Monday, March 31, 2008

Thinking out loud

I read the comments on my last post, and one of them really resonated with me. Melissa over at A Familiar Path said she thought that maybe she had had her miscarriage so that she could identify with other women who had gone through the same thing. She said that she thought that maybe it was so that she could feel, and not just imagine, the pain of it.


An answer.

At last.

One that makes my heart quiet down a bit. One that makes the questions whisper instead of shout in my mind.

Supposing that God wanted me to be able to minister to women who've gone through loss like that is a lot more gentle on my fragile heart than supposing that taking my babies away is His way of saying "Okay, you guys are done, no more babies, too bad!"

I know in my soul that the God I serve is not a cavalier, flippant Father Who crushes and does not build back up. I know that my God is not a Father Who casts down and does not raise up again. I deeply know now that my God is not a Father Who allows His daughter to live without filling my heart with that longed-for love of a Daddy.

I know that He isn't One who arbitrarily takes without replacing. He knows the beginning from the end and knew how we would walk this path. He knew, as He brooded over the vast expanse of nothingness, before the world was even spoken into being, that the past four years would happen to us, and He knows just how we will come out in the end.

I know that He chose me to be the mom of a stillborn baby and two other angel babies because He saw how it would shape me. He foreknew how it would force me to prostrate myself at the foot of the cross for my daily sustenance along this road. He knew that it would be a tremendous facet of my becoming.

My Father knew that, at times, the anguish would nearly steal my breath. He saw the nightly dreams of being lost in a strange place, filled with despair and tangible sorrow. He knew that the pain would cut like a newly sharpened sword, when I least expected it. He saw, before time, that the grief that I denied would wrench me from sleep, in the dark of my bed, drowning in agony. He saw the path that each hot tear would take as they track down my cheeks, and He would bottle every single one, calling each by name.

My Father knew that I would have no recompense but to throw myself at His mercy. He destined me to have no place else to go but to His arms.

Ultimately, it's all conjecture. In the end, nobody really knows the concrete why's of the curves our paths might take. We can never know the mind of God, or ever be His counselor. Romans 11:33-36 echoes this: "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and His ways past finding out. For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who has ever been His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be recompensed to him again? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Whom be the glory for ever. Amen."

I may never know, on this earth, His reasoning for taking my babies to be with Him before I got a chance to inhale them, to hold them, to see their smiles and touch their hearts.

But I can hear speculation, and I can listen to wise thoughts, and sometimes, the speculation and wise thoughts resonate within me. Maybe God sends those wise wonderings my way as a poultice for my open wounds. Perhaps. And yes, it's all conjecture, but I'm blessed with a measure of sought after peace in mulling over the many reasons. I think that's okay.

So Melissa, if you're reading this post, your comment ministered to me. It brought me much needed peace and quiet in my soul and mind today. You were the hands of Christ to me, binding up and easing. And maybe you and I won't know, this side of Heaven, why our babies aren't here, but conjecture leads us to the Lord. We have no place else to go, for He knows all the answers. I don't.

And that's okay with me.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


One of the wisest statements I've ever heard came from our former pastor, Roy Henson, many years ago. He said, at the end of one of his great sermons, that we should "be being filled." For the past six months or so, the Lord has been doing some serious and deep pruning in my heart in order to make room for me to be filled daily with Him and everything He wants to do and be in my life. The Lord has not removed things in my heart to leave the resultant holes empty. He has been filling the holes with Himself and aspects of who He wants me to be. The Lord never takes something away from us without leaving a blessing in its place.

Lately, with my two very emotionally painful miscarriages, well meaning friends and acquaintances have said all manner of things, with good intentions. Some of these things, I've discerned, have not been words from the Lord. My Father has been teaching me to be a discerner of spirits.

Malachi 3:17-18 says "And they shall be Mine, said the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels. And I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not."

