Friday, August 16, 2013

strange craving...

there are some things that just don't belong together. 

apple juice and mashed potatoes...for instance. 

yeah, i know.  ick. 

that was my first thought too...but i couldn't deny that i had a strong craving for that odd combination.

you know what my second thought was?  "oh Lord...certainly i'm not pregnant...right?!"

i'm not. 
(God knows i can only handle what i have and while His grace would be sufficient...i'm not sure my faith would be.)

so i shrugged, told my husband, had a good laugh about it and moved on with my day.

fast forward to my grocery night with my mentor.  i'm going down the aisles (grocery shopping is like therapy for me) and i come to the juice aisle.  the apple juice is on my left and i am reminded of my strange craving earlier in the week.  then i look to my left and i see the boxed mashed potatoes.  i'm like "you've got to be kidding me.  God?  i'm listening if you happen to have something to say with all this."

all that for this:

there are some things that just don't belong together. 

apple juice and mashed potatoes...for instance.


i have this amazing recipe that incorporates the two flawlessly.  it's one of my favorite winter meals because you just dump a ton of stuff in the crock pot and let'er go...and it's hearty and delish and probably not what i'd call 'healthy eating'...but i can always blame the extra rolls on the sweaters i wear.

then i started thinking there are lots of recipes like that.  recipes that take two ingredients that don't belong together and blends them with other flavors to make something really wonderful.  now...without those other really is gross. it's all those other ingredients plus a genius recipe and/or the hands of a master chef.

how does that relate to my life...right now?

i'm going to be transparent.  i do not like dealing with conflict.  not that i'm afraid of it...i'm actually quite a diplomat.  but it stresses me out and there are too many other important things in my life to deal i generally just create a great distance between me and conflict.

so...when i am in ministry leadership and there are amazing women that have strong personalities that just don't belong together...i would like to be involved as little as possible. 

i feel like God was telling me very clearly that in those situations.  those two amazing women that seem to not mesh...they are just ingredients in His kitchen.  they are the apple juice and mashed potatoes. 

what they need is the hands of the Master Chef taking them and bringing them together into something beautiful...and what He needs for other ingredients. me.  so maybe i'm the cardamom...or maybe i'm the pork...  i don't know...but as much as i would like to avoid the stress...i need to just jump into the pot and let God do what He wants.


Monday, June 24, 2013

just like riding a bike

a friend recently posted this to fb...

do you remember the first time you rode a bike?

i lived in a neighborhood that was a big circle and my friends and i would go 'round and 'round all summer long...stopping at each of our houses for ice-pops...

with the wind whipping my hair and the sweet smell of summer...and the sound of the beads on the spokes...i can almost hear it...'clink-it-a, clink-it-a, clink-it-a, clinkit-a clinkit-a, clinkita clinkita clinkita, whirrrrrrrrrrrr'  ...once you got going fast enough they didn't make a sound.

i loved riding my bike. 

but i grew up and stopped i don't even own one...

i sat on one at a store the other day...

it was really uncomfortable.  i thought to in the world did i ever enjoy this?


once again, Father God revealed how much that has happened in my faith.

i used to relish sharing Jesus with those around me.  it wasn't eloquent or probably even graceful...but it was very honest.  i just bubbled over.  people probably thought i was nuts...but i didn't care.  i was just so completely in love with Jesus.  and it was contagious.  people that started out as cynical became curious...people that started out as curious became enthralled...people that started out as enthralled became completely consumed with their own love affair with Father God.  and it didn't actually have anything to do with me...which is what made it more beautiful.
and then i grew up.
i stopped sharing Jesus.
i stopped looking like a fool.
i still love Jesus...but i guess i'm just not as quick to share.
recently i encouraged a stranger to seek God.
it felt weird.  and made me sad.  what has happened to me? 
'it's just like riding a bike' is a common expression. usually means that you never forget how to do it...or that it's easy to pick up again after you've forgotten...
so...i'm just going to have to put my feet back on those pedals and ride again...
...'clink-it-a, clink-it-a, clink-it-a, clinkit-a clinkit-a,
 clinkita clinkita clinkita, whirrrrrrrrrrrr'... 


vindicate me.

