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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"HOLD ME"




Funny how tough we think we are, wearing our "water wings", showing our muscles. making our "game face", until we hit the water......

The transformation is quick and complete.....we go from "WWF" to "Wah wah wah".

This weekend we went to an "interesting campground" for a few days. It's amazing how the same people who want to kill each other at home- with plenty of space and stuff to do, can get along so well, when thrown into a 25" trailer for a few days.

I'll post more about the whole experience later- for now- let's suffice to say- don't believe every website you read. And- the LAST campsite in Michigan on Memorial Day weekend... yeah, it's that bad.

However, we did take a dip in the pool, where the picture above was taken... (awwww shucks... why, Yes, it was such a HUGE sacrifice to have to hold the camera and not go in the "heated" "refridgerated" is more like it...pool.....I am such a good mom...so selfless- NOT)

How many times have we witnessed this picture- loving Dad, holding trusting , yet fearful almost 4' tall child, standing in water that's 3 1/2 feet deep- (see the blue markings for evidence;) screaming, but not wanting out, afraid- but wanting to play, holding on with a death grip that could strangle a Boa Constrictor?

"I'm afraid I'll DROWNDED" screams child

"You're ok, I've got you" affirms Dad...

"HOLD ME DADDY!" Screams child.

"Do you want to get out?" Asks Dad...

"No..No OUT, I want to swim! HOLD ON TO ME!" Screams child.

Dad grimaces from the fingers digging into neck flesh, but carries on.

Later-

"Ok- time for dinner big guy"

Dad warns-- the now giggling "motorboat rider" on his back...

"NOOOOOOOOOO, I Swim!!!!!" screeches the now- fearless little man.

Cute, when it's my little guy, not so cute when it's me.

We're not talking about a stinky swimming pool here. We're talking about so many of the challenges and struggles that I've faced.

It could be a loss, a fear to confront, a child's future to trust God with... but in the end- I am the same. Arms wrapped around my loving Father's neck- screaming---

"I'm SCARED!" "HOLD ME!" , "I need..."

Luke 12:27
27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Replies the Loving Father.

"But it doesn't LOOK like you're holding me-- I feel like I'm gonna drown!" I yell a few minutes later..

Roman's 4:21
"Being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. "

Reminds the Loving Father...



Draw Me Close to You

Draw me close to you, never let me go

I lay it all down, again

To hear you say that I'm your friend

You are my desire, No one else will do

"Cause no one else can take your place

To feel the warmth of your embrace

Help me find a way, bring me back to you

You're all I want, You're all I ever needed

You're all I want, Help me know that you are near.

I am reminded in worship...that HE is holding ME, not the other way around.




Shout To The Lord

My Jesus, My Savior
Lord, there is none like You
All of my days,
I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort, My shelter
Tower of refuge and strength,
Let every breath,
All that I am,
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord all the earth, let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name.
I sing for joy at the work of Your hands
Forever I'll love You, forever I'll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You

I can sing, as I wade in the pool of "stuff" . sometimes through tears- always holding tightly to my fathers neck. Knowing that it is Him who really holds me.

A place of fear, turns to a place of joy.

"I'm gonna drownded" turns to

"One more swim!"


Am I in one of "those" places at the moment? Not really. Today, my faith is being stretched- as my middle son is in Chicago, on a school trip..... but I trust that God holds him, especially when his dad and I can't. But- truthfully- is it a 10 on the fear factor scale? No. (More like a 3....;)

However, there was a time when friends went to drop off with me, for my oldest son's first overnight camping trip....without us. Somehow- that FELT like a 8. (OK, a 10) Even tough he was safe and with trusted people as well. Funny how- sometimes- when we look back- we can see that the water we thought we'd drown in was 3 feet deep isn't it? ;) That and many other experiences- helped build my trust for today.

It's always easier to see fear turned to joy, after the fact, like the pictures from camping, but- I'm writing them down- so maybe you can see it sooner, and so I'll be reminded of the same, the next time my toes hit the cold water!

Dear Lord- I love you, I trust you, please remind me that I do! I pray for my family-and friends, that they would know and trust the same, that whenever they find themselves in a cold pool, they would wrap their arms around you- and find that you're holding them. I love you Lord- amen!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Samaritan Sermon from the Summit....


Pretty, isn't it? Almost makes you want to climb it to see the view....from the top of the world.

It's of the summit of Mount Everest.

You can click the title to see why I felt such a need to risk blogarhea and post yet again today.

The link is to a news story- about a recent climber- who didn't make it.

A number of climbers- walked past the dying man, on their way to the summit. Many reasons were given... "I'm not the most experienced", "I though someone else would help".....etc.

Sir Hillary said this in his shocked response:

"Human life is far more important than just getting to the top of a mountain," Hillary was quoted in an interview with New Zealand Press Association.

Sounds like the parable of the "Good Samaritan". Without anyone rescuing, the dying man.
I felt instantly challenged, and convicted... here's what I found when I looked up the verses- yet again....

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus.

"Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" 27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'[c]; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[d]"

28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." 29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.

31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

Have I passed anyone ont he street, who was hurting, and left them to die?

Ummmm No.

But- I felt challenged, because, in my desire to reach the "summit"(achieve certain goals or desires I have) I've walked past others- who were struggling to breathe. Maybe for some of the same reasons as the fellow climbers.... "someone else would be more experienced- to help them, someone else will come and do it ....."

Even worse--- I've felt that judgemental attitude well up inside of me...."well... you dug your hole... now lie in it" "Geez, get up and walk... stop laying around whining about it.." or.... "What an idiot to fall like that- to not have enough oxygen for your climb....." "How could you not be prepared!! You should do things LIKE I DO... prepared." "You should have known better!" or...worse yet... "I have places to go, and summits to climb... I don't have time to stop and help you. Besides- you've proven yourself an inept climber, what value is there for me? You'd just weigh me down."

As Christians- and especially as leaders, we're called to encourage others along the climb. Sometimes, even taking the oxygen mask from our own face- to help another breathe...(sharing our hope with others) Whether they've dug their own hole, planned poorly, or been immature, in their skills as a fellow climber. And follower.

It's easy to point fingers at those on the climb, and be critical... but I haven't been there- I haven't climbed to the summit of Mt Everest.... Or the one you're climbing, either. I can only look at my own heart, and acknowledge the sin that is there- the selfishness, the pride, and repent. Change.

Dear Lord- change my heart, make be be a leader, and a person, who is more caring of people that summits, help me to be the one to stop- and help, even if it means I may never make it to some summits' that I have planned for myself. I love you lord- and thank you for saving me..... help me to share that hope with others- amen.


Blog-shots....

You clicked SOMETHING, to get here...(thanks for doing that,
BTW) now,

I wonder what jumps off the page, and catches YOUR attention.....

Blogs are like digital-life snapshots or scrapbooks. While a picture says a thousand words, it can't possibly tell the whole story.

I've been looking at my blog- in an attempt to be objective and to see what I may be communicating to others.

It's a tough call. A couple of months ago- I followed like a lemming--- and ran the "word cloud" thing....it was an interesting experiment- to see what the general "theme" of my blog is. ( I was surprised--- that" suck " and "crap " didn't show up, cause I think I use them both too much. Maybe they filter out rude words)

Anyway, there were other parts that didn't surprise me. "God, knitting, spinning, yarn, MOPS, Lord, Jesus, family, boys"......those things didn't surprise me. But- while "word clouds" can show you the most commonly found words on a site... can they show the way they are recieved? Can they show the intent? The history of the writer?

Nope.

I suppose, while I've been looking around, TRYING to be objective... I've realized- there are limits to communication online. ( Aren't I wise?... duh. I know, not a news flash, I know). But, here's what I mean, Blogs are like "sound-bites of life" they are quick stories, pictures, thoughts- shared from a single perspective at a single point of time.

Scrolling thru- I see lots of different days, and different thoughts captured.. (in some cache's possibly FOREVER!) Thoughts that are in process, pictures that show just a moment in time. Since I have a deep passion for living authentically- my faith and journey with God--- and I see this blog as a part of doing that.. my question is...

Am I who my blog says I am?

I was relieved, in a way- while seeking to answer this... cause- well- YES. I am. But then--- there is so much more.... my HISTORY... the sum total of my life- and all that God has done in me--- well- it isn't here.

Not because I want to hide it--- but because, this isn't my life story-my memoir. This is my blog. Yet- looking around, I see how somethings- taken out of the context of who I am and the experiences I've had, could confuse who I AM from what you see.

