Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kids say the darndest things...

Well, suffice it to say I am feeling much better. My OB appt went well... and my hormones are doing their thing. I had to share this story because women everywhere know the havoc that hormones do to our bodies.

My son often comes into my room after Billy has gone to work and crawls into bed with me. He has been instructed that he can only come into our bed after the sun is up over the mountain which is usually at 7:00am.

This morning I was laying there and we were snuggling and talking about what we would eat for breakfast. He kept asking me if I was feeling better. I told him I was. He is very affectionate and physical touch is definately his love language, so he began touching my face... and hugging me.

All of the sudden he said, "Uh... Mommy... your chin... your chin... uh your chin is GROWING... a little disturbed. As he stroked his little hand across the bottom of my chin he said to me... "You really need to shave that's too prickly." I laughed so hard... leave it to my beautiful son to remind me of the importance of a good wax and pluck :) Have a great day!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

At the mountaintop

Although I have horrendous morning sickness... I am layed out horizontal most of the time and cry sometimes because I am so sick of being sick. I want to take a walk to the highest mountain in Durango(which I'll wait til my 2nd trimester) and shout out to the world how awesome God has been in my life. You have to understand... this pregnancy is so desired... so wanted... so part of my heart. As noted before and many of you know.. I had a miscarriage last year. I really thought I had grieved and prayed and talked to God about everything I was feeling about the pregnancy until it came time for when the baby "should have" been born. All of these feelings of anger towards God and towards my life and towards the desires of my heart that had not been fulfilled... just came bubbling out. I yelled at God, I cried so hard... I thought I was going to hyperventalate... I just let it rip. I even said "GOD! YOU KNOW how much this means to Billy... YOU KNOW... how much we want one more of our own... and you LOVE US... so what the heck... I felt like a brat... but I had to tell him how I really felt. I thought that I had never been closer to God.. before that so I thought... how could you abandon me during such an important time? I looked for my answers from my good friend and pastor Linn. One thing she told me is that in the toughest times of our life... God is drawing us near. He is closer than we could ever imagine... He is listening and loving us through it all. It made sense to me... so I thought... since we're so close, I am going to read my Bible, have very HONEST converstations through prayer and really talk to God like my friend who understood it all. Now mind you... when I was angry with God.. It was during months were BK and I were still trying to have a baby. Where every month... I would pray that I could get past the fifth week of the month... and miss my period... and every month... it showed up like clockwork. I thought... this is it. My body will just not produce anymore children, we talked about adoption... we prayed that GOd just be in the middle of it and guide us.

Billy forEVER has told me he wants to have four kids. I've always told him he is crazy... but he has been in prayer and talking to God and knows that he knows we will have four kids. In my doubt of ever being able to conceive again, I told Billy... I Want you to pray about it because if we never get pregnant... we need to seriously start the paperwork for adoption. Billy told me... let's try for a couple more months and then have one more. After that we can adopt our fourth baby. He seemed so confident and I felt so discouraged and bratty. I was hoping so hoping... that God heard my cries, my pleads and my prayers.

Now here we are on the other side of my husband listening to the Lord. Here I am 11 weeks pregnant. Sick as a dog, but preganant with our 3rd child. It is truly an answer to the prayers of my heart. How mind you... if we did not get pregnant and God would have us adopt the next two... then we would have done it in a heartbeat, but God is also teaching me about listening to my husband's heart on things... and trusting that God is speaking to him and guiding him as well. It is so cool to watch it all work in our lives.

So even though I post all these whiny posts about my sickness and feeling gross.. Please know that I am the happiest sick girl in Durango. Please also be encouraged that if you are ever in despair or frustrated during a tough time in your life... that just like Linn told me.... the God of the universe is closer to your heart than you will ever be able to understand. Be honest with him. Pray to him... and he will see you through to the other side... to the light he promises us and tell him what you need... he will give it to you in his timing. Praise the Lord Jesus for answering our prayers. This is not something I did... but something he desired for us and has his hands all over. Thank you Lord Jesus for your love no matter what.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thankful Thursday... (again on Friday)

Well, Christmas was yesterday and what a wonderful Christmas it was. Presents were opened, BK made his ultimate super delicious monkey bread and we ate lots of yummy food made by my awesome Mom to end the day on a sweet little note. This Christmas was special, because we were blessed with Jinny to stay the night Christmas Eve and hang with our family on Christmas day. Now if any of you know a child's reaction to jinny spending the night... it's like you just told them that Santa himself was spending the night. It brought shrieks of joy and excitement from my children! Here is what I am thankful for this Christmas.

1. For my friend Jinny. She is a special woman... who I am blessed to call a friend and sister.

2. For my husband who loves to cook and makes yummy treats.

3. For my Mom who spent the day getting a HUGE meal put together and made JESUS the focal point in her home this Christmas.

4. For my amazingly cute niece Ari dancing while my brother jammed on his guitar. She entertained us all!

5. For Jesus and how he entertains and loves me every day.

6. For my brothers who are so different and so incredible each in their own special way.

7. For my Dad who is a Grandpa who "listens" when my kids want to tell him something very important.

8. For my fireplace and kindling and wood. Nothing beats a warm fire blazing while laying around and resting on Christmas day.

9. For the grace I gave myself this Christmas. My own special Christmas present... making it ok not to do "everything" and still have an awesome Christmas.

