Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Recent Revelations

It's so easy to lose sight of gratitude. What a simple thing yet so powerful. It's like forgiveness. I truly believe that to forgive is a supernatural act. Ever wonder why the Bible lists "forgiving sins" along with all the other supernatural things Jesus did on earth (i.e. heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons...). Forgiveness unlocks the door to freedom from bondage!

Ok, rabbit trail...back to gratitude. Yes, it too is a powerful practice that can transform our lives! Brian and I have realized recently how easily we can allow our thoughts to be consumed with our 'needs'. There is a reason why the scripture says "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God." And, as a result, "the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7) Hmmm. Wow! Good word, eh? We hear about the "present your request part" and separately we hear about the peace of God passing our understanding, but we need to put it all together WITH THANKSGIVING! Sounds like a sure fire formula to me.

So here are a couple take home thoughts:
- No matter what seed I've sown, the poverty mentality can keep me from receiving the harvest I'm due.
- As long as I see myself as 'needy', I will always be 'needy' no matter what provision comes my way!

Thanksgiving, here I come!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Moments to Remember

I came down the steps to find Jonah, my four year old, curled up sideways in the recliner, with his 3 year old brother, Timothy. They were covered in a blanket (By Jonah's doing) and Jonah was "reading" a book to his brother, "The Legend of the Three Trees." Here was the interaction we heard:
Jonah says "...and God dies on the cross. The free trees is about love. Beeee........end."
Timothy: "Oh, dank-u Calah."


Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Choices

I recently watched the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" (yes, I watched a movie with the word 'devil' in it....gasp!). The main plot of the movie, as I see it, was about a young woman who gets 'forced' into a lifestyle through circumstances about which she claims she had no choice. She had no choice. Hmm. The phrase "I have no choice" is really a lame excuse. We ALWAYS have a choice. "But what if it means I'll lose my job?" It's still a choice. "What if someone is holding a gun to my head?" It's still a choice. Rather dramatic, I know. But isn't choice what Jesus died for?
*disclaimer: this post is referencing able bodied and mentally capable adults as opposed to children or those physically restrained against their will*

I've had many conversations lately with friends about this subject. Choices. Priorities. Control. The Lord has convicted me of late regarding my choice of words in relation to our finances. It's easy to say, "I can't afford that." But the reality is, whatever "that" is, has just not become a priority in our budget, right? Now, I am in no way attempting to minimize the very real needs that exist in our lives. Believe me. It's just that the word is the word. God promises to provide for our needs according to His riches. Our needs, His riches. Maybe that's where I miss the boat.

Anyway, one conversation with a friend was her venting about how 'Lucy' can say she can't afford a new kitchen when my friend knows how much money 'Lucy' makes. Had that thought before? I sure have! Here are a few principals I've been trying to keep in mind as I come face to face with the consequences of my choices:
1. Keep my eyes on my own paper. Only God knows our hearts.
2. We reap what we sow. There's no getting around it. Time, money, resources. The amount we give away has direct influence over what we receive (but has no bearing on how much we are loved!). I have no idea the seed that has been sown by those around me.
3. It's all a matter of priority. What is most important to me is where I will invest my resources.
4. I do not have an infinite supply. When I give to one thing (not just financially), I am withholding from something else simply because I am not God.
5. I have no idea the measure of debt others carry to fulfill their priorities.
6. The world evolves around money and time. God does not.

Now, about that new house, Lord....:-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

7 Important Minutes

Check out this link for a perspective change in your day. I think I could use a reminder like this everyday! This is the reality I want my kids to grow up in....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When I Fell In Love

Recently I was posed with the challenge of sharing a story of the Lord's love that would bless and encourage others to fall in love with Him all over again. It was honestly hard for me to come up with something that happened recently.

However, that thought led me to another, as it usually happens. "When was it that I fell in love with Jesus?" Looking back over my life, I honestly can't not remember a day without knowing Jesus and being in relationship with Him. Sure, that relationship has grown immensely over the years. And I've always known He loved me and I professed my love in return. But now I know, I was not truly head over heels in love with Him. I was performing a duty as every good Christian did. Along with my profession of "love" came my faithful acts of scripture memorization, church attendance, moral living and repentance of sin (every night as I lay in bed lest "I should die before I wake...")

The truth about when I truly allowed my heart to be one with His and let His affections for me draw me into the sweetness of His presence, came as a surprise to me. I'm not even sure why, but it was when I married my love and quickly thereafter started having children. That was the true beginning of my love story with Jesus. It's really rather ironic since that was the start of the season of having the least amount of time for "devotions" and "duties" as I had become dependent on and familiar with. Maybe it's because those years of popping out babies every 18 months absolutely stripped me of any unknowing attempts at works based relationship. All past efforts of perfectionism didn't have a prayer in this new season of nursing, diapers, sleepless nights, newly-wedded bliss, meals, laundry, dirty house, etc. Now how Jesus got through to me and allowed me to fall in love is still a mystery. Perhaps it was while I prayed in the spirit over a sick child while trying to stay awake, or the tears I cried in worship because it was the only way I could express my desperate desire for a drink from His well, or the moments I was "left behind" to nurse a baby while everyone else rode the hayride or went on a hike.

Truly He is always near to me. Truly His love for me has nothing to do with what I do for Him or give to Him. Truly I love Him only because He first loved me. And, truly, only He knows my heart and my deepest longing for more of Him.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Once again, I have gotten to a place where there are about a dozen different topics floating around in my brain to blog about. Hats off to you faithful, regular bloggers out there!!!

I once heard it said "Discontentment is the seed of divorce." It makes sense. What do we do when we are not content with something? We find a way to satisfy the lack. And often times in marriage, that leads to wandering eyes, thoughts, desires, etc. all while "happily" married.

Not long ago, it occurred to me that this can apply to many areas of our lives. I thought of this in regards to my own wrestling with this pregnancy and the Lord's plans for our family, etc. During a recent sermon I heard, the challenge was put forth: "How many times does the Lord show us our promised land, our inheritance, and then we choose to settle for something else instead due to our discontentment with the 'plan'?" He was referencing a couple of the tribes of Israel that, instead of occupying the promised land on the West side of the Jordan, chose to settle on the eastern shore. After all, it made sense! They had cattle and the land was lush and prime to raising their herds. It was easy for them. It was not an unknown. It wasn't long before the land they were promised and supposed to occupy was overcome by their enemies. Their inheritance, promised by the Lord was stolen by the enemy. Hmmmm.

In that moment of hearing this story, I felt the Lord speak to my heart: "The land I've chosen for your inheritance is larger than what you thought." So this big family thing, this land of many children, is still larger than I realized. AUGH! That's another whole rabbit trail of thoughts....

So now I realize, if I allow discontentment to fester in my heart towards the Lord and His plan, I could easily end up divorcing myself from His promised land, His inheritance for me and the generations to come! I could allow myself to get distracted by this persons calling or that persons destiny. I could even get distracted by what is to come in other seasons of my own life. As difficult as it may be to settle this promised land that He is offering me now, I can only imagine the rewards that are awaiting us. After all, what could be better than the inheritance of the Lord!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Mama said...

...there'd be days like this. There'd be days like this my mama said. mama said, mama said!" My, how many days this song goes through my head.....

Today was such a day. The following are two excerpts from "boil over" e-mails to a couple of friends:

Oh, I know you already are....but I could still really use some prayer regarding our house situation. I've been fighting not getting down about it. If I had more energy and felt better, it would do me good to get some little pre-moving projects done. At least I would feel like I was moving in that direction. It's been forever since I've even really cleaned the house, let alone projects. Oh well. Such is life right now. Jesus hasn't forgotten us. I know that. It's coming. I just have to keep telling myself even though there is no reason to believe it in the natural. That's faith though, right? The evidence of things not seen....

