Saturday, October 1, 2011

the hearts, the tears, the real, of the daughters of the Father

it's hard to believe the last blog i posted was july 15th.
this thing called time.
moving at exactly the same speed always,
and yet all these moments in between where time seems to stand still,
or when it seems to speed up, and you feel as if you are holding on for dear life.

there are times when life seems so SAME.
for so long.
but for me,
i look at the growing bodies of my children,
or the fact that here and there, grey hairs are popping up in my dark brown,
and i know for sure and for certain,
that while life seems same,
it is not.
and i make extra effort to SEE and LIVE,
to soak in the details.

at any given moment,
i am pondering many things.
it's part of the way i'm wired.

(i hit post before i was ready to post. hence the reposting of the above.)

i have been pondering the real.
what does it mean to live in the real?
honest.  transparent.
admitting and acknowledging that pain exists in our lives and hearts.
that longings are there, no matter if we allow them to have a voice or not.
but at the same time,
not getting wrapped up in me.
you know?

doesn't integrity demand realness?

but doesn't our choice to be in Christ also demand something?

so then my sister gave me a book for my birthday.
it's called one thousand gifts. (by ann voskamp)

perfect timing.
for in this book she addresses this very issue.
this acknowledgement of the longings.  the pain. 
but also the choice to believe in God's goodness, and receive His
gifts even as we live and feel what each moment brings.

there is an inner shift happening.
i can feel it.
and it brings peace.

in the last few weeks, i've had the deep honor
of talking real with my sisters in Christ.
these fellow daughters of the Father, who are living the real.
these beautiful women who have entrusted me with their tears.
with their real.
and as i see there tears,
and listen to their hearts,
my own heart responds and i say "yes. yes! this IS what i believe in."
and i am blessed deeply to be allowed in as their hearts feel and seek and live.

and i thank God for the gift of these women.
for their trust.
for their tears.
their faith.
their commitment to live.

and i am also reminded (even in my own heart and life)
how the emeny works even harder to whisper doubts and lies.
to keep us from the real.
and if we do not listen to his whispers, he screams. 
and we work that much harder to not listen.
to counter his lies with HIS truth.

you know those questions that we ask God.
what am i here for?
what IS my purpose?
what would you have for me?
do i have a calling?

i've asked.  many times.
even when He's told me.  many times.
i still ask, because there are times i am afraid to believe what He's told me.
and i think surely i've misunderstood.

but He has told me many times that my calling is to exhort the believers.
can i have the courage to exhort?  to believe? to be real?!

i've talked to other sisters in Christ recently.
i've listened to them, and their words,
and my own heart responded.

i hear this desire,
this common desire,
that says,
"i do not want to be held back any longer.
the pain of being held back,
of holding myself back,
is too great.
i want to be free.  to live with abandon. to run!"

something amazing is happening in the hearts of the daughters of the Father.
and i rejoice!
and i wait and expect!

and i thank God for the gift of each heart and each tear.
the struggle. 
the birthing period.
the agony of labor
for the hope of bringing new life!
deeper, fuller life.

it is such a good thing.

press in dearest sisters.
cry the tears.
feel the depth of the process.
and allow it to happen!
life is a result!

do not be afraid!
our Father says we do not need to be afraid.
and he is a rewarder for those who diligently seek Him.

your reward will be great.
seek on!


Friday, July 15, 2011

a little something: you know how life is just full of stuff?my life ...

a little something: you know how life is just full of stuff?

my life ...
: "you know how life is just full of stuff? my life is full of stuff too. some of the 'stuff' stays the same, some of it changes as the day..."
you know how life is just full of stuff?

my life is full of stuff too.  some of the "stuff" stays the same,
some of it changes as the days and weeks come and go.

there are different ways to veiw life. (obviously.)

some people go for crazy busy,
others seek simplicity.
some people enjoy lots of drama,
others prefer to stay private and withdraw.
some see everything deeply,
others would rather stay on the surface.
it's fascinating, really,
to observe.

and to discover how each of us veiw life.
is it a gift and an adventure?
or something to be tolorated?
maybe sometimes it changes from one to the other,
and then back again.

in any case,
i have learned that small things give much meaning to my life
when i just need a little something. 
something simple.
but full of beauty.
to give me fresh perspectives...
and a new found pleasure in being alive.

a few weeks ago, i was at the cabin with my mother's extended family.
(that is another blog all of its own.)
my cousin, christy, (whom i love with all of my being) and i were shopping,
just the two of us,
at a little country store in cedar run. 
it is a quaint little shop where one can purchase ice cream,
and/or small little gifts.

upon looking,
i discovered a small, hard covered book called find true north. by douglas wood.
christy and i, heads bent over the book, began to read it out loud.
we were "moved to anything."

(quick story.  years ago, my sister had an exchange student from japan.  she wrote my sister a letter about herself before she came.  in it, she attempted to describe her love of nature and learning about all sorts of things.  i remember her mentioning squirrels.  anyway, her way of saying that she was stirred by these sights was this phrase, "i am moved to anything."  so from that time on, whenever my sister and i come across anything we love or that stirs us, we always borrow natsuko's phrase, and say we are moved to anything.  it has been great fun.)