10. For the tons and tons of snow that fell... which in turn made people slow down and really enjoy this Christmas together.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Prince

I have been very sick as you all know. So sick that doing anything beyond getting myself dressed in the morning feels like a lot of work. Our house has not been "blessed" or cleaned in a "few" weeks... which with two small children is NOT a good thing. It has been clutter and laundry o rama in our house. Billy has been talking to me about how the children need to pick up their things and I keep explaining to him that the children will not pick up their things if they do not see examples of said "older adults" and "parental figures" picking up their things. They need to be told what is expected, have a place for their things and we as parents need to create an environment that empowers them to clean up. Mind you these "said parental figures" are BK and I. We often will neglect the home to watch Survivor or neglect a good house blessing to hang out and cook together or neglect "chores" so we can just chill and relax. I work part-time and BK works full time any time we have together is precious... so we usually choose "other" things over chores and housework. That's just how we "roll." BK and I have also been talking about how sometimes women don't WANT to do it ALL. We want a prince to come in and save us, help us, make our lives a little easier with their knowledge, th eir strength or better yet.. their assistance. These two conversations sparked something beautiful... something that unfolded before me like a fairytale and as it happened I smiled and thanked God for my awesome prince. Tonight he: sorted ALL the laundry... started new loads of laundry... PUT AWAY his folded laundry and had the kids put away their laundry and pick up their room. He picked up HIS things and vacummed our bedroom. I started dinner and he finished it and served it to the kids. We washed dishes together and this family worked together as a team to make this house "truly blessed." I told BK that the help he gave me in the house tonight was a VERY good thing. (wink wink) He is my prince. My prince and my knight in shining armor... who knew that "saving" me from a cluttered and messy house and leading his family by example... could fill my heart so... and they lived happily ever after.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Mad Face

Anger... hmmm... nice thought this Christmas.
I have a "Flair" (Facebook button) that says, "Get out of my happy place or I'll rip your arm off." And in my own warped mind... that's how I feel sometimes. I'll be having a really good day, propelled by my love for God just going about my day thinking about how great life is... and then WHAM... someone says something or does something that just interupts my happiness. Now mind you, I have never ripped anyone's arm off... but I can tell you that I've thought about it and even imagined beating them with it! (just kidding... I like to be dramatic too)

But I have been really praying and thinking about this concept of the "anger" emotion. God gets angry. So do I. So I am sure he gets where I am coming from. Sometimes Christians can be perceived as "wimps" because we do try to be "slow to anger" and love as much as possible. I am a Christian yes, I love the Lord, yes, I experience joy, yes... but how do you communicate to someone they have made you so angry.. without hurting them? What does "slow to anger" look like? How slow is slow.. because I know I can go from zero to angry in .5 seconds.

Now mind you... because I've asked the Lord to help me in this area he is stretching me, showing me a few things. Mostly that when I am super angry that I should not speak any words, until I have calmed down. It does not diminish my anger or frustration. But it prevents me from hurting someone else out of anger.

Secondly, how do I "commuinicate" to someone my perspective on why or what they did to make me angry. How did they take me out of that happy place... why did it propel me into anger? This is the part I am working on with God... so far I got nothing. Here are some of my more secular ideas on how to approach or communicate with that person:

"Ummmm... can I politely talk to you about how I wanted to rip your arm off yesterday?"

"Are you the devil? Because you sure acted like him yesterday?"

"Who peed in your Cheerios buddy?"

"Your mean... go away"

I seriously don't know a good way to do it. So I just keep praying... Lord. Provide me with opportunities to speak the truth in love (even when I want to rip their arm off and beat them with it ;)

Merry Christmas! :)

ps. this post made me chuckle a little bit.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thankful Thursday - On Friday

Wow, I have so much to be thankful for this Christmas season.(I'm going to cry - go figure - hormones are a raging :)

1. I am thankful that we ALL have an amazing God who created us so specially for each other. I am thankful that God listens to me... no matter what. He truly knows the desires of my heart and wants all good things to come to my life. I am so so thankful. He is there in the good... and in the bad... I am so blessed by the God who created me.

2. I am thankful for this pregnancy. I am thankful for the life inside of my body. I do not know whether this baby will be a boy or girl, whether it will be healthy, whether it will have brown or blonde hair. But I am so so thankful that it is growing stronger each day and it's life is so special. I am thankful that this child one day will touch the hearts of others and know love... yeah.

3. I am thankful that my friends Linn and Dw are back from Africa with their two new babies. I am thankful that they are safe and the kids are here in Colorado. I can't wait to celebrate their new family with them.

4. I am thankful for medicine... when I need it most. For awesome doctors and nurses who are trained to care for others and do it with intelligence and love.

5. I am thankful for 2 feet of snow in my yard and the cool cozy feeling it brings when it's all around us.

6. I am thankful for being able to "build a fire" (I believe... better than most on Survivor)

7. I am thankful that my little brother made it home safe from New York.

8. I am thankful for my dog Tid Bit

9. I am thankful for my health.

10. I am thankful for all of my awesome Christmas ornaments from friends and family to remember them at Christmas when we put up our tree.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm Prego

Ok... I have not posted in quite some time due to this very important announcement. Any ounce of energy I have is prioritized and spent on the things I need to get done. (ie brush my teeth, get dressed, take care of my children and love my husband etc etc.) I can say that even the things I prioritize are not happening as perfectly as I would like them to.

I am 9 weeks pregnant today. This is a big deal in the Kline family. My sweet husband has dreamed of a family with four children for a very long time. We were pregnant last year at at 6 weeks had a miscarriage. It was a hard time for us as we did not have previous complications with pregnancies so we had lots of questions and frustrations. We prayed a lot and talked a lot about our next steps for this family. We discussed adoption because it is something that is huge on my heart. There are many kids who need a mom and a Dad and for whatever reason do not have one. As we prayed and talked, Bill really felt like we should keep trying to have one more baby.

Well praise the Lord... it happened. Please keep in mind that the Lord and I had many arguments over what happened last time, I was furious, sad, frustrated confused and a ton of emotions. I never realized how much I did not "feel" like I was done having children and that I could see Grace and Toby welcoming a new baby into our family. It was a dream that was on my heart that I wanted to see happen.

