Wednesday, August 11, 2010
so simple, you want me, my gratitude, my whole life for you
i deserve none of it, you have blessed me
grace, mercy... oh, lowly me
i give it up... my self, my wants
it's only you
what can i bring?
your wonder fills my every sense
i know you now more than ever
and yet i am still left wanting more of you
boundless... my gratitude
not worthy of this
these gifts, this life
it's not mine to keep...
to hold tight too
but yours to commit.
*for those of you who are grammar junkies, I apologize. The "i" was left uncapitalized on purpose. :)
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Often you will read of someone who will say that their grandmother was a strong spiritual role model, or that their grandmother prayed for their salvation for years.
Tradesmans' mother, my childrens' grandmother is what you would call a prayer warrior. At least that is what I was told by many when I first married tradesman and I knew it to be true when I saw the many binders filled with pages upon pages of people and things that this dear women brought before our Lord daily.
I remember feeling very intimidated by that years and years ago.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tradesman and I have been together for 19 years. 16 of them of which we have been married. I have spent more years with tradesman than I have ever spent without him!
Are you going to try and have any more babies after losing your twins?
Honestly, we would love more children. If God chooses to give us more then we would be thrilled! The next best thing to serving Jesus in this life has been having our kids! We find them, outside of our relationships with God, to be the most fulfilling things in our lives.
Where do you live?
Because this was an anonymous comment that I did not publish I am not going to answer this in case you are a stalker, axe murderer! I hope you understand! :)
Are you going to homeschool your kids all through Highschool?
Yes! Why stop a good thing now? It works for us and our family. We honestly believe that God has called us to this, so now I simply remind myself when it seems I am not cut out for it or it's too difficult that there is no turning back! Our eldest will actually be gr.10 in the fall and I still like having him home! (well, most of the time ;)
What DID you have for breakfast?
I'm not telling.
Do you celebrate the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus in your house? What about Halloween?
This could be a BIG answer so I am going to try and keep it short. :)
We have changed how we do things over the years. There was a time that we did the Santa Claus thing. Our boys were little and we started to feel convicted ourselves about OUR focus on the true meaning of the season so we started to weed out that side of Christmas a little every year. We were never comfortable lying to our boys and telling them that there was a Santa, so we didn't . We would just play pretend and they knew from the beginning that tradesman was really Santa. We would still leave out cookies and milk and carrots for the reindeer all in fun.
The problem was that it was hard enough to keep our focus on the birth of Christ with all the shopping, festivities, presents and such, nevermind the big jolly fellow. Eventually, we decided for us and our family that it all had to stop. Our kids know the real story behind Saint Nicholas, so we try to focus on the gifts as a chance to bless others. Our kids receive 3 gifts each as Jesus was presented with 3 gifts from the wisemen. We also fill stockings for them with candy, toiletries, school necessities and silly little items.
We still decorate our home with seasonal things and put up a tree and such. We just avoid the whole Santa, what do you want for Christmas, reindeer, Frosty the snowman thing. We keep the kids out of stores, and activities that are focused around Santa during that season. We celebrate Advent and have made new traditions and new ways to celebrate. It has been a huge blessing for us and I have found that our family has been able to focus on the coming of our Saviours birth with so much more intention now. I do have a little ornament that has Santa kneeling with his hat in his hands at the manger with baby Jesus lying there. I love it and it sits right in the middle of my kitchen island and is a reminder to all of us of why we have no part in any of the regular Christmas festivities any longer.
As for the Easter bunny? Same kind of thing. No Easter bunny at our house. We do a sort of lent devotional every year and other things as well including resurrection eggs. We still normally do an egg hunt and chocolate bunny that weekend. However, we have decided that next year we will start a tradition of "Spring baskets and egg hunt" and do it a couple of weeks before Easter so that it is done and over with and we can use the 2 weeks leading up to Easter more reverently. We were just finding that the typical, traditional, Easter festivities invade on the true reason we celebrate and we just don't like it.
Halloween? We have used it as a way to evangelize the last 2 years. We give out tracts and candy in little bags and my kids go around the neighborhood and give out tracts to each door that they receive candy from. It's been great, the responses from people to the kids have been really neat. We were going to throw the whole Halloween thing aside until we saw it as an opportunity to spread the gospel. Next year tradesman and I will be setting up some hot apple cider outside and hoping to talk to parents as they come by. We will also be giving the book "One heartbeat Away" found here out as well. (powerful evangelistic tool) We don't do the spooky decoration thing and again keep our kids out of stores and Halloween activities.
How do you keep up with all of your children? I find it hard with just 3!
I remember those days! Trust me, it is SO much easier now. Once some of the kids get older, they are a great help around the house, and they help to entertain the little ones.
