Tuesday, March 24, 2009

update.

By the way, for those who read below I said re-heated twice. I was talking about my tea.

Ian still has a high fever. I took him to the doctor's tonight. Negative flu. Negative strep. Does have some fluid in the lungs so they did a chest x-ray and have put him on anti-biotics. In case of pneumonia. So off to pick up his meds and settle in for the night.

Tomorrow is a big day. We discover Samuel's school eligibility assessment- if he got in or not. We're hoping he'll get in so that he can get some serious Speech Therapy among other things.

One Shoe Days.

So we've moved. Can you believe it? We've just finished packing up the old house (the rest of it) today. So soon it will be cleaned and emptied.

Our new home on the other hand is still in process. I'm enjoying the space and am looking forward to getting things situated.

We decided to postpone Michael's surgery till next month. So he's now set for April 30th. This will give us a chance to catch our breath and hopefully get a little more settled in.

Things have had that unusual flavor of disorder. Things are haphazard and I'm having a hard time looking for what I'm trying to find. I've left the milk out twice and completely forgot my re-heated twice... in fact it was re-heated twice and I still forgot it! The kids are doing well and are loving their new room. Ian & Michael haven't noticed but that's to be expected.

Today Libby has ballet and as I checked her bag I could only find one ballet slipper. It's funny how that happens. The things I usually have so all-together are so NOT! It's a good reminder for me that all my good attempts just don't add up. That's the beautiful thing about God... He doesn't need my good attempts. He did it all. His work is finished! I can rest in what He's done, not my pitiful "good" works.

Ian has a fever and has been lethargic so i'm calling to see if I need to take him to the doctors. He just had his synnagis shots yesterday along with Michael but he's not reacting great to it... so we'll see.

Michael had a neurologist appointment yesterday and it seemed to go really well. We might get a few more x-rays and scans just to be on the up and up but then we'll be set...

Well, hopefully the nurse will call me back soon.

Friday, March 20, 2009

more than mommy.



Who is that woman?
It's me.

Sometimes I forget what I even look like. All of my former dreams and ambitions have been pushed back onto a back burner. Where's the artist? The globe-trotter? The thin image I used to recognize... ha. The writer. The finisher of projects? The happy-go-lucky, ignorance-is-bliss girl....

She's traded her purse for a diaper bag. her time to herself for time with others. Her conversations with adults for silly songs with Larry. Her chick-flicks for Disney films. Her style for whatever has the least stains. A day at the beach for a day at the park. Perfume for smeared applesauce and yogurt.

Have I become a mere mommy? A diaper-changer? Bottom-wiper? Dish-washer? Nanny? Cook? Nurse? Chauffeur?

All of these roles. The ones I cherish and the ones I don't so much... they all fade. I am Christ's. I belong to Him. I am His. I have to remind myself of these truths. I'm not just a wife or mother all though I love being those things. I am God's child. His precious lamb. And although I don't deserve to be these things He has bought me with a price and made me His own.

The days have been tough and I don't feel like I have the energy to make it through to the end of the day. I'm tired and I long for respite. I long to crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head. It's when someone spills milk -when they drop their cup and I go to clean it up and then after the floor is clean the other toddler does the same thing- that makes me wonder what's the point. But I do these things as unto Christ. I comfort the crying babe, wipe the snotty nose, clothe the naked child, feed the hungry toddler, and nurse the sick infant... I do these things as unto the Lord.

Matthew 25: 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, [6] you did it to me.’

So you moms out there- especially the ones with little ones- you are doing a great work. Do not give up hope. Do not despair. The Lord sees your work. He sees your efforts. He sees the work that gets undone everyday. He rejoices. He loves you.

I have traded shallowness for depth. Happiness for JOY. The temporary for eternal. My life for Christ's.

me & Ian.





I tired of his screaming and crying so we did a little photobooth activity. And now he's crying again. Because it's over... or maybe it's because I'm not holding him...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Exam.

