Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sense of Humor with Sickness

Saturday morning I left for a weekend away to my friend's home in southern Missouri. It was my first baby-less trip since having my first child three years ago. I was both excited and....excited. My husband was staying with the girls and I was going to be five hours away from my normal life. I knew I was in for some major fun!
The 5 hour drive was leisurely and I stopped three times to use the restroom. It was such a beautiful drive.
When I arrived though, my friend wants to show me another cool ranch she knows of. Without another thought, I jump in her truck and away we go......
Up and down, up and down, more hills than I have ever seen in my life, and twists and turns, and suddenly my stomach is churning. At first I thought I would be able to control the nausea with some deep breaths and fresh air, but as the drive drags on I start to feel a familiar panic, sickness is on its way.
Then we thankfully arrive at the ranch and I am spared...for the time being.
We walk around the new ranch, me breathing in as much fresh air as possible, but the nausea doesn't really subside. Before long though, we've seen all there is to see, and its time to head back.
My sweet friend promises to take a way with a few less hills, and I lay down in the back seat of her truck, praying that the horizontal position will help me. It doesn't really.
About halfway back I lean up and ask how much longer, as I explain for her to keep driving as I puke into a handy little plastic bucket in her back seat.
Suddenly the irony of the moment hits us both. The beginning of our friendship was formed around her driving and me in the back seat puking. No I wasn't a partier with her as my designated driver, it was more comical than that.
Two years ago she hired me to help her with doing flowers on the International House of Prayer properties, and I found out shortly after taking the position that I was pregnant. So we would go places together, even short little trips to properties or stores, and she would drive and my "morning" sickness would be helped along by the moving vehicle. So many of our first moments working together involved me puking, you may not think its that funny, but we both think its hysterical.
So when after two years we are suddenly in a similar situation we both can't help but to laugh. Even in my sickness I could enjoy the humor and irony in it.
All of that said, it was a wonderful trip. I loved the rest of it! We ate apples and peanut butter, I met lots of her fun friends, we watched a BBC romance together, and walked around looking at the baby cows and horses. It was beautiful!
Rachel, if you read this, you made my weekend so wonderful! Hope I get to visit again soon!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Scarf Give-Away Update!

Well, apparently my blog following is more pathetic than I first thought. hahaha
(maybe it's because I openly laugh at my own jokes, hahaha)

But without further ado, the winner of the drawing is Abbie!  I'll send it out hopefully this week. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it!

For those of you who missed this amazingly awesome give-away, stay tuned, I plan to have more. Next time I'll probably extend my drawing time frame a bit more, not too many responded this time. Even people I usually see traffic from didn't comment, so something must have been up.

Those of you who do read my blog though, don't worry, I'm still gonna write it despite the lack of comments on this first give away. I've wallowed in my pity for a few hours, and well (actually I watched a cartoon and worked on my newest crochet project and drank a cup of hot tea), now I'm ready to move on and get ready to post my fiftieth blog post.

That's right people, I've almost posted fifty posts! It doesn't sound like a lot, but it has taken me a long time to get to this point, so it is a big deal to me. Hopefully it will finally be my yarn doll tutorial.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Scarf Give-Away!

Hey there, readers of my blog.
I have had this blog for over two years, been more serious about writing for a little under a year, and I still only have four followers.Come on. Really? Only four you ask.
I think more people read, but don't officially follow. So I want to see who has been reading me and do it in a super fun way!
I'm giving away a hand made scarf that I completed yesterday. Although we are coming out of the scarf season, I had such pretty yarn and only enough for a scarf. Super soft and it will go with several different colors, check it out.
The way to enter the give-away? Leave me a comment and tell me how long you've been reading if you like. Thanks.
I will draw a name next Tuesday and notify the winner in another blog post. So keep an eye out!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Warm Vanilla Soothers