This verse tells me that the Lord will give me the discernment, the knowing, whether someone is speaking in the wisdom of the Lord or whether someone is speaking in their own wisdom. I've really leaned on this gift, especially in difficult times, when there are a lot of things being said and a lot of 'sweet whispers' going into my ears.

Those dear friends who have been lead by the Spirit in the past and who have spoken words of strength and wisdom into my life are powerful, and when they say things that sound really wise and godly, it can be really hard to divide between what's from God and what isn't!

That's where the gift of discernment comes in. I can sense, in my heart, what is that good and perfect word that the Lord wants me to hold on to, and what needs to be cast out.

An example: recently I spoke on the phone to a very dear friend of mine. She had no idea what had been going on in my life. After I told her about my last miscarriage, she said to me, in a very knowing voice, "well, do you think God's trying to tell you it's time to be done having children??"

This sounded like sound wisdom at first, and tickled my ears. I contemplated what she said. I mulled it over and kept thinking about it.

The thing that I didn't think about when she said that is if God wanted me to be done having children, wouldn't He close up my womb?? Wouldn't I just not get pregnant anymore??

Or would the God I serve continue to let me get pregnant and then take my babies to Heaven because He didn't want me to have any more babies?

Which scenario seems more like a loving God?

I do not God is telling me it is time to be done having children. I don't think that God would allow me to lose two babies in order to try to get me to stop having babies. I think He would just close my womb and teach my heart to be content with the children that I have already. I think that He would take the desire to have more babies away from me, gently, like a kind and compassionate Father.

1 Corinthians 2:12-13 says "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God, which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual." This verse tells me that I have the Spirit of God, and I am able to tell what kind of spirit things are spoken in.

When I hear a word supposedly given in due season, it is always my responsibility to weigh what is said carefully. Not everything that is said by those in authority is of God, and it is up to me to ask God to help me to know the difference in spirits. This is very important! God says, in the verse above, that we can know the things which are freely given to us of God.

This is the latest lesson I'm learning in my becoming. I have to learn this lesson, in order to know who I really am, and in order that I do not fall for the lies of the enemy that sound so sweet and so easy and tickle my ears so nicely. I have to constantly use the gift of discernment, in order to separate between the two voices I hear speaking to me, whether it is God speaking to me or the enemy speaking.

That's how I'm getting to know the real me. I am becoming very good at instantly telling just who it is speaking, whether in my own heart and mind, or words that come from someone else.

Praise be to God that I now have the strength and confidence that He has given me to discern. I now know that I do not have to internalize everything that is said to me just because it comes from someone I love and trust. It's okay for me to not believe that everything that is being said to me, even by a dear friend, is from God.

I feel an overwhelming sense of freedom, knowing that I don't have to believe everything I hear that comes in a fancy, slick package, so to speak. Just because someone tells me something that's 'from the Lord' doesn't mean that it actually is.
This bit of knowledge has lifted many burdens off of my heart and shoulders.

In learning who I really am, I've found that I am actually a very good discerner of spirits. And I'm so glad, because I can rely on my spirit, the very spirit that the Lord has given me, to witness for me.

Here's something for you to try: ask God to help you to be a discerner. It is a very powerful and liberating tool. I pray that you all can rely on the Holy Spirit to develop the gift of discernment in you.

The Bible tells us, in Matthew 10:16, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves."

I pray tonight that each of you who read this post will face the day tomorrow weighing each and every word that is spoken to you in the name of the Lord. Please, act out Matthew 10:16, and pray for the strength to do it!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I want to ask you a question:

What kind of person are you?

Now I know you've been asked that question before. So have I. But I want to know what kind of person you REALLY are. Not who others say you are. Not who you used to be or who you've always been told you are.

What I really want you to ponder is, what kind of person does your heart of hearts say you are??

