Thursday, September 20, 2018

God, Grandkids and Sophie the Deer.

Reading to 3 of the 5 grandkids before a sleepover with Nana and Papa. And Cooper the professional photobomber.
Living up in the woods near Mt Hood has its perks. We can wander the trails to our hearts content and enjoy the beauty of God's creation with every step we take. Wild life is all around. We also have danger, as we all have seen in the  recent Portland news of the cougar that killed a woman across the highway from us. 
Nobody ever said it's safe up here. 

Well, except me. I say it all the time when I try to convince friends or family to come stay for a while.

We don't have as many deer up here as we used to 20 years ago. But they will still visit occasionally, stepping quietly into the yard from the dark woods to eat the grass in the yard. 

Last spring, Rod was walking the trail when he noticed a doe a few yards away, seemingly frozen in a crouched position. It took him a few moments to realize she was giving birth to a fawn. He moved on leaving her to her work, hoping that they would both survive and thrive.

Another day on the trail....a quieter day.
We saw her every great once in a while, and usually she would leave her fawn in the relative safety of the trees when she stepped into the yard. We named the doe Sophie.

One day a couple weeks ago, three of the grandkids were up visiting. We had told them about Sophie and 

 the kids wanted to walk through the woods to the creek looking for her. I knew it wasn't likely that we would see her, with three young rambunctious kids, two goofy dogs. And one goofy Rod. He can be pretty loud,too.
But we would have a nice hike to the creek and tire these crazy kids out.
So, off we went.
It was no big surprise when we walked all the way to the creek and didn't see Sophie. When we arrived at the bridge, Max asked if we could pray that we would see her on the way home. 

Well, I GUESS so. If you REALLY have to... 

Just kidding!Of course we can. I won't say no when the kids want to pray. (And if I ever do, just punch me in the throat. I'll deserve it.)

So we all knelt down on the forest floor and asked God to let us see Sophie on the way home. We said we knew he was in charge of all the deer in the woods, and he could let us see her if he wanted to. Amen.
When we were finished , the kids and Rod raced across the bridge and began playing around the hollow tree they alway hide in.
Suddenly, I heard Rod shout. He had been stung by a bee. I moment later Gracie got stung and started screaming her lungs out. Rod is allergic and Gracie was hysterical (I'm not gonna lie; so was Rod.) so we started running back along the trail. With all our racket there was no chance we were going to see any wildlife, let alone a skittish doe. And with all the panic we had forgotten our request.

But God didn't.

I had picked up Gracie and began hurrying back down the trail towards the house. Suddenly I began to get stung by bees. I put Gracie down and began pulling at my clothes trying to get those darn bees off me. Gracie was screaming even louder,poor baby. Lilli was crying, scared she was going to get stung, and Max was racing through the trees toward home.

Suddenly I realized Rod had stopped directly in front of me and was pointing. There Sophie stood, just a few yards off the trail, as if she were posing for a portrait.
Gracie stopped screaming, Lilli and Max stood staring. The dogs were right next to us and never saw her.
She stood watching us and Gracie asked if we could go pet her; she was so close. No, I whispered. But look what God did.
Sophie stood still watching us and we stared back in wonder before she turned her head and leaped effortlessly through the thick trees.
I just marveled.

It wasn't just seeing a deer in the woods like it is an everyday occurance.

Do you see what God did?

We couldn't say, "Oh, we were quiet and stealthy as ninjas, sneaking through the forest searching for the doe."
No. Pretty much the opposite.

We were a loud and unruly mob of adults, kids and dogs, screaming like they were being killed, rushing madly through the woods, making as much noise as possible, snapping sticks with our feet and whipping branches out of our way as we ran to the house for safety.

That's when God had his doe, Sophie step close to the trail just so we could see her.