You see- what I show, some who read, know more- they understand better, (in theory) because they know me.

If you were just hopping around... you could see- some obviously dyed red-head in a crown... lazily knitting in a (my perception) pretty room.... like some neo-knitter princess freak. In that snapshot.. you may assume somethings...spoiled, lazy maybe self absorbed.

Is that who I am? Maybe.

Hopefully- you'd also see, I have a sense of humor about myself, and a high level of authenticity. Not to the extent that EVERYTHING in my life is laid out here- but in the sense that I desire to share with others- what may be helpful, or encouraging. Also, a desire to appreciate when someone goes out of their way- to show kindness to me. (that pic was a thank you- to a SP who went out of her way to locate some highly prized, and very rare, knitting needles for me)....

Next, there are the pictures of chaos and mess- the stories of struggling as a mom.... is my life as a mom chaotic and loaded with struggle? Well... sometimes. But mostly? No--- mostly- things just move along at a normal pace. A natural rhythm of waking up, throwing in laundry, getting kids ready, some devotional time, a drive for school drop-offs, errands, etc....not exactly stuff you want to read about.

There are also opinion pieces, where I talk about news events... and media stuff, political issues and matters of faith. My experiences, both in this world and in faith, and in study, create these opinions. Not just some pompous, pious, princess, prissy-ness. (who unabandonly uses aliteration)

Don't forget, there is the knitting, the spinning. I write these pieces as a way to join the knitting community- something we share. Sometimes- I write about SP exchanges, and my love of gifting... not because I am some rich witch who likes to flash the ability to give... but because- I really DO love to give- and part of these exchanges is to write about those things.

While I was looking around- I realized I am a pretty "integrated" person. I don't compartmentalize my life. One thing flows into another. I think that can be disorganized to some, and maybe even frustrating..."isn't this a knitting blog?" Could be a fair question.

So--- I have started another blog- one called "Missional Mom" http://missional-mom.blogspot.com/ where I am planning on sorting out specific mothering , marriage and ministry issues, from a "missional" perspective.

My MSN blog,"Extreme Adventures In Knitting and Motherhood" http://spaces.msn.com/Nottinbutknittin/ will remain general mothering and knitting, as will my Blogger blog- by the same name. (double blogs doesn't require double time--- I write in blogger, copy-cut paste to MSN...pictures are added without a second upload) EASY. I like MSN because I can keep organized lists- and links- while in blogger I can maintain membership in blog-rings etc. (well- I can when I don't screw up my links/buttons in HTML!)

So is there a POINT to this POST? Yeah. There is. I guess, I 'd just like to remind myself, and others- that when we're blog-hopping, we need to remember- there is soooo much more to each blogger- than the sum-total of their posts, opinions or what the pictures show.


Blogging with you!

Dear Lord- please let everything that comes from my mouth- or my pen/keyboard, be honoring to you, please help me be authentic, and loving, respectful, even when passionate about an issue, in all my posts, and in all I do--- I love you Lord- and ask you to show me yourself- everyday- amen.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Internet Secure..... from HUMANS!!!!!!!!


Internet Security--- Makin me INSECURE!!!!

Word Verification.

Please Confirm that you are human.....

XYZAB0791
Type the characters you see in the picture above.

So, I type in......XYZAB0797

Word could not be verified,
(I get another chance)
please type in

8OP9MZX

EXACTLY as you see it.

I type in......80P9MXZ

Dang! I know what I did WRONG... but do I get a second chance?

NOOOOOOOOO.... Up pops another hard to read scramble.

By about the fifth time, I start to wonder if aliens (or others) are sending me coded messages:

XYO7eatchocolate061

8096knitinstead871

805youshoulddolaundry123

6921whybothercommenting whocareswhatyouthinkanywayyouloser86l293yr

495957yourprettystubbornaren'tyou?.;02847

234897can'tyouread?hfwuidfh

This could be it. This could be what pushed me over the edge. (unless I am already there- which is possible)

Am I defective? AM I the only one who has trouble with this? Is there some learning disability that I can blame this on? What is my PROBLEM????????

Am I a SPAMMER and I don't KNOW it??????

I AM a Human... right??????????????

Please- someone confirm-- because, if I am a computer- there are some SERIOUS programming issues here.

I'd love to hear your rants and opinions on this--- but- I suppose you'd have to pass my comment test. You'd have to remember your LOGIN information........your .netpassport stuff...yur blogger stuff--- blah blah...Oh my word---- security is scaring me!!!!

I wish I could make my own.

Please type in the most wonderful blogger you know's name .

TRACEY is the only acceptable answer.

Please type in "I'm a loser, it's 2:24 A.M."

Or even better--- if you are confused by this test- click YES-- you are a human- and are free to coment.

I have been tempted to click the little wheelchair. and see if I can type in the right thing there--- but honestly--- I'm afraid I'd flunk that one too- plus--- as I am only handicapped in ways that aren't "official" I feel like that would be cheating.
My hands are already sweating. I am at the end of my post--- the wavy green letters are already taunting me...... yfitv
Y Fit TV???? Blogger-- are you calling me fat? Are you insinuating that I would be FIT without TV????? Are you challenging me Y I fit TV into my already busy life?????????
Paranoia, can destroy-ya.
(yfitv- first time- here I go) TTYL


Kiri Completed- Blocked and ready to wear!

Noah (wearing big boy pants....)
Says "TaDa" Over mommy's finished Kiri.
(He's SO glad I finished this... he's sick of seeing me knit
"Girl colors" (pink)

Noah is 4... it gives you a bit of perspective on how large this Kiri is!

Kiri- Blocking



Kiri- Blocked and complete!

"In repose, among the lilacs"

Completed Stats:

7 1/2 Skeins Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in pink-

Measures- (after blocking)
90"x45"

;)

Now for somewhere to wear it.

hmmmmmmm

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Debbie Bliss Silk- Kiri- before blocking

Sometimes all it takes to get ya moving- to complete a project... is admitting how much you don't WANT to.

Further admission----While photographically- natural lighting is best... that is not the reason the pic was taken outside----the grass is the only place that didn't need vacuuming- as laundry and knitting is all I accomplished today.

The "Stats":

"Kiri" Pattern online, free at
http://www.alltangledup.com

The yarn? Debbie Bliss Pure Silk- like 7 skeins.... (I didn't keep track- sorry) Color:
Pink....

http://www.yarnware.com

Currently- soaking in Eucalan- Lavander wash- in waiting for blocking tonight. (Have to vacuum first)

US #8 needles- Holz and Stein....(a gift)

I'll measure after blocking- (sorry- forgot- was too excited once the ends were woven in...;)

Finished pics tomorrow- have to catch up on housework!


"Kiri'd to death........(click title for link to PDF...) or Multiple Project Disorder.....MPD.. and Me.





So do I even Knit? Why yes. Thanks for asking. I know my posts have been pretty varied as of late.... so I thought I better give a bit of an update- so I can't be accused of false advertising.

(Nottinbutknittin.... well--- kind of)

Currently, I'm suffering with a serious case of Multiple Project Disorder. This is similar in it's symptoms to Multiple Personality Disorder, but less pervasive.

OK- thats a bunch of crap- but a diagnosis sounds like a better excuse than and admission....

For the sake of authenticity... I guess I'll admit: I just can't seem to finish anything.

I just can't finish my silk Kiri. It's pictured here. I love how it's turning out... but- . the final rows?....... oh my word, they are ENDLESS.....I am on row 3 of the edging- after, 15 repeats of chart 2 (or B I don't remember which they called it) Now--- I am technically in the home stretch. But I am BORED. BORED. BORED.

In the pic is also Mr Big-Boys Potty Chart... it is sure motivating him... maybe I need achart and a reward--- for Kiri completion.....hmmm you'd think the end project would be reward enough....... but maybe--- I' need some accountability and external motivation......I wonder if I could find pretty yarn stickers???????

