Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Heart beats

When I'm driving and I turn up the praise music very very loud so that I can express my zeal for the Lord, I can feel the bass of the song, beating through the car and right into my chest. It is rhythmic like a heart beat, and it reminds me that like my every moment of living God knows and creates all my circumstances. I am pleased to be in His hands.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Two nights ago was the first time I have ever been prompted to pray before: "Make me dependent every moment on you."

I think I am beginning to see how come I always dredded a relationship with the Lord. It is because the idea of needing to go to prayer or the word for every decision I make seems so -- crippling -- . Who has the time or the interest to submit so often and so much of my everyday life? I'd run out of day to live. I've never asked anyone their opinion that much on anything. Not even when I was a child! Even when I was a child I wanted to do most everything without imput from my parents, or anyone else who was wise.

Everyone around me seems to be saying the same thing:

"And the Lord is saying to me right now, you know Sydney you really need me. No, Sydney; YOU REALLY NEED ME." (name is changed to protect the unknowing)

"When the time came for Abraham to rescue Lot, or for you to rescue others, will you be ready like he was?"

"I measure life's accomplishment not by what I have gained but by what I have given away."

I am finally assenting mentally. God is also working this out in my heart, building a good work, because I spend a lot of my time in the day depressed because I can't pray or read my bible.

It's coming.

Trophy for the song of the year

I have been ever searching for that feminine expression in a song. As for my Christian self this is the song which has taken my trophy for best expression of the female heart in relation to God. Unbeknownst to everyone this song has held this title undefeated for a year now--I have been waiting to blog this entry since I began blogging altogether.

Here is what I can offer--lyrics. But the song is so much more. Make sure you hear the -guitar- version.

Beautiful Name, by Zoegirl

Your heart I seek to find
Your hands have fashioned mine
Let me be used by you to carry truth
To the ends of the earth
'Til everyone's heard
A mended heart will share Your words
I will tell the world that You are God

I will run
I will fly
I will live to be a sacrifice
Through it all I'll rise above
Unafraid I will face what comes
I will run
I will fly
And for my faith I'll live & die
I'll be strong - I will press on
For the sake of Your beautiful name
Your beautiful name

Should all life cease to grow
Should chaos take control
The only hope we know is You will save us
It's worth the cost to take up my cross
As You take back what's been lost
Until all who doubt know
You are God

I will run
I will fly
I will live to be a sacrifice
Through it all I'll rise above
Unafraid I will face what comes
I will run
I will fly
And for my faith I will live & die
I'll be strong - I will press on
For the sake of Your beautiful name
Your beautiful name

I'm not captive anymore
I'm gonna soar to a new place
Take on a new pace
I know what my life is worth

I will run
I will fly
I will live to be a sacrifice
Through it all I'll rise above
Unafraid I'll face what comes
I will run
I will fly
And for my faith I will live & die
I'll be strong - I will press on
For the sake of Your beautiful name
Your beautiful name

Yes, this is my favorite song, and it has been for this whole year.

Yesterday afternoon I saw how to choreograph it. I just stood there and saw it all--how I would dance to it so that I could maximize it's expression. However the moves this song call for are those which I need professional training for. But I would do it, and if I could, I would be quite fulfilled to see God magnified. In order for me to do this song right I need three things: To lose 40 pounds (I need to be not average but skinny) because in order for a move to look right there has to be straight lines, to take a class for a while till I get the moves, and then buy a new house that would have a huge open space where I could run and leap without flipping over the couch. If you know what I mean. No sweat, right?? Ha. No really, in myself I have what it takes physically and inspirationally. We'll see if the Lord ever blesses me this way.

Historically I have rarely attempted guitar songs in dance. They are beyond my ability to express, a challenge. They are more complex, more variated and more emotional than the human voice, and it takes a lot of ambition to try and do it.

Also I think that God blessed me to think of this choreography, where more space and more across-the-floor kinds of movements are used. It would solve my issues regarding dance that is not sinful. I have thought about this a long time (how to make dance right for God), and I have to think about it some more.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

No sweets of giving them up

Nothing is as I would first choose it to be, right now. I miss my baby to be and I am failing at nearly everything.

Works-righteousness is the idea that our peace in Christ variates because of the choices we make to do or not do the right things. And I think if I believed it I would lose hope. Because my Christianity would diminish when I was frustrated at myself. But it's at that very moment that He wants to be there with me; it's the frustrated He came to save, and that is why I keep on believing that I am restored fully through faith alone.

When I fail I feel like giving up on being obedient altogether. Even when I know there is a blessing promised, if it is too hard, or if I am too incapable or too slow to change, then it doesn't look like it pays off, anymore, to try to do what is right. And that is why I begin to loathe myself. Because I am stuck. I am forced to choose to surrender my goal or else forced to admit that I don't have it in me to make it there.

I need a mediator. My mediator is faith.

Not faith in myself that I am awesomely strong enough or good enough, because I'll waste a lifetime proving myself that that awesomeness doesn't exist. Nor do I have faith that somehow the standard is not as strictly interpreted as I once thought (that is true deception right there). But faith in God to produce in me, all of it in me, -the work of generating something from nothing.-

If the Artic Sea is the Holy Spirit, and a year ago I was an iceberg floating in that sea, today I am still an iceberg, only a significantly smaller one. There are portions to the sides of me that have fallen away; some of those chunks are floating nearby; some of them have melted and evened in temperature with the fluid water and disappeared. But my goal is to be completely shattered with only small chunks left floating and ready to be melted.

Remember how I said that I have been on a diet/fasting-thing? Well, the day after I wrote that entry I woke up and everything was different in my heart. I no longer had the strength to withhold food from myself nor did I feel like it was necessary to do so, and I didn't even feel guilty. It was like God had moved on, and withdrawn that radical path from my options. Back to the complacent, common path.

I recently read a story of a technique a parent was using to potty-train her three year old boy. "The wise mother cheerfully said to the boy, "Son, Mother has decided that you are just not old enough to be eating sweets, so until you get a little bigger and stop pottying in your clothes, you will not be allowed anything sweet." For a week he seemed to be... monkish about the sweets.... Then the day for French toast came around. Not eating syrup, they were allowed one teaspoon of powdered sugar per toast. After watching the other children receive their powdered sugar, the forlorn fellow said to mama, "I sure do like powdered sugar on my French toast." "I know you do," she said, "but you are not old enough yet." After his deprived breakfast of plain French toast, he climbed down, walked around to his mother, and with all the soberness of one making a revolutionary, life-time decision, he announced, "Mother, I am ready to stop wearing a diaper. Take it off." That was it. From that moment on, he took himself to the toilet. A week later, the little man, now possessed of a more disciplined character, climbed up to the table, sat down on his dry pants and had his French toast crowned with a spoon of powdered sugar." (Pearl, TUAC, Ch. 11)

I've gotta find my reason to get to the Word of God and prayer, just like that boy needs to remove himself to go into the bathroom to do his business. The reason why He let my power to keep offering up my eating habits disappear, is because He wants to be the source of my vision and strength to accomplish my diet.

After all, imagine how easy it would be for people to marvel at an amazing diet I suddenly find that works so quickly and so assuredly. Just because I'm a Christian? Because I know something they don't? No. That's not good enough. At least, that's God's point. He wants to be there every moment for me so that I will be very forced to admit that it was He who did it from start to finish.

It is a miracle to become a Christian and have rights to the power of Christ. But it's all training on my part to utilize any of it for myself. He let me see how sweet it could be. But when I said no as I have so far in my life for striving to remain in fellowship with Him, He took the power away.

He is building His case in my diet and in all my other failures, to help me want to choose willingly to let Him build a daily relationship with Him and I.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Renouncing in order to Receive

I could see my sinful nature having been fed through the blogging effort, and so awhile back I prayed about it. This time however He didn't ask me to be removed from blogging but rather made my pride removed from me. So I'll keep on.

I'm just tired of walking any form of a path that increases my witness of hype over... me. I don't want hooplah for me anymore; there are moments here and there when I have drifted too far from the Lord's voice when I accidentally start to think about how awesome I am again, and then I get slapped in the face again, by shame. Being honest wading through how much I am messed up, it disgusts me to see my image be exaulted.

I am willing to lay down anything, if I can just remove the hype from my heart. I want no room for it.

I am glad that I have been so insulted by myself. All I want is to change. My dependence on God is increasing by quality and quantity.

It is amazing how die-hard this notion of works-righteousness goes in my heart. It is always there, keeping me deceived, keeping me at bay from the Lord who does all good things. Works-righteousness is opposed to trust. And I am glad that it isn't my burden to do amazing things for Christ, except by faith.

