Friday, July 31, 2015

Your Love Is Extravagent

Such insight spoken by my oldest moments ago. I confessed to her that my fear has probably added the start stop of possible labor. Told her I wasn't sure why fear had set in so strongly with Lilly. Out of her precious mouth she said "maybe because things have been so crazy the last couple years". I think that sweet girl nailed it. Weeks leading up to Lilly being born moving to Mississippi was a very real possibility. Although I was trying to lay everything down and trust the Lord with our future I'm sure in other ways I tried to grasp for control. Lay down my desire for control in one area to only try to pick up and grasp control in another. Even then the Lord was trying to teach me in the physical pain of labor. Leaning in, allowing Him to carry me through the process even in the midst of great pain gives birth to such beauty in the end. There are even more unknowns about the future going into this birth. At times I'm so weary and I simply don't think I can handle what may lie ahead in the bend of the road. I've cried out to God for weeks that I'm just too weary to birth this baby. I'm simply not prepared for the pain that awaits. He beckons to show me how He's in the midst of the pain. He has His arms wrapped tightly around me in the unknown. He knows the desires of my heart. My desire to follow Him no matter what and yet my fear that I'm simply to weak to follow Him completely and fully. He knows the fear, the insecurity and the sun that lurks hidden in my heart that I'm not even aware of. He knows I try so desperately to be brave and strong simply because I'm afraid nobody will catch me if I completely fall apart. He's aware of every wound and scar my heart contains and He is very much aware of the amazing plans He has for my life. He knows I so want to be humble for Him and yet I fear pride even in that and that I grasp at self reliance and self protection that hinders becoming humble. He loves me warts and all and adores me simply because I'm His.

Perfect love casts out all fear.

When I was trying to figure out if I was going to attempt a drug free birth with Abbie a friend told me that she always thought she would because going through the pain of labor was the closest thing she would come to experiencing the pain of Jesus on the cross. It was the very thing I needed to hear to flip me into the crunchy camp.

--------
Up at 4am with consistent contractions and other signs of impending labor kicking off. I prayed for more sleep for me and my birth peeps and things tapered off enough for me to drift off to sleep again. Once my wonderful wild things got up and started bouncing around things were all over. Got my head wrapped around surrendering to the process and dropped four kiddos off at a sweet friends house. Had hoped once I got our little down things might get going again. Not so much. Walked in the crazy Texas heat, got in crazy poses to help engage baby and bounced on a yoga ball all with no dice. Decided to lay down and hubs got kids. Wouldn't you know it once they got here things started up again. This is very much like Lilly. Real contractions but they are all over the place. My body has resumed its labor signs though. Four asleep and two smalls looking like they might follow suit soon. Hoping for a longer less intense labor like Lilly. I could see this going on for a loong time OR my water breaking and things get lightening fast. If it wasn't so late I think a trip to North Park would be in order :).

Isaiah 59-62:
Read and again love so much about these chapters. Going to settle in tonight and see what happens.

D
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Stuck

Pretty confident the Bit has something stuck up her nose. Her breath could kill could ten grown men or wake up a mom at 4am. Listening to her breath while she sucks on a paci or drinks is very suspicious too. Oh dear sweet precious children, will the wonders ever cease? 

I also seem stuck in a prelabor holding pattern. Lots of contractions and baby so incredibly low he/she is practically at my knees. Trying to rest as much as possible and completely fine with waiting this journey out. Secretly or not so secretly praying this baby is born en caul or my water breaks just moments before this baby comes out to protect it the most from getting GBS Strep. Whether that happens or not I know God's hand is over me and Baby Cupcake. The struggle in knowing this is that I also know being in His hand means no guarantees. I do know it means there's hope, provision, mercy, grace, goodness in whatever circumstance that may occur while being in His grip. I trust this, I don't trust getting the outcomes that I desire. That being said yesterday while my midwife was helping my oldest find a heartbeat I misread a facial expression and I quickly tumbled into worst case scenario. 

I'm wrestling to figure what exactly has changed in me over the past year and whether or not it's good. I definitely think my rose colored glasses have been smashed into bits. Wondering if that also means that the entitlement I have had in the past that things should go smoothly and the way I want them is also being chipped away at. I would like to think so but as I wrote before I truly am wrestling with whether being very much aware of the reality here in this sinful fallen world is movement in the right direction. Maybe I should just carry out this scenario and you can be the judge.

Over the years, I've heard of stories of precious babies dying days before due dates, mom's dying while giving birth, ect. At this point we've all heard a story and some of those stories are closer to us as we've grieved with people we've known or friends who are close. The reality of this world is that is can be filled with such deep and unimaginable sorrows. None of us are immune to the fallout from well, the Fall. In the next couple hours, days, or possibly even weeks we will meet Baby Cupcake. There is longing and eager anticipation and hope to hold this child in my arms and watch him or her grow up to be a bold and courageous man or woman of God. There are absolutely no guarantees that any of that will occur. There's no guarantees that this sweet babe will ever breath his or her first breath on this earth. If my hopes, dreams and desires for this child are never fulfilled that doesn't change who God is or that He is good. God being good doesn't change the grief that can or will occur if our hopes, dreams and desires for this baby are never fulfilled. I'd like to think and I hope and anticipate that after going through the pains of labor and growing this child in my womb for nine months that I'll have the blessing of watching this child grow up. But if I don't and I give birth to a stillborn child God is still the same. He is just as faithful. He is just as good. He is just as merciful and mighty and powerful. I selfishly pray that will never be part of our story. I pray my husband and I and especially our children will never have to walk that road of grief, sorrow or pain but God is no less God if it is part of our story. My mind wanders to what ifs probably more than it ever has but in understanding that what ifs are part of living in this fallen world I'm trying to learn to release my white knuckled grip and open my hands to receive the good and the difficult knowing that God has a plan and a purpose in all of it. God is good. All the time God is good. 

"What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true. I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; only trouble comes.""
‭‭Job‬ ‭3:25-26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

"Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, "I came naked from my mother's womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!" In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God."
‭‭Job‬ ‭1:20-22‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Dwelling on and sitting in fear is not good. 

"Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love."
‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God sent His son to die on the cross for me. He was crushed, bruised and broken for MY sin. He conquered sin and death so that I might be with Him for all eternity. 

If I get to hold this baby wiggling around in my womb and watch him or her grow up may I consider it pure joy and praise my God for the gift and the blessing of life. May I not feel entitled to this blessing or take it for granted but fully embrace the gift of life to the best of my ability. Entitlement is a cancer to gratitude and Paul is right when he exhorts us to rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. 

If I gaze upon the gift of this baby and it does not go the way I would hope or desire for whatever reason may I learn to be like Job and worship and give thanks to God. If He truly is good which I believe that He is than I will fight with all that I am to open my hands to accept the good with the heartache knowing that He loves me and that whatever heartache or sorrow that lies and awaits us in the future is allowed for my good and for my benefit. We live in a broken world but God can use ALL things to accomplish His plan. He is bigger than death. He is mighty and powerful and strong and He will carry me through whatever may come my way.

Isaiah 58-62:
I love these chapters and I hate going through them at this pace. Trying to fully wrap my head and my heart around what the Lord is saying in the verses in ch 58. I really think it all goes back to the heart. 1 Corinthians 13 comes to mind. I can move mountains, fast, worship, or do all kinds of good "works" but if I have not love then it's all for not. Those actions simply become my way of trying to achieve righteousness. When I realize I'm sunk without the sweet redemptive grace of Jesus those actions can then be motivated out of a heart created and changed by the Lord. I no longer see the hungry person staggering on the side of the road as someone less than I. Instead I see a fellow sinner in need of compassion, Grace, a bite of bread, prayer and in no more need of Jesus than I myself have. When I understand my desperate need for Jesus I don't pick apart or get easily angered by my children's sin or focus on other people's flaws, short comings and sin because instead I am very keenly aware of my own. When I realize my desperate need for Jesus I no longer grasp or hold onto my desire to be self reliant or to have it all together or to not be a mess or be an EGR because I'm fully aware that I am weak, that I am sinful and that anything good that comes out of me is Jesus and not by my own doing. Apart from Christ I am an absolute mess, I am a person in desperate need of extra grace, and I absolutely need help and I'm needy. I fight so hard to not be those things but those are the very things that I am. 