The kids always have someone to play with and despite the fact that there are more people making a mess, there are also more people to help clean it up!
The only real challenge I find is food. My life is all about the food prep now!
If I had an answer on this one, I'd let you know! ;)
There was one more important question that deserves a post all of it's own. That is coming up. Also many of you asked what was the big burden on my heart. I will share a little in a future post.
That was fun! If you have any more questions go ahead and send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do another post just like this when there is enough.
Monday, June 28, 2010
"If you never have sleepless hours, if you never have weeping eyes, if your hearts never swell as if they would burst, you need not anticipate that you will be called zealous. You do not know the beginning of true zeal, for the foundation of Christian zeal lies in the heart. The heart must be heavy with grief and yet must beat high with holy ardor. The heart must be vehement in desire, panting continually for God's glory, or else we shall never attain to anything like the zeal which God would have us to know."
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Honestly, I have so much on my heart these days and it is all rather big that spilling it here does not fulfill the purpose of my blog. And it could scare some of you away! :)
Tradesman and I have been on a very exciting journey the last two years specifically these last 6 months.(that does not mean always fun or easy... actually mostly not) We are not sure exactly where we are headed and what it will look like but God has given us a bit of a picture that is just too difficult to ignore.
I started this blog to encourage mothers in their high calling of motherhood and keeper of their homes. To embrace their daily lives with their husbands and children and most importantly to seek hard after God.
I love sharing my heart and often hold back, especially as of late. I cannot put up a lighthearted, silly post because I am just not in a lighthearted, silly mood these days. I feel a burden SO big, and I feel a passion SO huge that it consumes my every waking minute. I know that it is God who has bestowed this burden on me because it is Him whom I have pursued and it is Him whom I have devoted my life too.
I asked, He answered.
But, for today I have decided to open up the floor to YOUR questions.
Curious about something that pertains to motherhood, marriage, faith or anything else to do with this crazy family??
Send your questions to email@example.com or you can list them under the comments on this post. You can always click on anonymous in the comments if you're shy! :)
(except don't ask what I had for breakfast because I might be forced to lie)
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Do you still want to be my friend?
I don't see the bottom of my hamper
ever often. The orange peel looked rather fresh though, go figure. The unidentifiable brown object beside the pencil...ya, not so much.
Yes, I realize that only one of the sections of my hamper I was actually able to find bottom. The other 2 are still bulging with clothing. What can I say I have 6 children and am married to a tradesman and I really like chocolate. Not sure how that last one plays a part, but I figured you should be informed.
I was thinking today while I was doing my laundry because well, that's when all my deep thinking takes place. Amongst the sorting, spot washing, sniffing, and tossing, I was dwelling on the fact that I feel just like that hamper as of late.
I feel like I empty out all the things that need cleaning to God. I give over my big pile of mess. I feel like I am getting to the bottom. I am submitting in the areas that I need to. I hand over my fears, my pride, my will.
Then there at the bottom just when I thought I was gaining ground in this "laundry" I find myself staring at... trash.
There are things that I and maybe you? just aren't able to let go of on our own. And unfortunately, these are the among the most unsightly things of all.
Thankfully, we serve a God of grace and mercy. He promises that He will never leave us to ourselves.
"He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it..." ~Phil 1:6
The truth is we will never be perfect here on earth.
"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect" ~2 Samuel 22:33
It is God who is perfect. It is His plan and His way for us that are perfect.
The truth is that what we really need to strive for is simply...
Monday, June 7, 2010
His body, His red blood poured out for me.
Has it ever tasted this sweet? Have I ever been this moved?
My body shakes, it trembles hard.
My Jesus... can I call Him that? Is it that personal, does He long for me like I long for Him?
I grip tightly the cup, his suffering full. I taste of it. I have sipped the suffering, I have paid a small price for this fellowship.
Heart aching, my lips part and they whisper grateful prayers.
Tears roll down my cheeks, I cannot contain them. I stare down and wonder, can they all see?
This joy. This joy inside of me that springs forth uninhibited, it cannot be slowed.
I am overcome.
He is Lord, I am His.
Friday, May 28, 2010
My little ones due date came and went. Since it was winter when they died there was far too much snow on the ground to bury them. We decided to wait and bury them on their due date which was May.21 st and along with them the planting of a tree.
I hesitated on whether to show these...that is why it is a week later. If I offend anyone, I am sorry.
Each picture tells a story and has special meaning to me. It is how I needed to capture and remember this whole journey and its conclusion.
The new song(Sweetly Broken)playing on my playlist is the song of my heart these days. The words comfort and restore me...
"At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered "
"In awe of the cross I must confess
How wondrous Your redeeming love and
How great is Your faithfulness"
Monday, May 24, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
I responded to her with an analogy that I heard a speaker and friend share. He compared the distractions of the world that steal our time and attention as the appealing lure of junk food.