God's always...blows me away all over again.

Psalm 26:1
Vindicate me, Adonai, for I have lived a blameless life;
 unwaveringly I trust in Adonai.
well...the truth is...i'm far from blameless...but i do trust in God more than anything else in the whole wide world.
and He comes to my rescue and protects me...even before i fact...often before i even realize i need Him.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

fun fat girl

well...i just had a realization...and i needed to if you'll allow me...

i am a fun fat girl. 
   i like to bake cookies.
      i usually go for a second brownie.
         i make people laugh with my rebellious attitude toward my 'points'.
            corpse pose and child's pose are my favorite.
               (for the non-yoga set that translates to lying on the floor...not moving...)

i am not lazy. 
i even sort of like my 'curvy' figure.  (that's a word fat girls use to feel better about!

honestly...i don't have a huge issue with my weight.  i am awesome.  Jesus loves me.  that's all i need.

ok...but i'm not at a healthy place...and i just turned 30.  so i probably should make some baby steps toward getting myself under control. 

i have 2 major struggles though.  1 of them is jiggling.  i can't handle it.  when i jog down the road and my belly jiggles my pants off...  ...or even better... ...jumping jacks...  ...BAHAHAHA!

secondly...i'm a fun fat girl...
like someone who is a really fun drunk gets addicted to the way alcohol impacts their interactions i really like the way my attitude toward indulgence and my body colors my relationships (other than the one with my mother...but that's a whoooole 'nother post...and may require censorship).  i have a lot of friends that have struggled at one time or another with despising themselves...the beautiful creations that they are.  so i try to lead by example and even though i am super-thick...i love me.  and they love me...and maybe it helps them love themselves a little more.

but now it sounds idiotic..."i'm fat because it helps people"'s pretty dumb.

at the same time...skinny people make me want to vomit...especially those that were heavy and have worked hard to become thin.  it's like an obsession.  they aren't any fun...they don't eat dessert...they are always posting how many miles they ran or how many pounds they have lost like the rest of the world should revolve around their hard work and weight loss...

but...these are first world problems...

go ahead and tell me to get over myself...thanks...i needed that.

i'm going to continue to work toward a healthier...albeit not very i'd appreciate any comments (good, bad, whatever)

and i promise to not post exclusively about my ominous sounding "weight loss journey"  and i will try to find a way to make celery and carrot sticks fun...

Friday, April 19, 2013

friends share

so...i have a really awesome friend/mentor...i just had to say that.  and this post will make her laugh...but it's not really about her...even though it she will understand that.

she recently introduced me to goodgreens bars...they are delish...and super good for you...and made in ohio...brilliant!

she has been the source of copious excellent parenting tips...including...but not limited to... "he'll be fine."  ...which a paranoid new mommy needs to hear quite often and rarely truly believes.

more importantly though...she shares Jesus with me.

you see...i'm ravenous for Jesus.  i am a truth glutton.  i am a glory to God gourmet.

i am a little unconventional...and see things in an extremely abstract way. 

it would be amazing if more people would share Jesus...even little tidbits of what He's done thru the day or the delish morsels...mmm...

you know...proverbs talks about gossip as a choice morsel...i wonder...if people would fill their friendship conversations with the main course of Jesus...maybe they would snack a little less on the garbage gossip...interesting...

come to think of it...the relationships in which i struggle with gossip or 'ranting' are also the relationships that i'm hesitant to share Jesus...

i guess my mouth just has to be filled with something...

any thoughts?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

fat girls of the worrrld...UNITE!

i went shopping yesterday...

and somehow i ended up feeling like julia roberts in pretty woman...i had money...but no one would help me...

i went into one store and not a single sales associate acknowledged me with anything other than a whisper.  so i looked around...and realized that there wasn't a single item in the store that would fit me.  everything was made for stick figure women...(with the exception of the scarves by the register)...

