Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's Christmas time again

It doesn't feel like Christmas should be here. At some points I really enjoy it and other times I try not to think about celebrating Christmas without my mom.

It's nice now that we have been at our church for over a year we are making new traditions. I feel like I get to use the hospitality that my mom taught me in creating traditions and events that don't always remind me of her. I get a break from remembering that she's gone during these times. And then I realize that something I did or suggested came from something she did or taught me, and I want to call her and tell her, but I can't.

This week has been harder that last week. I think it's slowly sinking in. Most of the time I can't believe she's gone, but sometimes it just hits me that she is. Sometimes I am fine and then I open a card from someone who wrote an incredibly kind note to me and I cry all over again.

I am so blessed to have such great friends and family during this time.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Last year we couldn't find the stocking holders I had gotten for Ben and Jason. We needed two more stocking holders to hold the new stockings for the two new members of our family. We couldn't find them so they had to share with Sarah and I.

Today I went home to help pick out the Christmas tree and decorate the house.

Today I found the two stocking holders in a box of Christmas stuff.

Today we only needed one more.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lots of Changes

A lot of things have happened recently.

My mom passed away this month.

Sometimes it doesn't seem real and other times it seems way too real.

My uncle put it well - after 4 years my mom won the battle with cancer and stepped into Heaven.

The hope we have in Christ is what is getting me and my family through this. The hope that God's word is true and that He has restored her. The hope that this is not the end, but just another phase of my Mom's life. It's a hope that God has reaffirmed many times that now it feels more like a confidence than a hope.

I am going to try and blog again. It helped me process things when my mom was diagnosed and I think it could help me process things now.

I've realized that through all of this I am seeing people's humanity, to some extent, for the first time. I think going though this pain has opened my eyes to the hurts around me. It's easier to listen to people more. Probably at some point it will get easier to talk too.

I started counseling again yesterday. It didn't fix everything, but I think it will help me walk through this grief.

Even though this is so hard, God keeps showing me how He is using it. He's pretty good like that. I can't wait to see what He will do next.

For now though it's one day at a time.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

And I thought it would be boring...

At one point I had thought that following God would be incredibly boring. I was afraid that true obedience to Him would mean that I had to follow a list of commands and walk around sadly singing hymns.

What a lie!

True obedience to God is one of the most thrilling, exciting, and breath-taking adventures I have ever been on. Walking by faith means that every day I don't know how God is going to work things out. It means trusting that God is either going to provide a path over or move the mountains that are in the way. It means following what He has called me to do and trusting that He is going to take care of the details.

Our time here in the city has not been what we expected. We expected that Ben would have no problem finding a second job. It's been a year and no second job. Yet, God has abundantly provided for us and has opened up Ben's schedule to work for the church full-time.

We expected that we would rent for the first couple of years and yet God provided a way for us to purchase a beautiful house. Yet at the beginning, God allowed us to experience dealing with a terrible landlord. This opened our eyes to the housing problems in our neighborhood.

God provided this building for our church and now the renovation costs are coming back over double what we had budgeted. We aren't sure how God is going to provide the funds for this renovation, but it'll be exciting to see how He works.

Walking with Christ is an adventure that I wouldn't trade for anything!

Monday, July 26, 2010

All In...

There are very few things in your life that you should throw yourself into with a wild abandon. Most things are best done in moderation - eating candy, exercising, or watching T.V. The Christian life is not one of them. You either throw yourself in and put it all on the line or you might as well take your ball and go home.

This past year has been a series of decisions where we've tried to say, "it's all yours God. Take it and use it." And you know what? It's been the BEST year of my life. To live with complete abandon for Jesus... it doesn't get any better than this. There is freedom in just sitting back and asking God, "What next?"

It hasn't been an easy year, but wow, has it been rewarding. Seriously people should live like this all the time. If you aren't... you should!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

And then there were 4...

Since our house wasn't enough of a zoo, we got a puppy. A puppy that will turn into a giant dog. Because that's how we roll.

We got a Rottweiler mix. Yes I know. He's probably going to eat cats and chase children and attack people. But everything we've read and heard says that they are great dogs if you train them well. So the puppy is doing great. He's picking up on training really quickly and he and the cat seem to get along alright.

And I can't wait for the dog to be 70lbs and sitting in Ben's lap....

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Well it's definitely not winter anymore and I have officially not posted in over a month. Even my comments are all screwed up and I don't have the time to fix them.

The truth is that things are crazy busy over here. Work is stressful and ministry can be all-consuming. I see why it is hard to have good boundaries when you work with the church. There are so many people who need help. But... I can't help anyone when I am going crazy, so we are trying to figure out a good balance of work, ministry and family time. It's coming...

Living in our neighborhood has so many funny things that happen. It's never boring here. Like yesterday we kept a dog who's owner got arrested. (The owner got out of jail and took their dog back.) Two weeks ago we had a local business deliver gravel for behind our garage. We needed 2 tons and they dumped 4 tons. We ordered 3/4 inch gravel and they dumped construction debris. Yes. We got swindled and a one-day project has not ended yet. Hurray for home ownership!

