Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quilting 101

I love quilts. Quilts of all kinds. If I were going to have a collection of something it would be quilts. Well, and buttons...but that is an entirely different post. I decided several weeks ago to attempt to make a simple square pattern quilt of my own. My beloved joyfully took me to the Quilt Haus, and I picked out some pre-cut squares to begin my adventure. I chose a collection of fabrics called "Prairie Paisley." This is how I do most things, I get some wild hair and decide to do something new. I have no clue what I am doing or what I am getting myself into...but I dive in nonetheless. Anyway, we get home and I immediately begin to try and piece this thing together. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't find a pattern of laying things out that I liked. I was so frustrated. Richard ever so lovingly pointed out that the quilt on our bed had no pattern either. He told me to get over it and get to quilting. I put everything back into the bag and hung it on my bathroom door. Fast forward several weeks through a trip to Michigan and an emergency trip to Kansas for my grandfather's funeral. There I was in my bedroom with that bag of scraps taunting me. So yesterday I pulled them out, and with out worry (OK, there was plenty of worry...but I pushed through) about how it would look minus a definable pattern, I got to sewing.

I never dreamed that during this project the Lord had some teaching for me. While piecing this thing together, I realized that life is very much like a quilt. Quilts consist of many different colors and patterns of fabric. Some of them, by themselves are incredibly unattractive.

Others are more boring. Nothing exciting or abundantly beautiful.

Others are beautiful. The colors and pattern are exactly what you love. Just looking at the can make you smile.

When randomly pieced together, they make a wonderfully beautiful masterpiece.

Our lives are much like this. Some of the moments in our lives are ugly. They can be painful, dark, and confusing. Battling a sin or a stronghold, fear, illness, the loss of a loved one, waiting that seems as though it will never come to an end, hope deferred. We don't like these times, and often fight to get though them as quickly as possible.
Then there is the day to day life. Boring and routine. Nothing terribly dark, yet nothing to make you gasp at the beauty either.
Sprinkled in you have those moments that make you stand back and look in awe and wonder. Maybe it is glimpse of how amazing our God is. Maybe it is a special moment with a spouse, shared only between the two of you. Or a good laugh with a friend, who knows you so well, she can tell by the look in your eyes, what you are feeling at that very moment. It is welcoming a new life into your family. Witnessing your children grow to love the Lord. Sharing the Gospel, and seeing someone being touched by God.
These moments in our lives, all of these moments, the Lord, in His sovereignty, stitches them together, to make a masterpiece of His glory. The dark patches in my quilt, only help to bring out the beauty and color of the ones I love. Those boring ones, that I am not thrilled with...well they bring a much needed balance. A quietness that is needed. In my day to day life it is sometime difficult to see the beauty. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, and math facts hardly excite me. Yet these too, are ordained by God. A blessed gift of grace to me.
However, unlike my quilt there is a pattern to the Lord's work. Planned before the foundation of the world. He is using these times, to shape me and mold me into the likeness of His Son. He is always working all things together for good, for those who love Him. When He is finished with me, I will be perfect, and He will present me blameless before the throne. On that day, I will see with great clarity, how beautiful each moment of my life was. I only pray that I can see a glimpse of it here on earth as well.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cheap Therapy

I guess I need to make Monday "Double Post Monday." Seems as though I always have too much to say on Monday. Vent with me will you?

Why has my Wal-Mart been out of cream of mushroom soup for almost two months? TWO MONTHS people! I have had it up to here with that stinkin' place. They NEVER have stocked shelves. If it was only the soup, I wouldn't vent...but it is many other items I need. Like fiber, but I will leave that for another post...or maybe not.

Why is the gym synonymous with anger for me? Why must there always be such irritating people on the news? Really, do they do searches for the most ignorant people to interview? I really must find something else to do other than watching the news while working out. It can't be good for my blood pressure.

Speaking of getting angry at the gym...I had a double dose today. Here I am trying desperately to tone up my arms, minding my own business when what do I see? A man covered in Obama buttons, wearing a shirt that says "Pastors for Peace" Let me tell you I wanted to give this guy peace all right. A big ol' piece of my mind. He is a pastor and voting for Obama? Could someone please help me to understand how someone could teach the word of God and be voting for Obama. I just don't get it...really I don't. Unless he is not really reading his Bible...that makes sense. A pastor that teaches the word of God, but doesn't read it. That would probably be how we got to where we are in the good ol' US of A.

