"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

FINALLY!!!!!!!!!

Who knew you could feel sore and stiff after painting 3 walls???  Seriously, my body is showing its' age, and not in a very nice way.  I actually have bruises on my legs from where I leaned too long on the ladder!  Sheesh!

Anyway, it's done...at least the painting part.  The fun part is ahead of us, the arranging and hanging...that I will not dread.  The nightmare is over!!!  It's a little bright for me, but she loves it....and as soon as I can get the big pink smoosh off my left wrist it won't really matter to me. 

I hate that it took me so long to get it done...I could have felt this relieved a long time ago!  Someone recently asked me in an interview if I was one to get right to a task or procrastinate until the 11th hour....you can assume the answer I gave.  Not sure I'll be getting that job!  I might have to write him an email and let him know I finished my painting project...HEY, IF YOU'RE OUT THERE, CHECK IT OUT....I FINISHED IT BEFORE THE 11TH HOUR!!!!!!!!  HOW BOUT THAT JOB??????

Actually, it was a good time all around...I spent two days trapped in a room (albeit it filled w/fumes) with my daughter.  That's worth it's weight in pain killers.  She finished the day up the way any 13 year old girl would...a photo shoot...which I am happy to include below!  Enjoy...
more "finished" photos to come in time, I'm sure!


Ready to get started..again...


FINALLY FINISHED....and on to the fun stuff!


"mom, take a picture of me holding the frame...."


adding the frame and the jewels...



"my work is done for the day....let's finish the rest tomorrow!"




"I'm hungry...see, my stomach's empty.."



"That's a wrap!"



Another day's project...



PLEASE....I don't want to see these things again for a long, LONG time!
(*Insert smiling face here*)

Day 2

You'd think that painting three walls PeptoBismal pink would only take one day.  You would think....But apparently painting taupe walls pink takes at least three coats.  Coat #3 is happening this morning...as soon as I finish my coffee...as soon as I put my painting clothes back on...as soon as I stop finding reasons NOT to go in there.  I fear there will be a coat #4...in which case there will have to be an unplanned trip to Lowes.  Just like yesterday there was an unplanned trip to the hardware store down the street when I discovered the paint rollers had been hardened like rock after the last use and "cleaning".

You see....if I don't go in there, I'll believe that it's almost done.  I'll believe that in just a few strokes the streaky walls will be beautifully covered over and complete.  But, something tells me that's just wishful thinking.  So I'm better off not even going in there.  Except then Emma will be sleeping in my room again tonight and I won't be able to lay in bed reading the book I've been trying to finish.


getting ready...


prepping the walls...notice the bad cat under the ladder-
(we woke up this morning to an upside down bird cage in the livingroom...with only ONE bird inside it, not the usual TWO.  Emma ran to Zoe and opened her mouth- expecting to see a Looney-Toon-like discovery, I guess.  We found it peculiar that there seemed to be no mess, no signs of a bird fighting for her life...about ten minutes later she appeared out of the Christmas tree!  Poor thing...she definitely had her life flash before her!  We had to wake one of the boys from their mid-morning sleep to help us catch her!  She's home now...a little shaken up, but back behind bars.  The cat is in the dog-house.)


there's not very good lighting in this picture...if there was, you'd see that there are streaks everywhere
...totally depressing.


Ugh...ok, I'm going, I'm going!
(*Insert whine and big shoulder-heaving sigh HERE*)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

promises shmomises....



Poor girl...I've been promising her for many MANY months that we would paint her room.  There are always really good reasons why it has not been done...good ones..like I hate to paint.

but...there's a whole week of Christmas vacation ahead of us, and I have run out of excuses not to do it.  Emma even removed everything off of her walls and started spackling so that I can't change my mind...


so, I'm posting "before" pictures on here so that I don't back out.


The chalkboard walls stay...leaving only 3 walls to paint. 
You'd think I'd be more excited about that.
Tommorrow's the day....I promise, Emma.
Sigh..

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mary...


