Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tossed About

And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mark 4:39
My heart ached for my Mom, who is feeling the emotional and physical strain of caring for an aging parent. As I chatted on the phone with her, my mind searched for a word of encouragement. It came from one of my heroes and spiritual mothers, Amy Carmichael. Since we all experience seasons of stress that seem never-ending, I thought I'd share the passage, from the book Gold Cord: The Story of a Fellowship, with you dear readers.
The words actually come from a letter, written by Amy's dear friend and co-laborer Ponnamal. She wrote to Amy at a time, early in the Dohnavur Fellowship, when illness went through the nursery, killing babies daily and those ministering to them were weary in body and soul.
"All is windy about us now, but the wind will not last always. The waves beat into our little boat; but when the Lord says, 'Peace, be still,' they will lie down. Let all your prayer for us be that we may rest in the will of God while the wind lasts."

Monday, April 28, 2008

A's "Did Do" List

I may be only 3 1/2, but I had a busy day. Here's what I did:
- played "Great Adventures" with M.(9) and C. (11) in the playroom after breakfast
- watched "The Magic School Bus: Under Construction"
- inspired by MSB, built duplo "bridges"over the sinks in Mommy's bathroom
- ate a hot dog that went "into my neck and down to my tummy to make me grow!"
- played 2 games of Sorry with Mom ... I am such a good counter that I made it all the way around the board by the count of 12!
- played 2 games of Blokus with Mom - well, really we just tried to cover the board with the pieces, without leaving any holes
- said, "I'm tired" so Mommy tucked me in for rest time with my favorite book, Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A First and the End of an Era?

Ok, I have a few minutes while the kids do their math, so thought I could get out a quick post. I know I said I'd do a "chores" post, but that will take more time than I have for now. So stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, some random thoughts:

The First. We ate on our deck last night for the first time this season. This is one of my favorite things to do in the spring/summer. Not only does it make for a fun family dinner, but My Sweetie and I can linger at the table over a cup of coffee while the kids play in the yard. Last year I bought a small table and 6 chairs at a garden store for $125. They're not fancy, but it's the best $125 I've ever spent - we use them every day when the weather's pretty. I also found this cute centerpiece on clearance. It's so pretty at night, when votive candles on the inside glimmer through the stained "glass." Coffee, candles, dinners alfresco. Hidden Art. Good times.

The End of an Era. I think my days of children's consignment sales are over. For nearly 14 years I have been a seller in a children's sale at least once a year -sometimes twice. For various reasons, I missed the spring sale this year, after gathering all the clothes and toys together. My Sweetie suggested that, given the time and energy it takes me to iron and tag, not to mention the cost of supplies and the fees that go to the owners of the sale, I might do better just donating the items and taking the tax deduction. So I did! It took me all of 10 minutes to document and photograph the items and then I took them to Good*will. I sent them out with a prayer that others would be blessed by finding nice clothes for a bargain. What a relief! I may still shop the sales once in a while, but I think I've reached a season where my time can be better spent doing something other than an entire week of washing, ironing, and tagging!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Balance

I'm still here. I haven't forgotten my friends in the blogworld. I have just been doing some thinking...
It's not so much that life has me busy (though we do have a lot going on in the next couple of weeks) as much as it is I feel convicted about my computer time. My kids have made a couple of comments recently that made me realize how often they see me sitting at the computer. I love blogging - and plan to continue - but I need to scale back and show my family that they are the priority in my life.
Life is good and the Lord has been good to us. We got through a round of stomach flu that went through 4 of us. We had an amazing trip to the GA mtns this weekend for hiking, resting, enjoying one another's company. I'm just trying to figure out where blogging - and even email - fits into family life in a way that's productive and doesn't leave me mindlessly saying for the 5th time, "yes...honey...i'll be there in a minute..." (which inevitably turns into 10 minutes)

So bear with my while I find the balance between computer, family, school, church, and so on. Anyone else feeling this tension?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Abundant Sunshine

That's the way the weather channel described the forecast here yesterday. What a poetic choice of words for the weather channel, I thought to myself. An accurate forecast, to be sure - one we've enjoyed thoroughly. But the words themselves have taken residence in my mind, acting as a sort of muse, turning my thoughts to the Maker of the sunshine.

Abundant. A rich word. Generous. Bountiful. Copious. Substantial. The Maker has not only given us abundant light from the smallish star at the center of our solar system. He has given us Light in the form of His Son. Sonshine. Abundant Sonshine.

"In Him was life, and that life was the light of men." John 1:4
"The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us." Psalm 118:27a

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Excitement

The Next Thing house is a flurry of excitement and activity. As we were doing our morning chores, I looked out the kitchen window to see a small turquoise flash go between two trees. I looked closer and called out, "Kids! Quick! Indigo Bunting! Indigo Bunting!" We grabbed the binoculars and watched the little fellow tentatively approach our feeder and then retreat. I suppose the bossy cardinals intimidated him. I'll be keeping watch for his return. We are SO thrilled with this sighting. I've seen an indigo bunting at my mom's in Tennessee, but this is the first we've seen here. Oh, happy day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Overheard

"Ah! There's a DS game in the queso!" 13yo S making a discovery while getting his lunch. And you thought only cereal had prizes!
"Mom, can I have an apple? I need to grow!" 3yo A, who is disappointed when he doesn't see immediate results from said growing.
"When I get bigger, I will be a daddy. And when Daddy gets tiny, he will be my kid." A again - he's had growing up on the brain this week. Not yet, my boy, not yet. You're at such a fun age...

"Mama - ook!" 23 month old K's new phrase, repeated 100 times a day when she wants to show me something.
K's word: "elbow" translation: "Elmo"

"Mom, we're developing a strong relationship with A." 11yo C, with music to a mother's ears after months of encouraging grace and patience with a rambunctuous 3-year-old.

Go visit Not Before 7 for more Tiny Talk Tuesday.

Friday, April 11, 2008

100th Post - For My Mom

O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me,until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. --Psalm 71:17-18

Our denomination's 2006 Women's Conference adopted this verse as its theme, along with the slogan "Generation to Generation." I had the privilege of attending that conference with my Mother and little K, who was a nursing babe. We were a living example of that verse. I want to dedicate my 100th (sort of) post to my Mother and the spiritual legacy she has given me and is giving my children.

You see, Mom didn't grow up in a Christian home. Yes, she lived in the Bible belt and attended Sunday school as a child. Yes, her parents loved their children dearly. But her home was not a haven of God's grace; rather it was an unstable home where alcoholism and anger tainted even the happy times.

But the Lord had a beautiful plan for my Mom. She married my Dad while they were both in college - both still unbelievers. They bought a home and had three children. When the Lord's appointed time came, He shone the light of His Grace on their hearts and Mom and Dad both became Christians within six months of each other. I was eight years old.
Since that time they have endeavored to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They regularly took us to corporate worship, taught us God's Word, and helped us each grow in our faith as we became believers too. My Mom not only shared her faith with us, she shared herself, her time, her energy - she made our house a home and made our childhood fun. She set an example for me of how to be a good mother.
The coolest thing is that now my Mom is doing all that with the next generation. She now has 10 (almost 11) grandchildren who have an incredible blessing: a heritage of faith.
So, thank you, Lord, for the blessing that is my Mom! And thanks, Mom, for all your hard work raising four kids and for cherishing all your grandkids. I love you!