Monday, December 30, 2013

Kisses from Katie

Kisses from Katie

I LOVE THIS BOOK!!  So worth reading.

He Works All Things Together for Good

Emphasis on all.  That's what yesterday's service was about.  And the ending theme of the book Kisses for Katie that I finished at midnight even though I was extremely tired and knew I would be up several times in the night and early in the morning.  I just couldn't stop reading.  It was that good.  Yesterday during the sermon our pastor played part of Amish Grace.  Incredibly intense.  Had I been home by myself I would have been heaving bawling.  I was trying to hold myself together.  The thought.  Too much.  Then I finished one of my favorite books.  And started meditating on all things.  Giving thanks in all things.

I was really planning on having this incredibly grateful day.  I really was.  Henry's first swim lesson was today.  Something I had planned for my work went to Hades in a hand basket and there was personality conflict, opposition and the day continued to be an up hill battle.  And the little tasks became major.  By the time we got to the swim lesson I was trying desperately to keep Hudson from running out in the general facility or from jumping in the toilet or getting through the door of the lap pool, while trying to get Henry undressed and in his swim trunks while he was meeting every new person he saw.  I should have been enjoying the gifts of both of my children.  The moment in their lives.  But I was completely stressed trying to get Henry to the pool while managing an extremely brave and active 18 month old.  Getting phone calls about people's opinions and texts for my work mini fiasco.  We made it to the pool and I finally sat down on the parents' bench to watch Henry and sat in an inch of water.  In my jeans.  Still holding a wild man who by this time was slapping me across the face.  Henry's listening was limited to start, so I was at the same time giving him the mother look across the pool.  Then Hudson wanted to dive into the pool, so he resorted to screaming.  I kindly asked Henry's instructor is I was allowed to leave the area and then walked by all the other parents with my arching baby and my wet bottom.  Then I walked through the rest of the YMCA to find the kids' play gym packed for the first time since I joined.  By that time I just didn't care.  It was a port in my storm.  I managed to get a few snap shots of Henry's first lesson all the while getting extreme mother guilt about not being in a better frame of mind.  The post lesson locker room was almost a replay of the pre lesson except Henry decided to attack hug his new friend and run and scream the length of it.  By the time we made it to the door up a major flight of stairs (why didn't I take the elevator???), I just couldn't handle setting Hudson down one more time to zip Henry's coat.

It took me a while to process all of this after repenting for my attitude and mustering enough desire to make dinner.  I asked God, why after such a spiritual high did I have a crappy day?  When I started out really wanted to seek God and hear His voice.

I got this revelation about the giving thanks for all things... I tend to go to an extreme in my mind.  Like really bad things.  But I almost think it's more difficult or one needs more grace for the daily things that can needle at your nerves and mountain with pressure until you feel the weight of Everest.  It's so ridiculous.  It's almost laughable what a baby I can be.  But it's a reminder that it's all grace.  ALL.  The none of our flesh is good and I need less of me and more of Him.

So at the end of this day, I give thanks for the lesson He has taught me.

And I am still super excited about Kisses for Katie and really want everyone to read it!!

And more excited to see my big boy start swimming lessons.  He was very brave and a little naughty.  He splashed his teacher in the face.  When Dave asked him why later tonight.  He said to make her laugh.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Embracing Winter

I am embracing winter for probably the first time in my life.  At least the first time for a Maine winter.  I usually braced for winter.  I hated winter.  It's a new twist in the story of my life.   A literal work of God on my heart.

I reflected on this today as it is my late brother's 38th birthday.  Been gone five and half years almost.  1 year 4 months and 27 days older than I.  It wasn't a day of sadness.  It made me think about what God has done in the biggest "winter" of my life.

Winter used to mean grayness, unnecessary suffering - something to be "lived" through and loathed.  I guess I applied that to many areas of my life I didn't like.  Just get through.

And then there's a winter so brutal that leaves you so wrecked there's no pretending.  There's no, "Well, God wants you to have joy (I know He does)."  There's no just slapping a Bible verse on it.  It's a cut so deep it tears through your soul ripping you to the core of your being.  Where death is more welcoming than living.  It's brutal and it's real.  And you just don't get it until you've been there.  There's no fixing yourself.  I mean, you could actually just pretend on the surface whilst you slowing implode.  People do that.  Or slowly harden your heart with bitterness.  Yup, I could see that happening.  Could have been me.   Could put on the church smile and manicure your life to appear whatever you perceive everyone wants out of you.

But true healing comes from the Lord.  It can't be analyzed or prescribed.  It can't be timed, forced or manipulated.

That brings me back to winter.  I used to see only the horrible parts of winter.  Now I see so much beauty.  Where there were masses of greenery masking the gray and hard bodies of trees, now are exposed for everyone to see.  Not that we have to be exposed to everyone.  But I am learning to welcome the Lord exposing things to me in my life.  Imperfections and scars are shameful.  A healing season after a brutal winter can change your perception.  There's clarity and definition in the winter season.  The snow and ice that frame the branches offers a clean visual of straight and crooked lines.  So much beauty.  Each tree is beautiful.  It's battle in the wind, drought and rain has made it unique.  It's imperfections can bring a greater depth of beauty.  All of this can be seen in the winter.

I am so thankful for the healing God has done in my life.  I wouldn't have understood on this level without a deep shattering and breaking of my life.  But like snow makes everything clean and pure - his love and righteousness cover me.  He shows me new things are to come.  And while there are times I am crippled with pain - like when I see my brother's name chiseled into a grave stone - there are still so many things that cripple me.  I embrace that pain and thank God that I have His power, His life and I am still living.  I want to live.

Live for my brother.  He was frail.  He was imperfect.  But he lived out his faith in ways that some of us have never done.  He got out of his comfort zone, loved people and was a doer of the Word.  He helped orphans and families around the world.  He didn't wait until he was perfect to do that.  We have nothing to wait for.  I have nothing to wait for.  Just to live.  For God.  And I have.  But on a new level.  Thank You, God, that if we offer our pain, heartaches, bad decisions to You, you can make something beautiful.

Happy Birthday, Vinny.  You have left a legacy.  And your nephew Henry sang happy birthday to you in heaven.

Pease Family Cousins.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

End of Year Post

Wow, a lot has happened in a year.

We took our first family vacation.

I attended my first Melaleuca convention and saw my business grow.

Hudson turned one.

We saw Rye & Tim return for a second year on the mission field.

We took our second family vacation.  But technically it doesn't count if you are visiting family?

We made a decision to see if God would open doors for us to move back to Maine.

We saw God open doors.

We got a contract on our house while visiting  Maine.  A total miracle.  Seriously.

We sold our house and bought an incredible house.

We moved.  My father and uncle drove our moving truck from Maryland.

My mom graciously hosted us for two weeks before we closed on a house.

We had more help than we have ever had moving in and cleaning our house.

We were sad to say goodbye to our church but love our new church (new/old) in Maine.

We love our new babysitter.

We got the fantastic news that my cousin Annie is pregnant with her first child and moving to Toronto.

We have been able to see our family in Maine so much more.

Especially Teagan and Christopher - we are their only aunt and uncle so that makes them special.

We got to meet Jana's third daughter Vera.

Have made some great new friends and gotten closer to others.

We are grateful.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Merry Christmas!!  I will be posting some photos later!  We are having a wonderful Christmas in Maine with our two little boys.  Such a joy and such a gift.  Dave got me some great new books and I loved the quote on the back of the CS Lewis book.  So good.

"There is no safe investment.  To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy is damnation.  The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."