I've been thinking alot about Mary this week.  Every year around this time I pick up a book by Francine Rivers called, "Unafraid".  It's the story of Jesus life, from his mother's perspective.  And, every year I try to put my mother's heart where hers was and just wonder what it must have been like....

She gave birth to the one who created her.  She nursed and cared for the one who would one day sacrifice Himself to save her from death.  She stood by while her husband taught the one who wrote the words how to read the scriptures.  She anticipated, year after year, the moment when He'd reveal to the world what the angel revealed to her before He was born.  She agonized over her people's lack of recognition of Him.  And then the tables were turned, and she was taught by Him....

How many women could stand by and watch their children be made fun of without striking back?  How many could remain humble while the child of our own bodies grew to be a man of wisdom, honor, love and perfection.....and not want secretly to take at least a little of the credit?

She was a child...about the age of my daughter.  What did she know about raising the Son of God?  She was a simple girl with an obedient heart.  Not a woman of greatness who had proven her worthiness....she was just a poor, uneducated girl.  And that's the remarkable thing....she was plain and simple...unworthy of knowing how to raise the Messiah.  She had no previous experience, no "What to Expect When You're Expecting" reference available.  She had only one thing on her side.  God's promise that He would raise His child through her.  That was it...

She stood close by and watched prophecy after prophecy fulfilled by her Son's birth and life.  And knew without a doubt that He was the Messiah her people had spoken of for generations.  She waited many years for Him to reveal who He was...probably thinking that when He did everyone would immediately bow and worship Him...but they didn't.  The Creator of the WORLD, the Savior of each of our souls stood in the flesh...and yet they didn't believe Him.  From a mother's perspective...that's too much to bear.

But, even though I feel her pain, her agony....I think it's a mistake to think she's the hero of the scene.  Many worship her because of her role in Jesus life.  I highly admire her, but recognize the greatness was not hers, rather the ONE who gave her the Gift and the Strength to raise Him.  The glory goes to the Father...to the Child.  The mother was just the instrument that brought Him into the world. 

Whew...as a mom, that's hard to hear!  As the song asks, "Mary, did you know....?"  I don't think she did.  I think she had no idea what Jesus was capable of, no idea what kind of man He would be, no idea how far He would go to save the world.  Because if she'd known way back then, in the manger, I don't think her heart could have survived...I don't think she would have made it long enough to kneel at the foot of her Son's cross.  If she'd known that the same nails He pounded alongside His father as a boy would someday pound in His own flesh as a man.....she could not have withstood the pain.  She signed on with no idea what the future would hold for her Son.

Sometimes ignorance is bliss....until reality sets in, and then only the grace of God will see us through...

The Mary in the manger is blissfully unaware of the future's heartache....she's contently rocking her newborn, loving Him with all that she has in her.  She's the mother of the Messiah....the Savior of the world.  And for that brief moment in time, all is well, and heaven rejoices.

"She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

All this took place that it might be fulfilled which the Lord had spoken through the prophet,
Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel--which, when translated, means, God with us."
Matthew 1:21-23

Jesus, "The Lord saves."
Immanuel, "God is with us"

That tiny child is our Saviour....His mom...just a simple girl who pondered all these things in her heart.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Up to something...

Another week goes by...and still no posting for me.  I've sat more than once...actually started a post more than once, but never to complete a full paragraph!  Partly because my mind is full with a cluttered amount of stuff and I'm good at thinking about the list I should write....just not good at actually grabbing the pen and paper to complete it.  Wow...sounds like a theme, even to me!  So this time, I will not get up until it's finished and published.  Or at least I'll try..

