Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday on Thursday: Pics I've been wanting to share. Tillamook Beach

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In sickness and health and astronauts.

This week has been odd. My poor lovey husband came down with a cold a while ago. This week it was confirmed to be either pneumonia or bronchitis. Strange don't you think. I've never heard of someone being told they have either one or the other... but my husband was. So, he's been home and on antibiotics.

You know how we say that we "just want them to be happy".. meaning our love or our children or whomever we decide we care that deeply enough for. Well, I learned that I didn't really. I want them to be happy so long as getting them there doesn't interfere with my happiness even worse.. God forbid... my schedule!

I was not the most wonderful nurse-wife this week. I saw a lot of yuckiness in my heart that could only.. well maybe not only but definitely at least be described as selfishness. I was happy to take care of him. Happy to get him what he needed. NOT so happy to sit and spend my week watching tv with him. I wasn't sick. I had things to do, places to go and people to see. (blech.. I am trying to add a little humor to my shame though) So in the end I decided to just act sick. Not like take meds and mope. (no, I'm not implying anything by saying that) I just decided to let it all go and when I had time to do the things that I so desperately needed to do.. I could do them then.

We ended up having a great week together which ended last night with him reading from C.S. Lewis', Four Loves. We've not read together like we used to. He actually made a joke about me always falling asleep when he reads to me... "well at least 9 years ago you did". Sad huh. But we are once again at a time of life where the demands of the day aren't so overwhelming. We have the energy and peace of mind to sit together and glean from some books the food that feeds our souls and binds our hearts and minds together in a way that only comes from reading together. (long sentence I know)

This week was also "Space Week" at the kids school. OMSI came and set up an exhibit and each day our kids would come home with new facts about the planets that surround ours. Or the stars, or the sun. It was great fun to see their interests peaked in such an intellectual way.

We've been having a good time supplementing their homework with spelling words or math pages that better fit their personal level of understanding than the day to day stuff they bring home from school. This is proving to ignite in all of us an excitement and great anticipation of the fun we will have homeschooling together.

Space week showed us that out of all of them Ethan was the most fascinated with it. (I think his teacher spent more time on it than the others) He was the most likely to have fun facts to share in the evening and enjoyed watching any shows his dad could find on the subject as well as looking things up online with me to help further his understanding and refresh his memory on things like mileage from the sun or rings on a planet. What a joy it's been to explore this with him.

So yesterday, day 7 of Bruce being sick-sick, he decided we needed to mow the back yard. I told him only if he'd let Ethan.. because he shouldn't be putting that much effort out yet. So Ethan mowed, I raked and Bruce and Jesse organized the rocks that for some unknown reason surround the edge of our yard. (the girls were at friends houses and so missed out on the treat of family work!) It was refreshing to get outside. Refreshing to move. Refreshing to see my boys work hard.

As Ethan came around on his first trip past us with the lawn mower, he shouted, "One small step for man. One giant leap for man-kind!" Oh, how these precious boys make my heart sing.
That is exactly what God's been doing in both his father and me this week. Taking us through little steps in our hearts that will mean giant steps for our children, our family as a whole and someday those around us that our lives touch.

My word for the week is "cusp". I've felt it all week. We are on the cusp of something great that God is bringing us into. Freedom, joy and the ability to once again live from the heart. A heart that is less full of us and more full of him. Every time my heart "sings" about one of my children I recognize that as being so much more a symphony than what is has recently been. And then I want to cry. Because I know that God truly is going somewhere with us. He truly is doing something IN us. He truly has us on the cusp of great things!

Spa, Butterflies and Crap

Lovely title huh.  Give me a chance to explain and then you can decide if I need a different one.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go on a retreat with the women of my church that I haven't attended for months now.  We went to Bonneville Resort and Spa.  It was a lovely hotel which has water flowing into the pools and spa from a spring.  This was lovely minus the sulfuric aroma that wafted through the halls from this magic water.

