Sunday, March 20, 2011

The moon

Last night the moon reached its apogee and came as close as it can in its orbit to earth.  It was said to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter in appearance, and hasn’t been that big and bright in twenty years.

I have always felt such a calming love for the moon.  I am reminded of my Lord whenever I see it.  It is constant, even though its appearance may change.  At times, the moon cannot even be found—but it is there.  When it is big and bright, like it has been this week, the night looks like dawn.  Nothing can hide; even the shadows are lit. 

This helps me remember that even when things may feel dark and I cannot find or feel God’s presence, He is there.  He is constant.  Even when I feel close to Him, it is not Him Who has changed.  It is only my perspective that changes the appearance of my Lord.

I so appreciate that he placed our moon to orbit our world.  I am thankful that I can see His handiwork and His Nature—His character—through His nature. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

No words allowed

I am dealing with some stuff about which I cannot speak.  I can’t think about much else, so finding subject matters about which to write has been a trial.  I think no small part of my issue is hormonal, so maybe in just a few days I will see things in a new light.  So, if you think about it, please pray I am released from this bondage of circular thought.  I also hope to achieve the ability to turn the tables and capture every thought!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This is not a Problem

Why do small problems occupy more of me than large ones?  When there is a real issue, I can handle it.  I go to God, kick myself in gear and power through with His help.  But confront me with a stupid, trivial matter?  I fall apart!  It is disgusting.  I’m spineless, emotional and consumed.  I can hardly stand being me, because I so tire of my own train of thought!

I need to just grow up!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Birthday

This day is the day we celebrate our daughter’s spiritual birthday.  Three years ago today she made a choice to act in obedience to the call for baptism.  She had prayed the sinner’s prayer before this, but was afraid to be baptized. We let her be about it most of the time, wanting it to reflect her own will when she did choose baptism.  However, we did on occasion discuss that becoming a Christian does mean making a choice to trust and follow Jesus.  And Jesus tells us to be baptized.  And we waited.

She woke up one morning saying that her heart wanted her to be baptized. I asked if she wanted to wait for Daddy. She said yes, then he was held for overtime!! I told her that he had been held and asked what she wanted to do. She said that she would wait until tomorrow so he could be there. Tonight I put the kids to bed. She said that she needed to be baptized. I asked if she was going to wait, she said that she would just tell Daddy that she had done it. I asked her to wait a half hour and we read a chapter in King Caspian to keep her awake (she is our sleeper). We talked a long while about what it is—I wanted to be sure she wasn’t doing it for me and told her so.

So, Daddy came home, we turned on the water and ran to meet him. We sang some songs, Brian talked with her a bit, too, got out of his uniform and baptized his girl. Our son cried. He said he was so happy. Our daughter was giddy beyond belief and our sleepy girl may not fall asleep for a while. She said we should be called the Baptized Family from now on. I kind of like it!


Sorry this post is so late—Springing forward is easier said than done!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Prayer for Japan

I awoke several mornings ago and saw the devastating news—that was being ever updated with more devastation—that Japan had been hit by one the highest recorded earthquakes and then by a resulting tsunami.  Even as I read an article, new numbers regarding the magnitude of the earthquake, people dead or missing and the monetary damage were all growing.

Our little family just finished studying this island nation and fell in love with the history and people about whom we learned.  We will be praying for them in the days and weeks to come.

Now it is several days later, and I do not want to stop praying.  Please join me.

Oh, Lord, I lift the people in Japan and the surrounding areas and those who love them to you now.  Please show your mercy and compassion to them.   Raise up those who know you, strengthen them and equip them to serve, heal and comfort those who do not.  You are sovereign.  Please reign in the hearts and over the land as you bring restoration and unity.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stinkin’ Dog!

For the third time, my puppy ran away.  Thankfully, we have an older dog who knows enough to tattle.  Our family spread out across the neighborhood calling her name.  I went long the block south and parallel to ours while the rest went on the block north.  We came out the other end empty handed.  My heart broke to see my son was an absolute mess.  He was frantic and crying.

Praise the Lord that the mail lady was there.  She heard us calling and said that there was a ‘basset’ keeping her company not two minutes before.  My kids headed back up our own street, calling her name.  I crossed the street to the local school.  My husband lingered with our dog between the two of us.

It didn’t take too long before we heard my son’s plaintiff cries turn into joy.  We all headed back.  It seems as if our puppy was going on a walk.  She took the same route to the mail and appeared to be headed home.

