Monday, December 20, 2010

The homemade kind.........

They say necessity is the mother of invention. In the case of our past Christmas’s, lack of funds was usually the mother of invention, but for what we have because of it, I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world.

I have my tree up, something that takes me a couple of days to do, the assembly and lights one evening, and the decorations another day. I enjoy the entire process, but with two new members in our family this year, things that haven’t been noticed in years have been recognized and needed explanation. It made me realize the time that I have spent over the years, usually out of necessity, making our Christmas ornaments, and gifts.

I would see pictures in magazines of opulent Christmas trees covered in ornaments, and when we would get our tree each year, it always seemed so sparse in comparison. There wasn’t money to buy fancy ornaments, so I went the home made route with what else…..fabric. Handmade ornaments were purchased as flat pieces of fabric, cut out, sewn, stuffed, and stitched shut, and hung on the tree.
Other times it was with wood and paint.






These were all along with the ones made at church and school to take home to Mom and Dad.

When Audrey was 5 and Nic was 3, ready to turn 4 the Cabbage Patch Doll craze was on, of course Audrey wanted one, but as hard to come by as they were, and at $300 each there was no way. Once again fabric and kits came to the rescue. I remember staying up late after they were both in bed asleep making two “knock off” Cabbage Patch Dolls; a boy and a girl, Gilbert and Glory. They had complete wardrobes, the little girl doll even had a dress and pinafore that matched a dress and pinafore that I made for Audrey.

































Not to leave Nic out, each of the kids got a robe, made by me that year. Nic’s was a quilted plaid, with a roll collar and double breasted—he looked so cute, and Audrey’s was a flannel quilted one much like the one I had. Our home at the time was a big old drafty refurbished school house, so keeping everyone warm was a priority. Footy, blanket sleepers and quilted robes were just the ticket.

I've always made homemade baked goods to give to friends, and Roger always receives a full recipe of his Mothers Date Bars, all for himself—but he always shares.

When we were homeschooling the kids were right in the thick of it. We made cookies, candy, Chex Party mix, and homemade bread, filling plates and jars, and decorating the bags they were delivered to the neighbors in.

It was all a lot of fun. And the expression on peoples faces, especially those of my family when they received a “handmade” gift was never one of disappointment; they were always thrilled.

I still enjoy the process of Christmas, mostly because the process involves doing it all for someone else. After all--that is what it is about isn't it?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A tribute............

Stepping into the Light




After 18 years of battling the demon cancer Patty has left the battlefield to be with Jesus.

A warrior.

Through breast, and bone, to mind, her battle raged, yet her faith never failed. She breathed it, she lived it, she walked it, and she talked it.

In the midst of this particular battle, the enemy sought to divert her attention.

A helpmate suffering a stroke and living with scars and wounds of that battle, the enemy again trying to divert the attention of them both.

Marriages, divorces, births, deaths. Life went on, and she battled on through each one, growing weaker in flesh, but stronger in spirit. Her faith becoming as a bright light on the horizon growing ever brighter, ever stronger. She battled on.

The scripture that came to mind was the one where Paul tells the Philippians

22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.
25 Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith.


For the sake of family, loved ones, and friends she stayed and battled on.

She has not lost her battle, she has triumphed. She has won. She has stepped into the marvelous light; she is in the presence of her Savior, her God. She has come to a place of rest. Well deserved.

Rest dear friend, rest in the arms of Jesus.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful..............

November is the month of Thankfulness.
Thanksgiving Day is the day we focus on being thankful. I’ve noticed several people I know have “taken the thankfulness challenge” and have been posting something every day that they are thankful for. It’s been encouraging to see them taking the time to develop the vision for them to notice, and note said things.

My thankfulness encompasses much this year, but it isn’t really a list of things, it is for one thing in particular.

It is for a new perspective. Yes, I’m thankful that God has changed me. I have a new perspective. My eyes are seeing things I never saw before, my ears hear things that I never heard before. AND I can honestly say that the method and means by which he allowed this to come to pass was not of my choice or choosing, but it was by His design that it came and I was changed.

2009 was the year that will live in infamy in our family. Not for the bad or hard things that happened but for the good and wonderful things those bad and hard things brought about.

-Helplessness at realizing you don’t really have control—you just told yourself you did.

-Sorrow at the realization that you not only have failed God, but that you have failed others too.

-Embarrassment at people seeing maybe you weren’t what you thought, they thought, you were. (are you following me?)

-Brokenness at realizing that no matter how hard you try you will never measure up to God’s standards—that is why Jesus came.

I’ve never felt as helpless, sad, embarrassed, and broken as I have this past year.

And that is O.K.—good actually.

For out of the helplessness came a dependency on God that had never been there before. I actually find it easier to allow horrible news to come, realizing now that I have no control over the outcome, I just need to stay close to my Lord, hide in Him and let Him battle for me.

