Monday, September 28, 2009

A Mood & the 43rd Psalm

Have you noticed that I am in a mood lately? I have. And as much as I don't want to be in a mood, I also want to be real about where I am and who I am. Sorry if it bugs you.... but this is MY blog after all! I continue to be in a place of clinging to the Lord and praying steadfast for His guidance and His path for my feet and for my family. It is a HARD place to be. I is a DARK place to be. It has been a LONELY place to be. But it is where I am today.

I went on a prayer walk this morning to read my Bible and spend some quiet time with God. I took some great (in my humble opinion) pictures too. So if you don't want to read what God put in my heart this morning, that is fine, just look at the pretty pictures of His artwork. For those of you a little more broad minded, I would like to share with you what God placed in my heart today and ask for your joining me in prayer!

Doesn't this canoe look like it has weathered many a storm? I feel like that is how I look to God too. Tossed aside, faded, worn and beaten down. But like this canoe, which might be a little worse for the wear but totally sea worthy, I have worth to the Lord. There is a reason I am still here fighting the good battle. Do I know what that reason is? Or WHY the battle must go on? Nope. Not so much. But I do know that there is purpose, and reason. That in His plan there is complete hope. And that He will bring glory out of all of this... MUCK! I must look through the muck to His promises, to His grace and to His glory.

I must batten down the hatches and get ready to continue riding out this storm. I pray for friends during it. Good Godly friends that will stand in the midst of the pounding waves and scream out in prayer with me. Good Godly friends that will reach for my hand in these low moments and deep valleys to remind me that He is still there, He is the only reason I am still here too. He cares, He loves, and He is there to help. I need those friends that have the wisdom to continually turn me back to Him for ALL of my needs! I MUST stop trying to do it all in my own power, for I have no power in His ultimate plan. I must let go of myself and surrender COMPLETELY to His plan and His guidance. I need those people that will speak that love into my life, and remind me (in love) when I am trying to take control where that control really belongs!

On my walk, I journey past this little Inn. I love this Inn. It is cute and cozy and I could just imagine looking out those big windows to see this ....

and this....

And in my heart I said "Why Lord? Why do some people get to sit back and relax, enjoying these great views without a care in the world? Why do they get a break? A vacation?"

Yes, I was being COMPLETELY selfish.
Am I proud of it? NO WAY!
Am I being real about who I was and what I feel at times? YES!

But then God spoke to my heart.

"Isn't this walk a break?
Isn't My Word your strong hold?
Haven't I allowed you to make your HOME in this beautiful place?
Don't you and your children get to see this every time you choose to open your eyes and see it?"

And most convicting to me....
"If I gave you a vacation would you treasure it and relax?"

Yup. My God knows my heart. And my personality (like duh.... he made it right?) he knows that as much as my soul longs for a vacation my heart and head aren't there yet. My head just won't let go of all it is trying to solve. Yup. There is another DUH moment... because my head CAN NOT solve it all! My heart has to take control and lay it at the foot of the alter! For that is where all good and perfect gifts come from. The ONLY answers that one can fully trust in. The ONLY source of contentment and joy. And it only comes in full measure with COMPLETE surrender!

There are BIG things my soul is dealing with.

Life changes that HAVE to take place, but I keep falling into fear.

Some friends laid it on the line to someone dear in my life last week. While I was not there (and that was probably for the best) I have heard a few of the things that were said and I am in complete agreement with them. These were strong Godly men living in HARD words of love, and calling a brother to step up. But that brother's heart seems closed and he is content with status quo.

I am not content with status quo. The Lord has convicted me that this status quo is killing the spirit of everyone it touches. But I don't feel like I have those same Godly men and women surrounding me. I need to take practical yet difficult steps, and I am fearful that they will take more strength than I currently posses.

I feel drained from the battle and that I need to totally immerse myself in His word, His people and His love to gain the strength I need. Is there a pause button that I can push so that I can get that strength without anymore attacks coming?? Seriously, I need that :)

I also need to find the earthly hands of God that He has placed around me for this battle. I know that He has not lead me here to be defeated alone, I know that He has placed helpers along side of me, but I can not see them through the blinders that the enemy has placed over my eyes! Please pray that those blinders turn to dust, and my eyes see clearly the team that the Lord has assembled for me! Let me see the plan that is there, but is hidden from me!

