Saturday, December 27, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Where has this summer gone? Maybe it's just me, but it seems like it has been three months of chaos and I really never got any down-time. We booked a week at Fenske Lake for some Boundary Waters canoeing and then we cancelled after getting hit by the tornado in July. Now I am really regretting it. This picture is what I am longing for. Quiet lakes, loons with their babies, the gentle splashing of the paddle, no errands, no garden weeding, no beans that need to be canned, no work calling and asking me to come in on my day off, no fighting, tattling, or hitting. The lawn doesn't need mowing, the projects are all done, the kids are all clean, smiling, and quiet. Michael has no work to do, the checkbook is balanced and in the black, dinner is made and everyone likes it, everyone is healthy, the laundry is done, the dishes are done, the floors are clean, and I can really, truly let my mind relax. Please don't wake me!!
I think that I grossly underestimated the importance of summer vacation and now that fall is upon us and we are back to school at our house I find that I am not ready for summer to be over. I WANT MY VACATION!!
Michael and I do have a date tonight...hopefully that will help.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
One thing that struck me last week while spending time in prayer, was that the ONLY thing we should fear is God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If it is true that Jesus conquered Satan and his power and that there is nothing the world or may can do to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:28-29), then we CANNOT fear anything but the one who has overcome all. There is where the REAL power is. I want to be under that power, not coming up against it! To me, fighting against God is a terrifying place to be. You can't win, you can have your independence, He won't force anyone. AND He is kind, gentle, loving, patient, faithful...I could go on forever!
Anyway, I set out on this journey just today and I got about two verses in and was in awe. Let me share...
Deuteronomy 6:13 Fear the Lord your God, serve HIm only and take your oaths in His name.
The only thing we should fear is God Himself. Who we fear reflects who we serve. Whether it's someone or something. Who we fear influences our choices, beliefs and actions. THink about something you are afraid of... How do those fears, no matter how silly, influence your thoughts first, then your actions? I know they do for me and its something I want to overcome! When we fear something or someone other than God, we have walked away from His presence and pledged our allegience elsewhere. I think that might be a bit offensive to Him! Almost like a betrayal that we do unknowingly and usually innocently. We fail to grasp exactly WHO He is, so we doubt His strength to overcome our fears and His desire to do so. We doubt He really means what He says. Ouch.
Deuteronomy 10:12-18 And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
He only asks that we stay close to Him. Know Him. Abide in Him. Obey Him. Love Him with all our hearts, leave no room to love any other gods. We need to be sold out, passionately in love with Him. Consumed with our relationship with Jesus. If we are, who we fear will be Him. It will be a natural effect of that kind of devotion to our God and King.
Vs 14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and EVERYTHING in it.
This verse emphasizes exactly who this God is that we worship. Don't lose sight of the fact that He IS all-powerful. All things that can be named are under His feet. He created the universe (which in itself is beyond our comprehension) and the earth. He created them not from tangible materials, but from the spoken word. Who is like our God? Be in awe of His majesty and power! And guess what! He never changes, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He can still do miracles, and wants to.
Vs 15 Yet the Lord set His affection on your forefathers and loved them, and He chose you, their descendants, above all nations, as it is today.
He set His affection on YOU. He chose YOU. And me! Pause and let that sink in...
Vs 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.
The change must be from the inside out, beginning with the heart that is consecrated to the Lord. We can't fake it, we can't just do the rituals, speak the right lingo, and hang out with the right crowd and fool the Lord. Our circumcision is not on the outside for others to see, but in our hearts, only seen by the God who sees all things and from whom nothing can be hidden. Now, when our hearts are truly devoted to the Lord, others will see a change in us, but we don't start by changing our behavior. We start by surrendering our hearts, yeilding to Him.
Vs. 17 For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the Great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.
