Friday, October 31, 2008

Sweet Spirits

This picture is so typical at our house. Several times a day Derek throws a fit about something that he wants but cannot have. We deal with him accordingly, but his will certainly is proving to be quite stubborn. The least little thing that goes wrong affects his spirit adversely.
I find that often the many "little" things that go wrong at my house threaten to upset my spirit, and sometimes even succeed. Little things like the little guy in the picture throwing his 5th fit in 5 minutes! Or, not being able to find even one spatula in the entire kitchen when I have pancakes ready to flip. Or, spending 10 minutes in the morning before school finding a lost article of clothing. "Little" things seem to add up quickly and test my spirit more than the "big" things that go wrong.
My husband made a statement in a churchwide staff meeting the other day that really spoke to my heart: The moment you engage in trying to control the circumstances that surround you, you disengage from trying to control your own spirit. I cannot control whether or not the baby is crying or how many times Derek throws a fit. The only thing I can do is to control my spirit in the midst of it all.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

There are so many good things that happen in my daily life that are worth focusing on!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Apples and Army Men

Last Saturday at the Farmers Market I bought one and a half bushels of apples to make applesauce. We had Missions Conference this week at church, so the apples have been sitting around waiting to be turned into something. We bought an old-fashioned apple peeler, slicer, corer from Ace Hardware and started in to peel the apples. Meagan wanted to help, so she started it out. After a couple of apples, things began to go awry. The apples were falling off of the peeler instead of staying in one long spiral after peeling. So I decided to try to figure it out and, in the process, sliced my finger pretty good. I bandaged my finger, and we kept going with the apples.
The apple peels and cores when we were done...And we still have over a bushel of apples left!

Meagan diligently peeling. She thought it was great fun.

Brian and Lauren figured out what to do with those leftover peels--Have a peel eating contest! ;)

Not only did we make some applesauce tonight, but we also made apple dumplings. Chad's mom used to make them on Sunday afternoons, and they are still his favorite dessert of all time. So, two or three times a year, I try to make them. While I was busy making my dumplings, Meagan found some leftover scraps of dough and decided to make some "baby" turnovers of her own! (Yes, we did eat them when they were done.)

Dumplings in the making

Ready to go in the oven...

Elisabeth mashing the applesauce

Meagan's completed dumplings. They took about 5 minutes to bake, and they were quite yummy!

While we were waiting for the Apple Dumplings to bake, we played one of our favorite family games--Army Guys. Basically, we each have a book that we place an agreed upon number of army guys on top of. We then each take turns throwing the extra guys to try to knock down everyone else's guys. We have been playing this game for years and years and love it because everyone can be involved.

Apple Dumplings Ready to Eat!

Judi's Apple Dumplings
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. water
1/4 t. cinnamon and nutmeg
6-10 drops red food coloring, optional
3 T. butter
*Combine sugar, water, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and add butter. Set aside.
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2/3 c. shortening
1/2 (or so) c. milk
*Combine first three ingredients. Cut in shortening. Add milk. Mix just until moistened.
Roll out dough into a 12"x18" rectangle. Cut into 6 squares. Place cut apples in the middle of each square. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Dot with butter. Moisten edges, fold dough to center and pinch to seal. Place dumplings in a 9"x13" pan. Pour sauce over dumplings. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Serve with ice cream!
1. We always double the sauce or there just isn't enough.
2. The dough is a little difficult to work with. I usually add a teaspoon or two extra milk.
3. Instead of 6 large dumplings, we make 10 smaller ones, and even those end up being too big. A little goes a long way with these.
4. The dumplings will look like they are swimming. :-}

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our First Snowman!

We had our first snowfall the other day (Monday, I think). Last night after Missions Conference, the snow was falling pretty heavily. We were up late because we had friends over, and at 12:30 at night the kids (there were 10 of them) were outside throwing snowballs at one another. Our friends are Lowell and Michelle Griffin, missionaries to the Philippines. Their kids were thrilled to be playing in the snow again!

Here's Brian coming in from the snowball fight!

Here is our first little snowman of the year. He is in my dying flower pot, which makes him about 6 inches tall, I think. So cute!

