Wednesday, May 30, 2012

it's time to get really really real

it's time to get really really real right now.  buckle your seat belts.

i am acutely aware right now of my own humanity.  frailty.  brokenness.

a friend told me to listen to one of my favorite songs tonight while reading her blog and i encourage you to do the same reading mine. 

things have been happening.  nothing extremely devastating.  oh believe me i have had those times.  everything, however, has been somewhat life altering. 

and i have had this stress, this anxiety, in my shoulders like a burden across my back that i had to carry.  the weight of the world, if you will.  my little world.

i am no super mom.  having 5 kids is hard.  it is exhausting.

- having 1 kid is exhausting.  let's all be honest about that one. - 

but i am exhausted... near tears and yet too tired to cry.  it isn't the kids who are wearing on me.  sure they have their own rough moments.  it is just all this tiredness and the little things that happen on top of it.

for example...

 a chicken falling over dead in her sleep and finding her in the yard.  no explanation. 

tires that won't wear evenly and spending 7 hours last week over multiple days in car repair shop waiting rooms. 

my computer dying and being left wondering how i lived organized without using my computer - i feel paralyzed in the simple tasks of managing my own home (or blogging for that matter). 

i know that simply reading my blog can skew your perspective of me as a normal human full of frailty and brokenness.  let me shatter that image right now and let you know that i am having a hard time just like you are having or have had yourself.  i find myself crying out to the Lord, why am i so shaken? 

the song popped into my head today on Christ the solid rock i stand, all other ground is sinking sand and i realized:  if i am feeling so shaken by so much these days, might i have some sand still in my foundation when i had hoped was only built on Him? 

...and tears fill my eyes at the revelation of my own fallenness.

it is the Holy Spirit's mercy to reveal this to me, but pains my heart to see it so.  i build upon the Rock, and yet somewhere i started trusting in other things as well and when those things shifted my trust got shaky. 

at some point while i was trusting Him to be my Lord and Savior, i started wanting to take the reigns of my life and felt the pressure to save myself.

...and i am not a very good savior.

once again i am crying out for the grace to lean upon my Beloved.  it isn't that these fairly normal life circumstances caused the turmoil in my soul.  the turmoil has always been there lying undisturbed and hidden from even me.  the circumstances just give me an opportunity to see what was already in my heart and be able to cry out for Him to be my Everything.

there are no super christians.  no matter what you think of the amazing preacher, the encouraging blogger, or the "super mom" who seems to have it all together, the truth of the matter is we are all weak and all in need of the One who remains the same when everything else is shaken.

be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  

the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  but i rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.  not that i speak from want, for i have learned to be content in whatever circumstances i am.  

i know how to get along with humble means, and i also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance i have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  

i can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  philippians 4:6-13

i need the peace of God to guard my heart and my mind.  right now.  i pray this peace also guards you as well and that He is the firm foundation on which your house is built.  let Him deal with the faults in our foundations now so that we will stand firm in the shaking to come.  He is faithful to use these present trials to refine us, shape us, and draw us to Himself.


Friday, May 18, 2012

it's all about perspective

word for the day:  perspective


i went into the tire store just to get a simple rotation.  in and out in 15 minutes right?  turns out i need two new tires.  again.  a fresh alignment.  again.  4th alignment in the 2 years we have owned the van and tires # 7 and 8 that we have purchased in the same amount of time.  something is off and i am not sure what.

they tell me that it is uneven wear.  the inside edges of the tires are wearing too fast and getting bald while the outside edges are fine.  it has been the same problem of inside wear since we bought this car and no one knows how to stop the reoccurring problem. 

i feel myself quite like the tires.  i am getting worn and weary from uneven wear.  taking my kids on a simple errand to target i am on edge, barking orders to them of what not to do.  finishing the daily routines i have angst rise up and grumbling escape my lips in a whisper.  mustering up all the self-control i can i try to silence the gateway before hurtful words escape that cannot fully be undone by i'm sorry.

i am off.  uneven wear.  the inside is growing bald while the outside looks pretty much the same.  simple trials of life - car repairs, broken garbage disposals, dying computers... all seem to pile on the pressure and try the health of my soul.  

and i open to the book of acts and read of paul and silas beaten and thrown in prison - it was at midnight that they sang.  after mistreatment and pain and life just not going right they sang praises to their God.

what is the remedy for uneven wear, for the inner edges going bald too quickly - the barrenness in my own soul that i am too keenly aware of at the present moment?  sing.

sing and be realigned with truth.


photo credit

want to join in?  it is easy.

5 minute friday rules:
1. write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. back here and invite others to join in.
3. please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them.

as always,  i love to hear from you in the comments! 