This is just how our God loves to work. Answering specific prayers for his children. Showing up when it seems the most unlikely. (this totally makes me think of 1st Kings 18:20-40 , when God had Elijah pour water on the wood until it was flooded, making sure everyone knew it could only be God)

Showing how much he loves them by responding. Listening. Hearing as we pray. The little things like asking to see a doe become big things, like learning that God loves you and hears you and answers your prayers.
It is building a foundation for my Max, Lilli and Gracie's lives.
A rock solid belief that the God who made the mountains, the woods and all the deer on the Earth loves them dearly (do you see what I did there?) and hears them.
The day is coming, if it hasn't already, when my grandchildren will pray to God and it might seem as if he doesn't hear them and they will not see his quick response the way they yearn to.
But I hope and pray that they will remember this day and know that God loves them tremendously, listens intently to them and is always, always working.Romans 8:28.

Below is a video from this week of Sophie and her 7 month old fawn Half-Pint. Enjoy!

Friday, September 22, 2017

"Save us from our si-ans...."

This sound bite is my granddaughter, Gracie, age 3, praying with her Mama. Amy sent it to a couple days ago. Because, the sweetness of it. I can't even.

At her age she isn't even sure what sins are, but she knows we need to be saved from them. Good for her!
What an unpopular subject! Sin. Who wants to think about them, let alone deal with them? I'd rather watch Netflix and eat cookie dough. That sounds fun. (and fattening)

But my heart is so moved this morning by our views of sins, both in the church and out of it.

We want to say it's no big deal.  We've been forgiven once, we've accepted Jesus into our hearts. It's done. We don't need to be forgiven over and over again.
We're not as bad as *insert name*, so we're okay.
We'd rather smile and laugh and live our lives our own way. Why do we need to worry about sins? We're not that bad.
A little rabbit trail ...I grew up Catholic and, as a child I used to make up things to tell the priest at confession. Because I could surely never confess what I had really done...

For God to forgive us, we first need to acknowledge that we even did something wrong.
And we all have. As Romans 3 says "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Let's talk about anything else, the Seahawks game, the crazy weather, even taxes. (ewwww!)  We want desperately to forget the repent-of-sins part altogether and move straight into magnificent grace and mercy.
 I get it.
 I'm a sweeper-under-the-rugger from way back.

I read this from Charles Spurgeon this morning and it has stung me, in a good way.

"Let me speak especially to you who desire to find peace with God and salvation through the precious blood: you will do well to make your confession before God very frank, very sincere, very explicit. Surely you have nothing to hide, for there is nothing you can hide. He knows your guilt already, but He would have you know it; therefore He tells you to confess it. Go into the details of your sin in secret acknowledgements before God. Strip yourself of all excuses. Say,

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalm 51:4)

Acknowledge the evil of sin; ask God to make you feel it. Do not treat it as a trifle, for it is not. To redeem the sinner from the effects of sin, Christ Himself had to die; and unless you are delivered from sin, you must die eternally. Therefore, do not play with sin. Do not confess it as though it were some venial fault that would not have been noticed unless God had been too severe; but labor to see sin as God sees it, as an offense against all that is good, a rebellion against all that is kind. See it to be treason, to be ingratitude, to be a low and base thing.
Never expect that the King of Heaven will pardon a traitor if he will not confess and forsake his treason. Even the tenderest of fathers expects the child to humble himself when he has offended and he will not withdraw his frown from him until with tears the child has said, "Father, I have sinned."
Do you dare to expect God to humble Himself to you, and would it not be so if He did not constrain you to humble yourself to Him? Would you have Him ignore your faults and wink at your transgressions? He will have mercy, but He must be holy. He is ready to forgive, but not to tolerate sin. Therefore, He cannot let you be forgiven if you hug your sins, or if you presume to say, "I have not sinned." Hasten, then, seeker, hasten, I pray you, to the mercy seat with this upon your lips, "I am poor and needy, I am sinful, and I am lost; have pity on me," With such an acknowledgement, you begin your prayer well, and through Jesus, will prosper in it."