Not sure--- but I could sure distract myself from actually knitting- by searching for the right stickers to motivate my knitting--- I wonder if that counts???? Doubtful.;)

I have also finished 2 pair of socks- in the interim. (Multiple Project Disorder- told ya...) One in Knit Picks- Yukon -sock memories.

http://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/itemid_5420143/yarn_display.aspx. I knit them with Knitty.com's "Broad Ripple pattern"

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEsummer03/PATTbroadripple.html

I also made a pair of pretty Koigu "Jaywannabees" (see pic----pink and purple) My interpretation of the fabulous Grumperina's "Jaywalkers"----only knit on US #2 needles. (Because I like socks FAST--- #0's are not for me) The pattern is from the Broadripples @ Knitty- - (with the exception of the YO's the look is similar) I just changed the cast-on and cuff to a K2P2 ribbing...--- then continued in pattern for the Broadripples.... voila--- "Jaywannabees" for the impatient. ;)

On the bobbins--- is my current spinning--- I am loving this. BTW. The blue is a pretty blue merino top- which I am plying with a merino/mohair blend in a pretty green variegate. The plied version is skeined. a pretty Marled blue and green. This is reserved for a secret project. There is also a red merino/tussah silk blend--- which is soooo smooth and soft to spin. should be great to knit as-well.;)

So there is the evidence- I am still knitting and spinning......;)


Monday, May 22, 2006

Potty Training Day 7

Moving right along.

Something has "clicked". Mr Big Boy, is starting to get this whole potty-training thing.

Today, is a BIG day. He's wearing UNDERWEAR!!!!!!!!!

Daddy and I are going out.. so the pull-ups will be replacing them for a couple of hours--- (insurance) But- it looks like we've turned the corner.

There should be a ceremony- a song, an anthem to play--- something.

Anybody got any POTTY TRAINGING Anthem suggestions??????

Comment away---- this could be interesting. (Or scary)

We're also filling up the potty sticker-chart pretty quick. Looks like I better start shopping for swing-sets!

Knitting/spining update in the morning-I have a DATE tonight. ;)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

My sump don't suck.... well, I guess in a way it sucks.


I say it all the time, I love water. I should clarify- I love water- when I'm outdoors, in the sun, on a beach. NOT in my basement. Let's just say- today didn't quite go as smoothly as I had planned.

I was scheduled to teach the Large Group- kids this morning.
I have been studying and praying in prep for this morning. I was up early, the house was quiet. ( I should have known something was amiss... quiet is almsot NEVER good here.) Everything was laid out last night. I was ready to go- EXCEPT, for a tree I wanted to use for part of the object lesson.

After knocking my way thru the mess by the back door, (hmmm somebody should start putting their things away)I made my way into the basement.

Good thing I did. Because, along with the pine tree (christmas decoration) I was looking for, I found a lake to complete the (kids church) outdoor theme. But- this one wouldn't fit into my car for the teaching..... Our sump -pump failed.

It's funny, how, when you're getting ready to teach something, God will give you VERY clear experiences, that will illuminate the concepts for you..... this weeks was more like and spot light illumination... than a flash light.

The Fruit of the Spirit is : Love, Joy, Peace , Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. (Gal 5:22-23) This morning was another exercise in growing the Fruit of the Spirit in me. I am so glad, that I had been taking time to pray and be connected to God. Because, this morning- when I totally could have gone thru the roof, I felt peace. (I dont THINk it was denial;)

The basement will be cleaned up. "Things" don't matter, people do. I could be joyful- to be with the kids I had the privilege to teach- even though my basement was flooded. I was faithful, to fulfill the responsibilities that God had given- and to the commitment I have made- to teach on my scheduled days. I could love others- even though My morning had, had a rough start. I had patience- even though I felt frustrated by my situation. I had self control, and didn't freak- when I found the mess. I was able to be good and show kindness to others- and help with set-up- tear down pick-up etc....THIS was God.... Not, Tracey.

Let's face it- I have plenty of days when I'm a jerk. Today, I was prepared, because I had been spending time focused on God. I saw it as a way to be grown, not just a problem.

For the lesson this morning- started with talking about fruit. I peeled an orange, let the kids smell it. I let the juice run off my fingers and described the fruit, we talked about their favorite fruits, then I asked them if they were hungry... almost everyone said "yes." For fruit.

Part of why God wants us to have the Fruit of the Spirit- in our lives- is to make others hungry for Him. For them to see something different- and appealing.

God calls it a FRUIT. NOT a SHOW.

Here's the thing: I can read the list- then take it as a "task list" a way "to do" list. (I have tried it) And, well, I can do ok- for a little while. But then, things start to fall apart. I get annoyed with someone. I get impatient, then pretty much blow the list out the window. On my own, I can't maintain the fruit. It rots.

I took an orange- and duct taped it to the tree. I asked the kids if it was growing. "Duh. No." Was pretty much the answer. I asked what would happen, if I left it there? "It would rot. "

I've been there. trying to force fuit to grow. It does not work, not in orchards- or people. We talked about what it takes for fruit to grow- one great girl said "roots". She was right. The Fruit of the Spirit, can only grow in us, when we're connected to God. (The Bible calls it abiding in the vine) Spending time with Him, learning His word, beign with others who encourage us to grow.

Then, God give us plenty of preparation, ways to practice, opportunities to both fail, and thrive. Like rain, sun and soil- that helps fruit to grow.

Usually, I have the opportunity, to share with the kids- many of the ways that I mess up. (or did when I was their age) Today- because of God's preparing... I could enjoy sharing with them, How the Fruit of the Spirit was working in ME today.....

Which- to me- is pretty incredible. Not ME. But God in ME. Changing me, making me grow, making me more like Him. Sometimes, I think we miss the wonder of that.

Don't get me wrong- I'll surely mess up, (oh- I probably already have) again. But then--- it's all a part of the process.

Dear Lord, I pray that you'd continue to grow the Fruit of your Spirit in me. I ask you to make yourself real to the Metro-kids, to grow them as well. I love you Lord- and thank you for every opportunity to grow--- even the messy stinky wet ones. Amen.

Oh- and Lord- bless that Plumber who fixed our sump---- let the extra 100 bucks because it was Sunday... bless his family, & thnx for friends who help me with my attitude- I love you Lord!

Vicki- thnx for the reminder about the extra being a blessing- to him- it really helped my attitude;)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Loving Assumptions


Missional Mom- Loving their Dad.

I'm a married Mom. After loving God, my next greatest gift to my kids... is loving their Dad.

Funny thing about that. I KNOW what makes me feel loved, but that Man? Hmmmm... the same things don't work for him. I learned that the hard way. (What else is new?)

One of our first "marital issues" involved Chicken and Dumplings. See, everything in my Italian guts, tells me, food is a great way to show love. So, I spent an afternoon, simmering a whole fresh chicken. Then hours letting it cool. Then, probably close to an hour de-boning that bird.

The next day, I simmered the seasoned and soooo tender meat with fresh herbs, added fresh veggies- and made the sauce. Then- as a crowning touch.... perfect homemade dumplings were steamed on top. (Are ya hungry yet?) Pretty flecks of parsley through-out the light and fluffy dumplings.

Everything was perfect. I set the table. Candles. Our "Good china"... (Newlyweds.. we were so cute;) He arrived home, loved the scent. Then, he sat down, and ate like 5 bites. (THAT is not normal... My man's an eater)

A few hours later, he asked of I was hungry... cause he was going to pick-up some burgers.

BURGERS???

after a dinner that took me 2 days to cook? I was furious. I stormed, I pouted. I let him have it.

But here's the thing. My ASSUMPTION was, that he liked chicken and dumplings. (Of course he must, I DO doesn't EVERYONE????) He didn't. He still doesn't.

I was trying to LOVE him, in a way he didn't even care about. (actually, in a way he didn't even like.)When I look at my mission as a Mom and a wife, I know I only have so much time. I am No Wonder Woman. I can only do so much. It's important not to waste time and effort- (both emotional and physical) on making chicken and dumplings for a husband who likes steak and potatoes. Or, roast. He loves roast. ;)

Besides, how loving is it really, to do for someone, what I would want, not what they would want? I don't make chicken n dumplings much anymore. Once in a GREAT while I will, but if anyone wants burgers after I have- it's really no big deal. Because, if I make it now, it's for those in our family who like it.

Well- either that or I order it at Cracker Barrel. (though- their dumplings aren't as good as mine- toooo heavy)

I've also been known- to try to keep a perfectly clean house--- as an act of love- for a guy who really couldn't care less. Trust me, that's a waste.

Truth is, My husband is a lover of verbal affirmations. Especially public ones. So, I try to IM him, email him, post sweet things in my blog, that speaks love to him. THOSE are things that matter to him. He's also a touchy- love person. I need to communicate love to him in that way.

Why bother with stuff that doesn't WORK?????

How about you? Are there ways that you're trying to communicate love, in a way that doesn't work?

