Thursday, September 30, 2010

Be Strong in the Lord

I remember being alone with Anna at the hospital in Delaware and crying out to God saying, "I can't do this!"  I remember the night she died, falling face down on the couch and screaming, "I can't do this!"  I remember many days since November 25, 2007 when I wanted to die because the pain of grief was so bad and I declared, "I can't do this."
At those times when I had NO strength to fight, or even to breathe, God would whisper, "But look, you are doing it."
"I waited patiently [or not so patiently] for the Lord and he heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to my God."  (Psalm 40:1-2)
He heard me say "I can't do this".  He lifted me up.  He gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth and gave me a new hope in my heart.   I did nothing but trust Him.  That's it.  That's my secret.  I had no strength of my own.  I was like David and his men, who after their village was destroyed and their families were taken captive, they wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep...  It was even worse for David, because not only had he lost his family, but his men blamed him for what had happened.

 the men were talking of stoning [David]; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.  (1 Samuel 30)

In his darkest hour, David found strength in the Lord his God.  Earlier in his life, during another difficult time,  David's friend Jonathan came and helped him find strength in God.  (1 Sam 23:16)  David had killed a giant and a lion with nothing but a slingshot and his bare hands.  He was a mighty warrior and a leader of men, but when he came to the point of saying, "I can't," he found strength in his God.

The Lord give strength to his people. (Psalm 29:11)
The Lord is my strength and my song. (Exodus 15:2)
The joy of the Lord is your strength. (Neh. 8:10)
God is the strength of my heart. (Ps. 73:26) 
Real strength does not come from your bank account, your house, your job, your reputation, or your popularity.  All of those things are temporary.  Be strong in the Lord.  (Eph. 6:10)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday Will!

What a difference a year makes!  This time last year we had been in Virginia for one month.  Will had made one friend at school so I called his mom and asked if he could come over.  It was a good day and we were thankful for Will's new friend.

This year Will has friends from the baseball team, the football team and school.  He planned a Minute-To-Win-It party.  We had hot dogs, games, ice cream sundaes, and prizes.  It was crazy, busy, messy, and FUN.  We are so thankful for the way God has blessed Will in this place.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Think on these things

When I was little, the family room was downstairs and my bedroom was upstairs.  At night when it was time for bed and I was tired, I loved for my dad to carry me to my room.  It felt so good to be carried--to not have to walk up those stairs.  But time went by and there came a day when I held up my arms and said, "Carry me?"  and my dad said, "I can't.  You're too big now.  You have to walk up by yourself."
Listen to whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried you since your birth.  Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.  (Isaiah 46:3-4)
Our heavenly Father has upheld us since we were conceived.  He has carried us since we were born and he will carry us even when we are old.  Are you weighed down with burdens?  He will sustain you (def. to give support or relief to, to support the weight of)  You will never be too heavy for Him.  He has made you and he will carry you.  And it feels so good to be carried.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's all in how you look at it...

Last night was our third football game.  This time instead of being up in the press box, I was in the stands.  This time I could hear the other parents talking about how their sons were not getting to play and I realized that it wasn't just Will.  Things got heated near the end of the game and one dad in particular became very vocal.  "Hey Coach, let somebody else play!  We need some new numbers out there!"    It was not good.  And we lost....again.

After the game I was working the concession stand and one of our smallest players--the son of the angry dad--came up to buy some fries.  He looked up at me with a smile on his face and said, "You know what's great?"  And because I had not seen anything great about the game except for the beautiful harvest moon over our heads I said, "No, what's great?"
"Our team has brand new football jerseys this year!  Isn't that great?"

Once again I was reminded that I have a choice in how I see my circumstances.  I can focus on what I have lost or I can focus on what I still have.  I can focus on the things that drive me crazy or I can focus on the things that give me joy.   I can focus on losing the game and not getting to play or I can rejoice that we have new jerseys and we look good!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Will loves football.  This is his first year to play, but he is learning fast.  He didn't  mind the daily 2 hour practices in August.  He looks forward to the three nights a week of practice now that school has started.  He works hard.    I am the team mom and I have been working hard too--sending emails, passing out socks, making the roster, organizing volunteers, helping wherever needed.  We have both had fun getting ready for the first game.  On Saturday I was up in the press box and I watched Will complete a handful of plays in the first quarter.  Then I saw him on the field during the kick-off to start the second half.  The rest of the time I watched him sit on the bench...2nd quarter....3rd quarter....4th quarter....  I was  not happy.  I felt wronged.  And I couldn't let it go.  I got more and more upset as the day went on.  I wanted to quit being team mom.  I wanted to stop going to practices early and staying late.  I wanted to stop working so hard.
And what was Will's response?  When I saw him after the game he was happy!  "Did you see Mom?  We almost won at the last second.  We almost won!  And Mom, I'm the back up quarterback.  The coach said it's a very important position." 