so then i went to the fat girl store.  now...i'm okay with me...really i am.  but i could not bring myself to buy anything in the fat girl store...there wasn't a natural fiber in the whole store...everything was bright and bold and cruise ship-colorful...which would be fine...but i'm not going on a cruise. 

what is it with the world wanting fat girls to look crazy?

i ended up getting what i the maternity store...(most of my weight is baby weight after all...even if he's a year old).

the associate was helpful...she asked me if i needed anything as i walked in the door...and then as i checked out she asked me when my due date was...i thought about it for a second...and then i made one up...except...i even failed at that...i told her i was due in february...(do the math...february is 10 months away...) was a rough time...

and i won't even get into the 3 lettuce leaf salad i had for lunch...

fat girls of the worrrld...unite!

Monday, April 8, 2013

i screwed up...

well...i missed a big opportunity...completely screwed up.

i took my kids to the mall today to practice their obedience in a public yet controlled setting.  (we've been having trouble with quick obedience and i would like to take the kids to the zoo we needed to work on it in a place where i felt like a mistake on their part wouldn't lead to kidnapping or being eaten by a lion.)

anyway...after a few hours of meandering thru stores coaching my kids' behavior and reminding the older 3 to hold on the the stroller...ask before they walk away to look at something...wait patiently as i look at the clearance racks...gracefully share a soda...say hello and goodbye to clerks and security...they were doing really well. 

several people commented on their excellent behavior...i was lavishing praise on both my kids and Father's was a good day.  but then i screwed up.

in the parking lot a woman who had been shopping with her mother was loading her expensive, clean, beautiful suv full of luxury items...i didn't even realize that all those details registered until i just typed them...evidently i'm more shallow than i even knew...(thanks Jesus for your mercy).

anyway...her mother started commenting on how wonderful my kids were...and how terrible her daughter's 2 1/2 year old was...for just a split second i thought about how terrible i would feel if my mom said stuff like that right in front of me...but i disregarded the Spirit inspired compassion and started talking about me. 

sigh.'s all about me.

i talked about how great my kids great my husband is...our methods of correction...the hard work behind our parenting...the tips and tricks that my mentor offers...all good things...i think i even mentioned how faithful God has been to us... really just makes me sick...

the mom was eating it up...agreeing with every word...piping in with ooos and aahs...and saying to her daughter, "she's really got it right".  i even thought about giving her my number in case she wanted to call for ideas...(i'm so glad i didn't!)

you's not that i did anything 'wrong' i was just incredibly insensitive. 

that poor mom...with a kid the same age of mine...i don't know her story.  she could be an incredible mom with a son that will be diagnosed with developmental delays that she has no control over.  she may be a single mom...or have a husband that opposes her attempts at discipline. 

whatever the was clear that what she needed was encouragement...encouragement that she was doing well and that she was exactly the mom her active little boy needed.  she needed to hear a "good job" from her mom...and from the complete stranger with 'perfect' kids in the mall parking lot.

but i screwed up...i made it all about me...

she probably won't ever read this...or maybe she will...either way...if i get another chance...i will not exalt myself...i will choose instead to lift up others.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

embrace and create

I spoke at MOPS this week...aaand this is what i said (pretty much)...
I was prepared to talk about postpartum depression…after it nearly cost me my marriage, my children and my life…I felt pretty good about encouraging you all…but then…I was praying and realized…you’ve all had kids.  And survived…just like me.

So I scrapped that one…

Then I was prepared to talk about re-discovering your previous identity…and I reminisced about how amazing I was before I got married and had kids…but then…I was praying and realized…that it is impossible to discover my previous identity…because…it’s not like some big bad dragon has locked her up in his tower and I have to go 4 little dragons and then level up and fight the big bad dragon that stole her away.  No…I chose this life…

So I scrapped that one too…

All I have for you is what I am going thru right now…I’m hardly an expert…I’m right in the middle of it…right beside you.


