26 December 2008

Is His glory in you?

In Psalm 26 David said, “Lord, I love the house where You dwell, the place where Your glory resides.” (vs. 8, HCS)

The house where God dwells. The place where His glory resides. Sure. That works well when you think Tabernacle. Or Solomon’s Temple. A real building. A temple made with hands.

Think of “going to God’s house”. Going to behold His glory. Loving the house where He lives.

But don’t think of a building made with hands. Don’t think of bricks and mortar. Don’t think about fragrant cedar wood or beautiful purple curtains. Don’t think about the building where you meet to worship with other believers. Don’t think about pews and a pulpit.

Think about you. Yes. You. As a disciple, as a follower of Jesus, as one chosen to be part of the Bride, He wants to dwell in you. He wants you to be the place where His glory dwells.

Skeptical? Find it hard to believe that you are to be the dwelling place of God? Struggle to think that God would want His glory to actually reside in you? (Reside means live in case you were wondering.)

I admit I really don’t feel like a place that is always fit for the glory of God. Do you? Aren’t we taught that we must be humble. That we are only His unworthy servants. Yes. It’s true. But then there is this other part that is so often missed. I have proof. Check this out:

"Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body." (I Corinthians 6:19-20 Amplified)

Wow. So if I take the whole counsel of God and really believe what God says, it means that I am the temple of God and the glory of God should be dwelling in me.

What an amazing thought!!! So what about Psalm 26 in light of I Corinthians 6:19-20?

“Lord, I love the house where You dwell, the place where Your glory resides.”

Hmm. More deep pondering.

I don’t know about you, but I love being the temple of God. I love walking in the Spirit. Sometimes it’s very scary. It’s far from predictable. There are days of waiting. There are days of wondering. But the faithfulness of God is so comforting to my heart.

May the glory of God rest in you.

25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

The audacity of hope.

I haven’t read the book by President-elect Barack Obama. But I’ve been struck this Christmas by that phrase.

The audacity of hope. I know about the audacity of hope. My audacity of hope arrived as a tiny baby to a young Jewish couple. He was born in a small town. Smelly shepherds visited him. Wealthy kings from the east brought him uncommon gifts.

My audacity of hope is the Creator of the universe coming as a baby. Being laid in a manger. Getting colic. Like I did when I was a baby. Having his diaper changed. Like me. Getting blisters. Like me. Catching frogs. Like me. Going through puberty. Like me. Being tempted. Like me.

But at that crucial point the similarities end, for He is my Jesus. Fully God. Fully man. And yet without sin.


The audacity of God sending His only Son as a baby rather than a conquering King. The audacity of choosing Mary, a betrothed virgin. The audacity of Bethlehem as His birthplace. The audacity of the 12 men who were His closest friends. Fishermen. A tax collector. A betrayer. The audacity of the love of Jesus even for His betrayer. The audacity of Jesus’ conversations with the Pharisees. The audacity of His chosen manner of temple cleansing. The audacity of His choice of dinner companions.

The audacity that the Creator would allow those He created to crucify Him. And yet, He lives. The audacity of life. The audacity of Hope. He is my High Priest. My Deliverer. My Intercessor. My Hope.

So many people come and go in this world of blogging. Sometimes I look at the map and wonder who the people are who are reading and lurking. My husband kids me about the messages I preach online.

So if you’re a regular here or if you’ve just dropped in for the first time ever, please leave me a comment. I’d love to know who you are and why you like to visit my blog. It's your Christmas gift to me. :o)

And if you don’t know the Audacity of Hope, I hope you meet Him this Christmas. I’m sure the greatest gift you could give Him would be yourself.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!!!

23 December 2008

Christmas Stuff Part II

Sunday my pastor/husband finished his message from Isaiah 9. 

