Monday, May 12, 2014


Have I told you lately that my girl is growing up?
We went to the bank Saturday so she could open a checking account. One more step...
Graduation is less than three weeks away. And her open house will be the day before. So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put a pause on my blog posting for a while. At least until after commencement. My sanity requires it. *ahem*

In the meantime, feel free to peruse my archives. They contain over 1600 posts. That ought to be enough reading/viewing material to fill your thoughts, don't you think? *wink*
To the right you can find links to various mom-related posts, as well as some regarding my depression journey. And I'll label this post with some of my other favorites. Just click on the label to find posts related to that topic.
I pray God will encourage and inspire, though the words may be old.

May the peace of Christ rest upon you today. And every day!


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Unashamed: Re-Post

Originally posted March 4, 2010.

God used my dog to teach me a wonderful lesson recently. I don't mean the one about my comfort doesn't really matter.
This one was even better.

I walked into the kitchen and said Hello to Mindy. She looked up at me, wagged her tail and immediately flopped onto the floor - on her back, belly up, paws limp, tail wagging, waiting expectantly.
And do you know what I did?

I walked right over to her and started rubbing her tummy, telling her how much I love her.
I mean, what else was I to do? It was clear that she wanted me to love on her. How else should I have responded? Yes, maybe I had laundry to fold, or carrots to cut, or blogs to read. But Mindy was laying there totally vulnerable and unashamed, just waiting for me to love her.
And it was truly a delight for me to give her the attention she craved.

As I knealt there petting my dog, noticing how freely she received my love, something occurred to me. I mused, I think God would like for me to approach Him in much the same way my dog has approached me today.
I realized, I really don't need this dog. Rather, she needs me. She is completely dependent on me to take care of her. She needs me (or one of the kids!) to feed her and give her water. When she needs to go outside, she gets my attention and I let her out. I give Mindy her heartworm pills and take her to the vet for check-ups. I take her on walks (Or, I did until I got this stress-fracture in my foot. Did I tell you about that?) and I even trim her nails.
Yeah, I pretty much do everything for that dog.

Just like God does everything for me.

And as she laid on the floor, basking my love - unashamed and joyful to receive it - I realized something else. In this act of enjoying my love, my dog was doing something for me. She was delighting me heart!

It truly brought me joy to see my dog enjoying my love.

And that's why I think God wants me to come to Him the same way.
Realizing I am completely dependent on Him - for everything - yet totally unashamed to freely receive His love. As I sit in His presence, fully enjoying the love He lavishes on me, I believe I will delight His heart.

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go soak in my Father's love. I hope you'll do the same!


Tuesday, May 06, 2014

There is No Formula: Re-post

Originally posted November 17, 2010.

Through a series of recent conversations and email exchanges, I have come to understand something about myself. I have realized why I liked math when I was in school.
Because in math, there is a certainty and a formula for everything.
Two plus two is always four. Always!
You can always figure out the area of a surface by multiplying the base and the height.
And if you know the value of x, you can always figure out the value of y. Just plug it into the formula and work it out!
Math is so predictable, and if you just understand the formula - you can make it through anything!

I like formulas.
Predictability and certainty make me happy.
I feel comfortable knowing if I just do 'this', 'that' will happen.
It's the control freak in me!

And what I have realized recently is that I am longing for a parenting formula. I want raising my children to be just as certain and just as predictable as Algebra and Geometry. I want the assurance that if I limit computer time to X minutes per day, require Y showers each week, assign Z chores every day, and read the Bible and pray with them every night, my children are going to become God-loving, God-fearing, servant-hearted, other-centered, highly-motivated, self-controlled adults.
But do you know what that line of thinking made me realize?
What I'm really saying is I want control. I don't want to leave room for faith. I want to trust my actions, rather than God's sovereignty.
*Gulp* Am I stepping on any toes?

I think you know the conclusion, don't you?

There is no formula.

I will impose limits for the good of my children. I will look after their cleanliness and well-being. I will train them in responsibility. I will teach them about God.
But the end result is in HIS hands.
There is no formula. God is in control. Our job is to be faithful.
I may have plugged this before, but I'll do it again. There was a wonderful article in the January 2010 issue of Christianity Today, called The Myth of the Perfect Parent. It really helped me in my thinking on this subject. I think you'll like it!


Monday, May 05, 2014

Friday, May 02, 2014

Lessons From the Edge

It's OK to not be "enough".

My boss is hiring a full-time "Life Engagement Director". And I am really excited about it. Because I will no longer be all alone in my job. I won't have to plan, prepare, set up, and execute everything by myself. We'll be able to do more, enjoy more, live more. It's going to be wonderful!
The owner of Vista Springs wants everything to be "Full of Life", and that means - everything. And no matter how hard I try, I can't do it all on my part-time schedule. And my family and I can't afford to have me working outside the home full-time.
Quite honestly, there just isn't enough of me for all of it.
So, they're adding a full-time person to the staff, and I can't wait.

However, this week I overheard some interviews and found myself feeling down.
Things like, "It's better when two people are working together," and, "How would you make this calendar 'Full of Life'?" got me thinking things like, I do a good job here. And, People like the activities I plan. And, What's wrong with me?
Suddenly I felt like I needed to defend myself. Like I had to justify the fact that there isn't enough of me to do this great big job they want done. And then God's Spirit whispered to my heart, You aren't enough, dear. You need help to do this work. And that's OK.
Then I remembered how relieved I was when I found out this person was going to be hired. I reminded myself how much these men and women I love will benefit by having another person to love and serve them. Thoughts of fuller life and lesser burdens brought me peace. And I found myself agreeing with Him.

It's OK to not be "enough".

In what area of your life do you need this reassurance today?

Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this post are my own, and may not necessarily reflect those of Vista Springs Living Centers.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Declaration of Independence

It's May Day!

But for me, it's more like, "Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!"

Because I need help. Help accepting reality, that is.

My baby girl is an adult now. She's 18, and there's nothing I can do to change that fact.
She will graduate from high school one month from today.
She's all signed up for college and will be heading to Wheaton in August.
AND, the other night she came to Brian and I with a declaration of independence.
In Elizabeth's sweet and sensitive nature she said, "I need your help. Most of the times when I have an opinion, it's because you two have told me what you think, and I choose to think the same. And I know I need to think on my own now. I also need to do more things on my own. Even though I'm not very good at it, and I don't like to. I need your help to get me to do things on my own."
(OK, that's what she said, roughly.)
She followed up with some sort of statement about not wanting to hurt our feelings by saying these things. And I thought, Oh, sweetheart. Those words do hurt. But that's OK. You're growing up, and you are becoming independent. All of it is good and right. But it does hurt a little.

So, I guess now we sign the document and face the fact that our little girl is, well, not so little anymore.

Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!