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“The spirit of complaint is born out of an unwillingness to trust God with today. Like the Israelites, it means you are spending your time looking back toward Egypt or wishing for the future, all the while missing what God is doing right now.”
From: One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer

Wow, what a quote huh? I don't know, maybe it's just me. I often find myself doing just that. I have never thought about how it starts. I have many times asked myself why it's so easy to complain, but never seemed able to supply an answer. Why is it so easy to find the bad in life instead of the good?

Sure, we all have things that have happened in our lives that upset, anger, sadden, and confuse us. We also have many things that cause us to be happy, at peace, appreciative, and encouraged. We seem to go flying right by those emotions and into the wishing mode. You know the one where we can't wait to fit into that certain outfit, get together with our bff, or finally enjoy that great vacation.

I met a lady this week who had just found out about my son passing away. She hugged me and said, "I know how you feel; I lost a baby too. That's why I look the way I do. I've gained all this weight from sitting around crying and eating." When I saw her that's not what I saw, but it's obviously how she felt. I went to my husband and asked him if I hadn't grieved correctly for Uriah. Should I still be crying daily? Should I have no desire to go places? Should I not look forward to the future? He assured me that we all grieve in our own way. This; however, caused me to want to help this woman. What could I do or say to encourage her to find hope? Maybe a simple hug and smile will get the ball rolling.

The question I needed to ask myself was not did I grieve correctly but in what negativity am I stuck? I can be so negative about all my physical pain. I can also live a "what if" life. What if I had never met my wonderful husband? What if we never get to go to Disney? What if I never had to deal with physical, mental, and emotional pain?

The key is obvious. Enjoy what God is doing now. We live in a wonderful neighborhood in a beautiful house. We have a terrific church to attend. We have two healthy children and one more to be born at any time. We have job security. We have a God who loves us unconditionally. We have great friends to spend our days with. We have God's creation to enjoy daily. Boy, the list could go on and on.

So I guess instead of worrying about the future and what my New Years resolution is going to be, I can begin to enjoy today...every day.

Join in on the discussion of the above quote with this weeks’
In ‘Other’ Words hostess, Debbie on her blog, Heart Choices along with the other bloggers who share as well.

I have had quite a few sales jobs during my lifetime. I've sold candles, vacuums, food, cleaning products, and probably some stuff I can't even remember. I tended to do a pretty good job at selling things, but never enjoyed it at all. I do enjoy having in-home parties that showcase certain products. I had a party a few years ago and invited 40 people. My mom is the only one who came, so I said I would NEVER host another party. Well, never say never. I ended up hosting another party a couple of weeks ago. I invited 122 people but only 7 people came. No complaints though...I was able to get what I wanted for free. One of the ladies that had had a party in my home 4 or 5 years ago called me this evening to see if I would be willing to join her team and sell with her. I declined and explained that I was enjoying being a stay-at-home mom plus I was 6 months pregnant. She asked the ages of my other children and exclaimed that I sure knew how to spread them out. She said that I probably wasn't use to being pregnant again. I went on to explain that I had had a baby in January but that he had only lived 2 days. Her reply was, "Well, you know jewelry fixes everything!"

I hung up in total shock. Jewelry fixes everything? If that's the case I want to sell all I own and go to the nearest jewelry store.

I know this woman and I know she is a believer. I'm assuming she wasn't expecting to hear such sad news and just didn't know how to reply. This, of course, got me to thinking about what does fix everything. I know that God's grace, truth, and love fixes it all. I also know that just because something is fixed doesn't necessarily mean there aren't noticeable repairs. Just looking at what I have tried to repair with Elmer's glue will prove that.

So what needed to be repaired after Uriah died? My heart. There was quite a nice size wound there, and it is still healing. There are also other noticeable scars on my heart. Scars I have brought on myself and scars from others. While doing a Bible study a few weeks ago I realized that those "cracks" can be repaired by God so that no one would ever know they were there. The woman teaching the class was talking about the verse in John that says, "He must increase, but I must decrease." She drew a heart on the paper and drew in a bunch of cracks. In the spaces she wrote in some hurts. There were bitterness, anger, rejection, etc. We talked about how when we give these hurts over to the Lord He not only takes those hurts away but fills them with Himself. When He does this our hearts are able to enlarge and this is how we grow in Him.

I saw a show once on enlarged hearts and they were explaining that this was a very unhealthy thing to have. They are correct if they are talking about our physical heart, but dead wrong when speaking of the spiritual heart. My question then is, "How large can I grow my heart?" I want to tone up my heart. I want my heart to be the largest muscle in my body. Not large with hurts, but large with His peace.

Jewelry doesn't fix everything but if my hubby is reading this...it does help.


Outside my window... is a bird feeder with a female Cardinal filling her tummy…again!

I am thinking... I need to be more patient.

I am thankful for... a quiet house.

From the kitchen... is homemade noodles, gravy, chicken, mashed potatoes, and fresh blueberry pie.

I am wearing... eternal love from my Heavenly Father.

I am creating... a new nursery. It is very bittersweet.

I am going... to enjoy my time at home!

I am reading... nothing right now. I haven’t read anything in quite awhile. This seems to bother my sweet hubby so I guess it’s time for me to pick up a book.

I am praying... for a healthy baby boy in just 15 more weeks.

I am hearing... the hum of the ceiling fan and my husband building a closet in the basement.

Around the house... is lots of activities…babysitting, little siblings running in and out ALL day, my own children asking to do this or that, and my hubby.

One of my favorite things... is feeling the new baby move inside of me.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Babysit, Bible study, voting, dentist appointments, hair appointments, guitar lessons…

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Little baby boy Olson at around 18 weeks.

You can read other daybooks at Peggy's The Simple Woman's Daybook site.

There’s a baby in our church that was born a few weeks after Uriah passed away. His name is Malachi and I just love him to pieces. I remember when I heard he was born how much I “needed” to hold a baby. His mom, Emily, has been so sweet about letting me get my baby fix whenever I need it. I have to admit that I often feel guilty for asking to hold him. Malachi was born into a very large family and there are more than enough arms reaching for him at any given time.

I was reminded the other day, on Uriah’s six month birthday, that Malachi also suffered a loss. He lost a chance of a true friend to grow up with. I have many times thought of them learning to walk together, trying to say words, attempting to ride bikes, or shoot their BB guns together. Maybe they would have gone hunting together or learned to play guitar. Who knows, maybe they wouldn’t have even liked each other, but it’s a lot more exciting to imagine them as fast friends.

A lady in church passed by me today and she had Malachi in her arms. I was talking with someone else, but my arm automatically reached out to touch his peach fuzz hair. My heart and arms ached and I could no longer focus on the conversation I was having.

On my way home from church my mind revolved around Malachi and Uriah…of what may have been. I started to think about my little boy and how much I missed him. I wondered what he would be doing now. Would he be trying to sit up alone, sleeping through the night, would he have been a fussy baby, would he prefer being with his dad or siblings? Then my mind went to where he is. He is in total perfection in Heaven. He is with our Savior. He knows no sin, hurt, or betrayal. He’s seen and heard things I can only dream about. I would never want him to have to return to this sinful world, but my arms still ache.

So I looked at my imperfect love for my son and compared it to the perfect love of my Heavenly Father. There really is no comparison. I began to wonder how God must feel when I’m not close to Him. If my arms ache for my child how much more must His arms ache for us! Did God’s arms ache for Uriah? Is that why He took him home so soon? Do God’s arms ache for us when we turn from His Will? When we say God doesn’t care or God isn’t real what kind of ache does He feel? I often imagine God on His throne with his arms outstretched for us. Is He trying to reach us and we place ourselves out of His reach or push Him away? The wonderful thing about God is He’s always ready to hold us whenever it is that we decide to come to our senses and turn to Him. What a perfect Father…what a perfect love. Is this what it means when God says, “I am a jealous God”? Deuteronomy 5:9

One thing I really hated after Uriah died was people saying, “Just think, Uriah’s in Jesus’ arms now!” I know it was supposed to help me feel better, but I did not really want to hear that someone else was holding Uriah, even if it was God. I no longer feel that way. I’m thankful that Uriah is in Heaven. I miss him with every part of my being, but I would never in a million years want to pacify my selfish feelings and pull him from the presence of Christ.

So for now I will fill the ache of my arms with little Malachi and in just a few months I will be holding my new baby. Isn’t God amazing for supplying just what we need when we need it?

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted on my blog. Time flies when you're having fun I guess.

Let's see if I can quickly go over the last couple months to catch everyone up.

For those that don't know I am expecting again. I'm 16 weeks along as of today. My due date is November 23rd, but my doc plans on inducing me a week early. For whatever reason this pregnancy has brought on quite the bout of morning sickness. I actually have to take meds this time to head off some of the nausea. It's been making me feel pretty miserable, but I know it will all be worth it in the end.

In the last couple of months the devil has really tried to attack. Not only has he been working his wiles with me he has been busy with friends of mine. I hate having to deal with him, but I hate watching my friends struggle even more.

While helping one friend I was reminded of what grace and truth meant. Pastor Mead actually had me explain to her what my take was on the whole grace and truth factor. I wasn't really sure how to explain it. I knew how I felt, but putting my feelings into words can sometimes prove challenging. I tend to use different experiences in my life to help explain things. So this is what I came up with.

My daughter is adopted from Haiti. She is beautiful and a true gift from God. I have not really been the mom to her that I should have been. I never had a problem telling her the truth. I would quite often point out what she was doing wrong. In fact, I did this way too often. All I ever gave her was truth. Because of my harsh tongue we don't have much of a relationship and she struggles daily with a very low self esteem.

A friend has a girl who often hears she has never done anything wrong. Her dad tells her she is perfect and seemingly only shows her grace. This little girl is not a whole lot of fun to be around. She doesn't seem happy. She's always looking for some type of approval, but when she gets it she's not content. This little girl is shown all grace without the truth. She has moments of being thoughtful, but usually is quite thoughtless and mean...especially to her father.

My son is the apple of my eye. We have a very good relationship. He is shown grace and truth all the time. I have no problem pointing out the truth to him even when it hurts. I also have no problem showing him grace. I love to show him grace and sometimes wish I didn't have to give him the truth. Because I spread the grace and truth out evenly with my son he has a very good attitude on life. He's very happy, lovable, content, and has quite good self esteem. Mind you he's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

Even though I see what I have done with my children I still struggle with showing grace to my daughter. I guess it's a rut I have gotten myself into and definitely one I need to pull myself out of. I have noticed when I do try to show her grace she can't accept it. When she chooses not to accept it I often want to go back to the truth-only way.

This makes me think about me as a child of God. So many times in the last 16 years He has poured His grace on me and I have shoved it away. I was bound and determined that I didn't deserve anything good in my life. As Christians we are suppose to be Christ-like. So I need to follow Christ's example and continually pour grace on my daughter. It took me 16 years to see God's grace. I pray with all my heart it won't take my daughter that long to see and accept my grace.

I have heard many things the last couple of months that people have said about me. Things that have hurt me to the core. Untruths that I don't know how to fix. Proverbs 22:1a has always been a verse I've kept close to heart. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches. I want to be known as a caring, empathetic, honest, and Christ-honoring Christian. Instead quite the opposite is being said of me. I asked my husband why people choose to believe these untruths. He thinks it's probably because it's much easier and more exciting for people to believe sinful rumors about someone than it is to go to the person and find out the truth. He's probably right. Knowing what some people choose to believe about me hurts so deeply. A few friends have told me not to take it personally, but I'm not really sure how to do that.

One of our pastors has been teaching a class on not living in fear. One of the points he made was to take every thought captive. Sounds easy enough. It really was until about 2 months ago. I now find it quite difficult to take my thoughts captive. My mind easily returns to the hurts and the thoughtless remarks. So I have found that when I saturate myself in God's word (truth) I'm able to then be comforted by the Holy Spirit (grace).

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Outside my window... daffodils are blooming and the grass is greening up from the rain.

I am thinking...of a friend dealing with the loss of her baby and wishing I could take some of the pain from her.

I am thankful for...a loving Savior who understands it all!

From the learning rooms...lots of complaints of not having a spring break.

From the kitchen...is split pea soup and yeast rolls.

I am wearing...an ace bandage on my sprained ankle.

I am going...to try and get to more spring cleaning this week.

I am reading...Empty Arms by: Pam Vredevelt

I am hoping...and praying for a healthy pregnancy and baby!

I am hearing...the birds singing and the kids laughing as they shovel manure onto the garden.