For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I blogged about the first part of the message HERE. So last Sunday he spoke about:

Everlasting Father. And yes, it means forever. But it means ancient (as in: times past) and also continuing future. That name only confirms that God has always been and always will be. Now for Father: God as father of his people, head of a household, of benevolence and protection, ruler or chief. The part that interested me most in this is the Hebrew word. Hebrew here is simply "ab". Hmm. Sort of made me wonder about the connection in the New Testament. Abba Father. But also I noticed that this word Father comes as the very first word in the Hebrew dictionary. It's number is H1. Father comes first.

Prince of Peace. Daniel noted that often we think of prince as being simply "the son of the king". A young man who has only the power of a prince, but not the authority of the king. However, when you do the word study you'll learn that it not only means prince, but also ruler, leader, chief, captain, general, commander. And also, Ruler of rulers. Jesus is the Ruler of rulers. 

And peace. It's a familiar Hebrew word: Shalom. It means completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safety, quiet, tranquillity, contentment. But also friendship, with God especially in covenant relationship

Jesus is the Ruler of rulers of peace with God, especially in covenant relationship. 


I've had to ponder these new things I'm learning about Jesus. And be amazed all over again at what can be learned when you dig a little deeper. 

Dig deeper this Christmas and see what you can discover about this Jesus who longs for a "covenant relationship" with you. It's one of the reasons He came. 

17 December 2008

Time for an anniversary

No. It's not my birthday. It's not our wedding anniversary.

It's the Boston Tea Party. December 16, 1773. I thought about celebrating. And I thought perhaps our long ago relative Sam Adams and his friends, John Hancock and Paul Revere might possibly be turning in their graves. (My husband's sweet mother was an Adams. Yes, descendent of Samuel and John Adams. Way back.)

Three British ships moored in Boston's harbor. Ten thousand pounds of tea. Men and boys dressed as Indians (while all along everyone knew they weren't Indians at all). Townspeople standing on the wharf watching it all. Said men and boys being very careful to throw overboard ONLY tea. All other cargo was to remain untouched. They even swept the decks of the ships after dumping the tea overboard. A man caught pilfering tea was sorely punished. 

And last night I read the headlines. Something about all kinds of new tax in 2009 for New York. Tax on this. Tax on that. Tax on something else. 

Tax is why the Boston Tea Party happened in the first place. Free people in a new free world being tired of the king on the other side of the globe finding all kinds of new ways to pay for the things he was doing in England. And taxing tea was the last straw. 

The Sons of Liberty said you could smell the sweet fragrance of salt water tea in Boston harbor. 

So today I remember the Boston Tea Party. I remember all that our founding fathers believed in and longed for. I remember the freedom they fought and died for. I remember. . . 

And today I wonder where our country is headed. I listen. I read. I pray. And I remember that the ultimate freedom isn't found in this country. It's found in the next Country. The Country where the King of kings is reigning. The Country in which is the Heavenly City, the New Jerusalem. The Country where wars will never be. The Country where my Father's economy will never crash (He has streets of gold. Go figure.). The Country where children have enough to eat and mothers aren't afraid of the influence of the kids next door. The Country where father's hearts never have to fear a lack of provision for their families or the ravaging of their wives and children. The Country where the Glory of God is in its proper place. All the time. 

And to think that I started with the Boston Tea Party. 

The Boston Tea Party has only made me long for the true Country of ultimate freedom. I hope to see you there. Maybe we can chat. Over a cup of tea. 

15 December 2008

Christmas at Thanksgiving

We celebrated many things at Thanksgiving this year. First off it was Grandpa Showalter's 90th birthday. And it was Thanksgiving Day. The day after Thanksgiving we celebrated Christmas with the Showalters. 
Daniel read the bedtime Scriptures to Grandpa and Grandma. 

Elsa: eager, faithful kitchen helper

Tristen's new favorite person: Lish
Dad and the brothers bonding.

Grandma and my sister, Kristine. 
If you're interested in updates on the Grandparents you may visit kristineshowalter.blogspot.com.
Grandpa with his birthday cake. Aunt Audrey made one of his favorites: black walnut cake with carmel frosting. 

