Monday, April 28, 2008

God knew I needed a toilet seat?

A portion of Wendi’s post today reads as follows: “And He, again, was the farthest thing from condemning you could imagine. And He really understood, like got where I was at. He knew I would be there. He knew it was okay to be there. He used my being there to show me some really important things that I would not have learned had I not been there. And then He invited me to move on from there. He brought me into a group of people who love Him.”

For me I’m certain that Wendi at Every Day Miracles will become a part of the group of people who love Him as I do; that I will continue to turn to. Many of us have mentioned in recent posts the power and connection that develops between woman, bloggers, moms, and writers that have never met but are linked together via the Internet, in Him. Many of these connections and relationships are even deeper than those who share our lives with us daily. I’m grateful for the blogs God has recently directed me to and look forward to many cups of coffee with them in the future.

I recently found myself in exactly the same place as Wendi while cleaning my basement last week. Yeah, remember the basement, the one behind closed doors that I mentioned was a physical manifestation of my life; only surface clean. Well my home was surface clean like my life is surface clean and I’m working on making it (my home and heart) clean on every level and getting into every nook and cranny. Well I’m happy to report that the majority of the basement is clean, in fact empty! If only it were as easy to weed our hearts! Sigh!

My “ah ha” moment, my revelation, when God said to me “I knew you’d be here, It’s okay that you are here, and I knew you’d be needing this” was when I found a toilet seat of all things in the bathroom cupboard of my basement. It had been there since before we moved in. That must sound pretty odd, what a vision. Me standing in the midst of a messy basement, finding a new toilet seat, and hearing God say “I knew you’d be needing this.” Bear with me…

First off, I need the toilet seat because the one in my upstairs bathroom broke some time ago and all our butts were pinched in it each time we sat on it. So my lovely hubby’s solution: white duct tape! Even funnier right! We could have purchased a new seat but we are not putting money of any sort into maintaining this home. Why? Good question, and one that comes with a painful answer.

My husband and I gave birth to children number 4 & 5 in February of 2004, twin girls, while living in a dinky home all of 900 square feet with only 1 bathroom among now 4 girls! A nightmare! Our home at been up for sale for quite some time, so long that we had given up on looking at our next home for purchase. Finally, in April of 2004 our “dinky” home sold. Our next purchase was our dream home! We felt called to Romeo, MI where we attend church and had a deep desire to really get rooted in the community and even deeper rooted in our church. But, our dream home was in Clinton Twp. We disobeyed. The closing of this home proved to be problematic with one red flag after another. And, even though we both knew deep within our core that God was clearly telling us not to buy this home, we did any way.

We ended up in an interest only mortgage which was locked in for three years. We’d give ourselves some time to “grow” into the payment and gain equity in the house then refinance before the three years was up. We’re in Michigan where the housing market has literally fallen out and the foreclosure rate is record setting. When it came time for us to refinance, our home was worth less than we owed on it and wouldn’t appraise high enough for us to get a new fixed rate mortgage. We spent three years basically renting this home from the mortgage company and now were faced with a $500 per month hike in mortgage payments with no end in sight because the market isn’t coming back up any time soon. This home was never ours to begin with and is obviously no longer a good investment and selling wasn’t an option since any sane person wouldn’t purchase a home for more than its value, especially in Michigan at this time. Our only option was to let our home go back to the bank. But only after many repeated attempts to refinance through our lender, only to be told “no” at every turn. Neither of us saw the value in trying to grip onto a home that we feel God never wanted us in to begin with. There, I said it, I lost a house. Notice I didn’t say “my house.” It was borrowed from the bank for a season and now it’s been given back. God is my provider and will continue to provide!

To say I’ve learned lessons from this is a serious understatement and lessons I certainly would not have learned without landing myself in this very place. My husband and I battled to be “head of household” for many years. This made our home life so wrecked with havoc! The first lesson we gained from this was our proper order of things in this home and I can’t tell you just how peaceful our home has become since taking my position as neck. The neck is just as important as the head, even more so. The head can’t stand on its own, it requires and demands support! My husband is head of our household in all means including our finances as well. I keep him organized so things don’t get forgotten and we discuss the finances so we are in agreement but the responsibility now falls on him.