I have some good news. Mike didn't have to travel to PA! He was able to take the test here. He's still in the midst of taking it and will finish tomorrow at 4:30. So please be in prayer for him. This is a cummulative exam in which he has to express what he's learned over the course of the years spent at Westminster. No small feat! So blessings on him and all that take this exam so they can graduate. I'm so thankful he doesn't have to spend the time, money, and energy of traveling. Looking forward to it being over... managing the kids without him is not so fun :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Be encouraged.


Look at him. Isn't Michael a doll?! I am so crazy about my kids and isn't it obvious why...

Kids are such a treasure and a gift from the Lord. I have been so blessed to have the children God has given me. Sometimes I wish parenting was easier than it is. I wish I could magically be a fantastic mom and serve my family without complaint and help them to grow in valuing God and loving Him. I wish godliness came with a snap of the fingers.

The truth is that these things take time and effort. In our instant society where everything happens at a touch of the finger we have failed to see the reward in things that take time. In having to wait. In having to resolve our problems over a course of time as opposed to wrapping things up like a 30 minute sit-com. Life isn't that easy. But the good thing is our Lord is ever faithful to teach us and to instruct us.

I love that He encourages us to be still and wait on Him. (Psalm 37:7) He knows these things take time. He knows about progressive sanctification. We haven't arrived yet! He is faithful though. He will finish us until completion. The potter hasn't left us "half-done"... He knows how to mold us, to make us into His likeness. He knows when it's time to put us in the fire and just how intense the heat can be. He won't let us crack. He who has begun this good work will finish it! (Philippians 1:6)

So whether you're parenting or not, single or married, working, stay-at-home, working from home- do all these things for God's glory knowing that He is faithful and He who do did not spare His son but gave Him up as a ransom for many (Romans 8:32), how will he not also with Him graciously give us all things?

This is the One who is for us!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

sleeping beauty.






The problem with being one of four children is that there are sometimes you can be forgotten. I was busy running around one morning taking care of feeding everyone and helping children get dressed when I came into the dining area and saw Ian asleep in his highchair. Poor child. He didn't cry or anything but just feel asleep after breakfast in his seat.

Movers and Shakers.


Well, it's time to officially announce... we are moving!

We're going to be living with my parents and we're moving at the end of the month. Our hope is to be moving things gradually in and have the last-of-the-stuff moved on the 28th & 29th. And yes, Michael is still having surgery on the 26th...

So to say the least we are busy. Busy packing and preparing and trying to think through the logistics of a lot of things. Michael will be admitted into the hospital for this procedure so we will be spending the day and night there... and hopefully going home the following day... so we can move :)
My parents will be moving into the nest (the efficiency apartment over the garage) and we will be living in the "main house".

The twins are 11 months old today. I can hardly believe it. Time is just flying by. I love watching Ian waving his hands and making noises and eating up a storm. Michael is as sweet as can be and is the calmest babe I've ever had. It's been fun watching them increase in joy and ability. Looking forward to continuing to watch them grow- I just wish it didn't go by so fast!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Encouragement.

Cherish yesterday.
Dream tomorrow.
Live TODAY.

These words brought comfort to me. I was browsing in one of my favorite stores, Michaels Arts & Crafts, and saw this quote. It brought tears to my eyes. Yes, I want to cherish my memories. Look and dream and expect with hope the future. But I want to live today. To live for God. To be consumed with Him and His glory and to LIVE! Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly! (John 10:10)

Yesterday I went to a Young Mother's Breakfast at church. I was so encouraged and blessed to be there. I secretly went dreading the time there. I thought it was going to be a "do this or that better", "keep on keeping on", "do more try harder" kind of time. It was NOT. Nothing close to that.

Instead it was refreshing, encouraging, and gave me some much needed perspective and HOPE! I was reminded once again that my satisfaction comes from Christ alone. There is nothing else that will satisfy. Not even being a godly mother and being a good parent will satisfy. Christ alone.

