Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Simply Saturday | lil helpers

. .. . . .. . . .. . . . .. . .. . . . . ..

...makin' ready.  Black Bottom Cupcakes.  Here they come!


Saturday's will often be a big baking day - around here.
****

Joining up with Simply Saturday over at Lisa's...



Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday's Finds | Poured Out

 .. . .. .. . .. .. ... .. .. .. . . .. . .
I love this picture. 

It is purely the zoom of the camera, through the rain, and no alteration done to it whatsoever.

It reminds me of a watercolor painting - which happens to be some of my favorite kinds of artwork.

((moving on...))

***


Strange twist for a Friday's Finds, today... but here goes.

Today is Friday.  Hallelujah!  But, I feel completely and utterly poured out.

So does my man.

This week has (actually the last several, have) been a long one.

Scott has given of himself relentlessly to his studies... which, tomorrow, 9 AM, by the way, is the date and time of his next computer exam (3+  hour long, sit down time) which will tell us how much he has really "poured out", from himself, and into this round of studies.  Very Tough.

We pray for God's will and a great test score!

I, of course, standing by my man, have taken the brunt of the grunt work - at least in the home life - during the last two weeks before the exam.  We're in it together.  It's just the way it is.

But... I feel it. 

I'm on empty.

I love how Ann, in her book, One Thousand Gifts, talks about ...

emptying to fill.

***

More on this subject, come Monday.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh, what a morning

. .. . . .. . . . .. . .. .. . . .. . . . ..


It was one of those mornings, after a series of grey days when I couldn't believe what I (actually) saw.

The Sun!

I called the little ones into the dining room, to come quick...


Aubrey and Caleb shielding their eyes - as if half afraid to look.
***

I can be this way, too.

When I've had a series of dark(er) days and I'm grumpy or hormonal...;)

The clouds hang low.
 
There is (much) disappointment. 

Expectations (of and on myself) that don't get met.

I physically don't feel well.

Maybe I didn't sleep well, the night before.

I know in my heart of hearts that the LORD is begging me with his glorious radience to come into His Presence...more then I do.

I admit... I'm half afraid to look.

Yet, it's radient.

Revealing.

Enlightening.

Good.


Psalm 34:8 encourages us to "Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him".

I do.

I want this...more and more.

I want to see the Son Light in my life - regularly - despite the occasional grey and cloudy day.

{Lord Jesus}
I come into your presence, with nothing in my hands.
I only bring thanksgiving for Jesus, God and man
I cast myself on mercy.
I cast myself on love.
I trust your gracious promise to wash me with your blood.

Jesus, my only hope, my only plea...


****

Is this your prayer (too), this morning??

Ironically, this very morning was marked with true storm laden clouds, hanging grey and low.  The rain began to fall ever so slightly and now it's not sure what it wants to do - but be muggy.

May my soul be refreshed - regardless.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blueberry Coffee Cake

 .. . .. . .. . . . .. . . .. . . . .. . ..

Looking for something new...

I recently came across this recipe that has left me - smiling.  It's so delish!!  It's definitely my newest rant and rave. ;)


~Blueberry Coffee Cake~

1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup + 2 T. all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in egg.  Combine 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt.  Gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.
Toss blueberries with remaining 2 T. flour.  Gently stir in blueberries and cubes of cream cheese into the batter.  Batter will be thick.
Transfer to a greased 8" square baking pan.

Topping:
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. cold butter
Combine flour and sugar and cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over batter.  Bake at 375* for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Note:  If using frozen berries... do not thaw, before adding to batter.

Yield: 6-8 servings

***

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gratitude is the Greatest Antidote to Jealousy.

. . .. . . . . . ... . . .. . . .. . . ..  .


When we're truly grateful - there is little room for envy. Discontent has been kicked to the curb. In other words gratitude, when it is really apart of our lives, it becomes and acts as an antidote against anything else that would interfere with that gratitude.

The veins of jealousy can really run deep.  It's roots no one sees and it will fester and intensify eating up anything and everything in it's wake.  It is not a good thing.  How do we fight back?

Living a grateful life is not of our first nature.  So, then how do we become a grateful soul?  How does gratitude permeate and fill us up - leaving no room for the seeds of envy, discontent and jealousy to take root?

Gratitude is the greatest antidote to jealousy.

I have this phrase jotted down alongside the 23rd chapter of Psalm, in my Bible.  Somewhere, at some point, this phrase must have been presented in a sermon or while studying and reading something else... that made me write this down so I would often be reminded.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not (be in) want. (v.1)

The Lord is all that I need.  He cares for me.  He meets my every need.  He sustains me.  I have no lack of gain.  He is my All Sufficient One - my El Shaddai.  In Him there is (true) peace.  Quietness and Rest.

When I begin to think this way... believing it, with all my heart... I can sense a shift in my way of thinking.  I no longer am driven to think pitifully of what I have, or respond restlessly to what I have and where I am in life as though I deserve better... jealously longing for - different.

