"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Friday, June 29, 2012


Today while making supper a thought struck me.  I ruminated on it a bit on my walk and a blog post happened…

I was just thinking how very often God DOES give us our heart’s desires.  He knows they are not maybe His final plans for us, but He gives it anyway in order to teach and prepare us.
I know I need to better explain that, and I will, but I want to be careful so I don’t have to deal with the comments about Africa being whatever based on anyone else’s whatever.  Africa was a part of God’s plan for us and I will.not.ever.doubt that.

There were things going on just fine in our lives 5-6 years ago.  God was working in our hearts and minds, especially Brian’s and things were happening and busy and sailing along.  But in some ways, we were stuck, caught in a rut of day-to-day-that’s-about-it-living.  Nothing wrong, but nothing too super either.  We were tied to the dairy farm and there weren’t many options outside of that, not that we were looking either.
So I strongly believe it was God who caused the stirring of restlessness in us, both at the same time, for the same thing.  

Long story short, we were in the process of preparing, moving to, living, and then moving back from our time in Zambia.

God gave us our desire to go and do “something else”.  He used it to train, prepare, cause reliance upon Him, show His faithfulness, His provision, to teach us what we needed to know so that He could have us back here doing what He wanted us to do and be okay with that-content with that. 
I personally am feeling a peace and contentment I haven’t felt for a long time.  (I know some of it is things being worked out in therapy with J as well.)  Sure, we are feeling the pinch of space in our house and yard, and there are some concerns and desires out there, but for the most part I really am feeling okay with where we are “at” right now.  

I also know I wouldn’t be feeling this way if we hadn’t gone and did what we did.  Brian wouldn’t be doing what he is doing now (well, none of us would), we wouldn’t be living as we are now.  So many things would be different.  Yet, there are a large portion of things that are the same as they were, way back when.
I think God allowed us to follow our desires, be able to use them for His Glory, and at the same time use them to teach us to be content with where ever He will have and use us.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


(more from before...)

While talking with J’s therapist one day I mentioned a specific pain I was having at specific times (got that :) ??)  She asked me if I had ever had any post partum depression or anything medically “happen” during any of the kids’ births.  I of course said no, I couldn’t think of anything.
Later I mentioned it to Brian while we were eating and he said, yeah you had PPD bad after a few of the girls.  I laughed.  Yeah right-me?  I sure couldn’t remember anything!  I kept laughing as he reassured me I did.  He then spoke of times when I would be in bed crying when he came home.  My laughter soon turned to tears as I asked why I couldn’t remember any of that.  In the next second I did-not specifics, but I did remember a time of crying and saying I just couldn’t do it all and he was holding me, comforting me and telling me it was alright.
From what I understood from the therapist, our bodies/mind hold a lot of memories; but it has its own built in safeguards so that we don’t remember more than we can handle.  (Sorry, that doesn’t sound very scientific and I don’t have all the facts swimming in my head to pull out.  I am very left brained, analytical, logical and all that-but I haven’t had the head for it lately.)
Not to make that sound weirdo, but I can see it.  I have the mommy guilt/super mommy thing going full on.  I am often complemented and affirmed for being able to be so organized, handle so many kids, etc.  Sure, I will admit that I can do those things.  But it soon became that if I couldn’t, something must be wrong with me.  Or the kids-they have some big problem.  I don’t remember ever thinking that of course, but it was a nasty root that took hold.
Well, along comes the “year of therapy” with J—occupational, speech, play therapy for him and counseling for me to deal with it all as well.  I wrote about my “mommy issues” back in December some, really processed through some things and healed a bit.  Then, when the time was right, I was able to handle this memory-admit, see, really feel through what was going on back then instead of just disassociating from it.  I know I wasn’t ready before!

And by the way, I haven’t had that specific pain to speak of since.

Monday, June 25, 2012

(we have some new posts in the works, but nothing finished yet.  found some things that we started quite a long time ago that I'm gonna work on throwing up.  we'll see where they go...)


