Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oltmann Farms Pumpkin Patch

Halloween is quickly approaching, and we were able to make it to the pumpkin patch last weekend.  We have been going to Oltmann Farms the last couple of years and really love it.  The kids went on a barrel train ride as many times as they would allow, found their way threw a corn maze and picked their perfect pumpkin.  It was a beautiful day, and I loved seeing all of the Fall colors.  My whole goal was to get a family photo before we left with all six of us.  It was our first photo since our little guy came.  It is already on our wall.

As most weekends go, we were so busy with football, cleaning and outings that I did not read my Bible.  It was the first time in a couple of weeks that I missed a day.  On Saturday we were getting ready for the patch, so I was hustling getting everyone out the door and into the van.  The cars ahead of me were going to slow and making stupid decisions, so I started yelling out driving advice in the car and complaining.  I just felt off.  After getting gas I started to ask what the heck my problem was, and realized I had not had my God time.  Literally right after that I turned right onto the road leaving the gas station and spotted a church sign on the corner that read, "Keep calm and read scriptures."  I had to laugh.  That is what lead to me buying a homemade sign at the patch made out of old barn wood that says, "Did you think to pray?"  It is hanging by my door.

My reading today was in Timothy 6.  It reminded me to focus on wealth with God and not the wealth of the world.  Here is 5-11: " ...and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from he faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness."

It is crazy to think that money and wealth is by no means a new problem with people.  This has literally been a lifelong quest for people that have been long dead for centuries.  We will, like them, spend our lives chasing the dollar and all that comes with it until we die to which our lives will be added to the list of those forgotten.  That realization definitely puts my concerns with wealth into perspective.  In verse 18 there is a part that states, "...so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."  This is pertaining to focusing on the wealth of God as opposed to the wealth of the world.  So, this means that the life that I am trying to create with the resources around me is not really life?  How many times I find myself kind of putting my life on "hold" until I achieve the perfect dynamic around me.

"I know we are just renting here, so we will really settle down and enjoy the house after we buy property."

"I know that we have food to eat and the lights are on, and are able to go on excursions to the pumpkin patch, but I will really feel comfortable when we have accomplished my desired savings account."

May I always remember to not use God inappropriately to achieve wealth in this world.  May I be content with the clothes on my back and the food in my cupboard.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Christ in the Car

Happy Monday to you!  It is now afternoon and I am sitting on my front step waiting for the kids to get off the bus.  Since I have been busy with little babies and pregnancy and life I have not always gone to church every Sunday.  My plan is to change that here soon now that the baby is getting a bit older.  Aside from that my constant has been a TV and online program called "The Hour of Power" with pastor Bobby Schuller.  I used to catch it on TV when it aired, but now find myself watching it more online when I have the time early in the week.

This weeks was a continuation about becoming students of Christ, and this time like every other time I gain a valuable nugget of information.  Pastor Schuller spoke how Christ wants to be our friend, and to "ride in the car with us" so to speak.  The analogy was that if we stopped and asked him for directions he would not hand us a map or explain and wave us goodbye, but he would hop in and show us the way a direction at a time.  How amazing is that?  So many times in life and even while driving to an unknown place I require to know the next 5 steps in order to make the first one.  When I load a coordinate on Mapquest the first thing I do is click ahead through the next five moves in order to feel comfortable with the first one.  To think of life being lived with Christ in a step by step basis is something we learn and attempt to apply, but without an example it can be hard to envision.  Today I found myself saying throughout the day, "Okay Christ, you are in the car with me right?  Please be in the car with me!"  As Bobby Schuller put it, Christ doesn't want us to drop him off when things are going good, or to leave him behind if he runs in for a quick cup of coffee.  Would I do that to my husband? Heck no!

The other inspiration from the sermon is one I am excited to have heard about, and wanted to get it out there in my written form.  It was talking about a men's ministry called the 4th Musketeer.  It is a weekend challenge type of male ministry that started in Europe and is now in the US.  With three dates and locations during the year men can come together to get away from everyday life and experience physically challenging rugged obstacles in the heart of nature.  This is in order to tap into a man's desire for change and adventure with the comraderie of others.  It also provides a practical correlation between the challenges they face and God's love and word.

I am so excited that there is something out there like this, and one of the dates happens to be over my husband's 33rd birthday.  He is a thrill seeker hiding in a suburban father's body and deserves an opportunity to escape and get in touch with that again.  I hope he is excited to find out that I signed him up.  If you have a moment check it out!

Hour of Power
The 4th Musketeer
4th Musketeer Video

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Trusting God in Changing Seasons

How has the week been? It has been fast for me. The list of accomplishments include cooking, eating out, two library visits, two visits to both the dog and child park, feeding a baby, changing lots of diapers, reading my daily devotional, laughing and crying. It has been a little over six weeks from the c-section and though my activity has been increasing I still find myself healing. My stomach is sore in spots and doesn't always agree with my decision to carry the baby in the Boba carrier for long periods of time. I have enjoyed staying home with the kids and getting in touch with my homemaking side, which included buying some couch pillows and warming up a frozen cobbler.

