Thursday, May 27, 2010

Holding loosely

Those who know us well know that (once again) our financial situation right now is bleak. Even if work picked up like crazy today, the next two months (bc of how Jason is paid) will require divine assistance (as if everything we have is not from divine assistance) for us to get by.  It's humbling and tiring to find ourselves here again. We desire to be learning what God wants to teach us and to be remembering that our hope for any provision is from Him.  And certainly, I have found myself crying out to the Lord daily, even hourly (since J is paid by the hour) for Him to provide for us. I am thankful for the opportunity to be reminded where my trust is to be.

One thing we have learned... when trials cause us to hold things (money, jobs, possessions, our health, friends, even members of our family) more loosely we have the opportunity to prove that Jesus is an invaluable treasure. An onlooking world can see that Jesus is of utmost value when we prize Him more than the other things in our lives and especially when we prize him despite loosing the "other things" in our lives. We desire to testify to this with all our hearts.

But sometimes it is hard. Tuesday was a rough day. I was feeling weary. Not just of the trial but of trying to make it through the trial steadfastly. I became prone to worry and was tempted to question. I think it was a rough day for Jbabe too.

We started getting anonymous letters in the mail to encourage us. Let me quote from the fist letter..."I was praying over your family this morning - heavily burdened over your circumstances. I know that your needs are many and at times frightening. But the Lord also placed upon my heart to pray for your need of hope in these circumstances..... So where does hope come from? Sometimes it seem that it will come from a steady job, a consistent paycheck or from the weight of worry being lifted from weary shoulders. But we know these things offer only false hope or temporary relief....... But the Word of God strengthens, encourages, fits one for the battle, instructs and disciplines our hearts and in turn, our lives." 

So this mystery person has been mailing us Scripture every day. So far we have received Psalm 18:19-32, Psalm 9:9, Psalm 9:18, Psalm 4:2 and Psalm 10:17. What a blessing! We have been hanging these letters up on our mantle to remind our family and those who visit our home that our hope comes from the Lord. Interestingly, the letters first started arriving on Tuesday - my low day. Isn't God so faithful! I think a paycheck will make me happy but it only leaves me longing for the next when we know that at HIS right hand are pleasures forevermore.

God, help us hold all your gifts loosely so that we may be held more closely by YOU.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Blessed be the name of the Lord

I've spent the last few days laying on the couch recovering from an unexpected surgery.

For months now I have been going through the process, with Jason and some very dear friends, to be a surrogate. The Lord had so clearly laid it on our hearts to help give life to their baby. The process has been long. My body hasn't done what the doctors say is typical. Weeks turned into months... appointments, medicine, injections... and lots of prayers.

Finally, we had the transfer and got positive pregnancy results. there was such rejoicing that despite the difficulties, God had chosen to give life to this little babe. I was 6 weeks this week - looking forward to the 30 plus to come. Unfortunately I ended up on my bedroom floor writhing in pain this past Tuesday. I kept texting Jason telling him the pain wouldn't stop. He came home and after 3 hours of horrible pain I started bleeding. We went to ER.

The radiologist couldn't find anything via ultrasound in the uterus but only a mass on my left ovary. The pregnancy had become ectopic and the baby was growing in the fallopian tube near the ovary. I had to go right in for surgery where the baby and my left fallopian tube were removed.

There is grief with the loss of this life and in the loss of my sweet friend's dream. My heart is so heavy for them. But there is rejoicing in the faithfulness of our great God. My loving heavenly Father kept my mind fixed on Him - through the pain, the tears, and the myriad of thoughts while being rolled into an operating room, He called me to cast my cares on Him and reminded me that His ways are higher than my own.

SO for now we grieve - but not as those who have no hope. We trust in the Father's plans and say "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away... Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Monday, May 17, 2010

They're so dramatic!

One of things I missed blogging while on hiatus was the kids spring production with the Playroom Theater Company. How do I neglect to do a post where I can brag on my talented kiddos? SO here's the scoop... The night was "A Night Of Musical Theater and Oral Interp." Each of the kids were in a musical number and had their own monologue (or a duet). It was extraordinary to see each child's talents highlighted in this way. What a fantastic team of directors they had this semester!!

Before I brag on the kids I need to tell you about MY labor going into performance night. The three oldest kids had 3 costume changes and Colson had 2. Trying to get all their costumes organized for dress rehearsal and performance night was a task in and of itself! But for someone who loves visual organization I pulled it off pretty well if i do say so myself. Each kid had their own pattern of bag and they all coordinated - so pretty.
Then each bag had to labeled with what number it was for and what was inside of it. Poor Madison even had to get make up ON and OFF in between numbers so her bag had a mirror, lipstick, and makeup remover.
All the kids were in "Oh The Thinks You Can Think" from Suessical the Musical...

Cole even had a solo part. He did so great! Not to mention the girl next to him in the show was sick that night so he had to do her solo last minute and he was fantastic!!!

My favorite part he sang was "...think of a person too tiny to see..."

Madison's oral interp was a Little Red Riding Hood with an attitude number. She was perfect.

She starts by saying "It's not easy being me... I mean, I know, I'm absolutely adorable..." and then she goes on to talk about her struggle with wolves always trying to get her.

Carson was the best Charlie Brown ever. Man, poor Charlie Brown - he is so pitiful. Every time Carson would practice I didn't know if I should laugh or be depressed. Carson really did a tremendous job conveying how hard lunch time is for Charlie Brown.

One of my favorite lines is when he says "Its hard on a face when it gets laughed in." When the little red haired girl looks his way he quickly puts his lunch bag over his head and then debates whether or not he should take it off...

