Monday, August 29, 2011

Just maybe

Phew! We quite possibly did a LOT of puzzles.

(before putting them away I added up the piece totals and she had put together over 1500 puzzle pieces that morning!)
One morning I was woken up by a sweet daughter touching my face. She cuddled under the blanket all cute with me and sweetly said, "mom, can i use your iPad because you aren't really using it right now."

Learning to be frugal?

Emma is pretending to be the mama and is going through her groceries and toys and picking things up saying "oh, this is expensive, we need to take it back to the store. Right, mom? I mean right, darling?  Sorry sweetheart, but some of the stuff is just too expensive. I've got to take it back because it was expensive."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Soundtrack: Save A Place for Me {Matthew West}

Save A Place For Me
Matthew West

Don’t be mad if I cry
It just hurts so bad sometimes
‘Cause everyday it’s sinking in
And I have to say goodbye all over again

You know I bet it feels good to have the weight of this world
Off your shoulders now
I’m dreaming of the day
When I’m finally there with you

Save a place for me
Save a place for me
I’ll be there soon
I’ll be there soon
Save a place for me
Save some grace for me
I’ll be there soon
I’ll be there soon

I have asked the question why
But I guess the answer’s for another time
So instead I’ll pray
With every tear
And be thankful for the time I had you here

And I wanna live my life
Just like you did
Make the most of my time
Just like you did
And I wanna make my home up in the sky
Just like you did
Oh, but until I get there
Until I get there

Thursday, August 25, 2011

suffering as a gift (Piper)

(O)ne of God’s gifts to us in suffering is that we are granted to see and experience depths of his Word that a life of ease would never yield.

Martin Luther had discovered the same “method” of seeing God in his Word. He said there are three rules for understanding Scripture: praying, meditating and suffering trials. The “trials,” he said, are supremely valuable: they “teach you not only to know and understand but also to experience how right, how true, how sweet, how lovely, how mighty, how comforting God’s word is: it is wisdom supreme.”

A 1999 Taste and See Article, Luther, Bunyan, Bible and Pain(John Piper)

platform quote

All our difficulties are only platforms for the manifestation of His grace, power, and love.
Hudson Taylor

Psalm 18: Word of God, Speak.

 God was so gracious to me the other day.  I have been struggling with grief surrounding Malachi's death the last few days.  One of the other coaches asked me if there are certain "triggers."  Usually, yes, but at that time I couldn't quite pinpoint anything TOO specific.  I mean, yes, the 25th is just around the corner and yes, friends of ours with CHARGE kiddos are making great strides (preschool, signing, etc.) leaving us to wonder where Chi might be developmentally and all that if he were still with us.  

We've been going through the "Becoming a Woman of Excellence" study with our volleyball girls and Tuesday we took the time at the beginning of practice for that study.  It "just so happened" that only the first page of Coach Henry's lesson made it to practice, but the Holy Spirit was quick to fill in the gaps.  She talked to the girls about Job.  I love that God brought to mind the portion of Pastor Jeff's sermon at Malachi's funeral in which Job receives from God twice the material blessings as he had before Satan was allowed to take them all away--including his ten children.  In the very last chapter of Job we read that God have him ten more children (not 20, like some would expect).  See in God's eyes, by giving Job ten children at the end of the story, his blessing with regard to children HAD been doubled--totaling 20.

After our lesson, we broke off individually and I don't really know what the other girls did, but I went to the Psalms.  A guy I went to high school with who had recently been saved posted a verse on facebook and I could have sworn it was Psalm 18.  So that's where I headed.  I couldn't find the passage I was looking for, but God illuminated this chapter in a way that Scripture never has to me before.  It was simply God at work...

 1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.  2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 4 The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; 5 the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. 6 In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.  

[There was an earthquake this day] 7 Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.... 13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, [it began storming at the moment we broke off separately] and the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones and coals of fire...he flashed forth lightnings and routed them...19 He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. 20 The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. 21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 22 For all his rules were before me, and his statutes I did not put away from me. 23 I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from my guilt. 24 So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. 25 With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; 26 with the purified you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. 27 [a challenge] For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down. 28 For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. 29 For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. 30 This God--his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 31 For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?-- 32 the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. 33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. 34 He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. 36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip... 39 For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me... 46 The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation--... 49 For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing to your name...

