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Archive for the ‘christianity’ Category

Damaged by life

Broken. hurting.

This world an unkind place of residence.

Reality crashes down around me

Falling like tiny shards of angry glass.

I try and move on

but I stumble

Time and time again

in an endless game of pinball

that has me spinning every which way

only to be halted and turned another direction

with swift knock in the head.

Bing! Married! Five thousand  points!

Ding ding ding! Home Owner! Mom! Business Owner! Ten thousand points.

Bang! New baby. Five thousand points.

Boom! Foreclosure. Start again.

Bing! Cross country move.

Points to be determined.

Spinning. Crashing. Beeping.

Oh, the incessant beeping.

And then I hear the Whisper

in this storm of life

and I remember You.

Even when I try and put You

in a box, I can’t.

The King of Kings

does not fit

in the tiny box.

Eternity does not  fit.

Agape does not fit.

As I listen, the bruises start to heal

(those to my ego)

and my heart feels alive again

and I know that You have plans for me

“plans to prosper me and not to harm me,

plans to give me hope

and a future.”

So I let go of it all

and breath the biggest sigh of relief.

And I stand ready, waiting.

Waiting for life. Waiting for God.

Waiting for Grace and for pinball.

And knowing with Your grace I can handle it all.

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Blessings

It’s been a rough year for my family. From health problems to foreclosure to moving more times than anyone should have to in ten years let alone one, to the stress that puts on a family and a marriage, it’s been hard. And I’ve been bitter.

I shouldn’t be, however, because I am so incredibly blessed.

I have a wonderful husband who loves me more than I’ll ever know.
My son is cute, sweet, as healthy as we could ever really hope, smart and fun.
My daughter is delightful, happy, healthy and sweet. She sleeps 12 hour stretches at night and only wakes once unless her brother wakes her.
We have a home. It’s safe, it’s cute and it’s in a great neighborhood.
I have eternal salvation, a gift I take for granted all too often.
I have a wonderful family who stands by me.

So I realized today that I have to get over my pity party. Yes, life has been unbelivably hard for us as of late. No, it’s not magically all getting better any time soon. That’s okay. I have more than enough to be thankful for and more than enough to keep me going. I am blessed to live the life I do and I need to start acting like it.

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Not quite.

There’s a lot of talk about the “Proverbs 31 Woman” in Christian circles. How we should all try to be like her. She’s like the Martha Stewart of the Bible. Only more wholesome. And without insider trading and time in prison.

I know I lack in the department of all things domestic. So I took a look at what the Bible has to say about her last night: (Proverbs 31:10-31 from The Message paraphrase)

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

That’s a lot to live up to. So I thought I’d take it one step at a time. A reoccurring theme in the passage is that she gets up early. So I thought I would give it a go. I am not a morning person by any means. But my husband has been asking it of me and I have been thinking I would love the time to myself before the kids were up… so this stuck out to me as a good place to start.

Well let me tell you, day one was not a success. Within thirty seconds of my leaving the bed, Keagan realized I was gone. (We practice the Family Bed.) I took him back to bed and told him he could be with Papa. He became hysterical. His screams woke his sister, who chimed in and soon we had a myriad of screaming voices echoing through our home. So much for up before the family.

So with screaming Eden in the sling and screaming Keagan on Nick’s lap now watching Kipper because I was bound and determined to make breakfast, I started boiling some water for quinoa. It’s something that I can make into both breakfast and lunch and that’s always good. So I start on the quinoa and Eden starts in on my breast while in the sling. Great one less screaming child. Maybe I can make this work. Keagan soon stopped screaming as well.

While rooting through the fridge for some veggies for Nick’s lunch quinoa, I bumped our only serving bowl off the counter. It tumbled to the floor into a thousand tiny sharp shards. Eden started screaming yet again at the sound of my bowl’s untimely destruction. Keagan started to scream at the sound of Eden’s screaming. I started to think the shards looked like a good tool for suicide. (kidding… please don’t call asking if I am “really okay.” haha)

Eventually, breakfast and lunch were made, the kids stopped screaming and we all got of the house on time. But my goodness. What a way to start my day.