And beyond these few there are so many pictures of uncles, aunties, cousins, play time, food, Christmas gifts, grandparents, silly faces, food, lounging, cousins, food. You get the picture. I needn't post them all. 

14 December 2008

Who Started This Christmas Stuff?

A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable; and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.

She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year - overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally the elevator doors opened, and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed, she couldn't take it anymore and she stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot."

From the back of the car, everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond, "Don't worry, we already crucified Him."

For the rest of the trip down in the elevator, it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. This year, don't forget to keep "the One who started this whole Christmas thing" in your every thought, deed, purchase and words. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.


I don't know who penned this little story, or if it's even true. Maybe it's a story to make us think. Today my wonderful husband-pastor preached a message from Isaiah 9:6-7. Those verses that tell us a few names of Jesus: Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Too often we read through them quickly. Or we hear someone sing them in all their majesty as part of Handel's Messiah. We have those verses memorized. We know them. But stop for a moment to consider. . .

Wonderful. What is wonderful? "Just wonderful" you say. No, this Wonderful means wonder, marvel, extraordinary, hard to understand. That's my Jesus. He's Wonderful. Maybe kind of like "indescribable"?

Counselor. And isn't your first image the psychologist, the psychiatrist, the shrink, trying to find out what's wrong with someone, the someone who has deep emotional problems and hates their family? Hmm. Try again. To advise, consult, give counsel, plan. That means that my Jesus is open to questions. He wants me to ask. He's there to give counsel and advice. He is my Counselor.

Mighty God. So often the portraits of Jesus almost make me think He's wimpy. Soft hands. Weak face. Wait. He's also the Mighty God. Mighty means strong man, mighty man, brave man. And that means absolutely anything but wimpy. Sort of makes me think rather of a hero. Conquering King. Standing up to the ultimate evil. Smashing the bad guys. Rescuing me.

But there's more. It's Mighty God. And yes, mighty and God are two separate words. The word for God here is the Hebrew "el". And yes, it means "God", but it can also mean "strength and power." So I guess that packs a lot of meaning into "Mighty God" doesn't it. To start out with just "mighty" and then add "God" to it. . .  sort of turns it into "the strong, mighty, brave God Who is full of strength and power". I don't think it's redundant at all. 

Sorry. That's all I've got for now. My pastor says if the Spirit is willing (and doesn't change His mind before next week) he'll finish the message and tell us about "the Everlasting Father" and "the Prince of Peace." 

So if your week gets tough, don't forget your Jesus is Wonderful, Counselor and a Mighty God. Walk with Him. He knows where you live. 

13 December 2008


So, November seems a very long time ago. . . but here at last are some of my favorite pics from the 10 days we spent with dear friends in two different locations. We started out with Darwin and Joan near Remus for Revival services and ended the trip with Seth and Heidi in Fife Lake. And trust me, there were a whole lot of other friends in between!! It was so good to be a Michigander for a few days. . .

Tob and Tristen with Nick
Darwin and Joan (my very favorite picture of them!)

The weather was beautiful the first part of the week. I was really wishing I'd brought flip flops along for the kids it was so warm! The girls helped rake leaves one afternoon after school. 

Another fantastic day was a friend's birthday party! Most of the afternoon was spent outside playing in leaves and riding horses. Pure bliss for these small Hobb(it)s. 

Sophia, Mahlah (the birthday girl) and Emelyne

For some reason the llama really loved Daniel. . . 

That's my boys. ..

It was so good to see Erma. . .
and Robert and Mary.
Then on to Seth and Heidi's home-sweet-home. . . where babies can sit on countertops and taste the dough.
And where good buddies can enjoy the sheer wonderfulness of granola squares before bedtime.

Sweet friends, Seth and Heidi.

So there I shall end for now. I'll try to make sure it's not so long the next time. I've blogged so many times in my head. If only I could get all of them into the computer. . . 

22 November 2008

Patterns of Growth

Following is a little piece I wrote for my friend Joan for a church bulletin insert.