Does this mean, I never am tempted to complain or dream or think less of me and more of others and want that very thing for myself?  Absolutely not.  I'm human.  I fail.  I need reminders.  Daily reminders.

As in the line of this song... Knowing you, Jesus.  Knowing you.  There is no greater thing.  You're my all.  You're the best. You're my joy, my righteousness....and I love you, Lord.

So, I continue to list... growing in gratitude.


64. He is Risen.  The Lord is Risen, Indeed!
65. His example in serving...
66. the wine, the bread
67. sounds of thunder, flashes of lightening ripping across the eastern sky
68. little drops of water - making up the mighty ocean
69. growing green grasses...only to get mowed down (again).  Ahh, the smell....
70. that this plaguing cough and allergies have finally lessened - I'm much more comfortable
71. we're in the final week...long week... of my husband's studies, with an exam to follow on Saturday.  ((Please, be praying)).
72. (an unexpected) half-price day, on children's clothing
73. a long-overdue (on my end) phone call and great chat with a dear friend
74. story time - with Little's before crawling into bed
75. a wink from my hubby across the room
76. bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles...
77. budgets that can accommodate and afford soaring gas prices
78. restless night of sleep - Lord Willing... adequate for the day
79. beautiful, soggy, foggy morning
80. overflowing Easter baskets - taking up space on my kitchen counters.  But. They're filled with chocolate...81. Sermon Series on 1 Peter... Praise to God for a Living Hope, a Settled Hope
82. crumbs to clean up - dishes to wash.  We have plenty...
83. a grassy backyard - even though it's not fenced in (how oh, I wish it was)
84. when doesn't seem fair and we experience great loss... suddenly
85. opportunities - not interruptions
86. a hearty pat on the back - warm smile - friendship




Sunday, April 24, 2011

Old Time Sunday Hymn Sing | Arise

. .. . .. . .. . . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .


~ Arise ~
Charles Wesley/ J. Edson 1782

Arise, my soul, arise,
Shake off thy guilty fears;
A bleeding sacrifice
In my behalf appears;
Before the throne my surety stands,
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on his hands.

Five bleeding wounds he bears,
Received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers,
They strongly speak for me;
Forgive him, Oh! forgive, they cry,
Forgive him, Oh! forgive, they cry,
Nor let the ransomed sinner die.

My God is reconciled,
His pardoning voice I hear,
He owns me for a child,
I can no longer fear;
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And Father, Abba, Father, cry.

***

Christ is Risen. 

 Christ is Risen - Indeed. 

Have a Blessed Easter Sunday Morning.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Simply Saturday | Welcome

. .. . . .. . .. . . .. . .. . . . .. . . ..


Someone gave me a few forsythia branches in another flower arrangement, earlier this week.  As the other flowers began to fade - I decided to add these few branches in with this other starting-to-go  arrangement - of bittersweet.  One of my favorite things.  Branches.

I love the natural look - brought indoors. 

I could tell, right away, the bright yellow was a welcome change to this corner of the room.

:WELCOME:

is what the white sign says, too ... although, it's rather hard to read.

****





Simply Saturday has been temporarily moved to a new location.
Come join me over at Lisa's to see what others are posting for their Simply Saturday - link up!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday! {a Repost}

. . .. . .. . .. . . . .. . . . .. . ..

Today is a good day.  Just because it's Friday...is what makes it a good day, right?!?!?!?

But in all reality today is Good Friday.


So what, is good - about Good Friday? Is it because we have an evening service at church, and we go?? Is that what makes it good? I had to REALLY evaluate my thoughts on what really is Good Friday, and what does it mean for me.

For me. I am simply aware of my daily need for a Savior. I am a sinner saved by grace. And grace alone. As one song says, "Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails".

It was my sin that nailed him to the cross. It was my voice that cried out among the mockers.


Yet, he loved me. He knew me. He choose me from before the foundations of the earth...that I would be his child. His daughter. Alive - unto him. He rescued me. He Redeemed me as his own. His Love (so amazing, so divine) demands my life, my soul, my all.


May these words, these truths...rivet my heart today. May they mean more to me today, then they did yesterday.


Take a look, at the meaning for the word...rivet.



riv·et (rvt) n.

A metal pin or bolt for passing through holes in two or more places or pieces to hold them together, the other end being hammered into a head after insertion.



1. To fasten or secure with or as if with a rivet.
2. To hammer the headless end of so as to form a head and fasten something.
3. To fasten or secure firmly; fix.
4. To engross or hold (the attention, for example).


As, I was thinking how I could keep this post as simple as possible, today. ;) A picture came to my mind. And, so I went digging through my old tool box (Yes! You read that right. My - tool box!) and found these three rusty nails.



This picture, right here, says it all.  Because of the Cross....

This, is what makes today a GOOD FRIDAY!!  Amen?

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son. That whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life." ~ John 3:16

****
Have a Blessed Easter weekend!! 

And actually, I thought this would be interesting.  I would like to do my own version of something that our local Christian Radio Station has been doing this past month.  They have posed the beginning of a statement - Because of the Cross....

