Wednesday, July 31, 2013


"Let patience have it's perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. "

~ James 1:4


It's a word that I have heard about since the time I was old enough to understand words themselves. When I was small (okay, insert short people joke here), I heard about being patient when waiting at a doctor's office, or in line for my favorite ride at Disneyland. As I became older, it became a word that I was often reminded of when I was waiting to hear if I got a part in a play, or the solo that I wanted in a performance. Sometimes the word would resonate through me as I waited to see what direction relationships would go in. In any of these cases, patience was NOT my forte. Patience was something that I knew a LONG time ago needed to be refined in me.

Sometimes it can take some pretty extreme circumstances to teach character in a person. The Lord has known even longer than I have that patience is a trait that I somehow needed to learn more about. There have been a few life circumstances that I believe He has used to draw me in and teach me about patience. Without going into each one of them, I will just say that most of these circumstances have included loss. Loss of life, loss of relationship, loss of monetary things. Loss can and I believe WILL teach us much about being patient. In the process of waiting each of these times, I have felt that God has changed me, and therefore my relationship with Him has changed.

Perfection and completion.

Am I perfect? Am I complete?

Hmmm... No.

I don't get to acquire either of these until I come face to face with Jesus. Am I MORE perfect and complete though?

I believe I am. I believe that through these life circumstances I have grown. A lot. I see things much differently now. I see being patient as an opportunity for more refinement. I see it as a time for more connection with the Lord, and the people here that I love so much.

The reward has always come too. There is always a big pot of gold at the end of the long waiting spell. Not that I need the reward. I really don't. I see enough reward in the fulfillment of my personal relationship with Jesus. BUT... He rewards me with fulfilling the desires of my heart.

Always. In His perfect time.

As I continue to travel through this life, I am confident that I will continue being challenged in the area of patience. It's my area. I am thankful for the growth that I am seeing within, but I know I am not finished yet.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Beautiful, Majestic Mountains!

Last week we took a family trip. We loaded up the van... Three boys, three dogs, and two adults (it was one VERY packed van) ... And headed up into the mountains for the week.

We took more books, games and fishing gear than we did clothing. We "roughed it" in a gorgeous cabin at the base of Mt. Lassen. The start of every day was coffee and fruit. Then, we quietly made our way to the van and crept out of the driveway at the wee hours of the morning to go out and catch "The Big One".

Oh, and did we EVER! All three of the boys caught their limit every day. We ate Rainbow Trout for dinner every night last week, and we brought plenty home to share with loved ones and stock our freezer. I'm really excited about trying some recipes that include smoked trout. YUM!

The best part about it was just the togetherness though. I prayed for weeks leading up to this trip that we would just have a sweet time of connection before starting yet another school year. The Lord heard my requests, and He provided more than what I could have even imagined!!

I witnessed a new bond taking place between Lucas and Colby. The kind of bond shared between brothers, but this time brothers who will now share the high school experience together. Lucas is so good at being just the right amount of goofy and wise to pull a younger brother under his wing. Colby has grown so much himself this year that I can sometimes even see him pull Lucas under his own little wing. Hard to put into words, but so very neat.

Caleb and his daddy have always shared a unique bond, and this week that bond was further strengthened by Caleb's obsession with fishing! Caleb prayed FOR WEEKS..... EVERY day that he would catch fish. It almost became something to be concerned about. The boy couldn't get enough information in his mind about the sport and all there is to know about it. He was web searching, library hunting, and bait and tackle shopping until we just couldn't take it anymore. His daddy was right beside him the whole time, sharing in his excitement the whole way.

Finally, his time came.

Oh, if I could just even TRY to explain to you the smile on that boy's face upon pulling that first fish up out of the water!! He went on to catch the rest of his limit in a matter of only an hour! The joy that flooded his heart (and then mine) is indescribable. His brothers tried to share in his joy, but their faces were more clearly that of envy. I quickly had to remind him that it was Caleb that did all that praying... And God just kept leading those fish straight to Caleb's bait. In the end, Lucas and Colby caught theirs too, and life was good.