Please pray for my sister-in-law Tracy Nymeyer, and her daughter Kara. They were involved in a bus on the way to church on Sunday morning. Tracy broke her collarbone and a couple of ribs. She is also pregnant, though the doctor says the baby looks fine. Kara suffered a concussion. You can find the complete story, complete with pictures and a newspaper article here. Tracy told me she has two specific prayer requests: 1. That her bones would heal properly so that the doctors would not need to do surgery after the birth of the baby and that the pain would not interfere with nursing and so forth later on. 2. That she would take the proper amount of medication so that she would be able to sleep but that would not be harmful to the baby. She is in a great deal of pain and cannot even get in and out of bed alone. A sister-in-law was watching 5 of her children yesterday so that she could rest. Also, Kara absolutely cannot hit her head again for a month or so. You know how children are, so please pray that she stays safe.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Comfort Food at its Best!

Yesterday we used up the last of the bread. Often, I will send frozen burritos in the kids' lunches at school, but Tuesdays are gym days, and they are not allowed to bring food that needs to be warmed up. So, after the Missions Conference last night, guess what I was doing? Making bread! Everything was going along quite smoothly. I let the bread rest, I divided it into loaves, let it rise again, and put it in the oven around 11:30. Now I just needed to wait 30 minutes for it to bake. No Problem! At 3:00 Chad woke me up. I looked frantically around and said, "The bread's burnt!" Oh, no!

Isn't it lovely?
Derek thought the burnt loaves made great drums!
Baked Potato Soup

Well, I promised that I would post my recipe for Baked Potato Soup, so here it is. We just love it, but I don't make it often because, as you will see, it really isn't good for you at all. But it sure is yummy!
5 medium baking potatoes
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I cut the bacon with kitchen shears prior to cooking it.)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2/3 cup flour
6 quarts chicken stock (or water with boullion added)
2 cups half and half (milk works fine)
1/4 cup fresh parsley (or 2 T. dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil (I omit this because I'm not partial to the flavor.)
1 teaspoon salt (taste it first, usually not necessary)
1 teaspoon pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup green onions, sliced
1. Wash potatoes; several times with fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until done; let cool. (I like to bake the potatoes first thing in the morning or even the night before and chill in the refrigerator. They are much easier to work with if they are cold.)
2. Cook bacon in a large dutch oven until crisp; remove bacon, reserve drippings in dutch oven. Crumble bacon and set aside.
3. Cook onion in drippings, stirring constantly, until tender; add flour, stirring well. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add chicken broth; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in potato, half-and-half and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes (do not boil). Stir in 1 cup cheese and 1/4 cup green onions. (I do not put the green onions in the soup, though I love them, because my children don't prefer them.) Cook until cheese melts, stirring often.
4. Ladle soup into individual soup bowls. Top evenly with crumbled bacon. Sprinkle evenly with cheese, green onions, and parsley, if desired.
We do not use green onions at all, though it is very good with it. If you prefer heat, you could add 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce to the soup. We also do not top with parsley. We serve it with homemade bread, which you can find here, and a tossed salad. Delicious!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sleeping Bear Dunes Field Trip

On Friday we took a field trip with some students who sold a certain number of items at school for a fundraiser. It was a two hour trip each way on the bus, but it was pretty fun! This is the Lake Michigan overlook. There is a 400 or 450 foot drop (I can't remember which). We have taken college students and our Sunday school class on an outing here before. Usually, we run down the hill and walk along the shoreline to a different area to be picked up after a bonfire. Well, this time, the kids ran down the hill, and they had to come back up the same hill in order to get back on the bus! The trip down was fun...I'm not so sure about the trip back up.

Meagan thought she wasn't going to make it, but with a few loving encouragements from Daddy along the way, they both made it. Chad said that Meagan would stop along the way and just lie there, so discouraged, saying, "I can't make it, Daddy." Daddy would sidle up next to her, give her a little hug, and tell her she was doing a great job. Then she would be able to go just a little bit further.

When I heard that story, I thought about how often I find myself "lying on the side of the hill," looking at my Heavenly Father and saying, "I can't make it, Daddy." Then He sidles up next to me, gives me a little hug, and tells me I'm doing a great job. Then I can go just a little bit further! What a great Daddy Meagan has to teach her through every day living how her Heavenly Father loves her! Along those same lines, Chad said that he needed Meagan just as much as she needed him. Every time that he encouraged her, he was encouraging himself at the same time. Sometimes I think that I am too discouraged to try to help someone else out of their discouragement, but often, if I will make myself encourage someone else, I am much more encouraged myself!

They're still smiling because they're getting ready to run down the hill!