Out of the sorrow came a joy over the things that really do matter, not what you thought mattered. There is a shock at taking stock; of getting a different answer when you add things up. Realizing what really matters results in a different outcome. It’s a relief really, letting things go that were once important, and suddenly you can’t remember why.

Embarrassment brought a new level of humility. There is shame in exposure of our lives, our true and real sorrows. We try so hard to hide them. But there is freedom in failure too. Being brought to zero allows one to start over again, reevaluate, and hopefully not make those same mistakes again.

Brokenness yielded the true realization that God loves me for who I am, not who I think I am, or am trying to be, but for who I am—because THAT is who Jesus died for—me. There is nothing I can ever do to EARN God’s love, favor, or approval; nothing. Read it again. Nothing. Jesus has already done that. He has God’s love, favor and approval for what He did—for us. If we are IN Christ we are there, right along with Him, receiving God’s love, favor and approval. Think about it. What do you do with that knowledge?

I can say that I am truly thankful for this past year of so much being stripped away, so much truth being brought to the surface. Fire refines, growth happens in the valleys, sometimes you’ve got to tear things down to start again; great analogies but the truth none the less. We forget when we hear those analogies, however, that fire hurts, burns, and can even destroy—but leaves behind the valuable. Valley’s can be boggy, dark, wet, and frightening places. But all the growth, the fruit, is usually found there isn’t it. Demolition is messy, sometimes even dangerous, but it clears away the weak, decayed, rotten, and makes way for the new stronger, sounder sturcture.

Yes, I’m thankful; thankful for God who doesn’t give up on me.
I’m thankful for God, who when I tell Him I want to be more like HE wants me to be, starts working on my right away.

I am thankful that I was the thief who was forgiven much, and was reminded not to go out and beat someone who owes me little.

I am thankful that I am the woman caught in adultery that Christ forgave, and reminded to go and sin no more.

I am thankful that I am the lost lamb that Jesus left the 99 and 9 for to hunt me down and bring me back to the fold.

Yes! I am thankful………….

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thess. 5:18

Monday, November 8, 2010

My entertainment

There is no end to the entertainment at my house these days............




BECAUSE...................





(it says "I do all my own stunts")

Friday, October 22, 2010

Music from a tree

I was raised to appreciate all music.
Like most people there is some I like more than others, but my appreciation for the people that create it and perform it is endless.
THIS however is beyond anything I have or could ever imagine. However as I watched, I realized that this could very well be an example of how music first began.

Diego Stocco - Music From A Tree from Diego Stocco on Vimeo.


"The heavens declare the glory of God and the earth proclaims His handiwork!"
PS 19:1
"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
Luke 19:40
Not an unheard of concept after hearing this.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"I don't know....."


This past year has brought me to the end of myself in many ways.

I’m looking for some new beginnings, and am praying to get whatever God may have in store for me off to the right start.

You see, one of the things that I believe is that there is a lesson God wants us to learn in every situation and circumstance. As my sister said when she was going through cancer: “Let me get whatever your wanting me to get this time Lord, I don’t want to ever have to go through this again!”

I thought perhaps a list might be in order to help me collect my thoughts about who I am, what I believe, where I stand on certain issues (irrefutable issues i.e. God DOES exist, etc. etc.) (can you put the existence of God in with the etc.’s?!) I won’t list them all here. (collective whew!)

As I explained to someone, “I’ve never heard myself say ‘I don’t know?’ so much in so many situations and circumstances as I have in the past year. My ‘don’t know’s’ far and away exceed my ‘knows’.

I realized something the other day that was somewhat of a light bulb which served to expose the empty space that is now “I don’t know.”

I was standing in a group of friends the other day, and everyone was talking, and reminiscing about raising their children. As I listened to them drop pearls of wisdom on childrearing and upbringing of kids; pearls that I too had espoused to as I raised two kids, I realized that even though I had myself thought those very statements to be true and foolproof, I could no longer state them as a fail safe formula for raising kids.

Those in the crowd commented to my sister after I left that “Andrea was really quiet.” I found myself listening to conversations that I had been raised around and taken part in all my life, that now with the frame of reference I have, I see totally different.

I feel like those war veterans who have been in the thick of battle, and come home to a culture and environment that is completely unaware of what they have been through and how it has affected them; life has continued as normal for these folks, while your acclimating back into what is now, a somewhat unfamiliar environment. I spoke with a friend of mine the other day who is on the other side of a rather messy divorce, and she understood exactly what I meant.

Some would say my confidence is simply shaken, others would say the tried and true are still the best, but let me tell you—I don’t know. I no longer ‘know’ A LOT of things. Listening made me feel bad about myself. Why wasn’t I able to get the same results they did using the same methods? Because as I heard a father of eight children say once, “there are as many different ways to raise children as there are children.”

