Saturday, April 30, 2016

Encouragement

Curious as to how many times the word encourage is in the bible. Encouragement is such a beautiful thing in this life. I'm so thankful for the ways God has lifted up our heads with encouragement over the past couple years. The manna for each day has not been abundant but it has been just enough. Thankful for His daily mercies and provision.

Thankful to see a screw in my tire today. If my hubs hadn't organized family fun this morning I never would have seen it. A flat tire is a bummer but a flat tire with seven kids and no hubs is a double bummer. Thankful for God's sweet provision for me.

Thankful for a quite evening with two sweet babies before I pull double duty. Thankful that although loud and crazy I really enjoy being with my crew for the most part. Thankful for sweet baby snuggles in the quiet of the night.

The quiet is making me slee pea. Wish I could put all my thoughts down but once again I struggle with trying to get my brain to communicate what's on my heart.

2 Thess tonight.

D

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Love and Teach

Went to a graduation tonight and it's really got me chewing on what I want my children's accomplishments to be when they graduate. It's not like I can ultimately control them anyway but desiring a blueprint of what the vision should look like. As I was praying about it four simple words popped into my head. Love them. Teach them. Simple but somehow I think this just might be THE formula.

I'd love to dive into what I think love them and teach them means but I'm fading so incredibly fast. Till tomorrow possibly.

Thankful for:
1. Little sweet people who gaze at me and say "mommy you are beautiful." Even when I feel like the most haggard and frumpy mother in the world there are still some littles running around who think their Mommy is beautiful. In my insecurity over the years I've missed out on the beauty of those words from sweet little mouths.

2. Field days organized by incredible women.

3. Gazing on the beauty of fresh itty bitties.

4. Giggling sibs who should be asleep.

5. Little Boo Boo who continues to change and shape my heart.

6. Little Tiger Boy who makes his baby brother squeal and laugh.

7. Bigs who ask for forgiveness completely unprompted.

8. For abundant grace in the midst of such a huge parenting learning curve.

Psalm 79:
How long oh Lord? This psalm actually is quite fitting. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

D

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wired

This exhausted but completely wired like a high strung chihuahua at night is for the dang birds. I need a dart gun for myself.

Fun day with friends while my minions got their first swim of the season in. All of them except the littles look slightly like lobsters. Whoops! I'm certain vitamin D with a slight side of crisp has to be good for you somehow.

I was tired and slightly controlling this evening while my sweet hubs hung my anniversary gift which I love. Hate my humanity. Thankful for his constant love and grace towards me.

Fell into the FB hole. I'm so pissed off over this whole bathroom insanity. I have absolute rage over it. Then I saw a sweet friends post who I don't see very often and I'm reminded that there are other bathroom issues that rage on. I volunteered at a camp for kids with disabilities for two summers while in collage. Changing a huge high school kids diaper is not easy. I learned so much those summers. I saw so much beauty in those kids, the forgotten ones who have no voice. Truly that's what makes me rage against the fox in the hen house. The kids who are going to be exploited in the bathroom are the ones who don't have a parent looking out for them. We value children and life so little in society. I hate to see what we are sowing.

Proverbs 28:
"When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue."
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭28:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God I want to throw up. Please help me not just be about my own clan. Help all of us be champions of those who need a voice and to have eyes to see the one who desperately needs to be loved.

D
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

It's Not Black And White

There are so many thoughts in my head that I simply don't even know where to start. There are pieces everywhere that I'm trying to piece together somehow. This thing we call life is so difficult walking around as a human. It's exhausting walking around in the skin of a prideful jackwagon. After sitting in Proverbs a lot this year I'm realizing I look a whole lot more like the fool than I'd ever like to imagine. Despite it all though, I'm loved like crazy. It literally blows my mind.

1. I hate struggle and hardship because I love comfort and ease. YET it's in struggle and hardship that things become the most beautiful. I'm a brat and I'm confident that I will remain one for a very long time but even despite that I can so appreciate the ways the Lord is so different than the ways of this world. He truly takes the wisdom of this world and completely thrusts it on its head. It's amazing and it's ever so beautiful. As much as I hate it, I'm so thankful for the beauty that can only come from hardship and struggle.

2. Wondering when I'll stop trying to be awesome on my own in order to glorify God. How much more would He be glorified if I'd just die to my desire to be self reliant and become totally dependent on the Lord. I'm terrified to jump off that cliff. It's kinda like homeschooling. I don't do it the way I really desire to do it because I'm terrified I'm going to screw things up. It's the same way with the Lord. What if I think I'm following Him and I do something stupid and screw it all up? I don't know what not being self reliant even looks like. I do fear the Lord loves me enough to show me what it looks like.

3. I'm really chewing on this new to us tv show my hubs and I stumbled on. It might be the most fascinating show I've ever seen. Basically ten people are dropped onto an island apart from each other and have to survive alone. Watching them struggle through solitude is incredibly interesting. It has me thinking about lots of things. What would the Lord reveal to me if I was faced with forty days alone with nothing to distract me.

4. Fading

5. Really thinking how things are not nearly as black and white as we might like to think. It's so easy to piece meal things from the bible. We can become so easily legalistic. But we mustn't. We must never ever forget that it always comes down to the heart.

Proverbs 27:
Wowzers this chapter is loaded tonight.

"Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel."
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭27:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Thankful for the previous friends the Lord has surrounded me with. Thankful for a sweet night out with friends. Laughter is good for the soul!

