Saturday, July 31, 2004

What I like about Paul

Five years ago, today, I married a cute fellow named Paul. To celebrate our anniversary, I thought I would publish my "what I like about" list for him. I could think of a lot more things than I have listed here, but this is a good start.

What I like about Paul:
1. He is a good basketball player.
2. He is a great runner.
3. He has cute ears.
4. He is honest.
5. He is a man of his word.
6. He is loyal.
7. He gives great massages. And I don't think he has ever said "no" when I asked for one.
8. When I cry, he wipes the tears away with his fingers!
9. He is slow to anger.
10. He is quick to say he is sorry.
11. He is a great track and cross country coach.
12. He would do just about anything to please me... which can be a fault if I am not careful!
13. He is sweet to his children.
14. He is willing to do silly things with me, like go to a pottery place and paint a piece with me.
15. He is strong. I know that sounds cheesy, but don't a lot of girls like that in their man?
16. He loves God more than he loves me.
17. He knows he has faults and is willing to work on them.
18. He doesn't love money, and isn't attracted to lots of material things.
19. He is willing to do what it takes to follow God's will, even if it isn't popular or easy.
20. He mows the lawn and has NEVER asked me to do it. (And I never have!)


Friday, July 30, 2004

Learning Experiences

are seldom carefree walks in the park. Indeed, they often wound my pride and my ego.

I am thankful for Paul to help me process these things. He gives me a perspective that I usually lack and the encouragement that I usually need.

Friday, July 23, 2004


We have been needing one ever since our old one broke about three weeks ago.  I looked on amazon for one and just didn't think we could shell out that much right now.  Then, in a strange set of circumstances that only God could orchestrate, he provided this - for $25.

Thank you, Lord!

*huh?  click here

Thursday, July 22, 2004

While the husband is away, the wife shall....

Eat chicken.

Yes, it is true.  I have eaten chicken (the real-deal, ON THE BONE chicken) every day this week for lunch or dinner.  It has been fantastic.  One glorious day, when my children are old enough, and we have enough of them, I will make a WHOLE chicken for dinner.  What a lovely meal that will be.  I LOVE CHICKEN! 

Of course, I tried to bake the chicken for dinner on Monday.  It was a package of drumsticks.  But, because it's been so long since I've made any chicken other than nuggets, I had no idea how long to bake it.  Needless  to say, the chicken was not done in time for dinner on Monday night, but we have been eating it ever since. 

In case you are wondering why I am making such a big deal about chicken, I should tell you that I don't fix it often b/c Paul is allergic to it.  Since he has been gone for the week, I have taken this as a rare opportunity to fix chicken.

So, though my week as a single mom has been challenging, one of the highlights has been the chicken.  It's sad that it has come to this, but it is true nonetheless.

To celebrate chicken week, I would like to do another unofficial poll:
Chicken:  white meat or dark meat?

Thank you for reading.  And happy chicken week.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


uninterrupted  :)

Thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

A Challenging Day

Some days as a stay-at-home mom are worse than others. Today was one of "those" days. But, I saw a friend from church at Meijer today and she said she'd pray for me, and that she'd also pray that I would learn from it if that is what God meant it for. I like her a lot. She is a woman after God's heart.

I thought I would share some of the highlights of the day:
-having a "birthday party" with Ms. Boo which included a homemade party hat and a cake (AKA a fruit and grain bar) complete with candles
-singing the huck muck song. the lyrics are "huck muck, huck muck, huck muck..." ... you get the idea.
-eating chocolate chip cookies with my kids
-going for a walk with the kids and letting Mr. Bug actually walk, instead of pulling him in the wagon
-hanging out with Bug while Boo was napping
-reading my Bible
-getting a call from my mother-in-law asking if I wanted her to come over and take the kids for a few hours tomorrow.... uuuh, YEAH!
-getting the news that we will be able to sleep in the same place that we shower and eat on our mission trip next week.
-and, potentially, watching a movie (Emma or Ever After?) without interruption... though it remains to be seen if that will actually happen, I am hoping that it does.
Adoption Update: we have mailed our applications to both the adoption agency and the homestudy agency and begun some of the work of getting the homestudy done. I was surprised by how scared I felt as we got those applications ready.... We are officially in the process of adopting. YIKERS!

