Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I got nothing. (aka merry christmas greetings)

I got nothing.  That is the title of this Christmas letter.  How many times can I tell you how awesome my kids are, how wonderful life is, how I relish the crazy, how involved we are in a variety of things, how sports consume our life, how sunny the sun shines in my area, without you starting to wonder, is she for real??? 

 Well I am.  I am real.  Here I am.  And my realness is why you are not getting a Christmas photo/letter in the mail for the second year in a row.  Because, friends, I got nothing.  Nothing to say.  It's hard.   Life that is.

  Not third world country hard.  If that is the barometer, then my life is sunshine and roses every day. Truly.  All of our lives are. 

But in this reality, I got nothing to say.  Things are hard.  And I/we are muddling through. 

I went back to work this year.  That has been hard.  My youngest struggles in school.  That has been hard.  I have an almost teenager.  That can be hard (okay, but secretly I do love it!).  My marriage is hard.  I don't like my dog.  Can you relate?  Anyone? 

So, here I am, real. 
Not sending out my pretty pictures and pretty words, because I really have nothing to say that would sound too pretty.  And that's all I wanted to say. 



 I want to say, thank you, Jesus, for being God yet deciding to come down as a lowly babe in a stinky barn.  For living a life of love and dying for me.  So that even when this life is hard, you have bigger plans for me. 
Because when I have nothing, I still have You.  And that is enough.

Be blessed with the miracle of a baby named Jesus.  Merry Christmas. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

He Loves Us So

I had a hard day.

I was trying to process some stuff from earlier in the day and went on a run. I took my itouch for music, which is unusual, I usually run without it so I can pray or just enjoy creation.  As I ran, the song Forever Reign by Hillsong came on.

As I began to listen, I was crying out to God to capture me with His presence, to fill me with His Spirit, to let me know He is here with me and I am not alone.

As the chorus began…

Oh, I’m running to Your arms,
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

…I felt myself running faster, trying to run to Him, and suddenly the wind started blowing hard against me out of nowhere. The wind surprised me, but I leaned in to it, kept running and closed my eyes, picturing my Lord with arms open wide and me running to him. I mouthed out loud into the wind “I’m running to Jesus, satan, and you can’t stop me!” Immediately, IMMEDIATELY, --I cry now thinking of it—Immediately, the strong wind that rose up and started pushing against me stopped dead.

I kept my eyes closed and ran to Jesus outstretched arms and my body filled with chills and tears sprang to my eyes as I realized He is here with me!!! He revealed his presence to me!! He stopped the wind, removed the obstacle that made it difficult to keep running to His arms. Nothing compares to Your embrace, Light of the world FOREVER REIGN.

I couldn’t believe that I had just had a tangible encounter with God. Satan had pushed against me, rising up the wind, and God stopped it as I told satan off and kept running to His arms. Oh readers, HE IS GOOD. HE LOVES US SO, in the dark and lonely places He is tender and lets us know He hasn’t forgotten us and cares about our pain.

As if this moment didn’t nearly take my breath away, the next song came up. David Crowder’s He Loves Us. “And I realize just how wonderful You are and how great Your affections are for me. He Loves Us, Oh How He Loves Us, Oh How He Loves Us so.”

 Isaiah 26:8 Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your Truth, I wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of my heart.

Forever Reign by Hillsong:
You are good, You are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see
You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life,
In You death has lost its sting

Oh, I’m running to Your arms,
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here
In Your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I'm letting go

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
 Light of the world forever reign
 My heart will sing no other Name
Jesus, Jesus.

Once upon a time...

There once was a mom who had four daughters and enjoyed staying at home for 12 grateful years. One day that mom realized that life is expensive and maybe she should contribute financially to the home,so with God's help (more like complete intervention) she landed a job in her former field of finance and now is attempting to learn how to navigate home/kids/family/life while pursuing and growing a potentially promising career. Hard. Interestingly, her sister, who enjoyed a grateful 17 years at home with her children, found herself in a similar situation, waking up one day to find herself at a desk Monday thru Friday from 8-5pm. She will be chronicling (yes i spellchecked chronicling and that is how you spell it even though it looks wierd) this transition here and this mom of GEMS will be following along to learn her tips/tricks/highs/lows of navigating this new normal. Join us. The end.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Forty dollars and Fear

Be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24

Today, I feared the Lord.

