Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lean Into Me

The Lord did once speak to me in an audible voice.  It was clear as day, and startled me right out of my prayer!  What an experience!  But, it's never really happened again.  Usually, it seems that God or the Holy Spirit speaks to me through my never ending inner monologue.  It feels like a thought, but I know that it's not of or from me.  Make sense?  Sometimes it's like there's another person inside my head and that's the voice that I hear - not a real voice (don't worry here, I'm not hearing voices!), but definitely something other than my own thought.  Anyway, I remember Karen Kingsbury or Francine Rivers describing it as a whisper on a breeze.  That's kind of it - it just sort of passes across my thoughts.  God gave me this a couple of days ago.  We returned from our vacation (which was great and deserves it own post) I was immediately overwhelmed with the amount of work to be done before we begin homeschool in earnest next week.  My heart raced.  I felt a panic attack of sorts coming on. The day before we came home I had been reading in Job, not really lifting my spirits I can tell you!  But, amid all of that, as I went to bed Sat night, I heard Him.  "Lean Into Me."  That's it.  But wow!  I have turned that over and over in my head and heart.  Savoring its sweetness.  Letting it wash over me in the midst of a baby suffering from extreme separation anxiety and teething, a soon-to-be 3 year old who cannot understand why every toy in the house is not his, a soon-to-be 6 year old who just really wants a horse and a bunny and a baby sister,  not to mention the 8 year old who is just really emotional right now, and an already over-worked husband who just took on another part time job (sweet him!).  So, here we all are, leaning into Him.  And miracle of all miracles, He's holding us up.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Ok.  Deep breath.  So I have lost many of those pesky pregnancy pounds, there are still a few that mistakenly believe I am their mothership and simply will not go back to their home planet Cellulite.  Oh well.  And, in the name of transparency, which by the way is the same shade of white that is my skin right now, I should mention that my recent diet vacation has consisted of pop-tarts, cheez-its, and Diet Dr. Pepper.  I know, Diet Dr. Pepper, why bother.  Just go ahead and drink the real deal for cryin' out loud.  But I am a product of the 80's where it made total sense to order the Big Mac meal, with a Diet Coke.   Cuz I was 13 and thought that 123 pounds and hip bones that jutted out were what made me undateable.  Not my inability to carry on a conversation with anyone remotely resembling a boy. But I digress.  Sort of.  Because my rant today is really a coming full circle kind of thing bringing me back to my deep seeded body issues.  Those being:  I don't like my body.  I know.  How original right?  But seriously.  I wish I were one of those women who could embrace the blue veins and stretch marks as badges of honor for bearing 4 children and blah, blah, blah.  But I'm shallow and vain and I want to grab that 13 year old girl by the shoulders and scream in her braced toothed face,"You are thin and while boobless right now, they will come later and be more trouble than they're worth, so just enjoy the fact that you can buy jeans in a single digit size."  UGH!  Please do not send me comments about this (Karen and Heidi:))  I love my life and this is a passing hell that I'm in.  I'm just sayin' - it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to.  This manic phase is of course caused by the need to buy a new bathing suit.  Yes, I will be entering the first circle of hell in about an hour - a poorly illuminated dressing room in which every wall is in fact a mirror that must be made in Taiwan or some other country where crap is porrly made because there's no way in the Holy Land that I ACTUALLY look like THAT!!!!!  Prayer teams should be assembled before we do this to ourselves.  Full makeover and spray tan booths should be set up outside of the department stores.  Ok, I got it out of my system.  I'm ok.  But, if you don't hear from me in a day or two, check the Macy's in Joplin where I may still be passed out and in shock.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

We're still here!

Well, if I thought the summer had been zipping by before, then I was sorely mistaken!  We are already getting ready for our beach trip - we leave Wed!!! Yikes:)  There's much to be done around here but I wanted to throw up a few pictures from VBS and our 4th celebration.  The kids really enjoyed VBS despite all of us coming down with whatever funky virus Will brought home from church on Father's Day.  The kids each had fevers of 102-103 and about 24 hours of really not feeling great.  I got it the following week and then Jeff had an abbreviated version last week.  So at least we're well for the trip! 
On Sat. I took the kids to our local 4th of July parade (yes it was on the 3rd) and that night I took them out to our fireworks display.  I knew I didn't want to tackle the big even in Bentonville, so we opted to forgo the display tonight in favor of the one last night.  It rained on us a bit, but never downpoured so we were fine.  Will did not like the loudness, but was ok with sitting in the car to watch.  Ryan was enthralled for about the first 5 minutes, then he was squirmy:)  Oh well - I did it. My poor children were not deprived of a 4th of July fireworks celebration despite their father's crummy work schedule!  Will they ever remember these days????
The Bella Vista parade: small, quaint, and just the right speed for Will:)  He did something really brave though - he shook Strike's hand!  Strike is the most bizarre mascot of the Arkansas Naturals baseball team.  I'm talking wierd!  I'm not even really sure what the heck he is - he really looks like some kind of neanderthal crossed with a Fraggle Rock character!
Waiting for the fireworks to begin. 
Watching the display - note Will's eyes!  Not sure if he was in the middle of saying cheese or praying that they would be over soon.
When he started to really get upset I convinced him to watch them from the car.  He seemed ok there and at least he didn't really freak out and start screaming or something.  I was parked 3 rows from the front and surrounded by cars, so there was really no way out until they were over.  Thankfully he just sat there and watched patiently.
This was the final of about 10 shots I tried to get of Ryan!  It is so hard holding the camera out at just the right angle to take his picture while I'm holding him!  The first 9 he was either looking behind me or was mid turn so he's just a blur:)  Oh well - he was there and he never cried!
Here are some pics from VBS - the ones Jeff took inside of their performance did not turn out well.  We were so proud of Jack though because all morning he said he didn't want to get up on the stage and we just told him he could decide for himself, but that the hard work he did learning the songs etc. was for that performance.  About 10 minutes before they were supposed to go on, he told me he still wasn't sure. Then up he went with this class! Later I asked him about it and he told me his friend B said they had to go! Ha!  Good for B and good for Jack!
Jack and Will petting one of the horses from Horses for Healing a great agency which provides therapeutic services for children with a variety of special needs.  The VBS was mission minded and collected change every night to then donate to the charity.  On Sat. they held a pancake breakfast, tallied the money, and the kids go to see some of the horses. Ella-Kathryn liked to die and go to heaven right there!  I had to threaten her life to get her to come back upstairs after 20 minutes of grooming one of the horses:)

The horses are all named things like "Hope," and "Redeemed" - love that!

Ella-Kathryn and two of her BFF's! 

Hope you all had a great day and we'll try to keep this updated while we're enjoying family and the surf!