Sunday, September 22, 2013

feeling burdened

I know it’s been a while since anything has been posted—it’s been busy DSC_0100around here.  We just celebrated our 27th anniversary with a few days on the Oregon coast.  We took a whale watching trip!   The boys have started some new therapy that takes several hours a week.  We started our 4th year of homeschooling in 2013-09-13 10.31.16late August, and they’re working hard at the 3rd grade.  (And, I’m LOVING what I see this year!)   They’re playing soccer this fall for the first time.  I’m keeping busy too:  watching extra kids on Mondays and Wednesdays, teaching preschool on Tuesdays, taking one to speech therapy every Friday, and being wife/mom/homeschool teacher every day.

The burden, though, comes in something Jim and I are doing together, and loving!  We’ve been blessed with the privilege (and the responsibility!) of teaching a parenting series to the young families at church.  Taking what we learned over the years through the amazing pastor who taught us when we were young parents, adding what we’ve learned through our own experience, and making sure that it flows and makes sense has been a challenge.  It’s an incredible privilege to stand in front of these people every Sunday and teach from our hearts.  Both of us, though, have been surprised by the overwhelming burden we feel.  Families are struggling.    The heartache is big.  The needs are plenty.  We have emailed and talked in person and on the phone with hurting people.  Standing before them every Sunday, looking at their faces and knowing a tiny bit about their struggles…oh man.  There aren’t enough hours in a day for me to be in prayer for these precious people!  As we teach, we try to make sure that each session has laughter, hope, and encouragement included with the truth of God’s word.  And yet…my heart breaks for the struggles out there.  Every Sunday I come home ready for a nap because of the emotional workout.   Fortunately, we have also been blessed with a very gracious audience.  They are tenderhearted and gentle with us and with their fellow parents.  They are encouraging and positive.  We are seeing people reach out to others.  We are seeing growth!

For those who know me, hearing that I’m helping teach for 3+ months is a bit of a surprise.  I’m a huge introvert.  I don’t like speaking in public.  I don’t like putting myself out there.  I don’t like big crowds or nametags or anything else that exposes me.  Heavens…I’ve been known to throw up before I teach at church from the nerves!  I’m a small group gal.  One on one, or groups of 5 or 6?  Not a problem.  More than that and I’m completely out of my element.  Standing in front of 40 or 50 people week after week and exposing my parenting struggles?  Failures?  SO not me.  But this is where God has put us. Where He has equipped us to be at this time.  Where He has asked us to go.  So we go.  And we pray—for the marriages and single parents and families.  Best of all, we have a great time together up in front, teaching.  The experience is fun, and the burdens we feel has drawn us together as we spend time each day praying for these people.

How’s it possible to have a heart that is both heavy and light at the same time?  Well, doing what God has called us to do and seeing (in tiny amounts) the hurts of His people put us here.  For now, we focus on doing what He commanded in 2 Timothy 2:2  “…the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” 

Parents.  Reliable people, qualified to teach others.   They have a tough job.  Helping to bear their burdens is the least we can do.

Friday, August 23, 2013

wheat free update

First, though,  some vacation pics, since I never posted any:2013-07-22 19.09.11    

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Our 20th summer at Blue Lake in eastern Washington.  The boys invited a friend  to come this year.  Dasha’s a delightful young lady and the 3 of them had a marvelous time (in case you couldn’t tell.)

We are still (mostly) wheat free around here.  The benefits are huge, so it’s a permanent thing.  Little things like losing many of Logan’s temper tantrums and big things like clear skin and significant weight gain for Ryan (example:  as of March 1, 2013, he’d been with us 7 1/2 years and had gained 21 pounds.  Between March 1 and July 19—while we were wheat free—he gained just over 4 pounds.  We LOVE that!) have been wonderful! Surprisingly, it’s not as hard as I would have expected.  I’ve found a great all purpose flour substitute and (by accident!) discovered that it generally works as a substitute in my everyday recipes.  Actually, we discovered it when I used my favorite wheat based recipe for pizza crust and grabbed the wrong flour container.  Made it up with wheat free flour and it worked quite nicely.  As a matter of fact, the general consensus that it’s BETTER with the wheat free flour!  Not bad.  Cornbread last night using my regular recipe and wheat free flour was just as delicious, and no one would know it was wheat free.   Just the way we like it to be.  Once in a while we find ourselves in a place where wheat free options aren’t doable, and it’s okay. Ryan’s got a nice little patch on the back of his neck that gets itchy when he gets too much wheat.  Fortunately, it gives plenty of warning, and we’ve not seen him return to the ‘covered with eczema’ state of our wheat eating days. 

I’ve heard from people who’ve tried wheat free for one person and talk about how hard it is.  I can’t imagine doing this for only one person!  It had to be an all or nothing thing around here.  I’m not a short order chef, and I can’t imagine trying to manage meals with and without wheat.  Fortunately, we’re not dealing with a life-or-death situation here, and if we get some wheat it’s not going to make anyone immediately ill.  That certainly makes it easier.  Nevertheless, we all eat wheat free.  In the long run, we’re feeling healthier because of it, so it’s been worth the learning curve.

Now, to tackle the ongoing issue of developmental delays.  And get started with another school year.  Another day…and another post or two. 

Friday, August 16, 2013


My parents will have their 50th anniversary in December.  But because no one wants to have a fun party outdoors in December, we chose to honor them the first Saturday in August.   The weather was perfect (not too hot, not too cool, and no rain!), the location was lovely, the food was delicious, and the turn-out of people who love Mom and Dad was amazing.  

This is just a small portion of the pics from the day.  The family shots were fun…it’s the first time ever all 18 of us have been together in the same place at the same time.  To help identify the grandkids, in the picture of my mom with her granddaughters, from left to right it’s Hailey, Mom, Emily, and Tori.  All the girls are mine.  Smile  In the picture of my dad with his grandsons, from right to left it’s (back row)  Ted (Pam’s older son), Alec (Chris’ older son), Dad, and Brent (my oldest son).  Middle row:  Nick (Pam’s younger son), Logan (my middle son), and Ryan (my youngest son).  Sitting on the grass in front is Sam, Chris’ younger son.