Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Me! Monday!: The Misadventures of an Unadventurous Me

Ah, it's that time of the week again, and welcome to another Not Me! Monday! a carnival blog created by MckMama. Will you not join her and her other readers as we laugh at ourselves and our imperfections? Just visit her blog, and read away.

As I think back on this last week, I can't help but remember last Monday when I brilliantly came up with the idea to take the kids to feed some ducks. I had a plan. I had a gallon-size Ziplock bag full of breading, and a box of stale Wheat Thins. The kids were excited. I was looking forward to it too.... and then we got there...

A lovely pond tucked away behind a Super Walmart is the setting for this tale. We got out of the van and started walking towards a smaller group of ducks. A couple red-billed geese were in the group, and they certainly weren't walking towards us before we even whipped out the gallon-size! It was then I knew.... this was going to be interesting.

As I threw pieces of bread into the air, geese did not start scolding me for not feeding them faster. A larger group of geese did not fly over from the other side of the water to partake in the festivities. The geese were not the size of Haddon, and they certainly did not pop our personal space bubbles. Norah didn't retreat away from the flocks, throwing bread at them in fear, and Haddon didn't get overwhelmed by the size, number and closeness of the water fowl surrounding him. I'm very brave and keep things together, so it certainly wasn't me who panicked, chucked the bag of bread at the geese, scooped up Norah, and ran for the van... no, that wouldn't be something I would do. I'm much more even keeled than that!

In doing something like that, I would have been leaving my son behind in the middle of a group of geese and ducks, and my keys as well. Good thing I didn't do that! So, I certainly didn't run back, braving the hungry birds, and get Haddon only to forget my keys again in the grass.

We most assuredly didn't end up feeding the birds from inside the van.

A nice couple trying to enjoy their lunch weren't watching us instead- and trying not to laugh.

Don't worry. That wasn't my only encounter with nature this week. A grasshopper did not make its way into my son's room, and scare me. No, I was not scared of a silly grasshopper. I did not jump when it jumped, and I was not creeped out by simply scooping it up and putting it outside. Seriously. I'm not that much of a pansy!

Furthermore, I did not show how ditsy I am when I was checking a very sweet voicemail from someone. They were telling me a story, and it was not so real to me that I did not start talking back. I didn't sit there through most of the message, "um-hum-ing" and saying, "yeah"... because it was a recording. The person wasn't really talking to me. I would have no reason to talk back to someone who wasn't there right? RIGHT?!

There you have it. See how easy it is? I really didn't do those things, so there is no need for me to feel embarrassed.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Grace to Rise Above Molech

The spirit of Molech is at work among us even now.
Even as you read this... there are bones of babies being ground to unrecognizable bits,
perhaps even a few short miles from where you're sitting.
These are babies lying in garbage receptacles, waiting to be taken away as "medical waste." These infants won't have names until Jesus calls them out for the first time...
Aborted babies can't say, "Abba." But the Father hears their cries anyway. Do we?

There was more said in this paragraph, but when I read this, the tears came. Molech was a god in the Old Testament that nations would sacrifice children to. The nation of Israel was instructed specifically to not offer their children to Molech.

We pray that we will be able to adopt soon. We pray that we will be blessed with the opportunity to prevent one child from being torn from this world through the choice of abortion... by being sacrificed for the sake of self, offered to a modern-day Molech.

By God's grace, I hope that just reading this one paragraph quoted above, someone might consider reading the whole book. And maybe by reading the whole book, sees the importance of adoption in the life of Christians.

(Excerpt from "Adopted for Life" by Russell D. Moore, emphasis added)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not Me! Monday!: Of Dishes, Laundry and Batteries

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! a blog carnival created by MckMama. This is a chance to be humble, laugh at the silly things that we do, and live to tell about it! You can visit MckMama's blog to see what others are not doing this week... and maybe you'll be inspired to join the fun!

One thing that people will be pleased to know about me is how meticulous I am with keeping my sink free of dirty dishes. I mean, that's very important, right? For instance, this last week when I made a pork roast, I certainly did not leave the crockpot in the sink overnight. No. I wouldn't do that because that would be gross- especially when the next morning you find that everything left in the crockpot would be solid fat and grease with chunks of pork something-rather in it. Not me!

