Saturday, January 29, 2011

100 DAYS!!

I haven't updated everyone about Sarah for a while because there just wasn't much to tell...

Until Now!!

If you have followed my blog for a little while, you might remember that back in October Sarah had a high dose of chemo followed by a bone marrow transplant.  After that, there were a lot of restrictions she had to abide by--for 100 days.  Some of those were, no fresh fruits or veggies besides ones with thick skins like oranges and bananas.  No restaurant food.  When we served food here at home, she had to be served first, before any germs could get mixed in.  She had to have her own boxes and baggies of things like chips, cereal, and even her own juice and milk containers!  (Yeah, we thought many of the restrictions were pretty silly...)  She couldn't be out in public places, and if it was necessary for her to be, then she had to wear a mask.  We didn't let anyone over who was sick or who had been exposed to someone who was sick.  There were a lot of annoying, some of them a bit over the top, but some of them wise...restrictions.  We stuck to them really well at first, and then as time wore on we started being a little lax on some of them, but many of them we really tried to follow religiously until the very end.

And, TODAY IS THE VERY END!!  TODAY IS DAY 100!!!!  : ) 

We celebrated by going to eat at Steak n Shake where Cassandra works.  It was the first day in 100 days that we took Sarah to a restaurant.  Actually, I was gone earlier in the day, and Scott took everyone out to lunch also.  It was a day to celebrate! 

So here's what's next--

On Monday she gets one more dose of a medicine she needs through her tubees, and then later that same day, she GETS HER TUBEES OUT!!  You have no idea how huge this is!  Those tubees (her central line tubes going into her chest) have been part of Sarah's life since June.  She has had very few tub baths since then, since it is important not to get them wet.  She wasn't able to go in the water all summer, and it's her favorite thing!  Now, she does really love getting her 'tubees drinks' every day (when we flush them with the saline solution), and she loves watching the nurse take blood through them and everything.  But frankly, I will be so happy to say bye bye to the tubees.  I hope she will be too!

In about a week and a half she will get a blood draw just to make sure that her blood counts are all perfectly high enough, and if they are, then we will not have to return to the clinic for...Wait for it....


Yes.  We will only have to come back to the clinic for blood draws and MRI's every three months--just to make sure nothing is growing anywhere. (So, please, if God brings us to mind, could you please continue to pray?  The other night Josh said, "I am afraid that now that Sarah's better, everyone will forget to pray for her." )  We will still have to go to Dr. Aaberg's for eye exams under sedation about every month or so, I think, for a little while more, and then those appointments will start stretching out too.

It feels so surreal to me to be where we are in this journey.  To think that we are at the end of restrictions, daily tube flushes, weekly appointments, and medical jargon being part of our daily life.  Just imagining only going to the clinic every three months seems so crazy to me.  To be honest, it makes me a little sad, because we really love those doctors, nurses and staff.  They become like family, and we miss them!  But, oh how nice it will be to have weeks at a time to enjoy with the family.  To go places and have normal experiences again because there is TIME.  We will have uninterrupted weeks of school!  Aaaahhh...I am sighing with happiness.  The new normal will be very nice.  I just have to remind myself that we will still be seeing our friends at the hospital, just not all the time.  : ) 

It also feels sooo wonderful to really be done with cancer.  I hope if you are new to my blog, that you will go back in the archives and read the story starting in June.  I know it's a lot.  You can skim it, or just read the high lites.  But this story is so ripe with everything that is God.  From start to finish, God was there, making His presence known in a BIG way.  You simply cannot wave it all aside as coincidence.  Just seeing how He brought her here at just the right time,  gave her a family to comfort her through it, said pooey on the doctors who gave her no hope, and brought her through with flying colors time and's a wonderful story of God's amazing love. 

We are aware that the type of cancer Sarah had is a type that has a higher chance than some others of coming back.  It also has a higher chance of coming back at some time later in her life as a different form of cancer.  Of course I will probably always have this in the back of my mind.  But we do not really worry about these things.  We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has it covered.  Just as He always does, He will do what is right, and only allow what He knows will be the best for her and for us.  It is such a comforting way to go through life, knowing that God does not waste anything.  He uses everything for our good, and for His glory.  If Sarah had to go through this again sometime in her life, then we would simply trust Him again.  We are praying and trusting that this will be the end, though!