Please also pray that ALL involved focus clearly on the Lord, I feel like the enemy has too many strongholds in those touching my life, and therefore he has a me covered in darkness and fear that I am constantly battling down.

If you have made it this far I thank you! Your faithfulness to my heart and your prayers for my family mean more to me than you could EVER know. I received an email from a reader that I have never corresponded to before this weekend and it brought me to my knees. God is so amazing in the complex ways that He works.

I share this not in vanity, for it is not for my glory but HIS glory that this is important, and real, and touched my soul. Nothing I share here would be possible without the my Lord and savior Jesus. I only share the words that He gives my heart with the gifts that He created in me.

"I had to take a minute and write this email ...WHAT A BLESSING !!!! I was surfing the web on candle making. Soy vs Paraffin ,and came across your video. As I watched I felt a peace come over me as if God was saying "just listen" I know this sounds weird but its true."

I created those How To video clips in a desperate time, when my family REALLY needed the money. It is not something I had ever done before, nor will I probably ever do again, but it brought this reader to my heart for God, is in that His purpose is completely served!

"Then I noticed you had a web-site so I went to it and as I listened to the music and looked at the pictures of your family I began to cry. ..... As I began to read your blog i thought this is so familiar. I laughed and cried as you detailed the hustle and bustle of your days. It's just so funny but real, truthful and honest. Thank You !!! The Holy Spirit has been nudging me to pray more (ON MY KNEES) and I've been to busy moping (I hope I spelled that right :) "I don't wanna get on my knees, I don't need to - I say" then a scripture comes to mind that says every knee will bow and every tongue confess----but still I've been to darn stubborn. About 1 hour before reading your blog and visiting your web site I got on my knees and Thanked God for being so good to me, for Blessing me and my son, and giving me strength when I didn't have any left. All I can say is God is Amazing,,,and when I went to your web site Amazing grace started to play......WOW. It was as if he was saying"I've been here the entire time"
....God used you as a vessel to give me a message. You probably aren't aware your being used to help others. I don't know and cant explain it but I know it wasn't by chance. "

Even in my darkest moments I know where to turn, and turn and turn! And through my sharing of that faithfulness God is able to remind others that they too know where to turn! How cool is that? I sometimes look around me and say "Why God, why do I go through all of this? What is the purpose?" Thank you for reminding me that the purpose it to bring glory to HIM!!!

As I leave you today (after writing what seems like a novel) I want to share with you the Psalm that the Lord gave me today...

Psalm 43
Prayer to God in Time of Trouble

Vindicate me, O God,
And plead my cause against an ungodly nation;
Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!

For You are the God of my strength
Why do You cast me off?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!
Let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your tabernacle.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And on the harp I will praise You,
O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God

May each of seek our path within His path today and each day to come.

If you feel lead, I would deeply appreciate your prayers and thoughts for me and my family during this dark and fearful time. I love each of you as Christ so loved the church. You are all so dear and special, not only to me, but to Him also!


Saturday, September 26, 2009

First Tee

One of the cool things that Nathaniel gets to do is First Tee of Central Coast. It's a great golf program aimed at youngsters and teaches them the game of golf along with great values, sportsmanship and other good things. I really like this program, and I really super like that the coaches here in Los Osos are so accommodating of Nathaniel's physical limitations! They do a great job of including him in everything and working around his limitations!
Right now we have a new coach here in Los Osos. She is great and has lots of experience. Coach Terry has been coaching First Tee on the Central Coast for a number of years, but she is new to Sea Pines. All of the transitions in coaches made for an unpredictable spring and summer season. With that we lost lots of players, so Coach Terry is trying a new idea to get new players out. Instead of having to pay for the whole season, she is charging per week for the kids that show up! This is cool to me because it's WAY easier to come up with $10.00 per week, than the $100.00 for a season, but either way it's a great deal and a great program!
Because of the new way it's set up right now, and because there are so few kids (which means my kids get more attention!) Audrey is playing right now too!