It seems that I have always known that the Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. It is one of those “popular” verses that we all know, but somehow lack true understanding of it’s meaning.

But, today. Today, I got to stare God right in the face. And I was fearful. Fearfully awestruck by His power, His abilities, His kindness, His love, His faithfulness, His largeness, His mysteriousness, His compassion, His patience, His majesty, His greatness. Power. My God has infinite POWER. And I fear Him.

Through a series of events in the last few weeks that only our awesome God would be kind enough to orchestrate, I got to experience the fear of the Lord. It all started a few weeks ago when, after being the recipient of several kind acts of generosity, and wanting to be able to pay it forward, I prayed to God, Please Lord, bless us so we can give generously to others, also!

However, in my narrow, fleshy, worldly-viewed mind, I confess I was only equating being able to give generously with dollar signs in mind. We have been in a financial desert for over a year and my mind has been consumed with my own need. Unbeknownst to me at the time, God thought it was time to teach me a lesson about giving generously…He showed me how it is really done.

And now, I fear the Lord.

Some family members had just moved to town, and they offered us the two year old washer and dryer the previous owners of their new home had left behind. We have a fairly new dryer, but our washer is 13 years old and I thought it would be great to get a nice, matching new pair of units.

A few days later, I had the delight of attending a ladies luncheon with dear, old friends and as talk turned to lamenting laundry (as it does when you have a group of 7 moms with 27 children between them!), one of the friends mentioned that her washer had just died. Knowing this friend is a single mom of 5 children and in a difficult financial situation, I thought, hmmm, maybe I could give her my 13 year old washer when we get the newer ones. After all, it still worked perfectly fine. I stored that thought in my mind, but mentioned nothing about it at that time.

A couple days later we were at our family’s new house and headed out to the garage to check out my new washer and dryer. As my husband and I entered the garage, into my mind entered a picture of my friend trying to wash clothing out in her bathtub the last few days for her and her 5 children. The moment I laid my eyes on the pretty new washer and dryer, I knew with certainty that they had to be hers. I told my husband quickly about her need revealed in passing conversation at the luncheon, and, explaining that we had a newer dryer and a perfectly workable old washing machine, I felt like we were supposed to give these new units to her. He quickly agreed because he is far more readily giving and generous than I could ever hope to be.

The next day while I was out, my generous, serving husband took it upon himself to call a friend who knew this friend in need, and they conference called her. When he told her that I had mentioned that one of her units had died and asked whether it was the washer or the dryer, she choked up and said that while it had just been the washer, the dryer had now also died that day. My husband informed her that we had a new washer and dryer that he would be delivering to her immediately. She burst into tears and I imagine my husband had a hard time holding back emotion as well.

Isn’t that awesome! Isn’t it neat how God uses seemingly small, insignificant details and weaves them together into a beautiful tapestry? I praised God for allowing us to be a part of His provision for this friend in need. For reminding us, that while we feel in need ourselves right now, that there are so many more people in greater need than we will ever be. I delighted that God had answered my prayer and shown me that He can give generously through us in means other than with dollar signs.

But did I experience fear of the Lord, my God? No. I should have. I am embarrassed that I didn’t. God owes me nothing. God, simply because of Who He Is, deserves to be feared. And, yet…flesh. It gets in the way. It covers our eyes. It covers our ears. It covers our minds. It covers our hearts. Oh, Lord, strip us of our flesh!

This story is already complete as a beautiful picture of God’s grace and mercy, faithfulness and provision. But He is Teacher, and He had more to teach this girl who now writes His story here.

When my husband brought the washer and dryer to the friend’s house, he learned from her that in order for the broken units to be removed from the apartment complex, the waste removal company would charge up to $50 a unit.

When he got home that night, those broken units were in the back of his truck.

He told me that his brother had just given him some cash for helping out with some projects at their new house, and he knew that our waste removal service would pick them up for $20 a unit. In as much financial need as we have felt we have been in the past year, he told me he could not think of one single thing we needed to spend $40 on that would bring more joy and satisfaction than paying to have our friend’s broken units hauled away from our house so she did not have to carry that burden.

