Thursday, March 29, 2012

heart that is weary

I had intentions of sitting down last night to write something about everything. Then we discovered our basement had flooded with sewage. All 3 boys were running around saying "It smells like poo in here," and I wasn't even cooking Thanksgiving turkey, there really was poop in our basement! Apparently, one of our boys had thrown rocks down a pipe last week in our basement and now our drains are backed up and flowing onto the floor. Why do things like this happen the day before we're planning to leave for spring break...
More practice to look for the bright side.
So, now that I'm not allowed to run the water or wash the dishes or do the laundry or poop in our toilets, I have time to sit down and write a little something.  Although I'm not sure what, after writing poop so much in one post.  How about I try to remember what I would have written last night before the evening consisted of bleach and a wet-vac.  
It's that time of year when I break out Amy Carmichael's If. It is small enough to fit in your pocket, but don't let it fool you. It's not a quick read. It's in the suitcase, to muse over this next week. Last year, this pierced me right through:
If the praise of man elates me and his blame depresses me; 
if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself; 
if I love to be loved more than to love, to be served than to serve, 
then I know nothing of Calvary love.
~Amy Carmichael, If

This week, I have read and re-read this every day:

No vision of the night can show, no word declare, 
with what longings of love Divine Love waits till the heart, all weary and sick of itself, 
turns to the Lord and says, "Take full possession."  
There is no need to plead that the love of God shall fill our heart 
as though He were unwilling to fill us: 
He is as willing as light is willing to flood a room that is opened to its brightness; 
willing as water is willing to flow in an emptied channel.  
Love is pressing round us on all sides like air.  
Cease to resist, and instantly love takes possession.
~Amy Carmichael, If

Oh, heart that is weary and sick of itself, want to hear the bright side? 
Cease to resist, and instantly Love takes over.     
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.
1 John 4.16b-17a {NLT}

Feel so very far from living in love, from your love being perfect?  
That is right where He wants to meet you, to flood you with light as you pull back the curtains of your heart.
For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.
~ Jesus, Matthew 9.13b {NLT}

Wherever this week takes you, whether on a 20-hour road trip or another day of the same-ol'-same-ol', I pray we learn to cease to resist.  
Let Love take full possession.

Happy Spring Break-ing!!  We're working on our winks (and our smiles :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

wonderful world of paninis

Ever since an anniversary trip to Chicago a few years ago that left us wandering around the city, looking for a GF meal, I get a little pre-travel anxiety. Reconciling in my mind that I may not eat until we get to wherever we're going, or that another salad won't hurt me. There is this magic little pill my dr. told me about if I get in a bind and gluten-free is nowhere to be found. It works well, but I don't want to rely on it too much.

You can imagine the extreme surprise and delight when I showed up at our friends' house in Florida, and out on the counter was Udi's gluten-free bread and all the fixins' for paninis. Love at first bite! I had no idea you could pull Udi's bread from the freezer and turn it into grilled deliciousness in under 5 minutes. 
So, my parents came at the invite of their kazoo-playin'-grandson and a make-your-own-panini-party it was!

So far, we've made ham and cheese with fresh rosemary or oregano and breakfast paninis with bacon, egg and cheese.  
Here's some I look forward to trying:
chicken.bacon.ranch panini
caprese panini
eggplant parmesan panini
reuben panini
smoked turkey club panini
In case there's anyone left out there who doesn't have a panini maker, we found this one to be the best deal. My husband has wanted a panini maker for years, but I always thought they were just another unnecessary gadget for the kitchen.  Boy, was I wrong! This opens a huge realm of it's-nice-and-warm-and-mama-wants-to-be-outside-rather-than-in-the-kitchen possibilities. Or, pair it with a pot of soup and a salad for a dinner-panini-party! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

a thousand words

Laughter is an instant vacation.
~ Milton Berle

There's a couple thousand words from the past week for you.  

Ok, maybe just a few more things...
I adore my husband.  He is amazing like that.
I love those girls.  They sure know how to have a good time, and to make a friend laugh...for 5 days straight.  We lived it to the hilt!  
But, oh how good it was to come home and hug my fam.  I love my life.  I love my boys.  After letting the heart do its absence-growing-fonder-thing, I feel even more blessed to be their mama.  
(A "proof of life" pic Andy sent me while I was gone.  
Doesn't look like they missed me too bad :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

aloha spring!

Sun shining. Birdies chirpin'. Daffodils appearing. Flip-flop wearing. Nightly hiking. Outside as much as possible.  The calendar may say 6 more days to go, but I'm sayin' it's spring baby!  

In T minus 2 hours, I'm leaving to spend a few days with some dear friends on the beach sans kids.  Jules, here we come!!!  
{Next post: my husband=my hero, for making this happen.}   

Until then, happy spring-ing!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

providing wings

When we were about to have our second child, I wondered if my heart would be able to receive and love another as much as the first. I remember that moment, holding our newborn Jack, a smile so wide my cheeks could hardly contain, tears streaming down my face, realizing my heart didn’t crowd out my love for Miles. It didn’t inhibit my love for Jack. It just doubled in size. And again for Jude.  
Still, there is room.
We hope to one day welcome into our world of boys some little girls who need a home. We're asking God to open doors that we could be a family for the fatherless.

Meanwhile, this card comes in the mail. I can’t put it down. 
Her name is Kiran. I may never meet her. But my heart is doing it again... 
Awhile ago, this video link was on one of my favorites. {You gotta watch it!} 
I just had to wonder how long before that could be the reality for Kiran. How long before it would seem like the best, or only option?
Not any more. Not for her. 

I want her to be more than a card that gets shuffled on a display table, discarded in the trash. I want her future to be bright, to be done walking the dark road of desperate uncertainty of when her next meal would come. I want her to have the chance to rise above, to soar on the wings of mercy and justice. I may never get to sit with her, drink chai out of tiny tea cups and hear her story. But I have the chance to give her the joy of being seen, chosen, cared for, loved.

Compassion International is a not-for-profit organization with integrity. {You can read their annual report and find them on top-rated charities, ranking them with similar organizations.} 80% of the money you give goes to the program recipients. $38 a month provides your child with food and clean water, medical care, education, life-skills training, a chance to hear of the love of Christ, doors opened to a brighter tomorrow. Just imagine the indescribable joy knowing someone across the globe knows, and cares!

You see, so many of us are so stinkin’ rich and we may not even realize it. We have the resources to feed and educate and heal and empower! It’s all so humbling and inspiring if we think about it. I may not be able to end human trafficking and world hunger (as much as I can dream), but we have the power to change someone’s story! I love this quote from one whose drop in the ocean is still creating tidal waves of love and justice:

We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing 
more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, 
the ocean would be missing something.” 
~ Mother Teresa

I can think of a lot of ways to spend $38 a month.
But, I can’t think of many better ways…

Jude described it so well when he showed my mom her picture and said: 
"See this little girl? She doesn't have water, and we have water right over there. Look at her bare feeties. Her feeties may get cold. So we're going to adopt her!" We may never meet her, but we love her so much already.

Having been given the chance to soar on the wings of mercy and justice, the indescribable joy of One who knows, and could we not? 
There is always room in His heart.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

gingerbread latte

Remember when I used to blog?  Yeah, sorry it's been awhile.
I would tell you everything that has happened since I last posted, but it's almost unbelievable. Not sure I even believe it. Let's just say it's been a little slice of crazy...
Monday starts "S" week at preschool. (Can anyone say Swamped? :)
But, there's always time to give a great big shout out for the little things to love...
for signs and sounds and smells of spring,
for a dry basement, and driving around it on a Saturday morning, 
homemade finger painting on a Sunday afternoon,

the wonder of an ant farm, and me wondering for the first time ever how in the world to keep these ants alive?!
afternoons with friends, and adorable littles, and all the nespressos I want :)
the anticipation of dad coming home,
a 65-degree day in February!!!
no better place to clear the mind,
to hear loud and clear:
that You, O God, are strong,
and that You, O Lord, are loving.
~ psalm 62.11-12
filling me in on their day,
flourless chocolate cookies, and dear friends to share them with, 
Calvin and Hobbes before bed (or anytime, really),
quiet evenings with my love,
and homemade gingerbread lattes
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. ground ginger
1 t. blackstrap molasses

1 t. honey
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk of choice {I use a mixture of 1/4 c. almond milk, 3/4 c. regular milk}
1/4 strong coffee {I like mine on the stronger side, so I use 1/3-ish cup}

Mix everything but the coffee together in a small pan and heat. Add hot, strong coffee to milk mixture, once desired temperature is reached. Strain into a mug. You may like it sweeter, so add sugar if needed. Be sure to feel really good that 
you just made this for pennies and Starbucks would have charged you atleast $3.55 for it. 
And add it to your list of "little things" that make a crazy day special :)