We are counting every day as precious in this pregnancy. We thank God for keeping this baby healthy. In the mean time my friends... I am sick as a dog. I can barely keep anything down and food is my enemy right now. (never in my life would I ever consider food an enemy... I LOVE FOOD!) I can handle watered down apple juice and cereal and after that... I am ok in the morning. Feel great right when I wake up. After that... it's touch and go and not fun at all. I ended up going to the emergency room last week because I was dehydrated... they gave me two bags of IV saline and some nausea medicine. It was awesome. I have an appt with my doctor on Thursday to figure out what's up. The coolest part was that in the emergency room the doc did an ultrasound of the baby to just check the heartrate. Sounded great. Looked good. He said all he could confirm at this point was that there was a good heartbeat.

We waited as long as possible to tell our children. Grace was upset that the last pregnancy never came to pass. She even questioned me as to whether or not this one would actually grown inside me long enough to become a baby. (my daughter is very wise). I had to be honest with her and tell her that life is delicate and it takes a long time for everything to happen inside Mommy's body and we would just pray that God keep the baby healthy. So we rejoice for this awesome news. We look forward to our new family and we pray that I can make it through each day hydrated, fed and nourished.

As we wait in anticipation of this awesome cool answer to prayer. We ask that you just pray that this baby remains healthy and we manage all the details well. Hormones, sickness, exhaustion in a Mom can take it's toll on me and my family. All prayers are welcome. love, jen


Monday, December 15, 2008

The Mom Song - Check this out... :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Toby's latest singing performance

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Living with Glory and Hope...

Last night, my awesome friend Meghan spoke at our women's ministry Christmas party. She spoke about how we have this glory and hope inside of us because of Jesus Christ. Because he died on the cross and because I live to seek a deeper relationship with him I have it. It is part of the deal when you begin your friendship and spiritual walk with the Lord. I have been moved by my friend and pastor Linn Saunders since I moved here three years ago. (see her blog at They are passionate and self proclaimed adoption addicts. :) What I love about this addiction they have is that they blow all preconceived notions about adoption and orphans out of the water. They tell you point blank... you will not regret helping children who in most cases have not known the love of a parent or family. Can you imagine? Family is so important and so vital so so much of life. These kids did not CHOSE to be orphans. They have no options, but to sit and wait and pray that their "Mom and Dad" come and get them. Dwight and Linn have adopted a lot of children and plan to adopt more. They are in their 50's and know the life they could give a child is more important than any trip they could take to Bora Bora, any bling they could throw around their necks, any fancy cars or whatever.

As I read their blog... I think about my life. I am approaching 40 years old. How am I going to spend the rest of my life? Am I going to spend it worrying about what I have to have and what I don't have? Am I going to spend it worrying about my wants and spend my money to get myself more and more "stuff?" And when I get to heaven and I stand before my Lord and Savior, what will I have to show for this awesome life he has given me? How did I give to others? Did I truly see people around me and their needs? Did I look into the eyes of a child with no Mom or Dad and say... "I'm sorry... I'm too busy or too broke or too worried about a life that looks "perfect?" I sure hope not.

I love kids, I love my own kids, I am one big kid. I see the pain in some kids eyes when they are only 6-12 years old. I've seen high school kids think they are worthless? Can I make a difference now? As I approach 40? Will I give generously and find needs and teach my kids about giving? I sure hope so. Because I think living with Hope and Glory means you are empowered... no matter what your circumstances or emotions tell you... to step out, take risks, see the need and go after it. I am praying that God just blast me off into the stratosphere with this next phase of my life. That I am living with HIS hope and glory. With which... I can do anything. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

An Attitude of Gratitude - on Thankful Thursday

Many times I need to check my attitude. There are days where I walk around my cluttered home and huff and puff and think about how much work needs to be done and how there are not enough hours in the day and how hardworking I am and how my house should be cleaner and I am not organized enough or good enough with time management... blah blah blah.

Last night, as I took care of my sick daughter and put my son to bed, I kept walking past this barbie dress that had been sitting on our stairs for about 3 days. My daughter took it out and my son had probably flung it around the room and my husband had stepped on it about 5 trillion times on our way upstairs... and there it sat. Each time I walked by it I kept wondering I wonder who is going to recognize that thing needs to be put away. No one did. :) As I picked it up last night to bring it into Grace's room where normally I would huff and puff and grumble I thought to myself... I am so thankful my daughter has a dress for her Barbie and that I have a daughter who loves to play with her Barbies. I am thankful she only has the flu and I am thankful that I have a beautiful son and a husband who works hard. I have to tell you that I've heard other people say these kinds of things and had never experienced that feeling myself... God is working in my heart and my soul. He is showing me what it means to check myself, my attitude and appreciate the unbelievable goodness in my life.

Here is what I am thankful for this Thursday...

1. My awesome husband. Who is hardworking, loving, supportive and super duper cute.
2. The view I have of the mountains and the stars at night.
3. God's totally specific love for me and the numerous ways he shows me love.
4. My friends and my family. This community of people I have that support and love this family of mine.
5. Good recipes and girls who share them. Many Mom's and Dad's... over years and years have perfected meals to serve to their families to show love.
6. Date nights and Game nights... that fuel my relationships
7. My computer so I can blog and email. :)
8. Good friends and family back in Minnesota and Iowa and the midwest in general. They are the reason we keep going back.
9. My bro in New York. Who loves my kids and is inspired by them.
10. My Bible. It inspires me and gives me a glimpse into how much I have to learn.. and how much I am loved.

lv, jen

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lose my soul?

