Thursday, May 31, 2007

Olivia graduated from preschool today. The kids did a great little play, "The Hungry Caterpillar." (or callapitter as Josiah says!) This is Olivia dancing to one of their songs.

Very proud of herself!

Olivia and her teacher, Ann Schoeff. Olivia LOVES Mrs. Schoeff, who is only a little bigger than Livi!!

The celebratory cake with pictures of both classes on it! YUM!! We are so proud of you, Princess!!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sheila Walsh

What Are You Doing, Lord?
"How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, `Violence!' but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong?" (Habakkuk 1:2-3).

The popularity of his name may have died out, but Habakkuk's question lives on: "What are you doing, Lord? Don't you see what is happening all around me?" When I look back on my own history, I am grateful for the faithfulness of God in so many diverse situations. I see how he has delivered me from hopelessness and fear. But I have bruised my knees on the altar of my unforgiveness. I have to come back again and again. Clinical depression is still misunderstood and unacceptable in certain circles within the church. I found that out when I was weak and broken and the response of some people I had counted as friends almost overwhelmed me. I had three, like Job's comforters, who condemned me in different ways. One wrote me a letter while I was still a patient in the psychiatric unit, suggesting that I was using this "phony" illness as an excuse to take a break from my life. He urged me to stop pretending to be sick. Another "friend" said that I was a compulsive liar and wouldn't know what was true if it hit me in the face. He said I should never be allowed back into any form of public ministry. The third friend has not spoken to me from that day until this, over ten years later. When I was at the bottom mentally and emotionally, I had never felt more lonely in my life. I have never felt more unworthy of love before or since. My friends' words to me were like earth on top of a casket in my soul. "If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship" (Psalm 55:12-14). I didn't know what to do. Then I was confronted with Jesus' command to forgive. Over time I attempted to contact all three of the people who had hurt me so deeply. My first friend and I were able to talk things through and come to a place of understanding, deeper friendship, and mutual forgiveness. The second person maintained his position that I was much sicker than I knew and would never be restored. I have tried to contact the third person, but she will not respond. I have come to understand that forgiveness is something I choose to do out of obedience to God whether I want to or not, whether I feel like it or not. That's how I began to leave my interior prison. In prayer I began forgiving the people who'd hurt me, even though I didn't mean a word of it. I was clear with God about that.

"Lord, you know me well. I want to forgive because you ask me to, but I am so angry and hurt. -1 choose now to drag my will in line with yours and forgive. Help me. Give me your heart and your eyes. Amen."

That's how I started. It was pretty pathetic, but it was all I had. If I had waited until I wanted to forgive, I would still be waiting. I've found liberty in obedience. I have also experienced humility. For me it's saying to God, "I don't understand your ways, but I say yes! to them. You are right, I am wrong. I don't always see how, but I believe it to be true." This is a "drop-your-rock moment," as Nicole Johnson says. That's hard for me to grasp as a forty-four-year-old. It's even more difficult to communicate to a four-year-old.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 28, 2007

Some Encouragement

We had a busy day yesterday...Kevin didn't preach so we went to Sharonville church for service on our way north.

After service, a wonderful lady stopped me to tell me that she and her husband had been sitting behind us in church. She said she just sees a light around me and prays for me regularly. She sees me (can you believe it? ME) as in inspiration. She knows what I do is difficult and prays for me regularly. It was some encouragement that was much needed at that particular time.

Don't be afraid to share similar thoughts with people. There are so many people who inspire me and I need to let them know. They may need that pick-me-up as badly as I did yesterday.

Women who inspire and encourage me:
1. My mom, Karen
2. My mother in law, Margaret
3. My sister, Tricia
4. My SILs
5. Laura
6. Tracy
7. Andrea
8. Holly
9. Kate
10. Kelly R.
11. Heather
12. Susan
13. Mary
14. Jane
15. Beth
16. Barb
17. Dana
18. Christina
19. Kathleen
20. Sheri
21. Jeanne
22. Joleen
23. Erin
24. Robin
25. Linda
26. Aunt Cheryl
27. Sharon
28. Sharyl
29. Tania
30. Tee
31. Lynn
32. Priscilla
33. Georgia

34. Dawn
35. Melissa

And many be continued......

Thursday, May 24, 2007

10 things to expect when you have a 2 year old and 2-3 year olds

10 things to expect when you have a 2 year old and two 3 year olds:
1. They will wake up happy (ie. screaming for fun) even when you don't
2. If it is a toy, they don't want to play with it
3. If it is NOT a toy, they want to play with it
4. Playful wrestling will always result in someone getting hurt, lots of tears and screaming (not for fun)
5. It is impossible to vacuum too often
6. If mommy is home, they will want daddy
7. If daddy is home, they will want mommy
8. Your house will be a disaster
9. They will always want to "help" resulting in more of #8
10. There is nothing sweeter than their hugs and kisses!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Oliva Lian. Wearing a party on her head!!

Gracie just turned 8. I cannot believe how old she is!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 21, 2007

Posted by Picasa

Charis and Josiah playing t-ball at my neice's med school graduation

Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa

A Real Relationship with God

" God in his mercy, out of a desire for a real relationship with us, will continue to allow us to fall flat on our faces until all we want is him." ~Sheila Walsh

Wow. That is amazing and so true. Don't we all fall flat on faces? In our search for that "missing thing" in our lives, we try a lot of different things. Sex, drugs, tv, food, alcohol, hobbies, destructive relationships, shopping. So many things and while they may help for the moment, eventually, we just go back to feeling empty!

"8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Phil. 3:8)

When we first got married, I expected Kevin to meet my needs and to fill the emptiness inside of me. I very quicky learned that he could not fulfill this expection....unfortunately, it took me five years to figure out that filling these needs was not his job. God was simply waiting for me to realize that it is was HIS job and one that HE was more than willing to do.

I long for the day when I don't have to keep learning this lesson the hard way. 'Oh, yeah, I was supposed to give this one to God!' Like I am supposed to give every situation to him. Sometimes I seem to remember this lesson and sometimes, I just fall right back into my old patterns.

So, for today, I have not fallen flat on my face....but I know that day will come again...that day when I forget that not only am I not in charge, I really don't want to be.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What a great source for Christian women!! Check it out for connections with God and other adults! Praising Him continuously!

We're Going to the Zoo!!

We loaded up all of the kids and went to the zoo this afternoon. It was a gorgeous day and the kids were great, except for Elliana's monster fit. We were standing in line to ride the train. When it was full, it left without us. Ella was not amused!! She screamed until it came back and then got on, all smiles. I am sure she thinks that the screaming is what brought the train back!!

In general, it was a really fun afternoon. And great family time!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

This is my new blog! I don't really get how the whole thing works, but I am trying! I've been inspired by the blogs of some of my friends. Once I figure out how to do add theirs onto here, I will!