I received daily reminders of how GREAT our GOD is from that beautiful mountain. From the creeks that flowed abundantly to the brightest green expanse of gorgeous meadows, the MAJESTY of our Creator was around every bend. At times, I found a lump in my throat as I became overwhelmed with everything around me. Not just the tangible things.... More importantly, the things not tangible.

It was a blessed week. One that was prayed for, prayed about and prayed upon. The bounty that came home with us will stay with us and be a part of who this family is for a lifetime.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Routine.... And other things.

Summer is not supposed to be about routine. It is supposed to be about the opposite of routine. And yet, for me...... Routine is what makes my heart beat so steadily. Routinely.

Why is routine so important to me anyhow? What is so life giving a out knowing what to expect next? I've given a lot of thought to this lately, but I haven't come up with any concrete answers.... Just theories.

The important thing here is that routine is important to me, and yet this summer my ship is is getting totally rocked by a small-ish, soft and cuddly, perfect in almost every way little thing named 'Chief'. He is the new addition to our family. Yes, the zoo has expanded AGAIN! J has this idea that if a boy wants his own dog, then he should have his own dog. He should be well informed of every new responsibility that is coming his way, but he should be given the reigns of accepting full responsibility for another life. I agree with my hubby, but it comes at a much greater cost to me.

I am here every day. I do not leave. I am the supervisor over the supervisor of the new pup. I am the one that goes out and hunts for the miracle product that is going to make housebreaking a puppy an overnight process (no such product..... Don't believe anything that anyone tells you). I am also the one that gets up with the head CEO in the wee hours of the morning to make sure the pup is let out of his crate to relieve himself in the back yard. It seems that Caleb is developing his "daddy ears" during bedtime hours just fine.

BUT..... I am also the one that gets to witness this young boy of mine become the nurturer he was made to be. He is the youngest. He hasn't had anyone to nurture until now. I must say.... It is the sweetest thing to watch. I tell him everyday that he is the best "puppy daddy" I have ever known. This boy LOVES his "child"..... Deeply.

Routine is what a puppy's life is all about too. His routine doesn't match mine at the current moment, but I have to respect the fact that he has one that he feels needs to be followed. I also find pleasure in educating my son on the importance of it all. I wouldn't consider myself to be OCD about it, and I certainly wouldn't want to instill thoughts so strongly on the subject to my son that it sends him in that direction, but I do think a healthy dose of routine is just one of the things that makes life so grand.

I will find my routine again. Chief and I will soon meet in the middle. The chaos of this present day will be behind us, and it will become another memory to add to the vault.

Today I am trying to have a "go with it" kind of attitude. I guess y could say I am adding this new attitude to my daily routine.... For now.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wide Awake!

At the early hour of 6:30am this morning it was just me.... And David (Crowder, that is) pounding the pavement. With the recent heat wave making it's way through our area, the temperature outside was already 84 degrees at 6:30am!

Gonna be a warm one today... Again.

It's funny how your senses come alive when you seem to be all alone. With the exception of a few cars here and there leaving for their work day, and the big garbage truck traveling through the neighborhood, there is nobody around.

The birds are all busy though. Their voices are loud and full of cheer. I haven't heard or seen them much during these hot days. I wonder where birds go when it gets so hot? Makes me think I should get a bird bath for the back yard... Poor birds.

The hum of air conditioners buzz throughout. There aren't many open windows today. Just a lot of tightly closed homes with dollar signs adding up behind their doors as the artificial cool breezes flow from their vents inside. Yes, the bank account will be happy when this heat wave leaves us.

The air is thick and heavy this morning. We aren't used to that here, but it immediately takes me back to another time in my life. My mind starts to wander back to childhood in the Midwest. Damp days is what summer is all about back there. You take a shower only to step outside and feel like you've just stepped back into the shower! Yuck!! As I continue on my trek, I realize that my clothes are soaked. It feels good though... There's something about sweating it out that feels SO DARN GOOD!

I gaze down the street and think to myself, "Will anyone see me if I run through those sprinklers?" They look so inviting! I decide not to run through them, but I walk close enough to the edge of their lawn to hopefully catch a little bit of the misting.

It will be another scorcher today, but my day has started beautifully. It has started with a feeling of my spirit being awake in every possible way.

I couldn't ask for more.