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Where Is The Happy?

Yesterday, as we celebrated Elsie’s 5th birthday, it marked the end of my birthday week.  I actually thought her birthday was today.  As she went to bed on Sunday night she told me in her sweet little voice, I’m not going to be grumpy anymore!  When I asked why, she told me, Because the day after tomorrow is my birthday!  I was pretty tired and took her word for it.  Not until I woke up yesterday and saw some special birthday emails for her, did I realize that yes, indeed, it was her birthday.  Please tell me something like that has happened to another mom out there.  So, I scrounged in my secret trunk trying to find and hang up the Happy Birthday banner I made for such occasions.  All I came up with was BIRTHDAY.  Where is the HAPPY?!  I kept asking myself.  Before I go into more of her surprise (for me) birthday, let me back up a week and divulge all the fun that was had the past week.

It all started on my birthday, when the three older kids came with Matthew & I on a road trip to NJ.  We drove 3 hours there and 3 hours back, with about 45 mins in NJ total.  It was work-related, so nothing too exciting.  The highlight was hitting the beach for fifteen minutes.

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I had some wonderful friends over that night for tea and snacks and a whole lot of fun.  The next day I was served breakfast in bed by my oldest.  She loves to do this.  The rest of the week was full of dentist appointments, Betty learning to put the car windows down with her bare little toes streeetching across her carseat, sweet sleeping children, lincoln log creations, school, tea, and much more.

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Then came Friday.  After dropping off the kids, Matthew and I spent the weekend away.  What a wonderful time.  Becoming disconnected happens so quickly!  As it should be, we have both changed and grown, and sometimes we miss that happening and we look at the other as if they are a stranger we should know, but don’t. It was a treat and a blessing to have this time.

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From the beautiful inns where we stayed, to the memories made, it was a weekend to remember!

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The week was completed with an impromptu meeting with dear, old friends.

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There’s the Happy.

 

 


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Hand-made Giveaway!

 

In honor of this marvelous date of 12-12-12… I am having a Christmas giveaway!  I’ve been crocheting snowflake ornaments, and would love to give some away!  I will send three winners a unique, hand-made snowflake.  To enter, either leave a comment on here, or my facebook page, telling me your favorite or funniest Christmas memory.  To have an extra chance at getting your name drawn, you can subscribe to get an email version of these blog posts.  I will announce the winner tomorrow!
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The Gift of Need

I’m not sure how many people know, but Nadine & I are planning on going to Haiti in February for a short mission’s trip.  We have seen God providing for us through many incredible ways.  We were able to send away for our passports two weeks ago, and are eagerly waiting for them to arrive.  As I pray for God to prepare my heart, I am finding that He’s not doing it in ways I was expecting.

The past few months have been an incredible ride of faith.  By incredible, I don’t mean that it’s been smooth-sailing, bump-free, or fear-less.  It’s been more like a wild stomach-losing ride that’s left me breathless and wondering how I’ll make the next turn, or the next day.  It’s been a constant leaning on the Man in the boat.  I have, at many times, panicked instead of trusted.  I’ve cried out, We’re perishing!  When in reality we are just being rocked a bit.

As part of my preparation, I’ve been feeling very needy.  Not exactly what I had in mind, God, I think.  Especially three weeks before Christmas.  Yet He’s been telling me this: needy is a good place to be.  It allows room for God to meet us and others to bless. Yet it’s hard to admit need, isn’t it?  Hard to let God take me where I feel uncomfortably dependent on Him alone.  Hard to be in a spot where I’m accepting other’s help instead of offering my own.  A lot of times, people have no idea they’re even doing it.  I can’t express it enough: we need to listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings.  They might just be the echo of someone’s prayer in need.  Twenty dollars tucked in an envelope… no one knew the gas tank was empty and there were places to go.  A gift card for some coffee… no one knew how badly this mama needed that break.  A meal… no one knew the fridge was empty.  A letter, a comment, an encouraging word… no one knew how many doubts have risen up to try to break down this heart with discouragement.  Generosity trumps need.

We each have our own poverty.  It is a difficult thing to embrace.  Yet I think it is something which brings us closer to the power of God.  When we have an empty, impoverished part of our life or soul, God is able to fill it.  If we have need of nothing, then we have no need of God.  This must be why Paul said that he would glory in his weakness.  We often think of poverty as the obvious famine-ravished country in Africa.  Yet there is more to poverty than just a hungry belly.  Sometimes it is financial: five dollars left in the bank, with bills still arriving in the mail.  Sometimes it may be more hidden: a relationship which is torn, a loneliness that is insatiable.  Sometimes it is a poverty of the spirit and soul, a feeling like there is nothing left to give, nothing to offer. God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.  (Matt. 5:3)  We are blessed.  No longer self-sufficient.  God’s blessings are more meaningful because He is able, in our poverty, to meet our need.   When we experience poverty, that is when we experience God’s power to provide.  And when we’ve experienced that power, it is impossible not to give back to God and touch others in need along the way.DSC_7094