-Looking back, and mind you hind sight is ALWAYS 20/20, I felt bad about the fact that I wasn’t strong enough long ago to go with my instincts many times and raise my kids the way my heart told me to instead of the way everyone else told me to. For example: I no longer believe that you must “buck up” when life is hard. Sometimes it is o.k. to go to bed and eat a quart of ice cream, and sometimes it is o.k. to come home with your tail between your legs licking your wounds. Because sometimes it is necessary to take time to heal and regroup, so you’re stronger to go back into the battle.

-I have experienced that as much as you might think you know what you would do in a certain situation, when it happens, what you wind up doing may surprise you—and be the best thing after all.

-I will never again say to someone “I know how you feel”; because I don’t. Until you have walked in someone else’s shoes, you can’t even begin to imagine how they feel. And because of that, I can’t possibly begin to give anyone advice or suggestions as to how their situation should be handled and I certainly am in no position to criticize.

-Even as adults we never grow out of needing other people to come along side us and just love us, and offer a helping hand, and not say a word.

-Sometimes in the Christian community our expectations of others often mirror society and its expectations of us more than we realize. And that sometimes the Christian community can inflict wounds that hurt far worse than the worlds.

-I would rather laugh than cry, a really good laugh that massages the insides and leaves you breathless, and stops you in your tracks. I am making it a point to look for more of those all the time.

Because of some of these things and many others that I’ve experienced firsthand, I find myself moving very slowly these days. I feel like I’m starting all over in so many areas of my life that if I hurry like I did when I was 25, I’ll mess it up, or miss it altogether.

Perhaps that is why I have slowed down. I know when I am sick, sick enough to wind up in bed with a fever and sick as a dog, things being done around the house or in the office, or out in the yard, or at church, or anywhere else for that matter—simply don’t matter; and they are always there when I feel better. They wait for you.

You may be reading this and thinking, “I can’t believe she didn’t know that?” But let me say, there is a vast difference in “knowing” (or thinking you know) something, and experiencing it firsthand. Now when I hear the phrase, “There but for the Grace of God go I”, I feel it in my gut.

I still don’t know so many things, and I’m pretty sure that I never will know as much as I should, so the best thing I am learning is that when I don’t know, and I’m at the end of myself I do remember that God loves me. THAT I do know!

Artwork by Mike at One at a Time Products

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Rainbow


I don’t usually write about my husband on my blog.
Rog is a quiet person, and loathes attention of any kind, much less being “featured” on one of my blogs. However, he shared this story in Sunday school yesterday (a public forum, so to speak) so I am sharing it too.

We are reading the book Crazy Love in our Sunday school class, Rog is the “facilitator” (we don’t use the word teacher :)) and he shared a praise at the beginning of class when we share our prayer requests and praises.

The past few weeks the guys have been pouring A LOT of concrete. It can be a stressful thing, especially when you take into account weather complications.

The basement they have currently been working on has presented some problems and as Rog said himself, “I have been finding in the past weeks that I need to trust God more.”

As they prepared for the pour on Fri. morning, there was a 60% chance of showers. Now in some parts of the world, 60% isn’t a lot, however for Kansas in Aug. when they say 60% you sit up and pay attention. He did.

He prayed about it, and asked God to show him what to do perhaps a sign that he was with him in this decision. He went ahead and scheduled the pour for early in the morning. The trucks full of concrete arrived as the sun was coming up, and they poured the floor without incident. The clouds were around, and yes it looked like rain in the distance, it even sprinkled a little bit after they were done.

Roger shared that as he stood in the sprinkles he was aware that they had done the pour without rain, but had he really heard from God, or was he going on his own instincts. Did God really show him………..

At that moment as they dug out the cold drinks for a break, the sun came fully up over the eastern horizon, and in the west a perfect full rainbow appeared. One of the most perfect and fully formed rainbows that either of us could ever remember seeing.

He said that at that moment he knew that rainbow was his.

I have no doubt of it either, and as we looked at each other with tears in our eyes we both knew that God in his faithfulness had answered Rogers prayer.

(picture credit John Wise.com)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dancing in the mind fields...........

Forty years ago the 8th of Aug. my sister Alane and her husband Steve got married. It was 108 degrees in the shade..................and the air conditioner in the church wasn't working right. To this day, when people who haven't seen them in years do see them one of the first things they say is "Boy! Do I remember your wedding."

When I heard this song I thought of them
It's no small fete being married that long. It's hard work some days. But by God's grace it happens, and I think they will attest that the longer they are married, it truly is by God's Grace.

So this is for them, and Richard and Dorothy, and Anita and Cliff, and all the others of our siblings who have danced successfully for the past 40+ years.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gods plans

I have been reading the Old Testament again.

I’ve come to the part where David decided to take a census.

The exact phrasing is: “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census.”

Just before this, God had blessed David by establishing his kingdom and even making his promise that David’s line would reign forever.

Just when we think we’ve got it sewn up, Satan walks in.

Why would God “allow” Satan to provoke David to take a census?

