Sunday, November 10, 2013

I am Supermom. A failing Supermom.

write, because I believe, if you are honest enough to admit it, you are a failing Supermom too...or at least a failing Superhuman.  I read blogs a lot while I nurse, and the ones that draw me in typically look something like this in the "about me section"::

"Christ follower.
Pastor's wife who runs the children's ministry, counsels women, bakes bread for the elderly, directs the choir, and dresses her whole family in coordinating outfits every Sunday.
Homeschool mom of 17 who makes all the kids clothes, who only feeds her family organic whole foods that she's grown and canned herself.
Who writes and speaks at women's conferences about her 5 adoptions and the non-profit she runs, and the 84 books she's written. Oh, and she only buys fair trade, has craft time once a week, and documents everyone of her children's milestones with scrapbooks and Facebook pictures.
Oh, and whose house is so clean that you could eat off the floors (and she only uses non toxic cleaners to do so). She always has snacks made from scratch in the oven when you drop by, and sends you home with fresh honey from the bees in the backyard."

Ok, so maybe I am being a little over the top, but that's what I see portrayed so often.  And then I believe I need to aspire to be like her, with her perfect little self.  So, I resolve to do better. To get up earlier. To support my husband better. To speak only kind loving words as I parent. To provide healthy meals that include all the nutritional food groups. To only bake from scratch and not out of a box. To make better choices with my money, and to plead the case of the orphan.

Then, then I start my plan. And almost as soon as I start, I fail.  I don't get up early because Elliott has decided it'd be fun to make me up 4 times between 2 and 5am.  I hand my daughter a prepackaged clif bar as I yell, "hurry up or we will be late" and storm out the door for church.  Then, I realize that I forgot to put the pork roast in the crock pot before I left the house.  Guess we will have ham sandwiches for lunch again.  

Epic fail.

Here is what I am learning: I will fail daily. I will sin and screw up and need forgiveness moment by moment.  That's the whole reason Jesus came.  I couldn't, and still can't save myself, or do enough good things to reconcile my relationship with Him.  

There is a lady at church who I aspire to be when I grow up...and the other day I heard her say! I need to stop striving and simply abide (I probably didn't get this quote exactly right, please forgive me).  Oh how true are her words.  John 15 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture.  Abide in Me. Cling to Me.  

So, here is my new plan.  Instead of holding my life up and comparing myself to the impossibly perfect women I read about, I am going to ABIDE in Christ.  I am going to wake up each day and ask God for the strength to abide in Him.  I am going to follow Him, and his call on my life: to bring Him glory.  I can bring Him glory only when I abide in Him and seek to live my life in a way that reflects His character and therefore points my children to Him.

Because, friends, I'd not want Sveta to grow up and become a mom who thinks she is a failing Supermom.  And I don't want to live pretending and striving to be something that matters not.  I want to live abiding, and teach those who watch my life, that I am not a failing Supermom. 

I am simply a disciple of Jesus who desires to abide in His love, that others may be drawn to abide in His love as well.  Because, in His love is the best place to be.  And He loves whether I have made brownies with a box mix or with the flour I ground from the wheat I grew (or didn't grow).

I pray that you are encouraged to abide, rather than strive!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

First day of Fall is one of my favorite days...

Sveta's ready for a trip to the park!
So is Elliott!
And Mama...thank you Carmel Apple Spice.

Jess met us there!
Fun first day of fall!!

And now for other random pictures of my uber cute kids!!

And I will leave you with this one of my 2 favorite boys!
Oh wait...and you must see this one!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Beauty for Ashes

Tonight, as I snuggle with this one::

I am thinking of this one::

My thoughts center around the joy these two bring me, in such different ways. But as I rejoice, I find myself mourning. Mourning for Sveta, and myself. She didn't get cuddled by her Mama as an infant. She didn't have her cries immediately answered. She didn't have anyone to lovingly bathe, dress, and feed her. She was lucky to get a diaper change every so often.  And I didn't get to do any of that for her. It breaks my heart, and yet makes me so proud of her, and who God made her to be...and it makes me grateful beyond words for how God sustained and sustains her.  How he is creating beauty, from ashes...

She is the strongest little girl I know. She fought through all sorts of adversity, was uprooted by two strangers, and has the most joy I have ever seen. She teaches me much about God's goodness and provision and protection. Today she was singing all about how God is the One True God, and some people worship other idols, but they should only worship the Real God like she does.  She is an example to me daily of God's redeeming love...and most days I miss the reminder because I am too busy with a task. 

Today I saw.
And tomorrow I will wait with anticipation to see God continue to weave her story.  And in doing so, remind me of my own redemption story.

Praise be to God, who made this the other night:

And who orchestrated the building of this little family (post on Elliott's name to come)::

Monday, July 1, 2013


Sveta will soon have a sibling and I have been pondering what that experience will be like for both of them. I pray that God will make them friends as well as siblings...because I've seen how much of a blessing that is.

When Barry and I first started dating, I met his brother and sister right away (like 2 or 3 days after our first date).  We didn't sit down and talk, but I met them.  I was always enthralled by the stories he told of their times together as kids, and growing up how they interacted.  After getting married and seeing how close he is to Jill, I always hoped for a similar relationship in my own children.  There is no one in this world that Barry loves like he loves Jill.  He would do anything for her, just like he would for Sveta or I.  It's incredible to see.

I didn't grow up with siblings close in all.  I was 9 when Michael was born, 13 when Abby was born, and 16 before I even knew Becca existed (she was 15 at the time).  See, I don't have any full-blood siblings, which is the reason for age gaps and such.  But, they are my siblings just as much as Barry's are his.  It has been amazing to see in recent years how we've developed different relationships.  Just last week or so, Michael called just to see how I was.  Blessed me.  Last night, Abby called to vent/get advice because my parents were being strict (oh, how easy you have it as the 3rd...they were way harder on me, haha!).  And this morning I received an email from Becca that about made me cry.  

I am beyond blessed to have siblings, who as we are getting older, we are growing closer.  We are trusting in each others lives like we never had the chance before.  We are talking about things that matter and encouraging each other in our faiths.  (Things you can't do with someone you don't know, or who is still watching Barney as you go off to college). 

I am grateful for how God is forging these relationships, and I look forward to see how He orchestrates Sveta's relationship with her new brother or sister.  They will be almost 5.5 years apart, and I know she'll love the baby dearly.  I can't wait to watch!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Blessings like Rain Drops

I have so much to say...but I don't even know how to get it all out.  I'm learning so much.  God is so gracious.

Barry left for camp yesterday, and will return on Friday evening.  Sveta and I will miss him greatly, and we know he'll miss us.  It will be a challenging week for us all for so many reasons - only one of which is that I'm 37.5 weeks pregnant.  But God...

He's here. Here's in TN with Barry.  He's faithful.  He's not leaving.  He's not surprised by what today or this week brings.  I'm choosing to believe HIM...not just believe in Him. I'm choosing to believe that His Word is true.  I'm choosing to believe that I am called to be like Him, and even though my flesh doesn't always want to - I will choose to walk in His shadow.

"Do nothing [c]from [d]selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude [e]in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be [f]grasped, 7 but [g]emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death [h]on a cross...Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will [i]prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you [j]appear as [k]lights in the world, 16 holding [l]fast the word of life..." Phil. 2:3-8, 14-16a

I will put others first, and stop looking out for my personal interests.  I will have that as an attitude, because my Jesus chose to obey the Father and die...and I desire to be obedient as well.  I will have such an attitude, that I will do it without grumbling or disputing...but rather with joy because as I hold fast to the Word of Life, I will be a light to the world.  And ultimately, that's what I'm called to be.

So today I'm singing this song: Blessings by Laura Story...
We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

I'm singing this song, because choosing this path isn't the easiest.  I'd like to play the pregnant wife card and have my husband with me this week...but guess what - it's not the blessing that He wants to give.  He's going to bless some other way, and I believe that Barry will be blessed by being in His presence in amazing creation, and with incredible students as he leads them into the throne room where they will worship Hm in song. 

Today, I choose to be grateful for the blessings that come through tears...and the trials that are mercies in disguise.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

God's an orchestrator...

2 months is a long time.  Sorry my friends for falling off the face of the blog-o-sphere!  I won't even attempt to update you.  But here's what I have GOT to share today::

God is faithful.

Here's what I wrote a while back (think August-ish of 2012):
"So, here's our RADICAL plan: sell our house in Indianapolis, sell our house in Greensburg, move in with Barry's parents, and spend WAY less and pay off our debts as fast as we can. People think we are crazy, they don't understand, they think we're somehow "off." I'm ok with that...because I don't want to be like the majority of American Christians who live no differently than the rest of America. I don't want to go with the cultural norm, I want to go with the Biblical Command. I'm shaken by the fact that we are more wealthy than 99% of ALL people. ALL. Me. Wealthy. I don't see myself as that...and that's wrong. So, we're trying to follow Jesus and live as He calls."

As most of you know the selling of our house in Greensburg went WAY quicker than we expected...we've been living with Barry's parents (who are I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E. by the way...if you don't know them, you should), and were attempting to spend WAY less, without sacrificing date nights/family days, and a little vacation to Georgia to see my sis-in-law.

Well, here's the next big thing:
We close on the Indy house on Thursday.  1 week from today, we'll be house free...and we'll be so so close to debt free.  I'll write a post about how close once we know exact figures after next week.  Many of you probably are wondering: how long was it on the market, how many offers, etc.  Let me tell you a little story.

We've had incredible renters in the house for about 3 years.  In the fall we tried to put it on the market while they were living in it and planning on moving into a house of their own soon...but their house fell through and it was just too hard to list while having them their.  We decided to wait, and pulled the listing after not long at all.  They've continued to live there and look for houses. 

We let them know at the beginning of April, that we planned on listing the house on June 1st and that they'd need to be out so that we could do so.  We were prepared to pick up mortgage payments for a time so that we could sell the house.  Well, a few weeks ago - Barry got a text that said something like this from the renter..."please call ASAP, we'd like to talk about buying the house."

What?  Seriously?  So, after setting a selling price, going back and forth a bit, and deciding to go without a realtor...we signed a purchase agreement...and now have a date for closing.  Incredible...since the house NEVER went on the market this time around, and we are saving about 7% by not using a realtor.

I look back at what I wrote in August, and never imagined how God would orchestrate all of this.  We sought God and decided to follow through with what we felt He was asking of us...and He is pouring out His blessings on us.  He is so so faithful.  He's amazing...beyond my comprehension.  I'm so grateful I serve such a BIG God. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Mercy Found Link-Up

Oh how I love my friends over at MercyFound Ministries.  They are hosting a fun link-up today...and even if you don't blog, you can head over to (AFTER you read my High, Low, and Lesson Learned) and join in.  Just comment in the comments section!!
Yesterday, we were leaving a little amish store close to our house, and Sveta was enjoying chasing the kittens and waving at the horses.  As we drove away, she continued to wave at the kittens, saying, "Bye. I love you. And remember, God made you special."
I don't know where she comes up with these things.  Barry and I don't say things like that.  I don't think...but she's crazy creative and is constantly saying something hilarious.  Amazing that she's only been speaking English for a little over a year!
I don't really have one this week.  It's been a great week.  Maybe the fact that I overdid it yesterday and my back really hurt would be it.  I struggled to walk normally. It still hurts a bit today, but I can walk again!
Don't overdo it.  It's a bad idea at 26 weeks pregnant, when you are as swollen as I am to make muffins, clean the pantry, and the bathroom all in the same day.  Small steps.
Also, I must mention that today is GOOD Friday.  And my lesson learned in the spiritual realm this week has been to remember what Jesus went through on the cross so many years ago.  Not only did He suffer physically, but He was seperated from the Father, and the emotional and spiritual anguish He must have felt, I just can't fathom.  I am grateful for His sacrifice...for by His wounds, I have been healed.

Praise Him.