D

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Alone

Definitely have a good case of ADD brain. Stormpacalypse, Dallergies, thought provoking tv shows and new friends have my head spinning in a million different directions. I also managed to jack my arm up when I busted my buns at the creek today. Need to get better footwear. Flip flops while exploring in a creek just doesn't cut it.

I'm not going to be able to even bullet point today. But it was a good one. So many things to be thankful for!

Proverbs 25:
Considering how Sol paints a picture of a fool this verse says a lot:

"Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him."
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭26:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Arrogance and pride truly are awful things that so easily reside in the hearts of men. I hate how prideful of a beast I can be.

D


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Monday, April 25, 2016

Ahhhhhh

Thankful to have a few precious moments in the silence and in the dark snuggling a sweet baby and enjoying a few moments to breathe. Now that I'm powered down somewhat I realize just how junky I feel. There's always this never ending fatigue and battling of infection and allergies. I caught another something and it's trying to build a nest in my lungs. It's not horrible and livable but I think at some point I'm just not going to be able to keep pushing through. Thankful that the day is rapidly approaching that I'm going to be faced with reality and have to make some changes. I'm really hopeful for what the future holds cause sometimes you just need a diagnosis to kick you in the butt to make the necessary changes.

The kids "big" auditions were today. They were all pretty nervous. One in particular was super anxious. The irony of this is that she is the one most excited about being in a play. The couple the kids auditioned for could not have been more encouraging. I saw many a beaming face from my kiddos and even if just for that this experience has been worth it. They had fear and yet they pressed on. Great stuff! The one most anxious nailed it. I look forward to seeing this girl blossom over the next six weeks. I got a bit choked up as she was singing. Knowing the courage she had and seeing her relax and then shine. My baby girl grew up right before my eyes this afternoon. Isn't it fantastic as a parent to see your kid in their element? I love watching my oldest son play ball. He loves it. He may not be the best player but he gives it his all. He loves it and he is such an encouraging teammate. It's not just my kids. I love seeing people in their niche. I love watching them discover what that thing is. It's incredibly beautiful. Gets me every time when I see the body of Christ working together. 

Had our roof inspected. Looks like a new roof and possibly gutters, windows and a robot maid. YES!!!! Really really hoping we can score new windows.

1 Peter 4:
Holy smokes! I think my brain just exploded. Going to camp here for awhile. Really pondering the idea of this:
"Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,"
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

There is so much loaded in this verse. Suffering does bring about such a beautiful death and reliance upon the Lord. 

Loved reading this tonight.
"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:"
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Reminded by a friend to look for the ways God can be seen in me and giving thanks for the way I'm specifically wired and having gratitude for it. Wishing to have the talents and gifts that others have been given honors nobody and only leaves me with shame, guilt and unfulfilled longing. 

Meeting with a gal tomorrow. I may not be the first to ever bring her a meal or find different ways to serve her. But I can hang out with her and listen to her and try to encourage her. I can weep with those who weep and when the time comes I can rejoice with those who rejoice. I can sit in it with her and pray. That may not seem like much to me but maybe it is. Maybe it might feed her heart just as a meal would feed her body. I don't know. But what I do know is that wishing I was something that I'm not will accomplish nothing tomorrow.

D
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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nervous Ham

Lots of nervous and excited hambones tonight. The "big" audition is tomorrow. This Momma is nervous too but for many different reasons than they are nervous over. Lots of good life lessons could be headed our way. Praying they will not be too painful for any of us.

Thankful for a beautiful day.

Thankful for a big girl who knows when she needs to talk things out and asks for what she needs.

Thankful to see the cloud over one of my kiddos disappear today. I realize the dark cloud had been causing me great distress. Thankful for this kid being willing to kick Satan in the face and bring things into the life. May these kiddos know the freedom that comes from sharing their burdens with others.

Thankful again for time to share my heart with my hubs yesterday. The weight on these shoulders feels lighter today.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Culinary Delights

Today did not go exactly how I had dreamed it would. But even though I didn't end up with my dream version of today there are still many things I am incredibly thankful for. 
1. I am so thankful for a sweet and brave friend willing to take on 6 of my crew today. I'm thankful for her friendship and for the onus of living on the same street as her!

2. I did not get a delicious brunch from a lovely restaurant with my beloved. Instead we were banished to our room and given a breakfast made by young children who like create their own recipe. It was incredibly sweet complete with fancy waiters and decorations and new interesting takes on breakfast. I'm so thankful for this sweet new tradition that has made its second year in a row. I pray the sweet tradition continues especially till our budding chefs perfect their craft.

3. Our fun adventure today was more adventure than fun per say. I'm sure it will provide many laughs for years to come. There was undercurrents of sadness from both of us though as we realized there are so many people who are hurting and who choose to worship the created rather than the Creator. 

4. We ended up at Good Ole Faithful to enjoy Tex Mex wonderfulness. Unfortunately neither of us has felt physically fantastic today. I think we've both been ravaged by the stress of the past two years. Thankful to be able to talk through some of the pressing things weighing on our hearts. Heavy conversations but really good ones. We are both weary of this season but both of us are hopeful for what lies ahead. Ready to kick stress to the curb but thankful for the manna in the desert. 

5. I was dreaming of indulging in awful for you but delicious dessert today. I'm thankful for the sweet child who turned instant pudding into quite the unusual culinary surprise and for the hands that melted wax crayons in an attempt to make us a candle this evening. Thankful for a household bursting to the brim with creativity.