And listeners have called in - and in their own words - expounded on that thought. 

If you were to finish that phrase, what would you say? 

Because of the Cross...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Signs of Growth

. .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . . .. .. .. . . .

The signs of spring are everywhere.  All around us.

Beautiful

 Blooming

  Greatly anticipated

  New life

 Change




But what if we said it this way? 

Signs of Growth

...in the soil of our hearts
Would the words still have the same affect? 

Beautiful

 Blooming

 Greatly anticipated

New life

Change

Growth, in our lives, often comes by
trowel and error,
doesn't it?

We don't always appreciate the way Spring comes, by way of entering our hearts. 
The process - so often - takes time and patience.  But, in the end there is (great) reward.

....it's time to get growin'.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Close and Constant"

. .. .. ... . . .. .. . .. . .. . . .. . .

Behind the scenes of the daily grind, in regards to Bags by Bevy... I've been a busy little bee and there is no reprieve - or, so it seems.  Which is a good thing...don't get me wrong.

Recently, I was asked to make a bag for a dear friend of mine - who gave me a deadline; choose her fabric from my stash (meaning I was working with a limited amount of fabric) and asked that I specifically make her a backpack.  Something I have never done before.  So, with all of these "specifications".... I was *sighing* and *muttering* and *stressing out* - but oh, am I ever *proud* of myself for figuring this one out.

I like it.  I hope my friend will too.

But, because my hubby couldn't stand to hear me in such distress... he said "no more!"...no more special orders like that, unless it's a bag I want to make like it on my own admission.  I appreciate his care... really, I do.

***





~Close and Constant~
(backpack)
SOLD! to my friend Connie C.

****

I also made a pair of Homespun Baby shoes - last week.  Just to give as a gift to another dear friend of mine, who recently had a new baby girl.  So, I wanted to bless them with some pretty pink and brown...as if they're not already blessed with this new little bundle of love.




~ Homespun Baby Shoes~
Pink and Brown
(gift to Hayley W. and family)
***

Off to make and fulfill another couple of orders...before May 8th!

- an overnight bag
- two pairs of baby shoes

Plus,
-(finish up) the medium/large bag I'm currently working on, for another friend.  Wait till you see this one...



Monday, April 18, 2011

"Nest" - Sisters Shoebox Swap Show-and-Tell

. . .. . .. . . .. . .. . .. . . .. . ... . ..

A couple of weeks ago, I signed up to be part of a Sister Shoebox Swap, with Monica, from The Homespun Heart and her sister, Carrie, from  "with all that I've been given".

Beings its Spring, the theme for it - this time - was "Nest".  What a lot of fun this was.

Today is the scheduled show-and-tell of the swap over at Carrie's.  Hope you'll go on over there to take a look.



I had the distinct privilege to be paired up with Monica - herself.  These are the fun items she had tucked into the box... Mrs Meyer's Lavender Spray (how did she know I've always wanted to try this?), a cute spool  twine dispenser, polka dot spoon rest, two cute white hobnail bowls, Shabby Chic note cards, a pin and finally, an Easter garland that she made herself.

It was so fun to pull everything out and unwrap it.  My kiddo's especially loved the bubble wrap that some of the items were wrapped in. ;)  That kept them entertained for a long while...

If you want to see what I sent her... up close and personal... Monica took some really great photos of the items I sent her way.  Take a look - HERE!

***

Happy Monday  - to you!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Old Time Sunday Hymn Sing | Precious Memories

. .. . .. . . .. . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . .


~ Precious Memories~
Music & Lyrics by J.B.F. Wright
Precious memories, unseen angels,
Sent from somewhere to my soul;
How they linger, ever near me,
And the sacred past unfold.

Chorus:
Precious memories, how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul;
In the stillness of the midnight,
Precious, sacred scenes unfold.


Precious father, loving mother,
Fly across the lonely years;
And old homescenes of my childhood,
In fond memory appears.

In the stillness of the midnight,
Echoes from the past I hear;
Old time singing, gladness bringing,
From that lovely land somewhere.

As I travel on life's pathway,
Know not what the years may hold;
As I ponder, hope grows fonder,
Precious memories flood my soul.

***

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Simply Saturday | Tea Time

... . .. . .. .. . . . . . .. . .. . .. 


I almost made her get down - as she is always in this window playing with this china tea set.  Notice one teacup is gone. missing. broken. 

Instead.  I ran for the camera and told her to "do it some more". 

Big step... for me. :)  Arent' you proud of me?

****




Joining up with Jenn,today, at A Country Girl's Ramblings... for her Simply Saturday link up.



Friday, April 15, 2011

"My Story", as I attempted to tell it today. - Part Two & Final

 ... . . .. . .. . . . . .. . . .. . .. . . .. ..

But, here is where the brutal, hard-nose honesty comes in…

(Are you ready, to read this??)


I hate being a mom.

