Saturday, January 21, 2012

Needs, Wants, & Espresso Machines.

It's almost one in the morning. Peter's bouncing up and down in his crib and laughing maniacally. He woke up with a poopie diaper and will not go back to sleep. Thankfully Libby is managing to sleep through this.

I'm winding down on a head/chest cold thing I've had on and off for a few weeks. I think I'm really on the other end... this time. Yay. And then I just got hit with a sudden tummy problem and am now well... you don't need the details. So I'm waiting this whole thing out. For my tummy to settle and for Peter to fall asleep.

Mike has men's breakfast (with church) tomorrow and so I will be handling the crew... and I'm hoping that the remaining hours I have left uninterrupted will be good sleep.

I've been reading this book called "Gotta Have It: Freedom from Wanting Everything RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW." There's a lot I can say about it. So much I want to delve into but I'm going to try to limit it to a particular epiphany I had last night.

It's funny how you can hear something, read something and even kind of "know" something but then you experience it again and it hits you. It goes beyond your brain and penetrates your heart. I think it goes as deep as your soul. Well, that happened for me last night.

I was in bed listening to Mike read to Libby the passage in Matthew regarding worry. How will worrying add to your life... and look at the beauty of the flowers and the birds... they don't worry about clothes or food... knowing God will provide for them.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

(Matthew 6:25-34 ESV)

Now I've heard this before plenty. It's not anything new... but it came alive to me as I later was reading my book. One of the things that struck me is that Jesus is telling us to not worry about our NEEDS.

Libby has recently been going through in school the difference between needs and wants. Needs consist of water, food, air, shelter. Wants are things like toys, games, books, cars, houses, etc.

So what I appreciate about the passage above is how it states that we do not need to be anxious about our life: food, clothes, etc. Wow. But why do I not need to be anxious/worried? Because our Heavenly Father KNOWS that we need them. In a different version it says because He CARES. That's intimate. He cares about my needs. They're not petty to him.

"Even if we don't have a good handle on what our needs are, God does. And not only is He God; He's also our Father. And as a father, He's generous. He knows our needs, and He has a plan to supply them- and much more."

I'm probably not making sense because it's super late now and I'm exhausted but what I wanted to convey was this new found understanding of truly being at rest in God. Submitting and laying down my desires... and even my needs knowing that He knows what I need... and He knows way better than I do. I was at such peace last night when I fell asleep. And it's carried through in the day.

Now I know feelings go up and down and change. But truth doesn't. And the truth of God knowing and meeting my needs is amazing. Especially because I've been very anxious about it. I'd been so stressed about Mike needing work and not having work and wondering what we were going to do and how it was all going to work out. I've been putting so much stress upon myself to figure it out. I'm a planner and I have been feeling frantic and that we have no game plan for our life. In fact I have been despairing of ever having a future for us that held good things.

It's been 10 years of craziness. wonderful things. Horrible things. Beautiful. Tragic. Sickness. Death. Moving. Lots of pregnancies and babies. School and more school. teaching. trusting. hoping.

But my hope had begun to wain. I had begun to believe nothing good could happen to us. I was beginning to fear that another disaster/tragedy awaited us just around the next bend. But now, I hold firmly to my Saviour and my God and I know that He knows what we need. He knows what my husband needs and my children need and I need. And I can rest in the fact that I don't have to carry it. I can let it go.

Today God did something really cool for me. Mike and I were dropping off several boxes and bags of give-away stuff at the thrift store. We walked in and were told everything is 20% off. One of the amazing finds there was an espresso machine... listed for $10... but with the discount- $8!

Now here's the background. I was a barista for 3 years at Starbucks. I've always wanted my own espresso machine but it's always been something I put on the back burner. This Christmas that's what I wanted was an espresso machine. But they're really pricey. Cheap ones are about $80 and the really good ones run between $300-$600. Yikes. So anyway... I let it go.

But today Mike finds this Mr. Coffee Espresso Machine. We took a chance and got it. When we got home I cleaned it up and sanitized it. I heated water with the steam wand and cleaned out the filter.

It felt amazing to put finely ground coffee in the espresso filter and to tamp it. To add water. To put cold milk in the steam pitcher. To heat and foam or "froth" the milk. My epsresso shots were beautiful with the lovely golden brown crema on top and a nice solid earthy body body. The smell was intoxicating. I made lattes for me, Mike and Rebecca. It was lovely. So nice.

And as I sipped my coffee I kept thinking. Wow. God cares. He cares enough to let me have an espresso machine so I can make coffee at home and bless others and enjoy it myself. He is so good!

Come and hang out. I'm looking forward to making you a latte or cappuccino.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Being a tooth fairy.

Libby's been losing teeth left and right as of late. And just this past week Samuel has not just lost his first tooth but his second as well. My oldest two are starting to look like jack-o-lanterns.

Me: As a tooth fairy
I try to be excited when they lose teeth but I must confess... part of me is sad. They're growing up. They're losing their BABY teeth. In addition the very nature of this leads me to play another role: The Tooth Fairy.

I try to diligently remember to find the tooth and replace it with a dollar but sometimes it's not always smooth. I've had issues with finding the tooth. Sometimes it's rolled off the bed or got caught in the sheets. One time, Libby awoke in the morning with her dollar in hand and brings me the missing tooth. "Mommy, the fairy forgot the tooth." I promise to get it to her, because after all the tooth fairy and I have connections.