Madison was in the musical number "TEAM" from You're A Good Man Charlie Brown.

She had the best line/solo when she sings "I don't think it's good for a team's morale to see their manager cry."

Cole did a duet with his buddy, Weston about having a brother with the giggles.

Cole was supposed to be irritated with his giggling brother...

Ally was angelic as she quoted a poem about asking God to make her life a blessing to others.
She starts by saying "God, make my life a little light within the world to glow..."
Finally, Carson and Ally were both in the musical number "I'd Do Anything" from Oliver.

Thye night was just delightful and I was SO PROUD of my guys!! We are so blessed to be a part of Playroom Theater Company!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lipstick Lover

My last post ended with me wanting to get some lipstick on. Evidently I am not the only one in the house who loves a little lip color. However, I am the only one in the house who is old enough to wear lipstick (well, Jason is old enough but if he liked wearing lipstick this might be a very different kind of blog).

Pipster came out so proud of herself - looking clown like - wanting nothing more than to put a kiss mark on my face (like I do to her). It was very sweet.

I'm sure all my telling her that she was not supposed to do that sunk in right after I laughed and grabbed my camera and had her pose for a pictures. Oh well, I'll really let her have it next time. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Something New

I love new things! I mean, who doesn't, right? Even if it isn't brand new as long as it's new to you it is pretty exciting. I remember as a girl not really wanting to get up on Sunday mornings to go to church (or even on school days for school) but if I had a new outfit to wear I barely needed an alarm clock to wake me up! Even if no one noticed I still just felt prettier (full disclosure... this is still true of me... how pitiful?!).

Two of my FAVORITE new things are new makeup and new school supplies. Oh they just make me inspired!! And since we just had the homeschool convention I have some new curriculum. To this day if you give me a pretty new notebook, a new sharpened pencil and a protractor I'll pump out some Geometry for you. I can't resist. Writing teachers who have difficulties getting their students to write should just buy them pretty new notebooks every month. :)

Anyways - we started all our new math books this week. I loved opening the packaging and stacking the books and just looking at them (knowing that they will only look new like this for so long). And the kids have been just as excited as me - wanting to hold their book and look at it and even excited to delve into a new year of school - I know, school all year, just call me mommy dearest.

SO, pardon me as I think I need to go open that new tube of lipstick to make the day complete.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I'm Back!

Remember me? I'm the one who used to faithfully blog about what is going on in my family. I have had NO DESIRE to blog at all recently. I haven't even been reading my friend's blogs. Guess I just needed a break. I kept getting overwhelmed thinking of all the things I'd need to blog about to get caught up but today I decided I'd just give a basic review of what has happened and start with our great end of year party for co-op that we just got home from.
SO - here we go...
- we got a dog. No, hell has not frozen over and I haven't seen any pigs flying but I finally gave in. The Lord actually convicted my heart about keeping my kids and husband from having something they wanted so terribly. The story of how we got her and how we gave her to the kids is great - but you do remember that I said I'm not blogging all the stuff that had already happened - right? SO you'll just have to ask another time. Her name is Lola. She is a sweet (yes, I actually said sweet) chihuahua. She is full grown but TEEEENY!
- Easter - Good Friday stations of the cross. Easter worship service. Everyone looked cute. My Mom and Dad came in town. Ate at P.F. Changs. Worshipped our risen Savior.

- The kids think it's super cool for me to pass them their food or desserts out this window in the kitchen to them on the back porch (I think it's kinda cool too). It's like our own little drive thru window.

- School year - wrapped up. Kids know WAY MORE about Africa (from first month of school) than they do about Europe (from the last month). But don't you look sideways at me. As an adult I realized I knew NOTHING about the World Wars - know why? They are at the back of the book and teachers never got to them!! I'm not the only one. But that's not really an excuse, is it? All right - we will do some summer school.

...Which brings me to today. We had our end of year party with our FANTASTIC co-op... Continental Kids. I know I've blabbed and blabbed about our love for this group. It's still all true. Couldn't be more blessed and pleased to be a part of it.

I love this picture of Madison wither her buddy, Maddy. The friendships all these kids have will truly be treasured for years to come...

Pip was having fun on the play set. She gets funnier and funnier every day.

There was LOTS of activity in the Kent's backyard... including volleyball with inflatable globes...
... on the swings
... in the trees

....eating cake (because it was sweet Eliza's birthday! How wonderful for her to share her special day with all of us).

... and hanging with our besties
(Jason will hate this picture - but look at how happy Pippy is to be snuggled with her Daddy!)
Now - this was the coolest... Each family had each of their kids write adjectives that describe each of the other kids in the group. Each family also wrote one over-arching word that seemed to describe each child. (So, just to not lose you... for Abigail our family had one word "Christ-like" and then each of my kids told me their own word for her... friendly, leader, fun etc...) The amazing and talented Mrs. Kent made certificates that had our logo on it and it read "There is no friend in the world like you" (remember our geography theme for the year) and it then had their name on it with a list of all the words said about them. What a precious idea this was (I think it was mine... that's why I mention it. hahaha!) Today Amy read to each of them the 7 over- arching words in front of everyone and then gave them their certificate. There were several crying mommies. I think it was really special for each kid to hear the wonderful things their friends thought of them. Maybe I'll share some of things said about my little chickens in a future post. It was just a priceless time of loving affirmation.And the day was wrapped up with everyone holding hands in a big circle to pray for the world. How beautiful. I probably should have been in the circle praying but I just couldn't resist capturing this moment to have forever. These other 6 families are such a blessing to us.
And so I'm back. Did you miss me?