Friday, August 6, 2010

Out of Our Mouths

Our words are so important. I don't think we realize how much so. They can bring life or death, a blessing or a curse, good or evil.

Matthew 12:34-37 tells that we will have to give account to God for all our careless words, and that we will be either acquitted or condemned by our words.

How powerful! I pray that my words would be few and thoughtful. If out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34), then I need to examine my heart sometimes...okay, a lot of the time.

David prayed "Create in me a clean heard, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10) How often do we actually pray this and mean it? Not that often. Our words that we speak to our spouses, our children, coworkers, family, friends, and even strangers shows the condition of our heart. I know that I need a heart check-up.

My challenge to you and myself is to schedule that heart check-up with the Great Physician. Ask Him to search, and find any evil thoughts. How about bitterness? I'm sure none of us have any of that laying around in there. Or dare I even say the word...anger? There are so many different "heart conditions" that could be effecting our words. We need to take care of those conditions now! They only get worse as time goes on if left unchecked, just like our physical hearts.

Speak life to someone today.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Does life ever slow down? It doesn't seem to in our house.

I've seen a new rheumatologist. He thinks that I have some fibromyalgia on top of the lupus. So, we are trying a new medication. I want to cry when I think about the idea of living pain free or even just in less pain. I think about the things I will be able to do with my kids that I can't do now. It was nice to finally find a doctor that spoke English, but also cared. He really did care. He listened and respected the pain I was in and is trying to find a solution. I know that it is God that brought me to that specific doctor.

We have painted our kitchen and the ceiling of our kitchen. The color is toasted coconut. It is really growing on me. Now to paint the rest of the house. Next room is the dining room. I got a yellow color called crisp ginger ale. I think it will look quite nice in there. The main part of the house we want to paint Dapper Tan. Hopefully we can find a painter for a reasonable amount so I won't have to take all summer to do it!

So, that is all that is really happening in our lives right now. Not a lot!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just Fine

When people ask, "How are you?" do you tell them how you really are? Do they really want to know? Is it just what people ask to fill in empty space and not knowing how to greet people? Am I just supposed to say, "I'm just fine, and how are you?" (Don't you just love that wonderful standard response "just fine".) I am faced with this problem a lot. Suffering, and that is what it is, from a chronic illness makes it hard to know how to answer people. Do you really want to hear that I'm having a good day? or Do you really want the truth?

I live with an invisible illness. I struggle daily to find a way to live well, even though I can't get well. My symptoms keep progressing, even though I don't like to admit that. I have a feeling the migraines and headaches I am now experiencing are somehow connected to my lupus. I struggle with saying that I have it, lupus. What an ugly word. It is ugly, there is nothing pretty about this thing that I will never be rid of. The symptoms are persistent and recurring. Remissions are possible, but only temporary.

Do you want to know how I feel now? Well, if you want to know keep reading. If not, then stop. Here is the truth right now...

This has been a long year so far. I have had bronchitis now three times. I have had long periods of pain and fatigue. I have had to find better makeup to cover the redness on my face. I have begun to have frequent headaches and migraines. I have been sick the entire month of April. Seriously, the entire month. I have filled 12prescriptions this month alone. This month I have had 2 antibiotic shots, 1 steroid shot, 1 pain shot, 3 antibiotic prescriptions, 1 steroid pack, 2 other prescriptions for side effects from all the antibiotics, cough medicine, nasal spray stuff, and my 3 regular meds I take, plus the different vitamins I take...what am I missing???...oh, the migraine meds I finally got. That is a lot, even for me!

So, back to my question...should I really tell people how I am? I know that some really want to know, but I really don't want to complain. I don't tell my husband how I feel all the time. Sometimes I only tell him so that he knows that I'm not mad at him or just lazy; that I don't feel well. I don't admit the severity of the pain, fatigue or other symptoms to my loved ones so that they don't worry. Come to my house...if it is clean then you know that I have really been feeling fine. If it looks like it does now then you know that I feel like crap. I do really well at putting on a good face when I go in public. You don't want people to feel sorry for you. You smile, chat, cry inwardly from the pain and for longing to be at home in bed.