I had been working part-time from home and have since left that position to take up my real passions and minister to my children and family the way they all deserve. If we were busy gripping onto saving a home we don’t belong in, we’d never be able to afford to do this. I’d be sacrificing and surpassing my God given gifts as a mother, wife, writer, and photographer to keep up with the Jones’.

We’ve grown leaps and bounds, it has been a painful process but one I’m glad we’ve endured. Our priorities are in line, we know where our purpose lies, and we’ve many steps closer to leading our children down the right path and ensuring their success as well.

Nothing on this earth belongs to any of us, it all belongs to God, and it’s all on loan. At one point in time we’ll all be asked if we are willing to pass it on to someone else as someone passed it on to us. I’m now more than ever less concerned with owning my own home. A home is made up of the people in it, now the color on the wall. Of course God knows the desires of my heart and he wants to fulfill those desires and I trust he will meet and exceed our needs when it comes time to leave this house and move onto our next house that we will make our home.

My home will be defined in the laughter that resonates through the walls, the hash marks on the walls as my children grow, the sticky apple juice on the kitchen floor, the memories we’ve created that hang on the wall, and the Lord that is the glue that holds it all together. That can be created and will be created in any resting place whether the county says it’s mine or not. My children won’t remember whether I paid a mortgage company or a land lord, they will remember that I was home when they arrive from school each day.

The desires of your heart, are they Godly desires or desires that conform us to this world? I used to be one of the people who were conformed to this world and each new day brings me a step farther away from the world and closer to the Lord. Although painful, this circumstance, this lesson, has brought about the greatest level of growth and revelation in Him. I’m grateful to God for loving me so much that he reveals what is wrong with me, he and the spirit press on me until I get it! Thank you Jesus!

I was at one point ashamed, afraid of the stigmatism associated with a person whose house has been foreclosed on, but I’m not ashamed. Like I told Wendi earlier today, mine, hers, and your value is not measured in what others think of me, or even what I think of me, but what God thinks of me! God loves me! I mess up, he knows I’m going to mess up before I do and he loves me anyway. He loves you any way!

Friday, April 25, 2008


I had to be at the elementary school at 7:30 this morning with all four of my girls to decorate the cafeteria & gym for VIP Day. I never leave my house that early; thank you Jesus I don't work, I could never pull it off every day. For those mom's who do it every day, giant kudos, you rock, I don't envy you.

While in the cafeteria the lunch lady came in to set up breakfast for those kids that eat at school in the morning. Irritated to find us there she began to tidy certain areas and place other items out just so. Everything had a place and it had to be perfect. My children and I were clearly not part of the normal deal and I could tell we were making her very nervous. So I can already tell she's freaking out about these kids being in her cafeteria and I'm filling up balloons which my girls are of course running and jumping around with. The balloons begin to pop because I'm using a little air thingy and have put too much air in them. This freaks her out even more. My girls insist they are popping because there are nails or other sharp objects behind the curtain that the balloons have bumped so the balloons all get shuffled onto the cafeteria floor and off of the stage. The lunch woman tolerates this for about...thirty seconds then comes over to inform me that she cannot be responsible for what will happen to said balloons when the breakfast crew arrives. I must move them back onto the stage. I'm now anticipating about one-hundred kids to start filing in and running about obnoxiously instead of eating their breakfast.

Faith sits at the table to finish up a couple of things from her homework the night before (nice work habits, I know). The lunch woman again tolerates this for about thirty seconds then kicks my daughter off the table because she needs every last chair for the breakfast crew. Next she picks up my girls belongings off the cafeteria floor and places them on the stage because said breakfast crew never makes the garbage can when they throw away their scraps and garbage. Who are these kids anyway? Okay this lady is on my nerves now seriously!

I laugh to myself though because I remember when I used to be like that. It was so bad that my husband would go around the house and move things just so he could watch me go by later and put them back! It was a cruel game. Well nowadays when I start laundry on Monday and don't finish until Friday only to have just as much to do as I did when I started on Monday, I'm okay with it. I don't like the crumbs on the carpet or the sticky orange juice on the kitchen floor right where I need to stand to load the dishwasher but I can overlook it. Hey! I've come a long way!

