"May the God of hope fill you with great joy and peace as you trust in him." Romans 15:13

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Waiting with my Hands Lifted High in Praise

In the last month, it feels as though a bit of the turmoil from the last year and a half has settled.  My family and my faith are feeling more settled than they have in a long time.  And as healing happens and the fog clears, understanding dawns.

One thing I have heard the Lord whisper over and over and over during the last year is BE STILL!

When I am tempted to give advice that will "fix" my older kids, I hear Him say, "Be still."

When I am tempted to look for another job, just in case business slows down, I hear Him say, "Be still."

When I am tempted to step in the middle of the argument my older children are attempting to solve, I hear Him say, "Be still."

When I am tempted to fix a situation that He has under His wing, I hear Him say, "Be still!"

When I am tempted to rush into a new church congregation, I have heard Him say, "Be still!"

BE STILL is VERY (can not make that bold or big enough) hard for me.


But  I have worked really, really hard to follow that command.

Sigh long and deep and slow.

(It's been rough, people!)

Sunday, as I stood in church next Krissy and Wyatt, I had a very difficult time not totally losing it.  I was over the moon grateful to have them in church next to me.  Words can not explain how my heart was brimming.  The closest I can come is a memory I have of my grandma, who croaked out the words "my cup runneth over" in a very emotional offering of praise one Sunday long ago when I was with her in church.   I have always held that memory, of being personally cherished and of God being glorified by my Grandma close to my heart.  BUT until Sunday, I did not fully understand the depth of that feeling.

Sunday, I felt it.

And as we sang:
Waiting here for You
With our hands lifted high in praise
For it's You we adore
Singing Alleluia, Singing Alleluia

tears slipped silently down my cheeks.  And I "got it."

I am called to wait.  Just wait.  Not fix or scheme or convince.  He has asked me to throw my hands in the air and trust Him with it all.  Knowing that He will scoop me up.

My hands held high waiting to be scooped up, as Mataya spends much of the day doing, equals dependency.  And when my hands are up, they are not busy, they are still.

Waiting for Him.

In adoration.

And simple trust.

In some seasons, God has called me to act.  To do.  To serve in very specific ways.  I like those seasons best.  Doing is my comfort zone.

This season of being still has been a definite learning experience.  I am so far from perfect, but I am thankful that He has not given up on me.  He keeps whispering, "Be still!" and I keep practicing.  I continue to seek forgiveness often for my need to control, to fix, to act when that is not yet a part of His plan for me.

I am beginning to identity just how fear and control driven my life once was.  I have often acted (helpfully, of course - ha!) trying to "fix" a situation that He was not ready to have "fixed."  And as I gaze at that further, I realize the reason that I rushed to "fix" was that I was afraid to give Him full control.

On the other hand, I have refused to act because I was afraid of His plan.  I now realize that fear kept me at a church that was no longer the place He was calling me/my family to be for a very long time.  I bought into satan's distorted "truth" that to leave would be "bailing."  I did not want to be a "church hopper."  I was involved in to many things to move on.  God, you need me here!  I kept insisting.  Deep in my soul, I knew He was leading me elsewhere, but I was too afraid to follow.  I would need to quit my job.  What about finances, Lord?  I would need to leave some mission projects that were (too) important to me.  How could this be right, Lord?  I must be hearing wrong, I insisted.

And in all my stalling, my refusal to obey, there were consequences.  My stress level caused my blood pressure to climb dangerously at the end of my pregnancy.  Two of my daughters were harmed, emotionally, as well.  And my husbands faith was stunted, to say the least.

My church was a good church.  It still is a good church.  I would never tell anyone to avoid it - but God was calling asus away.  I knew it.  I just didn't like it.  So I refused Him. . . and like every person who refuses God, I was miserable.

Fear held me hostage.

It has taken me a very long time to heal enough from my own sin to see how rooted in fear I was.  It took months and months and months months in a quiet dessert.  It took the loss of "much" to place Him above it all.

I have missed being known.

I have missed being a part of ministry.

I have missed feeling like I belong.

I have missed so many things.