Anyone who is in power and authority still comes under Him, even if they choose not to acknowledge Him as Lord and God. It doesn't change His kingdom and dominion. He cannot be manipulated. He does not care if you are rich, poor, beautiful, or plain. He is not influenced by appearances or flattery. You cannot fool Him. and we all try it at some point... It just doesn't work.
Vs 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and LOVES the alien giving him food and clothing.
I included this verse because I like how it finishes the discussion of who God is in power and majesty, worthy of our fear and devotion, with a picture of His compassion and attention to those who are suffering. He LOVES the outsiders, the misfits, the ones who belong to no one and have no home. He LOVES them, CARES for them, and PROVIDES for them. His love is not only strong, but is gentle. How fortunate we are to have a God that is not only unmatchable in His power and strength, but also unmatchable in His mercy, grace, love, faithfulness, forgiveness and COMPASSION. No other god or king has ever been, or ever will be like OUR God.
Worship Him, love Him, and FEAR HIM ONLY!!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
We call him "Indy", for short.
Gotta love it.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
In case you haven't guessed already, it is 3am-ish and I am staying up all night minding the hospital. It is a real challenge to stay awake when our census is low like it is now. We have almost as many nurses as patients here tonight which leaves me with very little to do. It seems like it has been feast or famine here for the past month breaking records one way or another!
One thing I did accomplish tonight that has nothing to do with work, was I finished a book I've been reading. I read The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. My mother has been telling me about it all my life and I finally gave in and read it. She's right, it was good. I was glad for a quiet evening so I could get done what I needed to and finish it. Corrie wrote about her time in Nazi prisons and a concentration camp during WWII. She also saved the lives of many Jews during the occupation of Holland through her simple faith in God. Amazing story, very encouraging! For those of you who have read it, I would love to start a discussion. For those of you who haven't, get it!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Now that I have written this all out, I feel justified for hurting and being VERY tired. I slogged around this morning feeling guilty for not doing anything, but I think I'm over that. I originally was going to write and ask for encouragement to get out in my garden and plant my lettuce and peas (April told me hers were planted last week, so I'm feeling a little pressure to try to keep up!)
I'm thinking I'm going to lie on the couch with a hot pack, and a snuggly blanket...
I'm taking the day off.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Ok, everyone! Smile-or something...
Friday, April 25, 2008
I gotta admit, I am truly affected by the weather. I feel a little like Eyeore today. I just want to snuggle up under a warm blanket with a hot steaming cup of coffee and a good book. The last thing I want to do today my normal daily routines. Just can't get myself going! Anyone else out there feel like that today? A nap would be even better than coffee and a book... if only I could find a quiet comfy place to hide (or a locked, soundproof room).
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Anyway, my point of writing this that I got to go for a ride two nights ago with our retired neighbor, Duane, and my 4 yr. old, John. (Duane rode separately, I might add!) When we got back, Michael hopped on the horse Duane was riding and John got off, the kids handed Joshua (14 mos.) up to me and we rode off into the sunset, baby bobble-head in front of me, just like in this picture. IT's funny how much of life I can handle if I just get a little ride once in a while. It's all I need to keep from going insane and I am grateful my knees haven't completely given out (though they are a little sore and "crackly" when I get off), I can still get on, and I don't need my kids to help me yet.
Mount up! We're burnin' daylight!
How did I get here??
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Winter has completely depleted our supply of left mittens. There isn't a left mitten in our house! My mittens have been missing since January and I have refused to buy more because spring will be here any day now... The problem is, it keeps snowing and being cold. the kids keep wanting to go outside and play in complete snow gear, but we have the mitten problem. would you all check your vehicles and junk accumulation stations for our mittens? Please send them our way!
I'm hoping after I sleep a few hours I will get a second wind and manage to whip together a cake, a card, and a gift! I work well under pressure...
Happy birthday, Honey! I hope you have a good day and they don't forget the donuts for you at work!
Monday, March 31, 2008
Let me tell you my story...