So, when we are in the Obamanation, and we have socialized medicine, will I have better luck than I have now? Can I expect to be able to make an appointment and actually see a doctor before January 13, 2009? Seriously...can I expect better service? You don't have to answer that...I already know the answer.

How is this for weird...I walked into my bedroom and thought, "I better close the widow, it is getting chilly in here." Immediately after I had the thought, the window slammed shut. Was that answered prayer...or should I find an exorcist?

Ah, now I feel better. Venting is such cheap therapy :)

Not Me Monday

It's that time again. That time when I tell you all my dirty little secrets from the last seven days.

I did not absolutely LOVE Michigan. I did not think it was one of the most beautiful places I have seen. I did not enjoy being spoiled by Amy's mom while there. Living in the lap of luxury is not for me.

I did not fall down a hill, nearly into a creek, while filming footage of the land I don't want to buy in Michigan. I did not get this fall on film. That would be so embarrassing. Then in my confusion of the fall, I didn't subsequently record when I wanted to stop and stop when I wanted to record. That would mean I wouldn't have recorded anything that I wanted, and that I only got footage of my friends backside and the ceiling of the barn.

I did not book flights for Grace and I from Michigan to Kansas, and leave my beloved to drive 800 miles with four children by himself. Then relish in the fact that I was flying and avoiding all the misery. That would not be very nice.

When I booked those flights, I had to book round trip tickets. I didn't seriously consider returning to Michigan today, rather than driving home on Friday.

I didn't get an insanely good deal on an infrared sauna while in Kansas. I would never ask my beloved to set it up so I could try it out the night before we left for home. I would never gloat to my mommy about my cheap sauna, that would be mean. I would never tell her it was her fault she missed out. After all, it had been on craigslist for six weeks. That would be even meaner. I did not laugh hysterically when she said, "I don't love you very much right now."

I did not make my beloved drive all the way home with the kids by himself. I did not drive my grandma's truck all the way. That would be terrible. I am just not that way.

I was not an insanely proud mama this weekend when both my boys shot their first deer. I did not find myself going 75 in a 55 on the way to take pictures of the first one. I did not blame my speeding on the fact that I drove my grandma's truck home from Kansas. I would never say it was because it took much more pressure to get her truck to 55. I certainly would not do it again the next day, when I drove to take pictures of the second deer. I ALWAYS drive the speed limit.

See what else people are not doing over at Mck Mama's blog on this Not Me Monday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Random Thoughts

Grace and I are leaving for Michigan in the morning. She is thrilled and excited. Me? Well, it is travel away from home. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know, travel is not one of my top ten favorite things.

Could someone save me from my self and come over and disconnect my internet? Or at least confirm that this (WARNING...there is a picture) is not what is on my eye. It's not...right???

Last but not least I leave you with a funny tale from my day. Richard says I should not tell you the I won't. But, she is leaving for a trip in the morning :) Mostly this is for my mom and dad, they will get a kick out of it. The above unmentioned child comes into our room and asks, "Is water a liquid?" I quickly reply, "Well that depends on which state it is in. It is a liquid, but can also be a solid or a gas." She says, "Oh, that explains why I toot so much."

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Sad Day In My World

I am in mourning. Now I know some of you are not going to be able to relate to me on this, and that's OK, just bear with me. It is indeed a sad day for me. You see I love tacos. Really, they are my favorite food. A good breakfast taco is hard to find, even in South Texas. Now mediocre ones are all over town, but my tastes are much to refined for those. I want GOOD tacos. There is only one place in town that has them (in my opinion, and yes we have tried the all). My beloved eats at this place nearly every morning before work. I enjoy an occasional once a week or so treat. Well my dear friends all that has come to an end. Why you ask? Did they close down? Did they fail their health inspection? Are we running so low on funds that we can't afford a $1.98 breakfast taco? Alas, it is not any of the reasons. This is the reason:

This sign, and it is a HUGE sign, as been placed out in front of said establishment. My beloved quickly informed me we would not be eating there anymore. He spoke with the owner this morning and let him know our long standing relationship has come to an end. I didn't even get one last bacon, potato, egg, and cheese lovey to say goodbye.

Now of course this family has the right to vote for whom ever they choose. We do not love them any less because they are deceived. We simply cannot be seen eating in an establishment that wants to post their political views, which are so contrary to our their place of business.