Really want to dig into these verses. 
""Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don't pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD's holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don't follow your own desires or talk idly. Then the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken!""
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭58:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I am clueless about what Sabbath should look like but I know I'm messing it up royally. I definitely have fallen into patterns of this world when it comes to rest. I don't observe Sabbath and yet I desperately need rest. Instead of falling into the arms of true rest I try to steal moments and eat a crappy candy bar instead of the feast the Lord has set before me and beckons me to join Him in eating. It really all boils down to disobedience, messed up priorities, and foolishness. Lord you are so clear on your desire for us to choose the gift of Sabbath. Teach us your ways so that we might not continue to walk according to the patterns of this world. 

I need to unpack something  my friend said about her grandma and ironing the other day. I've been chewing on it for days. This is already long enough so I'm going to finish up reading and tap out. Thankful the Lord gifted me with this time this morning through the blessing of a sweet girl whose breath could kill a grown man right now and who desperately needs to poop. 

D



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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gravity

Acutely aware this morning that I've been trying to control and manage this whole labor thing. Not an unusual thing for me. Funny how the first four I was game for trying to get any prelabor signs kicked off into the real deal and with the last two I've been willing to hang upside down to keep them in. Sooner or later my willing it to not be so will not matter. You can try to fight gravity but it's stupid.

I'm reminded this morning of my absolute and complete stubbornness in most things in life. I eventually feel like I land where I need to be but often it's done with the digging in of heels and kicking and screaming. I guess the beauty of being stubborn and passing on this gene to most of my children is that we will not be easily swayed. At least I can hope that this is true. I can be thankful that the Lord at least made my stubborn will stronger than my kids', at least for now. I'm thankful that the Lord is ever patient with me as His stubborn child and that He is willing to gently lead me by the hand. May I eventually get better at this in my own parenting.

Been up since 5am again trying off and on to get back to sleep. Enjoying the silence and snuggling with my baby who might not be the baby for much longer. Surprisingly she didn't try to sleep on top of my face like she usually does and assumed the coveted H position in our bed. Around 7 she rolled over meowed and snuggled right in. I love how this kid pretends to be a cat half the time. She has her own language and switches Sent from my iPhone

I'm thankful that His promises are true. Thankful that my God has never left me or forsaken me even at the height of my rebellion. He is with me through the pain, the loss, the sorrow, the happiness, the growth, the joy, and anything else that may come our way. His rod and His staff they comfort me. He leads me to still and quiet waters even in the midst of my kicking and screaming. He holds tight and never ever lets go.

Isaiah 52-57:
Isaiah 53. There are no words, tears just tears.

"For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken," says the LORD, who has mercy on you."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭54:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

D

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I Saw What I Saw

Going to try to knock this out quickly so I can go to bed!! Another night of sketchy sleep and permaheadache 2000 is still kicking strong. Today it added my hubs and my oldest boy to the headache parade.

Blessed today by a friend who brought her mad organizing skills and lunch for our family. Very very thankful for the ways she blessed me and my crew today. While she was here she noticed my facial expressions and my stomach going hard and then soft again. I'm not always crazy in tune with my body so after she said something I realized that I had been having contractions for most of the morning. Now that I think about it I think that's what woke me up at 5am. Tried to take a nap this afternoon but no dice. Fingers crossed for this evening.

Put on my labor play list this evening and I Saw What I Saw by Sara Groves came on. I don't know what compelled me to put that song on but I couldn't NOT put it on. I Saw What I Saw was very much the anthem of our adoption process for me. I heard it for the first time around the same time I had a dream about Baby E. It's still been one of the most vivid dreams I've ever had. It confuses me that my heart strings can still be so pulled for a boy who may never be ours. In fact, the more that time passes it seems like it will just never come to pass and that the desire to adopt had everything to do about releasing control over our biological family. Without Baby E there would most definitely not be Lilly Bit or Baby Cupcake. So strange to have my heart strings pulled with longing and sadness for a child I don't even know will ever exist and yet be thankful for how dreaming what I dreamed and the crazy heartaching process helped be apart of Lilly being here and now Cupcake. Needless to say I feel like a huge confused mess.

Isaiah 50-51:
Jealous -
"The Sovereign LORD has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭50:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Lord may you grow me to be this humble.
"I offered my back to those who beat me and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard. I did not hide my face from mockery and spitting."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭50:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Can. Not. Wait!
"Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness. "I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear?"
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭51:11-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

D

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Monday, July 27, 2015

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

1. Exhausted from two nights of a restless Bit. The verses about women not having the strength to give birth have come to life the past couple weeks.

2. A headache that started this morning has continued to snowball into a creation of satan. I want to claw out my own eyes.

3. I'm so sad about the heartache that occurs in this world. I know Jesus weeps too and can redeem all but it sometimes can be so heavy.

4. Filled with rage again tonight for multiple reasons. Don't have the capacity to even begin to touch it. All I know is that I desperately need Jesus.

5. Thankful that through the blood on the cross He sets the captives free.

6. Thankful for the gift of a clean house at just the perfect time to decontaminate.

7. Thankful for decontaminated kids dipped in chlorine, vitamin D and friends. Thankful we avoided the pooplosion even though that meant a big pool that was closed. Good character building for my minions to have to work through disappointment and see the good in unexpected circumstances. Hard and beautiful lessons even for me.

8. Thankful God is willing and able to deal with me even in my rawest unrefined moments. He loves me no matter what and would rather I come to His feet in all my fleshly glory than to not come at all.

9. I'm thankful for seasons and that summer does not last all year long.

10. I'm thankful that there will be no pollen in heaven and even if there is it will be heavenly pollen not demonic and evil pollen.

Isaiah 49:
This chapter is beautiful.
- our names are engraved on the palms of His hands.

- He has not only knitted us together in our mothers wombs but has named us and called us as well.

- those who trust in the Lord will not be put to shame

- He came to set the captives free and call those in darkness into light

- The Lord comforts His people and has compassion on them in their suffering.

Thankful!

D

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

BoomTastick

Woke up this morning and ended our one day streak of having no kids sick. The Bit must have picked up a stomach bug at the dr when I took her in for a recheck on her fungus the other day. Poor kid has been through the wringer. With the appearance of yet another bug there's several things I'm incredibly thankful for.

1. I'm so thankful Bit didn't get the latest bug as badly as the rest. She ran a fever and was congested but I really feel like she was spared from getting the full brunt of it. I was concerned we might end up in a bad spot with her if she had gotten it as bad as the boys.

2. Sweet friends blessed us immensely with a washer and dryer this week. I had joked about having a broken dryer was just begging for a stomach bug. Not only was our dryer dying rapidly our washer had started to stop draining properly this week too. Filled with more gratitude than I ever thought possible while putting each load of yucky laundry in. I would have had to go to the laundry mat today without this crazy blessing and provision and I would probably be a basket case right now.

3. I'm thankful for just being able to laugh at this point. At least we are getting all the bugs of the summer out of the way. Plus it's so hot that there's no way I want to be outside doing stuff anyway. Now I get to soak in the AC and not feel guilty about keeping my kids shut in. It's a win win win!

4. I probably need to knock on wood but I think this is the first pregnancy I've gone through without getting a nasty stomach bug. Considering how rundown I've been from allergies and fighting a near constant ear infection it's amazing how I've managed to avoid all the kid funk. God's hand of provision has been over me for sure!!!

5. In the midst of all the kid funk I can't help but thank God for His blessing of good health upon us. One of us could be battling something horrible. I always think of a family whose son was diagnosed with cancer months before having a baby. They had to have friends stay with their son in the hospital so that her husband could be there for the birth of their fourth child. We really are crazy blessed. I know tomorrow may be a different story but for today I give thanks for incredibly health. I give thanks for tomorrow if for some reason all of that changes. Selfishly I want to cling to the blessing of good health for my entire family our entire lives but I know God is willing to provide for us in any and all circumstances.

Isaiah 44-48:
Just got puked on everywhere. Thankful for fresh running water, showers and high capacity washer and dryers!

Once again great chapters but distracted.

"I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭48:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The furnace of suffering. Interesting. Thankful our God is not a block of wood or something that has been crafted merely by human hands. Thankful rather that His hands have created us. I'm thankful He is willing to rescue us even while we are still a bunch of stuff necked sinners.

