Sunday, October 28, 2012


Today was a rainy, dreary, cold, delightful, full of surprises, joyous Halloween day.

We piled on the clothes, under and over our costumes, donned hats and gloves and coats and all piled in the van.  We have a method to our trick-or-treating and we always go BIG first........Grandma and Grandpa's house with a quick visit next door to Dean and Diane's.

This year we started out even BIGGER than usual with a visit from Grandma Goats who braved the weather with us...........and brought big treat bags for each child.

So we traveled three streets over and gathered BIG candy bars, packs of stickers, packs of Oreos, fruits snacks, pretzels and more candy..........and that was just at those two houses.

Then onto other houses down the street with a stop at the corner house who also always has BIG candy bars.

Two streets back and we arrive at Zia Maria's house where she stuffed surgical gloves full of chocolate and goodies for each of the kids.

And it was on the way back to our street that it hit me...........our bags were FILLED to overflowing and we barely went anywhere............everyone who we had visited and who lived close FILLED us to overflowing-with love, with candy, with goodies, with blessings.

And that's how I feel about our life right now..........FILLED to the point of overflowing.

We are so BLESSED by our community, by our family, by our friends.  This day was a reminder of that, the whole day.

At 10:30 this morning we stood in a room as people filled it.........and every time someone walked in I felt a little zing of happiness, these are my people..........Rachel, Winston, James, Liga, Ryan, Luke, Gavin, Livvie, Annie, Suzi, JJ, Caris, Sam, Harper, Scott, Corey, Sarah, Nic, Ian, Mae, Jack, Andrea, Stephanie and on and on.   These are the people who fill me to overflowing - with love, with blessings, with encouragement.

At 3:00 we begin our trek through the rain and pursuit of FREE CANDY.......and we meet along the way grandma goats, grandma, grandpa, Diane, Megs, Kevin, Amy, Zia Maria, Nanny, Jeff, Tootie, Paul, Inta, Mackenzie, Molly, Rick and on and on.  These are neighbors and family - old and new - who fill me to overflowing - with love, with blessings, with kindnesses, with comfort.

At 5:30 we sit down to dinner with friends who first came three years ago on Halloween day........dragged by their grandmother across the street.  These same friends are now the ones we see every Sunday, most Wednesdays, random mornings and text or talk to almost daily.  Who knew?  And in the midst of chicken noodle soup, fresh tomatoes, cheese and bread we talk, we laugh and solve fights between the children.  To end the day we play hide and go seek all around the house.  I am filled to overflowing - with food and laughter and love and blessings.

THANK YOU LORD..............for candy and community.

THANK YOU LORD..............for women holding each other up in prayer.

THANK YOU LORD..............for children's voices singing out praises to You.

THANK YOU LORD.............for rainy Halloweens.

THANK YOU LORD...............for a house filled with running, crazy children.

THANK YOU LORD.............for a life filled to the point of overflowing.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In Pursuit......

I chase after a lot of things...................

A clean house.

Godly, obedient, joyful children.

A laundry basket for dirty clothes that is always empty.

People who like me.

People I like.


Well-cooked meals.

A house that appears to be organized.

A reputation as a mom, a wife, a woman.

A place in our church, someway to give, to matter to the body.

I feel a little sad as I look at that list............even though it's an honest list and nothing on that list would be looked at as bad.  But I wonder why I choose with such fervor and anxiety things that will always elude me.  It takes so much effort, so much worry and so much time to pursue those things ALL THE TIME.  I woke up this morning and I felt anxious.  This past week has been a good week and I have been involved in good things, things that matter, things that I actually love to do.  But a lot of those things have been detail-oriented.  I am NOT a detail-oriented person but I am a person who wants things done right and done well.  So all my energy this week has gone into making sure each detail is right, everything is on time, goes smoothly and gets done in the correct manner.......I know, I am probably making you anxious right now.  And this morning I woke up and realize oh my gosh, there is another thing that has to get done for tomorrow and it's not planned and I don't know what I am doing and the house is a mess and I need to make meals and cheese and bread and I need to get dressed today and I want to play with the kids and I want to read books with them and I want to just lie in bed with my husband and I want to get this book made for the children's lesson tomorrow and so on and so on until I was worked into a frenzy......all in my mind, of course, because it was still 7:30am and I wasn't even out of bed yet.

But then............I turned my mind to the one achievable pursuit...............

The One who sets my mind at peace, who calms me, who loves me, who never asks me to be more than I can be at any one time..................

I saw myself laying down.................there was a gentle breeze blowing and the day was easy, those days where the sun is gentle, the air is warm and the sky is a never ending blue.  As I was laying there a hammock appeared and wrapped it's way around me and began to gently rock me in the breeze.  Aahhhh, I wanted to lay there forever.  It seems as if all those things that I was formerly pursuing in my mind were pushed aside as I pursued the One that pursues me.

As I lay there...........soaking in the calm, another came to lay beside me...........Joe was there and together, wrapped around one another, we rocked and swayed to the gentle beat of His heart.

Thank you for never letting me go, for reminding me what matters..........and in your gentle way giving me the idea for the children's lesson, for the day and restoring order to my frantic mind.  May my first pursuit always be You.

Friday, October 26, 2012

And Back to Real Life...........

8:30 am - We are due out of the house at 9:05.  This means that in order to get out of the driveway we should be putting shoes on at 8:55 due to the vortex that exists in our shoe room that always sucks at least 5-10 minutes out of the day..........the amount of time it sucks out is directly related to how frenzied your voice sounds.......the more frenzied, the more time that is literally sucked right out of the room.

8:31 am - We are all sitting in the living room talking to my dad who stopped by to drop some things off.  I am in my bathrobe with wet hair, the kids are all in their jammies.  Fia's lunch has yet be packed. We have company coming at some time after 9:15.............the clock is ticking.

8:32 am - I am listening to my kind father talking because I really do enjoy his company and the children love him and I love visitors but we are now down to 23 minutes and today is Fia's class party for fall (otherwise known as the Halloween party but we are not allowed to call it the Halloween party because Halloween is now taboo and that's ok if you don't celebrate Halloween but I now trip up every time I reference the party because fall party just sounds weird to me.........I know, I know....I am getting over it........growing up and moving on...).  So right now I am thinking I must actual get dressed today and pretend that I get dressed more than 3x a week.  I must wear something appropriate and slightly stylish (although I hesitate to use that word because I have NEVER been stylish but I mean more than a t-shirt and jeans........)  I should dry my hair and not just wear it in some sloppy thing at the back of my head and I should put on make-up.  Ok......ok........ok...........