Around the house...is rest at the first of the week gearing up for having extra kids here for 8 days.

One of my favorite things...is making my dad laugh!

A few plans for the rest of the week…trying to stay positive and deal with the 24 hour morning sickness.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

All the kids having one of their conferences on the trampoline.

You can read other daybooks at Peggy's The Simple Woman's Daybook site.

My hubby had this on his blog and I had to snag it. The rain hurts, but the peace it brings makes it so worth it. Thank you Lord for the rain! You are my Almighty God.

“Don’t waste your life trying to fit into a “gift box” that feels too big or too small.
Your God-given gift perfectly fits your personality
and is your purpose and position to win victory.”

~ My Prince Will Come
by Sheri Rose Shepherd

After reading this quote I tried to figure out what my God-given gift is. I don’t know if I’m too tired or what, but I couldn’t figure it out. I decided to Google “Spiritual Gifts”, but sadly that didn’t help me either.

  • Ministry (office) gifts: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher.
  • Motivational (practical) gifts: Service, Exhortation, Giving, Leadership, Mercy, Helps and Administration.
  • Charismatic (spiritual) gifts: Wisdom, Knowledge, Discernment, Prophecy, Tongues, Interpretation, Faith, Healing and Miracles.

I know God has given me a gift or gifts…I’m just not at all interested in figuring out what it is right now. So I decided I would focus on other gifts God has given me.

٠ God has given me the gift of salvation. It amazes me that He has made it possible for me to confess my sins and live with Him eternally.

٠ He has also given me the gift of love. So often I have pushed this gift away. How hurtful this must have been to Him. Can you imagine giving someone a gift and they refuse to take it?

٠ What about the people He has placed in my life? I’m adopted into a wonderful Christian family that loves me. I have a husband that loves me unconditionally. I have three beautiful children…two on earth and one waiting for me in heaven.

Then I began to think about my gift to God. What have I given Him? When I adopted my daughter and gave birth to my first son I had my pastor dedicate them to the Lord in a church service. I recall while I was pregnant with my last baby I told the Lord that little Uriah was His as well. I truly meant that, but never thought that God would require me to hand Uriah over so soon after he was born. So did I really mean what I said? I’ve pondered this the last few days. I have heard many messages about giving ourselves to the Savior, and I have done that. For me that was simple. Giving God my child, a part of me, was not so simple.

I finished a book today entitled Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. It was amazing! While I soaked in the wisdom from this book I began to realize that it was an honor and privilege to give my son to my heavenly Father. I’m so thankful that my precious baby is in God’s arms. I must be truthful and add that my arms ache for Uriah, but the ache is overpowered by the gratitude that God chose MY son. I get to spend eternity with Uriah. So if God can enjoy and love him a bit sooner than I anticipated I gladly give my gift of Uriah to Him. I know that my Savior tells Uriah daily how much I love and miss him.

So praise the Lord I had a gift to give, and now I will try to work on figuring out what other gifts He has blessed me with so I can live victoriously.

Deborah from Chocolate & Coffee is hosting In Other Words today. Visit her site for more posts about the quote at the top of this post.

For today, Tuesday March 16th...

Outside my window... is much warmer weather. It’s supposed to be in the high 50’s all week and sunshine. Thank you Lord!!!!

I am thinking...I need to start exercising more. Walking is good but a few aerobics each day wouldn’t hurt. Well, it will hurt, but it will help!

I am thankful for...a wonderful husband who loves me even when I’m unlovable.

From the learning rooms...a little extra work every day so we can take a day off.

From the kitchen...Sloppy Joes and French fries.

I am wearing...a gray blanket of grief.

I am going...someplace every day this week. Not my idea of fun. I much prefer staying home.

I am reading...Safely Home by Randy Alcorn.

I am hoping...and praying that I won’t allow bitterness to set in.

I am hearing...my husband make a grilled cheese sandwich for his evening snack. Poor guy is trying to gain weight and I think it’s more difficult for him to gain than it is for me to lose and that’s saying a lot!

Around the house...is ordering seeds and plants for the garden.

One of my favorite things...is remembering my little Uriah.

A few plans for the rest of the week…trying to keep my head above water.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Two of my favorite people!

You can read other daybooks at Peggy's The Simple Woman's Daybook site.

“There’s somethin I learned when I was homeless:
Our limitation is God’s opportunity.
When you get all the way to the end of your rope and there ain’t nothin you can do,
that’s when God takes over.”

~ Denver Moore
Same Kind of Different As Me
(co-written with Ron Hall, with Lynn Vincent)

This quote makes me wonder why it takes us getting “to the end of our rope” to let God take over. I wonder if we would allow Him to take over before we are at our wits end if that would make it a lot easier to get a little further up the rope of life.

This week I decorated one of the walls in our home with the verse from 2 Cor. 5:7, “For we walk by faith not by sight.” When I look back on my life and the different paths that I have taken I ponder as to which ones were made more difficult because I waited too long to walk by faith or to include my heavenly Father.

A pastor friend of mine preached a message once from Psalms 23 and focused in on the paths that we take…”He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.” We sometimes conclude that we are given one path to follow during our time here on earth. The Bible clearly states that it’s paths - plural. I do believe that because of choices and sins we make and commit that our paths sometimes have to change. In other words, God may have originally wanted us to take one path when our ways got in the way and caused us to take another path. This doesn’t mean that we have gotten so lost in our daily walk that God can’t use us. What it means is that we need to get back on track. We need to focus on what it is God wants for us now.

So if faith is a “walk” then I must move. I can’t sit back and imagine faith…I must participate in order to be faithful. It is an action. I realize that I must remind myself of this very often. I have to “walk” in faith down the “paths” that Christ has chiseled out for me. If only I would pay closer attention to my GPS (God’s Plans for Saints)!

For today March 8, 2010

Outside my window...the driveway is a nice big mud puddle. This means spring will soon be upon us.

I am thinking...birthdays aren’t as much fun as when I was little.

I am thankful for...the weather getting warmer so I can take my walks outside instead of in the basement on the treadmill.

From the learning rooms...line segments, right angles, perimeters, polygons, area…

From the kitchen...Papa Johns pizza for my birthday dinner…yum yum…and no work for me!

I am wearing...sorrow with a hope for a bright tomorrow!

I am creating...a new way of thinking.

I am going...to my Bible study on Tuesday and can’t wait.

I am reading...Morning Will Come by Sandy Day.

I am hoping...and praying that God will soon bless us with a new baby!

I am hearing...my daughter doing dishes, my husband thanking me for a good meal, and my son whining because he can’t watch something on television.

Around the house...is re-organizing and cleaning the basement. It tends to be a catch-all spot for EVERYTHING!

One of my favorite things...is holding John and Emily’s new baby boy Malachi.

A few plans for the rest of the week…lunch with my parents, food shopping for my dad’s trip to Haiti, Bible study, guitar lessons for Abner, sleep-over for the kiddos, and a ski trip for Phebe.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

A couple of deer in our backyard last spring.

To read other Simple Woman's Daybooks visit the host page.
I have enjoyed reading The Simple Woman's Daybook on my mother-in-law's blog for quite some time. I thought I might give it a try...I sure hope she doesn't mind! If you would like to read some other women's Daybooks visit The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window... it is dark and cold but I’m happy knowing that spring is just around the corner.

I am thinking... God is good.

I am thankful for... a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally.

From the learning rooms... preparing for new math skills for my son.

From the kitchen... Not sure what to fix with the pound of hamburger I have thawed in the fridge.

I am wearing... peace from my heavenly Father.

I am creating... a new verse to put on our living room wall. My parents are joining us for lunch today, and then we will work together to create this new reminder of faith.

I am going... to stay home all day tomorrow.

I am reading... Shame Lifters, by Marilyn Hontz.

I am hoping... and praying that God will bless us soon with a new baby.

I am hearing... the hum of the corn stove, and my husband asking if he can interrupt me again. J

Around the house... it is very clear to me that it is time for spring cleaning. I’m ready to air the house out and get rid of these nasty cobwebs.

One of my favorite things... is the comfort of my husband’s arm around me as we sit in church and the sound of my children’s voices singing praise songs at church.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Lunch with my parents today. Bible study on Tuesday. Lunch with a hurting friend on Wednesday. Lunch with a few ladies from church on Thursday along with music lessons for my son. Friday is braiding hair day…YUCK!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

One of the little Haitian girls whose hair I braid.