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Pressing on, in Jesus Name.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another Song

Music just speaks to my soul...here's one from Mercy Me...

Bring The Rain

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Is the Lord God Almighty

Good Morning

Getting out of bed before the crack of dawn has its advantages and disadvantages. I usually spend my "waking up" time checking in with my friends, Steph, Carey, Baby Blues, and For Better or For Worse. So when I get up EARLY, sometimes there's nothing new to note, and rather than using the time to spend with God (betcha didn't know He has a website!!! LOL) I waste it. What a shame, I passed up a perfect opportunity to rest in my Savior's words. Here's hoping that thanks to this post I will remember...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Wierd, isn't it? In some small way I think I was actually trying to fret myself into a tailspin last night, but I couldn't! I fell asleep, with such peace that did not make sense, even to me! Circumstances are looking tough right now, but God is faithful and has truly blessed me with the peace that passes all understanding. My Redeemer is faithful and true.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Singing through my confusion

God Can You Hear Me

I've been here before
It's hard to ignore
I'm so used to fighting
The same old wars
Oh what do you see
when you're looking at me
Have I taken You for granted
I can't afford this pain anymore
Won't You help me understand it

God can You hear me
I need You here tonight
I'm tired of pretending
that everything's alright
And I know, I know
that You hold tomorrow
But I need You here tonight

I want to feel
I need something real
I want to go closer to You
I lay down my will
Oh this human disease
it's killing me
Tell me have I been left stranded
I can't ignore this pain anymore
Won't You help me understand it

Say won't You say
that You'll carry me
Carry me through the storm
Stay Won't You stay
Till the morning comes Morning comes
Just stay

A friend first introduced me to this song, and it is one that I've come back to time and time again...like now. If you listen long enough to my blog's soundtrack, you'll hear it. I'll be singing it a lot today, for reasons I won't go into here. And I'll be praying to hear God's voice through my rantings.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tag, you're it?

All right, Carey, here you go...

5 Things I was doing 10 years ago
  1. Travelling to Washington for my sister-in-law's wedding.
  2. Worrying that my daughter would goof off as a flower girl (see #1 above)
  3. Enduring my final pregnancy.
  4. Remodeling a house.
  5. Bawling my eyes out because I missed the neighbors we'd moved away from.

5 Favorite snack foods

  1. Chips & salsa
  2. Egg rolls
  3. Dark chocolate
  4. Peanuts
  5. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

5 Songs I know all the words to

  1. How Great is Our God
  2. Amazing Grace
  3. Don't Give Me No Lines (And Keep Your Hands to Yourself)
  4. Doxology (Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow)
  5. Boundless Love

5 Things I would do with $1,000,000

  1. Buy a building for our church (or start the fund for one)
  2. Hire someone to remodel our back hallway (see 10 years ago, we're still not done)
  3. Pay for my kid's dental work (orthodontics, bleah!)
  4. Pay off my credit card bill
  5. Buy my hubby a few acres of land and grapes to plant on them, then build him a winery so he could fulfill his dream.

5 Bad habits

  1. Spending too much time on the computer!
  2. Not taking more time to enjoy my kids.
  3. Worrying about what others think of me.
  4. Denying that small snack foods don't count as caloric intake.
  5. Not walking more.

5 Things I like to do

  1. Drink coffee
  2. Go out for coffee with my hubby.
  3. Decorate my house on a shoestring budget.
  4. Sleep
  5. Read

5 Things I would never wear again

  1. Big bangs
  2. Tube Tops
  3. Bikini swimsuit
  4. Mini Skirts
  5. Maternity clothes!!!!! ( I hope...)

I tag Steph, Mary and Cyndi!! Let me know if you are out there....

Friday, August 24, 2007


Sorry, if you don't know, "The Cast" is
...a drama group of 9-12th graders that are involved in many different areas of drama. Whether its working with grade school children, performing for chapels, being a part of a worship service or working with improvisations and One Acts, The Cast stays busy creating and imagining from August until November.
(Unity's Website)

Anyway, its an honor, Hannah will be representing her school at various venues and serving God with the dramatic talent He's blessed her with. We've always known this side of her, but to have it acknowledged by someone who doesn't know her yet, is so affirming for us and her!


High school. Hannah's off to a GREAT start. I'm flipped out by it all, really, and just a little proud...Hannah made Unity's "The Cast" she found out today. Can I scream now?!?!?

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Here's my whole crew ready to head off to school yesterday. This is something of a forced pose, because right now, sibling attitudes of love and acceptance are low. So if we keep teaching them to encourage one another and emphasize our school's theme verse to repsect one another:

1 Peter 2:17

Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of
believers, fear God, honor the king.

1 Peter 2:16-18 (in Context) 1
Peter 2
(Whole Chapter)

I wonder if it will "take"? Consistency is hard to do as a parent, but we strive for it as best we can. We also try to treat each of our children as individuals, knowing that what does work for one doesn't work for all of them. From their perspective we're not being "fair" but like we tell them, who says life has to be fair? If it were, we wouldn't have a prayer of going to heaven, because there's no way we deserve it on our own!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First day...

I've waited for ten years to be able to say this:
"The big yellow monster came by my house today and ate my baby!"
We live too close to the elementary school for the bus to pick up our kids, so today was the first day one of our children had to ride the bus to school--high school. Am I really old enough to have a Freshman?!?!?!?

Monday, August 20, 2007


Here's a picture of Mark using a gift I gave him for this past Christmas. It was such a joy to give it to him! I couldn't wait for him to open the special package I'd created for him to see it in. It was one of those gifts that was so big though, that the way that I gave it to him initially I took photos as I wrapped it, then wrapped up the photos and presented those to him to "open" the package. He was delighted with the gift, but at the time had no use for it, other that at some point in the future when he was ready to make some wine he'd have the fruit press to squeeze the juice with. So yesterday when he got the press out to use for starting a new batch of wine, it was like Christmas all over again for me!
I wonder if that's how God feels when I use the gifts he's given me? When I became a believer, he equipped me with gifts and passions, some that I would be able to use right away, some that perhaps I had to unpack a bit, and some that I couldn't use at the time or didn't use because I didn't fully appreciate them. But when I "get out" a gift he's given and use it, I can't help but think that God delights in that act, just as much as I delighted in Mark's act of using the fruit press I carefully chose just for him. I knew at the time I was buying it that it would be perfect for him, that he would absolutely love it, and that it fell right in line with his passion and hobby. But rather than giving it to him immediately after I bought it, I hid it away for a few months in a friend's garage, then when the time was right, I brought it out of storage to gift wrap it and put it under the tree. Now while it was under the tree, Mark knew it was for him, because I'd labeled it as such, but while it was under the tree, he had to wait to discover what it was until the time was right. And I took such joy in watching Mark open the gift!
On the other hand, I have a gift I'd received from my youngest daughter for Mother's Day this past May. It too was a gift she'd carefully chosen for me, hidden for a while, gift wrapped appropriately and given to me at just the right moment. At that moment I discovered it was a candle that she'd selected for me. What have I done with it since that moment? I put it back in the box, set it on my night table next to my bed and remembered that I'd been given a gift. But I never used it! From time to time when my daughter was in my room she'd notice it and ask with a sad tone to her voice, "Mommy, when are you going to use the Mother's Day gift I gave you?" I've been depriving her of the joy of watching me enjoy the gift she gave me. Yet I've ignored using it, or put it off saying I was waiting for the moment to be just right.
How often do I do that with God? How often have I put off using the gifts he's given me, with one excuse or another, depriving (disappointing) him? Plenty I'm sure...
I think I'll go light a candle, and show it to Leah, I think she'll like it...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Meet Bel...er...Dandelion!

The bunny has been (almost) successfully renamed Dandelion. We still slip with a "Bella" here and there, but it is steadily catching on...too bad, really, Bella was such a great name! Maybe we need to get a girl bunny and use it! Nah!

Servant's heart and coffee

Okay, so I've been asked and have agreed to being an assistant table leader at this fall's Cursillo. Guess what my "biggest" verbalized concern is. NOT how I'll interact with the candidates, not that I'll be a good model for Jesus, not that I'll be able to keep my mouth shut long enough for them to get a word in edgewise, though I do HAVE those concerns....

No, my biggest concern is that I'm a professed "coffee snob" (CS) and there's really no place to find a decent cup of Joe around there.... Well, there was, but it was in my room (when I was on the "upstairs" team), because I made it--and shared it--but still.

Now, downstairs, I don't think I'll be seeming very servant-like if I skulk off from time to time and return with an amazing cup of coffee from some magical place that only I know about. But honestly, how's a CS supposed to SURVIVE in conditions like that?!?!?!?

What a SHAM! And what a FOOL I am to make such a big hullabaloo over such an immaterial thing. I think I can LIVE for a few days without my freshly ground, aromatic, Colombian blend that I have come to know and love every other morning of my life. I think I can get by without even MENTIONING how yuck-o I think the coffee is. And who knows, maybe God will miraculously turn the yucky coffee into amazing coffee right at the moment that it enters my mouth and I won't even know the difference. He CAN do that, you know! But somehow, I doubt He will, not because He can't, but because I need to remember why I'm there and Who I'm serving. So my time there will be a time of fasting, from coffee (at least the GOOD stuff). And remembering that it's not about me, it's about HIM.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Of Mice and (Wo)Men...

So Monday morning Mark and I are sitting quietly in the living room when all of a sudden I saw .... AAAAAAAAAACK! a mouse ran under the east window and under the buffet. Thankfully Mark was home yet and set a trap, we got ‘im… I’m still nervous of there being more, though! And I was totally freaked out about him heading off to work rather than being a hunter for me...his gathering obligation weighed out over that one.

I hate mice...really...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Random thoughts

Today the US welcomes a new citizen, little Jaden. Welcome home, buddy, welcome home.
Last night at a church meeting Bridge agreed to go ahead with looking into hiring a 2nd staff person. Grant money is available to help pay for it, and so we've voted to leap on board where God seems to be leading us (and it isn't the first time we've followed God's lead in faith like this...) to see where the ride takes us. I'm eager to see who God brings into our path.
Vineyard wise, while we still feel God leading us, Mark & I are taking a step back, and are waiting for God's plan to unfold a bit more. Money and land are prohibitive right now, and unless God lays both in our laps, we won't be planting next spring yet, maybe in another year. We're still staying with the ministry vision God has given us, but for now it will be on a smaller scale. I think we have to develop it and learn to use it in our own backyard first.
In less than a week school begins again, it will be weird to have my children in two different places for school, but I'm eager for the opportunity for Hannah to spread her wings a bit.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Needing to keep at it

I guess this is a way of encouraging myself to keep at the "diet" I'm trying to stay with. I'm not doing a specific program, just trying to keep in mind not to overeat on anything, and not eat unless I'm hungry. If I want to snack, I try to nibble a little something, rather than eating a whole pan of brownies--yes I COULD do that if I let myself. Drinking water is key, so is eating a healthy whole grain breakfast, which I need to do right now.
I will also try to remain faithful to walking, though I bombed on that one this morning--maybe some rigorous housework will make up for it? I doubt it.
sigh...I think my progress will be slow, but I hope it will be lasting.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Adoption, God, and me

The thought of adoption has been on my mind lately (yes, it has a lot to do with my friends who are picking up their son from China right now). Something Carey journaled today struck a chord with me...

Part of today was rough for Jaden. He had a couple of spells where he was inconsolable. He didn't want to be held and he absolutely didn't want to be put down. Finally Brandy and I prayed together while holding him. God is good. About 5 seconds after we were done he completely calmed down. He's been through a lot in his short little life. He was left as a newborn (newborns do know when their mama isn't around...they recognize her voice from the womb), at 6 months he was taken from his foster mom, and now, even tho the orphanage wasn't the best setting for him...it's what he knew. We are watching him flourish under our love, but still life is confusing and so very new and none of his routine is the same. Please pray for his adjustment.