When the wrath of God comes because David chose to do this, he gives David a choice (first and only time in scripture, man got to “choose” his punishment). David chooses to “fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercy is very great…..”

For three days Israel was plagued, literally, and Jerusalem was being destroyed when David went before God and reminded him that he, David, was the one that had ordered the census, not “these sheep”.

Thousands died due to one man’s sin, WHICH if we look at it the way the commentators do, was part of God’s plan all along!!

(Job lost all his children, and everything he owned—because God allowed Satan to cause trouble.)

WHY DOES HE DO THAT!!!???

Why does he allow Satan to tempt, lead astray, causing us to fall, maybe even destroying us?

Believe it or not, this is a small picture of God’s mercy toward mankind. A few thousands died in the three day period of punishment for David’s sin-----all of mankind would die for Adam’s sin.

*The sacrifice made that day on the threshing floor of Ornan, was in the exact spot where Abraham had planned to sacrifice Isaac, before God stopped him.

*It was a forerunner to the ultimate sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ for the sins of the entire world--it stayed God's hand.

*The location of the threshing floor which David paid a large price to purchase that day, and where he would continue to sacrifice later became the location of the temple mount; the spot where his son Solomon would build the great and magnificant Temple of God.

When I read this I have to believe and know that God knows what He is doing when sorrow, hardship, and heartache come. I have to believe that through examples like this He shows us His self control and, yes, His love – God plans ahead --- scripture reveals it.

If I keep all this in my heart and am mindful of this perspective (an eternal perspective) then I can find myself trusting Him more for the plans He has for us……

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

God has plans……………….

Saturday, July 17, 2010

From whence my help comes

In the past year I have found out that I can do things I never imagined myself doing; not just physically, but mentally and spiritually.

My sister in law asked how things were going the other day, and I told her they were good. She asked if I was still keeping Sam; my response, “everyday, all day”. She said she didn’t know how I did it, that it would wear her out and exhaust her, and when he starts crawling and walking it was going to be a real job.

Her comment made me realize what all I’ve encountered in the past year. That if I had known it was coming would have told you straight out, not only that it wouldn’t happen, but that I would have handled it completely different than I have. I realized that in the past year I’ve dealt with and done more things than I could have ever imagined myself doing and I have done them differently than I would have ever imagined. I have changed so much in the past year as to how I used to think and function to what I think and function at this moment, I can’t begin to list all the changes. Through it all there have been times of overwhelming grief, worry and exhaustion but on the flip side there has been such joy that it is unexplainable, and a sense of peace that can only come from God.
I know enough to know that none of it is over, simply because life will continue and go on, and the days aren’t written yet; except in God’s day timer, and He is the only one who sees that.

As I was relating the conversation to Audrey, I chuckled and said, “well, it will either get me in shape or kill me………either way, I win”

At that moment I thought of Caleb—yep, the one who went into the Promised Land with Joshua, the one who was there through the plaques in Egypt and the deliverance through the Red Sea, and went into the Promised Land as a spy with the others who came back and gave a bad report, sealing their own fate at never getting to enter that Promised Land again.

But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive, of the men who went to spy out the land

He was there and saw it all. He knew God was strong enough to bring them through the trials of Egypt, and he knew God would give them the Promised Land.

His comment, when he went to collect the land promised to him, has stuck with me.

“And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the LORD spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in."

In this battle that we continue to fight as we live on this earth, I think of Caleb; wholly committed to the Lord and receiving the strength to go on and forward to the Promised Land……………..Promised. God Promised………………I’m planning on going in, but first I have to fight some battles, continue in the war. I’m counting on God to give strength and longevity if that is what He has for me.

And Joshua blessed him; and he gave Hebron unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance…….. because he wholly followed Jehovah, the God of Israel…….And the land had rest from war.

As a friend of mine said once, “I can sleep when I’m dead.”

I’ll rest when God says it’s time.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Little helpers

Our kids have always been the kind to jump in and help.











Yep, nothin's changed :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

The smile that melts.........


I haven't seen this smile in many years. The one that melts your heart right into a puddle down to the floor.
I remember those smiles from tiny faces, and now they are back.
That smile that says, "I'm glad to see your face."
I find myself melting a lot these days.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Twilight series


For those on facebook who were willing to share openly with me about the Twilight series, I want to respond by saying thanks. I guess if I had an opportunity I'd tell each of you this story………

When I was in Jr. High or High school, maybe both, the extent of most of the excitement of summer vacation in the tiny town we lived in, besides completing the “to do list” that my mom left us every morning before leaving for work, was catching up on our daytime soap operas.

Alane had her favorites, and I had mine, Mother even had one that we watched when she came home to eat lunch. The way the world is going now the daytime soap is becoming obsolete; the three that we watched with any regularity are now off the air.

