Thursday, March 24, 2011

[House Cleaning- looking ahead!] March 24, 2011

To A Clean House!

Well, despite the fact that (or perhaps because of…) my house is currently destroyed and awaiting a layer of drywall, and, oh, yes, another wall torn out (ah!) I have decided to put together a plan for maintaining a clean house.

Although I was inspired by FlyLady, after looking through her “BabySteps” program, I decided that I would be better off creating my own.

So! Here I am, with my dirty house before me (but exciting plans to have a bigger living-room within the next two weeks!) and a plan forming in my head.

This is the way it works:

I will make a 3o day list. Each day will add a new “step” to my daily routine. We’ll start with this month and if it works well, I will continue to make monthly plans at the beginning of each.

What do I hope to accomplish?

I want to break my habit of: not cleaning, not cleaning, not cleaning… OH MY GOSH! MY HOUSE IS A DISASTER AND I CAN’T HANDLE ANOTHER MINUTE OF IT!!! I’M GOING CRAZY. STAY OUT OF MY WAY EVERYONE SO I CAN CLEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get the idea? Good.

April 2011

Day 1. Clear off and wash the counter. (I know, know, know that I always feel best when my pretty counter top is cleared and washed. It is the “center-piece” of my kitchen and I love, love, love it.)

Day 2. Put in contacts and put on a little make-up. (I always – and I do mean always – feel better and more productive when the glimpses I see in the mirror are not frumpy.)

Day 3. Wash the dishes. (Note to self: Leave dishes on counter until ready to wash them. Do not pile them in your amazing-extra-deep sink where they are hidden until they have multiplied from five to five hundred.)

Day 4. Make sure you are doing previous three things every day.

Day 5. Set timer for 2 minutes. CLEAR OFF CORNER CUPBOARD. (Although it is a natural “catch-all” I have already purchased enough containers/baskets that there should NOT EVER BE A PILE OF STUFF ON IT!)

Day 6. Go into bedroom: hang up at least five things. (I hate hangers. Hate, hate, hate them. But I hate things on my floor even more.)

Day 7. Set timer for 15 minutes. Sweep and “spot mop” floor. (I hate mopping so I am hoping that this will eliminate the need. J )

Day 8. Pick one room. Set timer for 5 minutes. Pick up. (I’m notoriously bad at just setting things down wherever. Ugh.)

Day 9. Empty all trash baskets. Pick 10 things to throw away. TAKE OUT TRASH. (I’m horrible at emptying the trash baskets. There are only four. I don’t know what my problem is. And, there are always more things that need to be thrown away that haven’t made it to the trash yet. Not to mention- it only takes five minutes to take the trash across the road- why do I feel the need to leave it for my husband to do?)

Day 10. Wash windows. (There are only like, five. Stop whining.)

Day 11. Get a rag. DUST THE LIVING ROOM. (Yes, I hate dusting. Always have. Still, there is no reason- whatsoever! That my living room windowsill should have dust all over it.)

Day 12. What is on top of the fridge? Should it be there? Do you need to dust it? (I’m short. I forget that there is stuff up there half the time.)

Day 13. Wash bathroom sink. Wipe and brush toilet. (Hopefully this has been done in the past thirteen days but regardless…do it again! J )

Day 14. Set timer for 5 minutes. Clean off the top of dresser. (This is very important! We keep all our receipts and tax things on our dresser. There are FILES for them. But they end up just piled there until… you know, next year.)

Day 15. Make bed. (I’m deciding to over-rule my husband. He’d rather the bed not be made. However! If the bed is made then I keep the room cleaner. Not sure why. It just is what it is.)

Day 16. Set timer for 5 minutes. Clean under bed. (Since our laundry is in our bedroom it is very easy for stray socks, underwear, bandanas, gloves, etc… to disappear under our bed.)

Day 17. Organize the kid’s toys/books. (They’re upstairs. Out of sight. Out of mind. But kind of embarrassing when you’re giving someone a tour of the house and you trip over them.)