I think people scratch their head at my faith. I had a friend ask me the other day... have you always been this "religious?" It is hard for me because to me "religious" has this kind of negative connotation. And everything I am learning building and experiencing in my faith is about my heart and my life and my God.

It is easy to comprehend that someone wants to strengthen their physical muscles, or going to therapy to get emotionally stronger... but what about your spiritual health? All I am doing is pursuing what I believe to be the truth. I have believed in Jesus my whole life, what does that mean? What is that about? It's awesome that I believe in Jesus, but when I get to heaven at the end of this life, have I pursued my spiritual relationship with him? Will I know him before I get there? That's what I'm doing. Getting to know the one who created me before I meet him in heaven. Allowing him into my life and heart and pursuiing all he had planned for this life. Doing good things. Loving people, being imperfect and seeking God in it all.

I found this song today and I really like it. Thought I'd share it with my blog friends. Peace to all of you today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Way too fast...

Our family took a trip to the rec Center on Saturday and we had a blast. We haven't done a fun "family" thing in a while since our trip to Telluride, but it was much needed. I find that when my kids are fighting, nagging, needy and whining constantly, I try to think back to the last time I had some real quality time with them. Fun times. Fun things we were able to do together. Time when I can look them in the eye and tell them how much they mean to me. Being busy is totally a great way the enemy just slips into my life and disturbs this family's peace. This Saturday was great. Billy and I did not "feel" like going to the Rec Center, but it was a necessity. It was totally worth it. We took Toby down the slide and took Grace on the lazy river. We taught Grace some swimming techniques as she is still learning. We hugged, laughed and played. We even had a nice ten minute break in the hot tub... which is Mommy's favorite part. :)

We also took Grace over to the climbing wall. This was a big day for her. She has checked out this wall since we moved here 3 years ago. She has always wanted to climb it and for the last three years we had to tell her she was not big enough. But today she was big enough (sigh). It was bitter sweet. My baby girl is growing up and by UP I mean tall. She's becoming one of the coolest chicks I know. Her heart is soft and loving, she loves to learn and read, she understands God's love at a very young age, loves to sing worship songs and is good to her brother (most of the time). Grace's birth was when I first began to understand the love of God. It was the first time I felt God telling me in the quiet of my heart that he loved me so much he gave me this terrific gift of a baby. The day she was born I felt two things... unbelievable love and at the same time I wondered... was I worthy of such an amazing cool thing. God spoke to my heart telling me I was worthy of it and he trusted me with this awesome little girl. I know he has big plans for my little girl and I can't wait for her to walk in them. My prayer is that she be excited and look forward to what God has for her every day. As I watched her climb this Saturday, grabbing for each new gripping point, I was proud. I was proud she was brave to take each step, I was proud that she kept going and I was proud that she stopped when it felt "too scary." Know your limits my sweet beautiful girl, but keep climbing. Keep climbing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grandma Pinky and Morgan came to visit

Billy's Mom came to visit us last weekend. They call her Pinky. She was a twin who was ALWAYS dressed in pink... so the name just stuck. She is awesome. Pinky came to visit us with Billy's niece Morgan who took 3 days off of school (which means a ton of homework in 5th grade) to come and see us. We were so blessed. Pinky is a woman with a plan. I know when she comes to visit that she already has an idea of what she wants to do and we get it done. I love it because there is not a lot of hemming and hawing about what needs to happen... she lays it all out. So, when they came to DRO we spent Saturday shopping in Farmington where she loved buying the kids their winter coats and pajamas. Then we went to the pumpkin patch afterward... which was totally fun. Thursday she hit the Rec Center... Friday night she made an awesome pot roast and squash and super yummy food... it was SOOO good. Sunday she took all three kids on the train and met us in Silverton in the afternoon. Monday her and Morgan hit Trimble Hot Springs and then flew home. She told me next time we'll all drive to Ouray and stay at a hotel there and hit the hotsprings. We had a great time. I love it when people come all the way to DRO to visit us. It is so nice to invite people into our life here. It's nothing like the big city... but it's our home and we dig it lots.

My playdate with Kale and Kate

I heard a nasty rumor that my good friend Jill was sick on Sunday. So I called her to see how she was doing. She called me back and left me a message. She sounded so bad. I had never ever heard her voice so low and scratchy. She said it hurt so bad she could not eat for 3 or 4 days! Ugh. I just kept thinking... oh Lord please heal her. I had Tuesday off and asked my husband to check the weather. It was supposed to be 70 degrees. I pictured Jill in her house with her two preschool aged children and her new baby... I pictured her trying to feel better during a busy day with three kids. It was not going to happen for her. So I asked her if I could take Kale and Kate on a playdate with Toby on Tuesday. We would go to my house for lunch, play with Toby's toys and Toby then to the park, then back to my house for rest time and more playtime.

I have to say that her children were perfectly behaved for me. They were great. I loved hanging out with them. I loved how much my son loves them and I am so blessed by the entire family. Here is a picture from our day (I am having problems loading multiple pics). We seriously had a blast.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

That Man of mine.. and our communication nightmares

Ha! I think this post is great. My friend Jill shared a great post about how sometimes the communication in marriage is so important and sometimes so hard. Bill and I have been married 8 years and we still sometimes do not have a clue what we are saying to each other. It is like we are speaking two different languages. It just impresses on me more how badly we need in God in all of it. To remind us about mercy, grace and love and that even if I have no idea what Bill is talking about... we both have God gently nudging us to be more like him. Forgiving.