What things do you love, though you may not always, or even ever, do them? What things would you like to do, but fear or under-confidence holds you back? What personality traits do you have that you seldom let show? When someone gives you a compliment, a totally unexpected compliment, how does it make you feel? Does it surprise you? Do you carefully fold it up and put it in your heart-box, to take it out later and pour over it with amazement and joy?

I'm talking about the true you.

I believe the Lord is whispering to my soul to ponder these questions myself lately. Especially as my heart is hurting and I'm wondering why it won't go away.....I've been thinking about myself lately and all of those things that I hide in my heart, things that I ask myself, just like the questions I've posed above. In this post I'll tackle those questions in part, leaving the others for other posts, to come soon.

I've been able to answer some of those questions, after much contemplation, and much arguing amongst myselves!!

First off, I've always thought I was shy, painfully so. Some of the few memories I have of my childhood always show me, hiding in a corner, never able to utter a single word through the lump of nervousness in my throat. I never had gobs of friends, and I only ever talked to my mom and my two best friends. I was always a major wall flower, never endowed with any self confidence or self esteem. I was always terribly unsure of myself, everywhere I went and in every situation. These things have repeated themselves over and over in my mind, becoming who I thought I was. Truthfully, they've haunted me and dogged me for a lifetime.

I know, to look at me now, you wouldn't believe it! I talk enough for two me's! But that is the way it was.

When I was 13, right after I had become a Christian, I attempted to sing my first solo at church. I knew all of the 50 or so people there that day, no big deal.......yet, when I got up there and the music started, I opened up my mouth.....and a sick, breathless squeak came out! I choked up and couldn't do it. I was so painfully awkward and unsure of myself.

Now, fast forward a number of years later. I love to talk. I have dear, bosom friends whom I cannot live without. More often than not there's no doubt as to what's on my mind.......if you're a good friend and I feel comfortable and sure with you. I guess the blogosphere is so different, I mean, you don't have all those faces staring at you, waiting on you to say something or tear you apart if you say the wrong thing, so it's so much easier to talk about what's on my heart.

These days, I just feel comfortable. I feel comfortable with who I am, for the most part. I find that, the closer I get to 35, the more I know myself, the true me, and the more I am casting off who I really am NOT. Oh, I still feel slightly, momentarily paralyzed in a group of people I don't know, but I find that it's okay for me to just be quiet and take everything in, without trying to be someone I'm not. That's one of the beautiful things that I'm realizing about being past the angst of my twenties and early thirties. I can just sit back and, well.....absorb, read the situation and the people, without feeling like I need to join in.

In my mid 30's, I am learning that I don't have to be like my husband, who is the exact opposite of me. He's the life of the party. He's not uncomfortable or threatened by any situation he finds himself in. He is confident and is a trusted and wise man. That said, I used to feel so, so......small because I perceived that I never could or would be like him. What I know now is that God made me a certain way, and it wasn't like my husband, otherwise we wouldn't fit so well together, like two halves of a shell, or a hand in a glove.

And that's okay with me now. I find lately that, with God's leading and strength, I am......becoming. I'm someone new. I feel okay going into a foreign situation. I feel like I measure up now. I feel like I can handle an unexpected compliment now without dying of embarrassment. I never got compliments as a child. But lately, on my blog, I've run across gals who stick my name in with words like "inspirational" or "encouraging". Wow. It's really humbling and overwhelming to hear things like that, especially if you've grown up feeling like a nobody.

Those words can be heavy burdens to try and live up to. But the thing is, I've been praying, every day, that I would shine forth the faithfulness of God. That when others look at me, they would see Him in me. That when I walk by someone, that the fragrance of Christ would permeate wherever I go. I don't know if that's what happens, but if God wants me to be an encourager, He will give me the words to say. If He wants me to be an inspiration, it's His inspiration, not mine.

So you see, I'm becoming a different person these days. I'm no longer painfully shy. I'm no longer awkward. Those lies are being struck down, with the help of the Sword of the Spirit. I'm being transformed, by the rigorous renewing of my mind. I'm able to speak up now. I'm able to say what I think God is speaking to me in a concise manner without saying, "oh, never mind, I can't think of the words", or "you wouldn't be interested."