Day 18. Wash – microwave, coffee pot, other appliances. (I rarely use the microwave but my husband does…so, I often am shocked when I open it and see the mess that has accumulated.)

Day 19. Go out to the vehicles. Get all pieces of clothing that got lost in them. Bring inside and put in laundry! (I can’t tell you how many times I “lose” things only to find out they got stuck in the trunk of the car!)

Day 20. Go through sock drawer. Do some need darning? Did you stuff things in there that don’t belong? Clean it out. Organize it. (We are very limited on space. I really need to keep at this because about once a month I think that I’m totally out of socks and then realize… no, they are just stuffed in the back where I can’t find them.)

Day 21. Sweep bathroom floor. Especially BEHIND THE DOOR. (See, the problem is that I only see behind the door while sitting on the toilet. And, well, I don’t keep a broom by the toilet.)

Day 22. Set timer for 5 minutes. Scrub tub. (I have one of those really cheap, incredibly annoying bathtubs. The problem with it? It doesn’t actually come clean. Like, the plastic discolors and you can’t fix it. Unfortunately, that has made me lazy. If you can’t completely clean it… why try? No more. Will scrub even if there are not noticeable differences. Clean is good.)

Day 23. Sweep cobwebs. (My house is over a hundred years old. It was a pigeon barn at one time. I get a lot of cobwebs.)

Day 24. Wash mirrors. (I have several throughout the house. Including a huge beautiful one in my living room!)

Day 25. Clean oven top. (Yes, this means that one must TAKE OFF GRATES AND PULL OUT THE CATCH-PANS AND SCRUB THEM!)

Day 26. Go back over list. Is there something that you’ve been forgetting to do that should be added back in? (I know myself well.)

Day 27. Plan dinner. (As in, get stuff out of the freezer if you need to!)

Day 28. Drink water. (Yes. You. DRINK.)

Day 29. I wasn’t kidding. DRINK WATER. (No excuses. Go buy a water-bottle if you have to.)

Day 30. Take a deep breath. Do a little dance around the living room. THEN GET YOUR REAR IN GEAR AND START ON NEXT MONTHS LIST!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

[Wait] March 21, 2011

Everyone has a different story. Still, the basis of the story is always the same.

God, searching, working, drawing.

Us, running, fighting, hurting.

And this is the good part:

When we stop-

When we turn-

When we listen-

He touches.



And the story repeats over and over through a lifetime.

When I was single, God gave me a poem. It is called Wait. I don’t know if I found it on the internet or if someone gave it to me… I just know that I ended up with a copy of it.

I felt like it spoke directly to me. Answered every cry.

Now, many years later, I ran across the same poem. My circumstances are different now. But the story is the same. And God spoke again.


By Colin Creel

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:

Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied:

I pled and wept for a clue to my fate,

And the Master so gently said, “Child, you must wait.”

My future and all to which I can relate

Hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?

I’m needing a “yes”, a go-ahead sign,

Or even a “no” to which I can resign.

And Lord, you promised that if we believe

We need but to ask, and we shall receive.

And Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:

I’m weary of asking! I need a reply!

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate

As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”

So I slumped in my chair, defeat and taut

And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting…for what?”

He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,

And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.

I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.

I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.

All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be,

You would have what you want- But, you wouldn’t know me.

You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint;

You’d not know the power that I give to the faint;

You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair,

You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there;

You’d not know the joy of resting in Me

When darkness and silence were all you could see.

You’d never experience that fullness of love

As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;

You’d know that I give and I save…(for a start)

But you’d not know the depth of the beat of my Heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,

The faith that I give when you walk without sight,

The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked

Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,

What it means that “My grace is sufficient for thee.”

Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,

But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I’m doing in you!

So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see

That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.

And though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late,

My most precious answer of all is still, “Wait.”

[books/2] March 18, 2011

The Books I’m Reading

Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life by Ed Cyzewski

I think maybe the title of this book is a bit misleading. When I picked it up, I expected… well, to feel like I did when I was at Bible College and we all sat around drinking coffee after meals and debating about theology.

It’s not really like that.

That’s not say that it isn’t a good book. Just different that I anticipated.