Ok, I just had to post about these new Vanilla Soothers I found at a very lovely blog called, that I follow quite regularly. Here is the recipe, and if you like what you taste, she also has a Warm Chocolate Soother. Seriously, just made some and it is so delicious.
The vanilla version remind me of a cross between egg nog and a warm vanilla chi latte.
So good.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dreams about Shopping

What woman wouldn't want to have dreams about shopping? Well I have them every so often, and most times I wake up totally frustrated. Either everything I see in the stores is totally beautiful and out of my price range or I can't find any of the greatest deals in my size. Seriously, I have these dreams and I look at the prices and sizes and such.
Weird eh?
So I woke up from one this morning that was a bit different from the normal shopping dream. To spare you the details for time sake (it was long and details), it was in a very glamorous store with a main level and a second level. When I finally figured out how to reach the second level, me and a group of IHOP women who had made up were all walked through a sort of program that was suppose to show us how to shop, match items to our colors and so forth. In the midst of the program though there was a lot of Eastern Religion stuff and it sort of weirded me out, even though I still enjoyed most of the process.
At the end they finally let us loose to shop, and I started telling the other women to be careful because they were trying to subtly indoctrinate us thru that program. The other women weren't buying my ideas of caution.
So I said something like, "no really, there is totally an Eastern religion under current that is going to desensitize you and the next thing you know you'll be bowing to some foreign idol."
They still didn't believe me, and I guess I didn't really care enough to press the issue, because I kept shopping and that is when I couldn't find anything in my size, and everything I picked up was super expensive.
Then, in the dream, I had the thought, "well I can still afford to buy a few things because we just got our tax refund."
At some point near there I woke up and I tell you, I was in such a bad mood after that. The dream left me with an icky feeling in my heart and by the time I got to our Sunday service, I felt like a gloomy cloud was settled over me.
In worship I asked the Lord to break in and take me out of the funk, and that is when I heard Him say to me softly, "repent for your dream".
Immediately my mind went to that last recorded thought about having enough money to splurge because we had our tax refund. As soon as I repented for such a careless thought and heart position I felt the release and the icky feeling start to dissipate.
That is not the end though!
I thought on and off about the dream all day long and when I finally took some time to tell my mom about it, it was as though the Lord make the whole point of the dream clear to me. Then I had to repent again.
The whole thing was a picture of my own idolatry, or at least my disposition toward it. The very thing I had warned those other woman about, the subtle desensitizing program that would eventually make them ready to embrace a foreign idol. My tax refund money had become that in my mind; a foreign idol.
We don't live on much money, but the Lord has provided gloriously for us over the past four years and I do trust Him for my daily bread, but with this years tax refund we suddenly have a bit more than we usually do. So subtly a little thought had taken root in my mind and was headed on to my heart without me even knowing it.
I had been finding security in that little bit of money in my bank account. I was feeling like I could do some extra little indulgence type things around the house. I also was feeling a bit stingy, not wanting to spend to much because I feel better having a little tucked away.
So, Lord, I thank you for that dream. You have shown me the truth of my condition today in the form of that dream, and then accepted my repentance. It is because of Your goodness and not my own, that I am even aware now of this looming threat to our relationship. Jesus, would You always expose my sin to me as gently but as thoroughly as You did today. Amen.
Who would a thought a woman who loves the Lord so much could fall into such a silly trap. And maybe I wasn't completely in full blown idolatry yet, but I was headed that way and it was only the Lord's mercy to tell me before I had gone too far. It is just another picture for me of how my sinful nature still tries to rear its ugliness, and how the Lord's love for me is my greatest security.
Now all I need is some Godly wisdom on what to do with this money. I say have Your way Jesus!
All my sweet friends who are about to get their refunds, be warned, and encouraged. :-)

Disclaimer about the nature of dreams: They are personal and if you have a dream about shopping, don't assume right away that it is a dream to expose idolatry in your heart. Plenty of my shopping dreams are just that, shopping dreams, and so if you have a dream, any dream, not just about shopping. I encourage you to talk to the Lord about it, see what He tells you about it. If there is a point, He will help you to see it in His timing. 

