Friday, July 21, 2017

Miss Her

I sure miss her. Upon giggling like a school girl when I got my sweet-smelling soap in the mail, I realized their was only one other person who would have been as excited as me, my grandma.

She was always thrilled at the small things. We will never fully comprehend how much we pass on to the ones we leaved behind. This is something she passed on to me. 

Whether, it's a caramel machiatt"i"as she called it, a drive throught he country, or spotting a wildflower, it just gave her the utmost pleasure.

Its really a gift, to find joy in the simple. To thank God every day for His mercies. To not long for what's not ours, to have our hands loosely holding the things of this earth.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My goal is to keep a journal on here of the Goheen Lodge. I have not updated in a while because...we've been crazy busy!

Last Wednesday (was it only last week?!), God answered a seemingly impossible prayer request (He delights in putting His stamp on things). I found a rental fitting all the perameters we needed and moved in by Saturday. A gal posted the rental ad (not even an MLS) on facebook just after I happened to log in. Immediately, I made the call, returned an application, Mike just happened to be heading to the area (thank you Lord!) and by 1:30 that afternoon, the landlord agreed it was our home to rent. If we had been a moment later, no kidding because another couple walked right up after they shook hands, we would not have gotten it. God's perfect timing. And a nod to the CRAZY market over here right now.

Also, just a week before, we received our permit!!! Day two of excavation. Hoping to head over with the kids to take a peek.

Fun tidbit, Mike was remodelling a home for a customer and because they don't have a care about money, they were literally going to throw out a brand new modern jetted tub just because it was in the area to be redone. Also, they were going to throw out a beautiful door. Little things like this are a blessing!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rainy day. Again. The great thing about the Pacific Northwest is that it gets a little hot and toasty for a while, then a rainy day comes along to clear the allergens. Every time I am tempted to move away from the rain and cold, I go visit the Midwest. Full of bugs, spiders, snakes, muggy heat, sticky skin. Then I am grateful for my mild west coast weather :) It has been decent weather lately. My skin and body need the heat. I don't know if its my hormones, olive skin or what, but I feel healthy and overall better when the sun is out.

We heard that there is one more week until our building permit is fully approved! Totally putting my limited trust in the County right now. Here's hoping for this timeline to be correct so we can break ground before July!!

Yesterday Mike and I were able to venture out sans kids to look at flooring, countertops, lighting and appliances. It was glorious. I learned a lot about what to get, not get. What's the best value, what's cheap. And we've narrowed down our choices. My choices right now are SO much different than what I wanted at the beginning of this journey. 13 years ago, I had no idea about the construction world and today I have learned so much from Mike's line of work, coupled with having to dive in being our own general contractors. Excitement is an understatement of what I feel planning out details, keeping my eyes out for home sales on these things. The more specific, the better.

Earlier this week, I was able to get the kids registered for their new school classes in the new district. It will be fun to do this half-home school/half classroom learning thing. They call it "alternative learning". I'm hoping it will help with the inconsistency that often happens with home school. My love/hate relationship with homeschool is that I LOVE choosing what my kids learn, I know them best. But I HATE when they don't want to do their work because I now become "slavedriver" and have to whip them into shape when I already do enough of that in every other aspect of their lives. Face it, school work is work and no matter how attractive you paint it, their are days and weeks where there is just no motivation for my kids. And my tendency is just to take a break because there are some battles you don't fight. Hoping this gives my oldest some friends her age, accountability and exciting learning environment. Can get a little doldrums when you're the only student on the roll call! I can tell my second girl is needing more of a social and organized schooling schedule, which I can't provide becauseu we'll have much going on with the build, plus coralling the toddler. My youngest girls NEEDS this so much because she's so hyperactive. Needs some structure under another teacher's guidance for a while. I feel like she and I have made huge headway together, but
one doesn't always need to be around your family for their to be a healthy learning environment. Sometimes it creates a thankfulness in them for what they receive at home.

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I had to pause and come back. My youngest girl just threw up. Fun. Now all I can do is hold onto a small glimmer of hope it doesn't spread to anyone else. Which will not happen. *sigh*



Sitting on my well-loved leather couch, I am taking in the small home I have lived in for 13 years. The carpet is still blue, the kitchen is still pergo, and the cabinets are still ugly. However, these are the few remaining things we have not given a facelift over the years. We have painted, drywalled, and framed. We've added a timeless, hand-stained mantel and built a gorgeous deck where I have drank many a cup of coffee and completed countless books. Our yard has been throughly redone, complete with rock wall, bounced-on trampoline, blossoming hostas and cute shed. I have borne and raised all my toddlers here. I carried my angel baby in this place.

A recovering sentimentalist, I have learned to not count my memories by the things I keep, but by the pictures in my brain and emotions within. Life is enjoyed more by not hoarding trinkets but treasuring the moments represented by them. Says the girl who used to have collections out the wazoo.

So...I look, I feel, I listen. I remember and hide the memories deep within, and entrust them to the Lord.

We are moving. Not too far. But far enough. It is a place of greenery, acreage and beauty. It would be lying to say we are not thrilled with anticipation to spread our wings for bigger space for my children to run all over.

But I want to take a moment to soak up the love we have enjoyed in our little blue rambler. My personal first home to own, where we immediately settled into after getting hitched. We asked God wherever we lived, that it would be a place He could use us to reach out to those around us. And He has answered that prayer. We have witnessed so much life in our very own neighbor's lives. We've hosted Bible club, and kids have heard about Jesus. We've taken friends to AWANA. Many precious relationships with not just those in our cul-de-sac but down the street, and around the corner. It will hurt our hearts to say good-bye. That is what I will miss most...the people. I pray that God would love these people with others who love them just as much as we do. If I could teach something to my kids it would be to invest in those around you. Never take for granted the people God places in your life.

A Christian family lives next door. The best neighbors one could ask for. We asked God to use us; well, God has blessed US through THEM. Their granddaughters play with our girls almost every day. They give us fresh produce, little treats to my children, gifts at Christmas. They are so kind and we can't even understand each other half the time (they are Ukranian)!

We have allowed all kids in the neighborbood to play at any time. A safe, loving, open door for them. There have been difficult ones, but did you not know it is Jesus coming to our door in even the most difficult of children or adult? God has taught me much through that. If I could do anything over again, it would be, be more patient with the "hard" kids.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

An Update

Oh my goodness. It has been forever. I'm not a great blogger, ok, I'm a horrible blogger. But I have 4 kids and I home school and...well, yeah, I put blogging on the back burner. Like who's going to see my posts? My brother, and well, maybe one of my dear friends :)

So here I am again! Read up!

It's summer in May! Once again, God has graced us with a very warm pre-Summer. I love the sunshine and heat, beaches, lakes, glorious green, geraniums, lilacs, peonies. I could go on. My husband is not a huge fan of heat but it just makes me feel warm all over and healthier too. The cold months are kind of depressing. And in western Washington, we have a lot of cold.

I still have 4 kids. Whew. Yup. We haven't disbanded yet :) They are so busy, so much work, and I love them so much. I'm not one of those women who dreamed of getting married, being a wifey-wife and having 4 kids, but here I am and I'm in love. I'm glad God's plans are bigger than mine!

We are finally doing it...we are moving to a 4-acre lot and building our dream house! I am very excited, nervous, then excited and afraid all at once. I've never waltzed this dance before and I don't totally know what to expect. I'm kind of bad at wanting to control things and wanting to know what to expect, so this is truly testing that weakness of mine. I like for things to move along and I've found out big projects like this are a lot of waiting, then leaping ahead; then waiting, then leaping again. Then maybe taking some steps backward. But with Mike by my side and God at the helm, we can do it! And we will learn from our mistakes.

Mike is a contractor but not generally a general contractor. He's done only one who remodel project, he is mainly a framing guy. So this really is the first entire project we've taken on ourselves. And it's our dream home. Yikes!

The kids are also going into traditional school this Fall. Yeah, that's scary for me. We've only ever been home schoolers, so this is a leap of faith. I'm trusting God all the way. He's prompted us to put them in school for a while now and we are going for it. Of course, there will be bumps and turns to ride but like the house, with God at the helm, He will do amazing things. He will be glorified.

Which brings me to a moment on my soap box. Don't be afraid to do the thing God is asking you to do. For me, it usually comes as a small, still but insistent voice. What God is calling each of us to usually will not look like what the other person is supposed to be doing, which is challenging. We kind of want to fit in. I know I will be facing criticism even in my own family and close friends, but I need to remind myself not to worry, but to give my anxiety to God, thank Him and pray for wisdom. What a good God, He always takes care of me and my family.

With all this fear being talked about, I really am thrilled at how God's working in our lives! Lately, He's been teaching me to slow down and pay attention to what the children need. Whether it's extra discipline, a listening ear, a creative way to instill character, or extra love. I need to prioritize and put the first things first. Like I've heard someone say, you may not have enough time in the day to get the things you want to get done but you have enough time to do the things you need to. I'm the type who likes to be busy: put the load of laundry in, wash the dishes, fold the laundry in the living room, post those things for sale online, pay the bills, check on the kids doing school...I could go on and on. Then I feel guilty for the things that haven't gotten done: Bible study, exercise, business stuff, cleaning the bathroom. It all just seems so overwhelming, and it is. But we weren't mean to get everything done, just the important things. God wants us to plan our steps and use the time wisely. As I type this, I probably should be in bed so I can get those things done with open eyes :)




Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I struggle lately being able to have quality time studying God's Word. I get so doggone tired from taking care of my four little ones, to bookkeeping with the business, to my selling business to prepping for the home school year and on top of that, getting all the little housework things done...like cleaning my bathroom faucet for heaven's sake! Yesterday, I took one look at it and thought 'how have I let it get that bad??' while promptly scrubbing it with a stray toothbrush under the counter. Good thing the perfectionist in me went by the wayside at three kids. I'd be a mess. I still am sometimes. Oh well.

Moms, remember when you were single, or even married without kids, or only had one kid and you set out to have 'devotion' time with God? And you actually spent the proverbial 30 min or more each day doing so? Thank God, that now four kids and 11 years married later, when I spend time with God, I drink Him up. I am so thirsty and hungry. It may not be every day I get to or it may even be 5 min before my kids interrupt, but I am hungry and thirsty and can't get enough. It's not just a check off my list but a genuine need and love for Him.

Strangely, I just recently discovered that Bible Gateway has audio, so I can listen to His Word while doing dishes or laundry. It's amazing. I love transforming these dull and annoying chores into ones I look forward to. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I put on our book club's audio book instead, but really...audio Bible??! In this day and age and American culture, we are so incredibly blessed. And what I like most is that I can rewind verses to meditate on them repeatedly. Especially Hebrews. Complex Hebrews.

I have also found that having a Biblical study (of sorts) written by a godly older woman has been helpful. I'm currently (still) on Drawing Near to the heart of God by Cynthia Heald. It has been inspiring to my every day faith in God with chapters like His Immeasurable Love, His Manifold Goodness, His Absolute Sovereignty, or His Perfect Will. In this book, I can tell Mrs. Heald is an imperfect fellow sister in Christ striving to walk in Christ's steps.

But like I said, it's been tough. I feel lately like I've fallen off the bandwagon. Just struggling to pray and working on my attitude towards the kids.  Thankfully, now I realize that it has nothing to do with my standing with God or His love for me if I don't. But I miss out on our relationship. My inward self and outside tumults become gigantic as the things of God grow dim and I lose sight of priorities.

God must be first and I want Him to be. Here is to a week of striving to be purposeful in seeking Him out.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

So I guess my new blogging strategy is to post every 6 months! Ha! Some days I even forget I have a blog. But people who love to write, no matter their station, are always drawn to pen their thoughts once again.

Seasons of life. We each are in one. Whether its single hood, newly married and working, stay-at-home-mom craziness, working away from the home, taking care of our parents while taking care of our own children, empty-nesting, retirement, etc, we are each in a season. God has us right where he wants us.

Sometimes the discontent of our current surroundings rises up and threatens to choke us. We begin to feel bitter, wishing we had made different choices in life. Wishing, no longing, for a different place. It's so tempting, because the grass always seems greener on the other side, right?

I think half the battle of us finding joy is thankfulness. Not just ambiguous thanks. Thankfulness is submitting ourselves under the sovereign hand of God. Its saying "Where I'm at right now might be hard, or even unbearable, but I know God has a plan and is working all thing for good". He absolutely adores His children and wants the best for them. But that's different than how the world sees success. They see it as absence from pain, or suffering. But God knows those things only prove to strengthen those who love Him, and develop our character. Take joy that you are watched constantly. He takes care of the lilies and birds of the field; He most certainly watches us!

Another part of thankfulness is slowing down the spoil factor. We live in such a demanding society. Really, we can have what we want almost instantly. We think we deserve this and that, and if we can attain it, why not go for it? God wants us to be happy right? He wants us to achieve our dreams, right? Yes, God wants us to have joy, which is a fruit of the Spirit, but does not come about through achieving our dreams. We were created to solely give Him glory. He may choose to bless and provide for us in different ways. However, we must always remember that instantly, all that could be removed from our lives. And when in desperate need, Whom will we worship? Can we bless God in much and in little? Can we love him in feast or famine?

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Currently, my knee is out of commission. Yep, soccer injury. When I first injured it, it swelled up like a balloon and hurt horribly. after a few months, swelling has definitely gone down and it was feeling a little better. Recently, I started jumping on the trampoline with my girls and it started getting irritated again. So I finally set up an appointment for an MRI. The result? I have a radial tear in my meniscus. The doctor says surgery. Can you believe it after 25 years of soccer, and not once did I have to have surgery until now? The positives are its a 30 min procedure and I could be on my feet within the week. No exercise/heavy activity for 6 weeks though. There is also a post-op taking out of stitches. I'm really not looking forward to the process, but I'm looking forward to playing soccer again. I'm not excited about physical therapy, but I AM excited about exercising and losing this baby fat! I have been bummed during this time where God just picked me up out of my exercise regimen and set me aside. I've not been the happiest camper. But after about a month of inwardly groaning and just detesting my stagnancy, it dawned on me...'God has a purpose in this'. I dont' know what it is, but I will know later. " And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
I know in this verse God is talking about much deeper things than a knee injury but in this time, I can know He is working all things for His grand purpose and obviously, this is  not a hiccup in His plan. I am working on trusting!