Here is what the Lord has me walking through, since I began a serious training session from the Lord starting about a month ago:

--giving up my baby, and plans for a baby soon even though....
--giving up being at LDS Digital whom are not only a love of mine because of Christ but at the minimum a three-year reinforced routein of daily conversation and thought-stimulation
--giving up speaking my thoughts, just because it's in my heart
--praying, oh, praying like it is my very crutch
--giving up in family dynamic matters
--giving up food
--comitting to a daily reading of God's word

It has been very challenging! When I used to have one thing go sour I'd just turn to another, but that "another" is gone, too! And so on and so forth. My mind has very little to focus its pleasures of anticipation on.

You have to renounce before you can receive the blessing. One part must be cut off so that another part can flourish. I keep concentrating on these concepts as I practice everyday giving up what I want to eat. Since somewhere around at least Thanksgiving I have stopped eating, where now I eat, at the most, half of what I used to. It is an amazing thing to see how little food I really need to live on. It is amazing to see how the hunger sensation keeps being strong well after I have gotten full. I never knew these things until now. In all my life I have never tried to deny myself food. The concept to me was painful, and I wouldn't even consider it. I knew I had no ability to restrict myself, so I never even wanted to try anything committed. But God has somehow delivered me a strength I never had, to begin! It takes so much concentration to not eat like I used to, that I've had to change around my entire normal routein.

When I fail to withstand temptation, I feel angry and I feel like giving up altogether, because I hate myself. It has come to my realization that it is very much a part of God's plan for me to experience this frustration. Usually this frustration makes me fall away. But that's not good enough anymore--I want obedience too much now. Now it has the opposite effect on me; I am propelled to remain close to the Vine, to Him--He wants to give what I need moment by moment so that I abide perpetually in obedience and satisfaction. So the hatred for myself, instead of fueling my giving up, is fueling my understanding that I need to remain close to Him.

I keep thinking, when I am restored in vision and strength because I am close to Him, that "I will never again stray from Him so that I feel like giving in to temptation." But I think this is a false path. It is not my destiny to be "impervious." God hasn't made it an attainable goal for this life to become immune to falling away. What He has made walkable is a life that is so well versed and rounded in the richness of His grace that many, many many kinds of temptations or falling aways will simply not have sway in my eyes. In two words: "well-trained." I will be too intimate with Christ to ever choose sin, in increasingly greater and greater regard.

Again, a testimony, that the path set before me is designed to increase my dependence on Him, not decrease it. Here comes that relationship, that as I said in my blogs this whole year, I have been dreading for some reason.

That's where I'm at. These things set before me are challenging.

Monday, November 28, 2005

"If it die, if it die, if it die."

"The words that were left indelibly in my mind were those of Jesus just before He went to the cross, quoted by Walker as the only plan which ensures success: 'Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit' (jn 12:24). Each time I hear or read those words they come alive for me because Thomas Walker and Amy Carmichael both staked their lives on them, willing to be a corn of wheat, embrace what is contrary to human nature, and be -buried- in South India in order that others might find the true life. When, by my own faults and indifference, or the distractions of the world, I have drifted from this changeless principle (and imagined that I might -avoid- the deaths and somehow be fruitful) the words have rung again in the ears of my soul, -if it die, if it die, if it die-."

-Elliot, "A Path Through Suffering," pg 42

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Good enough to requote

There were a lot of people praying for us during that week. Once I learned the result I was scared to announce it because I felt empty-handed to encourage their faith on my behalf, because the answer God gave was "no." But in every other aspect of these circumstances my life has been covered with a "yes." How can it not be a miracle for us to know God and learn to accept and embrace His ways, a triumph of the circumstances, and the answers in God's graciousness of your prayers? Praise God for He has honored me greatly to suffer with Christ.

I don't know how much yard work you have ever done, but this last year I have had some experience with pruning. The first thing I was advised to do, once they were in the ground, was to immediately prune off any new shoots. It is an amazing thing to cut back rose bushes on a regular basis so that the plant might remain healthy and bloom even more.

And when I imagine the young or sick rose bush in my mind and yet I see that beautiful, single stalk of a rose, and consider cutting it off or leaving it, it all makes sense....

Elliot said:

"Vines must be pruned. This looks like a cruel business. Perfectly good branches have to be lopped off in order for better branches to develop."

--Certainly my lost baby makes God appear to be cruel. How innocent and perfect are babies, that we mothers would by circumstance be forced to know they could have been ours, but, just won't be?

"The life of the vine is strengthened in one part by another part's being cut away. "

--This is the secret for understanding why God redirects parts of our talent and time away from childbearing and childraising.

"The rank growth has to go and then sun reaches places it could not reach before."

--We are living, ever-changing beings just like a rose plant, and we never stay static in our relationship in Christ, either. Our services and devotions are either growing more authentic, or less, but never staying the same. Blessings that once drew us close to Christ because it made us eager to trust Him can soon turn into slaveries that draw attention to ourselves and away from Christ, which it was never intended to become. Thank God that we have not been charged with the responsibility to have the wisdom to know for sure what kind of affect each devotion can really make in us. God intervenes to lead to ensure our overall sanctification.

"A life's work--what to us is a perfectly good branch, perhaps the only "important" branch--may be cut off."

--This sentence just emphasizes the reality of how perfect our design was made, and made to be fulfilled. It is so wonderful, that blessing of being allowed to be a mother. It's undeniable and it is certainly God-given, a beautiful miracle, just as the beauty of a rose.

"The loss seems a terrible thing, a useless waste."

--Yes, it does feel like a pointless waste. No one can fathom why God would allow a woman to -know- what she could have had and then not let her have it. It appears there simply can be no good in it.

"Was it not work given *by* God in the first place, then given back to Him day by day?"

--I already know that it would be in my heart to constantly offer up and dedicate my children for the Lord's purpose, so why not my unborn ones as well? If I somehow denied Christ the opportunity to be sovereign over my children's fate, and tried to hold onto them in defiance and fear, I can easily acknowledge that I would not be treating my children healthily, nor would I be modeling my faith in Christ for them to grow up in. In fact, I'd want to take every moment to ask Christ in as the mediator between me and my child, to make up for all the inadequacies I have in loving them as they deserved to be loved. Christ certainly has received my children already.

"Things that once were counted as gain we now count as loss"

--Does this mean that if God had granted that child to us to bear and raise in our life, our relationship with Him would have suffered? That our ability to transmit Christ to the world, which includes the children we know we would love, would have failed more or less? I don't know, but I wonder if that is what He sees.

I thank God, if this is the case, that He has not let me endure in a defiance by letting me choose to have multiple children even though I'd know my devotion to Christ would have been compromised. Instead He has been merciful to intervene to spare me of the pain that would rise out of a life of not knowing Christ, which I would spread to my children and my children's children. May that never happen.

Chapter Four

"Spiritual Pruning"
[Chapter 4, Elisabeth Elliot's book "A Path Through Suffering]

'In God's management of the affairs of men suffering is never senseless. We can find plenty of good sense in the metaphor of pruning found in the gospel of John.

When Jesus was about to say farewell to His disciples, He was straightforward with them about what they should expect when He was gone. They would face much suffering. They would be hated as He had been. They would be persecuted. People would follow their teaching as little as they had followed His. They would be banned from the synagogues and even killed by those who believed that killing them was a special service to God.

Jesus explained His reason for giving them all this bad news: it was so their faith *in Him* would not be shaken. Faith in anything less would certainly collapse, but a strong and settled trust in who He is would not be altered by anything that might happen. It was for them to continue His work, represent Him on earth, be the very bearers of the divine life when the Word Himself was taken away.

And how were they to do this? They would have to dwell in Him--abide, remain, make their home in, stay--sharing His life, drawing His strength. The secret was explained to them not theoretically but analogically. Their relationship to Him was that of branches to a vine. The life of the vine is the life of the branch. It has no other life. As long as the branch remains in the vine it is nourished. Cut off, it dies.

"Apart from Me you can do nothing." In the spiritual realm there is no other life but Christ's. In Him we live. Without Him we die.

Vines must be pruned. This looks like a cruel business. Perfectly good branches have to be lopped off in order for better branches to develop. It is a necessary business, for only the well-pruned vine bears the best fruit. The life of the vine is strengthened in one part by another part's being cut away. The rank growth has to go and then sun reaches places it could not reach before. Pruning increases yield.

God hears the prayer we make to renew us thoroughly. He begins the process of directing us toward His commandments. Some old twigs and branches had to go. When we ask for the hallowing of our souls, the correction of our thoughts, and all the rest, we are asking that the life of the Lord Jesus flow freely in us and develop His graces in us. Ought we then to be surprised that spiritual pruning will be required? When it happens, we need to submit humbly, trusting the skill of the Gardener who prunes us with tenderness.


