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Posts Tagged ‘letting go’

We’re thinking about food.  A little unsure what may be confiscated at the Canadian border, we’re trying to not be too attached to what we bring, but also want to be well equipped for miles of wild.  Chris (aka referred to as “Mom Chris” from here out; I’ve been blessed by many Mama’s in my life!) has cooked, shred and frozen 5+ pounds each of beef and pork.  I’m doing chicken and corned beef, maybe some lamb as well.  We’ll take dried beans and rice, herbs and spices, and hope to find veggies and fruits along the way.  I suspect I’ll have a lot to say about food as we travel.  Stay tuned!

All different forest animals on them for easy i.d. – look! a moose!

I’ll tell you something we did invest in: stainless 8-ounce stackable cups and silicone sippy lids!  We were blessed by a particularly ridiculously awesome sale that was irresistible.  Let me back up: With all of the other kids, we started them off on a My First Years plastic sippy lid.  They were interchangeable with Tupperware cups and were perfect.  We preferred the simple construction and ease of cleaning.  But apparently, now they’re “vintage” (insert rolling eyes here).  They’re a fortune on Etsy, and rarity on Ebay.  Realizing it’s time to branch out, yet resisting the modern sippy’s (I hate them), I went online shopping.  I wanted something that’s functional, multi-age-usable, organic’esque, and flexible.  Not just another container to play hair-pulling find-the-lid for.  These silicone lids fit the bill: They can slip onto just about any cup, including restaurant cups, etc… They’re BPA-free.  Frankly, they feel a little bit breast-esque, and I think Aury will love them.  The stainless cups stacked nice and tight, taking little space, and were slightly reminiscent of another childhood favorite: aluminum cups at Grandma’s — also expensive and hard to replicate at home.  And, well, aluminum.  No thanks.

Speaking of my Grandma… Several weeks ago my Grandpa had both a stroke and a heart attack, landing himself in a hospital then rehab.  Never having really spent time in the hospital, it sounds like it was quite the experience.  We were all glad to hear he was able to go home almost two weeks ago.  He built his house in the 1950’s with his own bare hands “in the middle of nowhere” (now five-ish blocks from the state university and smack dab in the center of a metropolis), and has raised all four of his daughters there from babe to now grandparents themselves.  Ever since I’ve known them, their house had an open door policy.  Every Sunday they made more food than they’d ever need, inviting any and all to partake.  I believe their influence in my life at an early age impacted a lot of who I am today, for which I’m thankful for.

Each summer when my mom and aunts were youth and still living at home, my Grandpa would load up a van and take the family and a group of students to Alaska, traveling the Alcan Highway, camping and living wild along the way and at their destination.  Being a teacher himself, he was able to spend quite a lot of the summertime exploring and teaching wild-living in a hands-on way.  I’ve heard many stories about these adventures (and many more!).  I know the memories made have been quite lasting on their girls.  It gets me excited knowing that several of our kids are at an age that experiences such as this hold and mold.  As much as I may resist the thought, it is likely one of our last big adventures with the olders.  Their lives are quickly advancing to independent interests and potential careers.  We cherish these times more than ever.  We also are incredibly proud of who they have become, and where they are heading: They have consistently made personal decisions to keep Christ their focus in all of it.  What they do beyond that is in His Hands.  We have no desire to shape that around what we would choose, be it keeping them at home forever (trust me, we’ve threatened it), etc…  I’ll share bits here of a rather convicting writing that our very dear friend Kurt Settles, now a pastor, penned:

Here’s what we don’t want: …we don’t want a son/daughter who is so dependent upon external support and validation that they can’t function independently, know right from wrong, be able to overcome obstacles and challenges, and be a generally useful member of their society.

treating them like they are the center of my world and this universe is a terrible tragedy.

…I am angry at parents who continue to raise generation after generation of immature, dependent, and fragile children.

…Christian parents need to stop worshipping their children and instead bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, raising them to be mature and able to function without the approval of man, seeking only the approval of God.