Nathaniel is actually quiet good at golf now! He has been playing in this program for over a year! Golf is great for him too because he doesn't have to really worry about keeping up with the team, if he is tired he just goes slower!

I love the silly faces he makes when he is concentrating!

Coach Terry and Audrey working on her stance and posture!

Great golf attire hu? Audrey is my creative one when it comes to her clothing!

Again... lots of serious concentration!

I like this just because they are in the same picture and NOT fighting!

And this is seriously my favorite shot from Friday... He looks so pro with his laid back stance and the cart in the background... such a cool dude!

If you are in the area and want a great Friday afternoon activity come on down to the course and play some golf with us!!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

I. Am. So. In. Love.

I am SO in love with this kid!
Well, really I love ALL of my kids... equally! (As any sain mother would say) But tonight, this is the one who's giggles are lifting my spirits and reminding my heart of all that is good!

Did you know this bit of trivia.... this dear child is TRULY a gift of God... she was conceived AFTER my tubes were tied! And I am constantly in awe of how right God was, my family would NOT be complete without this dear child! Even if it meant a THIRD high risk pregnancy and MORE bed rest to have her!

See.... she is silly, goofy and giggly tonight. Just what this mommy needs!

Did I mention that she is snugly too????
She is a great snuggler :)

Ahh... yes. This is the good life!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

and the twists keep coming....

Seriously, I am sure this road has to level off at some point ...... BUT WHEN???

I haven't posted in a bit, because, well I have been incredibly BUSY...... and in a FUNK!! I have been busy with primarily two things, even though my to do list is 3 million things deep at the moment. 1) I have been on my knees, eyes focus vertically in CONSTANT prayer and 2) trying to keep up with the insane deadlines I somehow got myself into with sewing projects, when I would way rather be curled up in bed!

I have been in a low place, and the only place I know to go is on my knees in prayer. I have been praying that the impact from different sources all added together will crumble mountains, humble hearts and have lasting effects! It's not easy for me to sit back and watch, just praying. But I have beaten my head against this wall too many times and the Lord has convinced me that the only thing for me to do now is wait on Him. And that is so hard for me! I am a mover and a shaker! I am a doer. Just do it! But I am staying to true to his call. I got an interesting call this morning about one of the situations I am in prayer over. I guess this person got called out in love big time. He said that he truly loves those that called him out, and it opened his eyes to some things. I can only hope and pray that the Lord did a miracle and that this is the start of something new. I was encouraged that he spoke of loving and respecting the people doing the calling out (which he totally deserved!) not of hate or condemnation! That is a first... so we shall see! But I know that I have so much to work and decide no matter what the outcome from the other person is. I also know that right now there is nothing that I can do but take it vertical!

It has been a minute by minute struggle to do what I NEED to do vs. what I want to do! But I have made each deadline.... my the skin of my teeth! But really, the only things getting done are the ones with deadlines.

Case in point: I have a HUGE amount of yard work that needs done. Nothing hard, just lots of it because I am NEVER home. It was supposed to be done this past Sunday, but someone through a huge monkey wrench in my plans and my whole day went to hell in a hand basket! Now I have THIS weekend to get it done. And it's A LOT of work! And there is the fact that I am not really good at yard work too. Not my forte. But it needs done, and I am so sick of it not being done! I am sick of my house and yards looking like hill billy hell! I have asked my husband to help or get some of his friends to help, but that was a no go too. Bummer. Anyone want to come have a yard party at my house Sunday? I will make you a yummy dinner if you help with my yard work? SERIOUSLY!

Then there is the inventory at BB.... I have HUNDREDS of inventory tags to input in the data bases, but NO time to do it! I also really need to get new inventory out, but I am in such a funk when I get here that it isn't working too good. And then the afternoons are consumed by homework. Getting into the hang and routine of the new school year has been tough! And having fired my respite worker AGAIN, I am short afternoon care Nathaniel which is tough too. I love my son to pieces, but I can NOT play ball with him every minute that the sun is shining! :) I could go on and on with things like this, but I won't bore you to death! :)

If I were a betting person (which I am not) I bet you would be thinking that the funny thing is that I am sitting here pouring out my heart not working. But that is not true! I am multitasking :)
Step One: do a step of a sewing project
Step Two: Pray
Step Three: Input info into 2 databases
Step Four: Pray
Step Five: Write on blog for 10 minutes
Step Six: Pray
Then repeat until everything is done, or it's time to go to my other job!