8:33 am - Still sitting, now Nico wants to read a book..............still no one my head I am screaming OH. MY. GOSH. LETS GET A MOVE ON.......but I want to be a good mom who invests time in her childrne right after they wake up so I read the fast as I can........

8:35 am - Dad has gone. kids are playing.......time to get myself dressed............where are my jeans.......the one pair without holes, with the knees still slightly the same color as the rest of the jeans......hmmmm, not at the top of my closet........

8:36 am - Maybe downstairs in the laundry.....hopefully the clean pile.......ummm, no not there......oh, no maybe the dirty..............(digging, digging, digging) NO.....argh.......ok, back upstairs.....

8:37 am - (Throw, dig, throw, dig) All the laundry comes out of my dirty clothes basket......yes, there they are at the bottom of the clothes basket.........(sniff, sniff) nope, no nasty small...phew......oops, must have last worn these on a baking day...........scritch, scratch, spit, scritch, scratch, spit.......ok, good as new.

8:40 am - I am now dressed........I don't look so bad, shoot.......lost 30 seconds looking in the mirror, amazed at how one can look when they put on actual clothes and jewelry before 3:00pm.........ok, time to dry hair and put on make-up.....................pick out the kids outfits.......FIA! FIA! FIA!  Come get dressed!  FRANCESCA!  Come on back.

8:50 am - Ok, we are going to make it...............OH MY GOSH, IT'S FRIDAY!!!!  WE DIDN'T DO ALL OF YOUR HOMEWORK...........FIA! FIA! FIA! Get in here!!!  Get out your homework, phew....there is only one short fill in the blank paper and one more spelling sentence to write.........WHERE IS A PENCIL?  Ok, just use this pen until I can find one..............WAIT!  I found one in your, use this..........I have to pack your lunch.  WHAT AM I GOING TO PACK?  Hmmm, here is some leftover food from the lunch at church.........a chicken wing with the breading pulled off, are some fruit snacks, a pack of whoppers from that halloween party on Sunday night........ooh and a Capri Sun from the lunch at church........and for some nutritional value some baby carrots........ok that should do it............

8:55 am - MOM!  I AM DONE! A triumphant smile on my girl's there any more?  Yes, that one spelling sentence.........just write, hmmm, just write "I see a shell." (Because I am sure this is just what Mrs. Frantum pictures when she assigns homework..........literally 10 minutes before school starts on Friday her student sitting down to complete her work with her mom yelling just write I SEE A SHELL!)

9:00 - FIA!  Grab your folders and lunch box and get your stuff together..........we're gonna make it.....go! Go! GO!  I just have to grab a pair of socks for you (all the socks are currently unmatched in a huge pile in a laundry basket).................(throw, dig, throw, dig) YES!  I found some Halloween socks!  SCORE!  Now no one will know how unorganized I was this morning.......a halloween shirt AND socks, YES!

9:03 - For once there is no vortex.........everyone gets shoes on and gets out the door............

9:06 - We pull out of the driveway saying our morning car prayers and we are on our way............

9:08 - Fia gets dropped off............PHEW.  WE MADE IT!

And just to keep it REALLY real............yesterday I was a little tired. It had been a different kind of week, kind of emotional and all over the place and I hadn't spent a ton of time with the kids in the past few days.  I was CLEARLY out of practice.  Fia was acting JUST LIKE I DO when I am tired and impatient and she was talking rather unkindly and with a bit of a 'tude and I was just done.  I could not handle it at that moment while we were trying to get ready for school and I was trying to get back into the swing of things.  So after I had asked her to do something (after asking her, helping her, etc. ALL MORNING for/with different things) and she replied with a HUGE AMOUNT OF ATTITUDE.........WHAT, MOM? I might........well, I might have thrown a hairbrush across the room.

Oh. my. word.  Clearly, I had lost my mind.

I told Joe about it later that day..........and he asked what do you think she learned from THAT, MANDY?

Well, JOE, I think she learned that she better adjust her attitude because she became a whole lot sweeter after that...........well, after looking shocked, hurrying her butt up to get herself ready and then breaking down and crying and asking why I was so mad at her..........she changed her tone.  And no it was NOT a shining parenting moment of mine but I apologized, we prayed about it on the way to school and I think every single child in the house got the message LOUD AND CLEAR that mama needed a little bit of space and kindness today.

So if you are needing a little space and a little kindness today........maybe take a moment and go into your bedroom, shut the door, lay down........or maybe go into the bathroom, lock the door and just sit..............just try to do something before you find yourself hurdling a hairbrush across your dining room (and no, no children were in the actual room........but they definitely were able to see the hairbrush.........let's just hope this is one of those memories they DON'T have......)

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Today is the day.........

It seems as if it will go on forever, yet you can't imagine it starting............because for it to start, to begin will make it true and real and you just want to crawl back in bed and stay there forever.............

Because maybe then you wouldn't have to face today.

It wouldn't have to happen, but..............

Today is the day.

It's the day after.

When life has to go back to normal, only it's not the normal you wanted or thought would ever happen.

And as I read today the wish is that it will get easier.........right?

I don't know.

I think so.......but maybe not in the way I imagined before.

I used to think that things could be fixed.

I used to think that pieces could be put back together.

I used to think problems were something you solved.

I used to think that losses were something you got over.

I used to think that there was moving on, starting over.

I used to avoid, entirely, feeling pain or anger or sorrow.

But as I grow older I have a new perspective..........

I just keeping seeing a person limping and all the series of events that are brought about by a circumstance that leaves you crippled.........I see the beginning when you rage and you are angry and even just every day activities are painful and hard and take seemingly forever and you mourn who you were and who you were suppose to be.  I see every day when you have to work hard to get to the next day, to take the next step........becoming this new person, a person that lives with a effects everything.

But I can also see further ahead..........still limping, but living with it.  You learn that you can walk again, gingerly, but you can step out and begin to tentatively hope again.  The limp has started to become part of you, you are more accustomed to it.

And then one day, still with the limp, you find yourself dancing to some music or running to meet a friend and you think........oh my gosh......I didn't think I could do that anymore..........but you can.  One day.

And I still can't imagine a time when you are happy that the crippling occurred, I can't imagine thinking that........and I don't know if that's right or wrong.   But I can imagine a time when the limp simply is part of who you are but not what defines you.   And you will have learned to dance again, to walk again, to run again, to do everything you did before.............never rid of the tiny limp that accompanies you along the way and therein lies the hard part, the aching part, the confusing part..........while you never would wish for the wouldn't wish it all away.

