Happy Birthday to Kyle!

We celebrated Kyle’s birthday on Saturday. I forgot to take pictures until after dinner, so I just have a few.

20140113-072817.jpg

20140113-073057.jpg
What you get when you say: “Smile Paul!”

20140113-074949.jpg
Teaching boys to make music with the ROOT beer bottle.. :)

20140113-073151.jpg
Pre-crop.

20140113-073304.jpg
Playing Suspend with the younger half.

Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Five Minute Friday: Reflect

Five Minute Friday

I haven’t written anything in weeks, but by chance, or providence, I checked Lisa-Jo’s blog before I went to bed, after chatting with my husband who has been in her part of the country, McLean/Vienna area, for work this week. Flying out of Dulles to Missouri tomorrow. I can’t wait.
And it’s made me:

Reflect

Start

I have been a quasi-single parent for 66 hours and have about 18 hours to go, not that anyone’s counting or anything.;)

The first day or so went well; speech and debate, nearly 60 degree weather. Super! I can decide everything: evening activity, bedtime, my evening plans.

Then came another beautiful day and with it, the threat of bad weather coming, so we rush to get everyone out of the house to stock up on groceries before church yesterday. Not so cool.

Mom gets a slight bit grumpy and by the time we got the probably 100+ pounds of food in the house and younger ones ready for bed and their room was a wreck. She may have said that they couldn’t put their new Norfolk pine in their window seat because they were goofing AND, it was too late to talk to Dad on the phone and have prayer time.

Then she was completely convicted by a five-year-old who was heartbroken and asked if he could pray and read Bible. I asked his favorite verse. “The Lord is my Shepherd one,” he whispers in the late night dark.

So, I texted my sweet, forgiving husband and ask if he’ll call. The youngest three were so blessed, as was I. The older ones were too, I’m sure, they just didn’t make their relief so obvious.

Evening saved. Mom forgiven. All was well.

I told my husband this evening, after the sleet and snow started coming and the temperature dropped to the low 20s, that being in charge was not all it was cracked up to be. He graciously (and wisely) and warmly, in the 60 degrees in Virginia, replied that he was glad I understood that.
(So, we’ve had a few discussions lately about decision-making, planning, etc.)

I’m grateful for the chance to reflect on our family, leadership and blessings. I am more than exhausted from being on diabetes duty at night, which is another huge, huge, huge gift my husband gives to me.

I am praying for all of the moms who are alone all or much of the time for different circumstances. Blessings to you.

Psalm 23 (KJV)

1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Five Minute Friday: True

I’ve been pretty sporadic about writing anything lately and really appreciate the Five Minute Friday prompts and thought tonight’s was appropriate.
Thanks for reading!

Five Minute Friday

True

I need to spend my time thinking about what is true.

~I am loved. I am loved by God, His Son and my family.
~I am enough. God gave me to my husband and children and they to me.
~I am capable. God hasn’t called me to be perfect, but to persevere and be diligent in what I have been given to do. Diabetes, Celiac, large-family mothering, homeschooling.
~God is faithful. In all things. He will be with me through the every days, good and bad.

My default is low self-esteem, the Eeyore-type personality. I am quick to give up or not even start, and them beat myself up for failing. Again.

I must remember what is true.

I heard an “Ask Pastor John” podcast with John Piper this evening and he said (not quoting directly here), that we must start off the day asking for the Lord’s help and strength.

Yes. Yes.

20130926-231537.jpg
Me, my six and my mom picking pears at her friend’s house Sunday evening.
(Photo by the Blog Engineer.)

Philippians 4:8 (NIV, 1984)
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Five Minute Friday: Friend

Joining in with my Five Minute Friday post at Lisa-Jo’s.

Start.

I had a discussion with a friend at church on Sunday about friends. First, our children’s, then ours. She and I both felt that we had lots of really nice acquaintances, but not a best friend. She said she had always wanted one, but The Lord had not provided one. I agreed. Our conversation was not filled with bitterness, just twinges of sadness mixed with regret. People have moved in and out of our lives through different churches and experiences and while the friendships were nice at the time, none have stuck for a lifetime.
I said that I didn’t feel particularly tied to our city for that reason. I have lived with some minor fear of moving. I really never have, except for the two hours from my home town to this city for college. Kyle moved here from the east coast after he graduated and we’ve been here for 21 plus years. What does God have planned for us?
I feel that the lack of women friends has certainly made me lean on my husband more and he on me. Trying not to do the co-dependent thing, just enjoying life together.
Stop.

href=”http://praylovelearn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/20130425-234320.jpg”>20130425-234320.jpg

Me and my BFF.

Proverbs 17:17 (KJV)
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Jump

Writing again for the Five Minute Friday community.

Jump

What did I jump into in this life?
Lover of Jesus. Check.
Marriage. Check.
Motherhood. Check.
Homeschooler. Check.
Official carb-counter and insulin giver. Check.
Gourmet gluten-free chef. Check.