Maybe I should start by making a list of all the things cluttering my brain, then I will have accomplished several things at once (and possibly prove to myself that I actually CAN stay on task)

THE LIST:
1.  Pick up Christmas cards at Costco
2.  Address, send, hand deliver cards
3.  Start/finish making a few gifts
4.  Finish my Christmas shopping
5.  Wrap gifts
6.  List a HUGE pile of things on ebay (preferably BEFORE the shopping trip)
7.  Buy milk TODAY (FINALLY!)
8.  Put air in the tire that has a nail sticking in it..again.
9.  Make Christmas cookies
10.Eat Christmas cookies.
11.Get on the treadmill
12.Throw some laundry in
13.Return "Julie & Julia" at the Redbox before 9. (I'm in LOVE with that movie!)
14.Check/delete/return emails

I'm sure there are more....SURE of it.  But I'll save them for another day.

Overshadowing all of these things is an idea that's been brewing.  A temporary idea most likely, but it's something.   I've logged on more hours at my computer this week than ever....maybe why I never got to writing THE LIST before now.  And, here's why:



(I know, the writing is small...try clicking on it to make it bigger...did it work?!?)


Maybe this will show up bigger....

So here's the gist:  "Shop Girl" is starting a little Personal Shopping Service business.  The details are still being worked out, hence the hours on the computer.  The brochures and the business cards just arrived in the mail, and now the work begins.  I think the real work is in finding customers...so that's the next step.  I'll be contacting several local Retirement Homes to see if I can leave a Poster there, as well as a few local establishments who post local services.  Beyond that, I'm at a loss....ideas welcome!  Along with the brochures and business cards, the box held a HUGE cling-on advertising piece for my car.  It is MUCH BIGGER than I anticipated and my children are MORTIFIED!!!  So it might not come out of the package...or, depending on how nice they are to me....maybe it will!

I'm amazed at how many shopping services there are online....some of them are totally out of my league or area of "expertise".  I will not be an "Image Consultant" nor will I do "Consierge" services.  And, "Escort Service" is out of the question.  (Seriously, they overlap somehow, but I don't know how.)  I'll stick with Gift shopping/wrapping for any occasion, grocery shopping and I'll be flexible with other ideas....but I'm not budging on the "Escort Service".  Prices will be reasonable and dependant on the job. 

Not sure where I'll go with this business...it's most likely a temporary thing, but maybe not. 
It's something, and that's a start.



Saturday, December 5, 2009

Outside my window...

I've been otherwise occupied this week and found it nearly impossible to sit down and write.  But today we had our first snow....and since I was snapping pictures, I guess it's time to get back in the groove.  I LOVE the first snow of the season...love the view outside my windows...love the glittery snow-capped trees.  It's magical...at least for a few hours, until it all starts to melt and my piles of brown leaves start peeking through.


Through my bedroom window...

Through the kitchen window....


Out the back...

From the front... 
(notice Nick's orange hunting-gear on the porch looking like a beacon)

I guess that's a good segue into the other news of the day...

He is a proud murderer of one of these...
and I will soon have a freezer full of gamey meat to disguise in a gillion pots of chili. Emma and I are not lovers of Bambi meat....I gag everytime I pull a package out of the freezer, and have to quickly hide the evidence of the butcher paper so that she does not ask if I'm hiding deer somewhere.  The boys...manly as they are, prefer Bambi to be served up in multiple ways.  First choice would be beef jerky (aka Bambi-jerky), second would be bologna, third choice is sausage links (which are a very odd dark brown color and carry a strong gag-reflex-provoking scent when cooked) and lastly, the ground up version mixed w/REAL beef.  I am holding back vomit in my mouth as I type...
Dear Lord, you have such a sense of humor giving me these boys! 

(*DISCLAIMER:  I am truly trying to understand why it's not enough to shoot one deer per lifetime.  Seems to me that once you've done it, that should carry you through...but apparently that's not the case.  I guess it's the need to provide for their family...to be a hero...to bring home the bacon so the family can survive the harsh winter that provokes men to keep going back for more.  I'm starting to get it....but I'd be more excited if it were swine season.)