I was also reminded of the lies of this world: looking to our appearance and a focus on youth and beauty, judging your worth by your production and output (achievement, goals, and how many boxes you've checked on that to-do list), and that we deserve happiness. I've bought those lies. But oh to be refreshed and reminded that God looks at the heart, not the appearance of man or woman :) (1 Samuel 16:7)

If I was to look at my worth by how much gets done I would be hopeless. All the work I do gets undone every day and sometimes in a matter of minutes. But to know that what I do to the least of these I have done unto Christ (Matthew 25:41-46). And to know that happiness is not the focus. We will experience suffering, hardships, and trials- our hope comes from focusing Heavenwards and towards Christ... not from this temporary world.

I was blessed by the ministry time that followed. I received prayer that spoke directly to my soul. And I was encouraged and refreshed. Not to mention, I also enjoyed a fabulous breakfast, Mike took care of the kids, and I won a massage as a door prize. So, yes, I was amazingly blessed.

I got to have lunch with some friends and I enjoyed the conversation. We discussed what we had just heard and I was encouraged to hear how others were affected. Although I must confess, I do think the message was for me. :) I've never had a message so directly speak to my heart where I wanted to jump up every 10 seconds and say, "Amen! Amen!" and applaud and cheer.

Well, I'm going to go exercise before the kids wake up and we need to get ready for Church.

I'm so blessed.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stepping Backwards.

I wrote this on Thursday the 12th...



Okay, so it's not three steps back. But maybe two. Today. Hm. It was a good day. It really was. I got treated by a friend to some shopping and to get a few needed items. I had lunch with that friend at Chick-fil-A... another huge plus.

It was when I picked up Alexis and went to Target that things got funny. We arrived at Target and I had separated my gift cards for Target and Starbucks and brought them by hand into the store. I put them into a hand-held shopping basket along with my car keys. I went to the Pharmacy and put in my refill request and did some grocery shopping for dinner tonight. We purchased the groceries and then proceeded to Starbucks all excited about using my gift card... and that's when I realized... my cards were missing. I had Alexis check the car to make sure I didn't leave them on the dashboard. No luck. I kept thinking and thinking. I used another card to pay for my purchases and had the card in hand when I asked the cashier where my card was. I didn't even realizing I was holding it!

I couldn't think of where my cards had went to. It took me a while to realize that I left them in my basket. I went quickly back to the register... the basket had already been returned. Then went back to the baskets.... no cards. So they were probably taken. I was so angry with myself. I just threw away money... money to Starbucks and Target. I had 3 starbucks cards... and my one registered card was the one with a $0 balance... the others had money on them that I had planned on loading to my registered card. Serious bummer. I went to Customer Service. Checked the Pharmacy. All with no success. This was a very time consuming process and I ended up coming back VERY late... so Mike wasn't able to do work today. Another frustration.

I've been so low... feeling condemnation everywhere I turn. Frustrated when I see a pile of books that I'm halfway through and haven't finished reading. Frustrated at my lack of ability to remember things... forgetting the therapist was coming at 8:30 a.m. today. Forgetting to call friends back. Failure to communicate. And I'm frustrated because I feel I'm impossible to understand. And when I look for understanding outside of God... well, it just doesn't work.

I can be doing so fine and then something happens and I feel like I've been swallowed by the enormity of life. Enormity of all I'm unable to do and all that must be done. The enormity of the stresses and concerns of the day to day and the future. Michaels' surgery is coming up. Ian needs to get his blood work done again to see if his iron levels have improved. I need to pack up the whole house and right now I feel like I can't even put my own laundry away. I need to check the neurologist to see which appt. is valid.... 2 were scheduled... I scheduled one and the doctor's office scheduled another. i need to get a hold of WIC again! Blah. Blah. Blah.

It was when I lost those gift cards that it hit me like a ton of bricks. I've lost something valuable and I can't get it back. And no I'm not referring to the cards. I'm referring to my sister. I can never be an aunt to her children... and she won't be an aunt to mine. I will never get to hold my nephew. I will never get to vacation, shop, call, talk, drink coffee, go exercising or swimming, or singing, or bowling, or laughing, or any thing with her again. And I miss her. I miss so many things about her. The way she would toss her hair, or snort, or brush her teeth before she could talk to anyone in the morning, the way she'd pull on her eyes when it was allergy season... and when it wasn't allergy season. The way she'd talk me into doing whatever she wanted. And I was the BIG sister!