One example I have of these communication things is when Bill and I were going over finances. We were talking about how to work our budget or look at numbers. Bill is VERY detailed. He is more concerned about our accounts being reconciled to the penny and I am overall concerned about the big picture. Money in... money out... how it looks at a macro level. We were seriously trying to talk about how to plan for our budget and how to develop it and we both were explaining our perspectives and I am not lying to you. He was speaking English and I had NO IDEA what he was saying!!!! We both just kept repeating ourselves and neither one of us knew what we were talking about. After about 3 times of repeating ourselves to one another... we both just started laughing... and I said, are you speaking english because what you are saying is not making sense to me. It was hilarious. We ended up just dropping the subject and moving on to another topic. It was so funny. We are wired completely different.

Bill was given some marital advice that I don't think has served us well in our marriage. Someone told him when we were married the best phrase he needed to know was "yes honey or yes dear". Well, now he has the "yes dear syndrome" and it has brought us to many a fork in the road where we had to grin and bear it as well. I will say, Billy... can you please stop at the bank and deposit this money... or can you please make an appt for such and such or Bill can you please pick up some stuff at City Market. And thankfully, my wonderful husband with all the good intentions in the world tells me, "Yes Dear" full well knowing there is no way he has time to stop at the grocery store, call to make appts or deposit money into the bank account. So when I ask him if he completed said task.. he has to confess he did not. I have impressed upon him that honesty is the best policy and if he cannot complete said task to PLEASE let me know and I will do it. I love my husband and understand he is busy, but my pleading for him to help me he feels like he will let me down if he says, "NO." He wants to be my hero so he agrees to everything I need.

Men are awesome. My husband is awesome. He loves me no matter what and we are learning to navigate this life together. We will never be perfect, have all the answers or be able to appease each other 100% but we can look to God in all of it and say... "DEAR LORD HELP ME" and full well know that he has our backs totally and completely. God definatley has sense of humor in the differences between boys and girls. We just need to keep on laughing. :-)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another facebook post... I'm fired up

Titled: What is happening to this country?

I know this is an emotionally heated election and the politics of it all is killing me... but I just talked to a friend who informed me that the new "one dollar coins" are edited and they have taken "In God we Trust" off of the dollar. Regardless of your political opinion... regardless of your faith preference...what the heck? When my daughter was born... it was the moment in my life that I realized that I was given the most precious unebelievable gift. The gift of a new life. It was not MY efforts or MY mojo, MY good looks, or My good behavior that created that life. It was something so much bigger than anything I could ever wrap my brain around. I could go on and on about the human body and how intricate it is and amazing and special that there is no way a "BIG BANG" cosmic explosion or biological meltdown created the wonderful miracle of life. Who designed our feelings of love, intimacy, friendship, sensuality? Was that all just a fluke too? When I look into my daughter's eyes or listen to my son breathe and grow... I am trusting God 100%. I trust that God gave me these lives. I trust he loves me so specifically I cannot even begin to undestand what that means. He gave me desire an passion, he gave me hobbies and friends, he gives me the air I breathe and every beat of my heart. I trust that he put me in my parent's life for a specific reason I trust that he provides all my needs.... so why then is it such a big deal for us to talk about God? Don't mention "God" in school. Don't mention "God" at work because you could offend someone. If you talk to your friends about God your considered a bible "thumper" or religious... whatever. This country is so flipping egocentric I cannot even stand it. We live in a world of trusting yourself. We can't even turst others let alone trust God. The media and society communicates messages of how COOL WE are... how much better WE can be.... how much more money WE can get, more sex we can have, drugs WE can do.... Being dysfunctional and rehab'ed is cool. Having issues with porn and addictions is sexy. Exploit those who struggle with it, cling to the stories of those in pain. Get angry because WE aren't getting our way. It's all a load of crap. You were designed and created and built by a God who every day decides to let you live another day because you have stuff to do on this earth. Good stuff, good plans, plans to help others be good to others and make a difference for others. All the while TRUSTING GOD!Our sin and our focus on ourselves is what we don't like to look at as a society. We are wrong, we aren't perfect, we do make mistakes, we're not beautiful all the time, and that is why we NEED God and we need to begin to undesrtand what it means to TRUST God.I have watched teens and youth battle their own hearts and minds because they know the truth. They feel in thier spirit that God created them all in a special and unique way. Deep down they know they are loved. But our media and society confirms and communicates to them that what they believe is wrong. There is a conflict in their hearts because they don't know what to believe. The media communicates to everyone to be the masters of their own universe by having money, power, sex and greed. Special and precious is not sexy enough for this nation of ours. I have seen the pain in a young person's eyes when they think they are not good enough because they don't encompass all of that, they are humble, quiet, loving, sensitive, broke... and they feel worthless they don't see what God's so sad.This nation needs to take the blinders off and notice that it is a bunch of crap we don't trust God. It's really not about the coin. It's so many little ways we discredit the one who created us. We really should be ashamed of ourselves... but oh wait.... I forgot... we ARE perfect there's no shame in that... right?(sigh)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Miracles happen and happened to us - Our Cardboard Testimony

I posted this note on my facebook account. Many of my friends do not understand our faith or why I have become so "religious." My prayer is that they read this and have a better understanding. Read on...

