Sunday, November 12, 2006

The good the bad and the ugly

October was a very busy month, and I had no time to sit down and write an entry. From working at the farmer's market one last time, to having an incredibly sick family - I'm just glad it's November.
This trimester of pregnancy has been so nice, I've had so much more energy and have been able to get a lot accomplished around here. I decided to do one more farmer's market before the end of the season. So, I packed up all my gear and headed down there on a very cold Saturday morning - just to freeze my toes off mostly. I only had one sale (which has been my luck the last few times I've attended). In the end, it was a good season, I definitely can't complain about my sales and I had a lot of fun doing something out of the house. Now, I'm working on knitting hats and scarves and getting a few other items ready for a Holiday Market at the Flying M Coffeegarage on November 30 (4-10pm). It should be a lot of fun, especially cause some of my good friends are also having "booths" there, and we'll all be selling our wares together for the first time. It's supposed to all be "functional art" - and that basically means, "cool stuff you can't find anywhere else, made my local artisans". So, I hope to see you there.
We found out this month that we're having another girl. When we went in for the ultrasound, neither David or I had any real expectations of what sex the baby was, and weren't really leaning any direction on what we wanted it to be, but when we saw her on the big screen for the first time, it was love at first sight. How could we be disappointed with another beautiful baby girl?
We celebrated David's birthday on October 22nd (a couple days late). We had an Oktoberfest birthday party, complete with Jagerschnitzel, Krautkapfen, Rotkraut, and Currywurst. It was a blast, we ate for hours with our friends and ended the evening with everyone's favorite german dessert... German Chocolate Cake?
Gracie was very very disappointed that she missed out on daddy's party, because she helped make the cake, and had been practicing "Alley Birthday Daddy" for a week. So, we made him another cake later that week, just so he could blow out candles after we sang "Alley Birthday Daddy".
Gracie got strep throat that same week, and kept complaining that her "mouth hurt" - so, we started her on amoxicillin, and she'd been on it a few days, and then she woke up one morning completely covered with red spots. I was in mild panic mode, because I don't really remember what chicken pox looks like, and my Gracie was looking really frightful. I called the Dr. and for once, she saw Gracie right away. She instantly calmed my fears of chicken pox and said it was most likely a viral rash, caused by a strange reaction between childhood mononucleosis and amoxicillin. oy! - So, we just had to wait out the rash , it got so much worse before it got better, but the good part was that Gracie never even noticed it. No itching, no complaining, no nothing... it was just the visual shock of seeing her little body covered in spots.
During these 2 weeks of strep/mono Peter got a case of croupe, due to a bad cold. He had a hard time sleeping, ran fevers, coughed til he choked and mostly just wanted to be held all the time. I caught his cold and was absolutely miserable for a few days as well. In the middle of that he decided to pop 4 teeth out of his gums. 2 molars and 2 front teeth (no wonder he was so crabby).
By the end of those weeks, we were all better and Peter and Grace have recovered nicely. Thanks for your prayers, thoughts, encouragement and food.
For my birthday we went to the Boise Zoo (now called ZOOBOISE... which I find too ridiculous to speak) - Gracie has been there one other time, but she really enjoyed it this time. The monkeys were very vocal and swinging all over the place, the birds were out singing, the cats were pacing and the tortoise was grunting. We had such a great time, and the kids were happy to be out of the house and seeing a bunch of animals they've only seen in books or on tv.
By the end of the month Gracie was really worried that no one had been singing Happy Birthday Gracie yet, and we have been assuring her that her birthday will come in a while... after Peter's and the new baby is born - she doesn't really get it, so we've just been singing the song with her in the car all the time.
Now on to really important things:
On the day before my birthday I was participating in prayer time at church, and God really hit be hard with an abundance of joy. I think I laughed for about a half hour. It was really good and really painful - when God wants you to be full of joy, he doesn't just make you laugh, he FILLS you with joy... I am usually a person that resists that sort of thing, so it was more like God forcing joy into me.... which was so good. After laughing for a long time, completely uncontrollably, and feeling like my sides were going to burst - he just blew over me with peace. As I laid on the floor (for who knows how long), without moving a muscle and just basking in his presence, he started to pour visions into me. I'll share one with you, that I found to be especially encouraging.
I saw myself being water baptised, and as I was dunked under the water, the arms (that usually bring you out of the water after a second or two) held me under the water until I drowned. As I lay under the water, dead another arm reached in and helped me out of the water, alive again, and I held in my hand a really big bell. I just took off running through Nampa with this big bell and I was ringing it above my head, running all around town.
There is way too much in this picture to get into here, but I have found a great amount of excitement and strength in it.
The next day, we got an email from our friends at PAZ (Brazilian missionaries) and they are in the states for a while and wondered if they could call us and talk sometime. This brought up a lot of questions for David and I - a lot of confusion. What do we say? What do we do? What are our plans? What are God's plans? How do we know what God has for us?
In the end - we came back to the conclusion that there is a lot of ministry that needs to be done here in Nampa, and if we aren't actively participating in that here and now - what makes us think we could participate in that in Brazil?
God is so good, and so loving. He's given us far above anything we could ask or think - and we are actively anticipating whatever it is we get to do here in Nampa for the building up of His Kingdom.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Clean up - clean up, Everybody Clean up!