SO...christy and i came across this book that moved me to anything.
i bought it.
and the more i read it, the more it moved me to anything.
so.  i went online when i returned home,
and ordered three more books, used, by the same auther/illustrator

they are such little books. 
with titles like:
the things trees know.
breathe the wind, drink the rain.
prescriptions from the dock.

the titles alone move me to anything.
(i just have such a thing for words.)

this is why i love these books:
they are full of these great little tid bits.
not paragraph after paragraph of how to how to how to...
but little tid bits.
tid bits that are simple, but thought provoking.
i love when things make me think.
cause most things mean more than they seem to at first.
it is just a matter of whether or not we take the time to get past the obvious.

i am going to share some things from the book i got in the mail today.
(it was a little bit like my own personal christmas without any stress)  talk about merry!!!

and now...
from the things trees know...

reach down as well as up.
no roots, no branches.

stand tall,
but bend when you need to.

be a shelter to someone.
(oh that one really moves me to anything!  how many of us take the time to really be shelter to someone?  do you know that offering shelter can make ALL the difference in the world to a human heart and soul?  i am passionate about this truth!)

grow from the bottom up,
from the inside out.
(way too often we skip the bottom and the inside,
and go right to the top and the outside.  a terrible mistake.)

welcome rainy days.
(many, many good things can not happen when the sun is shining.)

know that being beautiful is the same thing as being yourself.
(why do so few people ever grasp this truth?  it makes me so sad.  being beautiful really IS the same thing as being yourself!)

reach for the light.
release the light you've found.
(what good is growth and transformation, if it is hidden and not released?)

go ahead, get big!
(i dare you!  i double dare you!)  smile!

don't let things eat away at you.

be well aquainted with the moonlight.
(do you ever take the time to sit outside at night, and soak in the darkness, and the moonlight?  i think such stirring thoughts, such real thoughts, when i sit alone outside at night.)

it's simple:
if you're living, you're growing.
if you're growing, you're living.

give your fruits freely.
(and be amazed at the return.  be amazed by the sheer joy of giving.)

sometimes all there is to do is endure.
(life is not all grand.  sometimes there is nothing to do but ride it out.  believe that it will pass,
and wait for it to pass.  never under estimate the power to endure.)

sun, storm, drought:
let these sculptors do their work.
(this is SUCH a good one!  it speaks for itself.)

your work is to grow.
(some people choose to do their work.  sadly, some do not.  i want to always do my work.)

each life becomes a part of the landscape.
it becomes someone's landmark.
(the very thought brings me to seriousness.  i am leaving a mark.  each tree does.  each life does.  landmarks are not always beautiful.  but they are landmarks nonetheless.  i am leaving a mark.  others will use it in one way or another.  it will either help them to know which way to go, or help them to know which way to avoid.)

i can not answer for you,
but i surely didn't know trees had so much wisdom to offer.
now we both know.  smile.

i never met douglas wood,
but i just have a feeling he "gets it."

perhaps i'll share something from another one of my little books another day.
but remember, it's not always the fat books that do the deepest teaching.
and sometimes it's just more simple than we make it.

trees...  simple.  alive.  growing.  strong. 
sounds like the real deal to me.

it's a good day to live.
to love.
and to be loved.

until next time,

Monday, June 6, 2011

panties, graduations, and beautiful hearts

well, here i am again.

it's strange to sit down to blog with no idea of what will end up being written. 

today i attempted to teach my daughters how to do laundryyou see,
a few weeks ago, i took very ill.  my sister and my mother had to come and nurse me,
and see to the house and the laundry.  i do not plan on taking ill again, but seldom
does one actually plan these things.
i just think it would be a good idea for more than one person per household to have laundry skills.  (my husband is next on the list to aquire these skills.) 

i am also hoping that it helps my daughters develop an appreciation and an understanding of what actually goes in to keeping a household in clean clothing.
as of now, they are blissfully unaware.

which leads me to this next bit.
i find panties all over the house.
ok.  that's extreme.
but i find them tossed here and there in the bathroom, and in the hallway,
and it's not unheard of to find them in the living room!
what is UP with the dirty panties?!

i have three little girls.  that equals a lot of panties to wash!
now i know, technically, panties are not thought of as a particularly "appropriate" topic,
but who made that rule?  someone has to address it!
i bet i'm not the only mom out there who would be a millionaire by now if we got a penny for every pair of dirty undies we've picked up here and there and washed and folded!! 

and i'm all for changing panties.  i am!
but i do not understand how they end up in the hallway,
or the living room!?
pray tell!
what happens in this process?
my child is walking down the hallway and happens to get the urge to change undies, and just casually steps out of her panties and keeps walking? 
and why don't i see this happening?
where am i when people who live here drop their drawers???

they don't get it from me!

only one time in the history of my life can i remember stepping out of my panties and continuing on with life as if nothing happened.
and i had a good reason for doing so, even though i left my panties by the side of a back road in rural lancaster county!!

i was approx. 10 years old.
we had a phys ed assignment to jog so many miles per week.
my mom would drop me off at a certain spot, and i would run home.
there was a big hill on the above stated jogging route,
but, i only had to run down the hill, not up.
one day i was jogging just as pretty as you please down this big hill,
when i started to feel the elastic of my panties loosing their grip around my middle.
to my horror, with each foot pounding the pavement,
my panties began inching their way downward.
what to do?! what to do?!
i threw a glance back over my shoulder and was even more horrified to see
a car was coming toward me.
i kept running.  the pantied kept creeping down.
soon they were around my knees.
then my ankles!
and i'll be darned if i was going to bend down and hike up my underware
in front of a car full of people.
so.  i couldn't think of a better idea than to step out of them
and keep running as if nothing had happened.
to the best of my knowledge,
that's exactly what i did.
now as a disclaimer:
i may have stopped to pick them up.
or discreetly reposition them at some point.
i really do not know.  because, honestly, i think i've blocked it from my memory.

the whole thing happened directly across the road from my classmate's house.
i was humiliated to think that they could have been watching me from a window.
(like they really were!  but you know.  at 10 you really do think it's all about you, so...) 
i know this is true because i have a 10 year old.  smile.

my grandma newswanger had made those panties for me.
if i recall, they had little snails of different colors all over them.
poor grandma must have run out of good, tight elastic when she whipped
those babies together.  (chuckle)
be very wary of home made panties.  especially when rapid movement is going to be taking place in public.

