Monday, February 16, 2015


I cannot capitalize the word OVERWHELMED big enough or make it as bold & defined as it feels in my life right now.  It came instantly when my plans turned a different course today.

Just trucking along and then WHAM!  There it is, you spin around and end a bit dizzy.  You reach out to maintain some balance when you slip and fall and someone always sees you do it.  Someone always turns away from the scene with the impression that you are insignificant.  And for some reason you start to care what they think of you.

With your muddy knees and bruised appearance, you begin to doubt everything you were doing prior to your stupid incident.

The path you were on with cheerleaders & team-players, the determined path with play lists and details that made sense turns into something else.

It turns into lonely.

I thought I knew for sure.
I thought it was figured out.
I thought we had a way.

Tell me you can relate to this!!  Tell me that I'm not the only one who feels alone in times of loneliness.

Last night I was reading a book to the kids, teaching them the power behind praising God in the troubled times of life.  Allowing it to not only be a great response to the pains the world offers, but being the initial response to it.  The first response.  The only response, and the GREAT response that brings power back into a fallen down muddy mess of a situation.

Today I got my chance to demonstrate that.
I failed, then I praised, then I cried, then I failed, then I got distracted, then I stared off, then I praised, then I failed, and on and on.

I posted on Facebook, which I hate doing, asking for prayer.  As simple as that, "I could really use some prayer" and the response I got was overwhelming.  Something happened every time my computer would ding with a message saying, "we are praying..we got you over here...I'm on it...praying right now."  With every single one, my faith got a little more intact.

Before long I picked myself right up.  I figure its OK if I fall down.  Its nothing I cant get up from especially when I have a bunch of "pick me up" prayer warriors saying my name to the Lord!!

So I scrapped off some of the mud from my jeans, slipped on my kickers, and decided what the heck...lets get moving!  I picked up my plans and started moving forward again, this time I left my play list behind and decided I'm just gonna play it by ear.  The road I'm traveling doesn't have alot of people on it to cheer me on but just because they are not right beside me doesn't mean they wont be waiting at the finish line to bust a move when I finish!

Off we go...
A little scared, but trudging on.  One step at a time and practicing my praise on the way!


Sisterly Love

This is my 3 year old SON!
In his short time on earth he has currently played the role of every animal imaginable, a princess, baby, pirate, pioneer, queen & king, rock star, biblical characters, Indian, pilgrim, and the list goes on!
On this day, he was Amish.
Let me rephrase that, he was an Amish girl.
As picture worth and cute that this was, I'm sure there will be a day when he sees it and thinks, "what in the world!"

His name was "Martha" and his sister had a ball pretending that she had a sister instead of a brother....4 brothers at that.  I can't blame her too much but I'm sure the time will come when Martha will throw off her bonnet and say enough is enough.

But until then, his sister will make sure he learns his ballerina moves and can hang with the best of girls :)

Pretend play is always good with a big sister, what she doesn't know quite yet is that someday this little boy will grow up to be the one who watches over her.

Just wanted to share the beauty of childhood today and remind myself that life moves by so fast.

Have a blessed day!
From our family, including Liam

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Recently we downsized our bed from a king to a queen. Everyone thought we were crazy to give up that much leg room; but I was ready for the change. Sleeping in a king bed gives you many luxuries; more room, extra pillows, & it's great for movie night as everyone piles into Mom & Dad's bed.  The problem with all of that is that our bedroom is tiny.

I could say we have a small bedroom, but it would not be completely is tiny!
With a king bed taking up the entire room, it makes it no less then a hassle to maneuver around this huge piece of furniture. Over lots of consideration; we took it out & exchanged it for a nice regular sized bed. The extra 2 ft of space in our room makes my imagination go wild with what we could do with it.

Getting accustomed to our new arrangement has been quite a task. Not only does it limit our personal space, it doesn't provide extra space for kids, dogs, pillows. It seems my neck always has a kink & I sleep with one eye open due to discomfort. It has not been ideal by any means. It feels as though I never get any sleep. I wake before the rest of the family just to wander downstairs to sneak off to sleep in the chair. I'm like a nomad walking around looking for a place to lay my head that may provide some comfort. A one-eyed, kinked neck nomad with a mission for rest!

Have you ever felt like this; like you are exhausted..never given a chance for catch-up. One busy thing after another, task after task, chore after chore, call after call, text after text, and the list goes one. Our chalkboard brains are filled with marks, lists, reminders, and deadlines. Will it ever stop?? Will I ever get some rest? Could you sleep standing up or just shut your eyes anywhere and drift away easily? If so, I totally get it!

Once I get to a certain point of tiredness, my heart reminds my body that I'm most likely thinking of the wrong things. Oswald Chambers says in his book, My Utmost for His Highest..."You have no right to complain, "O Lord, I am so exhausted."  He saved and sanctified you to exhaust you.  Be exhausted for God, but remember that He is your supply. "All my springs are in you" (Psalm 87:7).
I read this again this morning and thought about how true it was.  How can I complain that I'm exhausted or tired if I'm working for Him? 