 Catching snowflakes!

 Nerf wars.  All part of life with brothers. : )

 Girl time with Doodah (Cassandra)  : )

 She was really excited about this new ladybug beanbag!

 Her new big girl bed

 This wig cracks us up!

 Doing school

 Learning about rocks with brothers--Pumice stones float! 

 Playing ninjas

 Hanging out with Josh

Tea parties with friends : )

Sarah is one little girl who is completely full of LIFE!  We are so thankful that God has blessed us with her, and that He has blessed her in so many ways.  We know He has such big plans for our little Sarah!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Be a blessing and get something beautiful...

I would like you all to know about a friend of mine named Lori.

I have never met Lori in person, but I have gotten to know her from her blog and emails.  And I just love that lady!  Not only is she really fun and pretty hilarious, but she really loves the Lord with all her heart, and she and her family have a huge heart--especially for orphans.  They have already adopted two girls from China:  one they brought home a few years ago as a little thing, I think when she was three years old, and the other one, they just brought home in '09, right before we got Sarah.  She was 13 when they got her.  Both of these girls are beautiful blessings!  Lori and her hubby already had two teenaged sons.  NOW, they are getting ready to go to China again, this time to bring home not one, but TWO more sons!  A little one and another teenager!  I think you will agree with me that my friend Lori and her hubby are pretty special people.  I am so excited for them!   If you would like to check out her blog, it's right HERE.

I am sure that you have heard that international adoptions cost money.  Quite a lot of it.  Many of us have a heart for orphans and would love to see them find families, but we just can't adopt right now for whatever reason.  Giving toward someone else's adoption is a fantastic way to invest in something that is so close to God's heart. 

There is a lady named Sharla who makes and sells really beautiful jewelry for good causes, and she is doing a special fundraiser for Lori!  From now until the end of February, when you purchase one of her creations, a portion of the money goes toward Lori's adoption fund.  So, it's a win, win, win situation!  Lori's family, her two new boys, and YOU get a big blessing!  You can check out Sharla's jewelry HERE.   There is also a link to the site on the right side of my page, just down a little ways. 

Happy shopping!  Let's keep loving and giving and adopting until there are NO MORE ORPHANS!

Monday, January 24, 2011

My birthday gift to Jesus

I mentioned in my Christmas traditions post last month, that on Christmas Eve, our family sits down together and tells what we each intend to give to Jesus in the upcoming year.  We write down what's in our heart and put the slip of paper in a box to keep all year.  Well, I was really excited about the idea the Lord gave me.  Granted, it is not super creative or anything.  I just decided that I would be much more intentional about serving others this year.  I thought it would be great if each month we pray about and plan as a family at least one thing to do for others.  It might be a service project, or a gift for someone in need.  Who knows?  Pick one thing that we commit to do and put on the calendar. 

We did our first one this past Saturday!  God had given me the idea one day last year as I sat waiting for some blankets to finish their cycle at the laundromat.  I looked around at the people washing clothes that day.  Many of them looked like they could use some help financially, and doing laundry at the laundromat is really more expensive than I expected!  I remembered the big jar of change we have at our house.  We normally use it for a vacation, or to give away if the Lord leads us to.  Anyway, I thought, how fun would it be to bring a bunch of quarters and hand them out to people at the laundromat!  It would be just a little help, but it would be a fun surprise for them. 

Finally, Saturday was the day to do it!  We filled up sandwich bags with about five dollars in quarters a piece, and added a gospel tract to each one.  Then, Cassandra and the boys and I headed to the laundromat.  Here we are getting ready to go in...

Ben (in the red coat) doesn't look the happiest.  He wasn't so sure about having to approach strangers.  Actually, I think we were all a little nervous.  But it is good to get out of our comfort zones, and this was an easy way to do it!  The people were happy to get the little baggies, and we gave some extra quarters to the little kids that were there to play some arcade games.  When we left, the kids wanted to do it some more!

So, we DID do more.  We had some bags left over and went to another laundromat--one in our own community.  An interesting thing happened at this one.  At the first place, the people looked like they could use the quarters, and they were happy to accept them.  At the second, I could tell the difference in the clientel right away.  Many of them did not accept the quarters!  They just said, "Thanks, but I don't need them."  Huh...  I thought, really?  Even if I had the money, if someone wanted to give me five dollars, I would hope I would be happy to take it.  Oh well, we gave to the ones who would accept, and then headed home.

