04 December 2016

Job Description

First of all, y'all, my dining table is so messy right now. I would have put a picture up, but some of my friends are really tidy and would probably be grossed out actually seeing that I sometimes don't even put lunch dishes away until snack time. Just imagine there are two half-gnawed carrots like three inches away from this computer I'm typing on. [bc there definitely are.]

BUT I needed to at least start this post. Making space for me to be able to sit and think about things that aren't practical (in the making-our-house-run sense) is really difficult right now. I realized this morning I have a real problem with my job description.

Or, really, I have a problem with my understanding of my job. Or even what a job is. I think I'm among a large percentage of Americans whose lives have been shaped from a very young age to think about what career we will have. Which, if you look within the scope of all of human history, is fairly unique.

As I've been a full-time stay-at-home mom (albeit part-time paid staff for our church), I've had to process what it means to do the work that I do, and to begin to reorient myself away from overvaluing work that makes money. I've had to let go of feeling useless when I don't bring in money for our family, or ashamed of how little money I've made in the past year (or five. or like all my years, really). I've never had a career; I've only had a full-time, salaried job for one year of my whole life, no joke.

If I'm being honest, I feel like that sounds like I'm pretty useless. Dare I use the word I'm tempted, and really say I feel worthless? Because yeah.

But today I feel the winds of the Spirit saying I need this to be fully uprooted and thrown into the fire. Glorifying God is my job. Full stop. Following Jesus IS my job. And it's also the very best thing I can do for my marriage and my family.

Oh for sure, we could use a bit more income. It would reduce some stress (hi homebuying I DON'T LIKE YOU). But I won't feel more peace by eliminating all the situational stress in my life (also bc that's not a thing that's possible). I need to drink from the well of living water, and be satisfied in the only person who has what my heart needs. THAT is my life's job.

I'm going to start my training period at work now.

22 September 2016


You know, we've now reach the 6 month mark for our daughters being Stateside, so I'm feeling some (mostly internal) pressure to be kid of up-to-speed at this point. But the kids have been sick for almost four weeks (when you pass the same virus back and forth it NEVER LEAVES), and so at least two of them have been difficult (though they do take turns in this are) every blessed day for basically ever.

So you know, I'm not really feeling up to speed or adjusted to life as it is. Life as it is is still really draining. Even when they're not sick, I get tired of making four lunches and snacks and none of them being for me, while having to listen to at least one of them complain about it while simultaneously another is asking for a fork [which is hilariously profane in person] and another is saying "waddeee" [water] over and over.

 But I want to be content in this season, if though I don't think I'm going to look back and say it was my favorite, and I know it's possible to look back on the day and think it was a good one. But I'm struggling to care for them really well and care of myself well too. I mean, I have down time, but really taking care of my heart, soul, and body is still work, and uuuuughhhhh I work all dayyyyyy and I just want to turn my brain off.

So. I'm going to do something easy. I'm going to think of something that went well every day. Today Ezra and Stella organized the bookshelf (as in, all the books are vertical, instead of precariously piled on top/beside each other). And, when they were done, I heard them say, "let's go tell Mommy we did it together."

And it was REAL PRECIOUS YOU GUYS. Like this precious:
Enjoying an actual fire at the mountain house in August
And it's so, so special to see how bonded Ezra and Stella are. They are best friends. All the while Ezra is working out the difference between biological and adopted siblings, Ezra and Stella are knitting together our family in play.

This is a really special time for all four of the kids to be home before the "bigs" go to school next year (Ezra to first and Stella to kinder). And I'm really glad we all have it.

25 August 2016

Pretty Things

You guys, I like pretty things. And now that I don't have my free time taken up with adoption stuff, I've had time to make some pretty things. It's how I stay sane on a day when, say, one kid spits out semi-chewed peanuts onto the carpet, another complains about fun things like playing in the bath, and I get kneed in the nose helping take another kid potty. But it was the same day where all four kids were delighted by my singing the theme song to the Octonauts, so #tradeoffs

It kind of started with decorating for Stephen's ordination. I bought a pompom maker and made some lil cuties just like these:
Wuv these.
 Then I started using leftover yarn from leftover projects (including, but not limited to, Stella's hair designs and blankets that I actually finished).
Like these more refined ones.
I've made some simple wreaths, like the one currently on my door:
Yep, love it, 100 emoji.

And this less-simple one I made for post-Halloween-pre-Christmas (so November, I guess):
It's hard to tell from the photo, but this is a pretty big wreath.
 Also a couple precious cutie woodland ones because *squee!* hedgehog!

I have more up my sleeves, but the real reason I'm posting these is to hopefully be admitted to a show or two to sell some things. I'll leave you with a closeup of Mr CutieFace.

I will sincerely try to update on our lives tomorrow. My chromebook at home can't handle our fancy camera's prowess, so I have to come up to the church office to use pictures. So that's why there haven't been many updates.

24 August 2016

Taco Seasoning

I love making tacos for my family, mainly because all my kids eat taco meat pretty well. And finding something all my kids eat without complaining is a legit miracle. [the other thing they all eat happily is pizza. of course.]

Here's my secret weapon. I'm so sorry you don't have easy access to this lil gem.

I got this black pepper in Uganda, and I use a little bit at a time, to save it. I know spices don't keep all that long, but whatever. I don't like the flavor of our black pepper, but this stuff is delicious. I have searched quite a bit and cannot find a way to buy more, which makes me really sad. I'm sure there's other good stuff, but I want thiiiiiis stuff.

See my fancy photos like the professional bloggers? Those black dots on the carpet aren't bugs; they're Legos. #imsofancy

Anyway, I like this mixture because it's not too spicy for the kids, but not too bland for me. I use almost 2 pounds of ground beef for our tacos because there are 6 people in my family, and my kids pound back tacos, so yeah. I use:

2T chili powder (slightly heaping tablespoons)
1T cumin (also slightly heaping)
1t salt
1/2t onion powder
1/2t garlic powder
1/3t ground black pepper (magic)

and I mix it all in a separate bowl. I am NOT saying this will change your life, unless maybe you're sick and tired of paying for tacos mix, bc this is much cheaper than buying premade seasoning. It's also a lot less salty, and I like to taste more flavors besides salt when I eat food. I also like to make use of HEB's bulk spices, to only keep what I need, and therefore keep my spices fresh. Also they're WAAAY cheaper than buying bottles. WAY.

Anyway, I've been typing this during dinner, so I should probably go. I'm going to post some pictures of things I'm hoping to sell at various craft fairs this fall tomorrow, and maybe (someday) I can actually update you on how life is going.

07 July 2016

Praying is Not Enough

Yes, we MUST be praying. Must. God is more powerful than hate or fear. As I struggle to find a way to sleep tonight, I having been praying the whole time. I'm sure you have been too. We must be praying.

But God doesn't ask us to stay in our houses and pray, the end. We are the body. We must act as Jesus would act. We must speak the words the Spirit gives. We cannot remain in our cloisters. The world NEEDS Jesus, right this moment.

My foremothers (and fathers, but I'm a mother) accomplished amazing things through Christ. And of course they were empowered, grounded, envisioned through prayer. The way was made for them by the Almighty. He went before and guarded from behind. But they did not just pray. They prayed and spoke. They prayed and wrote. They prayed and marched. They prayed and served. And went. And fed. And clothed. And healed. And mothered. And died, in Jesus' name.

Corrie ten Boom prayed. And she organized, hid, fed, clothed, and rescued. And when she was caught, she prayed, and preached, and comforted, and encouraged, and evangelized.

Please don't close yourself off to what God might want to do through you. People are dying. We MUST pray, and we MUST act.