Well stated, Mr. Spurgeon. Well stated.
Have you ever "hugged your sin?" I know I have. I pray that these words convict you as they have me.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Outta Control

I really wanted to title this "Rolling Stones" but Rod would probably not like that plan, and I should be nice to the patient.
Apparently being kind is expected behavior unless you are Kathy Bates in "Misery" or Nurse Ratchet in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Which I may be.

Anyway, right now Rod has a few kidney stones that really need to pass. This was confirmed by his doctor, a ct scan and, most importantly, by his wife.

 I was able to diagnose him accurately after listening to his symptoms and hearing his declarative statement that he was sure it was a pulled muscle in his back.

To be honest, I did do some valuable research. I watched Jeff Foxworthy do a spiel on Youtube and read what a friend posted about her husband on FaceBook when he had kidney stones.
Also, not to brag, but I have watched most seasons of Grey's Anatomy. So, basically I am as close to being a medical professional as you can get without having actually attended medical school or having any experience whatsoever.

I am that good.
 (FYI I am accepting new patients on a first come, first serve basis, and will make phone or Facetime consultations as needed. Call me.)

Rod is not in that stage of severe, excruciating pain that people talk about afterwards with wide frightened eyes and the trembly voice of someone who has been through a war or had a near-death experience. (yet.)
Who knows, this may just pass (wink) with nothing more than the sore kidneys he has now. Hoping and praying for that.
But it is irritating waiting, right? We keep reading online,( thank you, Dr. Google)  and listening to friend's advice about drinking gallons of lemon water and chugging apple cider vinegar. Rod especially loves that. Mmmm-mmm.

The bottom line (chuckle) is that we cannot control when these tiny little jagged ninja death stars come out. We can just keep on trying whatever we can to help the process along.

I think that is one of the things that bothers us the most in life; lack of control.

Like these dratted kidney stones.

Or like when you move to the shorter grocery line, and the longer one you were in previously finishes first.

Or when you put your socks in the dryer and you are missing one when they come out. (I firmly believe in a parallel universe where they get all our extra socks that we are missing. It makes sense, right?)

Or, um HELLOOOO...the election. Totally out of control.

Or when the kid you raised as best you can gets a divorce and suffers the consequences along with his children.

Things happen.

You do the best you can, try everything you can think of, but you still get kidney stones, pick the slowest line, lost the socks, watch your kids suffer. And our presidential candidates are still Trump and Clinton. (I literally woke up in tears about the election this morning. True story.)

These things are what we are going through right now, and you may be enduring much worse. I'm so sorry if you are.

So many times I wake up in the morning or go to bed at night completely overwhelmed with feelings of pain as I think of my grandbabies crying for their dad, or asking for their mom, and wondering how Christmas morning will look now, and how this will affect their entire lives and what are we going to do?? and how can I make this better??  and I just need to fix this NOW! How can I fix this?

And as I spiral out of control I run straight into the wall of "I have no control."

And then I turn, and careen straight into the arms of the only One who does have control, and who loves and cherishes us beyond description.

I have a soft place to fall.

An ear that hears my cries. (he hears me!)

Eyes that look on me with compassion for my pain. (He sees me!)

A voice that answers me with wisdom. (His word!)

Arms that comfort me and bring me peace when NO.THING. else can.

He  keeps track of our sorrows and a stores up our tears in a bottle. Psalm 56:8.
And our names are engraved on his hands. Isaiah 49:16

He has a plan. He has a purpose and we are the apples of his eye and the treasures of his heart  He has a love for us that fills up all the galaxies in the universe and he will not let us fall.

When I ponder on these truths and remember whose I am, I can breathe a sigh of relief.
No, I am not in control.

Probably even less than I think.

But the God who sees me and hears me is.
And he loves me.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Praying for super powers

When I was little, I was obsessed with superheros. I wanted to have their super powers.
 Like invisibility, or being a human torch and throwing flames everywhere. But I especially wished I could of fly. Swooping through the skies was my dream.
 All  four of my sisters come down on me pretty hard when they found out I convinced a little neighborhood boy that I really could fly. I jumped off a garden wall over and over again trying to show him how I hovered and floated.
 It was fun while it lasted. (and I really think I may have taken longer to hit the ground than everyone else.They just pretended not to notice. Jealous, much?)

