Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A March Day

Today was a good, quiet, normal day. We worked hard at school and got lots done. The kids played. My Mom came over and served us and lightened my load. We read picture books and finished a biography about Corrie ten Boom that I was reading aloud to the kids (with editing). I worked through about nine corrected math lessons with Keely and Noah. Spring is in the air, which makes us all feel better, I think.

My Mom has been singing to Sam before his bedtime when she's here on Sunday evenings. It's made me think that I should do that more; learn the words to more lullabies, savor those precious moments when he's still and listening and cuddly.

Sam's room is pretty bare. Since we're renting, it's hard to want to put much effort into decorating it. Especially since this rental is for sale. I need a little more guarantee that my energy is really worth it. :)

Joe's lesson with my Dad

I realized today that I'm really going to miss gardening. I suppose I will have to make do with container plants this year. I need to research what veggies might do well in pots, too.

Everyday things. Hope you're enjoying them, too. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Looking toward Capilla de Paz (Chapel of Peace)

Well, we did it! After months of planning and weeks of praying about whether or not we should go because of reports of drug-related violence, we went to Acapulco. We wanted to mark our fifteenth anniversary with a 'big' trip; we've never really taken one together before. Wow! It was such a wonderful, sweet time together! We slept. We read (almost got through my sixth book on the flight home). We marveled at the amazing beauty. We slept more. We haggled (unsuccessfully, I fear) in the market. It was awesome! God was so faithful to protect us and bless us with this time away together.

the cliff divers

view from our room

the La Concha Club

another view from our balcony

Some of the highlights of our trip: seeing parrots fly by (not in a zoo!), worshiping with a church there in Acapulco--where we were able to hear the sermon in English through headphones, meeting a gal who is from Kansas City at the same church, marveling that we arrived safely at our destinations after each crazy cab ride(!), watching the waves and smelling the sea smell. We made some terrific memories, and for those of you who knew about our plans and prayed faithfully for our safety, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Iglesia Presbiteriana Maranatha

The absolute best part, though? Coming home to this sign and the sweet little people who made it. :)

Friday, March 04, 2011

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


It's 6:20, and I just gave Kevin a very coffee kiss, whether he wanted it or not. Today, I am excited. Today, I get to remember the past fifteen years. This day, 15 years ago at about 2 p.m., I stood at the back of a church with my Dad. He kissed me on the cheek, and we were off down the aisle. I'm not sure if I was already crying before we started walking or not. But, I was boo-hooing all the way down that aisle. My already round face was getting round-er and puffier by the second. Poor Kevin was standing at the altar, looking happy, but a bit bewildered. 'Why are you crying?' his eyes asked. I suppose it was an apt introduction to being married to a very emotional person. :)

I was so young (19 1/2, to be exact), and so immature, and so naive, and in many ways, so was Kevin, though he was 26. We had no idea what we were doing, though we thought we were prepared. That makes me want to laugh! I wonder now what our parents were thinking. I'm sure they were spending a lot of time in fervent prayer. :) But, they were supportive and loving regardless of the doubts I'm sure they had. (Kevin's Dad once came by my apartment when we were engaged and brought me flowers and a card saying how glad he was that I was going to be his daughter-in-law. I see where Kevin got it.)

I have wished over the years that we had a different story; one that was more pure and godly and inspiring. But, sadly, neither of us was seeking God at this time. We partied. We smoked. We were all about our own glory and not at all about God's. That's embarrassing to admit, but it really makes this whole journey that much more amazing. That's who we were. But that's not where God left us.

Those first years were really roller-coaster. We had such fun together most of the time, but we had some fights that were doozies. I would sometimes 'run' home to my Mom, either physically or emotionally during those first months. I know: pretty much the biggest no-no. Kevin accepted an IT job in Lawrence, Kansas after the first year and a half of our marriage, and so we went, looking forward to an adventure in exciting Kansas. :) The job ended up being terrible in many ways, but God led us to a vibrant E-Free church there, full of young couples who were growing and passionate about knowing God and loving Him. Kevin and I dove in, and God used the teaching there to begin to grow us closer to Him. As a matter of fact, I experienced a real turning point in my spiritual life during that time. (Was it salvation? Was I already saved? That's stuff for another post. I don't exactly know the answer, but that's okay. I know I'm His now.) We made some precious friendships and learned so much about the Lord. It was good for us to be 600 miles away from our families. We had to cleave together, to make our own friends, our own way.

And Keely was born during that time. That most amazing event was another way the Lord was chipping away at me (us), showing me my need for Christ, showing me how selfish I was. Little did we know that we would have six more 'amazing events' in our future!

Oh, dear: I'm only about two years into our marriage at this point! I don't think I have the time today to write (nor do you, to read, I'm sure) this much detail about the following thirteen.

So, I'll just say that today, I stand in awe of what God has done. I am married to my best friend. We prefer to be together over being with anyone else. Is it perfect? Of course not. We have bad days, months, and have even had some rough years. But I love this amazing man I get the privilege to be married to. He loves me and is faithful to me.

Do I deserve any of this?

No way.

It's all God's grace. That's what makes me want to cry, to fall on my knees. I had no idea who I was, who Kevin was, really, beyond the superficial stuff that you float on when you're in the throes of 'in love' feelings.

But God knew, and He knew what He was going to do with us. And I can only say, 'Thank you' to Him.

[15] For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” [16] So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
(Romans 9:15-16 ESV)

Happy Anniversary, Kevin. I am so proud and grateful that *I* get to be your wife!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Settling In

Well, most of the boxes are unpacked, and 'our' old house is officially someone else's home. It was surprising to Kevin and I that neither of us (or the kids, really) were very sad about the transition. Sure, I had a few twinges when I went back for the last time to clean the carpets and grab the last of our things. Lots of memories happened between those walls.

This door was the hardest thing for me to leave!

But I didn't cry, and I just really feel so grateful to have been able to sell our house and be completely out of debt and saving for our next house, wherever that may be. Yes, I said completely out of debt! Mind you, we drive a nice-ish 12 passenger van (and by nice I mean: not rusting and runs well :) ) and a sixteen-year-old Honda with one side view mirror. But, you couldn't even tempt us to go into debt for a car again! We just feel free. And, we feel like the Lord has really given us a nice situation with a rental home that fits our family.

Wanna see it?

Here's the living room, kitchen, and formal dining room, which will be our school room.

And, this is the kids' bathroom/laundry room.

See that little face in the tub?

I was caught up on laundry on Saturday. Can you believe it? I don't know how to simplify the work of that part of a large family any more. It's just work. But, they're so worth it. :) We had to take off the doors to the closet for the washer and dryer 'cause ours wouldn't fit. Not so pretty, but I'm hoping to come up with some kind of cute solution. A curtain? I don't know yet.

The kids are missing their neighborhood friends, but are doing fine playing with their siblings. The 'on loan' trampoline in the back yard is helping, too.

Tomorrow is a special day for me. I hope to write about it then. Have a great day!