Monday, May 30, 2011

the rooster formally known as susan -or- letting go of false expectations

sometimes life hands you surprises.  you think you signed up for, let's say completely hypothetically,  laying hens.

and yet, as time goes by one of those hens doesn't seem quite right.  you cling to the expectation of what you signed up for, and though all the signs point toward the unexpected you refuse to open your eyes to see.


for expectations are powerful.  they give you directionpurpose.  expectations make the costs worth it.

expectations can be the joy set before you 


and yet, regardless of all expectations, you wake up early one saturday morning to your "hen" announcing she is indeed a rooster.

expectations come crashing down.

now, to be completely fair, i must say we joked for quite a while that little "susan" was indeed a turkey.  she wondered how she ended up living with mere chickens.  get me out of here, she would say, i am meant to live with other turkeys!  oh dear susan, you are not a turkey.  you are not a susan.

you are a rooster.

i believe we approach Jesus the same way we approach everything else in life.  we signed up for a certain expectation, and though He throws us curve balls and indications that He isn't quite who we expected Him to be, we are blinded to see reality because of what it at stake.

we are afraid.
            we are afraid of letting go of expectations.

                 we are afraid of being disappointed.

if He isn't who we thought He was, if He isn't just the way the preacher or our mentor painted Him to be, then what are the implications that follow?  what does that mean for me?  what does that mean for the way i go about life?

it may imply a change is needed.  and i don't know about you, but i greatly fear change.

for change is embodied by the unknown.  i may have too much invested into my current expectation and i must risk losing that which i was deeply invested in to find out what that unknown actually holds.  as good as that reality may end up to be, i still must risk to find out.

i may be alone in this, though i think i am not, but i rather like when things turn out the way i expected them to - a laying hen is indeed a laying hen... or my picture of the Messiah is fully accurate of who He is in reality.

as much as i may enjoy controlled surprises, say a gift or birthday party or unexpected check in the mail, the surprises that alter the course i have set for my life i am not as comfortable with. 

i am reading the words in red and gulping with the realization that He is a lot bolder than i painted Him to be.  He is more offensive.  His sayings are hard.  i am left wondering, like peter, Lord, who then can be saved?

for the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, 
and there are few who find it.                                                       
                                             matthew 7:14

but Lord, i do not understand.  i had expectations and You are not quite how i expected You to be.  who then can be saved?  or better said, Lord, can i even be saved if this is how You ask me to live?

yet just when i am faced with the hard questions that threaten to crush my hopes while they do indeed crush my expectations, i am met with the sweet wind of revelation.  the Spirit breathes on my heart pounding heavy with the fear of God.

He died.  He was crushed.  His blood poured out.  His body writhed in pain.

all for me.

and tears roll down the previously tense cheeks.  my shoulders relax as offense is lifted and replaced with thanksgiving for His mercy.  a sob is choked back in a constricted throat as the Spirit gently pries open my hands to let go of false expectations of Him to be...

just.      like.      me.

i timidly step towards this One who asks of me more than i can give, but gave all that He is and more than He should.  if anyone could ask the impossible from me, if anyone could offend me yet draw forth desire to love, it is Him.

so expectations can change.  letting go of who i thought Him to be and allowing Him to give me all of who He is in reality is so much more powerful than what i have been clinging to so tightly.

for when my hands are finally open to receive, only then can He give me the grace to fully live.

counting gifts...

185 - 199:

185. thriving potato plants!

186. we successfully found a home for the rooster formally known as susan.

187. we adopted a year old hen who is already laying eggs!

188.  "new susan" is getting used to living in our backyard and isn't quite as freaked out as she was when she first arrived.

189.  our first brown egg.

190. the back yard demo mess getting cleaned up more and more and more...

191. our "free" date with a starbucks card i received in the mail from a huggies diaper program.

192. a surprise target card in the mail as a referral gift from our dentist.

193. warm, tasty, filling steel cut oats.

194. a beautiful day at the park for my 3 oldest boys' belated birthday bash.

195. hot hubby who was bbqing 100 hot dogs for the boys and all the friends.

196. hand-me-down clothes that are cute (for me!).

197. words of Jesus in the gospels that challenge, offend, and keep me alive.

198. the realization that He is the only One who has died for me, and so why shouldn't He be able to say such bold things that offend my heart yet challenge me to pursue Him?