Part I of operation "get the house in order" has been accomplished. The yard sale, while not entirely successful, got all the junk out of our house and into the backyard. Then, the committee that runs Cornerstone Art Gallery announced they were having a garage sale to raise funds for the gallery, so I donated everything that didn't sell. Now, we're pretty close to junk-free. Hooray!
Now we just have a few huge items, that we're going to be taking for sale at a consignment shop one at a time... the rolltop desk, the kitchen table and a sofa (if you're in the market for any of these, please let me know, I may be able to cut you a deal).
Now, on to Part II - organization and decoration :) - I'm very excited that we've picked colors for pretty much every room/hallway in the house, and are beginning total transformation of our home. The beige/off-white, that covers our entire house, is so drab, and boring, and completely uninspiring. On the organization front, we're a few steps away from having all the storage issues taken care of, but I think that everything is at least out of our way, and out of sight right now.
As for the family - David is is actively searching for ways for his job to be day shift only - whatever that takes really. With a family, friends and a church family, it's pretty difficult to work night shift half of the year, every year. Not to mention, the physical, emotional and spiritual ramifications of sleeping during the day and working during the night. Please pray that David will be able to just transfer to another position at Micron, and make what he's making or more.
Gracie has been on an artistic journey this week. Either coloring, drawing or painting with watercolors - all week long. I mean, she would even put her food aside and ask for colors. She gets so lost in her "colors", that she forgets about everything else. Luckily, for me, when she's coloring, she's nearly silent, and doesn't move from her position for hours.
Peter on the other hand, cannot be contained. Last night, I left the kitchen for 30 seconds, and Gracie starts yelling, "Mommy!!!, Peter!!!" - I walk in there, and he's sitting on the table (he crawled up there from his booster), he sat there with a huge grin on his face. He will eat for an entire hour, peas, carrots, cereal, water - and then if someone else eats in front of him, he cries until he gets more! - From everything I have read, toddlers stomachs are only the size of their fist, but he eats enough to fill both of my fists, maybe both of David's and Gracie's. And he's just on the move all the time - climbing, crawling, biting, playing - what a difference from Gracie at that age.
I'm feeling a lot more energy these days, and for the first time in months, I'm feeling creative again - so, I have a few projects in the works, and am really excited about doing some "fun" stuff again.
The fall weather is supposed to start sometime next week, and we can't wait. It will be so great to wear sweatshirts again. Not to mention our birthdays are coming up... then the holidays, and pretty soon, it will be the end of David's night shift for this year.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Picky Eater