6. Thankful for the immense blessing of my husband. I can't imagine being on this journey with anyone other than him. He's the one that I want. He is the one I want. Ooh. Ooh. Ooh. 

7. Thankful for a Father who loves me where I am and who listens to the cries of His children. I am so loved by Him even in the midst of my sinful imperfection. So incredibly thankful. 

8. An added thanks for an opportunity to extend grace and be patience and shut my mouth over the chaos that has occurred in our kitchen today. Oh my! Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and realize the wreckage was all just a bad dream. 

1 P 3:
This is an interesting verse to run into today considering the chatting I did about fear and not allowing it to be the reason for the decisions I make. 

"as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening."
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭3:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Mulling over how hard it is to not return evil with evil but to overcome evil with good.

D


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Unexpected Gifts In The Desert

Up way too late. I've avoided this way too long and I've allowed my blood to boil over this bathroom insanity. I love Target but how can I set foot into one when they have put women and children at risk. Is the risk of one child or woman being unknowingly videotaped in the bathroom worth it? Why would I expect Target to get that when the church doesn't get why sexual abuse is a big deal? I think on a surface level they might understand that sexual abuse is wrong but I think most are clueless to the devastating consequences. It gets my blood boiling and then I'm up till almost 2am. 

Besides some kind of funk and being weak at the knees today was a lovely day at the zoo. I love seeing all that God created. Hearing about the tree that holds tons of water in the desert that provides for animals and humans alike got me choked up today. It was the same in Costa Rica learning about a spiked tree that kept predators from getting animals that rested in its branches. All the little details thought out and planned. I know He's in the details but at times I'm so terrified of f'ing it all up. I have messed up in such incredible ways. I should have protected my kid and I didn't. What a damn fool I was. I handed my own kid over to the wolf. I trust that He provides but the struggle with fear that I'm going to screw it up horribly again is all too real. And it's way too late and my heart is once again bleeding out. I'm not sure it will ever stop. But it's late and it has turned into a Psalm 23 kind of night. I'm so desperate for Him to lead me to still and quite waters. I need His rod and staff to comfort me. I need Him to mend this angry and bitter heart and help me to forgive not only the arrogance of man that has caused much pain for our entire family but also myself.

You are the God who provides unexpected gifts even in the desert. I know you who provides manna can also restore my soul.

"He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

D



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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mexican Night

Tonight was Mexican Night celebrating twelve years of bliss a few days early. Still thankful for the fun Costa Rica memories. Who knows maybe we'll get a chance to make new memories elsewhere for grand ole 15 years. Getting away from minions for an extended period of time is just plain grand once in awhile.

A friend who is away from her minions in Seattle is making my Montana itch itchy again. I love Texas and I love the people God has placed in our lives here but I'm dying to get out of the city and into some beauty. How awesome to wake up to mountains everyday? Maybe we'll go squat in somebody's mountain vacation home.

Thankful for sun today and standing in line with friends to get $1 sandwiches. Pretty ridiculously blessed.

Thankful for good medical care. I take that for granted. There are so many people who are unable to get the care that I have the privilege to get. I take so many things for granted. I am not near thankful enough for all that I have been given and have access to.

1 Peter 2:
Too many riches in this chapter. This verse caught my eye the most especially since my hubs and I chatted about this tonight.

"Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God."
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Dwelling on ways I still live under the law and reject freedom but also ways I use freedom as a way to cover up evil. Oh the road is so narrow.

D

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Vampire

Tomorrow morning is blood draw day. I have heard the amount of vials of blood that can be drawn can be quite impressive. Thankful to get advice from a friend tonight about bringing food with me to eat afterwards. One friend passed out and one almost did. Didn't think a fasting blood draw would be that big of a deal but maybe it is when they are taking 9 to 12 vials of blood. Wowzers! 

Good day. A mostly full day of school and some time at the zoo with a friend. I wanted to sit and chat while kids played and I feel like that was accomplished. Going again on Friday. New record for us! I love breaking new records. 

1 Peter 1:
This is truly a beautiful chapter. These verses are my conviction for the night. It's easy to truly love those who are easy to love but this is much harder when people are more challenging to love. Oh Lord help me to truly love people the way that you do. Help me to remember the love you extend to me daily and the abundant grace you have bestowed upon me.

"Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;"
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:22-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬


D


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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Gonna Have To Keep Having Babies To Survive Adolescence

The attitude from the blossoming preteen is out of control. I get it. Hormones are no joke. When I'm pregnant the crazy hormones cause me to develop quite the case of turditis. Over the years thanks to sanctification I've had more mastery over what comes out of my mouth but it's been a ten year process and there is still much work to be done. I don't expect my kids to nail it perfectly when they are flooded with hormones baths that would kill a small herd of horses. I do think the oldest will do quite the lovely job of breaking me into the crazy world of adolescence. In order to keep my sanity and my blood pressure low I think I'm going to need to keep having babies so I can cry myself to sleep while holding a precious and plump Brownie. The smell of baby is so soothing and endorphin releasing. Maybe we can rent a baby when we have five teenagers someday. I've always loved teenagers I just had no idea I'd be raising my very own youth group. Now that's sanctification right there!

Off today for sure. Brain fog, tingling and fatigue is for the birds. Unfortunately having to feed people feels like the most overwhelming task that there ever was. It's always been hard for me but lately it feels like an insurmountable task. Thankful for my hubs stepping in tonight and many many nights to help feed the masses.

Body hates me tonight. Ready for my heaven edition of my body. Maybe I'll have abs for the very first time. If I do I won't even care. Irony.

