't totally know why I can't get inspired to write right now and I don't suppose it really matters! Words will flow again someday and when they do, I'll be back. I have a feeling that might not be until baby makes it's appearance but whatever the case, no more guilt trips or fake attempts. Bye bye!
Thursday, February 28, 2013
There's a saying that goes: "Any man can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy." What makes the difference, you say, how can you tell? Well, you see, it takes a Daddy to play ball with his son, giving him pointers and tips as they go. It takes a Daddy to answer big questions, explaining whys and wonderings galore. It takes a Daddy to single out children for trips to town that bring sparkling eyes and happy smiles. It takes a Daddy to allow youngsters to help with projects, guiding them in just how to dip the paint brush and spread the paint. It takes a Daddy to teach skills, patiently explaining how to hold the utility knife so as not to cut oneself. And, perhaps the biggest clue of all? It takes a Daddy to say "I'm sorry" when he was wrong or has hurt small feelings. My heart is full tonight with the knowledge that I'm married to a man who is, indeed, a Daddy!
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
This morning is as dreary looking as yesterday was bright with sunshine. It seems like Winter just can't get done with it's "thing" around here! It's hard to imagine several sunny days strung in a row right now. But, the end of February is approaching and it can't last forever! Last week was school break, so this week we're trying to get back into the rythm of packing lunches, driving school children and having some schedule. (We're throwing in some extras, like flat tires, just for variety...) The time until Baby Comes is ticking down slowly but surely. By the end of this week our bedroom should be very close to ready for moving in and then! Then...I have lots and lots of things I want to accomplish yet before #5 makes it's appearance!! Sometimes I'm humbled when I stop to think of my problem free pregnancies and deliveries. I guess God thought I needed different kinds of lessons in life...like vehicle issues and driving embarrassing "badom badom" vans with flat tires... We all have our lessons, I guess!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Friday, February 15, 2013
Wednesday was my fav day of the month right now - appt w/ my midwife! See, Chris always takes off and we leave the girls w/ Grandma and spend most of the day galavanting around. The ride up was spent talking and the visit w/ my midwife was pleasant and uneventful. We proceeded to eat and do our usual bulk food store, thrift stores, whatever stores we felt an urge to check out. About 3:00 we turned on yet another road and I noticed "The Barn Inn" sign and did our usual shput the name if it sounds a little odd deal. A little later Chris drives right up in front of the Barn Inn itself and stops the car. "What are you doing??" "Oh I thought we could just stay here tonight." "We are not!! Get going." "Yes, really. We're gonna stay here!" "We are NOT! What is your deal?!!" I was totally dumbfounded. He had arranged the children sleeping at Grandpas, snuck out a few essential items for the night and the whole bit and never slipped anything suspicious! I'm still shaking my head... but Oh, what a lovely time!!!
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
"We're great, as mothers, at sacrifice. But often, as wives, we could use a little work." -Emily Wierenga ...or, if you're me, a lot of work! This is something I have been praying God would open my eyes to. I wasn't thinking of it quite like that, I've been calling it respect. I've been begging God to show me what respect looks like in the little places. The places where I constantly unwittingly stumble. Because how can you avoid failure when you never realize you failed until after the deed is done? When I read Emily's post today about Sacrificial Love I found myself nodding. Yes! Yes, as a mother there is constant sacrifice. You wipe noses and kiss ouchies and clean up messes and fill drawers with clean clothes and stomaches w/ food...whether you feel like it or not. As a wife though, I tend to expect my husband to do the sacrificing! I think that is the answer to my seeking. Only sacrificial love can remember to view a situation through another's eyes and act out of their viewpoint instead of your own.
Friday, February 8, 2013
apart to make the teapot handles...yes, lots of t.i.m.e. Went into this :) i think today i'll sleep
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
yourself and see! :)
Friday, February 1, 2013
I'm not a very dramatic person. I don't gush over gifts or swoon over cuteness. I've often felt like a poor mom because of my lack of dramatics. Instead of 'amazed wonder and joy' in pregnancy, I'm usually thinking of poor, uncomfortable me! My heart should have 'swelled with awe' at the birth of my first born! Instead I felt a numb 'what do we do now' sort of feeling. There was no intense bond, in fact, I got very frustrated w/ my crying little bundle who didn't settle for the night! I've pretty much gotten over agonizing about what is wrong with me and wondering if I missed some Mom genes somewhere. At the most surprising times - when my 2 little girls walk up to Grandpas hand in hand, when I get up in the morning to find little girl snuggled w/ "mean" big brother on the couch, when I observe big brother and sister playing memory w/ little sister and purposely letting her get a pair, children's wide eyed awe when little hands feel baby's hiccups - a deep, warm feeling assures me I wasn't passed by!