PS. If you've read this post all the way to here, then you probably like reading my blog, I hope. So I will tell you about another post I am preparing. My first ever tutorial about making yarn dolls. I made them when I was a young girl and I think they are about due to re-enter my world. So keep an eye out.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tedious Work

I have a confession, I love tedious craft projects almost as much as I like the feeling of accomplishment they give me in the end. The mundane, repetitive tasks, hours and hours of the same rhythmic motion, all adding up to one beautiful piece of art I created with my own two hands. I don't think I've met anyone else with that confessed, but I'm sure there are more like me.
So much comfort is found in the simplest tasks, like piecing a quilt, finishing the edge of a quilt by hand, cross-stitch projects, and now crocheting. Those are just a few of my favorite things. (I wish that I would grow to love the tediousness and repetitive nature of laundry and dishes the same way, but it hasn't happened yet.)
Since it is winter time, and I have no gardening to do, my crafty-ness has stepped up a notch, leaving me with several projects all in different states of finished-ness. So at night, when my girls are in bed, I make a cup of hot tea and set to work.
Recently my tastes have been running toward the organic echinacea tea mixed with white peach tea, to ward off any sickies that have been passed to me from the girls or Ken. I have happily remained healthy all winter far.
And my crafty projects have been slowly moving forward. Recently my attentions have been divided between starting my new scrap quilt and finishing my new crochet project that is going to be something like a shawl. Stashed away I also have a baby quilt that needs the edge hand finished, and a pile of pictures that need to be scrapbooked. You would think I would at least finish my baby quilt before starting a new one, but not me. I love piecing new quilts. It is so exciting to see it begin to come together.
Back to my nightly indulgence though. So, when I pick my nightly project, I then curl up on the couch with my tea and project and....... watch a recent Mike Bickle teaching from or just the most recent sermon from the IHOP archives. It is a beautiful thing.
It is one of my favorite kinds of multi-tasking.
While making something beautiful, I am exposing myself to Biblical teaching that is going to make my heart more beautiful, and I have warm tea that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, and the Holy Spirit, which makes me doubly feel all warm and fuzzy.
After an evening like that, the only thing that makes it better is when Ken comes home, and we cuddle and talk about our day. Sigh.
As much as I anticipate spring, this winter has been a wonderful time for relaxing and finishing projects. Amen for that.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Story of How We Met (a love story)

Recently I've read a few of my friends love stories about their husbands and how they met. It has reminded me of my own story and with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I couldn't resist. We have a foot of snow on the ground, what else do I have to do but reminisce about the romantic beginning of my marriage.
So here it goes.