Also, I keep track of when I run the dishwasher. In the past couple weeks, I would never have to really think hard about whether I ran the dishwasher or not. Not me! Furthermore, my husband would never have to ask if the dishwasher was clean or dirty because when I do run the it I immediately empty it, right? RIGHT?!

Yes, I keep a close watch over the affairs in the house. That is why laundry did not sit unfolded for approximately 3 days, and my son did not chew on AA batteries so many times that the label started coming off. My son also didn't unroll a practically brand new roll of toilet paper, and the laundry hamper is not just about overflowing again. No way. Not me!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

God Our Provider

Some puzzle pieces were put together last night as I drove home from an evening out by myself. You see, I found a job. No, God found a job, but I'll explain.

I had to fill out paper work- which, as it turns out, is all digital- at my new place of employment. When I was done, I asked one of the managers how some interviews went, since they will be hiring 2 or possibly 3 more people as retailers anticipate the Christmas season. She told me that they went well, and then we discussed how many applications came in- a flood! She told me how hard it is to go through them all, and really, unless one of them stands out a lot and they put it aside, it's easy for a good applicant to get lost in the shuffle.

As I drove home, it hit me. It really was God's grace that provided a part-time job so quickly. Months ago I was in the very store where I just got hired, and ran into the general manager. The general manager just happened to be a former boss from way back before I was even married. We caught up a little bit, and I was on my way. I hardly thought about that chance encounter again.

Two weeks ago, my husband and I decided that it was time for me to look at part-time work to help in this rough financial time for us. We put it off as long as we could, as our goal is to have me at home with the children (a goal we still have, and look forward to that again), but for now, while he is finishing school, and has yet to secure a better-paying job (not for lack of trying- his persistance is such a blessing to me!), I will be needed to pitch in. I am happy to do so.

I got right to work thinking where to apply. I filled out one online application, and knew immediately that this was going to be a rough process! Then I was struck by a thought, "Hey! I wonder if they are hiring at The Children's Place?" That is where I knew the general manager.

To make a long story short, I called the manager, asked if they were hiring. She told me that they were, and that I should come on down. About 12 days later, she called me offering me a job with no interview or anything. I will be starting next week.

So I just happened to run into the right person. I just happened to think of her in a time when my family needs me to help. She just happened to be hiring in the coming days. The job just happens to offer just the right hours, and be with, what appears to be, a great staff. It just happens to be a job that I am very good at and generally enjoy (retail, customer service, etc.)

And in an economic time when it can take weeks and weeks to even secure a part-time job because of the sheer number of applicants at any given position, I just happen to know the right person at the right time who was willing to hire me on the spot?

I don't think those things just happen. I think that is evidence of God's provision.

Thank you Lord for providing swiftly and abundantly for our family.
All our needs are met, and you give us so many wants. As you reveal different parts of the glorious tapestry you are weaving, may you recieve all glory. Forever and ever!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


It has been a difficult time this past month. Being Norah's mother hasn't been easy. My head has been spinning as she throws curve ball after curve ball in behavior. I'm not sure what's behind it, whether it's simple sin and pushing limits, or if she's feeling insecure or unsettled in any way. It's hard to know.

The challenge in all this, beyond simply dealing with each disciplinary action needed, is to keep a proper perspective. It is so easy for the devil to speak discouragement at times like these. Doubt and insecurity about my own parenting creep in. Is she going to turn out alright? Am I presenting the Gospel clearly enough? Will she repent and turn to Christ? When? What if she doesn't? What will we do if she doesn't get things together and get this behavior under control? What will family and friends think? Are we really doing this badly?

But that's not what God says. God has promised that I am sealed with the Holy Spirit. God has promised that His word will give me all I need pertaining to life and godliness. He has promised that trials will bring about perseverance and faithfulness. He has promised that He will be glorified in all things.

So, if God is going to be glorified, and if my desire is to glorify Him in all I do, then it will happen. I may stumble and struggle through this time of testing, but so help me, I will glorify God as His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

As to how I think of Norah, that is another battle. When children push buttons or repeatedly disobey, it is easy to label them as bad or think poorly of them. I won't let that happen.

