Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: An Empty Drawer Makes a Step


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Do you know you're prayed for?

I bet you didn't know that I pray for you.  I have hundreds of readers from all over the world, and I don't know most of you, but I pray that all who read my blog would be encouraged, uplifted, challenged and know they are loved and important. 

But sometimes, as I'm led, I do pray specific prayers for you.  Yes, YOU.  The one behind the screen of their desktop, with kid's snotty fingerprints all over it, the one I don't know. 


The one with the back problems, or the chronic fatigue syndrome.  I pray for you, the one who feels guilt or a parenting decision and you, the one who feels bad about yelling at her kids today. 

I pray for you, the one who just lost her job and wonders how she will make rent.  I pray for you, who wonders if you even have enough gas money to get you to school.

I pray for the one who can't stop crying because something hurts and the one who can't stop smiling, trying to hide that everything hurts.

I think and pray for you the one whose fears and anxieties control every aspect of your life.  I pray for you who can't muster up the courage to pursue your dream.


I'm praying for you, the one who just found out her parent has cancer and you, the one whose husband just said he's addicted to porn. 

The one whose child is not progressing as they should and the one whose child is spewing hate towards you.  I pray for you whose child is no longer earthside.  I pray for you as you make difficult parenting decisions regarding your teenager.  I pray for you who longs for a child to hold.

I pray for you, the one who feels ugly all the time, the one who hates her forehead and the one who believes her life isn't worthwhile unless she can fit into 'that dress' and get rid of 'those hips'. 

I pray for you as your grapple with the aftermath of abuse.  I pray for you, the one whose life is riddled with anger, yelling, raised voices and violence. 

I pray for the one who greets her husband with a torrent of critical words every night and the one who sends arrows of jealousy as you look in envy at your neighbor's perfect life.


To you who thinks God hates you, He's distant, He's forgotten you; I pray for you.

I pray for you, who still feels the pang of your abortion, you who drowns in the guilt of the secet affair you had, and I pray for you who holds a dark secret that you just can't bring to light.

I pray for you whose husband who ignores you with a busy work schedule.  And you, the one with no husband at all.  I pray for you, with the husband on the couch, uninvolved.

I pray for you as your husband criticizes your cooking, your cleaning, your mothering skills and critques your physical body.  I pray for you, the one who is sure she's 'fallen out of love with her husband' and found her true love instead.

I pray for the one who looks like she has all her shit together, but really masks the pain with an addiction.  And you who contemplates if life is worthwhile.


I pray for you who is overcome with depression and you, the one who feels worthless and you, the one who wonders just exactly how you will end your own life. 

I pray for you who lurks in the shadows of shame, you who hides behind the mask of pretension and you who covers her eyes and wishes the pain to go away.

I don't pray for you because I think I'm better than you.

I don't pray for you because I know the right answer.
I don't pray for you because my life is peachy.

I pray for you because I care about you, love you and want the best for your life.  I pray for you because I've been there.  Because I AM THERE.
So, from ME, the one who doesn't know you, the one who doesn't have it all together and has dealt with many of the above issues....and ME, the one who doesn't know how and why prayer works, but knows that God loves you and cares for you and has the best plans for your life....I'm praying for YOU! 

And I mean that.

Photo courtesy of

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: 2 years ago this week

2 years ago this week, I told my husband I had a bump on my tummy (or maybe in) and I needed him to check it out for me!

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Monday, October 17, 2011

India says Daddy has stinky feet (FUNNY video)!

Good Monday!  Enjoy this hilarious video from our family!


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Friday, October 14, 2011

'Twas the morning of surgery...

I'm waiting at a hospital right now for my husband to come out of surgery.  Life has been a bit of a whirlwind the last week or so.

The day before our 10th wedding anniversary, Dallas called me to tell be that it was quite possible that he had tore his Achilles tendon playing basketball and I needed to come and pick him up. 

The ER doctor finally saw him and said it was most likely a sprain or a torn ligament.  Dallas knew better and all his symptoms were indicative of an Achilles injury.  I did a quick Google search about "how to tell if you ruptured your Achilles", which led to a simple video detailing the simple Simmonds' or Thompson test - which was clearly positive.  And also the fact that his Achilles was no longer prominent, when his other one was quite visible, left us scratching our heads as to why this doctor didn't think it was the Achilles. 

The next day, our 10 year wedding anniversary, we had a trip planned to leave our daughter for a couple of days, and celebrate in Minneapolis (I might blog more about my experience of leaving India behind later).  Even with this foot the way it was, we left with crutches, pain meds and ice packs. 

We had a great time, my gimpy boy and I! 

When we got home we spent the next 24 hours dealing with a sad little girl, who definitely let us know she did NOT appreciate us leaving! 

Dallas had an appointment planned in a nearby city for a second opinion and as it turned out his Achilles was ruptured and they planned surgery for first thing the next morning. 