I don’t remember too much about them except they were typical soaps; drama, angst, betrayal, lying, social issues (especially in the 60’s you can bet), dark hidden secrets; they were all there.

One soap arrived on the scene during that time. It caught everyone’s attention because it had a twist to it that none of the others had. Look it up on Wikipedia and you will see what I mean.

Dark Shadows was a soap opera that started in the 60’s a true forerunner to the Twilight series, (the guy who came up with it even “had a dream”!) it was very gothic and dark, it featured vampires, werewolves, zombies, and all kinds of stuff that “regular” soap operas didn’t have.
I watched it……. religiously.
I was too young to see that every day in the brief lines of dialogue that were being said, nothing WAS actually being said.

I finally outgrew it or simply lost interest, realizing that like any other soap opera the people in it had issues either brought on by their own poor choices, or it just wasn’t realistic; and it was, to put it simply, a waste of my time. However, for a period I was anxious to see what would become of Barnabus Collins, and the governess Vickie Winters. I was smitten by the dashing Quentin with the mutton side burns.

I say all this to tell everyone who is up in arms about the Twilight series, and I know some of you feel very strongly about this kind of stuff, that like the book of Ecclesiastes says “there is nothing new under the sun.” It is just old stuff packaged and resold in a new wrapping.

I am not, however, letting you who are caught up in it off the hook either. Be careful what you fill your head with. It’s easy to get caught up in stuff that is of no value, God knows our world is so full of it already. Also, don’t think the younger generation isn’t watching you; they are, and might not have the discernment to know when to lay it down and walk away, or turn it off which can lead them into other stuff that they and you might later regret.

And for every dime you spend on it----someone is putting it in their pocket.

and…………

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." Phil 4:8-9

and THAT, my dear dear friends, is a promise we all can take to the bank!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

To remember........


His body from the top of his head to the curve if his little bottom are the length of my forearm. He rests there now, so relaxed I can hear him breathing but feel no movement.

His eye lashes rest on his cheeks, and there is a little drop of droll coming from the corner of his mouth.

Skin so soft, nothing compares; to think, someday those, the softest of cheeks, will grow whiskers, the upper lip a mustache.

These are the moments that stop me in my tracks, this chance to sit here and hold this little piece of heaven.

Today as I rocked him after the bottle, with a full tummy and grinning from ear to ear I prayed for God to always let me remember these days, to always see this little face in my mind’s eye when it does have whiskers and maybe a mustache.

Oh, to remember……..

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Good Mother


One of the last conversations my Mother and I had was when she was lying on the hospital gurney after falling and breaking her leg.
She had decided to discontinue dialysis, as the logistics of continuing within the confines to the Dr’s protocol just seemed too much to bear; moving her to Wichita, being in bed all day, not to mention recovering from a surgery she might not survive, and possibly having a stroke through it. It just made it seem an unnecessary continuance of what seemed to her an already complicated existence. She was 88 years old, had been on dialysis for three and a half years, and was weary of it all. Once the decision was made, the realization that her life would end was finally the reality she had been preparing for.

As she looked at me through tear filled eyes, her comment to me was “I just want to know that I’ve been a good Mother.”

I found myself grasping for words. My mother would now begin the process of “actively dying”, as hospice puts it, what could I say that would put her mind at ease, allow her to slip peacefully and rested into the next stage of her journey?

I remember telling her some things, comforting things, all the things I thought she would want to hear. Cutting her the break that I thought she needed to hear, that we girls all knew and understood that she had done the best she knew how, that we loved her, and were proud of her, that she was and had been in her own way, with-out-a-doubt, one of the best Mom’s around. I don’t really remember too much about the conversation, I knew it was important to put her mind at ease, to comfort her, I didn’t want to screw it up. Apparently, I said and did the right stuff because she took a deep breath, hugged me, gave me a kiss, and launched into directions on what color lipstick she wanted put on her after she was gone—“not that bright red stuff!”

Her question has stayed with me though. Isn’t that the question that every mother asks herself thousands of times in her life of raising children? Even after they are grown and making families of their own, and become mothers themselves; you still ask yourself, “Have I been a good Mother?"

Over the past year, I’ve felt quite confident that I was NOT a good mother. After all don’t we gauge our success as mothers on our children’s behavior, the choices they make, and the way they “turn out”? When they make mistakes, and poor choices don’t we assume that somewhere along the line WE messed up?

Have I been a good mother?

Sure. In some ways, like my own mother, I’ve been the best I knew how. Within the confines of my knowledge and experience I was the best Mother I knew how to be. I did what I thought was the right thing to do by my children. Don’t most Mothers’?

In other ways, I’ve messed up royally. I’ve said the wrong things at the wrong times, I’ve let them down when I should have lifted them up. I’ve doubted when I should have had confidence. I was there when I shouldn’t have been, and vice-versa. In some ways, mothering is a crap shoot, there are so many variables in the mix, success or failure are never guaranteed. Even God, the first parent, has had kids that if behavior and choices reflected on the parents, let’s just say, didn’t reflect well on Him.