Proverbs 19:
Not sure how much good sense I have tonight or ever. Love this verse to dwell on tonight.

"Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense."
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭19:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

D







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Monday, April 18, 2016

Predicate Nominative

Today I tried to teach my oldest about predicate nominatives. Let's just say I probably would have had just as much success teaching her how to speak Japanese. I don't know how to speak Japanese and wrapping my old worn out brain around what the heck a predicate nominative is was quite the task at the end of the day. I feel like most information I try to process these days is very much like trying to decode what a predicate nominative is. The brain fog is intense.

Tonight at 7pm as I tried to figure out what the heck I was going to feed my family I almost freaked out. Thankful for being able to lean in and be okay with hot dogs for the second day in a row even if we didn't have any buns. All that to say I'm thankful, crazy thankful for there to be a reason for my dysfunction. It goes beyond my normal ADD bag of tricks. Thankful to finally be on the right path to get some answers and hopefully someday get my brain back.

Today was the day I finally got to see a doctor. I really really liked her. I liked her a lot. Her initial guesses are adrenal fatigue, some variety of autoimmune fun and possibly vitamin deficiency from growing so many humans. Looking forward to finding some answers and even more so to be able to think again.

Proverbs 18:
This is a good one to remember

"A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion."
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God help me to shut up more. With my kids help me to listen more and try to understand instead of making everything a lecture or lesson.

D



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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Completely Unprepared

Feeling completely unprepared for Monday. I have nothing to be prepared for but our house is extra special thrashed and I hear kids still giggling away. The coffee is going to need to be strong tomorrow.

Thankful for a rainy day today. I love a good thunderstorm so thankful to hear rolling thunder.

I have some kids pretty excited about trying out their theatre legs. We went to see a show last week and they have been excited to get a chance to try out being in a show themselves. The show coming up is only six weeks long which I think is fabulous. Anybody can do anything for six weeks right? I like a low bar when it comes to commitment. The group that does the performances is not a Christian organization and the word on the street is that some can be more liberal homeschooling families. Honestly I look forward to the kids and I getting out of the bubble once in awhile. It's good for them to have a heart to share Jesus with others. My minions are growing up in some crazy times.

Speaking of crazy I may be nuts but I think my Mudge McPudge is saying the word "eat". I could be wrong but if I'm not that's pretty hysterical. That's a smart kid.

Psalm 36:
A friend landed here tonight and I thought I would join her.

As my heart swells with thankfulness for His unfailing love this is my prayer tonight.

"Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away."
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭36:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

D

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

That Was Great And Now I'm Ready To Crash

Good neighbor day. Love those kind of days. But I'm exhausted. All kinds of exhausted. Heavy with the weight of the word cancer. Heavy with the invisible cancers of the soul. Oh how I wish I could pluck a friend out of the pit of despair and self destruction but I can't. Oh this world can be such a broken place.

Sitting in a really heavy place tonight. Had a "profound" thought today as kids were playing today but can't shake the deep funk to even begin to make sense of it now. I'm really crushed for a neighbor and sad about a kinda friend dying of cancer and a family I don't even know whose little girl will die any day. It's crushingly heavy.

Thankful for time with my beloved to break through the heavy. Can't wait to slumber though.

Psalm 17:
"You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress."
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Oh if this were only me. I fear it is not the case quite yet.

D

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Laughter Is Good Medicine

Thankful for park time with my kiddos and friends.

Thankful for laughter and yummy food tonight with friends.

Bummed my hubs had to wrestle a migraine all day and miss out on the fun but thankful he's discovered what might be contributing to awful migraines.

Thankful for so many other things but have got to go to bed.

Proverbs 15:
"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭15:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I know this to be true with my kiddos. God help me to love them well. I'm so blessed by each of them!

D

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

No Tango Palabras

Many things to ponder but I don't have any words left for today.

Good day. Exhausting day. My two bigs were a great team today at the land rush. The two middle boys struggled which now in hindsight makes sense because neither are used to leading in that capacity. Need to think more on that. Two little girls used there woo to eat about a thousand cookies each today. Good day. Beautiful day. Exhausting day. Loved seeing the creativity at the Land Rush today. I heart homeschool for that reason.

Speaking of homeschool read an article last night about ten reasons why school fails to actually teach students. I know I do "school" at home more often than not. Really wish I could be courageous enough to completely abandon traditional education. I really want to inspire wonder and ingenuity in my kids. I love the Land Rush so much because it gives them a chance to become little entrepreneurs. I want the ones born to be entrepreneurs to be just that! I want the ones born to be worker bees to do what they love. I want them to see a niche they love and work at it with all their hearts. So much of life is spent working I want them to love what they do. Need to shut this down before my brain gets going again. It might never stop if I get it going on all cylinders again.

Proverbs 14:
Praying this is true for my kiddos. Oh how I love each of them so. Wish I could look past so much of the stupid temporary.

"In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge."
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭14:26‬ ‭ESV‬‬

D

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Whack A Mole

Lots on my mind tonight. I feel like life has been a huge game of whack a mole the past two years. Whack a mole might be entertaining for a season or for like five seconds but it's exhausting after awhile. 

I think this exhaustion did not help my heart towards a lady at Costco. I seriously do not understand why so many people at a wholesale warehouse that sells items in bulk have such a problem with large families. The people of Costco are the worst. Not a minute into our trip some lady had to make a stupid daycare remark. Congrats! Your comment deserves an A. After all A is for asshole is it not? Oh I hate my stupid flesh! I should delete the above but just getting real about where my heart is right now.  