I’d say that this book is more like… a text book for those who struggle with understanding what theology is. There are diagrams and detailed information, as well as lists of books that you can read on each subject that is discussed.

That said, there are a few things that are worth mentioning.

1. To understand true theology, you have to first establish a relationship with God.

“Most simply put, we understand God through a relationship with God.”

2. It is important to be aware of “Contextual Theology” or, in other words, the fact that our understanding of theology is greatly influenced by our culture or “context”.

3. Cyzewski tells a brilliant story about a fellow student from India who was in his theology class at college. When starting a discussion about what doctrines are just cause for a church split, the young man says, “Back in India, my church would never divide over disagreements about theology.” They then learned that in India, the elders would simply confront someone with wrong doctrine and if they didn’t listen- they would prevent them from tithing!

Good point, if we divide the church over false teaching, who will guide the people in error back to truth?”

4. Sometimes we really believe things… and we’re wrong. Cyzewski explains about how he once believed that the “Toronto Blessing” (Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship) was a hoax. Then he met a girl (whom he eventually married) and saw her family’s prison ministry that had been greatly influenced by the “happenings” at Toronto- and he could not deny that it was God moving.

“Thankfully, my beliefs about the Holy Spirit weren’t hardened to the point of rejecting the ministry of Julie’s parents. I could have just stood up and left when the ‘crazy stuff’ started to happen. Well, given that we were in a prison, I could have at least tried to leave. Still, I willingly stayed and learned and changed. I now read the Bible with greater awareness of how the Holy Spirit works in our world, and consequently I pray with a new urgency and expectation that God desires to do something wonderful.”

Friday, March 18, 2011

[books] March 14, 2011

I often have a pile of books that I am reading. Not usually a pile of novels. Those I read through in just a sitting or two. But “thought” books (non-fiction, often theological but sometimes not…) take a bit more time and I often have to stop and find a notebook and pen so I can write down quotes or just take a few notes.

This morning I finished a couple of them and felt inspired to write down a few thoughts on each. So, I’m going to just start at the top of the pile and work my way down! Here are the first two:

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

I have to tell you, I’ve wanted to read this book for quite some time. However, after reading a review of Rob Bell’s Love Wins, I was a bit apprehensive. For some reason, both these pastors have been in the same compartment in my mind.

They shouldn’t have been.

Crazy Love is one of the best books on God/the church that I’ve read in a long, long time.

“We need to stop giving people excuses to not believe in God. You’ve probably heard the expression ‘I believe in God, just not organized religion.’ I don’t think that people would say that if the church truly lived like we are called to live. The expression would change to ‘I can’t deny what the church does but I don’t believe in their God.’ ’At least then they’d address their rejection of God rather than use the church as a scapegoat.”

And that, friends, was just the forward.

This book is written in a “new generation” format- there are websites listed to look things up, directions to stop reading the book and go watch youtube videos, and reference to building projects that hit the $20 million dollar mark.

Still, even “old-school” people such as myself who don’t own TV’s, go to the library for internet access and try to keep all building projects under three thousand dollars, can enjoy and embrace the message given.

Chan takes the first three chapters to lay a foundation about God. To begin with, stop praying/talking and start thinking/listening about who God is. Do you actually know?

Steeped in Scripture and quotes from giants of the faith like A.W. Tozer, Crazy Love seeks to put a fire under the church to start living dangerously.

At the same time, on a personal level, it strives to open our eyes to the relentless love of our Creator. To free those who are bound by the chains of “perfection” (what we think we need) then “guilt” (what we get when we fail) and spin them around to face a God who is passionately in love with them.

Healing Sands by Nancy Rue & Stephen Arterburn

Actually, yes, this is a novel. However, I think it worthy of mentioning. I’m pretty much in love with Nancy Rue. Her writing is clear and concise, making it read like your watching a movie. I’m not that good of a writer, nor will I probably ever be, but I can fully appreciate it!

Healing Sands is the third in the Sullivan Crisp novels. (Healing Stones and Healing Waters precede it) I wasn’t crazy about Healing Waters but that had to do with the story-line, not the writing.