A pastor's wife said, "When one witnesses a work he has poured his life into 'go up in flames' (especially if he is not culpable), is it the work of Satan or the hand of God?"

I looked where I always look for clues--to the Bible, and I thought of Moses' repeated efforts to persuade Pharaoh to let the people go, of Jeremiah's pleas for repentance, of the good king Josiah's reforms, rewarded in the end by being slain by a pagan king, I thought of the beloved Son, despised and rejected. "The world, though it owed its being to him, did not recognize him. He entered his own realm, and his own would not receive him."

Satan was certainly at work in every case, but he was not the only one at work. When a man or woman belongs to God (when the branch dwells in the vine) it is the hand of God at work when the pruning comes, regardless of the second causes. A life's work--what to us is a perfectly good branch, perhaps the only "important" branch--may be cut off. The loss seems a terrible thing, a useless waste. But whose work was it? This is a question I have had to ask a number of times about work which I had thought of as my vocation, my *life's* work, apparently thrown on the brushpile.

Was it not work given *by* God in the first place, then given back to Him day by day? Jesus said God is the Gardener, the One who takes care of the vines. The hand of the Gardener holds the knife. It is *His* glory that is at stake when the best grapes are produced, so we need not think He has something personal against us, or has left us wholly to the mercy of His enemy, Satan. He is always and forever for us.

So we let go our hold of things we held very dear. Things that once were counted as gain we now count as loss, and out of what seems emptiness come beauty and richness. "Those who receive ...God's grace, and his gift of righteousness, live and reign through the one man, Jesus Christ" (rom 5:17). The branches "live and reign" through the vine.

But oh, the pain of that pruning process! No matter how thoroughly we understand its necessity, it comes hard to human flesh and blood. Yet the hardness is softened (believe me, it *is*) as we concentrate on the illumination of the truth the Lord has given us.

We can always look at the experiences of our lives in the light of the life of our Lord Jesus, who "learned obedience," not by the things he enjoyed, but by the things He suffered. Was there suffering in His life? A great deal. Losses? All kinds. Was it *His* glory that was at stake? No, His single aim was to glorify His Father, and He did just that, every moment of His life. The work He did is the work He saw His Father do. The words He spoke were the words His Father had given Him. The purpose of His coming was to fulfill the will of the Father. His death was because He loved the Father. There was no thought of Himself.

There is nothing by which death can hold any of His faithful servants, either. Settle it, once for all--we can never lose what we have offered to Christ. We live and die in Him, and there is always the resurrection.'

Focal Point

Here is the centerpiece of the wisdom God gave me three days ago, which made me tremble....

In John 1:10-11, it says about Christ:

"The world, though it owed its being to him, did not recognize him. He entered his own realm, and his own would not receive him."

I was struck by it... the sacrifice God made all the time by that choice of being not only God but also a man while on earth. Why didn't He come only as the Almighty?

I know two things about Christ's expression of himself in relation to us, thinking off the top of my head. He is our creator and sustainer. Imagine how Christ would have been fulfilled in His heart if He was understood as the creator while he was still on earth 2000 years ago. But the disciples didn't get it; when they were in the boat and a storm came, they asked afterward, "Who is this man who can control the sea?" Imagine the love the disciples would have absorbed if they knew that their Creator was there to provide for them in the storm. Imagine how differently the outcome of the boatride would have been if they already knew that before they began. They could have been more intimate and joyful with Christ, and Christ would have been fulfilled in His heart.

I also know that Christ describes Himself as being our groom as we are His bride. Jesus talked often in the gospels about how today was the time to celebrate as long as He was on earth, to drink wine while the bride and the groom were together. Jesus had a passion to be with us, and it is implied that He would have been fulfilled to have us be passionate and united with Him. Instead, we wait to see this fulfilled in His and our hearts; when He returns we will be united as we always longed to be. For now, we wait.

Christ has particular features to His character and attributes. He is not made but He is a God of purposes, and His heart He has made known.

I spent 7 months trying to conceive this child, which for me seemed so long. I started to resign myself for no baby and that is when I became pregnant. I am ready to love this child. I was made by God to love my children. This is the way I was made, it is an undeniable aspect of my makeup. In the same way, Christ is known for His undeniable attributes. He is the creator of the world, the sustainer of the universe. He is the one who loves us and longs to be with us as the groom is to a bride. Wasn't He denying His very being by letting the expressions of His attributes be left... unfulfilled? Wasn't this a service of worship offered to honor the Father who appointed all this to happen? He entered His realm, and we as women have entered our realm of loving our conceptions. Yet He remained not recognized. And when we surrender our chance to keep our baby and live with them for the length of their life, we also leave our qualities not recognized. To let His makeup be unfulfilled was the path for Him designed from eternity so that He could point out His hope in heaven and a God who was worthy of everything.

Can I allow God to let my makeup be unfulfilled?

This is a question that deserves a lot of honesty.

If so, how much?

In what ways?

In every way? Am I to understand that surrender of my fulfillment is meant to be in inversely correlated to what is already supplied to me without my effort to secure, equaling to a life of interaction that is totally at peace with all whom I meet??

Do I trust Him to carry me through all these multiplying potentials of little and great unfulfillments? He and I, together designed to fulfill a romantic purpose in the realism of heartbrake? I would surely hold to Him as my soulmate if I walked this path; the only one who understands me, the only one who walks before me and beside me.

I feel utterly weak, and intimidated, and yet bold and ready.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


I've been going through this cycle of feeling despised of myself. And then I experience deep blessing. And then I'm very quickly back to despising myself.

It's kinda scary, because I realize that what I prayed on Nov 2nd, God answered:

"But when I am down and out, then I am assaulted emotionally to surrender all. To hope in Him, with all my soul.
If only I could always be so full of shame--it'd be to my Christian benefit."

Meanwhile I spend some of my time in this cycle being utterly contemptuous of myself and crying. But I am finding a new pathway in it.

I think I am becoming a realist. Formerly, then, I would have been a romantic.

I think I still am a romantic, just confined in the binds of the ouchiness of sin, which happens to be all around.

I have said publically that I love sacrifice. Wow; now looking back on that I am amazed to think that God was listening.

A couple of mornings ago I was following my husband driving the girls and our dog in the minivan. I remember under what pretense we purchased this vehicle--the pretense of a growing family. I was pregnant with Elizabeth at the time, but even under anticipating her birth we were sure that we were going to have more children than just two. Still, I always felt like the buy was a little bit too arrogant of us. I didn't want to be one of those people who buy a huge expensive family car when they didn't have the need for it. I remember thinking at the time, "When we have our three children, then I will finally feel justified in owning this car."

As I was driving behind them my elder daughter Grace was waving and turning her head back, and at every light I could see her little hands making "I love you" signs to me. I felt pain thinking of the missing hands, knowing of my third baby I will never have the pleasure to be my child on earth.

Later that same day God imparted powerful wisdom to me regarding my circumstance. One of those deep blessings I have found while seeking Christ instigated by my new self-loathing. God knows that my healing comes through wisdom, I don't know why; but that is what means so much to me: words. Words I can live by, hope in, rest upon. These words God gave to me were so powerful that I literally laid in my chair trembling, for about two hours. My breathing was heavy, and my heart was full of peace and purpose.

And you will not believe what I happily prayed to God at some moment in it: "God, I am ready to sacrifice more. Anything you want, Lord, you can have it."

I meant it, at the time.

But since then I sway in thought of my offer. I'm scared at times. For some impetuous reason I decided to take my daughter on a walk with me up to the corner video store last night at 7pm. There were two shootings on that very corner within the last 9 months. How could I be so dumb? Did God allow this because something is going to happen tonight, I kept worrying?? The night before thanksgiving, when people are drunk and crazy?

I felt a tremendous urge to hold onto my children, to not allow God privy over her life if it meant their harm. And I am still tossing this around tonight.

This amazing thing struck me this morning. What was next to be minimized in my life? Certainly something would be. God started to open my eyes. I am beginning to see that the next sacrifices I will be experiencing are those that have to do with aspects of my relationships with those I love. And things I permit with myself. For instance my eating habits. Food was not permitted to me like it should have been, another words I was obligated to earn it of which I often failed, when I was growing up. In college I started eating huge mounds of food. Thank God that I am only 20 pounds heavier than I was before I left home, and that entirely of being pregnant and nursing twice. It's not really a weight issue as much as it is that I know better. God is already working with me in this. It's been an off-limits realm in my heart for God, up until now. And there are two or three different other issues which have been long-overdue for some attention to start doing something about.