Not only that, but I am seriously confused as to why this man, who is Catholic, would even consider voting for this man, solely based on his pro-abortion stance. Not to mention that small businesses like his own are going to suffer under an Obama presidency. Doesn't he know this?

Well, our meagerly business loss may not mean much to them, and that is OK. Our conviction stands firm...even if it means I must suffer the loss of taco goodness.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tagged and It's Not even Deer Season

I have been tagged by one of the sweetest girls I know...Bryanna. I am supposed to list six random things about myself.

1. I am a serious conspiracy theorist...really. If something is up, I am sure there is some sinister motive behind it. I feel it is my duty to think what that sinister motive might be.

2. I am interested in medicinal herbs, and have quite a medicine chest going.

3. I love coffee...I REALLY love coffee. Seriously, I like it A LOT.

4. Crabs creep me out..they are too much like spiders...big spiders.

5. I used to be able to stay up late and still get up early. Not anymore, now I must go to bed early and get up late. Aging does that to you.

6. I have recently lost my mind. I would find it, but I misplaced it along with my purse, shoes, keys, and memory. What's a girl to do?

Now I am supposed to tag a few other people and post the rules. Rules are you must link to the person who tagged you, list six random things about yourself, and tag six other people, and tell those people they have been tagged. Enjoy!

I Tag

Janet, Molly Beth, Laura, Shara, Keltie, and Emily


I am getting really tired of going to various doctors, and being the delight of their day because I offer some strange and exotic condition. It all started when we arrived home from Uganda, and I couldn't seem to shake that malaria. So I go to my family doctor, and after speaking to me at length and asking like a million questions he says, "This is very interesting. Now I have to figure out what to do with you." Nice huh? So he sends me to this wonderful infectious disease doctor, who happens to be from India, and a malaria expert. She tells me, "This is fascinating I never GET to deal with this kind of thing around here." Get to? Well, I am at your service ma'am, any other illness I can contract for you? I have this thing...for lack of a better word on my eye. It has been there since we got home from Africa. It is this small clear spot on my eye. I touched it with tweezers (oh, come on, you know you would have touched too), it's kind of resembles a popcorn hull...only smaller and clear. Lately it has been really red. I have been walking around looking like I am either incredibly intoxicated or depressed. So I finally went to the eye doctor yesterday. There I am sitting in her little chair with my head pushed up against that stupid machine, while she shines her light in my eyes. She says, "Huh, that's interesting, you have one on this eye too, but it is not red like the other one." There is that word again, interesting. Couldn't she just tell me I have pink eye or something simple like that? Then she tells me she is pretty sure it is just some sort of infection, writes me a prescription for some steroid/antibiotic/anti-inflammatory eye gel, and sends me on my way. I told Richard last night, if some African worms come crawling out of my eyes...I may never emotionally recover. He just loves my worst case scenario outlook on life.

This case of being interesting is even happening to my daughter. I had called to speak with the school district about a speech evaluation for Marissa. She does this thing, where she turns her tongue upside down when she talks. So the good doctor calls me back and says "This case is just fascinating, I would love to meet with you today or Thursday."

Yep, that's us... one interesting and fascinating family.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Holding On

In Uganda, while at Welcome Home, I had some of the most heart rending experiences. I have never before felt so heartbroken, torn, and helpless. There we were, thrilled to have our children with us. Studying them, trying to memorize every detail about them. They were desperately wanting us to give all our attention and snuggles to only them. How could I focus on them alone, when we were surrounding with tiny little children longing to be held, to be loved on. The heartbreaking cry of children calling out "mommy" to me, with arms outstretched was more than I could bear. I wanted to hold them all. Tell them that I loved them. Tell them it was going to be all right. One little girl in particular has been burned into my mind. Her name is Amanda. This sweet precious baby, would wrap her legs around me as tight as she could, clinging to me. She would cry and scream if I tried to put her down. I didn't want to put her down. I didn't want to walk out of there and leave 50+ other children with out families. I wanted to make sure all of them had a real mommy and daddy they could cling to. I wanted them all to know a mommy and daddy loved them beyond anything they could ever imagine. I couldn't do any of that. All I could do, was peel a crying child off my body, place her on the ground, and with tears in my eyes, walk away. I prayed that day that this child would have a family soon. That there would be arms to hold her all day. Arms that would not have to put her down, and walk away in tears. I found out last week that prayer has been answered. She has a mommy and daddy working diligently to come and wrap their arms around her and never let go. Thank you Jesus for giving this child a family.