I saw him on the sidelines, but he had stayed "in" the game the whole time.  He was a part of the team whether or not he was on the field.  He was ready if they needed him, but he was content to cheer his team on. 

Something our pastor said the next day got me re-thinking the whole situation.  I started wondering how God feels when we leave him on the sidelines.  He has worked hard on our behalf.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father   James 1:17
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  Ephesians 1:3
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  2 Corinthians 9:8
He has done everything, and yet we don't invite him to call the plays.  We leave him on the sidelines and call him in when we get tired or in trouble, but he is not our first string.  He's our backup.  "Lord, I can do this myself.  I'll call you if I need you.  You just sit over there and watch." 
Does he respond like I did--with anger and resentment?  Does he just throw up his hands and walk away when we fail to appreciate him?  No.  I think he's more like Will.  He is always ready and he is on your team whether you call on him or not.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1
But he doesn't have to be our backup quarterback.  Keep him in the game.  Let him call the plays and you will find that he is your MVP. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What time is it?

Ecclesiastes 3:1   There is a time for everything...
     time to go
     time to get up
     time for bed
     time for school
     time for your medicine
     time for your appointment
     time for your party
     time to begin
     time to stop

What is it time for in your life????

and a season for every activity under heaven...
     football season
     baseball season
     allergy season
     child bearing season
     child raising season
     empty nest season
     golden years

What season are you in????

We cannot change the time or the season we are in, but we can change...
     how we spend our time
     where we spend our time
     who we spend time with
     our minds
     our attitudes

Friday, September 10, 2010

Welcome Home

Richard has been out of town all week.  He got back last night around midnight and was welcomed by the dog.  I must have slept through his homecoming because when I woke up at 3am he was in bed.  I didn't know I was such a sound sleeper!
Last Sunday on the way home from the airport, I got to thinking about what I would do if something happened to Richard.  I started to panic and then I remembered him telling me that he had a notebook that had copies of all our important papers in it.  So when I got home I called him  and asked very sweetly, "Honey, where is that notebook that you made for me in case you die?"  That's probably not a very nice thing to ask someone who is getting ready to board an international flight.
Today I am very grateful that I don't need that notebook and that we have another day together!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A New Season

The first day of school was yesterday.  Here are Audra and Will ready to go.  Audra is starting middle school which is why she holding up the number 6.  Will is starting 4th grade.  This is the first year they haven't gone to the same school.

Here is Will heading up the hill by himself.  He had a great first day.

Will's school started first so that left Audra, Grammy and Asta waiting for the bus.  There were 7 boys and 4 girls at the bus stop in front of our house.  Grammy is here to help us coordinate everyones schedule while Richard is out of town.  (Thank you Grammy!!!) 

"Hurry Jacob hurry!!!"  Unfortunately the bus was late so I made him hurry for nothing.

Hooray for high-school.  I think I'm more excited than he is.

After school Jacob had cross-country practice until 6pm (which makes for a LONG day for him.)  Audra had her drama class from 4:30-6:30 and Will had football practice from  6-7:30.  It was a hectic, but wonderful day.  Everyone liked their new schools/teachers.  Jacob was happy to have someone he knew in every class.  Audra was happy to meet new people in her classes.  Will's teacher is using football to teach math so he is happy.  And since a mom is only as happy as her unhappiest child, I am happy too!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I always struggle to read through the book of Job.  There is some great stuff in there, but if his three friends gave him such bad counsel then why should I bother reading those parts?  But I do and I am always encouraged when I get to the end of the story.
The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first... and gave him twice as much as before... Job 42:12,10
If you will compare the numbers in the first chapter and the numbers in the last chapter you will see that God doubled the number of sheep, camels, oxen, and donkeys that Job had.  He gave back twice as much as before.  But he lost 10 children in the first chapter and God only gave him 10 children in the last chapter.  Why didn't he give him 20?  I think the answer is because although Job's children were dead to him, they were alive to God.  So in the end, Job had 20 children.  God did give him twice as much as before.