I did make it out to Kohls for a bit today and bought the sweetest little newborn layette set. I think I will hang it in my room to keep me smiling. I've also figured out that if I get rid of my night stand, I could fit a tiny bassinet next to my bed. I'd just have to find a place for a lamp and to set my glasses and clock.

(The question posed upon hearing our baby news was "Looks like you may need more space?")
Yes, more space. What a challenge at times to believe the Lord for His "above and beyond what we can ask or imagine" while being faced with so many opportunities to "settle" for something that works. Most people don't understand why we would hold out when we could make something work. Sometimes the dreams and desires He puts in our hearts just can't be explained to others. I held out for the man of my dreams and got even more than I'd hoped for. We held out, believing through 4 deliveries that I would go into labor on my own, but it didn't happen until the 5th one! BUT, it DID happen. We have too many other stories of the Lord's faithful provision to give up now. One thing is for sure, I don't want to miss the Lord's best because I lost my patience and lost hope.

Anyway, there's a bit of venting :-) We have so much to be grateful for...our family, our health, JESUS, laughter, our home, our food.......the list could go on and on. When it all boils down, without HIM, we truly have nothing. So grateful for Jesus!

Truly it amazes me to think, on a day like today, what would I do without the hope of Jesus? On a day when all I want to do is cry, eat chocolate and sleep, what would be my reason for thinking tomorrow would be better? What reason would I have for kicking myself in the butt for whining and telling myself to get a reality check? The reason is: THIS IS NOT MY REALITY! The supernatural, the things unseen, that's my reality. That's where life truly lies. How hard it is to "live" in that when you can't see it. I envy the "seers" out there. How comforting it would be to walk into my tiny house and see it packed out with angels. Or to have taken my pregnancy test and immediately gotten a thumbs up, visually, from Jesus himself. One more thing to hope for.....eyes to see.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I did a foolish thing last night. After doing some after-bedtime grocery shopping in preparation for making applesauce today, I slowly made my way over to the coffee shop at Wegmans to treat myself to a decaf. latte. After coming home and unpacking, I began my pursuit to clear off the dining room table which required organization of some of last year's school stuff(it's a long story). Anyway, about 9:30 or so, I started to feel a second wind coming on. I knew I should really be dragging worse than I was at the store. Suddenly it dawned on me....I forgot to ask for decaf!!!!! Augh! I am pretty caffeine sensitive. So I just decided to cash in on this quiet time to get some things done. After working on our business for awhile, organizing the school papers and doing a few other misc. tasks, I decided to at least try to lay down and sleep. By now it was past 11pm. So I laid there and, you guessed it, I wrote another post in my head. But to my surprise, I did fall asleep relatively quickly. Now I'm up too early with the boys so here's my was that for an intro?

Let me preface all that is to come by saying that my children are WONDERFUL. They are amazingly, powerful little creations who really make parenting a joy....most of the time, well, lately it's more like just a lot of the time. There seems to be an infiltration of disrespect and dishonor in our house lately. Hmm, just had a thought, is this possibly due to our influence as parents? Have Brian and I been more unloving lately? I'll have to talk to Jesus about that thought....later.

Anyway, this disrespect has played itself out in the form of yelling, nasty talk, dirty looks and just general meanness. It has truly thrown me for a loop since my children have never shown this type of behavior with such intensity and frequency. It's primarily the girls, although the boys are picking up on bits and pieces. But the girls are aiming this ugliness towards each other and us, their parents! Now, in the past, we would have come down with the hammer to attempt to control this behavior. You know, fear tactics, "do this or else...", bullying methods, etc. But since we have learned that truly we cannot control our children (nor should we try), it has taken our parenting to a whole new level of challenge.

In the moment of conflict (or sometimes a bit later to let the steam subside), we help them identity the "mess" they have made with whomever the victim is in the moment. They have learned that when they can recognize the mess, it is their responsibility to "clean it up", with sincerity. This has been a pretty effective approach (thanks, Danny Silk). It helps them identify disconnected relationship and causes them to evaluate why disconnection is not cool. They are learning to choose love.....hopefully. However, lately it seems that these incidences are so frequent and recurring, I wonder if they are really having a heart change...

Anyway, I realized in bed last night, I suppose it is much better for them to learn to choose the way of love, honor and respect at this age than to try to control them as toddlers/children only to have them realize as pre-teens that truly they cannot be controlled. By that point, time would not be on our side for building true, covenant relationship and teaching the value of choosing love.

But, man, this has not been fun. Being pregnant (thus hormonal and exhausted much of the time) has not been helpful to me in having grace for their immaturity. Truly, if God can see us in our immaturity and not count it as rebellion, than I need to have the same perspective of my children. It's sure been a challenge for me to have that kind of understanding love. Yet I know it's that love that will win their affections for life! My heart is hurt. I feel disrespected, unappreciated and undefended. I have found myself being on the defensive much of the time. Lately, it is even hard to just be with the girls at times. Just being honest. It wears on me.

I love my children deeply. They are each so unique, so special. They make me laugh. They teach me sooo much about Jesus and the kingdom! The Lord has such great things in store for them in the years to come as well as today! Jesus, give me grace to love them right in this place of immaturity knowing that you constantly show me that same love and grace. I wouldn't trade this calling for anything!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Crash Landing and Other Things

Well, four of the five kiddos started school last week. So hard to believe....Grace is in 3rd, Elizabeth in 2nd, Seraphina started 1st and sweet little Jonah ventured into Pre-K for 3 mornings a week.

I always have high hopes of being fully prepared for school in plenty of time. This includes having the children's bodies acclimated to getting up early. Well, this pregnancy has all but kicked my butt this first trimester so my best laid plans.....yes, foiled again! It was a rough week last week. Everyone got up fine, even made it out the door early. But by the time they came home, we were all serious grumps. I couldn't get dinner on the table. Brian got called home early a couple days to a war zone. And the house, well, at least it's been sanitary....mostly. That's about it. I like to say, we crash landed into this school year.

So here we are in the middle of a long holiday weekend! Yay! A much needed opportunity to catch our breath and hope for a better week. I just got up from a nap. After I woke up I just laid there thinking about the half dozen blog posts I've written in my head over the past weeks. It's frustrating when you feel like you can't take time for the things that matter. For me, logging my thoughts really matters. It's a way of taking care of myself even if no one else ever reads them.

It seems like lately I'm always abandoning my amazing husband to either take a nap, lay on the couch 'cause I'm too sick for anything else, get something to eat, or use the bathroom facilities for one thing or another. Even now, I humbly requested that I retreat to the basement (where our computer resides) to get some thoughts out of my cluttered brain. He's cooking dinner (apple oatmeal).

Speaking of apples, this morning we made time to take an annual trip to Paulus Orchard for some apples. Last year we canned 80 quarts of mostly applesauce and some apple butter. It makes me chuckle to think about the ways I've morphed into a central PA girl. Born and raised in the D.C. area, I was clueless what my college roommate was lining her shelves with our freshman year. Turns out it was pickled veggies, applesauce, peaches and pears among other things. So why do they call it 'canning' when it's really jars that display the final product? Whatever. All I know is that our applesauce give Motts a run for it's money!!!

This year's trip to the orchard was highlighted with the treat of an apple cider donut, freshly made this morning! Yummers! What a gorgeous day to spend some family time gathering apples and munching on goodies! These are the days when it is easier to say "Yeah. I'm a pretty good mom, taking time to build memories with my beautiful children." Most days, I wonder if I will even remember these "happy blur of survival" days...sigh...So glad Jesus sees things differently and doesn't judge us based on our trips to the orchard or the library for that matter (it took me about 5 years to even have the courage - or energy - to step foot into a library with my kids).

