Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thinking beyond this moment...

...because sometimes, it just what you gotta do. I thought for a moment and decided to get my camera. Some time in the near future, I will find this funny. I don't find this funny right now.

While I was playing with Collin, I thought the other two were downstairs playing nicely. They had found a bottle of baby powder and emptied the enitre thing out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Of all places to stand, he had to pick a puddle.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Strength in Waiting

I don't know what your destiny would be, but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who would be really happy are those who have sought and found who to serve.

~Albert Schweitzer

It just hasn't felt right. I didn't know why. I was willing to go...told God I was going. Everything felt forced, rushed the further I pursued it. I was being pulled one direction, but felt a tug another way. I felt God telling me to wait. Again. When I have a passion for something, I go at it with all I have. I don't rest. I was praying for His will not mine, His peace, His leading. I don't want any control.

When have I ever waited for anything? That's a question that I have been asking myself over and over the past six weeks, since I really realized what God wanted me to do with this burden I have for orphans. The answer I kept coming up with is rarely ever. I have gotten pretty much everything I have ever wanted and I have gotten it rather quickly...I can be quite relentless, get the drift. To wait for something six months...a year...unheard of.

It's exactly what I hear God telling me. It was a whisper at first. As the weeks went by, it was as if He was saying it with a mega phone. He is telling me to wait on Him while he renews my strength. Not only am I supposed to wait to go to Zambia, but I am not supposed to go there at all right now. Its just a way by which God has shown me what he wants from me. I don't know what the future holds. I would love to go to Zambia. But, 2010 will be the year that I go to Guatemala.
Which also leads me to the prayer of my heart: That Guatemala would reopen to adoption by the time we are ready to get the process started. That's all I will say about that right now though.

I think when all is said and done, this year of my life, 2009, will have the title :
The Year I Learned to Wait.

But those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~Isaiah 40:31

Teach me, Lord, to wait.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Psalms 62: 5-8

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another one from Ruth...

Prosperity tends to dull our senses to the presence of God's hesed in our lives. But, when trouble strikes and you're sitting in the darkness with a heart that aches for him, the slightest sign of his presence is monumental. - The Gospel of Ruth, (p 120)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Good night, sleep tight...

...don't let the, um, sneaky, black, used to be stray cat bite...or however that goes.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Again, I am loving my book on Ruth. The paragraphs that follow are speaking about Boaz's lavish generosity toward the two widows, Naomi and Ruth.

They tell us hesed is a strong Hebrew word hat sums up the ideal lifestyle for God's people. It's the way God intended for human being to live together from the beginning to the end - the "love your neighbor as yourself" brand of living, an active, selfless, sacrificial caring for one another that goes against the grain of our fallen natures.

Two parties are involved - someone in desperate need and a second person who possesses the power and the resources to make a difference. Hesed is driven, not by duty or legal obligation, but by a bone-deep commitment - a loyal, selfless love that motivates a person to do voluntarily what no one has a right o expect or ask of them. They have the freedom to act or walk away without the slightest injury to their reputation. Yet they willingly pour themselves out for the good of someone else. It's actually the kind of love we find most fully expressed in Jesus. In a nutshell, hesed is the gospel lived out. ( The Gospel of Ruth, p. 115)

These two paragraphs really stuck out to me. There have been several times in the past 5.5 months that Dan and I have received groceries or money from someone. More times than not, we are blown away because of all people, they were the ones that, in our minds, could afford to help us the least. The sacrifice was huge. The gift spoke volumes to us. I want to live that way. The strangers we have never met, the people we hardly know, the couples that are struggling to pay their bills themselves...there is only one explanation for this : they have chosen to follow Christ and live out the gospel. No where in scripture does it say to only help those who have "invested" in us...only come to the aid of another if there has been a relationship there. That is not at all what Jesus lived or taught. It's extremely unfortunate that churches today, Christians today, are looking the other way while people among them are struggling. What an opportunity they miss. They chose to turn their heads, while knowing that they have the resources to help. It's a choice made out of selfishness and it has a devastating effect.

I am working on this myself.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday, February 15th, 2002

This was the day...

My family got up at the crack of dawn and drove me to Detroit Metro. It was the first flight I have ever flown alone, the second time I had flown in my life. I had an eight AM flight and I was way early. I remember my parents kissing me goodbye. Waiting and watching until I got through security. I was fighting back tears as I turned around to wave. I found my gate and there I waited. I was wondering what the heck I was doing. I was convinced that I had gone crazy.

