Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From Babies to Adults

Hello Friends From the Land of Corn(again),

We officially started our family vacation Monday morning. We drove straight through arriving in Illinois at 3:30 Tuesday morning. Driving straight through is hard on the parents, but a shorter trip for the kids as they are sleeping half the time. When everyone was younger we would start around mid-afternoon, make a stop for dinner, then the kids would watch a movie and go to sleep.

My mother-in-law looks remarkably better since we were here three weeks ago. They re-admitted her to the hospital last week and drained the fluid off her lungs and that has helped. Her color looks better, she is talking better, she is moving around better, it really is amazing the difference. It has been a long recovery for her, but the Lord has been faithful.

Six years ago we made our first trip out west. We have been wanting to go back, so this is the year. Our oldest son will be 18 in December and we realize our summers of having all 4 kids available to take a vacation are quickly coming to an end.

At MOPS last week we had to introduce ourselves to someone as if it was 10 years ago and then again as if it was 10 years in the future. It was exciting for me to talk about the future. I imagine I will have a grandchild and children getting married(I'm looking forward to planning a wedding with my daughter) in 10 years.

As hard as it can be to think about having an empty nest and how fast our little ones become adults, it is necessary for us as moms to think of the future. What joy it will be to welcome new daughters or sons into our family through marriage, how interesting it will be to watch our sons start careers and our daughters decorate their own homes, what blessings we will experience as we hold our grandchildren for the first time(I told my kids I expect a minimum of 16 grandchild), and what fun it will be to be friends with our adult children.

One of our MOPS mentor moms said "I love having adult children". Eric and I have enjoyed every stage of our childrens' lives, so I imagine we will enjoy their adult years as well.

Ladies, as your children grow watch with wonder and invest yourself in each age. Enjoy every age for the uniqueness it offers, looking forward to the years ahead and all they will offer you.

Have a blessed day as you mother your little ones and love on your husband.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Broken Washing Machine-Oh No

Hello Ladies,

My washing machine is broken. We are getting ready to head out west for a three week vacation and the washer doesn't work. It is a terrible time to have dirty laundry and no way to wash it. I can wash some, but I have to fill the machine for the rinse cycle with a hose. So I took all the dirty clothes to a laundromat. We used three of the biggest machines and in no time it was done. So even though it's bad that my machine is broken, it was wonderful to get all the laundry done quickly.

Washing machines sure make our lives easier; we tend not to appreciate the value of them until our machine isn't working. What things in your life are you taking for granted? Maybe it is the fact that you husband faithfully gets up every morning to go to his job and provide for his family. Maybe it is your children or a close friend. Maybe it is your house, cars or other material items that make our lives easier. It is so easy to get caught up in every day busyness and forget what really is important.

Make time to appreciate all God has given you. Be sure to let your husband know you think he is a great provider and that you appreciate him going to work every day. Hug your children and tell them you so glad they are your kids. Call a friend or relative to let them know you're thinking of them. Lastly, give God thanks for blessing you so richly.

Thank you for all the positive feedback you have been giving. I love encouragement like that. I am simply amazed at what God is doing with these simple notes. He truly gets all the credit.

Blessed to be your mentor,

P.S. I will be checking email on vacation, so if you need something let me know. Don't forget to whisper a little thank you to God for the invention of the washing machine and dishwasher. They make life so much easier.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Trusting God

Dear Ladies,

We did it. We bought a car. Our car was starting to have too many problems, so we were looking and praying. We needed something REALLY big, since two boys have very long legs. We bought a used conversion van complete with a CD player, 2 cassette playes and a TV, plus plenty of room for long legs.

Before my trip to Illinois we looked at a van, the frame was unusually rusty. Neither one of us felt real comfortable buying it. I had prayed about making the trip and told the Lord I either needed a van or I would have to trust Him to get me there and back. Obviously I ended up trusting Him. The van did fine. Two weeks later, we pulled into the driveway on a Thursday night having had no car problems. Friay morning the tailpipe was dragging. Sunday morning on the way to church a little light informed us there was a problem with the ABS brakes. WOW!! I know it isn't coincidence that the van was fine until the morning after we pulled into our driveway. It is almost like God was revealing to me that indeed He was the one who helped that van make the trip.

God wants to hear your needs and desires. Talk to Him like you would a dotting grandfather. I recently told Him that I didn't know what to do with my kids for history. I don't have a curriuculum for history and wasn't sure how to handle it for this school year. Wiithin days an idea formed in my brain. We are busy making timeline books for major events between the late 1800's and the present. It's working great and everyone is happy. Where did the idea come from, I believe God planted it.

He cares about all the issues that come up in our everyday life. He cares that the cost of groceries is hurting your family, He cares that the baby is teething, He cares a friend hurt your feelings, He cares your husband is out of town again. Share those things with Him. Talk to Him while you work, as you're falling asleep at night or while you're drinking you rmorning cup of coffee. He justs wants to hear from you, He just wants you to ask.
Give it a try and if you like let me know what happens.

Blessings to all of you. Have a wonderful weekend.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Serving Others

Dear Ladies,

Sorry about the blank email. I hit something and off it went.

Taking care of an elderly parent is much the same as caring for little children. First you get them settled and comfy and then you clean the kitchen. Then you walk them around for exercise and then do a load of laundry. But no matter an elderly parent or a child it is a joy to care for someone, to show someone you really love them by laying down your life and serving them.

I'm so glad I decided to make the journey to Illinois to be with my in-laws. It has given my father-in-law a chance to get out and a break from doing everything alone. It has given me a chance to give back to two people who have countless times helped me out. And it has given my children a chance to see love in action.

For some people acts of service is the way they show love(their love language), but for others it doesn't come as easily. But for all of us there can be pure joy in helping a friend. Whether a simple dinner or keeping a family of 5 extra children for a month, the act of service brings blessing to both the giver and receiver. During times of sorrow or pain in your own life the best way to forget you troubles is to serve someone else. Who will you serve today? Start with your husband and do something extra for him. It will be a great way to show him your love.

The kids did some fishing yesterday with their cousin(who visited for the weekend) and the 2 girls learned how to clean a fish. So today we are having a fish fry.

The town we are in has a beautiful park, so we have gone to play twice. They have "the best playground in the world" according to my youngest boy.

Thank you for all the kind responses to my last letter, it was great to hear from you. For those of you in MOPS I look forward to seeing you Friday.

Blessings to all,

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