199. a quiet afternoon to sit on the couch and blog.

come join the counting to one thousand at a holy experience.  i would love to read your list of thanksgiving as well.  if you are visiting from the link up, leave a comment and let me know!

how has His grace touched your life today?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

simple woman's daybook 5.25.11

for today:

outside my window... the small city i live in is surrounded on three sides by beautiful mountain ranges. awwwwww... i am always blessed with such a beautiful view!

i am thinking... about how huge the mercy of the Lord is and how thankful i am that i receive it when i don't even deserve it.

i am thankful... for all the reminders God is giving me to spend time with Him getting filled up with His love and the knowledge of Him.

remembering... that justice and mercy are not opposites.  God operates in both and it is a beautiful paradox to my naive mind.

from the learning rooms... i feel like i have been learning so much about the small prophetic books in the end of the old testament that i was not all that familiar with before.  i am really enjoying becoming re-familiarized with them.  i have read them before, but not for a long time.  reading unlocking the Bible as a companion to my Bible reading has helped me so much in just getting the context of these little taught on books. 

from the kitchen... i have slowly been building a whole foods pantry.  i have been buying in bulk from azure standard and have amazing gals in town who are willing to split 25 or 33 lbs orders of things like sugar, oats, beans and such with me so that i can get the best prices possible and be able to feed my family stuff that is good for them and cheap.  i have to counter balance all the not good for us treats we have been eating with all the birthday celebrations this month (though i have to say i have really enjoyed them)! 
i am wearing... jean shorts, a sleeveless knit sweater in pretty greens and blues, leather flip flops, hair up in a messy pony tail, and light makeup.

i am creating... gifts (i keep saying that because i keep creating them!).  i even thought of things to make for my husband, brother, and brother-in-law that they actually would use and like!  it has been so fun.

i am going... to house of prayer sets more regularly lately at our house of prayer here (called the watch).  i have really enjoyed just the little couple hours away to focus on the Lord, to refuel my heart in loving Him.  i had really missed not going as regularly!

i am reading... the last few books in the old testament in my Bible reading challenge. i can't believe i am almost all the way through the old testament!  even though i am constantly a couple days behind in my reading plan, i keep sticking with it and not giving up.  it has been so good for me and i have to say the accountability of regularly letting my readers know where i am in this challenge i committed to is so good for me to keep on going.

i am hoping... to have a great time connecting with my husband tonight!  yesterday was his birthday, but we were so busy that we decided to celebrate today instead.

i am hearing... the sounds of a busy home with four busy little boys getting ready for the day.

around the house... let's talk my veggie garden:  my garden is coming along nicely.  i did have a few of my little seedlings die, but it seems that more is making it than isn't, which is a great thing.  i am still a pretty novice gardener. i am trying to grow: tomatoes, potatoes, crookneck squash, zucchini, cantaloupe, bell peppers,  jalapeƱos, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, kale, bunching green onions, mint, basil, thyme, strawberries, blackberries, sunflowers, and various other bee attracting flowers.  did i get it all?  i am hoping to have a great harvest this year. 
one of my favorite things... is crossing things off a list.  i must admit that i frequently lose the lists i make, but when i don't... i find immense pleasure in crossing things off of it.

pondering... how amazing God was to bring my wonderful husband bill scofield into my life.  it was a pretty amazing story.  maybe i should blog on it someday?  he has been such a blessing to my life.  my very best friend.  the way God brought our paths to cross is truly amazing. 

a few plans for the rest of the week: we have a big birthday bash for our 3 oldest of our 4 boys this weekend.  their birthdays are not in may, but i told them if they would wait to celebrate their birthdays until we could have an outside party, i would let them invite any friends they wanted to invite.  so... i made my month of may even busier than it already is!  it is fun though.

picture for the day:
two years ago my dear sister-in-love did a photo shoot in the lovely month of may of me and my dear beloved. (don't you just love my purple hair? i had to do something bold for my 30th birthday.) in honor of his birthday yesterday, i wanted to post a picture of us together.  can't you tell we like each other an awful lot?!

i am linked up with other lovely ladies at the simple woman's daybook.  


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

28 random things about bill

today is the birthday of someone really special to me - my husband.  he is an amazing guy, and if you don't know him you are really missing out.

in honor of his special day, i will tell you just some random facts about this great guy i get to spend my life with.

1. his real name is william.  william robert - named after both his grandpas.  the 5th william in a row.  he actually was going by william when i met him, but a friend in common mentioned his name was bill to me before i met him, so it stuck in my mind.  i still call him william time to time however.

2. he is extremely funny and has a contagious laugh.  i always think it is funny when people think he is all serious because he is one of the goofiest people i know. (ask my sister - she brings it out in him!)

3. he never went to college officially (took a class here and there), but is the most studious person i know besides my dad.  he would have thrived at a university!  he is always studying and always learning something new.

4. he is the best cheese grater, though he would argue it isn't a skill.  he also makes some mean coffee, but that is because he is a professional. 

5. he has balanced out my emotional roller coaster of a personality with his steadiness.  i haven't scared him away yet.

6. the first time we talked on the phone, he called my work by looking up on the internet an old flier of a traveling evangelist that spoke at our church and found the phone number at the bottom of the flier.  this was before our church even had a website (yes, back in those olden days.)  i was working as a secretary at the church.  i just happened to be filling in for the receptionist's lunch break when he called and i was the one who answered the phone.  the second time he called me he rung up a $400 cell phone bill. ouch.

