Can a pop song be a prayer?

Can a pop song you don’t really know the words to be a prayer? It was mine last night.

“There’s a hole in my soul I can’t fill it. I can’t fill it. There’s a hole in my soul Can you you fill it? Can you fill it?”

Except in my case the “you” should be written as You.

Yesterday was our first day back from spending 6 days in Connecticut where I’m from with my family. Wednesday night we flew home. I was really sad. I felt the heaviness of knowing I can’t ever be satisfied split between people I love in one part of the country and people I love in another part of the country. Where ever I live there will always be longing for something else.

You can probably guess where I am going with this for this is the human experience. The routine mundane of this life, the disappointments, the unfulfilled longings of our hearts are the symptoms of a world gone wrong. The ringing emptiness of my heart is a cry to be near God for Whom I was made. Nothing satisfies for nothing is supposed to satisfy me. Every thing I turn to to drown out the loneliness only amplifies it 100 times over for this longing exists to be filled by God.

There’s a hole in my soul God can fill it, God can fill. Only He satisfied, I am thirsty I am dry!

 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42:1-2

Are you restless today? Let the restlessness remind you of heaven. Let it drive you to your knees and ask to be filled with the Comforter. Pray for strength to wait patiently for the coming of Jesus our Bridegroom Who will come and fill all our unfulfilled desires.

This morning I was reading Heaven by Joni Eareckson Tada. She was expounding on this verse:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Tim 4:8

Lord! Let the disappointments of this be used to make me long for Your return! Come quickly Lord Jesus! May I love Your appearing in that day!

That was the exhortation I needed this morning. Every time I feel sadness here on earth I need it to lift my eyes to home. I need it to make me seek the face of my God.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11

My sister in law and her new baby and husband came to visit last night. I tried to explain a little bit what I was feeling. That when I feel this sadness over family having to live apart and far away that I need to remember how great heaven is going to be when there will be no more good bye’s and no more tears and everyone is living together! It’s going to be a celebration that doesn’t end.

It’s much like the paradox I live in now, having children on earth and a child in heaven. One foot there and one foot here. One day me and my children (assuming they will grow to trust God) will all be together and the longing for wholeness will be filled.

While the post may feel heavy it’s not supposed to be. Our monetary and light afflictions are here to cheer us on as we journey home.

We did have a really good time visiting with family in Connecticut by the way. The joys of this life are there to be a shadow of the joy those who profess Christ will one day possess. When life is really good (which most of the time it is!) that goodness gives me a small taste of the glory before me! Like an appetizer that leaves me hungrier for the real meal, happiness in this life makes me want the best and the better in the life to come.

(note- I say “yesterday” in this post because it took me two days to finish it. It’s been two days at the time of publishing)

A peek into our preschool at home

 

I’ve been asked about pre schooling E at home quite a bit lately so I thought I’d share a little bit of what we’re up to these days.

Tuesday:
For some fun math we had a “number snowball fight.” I would call out a number for E to go stand on and then I’d throw that number of “snowballs” (cotton balls) at her. She would then place the snowballs on the sheet of paper as we counted them together.

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For some name practice I finally found a use for the cereal made of beans gone stale that I bought in the clearance section!

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We read a chapter of the Jesus Storybook Bible. Today I read her the story of Joseph.

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At Arkansas Center For Music Education she got to jingle some bells and maracas and T.J got in on the fun as well.

Tuesday afternoon’s she has gymnastics. She does really well! She’s tiny but she’s strong!

Before bed I read her a chapter from On The Banks Of Plum Creek By Laura Ingalls Wilder. It’s said to be a 5th grade reading level book. Reading E books above her age group and that exceed her vocabulary is a part of my homeschooling philosophy. It’s a lot more fun for me as well!

Wednesday:

I’ve done so many things with these circle stickers I had left over from a yard sale this past summer. After numbering them 1-5 I put them on E’s finger nails. We talked about our ages and stuck stickers on our foreheads and shirts with our ages on them. We did some name stickers too. This one shows how fast and easy a lesson can be. (it’s all wrinkled up because I forgot about taking a picture of it until the baby tried to eat it!)

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Wednesday mornings we go to the library for story time. Ms. Emily, the children’s librarian puts a lot of work into the kids having a good time. They play with a parachute and then either do a craft or a coloring sheet. Each week we check out as many books as will fit in our library bag.

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After watching an episode of Sid the Science Kid about airplanes that we checked out at the library, I got on Pinterest and looked up how to make paper airplanes. E liked this one a lot! We went up to our loft and threw them down from up there.

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We worked for maybe 5 minutes, maybe less, on hand writing practice. I use books from the dollar store. E really doesn’t like practicing letters with a pencil. At 3 years old, I don’t push it. I offer it to her and she can try for as long as she is interested and then she can be done. At this age my main goal is for her to enjoy learning and want to learn. Today she worked some on the letter H.

Before bed we read one of her books she checked out today.

Thursday:
E and Daddy spent time reading together this morning when he got off work.

Today we checked out a story time they were having at a new book store down town. I don’t know if we’ll go back next week. It was a huge hassle to park downtown in the middle of the day and there was only a couple other kids and after wards E wanted so badly for me to buy her a book but they were priced 16-28 dollars and I know those same books are at the library.

We ran a bunch of errands today. Since E was a baby I’ve used outings as opportunities to talk with her and teach her. I usually have an ongoing conversation with her as I drive about why I’m stopping or what road were on why I’m changing lanes.

Today at the pet store I helped her count fish and we talked about how much the birds cost. I know this all sounds like just life and not school but that’s the point I’m trying to make- for us they are one in the same.

While we were at the grocery store I made sure to pick up some more cheap salt so we could make some more homemade play dough. She loves play dough! I wish I had gotten a picture of what she ended up creating. She made a pretty impressive octopus!

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Friday:
E woke up tired and clingy. I read her a bunch of books and then she just wanted to lay around. I set up a shape craft for her and tried to entice her to do a shape game but she didn’t feel like it. When she didn’t want to do play dough I knew something was wrong! Sure enough by dinnertime she was running a fever. Thankfully by Saturday morning her fever was gone so it was just a quick bug.
One of the books we read was about a girl who was sick. E could identify!
I told her in 3 year old terms about her immune system and how the white blood cells were working hard to gobble up the virus in her body. She also seemed pretty fascinated when I taught her how her blood is pumped and taught her to feel her pulse on her neck and on her wrist. About every 5 minutes she informed us that her heart was still beating. Good to know! ha ha

Monday:

We were invited over the home of a homeschool mom and friend of mine who is doing a book club/discussion group going through the book For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer.

We made cookie dough for the kids to roll out and cut shapes out of. While the cookies baked and cooled, the kids watched a movie and ate popcorn while the moms discussed the book. Today we discussed habit formation specifically building the habits of self control and selflessness in children.

The kids then got to decorate!

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When I was a kid in public school, the week before break I remember consisting of eating sugar and cleaning out our desks. That means I am totally counting decorating cookies with friends as “preschool time.”  🙂

Everyone enjoy your time with your family this week!

I don’t know that you’ll hear from me on the blog until next year- we’ve got some fun stuff planned for the rest of the year! I’ve got a lot of posts in my head though I want to share come January.

 

 

Finished Reading “If God is Good” by Randy Alcorn

I don’t want to spend the time writing a book review but I do want to throw a few comments out there about this book. “If God Is Good, Faith In the Midst of Suffering and Evil” is easily the best book I read all year and for sure one of the best books I’ve read in a while. It has built my faith a lot to read scripture after scripture about this topic and to read many stories of saints and their sufferings and the victories their sufferings brought about. Near the end of the book there was a poem that I have been thinking about since reading it and I hunted it down on the internet so I could share it here. (I already returned the book to the library)

 

It’s written by Joseph Baylee in a book titled Psalms Of My Life (1969). The poem titled “A Psalm While Packing Books” was written after the author and his wife lost three children through varies tragedies.

