Friday, November 20, 2009

A Piece Of My Heart

I got a random, unexpected phone call last night. I looked at my cell phone's caller ID and my thoughts went "really?"

It was a wonderful treat, this conversation. It immediately blessed me. We talked for a little less than a half hour. There were lots of questions about what is going on in life today but there was lots of reminiscing about the past. "Do you remember when...?" "Oh, and we..."

When The Prairie Daddy and I were newly married we met the foster care coordinator in our county through ministry. And I can't even remember the process or the decision being made because it was such a natural call on our lives but we enrolled in the foster parenting classes and became certified. Our first experience was intense and short lived. We wondered what we'd gotten ourselves into after the 3 exhausting, confusing weeks with a 10 year old boy who needed much more than we could offer him in his brokenness. The "system" immediately asked us if we were willing to try again. This time they asked us if we would take a teenage boy. I was only 24. How could I become the MOM to a kid only 9 years younger than me? They said I could view myself more as a mentor.

We accepted.

I immediately fell in love with the young man the first time I met him. I took him out to lunch to Taco John's (I let him choose) and we hit it off. He came for a weekend and then moved in. We spent just short of a year together before he was moved. We had some really good times and some pretty rough times. But I gave this kid a piece of my heart and to this day he still has it.

I missed him. We've had other kids live with us since then. Every one of them was different. I remember how in the beginning they told me I would "toughen up" and wouldn't get as attached. I didn't believe them but they were right. I think this first long-term kid got the biggest piece of my heart.

And he called.

As we talked he said things like "we need to have dinner together" and "maybe I could go to church with you sometime." And we both agreed that we wished he would have stayed with us through high school. It was amazing for me to hear him say that. We never wanted him to leave and we were committed to helping him finish out his youth but we didn't have that choice. I was beaming. I told him that after Thanksgiving we would definitely get a hold of him and get together. I am excited already.

I have always known in my heart that even though these kids would leave and they might not stay connected and they might mess up, get into trouble, have their caregivers drop the ball on them, drop out of school, end up in jail, etc, no one could ever take away the love that they got while in our home. And I knew sometime, years later, we might get to reconnect and find out that it is true...no one could ever take away from them what God gave them through us. It makes it all worth it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wannabe Tween Girl

How I am going from a post about simply being about God to Hannah Montana is beyond me. But I wanted to share a fun video with you.

Did I tell you in September that I helped a friend with her daughter's 12th birthday party? And part of "helping" was learning the Hannah Montana Hoedown Throwdown dance? I haven't ever watched a Hannah Montana movie or show, including the movie this dance came from. The Prairie Kid's sole exposure to Hannah Montana is through watching me and my friend try desperately to learn this dance. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you Google it and check it out. It is quite a dance. Fast, eclectic, interesting.

Well, as we learned the dance we also learned the song. This is the type of song that gets stuck in your head and plays over and over and over again. And The Prairie Kid insisted I help him through the broken record going on in his head to learn all of the words. He ended up memorizing the song and parts of the dance and we've managed to bond in new ways thanks to Hannah Montana. What mother doesn't just dream of her 4 year old son dancing and singing like a pre-teen girl with her? Smile. But, it has been fun and I caught it on video to share. Enjoy.


video

Simplicity

Sometimes I think we make things so much more difficult then they need to be. I am for sure guilty of this all too often. I can over analyze any situation. I am meditating on simplicity today. I'd like to internalize it, chew on it, imprint in in my inmost being in such a way that it becomes who I am, and therefore is the overflow of my heart.

The Shema. We've been memorizing this in the Sunday morning children's program at church. It is really THE epitome of life.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 4:9

Even though this verse is followed by more information about how to accomplish this I believe it is simple. ("These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." 5-9)

How often during my day, my life in Christ, do I get focused and hung up on things that distract me from this purpose. I love how Beth Moore put words, again, a simple set of words, to the deepest desire in my heart. She said, "I just want to be about God." She follows that statement with "Not about ministry. Not about my own agenda. Not about writing Bible studies. Not about me at all. When all is said and done, I would give my life for people to be able to say, 'She was just about God."

I just want to love God. Obey God. Get to know God better. And through that the rest will work out.

I simply, deeply, madly, steadily, truly, passionately, whole-heartedly just want to be about God.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wrapping It Up

I am going to finish my "thankful" list today. It has been good for me though!