Well my PTO and Girl Scout partner Teresa and I laughed about this woman's obsessive antics as she continued to pick up jackets off the floor and ensured everything was in its place and I was relieved to be free of that condition. We then noticed my four-year-old twins neatly lining up and ever so perfectly placing all the balloons in a straight line across the platform that the choir students use to perform. Apparently I'm not as free from it as I thought and even worse, I seem to be passing it on!

By the way, the breakfast crew, yeah about fifteen of the sweetest kids who barely had their eyes open!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What would Jesus Say I'm Passionate about?

Does what I say I'm passionate about line up with my actions? I surveyed my closest friends and family and asked them what they would say I'm passionate about. Here are a couple of quotes:

"Your passionate about your life goals and making your family life the best possible. You are always looking out for them and making the decisions to make it happen. You are currently passionate about photography and learning the most you can. You are passionate about the Lord being in your life and being the best person, mother, wife, and friend you can be."

"I think when it’s something your really interested in you are passionate about it. Of late: photography comes to mind. Since you were seventeen your kids come to mind and making sure they are raised with good morals & ethics." This will bring about a few questions: yes I was seventeen when I had my first child, yes my husband and I have been married for thirteen years and our son is thirteen, yes he is the father of all my children, and no we did not ever use fertility assistance; apparently we're just fertile and/or passionate about what we do in our spare time! Believe it or not I've had perfect strangers ask me all of these questions.

"You are primarily passionate about our kids, the care of them, and what they stand for. Your secondary passions are photography and writing. Your passion for writing comes through in your care for others with the words you use whether it be a Thank You note or e-mail. You are passionate about your writing being spirit-led."

The first is a quote from my closest friend Patty and the second from my mom who are both not born again (yet!). The last quote is from my husband which are all nice things but it makes me sad that he doesn't feel as though I'm passionate about him. I'll have to change that! I have to find a way to translate how I feel about him into tangible action. I can't tell you the level of joy it brings to know that I have good fruit in my life, evidence that is recognizable to others regarding my passions, faith, and prayer life. It is exciting to know that I talk about my passions and share my goals with my friends and family and it appears as though my actions demonstrate my passions as well. My children would tell you I'm passionate about cleaning! In reality it's my feeble way of trying to control something in my life.

If I'm going to be completely honest with him though, I have to confess I still spend more time in front of the TV than I care to admit and certain areas are completely out of control. My life is out of balance in a lot of areas. If you could see the condition of my basement and garage right now you would know they are a physical manifestation of what is going on in my heart. The main living areas that are seen to the outside world are clean but the less traveled paths that aren't revealed as much (the stuff behind closed doors), not so much. I must also confess that in my own opinion I am more passionate about myself than I am anything else. I am more passionate about what I want, like to do, and need than I am about those around me. I have to take a second and laugh to myself because I watched an awesome message from Joyce Meyer this morning and was hoping to find a way to incorporate it today. I guess while I watched and took notes I didn't really get it, but I do now.

The basic message was a teaching regarding choosing to walk in the spirit versus walking in the flesh. Obviously if I find myself being too selfish than my flesh is currently stronger than my spirit which I don't want. If my flesh is stronger than my spirit I can't be used by God because he can't trust me. More importantly it's likely I'm not obeying either.

My husband and I are at a cross roads in making some major decisions in our lives and we are both digging deep and studying daily to make sure we are obedient and not making fleshly decisions but prayerful decisions that are spirit led and in agreement. It's funny how God works through all aspects of things in our lives to bring what we need to hear in a full circle so we get it. I've learned this morning that it's good to listen to messages on the radio and TV but essential to have our own time with God as well so he has an opportunity to bring all those things together to demonstrate how it needs to be applied in our lives to bring about personal change so we can be used to help others.