The Christmas season is upon us...again.  Did it really come 12 months after last Christmas???  Seems like we were just lugging a tree in the door and sweeping up needles.  I'm sure it was last week that we were fighting with the treestand, trying to convince it to keep the tree straight.  I love it when it's all done...but the process...it makes me feel a little Scroogey.  We were mighty close to buying a tree in a box this year.  I shopped all day while the kids were in school, looking for the best deal....I sent pictures from Target to Alex, hoping he would help me make a long-distance decision.  He laughed at me.

In the end, I just couldn't do it.  It was the price-tag dangling from the branches.  I thought I could be happy with the $99 deal at Target...until I went to Lowes and saw one for twice that that looked like the REAL DEAL.  I just couldn't make do with the nylon one when I saw the mother of all trees at the big L.  So we left it there, hoping it will wait for us til the after-Christmas Clearance Sale....and drug an already cut number home with us in the back of the FIT.....leaving a trail of dropping needles in our wake.  The kitty thanks us daily for bringing home a bright, shiny, ball-filled playtoy for her endless pleasure...



Emma sorting the piles of ornaments...putting Alex's aside til next week

Adding the tinsel


The Stable centerpiece...

The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."
Luke 2:12

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankfulness...

I have an endless list of things to be thankful for today...

*my children
*my family
*my friends
*my home
*food at each meal
*a tank full of fuel oil
*clothes in my closet
*a healthy family
*a car that runs
*peace
*joy

And so much more...
I woke with a heart of gratitude today.  My family will be gathering at my sister's house in just a few hours.  The feasting preparations began two days ago...


my eldest nephew, Justin, will be preparing our whole meal!  It's always a treat to eat what his hands have prepared!  He is most excellent in his musical talent, and his cooking skills are pretty close to the same!  (makes Great Grandma's jello salad that I'm bringing pale in comparison!)  We've not had alot of time together in these last few months, so we're looking forward to gathering together
today to eat, play, and laugh!





Blessings upon each of you and your households as you gather to celebrate thankful lives.  In this time of difficult economy, job loss and other hardships may you have hearts that seek after the only One who brings joy midst the trouble.  Even when life looks bleak, there is SO much that each of us has to give thanks for.

"Give THANKS to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever....
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story...
Let them give THANKS to the Lord for His unfailing love
and His wonderful deeds for mankind...."
Psalm 107

Friday, November 20, 2009

The crossroad




Ever felt like this???!!! 
I WANT to move forward...am willing to...but how do I move if there is no clear direction?  Most days I just patiently wait...not like there's much choice. I'm waiting, might as well be patient.  But today I woke up with this sense of unrest...an urgency to move forward.  But this sign is a picture of the direction I'm getting....still. 

"If you hold on to me for dear life," says God.  "I'll get you out of any trouble.  I'll give you
the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me.  Call me and I'll answer, be at
your side in bad times; I'll rescue you then throw you a party!"
Psalm 91:14,15 (The Message)

...still holding on for dear life....


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Freedom...

I'm about to head to bed..say goodbye to another weekend.  A great weekend, actually.  Though busy with a youth conference Friday and Saturday, it was highlighted with a visit from the college boy....always a welcomed addition to our house. 

The other two kids attended a "Pure Freedom" conference with the youth group....I was not sure what to expect, but was totally impressed by the speakers as well as the content of the weekend.  I highly recommend both the books and the conferences that "Pure Freedom" offers teens.  The theme of purity, modesty, and living a life that is intentionally God-centered hit a mark with so many of these kids. 

I guess it hit a mark with me, too...in a different way.  I've spoken with so many hurting youth lately.  Some who struggle so heavily with sexual tempation from boy/girlfriends- some who have given in.  Some who just buy into the lies of the world around them.  My heart was so heavy throughout the weekend as faces of some of these dear students that are struggling kept imbedding themselves in my mind.  I ache for them to understand how important it is to protect the gift of self respect and honor.  I ache because some of them have no idea the fire they are playing with...the cycle of rejection and pain they are spinning in their lives.  I ache for the years it may take them to forgive themselves, forgive others or move past the pain of disappointment.

