Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, November 25, 2011

He is good

He is so good! All the time!

We drove 10 hours to visit my husbands family for thanksgiving holiday. I always love visiting "northern new york" because it's a very rural experience and I love just taking in the slower pace of life and the extensive farm country. It's so beautiful in its simplicity. People here get what they need not a lot of extras mostly because getting the extras would be an at least three hour drive or a lot of extra shipping fees. I often fanaticize about living there all the time. It would force a simpler way of life and a much more frugal way of life. For perspective - We live in a suburb of a major city where there is a target 20 minutes away in any direction from our home. Up here - There's a target two hours drive in one direction period.

Sometimes though in the slow lane it's easier to more clearly see how He's taking care of it all...

My husband and father in law went hunting on family land and it was successful on the first drive of the second day.

We stayed at a bed and breakfast and were in need of more regular coffee to finish our trip and that very day our host had a dish returned from a potluck with coffee that wasn't hers - they being non coffee drinkers, she offered it to us. Not to mention the wonderful accommodations and conversations.

A special trip to the animal shelter with gramma who works there and extra time in the kitty room upon request of C.

A successful sleepover with poppa and gramma for one, and a second successful sleepover with aunt s and uncle t for the other.

And while everyone else was searching out black Friday deals a drive towards home with minimal traffic. And as we neared a city two hours north of home I for a second worried about finding a place for dinner and a hotel on black friday in an area that is the only place to get shopping done for the area and then deciding after a heart nudge that He had it ... walking right into a restaurant very near a large mall and quickly finding a hotel room for the night.

God is happy to provide if only we ask and then notice His workings and words. May I always hear His call even when it's such a small nudge so easily missed in the business of life.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Big Picture

Sometimes, in our walk through life, we get so caught up in the details we forget to step back and remember the big picture.  I'm reminded of this often by my youngest son C.  He'll look at the sky and say "Look at God's painting"...


When I look at that kind of beauty and think of the creator of that kind of beauty, my everyday struggles seem menial.

I was reminded of who I should always be focusing on - Him - and who I shouldn't be focusing on - me.  As I wondered how to be the wife and mom that I should be I realized that God created me to be the exact wife and mom my husband and kids need.  I need to stop looking for a worldly picture of what I think I should be and just be who God calls me to be.  Simple huh?  Sometimes all we need to do is look up ...

God is such a great artist - Thank you God for leading C to remind me of who and what needs focus.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The beginning ...

Today God worked His timing as only He does ... and boy do I like to just sit back and watch.  

Yesterday I'd gotten to the end of my professional rope and at the end of the day - well - I'd had it with it all.  Only to face homework on a time schedule because I had to be at parents night and my husband had a church meeting plus there's always that dinner thing and the piano and karate practice and goodness - didn't I just finish my professional day???

Well, my oldest school aged was a whiz at his homework and though we had the usual number of tears - we completed in record time - my heart asks why there are tears required to "learn" third grade??  Then he even completed piano practice through much coaching and example (as if I know how to play) ... and God willing we did the karate form our Master said he had to practice or his testing papers would be revoked.

Sigh - seriously sigh - if this is just the beginning of the year - why is it so tough already...

Then my husband got home and his meeting was canceled - double sigh - he can get through that second song on the piano again and he actually has the musical talent the boy needs ...  then after I made and ate with the boys dinner I left them with my husband and went to parents night and the biggest - THE BIGGEST - blessing happened.  God timed it so that a friend pulled in just as I did and for the first time the whole day I laughed - really laughed - thank you T - beyond words!!

And during open house it turns out I like the current teacher - even if his grades suffer he will learn a ton of life lessons that will serve him well - if only I was a mom who was a stay at home or part time and had time to remind and coax and help more than I can now...

And then at night my youngest CAN NOT sleep because he's so stuffed - so we ( the two of us) "sleep" on the couch so that we are at least upright and then finally I surrender and we both go back to "real bed" 10 minutes to the buzzer.  So I confirm that I will sleep in and work from home.  And again God is good because it's exactly what I need so that I can get my work done with out office and coworker distractions and bond with my youngest and - sleep in.  And receive the message then return the call from the school to get my son involved in the tutoring that is supplied by the state even though he's in private school for math and more importantly reading.  