What will it be like, I wondered. I'm returning to the place where I lived for five years. I will see people I know. I will visit with old friends. Will they have changed? Will they think I have changed? 

I supposed they would notice the most growth in the children. But you always notice growth in children. Their height changes. Their cheeks fill out. They mature. They learn new things. They grow up. 

But what about me? Will people notice that I've changed too? The "growth" is not outward. It's something that's changed inside of me. I'm not the same person I was a year ago. Let me explain.

The last year has been full of difficulty. The kind of difficulty you wish would just go away. The kind of difficulty that keeps you awake at night crying bitter tears. But it's also a little bit like Spiritual weight lifting. The Scripture is so clear about "tribulation working patience". If there is no difficulty, I really don't learn much. I can coast. I don't have to work very hard in my Spiritual life. But when the difficulties come, I run to Jesus. And I find that in the midst of very hard things Jesus is everything I need. When I "walk through the valley of the shadow of death" I need not "fear the evil" for "HE is with me!" 

It sure isn't fun walking through the hardness of life, but I discover that on the other side of the difficulty I am stronger. I have grown. I'm a different person. There have been patterns of growth.

Do you have patterns of growth in your life? Can you look at who you are today and see those things Jesus has changed in you in the last year? If you're not growing, you need to find out why. If children don't grow properly it means something is wrong. Are there things hindering your growth? If you don't see much progress, maybe it's because you're too close. I don't notice too much change in my children, but those who haven't seen them for a whole year notice the change. Ask someone close to you what they see Jesus doing in your life. 

And just maybe those difficult things that you wish would go away are really the weights needed in your life to strengthen your Spiritual muscles. 

16 November 2008

Friends from long ago. . .

So, here I sit on this wet, snowy Sunday afternoon. God blessed our morning with His presence. Daniel has taken the kids on a hike behind our house. They needed some fresh air. My sister is on her way to our house. A blessed thought since I haven't seen her in nearly a year. And there is entirely too much to blog about. 

Friends from long ago stopped in to visit several weeks ago. It amazes me how easy it is to pick up where we left off about 12 years ago and chat on and on about our children, homeschooling, life, church, what God is teaching us and then still run out of time. Thanks Matthew and Rhonda for giving us a wee bit of your busy schedule. 

Seven lovely ladies. .. 
Rhonda hasn't aged a bit. Now me. . . That's a different story.
sweet friends

One of the quotes from the message this morning that bounced between my eyes was this:

"Don't tell God about your problems. Tell your problems about your God."

How easy it is to whine and complain to God about all the things that are going wrong. This week I'd rather tell my problems about the great big God I have. The God Who knows me and loves me. The God Who holds the earth in His Almighty hand. The God Who raises up one king and puts down another. The God Who is my shield and refuge and strong tower. The God Who is the King of all earthly kings and the Lord of all earthly lords. The God Who is preparing a place for me so that "where He is, there I may be also." Ah. I guess I can't put it into words today. . . 

Up next: a report on our recent trip to Michigan for a week of revival at Pine Grove Tabernacle and our good friends Darwin and Joan. Daniel preached incredible messages and we had the delightful privilege of singing together as a family every night! More later. . . 

30 October 2008


Yes. It's really true. Today is National Candy Corn day. Grab a handful and. . . celebrate!!!

(And for all you moms out there, tomorrow isn't just that holiday we wish would go away, it's another one we don't even know about: National Knock-Knock Jokes Day. P.S. Don't tell the kids. Cause if you do, it'll be a very long day.)

24 October 2008

16 October 2008

True Woman 08'

I've been contemplating this blog post all week. My mind has replayed parts of the conference. I've wondered how to put into words the deep things God started in my heart. I've pondered the amazing goodness of God to allow me to be part of this "counter cultural movement" among Godly women.