I'm too tired and grumpy to even begin to unload the contents of my brain. Let's just say lots of different things need out of the box answers. 

The verse of the day is mocking me:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I think the squirrels ran off with all my fruit.

This was perfectly timed:
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.""
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

D

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Stakes In The Ground

Today felt incredibly weighty. The decisions on the outside seem small but I hope and pray that unearned ice cream trips and siblings put on teams yield great fruit. If anything it has given me new perspective. I see now that the Lord looks at us with great mercy and compassion as we wrestle with Him. His heart is grieved by our stubborn pride but more for what we miss out on because of it.

I blew up my girl's world today. Not really, but in her ten year old view of the world I threw a huge firebomb in her direction. She had plans and I completely derailed them in hopes of breaking down some walls of competition. I've had my own plans that have been derailed in life. I've thrown my fair share of fits and nashed my teeth and asked "why are you doing this to me?" Ultimately it's because He loves me. I get to choose to trust Him in those moments or not. Thankful for answered prayer and softened hearts. Oh Father may they come to know that you are good.

Really chewing on this whole discipleship thing or spiritual growth. I feel as if I'm wading in unknown territory right now. I'm really confused about it at this point. Can I just say I get why people who aren't believers get sick of believers. We're full of weird phrases and sayings and it's almost as if we have our very own language. Then there's the multitude of tweetable sound bites and tag lines from blog posts and sermons and yada yada yada. Look at how awesome my church and how hard this song rocks and how great this book is. And the tail begins to wag the dog and around and around we go. Somehow in the middle of all of it we begin to think that Jesus needs us. What a slight twist on something so beautiful. But alas we desperately need Jesus because apart from Him we're nothing but a bunch of tweetable hot air.

I'm left with a bunch of confusion in the midst of it all. All I know is that I simply can't be a Type A Christian anymore. Maybe my adrenals are too shot or I have too many kids or adversity has squashed me enough and shown my true colors and I suck or I don't possess enough self control or self discipline. It's weird. I feel like I had to come to the end of myself to become a Christian. Now I feel somehow I've come to the end of myself as a Christian. I don't even know if that makes any sense. Really I think all it boils down too is that I know a whole lot less than I thought I did. Frankly, that can't be a bad thing. I'm stuck pondering the idea that an object being restored doesn't restore itself and the love and grace bestowed on a sweet friend of mine from a blind man. Oh Jesus give me eyes that really see and ears that truly ear. I know I'm myopic and I'm hard of hearing. I've been a prideful windbag. I've found value and worth in things I never should have. I'm ashamed of my arrogance. I'm weary of this season of confusion, pain, hurt, stress, loneliness, shame, guilt, worry, uncertainty, bitterness and no margin. Yet I don't want to walk away from this season not knowing you more. I don't want to walk away from this season thinking that I have a single thing to boast about. May I walk away singing of your greatness. God wreck my arrogance. It's a stench in your nostrils and I so desire my life to be a living sacrifice and a sweet aroma to you. I'm blown away by your love for me despite my brokenness. This world cares so much about performance. I simply can't grasp that your love is not dependent upon my performance. It's slowly sinking in. God please grant us rest for our weary hearts.

D


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Bleh!

So maybe I've avoided this by looking at the book of faces tonight. I'm sure there are volumes of things I could write but really all I want to say is bleh. Bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh.

I think I'm just tired of being confronted with my humanity and my many limitations. I realize I've placed way too much value on my ability to achieve and pull my crap together. As if God desires for me to be an overachieving Christian. I've been a sorta mess with a parade of small ducklings underfoot for quite awhile. I've felt more like a together mess for at least a season. I think that feeling of togetherness has everything to do with my own strengths and ability. That's all been stripped away. Then I feel guilt over not overcoming and still continuing to achieve and slap on a happy face about everything in life. Rather I'm bobbing along trying not to go completely under. Maybe this is where I'll be for the rest of my days. If so, there are many reasons to give thanks.

Melancholy is an interesting beast. There truly are no rules to how it may ebb and flow. But even in the midst of its haze when the breaks in the clouds do occur they are most extraordinary. There is much sweetness in the sadness. There are moments of thanksgiving in the middle of strife. I am grateful for the many wonderful mercies that are bestowed upon us daily despite the melancholy and shortcomings.

I'm thankful for time today with just my bigs. They are growing up fast. What a joy it was to just watch them and listen to them without wrangling littles. But what a joy to come home to my littles. Seeing the snot smudged smile of the OAB of the day. Wrapping up a sleepy toddler in a blanket and snuggling. Oh and let's not forget the joy of squeezing a chubby cherub baby and hearing wholehearted squeals. I am truly rich.

My oldest boy announced he thinks God may want him to go to Africa someday to be a missionary. But he also feels like there are a lot of people here too who need to know about Jesus. Got choked up when my thoughts immediately went to Baby E. Maybe our hearts for Africa and our desire to adopt from there has much more to do with our children than with us. I'd be just as delighted to be Baby E's Grandma one day as I would be his Momma. God works in the most interesting ways sometimes. What an extraordinary journey He has each of us on.

Psalm 62:
"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah"
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭62:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Amen and goodnight!

D



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Sunday, April 10, 2016

It's Biodegradable

Today my hubs was talking about water balloons and I thought he was talking about the crazy undertaking of clothing swap 2016 part one. He mentioned them being biodegradable and I thought he was brilliant. Biodegradable clothes that last about a year and then begin to decompose. I think it's brilliant. Too bad he was talking about water balloons.

