"I will live with a heart of integrity in my house." Psalm 101:2b


'Hope you'll stay a while!

About Me

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I am a student of Jesus, the wife of a wonderful rocker, Tracey, and stay at home momma to our two sweet things, Remy & Halle.
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

He Sees

"Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? Why does my  heart feel lonely, and hope for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

There were many moments on my trip to East Africa this summer that were altering. But the one that cut deeply was during our first few days in Uganda when we ventured into a remote village to visit with a pastor and group of young teachers who run a school for village children that travel miles just to get there.

They welcomed us warmly, and the children sang several beautiful songs and played drums. I was taken by the beauty around us... Such a stark contrast, knowing the poverty among the people, the spiritual warfar they daily face and the hardships of their simple lives. But also a great reminder of a Holy God's Presence. But what struck me most was when the Pastor stood up and began to tell us about his school. He simply said 'We don't need to tell you about our need. You can see that. We simply want you to know that we are here. We are here.'

To be seen. I think of the Israelites crying out to God, thinking that He had stopped watching them. And I think of my own desperate times when I feel like He has abandoned me. Each of us has a longing to be known by those around us and by an Intimate Creator who knows everything about us. It is so important for our security to know that His love never fails. His faithfulness endures. And He sees.

The Redeemed Outdoor Collection from Dayspring is about remembering that He sees us. Where we are. In all our mess or surrounded by His beauty.  I love seeing this sweet birdhouse and remembering that! He watches the birds with great care, why would He not watch us?! And for a limited time you can get 25% off your entire purchase with the code: JOY2012!

The fine print: Dayspring sent me products free of charge to review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Third Thursday~ Beat the Boredom!

Well, I am certainly no expert when it comes to this month's Hearts at Home Blog Hop topic, which is 'How do you beat summer boredom with your kids?' My life is filled daily with laments of 'I'm bored' and 'There's nothing to do'... When does this happen?! It never ceases to amaze me when the cry turns from boredom into dissatisfaction- how suddenly they 'have nothing to play with'. Especially after coming home from Africa, these attitudes make me cringe!

But I do try my best at keeping things interesting, and I love the challenge of figuring out what we can do at little or no cost. Here are just a few of the things on our regular agenda that keep up rolling:

~Cooking: It's no secret that I spend a lot of time in my kitchen, and the moments when I invite the littles to help me out are some of the best time we spend. I find that they eat better too, when they have a hand in preparing. So anytime I am looking at a recipe, I make mental note of the tasks that they can accomplish. Remy loves measuring (which is a great way to sneak in math!), cracking eggs and grating, and Halle takes the lead when it comes to stirring. The hardest part for me is to remind myself that it's worth the extra time and mess that it takes... God has hammered this into my OCD brain!

~Homework: This may sound terrible, but I find that the littles love doing schoolwork. We only do this once or twice a week, but I think the discipline keeps them ready for when school starts, and is a great way to break up the day. Remy can earn video game time by completing sheets, and Halle loves stickers for a page accomplished. We have several simple workbooks on phonics, handwriting, math and science, and I work hard to make it seem like it isn't work!

~Rotating toys: We don't do this as well as we could, but I'm amazed at a) how many toys they accumulate and b) how excited they get seeing something they haven't seen in a while. So we make a point to regularly sort through toy boxes and deep dark places in their closets to 'rescue' lost toys.

~Playdates at the park: This is a no-brainer, but the park never seems to get old. When it's super hot, I am thankful for their early-bird nature, and we try to hit the playground before the day gets too warm. We invite friends to join us, and spending only an hour or two there wears them out. An added bonus is that I get to have some quality mom-to-mom time while the kids play. Everyone wins!

~Macaroni Kid: Have you heard of this site?! I'm fortunate enough to know the owner of my local Peoria site, and this is a great resource for any parent! She highlights area goings-on, and many times I have discovered great hidden spots and deals to take advantage of.(My link is to my local, Peoria site, but there are tons around the country!)

So now I'm interested to hear your ideas! You can also head over to Jill Savage's blog to hear her tips & tricks and to connect with other mommas who are sharing today.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Uneasy Home

Hi, sweet friends. Fresh home from my trip to Africa... still trying to get my mind wrapped around time and space and all these eyes have seen. No apologies, just living life and trying to capture bits and pieces. But I thought I'd offer a few thoughts as they come.

I met Jesus last week. And he was eating injera with his hands. He spoke amharic. He wasn't the sterilized, blue-eyed face we paint. He was real. And I sang 'Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary' as I handed him a meal... likely the only one he'd have today. It surprised me because I seriously haven't thought of that song in a decade. But God had an idea to mold me and it fit. So I prayed. and sang. and smiled. Because the least of these has greater heart than this heart of stone I carry around in an insulated chest. Singing 'Emmanuel, our God is with us. Emmanuel, our God is here'.

I have seen him. And he crawls in worn jeans. He plays marbles on rough cement. He picks food from the sky high dump pile at Korah. He's a leper, being fed by someone else's hands and singing praise to the Father God who never leaves him. He lives in a mud hut, covered in red dirt, smiling toothless smiles. He waves and plays and knows joy that this girl has never found for being so protected by my stuff.

Jesus walks among us on holy ground covered in manure and red clay. He promised never to abandon us, so doesn't it apply that He is with us among the smells, the filthy, the wretched affluent like me?!