The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16:6

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stay the Course and Live Your Dream

As I mentioned in a previous post, this past year has been a difficult one for me. That's fantastic, really, because those of us who know Christ as Lord and Savior know that it's the valleys that create the Christ-likeness in us. We are all too quick to pat ourselves on the back when things are hunky-dory, when we are looking out on life from the mountain top; to congratulate ourselves on a job well done. When, in reality, it is the sustaining grace of the God of the Universe which has kept the road smooth and easy.

One of my many faults is that when things get tough for me, I tend to think too much. I try to intellectualize myself out of my trial. If only I think hard enough I might find the loophole, you know. During my recent trial I became disillusioned with my job of wife and mother. I was tired, drained, and down. I felt unproductive and unloved. I saw other women "doing it all": skinny homeschooling fashionistas with brilliant kids and three jobs on the side with husbands who adore the ground they walk on and who use only organic produce while baking their own bread from scratch. You know the ones. I began to think, "What can I add to my life so that I, too, can be like them?"

Oh, Sisters, nothing.

I have wanted to be many things over the course of my life. Everything from an aeronautical engineer to a teacher to a professional quilter. But do you know what? One thing that I have ALWAYS wanted to be, regardless of what else I thought I could be on top of everything, was a wife and mother. I have always dreamed of being a loving wife and mother. And, here is the best part, it is enough. It IS my dream. I do not need to seek fulfillment outside of this. It is challenging. It is rewarding. It is difficult, fun, joyful, mentally and physically demanding, gratifying, productive, worthwhile, and satisfying. And, ultimately, it's effects are longer-lasting and more beneficial to society than any other role I could possibly undertake.

So here is my encouragement to all of you out there: Live your dream.

Don't let anyone tell you that you have to seek fulfillment outside of this role. The job of wife and mother, if well done, will be a lasting crown through this life and into eternity. And as you trek the path of your life through mountain-tops and valleys alike, you will closer resemble you Savior.

Now that's a dream come true.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dusting off the Cobwebs

To say that it has been quiet around here lately is a monumental understatement. As a matter of fact, the dust is an inch thick and I’ve had to shake out the rugs and battle the cobwebs. At least a couple of you have noticed the prolonged silence and emailed with a thoughtful, “What’s up.” I am profoundly grateful for those communications. It prevents me, at times, from slipping too deeply into my own issues and trials. Thanks.

The past year has been tough for me. A diagnosis of anemia, followed by months of declining instead of improving, has taken its toll. I do not care to relive the specifics, but suffice it to say, it has affected me profoundly. A dear friend who has gone through the same struggle recently confessed, “It’s a dark, dark time.” Yep. That about sums it up. Waking up every day for a year feeling exhausted and run down, and yet having a plethora of never-ending responsibilities on the to-do list drains the fun out of things a just a bit. After months of fighting for joy it becomes easier to throw your hands up in defeat and accept a joy-less existence. My faith has been tested and I am ashamed to say, I have failed multiple times.

But I have learned a few things. God is so gracious to meet us in our trials and gently lead us to a greater knowledge of Him. God is so gracious to allow us trials that we might see Him with our own eyes, instead of relying on our perceived super-human selves. I am not a super-human, multitasking, got-it-together girl. Not at all. But thankfully I do serve a super-powerful, omnipresent, loving, universe-creating God who cares about me.

So while I try a new doctor and plan to do something more drastic than change my diet and drink metallic-tasting iron supplements twice a day, I will rest in my loving God. I will rest in the fact that He has ordained all these days for His glory and my good. I will rest in the God “who always leads us in triumph in Christ,” even when the path lies through dark times.

Praise the Lord.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Multitude Monday

Everything we do should be a result of our gratitude for what God has done for us.
Lauryn Hill

God has done so much for me. I pray that I may DO more out of Gratitude.

 (144) New names to add to the address book

(145) Late afternoon sun and children's laughter wafting through open back door 

(146) Righty tighty, lefty loosey

(147) Blooms against blue sky

(148) Planning

(149) New school books bringing excited responses

(150) Upside down masks on deceased storm troopers

(151) Thoughtful older siblings

(152) "I love you kisses." (Kurt's new way to describe how much he loves others)

 (153) Role-playing

(154)  Well-done chores


(155) The clear trumpet rising above a thousand praising voices

(156) Apples on our tree

(157)  Notes from little brothers

(158) Big birthdays that end in "teen"


(159) "Our faith - or the lack thereof - should never be the object of our faith.
Christ alone should be the object of our faith."

Friday, April 16, 2010


Thirteen years ago today two people were born - a baby and a mother. A young 22 year old mother who did not know what she was doing, but trusted the Lord did. You were a wonderful addition to our family. You were wanted and loved. And you grew into a precocious, humorous, special boy.

We gave you nicknames - Earnest (because you had a serious, earnest face) and Nicholas Pickolas Pumpernicholas (because it was fun). You loved playing outside and maps and memorizing little seemingly useless tidbits of information...just like your daddy. Your ability to know an Ankylosaurus from an Archaeopteryx and a Utahraptor from a Velociraptor at the age of four was stunning. And your ability to draw for hours on end amazed this new, green mama.

Time went by and you were suddenly the oldest of three. And we expected you to do more than you could. We were new at this, and a little overwhelmed, and you were our guinea pig. We've apologized for that before, and probably will again.

But you handled it well, maturing and growing into a strong and helpful boy.

And a funny boy.

A very funny boy.