My heart has been experiencing the extreme. And my life is following suit.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The chicken or the egg

Which comes first? Is it my suffering which caused me to surrender my life in trust to Christ, or was it my surrender because of inspiration of the depth of His love, which caused my longing to suffer?

I can victoriously say, that as for *this* time, to God's full credit, I did not merit a jarr in the rib cage in order for Him to get my attention.

Back before the turn of the year from 2004 to 2005, I read a book I already recently quoted called "A Path Through Suffering" by Elizabeth Elliot. Not that any book should create in anyone a following and a devotion in any likeness to scripture; however, at the end of her life which was victoriously walked in intimacy to Christ, she simply has the wisdom to put the pieces together. Why should I not try and gleam, to listen, to sit at her feet and absorb what she gained at a price??

This book was able to inspire me with an all-consuming love and trust for Christ. It was so inspiring that I was able to say to the Lord back then a year ago, "Lord, I am ready to go anywhere you want. No matter what that may look like. Would you let me suffer for Christ?"

And now everyone I imagine is thinking it is time to commit me to a mental facility. It sounds crazy. But you should have seen the love and peace I saw through the illumination of that path....

Here is some evidence. God had inspired me through the peace of his love, to take a step of faith and leave my friends at LDS Digital. And then it was the next day that I found out there was something wrong with the baby.

This is the blog entry I made five days previous at Fellowship Hall, where the seed had been planted by God in a more abstract way which got flushed out in prayer that Sunday:


I consider giving up my presence with them a challenging sacrifice. But then, I was handed another, even harder one, the next day! I started to reconsider. I wondered if maybe it was still His intention for me to follow through with the sacrifice of the optional one when there was a harder one that was not optional. But it was. And in now two weeks I have walked simultaneously away from two of my loves. I never knew I could do either one of them; actually, I know that I can't. God is giving me a miraculous amount of strength. Praise the Lord.

These sufferings were not hurled at me because I am lazy in obedience and caught unaware of God's movement. Isn't that reassuring? They were meant as a fulfillment of what is in my heart, planted by God and prepared for me and in me.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Does it hurt? Yes.


That's how I felt during that week when I was praying. Terrified because I still can't believe that the answer He will give is not dependent on me, at all, terrified that the answer would be no and I'd be lost in confusion, terrified it might be yes and God would appoint a glory through my life that I wasn't ready to transmit.

This week of post-news has been utterly different. I'll tell you what has been hard for me.

I'm not ready to give up my baby. I want to make my case still. I can't accept that the verdict is ironclad. By Thursday I was finally forced to start some of my normal daily routein. But I felt like a traitor to leave this resting period, because it's kinda like I am disrespecting the memory of my child. Like I am giving up the fight. Like I am saying, 'It's okay with me that you won't be here.' I can't endorse that everything is normal. I can't move on from this place without giving my baby a chance.

I want to know and to hold my baby. How fundamental a right I am being denied here. I'm not afraid, because my love is bigger than that. I actually had the chance to hold my baby, but I lost that chance because I just didn't know it was there when it was. I replay that in my mind over and over, and I wish I could take it back.

I was with my nieces on Saturday for the first time since this happened. And like the millions of almost unbelievably blessed moments in the last 5 years, I once again marveled at the perfection of four little girls running around with their complementary cohort, beautiful and unique, silly and creative. I even felt my new niece/nephew move in my sister's 36-week old tummy. Yes, there is a baby in there, and I am so happy! But how many times am I going to miss mine from now on to forever? I could almost faint at the prospect of such an endurance that I cannot fathom giving.

I have come to points where I hate myself. You know it's funny because you'd think that at a time when I was so helpless to stop my own suffering that my conscience about my shortcomings wouldn't have been turned on fullblast, but it has. Wow. When God lets me see my sins in the last 2 weeks, it is like a slap across the face. I feel obliterated. I am *so ashamed* for everything I do. I cannot see the good at all in everything I am trying so hard to give away good to those who matter.

Thank God for God.

Regarding this point where I feel so deeply ashamed over myself, that was when I just was so desperate and exposed with God. And I asked Him to help me, but the help I knew I needed went so wide and so deep that I almost couldn't put words to it. When I woke up the next morning to carry out the next day's acivities, He gave me an answer to a prayer I have been waiting for for a long, long time. I had the most blessed day. I was able to do everything I felt was important and leave nothing out, and I was able to create and participate in an attitude of peace, joy, and prosperity with friends and family who gathered together. You may think that's nothing to call a miracle over, but it was something I have sorely prayed over for a long time. And He just let me experience it. I believe He wanted to show me that it was okay to cry and cry out. Because He wanted to show me the depth of His comfort and His riches.

Christ said He would cause division in the family. But He also said He would provide a family that was blessed too. So God is taking away one part of my family, and letting another bear deeper in perfection and lovingkindness in action.

If you have bore with me through reading my hurts in this post even though they are not a pleasant topic, if you have loved me enough to be unafraid of examining my sores, then I count you as a true friend to me indeed. Thanks.

A Clean Severance

"Botanists say that across the leaf-stalk there forms in autumn a layer of thin-walled cells, termed 'the layer of separation.' These press and tear the older cells apart, and become disintegrated in their turn, till without an effort the leaf detaches with a severance clean and sharp as though made by a knife. The plant sentences the leaf to death, and the winds of God carry out the sentence...."

In old testament times suffering was seen as evil. In the new testament, suffering and evil are no longer identical. Think of the shock the crowds must have felt when Jesus said that those who mourn, those who are poor and persecuted and have nothing are *happy*! How can He say such things? Only in light of another kingdom, another world, another way of seeing this world. He came to bring life--another kind of life altogether. And it is in terms of that life that we must learn to look at our sufferings. I have found it possible, when I see suffering from that perspective, wholeheartedly to *accept* it. But it takes a steady fixing of my gaze on the cross.

If the cross is the place where the worst thing that could happen happened, it is also the place where the best thing that could happen happened.

To be 'saved' requires a severance from the former life as clean and sharp as though made by a knife. There must be a wall of separation between the old life and the new, a radical break. That means death--death to the old life, in order for the new to begin.

Many who come to Christ have a long, sinful, and destructive past. The 'layer of separation,' the cross, stands now between us and our past. We have to make up our minds to part company with it, not by struggle but by an honest act of renouncing it in the name of Christ. Sin no longer holds authority, 'exacting obedience to the body's desires. You must no longer put its several parts at sin's disposal, as implements for doing wrong. No: put yourselves at the disposal of God, as dead men raised to life; yield your bodies to him as implements for doing right; for sin shall no longer be your master, because you are no longer under law, but under the grace of God' rom 6:12-14.

When Satan the accuser scorns that act of renunciation later and taunts 'Hypocrite! You didn't mean it! You never *really* put yourself at his disposal or parted company with us at all!'--run to the foot of the cross, our safe shelter and abiding place.

The further we travel on this pathway to glory the more glorious it becomes, because we are given to understand that every glad surrender of self, which to the young Christian may seem such a morbid and odious thing, is merely a little death, like the tree's 'loss' of the dead leaf, in order that a fresh new one may, in God's time, take its place.

(Chapter 2 of "A Path Through Suffering," by Elisabeth Elliot)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

It's just God--doing it.

My child is gone. There is a lot of hurt left ahead of me.

For the moment I am at peace with the outcome. I had so many phases in these last several days. Earlier in the week I was hopeful and also scared. Later in the week when I started bleeding I became angry, because I did not want to give up my baby. And now I am blessed because God turned the outcome in a way that I needed in order to be at peace.

I am a sinner. When I sinned I invited death into my physical body. That is the consequence for sin. Now in terms of the spiritual my death has already been made up for because of Jesus hanging on the cross. But the physical--even though later He will fully restore all life and all sicknesses and infirmities because He has overcome death, for now it still reigns in our lives.

God sometimes answers prayers for rejuvenation of life--resurrection; healing. But most of the time He does not. He largely and ultimately allows death and pain to happen. He wants me to know that our hope should not be in amassing perfect conditions here in this world but in the qualities and realities of a Kingdom that is alien to our world.

Sometimes God is plainly merciful, because He steps in and does not let us suffer by reaping what we sow. Other times He does not interfere with this spiritual rule of cause and effect. Which is why I was so terrified. In the general sense, I am to blame for my baby's death, I realized. Because, when I first entertained sin I gave permission for death to enter into me. And as my LDS friends would remind me, God has given me free agency--I must take full responsibility for that choice; it is not God's fault nor was it his work to see me fall. Now it is very tempting to think that my relationship with God is cause and effect; imput and output, like some cosmic vending machine. You do this, He does that. You don't do this, He doesn't do that. If it is really my missteps which cause me to suffer, then how can I ever stop blaming myself?? I'd never be free from guilt. I knew I had to rip myself out of this depression and guilt by rejecting the idea that I am earning my blessings, that I am earning my righteousness and protection. Really it doesn't make any sense. If it were true that God protected the righteous from suffering, then there would be no poor believers, and there would be no sick believers, and there would be no dying believers. But that's not true! In fact it is these very suffering groups of people who God says He comes to defend and abide in power with.