It has not been easy.  It has been the hardest time in my life.

BUT the fruit is truth.

Holy confidence.



God chose to put me in "time out" for what seemed like forever.  "Be still" has been His mantra to my spirit for so long.  It was wearying.  Lonely.  Helpless.  Barren.  Sad.

And yet, it was also healing.

I am beginning to feel this time of "Be still" ending.  (And hilariously that is a little scary, too)  I am beginning to feel renewed, refreshed, repurposed.  However, if/when He calls me back into "action" I must hold onto these lessons.

I want to forever be:
Waiting here for You
with my hands lifted high in praise
for it's You, I adore.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Divine Crazy Glue

 It was a precious, precious weekend for this momma turned LaLa.  Krissy and Wyatt came home!  They stayed with us from Friday through Sunday while Devin enjoyed a weekend of car races.  To have Krissy here was such a gift.  It was the first time, since she moved out in April of her Senior year of high school that she was home by choice.  It felt absolutely, totally, and very completely miraculous while at the same time totally natural.

So much growth and healing has occurred in all of us that it brings tears to my eyes often.  I will never, ever, ever be able to express my gratitude.

SO. . . when you stay with Lala - many photos are in order!
 Wyatt is a very content baby.
He is full of smiles and now giggles -  MELT MY HEART INTO A PUDDLE!! Baby giggles are one of the most magical sounds ever.  When he laughs my soul rejoices.

 He is just over 3 months old and around 15 pounds.
He rolls from his tummy to his back, sometimes, and he plays nicely on his tummy always.
 (That is the "really, LaLa?!?" look!)

 His first tooth poked through last week, and we think the second is on the move as well.
 He eats like a champ, has taken cuddling to the next level, and sleeps all night.
He loves his LaLa, his grandpa, and his aunties and uncles - but who he really, really loves is his momma.  And he should.  She is doing a great job.

Yep.  My grandson is perfect.

While we all know he is not perfect, since none of us are, I do know that he was perfectly placed into our family.  God has taught me much through his arrival.  

While I have loved Waytt always, I worried about his arrival more than any other tiny one in my life.  I questioned God in so many ways as we waited for Wyatt to be born.  While I knew in my head that God never creates a baby by mistake, my heart surely questioned his timing on this one.  I worried about so many things - but my BIGGEST worry was that I felt like from the time he was born Wyatt had a "job" to do.

You see people would tell me, "Don't worry!  Once that baby arrives everything will change. You will see."  No matter my concern, that was the most common response.

I did not like that response.  I did not want my teeny tiny grandson to have the "job" of fixing things.  He was just supposed to be a baby, not some sort of divine crazy glue.

However he has most certainly been "divine crazy glue" in many, many ways.

Being moms together has given Krissy and I common ground.  It has bonded us in a very special way.

Watching us love and cherish Wyatt has caused Krissy to feel loved and cherished.  (Really, is there anything more powerful than seeing your children receive love and acceptance?)

Caring for Wyatt has softened Krissy in so many ways.  She just radiates love.  She is so in love with this precious one and it spills into everything she does.  She is a better person because of the love she has for him.  
But perhaps the most miraculous healing has come between Krissy and Sierra.  Before Wyatt was born things were very, very difficult between my two oldest girls.   Many hurtful words were exchanged.  Both were guilty.  It broke my heart and caused much tension in our home anytime they were in it together.  Thoughts of these sisters hating each other filled me with dread and drove me to prayer more often than I can explain.

BUT, when Krissy invited her siblings to the hospital to meet Wyatt and Sierra was allowed to hold him for the very first time. . . everything changed.



When we left the hospital, Sierra told me, "Mom!  I love Krissy so much for having him.  So much.  That was very brave.  I love him so much, mom.  I didn't know it would be like this.  I didn't know how it would feel to be an auntie."

And from that moment on he has been the crazy glue that has bonded these once feuding sisters. 

Sierra has Krissy's back as only a sister can.  When Krissy and Wyatt are near, she is watching for ways to help.  She offers to hold the baby when Krissy eats.  She looks forward to each moment she has with him AND with her sister!