D



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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Walkin On The Sun

I missed it but the 22nd marked five years of diving in daily to God's Word. It's been a game changer for me for sure. Thankful for those of you who have endured me filling up your inboxes from the very beginning and those of you who have allowed me to fill up your inboxes since then. I surely could not have done it without daily accountability. I'm simply not self disciplined enough. Nothing has changed and transformed my heart and my view of God more than this time everyday. I'm so thankful for His Word and that its living and breathing.

I was triggered by a friend's email last night. The combination of mention of an upcoming anniversary trip and the start of a new school year brought tears early this morning. The start of school has been incredibly rocky the past two years. A newborn with pertussis that lead to sleep deprivation that I had never known before. Weeks of adrenaline rushes caused by watching my baby turn purple and chanting "breath baby breath" if for nothing more than to keep myself calm. The start of school last year had a slow start as my hubs and I got away on a trip of a lifetime to celebrate ten glorious years. It was five days of bliss. It made me long for heaven in ways I had not expected. Two days later things were flipped upside down. I gotta be honest, I'm a little leery of what will come this September. My "plan" for this year is definitely a lot softer than years past. I know the course I want to take but I'm holding it all very loosely.

Maybe the realization that absolutely anything can happen tomorrow is a good thing. It feels a bit pessimistic to me but maybe it's just reality. Taking a better look at things it does indeed just feel like reality. Maybe the key in all of this is learning how to live out today with reckless abandon for the Lord knowing that ultimately we have no idea what lies ahead tomorrow. Practically what does living with reckless abandon for the Lord look like in everyday life? It sounds glorious and inspiring to me but it also seems impossible in between the day to day mundaneness and exhaustion of life. I won't even walk outside of my house right now because it feels like I might as well be walkin on the sun. That doesn't much sound like reckless abandon to me. Yet I think there's something more here and I just need to keep digging. 

Isaiah 40-43:
Love these chapters. So much great stuff in here. Great reminders of God's infinite love for us. He calls us by name. 

This verse stood out to me though:

""Yet you have not called on me, Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, Israel."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:22‬ ‭NIV‬

You have not called on me. Simple heartbreaking truth. The wild animals gather to the King for they know who provides for them yet daily I turn to everything else before calling upon the Lord.

""Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.""
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Joining a friend and pondering these verses. 

D


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Friday, July 24, 2015

Let It Be

I can't get Where Is My Mind out of my head. The melody is searing itself into every nook and cranny of my brain. My obsession with music has come back.  Now my only regret is that I never learned how to play a single instrument. Lately I've been putting on a "go the heck to sleep" station on Pandora to get the Bit to fall asleep. It's been pretty money at getting her to relax enough to crash but it's awakened a deep desire to be able to play music. I was never self disciplined enough as a kid to stick to anything. I can see my oldest struggle with the same. She's a dabbler but hasn't yet fully given herself over to learning a craft and learning it well. Maybe that's where I could serve her well and encourage her to pick something and really invest time in learning. 

My sweet midwife got into a car accident this afternoon. She broke her wrist and is in considerable pain but she of course gives all glory to God for protecting her. Needless to say she won't be delivering Cupcake if he/she decides to come this weekend. I'd be sad for her not to be there but thankfully it doesn't necessarily stress me out. The Bit's birth took care of that. The one person I didn't want to be at my birth was the person on call. It occurred to me today that if I had gotten a midwife I had liked with Bit I wouldn't have looked for another provider and I would have missed out on having Kim as my midwife this time. It's been God's sweet provision in this season to have such a mothering health care provider. Thankful. 

I felt fantastic on Monday but have felt pretty awful the rest of this week. Pretty confident my body is fighting the funk. The feeling of impending labor that I had last week is no where to be found this week. Thankful as I needed this week to keep getting kiddos well. I write this with fear and trembling but BrownTown has been fever free today!!!! That makes me think Bella was definitely starting to get a secondary infection as she was getting worse not better. Thankful for meds that kick bacterial booty! Reminded again of God's perfect timing. Thankful we got the plague when we did. It took a long time to work through everyone but so much better now that later. 

Reminded this week too about God's perfect timing and provision by the blessing of a washer and dryer from sweet friends. Our dryer has been slowly going out and this week our washer has started to do the same. Pretty crazy thankful. Blown away by how God has shown me His manna over the past couple weeks after showing me how I try to hoard the manna. I want to hoard manna because ultimately I want to be self reliant.  

Time spent doing dishes, while listening to music of course, made me realize that it's hardships in life that help make and keep us humble. I was thinking about Paul and how all the craziness that he faced. Shipwrecks, persecution, jail time, stoning, a thorn in his side, ect. He learned how to give thanks in all circumstances. He was incredibly influential in spreading the gospel. I truly believe God used all the difficulty in his life to keep him humble. It's our weaknesses not our strengths that keep us tethered to the Lord. Paul got this, every single part of it so he learned the secret of giving thanks in all circumstances. He didn't grow bitter that he left the high life of prestige for a life of full devotion to Christ that included more hardships than he probably could have imagined. 

I've realized this year that my entitlement, my self reliance and my pride are huge stumbling blocks that keep me from growing in humility which therefore ultimately keeps me separated from God. Why wouldn't I then give thanks in all circumstances? He's using ALL things in my life to work together for my good and for His glory. Rejoice in the Lord always and AGAIN I say rejoice! Let  this be so in my life Lord. I have so far to go God. I thank you that you are forever faithful to complete the good work that you started in my heart. I thank you that you are gracious and abounding in love and patience. 

Isaiah 36-39:
I love reading the story of Sennacherib and King Hezekiah. It simply does not get old. Love Hezekiah's heart that goes directly to seek the Lord first. Because he trusts in God alone and not his own wisdom God delivers his people from Assyria. The contrast between Sennacherib's pride and Hezekiah's humility is a real good reminder. In today's culture wars humility will go along way in helping to speak truth in love. 

These verses are regarding Hezekiah's illness that he faced. Goes along perfectly with the thoughts I had about Paul.

"But what can I say? He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this. I will walk humbly all my years because of this anguish of my soul.

Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭38:15, 17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

D


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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Where Is My Mind

Lack of sleep, being excessively mauled by children and hormones caused a great collision into a big fat wall tonight. I was fine and then I simply was not. Hate ending the day just needing my kiddos to get away from me as fast as possible and into their beds. One just came in our room and I want to come unglued. Hate that!!!!

I wish I was comforted by the fact that I am in bed. The likelihood of tonight being peaceful is slim to none. Bella's fever has gotten worse and so has her cough. It actually kinda reminds me of whooping cough. I'm confident it's not that but the coughing fits are pretty intense. Her dr thinks her funk has probably turned into a sinus infection that is causing her wicked coughing fits. That's a much better thing to deal with than pneumonia. I generally hate the thought of throwing meds at a maybe sinus infection but I'm so over the plague. Even our dr made a comment today about our rap sheet of illness the past two months. Guess that's what happens when you live in a wonderful daycare.

Isaiah 31-35:
"Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭33:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Head crazy pounding. Love 35.

D

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Melancholy

My boy was triggered today and I found out I'm GBS positive. That combined with exhaustion from two little girls last night has been enough to do me in. Want to shut off my brain and hide under the covers. The dynamic duo of sweet and spicy are still up and giggling with each other so could make for another night of the fun bunch. 

Isaiah 28-30:
Another round of great chapters with not enough time to dive in deep.

Tonight I walk away thankful that:
- God is ready and willing to instruct us
- there is no end to God's mercy, grace and compassion
- God is a God of justice and one day He will judge the earth
- God is wise and all His ways are good. 

Chewing on this verse.
"This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

D


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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Huffle Puff

The energy and feel good I had yesterday evaporated by today. Huffed and puffed today and had to take many breaks in between doing the simplest tasks. Still a great day with family hanging out and then going to the pool. I might have had a mini meltdown in my head when I saw all the fun that was had with moon dough. Moon dough plus carpet is never a good combination. Trying to kick my inner clean house nazi to the curb. I really really love a clean house though. It does help make our home feel more like a sanctuary than a pit of chaos. It's already chaotic enough without the grime. So very very thankful for such an incredible gift.

Pool this evening and both adults pushed past exhaustion to take kiddos to Braum's to celebrate a boy who punched fear in the face and took a swim test. Fun to watch him enjoy the fruits of his labor this evening. Hope they learn that it's not about passing a stupid test but rather being courageous enough to face the Giants that can be so hard in life that we celebrate. May I myself continue to learn to lean in when the Giants in life appear and face them head on.