It also says that God disciplines those He loves. It says that Job was a blameless man who obeyed God, when calamity struck his home and family. The bible has told me that the Lord has appointed sufferings for me to carry in my body to display Christ to the world. He wants me to count it joy when He allows suffering and trial, because He is producing wisdom and love in me that will enable me to offer Christ to those who walk through it after I. If God has these things foreordained for us, as He knows all the days of my life before I live them and He knows the words I will speak before I say them, then does it not matter at all what I have done wrong? Are my sins unrelated whatsoever to my sufferings? Are sufferings simply blessings (disguised by trial and work) randomly and unassociately applied to my particular life??

This also I cannot believe. Not because it doesn't feel good to me, because it does. But I don't think that this is completely balanced either. Why? Because deep in my own conscience I know the things God has set out for me as I am marching on in life, and to me there have been too many instances where it has been uncanny that I am reminded of my sins as they relate potentially to my sufferings, *in a way which causes me to be repulsed and never return to that way of life again.*

As I have said before, it is a gift of the Holy Spirit if we find ourselves able to obey the commandments of God because we have been made sober or newly minded about our sin.

God does want to use my sufferings to remind me of the destructiveness of sin. God does want to point out the horrible ways of living which lead to death in its kinds. God does want sin to become so utterly sinful through an examination of how I measure up to His holy law, in a harsh, honest light.

Can I really be held and protected by grace, completely forgiven, completely absolved of my guilt, yet also made sober in detest for my sins and a corrupted way of living?

Is this what a balanced perspective looks like??

I am finding right now that once again it all comes down to relationship. He just wants my heart! He uses blessings and He uses sufferings in the perfect amount at the perfect moment, to draw me closer in reliance on HIm. To give me a defense and a strength to walk a righteous life. He knows exactly what I need to turn and believe. And He delivers it through my circumstances. Just as He uses prayer and the answer of either a Yes or a No (or wait), to build a deeper reliance in myself upon Him, He is doing the same with my conscience about my sin or my innocence in sufferings.

It is true, then, and it is proven, that my religion is not man-made but God made, for He is *not letting me get stuck* at any moment for any reason to walk away from Him:

"I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you." Ezek 36:25-29

It's just God--doing it.

His salvation is so real.

Somehow what I do matters somewhere mixed in with everything. But in the overall picture I am completely and utterly reconciled. It's absolutely not my yoke, to see myself become clean.

I love my baby. And I love the Lord.

I dedicate this post to all the people who have prayed for me. The Lord knew best to bless my heart by giving me a little window in on wisdom, and also giving me the wisdom of some godly counsel, because that's my personal way that I receive healing and rest in Him.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Why prayer??

Jesus says, "Ask."

How can He ask me to ask?


What difference can it make?

After all, who are we talking to, if not a sovereign; God? He answers to no one.

I've always tripped up on that predestinational thing, you know; that everything is set out before us by an all-powerful, selective, all-knowing God. How can I even begin to pray when I already know that I never know what is truly best?

When I was a college student and had just freshly turned over Lordship of my life to Christ, my counselor Kathleen told me: "prayers are like adding a rock to a pile, and as you pray the pile gets bigger and bigger, and then God can't ignore it." While I agree with the timing for answers to prayer that she indicates here, I wonder if there isn't something missing in that point of view.

We know that prayer is not a work. No one can evoke God out of obligation. Not even prayers in the name of Jesus Christ evoke answers by sense of obligation, but as a gracious gift in a promise.

But we also know that it is clearly commanded! Jesus spent so much time praying to God--again, why?? He was already God, to boot. But just in the example, prayer must have done something important to cause Him to spend so much time in it.

I have been getting the notion for awhile that prayer is submitted to the factor of *relationship*. Our prayers are somehow perfectly not being answered until our hearts have been purified in the request, and not being answered until all of those around us that we see and who see us, are also perfectly aligned to see the answer. Would it really be best for me to get what I ask for, at this moment? Or, would it turn into something rotten and fall apart because I am still too spiritually immature to handle it with sobriety?? God knows the perfect timing. God knows the perfect timing for when an answered prayer will not increase animosity or disbelief for those who see it, but reverence and humility. It's all about the glory of God. He somehow, amazingly, orchestrates all of us together perfectly so that we can be there with the right frame of mind at the right moment. I am absolutely confident in my experience of this phenomena.

So if answered prayers are all about the relationship, then what new can I see in His command to "Ask?"

Are there not times that we are being confronted by God's askings? Another words, there are the times when we are in His shoes, in the sense of making requests.

David makes the prayer in the Psalms:

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting." ps 139:23-24

The Lord said, if you love me, follow me. He was asking us, for something, something very important to Him.

Yes, He does have a heart.

Hasn't he asked us for many things? Does He not want to see our love... by our choice to give Him what He asks for?

Just like I want to make a difference to God's heart, He wants to make a difference to my heart. The Lord wants me to see how meek and generous He can be, maybe even as David said: "See if there be any offensive way in me."

We are both talking to each other like persons who are really alive, exploring and learning and testing. I can learn so much about the faithfulness and kindness and forgiveness of Christ, simply by being brave enough to ask Him for the things my heart needs. And if you think about it, wasn't God also brave when He made requests for His important values, too?

"The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain." gen 6:6 Yes, He asked us for His important things and we did not answer Him with any "Yes"s. I am so grateful that God is the better guy. He won't do to us what we did to Him.

And knowing this, I can be even excited to pray. To ask Him for the things I really, really need. And trust Him. Because He will answer them perfectly in accord for the heart in my request. Whatever will encourage me on to trust Christ, this is how He will answer my prayer. Because He wants to show me Himself, and show Himself in me to others. That's relationship.

Friday, November 04, 2005

sing a song of boy

With a boy there's no blouses
or bows or ribbons
With a boy there's no silly tap shoes

With a boy there's no hairdos
or stockings or purses
With a boy there's no emotional issues

--Improv; Ben P.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Tonight I started bleeding.

I called my doctor and he said that it is often normal.

I want to treat myself normal, because I don't want pregnancy to get the best of my attitude. I was dancing for about 45 minutes and that's when I noticed the blood, but the doctor told me no strenuous exercize. So I'm back to feeling like I need to protect my slovenliness.

It sure scared me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

anchor and definition

The One Thing

Here I am
In a river of questions
Can I pour my heart out to a listening ear?
I see this life
Its valley's and mountains
And I think of all the roads that brought me here

I've questioned my reasons
The life I'm living
I've questioned my ability
To judge wrong from right
I've questioned all the things that I've ever called certain
My race, my religion, my country, my mind

But the one thing I don't question is you
You really love me like you say you do
You really love me like you say you do
Hold me
Hold me

I've questioned significance
Meaning and relevance
Does the work I'm doing really matter at all?
Well I've questioned my friendships
Alliance, dependence
Who will still be here when I fall?

Only one thing doesn't change
Only one thing stays the same
All I know at the end of the day is your love remains

-music artist so far unfound

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I am beginning to think I am spoiled.

It's just a teensy bit nerve-raking.

But mostly I am deeply grateful.

I didn't know a life could really be this fine. Really when I imagined a family life I never thought I would ever have so much; so much material and circumstantial blessing to take pleasure in. Even in my ministries, I am blessed.

When I sit down at the dinner table and we have one of those moments where it all sinks in;... the blessing in it all, for a moment I get nervous. You know, the old saying "when is the other shoe going to drop." I think often about how it may be God's will to take a child or my husband or my husband's job, so that life would be utterly different. At least, that's the most profoundly scary thing I can think of. And I know that I still trust God with even all of those things. It seems to be that the natural time of "acquiring" in the evolution of a family is not the usual time that God tests our complementary growing faith and trust in God as we ourselves evolve in faith. So maybe now is not the time that God has planned to test and try my faith. Today is the day for the establishment of the depth and breadth of God's love.

But the point is that I do not live in fear. Fear would cripple my joy in today's deep blessing, and turn it to bitterness. I am able to say that I can enjoy today's deep blessing by faith, for what it is. Unafriad of what may happen tomorrow.

And also not take too much pleasure in what I have, so that I would fail the test of the trial of loss, to come.

It's an amazing balance, that God has made me ready to glorify Him in. And I thank Him that I have that peace.

Monday, October 17, 2005

My ever-present help in time of need

God takes such good care of me.

