Merry Christmas

>> December 25, 2009

I pray you all had a day filled with God's wonder and glory.

Merry Christmas!!!


Thankful for life in the cracks

>> November 26, 2009


There is so much to be thankful for this year.
There are the things that are always in my list…

A house to give me shelter
A home to share life, love, laughter,
Food on my table
But God has been stirring in me so much more to give thanks for…
I’m thankful for dishes piled up in the sink still needing to be washed
Because of the quality time spent over a meal that they represent
I’m thankful for muscles that are still sore after a week
Because they represent where I’m going instead of where I came from
I’m thankful for all the tears shed this past year
Because they drew me closer to God
I’m thankful for the constant Spiritual attack we feel under the pressure of
Because it means that the enemy feels a need to fight against me
I’m thankful for the move my good friends and neighbors are making even though I am going to miss them terribly
Because it means I will have new opportunities to be a light for new neighbors
I’m thankful for the constant chaos that I feel with toys and stuff strewn all over my house - all the time.
Because it represents the young ones that I love so much who are healthy and able and vivacious
I'm thankful for the friendships that aren’t the same anymore
Because in my grappling with the fact that I can’t make people want my friendship God shows me how much my grief resembles His when I don’t choose Him.
I’m thankful that God is in the middle of the deep cracks in my life that cause so much pain sometimes.
For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:17, 18 NLT

There is abundant LIFE in the cracks!


So proud!!!

>> November 7, 2009

I am SO PROUD of my brother!!!!
Yesterday, he graduated from paramedic school.

He and his wife have made some really hard choices for him to get to this point.
And he finally made it.

A few years ago, I sat with my brother at the mall at 5am on the day after Thanksgiving, listening to him tell me how he was taking this step to change careers.

About how he knew he had missed his calling and had to follow God's lead in this.
How every time he passed an accident on the road he had the urge to stop his car and get out and help.
He would be giving up a very successful career, in a job that he excelled at and made very good money in. Not the worldly choice to make, but he had a calling.
He knew the cost and was asking me to be praying for him as he and his wife prayed about this decision.

Congratulations Derek!!!!
Have I told you yet how PROUD I am of you?


Christmas Cards for a 5 year old boy - Meet Noah Biorkman

>> November 5, 2009

Update: Noah passed away on Monday November 23. Please continue to pray for his family.

Hi friends. I'm posting once again with a plea for prayer.
I don't know this family or anyone involved, but read about it here and felt compelled to share it with you too.

This is directly from the blog post I read...

A dear friend sent this to me, and I’ve done some digging to see if this situation is really true. I wish it wasn’t. This is what she wrote: Dr Tom Curran is a radio personality, and he is in the process of setting up a 24 hour live) online Rosary where people around the world can meet together online and pray. One of the prayer requests last night was for a family in Michigan where 5 year Noah is in the final stages of his 2.5 year battle with Neuroblastoma…a particularly vicious form of childhood cancer with a 0% chance of survival. (If you’ve read the amazing book Gloria’s Miracle you know how ruthless this disease really is.) Well, Noah is probably not going to make it to Christmas so the family is going to celebrate the holiday this coming weekend. Apparently, Noah likes Christmas Cards and receiving things in the mail. The request was sent out to have people flood their mailbox with Christmas Cards encouraging Noah in his final struggle! If you could take a moment to send him a Christmas Card in the next few days, it would really be appreciated!
The news about Noah’s early Christmas has spread through a number of radio stations. This is Noah

Noah’s address is below.
Noah Biorkman
1141 Fountain View Circle
South Lyon, MI 48178

There is also a radio station collecting cards for the family.
I have read a few entries on the care page his family has set up for him.
The latest update was posted yesterday. He gets to see Santa on Friday and Sunday is his family celebration. His prognosis is 1-3 weeks at best. He is on A LOT of pain medication to help him be able to walk and play. He lives with his mom and grandma, but dad lives nearby and he gets to go to his dad's whenever he wants.