I told the kids that the routine of daily walks have played a part in saving our puppy.  She didn’t wander aimlessly, and others in the neighborhood recognized both our kids and the dog.

We shored up the backyard fence again and praised our older dog’s floppy ears off.  And we hope that she will stop running away, for goodness’ sake!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Imagine that God made each of us life, and the boat signifies our bodies and our lives.  The boat keeps us afloat, sustaining us and protecting us.  But, he is not a rapist or robot-maker.  He would not keep us in the boat against our wills.  He did not stop us from puncturing holes in the boat. 

When that happened, the boat that gave life began to leak, and it was only a matter of time before the water consumed it—and us.  But there were people who saw what a horrible mistake it was.  So they began patching the boat—while tearing holes in new places.  Each sin is a hole. This continued for years: tearing and patching, tearing and patching. 

Some stand ankle deep in the water at the bottom of their patched boats and chortle in triumph.  “See?”  They say, “God said we would die if we disobeyed!  I am not dead!  I don’t need him.”  But the fact of the matter is that no boat can be fully restored while on the water.  Any boat that is continually being punctured will eventually go down.  It is inevitable.  Because God made such a worthy vessel, it may take a long time for it to finally sink.  That doesn’t mean that we can’t destroy it.

When Jesus came, a new boat was made for each of us.  No more patches needed.  People only need to choose either to abandon their leaky transports and get in Jesus’ boat or to stick with relying on their own strength to stay alive. 

Friday, March 11, 2011


I believe there is a God—a Creator of all things, including ourselves.  He created us for love, for relationship.  But love without choice is not love at all.  It is either rape or robots.  So, we have the choice to love Him.  And we chose to not love Him.  We chose to love ourselves instead.  We refused to acknowledge Him as Creator of all.  Instead we created our own story of the world, where randomness and chaos reigned.

These choices necessarily separated us from God.  If you choose to not be with someone, it only follows that you would not be with that someone.  If that Someone happens to be the source of life, then you choose to be dead.  This is the most basic logic.

This, ironically, led to a self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts.  The claim that we are nothing more than physical creatures that will die into nothingness is now true.  Our spirits cannot live without connection to the source of life.  We do become empty physical shells that rot right out from under us.

But God is a God of love, life and relationship.  He is merciful, even when following the fundamental laws of nature and logic.  So he sent His Son to live on Earth.  This Son had the same choice we did—agree with God or not; Jesus could love one more: God or Himself.

Obedience is an offensive word is some circles.  Let’s call it agreement.  Imagine a husband says that he thinks the mortgage should be paid this month, and the wife writes the check.  You can call that obedience or agreement.  She acknowledges the wisdom of her husband, trusts he is wanting the best for the both of them and agrees to carry out what he proposes.  Jesus did the same.  He knows God is good and loving and wants to bring life to all.  Jesus agrees this is a good thing and carries out what God proposes.  (The relationship between God and Jesus and a husband and his wife have a peer quality that is missing in the relationship with God and other humans, which changes the dynamics of the relationship.  Nevertheless, because of free will, we can choose to agree or disagree with God’s plan.)

So Jesus agreed with, or obeyed, God’s plan and allowed himself to be separated from God.  Humans walked away from the source of life, leaving themselves dead.  Jesus allowed himself to be torn from the source of life, then conquered the power of death by coming back to God.  Because of this act, death is dead!  Death can no longer rule over us.  Everything is reset.  We get to choose again.  Life or death?  Love or hate?  Togetherness or solitude?  Each human gets to choose.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Short Order Answers

What did I order?

I think I am quite clever.  My darling husband is less sure.


Dish one:

Two Traitorous Chicks: Eggs Benedict

Four Babes: Sausage (Babe, the pig)

and a Real Man: Bacon (He brings home the bacon.)

Dish two:

Rich Sand Dollars: pancakes with blueberry compote (blue blood)

Tree Seeds: Bowls of fruit

and Spring Runoff: ice water

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Short Order Cook Items

You know how short order cooks have special words to represent items on the menu?  Well, it was super late one night and I thought of some of my own.  It is futile to try discovering why my mind went there, but here is what I came up with.  Two dishes:

Dish one:

Two Traitorous Chicks

Four Babes

and a Real Man

Dish two:

Rich Sand Dollars

Tree Seeds

and Spring Runoff

Guess what I ordered!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Today is the 14th wedding anniversary for my husband and me.  I am so blessed to be married to this wonderful man and I am thankful all year long.  We rarely get to do anything special for the day itself, but since each day is a celebration that is ok.

