Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Spirit

I love Christmas.  I don't always love getting the house ready for Christmas.  It usually feels like such a chore.  But this year, I am so very into Christmas. 

For the first time ever, I turned Christmas music on before Thanksgiving.  I put up outside lights for the first time.  All of my nativities are out and my tree is up.  I am even liking the looks of my decorations more than ever before. All this before November 25th. 

I keep asking myself why am I so happy it's Christmas this year over any other year.  Is it the excitement of the 4 year old.  Is it the happy squeals of the baby every time he sees the Christmas tree?

That's all part of it.  But I realized something else.  Last year I was very pregnant.  I was exhausted.  My mother in law decorated my house for me.  I "survived" the Christmas season more than I "lived" it.

This year is kind of like a redemptive Christmas for me.  And that excitement from the 4 year old...and those baby squeals....they are the best!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fighting Alone

As part of our business, we often talk to cancer patients.  Ryan really does most of that.  I do more of the sales and processing.  Ok, I really just pack boxes.  Ryan does all the consultations.  This is partly because he knows more about all the products than I do, but it's also because when the phone rings when I'm here by myself with the kids, it would be unprofessional to have children making children type noises in the background.

Today I was in the kitchen making a pumpkin cheesecake with Ainsley when the phone rang.  Most of the time, I pick up the phone to look at the number.  I check if it's someone I know or if it's a customer.  I went to do that today but I hit the talk button while I fumbled with the phone.

It was a cancer patient.  And it was sobering for me to talk with her.  She is doing the Gerson therapy.  We fully support and believe in this therapy and have since we started our business in 1998.  But it's tough to do on your own.  It requires a lot of work including a lot of juicing. 

Most people that do this therapy have a care taker.  This woman did not.  She called looking for a water distiller.  I could tell quickly it was going to be out of her price range.  But I knew she needed to talk.  She broke down on more than one occasion during our brief conversation.

As I hung up the phone, Grace Like Rain was playing on my radio.  It struck me all at once how truly blessed we are.  Here I was making cheesecake for our family and this woman, like countless others, was alone in the fight for her life. 

It was all I could do not to lose it myself.  I hugged my daughter and prayed for this woman.  I prayed that she would find help in her quest for healing.  More importantly, I prayed for Grace to find her so she wouldn't be alone anymore. 

Monday, November 19, 2012


Every year at Thanksgiving my mother in law passes around a small bowl of popcorn kernels.  Everyone takes one and passes it along.  When it comes back to you, you have to say what you are thankful for as you put your kernel back in the bowl.

For the past 2 years, we have been having Thanksgiving at my father in law's house instead.  Even though everyone always has a good laugh over my mother in law's goofy tradition, I have to say that I really have missed it. 

This year I have to say that I am most thankful for the fact that God's plan is not my plan.  There are so many areas in my life this year that God has changed my direction and now that I am on the other side of that change, I am so thankful that I don't make the plan.

Let's start in January.  Pretty obvious here...David was born.  But my plan was that he would be a girl.  That wasn't God's plan.  By this gift of a little boy, my heart has expanded so much.  I no longer feel sorry for parents of little boys.  I actually get excited about it.  How's that for a 180!

The next place God's plan overruled mine was working.  I often had said that I could never be a stay at home mom.  Never say never.  I am one.  And I love it.  I honestly have thought about my job and my career only 2 or 3 times since I left it.  And it's a look back with a thankfulness of what I had and where God has brought me to now.  I don't regret my time there and I don't regret my decision to leave it.

Finally, my plan never included running a home business.  Ryan's plan included it.  But not me.  I did it because I had to.  And now I look forward to waking up and checking to see how many orders we received while we were sleeping.  And God has blessed us so much this year with a growing business in a down economy.  Without it, I wouldn't be able to stay home.  By the way, if you are interested, our website is www.RenewedHealth.com.