He surprised me. Gave me something I thought would only be suitable for dreaming.

And just at a time when my "spirits" were low. He must have known that I needed hope.

Thank-you, my Lord, for loving me so personally.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


I'm pregnant! :)

I've suspected that I am pregnant for about 5 days now. Usually I have pregnancy symptoms week three and then lose them in week 4, with the cycle then beginning after that. This time I had the number one predictable symptom, endure into the forth week. But you know what really made me think "yes?" Because I saw dark rings around my eyes, and I had them all throughout my other pregnancies. It's a hypothyroid-drawn symptom.

I couldn't sleep all night. I was anticipating taking the test, all night long. I had these funny dreams, ALL NIGHT LONG. They were all about babies. Issues of baby furniture, how to announce the news. Then one dream was so overwhelming that it woke me up straight--a counselor said: look who is here to see you! And I looked in the entrance-way, but no one was there. And then the counselor said, "It's an angel." And as she said that the angel came near to me and put his hands through my abdomen, which was thrilling, but then the angel pulled the young baby out of my tummy.

Okay, so that isn't such a great thing to share. But the thing is, it's normal for a *pregnant* woman to have these kinds of fears. So that means I'm apart of the club. Again.

Out of the five closest women I have as friends, 3 out of 5 of them are pregnant. Of the two who aren't, one has her tubes tied, the other is chaste as God commands before marriage. My one and only sibling, my younger sister, has been pregnant for 6 months now. My close friend from junior high, and my close friend from college. I definitely felt left out. But no longer!

I know his name, if it's a boy. Elijah. And if it's a girl? Well, we've always had a hard, hard time picking girl names.

I am so happy. I feel great. I am so excited to prepare a new room for our new little baby.

The due date is somewhere between June 8th and June 13th.

I said a prayer of thanks to God. It all came out because I still believe that babies come from God.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


God let me be used in some awesome ways today. And the song I sing for Him is:

"We fall down
We lay our crowns
At the feet of Jesus
The greatness of
mercy and love
At the feet of Jesus
And we cry
Holy Holy Holy
And we cry
Holy Holy Holy
And we cry
Holy Holy Holy
Is the Lamb"

-ChrisTomlin, the "Authentic" album

Monday, October 03, 2005

my deleted post


The Book of Mormon is more important to us than the bible, and here is why.

Thank you.

The Book of Mormon, in contrast, was written specifically for our day.

You mean to say human nature has changed in 5000 years? Even the theory of human evolution does not support such a stance. The book of mormon was penned in the times of ancient history. How then can you consider it modern? In fact every other aspect of your church in their scriptures and writings are indeed modern with exception of the BoM. As far as I understand it. Maybe what you *meant* above is, "The Latter Day Saint Church, in contrast, is meant for modern worship of Christ."

Do you mean to say that actual historical/biblical accounts, like, David sinning with Bathsheba, is anything less applicable to believers today? Exactly what about the bible makes it not just as helpful for today's readers as it was when it was written the first time? Can you think of anything--I can't.

Mormon, who compiled most of the Book of Mormon, stipulates in Mormon 5:12-15 that these things are written and hid up that they may come forth in the Lords own due time, to convince the Jews and the remnant of the Lamanites that Jesus is the Christ.

Are you trying to say that the bible is not as effective or incapable of convincing the Jews or any other group that Jesus is the Christ? I am not trying to imply that the Book of Mormon is not able to convince the same thing. It may very well be another testament of Jesus as you say. But is it better as you claim above, in terms of converting and revealing Jesus? I'm just asking what you think of the bible's abilities. Just another thought: there are more bibles in the world than BoMs, and more Christians in the world than LDS.

I commend your trust in the BoM. I wonder though, does such a strong stance as you are taking above, make it therefore wrong for you to reach out and investigate a perspective that is solely biblical like Ana's or mine as Ana has asked you? Especially since the bible is indeed the word of God, as you believe and preach to all.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Being useful

It's funny, how God gives different callings to different saints for different kinds of ministries.

My mom has been in the nursing field since she was 18, and now she is 58. Her nursing skills always come in handy for situatons that come about outside the hospital. Just a couple of days ago she was talking to me on the phone, recounting an event in the recent past where there was a car accident and she got out of her car to help someone, and right in the middle of telling me this story, she said, "Oh, no. Something's happened here, there's an accident, and that woman is going to need help. I'll let you go." She told me later that a woman had whiplash, and my mom told her to not move her neck, and she was too stressed to listen, so my mom told her that she was going to help hold her head still, and she did, till the paramedics arrived.

She said to me, "Don't you ever get involved like that, Michele (that's my name), because if you're not certified, you can get into all kinds of trouble. The paramedics asked me, 'Are you a nurse?' and I said, 'Yes I am,' and they said, 'Alright, we'll take it from here.'"

I thought to myself afterwards, well, I've never been put in that kind of situation, when my mom has, over and over. How incredible can it be, that she is telling me her story of helping with a car accident and then getting interrupted to do the same kind of service!!

Then later that day I went to pick up Grace from preschool. I had driven by an unkempt man on my way. Lo, and behold, there he appeared a couple minutes later, I found out, a homeless man who was lost and hungry. I had just bought a huge sandwich at safeway as a back-up for Liz's fussiness, debating whether or not I should have wasted my money, but now I knew the real reason why I purchased it. The man was trying to get help from the woman in the office of the church, and she wasn't helping him very much, so I took over, and drew him a map and talked to him for as long as he was interested.

It just happens to be that I happen to be at the right place at the right time when it comes to women who are experiencing issues with pregnancy, too, beyond what I think would be normal.

Can that be coincidence? Well, I knew that pregnant-women were a population God has used me for, but I am only now starting to get the idea that the homeless are another group God is preparing me and pointing me to. There have been a couple of other times when similar things have happened recently. I noticed this morning especially how there were more homeless-looking types, across the street from the church, some even digging through the garbage cans. Hmm. Well, the reason why I am here in the middle of Salem instead of close to home is because my church's preschool was full, and I had to find another. Now I know why God allowed me to find this preschool. After all, all I've heard from everyone is "Why go all the way over there?" and I didn't have an answer for them, kinda felt like I was impulsive in my selection.

It just struck me, too, that those were the needs I had, when I was growing up. I lived out of my car, went to the churches, looking for help with a place to stay.

God has made me useful, and I get jealous when I hear the stories of what my mom has been able to do. I wanted to be a nurse, so bad. I still do. I want to have the so incredibly useful knowledge of how to care for physical concerns. But God has closed that door, by the principles the bible have taught me are His will for my life.

But seeing how God has made me useful for other kinds of needs, I am at peace with His choices for my life.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Do you love me, Lord?

I have been wanting God to just let me go, for a month or so now. Hands off, is the jist.

One day kinda turns into the next, I have no distinguishing hope in the midst of crises, I have little interest in calling out when I'm hurt. I'm just accepting the good with the bad. I get tired, you know, of being so up.

It is exhilirating, to have a life filled with moments of God-given meaning. I love it, but it's almost too stimulating to handle, sometimes.

Kinda what it's like to achieve greatness all day long by rising up at the alarm clock and being on time to work and listening to everything everyone says and doing well at your tasks. By the end of the day, you get home, and all you want to do is sit down and turn on a movie.

So that's where I've been. I've been dreaming and entertaining myself with whatever meager (worldy) things are appealing in the moment. But they'll run out. And then when my entertainment runs dry it will change to nervousness. And then pacing. Of course, I am talking about my spiritual realm:

"In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destryed the Ammonites and beseiged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace." 2 sam 11:1-2

So I'll re-write that in terms of my personal state of affairs:

"In what Sanc likes to call "My Time," when everyone else is excited about doing the will of God, Sanc watches others go out and do the work she knows she herself once did. The Christians around her wage war on dark spiritual strongholds, and mightily win souls for His name. Sanc, however, is content to find her own activities. In the twighlight of "My Time," when Sanc is willing and open to being led by a forlorn whisper, she wanders around, waiting for peril to strike in her heart."

He satisfies, but I don't choose satisfaction because that means "relationship" and I don't want to face Him. He gives meaning, but I don't want to live-out meaning. He gives zeal, but I just want to sort things out in a low-key kinda way.

Did David somehow alter the course of his eternal destiny through sinning against the Lord? No. The Lord still loved Him, didn't revoke His promise to make him the King. God is faithful. David was not. "Against you, and you alone, O Lord, have I sinned." David, I imagine, got tired of the awesome but stressful things he had seen fighting the battles God told him to fight. He said he wanted a day off. I don't blame him. But here we are, wandering around, idle, just ripe for trouble to come knocking.

The cure for idleness is love. "We love because He first loved us." 1 john 4:19

My love-bank is running low on funds. But why, I've been asking myself, would I need -His- love? Why would I turn to Him for help, when I have so many other choices to call upon, including my own inner strength to survive?

Think about the teenager (who never wants to be told what to do), trusted to stick to the rules of conduct when going to someone else's house, but another kid introduces a new experience and before you know it, damage has been done. Does that teenager really want to call their dad, first?? No. They call mom, they try and clean it up themselves, they ask their friends, anyone, except dad. But for the biggest messes in life, only the Father knows how to make things right.

It's a humbling pick, one I'm not all that excited about, because as soon as I ask for help, He's going to ask me to rearrange a few of my choices, a few of my priorities, and that's not stellar, in my current sight. So the cycle of avoidance continues. I'm plainly, on the outside. I can feel the cold cement barrier. I'm not sure if I am cold enough to want to come in yet. I'm doing it to myself. God is patient enough to let me inflict this.

So yes, I am headed for a major 'down.' Either that, or else I break free now and stop short of the trouble coming.

Here is what I said above: "He gives zeal, but I just want to sort things out in a low-key kinda way." There is no such thing as a "low-key kinda way." Low-key = Disintegration key. I will never abide in peace of mind or any other good thing playing the doubting one, sitting on the fence of life. All I will reap is more and more falling apart, of all I hold dear.

"You are either for me or against me." -Jesus

And if I know that there is no such thing as a middle-road, only the opposing paths of peace and destruction, maybe tomorrow morning I will finally get back on track and choose the path of peace. Maybe being semi-chilled instead of frozen, is enough to kill my abayence this time.

When I come back to Him the first thing I will ask is, "Do you still love me, Lord?"

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Burning countless minutes talking and playing with my girls CHECK

Running errands --twice-- in one day CHECK

Kleenex boxes on the "endtables" CHECK

The descending smell of freshly bissell-ed carpets CHECK

Freedom from watching a houseful of kids: PRICELESS

Monday, September 05, 2005

Protecting my Time

I've been asked to help out with the Wednesday night children's club, AWANA, this year. Been considering it. I realize that it is not right for my family by my own eyes, either in the participation of my child, nor my help in conducting it.

Does my child need another activity? Even a great one? One, even, where she hears the gospel and may receive it into her heart? What is not right about that kind of a program?

My daughter is going to be starting preschool this year; three days a week for half the day, since she is four. And then there's 3 hours of church on Sunday. And AWANA is on Wednesday nights. And the church wants me to do childcare Wednesday mornings, and I wanted to do a women's bible study Tuesday mornings. This is the schedule that has been placed in front of me to pick out of for this future school-year!

But I already know where I've been. I have been so busy that I can't even give love and attention to the children I watch as my heart would dictate, because there simply is too many of them. And then, what about my own children?? There have been weeks, this summer, when I have had only -one-, 5-minute face to face conversation with my daughter in a whole week's time. So who, I realized, was raising my daughter, so to speak? Her playmates! They have much more imput than I. And Grace and I are growing apart.

My compassion can only take me so far for goodness's sake. Every time I say yes to a child that is not mine, I am saying no to my own. I must tend and honor the fields I have already purchased; no one else can do that, but me.

This bouncing from activity to activity -may- be appropriate for a sixteen year old (we'll see), with their busy schedules and involved activities and interests, but it is not appropriate for a 4-year old.

If my child has been provided a familiar, tested and tried love from me, then they will be successful in everything they put their hands on in life. What they need most, especially for this stage in life, is a deep and secure relationship. No other time has been given to she and I to achieve that kind of depth. As we get older they will only grow farther away; not closer. Now is not the time to surrender lightly.

You can see this most, even if you have never been a parent, whenever you have spent time around a child. The child learns your rules, your values, your opinions. You learn the child's strengths and weaknesses. And then the stage is set for building or breaking bonds. The child naturally is timid to know where the boundary lines are, afraid for the kind of consequence that comes with crossing or nearing those boundary lines. They are afraid to be who they are, for what that will mean. A caretaker can procure obedience from almost any child; but that does not equal a success story. A success story from a child's point of view is to know that whatever is in their hearts or minds cannot change whether or not they are loveable. Success is for them to know that they are still loved even when suffering a caretaker-given hardship. Success is to know that a caretaker intiates and leads them to better ways of expressing themselves in the world.

There is a time to give away. There are moments when it is obviously right to help others, because of compassion, to attend to other children who have a need. I started with that premise four years ago when I originally began watching children for free, and I gave away as much as I could be confused to think might be possibly right to surrender. From this experience, now, I can say with surity, it generally was not ideal, for anyone. Each parent must carry the yoke of raising the children that they have bore, myself included. The rule-giver must also be the love-giver. Just like we have only one Lord, who is everything to us; present to guide, loving and commanding, we must also have only one mother and father, with the authority and consistency that does not contradict the method and values that could come from another home.

I am a far-ways off from being well-tried and tested as the source of love and rule in my daughter's life, right now. Not because she doesn't obey me most of the time. No; because she does.... It's because I do not know and therefore have her heart, like I know I ought. And it breaks mine to think it.

Turning and reflecting on my relationship with my God....

Some people may think it shocking and scandalous that I am not yet made obedient to some of the will of God, even those kinds of commandments which are so popularly known in scripture. But is it so shocking, really, considering how much distance there is between who I am and who the Lord is?

First of all, there is sin. God separates Himself from me, until I confess it. But then there remains one more wall, the wall that I have in the ways of our natures, keeping me from being near Him. This wall consists of three issues:

A) I have not known Him:

"and the way of peace they do not know." rom 3:17
"None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." 1 cor 2:8

B} I have not understood His ways:

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways,' declares the Lord....

C) I have not understood His thoughts:

'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" Is 55:8-9

But: the more that I understand and learn these things (now that I have been adopted as His child), the easier it is to listen and follow His voice. I can see that His intention was accepting, and it's okay for me to come close. When I know that the Rule-Giver is for me and not against me, I know that I can conquer any task that I am given. It equates to a life of success.

What if this is what it is like for our children, our neighbor kids, our friends and relatives? They fear us, simply because they do not understand our ways, or know our heart? They cry on their pillows, not because they were told 'no,' but because they don't know what to do with themselves? So the heart is the most important thing we caretakers can display for their sake. It is the only thing which makes the bond great and the trust deep, to listen, and obey, and take on the world in confidence. And that means giving our time and attention for these things to take place.

The outplay of such an establishment in love with my child would include being made receptive to a gospel message, as AWANA is trying to provide. So; that means, first things first.

God has let me teach myself the hard way to finally choose to say no to others I have compassion to help. It's hard for me to say no. I was told long ago that it was right to say no, but I never really believed it, till I saw the consequences in all those little lives. Now, would it seem anything less than foolish for me to surrender that time to a new agenda, when I already had to sacrifice so much?

I am learning to become jealous of the influence others have, as God is rightfully so for me in my life. I do not want to lose my child so quickly, God-willing, to the common disease of teenager-hood; the belief that a parent doesn't really have their best interests ar heart. I am fighting that lie today even though I am ten years out from experiencing it:

"My purpose is that they be encouraged in heart and united in love, so they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments." Col 2:2-4

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Baby 3, part deux

It's taken twice as long to try and make baby 3 than it did the first two times.


My reasonings about this usually start wondering if I am healthy. I got addicted to coffee several months back. But this weekend I have decided to kick the habit because I finally figured out that I am dehydrated, and it is causing me a lot of problems. One of them is that I can't seem to recover well from little viruses that I catch.

It was something that had to go anyway, if I got pregnant. I just love that mocha thing, though!

But then I remember that the physical and the spiritual are so closely knitted, that it's not fair to not consider what God is doing today. Maybe God is giving me and my husband a break. After all, babies come from God! I have been enjoying the break from conceiving as a gift.

The one thing that keeps rolling around in my mind is, what if I want to just say out loud how much doubt I have about having more children, and then, as soon as I say it, I'll get a positive test and then what I said will haunt me with guilt.

I mean, really, my baby deserves to be anticipated with joy, even before he arrives. Don't you think so? I do.

Ben as the spiritual head of our family has been directing our course as a pairing-down of the presence of multiple children. Yeah--send them home, is the jist. We need our family time. And in my own heart it is such a sore ache I have as well. It is time for a new era in our homelife. God has given me the new goal of being that stereotype. You know, the grandma one? Only I'm in training (Heh, Hee, not quite a grandma yet, not even close! I'm only 27). The homemade food, the big meals when people just drop in, the impeccable house, tissue boxes on the end tables, no dog poop in the lawns, etc. Yes, I am aching more and more for this. It's not funny.

Why is it not funny?