My question is this - when can I just be the mom that God want's me to be to our boys and the wife that He wants me to be to my husband .... so I ask hubby at dinner when he's going to have to go to the site to start up the reactor and he says sometime mid next year - I can't wait for China - to be all that I can be - all that God has designed me to be - not what we're trying to uphold to "live in this world".

Obviously, prayers are appreciated, even though I'm not feeling like I'm fulfilling much of what's God's calling me to be.  I guess I just have to once again wait on His timing - which is more than perfect, so I'm more than willing - even if I complain along the way.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Size matters

NOT! As summer ... Slowly and quite wetly approaches these parts ... I've been driving myself into a tizzy listing out all the "to do" things to be done before the warm weather arrives.

Namely fixing all the spots that need fixing so that the lands end tummy slimming bathing suit fits correctly in one short month. Mind you we do have a membership to a local rec center and have been - well - "blessed" ??? with year round swimming through the normal non swimsuit months. However ... All the other moms and dads and me are there "for the kids" and we all just - well - understand ... Ahem.

So I've made the plans for the next month to: eat less - and failed; excercise more - and failed; hmpfhhh ... So ... I went shopping. And I bought some summer clothes - the best deals I could find - in .... One size bigger than I'm currently wearing and a few sizes more than my crazy brain would like to think that I still am after two kids and a few years later than I'd care to admit. And guess what happened ... The clothes look nice, I feel confident, and nobody is going to check my tag anyway!

Thank you God for finally getting it through my thick brain that if my husband thinks I'm beautiful and I'm living a healthy lifestyle and can keep up with two little boys then I'm the PERFECT size already!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Anniversary - soon - of some sorts

Wow have things been busy.  Work has required much of my time as three clients have all wanted startups of systems at the same time - nothing a few weeks of 12-16 hour days can't take care of.  I'll be pretty busy the rest of this week then hopefully things will settle down a bit.  Though I am afraid of when everything stops as I'm sure that I'll literally crash and burn.

I am loving the warm weather that has begun to encompass our neck of the woods - sure we still have cold days and rain - but I'm gracious that it's made for some beautiful green GREEN grass to enjoy as I look out my office window.  

We just celebrated my husbands birthday and I realized that it's been almost a year since I first started blogging.  It's been a nice spot for me to enjoy non technical writing and also and more importantly to hopefully showcase how God influences my life each and every day.

This past weekend we were out celebrating hubby's birthday ( most of the weekend) and at one point we had a traffic incident that God used to really speak to my heart.  We were making a left hand u-turn (legally - complete with green left hand arrow) and a car in the perpendicular road tried to make a right on red.  It could have been an accident but they stopped as they should have and we went - followed by honking and as I looked the side rear view mirror - a certain hand gesture!  Well, my immediate reaction was "but we're doing the right legal thing - you were wrong" and of course also the feelings of being threatened and therefore the emotions of defensiveness started to kick in.  Quickly God calmed my heart and I immediately prayed for the people in that car that God would touch their hearts and give them the peace that they so desperately needed (it's just traffic after all) and also to calm our reactions.  God is so good - He in return provided quite a lesson to me.  I realized how affronted I felt - how hurt - how offended when we'd done nothing "wrong" and I thought of Jesus - who was whipped, beaten, tortured, spit upon, flipped off, yelled at - nailed to a tree - and He took it all and said "Father forgive them they know not what they do"  I had some small understanding of what He may have felt and I have a completely new understanding of what He meant when He said "turn the other cheek and love one another".   And, when we don't have it in us to love - as at the time I didn't have it in me to love the other car passengers - we should pray that God loves them and can give that love to them through us - He's big enough for that!

Happy Easter and may the love of Jesus who sacrificed it all for us - even though we hated Him - fill your hearts and flow to everyone that you come in contact with!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Best Concert Ending

I had the opportunity this weekend to see my favorite performer, well, perform!  I don't think I've ever had quite the giddy feeling that I did this past Friday.  It was both interesting and a bit scary at the same time.  