I want to encourage you all who read my blog to ask yourselves the questions I've been asking myself lately. And don't leave it at that, go deeper, pray for the courage to delve deeply into your heart of hearts and take out old things that you've not looked at in a long time. Take those things out and examine them, and let go of the old. You will be making room for a new you. You are no longer under condemnation, and neither am I! You and I are new creations.......we are becoming!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I joined the Homeschool Lounge!!

So you gals, I'm posting again to tell you that I've joined the Homeschool Lounge. My friends have recommended that I do it, and I took the leap! Yes, I sort of closed my eyes and leaped!

It seems like there's a lot of closing my eyes and leaping going on in my life these days......


We were eating lunch on Easter Sunday, just us, just our family. It was wonderful! We had saved some sparkling cider and Daddy decided it was a good time to have it.
So, we popped it open and poured it in our fancy 1960's olive green stemmed glasses. As we all began to drink, our Sissie got such a delighted look on her face, a huge, quizzical smile, and said, "This apple cider is really snappy! It sparkles in my mouth!"
We all had a good laugh over that, and we were so thankful for our Sissie. She's always filling silent times with something like that, totally unique, totally just Sis.
She fills our lives with so much laughter!
She's so different, and I love that about her!
I love you, Sis!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

My vendetta

I had some errands to run today, so I went out in my husband's car.

I went by myself.

I can almost hear the cheers and fanfare and see the balloons falling from the ceiling!!

Husband is home today, composing beautiful melodies on his work station, and he never minds when I leave the kids here and go off, so I did. I keep telling you that he is the world's most fantastic and wonderful husband! He really is!

I only had a couple of uninteresting things to do that somehow involved spending only $11!!

The great thing about it is that it's such a pretty day today! It was sunny and blue skies, although it wasn't incredibly warm yet. It was so nice.

I went into Michael's because I wanted to return a can of black spray paint. I decided black was too severe for my home, so I taped the receipt to it and set it on my table by my door so that I could remember to take it back. And when I picked it up to take it out with me to the car, the receipt was gone, torn off with just a little piece of tape remaining. Oh well, I thought, surely they'll let me exchange it straight across for the same thing, just a different color! Uh-huh.

I get there and take it up to the register. The gal says I can exchange it, but it will be at a 40% price cut because, without a receipt, there's no way of knowing if I had bought it on sale or not. Oooookay.......Doesn't she know the prices of things in the store where she works?? Apparently not, because it wasn't on sale when I bought it and it wasn't on sale today. But I said okay and went to get the color that I wanted. I paid for it! Can you believe that?? It was an exchange for the very same thing and I had to pay money!! RRRRRR!!!!!

So any-hooo, I'm standing in there looking for something in particular, and looking.....and looking.....and then I start wandering around because I can't find what I'm looking for, and wondering where someone is so I can ask for help. Was there anyone there to help me???? Nope. The gal at the register even left for a minute, leaving the register unattended.

Nobody helped me, and that's the way it's been every time I go in there! See, that irritates me. If I'm going to go in a store and not be able to find what I want, then I want someone to be around so I can get the help that I need. The last thing I want to do is stand around or wander aimlessly, my mission unaccomplished! RRRRRR!!!!

SO I got what I came in for and hightailed it out of there. I was totally unimpressed with the customer service there and I don't think I will be going back anytime soon.


They have the wooden letters I need for my ongoing wall project. *sigh*. I guess I have to go in there one more time.

This is the reason why I'm a champion of small stores, like the scrapbooking shop in my town. There's always someone to help you, and that someone is usually the owner of the store or one of two other people, the owner's mom being one of them. They are incredibly knowledgeable about the stuff they sell, and love the stuff they sell, and love helping people. I always find exactly what I want and need in there. Not to mention that everything is really great too. I always feel like I'm helping the small people when I shop at a neighborhood store.