My girls are friends again.  (Yep.  I'm crying at this point.)

Krissy is helping with make-up, listening to and sympathizing to Sierra's high school drama, texting advice and encouragement.  Sierra giggles about nursing problems and notices just how beautiful Krissy looks with her short sassy hair and perfectly applied eye shadow.

They still disagree sometimes - but those arguments are momentary, they do not ruin evenings, weekends, weeks.  They are just normal sister stuff - and it is beautiful. 

It occurred to me recently that Wyatt is blessed, not cursed.  We are all born with a "job to do."  Each of us has a calling on our lives.  God has a plan for us even before we are born.  How blessed is my grandson to be actively involved in that divine plan even as one so tiny?

He is a gift.
A tiny treasure that none of us expected or planned.
A surprise blessing like no other.

Thank you God for having such a perfect plan.  I am sorry I questioned it; I'm sorry I questioned you.  You are holy and perfect and able.  You make all things beautiful.  I am so very grateful.  So in awe.  So humbled.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Ending Where He Began... (sort of)

Saturday, Jamison completed his final regular season cross-country race of his high school career.

And as only God could ordain. . . he started right where he began, yet - miles and miles and miles ahead!

His final race as a Senior was in the same city that he first raced as a Freshman.  I clearly remember him describing his first high school race to me.  It went something like this, "It was crazy mom.  First I saw a team mate pass out at the finish line.  Then one puked his guts out.  And all the while I am thinking. . . I guess we are not in middle school anymore!"

Little did either of us know that distance running would, in many ways, define his high school years.

So running his final race in this same city (though at a different course) was very nostalgic.

I hope he took some time to think back and to appreciate just how far he has come - both as an athlete and as a person.

I know I did.  Though I will not pretend that I did not wipe away a few tears as I washed and folded his uniform on Friday morning, I feel more excitement than grief as I think about these last weeks of his high school cross career.  I will miss him like crazy - but I also can not imagine him running another year for CHS.  He is ready to press on.  I am ready to see where the Lord leads him.

BUT before he presses on, he has a couple more races to run!

Saturday was proof that he is not the same boy he was four years ago!  Four years ago he ran cautiously, fearing for his own health and safety.  He had no idea what he was doing or just how capable he would become.  Four years later, he placed in the top 10, running with confidence and much planning.

 This is tell tale Jamison.  He does not like to go out fast - but has a personal goal that he will start moving up at the 1 mile mark and that NO ONE will pass him after that point.
 These four ended up running the whole race together.  I think it is fun when they pack up and race well as a posse.
 I love watching coaches coach.
The team has a new assistant coach this season, and Coach Hendo has been a great asset.
 The finish. . .
Jamison usually has a strong finish.  Saturday he flew.

I heard Evan, one of his best friends and the guy he is passing above, say "I rounded the last corner and could hear someone coming up FAST behind me.  I kept thinking... please be Jam, please be Jam... and then as I felt him zoom by I though YES!!! GO JAM!"

 The finish!
 Cross country is not a popular spectator sport, so when you have 5 besties road trip to cheer you on, you know you are loved!
And when the girl is brave enough to hug your sweaty self, you know she's pretty special!

What an incredible adventure high school cross country has been!

WDA and State. . . here we come for one last PARTY!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fruit in Fear?

I wrote some time ago about a battle I was having with fear.

It was ugly.  My very soul seemed bent on fleeing.  Terror was pressing, nearly suffocating me.

And you know what?

Although I KNOW that time of intense fear was not of the Lord, He used it.

He never, ever ceases to amaze me.

In those days of deep, encompassing anxiety - he began whispering to me.

Things like:
Why do you fear?
What is the worst thing that could happen?
Do you not know that even IF the very worst happened, I would be there?
I have my hand upon you.
I will protect you.
I will guide you.

And as I poured my heart and soul and fears out to Him.  He listened.

And He pursued my very heart.

I began waking in the night with praise songs cycling through my mind.  It was as if the angels were singing me back to sleep.  Sigh.  