I guess it takes some practice, luck and patience to be a “Proverbs 31 woman.” I hope she had days like this. It’s only fair, right? 🙂

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My sweet little boy turns two today. Two years have passed by in the blink of an eye and yet I can’t even imagine my life without him. Keagan is so full of joy, so vibrant, so spirited, so energetic, so life-affirming, so … Keagan! My life has become more worth living because of his sweet presence. I am so very blessed to be “mama” to such a wonderful child.

His little sister is two weeks old today. I am also shocked to realize that sweet little Eden has blessed us with her presence for two weeks. Our wonderful little family is so full of love and joy.

Today is Easter. Such a special, beautiful day. Easter is filled with so much hope. It amazes me to think about the love of the Father and the miracle of Christ rising. We’re all given the beautiful gift of forgiveness because of the amazing grace of our Heavenly Father. There is so much beauty and joy in the miracle we celebrate today. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Bask in its beauty. Marvel in its joint wonder and simplicity.

Since today is Easter, we’ll be spending the day focusing on that. We’re having a birthday celebration for the little guy in a few weeks. I hope everyone has a blessed day!

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Well I can’t believe that 2008 is coming to a close. It’s shocking really.

A lot has happened this year. When the year started, we were so afraid of having another baby after Keagan’s traumatic birth that we thought we’d never have one.  We thought we’d probably have the husband get the “big v” and think about adoption.  Thankfully, a friend convinced me to at least TALK with a midwife about the possibility of getting pregnant.  And I did. I talked to a wonderful midwife and we’re so happy we did. We talked about all that went wrong last time, and how to prevent it this time. The OBGYN group I saw was not about prevention at all… they only acted after something went wrong.

So after talking with the midwife, we decided to start to try to conceive. We thought it would take months -I was still nursing and my cycles were anything but regular. On the midwife’s recommendation, I picked up “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” (and happened to find it at Goodwill for $2! I love thrift shopping!)  and we got pregnant on the first cycle! Even the midwife was shocked to see how quickly I was pregnant!

So thanks to all of that, our sweet Eden will be here sometime near April 4th. And we are very grateful for that. This pregnancy has not been full of any of the problems I faced with Keagan’s. I am visualizing a wonderful, peaceful water birth in a birth center and feel that I will be able to achieve that. And  I think that Keagan will benefit greatly from having a sister to share his childhood with.

Another big change this year came after reading Shane Claiborne’s book, “The Irresistable Revolution.” It really changed how we thought about a lot of things. It’s from a Christian perspective, but I suggest it to anyone and everyone. It’s about humanity;  it’s about love; it is about how human beings should treat one another. It made me think about things I’d never considered before. Now, because of this book, I am not afraid of the homeless. I am not afraid to try and help people in need. We’ve also simplified our lives quite a bit. I’ve gotten really into thrifting after reading about how badly child laborers are treated. I don’t want to support the companies that hurt those kids, plus it is great knowing that I am reusing materials that could have otherwise been thrown away. It brought on a lot of changes for our family, all for the good. When  a friend recommended it to be the first time, I was pregnant with Keagan and just didn’t have the attention span. I am glad I went back to it later.

My husband took a lower paying job this year, but it was a step in the right direction. He’s in a feild that he wants to be in, his job is secure, and he’s moving up quickly within his office. It was a scary choice to make, but it was the right one.

Keagan has changed so much this year. He was a baby when the year started. As the year closes, I have to admit that he’s much more of a little boy than a baby. He’s smart, funny and full of life. What more could a mama ask for?

We also moved this year. Our new home is much smaller, but much better suited for us. It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, but that’s okay for now. We do toy around with the idea of living in Tacoma, where my husband works. I always thought I was a country girl, but more urban living really seems appealing to us right now. I think that is a change 2009 will bring for us.

All that said, I am ready for our new year and the many new challenges and changes it will surly bring. I am a little nervous about being a mama to TWO kiddos, but I think I am up to it. I kind of have to be, don’t I? 🙂

I have quite a few goals for 2009

1. Read the Bible. All of it. It’s not as if I’ve never picked it up before, I’ve read most of it, many parts over and over again. But I want to read it all and I want to make sure I am doing it every day.