We consume junk food regularly because we like it and want it despite how it might make us feel and how little it benefits us.
I look at it like this. Life and all the distractions that the world offers us vie for our attention and time. We consume regularly despite how detrimental these things are to our
Many of us if given a choice between eating a big, fried, butter laden, hot and tasty dinner complete with a big ol' piece of chocolate cake or instead choose a couple of hard boiled eggs, veggie salad and an orange for dessert, most of us would opt to bring on the butter!
We hunger for what we feed ourselves regularly.
What happens if we change our diet?
When we begin to choose the salad and egg or other healthy choices consistently eventually that style of eating will become far more appealing to us.
We will even begin to hunger and crave after it.
It is no different with how we use our time, with what we "consume" on a daily basis. If you find yourself bored with reading your Bible or always distracted while praying, if you find that you no longer feel passionate about your walk with God it might just be time to take a good, hard look at "what" you are feeding yourself.
Begin in your life to get rid of all outside distractions... T.V, books, movies, worldly music and instead choose Gods word, prayer, sermons online, praise/worship music.
You will begin to truly feed your starved soul.
What you once craved you will no longer want. You will hunger after the Father, you will crave His word and time spent on your knees will be a balm to your heart, food to your soul, and your joy will become abundant!
Fire will come, passions will stir within and watch out, because God will do a work in your life and in your family!!
Tradesman and I play a sermon almost daily in our house. To some that might seem excessive but to us it's exciting. I look forward to it. I crave it. I can hardly wait to get on that couch with him at night and pop on a sermon. We gave up watching any t.v. a couple of years ago and pretty much dropped movies as well. We still like to watch one once in a while when we get one for a good deal at the Christian bookstore but for the most part it just does not interest us much these days.
We want to be challenged, we want to be moved and listening to great godly teaching regularly does just that.
Here are a couple of our family's favorite sites.
http://www.1031sermonjams.com/ ~Little snippets of powerful sermons with music in the background. Incredible speakers and pastors. You will probably recognize most of them. When I put one of these on in my house, I can guarantee that my older children will be hovered around the computer in no time.
http://www.illbehonest.com/ ~ A mix of short and long, challenging and life changing sermons. (My favorite "You must suffer" with John Piper, Tradesmans favorite.. anything by Paul Washer)
http://www.sermonaudio.com/ ~ We like to look up our favorite speakers and pastors on here and listen to whole series of sermons done by them.
Another favorite passion of ours is audio books. Hanging out on the couch together cuddling and listening to a challenging book not only is great time spent, it also fosters awesome communication that spurs one another on.
http://www.christianaudio.com/ ~ This site has a free audio book download every month. So far we have downloaded a few books that we have loved. Crazy Love by Francis Chan, Desiring God by John Piper, Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan, currently we are listening to The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns (this months free download)
This is just a small sampling of some of the many amazing resources out there available to us. We have many more sites that we love and I wish that there were more hours in the day to take it all in.
When it comes to what we put in our minds we should be picky. With stuff that isn't necessarily bad we still should be choosy. Whatever our diet may be, it will have a profound effect on that which we hunger after.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." ~ Matthew 5:6
Feed the fire!
Friday, May 7, 2010
There I said it.
I haven't been writing as often because well, I am thinking. I am thinking lots.
My babies were due very soon. 2 weeks actually, but who's counting?
I have been 2 to 3 weeks early with the last 4 children. Considering twins are usually early it's a good chance I would have been cuddling my little ones right now and yet here I am with empty arms.
I ache. I do.
I can't sleep tonight and not because I am up trying to juggle how to nurse 2 wiggly, squishy newborns, but because... I'm not.
Oh, how I wish I was.
I long for it not to hurt. Really I do. I will go to church on Sunday and smile at the woman who is due right around the same time as I was. I will gaze at her belly and be genuinly happy for her, I will. Or if she's not there because her baby has come I will rejoice with her... really.
I will come home and soak up my family. It will be Mothers Day and I will revel in the fact that I AM a mother to 10 beautiful children. 6 of which I have the privilege of spending everyday with and 4 of whom I will spend an eternity with.
I will think about my precious babies in heaven especially my little twins whose hands, fingers, and toes are etched forever in my brain. I will dwell not on my loss, but on my gain.
Yes, I am different.
I am changed.
Maybe not on the outside, but inside there is a whole world of beauty. Not of me, but of Him.
I am still human, I fall oh so very short. But, the love.
Oh, the love.
I cannot begin to describe it.
I know now.
He is my first love.
"I thank my God in all my remembrance of you."
~Philippians 1:3 (ESV)