I sometimes ask myself "how can I have actually taken care of my babies today?" I know the answer. Christ. "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." By the grace of God I am usually able to care for my kids till my husband makes it home. God is good, all the time. He gave me these four wonderful kids, and He will give me the resources to take care of them when I am feeling "just fine".

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lonely and Letting Go?

Today has been one of those "I want to move back to Oklahoma" days. We have been here 8 months already, and I have yet to find a best friend. I miss my Robin and Susan. Those gals that I could tell anything to and not be judged, but would be encourage by. Someone to watch movies with in our pj's. I miss my Laurie. To have a neighbor that is also a friend. Someone you can count on, and that trusts you and counts on you also. I miss my Jessica. To have a couple to hang with as families. To have over for dinner, and not to stress about how the food will be or if the house is clean enough. The one you can call just to have a glass of iced tea with. I miss my Carla. Even though we didn't get together often, the comfort of having the person that shares your history close to you. There are others I miss, so if you aren't listed please don't be hurt.

I really thought that within a few months I would have my Texas Robin, my Texas Laurie, etc. That hasn't happened. Have I met some nice gals? Yes? Have I shared a few play dates? Yes. But it isn't the same. The people here don't know my history. They don't "get" me. I feel alone. There are lots of people around, but yet I still feel so alone.

I have no doubt that God has brought us here for a reason. It is HIS will that we are here. But is it too much to ask to find some friends? And some that live close to me? The one person I have clicked with lives across town. I know the Lord is with me. I know He is my friend, and He wants to fill this void. But he can't watch my kids while I go have my MRI done or go to the doctor. I feel bad every time my husband has to take off work because of me.

I just don't feel like I belong. I don't belong in Oklahoma anymore, and I still don't belong here. We have found a great Sunday school class, but I just don't feel like I belong there. We are the youngest in there. We are one of the only ones with small kids. Everyone is nice, and I genuinely care for them. I just don't feel close to them. I wouldn't know who to call if something happened and we needed help fast. There is someone I could call, but they aren't from our church now. She is from a church we visited when we first moved here. I have continued to go to Bible study there with her. I feel like maybe we "belong" more over there. If that's the case, then why has God called us to Harvest instead of FBC? I know we are where He wants us. I feel so confused. I just don't understand things yet. I wish God would just reveal himself to me. Can't He just shine a light over someone and say "This is the friend, whom I have chosen for you."? I know he can, but he probably won't.

Things are different here. Women here are busy. Most of them work, at least part time. They don't have time to form new friendships. They probably struggle to find the time just to maintain the ones they already have. So, where do I fit in? Where do I belong? Where is my niche? How can I let go of the past so that I can move on toward the future. Let go of Oklahoma and all I had there, and move forward to the future here in this crazy place called Texas? This is what I am struggling with right now.

So here are the verse I will claim today. The words I will let wsh over me and comfort me. If you have any that you would like to share with me, please do.

"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged" Deut. 31:8

"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19

"The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold." Psalm 46:7

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." John 14:27

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Seeking People

There seems to be a lot of people seeking lately. Seeking what? Seeking answers. Seeking God.

My husband has a man at work that he has been talking to that is trying to figure out what he believes. He isn't sure if the Protestant, Catholics, Jews or Muslims have it right. He is trying to find the right answers.

There is a woman I spoke with today at Bible study. She says she's seeking the truth. She believes in the Old Testament, but not in the new. She thinks people have twisted what really happened with Jesus and his message into something it wasn't. She believes in God. She is looking for historical proof. She is searching for the thing that will make her take the leap of faith to Christ.

At Bible study today we were talking about sanctification, and being set apart. The question was asked "Do you think your set apart? If so, why."

People are seeking. They are looking for people to talk to. People to answer questions they have about God, Jesus and the Bible. What is it about your lifestyle that would lead people to Christ. Do you talk like the world? Let your kids watch the same shows and listen to the same music that the world does? Do you live as the world lives, or just a small step away? We are called to be set apart. It is not an option for the Christian, it is a command. "Be holy, as I am holy" (1Peter 1:16) We have to be creditable. We have to know what we believe and why. We have to be passionate without being forceful.