Monday, July 19, 2004


Nehemiah was a praying sort of fellow. The first 2 chapters of the book of Nehemiah record him praying at seemingly every turn. In response to the need of his brothers, he wept, mourned, fasted, and prayed (Neh 1:4.) It strikes me that before he even knew how God would have him respond, Nehemiah sacrificed a great deal of his own earthly comfort. Meaning - before any sacrifice of outward service, he gave up much just for the opportunity to hear from God about how he should procede.

Now this strikes me because I often feel quite useless in serving those around me. Though I may know the needs that people have, I rarely seem to know how to meet them. I guess Nehemiah didn't either... but the difference between me and him is that he was willing to fast and pray for several DAYS in order to find out.

I realize how shallow my service is... I do it if it is obvious and easy, but not if it requires much work (or discomfort.)

What also stands out in the first few chapters of Nehemiah is his boldness in approaching the king (2:3-8.) Of course, as he does throughout this passage, he prayed before he did it. But I read that and I think, "where does this boldness come from?" I never seem to have it, and if I do, I usually talk myself out of it.

Jedidiah Blake was back to preach at church yesterday. (Anyone who has the opportunity to hear him should take it. The breadth and depth of his teaching are like nothing I have ever heard before.) One of the topics he taught about was Abraham's boldness in asking God to spare the righteous people of Sodom (Gen 18:16-33.) His explanation of Abraham's boldness was that Abraham was intimate with God: knowing his place, but also knowing God so well as to know what He would desire.

It sounded a lot like Nehemiah, to me.

And so, Jedidiah made the, then obvious, connection by saying that those who are most effective in their service and most bold in their actions are those who are wholly consecrated to God.

I don't know what being wholly consecrated to God would be like, because I have never been that. I DO know that if I was, my life would look totally different, and my ministry would be more effective.

I got so much more out of Jedidiah's message yesterday... the need for more willing intercessors, the correlation between abundant blessing and increasing godlessness, the humility that comes from intimacy with God, and a bunch more. I wish I could share it all here. But, suffice to say that I walked away encouraged that there is much more of God to be had in my life and much more that He desires to do with me if I will let Him.


Sunday, July 18, 2004

My heart

has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
From Higher Ground, by Johnson Oatman Jr.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Hashing it out

Galatians 5:6b says:
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love.

I love God's Word. And, despite this, I don't read it nearly enough. It encourages me and humbles me at the same time. Reading it, I simply feel like "this is where I belong."

I am studying the fruit of the Spirit for the MOPS talk in september. It occurs to me how little I have of said fruit, and how I cannot manufacture it on my own. Of course only the Holy Spirit enables me to produce such fruit. (Thanks be to God who gives us "everything we need for life and godliness" (2Pet 1:3) namely, his Spirit.) Paul makes it clear throughout the book that the sinful nature is completely contradictory to the things of the Spirit. I can only live by one of these things at a time. Either I live according to my sin nature, or I live by the Spirit.

Of course there is a deep and unbreakable connection between living by the Spirit and being in God's Word. When I don't read regularly I become the person I hate - cynical, judgemental, angry, selfish, rude, envious. I get mad at the "world" in this self-righteous sort of way; getting angry about how "they" act and how "they" treat me; getting mad at "injustice" because of how it makes me feel without ever thinking from God's perspective (all sin being an offense against Him.) If I go too long, I am well on my way in a journey toward bitterness - and it seems like that trip always begins at the depot called self-centeredness. Yuck-o.

All the while I keep thinking how nice it would be to spend some time reading my Bible. Praying. (As if that is some lofty notion and can only be accomplished on a remote mountain in Tibet.) What REALLY keeps me from reading: I am not interested in having my flaws revealed. I already know that God's word is "sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Heb 4:12) That's why I don't read it - because I don't want to deal with my junk (filth, actually.) I want to see the filth in everybody else and just sit pretty and think that I am fine. This, of course, is much easier, and a lot less painful.

