Friday, January 31, 2014

the trials that test our faith

At 5:00 this morning, after about an hours sleep, I text my mom and told her I might need some help today. Elijah had his tonsils and adenoids out on Monday and it's been a rough week. My mom already helped by keeping the girls the first couple days. I was able to just take care of Elijah. I'm so glad I was free to do that. He's in so much pain and the evenings have been hard, with little sleep. 

My mind is all over the place. When we went into the hospital and they changed him into his gown, I started to get a little choked up. 
I felt weak for wanting to cry. 
I mean this is routine. 
Kids do it all the time. 
There's so much worse we could be going through, but seeing his little body in that big gown and knowing that he was going away from my protective arms made my heart hurt a little. It was a reminder that he's always in God's hands. My protection only goes so far, but His reaches beyond anywhere I can go. 

It makes me sick to my stomach to see him in so much pain.
I want to take it all away. 
It's exhausting. The first couple days he just silently cried. He was brave and strong, but as the week has gone on, his cries have gotten louder, he's eating less, and he keeps asking me why this is happening. 

I don't want to admit it, but the lack of sleep is catching up and I'm losing my patience. Thankfully my mom came in to let me catch my breath. She took him to her house to rest for a couple hours, but I'm sitting here and all I can do is think of him. I want him back. 

I keep thinking that this is just a building block in the many trials he's going to walk through in his life. What now feels like a huge trial to him, will one day barely be a memory. I'm praying that even though he's young and doesn't understand much, he will look back on this trial as one that God carried him through. I want it to be a stepping stone in his faith. I'll look over at him and he has his hands folded and head bowed. He keeps praying God would make the pain go away. I want him to remember that when he was 5 and in so much pain God heard his prayers. And even though the pain didn't disappear God held him through it all. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Some of my favorite posts are those sharing peoples favorite reads. I'm a bit of a nerd and I love adding more books to the never ending stack to read. I need a second job just to support my book addiction. So, here are some of my recent or current reads. 

The Shaping of a Christian Family In the last year or so Elisabeth Elliot became one of my favorite authors. I love her beautiful descriptions mixed with her no nonsense way. This book gave me a glimpse into her family and is the next best thing to experiencing it myself. I was challenged and convicted as I read about her upbringing. I would recommend it, as well as anything else she's written. (I've read, 'Let me be a Woman,' 'Keep a quiet heart,' 'Secure in the Everlasting Arms,' and Caleb is reading 'Mark of a Man,' I've also listened to many of her talks. The next books I want to read from her are, 'Passion and Purity,'  (i read a long time ago and want to reread) 'These Strange Ashes,' 'On asking God Why.') 

A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael  This is another one by Elisabeth Elliot. I've just started it so I can't say much, except, Amy Carmichael, was one of the women Elisabeth Elliot looked up to the most. I'm anxious for time to dive in and learn more about her. 

The Bible. I'm trying to read through the Bible this year. I haven't done it in years and I really want to do it. The hard part isn't the desire to read, it's finding the time to read. I usually get up around 5:30 and can get a chunk of reading done, but the days I don't get a lot read and fall behind I struggle to make the reading up. 

Stepping Heavenward by Elisabeth Prentiss I finished this one a couple months ago and it quickly became one of my favorite books I've ever read. I started it once years ago and I never finished it. This time when I picked it up I didn't put it down. I'm sure I'll read it many times again.  

Books I'm reading to the Children

Susy's six teachers by Elisabeth Prentiss Elijah and Vanessa loved this book and the lessons taught in the book made an impact on both of them. And I enjoyed it very much too. 

God's Names by Sally Michael We read one name every morning during breakfast and each day review the names we'd done before. My children grew in their understanding of who God is and it's been good for me to remind them of who he is throughout our day. 

These are books on my list to read:

The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman 

Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret  by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 

Books I want to read to the Children

God's Promises by Sally Michael 

Charlotte's Web  by E. B. White 

I'd love to hear some of your favorite books....

Friday, January 24, 2014


I love fresh starts, new beginnings. New Year's, has never brought for me a list of resolutions. I've always thought if something needed changing, then I would start immediately, but I do like to stop and look back at the year and forward to the year ahead. I want to see areas that need growth, things that worked well, and remember. I want to set goals and make sure that good habits are being formed. 

2013 brought with it a lot of trials. A long road that didn't seem to end. Caleb and I were stretched so much and found ourselves completely worn down. I felt very alone and confused and just wanted to see light at the end of the tunnel. 

I started to pray that God would refresh us. That He would be enough. I cried a lot that day, (like i had many days before) but the next day, without any changes in our circumstances, I felt relief for the first time in months. Now, I don't believe that I finally prayed the 'right' prayer and now God was answering it. I think the whole time He was carrying us, being faithful, and refining us. He was bringing us to a place of complete brokenness and dependence. Then He breathed new life into us. 

The new year feels like a fresh start. Still not much change in our circumstances, but we have seen God bless us more than we deserve and provide for our needs in unexpected ways. Our strength is renewed and we're excited to see what this year brings.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Christmas 2013

I'm finally sitting down for a moment to document our Christmas. We had a white Christmas in Idaho with all my side of the family. It's been two years since we've all been together. Many emails and calls happened planning our time together and we were all very excited, so of course what else would happen then all of us get sick. I guess it's bound to happen. People traveling from all over and lots of little ones who seem to get everything, and right in the middle of cold and flu season. Most of our time was spent laying on the couch,  but at least we were all laying together.
Between being up all night coughing, a trip to urgent care, and endless amounts of laundry to clean up throw up, we squeezed some good time in together.

There was lots of kissing and cuddling...

Book reading..

movie watching...

slumber partying...

super heroing...

Snowball throwing..

Snowman making...

Snow eating...

nose picking...

late night chatting...

snow sledding...

Ice Skating...

 Cousin hanging...

(becky....sorry....not one picture of you.....i really don't know what to say...) 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Never want to forget....Amelia edition.

I love making lists of little things the kids do at different stages. I constantly think I'll never forget the things they do a hundred times a day, but as they grow and new stages start I find that those little things are easy to forget. Looking back and reading these lists sparks so many memories. 

I want to remember how you giggle when we tell you it's bed time. Or how, if we don't get you in bed soon enough you turn on your noise machine and climb in to bed yourself. 

The way you suck your thumb and hook your finger on your nose. 

The way you dance, moving one arm up and down and swinging your hips. 

How you squeal when you hear the door open and know daddy's home. 

How you say 'no' to everything or ask 'what's that.' 

When you stop me from housework and make me hold you. 

Your love for books. 

Your love for your brother and sister.

Your love for family hugs. 

The way you laugh, especially when you think you're funny.

The way you hide your face when you get in trouble.

Your sense of humor. 

They way you scream when you see a dog and then tell me, 'I want dog.'

How you never stop moving.

Your determination. 

Your joy.

 (this is the face you make when you want to be mad and you're trying not to smile.)

(you think you're so funny showing us your belly)

(calling for the dog walking outside.)

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