Isaiah 24-27:
Been having some pretty heavy conversation with my hubs lately. Interesting to be in Isaiah while having the discussions we are having. (Bunny's cough sounds awful. She was quite the hot mess today and fevery tonight. Poor sweet girl.)

Amazing chapters tonight. Really want to reflect on all the passages I highlighted but brain turned into mush. Going to bed heavy hearted for our country, heavy hearted for our current day holocaust and asking God what our response should be. If people were taking their children to have an after birth abortion what would I do? Would I storm the castle or would I go about my own daily business? I once read a blog that had pictures of people in Germany laughing and having a great time all the while Jews were being tortured and murdered right under their noses. Oh God please let us not turn a blind eye to the atrocities that occur all around us. Let us stand for justice and be a voice to those who have no voice. Let us not turn a blind eye, grow complacent or even go about our lives with an out of sight out of mind mentality. Give us a vision for our family.

"The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭24:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Oh America you have become like the idols that you worship. You have offered your children to the gods of Molech and Chemish who have so cleverly been disguised. Anxiety and depression plagues your youth. You will most certainly reap what you have sown.

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Slowly but surely trying to learn this.

D

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Same Song New Verse

Today was one of those "when all is as it should be kind of days". I feel as if my cup overfloweth. Here's the kicker though, if the past week/weeks/month hadn't been hard I would have easily taken a day like this for granted. The difficulty has changed my outlook and perspective on today and I'm so thankful for that. I really see God taking me through a process of learning how to give thanks in all circumstances. I really want to learn this lesson and learn it well because as I wrote last night I think this is one of the big secrets in life, to learn how to turn all things back to praise. I don't think this means being Polly Anna and not being willing to admit when things are hard, when your heart is crushed, or discouragement sets in, ect. I think it's being real about the situation you are facing is and then in the grief, in the discouragement, in the heartache, in the anger, look for the ways that God has provided regardless of the situation. I'm so slow and so stubborn and it takes awhile for this cat to learn things.

I could go on and on but might just try to knock out a  list so I can chat with my hubs that I've missed before he passes out.

1. All six kids woke up fever free. Two felt like a fever wanted to creep back but we are definitely headed in the right direction.

2. Thankful to have my hubs home all day long!!! I can tell I switched into solo self reliance mode this past week so it's nice to have a chance to reconnect.

3. Thankful for the gracious reminder that God is bigger than dryers who don't want to play ball. He has got everything under control. Why wasn't my time fretting over temporal things?

4. Thankful for the crazy generosity of friends who have offered us possessions, time, meals, and many other things. Feel abundantly blessed by the rich friendships God has placed in our lives.

5. Thankful for conversation with a friend this evening. I love this girl and always feel so incredibly encouraged after talking to her. Love talking to her about parenting out of the box kiddos and everything under the sun. While hiding her "hostage" tonight by all my chatter I realized how much I've just needed the company of another adult. I love my kids but come on they just don't scratch the deep needed itch for real conversation.

6. Thankful that besides one basket of laundry Mt. Clean Laundry has been conquered. Mt. Dirty laundry is a different story but I'll take my victory and celebrate!

7. Thankful for the gift of a clean house. Seriously blown away at how immaculately clean my house is right now. I am going to have to ease up a bit though as I want to become the clean house nazi. I just want it to last for more than ten seconds.

8. Thankful for God's perfect timing. It is perfect all the time even when it feels like the waves keep crashing in.

9. Thankful that I could roll with contractions today without stress. Nothing particularly coming together  or as intense as last week but thankful to still be able to not freak out or feel like I can't get up. Ideally I'd like another week for everyone to be completely better and to lessen the possibility of having a wet noodle baby AKA a whimpy white boy but gotta go back to trusting that God knows best.

10. Thankful I felt good today. I haven't felt good in awhile.

Isaiah 21-23:
Apart from the Lord even the greatest of nations fall. Oh America turn your hearts back to Him.
"Look, here comes a man in a chariot with a team of horses. And he gives back the answer: 'Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground!' ""
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭21:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

D


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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Whack-A-Mole & Cabin Fever

Feel like we're playing a crazy game of whack-a-mole right now. Get one better and another one falls. Listening to my poor Bunny wheeze. Think it's time to take that one in to the dr. While I'm at it might as well take the biggest who is still running a fever and not right and the fungus girl and pneumonia boy for a follow up. I could spiral right now since 1. I'm not in control of any of it 2. Cabin fever is really starting to set in and 3. It's really hard seeing my littles struggle in particular.

Instead of spiraling which will get me absolutely nowhere today I'm going to choose to grasp onto gratitude.

1. Thankful that today is my hubs last long day in FW which means tomorrow I can bust out of the cabin even if just for a short time.

2. Thankful that his time in FW has inspired him for his own business.

3. Thankful that time in FW has provided for our health insurance this month which in turn provides for great medical care. We truly are blessed.

4. Thankful to get this awful bug now and at least have a chance for Cupcake to avoid it instead of after His or her arrival.

5. Thankful for another opportunity to lean on and trust God that His timing is perfect regardless if everyone is well or not.

6. Thankful for God's Word that is written on my heart that reminds me to not worry about tomorrow for today has enough adventures of its own. No matter what happens today or tomorrow or next week or next year God will provide. I can trust that and I don't need to try to hoard or gather up extra manna for tomorrow. Today He has provided and tomorrow will be no different.

7. I am so thankful we are just dealing with a virus. My heart hurts thinking about Momma's and Kiddo's and others who are not just dealing with a simple virus that will eventually go away. Sometimes a little dose of perspective can go a long way. I'm thankful that gratitude can provide beautiful perspective.

8. I'm thankful that God not only hears our cries but that He also cares deeply about our heartaches and our sorrows big and small. Thankful God hears prayers for friends out of town, right down the street, and half way around the world. He cares for all of us and He never grows tired or weary. I'm thankful that our Powerful and Mighty God cares so much for us.

9. I'm thankful that God binds up the wounds of the broken hearted even though that process often requires pain. I'm so thankful that He is our great physician and can heal our hearts and our bodies.

10. I'm thankful for the Saints who have gone boldly before us to share and preach the gospel. I'm thankful for the ways God has preserved their words, His Words, for us to be spurred on and encouraged. God I pray for boldness for those around the world suffering for your cause. Give them a supernatural boldness and courage. May we ourselves not cry persecution when those around the world are truly being persecuted. Give us perspective, grow our hearts to be bold and courageous like our brothers and sisters around the world are. Help us to raise up the next generation of warriors who are willing to die for your sake.

Paul surely did find the secret by taking time to give thanks in all circumstances. Feeling incredibly prelaborish again today but as I was tending to the sickies and praying over our nutritious cereal breakfast, it occurred to me that if I pray for only what I want or think is best it's very possible that I could miss out on the many miracles God can perform. My knowledge is so finite and limited

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It's amazing what all can happen in twelve hours. Fevers that were planted on sweet little bodies this morning disappeared by this evening. My wheezy Bunny who looked so rough this morning was painting and prancing by this afternoon. Who knows what tomorrow will bring but for now I'm thankful for a night of fever free bodies. If this trend continues I'll be able to turn my attention to trying to figure out how to cram seven car seats in a van that simply does not want to fit seven car seats and beating our dryer into submission. Our luck trying to get a bigger bench seat is not proving to be very successful. Thanks to a researching car seat friend trying to do the math on car seat widths lead to the discovery that since our seats don't go up to our kiddos ears we need to nix our simple boosters our two bigs have and put them back in high back boosters. I'm confident that's going to go over super duper well. Bah hum bug to safety! :) This does make me miss our ole St. John's days where we could just walk to everything. The dryer gone crazy will probably be my biggest concern post Plague. A washer or dryer choosing not to play ball with a big family is just inviting the biggest puke bug in five seasons to descend.

All in all those things are so minor in light of eternity. I wish I didn't get so wrapped up and consumed with things that are so temporal. Good perspective tonight reading a blog post of a family who lost a wife and momma to breast cancer. I wish my perspective wasn't so limited and narrow.

Isaiah 17-20:
Really love Isaiah. Would love to really sit and read commentary after commentary to crack some of the code that I know I'm missing. These verses stood out to me the most.