The limp is the reminder and it is bittersweet.

Just like life........bittersweet, unsolvable, joyous, messy, glorious LIFE.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


There is a gathering..............

There is a people.......................

People who are weary longing for rest..............

People who are broken, shattered longing for restoration...........

People who have lost and are emptied longing for something to fill them..............

People who want to give up longing for someone to take the next step for them..............

People who are in the dark longing for the light...................

And so they gather, a force is moving..................

Moving them closer, circling the people.......................

Closer to rest, closer to restoration, closer to the filling, closer to the next step, closer to the light...........

Closer to God who is Love,

Closer to Jesus who is salvation,

Closer to the Holy Spirit which is power,

Closer to the gift which is.............


You have Love.

You have power.

You are the Church.

Gather together in your brokenness, in your weariness, in your longing.............

The church is not four walls, it is not a building, it is not structure and routine and what has always been done is a people.

You are the people.

You are the Church.

Gather together...............find healing, find restoration, find rest, find Love.

Strength and Love will rise as we wait upon the Lord........................together.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Father's Hands......

Close your eyes.

I want you to imagine and see as I have seen.

I want you to picture your darkest moment, the darkest hours............because He is there.

And I can't begin to know or even to guess the whys and the hows and all the questions that you must have about that moment or moments that you have experienced.  I am nothing and as I grow older I realize that I know nothing.

But I have seen.......................I have seen His hands.

I have seen His hands reach down and reach through..................strong hands that look as if they could break apart, rip apart with barely a thought anything that would get in their way..........and yet, these hands can gently raise up and hold the tiniest bundle, right up to Him........swaddled in the warmth of Him.

I have seen.

I have seen tenderness and Love and gentleness even as the world is breaking apart all around, even as human hands are reaching and grasping for what they love........wanting to just hold on.    I have seen Him holding him safely and securely............I feel joy and warmth and peace in the gentle rocking of His hands.

And to you He says..............hold on.

Hold on.

Hold on.

I am coming.

I am coming.

My promise to you.

And until then...........I have you in my hands.

My hands are strong and gentle and tender and they will hold you, too.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Day After.........

After yesterday's day of frustration and panic and falling asleep at the wheel we take to the out of doors..........raking and jumping and throwing and piling...........we laugh, run and play.  I take the time to really play, no work gets done.  Steve comes over and asks if we are raking.  I say no, just for today we are playing.  And maybe I needed the day I had yesterday to remind of the sweetness of tomorrow, the promise to start again, to enjoy the smiles and giggles of my little ones............. 

And now the kids are quiet, the house is clean and there is a couch, some tea and a book awaiting me.........(((sigh))) being found in the little things today.  

And, yes, Suzi.......the book is just as good as you would imagine it to be.......will give it to you Sunday, I will definitely be done with it and it's not due for two weeks yet :)  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Day Like Today

There are days when I think I would be a better parent if I didn't actually live with the children I was trying to was one of those days.  I was tired.  I was irritable.  Every nerve was raw and exposed and the children were STANDING ON, POUNDING ON, JUMPING WITH FERVOR on each and every one.  At one point when I was in the van and stopped at a red light with the two youngest, I put my head down on the steering wheel and took off in my mind.  I thought of the nap I would take in twenty years, the book I was going to dive into tonight, the peace and quiet which would come again........and I drifted off...........and hit the stopped car in front of me.  No joke.  The bump of my car against his totally WOKE ME UP.  I got out of the car as he was getting out of his and I started jabbering complete nonsense at this poor man, saying whatever random thought was popping in my brain, all the while hyperventilating, praying that no damage was done.  No damage.  He ended up being SO VERY NICE and he left by saying he hoped my day would improve and that I would have a good one.  I love people like that.  I seem to meet them a lot.........people filled with grace, people that end up wishing me well when I am the one who has messed up. (I went back to read my writing and edit anything and as I was reading this it suddenly occured to me that the way strangers treat me sometimes reminds me of how I would treat an escaped mental patient, a rapid dog........gently, kindly, slowly backing away and then getting the heck away.......maybe what I recognize as grace is really just panic in the face of insanity.......hhhmmmmm.....)

Anyway..............there are days like that.

Days when you wondering if you are capable of this parenting gig that God gave you, days when your eyes bug out and cause your children to mimic you or run in terror.

Days when you yell more than you soothe.

Days when you take the long way home because you can kill an extra five minutes.

Days when the library ladies forgive your fines and do magical things with their computers that make the 10 movies you left at home not count, let you check out extra ones and sort through the 100 items you bring to the library and find all your personal ones.........wrapping them neatly up with a little note that says Codispoti.  They all get it, they've been there and never in 7 years have they batted an eye when I have come in without a shower, without my teeth being brushed, flustered beyond all belief.  They make me feel beautiful and loved..........those library ladies of North Branch.

Days when your lunch consists of peanut butter scrapped from your child's plate and a bag of already popped popcorn from the pantry........because even just putting something in the microwave seems a bit too much to handle when the couch is beckoning, the children are silenced by the GREATEST INVENTION OF ALL TIME and you just got the new Ken Follett book out of the library.

Days, just days...............and I can have a day like today and know that it isn't the only day, it isn't worth getting my panties in a bunch over (and, at least, I have some panties on this day..........laundry was a little slow to get done last week and well, it wasn't one of my finer moments showing up to a prayer vigil without my underwear...........but I am sure that God heard my prayers all the same).  The sun will come up tomorrow, the kids will rise up and sleepily reach out for breakfast, books and cuddling.........and I will be ready.

Because tomorrow is another day, another day to love and play and laugh and try again............luckily kids are much more forgiving than their parents.  What we remember is different from what they remember.  They will remember lunch outside, playing star wars with mommy, cuddling up with books, bacon (I think that is the first time I have purchased bacon in YEARS........Nico's eyes almost rolled back into his head :) and french toast for dinner with mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert that they got to go pick out at the store.  They will remember daddy..........yes, that knight in shining armor............. coming home, playing and then making a fire so they could sit around and tell ghost stories before bed.   That they will remember.

And so tonight I shut the door on today as I shut down this sleep, to rest, to recharge so that tomorrow we can try again..............and hopefully on that day I will have underwear on, I will not run into another person's bumper and I will not have a melt down at the library counter of North Branch library............I find it helpful to have standards...........HIGH STANDARDS to which I hold myself..........underwear, full control of my vehicle and no public meltdowns.........

Got my list for tomorrow...............have a lovely and relaxing evening :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Just So You Know.......

