Thursday, November 29, 2007


Abide: a·bid·ed, a·bid·ing. –verb (used without object)

1. to remain; continue; stay: Abide with me.

2. to have one's abode; dwell; reside: to abide in a small Scottish village.

3. to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship, etc.; last. –verb (used with object)

4. to put up with; tolerate; stand: I can't abide dishonesty!

5. to endure, sustain, or withstand without yielding or submitting: to abide a vigorous onslaught.

6. to wait for; await: to abide the coming of the Lord.

7. to accept without opposition or question: to abide the verdict of the judges.

8. to pay the price or penalty of; suffer for. —Verb phrase

The last few days have found me mulling over the word abide. I have been playing the Christmas music on heavy rotation and so, of course, this is a common theme. In my mind, I have been thinking about the most common definition for abide- to remain, continue, stay. I decided to look it up and see what else it means. I was delighted to see some of the other definitions for the word. I was overwhelmed with how each one is appropriate and can somehow relate to our relationship with Christ.

1. to remain, continue, to stay...I long that Christ would remain with me and because I know He does what He promises, I know that He will (Matthew 28:20). I want Him to continue to be with me, to stay my constant.

2. dwell, reside... While Christ is not my physical abode, I do pray that He dwells within me; that He resides in my heart and mind and is Lord of all of my life. The bigger issue is am I dwelling in Him? Am I taking residence in Him and being found His? (Psalm 91:1,2)

3. to continue in a particular condition...I desire for my relationship with the Lord to continue to grow. I want to be in a continual state of growth and I want my attitudes to be more and more like His.

4. to put up with, tolerate...This definition was especially eye opening to me. If I am abiding with Christ the way that I need to be, then I will not be able to abide the sin in my life. I will be so much more aware of doing the things that I shouldn't and will make better decisions. I know that Jesus, in His perfectness, can not abide sin and if I am full of Him then I shouldn't be able to either.

5. to endure, sustain...With Christ I have all the power I need to endure whatever comes my way. This is a lesson that I have on repeat right now. I have everything I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

6. to wait for, await...I am awaiting the return of the Lord with great expectation in my heart. This time of year makes me especially aware of longing for His return as I reflect on His first coming. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

7. to accept without question...As a believer, I am building my life on the Word. I believe that it is true start to finish. Even if I am struggling in application, that doesn't mean that I can pick and choose what to believe and what to doubt. It's all true (2 Timothy 3:16).

8. to pay the penalty for...I have never understood this as a definition of the word, but how perfectly does it connect to Christ! Jesus came to earth as a helpless infant so that He might pay the price for my sin. Only through His death on the cross in payment for my sin can I be found righteous before God.

I know that I will never be able to sing the following words again without a deeper, more meaningful understanding of exactly what it means to ask the Lord to abide with me.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Almost back to life

Monday night was supposed to be date night. And when I think about it, it was just the two of us. Haven was safely situated at Amber's house for the evening. The only problem was the atmosphere and the fact that Cale was wearing a hospital gown and looked like he had been run over by a truck. No delicious meal in front of us, but Cale hooked up to an IV bag and me gingerly sipping on some Sprite and eating some pretzels praying that I would not puke.

It's been a long few days at our house as we battled against a stomach virus. Unfortunately, it won. At least for a few days. But I truly praise the Lord that we are all up on our feet again (maybe a bit unsteadily) going about our daily lives. We did have a good Thanksgiving with our family, but our trip came to an abrupt end when we got sick. And now I have a neglected house, piles of laundry, Christmas decorations to put up and a daughter to potty train. After being sick in bed, you have no idea how wonderful the mundane tasks of my day sound.

I'm off to work!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thankful mish-mash

I spent my afternoon yesterday coloring. Haven was napping and so I borrowed her crayons. I have to say, it was quite relaxing and instantly transformed me into a six year very intent on staying in the lines. I color with Haven on a regular basis, but she's messy and definitely does not stay in the lines so it was nice to not have to share my picture with her.

Lest you think I've finally lost it, there really was a good reason for my afternoon of coloring. I was trying to finish up the last of the ornaments for my Jesse Trees. I needed to get the trees done that are for my brother's families before we leave this afternoon. I only had one more ornament to finish (hence the coloring) and then Cale and I had to assemble the devotional books that we made. I am so happy with the way everything has come together for this project. It has been a ton of work, but I know it's something we will do for years to come and will hopefully be a tool to keep us focused on Christ in the midst of the busy Christmas season. I can't wait to start with Haven and Cale on December 1.

We are headed northeast tonight to spend the holiday with my family. Lots of turkey is going to be consumed in the next few days as we have a couple different Thanksgiving dinners. Tomorrow night we are going to my uncle's house to have a small, intimate dinner with 37 of my closest family members. We have to bring our own silverware from my mom's if we don't want to have to eat with our hands. I am really excited to see cousins that I haven't laid eyes on in over a year and to catch up with people I don't do a very good job of staying in touch with. It should be crazy, chaotic, delicious (my uncle is a fantastic cook), and loud. Sounds like the perfect family function!

We will have dinner with my immediate family (only 13 of us!) Thursday afternoon. I am going to be a good daughter and cook many of the sides ahead of time tomorrow so my mom can just focus on the turkey and stuffing. I am looking forward to making this, this and this. Yum! Maybe throw in a pumpkin cheesecake and a loaf or two of pumpkin bread and I have a busy day in the kitchen. But worth every second!

This has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, except that I am very thankful for them, but these are my new favorite sheets. Cheap, cute and cozy- what more do you need from your sheets??!! And while we are talking about cute and cheap, check out Haven's new friend that she procured last week during our displacement. The "zeebee" now sleeps with her and her bunny. I'm not sure if I bought it because I wanted her to have it, or if I felt guilty about our crazy week, or she was sick, or if I really thought she would love it. But whatever the reason, it's adorable and at 50% off, quite a steal.

Since I some how turned this into a favorite things post, let me just tell you about my new love for all things Etsy. I have spent an hour or two or ten perusing all the pretties. I would love to link to some of my faves, but since they are going to be Christmas presents for a few of the five people reading this, I will have to wait. Etsy is not a new discovery, but it's only just recently that I have really looked around the site at all the wonderful things to be found. If you are looking for some different, unique Christmas gifts then do yourself a favor and check it out.

And this concludes my post. I have a ton to do before we leave tonight so I better get to work and quit my rambling. We are headed over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kate and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week

I'm not even sure where to begin. The last six days of my life have been a circus. I really have no desire to recount all the grueling details of the week, but thought perhaps a list of words would communicate how crazy life has been at our house.

A face plant (Haven)
New windows
Lead caution and DANGER tape
Swollen, bruised nose (Haven)
Doctor's appointments
Broken nose?
No- Praise the Lord!
Wrong sized window
Lost money
Death in the family
Displaced from home
Sickness (Haven and Kate)
Impromptu hotel stay
Grumpy, irritable child
Inept government agencies complicating our life
Renovation dust everywhere
Lots of cleaning
Nice new windows

So I am ready for a new week and trying desperately to get things back in order before we head out of town. I'm ready to put all the craziness of the week behind me and look ahead to celebrating with family. In spite of the craziness of life (especially this week), there is much to be thankful for. And tonight I'm especially thankful that His mercies are new each morning.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Favs of the week

I have found myself delighting in the little things this week. And because I like to share the love...

-New Christmas CD: Jars of Clay Christmas Songs It's not a typical Christmas album and I love them for that. So good.

-Dinner with friends and Amazing Peanut Butter-Chocolate Molten Cake for dessert. Seriously, is an explanation needed after reading the name of it?!? Delish.

-Special sales at that gave me 10% off and FREE shipping. Finding stuff for Haven that wasn't more than $4 was an unexpected delight! (sorry it was only for a day so I can't really share this one with you!)

-Email (and if you don't have a gmail account- seriously, what are you waiting for??!! It is far superior!). I honestly love being able to keep in touch with people this way. Haven came up to me the other morning when I had just gotten on the computer and said, "Emu?" (which was her asking me if I was emailing) Makes me laugh that email is part of my 21 month-old's vocab!

-The Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog is one stop Christmas shopping. Cale and I are planning on blessing lots of people with "gifts" from here. I know a lot of organizations do things like this, but I am a fan of SP and like being able to support their ministry in this way.

-A new issue of Real Simple ready to dive into. The smooth pages and unused crease are calling my name. The Christmas issue is always a fav- especially the 50 gifts for $50 or less. More than a few gifts have been inspired by this list.

-Sewing! I have been on a roll the last few days and been able to cross several of my projects off my list. And they are so cute! They have been fairly simple projects, but they're adorable and I made them so I am taking pride in my craftmanship.

-And it's Friday! Which we all know means Friday Night Lights! I do believe that my deep and abiding love for this show has been well documented so I won't get into again. I heart FNL.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Queen of my castle

Sunday I was declared Queen for the Day by my loving husband. He knows that I have been feeling a bit stressed lately and that I could use some free time. It was a grand gesture that I greatly appreciated. However, I failed to fully utilize my power and position on the day. I realized that it's impossible for me to not do things for Cale and Haven, especially when I am not doing something else at the moment. It is just simply who I am to want to take care of them and to do it automatically.

It is also very much a part of me to want to be with them. Before the royal decree was made, we had plans to shop for our Operation Christmas Child boxes. I really wanted us to do our shopping and choosing as a family so we ended up spending our whole morning doing just that. We had a great time trying to find things that we thought other children would like and have all our boxes ready to drop off at church this weekend. It was fun, but it wasn't alone time.

The rest of the day filled up easily as we had house church that evening. I kept thinking that I needed to just GO if I was going to do something on my own, but I never made it out the door. And that's okay. I love taking care of the family the Lord has blessed me with. And I love that I have a husband who is willing to give me breaks when I need them. I told Cale that I didn't feel like I had taken full advantage of my day when we crawled into bed that night, but that I did have a good day. He told me we would just have to try again next weekend!

And that is just one of the million reasons why I am the luckiest girl!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

More than you ever wanted to know about me....or my 100th post!

In following the great bloggy tradition, I will bore you with 100 things about me in honor of my 100th post.

1. I can't wait to meet the child God has for us in Ethiopia.
2. I love being a wife and a mom.
3. It's all I ever really wanted to be.
4. I am not an ambitious person- especially as it relates to a career.
5. I went to three different colleges.
6. Four if you count my Discipleship Training School credits.
7. But I only have one degree that took me five years to complete.
8. One college was Catholic, one was Wesleyan Methodist and one was Assemblies of God.
9. I am a denominational hodgepodge.
10. I grew up a pastor's kid in the United Methodist Church.
11. I have two older brothers, two sister-in-laws, two nieces and three nephews.
12. I was born in the city that I now live in.
13. I have only lived in two states my whole life.
14. Except for the nine months I lived in Benin, West Africa and in Namibia.
15. As already mentioned, I am a YWAMer and proud of it.
16. My DTS on the Mercy Ships was the most incredible life changing experience.
17. But I didn't really like living in Africa.
18. My first mission trip was to Puerto Rico in March 1998.
19. It changed the course of my life.
20. I hope I have more trips in my future.
21. Cale and I went to Namibia together in the fall of 2004.
22. We literally spent 4 months together 24/7.
23. And we loved it.
24. My favorite number is 22.
25. My favorite color is red.
26. I am a great cook.
27. And I love to cook, too.
28. I make some fantastic Chicken Tikka Masala.
29. I like to bake, too, but am not as patient as is sometimes needed.
30. I am not a perfectionist.
31. I like to take walks on the bike trail behind our house.
32. I get excited about finding a good deal.
33. I also get excited when a friend I've been discipling starts to disciple someone else.
34. One of my favorite books is "Two-Part Invention" by Madeleine L'Engle.
35. My other favorite book is "Knowledge of the Holy" by A.W. Tozer.
36. That book radically expanded my understanding of God and His greatness.
37. I am currently under investigation by a state government office.
38. This makes me angry.
39. I am getting new windows in my house.
40. This makes me happy
41. and also pooorer.
42. I went to a Billy Graham Crusade when I was 14.
43. It was an experience that I will never forget.
44. I have had malaria twice.
45. The second time almost killed me.
46. I have broken and sprained my ankles more times than I can count.
47. I have had surgery on my right ankle two times.
48. After the second time, I fell down the steps and broke my other ankle.
49. I spent six weeks of my junior year in a wheelchair with two casts on.
50. My favorite shows on tv are all on NBC- the Office, ER and Friday Night Lights.
51. The only reality tv show I like to watch is The Amazing Race.
52. I never thought I would ever make it to 1oo posts.
53. The first blog I started reading regularly was In the Midst of It.
54. My favorite season is fall and that's why I got married then.
55. Cale and I went here, here and here for our honeymoon. Fantastic!
56. We spent our first Valentine's Day married driving up Highway 1 on the California Coast.
57. I have been a bridesmaid in seven weddings.
58. And I've got the dresses in my closet to prove it.
59. I heart Target.
60. Although it does occasionally cause me to stumble and want things that I don't need.
61. I love those little orange stickers.
62. I just got new glasses and I really like them.
63. My husband thinks I'm wonderful.
64. Sometimes I agree with him.
65. I like to get Christmas shopping done early.
66. I am one of the crazy people who likes to shop the day after Thanksgiving, even if I don't have much to buy.
67. I delivered Haven naturally using the husband-coached childbirth method.
68. It was an amazing experience for both Cale and me that I wouldn't trade for anything.
69. I had the best nurses and doctor taking care of me.
70. The only doctor I like going to is the chiropractor, especially if it includes a stop with the massage therapist.
71. I once met Bill Cosby in a small airport near my house.
72. I saw Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robben Isalnd.
73. A sobering day seeing first hand the evilness of men.
74. My head is starting to hurt from thinking about myself so long.
75. I used to sing in a quartet when I was in middle school with some girls at church.
76. I really can't sing that well.
77. I have arthritis in one joint of my second toe. Weird, but true.
78. I broke my left ankle in the fourth grade roller skating.
79. I was then named the Reckless Roller by the cute boy in my class.
80. Cale liked me before I liked him.
81. We used to go to concerts together all the time.
82. One of the best was Appleseed Cast and The Get-up Kids.
83. One of my favorite restaurants in Cleveland is a fantastic Thai place called Lemongrass.
84. I am not a city girl, but sometimes I miss living in Cleveland Heights.
85. I did a lot of growing up the three years I lived there.
86. I have nannied for five different families.
87. I was the personal assistant for David Copperfield's tour manager for about a year.
88. It was a fun, random job that paid really well.
89. Cale and I have completely remodeled our house.
90. We started that the day after we found out we were pregnant.
91. I took the test twice because I didn't believe it.
92. I didn't have a very fun pregnancy.
93. I developed asthma in my 6th month of pregnancy.
94. I craved chips and salsa all the time when I was pregnant.
95. I love the snow and winter.
96. I learned how to drive in the snow.
97. My favorite beverage is water, but I do enjoy some fountain Coke on occasion.
98. I love eggplant in all its various forms.
99. Pizza is my perfect food.
100. I'm glad to be done with this ridiculously long list!!