Monday, January 28, 2013
that knowledge is different. I doubt "mom, she's messing up my fun!" was on jesus' mind tho....
Friday, January 25, 2013
Lesson 1: I'm not a good cleaner. Oh, I'm good at keeping the house decently straightened up and looking clean. But really cleaning, (think under the couch, under the stove burners, the shelves in the fridge, windows...) not so much. I like to think this is a good attribute. Surely it's better to not be so fussy and have more time to enjoy 'important' things! :) I've not been up to par all week, battling a cold that just won't go away. Yesterday I decided to clean the inside of the fridge just so I could feel accomplished! I am amazed how every time I open the fridge today those shiny, unsmudged, glass shelves smile up at me and perk me up! ** Lesson 2: A 4 yr old's ability to eat heartily and request a granola bar fresh from the oven for dessert, only to eat half and say "I'm full!" Hmmm... so am I but I could eat 3 more! *** And then a quote... Jennifer was laying on the floor last night and needed a pillow to prop her elbows on. Lillian informed me later she needed 2 pillows, one for her "kneebows"! :)
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
When the mouse/rat chews holes through tupperware and your best tea towels. When the children's coughs keep you awake night after night after night. When your whole head feels stopped up and all you want to do is stay in bed in a dark, quiet room. When it's 9 degrees in the morning and already 11 at bed time and you have to take children to school next day.... Is the best I can muster - "At least my child's not in the hospital like theirs!" "At least I have a cozy house in this cold weather!" "At least I have an understanding husband who lets me take it easy!"? Yes, these help me stop and re-focus and consider the many things I have to be thankful for. It's much better than sitting around complaining! But is there something more? Is there a higher road? Is there the possibility of actually thanking a Good God, who does all things well, for these things that are mine, accepting that just maybe they are gifts for my good? Yes? I agree...in my head. If only someone could show me exactly how this should look!
Thursday, January 17, 2013
How's my week? Well, my Tues plans had already fallen by the wayside b/c of a sick child, so I cheerfully went on to Wed. Thur had "appt w/ Midwife" penciled in, so I had things that needed to get done. About 10:20 my phone rang. Hmmm...my midwife..."Hello" "Hello Bethany, were you still planning for today or are you just running late?" Uuhhh.... Sure enough, the card said plain as day: Wed, Jan 16!!! "It would suit me best if you could still come today..." Uuhh, sure! No problem. Chris already has off tomorrow to go w/ me, I'm not one bit ready to go anywhere, there's clothes in the washer, it's rainy outside, this is an hr and 20 min drive...."Sure! Let me see what I can do and I'll let you know what time." I could not believe it!! Thankfully I've been married 11 yrs to the "spur of the moment master" and have had lots of lessons on flexibility! Crazy scrambling ensued...but an hr later I was alone "calmly" picking Chris up and we were off! Guess what? He still has off today to work on our bedroom!! :)
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Yes, life is a delicate balance. But "girls nights out"definitely tip the scales to" happy"! :)
Monday, January 7, 2013
I have struggled a lot w/ writing lately. I like blogs that have regular posts, so I have always tried to have somewhat of a "schedule". Usually even when I didn't think I'd have anything to write, some inspiration would strike. Well, lately nothing strikes! Not sure what all the reasons are for that. I think 1 may be that it was easier for me to write when I had no idea who was reading :) Also earlier I was so excited about writing that the limit on length didn't bother me much, now I chafe at not being able to write w/o carefully choosing every word. And then, there's been a lot going on inside that I haven't sorted out very well myself which leaves me w/ nothing to say! Maybe I should just stop writing for awhile, or maybe I should share recipes or something completely different for a change. I don't know. Today was back to regular school schedule and it felt good to return to some structure again! Felt like maybe my insides might find their "rythm" again too one of these days...
Thursday, January 3, 2013
It's something to 12 in the morning and I'm sitting on a little chair beside Lillian's bed. It's her turn for the flu that the rest of us took turns with while we were in AR. (Yes, every one of us was sick sometime in those 9 days. It was a memorable vacation if nothing else!) I think Lillian's acting worse than anyone else did! True, my turn was recent enough to know that you feel miserable! Still, do we have to lay half asleep and moan and cough and need mom's hand to touch? The rest of us just hunkered down and slept but it seems that's too much to ask of little miss who wants it all. You wonder why I don't just take her to bed w/ me? Me and children in bed don't mix. Never have. And right now I'm already sharing my bed with a big ball of a stomach. Nope. Might as well sit up and be awake rather than lay awake unable to move in my little spot for fear I'll wake someone up! Btw, this isn't meant to be an inspirational post. I tried an inspired post 3 times and it wouldn't. So I didn't. Happy New Year!