Sunday, June 15, 2008

High Tide

For starters we had planned a quiet afternoon Father's day/ Mommy's birthday party at La Jolla. Hmmm...we only forgot that there wouldn't be any shade left on Father's Day, 2008, in the same town that the US Open was in...We did find a lovely parking space after driving around for awhile. Joe and I enjoyed the ocean while our children enjoyed chasing the squirrels and pigeons. I had these visions of our calm children taking their naps on our special engagement blanket while we listened to the lapping of the waves.

To make a long story short, we decided to explore the cave. We found some crabs and enjoyed climbing on the rocks and picking up sea weed and squishing the sand between our toes. The tide began to come in so we decided to head back up, but first we wanted to look at the interesting formations in the cliffs on the south-east of us. After a few minutes we were ready to go up the steps because the tide was starting to really come in. We were nearly to the steps when I looked behind us and saw a HUGE wave coming in!!! Abbie was in front of me and she started running for the steps (which have a very high bottom step, maybe three feet from the sand floor) I lifted her up as quickly as I could and I had someone in my other arm and Tommies sandals and a hat in the hand that was helping Abbie. The wave hit us! I was completely soaked. I dropped a sandal and was so completely disoriented. I guess that Jonathan had gotten sucked under and then was able to come up. Joe hadn't seen where Abigail went. It was shocking.

Once we realized everyone was safe and with us, we realized that there was a sandal getting swept out to sea. Nobody cried when the wave hit us, but to watch that sandal in the water would make you think we were watching our pet dog drown. A diver was just coming in and he went to it's rescue, aided on by both cries of relief combined with continued cries of terror. When I was watching him I realized that my hair was dripping and I reached up and touched it and found it covered with sand. Also, the whole right side of my face was covered with sand. Tonight when I was nursing Elizabeth I had an itchy ear and found it was filled with sand!

What an adventure. It all happened so quickly. We were all a bit shaken by the suddenness. How thankful we are for God's protection. Jonathan was out on his own and how thankful we are that he had the swimming skills to not get sucked out. I am very surprised by how disoriented I was, I can't even tell you if I had Elizabeth or Thomas in my arms and Joe doesn't know who he had. We just felt this overwhelming blind panic to get everyone to safety.

I have thought about the Tsunami from 2006 and the cyclones which just hit in Myanmar, both the huge life tragedies that accompanied them. Life seems so predictable but to have an experience that helps you realize there are so many things that we can't predict or even expect and to know that there are so many people that don't have an assurance of Life. May our lives overflow with the powerful flow of God's truth so that those drowning may find salvation in the Lord Jesus.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


There is so much that comes naturally in life--and then there are the things that I wish would come naturally...

As I wrestle with the vices in each of my precious children, I realize more starkly than ever the vices in my own life.

There is such a transformation that needs to happen.

"Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."

Anger, wrath, malice, jealousy, greed,lust impurity, these are embedded so deeply in the human heart that they threaten to cut off life-giving circulation.

As God's children we get to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We get to bear with each other and forgive each other. We get to have these fruits bound together in love--not a "love-me love", but a "love is an action" love.

One thing is evident: as I wrestle with issues of the heart I must "Let the word of Christ dwell richly in me" In our home we have a great need for teaching and admonishing to be done in wisdom. How grateful I am to have a book that pulses with wisdom, insight, and eternity.

Yes, there is a lot to wrestle with, but, how thankful I am for the Lord Jesus Christ who can snip the ugly vices and allow the life-giving flow of His virtues to pulse through my veins.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Gift of Motherhood

I am spending my seventh mother's day as a mother. My oldest will soon be seven, he was due on Mother's Day 2001 (and was 11 days late...) My Jonathan is up to my shoulder now, is full of zest when it comes to designing lego's and reading Tin Tin, and likes to give keen insight into life. He asks questions that I have to research before I can answer him. He is growing and maturing. What a gift it has been to be his mother.

My beautiful five-year old Abigail. She has so much she wants to do and so many things that her abilities are not at the same level as her desire.;) She is exact, nurturing and demanding with her siblings. Her eyes sparkle with delight over other people's achievments. She has a servant heart that carefully considers the tasks at hand. What a gift to be her mother.

My Thomas. He was made out of sugar and cream. He always has something to say and it is always a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!!! He loves to be exact with his drwaeing,nurturing with his "pets" and helpful with his mommy. He is always learning about legos from Jonathan and being wrapped in a blanket by Abigail and giggling over something funny with Elizabeth. What a gift to be his mother.

My 'lil Lizzie is my peaches and cream. She has these two eager eyes that are always looking up at me, before she takes off to explore the world. She is very confident and doesn't worry too much about where mommy is, because mommy will always be close! She rarely looks over her shoulder before she goes off on some expedition or climbs some high wall..she loves keeping me on my toes. She is potty trained--I am amazed and delighted to say. She knows how life works. She loves her brothers and sister and always wants to be with them. What a gift to be her mother.

These precious little one's are God's special gifts to me.I am thankful that with my dear husband we get to nurture these four children we get to guide them, we get to teach them discipline and honor. We get to teach them about a Creator that is real and cares about them--who knew them before the beginning of the world. Our God who demands righteousness and justice, while supplying his Son who alone can fulfill those demands. We get to teach our children about the Lord of truth and honesty, self control and love.

I so often look into myself and see such empty and void. How can I possiblt supply the demands of the day??? Then I know. God has given me this precious gift of motherhood, I get to impart His words and His ways to those beautiful eyes that look up at their mommy.