I feel raw and sick to my stomach and I want to scream. I just want to yell and yell and yell. Not anything in particular, just a loud grief cry. I'm always struck by certain movies when I hear a "grief cry"... there are some where I know that kind of cry intimately... that soul-wrenching plea that escapes your lips and you can hardly believe the noise is coming from you...

5 years ago I buried my sister and nephew. 5 years ago I wept and wept. I laid pennies around the edge of her coffin and I fought back the urge to fling it open and stare at her one last time. I never saw her dead. We were just told. We never saw. The accident was so bad we were told not to look... that it wasn't my sister.... not the way I'd want to remember her. I had dreams for the first week after burying her that I went back to the cemetery and I dug her up. I just wanted to see her again. I used to think that maybe she was a witness to something and so was in the witness protection plan and that they had to fake her death. I know it's not true... I guess it was the wishful thinking of someone who wanted to escape the pain.

The sky has darkened and is dreary. The chill has soaked through my skin and has sunk deep in my heart. The branches are dark against the bleak sky. All seems lost. But it's not. I know that past all this dreariness that the sun is still shining... just because I can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. And just because I can't see my sister doesn't mean she doesn't exist... it just means I have to wait...


The picture up top is a picture of a mourning dove. I used to think they were called "morning" doves. But they're not. I realized after my sister passed that they are mourning doves... they are called that because of the sad cry they make... they sound as though they're mourning. I love these birds.

And right now I hear the sad cries of a bird in the distance... it sounds as if it has lost its mate... or may be a close friend... or maybe a sister.

and so I weep. I weep knowing that joy comes in the morning. I weep knowing that this too will pass. And I weep knowing that it's okay.... Jesus wept too. And He was bringing Lazarus back from the dead. (John 11:1-44) He's not afraid of the tears. He stores them in bottles. (Psalm 56:8- "You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? ")

I could fill up pages with all the things that need to be done... all the problems, stresses, and difficulties... the truth is though that you wouldn't understand... not that you wouldn't sympathize... but only God understands. He is the only one to understand each of our needs, our cares, our concerns, our struggles, our hurts. And right now, even in what feels like the depths I know He is there. He is there. He is there.

I can just look to the Psalms and see the valleys of hope and the depths of despair... sometimes from chapter to chapter othertimes from verse to verse. God isn't afraid of my highs or lows... or even the middle... He knows the pain. He knows the joys. He knows the temptations and struggles and grief. So yes, I might seem bi-polar... the highs and lows but I'm thankful to see that the Bible is right there with me... the highs and lows... the joys and griefs. And God is who He is. He hasn't changed from one day to the next. My feelings have but He is the same yesterday, today, forever and always.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Growth.



I loved the saying on this mug, "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over it became a butterfly."

I feel like that caterpillar... and I often feel like it's the end of the world... but I hope and I know that in the end, when all is said and done, I will become that butterfly.

Growth. With the coming of spring. With the tender shoots bursting forth and leaves preparing to unfurl... with the freshness of wind and sunshine... and the daffodils swaying in their yellow skirts and the tulips poking their stems above ground... there is growth. It's appropriate that I feel this growth inside me as well. I feel like I have been taken to a new level. A place where I can see just a fragment more clearly than before. A reminder that I can know it's not all about me... it's about God.... it's about Christ and His purposes and plans. and I can be refreshed in knowing that it's not up to me. This work has been done. I can rest in Him. Rest in the knowing that He has the whole world in His hands. Rest in the fact that I'm frail, fragile, and human but God works through me and in me.

I often get so lost in despair and sorrow that I can question if God is still at work in me. But it's in seeing these happenings around me that I too can see there is growth, there is work being done, there is a step forward not accompanied by three backwards. There is beauty to be found and seen.

I look at what I have pruned last fall. Things looked so dead and small and shriveled. But now I look outside and see this glory. This beautiful happening of fresh buds and tender blossoms. Small and green but full of LIFE. And I see the same in my heart. So much has been pruned and cut and discarded... but I think I detect the change. The life growing. The seed that looked dead is coming around. It's growing and creating deep roots and shooting up tall with branches stretched high.