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

raising lovers of Jesus in the midst of the chaos

have you ever felt overwhelmed by all the world tells us we need to do to raise our kids to be successful well-adjusted members of society?

well, first there is the private school... or if you can't foot the bill then the must of homeschooling.

then there is the college savings account... in our case times that one by 5!  ouch!

don't forget the team sports that take up several nights a week, maybe all night if you have different kids on different teams, and most weekends.

...oh and music lessons.  or art classes.  or drama auditions.

they need that latest and greatest piece of technology... you know, the device that will take average to genius?

remember as well to make them cultured by traveling and experiencing the world around them: visiting art museums and libraries, seeing a ballet, camping, fishing, going to other countries...

and then there is the healthy, whole foods, organic eating at home - you don't want to mess up those young minds or bodies with all the additives in the standard american diet.

the problem is, though none of these are bad in and of themselves, the pressure gets so great and the schedules so full that life becomes more like chaos.  it may be organized chaos, but it is chaos still.

it becomes a distraction of what is of greatest importance - raising lovers of Jesus.

the question we are often left with is, "when do we have time to teach them to love God?  how do we even start in the pursuit of producing lovers of Jesus?"

i am sharing today at 5 minutes for faith on this very issue.  i would love you to drop by and add your thoughts and experiences in the comments over there. 

click here to read more!  hope you can visit me there!


photo credit

Sunday, May 13, 2012

she is...

she is beautiful.  she is kind.  she is creative beyond imagination.

one of my most vivid childhood memories is her example of worshiping God.  i remember going to worship practices with her and playing in the back of the church while she worshiped God practicing with the team.  at home she would often turn on a worship tape (yes, back in the days when we listened to cassette tapes) and would sing and dance in the middle of the room.  she took piano lessons as an adult so that she could write her own songs to the Lord on the piano and worship in our living room.  she engrained in me the importance of taking time to worship God at home, not just in the larger gathering of believers. (though she has led worship in both)

she seemed to have a mini crisis with the idea becoming a grandma, but as soon as my oldest son was set to arrive she was fully engaged with the new life that was coming.  now, 11 grandkids later, she is known to crawl around on the floor playing hide and seek, take out all her percussion instruments letting them play loudly to their hearts' content while having family worship time, and always has one of the many by her side giving her cuddles.  she is engaged in these little lives and will influence them in a way that only a grandparent (or nonnie in her case) can - they will hear words from her that they may not receive as warmly from mommy and daddy and they will open up their tender hearts to her.

she set a godly example of what it meant to be a faithful loving wife.  i remember a conversation with her in my teenage years about how once a girl gets married her husband is to be her closest male friend.  she strongly believed and encouraged friends, rather than committed relationships, with the opposite sex while we were too young to get married.  but she warned that close friendships with the opposite sex were for before marriage and not to give close confidence to other men after marriage that was meant for your husband.  she married her best friend and encouraged each of us to do the same.  i took this all to heart.  she showed me that marriage is for life, not for when it is convenient, and the example she and my dad have given about faithfulness and covenant has been a gift beyond what she may ever fully know. 

like a broken record she hammered forgiveness into us as we grew up.  she told me the most important thing i will ever learn is how to forgive.  she didn't have an inflated view of herself, but in humility told us that we would someday have to forgive even her, though she always tried to give us the best she could and knew how.  as i raise my own kids, i remember that i will not be perfect, though i really desire to be good.  i remember her example to humble myself to my own kids and admit my imperfections.  i work to pass on the high value for forgiveness - the greatest gift Jesus gives us and the most important gift we give to others and to ourselves.

in a hard stretch of time between me and my siblings, when i was much too consumed with friends and not kind enough to the ones God had chosen for my family, she reminded me again and again that my siblings would be my best friends when i grew up.  she was right.  i am thankful that she had vision to see what God would do in our relationships when i could not see.  i too tell my boys to remember that friends will come and go, but their brothers will be there forever as their best friends.

she has modeled generosity and servanthood again and again and again.  putting her own needs aside, she has given and loved in the most real practical way those around her who are hurting or in need.  she has become the armor bearer to those who are in enormous personal battles.  she is compassionate, wise, and kind - an amazing support when support is what is needed most.  she is a friend when it is most important to be a friend.

she has so much deep inside of her that is so beautiful, waiting to come out.  she isn't ambitious to make herself known, but happy to serve the Lord wherever He places her.  she has shown me that it is right to trust the Lord to open the doors and show what He has for me right now... that we love and worship the Lord in whatever He has put before us for this season of life.

she is my mama.

i am incredibly blessed to be her daughter. 


1000 Moms Project

Friday, May 11, 2012

the number 1 distraction to knowing God

word for the day: identity


we are all so consumed these days with finding out who we are.  it is supposed to be empowering, but i think many times, if not most times, it is both distracting and debilitating.