My flight was empty and I had a window seat. Half-way through my flight I had calmed down and was enjoying the beautiful clear day and the gorgeous view of Lake Michigan. I was just hoping He would be there waiting.

I will never forget the first time I saw him. I turned the corner, my eyes scanning back and forth, looking for him. I walked a little further and there he was. Our eyes met. I remember thinking that he looked really nervous. Rather than have an awkward stare down, I focused on something else until I got closer. I walked up to him, said hey, and that's how my weekend began.

Things I will never forget...

...I will never forget how many times Wait for Me by Rebecca St. James just happened to be playing throughout the weekend when we were in the car, whether it be on CD or radio. I later learned, he planned it that way. I guess just a subtle hint.

...I will never forget him being so incredibly tired and falling asleep on the couch next to me almost immediately after getting back to his place. It is kinda comical looking back on it. I was left sitting there wondering if I was really that boring, if I really made him that comfortable, and if it was a taste of how my weekend with him was going to go.

...I will never forget my tour of historical Woodstock, particularly a review of the movie, Ground Hog Day. I tried to act interested. In reality, I just liked being with him and hearing the sound of his voice...what he said, I have no idea.

...I will never forget going to Junior High youth group with him. He was a leader. I saw him light up instantly. I knew this was his heart. I remember sitting there watching him. It's the moment where I realized there might be something there and he might be a little bit attractive. :-)

...I will never forget sleeping until past ten Saturday morning, coming down with no make up, my hair a mess, in my Pj's and him and his parents sitting around the table waiting for me. Apparently my Dad had warned them about my habit of walking around in my underwear...embarrassing, but true. Not that weekend though.

...I will never forget the day in the city. He spent an incredible amount of money, which I feel bad about to this day. I thought everyone got paid vacation time. He didn't and he didn't have much money to spare either. He took me to Navy Pier and we saw a movie on the IMAX screen. I told him a few months later that I would have probably held his hand if he would have reached for mine...he didn't touch me the whole weekend except to hug me when we said goodbye.

...I will never forget saying good bye to him at the airport. I waited as long as I could to make my way through security. We hugged longer than friends do. I wondered when I would see him again.

...I will never forget the plane ride home. I am glad it was dark because as I glanced back at the city, tears filled my eyes. I knew I could not live without him.

...I will never forget him calling me almost immediately after my plane landed to see if I was okay. My parents said that there was something new in my eyes...a little sparkle.

...I will never forget the email from him that was waiting for me when I got home. I printed it out and still have it to this day. It said, among other things that I was the one and he loved me. I was convinced I was going to marry him.

The rest is history. We dated for six months. Got married six months after that. Here we are coming up on our sixth wedding anniversary. I have never loved him more.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Let me explain...

Please forgive me, important looking man in a business suit:

I thought I should explain myself. You caught me at one of those moments. If you have small children you might understand. You see, we had been at the doctor for two hours and fifteen minutes. For little ones, that seems like an eternity...for a Mom of three little ones, it seems like a nightmare. We had two check ups, three shots, and some blood work. I am convinced that my two boys are hypoglycemics like myself, but you would think that I would have learned by now to always be prepared when going anywhere around meal times or snack times. Without a snack to tide them over, they quickly turn into basket cases. I think I have learned my lesson.

Considering everything, I thought they did quite well. I wish you would have been there during our 45 minute wait before seeing the doctor. They were pleasant then. I thought to myself, "the pep talk in the car on the way there and the several, 'help me make it through this without embarrassment' actually worked!"

Then came the next 30 minute wait for the lab work. My daughter said it all when she said, "This seems like my 10 hour night time." She is quite brilliant for her age. Yes, my middle child spent most of it crawling around on the ground lending a helping hand to housekeeping. It was a germ-a-phobe mothers nightmare. Oh and who could forget my youngest screaming almost the whole entire time, while thrashing so violently he bit his lip to shreds. I was a sight. It's funny because you never think that you will ever be that mother. When you are, you immediately vow to never pass judgement again.

So, when you passed by in the parking lot you must know that all of this had just transpired. I realize that I was laughing, big belly laughs at that, while my three children sat crying crammed in the back seat of my Chevy Aveo. I realize that I kept laughing even harder while cramming my over sized stroller into the trunk, all but sitting on it to make it fit. Yes, I was laughing. I was laughing the hardest I have laughed in days. For if I didn't, I am sure I would have been collapsed behind my car in the parking lot sobbing into my sweat stained shirt. Man, this Mom thing is hard work!

Good Read

I don't think there has ever been a book my Father-in-law has given me to read (or recommended) that I haven't liked, to a point where I was finding it hard to put down. The latest is no exception.