Many titles. Some for real, some in jest. All part of this life I made a jump for. Time to pray, asking The Lord for help with these titles, this life I am living. Loving, caring, being with my family. Learning to serve others better.

So glad I made the jump.

Stop

20130418-234400.jpg

Kyle took this “jump” photo of Mommy and Paul being photographed by Adam.

Psalm 106:1 (NKJV)
“Praise the Lord!
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.”

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Remember

Remember
Start

I remember those early days, both 18. He headed off to school at the end of the summer, on the coast, me staying in the state.
In the dark ages of the late ’80s and early ’90s, pre-cell-phone, texting, even e-mail for me. Expensive, rare calls and lots and lots and lots of mail.
Four-and-a-half of those before marriage, then that number again of early marriage. So quiet, not necessarily productive, just normal work, too much t.v., some travel.
Then, I remember feeling those somersaults of someone inside and nudging my husband to feel. The late night hiccups, just as I was falling asleep. Sometimes late night boxing matches, at least it felt like it.
Then I remember the day that first boy was born, two ounces shy of 11 pounds.
I remember the look on my husband’s face when he finally met someone he was related to.
I have much more to remember, but those early days with him seemed so long and short and I am looking forward to many more years.
End

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Five Minute Friday

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Five Minute Friday: Home

Five Minute Friday

Home:

Home is where they are. Those seven who melt me, make me crazy, humble me, get me out of my introverted comfort or uncomfort zone. Those seven.
We homeschool. My husband has worked from home for nine months now. Crazy. We are all together and that’s the way some days are. Just crazy. I couldn’t imagine anything else, most days. Some days, I have to admit the exhaustion the noise. THE NOISE!!! Five boys! It can get chaotic. But then I think, what are the options? Though I may crave a break, I just couldn’t imagine not being all together.

I, the mommy, who had packing on the brain and needed to get home to leave for the big city, doesn’t appreciate what I have, two afternoons ago laughed and told the dental hygienist that she must’ve drawn the short straw to get both of the younger boys. They are like puppies, best friends and very talkative and silly at times.
She, patient and sweet lady that she is, who calls them her friends, got an almost horrified look on her face and said, “Oh, No! They are blessings!”
Ouch! Convicted. I am writing her an apology letter.

She is right. I am home. At the dentist’s office, in a hotel now. God is so good to be and I need to be grateful for the hominess of my home.

Stop

I was on a roll and went the phone went boing, I couldn’t stop, so I went about 90 seconds over.

Proverbs 20:7 (ESV)
The righteous who walks in his integrity—
blessed are his children after him!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here (Lisa-Jo’s blog) and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Five Minute Friday: Ordinary

20130301-222449.jpg

Five Minute Friday

Ordinary

Ordinary. What is ordinary? I would imagine that everyone has their own, personal definition of ordinary. My definition has changed over the years, from childhood to college to married life to working to motherhood.

Now, an ordinary day includes being at home, all eight of us, working, homeschooling, living. Last year, there were seven of us at home 24/7. Now is definitely better, more ordinary.

2013 has brought some unordinary, unexpected health trials for some in our family. Yesterday, I was expecting to get ordinary test results back for one child, but they were very unordinary.
I mourned for the afternoon, the loss of one more ordinary, normal thing.

So I pray more and hope that these prayers will be answered in an ordinary way.
Maybe, just maybe God is trying to call me, trying to to pry me, out of ordinary.

For me, ordinary is safe. I like safe. I think I have been guilty of worshiping the ordinary and safe.

Stop.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11(NIV)

20130301-222605.jpg

An ordinary winter day: The whole family playing in the nice “wet” snow on Tuesday..

Five Minute Friday: Beloved

Five Minute Friday

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog’s footer}.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.

Beloved.
Start.

He said 26 Valentines. Really? Hard to believe. He was 19, I, almost, when we celebrated our first, over 1,000 miles apart. He was on the east coast, while I stayed here in the Midwest, in the same state I have always lived.
He came back three years later and we were married six months later, celebrating our first Valentine’s in person about six weeks later.
22 Valentine’s, 21years, six children, three babies lost to miscarriage, one type-1 diabetes diagnosis for our 18-month old, one celiac diagnosis for his older brother, homeschooling, strong wills, my hormone dive four years ago. Good, hard, together through it all. I never would have imagined all those 26 Valentine’s ago. I want to leave regrets behind, because he is my beloved. He loves me even though he knows me.

My beloved.

Disclosure: I gave myself almost a minute extra since I am typing on my ipad screen after watching a movie with my beloved.

Ephesians 5:33
New International Version
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Stop.

20130215-000117.jpg

Me and My Beloved at Grayton Beach, October 2012 with Isaac ;)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

20130214-195423.jpg

Valentine’s guys by Isaac

1 Corinthians 13
New International Version

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.