2. Get Organised! My dirty little secret (or not so secret if you know me in real life) is that I am a TERRIBLE hosuekeeper. I will not let this be the case anymore. I won’t! If anyone has any motivation and organisation tips, please let me know!

3. Quit being scared of my sewing machine! I KNOW I can use the thing. I am capable. I need to realize it.

4. Complete 40 craft projects. I love to craft. But I never do it, or I start and don’t finish. I want to do about one a week, giving my self space to take time off with the new baby and to have some projects that are bigger and therefore take longer. I am going to quit drooling over other people’s creations and make my own!

5. Get out more! I’ve been in mama isolation too long. I love my son, but I need to get out. With a second one coming, this is going to be even more important. I am to the point where I get out so rarely that I become awkward in social settings sometimes. EEK. I need to get out. With the kids or without.

6. Get back into my charity work. I was doing great for awhile, but the move, the pregnancy, the holidays etc all got in my way. But that’s no excuse. People are still hungry out there!

7. Find more natural learning activities for Keagan. He is so smart and he just eats this stuff up. I need to nurture his little mind.  I am not talking about flash cards and drilling information into him here. I am talking more about Montessori inspired, child-led activities that will help nurture his learning and creativity.By the end of the year, we will probably be working on a bit more, still child led as he will be preschool aged and we’re going to homeschool him. I have a feeling, however that it will be leaning to the side of unschooling, at least for his early childhood.

8. Be a better cook. I really fall short in most things related to home making, so this is another goal I am going to be working on. I hate processed foods, yet I get lazy and use them anyway. I’d like to stop that!

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Maybe I should stop it there for now anyway. Don’t want to set myself up to fail 🙂

What are your goals this year? Have any tips for me to help accomplish mine?

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Keagan’s second out-of womb Christmas was nice. He woke up in a sweet and cheerful mood. I made him breakfast and he ate it in bed with Papa while I got everything ready in the living room. Then I read him two board books about the real meaning of Christmas and we went into the living room. He instantly saw and ran to his new toys. They were mostly bigger, so only one was wrapped. He got an easel, a table and chairs I painted with his and Eden’s names, a felt board with embroidered shapes I made for him and a stuffed puppy I threw in at the last minute. I put the puppy in the tree because he had spent the last two weeks trying to “decorate” the tree with his toys. He squealed with excitement when he saw it there. Then he pulled it out and kissed it. Totally worth the 50 cents at Goodwill. 🙂

From there, we went to my parents and enjoyed time with them, my brothers and their girlfriends. We exchanged gifts and Keagan got spoiled, but I guess a little bit of spoiling won’t kill him a few times a year 🙂 I am quite excited about the gift my little bro gave me – a night out while he babysits! Score! Keagan really loved the Larry the Cucumber stuffed toy my parents got him.

After that we went to the inlaws, where we ate dinner and exchanged gifts yet again. So yes, he got a LOT of stuff.

We had a few not so grand moments involving our car getting stuck in the snow (one time for 40 minutes!) but in the end, it was a great holiday and I am so glad to have been able to share it with my family.

I’ll post some photos later. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with love and reverence for the Baby born in Bethlehem.

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It is so easy to let Christmas become stressful.  I have many gifts left to make, I still have to take a photo of the little one for the Christmas cards and I don’t even know what I will be making and/or buying for some people. However, I am trying hard not to let it stress me out.

Instead of what I “have to do,” I want to think of the wonderful gift that was given to all of us that first Christmas. I want to take that that in, relax and enjoy the beauty of love and giving. How great the love of the Father truly is to give to us his only begotten son. What a wonderful, beautiful gift.

I saw this commercial the other day on TV. It said “Christmas costs less at Wal-Mart.” Christmas does not cost anything! Christmas is a beautiful gift! True gifts are free! You don’t HAVE to spend a bunch of money on “stuff.” That’s a choice. We’re trying to give simpler, more thoughtful gifts this year- and none of them are coming from places like Wal-Mart.

This season isn’t about “getting things done.” It’s about love. And I am trying hard to remind myself of that!

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