October 9 began extremely early for me. 3 am to be exact. Actually it started earlier. But I really don't know the time because I honestly didn't get much sleep that night. A sweet friend from church came to "sit" with the still-sleeping Hobb(it)s. Daniel and I left for the airport at 3:40 am. My flight left State College at 6 am. A friend today asked if I had the red-eye flight. For me it WAS the red-eye. 

My friend Danelle Alexander met me at O'hare and we made our way to the hotel. We had the privilege of staying with friends at the Renaissance Hotel which was part of the Conference Center where True Woman 08' was held. When we went to check in at the hotel they informed us that we would have a room with a king sized bed and a roll away cot. For 5 people. 

We informed them that that was simply unacceptable. They offered us a "hospitality suite". Basically it was the living room between two "normal" rooms. Therefore it was a room with no bed. Yes, that's what I said. No bed. Just many couches. One of the couches made into a bed and they brought us two roll away beds. The extra person slept on the couch in the picture below. Fortunately there was a bathroom with a shower. And we received an added benefit of a teeny refrigerator and microwave! We joked all weekend about getting the room with the crazy couches. 

True Woman 08' was sponsored by Revive our Hearts and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. But it also included an incredible line-up of speakers including John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, Janet Parshall, Mary Kassian, Karen Loritts, and others. 

Probably the session that ministered to me the most was Mary Kassian's session about how the feminist ideology has infiltrated even the church. I really didn't know much "feminist" history, but Mary explained it all so well and so clearly. 

God allowed me to see some of the lies I've believed regarding my role to play as a woman. And as a woman of God. 

Another highlight was meeting Keith and Kristyn Getty, singer/hymnwriter couple from Ireland. They led the worship for the conference. 

The climax of the weekend was the signing of the True Woman Manifesto, "a personal and corporate declaration of belief, consecration, and prayerful intent—to the end that Christ may be exalted and the glory and redeeming love of God may be displayed throughout the whole earth." 

The conference ended Saturday at 12:15 pm. My flight didn't leave until 6 pm, so I had several hours to wait. I was rather dreading it, but God turned it into a huge blessing. I had all those hours to read and remember and think and process and pray. Mmm. The goodness of God!

Our little Northwest Airlink jet touched down at the airport in State College at 10:30 pm. What a joy it was to be greeted by my family!! Complete with snacks!

Going away is nice. Coming home is nicer. God brought so much refreshment to my spirit. I felt like I was coming home a new woman. 

Well, there it is. I feel as if I've done a miserable job trying to convey the things going on in my heart. Maybe it's better left unsaid. 

And if you're interested in listening to any of the conference sessions visit truewoman.com and click the "events" tab at the top of the page. At that page you can either listen to the sessions or purchase them on DVD or CD. 
Conference friends. . . 

14 October 2008

a bedtime conversation

The scene: Tobin and Tristen (age 5 and 3) have been freshly bathed and put to bed. Mama is tucking them in. 

Tristen: "I'm thirsty."

Mama: "Honey, you can't drink any more water tonight or you'll pee in your bed."

Tobin (from the top bunk): "And if you pee in your underwear you'll get radishes between your legs."

So maybe I'd better explain.

During the hot summer I had smallish children who put off visiting the bathroom for as long as possible. This foolishness resulted in many an accident. Which resulted in chaffing on their poor little legs since they didn't bother to tell Mama about the accident since playing outside was far more important than one little accident and changing clothes in the middle of the day. 

Surely none of your angels have ever done this.

Anyway, poor Tobin was greatly confused with the English language. The "rashes" on his legs somehow morphed into "radishes". 

May all your "radishes" be in your garden. And NOT on your legs. 

hApPy tuEsDaY!!!!

24 September 2008

I refuse to be shamed by stones.

My Scripture reading has recently taken me to the book of Revelation. 

I love it. I soak in it. I rejoice in it. I long to see the hidden and deep meanings that have been pondered by many. I wish to hear it as John heard it. 

And this time reading through I was amazed by the fact that it seems God created certain "creatures" to give Him glory. I mean, that's their job. It's what they were created to do. They really don't "do" much of anything else. Hang around the throne and bow down and give honor and glory to God. 