My grandson Max brings all the joys of my young super hero days right back. We play all kinds of magical games out in the green woods behind our house, using sticks as pretend flaming swords or lasers and crouching behind stumps while hiding from all our powerful and scary enemies.
When asked a couple weeks ago what super power he wishes he could have, he replied "running really fast" without hesitation.
And if he could be an animal, he would be a cheetah, apparently because of their great speed.

What? Not flying? I never doubted he was my grandson until that moment.

But, his answer reminded me of Elijah in 1st Kings and how God strengthened him so he could run back to the city ahead of King Ahab and his horses and chariots, so I was able to share that with a wide-eyed Max before we plunged back into the forest to play.

This morning I have been praying for a couple friends fighting cancer, friends struggling with deep issues in their families, family members, healing for marriages, celebratory prayer for a friend who is going to be a Nana, and for a close friend heading off on a short mission trip today.
I'm always praying for unexplained healing, supernatural wisdom, unbelievable peace that can only come from Jesus.
How about praying to control my tongue and maybe keep my lips shut rather than spouting every word in my brain right out of my mouth. Talk about super powers!

It is the best feeling in the world to be able to pray to a God who, not only loves us beyond reason, but is the only real super-hero I know of. He takes care of us daily and rescues us constantly. He doesn't forget about us and our names are written on his hands. He listens to us, defends us and fights for us. We are his and he is ours.

It is completely mind-blowing the way that God shows himself to us, both through answered prayers and through things we've never thought to pray for.

The universe is full of creative, astonishing things that God has gifted us with.

The sun...placed in exactly the right spot so we don't burn or freeze, but just enjoy it's light and warmth.

Rain... A drink of water from the sky. Oregon is so green because we get enough of it.

Clouds... they shade us from scorching days and encourage us to look up and daydream.

Snow...Really?? Fluffy, frozen goodness that floats down from the sky. We play in it, walk in it because nothing is so hushed and beautiful as a nighttime snow walk with your loved ones. And it piles up in the mountains giving us more water in the dry summer months.

Things growing in the about superpowers! We throw tiny seeds in the poop-fertilized dirt and radishes, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes miraculously spring to life. For our benefit! And the flowers! For pure enjoyment.

The ocean filled with sea-life...We still don't even know everything that is down there!

Our own human bodies complex beyond belief...just ponder the miracle of the human eye and how it works for a minute. Or our tastebuds.

 Mind. Blown.

When I think back on my days of dreaming of super-powers, I am so very thankful for a God who is not limited by our human imagination, but continues to astonish and delight us with his magnificent displays of creation.

Do I still wish I could fly?


What super-miraculous things come to your mind when you think on the goodness of God?

Max at the beach, displaying his super-power of cuteness.

Max camping and just being his super-hero self.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Happy Anniversary??

Yesterday was our 34th anniversary and we celebrated with  our typical over-the-top style; a flash mob dancing it out to our favorite Bruno Mars song(sung live by Bruno Mars, of course, sparkling champagne flowing for everyone, rainbows with a pot of gold at the end, flying ponies with glitter on their wings. And chocolate everything.


Our day actually began with blueberry buttermilk pancakes and bacon. Because bacon makes everyday a celebration.

And that's when everything began to crumble.

A casual conversation quickly turned heated and angry words were said(loudly) tears were shed (I handed him a Kleenex) (just kidding) and one of us began to walk away angry and silent, pancakes and bacon left on the counter. No one was hungry anymore.

Yep, arguments still  happen even after 34 years of marriage, even on days of celebration. Or on the way to church.  Sorry to disappoint all you youngsters.

What has changed over the past decades is learning the rules to argueing.

We each have our own way of dealing with conflict; Rod is a stonewaller and I am an exploder.
Take a moment and imagine how well that works out.