More sorting and switching and going through crazy closets. We have most certainly been blessed. I thought a lot about the freedom of wearing the same thing everyday and basically wearing it till it decomposes off your body. Then you get a new outfit and repeat. Our excess comes at a price that's for sure.

No church this am unfortunately. Middle of the night shenanigans, insomnia, and a baby who is crazy congested sealed our fate to stay home. Don't feel good about passing off our snotty bundle to the nursery peeps but Mudge is officially at that squawky stage. How did that happen so darn quickly? My baby will be a year before I know it. Seriously, how did that happen?

Wrestling around with our part in this world. Mainly thinking on knowing we are going to mess it up and yet our messing it up not being able to change God's plan for our lives and for others. It's really hard to wrap my head around but in the fleeting moments that I'm able to fully embrace that God's grace is sufficient in my weakness there is much freedom.

A friend has stirred the pot on birth control. I do love a good pot stirring. Much has changed over the years in my views on all of this. I think swinging too far to one side or the other is not good. Legalism can so easily creep in. Oh how puffing up being "right" can be.

Proverbs 10:
"When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent."
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭10:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Great great verse. Lord let my words be few!!

D

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Saturday, April 09, 2016

Naked Would Be A Lot Cooler

Today was spent doing fun housework, laundry, and continued swapping of the clothes. I hate clothes. How awesome to still be in Eden and be able to walk around naked with no shame. Think how much time would be saved! Clothes are such a bother. I wish I could say clothes were all swapped and laundry was all done. Instead I feel like we've been at it all day, the kids have already destroyed what was cleaned and our floors are still a total mess. The toil is real y'all. Ready to get rid of everything. If we didn't have all this stuff then we would have played today.

Proud of my big girl as she was 100% in charge of a sweet little girl today. I knew she would do fabulous. That girl is going to make a ton of money babysitting when she's old enough. I'll be borrowing money from her.

Matthew 4:
Trying to take this entire chapter in. Jesus fasting for forty days and then being tempted by Satan has always fascinated me. Jesus being both God and man has always been mind blowing to me. His flesh had to of waged war within him and yet being God he was able to be victorious. Jesus wasn't a slacker though. Even though he was God he still did everything in His power as a man to abide in His Father. He fasted often, prayed all the time, spent time in solitude and rested. How much more do I need to do all those things?

This verse always gets me.

"Immediately they left their nets and followed him."
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭4:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Amazing. I probably would have drug my feet.

D


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Friday, April 08, 2016

Now That's What I'm Talking About!

Kids got up and knocked out stuff quickly. They proved my point that we really could have all our stuff done by lunch or shortly after. We didn't get Botany in but seriously studying Botany is best done outside. My plan for next week is to have something planned every afternoon next week so they can see that if they knock out their schoolwork everyone is better off for it and we have more time for fun. Really who doesn't want more fun in their family!?!?

Sweet mix of friends and time solo as a family exploring today. Vitamin D is good for the soul. Wish we were camping but just being out this afternoon is causing havoc. Dallergies are no joke. Worth tangoing with awful pollen in order to get everyone outside. We are happier as a family when we've been out in God's creation. Land and real seasons someday would be lovely. Maybe someday.

Got alarms, bells, whistles and friends alert and ready to remind me to confirm my appt with Coleman a week out. Ready to get to the root of why my body is in a tizzy. The hardest to deal with really is the intense brain fog. Not being able to think like a normal human being just makes everything overwhelming. I mean seriously, trying to put together a grocery list is like trying to mount an expedition to climb Everest. No joke. My poor brain is in a sad state of affairs.

Matthew 3:
Interesting to read this chapter in light of a quick conversation about dispensational versus covenant theology. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it fully. I definitely think I'm more of a covenant theology kinda gal but I doubt it's really as black and white as one might think.

I do keep going back to the same thing lately. It all boils down to what things are apart of my life that keeps me stained by the world? If the Israelites were plunked down in modern day America what laws would the Lord give them to keep them set apart and separated from the rest of the crazy? I'm not equating Israel with America I'm just pondering it. What makes a person chaff and others wheat? Ultimately I'd like to burn the things that are like chaff that is in my life and keep the wheat.

D



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Thursday, April 07, 2016

It's A Broken Vacuum Kinda Week

I should have known that when our vacuum decided to give up the ghost that this week was going to be wheels off. I think for the most part everyone is well. Hard to really tell what is sick and what is the scourge of pollen. In this weeks edition of pass the buck I'm blaming pollen for my children's inability to listen and get schoolwork done. It's always a parade of shenanigans at our house but it's been extra special in the cat wrangling department. When the two bigs can't be reigned in its all over. But we got er done, every single last bit of it, for the second day in a row and for that I feel I deserve a medal or a hot fudge sundae. The latter is much more desirable.

I did threaten public school again today but it was much less of a threat and more of a statement. Homeschooling is not worth all of us loosing our sanity. If my bigs are not willing to put forth the effort to get their individual work done then maybe they would blossom and thrive under more structure. It amazes me sometimes that any of them can learn when toddlers gone wild is cranked up to high gear. But they are learning and even though they grumble and complain about the three r's they do seem to be hitting the goals we desire for them as far as education goes. I know this week is just a broken vacuum kind of week. I'm not ready to throw in the towel over a couple of difficult weeks. We did just survive spring plague 2016 after all. There's been some casualties but we will win the war. Eh, how can I expect my offspring to be serious and get to work when I can't do the same.