God is opening up doors to us. Find your courage to speak the Truth. Plant seeds that need to be planted. Water the seeds that have been planted by someone else. Be ready for to the harvest that is ready and waiting. The time is now. Don't let these opportunities pass by. We are dealing with eternity. People are hurting and they need Jesus.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


After talking with someone today I was reminded anew of what MOPS means to me. I am passionate about MOPS. It has been my saving grace at times. For those who do not know what MOPS is, it is Mothers of Preschoolers. And let me tell you, I am a MOPS!

So, what all has MOPS meant to me over the years? At different stages it has been different things for me.

When I first became a stay at home mom it was a place where I could be with other moms. I could have a break from my children, and have adult conversation. That was probably what saved me from going over the edge. I became a better mom by having that down time away from my kids. And, I was able to relax because I knew my kids were close to me, having fun, and safe.

As I grew in my walk with the Lord, He showed me that He could use me. Becoming a mom when I was 18 and not married, I had this mentality that I wasn't usable by God. My choices had benched me from serving the Lord in any public way. After all I had done in my past, who was I to help lead other women? MOPS was the place that God showed me He wanted to use me. I became a discussion group leader. Pretty the girls and remind them about MOPS, and during discussion time pose the questions that were on a piece of paper in front of me. Simple, but this was a big step for me.

MOPS then became where I learned to trust God with my time. I became more involved in a leadership role. I learned that I do have what it takes. I really can be used by God in a larger way that I thought I could. I also made lasting friendships here. You really do bond with people that you serve side by side with.

Now MOPS has become a place where I can meet people. I am in a new town. I'm three hours from a familiar face. We are involved in a church now, but when we first got here seven months ago I didn't know anyone. We were still searching for a church home. I was lonely, with an capital L. I knew when we got here that I had to find a MOPS group. Through MOPS I have found a friend that I can call and meet at the park, or just hang out with. Some connection. I need that desperately. When I had to take my daughter to get her cast on, it was a MOPS mom that stepped up and watched my two youngest kids for me.

What a blessing other MOPS moms have been to me. I have laughed with these women over the funny things that happen during this stage in our kids lives. I have cried with them, when they lost a pregnancy or we were just struggling with raising our kids. I have found acceptance, not judgment. I have found encouragement when I needed it the most. Overall, I have been fed. Fed physically (us women like to eat!), fed emotionally, and fed spiritually. I pray that I have given something to some mom along the way. I know that I have been given much by my fellow MOPS moms.

On top of all of this, I cannot forget all the wisdom that I have gained from the speakers over the years. I have learned everything from freezer cooking to making bows. I've learned about postpartum depression and how to get my child ready for reading. We have covered topics from photography to disciplining children to keeping the romance alive in your marriage.

I could go on and on about everything I have gained from being in MOPS groups over the last five years...but I will stop here. I hope that you get my point about how important MOPS is. It is a ministry that reaches out into the community and connects women. I have seen women come to know the Lord through MOPS. Please, please, please support your local MOPS groups or start one up today!

To learn more about MOPS International visit

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A slave to Christ

Lately I have felt very taken advantage of by my kids. They aren't picking up after themselves, or doing little tasks that I ask them to. I feel like their slave. I have been struggling to keep house work done. I seem to get no help from the ones making the messes. They think this is what I live for. I live to pick up after them. So, as I was complaining and wallowing in self-pity this morning my husband told me to go to Bible study. He told me I needed to go. He spoke truth. I knew I needed to go. The Holy Spirit was convicting me of that. I was listening to Satan whisper to me about how bad I have it, how no one appreciates me, how worthless I am. Lies, all lies. I might feel like I am treated as a slave sometimes by my kids, but I am called to be a slave...a slave to Christ. As my Bible study reminded me, He is my Adonia, my Lord and Master. "God has a right to expect obedience" from me. He is my Master. I am to do His will, not my own. Matthew 10:34-40 says I am to love him above all other. Even myself. But there are benefits to being a bond servant to Christ. That puts me under his protection. "With submission comes all we need for the task He puts before us. Whatever it is, as Adonai He supplies what His servants need in order to perform their Master's will." He will give us understanding (Psalm 119:125). He will be with us (Judges 6:14-16). He remembers us (Psalm 89:50-51). He doesn't leave us empty handed. He equips us with what we need to do His will.

