Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Am Doing a New Thing

Our computer was sick and it is healthy again! So I can finally write about what I've been up to lately.

I mentioned last post I would share what God had impressed upon me in my personal quiet time. In my journal, I was very much pouring my heart out to Him, just being honest about how hard it will be if and when I ever get pregnant in the future. Not physically, but mentally. Of course, there would be much rejoicing over a new life. But some caution and a little anxiety as well. And I was asking God why it has to be so hard. Why can't I just simply be assured that everything will go well and I won't have to experience pain and heartache all over again? I already know the answer. God wants me to trust Him in all details. And I've slowly come to learn that these trials are like a blacksmith's fire that melt and shape me into the kind of person I become. This is where character, compassion, faith, and love is formed.

I was about to close my journal when I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to read the verse printed at the bottom of the page (each left page has a Scripture). I was startled to see a message from the Lord directly to me...

"Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!" Isaiah 43:18-19

Isn't that just awesome? I know the Lord was speaking to my heart. His specific Words spoke to me all the day long. So I am still waiting for the "new thing" that God has for my life. Perhaps He already has it in motion and I'm totally unawares.


The update on my thyroid testing is that I do not have hypo-thyroid! Isn't that wonderful? Of course, I have heard several other women still had hypo-thyroid even though their test results came back normal. Since I'm really not into deep testing and I actually feel pretty good - no fatigue or drastic symptoms - I'm happy to go my merry way without giving it a thought. The reason why the doctor thought I might have it is because my thyroid is enlarged. I think it may have to do with all the emotional strain in the last several months.

On Saturday I head down to Florida for my brother's graduation! Can you believe it?? 4 years have flown! He is going back for his Masters though, so we only see him a slight bit this summer. You can guarantee I'll be enjoying the beautiful sunshine while I'm down there! The blue water and white sand is something I haven't seen in a while. Please pray for my pocketbook...I heard there's some nice outlet malls!!

I have recently been training to be a leader in a ministry for this coming fall. Honestly, the responsibility seemed overwhelming, and still does a little, but after a whole day of observing, I feel a little less anxiety, and a little more anticipation. I guess if God called me to this, He can prepare and equip me!

And what about all this glorious sunshine in Washington?! It comes and goes, doesn't it? Today I am relishing the warmth. Ahhhhhh. Soak up that vitamin D :)

If I don't post before Saturday, here's to some fun photos when I get back!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

He Has My Tomorrows

I've really nothing exciting to blog about lately. But I've found when I read others' blogs, I'm not interested in what mountain they climbed that day, but just in the every day walks.

I don't know what it is, but the piano bug has bitten and more students and parents are wanting lessons! It has been very enjoyable getting to know more kids and all their diverse personalities and learning abilities. Of course, it has also stacked my schedule, but all in all, it has been wonderful. The only complicated part has been balancing Brilla's wake up time (from her nap) and when Mike gets home. Sometimes she'll wake up right in the middle of a lesson, and Mike isn't home yet to shush her/take her potty/give her a snack. And all very hard for a 2 1/2 year old to comprehend, who only knows to yell out "I need to go POTTY!" at the top of her lungs right as we step into theory or something. However, I need to say B has done pretty good about playing in her room, for the most part. She's learned to be flexible with mama's new schedule!

Anyway, quarterly taxes and reports are all due by the end of this month, so that has my little calculator at work now.

I had my annual check-up with the doctor on Monday. Two things came up: the doctor thinks I may have a hypo-thyroid, and they found a lump in my breast. Thankfully, after an ultrasound, it is not cancerous! Praise the Lord. Unfortunately, I still have to get a biopsy, which will be painful afterward, but hey, I'll take that over cancer any day! I still have yet to receive the results of my thyroid test. Maybe that will be my next thing to blog about!

Funny, but Mike had taken Brilla to my mom's, since he was going to lunch with his mom and I was at my ultrasound. Well, he forgot to pick her back up! I had just finished talking with him on the phone, and he said he was only about 10 min away. So I called up my mom to thank her for watching Bri, and found out she was still there! So, I ended up picking her up and she got to spend extra time with her grandparents!

Today I had my sweet neighbor and her son over. We have a regular play date time and I always love chatting and having our kids "share" toys together. Why do we have to teach our kids to share?? It's way too hard! How about we just teach them to be miserly? Haha. Anyway, I cooked up a yummy whole-wheat crusted Hawaiian pizza for us with deliciously red strawberries on the side. I'm proud to say, I bought a huge container of strawberries from Costco (only $4.99!) and they are officially all gone! Brilla and her buddy gobbled them up, and the Bible club kids finished them off tonight.

Bible club was busy as usual. We talked about Gentleness; our next to last fruit of the Spirit. We talked about how Jesus is our example of gentleness...healing the woman instantly as she touched his garment, not rejecting her; raising Jairus' daughter from the dead; and letting the little children come to him. Such a good, good reminder to me about not rejecting others, but meeting their needs, especially when everyone else has pushed them aside. Our fun project was to have a paper airplane contest...Mike and I both lost to some great paper airplane geniuses! Verse for the night was "Let your gentleness be evident to all." Philippians 4:5. Tested my memory there!

I'm learning these days to not worry about tomorrow. As Jesus said, each day has enough of its own. And it is so satisfying to know that the Lord works out the details of our packed days anyway. Even though we may have to put out the brain power and hard work; He'll bless our paths if we dedicate them to Him and strive to please Him. I'm so excited about what He's doing in my life right now. Not huge things, little steps here and there, which get me where He wants me to be.

Oh, yes! Which reminds me of another post I'll have to make about how He spoke to me the other day as I was writing in my journal.

Until then, here's to a good Tuesday night sleep :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Caterpillar Complex

Remember when those 8 spies came back from Canaan to the Israelite camp with their negative report? "They were huge! We looked like grasshoppers compared to them, and they saw us the same way!"

They had a grasshopper complex.

Well, today, I came across a little tiny comment card I had tucked away with my bookmarks. On it is a picture of a caterpillar saying to another caterpillar, "Wow, you'll never catch me up in one of those things!"

They were looking up at a magnificent butterfly.

He had a caterpillar complex.

That little card impacted me today. I began thinking of how much I am like that. "That person has such a beautiful life, why is mine so broken?"

The verse that comes to my mind is..."The Lord will fulfill His purpose in me..." Psalm 138:8

God has a separate, particular plan for each of us. As His children, as we strive to love and obey Him, we will reach those heights, soaring on the wings of His strength, looking down at the rivers and trees. But it is not without being in those hard times of suffering as well. Those cocoon moments, where we may ask, "Why God?", and wonder when our time of waiting or hardship is over.

I am excited not only for the woman God is shaping me into now, but for the amazing day when I meet Him in heaven. All the questions will be answered, but I may not even care about most of them. I will just be rejoicing and praising the King.

I want my daughter Brilla to know me as a woman who knows God is fully in control of my life. Because He is fulfilling His purpose in me. What an uplifting truth. God has a plan for His people!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Random Friday

It has been a wonderfully slow Friday. Not much going on. Ahhh....

As I've mentioned before, we are working on totally making over our back yard. It now has a huge retaining wall, which now makes the space much more usable and mowable. This morning I planted geraniums, pansies, petunias, and a couple azaleas. We are waiting on the hydrangeas...I think it is early for them. I am waiting to plant my climbing hydrangea and rhody given in memory of Amelia. I can't wait to post pics of them when they are all in full bloom and our grass begins to grow! Mike worked on the grass this morning. We've been busy little bees!

And Brilla did a great job of mucking up her boats and raincoat - actually her entire outfit. Wasn't it nice of 'Michael Daddy' to deal with that? But she had good reason to get all muddy...she was helping me ever so much planting all those flowers!

I also did some exciting things like pay bills and clean my house. And head to the library. I have come home with the movies On Moonlight Bay (Doris Day and Gordon MacRae), a 1938 Nancy Drew Mystery Collection on DVD, and The Quiet Man. Books are Deliver Us From Evil (Sean Hannity), Living Rich for Less (Ellie Kay) - no, it's not health and wealth! -, and Peter Marshall's The First Easter (Catherine Marshall). For le Brilla, I got Thomas Jefferson: A Picture Book Biography and Winnie the Pooh's Easter. Yay for free and educational entertainment from the library!

Btw, I have finished reading The Warrior (Francine Rivers) and it was good. It wasn't ultra good, but maybe that's because I'm already entrenched in the life of Moses via Bible study. Sometimes you can have too much of a good story. Right now I have my nose in The Longing (Beverly Lewis). I always forget how amazing of an author she is. Her books originally looked boring to me, but I'm so glad I gave them a chance. Now I am hooked. Next, I'm delving into Living Rich for Less! It's a book giving practical principles for financial health and stretching your dollars. I am totally intrigued with money-saving tactics anyway, so can't wait to get more ideas.

Tonight we are doing something together as a family! I really look forward to family time. Dates with Mike are my all time favorite, but there's something special when all three of us hang out, too. I personally would love to go eat at our family favorite Thai place, Mali Thai. Even Brilla polishes her plate off! If you are near the Tukwila/Southcenter area, it' s right next to Red Robin and Cold Stone Creamery. The atmosphere is quiet and calming, they have great service, and the price reasonable. Not to mention, the food is out of this world!

I am going to relax the rest of this afternoon while both my Big Kid and little kid take a nap. A rarity. Also, tomorrow is Tax Day for us, so I'm resting my brains until I actually have to use them. ::snicker:: Glad my husband is next to me while I'm typing this, he would be bound to say something snide in reaction to that last sentence.

One more any of you use TurboTax? I just wanted to give out a shout for it. It's a little extra money, but so worth it. It helps identity many deductions you would otherwise never think of. And I believe you can deduct the expense of it the next year. We use it for both business and personal. I think we would go bananas if it wasn't for this awesome tax program. It's at Costco and Office Depot! I'm sure other places have it too.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How I Am Doing

I wanted to let those of you know, who actually read my little blog, how I am doing emotionally these days. And I will be as honest as I can be. Sometimes my ability to be honest is clouded by how I'd like to be feeling or how I feel I should be feeling; the ever-changing tide of emotions.

For some reason, I have felt very tired lately. Not just regarding Amelia, but also raising a 2 1/2 year old, and keeping up with the piles of paperwork for my husband's business. I am drained and feel like a need a good, long nap. Maybe it would help to get to bed on time instead of reading blog updates, browsing Facebook, and checking my email late into the night (lately the only opportunity I have to do so!).

Regarding my Baby Girl in heaven. I really miss her these days. So much. I'd love to be rocking my sweet 4-month-old daughter...hearing her coos and stroking her soft hair. I lately have been looking at her pictures more and treasuring the memories of her delivery. I don't know why. Maybe because I don't ever want to forget her and viewing her tiny hands and feet make me feel like she is somehow still a part of us instead of apart from us.

The absence of Amelia on earth causes me to be incredibly thankful for Brilla. My little angel of joy. She truly is a happy child. Sure, she's going through tough stages right now, but she also makes me laugh and inadvertently teaches me more about Jesus and prayer. She prays for everyone and everything. This girl literally has child-like faith in God. It is precious and I hope to someday, when she is old enough to understand, remind her of her innocent prayers of toddlerhood.

A couple Sundays ago in Sunday School, we were talking with the young people how a dear old woman in our church, and former pastor's wife, had passed in to heaven. Brilla, quietly scribbling away on her magnetic doodle-pad on the couch, paused for moment and on her own made the comment, "My sister is there, too." The teenage girls in our class did a double-take at her words because they didn't think she even understood what had happened with Amelia, let alone understand she was in heaven. Think again. Out of the mouths of babes...

It means the world to me that Brilla, in her toddler way, comprehends where Amelia is. That is a blessing. She knows it is sad, but as she says, "She is happy now."

The other thing that contributes to my tiredness is my longing for another child. I have an eyeball for pregnant women at the store, wherever I go. I so want to be them. God is truly working on my patience. I taught about it in Bible club, but man, to live it out is a totally different story. Yes, I really would love to have another baby. But the truth is, our future children will not rid us of our loss of Amelia. Knowing that joy can still be had in the days ahead, but yet knowing we will see our second daughter not until heaven is a fact that doesn't just float away. It is a hard thing that we must grasp right along with everything else. That being said, we will see sweet Amelia some day on that Shore and our tears will be wiped away. Until then, I will rejoice in life in the present, serve Jesus fully and honestly, and not see my life as in transition. You know, "I will serve Jesus better when...". I have lessons to be learned and applied now. All of this is a molding and preparing for the final creation He wants to make out of me.

I also want to say I'm thankful that Jesus cares about little me. So many times I am down, and He picks me up with His promises of faithfulness, love, and truth. And there are times I think I can handle life on my own, not read His Word and pray less. I don't feel close to my Savior, and therefore suffer for my own selfishness. I hate those times. I always want to be spending time at His feet, like Mary. Even if only moments at a time. I thank God He is not like me and that His ways are not my ways.

This post has become long, so I will be ending it here. Lately, though I have been tired, I have been rejoicing on the inside. Rejoicing because God is good and His mercies are new every morning. Not once a week, but every morning. Specifically, I have been rejoicing in the friendships I have. Women who love me for who I am and are there for me. God knew we could not live life without relationships! As I get older and "grow up", I see the deep value of the people that surround me. Yes, I love my husband, but I love my family and friends!

So if you think of me, just pray that I will continue to rejoice in His goodness and not less stress and anxiety of paperwork get to me. And, as always, I am more than willing to pray for you :)

Get a good night's sleep!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Calamity That Was Not

This past weekend was a wonderful break from the usual "getting piled-up projects done". We had our friends Matt and Julie over! Mike and I have known them for at least 13 years (they are bro and sis). Julie was my maid-of-honor and Matt was a groomsmen. Funny, but Mike and I separately knew them before we were married, before we even met! Such a small world. I think I've mentioned their intermittent visits on my blog before, and this was another delightful visit.

Friday night I planned to make a delicious corned beef brisket with red potatoes and cabbage. So I turned on the burner and worked on folding my mounds of laundry and tidying up my home for our guests. About 45 minutes later, I checked the pot. It hadn't even started boiling yet! In great frustration I tried every burner, only to discover my oven was not working. Really weird, considering it had given me no signs of an early retirement. I became highly suspicous of the true reason why it wasn't performing.

Unfortunately, I had to wait until my daughter woke up from her nap, which she still had 30 minutes left of. Why?

Because the breaker panel is just above her bed! Yup. Seems our little cherub turned the breaker for the oven to off. We'll be fixing this problemo with a new latch. Good news being, I don't have to buy a new oven. Bad news, I had to go buy pizza from Costco as a substitute dinner. Not such bad news, though. Just so happens I love pizza! I boosted the meal with a yummy avocado salad and made delicious apple crisp for dessert.

I wish all calamities ended this well!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

She's Not Workin' Out

Right now I could be getting my gym bag together, getting my tennies on, putting my contacts in, waking Bri early from her sleep, cramming breakfast into her little hands to eat on the way...all so I can freakishly rush to get my workout in before gliding into Bible study with wet hair.

Nah. Sounds really tempting, though.

Yesterday, I was resolved to head for exercise. As it goes... the morning ended up a bit hectic with hubby getting sick. Then I went to wake up my little Bri-ster and discovered a diaper had not been placed on her bottom during the night, so she woke up in great wetness. This called for immediate bath time; it was due anyway. By the time she was finished, it was 9:00 a.m. and I had a playdate with the neighbor gals at 10:00 a.m. Workout time flew out the window.

The rest of the afternoon, before I had to teach...

...I searched for and finally bought tickets to Florida! Bri and I are going down in late Spring! Wish I could head down there right now. I am craving the warmth. The reason for our trip? My "little" bro, Brian, is graduating from college. I simply cannot believe how time has flown. Where did 4 years go? Brilla and I will stay for a week, sadly leaving Daddy behind. You can be sure we'll take lots of pictures and maybe even buy him a nifty t-shirt. I'm also thinking of collecting some shells and white sand from the beach. It was hard to plunk down a chunk of money for the tickets, but the occasion is totally worth it and I will be glad I did for years to come.

Another exciting thing is that our backyard was completely redone this last weekend! Before, it was hilly, holey and very slanted. Now it is smooth, grassless, and has 2 levels! We have a beautiful, new retaining wall. We are going to plant the new grass seed when we get a little more sun and less rain. Now we can mow our yard without killing ourselves and have a place for Bri and her cousins to prance around. Mike and I still have to do work with leftover stones and landscaping (and obviously new grass), but it looks the best it has in 4 1/2 years.