We thought about it later, and realized that there is a tale of two laundromats here, with a parallel to real life.  Isn't it just like reality, when someone is confronted with the gospel message, that so often those who have nothing can appreciate the gracious offer of salvation and accept it, while those who feel full and satisfied with their lot in life do not feel the need to accept God's gift of salvation and follow Him?    They figure, I'm doing fine without Him.  Why would I need Him?  We thought that was interesting to think about...

Anyway, we did have a lot of fun, and the kids enjoyed it too!  You might want to bag up some change and take a little trip to a laundromat near you...

I'll let you know what we decide to do for Jesus next month!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oh, how He loves us!

I wasn't planning on posting today, but my heart is so full, I just really needed to! 

Are you all enjoying winter??  I don't know about you, but we live where it gets COLD!  I've heard all the jokes--we only have two seasons:  winter and Fourth of July.....  and the griping and complaining.  And I don't really love being cold, truth be told.   But seriously.  Isn't it BEAUTIFUL??!!

I did not take these pictures.  These were taken in a friend of mine's backyard by her daughter.  Talented girl!  But these are the kinds of scenes I get to enjoy on a daily basis here in our cold state.  It struck me again this morning on our frigid drive to church how spectacular God made this world of ours.  It's the kind of thing I love to sit and think about.  Even winter, which really is a pretty depressing time of year as far as living things go.  Trees all bare and death-like, grass brown and ugly, animals hunkered down 'til spring, no flowers, everything cold and barren.  And yet, God says, "But wait!  Look at THIS!!"  And sends the most beautiful, purest white, sparkling crystals in intricate patterns to cover the earth.  Oh, how He loves us.  He did not have to make everything so lovely.  There is no "evolutionary" reason for most of the beauty we are surrounded by.  Everyone gets to enjoy it-- rich, poor, and every age.  God just simply wants to tell us, "I LOVE YOU!"  I hope you are soaking in His great love for you today!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Part two :)

The boys' memory verse last week:

 "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another.  As I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."  John 13:34-35

Continuing from my last post... : )   

God has been impressing upon my heart in recent months so strongly, that THIS is His big idea.  This is the thing that will be the most effective in reaching a dying world.  This is what sets Jesus apart from other "gods" and prophets, and should set us apart from other people.  When Jesus was on the earth, He attracted people to Himself.  Even apart from the miracles He did for them, and the amazing wisdom that He taught, He was irresistible to people.  Jesus truly loved people, and He consistently showed it.  He hated sin, but He loved people (and He still does.)  I believe that the more people see that we love them like Christ does, they will understand more clearly who Christ really is, and be more ready to listen when we tell them about Him.  I know, it's not some big secret, but I just don't think that we DO it enough.

Sometimes, it is just hard to really love people, though, isn't it?  Some people are just prickly, mean and nasty.  Or downright ornery stinkers!  How can we POSSIBLY love certain people?  Well, we can't.

This is the part I loved most about that David Jeremiah sermon I was telling you about.  He gave the illustration of how an ordinary piece of steel is just a piece of metal.  It doesn't have any power to do anything but sit there, and maybe be a paperweight.  But if you rub it against a magnet for a little while, something magical happens. The steel becomes a magnet itself!  It can pick up paper clips all on its own!  And THAT is how we can love those unlovable people.  If we just stay close to the source of love Himself, then we can love them like He loves them.  His Spirit is the power source.

Gossipy co-workers, whiny children, nosy neighbors, annoying telemarketers...God loves them enough to die for them.  And to be perfectly honest, you are not so lovable all the time yourself,  (me neither) and He loved us that much. 

Let's be willing to let our selfishness die, and let Christ's amazing love live in us, trusting Him to give us opportunities to share what He has done for us all--and then see what happens!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thoughts about good ideas--and God ideas...

Tonight on my way to the grocery store, I was listening to a sermon by David Jeremiah.  You know when you have those times when you hear or read something, and you know that God is speaking straight to your heart?  THAT was what happened.  Out of the blue, it was like God was sitting right there speaking to me as plain as day.  I love it when that happens.
I reached my destination much too soon, and I just sat there in the parking lot until it was done, and hoped my hubby wouldn't mind watching our rugrats a few extra minutes.  More about the sermon later...

