Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hello all!


I know. I have been gone awhile.

Quite honestly (and if you know me at all - you know my honesty) - the last couple of months have been hard. Without going into all of the details...I felt that I had been attacked by a couple of people around me. What made it worse is that instead of delving deeper into my Jesus, I holed up more into myself as it was something that was not easy to talk about and I was already so misunderstood by some thru my "social networking".

God tho, in His ultimate wisdom has reminded me of WHO He is. He is the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God and Giver of ALL Good Things.

As I return to delving into Him, I am reminded, once again, how BIG He is and how much He wants me to live in the moment.

So we've been crafting and baking and cleaning. I think that the first 2 of the 3 require more of the last one....but alas...I enjoy the first 2 so much better. :) I am about 1/2 way done with making a whopping huge batch of cinnamon rolls! And tons of other stuff!

A couple of weeks ago (??), Rod and I watched and balled like babies thru a made for cable movie. It was about a little boy who got cancer (from the city that my parents are from - and I was born in). After fighting for over a year, they were told that there was nothing left they could do. The parents brought their little boy home in the fall of 2009 to be forever healed. They weren't sure if he would make it for Christmas, so they decided to decorate early. When their neighbors heard about this the whole town put up their Christmas decorations and then this spread throughout the country.  This family chose to "cherish every moment" and to LIVE BIG!!

Dax, the little boy, died on Dec 30, 2009.  This date brings back memories for me (Rod too) because this is the date that Maggie (and I) was flown to Riley Childrens Hospital because of her blood pressure being 220/100.  We could have lost Maggie on that date as well.

Here is a song by Matthew West about this family.





I chose to read in Luke this morning.  Chapter 2.  What I realized is that people were seeking for and anticipating Jesus.  I guess I always knew it but it struck me differently this morning.

The Shepherds.  The Shepherds went searching for the baby that the angels told them about.  Simeon and Anna were both elderly people that had been anticipating the Kings arrival - they had been waiting for years!

When each of these people "met" baby Jesus - they celebrated, praised God and worshiped Him.

Are you looking and searching for Jesus?  Are you anticipating Him to show up in your life right now? :)  When you see Him in your everyday life - tell everyone about it (especially ME!) and CELEBRATE!

May Jesus - the BEST Christmas present EVER be real and yours this Christmas!  Go LIVE BIG!!

Love,

Rachel

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beuler? Beuler?

Yes, I am alive. I knew that October would be tough for me but I didn't realize how much. I had been asked to teach a class for IWU on Monday nights in the month of October. Last night was the last of that class. YAY!! I still enjoy it but this class was a little over an hour away - which just made the day extra long. I should be working on grading papers so that I can turn in final grades. I was stressing over Maggie's special education case conference and there was a "difference of opinion" as to some things. We are much closer to a resolution. I tried really hard to let Rod do most of the talking but I just couldn't stop myself. There have been other situations that have taken my energy. Family stuff, teaching an adult class at church and the case conference some more. But GOD is good and things are finally falling into place. God is working things out in HIS way. This November I am going to list what I am thankful for - a new one each day. For today November 1 I am thankful for God's amazing and abundant love! Ephesians 3:17b-19 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. So I pray that you may know God's love in a new way!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Raising Kids with a Faith that Lasts

I am teaching at church a study by Focus on the Family called "Raising Kids with a Faith that Lasts". Let me back track - a couple of years ago I did quite a bit of traveling. I found Moody Bible Radio and would listen to that often to help me stay awake. I caught one talk show talking about how kids (young adults) are leaving, not only the church, but Christianity in record numbers. So when this topic was given to me as an option I jumped at it. I find it scary that so many kids that are raised in Christian homes and going to church would turn their backs on Jesus. Maybe (?) they aren't turning their backs on Him - maybe they are just so open to other religions that they think there is more than one way to Him/heaven? I don't know....... The stats given in the video by Focus on Family are alarming. The speaker says that multiple surveys have been done of 18-29 year olds and the LEAST amount of kids walking away from the Christian faith is 70%! Other surveys show up to 90% Would you be interested in hearing more about what Focus on the Family says on this? It has been challenging to me and those that have been able to attend -- just thought that I would share....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Calling for Help! :)

I have horrible feet. 

 H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E 

It started when I was pregnant.

Nope, take that back.  I have never had good arches.

Then you add the plantar fascitis (sp?) and the neuroma....

Don't ask me what they are, that is what the doctor called my problems.

His solution?  Orthopedic inserts.  Then I found this shoe store that got me fitted with great "tennis shoes".  And the sales lady told me about Danskos.   I canceled my appointment to get my inserts.

I can wear Danskos without feeling pain.  There are very few stores that carry this brand and if they do carry them - they carry very few styles.  I have casual shoes but these shoes do not look "right" with dressier outfits.

So, I can't try these shoes on - they have to be ordered - if I want some dressy shoes.

So which do you like more?

 

or 


I think that I like the look of the "Rachel" better than the "Becca" but Rachel has a higher heel and it has me a little concerned.


These shoes are much more expensive that I would normally pay.  But living without pain is worth it.  However, I am ordering from the outlet site to bring the price down some.


All right....  opinions please?

Finding Faith that Lasts

My intense journey into faith began about 2.5 years ago.

Yes, I had been a Christian for over 30 years (man, I am old).  But I am talking about faith that means you have to live it out loud.  You know, in our daily lives.  How, in the world, does that even look?

The many lessons I learned about God and HIS faithfulness....the many lessons I learned about my own faithLESSness.

God showed me recently how I still have much to learn.

Maggie has an IEP or an Individual Education Plan.  Every child with issues that impact their ability to learn has an IEP in the public school system.  Maggie's primary reason is for hearing and her secondary is for speech.

With learning, this past summer, that Maggie's hearing has gotten worse and that she could lose even more hearing down the road, our hearts sunk and I went into overdrive.  I began to seek out all the information that I could to educate us about the needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) world.  The more that I learned - the more overwhelmed I became.  This DHH world is (in many many ways) a whole other culture that we as a family need to orient ourselves to.

I've lost Maggie at church.  It was after a Wednesday night and the kids and I were on a mission to find Daddy so that they could say goodnight to him before we head home.  Daddy usually works late on Wed. nights..... I knew he was in the Worship Center (sanctuary).  Mags was walking a half a step in front of me.  I said "Lets go this way" and turned - assuming that the kids would follow.  Jared did and we walked into the WC.  I turned to look for Maggie and she wasn't there!  I opened the door that we had just come in and there was no sign of her.  A woman in the hall must have discerned the look on my face and asked if I was looking for a little girl and I said yes.  She point down a hallway and just then Maggie walked up with a look of pure fear on her face.  Even in a familiar place, I could easily lose my daughter.