This post has been on my mind, in my heart for a few days now..........always regulated to the back of the bunch when a new thought arises, when a new idea forms.........but it's always there, just as you are my love.  A post like this has been written before, there have been words before about you, many times.  My husband, my love, the passion in the every day, you and me before the three............but it's worth repeating.

Just so you know..........I think about you all through my day.  I can't wait for you to come home, not so I can get a break from the kids, a break from the day........although there are those days........but more because I miss you, weird as that may seem.  I miss you.  I miss having you to talk to, no one cares as much about our kids, no one knows the me of today like you do.  I look forward to you.  I am so sorry that it never seems quite the way by the time you walk through the door but I do, I look forward to you, just you.

Just so you know..............every morning when you leave, and it's dark and it's cold and everyone else is asleep........I offer up a prayer of thanks to God.  I thank God for a husband such as you that gets up and goes to work and sacrifices every day for his family that slumbers while he drives.  It means the world to me that you think it's just as important that I stay in my jammies, cook breakfast and read to our kids.  Thank you.

Just so you know..............I dream of us.  I dream of me and you - on dates, at dinner, on walks, strolling through Target on a Friday night, cuddling up watching movies, anything really where it's just the two.  I want you to know that as much as my whole world is made up of our three.......that I still look to when it's just us two.  I dream of those nights, those days, that time in the future.  I will always come back to you and me.

Just so you are my steady and strong to my here and now, passionate self.  You are my anchor, my rock.  Your integrity, while driving me crazy at times, makes me proud.  I am so proud to be your wife.  I look at you and know........I know that you are unchanging.  That who you are today is who you will be tomorrow, I never have to worry.  In this world where decisions are made and lives are changed on a whim I know that your decision was made long ago and you are here.  You are mine.

Just so you are my dream.............dreamed long ago when I was a girl.........and you are more than I ever expected or wanted.  I love that there is a side of you that only I know, that only is mine.  I love when your arms find me in the dark and hold me tight, you drowsy with sleep but still letting it be known that you are mine and I am yours.  My dream was made sweeter because it is anchored in the reality that you have given to me, that we have created together.

Just so you know..................when I am raging within, when I am filled with doubt and uncertainty, when I am convinced of my unworthiness and feel sick within, you always bring me back.  You remind me.  You pray for me.   You love me.  When in the midst of battle with someone, something, I think.............just get me to Joe, bring him home............I need his sureness.  I need the safety of you.

Just so you are more than the oil changed, the bills payed, the house kept running.  You are more than the child keeper, the trash taker, the door locker.  You are the beat of my heart, the steady rhythm of this house.  You are the gift giver, the secret keeper, the bunny hunter.   You hold in your hands the key to this family - you are it's firm foundation.

Just so you always point me up to Him.  I see you hit your knees.  I see your head bent in prayer at the sound of any siren.  I see the letters you send, the letters that come addressed to Mr. Joe.  I see your generosity.......with your time, with your money, with your love.  Others may not see...............but I see.  I see your faith.  I see your steadfastness.  I see your growth in Him.

Just so you know..............always, always will I love you.

Just so you know..........

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Voice

I have heard the voice of the One calling in the wilderness.....................this wilderness that has sprung up all around me...........this crowding in of things and people and voices and just pure meaningless inputting of information and entertainment..........but through it all I hear the voice of the One calling in the wilderness.............

I started off so sure of my course, so sure of who He was, if not in who I was in Him.......I was able to look down at the path and the course seemed steady.........of course I would be one who would be on the narrow way.............His voice was not yet known to me but I had a blind faith, a trust that surpassed knowledge...........

And then...........the seeds were sown, the seedlings sprouting and before I realized certain things took root in my life................things that, while they weren't bad, weren't the best and they began to block the light, overtake the path of which I was once so sure.  Now when I looked around and down and up and forward I just saw the growth of that which wasn't there before............blocking the path, blocking the light..........

But I heard the voice of the One calling in the wilderness.............sure where I wasn't sure anymore, faithful when my faith had wavered, strong and always there when I felt lost, He was calling me back to the path.............

And so the winnowing began, the brutal cutting down, pulling up from the roots things that were keeping me from the path, that were blocking me from seeing Him..........for even though I was crowded in, I knew that He always knew where I was, that nothing was keeping Him from me, rather it was I who was lost, who was keeping myself from Him.....................

I hear the voice of the One calling in the wilderness..................

I am here.

I am here.

Come follow me.

Come follow me.

Once again the path is a bit clearer.  The pace is steady and strong.  I have the faith of one who has walked a bit further, not that far, not that long but one who has been found.  I will continue the winnowing.  But I know that should I get lost, should the path seemingly disappear from sight I have One who will come, who will find me.

I am here.

I am here.

Come follow me

Come follow me.

I have heard the voice of the One calling in the wilderness.....................

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Laying Back..........Letting Go

It's scary to look at this blank realize that I have nothing to say or write tonight.  To think of the commitment I made on this blog, the one I spoke to others one night.........saying this is how I hear God, this is where I come to speak what goes through my mind all through the day.........this is good.

Except when it's not.

I am so used to my mind being filled with ideas and thoughts and opinions and convictions.  I cram my head full, always racing to what will be happening the next minute, the next hour, the next day.  I map out plans and posts and dreams all while going about my daily tasks.  

I love the beginning of an idea..............I love to think on it all day, to ruminate, to tweak it, to play with it.  By the time Joe gets home I am in full-fledged I-HAVE-THE-BEST-IDEA-EVER can get a little exhausting for my husband.  Because, to be honest, some of my ideas come to fruition but not all and sometimes it's not even about the plan and whether or not it happens, it's just about the idea.

But tonight.............this blank reminds me.  I am not the only writer in my life.............there is another who wishes to write on the pages of my mind but sometimes I have them crammed full of MY ideas, MY thoughts, MY opinions.........and where does that leave Him?

With only a tiny bit of space to write His words.............

And then they might get lost amidst my own script as I frantically and feverishly fill the space in my mind and in my life...................

What if all He's asking for is a blank page on which to write His words?

Is that too much?

To be still and to empty my mind of all the things that I pour into it throughout the day......

What would happen in turning off, logging off, putting down, shutting down, tuning out the distractions of life?

What if I gave Him the space He needed to speak directly to me?

What would He write?

Needing just to hear from Him tonight............breathing deep, loosening the grip I have kept on things all day, relaxing into a state of just being, letting go of every thing and every thought that threatens to creep in...................

Turning off, logging off, putting down, shutting down, tuning out..................

Friday, October 12, 2012


I have been thinking of this word the past few days...................what is joy?  How do you find it?  What does it mean to have joy?  And the word that keeps accompanying it is inappropriate.