Proverbs 7:
Okay so normally this chapter in Proverbs makes me roll my eyes. How nice of Sol to be the kettle calling the pot black. Thankful to get over my own baggage today and view things a bit differently. This is the woman/young girl that I need to warn my boys about. Girls have been taught that is awesome to be like a dude and be out and about looking for a conquest. It breaks my heart for the seductress woman knowing the gal probably has a gaping daddy wound BUT I've got to warn and prepare my boys for the girls that are like this. Now I can see in this Proverb an imperfect dad desiring to prepare his boy for the battles that will be laid out before him. Oh there will be so many battles ahead for our children. When I think about all the stupid day to day stuff I can get worked up about there are so many more if things looming ahead. Thankful that my hubs and I don't have to travel this road alone. Our sons and our daughters are not alone in the battle either. May the Lord hem our children in and help to equip them for the battle.

D
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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Beautiful Chaos

1. Spent the day outdoors and it feels like pollen is eating my flesh. There seriously is not enough allergy meds in the world.

2. Lacked compassion today as one of my kid's lost his mind over the disappointment of not being able to ride a bike. It made me want to loose my mind. Thankful for a sweet moment afterwards for both of us getting to ask for forgiveness. I do wonder if I had been more willing to listen and hear his heart instead of shut down the crazy if the crazy could have been nipped in the bud. Oh the irony.

3. Freaked over a friend's sweet girl getting her first visit from Aunt Flo. Her sweet daughter is only a year older than my girl. I was already struggling with my girl growing up so fast. I long to go back and have a redo but probably more so I can have her longer. But alas she is not mine to keep but to launch into this world to bless others. That girl is so incredible. Can't believe the Lord chose to bless us with her.

4. Listening to a chorus of snores in my room. This life is not easy breezy beautiful but it is beautiful. Crazy thankful for our beautiful chaos.

5. One of my friends on my street is really struggling. My heart aches because she has done so much hard work. Praying for ways to reach out.

Proverbs 6:
Been thinking about the Israelites this week and God's command to cast out all idols and God's desire to keep Israel set apart from the rest of the pagans in the land. Wondering what idols I'm holding onto? It's obvious I've got idols of comfort, ease, self, and the list goes on and on. BUT what are the things that keep me grounded in this world and hinders me from keeping my eyes fixed on things above. So tonight this verse stood out.

"Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?"
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭6:27‬ ‭ESV‬‬

What fires do I hold to my chest expecting not to get burned??

D

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Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Checking The Box

I feel like a total mess tonight. Being a feeler can be so dang exhausting sometimes! Let's see if I can get it all down.

1. Got some sleep last night! So thankful!!! I really think I could have slept all day but hey I'll take what I can get.

2. Thankful for lots of laughing with my hubs last night.

3. Was a jerk parent today and should all over my bigs. Not a lot of joy in parenting today. I think I just get stuck in ruts and I'm still stuck in the rut from flupalooza last week.

4. I'm starting to think maybe flupalooza wasn't really the flu??? I think we might have just caught a stomach bug and a yuck fevery cold bug at the same time??? The reason I say this is because tonight Bella is feeling warm again. What in the world?

5. Today as I was crying out to God over being a turd parent I realized that this life gig is too dang hard to just be checking the box with God. Really I need to get on the ball with things all the way across the board. It's all tied together in ways I'd like to ignore. Spiritual slides into physical which slides into emotional and around and around we go. If I stop and look at the whole picture trying to do a complete overhaul is crazy overwhelming. So instead tomorrow I'm just going to start by adding in one good thing. Often times just getting things moving can help all the dominoes start to fall. Unfortunately it works the same way in the opposite direction which is why I'm sitting in this place. I want to get up early but knowing my body still needs to catch up on slumber I'll get rolling on the early patrol on Sunday. But as for tomorrow, I shall get my sugar addicted buns on the treadmill for 30 minutes.

6. PATH family night. My girl was anxious but I'm so proud of her for pushing through. Emotional as I looked at the senior tables and saw just how big my girl has gotten. The red lipstick and make-up for her performance didn't help anything. That girl really is amazing. My time with her is slipping rapidly out of my hands. I don't want to waste anymore time on days like today.

7. More laughter with the whole family as there was car shenanigans with another family on the way home. I heart my hubs!

Psalms 78:
"With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand."
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭78:72‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Psalm about teaching your children about the Lord and a recap of the story of Israel and the Lord.

More pangs of guilt as I think about really digging in Proverbs 4 with my kids this morning and then being an ass to them this afternoon. Lord let me not be a stumbling block to them!

The statement He gave them what they craved is really stuck in my head.

Zzzzzzz
D

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Monday, April 04, 2016

Prayer Warriors

Obviously y'all are some prayer warriors. Walked around in a sleep deprived haze but a more normal haze not a I'm going to loose my mind haze. I think I've figured it out. Last night I was up really late and up really early trying to finish writing notes to students. BUT besides feeding the mini kidlet I didn't have to fully wake up and get out of my warm and cozy bed. My body has adjusted to those kind of sleep disturbances over the past ten years. However, having to get up and out of bed and stay up consoling a kid or dealing with a middle of the night crisis really jacks with my sleep cycle. My hypothesis is little sleep cycle disturbances okay. Multiple nights of major sleep cycle disturbances equals an insane me. So all that to say thank you for praying for sweet sleep. The fourish hours I did get was sweet and I'm thankful. I still need to make up some hours as I'm in a pretty good deficit right now. My brain fog has been extra special today and doing even the littlest and mundane tasks are quite difficult.

