Monday, January 30, 2012

I am the Moon

The song is actually called 'You are the Sun' by Sara Groves, but in it I am reminded that I am the moon, meant to reflect the Light.
She has some other awesome songs too. For being part of the contemporary Christian music circle, I feel her songs are typically profound and exceptionally beautiful.
This is one of my favorites, and a few others that have had great meaning to me over the course of my Christian life. Hope you enjoy. After listening to a few of these today, especially 'You are the Sun', I am reminded to turn my face to Him and shine!
Ignore the poor quality video for 'You are the Sun', the words are what carries the power!


Here is another one that I love, 'Painting Pictures of Egypt'.


And one more, another of my very favorites. 
Fills me with all sorts of passion toward intercession 
and acts of justice! It's called 'When the Saints'.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

An Intoxicating Bouquet

First off let me just say that I do not like fast food. I have watched such documentaries as 'Super Size Me' and 'Corn King' and 'Food Inc.' From that research and plenty of online reading, I have come to the conclusion that fast food is disgusting and that if it has a drive thru it probably isn't worth stopping to eat at.
However, now I will say, I am pregnant and logic somehow finds itself second place to my cravings.
All week this week I have been craving Steak 'n Shake, specifically, a Steakburger, of any shape or size. For the most part I've been able to keep the craving under control, using what logic I have left to combat it. When Sunday afternoon arrived however, I no longer had the energy to cook dinner, and no more good reasons on why I shouldn't have a steakburger.
So, I asked Hubby if I could feed the kids left overs while he watched them so I could go run and get a steakburger. Thankfully he said yes, and I was suddenly scrambling to reheat cheesy spinach pasta for my girls so that I could run out the door on my way to Steak 'n Shake. The drive was the longest part of the wait I think, because I knew my beloved steakburger was now within my grasp or would be.
At the drive-thru I ordered quickly and went to the window. My dinner was on sale which made the whole ordeal sweeter, and I waited in anticipation for the little black and white paper bag to be handed to me. The service was fast and I was quickly on my way.......
to the nearest parking space less than a hundred feet from the drive-thru window.
That's right folks, I could not even wait to get home to eat my treasure. It was killing me with it's intoxicating bouquet and soon I was shoving the thin, worthless fries out of my way to reach the steakburger, dripping with fresh grease and pickle juice.
I'm pretty sure there was nothing lady like about how I devoured the first four bites in the parking lot. I inhaled those first bites so fast though that I decided I should put the sandwich down and rethink the parking lot strategy, otherwise my bliss would be shortened by my haste.
So I decided to wrap the remaining portion carefully so as not to drip grease, and drive home. This time though I prayed for ever red light so that I could stop and devour a bit more of my dinner in ecstasy. I don't think I am exaggerating, and perhaps it was just low blood sugar, but I think I was actually shaking while I ate my sandwich at each red light. It was really that good tasting.
Logic was of course still screaming in my mind that this meal was disgusting and that the ingredients were far from health or even real for that matter. None of that mattered though while I held that burger. Fake, chemically rendered ingredients never tasted so good.
Before I was half way home it was gone, and I was left with that boring bag of fries, which I ate because I paid for them. But the poetic language was still flowing through my mind as I remembered the bliss of the burger.
In fact, some pictures floated through my mind too from a Weird Al video that I feel sums up a portion of my experience. Not the whole thing of course, just the parts where he sings about how he can't wait another minute to bite into the burger and whatnot.
Haven't seen it, don't know what I'm talking about? Here, enjoy it. I promise that it is quite entertaining. Check it out here.
Hopefully my story has entertained you also, because everyone needs a good laugh.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Haven't done a randomness post, perhaps because I like to pretend that the thoughts that run through my mind daily have more purpose to them. Who am I kidding, though? I'm pregnant, most of my thoughts are completely random.

So here are a few to make you smile.

Random #1:
 Can the smell of onions, when your pregnant, actually give you heartburn by itself? Can looking at a tomato give me heartburn? Right now I haven't eaten anything that should have given me heartburn, and my chest is currently a ragging inferno. Thankfully I have learned a great way to get rid of heartburn naturally. Tums only make mine worse, so I read about eating a teaspoon of yellow mustard. It works, it really does. It burns all the way down, then you drink a swig of water, and your heartburn is gone and stays gone. Off to get some mustard.