So, after a week or so of unruly behavior - I think we finally figured out what Peter has been SO grumpy about. He does not want to be a baby anymore. He wants to climb, get into trouble, eat bugs and eat "big kid" food. Today alone, he ate a whole waffle, a bowl of applesauce, and a bowl of macaroni and cheese! (not to mention the dozen animal crackers, cheerios and other finger foods)
It has been an eventful week since family camp. We all came back feeling "sick" - I had stomach cramps, and so did Dave and Gracie. We ended the week with Gracie and I hugging toilets, etc. In the meantime, Dave started night shift (for the next 4 months). As usual, when night shift comes along, the family schedule of events has really changed. I'm hoping to stay on a more strict schedule so as to ward off insanity and also, so that the kids and I will stay healthy and happy. So, this week was our trial run, and we're doing good so far.
For the last 3 months we've been planning a yard sale, and the day is finally approaching. Like always, cleaning out all the "stuff you don't know why you have in your house" is very therapeutic. It's pretty amazing how much stuff you accumulate in such a short amount of time - and all the stuff you actually put in a box and move to the next house, and then never use. I'm just really looking forward to reducing the clutter in our home, and getting things super-sleek-organized around here. Hopefully if there's less stuff in our home to collect dust, it will be easier to keep clean and organized - and with another kid on the way, I need all the help I can get.


Monday, August 28, 2006

CDA or bust...

We just spent four days on Lake Coeur d' Alene at the Schram family float house. We encountered a lot of "firsts" with Gracie and Peter. Peter's first dip in a pool and lake plus his first ride in a swing, Gracie's first boat ride, first dip in the lake and her first time shooting a water gun at daddy.
We got to visit all the grandmas.... Carey, Nanny, Trilby and Rose and "silly Grampa" a.k.a. Mark. It never matters how long our stay is in North Idaho, it always ends up being a whirlwind tour.
It's an absolutely beautiful spot, and the lake is definitely a relaxing place, but it still seems like we barely got there before having to leave again. The kids did great on both 7 hour trips to and from Coeur d' Alene and they got along great with cousins Hailey and Madison, and doggy "Sassy".
My only "goal" was to take at least one nap while we were there, and on the last day, I actually accomplished that one! I think it was for almost 2 hours, so that's like a world record with 2 kids running/rolling around.
Dave got to golf a course on the NIC campus, and I think we ate chocolate chip cookies every night, so overall I'd rate this vacation an A.
We've been home a few days and are now gearing up for Cornerstone Family Camp this weekend. We'll be leaving Friday and will return on Monday. Family Camp has never failed to deliver long lasting memories and huge spiritual breakthroughs, so I'm ready for a weekend-long soak!!
Usually, around this part of a blog entry, I find some poignant thought or "deeper" idea, so that you know that I'm "on the level" - but this week, I'm just thinking "bring it on God"! I'm ready for whatever God has in store for us. I know when we found out I was pregnant again, our "missionary" plans came to a stand-still, for the time being, but I know that God wasn't just speaking to us for a season, and now being silent. I know that there are specific reasons why we are here, in Nampa, at Cornerstone, and in our neighborhood - so maybe those reasons will be revealed to us this weekend. Seek , knock, ask - right?
Bring it on, God! - Where are you leading us?


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Great Grandpa - Evert Roberts 1913-2006

Wow - I’m not sure where to start. I know for certain that my great grandfather, lived a full and joyful life. I know that he is finally with Jesus, and loving every minute of it! I keep remembering what my husband and I referred to as “grandpa’s arkansas laugh” - the one where he’d be nearly in tears, totally uninhibited and laughing with eyes closed tight, and mouth, wide open (I’m sure he even slapped his knee when he laughed like this). I’m sure that when Grandpa’s earthly vessel was no longer able to breathe, that his spirit went to meet Jesus in the heavens, and when he met up with that “great cloud of witnesses”, he broke down into his “arkansas laugh”. To come face to face with his maker and be enveloped in an embrace of love like he’s never known, and that he had longed for his entire life. I miss him, definitely - but I know that he is in the exact place he preached about for years.