We also got a cat. It was my valentine's day present. Her name is Mocha and she likes to have her nose scratch, play behind the curtains, throw up in the basement and pee next to the litter box. We are trying to work on the last two. She has until the end of May or we are going to have to take her back to the shelter. Which would be really sad because she is a pretty cool cat.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


So it's still winter. Sigh... It snowed and iced a bunch last night. It really made a big mess of everything. I tried to drive in it today and I saw people sliding off the road and being carried away on stretchers, so I came home. The last time it snowed we had to deal with the CO detector, so it would be reasonable to assume that something would happen during this snow storm, like our furnace would go out. But that's where you would be wrong.

Our furnace went out earlier this week. It was planning ahead for the snow storm and decided to go out at 4am on Tuesday. It could have just stopped working, but instead the motor had to burn up which means we woke up to what smelled like an electrical fire coming from our gas furnace. That was fun. Great way to start the morning! Thankfully nothing serious happened, except for the fact that our house dropped to 55 degrees. Brr!

Our house is warm now, and the furnace is fixed. I am so glad we bought our home warranty. Best purchase EVER!

We planned and booked our summer vacation last week to somewhere warm and tropical with a beach. Someplace where there is no snow. I can't wait!

Enjoy your weekend and stay warm and dry wherever you are.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Iocaine Powder. I'd bet my life on it!

Today I almost died. Lately Ben and I have been tired and I've been getting headaches. These couldn't have been related to stress or lack of sleep, no, there must be something more.... After a quick Google search today I determined that it probably was Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. Sure our house is so leaky and drafty we can't even keep heat inside, much less CO, I was convinced that this had to be the cause.

Once the possibility of CO poisoning entered my brain it would not leave. I NEEDED a CO detector. We needed one right now or we may die in our sleep. Never mind that a snow storm had just moved into Ohio. Never mind that we were at a level 1 snow emergency. Never mind that I came home early to work from home because the roads were so bad. We NEEDED a CO detector.

I did what any good wife would do. I made Ben bundle up and walk with me down to the hardware store to buy a CO detector. Yes we walked in the snow to the hardware store because I needed a CO detector. Right now! We also needed to stop on our way back at Walgreens, UDF, and the Taco Truck. I mean we were right there! Ben is so patient.

We got home, and I quickly read the instructions, and plugged the CO detector in the wall. Within 2 minutes the alarm started screeching (which I have to say made me feel justified in our trek in the snow). Apparently 85 decibels is really, really loud and alarms do not make me think rationally. I started yelling at Ben to hit the reset button, Ben was yelling at me to figure out what the alarm meant, I was yelling back that the instructions said to MOVE TO FRESH AIR AND CALL 911!

Because you know, the emergency crews had nothing else to do this snowy evening.

Finally Ben took the alarm out to our back porch where it promptly turned off. We figured it was because there was no CO out there (it's WELL ventilated) and there was CO in our house which makes it a deadly, brain-frying gas chamber that we just paid a whole lot of money for ahhh!!!!

Actually no. Ben read the instructions more thoroughly than I did and found out that there are two types of alarms on this detector:
1. A steady screech that will make you wet yourself; and
2. An alarm sequence that goes on for 4 beeps and then off for 5 seconds.

Which one do you think alerts you to the power going off and which one alerts you to deadly gas? If I designed an alarm I would make the ear-bleeding, 85 decible, screech an alert to DANGER GET OUT NOW! and the on and off again alarm a gentle reminder that the power is out and you are no longer protected against CO poisoning.

But no one asked me when they designed this alarm. This alarm will screech at you so loud that the neighbors can hear, when it loses power. Because that's what I need to hear when my power shuts off - a really, really loud alarm.

When you are close to death all it will do is beep at you. Seriously? That's the best alarm for that situation? What the crap, Kiddie Alarms? What the crap?

So apparently the outlet we plugged it into has issues. That was it. We weren't close to death, or brain damage. We just got to add "fix the outlet in the bedroom" to our to-do list. Pretty anti-climatic huh?

I don't think that I should have to go into work tomorrow. I almost died tonight you know...

Friday, January 01, 2010

It just depends on the day

You know how when people have kids, that's all they talk about? I am that way with our new house. Be prepared though, because in a couple months I am getting a kitten and that will be all that I will talk about...

Reasons I hate that we bought an old house:
  • We hung up curtains and the draft coming through the windows blew them around
  • Our queen-sized box spring doesn't fit up our stairs. We are spending today arguing about the best way to cut it to make it fit
  • Our "2-car" garage is really a 1.5 car garage. Any car bigger than a Miata wouldn't fit in the second half
  • On any given day one of our toilets will probably block up
  • Old plumbing
  • Poorly placed 2-prong outlets
  • Even with all the vents closed upstairs, it's 66 degrees downstairs and 72 degrees upstairs
Reasons I love that we bought an old house:
  • 3 stained glass windows
  • Original hardwood floors in the entire house
  • Original wood doors and woodwork
  • Large kitchen
  • 1,500 sq ft in our price range
  • A front porch with room for a swing
  • A garage off an alley instead of off the street
  • The neighborhood
  • Large windows
  • A neighborhood with mature trees
Generally I love my house, but sometimes it makes we want to live in a cookie-cutter condo. Anyone want to come wrestle a box spring upstairs?