I love being married and I love keeping the home…

Yet, I shouldn’t say that I hate being a mom, because some days that simply isn’t true and hate is a rather strong word, I know, but IT IS CERTAINLY not the rosy picture that Motherhood had been painted in my mind for it to be.

And, now I’m pregnant with my third?  I must be crazy… really, if not yet... I will be.  (tongue in cheek)

Mothering is so H * A * R * D. And what’s even “harder” is when close friends of mine lovingly remind me of those days, and say, "you know Bevy... this was ALL you ever wanted". They have no idea the (bothering) grace-reminder that this is for me.  I do appreciate the reminder.

There are many, many days of tears, and angst over the irruptions and inconveniences. I balk and wallow and fret. And the depths of my soul are revealed more and more of where I am simply a sinner-mommy who needs Jesus every single day. My kids know this and they catch me crying (rubbing their little hands all over my arms and face); they ask me “mommy, what’s wrong?”, and I tell them… the truth.


I need Jesus.

I am amazed over and over at their sincere hearted tenderness (in those moments) and it continues to melt my stone-cold heart and I know - if for nothing else – they’re in my life to reveal the Love of Jesus to me, more and more.

I’m ashamed to admit this – but they are many times when even I scare myself at the back door. I have little or no patience. I'm way too grumpy - grasping to regain control of the given situation.  I struggle to be silly....I'm not a "fun mom"...  I struggle to interact at their level.  Oh, I can get creative and imaginative... but it takes a lot out of me to get me to that point. 

I just absolutely cannot believe that I react the way I do at times. And in admitting this, this is where I think the word “hate” comes in. I don’t like what motherhood is revealing in and through me.  It's the process called sanctification....

I preach to myself all of the time, with this saying: “My response makes or breaks a situation”… and I know it’s all a matter of me responding well rather then simply reducing me to a mere reaction. It’s a pure struggle.

***
I think back to my own mom. And, she and I have certainly talked about this…

She had, had a hard life of raising us nine children with, while my dad was a real hard worker, wonderful father and a wonderful provider (they certainly did they’re best) – she continued to deal and work through my dad’s struggles of:


- Depression (which were enough to be hospitalized once or twice, in his life);


-the mental health issues (which required medication for as long as I could remember);


-the spiritual struggles of God’s grace and forgiveness for him

All of these things were things that I know were triggered by an introduction to pornography at a very young age.

Which makes me realize all the more, the awesome responsibility I have as a mom and Scott and I together, in parenting, to be all the more vigilant in the teaching and training of our little ones.  We can't shield them ... only influence them toward the Gospel.

I would like to say I’ve never heard my mom cry or be upset –but that isn’t the truth, although she hid it from us very well.

She certainly had her challenges too, with being a mom. There were many things about her that I vowed I would “break the chain” over. I know she would admit to not having the spiritual support like I’m blessed to have in my life today, even though she grew up Mennonite as well… it just wasn’t offered. So, I am truly blessed.

Now that my dad is HOME-FREE and in Heaven… and like I said it’s been 15 years now… with having little ones to raise, all on her own… I honestly have seen the Grace of God carry my mother through this trial in her life. She grieves but she has never once complained.

And, she still doesn’t. She is purely an inspiration to me and the best example in my life, of what a godly woman, wife and mother should be.

***

Recently, I went through a ladies Bible Study – a book authored by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, entitled Brokenness. This book was really an eye opener for me as it relates to my calling as a mother, wife and friend.

So, on one hand while I’m learning about brokenness in my life – the Lord is/was really doing a breaking in me – of my will and expectations especially in mothering. I’m still learning. And, though that particular Bible Study is over I still thumb through the pages of that book and my notes and reflect.

Also…I’m desirous to grow more in tune with a life of gratitude. Another book I’m currently reading is called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, author of the blog – A Holy Experience. In this book she challenges, with a dare, to LIVE FULLY right where you are. I’ve recently begun the task of naming my thanks… listing things – all the way to 1,000 and beyond, Lord Willing, that come to mind; things of which I am truly grateful for. Things big or small - and sometimes it is the rather simple things.


I’m praying that these two books will continue a work in me. I can feel the battle- raging. It’s a looming task, this work of sanctification that is going on inside of me. Thankfully – it’s the Lord at work. It’s nothing that I am doing to contribute... except perhaps I contribute by providing the mess.


Many of you know… I have a blog at Treasured Up and Pondered (.blogspot.com).

There is where I have found a true blend of encouragement and accountability. I found some dear friends in this blogging world – other moms or women who are often in the same places I find myself in. I welcome you to stop by, there as well, anytime and say hello.

And, MOPS has become a place for much of the same; a place of real encouragement and accountability. If it wasn’t’ for Connie C. really encouraging me to come on out – I would really be missing a blessing in my life. I’ll admit, it’s been tough to get going in the mornings and we’ve had our rough moments – but my kids have really fallen in love with the Moppets ministry. And, I’m glad.