Well, 12 weeks prego tomorrow. I Look like I'm about 20 weeks. But why do I care? Probably because I feel chronically tired and hormonal and I'm actually ready to look cute prego and not chubby. Oh, yeah, muffin tops are beautiful. Who said that anyway?

I must admit, I am VERY thankful to Jesus that I have felt well enough to be able to resume running 3 times a week. I have a rare opportunity 3 days a week to bond with my almost 3-year-old, Timothy. As the other four walk out the back door for school, he says "wait, wait! I go gool too!" So, instead, we load up the jogging stroller that was given to me and go for a run. Well, truth be told, I've only run with it twice because the alignment is so bad, my shoulder and arms were hurting just from trying to keep it going straight. So we will walk for now until I can get my super mechanical father-in-law to take a look at the stroller. At least I can still get out, and with only one kiddo! He is so fun, but truly isn't sure what to do without his partner in crime, Jonah, around to keep him busy.

Wow. I'm feeling a bit lighter now. At least in the head. So much to be thankful for. So much humanity to negotiate. So grateful for Grace and unconditional Love!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Last weekend I had an opportunity to help a dear friend serve as an exhibitor at the national MOPS convention. I was pretty nervous about the trip since this pregnancy has been harder so far than any of the others. Sickness and exhaustion have kept me on the couch more than not the past several weeks. The Lord was faithful to hear the prayers of those interceding for me and I held up remarkably well!

You see, my friend LT, owns this amazing company called Union 28 . She designs and sells apparel promoting a healthy, positive image of marriage to the world. Wow. The anointing on this company and this woman is truly something worth noting. LT warned me that we would be swamped with women the whole convention. Boy was she right. Other vendors would come over just to see why so many ladies were constantly crowded around our table! I, gratefully, got to sit and run the credit card machine most of the time. It gave me a great perspective to just watch and learn a few things:

1. There are women, lots of them, in the world who are proud of their husbands and proud to be married! In our society where marriage in constantly degraded and covenants are easily broken, it was so refreshing to see hundreds and hundreds of women excited about this opportunity to honor their husbands!
2. There are VERY few women out there (meaning, of the 2200 that I was able to observe at the convention), who do not bear the signs of having birthed children. Everyone longs to be beautiful, whether they admit it or not. God put the longing in each of us. This weekend, I got a new perspective of just how beautiful muffin tops can be! It is the sign of life being born. It is the mark of sacrifice. So what if I have a road map on my belly, a saggy belly button, and a tummy that droops like the jowls of a hound dog among other baby "tatoos". I have 5 absolutely amazing eternal beings that are going to rock this world for Jesus! Muffin top.....I have the rest of my life to burn that off.
3. It pays, literally, to be debt free. LT shared with me that one of the reasons, she believes, her company has done so well is because she has never been in debt with it. She has only ever grown the business with the money that she had. This has freed her up to generously give and bless others with her products. And, of course, we know that one cannot give with a pure heart without reaping a harvest!

So, here's to marriage, baby remnants, and living debt free! Thanks, LT, for the opportunity to serve you and get my head out of the kiddie sand to see the "world" from a different perspective!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Hero

One of the definitions of "hero" is: an object of extreme admiration and devotion. Hmm. Yep. Sounds like my baby, my honey, my best hero, Brian. Today is his birthday and boy am I sure glad he was born 35 years ago!!

Truly, I never imagined I could be blessed so with a man like him. Sure, I hoped and prayed for the man of my dreams. But, truth be told, I wondered if he was really "out there". And if he was, how would he find me?

After meeting Brian, over 11 years ago, the more words that came out of his mouth, the more impressed I became with him, with his heart. Brian is the type of man who is often mistaken because of his quiet ways. His occasional blunt statements are sometimes seen as opinionated and unloving. Those who know him best, know that this is far from the truth. He just happens to be real. Ha! Go figure! As one friend fondly describes Brian: "still waters run deep". How true this is! He is very thoughtful, prayerful, wise and committed. He is a man full of integrity, loyalty and passion for the Lord and for the things that He has planted in Brian's heart. He can be brought to tears at the sight of people receiving love from the Father. Then you just might find him splitting the sides of those around him with his antics.

My life is so much richer, lighter, joyful and satisfying with Brian as my partner. So today, I celebrate, Brian, my hero and pray that the windows of heaven be opened up to him in this next year of life. And that the blessings of the Lord would be poured out in such intense measure, he cannot contain it! I love you Bri!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

After Shocks

Truly, sharing our news with others has been one of the greatest sources of excitement for us as we continue to process and shift gears. We are so grateful for all the positive responses (yes, we have, in the past, experienced not so thrilled responses to pregnancy news) about our "shocking" news. Thank you for all the phone calls, e-mails, etc. from those of you who are sharing in our joy! I have to admit, however, I have noticed a good bit of shock coming from those around us as well. In past years, people would come up to me and say, "Isn't it about time for you to be pregnant again?" I suppose the 2 1/2 year gap from Timothy's birth until now is pretty notable for the Pontius family.

So now we will go from an average 18 month gap between each child, to a 3 1/2 year gap between the last two! The girls hope I am having twins so that they will have each other as playmates. Somehow, I don't think entertainment will be hard to come by for this little one. I have already "warned" the girls that they WILL be doing diapers and bottles. They are thrilled at the prospect. Seraphina even told me "It's not faiwr, mom. You get to spend the whole time in the hospital with the baby and we have to go home after we visit!" Then she asked, "Can we sleep with the baby sometime?" She, obviously, wasn't old enough to realize the implications of having a newborn in the house when Timothy was born. This is also the daughter who recently told me how she "weely, weely wanted a baby because they are so little and cute and stuff". She continued by saying "I just wish time would huwwy up and go by" (so she can have her own babies).

On a slightly different topic, I am pleased to report that Jonah is now officially potty-trained! I don't even have to ask him! AND he is almost always dry during the night and naptime. Only one accident in underwear to report, even. Ahhh. What a huge relief! Our new goal is to be diaper free by Christmas (Timothy should be easier to train). Only to buy up more stock in Luvs come April.

Monday, July 26, 2010


We took the kiddos out to Rita's and decided to share our exciting news with them there. They were all sitting on a bench and I asked,
"Do you think there is room on that bench for one more kid?"
"Well, sure mom!" was the reply as they started scooting their tiny bottoms over to make room. "Uh, why?"
"Is there room for one more Pontius kid?", I kept prying.
"Whaat, do you mean?" came the slow, thoughful response.

I watched as Grace's faced turned cherry red and her eyes welled up with tears. She got it. Then the squeals let loose. Grace's first verbal response was, "What about the van!?" Elizabeth said, "Wait a minute, how did this happen? Grace again, "Is this a dream?" Elizabeth blurts out, "We need a bigger house, like NOW!" Jonah, meanwhile, is shuffling along, doing his usual boy things, seemingly totally disconnected from the news at hand. The girls make sure he gets it. "Mommy is having a baby, Jonah!" In standard 4 year old boy fashion, he answers, "Well, sure!"

As we finally make our way to the van, we see an SUV parked next to us with 2 grandparent-aged couples inside eating their ice cream. Jonah walks right up to the passenger side door and knocks on it. The woman rolls down her window and says hello. Jonah says, very matter-of-factly, "Hey. I have to tell you something. My mommy is havng a baby." Brian and I look at each other is shock. He actually was listening!