Random #2
 Today Kinsey went to dance class and came home with a borrowed leotard from her teacher. Thank the Lord, but now she wants to wear it everywhere. She cried when we had to take it off for lunch, and then she cried when I wouldn't let her put it back on for nap time. Seriously, and before we got the leotard, it was the ballet slippers. She wanted to sleep in them. Thank goodness we don't do halloween costumes because she would want to wear those all the time too.

Random #3
Food, because my mind seems to circulate around food these days. Specifically protein. I can't seem to get enough, and I have to force myself to eat carbs, fruits, veggies and fiber.  What kind of pregnancy is this? I heard someone comment one day that I"m growing a boy for sure because boys love meat. I suppose that could be true, but for the moment I love meat, and eggs, and nuts and greek yogurt. Sigh.

Random #4
 I miss doing horticulture type things. I miss being known for my plant knowledge and being asked random questions about people's yards and flowers. Today I got a text message though asking how best to grow grass without buying sod. I must confess it sent a thrill through me and I had to suppress my urge to tell all my acquired knowledge on grass, or more specifically, turf. Still, it felt good to know something and be able to help again with green growing things.

Random #5
 Winter in the South. It is growing on me more and more. At first I thought it would be hard because of the no snow at winter time, but now every time I hear Peoria, IL is having snow, I thank the Lord I don't have to deal with that. I also have been enjoying the intermittent warm days. Even our cold days aren't that cold, and I feel as though I have barely worn my winter coat this year, compared to other years past. Take today for example, it is currently 63 degrees out and I plan to take the girls out with no jackets, and it is still January.

Random #6
 Pizza, one of the most versatile foods. I have always shied away from making it often because I was never good at making homemade crusts, and to buy store made pizza is outrageous in my opinion. So I saved it for special treats or when I was planning to be lazy and wanted something pre-made.
Today however I am entering into the world of homemade pizza with a store bought crust. I think this could be love. Especially since Aldi Foods sells crusts for $2.49 for two 12 inchers. Guess what we are having for dinner. Now you know where the onions and tomatoes comment came from in Random #1.

Hope you enjoyed a peek into the randomness of my day. Stay tuned for more serious, helpful, and encouraging posts later on. This is not one of those.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