7. if i would have let him, he would have married me a year before he did - which would have been only a few months after we met.. and before we ever lived in the same city.

8. we met in sao paulo, brazil.  people always say it sounds so exotic.  it was. ;)  ok, so it wasn't.

9. he told me he liked me after we had only known each other a week.  i told him he shouldn't have told me that.  somehow that didn't deter him.  some call it stubborn.  others call it romantic.

10. he loves video games.  especially sports video games.  he curbs his video game playing to a couple times a month at my sister and brother-in-law's house because of his great love for me.

11. he cleans the bathroom for me because i hate to clean bathrooms.  talk about real servant-hood. 

12. when i was sad we didn't have a girl, he told me we could have as many kids as i wanted... if i wanted to keep trying forever, he was good with that. (um, yikes!)  when we first talked kids when we were dating, he said he only wanted 3 and i wanted 4 or 5.  now he says, as many as i want.

13. he never ever says, "i told you so," though he really could so often. so often.  we are both oldest children... you would think he would at least be tempted.

14. he is super friendly, but when i met him he was a very quiet, "cave-dweller" type musician.  you would never know it by knowing him now.  now i have to wait for him to wrap up conversations so we can leave places.  i don't know anyone he doesn't like.  and i mean that.

15. he has blue eyes.  when i first came home from brazil i thought he had green eyes like me.  nope.  blue. and three of our four boys have his blue eyes.  deep, stunning, blue eyes.

16. he is the most proficient self-taught guitar player i know.  seriously.  if he wanted to, he could really do something with playing guitar, but instead he has given himself to a life of prayer and ministry.  i heard a rumor that it was said in the musician circles in town that he could be the best jazz guitarist in town... if he practiced.

17. unlike a lot of men, he has an opinion on how we did the decor/design of our home.  and he has good taste.  he is an artist in many ways.

18. he was patient enough to marry a girl like me.  the oldest of six boys, an only boy family, and he married such a girlie emotional girl!!!  i tried to warn him... we had a conversation in my car when he came to visit me about how i have cried almost every single day of my life - and not just because i was sad.  what a patient patient man.

19. he wrote me a song for our wedding.  he wrote me another song for our 1st married valentine's day.  i said i never wanted to marry a musician, but i rather like having songs written for me.

20. he likes anything i cook, bake, prepare, or at least he would never tell me otherwise.  i have never once had him complain about my crazy obsession with "health food."  he is along for any ride this former vegetarian takes him on.

21. he is only 5'6", but has such a great jump he could dunk in high school.  he gets air.  he is super athletic at any sport he plays.

22. if i had to ask anyone in the world advice, it would be him or my dad.  or my mom.  they are actually a lot alike.  they are so full of wisdom and never tell me what i just want to hear, but what i need to hear:  Godly wisdom.  (wow, so i think i must have subconsciously been looking for someone who was like my parents. hmmm...) 

23. he is ridiculously generous.  he once gave a guy the shirt off his back (literally) just because the guy said he liked it.  he challenges me in this area because i am quite a bit more selfish than he.

24. he is such a good dad.  an amazing dad.  he takes time with our kids.  he gets up with them in the middle of the night so i can focus on the nursing baby (always has with whichever were the older ones).  he loves to have a baby to cuddle in our bed.  when i kick them out, he lets them climb back in on his side.  he once even cleaned up a runny poop mess on my grandma's carpet from an accident one of our kids had when he was little and newly potty-trained, and didn't complain - all because that kind of stuff makes me vomit.  he is a-ma-zing.  that alone could win my love forever.

25. he is a missionary kid.  he isn't your typical american - he actually doesn't even identify himself as an american.  he thinks differently.  his way of thinking challenge this california girl all the time.  i like it.

26. he likes to smirk.  it is his trademark smile.  unless i threaten to tickle him.  he is extremely ticklish.  i, however, am not.  i know, it isn't fair.

26. he loves me.  he really really loves me more than i can even handle sometimes. (wink, wink.)  i remember watching regarding henry before i ever met him and thought, "how sad!" that henry wasn't publicly affectionate with his wife before his accident.  i will never have that thought about my husband.  he is the most affectionate person with kisses and "i love you's" i have ever met.  we have almost been married 10 years and he is just the same as when we were newly dating.  my boys come by their extreme affection rather naturally.

27. he speaks spanish as well as he speaks english.  there are some words he only knows in spanish and i used to crack up about this when we first met.  no one ever expects that from an irish red-skinned, blue eyed, freckled guy.

28. did i say he makes me laugh?  what a goof!

happy birthday to the most amazing guy ever.  i am so blessed to be your wife and the witness to your life.

cutest kid picture ever. period.

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