Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts

Friday, May 31

I’ve Got Nothing More to Give…

This week has been hard people: Not every-minute-of-every-day hard, but hard in the moments. Like weary down to the bone, why do I even bother, exhausted to the point of sleeplessness hard. I know I had promised my Gwynnie Bee review, but that just isn’t happening. Monday. I promise.

I know since going public with this space a little over a year ago, I’ve kind of shied away from post things that are going on in our life, but this time I have to, because honestly I need your prayers. Truthfully, more than need them, I am craving the comfort of knowing that others are praying with me.

Remember how we fenced in our yard last year? Because of the amount of traffic along the cow-path in our backyard to the community vegetable gardens? Last summer we received a series of letters from a neighbor, telling us that our fence infringed on their right away and that we needed to immediately remove it, preferably out of the right away area.

After the fair, Matt went and spoke with the neighbor explained our position {the safety of our children due to traffic, that has not heeded our requests to slow down, regardless of signage and verbal reminders}. An agreement was come to. The fence would stay and legal documents would be drawn up allowing it. Particularly since no one has any clear idea of where the right away ends/beginnings.

All through the winter I kept questioning where our copy of these documents were.

Tuesday night we received a phone call from another bordering property owner {who had expressed issue last year jointly with the other neighbor}, that the fenced needed to be move, that if it was still infringing on the right away on September 15th, they would seek legal action against us.

Matt immediately called back this person, stating our case, that we thought this had been amicably dealt with last Fall, and again asking where would be an ok distance for our fence. No response. They told us that they really didn’t have an issue with the fence, since they don’t need to get farm equipment to the property any more, but the other  neighbor {whom Matt had sat down with} was the one who wants it removed.

Within 45 minutes someone was at our door {the original neighbor}, sweet as pie, and saying that they don’t have an issue with the fence, it’s the other one. That they’re sorry for the inconvenience, but that the fence does restrict their rights.

I was beaten. Downright, moved to tears, slapped in the face beaten.

This alone has caused me so much grief this week. So many minutes wasted by worry and thought about what might happen. But time spent in worry, is time that reminds me to call on God.

The internal issue has been Avelyn. The conflicts with her have just left me completely drained of any remaining gumption after dealing with the fence. She’s been deceitful, disobedient, unkind…you name, she’s been it….and sad to say I just haven’t had the where-with-all to be on her the way I should be, but I’m frustrated and angry and hurt by how she’s been acting. So we’re back in boot camp mode now.

I’m just beyond grateful that it is Friday. That we made it through the week. That the next 2 days Matt will be home, and we have a bit of fun planned. I’m praying that it is the recharge that I desperately need.

But if you would be willing to pray for us, regarding a final and clear resolution regarding our fence I would be so grateful too you {preferably one that does not result in our being forced to tear it down, and risking our children’s safety}.

And how may I pray for you this weekend?

Thursday, April 4


I saw this article on facebook this morning, about the use of aborted baby girls’ eggs in IVF. I started writing a response to it and realized it was way too long; best to leave these words for my blog.
I am so ANGRY about this.

I am angry about what science is doing {raping aborted baby girls’ for their eggs—and yes it is rape}.
I am angry about how the article presented infertility and perpetuated common misconceptions.

I am an infertile. Have been, always will be. Infertility had a PROFOUND affect on both my life and Matt’s; in more ways than most people could ever know. I am also the mother of multiples.

The use of the eggs of aborted babies is just…there are no words for how absolutely disgusting and despicable this act is. It is worse than the rape of children. It is the rape of children who were deemed unfit, for whatever reason, to live, but they are some how good enough to become mothers. Because YES, those body parts in a medical waste contain, that were pilfered for their eggs, are mothers.

I had not even ever imagined, not in my wildest, most horrible thoughts, that anyone could ever even conceive of using babies in this manner. I cannot even fathom the depravity of the mind of the individual who came up with such a thought. IT IS WRONG.