The next morning, the big news was the first thing on the girls' minds. Seraphina says to me, "I know I keep telling you this mommy, but I am weely, weely, WEELY excited that you awre having another baby!" Grace starts getting worried about our small house and how we are going to fit another baby in the house and where are we going to get another van since we have no more empty seats in ours now. I stop her in her tracks and assure her that Jesus always takes care of us! "You're right, Mom. Man, people who don't know Jesus have trouble on their hands!" HA! I love it!

One thing is for sure, Jesus is going to get really famous-"er" in our corner of the world in the next 8 months! Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Just keep getting richer...

Well, we had the surprise of our lives (so far) over a week ago. I took a pregnancy test to confirm that I, indeed, was NOT pregnant, only to discover that I actually was. Every form of prevention has at least a 1% chance of "surprise". Someone has to be that 1%, right? Well, we are freaking out, and blessed, to be counted among that small percentage.

Truth be told, we really were planning to be "done" with birthing children. Our hopes were to consider adoption once we finally moved into a bigger house. After all, we already brought 5 beautiful children into the world. Its time to take care of the babies that are already in the world and need parents. Right? I guess "not yet" would be the answer to that. It's truly amazing how EVERYTHING changes in one moment. Some people, after hearing our news, have said things like, "God knew you needed one more!" Hmmm. That and comments of the like have stirred up even more processing. Supposing that the implication is that God made me pregnant with a plan in mind (which I realize was not necessarily the intent), I'm not sure I agree. My Daddy doesn't make me pregnant just like He doesn't make me sick or make me give money away. My favorite revelation of late: "He is in charge, but He is not in control." When sperm meets egg at just the right time, a baby is made. An amazingly creative God set this thing into motion way before I was a thought in my parents' minds. He knew Pontius #6 was coming and He has an unfathomable plan to love on and love through this new, powerful, little life.

It's obvious to us that Brian and I are one seriously fertile couple. Why can't we share this fertility with the thousands of couples who would be delighted with even just one baby!? I don't know. Probably never will. But for now, we are truly thrilled beyond measure. Shocked still, but thrilled. The idea is sinking in more and more. There are so many implications surrounding this news that we cannot even begin to wrap our minds around. I'm so grateful to finally have an opportunity to process some of this in writing. There is much more to come as each day goes by.

Another little Pontius face to imagine, another baby to name after what Daddy is already calling him, more "firsts" to anticipate, having a baby in this new season of life with older Be it unto me......thanks, Jesus.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Why I'm rich...

Here is the picture my therapist was looking at when she made her comment.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

You know it's time when...

...your 4 year old can put on his own diapers....and is proud of it!!! It's TIME to get this boy potty trained!

I must report, however, that he has been successfully using the potty to pee for over 24 hours now. This, my friends, is progress worth noting. On the flip side, his skin (which has been wracked with eczema since infancy) is flaring up again, probably due to the stress of potty training. Augh!

Now my 2 year old is ready to get trained from watching brother. He even wants to try and stand. Holding himself, with his knees slightly bent, he looks up at me and says "Is comin, mommy. Oh, is seepin. shhh." Upon my urging to wake up his pee pee, he looks down at his "package" and shouts, "way up!! Is not way up, mommy!?" Maybe next time. glad these are children numbers 4 and 5 I'm dealing with in this situation. I'm getting many more laughs and joy out of the process than I would have with number 1, 2 or even 3!

I rest assured that neither will graduate high school wearing diapers. We must be grateful for the simple things in this journey. :-)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Impressive reasoning....

While walking through the parking lot of Wegmans, Jonah (my 4 year old) sees a gentleman in a pink polo shirt. Jonah remarks very matter-of-factly, " That man used to be a mommy with a pink shirt but now he is a daddy." I couldn't help but laugh aloud....for quite awhile. It's so amazing what these little ones observe and reason in their small world. Nature vs. nurture, eh?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Growin' Up

I think it is really hitting me for the first time, just how "grown up" my girls are becoming. It probably helps that I'm not distracted by an infant, but I am really noticing some dramatic changes is so many ways: their physical appearance and growth, their mature conversations and deep questions, their thoughtfulness and instinctive care-taking for their brothers. their growing skills of negotiating the natural bumps in the roads of relationships (especially with their sisters!).....the list seems endless.

Many times over the years, older, more experienced moms would look at me and my little ducklings and often comment, "Hang in there. It won't be this way forever. They will grow up before you know it!" I held on to those words through sleep deprivation, sickness, melt-downs, potty messes, endless meals, etc. There was certainly joy that was felt during those years, but, honestly, it was all sort of a blur.....a happy blur of survival. HA! I like that phrase if I do say so myself. Listen to me, I sound like I'm out of this stage of life.....not quite, but the season is changing a bit and I'm enjoying the changes!

Now it's summertime and I get to have all 5 kiddos home with me everyday! I LOVE IT! I know there are many moms who dread the summer for this reason. But, honestly, I'm so grateful to Jesus for my family. Life is surely not a bowl of cherries (or chocolate, which would be my preference:-) But I still wouldn't trade it for anything! My physical therapist looked at a picture of my family and I at the beach recently and said "You are rich!" Ah. Yes. So true! All thanks goes to my Daddy! I'd be poor without Him!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


When a man puts his physical seed into a woman, he creates a responsibility for himself for which he may or may not have planned. This, in my opinion, is not fathering in the truest sense of the word. True fathers are investors but in a philanthropic sort of way. They lay down their life for those under their care, with no regard or consideration of a return. It is solely for the betterment of his "children" and, ultimately, eternity. True fathering has nothing to do with a physical seed. It is the spiritual seed, the planting of all he has into the soil of a young, tender garden. It is a choice to initiate demonstrative honor towards those younger than him, physically, spiritually or both. Fathering is a flat out sacrifice of all that one has. The Father of all fathers set the standard when he turned his Son over to death and hell for the investment of eternal life this act would provide for the rest of His kids. Wow.

I have interacted with a few dads lately who speak with regret of the physical lives they have helped to bring into this world. One man even said, "if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't have had children." Ouch! That hurt my heart. I can't even imagine the Father's perspective. Children, physical or not, are not a commodity. They are not to be seen as a source of selfish gain or pleasure. Children are a vault of limitless wealth, waiting for a father to come along, with keys of honor and selflessness and unlock the treasure.

Today, I honor all fathers who have and continue to plant seeds of life and eternal value into their children, biological or not. May your supply of love, compassion, mercy and grace be endless as you daily lay down your life for others. And may the pleasure and love of The Father overtake you as you fix your gaze on Him, your source for all that you need.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Private Office"

Our house is about 100 years old and has beautiful character - hardwood floors, chestnut trim around every window and doorway, wooden pillars and banister. We are also grateful for the full walk-up attic with a wood floor. It has been GREAT storage space over the years for my dozens of rubbermaid bins. We considered finishing the space to make another livable room, but the roof pitch is too steep and we have already had too many near concussions while "visiting" the attic.

Recently, I have been "cleaning house" and getting rid of LOTS of un-needed "stuff". It has felt SO good to simplify life a bit (although a simple life is never possible with 5 little ones around). Needless to say, some space has been created in the attic, where the roof is high enough for 4-footers and we decided (per my dad's idea) to put a small desk for each of the girls up there. My kids share EVERYTHING, including underwear. They've tried to create their own "space", but when there is a shortage of that already, it all tends to bleed together. Plus, little brothers like to infringe on space and possessions not belonging to them. Little brothers aren't allowed in the attic.

