Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 days of Uncommon Creativity

pastedGraphic.pdf Tomorrow begins a little something different here at fresh flowers.  I have to admit I’ve wandered in the wilderness of the blogosphere for the last year or two since I quit writing the ‘flowers’.  In the last few months I’ve become a part of a writer’s group who have inspired me to start writing again.

The Nester posted a challenge for October to join her for 31 days of writing.  It intrigued me.  The deal is that you pick a topic and talk about it for 31 days.  If you’ve been around you know my lack of discipline and you know that I’ve fairly sporadic over here so this challenge scared me something chronic.  But I felt a nudge to take up the challenge, so here I am.

I tossed around a few ideas and even asked my kids and husband for an idea.  As I prayed the idea of blogging about creativity in an uncommon way came to me. I sat down and sketched out the idea and poof, there it was 31 days.

I hope I don’t disappoint you and drop this thing in the middle.  I’m going to be meeting a bunch of these people face to face in few weeks so that should keep me at the writing wheel I think!

Here’s what I’ve outlined and what you can expect (hopefully) unless God derails the whole thing and teaches me some things that none of us are expecting.

Mondays – I am going to talk about my own creative journey (Memoirs of Creativity), whatever the Lord lays on my heart
Tuesdays – we’ll talk about some aspects of creativity out of the Word – there are some great examples to draw from!
Wednesdays – Words is the theme – we’ll look at poems, stories, songs and such
Thursdays – October is Thanksgiving month up here in Canada so I’m going to bring you some Thanksgiving projects, possibly even tutorials if I can wrap my brain around that!
Fridays – Fun – creative fun, we’ll see what bubbles up! 
Saturdays – the creative home, Sabbath keeping thoughts and that sort of thing
Sundays – Sweetness, not so many words, just drinking in beauty through pictures is the plan

Pray for me friends, this is a huge undertaking and I feel a little small and helpless.  Even as I write this my internet is down and cranky (not uncommon around here).  My prayer is that God will break me out of my self-sabotaging ways and get some fire in these bones, help me look past the fear into the face of my giant and sling a well-placed stone!

Join me for some “Uncommon Creativity” – blessings friends, you are why I write.

facebook:  Lani Fast Wiens
Twitter: @flowerlady77

Friday, September 28, 2012

5 minute Friday - GRASP

5 minute Friday is a writing exercise based on a single thought spun out from Gypsy Mama (link is at the bottom of the post)...just a place to practice writing real, unedited...

Theme for this week:  GRASP

I haven't done one of these before because...

I grasp after perfection...
I grasp after security...
I grasp after affirmation...

Just yesterday my husband read me something that said something to the effect that whatever causes us anxiety is probably a place where we have a stronghold, something unsurrendered

something like my imperfectly decorated house
something like my unfinished projects because I'm scared to actually do the thing and have it out where someone might not like it...

cause I so badly want that affirmation and perfection...and I know it isn't mine to have

because the more I grasp after my life and my desires the more out of reach they become

i need to grasp after His hem, his garment so I can be healed from the slow leak that drains me of life

i need to grasp after His ability to provide instead of trying to take on the task of providing for us, because surely I can do something more to help the bottom line get back into the red

but maybe if i did a little grasping after the dreams He has put in my hard, really truly grabbed hold and made them mine, these dreams He's dreamed for me...maybe I would feel secure and affirm and slowly perfected into something other than what I am now...maybe

linked up at:

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Changing Seasons

Outside my window the seasons are changing.  The seasons are changing inside my walls, too.  Not because I am so organized and have a fall display up (now that I think about it I should probably get out the stuffed pumpkins - the sum total of my fall decorating!).

My little girl started grade 1 this year and I suddenly realized that she's the last one.  It's the last time I'm going to see the joy of one of my little ones catching on to reading.  She's the last one that I can carry around on my hip.  She's the last one that still wants me to sing her to sleep.

We did a huge happy dance when we kicked the diaper pail to the curb.  We're down to one booster seat in the van.  I don't ALWAYS have to go to the bathroom with a child in tow.  They can all dress themselves and feed themselves and mostly, they can make their own lunches and get ready for school with only minor prompting.  We can go places and don't have to take high chairs, playpens and a diaper bag and oodles of toys along.

It's a sad change and a happy one.  As I watch the gently swelling bellies of expectant moms in our church I remember those wonder days so very well.  I observe the moms with their pre-schoolers in one hand and car seat in the other trying to get everyone in one place and I can smile.  But I have to admit that there are some tears in my heart, too.  This season is done for me.  Parts of it I don't miss, but other bits like these are hard to let go of...

* lisping first time prayers
* teaching them how to hold a crayon
* kissing tiny toes
* that glorious baby smell
* soft baby cheeks pressed against yours

I better stop there before I'm a blubbering mess.  Too late!!

On the other end of my spectrum it is a whole different world.  Yesterday I took my oldest for his driver's test, he didn't make it.  Now, instead of teaching him how to read a book I'm teaching him how to read the road.

I have three teen-agers and it's kind of fun now to have late-night conversations, watch movies we all love, drink lattes together and discuss politics and the Bible and community.  They are gaining independence, discovering their uniqueness and reveling in it.  We are discussing Universities and courses of study, what to do after graduation and how to get through puberty.

We talk about hairstyles and home decor, how to deal with difficult situations and I can't always help with the homework.  We like to shop together and just hang out.  I can give them responsibility for things and they take it up.  It's a difficult but satisfying season to be entering.

I am trying to think of something deeply spiritual in all this but I'm drawing a blank.  We are in so much flux as a family.  It feels like we have two sets of kids at such different maturity points.  I look forward to do the days ahead knowing that God is going to continue to give us wisdom as he did in the beginning when this hulking young man was a tiny babe in my arms and I was amazed they just let us walk out of the hospital with him.

These gifts the Lord has given us, these 6 amazing young individuals, such a treasure and a trial.

And the seasons will keep on changing...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gifts of Grace this Weekend

What did this weekend look like?  Full of grace...

Taco salad for there and here for the last harvest meal I have to cook.

A joyful noisy combination of drums, violin and piano for 'club' night because this is what happens when you say yes to home and no to out there.

Cuddled together on the couch reading stories.

Ghost Protocol and folding laundry.  Love Mission Impossible.  So glad I don't need to save the world every day.

Surfing blogland learning new things.  Did you know there are actually people who love organizing and blog about it!?  Find them here!

Late night chat with my husband after youth, hearing the love for his job as pastor ooze out of his heart.

Late night argument with son who just wants a day to command on his do I.

Early morning grumpiness, martyrdom and pity party (all my own).

Super messy house and in walks someone who I perceive as having all together and she wants to use my bathroom!  I died a thousand deaths.

Let the cleaning begin.

Volleyball and football claim 4 kids for the day.

Just the two littles left...not expecting any help there.

Babysitting cousin.  Those two girls know how to turn a room upside down!

Battling with the Lord over my attitude and His grace comes through and wins the day.  One song that helped, Steven Curtis Chapman, "Do Everything".

I ask Sasha for help and he willingly gives it and more...that little guy helped with dishes, straightened the living room and cleaned the bathroom.  God's gift to me today.

The little girls sort of cleaned up one mess, more grace.

Lots of phone calls.

Harvest is done!!

Let's celebrate and go for supper!

Food was great but didn't sit well. (bummer)

Hard ride home, poor choices made.

Sunday morning worship, rub edges off, come repent, come just as you are.  Repentance is a good thing.  More grace.

Nap time - ahh.

Homemade pumpkin spice latte! (used chai tea, so very good!)

Inspired by this post and acted on it!

Prepare for ministry launch.

Soooooooooo blessed by the team that prepared for A Sweet Life.  It was so sweet!  So much grace, beautiful fellowship, laughter and chocolate and candy and roll kuchen!

Come home to tell my sweet husband all about it and he's ready for me with warm oil and a massage while I tell him all about it.  Such grace for me.

Linking up here:

Saturday, September 22, 2012


My house is not clean, my laundry is behind (the dryer was wrecked for several days), there are boxes of tomatoes on my kitchen floor, bags of recycling in the garage, dishes on my counter, folded laundry on my living room floor.  My kitchen doors are still missing in action and there are paper piles everywhere.  I haven't begun to work on the farm finances for this year.

Besides facing that today, I need to practice because our worship team is on tomorrow, prepare for children's church and prepare for the launch of our new women's ministry tomorrow night.  Now that harvest is pretty much over we need to get ready to launch into homeschool mode starting Monday morning, this requires some preparation on my part.

I am feeling overwhelmed.

My husband is still out in the field, which is where he is for the majority of his days from April - October.  My oldest is in bed and wants to have a day where no one is telling him what to do.  The next one is at a volleyball tournament all day, my girl also wants me to take her to town to watch volleyball, boy #3 is at grandma's house.  So I'm left with the overtired 6 and 8 year old.

I am feeling abandoned.

It was comforting to me this morning that Jesus might have felt a little like this, too.  He was in the last few days of his ministry here on earth, he was trying to make things clear to his disciples and they weren't really getting it.  They boldly declared that they would never abandon him...he assured them that they would.  Then he made this amazing statement.  "You will abandon me but I am never abandoned because my Father is with me." (John 16)

When he was overwhelmed by what was to come as he prayed in the garden, when he stood before the high priest and then Pilate, when all his disciples left him, as he predicted, he was not alone.  His Father was with him.  His disciples felt abandoned when he died and then he sent the Holy Spirit.  We are never alone dear ones, NEVER.  He has left us a comforter, one who is there to guide us into all Truth.

Though I am overwhelmed, I am not abandoned.  So let's go get that laundry started!

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm thinking in 7s today...

I sinned yesterday.

I got caught.

I paid.

Thought #1 - I hate thinking about food.

For the last two weeks or so (I have 3 days left) I have been eating a gluten/dairy/caffeine/chocolate/sugar free diet...mostly.  I have had a REAL cup of tea at least twice...without suffering any consequences.  I've had to think very seriously about what I can eat, plan for not-at-home eating experiences and make meals that I can eat with my family and not worry about.  Sometimes, like today, I will be making 2 suppers, one for everyone else (taco salad) and some version of same that has none of the good stuff in cheese!

Thought #2 - I have no willpower when I'm stressed.

Yesterday I caved.  Yesterday was Thursday.  Yesterday was me and 6 kids heading to lessons in the city.  Yesterday I was very thoughtful of my children who have to eat supper on the way in to the city and I made pigs-in-a-blanket for them.  Yesterday I used our locally made sausage (from our own pigs) and biscuit dough, the kind with flour...that contains gluten.  Yesterday I smelled those warm little piggies all the way into the city.  Yesterday I listened to them rant and rave about how yummy they were and what a great cook I am.  Yesterday my RAD son was literally crawling all over the van while I was stopped in front of the violin teacher's house eating my salad that I didn't particularly like.  Yesterday he was uptight and overtired and yelling at me and his siblings.  Yesterday I was stressed and after I dropped him off I ate 2 of those piggies and didn't care.
Son #4 says, from the very back seat, "Mom, don't those have gluten in them?"
"Why yes, son they do, why are you asking?"
"You shouldn't be eating them then right?  You broke your diet plan."
"Why no son, thanks for reminding me about my failings...and pass the bbq sauce."
after which there was enough 'air' to float the Hindenburg  - ACK!!

Thought #3 - I'm easily discouraged.

Since I started using Fitness Pal and watching what I'm eating I've lost almost 10 lbs. (only 5 according to Fitness Pal because I refused to stick that big number in there).  And this week, none.  Not even one pound, I think maybe the scale is broken.  I should just give up.  I'll never lose the weight.  It's pointless...blah, blah, blah.

Thought #4 - I have really encouraging friends.

Thank God for them!  They encourage all my efforts and support me and I am so deeply thankful for their cheerleading abilities.  Can I think of 7 of them off the top of my head, yes, I think I can; Tamara, Sarah, Krista, my mom, Lloanne, Linda, Marilee...I have more than seven friends, I just wanted to see if I could think of 7 really fast!  The sweetest part is that most of those count double - I have 2 Sarahs, 2 Kristas, 2 Lindas and 2 moms!!!

Thought #5 - I don't really have another thought but I need to make it round out to 7, just because I said this was a 7s kind of post.

Thought #6 - I love change because I get bored easily.

I think my biggest issue with limiting what I wear or what I eat is that I get bored with the same thing really easily.  How I've managed to keep the same husband and children for 20 years is a mystery to me.  We have changed the dog out several times...