I have a list of verses on my vision board that I try to say aloud daily and this morning one jumped off the page at me as it often does because I'm in the process of seeking God for the next steps in my life. Romans 12:2 NLT Don't copy the customs and behavior of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

That was my light bulb moment of the day! All I need to do is stay in the word and study it, not just read it. I have to allow God to change me when I am convicted instead of continuing to sew in the flesh which reaps ruin, decay, and destruction. I can't strong-arm my flesh or blow my weaknesses out with dynamite because they will never go away. I must study God's word and stay in a spirit of worship and learn to walk in the spirit where I will reap life and life everlasting, learn to not submit to that temptation, and ultimately be revealed his good and perfect will for my life! This may all seem obvious for some of you. I've been saved for 12+ years but still feel like such a baby christian.

Revelation 3:19-21 NLT I correct and discipline (convict) everyone I love (because I love you, I'm going to tell you what's wrong with you; don't we do that with our children?). So be diligent (enthusiastic and earnest) and turn from your indifference (allow God to change you). Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends (intimacy). Those who are victorious sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

Which door of your heart is God knocking on today: finances, your time, wrong friendships? How do we get our spirit stronger and our flesh weaker to finally get our breakthrough in finances, to stop over-committing, etc.?

Don't think you can just do it without prayer. Don't look at prayer like an obligation; God doesn't need us to pray, we need to pray. So prayer is first. For those of you that have been at this a while have learned to repent and allow change in your lives as soon as you hear God speaking to you. Others of us need to "circle the same mountain" one-hundred times first! If we insist on circling the mountain, God will use circumstances to press on us. With God using circumstances to press on us from the outside and the Spirit pressing on us from the inside we are squeeze in the middle until our flesh is broken. We like to control things and God will use circumstances that are absolutely out of our control to press on us. Circumstances like traffic, the attitude of the cashier at the check-out, an unexpected bill, etc. Some things are beyond our control and God will use those circumstances to press on us and break our flesh. "Broken" is not a bad word! It means our flesh is broken BUT our spirit is stronger which is exactly where we want to be.

The spirit is willing; the flesh is weak!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Well if any of you read my spiritual blog My Forty Days then you know that purpose and passion are a major focus in my life. It started with the book Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I started the book after leaving my part-time job from home with the intent in finding my new direction in life, my purpose. What I've come to learn through the book is that our purpose is not in what we do for a living or what our hobbies are but who we are in Him. In my spiritual blog I last outlined five areas of our lives in which we live a purpose filled life in serving him and glorifying him. Those are worship, loving, becoming Christ like, serving others with our gifts, and telling others about him. These five areas are how we glorify God. If we live a purpose driven life with the knowledge that our purpose is to glorify God then we develop a relationship with Jesus that continues to deepen over time. Through that relationship we learn to walk in love, walk in the spirit, and obey his still small voice. When we get that right then God's personal plan for each of us on this earth will come to pass. We each have been given specific gifts and talents and it is our responsibility to learn how God wants us to use them. It is not a good idea to come up with a plan of our own, picking and choosing among our gifts then asking God to bless our plan. We need to be diligently seeking him and his will for our lives. When we walk in his will we will be blessed.

With that said, Leslie over at My Happily Ever After has linked some ladies together to get to know each other on a deeper level. What are we passionate about? Many of my readers get a glimpse of my day to day life, the quirky things my children do, the funny things they say. Speaking of which before Tyler left for camp he was concerned about the weather and gave me another mini-science lesson on meteorology for the week. It was too precious. He moved his arms around just like our local meteorologist Chuck Gaidica! Anyway, places I've fallen like disputing with my sister-in-law, figuring out my new camera, etc. I do share some of my most intimate thoughts on my blog though and I get the sweetest, most sincere responses. I feel more connected to a few ladies I've never even met than I do to some of my friends and family I see regularly. I'm glad to know after reading the blogs of a few ladies today that I'm not alone in that.

So what am I passionate about?

First and foremost I am passionate about Christ. I am passionate about what he did for me, for all of us. I am passionate about living a life that reflects and shines his love. I am passionate about getting so deep in Jesus that when people look at me they scratch their heads and can't quite put their finger on what is up with me, why I glow. I'm passionate about being molded into a person whose heart and behavior matches how Jesus sees me. I'm passionate about raising my children to discover their own passion for Christ. I am passionate about being in his presence; I'm addicted to that feeling of utter fullness when my cup runneth over and words can't express or define the glory and majesty of all that he is. My passion for Christ fills my heart daily, sustains me, and seeps into the people around me. My passion for Christ further develops and defines my gifts and my passion for using those gifts to be a blessing to others.

