To Read on the Journey

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beyond the Fog

"Mommy, do you have your camera?"  One child asked.

"Oh, I just want to stay here and look at it!"  Were his words.

"It looks like a sea of marshmallows,"  Was her response.

"The sky is purple! Purple!"  He shouted.

"I want to live right here!"  He exclaimed.

They squealed with delight over the majesty of the sea of fog blanketing our view of the earth; prompting me to 4-wheel it to a spot of earth that seemed to be carved out of a hillside just for us for that moment.
As I parked and the kids exited the vehicle, a song...

"How lovely is your dwelling place, Oh Lord Almighty
My Soul waits, and even faints for you.
For here my heart is satisfied
Within your beauty
I sing beneath the shadow of your wings.
Better is one day in your courts,
Better is one day in your house,
Better is one day in your courts than thousands else where."

The Spirit said, "Stop.  Listen."

The lyrics would be food for my aching soul  later.

The kids didn't know they were pleading with me to let them worship the Creator, but I knew.

I knew we were entering into worship as we stood on that hillside.

I knew we were beholding the majesty of the Maker.

Who tonight allowed the earth to be blanketed in a billowing sea of thick fog.

But Who also brilliantly displayed His wonder and glory as the the sun set on the horizon that rested upon that deep sea.

I knew they were worshiping.

I didn't tell them.

Father knew.

Worshiping beside them I didn't know how desperately I too needed to enthrone (to place in a position of authority or influence; to assign supreme virtue or value to) One-True-God.

Father knew.

I stood in the fading light on that bit of land, and thought (but now know heard), "there is bitter-cold, gloom, despair in that sea...
but above it, 
in it, 
over it, 

The Spirit leading me to look beyond the fog towards Savior.

Later at home

a phone call.

Words too painful to speak,

devastating to hear.

"She's gone."

A precious sister-in-Christ and dear friend.
One who has spoken truth over my life too many times.
Who has lead by example as a mother and wife, delighting in her family.
Who has embraced ALL God's people with tenderness and compassion, 
glorifying Him with her own life...


"How lovely is your dwelling place, Oh Lord Almighty
My Soul waits, and even faints for you."

Please join me, 
fight with me, 
hope with me in prayer 
for a husband, a daughter, and a son. 

Pray with me for siblings, nieces, nephews, friends, a church and a community.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

10 on Tuesday (Night)

#1. Josie's "Talint Show Starring Josie." 7 acts, singing, dancing, piano, complete with costume changes.   This kid, she CRACKS. ME. UP.  almost as much as she cracks herself up! 

#2. Studying the book of Isaiah (BSF). This weeks' words tenderly convicting me to place my energy in what stands forever- the word of God. Nudging me to shout, "Here is your God!" rather than cowering out of fear of offending someone. Finding comfort in our Sovereign LORD and Gentle Shepherd.  
   And I said, “What shall I cry?”
   “All people are like grass,
   and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
   because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
   Surely the people are grass.
 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
   but the word of our God stands forever.”
  You who bring good news to Zion,
   go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,
   lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
   say to the towns of Judah,
   “Here is your God!”

 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
   and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
   and his recompense accompanies him.
 He tends his flock like a gentle shepherd:
   He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
   he gently leads those that have young.

#3. Sunshine.  Glorious, wonderful, SUNSHINE!

#4. After having "the talk" with Noah a few months ago, we have continued to pray that his perception of "pseques" (yes, I'm talking about sex), and intimacy would grow to be healthy and godly.
His Jr. High Sunday school class is currently teaching from the Song of Solomon. The teachers are leading with wisdom, sensitivity, and honesty. As a result we have had amazing conversations with Noah regarding marriage, worship (intimacy with God), and sex.  His maturity and what is being firmly planted in him BLESSES US! Makes our mommy and daddy hearts so glad.
I tell you this to encourage some of you who haven't entered this stage yet to PRAY. God has been so faithful to go before, alongside, and behind us in this.
And just in case you're as much of a chicken as I was about this subject let me recommend this lengthy but helpful book, A Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About Sex by Kevin Leman (The title totally suited me).

 #5. After weeks of longing for community a friend "stopped by" for 3 hours!  No one ever stops by our house because we are located in "Novascotia near Timbuktu."  The likelihood decreases when gas is $3.40 per gl (let me just give a big AGHH to that)! But she did!  and I needed to breath in her presence. The Spirit of someone else meeting with make-up less, ordinary, foggy hearted me.  Thank you Julie!     

 #6. J.A.R. (Jones, Allen, Rogers) dinner night;  Mexican pizza, laughter, a game of pick-up-sticks, pistachio ice cream and cookies, a cozy chair by the fire, quiet conversation, finding home in each other.  

#7. Bunko night with the ladies, old friends and new.  I am the "Dice Whisper," whispering to the dice the numbers I need in each toss.  My whispering powers work 20% of the time.  

#8. While preparing dinner with Noah he brought up a favorite tune from his littleboyhood.  I proceeded to find the old c.d., crank it up, and loudly sing and air-guitar for my almost teenage boy  Jesus Freak by D.C.Talk.  As is the Jr. High custom Noah rolled his eyes and pretended to be utterly annoyed by my strange existence.  Later however when his sisters returned from their outside play Noah cranked up the same song and fully expected another performance from his mom, which he got.   "People say I'm strange does that make me a stranger if my best friend was born in a manger."

