I look back on the last 3 months and I am amazed how far we have come! Rachel's health is continuing to improve. If fact, I think we have back a healthy teenage girl. It has been wonderful to see her get stronger and healthier in the past few weeks. We have had her working with a physical therapist to help her regain what a year of sickness had taken away. This last week has been wonderful. In the last week she has totaled about 10 miles of walking or running. It has been wonderful to watch this transpire! It was an encouragement to see the difference last week when she was sick with a cold. For the first time in months - she was just sick with a cold. She did not look like she was dying, she did not loose strength, and she got better.

I look back on everything that has transpired since the beginning of the year. The stress levels in our home had reached and all time high. The driving back and forth 160 miles plus each day was taking a toll on our family. There was such a lack of time being able to be home, to do normal routine household tasks, and our schedule was so full trying to accommodate everything that sometimes it felt as though we hardly had time to breathe! All of this was more than we could continue doing much longer. Rob and I were both concerned because we noticed our stress levels were so high that we were short with the kids, tired all the time and the whole atmosphere of our family life had reached an all time low. We hated being home ( because there were so many things staring us in the face here that we never had time to do); and having the energy to be parents all but gone.

I think what has amazed me the most about the transition time has been how long it has taken us to get things back to what we knew as normal when we home schooled before. We are just now seeing results. At the beginning of the year Rachel was still quite ill and we had a surgery staring us in the face that we could only hope would help things. Since she had her tonsils out we have seen a steady progression of health return. Our financial situation was a great source of stress. (Having to put $45.00 worth of gas into the van every morning does that to a person.) We finally have a little bit of breathing room on a week to week basis. I have enjoyed filling the van up with gas on Saturday and not having to return to the gas station until the whole next Saturday!

The whole atmosphere in our home has changed drastically. We finally have had time to just be a family. The past several days we have had significant, enjoyable family bonding times.

Have you ever had one of those times in life when you look back and you know you did what God wanted you to do - but it was harder than ever thought it would be. I know that God wanted our kids in school for the year in a half they were there. I missed them so much - but it was a benefit in so many ways. The schedule we had to keep, the money we had to spend to keep the hectic lifestyle stretched us, exposed weakness and in the long run made us stronger. God was using that in our lives to develop us in so many ways. Rachel being sick has exposed the weakness of our faith, shattered the faulty faith and built anew a deeper faith in consecration to God to see Him accomplish His will in our lives - no matter what!

It seems this week I have been able to look back and see what God has been doing. It is nice to be able to see ahead too. To feel that this trial is coming to a close - patience in this trial has had her perfect work - and we have grown. There are more trials coming; but the strengthening of our faith through this one has been accomplished and we are more prepared and ready for the upcoming trials that await us.

I am going to enjoy laughing with my kids, playing with them and understanding more deeply the true blessing of family. Sometimes you forget what you have until you have almost lost it. I want to cherish them everyday.

Thanks for stopping by, I am so glad you did.



Desperate for God

We are all on the mend here. Still left with sniffles and coughs; but up and running. Praise the Lord. A whole week with five kids sick is not any fun! It was amazing to me. I realized how much I depend upon the kids to help me with things around the house. When they are all sick - there is no help; and added work to top it off! I am glad that they are feeling better. We hit the ground running today with our school schedule. It feels good to be back to 'normal'.

God has been and is doing a work in my heart. What a year this has been! I can not even begin to express to you all how difficult the past few months have been. So much has been going on in my heart and life. Great discouragement has been there a great deal of time; and spiritually things have seemed very dark. My heart has been filled with questions - pondering the things of God; and trying so hard to understand Him.

In the past month there have been several times when I have been awakened from sleep with these questions on my heart. I have wanted so much to understand and to know what God is doing, why He is doing it; and what He is desiring for me to do through it all. There has been few answers. To be completely honest with you, God has been silent much of the time. His silence has been difficult. I have begged Him one request most often, "Teach me to pray, Lord!" The matter of prayer being one of the deep issues of greatest question.

I am so glad that I serve a God that is never far away! (Even when He seems so quiet - He is always near.) I will say that I have had to accept that fact by faith; for feelings seemed to tell me that He was far from me. Last night at church God did a deep work in my heart. So clearly through the preaching and through His Word He spoke! I can not tell you how real He was to me last night! What a blessing to have Him clearly give understanding to questions that I had been asking over and over. I left church revived! The prayer of my heart last night and today has been, "Make me desperate, Lord, for you!"

Desperation makes a person do things that complacency looks at as odd. A desperate mother wanting to help her drowning child will throw off all inhibitions and dive into water - no matter the time of day or who is watching to get to that child. She will take no thought of what others will think or what they will say. Her only thought is for the child in need of her assistance. I want to be desperate for God. To follow His leading, to be obedient to Him no matter what others think. Desperation makes the view of all else dim.

So, today, amid the busy schedule of our days my thoughts have been on Him. My heart has been talking with Him all the day. Telling Him I love Him, thanking Him for His provision, His care, His mercy and grace. Confessing my faults to Him and taking comfort in the fact that He is changing me - it is not a work of my flesh - but rather a yielding to the Spirit. How thankful I am that He does speak; and that when He is silent His is doing a deeper work. He is drawing me close. Near to the heart of God.

I trust He is near to you today. Thanks for stopping by, I am so glad you did!



Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! My Dad's side of the family is Irish. I love the story behind St. Patrick.

Trust you have a wonderful day.


Down for the Count

We have been hit hard here with a bug. It happened in the early morning hours on Monday. It was about 1 am when the first one came down saying, "Mom, I don't feel good." Then about every two hours another one came down and repeated the phrase. By morning, Rob was on the couch with two, I was in bed with two, and one was up in her bed moaning.

It has made for an interesting few days. We are not near finished yet. Fevers are still reaching over 103 degrees and sniffs and coughs can be head throughout the house.

I am thankful for the warmer spring like weather. The windows were all opened throughout the house and the kids told to snuggle into their beds to keep warm. I figured some fresh air was well in order.

Life just keeps rolling by. Seems it does not stop for anything. You can have a houseful of sick kids; but there still is laundry to, phone calls to make and house cleaning to keep up.

Rob is also having some issues and had to go in for an ultrasound on his leg. He is having severe swelling in his left leg. They did find him to have an acute case of cellulitis in his left leg. We are waiting for the lab results to come back to find out why they leg is so swollen. I was very very thankful it was not a blood clot!

On a very upbeat note in regards to Rachel's health. Before she got sick with the bug everyone else at our house has, she has shown great improvement! Her coloring is back, she has more physical stamina than she has had in months. We are very excited about this! She is working with a trainer at a gym to build her endurance and regain lost muscle tone. She has been running on the treadmill and working out on other machines there. It is neat to see her health coming back. (Now, to just get this virus kicked that she has picked up!)

So that is happenings here. Seems the days and nights melt together. I keep reminding myself that someday I am going to miss all of this; and tonight when Anna fell asleep in my arms - I knew that will be so one day. Enjoying being a Mother - even though right now the job load is a little heavier than normal.

God is good - all the time. I am glad I can rest in that!

Trust all is well at your home! Thanks for stopping by, I am so glad you did!


The Time Out

It has been a long week. Special meetings at church make for long days - and long nights. The two little ones seem to show the first signs of the schedule 'getting to them'. They cry more easily and fight more readily.

Such was the case on this particular morning that I took these photos. I had heard enough bickering to last me a week long! I finally separated them. One on the couch in the front room - the other on the couch in the office. I spat out a phrase that made me sound like a seasoned mother - one I am sure my own mother used on me when I was their age. "If you can't play nice with each other - than you both won't play at all." I squared my shoulders and told them they could sit there and think about how to place nice with each other. (To be perfectly honest, I really did not care what they thought about - so long as they were away from each other and being quiet!)

This is what I found about 5 minutes later. It made me laugh. They did not need to be away from each other as much as they needed a good nap! I let them indulge in the bliss of sleep for sometime. Not because I am nice. I just enjoyed the quiet for a little longer than a time out would have afforded me. :)

Trust your weekend finds you enjoying the little things in life. Even the time outs!