Wow. I never would have guessed the measure of delight this new "girls only" space has brought to them! Now, remember, it is an attic and does get sweltering on hot days. We've already had to tell them (as we observed their bright pink cheeks and sweaty heads) on occassion that they must come down because it is too hot. Grace posted a sign on the door "Girls Private Office". They are up there as I write, creating cards for Father's Day while the boys nap, one of them occupying the girls' bedroom (yes, they even share beds). Their own desk and chair, complete with their own drawers and storage......I'm so happy for them!

Now, if I could only find a place for my own private office.... I'd even take a private bathroom at this point in life....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Classic Quotes

Word got out to the kiddos "Mommy's making dessert tonight!" Obviously this is a rarity. Seraphina, who might as well be named "sugar", runs into the kitchen:
Seraphina: "What awre you making for dessewrt?"
Me: Strawberry shortcake
S: "You awre making a giwrl for dessert?"
Wow. I really must not make dessert often if she doesn't even know that the poofy hatted brunette doll is not the originator of the name "Strawberry Shortcake."

While munching on cereal for breakfast a few mornings ago, Jonah came out with this question:
Jonah: "What does supper taste like?"
Me: "You mean 'supper', like 'dinner'?"
Jonah: "Yeah, what does it taste like?"
Me: "'Supper' is another way to say' dinner'."
Jonah: " what does it taste like?"

Yesterday I picked up our CSA veggie box at the host site in Mechanicsburg. They pile up the boxes in the garage of the host for us locals to pick up. Usually we just go in on our own time, check our name off the list in the notebook, pick up our designated box and leave. Well, yesterday there was a little boy, about 9-10 years old, in the garage eager to guide me through the process. Here is the conversation that ensued:
Me: "Are you the helper today?"
Boy: "I'm my mother's son!"
Me: "Oh! Well, yes, I guess you are!"
As I chuckled, a couple walked into the garage to pick up their box. He greeted them with the same statement: "I'm my mother's son!" We looked at each other and all 3 of us got a good chuckle out of his remark. Either he thought we knew who his mother was, or he was pretty proud of who his mother is or maybe both. Regardless, I thought it was a rather profound statement reflecting his perspective of his identity. Now if only I was content to be recognized solely as "my Daddy's daughter"....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Random thoughts

**Well, after some deliberation and a 4 year break, I'm back on the worship team at church. Jesus was stirring my heart with a recent recording I helped with, a re-visit to some prophetic words I've received and many "random" thoughts. The reason I took such a long break was to maintain my sanity with my family by simplifying our schedule. My babies are more important! Recently, the phrase kept coming across my brain "this would be good for the kids". Interestingly enough, I knew Jesus wasn't telling me to start on the team again, here was the conversation (Jesus' side): "Hey, I know you are passionate about this. I put that in you. I love to see you enjoying the gifts I've given you and exalting Me with them. If you want to jump back in, this is a time when it would be good for the kids and not detrimental...." So, you mean to tell me that Jesus wants me to do things that bring me pleasure? AND He gives me a choice? ABSOLUTELY! That's what true covenant love is all about!

**Ever wonder why May is such a busy month!? I'm certain that they save as many school activities as possible for the last month of school. Field day, parties, summer blast off, awards ceremonies, graduation, etc. The weather gets nice and, of course, the garden has to get planted so we can have veggies ASAP. Oh, and the flowers, yes those need to get in the ground too. The grass comes out of hibernation and creates a jungle where the kiddos can get lost if they so choose. And while were at it, let's throw in a 5 day trip to Colorado taken by my husband for work. Why is it so darn hard to pull on the reins and slow down this Clydesdale!

** True confessions: Doing bedtime alone with 5 kids, after a looonnng day and sleep deprivation, is not too fun. So the other night, my patience was GONE and I pulled out the mommy bully - because it works! (at least in getting the desired actions). So, out the window Danny Silk, sorry but I'll find you again in the morning. Spanked one, yelled at a couple others, mumbled some half hearted "I love you"s and closed the doors. Augh. Don't like that. So grateful for new mercies in the morning and forgetful children.

**Things that make me smile: my 2 year old sitting here next to me, watching a worship video and singing his little heart out to Jesus! watering the flowers on a summer evening after the little ones are in bed; waking up and realizing I can wear my jammies all day because I don't have to go anywhere! listening to the mature processing of an 8 year old (going on 28:); looking at the recent face-lift of my bathroom; driving down the road with my family, all of us singing to the Lord at the top of our lungs; looking back over the past year and realizing the new place of maturity He has loved me into; making music; "growing" butterflies from a larvae state with my children; a morning cup of coffee - that is calling me even now.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Another excerpt from Mike Bickle's "The Seven Longings Of The Human Heart:"
While I am not against entertainment, I am gravely concerned about the primacy of place it takes in our society. As we increase our intake of earthly entertainment we dull our capacity to be fascinated by God. It's not that we don't want to see God, we just can't find Him among the barrage of information to which we're exposing ourselves. One does not have to be a spiritual giant to recognize the long-term implications of gorging on earthly entertainment while neglecting and dulling our ability to be fascinated with God Himself. It would be hard to find many in the Body of Christ who feel positive about the entertainment culture in which we live.
Pages 47-48 from the chapter "The Longing for Fascination"

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It has begun...

On Thursday, Grace came home from school and pulled me away from my grocery sorting to talk to me. She explained a situation that had happened at school (side note: she and her sisters attend a Christian school): During lunch, somehow the conversation led to an opportunity for her to share with a friend that Jesus took her to heaven in a dream. This friend then began spreading the word among her classmates. As one could imagine, this created quite the stir among these 2nd graders. Most mocked her and said that she was lying. "You can't just go to heaven and then come back again!" A few chose to stand by her and take her at her word. While relaying to me this story, she expressed how she was hurt by all the ridicule. Wow....honestly, I wasn't prepared for this conversation. We talked about unbelief and various levels of relationship with Jesus. But that He loves us all just the same. I validated her feelings and she assured me that she had already forgiven her friends. Then I encouraged her to take some time and let Jesus love on her and heal her heart. I still need to revisit this conversation with some new thoughts to share with her...

Weeks before this, Elizabeth told me of another situation at school. She told her teacher at school, "Jesus told my mommy that I am going to raise the dead when I grow up." Elizabeth's perspective was that this teacher was skeptical. I know this teacher pretty well, however, and tend to think my daughter was mis-reading her. Anyway, a little while after this, Elizabeth told me in the car on the way home from school that in Bible they learned about the story of Peter raising the little girl from the dead. Apparently her teacher looked at Elizabeth and smiled as she was teaching this. She said that her teacher told the class that only certain people can raise the dead. At this point, Grace, who was also in the car with us, very gently and matter-of-fact said "That's not true. Anyone can raise the dead. They just need Jesus' power." That's my girl!!! I'm not sure if some of the details of this situation at school might be a bit "off". Elizabeth's teacher is a gem and I've learned that, at this point in her young life, Elizabeth often perceives situations through a lens of insecurity and rejection. Still working on that...

Anyway, I've realized that my children are already being faced with opportunities to discern and defeat spirits of religion and legalism. It really doesn't matter what type of school they attend, there will always be opportunities to pull down strongholds in the heavenly realm! Jesus, HELP! Give us wisdom as we raise these warriors!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"I Miss You"

This morning I had a long overdue opportunity: 15 minutes of a quiet, empty house quickly filled with my heart song to Jesus. I got to sit at the piano and love on my best friend! This used to be a more regular occurrence but hasn't happened until even before my shoulder surgery.