Ok, so you know about Michael being gone, then the classes I had to go to, you know I work from time to time, so I have to fit that in, then there's the kids, spouse, house, laundry, social events, oh, yeah, then there's Joshua breaking his leg!!! I've heard about other peoples' kids breaking bones, but never my own. Yep, he got a broken leg. My precious little 13 month old child... damaged and fractured. We all felt so bad, but not nearly as bad as he did. Michael was getting him dressed on the changing table, not knowing I abandoned use of the changing table long ago becaue he will NOT hold still!! He was about to put his shirt over his head when Joshua rolled towards Daddy and right off the changing table landing feet first on the floor. I guess children that age are not meant to JUMP off things. He sustained (that's nurse talk) a buckle fracture of his left tibia. He did not need a cast, but we were told no weight-bearing for 1-2 weeks. All right, anyone have toddlers out there? Have you ever tried to confine them? Needless to say, it was frustrating for all of us. I did purchase an umbrella stroller to use in the house as his "wheelchair", then we all just took turns carrying him. The first few days went fairly well as he did not want to stand on it because it hurt, but then he started to compensate in questionable ways, like walking on his tip-toes (I tried it and it does take the wieght off the tibia- very clever), he also started walking on his knees (this I eventually allowed because it was so darn cute). we did get through one week of no weight bearing, then I figured when the doctor said one to two weeks he really meant one, so we turned him loose. At his follow up visit, the bone was healed on x-ray, so he officially got the "all clear". Whew.
After the fractured baby adventure, I got influenza from my mother. Thanks Mom. Read her latest posting on her blog (see link to the side) for more details on that lovely gift. Let me just say that I was VERY sick for a full two weeks. Michael had to take a week off just to take care of me. I didn't even ask him to, he just looked at me (pathetic and still in bed) Monday morning before leaving for work and said, "I can't leave you like this, I think I need to stay home." So any of you have work-aholic husbands like me? I think you can see how sick I really was! After that Monday, he didn't get back to work until the following week. Seriously, for two days I felt that this is what it must be like to die. Looking back, I feel like it was the grace of God that I lived through it. I am so happy to be well!!
So that brings us to this week. I have been truly healthy for 3 days. Now my blog is updated, my laundry is done, my seeds are started, my chicks have been moved to the garage, we got our standardized testing done for Matthew and Hannah (for homeschooling), I made a nice supper, and I'm back to work. I feel like I've accomplished a few things and am guilt-free!
I've missed you all and look forward to catching up with you.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
I'm sorry for the graphic nature, but I believe in sharing what I have. Anyway, it was two very long days of lecture and images I could not escape from, ended by skills stations (the easy, fun part) and a VERY difficult written test that took me by surprise. I have taken this course before, but in light of the increase in natural disasters and terrorism on the rise and all other forms of violence on the rise, it has been revamped. I failed the test!! I almost cried and threw up simultaneously! (I did get to retake it and did fine the second time around). I was not prepared for all the questions on treatment for biological, chemical, and nuclear attacks. Disaster Management is HUGE. I live in my nice, quiet world, quite happily. My eyes were opened to the fact that I better get up to speed with the real world and know how to deal with the increase of natural and man-made disasters that are on the rise. This stuff is not going to go away, it's the reality of nursing in the 21st century. Much as I'd like to hope for a day off when the disaster drill is happening, I think it's time to get my head out of the sand and know what to do. This is one area of my professional development I've REALLY let slide and that was very obvious. So... much as I hate knowing about all the horrible things that can and do happen, I hereby vow to learn what to do and actually start attending some mandatory meetings. The supervisor better know what's going on, right?