I read a blog post post the other day.  It was written by a Christian.  A pretty typical Christian, I would assume.  The post was about sharing Jesus with people, and different methods of doing that.  He mentioned talking to strangers and trying to just bring it up in conversation.  He mentioned passing out tracts.  He mentioned "living the gospel" but not really saying anything, and he talked about "friendship evangelism," or having a longterm friendship and sharing Christ along the way.  And then, he sadly admitted that he hasn't had much success with ANY of these methods.  Basically the conclusion was that they don't work very often.  It is just plain hard to share our faith with people, and we as Christians are just not very comfortable doing it.  Pretty much, that was the end of it.

I thought about and prayed about that post for a long time afterward.  I had already been spending a lot of time thinking about this very thing in recent weeks. What exactly is going on in this day in age in our nation, and others, I am sure.  What are we doing wrong?  Where is God's power?  Why do we seem to work and work and not get many results?  And here is what I think...

First of all, the problem does not have to do with God.  He is the same as always.  Always good, always loving, always amazingly powerful.  I still hear about and experience answers to prayer, often miraculous occurences, on a pretty regular basis.  But I know He has sooooo much more power He would love to display and share with us!  As I was reading this guy's post, I was struck by the hopelessness in it.  The feeling was, "Tried this--didn't work.  Tried that--didn't work.  Ho hum.  Might as well quit or try yet another method that might work better."  He did not mention the Holy Spirit's involvement or prayer.  His thinking was mostly in human terms.  "What can we do to fix this problem?  What would make the most sense?" 

The thing is, God does not really need our good ideas.  We simply need GOD ideas.  And the greatest ones are already written out for us in His Word.  I believe if we just used them, He would show us things we couldn't even imagine. 

I believe that the problem with Christianity today is that too often we Christians really, truly want to please God... but we also really, truly want to please ourselves.  We love God... but also, we love the world--even though we might pretend we don't.  We want to serve Him, but... we want to be comfy.  We want the Holy Spirit's power in our lives, but we don't really want to pray a whole lot.   If something is too hard...well, we just don't want to do it. 

I have been reading in Luke lately, and I recently read the passages in chapter 9 where Jesus is telling people what it will take to be His disciples.  One man says, "I will follow you,"  and Jesus says think about this first-- "The Son of Man has no place to lay His head."  In other words, "It is not going to be very comfy, friend."  Jesus says to another man, "Follow Me,"  but the man wants to go back and bury his father.  Perhaps he meant his father will die soon, and he needs to stay with him for now.  Jesus replies, "Let the dead bury their dead, but go and preach the kingdom of God."  Too harsh?  What He means is, to be Jesus' disciple, you have to be ready and willing to give up EVERYTHING for Him.  Jesus knew this man's heart.   Another man says, "Lord, I will follow you, but first let me go and say good-bye to my family."  Jesus says, "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."  Yikes.  Jesus means business.  When He called His 12 disciples, He said, "Follow me," and they simply dropped what they were doing and went.  Such faith!  They were ready.  Ready to give up everything for Him!  How could God use us if we would give Him that kind of commitment?

I have also read biographies of great heroes of the faith.  Recently I've read about George Muller, Amy Carmichael,  Hudson Taylor, and D.L. Moody.  These people did amazing things for God in their lifetimes.  They didn't sit with committees and have meetings, thinking and strategizing about what methods would work the best.  They just wholeheartedly gave their lives over to God, and lived by faith so amazing I have never seen anyone like them in today's world--and prayed, prayed, prayed.   George Muller started orphanages from nothing, and ran them with no government help.  He never asked anyone for a dime, but simply prayed and trusted God for every penny, including his own salary.  Never once did the children go hungry.  Every single need was met, every single time.  He was busier than anyone, but he made the time to spend large chunks of time in prayer, alone and with others, every day!  Muller had a list of people he was praying for to come to know Jesus.  I am sure some of them were hard cases.  EVERY single one of them got saved, a couple of them after Muller had alrady passed away.  Muller understood Who has the power to make things happen.  It's not us, dear friends.

