Monday, December 7, 2009

Be careful what you ask for . . . .

Earlier today I handed Sarah Elizabeth a bag of small plastic cups and asked her to refill the container in her bathroom. She took me very seriously!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rest for your souls . . .

There are plenty of days that I find myself growing weary. I allow myself to become burdened by the weight of responsibility that I carry (though I know that my husband carries so much more than I.) The tasks to be done seem endless: Healthy meals to prepare, caring for a sick child, providing a strong education for my children that fosters a love of learning, keeping my home in such a way that it is a place that is welcoming to others and my family, keeping up with laundry for six people (and the ironing to go with it!), preparing to teach Sunday School in a way that I can faithfully present the truths of God's Word, all the "big" household projects that need to be taken care of (such as painting the house both inside and out), constantly cleaning out and decluttering, running errands, paying bills and balancing the budget, trying to get my children where they need to be both on time and fully prepared, needing to exercise, keeping up with correspondence, emails and knowing that I haven't posted on this blog in months . . . Plus the immensely greater need to love my family, love others, and love God in a way that brings ultimate glory to Him. There is no way that I can possibly do it all!

But that is exactly where the Lord wants me to be. Realizing that I can't possibly do everything that is set before me completely on my own.

This morning when I sat down to pray and read my Bible, all the myriads of things that I needed to accomplish today flooded my mind. As I sought the Lord, He immediately brought to mind Matthew 11:28-30, " Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Though the yoke that I find myself bearing is not necessarily one of religious legalism, it is a legalism of expectations that I place on myself to "do it all" - and to do those things "perfectly." I find myself like Christian at the beginning of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress with a burden that is impossible to carry, stumbling under its weight.

I must continually come to the Lord, seeking to be discipled by Him, digging in His Word and being fed for the day, taking up the Sword of the Spirit to fight the daily battles presented to me, and putting on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control - all this in His power and by His grace alone. It is not something that I can do myself (just like everything else in life!) I must continually confess that I cannot "do it all", nor can I adequately even do a little bit. I was never intended to. I can however, trust the Holy Spirit to guide me and teach me, trust Christ to intercede on my behalf as my Savior and Redeemer, and trust God the Father to see me as the righteousness of Christ (when I, in myself, hold no righteousness at all.)

I am seeking rest for my soul, for I have been laboring fruitlessly and heavy-laden with all the world places on my shoulders. I am taking His easy yoke and light burden upon me and seeking with all my heart to learn from the One who has saved my soul and is the only One who can reach to the very depths of it and conform my heart to be more like His.

So, will all the tasks on my list be completed today? Nope - and that's okay. Instead, I will seek to be faithful to what He has called me to do this day. To love and to live in a way that brings ultimate glory to Him. Knowing that is my main responsibility truly is weight lifted. The things that need to be done will be done in their proper time. The things that are not crucial probably won't be for some while - or possibly not at all. Who knows when pictures will actually be posted here, even though I now have a working computer? I'm okay with that. For now, I am seeking rest for my soul. Won't you set aside your burden and join me?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Abigail Grace and the Purple Cast

We have had several significant events in the past few weeks around here! One in particular was worth pulling out the tired, old computer and seeing if it would work long enough to get a blog post in . . . We are currently saving money to purchase a new one that will work more consistently. What a blessing that will be!

On Monday, July 6th, before lunch the kids were playing in the den and having a great time. One of them bumped into another and a chain reaction occurred which resulted in Abigail Grace being on the bottom of a pile of little people. Of course, that wouldn't feel wonderful to anyone - no matter how big or small the people on top of you were! She didn't appreciate the experience much, but was quickly consoled and went on playing, eating and napping during the early afternoon.

Every once in a while, however, she would grimace and fuss, which is unlike her. I gently poked and squeezed on her, trying to determine what was bothering her. Was it her new teeth coming in on top? Were the peas that she had eaten for the first time disturbing her belly? Then she pulled up to stand and it brought quite the response. After more messing with that sweet baby girl, there was definitely a difference in her reaction when I put pressure on the bottom of her right foot versus the left one. I decided to see if she would stand up again and she was not a fan of that idea . . . .

All of this seemed strangely familiar to the way my friend's son had responded when he had broken his leg as an infant. Time to make a phone call to my precious friend, Jen, and see if I was remembering correctly. The stories did sound quite similar, but Abigail's leg couldn't be broken, right?

Once we got to the Urgent Care Clinic, Dr. Brown sent us around to get x-rays when she once again wouldn't stand up and put weight on her right leg. When I got back there a friend from church was the one who took the x-rays. We had never had a broken bone with any of our kids and here I was getting x-rays of my 10 month old's leg! I thought I was going to burst into tears! Abigail was a trooper and did great the whole time, even though all of this was taking place right in the middle of her naptime. What a sweet baby girl!

Contrary to the radiologist's reading of her x-rays as normal, Dr. Brown was quite certain that there was indeed a fracture. He conferred with the orthopaedic doctor that was on-call and they agreed that there was a clear tibial fracture on her right leg above her ankle. So thankful that he was faithful to follow through and take care of my baby girl!

They molded a splint around her lower leg and wrapped it up with an ace bandage until we went to see Dr. Southworth the next morning.