I noticed this morning that my daughter sticks to a very limited wardrobe as does my eldest son, they don't use a lot of variety in their dressing and their drawers and closets do not overflow with clothing and, believe it or not, I get bored with looking at them in the same stuff every day...I'm thinking expand your horizons, branch out a little, get creative in what you wear...says the woman sitting in yoga pants and t-shirt with her hair stuck in a ponytail - again!

I like things to move around a little, keep me interested...perhaps that's why this limited diet is doing me in right now...almost there!!!

Thought #7 - Media wastes enormous amounts of time and adds very little to my life

I was amazed the other day when I cleaned the majority of my disaster area bedroom in 20 minutes. 20 MINUTES! Do you have any idea how long it's been a disaster?  No? Good, I'd rather you didn't know the answer to that.  Suffice it to say that it's always the last place to get cleaned up and everyone seems to leave their stuff in my room, unless Kelly has taken up playing with Bionicles, but I doubt it, and I don't think he wears little pink t-shirts with LaLaLoopsy on them either.

How many HOURS have I wasted away trying to figure out Twitter and checking my e-mail and hanging out on Facebook?  That room could have been clean a long time ago!  Did Snow White and the Huntsmen and one moment of value to my life?  I don't think so, yet I spent two hours watching it.  What if I had spent those two hours in my craft room creating something beautiful for someone?

My late-night driving time with my son could have turned into a much more interesting conversation if we had just put our phones away...but we didn't.

7 things I'm thankful for today:
1. the most beautiful moon as I drove home last night
2. God's hand of protection - we saw a lot of deer last night and hit none
3. full jars of jam, salsa, pears, peaches, cherries and pickles
4. harvest is almost done
5. I'm going to the Allume Social
6. the creative group of women that are walking with me in this new women's ministry, LOVE those girls!
7. REAL-ness, it's coming, a little at a time, because we said we wanted to be real with one another

7 words from the WORD:
1. Psalm 84: 3  "Even the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young - a place near your altar,"  (saw so many sparrows yesterday on my front yard, I couldn't help but think of this verse, and the song, His Eye is on the Sparrow)

2.  Psalm 84:10 "Better is one day in your courts that a thousand elsewhere..."
3.  Psalm 86:7 "In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me."
4.  Proverbs 18:10 "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are safe."
5.  Isaiah 65:24 "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear."
6.  Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain fo what we do not see."
7.  Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

OH my!  Aren't those words like water to your soul?  They are for me, especially this morning as I'm feeling pretty dry and barren, tired and a little stressed...yes Lord, You are mighty to save...I think I can go conquer my list now...

7 things I will probably eat next week:
1. cheese
2. chocolate covered pomegranate
3. yogurt
4. a sandwich that doesn't contain rice cakes
5. jam
6. spaghetti
7. did I mention cheese?  (I really miss cheese the most, I can live without bread)
I am linked up at Pieces of Amy today.

On Facebook:  Lani Fast Wiens
On Twitter: Lani Wiens @flowerlady77
Pinterest: Lani Wiens

Have a flower-filled day!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I'M GOING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am in shock and doing happy dances in my kitchen!!  I stumbled over Relevant (now Allume) in my internet wanderings...possibly through {in}courage, I'm not sure... and was drawn to the event like fruit flies to ketchup (a current happening in my kitchen, BLECH, believe me, they are VERY attracted).  I kept swimming back to that page and dreaming.  At one point I laid my hands on the computer and asked God to please let me go. And like those fruit flies the idea has buzzed in my head ever since!

I talked to my wonderful, insightful, generous husband and he said he would pray about it.  He came back to me with a yes and a condition.  My heart sank.  The condition was that I had to have money come in from my writing to confirm the yes.  My heart sank further.  I understood from what he said that I had to have ALL the money come from my writing, probably $1000 or so would be needed, if I got an early bird ticket.

Then out of the blue one of my dear, dear lurkers sent me a sweet note in the mail with a cheque for $50 to encourage me in my writing!  I just about fell over and thought, maybe I'll get to Allume after all.  A few months later one of the aunties sent a thank you card along with a GPS unit they'd borrowed and included some money specifically to encourage me in my writing.  Once again, the falling over thing.

But that was it.  $150 was not going to get me to the Allume Social.  I joined the Better Writers group on Facebook, started reading stuff and as the deadlines went by and when it sold out I thought, "Maybe next year, I'll start saving now."

Just this week, maybe Thursday at breakfast, I think, the subject came up again.  He said, and this is a direct quote, "So why aren't you going?"
"Hmmm..  Two reasons, dear, #1- it's sold out and #2 - you told me I had to raise all the money through my writing.  My blog is small and I'm not consistent, enough said, I had $150, I used to it to buy my writing instrument, the iPad  All the amazing book ideas I have in my head aren't paying well, the article I wrote was paid in the form of the book I reviewed."
"I didn't mean you had to get all of it yourself, just a seed, a confirmation."
"Too late, sold out."  Heavy sigh. "Besides, how can we afford that?"
"Harvest is going pretty well, we are moving flax today and lentils will go in a week or two, things will be pretty different in a few weeks."
"Oh, too late, sold out." more heavy sighing.

Friday morning, I get on Better Writer and Mona Phelps has a post saying she has an early bird ticket for sale.  Be still my beating heart.  I tentatively say that maybe I might, possibly want it, if we can work it out.  And then it sits there all day because I can't actually talk to my husband.  I'm thinking that ten other people are going to want that precious thing.

Late afternoon I sneak back, no one else has said boo.  I text the husband who is now off the tractor and in his office at the church with the pastor hat on. "Wanna go to Harrisburg with me, there's a ticket?"  We start a long texting conversation and at the end of the day he says, "You should go.  By yourself. Without me, your protective cushion.  Take the ticket."

You see I figured taking him along would keep it all very safe.  He would be the person in my room at the end of the day so I could sneak around and not have to really talk and meet people (you know, cause they probably won't like me anyway *LIE*) because it might not be fun (*LIE*) and I'd probably die if I had to do this by myself (*LIE*), after all, I'll have to go through customs...and there's that unknown quantity of getting from the airport to the hotel and back!(the scariest part - for me!)  He says, "You can do this thing, and you need to do it by yourself."

And I did.  And it's all happening.  And I'm scared and excited and downright giddy! I even managed to book the hotel and flight by myself. (Not sure why I'm so freaked out because I have booked flights and hotel rooms before...just not for me...all by myself!)

Then I needed to get things all squared up with Mona and that was easy (thank you PayPal) and then Mona said, "God has something for you in this.  Be watching and aware!"  I will be, Mona, I will be watching in wide-eyed wonder, listening with all my heart.  Thank you for being obedient to what God was telling you and opening a door for me.  You can find Mona at Coupon Crazy in Kentucky. And you'll find me floating around with my head in the clouds for the next 40 days or so before I head to Harrisburg!!!


Friday, September 14, 2012

The Pull of Stuff

I'm still sifting through my thoughts on "7: An Experimental Mutiny on Excess" by Jen Hatmaker.  I never really thought I had all that much desire to buy, but after yesterday I think maybe I was wrong!

Yesterday was a bit of a fight for me (I mean besides the usual squabbles and what-have-you from the back seat).  I had to go to Michael's yesterday to pick up some stuff for someone else...not me, I was not spending for me.  This is like putting an alcoholic in the liquor store and telling them to bring home something you might like!  Oh my goodness, such prettiness called out to me from so many places!  Beautiful paper, ribbons, flowers, stamps, ink, journals...I even enjoyed the cake decorating section.

Being in there was such delightful eye candy, all kinds of projects and ideas popped into my head.  I could hardly contain myself!  All I wanted to do was buy, buy, buy!  Yes, I wanted to buy things I don't need with money I don't have...and things got worse.

My eldest and I went to the mall to get his new phone.  He hadn't eaten supper so he suggested we go to the food court.  My husband and I had switched vehicles so all the snacks that I COULD eat were in the other van...I was famished and I so did not want to go to the food court and look at all those things I couldn't eat.  The same feeling came over me that had in, eat, eat...who cares about health and progress...just eat!!

Then my dear delightful son came to my rescue.  "Fries, Mom, you can eat fries, they're gluten free, dairy free and no sugar."  WOO HOO, I felt like the prisoner that had been set free...I went and had me some fries, AND my son only ate fries as well, he did not taunt me with a burger or pizza, he just ate fries with me.  I love that boy!!

THEN, I had to go get my printer ink refilled.  Fabricland is right next door and I had to wait for 15 minutes while they refilled them.  So guess where I went?  By this time I was recognizing the physical response I was having to the desire to buy and I didn't even look at fabric.  I bought the little package of snaps that I needed and got myself out of there!

And this morning I stepped on the scale and I am down 5 pounds!!  So excited, I can hardly contain myself, that is a major accomplishment for me.  (almost 10 pounds from my highest non-pregnant weight)

I was, however, shocked at my response to STUFF, it was so visceral and emotional.  I REALLY wanted to buy stuff and I knew that this was just not an option.  Perhaps, I am more tied to stuff than I thought.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My real problem...

It's only a few minutes til launch time.  Today marks the beginning of 'the lesson run'.  Our social worker suggested that we get our son involved in some kind of physical activity that goes year round...enter gymnastics - the kid is totally built for it.  So, since we could only find one gymnastics place in that can accomodate us, I decided we might as well see what we can get going for the other kids.  All six are taking lessons of some kind starting this evening!  I'm super excited about it because I love to see them trying something new, learning something, exploring some new opportunities!  Here's the run-down:
Lizzy - violin, she's been dying to try violin for two years now but we couldn't see a way to get her lessons, there aren't a lot of rancher/violin instructors where we live!
Sasha - drums - think ANIMAL from the Muppets and you've got the picture
Sam and Abby - both doing Musical Theatre this year, a combination of dance, drama and vocal training, they're both pretty excited about it
Chris - gymnastics
Josiah - drums as well, he has self-taught for the last year and a half and is doing really well with them, he had one weekend where someone coached him and it helped him tremendously, we're hoping for great results with some actual lessons, the guy is good!

I'm sure all that information was just so interesting for you, but it's my day today and what's swimming in my head!

So, more thoughts from "7"!!  I've been asking God what I need to learn from what I've read.  The ugly, glaring word that keeps popping up in my heart is CONSISTENCY.  He wants me to get consistent.  That makes sense because, guess what, I'm so NOT consistent at, well, pretty much everything!

My vegetable gardens are doing okay but my flower beds are a mess, why, because I completely forget about the fact that they need tending, too.  It's not like I don't walk by them, I do, they just fade down the priority list behind the nineteen hundred other things that HAVE to be done.  So my friend came up with a solution, cement over the flower beds and install a hot tub...for ministry purposes, of course!

I am sort of on track with my Bible reading plan for the year. But I can go for several days and then realize, WHOA it's been three days since I opened that thing up or maybe a week!!  So, I'm always playing catch-up but I am in the month I'm supposed to be in so that's not too bad!

We don't own excessive amounts of clothes.  We do have to have two wardrobes because, hey, I live in Canada and it gets both extremely hot and extremely cold.  I would not be able to have only 7 clothes in winter, all the outer wear we need to put on takes up 7 just by itself (parka, hat, mitts, scarf, long underwear, extra socks, boots).

We do recycling badly, but we do it.  It kind of piles up in a corner for a month or two and then we have a big purge to the recycling centre where we actually make a few bucks when we take in all the pop cans, etc.  We try to take as little as possible to the dump and we feed our goats the food scraps.  I do make all our bread, can fruit and vegetables and we rarely eat out.  I do, however, buy juice boxes, granola bars and Fruit to Go, sue me!

We don't have satellite or cable so no TV watching.  On the other hand, our computer never gets turned off, we own Ipods, phones, laptops,  a PS3 and a Wii.  We like technology, a lot and I am constantly threatening to throw it all out when everyone is starting to sprout from lack of movement, but I'm just as addicted to a good movie as they are!

We're getting the finances under control, slowly.  We have closed the circle and are trusting that the coaching we're receiving and the new program will help us get out of the massive debt we've accumulated.

It's all about just doing the stuff every day where I fall down.  I'll be good for a week and then the plan will get sideswiped and I don't pick up the routine again for a month or two.  I desperately need to get consistent, and with God's help all things are possible, so just maybe, we'll get there!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

the day after 7

I should not be blogging right now, I should be cleaning up the dishes from breakfast...and last night...and lunch yesterday!  I'm blaming Jen Hatmaker and that book of hers!!!  I had to keep reading "7" until the very last word.  I told my husband it feels like she's taken every last thought I've thunk in the past year and stuck it on paper...I've thought about doing just about everything in that book.  Now that I've read it I'm a mess and I'm not sure what to do with myself.

I am such a wimp.  I'm not sure I could even do one of those things for a whole month!  I am as right-brained as you can get, rebel at schedules and am horribly inconsistent (which anyone who tries to read this blog regularly will know!)  I think I may have a give-away to wrap up!  OOPS...

So, yeah!  I think I better go do the dishes and stuff some things in the washing machine...

right after I go to the bathroom...


The whole adoption thing is back in my heart and mind - 3 different things just this week!!  My kids want to adopt internationally so badly.  If you don't know we already have one son that came through another mama and that's been quite a journey!  Anyway, really, I need to go love on my house or some paperwork or something!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I think God is trying to mess with me.  He's shaking up some of my paradigms and comfort and letting crazy questions swim through my head that I'd rather not look at too closely.  Questions like,

What does being a follower of Jesus REALLY look at?
If true religion is taking care of widows and orphans what am I doing about that?
How much is enough?
Why do we have all this stuff?
Am I really living up to the standard that God set out for us?
How do I unplug my kids from the entitlement attitude that rages in them?
Am I strong enough to do what needs to be done?

I don't really like these questions, cause I think I know the answer a little and I don't think I like it cause when it comes right down to it, I'm kind of a jellyfish on this stuff...I ride the waves and send out a zinger every once in awhile.

Then our pastor started a series on Ephesians and it's getting under my skin.  There is a serious call to examine ourselves and live a holy life in there.  Paul hammers away at our relationships and wonders how serious we are about the gospel.  How serious am I?  What do I need to leave behind?


I come across all these comments about the chick named Jen Hatmaker and this book that she wrote, "7 - an experimental mutiny against excess".  People were talking about the weird things they were doing and I felt compelled to buy the book.

It came yesterday.

I think I hate it.

Because it hurts to see the truth of my life exposed in such an inglorious way.

And I love it because it's helping me see that the questions I've been pondering aren't just for me.  God is beginning to wake up His people to get out of their comfortable lives and take Him seriously.  In the community we live in we are near the bottom of the food chain economically.  We're part-time pastors in a tiny town and we are farmers buried in debt.  And yet we are still in the top percentages of wage earners when compared to the rest of the hurting world.  We are a RICH, RICH society and we just want more.  We have bought into consumerism and materialism and excess in so many ways it's sickening.  And I want out...I'm not sure what that's going to look like in the big picture but I'm starting small...

For the next two weeks I am going to detox my body - I'm eating a very limited diet of foods that are gentle on my body.  Nothing has more than 4 ingredients in it.  Mostly less than that and they are recognizable.  I am avoiding:  caffeine, dairy, preservatives, soy, gluten,  processing and a bunch of other stuff.  Pretty much all that's left is rice, potatoes, chicken and a few fruits and vegetables (which is still alot compared to the peeps in drought-ridden countries who are existing on a cup of rice a day).

I am also detoxing my house...I'm determined to go through this entire house and get rid of stuff we don't love, don't use, no longer need, broken, etc.  We have enough stuff, we don't need all this and I'm sick of cleaning it, moving it, storing it and paying for it. We've already done the little boys' room minus one ugly drawer...My psycho, let's throw-out-everything daughter is helping me in this process which is good, because I tend to get a little sentimental!

Here's the hard part.  I'm so NOT consistent and I have NO backbone when it comes to this kind of thing.  I cave at the smallest inconvenience so please help me out here.  Pray for me, comment, or something, start a conversation with me about all this....It's probably going to take longer than two weeks, but I'm not sure my wussy nature can even make it that long!!!  So I'm going to post every day...I actually started this yesterday but who's counting...

and I decided to link up here:

The Pinkie Play (or One Stressful Day in the City)

I'm not sure what to call this post yet because I may ramble a bit...