Just a little background: Sullivan Crisp is a psychologist who uses different (as in, not the norm) methods to reach his clients. An on-going behind the scenes story about him stretches through all three novels.

Healing Sands tells the story of Ryan, a focused, driven photographer who comes home after six-months in Africa on assignment to find her ex-husband with a new girlfriend and her two sons uninterested in reviving their relationship with her.

When she goes on assignment to take photographs of a murder and sees her oldest son through the view-finder of her camera- all of life screeches to a halt.

On her quest to prove her son’s innocence, she comes face to face with some of her own faults, the number one being her out-of-control anger.

Despite the fact that this novel, like many, uses outlandish circumstances (although all possible) to magnify emotional responses, the underlying journey toward surrender is something that every one of us has to face in our day to day lives.

In the end, this book’s finest quality is its sense of reality. The people involved face real situations with real emotions and real decisions that you and I might make are the outcome. All liberally sprinkled with the reminder that God is working on a bigger picture: our hearts.

Friday, March 11, 2011

[Ponderings] March 10, 2011


Did you know that Orion’s Belt is directly above my house?

It’s true.

And nothing is prettier than the sight of it on a cold clear night.


Fresh bread is just about done baking. The smell is intoxicating.

I love filling the house with lovely smells and yummy food.


I’ve been reading, A Chance To Die

The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael

Yes, I’ve read this many, many times before.

It was my most read book as a teenager.

My copy is full of highlights and pencil/pen marks and notes.

I never realized before how much it influenced my thoughts and actions.

I owe quite a lot to Amy.


I love playing marbles.

Not, like, the old kid’s game,

But a game that was made up by friends of ours-

A big wooden board,

Marbles, playing cards.

Lots of laughs.


I’ve been reading in the Psalms.

…My soul finds rest in God alone...

…My soul thirsts for you,

My body longs for you….

…In your name I will lift up my hands…

…O God, do not keep silent;

Be not quiet, O God, be not still…


…she shrank from being merely misunderstood and misjudged. So this was what those stark Scripture passages meant: dead to self, alive to God- “dead to all one’s natural earthly plans and hopes, dead to all voices, however dear, which would deafen our ears to His.” - A Chance To Die


I spend the day cleaning and rearranging my house.

I LOVE it.


I miss my husband when he’s not around.

I didn’t see him all day, except a half hour or so at lunch-

And by the time milking came,

I didn’t want him to leave me to do chores.

I just love him so much.

He makes me happy.


Amos and I are reading in Acts for our devotions.

I get so excited when I read Acts.

Makes me want to… go pray over something.


Okay. I guess that’s all for now.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

[Battles] March 6, 2011


Did you know that God sends text messages? It’s true! This past week I got two messages that seemed to be from two friends of mine… but they were not. They were from God himself. His answer to my hearts pain.

Did you know that he also sends little notes in magazines? I received the latest copy of “A New Heart” magazine and there in the first article, God had written a note. From Him to me… via Judy Squier.

Life can truly be a battle at times. I am working on another story for my “Kingdom” series. Every time I work on this project, I realize how much of the Christian life makes sense through the viewfinder of kingdoms and wars.

I was milking this morning (like every morning… ) and my mind was wandering. Suddenly I found myself getting more and more discouraged. Remembering conversations. Remembering things that should never have happened. Feeling frustrated that I had responded this way instead of that. By the time I was done, I had spent an hour thinking melancholy thoughts!

When I got inside, I felt God’s gentle reminder to turn my mind to things of Him. So, I began a list. Its been rolling around in my head all day. It has been my shield from dismal thoughts.

Brokenness Redeemed. Light in Darkness. Truth from Lies. Life from Death. Wholeness from Broken Pieces. Transparency from Shadows. Morning from Night. Grace from Condemnation. Healing from Wounds. Victory from Defeat. Joy from Mourning. Dancing from Sorrow. Trust from Betrayal. Belonging from Loneliness.

That’s as far as I got today. If you have more to add, leave them in a note! I’d love to have pages of them…

So, back to the battle. (Yes, all these pieces do fit together into one coherent thought) I have been caught in the realization that “war” is one of the best analogies of life. We’re fighting. All the time.

This morning when I was trapped in my selfish gloomy thoughts, it was the same as being in a battle and losing. When I began countering those thoughts with my list… I started winning. Each truth was like a blow from a sword or an arrow shot straight at the Enemy. Eventually he ran away. Oh, he’ll be back! But this round was won. Not because of my strength but because of God’s. The text messages. The note. The gentle reminder. His strength being poured out to me.

I'll leave you with a part of my Kingdom tale...

This is the story of “Toria”, a girl who was trapped by the Enemy and left to fight the Monsters alone until she was saved and taken to the Kingdom. Covered with scars but mostly healed, she would stay hidden when the Kings Warriors went to war, her life being controlled by fear of the monsters. She was safe but never felt like she truly belonged. This is what happened when she finally went and faced her fears.

It was then that she heard it. A low growl that made her skin crawl and her breath die in her throat. “No.” She whispered, looking around for help. No one was close enough to call out to. She heard the noise again. It was so familiar. “I said I didn’t want to come to war.” She whispered, closing her eyes and trying to pretend that everything was fine.

She opened her them and saw it. The fiery red eyes and long vicious claws. “No!” The sound was piercing and frightening. She started running, racing to escape. She never saw Clara’s head jerk up, nor did she see the Warrior-Princess deliberately turn away, so she never saw the tears that fell for her.

Toria stopped running when she came to a great stone wall. She spun around, seeing too late that she had trapped herself. It was the same monster. The one from the dungeon. The one from her nightmares. The reason she hadn’t been willing to go to war for so many years.

“Help me!” She screamed as the monster leapt toward her and the claws ripped open the old wounds on her face. She screamed again as she was knocked to the ground. Her sword was still strapped to her side, forgotten as she kicked frantically, using every bit of strength she had. Where was everyone? Why weren’t they helping her? The fear that had been laying doormat for years began to grow and spiral through her until she felt as if she couldn’t breathe. The pain blossomed and blood streamed into her eyes. With all she had left, she shoved the monster and stood to her feet. Then she ran again. She ran and ran, terrified. Something pushed her from behind and she ran faster.

Wiping the blood from her eyes she caught sight of Clara, fighting bravely. She waved her arms, hollering her name even as she felt the monsters hot breath on her neck. Clara looked toward her but continued on, never moving to save her.

Horrified, she looked around. Everyone was busy, distracted. They didn’t seem to notice that she was dying. A claw sank into her shoulder and she cried out as she went down. Why am I trying? She thought as the pain enveloped her. They don’t love me. They aren’t helping me. They promised to never feed me to the monsters, yet I am being eaten just the same.

Her hand fell limp at her side, brushing the hilt of her sword. Aldwin’s voice echoed in her memory. “Remember your sword, Tori. It is the only thing you have to fight with.” She kicked her feet against the monster and yanked her sword free. Her arm was so weak she could barely lift it. “Use the King’s name, Toria, speak it, sing it, shout it. Keep your mind on Him.” Alana’s voice whispered along with Aldwin’s.

“For the King.” The barely audible words slipped from blood stained lips. The monster roared. “For the kingdom!” She said, bracing the sword as the beast swiped at her, hitting the sharp edge. It only seemed to enrage the animal more. He drew back then charged with teeth bared.

I’m going to die. Toria groaned in agony. She scooted backward, glancing around. There was nothing. No one. It was only her and her worst nightmare. I’m all alone and I’m going to die.

The King is always with you.” Clara’s gentle whisper broke through the layers of fear that were choking her.

“Where?!” She screamed, angry. “I’m dying and where is He?” Teeth sank into her arm and the sword dropped.

Rain began to pour from the sky. The water splashed against her bloodied face. In the fog of her pain she realized that the sound of the water reminded her of the King’s voice.

She looked down and found that the sword was back in her hand. Something was lifting her from the ground. The monster was roaring again, starting to charge. Warmth pressed against her back, bracing her. She let out a war-cry and lifted her sword as the monster came. Another sword appeared beside hers and a strong arm held them both steady. She watched as the beast fell to the ground in front of her, dead.

She stood staring at the unmoving body. Every nightmare she had ever faced. Dead. The warmth at her back spread through the rest of her body. She knew who was there before she turned. Knew it was Him.

His eyes met hers. His arms surrounded her. “You came.” She whispered and cried.


It was nightfall by the time they caught up with the Company. Emberlyn rushed to meet them, Alana behind her with bandages. They surrounded her, washing her face, applying ointment, wrapping the torn flesh with strips of white cloth.

The King stood beside her, holding her hand. She wanted to ask why He had waited so long but realized that it didn’t matter. He had come.

Clara came walking up and Toria felt a stab of betrayal. The King had come but Clara had turned away from her. She had begged for help and she had been too busy. They all had. They knew of her fears. Knew what she had faced all those years in the dungeons. Now there would be more scars to add to the old.

“My King.” Clara knelt. “How goes the battle?”

The King, still holding Toria’s hand, smiled. “It goes very well, Princess.”

Clara turned her gaze to Toria. “You killed your monster.”

“No thanks to you.” Toria answered, shocked at her bitter tone.

The Princess didn’t flinch or look ashamed. “You thought you needed my help?”

“Of course I did. I was all alone.” She pointed out, frustrated that she still didn’t seem to care.

“Oh, my Tori-girl.” Clara laughed. “You were never alone.” She pointed to the King, still holding her hand. “He was fighting beside you from the very beginning. You never needed me.”

Toria turned and looked into the King’s face. “It’s true.” He said, squeezing her hand gently. “I would never leave you to face any monster alone.”

Truth filled Toria’s heart. His footsteps beside her as she ran. His hand pushing hers to her sword. His voice reminding her of all she had learned. His arms lifting her up, bracing her back. His sword joining hers in the death blow. He had been there just as He promised. Warmth spread through her. She could trust Him. Even in the middle of her pain, she could trust Him. Leaning forward, she kissed His cheek.

His hand cupped her wounded face. “Oh, Beloved.” And this time, she believed him.


It barely took a week for the wounds to heal. Nothing had cut deeper than the skin and Toria was amazed at how quickly they closed and were gone.

The Celebration at weeks end arrived and she was able to attend. Her sword banged against her leg as she walked to the square, listening to the songs of the people.

Hail to the King!

Mighty and Glorious!

Loving and Victorious!

Wonderful King of All!

A step appeared beside her and she looked up into the King’s face. He smiled. She smiled back. A smile of belonging. Of faithfulness. Of trust. They reached the fountain and the King leaned forward to whisper, “Now, my little bright one, you are truly healed.”

She glanced down and caught sight of her reflection. The wounds were healed but something else was different. She looked again and saw that what He said was true. The scars were gone.

[Personal Interview] March 3, 2011

Personal Interview

Stolen from BriannaJea, who, I believe, stole it from someone else

1. What do you do for a living?

Ah, what a question! I suppose that most people would say the obvious things- I farm with my husband, work at the bank sometimes, write articles for magazines…

But I believe this question requires a true answer, not a typical one. I’m a wife. And when I am focused on being the wife my husband needs/desires, I earn a living. Before anyone gets all stressed about woman’s rights, etc… let me explain.

Take something as simple as food. When I am here at home, making three meals a day, my husband comes in from the barn or shop and eats. The cost is roughly $20 a week for me to provide this luxury for him and anyone else who happens to stop by at meal time. (Mind you, we farm, so all my dairy and meat isn’t counted in that. J ) However, when I am gone over meal times, off doing this or that, more often than not he will grab something to eat at a diner. And, if he goes, he’ll probably end up with a friend. And, being the man he is, he’ll buy the friend lunch. Suddenly, with just a few of these instances, our weekly grocery bill jumps to $100-$150 a week.

Cooking meals for my husband makes me mucho moolah to use for other things. Therefore, providing my living. J

2. Whom do you love?

There are many people that I would like to love. Unfortunately, I fail at that more often than not and when I think I am succeeding, I am usually failing the worst.

There are, however, a group of little girls that come to mind whenever I think about love. Mostly because God used them to teach me about true love. His love. You can read the story HERE.

3. Do you have enough money?

Depends on your definition of “enough”. Do I have enough to pay the bills without stressing? Nope. Do I have enough to buy things for my house/kitchen when I desire them? No. Do I have enough to buy clothes when I want? No.

However, if you think of “enough” as… Being able to pay the bills, even if one or two are a bit late, then yes. Or being able to have a beautiful kitchen/house, then yes. Or being able to have all the necessities for a wardrobe and once in a while get something new to add in the mix, then yes.

4. Are you healthy?

No. Not really. I mean, I try to eat healthy and pretty much succeed when I’m at home. (As in, I don’t eat white flour, sugar, rice, etc…) however, my body is NOT healthy. I have reproductive problems that cause weight gain, circulation problems that come from that weight gain, bad wrists and ankles (that come from playing sports as a teen) bad eyesight with poor eye health, bad teeth and… well, maybe that covers it.

Mind you, I’m working at it all but I’m pretty sure that my body is years and years older than my actual age. Its rather sad, really. Thanks for bringing it up.

5. Do you think you are a good person?

What a funny question. Does anyone think they are good? Considering the fact that I know very well all the bitter, nasty, unloving, selfish, angry thoughts that go on inside my head- No. Not so much.

6. How old are you?


7. Who is your best friend?

Funny you should ask. I was just reading through an old journal- from back in like… the spring/summer of ‘05. At the time I was really, really struggling and feeling very hurt and alone and in a fit of anger, I wrote:

I want a protector. I want someone who can see past my tough skin and can recognize the fact that I’m “wandering broken”. I want someone who doesn’t judge me because they know that I already judge myself so harshly I can hardly breathe each day. I want someone who will yell at me for condemning myself. Who will point to Jesus and tell me that it’s okay that I’m not perfect.

I want someone I can talk to without them assuming I’m saying things that I’m not. I want someone I can grow and learn with who won’t make me feel stupid. I want someone who I can feel like I make a difference in their life. Like somehow, the words I say, the things I do, actually encourage them.

I want someone who can hear my dreams and not disregard them. I want someone I can be totally real with and have them really see an accurate picture of who I am.

Guess what? I got my someone. His name is Amos. And, because of God’s grace, even before I knew that he was all these things… I married him. Now he’s mine for as long as we both shall live. It’s pretty nice. J

8. What’s your childhood dream?

To be a mom. That’s all I really ever wanted. Oh, I thought of different things… nursing, writing, teaching, being a missionary- but the only thing that I really wanted was to be a mom.

Unfortunately, we don’t always get our dreams. Sometimes I think that it doesn’t matter what we dream- God will always ask us to give it up. Not because he doesn’t love us but because its our nature to put things before Him. He has to be first. So, I’m trying hard to lay this dream down. I cry a lot. But I’m trying.

9. How often do you laugh?

Some every day, I think. Well, there were two or three days in Jan. that I didn’t laugh. I didn’t cry either. I just walked around like a zombie. But I’m better now. I laugh a lot.

10. What makes you smile?

My husband. He never fails to bring a smile to my face. He’s really quite amazing.

11. Who’s your most dangerous enemy?

Honestly, its myself. The sinful selfish nasty side of me that I try to kill daily but keeps rising up…so I battle on.

12. Where do you live?

In the most beautiful little house. I used to think that I wanted a big house with lots of rooms (mostly so I could have a library…I’ve always wanted a library.) but now, even the thought of leaving my tiny cozy home makes me sad. And my husband promised to build me a library someday. So, its pretty much perfect.

13. Do you think you’re strong?

You know that journal I was talking about? From ‘05? It says: “To quote the Princess Bride, I’m the slimiest weakling ever to crawl the face of the earth.” Not much has changed since then.

14. What’s the most important thing you’ve done so far?

Uhm… nothing? Honestly, I don’t know of anything important that I have done. At least not that would be important to anybody but myself.

15. What was the most stupid thing you’ve done so far?

Trusted people? J/K. Sort of. I mean, that’s not what my heart says. Just the sarcastic part of me.

The actual stupidest thing that I’ve done is not trusted my husband. The times when I’ve stood up to him and insisted on my way… have always, and I do mean always, led to more pain in my life. Should have known that he was just protecting me.

16. Do you love yourself?

Its kind of a love/hate relationship.

17. What do you fear the most?

I fear… never having my dreams. Hurting people. Being hurt by people. Not listening when God is talking. Disappointing my husband. Losing my family. Not being loved.

I could go on. I have a lot, a lot of fears. It’s a bit ridiculous.

18. What is your favorite word?

Don’t really have any. Certain words strike me as funny at times but nothing comes to mind right now.

19. When was the last time you cried?

Today. I usually cry about once a day, actually. Does that make me sound… silly? If it does, oh well. I usually hurt bad enough once a day to cry, so I cry. But remember, I also laugh every day. So, it evens out.

20. What is the best thing that could happen to you RIGHT now?

I could go to bed. Seriously, I’m horrendously tired.

21. What is the worst thing that could happen to you right now?

Someone show up at the door? Because I am sitting on the couch in just a tank top and underwear. J

22. Picture yourself five years from now.

I have two very different pictures. Either one would be fine.

1. I have children via adoption/foster care/birth; am still milking cows; have a slightly bigger house; am busy everyday doing laundry/dishes/cleaning/cooking etc…

2. I have no children. Amos and I are working together doing something new… like, running a restaurant or something of that nature. OR! My personal favorite: we sell our farm and together with Amos’s cousin- buy a 14,000 acre ranch that is for sale in Montana. I would love that so bad!

23. Do you regret anything?

Most of my life, actually. It would be easier to say the things I don’t regret- like marrying my husband. Working with the kids on Rural Ave. Starting WoP. Going to Haiti.

24. What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Usually run for the bathroom. I have a bad habit of drinking like four glasses of water before bed. (I’m always thirsty after chores.)

25. What are you thinking just before going to bed?

I try not to think. Seriously, it can keep me up all night no matter how tired I am. So I usually pick a random thing to focus on so that I don’t think about anything real. Right now, it’s the Montana Ranch…

26. What’s the highest point you’ve ever been to?

There was a mountain in Alaska that I made it to the top of. I just don’t remember which one.

27. If there’s one thing in your life you want to change right now, what is it?

I would change my personality. I’ve gotten more and more melancholy over the years and I hate. Hate. Hate. It. Not to mention, I think it just makes people dislike being around me. And who likes that?

28. What are you proud of?

Nothing, really. There are things that I adore (like my pretty house and wonderful husband and adorable nieces and nephews) but none of them are really mine to claim- so I can’t really be proud of them.

29. Sum up your life in one sentence.

On a good day:

I’m a farmer/mechanic/evangelist’s wife who tries her best, (and often fails) to follow God’s voice.

On a bad day:

I’m a bitter, unloving, hurt, hurtful, frustrated excuse for a human being.

(I have some really bad days.)

30. Name the thing that annoys you the most.

Uhm. Christians who try to separate their jobs from their faith. People who think they have the answers before they even know the question. But most of all- people who complain about my husband or family and expect it not to hurt me.

31. What is your number one question to God?

Can you please, please, please just come back right now?

32. Do you have secrets?

A few. I mean, my husband knows them all… but I’m not the most trusting of people so I really don’t say much to anyone else.

33. What makes you laugh?

Certain people really tickle my funny bone. To name a few… Rebekah Puddington. Ben Oles. Joe Kenealy. Elizabeth O’Neill-Krop. Uncle Ron. Jamie Metzler.

34. Are you happy?

Most days. Or perhaps joyful is a better word. I am joyful almost every day but I am also sad almost every day. I feel like right now, God is walking me through a pretty rough time so “happy” might not be the best way to describe it.