I guess what I am trying to say is that my writer friend up there seemed to be looking at the problem through human eyes, and not God's eyes.  We need to stop thinking like mere mortals.  We have the Holy Spirit, and He would love to do so much more if we would just surrender our lives to Him, and trust Him for the results!

Oops...I said I would tell you about that sermon.  I will have to leave that until next time.  Consider it part two, coming soon... : )

Friday, January 14, 2011

Just for fun...

Hi there!  Sorry if you have been waiting for me to get back on here.  I've been slacking. : )

Jacob is 11 now, and these little quotes are all from when he was about 3 and 4 years old, but still, they are hilarious, so here you go:

"Mommy, I could squeeze very hard and go in your mouth, and go down and look at your bones.  You could go too!  You could just take off your head, and go down.  I would put a ladder down there so you wouldn't get hurt."  Honestly, I have NO IDEA where he came up with this stuff!

"Mommy, say, 'Hi, Jacob.'  Don't call me Sweetie, or Honey, or, What else do you call me?"

Me:  "Jacob, do you see how you're acting?"  "No, I can't see my whole self at the same time!"

He was doing something with his mouth that sounded kind of like a whistle...  "Mommy, we should put a sign on our house.  You could paint it and we can read it.  It says, 'Whistling Boy.'"

"Someday, Josh is going to turn into something....a real boy like me!"

We were riding home at night--  "It's like we're under hair.  And then in the morning someone cuts the hair."  ???

"Scott built the boys a fort for their Rescue Heroes.  Jacob yelled, "Daddy--You're the best maker!"

"Mom, are you really Jesus?  Because your hair looks like Jesus." 

We visited a different church and he commented about the pastor, "I thought he was the president.  The president of the Bush."

He would always say, "Mommy, guess what?  I love you.  And guess what else comes with it?"  And he'd give me a kiss. : ) 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes...

In case you have not figured it out by now, I really love the Lord.  I want to love Jesus so much and to be so filled by His Spirit, that He just overflows and blesses others through me.  I want to share with others how He changed my life, and how He will change their's too.  I want to use my talents for Him, and truly live my life with gusto for Him--giving generously, and going wherever He leads.

The problem is, I'm a grown up, and sometimes all these years of living on this earth have clouded my thinking.  Fears and inhibitions sometimes stop me from saying things I want to say, or giving the way I would like to.  Sometimes I am afraid that something I do for God might turn out silly or I might look foolish, or it might turn out badly for our family--so I don't do it.  Sometimes, I do not have faith that God will answer my prayers.  Sometimes, sadly....being a grown up just gets in the way of my dreams of living for God.  I continually need Him to help me overcome these doubts and fears that too often plague me.

And then, there are my children.  I know kids have a long way to go in some areas, but in some ways I'm afraid to say they leave us in the dust.  Sometimes I think that if kids had the resources we do--money and transportation, etc.,  they might do a better job of reaching our lost world! 

For example, my nine year old, Josh, decided the other day that he needed to lead his friend across the street to the Lord.  So he got his Bible, headed over there, struck up that conversation, and shared Jesus with that little boy.  And he did accept Jesus as his Savior! : )  Josh was so excited about it, he was telling me that night he wished he had MORE friends who did not know Jesus.   And, he continually reminds me that I need to get together with his friend's mom, and invite them to church with us.  Never mind that I don't know them very well.

And, last night before bed I was reading the boys a true story about a little girl who spent her spare time passing out tracts and Bibles to people.  With a sweet smile, she bravely gave a man who was drunk a gospel of John.  He took it and read it, and it changed his life.  He accepted Christ, and ended up serving in a church from then on.  After I finished that story, my six year old said, with conviction, "Mom, that's what I want my job to be--while I'm a kid!"

Kids get it.  They understand the mission, and they know God will equip them.  If God says it, then we should do it!  It makes total sense that God says we need to be like a child in order to enter into His Kingdom.  Such perfect faith, untainted by years of the world and the devil crowding his lies into our minds.

Here are the lyrics to a song Josh wrote earlier this year.  I think you will like it...

I will remember You, even in the darkest time.
I will remember You, every hour of the day.
I will remember You as I sing this song,
'Cause You are the Ruler of the earth.

And I will praise You,
And I will never be scared with You, Lord.
I sleep silently every night, with You.
Oh how I love You all the day.
You make me a room to stay every night.
You give me water and food.
Oh how I love You.