You want me to write inappropriate? Argh.

If you know me personally then you know that word is ENTIRELY appropriate.

Inappropriate seems to be a family trait.  It encompasses my mom, my brother, his wife and I - all INAPPROPRIATE.  The normal trophy was passed from my dad to Joe.  Carry on, honey, carry on.............we are all depending on you.  But here's the thing.  When I was thinking of joy and how you find it I was trying to think of APPROPRIATE things because I wanted this to be a serious post about how you find your joy and how it's in the Lord and I wanted TO HELP and be a serious person.

NOPE, He said.


Why?  Because we live in a fallen and broken world.  Like that roller coaster I talked about yesterday we never know what is coming around the next corner.  All around us are stories of death, destruction, political divide, racism, divorce, joblessness, neglect, much more horror and tragedy.  Joy would be inappropriate in the face of such things yet every day we face such things in our on lives, in our neighborhoods, in our churches, in our world.


Because we know.  We know that happiness is based on circumstances.  But JOY is based on who we know.  JOY is based on a heart convicted of deep truths, hard truths.  Truths that speak of a new world, a better world and finding a glimpse of it here as you carry Jesus with you.  And Jesus brings JOY.  And Jesus was the ultimate example of being inappropriate.


Joy is a weapon.  A weapon against an enemy who seeks to rob you of your JOY.  I have seen joyful faces in the midst of tragedy and I have wanted what they have.  I wanted a conviction, a faith that would carry me through the darkest times with a face that reflected joy.  I think of those people now and I think of the impact they had on my faith walk.  They were steps on my journey to Jesus.  They knew JOY.   So when life becomes too hard, too much, too crippling.............dig deep, rise up and laugh in the face of what is being thrown your way.


Remember how I said that JOY is inappropriate?  Well, I thought about every laugh out loud moment I have had, the ones that really stick out in my mind...........they are all ENTIRELY inappropriate.  THis might just be me but look back, look back in your life.  What causes you to laugh out loud?  Because here's the thing.  We can know Jesus and we can have faith but then we need to be ok with laughing in the midst of tragedy.  That goes against what seems right.  And there are times when you need gravity and to be sensitive to those around you but I think we are scared to acknowledge JOY sometimes.


My joy moments.................sitting at dinner and being overcome with the need to throw a glass of water in my husband's face.  HE HATES THIS.  But seriously, it brings me so much joy, I am seriously LAUGHING OUT LOUD RIGHT NOW.  I have no idea what comes over me but I have done it quite a few times and it's even better when your kids are sitting there, UTTERLY HORRIFIED that their mother has just LOST ALL SENSE OF PROPRIETY and has just thrown a glass of water across the table at daddy.  I love to wear the kid's underwear on my head and declare wars.  We did this at Francesca's birthday party........girls vs. boys.......the grandmas, aunts and uncles all played too.  I think there were 12 people crammed into the girls tiny room all throwing socks at each other with underwear on their heads while Uncle Vince videotaped it all and Aunt Colleen wondering what the heck she married into...........I am sure that Uncle Vince explained later that this is more a Kossler thing than a Codispoti thing and it shouldn't affect their life too much........or their children when they come.  I love making fart noises with Nico-BIG, LOUD, WET fart noises.   He laughs SO HARD.  I think this is a laugh, a moment I am storing up for later in life.  This is a memory, me and my boy, laughing so hard.  I love any moment with my brother and Tash........oh my gosh, especially watching Glozell on YouTube talking about Subway..............or whipping her hair........or reminiscing about our childhood and telling stories about mom.  THERE ARE SO MANY STORIES.  And what's awesome is our children will have THE SAME STORIES..............I become more like mom every day and, well, Tash shares so many of the same characteristics.

Yeah, but those are fun.  What about when LIFE is not FUN?

Create joy.  Let yourself laugh when life is not fun.  Again......JOY is a weapon.  The enemy has been defeated...........death couldn't hold Him down...........lift your voice in victory...........make your praises LOUD.  Again.........I look back, I look back to when Adalyn was born.........five days in Kansas City with my brother and Tash.........five days of LAUGHTER, TEARS,  JOY, SORROW, LOVE, PRAISE.  I remember going to the funeral home to pick out an urn with Matt and Tash.......feeling like kids doing the job of a grownup.  It was so AWKWARD walking into this place because it was so unnatural.  We walk into the room with BARRY (I kid you not the funeral director's name was BARRY) and there is a WALL OF URNS - it looked like a trophy display.  Some had pictures, some had little statue things, all kinds, almost all ENTIRELY RIDICULOUS.  We spent a few minutes feeling each other out and then I couldn't help it I started to laugh.  REALLY HARD.  Barry came back in and I had to pretend to be looking at the urns, Tash had her head down - Barry thought we were sobbing........which made me laugh harder, Matt was the only one to keep it together.  He finally had to ask Barry to leave the room so we could have a moment...........for our, ummmm, sobbing to cease.  We never did get it together.  We laughed the entire time.  It was ridiculous and inappropriate and SO MUCH FUN and is a memory created around Adalyn JOY, JOY in the face of tragedy.  I remember, also, being at Adalyn's memorial service and standing with my family, arms around one another, the only ones standing, standing and praising and in doing so acknowledging that DEATH has not won THIS day.  THIS day is the DAY OF THE LORD.

I think JOY is the ultimate letting go............................JOY is messy, it's in your face, it's LOUD, it's sometimes jarring because of it's inappropriateness, you want to look away because you think YOU SHOULD BE SAD AND BROKEN AND NOT BE JOYFUL.  But then you look back, you want to know..........what does this person have that I don't...........where is that joy?  Where does it come from?

The enemy's been defeated............death couldn't hold Him down............we're gonna lift our voice in victory...........gonna make our praises LOUD..............

Today lift your victory........with conviction..........with JOY.

Find a way to experience JOY.

After you throw the water...........just tell your husband it's my fault ;)  Any revenge can be exacted on me............I'm a big girl.............with a BIG bucket :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Ride

I remember going to Cedar Point just a few years ago and not wanting to ride roller coasters.  As a kid I  definitely wasn't a thrill-seeker or an avid roller coaster rider but I do remember the thrill of the Magnum.  To me it was a straight forward, brilliant roller coaster - just straight up and then straight down again.  I loved the build-up, the sense of fear and excitement, the thrill of going down and the rush that you felt.  It was awesome.

I tried it a few years ago.

Didn't like it.

It was just terrifying and made me kind of queasy.