For those of you who have made it this far.  The verse Josh had posted was actually Psalm 16:8.  A much needed reminder...
 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Soundtrack: Reason for the World {Matthew West}

Reason for the World
Matthew West

There are no words in times like these
When tears don't hide the tragedies
And all you want is a reason for the world

No comfort in the greeting card
Cause God is good
But life's still hard
and your heart just wants a reason for the world

Maybe the reason for the pain
Is so we would pray for strength
And maybe the reason for the strength
Is so that we would not lose hope
And maybe the reason for all hope
Is so that we could face the world
And the reason for the world
Is to make us long for home

For God so loved your broken heart
He sent his son to where you are
and he died
To give a reason for the world

So lift your sorrows to the one
Whose plan for you has just begun
And rests here in the hands that hold the world

Maybe the reason for the pain
Is so we would pray for strength
And maybe the reason for the strength
Is so that we would not lose hope
And maybe the reason for all hope
Is so that we could face the world
And the reason for the world
Is to make us long for home

Well I know your past the point of broken
Surrounded by your frea
i KNOW you're faint and tired and lonely
from the road that you walked down here
But just keep your eyes on heaven
and know that you are not alone
remember the reason for the world

No ear has heard
No eye has seen
Not even in your wildest dreams
A beauty that awaits beyond this world
When you look into the eyes of grace
and hear the voice of mercy say
Child, welcome to the reason for the world

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Soundtrack: Jesus, Draw Me Nearer

Jesus, Draw Me Nearer

Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial 
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

brother for sale!

every time jackson pulls himself up to standing emma comments "mama, look at our big boy!"... this time she followed it with "he's just too big for us, maybe we should put him in the garage sale!"
sorry sweet pea, i think we'll keep him!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Soundtrack: Perfect Peace {Laura Story}

Perfect Peace
Laura Story

Stay close by My side
Keep your eyes on Me
Though this life is hard
I will give you perfect peace

In this time of trial
Pain that no one sees
Trust me when I say
That I will give you perfect peace

And you'll never walk alone
And you'll never be in need
Though I may not calm the storms around you
You can hide in Me

Burdens that you bear
Offer no relief
Let Me bear your load
'Cause I will give you perfect peace

Stay close by My side
And you'll never walk alone
Keep your eyes on Me
And you'll never be in need
Though this life is hard
Know that I will always give you perfect peace
I will give you perfect peace

Saturday, August 13, 2011

zoo trip

An impromptu visit to the zoo this afternoon proved to be a much-hotter-than-expected day, but the kids and parents were troopers.  Now that volleyball is in full swing, it was nice to have some intentional time out and about as a family.  Not running errands or checking tasks of the to-do list, but just spending time growing with one another through experiences.  Trying to intentionally cherish these moments with little ones even though at times I can still feel apathetic toward life and just going through the motions. All in all, a good day.

His Iowa hat fits now! (well, almost)...

We listened to Emma singing songs from the Tangled soundtrack for the majority of the way there.  Notice the blue tinge of her eyebrows.  Her and cousin Joelle got into some makeup at the birthday party last night.  

At the zoo...

new tiger exhibit.... crazy up close!  two of the tigers were sleeping, but this one spent its time stalking the bite-sized onlookers...

 There is also a baby elephant at the zoo, seen here hiding under mama...

We ended our time at the splash park area...

he was squealing with joy at this point...

John and I love when he crawls to our feet and starts pulling himself up with our legs!

Like I said, a good day.

Fall Preview Article

County volleyball teams ready to dig into season

Hendricks County returns seven teams to the volleyball courts this fall after a successful 2010 campaign that saw a semi-state berth (Avon) and a sectional champion (Bethesda). This year looks to be even better as many county teams return several key starters from last season...


For the past four seasons the Bethesda volleyball team has endured a coaching change.

But that may end up becoming a positive for the Patriots, as they're accustomed to the routine.

"As a first-year coach, I could definitely not be more pleased," Bethesda coach Marissa Sharbaugh said. "I think because the girls have seen so many changes they were quick to adapt and take hold of whatever was thrown at them and move forward."

As the only four-year returner, senior Olivia Harrison has been through a lot with the program and has come out on the other end stronger, Sharbaugh said.

"She'll be one of the team's strongest leaders," she said. "She's very vocal and a lot of the girls really look up to her as an example and for encouragement. A lot of our team's energy comes from Olivia."

Eight players will make up the core of the team and the Patriots will rotate the last three positions from the other 12 girls on the squad.

Juniors Hannah Henry, Sara Tague, Andrea Kish, Jordan Benge, and Cassie Mitchell, along with sophomore Mekayla Leichty and freshman Shelby Henry will make up the rest of the varsity players for Bethesda.

Bethesda reached the regional round of play last season, but fell to eventual Class A, state runner-up Indianapolis Lutheran.

The goal of succeeding is still up front for the Patriots, but Sharbaugh wants the team to grow into good people first and believes that if they do that, winning will take care of itself.