The article itself, not the topic, but the article is trash.

IVF does not exclusively equate the use of donor eggs {or sperm}. It does not equate men and women so desperate to be parents that they would be OK with using the eggs of aborted girls. It does not equate parents deciding to murder their children, when they deem that they’ve become pregnant with too many of them. Which is what the article would have you believe.

There are egg {and sperm} donors, adults who are willing to give of themselves in order to provide other couples with the chance of being parents. And honestly, I can’t imagine anyone I know, who has gone through infertility and IVF, who would knowingly or willingly be using such eggs.

I was given the choice to “selectively reduce” my pregnancy, to abort, to kill one of my children. We had families members and friends who honestly asked us whether we would be doing that {obviously, we didn’t}. Yes, it unfortunately does happen, but not as often as you would think.

The article not only misleads people to believe that anyone going through IVF is knowingly using the eggs of aborted babies, but that they are then killing the babies conceived themselves, that they did not want to get pregnant with in the event of multiples.

There is enough hurt and misconceptions about infertility, that there is no need for another such article to paint it in a horrible light.

Back to the topic of discussion:

There is absolutely NO NEED for this to be occurring. There is NO REASON for this to be happening.

{and yes, that picture right there, is a 3D ultrasound picture of my triplets at 10 weeks—very much alive and very much human}
{and yes, I am pro-life and pro-infertility treatment}

Sunday, March 31

Easter 2013

We hope that you all had a wonderful day, rejoicing in the resurrection of our Lord!

I figured I’d share a few pictures from our day. More and more I’m realizing that a good family picture is not something that’s going to happen, particularly when I have no one to take the picture but me.

Easter collage This was our very sad attempt at getting a picture of the kids :-)


Friday, March 29

Lenten Dare—Link Up #7

Today is the day, the day on which all our thanks and gifts mean nothing without His greatest gift: Death on a cross, 7the most humiliating and painful of deaths. The pouring out of His blood; coving our multitude of sins; redeeming us to Him. No amount of Eucharisteo that we can give will ever be enough for what He did; but we still must give thanks.

While our heads are bowed in shame for our sins, He bows low to us, lifting us out of our own filth and into His glory. It is His touch that drowns us in blood, His blood; giving us life anew, turning us whiter than snow. He takes what we deserve {crucifixion} and gives us what He himself did not receive {grace}.

1192. Wonderful time with a new friend
1193. A husband who in spite of working so very hard is willing to take over and give me time to do what I would like.
1194. Colors…all the colors and all the ways in which God brings them together
1195. Grace in motherhood
1196. The desire to be an event planner/organizer…I’m seeing now how this can be a blessing to those around me
1197. Long afternoon naps…when everyone sleeps {haven’t had it in a while, but boy am I thankful when they do happen}
1198. Words and pictures of encouragement when it comes to fashion
1199. The smiles that my kids manage to put on my face on a grumpy day
1200. For those who are willing to not only embrace truth, but tell it, and share it with the world
1201. Henry’s dancing around the living room
1202. That there will come a day of reckoning and we will once again be returned to Him.

Join me in sharing your Gifts?