I just sang to Him all the things I love about Him. Any eavesdropper would have thought I was a love sick girl singing to her lover. They would have been correct. Ahh, it was so refreshing to my soul and spirit to be with Him. And then something happened. I stopped playing the piano and quieted my voice and heard Him whisper "I miss you". "I miss you too," I immediately responded. Here's the significance to this interaction: This was the first time that I could hear Him express His longing for me without putting even the tiniest bit of shame or guilt on myself. I truly could feel His enjoyment of me alongside of His longing for me. What I felt can hardly be put into words. This is my life. I'm doing my best. He knows my heart and my unwavering love for Him. I don't have to prove it to Him or anyone else. He's crazy about me, regardless!

Let Him love on you today!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Poo-Poo Sticks!

The potty training saga continues. I've been trying to put Jonah on the potty before naptime so that he doesn't poop in the midst of it and then never go to sleep. Not to mention the simple fact that 4 year old poops are NASTY!

So today, I put him on the potty and go downstairs. About 10 minutes goes by and I hear the shriek "My pee-pees comes down!" Good job buddy! His sister quickly rewards him with a Mike & Ike. I give him the choice to either go to bed for nap or put poo-poo in the potty. He chooses the latter. Oh, I guess it's also important to note that I bribed him with a half eaten chocolate bunny if he fulfills the mission. That's enough to keep him on that potty for a LONG time. So long, in fact, that he had to take 2 breaks from the potty so that other family members could use the bathroom, one of them being his sister Seraphina. Jonah stands by as she demonstrates how to put poo-poo in the potty. As he peers into the potty he suddenly cries out, "sticks!" Seraphina proceeds to explain to him that he can have sticks too if he puts his poo-poo in the potty. It then occurs to me that the only shape he has seen poop is either a formless mass or the shape of inverted hiney cheeks. C'mon, moms and dads, you know what I'm talking about!

Jonah climbs back on the potty, this time I deliver the "Text and Learn" for him to play with while he waits. After cleaning up the kitchen a bit, I start my 10th ascent in an hour (at least it seemed like that many!) to the bathroom. As I begin my climb, I hear Jonah exclaim, "Poo-poo sticks!!!!" Sure enough, mission accomplished. He was so excited he was bouncing around the bathroom with only a t-shirt on his lanky body. In my attempt to make it an experience that would lead to many others, I asked him if he felt it coming and then just decided to push it out. "Yes!", he said, "and I pushed really hard!"

Needless to say, the bunny has been consumed by a very proud 4 year old boy!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Bunder

Entry from Monday, the husband finally came home tonight:
My hat's off to all single moms. Tonight my husband helped me get half the kids to bed before heading off to Virginia where he will be taking a class for work.

So, of course, on one of the very rare nights that I have the kids alone overnight, there has to be a thunderstorm. Overall, my kids do really well and really don't battle much fear. Most of them still need convincing, however, when a big thunderstorm rolls in. Grace, who was trying to fall asleep in my bed, found me on the computer in the basement, tears rolling down her panicked face. I led her up to bed as she cried "I'm worried about daddy on the road!" I reassured her of Jesus' love and presence and that worry is really fear and needs to be dealt with using the power and authority of Jesus.

Then I checked on the boys who were loudly carrying on in their room, still trying to get settled for sleep. Jonah, who is 4, asked me, "Is that bunder mom?" "Yes, that's thunder", I replied with a chuckle. "Open the window, mom, so I can see the bunder." I patiently explained to him that you can't see thunder, only hear it. "Will the bunder be there in the morning?" Ah. So cute. Then suddenly he realized daddy is gone. "You better make sure daddy doesn't get scared of the bunder, mom!" I assured him that I would call and check on daddy.

My 2 year old who was pleading "Holeju, holeju" (interpreted, "hold you" - he wants me to pick him up). I put my arms around him as we listened to the thunder. I said, "That's thunder, isn't it neat?" He responded in a quiet, wimpering voice, "Yeah, meat!"

Thankfully, two of the five children made it into slumber land before the storm came through. And now, all is quiet on the home front. I better get ready for the morning rush since my beloved is not here to take care of his usual lunch packing, breakfast making, coffee serving, child corralling tasks. Whew, I'm weary just thinking about it all AND reminded of what an amazing man I have married!

Clean cleaning

My wonderful husband got the kids motivated this morning to clean the house! Grace was excited to mop the floors, only to discover that our bucket had a crack in it. Thankfully I was on my way to the grocery store anyway.

So I got to Giant and ventured down the cleaning aisle, the aisle that I always pass by and mumble a quick thanks to Jesus for Shaklee. I found my bucket as I glanced at the wide variety of chemicals and toxins available to "clean" house. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but not so much when "bliss" fills your lungs with yucks. So here is my little plug to anyone reading this post. Please consider looking at the ingredients and warning labels on the cleaning supplies under your sink or elsewhere. Whether you have children or not, you owe it to yourself to replace those toxins with just as effective, but safe cleaning products! You can find some of my favorites here. But even vinegar and water is a good choice (although I must say, someone did the math and Basic H2 is still cheaper!!! LOVE IT!). Or some more costly choices for "clean" cleaning can be found in that same aisle at Giant.

Well, having said that, happy clean cleaning!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Race for Education....Lessons for Life

Today was the kids' "Race for Education" at their school. The purpose is to raise money for the school's needs (i.e. last year they were able to purchase a much needed school bus for the school). The children get sponsors and then have an hour to run as many laps as possible. I love watching the little ones. All three of my girls were in the the Pre-K through 2nd grade time slot from 9-10am. Just imagine a pack of kids, no taller than 4 feet-ish, at the starting line, ready to sprint.....for an hour. Yes, that is an absolute contradiction, but such a good workout, none-the-less. You see, family and friends are encouraged to attend to cheer on their students as well as participate in the run. Last year, it was possibly the most intense workout of my year aside from my half-marathon. which doesn't really say much considering I'm a mom of 5 little ones and barely eek-ed out 3 runs a week to train for the half. Anyway, sprinting for 3/4 of a lap and then walking for 1/4 lap over and over for an hour gives me something to sweat about. I decided to try to run with them again this year despite my recovering shoulder. It worked out pretty well but I must say that my seven year old, Elizabeth, kicked my butt! She's an amazing athlete!

Which brings up my deeper thought and challenge.....encouraging the God-given abilities in our children while reinforcing that their true identity and security is found only in Jesus. Heck, I can't even get it figured out for my own life most of the time. Praise and encouragement gives us a sense of being appreciated and valued. But, truly, allowing our value to be determined by our measure of success or giftedness or talent only keeps us on a fruitless cycle of expectation and disappointment. In my own life, I've recently thrown up my hands (again) and said "Jesus, I don't know how you're gonna do this, but PLEASE help me find my security and identity ONLY in You!" And even more recently, I've done the same on behalf of my sweet little Elizabeth....sigh...I'll have to post on her later. Let's just say that we now have a little game we play:
ME: Hope, why are you good?
HOPE: Because Jesus made me that way.
ME: Can you do anything to be more good?
ME: Can you do anything to be less good?

Game over.....until next time...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Can anyone identify?

A friend recently passed along this blog post:

What To Do When You Want To Give Up and Stay In Bed

I cannot tell you how many times I have had these exact same thoughts waking up in the morning. Usually I voice them to my husband as "I don't want to be a mom today"...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spiritual Immaturity

Here are some thoughts to chew on from Mike Bickle's book, "The Seven Longings of the Human Heart":

"Many people assume that each time they stumble in spiritual immaturity, God reacts as though they are in rebellion. This is not the truth. There is a vast difference between rebellion and spiritual immaturity...A spiritually immature person is sincere in their intent to obey the Lord and is frustrated by their own immaturity. While outwardly or to the undiscerning eye they may appear rebellious, inwardly they are very different. The spiritually immature believer continues to declare war on their failures and set their heart and soul against them, which in turn builds and creates in them the maturity that they lack. God actually enjoys them while they are still struggling in their immaturity and growing into maturity." Pg 32

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Selfless Act

As I was trying to fall asleep a couple of nights ago, my thoughts somehow lead me to my dad and his health. I began to reflect on how both of my parents work hard at taking care of their physical bodies through exercise, rest, supplements and eating healthy. Gratitude filled my heart as I thought about how their care would impact our future! What a gift it is not only to me, but to my children AND grandchildren! I still have memories of my great-grandmother and how healthy she was until the day she passed away. Herein lies yet another way we can lay down our lives for our children and all those we love.