I have some favorite memories I’d love to share with you - things that make me smile, and maybe shed a tear or two.

My grandfather was an extremely proud man, this was sometimes referred to as “stubborn”, but in most instances it was a joy. I am grandpa’s first Great granddaughter, and he was so proud of his family. Whenever we’d go to lunch, or dinner or come across anyone that didn’t know us, he’d make sure to introduce us, and emphasize that I was his GREAT grandaughter. I also have had the pleasure of giving him his first and only great great grandchildren, and he was endlessly proud to introduce Grace and Peter. (Not many people have great greats). * The picture above is of Grandpa and Grandma holding Grace, she is about 1 day old and we were on our way home from the hospital. We stopped by to introduce her to her great grandparents. Grandpa cried and laughed and cried some more.

He used to always say that we should eat dessert first, so there’d be room for it. And I think it actually hurt his feelings if we were “too full” for a dish of ice cream after lunch. He took so much pleasure in “treating” his family to dinner, and would always say “now, you kids, get whatever you want!”.

Grandpa was always so interested in what was going on in the kingdom of God. And I remember after our church camp a couple years ago, Grandpa wanted to hear all about it. David and I told him the story of the Holy Spirit falling so heavily on us at camp, that we had laughed and rolled on the floor for hours on end. I wasn’t sure how Grandpa would respond to this story - but he just sat there weeping. When he was finally able to speak, he told us how wonderful it was that God was moving like that. Then he told us the story of the Spirit falling on him when he was 14 years old at a revival tent meeting and how he felt the call of God so strongly on his life from that moment.

I loved my grandpa so much! and I loved watching him love other people, he was a kind, wise and compassionate man. I’m so proud of my spiritual inheritance in the Kingdom of God. The memories I have , of the countless lunches at Applebee’s or Elmer’s and the joy of each of those visits are memories not to be forgotten.

The last time I saw Grandpa at the nursing home, he was pretty sad - and a lot frustrated. We asked if we could pray with him, and he just began to cry. We prayed with him, and he prayed and blessed us - I’m so thankful for those precious moments spent with him. I know he appreciated our visits, and always asked us to come back again.

Thank you Lord, for Grandpa’s life and legacy! Here’s a song that I keep thinking of when I think of Grandpa. If you’re family with the “old days” of MGT, there used to be a prayer time before the Sunday evening services, and usually it was just about silent... but Grandpa would begin to sing (if you know him, you know he didn’t have a beautiful voice), but he would begin to sing , “Glory, Glory! Hallelujah - Hallelujah! Glory, Glory!”
Thanks grandpa!

I had an appointment with my Dr. today. She isn’t completely sure how far along I am. Somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks. I must admit, both numbers seem like I’m pretty far along - especially since we haven’t known for that long. So, I have to go back on Monday for an ultrasound with a specialist, so she can determine my due date.
We got to see the little baby “bump” - and see the chambers of the heart beating and everything, so that was really exciting. Knowing that all this “gagging” and sleeping has been for an actual reason is comforting somehow.
David and I have been talking about the crazy shift our lives have taken in the last 2 weeks. And at times have even questioned whether we were on the right track or even really hearing God for the last few months. On Monday during small group, David shared that with the group, and we had the most wonderful encouraging words and confirmations about where we are and what we had been planning. Brian Portteus reminded us that even though we didn’t follow-through with selling our home and David quitting his job, that our willingness to give all those things up was counted as a sacrifice - and that we had blessed God by putting it all on the line for Him. (Brian, you have no idea how much your words blessed us!) - I was reminded of Abraham and Isaac (because David’s lil sis Kristina reminded me) - Abraham, had to walk all the way up to the alter with his son, but if he hadn’t taken a knife with him, it wouldn’t have been the sacrifice God had asked for. Even though, God provided another sacrifice, Abraham had the faith to walk up there with his own son - and that’s the sacrifice God asked for - even though it’s not the life He ended up taking.
So, as we enter another journey of pregnancy (did I mention that our Dr. thought it was really humorous that she was seeing us so soon after Peter??) - I just want to thank God for his favor on our lives. For blessing us with so much joy and such calm and content children. For filling our home with laughter and with love. And for giving us the desires of our hearts, even when we don’t expect it. He is good, and His love endures forever!!