During my affair with postpartum depression a wonderful person told me that depression almost always stems from one thing…irreversible change.

It’s irreversible. 

You can’t go back so you get bummed.  Or…there is another choice.

You can embrace and create.

 …so then…I was praying and realized…it’s spring. 

It’s the time of planting and growing and creating…how wonderful!


So I can’t go back and be the amazing woman that I was before I got married and had kids…neither can you.

Those amazing women are gone. Forever.  Let’s just take one second to mourn…

Ok…so now what? 


We embrace and create.


And I’m still figuring that one out.

Here are some little tips that I have gathered along the way.

·        You were created by God…formed in your mother’s womb with His perfect plan in mind.  He also formed your child in your womb…in YOUR womb.  He could have chosen any womb to incubate that little blood sucker…but He picked yours.  You’ve got the stuff to raise this kid into EXACTLY what He wants them to be.


·        Cry…just cry.  That way people know that you don’t have it all together and that you need help.  If they think you have it all together they won’t offer and you’d better not sit around in private whining that no one ever helps you…it’s your own fault…admit to yourself and others that you can’t do it alone…and when you are overwhelmed…it’s okay to cry.


·        Along with that last one…choose to laugh.  Every time I have gotten pregnant I have laughed like a nutcase…(you should have heard me on the ultrasound table when they told me I was having twins).



·        God isn’t shocked by your feelings.  He is omniscient.  So it’s okay to tell him that you are angry with him…it’s okay to tell him that you feel overwhelmed and scared.  It’s okay to tell him that you are broken hearted.  He knows who He is and His self-esteem doesn’t rely on your opinion.  His love doesn’t rely on your opinion either.  His love is completely unconditional, unending and unwavering.  Get real with God and He will get more real with you.


·        Lower your expectations just a smidge.  A great counselor once told me ‘don’t should on yourself and don’t let others should on you either.’


·        Yes…you will have ‘bad mom moments’…I do…our mothers did…our grandmothers did…somehow humanity survives.  Ask your children for forgiveness…forgive yourself…move on.



·        Your kids are also going to have bad moments…allow them to be human.  Encourage them to ask for forgiveness…encourage them to forgive themselves…move on.


·        Model the behavior you want to see in your children…I have noticed my kids whining…(I hate that)…then I noticed my husband and I complaining one night…so I have to change me first.  Before I can expect my kids to change…



·        Take time outs.  Get away.  Even if it’s just grocery shopping…


·        Have a ‘safe place’.  One person that you can bounce your feelings off of.  One person that won’t judge…but also that won’t let you get bogged down in gossip, lies, or discouragement.  This person also has to be someone that will lift you up in prayer.


·        Do not compare yourself to others.  You were created to be unique and valuable.  Hand sculpted…not mass produced. 


·        Offer what you have gone thru to someone else…my best friend just went thru postpartum depression…thankfully I was able to be a constant reminder that your children’s infanthood …no matter how difficult… is survivable.



·        Give other moms a break!  Have a little grace for those of us that are still figuring things out and for those of us that are using a ‘terrible horrible no good very bad day card’.


·        God doesn’t make mistakes and isn’t surprised by anything.  Things change and it may not be quite like we’d hoped…and at any point those disappointments can lead to depression…financial difficulty, health problems, behavioral or psychological diagnoses, just having your kid not quite behave the way you want them to in public can lead to depression…just remember…God isn’t surprised…He’s got it all under control.