When I was in high school, I had a conversation with a friend who didn't see the value of buckling his seatbelt. I remember telling him, if you can't love yourself enough to buckle your seatbelt, at least love the rest of us enough to do it!

So with that being said, take a walk or go for a run!. And, could you do a mile or two for me while my shoulder recovers!? :-)

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Just a quick shoulder update:
Surgery went well on the 17th. Have NOT liked the heavy pain meds, so I re-wrote my medication plan resulting in a clearer head and a bit more pain.

However, everyday the pain is a little less and my mobility a little more. It's the little things that gage my progress. While I still can't brush my teeth with my right hand, I can barely get my eyeliner on using my right hand, but only on the bottom eyelid. Most of the time I can use both hands to pull my pants up, although it takes a good bit longer than normal. Still no diaper changing or picking up my babies.....missing that the most, I'd say. But I have been mastering the skill of eating with my left hand, washing my hair with my left hand and a bit of writing with my left hand, all of which I am told, will sharpen my mind. I would have rather kept it on the dull side or mastered another skill instead. Oh, well.

Thanks goes out for all the meals, prayers, cards, calls, etc. I have been overwhelmed with love and support!


It sure doesn't take much, these days, for one's MO ("mode of operation") to become outdated. As you can tell, from the bland visuals of my blog, I don't invest much time in the bells and whistles of technology. But, boy, are there some great tools out there! My problem? Making time to learn how to use them!

Yes, I am one of the few left in the U.S. who searches out the 35mm film for out old, faithful Minolta camera. We purchased this camera shortly after we were married. Yet, still, without fail, after snapping a few pics of the kiddos, one of them asks "can I see it?" as they crane their neck around in search of an lcd to receive their instant gratification. My husband has been trying to talk me into getting a digital camera for a couple years now. I stubbornly argue that it has taken me years to find a manageable rythmn of memory keeping via photo: my camera dates the picture, I get the generic prints from Target with a digital cd, the photos get into an album in a [usually] timely manner and, voila, my kids have a collection of albums to pull of the shelf and take a stroll down memory lane. The thought of adding extra steps into that process is enough to cause me to dig my heels least for now. Maybe once the youngest 2 kiddos get potty-trained, then I will consider re-writing my rythmn.

Priorities.....sigh.....all about seasons.....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Striving to Rest

Today is the day of surgery. As I continue to hold out for a miraculous healing, I'm reflecting on all that I've learned so far on this journey.

It has been amazing to observe my own spirit and soul and to find myself striving for healing. How does one do that exactly? I'm not really sure, but I know I am! I know that there are spiritual laws that we live and breathe by, many of which are likely still undiscovered. Also, I know that we are responsible for the revelation we have received. So after "doing" all I know to do to align my spirit with His, I just have to rest and receive, right? Sounds pretty easy which is precisely why I have been amazed at just how much striving I have entered into in this "restful wait".

Jesus has been hearing my prayers and overwhelming me with a deeper revelation of just how much He loves and delights in me, just for me! So when I remind myself of these truths, I take a deep breath and exhale a sigh of relief.

It is so important as we ask, pray and believe for breakthrough of any kind, that we only allow ourselves to hope in Him! In the past I have found myself putting my expectations and hopes in a desired outcome. And, as you can imagine, if that outcome is not achieved, I am disappointed. Jesus never changes! His love and goodness is unending! The "outcome" of His character is sure and steadfast. It's a much more encouraging, faith-building pursuit to hope ONLY in Him!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Greater Lesson

Well, I'm scheduled to have surgery on my shoulder this Wednesday. It seems I have a bone spur: the source of a lot of pain over the past 8 months. Many prayers have gone up on my behalf since the diagnosis and as a result, my shoulder feels about 85% back to normal. Yay, God!

The girls are praying fervently, especially my little intercessor, Seraphina (hence the name). She lays hands on me almost daily and says "we just put healing on mommy in the name of Jesus!" Bring it on Lord!

I mentioned to my husband what an awesome altar of remembrance a healing miracle would be for the children to have built into their revelation of Jesus at such a young age. But, it would also be just as powerful of an opportunity if I still have to have surgery, but am able to testify to them that God is ALWAYS good and ALWAYS loving. To be able to tell them "I don't know why mommy still has to have surgery, but you can talk to Jesus about it. He knows why.", could be a statement leading to some powerful revelation that would grow me too! They can hear Him so clearly and confidently at this young age!

Much of this healing stuff remains a mystery to me. It brings me much peace, however, to be able to rest in the knowledge that God does not inflict anyone with sickness, tragedy, or disease. He loves me and He wants to heal me! Some things I understand why they happen, most I do not. Ah, but my Daddy takes good care of me ALWAYS and in His love I am secure (most days :-) May my children discover an even greater security in His unfathomable love, no matter what the outcome of my shoulder situation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What do I do all day?

Ever ask yourself that question? It comes up in my mind when I look around and, at times, see what a disaster my house has become. Last night I was reminded, well, my kids are fed and healthy, they are clean (relatively), I know some of my husbands thoughts from the day, homework is done and clothes are laid out for the morning.....OK. So maybe my time wasn't wasted after all. Just more proof that a measure of success is NOT solely in the orderliness or cleanliness of one's home.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


In my years of experience (all 32 of them! HA!), it seems there are at least 2 things of which man has yet to control: child-birth and the weather. There is nothing like the natural, spontaneous onset of labor to throw the days plans up in the air.

Likewise, a good snowstorm (or 2 of them) is sure to mess up everyone's agenda. Sometimes it feels as though I have "penciled" away every hour in my day to this meeting or that birthday party or her award ceremony or his doctor's appointment.....I just thoroughly enjoy it when things have to be canceled due to inclement weather. And I can't control it even if I wanted to! Occasionally there is an event that I am truly grieved to miss. But the majority of the time, the spontaneous erasing of the days plans is a welcome event in itself!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Puff Ball Progress

Well, Grace's non-profit business is in full swing now. With approximately 25 puff balls produced, over $30 earned, and still more orders to fill, we are cranking out puff balls as quickly as her little fingers can go. I am amazed at all the support from my friends AND her teachers and classmates! The kids in her class are excited for her and continue to give her orders for more puff balls. In addition, my hair stylist has asked that she make a basket full to put in her shop to be sold. WOW! I never expected this outcome....and it's not over yet!

Here is some ordering information for those of you who have expressed interest in purchasing a puff ball from Grace:

Puff Balls for SALE!
1 color: 25 cents
2 colors: 50 cents
3 colors: 75 cents
*add a clip for 25 cents!*

Available colors:
dark blue
light blue
"pretty pastels"
light purple
dark purple

Some uses for these include: zipper pulls for backpacks, purses, and diaper bags; ornaments for winter hats and gloves; cat toys, etc.
To place an order, you can contact me via e-mail, phone or by posting a comment. I will try to get photos on as soon as my husband can help me ;-)Remember that ALL proceeds go to support the Haiti relief effort. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"New" Strategy

Well, due to the faithfulness of God to be found by those who seek hard after Him, we have a practical strategy in addressing our challenges with the girls:
Love the crap out of them! Yes, profound, isn't it? *note the sarcasm*

There are a few more specifics: The Lord reminded me that they each operate within their own love language. Our mission, (which we HAVE chosen to accept) is to further discern and clarify each of our girls' love languages, and then love the yucks out of them in the way that they best receive love.