And in the very deepest part of my being I felt it. . .

His approval.


As a wife and mom, I hear a lot of things.  But approval is not usually at the top of the list.  

To hear Him speaking peace and love and approval unto my soul was so incredibly healing.

As was His message to stop striving.  Stop worrying.  Stop anticipating the future.  Savor, He told me.  Be still.  Enjoy.  Be confident - you ARE where I want you to be.


It was when He whispered those words that I my soul felt set free.  

I love my current work structure.  Being set free to care for my family full time has been such a gift.  (Technically I DO work for Chad.  I am his employee.  I have an office and specific responsibilities.  It is definitely a job  - but working for him is one of the many ways I care for him.  It is probably not a job I would choose if I were not passionate about my boss, and yet because I AM passionate about my boss, being able to serve him at home and at work is a true blessing.)

I realized that I was living in deep fear that God would call me back into the workplace.

And some day He may.

And if He does, I hope I will serve with gladness.

BUT - I am beyond thankful for the peace He has given that for now, I am where He wants me to be.

Does that mean life will be easy?


Does that mean finances will never be tight?

Ummm.  Nope.  

However, because of this incredible peace He has given me, the hard is OK.  I don't need to be striving or scheming or fixing or . . .

I can just be me.

Thank you, Jesus!

I have not posted a video in a long time.  And the "how" has changed.  So excuse the weird sizing and enjoy the song.  It is one of the songs that "the angels" sang over me in these last months.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Introducing my Grandson to MY Grandparents!

 Today Krissy and I braved a roadtrip with both babies.

The mission was simple, introduce Wyatt to his Great Great Grandma and Grandpa Regner.

Our mission was successful!

Mataya was the perfect traveler on the way there but complained on the way home.
Wyatt complained a bit on the way there but was a complete angel on the way home.
BUT all in all, it went splendidly!

I feel so incredibly blessed to watch my Grandma hold my grandson.  I don;t have better words for it than that.  It is simply amazing.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Racing Season

In our household Fall = cross country season.

(and hunting season, but I prefer the XC part!)

Last Saturday, for the first time in YEARS, our entire family was at a race together!  It was so very special to me to have all the kids there.  Seeing them support each other brings deep joy and contentment to my heart.
Mataya spent most of the meet zipping around the golf course, exploring toddler style, but she tolerated being strapped on while Jay raced.  She did great!  She insisted I stand sideways so she could see and she cheered "GO! GO! GO!" along with the rest of us.  She thought it was great fun when I ran to the next spot on the course so we could cheer some more.  Though she will never remember cheering for Jamison, these are memories I will carry with me always.

 Where Joshua is, Mataya is usually close by.  He is so incredibly patient and kind toward her.  He gently teaches her and protects her.  She is one lucky girl!

 The course the kids ran was my personal favorite because so much of it is accessible for spectators.

 Senior year. . .
I wonder how many thousands of miles these two have run together?
 Jamison had his best race yet this year, finishing 9th.

I LOVE watching him race.

Even more, I love watching him be a part of this team.  When Jay was a freshman. the senior team leaders were exceptional.  It is incredible to watch Jay and his now senior teammates be leaders.  They took to heart the lessons learned when they were the underclassmen.  They are leading beautifully.  I see more team spirit than I have seen in year.  I see the very best varsity runners running alongside the slowest JV runner cheering him on.  I see true grit along with servant-heartedness.  It is very, very cool.

 Between races we sat in the shade and played with the babies.
It was wonderful.
 Brenna's race was toward the end of the meet.  It is her first XC season, and she gets better each race!
 Mataya had had enough of the Ergo.  She insisted on running with her own legs during Brenna's race.
 Mid-way through the race, Jamison came to her rescue.  He scooped her up and jogged her over to  the next spot where she could see Brenna running.  This is another one of those moments that she will never remember, but I will.  Her big brother carting her around after finishing his race will be etched in my heart always.  As will the way he watches out for Brenna when she races.  He makes sure to be there cheering for her.  He has also made sure to snap photos for her.  He's a pretty special guy.