I'll sing Your praises.
You will always be my God.
You give us blessings every day.
You are the one and only God,
And how I love You.

Let's pray that God will make us a little more like children this year.  What do you think?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Birthday party pictures! : )

The big PAR-TAY!  In case you are new to our blog, Sarah's favorite thing this past year was ITSY BITSY SPIDER!  She is getting over her obsession with it now, but we still decided to make it the theme of her party...and she really, really loved it!

 Pretty girl...ready for the party!

 She was happy. ; )

 She got a pretty playhouse!

 She loved it!

It's a Spider party!  (There's a big, pink spider hanging in the corner.  She loved it!)

 Taking her spiders for a little walk

 She loved her froggy swimsuit from Big Sister!

 She sang along with us. : )

Happy birthday, Sarah!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy birthday, Sarah!!! Our miracle girl!!!!

Our precious Sarah turned 3 today!!  She was pretty excited that it was her birthday, let me tell you.  She was going to eat cake, and she mastered the act of putting up 3 fingers to tell you how old she is.  This has been a mighty big year for our girl.  She learned almost all of the letters and their sounds, all of the major shapes, the numbers by sight, and how to count to 20 with hardly any mistakes.  She can count to ten in Mandarin Chinese, which she learned with barely any effort at all, and pretty much mastered the art of using chopsticks!  At the beginning of this year, she didn't really sing songs, she mostly just made us sing them, and she followed along with the motions.  NOW...just listen to her.  She can sing most of them all by heart.  She is speaking in full sentences, pottying on the potty chair, running and jumping, and trying to skip.  She does puzzles like a pro, and can diaper a baby doll like a regular little mommy.  She is THREE!  And she learned all of this stuff while spending probably 1/3 of the year in the hospital and the clinic.  Beat that!

Please join us in wishing a happy birthday to our amazing little shining star...We love that little peanut so much!

Last year...she was not too sure about this, maybe?

February.  Such a tiny little thing

March.  Check out my new bike!

April.  Hanging out at camp

May.  She got a new prosthetic eye, but it didn't fit, and we didn't know why.  Yet.  : (


June--Reunited with brothers after her first chemo/hospital stay

July.  Fun at the park!

August.  Surgery.  Still smiling!

September.  Camping!

 October.  Playing outside before the long hospital stay

November.  Home again!

December.  Pretty Princess

Birthday Girl!! 

I'm Three today!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

I'm running away!

So, a few days after Christmas, we were home enjoying new toys and things, and Ben, who is six, decided to run away from home.  We are not sure when or why the idea popped into his head.  I suspect the seed sprouted when I made him write a pageful of sentences saying that he would be kind to others, and then made him write quite a few more since he didn't do the first set correctly.  (By the end of the page it looked like he was writing something like I of the sldk...or something like that.  Not even close.)  

However, when he decided he wanted to go, the sentences incident was long done and over with, and he insisted it had nothing to do with that.  He said he had gotten the idea based on a story we had once read, and thought it would be fun.  So, with all seriousness, he packed a backpack. I'm not even sure what he put in it, but a lot of thought was put into it.  We were all trying to help him think it through.  Extra socks might be important, Cassandra and Uncle Greg who happened to be over, advised him to bring a toothbrush, but I don't think that made his cut.  He said he would walk to fast food restaurants and explain to them that he had run away, and he was sure they would give him food. ; )  When we asked him where he would sleep, he wasn't really sure, but he thought he might knock on people's doors.  (YES, we DID tell him how dangerous that would be, and yes, we have warned him about strangers many, many times.)  When we asked him how long he intended to be away, he said probably until he was seven.  (That's a few months, folks.)  

So, he put on his coat and backpack, gave everyone hugs, and left with a big smile.  

I peeked out the front door at him as he went...

And I reminded him to zip up his coat...

And no, we are not crazy.  We sent Josh to follow him with instructions to not let him go too far.  We were all curious to see exactly what he would do.

He walked to the neighborhood school playground--where else?--and then Josh told him he'd better come home.  And he did. : )

He informed me that he really was planning on staying gone for at least a day.  Not sure how that would have worked out for him...   Jacob asked him why in the world would he want to leave all of his new legos??  Very good question.