I also knew a lot more ladies then I ever expected. Kelli S., Jen F., Barb M., Patty C., Chrissy B., Cheryl H. and I recognized many, many others… so thank you Connie for your diligence in “pestering” me to take this step. Lord knows – I’m such a homebody and I needed this.



***

Thank you for letting me share “my story” with you, today, which by the way, is still being written.  Each day is a new journal entry to the pages of my life story.  God is authoring... not I. I would have no idea if anyone can relate or identify with anything I’ve shared… but I just hope that my honesty today was a real blessing to someone.

God bless you in your home and in your mothering. We’re in this “calling” together.

Let’s do our best and be our best!

Amen?





***
As I mentioned in my introduction.  I left MOPS, that day, feeling like I had really flubbed up my story.  I felt like I had missed a lot of key points in what I wanted to say and yet, I have to believe that what I did share was really - enough.
 
As many different ladies came up to me later to say Thank You!, they encouraged me by admitting that they too have often felt the same way about Mothering - for themselves.  That it's been completely different then they've ever imagined.  My honest approach was such a release for me and a relief to them. 
 
Somebody said it.  We could identify.  Here again, an honest confession is good for the soul.
 
But, it doesn't mean staying in that place.  My heart's cry and desire from the very beginning - to be the best wife and mom that I could possibly be - still resonates with in me.  I still want that.
 
It just means completely surrendering myself to My Lord and Master... allowing him to continue to break me, mold me, shape me... into the woman He would have me be.
 
For me, it's starts with growing in gratitude for my life-calling; it's trials; it's challenges; it's changes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"My Story", as I attempted to tell it today. - Part One

. . .. . .. .. . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. .. .

I grew up a Conservative Mennonite gal; the oldest of nine – six girls and three boys.

It was a way of life; a religion/culture, but with some sense of relationship; deeply rooted in godly heritage and tradition. It held a deep sense of  at-home community and so getting married, followed by motherhood (for girls) was held in high regard.  Neither Collage nor Careers were encouraged. This was all I knew. I had little expectation of myself but to be anything but the best wife and mother I could possibly be.


I thought that, that day would never come - when I would get married and begin to raise a family of my own.

When I was about to turn 23 I began thinking about and planning to move out on my own. I needed my own space! Tough to do, but I finally convinced my parents that I could do it. An apartment soon became available – in the basement of an old farmhouse where my cousin and her husband lived.  My parent's fears in letting me go were soon calmed… because they knew I wouldn’t be totally alone – out there in that big ole world.

A lot of different things were going on in my life at that point. I was thinking of attending a different church – different then the conservative Mennonite church I had known and attended all my life. I had lots and lots of questions regarding my faith and God’s grace in my life and soon I found a church family that I grew to love and appreciate and my husband and I still attend a church through this group of churches, called Sovereign Grace Ministries.

After moving into this farmhouse basement apartment and being there for about one month… ironically, today marks it to be 15 years (April 13th)…when my dad (age 43) suddenly passed away leaving 8 kids still at home with the youngest being only three years of age.

That left a huge hole in my heart as I would say I was pretty close to my dad… and I miss having him around. I wish – but he never got to meet any of his son-in-laws… and obviously none of his grandchildren. If he were still here on this earth – we would be so blessed. But – we know we’ll see him again, one day. And that is our hope

Many years would pass pass in my single years that I now know were wasted; looking for love and relationship. I prayed and waited and waited and prayed and believed deep down that the day would never come – but I continued to hope.

I will say, though, that through this time my faith strengthened in the Lord and I clung to my Savior to meet me… every single day. I worked those years at a local Christian Bookstore and also at our local hospital on the Pediatrics and Maternity Wards… as a Secretary/ Nurse Assistant. I considered going on to pursue a nursing career but that door sort of closed, rather quickly …and I was content to just be a “testimony” if I could and do my best. I loved my both of those jobs and I believe they were perfect fits for me – God was Sovereign in leading me to both of those employment opportunities.

But realize… I still had this longing down deep to be the best wife and mom that I could possibly be and I still struggled to believe that even God would lead me to the right man for me. I was that Lady in Waiting…

In one way… more out of curiosity… and with the preface that I wanted to know what was wrong with me, (wondering why did I not have any dates or why couldn’t I keep them?) I decided to go online and just do the personality test that eHarmony offered.

Maybe that would provide me some answers.

It did.  I began to understand myself a little more… relaxing, letting go… letting God. But, for some reason, while the matches began to start coming in – like it or not - I kept my subscription to it, not really believing anything would come of it because after all wasn’t this like taking matters literally into my hands?  I wasn’t that sort of girl…
To make a long story short – I did meet my wonderful husband through eHarmony and that was over seven years ago. Next month, on the 14th of May, will be six years of marriage for Scott and I.

To bring you up to the current…we have two little ones Caleb James – who will be four in May and Aubrey Ruth – who will turn three in September. We also are expecting our third child in August.

I can’t believe I am where I am. It’s amazing how time flies and I know I am not the only one who believes that.

But, here is where the brutal, hard-nose honesty comes in…

To be Continued...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"My Story", as I attempted to tell it today. The Introduction.