Last day of coop. Really grown to love the group of kiddos that are graduating this year. None of them would get a "and a friend's a friend forever" joke but it was hard to not want to bust out in song today. Exciting times for those students!

Ready for my kids and my hubs to be well but thankful for good health. We are so crazy blessed!!!!

Proverbs 4:
Different take on this proverb today. I think because I struggle to either view myself as an adult or admit that I am one I've always read this from the perspective of a child. Tonight the tables flipped and it made me ponder all the wisdom I desire to impart to my Brownies. Ten years have already passed. So much to teach my bigs in so little time.

D



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Sunday, April 03, 2016

Need To Get A Grip

1. Woke up struggling to deal with life this morning. At this point I'm headed on a week straight of really crappy sleep. I got one okay night in. In okay I mean I didn't have to physically get out of bed and deal with puke, poop or an angry child. I nursed a sick baby all night but at least I could do that Halfway comatose. I had planned to get out early this week and get started on stuff for my last week at PATH. Flu Hell 2016 blocked that goal. My plan for today was to get out to the store early so I'd have the day to prepare for PATH tomorrow. Unfortunately Flu Hell 2016 took out the other parental unit so no such luck. Now I'm nursing a loud grumpy baby and hoping he'll pass out sometime before I pass out because I still need to unload my car and prepare for PATH. And I'm angry. Really really angry. I'm not angry at anyone just at circumstances because it appears that the universe is trying to see just how angry I can become at the lack of sleep I know I'm going to get. Then I just want to cry. Cry a million billion tears because all I really want to do is get some damn sleep. I know this sounds crazy but I feel like a POW whose sleep cycle is constantly being messed with just to see how long it takes to make me go bat crap crazy. I'm telling you people I'm really freaking close. I NEED TO GET A GRIP!!!

2. Lots of self loathing today as I struggled to get a grip. I feel crazy for feeling so angry sad mad crazy. I think the two things pushing me over the edge is Mudgey's constant fussing which is eating out my brain and my inability to get my half eaten brain to work or function.

Proverbs 3:
"If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Oh please let it be so.

D

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Saturday, April 02, 2016

Late To The Party

Finally saw the new Star Wars. Really fun to watch it with my boys. It's really good times in BrownTown right now. Love this new stage of bigger kids. I do at times miss the days of nothing but littles but this season is pretty sweet. I'll gladly enjoy this period of time before the first wave of hormones hit.

Up lots last night with a sad little congested baby. At least we got caught up on some Netflix together. There's nothing quite like watching the Vanishing Bees and Winnie the Pooh in the wee hours of the morning.

Made the kids do school today since they chose not to cooperate much this week. I think it was a good natural consequence but I also had the joy of school on the weekend. Didn't get anything really accomplished between school and a sad baby. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit kinder and I can knock out some much needed to dos.

Not much else to report. My brain is mush from crazy lack of sleep. Gretchen is really taking me down this time around. The red tent would have been kinda awesome today.

Matthew 2:
This chapter has always been a somber one for me. It's amazing the great lengths we will take for self preservation.

Love this verse. Love these strange magi who followed a star and worshipped the king of kings.

"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy."
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

D

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Friday, April 01, 2016

That's It!

I was super classy today and threatened to send my kids to public school today. Awesome. Just awesome. This week the lack of teamwork, self motivation and insanity was too much. It didn't help that Mudge was a hot mess today. Poor kid is miserable. But really if my minions don't want to play ball and learn at home I'm not fighting four hard headed Brownies. One is very much aware that school would be a bad fit. I'll gladly keep him home. This homeschool thing is open handed though. I think for right now it's best for our family but if public, private or the zoo is best then so be it. I do need to remember that Gretchen has taken a huge header off the roof so my fuse is shorter this week.

As far as the sick brigade goes, two seemed a little wonky today and I wouldn't be shocked if tomorrow they are running fevers. Hopefully all the vitamin c they have been downing will help everyone's immune system kick some flu to the curb.

Started reading a book on spiritual disciplines by Dallas Willard. First chapters are always introductory but chewing on a few things. His challenge is to walk so closely with Jesus that instead of having to decide WWJD in the moment, your life becomes transformed to be more like Jesus so that doing what is contrary to what Jesus would do would be unnatural. I'm completely butchering that but I'm chewing on it. Willard also makes the point that there's many things we aspire to do yet we are not willing to do the hard work to achieve it. An example would be my desire to loose the baby weight. I want to loose it but what I really want is a shortcut instead of doing the work that it will take to get back in shape. This desire for a shortcut is the very thing that causes our burden and yoke to be heavy. If we would just lean in and do the hard work of being a disciple then our burden would be light. I'm most definitely intrigued but terrified all at the same time. I'm not very awesome at self disciple. There's plenty of people wired more that way but obviously that's not my natural bent. I like ease, comfort and laziness. This is going to be fun.

Matthew 1:
I love reading this genealogy. It is scandalous for sure. It's full of broken vows, prostitution, adultery and even a Moabite. It's amazing how God weaves beauty in the story of such a bunch of ragamuffin kids. Then Jesus is conceived and born under seemingly scandalous conditions with poor parents. It's beautiful and powerful and is the very reason we all so desperately need Immanuel. Thankful for a Savior who loves us more extravagantly than I could ever imagine.

D


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