Monday, July 28, 2008

Quenching the Thirst

I found this bit of scripture (actually, it found me) last week. It has been spoken to me over and over since. I thought I would share it...

The poor and needy search for
but there is none;
their tongues are parched
with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer
I, the God of Israel, will not
forsake them.
I will make rivers flow on
barren heights,
and springs within the
I will turn the desert into
pools of water,
and the parched ground into
I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the
myrtle and the olive.
I will set pines in the
the fir and the cypress
so that people may see and
may consider and
that the hand of the Lord has
done this,
that the Holy One of Israel
has created it.

~ Isaiah 41:17-20

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Raising Little Chefs and Little Daddies

Isn't it funny how you make plans to do one thing, but then so much MORE happens?

I mentioned in a previous post that I started watching a baby girl three days a week this summer. This was something that I did not go searching for, but something that God brought to me... for so many reasons. I'm learning though, that perhaps the most important reason is so that I can have the awesome opportunity to teach my boys yet one more thing... how to be daddies.

I'm sure you've noticed the many men out there who just don't know the first thing about how to be a dad. They hear their babies crying and think the world is ending. They look at changing diapers as some kind of payment for sinful acts. They sometimes don't even know that babies like to be talked to too, and doing so brings the most precious smiles from their faces. Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to have a slam-fest on men here. I'm just being truthful. There are also many GREAT daddies out there (including the one I sleep with every night).

Lucas, Colby and Caleb are learning how to be awesome daddies. They are learning about hearing a baby's cry and knowing what that kind of cry means and what to do about it. We were in the car last week and the baby was crying and Colby let out this loud exasperated expression. He said, "Mom, please tell her to stop crying." I informed Colby that you can't just ask a baby to stop crying. She was crying because she was tired. If you are patient and try not to let the crying bother you, she will go to sleep. Soon after, she did. At home, the boys love to hold her and talk to her. They have even been seen dancing for her in front of her little swing, but you didn't hear that from me. Being that this isn't their little sister, I don't allow them to change the diapers, but I have noticed quite a change in their opinion about that. They used to run into another room every time I had to change her. Now they might even sit next to her and distract her with a song while I'm changing her.

Even though this little sweet thing isn't their sister, they love her like she is. It has been the most precious thing to see them grow and develop in their "man-hood" in this way. It has been a gift!

This summer we have also decided to explore their creativity in the kitchen. It's an idea that they came up with... and I loved it even more. I'd be pretty dumb NOT to, right? After all, I'll have three men cooking for ME soon. They each picked out their own cookbook at Barnes & Noble and paid for it with their own money. Luke's first creation was an awesome sandwich, Colby's first was a trifle (Grandma LOVED getting the phone call asking if he could borrow her trifle bowl), and Caleb's first menu item was a big bowl of caramel corn. They have been consistently in the kitchen since... I LOVE IT!!

I was just thinking yesterday of how good God is. He can take our simple stick figure piece of "art work" and make it something so much more beautiful... a masterpiece! He adds all the little detail that we didn't even know was there to be seen. It's something so amazing and exciting to me. I never even thought of all the good that could come from a couple of small ideas, but God knew because He has a plan... Always.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Believe it... or not.

Today was a great day! It was good to just "be" with family. I actually got to experience some of that laziness that I last talked about here on my blog. We hung out at the pool together and then went on to church and dinner.

In other ways, it was also one of those text book "mom days". We got up this morning and found that we had forgotten to bring in our little kitty from outside last night. She started living outside during the day only a few weeks ago. We bring her in at night because we live in the hills where there are things that can hurt her. This cat has been especially good to Colby. She LOVES Colby! Ever since I can remember, Colby and Rosie have had a sweet time of just cuddling first thing in the morning. Colby has always been the one to feed her, give her water and make sure that all her needs were met. So, finding out that she wasn't around this morning was extremely hard. Of course, we tried to reassure Colby that she was probably fine... just out wandering for awhile. She was sure to be back once we came home from our day out.

We arrived back home tonight only to find no trace of little Rosie. The tears started to flow again, and this time they continued all the way up to the moment that I had finally soothed him to sleep all curled up on my lap. Before he fell asleep we talked and we prayed. I told Colby that sometimes God gives us things that make our faith grow. He kept telling me that there was no way he could go to sleep without knowing where she was at. I told him that he COULD go to sleep if he chose to BELIEVE that God was in control of this. We talked about some of the things in my own life that have brought pain and a sense of being hopeless. I shared how in some of these situations I chose to believe in a God who cares for me... and in some situations I didn't. I told him how much MORE it hurts when you choose not to believe. The tears and sobbing settled and he soon after fell asleep.

As I lay there with him sleeping, I started thinking about how I have been in a similar state recently. It's been easy for me to feel overwhelmed with life and the craziness that takes over lately. It's been even easier for me to just give up and say, "I can't do this anymore! I must have some control over this!" God has heard my heart speaking these words silently for such a long while. Even so, He has continued to pull me in. He has called me home to trust in Him... BELIEVE in Him and what He is going to do in EVERY chapter of my life. I was even reminded of this at church tonight. God does what is needed to get our attention. My attention is His and I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE and TRUST!

I know that Colby (as well as Lucas and Caleb) will have many more opportunities to believe. This is just the beginning. In some ways, I feel this is just the beginning in my own life. I pray tonight that God will strengthen us as we choose to believe... whatever the outcome may be.

** If you wouldn't mind, please pray with us regarding Rosie finding her way back home safely. I know it would mean a lot to Colby to know that others are praying about this with him. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The hazy (anything BUT lazy) days of summer....

I'm still waiting for summer. I'm longing for a few consecutive days of laziness. Days to just get up whenever it feels right... do whatever feels good. Of course, waking up without a thick layer of smoke above me would be an added bonus right now. We have been under this thick layer of smoke for about three weeks now. They are starting to say that this could last until fall. YUCK!! We are praying for a miracle in California... RAIN.

Lucas is in the middle of his all-star tournament. They have won two out of three games. They play again tomorrow... it's supposed to be 108 degrees. Once again... YUCK! Colby also leaves for church camp tomorrow. This is the first time that one of my boys has left home without one of us with him for such a long period of time. He seems to be fine about it... unlike me. That leaves Caleb with nothing special of his own, so I arranged for him to sleep over with a friend. This is his first sleep over with a friend by himself. I haven't told him yet because he's the type that will get so excited that he will ask me every hour, "Is it time now, mommy?"

So here I am again, left to pray about some things as I can feel God working in my heart. The other day I was reading from this wonderful book called 'Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World'. This sentence literally jumped at me right off the page. It said this...

"We've been filled with great treasure for one purpose: to be spilled."

As the activity level around here has been out of control and my cravings for "laziness" have been left un-fed I have been feeling sorry for myself. I've been wondering where the time has gone. When did we get on this roller coaster and when do we get off? I have been second guessing every decision we have made regarding having our boys involved in so much. As I've been praying about this though, I have heard one thing spoken to me over and over again.They are involved in what they were meant for. They have each chosen one thing, and with that they have taken off! In these things, God will use them. When I read this sentence that I quoted above I thought about the fact that these boys of ours are being spilled. They have each been filled with treasures all of their own and these treasures are spilling into the lives of those that surround them.

I am praying today that I have the ability to spill positive things into the lives of my children and others that surround ME. I pray that I am able to take the treasures that God has so carefully and purposely put in me and spill them each day... whether it be a busy day or a lazy (even hazy) day.