"You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant imported vines, though on the day you set them out, you make them grow, and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud, yet the harvest will be as nothing in the day of disease and incurable pain."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭17:10-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

These verses made me think of these:
"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭127:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Thankful for the reminder that running around anxious, full of worry over temporal things or toiling over things that won't matter in light of eternity is crazy. God is building the house!!! He will provide. He has the blueprint and can see all the angles that we are unable to see. Oh to fix ones eyes upon Jesus and keep that gaze straight ahead without swerving to the left or to the right.

D



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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Maddening Feevah!!!

The bizarro never ending fever is incredibly maddening. All three of my girls have run hot at various times through out the day. My Bunny still has a horrible cough and for the first time the funk started to catch her in her tracks. She's hacked like crazy but has gone about her business merrily. Not today Zerg. The Plague just will not leave and we are all stir crazy!!! On the bright side Pneumonia Boy is doing better. Not an ounce of hot on him and he hung pretty strong today and didn't need a nap. I need to count my blessings.

Got distracted and just saw one of the funniest birth videos ever. Love how hysterical things can get when modesty, pride and all self control goes out the window.

Isaiah 14-16:
Very hard time concentrating tonight. Again thankful that God is in control of the nations and over our lives.

D

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The Stubborn Fungus Among Us

Woke up to the Bit squawking and some pretty decent contractions early this morning. Woke up my hubs at 5am to get me some magnesium and coconut water. Stayed in bed all morning and my sweet oldest boy held down the fort and got breakfast for everyone including me. He even served his big sis who was once again out for the count this morning. Thankful she perked up a bit as the day wore on. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do if I needed to take her in to see the dr all the while feeling like I needed to stay in bed to not stir up labor. Again manna provided as I started feeling better and she perked up just enough to not seem like a trip to the dr was urgent. Still have a few kids running warm and the latest pneumonia boy is still needing naps to get through the day. By the end of all this we are going to be dying to get out of the house!!

The results of Bit's fungus culture came back. She has managed to grow an interesting strain of candida in her mouth that can supposedly be pretty stubborn. Thankfully the meds she is on combined with the probiotics we are shoving down her throat seem to be kicking the infection. Probably going to invest in some super duper probiotics to help get my oldest and youngest girls guts in order. Lots of interesting research being done how our guts can cause all kinds of problems within the rest of our bodies.

Isaiah 13:
Hard chapter to read. Definitely want to be on the side of King Jesus when the day of reckoning comes.

D


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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Stable

Night two of decent sleep. Not great but decent and right now decent is a huge win! Interestingly enough my mental state has stabilized considerably with the uptick in hours of shut eye. Weird. Very thankful God's commands us to rest and that I've been given license to sit on my butt and do nothing at least until Sunday. 

Kids went TV free until this evening when they shared their latest movie find, Step Dogs, with their Daddy. It's one of those kid movies that you actually feel dumber after watching but they love it! Everybody is doing pretty good laying low except for the boy who got sick first and is very much recovered and the one boy who must have an immunity of steal. I need to figure out some kind of tactile and creative new adventure for the boy made of steal or else I might eat him. The way he has been seeking out stimuli has been sanctifying. 

Isaiah 9-12:
Some of these books are so hard to go through so fast. I love Isaiah but I also know there is so much that I miss and that I'm missing going through it this fast. I love the big things with handles that I could grasp onto tonight.
-God is the one who puts people and nations in power. He marks the boundaries of their territory and even when it seems evil and corruption reigns He is very much aware of everything that happens under the sun and justice will prevail. 
- God disciples those that He loves. God allows difficult seasons and the consequences of our sin to draw us closer to Him. This doesn't mean our hearts will turn but His desire is always for our hearts to be humble and contrite and turn back to Him.
- the idea of the remnant is so beautiful to me. These are the truly faithful ones that God chooses to preserve. As our society continues to look more and more like the fall of Rome I wonder what the Church in America will look like in the future. I imagine many will fall away but the remnant that will one day remain will be so beautiful and will reflect the beauty of Christ. - love the vision of peace on earth fully restored under the reign of King Jesus. This verse and the ones that follow are beautiful.
"The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I will end on these verses which I simply adore.
"In that day you will say: "I will praise you, Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.""
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

D



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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hoarding the Manna

Early this morning I started getting regular contractions. Not active labor contractions but more the song and dance before the Big Bang. I ignored it but as the more decent hours of the morning arrived I began to grow incredibly discouraged, especially as sick child after sick child crawled into my bed. Discouragement began to bleed into despair so I decided to reach out and ask for prayer. Thankful for sweet friends willing to stand in the gap with me.
Thankful to say things have settled down for now and hopefully most of the plague will be gone when it's the real deal. If not, then I'm going to choose to trust that there are good reasons for God's timing.

Took time in my prayer closet trying to get my head straight before tackling the day. I realized that I have a hoarding problem. I am not satisfied relying on the daily manna God gives me. Lately I've been seeing the potential for things to come up and I'm much more concerned and overwhelmed at the lack of energy I have to get through it than the actual situation itself. I trust God's Sovereignty or rather I trust the big picture. I just don't trust the daily provision to be there. Yet He has most definitely provided enough everyday.

In my focus on trying to store up manna I've missed out on the miraculous provision that has been right in front of my face day after day. Despite an immune system that has to be run down by allergies, lack of sleep and stress I've yet to get sick this month. We've had some weird version of HFM disease, the never ending stomach bug and now an upper respiratory plague. I've been stretching out my hand desperately trying to pick up the extra manna in the desert and I've missed the beauty of His provision all around me. I've put my focus on the desert instead of the one who is leading me and guiding me through the desert. When I refocus I'm reminded that it's only in the Lord that I will find rest.

Sweet friend who has had an incredibly painful and difficult month just dropped off magical chicken noodle soup. Friends willing to take on extra children harboring the contagion and drop off supplies, ect. Why do I try to hoard the manna when His gracious hand is outstretched to me daily in miraculous ways?
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Had an epic parenting fail today. Momma bear came out on my own child and I freaked him and a couple other kiddos out. Hate that hate that hate that!!! Oh how desperate and depraved I am without the grace of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 3-8:
So much in these chapters. I wish I could sit in each of them longer instead of doing the drive by version.

This verse is what I'm stuck on tonight:
"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭6:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

May I not loose sight of who I am and who I belong to.

D


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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Thar She Blows

I woke up incredibly ANGRY! In fact, I think that's probably the understatement of the year. Lilly was up past 4am and somewhere in there I think something must have snapped. I was completely irrational this morning and when I tried to go back to bed but things failed miserably it just got worse. RAGE would probably be the appropriate word that I felt. I tried to get a grip by doing laundry and load the dishwasher. (Never quite understood how anger can work as energy to get things done. I get it now.) All the while bemoaning the day of my birth. Yep, I went Jobesque today and thought how it would have been better to be a stillborn baby than be born alive. I know it was Job's deep sorrow and weariness that brought him to that place. I know today was about being so insanely exhausted coupled with weariness that brought me to my place today. Even while I was in the thick of it today I hated feeling that way. Although in that moment I did not have the strength on my own to choose joy or thankfulness I still felt completely and utterly ridiculous for my sense of entitlement. I was created for HIS glory not my own and today I was completely pissed about it. Needless to say the crap continues to be squeezed out of me. Whether it comes up to the surface or not it's still there. Better to know the real condition of my heart than to think better of myself. I know I still don't know the full depths of my sinfulness. God in His great mercy and love is slow and patient to give us a look at who we really are in light of Him.

Isaiah 1-4:
Not sure I'll make it to chapter 4. Going to read till I completely pass out which might take all but 30 second if Lilly cooperates that is.

I've always loved this verse.

"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭NIV‬

D

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Good News, Bad News and Abundant Blessings All Around

Not sure if I should attack today's post with numbers, letters or let it just come together by itself. Last night was another extra special night of scarce sleep so my brain is truly struggling to work properly today. Last night I grew angry over the constant interrupted sleep. In those moments and on those kinds of nights it feels as if the Devil himself is part of an evil plot to keep us all from getting much needed sleep. I'm not the only one who lost precious hours of sleep last night. We are all incredibly hosed.