Curious & Curiouser

The last few months have been so interesting. I’m not sure where to start. I’ll try to make this brief, but informative. Before we started our small group up again (after a 5 month break), we felt like we were supposed to change the format of that group. We were being called to pray. During our first prayer meeting, David shared a vision he’d had of God dancing with him. And how, it was important to hear God’s voice, but maybe more important to be intimate enough with Him that we could follow his lead - and move forward in the steps that He was guiding. An hour or so later, David was driving to the store and saw a new neighbor moving furniture in his home alone - David jumped out of the car and helped him with the furniture, and the others that were still in the truck. It ended up that this new neighbor had just moved to Idaho with a group called Missionary Aviation Fellowship (you may have heard of them, or seen End of the Spear, a movie about their founders). Anyway, when our neighbor said that he just spent a few years in Venezuela flying for MAF, and had just moved to Nampa, with the group’s headquarters, it made David start to think about Brazil again. We began to research some things online, and look into the organization that David was with in Brazil back in 1999 - PAZ (Project AmaZon). After a lot of reading, and day-dreaming, we saw that they were in desperate need of volunteers. Not a lot of thought was given to it, we both went about our regular days, but I was having trouble sleeping at night, and all I could think of was Brazil, and what it would take to go there. After about a week of this, I shared with David how I couldn’t get it out of my mind, and really felt like it was something we should pursue. David was so relieved to hear it, he had been feeling the same way, and was wondering how he was going to convince me. He felt like it was a desire that had always been alive since 1999, and that maybe the reason why it hadn’t happened yet, was because we hadn’t tried. I sent an impromptu email to PAZ , and received a quick response about how desperately they needed help and how blessed they were to be hearing from us. Needless to say, in a matter of days, our worlds were turned completely upside-down. It’s amazing how a change of future plans like that, can effect every single area of your life. How could we afford this? What would our kids do? When could we be ready to go? We just started moving one step at a time... let’s fill out the paperwork. Let’s give our reference forms to our pastor. Let’s tell about 5 people. Let’s wait. Let’s wait.... let’s wait some more. (The email process between here and there takes a lot of patience). In the meantime, we’ve been having waves of excitement and waves of wanting to puke. Thinking about quitting David’s job, selling our home, moving to another country, staying there for 6 months, deciding whether it is what we’d like to do long term. So, many questions, and really none of them being answered. We felt like we were being called to go, and at the same time not knowing when or how. We knew we weren’t supposed to be telling everyone we knew, until we had definite dates from PAZ, and were putting our house up for sale, etc. In the meantime - more waiting. The references forms were given to the appropriate people, and still more waiting. They won’t approve an application until they’ve reviewed all the documents. While waiting, and going back and forth in waves of anticipation and utter, sweat-drenching fear - knowing the whole time that God is completely in control of all of this.
For the last 3 weeks, I’ve been praying “God, give us something really obvious, an obvious sign, something really unmistakable so that we’ll know that what we’re planning in 6 months is what you’re planning for us.”
Then on Tuesday, He answered us as simply, and as obviously as He could. I took a pregnancy test. And the whole time, while I was waiting, I was praying “God, Your will, not mine, Your timing, not mine...”. As I read the test, I nearly fell over, “this can’t be right... I must be reading this wrong” - “maybe I should read the directions again”. “oh, ok, um, ... David???!!! can you come here for a minute??”. Yeah, I’m pregnant again. I go to the doctor in a week or so, and she can tell confirm all this, and give us dates and such (but I did take 2 tests and they both say “yep”).
Certainly, not the timing I was thinking of, but such an obvious answer to our prayers. “Not right now, you guys!” At the same time, I feel like God is standing here with a grin on His face... “you kids... I love you so much!”.
So, in the end, I don’t even feel like he squashed our dreams and desires to be missionaries in Brazil, He just loves us enough to give us more time than we thought we had, and another baby to add some more joy to our home.
So, we are in a bit of “stall” mode right now, our focus on our immediate future has changed to things like “how can we fit 3 car seats in our 5 seat car?” “Do they make 3-seater, strollers?”