The speaker was Diane Moore.  She is a family counselor as well as a radio talk show host here in the Portland/Vancouver area.  It is called Parent Talk Radio.  I am not sure of the station or times she's on.. but when I figure it out I should post it.  For now here is a link to her website.  She reminds me a lot of my dear friend Tori, and so I like her teaching style bunches.  She is a lovely woman.  She also attends our church and so was obligated to speak at our retreat.  Just kidding.  I'm sure she enjoyed it.

I neglected to take notes as I was in a foul mood most of the weekend.  This was partially due to the fact that I was taking pills for a "cleanse" so my tummy was upset, (no this wasn't the reason for the sulfur smell).  The other factor was.. I was being asked to be introspective.. and I didn't like what I saw and didn't understand how to deal with it.  So I was crabby.  That makes sense right?

She, Diane, spoke on butterflies.  She talked about how as caterpillars they live on poisonous milkweed and eat it in case they are eaten by a predator.  This ensures they get the last laugh.  They also apparently see in only black and white.  At some point in their life-cycle they attach themselves to a leaf and within two minutes are completely enclosed in a cocoon.  Then, over a period of time.. they turn to complete liquid.  Completely except for a little bit of their heart which keeps them alive.  So, the are liquid except for part of their heart and then they turn into a butterfly.  When they emerge from their cocoon they fly some crazy long distance like 2000 miles or so and then instead of eating poisonous milkweed they sip nectar from flowers that have bright colors or something which means that now they see in color.

All of this was meant to be a picture of us and how we live and then the process of change that happens in us as we allow God to work in our lives.  She also spoke on the ways that we cope with things that happen to us and then how we behave when we are transformed.

We were given a spa treatment.  I didn't think I'd like it.  We were to receive a mineral bath.  I don't like baths.  I don't like being stuck in hot water.  And we were told to use that 30min. to talk to God.  I don't like being told to talk to God.  And I don't like sitting still. (foul attitude)  Ends up you don't fill your tub with hot mineral water though.  It is supposed to be as close to body temperature as possible.  This ensures that your body is able to absorb the healing minerals within the water.  And that in 30min you can absorb up to 1 pint of water.  After 30min you don't absorb anything.. so they don't leave you in any longer.  It was delicious.

Then they took us to a room filled with massage like tables where we were to lay for another 30min and be wrapped up so that we could sweat out toxins.  At this point I was loving the whole thing and so thoroughly enjoyed it.  Minus feeling like I was in The Matrix.  :)

So, we were in our liquid state and cocooned.  Fun huh.  Allowing the weekends teaching to absorb into me has taken the better part of the week.  And I'm sure that there is plenty more that will come.  But for now it has been good to see the foulness that I've allowed to build up within me and see the gentle cleansing that the Holy Spirit brings as I open myself up to Him.

My next post has more evidence of this need for a detox of my soul.  Please bear with me as I work through it and use this blog to think it all through.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh how they make me laugh.

Last week my wonderful hubby bought a Go-kart for our kids. It is tiny. As in my bootie aint gonna fit in there. The older three kids are able to drive it.. Annah gets to be passenger.  The afternoon we got it we took the kids out to a 3 block long empty lot that is basically a big field.  They all were able to drive for a bit before the sun went down.

The next day I picked the kids up from school and as we were pulling into the garage Jesse looked over at the Go-Kart and said, "There she is.. the beauty of my life."
Today Annah started singing Jesus Loves Me.  I got kinda sad realizing I hadn't taught it to her.  So I decided to do a quick run through of other "Bible" songs I'd learned from my mom. 

After teaching her Jesus Loves the Little Children (the now probably controversial one that says Red and Yellow, Black and White) she excitedly said, "He even likes Gee-Jo and Sophia!".  Her two cousins that are half Mexican.  (Yes, I understand that this is another controversial term.. but umm.. there father was from Mexico.. that makes him Mexican right!?)