So when it came time for this IEP meeting, I was determined to be prepared.  For at least a week, I was writing down all of my concerns and potential concerns.  For example - I wanted to make sure that on a field trip that an adult who was fully aware of Maggie's hearing loss was assigned to her group (preferably Mommy or Daddy).  If I could lose her at church which she is very familiar with then .... she could so much more easily get lost going somewhere she is NOT familiar with.

That was just one thing that we wanted discussed.  :)  For the record, these weren't just my concerns but also Rod's.  I just am the loud mouth that gets to voice them. :)

As the IEP approached, I had become more comfortable with her hearing loss.  (Read this as I was not freaking out about it as much).  God was calming us down, but also the new DHH info was not as over-whelming now.

What I was worried about was becoming a Momma Bear in the meeting if things didn't go the way I hoped.  In my previous life (before kids), I had attended many IEPs - so that process didn't phase me.  I know that the school has to provide appropriate services for kids with special needs - I just wasn't sure that we would agree on what the appropriate services were. ;)  I was afraid that if I became that Momma Bear that I would lose any kind of potential witness that I might have in our town - let alone lose face.....  We live in a very small town and really enjoy it overall.

But you know what?  God proved Himself faithful all over again.  The concerns that I had diminished or were addressed.   I am sure that they think I am a paranoid mom for some of them....but that is ok.  I know my girl better than they do. ;)

All of this to say....God is faithful in not only BIG things but He wants us to have faith in Him in the day to day crud that we get so worked up over.  God still loves to show off HIS faithfulness to US in the day to day stuff that we often forget that He is interested in.

So, Live Big by increasing your faith in the One that is most faithful! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our basement - the Score(board) is UP! :)

I am so sorry that I haven't been posting as much lately.   I think I have been preoccupied with other things - more on that later..........

Rod and I finally got to work on our basement.  No, it is not completely finished, but our storage side of the basement is looking much better.  And that is because we are putting stuff from storage to the finished side.  Since we were doing that I figured it is time to go thru stuff and clean and purge. :)


My inlaws gave us this ping-pong table.  We had to dismantle it to get it down our stairs and it has been sitting in pieces for probably the last 2.5 years at least.  So Monday, I helped Rod move it to the finished side and he got it put together.   I am really not sure HOW we got it turned over - this thing is a beast!  I decided that the kids were going to play under it so I might as well maximize that for us.  So, on one side is Maggie's Polly Pockets and Barbies and on the other side is Jared's Rescue Heros and some other car type stuff.  They think it is so cool.  Which is so funny because I am just thinking of all the extra floor space we have now! :)

 Rod got these lights at the TV station he used to work at.  They were being thrown out.  So he finally put these back up.  The red side of the basement will be our TV room.  It is dark and will be great to watch movies at.  Right now the basement is still more of a kid place as you will see in the next photo.  But the studio lights kinda go with our "movie room".

Now, the piece de resistance....  how do you write that in French? :)

Here is the infamous Scoreboard.  It's dimensions are approximately 3ft by 8ft.  It sticks out about 6 inches from the wall and well, I was worried that kiddos would hit their head on it.  So I placed a lot of their toys etc against the wall right under it to try to prevent any majorly banged up noggins.  Rod reworked the board's lights to show his highschool sectional championship score.  On a side note, how come he can remember the score to a game that happened almost 20 years ago AND the time left in the game, but still struggle to remember what day in June we got married?

Oh, yes, my preoccupation.  Yes, I am preoccupied with hearing issues with Maggie.  I am much less stressing about it now.  I think that is for 2 reasons; 1)God reminding me that He is faithful and lots of prayer by me and others for me and 2)learning more about the subject matter.  I've been learning oodles about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) world.  I am still no expert by any means but I know a lot more now that I did 6 weeks ago.

There is so much that a child learns thru hearing.  They often learn more thru hearing than many other sense.  From what I gather, DHH children will often get lost in the school system.  They will get behind educationally and/or appear to be uninterested in the classroom.  But wouldn't you be uninterested if you couldn't hear anything that was going on around you?

We are trying to teach Maggie to advocate for herself - which is not easy as she still doesn't want to be different from the other children. We are trying to make sure that fill in the gaps for her at school as much as possible.  We aren't sure what she isn't hearing and what she is hearing in the classroom - I don't think that Maggie even knows.

There are some concerns that we have that will be addressed at her IEP (Individual Education Plan) case conference next week.  We really like her teacher and are really glad for the set up she has in the room.  There are just some other issues that have us concerned as well as preparing for next year.

I just did a quick search and there are lots of verses on "hearing".  On God hearing us and on us hearing God.  It is such a good thing that God can "speak" to us in many different ways, isn't it? :)

Psalm 62:
11 One thing God has spoken,
   two things I have heard:
“Power belongs to you, God,
 12 and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”;
and, “You reward everyone
   according to what they have done.”



God truly is powerFUL! 


Live BIG!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blooming despite it all...

A couple of years ago, my father in law gave us some gourds that he grew.  I set them out in our front landscaping for decoration and thought that I would do more with them but didn't.  Winter came and I kept forgetting to throw them away.

I eventually did throw them away but they were just in pieces by then.

Fast forward a couple of years and look what we have going on.

I am wanting to redo our landscaping but um...right now it is not in the budget.  :)

But growing gourds by our lamp post wasn't what I had in mind for new landscaping.  You can see all the flowers in the top pic.  We'll probably have quite a few gourds to decorate with! grin

Rod doesn't think that this is quite as funny as I do.  I don't know there is just something about it that resonates with me.

Maybe because it is growing despite being in a horrible location: in rocks among those evergreen bushes.  I guess it reminds me that it is in those rough spots that I have tended to grown the most.  It is in the rough places that we have to dig down deeper to get our roots established in who He is.  We have to push ourselves to the sun Son.  And we always need to let what God is doing take preeminence in our lives.

I think that sometimes that desire to dig down deep is easier to find than others.  But it is still required.

How are you blooming?

In a Bible study that I am doing, the author is discussing thorns. "Why, Lord, do I have this thorn?"  I have a thorn and it is stretching me today.  It discourages me, it makes me doubt myself and makes me feel oh so weak.  But Jesus says "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."


So, despite my thorn today, I will bloom.  Because He IS enough.  More than enough.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Here's where I am at....

Back in February I whined about how Rod and I started a new diet.  You can read about it here.  We started doing low carb. in February.

We are STILL doing it.  Yes you read that right. STILL.

Have we gone off diet?  Yes, we've splurged for birthdays, reunions etc but we've always gone right back the next day and continued.  No guilt.  Well, only a little guilt.