·        Pray about one or two ‘life goals’ in addition to your mothering and take baby steps leading you in that direction…



So…I can’t be who I was and you can’t be who you were…but you can be someone else…someone just as amazing as she was…or maybe even better.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

reflecting on His sacrifice

...His sacrifice...and His astounding love...
...and nothing else seems to matter.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


i'm struggling and need a safe place to vent. 

church people make me crazy. 

absolutely crazy.

bandwagon riders...seats nice and warm...singing praise songs along the way...

all the while bump bump bumping over the carcasses of the wounded, broken and lost.

making arguments about what they don't understand.

hurling insults and demeaning remarks...

the lack of Christlike compassion breaks my heart.
then in church on Sunday morning they say 'God bless you'.
and i just want to throw up.
the fact of the matter is that we are all equal.  we just are.
less self-righteousness...more Christ-likeness...less snobbish propriety...more genuine humility...
less judgement...more compassion...we all need grace.  His grace.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


sometimes i think my kids are trying to kill me.

well...not really...but maybe...

every parent knows the pain of discovering a lego with your foot.  legos...ugg...i resisted them for so long.  the pain of stepping on a lego rivals the pain of childbirth...but you can't scream because you'll wake the baby that you walked for 6 hours to get to sleep.

well...recently (with the help of my beautiful children) i discovered a toy even more treacherous than the lego...

my kiddos were playing hide and seek with their wooden blocks...and someone discovered the best hiding spot ever.  under the living room rug.

seriously...i stepped on it (the modelling of the rug completely disguised the big lump) ankle turned...and i went down howling. an hour on the couch with some ice can't handle. always...Father God was speaking to me. 

there are some really obvious legos in our lives...things that are clearly out to trip us up as we travel in the path He has for us.  i don't even need to point them out...there are big road signs along the way.  when those things come along...illuminated by the light of Christ...they are easy to avoid.  in fact...there have been times that i have laughed at the enemy because his attempts were so clear.

then there are some things that are less obvious.  these things are like blocks that hide under the rug of self-righteousness...but they are just as hazardous.

we call our friend to 'pray' and it turns into 20 minutes of...gossip.
we spend an hour on our knees...worrying.
we tell bits of testimony to encourage others...but they are full of...lies.
oh how grateful i am for God's pure grace.  only He could look beyond our selfishness...our fickleness and still call us daughters and sons.
i encourage you today...beware of the blocks under the rug. 
walk slowly along the path He has for you...walk deliberately.
avoid ALL hazards...even the ones that aren't so obvious...

Monday, February 25, 2013

clean kitchen

my kitchen is clean.

you could eat off my floor.  ( kids do every day...)

my counters are cleared of all the crafty clutter that usually gathers...

i was really very proud of's quite a rare have a clean kitchen in a home with 4 preschoolers...

then i opened a cupboard and this is what i found...

...i can not believe i'm posting this...

so...maybe it's not quite as clean as i fact...that cupboard could be hazardous to an inquisitive toddler...

isn't that how it is with our spiritual lives?
we work hard to polish the counter tops of our heart.
make sure that we deal with the clutter that stressful seasons bring on.
we even clean the oven and stove occasionally.
and then we open a cupboard way back in the recesses of our heart...sigh.
i remember a time when i was specifically
proud of how far Father God had taken me.
i wore His grace and mercy like a pageant sash...for everyone to see. night...God took me to 'that cupboard'...
i flung the door open and all the junk
that i had buried tumbled down around me.
it was painful.
thankfully...i wasn't alone.  we are never alone.
He doesn't leave us to deal with it by ourselves...
He knows that we can not deal with our junk alone any
more than my toddler can put those pots and pans away. i encourage you to find that
cupboard of your heart that has been haphazardly
packed full of junk that you'd rather not deal with. 
open the door (carefully...very carefully). 
and ask Father God to help you put it's contents where they belong.
some things will belong in the be forgotten forever.
some things belong neatly back in the cupboard for easy access...
remembering where you came from
sometimes helps you remember when you're going.
and some things you may need to give away
...share Father's grace and mercy with those that need it.
i'm going to go clean out my cupboard...
before i hear that heart stopping,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

not afraid to fall little man is starting to walk.

and thru the always...God was speaking to me.

as the process of walking starts...          
                                                     ...we fall...
                                                                         ...a lot.