my above mentioned ten year old graduated from 4th grade on friday.
next year she heads off to middle school. (WHAT?!)
no one warned me that 4th grade graduations are such an emotional experience!
at least for me it was!
i was sitting there the entire time barely holding back the ugly cry!
i had just been to my nephew's 12th grade grad a week ago,
and when i watched my little girl file in to the gym with her class to graduate from the elementary school, i knew, sure as i was sitting there,
that in the blink of an eye,
i was going to be watching her do the real thing.  and my eyes burned with unshed tears.
these kids! they make you want to cheer!  
they make you want to scream
they make you so proud! 
and SO embarassed! 
and so happy! 
and SO mad! 
and so energized! 
and SO tired!!

i was reading olivia (the pig) to cheney today at nap time.
at the end of the story the mommy says to olivia,
"you make me so tired, but i love you anyway."
to which olivia replys,
"i love you anyway too!"
and it was a good reminder that our kids are loving us in spite of our weaknesses,
just as we are loving them in spite of theirs.

it's a good thing, you know.
this people loving people thing.

and the awareness that we are wonderful but flawed,
allows us to lavish love on others who are also wonderful but flawed.

this offering our hearts to one another in openness and truth,
it's so very good.

the other day i sent a long email to a friend who i've only seen but once.
in the email, i poured out many aches and hurts i've been toting around latey.
in her response, she said,
"i don't know what to say to make you feel better, but i'm going to talk to Jesus about you."
she also said she was praying for streams of peace and health to flow over our home in the name of Jesus. 
and i was so blessed.
and so glad i had shared my heart with her.

hearts are so beautiful!
i consider it such a gift to share mine,
and to have others share theirs with me.
i really believe it's God's perfect plan for us.
openness and truth.

God called me to share my heart.
especially with women.
i love, LOVE to be among women!
to catch the pulse of their hearts...
where they are.
and to share with them the pulse of my heart...
where i am.
God has called,
and i am in the discerning process of how i can be even more
intentional about following His call.

in the mean time,
i'll keep washing dirty panties,
and watching for opportunities to
learn and grow.
and laugh.
and share.
and rejoice that i am
so i can love people.

take good care!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

bling gone missing, exile, and masks in abundance

i've not blogged in a long while.
it's not that i have nothing anything to say.
but rather, perhaps, i haven't had the courage to say
what has been on my mind and in my heart.

my wedding band is missing a diamond.
it looks like a ring that lost its first tooth.  except not cute.
it discourages me to look at it.  now it needs to be fixed.
i don't know when the diamond fell out,
or where it fell out.
one night i was taking a bath and happened to look at my ring, and
there it was...
a big hole.

right now life feels like that to me. 
bling gone missing.
it's not a permanent thing.  i know this.
diamonds can be replaced.  things right themselves, and often make sense after a while.
but it still brings a sense of discouragement to see the hole...for now.

i'm just leary to make that statement because people feel like they have to add happy words
to make everything better.
why are people so uneasy with themselves, and/or others feeling the pain of life?
it's like if we claim victory, or put on a smile, we can convince ourselves, and/or others
that the pain isn't real.  or that we're so strong, so as to be unaffected.
it's not true.
it's actually the strong who allow themselves to feel.

to allow the truth to be known,
my life is not always great.

but that's not because my husband and i argue constantly,
or because the kids don't obey,
or because the house looks as if a bomb just exploded...

(but just to keep things real...
sometimes clint and i do argue.
lots of the time my kids do not obey.
my bathroom gets shockingly disgusting in between cleanings.)

it's because life is life.  earth.  not heaven.
a spirit longing for Jesus. and Heaven.

sometimes the ache is greater than other times.
sometimes the body, heart, and spirit grow weary.
that's not weakness.  it's reality.

there is a song i really like right now,
and a phrase in it says,
"i wanna soar with You on wings like eagles,
but i'll crawl with You too."
who are we to say that we will only soar?
sometimes, most times, the guts of it...real life...
it takes some crawling.
but God is still God in the muck and poo (as i say).

in the message, the familiar jer. 29 scripture says this:

"when you come looking for me, you'll find me.
yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed. 
I'll turn things around for you. 
I'll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you. 
bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. 
you can count on it."

i feel rather exiled right now.
not sure where i'm headed.
not sure what's next.

but God says i can count on Him fixing things.  making things right.
taking me home.

so i will hold fast to my convictions that wearing a mask is a lie.
a plastic smile is far less beautiful to me than a face pinched in pain,
or distorted in anger.
a smile is a thing of beauty.
but only if it is genuine.

today i wanted to buy these great earrings that were big and bronze.
i loved them.
but i am going to speak this saturday eve at a mother daughter banquet.
75 strangers.
and if i were to have bought the big bronze earrings that i admired,
they would have been a mask for me to hide behind.
they would have made a statement that i am feeling bold and confident.
but the truth is,
i feel tired.  and broken.  small. 
so i did not buy the earrings.
maybe another time.  if they are still there.
a time when i'll be able to wear them in freedom and truth.

masks are everywhere.  in abundance.
we're milling about in exile, wearing plasitc smiles.
who's buying this??

i am not a negitive person by nature.
in fact,  i am in the glass is half full camp.
i believe in the good things of life. 


but real is real.
and in the midst of faith, and hope, and love,
as long as we are on earth,
we will wrestle and struggle with things.

i'm holding on to the promise.
and choosing to be real while i wait.

what is real?
the diamond on my wedding band is still missing.
my daughter got in trouble at school for making farting noises in class.
and i'm just gonna say it...
I AM SICK AND TIRED OF RAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(feels good to say that!)  smile.

my ring will be fixed in time.
cassie will grow up and (hopefully) not make farting noises anymore.
and the sun is always around the corner.

sometime slowly.
but onward, never the less!

truth! real!
or bust!


Friday, February 11, 2011

exercising, quotes, and celebrating the light side.

well.  i did it.
this week i broke out the mini trampoline.
three days i worked out.
and i learned things about myself.

my attitude towards working out has changed.
i have a weak bladder.
and matt maher is everything i need in a work out buddy!

and before i go any farther,
i'd like to say that there is reading discretion advised for this post.
if you are of the opposite sex,
i strongly advise you to discontinue reading. 
here.  (good by, and please come again another day.)

ok.  now that it's just us girls...
on tuesday i went digging for my one and only sports bra.
let's face it.  a mini trampoline... it was a must.
i finally found it.
next i located my tank top, shorts, my one pair of real sneakers,
and my ipod.
and of course, the trampoline itself.

when i was finally dressed in all my gear,
had hallie situated with school work,
had cheney playing with toys,
and was ready to exercise,
i felt as though i'd already had a mini workout.
or maybe not so mini.

i turned the ipod on and got right to business.
first order of business...
i had the arm swing going and the knees going high.
i was feeling goooood.
soon the music was so motivating,
i found myself doing a nice little jog.
even had  nice form.
feeling gooooood!
and the next thing i knew,
i was so energized by my experience,
i just went to a full out jump.
my spirit was soaring with the worship music,
and i felt so groovy in all my work out gear,
(there is something about wearing workout clothes that makes one feel as if one is limitless.)
and i was so happy with the fact that i was actually exercising.
but as i jumped i had a nagging suspicion that i was peeing my pants.
i was a bit distracted by it, but i really wanted to plow through.
who wants to pause in their work out to change outfits because they had an accident?
not me. 
all of the sudden i wasn't feel nearly so groovy and cool.
i kept jumping and marching and what not,
and then pretty soon my suspicions were confirmed.
i was peeing my pants.

and by now, you are all have different responses -
if you are a male, and you did not heed the advice to stop reading,
you now have no idea whatsoever to do with the information you just read. 
don't blame me.  i warned you.
if you are a young girl,
you probably think it's funny, but sorta gross and weird.  (you just wait honey!!)
if you are a woman who has put your put your poor bladder through multiple pregnancies,
and if you've birthed multiple babies,
then you are laughing, maybe really really laughing,
because you know you would have done the same thing!! 
it's just that most people do not come right out and say
hey, guess what!? i peed in my pants when i exercised.
it really is not very glamorous.  i agree. is real.  isn't it?  and i am ok with you laughing.  because it is funny.

i managed to work out two more times this week without repeating my first experience.
i decided it is worth the inconvenience to stop for a short bathroom break. (smile.)

matt maher makes a fabulous workout companion!
it's so much more enjoyable to have him singing to me,
than to have that annoyingly perky workout girl telling me to do 5 more.

i realized that i have changed.  i like to exercise.  i used to hate it!
but, i used to run from pain.  all sorts of pain.
heart pain and physical pain.
last year i decided no more running. 
i embraced pain for the positive outcome.
my life has blossomed because of that decision.
could it possibly have carried over even in the physical sense?  interesting.
when "exercise people" would say things like "feel the burn!!" like it was positive,
i used to think, "you nut ball!  who wants to feel the burn?!"
but this week while i was pushing my body physically, i was feeling the burn and
was energized by it.
pain is progress!  it means i'm getting somewhere! 

i probably won't exercise every week forever.   it's a season.
i felt the need for self discipline.  for mental stimulation through physical exertion.
for toning my body for myself.  for alone time.  for a challenge. 

why do i feel the need to tone?
read quote below:
"it's rough to go through life with your contents looking
as if they settled during shipping! " ~milton berle

and now because i adore quotes,
i'm going to include a few about diet and exercise.

"you can't lose weight without exercise.
but i've got a philosophy about exercise.
i don't think you should punish your legs
for something your mouth did.
drag your lips around the block once or twice." ~gwen owen

"when i buy cookies i just eat four and throw the rest away.  but first i spray them with raid so i won't dig them  out of the garbage later.  be careful, though, because that raid really doesn't taste that bad." ~janette barber

this used to sooo be me:
"when i feel like exercising i just lie down until the feeling goes away."
~ erma bombeck

"i've been doing leg lifts faithfully for about fifteen years,
and the only thing that has gotten thinner is the carpet where
i have been doing the leg lifts."  ~rita rudner

always something fun to enjoy. 
a little laughter.
something light.  to get us through the heaviness.

i hope you have a wonderful weekend.
i'm going to enjoy a movie with my husband at a very cool little theater.
it has a coffee shop adjoining it.  so you can get your coffee and pastries and
take them with you into the movie.
how great!
and even greater,
is this:
i have a husband who happily watches, with me, movies set back in time.
we are going to see the king's speech.
the main character is played by collin firth.  (mr. darcy!)
i am excited!
for coffee.  for a movie.  for time away with clint.  for mr. carcy.  and all good things.

so.  ta ta for now.
don't forget to look for miracles.

"there are only two ways to live your life.
one is as though nothing is a miracle.
the other is as though everything is a miracle."
~albert einstein

celebrate the miracles.
they are there.
they are there indeed!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

a little something: no defeat today. none!

a little something: no defeat today. none!: "'May you delight yourself in God,your Father,in His love, and in His words.May you think of Him by day,and fall to sleep with Him stillon yo..."

no defeat today. none!

