Tuesday, May 31


It's one of those things you take for granted until you can't. Or it's painful and difficult every time you do.
You don't even have to think about it. You don't learn it. I bet it doesn't cross your mind even once a day.

It does mine.
Breathing has been a big subject in my life, well, forever.
I was born a couple weeks early and my lungs just weren't completely ready. So as long as I can remember, I've thought about breathing.
I've worried about breathing.
I've been on countless medications, inhalers, steroids, various cocktails. My body has stopped responding to some medications and then the entire regimen had to be re-thought. More than once.
I can't exercise too strenuously.
I can't be around crazy dust.
And I'm sure there's more.
For a while, I outgrew it. I didn't have any problems for almost seven years. I think I went about four years without even needing my rescue inhaler once. I thought I had grown out of it. I thought I was done.

Then, when I was pregnant with Daughter, I had a really bad attack from cats. I ended up in the hospital and thankfully everything was fine. Once that was settled, I thought it would just go away.
It hasn't.
It's only gotten progressively worse.
Every year is just a little worse than the year before.
It started with just being triggered by allergens, being sick or exercise.
Then it was also seasonal...winter was tough.
Then it just started happening for no apparent reason. Even heart palpitations.
I went back to the Dr. More tests. More medications. Nothing fixed, nothing solved. Just more things to take to hopefully help me breathe normally.
It wasn't helping. I was taking my rescue inhaler every single day with no triggers, and multiple times a day with triggers.
I heard that changing over to raw foods helped. That was pretty extreme for me. I've always been fairly health conscious about what I put in my body, but after reading countless books and cookbooks about going Raw, I decided that I knew I couldn't stick with that and I'd have to start slow.
For a long time I had cut out meat a lot more, I'd say I was about half-vegetarian. Then after more research linking dairy with allergies and asthma, I cut that out. Funny thing is, I have always struggled with a slight intolerance for dairy products, but it's not bad enough that I can't cope with it so I've never given it a second thought.
I did that for a while and noticed some improvement. Not a huge amount, but a little. Then I decided to take a little plunge and eat meat very rarely, maybe once a week if even and make my diet a little over fifty percent Raw. At first it was great. I loved it. I did well on it and felt great. It was easy! Then I just didn't make it to the store and started eating little cheats here and there. I always say, I'm not a Nazi about it. All things in moderation. No big deal. But I almost completely fell off the wagon. And within just one week, my breathing started to be bad. Now it's been about two or three weeks and it's really bad.
I'm almost out of my rescue inhaler. I flew threw it in a combined time of about six weeks. It was supposed to be enough for six months to a year.
Now it's almost all the time. Breathing issues, that is.
I feel like someone is sitting on my chest.
I feel like I can't catch my breath.
I feel like I'm breathing through a straw.
I will try so hard to breathe in deeply and get a satisfying breath that my body will tremble.
But I can never get that one breath.
I get dizzy.
I have heart palpitations.

If I go up or down the stairs a few times I need my rescue inhaler. If I go for a short jog or long walk, I need my rescue inhaler. If I do a few loads of laundry, wash the dishes and clean the play room, I need my inhaler. Any amount of light housework, walking, too much talking even and I feel like I've run out of air.

So I have to jump back on my bandwagon. No more dairy for me. Little to no caffeine. Extra vitamins. Little to no meat, and only fish or chicken. Raw foods a little more than half the time. Cleanse with water. Like double the water that's recommended. Nothing else to drink...water, herbal teas. That's it.

I hate to be cynical, and I have absolutely NO qualms with health care professionals, doctors and nurses, etc. I do feel like they and in turn, we the patients, get cheated out of a decent education on the incredible healing benefits of what we put in and don't put into our bodies. How it is possible to live a life without the drugstore.

So there...I've had my moment on my soapbox. I will update y'all later to let you know what my Dr. says and then maybe I'll even keep up on my diet journey and let you know if it's helping. I hope so. I'm tired of not breathing. Well, not breathing well. And I'm tired of pumping myself full of drugs and reading all the warning pamphlets that come with. One of my inhalers has a warning that it may lead to asthma induced death. Huh?!

Yeah, see what I'm up against?

Anyone else? What are your thoughts on these matters?

Do you think I've lost it? I've finally gone to a dumb extreme?

Am I crazy...too skeptical?

Let me have it. ;)

Sunday, May 29

Punky Brewster

Here's another one of Daughter's style creations ;)

A little stretching...


Lord, I need help today.
Help me hold it together. 
Children waking with the sun at 5:30. It's too early.
Grumpy baby flinging oatmeal. 
Son spilling oatmeal everywhere.
Endless questions. I can barely keep my eyes open.
Daughter whining tirelessly.
It's only 7:32. 
Help me Lord.
Help me find the blessings.
Help me see Grace.
My complaints are so trivial.
Thank you for listening to them still
Thank you.

Saturday, May 28


I'm on a little journey. I'm growing. God is cutting me down in places that need to be removed so that I may bloom in others.
It is hard.
Sometimes I feel there is no end in sight.
It's overwhelming.
Sometimes I cannot focus on anything else.
It's tiresome.
Sometimes I just want to get there already.
But it's been amazing.
The moments here and there of communion, of seeing God have been well worth it.
I am trying to grasp at joy and grace, to live my life in God's presence.
To be an obvious example of His light.

One thing I am stuck  on lately is how to turn my ordinary and even sorrowful moments into those filled with joy and His glory.
I don't understand why I just cannot seem to stay in that spot, at His feet, covering my face from His. And then I feel that I should not be sorrowful or mourning when I am blessed with so very much. I feel that I should not dwell on my sin, my bitterness...when will that become joy?
Why am I so depraved, that in the very same breath I can praise God and then curse my children?
How is it possible that I may catch a glimpse of His glory, be stopped in my tracks and then go right on living for this very moment rather than eternity?
I am so broken.
I am so hurt.
So hungry.
So lost.
I feel like I'm treading water at best; drowning, desperately grasping for air at worst.

I was reading the Beatitudes this morning. I stopped short when I read Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
I've always assumed this is talking about mourning something like death, bereavement. And because of that I've always thought it was a little odd that it was in this section of verses that are describing characteristics that are found in a person of God.

I looked at the notes I had in my Bible, likely from youth group studies years ago. There was a side note, a cross-reference to Isaiah 61:2 "To announce the year when the Lord will show His favor, the day when our God will seek vengeance, to console all who mourn."
When you read the verses before and after verse 2, you see that they are talking about Israel's sin and the judgement that will come upon them. Then the verses tell us about the deliverance of Israel and the comfort that will come to those who see their sin. Those who acknowledge it, who are sorry for their sin, who MOURN their sin.

So I wonder, in Matthew 5, perhaps he is saying that those who mourn are blessed for they will be comforted but meaning that those who mourn their own sin, who grieve the depravity of mankind, who grieve the gap that is between our sin and His perfect grace...those people are blessed because God will take that mourning, that sorrowful heart and fill it or replace it with joy, absolutely comforting them.

God looks at this mourning, when we are in pain over our sinful state, with love and joy and reaches His hand to ease our pain and give us joy.
When we are crying out, loathing ourselves, it amplifies His glory and perfect grace.
If we do not feel this anguish over sin, it could be a dangerous spot to be, our self-righteousness exposed. If I do not have that hunger, that empty aching, the deep sorrow and sadness, knowing that I am not serving God to my best, then I must think that I am doing just fine.
That I am good enough, doing enough, being enough, righteous enough. And if I think that I am good or righteous in any regard of those words, then what do I need God for?
If I am not completely lost and in need of desperate salvation, then I take away from God's perfect righteousness. Then I question how much I truly believe that I need Him. All of Him.
So it is not wrong that I grieve, mourn over my heart, my pitiful attempts at being "good." My mourning reveals His light, His perfection, His grace. And in turn, He will bless me, replace my mourning with His joy.

So now I will try...
When I feel inadequate, I will rejoice.
When I feel sinful and guilty, I will praise.
When I mourn over the evil in my heart, He fills me with joy.
When I am wretched, He is perfect.
When the gap is more of a canyon, the depth and breadth of which causes anguish to try to comprehend, that's when He bestows His grace and bridges it.
I am nothing, yet He is everything.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Friday, May 27

Gifts 526-568

Smoothies for dinner
Jokes from children
Giggles under forts made of old blankets
Long, deep conversations with friends
Iron sharpens iron
Joyful news
Glory during devastation
Celebrating friends' anniversaries
Cherries, bright red and against the gleam of a white bowl
Stray eyelashes
sweaty palms
friends gathered
carrots and pesto hummus
apple pie remembered in the oven
sharing with friends how God speaks to us
giving books that have blessed deeply
Layla's deep heavenly eyes
freedom to speak liberally of Christ
sharing experiences with others
relating with someone who has a heart yearning for the same goal
daughter running to window each morning
pulling open the curtain to see if it's a beautiful day!
Child thanking God for blessings from the backseat:
(her list)
 people walking
 the store
 the field
 our house


Silly Boys...cuddling together in the morning

Both with fingers in their mouth

Hello, my handsome boys

Love the next couple pics. Their faces are so similar in reaction to whatever cartoon they were watching.


Love this Baby's grumpy pissed-off faced

Thursday, May 26


Everyone knows that I'm a choose your battles type of person.
What my kids wear on an every day basis to play or go to a friends' house, is NOT one of the battles I choose. I let them pick what they want to wear. Son usually doesn't care too much, so I still do pick a lot of his outfits. He just HATES collars. Daughter, on the other hand, is obsessed with choosing her own outfits. Sometimes they're fabulous, sometimes they are fascinating. They are ALWAYS something to write home about. Here's one of her recent outfits.

Dancing around

Kisses for Momma

Wednesday, May 25



Warning: Long, a bit erratic and you may not understand

I had a moment.
An experience.
Last weekend.

Time stood still. Just for a few moments, but it seemed like eternity.
I was in my home, but felt removed. I felt like I was watching. God was in my home. He was with me.
I felt that He was literally right beside me.
I felt His presence, no more than that.
I felt His touch. I heard His voice. I could sense His breath.
He was all around me. He was all that was me. He was it.
Everything else was gone, it almost felt like everything else was sand falling through my fingers. The only thing I could grasp, feel, touch was Him.

I was writing a gifts post filled with wonderful, sweet, far from normal little things. Pancakes, roses, smiles. After all, those really are far from normal. What is normal about gifts being poured out on me every second?! Let alone gifts from the Creator of the universe? There is nothing normal about that. I stopped short, even though my mind had a list running, filled with these sweet gifts.
My mind stopped, something, someone stopped me.
I froze. I closed my eyes, feeling like perhaps I had just lost my train of thought.
Then I knew He was telling me to stop.
I opened my eyes. Looked outside.
Closed my eyes. Breathed in deep.
I felt the wind tickling my face and caught the fragrant scent of the blooms on the breeze. My eyes filled with tears.
He had stopped me, held me still so that I would receive this one particular gift He had prepared for me.
That lovely fragrance, delicate and simple.
I audibly praised and thanked my God.
Then I hungered. I wanted more.
I pleaded for God to give me more.
I wondered how could I stay in this moment forever.
That was exactly it. To stop and seek. To look and receive.
To feel, be still and breathe.
Had I not stopped, had time not stood quiet, I would have never felt that tickle, never smelled that sweet perfume.

God is like that. Like the cool breezes. Triggering so many sensations. So powerful, what stops the wind? Yet our eyes are blind to it. And we really never notice it. Unless we need it to cool us. Or if it displays its power in ways that are not pleasing to us. However, if we are just living, not stopping to just be, do we ever acknowledge that breeze? If we do not sit quiet, still, waiting, searching, yearning, do we ever really see God?

My moment quickly spiraled into hot tears of joy as I sat at God's feet. I was in communion with Him.
The Maker.
I could not do anything but sing, pray, thank.
I loved.
I was filled.
I had joy.
I was joy.
I caught a tiny glimpse of what this journey is. What it is supposed to be. What I am searching for, counting these endless gifts. It can seem silly being thankful for buttermilk and ladybugs. It can be difficult to send praises when I step on a toy or get stuck in traffic. I wonder how any thanks can be given when I see others suffer devastation and loss. But then, when a moment comes, when God takes my very face in His almighty hands and holds me, when I feel that I am actually being WITH Him, I know that truly all things are grace.

That time in my living room, feeling His warmth and love and joy everywhere lasted for a long time, yet was so fleeting. I felt overwhelmed and wanted to share the joy I experienced.
The love.
I couldn't put it into words.
My gifts post from that moment made very little sense. I looked outside and saw my neighbor's car. Her husband is away for work-ups before deploying. She is lonely, she has told me this before. I always assure her that I am here if she needs anything, but have I shown that? Have I really wanted to show that? With three small children and a household to run I always tell myself that I am not expected to invite in another person. Another very chatty, person to talk to, feed, entertain.
What if she is hungry?
What if her soul is hungry?
What if she has not felt that joy?
And what if I treated her the way I would treat Christ Himself? Would I wave from the street and quickly rush my family inside, getting back to being busy?
I felt convicted.
I called to my kids to put on shoes and I quickly put the remaining nine of the dozen cookies I had just baked for my family on a plate, covered tightly in plastic wrap.
I cringed when my kids started asking about "their cookies" and why we were taking them to our neighbor. I told them that she is lonely right now and I thought cookies would cheer her up, show her that someone loves her.
I braced myself for the whining, the arguing, the selfish little woes that come from a child, a little person born, like all of us, with sin in their heart. There were no whines.
They looked at my face, perhaps they saw the joy, the love and quickly agreed with excitement.
As I watched my littles sharing joy and love with a batch of homemade cookies, I knew that I had heeded His call. I knew that just in this small gesture, something that really required very little sacrifice, my children had seen love.
Love of God. Love of neighbor.
And they were filled with joy.
From giving.
From blessing because we are blessed.

Since that day, I have been hungry. Each moment seems to be a disappointment. I am yearning to commune, to sit still and feel Him, to praise and sing and cry with joy.

Now I need to learn, let Him teach me, how to find that same joy and love in the everyday mundane. When I am washing kids' hair, driving to the store, cleaning the floor. I know there is joy in these things.
How do I find it and feel His presence there in THAT moment? Not just in the moment after, when I reflect, or the moment when little sticky hands are not grabbing at me. How do I let time stand still when someone always needs something, when I am always forgetting or messing up something?
When I am feeling sad or tired or anxious?
When I am envious?
How do I fight those feelings and replace, fill my life with that perfect moment?
Communion with the Almighty?
Joy from blessings, blessing others from joy.

All is grace.
A verb.
To give thanks.
To do thanks.
Everything I do should be thanks.
That's what I desire, Lord help me to see.

Thank You

So here's the thing.
This whole blogging business, it's a big part of my life. It's a part of who I am. It weaves something I love to do (write) with the threads that make up who I am...the stories, the joys, the trials of my life, my family, of me. So when I put those things out there, even the dumb little pictures that mean nothing and especially the times when I pour out my heart through rambles, stories, gift lists.... it really means a lot when someone reading takes that extra few SECONDS to stop and leave an encouraging word or a thought to ponder. It really touches me and at least for me, makes me feel more connected to you. So if you are one of the two few people that don't mind giving me an extra few seconds after you read my posts, one of those people that go ahead and log in (such a HUGE hassle, I know) to let me know what you think or how you feel, thank you. You are awesome and really mean a lot to me.

To the rest of you that don't have time or energy to log in and comment after you read, that's okay. I love you and appreciate you reading. I hope that my posts can encourage, inspire, or at least entertain you. I hope that my blog is a light that shines on God and that you see me, who I TRULY am through it all.

That's all folks!

Saturday, May 21

Gifts 464-525

Baby calling "Mama, Mama!"
Godzilla and Barbie playing in harmony
The smell of roses on the breeze through my living room window
Baking cookies
Cookies for a lonely neighbor
God speaking to my heart
Amazing Grace
Singing "In moments like these..." as I rock children in the night
Children as a reflection of self
Lessons through their reflection
Prayer in the morning
Picture frames, waiting for memories to fill them
Spin Pins
Garage sales
Trash turned treasure
Desiring less of here and more of Him
Cherry Blossoms
Bird's nests
Surprises for Hubby
Children's imperfect speech
Smiles from strangers
Preparedness for tomorrow
God's love shared
Each new breath
Color around me
Compassion from daughter
Playing outside
Believing without seeing
This list
Falling in love
This moment, time standing still
Absorbing grace
Hot tears
The feeling right before tears spill over your eyelids
Holding child close while praising Almighty
Never ending gifts...this list cannot, does not stop
late afternoon sunlight, glimmering from children's hair
Baby walking around searching for "Dada"
Bond between Father and son
Love of brothers
rustle of wind in trees
Stopping, the only way I can receive these gifts
Breathing them in, feeling them 
Heart skipping a beat in anticipation
Knowing there is change happening
Green tea with honey
Thank Yous
Hair swept across my face, tickling my cheek
Being overwhelmed
God in this place, my home, my chaos, my mess, my life 

Tulle Wreath

I thought I came up with this idea on my own, but alas, it turns out I did not. :( Oh well.

Daughter had this one tutu for over a year and had worn it at least 2 billion times. It was getting pretty ratty. As I started to throw it out, my ridiculously cheap frugal side came out and I decided to try my hand at making something pretty out of it for her room.

I scanned my craft table and saw a styrofoam wreath form I've had for ages. I untied all the tulle strips which were about eight inches long and cut from the tulle rolls in the wedding section of craft stores. Then I just tied them on to the wreath form using a slip not, the same way I had them on the elastic for the tutu.

I created a pattern and tied a big ribbon on to hang the wreath. It looks so cute on her door. I love it! It was just the right about of tulle, I believe it was about twenty yards of tulle from the spools. And the eight inches was the perfect length!


*Although I do occasionally joke about Baby being my favorite :/ that is not true and not the reason that this post turned into 4 billion pictures of him eating oatmeal. The big kids only sat for about 4.7 seconds before beginning a game of cowboys and Indians in the living room and I was playing with my new camera. So Baby strapped in high chair with oatmeal everywhere made for a perfect test subject. ;)


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