And then I started thinking about that.  Why would a little boy decide in his little mind to leave a warm, comfy home, plenty of food, a warm bed, all the love and hugs you could want, AND brand new Christmas toys??   Because, he just wanted something different.  A new adventure.  And unfortunately, that's what so many people, even Christians, so often do.  Sometimes we don't want to follow the rules, love our neighbors, etc.  Sometimes Christians just want some adventure.  Adventure that really is dangerous, and honestly doesn't make sense.  When God has promised to meet all of our needs, and even gives us so many "Christmas toys," why would anyone want to run away from Him?   That is a very good question, indeed.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Tonight I am going to let you in on another resolution.  Part of me doesn't want to tell you, because then I feel like I will have some accountability--but accountability is a good thing!  If I tell you, then maybe I will ACTUALLY follow through on this resolution which I can't really imagine myself doing.  Tonight is the night I am going to start!  Tonight, I am going to.....GO TO BED EARLY!  Well, earli-ER than I usually do.  And I am going to continue going to bed early every night.  Except maybe Friday nights. : )  You want to know what my new bedtime is going to be?  12:00!  I know, that doesn't sound early.  But trust me, our family is an entire family of night owls.  We basically coined the term.  Hubby and I don't normally hit the hay until around 1 or 2, and honestly, sometimes it is 3!!!  I know, it's terrible.  This is true confessions, right here.  Just keeping it real.  And I am going to get up earlier too.  I really really need to!

And this goes along with another resolution--a much more important one.  I've been so focused this year on Sarah, of course, but also on what this Christian life is all about.  In the back of my mind, I think, I had it a little confused, even though I knew better.  When I have been considering what God wants from us this year, I kept focusing on people.  My mind was always buzzing with thoughts of how I can reach out to people, how can we as a family show love and share Christ, how can we help orphans and the poor...  God gave me a great idea that I will share with you soon.  All of these things are important and right, but I missed something even more important.  I realized the other day that I spend so much more time thinking and planning about how to impact OTHERS, and less on how to grow my OWN relationship with Jesus, and on my children's spiritual lives.  I get up too late each day, and then I'm forced to scramble to fit in all the necessary stuff like appointments, school, laundry, meals, and family fun.  Real, quality personal time with God often hasn't made the "cut", and unfortunately, my perpetually tired state from lack of sleep has left me too weary sometimes to really spend that time teaching and training my children correctly.  Too often we have taken the easy road in disciplining our kids that doesn't necessarily reach their hearts.  Does that make sense? I know, I'm probably the only one who struggles with this kind of stuff, but bear with me.  ; )'s to new beginnings!  Don't you love how gracious God is?  I can just hear Him cheering me on! 

Oh dear.  It's already getting close to that bedtime hour.  Ugh--this might not be easy!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Let the diets begin!

It's 1-1-11!!  How are you doing on your New Year's resolutions so far?  I am sorry to admit that I ate too much chocolate today, but I did eat a very yummy salad for dinner tonight...romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, strawberries, chopped walnuts, and a splash of olive oil and lemon juice.  Mmmmmm.  Good for me!

Yes, I would like to lose 5 pounds.  It is one of my resolutions.  Actually, the weight really isn't.  I truly, truly do want to eat so much healthier.  I am bound and determined this year!  You see, when I was sitting in the hospital for 3 weeks, people were bringing us desserts every day.  AND, the nutrition people were bringing Sarah food that she would not eat, including the best chocolate cake and pies.  So, you do the math.  That's a lot of desserts.  And, a whole lot of just sitting in a hospital room putting on pounds. Bad, bad me.

I got some inspiration from our old friend, Ben Franklin, from his Poor Richard's Almanac.  Did you know they were most likely making healthy eating New Year's resolutions almost 300 years ago?  Here's a sample of what he had to say...

"Eat few suppers, and you'll need few medicines."

"Many dishes, many diseases."

"I saw few die of hunger;  of eating--100,000."  (I thought that one was pretty interesting...)

"A full belly makes a dull brain."

"Eat to live, and not live to eat."

"A fat kitchen, a lean will."

"He that never eats too much, will never be lazy."

"9 men in 10 are suicides."

Hmmmm...I think old Ben was advising us not to eat so much.  What do you think?