181. Finding recipes online.
182. A happy preschooler.
183. Cleaning out the toys.
184. Throwing junk away.
185. Picking out things to donate to kids who don't have as many toys.
186. Organized toy shelves.
187. Having a good, deep belly laugh.
188. Non-stick cooking spray.
189. Freezers.
190. Celebrating birthdays.
191. Old friends.
192. God giving me glimpses of "what's next."
193. Armor.
194. Watching people accept the risky calls God has on their lives.
195. Community.
196. Bake sales.
197. Grants.
198. Deodorant.
199. Tape.
200. Finishing projects.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

God of Wonders

I knew that there was going to be the Leonid meteor shower last night. I read that even though it wouldn't be the best viewing from the US, that in the pre-dawn hours there would still be between 30 and 300 "shooting stars" every hour.

I have typically been waking up at 3:30 to go to the bathroom. Last night I slept until 5. I decided to peak out the windows and see what was going on. Nothing. I toured the main floor windows going from office to mudroom to dining room to family room and back again. Nothing. I let the dog out and decided I didn't want to miss anything spectacular that could be going on over the roof that I may not know about. I donned The Prairie Daddy's lovely muck boots and my heavy parka and went out to the deck in my pjs. I wanted to lay down but there were two owls hooting, a new cat that has come around our place was near, and it just felt altogether too spooky to lay vulnerable under the dark night sky. So I stood, staring into the beautiful infinity. The stars from our deck our phenomenal since we don't live near a city that can fade them out. On these dark nights with little moon light it is just awesome. You not only see the Milky Way, you know you're standing in it.

I started talking to my Father in my head. I was just praising Him for the beauty of the creation. And then, out of the corner of my eye a great big meteor shot across a short span of sky. I waited. Another. This one not quite so big. I think I only stayed out there for 5 minutes and saw about 5. I wished that I was curled up in a sleeping bag next to The Prairie Daddy for the remainder of the darkness but he was soundly, warmly sleeping inside and that is where I returned.

Lord, thank you for the stars.

"When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?" Psalm 8: 3-4


"He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit." Psalm 147:3-5

Abundantly Blessed

166. Meteor showers.
167. Maple syrup.
168. 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner for lazy days.
169. Clean sheets.
170. Google.
171. Google images.
172. A clean house.
173. Crock pots.
174. Hearing great news that a friend is finally expecting.
175. Thank you cards.
176. Snow covered mountains.
177. Making plans.
178. Having my hubby call and check in.
179. Mascara.
180. Table cloths and place mats.

Monday, November 16, 2009

So Many Gifts...Thank You, Lord

151. Baking soda.
152. Preschool.
153. Being able to say I am sorry when I sin.
154. A day without plans.
155. Music.
156. Anticipation. I actually like it.
157. Comments on my blog posts.
158. Playing movies on the laptop for The Prairie Kid on long drives.
159. Technology.
160. Patience.
161. Hearing God.
162. Jesus' example.
163. Corn starch.
164. Baby wipes.
165. The prairie.

Full Circle

This morning I am pondering how I feel. Am I cautiously hopeful? What does that mean?

Hope
Pronunciation: \ˈhōp\
Function: verb
intransitive verb 1 : to cherish a desire with anticipation 2 archaic : trust

Did you see that archaic definition? TRUST.

Trust
Pronunciation: \ˈtrəst\
Function: noun
1 a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b : one in which confidence is placed2 a : dependence on something future or contingent : hope

Look what happens to this Proverb when you interchange the word "hope" with "trust":
Proverbs 13:12 reads "Hope deferred makes a heart sick."
Trust deferred makes a heart sick.

Hmmm. Interesting.

So, what am I feeling this morning? Hope. Trust. I still believe it is God's will for me to be healed. Where does that "caution" come in? I saw my bioscanner Saturday morning. The Prairie Daddy and I both prayed and prayed before going. We were hoping that God would use this method to pinpoint a root cause of my issues. The bioscanner thinks he found it. We started a new protocol.

I am hopeful...but...

Part of my hope sure is that "this is it" as far as my issues are concerned. But...I trust God that if this isn't that end He is still trustworthy. My caution is in myself. "Prairie Mama, don't get so excited that you will fall if this isn't it." Sure I am hopeful that I will be healed now...but my true hope, trust must be in the Father. I am trusting that God wants what is best. If His best for me is not to fully be healed at this time, or through this means, then it is His best. And His best is my best. I just have to be cautious that I stay aligned with Him.

So, pulling all of my thoughts together to complete my pondering this morning:

Our hope and trust must remain steady on the One who deserves it, God. Not on what God will do for us. If I put my trust in the outcomes, the circumstances, I will quite possibly be disappointed. If I put my trust in Him, I will surely not be disappointed.

