The Loves of My Life

The Loves of My Life

Friday, August 29, 2008

" I am my Brother's and Sister's Keeper"

That statement was echoed not once, but several times in Obama's speech at the Democratic Convention. It's exactly the kind of philosophy America NEEDS to embrace, but will it? We have been a people that has stomped on others, and has made many millions off the philosophy of "every man for himself". Almost everything we do in America is clouded in the "survival of the fittest" way of life.

Now let me start off by saying that I have never EVER been interested in politics. NEVER. I have never been able to grasp the idealism of people before me who idolized "great leaders" like Roosevelt or Kennedy. I couldn't understand how people were so captivated by them, how they felt compelled by them to be interested in politics. I was dumbfounded by reading and watching a history that really mourned these men. My mind has always defined politics with greedy old men who don't care about you.

I don't know if it's because I am older or if I am more aware......even though I don't think it has anything to do with it, but I have never been captivated by someone in politics like Barack Obama. I am not a Democrat.....and even though I grew up Republican......I am not. I like to choose my candidate based on their integrity and who I believe can lead our country to a better place.

This week I actually payed attention to the DNC for the first time in my life. (I will actually pay attention to the Republican Convention as well). There were a lot of amazing speeches....Hilary, Joe, Clinton- if you haven't heard them I highly suggest you Google them and listen). But Barack's speech actually moved me. It wasn't his most eloquent speech....and there were times I was wanting him to not be so harsh on McCain, but his vision.....his passion and his plan is what I believe American really needs. Will he be able to fulfill all his promises? Who knows. Maybe not...some of them are a pretty tall order. But the fact that he is reaching high for the better of the American people inspires me. It actually makes me proud to live in this country at a time when I just recently wrote a friend that I was embarrassed by American policies.

I have to be honest and say that Barack Obama is the best man for the job.....and I respectfully don't understand people who think otherwise. Really I don't. I know I should, but I don't. I don't think Barack is perfect and that he will save America. Only we, the people of America can do that......and he is the one who can inspire us to bring about change. He is already inspired me to care.

I have friends who are Republicans....and are voting McCain because they are "Republican" and that's that. I have friends that think abortion should be abolished so because of that issue, they won't vote for Obama...and I really just don't get that way of thinking.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.......but this is mine. I'm sure people think I am foolish for voting for Obama....and to them I say, are wrong. :)

So....I am sure there might  be a tirade of comments after my little Soapbox of a thought here, and all I ask is that you be respectful......otherwise, like I have before, I will delete you :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Proud Friend

Today I went to work way to early in the morning as I always do. It's getting harder and harder to wake up at 430am to be at work by 5, but there are a few things that make it worth while. The first being that I am usually off by 9am or 10am which affords me the luxury of the whole day with my kids. The second is that I only do it on average two days a week. And the best thing that makes it worth while is the friends that I have made there. I have to be honest, I don't go to work anymore because I love the work itself or the discount it brings my family...... but I go for my friends. I love to see them and catch up on what their week has been like. They are all very different from me and I love them dearly.

Today at work, my friend told me that he finally paid off all his debt. He has been over his head and in debt for as long as we both have worked there. He is the guy that spoils his friend with treats and gifts just because. He is one of the most  generous people I know. He is also technically my boss, but he never makes me feel inferior. He's really good at his job and managing our little morning crew (even if he is grumpy sometimes). But today, I couldn't have been more proud of him. It's a hard thing to give up things you enjoy so you can pay off your debt. Actually let's be honest, it's hard to pay off debt!! But he did it! He is debt free........ and I am so proud.

So congratulations my friend! You did it.  Now let's go out and have a party :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Baby 's First pic

So here it is....for all to see, especially me, that this isn't a joke, I actually am pregnant. Even as I sat there watching them do the ultra sound I was halfway in denial that the baby moving on the monitor was in my tummy. I guess this really is happening.

Kinda makes me laugh.