Friday, March 1

Lenten Dare–Link Up #3

Lenten Dare 31104. A note from a reader on a day in which I particularly needed to be uplifted.
1105. Outpourings from readers {friends} who are struggling with the lonelies too
1106. Being reminded of God's faithfulness through some of the toughest years of my life
1107. Bone crushing hugs from my babies, especially Jamesie's
1108. Avie's reply of "you're welcome", when I thank her for being my daughter
1109. Curling up in bed with Ave and reading story after story together
1110. Lying on the floor with my trio and having them crawl all over me
1111. The excitement on the kids face when daddy gets home
1112. Ellie's sloppy kisses
1113. The awe at God's goodness in giving us these children
1114. Like-minded moms
1115. The moments in which I feel God's hand and presence in my life so strongly
1116. Being "struck to the core in a moment of breathless delight..."
1117. Not just knowing, but feeling that my worth is not determined by those around me (those beyond my husband and kids, but other people) but by God
1118. Nighttime cuddles with my sniffly boy, Henry
1119. That tomorrow is Friday DSC_0604
1120. Feeling and giving grace in a really hard situation regarding our finances
1121. Being blessed and inspired by two incredible sisters (online friends) at their faithfulness in doing God's will, and reaching out to others.
1122. Finding myself praying to The Lord to use scary as that might be
1123. Leftovers for an easy dinner
1124. That I wasn't coming down with some nasty bug, but getting my period...blah
1125. The possibility of a friendship {of which I realized that I don’t even know how to begin a friendship…but there is always His Grace}
1126. That god has made me who I am, that he lays different people on my heart, that I desire to reach out to others, even if I'm not always able to or received by them. That even then there is His grace for my faults and failures in doing so.
1127. Reading a couple of fiction books for fun!

A Lenten Dar with

Friday, January 25

“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life…”

Tomorrow we will be celebrating the life of Matt's grandfather {83}. Over the past few months his health had continually declined, without any real reasons as to why. After a few weeks of stay in the hospital he passed away; fortunately with his wife {of 60 years} near him and with several family members.

This is not something new to me...losing one's grandparents. I lost my first grandmother when I was 14 years old, another at 17 and my grandfather at 18.

What is new to me, is the feelings that are going along with it this time.

My Oma and Opa {both of whom I was very close to} passed away in the first 6 months of Matt and my dating. It was hard. It sucked.  I still miss them. Tuck EverlastingOver the past 13 years that we've been together and since my own grandparents have passed away; Matt's grandparents became my surrogate grandparents.

I've spent nearly the same amount of time with them, as I did my own grandparents.
It feels different this time, and I don't think it's because they "weren't my real grandparents". I kept mulling this over since Poppo died on January 12th...wondering why it felt different, why I wasn't as devastated by his passing as my own grandparents.

Then it hit me.

It's not that I'm not saddened by his passing; it is that his passing is at a very different time in my life.
My Oma died a month before my high school graduation, my Opa died a month after I began college...4 months apart. They had both been sick and were certainly in a better place, but I was not. I was young. I missed out on sharing some of the most important years of my life with my grandparents.

My Oma wasn't there with me and my mom picking out a wedding dress and getting ready. My Opa wasn't there to dance with me at my wedding. My Oma wasn't there to celebrate the long awaited birth of our daughter and my Opa wasn't there to fret and worry over how we would handle life with triplets {never mind that he himself was a twin}. So many of my major life moments my grandparents weren't there with me. 

Matt's grandparents were. They watched us exchange our wedding vows. They joyously visited us in the hospital after the birth of our daughter and prayed without ceasing when they found out we were having triplets. 

They were there for the "living" of life. 

It is because of these things that I can rejoice in his life, knowing that he is with our Father, that he is no longer unwell. It is these memories that allow the sweetness of his living to linger on, despite the sadness of his passing.

It is in the knowing that he lived life, full of love and family, that he was able to see not only the births of all his grandchildren, but 6 great-grandchildren as well. It is realizing that we all must die, but that not all of us will have the gift of a well-lived life, and that those who have lived have been incredibly blessed!

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit."
1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Sunday, January 20

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

I had planned on writing a post for today, but one thing or another has prevented me from sitting down and writing those words. I did come across this today, written by a blogger I’ve never followed before.

It is beautiful.

It is real.

It is true.

We will never win the litigation against abortion. It won’t happen.

The battle against abortion can only be won in the hearts. And begins with all people, instead of looking down on the pregnant, unwed mother, lifting her up, as Christ would. Showing her that she and her child are not only loved, but wanted and provided for.

timthumb-1So today…I’m not talking about the sanctity of human life. I don’t think there is a person, in good conscience, that could tell you that life isn’t sacred.
I’m asking you to reach out.