Derek didn't even run down the hill, but the brisk autum air wore him out!

Meagan trying to figure out if she really wants to run all the way down or not

This is Tyler's first little winter hat. Doesn't he look so cute?

Part of the group - Meagan is in the front row with the blue hat on

Tyler was fussy, so I gave him a plastic spoon to play with. After about 20 minutes, he fell right to sleep with the spoon still in his hand. I didn't dare to try to take it out!

It sure is a long way down there! The people at the bottom look like crumbs.

I took several different pictures of this autumn colored road. I just loved it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Soccer and Cheerleading

Last year Chad started a soccer program at the school for both high school and elementary boys. There are only two teams in the elementary school, and they play one another each Tuesday and Thursday after school throughout September and October. This year, we added elementary cheerleading for the s. Their main function is to cheer the boys on. They do not do "floor cheers" or mounts or anything like that, but they sure are having fun! Actually, Thursday was their last game. (I think we are supposed to have some snow on Sunday or Monday! :) )

Elisabeth with her little "cheerleader" friends

Budge kicking for a goal in the shoot out

As a 6th grader, Elisabeth was the captain of her squad. Here she is showing one of the other s how to do a cheer.


Budge with his very good friend Garrett. Garrett is in 4th grade, but he and Budge have really become close since he moved here in August.

I am off to make Baked Potato Soup and Homemade Bread for a friend in the church who has been having migraine headaches nearly every day for several months now. Please pray for her. Maybe I'll post my (very good) recipe for Baked Potato Soup later on! :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chad's 35th Birthday

We went to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Michigan on Tuesday for Chad's birthday. We started right out in the waterpark. There was no one else there, really. Just a couple of families with small children.

Brian and Daddy coming out of the waterslide!

Watching the animals tell a bedtime story (Notice Chad's hand holding Derek's foot)

A lady was kind enough to take our picture

The animal clock that tells a story

Derek swimming

Layren holding Ty

Elisabeth was so cold she wore my sweatshirt that says, I'm in love with my principal"

I love that man!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just When I Get Comfortable, My Life Changes

What a precious photo of our little Tyler just minutes after he was born. He was having his first herbal bath with mommy! He is so precious and sweet and LOVED, but his entrance into this world brought about a gigantic CHANGE in my life!
About four months ago, Mrs. Jenkins asked me to speak on the topic of this blog at our church's ladies' conference in a split session. I have now given this talk twice--once at the meeting and again last week at the college to a group of freshman s just beginning life. I want to share my thoughts on this blog to help someone else and as a keepsake for my children in years to come.
Change, according to Webster's 1828 dictionary, is "any variation in form, state, quality or essence; a passing from one sate or form to another, as a change of countenance, a change of habits or principles." Change is a constant in our lives. From the moment we are born, even before we are born, we are constantly changing. Indeed, our entire world is constantly changing. Change is everywhere you look in nature. The seasons change. The moon goes through cycles of change. As women, our bodies are on a monthly cycle of change—indeed each day in the life of a woman is comprised of a slightly different set of hormones. Caterpillars change into butterflies and moths. Seeds change into plants and trees. Babies change into children. Children change into teenagers. Teenagers change into young s. I could go on and on.

God has set up our world as a world of change. It is as though He does not want us to get too comfortable in this world which is not our home. He is using our circumstances of change to mold us and make us into what He created us to be.

When I think of change, I think of the life of Sarah in the Bible. Sarah went through numerous changes in her life. Sarah, I am sure, did not always respond to change in the exact way she was supposed to, but I do believe that the majority of the time Sarah did the right thing. Let’s look at a quick overview of the life of Sarah. She…
  • Left Ur of the Chaldees to go to Canaan when Abraham [God] told her to go
  • Stopped in Haran to wait for Terah to die when Abraham [God] told her to
  • Left Haran to go to Canaan when Abraham [God] led her
  • Made a pit stop in Egypt due to the famine where Abraham [God] took her
  • Lied and said that she was Abraham’s sister because Abraham told her to
  • Lived in Pharoah’s house where she caused plagues to come upon him as a result of doing what Abraham told her to
  • Left Egypt because Abraham told her to
  • Her husband risked his life to save Lot from Chedarlaomer
  • When she had not borne her husband any children, she gave him her handmaid to wife—because she did not trust God
  • When Hagar got pregnant, Sarai despised her and sent her away to die—a result of the decision she made on her own, without her husband [God]
  • God sent Hagar back and promised her a great nation from her son – A decision that I am sure grieved Sarah in her soul.
  • 13 years later God reminds Abraham of his promise to multiply his seed and give him a son through Sarah, his wife, at which time he was also circumcised
  • Her nephew Lot and his family were not living for God and were almost killed at Sodom and Gomorrah
  • Abraham sojourned again in Gerar and again made Sarah lie about being his sister
  • When Abraham was 100 years old (Sarah was 90), Sarah bore him a son
  • Again Sarah sends Hagar and Ishmael away
  • Again God spares Hagar
  • God told Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice
  • Sarah died at 172 years of age