Let’s face it we judge by performance, our performance, our kids’ performance, and our neighbors’ performance. And like any performance, when someone does well, we cheer and hoot, and when they get up there and forget the lines, and screw up the scene, we cringe for them, and sometimes giggle and laugh, (especially when they are little), but we still judge the performance. Did they know their lines? Were they prepared?

Mothering isn’t a performance. The lines haven’t been written, and let’s face it, can you ever prepare?

I’ve thought about my Mothers statement over and over again during the last year. She would have probably cut me a huge break over the events that have taken place in my family this past year. Don’t get me wrong, she would have struggled with it, but it seems that in her last days, she was still wondering about this Mothering thing; just how to do it, trying to find the definitive answer to the “getting it right” question. Her question has given me hope, because I’m thinking that if at 88 years of age she still didn’t know if she had gotten it right, I’m pretty sure I don’t know either. I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Avatar.....only a movie.

Well we finally saw IT!!

The movie that I think that has received the most hype this year so far.

AVATAR!


Was I impressed? Well……………..

I want to preface this “review” with a disclaimer that Roger and I watch A LOT of movies. We don’t get television, so we watch movies through Netflix

And lets also just say that in the book of Ecclesiastes where it says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Yeah, there isn’t.

So when I watched Avatar expecting all new, all exciting, I was to say the least disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the special effects were beautiful, and fun to see, the colors brilliant, and I’m sure on the big screen in 3-D………WOW!!!. As I told Audrey, “Can you imagine sitting in an IMAX theatre and watching that!?” If that was what he was going for then I’m quite sure he accomplished it; in spades.

I remember the first time I watched Jurassic Park, by the end of the movie I had to sit there and remind myself, that those dinosaurs were not real, and that there never was such a thing as a Velociraptor. THOSE were some awesome special effects, and made me forget for a moment that somewhere in the world those things didn’t still exist.

When I saw the Matrix for the first time I was blown away by the special affects and marveled at the explanation on the DVD after the movie just exactly how they did it. Both of those movies were considered ground breaking in special effects. Avatar was not; at least not to me.

I felt like I was watching a really intricate carton, with reality scenes sprinkled throughout. It never did remotely resemble anything that I could get caught up in to the point that I’d forget it was “just a movie”. And as far as the story line went? Can you say Dances with Wolfs meets Fern Gully and the Matrix?

The story line reminded us of the Native Americans being driven out of their home in Dances with Wolfs, and only a few having the insight into the mistake of it all.

The tree, Mother Earth, and Nature as God, possessing healing powers to restore and redeem reminded me of Fern Gully the carton that came out when the kids were little that promoted the saving of the Rain Forests, right down to the bulldozers plowing in and destroying the forest.

Many of the special effects, i.e. the man driven robots were straight out of the Matrix, and the whole chase scenes in the forest reminded me of……….wait for it………..Star Wars.
It was an old story told a new way. James Cameron had a message that he wanted to get out there, and put new bells and whistles on it to see if it would be heard (or sell).

It wasn’t that I disliked it; I’d probably watch it again, just to get to see some of those special effects again, but as far as toting it as the best movie of the year? Nope, can’t do it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gods Self Control


We have been studying The Covenant in our small group at church. We have also been going through the series That the World May Know in our Sunday school class. Both of which take you into the covenant making practice of the days of Abraham and before.

As I read about the covenant, and am brought full face for the need for it I am reminded of the Control that Our God practices in the encounters throughout scripture with sin and its author Satan.

The reading of scripture reveals a powerful God, and awesome God. He is the one who parts the sea with the blast of His nostrils, the one who makes the Sun stand still, who stores the hail in warehouses, who delivers with a small company or an innumerable host, who hurls the stars and galaxies into their place. His powers are unimaginable. The best in special effects won’t capture them.


Yet……..

That same God did not step in when Eve and Adam believed the serpent. God this Holy, Magnificent, Almighty, and All Powerful creator of the universe who could have conquered Satan right then, right there and stopped all this, the thievery of the soul of man--allowed it. He stood back and allowed it to happen for the sake of those He loved………..us. He had a better plan, a better way.

He could have dealt with Satan when he was tempting Him in the desert after those 40 days and nights. He could have conquered him in the garden of Gethsemane instead of sweating great drops of blood and asking to be delivered from what lay ahead of Him, but He didn’t. He controlled His strength and rage, and anger with compassion, and mercy and love.
He remained silent when He could have silenced.
He was led so that He could lead.
When I read of God and the coming of Christ, I realize AGAIN that the staying of God’s hand for all this time has been for us, for our sake.

His self-control is almost more awesome than His power when you consider what He DOESN’T do—but could.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Announcing!!!!