There are 143+ million children around this world that want a mommy and daddy to hold them. They cry alone, with no one to kiss their wounds. No one to cook their meals. No one to keep them safe. No one to take them to the doctor when they are sick. No one to encourage them. No one to laugh at their silliness. No one to help them succeed in school. No one to teach them to work. No one to teach them to about the goodness and greatness of God. They have no one to teach them what it means to be a part of a family. One day, some of these children, if they even survive to adulthood, will have families of their own. How will they parent children, when they themselves have never known the love and protection of a mother and father?

God has a perfect plan for these children. That plan is His Church. Oh, how I pray He ignites a fire within us for true religion. That these children might have what they so desperately need.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Not Me Monday

Two posts in one day? Yep that's right. It is nearly tomorrow and I still need to post my not me Monday. So with out further ado....

I did not inadvertently do a blog post in Wing Ding. That would be so embarrassing. Especially if I didn't know, because on my computer it automatically translated. That would just be crushing to my ego. No way I would do that.

I did not sit and reminisce about Uganda. I most certainly did not think about how much I missed being chased by small adorable children crying out "Mzungu, Mzungu How are you?" Missing the feeling of being adored by so many, would be a clear indicator that I need more embarrassments like blogging in Wing Ding. So I would not be doing any of that.

I did not want to stand up and give Noah a high five in Chick-Fil-A. Him putting down his chicken and politely staring back at the table of women staring at us until they resumed eating, did not make me nearly choke on my waffle fry.

I did not have immense feelings of thankfulness that Grace is always with me to answer questions the way I want to, instead of the way I have to. Like when the above mentioned women finally asked their barrage of adoption questions, which inevitably always includes, "Are they brother and sister?" I did not chuckle when she said "Yes, of course they are." after I said "no they are not biological siblings."

Lastly, I did not just sit here and worry about spelling Mzungu correctly. Can you believe that is not on spell check. Come on Blogger...what's up with that.


Yesterday was the annual Life Chain event. We had not had one in our town for quite some time. Despite the fact that I am seriously pro-life, I hemmed and hawed about going. Does it really matter? Does it make a difference? Are lives really saved? Are lives really changed? These are all questions I asked myself as I searched for an excuse not to attend. When the time came to decide, I figured not wanting to stand outside along the street for an hour was not a good enough excuse...and it was my only one.

The seven of us packed up and headed down town. We had a plan, if the young ones acted up, my beloved would take them to play. There was no need. They helped to hold our signs the first thirty minutes. When they tired of that, they sat down and dug dirt out of the cracks in the sidewalk. The poignancy was not lost on me as I stood holding a sign that read "Adoption the Loving Option" while my children helped to hold the sign. Their sweet dark skin in such contrast to my own, a beautiful reminder of how thankful I am that their mothers chose life for them.

As we stood on the sidewalk yesterday there were what the pro-choice community would call reasons why we need abortion in this country.

Two people down was a beautiful young woman holding a sign that read "Abortion Hurts Women" She is a living example of how beautiful the choice of life is. She has Down Syndrome. Her mother stood proudly beside her. Statistics tell us that as much as 90% of women who find themselves in the same circumstance this woman did, choose abortion.

My dear friend and I were there yesterday. Both of us found ourselves at 17 unmarried, and pregnant. Many would say we were fine examples of why we need abortion. So many would say we were too young, inexperienced, and poor to care for these children. We are both so glad we chose life for our children. Kaleb and David were both there yesterday. Both of them fine examples of a wonderful life.

I know of at least one woman there that found herself in that same circumstance. She too chose life for her child. Then painfully and lovingly trusted her child to another family to love and raise. She doesn't not regret her decision to choose life.

The two beautiful children at my feet, born into a country of extreme poverty, war, over population, and disease. All reasons pro abortion advocates would say we need abortion. I disagree. They are created in the image of their Heavenly Father. Fashioned by Him. Loved by Him.

Undoubtedly there were men and women there who have suffered the tragedy of abortion. They found freedom, forgiveness, and healing in Jesus.