 And Brenna is one tough cookie!
I went to practice with her a few weeks ago.  I though that I would be able to keep up with a 7th grade, first time runner.  I thought wrong!  I nearly collapsed trying to keep up with her.  I was definitely feeling my grandma status that day!

One of the highlights of this day, for me, came right after I snapped this picture.  Though you can not see them there was a group of runners a bit ahead of Brenna as she came into the chute.  I thought they were too far ahead for her to catch.  Sierra did not.  As Brenna came by us, Sierra started cheering for her, encouraging her to go after the girls up ahead.  And Brenna did.  She ran her long legs off and chased them down.  I am not sure why, but typing that makes me cry.  Seeing sisters believe in each other and bring out the best in each other is just such a beautiful thing.
 Another beautiful thing is the relationship between my dad and Jamison.  My dad is so proud of Jay.  He loves to watch him race.  I am so very thankful for the bond they have.  Jamison is as well. 

Sierra insisted on pictures with both of her siblings after they raced.  She was and is so very proud of each of them.  Me too! 

It was a race I will hide deep in my heart forever.  The sun was shining.  The grass was green.  The racers were fast.  And best of all my family was all together and all were happy and loving one another in such a beautiful way.  Life in my corner of the world does not get a lot better than that.

(I did not get any pics of Krissy - but trust me, she was there!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Around Here Lately. . .

Around here lately there has been TOO MUCH RUSHING and NOT ENOUGH SAVORING!

I confess my world has tilted, and I am slowly finding my way.

School started.

Mataya and I started having regular office hours.

It is cross-country season.

And I have been overcome with a need to clean-up, clean-out, and nest.

In all honesty, I have chosen to be WAY too busy.  A lot of the household "settling" could have waited.  But, I did have fun doing it.  So perhaps the rush was worth it. . . and yet it can not continue.  As Ann Voscamp says, "life is not an emergency."

However, the time has come for me to pace myself once again and to deliberately savor all that God is doing in our home.

So, here is my cell-phone pictorial review of the past weeks:

 Although Mataya and I are spending several hours in my office 3 - 4 mornings a week, we are also saving time to play!  Mataya is BUSY.  She needs to climb and run and swing.  So, we commonly stop by a park in the middle of running errands.  It is sometimes hard for this task-oriented momma to break to play, but it is also wise (if I do say so myself.)  
I have totally loved all the time I have alone with Mataya.  She is thriving on it as well.

 She is also doing better than I expected at work.

In all honesty, having an 18 month old in my office is sometimes hard!  Everything takes longer than it should, even going to the restroom, because Mataya wants to help.  Singing silly songs, helping her to fix a toy, redirecting her when she is getting into something unsafe all takes time and energy - BUT - I would not change it for the world.  I feel very, very blessed that she and I get to be together all day.
And she is learning all about Daddy's business!  She has a toy box in my office.  One day after watching the guys operating the skidsteer, she dumped out her crayons and used her skidder to clean them up!  It is such a wonder to see her learning every single minute.
 Mataya LOVES to help.

Anytime I am doing anything she comes running.  She grabs for whatever I am doing and says "helper!"  I am telling you, we are a team.  I have learned to plan extra time for every task, always pack an extra set of clothes for us both, and to start each task thinking of how I can involve her.  I do this because I want to fan the flame of her helpfulness AND because when she is not engaged, she is in trouble!!!

We are spending as much time outside as possible. . . slurping up every last drop of sunshine we can find before winter arrives!

Mataya is the fastest, smartest, busiest, sweetest, and moodiest toddler we have ever parented.  She is either in the sweetest mood, greeting strangers with a grin and noisy "HI!", giggling and playing with joy OR she is so incredibly grumpy we do not know what to do with her.  There is no in between.  And often little warning which mood we will get.  Thankfully she is all sunshine most of the time - but, to copy the children's rhyme, "when she is bad, she is horrid!"

She can throw a fit like few others.