I pray the Lord grants us many, many more years together!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Winter Slump

Have you experienced this phenomena? While I can’t say that it is exclusive to homeschooling or homeschoolers, I am using the term here to refer to that time of the year when school just doesn’t get done. For some reason all the momentum is lost, and just beginning a lesson seems impossible—don’t even talk about actually finishing a lesson!

I like to think that one day I will be so accomplished that I will be immune to the winter slump. Sadly, I realize that if I ever were to be immune, this would be the year. I love our school time, our school materials, our school routine… it is all awesome! I can only assume I make everyone sick for all the raving I have done about our current school year.

And yet, here I am, sitting in the mud. I can’t get started with the day. Accomplishing everything on the ‘list’ feels to be an insurmountable task. It doesn’t matter that we did everything on the list, plus a game over lunch and complementary documentary each and every day before the slump hit.

That is another thing. I can’t decide if I have fallen into a mire, or if a whole pool of mud was dumped on me. I mean, did I hit it, or did it hit me? It is so dizzying in here that I can’t even tell that! Maybe the mud hit me, knocking me down, and so I am now sitting in it? ~~Do you see how productively I spend my time?

But, the good news about having encountered the slump in the past is that I have a reasonable certainty that it will pass. At least it has in the past…

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hero Father

So, we went sledding, right?  Well, something happened while we were on the hill that I discovered only after we got home.  On one of the first runs down, I went with my daughter and she flew off.  We were going so quickly that all I could do was watch her tumble as I continued to the bottom of the hill.

Next thing I knew, my husband at the top grabbed a sled and hurdled himself toward our daughter.  As he came near he flung out his hands and threw himself off his sled.  By then my own ride ended, and I began scrambling back up to see how she was.  My son joined the crowd by shuffling his way down, as well.  She is one loved little chick!

While the girl ended up more angry than hurt, my husband seems to have broken his wrist by the base of his thumb.  He is too swollen right now to get a clear X-ray, but he is in lots of pain, wearing a brace and off of work for the week. 

What a hero, huh?

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Vocabulary is very important.  I could write a book on how vital it is to be aware of the words we choose and what they mean—to us and to those listening. 
This lesson was brought to me once again in an unexpected way.  My son is turning twelve next month.  He, his sister and I were hanging out together when I brought this up.  I said, ‘You are turning twelve!  The Big One-Two!’
I immediately wanted to share a memory with them that is still so very clear to me from my own twelfth birthday.  I began with, ‘When I turned twelve, my dad actually came to visit me on my birthday and said those words: The Big One-Two.’
Before I could continue, my daughter interrupted me.  She asked, ‘When your dad came TO VISIT?’  Now, I was thinking that it was remarkable he actually had even been there for my birthday, but I could see for my daughter the concept of a visiting father was absolutely foreign. 
I reminded her that my parents had divorced when I was little.  She said she knew, but hadn’t thought that it would mean living apart from my dad even on special days.  She said she couldn’t imagine not having both of us in the same house. We say words, but don’t always understand the entire meaning of them.  My daughter knew the WORD divorce, but hadn’t comprehended the full breadth and depth of it.
I was frankly a little shaken by the interruption, because I had intended to share a happy memory with the kids.  I am a child of divorce—isn’t that a funny phrase?  As though Divorce is my parent.  Another example of how words convey meaning. 
As a child of divorce, my vocabulary is such that a child who has not been touched by divorce is thrown by it.  She couldn’t hear my story, because a ‘visiting dad’ was so very strange that nothing else mattered.
I pray it stays that way.

Friday, March 4, 2011


We had a blast the other day with our friends flying down the hill! Our first trip to the hill was a couple of weeks ago and there was only powder.  It was a lot of work moving around and sledding on powder is a very chilling experience—literally.  The snow is so loose, it flies into your face and down your clothes.

This trip presented a hill with hard packed snow.  The trips down were much faster, and there was never a concern for flying flakes.  However, the tumbles off the sleds were bone jarring.  The first couple of runs were a little rough.  But then we found the perfect spot for the smoothest available runs. 

It was a great time and I am so glad we went.











Sledding 3-1-2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It’s my sister’s birthday!

My big sis is a year older today.  She always celebrates throughout the entire month of March.  And why not?  I only wish I had thought of the idea first. Birthdays are wonderful!

I wish we could put on huge bashes for every birthday.  A big party is such a cool way to celebrate life and relationships.  The alternative, of course, is to just celebrate the whole month. 