 It has also been extremely tiring and trying. The two T's. There might be another T involved soon and that involves trust. Trusting in God, myself and what is meant to be. When my two older kids were younger I stayed home for about four years, and then my husband made a switch that enabled me to work full time while he watched the kids. An answer to prayer has came in the last couple of weeks that would result in my husband working full time, while I stay home with the new baby. It is not set in stone yet, and it is all quite exciting, but also extremely nerve racking.

 Since I haven't officially pulled the plug I have had moments of second guessing my decision in the midst of being overwhelmed and exhausted. Both times I threw my hands up and did the only thing I could think of, and that was to ask God, "Is this what you want for us? Am I making the right decision?" I am recently born again on my walk with Christ and including God in my life, but was humbled to find that both times God ended up answering my prayer. One of those answers came back in the form of a passage of scripture in Philippians 4:4-7. It had come up in my daily reading one morning because that was the day prescribed by my daily Bible. I absolutely loved it and took it as my own. It was later that day when I had my first shout (pleading) out to God. The next early morning during a feeding I was half asleep and opened up my email from an online bible study program from "Women Living Well," and saw that the same passage of scripture was put at the end of the email. I was blown away because the Women Living Well group is not even reading the same section as I am. They are working on Genesis.

 The second answer was when at was at the library with my four kids and my eyes were drawn to a book on the shelf. It was, "My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife," by Sara Horn. The book follows the journey of Sara Horn who tries to apply the ambitious and easily discouraging definition of a Proverbs wife to a real wife. I am early into it, but am eagerly soaking it up. God is good. He does listen and He does answer in the appropriate time and manner. I am thankful that I matter to Him even though I feel insignificant in a sea of creation. Here are some pictures from our week including pumpkin painting at a local apple festival.
Philippians 4:4-7 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice!" Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer, petition, thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."


Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Good and the Reality

Saturday by myself with all four kids while my husband works is hard stuff. My day is spent breaking apart fights, putting children in constant time outs, feeding and changing the baby, telling them to stop yelling and more. That is my reality. Earlier outside my 3 year old swung the wind chime my way as a piece of glass made contact with my face right between the eyes. I didn't realize until an hour later that it had resulted in blood. I asked my 7 year old why no one told me and she said she thought I knew I was bleeding.

Our outside time of play ended after about 2 hours after the sweet old lady in the next yard was pruning her Dahlias while my kids proceeded to kick the fence in order to get a spider, yell at each other and repeatedly yell at me in a sing song voice that they could see my "butt crack." Excuse me for putting on an old pair of jeans for the first time after pregnancy. Now I just need to find my belt. I also am kind of bummed that one of my teeth that has a root canal and crown appears to be going bad. I didn't know that was possible, but am disappointed at the thought due to diligently brushing my teeth twice a day.

Phew! So now for the good. It is moments when I take the time to look around and snap a photo that I see the beauty amongst the chaos. Today we busted out the tape and construction paper and made Halloween decor. I have french onion soup cooking in the crockpot, which I have never made before. I am hoping it is a soothing concoction to our fall sore throats. I also love my new wreath that requires me to open the door shutter to admire.

I sign off while having my 3 year old's feet in my face as he is trying to wrestle me and give me hugs.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Baby puke and all that matters

This week has been full of mom at home time with the new baby and I have loved it. The baby has spent his time doing what a lot of one month olds do, which is sleeping, eating, puking and pooping. I have been hit with projectile baby poo and vomit many times this week. After trying to move out of the way and deflect at the same time I either throw a load into the wash or decide it is not worth a spin cycle. I must say that I wouldn't have it any other way. All of this time spent at home has sparked my decorating interest as I now notice bare walls and vacant spaces. Those areas are now adorned with colorful memories and harvest spackle. Yesterday was a mid morning Costco trip with the littles while everyone else in the house was at school or work. It was the first time I have gone when I have usually been at work. I used to be a stay at home mom, and found myself transported back into that lifestyle along with other moms shopping with restless kids in tow. It is a privilege I felt a little guilty for.

I want to backtrack to last weekend, because we went on our last vacation of the year to the beach. It was the first time we had stayed overnight at the beach in about 3 years, because we have been doing day trips. The kids were excited, especially Logan who couldn't believe we were "sleeping at the beach." The weather was perfect thanks to an indian summer. We stayed two nights getting in late the first. It was a bit of a drive in, but we were able to settle in to our chalet cabin before bed. I absolutely love the beach to the point that it annoys my husband. I am a water sign being a cancer, and sitting by the ocean rejuvenates me. We spent the next day playing on the beach in the morning. The kids got absolutely soaked in the Oregon Coast water and didn't realize they were cold until they were finished. In the afternoon explored the historic bay front of Newport, Oregon where we met good people and bought taffy and fudge from a candy shop.

The most amazing part of the trip for me was the sunset on Saturday evening. I didn't have my camera with me, so will have to rely on my memory. I sat in front of a log while holding my baby, while Vince and the kids played in front of the setting sun. Vince and Logan played football and Caylee and Ian explored the logs. As the sun started to set I was overcome with happiness and thankfulness for my family, God's creation and the pure moment in front of me that I actually started to tear up.

Life is a treasure to be enjoyed in moments.

If you get a chance read from Philippians 3: 7-21