In an irony that I won’t discuss, the kids and I are back where we were 5 years ago, starting our cycle of home school curriculum.  Each year we read missionary stories, that year was our first time.  It is interesting the things I pick up on this time around. 
This year one of them was Amy Carmichael, you know, the failed Japanese missionary.  Oh?  You didn’t know she “failed” in Japan before going to India?  She couldn’t handle it (physically).  Guess you’ll have to read her story sometime.  (We used “Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems” by Janet & Geoff Benge from YWAM Publishing.)
During her time in India, Amy Carmichael did a lot of writing.  One of her manuscripts, “Things As They Are” was just that-a book on the way things were in India where she was ministering.  She had sent this manuscript off to the Keswick committee in England for publishing.  She received it back with a nice note thanking her, but suggesting a few small changes.  It seemed a tad bit too depressing for them-maybe it needed a lighter touch, more happy stories.  Amy was confronted with the desire of Christians for “happy missionary, happy ending” stories.  Hmm, seems familiar.  Eventually, two women who had come to see Amy’s work firsthand took the manuscript back and made sure it was published.
It just struck me that still, all these years later, we still (only) want the happy endings.  We don’t want to know how hard missionary work is, especially in heavily un-Christian lands.   We don’t want to know if it doesn’t seem like we are “winning.”  Why is that?  Are we stuck trying to convince ourselves that “with Jesus all things are possible?”  Well, maybe they are-but it doesn’t mean they are all that pretty or easy or rose-colored.  There is a hard-fought spiritual war going on-not just for the people of the land, but also for each missionary’s mind and soul.  Wouldn’t you want to know how hard things are so you might pray earnestly?

Sure, there is balance as you don't want to overly discourage either.  But sometimes a missionary just needs you to know how "things (really) are".  I just read a blog from a gal we went to missionary training with years ago.  Yeah-she laid out how hard things were for her, how it was going through those hard times, and yes-how she is coming out on the other end. 

I guess I may just be different.  I enjoy hearing how God has used a process, a trial, an uncomfortableness to grow someone.  It really gives me hope I guess, knowing my own struggles.

I was gonna write something else about this, but I guess it fits in here.  Many of you have perhaps heard how Steve Saint with I-TEC down in Florida had an accident and was/is paralyzed.  I have not heard the latest.  I did watch a short video where he boldly proclaimed his faith and even challenged (everyone) to step out in faith where ever God may be calling them.  Great testimony.  I am not taking away from that at all, I just had a few thoughts, and this is just a media to share where we all bring in our own perceptions, so any disrespect is definitely unintended. Recently a young man I knew from bible school went home to be with the Lord.  And before he died, he lamented, alot.  And my impression from his blog is that some well-meaning Christian friends encouraged him not to (at least publicly?).  That's just what I read into it, I may be wrong.
Anyway, I guess where I am going is a comparison.  Which of course isn't a comparison because you are looking at two very different things (death/paralyzation, younger man/older man).   And I guess it is not comparison really.  I don't know what it is.  Anyway, someone made the comment that I wish my faith would have been that strong (in regards to Steve's video).  
My first thought is I hope that is really how Steve is feeling, that this isn't to help make other people feel better.  But then look at his life and all he went through, yeah-what else could it be but genuine?  You would expect that kind of a response from him based on the way he has lived his life.
And then I think of Jer and how he lamented and how that was really okay to.  "pardon any unintended disrespect for shiny happy responses to my pain, but if i may be so honest: this really stinks, and it’s much appreciated when you agree."

So somewhere in the midst of whatever you are going through-both sides are okay, acceptable, even sanctified.  God knows your heart.  Be real with Him, be honest.  Be free to share you pain with others.  A mustard seed of faith-that's all you need.  And God is there, looking at your heart, feeling your pain and struggles, wanting and waiting to comfort you.  I consider Jeremy and Steve great men of faith.  And you know what, I consider my husband a great man of faith too.  It has not been easy these past few years.  His wound was so.so.so.deep.  And He was angry and disappointed with God, and he let Him know it.  But there was still that mustard seed of faith that wouldn't let him completely walk away.  And God was waiting, waiting to catch him, and he has a deeper and fuller understanding of God's love than he ever has before.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

another who's who...

Looking for some pics for my parent's wedding anniversary party at the end of July...having lots of fun and laughs at the old pics.

So here we go again:  which kid is this??