I'm thankful to report that the Bit did not break or fracture anything when she face planted on a shelf on Saturday. Most probably her snaggletooth will re-erupt in the next month or so. There is a slight possibility of her getting an abscess tooth but our awesome dentist stressed slight and how if that happened it would not be an emergency situation. He wants to see her back in a year. I really love his laid back approach and have never once felt like he was trying to sell us on unnecessary dental work. The opposite is true, he's very upfront on what some dentists would recommend but then goes on to say how spending money on those kinds of things are not necessary. We have been so crazy blessed with excellent medical care since the day Abbie was born.

Our littlest dude on the other hand has won the pneumonia lottery. It's just in one place in his lungs and not widespread which I'm thankful for. I'm wondering if we caught it as things began to turn because he's been extra laid flat today and his cough really started to sound bad last night. I have a few others that just started coughing yesterday and another who started to run warm tonight. It will be interesting to see what happens with the rest of us. Keeping an eye out for coughs that make a turn for the worse or fatigue that just doesn't let up and decreased appetite. Think both my boys who got the pneumonia both lost weight. All very interesting. I'm starting to feel like I might be starting to come down with something but hoping it's just evil grass pollen.

Big shocker but at some point today I again felt the weight of things feeling so incredibly overwhelming. I've been exhausted for the last nine years but this lingering fatigue is crazy. I simply can't push through it. Yet I feel as though I need to have energy and endurance for possible hurdles ahead. Thankful to have poured my cares upon the Lord today and feel the feelings of being overwhelmed melt away. He cares about me and even if the crazy gets crazier He is in it with me. I don't doubt God's vast love for me or our family. I don't doubt that this wearisome season is to prosper us. He's with us and I know He's with my dear friends who are also tired and weary from the Fall.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭5‬:‭7‬ NLT)

Again today folding laundry I was overcome by crazy gratitude for my husband. There's nobody else I'd rather sit in a big pile of weary, or crazy, or joy, or excitement, or whatever than with him. We don't do it perfect and too often I take all that he does and who God created him to be for granted. So thankful for him and for the children the Lord has so richly blessed us with. I am so incredibly blessed.

Today a sweet woman came to my door who will be cleaning our dirty house thanks to the crazy generosity of a friend. I am pretty overwhelmed by it all. I've had to fight to take hold of an uprising of feelings of unworthiness. The reality is that this has nothing to do with whether or not I'm worthy it's about a friend who has chosen to bless me incredibly generously. God has blessed me and my family with incredible friends. I'm overwhelmed by that too.

Interesting day to be overwhelmed in so many different ways today. I'm so weary but in the middle of it I'm so very much aware of how richly and vastly the Lord has provided for us and blessed us. He is good all the time. All the time He is good.

Song of Songs

D

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Snaggletooth and the Plague

My sweet little snaggletooth girl has also come down with the Summer Plague. That poor girl has had one heck of a month. I'm hoping we can purge any remaining pneumonia/bronchitis causing bugs or fever viruses in the next couple weeks. Although I am incredibly thankful for amazing medical care I would prefer to not have to repeat sitting in a hospital with a new itty bitty. It may be a little extreme for my mind to end up there but recent experience would tell me that Murphy's Law is in full effect. I don't mean that in a fearful or Eeyore sort of way either it's just kinda been normal not just for my family but close families around. It comes in grand sweeping waves.

Tonight as I was talking to my hubs it occurred to me that this year has been a huge lesson in learning how to trust and abide in the Lord more deeply. I know that this lesson is never over this side of heaven but I don't believe the intensity is about to let up anytime soon. We have been blessed with a small army of offspring it's not as if the intensity of anything is going to slow down for awhile anyway.

Ecclesiastes 8-12:
Indeed.
When you dig a well, you might fall in. When you demolish an old wall, you could be bitten by a snake. When you work in a quarry, stones might fall and crush you. When you chop wood, there is danger with each stroke of your ax. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭10‬:‭8-9‬ NLT)

I really like this verse:
Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That's the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭10‬:‭10‬ NLT)

Chewing on this verse:
Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭11‬:‭4‬ NLT)

D

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Frazzled Rock

"Dance your cares away
Worry's for another day
Let the music play
Down at Fraggle Rock
"

Big bummer to not be at Fraggle Rock today. I'm sure ole Solomon would have wisdom to address constantly dancing your cares away but that sure sounds like a lot more fun than going to bed frazzled. 

Today started off good. My boy's last game which was fun to watch. Team sports is such a great outlet for him. Loved watching him encourage his teammates today and get a pretty sweet triple to boot. His team has really turned out to be a really sweet group of boys. It's been really fun watching them get better through out the season. 

This afternoon we tried to figure out a fun game of car seat Tetris. Unfortunately even with slimmer car seats we still can't make the math work. Pretty sure we can solve the problem by just getting a longer bench. Unfortunately, Amazon Prime doesn't sell van bench seats so we need to hunt one down. Come on Amazon what the heck?! In the long run it will probably be cheaper to go that route than the spendy slim car seat route. 

To end our festivities for today a loving big sister loved too hard and caused a face plant that shoved a smaller sisters tooth up into her gums. Fortunately we got a dose of Motrin in before sad sister cried herself to sleep. She's been making sad peeps off and on so it could make for a long night. So glad sleep is so overrated anyway!!! Thankfully the lopsided tooth will most probably come back down by itself but we'll need to take a trip to the dentist to get X-rays to make sure everything is fine. We are probably going to have to take a little sick boy in on Monday anyway so awesome that our dentist and dr are across the hall from each other. Bonus!! Littlest boy is falling into the same pattern as oldest boy and think it's possible his funk has also turned into walking pneumonia. Hoping tomorrow he'll turn a corner but as of now he's become our resident couch dweller. 

Can definitely feel that my body is ramping up towards labor. That could go on for another four weeks but it's pretty doubtful. I'm hoping some of the chaos around here will die down a bit before the big day actually comes. Feeling more anxiety about being caught with my pants down because I've done nothing to prepare for having another kid. Nothing. 

Ecclesiastes 7:
I knew Sol wouldn't approve of my Fraggle Rock idea:
Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7‬:‭3-4‬ NIV)

Great wisdom in this chapter. Wish I had days to sit here a mull over all of it. Wisdom says to sleep while the Bit is sleeping.

D



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Friday, July 10, 2015

Fat Guy In A Little Coat

Woke up feeling good enough which I was incredibly thankful for! Now fat guy in a little coat is sitting on my chest again crushing my lungs. I love spring and summer and I really hate how Dallergies interferes with that. I'm such a whiny brat.
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Thankful for a nap today squished between my three littlest! I need to do that much more often.

Thankful for veebs and for seeing the joy had by one in particular. She's pushed through all week and I'm so proud of her. Take that anxiety! The super fun thing was her getting her entire group to say "I LOVE VEEBS!". That is the girl that I've known for the past nine years!! It's been hard watching her struggle with fear and anxiety but it's beautiful to watch her push through.

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Keep starting and stopping this today. Tonight I got sucked into old blog land. Les has switched over our old family site that hasn't been used in years and turned it into a site for his new business. The old content was switched over to a new blog that was supposed to launch about a year ago but got derailed in September after our EPIC trip to Costa Rica. Got sucked into our old adoption posts. I'm looking at the precious girl who derailed "our" adoption plans for the second time. I can't possibly imagine our family without this ray of sunshine in our home. I do find it interesting how it seemed God had paved the way for us to adopt the second time around all the while knowing His plan was to change my heart towards pregnancy. God's plan has never been to go from point A to point B as fast as possible. He's relational and it's about the journey spent with Him along the way that makes heart changes that are lasting.

I had hoped our year of chaos was beginning to wind down a little despite a pretty big job transition, adding a new member to the family and thinking through how to most effectively homeschool an out of the box kid. The truth is life is never going to completely slow down. There will be challenges and ups and downs our entire lives.

The latest thing I've tried to play off as absolutely nothing but since I found myself googling information early this morning I might as well admit to myself that it's at least in the back of my head. The Bit's latest tango with thrush has raised our pediatrician's comfort level from that's weird to this could be something more that we are dealing with. He started asking questions that would indicate whether or not it was possible she had the C word. He could careless that we've had a good month of rolling from one virus to the next he was asking about signs of Leukemia. I only know this because it's the signs that three families we know who have had experiences with childhood leukemia manifested before diagnosis.