In our newsletter to our supporters and friends back home, Ken talked about some prayer points, and one of them concerned warfare.  It's because lately we've had a few spiritual attacks and as the Lord moves us into greater ministry here, we expect more.
As Christians we are bound to have attacks, it is part of the package. We are trying to live our lives in holiness and obedience to the Lord, so of course the devil gets upset. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. When we become adopted into Christ's family, we become targets.
Now for those of you who don't believe that Christians can have spiritual attacks because we are hedged in by the Lord at all times, I'm here to say that I have had days where there is no other explanation. Sure, the Lord gives us protections, but He also gives us weapons. He wouldn't give us the Sword of the Spirit (the Word), I we didn't need a sword.
I have had days where I wake up from bad dreams, and then go into the day feeling as though everything is against me, electronics, children, spouse, finances. It all comes at me and against me and I feel completely emotional and unable to cope with the simplest of tasks. The whole situation feels out of my control.
On those days, I have found, that the sooner I can realize that this is not normal, that I don't normally feel this way, that my kids don't normally act this way, that my attitude is not usually this foul, then the sooner I can combat it.
This is what I hope I look like in the Spirit, only as a girl.
Some people are like, "well you sound like you think there is a devil behind every bush," (famous Mike Bickle quote coming, get ready). No, I don't think there is a devil behind every bush, I know that there are two devils behind every bush. Hahaha
Is this meant to instill fear and anxiety though? No! It is meant to make us aware and discerning and prepared to look for the signs of battle. We have to be aware of the spiritual side of this life, otherwise we are walking around with our weapons at our sides open to being clobbered. The devil deals us attacks some times, and we shouldn't be standing around saying, "Lord, why is this happening?" Or worse, saying "Lord, if this is Your will, I accept it." When you feel like you are stuck in a funk, don't just walk around and bear it, hoping it will pass in a few days. No! Fight back! Ask Holy Spirit how to pray! Don't just take it lying down, draw your sword!
I know the Lord does protect us a lot of the time, but not every time. So I want to be prepared and learn how to be more prepared for future battles. Bad situations still happen to Christians and some of it is just circumstantial, but some are attacks. Why would the Lord allow it, you ask? Well maybe because one of the best ways to train a warrior is to throw them into some small skirmishes and combat type situations. As the years have gone on, and the more aware I have become of spiritual things, both good and bad, the more I feel as though I have gained some confidence in my authority and using my weapons. I had to realize the battle I was in though, and start to fight it.
The Spiritual side is as real as the physical, and the sooner I realized that, the more I started to be more effective with my prayers and direct in the way I entered into difficult situations.
Hard times come to everyone, but how you enter into it has a huge bearing on how you will come out of it. I might be having a bad day, everybody has them right, but that bad day can also have a spirit behind it that energizes it and makes it worse and less manageable.
That was my yesterday. By noon I was already in tears and ready to quit. Ken told me to go have some quiet time with the Lord, which made me want to hit him in the face. So I went.....and I ranted to the Lord about how horrible my day was, how horrible my husband was to suggest I go spend some quiet time with the Lord, and horrible my kids were being. Finally, when I spewed all that forth, I sat quiet and didn't know what to do.
Next I quietly and halfheartedly asked the Lord to break in and tell me what to do. Didn't hear anything really, but I decided to pick up a book by Elizabeth Elliot and read a few exerps from her "Keep a Quiet Heart". If anything, I knew my heart wasn't quiet, so what could it hurt.
When I left that 25-30 min. sit in my closet I felt rejuvenated, calmer, more in control, and ready to face the rest of the day. It got me refocused on the Lord and I was able to spend some time reading and listening to the Prayer Room later on. Ken and I talked later, and I was thankful that I no longer wanted to hit him. When I went to bed that night I even had some revelation on an idea to help me deal with some discipline issues I've been having with my oldest daughter.
So, did I feel like anything happened in that "quiet time", no. Did something happen in the Spiritual realm, I would say definitely.
Did I enter into today with a new and renewed focus and aware that the enemy had tried to take me on yesterday! For sure, and I tell you what, today has been amazing. Not perfect, never perfect with two toddlers, but amazing, smooth, and I feel in control again of my emotions and moods.
Do I sound radical? To be sure, but I'm not weird. If you don't know me personally already, I feel confident in saying that we could easily be friends. If we were having coffee together I would at no time start using my hands in karate type moves as if to fend off an unseen enemy (although I have known people that do), and when you tell me to pray for something I don't immediately go into spiritual warfare prayers (again, I know people who do). Not everything is warfare, and we are charged to be one's who don't fight as one's who beats the air (1 Corinthians 9:26). I want to know when there is an ememy, and fight it with wisdom and authority. I also want to know how to pray when there isn't a clear enemy. Some hard thing are just circumstantial. Therefore discernment is needed. Ask Holy Spirit.
But what does it look like then?
If you were to see me doing spiritual warfare in my house, you might not even recognize it. For real, it probably looks pretty tame in the natural. No big shouted prayers, no outward displays of strength (such as the aforementioned karate moves). I typically firmly whisper a rebuke, declare my identity in Christ,  ask Holy Spirit to come into the situation and move on. As often as I feel it is necessary throughout my day I will repeat the above steps, and throw in some extra time praying in the Spirit under my breath. The devil has ears, but I don't have to shout to be heard. That is really how simple spiritual warfare can be.
Is it wrong to shout out prayers and do karate moves? Nah, it just isn't necessary, but sometimes when I feel all stirred up in the Spirit to pray for something, I do like to do a few little karate type moves now and then. It makes me feel good inside, but it doesn't actually do anything in the Spirit, it just feels nice.
Here is the summary though.
Today's post is meant as a reminder to myself and a chance to say to all of you that the sooner I/you can realize that a situation that feels out of control is probably being influence by an enemy spirit, the quicker I/you can take authority, pray against it, rebuke it, whatever and refocus on the Lord, drawing on Him. Will you feel an immediate shift? Probably not, I usually don't, but the results that I see in the natural speak volumes of what has been accomplished in the spiritual.
So be encouraged, we have been given the weapons and authority, the more often we have to use them, the stronger we become, the more discerning, and the more we can spur others on to believe for the victory!