Samuel Bruce Cerretti born on April 9th, weighing in at 8 lbs. and 13 oz. and 20.5 inches long. Whew!! He his finally here.......what a relief, and what a joy!



Monday, March 29, 2010

......but I’ve never been more thankful for the hope of Eternity. I’ve never been more certain of its usefulness to the peacefulness of my heart today.
--Felicity White--

Thank you Felicity.........thank you.http://www.felicitywhite.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Getting to the bottom of it............

March is almost over, and April is right around the corner and with it the anticipated birth of our first grandchild-a boy.

We are beginning to realize there is going to be a new member in our family activities. As I helped Missy unpack the boxes of washed baby clothes, with socks so tiny two of my fingers barely fit, I realized that the bassinet set up in the corner of the room was really going to have a tiny little boy tucked in there in just a few more weeks.

I can honestly say I’m getting excited and looking forward to getting to meet this, the newest member of our family.

So many questions run through my mind, not so much about what he will look like, but what he will be like. Will he have Nic’s sense of humor? Will he laugh easily like Missy? Will he be soft hearted like them both? Will he love animals? Will he like to be outdoors? These are the things I thought of as I put tiny little diapers in the dresser, and folded the receiving blankets. As I put a load of items in the washer to wash so they too could be added to the prepared items, I looked at all the little Oshkosh overalls, one in every size from birth to 2 years. I remember my Dad loved to wear overalls; so do I. Will he be comfortable in them too? Will he want to be in the shop with his Grandpa and Dad? Will he be skilled in woodworking, and carpentry, or will his mind run to numbers like his mothers? So many questions. As Tom Hanks tells his son in Sleepless in Seattle in regard to getting to know the woman he is dating at the time—“These are things I am willing to try to get to the bottom of.”

I’m not into crosswords, or really puzzles of any kind, but I can’t think of the last time I was this excited to be meeting someone for the first time; especially someone who isn’t going to even be able to talk to me! But the mystery of getting to know this new little person is going to be one puzzle I’m not going to mind “getting to the bottom of.”

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Why?

I find myself asking "Why?" a lot to this situation I find myself in.

Why would these things be happening?

Why is this happening to US?

WHY? WHY? WHY?


Job ask why too and God never told him.He answered his questions with questions and basically told Job--"It's not ABOUT you!"

I wonder how Job felt when he finally walked through the gates of heaven and saw the replay of his life. Found out that because of his blameless and upright life, and because he feared God, God had basically allowed Satan to reek havoc in his life?

Do you suppose he felt embarrased and ashamed of his behaviour during it all? Was he feeling a little sheepish at his own wailing and knashing of teeth?

The old story of the tapestry woven by the great weaver comes to mind. We only see a small part and it looks dark and ugly, till He turns it over, and we are awed by the beauty of the entire picture, and the way the dark colors set off the lighter ones. Together they make a beautiful picture.

We don't see the whole picture. Generations down the road, when we're no longer even here and maybe even forgotten, the "glory of God" will be revealed and it will all make sense.

In the mean time I've got friends, some like Job, who in their well meaning will offer advice and insight into what they know nothing about.

But I will seek God and continue to look to Him and Who HE is, and pray that His will, and His way will come to work in our lives through this situation. I will look to the blessing of my God for who He is and worship and praise Him!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Stages

I was reminded of something the other day as we were working on the kids house. It is coming along. It should be ready for them to move into sometime next week if all goes as planned. We are going through stages right now.

When I was a little girl Mother used to tell a story of how when my dad would express exhasperation with some of the things we kids were doing, my grandmother Horack (his Mother) would say, "Oh, it's just a stage they are going through." to which he would respond, "Yes, from one stage to another stage, to another stage........."

Nic's house project is being done "in stages". Main level first, get moved in, then work on the upstairs.

Roger and I have our own stages. The stage of going from empty nesters to not empty nesters back to being empty nesters to becoming grandparents and all the stages that will entail.

Missy has her own stage and all the perks of that lovely stage known as the third trimester. Fluid retention, stretch marks, weariness, and just feeling heavy.

Life IS a series of stages, Grandma Horack was right. My Dad learned, and I'm learning too, that it IS "one stage after another stage after another stage....."

Monday, February 15, 2010

tears in a bottle

You have recorded my troubles.
You have kept a list of my tears.
Aren't they in your records? ~Ps. 56:8


For our God does not primarily catalogue the endless stream of sins. He is God, not a tabloid informant out for dirt, for the flame sensationalist ugly. I forget this. And there are unspoken parts of me that think He makes no records at all but forgets me, the blind, deaf and dumb God.

But I touch the paper where He's left the trail of His heart. He is love, the tender Physician God who keeps tab of the every ache, a doting Father who soul-fissures when His child cries, the God who keeps the ledgers of every pain, every scrape, every brimming, falling, searing tear.

God does not slumber for He cannot cease to bear testimony to our hurt.

God keeps a list.