God comes first, my family second, and all else after that. I've discussed my first passion, my passion to my children is ministering to them. Not an area I feel very strong in. I want my children to feel loved, safe, and protected. I want to continue to develop and unbreakable, unshakable bond with each of them. I want to know them deeply and personally. I want them to see Christ in me, not just on Sunday but every day. I want my life to be an example of how they should live theirs just as Christ was for us. Christ is their ultimate example but it's important that we demonstrate on earth for them. It's important to me that my children learn that they are not expected to be perfect, it's okay to miss it sometimes, preferred even. It's important for them to miss it as children so they learn early on as an example from their parents and Jesus himself that they have forgiveness, grace, and mercy. It isn't the mistake that is important but where we turn first and what actions follow.

My other passions are for writing and photography. Writing hasn't always been a passion of mine, I took it for granted for a long time. All I know is that it is a divine gift from God. When I write thank you notes to family or other sweet notions I am often told it brings them to tears. The Holy Spirit freely flows as I write. I often go back and read my own stuff and scratch my head; I know it didn't come from me. I'm not sure how I'm doing on the blog front but it isn't my passion to be entertaining but to allow Jesus to use me as a vessel to bless others. I am passionate about achieving that kind of writing. I don't update either blog out of obligation but when I feel led to share something specific. I find inspiration at Leslie's blog as I am moved to tears nearly every time I visit her.

I am passionate about photography. This is very recent for me. When I first decided to start a blog I did some blog walking and happened upon France Photography and her photos made me feel something. I don't know why but I just had to do it. I am passionate about taking life style photos of my own family so they are memories captured forever. I am passionate about capturing the emotion of the situation in my photos. I am passionate about developing the skills to do that for other families. I am passionate about honing my skills to be a blessing to others by volunteering with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep where photographers volunteer their time and skill to families who have lost their infants. By providing gentle beautiful and often times the only photos of their baby to treasure for a lifetime and assist in healing their grief. If I never make a living at taking pictures I absolutely will volunteer for NILMDTS.

I am passionate about Christ and being an open vessel for God to work through to bless others.

Here they are!

As promised, here are a few from my first wedding. I have two blogs I'm currently maintaining, a personal blog and spiritual blog. It is my intent in the near future to combine my personal and spiritual blogs into one here at FindingMyPlaceInThisWorld and redo my second blog for my PhotoBlog where I'll be doing giveaways and discounts to work on building my portfolio and ultimately a business. I will be copying some of my original posts into the PhotoBlog so I can personally track my progress as I go. I'll post a link once I've got it up and running.

Feel free to let me know what you think. Of course saying nice things are always great to hear but it's the honest criticism that often produces growth so I welcome both; please be nice.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mommy Blues

Mommy blues for all the good things my blessings are into these days. I left my son at school this morning while he waited to get on a bus to go to Camp Tamarak for a few days with the seventh grade class. I'm mad at my husband for making me do such things! He left this morning and will be back by Friday afternoon but it's still tough for some reason. This is probably his fourth overnight trip away from home but this one didn't prove any easier than the first.

Tyler's first trip away from home was for a full five days this past summer to youth camp in Hillsdale, MI. I swore I'd be fine and wouldn't cry! I think I was just trying to talk myself into it. It was awkward for both of us; me for wanting to keep my little boy at home but knowing he isn't my little boy and I have to allow him these freedoms. Him for wanting this freedom but secretly feeling boyish and nervous about his adventure. We kissed and hugged good-bye and I quickly jumped into my car to avoid the tears. “If I get the heck outta here I'll be fine!” But, to my surprise my Karli was in the car crying hysterically about how much she'd miss him and she didn't want him to go. It was one of the sweetest moments ever with my children and of course I lost it! It takes me about a 1/2 hour to get home from church and I cried the whole way. So the tears did come today but only a welling, they never hit my cheek. Tyler will be thirteen in May and this trip to camp only further confirms his transformation from a boy to a teen.