I will also end with another thought. If you do feel you are in a hard season, but you feel clearly that it is not a spiritual attack, then perhaps consider if you are in a season of pruning. The Father is the vine dresser and Jesus is the vine, and those who are grafted into the vine are lovingly pruned so they may bear more fruit. As a Horticulture major, I can say that pruning can be quite a shock to a plant, no matter how healthy, but the results are worth it. For more teaching on the subject of pruning, or to just hear a great message on the subject, check out Weekend Service Archives and find the 1/15/2012 sermon on Responding Well in a Season of Pruning by Allen Hood. I highly recommend it even if you aren't being pruned.
A freshly pruned grapevine.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Just Want Love

I love, love, love listening to the Prayer Room in Kansas City. Maybe I am slightly bias since I lived there and was a part of the prayer movement in Kansas City for four and a half years, but I think it is more.
It is an outlet to encounter the Lord that is so easy and natural. I can listen and sing and pray along with others who are going hard after the Lord.
Most of what is prayed is scripture, and most of what is sung is scripture also. It isn't just a lot of pretty, well written songs; it is Holy Spirit inspired. A good portion of it is sung spontaneously in the prayer room with nothing but a chorus to guide the words that flow from the hearts of the musicians.
It is so beautiful and inspiring, and typically extremely prophetic.
Today is one of those days, where I just started listening to an Anna Blanc set. She could seriously be singing my own heart song back to me, it is so close to what I have been feeling and praying to the Lord. I could weep with the nearness of the Spirit at this very moment, but I felt compelled to share this with all of you also.
So I am furiously scrambling to put clear words down to try to convey the power of engaging with the Prayer Room, while still listening to the music flow into me as I type.
Here is a little taste of what she has been singing so far:

I just want Love
I just want You
I just want Love, knowing You

I just want treasure in heaven
This one thing that cannot be taken
I just want the gold of knowing You
Cause nothing else can stand the heat of Your gaze
When I see You Lord, face to face
I just want the gold of knowing You

And then later on, I caught a few of these snippets of words that reflect my prayers even more so...

Root out the things that do not bring You glory
Lord I surrender all I am to You
Search my heart
Make it Your own.

Just from what I've written, and my most recent post about leaving facebook should make it obvious that I am on a seeking journey. I am longing for a new and fresh touch from the Lord, and I feel as though I will die if I don't have it. People talk of hunger for the Lord. Well this is it, and there is no way to satisfy it any other way than to seek it out, and remove all the things that distract me.
Am I turning into a monk or some radical Christain who will no longer be able to carry on a 'normal' conversation? Perhaps for a season, but oh how I wish we all could feel Him and hunger after Him like this. It isn't always a long term feeling, this deep hungering. Hunger is a gift from the Lord, we don't automatically have it when we get saved. We don't automatically have it just because we love and serve Jesus. Just like loving the Word is not automatic when we get saved. It is a gift, and sometimes we have to ask for it first.
I've done nothing to bring this about except to ask for it, but now it is here and I can do nothing but respond and enjoy His pleasure toward me as I seek after more.
Overall, I wish I could say my response looked a lot like this post, full of passion and emotional connection with the Spirit, but it is actually hard to keep seeking. When I'm not 'feeling' Him it is particularly hard to keep seeking and doing the things that I know bring me closer to Him. All the time sacrifices though are worth it for these sweet glimpses of His love and beauty and to 'feel' His nearness. He is always near, that is truth, but to 'feel' it is always such a special moment. It is what I tuck away for the rainy days when I don't, it is what sustains me until the next touch.
So I'm afraid most of my posts coming up will be about this journey of my heart. I have not had such a burn in my heart like this for a while, and it feels so good, too good to keep to myself.
Perhaps if I share the joy I am finding in the Lord it will provoke those who are not 'feeling' Him to long for it, and therefore ask for it. Ask and you will receive! Really, really.
PS, if you want to listen to the Anna Blanc set, go to the Prayer Room and click on archives and then look for Anna Blanc, January 20th, 2012, the 12pm-2pm set. Probably what is called a Worship in the Word set. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unplugging From Facebook

