Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Knowing God: A How Not To

Last night, a girl I really don't know well at all told me that she envies the way I know God.

I laughed.

I was at a meeting called Celebrate Recovery!--it's like AA for everything--life's hurts, habits, and hang-ups. I think this is why I laughed. Here I am, obviously a "beggar at the door of God's mercy," and she envies ME. I was flat-out humbled. And realized even more how great God is.

She went on to say, "I've been a Christian for a long time, but I don't feel like I have that kind of relationship with God the way you do. I want to know what I need to do to get there."

I replied, "Well, I'm sorry to say, but there is nothing you can do to get there."

I went on to explain that God's work of grace in my life has been a long road. My journey to "get there" is not complete. I've been blessed by experiences with Him, grace extended to me in my darkest moments, and just loved on by His people. My journey into a deeper relationship with God goes far beyond a list of things to do. In fact, I can't take any credit for the journey. I believe He has orchestrated all of it. If anything on my part, there was a desire to know Him more. He has been faithful to grant that.

"Even you just asking me about this tonight is part of YOUR journey. You will look back someday and remember that this was part of it," I told her.

I tried to explain that there were a couple of really great books that have shaped and blessed me over the years. I wrote down the titles* and gave them to her. I told her to call me if she wanted to chat some more. I hope she does.

I think she wanted a formula. The "me" from just a few years back would have wanted one too. Perhaps, she wanted me to say, "If you just read your Bible more, pray more, be faithful to church, and stop sinning, THEN you can know Him more deeply." A lot of churches teach this heresy. The path to knowing God is not about disciplining yourself into what you believe is obedience. It's about letting Him reveal Himself to you in a myriad of ways--yes, His Word is one way, but so are His people and His very voice in your spirit, speaking His truth to you and over you.

There is NO formula.

In the kingdom of heaven, a+b≠c. Everything is a paradox--you die to live, you lose to win, the first is last, you give to those who take from you.

There is NO formula.

I'll end with this quote I read on Facebook yesterday. It totally sums up how I feel about my walk with God--knowing Him, letting Him love me, and being able to love Him back:

I used to think that what God wanted for me to do was try harder, get
more committed, deny myself and keep my sin under control and then I
would begin to see change. But I am learning that the fight in the
Christian life is the fight of faith...to believe the Gospel of grace
...(that God in Christ has forgiven you of all your debt with Him and that He has given you all His 'rightness') really is true. -Tom Wood

I repeat, there is NO formula.

*The titles I recommended are The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning which was a catalyst in my journey of grace. In my journey of understanding God's love, He Loves Me! by Wayne Jacobsen takes the cake.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Rundown (no, not that horrible movie with The Rock)

I wish I had something amazing and exciting to talk about.

I don't.


So, I guess you just get a rundown of what I did last week.
  • I cooked.
  • I cleaned.
  • Dave cleaned my floors, and I feel like our house is sparkling.
  • I reorganized my craft shelf and got rid of a bunch of fabric.
  • I made a skirt for Maryn.
  • I finished a sweater for my friend Nicole's son, Calvin.
  • I repaired two stuffed animals.
  • I took my kids to the park twice.
  • I played miniature golf, and my son almost beat me (he got two holes-in-one).
  • I got to see my good friend, Elizabeth, on Saturday for a couple of hours.
  • We had Nicole's family over for supper and s'mores last night. Though, our smores had to be made in the toaster oven because it started raining during dinner, and we have an electric stove and a capped fireplace. They were still good.
  • When I cleaned out the craft shelf, I discovered a few unfinished projects. I'm working on an afghan as a gift, and that darned old advent calendar is STILL waiting for me. My friend's mom gave me hers to use as a pattern, so I'm starting from scratch with that. Forget the old one. There is also a pile of bibs waiting to be sewn. I may or may not get to those this century.
  • We got doughnuts for snacks one day.
All in all, it was a pretty fun week. Dave and I are finishing up Season 5 of Lost this week. We have the season finale, and then we can move on to Season 6. I'm ready to be done!!! I have enjoyed the story immensely, but I'm ready to have some closure.

I believe it is time for me to do mundane chores. I hope your day is blessed and filled with lots of laughter.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Little Light House: Vote NOW!

Please click below on the widget to go vote for The Little Light House in Tulsa, OK. It is a great school for kids with special needs. My friend's little boy, Elliot, is a student there, and this school has been such a blessing for their family. He has learned so much while he is there. Here is a link to read about Elliot Bennett.

The Little Light House does not receive ANY government funding. They rely solely on donations and are non-profit.

You can vote 5 times for The Little Lighthouse--they can win $500,000!!! This would be a huge blessing for them. This is not a scam, and you won't regret it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Homeschooling Progress: 7 Weeks Down

Sam is doing really well with homeschooling. He is so smart (which I knew because I'm his mom, and of course, I am biased!). No really, though, I am so impressed with God's design of the brain. Sam is soaking up so much in a short period of time. Because I did the Beginning Reading from Hooked on Phonics with him prior to starting school, the entire first semester of his phonics curriculum has been review (with the exception of a couple of lessons on sentences).