Also happening this week is our annual Polish dance recital. My husband is 50% polish; he and his sister grew up polish dancing from age three until they graduated high school. Our oldest three all started at age three and have danced every year with the exception of the year we took off due to the birth of our twins. Karli is celebrating a milestone this year; 5 years! Mallory and Hailey are dancing in their first recital on "the big stage" this Saturday. I've not made it through one recital yet without crying. My pride for them just exudes and I can't contain it. This year has already proven to be no exception because I've been crying about it for weeks!

I'm not quite finished with all the details yet but I have all the pieces for my two oldest children ready and pressed and labeled with their names. Only sixty more pieces to go! I have a few finishing details to finish before I can finish pressing the rest but I'm almost there. For the girls they each own their own traditional costume which consists of bloomers, a slip, a blouse, a flower printed skirt, apron, floral headpiece, and a heavily beaded and sequined vest with ribbons on it. The vest by far is the most beautiful and most expensive piece. I was luck to find a couple of used ones when Faith and Karli started and they've been wearing them since. I wasn't as fortunate with Mallory and Hailey (our twins) so I bought two new vests for Faith and Karli and passed their vests down to Mallory and Hailey. Well Mallory and Hailey are in the first group with all new dancers with all new sparkly, shiny, vests. So I took on the task of re-doing their vests myself. I spent $40 on beads, sequins, and rick rack for both vests, opposed to $75 for each new vest. I've put the final touches on Hailey's vest and I'm so thrilled and proud of it! I thought I could complete them both but I've been working on them for months and so far Mallory has only had her rick rack replaced (poor Mallory).

Baseball, softball, and track, oh my! This will prove to be quite the busy season for us. Thank goodness recital is this weekend because we've got a lot more going on this season. Tyler is playing baseball again and was drafted on the league championship team this year. Tyler's team last year was number one in the finals but didn't get the championship, close but no cigar so this year we're hoping to go all the way! Actually, I could really care less. It is fun to win and cheer for a winning team but the family time and memories at the games far exceeds whether he wins or loses. Tyler is also running track for school this year. Out of the four events he'll be participating in, he was chosen to run on the varsity team for three of them! He's a quick little bugar!

Our Faithy is taking a "swing" at softball this year. After watching Tyler participate on a winning team full of rough, tough, and quick guys it's been painful to watch Faith's practices. They play like a bunch of girls! Okay yes they are girls. We'll see what this season holds for her. Karli is patiently awaiting her turn to take a gymnastics class.

I had the opportunity to shadow a colleague and shoot my first wedding this weekend. I'll get a couple shots up on the blog as soon as possible!

Faith's brand new, hand-made vest from Poland.

Hailey's vest that I hand-beaded myself. Looks pretty authentic!

My five little darlings in their Polish garb. Tyler in his regional costume for this year (nice hat!), Faith in green and Karli in pink (their regional costumes for this year), and Mallory and Hailey in their Krakowski costumes. Photo by LifeTouch.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Can the name of Jesus fix a furnace?

I'm gonna have to go with "yes."

My husband and I are trying to make a go of getting up earlier than we already do to walk a couple of miles together in the dark, peaceful morning before he's off for work for the day. I keep reminding him that if I don't get enough sleep "at the end of the day I start to feel anxious, overwhelmed, and cry at just about anything." "You don't need eight hours of sleep, you just think you do" he says. Well I'm not sure if I speak it into existence or if I just know myself really well. But last night I started hand sewing some things that have piled up and wanted to finish it so I didn't have to come back to it today (I dislike unfinished projects). That kept me up until 12:30 a.m. I was so tired when I went up to my room last night my mind was playing tricks on me and I swear I was hearing things. My heart began to race and I started to panic but I calmly told myself God did not give me a spirit of fear but of sound mind and no weapon formed against me shall prosper. I started to relax but continued talking to myself and finally settled on the idea that if a stranger were to appear in my home I'd just rebuke him/her in the name of Jesus and command them to leave. I imagined they'd run and probably rebuke me in return. That managed to settle me enough to get to sleep. Although now it sounds pretty funny and I'm laughing out loud at myself which reminds me of two funny things about my son that I'll share below.