Sound Fun? Well that's my morning! What are you up to this morning?


Monday, September 21, 2009

A "Little Bit" of sunshine!

Do you need a "Little Bit" of sunshine today? I do!

This is my darling daughter... also know as Little Bit! Yup, that has always been one of her nick names... don't ask me why, doesn't make any sense since she was my biggest baby, but anyways, that's how it is! This is my sunny Little Bit this morning :)
Showing off her totally Audrey outfit! Hot pink ropers, jeans properly "stacked" and the sundress she outgrew YEARS ago, but refuses to give up.. now it's a shirt!

And here is a close up of the stylin' new haircut of hers!

Have a blessed day, I know I am going to!!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Walking through the Fire!

Life is such an adventure. And I don't say that lightly. I could call it other things, more negative things, and probably be justified in it, but I CHOOSE to call it an adventure. And I have CHOSEN my adventure partner... his name is Jesus! It is him I cling to through it all... and there is so much! So much more than you all know about. Even in my transparency here there is much that I keep close in my heart. Much that I have not found the words to share. But know that my days are filled with fires. I am so tired of being refined by fire. But alas there must be something in me that needs further refining because the fires continue to come! When the day of reckoning comes I should be totally pure from the refiners fires I have been through!

Today was a roller coaster from hell! Seriously. Really far up and really far down. Some days I wish I was floating along on a smooth lake just relaxing, but I have been called to the high seas and tons of storms it seems! One day I will trade it all in for eternal peace, but until then I keep praying for calms in the storms.

Today started with a fun time with my sweet daughter. She got a hair cut yesterday and it's really cute (sorry no pictures yet... my camera was exhausted yesterday... and yes, that's what it tells me when the battery is dead "battery is EXHAUSTED" Freaking cracks me up even when I am annoyed that the battery is dead again!) ANYWAYS, Audrey and I played with her hair this morning. We used hot roller to curl it to see how that would look. She has pictures coming up this week and I am tyring to decide how to doll her up! I miss her natural curls, but summer always seems to kill them :( So, on the up side it came out looking really cute, but on the down side it fell really fast and didn't last long. I think we are trying rag curls tonight!

Then we were off to church. I really enjoy corporate worship. I usually enjoy message, and today was really relevant, but I really go to church for the worship :) I LOVE worship. I know that the bible calls us to constant prayer in all things, but so many times I just don't have the WORDS for prayer. But I have the HEART for the Lord, so I worship... A LOT. I have worship music in my car, at my work, on my MP3 player, in my house... pretty much everywhere I am. My children know TONS of worship songs and can sing them without help. And one of my biggest stress relievers is to pile all the kids in the car and head to the beach BLASTING worship music that we are all making a "joyful noise to the Lord" with. Worship calms my fears, sooths my hurts and is a balm to my soul. But I really like corporate worship where a body of believers come together and worship together. I love lifting my hands to the Lord. I love feeling the Holy Spirit moving through us. I even love dancing to before the Lord (although I don't do that as much at church.. wouldn't want to scare the older folks we go to church with!) Is there a better way to start your day? I don't think so! So I was blessed that two guys I love were leading worship today. They are just spirit lead, humble (sort of ) men that do great when they aren't arguing! And Mark even blessed us with an awesome song today! Love it when they work together well. The silly guitar guy wasn't even bad today, and he usually annoys me! My kids proceeded to be GREAT for church so I actually got to hear the WHOLE message! And it was a good one, but little did I know how soon I would be applying it :(

I should have just stayed at church. It would have been a better choice. But I tried to go home and live my life. It wasn't such a good idea. When things are going well spiritually the enemy will attack.. and boy howdy did he ever attack today! I am beaten down. Bruised and bleeding. And my heart is broken.... again. I am tired of this fight, but I know that the Lord has called me to battle the enemy on this front, and to back down would be to give in to the enemy. And he has NO PLACE in my life, in my home, in my marriage or in my heart! I declare victory in the name of Jesus! I will NOT let the enemy win this battle! So I endure. I stand in the gap in steady prayer and hope that someday the one I am praying for will overthrow that enemy and cling to the Lord too! I hope that someday the Lord will be completely victorious in this battle. Until that I day, I pray that I always cling to the truth, I always behave in the fashion God calls me to, and I always shine the light for the Lord. When I was drenching my soul in his word this afternoon I found this truth... great food for thought!