I have made no secret that the first trimester has been a tough one, and even though I am in week 13, baby nausea still hasn't left me completely. I think it's because of the nausea that I get so mad. People laugh when I share that, but when you feel like you want to vomit all night, there aren't exactly good thoughts running through your mind. I get mad that Paul and I didn't make "his appt." sooner. I get mad that we had really great sex that led to this blessed situation. I just get mad.

Then I awake in the morning feeling well and different feelings fall over me. The thought of bike rides with a family of 5, or the picture of Jeremiah and Riley taking care of a little sibling just bring me joy.

I have to be honest and say the baby stage just doesn't excite me. But the thought of another child to love and care for is enough to make up for it. Friends all around me can't contain the sheer delight when they know I am pregnant. The most common reaction is "I am so SO excited for you!" But I can see it in their eyes, the feeling of "I'm glad it's her and not me". That makes me laugh too, but it makes me feel loved. I have this amazing community that will love this baby like no other, maybe not in the middle of the night or when it throws a screaming fit, but it will love the baby and love me through the process.

Maybe some of you reading this can't relate to my feelings. You maybe even a little offended that I am not jumping over myself that I have God's little creation in me. To you I do have to say, I am sorry if I have offended you. I know it's a gift and there are numbers of women who would jump at the chance to be in my situation. But I have to be honest and genuine with my heart and while I may not have been thrilled at first (that's an over statement if you read my earlier post) I am content and happy with what God has given me.......


just kidding , I AM excited about this new life growing in me. I am excited for what it means for my family and I feel honored that God has blessed me with probably something I didn't know I needed, but did.

So for all of you who will ask, because its been asked many times already, I don't know if I will find out the sex of the baby. I like to plan but it was fun having it be a surprise too. But when we'll know, so until more baby talk :)

Monday, August 25, 2008


Lots on my mind....but I am too hot, too tired and too cranky to write and type.

Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Best line ever

Today, my kids got into a little fight and my daughter ended up screaming at the top of her lungs, "I'm sorry"

real repentance.

After a long talk with my daughter, the day went on.

Just a few minutes ago I heard a scream and a cry from my son, "Riley, why would you hurt me like that?"

I ran to see what the problem was. They were playing a made up game and out of no where, Riley pushed Miah quite forcefully in the side. Riley was sent to her room while I consoled Miah. After I was done, I heard Riley crying  and talking to herself in the bedroom. I asked her what happened and here is her reply in tears,

"Mommy I accidentally listened to my brain. I didn't want to hurt him."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Not Mamma's Cookin'

So I am at week 13 tomorrow and this little peanut I'm carrying is hurting my feelings. It  wants nothing to do with my cooking. Over the past 6-8 weeks there has been only two meals that I make that my hormone ravaged body could muster enough strength to eat. That's spaghetti and a peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.Yep......this baby loves those carbs and has made me pay for it when I have tried to eat fruit.
 Veggies? fuhgit about it.

I started to feel guilty due to the lack of unhealthy eating. But then I reminded myself that I just need to get through this extremely dark period of pregnancy. Besides I am taking prenatals ....that's all the nutrients it needs right? :)

So for any of you that care here is the diet my baby has forced me to adhere to :

Del Taco Bean Burritos
In- n- Out.- this baby loves meat and any bbq quality burger will do.

Islands BBQ Chicken Salad

Rubios Shrimp Burrito Especial.

Dr. Pepper- yep after 5 weeks of being DP free, I caved. It was the only liquid that would literally settle my tummy. seriously- not making that up.

Bagel with cream cheese or Cheerios for breakfast

Salt, Salt and more Salt.

Yep- sounds super healthy right? If I ate anything else it's because someone else made it for me and the baby would concede out of gratefulness. But if I even thought of trying to make something....I could feel my mouth begin to salivate, not water, but the salivating that begins before vomiting occurs.

So here's to a better second trimester and some healthy eating, or I may gain over 100 lbs. before this baby is born.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Label

A few days ago at work a co-worker out of the blue asked out loud for everyone to hear.
 "Jen, you're a Christian right?"

I shuddered.

Not because I am ashamed of my faith, or that I am ashamed of loving Jesus but because of the label that "christian " can mean in America, or at least Southern California.

Lately this label  means to me a conservative man who will judge you at any given moment.

It means seeing only black & white, and not the complicated shades of grey.

It means being a consumer of Christian marketing that really has nothing to do with being a follower of Christ.

It means having bad taste in music.

I wish it identified  more with a people group that loves with compassion instead of judgement and isn't so stuck in a box.

I answered my co-worker with a "why do you ask? " before I committed to labeling myself.

Most of my co-workers know who I love and who I follow, but it's not because I ever claimed myself to be a Christian or answered the religious question of "are you..?". I think it's because as I  live out my life they are curious why I make certain decisions or say things that I do that have led to great conversations about who God is.

I wish now there was a different label. I don't want to be boxed into the label of 'Christian" , "Presbyterian" "moderate" or anything else. I just want to be known as someone who loves Jesus and does her best to communicate the amazing and abundant love God has for all His people.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Two things to watch

Last night we came home and watched the interviews between Rick Warren, Obama & McCain.
It was on a public access channel and we managed to DVR it. If you hadn't heard, Rick invited the two presidential candidates to Saddleback Church for an interview style forum. I think Rick did a really great job mediating, but I think Obama did an even better job answering questions. I am biased, but I appreciated his thoughtful answers and the look into what seemed to be an intimate conversation between him and Rick. I learned more about his faith and came away now more than ever convinced that Obama is a man that when no one is watching tries to walk humbly with God. That's the kind of man I want making decisions for our country.

McCain on the other hand answered the same questions like he was campaigning and kept addressing the audience. He knew he was among friends (republican evangelicals) and made short answers that would rally the crowd. I liked McCain before this forum (even though I wasn't gonna vote for him), but after watching him I was saddened. All I saw was a grey haired old guy who would be more of the same bush administration.

So that's my take, we have it on our dvr, so if you want to watch it (even if you are a McCain enthusiast), come on over. I think it's worth it to see these interviews.

We also watched the foreign film "The Lives of Others". It won an academy award and I can see why. It was a beautifully written, acted and depicted film in every way. Paul wrote a blog about it, so I won't repeat anything he has already said. You can click on his link and decide for yourself. So put it in your Netflix queue and you won't be sorry.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today is our anniversary. 11 years of marriage and we are still going strong.  It's hard to believe its been that many years since we said "I do", but it has and I am looking forward to years to come as well.

I appreciate and love my husband for many many reasons. Lately, he has been the anchor in my night. Coming home after a long day, he cooks, he plays with the kids, puts them to bed and cleans up. He has done all this without one complaint (at least to me). He has even had to go to bed without hugs and kisses cuz I just can't muster up enough strength for physical touch.

These aren't the only reasons why I am thankful he chose me to be his partner. I have a long 13 year list of all the great things he is and has done for me. But it's a taste of the man that has a faith that reflects in the way he loves his wife. 

But just in case you want more's 11 reasons for 11 years.

1. He always says sorry first because he knows I am too stubborn to do it, even if it is my fault.
2. He prays for me and stretches me in my faith without ever making me feel I need to do more or be more
3. He puts up with my weaknesses with humor, making me laugh instead of cry.
4. He has this amazing heart of compassion and faith that surprises me daily.
5. He wrestles with our children, reads them stories, makes up tree stump stories, takes them to the library and on fun bike rides.
6.  His flatulence is historic.
7.  He always surprises the time he sent me to Knoxville to see a friend for my 30th or the time he arranged a lunch rendezvous with my friend stopping in from Nepal.
8.  He doesn't complain about my lack of culinary skills- he just enjoys what I make.
9. He is just funny :)
10. His snuggles in the winter and his "don't touch me it's hot" in the summer.
11. because this morning he woke me up and said, "11 years ago I said I do, and I still do " :)

Happy Anniversary sweetie- I love you lots and lots.

Friday, August 15, 2008


 That's pretty much the theme for our VBS this week. Well, actually the theme is Son World Adventure Park.....but the lesson is about choices. Everyday they learn new choices. 
They can Choose to:

Wouldn't it be nice if life were really that simple? I guess it really can be. When in our decision making if we were to think about these 5 things i wonder if we would have a revolution on our hands. The only choice I see lacking is the choice to give. But I guess when choosing the  choice Jesus, He encompasses all those things together and more.

I have to admit, I don't always make the right choice. There are times when I am even convinced I am making the right choice, and I really don't. I mean, I have a HUGE list of those. But I am thankful for the choice to forgive, because I need to not only forgive others, but my myself as well. I am my own worst critic and I am always beating myself up for "that"thing I said or did.

So..back to choices (I'm really tired!). I am amazed at how well these kids grasp the simplicity. In the beginning of summer I was questioning the real usefulness of VBS. For our community , it is used more as a cheap day camp and I was wondering, how many kids do we really touch.
But through this week I have re-learned that I need to choose to believe- believe that God works in all things, in all circumstances and in all attitudes....even in something as simple as VBS.
The kids have shown me that......and seeing their faces light up every day, I can see that they really are trying to choose Jesus.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Caught Myself

A while ago I wrote about what to wear to church and pretty much insinuated that we should just wear our pajamas. Well, last Sunday morning I was in the shower when Riley knocked on the door to ask me something. She opened the door and I told her whatever she wanted would have to wait until I got out of the shower. Then the following conversation ensued:

"Riley, please go get dressed for church."
"But Mommy, I am dressed."
"Um, the shirt is okay honey but you need a skirt or something nicer then those shorts." She was wearing those short short cozy cotton shorts.
"What Mommy, I didn't hear you?"

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. What the heck was I saying?.....I was feeding my daughter the idea that what she was or how she looked wasn't good enough. So instead of repeating myself, I told her she looked beautiful and to go put shoes on.

Here she is that day eating her donut at church.

and no, that isn't a dress. Although from this angle it looks like it. But you can just barely see her shorts underneath.
Isn't she cute :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A need for action

Last night a friend of mine wrote an insightful post on her blog regarding Candle4Tibet. It was a candle vigil  to raise awareness regarding  the cultural oppression in Tibet. It's a great post and I encourage you to head over to Rebecca's link and click.

At one point in her story, I really resonated with her. She wrote, 

" I've felt more and more strongly that there is an activist inside me, waiting for me to be brave enough to let her out."

I have felt more and more lately that there is something inside of me desiring to be a part of standing up for what's right and what's good. There is so much pain and suffering in this world and I want to be able to help in some way. But the only thing I end up doing is saying a prayer. It has nothing to do with a lack of compassion. In fact, I think  sometimes I have too much. Most of the time I can't even finish an article in Newsweek or the paper because my tears bleed the newspaper print. I have even, at times, read the headline and decided not to read it knowing of the overwhelming emotion it will stir up in me and sometimes I am already too emotionally drained to go there.
But I know it's there and the injustice in the story still calls out to me.

But what can I do? I am a mother of 2 soon to be 3. I am a stay at home mom with little time who knows nothing of being an activist. I wouldn't even know where to start and what cause to claim. There are so many and my heart hurts for them all. I try to help within our community, there are so many needs there, but my time soon becomes "mine" and I don't always do what I know I should. 

I am aware of my excuses and of my lack of self motivation, it's not something I am proud of. I am continually  jealous of teenagers that stand up and organize a cause to support some kind of injustice. They just amaze me. If they can start something, why can't I just join?

It's a question I ask myself all the time....and I feel like I am getting closer to being able to let the doer part of me out.

I hope it's soon. I know God calls me to something more......I just hope His voice isn't getting hoarse. 

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic Awe

Like others have gone before me, I will come out of the closet and admit I love the Olympics. I love almost everything about it. I love the stories, the competition, the drama, the glory and most of all, I love watching people of all nations come together in one place.

I have not talked about the Olympics at all with my family. But at 750 pm last night I parked myself in front of the TV for a night of the opening ceremonies. My interest was piqued since the news have been declaring that this would be the opening ceremonies like no other. I have to admit I had my doubts as well as my prejudices. I had read how much the Chinese government spent on these Olympics and the ceremony and I was disgusted and appalled. But then again I think it's disgusting to spend over $50 on a purse- especially if you already have one.

So there I was, ready for the ceremony to begin and both my children came bounding into my room. Did I mention I was in front of the TV in my bedroom so I could lay in my nauseous state? And they were SO EXCITED to watch with me. I sat there over the next two hours with my children as we watched in awe and wonder of the most beautiful opening ceremony I had ever seen. But the best part was the conversation with my children as each moment passed by. We talked about the Chinese culture, the dress, the moving LED screen, the astronaut, and how cool all the athletes from all the different nations looked. Riley at one point exclaimed as she watched the women in their traditional dresses, "Oh Mom, they are so beautiful. " It was a priceless moment for a mother.

I am always in awe of God's creation and how He created so many different kinds of people, with different cultures, tastes and language. I know there are some scary times right now in our world. It is being ransacked with war and violence. But I have to say that it is hopeful to see, even for a few hours, the look of pure joy on the faces of others nations. To see them march around the same arena with their flags held high in unity. Yes, I know there is tension....but it's still nice to see all the same.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Please, please, please PLEASE.

That's all that is in my mind today. That's all I am calling out to God. I can't utter any other words of grandeur or beautiful sentences.....all I can muster is please.

My dear friend emailed this morning to say she has a meeting with a birth mom today at 430. It looks all too good to be true, but I am hoping.

My friend is, not would be, the perfect mom. She doesn't even need kids to prove it. Her and her wonderful husband have desperately tried for many years and with much heartache have not had the blessing of conceiving and bringing to term their own baby.

My friend is the one with whom when I found out i was pregnant I called out to God , "Why can't it be hers. I want it to be hers."

My dear friend....I am praying..."Please, please please."

and I am hoping that like a parent with a child, God will look down on the pleading face and show grace and give in......

Oh please, Oh please, Oh please

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I am sorry but those jeans looked pegged and that is one ugly fashion trend that should not, and will not by me,  be followed.
Oh why do they resurrect the uglier fashion trends?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

a better understanding......

Last night as I lay in bed I was still thinking about why I am so frustrated with our church and why the last few complaints (in blog below) have gotten such a rise out of me. I mean, I love our church, I love the people, I love some of the ministries we have and I love our leadership...especially one guy.....Pastor Paul, maybe you have heard of him..... :) It's not perfect by any means....but I think that's what I love about it so much. It's broken and beautiful all at the same time.

So I had a little chat with God, trying to process my feelings and understand why after 7 years i feel like I am at my wits end. Seven years is along time...and we have had our ups and downs at our church....but my frustrations have always dissapated after a short while. This time....they have lasted and I am trying to understand them better.

Over the past few months our church has embarked on adopting several changes.
Changes to
  • Worship style and schedule
  • Capital campaign for campus improvements
  • Changing the pew bible in the Bridge to the TNIV bible
All of these things have been met with hostility from a contingent of people in our congregation. By themselves, they call for a important discussion, so by no means do I mean to make each issue smaller by clumping them together.
But when I thought about it, I realized that all those complaints and comments come from fear. 

Fear of Change.

I think sometimes our theology that  God is unchanging makes us enemies of change. We forget that God in His perfection looks upon a people of imperfection....and because of that imperfection, change is good and it is needed to keep drawing us closer to the beings God intended for us in creation.

So instead of being part of the "Same place, Same thing" commercial, we need to look inward and see where growth and stretching is needed. I know it's hard.  Most people don't care for change. They like what they like and they are who they are.......but if we could some how help them tap into the potential of change I think we as a church wouldn't be so fearful.

So that is my prayer for the church and for me (and patience for me): that we would be open to change and take a chance on trying it out....who knows what  amazing things may come of change.......maybe something as spectacular like when our nation fought for the end of slavery and won.

Monday, August 4, 2008

People at church can really chap my hide.

There are many beautiful things in life. But I think that one of the most splendid things in the world is watching a room full of people, from all different races, backgrounds, and cultures Worshipping our God. It is just magnificent when you think about it. Once a week for a short period of time, people come.....sometimes willingly, sometimes humble, sometimes joyful or sad, sometimes grieving, or angry, most of the time sinful, and all the time searching and longing for God. People come to sing, to rejoice, to learn and to repent.......and we do it all together in one place.
I have been fortunate that I have been to many different kinds of worship services. I grew up Catholic and I have been there and done that many times. I have spent a lot of time in non-denominational churches, baptist churches, Presbyterian churches and Calvary churches. I have even been to a few Episcopalian and Lutheran services and 1 Mormon service. I can honestly say that in every church service, I have been able to witness people loving and worshipping our God. It brings me to tears sometimes. All these different ways to love our God and it just amazes me. Now don't get me wrong. I most definitely prefer certain kinds of services to others....and even if I don't care for the style of worship much....I still see the beauty....I still see see the love. It's so cool. I just love it.......that's why what I am about to write took me a week so I could simmer down from my frustration and disappointment.

Last Sunday I didn't want to go to church. Paul was preaching in our sanctuary and I always like to hear him (I should, he's my hubby). But the fact of the matter is, I haven't been feeling well so I was going to go to only 1 service. Usually if Paul preaches in the sanctuary, I will go to the early service....then over to the Bridge service where I prefer. This is sad to say, but I am not a huge fan of our sanctuary service. There are things I like , and things I don't like, but the things I don't care for distract me from worship. BUT I still can worship and appreciate the parts of the service that are beautiful and revealing.
So I didn't want to go.....I had been thinking earlier on in the week how much I just needed a dose of the Bridge....but I didn't want to hurt Paul's feelings.
So I went, and when I walked in the sanctuary....I almost cried. Paul and the worship director decided to change things up for the week and have a TAIZE service in the sanctuary. If you don't know what Taize is....let me TRY to explain...or I will have John our worship dir. explain

"Taize worship is meditative and contemplative. It comes from an ecumenical monastic community. The musical passages are repeated many times. The intent is to focus concentration away from the cares of the outside world. Scripture, our common Word, is the source of our meditation in silence. There will be prolonged silences during times of prayer, a time of listening to the voice of God. The goal is to leave the extraneous noise of the world behind and renew our relationship with God. Listen, Sing, pray peacefully, and together we can discover the meaning of the word sanctuary."

This type of service is just so beautiful. We do it once a month on Friday nights and I love it. It takes some getting used to........but just like all other types of worship it's just magnificent. To be honest, I was surprised they were gonna do it on a church "Sunday" but I also thought it was cool they were gonna mix things up a bit. I mean....I don't know about you...but sometimes church can be the same routine every Sunday just a different song, and a different sermon. Sometimes it's nice to do something to push you and challenge you in a different way so you can grow. I got so much out of the service, I just cried and thanked God for pushing me to come. I walked out and talked with a few others about how great it was just to come and have some real peace.

So when Paul came home on Monday and told me about the complaints (no names, just the complaints) heard about the service I got ready to write a sermon of my own to preach the following Sunday about how people need to stop being selfish, take the pacifier out of their mouth and grow up. Yep, that's right....that's what I just said.
Here are a few of the complaints that people actually either said, called in or emailed.
"people up front shouldn't be wearing jeans"
" I didn't like it"
"When are you gonna have those kind of services again cuz we won't come those Sundays."
People actually emailed or called and said these things after only 1 service in which the boys explained how we were doing something different since the choir is on break.
I mean "SERIOUSLY?" Church is all about you right? It's about what YOU get. It's about whether you like the way the pastor preaches, or the way the choir sings or doesn't sing. It's about what the pastor wears or if we sing one song or two. It's about whether there is a kids sermon or a good Sunday school craft.
I 'm sorry but I am so SICK and TIRED of hearing stuff like this.

I'm sorry people but church isn't about you!

Church is about worshiping God. (it's also about community too, but we'll delve into that later)'s about coming together and showing Him how much we love Him and praise Him. If we learn something in the process, that's great....but it's about giving our hearts to our Lord for at least one hour a week in community and to listen to His word.
At least that is what I have to come learn about church.....and I have to say that I feel sorry for those that think church is about them....cuz they will never be happy.

But do you see why I was frustrated? I don't call the pastor on Monday and tell him that the people in choir fall asleep in service so maybe they should stop having the choir. I don't call him and tell him he "Blew chunks" on his sermon or that they should try doing things a little differently cuz this one time I didn't like it. I don't tell him that I was offended when he wore his robe on Pentecost Sunday or that I think we should pass communion every week instead of monthly. I don't tell him that the opening song was in a key too high or that the service went too long. I disheartening right? Do you think God is praised when we say those things. At some point we need to let go and just worship.
I'm not saying that we should just go along with things even if we don't like them...or if there was something inappropriate or misleading done in church. But maybe we should just sit back... and wait and see what comes the next week...and the week after. Then , maybe then, take your pastor out to lunch and take the time to learn the reasons behind what happened before opening up your mouth to complain. Then say what you will be received with much more care. Besides, they are the ones that went to a lot of school to learn all different ways to lead people in congregational worship. Maybe what they try to do every Sunday is challenge you and foster a time where you can not only praise our God, but draw closer to Him as well..

p.s. I have been one of these kind of people before....maybe thats why I react the way I have you.
p.s.s. imagine if I hadn't waited a week before writing this.....
p.s.s.s this rant could get me into all sorts of be gentle.

Leaving something short of paradise

This past weekend my sister and her husband went on a trip to Vegas. That meant that our family had to travel only 25 minutes to a perfect weekend getaway.
We love spending time at their house. It's clean, spacious and just homey. It also helps that they have a great pool, their boys have video games that Miah loves, and two big screen TVs (with a library of DVDs) for movie watching by Riley and I.

Our first vacation here was last year and it was so nice. We did absolutely nothing. We swim, watch movies, play games, nap and eat take out most of the time.

This year my nephews stayed home and we got to hang with them a little bit. I don't get to spend much time with them, so I always enjoy hanging out. I love to see my youngest nephew interacting with my kids. They adore him and he is so patient with them. I also love to just chat with the eldest. He is almost 17 now and could be too cool to hang. But he's not. He's funny and intelligent and fun to be around.

So after a relaxing weekend, we must head home to reality...and await another Casa De La Adams weekend :)
Here are a few quotes from the weekend:
"I just LOVE it here"
"They are just too many yummy snacks to choose from"
This pool is sooo fun"

Thanks Big Sis!the kids and their cousin going for a swim

Riley's favorite reason to visit Casa De La Adams- their dog Louie :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

This is what Jesus did for me the other day.

I decided in mid morning to take the kids to Target to get out of the house. We desparatley needed soap and shampoo and I was feeling good enough to go out. My poor kids haven't been out much these past few weeks due to my baby illness- so I thought I would spoil them with a slurplee while i got our necessities.

But before we got to Target, I decided to stop at a friend's to return something I had borrowed from her. My kids weren't too excited, they wanted their slurpee, but I left the car running and ran up to the door and knocked.

Jesus answered the door and quickly embraced me. He quickly asked how I was feeling and me being the honest person I am, gave Him the cold honest truth.
This first trimester is killing me, I may not be throwing up, but I might as well be. I explained how every day is touch and go and how EVERY night I can be found in the fetal position usually by 6pm.

Jesus just hugged me and smiled.
"How can I help?"

Usually when asked this question I dismiss it and convincingly say that I am okay. But today I couldn't and just blurted shamelessly.
"maybe have my kids over for a playdate sometime?

You see, I don't have any energy to play or do anything fun with the kiddos. When you feel you are on the verge of regurgitating your morning, snack, and lunch menu, the last thing you want to do is go for a bike ride or jump on the trampoline. The past few weeks of summer have been a bummer for them and they have been such troopers. They never complain and when I say I can't play with them, they kiss me and the baby with such love and care. So I just threw it out there- I wanted my kids to have some sort of fun. Plus it would help me from not feeling guilty. I didn't expect much, maybe a short playdate for the following week. But what happened over the next 5 minutes almost brought me to tears.

Jesus asked what my kids were doing right now and if they could stay the afternoon to swim and He would bring them home later. Then he asked if they could come over tomorrow and another day next week. 3 play dates planned all in a matter of seconds!!!! Not one, or two, but THREE!!!
Jesus had no idea how much He was really doing for me. I almost cried right there.

So I brought the kiddos in and they happily ran to their friends and started swimming in minutes. As I was leaving, Jesus asked me if He could bring me dinner tonight.

WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I haven't made dinner in weeks. Paul has been scraping by every night with simple dinners he can throw together for himself and the kids.

Paul thanks you and the kids thank you!

I gave Jesus a hug and walked away amazed at His love for me and so grateful for his heart to serve. To me, this is the definition of community- coming alongside and doing life together. Getting through the good and the yuck and serving each other in such a beautiful, surprising and loving way.

And not only did Jesus bring us a yummy dinner- He brought freshly baked homemade cookies!

Thank you Jesus!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Too funny NOT to post

Today I went to my first Doctor's appt. since learning I am preggo. I had to find a new Doc since my previous one left my insurance group. Here is a piece of the paperwork I filled out. It still makes me laugh out loud when I look at it.

Here are a few tings I learned at the appointment today:

1. My official due date is.....Feb. 28th (just like I thought)
2. I need to lose weight.....this baby is starting off on a bad note already only at 10 weeks and adding a little too much cushion.
3. Dr. Offices' play the cheesiest music stations.
4. It's cold when you wear a backless gown and the air is on
5. Listening to above cheesy music stations (that happens to be playing 'the song") brings me back to my 7th grade boyfriend who I am still wondering why I broke up with him. I'm fickle.
6. Why was I thinking about my 7th grade boyfriend when I am pregnant with my husband's child?
7. I like my new Dr.
8. There is all sorts of new testing....even to see if you are a carrier for autism- that's just GREAT!
9. I will officially be at the age where I qualify for the old people pregnancy tests (35 and above)
10. I'm really pregnant- saw the little pipsqueak move and everything.

A moment

The other day I was feeling well enough to run a few errands so I quickly packed the kids in the car and started to make our way to church, Costco, target, and anywhere else I could stop at before the wave of nausea hit me again.
Before we got into the car, my daughter grabbed a CD that her grammy had dropped by for her and her brother. It was a CD of songs from the VBS that they attended at their church. So she got in the car and me being the great mom I am, said we could listen to the CD.

Now let's be honest here, when I say we.....I mean them. I actually tune the music out and go to my own little world. So when we made our first stop, I hadn't been listening to any of the songs. Before we got out of the car, Riley popped her head in the front seat with a solemn look and said, "Mommy, that song just playing makes me a little teary." I asked her what the song was about and she couldn't remember the words. So i left it at that and I got out of the car.

First errand complete.

We got back in the car and I decided to replay the song that made Riles 'teary'. It wasn't anything spiritually deep.....but it was a slow pretty melody with children singing, 'Come to Jesus, Come to Jesus....." .

After the song was over, I asked her how the song made her feel.
"it makes me feel happy" she replied
"Why does it make you feel happy?"
"I don't know"
"Well, what do you think the song was about?" (I'm anxious to get to what made her emotional)
" Um, I think it's about loving Jesus more."
"Do you want to love Jesus more?" (now I am getting teary)
"uh huh"
"that's wonderful honey"

Later at night when I was telling Paul about our moment he replied. "See they are getting it."

And even though there are times when I don't think they are.....(giggling when praying,
not wanting to pray, and not being able to pray with out prompting)...... I realized that they are in thier own way getting it.