First we must examine our roles of service; and get rid of anything that does not fit into the campaign.  Meaning..I say "yes" to almost everything, but I should  only be doing certain things and doing them well, bringing glory to God.  The other things that I delve into are just robbing me of time and talent, and causing me to be more tired then I need to be.  Don't get me wrong, good things can exhaust you just as well.  You can be on track and in the specific will of God, doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing and doing it well...and be tired.

The solution to this is not forgetting who is the source of your service.  Replenish your supply, be tapped into your employer...don't forget to seek God first.  Look to your foundation for strength, endurance, and most definitely rest. Whenever I am running the "rat race" as it sometimes is called, I forget to look to God.  I'm looking to the grocery list, Dr appointments, and dirty house...I look to phone calls, Internet media, or the many other things that like to over-run my day.  But, if I capture a moment of reminder, and stop for a second...shut my eyes, and imagine myself with the Lord.  If I choose to take just a portion of a moment to be with Him, the whole day starts to shift.  Something seems to happen, the layout of everything ahead of me transforms.  It all settles into a grove and works itself out.

Tap into the source, He will instantly line your back up into good posture.  It will set you straight, and give you what you need to get through this day.  Tomorrow is busy, and has troubles of its own.  Today is now and soon to be overwhelming.  Stop what you are doing before it gets the best of you, and just usher yourself to focus on the One thing that really matters.  Rest will be sure to follow.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Are you kidding me

There is not many things cuter then goat kids. To those that are not accustomed to farm life; just take a look a this picture.

I'm not kidding...(pun intended) They are stinking a-dor-a-ble!
They are soft, friendly, and like little puppies.

Last night, our doe had triplets! 3 beautiful babies all dried off and clean when we checked on her, standing there bright eyed and ready for adventure! We were so elated; triplets! We called and told the good news to family members as if we just had the stork show up and drop off our own babies.
These 2 little does and 1 bold buckling were born in the straw, in our shadowy barn, in the middle of the evening, on the coldest night of the year! And they were happy! We were happy!

With infertility you see the same kind of environmental scenario happen day after day, time and time again.

Babies are born in the harshest of elements.

Women who are promiscuous, alcoholics, addicts, and non-compassionate give birth every day. Some would like to change, others are fine with where they are and don't have any need for a newborn.

It's on the news, plaguing our eyes..everywhere we turn we hear of babies found in toilets, trashcans, and dumpsters. Babies non-wanted by their mothers, fathers, and entire families.  Babies that are a burden.

I often don't hear of women who are snorting coke, shooting heroine, or everyday drinkers complain about their bout of infertility. The complaining is usually more about them being pregnant and not wanting to be.

You ever feel like the stork made the wrong stop? Visited the wrong house? The wrong family?

Remembering that God's plan is THE PLAN, is the only way to understand what is happening in the next generation. Knowing that He sees all things shouldn't make you questions why He allows such things to happen; it should comfort you in the truth, that He is the Judge and He will make things right. He will call to himself all the needy, poor, and burdened. He will make all paths straight. He sees every single pain and will bring about justice. He has it under control. There is no plan devised by man that would be more effective then the method & system that God has handling the hurts of this world.

Today we will love on our new goat kids in their first day of life; at the same time we will trust in the Lord with the pains going on outside our happy barn life, and know that He is the man for the job!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Something needs to die

Have you ever been in a situation that created discomfort?

Did the people around you lead you to believe that you are unwelcome or don't fit in?

What about finding yourself in confrontation that was unexpected from someone unsuspecting?

Have you ever realized later that you were the root cause of much of your turmoil?

This is me.

Many times I have wondered where my insecurity has come from, and tried to "pin it on the donkey." I look around and see things that make me uncomfortable, people who have hurt me, situations that are awkward and want God to "fix" every aspect of it. During prayer, I often find that whatever faults I pin onto others, lays most relevant inside my own self.

It's never is easy when we have to face things head on. But this is where strength and endurance play a part, creating your perseverance and reliance upon God. If there were no struggles, why would we need help? It's these times when I see how truly ugly my heart can be; and how refined and detailed God can heal me if I allow Him.

Refinement is such a nasty process..its a solid way to getting rid of grime and the deep dirt embedded inside us. The purging of the crud, spoil, and crusty filth that has settled over long periods of time is a feat to tackle. It's getting on your knees with a butter knife and toothbrush and scrubbing inside all the cracks. But before you can throw it away you have to take a close look at what you just dug up. Examining intently the gunk you are getting rid of, in hopes that you will never find it dirty again.

There are many times that I have purged things out of my heart; insecurity, bitterness, anger, jealousy, idleness, etc... to come back later and find a remnant that still remains. As I recently came across this situation again, I became discouraged. I immediately wanted to blame an outside source for my troubles, but quickly I was reminded that my internal affairs are my own garbage. How do I always get myself into this mess? Is my heart not good?? Am I always going to have this cycle of "wash on, wash off?"

I was reminded of the answers:

My heart is not naturally good, I am a wreck without a Redeemer. I need to constantly be checking in with it and seeing what it is feeling, thinking, doing. I need to guard it and keep a close watch on it for it tends to sway away from the good things. Something inside it always needs to die, there is always a remnant that "wants what it wants." This continuous work is always going to be there, BUT IT'S GOOD WORK! Its God approaching us with an offer to pry something out of our hearts that is no good, something that is grimy and greasy. The process is always gross, it stinks and hurts, and it is completely worth it in the end.

As the Lord keeps cleaning me up and helping me along with my feelings & thoughts. I check-in periodically and ask some crucial questions.

1.) Who is God?
2.) What is He doing?
3.) Is He the most inportant thing in my life?

Once I spend time here, I am completely leaned into His cleaning up crew...bring on the butter knife and toothbrush! Without doubt I want Him to set me up again and remove anything not of Him, and replace it with all things of Him. These questions remind me that nothing matters more then knowing Him and submitting to Him over my whole life. All of the things that I struggled with suddenly seem so feeble and He is brought to the front of my life. All my insecurities and "your not good enoughts" are taken away. Everything is made new and I get to start from scratch.

It wont surprise me if I cycle around and find that I have a bit of envy stored away, or maybe some strife with an old friend. The remnants are tiny flakes of reminders that I will again call on the Lord and He will bring the broom & dustpan. We will hash it all out, erase the yuck, and scribble down the truth once again. He will bring the comfort and I'll spill my heart out to Him; and I trust this!! I trust that this is good, and this is right! And that He will set me back up and turn my face nose to nose with His. His sweet face will shine on me and be exactly what I needed and when I needed it.

Perfect Love for a wretched heart!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Scare me!

I read this quote tonight in the pictures above and had to stop and think.

For months..years..maybe my whole lifetime I have had a specific dream that I have failed to run after. I have used many excuses and resoning to thwart what I should be doing. I have told myself that it is futile, with no meaning, and will be made a mockery of. I have convinced myself that I physically cant do it and that I dont have the capability. I have even lectured my own self to feel as if it's stupid and that anyone in existance can do it better then I can.

Until today.

Deep in my heart I still have the dream, even though I have believed my own lies for years, or at least pretended to, so that I wouldn't have to venture forward towards the goal.

Why?  The only answer, the most truthful answer, is fear.

Scared that someone is better.
Scared that I'm not good enough.
Scared to be made fun of.
Scared of failure.
Scared of pouring my heart into something that others will think has no worth.

Isn't that the cement block of weight that holds us if it's tied to our abilities and convinces us that we have to remain dormant in order to be safe. We think that safety is the key to making friends, keeping friends, and having fun. Safety keeps us in a box all snuggled in with foam peanuts and plastic pops. Sounds like a common element in lots of people I know. We are all comfortable just looking at the wall and dreaming of what we could be doing if we were to take a risk.

This kind of safety keeps us from adventure. It locks us up and takes away a reality that could be; if we let it. It strips us of standing on the edge of something new and dangerous, something revealing and exciting. It allows us to see other dreamers going after their dreams and we say to ourselves, "they must have something I don't." The insecurity completes her course and comes back around to say, "you could've done it; but your a lost and they won."

I've never been a runner, since, when I was a teen I had a car accident that left me with damaged knees and knew I would never be an athlete of any sort. But recently I got an idea in my head that soon turned into an action and I started jogging. I NEVER thought I could run to the mailbox and back and now I am training for my first race. There is no doubt in my mind that I will not be first to finish...but I am most certain that I wont be last. I wont care what place I'm in; I will just be elated that for over 20 years I believed I could never do the very thing I am going to do. I believed in lies so long that I never even tried.

Just like the race, I know that I wont be the best. I wont have great form or breathing. More then likely I will have my tongue hanging out to the side and running all hunched over...(laughing to myself and knowing this could be reality) I'm sure to make someone giggle in the audience, but regardless I am going to do it!!

I am going to do it!  and I am going to finish!

Running isn't my big dream, but its resembles the same elements in my life that has held me back.

I like that I'm scared. I like that I don't know what is coming next and that I need God to lead me. I like that I have to trust Him to be in a truly safe place, a place of truth and shelter. I like that I don't have to be good enough for anyone. I like that my dreams are not a figment of my imagination but were intricately placed in my heart by my Creator because He says that I would be good at it. People will laugh at me, but the Lord wont. I like that He's my main audience and when people in my life think they know me best; He always knows me better! He says I can even with bad knees, and He says that you can even though you may think you can't. He says Yes.

The race is set, running shoes on, headband ready...Here we go!
What are you wishing you were doing right now? Don't let yourself talk you out of taking chances.
Like the image said above, if your dreams don't scare you; perhaps they are not big enough.