My husband Bill was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about a month ago. Right now he is treating it with medication and a major change in diet. This diagnosis has been difficult for him. We were happy to find out at a routine doctor appointment rather than him having some kind of horrible diabetic medical problem. The good news is we know about it and can change our lives to make sure he's maintains good health. This diagnosis presented a lot of things for my husband. He loves sugar. He was a Mountain Dew boy all the way. So when you have to quit cold turkey on those sugary treats that bring you joy... it can be frustrating. One other side effect of the diabetes was his vision. When he dropped his sugar levels from the 500 range where they had been to a normal range... the capillaries in your eyes get messed up. So he could not even read the Nutrition labels or small print like that. Mind you, he's had 20/20 vision his whole life, so again major adjustments were to be made. We bought some contacts and that helped him during the day. Bill and I have been attending a church in Colorado here for about 3 years. I had never been a "church" person ever in my life. Church bored the crap out of me and it just seemed to ritualistic. I understood there was a God and I understood that Jesus died on the cross for me, but both Bill and I wanted to know that on a deeper level. We wanted to know what that meant for us in our day to day lives. As we pursued a closer relationship with the God who made us... we found our church and an amazing family of people who are also pursuing their own spiritual journey with God. The church we go to believes that the Bible is truth. Regardless of what media and society says... I believe it too. However, it does not say in the Bible to use what you know and what you believe to judge, manipulate or undermine others. My favorite commandment in the Bible is when Jesus told people this: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Matthew 22: 36That is what my church and my church family has taught me. That loving others is the best and truest form of understanding a personal relationship with God. It is not about "church" or "religion" it is about the basics of life and that is to love others and love God. It's a very personal journey. When you pursue it... supernaturally God changes your heart and fills you with sustainable joy. Not fleeting, but something that sticks with you. It is an amazing thing and something worth pondering. I am digressing... back to our miracle. Billy has been very frustrated about not being able to see... he has been back tot he eye doctor 2 times to change his prescription to so he can read small print. He works with computers at work and he looks up parts and inventory thing so not being able to see has been debilitating for him. It is hard to see my husband so frustrated. Last Sunday, we had a special dinner at our church our Pastor prayed over my husband and annointed him with oil. We had tons of people standing around him praying. I have witnessed prayers for others and healing for others... so I was really hoping our prayers would be answered in some way. I did know God could cure Billy with one mighty touch. I was excited to see what he might do when we prayed on Bill's behalf. The very next day, when we were getting ready for bed and watching Sports Center... Bill had his contacts off and told me... I can read the TV. Now mind you.. he always reads the small print at the bottom looking at EVERY game that is going on and memorizes all scores and such... so this small print is important to him too. So being able to read these scores was the reassurance he needed to know God was working in his life. I believe that God knew my husband's greatest frustration and healed his sight instantly. It was the confirmation I needed that when we seek God he will meet us right where we are. He cares specifically for us. And knows our greatest need. So with that testimony, I would like to encourage all my friends to remember. Whether or consider yourself "religious" or not. Say a prayer today to the God who created you and has an awesome plan for your life... and specifically ask him to meet you where you are. He loves you and so do I!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My husband Billy...

A long time ago, before there were motor vehicles...and telephones and electricity Billy and I met on a country road near an apple orchard(just kidding). We actually met in a small town bar. :)

This October 28, 2008, Bill and I will be married 8 years. He was a mystery boy who just dropped into Winona Minnesota. I was in my 4th year of college... having bartended the entire time with a bunch of the guys on Bill's softball team. He walked in one early evening when I was hanging out with some of my girlfriends, not knowing at that time what a "God moment" was, it is the only way I can describe the first time I saw him. Winona Minnesota is a small town with a whole bunch of churches and about 2x's the amount of small bars. Being a bartender in a popluar bar with cheap beer, I knew everyone in town. If I didn't know people's names I knew someone they knew. But on the day he walked into the bar, he stood out so predominantly from everyone else. It was almost like the background around him became fuzzy and Billy was totally in focus. He had super blonde hair after playing softball most of the summer, very tan and stunning to me. He was definately "prince" material. I remember saying to my friend... who is THAT GUY? Man is he cute! I've never been one to be passive or quiet (for those who know me well) , so my friends and I immediately welcomed him, sat and chatted with him to get the low down on who he was where he was from and what the heck he was doing in Winona. He told me his name was Bill... and I said... "Oh... Billy." He said, "No. My name is Bill." I told him he had to be kidding the fact he was from a small town of one thousand people in Iowa he had white blonde hair and a farmer tan... he was totally Billy to me. My friend Billy.

What I loved about him was how laid back and non "dramatic" he was. He answered questions truthfully, there was much truth in his eyes and peace to his nature. I was really happy to get to know him and found being with him a ton of fun. Our first official "date" we made some steaks on a little grill at his house. He tells me now that he knew he "dug" me when he decided to go buy himself some new silverware and plates so we could eat on nice dinnerware. How sweet! We also went to the apple festival in LaCrosse Wisconsin where he bought me a bucket of beer (very loving expression in Wisconsin) it was a blast. But the moment I really knew I was "in" with Bill was when he let me drive his prized light blue 1970 something Chevy Nova. We began what I can call a long friendship, courtship and a really fun wedding/reception.

When I look back on how God orchestrated our meeting and our relationship, I am blown away. Every anniversary Billy and I have we like to look back at our life and talk about all we have accomplished together. We glory in the fact that we are a team. No matter what life throws at us, no matter what our mistakes are throughout the year, we put them in the past, thank God for all we have done and were blessed with and look forward to another year as each other's best friend and team mate. I could not think of anyone else on this planet who understands me more than my husband, who is more patient and understanding. He works hard and understands the balance between work and family. I am so glad I met him, I am so glad he walked in that bar and came to Winona on a whim. I am so glad God sent him to me to be my husband. I can't wait for the next 8 years and what we have to look forward together. Thanks Billy. I love you.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Elected officials... can we get some better ones?

Wisdom is important. Wisdom about a lot of things. The thing I would like to say I am pursuing mostly in terms of wisdom is my own personal relationship with Jesus who died for me and a God who loves me. It is the thing I am studying the hardest. When I put my trust and my life in front of the God who created me, it is my best decision.

But to make an informed and confident exciting choice in the elections lately really makes me sad. I am beginning to read more, search more and gain more information about the candidates. I have to weed through truth and opinion. I talk to many people about all of their emotional reasons for voting for either one. I know who I am going to vote for, I really want to be well informed though.