... About a year and a half ago, we were attending the early service at our church which is family geared and includes contemporary / pop / non-hymnal music during the service.  Well we sang a song that just sat on my heart and didn't leave - and hasn't left yet.  I can honestly say that I probably only have about 6 (maybe less) favorite songs accumulated over my lifetime or at least since the age of 13 or so when I actually started to have favorite songs.  They run the gambit from the Moody Blues, to CAKE, to the Mighty Mighty Bostones, to the Ocean Blue, to Aaron Shust.  As you might have guessed at this point the performer that we saw and the song that I really liked that morning in church was by Aaron Shust - it was My Saviour My God.  Of course he sang that and sang a few new songs and a few songs that I didn't realize were his and am quite happy now that they are his and did some wonderful performing as well.  The weird thing was that as I watched him perform on stage I had a kind of surreal experience where I was surprised that I was surprised that he was only about 20 feet away and singing right there.  One of those moments that you try so hard to remember in your mind so that you can always recall it.  The concert was a tour with Selah and Shaun Groves both of which were also great performers, but let's be honest, I was there to see Aaron (we are on a first name basis).

After the performance, we saw some friends from church as we were leaving.  One of which was in line to get autographs.  My heart skipped a beat and I got in line too thinking maybe I could get Aaron to sign my shirt (an Aaron Shust shirt that I bought with my lunch money before the concert) - yes lunch money apparently I'm in high school again.  The first group out wasn't Aaron and I got their autographs on a ticket stub and found them to be very genuine sweet people.  Then I stood against a wall to wait for Aaron to come out for signing while my husband took our kids to the car.  As I waited, I had a feeling wash over me (God speaking to my heart).  I thought about at the end of each song how Aaron would point to heaven - to God - giving the glory to Him.  As I stood by the wall t-shirt clutched in my hand I had the realization that getting the autograph was really just idolizing something / someone other than God and so counter to what Aaron as a performer / man of God displayed.  I was humbled.  And so I quietly folded my shirt, zipped up my jacket and quickly left to meet kids and husband in our car.  To go home to the blessings that He's provided me and to get the autograph of God on my heart as He blesses  our lives.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Returning to Normal

Ahhh the joy of cleaning on my schedule.  I have managed to keep up - in relative terms - with the house since we took it off the market.  The difference being that I cleaned or organized or rearranged ... when I wanted to not because I had to.  Such a nice treat.  I have learned the joy of keeping house.  And I appreciate that I can set my pace to complete.  I don't have to get done by a certain time.  If I don't complete a task, then I can finish it tomorrow - rather than half-youknowwhatting it.  

And the house is no longer magazine perfect, I speak as if it was during showings, but it is once again a home that we live in.

  • The toys are once again out to be played with as they should be.
  • The kitchen counter once again catches mail until I get to go through it over the weekend.
  • The bathrooms are cleaned weekly rather then every-other-daily.
  • The floors are kept clear so that dust bunnies can run freely over the smooth laminate wood.
  • And the cross stitch has returned to the family room table, to be completed at my leisure.
  • The plane plans and building are once again under way ...

We once again have - our time - to do - our stuff that we want to do - that helps us relax - that brings us joy.  A found blessing that's always been there but had been set aside for a time ... what a treasure.

Friday, February 25, 2011

It Is Finished ...

Phew, what a ride!  We are done with the house selling ... we did not sell.  Yep, surprised me too.  We received two offers on our house.  Both of which were probably not realistic examples of the buyers that are out there (particularly since we're heading into the "hot real estate market time" in our region) - but they were the buyers that God wanted us presented with.  Without going into the nitty gritty,  God never allowed an offer that fit with where we were comfortable and in doing so made our decision to stay put easier for us.  As we were trying to sell I kept thinking of those Israelites waiting to leave Egypt and remembering how God gave them the extra time there to gather the things they needed for the journey.  So I / we kept chasing the carrot and were waiting for the right buyer.  Well, frankly we got to the end of our ropes what with the cleaning and tidying and keeping neat and all that is so counter to our, honestly, way of life.  God just pushed it gently over the edge for us to make the decision to take our house off of the market and to once again make it our home.  And with that decision - boy o boy did the Relief Dam ever let loose!!