For He is good, for He is good, for He is good to me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

So Much To Be Thankful For

136. Our church.
137. Our church family.
138. People praying for me.
139. Salad.
140. Hanging out with family.
141. People willing to serve in ministry.
142. Little cowboy friends for my cowboy son.
143. Non-cowboy friends for my cowboy son.
144. Seeing pics of my nephew on his latest trip to Paris and Congo.
145. My mom being willing to shop for me since I live too far from the Gap and the sale ended today.
146. New pajamas for The Prairie Kid.
147. A new protocol to hopefully help me heal up.
148. Rest.
149. The empty box that will entertain my child for awhile.
150. Heated seats in the car.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Home And Still Thankful

121. Road trips.
122. Getting home after a long day on the road.
123. My mattress.
124. Hope.
125. Prime Rib.
126. Family.
127. Warm clothes at a freezing cold football game.
128. My old college town and...
129. Memories.
130. Coconut and Quinoa treats.
131. Gluten free almond cookies sent by my sister.
132. Rest areas.
133. Getting excited about God with family and friends.
134. Hugs.
135. Scarves.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Adventure Time

We're leaving for Laramie in a few hours. The Prairie Kid's Hero, and cousin, made it to the state championship football game with his team. He's a senior and has had quite a season. We've loved going to watch his games. For the first time the high school championships are going to be played in the stadium at the University of Wyoming. We're excited to head down there to support him.

The Prairie Daddy and I are both alumni of UW. And The Hero's brother and his wife live in Laramie (remember the wedding in which The Prairie Kid was the ring bearer? That's them!), as well as some other friends of ours. It should be a fun time.

I am not quite sure what I am going to eat yet. That is the stinky part of life right now when I leave home. This might be a struggle. I guess I will have to pack some of my "pre-made" meals that I put in the freezer. I've been making big batches of things that sound good that I can actually eat and freezing meal-size portions. It has help a lot. Not really what I want for the road but after a few bad nights and a flare up I am not willing to risk it.

I will see my bioscanner in the morning. I sure hope he figures something out with me. I am really, really ready to have some relief and answers. This has been a rough season.

Well, I suppose I won't be getting anywhere blogging! I need to get this family packed and on the road! Yay! Go Broncs!

Keep On Truckin'

106. Electric blankets.
107. Road reports.
108. Co-ops.
109. Visiting friends and family.
110. Super glue.
111. Songs that someone else wrote but seem to be your own heart's cry.
112. Hope.
113. Hot showers.
114. Yummy smelling soap.
115. Nail polish.
116. Sharing life with others.
117. Caring friends and...
118. Random acts of kindness.
119. Facebook.
120. Long drives with my hubby so I actually get to spend time with him.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thinking Beyond Today

91. Flowers.
92. Smell of a Christmas tree.
93. Hot tubbing on a clear, dark night.
94. Flip flops.
95. The feel of thick grass under your feet.
96. Fall.
97. My iPod.
98. Baby calves.
99. Pushing cows.
100. Shooting prairie dogs.
101. Snow mobiles.
102. Blogging.
103. Traveling.
104. Cheese.
105. My pillow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Enjoying The Walk

76. Waking up without an alarm.
77. Reconciliation.
78. Children's Relief International.
79. Our veterans.
80. Freedom.
81. My Rock and Refuge.
82. Worship.
83. Sweaters.
84. Flat irons.
85. Sisters and sister-in-laws.
86. Care packages.
87. My rice bag.
88. Games.
89. Buying Christmas presents for others.
90. Answered prayer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Marching

61. Microwaves.
62. Quilts.
63. Humor.
64. Cuddling.
65. Facebook.
66. Working in children's ministry...
67. With an awesome team of people.
68. To be married to a wonderful provider.
69. 4 years. It is a great age.
70. Being able to confidently approach the Throne.
71. Tetris.
72. Electric blankets.
73. Satellite radio.
74. Cup holders.
75. Getting encouraging notes in the mail.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Onward Soldier

46. Melatonin.
47. Broken fevers.
48. Sunshine and...
49. Blue sky.
50. Weekends.
51. The Amazing Race.
52. Reclining sofas.
53. Every day is a new day.
54. God's mercies are new every morning.
55. The Bible.
56. Email.
57. Sales.
58. Intercessory prayer.
59. Fuzzy socks.
60. Kleenex.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sword AND Spear

31. Grace.
32. Getting to watch our nephew play in the state football championship next week.
33. Digital photography.
34. Ear plugs.
35. Instant Netflix.
36. Wireless Internet.
37. Friends that bring meals for my family to let us know they love us.
38. Being able to give.
39. Chicken.
40. Microwavable neck bags.
41. Texting.
42. Saturday afternoons with my hubby.
43. God's plans to prosper, not to harm; to give us a hope and a future.
44. Beth Moore Bible studies.
45. Pumpkin.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm Not Hiding Behind My Shield...