And then I reached chapter 5 and read this:

And they sang a new song with these words:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and break its seals and open it.
For you were killed, and your blood has ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
And you have caused them to become God’s kingdom and his priests.
And they will reign on the earth.”
Then I looked again, and I heard the singing of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus:
“The Lamb is worthy—the Lamb who was killed.
He is worthy to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and blessing.”
And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They also sang:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the one sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.”
And the four living beings said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped God and the Lamb. 
Revelation 5:9-14

My heart soared! I want to be in that "crowd"! The privilege of ascribing greatness to the God of the universe. The Creator of everything. The God Who knows my name. The God Who knit me together in my mother's womb. The God Who knows my address. He sees where I live. He knows the thoughts and intents of my heart. He sees all my secret dreams and desires. He is my personal and intimate God. He knows all my strengths and weaknesses. And yet He loves me. He wants me in that crowd. He wants my praises. He wants me to live for His Glory. He wants me to know that it's all about Him.

Then the Spirit reminded me of another Scripture:

Then the crowds spread out their coats on the road ahead of Jesus. As they reached the place where the road started down from the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
“Bless the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory in highest heaven!”
But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”
He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
Luke 19:36-40

I don't want to begin my praise to God on my first day in Heaven. I want it to be something I do constantly here on the earth so that on my first day in Heaven it's only a continuation of how I've lived my whole live up to that point. No new learning curves. No wondering why I hadn't done it before. Only the joy of doing it face-to-face. 

Today I am a God-follower. Today I am a wife and mother. Today my shoulder is in pain. Today I am uncertain of what tomorrow holds. Today I cannot see my future. Today I feel inadequate for the tasks I'm responsible to complete. 

These things do not change Who God is. He is still worthy of praise. He is still the God of Glory. He is a God of goodness and mercy and justice and love.

I'm not giving the stones a chance. I refuse to be shamed by stones.

Care to join me?

22 September 2008

Sweetness for Monday

Happiness is like a kiss - it feels best when you give it to someone else. 

Author Unknown

16 September 2008


This is a picture I created for a friend.

It reads. . .

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of cringing and fawning fear), 
but [He has given us a spirit] of. . . 

(the Holy Spirit is our power)

and of


(God the Father is love)

and of 

(Jesus is our peace. It is through Him that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.)

II Timothy 1:7

“Fear is the absence of faith.”

15 September 2008

the mimic

We're at that stage in childhood when one of the most annoying things you can do to a sibling is to mimic every move they make. 

So tonight at the supper table the 10 year old big sister is mimicing the 5 year old little brother.  I should have seen the danger signs based on the age difference, but I didn't see this one coming. 

He crosses his arms. She crosses hers. He moves his leg. She moves hers. And there it ended. 

She looked over as he moved his hand toward his face. She began to do the same. Then a look of total horror and astonishment came over her face as she watched little brother stick his finger in his nose to search for some unknown treasure. 

She couldn't bring herself to mimic that and burst into laughter. I guess she'd been bitten on this round of "mimic". It might be a while before she tries it again. 

Funny  children! I'm sure I never did anything like that, right Mom?? 

12 September 2008

quietness of soul

"If these souls knew at this point in time how to be quiet and were not caught up in constant activity, then they would have that wonderful experience of this inner refreshment that is free from worry. . . This blessing comes when the soul is relaxed and carefree."

from The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross

11 September 2008

Back a few. . .

Months, that is. I couldn't blog about it then. In May and June. It was too close. Too painful. Too deep. Too misunderstood. Too heart wrenching. Too difficult. Too unexplainable. Too confusing. 

But here I am three months later. I've been deepened. Strengthened. Matured. Comforted. There are still many things I don't understand. But I realize I don't have to. Because my Father knows what He has planned for me and I am able to rest in that. 