Visit Dancing on the Dash and read Lorretta’s story.

Wednesday, January 16

Of God’s Continued Faithfulness…

You can now find this post on my new blog:
Click HERE to be taken to the post.

Friday, January 4

In a word…

Very often I've seen people choose a word to inspire them in the new year, something they want to develop in themselves or become more aware of. I've never put much thought into it. Then I found myself continually describing the events of last year as incredible, all..the...time! I may be doing this in reverse.

Incredible: too extraordinary and improbable to be believed {as defined by Merriam-Webster}.
Kind of a lackluster definition.

Over and over again, it is the word I find myself using to describe this past year.

Incredible that we managed to survive a year with a 2 year old and triplets.
Incredible that we managed to afford formula for a year with 3 babies eating it.
Incredible that I didn’t go stark raving mad this past year, being home with so many {demanding} littles.
Incredible that I was able to get away for a few days and attend Allume.
Incredible that I actually managed to get a couple of baby quilts done, as well as other sewing projects.
….and a thousand more.2 corinthians 12-9

Extraordinary? Improbable? But isn’t that how our God works? Taking that which man says is impossible and making it possible. The ordinary, becoming extraordinary through His hand: A virgin becoming pregnant, a woman years passed child-bearing having a son, the mouths of lions clamped shut, a boy thrown in a well to die becoming the most powerful man.

His power is glorified best in our weakness. Only when we are weak, incapable and without our own abilities can God’s grace be seen, His power be magnified.

This past year has given me the incredible {there I go again} honor, of not only being mommy to these fantasmagorically awesome children, but more so, having felt His indescribable, and undeserved, GRACE.

Sunday, November 25

Seven Years

Seven years ago today, the day after a huge blizzard, there was a wedding in our town, a winter wonderland. Hard to believe that it’s already been seven years since that day and hard to believe it’s only been seven years.

These years have held more of God than I could have ever imagined possible. I am so thankful for all that he has done for us, given us, been for us. I’m thankful for our infertility, Matt’s back problems, and all the hard times we’ve experienced, because it’s been through them that God has drawn Matt and I together and to Him.

He has blessed us through those times, with good health, four beautiful children, loving family, and growing love. He has blessed me with a husband who works incredibly hard for his family, who takes great joy in his children, who is more than I could have ever hoped for in a husband, a best friend. For those things I will forever be thankful.

This isn’t the ride that I expected when I said “I do.”, but it’s been a great one thus far. Thank you for being there at the highs and lows ‘Chew….I love you. Happy Anniversary! Here’s to 70 more.

~*~*~*~PicMonkey Collage
DSC_0297Today we spent the afternoon out. We didn’t do anything fancy, just went to a Mexican restaurant in O-Town and some errands. It was just a simple afternoon out together.

Tuesday, October 30

The First of Many…

3am -- I climbed into bed on Sunday morning, exhausted…physically and mentally. I’ve tried to articulate what Allume was and I can’t. There are seriously no words that I can find to describe how this weekend was, and not from the blogging and social media perspective, but from the GOD perspective.

Don’t get me wrong the seminars were fantastic, I can’t wait to listen to the seminars I didn’t get to hear. The keynote speakers were awesome {You can listen to them here}. The time getting to know online friends, making of them real life friends, was incredible.

Allume Conference Smilebooth 0127-LThe entire weekend was something that I have never experienced in my entire life. This sense of sisterhood and camaraderie; of people who GOT me, for whom blogging wasn’t just a way to keep family up to date, but a “pen” that bleeds the words that pour from our hearts and heads.

It was more than just staying up way too late, talking; more than just hearing other people’s advice on writing and blogging, balancing it with life and family; more, even, than listening to the words of Sally Clarkson and Ann Voskamp…as incredible as they were.

So, all that to say that I really can’t articulate all that is running in my head, but I certainly wanted to let you all know what a time I had and to share just a tiny bit of what I experienced. I do hope that next year some of you, my bloggy friends, will join me in Harrisburg for Allume 2013.