My roller coaster days are over, I think.

And I thought about that today as I was reading a book about roller coasters to my kids - all safely and warmly bundled up on our couch under blankets, eating pancakes.  Why am I not a roller coaster person anymore?  Have I gotten too old?  Am I not fun anymore?  Am I just a wimp?

And I think that it's because when you are young there is part of you that is always looking around the corner, wondering what is coming next and what BIG THING is going to happen.  For the most part I, and the kids I knew, were safe, sheltered from what the world can bring, what it can seemingly, randomly deal out.  Real tragedy, real fear was not a regular part of life.  So it seemed no big deal to jump on a ride and to feel fear, to feel uncertainty, to feel the thrill of the unknown.  It was exciting.

But now I know.

I know the thrill of getting married......................and staying married.

I know fear because I have birthed children and have watched them, with trepidation, grow and change and begin their walk away from me.

I know how far down my stomach can drop because I have heard the phone ring and I have listened as someone has to speak words out loud that should never be spoken.............all the while, thinking this can't be true, this can't be true.  I am here cooking dinner, sleeping, playing with my children, just walking the steps of daily life and for someone else life has stopped.

I know the joy of walking with the Lord, of feeling His presence so closely that for a moment you are enveloped in the purest of Love.  You think you never want to move, to even breath in that moment because you might break it.

I know the excitement of wearing underwear of my head and declaring war on the boys, sneaking around the house, hanging daddy's underwear all over the tree fort, spraying him with water and then RUNNING AS FAST AS POSSIBLE to the van and locking the doors..........waiting for the revenge, which is sure to come and that will SURELY BE COMPLETELY DISPROPORTIONATE to the crimes committed against him.

I know uncertainty because I have learned NOTHING is certain, peek all you can change in a flash.  To be prepared always be aware that you are utterly unprepared.

So I think that as I have grown older that I don't need the manufactured emotions of the roller coaster.  I live the roller coaster.  To pay an incredible amount of money to be thrilled and scared and to feel my stomach drop, to know joy and excitement and uncertainty is just crazy.

As I grow older, I find I like the log ride :)  A slow and gentle journey, carried along on ripples of water.  One hill, a little splash and you have your whole family with you - nice and safe and happy and laughing.  That's the ride for me.  A little escapism for my money.

How 'bout you?  What's your ride?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Even just STAND at the Door ;)

So the past week or so I have been really fixated on the fact that you just need to walk out your door to see who God has called you to serve, who you are to take the Good News to, even wrote a blog post about need to go finding people, God will bring them to you.

Walked into the bathroom tonight...........

Saw something taped on the mirror................

Hmmmm, it's one of the pages from the calendar that I made Joe for Christmas last year - bought a 365 day calendar and wrote movie quotes, questions, glued pictures, messages, etc.  Wonder what one this is?

October 10th - Name three things I do that brighten your day.  Write them down.

This is what he wrote first:

1.  Meet me at the door.

BAM. Smacked me right in the face.

Ok, God.  I get it.

I promise.

No more messing around.  First things first, right?  Love you, God.  Love the fact that You can be as literal as the AWESOME husband you gave me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What A Difference a Day Makes............

Yesterday I sat, sobbing, in a church................despairing for a baby, thoughts turning back a year, to a year when another baby lay still............after so much was hoped for, prayed for..........

Every time I lifted my voice in prayer it was with the strength and power of one who recognizes who God is and what God is capable was with the pain and heartache that comes with a life hanging in the balance, a little one that struggles to live was with fervent hope that I prayed life would was with love that I called upon the God that I love to save the one that I know He loves.............but never was it with JOY.

But today is different.

Today I sat with people that know and love God and I heard from them and I heard from Him and


Tonight I come before the Lord, not sobbing, not despairing but with a COMPLETE and TOTAL JOY that defies the reality of tubes and machinery and MRIs and the need for a Ronald McDonald house and I say to you, Lord, thank you for this life.  Thank you for this baby.  Thank you for bestowing us with the gift that is Owen, Lord.

I allow laughter and joy and giggles and praise to come from my lips. 

I am celebrating this child and the God that gave him to two such wonderful parents, loving parents, parents who have known the joy that this child brings.  

And tonight I pray that JOY is spread throughout the rooms, the corridors, the hearts of the people in the Cleveland Clinic.  I pray that they experience an audible whooshing sound as it powerfully flows throughout the entire hospital.  I pray that the results are tangible and unexplainable and real.  That the JOY of the Lord is brought to this place through Owen and those that this precious babe have brought to this place.

Let laughter ring out.

Let praise ring out, not lofty and obligated praise but praise unfiltered.


Because in the face of those MRIs, those tubes and every horrific, awful thing you hear in such a place.................we can have joy.  It's possible.  Because we know, huh?  We know.  This isn't it.  Far from it.  We can look all these things straight in the eye and matter what happens.  Bring it on, the force of JOY is at work..............push back the enemy.




Adalyn Joy Kossler................thank you for always reminding took me a little while.......I was focusing on just the first part of your story............and forgetting the JOY.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Every life, every breathe

Every life, every breathe has meaning............from  the ninety year old woman who has seen it all to the nine day old baby who has everything yet to behold.

Every life, every breathe is a sacred thing............each one scripted by One who knows best, who knows better than we.

Every life, every breathe has been written, is already known...........when we try to make sense of each little moment, each hurt, each joy, each happening we take away the mystery that is God.

I have no idea why most anything happens.

I sometimes wish I did.

Tonight I sat in a sacred space and my chest heaved, my mouth opened trying to gasp for breathe, tears were flowing down my face.  There was a bubble of pain that was threatening to burst within my heart, within my body.  I tried not to make a sound........just sitting, kneeling on the floor of the sanctuary........and He was there.

He knows.

He knows our questions and our rage and our aches and our wonderings and our pain and He is there.

He is the Rock.

The Rock that we can scrunch up our fists and punch like mad, we can beat against Him, rail against Him and say WHY, WHY, WHY?

And He takes it.  He can take it.

He is our Rock.

And all the while we are raging and crying out and questioning............He comes.  He is there.  You can feel it.  And maybe that is the thing that causes me finally to make a sound, the opening for it all to come forth.  He is there.  Because despite the not knowing, despite the seemingly randomness of life...............there is one thing I know.

Jesus Is Lord.

And that's enough.

I trust in that promise.  I trust one day I will see Him and all will be answered.

But for now..................every life, every breathe is sacred.

Hear our prayers, O God................our voices we lift to You...........our trust we give to You...........

Problems, Whether First World or Third World......

