Monday, November 26, 2007

Mixed Emotions

I've been having a lot of mixed emotions the past few days. On the one hand, I feel so blessed. I have absolutely everything I need. I have a wonderful husband and beautiful, healthy children. I have a loving, kind extended family. I never go to bed hungry. I have a very nice home, and a roof over my head. I have a faith in God that sustains me, and brings me unbelievable peace and joy. There is nothing I could ask for that I feel like I don't have.

When I think like this, I think life is pretty fair. Sure there are people who have more money than me, or a bigger house, and such, but that doesn't bother me one bit. I'm not missing out on anything. But then I start to think of the flipside. I think of the millions and millions of people living in extreme poverty. The children who don't have any parents or family at all. The ones who go to bed with an aching belly because they had one meal that day, if they were lucky. There are so many out there who don't even have clean water to drink. Something I never worry, or even think about.
That's when I start to think life isn't fair at all. Why do I have so much, when they have so little? We are sponsoring a child in Kenya through World Vision, and I know that helps a little. Even helping one child does make a difference, but it doesn't feel like enough. And I just feel so helpless.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007


I realize that I start out with grand thoughts, and things that I will do, blog posts I will make . . . but the reality is that life intrudes. But you know what? I'm grateful for that. I love that I have a husband and kids that take up so much of my time. The tight little hugs, the long talks, the trips to the library, sitting under blankets watching movies. I love that going to church and worshipping God takes up time on my Sunday. And that when I come home, I don't want to get on the computer (which I'll admit, has been an addiction for me), but spend time contemplating what I learned, and having quiet moments to think. It's the doing of these things that's important to me, not blogging about them.

And then I thought about how I had it all set out that on Sunday I'd list 7 blog posts that inspired me that week. And that throughout the holiday season I was going to post 1,000 things I'm thankful for. And my next thought was why? Do I really need to focus so much on the numbers? Why not post about blogs that inspire me when they inspire me? Why not post about things I'm thankful for just to post them, instead of counting them up to get to a pre-determined number. It's not that focusing on inspirational things, and everything I'm thankful for isn't important. It's when I make things too planned out that I can't stop and actually enjoy.

This is something I think I struggle with in life, and not just with a blog. I start making up specific things that I need to do, and when to do them. Grand schemes that almost always fail. And then, inevitably, I feel bad. So why do I keep doing this? Why not just realize that I'm just going to do the best I can in life, and enjoy who God made me to be? Enjoy the simple things in life, clean the house when I can, take every moment to enjoy my children; because I believe it's the unplanned moments in life that bring the most joy. Not when I'm checking off a to do list, or focusing on how many or how long.

I will still set goals, I will still strive to become more than I am now. But it will be as I feel led to do so. Not Monday is this, Tuesday is this . . . I want to pray each morning, and have my day be focused on Christ, and not on me. That is my ultimate goal, and the goal that will bring the most peace and joy into my life and my home.

Simple things--1000 thankful things

I'm thankful for a lot of little things in life. The smell when I'm taking a walk, and someone is using their dryer (9). My new soft bed that I don't want to get out of in the mornings (10). Ethan's first steps (11). Wildflowers that bloom where nobody plants them (12). K-Love, my favorite radio station, that uplifts me every time I'm in my car (13). Fuzzy socks (14). A cup of hot cocoa (15). Chocolate and peanut butter (16). The moon on a clear night (17). The sound of a thunderstorm (18). The smell of rain (19). Smiles from strangers (20).

P.S. If I'm being realistic, there's no way I'm going to make it to 1,000 things by the end of November. I might make it to 100, if I'm good. But I'll keep trying, because it's always good to be thankful.

Commitment to Loveliness

From Charming the Birds From the Trees, commitment to loveliness is where you post 5 things you will try to do this coming week to bring more loveliness into your life. So here are my 5:
  1. Speak softly. I'd like to speak to my kids with a soft, gentle, and loving voice, even when I'm angry. This would be a nice change from crazy monster voice that makes it's appearance every once in awhile.
  2. Make the area around my mantle and TV uncluttered and pretty.
  3. Clean the master bedroom. I want it to be a retreat for Troy and I. Right now it's a catch-all for everything. Laundry, books, just way too much.
  4. Take walks with my kids (and husband if he's home) every day. Enjoy the loveliness that God made outside.
  5. Do something about my sandpapery hands. They are so dry this time of year, and I want them to be soft.


Last night I went to a special communion service that was at my church. I went alone, so it was just a wonderful opportunity to just sit there, and listen to the beautiful music the band was playing, and think about Christ. My heart was just so full, and I couldn't help the tears falling down my face, as I thought about how thankful I am for Jesus Christ, and His gift to me. We also had the opportunity to take a falling leaf from the tree they had set up, and write something on it. It could be something we were thankful for, or something we wanted to change, and then we placed the leaf at the foot of the cross. It was just such a beautiful evening, and I came home feeling peaceful and refreshed. It was a good reminder that if I focus on Christ all the time, I have the opportunity to have those feelings every day.