The reoccuring theme of the weekend was freedom.  Freedom from lies, freedom from addictions, freedom from pain...freedom from everything the enemy sets against us.  Freedom found only at the feet of Jesus...found only when we finally give up the grip we have on our lives and surrender them to Him.  I was impressed by the students who boldly shared the freedom they were choosing this weekend.  Saw HOPE in the eyes of many.

There is a generation of revolutionaries among us....they are bursting with unrealized potential.  Oh, if they would only shift their eyes off the "what if's", the "I'm nots", the "so whats"....if they would only rise up and refuse to accept the lies the enemy deviantly throws at them....then they would see that they are valuable...worthwhile...precious in God's sight.  If they would turn their eyes to God's ways and intentionally follow them, that unrealized potential could change the world around them.  It could change youth groups, it could change schools, it could change workplaces and families. 

If they stop believing the lies that the world insists they conform to and really work to understand who God is and the obedience He lovingly requires of them for their good...what freedom and contentment!  If they could understand that God's grace is bigger than any situation they've involved themself in and accept it...they'd realize that sin does not own them, they can walk the other way.  They CAN be free!

This is my prayer for those faces that repeatedly flash before me.  That they look back one day, having found freedom and redemption, and vow never to walk that way again because this Grace can only be attributed to the HUGE hand of  the God of the Universe who rejoices over them with singing....

May it be soon, but let it be complete.


Photo by Amber

"That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don't give it the time of day. Don't even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you've been raised from the dead!—into God's way of doing things. Sin can't tell you how to live. After all, you're not living under that old tyranny any longer.
You're living in the freedom of God."
Romans 6:12

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Streams in the desert...

Years ago my mom gifted me with a book called "Streams in the Desert" by Mrs. Charles E Cowman.  She gave it to me at a time when I craved encouragement and peace...and I devoured the book every morning for several years.  It's a devotional book, put together with scripture and great quotes that Mrs. Cowman gathered in the early 1920s.  There's something about the old English it's written in that I just enjoy (which would TOTALLY shock Mr. Ide and Mr. Little, my high school English teachers...I don't necessarily care for it as a habit, but in this book, yes!) so occasionally I get it out and start it over again.  And, usually it speaks right to whatever it is I am currently dealing with.
Here's what I read this morning:

"He commonly brings His help in our greatest extremity, that His finger may plainly appear in our deliverance.  And this method He chooses that we may not trust upon anything that we see or feel, as we are always apt to do, but only upon His bare Word, which we
 may depend upon in every state." 
C.H. Von Bogatzky

"Remember it is the very time for faith to work when sight ceases.  The greater the difficulties,
the easier for faith; as long as there remain certain natural prospects, faith does not
get on even as easily as where natural prospects fail."
George Mueller


"It is the very time for faith to work when sight ceases"




Although I eagerly await some clear answers, I rest here knowing that the way will not be hidden forever...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas Open House...

The last few weeks have been a little busy around here while I've gotten ready for
"The Cottonwood House at Home" Christmas Show.  My friend Verna is opening up her home and barn starting today until Sunday for a huge Christmas Sale.  There are 10 other women coming together to combine alot of GREAT items:  everything from home furnishings, Christmas decor, Boutique items, kitchen accessories and MORE.  Even though it's only the beginning of November, it feels like Christmas at Verna's this week!  I was shocked to see how her home has been transformed into a beautiful store!  I highly recommend making the trip to Cochranville this weekend if you're looking for something to do.  It's a great place to get a jumpstart on your Christmas list!
(* The address is 3480 Homeville Road, Cochranville, PA)
Open:
Thurs - Fri 4-8pm
Sat 10-5pm
Sun 1-5pm


This is what my house has looked like for the last few weeks...

glitter everywhere...

lots of projects...


Hats...


jewelry


MORE jewelry...

Now that everything is set up at Verna's, my house is back to normal...most of my weekend will be spent at the Open House, so hopefully it stays that way!