Here is a list ofpretty straight forward rules that we mostly try to follow because we both have the same goal of resolution, not simply winning a point or  even the argument.
 I am not saying we always perfectly follow these rules, but we do try, and it has become easier as the years pass. And because we practice so much. :-)

 Side note:And seriously? Who can argue without sarcasm? That should almost be against the law. (kidding...I'm only kidding.)

I would also add a few things, such as:

Do recognize that anger is a secondary emotion, usually caused by feelings of rejection, being attacked or threatened. Do try to figure out which one so the anger can be addressed.

Don't let your primary goal in an argument be to WIN.

Do try to argue the point from your partner's perspective. (This works! Someone who's initials are ROD may have done this yesterday! He slayed it!)

And it must be said that we are, first and foremost, trying to please God, not ourselves. Not always, and we constantly have to redirect ourselves, but that would be the mission statement for our marriage.

Okay, I'm done. This is sounding way too psycho-babbly for me to be comfortable with.
Just wanted to give a shout out to all the young marrieds who think we should have it all figured out by now after 34 blissful years.
 Not even close.
We just keep working on it.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


I made oatmeal in the pressure cooker this morning for Rod. (Gosh, that is absolutely captivating!! Please, tell us more!! What happened next!!)
Honestly, I think it takes twice as long to make it in the pressure cooker as it does on the stove top. But it makes less of a mess so I am a fan.

We like steel cut oats so it's gonna take a while no matter what. But this morning I remembered to put in the 1 3/4 cups water which I forgot to remember yesterday, which ended badly. Rod ate stale toast for breakfast yesterday before he headed out to put in a day's hard work.(Are any of you even still awake?)

But, while he was gone it was "Yay! Hair cut/color day is here! Yay"
 I always like getting my hair done, especially because it is my friend, Jen, who does it.
 And I haven't spent much friend time with her for a long while.
She has been working on starting up a side business,Vintage23 ,and apparently has been quite busy! With important things!

So what, I have to pay her for her time? No big deal. She is worth it. I am not quite sure what that says about our friendship,though.
But never mind! It was hair day!

FYI, friends. Clear, concise communication is vital when speaking with your stylist. I went in with very precise instructions: "I want you to make me look 10 years younger and 10-50 lbs lighter. And I want to look like a rockstar.And I need for you to erase all my cares and worries for the day. Ready? Go."

After I delivered my carefully worded instructions I confidently settled  back in the chair, convinced Jen would work her black magic and do exactly as I wanted.

Everything was fine until I noticed another stylist gently rubbing her clients arms and hands as she leisurely rinsed her hair in the bowl.
Wait, what new, luxurious service is this?
As I turned to look questioningly at Jen,"what is this amazing new service, because, sister, I could soohooo use an arm and hand massage, she spun my chair so fast my hair whipped into my eyes and I couldn't see the expensive, moisturizing lotions the other stylist was massaging into the tired muscles of her client. And then Jen deftly changed the subject before I could demand for my own hand massage.
"Wow, Such cute boots you are wearing!"

"Yes, I know, right?" And just like a bird that sees something sparkly, the attention was now focused on these.
Totally understandable. Because these boots? I can't even.

But I didn't forget, Jen. I didn't forget. I will get my hand massage. Oh, yes I will.

Jen ended cutting off all my hair, enough so that Rod didn't recognize me while I was making his oatmeal this morning.

So, obviously, I must look like a rock star.
Well, an aging rock star.
One who has maybe lived a hard life with weird parties and illegal drugs and creepy, stalkerish groupies and self-assured, morning after mug shots from police stations all over the world.

So I look like Keith Richards.
Or maybe his mother.

But I feel like Gwen Stephanie, so that is good enough for me.

And, I don't want to boast, but I may look identical (I.DENT.I.CAL) to a certain Spice Girl ....