It all started with a small group for college age men and women. We met at a man's house, Steven Nash, who when I first started attending his home group, discovered I was a horticulture student in college and hired me as his part time gardener.
So a couple nights a week I would come over and weed and water his flower beds and water his indoor plants (the man had so many indoor plants he didn't have window space for them all, it was beautiful).
A little while later he got a new room mate that worked third shift, and I wasn't told about it, I just stumbled upon it one day while I was watering the indoor plants. I heard someone get up and use the bathroom and it freaked me out! So I snuck out before the unseen person could see me. Turns out this new room mate was a guy I had met in the group already, Ken Brooks.
Now let me back up just a bit at this point to our actual first meeting. I barely remember this one, but Ken remembers it because it was the night he labeled me a 'weird hippy girl'. Our small group would sometimes gather at restaurants during the week for fellowship. I came one night after having been away for the summer. Ken had joined the group sometime while I had been away. That night I was wearing pichouli oil and a long peasant skirt (most likely) and I told a story about a friend of mine who had impaled a dead possum on his friends car antenna as a joke. That is how he came to think of me as the weird hippy girl. It was our first interaction.
So then fast forward again.
Now I've already told you his mental label for me as the 'weird hippy girl', so here is what I thought of him at that point. Ken was really athletic, and a bit competitive, so I thought he was an arrogant 'jock'. I was anti-jock in that season of my life, finding that most of the ones I had met in high school thought way to highly of themselves and so I ignored him for the most part.
That is until my best friend started to sort of date him. You know how Christians do, they don't call it dating, but they go out for coffee together to 'see' if they want to date. It is weird, never made sense to me, but then again, I don't have a great dating track record in general, so maybe the way they do it would be less absurd than my own past methods of trying to find a mate.
Still, they didn't call it dating (Ken and my friend), but they did go on dates, just a few, and she would tell me all about how wonderful he was. I can look back now and not feel the least bit weird about this fact either. If she hadn't talked him up to me so much, I probably would have never taken a serious look at him.
Anyways, they didn't 'psuedo-date' for long before some differences were discovered that made them both agree they weren't right for each other, and they remained friends. That left me knowing all this wonderful stuff about him, and not knowing what to do with it.
In that season I had set myself to a season of not dating because of all my aforementioned past failures in dating that always seemed to draw me away from the Lord. So here I was totally having a crush on Ken, and totally denying it to myself and all my friends.
That went on for a while, and then finally one night I told a couple of my close friends. I said, "I like Ken," and they both replied, "finally you admit it, jeeze," and I was shocked! 'What! I just started liking him," I tried to convince them, but they both assured me that I had been flirting with him terribly and that it was pretty obvious that I liked him. Whoops! Apparently I had only been fooling myself all those weeks, but then all of a sudden I didn't know how to proceed.
Then the breakthrough came a week or so later in the form of a trip to Chicago. Ken needed a vehicle big enough to pick up some missionaries from the airport, and I had my mother's van. Well I got the job! I can not tell you the excitement I felt, enough that the fear of having no idea how to drive in Chicago did not even phase me, until later when I was actually in the traffic.
Well long story short, we got the Ukrainian missionaries, talked a lot on the way, got lost on the way home, made it just in time to go to our mutual friends house for a movie. Somehow by the end of the movie we were both on a couch next to each other and I was so overjoyed to be sitting so near him, I never watched the movie. It was a great end to the day!
The next night our small group had a group movie night and again, I ended up sitting next to him on a couch. This time because of some wonderful maneuvering of my dear friend Joan.Thank you so much Joan for your involvement.
That night our hands brushed as we sat on the couch and then he boldly took hold of my hand and I thought I was going to faint (with excitement).
Nothing was spoken that night though, we just held hands.
Our official small group meeting was the following night, and at the end of it, he walked me to my truck and held my hand again. When we got to my truck though, he looked uncomfortable, and I asked him what was wrong. He said, and I quote, "I feel really bad because I want to kiss you,' and in my boldness, I said, 'thats ok,' and then I kissed him. It was our first kiss, and we had never even discussed the fact that we liked each other or wanted to date, etc.
That's right folks, we held hands and kissed before ever having one 'pseudo-date' and discussing if we might actually be right for each other. I don't recommend it for everyone, but it worked for us and the Lord was certainly in it (the relationship, not the first kiss)!
Our first official date was October 11th, 2003, (about a week after our first kiss). We were engaged in March of 2004, and married June 26th of 2004. Our honeymoon was a month long missions trip to Ukraine helping to plant a church and work with a church camp. In fact, we went and worked with the very missionaries that we picked up from the airport that crazy day in Chicago long before. God is so creative and wonderful!
June 26th, 2011 will be 7 years for us and I am still completely in love with this man!!! We have two baby girls, and hopefully more to come in the future.
So, thank You Lord, that You chose to give me such a man. He is full of strength and integrity and is one who truly leads his family in the way of the Lord. He is one who listens for the Lord's voice and does what he hears Holy Spirit saying. You have done so much in our lives and marriage in the last seven years, and I'm thankful You are never done working in our lives. Your involvement Holy Spirit is what makes us great!
Love you! Happy Valentine's Day Ken! (hope I did the story justice, it was a super fun adventure)