my one year old is lucky...we use cloth diapers...they offer quite a bit of extra padding.  but still sometimes...when he falls...he cries for his daddy to scoop him up.
as we walk in the path that Jesus has laid out for us...don't we fall an awful lot? 
i know i do.  maybe i'm the only one. 
it just seems like i am always crying out to Father God
to come scoop me up with His loving grace. 

now in all actuality my son has been walking for a month or so...he would motor all around the house as long as he could hold on to a piece of furniture or the wall.  he could walk along the perimeter of each room...but all the fun stuff (wrestling, car races, coloring, snuggles-n-kisses...) goes on in the middle of the room.

it's nice to have something to hold on organization,
or another person walking the same path we are...
but that isn't necessarily where the action is. 
in order to get where the action is...we have to step out...
sure...we might's an absolute.
but...Father God will scoop us up.  always.
so...we don't need to be afraid to fall.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

the glass is...

half full?
half empty? doesn't really matter...
i have a straw.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

time out.

have you ever felt like you were in trouble?
like you really screwed up and you just knew God was going to punish you?


well...maybe He doesn't punish us...per say...but He certainly allows us to face the consequences for our disobedience.

you get that feeling in the pit of your start to know the consequences are try to avoid those in try to avoid those who are following the want to run want to go back in want to...

it has only been in the last 5 years or so that i have realized that all that fear and trembling over facing the consequences of my sin is sort of silly. 

you see...God loves loves me...
and He loves you too. 

His love is not based on our obedience.  it is based on His love.  period.  no take backs...

so...yes.  i will face consequences...but they don't have to be these nauseating horrible things...

we can sit in our 'time out' and weather our consequences with grace and maturity knowing that they are not a reflection of God's love for us...God's love is a reflection of God's love for us...

Friday, February 8, 2013

love works



as a kid...even into early adulthood we think of love as a feeling.  it often involves sex.  it always involves heart flutters.  sometimes it even involves bursting into spontaneous song.

in jr high i got my first boyfriend...and we were so in love. 
in high school i had a dated several guys...and we were so in love.
in college i had a serious relationship...and we were so in love.

i thought i was an expert. grandparents...roland and fern harding (pictured above) were true experts...quietly modeling love for me to follow or ignore. 

thankfully...i was watching...(even if i didn't realize it at the time.)

grampa loved grama so much.  he truly cherished her.  now let me tell you...she was a norwegian from the northwest...stubborn as the day is long...but he cherished her. 

grampa and his friends snuck grama onto his military base.  they were married by the chaplain...a soldier was her 'bridesmaid'.  that's how their marriage started.  not with tulle, roses or fondant...their marriage started with work. 

grampa went to war and wrote many letters...and grama dealt with pregnancy, birth and raising their oldest son alone...their family started with work. 

once the war was over...grampa's work led to a lot of travelling.  they celebrated accomplishments together...they dealt with loss together...but they made it work. 

in their old age...they did devotions together every day.  they held hands as they walked thru parking lots.  they shared dessert at restaurants.  they really made love work.

she took care of everyone...and he took care of her.

last year...on valentines day...we had my grampa's funeral...and just a month ago...we buried my grandmother...shortly after what would have been their 71st wedding anniversary. 

shortly before grama joined grampa in heaven...she told my uncle... "i really miss your dad."

they make love work...
i'm so blessed to have their legacy...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

happy new year!

happy new year!


well...what did i do?  i changed diapers...made lunches...made dinner (that the kids wouldn't eat) so it wasn't all that new. maybe not so new...

i guess the new year is only what you make it...

i don't make resolutions...but this year the word for my home, my family, and my life will be peace.

Psalm 107:29-30
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.  They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven.

when people see my 4 kids...they see a storm...a really really big storm.  they ask how i am living thru it...but, just like the disciples in the boat with Jesus...i trust in my Father. 

He turns my hurricane into a rain shower, my blizzard into a light flurry and my tornado into a refreshing breeze. 

i am not afraid.  He stills my storm to a whisper...i am glad when it grows calm...and He guides me to my desired haven.  thanks, Jesus.