To your spouse?

To your kids?

To your friends?

Here's a suggestion..... if you want to express love, before you start a 2 day project, and make yourself NUTS. How about asking... "hey.. babe---- do you like Chicken and Dumplings?" Or- better yet--- "hey- is there something I can do that really makes you feel loved?????

At MOPS (http://mops.org/) we've used a book as a resource- to help open dialogue, both in marriages, and with our kids...(and our friends- too) in order to be more effective at showing our love- for each other.......

http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/

It might be something to check out.... unless you really LIKE eating an entire pot of Chicken and Dumplings, ALONE. With an audience of Burger eaters. ;)

Dear Lord- Time is short, I am busy, and I LOVE my family and friends, please help me to be creative and effective in the ways that I show Love- for them, but also to honor you, I love you Lord amen.

PS the pic??? my guys in the middle. ;)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Just one more thing I don't "get"


I have a question.... serious... this not a joke.

Ok. Here's what I don't get. (Well, one of many things, actually)
In general, the American culture is negative towards Christians, true?
So, if they don't LIKE us. Why the heck do we think they will come to HUGE gatherings of "US"?
i.e. megachurches.

Better question, why do they? Or, do they?

Is it somehow less threatening to be in a large group, so that you're not "noticed"? I don't get it. I see the ministries of Mega churches... and I see benefits. But, it doesn't make sense in a culture that is often hostile towards Christianity.
Here is what I found... It's kind of scary: (be warned, this is one person's perspective...it's very critical, of specific ministries)
http://off-the-map.org/atheist/2006/04/03/why-im-addicted-to-christian-media/
What scares me about this person's post, is, what if, we're providing exactly what he's talking about, what if we THINK we're doing outreach, but really we're entertainment, and a joke?

Sad. Frightening. Not because of anyone's thoughts or perceptions of Christians on the whole, but because of the mission of the church, and the seriousness of missing the mark.
Dear Lord, I pray that I not be "entertainment" instead of ministry. Please God, help me to love people, and sincerely reach out to them in your love, for the purpose of bringing them to you. I love you Lord- amen


Missional Mom



Missional? Yes. A mom? Yeah.

Missional Mom? Most definitely.

From the picture you can probably surmise why. I am a Mom to 3 sons. 2 of which are teenagers (16 and 14) and one of which is a preschooler (4... so, not a preschooler for long!)

I'm also the wife of an exec. (whoopee. doesn't that sound important? it is... but, maybe not for the reasons why you may be thinking .....it is because it's part of who my husband is, and so- is something that I care about) This is my primary mission field. The guys in my home.

As a woman.... and a SAHM.. I sometimes think they go beyond indeginous to aboriginal...let's just say men are differently "wired" than women, as are boys different from girls. (I ocassionally feel like a visiting missionary, as the belching (and worse) contests begin)

Umm... that's probably a lie. I've been "entrenched" in this culture for years, I can belch with the best of my tribe. ;)

Because these are the "Men in my life" it's my privilege to learn about them, to know them and to love them. It's also my privilege to learn from them.

I've been keeping a this blog- it is SUPPOSED to be a knitting/mothering /leadership blog. However, I've decided to add another blog at http://missional-mom.blogspot.com/ this is a purposeful place to share my adventures in Mothering, from a missional perspective.

I have been married for 18 years, a Christian for 20. A mom for almost 17. I have been involved with MOPS International for just short of the time I've been a mom. (http://mops.org) I serve as a Council Coordinator, helping local leaders and their groups reach the moms in their area effectively. I have worked with kids for almost 20 years, in varying capacities.

I am intentional and passionate about being a wife, and mothering. I am passionate about helping others fulfill their calling to do the same.

And dang if I don't MISS it. way too often.

I've been challenged recently, to take a look at my mothering, from a fresh perspective. The Missional perspective. I'm reading "Breaking The Missional Code" by Ed Setzer and David Putman.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805443592/102-5440393-0037740?v=glance&n=283155

In mothering- the same principles apply.

I am SENT- (called to go to my family- regardless of their movement towards me... bu not in the "stalker sense")

In order to effectively reach my mission field, I must :

1) Know (their styles and unique make-up, culturally, socially, emotionally and spiritually) to whom I am called- my family- and women and children in particular.

2) Speak , teach and relate to those I am called to reach, in a way that they can understand, authentically and with great love.

Being a "Missional Mom" is a journey. It won't end, but, it will always be changing. This blog is a scrapbook of that journey. My goal is to challenge others to engage in the mission that they are called to, and to share the hope and joy I'm finding in mine. To figure out together, how to break the Missional Code in Mothering.

Although, honestly, sometimes I suck at the whole thing.

Sometimes, I am so entrenched in my own "Mom world" that I miss what's happening in theirs. That makes me disconnected. Disconnection asphixiates relationships, like losing compression in an aircraft.. ya just can't BREATHE. Sometimes the disconnects are comical... sometimes, not so much.

Recently, while zipping along- my highschooler was talking about a group he knows "Cold Play" My Christian mom land culture entrenchment got the best of me....I pretty much listened to him without hearing a thing he said.

Why?

Because.. somewhere in my clueless brain, "Cold Play" sounded like a "rap" group. I don't LIKE rap. I probably have an attitude about it actually. (OK, so I know I do and don't like to admit it.)

Later I felt bad- because of my tune out, that was sooooo based on unfounded assumption, that I went to I Tunes and downloaded some Cold Play, just to see what was up. Ummmmmmm it's NOT rap. Actually, I liked it, kind of in a U2 type of way.

As a mom, I gotta know my guys "culture" that doesn't mean I have to be the coolest mom on the block... duh, thats NOT gonna happen. But it does mean, I need to be intentional. Open. Listening and authentically caring about and involved in the world they live in.

So here we go, embarking on a Missional Mom's Journey, together.

How are you doing as a Mom? A wife? A woman?

Do you know the culture you've been called to?

Do you know what they care about? Do you know their loves and hates?

Do you speak their language?

Your "mission field" may differ from mine, maybe you have girls, maybe you're single, maybe you're kids are in college. This isn't about us BEING the same, it's about us SEEKING the same end, to go to our families and minister to them, where they are at, and to help each other along the way.

Sounds like church to me.

"Dear Lord, I pray that you'd help me to better love my family. I pray for your wisdom and guidance in helping others to do the same, I love you Lord amen."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Potty Training Day 4..........


There is a potty seat, in my KITCHEN.

People... I said, " There is a potty seat in MY KITCHEN". Why is this a shock to me? I think I must have blocked out my previous potty training experiences....

Last night, during dinner, it was "Showtime at the Apollo". There should be a limit to multi-tasking. Pottying during dinner. WITH an audience.... just isn't right. No worries....As we get a little more momentum, we'll be making changes.

This is NOT the first time I've done this. But, honestly, it's been a long time. I think, that the same grace that God gives us, to forget the pain of childbirth (regardless of your method of birth... adoption, c-section or labor) MUST also be applicable in other areas of parenting as well.

LIKE POTTY TRAINING. That MUST be it. (or I'm losing my mind.. which is likewise, possible.)

I don't remember it being so chaotic, or time consuming.

For now, a large portion of my day is spent....

Looking at pee pee and poo. Clapping for pee-pee and poo. KEEPING the DOG out of the pee pee and poo... at the same time , I'm chasing a naked preschooler around the house to encourage the boy to redress himself. Putting sponge-bob stickers on the potty chart... and patiently waiting for Mr Big Boy to choose from his reward box after every 5 stickers.....(that can take a considerable amount of time in itself.)

BTW.... mr Big Boy has discovered, that if he "splits his stocks" so to speak... and returns to "finish his deposit" .. 10 minutes later... he will get MORE stickers..... little stinker. (literally and figuratively.) The stickers are about forward momentum... not legalism. So I'm giving them for every "deposit". ummmm "Liquid assets" are 1 sticker, and ummm "Goldbars" are 2.

I'm trying not to be too gross. ;)

5 stickers= one visit to the goodie box. 4 sheets of completed skickers... will mean a "SWINGSET" (ummmmm yeah- this kids 4. We had to break out the BIG bribery)

any ways.....

Today, I did all of this, pull-up pulling, dog chasing, potty emptying, naked child chasing.... ALL while conducting a call to evaluate my year as a MOPS Council Coordinator. My supervisor and I also worked on goal setting for next year. I also worked on a year -end mailing to all of my Council's leaders. (I'll need to proof read that, before I send it, Lord only knows WHAT I typed while multi-tasking today....)