I have been thinking about this prior to recertifying TNCC this week. I agreed to go to training next week to be a crisis intervention instructor in Mpls. Tues.-Friday. You would be so proud of me! I hate conflict and I hate stepping into a scary situation mostly because I don't know what to do and I don't want to get hurt. So I thought this would be very good for me. It's been years since I've done anything but the absolute minimum required to keep my job, thinking I would be quitting and being a stay-at-home mom. That's not happening and I'm now ok with that. But I do have this job, and I owe it to my employer to be effective at it, not just putting in my shifts. I came to the conclusion that I need to start stepping up to the plate and being a good nurse again. I need to start looking at the areas where I am weak personally and professionally and doing something about it. There, you're the first to hear it. I'm facing my fears and stretching myself. Ugh.
I'll let you know how it goes...
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I know this is very cliche, but it seems like just yesterday...
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I don't do single parenting well. I complain a lot, whine a little, and try to stay busy and distracted. I wish I had planned something fun in advance with the kids, but it kind of snuck up on me.
Sooo... Here I am, on the eve of single-parentdom, with nothing planned. Maybe we could reorganize his tools? Rearrange the office? I know!! Go through his clothes and cull out underwear and socks! I'm open to suggestions...
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Last night I struggled through and sang badly "How Great is Our God". It was a proud moment for me! I wish I would have inherited the music talent, but I didn't. However, I did inherit the love of music and the desire to sing and worship. How frustrating it is for me to have the song in my heart and not be able to sing it. Those of you who can sing and sound good, or play an instrument effortlessly, I applaud you. Sing to the Lord a new song. Worship the King with your voices, bring to Him an offering of praise with your harps, lyres, or kazoos. I will be singing along, trying to follow your lead. I will strum softly, so only the Lord can hear.
My only desire is to bring Him an offering of praise. To be in His presence, to know the Creator and King on a deeper and more intimate level. I want to teach my children, above all else, a love and fear of the Lord. I want our home to be an atmosphere of prayer and worship, where Jesus is revered and honored and glorified. Just so you know, the music ain't pretty, and the sound is sometimes painful. However, it is from my heart.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
When the seeds arrive our basement is filled with grow lights and tray after tray of seeds in their cute little pods. Then they sprout and grow and need to be repotted. Then we run out of space, we run out of lights, and from the outside it looks like I'm growing marijuana in the basement. I never seem to remember that 100 tomato plants is slightly more than we need. I figure there will be some lost to disease, drought, or pests. Not so... they NEVER die. In fact, I believe some tomato plants enjoy a good flogging (Right, April?)
True to self, this year is no exception. I just got home from a day spent with a group of wonderfully garden-wise ladies, including April, my garden guru. (you are such an inspiration to me, April, but you do tend to fuel my mission-creep!) I think this year will be our biggest garden yet. (I hope you're reading this, Michael, so you have a chance to cool down before you come home!) I have LOTS of zucchini, dill (it looks like about 500 seeds of dill- Who did that to me??)collards, brussels sprouts, celery (April says, yes I CAN grow it), 1/2 lb of green bean seeds, purple beans, yellow beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas, orange peppers, acorn squash, spinach, brandywine tomatoes, scallions, rainbow carrots, regular carrots (note: my carrots are STILL in the garden from last summer!) parsley, leeks, two kinds of cucumbers, more kinds of lettuce than I care to list (I think there is at least 5 varieties in this bag), eggplant (I have NO idea why, it sounded good in January), two kinds of green peppers, Bok Choy, Rutabagas (for Mark Pelzer, his from last summer are hanging out with the carrots) more tomatoes, Watermelon (I haven't a clue where to plant it. Maybe at YOUR house!) cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, cabbage, Roma tomatoes, pumpkins, buttercup squash, cilantro, basil, lipstick peppers, jalepenos, black crim tomatoes, and radishes. Now... the flowers! I have Lemon balm (I think that's an herb, not a flower), Calendula, Sunflowers, Euphorbia (does anyone know what this is? I said I would take it because it sounded good. You know, like euphoria? I like that state of mind, so hopefully these little plants will bring me joy). Zinnias, Love-lies-bleeding, and LOTS of morning glories (they do make me happy).