God is good, and His love endures forever!

A Time For Everything

Our trip to Red Mesa, AZ and back had a bit of everything. Check out our photo pages for a glimpse of what we experienced. On the “journal” side, it was really intriguing to learn about the Navajo culture, and about a lot of history they don’t teach you in school.
One of the many highlights of this trip was our excursion to Mesa Verde National Park, right outside of Cortez, CO. Here you can find the ruins of the Anasazis. There is a lot of speculation as to what happened to these people, or why they moved from their cliff dwellings - but the best explanation I heard was, “it was time for them to move”.
I had packed a book called “Is that really You God?” - by Loren Cunningham (the story of what led Loren to begin YWAM back in the 60’s) - I can’t read in the car, because I get pretty sick, and we never had any time for reading, while we were down there, but this morning, on the last leg of our trip, I really felt like I was supposed to try to read it in the car. I read about half the book between the Idaho border and Twin Falls, and didn’t get sick, but was definitely inspired to be continuously seeking the voice of God, knowing that he wants to speak to us.
What I’m trying to get at is this: just like the Anasazi way of life, came and went, we, as Christians have to be ready to move in whatever direction God is leading. And if that means an end to our stable “cliff dwellings”, then so-be-it.



About 6 years ago, I received a word from a pastor, saying that I would be known as a “Daughter of Thunder”. I’ve tried to figure this out for quite a few years. What does that mean exactly? Usually, I have been mostly discouraged when I think of this and how I don’t see myself that way, so why would God? and If I’m supposed to be thunderous, when will I be given that opportunity?
A day or two ago, I was sitting outside, full-on daydreaming, and it came to me, what this was all about, and how I didn’t need to wait for an opportunity, that this was a picture of who I’m supposed to be all the time.
Dutch Sheets, in his book “Intercessory Prayer”, talks about how we’re supposed to represent Jesus here on earth. He says represent means to “present again” , “to exhibit the image and counterpart of; to speak and act with authority of the part of; to be a substitute or agent for”.
So, I can’t actually be Christ, but I can represent Him, and if He is all light, then I can be thunder. There is no thunder without lightning, and if you’ve heard the terrifying sound of thunder, you know the lightning that created it was an awesome sight. I always thought that this word to me, meant that I would be given an opportunity to be really loud, but now I think that I am given an opportunity every day to represent the awesomeness that is Jesus.
Cool huh?!


Shoe Tree

I’m not sure why this tree always freaks me out. I mean, it’s not like the tree stole all these shoes by itself - but it really makes me think, “who took the time to throw all those pairs of shoes up in a tree in the middle of the desert?”. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the things that people do that, in the long run, really don’t matter at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that with some sort of angst or anything, I just think pressing on into things that actually matter eternally, may be the ticket. I was reading James (you know Martin Luther called it the gospel of straw... what??) - and James 4:13-15 NKJV says this:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
So, unlike this tree that doesn’t really “mean” anything, I want my life to be spent doing something that, not only means something, but more importantly means something to God.