My heavy heart is left behind with the deadened leaves and the bare branches... it has become full of life and newness and freshness and hope. It's time for a new beginning.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Love!


Happy Birthday Mike!

Mike- you are my treasured gift from God to me! I am so thankful for your love, support and encouragement. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for your patience, your tender devotion, and your constant faithfulness. I am so blessed to have you as my husband, lover, and father of my children. Our children love you and I adore you.

I never knew all those years ago that we would even be friends....not to mention all of this. As we were saying in the car yesterday... who would have thought 7 years ago when you asked me to court you that we would be here all these years later with 4 kids and a mini-van :) At least we don't live in it down by the river...

I love your sense of humor, your laughter, and your brilliance. You are the smartest and sexiest man I've ever met. I can't help but fall more in love with you every day.

You bring joy to my life even on the dark days and a sweetness to even the bitterest of days. You are my best friend who I trust, respect, and value. Thank you for always pointing me back to our Saviour... for helping me to continue to surrender to Him, and to help me to let go and laugh at my imperfections and rejoice in God's goodness.

thank you for making me the most blessed woman ever. Happy Birthday my sweet husband!

Jennifer

this week-end.














It's not often I can say of March that I've had a good time. but I have. I have felt soaked, saturated and covered in prayer. I felt so much peace this week-end and had a GREAT time with my family. Time to laugh. Time to run and play. Time to be. Time to sit and drink coffee. Time with my love and my little loves.

Alexis came with us and made the trip so pleasurable. She was such a help to me. We were later joined by her mom and siblings (thanks LaLa, Courntey, and Thomas) they came to come pick her up... and they added so much laughter. The day after that my parents came down. It was so nice to see them and be with them.

I think it was healing to have laughter. Healing to be with those who knew and loved Libby dearly. To talk freely about her... or to not talk at all.

It was a comfort food week-end. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Monkey bread, eggs and bacon. Chicken Divan and strawberry pretzel salad. We had cake and ice-cream for breakfast on Libby's heaven birthday.

One of the highlights of the trip was thrift store shopping. I found an adorable LIFE IS GOOD bag for $4! I found a New York purse for $2. The purse has 2 girls on it in NYC... it was definitely Libby & me. Mike found a stack of books for $2.14 I found a beautiful silk scarf for Kels- because she couldn't be there...


It was so therapeutic to run my hands through the sand and the shells... to make a tight fist and then to release the sand and shells to the beach. I could feel the tension leave as I kept grabbing and releasing the sand and shells... and relinquish the control I so fiercely fight for.

I brought back some shells back from the ocean. Some I'm using for crafting projects and card making but others I'm keeping as a reminder. Reminder of the 7th. Reminder of my sister. A reminder that there can still be joy after so much pain and loss. And a reminder that God gives good gifts. Precious gifts to me. Precious new memories. Not that they replace the old. But it's a thread to be sewn into the tapestry. This thread was yellow and golden and happy. Some of my other threads have been dark grays, browns, and black. It was nice to see a glimmer of light. It was nice to feel the warm sunshine on my face. It was wonderful to sit and talk with my dad for 45 minutes about life, love, and God. It was wonderful to snuggle up to my husband and my little ones and watch a movie. It was amazing to feel God's love and presence there with us.

What a beautiful week-end.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

How to encourage.

Hey friends,

Would you mind commenting after my posts? It really encourages my heart to hear feedback from you all. Even if it's just a sentence. Please?

JLN

Friday, March 06, 2009

Heaven Birthdays.

This Saturday will be my sister, Libby's, 5th Heaven Birthday. This way of thinking about it came as I was sharing with my daughter about her Auntie Libby. I was telling her on Auntie Libby's Heaven Birthday we would be eating ice-cream and cake for breakfast... and celebrating her. She asked if we could eat it down here and not up there. I told her yes. She then asked me if I would bring Auntie Libby and Sam some ice-cream. I told her that I'm sure Jesus will do it. She looked at me very seriously and said, "I love God."

