Goodbye Ordinary

I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us. Isaiah 63:7

Be Careful of What You Are Carrying! March 28, 2009

Filed under: Faith,Family,Kids — Lori @ 3:08 pm

Last night at dinner Kevin was reading a devotional.  It was on the verses in Hebrews 12:1,2:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

The devotion was talking about us laying aside those things that weigh us down or keep us from loving God and running the Christian race as we should.  Kira didn’t seem to understand the author’s explanation so I said to her it was like having a backpack on with lots of heavy rocks in it and how hard that would make it to keep walking.  She seemed to understand and was silently thinking about it.  We went on to talk about what those weights might be in our lives when Kira suddenly blurts out, “But, you could carry your hand lotion and lipstick in your backpack and that wouldn’t be heavy, right?” 

Needless to say, that kind of ruined the spiritual lesson moment when I couldn’t contain my laughter.  It was so obvious that she had really been thinking about the analogy I used, but had taken it literally.  I am sure she still is wondering why anyone would be dumb enough to fill up their backpack with a bunch of rocks. 🙂

Have a great weekend with your family!  Lori

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Sponsor a Surgery March 27, 2009

Filed under: Sarah's Covenant Homes — Lori @ 11:59 am

I hope that you are all checking in with Sarah’s blog to see what is going on at Sarah’s Covenant Homes.  It has been a joy for our family to pray for these kids and those that take care of them.  Sarah is great about giving you daily information about what is going on and who needs prayer.

Sarah made up a new list of needed surguries for this coming year and you can find out who the kids are that need the surgeries and how much they cost if you would like to help in some way.  Many of the surgeries are already sponsored – what a blessing that must be for Sarah and these kids.

There is also the “Operation Princess” project going on that you can help with.  You can read the update here.  They are also looking for girls dressy dresses if you would like to help with that as well.  They received enough donations for the girls to all have their silver anklets!  Yeah.  I can’t wait to see the pictures. 🙂

Look how happy a new pair of shoes and a pretty dress can make a little girl: (This is Rachel, by the way.  You can read her story here.)

Be sure and check in with Sarah at her blog and leave her a comment so she knows that you are praying for her and the kids.  There is also a paypal link on the right hand side of her site if you want to make a tax deductible donation.

Have a great weekend!   Lori

 

Our Busy Week March 20, 2009

Filed under: Family,Home Schooling,Kid Happenings,Life — Lori @ 1:28 pm

img_7906I wanted to post about all the fun (and some not so fun) adventures of the past week beginning with Sunday, 3/15.  On Sunday, we got together with my parents, grandma, and my sister’s family to celebrate three March birthdays.  It was a really fun day and we were all thankful that my nephew Nate asked for Grandpa’s famous smoked pork ribs for his dinner choice!  Yummm!  Mom got her favorite salad – the one with mandarin oranges, candied almonds, and avocados.  I am not sure what Dad (Grandpa) got in recognition of his birthday as far as the meal was concerned so I had made him some orange chocolate chip cookies that were just for him.  Dad loves all things orange flavored.  🙂

The cake was pretty funny because my sister had accidentally written the wrong date on the Costco cake order sheet and said she would be picking it up the next Saturday – ha – so they wrote the birthday message to everyone on a St. Patrick’s Day cake that was already made up.  Too funny.

 

Here is a photo of the generations of girls – from my Grandma Helen, my Mom, I am missing (taking the photo – I am NEVER in pictures because I always have the camera!), Kelsey and the girls.

img_7884I love my Grandma!  She is 91 – can you believe that?  She not only looks great and is in good health for her age, but she is a sharp cookie as well.  I am so blessed to have her living so close so my girls can spend time with her often.

On Monday, the girls had dentist appointments.    They weren’t too thrilled about it and there was a lot of talk in the car about that dreaded flouride treatment and how they try to fool you about it by saying it will taste like something good. 🙂  They said Kira had a couple of very small cavities which she ended up getting filled on Tuesday.  She was pretty good for that procedure and was lucky in that they were so small, they were able to do it without a shot of anesthetic so that was good.  She told me she cried a very little bit because she was “worried”. 

