Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Long Handled Spoon

Have you used your long-handled-spoon lately?
It's so easy to believe that whatever we do is really so very small and ineffective in the bigger picture ... like a drop in the bucket.
Well, if everyone is putting drops in the bucket it isn't long and that bucket is filled.
I received this in an email recently and it's really stuck with me so I thought I'd share and let you chew on it awhile. And thanks to everyone who made a bid at the LWB auction!

"I am only one; but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

Long Handled Spoons

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said,
'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.'

The Lord led the holy man to two doors.
He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.
In the middle of the room was a large round table.
In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew,
which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.
The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.
They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.
But because the handle was longer than their arms,
they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.
The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell. They went to the next room and opened the door.
It was exactly the same as the first one.
There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water.
The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, 'I don't understand.
'It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill.
You see, they have learned to feed each other.

The greedy think only of themselves.'

When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you.

Have you used your long-handled-spoon lately?

and as an added thought ... when I received the email containing this it was titled "7%"
Interesting I thought, I didn't see anything about 7% in the email??
Then later that day I read the following while surfing online for something totally unrelated (a friend recently gave me a word for this. I'm pretty sure it was a "Godincidence.")

"143 million orphans may seem overwhelming, but if only 7% of the 2 billion Christians would care for orphans in their distress, there would effectively be no more orphans. We can each do something."

Only 7% ... wow ... doesn't seem like that large of a number does it?

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Hardest Job

Please remember that the Love Without Boundaries Art Auction closes
TODAY (Tuesday) and there is still a chance to bid on some outstanding
things! (ie: a certain quilt maybe?) If you aren't sure if you are interested in anything please go to the LWB website and click on the "Medical" button and then on "sponsor a child" to find the inspiration in the eyes of a child to find something that you could really be interested in. (See post a few down to see a photo of the aforementioned quilt.)

This week the weather has been a bit rainy and cold (actually with some tornadoes
thrown in to just make things interesting.) But last Friday was SO
welcome with temps in the 80s! And to celebrate we met my husband at
his workplace and had a family picnic on the lawn since my Kdg . did not
have school and we were ALL available. I've not seen other families do
this but I think they should. It's a beautiful, lush campus that has
lots of trees-it's really a shame that people usually only see them
while driving by on the busy road. And the boys also enjoyed climbing a
tree or two which was fun!

I also had one of those mommy moments that kinda pulls at the heart the day before when I was in our own lawn with Nolan. He started crawling off the blanket to discover some treasure--a crinkly leaf further over in the yard. Seeing his little bottom
crawling off into the distance over the hill gave me both a chuckle and also a little twinge of "Oh no, he's going to grow up so quickly!"

It's hard to be a parent sometimes, wanting them to stay little, wanting
them to grow up too ... I guess that's why it's so sweet to just cherish
them now--easy or hard, good or bad, just love them the best you can.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Life from a different view

I just wanted to post something a little bit more lighthearted today ...
(But please read yesterday's post too)

Here is our little cupboard rearranger at work. I usually set him to work with the bowls while I'm busy making supper or doing the dishes ... I think he's on to me though. He now has figured out how to get my attention while I'm making supper by hanging from the bottom of my jeans! ACK! and he knows I'm a softy for his little face looking up at me ... ergo my ever enlarging left bicep from hoisting him up as my little chef helper.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Born In My Heart Art Auction

It's finally here! The Born In My Heart Art Auction, April 23-28. Check it out here.

I'm really excited to see all the neat items up for auction at 9am PST today (Thursday, April 23) and I'm also anxious to see if anyone bids on the quilt that I sent in. (Oh I really hope so!) I want there to be so many heart surgery expenses to be covered!
In case you are cautious of donating, please know that 100% of the proceeds from this auction benefit heart surgeries for these little people. In some cases it not only gives them the gift of life ... but it also makes it possible for them to be one step closer to adoption and a forever family! If you are needing a gift for Mother's Day I can't think of a better place to look for a gift than this auction!! Honor both your own mother and the life of a child with your purchase--I guarantee your mother will be pleased and probably very moved!

As for this quilt, entitled Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone the Glory), creating it was truly a labor of love for me through much prayer about where God was in all of the pain and loneliness in the world especially for the orphans--for children who simply long to be LOVED ... what a basic human need!
and to have a mom and a dad of their very own.
Isn't that something that should be a given in life?!
Especially if you are sick or have a medical issue?
You should always be able to have parents shouldn't you?!
These thoughts overwhelmed me and I asked Him what I could possibly do to help with something that was so far away and yet tugged at my heart and made it hurt SO much. Me, a stay-at-home-mom and artist. Wasn't I busy enough with my own kids? Why did this bother me SO much and even more so when I was with my kids? Shouldn't I just focus on them and not be so concerned with things out of my hands? Well that didn't seem right ...
But if I was supposed to make a difference why hadn't I become a surgeon or a missionary or rich entrepreneur or something more "useful." Why did I go to school to be a stinkin' artist? Suddenly that seemed like a terrible waste ... And I kid you not, within a day I had been led to the LWB Art Auction, how perfect is that?! With an entry deadline 3 weeks away I had just enough time to finish a project, which I did with 1 day to spare. Apparently God can even use an artist! That was really encouraging! It's times like these that really give me goose-bumps and lets me KNOW--because sometimes I guess I need to be reminded--that YES He does listen to us, He does answer our prayers and He loves it when our hearts are burdened for what He feels deeply about and how He is glorified by letting Him use us as His hands and feet. God does care for the orphan ... and it is His will that WE reach out to them and care for them, not because it's easy or because we're at the perfect place in our lives or because we're in the perfect occupation but because we know what it feels like to be loved, to be included in a family and not only a human family but more importantly a Heavenly family.

I received 2 references to St. Theresa of Avila today in different emails and again it's one of those goose-bump moments. It's really not often that I get emails quoting Saints and the quotes really fit so perfectly with where I am right now! I'd like to pass this one along in the hope that it will encourage you too.

"May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us." --St. Theresa of Avila

I look forward in faith that God has many useful plans for all of us--in the little and the big things.
He is Mighty to save!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Brotherly Love

Being the mom of 3, yes, THREE, boys is a constant learning experience. In fact ... I'm not sure of the math, but I'm sure that it's not equivalent to 3 girls or 3 people either. Three boys is a much larger number due to the energy,curiosity and constant competition that occurs between them. I am forever amazed at the number of things they come up with to come in "first" at. Brushing teeth, putting on shoes, getting their cereal bowl milk poured first, getting their pj's on ... pretty much anything is a race.

This weekend we had a visit from Grandma and took her and Aunt Jackie with us to a Mercy Me concert. It was really a great concert--even though the event center had no air conditioning due to last year's floods in Iowa and the arena temperature was sweltering! Yes, you're reading this right, we took everyone. I'm pretty sure that taking a 10 month old to a Christian rock concert isn't probably in the Dr.Sear's book of things to do ... in fact I couldn't find the sticker for it on my Baby's First Year
Calendar either so apparently it's a bit rare.I did bring cottonballs for his ears and luckily was able to strip him down to a light cotton pair of pants and his onsie so
he was much happier than the rest of us folks dripping with sweat in our long sleeve sweatshirts and jeans. And as I sat in the hallway where it was a bit quieter and cooler for most of the concert missing what was being said and hearing the music from afar I played pattycake with our littlest man and just enjoyed the moment for what it was knowing that there will be many concerts down the road that I can go to alone and many more that he probably won't want me tagging along.

So here it is Monday, my oldest is home sick from school. Or may I be so bold to suggest that I think he is actually F A K I N G being sick (sigh) In actuality, I think he's tired from the weekend and just wanted to hang with the family. The boys are playing pretty well together off and on and even have taken time to play with Nolan in their tent. I'm sure it won't be long and we'll need to be explaining 3
way ties to stop the competitive tears. But for now, lets hope for generous
winners and grateful losers and lots of brotherly love.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easton's Haircut

So I've had a lot of things I SHOULD have blogged about in the last week that certainly take priority over today's events, like Nolan's first words beyond "Maaam and Dadada"--I know he said "bubble" while I was giving him a bath and "uh oh"--of course he won't repeat "bubble" again for anyone else--but in my mother's heart I know I heard it :-)
... SO I have to start in somewhere because if I wait until I have a predetermined undisturbed 10 minutes that I can devote to blogging-- it just will never happen!

Today Easton let me cut his hair.
That in itself may be understandable BIG for a 3.5 year old as they often don't like people in THEIR space, especially with sharp scissors near their ears. (Of course if it were he and his brother with sharp objects near his face he'd probably not see the harm in it. Go figure.) Anyway, to further appreciate this milestone it needs to be pointed out that Easton's comfort item is ... hair. He loves to hold onto hair. Usually mine, but in a pinch his own will do. In fact I've often thought maybe we should have named him Samson. I really don't mind him reaching for my hair--it's one of the last "baby" things that he still has as he is growing up so fast. Even his chubby cheeks are thinning down. (He loves to ask me, "I'm a ittle-bit-big right mom?" Oh, it just melts my heart.)

Anyway, he HATES having his hair cut, even at the cute kids place that provides them with suckers and movies to watch while sitting on a pony taken from a merry-go-round--believe me I've tried about everything to get him into getting a haircut without having to physically restrain him in a full body hug and both of us leaving totally full of hair and tears. Lately however he has done well with the gal in our little town who just uses scissors and not the buzz trimmer. This kind of scissors only haircut looks nice, but just not for as long ... so I thought as we near summer I might try to save a few dollars and try cutting it myself. And he actually agreed today--as long as I just used scissors! (Maybe because his big brother has been agreeing to me cutting his hair for awhile now and has done a super good job proving how painless it is.)

So today, I gauged his mood and asked if he'd be up for it and when he agreed I jumped at the opportunity! I put in a Scooby Doo video (he really likes Daphne ... probably because of her hair) got out the scissors and started snipping. It was going really well when I realized that I had done a really great job on the front and over the ears but if he decided to bail at that point he would be sporting a major mullet and it would be worse than the shaggy-look he had to begin with! All in all we got it done, with a few tears near the end -- but NOTHING like usual. It's not a professional job, but it does look acceptable.


Here's a photo of our Easter boys (sorry the haircut refused to be photographed.)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 23-28th, 2009 check out
The Love Without Boundaries Art Auction online!

You can view one of the items up for auction at the bottom of this blogsite. Created from deep in my heart, I hope it can generate funds to mend some hearts as well.

For those who may not be familiar with this event, the “Born in my Heart” art auction benefits orphans in China who are in need of heart surgery. With these surgeries not only are these children truly given the gift of life but they also could be given the gift of a forever family by finally having the chance to be adopted.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On your marks ... get set ... go

Okay, I'm officially starting this blog--and as I stumble through figuring out how this all works I hope you'll bare with me. I'm a graphic designer for goodness sake, I think I should be able to figure this out ... however, doing that while keeping 3 boys occupied is another matter! My first posting will be short and sweet. I'm putting a photo of my two older boys on the page first ... mainly because I figured out how to get them there ... but also because they are so handsome! This photo is from a couple of months ago when they were in their cousin's wedding as ringbearers. They did a wonderful job and made us so very proud.

We'll hopefully have the rest of the family up online soon as I get a hang of this ... stay tuned!

The family

The family