If you visit HERE you can see the pictures that I took at the conference.

Allume Collage

Thursday, October 11

How will I shape my children and their faith?

Other parts from this series, Finding Faith
I. Where do you come from?
II. Do you own your faith?
III. Where is my faith going?
IV. How will I shape my children and their faith?

Finding Faith Series Deut 4 29 with Jess at LifeintheWhiteHouseI touched on this idea a bit in my last post, a very little bit. To me, this is something I pray about more than I do my own faith. This, to me, is the very crux of my existence. How and what will I do that will help my children become the followers of Christ that I long for them to become?

I honestly lay awake at night, sometimes working myself into a frenzy about all the ways I am FAILING miserably in this.
A while back I read a book entitled “When You Rise Up” by RC Sproul, which revolutionized my entire thinking about raising successful children. It redefined, for me, what I think of as “Success”.

I think this is one of the biggest points of contention between Christian parents: Do I raise a child with the idea of making them successful by the world’s standard? or by God’s standard?

But so many parents, myself included, get blinded by raising children that will be successful in the world, with only a passing, secondary thought to their success by God’s standard. Which is more important to me, that they live a God-Glorifying life or one that is successful and self-serving? God-Glorifying absolutely. Hands down. No argument.

But what about their success in the world? They need to be educated, they need to know how to function and operate in this world. Yes, they do. But through living a God-Glorifying life they will be successful and ultimately better able to function in this world.

To the world, my husband and I are not successful people. We scrape by each month, with nothing saved for our retirement. We live in and old house, that is literally falling down around us {our back foundation is crumbling under a poorly constructed addition}. Our cars are not fancy. Our clothes are not designer. We are that family that others look at and think, “Sheesh, and they have HOW MANY kids?!”

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
~Matthew 6:26

Now, I’m not saying we’re successful by God’s standards, we fail miserably at living a life that glorifies Him. BUT we seek to trust Him. We seek HIM. We know that He will take care of us and provide for us, through and in all things. Even when we start to get a bit squeamish about being able to pay the bills.

Honestly, I can’t guarantee that my children will grow to love the Lord as they should, glorifying Him in all things, trusting Him through all things. But, I can start by redefining what I consider to be success, to be most important. We can live in abject fear that if they are not drilled on worldly subjects that they will end up homeless and incapable of providing for themselves and their families. Or we can trust in God’s faithfulness.

Now, does that mean I’m going to let formal education take a back seat, not bothering to educate my children in the subjects of worldly success? No, it doesn’t. In order to glorify God, we must educate ourselves and our children in His word. We have to know how to fight against our enemies, and the way we do that is by knowing our enemies and how and why they do and believe as they do.

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
~Deuteronomy 6:6-7

So what exactly are we DOING then?

Right now, we’re memorizing bible verses, we’re reading the bible together, we’re reading bible verses, we sing songs that praise God, we talk about the things that God wants us to do, what things we can do for others to show them God, we spend time together, as a family, praying and worshiping {it is for this reason that my children won’t attend a Sunday school class that takes place during worship}.

We have begun doing the little things, which will, prayfully, turn into the big things. And even at these things we fail miserably, but that’s where trusting Him comes in. Even if we don’t do these things all the time, we are trusting that the time that we do spend in these things to Him.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little series of mine. That it has, in some way encouraged you as well as made you think. I’m sure there will be more to this someday, but for now I rest all of these words in His hands, to do with as He pleases.

Monday, October 8

Where is my Faith going?

Other parts from this series, Finding Faith
I. Where do you come from?
II. Do you own your faith?
III. Where is my faith going?
IV. How will I shape my children and their faith?
Finding Faith Series Deut 4 29 with Jess at LifeintheWhiteHouse

Isn’t that something we all want to know, where our paths will take us. Which choices will result in which outcomes? I know I do, and I know in my faith I am no different.

