Monday, November 30, 2009

Santa or no Santa?

Santa or no Santa; that is the question. Before the kids were born we had decided that we would not follow the tradition of Santa primarily because it meant lying to the kids. If we lied about Santa, would the kids believe us when we told them about Jesus? This has cause much dismay among the grandparents and countless family arguments but we have stood our ground. This year Josiah has been quite curious about the story of Santa and the traditions that go with it. He has lamented that Santa does not visit our house but he visits others. Despite our truth telling in the way the whole Santa thing works, Josiah actually believes in Santa! How did that happened? I have no idea. In any case, it has brought to light some retrospect on my part. I grew up with Santa and it was magical. To this day I still getting teary eyed when I watch movies about Santa Claus. He was such a wonderful part of my childhood. I do however remember when my parents told me the truth and I was distraught. I didn't want that to happen to my kids but I fear we have done it in the opposite way. They understand the reason for Christmas; the greatest gift that God could give humanity lying in a manger. And yet it seems that no matter how hard we try, the focus returns to what presents will I get? So we are going to prayerfully seek the Lord's guidance in how to handle traditions this holiday season. The goal is to follow in God's example as a humble servant, to demonstrate to fellow man love and mercy and to be generous as God has so graciously been generous to us. The question is how do we do that in a way that a 7 and 5 year old will understand.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Cup Runneth Over

This has been a remarkable week. We have seen God's mighty hand in so many areas of our lives and our friend's lives that my heart is bursting at the seams.

We had been concerned for months that the upcoming social security hearing would be a stressor for another MS episode so I was meeting regularly with a psychiatrist and a good friend that is a psychologists to try to give me a good perspective on this whole thing and to give me some tools to keep my stress levels low. I was doing well but I knew that if anything I would more than likely ruin all the hard work the night before by stressing so much that I don't sleep which would then cause me to be susceptible to any virus I came in contact with. I have done this several times before so I know what I am talking about. But just as I was starting to feel the waves of worry and doubt and concern sweep over me, I happened to check my facebook page and saw a status update for one of the moms from the homeschool co-op.

I have known Julie for about 2 years and in that whole time she has had an oxygen tank connected to her to help her breathe. I don't know the whole story but I know her lungs were weak and in trouble. These last two months have been especially precarious and we have been diligently praying for her healing. Julie has been on the lung transplant list for some time so when I read on her update that there may be some lungs available, I was overjoyed. There was a link to her blog and from that point on, my stupid little hearing didn't seem so important. What a great joy it was to read the continuing updates as she was prepped for surgery and then the lungs were a good match, she was in surgery and is now out breathing on her own. Before we went to bed that night we prayed for Julie and her family and I realized that not only was God blessing her but He was keeping me from causing myself to become ill. I was so thankful and enthusiastic for Julie that I forgot about myself. We prayed earnestly for the family that had suffered the loss to allow Julie to live and we rejoiced and praised God for His perfect timing. It has been glorious!

Monday morning was the long anticipated social security disability hearing for me. We had been prepped by my attorney that it would take 1-3 months for a written decision to arrive in the mail. The only time a decision comes from the bench is when the client is there with a drool cup or as a quadriplegic. You'll have to take that statement with a grain of salt because he is a lawyer and a little prone to dramatics. The point is that getting a ruling from the bench is highly unlikely. After a couple of questions, the judge stopped and began to write a bunch of things and then asked to be put on the record and he began to dole out his decision from the bench! I was in complete shock. Isn't it like our great God to give us answers when we think none are to be had. The judge ruled that I was unable to work full-time and was indeed to be classified as disabled and awarded whatever social security benefits that I was entitled to. He then said to have a nice life and adjourned the case. The analyst from the social security office never even had a chance to question me or try to prove my capabilities at working full-time. Again, it was glorious!

After the hearing I had three doctor appointments so Dustin was like my chauffeur that day. At the first appointment we ran into a dear friend who let us know that a family member of his was receiving a newborn baby boy to adopt. Another moment of rejoicing! It was beginning to be too much for this fragile heart to handle. In so many ways God is moving mightily on behalf of His people. I see His fingerprints everywhere. And it dawned on me that this all happened the beginning of the Thanksgiving weekend. We have much to be thankful for. And even if God did not move in all those ways, we would still have much to be thankful for. For our God is a Living God. He paints the sky for us each day, sets the stars out for us to wonder at, He creates life and gives us love, and He even gives us these weak tents, made in His image, to live in so that we can see the work of His hands. Oh how glorious the love of the Father is for us that He would calls us his children, wholly and dearly loved.

It reminded me of the Nichole Nordeman song, Gratitude:

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
What we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please . . .

