Sunday, August 31, 2014


I should be going to bed, but instead I wanted to post on my blog. I've been having a lot of thoughts lately and I just wanted to get them out. Just so I could look at them and see what I am really thinking.

Ben is still looking for a job. He had an awesome interview the other day but he probably won't get it because another person within the company is applying for it and will probably win out in the end. Oh well, we know that we are in the Lord's hands and He is totally taking care of us.

Food continues to come in through our front door for our many little mouths to feed. We are praying about how we can be a blessing to the community around here and really begin to reach out to the poor and needy.

Debbie is pregnant.

I can't even believe that one. I'm totally pumped for her. Four kids by the time she is 30 is quite an accomplishment. Today is her birthday and she is being whisked away by her husband to spend a few days away from it all. You'll probably find out more about it on social media later from her if you want details.

Six kids ages six and under is still no small challenge, even for two moms. Sometimes I think it's harder because there are two of us and we are each only responsible for our own children. We don't spank each other's children but it's kind of an awkward conversation when you're like, "Hey, your kid hit my kid, can you please give them a spanking?" or "Your kid just talked to me disrespectfully and refused to obey, do you want to do something about that?" … I don't know, it's just challenging at times. Honestly, we just need a lot of grace for each other and love for each other's kids. Two year olds are just difficult. So are three and four year olds and even six year olds at times. Sometimes you just want to knock their little heads together and tell them to get a clue. But you can't do that, so you try as hard as you can to be a patient as you can and pray to Jesus that He will not allow you to do any permanent damage on their precious little spirits.

We are about to add another single girl to the commune. Can I call it that? That means that 12 people will be living here. Gabriel's mom AKA: Emmie, or as I would like to call her: an Angel From Heaven Above is here for two weeks so she makes 13. Between us all we have two and a half bathrooms. There are six bedrooms being utilized … and one washer and one dryer. Whew. We can do this.

I keep reminding myself of this:

There are people in this world who have like ten people all living in a single 10x10 room or smaller. There are people who have to use a communal squatty potty (I've been to the refugee camps in thailand, I know this firsthand) There are people in this world who don't have running water. They don't have dishwashers or refrigerators or washing machines or vehicles (between all of us we have a RIDICULOUS amount of vehicles). The truth is that we have it GOOD. We have showers and sinks where water magically comes out if you just turn a simple handle. It's amazing. We have phones and computers which allow us to be connected to the rest of the world. We have AIR CONDITIONING that allows us not to get too hot in our house.

We. Are. Blessed. Period.

If you hear me start to complain about needing some more space or something like that, just slap me upside the head please.

All in all I'm really excited about this new girl moving in though. There is a depth that you get to know someone when you see them in the morning and then at night and you just hang out with them on a very regular basis. You get to see them at their best and their worst. It's a beautiful thing. I'm very excited about her coming to live with us.

Lord, thank You for perspective. Let me never lose a heart of gratitude. Show me how to be thankful for each day, for each moment and each treasure. Help me to live and breathe in You. Please teach me to walk humbly, to love mercy and to do justly. I need You God. I desperately need You. On my own I do this stuff very poorly, so help me depend on You.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Life Lately

Okay, so I haven't had much time to write lately. I feel bad because I'm sure a lot of my Little Rock friends are wondering what is going on with me lately.

Here's what's happening: we're still alive. 

I guess you could tell that from my Facebook and Instagram anyways. 

We are deep into community and communal living. Can I just say this? I love it. This is the way we were meant to live as believers. We need each other and we need new perspectives. I love living with the Mayes and I love it that we have a single guy who lives with us as well. We are able to encourage one another, help each other, serve one another in so many ways. I'm praying that if or when God moves us out of this house, He will give us another family to live life on life with. 

Don't get me wrong. It's not been all flowers and roses. There have been some hard moments when my actions have been called into question or our parenting has needed some critique. Those things have nit necessarily been easy to hear, but they have been good for us to hear. I was reading in Proverbs 12 today. Verse one says "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid." Yep. Lord, teach me to receive correction, let me change to be more Christlike in my character, in my parenting, as a wife and as a sister in Christ. 

Ben is still on the hunt for a job, we are continuing to trust The Lord and pray for His provision. So many times lately He has provided groceries (basically the only thing we are helpng pay for other than gas) just from other dropping off food or getting food pantry items. It's always exactly what we need. We have also found ways to be frugal but still have fun. Last week we rode the train to a neighboring town and walked to their park and brought a picnic, the train was only $6 for all of us. The week before we went to a beach here in Crystal Lake, it was after 5:30, so we got in for free and then picnicked on the beach. It's been a lot of fun and forced us to be more creative with our resources. 

Levi is loving having constant playmates around.  When he's not building Legos with Gracen he's usually playing mommy and daddy with Darby or cars with Deacon. Aria and Deacon have finally become friends. I think before they just tolerated each other but this past week they have actually started playing together. I mean like, for real playing. I think they now consider each other friends ... Maybe. It very much reminds me of when Levi's cousin Caroline came back from Africa two years ago and for the first month or two they fought constantly, we could not leave them alone together. But by the end of the four month period of her being here they were best buds.  I still look back on that with fondness in my heart. 

We are attempting some potty training this week with the two year olds ... So keep Debbie and me in your prayers if you think of us.

I feel like God just keeps stripping away layers and layers of pride in my life. I was thinking, they I'm pretty awesome, we are going up to help with a church up here in Chicago, we got this... But I thni more than anything God is wanting my humble submission. I'm struggling a lot with taking the humble place. Well, maybe not struggling with it, I mean, I'm doing it or it's happening, that's one reason why I haven't blogged in a while, because I have been asking, am I doing this for my glory or for God's? I'm coming into a place of questioning all of my motives, and it's a good thing. I feel like The Lord had to pull us out of our normal lifestyle in Little Rock and bring us up here to where we would be uncomfortable and where we would have to depend on Him even more. 

Lord, please change me. 
Teach me to be humble. 
Teach me to seek You with all my heart.
Show me Your ways and Your paths, I need You. 

I have nothing else.