 #9.  TWO KID FREE DAYS IN A ROW! The girls went skiing with Michael Monday, and today all three had school (girls have all day classes 2x a month). What did I do?  Me shopping and lunch at Panera one day, and a dentist appt. followed by lunch with two girlfriends today, which became more of a comedy show as I attempted to chat and eat while my mouth was half numb with novacain (note to self- don't schedule dental appt. on no kid days.  however i won't complain about my dentist, as he is very handsome and very free- perks of being married to his son).

#10. Josie: Mommy, why do they call it Super Bowl?  Me: because of all the super bowls of food!
Only 12 more days till "SUPER EATING SUNDAY!"  
What's on your Super Bowl Menu? 
I'm thinking Sliders, Onion Rings, Ruffles n' Dip, Pigs-in-a-Blanket, Chili, Tortilla Chips n' Queso, and bottles of Tums and self-respect for the day week after.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Take My Life

Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only for my King.

Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold
not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect and use
every power as You choose.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for Thee.

Take my will and make it Thine
it shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart it is Thine own
it shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord I pour
at Your feet its treasure store.

Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.

Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for Thee.

Video Chris Tomlin w/ Christy Nockles 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Here Comes the Sun, do do do

Dear Sunshine, 

How splendid it was to see you first thing this morning.  I'm so glad you've come to visit.  How I've missed your company!

I do hope you will stay for a long while.  Fog and Gloom barge in when you are not around.  I tolerate their company the best I can, but one can take only so much of them.  To be honest I'd had it with them days ago, but bid myself to hang on, to not feel dismayed by their dreariness.   Their harassment only caused me to long for you more, and to dream for your arrival.  "Longing makes the heart grow fonder," I  knew your arrival would be brilliant because of how I ached for you!

And just when I thought I couldn't take another moment plagued by Fog and Gloom, you arrived VIVIDLY!

Thank you Sun!
Thank  you Bright Star!

I'm sorry that I take you for granted. 

So today, after days of longing for fellowship with you, I must tell you that you are dynamic!  
I am in awe of you.  In awe of the way you rise and set, majestically dancing on the horizon.  
I am grateful that you beam on my  small acre, that you grace me with your presence.  
I've missed sitting in your radiance, watching my little piece of the world come awake as you gleam on every part.  
I've longed for your warmth to envelop me, inside and out, to illuminate my  body and soul.   
I've yearned to see the dazzling colors of pink, orange, and purple that fill the evening sky as you disappear to the other side of the world where you wonderfully and mysteriously dance onto someone elses landscape. 

 How's the weather in your neck of the woods?


Monday, January 17, 2011

Out of Control

As I sit  here (balancing the checkbook, organizing the desk, blogging) my girls are baking cookies. 

Without me. 

Absolutely no help. 

No eyes watching them or the destruction of my kitchen.

No one standing over them dictating. 

They are following directions.  


Sharing the process.


Making a mess (cringe). 

Cleaning (I hope).

And I'm NOT going in the kitchen (even though I'm o.c.d., and I like all things done my way). 

 I'm staying out...

And praying; readying my attitude for when I walk back into the kitchen. 
 I know they need me to celebrate their accomplishment, not to overreact at the state of the things. They need me to be pleased, to delight in them. 

And I'm waiting, waiting to be the first one (they told me I would be) to bite into their chocolatey chip goodness! 

Are you good at relinquishing control?  

These pix are from another day when the girls made homemade pop-tarts!
Unfortunately our recipe was time consuming, and the pop-tarts were a little on the dense side. 
Live and learn. 
For your pop-tart making convenience I've browsed around blogville for a simpler recipe. 
Preheat oven to 425*F.

Pie Crust (homemade or store bought. Unless my husband is making the pie dough I'm going store bought!).
Roll out pie crust and cut into 8cm wide and 16cm long strips.

Place 2 tsp of jam, nutella, lemon curd & blueberries, or a cinnamon filling (which is what we did) on the centre of the lower half of the pastry strip, and fold over the top half to encase the jam. Press sides closed with a floured fork.

Place on a greased or parchment covered baking sheet and bake at 425*F for 8-10 minutes.

When cool, cover with glaze and sprinkles.

Cinnamon Filling:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

 To make the filling: combine together the brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated white sugar, cinnamon, salt, and the 1 Tablespoon melted butter until the mixture resembles wet sand. 

1 cup icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk (I used cream)
Whisk icing sugar and 1 tbsp of milk in a bowl.  Gradually add more milk until desired consistency (syrup-like).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Capturing a moment (or two)

Deb, from Talk at the Table inspired me to capture a moment from this past week and share it.

Want a closer peek at what is on our school board?