Wouldn’t it be easier if I just knew that I was going to go home to the Lord at a ripe old age, surrounded by friends and family who love me and, more importantly, love the Lord? Of course it would, but there would be consequences to that.

If I knew that I would be in heaven with our Father, wouldn’t that, potentially, make me rather lazy in my pursuit of Him? Couldn’t I grow cocky and remiss in my actions and purposes here on earth? Yes. Isn’t it the Lord who asks us to pursue Him? Yes. If we knew that we were guaranteed the best seat at the concert of the century, would we bother rushing and putting effort in to getting that seat? No, we wouldn’t. We would rest on our laurels.

I can’t pretend that my relationship with Christ is going to grow and increase exponentially through the years. I don’t know how I’m going to react to life events, whether I will cling to the Cross or turn away. I do know that in my past experiences I have had the desire to fall to me knees and pray, but looking back none of those things, as devastating and difficult as they were, were not, in retrospect, life-shattering. At the time they were, and some still are, but there was still LIFE.

If something thing were to happen to my husband or one {or all} of our children. I don’t know if I could forgive God. I’d like to think that even in my anger, my pain, I would still crawl to Him, but that is not something I know {and not something I want to test}. Even Job, as tormented and blessed as he was, God did not resurrect his family, that pain was still there. There was still just cause for Job to abhor God.

My faith can only go ahead in each moment.
His grace is not something that I can store up for a rainy day.

“…for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
~Lamentations 3:22-23

While I can’t guess as to my future, there are certain things that I can do to insure my future. I can live a life that glorifies the Lord. I can do my very best to spend time in His word. I can see to it that my children feel His love and grow in His word in their lives, having the foundations for their own relationship with Him. I can make the best possible decisions I can TODAY, for the life I hope to live in Him.

Sitting idly by and thinking “what’s the point if there are no guarantees” never did anybody any good. If we all did that we would still be sitting outside of the Garden wondering what we do now. Faith is a conscious choice, a conscious decision to pursue God, despite not knowing what tomorrow holds or whether we will be rewarded for our faithfulness.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day can bring forth.”
~Proverbs 27:1

Thursday, October 4

Do you own your faith?

Other parts from this series, Finding Faith
I. Where do you come from?
II. Do you own your faith?
III. Where is my faith going?
IV. How will I shape my children and their faith?

The other day I posted about where one's faith comes from. For myself, that's my grandfather, he allowed me to hash things out, without fear of being accused of blasphemy. Finding Faith Series Deut 4 29 with Jess at LifeintheWhiteHouse

Which of course got me thinking: Do I OWN my faith? Not necessarily whether I have faith or not or whether I practice what I preach, but do I draw it toward myself, make it a part of myself. Do I live my life in a way in which others see my belief in Jesus, leading a life that exemplifies and glorifies Him. And for the record, let me just say that I fail, miserably, at this.

I think for many beliefs are handed down to them from their parents or whomever and just accepted because that is what was expected. It was just a passing along of a gift, without ever opening that gift themselves.  I don't know about you, but the gifts I get to rip open myself are usually a lot more fun, but no less meaningful, than the ones I just have handed to me.

While it was my Opa who helped me along the path to Christ, it is something that I've had to come to on my own. For many people there is a defining moment, or series of moments, in which they realize, or don't, that Jesus died for them, that He truly cares for them, that He has a profound and deep impact on their life.
For me, that was dealing with Matt's back and infertility within the first year of our marriage.

While I had my faith before, it was those years of blackness that drew me to the Cross, to my knees before God. We didn't know which end was up, we didn't know if Matt's back would ever be whole. We didn't know if we would ever have kids; if we would be able to afford our bills, let alone infertility treatments or adoption.

In some ways I do think I own my faith, for myself at least. I am able to approach God with my petitions and thoughts and feel that He will take care of them in some way. Even if I don't like how He answers my prayers, that he does use all for His glory. For us, He he has taken care of us through so many more difficult and trying things, than anything we're going through now. I certainly don't always understand the whys or hows, but I do believe He WILL.