So, I linger outside the umbrella of God's word, knowing what I should be doing, wanting to do it, but not doing it (The old "I do what I do not want to do" syndrome, as recorded in Romans 7.) I choose sin nature over Spirit because it is easier to stay the way I am than it is to change. (Of course it's raining where I'm standing... and it's beginning to make me crabby, but I try to ignore that.)

But God revealed something to me the other day while I was driving. It ain't earth shattering, but it's timely for me. This is what he said: it is impossible to be in God's will and yet be unwilling to change. I either have to deal with my filth, or resign myself to being outside of His will.

So, I start reading my Bible again tonight. I've been waiting for so long (for WHAT, I don't know) to read it again. And I am reminded that all the "stuff" I do in my day does not matter if it is not done in love.

Now, here is the connection. I have no love when I am away from His word. I cannot manufacture it. Everything, from making dinner for my family (which I generally dislike) to planning for the upcoming mission trip (which is becoming an organizational challenge) DO NOT MATTER because I am not doing them out of love for my family or my church. I am just doing them because I "have to."

Then, the worst part is, I use these (and many other) "have to" chores as my (false?) excuse for not spending time in the word. It is a vicious cycle - and I know it...

Anyway, all of this to say I cannot do this life without the word of God encouraging me and exhorting me AND CHANGING me. I simply cannot do it on my own.

I belong in God's will and His word. I love that belonging. I love HIM!

Oh, that His ways would be my ways.......


Saturday, July 10, 2004

Code Word: Clever

Ms. Boo has been coming up with some doozeys lately. A few days ago, Mr. Bug started crying and I suspected that she'd hurt him. So, I began to question her about it. Here is how it went.

Me: did you hurt him?
Boo: no
Me: did you do something to make him cry?
Boo: I "macked" him
Me: what does that mean?
Boo: I "macked" him
Me: what does that MEAN?
Boo: I just "macked" him
Me: show me what that is...

Ms. Boo proceeds to demonstrate how she smacked him. Interesting how her clever mind is already figuring out ways around things... but there is more

Yesterday, same scenario... only this time they were in the back yard "playing together" when I hear Mr. Bug. He is trying to get into the house, crying wildly, and his shirt is covered with dirt. So, I go to Ms. Boo:

Me: what happened?
Boo: we were playing
Me: why is he crying?
Boo: we were playing, and I gave him the bumpy turtle, but he didn't want it, and he walked over there, so I gave him the bumpy turtle and I went to the sandbox.... and.... and....and (at this point I am not following the story)

Now, we have this little plastic turtle that they play with sometimes, and at this point all I can figure is that she gave him this toy to try to console him after she had somehow hurt him. So, trying to get to the bottom of it, I continue...

Me: why is he crying? did you hurt him?
Boo: I GAVE HIM the BUMPY TURTLE, but he didn't want it!
(Now I am wondering...)
Me: show me the bumpy turtle.

So Ms. Boo takes me over to the sandbox (Which is a turtle shape) and shows me the lid (The inside of which is covered with dirt) and says "Here," pointing to the middle of it. When I ask her what she did with that, she explains how she TRAPPED HIM UNDERNEATH IT and from what I think she is saying, proceeded to hit the top of it! Huh, and to think Mr. Bug didn't want the bumpy turtle!

I discovered another code word today, when Boo told me that she "dogged" Mr. Bug. Which, after interrogation, I determined to be the equivalent of pushing him.

I have to laugh at how clever she is. But man! She can be mean, sometimes!

Maybe I can use this to my benefit. Can't you just hear me now? ... "CUT THAT OUT BEFORE I GIVE YOU THE BUMPY TURTLE!"



Thursday, July 08, 2004


My whole family just went with the Days and got treated to Graeter's ice cream. It was nice to see them again. I miss them.


Crazy thing happened today. Not crazy, but providential. Paul and I took the kids to the Miamisburg library for story time. As we sat waiting for it to start, some people sat behind us. When I turned around, I saw a mother with a little girl.... a little Chinese girl. I smiled, then agonized over how long it took to get through the four books, the movie, the awful puppet show about Pecos Bill and an alien from outer space, and the craft. I just wanted to talk to this lady!