. .. . .. .. .. . .. . .. . . .. ... . .. .

You did AWESOME!!!! Thank you so very much for sharing! You're sweet spirit and honest heart was shining...through the tears ♥ . Mommyhood ain't easy! so glad we don't have to go it alone! Your testimony really seemed to resonate with so many in attendance today. Thanks again for your boldness, and your willingness to share! :)  ~ Ginna

This is the note that I found in my inbox after getting home; after eating lunch; after the kiddo's (finally) fell off to sleep for their afternoon nap.

Today was MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)!  Every morning, as usual, trying to get two little ones to rush out the door and head to MOPS (or anywhere, for me) can be overwhelming.  There is usually always some hiccup, along the way, that interacts with the already feeling of "out of order", "out of routine" moments of menagerie...around here.

We managed.  With a hot, fresh baked Spinach and Chicken Quiche and homemade doughnuts holes to boot.  (Recipe for the quiche will have to come another day, but HERE is the doughnut recipe.)

I prayed for grace.

You see, this wasn't any ordinary day at MOPS - I was also asked to share "my story" today.  This was a first for me.  I surprisingly was not nervous... then again, I was.  Especially if I was to follow the Other Testimony.  I knew my friend's story was going to be a real tearjerker.  And it was. 
As it worked out, I ended up speaking after Jen, which in the end... it all worked out.

Of course, since I'm home... I've been mentally critiquing and evaluating myself with: You forgot to say this;  You totally missed that... Could anyone truly relate to or understand what you were sharing?  You're voice was cracking so badly... you should be embarrassed... and on and on.

But, you know?  I really need to trust the Lord that what I shared today was exactly what I needed to share.  I was so encouraged, after the fact, as fellow MOPS moms came up to me afterward to say "thank you" for my words and my honesty.  I felt their genuine love and care.

So without further adiue... here are the first few paragraphs to "my story"... and the rest will come at a later time.

“MY STORY”


Recently I was asked to share “my story”. (gulp). When I got the call from Ginna… I knew immediately what she was calling me for and I now believe it was all a part of God’s plan – in getting me to think about it – as literally, minutes before the phone rang, had just read the words, “My Story”, on the MOPS newsletter and wondered to myself “whatever could that be, about?”  Now, I know. (smile)

I guess, it’s my turn to fill in the blanks….

I honestly don’t feel like I have this huge redeeming story to share with you; that will make you sit there and choke back tears. But, as I spent the past few weeks reflecting on what God’s been doing in my life and where I’ve been and where I’m going … I will venture to say this, that what I do have to say will and maybe, hopefully, be a place where others can identify

I grew up a Conservative Mennonite gal; the oldest of nine – six girls and three boys...

To be Continued...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Days of My Life

. .. . . .. .. . .. .. . . .. .. .. . ... .

Lord,
Sometimes when I look
At my life
It seems like a homespun
Patchwork quilt...

Quaint, but not quite "together"!


There are bits and peices of
Cloths and colors,
Scraps of material,

The days of my life...



When you begin to put together
The days of my life
You must have known
Where each piece would go...

You've told me that I am
Fearfully and wonderfully made...

And I believe you, Lord,
I do!
I may not be a velvet tapestry,
But even crazy-quilts
Have purpose,
To give warmth and
Cozy comfort and
Color to a room!


Whatever I am, Lord,
You made me...

Lovingly,
Carefully,
 Reverntly.

And exactly right! 
                                                                     ~ Selected

Monday, April 11, 2011

grace for today

. .. .. . . . . .. .. . . .. . . . . . . . .

"Worry does not empty tomorrow's struggles - but it empties today of it's strength." ~ Corrie Ten Boom


I found this quote extremely helpful - as I sat down, last evening, to make a list of my 'stuff to do' for this upcoming week.  I realized, in and through it all God only gives grace for today... because tomorrow hasn't come yet.  Amen?

That is one reason why I posted yesterday's hymn - Great Is Thy Faithfulness.  I love the line, in the third stanza of that hymn..."strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow"... because grace -for today - is simply enough.  We have hope for tomorrow, yes! - but tomorrow is a day that may never come, so why worry?

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. ~ Isaiah 43:18   Except perhaps to offer thanks...?


God's faithfulness, to us, for today is a grace beyond my comprehension... and yet, I can really, really take it for granted.  I wonder about you?

This upcoming week, according to the calender, looks overwhelming to me.  Quietly accepting one day at a time... each one will be faithfully, patiently, lovingly wrapped up in grace.  Thank- you, Lord!

