Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A great quote...

I love this quote (not sure who said it):
"She is secure in knowing that she's not a replacement, but a finisher of a race for someone who, for whatever reason, could not run any longer."

That is how we feel about parenting our kids. All of them. We started the race for three of them, but are honored to be finishing the race for five of them. We really do try to honor the kids first moms and dads and talk about them when the kids want to. It is a fine line, honoring, but allowing the kids to revel in their current lives. Some families do ceremonies to honor birth moms, we will have to think about it. Two of my kids don't recall their moms, they died when the kids were very young, one doesn't know anything of the father, and they all have histories and stories that are wonderful and painful, each in turn. But, as their parents, we are very comfortable with being their parents NOW, and not having been their parents earlier. It isn't threatening, thank goodness. Not for us, at least today. Feelings change, I am sure!

It has been a rough couple days. We are trying to get the new bathroom done so our homestudy can be signed off on. And our plumber has dragged us along for over a month, and after the awful work he has done in the last week, we fired him last night. So now we are back at square one. Sigh.

Finishing the homestudy just feels like one of those things we have to do, to close this chapter in our lives. We aren't convinced that God wants to do anything with it, but we just really want it finished and completed. Then God can do with it as he will.

So, if you know an plumber who would love to help out an adoptive family (meaning being reasonable priced and letting us help as we can to speed things along) please contact us!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A great video!

I loved Carrie Underwood's song "Jesus Take the Wheel", but really haven't followed her music much since then. Well, a friend sent this link, and I was very impressed. Really gets you thinking about so many things!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LraOiHUltak

Well, I am off to laundry, cleaning, teaching, trimming hooves, loving on kiddos and waiting on the plumber. Our bathroom project is limping along, mainly limping because the plumber has only shown up when he said he would one out of three times. Sigh. I don't know what to think. We are very used to doing it ourselves and not waiting on someone else, but this job is beyond us. I think once the plumbing portion is done we will go at it on our own. I have so far lost two days of work to this insanity. Hard to pay for the job if I cannot go to work to pay for it! Sigh. God is in control, God is in control. And at least it is a sunny day outside so I can enjoy it with the kids - can we say "schooling outside???"!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Would you believe????

That I am writing this post on my laptop at the dining room table, while I stand here making waffles?

Yep.

I like to cook, but it can be quite something to have the energy some days in the midst of the wonderfulness of life. Now isn't that a nice way to put a spin on it?

So, one way I deal with that is to cook in bulk. And by that, I mean bulk way beyond the usual bulk cooking I do just to feed the number of hungry kids in our home! Our regular recipes obviously are much larger than a family of four would need. So, to make waffles and have substantial leftovers (look, if I'm going to stand here and mix all this up and then hang out in front of the griddle for what feels like forever, I don't want to have to do it again any time soon - I would rather spend more time and be done with it for a while) - anyway, we take our recipe and multiply it times ten. Now, I don't have a mixing bowl that large. I don't know that anyone does outside of a bakery. Maybe I should think about that? Hmmm. But,there really isn't space in our house for that either.

Anyway, back to the story (or ramble, as it may actually be).

So, I make LOTS of waffles and freeze quite a lot of them. Put it this way. I made waffles for dinner last night (recipe times five) and the kids ate it all as fast as I could get it off the griddle. So this morning I did a batch of ten times, and while the kids ate it, some had cereal, some did whatever, but since they had had some waffles last night, some of the novelty had worn off, so I had some more left. However, given the capacity of waffle irons on the market for regular people, it takes a long time to use up all the batter we made! We even had to leave some for a second cooking session tonight.

Gasp - I skipped church tonight (after a very busy day) because I knew that I had several hours of waffle baking ahead of me, as well as MANY loads of laundry (the down side of demanding the kids completely clean their rooms, including under their beds!!!!

So, anyway, here I am at 10PM, still cooking waffles. I have been at it since 7PM. The giant soup kettle I make my batter in (again, need something huge) is nearing empty! The kids helped quite a bit, watching waffles, laddling in batter, washing dishes, folding laundry, but now they are all safely tucked into bed. ]

What in heaven's name do you do while waiting for a waffle to cook?

Sort laundry
Scrub the outside of the stove
Start the stove self cleaning
Scrub the water cooler and floor around it (it sits right next to the stove)
Clean off the table - directing kiddos where to put things or one to watch the waffles
Listen to kids telling stories about riding the horse moments before
Put things in better order in the pantry
Kill the stray ant that somehow walked in
Trip over baby goat
Put diaper on said goat
Direct someone to heat up a bottle for said goat so said goat will quit crawling up my legs and nibbling on my pants
Remind kids to take their medicine/vitamins
Hook up the laptop and try to get on the internet, between waffles

I almost tried to find a way to pull out paint to start painting in here, but that would really just go very badly - paint in waffles, waffle batter in paint, paint on a kid, it just wouldn't be good.

Do you have any secrets for creative ways to pass time when you are stuck to the stove? Or am I just getting punch after about 50 waffles? I am thinking it is the latter. Time to go play Farmville on Facebook. Good night! Hope you got a laugh. Doggone it, baby goat just woke up!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday!

It is a special day as we consider all our Lord has done for us. However, our day here hasn't been all that out of the ordinary, maybe sad to say.

The usual chores, getting moving on things, animal chores, kid care, school and learning, and a short stint at work for me.

We did have friends stop by this afternoon - it was such a beautiful day and the kids got to ride the pony (if they wanted to), jump on the trampoline, find eggs and play with baby goats. That was great fun! AND, I got to snuggle with their almost three month old baby, which was awesome!!! Love those baby snuggles!

My thoughtful part of the post is a request for input. There is always a lot of talk this time of year about how we are saved by God's grace, by Jesus' sacrifice. That that and that alone is our salvation, that nothing we can do can make us deserving, as we have all fallen short of the glory of God. "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men."
Titus 2:10-12

Absolutely, totally get that. No matter what I do, how hard I try, I cannot live a sinless life. I am human and it just isn't possible. Thankful for grace here, the gift that I cannot earn or ever deserve.

However, there is also that bit about "faith without works is dead". James 2:14-26
"14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. "

Okay, so the dispute I have heard in circles is that it just doesn't matter what we do.

I would have to say "yes" and "no" and always have, but have never quite been able to say why, beyond because I believe that given the gift of salvation, we really should do something about it. Not that we have to, but we SHOULD.

So, I have been listening to lots of books on tape or CD as I drive lately, and my favorites by far are CS Lewis and John Piper, though I admit, I really have to think things through, but both are very challenging!

Well, John Piper was discussing justification and sanctification.

Justification is a declaration of innocence. Jesus went before us to plead our case to God, upon our request for salvation, and we were declared innocent, cleansed, wiped clean. Justified means declared innocent in a court.

Well, then, so we are justified upon our salvation and requesting Jesus's salvation and turning our lives to Him. That I could follow.

Sanctification is becoming more and more Christ-like. It is a process we all go through in our faith walk, or at least we should. God changes us to become more like Him, if we allow. Got it.

So, back to the faith versus works debate. I had a light bulb moment that really made things make sense to me. Feel free to jump in and tell me what you think, but maybe I finally just got it.


We are Justified by Grace. We are Sanctified through Works.

God's grace is the only thing that can save us, the only thing that can declare us clean and worthy. Because face it, we aren't.

But then in order to become more and more Christ-like, to go further in our faith walk, we must work. And everyone's work is different as God has made each of us different. But we MUST actively do something. So, that is how Faith without Works is dead. We still have the Grace, but we haven't moved farther down the lane to all that God has designed. If we don't do the works, we are still saved, God still loves us, it is all there. We don't lose it. But we do lose the opportunity to become more Christlike and in God's image, which is ultimately what we desire.

Let me know if you think I am making sense from a theological perspective, but I think it fits with what scripture says. I think it makes sense to me. It certainly explains a lot to me, but then I am generally a works based person anyway (my love language is definitely service!).