Though we value our time and understand our rather big responsibility of raising them (and adore them dearly, knowing that tho’ they are some of the most wonderful gifts this side of heaven), we realize that we serve a God who has a big picture.  We are simply a speck in it.  He has bigger plans than we ever could wish for our children (and ourselves!).  So as long as they follow Him, they will always be in the best place they could be.

Whoa, my entry about food sure took a different turn than planned!  I guess I just want to say that no matter how important all of these travel (life!) preparations are, and how well we try to execute them and retain their value, the every-moment-goal doesn’t change.  We intentionally sojourn as God followers with eternal-mindedness our goal for how we choose to use our today.  Our today is not a passing moment in anticipation of heavenly treasures but is an opportunity to intentionally share the gift we have been given to reflect Him instead of … well… anything else!

…magnificent though creation (everything we participate in) is, it is only a reflection of God’s glory.  It exists to reflect the ultimate declaration of glory, God Himself.  If we are blown away by the beauty of creation, how much more beautiful and awesome is God! – Andrew Scott

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Two and a half years ago I remember seeing Scott laying on a bed hooked to machines keeping him alive.  His arms were covered in sores & scars from needles; his whole body swollen beyond recognition.  His stats were unstable, at best.  We really weren’t sure of the future.  I worked hard to avoid thinking beyond the moment.  Except I couldn’t seem to avoid one thought: I want more babies with this man.  He is the love of my life, and the best example I know for the sweet babes we have.

When God spared Scott’s life by providing sweet miracles & amazing professionals who worked long and hard on sustaining him, I was nervous about actually getting pregnant.  The future was still so very unstable.  Looking back, I suspect I should have reached out for some post traumatic stress help.  I didn’t bring the subject of babies up with Scott, but just days after we got home, he told me he wanted more.  Lots more.  That life is short.  Precious.  And investing in the future in this way was more important than most of the ways we typically invest.  I loved the way he was thinking, and that it aligned with where I was, despite my nervousness.  We’d always said we wanted a hundred.  So let’s!

After several months of trying with no success, I got discouraged.  We’d never had to “try” before.  I worried that perhaps the trauma on his body left us unable to conceive again.  Thankfully, doctors all seemed to think that it shouldn’t be an issue, and were encouraging.  Our close friends were praying for us, all of us hopeful that it be God’s will for us to have more babies.  I researched fertility herbs and tried to get my body on track for a pregnancy.

At last, in November of 2015 we found out we were pregnant, only to end in a miscarriage.  I have sweet memories of loving friends surrounding us in unexpected and loving ways, supporting us through the devastating loss.  I struggled for longer than I expected to, and in more ways than I expected to.  I captured my thoughts and reigned in my chaos, bit by bit, over time.  The grief is still alive and real today, tho’ has changed significantly for a lot of reasons.  Hormones subsided.  Truth prevailed.  Two months and one cycle after our miscarriage, we found ourselves pregnant again.  This time, to stick.

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It’s with great joy I share that earlier in October we welcomed a new little one into our family.  We call him “Aury.”   (more…)

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A Speck

On our drive to Idaho late-July I had a reoccurring thought:

We are just a speck.

The kids used the dvd player in the van and watched Horton Hears A Hoo.

“Go ahead. Rope me. Cage me. Do whatever you want, but there are people on this speck and they have a mayor, who has 96 daughters and 1 son named JoJo, who all share a bathroom, whatever that is. And even though you can’t hear or see them at all, a person’s a person, no matter how small.” (Raises the clover, while the animals stop their angry bickering, and have looks of happiness, and hope now in their eyes.)

Yeah, a speck.

As we drove past cities, forests, schools, parks – it just became more and more obvious to me that our little world – as big as it is – is teeny tiny in the grand scheme of things.  I listened to a talk show, probably NPR (I love it), that shared current world problems.  And there we were, driving down a highway, enjoying so many modern amenities in the cool, song-filled leather seats of our minivan.

By the time we landed ourselves in the campground, I was completely humbled.