I got up about 6:30 a.m. to a furnace that quit working...again. I'm not worried though it's been warming up to 60+ degrees and we can handle the evenings if we have an evening fire and bundle appropriately before bed. I did call and let my dad know what was going on because my hubby worked all day and goes right from work to school until at least 9:00 p.m. My dad offered to come over and mess with it. So now I'm hopeful we'll get the thing to work and it's going down to 47 degrees tonight and I've got toddlers so it would be great to have heat this evening. We thought we got it working, but when we checked it again before my dad left it wasn't working. Ugh! So I'm now completely defeated at this point because I ran errands most of the day today and transported children from here to high heaven, made dinner which my husband typically does and haven't had my husband to talk to in the last few hours because he's in class. I dragged my sorry butt to the top of the stairs one final time to mess with the thermostat and realized (ding, ding, ding) I don't have to be defeated! So I stood over the furnace below and angry pointed at the thing and commanded that it work immediately in the name of Jesus! I turned up the thermostat and a few moments later my dad was up to tell me it was working! I can still hear it humming now. So lovely!

A bit of good news, Mallory managed to stay dressed in what I put on her this morning all day and only took off her shoes once. We were in and out all day and my two least favorite, okay three least favorite things to do are put sneakers on toddlers, buckle seat belts, and tell Hailey to put her clothes back on for the 50th time in one day! She doesn't run around naked or anything but she wants to wear everything except what I've chosen for that day. Even if she chooses her outfit she still wants something different! Yes mother! I know where she gets it from. Oy!

I'm not sure this will sound as funny on my blog as it was when it happened but our son came into the front room last night after his shower and threw his hands in my husbands face (up his nose practically) and said "smell my finger." I'm over tired and slap-happy folding towels in my laundry room as I overhear my husband now in total awe at the prospect that someone would insist he smell their finger. My eyes watered and ran down my face from laughing so hysterically as I listen to them banter about the situation. My husband gets this bright idea that he'll smell it if I smell it first! What! Okay this isn't funny anymore! But I pretend I don't hear this light bulb click in his mind as he begins to call me from the other room. I was still laughing (quietly) so hard that I couldn't talk or answer him so when I did it was a dead give-a-way that I was falling apart in the laundry room by myself over this "smell my finger" drama. So the two of them had a quick kick while they watched my laugh hysterically at the two of them. Turns out Tyler took a shower using some new "manly" shower gel that he must have enjoyed and just wanted to share the fragrance with his dad.

While attempting to go through an intersection I heard sirens and slowed to see which direction it was coming from. The fire engine was going to need to cross through the same section I was going to cross so I and the other traffic stopped. As the truck got closer and the siren louder it reminded Tyler of something he learned in Science class. Our car full got a not-so-quick lesson in the "Doppler Effect." I just smiled as he eloquently explained what it was and how it works. How many kids do you know that repeat what they've learned in science? I'm a proud mamma!

Hubby's home, furnace is working, kids are sleeping, peach tea is ready, and those Morely Candy pecan turtles are calling my name!

Monday, April 7, 2008

A few of my favorite things...

- bubble baths
- going for walks
- early mornings when Mallory, Hailey and the dog climb into bed with us
- God's presence
- chai tea & mochas
- ice cream
- the smell of skunks
- reading (I love books)
- blogging and writing
- a newly cleaned home
- that feeling you get when the laundry is done (oh wait that never happens!)
- photography
- uplifting others
- family dinner games
- mexican dominos
- singing & dancing
- watching movies on my couch with Todd
- laying in his lap while he combs through my hair with his fingers
- listening to my children pray
- watching them raise their hands at church with eyes closed during praise & worship
- missing them while their at camp
- seeing the fresh sparkle in their eye when they return
- watching Hailey smell her “blanky” & Mallory suck her thumb
- camping trips
- sitting at the beach all day
- wrestling with Tyler
- dinner with friends
- hearing Faith sing worship songs out of the blue
- being with my parents
- long chats with my dad
- scrapbooking
- sewing
- decorating or rather the planning of decorating
- organizing (it's an illness)
- blog walking
- listening to Mallory practice her recital song, she’s 4 and sings the first part of the verse
then goes into “step together, step together, shuffle step, shuffle step; it’s fantastic!
- reality TV
- watching my children dance and play sports
- boating
- connecting with Kevin
- being alone with God in the morning.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Alongside the road to purpose...