There's not a single part of me that fears the C word for our Bit but it did tip me off to the unusual nature of thrush in a toddler. Really this thrush could be a bad combination of leaky gut, a kid fighting off multiple infections, and this time with the help of probiotics and anti-fungal meds this will be the end of the story. In my head it's probably a food allergy that causing her guts and natural flora to be way crazy. This kid has had gut issues almost since day one. If this kid has real deal food allergies it wouldn't shock me if the biggest one also had the same. It would explain lots of tummy woes in this house! As annoying as a legit food allergy would be to a disorganized momma what better way to be forced into having to eat healthier. If I won't do it for my own sake to help with allergies and arthritis then what better reason to make dietary changes than for my kiddos.

The most unpleasant option would be that the Bit has an immune system issue. I could see where that wouldn't be a stretch considering she was born a little thing and took 6 to 9 months to really start thriving. My side of the family is auto immune disease central too. I have a small family, one aunt and two cousins. Out of my small family, my mom, my aunt and my female cousin all have autoimmune disorders. I know it's very possible that I could be a sitting duck, yet another reason I should be eating healthier. I should just train up my oldest to cook and meal plan. I swear that girl could run circles around me!

I write all this maybe to just get it out of my head. I could be in denial but I don't feel fearful or anxious. I am hopeful probiotics and meds will clear up the fungus among us. If not, then we'll do the next best thing and pray that God will help us figure out how to beef up this gals immune system. I do write all this though to be real that it is on my mind and is something I'm praying for wisdom and discernment about. I'm also praying that if this truly is nothing that the word thrush would be removed from our vocabulary regarding the Bit. Frankly not having to add to our dr bills right now would be fantastic! But if there is something more an allergy or whatever I pray this stupid fungus would stay among us. I'm so thankful for great medical care and that the money we have spent on tests the last year have truly only been precautionary and due diligence. I would be very thankful to not have to exercise due diligence if some good ole probiotics is all this Little Bit needs. If that's not the case then this gets to be Brown kid number to undergo some sort of testing in the last 12 months. Crazy man.


Ecclesiastes 1-6:
These chapters are a paradise for apathy. They are also a beautiful reminder that any striving apart from Christ is absolutely meaningless. It also is a reminder that any enjoyment or pleasure that I get to be apart of this side of heaven is all due to God's graciousness and blessing in my life. On that note, I end my book for tonight.

D





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Thursday, July 09, 2015

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

1. Thankful for time in my prayer closet this morning. Went in singing Great Is Thy Faithfulness and have been trying to sit in the beauty of this truth all day long. I know this truth much better today than I did 365 days ago and for that I am so incredibly thankful.

2. I've felt pretty awful this week and unfortunately today has been no exception. In fact, this morning was pretty awful. I feel like this week I've struggled at times to even be in a sitting position and I've just had to go lay down. Today I laid down on couch and tried to breath with what feels like a gorilla sitting on my chest (thank you grass pollen) and felt pretty miserable. My sweet hubs had his plan for today and was ready to execute it but quickly ditched his plans even after serving me by letting me get extra sleep while he got kids fed and to veebs. I got the day to sleep and rest in bed which my body desperately needed. Still feel so exhausted but at least somewhat human. All that to say is that I'm thankful for my hubs serving me today and getting kids out of the house so I could rest.

3. Reflecting today on my gratitude for our pediatrician. He's been so great to our family and I'm thankful for his faithfulness as a pediatrician over the years that has left him with a plethora of knowledge. Thankful that I can trust him and trust his opinions and recommendations to neither be over the top reactionary or lacking in skill or knowledge. He's been around long enough to see all kinds of things and for that I'm incredibly thankful. It will be a sad day for us when he retires.

4. I'm thankful that God is in the business of all the details big and little and that He most definitely knows what He's doing/allowing. Every single last detail is planned out in Creation and our lives according to His will and His purpose.

5. I'm thankful for His Word that is living, breathing and very much active.

"Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭30‬:‭5‬ NIV)

D


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Wednesday, July 08, 2015

His Faithful Love is Overwhelming

Feeling kind of torn today. I could whine and complain about the pervasive weariness and nonfunction I feel but to be honest that's never been a place I like to sit. It's reality but I do love to find the good amongst the "bad" or rather the difficult. I have "joked" with my hubs about being very close to the thin line of sanity. This is true and yet not true at the same time. Weariness is pervasive and I feel awful for the short end of the stick my kids have gotten this year. That parts grieves me the most. I do cling to the hope that the Lord will replace what the locusts have eaten this year.

In the midst of dry parched lands God's hand of provision has been there. It's manna for sure. It's not abundant, it's just enough, and I know I've grumbled and complained even amidst these daily miracles. But I'd be a fool to not recognize that the ever so sweet daily provision is a daily miracle. I'm weary yet His right hand has not let me stumble. His faithful love is overwhelming. His faithful love is OVERWHELMING.

I haven't been a great friend. I haven't been a great parent. I haven't been a great wife. If graded on a score card this cussing Christian hasn't been a great either "Christian". There's been so much beautiful humility in that. Humility in realizing that I'm an EGR that is truly a big fat hot mess on most days. It's humbling and freeing. This is my manna for today. I'm a big fat hot mess and I don't have a single thing together, I have nothing to offer anybody and the world is not falling apart. Today must be a quail kind of a day. Thankful.

1. I missed the best game of the season yesterday due to fever BUT I'm so thankful for the coaching high my hubs came home with. I think I enjoy watching him love on a group of bad news bears just as much (if not more) as watching my boy play. The Tigers had a great game yesterday and I love how my hubs brought in other parents to add more energy and excitement to our team. Definitely need to get our baseball sign up on early next year so he can be the coach. Our Mississippi experience a couple years ago was a bit cray cray but I'll give Kent one thing he nailed one of my husband's strong suits and giftedness. He is amazing at coming alongside somebody and helping to draw out their strengths, their potential, and helping them become more of who God created them to be. He is great at rallying people behind a cause. If we could figure out a way to provide the administrative detailed structure to his giftedness it would be beautiful to see him completely unleashed to work more in his giftedness. It's so much fun to watch!!

2. Even though I wish I had more gas for my kiddos I am so thankful for the unique blessing of each them. I am so abundantly blessed. I love these little people who are growing up too dang fast that I get to live with. There's lots of iron sharpening iron in all of us in this house but I'm so so thankful. I can't take the beauty of God completely throwing MY plan out the window in this regard and grumble about the rest. He is good and His ways are good and I know His plan is good.

3. Thankful for sweet friends. I hate the chaos so many of my friends are in themselves but so thankful for a sweet group God has placed in my life the last eight years.

Proverbs 26-29:
Again so much great wisdom in these chapters. I don't have it in me to dig deep into each one. Again hit with how important it is to be humble, to be slow to speak, to discipline my children with action not just words, slow to anger, compassion for the poor and the downtrodden. I pray the Lord would continue to humble my prideful arrogant heart. Just like the furnace burns away the impurity in precious metals I pray that in these times of hardship the crap that is so apparent and not so apparent in my heart is burned away. Parenting has definitely revealed the true nature of my heart when applied under pressure. This is one of the things I love/hate about parenting. I could rock this parenting gig with one kiddo but the Lord knew my stubborn prideful butt needed the constant pressure of kids getting up into my junk daily. Whether the crap is squeezed out or not it still remains. Thankful to have it exposed just about daily.

So to wrap all this up today, I don't know how I'll muster up the energy or strength will need for today. I don't see an end to the depths of my weariness anytime soon but because of all of this I know better than ever that my God is amazing. He is more than enough for me today. He will guide me and not let my feet stumble. He will love me no matter how badly I mess it up. He doesn't need me to perform. He loves me and I love Him. I'm thankful for the manna and perspective of today.

D
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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Sleep Walking

Definitely been in sleep walk mode today. Read this morning while Bigs were at veebs and littles watched Daniel Tiger. They may or may not be still watching it from this morning while I've run bigger kids all around the town. Surely a summer day spent gorging on Netflicks never killed anyone. In fact, I believe it's a rite of passage in childhood.

No big thoughts on Proverbs 23-25 today. Big themes are repeated though.
Humility
Self Control
Faithfulness
Righteousness
Wisdom
Mercy
Prudence

I can use more of all of them. A couple proverbs on eating honey but not gorging on it. Good to see direct verses on not over indulging on sweets. I am indeed a sugar addict.