"May you delight yourself in God,
your Father,
in His love, and in His words.
May you think of Him by day,
and fall to sleep with Him still
on your mind and in your heart.
May you be like a strong and beautiful tree,
rooted deeply in the rich
and nutrient filled earth,
placed strategically by streams
of clear, calm,
life-giving waters.
In your season, may your produce and reap
an abundant harvest, beyond anything you
could dream or imagine!
May your leaves be broad,
and a most luscious green,
fluttering in the breezes of God's love.
May He prosper and multiply whatever
you do in His name!"

~a prayer of blessing from Pslam 1

today is a day of blessing!
no defeat today!
today we celebrate our placement!
our strength!
today we rejoice that we are not in a parched
and barren dessert...even if it may feel as if we are.
we have been planted strategically by the
life-giving waters.
we WILL NOT be thirsty!!!
even now, my roots, and your roots,
are deep. and they are drinking and pulling
life from the nutrients provided by the hand of GOD alone.
no striving today, children of God.
feel the strength.
let it come over you.  allow it to penetrate
deep into your spirit.
you are an over comer!
we. are. overcomers.
our leaves are such a deep green.
they are broad and beautiful.
not dry and curled up at the edges as the enemy
would have us to believe.
indeed not!
they offer shade.  they are a sign of life
and health!  strength!
our trunks are not skinny and bent.
indeed not!
they are wide and strait.  so very strong!
they grow as though they know their purpose.
and so they do.
because it is the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ
within us, making these trees what they are.
and the fruit.  OH the fruit!!
it is everywhere! 
a crop unstoppable!
it comes forth and comes forth!
and still it continues to come forth!
our fruit surrounds us.
today is a day to claim the harvest!
to claim the joy of producing fruit unstoppable!
the enemy is powerless over this fruit!
the hand of God protects it.
protects US.
our tree is being sheltered.
its strength being preserved.
the promise remains...
we. will. prosper.
in the name of Jesus Christ!
claim His name!
hold tight to it.
it is your strength and your victory!
no defeat today,
children of the King!
none. at. all.

God, your Love is over.
it's underneath.
it's inside.
it's in between.

we are undone.
and we receive.
take our breath away,

in YOU alone we live.
we thrive.
we will drink of you deeply.
give us eyes to see our strength.
to understand that weakness is a lie of the enemy.
he hates that you make us untouchable.
he wants us to feel defeat.
But defeat is a lie!
weakness, for the believer, is a lie.
we claim truth!
victory is the truth on which we stand today!
hold on to us tightly.
hem us in.

no defeat today!

now GO!
and be strong!
walk in the strength you

Monday, February 7, 2011

waiting, watching, expecting, and golden brown banana muffins

it's a new week.
full of possibilities.
the possibility of me getting on my little trampoline.
the possibility of  productivity.
the possibility of something exciting happening.
God things.
that's what i want.
God things.

i want to SEE Him show up in my week.
all over the place.
and i want to praise Him.
Love Him even more than i do in this moment.

but i'm not going to go frantically searching for Him.
i'll just watch and wait, and be ready to receive.
ready to embrace.

and so, today, while i'm waiting and watching for Him,
i'll bake some banana muffins.
because i have some bananas that are just
over the hill,
but also because it's a "fairly" healthy way for my kids to think they are
being treated to dessert!!
on top of which, my three year old is totally in LOVE with
"nana muffins."

Blue's Banana Muffins
3 lg. bananas (mashed)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 c brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c butter
2 eggs
1/4 c sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
bake at 350 for about 15-20 min.
when they are done baking, they will be a lovely golden brown,
and spring back to the touch.  enjoy!  :)

have an amazing week.
expect great things.
great things, indeed!


Friday, February 4, 2011

a little something: homemade granola, fresh berries, aunts, and sadie ...

a little something: homemade granola, fresh berries, aunts, and sadie ...: "on monday i heard some funny, funny stuff. here's why. i was with my aunts. i have funny aunts. one of them is extra funny all by herse..."

homemade granola, fresh berries, aunts, and sadie weaver

on monday i heard some funny, funny stuff.
here's why.
i was with my aunts.
i have funny aunts.
one of them is extra funny all by herself.
the others are mostly funny when you put them together.
on monday they were all quilting at my mom's house.
she is making a quilt for a grandbaby,
and she called upon her three sisters to come and stitch.

if you've seen sarah plain and tall,
you know who "the treasures" are.
we call our aunts the treasures too.

they love to tell stories.  stories about when they were young,
but not only old stories.  ANY stories that are funny.
they specialize in funny stories.

so on monday, my aunt darlene told us this story about sadie weaver.
i thought it was so, so funny.
i mean for me, just that it is about sadie weaver makes it funny.
the story goes like this:

at my aunts church, during sharing time, the person who has something
to share stands up, takes the microphone, and introduces themselves as such:
hello, this is "so and so" ...and then says their thing.

well, one morning, this old lady named sadie weaver stood up, and blurted into the microphone,
"hello, this is sadie weaver calling."
and she never even batted an eye, but just kept right on sharing,
having no idea she just addressed the entire church like she had just called  her next door neighbor from her kitchen with some pressing news.
it would seem that the microphone gave sadie weaver a case of the nerves.
that's the way it is for some people. you put a microphone in front of them, and suddenly everything that sounded brilliant and smooth in their head,
comes out not nearly so smooth or brilliant.  (heehee.)

and aunt darlene said she has no idea what sadie weaver had to share because she couldn't stop laughing.
and it was in that moment, as i hooted along with aunt darlene,
that i knew, as sure as i was sitting there,
how i had turned out to be who i had turned out to be!! 
and i do not mind a bit to say that i am my aunt darlene.
she has learned to look for any opportunity to laugh.  and we love to be around her because of that. 
so, cheers to aunt darlene!
cheers to laughter!
and three cheers for sadie weaver!!