45. thankful for my hubby home, last week, three days out of five.  It was wonderful.
46. all doctor, dentist and any other appointments - that went well last week.
47. seeing fruit in Little's hearts
48. big bash surprise birthday celebrations - my aunt will be turning 60, on Tuesday (the one who recently lost her husband, to cancer).  She is loved.
49. hearing my little guy burst out in song - when he first wakes in the morning, on the playground, in the van while driving...with my daughter joining in. ;)
50. new recipes that are a hit
51. the color yellow
52. a wonderfully gracious landlord - who goes to bat for you.
53. pardon for sin, and a peace that endures
54. my handyman husband... ooh, la la
55. wonky neighbors who (later) come to apologize - the grace to forgive
56. lovely box of gifts - arriving at the front door
57. hand written notes
58. friends and F*A*M*I*L*Y - and the support they bring
59. socks with holes and shoes "too big" (meaning they're too little).  My children's feet continue to grow...
60. the birds singing
61. the washer whirling, tackling Mt. Washmore
62. one-anothering : : the art of hospitality
63. this grey morning... with the promise of rain... except that it has turned into a (very) warm and beautiful day, instead.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Old Time Sunday Hymn Sing | Great is Thy Faithfulness

. . ... . . . .. . . . . . ..  . . . . . . .


~Great Is Thy Faithfulness~
Thomas Chisholm, 1923/ William Runyan

Great is thy faithfulness, O God, My Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
As thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Refrain
Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness;
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.


Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

***We sang this hymn at our wedding... asking the congregation to join with us.  Different?  Maybe.
But I'll always think of that moment when we stopped to thank God for His faithfulness in bringing our two lives together - as one.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Simply Saturday | Saturday Morning Special

. . .. . .. . . .. .. . . . . .. .  ... .


Usually, around here, on a Saturday Morning, I'll bring out the Special Breakfast.  Different than the usual fare that happens during the week of cold cereal and toast.

Sometimes its:

  Egg McMuffin Sandwiches
French Toast
Egg-in-a-Nest
Sausage Gravy over Biscuits
Country-style Hash (a concoction, usually)

But our favorite is...

Delicious Pancakes with a side of crispy bacon or sausage.

 : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

~Bevy's Delicious Pancakes~
1 1/4 cup flour
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup milk (I like to add a few glug, glugs of lemon juice, to make it thick)
2 eggs
1 Tbs. baking powder
sprinkle of cinnamon
approximate 1/2 tsp. of vanilla

Beat eggs slightly; sift together all dry ingredients.  Add melted butter and milk to eggs.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix only until all flour is incorporated.  Batter should be lumpy.  Do not overmix.
Bake on hot griddle.

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Linking up today with Jenn, from A Country Girl's Ramblings.






Wednesday, April 6, 2011

random bits wrapped up in yellow

. . .. .. .. . . . . . .. . . . .. . . .. .


Our daffodils have begun blooming.  Although, these are a few from last years blooms...
I've been noticing the beautiful yellows popping up all around - everywhere.

~YELLOW~

It reminds me of where we used to live. 
 Behind our house was the largest yellow forsythia bush I have ever seen in one place.   Here is just a small snapshot of that large yellow patch.


The color yellow is significant, in the flower world, particularly when giving yellow roses, for showing joy and appreciation associated with friendship.

***

I just want to take today to say Thank You to all of my fine friends and commenter's and followers - old and new alike.  Thank you for reading Treasured Up and Pondered.

I just want you to hear it from me that I love you and feel so blessed to have all you fine folk in my "blogging" world. 
***

If I seem kinda quiet, around here, over the next few days it's because my hubby is home.  He took a few days off of work... it's "use or lose" the time.  So, with that said...there's a lot of catching up to do, like Dr's, Dentists, etc. here we come!

Speaking of.  Tomorrow AM - early - will be my 20 week ultrasound.  That's hard to believe.  Already?!?! Halfway?!?!?
Then, later in the afternoon, Caleb gets to go to the dentist for his first visit.  He's really, really excited to go.  We'll see - what he thinks about it and how he actually does with being there.

I'm still hacking up a lung... the doctor I saw today says he thinks it could be a combination of allergies and a cold.  I think, I agree. Still can't take anything for it.
Aubrey is now getting it a bit more intense now.  Ugh.  She was the one who had been the best out of all of us. 

Oh, but guess what?  I found the courage today to go back to the scene of the crime. :)

 Scott wanted to go to "the park"...  this morning.

Caleb did phenomenal.  Of course, the day was different, in that there were hardly any other kids there.  It felt like a ghost town.  That's how different.  But, nonetheless.  Courage was restored for me...today. 

Plus it helped having my hubby around, to be my "wing man".  Huge thanks for your great comments yesterday - your all so encouraging.

I greatly appreciate it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

fight on the playground :: the lesson learned

. .. .. . .. .. .. . . .. . . . .. . .. .

*photo taken in hot,hot summer of '09*
Recently, I took our two little ones to an indoor play-yard...just to get out of the house and have some fun.  Caleb refers to it as "the Park".

And fun they had.

Until... I hear some pretty serious crying.  With mother's ears tuning in, I realize that it wasn't just one but both of my kids SCREAMING at the top of their lungs.  I couldn't tell if it was a crying out of fear, kind of scream or from literal pain.  I still don't know for sure and probably never will - at least from Aubrey's perspective.