I am going forward with my sword in the air!

16. Thermometers.
17. Natural remedies for flu symptoms.
18. Children's Motrin.
19. Epsom salt.
20. Being able to love on a little boy who doesn't feel well.
21. Left over Halloween candy to bribe a 4 year old to take the nasty-tasting remedies.
22. Videos.
23. God's gentle correction. He turned me from my flesh this morning.
24. Psalm 25.
25. 60 high school football players saying "thank you" for the baked potato I put on their plate last night at their team dinner before semi-finals.
26. Good grass fed natural beef.
27. Sleep.
28. Comfy sweat pants.
29. Honey.
30. The sound of a child singing.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Warfare

I am inspired by a family of bloggers that I follow. They're all posting 100 things they're thankful for. I think I need this weapon in my battle. : ) I know that if I am focused on the good stuff then I am not focused on the frustrating. So, I will start off today with part of my list...and we'll see how it goes...I may need to do this way past 100. : )

I am thankful for...

1. Having a personal relationship with the God of the universe.
2. My dear husband.
3. My precious son.
4. A home with extra rooms where I can invite people in.
5. The view of the mountains out my windows.
6. Eggnog. One of my few treats left.
7. Gluten-free oatmeal. Yes, I am thankful for it.
8. A computer in which to connect to others even though I am in the middle of nowhere.
9. My church family.
10. My apron. I love cooking without having to change my clothes afterward.
11. High school football. (Win that semi-final tomorrow Broncs!)
12. Fall decorations.
13. Wyoming weather. It is 65 in November.
14. Digital photography.
15. Girlfriends.

Is This Helmet Too Big On Me?

Life is a battle lately. Every day, every night may bring something different. It is a roller coaster and a waiting game. I have "good" days and bad days. I am learning by trial and error how to better prevent the bad nights which prevent bad days. But some of the battle lies within my head. I am struggling to find myself content or accepting this current situation in my life without resistance. I feel like I am "over it," "done with it" and I am ready to move on. I am frustrated, weary, and at times down right mad. I know there is more purpose in this then I am currently aware of but that in itself isn't making the process easier. I usually can focus on that "future purpose" in trials and buckle down and "get 'er done" and come out having learned much. I don't feel that way these days. I felt like I learned a lot in August and had some great "heart work" done, but now its just a waiting game and I don't see the end in sight.

I had a rough week last week. Ended up at the urgent care clinic, had tests done, found out more about symptoms but no root cause. The Prairie Daddy and I, as well as both of my alternative practitioners, truly think there is an underlying kidney infection that hasn't been pinpointed. I am hoping and hoping that soon someone can figure that out. Meanwhile I have recognized more sensitivities to food in my body and have had to take myself off even more than what I was originally taken off of. It seems pretty pathetic that one of my biggest "treats" is gluten-free oatmeal with blueberries. I don't even like oatmeal.

When I can push aside my temporal, fleshly view and lift my eyes unto the mountains, I know where my Help comes from. I believe this is a season. I believe there will be purpose in it. I just cry out "bring Yourself glory, o Lord. I am willing." I look forward to the time when I am writing about the victory.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Homework Helper

My mom decided that since I have had such struggle with my health she wanted to come visit. I was thrilled. So, she flew in on Saturday and she gets to stay until tomorrow. She is enjoying some time with The Prairie Kid as well. They have been doing "homework" together, practicing writing his A,B,C's. It has been so cute!



Toothy Times

The Prairie Kid was excited to carve a pumpkin with me this year. I thought it would be fun to Google "happy jack-o-lanterns" and have him pick a face. Unfortunately, scary ones came up on the search too and that is where he fixated. I decided it wasn't worth the battle and I didn't want to "ruin" his fun pumpkin carving experience so I went through the pictures with him and we agreed on a "scary enough" for him but a not-too-scary for me face.

We started out with a beautiful pumpkin from our church's youth fund raiser:

We drew the face on and I cut the pieces so that The Prairie Kid could pull the chunks out


The Prairie Daddy came home and joined in the fun

And wah-lah! A toothy finished product!
On Halloween we have a great, fun party at our church. The Prairie Kid decided the day before that he would be a lion. I didn't push for an answer ahead of time because I had 4 things ready to throw together without having to go buy anything for an indecisive, "change-your-mind-every-five-minutes" four year old. I was happy he wanted to be a lion, it was my first choice!


I got to paint his face up:
And I sure thought he was one cute ferocious lion
Oooh, toothy.

Now the only remnants of Halloween are plastic wrapped morsels of goodness that The Prairie Mama has to constantly explain are limited and for after lunch and dinner only. : )