 It's been good to feel creative again...as much as I've enjoyed some time off these last few months, it's been nice to get my feet back in it a little again.  There are still many unknowns for the shop...for me.  But, the Lord has graciously continued to provide as He has me waiting for answers and directions.  And...I shouldn't be surprised, because He always does.  His faithfulness doesn't change...HE is STILL who HE has ALWAYS been.  In charge.  All knowing.  Totally in control.

"God is predictable in His character, but He is completely unpredictable in His activity." 

CAN I HEAR AN AMEN!?!
I have never been able to predict what comes next for me.  Never been able to take one step in front of Him and anticipate His next big move.  He, thankfully, keeps me a step behind Him...to follow Him instead of lead Him.  No doubt I would have lead Him to some pretty unpleasant places in a vain attempt to satisfy my own selfish desires.  While I often have resented not being allowed to have things my way...in retrospect, I'd rather be tied to a post than be left to my own guidance.  Thankfully, such measures are not required for obedience.  But, I think I've learned that if it took a yard of rope to tie me to obedience, I'd do it....I think I'd do it just because I'd rather obey God than live with the consequences of having my own way.  My way scares the pants off of me...I don't ever want to be free of the desire to abandon myself to obedience.  The way is awful quiet and lonely somedays....but there's no fear.  I'm not looking over my shoulder wondering if I'll get caught.  I'm doing the only thing I CAN do right now. 
Standing still and shutting up.
(Granted, sometimes I have to clamp my hand over my mouth and duct tape it there...
but my job is to shuttie-uppie until God says "get out of jail and PASS GO".)

"Cease striving and know that I AM GOD."
Psalm 46:10




Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flu bugs and showers...

Everytime you turn on the news there is advice on how to avoid getting the flu - swine or otherwise.  "Lots of liquids, constant washing of hands, and plenty of rest."  While these seem so simple,  we still resist doing them, because life just demands so much of us and we somehow feel immune to misfortune.  We'd rather run the risk than inconvenience our schedule and actually rest and take care of our bodies.
 
I was thinking this morning, how true that is in a spiritual sense, too.  We run, run, run until we are faced with an unexpected situation...and suddenly we are backtracking, trying to fix something that might have been avoided with a little maintenance....a couple of glasses of scripture, a little washing of our minds, and alot of resting in Him. 
We'd do well to take care of our bodies as well as our spirits in this season of flu.

"Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on ME."
Isaiah 30:15




It's a rubber boot kind of day around here...

"Be glad in your God. He's giving you a teacher to train you how to live right— Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul..."
Joel 2:21


Monday, October 19, 2009

"Start somewhere...do something..."

That's one of the quotes I heard yesterday that has resonated with me all day...

We started a week of missions focus at church yesterday...my absolute favorite week of the year...bar none.  I tend to listen at the edge of my seat for 7 days straight of meetings.  Yesterday's speaker spoke great words of wisdom- and I've recalled them several times today. 

I wonder somedays...what am I DOING while I'm waiting for a clear direction?  I second guess myself...second guess this waiting time.  But, was reminded recently by a friend that God is still providing, still directing day to day.  Evidence that He is still in the waiting.  And yet, in the waiting there is movement...clear direction to START SOMEWHERE...just DO SOMETHING.  The "doing" this week is in preparing for a Christmas Open House in November and in beginning a new journey of volunteer work today that I've been curious about for a while.  At a local pregnancy center. 

It was awesome!  And, I wonder if in this "doing" there will be a new direction some day.  I can't possibly know that now, but I wonder....is there something totally new...something off in the distance that God is preparing me for???  I can't possibly know...but I can start somewhere and DO something.

Another thing that has stuck with me today is the idea of being "ONE eyed"...