For me right now that means that He is with me in my parenting. He has given me everything I need to do this task of raising four kids. He will never leave me. He will give me the wisdom I need.

We have heard this verse over and over again. But read it slowly this time. Think about what it is really saying: "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7.

I have the a spirit of power, I can conquer the devil and the lies he tells me. I have a spirit of love, I can love my children even when they are not obedient. I have a spirit of self-discipline, I can keep my temper in check and I can get and keep my housework done. Fill in the blanks for yourself. What does your spirit of power equip you to do? Who does your spirit of love equip you love? What does your spirit of self-discipline equip you to accomplish?

I end with Colossians 3:15 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."

*quotes were from Kay Arthur's Lord I want to Know You.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to properly punish your kids...

When they don't do what they are supposed to do, don't do what your supposed to do and see how they like it. For example, today my kids did not do anything they were told to do after school. So, I told them I was not making dinner. It's understood that I am supposed to do that, right? Just like they understand what they are to do. They also weren't allowed to even walk into the kitchen until they did everything they were supposed to. This even motivated my four-year-old to clean up his own room. Food can be very motivating. Bryce brought Rosa's home for dinner for him and myself. Please understand this is a family favorite. Seriously...there were almost tears from each of them when they realized they didn't get anything from Rosa's. They made themselves a sandwich and got some fruit or something to go along with it. I think that my point got across. I guess we will see tomorrow when they come home from school!

Then one more thing happened. And please don't hate me for thinking this was funny. I really did laugh out loud at my son. It was five minutes till bedtime, and our son lied to us. So, I told him to go on up to bed. A few minutes later he came out of his room...with a bloody nose. He was revolting against going to bed and was being crazy in his room and kneed himself in the nose. Yes, he gave himself a bloody nose. Sorry, natural consequence for being disobedient. Next time maybe he will just go lay in bed!

Another day in the life of a mom of four.

Friday, February 19, 2010

3pm Chaos

I know there are others out there that feel like I do. The chaos that is 3pm. The time school gets out. Monday through Thursday it is pretty much the same. By 3:10 RaeAnne and Joel are home. Usually Andrew is already up from his nap, and the baby times it just right to get up when the kids get home. Snack time and homework take place. Dinner has to be made. Three things...snack, homework and dinner...why is it so chaotic? Does anyone else deal with this? Some days are laid back, some days are crazy.

I think that part of the chaos is inside of me. I put it on my kids. I am anxious to get everything done before Bryce gets home. I love him. I want him to be able to come home and relax. When the house is a mess, and dinner isn't done he feels like he needs to help. It's that fix-it man thing. He has worked all day. Had others demanding his time, words, energy, and mind. Home needs to be a safe place where at the end of the day he exhales as he walks through the door. That's what I want.

In trying to achieve this clean house, clean kids, dinner waiting, homework done, put together wife I end up making my house the house of chaos. That's not what I want. So, how do you do it? I seriously want to know. How do you deal with the whirlwind from when your kids get home from school till the time your hubbs gets home from work? I am admitting that I am not a domestic goddess. I welcome your suggestions.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Our year so far...

has been interesting to say the least.

January 17th included a trip to the ER for Andrew when he fell and hit his head on the couch...yes, the couch. No stitches. I don't think they believe in those things anymore. Just glue and tape.

February 1st was Joel's turn to go to the ER due to cutting his hand with scissors at school. Once again, just glue and tape.

February 3rd was RaeAnne's turn for something to happen. She fractured her wrist and still sports a green cast. Hopefully it will be coming off in about another week.

In January Gabriel and I both had bronchitis. Now it's February and we both have the "upper respiratory crud". That is the technical term the doctor used. Bryce currently is dealing with our crud plus double pink eye.