My sister was misdiagnosed several years ago with panic attacks.  She began biofeedback therapy to try controlling her reactions to … fear?  But the panic attacks weren’t happening when she was anxious.  Unfortunately, her doctor heard her describe, with fear, the events of being unable to speak or move and assumed it was fear that stopped her from speaking and moving.  But who wouldn’t be upset at random bursts of paralysis? Two years later, while her husband was deployed and her son was on a missionary trip, she fell to the floor of her kitchen with a grand mal seizure.

She was flown to the hospital where it was discovered she had a very large brain tumor that had been growing unchecked for all that time in spite of the petite seizures that could have allowed for earlier detection if the doctor hadn’t written her off as another woman with anxiety issues.—Do you detect a touch of bitterness?  I share it with most of my family members except the one to whom it is most entitled.

It was a dramatic time, facing the possible loss of such a wonderful person who really was the glue of our family.  She is the one who maintains relationships with the scattered members of our large family.  She is the one who has shown loyalty and acceptance when someone has ‘strayed.’  She is the go-to gal in any situation.  And we realized we might lose her.

I think each family member walked through a very private time during that month or so of acute uncertainty.  We tend to live life oblivious to its gifts.  My sister’s illness shook us from that state of grace to one where we are actively thankful for family, friends and life.

Now we celebrate another birthday for her—one we may not have had without God’s merciful ordering of events.  Her prognosis is a shortened life full of daily meds with a high likelihood of the tumor returning.  This awareness affects the decisions she makes with her husband about their future.  I would prefer to forget it all, but she never can.

So, we live with gratefulness, knowing each day is a gift.  This day, indeed the whole month, is worthy of celebration.

Happy birthday, Diane!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It is not co-ol.

I am in the process of wrapping up a 12 week curriculum. Writing is exciting to me, but to actually produce a book there are so many steps after the creative process.

Thankfully, I am blessed with many who help me along the way.

I have two sisters among them. One is an artsy designer. The other is a brainy programmer. They are the perfect combination for an ambitious-but-less-gifted gal like myself.

For example, as my younger, aesthetically-minded sister ran through one of my pages, she huffed at things like 'rags' and 'rivers.' She told me that is it no ok to let words break unnaturally as they wrap in fully justified text. As I struggled to keep up with all she was seeing--she can tell you the font and size of text down to the tenth just by looking at it--I figure out what she was talking about.

I have words at the end of the line being broken with a hyphen in the oddest of places. I hadn't known to check for things like that.

She is very sweet and co-

ol and I like her so much.

It is my other sister, who speaks all dialects of Computerese, who then tells me how to implement the Shift-Enter command to insert soft breaks in my text to fix all these ugly problems. She can recognize fonts on site, as well. She also knows every keystroke command in Computerdom.

How would I get by without such great family? All right, I better get back to work!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My kids are perfect!

My kids are really terrific.  And I think I know what I am talking about.  I have worked with kids all my life and I know some fantastic kids!  There have been so many little darlings I have wanted to bring home with me for keeps.  And even so, my kids are just cream of the crop.

I was doing our taxes, giving the kids more independent work than what normally defines out school day.  They took the change in stride, with cheerfulness of heart.  I was so thankful for their flexibility and growing independence.  What a blessing to be able to concentrate on something without having to deal with constant interruptions or worrying about why I am NOT being interrupted.

We worked really hard the other day to get the van into our over-stuffed garage because of the snow storm.  I hadn’t accounted for the damage that could result in bringing a snow laden vehicle into what once was storage space with wooden bookshelves. 

My kids hopped in with me rearranging heavy things, mopping up the water left by the van and even in moving the biggest, heaviest (read: most expensive) bookcase to the furthest point in the house to rescue it.  The whole time they sported smiles and eagerness. 

My daughter accidentally set off a mousetrap (you can read why our garage is lined in mousetraps at the moment here) in her work and the look on her face was priceless.  She just sort of giggled and froze.  So cute.

My son was helping with the heavy lifting of this monstrous bookshelf and it was barely something I could lift.  He never stopped smiling as we shoved and grunted up the steps and down the hall.

We played some games with them tonight, and these kids positively crack me up.  They are clever and witty.  They are friends with one another—my number two goal in raising them.  They are soft-hearted and respectful.

There are other great kids out there, I know.  Maybe some higher achievers, some stronger, some less sensitive…But these two kids are perfect for my little family.  I thrill when I think of them and how privileged I am to know their wonderful characters.