(Picture of Emma courtesy of my darling friend Amber...find her here:  http://amberjacobyphotography.tumblr.com/ )

Focused like you are when you look with just one eye....it's hard to see more than one thing at a time.  Being "ONE-eyed" means living life with one goal in mind...and that goal is sharing Jesus with people in every day life.  Not focused on the details of the world that turns around me, but focused on what is in front of me...on the mission God has put me in today.  It's focusing on that even while I clean dirty dishes and when I lug the garbage out to the garage.  It's in the attitude of my heart when I deal with people who are unruly or when I repeat the same mundane job for the 15th time this week.  It's in how I see the old man who walks past with a limp, or the young child who is out of control, running wild.  It's seeing past the tatooed teenager w/the piercings or the smell of someone unbathed and instead looking into their heart in need of Jesus...

Being "ONE-eyed" means I have a single focus in my life and the tug of the world will fade in the background, because the job I have to do requires my whole attention.  It requires me to shut one eye so that the OTHER eye can do its work.

"I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for His followers, oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him—endless energy, boundless strength!"
Ephesians 1:15 (The Message)


Maybe, just maybe there's a purpose in the waiting...maybe the job to be done is not one that comes with an earthly paycheck...maybe the unpaid job has rewards far greater than a Retirement Fund and a great Health Insurance policy.  Maybe there's SO much more for me to learn about what real work is that it's the very reason for the waiting in the first place.  Maybe....




Sunday, October 11, 2009

A young woman emerging...



Well, it's official.  As of tomorrow at 2:55 am there will be a third teenager in this house!  I have no idea how that happened....it wasn't supposed to happen so soon, was it??  All those years that have been creeping by are suddenly right in my face.  There were days that it seemed I would be raising babies forever...days I wasn't sure which way was up and how on earth I survived it alone.  But looking back today, it was but a blink...snapshots of little bodies grown way too quickly.  Somehow I had myself convinced that because she was the youngest she'd always be little. 

She came to us in just the right order...last in line, two big brothers to hover over her.  I was certain I'd wanted a girl for every pregnancy...certain I'd understand a girl better and know just what to do with her.  But first came two boys...stunting me at first....making me wonder just what kind of sense of humor our Creator must have!  Two boys full of life, energy and sometimes, fight.  We lived tractors and firetrucks, hockey sticks and baseball...and we were happy with this life.  But when she came, that armful of pinkness...I almost didn't know what to do with her!  She moved a part of me I hadn't known existed....a part of me that was too afraid to even hope for a daughter.  I was complete with those energetic little boys...they'd taught me so much about boyhood that I had never known I wanted to know.  And I was prepared to do it a third time....just because I was afraid to hope that maybe....

And yet, there she was in my arms...tears spilling all over her precious face.  And I was hooked...forever.




Subjected to life with two big brothers who weren't really sure what to do with her at first...but just loved all over her!


Life with this little girl has always been a blessing....she was the ray of sunshine that kept me smiling through tears...


She brought gentleness to an otherwise rowdy household...



She brought a love for all things pink I didn't know was hidden inside me...



And she keeps me laughing and in awe of all that she is becoming.



This young lady that wakes up in my house every morning is a source of joy and delight to us all.  Amidst the busyness of our days and the clatter of our lives she brings me back to reality.  The harsh reality that these moments are precious and fleeting.  These days are few, and she will one day...in the not so distant future...walk her own walk, right out of my home.  She'll be grown and eagerly stepping out to her future.  But today, she's still becoming Emma....still finding her way through the distractions and sometimes ugliness of our world.  She's determining who she wants to be, and Whose she wants to be.  She's deciding if what she's been taught all her life is really all it's cracked up to be.  If it's worth the risk of losing herself to a bigger Plan.  She's determining if God is really who He says He is....does He really love her like a Father and keep her like a Shepherd?  These are the things of a young lady's heart...the things that tug deep and pull hard at the core of who she is.  All around her wants to tell her another story...wants to pull her far from the Path that's been laid out since ancient times....But this precious one has been bought with a price.  Her name is engraved on the palm of the Redeemer's hand.  She is His.

She is a young woman...emerging.  And my heart is in awe. 

I love you, Emmaleigh Catherine...
Happy 13th Birthday!
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