We've learned so much through this process.  Particularly:

1.  When God wants something done - or doesn't want something done - it will / won't happen.

2.  The blessings that are all around you are sometimes hidden in your search for the next "thing" in life - sometimes it takes loosing or misplacing those blessings to realize how blessed you really are.

3.  Family is the absolute most important thing in life, after God.

4.  Good neighbors are a blessing and are not easy to find - if you've got them - do all you can to keep them.

5.  Stop asking God to show you where to go or what to do and open up your eyes and ears to see or hear what it is He's been telling you all along.

6.  Be always grateful for the trip He's allowed you to take and learn as much as possible along the way even if, like Jonah, it's taken you an awful long time to get to Nineveh.

We have made some decisions to live a little differently now that God has opened our eyes.  When we started to look at how much we would be spending on a new house, we kept thinking of how many better uses there were for that money.  We also saw what we were spending our money on and have made conscious decisions to change that to better let God use that money.  We've learned how nice our home is - honestly just because it's double the price doesn't mean that it still isn't base builder grade quality with absolutely NO updates or upgrades.  And we've learned how important it is to our kids to have a place to call home.  Home is definitely where you are all together and it isn't the structure you live in, but sometimes that structure is just the thing that kids need to see to feel safe and comfortable.  

How did I know we made the right decision?  When my oldest said to me (with quite a bit of relief in his voice):  "Mom I'm so happy we aren't moving, I really like our home."  Dust bunnies and all?  They have once again taken up residence ...

Monday, February 7, 2011

And we move to mexico ...

I just pulled together a quick and easy dinner that made me feel like I was in the WARM south!  Rather than the FROZEN north.  Here's my version of easy enchiladas...

2-3 cooked chicken breasts chopped up finely
1 bag already shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can of enchilada sauce
1 can of refried beans
6 large flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
Warm tortillas in microwave for 25 seconds - then again for 25 seconds.
Spread refried beans over tortilla then just off center place a small handful of chicken "in a line".
Sprinkle a generous amount of cheddar cheese over the chicken.
Roll it up and place it seam side down in a stoneware baker.
Repeat for remaining tortillas.
Pour can of enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Place in oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is well melted.
Serve and enjoy with a good beer.

It was a good meal that was quick to prepare after karate class.  I've tried several other enchilada recipes and never had success with them but this one is a keeper.

As for the other moving that's going on in our lives, we continue to have a few showings a week and are just waiting on God's timing.  We found two houses that we like and have found some land that we are considering.  I'm just looking forward to what God has planned - it's going to be so cool to look back and see Him in action in all of this.  Prayers for continued patience are welcomed.  

Blessings and Happy Mexican Cooking!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I accomplished two things today.  Well many more - I'm a mom - but two stand out in my mind.

We completed the first half of testing for our next belt levels for karate this evening.  My 4yr old will be a yellow belt stripe and my 7yr old (the red head below) and I will be blue belts (then it's just one more belt til black) woo hoo!

Both boys did good - I think I did too - but I'm a bit biased.  It's such a good experience to have to show what you know in front of others.  It builds confidence that will be useful when the boys have to give speeches and it let's them realize how much they've learned.  I'm very proud of both of them.  My 7yr old even got to "help" with some junior belt testing where he did the form or steps with them and was the "cheat sheet" for them.  I can tell that he's very proud to be the one "teaching".  As I watched him I realized how much his brain and he have matured.  He remembers so much and he is now working on doing the steps well, not just keeping up with the steps.  I can see him developing into a young (very young) man.  And I'm proud.  At the end of my youngest sons testing he ran across the mat to me arms outstretched - huge smile on his face - saying - yelling - I did it mommy I did it I did my testing did you see?  He was proud, I was proud and taken over by such a sweetie!

I love that they learn confidence and can be proud of their accomplishments I pray that I'll be able to teach them to also be humble and not become too prideful.  How quickly that can become the case and how quickly we can turn a good experience into an idol standard.  God guide me in brining up these boys - please.  

Oh yeah, my second accomplishment was my uncovering of a well kept secret.  They now make coconut m&m's and Oh My Word they are too good to contain any calories what-so-ever!  Good thing I got that karate workout ;-)