Saturday, November 29, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Perhaps it's the fact that he is my last "baby" (though as those of you who know us know, he has not looked like a baby for a long, long time) but sometimes I hang on every little cute squeaky thing he says. Especially at prayer time. Lately he has been going through these long lists of "thank you"'s each time he prays. At first a few weeks ago I thought, how cute, and then the Lord used it to encourage me at this tough time of year. Here were some of the ones I remember as usuals:
"Thank you for our earth-
Thank you for my toys-
Thank you for my mommy and daddy-
Thank you for my kittens-
Thank you for my friends-
Thank you for our school-
Thank you for Mrs. E....-
Thank you for our world (he switches from earth to world sometimes)-
Thank you for dying on the cross-
Thank you for my sisters (I'm holding him to that one:)-
Thank you for mommy's dinners (that's my boy!)-
Thank you for our house-
There are lots more, and I keep thinking I need to write them down. He comes up with so much!
Then I got to thinking, what am I thankful for?
God's faithfulness and truth.
A husband who is so determined from his heart to love me and the kids.
Children who are so interesting and different. (God's holding me to that one:)
Children who are eager to learn of God.
Friends who are so caring and steady.
The amazing chances we have had to meet lots of people lately and start building relationships to share God's love in any way we can.
For such a quaint small town to do that in.
For the fact that my kids all have great teachers.
For need. I'm thankful for need. It helps me rely on God.
I'm thankful He has placed a great desire for Himself in me that is greater than all other forces and deceptions in my life.
I'm thankful for health.
I'm thankful for my mom and God's faithfulness to her this past year.
For the promises of God, mainly eternity and the awesome prospect of living in His goodness every moment.
What are you thankful for? What theme of gratitude is on your heart this year?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thank you God
For the world so sweet.
Thank you God.
For the food we eat.
Thank you God.
For the birds that sing.
Thank you God
She did not bring this home from Sunday school, or Awana, no. She brought this home from her Public School second grade class.
Praise the Lord for teachers still brave enough to thank God.
I'll be sending her a note of thanks myself.:)
Monday, November 24, 2008
I've been talking to a lot of people who really won't get healthy because they just don't like stuff. I'm not a purist, and as I've said, I gag at bragging about being pure in diet, but if it's in your budget and making your life better why not give it a try. So, I've been trying to narrow down some superfoods that we can afford. I'm tired of life in a bottle or pill so I'm thinking, if I'm going to eat anyway, why not adjust my pallet to the things that I'd supplement to get benefit from anyway. Other wise you end up eating bad (which may cost you a lot to do anyway with processed foods, and pre-packaged, or chemically stabilized etc.) and then spending tons of money on vitamis. I guess you could say I'm looking for a bang for my buck.
This morning I had a weird craving for sardines and crackers for breakfast! What can I say, I walked an hour and was feeling outdorsie. I always keep some sardines for earthquake type emergencies. I pulled some out and then began to wonder if I was killing my diet by having them. I googled it and that's when I started to understand why it was recommended to my dad to eat. Look at this! We women need b-12 a lot, Vitamin D a lot, and Calcium a lot. Look at those levels! 150% of your B-12, 120% of your D, and 24% (some brands have more) for your Calcium! Look on the link at the great fatty acids and omegas too! And it's so cheap! That wedge of lemon looks so good, I think I'll try it next time. BTW, my fears of going off my diet were crazy when I found out that they are helpful in weight loss. Protein in general is needed more in our diets.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I've been thinking a lot about this. You know how sometimes concepts gather in the bucket of your brain one little drop at a time? Well, this one has been dripping for months and I'm thinking' it's getting near the top and wanting to be poured out.
Perspective is such a powerful thing. Now, you may think I'm referring to the perspective of looking though the eyes of faith and having joy in circumstances of life and all that, but I'm not, although that is a great topic for any blog. No, I'm actually talking of physical and psychological perspective.
It's random...let me see if I can just get going and well see where I end up together.
First I've been pondering on the great perspective of God.
Picture yourself standing in a field. Slowly, you lift up into the sky and see not only the field but the lands about you as they slowly form into lots and properties divided by fences or roads. Further on the borders smudge into patters of green and brown, maybe some lakes appear but it all starts to be sections of color hue instead of defined human dwellings. Even further (perhaps you feel like you're on a mental google earth trip:) and huge bodies of blue appear. The brown and greens gather into smaller masses that become visible as continents. Now weather patterns appear and smudge out major sections of the land. Further back the prominent colors of white and blue appear and the definitions of the earth's sphere grow smaller as you fade away. Now it is beginning to change shape as only the sunlit side of earth remains visible and the rest fades into darkness. Speeding up now you whisk past stars and moons until the earth is just a lit spot in the distance. You can guess the progression until you are staring at the massive Milky Way galaxy. God can go even further back than we can define. So, this is where I'll stop.