Good to be refreshed on verses on discipline. Busting up hard soil can be discouraging at times but it's totally worth it. One of my kids got diarrhea of the mouth when disappointed today and had a hard time not saying really unkind things to a brother. I was thankful to see his sibs encouraging him in the right direction and to see his heart soften and repent on his own. I can use the rod or give consequences up and down all day long but God is the only one who can make a hard heart soften. Praying God tenderizes the heck out of all of our hearts so that we are willing to be humble enough to hear correction and grow the type of fruit that is contained in the pages of Proverbs. Thankful to be reminded that it is the Lord who softens a heart, gives eyes to see and ears to hear. I need much softening of the heart and desperately need the great Physician to heal me of my spiritual blindness and my spiritual deafness. I pray I walk away from this crazy year will some of the cancer of pride removed.

D

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Monday, July 06, 2015

ADD Flare-Up

My brain is all over the place. Can't remember one thing from the next. Millions of to do's that seem SO IMPORTANT but not enough focus or energy to get any done. Grass is killing me by suffocation and I just might burst into a blazing fireball before this summer is over. I feel desperate to figure out our gut rot problem and I've got to get cracking on solving our car seat Tetris situation. Egads! I never in my life would have dreamed up 7 car seats/boosters in one vehicle.

I have no idea how I'm going to be focused enough to read tonight. Proverbs is ADD enough on its own.

Proverbs 22:
One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭22‬:‭11‬ NIV)

Very little speaking with grace these days. Praying one day my words can be characterized as words spoken with grace.

D


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Sunday, July 05, 2015

Chlorine Haze

1. Thankful for that sleepy wonderful feeling after being in a swimming pool.

2. Thankful for Sunday evenings AT the swimming pool. That was never a feat possible for all of us together as a family.

3. Thankful for free lunch at Ikeaus. Unfortunately Ikeaus failed us today by being out of things we came for but as usual it was a family adventure. It always starts off super fun and then by the time we hit the self serve area all of us have forks sticking out of us. Today was no different but overall thankful to be together and for the simple joys of paper tape measures.

4. Thankful for the ease of cereal Sunday's. Think that tradition might be best served as cereal Saturday's but for now thankful for silly family breakfast traditions.

5. Thankful for running into a cherished friend even if for 30 seconds. I wish our time together was much more but thankful for seeing her beautiful face today even if just for a drive by.

6. Thankful for getting a chance to share my heart with my hubs last night. Feels good to speak the crazy into the light and get a good dose of perspective. This has been such a triggering year for me. It's actually surprising that the crazy hasn't been out more than it has. Thankful again to be reminded that we are out of gas for some pretty big reasons.

7. Thankful for some push through today. I don't think my hubs or I were up for the task of tackling Ikeaus or the pool but once we got there it was good to be out of the house airing out some of our wild full of energy children and just being together.

8. Thankful for family time together in the evenings and for my hubs leading out on getting us in a better routine at night. It is such a sweet end to our days and although not perfect I'm so thankful for the time together.

Proverbs 18-21:
Lots of repeating verses and themes.
- wisdom is much more precious than wealth
- pride comes before a fall
- humility is a much desired trait
- a broken spirit dries up the bones
- a fool runs about the mouth and causes chaos and destruction
- the righteous choose to listen and adhere to correction and discipline
- we can plan what we want but it's the Lord who directs our steps
- the wise are patient and choose to overlook an offense

Great stuff contained in these chapters. Definitely see the wisdom in reading a proverb a day. To write these things on your heart and be reminded of them daily is a beautiful thing.

D



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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Latest Family Movie Ever

Today was definitely not what Fourth of July dreams are made out of but we tried to make the best of it. One plan after another failed but I was thankful to be on a failed mission with my favorite people. We're ending our misadventures of the day by starting a family movie way too late. Summer is made for insanely late bedtimes.

Got a good dose of feeling completely overwhelmed today. This crew of mine is off and we can't seem to kick the stomach funk. I think the combination of eating junky, stress and allergies has thrashed our immune system. I feel so lame but getting us on the right track right now feels so incredibly overwhelming. I've got nothing in the tank. I have a sweet friend who has so generously offered to pay for us to get a house cleaner but getting things straightened up enough to even have someone come clean seems hard. Lame.

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Friday, July 03, 2015

Crotchety Old Troll

Same song another verse:
1. Didn't sleep well Bit was so restless.
2. I physically feel pretty awful right now. Oh and you dastardly Dallergies are killing me!! Breathing is a struggle.
3. Bit is getting thrush again. Need to get some acidophilus and see if I can clear it up that way.
4. The thought of doing anything tomorrow that involves crowds sounds horrific. Actually the thought of doing anything tomorrow period sounds awful. Hate that I'm a crotchety old troll. Hoping I can somehow get some sleep and it won't be dangerous for others to be around me tomorrow. Gotta suck it up and do something. Only get so many fourth of July's with this crew.
5. J had a great time away with his Dad. Loved hearing about his adventures.

Proverbs 9-13:
Again don't have any big thoughts. This sleep deprived brain can't think. Really good verses in these chapters for my kids and myself.

This is one of my favorites:

Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭10‬:‭19‬ NIV)

Hoping my hubs got wild style to sleep so I can crawl into my tunnel and hibernate. I can't handle the thought of one more person touching me. I'm pretty awesome right now.

D


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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Deep Groanings

Heart hurts for friends tonight. The ache and deep groaning caused by the Fall seems so thick, heavy and burdensome these days. The Lord is good and there can be joy and hope amidst the darkness but it doesn't take away from the heartache. Thankful for Jesus who weeps with us in our brokenness and our hurt.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭4‬ NIV)

Praying for comfort for my friends who are in mourning.

Tonight I'm thankful for a family tradition that has brought so much joy to my heart. My youngest boy is on his 5 year old trip with his Daddy tonight. I love the memories made with our children and how they cherish telling about their five year old trip and how excited the upcoming five year old gets about their own future trip with mom or dad. We were stinkers and didn't tell J when his trip was going to be since he had already rescheduled his trip. The kid has had his bag packed for weeks and when he found out today was the day the look on his face was priceless. Praying for fun memories made and great talks with his Daddy.

The rest of us hung out today. The plan was to go to the pool today but they didn't finish their stuff in time because they were playing. I love how they have been playing all sorts of things all summer long. Their imaginations are endless and I'm thankful for the time they have to just be kids and imagine and create.

Proverbs 5-8:
There is a lot in these chapters. I do struggle with the emphasis on the seductive woman. I know there is a bigger picture I miss comparing foolishness (the harlot) versus (lady) wisdom but it gets up into my junk. I have a hard time getting past what feels like a double standard. Besides trying to move past my own baggage there is a lot of stuff in these chapters. My favorite (harlot free) chapter was 8.

Really stuck on the idea of wisdom being available to all of us. Wisdom beckons to us even. But it's what we choose to do with that wisdom that makes a difference.

Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud: "To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭8‬:‭1-4‬ NIV)

Thankful that all we have to do is ask God for wisdom, understanding, to light our path, ect and He will answer. Maybe I'm starting to grasp the double minded piece? I can ask God for wisdom or whoever for that fact BUT is my heart truly willing to listen or is it bent upon having its own way? Wish my heart wasn't so deceitful.

D

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Wisdom

I can't make my brain function enough to get out anything of substance tonight. The first four chapters in Proverbs went really well with a blog post I read about training your children. There's no magical one size fits all parenting formula but I do think the bible is the best resource on how to parent that there is. There's case study after case study on what not to do and examples of how to knock it out of the park. Regardless of whether or not you have parenting ninja skills I still think nature plays a pretty hefty role in how things play out as well.

I do love the idea of imparting a legacy of wisdom to my children. Whether they will choose to follow the path to wisdom will one day be up to them but I would love to at least be able to train them up in the way they should go.

I also love that wisdom is available to all who are willing to seek it. I feel like I need tons of wisdom in discernment in lots of things right now. Parenting is definitely one of those things. Each of my kiddos are wired so incredibly differently that it's often hard to know how to help train and get at the heart issue for each one on a daily basis. It's hard enough trying to figure out when to speak and when to listen. Needless to say I'm thankful to be entering a book full of wisdom.

In light of everything this verse caught my eye the most tonight.

Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭1‬:‭7‬ NLT)

Praying that my hubs and I would model well what it looks like to have fear of the Lord and that our children would choose to walk in the same fear of the Lord.

D



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