So as I put my virtual popcorn kernel in the tiny bowl, I am again overwhelmed like I have been so many times before.  Overwhelmed with a thankful heart.  Thank you Lord for your plan.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

End of an Era

Today is hard.  Harder than I ever would have imagined.  We knew it was coming.  But reality is different. 

Today we said goodbye to our first "child", Tucker the Pug. 

We got him when we were still so young - Fall of 2001.  He was a pound dog.  We had no idea about pugs but just thought he was too cute to pass up on.

He made it into every early family photo.

He survived 4 moves with us

He brightened our day with his cuteness

He loved to go on hikes

He has made countless trips to the Lake with us.  Or as we used to call it for him, "Camp"

He loved laying on the beach in the sun

Early on he liked dashing through the snow.  Not so much as he got older.  I think he was wise there.

He lived through the addition and loss of Libby.

He has lived through the addition of not just one child

But two.

And today his little body just gave out.  He has lived a good life and will be dearly missed. 

It truly is the end of an era.

Goodbye my friend.  Tell Libby we said hello.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Today's Lesson

Ainsley has been giving money to God every week for some time.  A few months back when she asked for her money for God she decided she wanted to keep it for herself instead.  Ryan and I decided that this would be a good time to start giving her allowance and begin teaching her about financial responsibility.

Ryan set her up with 3 banks.  One is for savings and is a special piggy bank.  One is for God and is a clear mason jar she can empty out each week and bring the money to church.  And the last is for spending any way she wants.

She gets 3 quarters every week and is fantastic about putting the money in each jar.  I looked at the jars this week and noticed that the spending jar was starting to get pretty full.  Grampy gave her an additional $5 recently and so she actually had enough money to buy something.

We counted the money and put it in a baggy.  She had $9.67
We got in the car for a special trip to Target.  We went right to the toy section and right to the My Little Pony's.  There were some there that she liked but were over the amount of money she had.  She got to learn quickly that we can only buy what we can afford.  There were a couple also that were less expensive and not as cool.  And there were a few that would deplete her money completely.  She debated over which one to pick.  But then she settled in on the one that would take almost all her money.
We went to the cash register and she checked out all by herself.  I helped her count the money out and hand it to the cashier.  She was so proud of herself.  She was even excited about getting her own receipt.  She even had some money left to take home and put back in the jar for her next purchase.
My baby is growing up more and more every day.  We couldn't be more proud.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I've been lonely lately. 

When I quit my job, I wasn't coming home to be the mom of a firstborn newborn baby.  I was coming home to a 4 year old and a 6 month old.  My days look like preschool drop offs and running errands between morning and afternoon naps.  And boxes.  Tons of boxes.  Insert shameless plug for www.renewedhealth.com.  Wink wink.

I have been trying hard not to over commit myself during this transitional phase of my life.  In doing so, I have committed to BSF and that's it.  Now don't get me wrong, I love BSF.  But there isn't a lot of space for making friends.  It's pretty down to business bible studying.

So I have been looking around to the people I already know.  It seems like everyone is already established in their friendships and their routines.  I look to this group and I feel like an outsider.  That group too.  Where is my group of people?  Who is like me?  Where can I find the friends that I so desperately need?

And so I'm drifting. 

In BSF, we have been studying Genesis.  We just finished Noah.  There have been a few things that have been fresh with this new look at Noah.  First, God provided everything Noah needed, not just food, but sacrificial animals as well so that he could continue to worship.  Second, God shut the door to the ark.  In his mercy, God didn't make Noah the responsible one to pick the time that the door should be shut and the world condemned.  Third, Noah was alone for much of his life.  It took him 120 years to build the ark.  And once the flood came, they were on the boat for over a year. 

I think about Noah drifting after the rains had stopped.  Every day drifting, alone in a world of water.  It must have been achingly lonely.  And yet Genesis 8:1 gives me hope.

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
In the midst of my own drifting, I have to remember that God provides.  He has great mercy and love for me.  I couldn't ask for anything better to hold on to while the waves of loneliness surround me.

Related Posts with Thumbnails