In the past, I believe that media and mass communication had integrity and ethic. I believe we don't have it anymore. Sensationalism and whatever makes the most money has won the battle when it comes to media. Sex sells, then write about it...gossip sells, then tell everyone... people's mistakes brings home the bacon... then exploit them. Who cares what the ramifications of those decisions are... we're making money.

I was a Mass Communication major in college I have a B.A in that respect... and the thing I remember the most about what I was taught is that what you "report" in a mass context must be truthful, based on fact (not rumor) and have a ton of evidence to support your articles. Get the facts and write about them. End of story. I am by no means saying the media should not print things that we should know about upcoming elected presidential candidates. I think we should know some of the things that aren't so pretty, but I think they should print them in an unbaised manner followed by their supporting evidence. I see what they report... and it's not always unbiased or supported by anything but rhetoric and fancy talk.

The past couple of elections I have not been fueled or excited to go to the polls. I am honored that we get to vote for our president. I am honored I live in a country where we have that freedom. I am happy we have our military in place who will stand up for those very specific rights and our forefathers decisions were based on religious freedom.

But I would really like one day to go to the polls with two candidates fighting for the presidency... in which I am proud of both of them. Whether they were Democrat or Republican... they were good people. Not proud in a pat in the back kind of way, but when you look at their lives, they are a mix of the left and the right. They value life, they don't "play God" and judge others, they've worked hard, they value families. They love their spouses and families and they can give credibility to politics again. They are a straight shooter. They don't mess around. I would like someone who REALLY is looking out for this awesome country we live in... but has expectatins of us as well. I want someone who will make positive prayerful decisions that protect our freedoms... peace out friends...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Run Forrest Run!

Well, today is an amazing day. I have reached a "first" at 36 years old. I have reached a "first" with the crazy but "good for you" sport of running. I recently ran/walked a 5K run in Durango. I did it with some of the most encouraging loving people I know. Everyone from my church. Now, please keep in mind I am not a runner by any means.

In gym class in school, my first introduction to running. I was told to sprint (which my very short legs do not do very fast) or to run fast around a track for a mile or two. It always seemed to me that goal was to be the first person to cross the finish line so I was always racing to catch the first person. What my gym teacher never told me was about something called a "personal pace."

A friend of my at the race told me once you find YOUR personal "pace" you could run forever. So as I've hopped on many a treadmill, I would run so hard and fast I thought my lungs might burst. So, as a result I would have to walk. It kind of bummed me out because I think it looks like fun to run and I am in awe of people who can run fast for long periods of time. The body working together to do such an amazing thing blows my mind... and the endorphines... well they are a thumbs up from Jesus for sure!

So, today I did it. I hopped on the treadmill. And ran at a slow but steady pace. My legs loved me, my lungs did not burn, my blood was pumping and I was having blast. I could not believe after about seven minutes or so I thought for sure I could run forever. It was SO COOL!

Then I started thinking about applying this to my life. How often do I try to run at someone else's pace? How often am I looking ahead to see who looks to me like they are "ahead" of me? I wonder how much more joy and peace I would have if I a took things at my own pace lived my life that way. God did not intend for me to look around. He intended for me keep my "eyes up." Yeah God!!

Jeremiah 29:11-13For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Facing our Giants...

I read this book a while back by Max Lucado called "Facing your Giants." It was mostly a book about the life of David. It was refreshing to me that David... a man after God's heart was a total mess up. He had some of the most amazing and awesome experiences in life, he was a hero with Goliath, he was made a king, he had some amazing friends.... but he had low points too, he was a murderer, he sought after Bathesheba a married woman, he wandered throught the desert when his brother was trying to kill him. He had relationship issues and tough stuff to deal with.

I have seen the mountaintops as well, been blessed totally by God and had a great life. I have a great husband, awesome friends, beautiful kids. In it all, I am totally grateful and excited about each new day. But what do I do when I am in the tough spots? What do I do when it get's hard? Am I after God's own heart in the good bad AND ugly?

Just last week Billy was diagnosed with diabetes. It came as such a shock to me because my husband has been a pillar of health in this family. We filled out application papers to adopt a child from China and when we filled out the medical stuff, I even said to Billy... we look pretty good on paper. We laughed about it because our whole lives we have never had any real medical conditions to think about. I prayed and asked God to give me peace... which lasted 24 hours. The second day of our news before we got some more information via blood tests, I started to panic. Can I just say for a minute that fear sucks? It does. But it crept into my brain like a little weasel. I started to think about the longevity of Bill's life, what he/we could have done better to prevent this, my kids and their health, etc. I kept asking God to give me wisdom. But I really believe after a lot of prayer that God allowed this to happen for a variety of reasons. He allowed me to see the important role my husband plays in this family of ours. He allowed me to spend extra time preparing healthy meals and healthy choices for my family, he allowed my husband and I to team together to work through whatever he will need to maintain a healthy and thriving lifestyle living with diabetes. It has brought us closer together as we get focused on new eating habits. I asked people to pray for me and when that happened, the fear left. The fear is gone every day is a new day and I am excited to see what's next. This is one giant I will not face alone... fear is no match for my God. With one word... He can make the mountains bow down. Thanks God for helping me face my Giants.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Change and the Champion