Ephesians 1: 7-8 says:
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding."

As Thanksgiving approaches, I hope to show the love and gratitude I have for Christ and His gift, through the love I show to others.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Funniest Catwalk Fall Ever

This is pretty darn funny. I mean, I know I shouldn't laugh at the misfortune of other's, but I can't help myself.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Goings on around our house

Kevin's hair was growing so long that it was getting in his eyes, so I decided to take him to Great Clips for a hair cut. She spiked it up in the front with gel, and when we got home he kept feeling it and saying, "it's sticking up". He looks extra cute with his new haircut!
Troy and I got a new bed, after having the same (crappy) one for 8 years of marriage. We were starting to be able to feel bumps in the bed (I'm assuming the springs), so we decided it was time for a new one. We got a really soft, comfortable one, and we love it. It's so nice.
Here's Kevin standing next to our bed. You can see it's very plush, because it's quite high up. I have to give a little jump to get into bed. I actually prefer lower beds, but I won't complain, cause it's very nice to have a soft bed for a change!

While we were at it, we bought Kaitlyn a new mattress. She really needed one, as hers was probably more uncomfortable than ours. I decided I didn't really like the looks of the bunk beds either, so I separated them (with Troy's help). I think it looks much nicer in there, and somehow less cluttered. We went to Penny's (Troy's mom) house and borrowed the Transformer quilt that she had made (out of sheets!). The kids like having their "new" beds.

Ethan eating an orange

I gave Ethan an orange to eat the other day. From the looks he's making, you'd think he didn't like it at all, but he just kept right on eating it, and then wanted more. Pardon the noisy TV in the background.

More gratitude

I haven't been doing well on listing things I'm thankful for. At this rate I won't make it to 100 by the end of November, let alone 1,000. So today I thought I'd do people I'm thankful for.
  • Troy, my husband. For being my very best friend, always willing to talk with me, even when I can't express what I'm thinking very well. And for being the love of my life. (4)
  • Kaitlyn--she's always so loving, and gives great hugs. She also tries hard to be empathetic. (5)
  • Kevin--he's the sweetest, cuddliest little boy in the whole world. (6)
  • Kevin's brown eyes (7)
  • Ethan--for bringing joy into my life daily, by being my little bundle of sunshine (8)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Simplifying Christmas

I've been putting a lot of thought into simplifying Christmas for my kids this year. I want to make it more about Jesus, and less about getting stuff. I've thought about doing more homemade things, doing something for advent, and giving less presents in general.

So I'm looking for some good ideas on making Christmas simpler this year. If you have any good ones, please leave me a comment! Or even a link to a good site about it would work. :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blogs that Inspire

I meant to do this yesterday. On Sunday, I'd like to post seven links to posts in other blogs that have inspired, or touched me throughout the week. Hopefully I can make it on time next week, but here it is anyway, for yesterday:
  1. Of Angels and Miracle Allowances
  2. Song in Her Heart
  3. To Know This Love That Surpasses Knowledge
  4. Not By Might
  5. If I Had My Life to Live Over
  6. Special Moments
  7. The Manner in Which We Walk

Gifts -- Jesus

I was trying to think about gifts today, and the one that is so obvious, that I almost thought doesn't even need to be on the list, because it's such a given, is Jesus Christ. But then I thought, why wouldn't I put it on my list? It should go on the very top of my list! So instead of writing a short little snippet about why I'm so thankful for Jesus, I'm devoting a whole post to it. (And this is thankful thing #3)

It's almost impossible for me to put into words what Christ means to me. It's something so personal, and so meaningful to me, that there's no words I could say to encompass my feelings on the subject. No matter how much I say, it could never be enough to express how thankful I am for Christ. But, since I started out to do it, I'll give it my best shot.

It's unthinkable to me, to imagine a life without Christ . . . a life without the knowledge and acceptance of what Christ did for me. I am so thankful that He loved me enough to suffer on the cross, and to pay for my sins. He did it for all of us, but I know He would have done it still, if it was only just for me. Me, a lowly sinner, who without Him, would not be saved at all. He was the sacrifice for my sins; without Him I would be separated from God forever. How do I say thank you for something like that? Anything I could do seems so small compared to what He did for me. He is my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer. Thank you, Jesus!

What I learned yesterday

Yesterday, the sermon in church was about looking inward, at the state of your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says:
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
We have two kinds of hearts: our physical, and our spiritual hearts. Our spiritual heart is where everything comes from. The things we say, the things we do, the things we think, etc.

One of the ways we can monitor our hearts is to check for symptoms of heart disease (this is all spiritual hearts, of course). Reading through Matthew 15: 1-20 gives a pretty good idea of what spiritual heart disease is. Jesus is talking to the pharisees and saying that "these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me". Then later he says: "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander..."

So the Pharisees basically were all about outward acts of righteousness; doing things to look good in the eyes of men. I tried to think to myself if there were times when I did this, and I think the answer to that could be yes. If I'm ever doing anything with thoughts of "how good will this make me look", instead of doing it because I love God, then my heart isn't right.

Two of the symptoms of heart disease are: 1. We fake devotion to God, and 2. Ocassionally, we say and do things that dishonor God. I think it's pretty easy for almost anyone to fake spirituality, or a devotion to God. When life is going good, and everyone is being nice to you, and you're healthy and happy, isn't it a lot easier to love your neighbor, and to serve others, and even to be pleased with and love God? It's those times when things aren't great, maybe when someone has said something to upset you or that makes you angry, or when you're not feeling well that your true heart shows through. The times when you get sick, or a loved one gets sick, that you get upset with God. I can't count how many times, in a moment of anger, that I've said things that I regretted, or certainly shouldn't have said. When my heart is unguarded, am I still showing Christlike love to others? That's when it counts--that's when you just can't fake it. I know that's something I need to work on, and I also am so thankful for Jesus that He paid for my sins, and the sins of my heart.

Friday, November 9, 2007


I was reading on another blog, Holy Experience, about trying to think of 1,000 gifts that God has given, during the month of November. So I think I'm going to try to do that. It's something of a gratitude journal. But before I get to that, I've been sitting here thinking of something. I read some blogs out there, and I'm just absolutely touched by how beautifully these women write. They have such a way with words, that it makes people who don't know them want to read what they have to say. I don't have that. I wish I did, and I'm hoping that by blogging, I'll get better at it. So I was thinking, not everyone has the gift of writing. God has given each of us our own unique gifts. If he had given us all the same ones, the world wouldn't be as beautiful and varied as it is. I just need to figure out what my gifts are.
So, that being said, I'm going to start my list of 1,000 gifts.
  • Being able to read things that touch my heart and soul. (1)
  • Those quiet moments, where nothing outwardly special is happening, but inward, God is speaking to me in simple ways, and I get such a feeling of joy, that life is so good, and so beautiful, and so right. (2)

Ethan on the phone

Ethan loves talking on the phone. He'll turn it on, and then put it up to his ear with an expectant look on his face. Maybe one of these days I'll have to let him actually talk to someone, so he can hear something besides the dial tone.

November Goals

I know I'm a little late, since we're already 9 days in, but I figured it's better late than never. I'm trying to set goals in 4 areas, and I'm thinking I'll do this monthly, and then next month I can check up on how I did, and make new goals. This month I would like to:
  • Have daily scripture study--read through the Gospels (spiritual)
  • Figure out a cleaning plan that works and stick with it (home)
  • Make a lunch date with a friend or family member once a week (social)
  • Find a time to read to the kids every day for at least 15 minutes (family)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

New Blog Title

I apologize to anyone who has my blog linked with the title, cause I'm changing it. I liked it, cause it was a cute thing that Kevin had said, but I realized if you hadn't read through my whole blog, the title wouldn't make a whole lot of sense.

So I chose the new title for two reasons. One, because my blog is about me and the goings on around my house. But the second, and more important reason, is because it reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures. Joshua 24:15, which says:

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Kevin singing

This song is one that Kevin will be singing with the children's choir for Christmas at church. He can sing along with more when we're listening to the CD, but this is the only part he knows from memory. They have sign language that they're doing with it, so he's learning that too. I just love how he says Jesus. It's more like cheesus. I love my little Kevin!


Here's Ethan in his alligator costume. He was okay for most of the night, but didn't really like posing for a picture, I guess. You can't really see the costume, but it had a cute little alligator head, and it was nice and warm, so that was good enough for me. He even went out trick or treating, in his stroller of course, but not as long as the other kids. It was really cold, and even though he loves the stroller, I felt his little hands and they were freezing.
Kevin wore this M&M costume, and he loved it. Almost every house we stopped at, someone said how cute he looked. Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of Kaitlyn in her Halloween costume. If you must know, I took this one of Kevin last Monday, not on Halloween at all.

Cowboy Ethan

Ethan got ahold of Kevin's cowboy hat today, and although he usually won't keep anything at all on his head, for some reason, he was loving wearing this. He put it on himself, and then would crawl around and play, take it off, put it back on, and play some more. It was pretty adorable.

Here he is with one of his sweet smiles. Please ignore the messy room. It's where the kids play, and they had just been playing. So of course I don't clean it up as they play. The whole house doesn't look like this. :)

And here he is, about to do one of his favorite things, which is get into his diaper drawer, and pull out all his cloth diapers. I can't tell you how many times a day I put those back in.

I thought for a second he might actually walk here. He was standing alone, looking like he was going to step towards me, but nope. He did his usual falling forward. This boy just refuses to walk!

Ethan in a cowboy hat

This was hilarious. Ethan put on the cowboy hat, so he couldn't see, and then would try to crawl around. He kept running into walls (as you can see), and then just kept on going.