April 30, 2010

What difference do it make?

This book is so good!

I was given this book to review a month or so ago, and with the chaos of life, just got to it this week.  I told you about Same Kind of Different as Me a couple of months ago.  This book is a sequel of sorts.  It tells stories of lives changed since Same Kind was published.  And it is every bit as good.   Not warm fuzzy kind of good, but convicting kind of good. We all have something we can be doing to serve those less fortunate in our lives.

My favorite story that is woven throughout the book is that of one of the authors and his journey of forgiveness toward his father, an emotionally absent alcoholic.  Here are a few of my favorite lines:

"Denver had taught me that to love a man enough to help him, you have to forfeit the warm, self-righteous glow that comes from judging.  
I had developed quite a do-gooder reputation for myself by refusing to judge 'bad sorts'- bag ladies and vagrants, drug addicts, drunks, and runaway teenagers who sold their bodies for money.
 But I was just now learning to do it for my own flesh and blood.
 ...was I so shallow, my do-gooding so superficial, that I could only set judging aside and help a person as long as his sins didn't affect me?"

"Jesus said we will be judged by how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the prisoner, the stranger.  We are judged by our compassion, how we live our lives, not by how [a homeless man to whom we have offered help] ultimately lives his.  God calls us to love, not calculate the end game."

It's very much worth reading, as is Same Kind.  And it's good enough that it was a one night read for me. Just to get started, you can read the first 35 pages online.  :)

April 29, 2010

An update on the children

Mattie was calling all of her children yesterday, so we asked her about it.  "I thought they were dead?" Robert said.
"Oh.  Catie (one of the surviving three children) had a special wand who put all their pieces back together again."
Upon further questioning today, "They are still sick from the monster, though.  They have food allergies now.  They are allergic to wheat, goats, and monsters.  And lollipops make them throw up, so they can't have more than one."

Oh my goodness.  I need some levity today!  This child is good for my soul.

April 28, 2010

It's a sad day...

Yesterday we had a freak accident here.

It resulted in the death of eleven of Mattie's (imaginary) children.  They are survived by three siblings, Jewel, Catie and Chewy who were not present at the time the beast attacked in Africa, and they are sad.

Mattie appears to be managing just fine, but she said "I wish I would have been there to save them.  I'll miss taking them on nature walks."

April 24, 2010

Pics of Last Week

Remember I said I had family in town last week?  I see no reason to write this entire post twice.  You can just head right on over here and read about it from my sister's perspective!  :)  She has all the same pictures I would!

April 19, 2010

It's always interesting

It's always interesting to look back at the blog posts I have published in the past.  The number of posts per month is pretty indicative of my state of being during a certain time, and that certainly holds true for the past few weeks here!  I miss writing when I'm not here, but in times like this, it takes too much effort to put thoughts in order.  Even cathartic activities take too much work sometimes.

Over the past two weeks (has it really been only 13 days?!):
I've attended a trial of a falsely accused family member, only to end up testifying and watching her be wrongly convicted.  I knew I would be sad if this did not go well, but I never imagined what the emotional depth of my reaction would be.  I was in a fog for three days, grieving for the loss of freedom, the arrogance I saw on "the other side," fear of our judicial system, three children who won't see their mother face to face for possibly ten years, and a myriad of other things.  All the while knowing in my head that the Lord could have stopped the entire sequence of events at any second.  He could have, but He didn't, and He will use this for His glory.  I'm sure of it.  It is consolation, and it offers hope.

Two days later, I had the annual Luke 14 County Fair event of which I'm the co-director.  I had to snap out of the fog and process all sorts of details for this huge event.  Not to mention I wanted to be enjoying every minute of it!  I'll write an entire post about that eventually.

I had family arrive (before Luke 14, actually), as the day after Luke 14 was Jacob's birthday!  I can't believe my firstborn is EIGHT!  I can't believe I let it go here without acknowledging it.  My mom, sister, sister in law and their two boys were here for a few days following.  It was so good to have babies in the house again!  While I still would give just about anything to be there again ("there" being diapers, teething, spit up, new smiles and words), there was a new rest in knowing that I'm okay with this stage I'm in now.  I was the only one who got to sit down next to the lake.  I can walk around the block (and actually get my heart rate up) with my kids and count it as exercise.  It's good, but it's hard too.

This two weeks has brought so many emotions!  Highs and lows, really.  It's brought incredible busy-ness with a lack of time to handle the lows, which brought a very familiar feeling... one that told me I was heading for shut down if I didn't slow down.  I recognized those feelings of wanting to sit on the couch and stare at nothing, of having to get through this day without knowing when rest would come, of having to do things for other people when I could hardly make myself put my next sentence in order, of wanting to go crawl in a hole just because life outside the hole required too much thought.

But God gave me little doses of strength to get to the next pit stop!  He gave me what I needed to make it through each day well and survive until I could rest!  It took 4 days to recover and get things back in order, when I normally could have done it in one day.  I just couldn't get myself focused to do it.  Robert was so good to pick up my slack without my even asking him!

While it's good to have a very physical feeling to let me know when I'm doing too much (though most of this was out of my control), it's unnerving wondering if I will struggle with this forever.  After really sinking fully into depression last summer, it's like my mind has a new normal that has less tolerance for overload than it used to.  I guess it's always good to have a very clear picture of our abundant need for Him!

So that's what I've been doing since April 2.  I have several things I want to post about, each with pictures.  Maybe over the next few days...

April 04, 2010


He is Risen indeed!

April 02, 2010

Moments of Joy 15

There have been many moments of joy around here lately!  Join me in enjoying them!

Many, many hours enjoying the long-awaited warm, sunny days!
The sweetness of the first of the season sun-kissed cheeks and noses.
Highlights in dirty, sweaty hair - both evidence of enjoying Spring!
Flowers growing in our indoor greenhouse, soon ready to face the big world in the garden.

A family nature walk this morning at a local state park.

Robert feeling better and making us all LaUGh again!  I didn't realize how much we were all missing this and how much laughter he gave us all!

A tag-along-vacation with Robert while he was working out of town. 
The kids enjoying the hot tub and swimming pool!
Sitting by the fire as we roast hot dogs and marshmallows.

God's faithfulness to help me take every thought captive, and the noticeable absence of thoughts I previously struggled with. 
God caring about the little details as we plan our annual Luke 14 County Fair on schedule for one week from tomorrow!

Mattie's delightful contentment at pretending non-preferred foods are ones she really wants (but can't have).  Bread was an English Muffin, strawberries were macaroni and cheese, water was soda, and tennis shoes were glass slippers, etc.  This is new, but has been a welcome addition to our mealtimes!

Good time with Jacob.
Good school with Jacob.
Smaller medicine doses for Jacob.
Mattie.  Just Mattie in her own, unique, take life by the horns and make it into what you want sort of way.

God is so good to me in so many ways.  He gives me so much!  More than I deserve.  More than I thank Him for.  More than I could ever think to ask for.  And just because He delights in blessing me.