Sarah went through many things i.e. changes in her life. Through most of these events and changes, Sarah simply trusted God. At least, it would seem that she trusted God. Anytime Sarah tried to take matters into her own hands, though, she got into trouble.

I notice two things about the life of Sarah:

1. Sarah was obedient to Abraham. I cannot give you a simple chapter and verse for this, but over and over again we see Sarah simply doing what Abraham told her to do.

  • When Abraham left Ur, Sarah went with him.
  • When Abraham left Haran, Sarah went with him.
  • When Abraham sojourned in Egypt, Sarah went with him.
  • When Abraham told Sarah to lie in Egypt, she did it.
  • When Abraham went to Canaan, Sarah went with him.
  • You get the idea. Sarah obeyed Abraham, even to the point of calling him Lord. Some of us, when our husbands say we are moving to a different city, state, or even country, say, “Okay, I hope you have a great life. I’m staying here!” I have actually known women who have done this! Amazing.

    2. Sarah was faithful to God!!! Sarah’s faithfulness, though, was never revealed until her world started changing. Her response to change was being challenged – again and again. When I look at the life of Sarah and see the many changes that she went through, I realize that my life is really not much different as far as change goes. Let me share a brief testimony about my changes:

  • After college, taught Jr. High for 1 year
  • Married my sweetheart
  • Conceived on my honeymoon
  • Gave birth 9 months later
  • Two weeks later a friend, Steve Staton, died of cancer at age 25
  • 4 months later my husband’s grandpa died
  • 3 days later my mother-in-law died
  • Two months later I became pregnant again
  • 8 months later we moved to a different state
  • I gave birth one month later and nearly died
  • 8 months later my husband nearly died. He was life-flighted to Ann Arbor after the doctor in Midland looked across the bed from me and, while crying, said, “We don’t know what to do for him.” BTW, they nearly killed him while he was there. When I got to the hospital in Ann Arbor, the nurse would not allow me to see him because they were prepping him for a heart transplant should his heart completely fail.
  • Our church fell apart after my husband’s illness
  • Five months later I was pregnant again
  • Gave birth to an 8 pound 10 oz. boy
  • 9 months later pregnant again
  • Gave birth April 19 to a little
  • Two days later our best family in the church left without saying a word to us
  • Two months later we moved to Gaylord where my husband started painting again
  • A couple of years later he started working full-time at the college plus painting on the side
  • Oh, I had another baby :)
  • I got pregnant again, was sick for 11 weeks and then miscarried
  • My husband flushed the baby down the toilet (Don't be too hard on him, he asked permission first, and I granted it not knowing how difficult it would later be to think of my precious little one being "in the sewer." (In a later post, I'll explain how I got through those dark days.)
  • Two years after that, he moved from the college to be the administrator at the Christian school
  • Oh, I forgot, I’ve had two more babies! :) :)

The day I was asked to speak about “Just When I Get Comfortable, My Life Changes,” I sat down and wrote out all of my major changes and figured out that since I have been married, my life has drastically changed every 7 and ½ months. I’m not sure how comfortable you can get in 7½ months, but I do tend to get pretty comfortable during the “down” times.

I wish that I could come up with some cute little plan for dealing with change. The truth is, I tried. I tried for two months to come up with a neat little outline about change. I even searched in my husband’s sermon folder. I came up empty. As far as I can see, there is really only one proper response to change: Acceptance.

Acceptance = To take or receive what is offered, with a consenting mind; to receive with approbation or favor.