When we got to his office, Abigail enjoyed a nice banana for breakfast and played until he reviewed the x-rays with us and had her little purple cast put on. He said that this is actually a common injury, was nothing to be worried about, and that it should completely heal within 2-3 weeks. The bone was not displaced and didn't need to be set - a "perfect" break. If you can believe it, we were actually in and out of his office in about 30-40 minutes, cast and all!

You can pray for speedy healing, of course, but also that she sleeps well at night. She has been waking up more often than usual. I am certain that when she turns over she is wondering what this rock is that is attached to her leg!

Regardless, Abigail has been wonderful, as always. She is still so happy - smiling, laughing and playing. She is still exploring everything around her and loves to play with her big brother and big sisters. She just doesn't like how it feels if she starts to stand up or puts pressure on the bottom of her right foot. There are a lot of little eyes around here that are watching her and making sure she doesn't do anything that will cause her pain :)

So, Abigail Grace has on a purple cast.
Maybe this one will be the last . . .
That would be great,
but with 3 other siblings we will have to wait
and see what the verdict will be!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

And That's Homeschool . . .

Okay, has it really been over a month since I have posted anything? I am pitiful, I know! There have been multiple things that I have wanted to blog about, but we have been getting our house in order and living life (instead of writing about it). Plus, life does have the tendency to get a little bit busy at times :)

Throughout our time on the road and in Colorado and Texas I was constantly pointing out different things, asking questions and talking about all the neat things that we were able to see and experience. Though I am a relative newbie to the ranks, that is just life as a homeschooler! Now, I must admit that I would most likely be that way anyway, but I think those tendencies are intensified in this homeschooling family!

We have been learning about cooperation and studying the 50 States this semester and what a grand opportunity it was to drive across part of the country and see those those wonderful things that we have been studying! It was great!

Throughout the week, however, my sister-in-law, Bree, was cracking up. Let me share with you an example of what she found so humorous. We had just studied Hawaii and Alaska before we left on our journey. While in Colorado Springs we ate at a Hawaiian restaurant. So cool! We got to see and feel what a surfboard was like and talk about why they were made that way, eat the native cuisine and look at all kinds of pictures from Hawaii that were all over the restaurant. Yes!! I looked over at Bree and said, "That's homeschool!"

Apparently, I was saying that a lot because it quickly became the tag line of the week. We would go somewhere or do something and at some point during the excursion it had to be said, "That's homeschool!"

Is that all there is to homeschool? Certainly not! Those things are just a huge bonus. It is where things are reinforced and come together. It is teaching them throughout every day. What a blessing to know exactly what my children have been studying and be able to follow up with them in tangible ways that they can really understand what we have been talking about!

Earlier today as I sat in a pile of little people diligently working on school and loving it, I had to admit that I stopped and relished the moment for a bit. How incredible to see all of them with huge smiles on their faces digging in and learning something new. Homeschooling definitely can be a lot of work, but the rewards are indescribable.

Today at lunch, Jason asked each of the kids to name one thing about Mommy that they were thankful for. Each one of them (individually) said that they were thankful that I helped them/worked with them on "their school". What an encouragement!

Being able to see my kids apply what they are learning is always another big encouragement to me. Earlier today Joshua was finishing up learning about words that begin with the letter "r". When he got out of the bathtub this evening, he ran into the den and said, "Mama! Look! The letter r!" Obviously, that letter made a big impact on him if he was able to see it formed by his hair after he had dried off :) That's homeschool!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Journey . . . Installment #2 - Focus on the Family

After skiing at Loveland, we returned to Colorado Springs to stay with my sister-in-law, Bree, and our sweet cousin, Anna-Jane.

We had many adventures together, such as . . .

- Shopping at Wal Mart together

- Walking to the park and letting the children play while Bree gave me some photography pointers. Anna Jane walked the entire way there! Quite an accomplishment for a new walker!

- Heading to Focus on the Family headquarters where we shopped at the bookstore and took the kids to their HUGE play area. There were so many things for them to do and all of them really enjoyed it! It didn't cross my mind how incredibly "germy" the play area must have been! All of the kids that played in the ropes/slides/plastic bubbles ended up with a horrible virus that has lasted more than a week in some of them! Not very family-friendly!! I honestly can't complain, though. The kids had a wonderful time and we haven't been sick once since Abigail Grace was born. Seven months is a great record - especially with four kids 7 and under!

- Lots of fun just playing together/cooking together and enjoying being in the same state for a while! We don't really get to see each other outside of Christmas each year, so it was a great blessing! Thanks, Bree :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Journey . . . Installment #1 - Skiing at Loveland, CO

Our trip over Spring Break could definitely be labeled a journey, but it sure was fun! Our first destination was Loveland, Colorado. Hannah and Joshua attended ski school all day long and really excelled. They had a great time learning to ski and they even got to drink some hot chocolate at the end of the day to celebrate! Sarah Elizabeth's ski instructors were none other than Mama and Daddy since she wasn't quite old enough to go to "official" ski school.

They all loved it! I have a recording of Sarah Elizabeth coming down the slopes saying "WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" and asking Jason to go faster! Hannah and Joshua were really picking up the speed as they came down the mountain, too! I always remember those little kids flying past me every time I skied - now my children are one of them :)

The kids only skied one day this year, but next time we will definitely keep the whole family on the slopes longer! Enjoy the pics!

4 Audio Books, 3 Viruses and 3000+ Miles . . . .

Well, make that 5 viruses now, but by the time we returned home there were only 3 children in my family that had been stricken with the disease. Now, Abigail Grace and I have joined their number :)