If you want to pray for them specifically, or send cards to his parents, his mom's name is Diana and his dad's name is Scott. The above address is mom's. On the care page she gives dad's address as well:
Scott Biorkman
3480 Petoskey Way
Milford, Michigan 48380

I don't ever want to know what it feels like to be in their position or Angel's parent's position. My heart is breaking for these families, but God is using the outpouring of love that is coming in to help this family get through this. Here is a quote from their most recent update:

This is the hardest thing that we have had to deal with on a daily basis and the packages and cards and messages have been a great distraction for all four of us (my mom is included in this group as she lives with me). Noah's spirit is undeniable and you can see it in his eyes and smile. He has a way about him that is both unique and special. Yeah, yeah I know, I'm biased, but it has been amazing to watch.

Praise God for the opportunity to come together as His body in unity to pray for and minister to this family. From my reading, I'm not sure where they stand with God - all the more reason to pray for their family.

Here is a news report about Noah.
I have some letter writing to do today!


Prayer request

>> November 3, 2009

Hi friends,

I am passing on a prayer request from a dear friend.
You can read the request here.
Not only does Angel and his family need prayer, but so do the families of the friends of Angel's.
My friend specifically needs to know how to help her 8 year old daughter who loves Angel dearly understand the seriousness of Angel's condition.
He truly needs a miracle.


As Promised...

>> November 2, 2009

Halloween pictures!

Meet Captain Hook, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell!
My kids were pretty funny about this this year.
Molly was adamant about calling everyone by their character name, but Mason was adamant about being Mason. Merritt went along with both of them.

Molly was soooo incredibly cute.
We didn't even show her her costume until it was time to get her dressed (even though we'd had it for over a month) because we knew she'd want to wear it all the time, and I didn't want to have to clean it or repair it. So when I got it out, she was ecstatic.
I got her dressed and then sat her on the bathroom counter to put her hair up (because she had to have Tinkerbell hair.)
When she saw herself in the mirror she said to me, "Oh mommy, I Mollyrooscay no more. I Tinkerbell. See? I have Tinkerbell eyes."
And when we were out and about in the neighborhood, she would run and tell me, "Mommy, I FLY!"

Merritt played it up as Hook. He loved every minute of it.

Mason loved his dagger.

Can't you just hear her telling me about her Tinkerbellness?

I love this picture. See the mask Bruce is wearing?
That goes to Mason's Mr. Incredible costume and he wore it all evening as he passed out candy.
The kids in our neighborhood think Bruce is the coolest.
(Most of them have had him as a substitute.)

Here she is flying...
(Aren't those wings great? They even light up.)

Molly almost didn't make it home before sleep overtook her.
And in the middle of the night that night, she woke Bruce up talking in her sleep.
She was saying, "I fly. I fly."



>> November 1, 2009

The last time I posted about Soccer was 2 years ago.
And it was about Merritt.
This year Mason is playing.
Merritt opted out this year - and last year (and maybe forever?).
2 years of soccer was enough for him.
You see, he's not too keen on running for an hour straight, so soccer isn't really that high on his list.
Mason, on the other hand, doesn't mind the running and is loving soccer.
And he's doing really well.
His head is constantly "in the game".
Check it out for yourself:
(Warning: glowing uniforms - you may want your sunglasses for these pictures.)

I hope you all had a nice Halloween.
We did.
You can check back tomorrow for pictures of the kids all dressed up and ready for sugar comas.



>> October 21, 2009

I am finally done with this...

This book was supposed to be last year's Christmas gift to all my in-laws.
This is yet one more excuse why I have been so scarce here. But my Wednesdays (when my mom has Molly) have been sacred in getting this done.
I feel like I can breathe more deeply now.
And I am so excited to actually get the finished product in the mail.
I should have it in about 10 days (maybe less?)

