• 26Jul
    Categories: Single Parenting Comments Off on The War

    This week I sent my kids to Day Camp where they learned all about the armor of God.

    Today we head off to The War (Youth Activity).

    I’d laugh at the irony of it all except the truth is closer than I really want to admit.  I am spending days, weeks, months, even years trying to teach my children about God, His Word, His laws, and His protection, while exposing them to skirmishes, and strategies that will help them when they must stand in battle.  We recently went on a trip that I was hoping would help with that a bit.  I put them in a situation where we needed to work together as a unit and I was proud of what they accomplished.  I have some good soldiers in the making.  Now to work on that whining . . . =}

  • 17Jul
    Categories: Musings Comments Off on Dulling of the Senses

    Uncle Caleb showed up last night and we had a good chat.  He has joined the navy and we are all agog to hear about it.  But he made a comment that got me thinking.  He said that after a really hard workout he notices that his body is more sensitive to certain types of foods and so he prefers to steer clear of those foods all the time.  Not that those foods are necessarily bad or that he never eats them, but rather he notices a dulling of his senses when he indulges in them to frequently.  While musing on that statement and a few similarities in my life I got to thinking about my spiritual life.  During an extreme workout of the spiritual type, I, too, am aware of certain sensitivities.  There are certain things that I avoid during that time frame because I know that it will distract me and dull my senses.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m quite as wise as Uncle Caleb because I haven’t figured out that it would be better for me to avoid them on a daily basis.  Something else to work on, Lord, and of course, You know I can’t do it alone.  Thank You for continuing to draw me closer.

    “Stand in awe, and sin not: ”Psalm 4:4                “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” Psalm 5:4

  • 15Jun
    Categories: Grieving Comments Off on Hope

    I mourned my (or my kid’s) loss again this morning, but was reminded of something that no other religion can give me, . . hope.

    Where is your hope today?

    Do you have hope in your future? It Will end.
    Do you have hope in yourself? You Will fail.
    Do you have hope in a friend? They will let you down.
    Do you have hope in a spouse? You already know how that works.

    My hope is in someone so out of this world that when this world erupts in total chaos I can still have peace. My hope lasts forever. My hope will never fail. My hope is beyond Your understanding. Will you give me the opportunity to share my hope?

  • 04Jun
    Categories: Musings Comments: 1

    =) I had another dream.  I think it seems kind of silly to put much stock in dreams, but it was just a little bit of encouragement and I decided to hang on to it anyway.

    We had been separated (the hazy dream world sorta crammed 6 years into about 2 or 3 days) and my anticipation was mounting.  We were to meet in the auditorium and he had sent a short note that simply said, “I’ll find you.”  My excitement was such that of course I was ready early and I decided to go and wander around a bit.  The auditorium was packed and people were milling around everywhere.  It reminded me of college days before a church service.  I started at one side and meandered my way toward the other side constantly scanning the people around me, looking for friends, watching people interacting with each other, and hoping to see him.

    I was three quarters of the way to the other side when I heard my name called.  My heart jumped.  Several rows above me a group of friends waved me in their direction and then I saw him.  I didn’t recognize him.  He looked different.  He wasn’t Dan.  But the smile on his face, the recognition in his eyes, his speed as he headed in my direction, all pushed me toward him without hesitation.  We reached each other and he pulled me into a hug that I knew.  I knew those arms that surrounded and held me close.  I knew that heart that was beating in my ear.  I knew the tone of his voice as he whispered how much he missed me.  I knew what his response would be to my sarcastic comment of “Of course, it’s only been two days!” 

    Sigh.  I miss those hugs.

    But what I really want to grab on to is the fact that HE Is Looking.  God is looking for me.  God is looking for those I love.  The pressure and responsibility for me to lead my children to the Lord is not mine.  GOD is looking for my children, and I know He will find them.  I, of course, will do my best to love and direct them in the right direction, but ultimately the choice is up to them.

    And of course, there is the side note that maybe Mr. Right is looking for me, too.  =)

  • 17May

    Well it’s happened.  I am officially a ‘mean mom.’  =)

    My daughter told me this morning that next something about next week wouldn’t matter because she wouldn’t be here.  Combined with other rumblings I’ve heard, that means she is running away.  No going off in a huff for this one.  She has the date and time picked out.  Her bags are packed.

    I wonder if she has a destination in mind.  Nana’s house isn’t too far away but something tells me that Nana will soon send her back.

  • 04Mar

    I had a startling thought this morning.

    I have been a single mother for five years!

    Strange as it may be, I knew that I had been a widow for five years but somehow I didn’t quite connect that with parenting.  Of course, I paused for reflection.  Benjamin was 6, he will be 13 next year (that thought alone has caused all kinds of interesting reflections).  Caleb never even knew his daddy.  He has no idea what it’s like to have two parents.  In fact, most of my kids have no idea what it’s like to have a two-parent home.  They have vague memories and ideas of what they think it means.  They have weird ideas like “Grandpa is our daddy” or the nanny is our “other mommy,” but they really have no idea how a two-parent family would function.

    Then I looked at my children.  None of them have gone off the deep end (they are a bit young for that, I guess).  They are well behaved for the most part.  They are responsible and capable of many things.  They help with the housework and watching out for each other.  Sometimes they even think to do something nice for Mom.  There are things that we are working on, of course, but who isn’t?  It’s not easy being a single parent, but I’m guessing God has been helping quite a bit because I think my kids are doing o.k.

    Huh. Five years.  We might make it yet.

  • 19Feb

    I just read a devotional that encouraged parents not to put the good times on hold because they were going through hard times.         And I laughed.             If Dan and I had tried to wait till we had some money to do fun stuff we would have gone nowhere.

    And yet I’ve always sorta believed that the early years of child rearing were the survival years.  And if those were the only kind of years that I had with Dan, trying to just “survive,” then I am afraid that I missed out on something.

    I guess that isn’t really true.  Dan and I spent time together at the park, we had picnics and romantic get-away’s, we took trips to visit parents, there was the trip to OR, there was MOPS and friends at church.  My life was not on hold.  It’s true that we didn’t get to do as much as we wanted because of lack of money and eventually lack of energy, but we weren’t living on hold.  They might have been “survival years,” but we did more than just “survive.”  Dan would never have been content to just survive.  He wanted more out of life and he drug me along (willingly) to enjoy it with him.  I’ve been tormenting myself with the thought that “If those were the survival years then I missed life with Dan.”  It’s a LIE!

    Praise the Lord, the truth shall set you free.

  • 06Feb
    Categories: Musings Comments: 4

    I’ve read that as a culture, we as parents worry more about our duties as parents than previous generations did.  Apparently (= if a child turned out different than they were trained it was assumed that it was the child’s decision and choice.  Today we worry about ruining our child’s self esteem, whether we have destroyed their confidence, or if some inadvertent comment is going to scar them for life.

    I’m wondering if we are constantly worried about our parenting skills, won’t our children pick up on that worry?  They might assume we don’t know what we are doing, making it much easier for them to claim control (depending on their personality) or to cower in fear from everything unsure of their training.

    God has not given us the power of fear but of love.  We are not to live in fear; we are to trust.  God is in control and our children must eventually make their own choices.  It doesn’t matter if you are a good parent or a rotten parent, God is bigger than all that.  If your fear controls you, then God does not.

  • 28Jan

    Hello to all from the cold and snowy north!

    Some of you know what that is like.  Due to the high moisture content of our summer I’m guessing we should have a fairly snowy winter and so far my guess seems to be holding true.  =)  That high moisture content this summer allowed us to have a fantastic garden so I am definitely not complaining.  Not only that, but I happen to like snow and the kids sure do too.  We had close to 6 inches at one point and they made sure to cover the yard with sled tracks, footprints, snow angels, snowball forts, and anything else they could think of.