Except maybe a couple 2-3 of her. She is so tiny! Like barely human! But, I have to say, I'm feeling pretty darn Posh-spicy, and livin the rock-n-roll life style as I pressure cook David Beckham's Rod's oatmeal, sweep my Pergo floors, sip on my frothy cappuccino.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

No Apologies.

It has surprised me, during this dark season, of my seemingly endless capacity for pain.

 Max asked me last week if we could play kitchen, or if I wanted to watch him play MineCraft.

Without pausing for breath he then told me his mom and dad are getting a divorce. He searched my eyes as he then told me that it sometimes meant that kids don't get to see their daddies because because they live with their mommies.

My heart broke onto the floor.

Carefully, gently, fiercely I assured him that he would always get to see his mommy and daddy, and also his Nana and Papa and all his cousins and aunts and uncles. We would make sure, MAKE SURE that he and Lilli would always get to be with their family.

Then we played kitchen and read a book before I packed him up with his red and blue back pack and drove him to school. Lilli and I went inside the cafeteria where all the kids could have breakfast together. I didn't dissolve into tears when I chatted with his teacher this time. Win! I waited with him until school started.

Then I carried innocent laughy squishy stubborn Lilli back to the truck and snapped her into her carseat. Safe and sound. I wish it were that easy.

At least I made it to the highway headed home before I released the torrent of tears I'd had dammed behind my eyes.
Damn these tears. Damn this pain. Damn divorce.

It feels like I have been crying a lifetime and will it continue for a lifetime.
So, clearly I will never be the dainty person that will hold her pain privately, quietly so as not to make any normal situation, you know, like grocery shopping or chatting on the phone into a super awkward scene.
I'm super fun to be around. You should call me! You should invite me to your party!

 I'm not the decorous person who gives a discreet sniffle now and again. Nothing that a Kleenex or two can't take care of.
I will make a great undignified mess of myself as I keen and howl at the scorched earth of it all. (and then blog about it!)

I want this fixed!
My family is dying and I want it to stop!

There is no single glistening tear that escapes only under great duress.

I heave huge hiccupping sobs, and we all know about my Bobbi Brown mascara disaster, snot running down into my wide open mouth, and sounds from "The Walking Dead" coming from way deep down inside.
This is what is looks and sounds like when my heart is breaking. Loud and ugly.

Can't help it. Won't apologize for it.

I just wish I could be a dignified griever. It's so much more acceptable. Especially by me.

BUT...because I'm hurting out loud does not mean I am not believing. I am. I have hope in the future, faith for believing and grace for today.
God is close.
I am still hurting.
 I've found he doesn't just magically make the pain disappear, but he is close beside me during it. I can scream and he answers me patiently. I can cry and he catches my tears in a bottle (yes it must be big bottle.)
 I break apart and he puts me back together, like the bionic woman, better, stronger than before. Or at least, more empathetic and caring for those hurting around me. I can't look up from under this burden and he lifts my head to look into his face.

What a blessed relief. What a balm for my ripped-into-shreds heart.

While I am still aching, I can look into his face, see his deeds, remember each instance of his faithfulness, and I can breathe.
This is what I do. Over and over and over.
I look at him.
 I remember.
 I believe.
 I hope.
I wait.
(and yes, I cry.
I re-apply my Bobbi Brown mascara.
And repeat.)

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Gadget Girl

I think collecting gadgets may be my spiritual gifting. Yes, gadget collecting is a real sickness habit addiction blessing.
I don't often get the gadgets first, but, by golly, I'll get them.
My son told me once that he likes to get techie gifts for me because he thinks they may make me feel young.
Anything that helps, I say.

Yesterday, UPS delivered my new Kindle Paperwhite.
(Thank you, Darrell.) (Yes, first name basis with my UPS guy. Don't judge.)

I have had a Kindle for years, but the flickering light on the case was causing me no end of aggravation. So, when Rod gave in to all my complaining and whininess  suggested I order a new Kindle, I pushed the "send" button. That's how easy-peasy it is when your item is already in the cart.
And look at it! Just look at it!

