Thursday, February 28, 2008


I've started a new book that was recommended by my friend, Jan. It is about Faith. So far, I really like it. The most recent chapter went through the definition of faith and all the different meaning of the word according to different ways that it is used. The last thing that the author states I really liked. His wording is excellent. Thought I would share it. He said that faith is "the vital link between God and man. It is God activating in man such assurance and conviction regarding His will that one cannot but do the things that He asks." It is amazing when we are really paying attention to what God wants for our lives and really trusting HIm how much easier it can be to know the next steps to take. I say that on a day when I really am struggling with some decisions that we (I) have to make. The catch with this whole thing is that I am not sure there is always only one right answer. God gave us free will, and sometimes I think he provides options for us. I am struggling right now with that. Is God providing an option or is He specifically wanting me to go in one direction? If there is only one right answer, what is it?

We need to generate some additional income. The weekend after this realization, the doctor across street who has also become a friend, talked to me once again about working for him as his office manager. The timing of the conversation and the potential really excited me. But as time passed and the job began looking a little different than what I had imagined, I was not so excited. Today was the day of the interview, and to be honest, I was very, very nervous and really feeling like there was no reason to go because I just did NOT want to do the job. I felt a lot of pressure surrounding the whole situation for many reasons. My prayer all morning was that I would communicate well my strengths, my weaknesses and my desires and ask the right questions, which I think I did. There are three other doctors in his practice, so I met with him and two of them. The interview went well, and afterward, I felt much, much better about the possibility again. These waves of changing emotions are always the things that confuse me. For starters, I find it scary to rely on emotions when making decisions. (Of course, I have done it.) If I did it always, who knows where I would be right now, but definitely not right here. But I also know that God created us and made us with the emotions that we have, so maybe I should listen to them some, and sometimes they have steered me correctly. But how do you listen to something that changes like the wind. I am so thankful that God is unchanging and stable and wants what is best for me. I don't know at this point what I will do or even if they will offer me the job. That is left to be seen, and in the meantime, I will be praying a lot that God will make it very clear to me what I am supposed to do. I want nothing less than to be in the center of His will!

On another note, we are finally well in our house!!! YAY!!!! We had small group tonight for the first time in three weeks. Brent is actually out of town, so it was just me and two other couples (and of course all the kiddos running around). It was a nice evening. We had good discussion about God using our past to make us who we are today and how to forgive the hurts. I plugged the book I finished reading not too long ago, God Never Wastes a Hurt. I love small group. I love it that one of the couples does not profess Christianity but is willing to engage and be a part of the conversation. I love what I can learn from others. I realize how much I have missed not having a small group! It's good to have one again!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tired of Sickness

We've all been sick now for over two weeks. First James, then David, then Brent, then Jason, now me and Sarah. It's bronchial and fever stuff. It's tiring, and we are all ready to be well. Please pray for us! Maybe in a couple days I will have something more exciting to write, but lately it's been quite mundane - chicken soup, hot Tang and sleep!!! Forgive my complaining, I have much to be thankful for!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My funny children

A couple of stories that made us laugh:

Earlier today, Sarah wanted to watch Winnie the Pooh. She really doesn't watch TV or movies yet, but when she thinks she wants a movie on, it is always Pooh. The thing is, we put it on and she watches for two minutes before leaving the room, rarely to return before the end of the movie, when she asks for it to be played again. So often, we don't put the movie on for her. Tonight when she went to ask for it, she said to Brent, "I want to watch Pooh. I'll be your best buddy!" She's not even three yet!

This afternoon I decided to wash the boys' sheets and comforters. It's time, plus I need to kill all the germs that are infecting my family! At bedtime they were not finished yet, so I told the kids to grab their sleeping bags. (I know we have extra sheets somewhere, but I don't know where, plus their blankets were not ready either.) Now, I do wash the boys' sheets regularly, but I definitely wash David's more than everyone else because he wets the bed occasionally still. At bedtime, when he walked in his room with his sleeping bag, he looked at me and questioned, "Jason and I wet the bed?" I guess he thinks the only reason to wash sheets is if there is an accident!!! (Note: he did not have an accident last night!)