7 "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who is close to me!"
declares the LORD Almighty.
"Strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered,
and I will turn my hand against the little ones.

8 In the whole land," declares the LORD,
"two-thirds will be struck down and perish;
yet one-third will be left in it.

9 This third I will bring into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, 'They are my people,'
and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' "

Zechariah 13:7-9

Isn't his word amazing? And I always find just what my heart needs to hear when I search his word out! I encourage you to turn to the bible when your storms come and the enemy is attacking you!

I also want to thank my dear friends that are standing in the gap for me. My wonderful prayer warriors that I can call on at anytime and know that they will cover me in their prayer. I could not fight these battles without you all at my side. From my dear friends at church that I have know for years, to my new friends that the Lord brings me daily, to my wonderful blog friends that also cover me. Know that I draw strength and encouragement form you all! Lord bless you for your faithfulness!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

100th Post... and a few thoughts!

Can you believe that THIS is my 100th post???
I can NOT!

Back in the beginning of the year when I decided to try to write a blog I wondered if I would even find the time to post once a week! Now, not even a year latter I have written 99 posts and this is my 100th?? Wow! I guess I do have lots of words to share. And I have found blogging to be such a creative and fun way to share what is on my heart. I have always been a journal writer, but this is so much better. It totally amazes me how much I love sharing my hear, posting pictures of my children, connecting with new and old friends and sharing my faith all in this journal that is there for the whole world to see. But I do love it, and I find myself getting tense and out of sorts if I haven't been able to post enough. (Like this week. But moving forward now... )

In honor of my 100th post I want to share a few thoughts about blogging in general, my blog specifically and offer a great giveaway....

First, as I said above, for the most part this is for me. I love it. But I am human. I do have times of frustration, sadness or just plain being overwhelmed. In those times there is little that can touch my heart as deeply as a kind work from someone. Whether it's someone who knows me well, or a complete stranger that stumbles across my blog, those words mean the world to me. I LOVE your comments, words of encouragement, or plain hugs. So that being said... if you read my blog often I would love to hear from you!! Give me something to look at in my dark hours that I can be encouraged by. Here, on the blog (vs. Facebook comments) where I can look back at them anytime I want to!

Secondly, I want to thank everyone that reads and respects my thoughts and feelings without attacking me. That was one of my greatest fears when I started blogging and it has no come to fruit. What amazing people each of you are! I thank the Lord for bringing such great people into my life!

Third, I have to say that I treasure the "friendships" I have made in the blog world with people I have never met in person. I dearly love my real world friends that read and nothing will diminish their place in my heart, but there is something about just connecting with someone and having this great way to get to know each other through our words. Two great women that I look forward to hearing from in my daily reading are April and Carla. My world has grown in such amazing ways by just reading these dear women's words regularly! What a delight!

So... other than writing my 100th blog post, guess what I have done today?? Well I did wrestle with that ANNOYING orange dress for the better part of the day... BUT then I decided that I needed a break, and took some time to create! I am so excited about a possible way to share Christ's love with others that may be opening back up for me. It is not firmed up yet, or a done deal in any way, but I couldn't help myself. I had to create some....

So, what do you think? I love making cards! And I love writing messages in them and sending them on knowing that whoever opens it will be blessed. There is nothing better than reading words of encouragement!

And that brings me to my GIVEAWAY!!! I would like to offer a giveaway to honor this 100th post. So the comment section will be open and ANYONE who leaves a comment HERE (not on Facebook, but on the blog) will be entered for a great random drawing! I know that we are all busy folks so I am actually going to do the drawing on NEXT Saturday (9/26) so that there is plenty of time for folks to leave me some comment love and have an opportunity to win this item that I MADE myself :) How exciting and fun is that??