There is a lot of talk lately about "first world problems"...........and I think that there is some validity to remembering our blessings and seeing our problems in the bigger picture of what is happening in the world.  


Does referring to our "problems" lessen them or hide them?

Do we deal with our feelings, our thoughts of discontent by burying them, not dealing with the root of what is really bothering us or do they magically disappear when we refer to them as "first world problems"?

Do we mean that our contentment, our happiness is based on the things we have, the circumstances we find ourselves in or have we learned to be content in ALL circumstances?

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
                          - Philippians 4:11-13

Isn't it interesting that Paul says that he has learned to be content whether he is well fed or hungry, whether he is living in plenty or in want................hmmmmm, I always focused on the want part.  How bout you?

What if we have to learn to be content when we have a house, a car, a job, good food and healthy children?  What if our contentment comes not from what we have but from God himself?  I think we say that it does but then we say things like oh, I have healthy children and a great family and a job so I should be happy.  I don't have any real problems or heartaches so I should be shouting from the rooftops, I have a house and food and a husband so I should be joyful.............right?


I have God so I am joyful.

I have Jesus so I am shouting from the rooftops.

I have Love, who walked right into my heart, and so I am content.

To base our contentment on anything else leaves us open to Deception.  And when those things - your house, your job, your children, your spouse fail you..............Deception walks in and makes his home.  And when you say your problems aren't worthy of being problems, aren't worthy of being dealt with..............Deception walks in, makes himself comfy and begins to wreak havoc on your heart because you haven't acknowledged the root of your discontentment because the guy next door, the next world over has it worse.  Deception wins.

So the next time you are TEMPTED to dismiss your problems remember Paul's words that he had to LEARN contentment in ALL situations.  That Paul, who has been referred to as one of the greatest apostles, had to LEARN to be content in plenty, when well-fed.  Who has to do that?

He did.

We do.

I have learned to be content when my children are healthy and with me.

I have learned to be content when my arms are empty and waiting, waiting to be filled with my child - whether in this life or the next.

I have learned to be content when I have a warm house overflowing with food.

I have learned to be content when I don't know where my next meal is coming from.

I have learned to be content when I have friends aplenty.

I have learned to be content when I am alone.

I have learned to be content when I have my dream job.

I have learned to be content when I don't have any job,

I have learned my contentment comes from Him.

I have learned my contentment is based not on circumstances but on the Everlasting, Unchanging, Mighty God I love and who loves me.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Nico's Take on Girls

Setting:  A beautiful fall day spent playing in the mud, digging holes, finding worms and basking in the sun.

Me:  Hey, buddy, Fia's bringing home a friend after school today, McKenna.

Nico:  Oh, good.  We can play.  Well, maybe they will play princesses or something.  Francesca and me will play in the mud.  Some girls are messy girls, mom and some girls are princess girls, they like princess stuff, girl stuff.

Me:  Oh.  And Francesca is a messy girl?

Nico:  Yeah, she's a messy girl.

Me: And Fia?

Nico:  She's a princess girl, mom.  She likes to do lots of girl stuff and princess stuff.  She doesn't get as messy as we do.

Nico is actually dead-on with this observation.  When we have groups of children over and they are all playing in the mud and dirt and water and such we will actually have to HOSE THEM OFF.  Fia?  She will have been down there playing with them and in the midst of all the mess but she will have a drop of mud on her face, maybe, and her hands will be a bit dirty.  Otherwise?  Nothing.  She is hardly ever a messy girl.

Me:  What about Livvie and Annie?  What kind of girls are they?

Nico:  Well, they are sort of princess girls...........sometimes.  But they are messy girls, too.  They like to play in the mud, too.

Me:  What about Caris?

I was interested in this one because I would not put her in either category - princess or messy.  I was wondering what Nico would have to say.......

Nico: (scrunched up face, thinking) She's a teacher, mom.  She's more a leader.  She does a lot of work.

DEAD-ON............Caris, I think, would FULLY approve of this description :)  

Me:  Well, what about me, buddy?  What kind of girl am I?

Nico:  You're a working girl, mom.

Huh.  A working girl.  Let's not repeat that phrase to anyone else, ok, buddy?  Can you storytime? at church? at school?  What does your mom do, Nico?  She's a working girl. 

So there you have it.   Nico's take on girls.  We have the messy girls, the princess girls, the leader and the working girl.  Care to venture a guess on what kind of girl you are or what kind you are married to?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Why Ohio livin' is good livin' :)

I LOVE fall.........the slowing down, the cooling down, the settling, love, love.  And my favorite day of fall, you ask?

Why it's Fall Family Fun Day.........started nine years ago when we were dating.  We had to begin borrowing Joe's little sister and brother to come with us on our outings after that first year.  We noticed on our first Fall Family Fun Day that most of the people around us had kids and were having A LOT of fun so we decided to get some kids of our own :)

Here's some pictures of our Ninth Fall Family Fun Day (and two really cute ones of Nico from harvesting grapes at Uncle Vince's and Aunt Colleen's house):

Hope your fall has gotten off to a great start!

Thursday, October 4, 2012



You whined............ALOT.

You made messes you didn't pick up.

You complained because you wanted things you weren't getting.

You spilled things.

You said mean things to me when you were angry.

You interrupted me AGAIN and AGAIN when I was trying to talk to you.

You didn't listen.

You were ungrateful.

You were unkind to your family, especially your siblings.


I forgave you.

I listened when you talked.

I held you as you cried.

I picked up those messes.

I understood you were tired.

I knew you were hurt and that's why you did the things you did.

I loved you.

And always will I love you.

Always will I be there - listening, forgiving, loving and knowing.


I am both a parent and a child.

Thankful for my blessings but even more thankful for a Father, a Parent who listens, forgives, loves and knows me...........even when I whine, make messes, am ungrateful and all that rest of it.

Thank you, God.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Walking Out the Door...........

Ahhh.........I love God.

I love His words.

I love who He is.

I love how He answers the prayers of my heart.

I was feeling a bit defeated on Sunday.  I wanted to hear His words because my own had failed me.  I wanted to draw closer to Him.  So I wrote out my thoughts, my desires and asked for prayer.

This week, the past few days..........God has been whispering words of encouragement and love.  It start with the first post of the month and the challenge to write every day, to be still every day, to watch my fingers dance upon the keyboard for an audience of one and if anyone else read, so be it.  But I would not get caught up in who and how many but in what was being said to me and through me.