 

 

On Wednesday, we met some friends at the zoo.  We had planned this date a few weeks ago so we were all pleasantly surprised and happy that the weather was perfect.  It was sunny and not cold (you can’t really ask for warm right now!) and there was hardly anyone there.  We had a great time.  The girls enjoyed being together.  They are all from India – Kalindi and Kira were good friends with one of the girls who just recently came home with her family.  They have had fun renewing that friendship.

img_7908We also went out to a wonderful Indian buffet lunch which the girls really enjoyed and then shopped at an Indian grocery. 

After that, we went to McDonalds and ordered a drink and the girls ran around on the play area while the other mom and I talked.  It was a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I love this picture of the girls reaching out to “touch” the sea lion swimming by.  They are so beautiful and graceful in the water.  I could sit there and watch them all day long.

One thing I am always struck by when I am at the zoo is God’s creativity and skill in creating all the various animals – and his occasional sense of humor! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

img_7961On Thursday we had our monthly home school craft group.  The girls have enjoyed this so much.  We meet at my wonderfully creative and energetic friend Thelma’s house with four to five other families.  There are 8 – 10 girls that come in the age range of four to 10.  Kalindi is the oldest and was so happy when her new friend E came in November from Ethiopia.  Kalindi enjoys having a friend her age.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The girls made brightly colored tissue paper flowers and they also planted seeds so that they can grow some flowers to plant at home. 

Thelma made a special lunch of beef vegetable soup, PB & J sandwiches, meat and cheese rolls ups and home made rolls.  She also made a special dessert of chocolate pudding, crushed oreo cookies and gummy worms to go along with her theme.  It was pretty funny watching the girls dig for the worms. 🙂

 

 

 

 

That pretty much catches you up on our week.  I was thankful for a Friday with nothing on the schedule – all except taking Kevin to the doctor today because his back was bothering him.  He woke up on Thursday so bad that he could hardly walk.  It was the same today so I took him in.  The doctor thinks it is muscular – good news – so he is taking a muscle relaxant and Aleve for pain.  Hopefully that will do the trick.  He just stopped by to say he was going to lay down because he couldn’t keep his eyes open – the muscle relaxer is doing its thing!  He hurt his back doing the dishes for me.  It was pretty funny telling the doctor what happened and he told Kevin that he better not be doing that anymore!

Have a great weekend!  Lori

 

Surviving a Trial March 19, 2009

Filed under: Faith,Grief,Life — Lori @ 10:10 pm

Of course, the first and most important way that we survive a trial is by leaning on the Lord – relying on His strength, clutching to His Word and what it teaches us about Him, and learning to have a mindset that sees things from an eternal perspective (God’s perspective!).

I was speaking with a friend on the phone the other night – one of my very good friends who has walked through a very hard trial in her life, stage four breast cancer treatment.  (She is cancer free, by the way!)  She got her diagnosis of breast cancer in October 2006, about three months after Grant died.  Because of the grace and comfort the Lord had lavishly bestowed on me, I was in a perfect position to walk with her (along with a LOT of other people) on her journey. 

I was thinking about how spending time with her, praying with her, going to doctor appointments or chemo with her, thinking about her, and giving her encouragement – it helped me with my grief.  God doesn’t do anything by coincidence and I can look back and see that God let us go through our trials side by side for a very good reason. 

Because of this experience, I learned that one very important way to survive a trial is to get your mind off your own trouble and think of and spend time with someone else in their trial.  If we are in a place in our life where all we can think about and obsess over and moan about are our own issues, we will dig ourselves a pit that may be bottomless. 

There are times when we deserve to have a pity party and spend time grieving and weeping.  I don’t think God would begrudge us those times.  However, we can’t stay there.  It isn’t healthy and it doesn’t help anything or anyone. 

The number one priority in those times is to go to the Word.  A few weeks ago when I was in a pity party mood and I was balling and crying out to the Lord asking Him for help it was like He said to me, “Your help is sitting right there beside you!  Pick it up.  Read it.  Listen to what I have to say to you.”  Of course!  I had the source right there and I wasn’t even picking it up.

The other really important thing I learned while walking through grief was that what I needed to look for in God’s Word was God.  I needed to know more about Him, His character, His deeds, His promises, His demands.  Of course, I found comfort, peace, and strength in the pages, but what I really needed to feel secure was to KNOW God better.  Knowing God is what gives us an anchor.  We can’t set our anchor in feelings or other people. 

If you spend time in the Psalms you learn that although there is plenty of pouring their hearts out to God and grieving or questioning, but there is always remembering and stating.  Remembering what God has done in the past, reminding themselves of Who they know God to be and what He promised for the future.  When we remind ourselves of the faithfulness of God in the past, we can trust that He will be the same God in the future.  That brings us back to center so that we can see things from God’s perspective instead of our own – which is always skewed.

Psalm 34:1-7  I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!  I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps  around those who fear him, and delivers them.

 

A Special Project March 17, 2009

Filed under: Faith,Kids,Life,Sarah's Covenant Homes — Lori @ 9:47 am

You may remember that I told you about a very special group of homes in India called Sarah’s Covenant Homes.  These homes’ purpose is to take in kids from government orphanages who have neurological or other special needs.  They give these kids a family style home to live in and love them, take care of their physical needs, and care about them like maybe they haven’t been cared about in their entire lives.

Sarah has a special project going.  It is called Operation Princess

operationprincesstagWouldn’t it be fun to be a part of helping the girls in her home to feel special?  Sarah speaks in her blog post about the Indian culture and how important it is to girls to have pretty, special things.  When you have these things it shows that there is someone who loves and cares for you enough to give you these special gifts.

We just received our tax refund and decided to give part of it to Sarah’s Covenant Homes.  She emailed and asked if there was a special project that we had in mind for the money.  We said that she should use it wherever it was needed.  Sarah emailed back and asked if we would like for it to go to buying ankle bracelets for the girls.  I know our gift won’t purchase them for every girl, but it will be a good start.  If you would be interested in helping out with this project or giving money for one of the many surgeries that the kids always need, please visit Sarah’s Covenant Homes and click on the donate link on the right hand side.

ankle-braceletsDo you ever find yourself thinking when it is your birthday or Christmas that there really isn’t anything that you need?  Or, do you have someone on your list that has everything and you never know what to get them?  Why not make a donation in someone’s name and give them a part in helping some children in India that society doesn’t think highly enough of to care about them.  It is such a small thing to us and our US$ goes a lot farther in India than it does here! 

Please visit Sarah’s blog.  She writes almost every day and gives such great information about the kids who are struggling and how we can pray for them.  I know your checking in and reading about the kids and praying for them is very important to Sarah and to the children. 

Matthew 25:31-40  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

 

My Hand and Other March 16, 2009

Filed under: Family,Kids,Life — Lori @ 6:03 pm

I decided not to post another photo of my left hand carpal tunnel surgery like I did when I had my right hand done in October.  So you can check it out if you want to.

The recovery from surgery has been much easier on my left hand and I am not sure if that is because I am not left handed or because my left hand was not as bad (less nerve restriction) contrasted with my right hand.  However, I am thankful that this time has been easier although I am still not able to do a lot with my left hand.

They cut a large portion of a ligament in your hand to give your nerves that have been restricted by the damage done to the ligament with repepetive motion more room.  This takes about four complete months to heal.  That seems like a long time, doesn’t it?  I sure thought so.  Really, after two months it is doing very well.  I am almost to two weeks post op now.  I can use my hand – more like fingers – for light duty, but not much pulling and certainly not much weight.  I can drive with it, but it does hurt to really crank the steering wheel on a corner.

I get my stitches out tomorrow.  I am so excited!  Right now I have a large hard splint on my wrist which is so big it is hard to fit in the sleeves of my clothes and coats.  I have also been restricted from getting my hand wet.  I take a shower with my hand up in the air and a plastic newspaper bag rubber banded on.  Makes for interesting showering.  So tomorrow is a much anticipated milestone in my recovery.

Kira and Kalindi saw the dentist today.  It is the third time that they have had their teeth cleaned.  We had worried that Kira hadn’t been brushing well – she is always in a hurry – and so I shouldn’t have been surprised that she had two cavities.  They are very small, but they are in permanent teeth.  She will be having more supervision at brushing time!

We had a fun family day yesterday at my parents’ house.  March is a big family birthday month so we celebrated three of them yesterday.  It was a great excuse to get together and to eat really well.  🙂  We are so blessed with a wonderful family.

Psalm 34: 1-3   I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.   My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me,  and let us exalt his name together!

 

Psalm 77 – A Word March 8, 2009

Filed under: Faith — Lori @ 3:08 pm

Today in Sunday school, we went through two Psalms, 76 and 77.  As is sometimes the case when my week has things that are out of the ordinary (my hand surgery on Wednesday!) I didn’t get to do my study on both of the Psalms we were supposed to go over today in class.

It was good to read through Psalm 77 fresh this morning and see it in light of where I find myself spiritually right now.  I will put the text here and then just have a few comments to make.

Psalm 77 (English Standard Version)

In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord
To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.

 1 I cry aloud to God,
   aloud to God, and he will hear me.
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
   in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
   my soul refuses to be comforted.
3 When I remember God, I moan;
   when I meditate, my spirit faints.
                         Selah
 4 You hold my eyelids open;
   I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I consider the days of old,
   the years long ago.
6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
   let me meditate in my heart.”
   Then my spirit made a diligent search:
7 “Will the Lord spurn forever,
   and never again be favorable?
8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
   Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
    Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”
                         Selah
 10 Then I said,  “I will appeal to this,
   to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”

11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
   yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
   and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
    What god is great like our God?

14 You are the God who works wonders;
   you have made known your might among the peoples.
15 You with your arm redeemed your people,
   the children of Jacob and Joseph.
                         Selah
 16 When the waters saw you, O God,
   when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
   indeed, the deep trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
   the skies gave forth thunder;
   your arrows flashed on every side.
18  The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
    your lightnings lighted up the world;
   the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea,
   your path through the great waters;
   yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
   by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Here is Asaph finding himself in a time of doubt.  (verses 1-9)  He then makes a decision in verse 10 – “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”   He then goes on to recount things that he knows about God and His deeds – reminders that will give him renewed faith to be able to get through this tough time. 

I wonder if even as Asaph recounts God’s deeds and attributes (verses 11-20) is he still feeling doubt and/or despair?  He might be.  Or, it might have been a time long past since he went through it and there was a period of time that elasped so that he got back to a place of trust by the time he wrote this. 

If I were reciting verses 11-20 for myself,  I would say that I believe all those things about God in my head, but I am not “feeling” it right now.  I will get there eventually because I am not giving up on the things I know about God that are true – what I know of God from His word and what I know of God as He has worked in my life.  I learned from this verse that I need to purpose to repeat to myself the works of God that will build my faith.  I also learned that I need to repeatedly and often seek the Lord, remember, ponder, and meditate.  I need to spend time with God in prayer pouring my soul out to Him and listening to Him speak through His Spirit and His Word.

Maybe some of you never have that doubt – or at least you haven’t had it yet.  But, for those of you who have, take heart!  We are in good company.  And do you know what?  God is not afraid of our doubt nor is He angry with us.  He gently guides us and teaches us and shows us Who He is so that we can trust.  He is our Good Shepherd.  Isn’t that comforting?

 

 
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