She can get into mischief faster than all her other siblings combined! 
 She dumped an entire bottle of shampoo all over the bathroom floor while I showered.
When given shaving cream to play with, she bathed herself in it. . . in the time it took me to pour myself a cup of coffee.  I know I'm old - but trust me, she is fast!  Ha! 

She also gives the sweetest hugs in the universe.  And a spontaneous TayTay kiss is enough to melt my heart for days.  We took her to Dairy Queen last weekend, and when she had her first spoonful of our blizzard her eyes got huge and she leaned in and gave me a BIG kiss.  It was pure gratitude, I tell you!

She is also crazy smart.  She talks non-stop; however most of the time she uses one word "sentences."  I am honestly never quite sure how much she comprehends.  However last weekend she proved she KNOWS exactly what we are saying.  Sunday we had a family dinner.  All the kids were home, which is a treat, so I asked them each to share the event in their last week that was their personal high-point.  Mataya listened as Brenna, Jamison, Sierra, and Chad all shared.  Then I asked her the same question.  I was trulyly just being polite and silly.  I did not think she would or could respond appropriately.  She looked around the table and said "Bompa" (aka Grandpa Scott).  I responded, "You did go to Grandpa's house this week!  Was that fun?"  To which she replied with glee, "Yeah!  Neighs!"  We were all shocked.  So shocked we just laughed and laughed.  No one else had gone to Grandpa's last week.  No one was talking about anything remotely close to that.  She HAD to have known exactly what we were saying to respond so correctly.

Yikes!  She is keeping us on our toes!
And we love it!

 Only someone who thrives on organization would photograph her clean pantry!  When my life is organized I feel so much more alive and productive.

In addition to cleaning my pantry, I cleaned out the storage room and every closet and drawer in the house.  (That is mine anyway. I did not clean the older kids' closets or rooms.)  My house is feeling fresh and crisp, just like the weather.  I LOVE it.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fall Projects

I may enjoy having my kids home - but, truth be told, I DO get a lot more done while they are at school!  This week I made a list pf projects that have been waiting for me all summer.  They range from yucky cleaning jobs, like washing the windows and scrubbing light fixtures, to fun jobs like getting photos printed and put into albums.  (Yes, I still print photos.)

I started with one I have been looking forward to. . .

Last winter when my heart was aching to have Krissy home again, I found the big worded piece at Hobby Lobby.  I rang true with my heart cry, and it matched her room to boot.  I snatched it up, and immediately knew what I wanted to do around it.

You see, when I was a kid one of my favorite things to do at my grandparent's home was look at old photos.  My Grandma Flach had the senior portraits of all her children hung on a wall in one of the bedrooms.  (The green room!)  I thought it was so neat to look at my dad, aunt and uncles and imagine what they were like as teens.  It was always so funny to see how they had changed and to note which of the cousins resembled one of them.

So.... once again I was inspired by my grandma, and decided to hang the baby pictures of all of our kids and grandkids around this sign.  It was a bit of a project getting the baby photos of the oldest kids scanned (because they were large) and then printed in black and white - but I LOVE how the wall turned out!

I finally figured out  way to have all my babies in the same place!

I can't wait to watch Wyatt and Mataya and all the little ones that are yet to come peaking at these photos, trying to guess which baby is which.  (I also wonder if Joshua will forever be tho only one with brown skin.  I'm still praying that if it is His will, God will send us more brown babies.)

And I wonder how many more baby photos I will add to this wall in my lifetime.  I adore babies, and the way I figure it, with the age span of our children there should almost always be a baby around.

Oh my sweet babies, it is so true!

Loved you yesterday
Love you still
Always have, Always will

(Can you guess which baby is which?!?)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Brenna is a Runner-Girl

 Brenna had her first ever cross-country race today.

It was 90*

For real!

I'm sure she was wondering why in the world she decided to run cross instead of playing volleyball today.  An air conditioned gym or a 90* race. . . which would you choose?

I love XC, so I am thrilled with her choice!

And she did great!

Maybe I will luck out and she will fall in love with XC like her big brother has!    

And if not, I am so glad she tried it!  Running is such a great lifetime fitness activity.  I am hoping she catches the bug and loves running always.