Endless Gifts

Counting grace gifts…

-dear, earnest praying friends who send me email counsel and even scan devotional pages for me
-ministering blogs
-Ladybug bouncer chair: soft, sweet, pale pink and green
-swingset completed and four swing high, some sync together, legs pumping, long hair blowing
-hard-working husband who sweated it out to finish said swing-set, no easy task on the custom-made, super tall set. love this swing set because even the big kids can swing for years on it.
-delicious home cooked food from friends and church family
-profoundly grateful at 37 weeks 6 days (38!! weeks on 6/28) to have- Lord willing and hopefully avoided the NICU and pre-term complications, still on my feet (although feet are up more than down), and even though uncomfortable- all is well.
-butterflies covering a bush richly decorated purple
-5 of 8 Scripture placques hanging and a little 3 year old who proclaims, “I love my special placque!”
-Carolina sunshine even in the midst of rain
-never-ending hum of cool A.C. and breeze of fan
-soft, cool sheets on hot, achy legs and feet. Stretching out, it feels so good.
-a day which I feel more normal and energized than I have in weeks- maybe it was finally the ability to get down the full dose of vitamins without gagging for more than one day, maybe the babies’ are coming soon? Maybe it is just a great gift of grace…
-husband who not only cooks delicious food- but enjoys cooking, too. and in his own words, “it is a good thing I do, too, or we would be in trouble right now…” 😉
-email bible study/ book study… the mind throws off its fog and cobwebs and works on something good and higher. It feels good.
-6 dressed in matching VBS shirts and off they go. Fun times together.


Facing Rain

“His perfect love casts out all fears and leaves only thanks…” (Voskamp)

and I have not learned, I have not learned to thank in the midst of the fear and the fist-beating struggle against vulnerability and heel-digging resistance… laying myself low to the competence or lack of… in another…

I have not learned.

Yet this. This. It comforts me.

Is it something only He can learn in me? I cannot force it. I cannot fake it. I cannot even say it.

My small cup. It is nothing to His. He received it. He did, though, ask for it to be removed. It is okay, it is right… to ask.

My small cup. Small it is. I fully acknowledge, whole-heartedly know- in the light of many, many things- it is a small trial and cup to drink. But, yet, it is my cup, right now and I am having trouble facing it.

“It” is my worry, fear, anxiety, and “lack of control” surrounding the delivery of our twins, my Baby A who is still flipping head up, head down- the reality that I have to face anesthesia I don’t want to face, that I might even have to have a surgery I don’t want to have… this is my small cup.

Rise up in me, O gift of faith, I pray.

Faith to pray for a blessed outcome. Faith to thank in all things. Faith to fight fear. Faith to receive Your love that casts out all fear. Not to cower, afraid. Not to be wrapped in worry’s cloak.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:16-19 ESV

And this, this I can vouch comes from a redeemed heart. It is impossible. Impossible for my self to do this will of God.

I cry, grace. Grace. Grace.

Anne spelled with an “e”

On giving my girls names with an “E”

“…But if you call me Anne please call me Anne spelled with an e.”
“What difference does it make how it’s spelled?” asked Marilla with another rusty smile as she picked up the teapot.
“Oh it makes such a difference. It looks so much nicer. When you hear a name pronounced can’t you always just see it in your mind, just as if it was printed out? I can; and A-n-n looks dreadful but A-n-n-e looks so much more distinguished. If you’ll only call me Anne spelled with an e I will try to reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia.”
“Very, well then, Anne spelled with an e…”

Lucy Maud Montgomery from Anne of Green Gables Chapter 3

Somehow an “e” makes a special distinction… 😉 names just aren’t the same without.

Endless Gifts

So good, so good for me to seek for these…

Friend who confirms Scripture and prays for me
Comfortable brown recliners create new cozy space for all; they are a blessing in so many ways
“Anne” movies- not very spiritual- but a mainstay for over 20 years of “sickie” times
Making it to week 35 gestation- no pre-term labor, no problems, no transport far away!
Forgiveness and grace- when I blow it, I can go to them.
Ice and water again and again and again
Names chosen and Scriptures picked for two little girls… soon a girl club will form
Children who are old enough- that- if I have to lie down again and again- it is okay.
Healthy well-visits for the five who needed their appts.
Home sheltered in woods with lush greenness covering
Wonderful, wonderful central air
Naps for which I rarely struggle with heartburn
Chicken tacos with rice and beans and soy sour cream and green leaf lettuce (salsa but NOT for me); easy, nutritious
Summer school schedule
Library book talk with two oldest sons, why am I always still so surprised when I encounter people who are so in love with this town and our mountains? I need their secret.
31 purse filled with bitty bitty diapers and toiletries for me
Daddy teaching Family Bible and then they talk again around the breakfast table, remembering. (doing awesome, love)
The funny things they say (Did dinosaurs eat chicken nuggets? No son, we eat dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.)

A Family Tradition

This weekend I completed one of the projects on my list before the babies come.

Scripture Plaques for Baby Twins

Before the arrival of our first-born son, I found myself gripped by a rare “crafting” and artistic urge. 🙂 I painted a small piece of furniture, put a border up in his nursery, and created two special Scripture plaques for his wall. One was a Psalm 139 piece and the other was created individually for him with a special Scripture. I have continued the tradition of creating a piece of special wooden wall art with Scripture for each child we have been given since. We have finally settled the great name tumult ( I hope and pray) and I was able to choose Scriptures and then to work on this project. All that is left is for the “hangar” to be nailed onto the back and then they can be hung. We still haven’t hung all the other children’s and they are eagerly waiting to have their own in their rooms. Todd is going to nail the hangar for me as, traditionally, I have had much trouble with this part. I think these two are my best. I have improved over the years. 😉

Babies’ Scripture Art

A Much Smoother Weekend

After Memorial Day excitement- we had a much smoother weekend, this past weekend.
We are busy trying to get lots of little details taken care of before the babies come.
We are working toward finishing a swingset for the children.
We have been managing a multitude of doctor visits. Today three children are at their well-visit. On Friday, two others went.

I managed to make two solo trips this weekend- one on Saturday and one on Sunday. On Saturday, I stopped by a friends baby shower. Her little girl is due at the end of the month. I didn’t stay. I can hardly sit on a chair- but it was fun to see her and drop off her gift. I met a new lady, too and got to hear a very interesting birth story! Then I hobbled around Wal-Mart collecting the final things for my hospital bag. It is amazing how hard this is for me. I came home, showered, put my feet up, and dealt with contractions for several hours.

On Sunday, I took Micah and Nate to a special talk at our local library. A local husband/wife team spoke on their book publishing process. They have created beautiful non-fiction children’s science books. She is the author and he is the illustrator. I had discovered their book(about four years ago) on Amazon. com: About Birds and we were using it in our home school. This was right around when we first moved to the mountains.This is a truly beautiful, water color bird book- simple and informative for K and 1st grade children. Imagine our suprise when we read the bio in the back and discovered they lived in our town! We learned yesterday that they have since created 18 books. About Birds was the first one in the series. Anyway- it was very interesting to hear them share how they initially were published and the process they go through to create a book. They have a hummingbird book coming out that looks wonderful! I really enjoyed this book talk with my two oldest boys. The husband/illustrator is a self-taught watercolor artist. His work is just beautiful. The wife taught kindergarten for years before she moved into book writing. She is careful about research which both Micah and I appreciated!

I came home from this short talk with huge feet and ankles as well.

Throughout the day I had also been working on a special project for the twins- which I will share in its own post.

Hoping for a smooth week,