I am sure if I had taken the time to talk to more people, I would find within each one the reason why they value life. For some it may be simply the Love of the Father in them. Others may have a far deeper reason, one that changed their lives forever. Whatever the reason, we stood together yesterday. We prayed for those hurt by abortion, for those who perform abortions, and for our government to make wise and God honoring decisions about abortion.

I prayed for the men and women who drove by. Some of them thrilled with what we were doing. I prayed that God would give them a passion to get involved...somewhere.

Some would refuse to even look our way. I wonder how many of those downcast eyes need to know that there is no sin so great the blood of Jesus can't cover.

I wonder if they need to know, there is no hurt too great, the love of the Father can't heal.

I wonder if someone will tell them there is healing and forgiveness waiting for them.

I wonder if the young girls that went by with their parents, will remember what they saw yesterday. If one of those signs will be burned into their mind. Perhaps one day, encouraging them to choose life.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Lion's Den

This evening I had the privilege of attending the theatrical debut of what is sure to be one of the greatest and longest running Broadway shows of all time. Not only did I have the best seats in the house, I was also able to meet all the cast and crew. What a night! I know you are just dying for all the details and behind the scenes pictures, so I won't keep you in suspense any longer.

The Lion's Den

Written and Produced by

Set and Costume Design


as the lion

as the child

as the mother

Now for the review:

The Lion's Den is a nail biting thriller, that leaves audiences on the edge of their seat. The mother masterfully played by the amazingly talented Grace, was convincing in her roll as mother.

Wanting only to finish up preparing dinner she sends her only daughter out to play. When she warns, "Be careful of the lion." one can almost cut the suspense with a knife.

The daughter, is played by the stunningly gorgeous Ugandan native Marissa.

She plays her small but important part well. As she leaves the safety of her home, her carefree and childlike fearlessness comes shinning through. Surly no lion would ever dare eat her.

As good as these two up and coming stars were, the show clearly belonged to the lion. Masterfully played by the young man, William.

While this was his first major theatrical role, he did have a smaller lesser known role a couple of weeks ago. In his previous role he played an Australian outback man. His costume in this production is what he was most known for. He created quite an uproar when he wore only a kangaroo skin on stage during the production. I managed to find this photo of him during this role.

This dashing young man could not have been more convincing in his role as a soft squishy...I'm sorry, as a mean, angry, man eating lion. As he drags the young girl off to his den, you cannot help but fear him. When he climbs to the top of his mountain, and you see the giant spiders, one wonders if they could possibly be real.

I wish I could tell you how this thriller ended, but strangely during the show, the two young cast members revolted against the director and stormed off the set. One to play the piano the other to talk to the nearby reporter. Perhaps their is an imminent strike on the set of The Lion's Den. Only time will tell, but I do hope all is resolved soon. I don't know how I will be able to sleep tonight wondering about the young girl. Will she escape? Has the lion eaten her? What about the mother, when she goes looking for her lost child, will she too fall prey to the terribly cute...I mean scary lion?

Perhaps this trio will be reunited, and the show will indeed go on.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How Much Is 700 Billion Anyway?

How much is 700 billion dollars anyway? I thought my dad put it into a great perspective. He said something along these lines: Suppose you went down to the corner gas station and decided you were going to buy a lottery ticket. You buy a scratch off ticket and find that you win 1 million dollars. Cool you think to yourself, I think I will go back tomorrow and try it again. Sure enough in the morning you make your way to the corner store, buy your ticket, and again win 1 million dollars. Do have any idea how many days you would have to buy a lottery ticket and win 1 million dollars, EVERYDAY, to recoup 700 billion dollars?

700,000 days


1,917.8 YEARS

Does that help put it into perspective? It sure did for me. Although I was already against this Big Government idea of us bailing out idiots that can't manage their money or businesses. This is absolutely ridiculous. I keep hearing over and over again that we need this to open up the credit markets... isn't credit what got us here to begin with? Bad mortgages, car loans when the car is worth significantly less the day you sign the note, massive credit card debt, and our lovely big brother leading suit with trillions of dollars in debt. So what's the solution, MORE DEBT!!!!! I am sick to death of this bureaucracy. Oh, and lest you think our two "choices" for president are going to be on our side, and help to find a way to clear this up in a way that helps the normal family..not the big wigs. Think again they have way too much vested interest...they are the big wigs! Ok, I am done venting now :)