Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spreading My Wings

For months now I have been praying for patience, for strength, for endurance, for joy, for peace.  To a great extent God provided me a portion of His patience, strength, endurance, joy and peace, and much much more to sustain me during a difficult time.

Now, as we are moving into a "new normal" a plateau, so to speak, He is showing me how to take care of myself and multiply the goodness He gives me.

Many of you know that I have started P90X, an intense full body fitness workout series.  During the summer I tried to walk or jog a few times a week, and was eating healthier than I was during the spring.  (OK, during the spring I self-medicated a pretty deep depression with Oreos, for what it's worth).  A friend had given me the P90X video series, which I let sit in Mike's dresser for a couple of months.  Then, little by little I started trying it.  I liked it, and jumped into the whole program, and now am typically doing "doubles" or "two a day's" every day.

This is such an incredible answer to prayer!!  I feel beyond great, I feel phenomenal.  I have energy, strength, joy and am living so abundantly!  I have more of myself to give to the ones I love, and a better quality me to give.  I have worked out much of the chronic neck, upper back and arm pain that I have had for years and I sleep like a baby (when Ben allows).

I am so thankful for my healthy body and the ability to do this, and that God led me in this direction as an answer to prayer.  Praise God from whom all blessing flow!

Friday, September 17, 2010


In mid-August Ben entered the maintenance portion of his chemotherapy for his leukemia.  I didn't realize it at the time, but that was the day my cocoon started to open.

I really didn't even know I was in a cocoon if I'm being honest.  In much the same way you know something is not right but you can't put your finger on it while you are dreaming, then you wake up to recognize that the odd feeling you had was because you were not in reality, I have emerged from a cocoon realizing I was there after the fact.

This year has been a deep, dark barrel of horror, when expressed in retrospect.  It is ironic how during the nightmare I didn't have a full realization of how horrific it was.

I am so thankful to have emerged, and for the protection from the reality of the situation in the midst of it.  I have a new appreciation for the light of day, and low and behold, I believe I may have even sprouted a set of wings while encapsulated. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Day of School

Hannah started Freedom Christian School's home school partnership today.  She will be attending Freedom 2 days/week and home schooled 3 days/week.

Hannah doesn't like change too much.  New location, new kids, new teachers, finding a new locker and new stress.

So as we parked in the parking lot a bit before school was to start, we said a brief prayer together.  It was not grand wording or anything, it was simply asking for the presence of the Holy Spirit throughout her day and for her to see God's presence.

As we walked in, there sat the one little girl that she had already met at the open house.  The little girl whose locker was next to Hannah's.  With a sigh of relief Hannah said "hi".  I had planned to go in with Hannah and get her settled, however at this point I was totally superfluous.  You see, as quickly as a walk from the car to the door, our prayer had been answered.  The Holy Spirit met her right at the door in the form of a friendly face.

God is so cool!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Here to Testify

This passage was read this morning in church.  I am here to testify how incredibly true it is.  I hope this touches your heart and day like it did mine!

  But now, this is what the LORD says—
       he who created you, O Jacob,
       he who formed you, O Israel:
       "Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
       I have summoned you by name; you are mine.   When you pass through the waters,
       I will be with you;
       and when you pass through the rivers,
       they will not sweep over you.
       When you walk through the fire,
       you will not be burned;
       the flames will not set you ablaze.
  For I am the LORD, your God,
       the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

Isaiah 43:1-3a

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Answered Prayer

We often talk of unanswered prayers and think of answered prayer as a big mystery.  I am not so sure I see it that way.  My family has certainly received some miraculous answered prayers, but even more so, we have gotten the every day answers.

A recent example came the other day, when everyone was cranky.  Hannah, in her bedtime prayers prayed person by person through the house that God would "help us not be so cranky".  As she continued to pray, she asked for blessings on the many people who have been laid on our hearts, for Haiti, that our church does so much to support, and for Zambia, the GEMS girls club mission focus.  Then she prayed for "all the kids starving in Japan".

Hannah has recently learned of Weird Al's "Eat It".  She has become quite a fan, and took him quite literally that Japan was a mecca of starving children.

As you could imagine, I could hardly keep from laughing.  As soon as the "amen" was out, I busted up.  We talked about the reliability of Weird Al lyrics as a source of prayer requests, and laughed and laughed and laughed.  Then we looked at each other, realizing that her prayer to "help momma not to be so cranky" had been answered, while she was still praying. 

That is the beauty of noticing God in the ordinary.  There is nothing unusual about an 11 year old girl misunderstanding something and making her mom laugh, but when God is in it, it is a beautiful thing!

Monday, August 9, 2010


‎"Do not seek God as if He were far off in an ivory castle. He is found in the middle of the events of your everyday life. Look past the obstacles and find Him." Fenelon
 I'm not a person who spends much time in fear.  This is something that God has worked out in me over the years, and I am very thankful for that.  My husband has his share of near death encounters and my boys would give me many reasons to fear as well, but as I've said, for the most part God has worked that out in me.
Except for this one thing.  Hannah.  I have just one typical child.  I invest so much time and effort and service into parenting, but unlike most, I don't have the typical expectations of sending off all four kids at the ripe young age of 18 to college to get educated, married and bring me many grandbabies.  Because of the makeup of our family, Hannah holds all of that future expectation for me.  I have many beautiful future expectations from the other three, they just aren't of the typical American Dream variety.
 This morning Hannah got up, asked to make pancakes, and proceeded to get all the pancake ingredients together.  As I was getting dressed I heard her coming down the hall, then walk into my bedroom and fall onto the air mattress we have in our room for Ben.  At first I thought she was being goofy, but she whacked her chin on Mike's dresser and didn't even stir about it.  I ran over in my undies and saw that she was unconscious.  
I cannot describe the horror, it has no verbiage.
I attempted to awaken her and called for Mike, and she rolled over and wretched, pale and sweaty.
As it turns out, we are reasonably certain that it was low blood sugar with maybe a bit of dehydration on top of it.  She appears to be fine at this point.
The fear got to me though.  I could hardly keep from crying all morning (NOT like me), and have been more than a little obsessive about checking on her.  She is fine every time I check. ;-)
I am so thankful my Lord and Savior loves this child more than I could ever imagine.  That he wants her best, even when I don't know what to do for her.  Hannah has a very special position in this family, she is such a treasure.  I am so thankful for all that she is, but I am even more thankful that she belongs to Jesus  That after a sermon about taking up your cross and following Christ she went home and went through her things to decide what to donate, and chose more than just a few beautiful treasures especially to give to children who have less than she does, and even more to sell and give half of the profits away.  God is in every little bit of ordinary, every day.  I am so thankful for Him in my life and in my little girl's life.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Promise

On the day Benjamin was diagnosed with leukemia, Mike went home from the hospital to find this magnet had come in the mail.  The verse is not that clear, I apologize, a photographer I am not.  It is 2 Corinthians 1:20, "For as many as are the promise of God, they all find their answer in Him."

This does not mean that Ben will be totally cured or that the road will always be smooth, but that His word will be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, that we can consider it pure joy to endure trials of many kinds because the testing of our faith develops perseverance.  God has been true to these and many more promises.  What a sighting of God!  There are no coincidences in Him.

Friday, July 30, 2010

One Big Happy Family

I am going to try to sum up our family story to give you a rough idea of who is who and what goes on in our house. 

First, there is Mike and me.  We met 21 years ago when I was 15 turning 16, and he was barely 18.  We started dating exclusively in 1990, and married each other in June of 1995.  We have grown up together, and the two have truly become one.  Mike is a Conservation Officer for the DNR, and I am an adoption and foster care advocate for Bethany Christian Services.

A few years later, in 1998, we were delighted by the surprise pregnancy with Hannah.  She was born in March of 1999, and is a delight.  After Hannah came Alex.  Alex was born in 2002, and surprised up by being born with Down syndrome.  We were taken aback for awhile before falling head over heals in love with the little cherub.  Less than two years later we brought our niece, Chelsea into our home.  Subsequently, her mother passed away, and we have been parenting her for nearly 7 years.  Chelsea is 20 years old, and is living at home again after going to Central for her sophomore year of college.  Last came Benjamin.  Benjamin was my big idea.  In 2006 we adopted a "totally healthy" child with Down syndrome.  It quickly became apparent that he is hearing impaired, then that he has some pretty big stomach issues (later found to be Hirschsprung's Disease).  His thyroid stopped working, and he ended up with Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome as well.  Last, but not least, this past December 31, after spending most of the month of December sick and much of it hospitalized, Ben was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Despite how all of this sounds, our family is filled with joy and fun.  Sure, we have our really lousy days, but for the most part we are laughing and enjoying each other.  I fully believe that God is alive and active in our lives and is using all this craziness to make us more like the people He created us to be.  God has a plan and a purpose for everyone, and that is His Shalom, His perfect peace and completeness.  I don't quite get why hardships have that effect on us, but I can certainly say that the deeper the crud gets in this house, the more filled with peace, joy and love we get, and the only explanation I have for that is what I read in the Bible.

People have been busy touching our lives, and we've also touched a few along the way, making us thankful for each step of our journey, even the really, really painful ones.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I am so excited to start this new blog!  The theme will be based on the title, "Sightings", but will be more specifically about "God Sightings".  God has done some pretty cool things in my life, some are little, like praying for a set of sheets on Monday, and having my mom tell me that when she went shopping Monday afternoon she bought me sheets, and others are downright miraculous.  I hope this blog will be very interactive with many people commenting with their own God sightings.  The web address should be easy to remember it is an acronym for "Noticing God in the Ordinary".

Welcome to