Changes are going to happen in our lives. Many, many, many changes. What we do with that change or how we respond (answer) to that change will determine how God is able to use us. As Christians, we are the Bride of Christ. We women who are married know a little bit about being a bride. As wives, our husbands want to see us respond to them in a positive way – all the time – even if we “have a headache.” Of course, in every area, our husbands want us to respond to them properly. They desire a proper response from us because they are made in the image of God.

A year or so ago, I had a nice roast in the crockpot on Sunday morning. I had it all planned out. I was going to make a beautiful Sunday dinner, complete with mashed potatoes, carrots, gravy, salad, bread. It was going to be great! It happened to be the beginning of summer. When we came out of church that morning, the weather was beautiful, and my hubby decided that he wanted to find a little lake somewhere and take the children swimming. My mind, or rather my flesh, was telling me that the logical thing to do would be to stay home and eat the meal that I had so lovingly planned and prepared. I wanted to say, "We can't go to the lake until we have eating this nice meal that I have made." Instead, I said, "Okay, great. Let me just stop at the store real quick." I gathered some french bread, veggies and dip, chips, and juice and made roast beef sandwiches for a picnic. We had a fantastic time and everyone still remembers it fondly.

Likewise, when God allows changes to come into our lives, He is looking and longing for us to respond properly to those changes. The proper response is to accept the change and cling to the One who never changes. Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the LORD, I change not.”

We ladies tend to overcomplicate matters. We think that if life is simple then something must be wrong. The truth is that clinging to the One who never changes is quite simple. Think back to when you were dating your husband (if you’re married). What did you do?

  • You thought about him (all the time)
  • You talked to him (as much as he would let you!)
  • You let him talk to you (for as long as he wanted)
  • You spent as much time with him as you could.

You were clinging to that someone special. We need to cling to our God in much the same way:

  1. We need to think about Him – Meditate on what He has done for us, Who He is, etc.
  2. We need to talk to Him – better known as prayer! Have a prayer list and update your list frequently.
  3. We need to allow Him to talk to us – read the Bible! Every day!
    *Keep a journal of the things He is teaching you each day.
    *Print out the verses He uses to speak to you and post them around your house to remind you of what He said.
  4. Spend as much time with Him as you can.
    Go to church faithfully
    Go soul winning
    Serve with Him in a ministry

Changes come into our lives so that God can change us into the ladies that He wants and needs for us to be. He does not send change to hurt us; He sends change to help us. God wants us to have a better Judgment Day when we get to Heaven. He knows that our flesh is weak and that by ourselves we cannot change into who he wants us to be.

Some of us might view change as trouble. Indeed, some of my changes in life were trouble: when my husband was nearly dying in the hospital, for example. In fact, about two weeks prior to my husband's illness, he preached a message in church entitled, "When Trouble Comes." While he was in an induced coma for 36 hours, his words were the ones that I clung to. My Heavenly Father had used my husband to prepare me for the huge change (known to me as trouble) that was about to enter my life. (Isn't God so good?) There are three things that trouble i.e. change does for us:

  1. Trouble energizes us. *Let your trouble stir you up to do something for God.
  2. Trouble clarifies.
    It teaches you to live one day at a time and focus on what’s really important.
    i. Teaches
    ii. Tenderizes
    iii. Toughens
    Troubles will only give you a clearer vision if you had already established a routine of obedience to God.
  3. Trouble magnifies our weakness and God’s power.
    II Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

How are you, dear lady, responding to the change that God is allowing into your life? Are you accepting it? Or, are you allowing Satan to get a foothold in your life by rejecting it?

Well, today ended up fantastic, but the beginning got off to a shaky start. After a night of little sleep, I had planned to go back to bed for a little while after the 4 older children and daddy left. However, Tyler suddenly decided that he didn't want to sleep at all this morning, and he usually sleeps all morning! :) Derek was a little sleepy and acting out, so mommy was looking forward to naptime as only mommies can! Once they were down and out, I decided to take a picture of Derek in his most angelic state (we really are trying to break him of the pacifier, but he'll have none of it!). I would have taken a picture of Tyler but didn't want to risk waking him. ;-}

We had three extra children at our house tonight, while their mom had an important task in the morning, so we made caramel apples. Here's Derek enjoying his--the caramel, that is, not the apple.

Meagan is well on her way in reading. She had reading homework tonight (as she usually does), and while I was listening to her, I thought some grandparents and friends might want to hear her read as well!

Chad was getting such a kick out of Derek eating his apple that he wanted me to take some video footage.