But I like this thought of Heaven Birthdays. It's what happened, my sister was birthed into Heaven. Instead of seeing it as when she died... or how many years it's been in a negative way, seeing how beautiful it is that she's spent that many years in Heaven with Jesus. The thought brings me a smile. Not that I'm glad my sister's gone- I miss her to pieces. It's just that I know with birthdays you celebrate. You don't celebrate death. It's an effect of sin. But life you celebrate. Birthdays are a celebration of life. And now my sister has eternal life with Jesus.... no more death. She has already passed through onto the other side. She is in the realms of glory. What a beautiful thought to think of the joy that awaits me, that she is already experiencing!

I was recently asked by a friend what I found helpful and what I found not so helpful when it comes to dealing with grief. Here are some of my thoughts. Tambra- this is for you!


What is Helpful:

Be willing to listen. A touch on the shoulder, a hug, or simply rubbing someone's back can communicate so much better than words. Giving flowers. Telling the person about a favorite memory of their loved one. Telling the grieving person that you still remember their loved one. Not being afraid to say that you are sad with them. Writing them a card. Planting a plant, tree or flowers in memory of the loved one. Letting the grieving person know that you are there and that you care about them. Asking the grieving person if they want to talk about their loved one. Asking if they have a favorite memory of their loved one.


I have some dear friends who excel in caring for me. A dear friend recently sent me a card... the note was precious to me. She also included a Starbucks card (because she knows I love it) and some cash.... which I'm going to use in memory of Libby. Probably get some tulips among other things :) Another friend took me to lunch and asked me all about my sister. It was very emotionally healing and comforting to share with her about my sister. I have another friend who has offered to take me to a make and take pottery place to create something in remembrance of my sister. Another friend is just good about asking me how I am doing when it comes to Libby. Another friend sends me texts of love, encouragement and Scripture. Another friend just bought me a wonderful coffee cup... it's Libby red. And now it's my Libby mug that I love to drink out of. My husband has been sweet to bring me breakfast in bed. It's been a sweet way to wake up and start my day... especially when I feel so low and don't really want to get out of bed... he really brightens it up by starting it right :)


Now for the tough part. This is what I have found very unhelpful. I am NOT referencing any particular person/incident.

Offering cliches: "Just Trust in God." "He's Good all the time". "at least she's in Heaven".
It is good to remind friends of truth but it is not helpful to throw "bombs of truth" at them. Of course God is good, of course I trust Him, of course I'm glad she's in Heaven BUT it doesn't make the pain go away. And it doesn't mean that it's easy to walk through grief!
Questioning the person about whether or not they are sinning in their grief.
What area in our lives in not tainted with some element of sin? Of course we still sin in grief. There is a time and place to help bring re-direction but to tell people they're sinning because they're grieving???? Hmmm. Or even that you know what their motives are. We are all given a certain propensity to sin in certain ways when we are weak. That's when cry out to God to help us. But grieving is not a sin! We are called not to grieve as those without hope... this is true! BUT it does not say... do not grieve!*
Speaking too much without listening... try and hear what the person is saying. Often you will find that they know and believe the truth- they could just use some comfort, a squeeze of the hand, a hug.
Questioning their salvation. This has happened to me more than once... from people in church. They will wonder if I'm even a Christian because of my sadness or grief. Well, God isn't threatened or put off by it... He is a Comforter. He was a man of Sorrows. He understands my pain. My hope is in Christ. Just because I can recognize my life as being difficult at times or sorrowful in missing my sister doesn't remove my Salvation. Christ is my salvation. His work, death, and resurrection are my hope- He has saved me.*
"They wouldn't come back even if they could." Okay this is just plain unhelpful. We want them to be happy and be with God but we miss them and wish they were with us. Don't rub it in that they wouldn't want to come back.


So if you can come away with a nugget of truth in what I've said, GREAT! If this doesn't speak to you I can appreciate that. We all can use some love and care and reminder of God.

