Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Do you?

Just never mind, it's too hard.

Not the actual being together (although let's face it...there are days that maybe a struggle too!)  We have never made it a priority or had a routine or ritual.  Life just happens.  He has his own business, which means many a times are we together as a "family" while he is on the phone with clients, other businesses, etc.  It's just how it is.  Since we live in the beautiful north west, weather can also dictate a work schedule. Not that he stops in the rain, snow, or ice, but if it is a nice Saturday or Sunday; he can be found pouring concrete or rolling trusses.

Many a days does he come home exhausted, worn out.  Only to sit up at night working on bids for future jobs, sending emails, getting price quotes.  Then to get up before the sun to head off to put it all together.

He works extremely hard and has sacrificed so much.

Now a days with my sister and her therapy schedule thrown into the mix, it just makes things that much more crazy with the family.  And getting someone to be with  all of them is a little tricky.  There are a limited number of resources available to us while she is in her recovery.

The other day my dad offered to take all three so Ben and I could be a lone for a bit.  He said, "You choose either Friday or Saturday just let me know what day and what time."  Uh....I don't really know what to do with that.

So when I talk to my husband, "Not Saturday, it's poker night."  My husbands once a month testosterone gathering.  Which really is fine by me.  I am not one for wanting to be out late, and by late I mean past 7 pm.  By that time I would much rather be on my couch in my sweats cuddling with my girls.  And I would rather do something during the day anyway.  (Hence us never doing anything!)

It was just too hard to try to coordinate.  So just never mind forget it.

As I am sitting in the car prepping myself for another doctors appointment....I hear it.  A woman, like me.  A wife, like me.  A mother, like me.

Talking about how she has had to fight for that time with her husband.  Not that she was fighting with him.  She says no to others and their things so she can say yes to her husband.

Yet even when offered time away for a moment, it still seems hard...why is that?  Why can I easily fill in my hours of piano lessons, swimming lessons, physical therapy, speech therapy, make dinner, clean up dinner....yet one on one time with the person I have a made a covenant with God to be with

What do you do to make sure you have that time alone with your spouse?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Number 4

On our way home my six year old wants to put in Sanctus Real and listen to "number 4".  (Which is "Lead Me")  We are riding and singing.  There is special meaning with this song for our family.  My mother-in-law had heard this song and thought of her son.  She gave it to him at a season in our marriage that was extremely stormy.  I'm not sure if she knew, or how much she knew.  Doesn't really matter.  The song is written from the heart of a husband and father to God to lead his wife, his kids, and himself.  Great song if you haven't heard it.  But we can all place ourselves in that role somehow leading someone else and the reponsibility that it bears.  My kids saw it touch their mom and their dad.  So they call it "number know the one you and daddy cry to."

So it is a family fav.

We are singing and driving.  We are at the end of the road and as I turn, I look left.  Wow, bright light.  (We live in Washington so we don't really see the sun for a few more months.)  I turn right and as I look back, I see a beautiful light filled sky shimmering through the back window.  My six year old singing, "Lead me with strong hands, stand up when I can't, don't leave me hungry for more..."  I look again through my mirror to the back.  A window full of little fingerprints and smudges.  The sky glowing a yellow-orange framed by great evergreens.  Why am I so cranky again?  What was that previous post about?

I turn again onto our road.  My daughter still singing onto the last verse, "...To stand up when they can't don't want to leave them hungry for love, chasing things that I couldn't give up."

I look to the left over the little lake that we drive by.  God's painting in the sky soft blue to a glowing amber to burning pink.  Wow.  Thank you God.  In a day that I thought would end on a sour note just because I was in that kind of a mood.  He even takes that and places my little daughters voice to be singing just the words I need to here, in just that moment He designs for me a once in a lifetime sky.  So glad that He is a loving and patient Father.  And instead of getting irritated with me for spilling my own pineapple on the floor, or getting distracted from cleaning my room and playing with the jewelery, He draws me close.  He tells me of a story of two little girls who need a mom who can show them through her own actions and attitude of what a Godly woman is.  To speak His love with her lips.  He tells me of a story of a sister, who needs her sister to put her arm around her and comfort her and guide her and have faith in her.

Shhh.  If you listen and get still, God is whispering a story to you.  What is it?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Little Irritated?

Do you ever find yourself cranky and not really know why?  Ok, maybe I'm not just cranky.  I am extra, extra irritable today.  Not sure why.  I got the normal amount of sleep...very little.  My kids are normal...well, I am having to repeat a few extra times, not sure if I am just more aware of it today than other days, or that I REALLY am repeating extra.  Things that haven't been bugging me are causing those little ants that crawl on my insides (yes I know that is not normal and there is medication for that...thank you). 

My poor sister I think is hiding in her room.  She came to live with us in December after surviving a ruptured brain aneurysm.  She is on her road to recovery and in the grand scheme of things doing amazingly (truly by the grace of God).  Usually her spilling is just apart of it all and I would rather her be trying and spilling than accepting her current abilities and not trying at all.  But today, a bowl of pineapple (juices and all) are enough to send me over the hill.  As I come walking into the sticky mess, I can't seem to hide my irritation.  Really Lacy?  It's just a sticky floor.  Well, two sticky floors because it was the dinning room and some how a big wide river to the kitchen floor...that was then walked through.  :)  And for some reason it seems to be sticking to me!

My sweet precious angels.  Oh how I love them.  Why when the directions were stated, "Go up and get dressed and start straightening up your room."; did they hear, "Go upstairs and get all of mom's jewelery out and string it in different places in mom's room."?

For some reason today this small little instances (because let's face it, they really are small), seem so big and grate on me.  Not only do they make me fume, but I can't seem to shake them.  Sometimes I can get some perspective and reel myself back in.  You know those conversations you have with yourself?  Tell me I am not the only one that has those right?  I can't even seem to bring myself to want to have those conversations.

I want to wallow in my irritation.  I want to complain and hear the fist pumping "yeahs!" agreeing with me.

Maybe I just need a moment.  Not a moment with that chocolate cake that is sitting on my counter.  Even that is bugging me.  It is so messy and every time someone moves it, it seems to make a horrible mess.  Making it's way to the floor for people to walk on and smoosh into the carpet and wood floor.  Ugh.  I don't know what kind of a moment.  I mean, I don't know what it would look like.

I know, this is all selfish.  Prayin' Jesus doesn't come today, I would probably be irritated by His entrance.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lessons From A Six Year Old

"Ugh, I'm too big for my clothes, I don't have anything to wear."  It just came out.  Being the mother of two little girls I am usually conscientious of saying any "fat", "ugly", self depreciating comments in front of them. 

I think I might have been digging through a pile of clean laundry in our living room talking to my husband in passing.  I didn't really even notice my girls in the room.

My six year old says, "Stop it momma, you're perfect."

It stopped me in my tracts.  My husband looking at me like, "Mmmmhhhhmmm."  With his eyebrows raised and head lowered.

Here we are trying as parents to raise our little girls to be confident in themselves.  In the perfect way that God has made them to be.  We have even had them look into the mirror at the eye, and say, "I love myself."

Don't get me wrong.  Our goal is not for them to be full of self conceit or thinking of themselves as better than others.  But rather to be sure of who they are.  God has created each of us with such love and devotion.  Counting the hairs on our head.  How can I so easily discredit the great creator?

It's so easy for me to find my own faults.  My flaws seem to even glow in the dark.  No really, I can be in bed while all is quiet (my bouts of insomnia) and the weight and brightness of my imperfections are what keep me from slumber.

As I am starting my new adventure of living my life with more eucharisteo.  Giving God thanks in even the very small and simple.  There in my daughters words lye so much more.  Maybe it is time for me to spend a little more time in front of that mirror...

Friday, March 11, 2011

2 Flaky Halibuts and 5 Loaves of Garlic Bread (the Costco kind)

Yum right?  Light and flaky halibut with a little freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemon.  And who doesn't love that garlic bread from Costco?  You know the kind over in the bakery and it has little cloves of roasted garlic actually in the bread.  MMM, pop it in the oven, slather a little butter.  I can eat a whole loaf by myself.  No, really I can!

Well it probably was not so gourmet (can Costco be called gourmet)?
Jesus had just sent the apostles out to go village to village with nothing "not even a tunic" (no worries about being seen in the same outfit twice).  To go and preach the good news and to heal the sick.  After their travels they all met back up sharing with Jesus what they had done.  Jesus then took them with him to Bethsaida, for a little R and R.  But word got out and crowds started forming.  Jesus being, well, Jesus; he welcomed them shared with them about the kingdom of God and healed them.

Bethsaida is on the north east coast of the Sea of Galilee.
As the day went on and on the apostles told Jesus it was time to send the crowds away to go find food and a place to stay because where they were it would take people some time to go find both of those.

"He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish–unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over."  Luke 9:13-17.

5000 people (more than likely more than that when you add the women and children), two fish, and five loaves of bread (not the yummy Costco garlic kind).  Not only was every one fed and satisfied, but they had leftovers!  All from one basket of food about the size of a lunch. 

Did you see something before all of that great miracle?  Here, let me show you again..."Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them." 

"...he gave thanks..."

The joy precedes the miracle.  Before the people ate and were satisfied, he gave thanks.  Before there were twelve baskets of leftovers, he gave thanks.  The joy precedes the miracle.  I think we often forget this part.  I know I am still learning this...eucharisteo.

Now there is a way for you, (yes you) to give up your lunch of fish and bread and be apart of God's miracle.

"Feed the 5,000 is a movement to sponsor children around the world and grow our hearts. Inspired by the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with just one child’s lunch, newlife asked the question – could Jesus feed the world with our lunch?"

Check it out.  See what God is urging you to do.  And remember to give thanks...the joy precedes the miracle.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's on Your Chalkboard?

I made this a little bit ago and I love it.  It's not just a chalkboard, but it is also magnetic!  My poor girls thought it would be one for them to write and play on.  I'm keeping this one.  It's in my kitchen where I spend a lot of my time.  It's so easy, I can make them one for each of their rooms.

Eventually I am going to add three hooks for our girly aprons.  And like I said it is magnetic.  I have some fancy old broaches and a few letters from scrabble that I am planning on making into magnets.  Eh, work in progress is my lifestyle.  I just like having a place that can bring me back to focus.  A place when the world around me swirls in the hustle and the chaos, I have a reminder of what my focus should be.

So easy and inexpensive.  I was at a local craft store and picked up the frame on clearance.  Went over to Home Depot into the plumbing section and got a sheet of metal (very sharp metal).  Grabbed some chalkboard paint and viola!  Well there are better step-by-step instructions over here at  Less than Perfect of Life of Bliss.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Here it is the first day of Lent.  The next thing said would naturally be, "So what did you give up?"  My husband is giving up ice cream.  Trust me, that is like most of us giving up water for 40 days.  Me?  I still can't decide.  (Doesn't that sound silly?)

Growing up we never really practiced Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter.  I do know that now that I have children of my own, I would like to emphasize it more.  For this time that was a struggle for our savior is something I want my children to feel.  But how?  As ridiculous as that may sound.  Is it supposed to be this difficult just in the decision process?  Of course I have found some fun and meaningful ways for me to teach my girls what this season leading up to Easter is about (like so far my favorite is The Way of Light Wreath).  It may sound kind of shallow to say, but I'm not sure what I could give up to sacrifice to draw closer to Him while preparing for the death and resurrection.  I just don't know what could help me relate to Christs suffering in that way.  And if I can't figure this out, then how am I supposed to teach two little ones!

So, rather than give something up to relate in the suffering, this year for Lent I am going to study Devotions for Lent (Holy Bible: Mosaic).  Praying God will use this time to "prepare our hearts for a deeper appreciation of mercy, the need of the Cross, and miracle of Easter."

What are you doing for Lent?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Taste The Sweet Honey

"For forty long years, God's people daily eat manna-a substance whose name literally means, 'What is it?' Hungry, they choose to gather up that which is baffling. They fill on that which has no meaning. More than 14,600 days they take their daily nourishment from that which they don't comprehend. They find soul-filling in the inexplicable.
They eat the mystery.
They eat the mystery.
And the mystery, that which made no sense, is 'like wafers of honey' on their lips.(Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts).

Like the beating of a drum I hear my feet hit the floor.
So loud and heavy.
My heart pounding like a rabbit's before its predator.
The sounds of my steps now echoing in my head, through my heart.

They eat the mystery.

So stark, yet welcoming.
So cold, but inviting.

My emotions run wild like a stormy night at sea.  Crashing fear into serenity; worry and angst into peace.  My mind races so fast Prefontaine couldn't catch it.

They eat the mystery.

My Husband.
My little girls.
Their future.
Our future.
My sister.
My burden on my family.

Not me.  No, not me.  Ok, maybe me.  Oh, no...what if me?

I am alone.  My babes with their hero, digging in dirt and climbing up ladders.  My sister taken care of.  I sit.  I wait.

I am taken back.  I enter a small changing room.  A friendly face explains to me the process and I nod and smile.  As the curtain closes I collapse.  Like a recking ball to a skyscraper.  Tears streaming I look into the mirror.  "Taste the sweet honey."  Peace comes crashing down like the powerful ocean onto the jagged rock. Letting it melt through my soul like butter on a burning stove.  Slow and deliberate.  Tasting the sweet honey of this mystery in my life, in this moment.  The manna that God has given me.  Letting go of the hows, the whys, the what ifs.

He whispers to me, "Taste the sweet honey."

I step into the room lights dimmed.

Now to wait.

Again, He whispers, "Taste the sweet honey."

Calm and still.  Peace.

More thorough investigation needed.  My mind racing again.  Here comes the ocean crashing thunderously.

"Be nourished.  Empty yourself so I can fill you.  Taste the sweet honey."

A picture reel streams through my head as though watching a life unlived.  All the while pushing and searching to grab ahold of what's firm.  Breath held, hands cold, I lie.
No biopsy needed.

"Taste the sweet honey."

Each day, He gives anew to consume the manna He has provided.  To allow it to not only fulfill me, but to nourish me.  To taste the sweetness.

To taste the sweetness while living the mystery.

Do you taste the sweet honey yours?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Project Simplify

Confession:  I am a blog stalker.

Yes, I admit it.  And I am ok with it.  It's how I get great ideas and adapt them for me, my family, and our home.  No reformation needed.  I enjoy it!

One blog I like to check out is  Simplemom she is the author of a new book called, Organized Simplicity.  Her book came out in November.  Oh me?  Have I read it?  Well, no not yet.  I am still consuming One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  And yes, she is a blogger too!  She writes over at A Holy Experience.  Again, I repeat, I am a blog stalker.

Tsh over at Simplemom has a challenge for the month of March that I will be tackling with her and her grand following of bloggers and blog stalkers.  DECLUTTER.  She will be focusing on a certain "hot spot" each week, (come spot for an entire week? can do it too:) ).  Being a mom of two little ones, homeschooling, wife to a business owner, and most recently a full time caregiver for my sister it leaves little time for my own "hot spots".

This first week it looks like we will be conquering our closet.  No it is not the place that our visitors see.  But it is a place we must go DAILY.

How does this work?  Visit Simplemom for all of the details.  I will be posting before and after pictures the end of this week.  Start your spring cleaning early and join in on the fun!  You have "hot spots" too right?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chasing More Time

In an effort to chase down this addition of the unattainable I find myself tired and weary.  Hustling and hurrying about as though the earth will stop on its axis.  Hurry get up, hurry clean up breakfast, hurry let's do math, hurry it's time to go, hurry, hurry, hurry.  As I rush about not only do I find myself high in angst, but I see the wake I have left behind.

 In their faces, in their spirit.
I am chasing.

Is it possible that in my effort to be wonder woman, I have become the opposite?  My great cakes, my clean house, my mowed lawn.  Yes, I grew the blueberries, oh no I homeschool, I've ran marathons, I'm doing good, I can, I do, I am!

Don't look too close, it's there, in my shadows you'll see; my shoulders are slumping.

The weight to not be someone elses weight.
I look into those porcelain black eyes.

What an exhausting pursuit.  What a weight I have not only placed but am pushing onto those delicate, fragile souls.  I'm running...toward something, yet maybe, maybe, am I fleeing?  Fleeing...what am I fleeing?  Fleeing the pain, fleeing the imperfection.

"We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing." (Psalm 39:6)

What have I left in my wake?  As the waves of my hurrying settle down and smooth out, what is left behind?  Stones of regret, fields of shame, boulders of guilt, and four soft hands.  Four pitter pattering feet in mommy's high heels.  Two twirling princesses whose life filled spirits I crush with the rush for time.

"On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgement and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur."  Evelyn Underhill.

I am disappointed in my life lived amateur.

Are you an amateur?