The more amazing part is this:
From that outer perspective you know the workings and makings of all matter. You saw it on the day it was born and know the very patterns and common sense (at least in your mind) of it's makings. Beautiful clock work. You know the names of all the stars and celestial gatherings and bodies. Now you focus your attention back to earth. You begin to zero back in.
The view is of course just a rewinded order of the view from when you left. But now, as you zero in, you see all the men of earth. Like grasshoppers covering the earth.
"It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in."
Further in you hover over a large city like Los Angeles. The bug analogy works so well as there is so much coming and going. Masses of humanity moving too and fro all wrapped up in their own business. Amid the buildings you see a concrete slab with skittering movement back and forth. It's a group of boys playing basket ball. Your eyes meet one. We come closer and know the exact number of hairs on his head. (Matt 10:30). You hear his thoughts and are aware of the very functions of his brain. Every synaptic moment you oversee. You see inside the core of his being and know the very workings of his inner organs. Every time his heart pumps you hear the sound. You know where he is healthy and where his body weakens. You see when his blood count drops and when outside threats make their way in. You know exactly what he had for lunch and how his body is breaking it down and using it for energy. More than this, you know his every thought and motivation. You have heard every one and taken note of it. In fact you were there when he was born and greater still, when he was conceived. You knew in that moment exactly what characteristics he would have in both personality and appearance. You heard his first thought before anyone knew he was having them, and even he does not know what they were. You know every path his life has taken and every one it will take from that moment on. You know what day his body will stop working. You are just as intimately involved with his death as you were his life beginning. You know all this and as you back out again from the scene, you know the same amazing and intimate detail of each one of those boys there. Even if man were to hear thoughts, he could hardly handle the scattering thoughts of ten men. Yet, you can hear each one and comprehend it, and furthermore you knew what it was going to be before they conceived it. Greater still your perspective becomes as you take in the details of humanity in the whole city. Thoughts, intent (Psalm 94:11) pulsing veins, good and bad health, pregnancy unknown still, cancer unseen, love attracting, anger dividing, deception and good deeds, trusting you and shunning you, believing and blinded, working and resting, eating and starving, joyful and anxious....you see it all. Not only this, but zooming out, you see all who walk upon the earth with such intimate detail. Each one you created with care and saw in the warmth of the womb. You alone heard the first beat of their heart. (Psalm 139:13) Man could never be so acquainted with himself, let alone another in this way and yet you are so intimate with all of humanity. So great is your love and care for man that you went to your greatest pain to save those who would let you save them.
You who are so acquainted and understanding of these "grasshoppers" along the surface of the earth, are just as acquainted with the working details of the universe. You do not have to move focus from one detail to another as man does and therefore not attend to all at once. No, not only can you know like no other through your perspective, you can know all instantaneously.
YET! Neither are you bound by the boundaries of time as man is! You can see all that is and attend to it in every detail in the same moment you see all that was from the dawn of time as it is known, till the end of it.
Because I am unlike God, my perspective is small. I make the habit of thinking His is too, even without realizing it. Just by existing in the way I do. Even my pondering and writing about
it, as I have, does not even comparable to the reality of the greatness of God. Still, I want to stretch my brain constantly out of it's "grasshopper" mentality to remember that my perspective is modest at it's greatest moment.
More on this later. Part two is my thoughts on the complexity of man's perspectives.
If we could understand remotely the hand we fall into when we submit to the sovereignty of God's perspective, we would ache for the joy of doing it again, and again.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I am distraught. I just wrote this whole long blog and was in blaring tears by the end of it and blogger lost it. I feel numb now. How do I pick it up and try again? I don't know if I can.
I grew up not celebrating things. Kids thought I was a JW. We had no Christmas tree and I had no birthday cake or presents. My parents in short grew up in families where presents where given but there were MAJOR issues when it came to actually being a loving family. I think these days put a bad taste in their mouth so they went as far the other way as possible with us. This was a mistake too but what do you do when you're a parent trying to do the best you can and still deal with your own baggage. They both had a lot of baggage. I'm absolutely certain I don't know the half of it all.
All I knew is that I could not understand why we didn't celebrate things the way other people got to. I would wake up on Christmas morning and lay in my bed wondering what wonderful family fun everyone was having. My dad would read the story from the bible over breakfast but that was it. Perhaps this is why I've developed an acute radar to legalism and tend to error on the side of having too much fun and sugar. :) I also grew up with no sugar and no white flour so don't get me started on my "finger gagging my mouth" attitude when people become so self-righteous about their purist ways either. Oh... better stay off that rabbit trail. The one birthday I do remember when I was five or six, my candle was on a plate. A plate. Melted to a plate. I blew a candle out on a plate. That was the last one I remember even having a candle. So, forgive me if I don't want to go down those trails again. I'm a passionate believer in moderation and even though we humans will fail at keeping it, I would rather keep striving for it than the alternative.