Monday, September 14, 2009

I am sure that there are those out there who's every minute of everyday is not a such a struggle, but I can't see them in my pain. I am sure that there are those out there who's struggles are harder and bigger and more daunting than mine, but I can't imagine them. The path that I am on, and have been on for quiet some time, is so overwhelming to me right now that I am not sure how I place one foot in front of the next from minute to minute. I am constantly fighting the battle to just lay down and not get back up. But I know that is not the course Jesus would have me on. If he was ready for me home in heaven he would take me there. But that doesn't stop the constant ache in my heart to be at the finish line!

I am not sure when I began to feel so defeated, but I know that it has been a long time. And I know that there hasn't been a light at the end of my tunnel in years. It is a dark and lonely path, and would be even more so if Jesus wasn't carrying me through it! But the past few days I have felt the darkness seeping into places it's never been before. I look at my children and see the pain in their eyes. I feel their desperate clinging to me and the Lord that carries us. I hear their words that are too mature for their ages and feel like this path is hurting them too much. And therefore hurting me even more. I ache for them to have a childhood of sunshine and rainbows. Or carefree laughter and tears of joy. I ache for the pain that is our every minute life to be gone forever! So that is where I am right this minute. In a deep dark pit crying for all that my children and I will never have. But that is NOT where I want to be, nor is it where I will stay if I have ANY say in the matter.

As overwhelmingly hurtful and depressing as the weekend was there were high points. Good things. Fun moments stolen. And those are what I am going to share with you right now. Those are what I am going to cling to in this darkness, and pray that those moments will become more and more so that someday I can honestly say that there were more light moments than dark ones in my day! That is my dream, a day with MORE light than dark.

Here are this past weekends light moments! In totally random order because my brain is too fried to figure out the right order to upload them in!
My two dancers extraordinaire after their performance at Grandparents Day!

Joise showing off her fancy moves!

The Coolest Kids on the Block.... literally!

Josie's Hip Hop number that I had NEVER got to see her perform before!

My littlest ham!

Okay, so this one is a funny story. I was pretty bummed Sat afternoon so I decided to make Audrey a dress. We picked the fabric out together and then I just sort of cut and sew and made this cute little number for her. She wore it to church on Sunday and got SO MANY complements, everyone kept coming up and telling her how cute she was, etc.

So here is Audrey in the dress before church Sunday...

And Josie in the SAME dress Sat afternoon.... with full blown Josie attitude!

AND Brianna in the SAME dress Sat too...

And Audrey on Sat trying it on.... it seems that all three girls fit in it to varying degrees!! Funny girls!

We had tons of fun bobbing for Apples at the Halloween Extravaganza! If I had known that this would be hours of fun and entertainment for the kids I would have done it way sooner!! I think next time they are having an off day I will set it up for them again! They were so funny!

Nathaniel decided to dress himself up... he chose this delightful outfit all by himself :)

What a silly guy!

I painted Audrey's face for the heck of it....

And Brianna got into the goofiness with this bobble headband!

Saturday was also the first day of TOPSoccer here in Los Osos. TOPS is a special division for disabled kids and a great program! We had a small but fun group this week.... hope it grows some this season though!

Nathaniel loves being goalie!

The other highlight of my weekend was actually church. If you remember last weekend I had a few issues with church.. but this week it was back to great :) I walked into a sanctuary that I could breath in (thanks to the chairs being right :), worship was really great. Humble, moving and somehow I think that they took the songs straight off of my play list! And the message was really good too. Something I work on everyday, and it was given validation and good fresh ways to look at things. I also made a contact with someone that I am hoping will be a positive person and relationship in my life. I really felt like the Lord layed it right on my heart to talk to this person, then paved the way for me to do it... so I am hopeful about that! AND my children were EXCELLENT in church with me!! I was so proud of how well behaved they were ;)
Oh my.... I was supposed to take the kids to school 10 minutes ago! Guess it is time to get my boogy on!