Thank you, Lord, for revealing Yourself to me through my husband.

What an amazing God I (woefully, inadequately) serve! Once again, He gives generously to others through us, just as I prayed he would allow us to! It is NO coincidence that my husband happened to get some spare cash in hand at this exact moment in time. What a beautiful tapestry He wove through so many small, seemingly unrelated details!

What Power! What Might! Oh, that I would look upon my Lord and fear Him!….but, no, I did not fear the Lord yet. I loved Him, I praised Him, I was excited and felt so blessed to be used by the Lord for His glory to be revealed! But, God had more waiting for this knucklehead. This story wasn’t yet over.

Two nights ago, my husband hauled that washer and dryer down to our curb. During dinner the doorbell rang. It was neighbors stopping by to ask if the washer and dryer at the curb still worked. He told them that they did not and that waste service was going to pick them up the next morning.

That next morning, before 8am, he happens to peek out the front window and says, “That doesn’t look like Waste Management loading up the washer and dryer.” I look out and see that it is some men loading them into the back of their pickup. It was clear that they were “dumpster diving”, as they had some closet shelving, plastic patio furniture, and the like tied into the bed of the truck as well. I told my husband we should let them know that they don’t actually work, and since I was heading out at that moment I said I’d let them know.

I pulled out of the garage and headed down the driveway lowering my window, wondering if they were able to speak English and would even understand me. Just as I got to the end of the driveway they had finished and gotten in the truck and started it up. I decided to just let it go. As I pulled away I called my husband to tell him to call Waste Mgmt to let them know that we no longer needed the units disposed of, and I mentioned that maybe these men that took them would be able to fix them and use them. He agreed that they very well may be able to do that.

When I got off the phone, I felt an urge to pray for them, and I prayed that these men who took those units would, indeed, be able to figure out what was wrong with them and fix them and that they would be a blessing to their family. I started to think of how happy it would make my friend, to know that another family in need would have gotten her broken units and restore them to usefulness, and prayed some more, asking God to be with these dumpster diving men in the red pickup truck and help them to restore these broken units.

Again, I marveled at how cool God was in all of this, continually allowing family after family to pay generosity forward for His glory as he orchestrates every small detail into His woven tapestry.

The very next morning, this morning in fact, I am basking in the glow of being with my four dear sisters in Christ, as we have just kicked off our 5th year together as a small bible study group, and I am sharing this exciting God Story of the washer and dryer. As I get to the end with the men in the red pickup truck, my dear friend gets agitated and says she has something to add at the end.

Pretty soon, she is so agitated that she says her heart is pounding and she is going to have a panic attack with the need to share something about this story…On garbage morning, the day before, she had gone out for an early run (she lives in my neighborhood) and had seen the units sitting out at our curb. She knew the story up to this point and how we had decided to use the spare cash my husband had received to pay for them to be removed at our house.

As she came back to her street at the end of her run, she saw a red pickup truck of men dumpster diving. She prayed at that moment and asked the Lord to send those men to our house to take the washer and dryer so that we would be able to keep the $40, as she knows of our tight financial times right now. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Silence, my friends. Silence, shock, awe fell upon our little group.

Tears began to flow.

Psalm 33:8

I wanted to bury my face in the ground. Hide my face in shame. God was too glorious to look at. Too much to face. Too Good. Too Generous. Too Perfect. Too Powerful. Too Almighty. Too Gracious. Too Merciful. Too Loving. Too Kind. Too Holy.

And I…me…I, in my weakness of flesh, in my doubt and insecurities, in my selfishness and sin, knew in that moment what it meant to fear the Lord.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I am a Triathlete!

I know its been awhile!

I had actually been doing more blogging over at a blog my sisters and I all contribute to, and then kind of slacked off on that too.

Until now!

I just wrote a mega novel on the other blog about my experience doing my first sprint triathlon yesterday. I post as Goose.

I can't figure out how to make the link work, so to get to the blog and read my experience, go to:

or on the right side of my blog, click the Watching My Weight blog link.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I am trying to email you and it keeps coming back undeliverable! Email me so I have your current email and can send you my note!

So glad you found wewawo!