So what exactly do I believe then?

I believe that there is a loving, almighty God, that actually cares about me and my life. That this existence is not totally random; that we don’t live our life, die and that's it. I believe that we have a purpose here and the people who truly figure that purpose out AND act upon it, to His glory, are incredibly blessed.
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer". 
~ Matthew 21:22
I believe that not everyone will get into Heaven, that just by being "good people" or even saying we believe in God, but still go about our OWN business, we won't receive an automatic PASS to eternity with Him.

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened."
~ Romans 1:21

I believe that He is a loving and merciful God, but just as we love our children we punish and discipline them, our Father will punish and discipline us, perhaps not here and now, but at judgment. We will have to answer for our faults, our mistakes, our dis-allegiances to Him and what He has asked of us, we will have to suffer the consequences of living a life for ourselves and our own selfish desires. He will not be mocked or made a fool of.

"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent."
~ Revelations 3:19

The question still stands....Do you OWN your faith? Do you make a daily and conscious effort to not only have, but GROW a relationship with the Lord? Do you live a life to His glory and not your own?

None of it is easy, and I certainly know that I fall short of being worthy of His glory, as all do. But, yes, my faith is my own, my belief is my own. It is not something that I believe because it's been handed down to me, or something that I've just blindly accepted, never questioning and discovering for myself. I have experienced His faithfulness and love, I have felt His comforting hand on my brow, I have known He loves me and cares for me, as no one else on this earth can.

I know that He is my God.

Monday, October 1

Where do you come from?

Other posts in this series, Finding Faith
I. Where do you come from?
II. Do you own your faith?
III. Where is my faith going?
IV. How will I shape my children and their faith?

I've been thinking about my faith a lot lately. Not so much what I believe or why I believe it, but HOW I believe. A lot of the time I feel like a fraud. On the surface I'm a Christian, on the inside I'm a Christian, but am I really? It's been a while since I've had 5, 10, 15 minutes to sit down and actually read the Bible for myself. Even when I had time it certainly wasn’t a priority.

I'm frequently in thought with the Lord. I carry on a mental dialog with Him during the day and before sleep comes I have an “off-loading” with Him about how things went, what could've gone better, what's coming up tomorrow, and what and who are weighing on me. But does that make me a Christian?

I'm going to the Allume conference in the fall, which is for CHRISTIAN WOMEN BLOGGERS: Is that me? Am I real enough, devout enough, authentic enough, intentional enough to even be attending such a thing? God is certainly not my default response to anything in my life.

So back to my first question: Where do you come from? Or more accurately, Where does your FAITH come from?
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29
I've never NOT gone to church; no, I haven't been there EVERY Sunday, but I've always been attending a church. Growing up it was mass confusion: I was baptized in the Lutheran church, attended a Presbyterian, then a non-denominational, then a Baptist church. Now, I attend an Episcopal church.

My dad didn't start going to church with us until I was older, then we switched to a new church when I was 16 and I just really never felt at home there. Then once Matt and I started dating {I was almost 18} I would go with him and his family to the church we now attend.

We didn't have family devotional time or prayer time growing up, we didn't really discuss Faith and Jesus and God. We said grace and our prayers at bed time, but that was about it. I think my own parents were really only coming into THEIR faith when I was a teenager, and even then it was only their beginning.

The odd thing is: When I was 14 or so I wanted to be a pastor. Don't ask me where that came from: I have no idea. Obviously I'm not a pastor, but at that age I so wanted to write sermons that would call people to Christ, to know His Love, and redemption. I guess, in someway, that is what I would like blogging to become for me.

My faith didn't really come from my parents. So where did it come from?

Looking back I would have to say my {maternal} grandfather, Opa. Some of my first memories are going to church with him and sitting in on his Sunday School class when we visited. I don't remember much, just being there.