Here are a few of the pages from the book...
(which ended up being 35 pages with 112 photos)

Yay for one more completed project!
And by the way, if you click on the picture you can see it bigger.


The third commandment

>> October 1, 2009

I've never really studied the 10 commandments in depth before, but we are doing that in our lifegroup and I am loving it.

This last week was about the 3rd commandment:
"You shall not take the name of the Lord Your God in vain."

This commandment has always been about cursing to me.
That's what I learned in Sunday School.
I had never really thought about what "in vain" means beyond that.
Here's what my bible dictionary says...
"To take His “name in vain” means to consider the name empty or meaningless: to deny or doubt His presence and power."
The Hebrew word translated as "in vain" here is often also translated as emptiness, nothingness, worthlessness, to no good purpose. It is a word used for idols. It also connotates using the Lord's name lightly, unthinkable or by rote. Or using God's name for selfish gain.
(Does that last part remind anyone else of the Pharisees?)

Of course that means to not use His name in cursing, but it means soooo much more.

I love John Stott's commentary on this. He says:
"What kind of misuse of God's name is envisaged? The commandment certainly forbids blasphemy and profanity. It will also include false swearing, that is, taking an oath and breaking it. It is better, Jesus taught, not to swear at all. Honest people do not need to make promises by oath; a simple yes or no should be enough (Matt. 5:33-37). Then there is a yet more serious misuse of God's name. It arises from the fact that a name is more than a word; it is a person and that person's character. We then misuse God's name whenever our behavior is incompatible with his character. To call God "Father" and mistrust him or to call Jesus "Lord" and disobey him: this is to misuse his name."

Wow. This goes hand in hand for me with what I said in my last post about words and actions. If I say I trust God and don't represent that in my actions, then I am definitely misrepresenting who God really is.

Forgive me Lord where I fall short here.
Help me to be more aware of my actions and what they truly say.

Am I the only one who never learned the depth of what "taking the Lord's name in vain" means?



>> September 28, 2009

Bruce recently posed this question on his blog:


This is a question we have discussed a lot around here, because we spent the last week in preparation to celebrate the Day of Atonement with Epic, so… I have been pondering this question a lot myself.

Why IS true repentance so difficult to realize?
I have come up with a lot of reasons why…
1. We are only repentant because that’s what the Bible says we should do.
2. We aren’t really sorry for that sin - maybe we’re sorry someone got hurt or that we got caught, etc.., but we’re not really sorry for the actual sin.
3. Our values are too entwined with the world’s values and we don’t really agree that what we are needing to be repentant for is that bad.
4. We have a small view of God.
5. We don’t trust God to take care of us better than we can take care of ourselves.
6. …. (I could go on.)

Yet, as I think about those reasons and any other I can come up with, I think the real reason – the hard reason – is that we love ourselves more than we love God.

Are you now saying, "No, I really LOVE God?"
That was me when the Holy Spirit first revealed this to me.
But I took a step back and looked at my actions.
What do my actions say about how I love God more than I love myself and my desires?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
I'm a firm believer that actions speak louder than words.

You can tell me you love me all you want, but if your actions don't fall in line then I don't feel loved and have a really hard time believing your words. Because, honestly, if you really did love me then you wouldn't treat me like that.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

And honestly, if I really did love Him more then I wouldn't treat Him like that.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
My love for Him can't have worldly standards.

And yes, we have a sin nature that flares its ugly head all too often.
Paul talked about that in Romans 7 saying, “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me…” It goes on and it’s a really good argument. But Paul doesn’t just leave it saying, “I have no control and no answer to this sin nature in me.”
No, he says in the end of Chapter 7, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
And then in Chapter 8 goes on to say, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

For me, the truth of the matter is that, when I am having trouble with true repentance – committing the same sin over and over – I have to face the reality of either my love for that sin, or my love for how that sin seems to help me, the reality that I have my mind set on what the sinful nature desires.

And I have to ask God to give me His perspective and help me to love Him MORE so that my mind can be set on what the Spirit desires.