Norah is such a bright and intelligent little girl. I look forward to helping her mind expand and grow in new ways. I look forward to seeing her understand new things and use that intelligence to figure out problems and discern what is right and wrong as she gains wisdom. She is tender-hearted. Norah watches out for those that are littler than her. You should see how she dotes over babies and toddlers younger than her. It is a joy to have her younger cousins around, as Norah watches out for them. Just the other night, I knew as a four-year-old, that she would do her best to watch her one-year-old cousin as he was in her bedroom. "Watch that he doesn't put anything small in his mouth." She did. Of course adults checked on him and the rest of the kids, but it was a proud moment for me to know that she would do her best to watch out for the little guy.

Norah is full of energy, and makes us laugh. Even in the womb, she rolled around, pushed, kicked, stretched. And when she entered the world, she kept going! Norah will talk and play and move from activity to activity. Though this is, well, exhausting, at times, she is a blessing to see with the spark for life that she has. Norah loved crafts, and coloring and singing and making music- none of which produces something that anyone would say is lovely, but to me, it is sweet- though often LOUD!

So I will keep these things in mind when I am tempted to be dismayed over my daughter's behavior. I will remember that she was created excellently by her Maker, and endowed with a personality and gifts all her own. May God give me the grace to help direct those things for His glory. And may the Holy Spirit draw my daughter into relationship with Christ- because all the sweetness of who she is won't matter if it's not lived for Him.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A New Gig

It seems that lately my thoughts are like a tumbling tumbleweed or something. Things keep rolling around and around! One thing that is on my mind is facing returning to work again after being at home with my children for over four years. This isn't something that I enter into lightly, and truth be known, I would prefer to continue at home with my children, but it is needed for a time that I pitch in to care for our family. We've put it off for as long as we could and reduced things as much as possible, but I will need to find something part-time in the evenings.

As I apply to different jobs, I find myself feeling so daunted by all the process. I've been out of it for so long! In fact, I have not had a job interview since 2003!

It's also surreal because while moms are taking their children to school and rejoicing in their "freedom", I find myself feeling the opposite. Yeah, I'm getting out of the home, but I don't want to. I want to be home all that time. My husband wants me to be home all the time. It is a privilege to be at home with children, and though it's the toughest gig you'll ever have, NO ONE can do it better than your children's mother- you.

So, I will be faithful to search for a job that will be a minimal disruption to my mothering, and I will pray that I will be able to get back home soon. And I will pray that I am able to find something soon.

Either way, though, I know that God will provide.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'd Rather Be a Freak

I recently read a post on another family's blog. It resonated with me. This particular family had spent some time in Mexico, working as missionaries, and now they are back in their own hometown. The husband and father of this family wrote about how different they were upon coming back. He found himself biting his tongue more. He thought so much differently than those he had left behind. It was all sort of strange to him.

We have been away from our hometown on two separate occasions. While we were gone, a lot was learned and so much changed for my husband and myself. We studied, read books, talked and had experiences that I don't wish on any, but lessons that I wish on all. While we were gone, life continued in Salem, Oregon. Most stayed the same, but still some things changed.

Mostly folks just kept going on the course they were going on, a few twists and turns here and there, but steadily along they all went.

We zigged, and zagged; we darted one way and then another, climbed mountains and hit deep valleys.

We came back both times looking the same, but we're really not- with firmer convictions and things so deep and we cannot even express the impact on our hearts. If we try to express it, many just don't get it- either we can't express it well enough, or well, you just had to be there.

Sometimes we come across dear ones that have been in full-time ministry, and sometimes get moments of camaraderie. But for the most part, we're on our own. It's not that we aren't supported or encouraged or that no one wants to understand where we're coming from. I just wonder if it's confusing for folks because we look the same, but we're not who we were. We're just different now. We think very differently now.

To those who knew us for years, we must seem quite freakish.

At times that feeling brings a little bit of loneliness, if I'm being honest (and I prefer to be so, as that is what is God-honoring).

I wouldn't have it all taken away though. I would rather be a freak among friends and family, having gone through the trials of the last 6 years or so (really, who's counting?!), then to go back to who I was when I first loaded the car to head to California on a wintry January day.

Nah. I'd rather be a freak, definitely a freak.