Monthly Archives: July 2010

When Our Heart Aches…

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…God’s Sovereignty in Our Suffering

Written Wednesday afternoon
I have had too much to think about lately. In recent weeks and months I’ve been hit with a few surprises that left me reeling, and reminded me, once again, that our delicate and swift life is like the morning fog. A vapor. A breath.
We are here, and then we’re gone.
A friend lost her leg in a motorcycle accident…
Another lost her husband to cancer while she and her two young daughters now learn to live a different life…
A young mother lost her unborn child, and then her own life hung fragile, in limbo as 95% of her small intestine was destroyed…
Lives changed in an instant.
And as I write this – at this very hour – our friends are laying to rest their 19-year-old son. Suddenly taken over the weekend, in his sleep, leaving us all in a bitter whirlwind of mystery and deep sadness.
It has left me quiet. It has wakened me early and wrestled sleep from my mind as I lay and struggle with how to pray for my brother and sister.
I pondered it while driving into town this afternoon, my own three small children in my backseat. As I topped a hill (an overpass, actually; there are no hills in Beaumont), my vision was struck by a billboard containing one word, in large, stark letters…
Together.
Together. It settled in me. I realized that for some of these people for whom I’ve been wrestling in my heart, they and their loved ones will miss together.
For this mother and father who lost their son, not yet twenty, the holidays coming later this year will be different. As family gathers together, there will permanently be one missing. For this mother,… never again on this earth will she be together with her son. Never will she feel his embrace, or his hair between her fingers. Never will she lift his chin or brush his bangs from his face. Never will she give him advice,… or see him marry,… or hold his children on her knee. Never will she rest her weight on him, as she grows old, and he takes the role of caring for her.
For never again on this earth will they be together.
I cannot put myself in her place. For if I do the air becomes so thick I cannot draw breath. How does one go on? How?
I struggle to put words to my prayers. I muster up a why? And a please! And end with, oh God!
Death and loss are no strangers to me. We made our acquaintances early and often in my life. And each time I have rested in the hope and trust that Jesus intercedes for me when I cannot form the words. When they won’t come. I just go silently to the Father. And rest in Him. There are those who say ‘this was God’s will.’ There are others who say, ‘this is sin’s fault; this wasn’t what God wanted.’
I don’t pretend to know the will or ways of God. But I do know this: He is sovereign. He is all powerful and all knowing. He is slow to anger. He is merciful. And He is good.
And I don’t tell myself that one day I’ll see the bigger picture and I’ll understand. Because maybe I won’t. Maybe it will never be God’s plan that I see His bigger picture. But regardless, I still trust Him. And still believe He is sovereign. He is all powerful and all knowing. He is slow to anger. He is merciful. And He is good.
He is so, so good.
And I do know that words will come back to my prayers. That strength will come back to my fainting heart. That I will follow Him and trust Him no matter what. That joy will come in the morning….
And that I will see His face one day… and in that moment all the ‘why’s’ won’t matter. Because I belong to Him.
And this is where the rubber meets the road in having a relationship with the Father. Being able to say, forsaking all, I trust You, and I’m Yours.’

And I do. I am. And when my heart aches… He is sovereign.

MIY: Cute $1 Coupon Book

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Okay, so I realize that with one hour left to my Monday, this has become a Make-It-Yourself Tuesday post, rather than a MIY Monday project… my day just got away from me…

But I had to share this cute project with you. Last week I made one of these for my mom, to go along with her birthday present. Then on Thursday morning (her birthday) I piled the kids in the car, loaded up our over-night necessities (in one duffle bag!) and drove to Louisiana to surprise her. Her reaction was priceless, too, but that’s not what this post is about….

I saw this idea here, and followed the simple directions using a $1 pack of stationary I bought from the One-Spot at Target. (Love the one-spot, don’t you?) The project calls primarily for envelopes, but I used the cards in the stationary pack to jazz-up the back side of each envelope – it also made the whole book more sturdy.



One idea is to use this to keep your coupons organized. I’m going to make one for myself and probably use one pocket for coupons, and the others to keep receipts organized so they’re not wadded up at the bottom of my bag, multiplying like little bunnies. (What? Doesn’t that happen to your receipts?)


All my good ideas come from other people, and I’m not innately creative, so I’m really curious what some of you would put in these cute little booklets. Let me hear your good ideas!

Oh, and happy Monday Tuesday, everyone!

MIY Monday: Mini Makeover

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This post is for Lydia – my dear friend who sometimes has the misconception that I have it all together. I do not. Not even a little. Not even once in a while.

To prove it to her, I went around the house taking pictures of just how much I do not have it ‘all together.’
And this inspired my post for today:

Just in case you think this area doesn’t look so bad, take a closer look here…


and here…
and here…



This is one of the areas of my house that is never in order. I’ve had this desk for about 14 years now and I love the old wood, the coziness, the way it creaks. But all the nooks and crannies are not very conducive for keeping things tidy.
So I decided to make a change. A mini makeover…
While the kids napped today I got to work. First I removed everything. Then, one flathead screwdriver and a few minutes later I had this…

and this….

The rest of the transformation fell into place easily.


I love this space now. It’s so simple and tidy and refreshing. My thoughts seem much more orderly now.
But don’t worry…. I still don’t have it all together.

The Swing

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The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,

Till I can see so wide,

River and trees and cattle and all

Over the countryside–


Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown–

Up in the air I go flying again,

Up in the air and down!


Celebrating

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I hope you all had a wonderful time this weekend, celebrating the 4th. What a day to be thankful! Our nation was built upon the essential foundational truths of the Word of God. The Founding Father were God-fearing, courageous men who trusted GOD to guide our country. Thank you, Lord!

We were thrilled to have family visiting for the long weekend. Papa and Nai Nai came early to join us for one last blueberry picking for the season. It was the best time I’ve ever had picking blueberries. We got caught in a rain storm and continued picking. Lilly was kneeling in the mud, eating blueberries out of Nai Nai’s bucket. Later, we joined my sister and her husband and my nephew back at our house. We enjoyed relaxing with the family.
And of course, there was lots of grilling.
And picture-taking.
Maggie gives you an idea here of how the bright sky was burning our retinas!
The kiddos: (L-R) Lilly, Maggie, Trey (nephew), and Carson… oh and Carson’s Mommy

Today and tomorrow we are cleaning, catching up on laundry, baking, and packing – in preparation for our vacation starting Thursday morning. We’re going to the Baby Conference, put on by the Vision Forum in San Antonio. I am so excited! God has been so good to us b/c someone has very graciously paid for our family to attend. Also, our friends Zach and Cheri are housing us during the trip. We’ve been wanting to go to the conference since we first heard about it several months ago. While we’re in San Antonio, we’re also hoping to visit the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and a few other places. Did I mention I’m excited? I’ll keep you updated with photos from the trip.
What a week! I have so many reasons to be thankful… how about you?