I love my kids! They make me laugh!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A few things

I finally finished the book, God Never Wastes a Hurt. I loved it, thought it was fantastic. It took me so long to get through it that I will have to go back and remember the main highlights, but one thing I read today that really hit me was a chapter called, How to Turn a Little into a Lot, in wich Jim Reeve talked about the widow in 2 Kings 4. This is the widow who went to Elisha for help when she had nothing. He told her to go and gather jars from her neighbors. When she did, he took the little oil she had and poured it into all of the jars. It just kept increasing until all the jars were full. I have heard this Bible story since I was very young, but had never stopped to think about it other than to realize how powerful God is and how He provides for us in the most unsuspecting of ways. I appreciated all of the principles that Mr. Reeve pointed out from the story. I could type for a long time about all the things he said, but I would instead recommend that you read it. The main thing I got is that she went to Elisha for help, probably expecting/hoping that Elisha would just fix her problem. Elisha didn't just fix it himself. Instead he had her go and do part of the work that would enable him to help her fix things. So often we sit back waiting for God to fix our problems. We pray, which is important, but we have to figure out our next step. What should I do to help in this situation? I think most of us probably go ahead and "do" because that is human nature, but for me I "do" because I feel like I have to in order to make something happen. I take control away from God. I am a person who likes to fix things, to the detriment of letting God at times. I go ahead and "do" by myself, all the time wishing God would just step in and fix it, rather than doing while praying that God would take what I am doing and make it even better than I could ever hope. I wonder what the widow hoped Elisha would do for her. Did she hope for something amazing or did she just hope not to starve? I know when I am in need, I hope that God will cover the need, but I don't necessarily hope for much more than that. It was convicting. I need to talk to God about my needs/wants, then listen for what He wants me to do, move forward with the next step and watch how he takes what I do and makes it so much more abundant than anything I could ever dream of.

On a lighter note, here is a picture of James at his birthday party. It was very simple with just three friends over. They opened some presents (this was a favorite!!!) then watched a movie on the big screen outside and the watched some more on the big screen inside. It was fun and loud!!! Now he is really sick, so pray for him if you think about it. He has bronchitis and sounds terrible. I took him to the doctor yesterday. It is viral in nature, so there is no medication, but he was put on two inhalers to try to help his lungs. The doctor was concerned about pneumonia and did chest x-rays, but it was just bronchitis. Also, Brent is feeling poorly now, and he could use some prayers. Eric is out of town this weekend, so he really needs to be well enough to make it through Sunday.

Here is our sweet daughter with her Daddy! Yes, she has him wrapped around her finger most of the time!

Jason had a field trip today to La Purisma, a spanish mission on the coast. We left his school at 6:30 this morning and traveled 2 1/2 hours (It actually took longer on the big charter bus) to this mission. It was a fun day. This is a picture of Jason with one of his friends in the soldier's quarters. It was a cool field trip! They are studying California history and the establishing of the Catholic Missions. This was especially fun for us because last year when I was homeschooling, we studied this also, so it was neat to be able to be with him. it was also fun to watch him interact with his classmates. He is a normal boy and I had to settle him down some, but he is also a very sweet gentleman. At one point, he gave up a "game" because there was not enough for everyone in his class. He passed it off to another student and waiting. Yet he jumped into the circle and participated as much as he could without the tool - silly little things make a mother proud!!!

I feel like I should say something about David, since there is something about the other kids. He is just David - sweet and onery!!! I have been working with him on reading, and he is doing quite well! That's exciting!!! It's so delightful and so difficult (all at the same time) to watch your kids grow and change. I love it when they are doing new things, but I wonder so much where the time went - where are my babies.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The mother of a teenager!

I cannot believe it, but I am now the mother of a teenager! James was born 13 years ago now, at 12:02 a.m. on February 10th. It's amazing to me how long ago that seems and yet how recently it seems. I can hardly believe thirteen years have passed! I have to tell you that he is an amazing kid. Yes, he is a teenager, and at times he drives us crazy, but he is a child who loves the Lord and truly wants to follow Him. What more could we ask for? The rest will follow. My greatest prayer is that his convictions and love for the Lord will stay strong as he moves through these next several years, which I think can be so difficult. I know he is really missing his friends from Bartlesville right now. It is a hard time to not have any close friends nearby. He will have his three closest friends here over tomorrow night to spend the night (school is out on Monday). His request for his birthday was pretty cool. He wanted Kevin to come over and talk about his plans for leading the teens in a Bible study at church because he would like his friends to be a part of that. Then he wanted to play Wii and watch movies on the big screen in the backyard. Our weather has been perfect for that, so that is our plan for tomorrow night. Although, I don't know that Kevin is coming over.