"who am i? what should i be?  what is my calling?  my passion?  my dream?"

we get so wrapped up in self-discovery that we lose sight of what is supposed to be our main focus:

knowing Him.

st. augustine said,  
love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.

the apostle paul said, 
with good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. ephesians 6:7-8

all this search for identity and significance is distracting from our pursuit of the knowledge of God... it doesn't matter what we do, as long as we do it as an act of worship to the Lover of our soul. 

sure it sounds great to know who we are and be living the dream, but in reality if we use more time in pursuit of knowing ourselves rather than time getting to know Him, it is merely a distraction from the only thing that matters in the end:

loving Jesus.


want to join in?  it is easy.

5 minute friday rules:
1. write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. back here and invite others to join in.
3. please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them.

as always,  i love to hear from you.


Monday, May 7, 2012

15 things that i love

in honor of the day of my birth, i want to share with you a few of my favorite things.  though not an all inclusive list, these are some things i truly do love (not necessarily in any order, though the hubby does get the top billing that he is due).

1. my wonderful hubby bill.  yes, i think we were wiping my kiss off, or was it my lip gloss?  regardless, my purple hair rocked and so does my husband of ten years.

above two pictures by myriah grubbs photography
2. baby feet.  i love them.  like, maybe way too much.  maybe that is why i keep having babies. (wink, wink)

3. the ocean.  pretty much any body of water will do something inside this heart of mine, but there is something extra special about the ocean.

4. this lovely instrument called a piano.  my mom made me take lessons when i was a kid, through me liking it then not liking it, practicing then not practicing, wanting to quit then so thankful that i didn't!!! (thank you mommy!!)  these beautiful ivories are my connecting place with the Lord more often than not.

5. the Word - and i love that i have a bible that is in english and spanish... and that it was a gift from my husband when i first met him. 

6. baby lips.  kissable. loveable. eatable. baby. lips.  tell me you can't resist either.

7. homegrown tomatoes.  my homegrown tomatoes.  i love gardening and eating from the garden.

8. knitting.  there is something soothing in the rhythm.  i also always remember that when i read a tale of two cities my sophomore year of high school i decided i wanted to knit.  it was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

9. singing.  writing music.  recording my music.  someday i will record a cd of my music for you to enjoy.

10. tulips.  my favorite flower.  then comes roses and calla lilies as close seconds.  but there is just something about a tulip that gets me every time.

11. fireworks!  i love the crash.  i love the lights.  i love the glitter falling from the sky.  i hoped simeon, who was due in july, would be born on the 4th so i could tell him that the fireworks were for his birthday every year.  he waited and was both the 16th.  oh well!  but... he did start walking on the 4th of july.  i told him the fireworks were in honor of him walking.  we will go with it til he is too old to believe me.  aw, beautiful fireworks!

12. creating.  i have had so much fun finding a new creative side of me that i didn't know i had... i have always been a musician.  i have been an actress.  i have been a writer.  i have been a painter.  i have been a cook (an artist in the kitchen you may say since i can't follow a recipe but have to make it my own and create as i go).  but to create with my hands and a bit of yarn?  well, this is still fairly new to me and i am loving it.

13. did i mention that i love baby feet?  aw, the love is welling up inside right now.

above picture by myriah grubbs photography

14. i love blogging.  i love my readers - those who comment and those who just read that i may never know. 

15. much much more!  i love my family, my kiddos (all 5 of these boys!), my church community, my Savior, and all that God gives me every single day.  i am incredibly blessed and celebrate another year of knowing the goodness of God.  there is so much to be thankful for!

still counting gifts to 1000...

629 - 653:

629. fun new colorful yarn to make a gift for a friend.

630. tandem nursing going well.

631. hubby working hard to clean the tons of pollen from our roof, driveway, yard, and street - it looked like tumble weeds.

632. wednesday night date nights with or without a babysitter... kids in bed and blackberry cobbler in the oven.

633. the bad dream was only a dream and not real life.

634. the opportunity to use a very broken area of my life to encourage a friend who is struggling.

635. fresh squeezed orange juice.

636. time to celebrate my siblings birthdays.

637. learning psalm 5 as a family and getting to teach the boys the old chorus that is the 1st couple verses.

638. brightly colored flowers blooming on the front porch.

639. a freshly mowed lawn.

640. the hens started laying eggs again after mourning their lost sister.

641. reading the book of acts and having the stories come alive.

642. listening to my little ones go to sleep listening to the book of the revelation of Jesus on cd.

643. God's provision for us.

644. clean water to drink whenever i want.

645. cuddles with my simeon.

646. a kitchen to create in.

647. the pinched nerve in my shoulder is finally loose.  feels so much better.

648. cute new baby clothes - feels like i am dressing up a baby doll.

649. a garden in a pot - a thoughtful gift from a gardening friend who knew i haven't had time to plant my garden this year.

650. more meals brought by friends and leftovers for lunches.

651. another year and more thankful than ever before.

652. bbq at the lake with family.