Sam finished that first semester of phonics LAST week. We reviewed what was necessary and flew through the rest. We are finally slowing down now that we have made it to long vowels. I would be thrilled if he finishes the phonics curriculum by Christmas (or before the boys arrive, whichever comes first), and then he can just READ, READ, READ!!!

As for math, we aren't going quite as fast, but it has been really neat to see him learn. I am discovering what is hard for him and easy for him. I am also discovering what kind of approach I prefer. He loves real-life application. He's not content counting manipulatives (though he does), he really wants to do something that is REAL. We have made toast together, used the computer together, and I've noticed how much more quickly he learns by doing. It is so neat to see him in this new light.

Handwriting is fine--he does fine on his worksheets, but he forgets to apply what he's learned while drawing for fun. I suppose it will translate eventually. Other people experience this? We're doing Handwriting Without Tears, if you didn't know.

He has memorized seven verses so far! I am so encouraged. I am re-memorizing them with him. One day, I noticed Maryn was learning them too, just by listening to Sam recite them. So great!

Maryn is almost finished with the Beginning Reading Hooked on Phonics. I ordered some books for her to give her something to do for awhile. I got the Bob Books and the Now I'm Reading books. She has shocked me with how quickly she has picked up reading. She is not as proficient as Sam yet, but she will be in no time, I'm sure. I wanted to get him really comfortable with long vowels before I go any further with her. I am not ready for her to catch up with him yet!

I am really amazed and encouraged by my experience so far. My kids are learning so much in an hour a day. I am thankful for this opportunity. I am loving my time with them, watching them grow and learning more about who they are. They are a joy and a blessing.

By the way, Lucy will watch a Backyardigans Sing-A-Long DVD, and that has helped immensely! I've also found that snacks help keep her occupied as well!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Twice is Nice

We have had yet another ultrasound and an appointment, and we are having two boys, for certain!

They are very cute. I get more and more excited about meeting them and seeing their personalities up close and personal. They are growing well, and I am healthy. What a gift!

My oldest two children are very excited about having two baby "brudders". My dad has come up with several silly name combos for the boys as well--Phineas and Ferb, Thaddeus and Thor, Cash and Dash. Not gonna happen! :)

We are a bit stuck on names. We don't want anything that rhymes, and we want to have very meaningful names. It is hard to find two names that work well together and with our other children. And then there are middle names to consider! It is too much! I mentally go through my children's list of names to see how it would sound, "Sam, Maryn, Lucy, ______________, and _____________." I also have found a name or two that I liked, but I just didn't like the potential nicknames. We shall see, and I believe it will be a matter of prayer! I am sure there are names for these boys!

Just not Jacob and Esau....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Last Trip (for awhile)

We made our last trip of my pregnancy this past week. I am to the point already (at 18 weeks) where riding in the van for extended periods of time is very uncomfortable. Some of our good friends from residency were in Tulsa because of a death in their family. We wanted to be sure to see them while they were in town because it has been a year since we saw them last, and we won't see them for another year and a half or so. They are missionaries in Kenya, and it was GREAT to see them and their children. It is so surreal sometimes to think about them being overseas; someday, I will feel that way about us being overseas!

We were able to visit with a lot of people, but there were still so many that we didn't get to see! It's so hard to not be able to see EVERYONE. But, I trust we saw those that we needed to see this trip. We were so blessed by our hostess, Jan, and by the many families who cooked for us. We are so thankful for the time people made in their schedules for us.

The kids got to swim several times and had a blast. They love going to Tulsa. They always hate to leave. :)

Now that we're back home, we are prepared to settle in and stay put. The babies are coming in Dec/Jan, and I have a feeling it will be months before we're brave enough to attempt a road trip with 5 children (2 of them babies!). So, here's to being a homebody and being content!

So, if you miss us, come visit! :)

I have an ultrasound today as well as my doctor's appt. I am looking forward to seeing the boys (I will be surprised if Baby A is a girl. Very surprised.) I will certainly let you know if it changes!

I must move on with my day. I have too much to do to sit here any longer!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I'm considering joining in the consignment sale coming up in our area. I thought it might be a good way to make some money to put toward buying the twins some clothes. However, I'm not sure I think my time is worth it??? I don't know.

I want to know what you think about consigning.

Did you feel it was worth it?

Did you like being able to shop early and get good deals?

Should I only put out fall clothes since we're coming into the fall season or should I put out summer stuff too?

What were the positives/negatives?

Did you iron any clothing?

Any tips?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


That's what my house is right now. I asked Dave to please take all the children to the store to buy some ice cream so I can be alone for a little while. It has been a rough couple of days. We had new windows installed in our house, and so there was a lot of togetherness for me and the kids. They are used to being able to play all over the house, and I had to keep them out of the workmen's ways and away from the glass.

I am tired!

The windows look great, and I am so thankful to have them. I hope our bills change drastically, and I hope our house can maintain a more consistent temperature.

I am thankful for the quiet now. No one is yelling; no one is crying. Not even me. :)

So, I think I will go enjoy myself for a few more minutes before I eat my ice cream.