this week i made my homemade granola.
i make it for a while, and at first it tastes sooo good.
but after a month of granola, i don't know,
it sorta starts tasting like horse oats.
(not that i eat horse oats...i'm just guessing they are hard to chew and are kinda bland when eaten every day.
all i'm saying is, now and again, you can't beat a nice big bowl of lucky charms.)

but after not having homemade granola for months and months,
it tastes so good and healthy.  especially with berries.
i bought strawberries and blueberries to eat in it.

the next big thing is...
wait for it...
i'm thinking of working out again.
on my mini trampoline.
which, for some reason, my friend angel thinks is so so funny.
i never quite get that.
she's this big fitness expert, and a runner, and everything.
but mention my mini trampoline and she is in stitches. 
who knows.
maybe it's just the thought of me...who is so not a fitness expert,
trying to work out, that sends her into hysterics.
i actually looked for my dvd today.
you know?  the one with the annoying lady who works out in complete ease, and condescendingly talks to the person watching....ME...and says things like,
"you can do it!"  "you're doing great!"  "only 5 more!!"
she obviously knows nothing.
no one, watching me work out, would tell me i am doing great.
i look like i'm having convulsions.  
the only way 5 more sounds good to me at that point, is if i could kick her in her toned little behind 5 times.  (aaahhaaa.)  :)
however, i am feeling motivated to get some exercise in, so while the urge is here, at least in part, i think i should go for it.
i am trying to drag my cousin into this with me.
partly because misery loves company.
and partly because i think it would be great to laugh at someone else while i am jumping around like a moron.
any other takers?
give me a buzz.  i'll laugh at you too!!  (smile)

i'm going to start working at the timeless cafe in about two weeks.
i had an interview yesterday that went splendidly.
honestly, i am happy.
not super excited...
but content.  peaceful.
the last job opportunity that i had was a wonderful growing time for me.
i learned sooo much.  about life.  about myself.  about people.  about faith.  about humility.  about God.  and of course, about lattes. 
but that chapter ended in pain.
would i do it again?  of course. 
and do i feel it was of God.  most definitely.
but somehow, because i knew God had opened the door...
i went sailing in, blissfully unaware of the reality of pain.
my experience taught me that just because it is of God, does not mean
it will be pain free.  and i knew that...but now i know that. (does that make sense?)
and so, in some ways,
i feel like "here i go again."  following God.  and that is good.  but do i have the courage to really put my heart out there again?
and i will.
because it's who i am.
but this time there is a groundedness.  a sense of reality.
there will be opportunities.  there will be blessings.  there will be fun.
but i will not expect that just because God opened these doors to me,
no pain will lie behind them.  so i will look at this experience differently.
i will expect great things.  but i will not have preconceived ideas of what that greatness will look like.
because in our human perspective,
we miss so much.
what looks like failure to us, can look like complete victory to Him.
so i will walk on in.  trust.  hope. and be me.  in Him.
and the confidence that i have to do that is a priceless gift.

so, friend,
here's to walking through open doors!
here's to putting your heart out there!
here's to granola with berries!
here's to wonderful aunts who love you!

and if your phone rings,
and it's sadie weaver calling,
tell her i said "hi." (smile.)

happy weekend!
happy weekend, indeed!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

a little something: the pot calling the kettle black, and other things...

a little something: the pot calling the kettle black, and other things...: "i'm eating ice cream. vanilla. with heath toffee bits. it is so delicious. i am rewarding myself for cleaning my bathroom. my worst househ..."

the pot calling the kettle black, and other things....

i'm eating ice cream.
with heath toffee bits.
it is so delicious.

i am rewarding myself for cleaning my bathroom.
my worst household chore.
this is how bad i am with keeping my bathroom clean,
when i do clean it,
my husband ALWAYS says,
"the bathroom looks nice!"

today it was sooo time to clean it.
like, organize the cupboards and wipe them off...and all that.
so i tackled it.
the next thing i knew i was up on my bathroom sink wiping the light fixtures,
and unscrewing the glass globes to wash them.
and THEN, the next thing i knew, i was plunging my shower curtain
and window curtains in the washing machine.
i wasn't going to take it that far.
but once i'm in there, and i see how bad things are,
there is just no good stopping place.
and so, now here i am...
eating ice cream, and trying to ignore the yukky bathroom cleaner smell on my dry scaly hands.

i think the last time i posted, it was friday.
my kids were sick"ish" but i was all optimistic...bless my heart.
it turns out that ignorance really is bliss.
things took a definite downward turn after that post.

the weekend was long and sickly.
my mother came to stay for a few days while my dad was out of the country,
so she watched the sickies for clint and i on sunday evening so we could get out and breathe.
but monday afternoon found me piling my mom and kids into, what i feel, is one of the ugliest cars on earth.
a few details here ~
in the beginning of december, our van died.
i was never a big fan of our mini-van, but i remember it now with some fondness.
the man who is fixing a durango for us, has (kindly) lent us a vehicle to drive.
i have named it, (not at all affectionately) the egg plant on wheels.
it is exactly the color of an egg plant.
it looks like a car you would find a 60 something year old lady driving.
you should see the looks i get when i am emerging from that car.
people look at me like, "huh, i wouldn't have guessed..."
and i want to sputter...."yeah! tell me about it!!"  but i don't.
the only good things about the egg plant are that:
a. it runs
b. it is warm (i saw a few horse and buggies this winter, and i'm just saying, i'd rather be in the egg plant)
c. when my cousin joy and i go out on the town and we take the egg plant, everything is just funny.  i'm not sure why, but it is. 

but on this particular monday, as stated above, i piled everyone into the egg plant to go to the doctor.
ok, my mom piled herself in, but everyone else was needy.
i never realized how small the back seat of a car really is.
it is WAAAAAYYYY too small for three sick kids!!
you should have witnessed it.
such a scrapping and fighting and pinching and bawling....
all three of them!