653. grace to memorize the Word.

i am linked up at a holy experience.

if you have a blog, let me know if you have a list of your grace gifts so i can visit!  if you don't, write something you are thankful for in the comment section.  i love hearing from you!

if you haven't liked this facebook page, you can to the upper right of this post.  i would love to keep in better touch with you!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

first things first

in the morning, o Lord, You will hear my voice; 
in the morning i will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. psalm 5:3

often i spend my time with the Lord in the afternoon while the kids nap or in the evening after they are in bed.  but i have been memorizing psalms 5 with my family and i am reminded once again the value of meeting with the Lord, even if it isn't for a long extended period of time, first thing in the morning. 

first thing in the morning to talk with Him in prayer... 

first thing in the morning to greet Him with my voice...

first thing in the morning...

... and then watch for Him to be active in my life throughout the whole day.

- eager expectation of God to show Himself real to me, close to me, intimate with me -

i think king david knew what he was talking about.

i am linking up with barbie this week for fresh brewed sundays.

do you like this post?  consider subscribing to this blog and/or liking our facebook page to stay connected.

i would love to hear from you in the comments below!


Friday, May 4, 2012

mostly human

word for the day: real


my head hurts from allergies.  i didn't sleep well last night due to a sweet nursing baby.  i look around a messy dirty living room and feel overwhelmed.

everything inside of me feels ready to scream.  i easily can blame the angst on my circumstances.  if only...

if only i didn't have a headache.  if only i had a full night sleep and was well rested.  if only i had a clean house.

then i would feel different inside.  right?

it is so easy to blame the circumstances.  in the ideal world, i would always feel right, always think right, always respond right.

but what if this way i am swirling inside is how i really am?

what if my ideal self in the ideal circumstances isn't reality, but the brokenness i experience when all the props are taken away is what is real?

what a sobering thought. 

no wonder i need to lean on my Beloved. 

for if it was all up to me and the strength, or lack of it, inside i would not be a fun person to be around.  most. of. the. time.

the world wants to tell us we are mostly together, mostly great people, most of the time.

what is reality is we are mostly broken, mostly selfish, mostly human all of the time.

and we have a big blaring need for Him to encounter our broken hearts every day.


want to join in?  it is easy.

5 minute friday rules:
1. write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. back and invite others to join in.
3. please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them.

as always,  i love to hear from you.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

simple woman's daybook 5.3.12

for today:

outside my window... the sky is gray and the wind is blowing the new green leaves on the tree and the last of the pollen is falling to the ground.

i am thinking... about all the mess in my house!  with a new baby and 4 other kiddos, things get messy very quickly.

i am thankful... for my new little hosea justus.  he is such a sweet little baby and is fitting into our family so nicely.

remembering... to give thanks for all the Lord has given and is giving me.  i want to live from a thankful heart.

from the learning rooms... right now we are working with david (4 years old) on learning the very basics of reading 3 letter short vowel words.  he wants to read so badly and is ready already knowing all his letters and sounds.  bill found a great little game on his ipad for david to play that practices blending 3 letter words... i think we will have a 3rd amazing reader in no time.

from the kitchen... we have been incredibly blessed by friends and family bringing us meals to help the adjustment to the new baby in the family.  our refrigerator is full of leftovers that i have been eating for lunches quite happily.  i am simmering on the stove a stock pot of new chicken stock getting ready to fill the freezer so it will last hopefully through a good chunk of the summer.  we are still enjoying our csa produce boxes and finding ways to get lots of veggies into our diets.  i love trying veggies i wouldn't normally buy in the produce aisle and experimenting with new recipes.
i am wearing... a long sleeved black shirt and jeans.  it is supposed to rain today and be in the mid-sixties.

i am creating... the cutest baby legs for a gift.  i made some for hosea that are very boyish and i love putting them on him with a onesie - makes for easy diaper changes.  i am thinking about listing some in my etsy store.  would you be interested if i did?

i am going... to an appointment with my midwife today.  seems a bit early for an appointment to me, but i guess she likes to do 2 postpardum appointments.

i am reading... a book called poised for harvest, braced for backlash by timothy miller.  great book so far that is sort of an autobiography of his overseas missions and sort of a teaching book on what is the gospel.  

i am hoping... to settle into life routines again soon.  the transition with a new baby always adds so much and subtracts energy!

i am hearing... hosea's cute little sounds.

around the house... is a bit of a mess.  okay, so it is more than a bit!  i am glad you can't see through the computer screen into this room!
one of my favorite things... is a new baby.  i love their sounds, cuddles, newness... hosea is so fun right now!

pondering... how to grow in perseverance in prayer.

a few plans for the rest of the week: we are going to the lake on saturday to celebrate my birthday (a bit early) with my family.  it is supposed to be a beautiful day and i kinda have a lake bbq birthday tradition.

picture for the day:

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

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