On Monday, he gave me the book The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn James. I started it that night and I am half way through it. I have always loved the book of Ruth, but have never really thought about or read about it like this. It's all falling fresh on me. I have been picking it up whenever I can.

If you had asked me what the book of Ruth was about before, I would have mentioned nothing about suffering in my description. However, the suffering is intense. So intense that Naomi is convinced that the Lord's hand has gone out against her (vs 13 of ch. 1) and changes her name to Mara because the Lord has afflicted her and made her life very bitter (vs. 20-21 of ch. 1). She has lost her husband and both of her sons. She is left a widow with no children. Talk about seeming unbearable. The author refers to her as a female Job.

Over the next week or so I will be occasionally posting certain paragraphs that have really stuck out to me. It will be hard to choose because this book is that good :

Somehow we've convinced ourselves that the more mature we become as Christians - and both Naomi and Job were seasoned believers - the thicker our spiritual skin will become. We'll be resilient in adversity. It's a sign of spiritual failure (so we tell ourselves) when suffering gets the better of us and our faith in God gets shaky. Such notions (which aren't supported by scripture, certainly not by the legacies of Naomi and Job) get in the way of our spiritual growth and block us from engaging the God who pursues us in our pain. To tell the truth, when the full force of our sufferings hit us, no matter how long we've walked with God or how much theology we've mastered, faith in God can take an awful beating. ~ The Gospel of Ruth, Carolyn James (p. 43)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Way Back Wednesdays

August 3, 2007

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


A new day. A decision to make. Am I going to continue to think about yesterday or pick myself up and focus on today? My choice is today, please. God help me.

Yesterday, I turned to God to give me some sort of comfort...because I have learned that He's the only one that will really do the trick. He gave me something from my Esther Bible study from a few days ago :

We are wise to force ourselves to keep differentiating between simple inconveniences and authentic tribulations. ~Beth Moore

When I read this for the first time last week, I thought about our current situation...Dan not having a job. It's a pretty big tribulation but it's been met with simple inconveniences along the way. They always seem to be much more than simple to me just because of the big tribulation. So, I asked myself last night, if what I am crying over is really that huge. The answer, no. It's a minor setback in God's big plan. It may feel huge for many reasons...but, not a big tribulation. I guess it just seemed like a way my flesh would finally have relief. I am crying out to God to give my soul some relief. In the meantime, while I wait, verses are jumping off of the pages at me.

“Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life.” ~Psalm 119:92-93

Monday, February 9, 2009


On top of the world
Ours came crashing down
No matter how many times you fall

You never get used to hitting the ground

Could someone tell me
Do you know the demand
When you wanna give up
But, you know you have to stand.

...thought I would be painfully honest. I don't feel like standing today. I have my days where I am not fine. Today is one of those days. If you asked, I would probably say I was just okay...that's the wording I use on a bad day. I am not pretty good, not fine, I am okay...about as okay as a train wreck.

I was thinking today, "I wonder if it's coveting if everything you are wishing you had, you once did?" Does that make sense? I am not wishing I had other people's stuff...just some things we used to.

...Do cars ever fall from the sky?
...Or better yet, how about jobs?

...Maybe writing on the wall to tell us just what we are supposed to do now?
...How much longer?
...Could we just skip to the ending?

Where is this coming from? No go on the DeKalb job we were waiting a month to hear about. It's extremely disappointing. It has left us wondering what to do next. We are looking into the option of selling our house.

I love you, Lord. More than a job, more than a van, more than a home. Please show us what you will have us to do. Help us to act out of desire to follow you and not out of fear. Calm my anxious and aching heart.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Slim-down Sundays : My style

In honor of this slim down Sunday, I baked a batch of brownies from scratch. :-)

I suspended my weigh in until next week...this sista is seriously bloated and needs to start her period. I have been doing quite well considering. The past three days, I have been able to run four miles outside each day. It has felt wonderful! Have I mentioned I heart running?! I have also been consciously reaching for healthy snacks instead of junk.

Anyway, back to the brownies. I will probably have one after dinner. Our cookies are all gone and with no money left in our budget for another week, I needed to think something up. We love brownies but I rarely ever make them from scratch...they are always from a box. So, my little man helped me add all of the ingredients together. He even cracked the eggs himself! After we were done and they were baking in the oven, I thought, "If I buy boxed mixes at the store, why can't I just make them up for myself?" So, that's just what I did. I added all of the dry ingredients together into a bag, labeled it, and put it away for sometime next week. All it needs is the eggs, vanilla, and butter. Quick, easy, and inexpensive.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Asleep at the Wheel

Last night, Landon was exhausted. I let him play Mario Kart thinking it would keep him up past 7:30 so he would be able to see his Daddy. Well, I went in to find him fallen over asleep with his yoshi guy crashed into a wall. Guess he drives like his Mommy. :-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I cried when he left today.

