Monday, February 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday!: Funnies and Failings

Well, I need this to be very clear... this is NOT me...

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
To start off, it definitely did not take me four months to drag myself into DMV to get a driver's license in our new state. I did not take any extra care in what I looked like so that my ID picture would look decent. I did not spend about an hour waiting there, being very confident in having everything together and that my test would be a breeze. As I filled out the license app. I certainly didn't admit in writing that I have been driving for 13 years and then proceed to completely choke during the written exam and completely and utterly fail it!
Our Saturday night after dinner was not spent gathered together in front of Husband's laptop googling "silly hats", "funny hats", and on You Tube searching for funny videos of people falling, or monkeys or cats doing kooky things. That would be a waste of time when dinner dishes are sitting in the sink- dinner dishes were still sitting on the dirty dinner table! And we certainly wouldn't spend an hour doing that and barely get the kids to bed on time when we know that church is the next day. Oh no. We're too responsible to do that.
Finally, after being a stay-at-home mother for nearly four years, my first day in five months that Husband wasn't home all day didn't make me nervous. Not at all. I was not nervous about how I might be pushed or that I night not get everything done. And this emotion didn't overshadow the joy of Husband actually having a job. No, I keep perspective much better than that.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Love You, Mama

This may seem a little extreme, two postings within hours of each other, but when I wrote the last one (see below), I was simply trying to distract myself from a crying 3 year old that I sent to her room. I needed to take a moment and think about how the Lord has brought us through in the last months, and take stalk that if He carried us through unemployment, and moving, selling a home, and saying good-bye to people we love, then surely He would give me a few more ounces of strength to endure a hard parenting moment after a very difficult "mom-day".

Today I was not my daughter's favorite person. The discipline that the Lord requires a parent to yield is not often loved or appreciated in the moment by those who are on the receiving end. Words of defiance and disrespect came out of my little one's mouth today. She threw fits, whined, screamed, and flat out made for a very rough time for everyone in the house. It was an old-fashioned battle of wills. She spent a significant portion of the day in her room as she was unwilling to apologize or change her behavior.

After her father left this evening to play some basketball, the battle went into a round two. Back to her room she went, and I was crushed. There I was, having to face the same sin in my child's heart. Did I have it in me to deal with it?

I knew I had to. I could not consider myself a faithful mother if I did not. But this time, she just had to go to bed, for everyone's sake.

I spoke with my precious sister-in-law, who happens to be one of my best friends and was given some needed perspective. I am not a bad mom. My daughter will not grow up to hate me. I will get through to her, and she will learn respect, if I am faithful.

So my patient little boy was put to bed, and into my girl's room I went. I carried her into the living room, and we talked about her behavior today. We talked about some consequences for tomorrow, and I outlined requirements in behavior for certain privileges tomorrow.

Two things stood out:

Me: "Norah, what do you need to say to mom when she says things are going to be?"
Norah: "Okay, Mom."

YAY! Something is getting through!

At the end of our little talk:

Me: "I love you, Norah."

No response, but a smile.

Me: "You can tell me you love me too."
Norah: "Love you, Mama."

Back to bed she went.

Me: "Goodnight, Norah. I love you."
Norah: "Love you, Mama."

No prompting. No cues. I needed that.

Just Enough

Though the trial goes on in many ways, and there are still many questions looming, today a burden was lifted for our family. My husband received a phone call and was offered a job. It doesn't pay a lot, and it only goes until the end of the school year; but it should be just enough for us to get by on. We shouldn't have to tap into our savings anymore while he has this position, and it "buys" us some time to find something that will be more permanent.

So I am thankful for God's provision today. His grace is sufficient for us.

On our family's blog, my husband posted the following, and it seems very sweet especially today almost half a year later:

The Lord Will ProvideFrom the album All I Owe, available at
Words by John Newton, Music by Matthew S. Smith© 2006 Detuned Radio Music (ASCAP)

Though troubles assail and dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail and foes all unite;
Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,
The scripture assures us, the Lord will provide.
The birds without barn or storehouse are fed,
From them let us learn to trust for our bread:
His saints, what is fitting, shall ne’er be denied,
So long as it’s written, the Lord will provide.
We may, like the ships, by tempest be tossed
On perilous deeps, but cannot be lost.
Though Satan enrages the wind and the tide,
The promise engages, the Lord will provide.
His call we obey like Abram of old,
Not knowing our way, but faith makes us bold;
For though we are strangers we have a good Guide,
And trust in all dangers, the Lord will provide.
When Satan appears to stop up our path,
And fill us with fears, we triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us, though oft he has tried,
This heart–cheering promise, the Lord will provide.
He tells us we’re weak, our hope is in vain,
The good that we seek we ne’er shall obtain,
But when such suggestions our spirits have plied,
This answers all questions, the Lord will provide.
No strength of our own, or goodness we claim,
Yet since we have known the Savior’s great name;
In this our strong tower for safety we hide,
The Lord is our power, the Lord will provide.
When life sinks apace and death is in view,T
his word of his grace shall comfort us through:
No fearing or doubting with Christ on our side,
We hope to die shouting, the Lord will provide.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Me! Monday: I'm Not Perfect in the Kitchen

I found this to be fun last week, and although it breaks a little from what I normally write about, it is good just to be able to laugh at yourself. It's good for all to know that I am also not sitting here, perfectly counting my blessings, and contemplating Scripture all day... oh no. I am far from perfect.... especially in the kitchen.