As big as my problems may seem… Well, they’re small potatoes.  And they don’t make up the bulk of my life.  It’s a shame that I let it take my sight sometimes.  Isn’t it sad that when something’s going wrong, we dwell on that one area, rather than remembering the other 99% of our lives – the part that is full of joy and lovely things?!  

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us. ~ Rom. 8:18

I’ve slowly been learning how to process this, but it hit me like a freight train.  It’s okay to let things go (giving them up to God).  Even if it hurts.  And in so doing, I have peace and hope!

But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.  ~ Romans 8:25

Horton is a giant elephant in the sky! [Everyone looks up] Don’t bother looking. He’s invisible.

I can’t control life or people or situations around me, but I can work on me.  And I can love up on my husband and children.  They deserve the best I can be, free of anger or bitterness or resentment for things I cannot change.  Instead, full of joy and giving.

Did I ever mention that when I was just a young girl my family went through character ‘tests’ and I was dubbed a sanguine?  It’s gotten me through storms before indeed!*

I want to be all I can be for this handsome guy.  That means not allowing bitterness or resentment or any other negative vibes to harp on my attitude.

Who couldn’t be completely flabbergasted by getting to be this guys wife?!  :::feeling blessed:::

If God be for us, who can be against us? ~ Romans 8:31

*if you need the password to this, let me know.

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A new teapot and a jug of Skittles, hand selected (the new green apple is definitely not wanted)

A new teapot and a jug of Skittles, hand selected (the new green apple is definitely not wanted) by my sweets!

Friday night was the kids’ VBS program after a week of getting up early and playing with babes.  Our church had a minor (ha!) water catastrophe that they handled like professionals.  The kids knew very little, if any, of the drama.  The program was fantastic, with an adult-cast play that was laugh-out-loud great.  We stayed after and played with a friends a bit, but not for long.  We were all beat from a week of getting up before the sun.  Alright, it wasn’t that early, but still!

Saturday afternoon Adyn, Colby and I went down to my parents house to celebrate (Flynn was napping, and the other two were up to birthday secrets).  They had bought an ice cream cake for me, and some of my siblings had gotten cards and gifts.  We don’t spend as much time down there these days, and so this was a lovely treat.

In the evening Scott fired up our new charcoal bbq (thanks Donna & John!) and made ribs with corn on the cob and stuffed mushrooms.  He made up a couple of lemon meringue pies, too, so we stayed up late watching movies eating scrumptiousness.

Bday

Sunday morning came and our pastor delivered a message that was quite on point, sinking yet again into that Perfect Spot that was needing some attention, relating to life as it is right now, sparking the afternoon conversations.  We went out for Chinese afterward.  Then again Sunday evening back at church, a SPOT ON delivery from Elwyn to follow up the day.

All Sunday afternoon Scott and I had been talking pretty in depth about the future, and about our priorities and focus.  Eventually we’re going to have to make some decisions, and we keep stalling.  There’s really no pressure to do it now, but yet we’ve been feeling so many strong nudges from unexpected places that have kept us considering.  Sunday afternoon we made the commitment to be more mindful of ‘open doors’ (rather than asking should we? shouldn’t we?).  Ironically, Elwyn spent the entire evening service sharing his last months journey giving up his fears, restraint – and even comfort – to go through obvious and open doors that he had been pretending didn’t exist.  Why limit God?  Good point.  As awesome as my plans may seem to be, I bet His are much bigger and better.

Though you grind a fool like grain
    in a mortar with a pestle,
    still his foolishness will not be separated from him. ~ Prov. 27:22

Here’s to not letting us be the fool who doesn’t feel what the Grinder is trying to accomplish through us.  May we be alert and willing and mindful.

Man, I’m really feeling the ‘letting go’.  More and more and more.

Filled with balloons and wrapped in plastic wrap. I have the bestest friends.  Way to really adding icing to that - err - pie!

Filled with balloons and wrapped in plastic wrap.
I have the bestest friends at WCC.  Way to really add icing on that – err – pie!  What a great surprise and so much looove!

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