I'm standing - looking up - through the mazes of brightly colored nylon netting and padded bars; through the throngs of other (older) kids who are all clamoring, chasing and climbing just to get to the next level... who are all bullying past timid toddlers who are trying to feel their way in and around the "wide open spaces".

I still hear crying.

By the time I locate just where Caleb and Aubrey are... I can see my son up and swing and I mean, hit this other kid, very hard, across his head and yell - "Stop it!", with angry tears rolling off his face.

I was mortified.

My son.  My three year old son just had his first fight on the playground.  I couldn't even tell you who the other boy was or even what the other little boy looked like... I never saw him (for really looking at him) because, I was just so shocked at what I saw take place, from my son's "retaliation".

By now, the Little's made their way down out of the playground...and Caleb comes to me crying, "that boy itched me".  I can see huge, claw scratch marks down the side of Caleb's face. 

And, my heart broke.

By now Aubrey had joined us, and that was the end of the playground experience for her.  She pretty much stayed by my side for the next, however long- which was fine with me.

I comforted Caleb and told him that we needed to find that boy to apologize to him and yet, like I said - who was he??  and where was he ?? Sorry to say, we never did apologize. 

In the meantime.  Caleb was back in "the park", in full swing.  Having a blast.  Having fun...laughing and "making friends".  I'm still reeling, though... with thoughts... mulling over about what had just happened and the teaching moment I was going to have when we got home.

Home!

We really needed to head for home.  I was getting very hungry and when a pregnant mama needs to eat - it's time to find some food. Quick.

It was so loud in that play area and so to call for Caleb was next to impossible.  I waited until he would come down a certain slide or padded ramp and try to get his attention.  Apparently, he was on to me that we were going to need to leave this play-yard of fun... because no sooner would we catch eyes, he'd turn right around and back up into the colorful maze he would go.  ((sigh)).  I'd wait again.  I did try calling.  We'd catch eyes, once more and I'd mouth "come on, Caleb, it's time to go" and he'd just blatantly ignore me and keep on doing his thing.  By now, I was getting extremely frustrated.  This went on for probably 15 minutes or more.  I couldn't just leave Aubrey... I couldn't go up in there after him... I couldn't call him - so that he'd really hear me... I couldn't, I couldn't, I couldn't.

((you have to understand the layout of the place - when I say, that I purposefully stepped "out of eye sight" from him and began getting Aubrey ready to leave)). 

I began praying.  Lord, You are the one who is going to have to get Caleb out of "the park".  Because he was not coming out of there...on his own.

I took Aubrey to the bathroom - as she was begging badly to go ... and I just kept praying.  Sure enough - in a matter of maybe five minutes... I stepped out of the bathroom and Caleb was out of the large playground, in the baby play area playing with a "Bob the Builder" play station... like he was this perfect little angel, just waiting around for mom to come out of the bathroom.  Thank you, Lord!

We got our shoes back on, collected our coats and on out to the van we went.  I with a tear in my eye.  Or two, Or twenty. 

Oh, what a remorseful afternoon ensued.  Caleb knew that nearly every detail of that day in the park was a memory that won't be forgotten.  By himself.

I used that day as an opportunity to really bring home the fact that when mommy calls you - you need to listen.  You need to come when you're called.  The disciplinary action that followed and the hugs, prayers and conversation, with tears I believe really, really left an impact on him.

Here's why.

I am not joking.  At least twenty-five times a day, maybe more, since we've spent those couple of hours at that indoor playground,  I hear, this:

Caleb:  "Mom." 
Me:  "Yes Caleb."
Caleb:  "Sometimes, (long pause) I just want to go to the park.  And maybe next time, I say sorry to that boy.  That wasn't very nice (referring to hitting him back). ((and we'll  talk- again- in depth about forgiveness, and praying for that little boy, and being kind to others even when other kids don't act kind to us...))
Caleb:  "And I was just being a pirate".
Me:  "Okay. But ,you know, Caleb... pirates need to listen to their mommies, too".
Caleb: "Maybe next time,  (long pause) I'll listen to you."

The conversation is always the same, but with different twists, and I know -as my tears fall again- that in his little sincere and sensitive heart - he knew.  He knew that his choices, in that moment, on that day, were wrong when he choose to willfully disobey me and the retaliation towards that other kid...was displayed.

I realize.  He's all boy.  And he's three - going on four.  Kids get into tiffs and scuffles, and it's the way they learn...

Yet, I can see the growth taking place in his soft, little heart and his expanding mind continues to comprehend the lesson learned.

And the reference to "the park" ALWAYS comes up when there are continued -other - "teaching moments" right at home... where he'll say - just like at the park??  

Yes, Caleb - just like at the park.

***
: : How about you, with your parenting moments... have you had that moment of blatent, willful disobedience happen right in public?  This has really been my first, of the sort... perhaps, it's because we don't get out much.  I'm such a homebody and never go places, much, with the kiddos.  It's true!

I'm desperate for courage to go to the park again, just to see if he'll really put to practice what he's learned.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...