It's funny, how in parenting, the DAYS can feel so long. But, the years go by so fast. (NOT an original thought.. someone said it long before me...but .. I don't rememeber THAT either.) I swear, it was yesterday, that my first was born. And my second. And surely, it WAS yesterday that the youngest was born.

Yet, it wasn't. Truthfully, I've been in no rush for Mr Big Boy to grow up. Every day, while I still face the struggles of parenting, I also have 2 teenaged constant reminders, that while today felt long... the years DO go by fast.

Tomorrow, may be my last day to ever change diapers.

*YAHOO!

But, also... *sniffle, wipe a tear* as well.

This is our last child. I will never hold a baby of my own again. We were surprised by God's blessing in this little guy. (Oh please, you don't PLAN them with a 10 year GAP. After 10 years of sex without pregnancy....you're pretty confident you won't get pregnant... DON'T BE.) Anways, we have been awed by the love and joy we've shared since his arrival. Each of our guys has been a delight. And, there have been many seasons of change.

This is another one.

Next will be preschool, then kindergarten. Then, full day school. By then, my oldest will be choosing a college. There will be "loads" more adventures in store... (pardon the PUN) but- we'll miss the "baby days".

Kind of. - let's face it. It will also be quite nice to eat dinner without feeling like we're in the bathroom.

Generally, I try to avoid eating in the bathroom, even a mom of 3 boys has LIMITS.

Dear Lord, I ask you to help me make the absolute MOST of the time I have with my guys. I know it goes fast. Please help me to honor you, in the midst of the changes, and in the midst of life, I love you Lord, and ask you to make yourself real in my boys lives, amen. Oh, and Lord--- please help us make it thru this potty training thing!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"Bringing" and "Sending"
I know- I know-- this is a knitting/leadership/personal blog. I've added a new category--- "theory"--- whenever it comes up-- if you don't want to hear about what I'm processing thru-- than skip it. Be warned- today it's about approach to church;) This is not a finished thought- it is an open dialogue, ummm mostly with myself I suppose!

It is also not an indictment, it is a sharpening of my focus. While I generally think I know everything... I'm not implying, that my assessment here, is a mandate for anyone else.

I've been thinking a lot about how to do "church" lately.

I've been reading books.. (when am I not?) I've been reading blogs, I've been studying Acts.

I'm thinking about the difference between churches that are set up as places to "bring people" to... and those that are focused on preparing people to be "sent out".

First, it's important to explain- theoretically- I believe "the church" is not defined as a place. It is the body of believers, regardless of where they are located. In a home, a coffee shop , a school meeting, a spinning class, etc. Practically, there are places where people gather, with a focus on God, that are called churches. In order to address the issue- both must be addressed.

In my opinion, "the church " (both definitions above) has the responsibility to do both. We should Bring, others in- but- I believe, more importantly, we should prepare believers to be SENT.

Why?

Churches, are limited, they are a "place" to go. Into which, some people may not go. Churches are limited in their approaches as well, it would be ridiculous to expect a service to encompass every need of every person that may be attending on that morning. It would be ludicrous to expect a church to have music of every genre, preaching content for every issue, etc. Not only would these expectations be inappropriate, but they would also be counter-productive. It can make us see church as a shopping experience, not a worship experience.

Personally- I find the world is pretty accommodating to give me what I want. I need church- to be about aligning me to what God wants.

Church service, as laid out in scripture, is a corporate worship experience. People may be brought in, and then be ministered to. (see pentecost) However- the purpose of gathering is to first, build the relationship of those in attendace, with their God. To hear and learn the word, to focus on God. To worship and edify.

I think it's interesting that Jesus, SENT the disciples. He didn't say-- "Go, find people and bring them here- so I can preach, to them" He " discipled " (taught the truth to) the disciples (yes- a redundant statement on the surface) then, He sent them out to share the gospel. I recognize, that it is possible that Jesus did this because He knew, He would be physically leaving the disciples, but, is it not possible, that He did this because it was also a necessary method?

When studying the Gospels, and comparing, there are unique perspectives on the same events. The writers, each have their own style, in communication. Most believers that I meet- while embracing the whole of scripture, develop a special feeling of connection to certain teachers, and people in the Bible.

Most often, it is something in either the experiences of, or the personality/character of the person, that resonates with the hearer. Yet, the Gospel message, remains the same.

The Bible clearly defines, that each member of the body has a specific purpose, that is necessary for the Gosple message to be effectively lived out and preached. In light of scripture as a whole, I believe that we are individually called to be in relationship with God first, to be built-up in knowledge and experience , and then to be sent out, each, with our opportunities and our unique design and voice, to be missionaries to those we meet.

Why? Because, when we are prepared individually, then we CAN meet the direct needs of those with whom we have contact. All the research I can find, says that people meet God, thru People.

Besides, it's how I met God. Thru a relationship. I don't remember who the quote is attributable to... but this resonates for me... "People don't care how much you KNOW until they KNOW how much you care." God often shows His care- for individuals, THRU individuals. His hands extended.

What can't be done during a corporate gathering, CAN be done, woman to woman, man to man- we can get to know others, we can learn their needs, we can meet them, and help them to find their deepest need to be met in God. Individual approach, can be just that, individual.

Then, we must BRING them into the "gathering" ........where they are further built up and edified, where they learn to focus on God, and then, they are SENT out.

The 2 parts- "Bringing " and " Sending" are both imperative. Yet- what to focus on?

I think the focus MUST be on each portion being prepared to do it's part. The corporate portion- to bring a focus on God, to edify and build up- so that the Body is prepared to be Sent out. Sent out- not just TO BRING IN... but to minister, on the road.

So, what is my bottom line?

Well, I love God. I love people. I love introducing people to God. I love learning and teaching. (for me they go hand in hand)

My bottom line: (and, it is entirely possible, that this is simply a matter of resonance, because of how God has wired me, to teach, and touch)

I need to GO, I should Bring, ...... And , I am SENT.

Dear Lord- I love you, I thank you for the Word, which teaches us so much, about YOU. I pray that you would help me to know and understand my part in your calling- to GO out... please help me to preach the gospel.. to live the gospel.....to love people. amen.


"21"








21 years ago today.

A senior,in high school, FINALLY asked a junior out. FINALLY, because the junior had been dropping hints for quite a while... as well as "networking" with his best-friends girl... working every angle to get this guy to ask....

He was sitting on the "Drama room" table. Kicking his feet. Looking quite cute.

"So--- are you busy Saturday?" He asked.

PAUSE. LONG PAUSE. (As I thought....)

(even then, my answers were absolute... a yes was a yes, a no was a no....I had to think about the question... NOT becasue of who was asking...but, because, I was scheduled to babysit.. AND I was scheduled to help at a track meet... was I busy? YES.... would I fix that? YES......)

Pause.

"It's not like I'm asking you what you're doing or the rest of your life" He quipped.

embarrassed laugh.

21 years later- we both know that he was.

This morning, while driving my middle schooler to school... my cell went off.

"Trivia for ya.... what happened 21 years ago today?" Same guy. Same gurl. Different question.

I knew the answer to that one. We are entering what my DH calls the "holy week" ....no sacrilige intended.... it's the week we celebrate how God brought us together.

Although our backgrounds are VERY different, somehow we found a match, and a helper in esch other. See- although his whole up-bringing he was taught against it.... I was an experience in : missionary dating"... I wasn't a Christian. He was.

Actually, when we met- I was open to God, but had some pretty intense questions I wanted answered. I challenged his ideas, he taught me valuable truths. OK- so we fought things out until my debates were all answered. The way he patiently and passionately sought answers for my questions, as well as loved me regardless, won me over, not just to him, but to the God he served and knew. This God who was approachable, yet irreproachable, personal, yet separate and holy, this was a God I wanted to know. He introduced me to someone I desperately neede to meet, Jesus. He didn't condemn, force or preach to me, he let me know about his friend. THAT worked.

Now, we've been MARRIED for almost 18 years. "Together" for 21. Our oldest son is OLDER than I was when my husband and I started dating... (thats FREAKY) We encourage each other, to grow in all ways, always closer to God. When we grow closer to God--- individually, somehow- we also grow closer to each other.