There was one day out of the whole year that was special. One. It was Thanksgiving. My mom would cook the big meal with it's southern flair (my family is from Indiana and Kentucky with roots in the south). Turkey, dumplings, cornbread stuffing, green beans with a spoon of bacon grease, 7-up salad, sometimes yams, a big green salad, and pumpkin pie. Oh, and that ridiculous can of cranberry sauce so lacking the originality the rest of the meal had. My mom would plop it out like jello onto a plate and then slice along the can impression lines. :*
It was a good day. My dad loved the food, my mom knew he loved the food and put her heart into it. The house would be clean and my dad would light the wood stove. There would be candles and music and warmth.
That day as I always knew it died when dad died. Last year I did all the cooking from scratch. It was my first time since we always went to mom and dad's for Thanksgiving. It was kinda "their holiday" since it was really the only one they ever did. When Rick and I were engaged we had our first Christmas in my bedroom with a little tree. I was not allowed to put it in the living room. Funny, because after Princess came, they started having a tree (they started with a few mini ones with lights around them and then worked their war up to the traditional one with ornaments and everything). I try not to think about it....more baggage. I'm sure I'm giving my kids their own baggage. As long as it's different baggage right?! :* Oh, dear. Anyway... I kept myself busy with cooking so I did not have time to think about the change. And it was at my house so it was very different. Thanksgiving as I had known it no longer existed and I seemed to be focused on a new version of it that was distracting enough to get through. I do remember just wanting to get it over with and hated that I felt that way about it. There was no alternative though. Probably the next morning one of the first things I said was "let's get the Christmas tree out!". I was anxious to move on. Christmas was "ours" and that was normal and comforting. It had not changed because dad had never been into it. This year my mom wants to have Thanksgiving back at her house. All of a sudden I'm panicked about it. I don't know if I want to sit around the table and feel the void. I'm proud of her though, because I know she does not want to even more than me and she is being brave to make a big step. Even that scares me. Will I have the energy to be strong for her? It means ignoring my own feelings to do so and I think I'm more scared of having to do that than giving into them. It takes more energy to push down pain to be there for someone else than it does to give into it and release sadness.
Scott will not be with us this year either. He is only coming home for Christmas. So there will be a double void and I just don't know if it will be too much.Thanksgiving was dad. Mom was in the kitchen all day and dad was outside with us usually getting out the guns and doing dome target practice. When the grand kids came, it was them following him around the yard saying "Papa?" this and "Papa?" that. Pushing them on the swing out back in the tree, raking leaves, just being with him. He hardly ever stopped for life. This day he seemed to. What do you do when that's gone? I feel like the little girl on "The Grinch" only my heart is singing "where are you thanksgiving, why can't I find you? why have you gone away?"
Change is hard. Sometimes you cannot change something. You can only re-define it. It can never be what it once was, it has to become something new. You don't like the new. You hate it. You wish it would just go away completely but the world around you says it's still there so you try to work it out. You try to make it something new and special for the kids. You wish they could have had it the way you had it. You don't want them to have it this way.
I may dread it again this year. I may be glad with it's over. I may not be able to apologize for feeling that way. I may not be strong enough. I may not know what to do with myself. I may cry. I may try not to cry. I may be awkward the whole time seeing my mom try not to cry. I may make small talk. I may hate the small talk. I may walk outside and only hear the wind and wish I could hear the familiar scuffing of work boots coming up behind me with some new ingenious invention to entertain the kids on this once lovely day.
I know what I will do. I will be thankful for each one I love with me now. I will also pray for hearts akin to mine.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
It's just thin ham, hummus, lettuce and sliced cucumber. A little bit of comfort in a world of self deprivation!
The hummus serves the creamy that the cheese and mayo would give and the cucumber gives a lot of moisture. I personally had it on TJ's flourless multi-grain bread which is my favorite.
It would be good with a cooked portabella too but I don't buy those usually.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Also, I have been asked by a few friends how I do my beans. The recipe is in the Cupboard.
OH, and you have to check this out...it's so cool!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I've been blogging for many years now. I have noticed how complicated blogging can become though lately. I want to take on things but then come to that point where it's just better to simplify. I've also got some new outlooks on blogging after some disgust with myself, some life lessons on my heart from God, and some observations on the trends in blogging.
So, on the outside, the blog just got simple again. I put the blogs that I actually do still go to from time to time, though even my blog reading time has shortened a great deal.