 

This cardboard box

Lord

see it says

Bursting limit

100 lbs. Per square inch.

The box maker knew

how much strain

the box would take

what weight

would crush it.

You are wiser

than the box maker

maker of my spirit

my mind

my body.

Does the box know

when pressure increases close to

the limit?

No

It knows nothing.

But I know

when my breaking point

Is near.

And so I pray

Maker of my soul

Determiner of the pressure

within

upon

me

Stop it

lest I be broken

Or else

change the pressure rating

of this fragile container

of your grace

so that I may bear more

Last Wednesday at the library I saw the book Heaven by Joni Earkeckson Tada. She never disappoints so I’m sure it will be an edifying read! I’ve already started it and so far it’s as good as I expected.

I asked the library to get for me from another one of the library branches Heaven by Randy Alcorn and also one of his children’s books, Tell Me About Heaven to preview and then possibly read to E.

 

Another Monday

Another Monday! What a blessing! Another day I’ve waken up alive and healthy. My healthy children still asleep in their beds while I enjoy this quiet moment.

Lord, this Monday is a gift from You and it belongs to You. May this Monday be used for Your glory. Help me today to have a spirit of Thankfulness. Empower me today with the fruit of gentleness and self control to be gentle with my family and myself when we get tired and grumpy. I pray You help me to live well and love people this Monday instead of plowing through my check list just trying to get stuff done. Help me to savor the moments with my baby even when he is teething and fussy and getting into everything! Help me to wonder at the curiosity of my 3 year old and not get annoyed with all the “whys?” Help me to grasp the immeasurable blessings contained in an ordinary Monday. In Jesus Name I pray

Ways I’m going to choose love today:

I’m going to take the time to teach E a Bible story

I’m going to say “yes” at least once to a game she wants me to play with her

I will make it a point to hold my fussy teether seeing this time as moments to cherish rather than a trial to get through

I’ll choose love by making sure I don’t complain about my husband’s work schedule realizing complaining won’t change anything

I’ll bundle the kids up and take some time this afternoon to explore God’s creation with them

 

Do I know Jesus?

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” (John 1:10)

If I saw Jesus today, would I recognize Him? How well do I know Him? When He sees me will He know me? Do we have a vibrant relationship? Do we talk? Are we close? Do we share our hearts with each other? Do I listen to Him? Do I obey?

Do I know the word well enough that when I see the Word I will know Him?

Philippians 3:10a “That I may know him…”

 

So what do I think about my “FlyLady” week?

For the past week I’ve worked to organize my home and routines by following the routines found on FlyLady.net.

I have definitely been more organized this week and it has helped me as my new insulin regimen requires I eat the same thing at the same time every day which requires being pretty organized. I’m not a tidy or organized person by nature. I’m naturally messy. That’s probably why I’m one of those people who likes chore charts and routines. Because I need it! Also I feel like having routines gives me an “end” to my work. There may be other stuff I see to do but knowing I’ve done my jobs for the day mentally frees me up to do other things.

I like the morning and evening routines and I like having specific jobs to do on specific days- mopping on monday, cleaning the car on Friday, etc. Anything over and above that though is too much for the stage of life I am in right now. In this season the little people in my home are totally dependent on me to wipe their noses, put their clothes on, wipe their behinds and feed them. With the amount of time and energy that all takes it just doesn’t matter to me if there is dust on top of the fridge or if the silverware drawer is organized! Yes I like those things done but it’s just not practical to expect that level of efficiency in house keeping when I only have two hands and two children who need constant care and supervision.

While I may not do it perfectly every day I do plan to keep up with the morning and evening routines and the chores of the day.

So what do you think about my little challenge? Have you ever visited FlyLady.net? There’s a lot to be learned about housekeeping/ homemaking over there.

Have a happy weekend!

The last day of my challenge!

Yesterday (Thursday) was cold and I had to keep my runny nose kiddos inside. I tried to make fun for them but being extroverted it’s always kind of hard for me when I have to stay home when the kids are sick. We made cookies, (and my weird kids thought warm cookies were icky..), did a preschool craft and watched Mary Poppins for the first time. It was my first time seeing it too. E loved that “step in time” song and had me play it 3 or 4 times for her to dance to! It reminded me of myself as a kid because even though I hadn’t seen the whole movie growing up we had a vhs that had different disney songs on it and step in time was one of my favorite to jump around to.

Anyways, I got most of the FlyLady morning routine done except for the laundry because my husband was sleeping. I even got in my stretching and E played by herself pretty well while I did it. I only had T.J crawling on me and pulling my hair lol! (yes, I’m trying to teach him not to pull hair!)

In the afternoons I like to take a 30 minute nap after my husband wakes up and before he goes to work but yesterday to get the grocery shopping done I had to leave as soon as he woke up. We needed groceries and I couldn’t take the kids out because of their colds. That made for a hard evening because I was really tired and in addition to the evening routine and feeding the kids dinner and bathing them etc. I also had to put up the groceries alone because my husband had to leave as soon as I got hime. We didn’t really see each other yesterday. Sigh. Night shift life.

Yesterday evening was one of those crazy parenting evenings when I’m just running from one thing to the next figuratively putting out fires. It seemed all evening one of the children were getting hurt or destroying something. I’ve been trying to get my evening routine done before the kids go down so I can relax after they are down but there was no way last night I could clean with them up. I got the baby to bed then did the laundry finally and let E stay up while I cleaned the kitchen.

My feet get really sore because they are bony. The only thing that relives the pain is to sit down. I was determined to not wake up to a messy kitchen this morning so I gritted my teeth and bore the pain. By the time I got E to sleep I could barely walk to my bedroom because of the pain so I didn’t do my chore of the day after she went to sleep which was to scrub the sink.

Today (Friday) on FlyLady.net is “declutter your purse and car day” and the mission of the day is to clean off the top of the refrigerator and dust cobwebs in the kitchen. We’ll see how it goes!

FlyLady’s routine includes a Friday date night.. Hubby is working today but tomorrow he is off and we are planning on going to a company party. I’ll do something fun with the kids today, call it family fun day and call tomorrow night date night. 🙂

If your reading for the first time, this week I’m doing a little challenge to follow the housekeeping routine on FlyLady.net. If you need help getting organized she seems to be the internet’s organization guru. Check out her site!

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

continuing the Flylady.net challenge…

Because of my husband’s schedule yesterday (Tuesday) was more like a Saturday for us. We had a good day! I woke up really early and got done my assignment for the day from FlyLady.net which was “plan and play day.” I got done the planning part any ways. Meal planning and making a grocery list and coupling requires some brain work so I like to get up extra early and do that before my kids wake up.

I also used this as kind of a “paper work day” and sorted and shredded the mail and sent out the bills that needed to be sent out.

I did manage to get my morning routine done except for exercise before we headed out early to spend the day visiting family. We needed up having company over for dinner too but I was still able to get the bedtime routine done. I just washed dishes while I visited.

As you can tell, we spent most the day having fun which is the “play” part of the assignment.

As for the 15 minute job of the day- I decided to put that off until Saturday which will be more like a work day for us. That job was to clean out the silverware drawer.

Today on FlyLady.net Wednesday is “anti procrastination day.” The title itself is explanatory. I spent the time cleaning up the felt explosion in our loft.

Today’s assignment in the kitchen was to clean out the refrigerator. I didn’t do a deep clean or anything just got rid of the old stuff and wiped up the worse of it.

I did get done the morning and evening routines even though it took me all day to tackle one load of laundry. If you’re a mom I’m sure you know how that is!

I didn’t do any specific exercise. Motherhood is a constant workout but I do feel good when I stretch so I should find a way to do that. If I do it before my kids wake up my blood sugar spikes from early morning exercise and if I do it with them I just get crawled all over like a jungle gym… and I’m tired…

On a different note.. I had fun watching my kids at the library today. The librarian dumped a box of cotton balls on top the parachute so the kids could toss them up and down like snow. I wish I had a picture!

I better be getting to bed. Tomorrow is errand day on FlyLady.net.

If you’re reading this blog for the first time and wondering what I’m talking about, this week I’m sharing my challenge to follow the housekeeping routine found on Flylady.net. If you need help organizing your home I’d suggest you check it out!

Monday- “home blessing hour”

It’s just a change of words really but I like the positivity used on FlyLady.net when she calls mopping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms “home blessing.”

This week I’ve challenged self to follow the housekeeping routine found on FlyLady.net.

This week on FlyLady.net her 15 minute jobs for the day are in the kitchen. Today her assignment is to wipe down the kitchen cabinets. I have no idea how long it’s been since I did this and it really needed done! I thought E would be interested in helping with this job since it involved water but she thought it was fun for like 2 seconds haha!

I’ve found that when I need to get work done around the house, my kids behave best if I first do something with them and then they are satisfied with playing on their own for a little while since they got some mommy time.

Before I started my morning chores today I did this little science experiment with E- It’s a plate of milk that she squeezed some food coloring into and then watched in amazement as drops of dish soap moved the colors all around.

Lately T.J has become interested in books, especially interactive touch and feel books. We had a good time looking at several together and then he was satisfied to crawl around and practice walking for a little bit.

This afternoon I asked my husband to bring the kids out for a while so I could have the house empty to clean. We rarely do any thing like that so having a couple hours to myself to clean without also taking care of kids felt like a vacation! It’s a lot easier to mop floors with out a 20 pound squirmy baby on my back- that’s the only way I can think of to keep him off the wet floors! (he doesn’t like the playpen) It’s a lot easier to clean toilets as well without little hands wanting to splash around in there!

T is off from work tonight and I found it really didn’t take away from family time at all to get the bedtime routine done.

That’s it for today, I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

Imaginations of Heaven

“Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.”
Quote by Fanny Crosby

I’ve often spent time imaging what it will be like to live in my resurrected body. I live in  a body that does not produce insulin and because of it every day I look forward to life on the new earth. It’s one of the blessings that has come out of my suffering.

When I read the above quote the other morning by blind hymn writer Fanny Crosby I started writing in my journal imagining the joy of being free from a cursed body and living in a resurrected one.

Here’s some of my imaginations..

I rejoice for the first time I will eat without counting carbs or injecting insulin or doing finger sticks (since childhood), I will be with Jesus! I’ll be laughing as juice from a fruit I’e never seen drips down my chin. Jesus laughs at my eagerness to try the sweet fruit. I meet His eyes with mine and laugh back full of joy, reaching for a napkin to wipe off the juice now dripping down my arm. As I reach for it I see again His scarred hands and my throat tightens. Unable to take another bite, I stand up out of my chair and fall to my knees in weeping worship. “Your mercy Jesus is more than I deserve! Thank You!” I say ashamed of my sin that gave Jesus those scars. How could I have offended One so good, so kind? How could He be so patient, so willing to forgive? I look up again at the radiance of His holy face and I am once again filled with joy unspeakable as I move from kneeling to dancing. I motion to my brothers and sisters to join me as the music of angels starts back up again. I never could dance on the old earth and I still can’t but no one seems to mind here. Holy! Holy! Holy! we shout echoing the angels in worship. Jesus joins in dancing and celebrating with us.

Happy and in need of a breath I sit down as the celebration around me continues. My son Titus feeds me a grape. I stroke his cheek, untold emotion rising up in me. Once again I whisper “thank You” to the Father for not sparing His Son so I can have a new life with mine for eternity. And once again, I drop to my knees. I must worship forever my King, this Heavenly Father who gives so bountifully to His children.

about the featured image: After Titus died I couldn’t bear to leave his nursery empty so T and I filled it with toys for our nieces and nephews and made it a playroom in memory of Titus. We were blessed 2 years later to use the room once again as nursery, this time for a little girl. When I went looking through my photos for an appropriate cover photo I saw this picture and thought it would be fitting for a post about longing for heaven.