Which would be today.  Right now.  As I write this, he is nearing the end of his surgery. 

I don't know about you, but hospitals can be quite depressing.  As I've been watching people come and go all morning, many have looks of worry.  Some people look fine.  Some people don't look too good at all.  You can tell some have spent so many hours in the sterile chamber and they don't have much life left. 

Dallas and I have spent the last week being grateful for his legs that work.  After using a wheelchair to get around in some malls on our getaway, our eyes were opened to a whole new world.  We've also been thankful that we have health care and several options for care.  Lastly, we've spent more time being aware of those hurting and dealing with physical ailments around us. 

Just a little Achilles injury.  Just a little wake up call.

In our town, there have been a couple car accidents that have severely injured many young people and have even claimed the life of one young girl.  I can't imagine what their families are dealing with, day in and day out, waiting for the slightest sign of improvement.  Waiting and wanting to hug their loved one, free of tubes. 

While I think and pray for my husband as he is in surgery right now, my heart is full of compassion and sympathy and well wishes for those around me who are hurting and restricted within these walls daily. 

Has there every been a time when you've been particularly thankful for your health? 

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5 Question Friday: 10/14

Happy Friday, everyone! 

1. Do you prefer your ice cream in a bowl or in a cone?

I don't really like ice cream.  Bad, right?  I guess I enjoy soft serve sometimes, so then I would have to say cone. :-) 

2. What three things do you love the smell of?

  • airplane cleaner, reminds me of hanging our with my dad when I was little (he is a pilot so I spent a lot of time around airplanes)
  • my baby's head.  Oh my goodness, it's HEAVENLY!
  • permanent markers.  Yep, I was the kid in class who sniffed them!
3. Giftcards or no? (In regards to gift giving...)

Heck to the yes!  I love gift cards (giving and receiving).  Why buy something for someone when you don't know if they'll like it?  Give 'em a gift card and let them get their own thing!  When I'm asked what I want for my birthday and Christmas, most of the time I mention gift cards.  As someone who returns or donates about 50% of the gifts we receive (if we can't use them, they're out of our house), and because I hate wasting money, I'm all about gift cards!

4. What sports did you play in high school if any and do you still play them?

I played tennis, basketball and was on the track team (which is a FUNNY story).  Now, I still love to play tennis, but Dallas won't play with any longer.  I'm SUPER competitive and several times, I've thrown (and bent my rackets) in fits of rage because I wasn't with ENOUGH.  Yep, not because I was losing, but because the score was too close.  I still will shoot hoops at the YMCA and with my siblings occasionally for fun.  I was HORRIBLE at track, but funny thing is, running is the one thing I do OK at now.

5. Were you in band in high school? What instrument did you play?

I guess you could say I played a lot of instruments, mainly flute and cello, while also taking piano lessons and singing regularly. I was one of those people who after 10 minutes with an instrument, had a pretty good handle on how it worked and could play it a little.  In junior high, I played all those instruments and was in band and jazz band.  I transferred to a different school for high school and for whatever reason, stopped everything except piano and choir. 


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Dada's Chair


Thursday, October 6, 2011

10 years ago today...

Dating - 2001 (we only dated a month before we got engaged)

...when you're healthy
...even if you get sick
...if we're dirt poor
...if we're loaded all the good things all bad things
...I'll be faithful
...I'll respect
...I'll honor
...I'll serve
...I'll love only you

...I will.
...I do.

Married.  A little over 3 months after we started dating.
 What an amazing honor it's been to be married to this man for 10 years!  I wouldn't pick anyone else. 

He is the best husband for me.  He's crazy and makes me laugh.

At our friend's wedding reception. Dallas decided to to the Dumb & Dumber kiss on me!

His heart to serve God is unbeatable.

I couldn't imagine a day without his wisdom, encouragement and grace in my life.

He is so patient and he really is the most amazing Daddy!

I love you, Dallas!  Do you think we could get another 10 years x 8 together?

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Hippie Mama


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I thought I formed her personality

When India was a baby, within hours of her birth, we learned she was very vocal and extremely content in my arms. 

Within a week or two, we realized we had a very passionate, opinionated, vocal, determined, intense, affectionate little girl who loved attention and being close to people, especially me, her Mama.  She didn't like to change clothes, disliked her carseat, hated baths, was easily distracted, wouldn't sleep 'just anywhere' and she also would never tolerate being alone.  No bouncy seat, no swing, nothing.  That's one of the reasons I bought a water sling - otherwise I never would've been able to even shower.

I remember being slightly jealous of other moms who told me stories of their newborn babies laying contentedly on a blanket, while they made dinner.  Really?  Babies do that??

At the same time, a part of me believed a lie that is prevalent everywhere, especially in the church: if you just do this, this and this with your baby, you'll have a compliant baby.  I sometimes wondered if I was doing something wrong and if I had created India's spirited personality.

When India was a newborn baby, I asked a couple of mothers of older children, "Around what age did your child's personality develop?"