About 2.5 years ago, I had started a "weightloss program" and had done pretty well on it.  I was feeling pretty ok.  Then our life turned upside down.  I didn't care about what I ate or how much of it I ate.  I was stress eating and I was ok with it.  But I gained back all of that weight that I had lost plus a bunch more.

Now to be clear, I have a "syndrome" called Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.  It causes me grief in a variety of ways.  One of which is weight gain;  me and a skinny chick could eat the exact same food and I will gain weight and she will stay skinny.  There are other parts of it that I really hate about it.  But anyway....  The docs believe that PCOS is connected to insulin levels - so this low-carb thing isn't a bad thing for me.

I have lost about 30 lbs.  I was bulging out of a pant size and now can easily fit into the next smaller pant size. I even tried on a pair of pants that were a size smaller and they fit - but not comfortably. BUT!!  They. FIT!

Rod didn't weigh himself before we started and won't weigh himself now.  He is measuring his progress by his pant size.  I won't say for him where he is at but I think that he is really close to his goal.  He too was bulging out of one pant size and now those pants are way to big for him.  So he wears the next size down (unless I don't get them clean fast enough).  He wants to be in the next size down.  I kinda want to go shopping with him just to see how close he is.  He won't buy any new pants till he can buy the size he wants and umm.....Let's just say I am not quite as quick on the laundry turn around as he would like.

Now, whenever I watch Biggest Loser or whatever I always wonder how tall people are because I can't be expected to weigh the same amount as someone who is 3 inches shorter than me.  So, just so you know where I am coming from - I am 5'7" and to get my BMI to a "normal body weight" - I need to lose another 30lbs.  Yeah.  I'm not thinking that this is too realistic for me.  But I would like to lose about 15-20 more lbs.

I have plateaued in my weight loss - and I am ok with that as I also haven't gained weight.  I think that upping my daily exercise from nada to something will probably help break that plateau but also help me get better sleep. :)

So, here are some things that I have learned along the way - maybe it will help you.

1.  Eat more protein.  When I incorporate more protein into my diet, I am full longer.  I definitely do not feel cheated.
2.  Eat nuts - not only are they protein but they can be a salty snack to fulfill that craving.  We found that Walmarts Honey Roasted Peanuts were the best.  We often have trouble finding them in stock - so everyone else must think so too.
3.  I think that the longer you are on the diet the more your taste buds change.  I used to hate Dark Chocolate - I am a chocolate LOVER.  But I have learned that I now like dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate has lower carbs.
4.  A small amount of an indulgence is better than a huge amount.  Meaning:  I can get a tablespoon of dark chocolate chips and eat them slowly and feel that rush of chocolate and not feel engorged afterward.
5.  We've learned to really like Greek yogurt - less carbs and more protein.
6.  We eat a lot more vegetables that we ever have before.  If you look at your plate like a pie chart I would have 1/4 be meat, 1/4 be veggies and the rest be carbs (pasta, potatoes or rice).  Now it is about 1/2 veggies (maybe a little more) and the rest meat.
7.  Sugarfree jello and cool whip are your friends. Low cal and low carb.
8.  A tablespoon of peanut butter is a good thing.
9.  I ate/eat a ton of salads with this diet.  I learned to get lots of different toppings for my salads to change it up.  Olives, peppers, onions, different cheeses etc.  Yummy!

As we look at incorporating carbs back into our daily diet (sometime in the not so distant future), I feel pretty good that we will be able to remember these lessons and not go carb wild.

Oh, for those wondering about getting good deals on low carb foods:  Rentown (a little Amish store near me) is great for getting cheese for $2.39/lb or less, I can also get shaved meat (deli style) for under $2/lb.  Spices are really cheap there as well.  Pinehill is the Amish run salvage store that I have mentioned on here before.  I can big jars of pickles there for about $1.25 or for the kids - mac and cheese 3 boxes for $1.

Let me know if you local people want directions to my favorite stores.

I still have a ways to go......but God is good. ;)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

It is a gold ribbon.  Gold.  Not many people would know what a gold ribbon stands for.  Most people don't want to talk about it .... let alone even think about it.

It happens everyday to 36 families!  A mom and dad are told that their child has cancer.


Facts about Cancer in Children and Adolescents

  • Every day, 36 children are diagnosed with cancer.
  • One child out of five who is diagnosed with cancer dies.
  • Children’s cancer it affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups.
  • The average age of children diagnosed is six.
  • More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
  • Three out of five who survive children’s cancer suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.  
  • There are approximately 350,000 adult survivors of children’s cancer in the United States.
    • That equates to 1 in 640 adults ages 18-45

Source:  Curesearch.org



Two and a half years ago, when Mags got sick, the last thing that I wanted to think that she could be diagnosed with was cancer.  Three year old little girls with beautiful eyelashes and a great big smile don't get cancer.  Old people get cancer.  People who smoke get cancer.  Not my little girl.
This is Maggie (and Rod) on the day we went to Memorial for the first time and heard Neuroblastoma for the first time.  The day that we were told that we were going to Riley Children's Hospital.  Can you see how pale she is?  She was so sick and we had no clue.  I am not sure where I was as Rod took this picture and a gazillion others.  Maybe I was frantically packing for us to go?  Don't remember.  I can remember that the Memorial Hospital team gave us some gift cards to Burger King - her favorite restaurant at the time.  I remember the 3 of us sitting there eating in stunned silence - Maggie oblivious as to what the next days would bring.  Rod and I could hardly eat.

What people forget is that even when the battle with cancer is over - other battles may just be beginning.  There are so many side effects that come from this battle.

No child should have to endure this....  none.

Please help make others aware of this battle that goes on.



And just in case you've never seen it....



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday was my parents anniversary.  They have now been married 42 years and one day.

I love the example that their marriage is to all who meet them.  They truly enjoy each other.  Yes, they can also drive each other batty - just like every other marriage - but they really love to be together.  They still take little get-aways together.  They smile when talking about the other.  And oh!  do they make each other laugh!  Dad makes Mom laugh till she cries.

I was once talking to an older couple who had also been married quite a few years more than Rod and I and the comment was made that the older you get the less you need romance etc.

That made me sad.  It made me sad that this kind of thinking is even out there and it made me sad for this couple.

God didn't make marriage to be that way.  He wants us to be excited by our marriage partner all of the time.  God wants us to laugh till we cry with our spouse and still seek our spouse out of a crowd.  Love changes and grows over time and that is to be expected.  Marriage takes work - just like our relationship with Jesus takes work.  Oh the work is so worth it!  I see how worth it is in my parents' eyes when they talk of each other and feel how much it is worth it when I think of my own hubby!

I hope that when Rod and I have been married for 42 years plus a day that we still revel in each other as much as we do now.  But multiplied by each year!