First, I promised an explanation to my crazy stressful day in the's the nutshell version:

July - Chris gets a cut on his pinkie finger while whittling on a stick
August - said pinkie finger no longer bends at the top knuckle, he probably cut a tendon way back when
September - we're seeing a specialist to see if anything can be done for said pinkie.
(Enter hip, young surgeon)  I've had some luck repairing those, it's a long shot but there's OR time tomorrow, decide right now.  Oh yeah, it will be months of rehab and nastiness.
Questioning Mother:  So, what about volleyball?
HYS: Out
QM:  Gymnastics?
HYS:  Out!  I'll give you five minutes...
Panicked teenager:  So, I won't be able to play volleyball, do gymnastics and school is going to suck because it's my right hand and I won't be able to write?
QM:  That's correct, but it sounds like you'd have your pinkie back if they're successful
PT:  Okay, I guess we might as well, but I'd rather wait until next week, he said there would be time next week.
QM:  Okay.  (Starts mentally figuring out how to handle this with the school, cancelling gymnastics and trying to figure out if she has the emotional stamina to deal with this man-cub through the pain and suffering that will not just be wrought upon the boy, but the whole family...we are the village)

HYS:  So?  Made a decision?
PT:  Yeah (very glum face) we'll do it, but not til next week
HYS:  Okay, but if you're gonna do it, let's do it tomorrow, be here at 7:45 tomorrow morning, K...see ya!  OH, and I won't be the guy doing the surgery, just so ya know.

We drive away from the hospital while I make a contingency plan for PT because he is now floundering in some deep waters of nastiness.  This is a huge decision and emotional upheaval for a child who does not do well with decision making or change of any kind...or disappointment, he was really looking forward to volleyball and gymnastics.  We make conversation trying to cheer him up, he negotiates the possibility of a new PS3 game as compensation for all his pain and suffering that he's going to have to go through.

We head over to the other end of the city to pick up parts for the combine when I get a text saying the surgery has been moved to MOnday.  PT sinks lower in his seat because now he has to worry that thought all weekend long, so not fun.

Before I can leave the parking lot my cell phone rings.  It is a perky nurse asking me if I can get my butt, my entourage and my PT over to another hospital because the surgeon who is actually going to do the surgery wants to check the finger for himself.  Around the screaming in the back seat I assure her that we will do our best to get over there right away.  We are on the complete opposite end of the world from the other hospital...heavy sigh**

Okay, so now scene whatever we're at now!  We're at another hospital with another surgeon, I have 5 crazy kids, correction 4 crazy kids and one mostly sane one that I brought along for that reason in the waiting room with a bunch of old people while we wait for the surgeon to see PT.  I send sane girl to Starbucks for me, I needs me some liquid reinforcement and a chai latte sounds like it should fit the bill.

I call over to the eye-doctor to let them know we'll be late for our next appointment, I break up fights and hope no one is staring at us too hard.  Finally we see surgeon #2...

Enter Older, Wiser Surgeon
OWS:  Let's take a look at that finger son.
He examines it extensively then looks at me.
OWS:  What did the other guy tell you?
QM:  He told us about tendon grafting, big ugly splints, months of rehab...
OWS:  Yeah, we could do all that but it's pretty complicated, really painful, a lot of scarring and minimal gain for all that pain.  The finger would never be the same and it's his pinkie.  If it was my son, I wouldn't do that to him.
QM:  So you're saying we shouldn't do the surgery?
OWS:  That's what I'm saying, it's been too long since the injury and success is pretty slim.  I wouldn't do it if I were you.
QM:  So then, no surgery.
OWS:  No surgery

We leave trying to wrap our brains and emotions around the fact that we are back to normal and can carry on as planned...I'm hoping Kelly hasn't called the school yet to tell them about all this cause that would just be dumb to have started that ball rolling and then have to say, "Just kidding, we're all good now!"

PT seems to be somewhat upset about the turn of events.
QM:  I thought you'd be happy you don't have to give up volleyball and gymnastics
PT:  Yeah, but I wanted the scars and the PS3 game

Biggest emotional roller-coaster I've been on in awhile.  Add to that mix high-maintenance child who needs new glasses and a whiny little girl who doesn't want to do what everyone else does, one tired mom and yeah...not a day I want to repeat.

At first I was a little upset that the medical staff didn't realize the tendon was cut when he was taken in, however, in retrospect he would not only have given up volleyball and gymnastics because that surgery would have happened for sure...he wouldn't have gone to summer camp or volleyball camp, the work that he did this summer wouldn't have happened and we would have had a very painful summer.  God really know what we can handle.  At the end of the day, not being able to bend the tip of your pinkie finger isn't so bad.  Kinda sucks for typing but that's about it...