Matthew 18:3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Today I was thinking about the concept of being "changed." Recently I have lost about 20+ pounds. I started in January of 2008 and as of today I am a different person than I was last year. I still have about 15 pounds to go but because it took me about six years to gain all the weight from having my children... I've given myself six years to lose it. So 1 year- 20lbs... I'm doing ok. What blows my mind is how it happened and what happened to me during my pursuit of being healthier. I am about 5'2 and it's always been a struggle for me to lose weight. If I eat an entire sandwich like any average sized human being, I gain five pounds. If I eat half the sandwich I maintain my weight and if I eat a quarter of the sandwich and work out I might lose a pound or two. It's always been an uphill battle for me when it comes to weight. In January, I was really wanting to be "healthy". I told my prayer partner Jill that I needed prayer in this area. She prayed for me. Everything she said during the prayer made sense, my body is a gift from God, God wants me to be healthy, God loves us so he wants us to use our body to glorify him etc.etc. It all made sense in my heart... so I decided to start working out one hour a day... for me and my body. It was my own little hour to myself. It was a dedication to myself and the body he gave me. Mind you, I have gone down this path before and had no luck. Working out.. eating right... still I maintained the status quo. I was not convinced God was going to give me the boost I needed. I had this feeling he wanted me to "get to work... " So, I began my workout regimen and saw the pounds literally started to drop. Every week, I went up and down and up and down. (I even prayed for the Holy Spirit to multiply my workout) Eventually there were more downs than ups and here I am today 20lbs lighter. During the process I realized that although I do not consider myself an athlete nor have I ever been called an athlete by anyone growing up that this focus on getting my body healthy and asking God to help me made me feel like a champion. But when it comes to losing the weight. I give all the glory to God. It was my spirit inside telling me there was a champion waiting to get out. A changed person who knows God intimately. A changed person who looks forward to the joy that comes each morning. A changed woman with the love of God in her heart. Now... I have 15 more pounds to go and I saw this verse... how else God... do you want me to change? What's next? Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just Me - The Champion

I love my husband Billy first and formost. He rocks. I have two awesome kids who on a good day make me laugh and on an OK day make me want to pull my eyelids back over my head. I am most days tired and busy so I love naps in the afternoon. I love laying in bed with Grace saying her bedtime prayers and listening to Toby say his prayers ending everything no matter what he's talking about with "and bless it to my body" Amen. I love dancing with my family in the kitchen, I love eating Chinese take out with Bill and going on dates and playing Phase One. I love photographing my family and remembering to get the film developed (and picked up). I love it when my laundry is done. (it's rare) and I love it when my house smells good. (lots of candles) I enjoy the sun and a cool breeze right when you need it most. I like it when Bill does the dishes and picks up his stuff around the house. I am especially interested in that kind of stuff. I love it when my kids and husband give me a round of applause after I cook a meal they like. (a trick we learned from my awesome friend Linn) I like new clothes, new lipgloss and new hair (color or style). I like spas, beaches and playing in a pool. I especially love God and pursuing the plan He has intended for me and my family. The End.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pray Mama Pray!

I am amazed by my children and what I learn from them. When we were in New Mexico visiting my Mom and family. We brought along our portable DVD player. Anyone who has small children and takes very long car rides understands the importance and goodness of these little units! We don't allow the kids to watch the DVD player the entire time, but we do use it at the very end of the drive when they are reaching a point of no return. The first night we were in New Mexico I put the DVD player on the nightstand next to the bed. I had to charge the battery overnight. Grace wanted some water before she fell asleep so I brought her a glass of water. Somehow in the middle of the night, I must have knocked the water with my hand because when I woke up the next morning the DVD player was soaked along with some towels and clothes I had sitting next to the nighstand. Everything was drenched. My first thought was... where I am going to get the money to buy a new DVD player? This is vital! My daughter's first thought as I told her what happened was.... "PRAY!" Quick Mom! "PRAY!". I laughed at her wisdom and my panic and told her to put her hands on the DVD player so we could quickly pray for it. We asked Jesus to fix it as he knew we needed it for trips. After about an hour or so I went back to the DVD player and put a DVD in it... it works... no problems... no defects. I am so proud of Grace and her knowledge of God's understanding of our specific needs. She is at the beginning of this understanding but she is teaching me lots. Cool stuff. Very cool stuff.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

To be: Content

This is my first blog so I am super excited. Lately I have been focused on something that is out of my comfort zone. I am not too familiar with it. I am not even sure I know what it looks like. By nature I like new things, I like adventure, I like spontaneous events, I think I even like an unexpected rainstorm because of it throws me for a loop. Bill and I have been on an adventure since we moved here. It has been a God planned adventure which makes it all that much better! In a walk of faith and obedience we moved to Durango, as we prayed and sought God in all of it, he escorted us to this beautiful place. We moved into a little cabin-like home and are currently renting it from my Dad. We live in a beautiful location, we have family of deer that are our neighbors we have amazing views of the Animas Mountains we have grass to mow (Billy's favorite part ;-) We are close to town. We wanted to buy a house but the market is way too expensive here in Durango. Our dream is to someday own our own home. But my prayer to God lately has been, Lord... show me what "content" looks like. Show me what it means to love everything you have provided to me in this place and in this time. By faith I came to Durango, by faith I will be content no matter where I live or what I have. As I seek God on this subject, I don't think content means boring either. I think content means being appreciative and peaceful about the "things" you have. Not always wanting more or different but being ok with what is in this moment right now. I think God puts things on our heart to stir us and make us act and move. Even in my adventurous thoughts and desires for spontaneous cool things, I can be content. I will be content when I know the things I desire are pleasing to what God has for this family. So when I find my house, I will be content, when I live in this house, I will be content, I will be content because I am so glad to know that in it all, I am being cared for specifically by God and his plan for me and my family.

P.S. Bill is much better at being content than I am... he trusts we are just where we need to be and waits on God's gentle urging. He recognizes God's open door and then when it is time, he steps through. I think maybe I need to study my husband a bit on this one. While he waits on God, sometimes I am buying the wood, nails and getting tools to build the door I am about to walk through... :-) sigh...