What a gift to be a mother!

Friday, March 28, 2008


I am going to s-l-o-w-l-y fill in the details of Easter week because we are having an extremely full and delightful week with Joe this week! :)

A few highlights to savor: Last night Bonnie Joy spent the night. Oh my. How to describe the delight and spontaneity of Bonnie? Let me give you slice into the evening:

We all went bowling. Everyone is in line and everyone around is gawking at us because we have 5 children 6 and younger. Abbie and Bonnie have their arms around each other and squeal every time they see someone roll the ball. Finally we get to go down to bowl. The lady next to us tells us that the children can NOT cross over a certain invisible line. The children seriously and focusedly learn the goal of getting the pins knocked down.

They had such a ball! Bonnie was so terrific to watch as her ball would roll slowly down the lane. If it missed some of the pins she would cross her adorable little arms-- and once she even layed down in the lane in utter dissapointment (not like throwing a fit, just sad that her ball didn't hit a pin). Part way through our bowling there were cheers of encouragement from everyone around us for our cute little people. The lady who had been so serious at the beginning came and told us that whatever we were doing, keep doing it, because our kids were terrific--they were. :)

We went out for frozen yogurt and some people told us they stayed to watch us instead of going home to watch TV. They said they hadn't been so entertained in a long time. Hmmmm, maybe that's why we don't watch TV. :)

Bonnie is the one who always likes to stand up, ask questions, must be holding a hand or, well, you just don't quite know where she is. Abbie followed her around saying "Aunt" and Joe would pick her up and look in her eyes and say "Little Sister" and she would eagerly want to see, do and think everything she was capable of. Bonnie is quite a delightful little person!!!

Palm Sunday

I have always loved the palm tree because it is such a perfect example of a godly man. No matter how severe a storm, how much drought, or even if it is burned, a palm tree will survive. In fierce winds, the palm tree was designed to bend with the wind, sometimes bending nearly in half, yet not snapping. In drought, the roots go so deep into the ground that the tree is able to tap into life-giving water. In fire, the outer fronds of a palm tree will burn, but it is so resilient that it is usually able to recover, even when it is charred black.

Historically we see the palm tree used to celebrate royalty. We think of Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans arrayed with big palm fronds being waved. They are regal and kingly.

When Jesus was on earth he was given a day of magnificent honor, fulfilling prophecy from hundreds of years before. On the day that we celebrate "Palm Sunday" we remember how Jesus was led into the city of Jerusalem on a young, unbroken donkey. As He rode into the city the streets were lined with people who had seen him heal their sick, defy the elements and fill their hunger. They saw One who was capable of being their conquering King.

"Hosanna, Hosanna to the Highest" The voices rang with enthusiasm and praise. These words were exactly what God had planned, in fact, if the people didn't shout them the rocks would cry out! This was a moment of honor and praise for our Lord.

Our family has a tradition of picking palm fronds the day before Palm Sunday and taking the fronds to Sunday school the next day so the children can wave them in the air and shout "Hosanna!"

I always love the honor and the delight that dances in the air as everyone celebrates the Lord. But I also always have a hesitancy in my heart as I think of how easy we give praise and excitement. How easy it is to give, yet how easy it is to curse and condemn.

I would think that there would have to be quite a lapse in time before someone could go from to praising to condemning. Unfortunately our frail humanness allows us to hail our King one week and condemn Him to death the next.

The palm tree is a beautiful example of having roots that are grounded deep in life-giving water. Jesus said, "He who drinks from me will never thirst." When storms come the palm tree has roots that are so deep that stability is there--even when it is blown nearly in half. Christians are not promised easy times--nor even good times. On the contrary we are exhorted to "Take up [our] cross and follow [Him]." What trials may be attached to that??? We are assured "In this world you will have tribulation." When fire comes to a palm tree it survives because it has water deep in its fibrous tissue.

In the midst of our trials, fires, and droughts where can we find assurance? Jesus words: "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

May our intellect, emotion, and body drink deep from God's word. May God let His water quench our thirst, and may we come back again and again for more of His life-giving water so that our roots can deepen into the depths of His rich soil. May our lips be filled with praise. "Hosanna to the most High!!!"'

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I have some very special stories and pictures from Easter, but I need to close down for the evening so here is a little peek:


Here are a few of our recent escapades...

Jonathan *finally* gets to pour the batter for the pancakes. He has been my right-hand pancake flipper for a while--at long last he gets to pour the pancakes. (I doubt we will have any of the more sedate single-round pancakes for a l.o.n.g. time--we get to have Cubbie, Mickey Mouse, and Sparky! And no pancakes ever tasted better!)

When Joe and I got married we were given a gift certificate to Costco and we purchased a sewing machine with it. We later picked up a second machine at our neighbors garage sale. I love the lovely stitches my new machine does and the dependability of the all-metal machine from our neighbor. Well, I've been doing a lot of sewing lately and we decided to plug both machines in so I could work with Jonathan and Abigail. I began by drawing straight lines down construction paper and graduated the difficulty to curved lines that Jonathan and Abigail would sew on top of. What a great way to gain control. Here is a very careful Abbie.

Thomas likes to wake up with a book. Here is my dear husband and two sons enjoying an early morning read.

Elizabeth likes to talk on anything that has the slightest potential of being a telephone. At violin she likes to "talk" on Miss Shirley's little electronic games, or her remote. In this picture she is at our house--talking on the calculator. :)