    My Dad has already plowed his way through a decent sized section of wood trying to heat their place and we have had a few days where we were out chopping, stacking, and even using the power saw helping to keep them warm (at least I was helping with the chopping and the saw . . . the boys aren’t quite ready for that yet).

    We have also made great strides at eating our way through the produce that we harvested from our garden.  The advent of cooler weather seems to have affected the stomachs of my two oldest boys in a startling way.  I knew that sooner or later they would start eating like teenagers and they haven’t made it quite that far, yet, but I am getting a taste of where that could go.

    Benjamin (11) is still my reader.  For Christmas I got him a pile of books and he is as happy as could be.   He also likes to play basketball although that is a bit more difficult in this weather as his court is quite cold and snowy.

    Josiah (10) is quite artistic.  He enjoys drawing and loves the charcoal set that he got for Christmas.  He works hard at his school work and can be quite responsible, often reminding his siblings to do their chores, helping Caleb with his clothes, and ready to be of assistance to Mom whenever possible.

    Abigail (9) still loves to be in the kitchen.  This year I have her helping me with supper preparation and cleanup.  The cleanup seems to be a new idea somehow.  Apparently those dishes sort of magically cleaned themselves before and we aren’t quite sure why we have to do them ourselves now.  =)  She also loves legos and playing with her brother Josiah.

    Dassy (8)(Hadassah) got a sewing box for Christmas and is busy making blankets, stuffed animals, and various other things.  She loves hugs and is really starting to enjoy being involved with the Patch the Pirate Club at our church.

    Maranatha (7) is still my smiling sunshine although clouds do occasionally pop up.  She is doing great in school and she loves music.  She likes the fact that she occasionally gets lumped in with the big kids, but is often just as content to be considered one of the little kids.

    Payden (6) usually is my biggest source of laughter.  Some of the things he says  . . . and he says a lot.  He’s a cheerful chatterbox.  He and Caleb are pretty close.  They play legos together, do school together, room together, hang out with Mom together, etc.   Payden considers it his personal responsibility to make sure that Caleb is happy and taken care of.

    Caleb (5) is making great strides in his speech.  The missionary family that stayed with us for a couple of months at the beginning of the year was able to help work with him.  Nana has also been working with him pretty consistently during school time.  Now he is doing quite well although we are still working on his enunciation.  He still loves the occasional cuddle with Mom, is starting to help with bigger chores, and is doing just fine in school.

    Dan, of course, is still enjoying his new singing career.  His presence is still missed, but the daily pain is gone.  The kids make sure we never forget him and sometimes I just have to smile when they do something that is so ‘Dan’ I have to blink to make sure it isn’t him.

    And me, well, I’m busy as usual.  It took me almost a month to catch up on housework after the harvest season.  =)  School has been going well.  I do love homeschooling.  We have so much fun together as a family and our history class is a favorite as we all gather round to read and talk about so many things.  We have also been reading the Kingdom Series by Chuck Black for Bible class and that has sparked some interesting thoughts and has been quite convicting.  It’s a great series for those of you with young boys (and girls) and it’s good for the parents, too.

    Since it’s vacation time I was able to get a quilt in the frame and have started working on that.  I’m a bit behind on getting one done a year so the pressure is on.  I continue to play piano for church on a regular basis and I’m signed up to help with VBS again this year.  The garden plans for this year continue to blossom and grow (pardon the pun) and the kids are trying to get me geared up for another trip.  God is good and when I take a few minutes to question that, He is always ready and willing to remind me.                                                Love to all!

  • 15Jan
    Categories: Musings Comments: 1

    “Anything we use to run from the situation God has us in is an act of discontentment and not counting our trial as joy.”

    “Children are not a burden to escape or endure; they are a blessing that drives us to Christ because we are incapable of parenting well without Him.”

    ~~Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman