Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Puppy thanks

After a very trying week last week, this week has been trying also but in a different way.  In the past, I should know by now, that whenever I have had been bombarded and overwhelmed, there is something over the horizon God is preparing me for.

 Today, I woke up feeling heavy and just plain burdened.  For my children, my husband, and those around me who have no hope.  I have also been dealing with guilt from not being the mom my children have needed me to be.  Do they struggle because I have not effectively been who I needed to be?  Sometimes it really gets to me!  I know all about the stuff that we are not perfect and God steps in the gap and our children learn to know God and trust Him no matter what we do.  Yes, I believe ALL of that!  I will NEVER be perfect and God's grace will see me through but I also know there are times when I have just been lazy and disobedient and those are the times that get to me.  I lay in bed at night praying for God's hand to be upon them and show them how much I love them and Him!

Later in the day, I had an opportunity that came up to be Jesus hands and feet.  It came out of nowhere!  We are now living in a neighborhood that is so lost!  We have had the blessing of witnessing to others and showing God's love by just accepting people for who they are.  The people directly next door to us, have a very sad situation and they have been on our hearts.  We have brought them meals, and just talked with them.  They have a little deaf girl and my 13 year old is learning sign language so that has been HUGE for both of them!  (The mom does not know any sign language so it has been good for her also.)  A couple days ago, the grandparents who lived there, just moved out one night.  It seemed peculiar but we let it go.  For days they have not been around, until today.  I was excited to see her and said hello and asked her how things were going.  "Not well!" she said.  She continued to share her heart and circumstances with me.  It was a very sad story!  My heart broke.  I asked her if I could pray with her and she said, "Please, I need somebody to!"  I took her hand with me on one side of the fence and her the other, and prayed with her.  I looked up and the tears were streaming down her face.  It was a moment I will not forget.  This family has needs and I was so humbled to know that God placed me, today, to care for somebody and their soul!  What a privilege and joy!

I sit in my comfortable home, with food, blankets and love!  I have heard it for years, but I am in awe of how many people around me are hurting and crying out to be loved!  It is real!  God desires to use His own to be His hands and His feet.  How far am I willing to go?  Will I always respond in obedience or will I take the lazy way out and ignore those around me because it costs me to much?  Will I focus on my needs or will I give up everything so other's can see the love of Christ knowing that God will take care of me? 

I can't just let it go anymore!  I don't want to look away anymore and not do anything making excuses and hoping somebody else will step in.  I know what it is like to be on the "need" side of things and maybe this is the way God is allowing me to give back what He so freely and gracefully gave us!  What ever it is, I'm in!  Please look around you and ask God to share the needs of other's with you.  There are so many hurting people!  My hope, no matter how bad things get, is in Jesus!  There are some who have NO hope, so they think!  I want to show them who their hope is!

Just for a fun end of the story...later in the day, after helping our neighbors, they came over and offered us a token of their thanks.  An adorable...Puppy!

  No, I don't want one!  We just got rid of one and trying to get rid of another dog.  How do you say "no"?  They have no money but they thanked us with something they could make money from!!  The look in her eyes was so intense and she said, "My husband wants to thank you for all you have done for us so he wants to give you our last puppy for free!"  I respectfully told her I would have to ask my husband but we probably would not be able to keep him!  I felt like a heel!  I think I will let my husband handle this one! :)

To be continued... 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sand soap and noodles on the wall

Our home is overflowing with boys!  7 boys 11 years and younger to be exact!  Yes, we have 4 girls but my boys are leaving their mark/marks all over!  I say and do some things during the day that when I sit down at night I CANNOT believe I have done and said!  Here are a few:

  • "NO!!!  PLEASE stop throwing your wet pull-up against the dresser!  Now go pick up all the pieces!"
  • Speaking of pull-ups, it is NOT fun to cleaning up the contents of them after they have gone through the wash cycle in the washing machine!
  • "Why do you have your brother's pants down?"
  • Speaking of pants down, I have now changed a diaper in every place imaginable!  From the living room floor to a car floor and I have even changed one while they are sitting up in a stroller! (Although I don't recommend it!)
  • While we are on that subject, I NEVER understand why I don't just wash a pair of boy's underwear when I am in doubt if they are dirty!  Smelling them first is just not the best idea! 
  • "NO you cannot ride on that dog!"
  • "Get your feet out of your baby's sister's face!  She does NOT want to kiss your toes!"
  • Speaking of toes, I will never figure out how we are always looking for a "pair" of shoes as we are racing out the door and usually the match is not even located in the home when it is found! It's usually outside, in the car, a mud puddle or possibly hanging on the basketball rim!
  • "No, I don't know what will happen if you throw that spaghetti noodle up to the ceiling fan!  No, I don't WANT to know!  Yes, you might think it would be fun but I don't!"
  • It is always a mystery to me how a boy can be in a shower for a VERY long time and get out with knees, ankles and face still caked with dirt!
  • Speaking of showering, how is it that I can shower for months, possibly years, and the shower curtain NEVER falls down, but when 2 brother's are in together, the curtain falls EVERY time!
  • There are times when I have bought a brand new bottle of shampoo only to find it totally empty the next day with a HUGE soap scum ring up to the top of the tub!  Gives a new meaning to bubble bath!
  • I have picked up the bar of soap at the bottom of the tub and start to soap off only to realize that it was COVERED in sand!!  Good for exfoliating I guess!
  • "It is not kind to tell that man that his hair is messed up and a good thing he does not have much!"
  • "We DO NOT hold each other down until they scream!  Why?  Because it is just not nice!"
  • I am soooo thankful I do have 7 boys around!  We have on occasion, bats in our house and they are ALWAYS willing to slay them for me with a tennis racket!  For that I am VERY thankful!
  • "Why is there underwear in the ceiling light?"
  • "Get off the garage roof and get that ladder back NOW!!!"
There are days, I wonder if I will make it through!  I have learned to ask myself MANY times, will they be doing this 10 years from now and does it really matter?  (I have also come to find that I don't always like the answer!)  Lol!  My guess is some of these things they might still be doing 10 years from now!  *sigh*  So for now, I must take a deep breath and learn to laugh it away and remind myself that someday, I WILL miss this!  Life with little boys is always an adventure but I LOVE seeing their little innocent ways and how they bring me flowers (weeds)  just because they want to see me smile!  I hope they do grow up and call me "blessed" some day!  It will be worth the sand soap and noodles on the walls!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Is this normal?

This week was FULL of unexpected things!  I am really ready to have things calm down quite a bit!  I know life with many children will always have times that bring chaos but this week was almost more than I could handle.  As I sit back now, I realize I have survived and am actually better for it!  I learned to lean more on my Heavenly Father and learned the hard way that I CANNOT do it alone!  How crazy of me to think I even could attempt to stay sane without leaning on Him!  Nobody lost their life and we are all in one piece so it is nothing earth shattering but lots of little things can add up and wear a person down!

  • rock going through a door window
  • had to buy a new door
  • child with a growth on his finger lead us to 3 doctor appts in 2 days
  • 4 year old cut his eye which lead to an ER visit
  • washing machine broke AGAIN!
  • can't get it fixed until This Wednesday!
  • landromat trips (for us, that is an ordeal!)
  • refridgerator that is only 2 years old, thawed out all of our food and quit working
  • while husband is unemployed, that food is NOT easy to replace!
  • car window shot out by a bb gun
  • that window will have to be covered with something besides real glass for now!
I know, in retrospect it really is not that bad but while walking through it, you just wonder what is coming next!  For today, things are calm (well kind-of) and I am ready for a week of "normalness", whatever that means!  Hoping this past week will not be a new "normal" for us!  I sat down Saturday evening with my head still spinning and I watched 3 sermons from various pastor's.  Everyone of them spoke something into my spirit that God intended for me to hear.  What a joy to know that as I sat there, God had something just for me!  I was on His heart during all the circumstances in my week!  He never lost sight of me even when I lost sight of Him!

It always seems when it rains it pours!  Sometimes I think it is a wakeup call from God, that I am attempting something I am not capable of!  A way to get through the day without constantly calling on Him!  He tells me that when I am weary, He will give me rest!  I have been weary, I have called on Him and I am learning that He has giving me rest and it is such a better place to be! 

What will this week hold?  I have NO idea!  However, I do know who holds my week in HIS hand!  That is all I need to know! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This is how we roll...

...Or at least not stick to everything!

 After 8 boys, I have learned that eating popsicles in the bathtub,
Is by FAR the easiest way to clean up!
And OH sooooo fun for them!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Our Standard

A few days ago while on the treadmill (I pray lots when I am on it), God asked me a question..."Heather, where do you receive your standard for your family?"  I began to think about it for a time and was really surprised and disappointed with my answer. 

Having a large family puts a lot of pressure and a mom!  I have watched the Dugger's, we know many other families who have many children and I always come up with the same feeling..."What am I doing wrong?!  Everyone else has it all together!"  Then the comments I receive such as:

You are a super mom! 
How do you do it?
You are AMAZING!
Your kids are so well behaved!
Do you ever lose it?  It sure doesn't look like it!
You look so normal!  (Still wonder what that means!)

With all of that going on, it makes me really crazy sometimes!  Because guess what?  I am NOT  a "super" mom, I am NOT amazing most days, my kids have meltdowns, bad attitudes, fight and talk back, I DO lose it and I guess maybe I look "normal" (still not totally sure about that one) but sometimes I don't feel like I am!  With all of that being said, Christ is completing Himself in me day after day and through His grace, I am doing what He has called me to do,


I get sucked in to trying to be someone I am not sometimes and trying to imitate other's because I THINK that is what my standard should be!  Self-imposed misery, guilt, desperation, and inadequacy is what that brings!  Yes, we have a big family but why do I think we should all sing, play instruments, eat only organic foods, wear skirts, and make our own bread?  Now, those things are great but if that is not what God has for our family right now, that's okay too! 

