Thursday, September 30, 2010

Life Transitions's not a word that sits well with some of us. Would it not be easier if we could just have consistency every day and not have to worry about doing anything differently?

I don't think so.

Now, I used to think change was bad. Au contraire!

God is teaching me that "Change" is all for Him and His glory. Seriously. Change is HARD. But God can see us through.

All these years (12 of them), I have been homeschooling and having babies. The babies are growing up, and I am not homeschooling (with the exception of my preschooler, to whom I read and teach to write...but that's not school, that's fun!). Now, I am sitting in a coffee shop, sipping cafe au lait, and having leisure time on the laptop. This is new for me!

What's amazing is how I used to do this years ago in college, yet it seems so far in the past.

I sit here and smell the aromas of warm chai, coffee, and pastries. Nearby, two ladies are having an enchanting and upbeat conversation as their cellphones go off every now and then (they just push the silent button so as to not interrupt their lovely chat). Traffic flows by intermittently on the two-lane, old-town street outside. A ceramic lamp sits glowing nearby with its slightly crooked lampshade.

I like this change...Snnniiiifffff (big inhale)...I love the smell of chai.

Where to next, God?

Enjoy the "Change" that God has given you.

Now I shall do what I was supposed to do; make my grocery list (smile).



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tears in a Bottle = Encouragement Overflowing

"Thou tellest my wanderings; put thou my tears into thy bottle; are they not in thy book?" Psalm 56:8 (Kings James I love the poetry of the King James!).

Though God is certainly omniscient and omnipresent...etc. he may even be frustrated with trying to keep up with me lately. Between the already overwhelming daily upkeep and care of our busy household, we have football practices, driver's training, readying 4 children for school (that's another post...we are putting 4 of our children into the area Catholic, we are not Catholic), and to top it all off, the disaster which presented itself today upon my arrival home from errands.

Sorry about spewing that all out at once! Let's put this in reverse and explain the precursors to the above paragraph.

This is not quite an unusual late-summer/pre-fall for us. The anticipation of football and all that it entails keeps us very busy. However, there is a new matter, Roger working far away and not in town. This puts more responsibility on my shoulders and means I need to get people where they need to go without calling my husband and asking for his help.

Well, after 3 weeks of this, I am starting to feel it. Anger, frustration, helplessness, fatigue, ALLERGIES (ragweed season..blah), unexpected occurrences (lots of those in a big family). Well, you can only go so long with that laundry list of items before some thing's gotta give.

This morning while driving around (chauffeuring, of course), I was allowed some time to pray and ask God to give me grace while at the same time asking His forgiveness for my angry, hard heart and selfishness (self-preservation kicks in when we're busy!). I just couldn't give it up...I didn't want to! I wanted to be mad and furious (inside..ha ha...the only one who really can see that I feel this way besides God, is my husband).

After a few hours, I felt the Lord softening my heart (He really does do that!) and telling me that I need to have a good cry. Lord, I can't do that right now! I don't want to appear red and puffy-faced in public! The crying spell could wait. I arrived home and phoned my husband meaning to apologize to him for my stubborn, cold behavior of the morning. But I had to eat first, so I thought stir-fried broccoli and rice would be great. I'd get this started in no time after getting the broccoli out of the downstairs chest freezer.

Before opening our family's freezer, one needs to remove the piles of stuff off of the top, which takes a few minutes. Alas, it was clear and time to open the lid. What I found inside brought me almost to my knees and certainly into guttural tears.

A completely defrosted freezer with the remnants of the frost remaining in 4 inch pool at the bottom revealed itself to me. Much of the food was defrosted (hours of hard work preparing strawberries and blueberries..AAGGHHH). Someone had unplugged our basement chest freezer.

"Well, God", I thought, "perhaps this is a good time to have that crying spell. Thanks for providing the opportunity." (an then what followed was sobbing, crying, frustrated sighs here and may be familiar with it).

So, after mopping up all of the water (my tears mixed in with the pool in the freezer bottom), I took a deep breath and began to count my blessings (with God's grace and help). I wanted to scream and yell at my children about how frustrated I was. Wow. Talk about intense feelings.

God reminded me that most of the meat in the bottom was partially frozen and could be saved. I could refreeze the fruit and just use it for smoothies. And best of all, the freezer got cleaned out! ha ha. One of those dreaded seasonal jobs that is last on my to-do list.

It's amazing how children react to a sad momma. Mine began to feel sympathy toward me and tried to help the best they could. Phew. I know I need their help.

My dear husband phoned, and I told him the whole story (breaking down once again in tears!). He, as always, listened patiently and commiserated with me. There is no one who can make me feel better.

Dear sister calls. I tell her the story, again in tears! Geesh. I was really beginning to sound pathetic.

I am doing much better now, an hour later. You're hearing the news fresh off the presses.

What a blessing that God collects all of our tears in a bottle. When that bottle runs over, encouragement eventually comes in a flood. His encouragement.

I praise Him today!


Camy (who wonders how many of you dear readers are holding in loads of tears, thus preventing God's flood of encouragement meant for you. Let it out!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blessings From Heaven

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where a need arises, yet the prospect of fulfilling that need seems either difficult or close to impossible? I would like to share with you my own experience related to that.

Our family is always busy. Certainly not a strange phenomena for a family of 10. Teenagers are going one way, adolescent children are itching to go and learning that their time has not yet arrived, preschoolers/7 year olds are busybodies and wonderful noisemakers (hankering for a philosophical conversation about simple things), and toddlers keep you on your toes and remind you of all the non-childproof areas in your home! Suffice it to say, all of this activity consumes much of my time and allows for little extra minutes. (and those minutes were happily spent with my 25 year old sister who was visiting! Great fun!)

While mulling over the week's plans, it seemed to me that Friday would come quickly, and that my energy level would likely be near its exhaustive state. Wednesday presented a dilemma. It was a birthday eve for our Sammy and a cake would need to be made. Also, it was grocery week, and in our house of 7 ravenous boys (and a hungry, growing girl), it occurred to me that dinner would be very challenging since the refrigerator contents was beginning to wane and would require great innovation to create a satisfying meal (I used to be innovative..sigh). It's always feast of famine in our house!

This is when I prayed "Lord, you know my needs for the week, and you will certainly provide." He has been so faithful in times past, and this has allowed me to take my needs to Him often. I asked Him how in the world I would find the energy to plan the needed meals for the week as well as make a cake. My prayer was interrupted by fighting boys (surprise), so my day went on as usual.

Well, God began to put His plan into action. I love how there are so many threads used to weave together a beautiful tapestry of God's goodness (to borrow an Edith Schaeffer idea). So many intricate details and people are part of the things He does for us! Let's get back to the story.

My 3 older boys went to a gathering at a friend's house nearby. A summer cookout with lots of food and boys both. My husband took 3 of our younger boys out for ice cream and a visit to grandma's house. My daugher (who was a bit under the weather), our baby and I remained at home...a quiet home without all of the guys. We had a nice evening.

Around 9:30, our older boys arrived home with two items that were specific answers to my prayer mentioned earlier. One of these items was a HUGE chocolate brownie cake (I could easily adapt this into a "shark" themed birthday cake for my little boy), and the other was a bag containing 2 ziploc bags of grilled hot dogs and buns enough to cover the dogs. These were the leftovers from the cookout. I was astonished.

God had provided a birthday cake and dinner! Not only that, my time was freed up to tackle other things that have been waiting in the wings for weeks.

So, the moral of the story is "Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you." Not only that, but "He supplies all our needs through Christ Jesus our Lord."

I love that.

Have a blessed day! I'd love to hear your "blessings provided" story as well.

Happy birthday, Samuel Oliver (5 years old today). You are my child prodigy and sweetheart. Thanks for keeping your older brothers straight.

Blessings to you, dear reader!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yummy Recipe Idea

Pizza Rolls
So, my grand idea of cleaning the kitchen for one hour per day (see previous entry), crashed royally. That story is a whole new blog entry in itself, so stay tuned (LOL). However, I had to jump in really quickly and share a great recipe idea, as well as one of my favorite websites:

Vickilynn Haycraft at Real Food Living blog, posted a delicious recipe (pictured at the beginning of the blog entry). It features the cinnamon roll idea, yet converts its sweetness to savory. It sure looked great to me! I also thought it would be a great make-ahead meal for those of you looking for options there.

The possibilities are endless for this food roll. You could add convenience by using prepackaged frozen bread dough. Canned pizza dough would also be ideal.
It is my desire to make wonderful meals to nourish my family. However, I have not always been in the season to do so. Health issues, schedules, other obligations and such can at times put things on the backburner, so to speak.
I pray you are in a good season of life at this time, and if not, that you are seeing God's hand in your circumstances. Have hope! He will see you through it all.
Is there just one, simple thing you can do today to make your home a nicer place to live? How about:
1) Decluttering a hotspot or doing the Flylady Home Blessing (see Flylady).
2) Wash your windows, either on the inside or outside, or both! Or, just wash that one window that has dust, fingerprints, and smears on it.
3) Make your bed.
4) Help your children tidy their rooms.
5) Freshly cut flowers or even weeds! I usually send my daughter outside to search for selected flowers and weeds to make a nice arrangement. We use various size mason jars to display our bouquets.
6) Make a nice meal or batch of cookies to nourish your family (and to distribute a pleasant aroma throughout your home!)
Just do one thing today that is different from what you do everyday.

Keep in mind that there are other homemakers doing the very same thing. You are the unsung heroes who make home a refuge and haven.

Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Order in the Kitchen

Summer has presented a quandry to me. My kitchen is a mess!!!!! Why is it that my house becomes absolutely and totally "high maintenance" when summer arrives. Besides the humidity and dirt that comes in the house, our activity level changes, and I am usually not in a cleaning routine.

Well, I'm hoping to tackle the kitchen this week, in the spirit of Flylady. I urge you to take a peak at her website if you haven't already.

It is my aim to spend at least 1 hour per day cleaning and organizing. I liked this link for organizing: http:// It's very simple and to the point.

So, I must now depart and go to the kitchen to clean up the mess from supper.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer! We sure are.



Sunday, February 28, 2010

Long, Overdue Update has been such a long time!

Just a few, short bits of news: our baby is now 10 months old, my twins are now 16, and I have celiac disease. Exciting, huh? LOL!

My access to a computer is still limited, yet the desire to write still festers. I will try hard to make a new entry soon...with photos :o).