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Well, for starters, I did not try many different things in the kitchen, and over the course of a few weeks, I did NOT have some dingy-head moments. I will now not share them with you and cover up all those silly moments.

Uh, I did not try to crack an egg, and drop it on the counter, and watch it slip in between the counter and the oven. I could not hear it PLOP to the floor. I did not miss the bowl. I did not make a gross mess.

I did not make the rookie mistake of turning on an electric mixer on too high of speed, thus flinging flour everywhere... I am so much better than that- or NOT.

I certainly didn't open up my new Magic Bullet, excited to make 10-Second Chocolate Mousse for company. I did not put all the ingredients in, get startled by the loud sound the small appliance makes, and stop the machine, only to have it never start again. Nope. Didn't happen.

And seeing as I so easily let things go (Ha!), I certainly didn't try to make said mousse with other kitchen appliances. What resulted was a beautiful masterpiece- and not an over whipped, chocolate syrup mess that looked like chocolaty curds and whey. Yum!

For the same company, I did not go to make spanish rice just to find we didn't have any.

I did not spill anything.

I did not burn anything.

And I never, ever, ever get upset at my shortcomings. Nope, NOT ME!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

I used to count on Tillamook for Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream. But for some reason, grocery stores don't seem fit to carry it right now. I don't know why. It's something that I have always counted on. It's an Oregonian classic. What has happened?

I have been wanting this particular flavor for a while. The thought of the sweet mixture of chocolate with peanut butter comes to me later in the evening, after kids are in bed, when it's fun to have a treat. But no. It hasn't been there.
There was just one hope. Baskin Robbins.
And tonight my Valentine got some for me. Thank you, Baskin Robbins.

Thank you, dear Husband.
It's just so nice to have people, created by God, placed in our lives by God, that are gifts of everyday grace. And it can be as simple as a single scoop of chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A First Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not have two sick kiddos this week.

I did not stand frozen in the kitchen, holding the trash can as my husband held our daughter with strawberry milk, mucus-puke on him. No. I'm too cool-headed to do that.

And when she vomited again on the way to the bathroom, I was not more concerned about the carpet than her in that moment. Nope. Not me!

I did not praise my daughter for holding the vomit in her mouth and keeping it from getting on the carpet. No, I wouldn't be so proud of that.

I did not, nor would I ever let my children watch hours upon hours of movies and TV because they felt so rotten that they just wanted to rot in front of television.

I definitely did not take my kids to an independent living facility for dinner and expose the entire dining room to fits of coughing.

Finally, I would not think that my poor children are so pathetically cute that I would take pictures of them in their distress. No.

And I would never post them in a public forum for anyone to see...

God is good. Even with our imperfections. I saw grace every day this week as He carried us through.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Forgetting What is Behind

When we went to Woodland, I remember the first Sunday school lesson Casey taught was on Philippians 4:12-14:

"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

We had come into a situation where the church just suffered a severe church split, and where some students still felt the hurt of losing a youth pastor. They needed to forget what lay in the past, and press on towards godliness in Christ, looking heavenward to where all things would be made right.

After we had been hurt in Woodland, this passage came to mind again. I needed to forget what was behind, let go of the bitterness or anger that was sinful within my heart, and move on to what God would have for us to do- and do it with diligence!

Well, this verse comes to mind again. I have had the privilege of seeing some updates from our former church, and am seeing that our friends that we have left behind are being such precious stewards of the young lives we had to walk away from. The leadership of the church appears to be doing an excellent job of supporting that ministry, and seeing all that was a blessing for me.

If I'm being honest though, it was bittersweet too, for we never had that benefit. I couldn't help but think, "What could have been?"

I said this to my mom on the phone the other day, and she told me very simply that what happened happened; and now we have to move on looking to the future. I responded, "Mom, that's hard to do when I don't know what's ahead."

And it's true. What happened to us in the past still hurts in many ways, and I believe that as time goes on, it will heal. God has already laid out a plan of what will happen and how He will provide. I am His. I am called according to His purpose, and He will accomplish all that He has for me and my family.

He will not let my husband be crushed under the hurtful treatment he experienced in Colorado, nor will He let us stay the same. He is refining us. God has put on our hearts the call to minister to His people, and He will use us as we are faithful to the opportunities that He gives.

Oh, that I be faithful to not despair! May I be confident in His provision, and hope in the future that is in His hands- whatever that may hold.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies."
2 Corinthians 4:7-10
(bold, added for emphasis)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Anniversary Present

I have had a horrible time with the oven in our new place. I have burned things, and have made some very weird cookies and crisp bread with dough in the middle. The oven just wasn't working for me, and I wasn't working for it. We didn't like each other, and that was just how it was. One of us had to go.

My husband, knowing the stress of wanting to bless my family with good things to eat and just struggling to produce this, went to Lowes and purchased an oven. It was on clearance. It bakes beautifully, and I named it "Rose" because I wanted to. (Ha! Rose from Lowes... I just thought of that!)

So why could he do this? I wish I could say that it is because he is employed, but that isn't the case yet. We are getting help from the state, and still don't qualify for medical insurance for the kids. We will qualify at the end of the month though, with this purchase. Basically, this oven is our grocery money that we would have spent anyway. And now, our children can break a leg if they want. (But I don't want them to!)

This is such a blessing to me, and I have already baked homemade scones, carrot cake, and blueberry muffins. Not one thing has been burned or unevenly baked... I am beside myself with giddiness!