Speaking of Kevin . . . he is such a HUGE answer to my prayers. One thing about moving at James's age was that we had been given some advice a long time ago that was difficult to follow at the time of our move. That advice was that you should really encourage a connection between your child and an adult that you trusted so that during their teen years, when they were mad at you or just wanted someone different to talk to, they would hopefully approach this other adult. We had several people in our lives that could have fulfilled that role in Bartlesville, but we came here and knew no one. On top of that, we did not have a youth group for him to attend at our church because of the size. We knew that we wanted a youth program as soon as there was a need. Well, thank you to Kevin who pointed out that there is a need already. We have James and he should have a youth program. In addition, Kevin stepped up and said he would do it. We think so much of Kevin and his wife, Jill. They have been a huge blessing to us and to Kaleo and to Eric and now to my kids. James really looks up to Kevin and is so excited that Kevin wants to do this. James is excited to invite his friends also, which is way cool! I'm excited to see where this goes for James and for the church in general!

So, today we start this ride of having a teenager (though I feel like in a lot of ways, it already started). In some ways, I am excited; in others I'm not, but I am eager to see how God carries us through and shapes us as we learn to be the parents James needs us to be during this time of his life! I feel so blessed that overall, I have a really great kid with a really great heart and with good priorities.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"I just a four year old!"

So yesterday David got in trouble - can you believe it???!!! He had been told he could not get on the Wii and was found sneaking on to it twice! Yes, twice! And it's in the living room, not in some hidden location, but obviously he thought he could be inconspicuous. So, after the second time, it was time for a spanking. I sent him to his room and went to talk to Brent. We called David into the office and were talking to him before the spanking. He was teary and looked up at Brent and said, "But, I just a four year old!"

I had to hold back the laughter. At the same time, I thought, "That's exactly what went through my mind when you were SNEAKING!!!" How could it start so early?

By the way, we were both giggling, but he did still get the spanking!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Ishaan!

Today we went to a birthday party for the little boy across the street, Ishaan. He turned five years old, and he and David are friends. His parents are from India and are Sikhs. I have blogged about them before. They are both doctors and are very sweet people. When they celebrate a birthday, it is not a two hour ordeal; it lasted from 3:00 until I don't know when - We left at about 8:00. They had pizza and sodas when we first arrived, then there was a clown that came and entertained the kids, then they had cake. Then after about another hour and a half, they served dinner with Indian food. They had a few family members there, and then there were a lot of other friends who are also Indian who came to the party. So many of them are so far away from family that they have just become a new family to each other. It is pretty cool! The people who were not Indian (parents of Ishaan's friends from school), left after the clown, but they really wanted us to stay and have their food. So, we stayed as long as we could. Brent did not get to eat dinner there because he had to go set up for church. I stayed and visited and had dinner. It was very interesting to be in the middle of this completely different culture. Everyone was speaking Punjabi, except for whoever was right next to me. The men and women separated (guys outside by the fire, women inside with little kids); Brent said the men hardly spoke in English at all. He said one of the men apologized but continued to talk in Punjabi. He told Brent they never get to speak in their native tongue like that. If it wasn't for the very American toys all over the house, I would have felt like I was not in America. The food was good - very spicy - and they were so excited that we were there and tried it. They asked over and over if it was good. They made a huge plate for Brent and sent it home with me - actually she carried it over here for me!

This is such a great ministry opportunity for us. When we were in Bartlesville I remember feeling so convicted about how few non-Christian friends I had. There were acquaintances, but not even very many of those. There are so many here all around us. There are all the people on our block. Some of them claim a faith in Jesus, but they are not living the lives we are called to live. Some of them do not know Jesus at all! There are people in activities that the kids are involved in and people at their schools. It is just really cool! My prayer now is not that I would find people who need Jesus, but that I would live my life in such a way that others can see a difference and that they will want to understand that difference. The hard thing about our Sikh friends is that they live really great lives. They have such a great community within their culture. They love each other and take care of each other. They are happy and kind and reach out to others. They are also perfectly happy with the fact that we believe in God. They think that what we believe is great, just like what they believe. I think this will be a long term opportunity to live our lives in a different way. Please pray for them and for their hearts to be softened and for them to be curious and want to know about our lives. They know Brent is a pastor and think it is great that he is "spreading the love of God." I pray that they will want to know more about that and invite us to share it with them. It was a huge step that we were invited into their home and into their culture! Now it is time for us to have them over here, so they can experience ours!