In 21 years, there have been several jobs....3 churches, 3 pregnancies and births, 5 moves, several ppounds- gained and lost and gained again....thousands of hours of conversation, and quiet. Trips, housecleaning days, tears, laughter, romance, fights, money problems, going without, having something, encouraging each other, frustrating each other, leaving the "seat" up. We've cleaned up each others messes, we've renewed our wedding vows, we've ministered together, we've supported each other in our separate endeavors.

We've had milk in the fridge, and waited to see how we WOULD. We've been to formal events as "executive and wife" and camping in a tent. We've wondered where our next meal would come from, and we've been able to meet that need for others.

We've thrown up together. (flu is a bad thing) we've cared for each other. We've wanted to kill each other. We've prayed for each other.

Let's face it- from 16 and 18- to 38(almost) and 40 (almost) we've grown up together.

(well- we ARE Growing up together--- neither of us really feel like adults yet)

Our wedding vows were for better or worse in sickness in health, in much and in want...

It's a good thing- too- because we've experienced them all. And will again, I'm sure.

Here's the thing. If we were sitting on that drama room table today, knowing everything that it would entail. The good the bad and the ugly......

If the man he has become, asked the woman I've become:

"SO what ARE you doing for the rest of your life?"

I wouldn't even hesitate, regardless of my schedule,

I'd say "Being with you"

Kyle- I love you, and I like you, you're my favorite person.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I think I've settled on a new work out--- the evolution- or DE-Evolution of dance

OK- this is absolutely hilarious... long but hilarious.

Inspirational Comedian.... I actually can do all of these... I just refuse in public. ;)



FactCheck.Mom

Snopes. FactCheck.org. Myth Busters......
Investigative shows..... (preferably real ones- not drama's)

I can't help it- I love this stuff. I love searching out the truth. USUALLY.

But- ocassionally- as a Mom, I've missed the boat on this one. Instead of asking questions, gathering information, I sometimes- quickly size up a situation and then dole out "the judgement".

A number of years ago- Mike, (now almost 17) was playing in the living room, happily snipping away with his "child safe scissors" on some scrap paper, working on his "fine motor skills". (Poor first born-- so much pressure!)

I left the room to throw in a load of laundry, (somethings don't change- seems like I'm ALWAYS doing laundry) when I came back into the room--- I saw a little bit of denim on the floor.

Actually, it was a little denim BELT LOOP.

I did the math.

Scissors+preschooler+ new jeans=cut off belt loop=warmed bottom.

Michael absolutely refused to admit his OBVIOUS guilt. I lovingly disciplined him- and sent him to his room, telling him he could come out - when he was ready to confess.

He could still be there.

Why? Not because he's that stubborn, (though we both are;) but, because of what I found later. While throwing in that days laundry--- I cleaned out his tiny little pockets. (absolute necessity with boys- otherwise bugs, toads and miscellaneous rocks will wreak havoc on your washer) ....

I reached in.... and pulled out: another little, denim, BELT LOOP!

Here's the thing-- I ALSO checked the waistband, there were NO missing belt-loops.

Actually, I checked every waistband I could find. (I was THAT convinced, that I had to be right)
The jeans were new- the belt-loop pieces didn't come from Micheal's little scissors-(haad I not over-reacted- I might have realized the little crayola scissors would NOt have cut thru belt loop- of folded denim material...) The belt loops were left-overs. They must have come from the factory, where the jeans were made.

OUCH.

I can't tell you how bad I felt. I accused my little guy of lying, of being intentionally destructive. (All of which he has been on ocassion) I turned my LACK of information- into an assumption, which led to a battle of the wills.

I was tempted to pretend "it wasn't me". To tell the "Little boy who cried wolf" story- and somehow blame it on him for having lied in the past....I was tempted, but knew I needed to apologize. It was a tearful . He had the opportunity to forgive me, which he did. Mike still remembers that one. and ocassionally still reminds me to "check your facts, Mom"

Part of being a Mom- or a leader of any kind, actually, is with-holding judgement until you've checked your facts. It's easy to assume that scissors + preschooler+cut belt loops= poor child choice. But does it?

Not necessarily. Take it from me--- ya gotta check your facts.

The Bible cautions us (see verses below) not to"embitter" or, in other versions, not to "Provoke" our kids. I'll tell you this--- one thing that provokes me... is being unjustly accused. Or, being condemned without fact checking. ;)


Dear Lord- as a parent,as a leader- it is so easy to make assumptions. Please help me to check my facts, to clarify what I see, to identify my assumptions and make decisions based on the truth. I love your Lord- and ask you to help me- and--- I'm SOOOOOO glad you always KNOW the truth. The good bad and ugly. I love you Lord- amen

Colossians 3---

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Rules for Christian Households 18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

BTW- picture relevance?

Well-- Noah , (not Mike- ummm there weren't accessible digital cameras, back in the day!) looks disappointed in me. But really- he's just cute-I actually think he was just tired;)

Thats the facts!) ts


Monday, May 15, 2006

On being a Mom


I've been called a lot of things...a Christian, a wife, a leader, a follower, a woman, a sister, a friend, a daughter- stepdaughter, grandaughter, a speaker, a teacher,.......

And, some other things that are not so nice- ;)

One of my favorite things to be called is "Mom". There are only three people on this earth- who call me that--- My guys- And, I love it.

Being a Mom is a lot of things- a calling, a privilege, a challenge.

I have three boys. Having 3 boys, (being a mom) has STRETCHED and changed me in a number of ways.

Physically, yeah- I'm "Marked'. Let's just say-I'm waiting for when thigh and tummy "zebra" stripe tatoo's are in--- I'll be ahead of the game- while NEVER having to have the whole needle thing. ;)

3 pregnancies in 3 different decades have--- left their mark on my body. (OK- sounds dramatic if I say it that way--- but I had one child in 89, one in 92 and one in 02.....see- three different decades)

Socially- naturally I'm a "girlie -gurl mom"---- but by association, and experience- I'm now a "guys" kind of Mom. I bait my own hook. I fish . I camp . I have been known to knock them on their butts on occaision. (However- wrestling with the teens would hurt me- well- I THINK I could still kick butt- but I am not risking it...)

Emotionally- from pregnancy hormones- to fears- to emergency room trips- to recognizing my own short-comings and assumtions--- and learning simple joy....being a mom- has stretched me emotionally.

Spiritually- Being a mom- has stretched my faith. Seeing my kids grow and change- has stretched it--- surviving our family trials - has stretched it. Needing more than what I have to give--- has stretched me spiritually. Being a Mom- helps me see even more clearly my need for God. (besides- sometimes- I am convinced- that God keeps me from killing these people. ;)

I guess- today- I just wanted to say---

First- to God- Thank you- for blessing me with motherhood. And, for sustaining me through it!

Second- to my Husband----I love you- and love parenting with you--- I would NOT want to do this without ya. You're my favorite person.

Finally- to the three guys that call me Mom-

I love you. I love being you're mom.

Happy Mothers Day.

Friday, May 12, 2006

DaVinci Delusions


DaVinci Delusions... CAUTION....RANT......

Here's the thing.

The DaVinci Code is FICTION. It is sold as FICTION. It was written as fiction. As Fiction, it's fine, there is intrigue, there is mystery, murder and conspiracy. All the makings of a popular fiction book. It will probably be a good movie.

Although , I personally find it fairly formulaic, it's fine.

What freaks me out--- is how crazy people are being about it.

People are BELIEVING this book is factual. After finally reading the book- (sorry I'm late coming to this one) I'd have to say it would require greater "faith" to believe Dan Brown's premise in this book- than it would to believe the Biblical account. His story is well written- in the sense that, it draws the reader into it, as a created reality. However- believing that it is reality, is the intellectual equivilent of believing that "Watership Down" is a true account of the secret lives of rabbits... or that the "Star Wars" series of books is true. They aren't. I'd just encourage you- prior to BELIEVIING any thing you read---to check your facts.

Here are a few good resources for fact checking on this issue:

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/d50ab.html

http://www.leestrobel.com/


What Dan Brown has done, is both summarized and expounded upon some classic unfounded "myths" that people WANT to believe, simply because some prefer to believe that God is a lie, Jesus is a lie, and the Bible is false. Dan Brown has struck a cord. The cord is a desire discredit and trash "The Church".

Here is my issue. (OK- we all know this is just ONE of my issues;) I'm not looking to believe what I WANT to believe--- I'm looking for the TRUTH.

My goal in posting is not to argue the validity of Dan Brown's premise-- you can check the facts for that on your own, from much better resources than me. My goal is- to encourage you to think- and search. Look for the truth- I believe you'll find it.