I admit it. I have a problem.
I get the seed catalogs in January and I somehow forget how blasted hot it is in August and how unbelievably fast and adaptable those weeds are. I also forget the passive-aggressive, not very subtle, non-verbal fights Michael and I have while weeding into the night in complete silence. I know the only reason he is doing it is to salvage at least a portion of his investment. It is NOT because he enjoys gardening. It is likely also because he loves me and wants to see my visions succeed. I forget that I HATE the feeling of dirt drying on my hands (does anyone else suffer from this phenomenon?). I forget that I plant eight rows of peas, eat a few while weeding, maybe fix a couple stir-fries, then the rest dry up on the vine (again, I love them fresh, not frozen).
I think what I love is dreaming.
I love to plan and think about what we could do if... I love the idea of having row after row of well manicured plants. I love the idea of doing it all ourselves. I can't say I love actually DOING it. This is where the fear begins to set in...
Honey... our garden is here... We will have plenty... the kids will help... it will be (gulp) worth it...
I love you Michael. You're my finisher.
Anyone need tomatoes?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
His birthday is in one week, then he is officially a toddler... Look out and lock those cabinets!
Monday, February 11, 2008
I oversleep because I'm tired from working 3 12hr shifts. The kids are refreshed after a relaxing weekend with Daddy (and have slept in already the past two mornings) and get up early. They are able to feed themselves breakfast, but sometimes (like this morning) there are LOTS of Cheerios on the living room carpet. I wake up to Michael saying goodbye, which is two hours later than I like to get up. I spend the rest of the day scrambling to catch up with my troops. I have to make lots of important decisions (executive decisions) like: Read my Bible and pray now or in the afternoon when I have that quiet time that never really happens? Shower now or walk around grungy (sp?) and itchy 'til noon? Start schoolwork now, on time and forget my morning routine, or do my morning routine and start school late (which inevitably leads to slice and dice of assignments, so I guess that's out...)? Start supper, or plan for a frozen pizza or pb&j night? Okay, now how 'bout that laundry?
I used to have unrealistic expectations for Mondays. I thought I could get up on time, have an amazing mountain-top experience with the Lord, be showered, hair done, make-up on, Michael's lunch made, coffee brewed, breakfast made, the first load of laundry in, and supper in the crock pot before 7am. I surrender. I can't do it. I've found it IS best for all of us if I sleep in a bit on Monday, the laundry gets started, but maybe not finished 'til Wednesday, and baby Joshua gets a little more "mommy-time". Michael reheats yesterday's coffee and puts together his own lunch (he NEVER expects me to do these things for him and always seems joyful and surprised when I do). We do our school work with fits and starts as we all are trying to get back on track. Amazingly, we do manage to get things done before Daddy gets home and there is a lot less blood shed.
I think my family likes me a lot more when I freak out less. That's my goal: to be a freakless mommy.
Ok, now, off to violin lessons, swimming lessons at the YMCA, home for a slam-it-down-your-gullet supper, then off to a 4H sledding party.
I am calm.
I am in control.
I have no idea what my kids are doing right now...
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I suppose I should call it a day, he's graciously attempting to do our taxes with his palm pilot.
I love that man!!
My transformation was not instant. We Americans expect things instantly and easily. We are a remote control, microwave people who expect God to behave that way. It took me years to learn He doesn't. He is faithful, though. I look back on myself as someone who always wanted more. Once I got what I wanted, I wasn't happy with that, I was on to something else. I'm thankful my husband is generally content and demands very little or we wouldn't have lasted 6 months! Ironically his contentedness drove me crazy... now I appreciate it as a gift.
So, 5 years ago I had 2 children enrolled in the local school. I was working hard on my career, we were planning a beautiful new home, our dream house. We were living the dual career typical American lifestyle. Then God began to lead us gently down a different path...or perhaps I just started to listen to that still, small voice.