One of the hardest things I've ever given up has been Facebook. I've done little spurts of fasting from the network, and been successful, but as soon as I get back on I'm hooked again. Somehow though, it is hard to believe a time when I was not on the social network. I know that at one time I did survive without it, so I guess I will now survive again.
The benefits will include more personal time to read my Bible, engage with the Prayer Room, and work on new crafty projects like these:

Bright snugly baby blanket - free pattern here.
Little Crochet Duck Toy - free pattern here.
Roman Shades - for a friend - from this pattern.

That is why I have decided to get off the network, the net is just too much work. I sit down for five minutes and five minutes turns into an hour and a half. I have no self control. When I do walk away I've accomplished nothing of significance and I've only learned about people in the way that they want me to see them.
At heart I've always been a face to face kind of girl. So what has been the hardest parts to give up?

  • The ease of making birthday party invitations and the ease of receiving them.
  • The ease of receiving meal sign ups after someone has a baby.
  • The joy of seeing mobile uploaded pictures after someone has a baby.
  • The ease of receiving news on my small group, are we having it, or aren't we?
  • The joy of talking to people back in Peoria via the new facebook video chat.
I find it funny that my list has very little to do with checking people's status updates or making status updates of my own. I pretty much use facebook as a glorified email, but it is so much more distracting than my gmail account. So, it has to go.
However, I will keep my account active so that I can still receive personal messages which are then forwarded to my cell phone. What a snazzy gift technology is, I can check facebook personal messages without even getting on facebook, and then reply via regular email. Coolness.
I will also keep my account active for the somewhat rarely scheduled, aforementioned video chats with family back home. Now that my mother has a job it is less likely that we will be chatting as often, but when we do, I still have the ease of facebook video chatting. Sigh.
You know what, I may even sneak on from time to time to look for baby pictures when I know someone is due. Especially all my Kansas City friends who I don't get nearly enough phone time with these days. Gotta be able to see their new babies.
For the rest of the time though, don't bother posting things to my wall, I won't see them.
Now I am wondering though if unplugged is an accurate term...... perhaps it is more like 'using the system' without being a part of the system on a regular basis. I"m going to use the perks and lose the daily addiction. There just isn't a cute quick way to say all that in the title of my post.
One more perk for losing the facebook addiction.....I will hopefully have more time to blog.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Want to have a more prayerful life? Want to make more time for Jesus in your schedule? Are you busy and disorganized, but desire encounter with the Lord? Who wants to see more fruits of the Spirit in their life? Then read on and maybe I have a few ideas that might help you get started this new year.
I almost don't feel qualified to write this post, because these are things I have had trouble doing consistently, and yet when I do keep to these things, I can tell the difference in my life, in my attitude. Also, I think it would be helpful to others, especially other mom's with small children. The way I learned to do these things is because people told me about their own habits. From there Holy Spirit inspired me to make them fit my own season in life. Clever I am not, and in matters of spiritual discipline I am not terribly creative either.
So most of these are not originally mine.
I wanted to post a few ideas and tips I have anyways, habits and little tricks to find time during the day to be with the Lord. Having good ideas is only half the battle, I know, and maybe the ideas are even as little as a third of the battle, with the other 2/3 being the work of putting good ideas into practice. Still, the rewards are worth the work in the long run. Persevere!
Here are some ideas to get you kick started, hopefully (at least a third of the way).