i got lost trying to locate the doctor's new office.
i was lost in downtown harrisburg with three miserable children whining from the back seat.
it was one of those moments when as a mom you LONG for super powers.
although...maybe it is good we do not have them because, seriously, in moments like this one...
who knows what i would have done!

the funniest part of this whole mess happened when we were again all piled in close quarters.
this time, however, we were in the examination room, waiting for the doctor.
i was holding cheney on my lap.  a nurse came in to check temps.
she was a black lady.  and her hair was really sumthin'!
she had bangs and then the best way i can describe it to you is that the sides were long and curled up.
kinda like big old waves on either side of her head.  and it looked stiff as a  board.  like you could
break it off, not bend it.
cheney, my kid who says whatever she thinks,
stared at the nurse for a few minutes.
(i could see those wheels spinning.)
and then, cheney turns and looks at me,
wrinkles her little nose up,
and says,
"she's hair is WEIRD!"
(this coming from the kid who is currently missing 90% of her bangs as well as other assorted hunks of hair due to a run in with safety scissors.)
and i thought,
well now, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, i don't know what is!!
and i laughed and laughed.

it has been a long week.
doctor.  medicine.  grumpy kids.  coughing.  sleepless nights. 
all comes with the territory, you know.
and now the worst is behind us.

cassie went back to school today.
cheney was invited to visit with her grandma and grandpa for a few hours.
so hallie and i went out for lunch.  we did her health lesson while we waited for our turkey sub and fries.
sooo yummy.
it was good for us.
the week was hard on her too.
she was less sick than the others, but because she is my silent sufferer,
she took the brunt of the grumpies from the other two.

cassie is my violent-someone-must-be-punished-because-i'm-sick kid.
she lost her voice for a few days.
at first i secretly thought it might be a blessing.
it wasn't.
when she was in the tub and "needed" my attention,
she would bang on the wall of the tub until someone came.
i found out that cassie was actually pounding on hallie's head to get her attention.
poor hallie.

so, here we are.  all still alive.  with no brain injuries or what.not.all.

and, i found out that i have an interview at this beautiful little cafe next week.
i am most excited! 
my dear cousin, christy, commented on my fb post that God is never late.
and He isn't.

so i will eagerly await next thursday.  to see what God has planned.
to find out if He has my life woven into the fabric of a little shop called  the timeless cafe.

in the meantime,
i'll do what it is that i do.

i wish you all well!
quite well indeed!

Friday, January 21, 2011

a little something: and it came to pass....thank GOD!

a little something: and it came to pass....thank GOD!: "today i am blogging to remind myself that there really is a great big world out there... somewhere. i think. since i no longer have my coff..."

and it came to pass....thank GOD!

today i am blogging to remind myself that there really is a great big world out there...
i think.

since i no longer have my coffee shop job, my world feels quite a bit smaller.
when we began to have winter storms every other day, my world became smaller still.
and, lastly, when three out of the five the wolfe fam became ill...
you guessed it!
smaller still.
in fact, my world is now so small, or so it feels, that i'm tripping over my own feet just trying to walk.
now i'm just exaggerating.

the truth is, we've been blessed with very good health this fall and over the holidays...
so i really am not complaining. 
and the snow thing, i kinda like it.
although all of these delays and cancellations have left me feeling like we're in some kind of time warp.
and the job thing...
i'm still missing it.
rather terribly,
to be honest.
but i am trusting with more umph behind it...that God really does have a bigger and better plan for me.
i was tempted to go out and just get a job to have one.  but i knew that to do that, would be stealing from God's best.  and i want His best.  so i'll wait.

in the meantime, i will share what i have observed about sick children.
there are different types of sick children.
i have three types that live here at my house.

1. i have the angry punish-the-world-that-i'm-sick child.
(she rants and raves about how miserable she feels, and how she's missing out on all sorts of good things because she got sick. and seriously, it's like she just HAS to blame someone...anyone...that this dreadful thing happened to her. (i mean, never mind the small detail that the flu hits every.single.person now and again.) SOMEone, SOMEwhere, in her mind, is at fault.  big time. and the world should be lining up to serve her with a smile, whether night or day! ...only normally the world isn't around to serve her, and i'm on duty all by myself.)

2. the silent sufferer. (ohhhhhh how i love her!)
(you know these kids.  they are ok with just lying on the couch, watching pbs kids hour upon hour.  these kids don't demand anything.  in fact, you have to stop by the couch and say, "is there anything you need, sweetie?"  these kids know that soon they'll feel better again, so they are content to wait it out.  and they do not feel the need to make anyone else feel their pain.)

3.and lastly, the don't-take-your-eyes-off-me-for-a-second-cause-CLRARLY-it's-all-about-me sick kid.
(this is my three year old.  she is sooo the baby.  and when she's sick, she needs her entire family to watch her 24/7 and enter into her sickness experience.  she tells us constantly, " i feel sick."  like maybe we thought that in the last five minutes the flu magically left her.  she demands medicine, and drinks, and to be held.  if i walk out of the room, she yells after me "i feel SICK!" like how in the world was i even thinking about leaving the room?  the nerve?!!)

so...this is me, saying i am glad things come to pass.
life is seasonal.
all of it,
the kids are sick, and it's snowy, and i have no coffee shop job,
but all of these things are just seasonal. 
we never know how long a particualar season will last.
but it will always change.
it's about perspective.  perspective is huge.
trust is huge. 

so, what say, world out there...
shall we put some umph behind our trust?!
shall we choose perspective?

and now,
since i promised, in my last post, to send out some copies of perennial blessings,
for a little something...