"My focus especially is not on the win-loss column, but becoming women of excellence and teaching life skills," Sharbaugh said. "Life continues on after high school and I want them to remember that. If we can get some wins on the way, that would be obviously ideal and I think we have a great opportunity to have both a successful regular and postseason record."

{I had to laugh at the "grow into good people" comment... pretty sure that's not quite how I stated it!  Although, who knows, I was on the phone with the reporter with two kids on my lap, so it might have come out that cheesy!}

tech savvy

Mama was reading some of the past "Punkin Ponderings" to Daddy aloud.  Emma was listening in and exclaimed: "You blogged that online?!?"

fun places

Daddy:  Emma, you've been a good girl this morning.  Do you want to go to the...
Emma:  umm.... Book.  Store???
Daddy:  You are your mama's girl.  How about the zoo?
Emma:  TODAY!?!?!?  YES! I would love to do that.
Mama: Maybe we can see the new baby elephant.
Emma:  Did you know that because you checked online?


While driving....

Mama:  Emma, do you smell the fire!?!?
Emma:  Don't worry, Mom.  I think it's just someone grilling.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Soundtrack: Still, My Soul Be Still {Keith & Kristyn Getty}

Still, My Soul Be Still
Keith & Kristyn Getty  

Still my soul be still 
And do not fear 
Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
 God is at your side 
No longer dread 
The fires of unexpected sorrow  

God You are my God 
And I will trust in You and not be shaken 
Lord of peace renew 
A steadfast spirit within me 
To rest in You alone  

Still my soul be still 
Do not be moved 
By lesser lights and fleeting shadows 
Hold onto His ways 
With shield of faith 
Against temptations flaming arrows  

Still my soul be still 
Do not forsake 
The Truth you learned in the beginning 
Wait upon the Lord 
And hope will rise As stars appear when day is dimming

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

absent for a reason...

So yeah, I've kinda been busy. And I'm pretty much going to stay that way for the next three months! Lord willing, we'll still be playing into the first week of November!

Desiring God--DVD [Review]

Desiring God--DVD set
John Piper

About This Book (from publisher)

The Pursuit of Pleasure Is Not Optional. It Is Essential

In this DVD version of Desiring God—the classic description of Christian hedonism—John Piper explains how the supreme calling of life is to "glorify God by enjoying Him forever." 
    Drawing upon Scripture after Scripture, Piper shows why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God and, in what may be surprising to some, how God is ready to pursue with all His might our pleasure in Him! The implications of this truth are discussed in regard to conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.

   In ten sessions Piper teaches on:

   • One Great Mission and Motivation
   • A Summary of Christian Hedonism
   • The Foundation of Christian Hedonism
   • The Essence of Christian Hedonism
   • The Grand Obligation
   • How Then Shall We Fight for Joy?

Recorded in HD with subtitles in English, these video sessions are ideal for use in adult and youth Sunday-school classes, small groups, retreats, classrooms, and families. To get the most from this resource, use it along with the Desiring God DVD Study Guide.

I love to get my hands on any of Piper's writings whenever I have the time and energy.  Unfortunately, time and mental processes are running seriously low at this stage in the game and I love that I was able to review this DVD study while multitasking.  What an amazing way to keep your mind focusing on the "greater things" while practically playing with kids and folding laundry! Because I love this book--and now DVD--I went ahead and purchased the companion study guide so that when I DO have the time to really dig deep and get into this study even more, I can really get the most of it.  Piper never fails me when it comes to viewing Scripture with renewed vision.  He just makes sense and I love that I have to really digest his thoughts in order to comprehend what  he's saying. 

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Check out more info here at Waterbrook Multnomah's website.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Soundtrack: Blessings {Laura Story}

Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Soundtrack: He's My Son {Mark Schultz}

He's My Son
Mark Schultz

I'm down on my knees again tonight,
I'm hoping this prayer will turn out right.
See, there is a boy that needs Your help.
I've done all that I can do myself
His mother is tired,
I'm sure You can understand.
Each night as he sleeps
She goes in to hold his hand,
And she tries
Not to cry
As the tears fill her eyes.

Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place some how.
See, he's not just anyone, he's my son.

Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep,
I dream of the boy he'd like to be.
I try to be strong and see him through,
But God, who he needs right now is You.
Let him grow old,
Live life without this fear.
What would I be
Living without him here?

He's so tired,
And he's scared
Let him know that You're there.

Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place some how.
See, he's not just anyone, he's my son.

Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place somehow.
See, he's not just anyone.

Can You hear me?
Can You see him?
Please don't leave him,
He's my son.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Soundtrack: Praise You In This Storm {Casting Crowns}

Praise You In This Storm
Casting Crowns

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away


I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth