Monday, April 30, 2007

How can you trust God?

Okay, I'm back to theology, folks. Thank you so much for your sweet comments and support. Anna Kate slept throught the night finally again (and so did the other two). They're not well yet, but seem to finally all be headed that direction. Brian saw the doctor and it seems that perhaps there is an intelligent explanation for the knee pain. It seems that his knee is higher than it should be, which may be causing the knee, shin, and hip pain. He is doing some new exercises that will hopefully help, and has some other options including cortisone shots to consider. And he had fluid in his ears which was causing all of the dizziness. So maybe soon he'll feel better too.

We've been round and round with a lot of health issues. Brian got really sick when Anna Kate was two weeks old and was eventually out of work for a month pretty much drugged up and writhing in pain with the doctor's telling us that it was IBS and he should learn to live with it. It wasn't. He had a slow burning gallbladder infection and recovered from his three month ordeal rather quickly after its removal. A second downward spiral occurred about the time I got pregnant with Rose and continued to worsen until a couple of months after she was born. Fibromyalgia was the eventual diagnosis this time, and all of the "help" from medical doctors served to only make it worse. Those are very long stories, but the reason I shared was to explain one thing I learned. I didn't learn it then, but I understand it now. Trusting God.

I was overwhelmed. I didn't know what to do. Both times I had to research and go over medical files and find what the doctors wouldn't take the time to look for. Find answers. And take care of my family. And it was stressful. And someone would say, "trust God. He has a plan. He's going to work this together for your good." "Right," I'd think, "this is definitely looking like it's for my good." "I know what kind of good God does. He lets fathers become incapacitated. He lets mothers die. He lets children get cancer. But I know that He has done so much for me in purchasing my eternal salvation. I get that. And I'm grateful. But the trusting Him for stuff right now part? Way out of my grasp. I just don't get that. What am I supposed to trust Him for?"

Some people think that He's going to always do something good in your life if you just trust. A Joel Olsteen kind of good. Your "best life now" kind of good. And I knew that wasn't true. I'd seen friends lose their children. I'd seen unsaved loved ones die and go to hell. I'd read of Christians across the world being totured and killed. That obviously wasn't it. So what the heck was I supposed to be trusting him about?!

I thought of the situation in terms of a father and child. I trust my Daddy. He's a steelworker /preacher. He's big and he's strong. When you're with him, nothing is going to hurt you. In a normal crowd of men, he could take any one of them. And he would die for me. Without a second thought. He madeall of his decisions regarding me with an eye on my protection. Nothing was allowed to hurt me. No one would have that chance. I was not allowed to be anywhere he deemed unsafe, and no young man was ever allowed to break my heart. I was protected. (I might have said suffocated.) But this is someone you can trust. Then I would try to compare this to my heavenly Father. And the disconnect was unbelievable. If my Dad had it in his power to prevent me from being in an accident, he would. He would have saved my Pap. He would have fixed my husband's body. I was sure he would if he could. But God didn't. I don't remember this being so much a crisis of faith as an inability to do what good Christians do. I was willing, but had no idea how to trust God. I decided trusting God was about it all working out in eternity, and that's about as far as my understanding went.

I know that I still have a lot to learn, but now I see that trusting God is trusting Him to conform us to the image of His Son. That trusting God is believing that He does all things for His glory. That if I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness then that is all I will want. And that's what I'll get. And the pieces come together. That everything God does is good. No matter what. You can trust that. And it can change the way you live now, because you can know that everything is under his control and He has a reason. And that reason is His glory.

When someone asks Brian how he's doing (and he feels postiviely awful), he says, "Better than I deserve!" It's all about His glory. Anything we desire more than His glory is idolatry. If we seek His glory above all else, then it becomes easy to trust Him. And when you say "why me?" it will be a whisper of gratefulness that He would choose us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.

"But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sickness stats

I just can't keep people well around here.

We arrived back home last Friday night, and Saturday morning I took Rose and Ethan to the doctor. Rose had an ear infection, and Ethan looked like just bad allergies, possibly starting a sinus infection. Just as we pulled into the driveway, Ethan threw up all over the inside of the van. I removed the seat and spent the afternoon with a scrub brush and while I was at it, some sweet friends who had called a couple of weeks ago aout giving us a bunkbed, called to ask if they could drop it off! I didn't want to put them off any longer, but it was nuts. Making gluten free food is generally not a quick process, Brian felt terrible, the grass needed cut badly, and in order to put the bunk beds in the house, Anna Kate and Rose's toddler beds had to be disassembled and put in the attic (the pull-down-a-ladder-from-the-ceiling variety), Ethan's bed has to be dissassembled, moved to their room, then reassembled, then the bunk beds had to be assembled.

It was time to call in back-ups. Our sweet shepherding group friend Chris came over and cut the grass, which is no small task here since our riding lawn mower won't work. And Brian's dad came to set up the beds. Needless to say, the kids got to bed late. Brian was really sick all weekend.

The week was only slightly better, Brian got a little better, then worse again and could barely move today. He went back to using his cane. Ethan's cough seems to be a lot better, but he's been having really bad headaches. He's been breaking out in welts from the grass too. I'm going to try giving him Claritin every day. If he's not better tomorrow, I think I'll try the antibiotic the doctor gave me just in case. I think Rosie's ear is better, but she's been mumbling about the other one, so I'm not sure. I can't decide if I should give her the antibiotic or keep waiting. Neither of them have a fever.

Anna Kate's been the sickest, though. We actually were at the doctor's this morning. I didn't even know they were open on Sunday. It's apparently for emergencies only. She has the yucky cough and choking that Ethan had last week and has awakened between 12:30 and 1:30 AM for the past four nights choking and screaming and having a tummy ache and sometimes throwing up. Then we watch a movie until 2 or 3 AM when she falls back to sleep with me on the couch. I think I've only slept in my own bed once this past week! Last night the infection was pouring out of her eyes and pink-tinged, which freaked me out and made me call the nurse. So now she has eyedrops. But no sinus or ear infection or lung problem. And she plays almost all day with great gusto. But she has an off and on fever that shoots up and makes her miserable until the Tylenol kicks in again.

So it's been nuts around here. And I don't think I've heard a sermon at church since Easter. I took the kids the week after, but helped in the nursery because I didn't see a friend to sit with and hate sitting alone (Brian was home sick), and then all of them have been sick the last two weekends. I MISS CHURCH! I was actually there serving a snack to three hundred people that were at a conference Friday night, but I can't wait to make it back to a real service.

Did I mention that I'm tired and that I don't think the laundry will ever be done? :^)

Well it's late and I need to hurry to Walmart for a humidifier filter before Anna Kate wakes up screaming tonight. I just wanted to finish this post finally. There are so many other things I've been wanting to write about, but hopefully now you'll at least see why I haven't.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Star Wars Stamps

Vote for your favorite. Enter the contest. Play the game. Love the music.

Happy Arbor Day!

Sorry, no great ideas for Arbor Day, as you can see below, It's all about butterflies today!

Butterfly day

  1. Go to Journey North and click through a photo journal of a monarch lifecycle, then watch videos of a caterpillar eating and a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Awesome!

  2. Let younger kids try this drawing activity from kid soup.

  3. We still haven't gotten to these winged wonders at Family Fun. Today's the day! Update: We did try these, but they proved a bit difficult for the kids, so we switched over to coffee filter butterflies and they were thrilled with them!

  4. Try butterfly math or connect the dots.

  5. Little ones will enjoy tracing the days of the week on these Very Hungry Caterpillar worsheets from First School. Anna Kate loved this, and Rosie tried it out too.

  6. Label the butterfly lifecycle , body, or a caterpillar from Enchanted Learning. (Just in case you didn't realize it, you can copy and paste these into a Word document to print them without banner ads.) While you're there, print a butterfly lifecycle sheet too.

  7. There's a free thematic unit from schoolexpress. Better for, maybe, 2nd grade?

  8. The Earth's Birthday has an easy to read mini book to print.

  9. Print these gorgeous butterflies from Billy Bear and use them in these crafts (second craft)or make up your own. I think I'll use card stock.

  10. Print these pretty bookmarks.

  11. Easy to read books: Heinemann Read and Learn: Butterfly (Spilsbury); All Aboard Reading: Butterflies (Neye); From Egg to Butterfly (Zemlicka)

  12. The Butterfly Book: A Kid's Guide to Attracting, Raising, and Keeping Butterflies (Hamilton)

I happily nabbed all of those books at the library, which inspired this day. The kids are thoroughly enjoying it.

Anna Kate and Ethan and their butterfly tree

Whitewashing jihad in schools

I may have been the only one who missed this up until now, but Sheila Wray Gregoire referenced it in her weekly letter and I was amazed. Twice now, homeschoolers have been used as fictitious perpetrators for mock terrorism drills at public schools. Interesting, huh? Wouldn't want those kids to suspect a Muslim or the kid beside them in math that's doodling bombs in his notebook, but those homeschool kids...

Read Michelle Malkins syndicated commentary here.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Becoming Jane

is a new movie based on the life of Jane Austen. Hop over to By Sun and Candlelight where Dawn has more info or visit the official website. Yay!

Prayer for a friend

I'm so grateful or all of your prayers for my family in the past. This time I'm asking for you to pray for Monica, one of my friends from church. She went into the hospital because of a lingering cough that got very bad, and was soon given a shocking diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. She has 7, 5, and 5 month old children who have gone up north to stay with grandparents as she undergoes chemotherapy. Please lift her and her husband John up in your prayers today, won't you?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My boy

Lindsey's 1000th post

Enjoy the Journey has hit its 1000th post today and Lindsey is shamelessly begging for comments to commemorate the occasion. So even if you don't usually read her blog (and you should because it's great stuff), go leave her a comment, or even a few comments. Make her day!

The Birthday Trip


It's quiet here at the moment, so I'll try to get this post up.

I mentioned to Brian back in February that Kenny Chesney was going to be launching his Flip Flop Summer Tour and that very observant man remembered and bought tickets to the nearest city the day they went on sale, snagging balcony tickets. Very interesting experience. We'd never been to a large secular concert before, only Christian, classical, Riverdance kind of stuff. We learned a few things. First, there are no scan buttons at a concert. You're stuck with whatever is playing. Loudly. And with terrible acoustics at this particular place at least. So you can't understand what they're saying - unless you already knew the song. Weird. Second, some people do not drink in moderation.

It's kind of like the movies, you have to do a background check to be sure you're not going to see something you don't want to see. So it wasn't terrible, in fact, a lot of the Kenny Chesney performance was loads of fun, but I don't think we'll try that again. Unless maybe it's Rascall Flatts. And then I'll make sure that we know who else is coming with them.

So we had a great ride up with me not knowing where we were going until we were over half way there. I'd actually done a search for concerts on that date the night before and it was the only one I'd found, and I thought, maybe?... But I was so surprised that he really did that. Brian is terrible at keeping secrets from me. It makes him crazy. But I think he had even more fun making me crazy. We checked in at our hotel, changed, and had a nice dinner at Ruby Tuesday's (great crab cakes!), then headed to the concert. Oh, and I had to share this pic from our motel room's ceiling - it cracked us up!

The next day was garden day. Three botanical gardens in a row. With a delightful lunch in between. (If you've never had a sweet potato biscuit before - mmm, heavenly!) Unfortunately, Brian started a sinus infection too, but refused to let it slow him down. My new camera was great fun! I'm so glad that he insisted I buy it before we went. I took hundreds of pictures, but I tried to narrow it down.

We got everyone that passed us to take a picture of us

together. A lesson I learned from my honeymoon

pictures - we only had one together!

This camera has lots of cool features to try out.

Brian is my hero.

He was a very good sport about being

my favorite subject.

Some cute dogs we met.

By the end of the day, I was feeling like a

budding wildlife photographer! :^)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Just so you know I'm not dead...

Here's a tease of where we were.
We returned home to sicker kids than we left and Brian was sick this weekend too (sinus infection/ear infection stuff). As we pulled back into our driveway saturday after a run to the doctor's, Ethan threw up all over the inside of the van and I spent the afternoon removing the van seat and scrubbing the interior - it's clean now, at least! The combination of trip and weekend has left me insanely behind. I have felt much more like a failure than the Proverbs 31 wife of Brian's rose colored glasses. So I'll blog more when the rest of my life is in better order. See you then!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Where is that man taking me ???!!!!

Today's the day! Brian's getting off at lunch today and taking me somewhere and we're staying overnight and doing something tomorrow (I think - it may just be catching up on all the sleep we missed last night due to our pollen inflicted children). This is my birthday present, so he told me almost a month ago, but won't even give me a clue. How am I supposed to pick out clothes???? His attempts at trying to guide me in the right direction there are laughable. Different things require different clothes! Guess I'll pack four outfits instead of one. :^) This is driving me crazy and that wicked (read wonderful) man is thoroughly enjoying it.Yesterday I got my fantasmic new camera to take along. This thing is amazing. It has a zilion specialized shooting modes and records video in stereo sound that, according to reviews, has better quality than low-end digital camcorders.
The Canon Powershot S3 IS.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dress up your desktop

with this one by my husband.
(Hop over to Growing Vertical to get the full size image.)

Supreme Court upholds Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act

"WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court upheld the nationwide ban on a controversial abortion procedure today - handing abortion opponents the long-awaited victory they expected from a more conservative bench. The 5-4 ruling said the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law in 2003 does not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion." Read the rest of The Salt Lake Tribune article here.

Earth Day Myths

In Genesis 1:28 it says, "And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

As Earth Day approaches, I believe that we need to take a balanced view of our planet and how we should dominate, subdue, and care for it. Sometimes it's easy to take the information we hear around us at face value and not consider where it's coming from. So today I'm offering you "the other side of the story" for popular environmental concerns courtesy of The Heartland Institute. I want to be careful to teach my children to appreciate and care for what God has blessed us with without giving them false or misleading information.

The general idea:

Common-Sense Environmentalism
"For people sincerely committed to the goals of a cleaner and safer environment, these are truly the best of times. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat are all safer than at any previous time in our lives. Wilderness areas in the United States are expanding, wildlife is flourishing, and once-endangered species have been saved.
We now know that prosperity, private property rights, and freedom from an overly intrusive government, all values that we share, need not be sacrificed to save the environment. We can have them all, but it requires a new approach to environmentalism that relies more on science and less on hype."


Mandatory Recycling Wastes Resources, Harms Environment
"Recycling is a productive part of the market system. Informed, voluntary recycling conserves resources. In sharp contrast, mandatory recycling wastes resources--and Seattle’s latest political action misleads the public into supporting such wastefulness."

Global Warming:

Global Warming Outlook Far from Alarming
"It would be nice if my colleagues would actually level with politicians about various “solutions” for climate change. The Kyoto Protocol, if fulfilled by every signatory, would reduce global warming by 0.07 degrees Celsius per half-century. That’s too small to measure, because the Earth’s temperature varies by more than that from year to year."

Polar Bears:

ESA Listing Not Needed for Polar Bears
"The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has written on the threats allegedly posed to polar bears from global warming. According to the WWF, there are approximately 22,000 polar bears in about 20 distinct populations worldwide. Only two bear populations--accounting for about 16.4 percent of the total number of bears--are decreasing, and they are in areas where air temperatures have actually fallen, such as the Baffin Bay region."

It's important to get both sides of the story in order to make informed decisions. For more information on environmental issues go to the Heartland Institute's Environment section.

Does your little girl need a special dress?

were featured on the Vision Forum blog.
Go check them out and bookmark them.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Potty Song

This is Rosie's new favorite song. We've even made motions, which I think boosted its appeal.

1-2-3- Let's hear some pee (Hold one, then two, then three fingers up, then cup your hand behind you ear)

1-2-3- In the pot-ty (Hold one, then two, then three fingers up, then point down in the potty)

1-2-3- Let's hear some pee (Hold one, then two, then three fingers up, then cup your hand behind your ear)

Flush it down in the pot-ty (Make a flushing motion, then point down in the potty)

I'm pretty sure I made this one up from scratch, but if you've seen it somewhere before let me know.
Copyright 2007

Spring Day on the farm

Anna Kate holding a chinchilla...

and petting a three week old groundhog

Ethan washed wool, picked seeds out of cotton, carded it, and spun it

Old fashioned sheep shearing

My beloved

and my little man

Rosie's tired.

She's going to take a break in the flowerbed.