Today as I was playing with the kids I thought of the story I  read to the children on Sunday.  It talked about Jesus' friends and helpers waiting, waiting and hiding, waiting for what Jesus had promised them - God's Holy Spirit.  As they were waiting and praying, a strong wind filled the little room and there were flames and they felt their hearts mending and God's power and Jesus coming to live within them.  They had seen Jesus go away and now he was inside their hearts.

And their response?

They flung open the door and spoke of Jesus and the love He has for all people.  Peter began to speak of God's Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

I love, also, The Jesus Storybook Bible.

Breaks it down for a believer in the simplest terms.

I looked it up in my big grown-up Bible, too, today.  It wasn't said in quite the same way but the gist of it was the same.

They walked out the door.

Peter spoke to who was in front of him.

Which made me think of my preacher's words...........sometimes what the Bible says, it means.  He used the illustration of asking his daughter to go clean her room.  What if she then sat up in her room and analyzed what that meant in Greek and Hebrew and what does my father mean when he asks such things?  That there is, of course merit in study and digging deeper but that sometimes we get caught up in overanalyzing things.  The Word is living and it is speaking and it is talking to you. When it says that Peter went out the door and started talking to Jesus to the people THAT WERE RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM........that's what he did.

And you know what?

All that stuff Peter said?  It was very pretty and wordy and called on Old Testament prophets and all that but when it came down to it?

He was just talking about Jesus.

He was saying Jesus is real.  Jesus is God's son.  He was sent by God and for YOU.  Jesus died for YOU.  So repent, be baptized and accept this gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It's all for YOU.

So what does God want me to do if I am reading this right?

Walk out my door.

Talk about Jesus.

Tell people, show people about His great love.

This doesn't seem nearly as difficult as I was making it out to be.

Thanks, God.

Thanks, God, for keeping it simple and keeping it real.

What or who is waiting outside your door today?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What. Is. That.?

Just a teaser for now...............

It all started on Saturday night........Nico was getting ready for bed, putting his pjs on and called me in.  Mom, mom!  I still got corn kernels in my clothes, in my arms!  What?  There is no way you have corn kernels in your arms still, Nico, you are wearing your PAJAMAS!  (It was Fall Family Fun Day and we had been to Kingsway Pumpkin Farm that day)

Oh, he says.

But I feel around and there is definitely something prickly in the sleeve of his pjs.  Huh.

I investigate further.

Oh, I know what that is.........just a little bit of bread dough that must have been left on a towel that I lay over the dough while it rises.  Must have not washed it off that well and that little bit got stuck on your jammies.  No need to alert anyone else in the house.............I will just take those and see if I can pull that little bit off...........

Joe might have mentioned to me before that it's NOT A GOOD IDEA to put a towel in the wash filled with sticky bread dough.

He might, actually, have come up just the week before with a towel that was COVERED in that same sticky bread dough and scrapped it off, rather silently and fiercely, before taking it back down.  In my defense, I do think that I will just throw the towel down the stairs and there is a perfectly gross utilitarian sink RIGHT NEXT to the washer that I sort of have, kind of one, maybe no intention of washing the towel in. the jammies out and will take care of that later......if taking care of it later means just throwing the jammies in the basket of laundry to be washed later on............probably cementing the dough even more to the fluffy jammie material.......

Fast forward to Monday night.............

I am in a particularly good mood, energized by the day and the exciting week about to unfold (nothing really happening but Mondays are always good days here - full of hope and energy after the weekend :) so I decide to tackle some laundry.........EVEN THOUGH THERE IS NO GOOD HULU ON......yes, that is how motivated I am feeling.  Usually I begrudgingly fold laundry during a favorite justification for watching hulu........LOOK! I am Folding and Putting Away!  I am doing Important Things while watching very unimportant things.............but NOT TONIGHT.  What a good wife and mother I am...............

Oh, look.......ummmm, there's a bit of dough on this shirt........hmmm, let me just pull that off before anyone sees that little bit.........oh wait, hmmmm..........there seem to be SEVERAL pieces on this brown shirt.........pull, yank, pull, scrape.................OH MY WORD, this FLUFFY YELLOW towel is COVERED in harden bits of what appears to be boogers............well, a towel is just for wiping up dirty stuff anyway so I think I will just put that at the bottom of the kitchen towel pile and see what happens....................

In fact, the entire load of laundry was covered in little bits of dough.


Maybe Joe was right.

Maybe putting a towel covered in sticky bread dough in the laundry pile WITH EVERY, really, no INTENTION of scrapping it off downstairs is NOT a good idea.

You are right, honey.

Probably Liga and Rachel aren't.  Just last week we were answering fun questions and one of the questions was, "What are you best at?"  It was suggested I was good at being a housewife..........not so much, ladies, but thanks for your vote of confidence!  Apparently making your own bread is NOT enough, you must clean up AFTER making the bread.....................

Oh and the picture above is, indeed, what bread dough looks like after going through the washer and dryer.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Ultimate Four Letter Word


I am just a housewife.

I am just a mom.

I just have three kids.

I just write for fun.

I have just a handful of regular readers.

I just read stories to kids.

I just encourage a few people.


Justification for who I am, but this justification is the act of excusing who I am, what I do.  This word, this justification belittles me.  It causes me to stumble and capitalizes on my inadequacies and my feeling of insignificance.  It makes small and unworthy those I serve, those I love - my husband, my children, my friends, my neighbors, all the many people I love in my life.  Do they deserve that?  Do I?

Have I forgotten?


"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through  our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we boast in the hope of the glory of God."
                                                             -  Romans 5:1-2

What if I made every act an act of worship instead of being weighed down by my unworthiness and insignificance?

What if I stand in this grace, what if I stood in awe of this grace that was given so freely and in doing so gave freely of myself?

What if in recognizing the one who died for me I died to my own self and my feelings of inadequacy?

How could I change the space where I stand for the glory of God if I stopped my own form of justification and fully believed that One came before, long before and proclaimed me worthy of such a love as His and I have no need to prove myself worthy, nothing I do can change this love He has for me?

There is no Just.

There is PEACE.

There is GRACE.

There is HOPE.

There is GLORY.

**This blog post is the beginning of a 31 Days challenge.  It's where bloggers are challenged to write about something for the 31 days of October.  My challenge to myself?  Admitting that I love this space, truly love this space and how God speaks to me through my writing.  So I am going to write for 31 days straight, making it a priority and a thing of importance in my life.  So often I write a blog post not knowing where it is going to go or what I am going to say but God speaks to my heart through my words and points me to His word.  I am not sure what all the posts will look like.  Maybe some will just be pictures, maybe some funny stories and  others a bit more but I want to make the time and carve out the space, the chance for God to speak.  Join me?