We hit milestones - diapers came off, teeth fell out, stitches went in. And you took it all in stride. The stalwart first-born. You were a neat freak (still are) and a stickler for being on time (still are) and a sweet, deep-thinking little guy (yep, that too).

We moved often and you were a flexible helper. Really. A big helper in a little body. You loved donuts, peanut butter and jelly and making up stories.
You became good friends with your little sisters and seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with them, playing in our big back yard. You would work so hard raking the endless, crisp fall leaves into piles so that you could all jump in them. 
Now that we have moved far away from your lifelong friends, you keep in touch with letters and phone calls. What a special thing. What a special boy. But you're not really a boy any more. You're a boy-man, on the cusp of something new and different. One foot in the child's life, one looking forward to what the Lord would have for you.
We love you, Nicholas. You have been a light in our lives, shining the love of God on us. Our prayer for you as you enter this pre-man state, is that God would grow you into a Truth-loving, God-exalting, servant-hearted man. 

Welcome to thirteen.

Love you most.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Multitude Monday

{I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.  ~G.K. Chesterton}
Onto the page spills my happiness doubled by wonder...

(126) A bench-full

(127) Luscious scents

(128) A pretty view

(129) Toblerone

(130) The visit of a faraway friend - a glimpse of home

(131) Toddlers in t-shirts and ties (he wore this all afternoon)

(132) Girl time

(133) Nose pressed against window

(134) The chatter of crows

(135) Artichokes in my garden (I have now officially grown lettuce AND artichokes!)

(136) The reward of a job well done. (Gabriel received a Bible with his name on it - just like his sister.)

(137) flower heads dancing in the rain

(138) the smell of frying bacon

(139) Promise
(140) The slanted light of morning

(141) Pizza with neighbors

(142) "Happy-Hap" in my morning coffee. (This is what Kurt calls half and half)

(143) Time with sisters in Christ

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thoughts on the Arm of the Lord

I am home from church this morning with a toddler with an offensive nose, meditating on Scripture while he watches endless episodes of Blues Clues.

As I have matured in my Christian walk and grown in my faith and knowledge of Christ I have simultaneously been more disgusted by my own sin and more sensitive to its constancy and frequency. Which, in turn, makes Holy Week all the more beautiful to me. I recently read a Scripture reference on High Calling Blogs which has me yet again contemplating the awesomeness of the Lord Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Isaiah 59:1 says,

Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
       nor his ear too dull to hear.
What a lovely passage. What a touching insight into the good and loving character of our God. Despite my unwillingness to repent of my sin, my hatred toward God (for all who do not love God with a redeemed love hate Him), my distinct love of my own sin, He, in His infinite power and love gave me a repentant heart, gave me a love for Him, gave me a hatred toward sin in my life. His arm was not too short to save this pregnant-out-of-wedlock-full-of-pride-blasphemer-and-all-around-sinner, and it's not to short to save you. 
Praise God.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Multitude Monday

holy experience

It has been too long, and this heart has been dry and brittle.

Lord, ignite within my heart
the ability to be awed by Your creation,
to be astonished by Your mercy,
to be dazzled by your patience,
to be enamored with your lovingkindness,
to be overflowing with praise.

(115) a gift from the garden

(116) the psychedelic color of poppies, Gabriel's favorite flower.

(117) hillside covered in color

(118) Corned beef and cabbage

(119) Grumpy, Dorito-dust-covered toddlers looking cute

(120) "A clue! A clue!" (and the ability to see the humor in a crayon clue on my wall)

(121) Industrious hands.

(121) Salad from the garden (I did it!!)

(122) New friends to love and be loved.

(123) Scy-scrapers (this term comes from Gabriel.)

(124) The poetry of John Donne:

"As the first Adam's sweat surrounds my face,
May the last Adam's blood my soul embrace."

(125) A hard working, talented, and passionate husband - doing what he loves.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Multitude Monday

holy experience

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

Psalm 139:14-16

A hard week made sweeter by the graces of God...

(97) P B & J's for the masses.

(98) Sticky, post-lollipop fingers.

(99) Sweater that has been worn by all the Hoyers.

(100) Apple blossoms on my tree! Ahhh, the smell! It's sweet summer days from childhood all wrapped up in a smell.

(101) Twelve year old eager for a sleepover with 6 and 3 year old brothers.

(102) New flowers in my garden.

(103) An intensely blue sky.

(104) Lettuce in my garden! (OK, I know this has been on my list before. But I have to add it again because I haven't managed to kill it yet!)

(105) Airplane rides.

(106) The Whirley Pop.

(107) Craft projects that are completely free - used items I already owned. For a tutorial go here. (HT to Daily Portion)

(108) "Look, Mom. My face is happy!"

(109) Lettuce in the shape of a rose.

(110) A large basket of sweetness from a sweet neighbor. (Our 93 year old neighbor, Mary, had her daughter drop this by for the children. She is in hospice dying. And she thought of my kids! What a beautiful woman. Pray that her passing would be comfortable and she would enter heaven. She will be very much missed.)

(111) These lovely words:

Let my days be wholly given
Jesus’ blood to glorify,
Calm to rest beneath his shadow,
At his feet to live and die,
Love the cross, and bear it daily,
(’Tis the cross my Husband bore,)
Gaze with joy upon his Person,
And unceasingly adore.
~Anne Griffiths
(HT: Kim)

(112) John MacArthur back in the pulpit with his powerful preaching.

(113) Marianne's spelt cornbread. Serious goodness.

(114) The amazing sovereignty of God displayed through adoption.