Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hum-De-Dum...An Update

Right now, I'm listening to the laundry dry. One of the most pleasant sounds ever. It means I will have clean clothes to wear tomorrow, and means there has been productivity today. Mike and I are relaxing on the couch, enjoying the TV and computer. Of course, the girls have been put to the bed. Ah. The ideal end to a Sunday before the busy week begins.

The girls have been sick these last few days. I think sleep, good food and water have been the key to nurse them back to health...and time. Colds just have to bide their time. Hopefully Brilla will get past it soon! It has made her an Oscar-the-Grouch! I feel like I have been on her like socks! Did anyone call this the Terrible Threes/Fours? Because this is my reality. By God's grace and through prayer, I'm getting through it. But goodness gracious, is it ever taxing. I think I need to review Dobson's The Strong Willed Child.

We have been loving the weather here in the Pacific Northwest! Last week was VERY hot. And the weekend cooled off a bit. I was able to head up to North Seattle and buy some CUTE cloth diapers off craigslist. They are Preston's Pants and Pot Bellied Pig Designs diapers. The PP is an All-in-one, and the PBPDs are minkys. For only $38! If you're into cloth diapering, you'll recognize that as a steal :) I have discovered that I love the snap diapers. I have some BumGenius that velcro and I like them too, but I think snaps are my favorites.

My nieces and nephews spent the night last night. Yep, five kids for the weekend! It truly was fun. We even got to church on time this morning! We've only done this once before (last year) and it was definitely time to do it again. We wanted to have them over more this summer, but between having Katie and remodeling our home, it just didn't happen. So after church, we all went to Costco for lunch, then home for beloved nap time!! Then we walked to the park and played, played, played. Then came home for another meal, ending the night with ice cream at McDonald's. They had a blast. Even in our small home (their home is huge) :) And really, it's not what you do, where you do it, but who you're with...and we were in great company.

It is refreshing to look forward to church every week. Not that we didn't at our old one, but we're just glad that we found a new church we love so much. The people are wonderful, so caring, but what Mike and I really soak up is the teaching. The digging deep kind of expository preaching. In Sunday School, we are currently studying Escotology, Revelation. Our pastor is pre-millineum, which we are as well. There are some in the congregation who are a-mil, even post-mil, which mixes it up a bit. But he encourages questions and promotes unity despite these non-core differences in where we stand. Today's message was quite sobering, getting us to think on what makes up a true disciple. Honestly, it was assuring to me. I might not be a perfect Christian (are there any? LOL), but I am persevering on the Road. I love what he said today. "For the true believer, there is no other option besides Christ." The message, on the flip-side was also sobering for those who are false-disciples. A challenge to evaluate our spiritual it genuine or fake?
There were a whole slew of other thoughts but they would take up a few pages :)

I cannot believe Fall is almost here, wherein lies the rebirth of all things scheduled. Piano lessons, Bible Study, Swimming/Ballet lessons, church activities, and Homeschooling. The last one is the biggie. I'm not totally ready yet. Thank goodness I only have one to school. Poor Brilla; she will be the experiment. Good thing she is resilient. But I really am anticipating this adventure!

My brother is back in Florida. I already miss him, but at least I got to spend a good chunk of time while he was here. That road trip will hold memories. Now my youngest bro Sean is home. We are hoping to get a boat trip in. Perhaps a cruise on Lake Washington is in order :)

As I look at the clock, it has ticked to 11:46. My husband has just crawled into bed, and I had better do so as well. Nighty, night. This wasn't much of an update, but it was all I could muster this late Sunday evening.

See you again on the pages of the blog-sphere another time soon!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Little Prayer

Saying a prayer for the Wood Family...

Dear Lord,

Please be with my hurting friends. They are in need of deep compassion and love and strength. Holy Spirit, be their Comforter. Equip them with your power, even in the midst of tragedy. May the Evil One not be allowed to touch their minds with regret, guilt, depression, anger or bitterness. But may they trade it in for joy, peace, love and faith. As they need comfort, may they find it in Your promises. You said that if we wait on You, You will strengthen our heart. Lord, you are continually with us. You never leave us. You guide us with your very right hand.

May Rachel's life be a testimony to all, both those who know You and those who don't. May they realize their days are numbered. God could call any one of us at any time. He doesn't like death, but it comes with the whole package of sin and a broken relationship with the Creator. God, redeem others through Rachel's death. May her death bring Your testimony of Life to others. We thank you that Rachel loved you, Jesus. She loved you so much, she was willing to go on a missions trip to care for orphans and shine Your light. Thank you that she got to touch those lives in Your name before You called her. Thank you, Lord, that Rachel never saw death. She only suffered for a little while. But then the light came and she now is rejoicing! She is at your feet worshiping You. We are a bit jealous because she is in Your presence now, enveloped in Your glory. Oh, that we would be patient until it's our turn.

I pray for Mr. and Mrs. Wood. It's so hard to lose a child, your own flesh and blood, whose life has been shortened. You can relate, Father. You gave your only Son. He died on the cross and You had to abandon Him to human death in order that all might be fulfilled. You had to watch Him suffer. The temptation is for Norma and Roy is to wish they could have protected her, taken her suffering, prevented the pain. But God, You were with her, and that is sufficient. You took her from her temporary shell and have given her a beautiful, new body. The same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in Rachel, and also dwells in all believers.

I pray for Julie. Oh, so hard to take this burden as the oldest, first-born daughter! I don't like my dear friend to suffer so much pain and heartache. I wish I could bear it for her. There is such a burden, a feeling that you must be strong for the rest of the siblings. But God, help her to grieve in the way that she needs, to get it all out. Pick up the broken pieces of her heart and gently bind them, however long it takes. May she come to know You in a deeper way because of her sister's death. The death of a loved one, though unwanted at the time, results in a greater understanding and knowledge of pain and suffering in this world. You knew Julie would have to experience this God. Be her Rock, her Anchor amidst this terrible flood.

Please comfort the entire Wood family. Bring them to places of quietness and peace, places where they can reflect on death, eternity, life, pain and then...Lord, may You eventually bring them to the place of joy. May they experience laughter again. But please help them to know it's okay to go from sorrow to tears and back again.

In Your Name,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Loss of A Dear Sister

I am so saddened by the recent news that my best friend, Julie, has lost her younger sister, Rachel. She went home to be with Jesus last Wednesday, after drowning in a terrible accident. She was only 23 and had just recently come back from a missions trip to Mexico.

Even though she's not a part of my family, she is a part of the family of Christ, and a dear sister to my very close friend. The day I found out (which was 2 days later than when she actually left us because I was on vacation and didn't see the posts on facebook) I sobbed and sobbed. I am still in shock that she is gone. She was such a sweet, quiet, but strong girl. She loved Jesus, loved her family. I am incredibly heartbroken.

Seems she and her younger siblings were swimming in Horshoe Lake, when their legs got tangled up in milfoil. Here is the story and videos: &

It doesn't seem fair that that is the end of her life. Period. I wish there was a different ending to the whole story. But there isn't, and God is not surprised by her death. In fact, she is having an incredibly much better life in heaven with her Savior! She is in the presence of Almighty God, surrounded imminently by His love and His glory. At times, I wish I could be there, too. I wish I could see what all our loved ones who've gone before are doing up there.

Really, the sadness isn't that she's in Heaven, it's that she's not with is here on earth. We are finite beings and our hearts are so heavy beyond expression when a loved one goes before us. It's hard to see the eternal perspective, the reason why she had to go. One day all of our questions will be answered.

As for me, I can go on with my life. Laugh with my husband and children, and sleep well at night. But as for my dear friend Julie and her family, they will not sleep well. They will wake up in the middle of the night, remembering their sweet Rachel is gone. And they will weep. Wishing they could say good-bye a last time, replaying her last minutes in their minds, wishing they could have saved her, wishing to see her smile again. Having to pack her things, find a casket and do all those terrible, necessary details that no one should have to do when faced with utter heartbreak.

Please pray for the Wood family. They have been celebrating Rachel's life because she is not dead, but alive. Still, they are only human and will need the comforting, incessant prayers of fellow believers.

Rachel, you are truly loved and missed! No one ever thought you would go this soon. We will see you on That Shore someday soon!