Another time Libby couldn't find her dollar or her tooth and was quite hysterical. I had put the dollar there. I had taken the tooth. I brought her back to her room and lifted her pillow. Her sobbing ceased. "Oh, I didn't look there." Sigh.

Samuel is new to the whole lose a tooth and get some money thing. In fact I was able to tell him just yesterday that the tooth fairy flew by and dropped off not just one bill but two... she was delayed bringing the first tooth's money... in all fairness, he lost his tooth somewhere and we haven't seen it since. Samuel actually wiggled his tooth out at church on Sunday evening.

With Libby you can not even act like you're going to touch her loose tooth. I'll do it myself thank you very much is her attitude. And she'll show you her wiggily tooth til the cows come home but God forbid you try and touch it yourself.

Yesterday, Libby brought me the tooth she lost... she had placed it beautifully in a sea shell. "Mom, (said with a knowing look) the tooth fairy for-goo-ot (in sing-song voice). Well, I thought Mike had brought me her tooth the night before... but it was actually Samuel's tooth. It's confusing when they both lost a tooth on the same day. So I took the tooth from Libby and told her I'd "get a hold of the tooth fairy".

I then went into my closet and got a one dollar bill and rolled it up and tied it in ribbon. About 10 minutes later I presented it to Libby telling her the tooth fairy was sorry she got hold up.

Ian wants in. He wants the money. "See Mom. My teeth are wiggily." Thankfully they are not. "Hon, wait til you get older. You will lose your teeth too."

Someday I will stop playing the tooth fairy... but I hope it's not for a long time. I'm enjoying them being small and I wish I could freeze this time and make it last forever. I seem them growing and maturing. Becoming more independent. Trying to savor each moment... and each lost tooth.

Monday, January 09, 2012

New Year and being made new...

Hello. Happy New Year. I've not written recently because I've been very busy. Mike put in a 70 hour work-week last week. This was a "one time" deal and it was intense. Mike would leave after Libby, Samuel and Michael were on the bus and often wouldn't get home til after 9. I felt a taste of being a single Mom. My respect and appreciation for Single Mom's and Navy wives has gone through the roof. Ladies, I don't know how you do it.

Samuel needed to go to the doctor's. He was having an asthma flare up. In addition he was complaining of foot pain. Okay, he was screaming about foot pain to be accurate. So to be on the safe side the doctor ordered an x-ray. Thankfully we completed that in enough time so that I could get home and pick up Michael from the bus.

As crazy as the week was it was also refreshing and sweet. I tried to keep things as simple as I could. We had frozen pizza for dinner twice :) Homework was done. Kids got meds.

In addition to the regular craziness our washing machine broke. The one that all 13 of us in the house depend on. My in-laws have graciously helped us with laundry. Thanks Faf! I have about 7 trash sized bags of laundry to do... and some of it has throw up on the clothes, courtesy of Samuel.

So, yes. Life is pretty much normal. I've been under the weather with a chest cold. So emergen-c and mucinex have been my friend. Mike has been an angel and has let me sleep in yesterday and today... til noon. Yikes, right! I feel a lot less exhausted now and I think the sleep was very healing.

Tonight Libby asked to read a story from my favorite children's book:

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

I love this book. I love how it all points to Jesus... our need for a rescuer. Tonight we were reading the last "story" about John's vision (Revelation) of Heaven. It was amazing. I started crying mid-way through. It's powerfully written.

Libby asked a big question. "Mommy does everyone go to Heaven?" I told her the truth. "No, honey. Not everyone is going to Heaven." And with that start we talked about Heaven, Jesus, Hell. We talked about Jesus living a perfect life, dying on the cross and being raised from the dead. I told her if we believed in Jesus Christ he would forgive us of our sins and we would have a relationship with Him. We would become children of God. I pulled Mike into the room quickly so we could all talk together. She told us that she wants to believe. Mike and I each prayed for her and then she went to her room to pray to Jesus privately. I was very affected. I long to talk to Libby more about it tomorrow. Her heart has always been sensitive to God. She wants to be sure her brothers believe too. I have a feeling there is a lot more to come over time.

On New Year's Day Mike had the privilege of preaching at church. He did a great job. He spoke about Samuel and our family testimony a little bit but mainly about Psalm 41. To hear his message go here.

I hope you find encouragement and refreshment from it as I did. It's good to be reminded that we indeed know the ending of the story.

This is where I started crying reading Libby the storybook Bible:

"And the King says, 'Look! God and his children are together again. No more running away. Or hiding. No more crying or being lonely or afraid. No more being sick or dying. Because all those things are gone forever. Everything sad has come untrue. And see-I have wiped every tear from every eye!' And then a deep, beautiful voice that sounded like thunder in the sky says, 'Look, I am making everything new!' It was hard to squeeze all John saw into words. And fit it onto a page. And cram it into a book. All the words on all the pages of all the books in all the world would never be enough. 'I am the Begininning,' Jesus said, 'and the Ending!' One day, John knew, Heaven would come down and mend God's broken world and make it our true, perfect home once again. And he knew in some mysterious way that would be hard to explain, that everything was going to be more wonderful for once having been so sad. And he knew that the ending of the The Story was going to be so great, it would make all the sadness and tears and everything seem like just a shadow that is chased away by the morning sun. 'I'm on my way,' said Jesus. 'I'll be there soon!' John came to th end of his book. But he didn't write 'The End.' Because, of course, that's how stories finish. (And this one's not over yet.) So instead, he wrote, 'Come quickly, Jesus!' Which, perhaps is really just another way of saying....To be continued."