I told the kids that Mommy was going to take a shower. I stood in there and sobbed while I whispered, through tears, to my Heavenly Father. It's not because I miss him. I do, I miss him here with me terribly. But, it's more than that.

I feel blessed. I am home with my precious treasures and then I have a little gig that I go to a few times a month to live out my urge to draw blood. I am thankful that God has allowed me to be able to enjoy both. I pray with all my heart that Dan is soon able to enjoy his hearts desire. I cried out to God for him this morning. How long must he wait? I asked Dan before he left, "Aren't you excited to be starting your new job today?" He replied, "Not really. Were you excited to go into Walmart?" I instantly knew how he was feeling and knew that he took this to give me what I wanted...sacrifice. I would give anything to be able to give him what he wants but my hands are tied. It rests on the One who knows my husband better than myself. Please pray with me that Dan would soon be given the desires of his heart.

The same eye that is on the sparrow is on the wristwatch. ~ Beth Moore, The Study of Esther

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dear Walmart,

I have been avoiding you. I know, I know, I didn't give you the proper good bye. I finally got my chance to get out and I took it. I don't love you anymore. I used to, before we spent so much time together. I used to love to walk through your doors. I never knew what I would find. The excitement was still there. I guess seeing you so often got to be too much. I found out who you really were. I worked so hard for you and you left me feeling unappreciated and just plain worn out. It was all about you...what I could do for you. I thought it would be easier seeing you again. It might take some time. Mostly because I am disappointed that I put you on a pedestal for so long. Or maybe because the damage I did to my finances when I was with you. Every time I drive by, it just confirms again in my mind that I did the right thing. You're not even attractive to me anymore. I don't know when I will be back. The spark is gone and I have moved on. I smartened up and realized that Save Money, Live Better is hardly the case with you...Always the low price, always doesn't fit either. Farewell, I wish you all the best. Maybe you will see me around sometime soon.

*This is not meant to be taken seriously at all. My grocery shopping date is coming up and I was thinking about how much I used to love shopping there. It was kinda silly. Just another thing that has changed. I no longer heart Walmart.*

Monday, February 2, 2009

Five Months

I hoped that it wouldn't last this long. Two, three, if it must four, but never five. Five just seemed too long...too unbearable. It's almost one half of a whole year. It's about 154 days...sometimes it seems like forever.

Yep, it's the second of the month again. Which means, my husband lost his job five months ago. This month was a tough one. Our situation is getting a little old (is anyone tired of reading about it...please don't answer that). I am trying to remain teachable and find learning in everything. Somedays still, I end up beside my bed on my face crying into the itchy carpet fibers. My hearts desire is to please my Father, but often I feel like I have failed.

This past month, we were over on our budget and I went into panic mode. The stress of working so many hours and the time spent away from my family was almost unbearable. It's funny how God whispers in the tiniest things. Dan had an interview with a staffing agency. I thought it was a waste of time but whatever. I had been praying, pleading, that God would show us a way that I would be able to stay home. After Dan got done over at the agency, he gave me a call. Turns out, he can work and make half of his benefit and still keep his unemployment. It was right under our nose this whole time (or in the unemployment hand book that is). Although working outside the home 32 plus hours a week taught me a lot, I was excited to hear the news. This past week, God gave me the go ahead to quit my job at Walmart. I have been off for almost a week now and I feel so much better. My face has cleared up, I am back on track with diet and exercise, I feel refreshed. Satan, however, is up to his old tricks. With Dan's part time job we will be short a little over $100 a month. I have found myself worrying about that $100...worried about what we won't be able to pay. He has a terrible way of catching us in his mind games and trying to make us believe that God won't show up this time. My God is never late. He may not stick to the time plan that I have. He may never be early. But, my God does show up and He is always on time.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. ~Hebrews 11:6

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28

Thank you, Lord, for giving me the strength to Stand.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Slim-down Sundays

  • 1 rice cake with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of carrot sticks
  • 1/4 cup of yogurt covered raisins

These are just a few of the good-for-you snacks that I have been eating this past week. Thanks to being off of work for almost a week, getting my butt on the treadmill, the stomach bug, off of cookies, and sticking to better choices, I am back down and holding steady at 136.8. I am psyched about spending my first full week at home in over four months!!! Hollie, are you ready?