So I guess I have a vendetta against Michael's. So be it. I knew I didn't want to be there as soon as I walked in.

I'll stick to my favorite little scrapbook shop.

Do you gals have a favorite shop that you would take me to if I was in your town? Tell me!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Finding Home

I sure hope this post doesn't sound irreverent or totally unspiritual......

I went to church today for the first time in quite a few weeks. At first I didn't go because it's pretty hard to sit up straight when you lose a quart of blood, and it has taken me a long time to get up to par physically. I'm not there yet.

We also haven't had a van for over 4 weeks. We have my husband's little 4-door work car, and this morning my husband told me that EVERYONE was going. This met with a mixed response from me, in my heart....

It isn't that I hate my church. But that's a whole nother post. It's just that I wanted to stay home! I wanted to prepare my home for Easter and I just plain wanted to stay home like I had been doing and loving it, and I haven't even felt guilty about that either! I'm not big on being in church every time the doors open to show my super-spiritual holiness.

Nevertheless, I went to church this morning......

The real secret here is that I hate to have to pretend. You've all done it before. You know the scene: you're somewhere where you know the people, but you just get so tired of being fake, because in reality, you don't really know them, and they don't really know you.

We've been away from these particular people for almost 4 years and just came back last year to be the worship team. In that 4 years of away time, I've grown and changed and had a catharsis......and it's like so hard because I no longer have anything in common with these people! I come and smile and nod and just don't feel the freedom to be me. I guess I've grown out of them, you know what I mean?? I feel that they know the old me, and so they are having a hard time coming to grips with the new-and-VASTLY-improved they hold me to past standards that are no longer valid in my heart or life.....

And that's the reason why I don't like going to church. It's so hard to be cardboard when all you want to do is sob on someone who loves you's shoulder! You know? And it's so hard to nod and smile when you have not the faintest thing in common with these old friends anymore. It's so wearing for me to try to find something to talk about, when our lifestyles are so divergent and so glaringly different!

I find refreshment in my home. Well, my thought or question is, shouldn't I be finding refreshment in my church? Shouldn't I be excited to go to church? Shouldn't I? I find so much peace with just me and my husband and my kids, eating meals together, watching an Andy Griffith episode, listening with rapt attention while Daddy reads aloud, snacking on strawberries and whipped cream.....THIS is where my serenity comes from, and it goes out the window as soon as I step into my church. It's so sad.....but so true!

I just want a place where I can be real. I want a place where my family and our philosophies are the norm, not the exception. I want a place where we have something in common. I want a place where I can feel peaceful.....

I guess I want a place that feels like home.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Reflections on a gorgeous morning

This morning I took my husband to work again. He had to be there early, as he does every Saturday, and so I got up and prepared to take him in. It only takes about 5 minutes to get to his work, and as I stepped out my front door, I was totally unprepared and taken aback by the utter splendor that met my senses.

The sky was a soft blue, the very barest of blues, and the sun had just come up, startling the soft sky with a gilded, golden peachy stain. The air was still and quiet, hushed with anticipation. The blossoming cherry trees showed off their frocks of delicate pink and white with abandon, and the daphne by the front door intoxicated me with its heavy, alluring fragrance. As I dropped my husband off, I found myself wishing that it took longer to get to his work so that I could just drive somewhere, anywhere, just to behold the morning! I drove, and felt goose bumps rise on my skin as I realized that the presence of the Lord was very near.

I said to Him, "Lord, I feel You, and I thank you so much for making this morning. I realize that You made this morning just for me, just to show me how much You love me. Thank You for gracing me with Your presence."

As I got out of the car to go in the house, I meandered slowly across the street, for the express purpose of breathing deeply of the mellow, crisply sweet air that surrounded me like a cloak.

Yes, God is so good to me to bring me a morning like this morning.