The case was ordered at the same time, and yes, that is a Van Gogh cleverly and beautifully made into a Kindle case. The pretty case makes me happy, as does the Kindle itself.

FYI, the picture was taken with my iphone, another gadget I am currently fond of.

Speaking of my love of gadgets, my newest kitchen appliance is the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. 
I have been using it almost non-stop lately. It does not disappoint.
I've made risotto,(Yum!) pork roast(meh) marinara sauce (Yum!) and mozzarella-stuffed meatballs, (Super-yum!) split pea soup (Yum!) Beef curry (Yum!)and apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal.(awesome sauce and NO MESS!)
This pressure cooker, not only pressure cooks, but has a slow-cooker function, a rice cooker function and a sauteeing function, so I can use it for all kinds of things. It also says it makes yogurt (whaaat??) but I haven't even looked at making that.
Next week I want to try making Pho. Can't wait to try that!

I am definitely in my happy place when I am either reading the lovely new Kindle or cooking with the new kitchen gadget and let's just say, I've really needed my happy places lately. 

Tonight I'm using the Instant Pot to cook an old piece of meat I found in a bag in the freezer this morning. Is it freezer burned?
Yes, it is.
 Is it beef? Perhaps.

 But I honestly can't tell anymore.

It might be goat for all I know. (I ain't afraid of no goat.)

I don't expect miracles from the pressure cooker, but hopefully it will render the hunk of meat into something at least edible, if not gourmet, fork-tender and delicious.

With all my gadget shopping, I need to save $$ by using the food I already have in the house, don't ya know.

If you remember, say a quick prayer for Rod and his "dinner" tonight.
Ta ta!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hangry Baby Bird

As I was putting a clean bowl from the dishwasher away in the cupboard today, the tears started again, making my Bobbi Brown mascara make thick, black, expensive tracks down my face.
The ugly cry.
(And I don't mean to obsess, but that mascara is not cheap, girl friend.)

So I called the dogs and headed into the sun-dappled woods to give God a talking-to.
WHY was He letting my family fall into pieces?
WHY doesn't He just fix this now?
WHY do my precious, loved, adored, beloved beyond anything babies ever have to suffer like this?

My knees are weak from the thought and I can't even pretend to stop my tears.

The other morning and before I even have a coherent thought, I wake myself up hearing  my prayers to God, "PleaseGodPleaseGodPleaseGodDontLetThisHappenPleaseGod...." I told Rod I felt like a helpless, completely vulnerable baby bird in a nest with my mouth wide open in need and continuously asking to be fed.
That is me all right. 
But I have a God who cares for me.
 Protects me.
 Feeds me.
 (And pushes me out of the nest i.e. "comfort zone" when it's time. But that is a whole other blog post.)
This visual made me think of a verse that kind of talks about that. "How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me." Luke 13:34
It was comforting for me to think of God taking care of us that way, the way a mother bird cares for your babies in the nest.
This old hymn has been on repeat in my heart lately.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
  All other ground is sinking sand.
So very true. Although I am beyond sad, devastated, crushed and all the other synonyms that you can come up with, my hope is NOT built or dependant on Josiah and Ashley working out their differences and Max and Lilli living with their Mom and Dad who love them and each other.

If that were the case, then my total well-being would be tossed back and forth on a daily basis based on whether my kids were happy or sad.
Although there is some truth in there; that I am sad if they are sad, and happy if they are happy.
But I know (know know KNOW) that the God who loves each of us is in control of this whole situation.
 And yours as well. If you think for a moment that you are in charge, you've got some learnin' to do. No joke.
God is large and in charge and THAT is what I base my hope and future on. He is a happy-making God who walks with me, carries me when needed, and has a plan that is for my benefit, not against me. I can't always see the big picture, but I know who is painting it, and He is GOOD. ALL THE TIME.
Even now, while we're hurting.

My plan today is to be still and know He is God, pray like crazy and watch and see what He is going to do.
 Because it'll be good.