Finding Faith Series Deut 4 29 with Jess at LifeintheWhiteHouseAs I got older my Opa and I would talk. With him I could discuss my questions, my issues with being a Christian, my problems with the church’s hierarchy and traditions {which I still have major issues with}, without worrying about being told I was wrong. I could say things such as I believed that the process of evolution exists, but not that we come from apes, without fearing that he would brow-beat me for saying such things.

His love, his life, was more of an example to me about being a Christian, about following Jesus, than anything else. If anything, my faith comes from him. He allowed me to question without condemnation, he allowed me to talk through what I did and did not understand. He was my "Rabbi". 

With him there was no fear, on his part, that my questions would lead to renouncing God or Jesus. There was just open acceptance that we do have questions, and in having those questions we can seek answers, and through those answers come to know Christ better.

Where is this path leading me? Who will I touch? How I will I shape my children and their faith? Where is my faith going? Those are the REAL questions aren’t they?

Saturday, August 18

God is Faithful in All Things and Through All Things, Always.

Joy in the Morning
This morning Ellie's temperature stayed down!

Yesterday afternoon was her last dose of Motrin and her temp has not gone above 99.9 ever since. Praise the Lord!

The doctor called this morning with the urine culture results, she does have a UTI. So it’s antibiotics for a week, with daily doses of yogurt for probiotics.

I’m not crazy about antibiotics, but at least we know what’s wrong and how to treat it.

Ellie is definitely feeling better. She’s smiling more and giggling again. It’s so wonderful to know that the fever is down.

Today is the last day of the fair and we’re all doing ok.

Thursday, August 16

Prayers Please

This has been an incredibly hard week for us, for me. As many of you know it’s fair week, which means that I’m home alone. Matt’s been busy working at our stand, getting home around 1am and leaving again at 6:30am.

In addition to that, and all of those stresses, Ellie has been sick, like REALLY sick, like waiting-for them-to-put-her-in-the-hospital sick.

Sunday she was running a low-grade fever, chalked it up to teething. Monday afternoon, she woke up from a nap and was frying, 106.7* was her temp. She was in a warm room in pajamas. I stripped her down and stuck her in the tub with lukewarm water and got it down to 103, started with Tylenol. Tuesday she still had a temp and we went in to the doctor. The doctor wasn’t there and was saw the NP, who looked her over (no ear infection, no swollen glands, looks good), sent us home to continue Tylenol and Motrin.Ellie Sick

Wednesday we were still fighting it. We had one low temp (98.4) in the night, but then it started going up as soon as she woke up in the morning. Had another low temp (98.2) last night, woke up and it was 99.9. Figured we might be in the clear, but she was feeling warmer again. Called the doctor and headed in.

Get to the doctor’s and she’s totally fine…98.3 temp. They look her over, don’t see anything, but take a urine and blood sample for testing (one of the single-most traumatic experiences in my life, her having blood drawn and being cath’d). Sent home with a prescription.

It’s so frustrating! She is the picture of health and acting completely fine, but she has this incredible fever that we have no idea what the cause is.

She slept a bit in the car seat and now her temp is back up to 104.7. Waiting to hear the results on the lab work. She’s drinking just enough that she isn’t getting dehydrated, which is the only thing keeping her out of the hospital. If that happens she’s getting admitted.

Of course whenever anything happens in one’s life, that the cause of is not known, people have to give all their little bits of advice. This, right now, is harder than almost anything else. I’m tired of being brow-beaten by people {who, I know, have Ellie’s best interest at heart} that I’m not doing enough, that the doctor is wrong, that I need to go elsewhere for help; those things don’t help. That is what is pulling me down more than anything.

My mom has been here helping as much as she can, but now my dad (who is doing Matt’s work week for the first time in a long time, since he’s at the fair) is not doing well (sky-rocketing blood pressure) on the route. I just want the fair to be over and have my husband back and for Ellie to be better.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6

Any spare prayers you could send our way would be greatly appreciated :-)