Overall, we had such an enjoyable day today. Chad was able to be home a little bit this evening to help out with the three extra children. I made applesauce for the first time ever, and it turned out so beautifully. I think that most of it is gone already. Maybe I'll buy some more apples at the Farmer's Market on Saturday. I sure am going to miss the Farmer's Market, but they are bringing it back for one day in November--the day before Thanksgiving so everyone can buy their veggies fresh! I think it's a wonderful idea. We found some lovely green onions and small carrots on Saturday. When I brought home the carrots, the kids washed them and ate them right down, begging me to send one in their lunch on Monday with the top still attached!

Tomorrow is Chad's birthday. Yeah!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fun and Games

It suddenly dawned on me a few days ago that we no longer have games that the little children can play. Indeed, I got to feeling pretty sad that I have kind of "forgotten" to play games with the little ones now that we can play "big people" games. So, we bought a new Candy Land game and a little bowling game. Both were a big hit!

Derek helping mommy bake bread.

An "aerial" :) view of the Candy Land gamers!

Derek playing the new bowling game. Budge's just setting up the pins...again...and again...and again...and again!

Classic Meagan

While the s were playing Candy Land and the boys were bowling, Daddy was watching the Ohio State game and napping! What a life!

I am praying that everyone who reads this blog has a Super Sunday tomorrow! I'm off to get my felts and puppets ready for tomorrow!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The High Calling of Motherhood

The day is almost over and she's feeling rather blue;
It's past the children's bedtime and there's still so much to do!
She's been racing since early morning as soon as the baby awoke.
If she doesn't find time to rest up soon, she may end up having a stroke!

It was just about time to have the kids pick their toys up from off the floor,
But they all ran in different directions when she answered a knock at the door!
The laundry's overflowing in five baskets down the hall.
Her hair's a mess, there are stains on her dress. . . she's about to "climb the wall!"

Little Joey needs a bath real bad, and the baby wants to nurse.
But before she can do another thing, she hears, "Mom! Billy's getting into your purse!"
The dishes are half-finished 'cause the phone began to ring,
And because of an "important" conversation, it seems she hasn't accomplished a thing!

She guesses she'll stay up past midnight, as she usually has to do. . .
(Or else she could to to bed now, and get up at half-past two?!)
. . . in order to get everything done before the next day dawns.
"If all these chores are left 'til tomorrow, they'll never get done," she yawns.

When finally all the children are settled, and everyone's gone to bed,
She has a quiet moment to think, to sit and rest her head.
Sometimes she wonders if the life she leads, in her calling of motherhood
Is all that she had envisioned 'twould be. Is it really all that good?

She wonders how she is serving the Lord, or if she can really please God.
She feels she will never accomplish great things, and most women today think she's odd. . .
. . .To rear a family and stay at home and do dishes and laundry each day.
It's certainly not too glamorous! Could she have chosen a better way?

She looks into the bathroom mirror and lo! What does she see?
Could the person there on the other side possibly be she???
Where is the slender, lovely that people used to know?
Now she beholds and wonders, "Where did that young woman go?"

She's given herself to her husband and kids,and for the past HOW many years (12)
Has experienced joys that were tempered by trials, laughter mixed with tears.
The wrinkles, gray hairs and stretch marks tell of all the years gone by.
They remind her that she can never go back, and she heaves a gentle sigh.

"Is it worth it all?" she asks herself, as she lays aside the broom.
She walks upstairs where the children sleep and peeks into each one's room.
The faces she sees in the dim night-light glow seem "angelic," so peaceful and calm.
She feels such a joy, just knowing these "blessings" wouldn't BE if it weren't for their MOM.

They are "gifts" from God she was used to create; it all becomes more clear.
Her job is important after all; it's a different kind of "career."
To be an example of godliness, to mold and influence their lives,
To be men and women of character, those who'll make good husbands and wives.

And it's in the daily, little things that they're taught to do their best,
To obey, to be humble, to sacrifice so that others' lives will be blessed.
"Oh, Lord," she prayes as she closes the door, after giving each "angel" a kiss,
"Help me to understand that for me, there is NO HIGHER CALLING than this!"

Linda C. Jacobs

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Photos from Yesterday

In my previous post, above the picture of Meagan and Lauren, it should say "The Little s". For some reason, the "girl" was left out. :-}
The Three s

While the s were busy getting ready for church and getting pictures taken, Budge decided that he wanted to make dinner for everybody!