i need some addresses. (smile.)
rhonda and lisa, thank you for your real and honest comments.  it is so very good to know we are not alone!
please send me an email at with your mailing address, and you will receive a package soon. 
also, elaine martin, i would love to send one of the gifts to your daughter in law. i have been reading your fb posts about your grandson.  if you send the address of the hospital, i will send a package to her.  (or to you, if you'd like to deliver it.)
and laura, if you do not have a copy of perennial blessings, i shall bring one to church on sunday.
thanks everyone for your commments!!

celebrating the changing of the seasons!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

bouncing along in the back of an old blue pickup truck

today seems like a good day to blog.
it's snowy and blowy, and so very cold.
an inside sort of day.
today also seems like a good day to give away
some copies of Perennial Blessings with extra yummy hot chocolate.
i personally do not like chocolate, but i am trying to speak your language. (smile.)

so, at the end of the post, i will give instructions as to how you can be chosen to receive a package in the mail from yours truely.

monday was a hard day.
i quit the job that i loved oh so much.
for those of you who do not know what that job was...
i worked one, sometimes two, days a week at a little coffee shop.
it was so me!  i thrived!  the experience was so amazing!  the opportunities could have been limitless.  
in the five months i worked at the shop, customers who were strangers became my friends.  i looked forward to serving them, and sending them off with coffee and a smile.
i learned their names.  people love to be called by their name. did you know that?  i heard once that the word most dear to a person, is hearing someone call them by their name.

but there were issues.
issues that became a matter of integrity for me.  in order to keep peace and maintain my integrity as a person, and a believer, i walked away.  sooo sadly.
i drove home from my last shift at the shop on monday night, in the cold and in the dark, and the tears dripped off of my chin.
the faces of so many people that i had come to love,
that i had shared my heart with,
kept running through my mind.
i felt so confused.
i knew God led me there. and i did not know, and still do not know,
why He closed the door. 
i was not ready for it to close.
it didn't feel like it was time.

when i got home, my husband could see that i had been crying, so he
opened his arms to me, and of course...
the flood gates opened again!  more tears.
the tears came and went over the next 24 hours.
i knew i had done what i was supposed to do...
and my heart was and is committed to following God's perfect path for me,
but sometimes this thing i do with's just so...

the scene on my livingroom floor the other day.  which doll best represents my life at present?  the one sitting in the back of the old blue pickup truck.  just along for the ride.  who knew God drove an old blue truck??

can any of you identify?
this feeling of
"God, where are you taking me?"
"are you a safe driver?"
"am i going to end up at a good place?"

oh, i know.
i know that we "believe" that God is a good, safe driver, and that he is taking us to a good place...
and "technically" we aren't "supposed" to even ask those questions...

says WHO?

this is our life!
our very hearts are at stake.
we are going to feel.  (if we are real, that is.)
and just because we choose to believe that God is trustworthy,
and that He is who He says He is,
that does not mean that sometimes we will not cry and say,
"ouch! i wasn't expecting that bump in the road.
God, you sure you know where you're headed???  seems really bumpy back here!!  any chance, have an extra pillow up there...
to toss back to me.  ease the blow of the bumps, perhaps???
maybe toss a box of tissues along with the pillow, if you would."

seriously, do we really think that being a "good christian" means we never ask God what's going on?  or that we have to pretend it's all good, and there is no pain in this journey?  that we constantly live in the "happy place" of God's goodness?

because to me,
that seems like another mask.
another form of pretense.

i love God.  i do.  more than life itself.
and i will follow Him anywhere.
and i am committed to learning, and seeking, and growing.
but i will be honest, and tell you that there has been much pain along the way.
much confusion.
sometimes anger.
grief.  sadness.  sacrifice.

it's not been a smooth ride in a stretch limo.
not by a long shot.

but in all reality,
i don't think that is what God has promised.

He has promised victory.  power.  love.  grace.  mercy.  strength.  truth.
but not easy.  God never promised easy.
anything worth having is hard work.  always.  so what's with this idea of wanting more of God, and life in Him, with the mentality that it will happen easily, and pain free? 

are there any fellow seekers out there who know what it means to yell, "OUCH, God!"
anyone who has had to double check that God remembers you are bouncing along in the back?  without a pillow???
maybe even a few brave souls out there who are willing to say that there have been bumps that have been so big,
they've nearly been tossed out of the back of the truck? 
i know those kind of bumps.

God does know we are back there.
i believe He does.
and He knows when the bumps hurt.  bad.
and i believe, i really do,
that if a bump comes along, that is sooo big, and the sheer force of it tosses us out of the back of the truck,
the God i have come to know
will stop the truck, turn it around, and come back for us.
He really is that kind of God.
and He could no more drive away without looking back,
than we could from our own children who need us so desperately.

so this is me.
bumping along.
waiting to see what is around the next bend.
believing, through tears, that God knows what He's doing.
this thing we do with God, the entrusting our very lives to Him...
it is so hard, yes.
but how much harder would it be to do it alone. 
without Him.

i'll take the bumps anyday.

and because sometimes "a little something" helps to ease the bumps...
i'd like to send a little something.  (smile.)
a little something can act as a pillow sometimes.  can't it?  (smile.)

i will be sending 5 copies of my book Perennial Blessings, each with some special flavored hot chocolate.
to anyone wishing to participate, all you have to do is
submit a comment, either on the blog, or comment on the link on fb,
and post the link to your fb profile.

this gift can be for you, or for someone you know who is having a bumpy time of it.  i will choose five.  the last day for the comments for this post will be a week from today. i will post the winners and ask for addresses to be sent to me via fb message or email.

and at any time, if God puts someone on your heart who you really feel could use a little something, an encouragement in the Lord, send an email to me at, or send a message via facebook, and i will make sure the need is met. 

 pressing onward,
in faith, HOPE, and love,