1. Cutting out a few Good Things!
      My schedule was feeling full and I was even trying to squeeze in homeschooling stuff for the first time, so I could not figure out when I was going to find time to read more or add time to do a Bible study. That is when I evaluated my days and decided to cut out a few things that I did that I enjoyed, but were not necessary. Facebook time and computer time in general were the first to get cut, the other one that got cut was my nap time. I have so little time to myself these days, I could no longer justify a nap every day for an hour. If I need a 20 min. power nap that is one thing, but an hour of no little kids in my business is a lot to waste.

2. Prayer Lists and Practicality.
       It will come as no surprised to those who know me that I feel very strongly about the power of prayer, and so I try to pray and be consistent in prayer for the things I want to see happen in my life and in my friend's lives. At the same time, it is unrealistic for me to think that I can pray daily for all the things on my prayer lists. So I had to break my lists into days. I pray for certain things on certain days of the week, and I don't pray long winded prayers for any of it. God doesn't need my many words to know what is needed, and for that I am thankful. I also don't want all my prayer time to be filled with my petitions to the Lord. I want to leave plenty of time to sit and just listen, or talk to Him about scriptures that I have been reading. So I limit my laundry list of prayers to those that are most important to me and those closest to me.
To be blunt, I get lots of prayer requests, via email, via word of mouth, even via text message. As much as I want to pray and do pray for these things, they don't usually make it onto my prayer list unless I feel impressed to do so by the Lord. I will pray when the request is made, I may even pray a couple times the same day the request is received, but after that, I may not. My point here is not to seem casual or coarse about the prayer needs of others, but to make the idea of praying more realistic for those just starting out.

3. Starting a Bible Study.
       My desire for going deeper in the Word has grown in past years, but it is always nice to have someone else to spur you on in your study. Formal Bible studies are great sometimes, but if you are busy, then doing a smaller study with just one friend, one on one, is sometimes more practical than trying to get an entire group together. One on one studies allow for intimacy and flexibility on when the study is discussed, while still providing you with the accountability of doing the study with someone.

4. Getting the Word.
       I use to feel like finding time to read the Word was such a burden, and sometimes it was in the way I was trying to do it. Traditional reading is great, and there is no complete substitute for taking your physical Bible in your hands and reading it. As a stay at home mom though, there are other ways to get the Word in you, and to fill your home with it. Three other ways that I enjoy as often as I need them, Audio Bible, The Gospel of John on DVD, and the Prayer Room Web-stream in Kansas City. These are all great ways to hear the Word while keeping house, cooking dinner, or playing with my children. I highly recommend them to stay at home mom's looking for more of the Lord. They are all easy to have playing in the background, but I mostly recommend the Prayer Room, because it is free, and also because they are praying Scripture and singing Scripture. It is very powerful to me.

5. Fellowship with People who Provoke
        It is so easy to settle into a group of friends who are so similar to myself, people in a similar stage in life. Yet I have found that I have to be very practical about also placing myself in the company of those who will challenge me, provoke me to go deeper with the Lord, or even just keep to the commitments I've made to the Lord.
Sometimes it means finding someone older than you, who can pour into you their years of spiritual wisdom, but sometimes it is just a matter of finding someone who has similar goals as you. I recently have singled out a friend in my current group of friends who is also interested in going deeper in the Lord in 2012.  It isn't that my other friends are not interested in going deeper, it is just easier for me to start with just one person to run hard with.
In the past is has also meant being involved in a ministry that puts me in contact with more mature Christians than myself, like the women I worked with in the Prenatal Prayer rooms, or the Healing Team ministry. There is a wealth of spiritual heritage in every church, I am convinced, we just have to put ourselves in the way of its flow!

So hopefully those are all practical, reasonable, and helpful ideas for those looking to go harder and deeper with the Lord in 2012. It is one thing to desire more of the Lord, but it is another to actual try to do it. My desire is to just throw out a few ideas that you can build on or redesign to fit your personal season in life.
And just for good measure, I've throw in a very helpful teaching by Mike Bickle that can also encourage you along these same lines.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Masterpiece Theater - Downton Abbey

Okay, I don't usually think to do this, but if you like BBC classical romances and Jane Austin and Elizabeth Gaskell's novels, you will like the new PBS Masterpiece Theater program - Downton Abbey.
The entire first season is already done, but you can watch season 1 episode 1-4 online at, and now the second season has started.
You can either watch it every Sunday night on tv at PBS, or you can watch online on Mondays as they trot out the new season's episodes. This is a very cool series and a great plot line.
Only draw back is there is a homosexual in the mix, but this is set around the time right before World War I and so back then it was not an open thing, there is just one kissing scene that gives you the information and then you are left to know that that is what makes that particular character so sour.
Oh, and I guess there is a rather romantic scene in season 1 also, but I fast forwarded thru it, so I can't even tell you how bad it was.
Still, if you like that sort of film set in the past, then this is a really good series.  Enjoy.
Here is the link to the season 2 episode 1, but below the video itself is links to the season 1 episodes:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Onto Something Big

Last year about this time I was praying with Ken about something big that we felt the Lord was about to bring into our lives. The only way I can describe the feeling was that I felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff looking down into the unknown and preparing to jump. Whatever the Lord was bringing our awareness to was big, and a little bit risky.
In my naivety I thought it had something to do with getting pregnant with baby #3. In fact, the big change was a lot bigger than a baby, and way more life altering. God was preparing us for a big move which would not be fully revealed to us until later in February 2011. So we spent January with this gut feeling of something big was about to happen.
Now here we are in South Carolina at MorningStar Fellowship Church and I am 16 weeks pregnant and it is January again.
With the new year the feeling has returned. We are onto something big here. The last two sermons I've heard have nearly brought me to tears, even though I'm not sure why. I can't even say it is just pregnancy hormones either, because I haven't been crying at sad puppy commercials or sappy romance scenes. It isn't hormones, I just get this stirring in my heart that the Lord is about to do something big and Ken and I are going to be apart of it.
Even the sermons themselves talk of the weight of what the Lord is planning to do in 2012, not just at MorningStar, but to the Church in our nation and even world wide. Something is coming in 2012 and although no one is completely sure what it is or can put their finger on it yet and say 'aha!', we are all somehow trying to prepare for it.
Today as I sat through the sermon, I felt as though I was signing up for some part to play in a grand new endeavor, perhaps in some coming move of the Lord that would rock people and their comfort zones. Something that would challenge even the most faithful to seek for more of the Lord.
When I started feeling that stir several weeks ago my first thought was, "what part could I have to play as a stay at home mom?" and in some ways started to disqualify myself. The feeling won't go away though. I feel as though Ken will have some role to play that neither of us expected, but I also feel my role will be equally shocking and no less important. I hear Holy Spirit whispering that I can not even begin to imagine yet what the Lord is going to do with me; how He will use me in this coming year and it makes me so excited!
Excited, but at the same time terrified because I don't even know what I am saying yes to.
Overall though, I am excited. My new season of life is not constrained to motherhood alone, although that is a huge role that I take very serious. Yet I am not content to live as only a mom and wife, and hope for the day when I can move into a more exciting calling; my real calling. I can have that calling now! Even in small ways, using baby steps of obedience in the present, I can achieve the bigger things the Lord has for me. As long as I am willing to say yes and make certain sacrifices of myself and my comfort zone, He is willing to use me as His instrument now!
So use me Lord, and please keep stirring me to go harder and harder. Whatever is coming in 2012, I want to be ready and trained to do the part You've assigned to me!
How about you, readers? Feeling a stirring in 2012 that you can't explain?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Night and Day

Watching my girls grow up and enjoying the development of their individual personalities is like watching a documentary on the extreme differences of siblings. So much of what I see in one is almost completely not found in the other. They are opposites in so many ways.
Thankfully they get along really good despite their differences in temperament and tastes.
Kinsey is my extrovert, full of drama and flair and energy, eager to learn and figure things out on her own, always ready to make her points known.
Kalei is my introvert, in a good way, and she is full of sweet quiet moments, deep thoughts, cautious explorations, and yet when she is ready for something she can be bold, and she can still make her point known with just a little less drama. When she wants something she won't break down the door like Kinsey, but she will persistently knock and then smile sweetly when you open for her.
Oh the wonders of being a parent and trying to figure out where these traits come from. What is the heart behind them. A lot of the time it is like watching my strengths and flaws in technicolor and knowing that I somehow need to shape these budding roses before they end up like me...hahaha. Well how did I get to where I am? What shaped me; I confess I'm clueless. I guess that is where Holy Spirit comes in with some of His well timed parenting wisdom.
I'm also thankful that I spent a lot of time in a home with a family who had two boys who were pretty different from one another, and I got to see that they were turning out just fine. They had different strengths and weakness but their parents were wise enough to see their differences and approach each of them as the individuals that they were. I needed that kind of example, because when I treat my girls differently from one another I somehow feel like I am not being fair. The guilt of worrying that I have a double standard of sorts.
Yet I think it is more fair (especially in the long run) to appeal to their personal strengths in a personal way, rather than set a mold of parenting to fit them both. And now I have number three on the way.....
What new mixture of Ken and I could this little one hold? How much different could this one be? I confess one of my greatest concern and yet also a secret hope is that this one will have a penis, and that would be a big enough and overwhelming change for me. I think that would present enough of a new challenge for my parenting tool belt that other personality trends will go unnoticed for a while. :-) At the moment I feel completely unprepared to parent a boy. Thankfully all my friends with boys tell me it will be a piece of cake, perhaps some cake with a little less drama. I think that could be a nice change.
If the baby is another girl though, I feel prepared for that too. Somehow the idea of another girl is like the thought of being given back my security blanket. I know girls, as much because I am one and have two.
All that to say, we hopefully find out gender on February 11th! Look for the post I'm sure to write after that big day. We'll see if Jesus has given me more of what I know and am comfortable with, or if He is ready to shake up my comfort zone. I'm on pins and needles!
Some people wait until the baby is born to find out gender....I am not one of them.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

With the new year just arrived, and most of my morning sickness behind me, I thought it was time to reincorporate some of my prayer and Bible times back into the daily routine. Don't criticize though, plenty of other daily routine items fell off the list when I was sick, not just my spiritual ones.
At one point Ken challenged me to really get back to my spiritual disciplines, but it was just too soon. I was still getting sick almost every evening. So I told him that I would get serious again about my spiritual disciplines when I started adding back in my domestic disciplines, hygiene disciplines, and sleeping disciplines. Now I am happy to say that most of those things are coming back into their place in my life, although I am still not rising early (sleeping discipline) and my house is still not as clean as it was before pregnancy (domestic). Oh, and if I'm honest, I don't get dressed every day, some days it is just jammies still (hygiene).
So what is the point of all this information? Because I want you all to know that it has been a while since I've had scheduled and focused time with the Lord.
Today I had some, and it was awesome, awesome, awesome! I've had some regular times with the Lord on and off this whole week, and I can totally tell the difference. It's like the time I detoxed from white sugar, and then when I had a cookie a couple weeks later, I got the biggest buzz from even the smallest amount of sugar.
It has really been that good. It has also made my heart really more thankful about other things. Tonight as I was cooking dinner and just letting my mind wander, I started thinking about the things that I love in my life.
So here is a little list I compiled of a few of the random things that came to mind:

  • chopping fresh veggies by hand and smelling the fresh smells -especially sweet peppers, cucumbers and  celery
  • sharpening new pencils to perfection
  • grocery shopping - since I love to cook, when I shop I always sort of feel like an artist shopping for inspiring art supplies
  • yarn - the feel, the colors, the weight
  • a clean kitchen - nothing makes me happier than walking into a clean kitchen
  • a hot shower - almost hot enough to be painful
  • bacon - the smell and texture, oh how I love bacon - healthy people, don't hate!
  • oh, and this one is special for today - I love seeing happy kicking babies on the sonogram screen. 
Today I got to see my little baby kicking happily on the sonogram at 15 weeks, and totally amazing! I could see each little rib clearly and the little feet kick, kick, kicking and then the head would come into focus and I could see the jaw muscles and the little spine. Oh how perfectly wonderful. 
Jesus, You are so good to me!!!

So those are just a few of my favorite things - I left out some of the more obvious ones like my husband, my girls, friends and family, etc. Hope you enjoyed.