Also, about Heaven Birthdays... please don't present this to someone fresh in their grief... it could be very hurtful or painful to them that you are trying to make their sorrow a joyful thing. Give people time to grieve in their way and pray for them that in time they can come to a place where they can rejoice too. It has been 5 years... If this was 4 years ago I might have wanted to slap someone if they told me "oh you're just celebrating Libby's birth into Heaven". So be sensitive and thoughtful of others. This is what I am finding helpful now in the season I'm in.




*I am not saying there aren't times to be concerned about someone's walk with the Lord. I can appreciate that. I'm relating to what has happened to me and other Christians I know. We believe the truth about God... we just need love and care and extra encouragement at times! There are so many other ways I could preface this. I know there is a time and place to say some of these things but I think you need to be wise and be led by the Spirit. Be discerning about what is blessing a person and what is hurting them!


I hope I didn't overwhelm and discourage anyone with all of these thoughts that are often conflicting. Do this but don't say that. Pray and ask God for wisdom. Let Him lead you! Be loving and kind... it goes a long way and covers a multitude of mistakes :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

consider yourself updated.

Hey, Just a quick note to let you all know a couple things...

Mike and I will be out of town this week-end with the kids. We're going to Nags Head... just want to get away from it all for a few days. Kelsey was supposed to go with us but has been sick for 3 days and has a fever of 104... poor friend! She's been so sad... I am praying the Lord heals her. I know she can't come but I just hope she gets better for her sake!


We changed Michaels' surgery from March 12th to the 26th. Just didn't want to have it on the same day my sister was buried. So it will be two weeks later... makes me feel better.

things have been up and down. Michael's doing great with his helmet and we've managed to be able to put his glasses over his helmet.

We've had tons of appointments, meetings, specialists, etc.

Ian was assessed today by Early Intervention and does have a delay and so will be receiving physical therapy in addition to Michael...

So, a lot more updates and news to come... but for now, just wanted you to know. Off to attend the ensuing chaos.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Requiem.

On Saturday I was given the privilege to hear the Virginia Symphony Orchestra along with the Virginia Symphony Chorus perform Verdi's Requiem. It was conducted by JoAnn Falletta and was a beautiful experience. My friend, Nathalie, had free tickets. Mike and I went and were able to also invite my dad (there was an extra ticket!) It was a fun time getting to spend time with Nathalie, my husband and my dad. We attended the lecture before the performance and I enjoyed the insights into the background and motivation behind the music.

It was interesting to understand that so much of this music was a message of mourning and comfort. In the program it says the following,

"Perhaps the most important factor of all in assessing the Requiem's artistic appeal and popular staying power and is that Verdi understood....that those who need comfort from a Requiem are the living."

I understood from the program and lecture that they didn't assume that Verdi looked to the afterlife with much comfort but in fact with fear and concern. That he had a "tragic view of the human condition".

Verdi was a man who experienced loss... in an effort to honor one man's death (Rossimi) he wanted to create a requiem with other leading Italian composers but this effort was eventually abandoned. But when Manzoni (a famous and important Italian author) passed he finished composing this requiem and performed it a year after his death. This wasn't the first time Verdi's life has been marked by loss. He lost his wife and two children with a very short amount of time.

There is beauty and intensity, darkness and light, sweetness and sorrow in his music and lyrics. I do not agree with everything that is said... But there are sections that speak to my heart. Sections in which I find hope.

Donna eis Requiem. Grant them rest. How those words speak to my soul. Not asking for rest and peace in Heaven... there it will be had... but rest and peace here. A reminder that I can cry out to the God of rest and the God of comfort to meet me.

I too long for a requiem. A rest from this grief. The difference though is I know I am saved from this. Saved from this wretchedness and hopelessness. I am not lost. I have been found. Found by Christ. I have a Saviour who rescues me from this "tragic human condition". He saves me from my sin and counts His righteousness as mine.

The time is close. Oh so close. the 7th isn't creeping anymore but lunging itself upon me. I'm going to read a book I just got from the library... Suffering into Joy: What Mother Teresa Teaches about true joy... It sounds encouraging. and then some sleep...