It's the Father's kindness that leads us to repentance. It's His love that covers a multitude of sins. It is Him (love personified) that brings change to our hearts.

In just a couple of days, we have already seen a softening in the girls' hearts. Ahh....Thank you Jesus for the power of your love!

Friday, January 29, 2010


Oh, my heart hurts for my girls right now. For the past couple of months, I have seen their attitudes and disposition toward each other go down the toilet. They treat each other (and my husband and I) with such dishonor and disrespect, more times than not it seems. Now they are finding that they have formed habits and are "accidentally" treating their friends the same way at times.

I know seeds take time to take root and we certainly have had "seasons" of attitude struggles. But, why the sudden change for the worse? Is it lack of time with them? Are they copying things they see in their parents? Is it "just a phase"? (although that doesn't cut it for me). I could punish them and give them consequences for their actions (and in a few, extreme circumstances, we have). But I want their actions to be a result of their hearts full and overflowing with love.

I had a "heart to heart" with the girls tonight. I tried to explain, again, that their words express love for their family, but their actions "speak" the opposite. I don't want to shame them. That won't produce any fruit. They admitted that they treat people at school better than their family. Elizabeth expressed that it was because at home they get "charged around." Pretty cute phraseology. Augh, now what? Jesus, I want their hearts to be so in love with you that they can't help but treat others with that same love and respect. This parenting thing sure is heart-wrenching work sometimes!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Here's an honor challenge for me:
My oldest daughter, Grace, is eight years old. She is an artist and an entrepreneur. About 18 months ago, she decided she would right books about all different subject and sell them for $1000 each to raise money for our new house. I told her she could post a sign on the porch and see if anyone wanted to buy some. She wrote 2 books, but never got the sign up. The inspiration passed in a week or so. Months later, she came back to me and said, "I see now, mom, that $1000 per book was a lot of money to ask." Lesson learned, memories made, no harm done.

Now she is older and is attending school. And here is her latest business idea: She has created these things she calls "puff balls." They are about 2 inches in diameter and consist of a dozen or so short pieces of yarn, somehow tied together at the center to make - a puff ball. She has made a sign listing the variety of colors and sizes and their accompanying prices. Oh, and she is also offering paper baskets that she is weaving herself with brown construction paper. In light of the situation in Haiti, her school is collecting money and relief supplies. Grace's goal is to make and sell these puff balls, giving the proceeds to Haiti. She has contacted family members in pursuit of yarn and intends to buy more at the dollar store with her Papa as I write. I mean, she is zealous about this idea!!!

The dilemma: Should I try to intervene? I've already offered a price adjustment suggestion, which she took to, partially. But she is collecting many skeins of yarn with no clue as to the reality of her pursuits. Will her friends actually buy some? Will she be the laughing stalk of her class? Will she be able to make any more than a few puff balls and baskets? My mama's heart wants to "save" her the potential heart break. At the same time, I've learned that Jesus is her keeper, not me. I want to honor her in every one of her passions and pursuits. She is so precious in her desires, but so unrealistic!? I don't want to "burst her bubble" with a reality check, but.....sigh...all in a day's work ;-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Report Cards

The kids brought home their report cards tonight. It was a flashback in time for me looking at their grades, all A's.....the apples don't fall far from the tree. Yet, I REALLY don't want them to become the same variety of apple as this mom. When I was in school, so much of my identity and value was tied up in my grades and performance. No matter how well I did, it was never good enough. YUCKNESS!!

So tonight, I decided to celebrate my girls' good reports and order out for dinner. (Yes, I'm always looking for a way out of making dinner.) In any case, as we sat around the dinner table, I was sure to be clear with them: We are celebrating them and the fact that they did their best. And we will keep celebrating that no matter what letters don their report cards throughout the years. IF I had to choose, I'd rather see them raising the dead than producing perfect performances.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Learning to Deal

My oldest daughter needed a tube sock for an unknown school project last week. I put out a request via e-mail to some family and friends. It could be used but without holes. So Grandma brought us an old sock of Grandpa's. The sock was in decent shape and although it was a tube sock, it now had a very defined heel worn into it. The instructions were clearly for a TUBE SOCK, no heel or toe in the sock. So I went on a hunt for a new tube sock. I am convinced that only a VERY small percentage of the population wears these things anymore. After being unsuccessful at one store, I found some at Target. A pack of 10 none-the-less.

As I drove home, I thought "I could just give Grace the used sock and let her deal with the heel imperfection". Memories of childhood projects, posters, crafts and costumes came to mind. My amazingly creative mother was always there to make sure my project was neat, beautiful and of the utmost quality. Some would say, "perfect." It's how she showed her love and it was something she did so well. That became my "norm" in life, only adding to the perfectionism with which I lived.

The thought came to me on my ride home from Target, "If I spend my energy trying to make things perfect for my children, I will rob them of opportunities to learn how to deal with the imperfections of life." Teaching them excellence and good care is one thing. Eliminating learning opportunities is another.

Tube sock, anyone?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Poop and Pot Roast

What do these 2 things have in common? Well, besides the obvious, they happen to be 2 things I handled within 3 minutes of each other today. I chuckled as I thought, "Only a mom has the "privilege" of changing 2 poopy diapers and prepping a roast for the crock-pot all within 30 minutes."

I'm not really a fan of pot roast, or of poop, really. But I stumbled upon an AMAZING recipe that uses balsamic vinegar....for the roast, that is. It is a venison roast, might I add. BTW, I DID wash my hands between jobs.

On another poop note, my almost 4 year old pooped in the potty today for the first time...EVER!!! Whoohoo! If he wasn't my 4th child, I'd be rather uptight and embarrassed to admit that he is not potty trained yet. But even my parents gave it their best shot and finally admitted, "he just doesn't get it!" I rest assured knowing he will not graduate high school with a cap and gown and....diaper.

Ahh...and the day is only half over! I love my life!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back in the Saddle

So, here I am writing a post on my blog about a topic yet to be determined. Actually, the Lord has convicted me more than once that I need to be blogging. He has told me that although my writing may seem insignificant to me, others need to read it. Hmmm...
Now I must confess that my procrastination in writing is due, in part, (ok, maybe mostly) to my self-imposed pressure to come up with something seemingly "worthwhile" (whatever that means) and polished. Those of you who are also recovering perfectionists know what I mean. It's the whole reason I was up until the wee hours of the morning in high school working on a report due that day. I didn't start earlier because I wanted to do it perfect the first time....none of this rough draft thing. I never gave myself grace to be in process, to learn, to make mistakes, to grow. That grace was never modeled to me on earth. And I guess I overlooked my heavenly example. Duh. It's the same reason why I never wanted to switch to a new piano teacher when my current teacher had taught me as much as she could: Heaven forbid a new teacher should see my mistakes and that I still have some learning to do. How twisted?! How arrogant?!

After a recent, deep conversation with a very precious friend, I realized that I need to get over the death of my flesh and stop reliving memories of my old self. In conclusion, I will be posting all kinds of stuff, worthwhile or not. And if any of you are reading this and don't see a post from me for awhile, you have my permission to send me an e-mail or post a comment asking me "where are you?" And if no one is reading this, well, then, I don't know....

Happy day to you!