On the inside, I have a new outlook on blogging. I want my freedom back so I'm scrapping the blog themes except for the Saturday one that I'll get to when I have a relevant report. I'm also resolving to tell life how it is from my perspective, things I'm learning, or things we are doing and let go of this great trend of blogging to convince people who come by of anything. I'm a very passionate person for the the things I believe, and when the Lord moves me in a certain direction I take it on fully and tend to want everyone to follow. I'm learning to take some steps back and realize that He is working on me and my family and the rest is not my job. I have had a hard time the last few months sharing what we have been going through in life but trying to keep the delicate balance between sharing and blaring. I think there is a lot of blaring going on in blog land and I'm starting to tire of it myself. It has made me see it in myself and I want to wash up before moving on. I was getting so fed up with it for a few weeks I even considered stopping blogging all together. I was so annoyed with how opinionated people were and then realized that I'm easily perceived as opinionated myself. The only way to avoid the soap box is to share but not preach. So, that's just going to be the new trend here at SFE. Thanks for bearing with me as I try too often to start some revolutions. I will still be passionate about what God is showing me, and what we are up to, and I think I should be, it's our calling, but I'll be use more "me" and less "we". This may be the only regard when it should be "all about me" instead of "all about we". Does that make sense? If I lost you, I'm' sorry.
I'm so tired tonight! I had other thoughts on this regard but I'll have to try again another time.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Anyway, Rick was reading many stories but one of them was of Samson. I guess I really just don't think about the story that much but really, have you ever thought about that story? It really seems like a fable in many ways. I can even swallow the Jonah (ha, ha) story better than this one. Don't get me wrong, I believe it's true for one reason, I BELIEVE the Bible to be 100% truth. Those thing that seem impossible are tiddly winks to what God is capable of. Just for fun though lets review the real Mr. Incredible for a moment.
-He captured 300 foxes:
Note: Incase you did not notice, I'm not doing blog themes lately. I have not had that much time to blog.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I've been working on this but wrote it the day after the election.
Heavy Hearted Hope
My hope is in you, my position secure,
My outcome foretold and strong to endure,
No wind can dare move what you have in place,
No darkness can hide the light of your face.
Ages may pass and men may lay plans,
But his every move, is your slight of hand,
Power and victory which none can attain,
Are wrapped up completely in your holy name.
So, tremble my heart for a moment today,
As men fall to blindness and further decay,
Find joy in the morning- all is in right,
When You show Your glory, Your power, Your might.
For even the workings of those who rebel,
You turn in submission of all being well-
Though seeing your truth so distasteful to men,
Does bring me to sadness again and again.
The roaring of masses caught up in deciet,
May run a chill from my head to my feet,
I weep for your word so strongly rejected,
A land where your statutes are quickly neglected-
But Your hand is steady; your way is straight,
I'm called to trust you and patiently wait-
For man is but mist and the fading of grass,
But Your Word was first, and it shall be last.
Finding my footing I'm filled with a joy,
It's power I'm certain I need to employ,
Growing my passion to blaze brighter still,
As shadow around is pressing it's will.
May I not shame you by covering my light,
But let it be boldened and evermore bright-
Heavy with purpose instead of with fear,
A longing to seek you and draw ever near.
Kingdoms and men will still fall and rise,
You hold them up and cause their demise-
Doing my part, I'll stand for your name,
Though here and now it may bring me shame-
Eternity waits and it's victory I feel,
It fills me with triumph this cannot steal-
You who hold all will keep ever steady,
This servant, this witness whose standing here....ready.
Alicia November 5th, 2008
(please do not copy or forward)
Friday, November 7, 2008
I've been all over the board emotionally this week. Pensive would be the big one about my country. Totally joyful in trusting God and excited that I'm SURE He is stirring us up to "such a time as this". I can almost feel the wind begin to blow harder. I'm excited about that as the wind started blowing in my own life over two years ago and the stirring of the Holy Spirit in my soul has changed me forever. I look forward to further stirring, further banishing of fear, and further passion to be salt in a culture that is in decay. I look forward to seeing this happen to many move believers as their lives are challenged. I look forward to seeing us not hide and wait for the coming of the Lord, but be engaged AMONG the pagans as it says in Peter. I've been encouraged reading first and second Peter. 2 Peter 2 is telling of the times. I was listening to Focus on The Family the day before election day as I painted the girls room. It was sobering and excellent. Here is the link. It was called "For Such a Time As This".
NO WAY! I just posted this link on my facebook status and this was the set of code words (usually random) given me to allow my link to be put up : "vigilant revival".
No, way...too weird....
Saturday, November 1, 2008
There is a lot going on this week. My kids have early days and then four days off. We have the election stuff, and parent teacher conferences. On top of this I will be painting the girls room. I'm really excited to share when it's put together. I think some of you who were scared of my ideas will be relieved. :)
I have fun pictures from Halloween too but will be back next weekend to share those.
I hope you all will go out and be as American as you can be....vote!
May God Bless these United States, and may He stir our hearts toward Him.