Sunday, November 22, 2009


A dear woman in our homeschool co-op is getting a long awaited new lung. Please pray for Julie.
You can also follow her blog
I am so excited for her family I can hardly stand it. He is so good!

Home Alone

The night before the kids left for grandma's house, I was overcome with sadness. A majority of my day is spent in direct relation to their needs and wants and the keeping of our home. It suddenly hit me that I don't know what to do with myself if they are not around. I had been looking forward to this time alone with my husband but for a brief moment at the setting of the sun the night before their departure, I became panicked.
The one thing I miss the most when they are gone is laughter. There is a stark difference in the feel of the house when they are away. It is quiet and still, bland and dull, lacking zest and just plain appealing. The house may stay cleaner but it certainly isn't the warm and cozy place we love when the kids are here. Dustin and I are pretty quiet people and yet God gave us these two very loud, energetic, hilarious kids. They certainly spice up our lives.
Dustin and I our first day together alone. We cleaned up a little bit, walked around downtown Ventura, coked a mean meal and enjoyed fellowship at our church for prayer. But it was weird to get out of the car and not have to herd little people to the curb. And it was really weird to take communion at church this morning and not have a child in our arms as we explained why we partake in the bread and juice. This afternoon we went through the kids toy boxes and made some room for newer toys that will arrive for Christmas. I just miss the quirky comments the kids make and how they make me laugh.
Tomorrow is a full day of appointments. We have my social security hearing and then two doctor appointments. The kids keep calling and leaving long messages about how much fun they are having. What a beautiful thing to have a close relationship with grandparents. Something that I miss out on. So I am joyfully setting my face to the Lord and enjoying my time with my husband knowing that what my kids are gaining is far better than me just missing them. Maybe I should see if Dustin will tell me some knock-knock jokes in the interim. ;)

Saturday, November 21, 2009


You may notice a tiny map near all the ads. I just added it to see where people are that read my blog. I love how small the world seems when using the computer. Although I do not expect there to be many red dots on it from readers, I thought it would be fun nonetheless. I got it from Sally Clarkson's blog. She has 40,000 people just inthe US that read her blog! Crazy. Anyways, she has a fantastic blog and you can read it at

Saturday, November 14, 2009


The last several months have been exciting and difficult at the same time. Exciting in that we see God at work in many areas and difficult in that some of those areas God was showing us beliefs or habits that needed to be changed. There has been confession and repentance and transformation and abundance. In that order! What a beautiful thing it is to see that God is continually working to complete His work in us. Don't get me wrong, a couple of weeks ago I would not be able to have written this blog with a joyful attitude because the sin that God had brought to light were painful. But now, now that we have been forgiven and set free from bondage, we are rejoicing. Recently our pastor challenged the body to fast for Advent.
I know I was like, what? Advent? What is Advent? (I am probably the only one who didn't know.) Anyways, from November 29-December 24, we are going to corporately fast in whatever way God directs us to. To tell you the truth, I was afraid to ask God what He would have me to give up. I'm selfish! Gimme a break. After my panicked heart settled down I knew that I had to rise up to this challenge because I know my God and He wants me to want Him more. So I began to pray and seek what God would have me to give up. Surprisingly enough, the answer came quite quickly. I am going to give up my Friday and Saturday night TV time with Dustin so I could be in the Word more. We have viewed Friday and Saturday our date night since we watch our favorite TV shows online. It is a time that I have jealously guarded. And then I heard my sweet Lord calling me to be with my true groom, Jesus Christ.

With that settled I no longer feel anxious but am excited about the wonders and treasures God will show me. Funny thing is, I thought that wasn't enough to give up and began to let God know that I would give up all movies and TV for that time to make it harder and more dramatic. And once again, my sweet Lord reminded me that He did not ask me to give up those things. He asked me for a very specific time and days. To make it more would be for my glory rather than His. Isn't it like us humans to blow things out of proportion. I am so glad that God is ever patient with me. I am really looking forward to this fast. I am excited to see the way God will not only grow Dustin and I but also how he will grow our church body as well.

Pray for us. Pray for First Baptist. Pray for Ojai. Pray for revival.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Naomi update

Naomi continues to do well. Her skull has remained where it should be. We are currently visiting the chiropractor two times a week to keep her first vertebrae in line. It continues to slide out of alignment since the muscles were holding it wrong for so long. But the treatments are being needed less and less. Another wonderful praise is that God is miraculously providing through Dr. Plaut (our chiropractor). He has been so gracious to give us free visits. It is very hard for me to accept and I have been humbled more than once to just accept it and allow God to be God. Ouch. We just keep praying for healing for her and thankfulness to God for His mighty work.