Dear Lord- This whole Davinci Code thing is just so lame to me, I am really baffled that people seem to WANT to believe in fiction. The truth is- there is more historical evidence that you- are true- than there is that Dan Brown's premises are- I pray that you would make the truth known to all man- including me- I love you Lord- amen.

PS--- to those who read Dan Brown AS the fiction that it is--- I am NOT criticizing you, I just don't get those who believe fiction as fact.

pps-- back to knitting- I promise;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusion FYI- Delusions- are false beliefs, my contextual meaning here- is not in a clinical sense, but in an intellectual sense- as in when we choose to believe unfounded, un-explored ideas as facts.

A book of fiction, is not a reference for fact.

AT the library- they aren't even in the same SECTION.;)

end of rant- thnx for your patience- ts

Thursday, May 11, 2006

SOME of the things my Mom taught me.....


1) Take care of your friends- they'll take care of you.

2) Curl your eyelashes- it makes your eyes look bigger.

3) A real friend hands you toilet paper under the stall....

4) Living in community means you have someone to borrow toilet paper from, when you need it.

5) Love is an action. Do it. Show it.

6) People change. (she has- My moms great;)

7) Sometimes ya gotta draw a line and say enough is enough. Cause, it is.

8) Borrowing toilet paper from the next door neighbor is "good for your character" (well- i guess it knocks the pride out of ya anyway)

9) If my friends all jump off a bridge--- I don't have too.. (although if it looks like fun- I might, by choice.;)

10) Time is short. Love your people.

11) I should watch my mouth. (umm I gotta work on that oneI have a tendancy to be a TAD sarcastic)

12) If you survive motherhood- Grandparenting is the reward.

13) Take care of yourself- but don't be a nut about it.... (we're both working on that one....)

14) My mom believes I can do absolutely anything. She's crazy. But- I am usually not afraid to try new things. so thnx for that one too- mom!

15) Love is saying, yes- those jeans make you look fat. Buy the other ones instead.
(Sometimes the truth hurts- but it's better to know it, than to walk around with spinach in your teeth and jeans that make you look fat.)

#1 thing my mother has taught me:

We're both crazy-bossy and annoying- but, we love each other.

My mom taught me You can love crazy, bossy and annoying people, you can't always WORK with them... but you can love them! ;)

Happy Mothers Day Mom.

BTW the blonde in the little red car.. that's my mom.

I need more non- beach pics mom. (She'd KILL me if I put up a beach picture- as I would her.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

When the coach is the team.


My neighborhood used to have some seriously cut- throat games of ball... We would have to call it BALL because of our mish-mash of equipment.

There were sometimes softballs- with baseball bats, soft ball mits- or t-ball mits, sometimes we used baseball mits with softballs. Wiffle balls were only used in a pinch. We used whatever equipment we had.

Everybody who wanted to, played. Adults, kids, teens and everyone in between. We were there to play. To have fun.

We took turns playing different positions- getting a feel for what we were good at, then playing our "position" as best we could. Usually, the oldest, and most "mature" would take turns being "coaches".

Sometimes, this was good. Sometimes not so much. Different people had different approaches to "coaching" our little messy group. Some were great at encouraging each of us to do our best. Those coaches made us play better.

Some, were pretty convinced they were the only ones who could possibly play ball at all. They would shout out orders, tell us to swing harder, swing higher, jump higher, blah blah. Eventually, a few would just shove me (yeah- cause I stunk) out of the way- and make themselves "DH" Designated Hitter... or DR Designated Runner... and if they could have... they'd have been DP- designated pitcher, and DC designated catcher..... DF designated fielder... etc...

Yeah- pretty much they would have played all the positions themselves, if it had been physically possible. I think they were quite sure, that had any of these games ever actually been played they way they wanted... (with themselves playing all the positions...) we would have finally WON a game. It didn't go that way. Actually, those games usually ended early, with someone crying and running off the field(ooops that would be me) because of seriously hurt feelings. Or- in a huge neighborhood brawl.

As a leader, I've faced some of the same temptations. It's sometimes hard to trust others to play their "positions". Not necessarily because they stink so much, as because they MIGHT stink. Occasionally, we all do.

I can remember being a MOPS Coordinator, and feeling the weight of the responsibility of the ministry, and feeling like I couldn't be assured of a job well done, unless I was the one doing it. 16 years later, I can assure you of this: Had I done everyone else's jobs, in addition to my own, I'd have quite ministry LONG ago. So would everyone around me.

Probably because I'd have lost my mind. (I may have, we're still not 100% sure on that one)

Desiring to do a good job, is a noble thing. Stepping all over our teams, is not. The truth is, I've learned this mostly the hard way. By making the mistake of "rescuing" others, doing their jobs for them, micro-managing, criticizing ... blah blah I've tried it all.

It just doesn't work. What works- is a coach that can "bring out the best" in their team. Finding the right position, for the right player, then encouraging them to play with all their might.

In leadership, the same principle applies. See, few ministries have teams with all the "skills" and all the perfect equipment. They are usually built of very imperfect people, some bringing a t-ball mit, some a softball mit, another a baseball bat, yet another a catchers mit..... yet- somehow God uses all the pieces and parts to create a wonderful whole. He calls leaders, to encourage their teams to play their best, to use what equipment they have, and to grow and improve in their skills, learning by experience, and practice. Together.

God has been known to do great things with very little.

1 Cor 12-
4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[
a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.


Dear Lord- please help me to lead well, help me to be an encourager, and a builder, please give me opportunities to use the equipment you've given me- and to grow in my "skills" God- please help me to bring out the best in others- and to rejoice in their growth! I love you Lord- amen


BTW- had a tough time finding a mish mash- free domain pic for this one--- I know the picture is a cricket match. Just go with it. ;) You get the point. ;) ts

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The latest bloomer ---- EVER


I remember being a teenager, and wanting to wake up one day and be beautiful. I soooo wanted to be one of the "pretty people".

At 38, I've finally figured out--- it may never happen. Well, not by the standards of our crazy culture, anyways.

My eyes are droopy, my cheeks are poochie....I have a barely there second chin... the top lip is too thin....nose isn't too bad-- but-- I did have a nose job when I was a teen- so that doesn't really count. Short hair is rarely on the top 10 list for best hair. And I just can't stand growing it out-- or spending that much time on it. Although- I have been knownto cheat, and wear "clip on hair" on ocassion. ;)

We won't even talk about my weight rt now.

Let's just say- in me, the american standard of beauty has not been attained. I'm just your average mom.

But- I didn't feel average this morning. This morning, Noah said "Mommy, you're so beautiful, I can't take my eyes off you" He said this BEFORE my shower, even.

Then, later, this afternoon, Noah said, "Mommy, when are you gonna go to ballet class? You would be a beautiful ballerina"

Yeah- it's true, I'll never meet certain cultural standards of beauty... well not without an "Extreme Makeover".... but, somehow, in the eyes of my husband (who teaches this boy these silly love things to say.. ) and my guys, I have finally made it to beautiful.

One of the amazing things about God, is that he see me before my shower- and at my very worst, and still loves me and thinks I'm beautiful. Poochie cheeks, fat butt bad attitude, bad temper, and all!!!

S0 beautiful, in fact, that they can't take their eyes off me, actually.

So there. I finally bloomed.

Phillipians 1:6 " being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. "

Psalm 139
17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.


Dear Lord- help me to prioritize your standards-- and help me to rest in who and how and what you have created me to be, in your time. I love you Lord- and am so glad that you are still working to change and grow me- please help me to bloom in YOU, amen.


SP 8 Questionnaire
Questionnaire
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Love: Schaeffer Anne, KoiguKPPM, Malabrigo, Knitpicks Panache, anything
SOFT and natural fiber, Hate itchy, scratchy plasticy stuff. And not a fan of
most novelty eyelashy stuff

2. I keep my needles in needle rolls- LOVE them. ;)

3. long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? 2 years- intermediate... advanced wannabe

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? yes

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Lavander and or Vanilla, rose florals.. yarn?

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
chocolate

7. Do you do other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
YES-- I can do it!!! I can spi n... sorry overly surprised at myself on this one!

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s?
(if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Cont Christian... third day, mercy me, etc

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you
prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

Purlples, blues, greens deep reds fuschia's (jeweltones) hate pastels pretty much-
and yellow- don't really like yellow

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? 2 cats and a bad beagle

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Scarves- yes, mittens yes,
hats- maybe, ponchos nonchos. (no)

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? SOMETHING at all times.
I knit everything love lace and socks currently.

