Monday, July 3, 2017

Psalm 62:1-2 says, "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken."

Then in verses 5-8 it reads. "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."

Verses 11-12 says, "One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong and that you, O Lord, are loving. 

In the next chapter, Psalm 63:1 says, "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirst for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 

Verses 3-5 says, "Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 

Verses 7-8, "Because you are my help, I will sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Maybe you are like me, feeling the weary places in your life taking their toll. Like the weary places are all starting to connect and take over. We live in a broken world, filled with broken people and broken hearts. This world is a dry and weary land where there is no water, no water that satifies. No fixes to the problems. Broken relationships, fears of the unknowns, financial struggles, conflict and constant drainers of joy. Guilt for not being enough, not doing things perfectly. 

My heart can feel like one giant mess of hurts and the constant battle of soul care is difficult. To walk in love and forgiveness, being gracious and not easily offended are daily prayers. And I often fail. 

It's an impossible task to take care of myself on my own. Venting to a friend, counseling, are self help books are often helpful resources but never true sources of heart healing, never enough to change my sinful heart. Nothing will fix my life, to fix my heart except, pursuing the very Creator of my heart. Peace and satisfaction come when I lift up my hands, open and empty. When I pour out my heart to God and take my eyes off myself and look to him to be my firm foundation and protect me. He is the strong one, the perfectly loving God. He is the one who provides my peace and satisfaction. 

A few lines that I loved from these passages are:

My souls finds rest in God alone. /No one and nothing else.

My soul thirst for you.

My soul will be satisfied as with richest of foods.

My soul clings to you. /Dear God, help me to cling only to you and hold everyone and everything else loosely. 

I've been reading through Praying Through the Bible by Donald S. Whitney, with a friend. It's been really amazing to take a Psalm and turn it into a prayer by just praying out loud either the words of a verse or what God leads from reading the verse. These two chapters have been very fitting as I've felt soul weary and my heart struggles so often to love when it's wounded. It's not about ourselves, not about our stories, not about our struggles, it's about God and who he wants us to become through the struggles. May His name be lifted high, may I proclaim His praise every single day that He gives me breath. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017


As I write this, the kids are "in bed", which simply means it's Party Central upstairs as they rock out to the Demo setting on my childhood keyboard. This home is such a wild and crazy place, today we had the washer running without any laundry, not for lack of dirty laundry, that will never happen, just for the heck of it! I laid a roast out to dethaw yesterday so that I could put it in the crockpot today for supper. This morning I couldn't find my roast and eventually found it put back in the freezer, frozen solid. :)

One of the funniest things that happened in our crazy house recently was as we were hurrying out the door I asked Bethany to please put some warm water in a bottle for Hazel. She asked me if she could microwave it and against my better judgement, in my rush, I caved and said, "Yes, but only for 30 seconds!" 
Several MINUTES later, I walked through the kitchen and heard a hissing sound coming from the microwave that was STILL heating the bottle. I stood in front of the microwave, looked in and saw the bottle spewing water out of the nipple, which was blown up like a balloon! I was exasperated that Bethany didn't listen and I called for her to come at once. As she walked into the kitchen, I stood facing the open door of the microwave, bottle still spewing. "Bethany Rose! What did I say?! Look at -" Like a rocket the bottle shot out of the microwave, hot water splashed all over my face as the bottle whizzed past my head and landed on the counter behind me, the nipple was across the room on the floor!!
I staggered back and Joe, who had watched from the side of the room exclaimed, "Miranda! Are you okay?!" 
I stared at him, like a senseless bird who just flew into a window. Was I burned? I couldn't tell. 
Again, he asked me, this time louder like maybe I couldn't hear, "Are you okay?!"
"I don't know!", I said, and at the same time burst out laughing. 
I was so frustrated that Bethany did not listen and at the same time in disbelief of what just happened and so I told her she almost killed me, as I laughed and wiped my face with a towel. The daily drama in this house, it's no wonder I can't find time to blog.
I can't believe it's been a month since I blogged last. What a fast month that was! Hazel is 8 months now! She hasn't slept through the night in about 4 months. I love her to death but boy am I tired. 
She is scooting all around the house and putting anything she can find into her mouth. She isn't crazy about baby food however. It's a chore getting her to eat solids, milk is her favorite and she is such a chunk too. She has almost completely weaned herself from nursing, it makes me a little sad but it's also been freeing to have others able to give her milk. She has always been such a content and happy girl but it would be mice if she decided to sleep through the night again sometime soon! 

Following my last blog post, the stomach virus ended up running through the rest of the family. It was a fiasco of intense craziness. The grand finale was Anne, Brady, Jenna and Bethany all going down together at the same time and I just went from one to the next over and over, non stop for hours, holding bowls and dumping puke. It was memorable, almost funny, but I couldn't even laugh it was such a sight. Instead I pretty much lost it and I think it took me a week to recover from the insanity. To date, it is at the top of my list as one of the most unbelievable motherhood moments dealing with sick kids.

We have had our fill of sickness, flu then stomach virus. It took a month and my mental health to get over it. Even our computer had a virus! That was scariest of all because I thought I may have lost 3 or 4 years worth of pictures. Thankfully $160 will buy you alot!
February has been showing off with its many gorgeous sunsets and warm spring like days. There have been daffodils picked, a campfire made, I painted a new-to-me old porch swing, we've gone to Bernheim twice, read Mary Poppins, Elsie Piddocks Skips in Her Sleep, Amos Fortune Free Man and now The Lamplighter and Mary Poppins Comes Back. Joseph won first place in an archery tournament! We bought a new couch for our new house!
This month was one year since we closed on our house we sold and moved in with my mom. It's gone really quickly. Don't they all? It just so happened that this same month is the one we signed a contract on our new home. We are very excited! Our new house has almost everything we wanted and more, privacy and lots of room for the kids to play outside. I'm excited to make a home again, most of our household items have been in storage for a year, the kids think it will be like Christmas unpacking and I'm sure it will be fun.

In the midst of making plans for our new house, making grocery runs, dropping kids off at archery practice, ballet and piano lessons, getting up in the mornings to stumble to the coffee pot, I've spent many hours of this past month listening to Sally Clarkson's podcasts. It has been such a source of encouragement and affirmation. She inspires and challenges in my motherhood and in my relationships. She has a gift for teaching and I've gleaned so much from simply listening to her share her honest struggles and abundant wisdom. 
I always hope to be back soon to blog something with more substance, I wonder if I'll ever get to the place of filling like I wrote a cohesive or coherent blog post. It hard to let go of my desire to write more but it's not in the writing but in the living that the greatest joy is found. It is better to live in the moments and truly experience the wonders of life, than to write about things never lived. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

In all honesty...

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
-- Robert Brault
Hazel is 7 months old today.
Unreal just how fast the first year goes by. I am so loving her chubby self at this age though. She is sitting up and scooting across the floor and grabbing for toys. She is very sweet and calm, she melts my heart daily.

We've been sick all month.
First, it was the flu.
Hazel finished it up with a double ear infection and Laynee with one ear infection. 
We hadn't even finished the flu run and Laynee came down with a stomach virus. It made a slow start but so far, it's made its way from her to Joseph and I, and now Hazel.
Thankfully, I was able to have a day to recover and then last night I was up with poor Hazel. I don't remember having a baby this young catch a stomach virus so I worry about her getting dehydrated. Despite her obvious bellyaches, these smiles are from today. 

I'd be lying if so said I wasn't ready for January to hurry up and end. Hopefully, it'll take all these yucky sicknesses with it. We've had to many canceled plans because of it. The weather has been warm and rainy, it feels like we live in London there has been so many damp, foggy days. 

The healthy kids have spent hours and hours outside. Hopefully, they will be spared from this second sickness but I'm not getting my hopes up too high. Today they gathered outside and made a little home under beach umbrellas in the rain.

These pictures were an attempt on my part to enjoy the little things, despite being puked on and comforting a sick baby today. I have tried to stay positive and push through and keep my head up, this is all just a part of life and motherhood right? Well, I succumbed to a bad attitude anyway, threw a pity party for myself over the mounds of laundry, mud tracked in the house multiple times, pizza in the carpet, chores half done and all the extra work I had to catch up on since I've been in bed sick or taking care of Hazel. 

Tomorrow's a new day, new mercies. I need them and I pray no one wakes me up puking tonight.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

New Year's snow and Christmas memories

We had snow last week. It was a fun way to start the new year. Joe had 2 snow days, after only one day back to work after Christmas break. I failed to get Hazel out for a picture in her first snow, hopefully there will be another snow soon for that. I did however succeed at grabbing a picture of myself with each of the other kids. Snow is always an exciting bookmark in life, especially winter!

It was a surreal moment watching my oldest 6 lined up to sled down the hill. Not just any hill, the hill I grew up sledding down. In fact, I broke my collar bone, at 10 years old, when I hit a tree sledding down that hill. It just blows me away when I get little glimpses outside of my normal viewpoint and realize this is my life and these kids are mine. CRAZY!!

Life is full of craziness and I thought for sure I was gonna forever lose my mind on Monday, in the worst way, when it was back to home school realities. A little bit of that was myself and Hazel started with the flu most everyone else in the family had the week before. There were tears over multiplication, arguments over reading and an attitude over exponents. There was a fussy baby and two loud, mess making toddlers. I heard myself saying, "I don't care what you did, you came up with the wrong answer, so do we really want to go down that path again?!" And, "I've been to Kindergarten, 30 years ago!! And this is my 4th time teaching it, so who are you going to listen to, me or you!?"

I am so thankful we can homeschool, there are many things I enjoy about it, but it also makes me appreciate the simplicity of snowdays or family time. It helps me enjoy the slower days of just being mom, not mom and teacher. My days are so much easier when we are out of school but I'm grateful for them both.

Homeschool is challenging for sure and I guess that's why it amazes me that I'm actually doing it. Sometimes its hard to recognize what I accomplish when I'm in the midst of so much chaos yet, I can easily identify things I don't or can't accomplish. This new year has started off with a needed reminder to say no to guilt. So much guilt I take on for things I can't manage to fit into my days, things I don't have the energy or passion for doing and instead of recognizing, I just can't, I translate that to guilt. Guilt is a heavy things to carry on my back, it does not make me a better person, it is not my friend and one of my goals in 2017 is to break up with guilt.

It's game on, I'm going to be more intentional about identifying the voices of guilt and kicking them out. I think that gets easier when I keep my focus on what is important in my daily living. When I know what my goals are and if things don't fit with callings and passions God has given me or our family, than they just aren't meant to fit into my days and there is no guilt for that. We all have 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We all get the same and it can be so difficult to manage them well. I'm currently in the process of clearly identifying what God has called me to do, given our family passions for, and putting that into a family purpose statement. It is really important to individually identify these things because every family is different and has different gifts and passions. We need to embrace who God has designed and created our family to be, rather than feel competitive or guilt because we aren't like others.

2017 is about me finding freedom. Saying good bye to guilt is really just a small part of my prayer for this year.
Christmas is such a special time of year, especially with all these kids. I know that these years of exciting Christmases are numbered and I'm so grateful we had another year with all our 7. We went to see the lights in Nashville and that was a very fun day but mostly we stayed home the rest of our break. Like I said, we are on the tail end of a flu but I really haven't cared too much because I'm so happy we were well all of the Christmas season! No sickness at Christmas is a HUGE blessing.
My favorite part of December was getting away for 24 hours with Joe. It sounds like such a short time away but it was life giving! Nothing makes me happier than getting time away with Joe.

Last fall, we camped at Clifty Falls in Indiana. I fell in love with historic downtown Madison and mentioned to Joe that I would love to go there at Christmastime. When we found out it was going to work for us to have a little getaway Joe said he wanted to go to Madison, which meant more to me than he will ever know. We stayed at the Clifty Falls Inn. We arrived late evening and planned to shop a little but all the shops were closed so we ended up grabbing coffee, Chinese take out and watching a UK basketball game in our bed, perfect! The next morning we had coffee again from the same shop, soo good, and took a fast walk across the Ohio River bridge. It was super windy and bitter cold but we made a memory. :)

We spent the rest of the day going to little stores and antiquing, a perfect thing to do in Madison. There was a certain set of Pyrex I had mentioned wanting to Joe as I was a doing some research about Pyrex age and history, after I added some of my grandma's Pyrex to my kitchen. It was a set of 4 nesting mixing bowls in 4 primary colors. The first antique store we went to, had all 4 bowls for sale. I am not one to spend for unnecessary things, especially for myself. Joe knows this and immediately picked them up and said he was buying them. When I tried to argue he told me to hush. :)

So, I did.
And I now have 4 beautiful, sentimental Pyrex bowls.
It makes me happy.
...I don't feel guilty,
because I'm saying no to guilt. :)