My answer to the above question was, my standard was being set by what I perceive other's have done with their large families.  I was not looking to God for what HIS standard it for us. 

Our family LOVES sports and we LOVE to meet neighbors and cook meals for them, and my girls and I also love to serve in our women's ministry at our church.  So my search for what "gifts" God has given our family is finally surfacing and I am asking GOD what we can do for Him!  My husband has been unemployed for 19 months now and for many months, it was a battle.  Questions are now starting to be answered.  We feel we are going the direction we have longed for but did not know how to get there.  Dad is at home with the boys most of time, while going out and doing "work" with the boys to provide income.  The girls and I are sewing (well, I AM doing that!),  baking and selling Tupperware to sell at our town's summer flea market.  My oldest daughter plays the violin, my middle daughter is playing the guitar, the younger daughter plays the piano and the baby daughter, is just plain cute!  We are starting to sing together and not sure yet how God will use that but it does not matter right now!  We are doing it for God and that is what matters!! 

In this society, other's lives look appealing and can make us feel inferior or maybe even make us strive for something that is not Godly for us!  (Even though it may be Godly for someone else!)   You can get really weary striving for something that is not meant to be!  I am learning to look to God for His standard for our family.  Writing down all of the special things that make my children who they are and encouraging those things in them so that God can do what He desires through them.

As for me?  I have to look to my husband and God and His word for what His standard is for us.  I don't have to live up to what other's think and try to please them.  I only need to have eyes for my heavenly Father and ask for HIS direction.  There is SO much peace in not striving anymore to be somebody we are not!  I am a mother of 12 children but I struggle just as much as a mom with 1 or 2 children!  I don't have it all together and I am constant prayer day in and day out to fight my fleshly battles!  God is so faithful and I am so blessed but please don't put us mother's of large families on a pedestal! (Maybe that will help you realize we are just like you!)  We are no different than anyone else trying to seek God and live for Him!  We have lots to love and lots to endure but so do other people!  God gives us much grace and teaches us as we go just as He did in bible times and as He does now in the 21st century!!

What is your standard of who you and your family are?  Do you compare with other's or do you look to the One who created you and your family?  Don't let the enemy steal the blessing God has for you by wasting your time striving for something He does not intend for you!  Look to Him and will show you! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Birthday Blessings for the Blessed Man

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper

Psalm 1:1-3

I am so privileged to have a man that this verse
describes!  He is in love with God,me and our children and
gives all that he has to us day in and day out without
ever giving it a second thought!

The tree that he is like, is planted in our home and
love flows from it!  Whether he has plenty or little,
he prospers!  The love of Christ flows from him and
I am honored to be his wife!

Happy Birthday sweetheart!  You are treasured!  I love you!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Sisters are the BEST! I lost my only sister in a
car accident when I was 16 so I never get to
experience the joy that sisters bring!
Yes, there are times when it's not so rosy but the
fun and togetherness FAR outweigh the struggles!
I have watched them grow from playmates to best friends.
They encourage each other and frustrate each other
They share each other's clothes and their hearts too
A life-long bond that will not fade with
but deepen
A true treasure to hear them talk about
 the things of Christ and listen to them as
 they help each other learn the ropes
 of growing up

I never had this, but I get to WATCH it right before
my eyes!
The giggles, jokes, and realizing life together side by
 side is truly pricesless!
What a gift from God sister's are!

Monday, May 7, 2012


This week...

 we are going swimming
we have a violin recital to attend
we will be enjoying beautiful spring weather
I am going to lunch with a sweet friend
I will be spending time with my parents
the girls and I will be planning a banquet for Mother's Day for our church
we will be shopping for the banquet
 we will be cleaning
we are trying to get rid of an adorable beagle puppy (anyone interested?)
I will continue to listen to a sermon series online
I will continue the "Weigh Down Diet" (More on that to come)
our family will continue to enjoy watching our littlest one learn to walk (F I N A L L Y!)
I will be on my knees LOTS!
my prayer list has gotten really long!
I have fallen in love with my husband all over again!
I will watch God do MORE amazing things in our marriage
I will be listening more and talking less
I will walk in the ways of the Lord
it will not be by my strengh but through HIM!

Psalm 73:28
But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

19 years

The life of my dreams!
I am living it!
Easy all the time?
However, when you have someone beside you through the good and the bad,
The tough times become a little less "tough"!

Since I was a little girl playing with my dolls,
I dreamed of a daddy for them.
A man who would love me and look past all of my unlovlies
Who would guide my children in the ways of the Lord

God crossed our paths 18 years ago
And 19 years ago today,
He brought our hearts together as one.

It has been a journey I would not trade for anything!
We are a 3 stranded cord that cannot be broken.
God being that middle strand!

I love you!

I can't wait to see what another 19 years brings!
12 more children?
Doubt it!
But I am sure that God will amaze us!


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