For me, the answer is SOOOO simple and yet SOOOOO hard.
Lord help me to love you MORE!

This is the song that I have been singing a lot this week…

Every Day in every way
I need more of You and less of me
To sacrifice and to obey
I need more of You in my life
I need more of You in my will,
More of You in my ways,
I need more of You in my thoughts,
More of You in my days.

Jesus, You are so holy
And Jesus, You are so good
More of You and less of me is what
I need each day to bring
Until the day You consume my everything


I am excited to be...

>> September 18, 2009

Finally reading this...

Making this for my little girl's "big girl" bed...

(I'll post pictures of the bed when I finish the owls & pillows I am making too.)

And finally getting a mini-vacation with my family.
We haven't had the chance to all get away together this year because of so many other things going on.

I haven't had the opportunity to blog much because, well, Molly just doesn't want me to be at the computer - AT ALL. And I have had to spend the time I do get on other projects. BUT my mom has offered to watch her on Wednesday mornings so I can get some computer work done. And I hope to be able to get a little more time with you as a result of that.
Have a GREAT rest of your day today!


Catch up #3 - Keeping cool!

>> August 21, 2009

One thing no one can deny about the valley is that it is HOT in the summer.
We try to swim as much as possible (thank you Gillums and Pimentels) - but that is for another post.

So when we have to make the trip to Fresno, and aren't in a total rush, we try to pack swim suits (or a dry set of clothes). Then we hit Fashion Fair mall.

They're always initially shocked by the spouts of water...

But it doesn't take long for the Jedi battle to ensue - Gotta love boys!

I know this picture is blurry, but I just love it - I love how you can tell Mason is loving the attack on the water. AND I love how it shows Molly's approach to the water as well.

She LOVES playing in water...

Oh the anticipation of the fountain shooting up. It got her in the face a couple of times.


Catch up #2 - FIRSTS

>> August 20, 2009

July held a couple of FIRSTS for my boys.

Mason lost his first tooth...

And Merritt got glasses...

(you can see more pictures of Merritt with his new glasses here.)

As for Molly...
Well, Molly has firsts all the time. She is only 2.
And while there is much to update for Molly, she really needs her own posts.
So those will come soon.
I am glad to report though that she has decided that she will no longer put her fingers in her diaper to check for poo. That was getting old really quickly!


Catch up #1

>> August 15, 2009

I decided to start where I left off...
With the Africa team coming home.
My mom was in Southern CA with my sister and her new babies on the day the team flew into San Francisco, so I packed the kids up and we took a family trip to get daddy.
They loved the trip.
They missed their dad A LOT and the anticipation of seeing him was almost too much to handle. We were all giddy!

We arrived at the airport about 10 minutes before their plane was scheduled to land, but we had a LONG wait until they actually walked through the doors and into our arms. And we weren't the only ones anxiously awaiting our loved ones from the Epic team.

In the International Arrival Terminal, there is a monitor that shows who is about to come out the doors (AFTER going through customs and getting their baggage from baggage claim. Thus the almost 1 hour wait for us.)

The kids watched for daddy for awhile, but an hour is a long time.
They played around, danced, sat - you get the picture.

They made friends with the lady reading the magazine in this picture...

And FINALLY we saw Amanda, and the first greeting was made.

And we continued to wait (Amanda said they were held up in baggage waiting for some over-sized pieces.) until eventually...

Mason took off running with Merritt close on his heels.

Molly hadn't seen daddy on the screen, but followed her brothers.

And when she spotted him, well...

She kept telling me "That's my daddy."
And she asked Bruce if he was home on a regular basis for a couple of weeks.
Once the greetings were made THE question flew off both of the boys lips.
"Daddy did you bring me something?"

What a great daddy. He had at least one item easily accessible for each child.

She LOVES baby dolls

And when we got home, there were more gifts, but the boys wanted pictures in these...

We are so glad to have Bruce home!!!


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