I have a MySpace account and one of the organizations on my list is (TWLOHA) To Write Love on Her Arms, ( which is an awareness organization for depression, cutting, and suicide that is sponsored by musicians. It sounds dark and morbid but that organization and books like Why I Jumped always catch my attention because I’ve spent a portion of my life in a place like that. I experienced post-partum depression for nearly two years after my third child was born. Not my finest hour nor was I walking with Jesus at that time but I did eventually get back to church and Jesus and come out of it. When we decided to try for a fourth child I was concerned the depression would return but not enough to keep me from having another child; until I learned we were having twins. I was consumed with fear and panic for some time before our twins were born. I didn’t want to go back to that place.

A person suffering from anxiety and depression hates themselves and despises their loved ones including their children. It is a very crippling thing to experience a yearning and desire to be apart from your children and family instead of bonded to them. I didn’t want to be a mother, I didn’t want my children. It’s a vicious cycle of self-hate, isolation, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, and falling in the deepest of deeps. It’s a depth where there is no light, no hope, and the overwhelming feeling of it lasting forever.

I was free from it for several years but began to wonder back into that place not so long ago and fortunately recognized the signs before I got to deep. I once experienced a time in my life when I honestly thought my husband and children would be better off. That I was so worthless a person that I would do more harm in raising them than them having a life in my absence. I feared my parenting and presence in their lives would ruin them all.

In the process of having my relationship with Jesus restored and rediscovering who I am in Him I can freely say and truly feel just how much my children need me. My purpose in life first and foremost, the thing I was created to do is serve my God and follow his one and only commandment in the New Testament, LOVE. My second purpose is to my family, uplifting my husband and meeting his needs and putting those needs before my own (still very much a work in progress) and ministering to my children. It is my duty and promise to God to raise them in the way of the Lord. To raise them to become good, honest, successful, God-serving adults who make positive contributions to society and the world. God didn’t make any mistakes, I was designed with specific qualities to be Todd’s wife and my children’s mother and they were each designed for me.

I have many paths before me and I’m still uncertain and to exactly which path I’ll be called to follow, but I have more hope in my life than ever before. My trust is in Him. I know he will meet and exceed our needs and continue to pour his blessings upon us. I’m most excited about having my mistakes, life, and circumstances used for the glory of God to help others.

Photography is a huge hobby of mine, one I hope will serve profitable in the future. As I sharpen my skills and learn as much as I possibly can I will be preparing for a time when I can volunteer for (; a wonderful organization in which photographers volunteer their time and talent to families who have lost a child. They provide in most cases the only photographs of their precious child which they will have to cherish forever. This has proven to provide so much in the way of healing for these families. I’m certain God will use that open door to minister his love to those families through me when the time comes that I am able to volunteer my time. I’m very excited for when that time comes!

So I continue to listen for God’s still small voice and direction in my life but was moved to share my revelation in just how much my family means to me. The idea of not raising my children and being there for every milestone is an unimaginable and unbearable prospect. I’m grateful to God and my wonderful husband for pulling me from that funk and saving me, saving us.

For anyone who might ever come across this with the idea that their loved ones would be better off without you; you are very mistaken! God loves you! There are people on this earth that rely upon you, adore you and would be brought so much pain if they lost you. Nothing is too big for God. Nothing is ever too hopeless. Cry out to Jesus, try it, test him; what have you got to lose? I’m certain he’ll answer the call. He created this universe, the earth and all that is in it. He wants to heal your pain and wipe away your tears; he has counted every one. Sometimes we experience things because life happens to us and other times we experience them because of mistakes we’ve made; either way God is not a respecter of persons and only wants to remove our suffering and restore us to Him. Jesus lived a perfect life free of sin and was slain upon the cross to bear our sin and sickness so that we may be forgiven and healed. It’s ours for the taking, all we have to do is accept Him.

I’m not certain why it is that I feel led to write this particular blog, it certainly isn’t the easiest thing to admit about myself. If it be for one person today or 365 days from today and it helps just that one person then so be it.

On a lighter note...Welcome Spring!