13. What are you knitting right now?I have 3 pair of socks going, and
another kiri in Debbie bliss pure silk...

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? YES

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
right tool for the right job.. love wood and the bryspun dpns, lantern moon-
LOVE my holz and stein circs. ;) thnx sp7!

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? yep, yep

17. How did you learn to knit? books and online

18. How old is your oldest UFO? a couple of months

19. What is your favorite holiday? Easter and Christmas

20. Is there anything that you collect? Longaberger bskts, tin chocolate molds

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying
to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do
you have? fiddlesticks shawl patterns quivit, spinning silk, holz and stein straights
Love pretty beaded needles... I ordered spin-off- but hasn't arrived yet. ;)
Lace blocking rods... Mason-Dixon Knitting? DOn't have it yet!

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? toe up socks- and 2 socks
on 2 circs , to be better at lace- and to try a top down sweater- and want to
make "Hourglass" also : Annie Modesitts "Corset"


23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yep- and i wear a 6 1/2

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) 8/31

Monday, May 08, 2006




Have I mentioned--- I don't like to sit still????????

This is just SOME of what it takes for me to survive a LOOOOOONG car trip..............

5 episodes of "Lost" on my IPOD
20 Podcast episodes
2 magazines
1 1/2 pair of finished hand knit socks (blue- knit picks memories- in Yukon Knitty.com's "Broadripple pattern" --- pink/purple... Koigu KPPM broadripple pattern again- this time with a K2P2 rib top--- my jaywalker ripoff--- on larger needles.. for the impatient. That's me. )




A Bit of spinning.....
Ummm actually a LOT of spinning,
actually spinning in the sun-- till I was FRIED!
Sunburnt spinning?



Noah cathing "Doggyflies" :

Our little "Home away from Home":

Casa Del Solomon:

More later--- Must do LAUNDRY. HATE doing Laundry..........


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fingerpainting in Fiber



Smooth, cool color. Slipping silkily, thru my fingers. Beautiful colors blending at my touch. A scent- that I can only recall as earthy.

Fingerpainting is what saved me from flunking kindergarten, or from deciding I hated school.

As I watched Noah, (and his daddy, actually) fingerpainting, the other day. I realized that my affection for art and tactile creation started long before my knitting, and spinning began.

When I spin, I feel the same silky flow- of color, and texture scent and creation, all blending at the wheel.

Honestly- there have been vague twangs of guilt, as I have spent time, expense and brain-power learning (and possibly obsessing) and experimenting, with this new endeavor. I suppose-I feel guilt because there are so many more "lofty" things I could spend my time doing.

Here is what I've found by experience: There is some part of me that is wired to be creative. I love music, I love color, design, decorating, and now knitting and spinning. I love writing, I love teaching. These are all creative endeavors.

I used to have this impending feeling of fear, like I would someday run out of creativity. Run out of things to say, write, teach and create. I think it casued me to hold onto ideas, sit on them, not write them, for fear that maybe if I did, then there would be nothing left.

But- lately, while spending time more closely involved in the creative process, I've realized that the time I spedn fingerpainting in fiber, is helping to build creative synergy, and actually helps me be more productive in my more "Noble" activities. (Like parenting, being a wife , teaching and writing.)

Years ago, I went to a MOPS http://mops.org/ (Mothers of Preschoolers) convention, and Elisa Morgan, President of MOPS International, used a juicebox being sucked dry as a visual reminder to Mom's, that if we allow our boxes to be drained dry, there will be nothing left to pour out to others. I suppose I am finding that a creative outlet, including one that is tactile, helps "fill" my juicebox.

I've decided not to feel guilty about filling my emotional tank anymore. I'll be careful not to use my hobbies as a "medication"... to avoid feeling or dealing with life. But- I'll continue to enjoy them, and allow them to re-fuel me... for the real work. ;)

Annie Modesitt compiled a book of essays on knitting and grief- called "Cheaper Than Therapy" I'd add fresh air, sunshine and spinning to that equation. :) It is. (Cheaper than therapy, I mean)

Fingerpainting. In Kindergarten, it's used to help build the pre-writing skills of eye hand coordination, color recognition etc.

I wonder if there is something in your life, that God uses to "re-fuel" you, to fill your juicebox, or to build your skill set for something He's called you to. If so...... Just Do It. If you don't there just may be nothing left to pour out, to give, to others.

Dear Lord- I am enjoying this creative endeavor, I pray that you would use it, to help build and encourage me, to help me reach out to others, I pray that you'd help me to allow it to trun my eyes always toward you- I love you Lord- amen... PS--- lord--- Sheep that produce wool? Worms that make silk? Alpaca's? Really amazing! You're creation is incredible Lord!


Psalm 139
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, [
a] you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.


13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [
b] me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.


19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Sunflower in Cement


Once in a while, when I'm driving along- I actually DO look out the windows. I remember in drivers' ed, the instructor would say "Shaw, look around once in a while, enjoy the scenery." Most often, within minutes of the prior quote.. He'd then shout: "Shaw! Keep your eyes on the road--- you can talk without looking at the person you're talking to!!!" ( I've ALWAYS hated it when people use your surname as an address.. It's so annoying)

I still have a tendency to go one of those two ways.... hyperfocusing on the task at hand, and missing the scenery, or looking around and not paying any attention to the task at hand.

A while back- I was driving on an overpass--- looking out the window with all the attention my ADD mind can attain.... when I noticed a sunflower, growing up thru the cement. ADD has it's high points- I gotta admit. We tend to notice little things that others over look--- like sunflowers in cement. ;)

In Michigan, sunflowers usually grow in fields. Garbage, broken bottles and kids on bikes making me nervous, are usually along the sides of overpasses. Sunflowers, usually aren't.

It was blooming, right there. I was amazed.

A confession...while I enjoy them... I don't GET plants. They baffle and amaze me.

I was long ago voted "Kervorkian for houseplants" because of my unique ability to only bring home the plants that apparently desire to end their miserable lives. For me- they are a futile exercise in terrain. By which I mean- the pots become little OASIS' of different terrains through-out my home... desert in one pot- swamp in another, mud bog in yet another.

In my experience- growing a healthy plant requires more than happenstance. Maybe that's why that little sunflower caught my eye.

I was amazed- that in the dry heat and narrow crack- the seed could fall- just right, then grow, the roots could dig their way (doggedly) to the soil, find nourishment and bloom. Not to mention- it's unique ability to NOT be squashed by traffic, whether on foot or by car.

Maybe it was because it was during a very difficult struggle-that I saw it. One where I found my self a Christian "Nomad"... after 15 years at our home church, we went thru some circumstances that caused us to leave. Not knowing where we would go.

I had been so safe in my little Christian "terrarium". I knew the people, I knew the place, I had grown up (spiritually) there. Then- like that little sunflower- I found myself planted in a dry rough patch of land.

It's taken a while to start to grow roots, to start to bloom. I don't think it's because of the physical place I found myself in..... but because of the emotional one.

People aren't plants. When we're uprooted- from relationships, from routine etc... we grieve. Even a good change can produce a healthy grief. I remember thinking- during this time of transition... I cant DO this. I can't be replanted.... I'll die. Spiritually, socially, emotionally. I was afraid I'd wither up and basically- croak.

Grief of all types feels like this. It feels overwhelming. It feels dry, it feels desolate.

But- like all seasons- grief changes. When I saw the sunflower growing in the cement-- I remember feeling like I had choices. Even in the grief of my uprooting... I could bloom. I can grow where ever I am planted.

It's been a couple of years now. The grief has changed. Though it revisits on occasion.

Sometimes I still feel a bit Nomadic. Not quite firmly planted. We are without a building at our new church. It's in process.... as are we all. Someday a building is to be built. The building will only HOUSE the church. The church isn't a building, it's the people.

I'm not sure how you're feeling today... but I'd like you to take a look around....all these beautiful spring flowers-- growing out for winter slush and mud--- or maybe even growing in hard dry pavement cracks... they can remind us--- to bloom wherever we are planted.


Dear Lord- I admit to not always understanding your plan for me-- but I DO trust that you have one. I also trust, that whether a place feels dry- or like a narrow crack in the cement- that you can caause me to grow and bloom. I pray that you do--- I love you Lord- amen.

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For 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.

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