Thursday, May 29, 2008

Diggin' holes

My girls have been digging a hole in our yard. They rush out to work on it as soon as their chores and school are done, and they spend as much time as I'll let them digging, scooping, and smoothing. There is no logical reason for this hole. We are not planting anything there - the garden is a few feet to the left. We are not putting anything in the hole. It serves no purpose that I can determine. But they love this hole. It keeps them busy, and they'd much rather work on it than anything that I would like for them to do. I don't understand it!!

How many "holes" do I have in my life? Things I've invested time and energy into that really have no meaning and no purpose? Nothing wrong with them, but why do they capture my attention?

It's so easy to see it from the outside looking in, isn't it? Harder to see the silliness in yourself....

Monday, May 26, 2008


Anyone who knows me well knows that I have an awful memory, for some things at least. And forgetting can get you in big trouble. There are things that you just NEED to remember. Not remembering them can have BAD consequences.

Today we celebrate Memorial Day, a day that was set aside in 1868 to honor those who died in the Civil War, as well as others who gave their lives to keep our country free. Do we really remember them though? Do we remember their sacrifice? Do we remember the cause they sacrificed for? What are the consequences of us not remembering well?

Friday, May 23, 2008

How's my heart?

Ok, so I definitely believe that God is perfectly able to do things in my life in a certain way to grab my attention, but still I am caught off guard when He so obviously seeks to grab my attention. Yesterday I had an interaction with someone that totally convicted me of the fact that I've been calloused towards her, that I haven't really been looking at her through God's eyes, as He sees her, but rather through my very cloudy, self seeking eyes. Yesterday I caught a glimpse of the real person inside of the tough face that everyone sees. I saw a broken hurting child that God made.

Now, people that know me think that I'm a pretty nice person. I mean, I'm a good, homeschooling, foster care providing, Christian, stay at home mom. You know what though? My heart is getting hard. I'm allowing parts of it to stay soft, but only the parts I want to be. The rest has been getting thick and calloused and ugly.

So, then I open up the Daily Bread little book today, not having done that for a long time, and guess what the title for May 23 is? "Heart Disease" The author references Zechariah 7:8-14, where the children of Israel are asking God if He wants them to do the traditional mourning and fasting, and God says, basically, you know what? Whatever you've been doing lately, you've been doing for yourself, so skip it. What I really desire, says God, is for you to have a soft heart. "Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other." So God tells them exactly what He wants, and they "refuse to pay attention... stopping up their ears." Yikes. Sounds a little too familiar to me!!! How many times have I felt prodded by God and plugged my ears?!? Ok, here's the scary part - so God says "When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen." Do I want that? Yikes!

Please God, help the lesson to stick this time. Please make my heart tender; make it like yours.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman family tragedy

I don't know if you've ever heard of Steven Curtis Chapman, but he is a Christian musician who has lived life in the spotlight with his family, and they have done it well. He has released more albums than you can count easily, won tons of awards, stayed committed to his wife and family, and just honored the God he sings about. He and his wife have become outspoken advocates of adoption in recent years, and actually were a large motivating force behind my husband and I choosing to foster and possibly adopt. The Chapmans have three biological children and then adopted three more. They also started a foundation, Shaohannah's Hope, that helps enable others to adopt.

Yesterday, May 21st, the Chapmans suffered a huge personal tragedy. One of their teenage sons was backing an SUV down the driveway and accidently struck and killed their youngest daughter, Maria, a 5 year old that the family had adopted from China as a baby. Wow.

If you pray, pray now for this family, for the brother who was driving, for all of them. Maria is fine. She is now in the arms of her heavenly Father, but the rest of the family has some grieving and some healing to do. Lift them up with your family as you sit down to eat your meals today, as you tuck your little ones in tonight. Lift them up...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I've heard this portion of Scripture so many times, but it was sweet encouragement again to me today.
Doing Bible lessons with the kiddos today and we read 1 Samuel 216:1-13, where Samuel goes to Jesse to look for the king to be among his sons. He starts with the oldest, tallest, handsomest one, of course, and God says no. He works his way down through all of the many brothers, no, no, no... Finally Samuel asks Jesse, in essence, "Is this all you've got?" Jesse says, kind of off hand, "Well, I've got this younger one, but I just kind of left him out in the field to take care of the sheep. I don't think you'd want him." Nice vote of confidence, Dad!! Of course it turns out that David, the youngest, the smallest, the least likely, is exactly who God has chosen.
God chooses the unlikely. God uses the unusable. That's great encouragement for a tired out, unlikely, unusable mom like me!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A good night

I so often have to remind myself to celebrate the things I can, and not to dwell on the frustrating things. Looking back to yesterday, I have opportunity to practice. We had a rough day here, lots of crankiness and mischeviousness, but you know what, we had a good night. We made it through supper (a supper where nothing burnt!) without anyone getting hurt or being mean to anyone else. We actually talked and laughed and smiled. Some of us got baths, and everyone slept through the night. We had a good night!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Velveteen Rabbit on being REAL

Sometimes great wisdom comes in unlikely places, like a children's book....

" "What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day...
"Real isn't about how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked,"or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once, said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

(The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams)

When I was younger I thought I knew so much, and I held those older than me in not as high regard as I should have. As I walk this journey called life, especially this path called mommyhood, each day I feel like I am becoming more and more REAL. I certainly have the worn out parts to show for it!! Sometimes I grumble about the wear and tear I suffer, but I am becoming REAL, and I have children that love me dearly. What on earth could be better?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reflections of a stressed out mom

So today I actually allowed myself enough time to exercise, have a short quiet time with my Bible, and brush my teeth before everyone woke up. Ok, so I did 1/3 of my little exercise ball routine, did a snippet of a devotional from my Mom's Devotional Bible, and well, I did brush my teeth. How do some moms do this every day? Discipline I guess.... It's a good thing, but I am TIRED!! So today's devotional was aptly titled "When Exhaustion Wins". It used I Samuel 30:9-10, 23-26 for the reading today, and it was perfectly timed. The scripture is about a group of Israelites on a trip, well, a fighting trip, with David, and some of them were exhausted and had to stay back. After the fight and victory, David rewarded those who had fought with the same spoils as those who stayed back to rest. The devotional author pulled out of this, along with a few other Scriptures, the godly, biblical principle of rest. She talked about how it is important as moms to know when we need to rest, and then to do it, how we can come back much more refreshed and effective. Thanks God for that well timed encouragement. Oops - my quiet time for this morning is up!! My little reason for needing extra rest is awake!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Another day, another chance

I had an opportunity to chat with one of my kiddos today about second chances, and how I really do think that God causes the sun to set and rise each day as a reminder of the chance that each day has a fresh start and another chance. Second chances - we all need them...