I am sure that in no time we will all be back up and running at full speed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Mommy Day So Far

I am just having one of those days. I am going to do a rant. Let me peface it by saying I know how blessed I am, and how bad it could be. I want to just get this out and move on. So here goes.

I started my morning with the boys running around and screaming. That was followed by a daughter that just wouldn't get around and almost made them late for school. I had a ten o'clock appointment to see a school. So I got us dressed and went there. The young boys were all over the place. I loved the school, but then when I got the price list I realized we can't afford it. The three day pre k program is $151. That's a week people! I would have to go back to work to be able to pay that! So, we went to another school to look at it. It was cute and seemed to have things together. It is $200 per month. What a price difference, huh. I think there is also quality differences too. They start enrollment at 8:30am on the 8th of February. Pretty much if you aren't there then you will be so far down on the waiting list that you won't get in. So, showing up at 8:30 on that day is to get your place on the waiting list. Boo! So, we come home and Andrew knocks off a jar of baby food on the kitchen floor and it breaks. Clean that up. Give the baby a sippy cup with milk in it. He is not pleased with the cup and wants a bottle so he throws it on the floor and it breaks! Breaks people. I didn't think $6 sippy cups were supposed to do that. Neither one of the boys will eat their lunch. Bryce came home to change before he heads out of town for a few days. The baby still hasn't stopped crying because he didn't hold him. I am tired and hungry. Blah, blah, blah.

So, thank you for reading my rant. I feel better now. I am going to get the boys down, and then get myself some nurishment.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Do Parents Do...

when their kids are staying with grandparents for the weekend? They have a late dinner the first night. They go shopping for themselves some clothes. They buy books, that they have time to read because there are not kids needing their every waking moment. They go see a romantic movie, in the middle of the afternoon. They get a massage. They once again have a late dinner, because there is no one that "has to" be in bed by eight. They stay up late, because no one will need a bottle in the middle of the night. The are able to have real conversations with each other without being interrupted.

They also think about their kids. They worry that they are being a pain to the grandparents (ie. fighting or not minding the first time). They worry the baby will get up too much in the night. They wish they were the ones tucking their kids in bed, and giving goodnight kisses. They wish they were closer "just in case" something was to go wrong.

Children are never far from their parents minds or hearts. As my kids are in another state with Bryce's parents right now, I am thinking of them and wishing they were home. I have enjoyed my time with my husband, but am ready for my babies back also. As my parents are on a trip to Florida currently, my mom has called me wishing that me and the kids were with her. I don't think it matters how old your kids get. Their place is always with you. They are always on your thoughts, and always in your heart.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Van is Clean

at least on the inside. Before I packed up my scrapbook stuff for this weekend trip to Pine Cove I cleaned out the car. I have a lot of scrapbook stuff and had to make room. Plus, I haven't cleaned it out since Christmas and we got home from Oklahoma. So, here is the list of things that I found and brought in the house.
3 hats
1 coloring book
1 baby blanket
1 coat
1 pair of slippers
1 passie
2 cups
1 DVD player
1 bib
4 bottle lids
1 necklace
1 bracelet
1 ball
2 matchbox cars
2 head bands
2 leapster games
3 gloves
1 pair of gloves
5 baby socks
1 camera case
1 can of deep woods off

So there you have it. That is what you can find in a van that four kids ride in. What's in your vehicle?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dad Brag

I have been so touched by the tenderness of my husband these past few days while I have had bronchitis. He has taken care of the laundry. He has helped with the kids. He has gotten up with the baby in the middle of the night. Yes ladies, that is right. Men are capable of doing that. Their bodies do wake up when they hear the baby cry. And my wonderful man has gotten up, turned of the monitor, and saw to the baby's needs. I am so blessed. He has been concerned about me, and he truly cares. I know that not everyone can say that. I have not even been that ill (at least in my book). But my husband loves me, and I love him. He is kind and compassionate. He is tender and he is loving. I adore him. I take him for granted way too much. So, here is my Dad Brag that is long overdue him.