All of their responses:  "Right away.  Looking back, their personalities are very similar to what they displayed in their early months of life."  I worried a bit because I had seen some indicators that India was strong-willed.

But I didn't totally believe what they said.  Nope.  I couldn't believe it.  See, I was under the impression that YOU make your child's personality for the most part.  If you just parent this way, or discipline like this, or follow this book, or teach your child about this, or don't do that so your child won't learn your bad habit.  As time went on and India grew, week by week, I noticed some of the same preferences in her little world. 

But wait, I was teaching her something different, so why was she continuing to dislike her carseat and always cry quickly and loudly?!?  I've spent the last 15 months telling my daughter to be gentle with other children and animals, and she isn't.  I've told her a bajillion times to please stop screaming and tantruming in stores because she wants to either get down and/or grab everything and Mean Mommy won't let her, but she doesn't listen.  I've bathed her for 15 months, and she still screams and cries the second she hears that it's bath time.  She's rode in her carseat hundreds of times, but I still get an arched back and a screech nearly every time she's getting buckled in.  For over 455 days, India has had her clothes changed, sometimes many times a day, and she still cries like I'm destroying her life every.single.time.

My previous belief that I determine her behavior from Day 1 is debunked.  If that was true, after a couple of weeks of bathing her, she'd be fine with the bath.  If my consistent, disciplined actions controlled personality, she'd stop the hysterical meltdowns when it's time to change her clothes.  Also, I see parents of multiple children, all parented the same way, with different personalities. 

India at 5 months, throwing a pretty big tantrum (for a 5 month old) because I wouldn't let her eat the Christmas lights.

Over the last month, we've been to several weddings. I've sighed a bit while I've watched other children her age sit in their parent's laps for the entire wedding ceremony!  Then they sit contentedly in a high chair during the meal and reception and maybe even take a nap in their dad's arms.  All the while, my child climbed out of my lap hours ago and hasn't stop running around and screaming since.  Heck, she won't even sit long enough to eat!  I watch my nieces who are her age sit and play nicely at family events (until India comes and terrorizes them).  They don't scream and tantrum and attack other children every 3.5 minutes.  Not much has changed since her first days - she would aggressively hug her cousins since just a few months old. 

She's still loud, vocal, aggressive, affectionate, passionate, constantly moving, fearless, an entertainer, loves to be around people, hates to change clothes, doesn't play on her own or with toys, hates baths, doesn't like her carseat, and will only sleep under the perfect circumstances. 

And you know what?  Nothing I've done has created those things.  In the same way, nothing I've been able to do so far has been able to persuade her otherwise. (Really, I've tried) 

But I'm SO proud of my girl.  I love her spirit!

And really, can I expect anything different?  She has two outspoken, aggressive, passionate, determined, loud and outgoing parents. :-)

Of course I don't let her run around like a little hooligan at all times.  She stays in the cart at stores.  If she screams or tantrums at church, we leave the area.  Throughout the day, I tell her no, we re-direct, I praise her for her accomplishments, express my sadness when she disobeys, and watch her experience natural consequences.

I get the stinkeye from some people in churches, you know, the Christians who have the answer.  Some people look at me with the your child shouldn't be so loud look, or the if you taught her correctly, she wouldn't scream look or the if you made her do that everyday, she wouldn't do that look or the you should be doing this right now in response to her look. 

I think when you aren't a parent, or maybe even when you are a parent, you are quick to judge on how you would do XYZ and problem ABC would be solved.  But that's not always the case.  There is no 'book answer' that works across the board.

I could make my daughter into the little girl others want her to be. 

I could do all the things some popular Christian parenting books tell me to do.  I could control her.  I could break her will.  I could swat her over and over again until she obeyed.  I could make her fear me.  I could yell at her.  I could threaten her.  I could make her submit.  I could do all those things and more to get a quiet, little child.

And those things might calm her outwardly, but it would quench her spirit, crush her trust, and equal outward obedience without a heart change.  It would ruin who God has made her to be. 
There are some things in her personality that as her mother I need to work with; to help gently carve, to encourage and to instruct, but ultimately, I love who God has made her to be and see great value in all of her personality traits - even though some need refining with time and growth.  I know that God has created her brimming over with passion and charm and I know He has amazing plans for my zesty, passionate, fearless girl.

God has made her magnetic and full of life, shining and entertaining wherever she goes. For now, I'm learning to shrug my shoulders at the judgmental eyerolls and I just need to remember that I can't control everything about her and I also can't control their judgments.   After all, this is good practice for the rest of our lives and whatever adventures she may partake in, because I have a feeling this is going to be an adventure!  ;-)

My spirited little girl, making her cousin Xiomara hug her (I think we have 30 pictures like this, some of them with Xiomara in tears)

Do you have a spirited child?  When did you realize they weren't just going to 'lay down and roll over'?  What has helped you the most in parenting them?

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