Thanks Mom and Dad for the great example! :)


Friday, August 26, 2011

We have a WINNER!

And the WINNER is.....  Drumroll please.......

Comment #5  Julie

Julie I will be getting with you to get you the prize! :)


Ok, it has been a stressful week around here.

Rod has been getting up to help me get the kids ready and umm (I love you honey) this is new for us.  He has been very helpful.  But we are exhausted.  I don't sleep good.  Haven't in years - since my days in grad school, I think.  So, I am waking up around 3 and am unable to go back to sleep. Then getting out of bed before 6 to have some time with Jesus and get the house rolling.

Maggie continues to be our slow poke.  She plays and takes the tiniest bites and she could sleep in most days - so waking her up at 6:30am has been a huge change for her.  Jared still wakes up at the crack of dawn (many times long before 6a) and thinks he can't go to back to sleep so he doesn't even try.

The kids like school so far.  On day 2 of school, Maggie's teacher let them have recess (they usually don't have time for recess as there is too much to cover in 1/2 a day).  Maggie told me that she didn't hear the whistle for the end of recess and her teacher had to go looking for her.  I am still looking into what additional options there are to aid Maggie more in her education.

The teachers that the kids have are great and we all like them a lot.

Rod's dad, Don, had surgery on Tuesday.  The docs had found some really tiny tumors in his prostate.  The goal was that by removing the prostate that they would get all of the cancer and he'd be done.  The doc says the surgery went well but we are still awaiting the official word.  Don was home the next day and we went to go see him yesterday.  He was up and around and I think that he enjoyed the supper I brought. :)

Live Big!

John 10:10 (From the Amplified Bible)
I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.


Rach

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day of School

Ready for Kindergarten and 2nd grade!
Walking to the bus together - hand in hand - He really does love her....



Look she lost her first top tooth!



We got them on the bus today.  They were excited.  Yesterday we did a trial run - we got up at the time I thought they would need to get ready and out the door and ...well...if school started yesterday Maggie would've been 15 minutes late for the bus.  Today I got her up about 15 minutes earlier than yesterday and she was done 25 minutes EARLY.  So maybe just MAYBE it won't be as hard to get her moving as I thought.  She is a VEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYY
slow eater.  I would have added more e's, r's and y's but it would have run to the next line and look weird....  but you get my point.

Oh, and do you see that Maggie lost her first top tooth?  Yep.  Happened right before church on Sunday morning.  Oh, and we got her hair cut on Sat. for school - I was hoping that it would make it look a wee bit thicker.  I think it does....a little bit.

I am still very anxious about the school year.  I met with her kindergarten teacher and the hearing impaired teacher yesterday to make sure that they knew about Maggie's steep decline in hearing and that they were more prepared for her.  Her next IEP case conference will be in September and I am hoping to gather as much info as I can to know how to best advocate for her.

I told Rod that I kinda feel like everyone (meaning professionals in the hearing-impaired world) have not really given us much info other than here are her hearing aids.  I was blessed by God to meet the Director of the Sign language program at Bethel College recently and in just the 30 minutes talking to her and one of the Deaf  men at church I feel like I gained oodles more knowledge of how to help Maggie (and our family).  

So watching her get on the bus this morning was harder than I anticipated last week.  I had been looking forward to school in some ways: finding a routine again, separating my chillun's so I don't hear all the fighting, getting some projects done (finding my house from under the mess of summer)... etc  But seeing Jared get on and realizing how big he is getting - being that protective older brother....  Watching Maggie get on that bus, knowing full well that it will be next to impossible for her to hear on that noisy bus and how petite she is next to other kindergartners and knowing that know matter how much I put into place for her she is STILL going to miss things....yeah, it wasn't easy watching them get on the bus.

But I've prayed for them in the middle of the night.  We prayed as a family before they left for the bus and I am still praying.  I think many times prayer is for the person praying even more so than the person that is prayed for, ya know? :)

I'll fill you in how the first couple of days go. :)

Oh, Tomorrow I will announce who the winner of the Dayspring giveaway is!  So go here to sign up!

Living BIG that God will take care of her when I can't...

Rachel

P.S.  For you NMCers, Rod was delegated to find chairs for Pastor Dave for this past Sunday.  The chair that Mags is sitting in above is the chair Dave used for a "Time Out" chair.  It is my desk chair that I painted blue over the summer.  And no, Maggie wasn't in Time Out when the pic was taken.  To see the chair in action with Pastor Dave go to NMConline.  I just looked - this past Sunday's service is not up yet - probably later today (tues) or tomorrow! :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

No Limits

Have you seen the ABC show "Expedition Impossible"?  It is on Thursday nights right after that crazy show "Wipeout".  EI is kinda like "The Amazing Race" only it all happens in Morocco and it is ALL an adventure challenge - hiking, mountain climbing, puzzles, sailing, swimming, kayaking, repelling etc etc etc....

Rod and I started watching it on the first night and we have only missed a couple of shows since.  At first it was funny to watch some teams who are totally out of their element in the middle of the Sahara riding a camel.

One team that I immediately found interesting was "No Limits".  No Limits is made up of a 30something military guy, a blind guy and his buddy/guide.  Now the blind guy is pretty adventurous - he has climbed mountains and done a lot of this adventurous stuff before.  This team often came in the top couple finishers.  Which given the fact that one member cannot see was quite the accomplishment.

Then a couple of weeks ago, the military guy on their team totally twisted up his ankle but he kept going.  Rod recently (June) did the same thing for at least the 2nd/3rd or 4th time.  So Rod and I are watching, knowing full well the agony that he is in.  They tape up his ankle and he keeps going!  He is climbing mountains, hiking over rugged terrain etc etc etc....  It was expected that they would be eliminated.  But another team made a mistake on a "puzzle" and No Limits squeaked by.

Then it happened again for a second time!

Last night we watched as it was down to 5 teams trying to make it to the final 4.  No limits was still in it but all of the other teams had passed them by.  The guy with the bad ankle is in major pain and the blind guy is unable to help them find the item that they needed to find their "clue".  They get the clue and are determined to finish the race when all of a sudden they realize that they have caught up to another team (who made a mistake).  They are now in a foot race to make it to the finish line.

A. FOOT. RACE.  A guy with a majorly swollen ankle that is in major pain, a blind guy and his buddy/guide. The other team is made up of 3 (healthy and uninjured) cops.

The editors did a great job.  You're trying to see who is going to emerge from behind these bushes and you see the cops in the distance.  When all of a sudden in the foreground emerges No Limits.  They made it!  They were not eliminated.