When it was (FINALLY) over, I didn't know what to say because I didn't want to start with something rude like "Is she adopted?" I have no idea what I said, but I was quickly able to share that we would be adopting from China too. We talked for the next 10 minutes and I found out - get this - that they live in our town! She and her husband should be getting a referral for their second daughter some time this month. And she knew someone else from here who just came home with their first. Crazy. She gave me business cards for the agencies they used, her name and phone number, and a name for the support group they attend for families w/ kids from China. Holy schnikeys. It was awesome.

In the mean time, we have no idea how we are going to pay for all of this. It just occurred to us that all the savings/investments we used in calculating our net worth would also have to be used to pay for the adoption process... so the money we have that makes us "worthy" in the eyes of the Chinese government is the same money that will be disappearing as this process goes on! I know, it ain't rocket science, but we really have no idea what we are doing and haven't thought everything through. I feel trapped by all of it. I've never cared much about having lots of money, so having to think this much about where it will all come from is stressful.


Mr. Bug got his first real haricut today. All those beautiful little curls are gone. He looks like a big boy. I like the new look, but I think I liked the curls better.


I am actually beginning to get depressed about how little I understand about world events, politics, etc. The presidential election and the "war" on terrorism are particularly confusing, and seem to be all about spin. Honestly, I don't know who to believe about what, and I feel like a complete idiot when it comes to forming rational opinions about any of it. I have a hunch that no one really knows the real truth and that many who have an opinion haven't really investigated it much beyond what someone else has told them. I don't know which is worse... not having enough sense to figure out the truth, or blindly believing everything that someone else tells you.


I have devised an ingenious method for obtaining retirment security.

Name your child something awful. Make it really bad... worthy of humiliating jokes and lifelong torment.

Doing so will ensure that your child is tortured relentlessly on the playground, in their neighborhood, and anywhere large groups of children are found. Your child will develop such a complex about it that he will spend the rest of his life seeking to right the wrongs he suffered. He will be driven to succeed at everything he does just for the sheer pleasure of one day returning to his tormentors and "sticking it to them" with the story of his success as a (fill in some lucrative profession.) In the mean time, your kid will be so stinking rich that you will be spending your retirment days living in a Florida condo and golfing with your own caddie.

Or not.


I am making another quilt. Enjoying the process. I also finished making a pair of pajama pants for myself. Also quite enjoyable, especially because they fit and are comfy.

In fact, I think I am going to go put those on.

G'nite everybody.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Freak me out... I'm gonna be a mom!

I, along with the rest of my family, am about to embark upon what might be the scariest thing I have ever done. Upon further investigation, it appears that China would likely find our financial situation acceptable and allow us to adopt.


I am almost crying here. I think that having a baby naturally was less scary than this. But, thanks to all of you who prayed. Please continue to pray that the homestudy process, which is long and tedious, would go as smoothly as possible... and that throughout it I would be open to whatever God wants to teach me - however he wants to do it.

I have a journal for each of my children in which I write letters to them every few months. I started them when I was pregnant with each. So, to continue the tradition, I started writing to our newest baby last night. The cool thing is, her mom probably isn't pregnant yet! I get to write to my baby that doesn't even exist yet! Praying for her is even cooler!!!!

My other babies are fantastically precious. Tonight I was making some videotape of Mr. Bug. I asked him where his nose was and he pointed to it. Same with his belly. Then toes. I knew he would know those. Then I asked him where his ear was, thinking it would be cute to see what he pointed to. Well, he pointed to his ear. Then I asked hand, and he got that too. Then he got hair and eye. I didn't even know he knew those. This prompted me to smother him with hugs, kisses, and squeals of "good job, smart boy!" He is just the best.

A few days ago, I was quietly instructing Ms. Boo about proper ettiquette when wearing a dress. After listening for a while she said, "Right, right. I'll remember that."

Well, I still have a lot of other things on my mind, but I don't have the time to get it all down now. One of these days, right?

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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I have nothing to say

I wish I did.