Top l-r : Emilie's Cinquain, Writing lessons/ circles are part of a book worm.
Bottom l-r: Family Crest (learning about Knights & Coat of Arms), Josie's Cinquain

School board imagined by me and made by Michael a few years ago.  Cork board, framed, and on wheels. Perfect for housing in the garage, dragging in and out for school hours.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And A Little Child Will Lead Them

Today I woke at 8 (slept in, still sick).
After overcast days outside and overcast days in my thoughts this day greeted me with some much needed sunshine.
I Found my way to a bowl of Kashi Cinnamon Harvest (yummy), and to the dining room table where Josie waited with the bible in her hands.  
She was designate to read today's bible verses to me (the rest of the family had read and prayed at 7).  Josie read Psalm 150 as I munched on my cereal and looked out the window at the green foothills behind our home.   
Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
 praise him in his mighty heavens.
 Praise him for his acts of power;
 praise him for his surpassing greatness.
 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
 praise him with the harp and lyre,
 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
 praise him with the strings and pipe,
 praise him with the clash of cymbals, 
 praise him with resounding cymbals.
 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
 Praise the LORD. 

After reading she said, "now i'm going to pray." She prayed, and as she prayed she looked at the verses and used them to guide her prayer..."and God Thank you that You are mighty and powerful, help us to praise You all the time, when things are good and when things are bad." 

She is 8.  

Leading me.  

I needed His words pouring out through her little girl voice; her little girl faith; her little girl trust. 

After days of sickness, sleep deprivation, and grumpiness I had to be directed to praise.

I absorbed her prayer; her words illuminating my heart, thanksgiving and requests offered up to Father God. I Imagined Him on the edge of the seat of His throne taking in her every word; her desire for me, for her, for her little world to know and praise God. 
The Spirit in my daughter poured into my soul.

Praise the LORD! 


Sunday, January 9, 2011

slip me a slug from that wonderful mug

i've had an icky cold this week. 
 this mug has been delivered to me a number of times 
lovingly filled with my new favorite beverage- 
vanilla chai tea w/ creme brulee' creamer.
it has come bearing sweet drawings and messages.

love is good medicine.  

(chalkboard mug made by michael.  a dozen were made as teacher gifts for christmas. they were  filled with homemade gingersnap cookies, packaged beverages,  and were wrapped with ribbon and chalk).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Soil Soul

"God breathes life into dirt."

That wasn't the main point of the message this Sunday at church, but it is what I heard.
What I continue to hear.

"God breathes life into dirt."

I wrote about being a soil soul that God is making fertile for changes.
The Gardener requiring this dirt to rest, supplying me with Him the nutrients I require for His purpose.
I am content in the resting.
Content knowing He will plant  
In His Time.  

The Spirit is tilling these words into my soil heart, 
"God breathes life into dirt." 

And I embrace the mercy of the Gardener
who goes ahead of my humanity,
my questions
with  hope for my future,
"God breathes life into dirt."

And I think about the immeasurable love of God.
That Love reached into the very depths of the earth, 
formed man, 
and loves so immensely that we 
take the Creators breath away. 

I take God's breath away. 

His beloved, 
take God's breath away.

"God breathes life into dirt."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hindsight is Twenty Ten

January 1st beckons me to look back. 
Takes me by the hand and walks with me across the ground of the past 365 days.

I see Moving.
Sense Stillness. 
Recall the word Spirit whispered to me months ago...  
(to purify, purge, set apart). 
 Feel the Creator weed, break up, and level my soil soul making it fertile for changes.

He uprooted me in so many areas that I had for self-love planted myself.
In mercy He is decomposing what was.  
Jesus Himself the Nutrients graciously replenishing the dirt.
Not Jesus and... this time.  
Just Jesus. 
All Jesus. 

The Gardener is requiring this soil to rest. 
He will plant again... in His time. 

And instead of waiting with eager expectation I'm resting...
satisfied in Jesus.

This hasn't been an easy year (it never is), but it has been 

2010 Favorite People, Moments & Posts

Test of Grace  a friend recently commented that "the best friendships are those that stand the test of time." i responded that "those friendships are wonderful indeed, but to me the best friendships are the ones that stand the test of grace." i need grace...

Beauty is a Homeless Man We met George Lucask in 2005. He had been a crippled, abused, toothless, homeless man living under a bridge in Fresno before a family from our church befriended him. They brought him to our mountain community, and arranged shelter for him at a local motel. They also made arrangements with a handful of families to visit with and provide one meal for George each day. We signed up for Tuesdays and Wednesdays...

Crazy. Wonderful. as my sister, toni, and i got in her car and drove away from oakdale, she said, "i'm tired. this day feels like it began a long time ago." i thought about the weight of her words and responded, "it did, it began 26 years ago when mike became our dad." 
the day caused us to revisit our childhood. together. which is much better than doing it alone. it is lonely to go there alone.

Do Silly yesterday was the neighbor boy's birthday. he's 10. 10's a big deal. to God he's a big deal.

Glory Speaking  i want my life to be a doxology (from the greek doxa, glory + logas, word or speaking). i was made to be glory speaking.

Roller-coaster of Love  my favorite video vlog from the year... me on a roller- coaster of course. 

Caleb's story i have 4 children. When some one asks me how many children i have my words speak of 3, but my heart whispers 4.  And Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

  Happy New Year!