Isn't that a lot like being adopted into God's family? When we receive Jesus as Savior from our sins and its condemnation, death, don't we too go through "spells" of being inconsolable (not fully trusting God) when we're either literally or figuratively kicking and screaming and unable to figure out what we really want. When we're trying to get used to hearing God's voice rather than the one we were birthed with (original sin) but there's confusion there because we've known this voice all along and suddenly it's either not there anymore or we know its wrong and we shouldn't listen to it, but yet it's the easiest thing to hear so we listen to it rather than searching out the still small VOICE that is our only real hope. It's been like that ever since sin entered the world. People choose to go with what's comfortable, rather than what's best for them. Look at the Israelites! They wanted to go back to being slaves in Egypt rather than endure a little hardship of walking through the desert--they could have been in the promised land much sooner, if they'd only trusted the two small voices of Caleb and Joshua rather than the ten loud voices of mistrust and fear. Instead they had to endure 40 years in the desert, 1/10th of the time they were enslaved, while they learned what it meant to trust God in everything. They still failed often, but in the end God's faithfulness won out. I have other friends who's adopted son is struggling with attachment disorder, though he was put in their arms when he was only 3 days old! THAT'S how strong the en-utero bond is between mother and child! And that's how strong the hold sin has on my life a lot of the time.
I've fought with my Adopted Father so many times about how He's letting things happen in my life, I kick and scream (yes, literally sometimes) and say how not fair it is, and what does God do?

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

God delights in me! Just as my friends delight in their new son! Their prayer today was them rejoicing over him with singing! God does that for me, too...
And why wouldn't He? I don't think my friends would tell you that they love their "bio" children more than they love their adopted one, neither does God love his own son more than he loves me...in fact He let his Son die on the cross so that I could even BE His child! Wow! I don't know of any parent alive that would be willing to sacrifice their own flesh and blood to make adopting another child possible. Isn't God amazing?
I'll never be the same.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Oops! she's a he!

In order to avoid a bunny sexuality identity crisis, Leah is currently in the process of renaming her mis-named bunny, who is a boy, not a Bella...


South Shed

Dreaming, desiring, discerning...
God is calling, or is He?
The past several weeks have been interesting. Several things have led us to believe that we're to pursue planting a vineyard, and possibly begin a winery.
It's a scary thought, and we're not sure if God is behind it or not, but so many things have taken place lately, and Mark's received so much encouragement.
This morning was the clincher, I have a little flip devotional calendar that I don't keep up with faithfully. So today I flipped it from July 22 to today's date and what do I read but

In everything that [Hezekiah] undertook in the service of God's
temple...he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly.
2Chronicles 31:21
If you could work in the job of your dreams, what would it be? Start
by asking God.... When you bring God into your job-hunt, you may be surprised at how ideally his gift of work fits in your life.

So is God calling us to this? I can't say for sure, but I can tell you that after all the "signs" I told Mark this morning that I think we need to seriously look into it--acquiring land to use, money to start-up, and the direction to take. I'm praying that if this is NOT the direction we're supposed to go that a SERIOUS roadblock will be erected in the path before we head into ruin.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Weighty Issue

I need to get better control of my weight. I try to walk, but do it less faithfully than I should. I try to eat healthily, but probably fail more than I care to admit. Yes, my thyroid is out of whack, but I don't think I should have this much trouble with weight gain.
I need to make a more concerted effort of this, that's all there is to it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Healing Rain!!!!

'Nuff said. Thank You, Lord.

Happy Trails

My friends Brandy & Carey depart today on their adventure of bringing home their son from China. My thoughts and prayers are with them as they share this step of their Journey to Jaden together. Some would consider this the completion of that journey, but those of us who have embarked on the journey called parenthood know that this is but one step of a long adventure, and from what I understand won't end until the Lord calls the parent home.