The thing wasn't just for me!

Did you notice it too???

Friday, March 21, 2008

My hair

Wow, I logged in today and found that I've got 5 COMMENTS!!!!!!!! You gals really know how to make me cry!!! I was afraid that if I moved over here that nobody would want me, you know?? I do really like it here, and it is sooo easy to add stuff! I haven't had any problems, and the best part is, I learned how to add pictures AND do links!!!!! Emily, are you proud of me??

I tell ya, I've got lots of things to say....and I think I'll start with the picture of me on my sidebar. I don't think the curly haired me does anything for me, you know what I mean? I have naturally wavy hair, and I wore it curly the day Gayle came over to take pics of us for this blog. I just don't think I heart it!

I have a straightening iron that I just got about a month ago, bringing me halfway into the 21st century, and I do love it. If I just let my hair dry naturally after the shower, trust me, it's a big, bushy, frizzy mess!

I'll let you guys in on the products I use for my hair, okay? Now understand that I'm usually a kinda "crunchy" gal (Angel, you'll understand the term!), you know, I'm au naturel, so I don't like to use tons of gunk and crud on my hair or my face. I try to go as bare as possible (my hair and face, NOT my bod!!) But with the hair, I tried for a long time to just use really natural hairspray, but gals, that just didn't cut it!!! At my hairdressers, she always used a straightening iron, and I love it when she does, and my kids always wax poetical when they see my hair straighter, so I decided one day to go get one, and I never looked back!

Any-hoooo, I shampoo my hair with Joico Daily Care Conditioning shampoo, in the great big salon-sized bottle, two pumps twice, meaning I shampoo my hair twice in a row, since I don't shampoo every day. Then I put it up in a towel, turban style, after my shower. If I'm going to straighten it that day, I'll put a couple of dollops of Aussie Sydney Smooth Calm That Frizz Creme into my wet hair. Oh, I absolutely ADORE this stuff! It makes my frizzy hair smooth and gives it tons of body to boot! It smells good, doesn't leave white flakes or leave my hair feeling dirty or heavy the next day, AND, as if that weren't enough, IT'S CHEAP! Like $3.49 or something ridiculous like that!

Okay, after I put that in my hair, I blow it dry with a vent brush. Then I go to work straightening it, and since I don't have tons of thick hair, this doesn't take too long at all. It usually takes me about 30 minutes, tops, to do my hair on days I straighten it.

I finish off my hair with a couple of shots of Aussie Dual Personality Hi Hold/Hi Shine hair spray. Again, I also love this stuff! It makes my hair look so shiny and healthy, plus it also smells good and holds my hair really well. It's not expensive either!

If it's a curly hair day, I shampoo, blow dry just a bit, and spray Aussie Sprunch Spray in my hair while srunching it all over. This isn't a strong hold hair spray, it's just for curl or wave. I just leave it at that, no hair spray at all.

I know you gals were just DYING to know how I do my gobs and gobs of luxuriously thick and beautiful locks!!!!! Chhh, right! I don't have great hair like Lysa, but I try.

I sound like a commercial for Aussie products! You know, the ones in the purple ought to try them! They won't break the bank for all you frugal fannies out there.......and they're good products!

No, the company did not pay me for endorsing them, nor did I get free product for my glowing review, unfortunately!

I think I'll change my picture or do another one on the side bar of the real haired me!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Here I am!!!!

Well, here I am, people!!!

I've made the leap from HSB to Blogspot!

There's a couple of things I hope to accomplish on my new blog:

1) I want to reach more readers

2) I want to have a blog that's more user friendly so I can add fun things!

If you're new here, well, welcome! I hope you'll enjoy my posts. If you're an old friend, thanks for finding me again! This blog is still me, and it will hopefully still sound like me, only now you have faces for the names!

That's all I'm posting today, since I haven't announced my move over at my original home, HSB....but stay tuned!