In May, a few day's after Mother's Day, I found out I was pregnant. For some of you that may have been glorious news. For me it was not. You see, after five Hobb(it)s (the youngest being nearly 3) I was ready to move to the next phase of family life. And there are things we believe God is asking us to do and be part of that cause our hearts to want to be past the infant stage. . .  for mobility's sake. And here I am. Pregnant again. 

There were many tears. Many questions. My heart wanted so badly to accept whatever gift God wanted to send to me. I struggled. I wrestled. My heart begged God to fill me with love. 

I started shopping for maternity clothes hoping I'd get "in the mood". Hoping my heart would find excitement. Hoping I could somehow make myself get ready. It didn't work. 

I ended up at the thrift store with a whole cart full of adorable maternity clothes. But I couldn't bring myself to buy them. Inside my heart screamed, "Why?" It's just not me. When I discover bargains I don't just leave them there. Not this time. I walked away with nothing. 

There were those who listened and loved me.  They let me cry and told me that everything would be ok. They prayed and did battle on my behalf when my spirit was so distraught I could scarcely breathe. 

There were those who misunderstood. They thought I should just get over it. They judged my soul's agony. They offered no comfort. 

Then, in June, two days after our 12th wedding anniversary, I miscarried.

Trying to describe my thoughts, feelings, emotions during that time is nearly impossible. I'd tried so hard to bring myself to acceptance and love and excitement about the pregnancy. And it never came. Was it God's Spirit trying to prepare me? 

I was so relieved to not be pregnant. But what about the guilt? 

We were on family vacation when we lost baby. We were surrounded by people who love us. They cried with us. They prayed for us. They joined us in mourning. We laid baby to rest in a memorial garden created in honor of Daniel's mother who is waiting in the heavenlies. It seemed a good place. 

Somewhere in eternity I shall meet a child whom I will never know here on earth. I feel poorer for not having known him/her. But someday. . . 

There has been a lot of pain. Turmoil. Mixed emotions. I don't know what this experience has to do with the Glory of God. But I know that God is more concerned about His Glory than about my present happiness

And so I rest in the fact that somehow this is not about me. God is full of Glory. He is trustworthy. He is the God of all comfort. He knows my frame. He understands that I am just dust. And yet He loves me. 

26 August 2008

nO MorE diAperS!


The three year old is FINALLY toilet trained. "I'm a big guy now" he reports. All this mother can say is Praise the Lord!! I honestly was praying about it. Son one trained rather easily and fairly fast. Son two has been a very different story. 

And if you were thinking of asking me for my potty training advice, don't bother. I don't have any. None of the advice I received this time around worked for me. So I just waited until he was ready. 

I feel a need to celebrate. We are now diaper free for the first time in 10 years and 10 days. Wahooo!! I think we'll have banana splits. Care to join us?

21 August 2008

A tea for girls

So, in between supervising two girls making bread (8 loaves total), chatting online with my sister in Alaska, answering the phone, downloading pictures, chasing three younger children to the great outdoors to play. . . I'm blogging. 

One of the dear ladies from church invited the girls and me for tea. She also invited Carol and Becky Kauffman. Becky is just a year older than Emelyne and a good friend to all the girls.

Brenda was our hostess. She created a tea with several courses. We began with chilled strawberry soup and crispy dainties she'd make from bread and flour tortillas. Then we moved on to wee sandwiches and veggies and layered jello salad. The meal finished off with 4 different kinds of scones, Devonshire cream, strawberry and lemon curd, shortbread and of course, tea. Choices for tea were Mint Medley or Constant Comment. 

When we arrived Brenda had the girls draw numbers. Whoever chose #1  got first pick of Brenda's hats to wear for tea. 

We had a lovely time!! 

Sophia clowning around after tea
Elsa took her own hat, one Esther wore in a cousin's wedding several years ago. 
Brenda serving Sophia. . .
Emelyne loves to pose for pictures!!
The other Carol.  And yes, it was highly confusing to have two Carols there! 
Second course goodies!!
Becky with a hat to match her dress.

Somehow, girls and tea just go together. 
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