I was so impressed by their sheer determination and effort to "not give up".  You could even hear other teams yelling for them and commenting "how can you not cheer for them?  It's a blind guy and a guy with (almost) a broken leg?"


Watch the video above.

All of sudden I realized how little effort I sometimes give.  I think that it would be totally amazing if we as Christians could all "give it all" till we get to our finish line.  You know, where we give E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. that we've got in all areas of our lives.  Where we don't cross the line of integrity in any small area.

Oh, something to definitely strive for.....

Living BIG!

P.S.  Two and 1/2 years ago we were told that Maggie had less than a 50% chance to survive.  Today she has been cancer free for a little over two years!  And for 1.5 years POST treatment.  Scans from yesterday show "No Evidence of Disease" and her blood counts look FAB!  Please do not tell me that God doesn't do miracles.  He does!  Over and over and over and over and.....

Thank you LORD!

Now, GO LIVE BIG!

I don't measure up......

Have you ever read Proverbs 31?  Yeah, she wakes up early to do some work and stays up late to complete it. There is nothing that woman doesn't do.

I had picked up some book (don't remember the author or title) several years ago written on "the Proverbs 31 woman".  I stopped reading it as it made me feel very inadequate and frustrated.  I do not think that was the writer of Proverb's intention and I credit those feelings to the writer of that particular book and not to the writer of Proverbs.  However, I stayed away from Proverbs 31 for quite some time.

Between you and me..........I don't measure up.  I don't measure up to that Proverbs 31 woman.  My house is dirty and unorganized.  My kids need baths.  I have dirty dishes that are overflowing my sink.  Last night the kids and I made a pact that we would have no more screaming in the house and whoever screamed/yelled would have to pay the other two.  [For the sake full of disclosure read that last one again and note that I am included in that.]  I often feel alone.  I truly am my own worst critic.

But I have been reminded frequently lately that despite all of my own inadequacies, I am loved.  Not only am I loved by the BIG powerful, Almighty God when I don't deserve to be - but I am accepted.  Warts and all.

That acceptance is huge.  I look into scripture and see how I need to follow Him in making changes that reflect Him more.  The more that I try to change to meet the expectations of others I will fail.  However, when my goal is to be the woman that He wants me to be and seek His strength and help - it seems more .... attainable.......  more desirable instead of daunting....

Today God led me to this...it blessed me - I hope it blesses you as well.



Here is the chorus:
I look to you.
I look to you.
After all my strength is gone,
In you I can be strong
I look to you.
I look to you.
And when melodies are gone,
In you I hear a song.
I look to you.



Oh, Dear Jesus, I look to you!  May you know that not only does Jesus love you with everything that He's got, but He accepts you and wants to walk that race with you to the completion of His Design for you.

Living Big - one step at a time........

Rach

P.S.  For those wondering... :)  Scans were yesterday (Thursday) - blood tests came back good.  Her Hemoglobin is over 12, platelets over 300K and wbc over 5.0   -   but we are still waiting on urine and scan results.  There is a certain marker for neuroblastoma that shows up in urine.  I am going to push for official results before they close clinic for the weekend.  :)  I really hate ruining a good weekend worrying about stupid scan results.  :)  I am supposed to go "fight" some bad guys now down in the basement! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2+ years

This whole hearing loss issue with Mags has sent me for a loop in many ways.  I am not sure why - I mean - it isn't cancer. 

I think that when we were battling cancer we were so focused on that: "Get those tiny monster cells out of my daughter!  NOW!"  We didn't really think of what the future might/could/would hold.

So I have been trying to find some sign language classes in our area that take kids, that aren't expensive for 4 people and don't end late on a week night.

So Sunday, at church, I went and got my courage up and spoke to the signer and the hearing impaired people that come to our church for the Connection service.  I explained quickly that Maggie has profound hearing loss and that I am trying to have our family learn ASL (sign language) and asked if we could come sit with them sometime so that we could start to learn some of the ASL.  They very graciously (and enthusiastically) said "YES".  Then service started and I skedaddled out of there.  In retrospect, I realized that they didn't understand right away why I ran off - I just didn't want to interrupt their service.

So worship time starts...and one of the songs that we sing is from Hillsong.   I am not sure that I have heard it before.  Here is the song:

Sometime during that service, I realized that once again God will fight this battle for us.  But there was something new as well.  I thanked God for the hearing loss.

Then in my mind and heart I knew that I had to thank him for cancer.  I had been going over Philippians 4 with Jared and that is where most of the message came from that morning.  Phil 4 says that we should give thanks in all things.

I had thanked God many times for many things in the last 2 years.  However, I had never thanked for the cancer.  I know that this might sound strange and it felt strange - but it was something that I knew God wanted me to do.  I cried as I silently thanked God for the hearing loss and for cancer.

I am sure that there are some of you who think I am outright certifiably crazy.  That is OK.  I know that in the midst of the storm I couldn't have ever said thank you and truly meant it.  I serve the powerful God that is full of grace and love for me and my family and He has shown himself to be very faithful - way beyond what we even deserve.

So yes, this hearing loss continues to be a battle for us.  I don't like it.  But God has shown Himself to be faithful  and I have a reason to worship and a reason to sing. 

Maggie has a scan scheduled for Thursday morning.  This will be our first one in 6 months and I am leery even tho she shows no outward signs of relapse.   The fear is still there.   This is our 1.5  year post treatment scan..  As of July she has been 2 years cancer free.  Thank you God!

So, what battle do you need to thank the Lord for?  Even if it is thru gritted teeth? :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Struggling with Indulgence

****  I wrote this post a little over a week ago.  I chose not to post it at that time.  I knew that by posting it some may misunderstand me.  I don't know....maybe it won't make sense to you....maybe you'll think that I am strange (I know that I am).  I guess I am just feeling convicted on my indulgences and how truly unGodly they can be.....******

When we were getting ready to "go" on vacation, I was having a really rough time.  I was seeing many people on Facebook "talk" about their vacations that they were taking across country doing really cool things.  In my head, I knew we couldn't afford a big vacation and was ok with that - really!  I was!  Then there was the other part of me that was like "I am a Full-time homemaker/SAHM/domestic engineer (whatever you want to title it) and taking a vacation at home feels like every other stinkin' day!".

And then I felt guilty!  We are a one income family that just spent oodles of money on our roof, windows and siding..... We don't have the money.

Oh, the inner battle that began. The word "angst" comes to mind....

Didn't I deserve a vacation from my routine?  Aren't I worth investing in?  You know - the whole "Take care of yourself so that you can then take better care of others" kinda thing.  Which is actually no where in the Bible that I know of.....

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how connected this whole thing is for me with how concerned I am about us Christians and how little different we look from non-Christians.  We as Christians have become caught up in indulging ourselves.  Many times it is in very innocent ways and some  are not innocent at all.

Let me give a personal example.

When Maggie was in the hospital (A LOT), I was the one who primarily stayed with her.  It was exhausting.  The "beds" that one hospital had were like plastic skinny recliners that would "almost" lie flat.  The other hospital actually had a cot for me - that was 3 inches thick.  I'd hear every beep that would come from Maggie's monitors and/or pumps.  I could tell when she was going to vomit and would be there (even at 3am) with the bucket to catch it all.  I got really good at placing the remote with the call button very close to me so that if anything started beeping in ways that it shouldn't (which it often did) I could call the nurse without REALLY (yeah right) waking up.  The showers were pathetic and tiny.  I was many times lucky to have warm water.  I often looked like a train had hit me and most of the time that is how I felt.  However....!!!  I could get really decadent wonderful food.  I could order out for this wonderful spinach and artichoke dip and bagel chips....ohh it was so good!  I could get cheesecake or some other wonderful desert with every meal.  I felt like I deserved it.

I. Deserved. IT.

Even now, I see how childish that sounds.  God's grace is more than I deserve - what else could I "need"?  Now I am stuck trying to lose all of that extra weight that I gained from all of the scrumptious but overly indulgent food.

Generations ago within the Church (see the big "C"), Christians didn't indulge in much of anything.  Very few COULD afford to indulge in High fashion.  Many didn't indulge in alcohol or excess food.  Many didn't indulge in many activities that took much of their time away from their home.  When indulging did occur many times it was with self-control.  May I tell you that those cheesecakes I got had nothing to do with self control...they were not a "take a couple of bites and save the rest for tomorrow".  No, it was a "scarf it down now while all is quiet and maybe we can go get another one later" type of thing.

"You deserve a break today..."
"And I'm worth it!"

We've been fed garbage into our minds and we all believe it so much.  Our culture is filled with addictions: from porn, to food, to alcohol, to electronics, to extracurricular activities, to expensive cars, to vacations, to purses and/or shoes, to lovely clothes that can't fit into our closet anymore.  And I am wondering what difference there is between the Church and the non-church......  Do I look any different?  Act any different

As I write this, I am really wanting to buy a new patio lounge chair (that we don't need) and some new clothes  (that do NOT fit anywhere into our monthly budget).

1 Corinthians 10 says:
 23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.


So, how is living an indulgent lifestyle constructive or honoring to God?  How is being self-indulgent setting us apart?  As in Colossians 3:  1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b


So, do you convince yourself - like I have - that you deserve something that is way beyond the realm of "perfect" and into the realm of sin?  Again, I am not thinking that God says that this is wrong to do on occasion but many of us (me) are living lives where we live in a constant stream of indulgence in many many areas of our lives.

I don't know....just thinking out loud here.....

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Dayspring Review and Giveaway!



First, this review is my honest opinion (it's all me) and I wasn't paid for this opinion.  Just given the free stuff to try out! :)

I love practical stuff with a message!  I love giving our kids an easy way to share about Jesus that is non-confrontational and conversational.

Dayspring has these great school supplies that have a great message to them.  We got the green God Recycles Collection.  They seem to be durable (which is important - grin).  I love the one that says "love the earth.  love the creator" - I thought that was pretty cool.  Jared will take this to school and maybe help others think about recycling in a new way! :)

The set includes two (2) 3 ring binders, two spiral notebooks and 2 folders.  All coordinating.

Check out Dayspring and see what you think.

Oh, and because Dayspring is pretty cool and I think you all are cool..... I will randomly draw from those who leave a comment here (and is a follower) to win a $20 giftcard to Dayspring.

Again to enter the drawing:
1. Become a follower and leave a comment saying so - if you already are still leave me a comment.  I love comments. :)
2.  Tell me what you would order if you won the gift card/code.  Dayspring

Good luck and Live Big! :)

Rach

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A fun morning....

Yesterday the kids and I went to the Dollar Tree.  I told them that we were going to buy toys and candy for the kids at one of the hospitals that Maggie spent oodles of time at.

Now before anyone says anything to me about how candy is so bad for kids..... BLECH to you! :)  You see when a child is getting chemo and they have no appetite and/or are throwing up/having diarrhea on a regular basis, every adult around them keeps a keen eye on them.  EVERY day (at clinic or inpatient) they get weighed.  You watch that number go down and your child shrinks in stature.  So you give your child anything that sounds good that has calories.  So we bought LOTS of candy!  Lots and lots!  And toys - little things to keep them busy while they sit on their bed and let poison drip into their veins or wait for their counts to come back so that they can get OUT of the hospital.  We got some water guns (so that the kids can shoot their nurses) and funny glasses and puzzles and craft type stuff.  Did I mention we got CANDY?  Oh, I did?  :)

We had two carts overflowing!

Then we drove to Memorial Hospital.  We got a wheelchair AND a cart to bring all of our goodies up to the 6th floor.  Jared and Maggie and I got to hand out candy and toys to kids and their parents.  I remember sitting in that hospital room and receiving little toys for Maggie (and Jared when he was there) and how it would make her day (his too).  It would feel so great to see another kid who beat that monster and was living a happy life outside of that hospital.  It was fun to see our friends the nurses.

And I killed another bird while there (you know "kill 2 birds with one stone"...).  Maggie has another scan/picture time coming up and we need to schedule that.  The charge nurse and I got to chat about when to try to schedule the next one.

We saw a 10 year old girl who was bald and sitting on her hospital bed.  I assume it was her mom and grandmother were sitting in the room eating lunch with her.  I asked her what candy she liked and she said Nerds.  I gave her 2 big boxes (movie theater size).  Then I found another one and had Maggie take it to her. Jared got to take a Toy Story puzzle to a 3 year old little boy.   There were two kids that were inpatient over on "the other side" of the peds floor.  One was neutropenic - meaning the chemo had killed off their ability to fight off germs - so we couldn't go see them.  The other child's health is failing.

We didn't stay long - many kids were sleeping and we didn't want to disturb them.  Besides we made a big enough ruckus bringing up the wheelchair and cart with all the toys.  And the candy! :)  I meant to take my camera but in the hurry to get out the door I stinkin' forgot!

Trying to teach my kids that life doesn't revolve around them isn't easy - especially when life did seem to do so (especially one for well over a year), but I hope that doing things like that helps them to see how important giving is.

So much has been given to us!

Live BIG!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Do you Hear what I hear?

If, by chance, you are Maggie - the answer is definitely "NO".

When Maggie went through her massive chemo, we were told of lots of potential side effects.  At the time, the one you want to hear most is "cancer-free".  We did know that hearing damage would happen - as part of all of her scans and tests she had 2 or 3 different hearing tests at Riley.

Our last one at Riley was in December of  '09 (I think) and we were told that the effects of the chemo could take 3 -6 months to see the full effect on her hearing.  We found an audiologist here in Bremen - yes we were shocked too! and got her in and got her hearing aids.  For those of you who don't know, she picked pink and purple swirls for the molds (the part that sticks in her ears) and the part that hangs on her ears are still beige.

Around home, we don't notice her hearing issues much - it is quieter at home, not so many extra noises, not so many people etc etc.

However, lately it seemed I had been yelling TO her much more.  Being a loud person has come in handy with her.  At the pool or waterpark I think that she can hardly hear.....lots of people, noise of water and the inability to wear the "ears" in water....I had to yell often for her to be able to hear me.  I am sure we are quite a site.

So with her starting kindergarten in the fall, I wanted to get her a checkup with the audiologist.  We went in a little over a week ago.  She did a hearing test with and without the aids.

When it was done, the audiologist told me that that Maggie's hearing has decreased significantly.  This was (still is) pretty surprising since it is 18 months + after her last chemo. [Wow!  As I think about it - we are approaching 2 years on that - last week of September '09]  I truly didn't think that her hearing would be decreasing this far PAST her treatment.

For the first time, the audiologist mentioned a cochlear implant!  My heart about sunk.  Ok, I think that it really did sink. So I asked about cochlear implants.  I've had well-meaning people suggest them to me yet never the docs.  What I learned is that the implants are used for people that hearing aids cannot help.  Right now her hearing loss would be probably considered profound without the aids and Moderate with the aids.  So they are working.  IF one chooses to have a cochlear implant, then it removes whatever hearing that the person has on his/her own therefore making the implant irreversible.

We are seriously thinking about learning sign language as a family.  Just as a help to her - and maybe...hopefully.... reduce our yelling?  :)

I know that a cochlear implant is nothing in the whole scheme of things.  It is just ANOTHER thing that we are having to really watch and wonder how this will impact her future.  Yes she is cancer free and is so much better off than other Neuroblastoma patients.....

The other day I was trying to tell her of Heather Whitestone - the Miss America from quite a few years ago that was deaf.  Rod started mocking me as he wasn't as impressed with the Miss America issue.  I knew tho, that she would like that! :)

So that is a little glimpse into our world.  If  anyone knows a good, efficient, and cheap way of learning sign language let me know. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Courageous the Movie - My own thoughts

First of all, I was not/am not being paid for this review.  I only got two tickets to the preview in exchange for me giving my thoughts on it here.

Synopsis:  Four sheriffs officers and their friend face all of life's challenges.  When crisis hits, one of these friends, while in the midst of despair, seeks after God to determine what God has called him to.  As he shares his findings with his friends - all of them are challenged.  I do not want to give away any more than that.  :)

Rod and I went to go see the movie on Thursday July 21.  I had been looking forward to it for some time. :)  Let me back up and say as a reminder that Rod works in video production for a living.  So watching TV (especially the news) can be interesting as he catches all of the mistakes.  Even movies can be a challenge to watch without him "critiquing it".  And in the process of being together for so long, I have learned to see some - not all - of what he sees before he even has to tell me. :)  It is kinda like a doctor who when talking with friends will offer medical advice or a english teacher friend correcting your grammar in your emails.  You know they are right but it can be annoying.  Probably as annoying as your counseling friend giving unsolicited parenting advice....but back to the movie.

This movie is truly the best that Sherwood Pictures has made and I love to use those movies in the college classes I teach and Bible studies that I have done.  The plot is more complex and more thought through.  The acting is much better overall.  It is put together better (Rod saw some things to nit-pick about but I didn't catch it.)  :)

This movie evokes almost every emotion.  There are action scenes (hello?!? it is a movie about cops), there are scenes where BOTH Rod and I were laughing out loud, there were scenes of tension/suspense, and there were scenes of tears and one where I wept.  Even thinking about it now, I could still weep.  I saw many men and women wiping their eyes in the theater.

Courageous is about fathers (and in response - mothers) and what is needed out of them.  It is NOT necessarily a movie FOR fathers because I do not think that you necessarily need to be a parent to gain from this movie - or at the very least - enjoy this movie.

The goal of the producers is to bombard the opening weekend with purchased tickets so that it takes Hollywood by surprise.  They are hoping that by doing so the movie will be able to stay longer in the theaters   Locally, I know the movie will be released in Mishawaka, South Bend and Warsaw - maybe more. Please set aside the weekend of Sept. 30th to go see this movie!  This movie is rated PG-13 due to the violence that the cops face.  Because of that, we won't take our children (ages 7 and 5) to the movie.  However, we look forward to showing them the movie when they are a couple of years older.

Here is the trailer again:


Vacation is OVER!!

Well, we didn't really GOOO anywhere.  But it was nice.  Ok, it felt really good.

Rod just drove off to work a couple of minutes ago and that means I can get on the computer without him telling me to get off. :)

So here is what we did:
Saw Cars 2 at our little antique town theatre - smells of the old hardwood floors!
Went to Indiana Beach and rode some rides with the kids
Went to the county 4H fair
Went swimming at our pool
Went to see Fair Oaks Farms - a dairy operation with over 30K head of cattle turned tourist attraction
Went to Deep River Waterpark
Went blueberry picking.
Rod worked on some projects
The kids went to my parents for a couple of nights while Rod and I got to go see a sneak preview of Courageous - yes a review of the movie will be coming soon! :)
Oh, and I got to do some shopping and having fun with just Rod - which is what I/we needed. :)

I am sure that there was other things that we did - but those were the highlights! :)

This is the trailer from Courageous.  And altho I will post more about it later.... I will say this... everyone who has ever been a father or mother or who has ever had a father should see it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vacation

Hello Everyone!

I am so so sorry that I disappeared!  As of this past Sunday at 12:30pm - as soon as Rod turned off all of the equipment - Rod has been on vacation.  Which means we are on vacation.  We aren't really going anywhere big - just a bunch of little things. 

Of course, Rod complains whenever he sees me on the computer saying I should be on vacation.  So this means that my time on the computer is much less.

The bad thing about doing a "staycation" for a homemaker is that is doesn't really feel like a vacation.  So we are working on that.  :)

I am glad for Rod, tho!  Two full weeks off and TWO Sundays off in a row! :)  It is a nice break and change of pace to have him home.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Whatcha think?

I wrote something that got posted on the blog incourage.  incourage is the blog done by Dayspring which is the Christian branch off of Hallmark.

I know that it is not REALLY published but it is a wee bit.

Here is my post:


Jesus said in Mark 10 that we must become like a child to enter heaven. 

Lately when I have watched my children that verse comes flooding back to my mind.  Usually when we think of that verse we only think of it in terms of blind faith – such as faith that God will heal someone.  I think He meant it in a broader sense.

I was talking to a friend on the sidewalk and our daughters were playing nearby.   All of a sudden my 5 year old daughter was holding my leg and she wasn’t saying a word.  I bent down and realized that she had twisted her ankle and she was silently crying into my leg.  All she wanted was the comfort of her “Mama” and she knew she would be ok.  How many times do we go running to our Abba Father when we are hurt or do we turn elsewhere thinking that something or someone will do a better job of comforting us?

We were all heading back to our cars.  Our seven year old son was behind us and following him was his grandparents.  As he was walking toward our van, our son started running thru the parking lot – a car was about 30 feet away and pulling out.  He got in the van and said “I beat the car.”  My husband and I knew that the only way he “beat the car” was because that car “let him win”.  But there is a sense of invincibleness that a child has.  As adults we lose that as we are too afraid that God isn’t big enough for us.


Our daughter, for quite some time, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up would say “A Princess”.  She had no doubt that this was attainable.  The adults would smirk – laughing on the inside at her dreams.  Somehow as we grow older we lose our ability to dream and believe that the dream is possible.

So are you childlike when you have an “ouchie” and go to your Abba Father?  Do you believe that you are invincible with God’s power and act on it?  Do you dream big dreams and pursue them?

Being child-like makes us step outside of our comfort zone.  That sounds just like the Jesus I know, to make us a little bit uncomfortable  to draw us closer to Him. 

So what do you think of this post?  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Like Mother, Like Son or otherwise entitled "Who is teaching Whom?"

Jared

He is all boy.  He is strong, silly and loves to burp and fart and thinks it is hilarious that his Mom is not thrilled (at all) when it happens at the dinner table.  He is daring and loves to climb trees.  He would climb anything with no fear at all.  Nothing like his Mom.

He is also very analytical and older than his years.  He understands concepts that are way past his years chronologically.  His love language is words of affirmation.  Words can build him up in a heart beat and lay him down flat in a split second.  He uses his analytical mind to over-analyze it all.  Just like his Mom.

Jared was getting to the point that anything that I said to correct him he would take to the extreme.  "I never do anything right."  "You don't love me!  You hate me!"  He is so sensitive to "words".  It became frustrating to have this 7 year old just beat himself up over some silly little mistake/sin.  Frustrating to hear him accuse me of not loving him.  He would be soooooo mad at himself and us.  It was heartbreaking.

One day - I don't know what made me think of it - I told him that he is listening to Satan to tell him lies in his head.  He just looked at me.  I told him again that Satan is whispering lies into his ear and he is believing it.  Just like in his book A Warrior Prince for God where the the knights have to fight off Satan, he needs to fight off Satan and the lies that he is slowly starting to believe.

Understanding slowly came across his face.  His face softened.  He knew what I was saying was right.

When he would get mercilessly mad at himself again, I would say to him that he is listening to Satan's lies.  The episode would dissipate more and more quickly each time.

I didn't/don't want him to beat himself up like I do.

Something was said to me recently and I ruminated on it.  I stewed on it.  I have one of those minds that moves quickly, analyzing every word that is spoken, the tone that is used, the body language that is used when those words in that tone were said.

I started to beat myself up.  "I am no good."  "Nobody likes me."  "I feel so alone."  Satan knows just how to attack me.  But I wasn't seeing it for what it was.  I was just seeing me - my faults, my shortcomings - and the self-pity began.

Then I remembered what I told Jared.

"You are listening to Satan's lies!"  "Don't let him win!"

How incredibly humbling to truly see myself in my son.  And to have God whisper those words in my ear just like I did with Jared.

They say that we are our own worst critics and I know that is the truth with me.  No one can be tougher on me than me.  However, when it is taken to the extreme, I need to remember where that criticism is coming from - Satan.

Satan is out to destroy each of us.  What lies is he telling that you are believing?  What could you be doing for Jesus if you weren't believing those lies?

Satan knows which lie to tell us that will strike at the core of who we are and make us forget that we have a loving God who loves no matter what we have done, despite what we have done.  He loves us anyway!




God knew that we are the cancer that caused his Son to die.
Yet,
He loves us anyway.

How humbling and motivating!
Don't let Satan's lies stop you from doing what you have been called to do and called to be!


Living Big,

Rachel


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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Little Girl's Room


When we had our Major home redo, Maggie wanted her room pink.  She was 3 and she had cancer and well, if she wanted pink she got pink.  I tried to pick a pink that wasn't too over the top and I am not sure how well I did.  Of course, at the time, my mind was scattered and I was trying to make oodles of decisions (some major, some minor, and some uber major).  She has oodles and oodles of schtuff that was given to her while she was in treatment and keeping it all organized is quite the challenge.  [In some ways, it is harder for me to let go of things than her.  For example: the Carebear that she got for taking her first dose of oral Tylenol at Riley.  The nurse brought it to her as a reward.  I remember that but she really doesn't.]

Anyway....


We kept the mini-blinds that came with the house when we bought it.  However, we finally replaced the mini-blinds with a wee bit nicer ones that had thicker slats in them.  (No, I don't believe that I am Irish....)


Then I was stuck.  What kind of window "dressing" to do for her room.  Now please keep in mind, not only did she get her pink room, but she also got a Disney Princess comforter and sheet set.  I was not too keen on the idea of dropping a bunch of moolah on curtains that she might not like for very long.  Sooo... I kept searching.

I had this chenille bedspread that I have kept around here for years.  I used it in the "nursery" to cover the light blue recliner that we had in there.  I loved the fringe on it and how quaint and vintage it is.

I had used curtains years ago to "dress" up a window cheaply and no, I didn't just hang it over the window.  So I finally thought that I would try it with the bedspread.

I went to my hubby's stash of stuff in our basement and he has a bunch of dressy hooks.  You know, the ones with details on it.  I stuck those in the holes that were there from our previous curtain rod.

Then I took rubber bands and made a rosette out of the bedspread at one corner until I found the right dimensions to make it fit on both sides.

My next step was to put a hook in the wall next to the so that I could "drape" it.

I bought some ribbon to make a bow for tying back the "curtain".
Personally, I think that it looks darling.  It adds some charm to her room.

Of course, there are Princess wall stickers above her window and all over her room too.

In the picture above, you can see the hooks that that we got at Target on clearance for like $5.  Maggie had a horrible time being able to hang up her things.  Now she has a perfect place to hang her jackets and bags.

What do you think?

Linking up with
Not Just a Housewife
Debbie Doos
Stories of A to Z
Elements Interiors
Passionately Artistic