It's the wildest Love that drives the Father to record His child's every lament. We never ache without God attending, and He can't stand to see a tear fall to the floor. God cups our grief and "puts our tears in His bottle" (Ps. 56:8).








Today is recorded in the heavens and its pains are written with the wet of tears of God who "hurts with the hurt of my people." (Jeremiah 8:21)

credit to Anne Voskamp at http://www.aholyexperience.com

Friday, February 5, 2010

an update

It isn't about the weather--which is perfectly BORING!! Still snowing, still foggy, overcast, grey, and cold.

This post is about life--what is happening here.



It's time to update.


Nic has moved home (back to Emporia)--brought his girl--and their soon to be born little boy--yet unnamed.

Ups and downs, ins and outs, it's been a rollercoaster ride which Roger and I are wondering if we will survive.

Things are out of order, chaos reigns, and life is VERY real right now. All the routine, and regularity of our orderly life has pretty much flown out the window.

HOWEVER! In the midst of it all that, the still small voice of God is continueing to guide and comfort.

It is like spotlights are shown on moments that will stand out in your mind and memory for the rest of your life.

Life is changing so fast and furious around here I feel I can hardly keep up. It is hard I'll admit it, but we are taking each day as it comes. Working together to prepare ourselves for a new "normal", what ever THAT is!

......will keep you posted.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Coincidence?..........naaa!


It’s about 11:30 at night, Roger and I have just finished watching the last disc of “The Mentalist” that we rented from Netflix. We don’t usually stay up this late, but it is going to be bitter cold tomorrow the roads and our drive have pretty much re-drifted shut, so, what the hey; we decide to do the marathon thing and finish the season, and call it good.

As we each throw back our perspective fleece blankets that we have been snuggled under and get to our feet and head upstairs, I notice the air in the house feels anything but warm.
Rog heads for the shower while I let the dog out for one last time, and turn off lights, etc. “The air in here feels really cool.” I think to myself, as I hear the shower running. I let the dog in, put her in her crate, and turn off the lights heading for the bedroom. I decide to just check the thermostat and see exactly what the air temp in the house is, surmising that because it is -10 outside with winds out of the NW making the wind chill well below 0 maybe it just can’t keep up??!?! The thermostat is set at 69 degrees, so why is the house ONLY 60 DEGREES!!!!! This is NOT a good night to have the furnace go out!

I go into the bathroom and ask Rog why the thermostat is set at 69, but the house is only 60; why would that be? He says he isn’t sure and keeps showering. As I head back to look again, just to make sure I saw correctly, I hear him say in a rather elevated tone, “AH-OH!! I know what it is! Look outside and see if the exhaust for the furnace is buried under a snowdrift?” I don’t have to look because I already know the answer. It is!!

So that is why at 11:45 at night I donned my coveralls, boots, and fleece, hat, scarf, and gloves and grabbed the snow shovel and headed out into the dark. I began to dig. It didn’t take long to find a large hole under the snow surrounding the exhaust pipe for the furnace, but the snow bank kept caving in about as fast as I dug it out. I kept digging. Almost immediately the furnace kicked on, and the exhaust began pouring out of the pipe and the hole I was making. I looked up just as Rog, in his coveralls, hoodie, and gloves came out the back door.

It was well after midnight by the time we got back in the house and the furnace was running. By the time I got into my jammies, and was ready to crawl into bed, it was 62 degrees in the house. I asked Rog what made him think of that; the exhaust being covered? He related an incident a few years back (that I had forgotten) where a new house that he had built, that the folks only used as a vacation get away, had the same thing happen. The exhause pipes got buried in snow,the furnace eventually shut down, and the house got so cold the water pipes froze and broke, flooding the house, ruining the wood floors, and just about everything else.

As soon as he finished the story we looked at each other realizing the bullet we had dodged. While we were in Phoenix over Christmas and “the blizzard of ‘09” blew through, and the snow had blown and drifted, how easily it could have drifted over that pipe while we were gone, shutting down our furnace, causing the pipes to freeze and break, with us coming home to a HUGE mess.

But it didn’t happen. It happened when we WERE home, and stayed up later than we EVER do. It happened that I DID check the thermostat before going to bed, instead of just going to bed.

I don’t believe in coincidence. Roger and I both know that we were so blessed to have been home, checked the thermostat and knew what to do. Our furnace reset itself, and is running fine.

I’m more thankful for a nice warm house today than I think I ever have been before!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fun in the Snow

Lily LOOOOVVVVEEESS to play in the snow........who am I kidding, she just loves to play! First we explored a little bit while I filled the bird feeders in anticipation of tomorrows threatened sub-zero temps and wind. BBBRRRRR!!!!

Then we played frizbee

Then we realized her mouth and nose were getting cold, so we took one last shot and came inside :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!!!


I'm thankful for the end of 2009 and the beginning of a 2010. Here's wishing all of you a wonderful and happy New Year!