Because other people's homes are nice. Well preserved. And because of it their ability to welcome and relax others is achieved. My neighbors and friends are walking through it everyday. My house, and I do try, is just not making it. Not cool, God says. No. I look at my living room and here is what I say:

1) replace all carpets with pergo so no more stains and germs to bissell out.
2) get that microfiber couch that will withstand any stains
3) sit back and relax...--oh, and one more thing
4) accelerate Liz's dirty hands training, and
5) don't have any more babies

See? My life would be so much more calm and peaceful if I could make these things my reality. I'd of made it. I'd be, as the realm of women in the next higher age bracket growl their respect-my-authority kind of voice, "DONE."

There's a lot to absorb in the insight of their exaulted status.

Yet this is the very thing I have learned through the touchy-feely mix of the Word of God and His holy work I see happening all around me, is a sign of spiritual death: preservation of material things. It rings so true as "what can a man gain if he has the whole world, yet" doesn't have any squishy babies running around expressing the epitome of compassion and protection?

I don't know if it makes any sense. I don't know what the answer is either. I am glad, though, that God is waiting for the right time to give me a child. It will be right.

There is a third option. More babies of mine, no pergo floors, and, not watching any more kids. That's most likely what will happen. My God is not a God of shortcuts. He wants me to be disciplined.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

"Yeah, but I don't LIKE being weak."

This is what my closest Christian woman friend said to me tonight.

Her life clearly displays God's glory and power by my eyes. Now, all of a sudden, she's being thrown into a tough spot, where the father of her 2-year old boy, who since his birth has visited him two days a week, said "I'm done being in his life," and drove away with mom and babe standing in the driveway.

Talk about an important moment in both of their lives.

Of course this moment is hard. She knows that if she could only change a couple of things about how things are happening, she could stay on top of the stress and worry of all of this. But since she can't, it gets hard emotionally.

If only at least in theory, I love the weak moments of my life. That's where God displays the most power. Even today I had a familiar evil spirit trying to invade well-established God's turf, and I said "What are you doing showing your ugly face again? Get out of here!" Why did this happen to me yet again? Because three times Paul prayed asking to not be weak anymore, asking to conquer a weakness, and God said, "No." It keeps it real. It keeps us fresh with God. Think about this moment called "repentance":

1) realization of something being sin
2) sorry for committing it
3) feeling pain for consequences of sin, which make life ugly--hard-core regretting sin
4) forgiveness
5) putting the sin and that way of life behind you

Now out of that whole process how much time do we spend taking our sins SERIOUSLY? It's so brief. It's always too brief. Yet it is the only place that we actually NEED God to forgive us, and we get real and new and deep with God.

There is such an important witness we are all making before the demons about the truth and power of Jesus Christ by remaining in a temporally unfinished sanctified life. He gave us salvation but so far, now, only in part; the rest later. He gave us a Spirit of perfect obedience but so far, now, it abides with another sinful nature. Let the war be raged. God will win even in the details of today.

Now there are certain things in my life that I know I willfully am choosing sin, as a pattern. Then there are other things that I have asked God to give me that He hasn't given yet and I don't know if He ever will. Maybe it just takes awhile. In the case of my last post my need came to its major satisfaction almost four months after the laying out of all my cards. I just wish that others could hear once again how good God is with knowing their needs and fulfilling them powerfully. At the time I laid them out, had a lot of anguish. I felt like I was putting myself out there. Being so open about my sins to the extreme of almost being bold, really, and all the while holding the title of Christian. It's a weird place to be. I felt something akin to Moses when he said to God, "Oh Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all." (ex 22-23)

And isn't that just like our relationship to sin as children of God? As soon as we are made aware of the fact that we are supposed to be set free from a sin, our captivity in sin gets more terrible. For a season. See how Pharaoh responded to the Hebrews after the moment that they were told by Moses to hope that they could be set free? Pharaoh said, "Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies." (ex 5:9) We will remain bound horribly, believing the lie that the truth is too good to be true, if we do not hold to our hope of freedom and a miracle, at this critical moment.

The best aide to being able to keep faith in God to deliver, even when our sins get more intense, is total depravity. Total depravity is the ultimate defensive strategy against cynicism and bitterness. A doctrine rejected by many. Rejected by the natural human spirit in the way we live our lives, the way the world functions. The world says we cannot be weak. We are trained to think we do and must have the resources within us, to rise to the challenge. Total depravity means that man is morally and willfully bankrupt to obey God in any amount, apart from His intervention of enablement.

"Whoever humbles himself will be exaulted." (matt 23:12)

SImply calculated, if we are totally incapable of delivering ourselves, or incapable to be better about not sinning, then we truly are those who magnify the Lord, waiting on Him, making bold declarations about His nature and power and goodwill. God is proclaimed. All eyes are on Him. He will act, and do so beyond what we could imagine.

"I am the Lord, and I will bring you out of the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God." (ex 6:6-7)

GOD-MADE deliverance.
GOD-MADE obedience.

This is Christianity made authentic. Where man and God are exaulted for righteous reasons, both in the same purpose.

Why are we thrown spiritually destructive, old, rotten leftover curveballs? Because deliverance is a few bold statements of faith away. These kinds of declarations are not usually even consciously made by Christians. It's hard to choose faith in God's might and compassion, as your one and only avenue of progress. But this is where His power is "perfect." (my power is made perfect in weakness 2 cor 12)

And perfection and power are my goal. It is a weird place to be, to be weak and be ok with it. But I know that when I put all my cards out on the table and don't hold back, God makes a perfect score for the object of the game.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I got cliffnotes

This is enough! If I don't write out this entry I think I am going to burst! I have been trying to obey Him by getting things done for others. But maybe God is putting His foot down, and saying it is well-passed time to write this up.

For the last over two weeks my life has changed because of the vision I was given by the Word. And if there is any flaw in what I absorbed, it lies alone in my increasing inability to remember what I read.

If I was well-off in Christ before, I am wealthy now!

May I quote myself again, if you don't mind? On 4/22/05 and 4/24/05 I entered the following exerpt in a blog that I have since removed for the sake of my convictions about the goodness of content, but if you've been here reading along, you'll remember me saying:

"What is it that I am trying to express anyway? I am determined to put words to it. It is a powerful, passionate core that is so central, it's almost subconscious. I am looking for something, someone.... A force. A voice that is almost angry in its assertion, and strong, in its action to grab me. It has to meet me, find me, and take a very strong grip on me, in order for me to "stop," and submit and lose identity within. Yes; that's it. I will not settle for less. I have no interest in letting any other less-visionary have me or control me. I will walk away with my pony-tail swinging happily.... Like a little girl who finds the power of the word "no" to her parents' wishes. I feel like I must keep wading in these deep dark places. Because God wants to heal me. The depth of my darkness, and my weakness, will be a countermeasure for the height of the righteousness and wholeness He will put in their stead."

I would love to tell you about the person I saw in a book I had seldom read, called Revelations. Look at this!

"'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.'"

“’I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.’ ... ‘I, Jesus...’”. Rev 22:13, 16;

“'And do not call anyone ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.'” matt 23:9

“’If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered, ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” john 14:7-9

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Is 9:6

Jesus is fully the being of God! He is the Sovereign Lord! He himself is THE head-honcho! All answer to him at judgment in the same way they answer to the Father, which really means the same thing. Jesus is the Lord God Almighty. And look at what Jesus does when He returns!

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. ... He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. ... He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Rev 19:1,13,15,16

“I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood splattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.” Is 63:3, 6)

“They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?’” Rev 6:16-17

That's my Jesus! That is the Jesus who, "For to be sure, was crucified in weakness," (2 cor 13:4), the servant who humbled himself lower than all to show His mighty love. I always got the love out of looking at his grace and mercy given in his life's accomplishment. That was the part that transformed me into justification. What I couldn't get was the Lorship part. I could see how Jesus was claiming to be fully God, and I got that.... However it wasn't enough to bridge my gap. God's authority over my life was still suffering.

My heart and mind are dwelling in perception of this. Jesus was by comparison, soft-spoken 2000 years ago but sometime very soon He will be the stuff beyond that of movies. Now I know why God allowed the proliferation of Hollywood and how He will use it for his glory--I can see special effects in my mind of the real power that Jesus will display when He comes. Being fully Almighty God, and fully just, He will exact an excruciating punishment on all who rejected Him. What kind of a God-man is this, that wore a crown of thornes, yet is so chok-full of titles and authorities that even His thigh received the tremendous glory of displaying a mighty title like "King of kings and Lord of lords"?

This is a God-man that I confess, am fascinated by. A little scared of. But a whole lot, of driven consecration.

Never have I seen Jesus be more bold, about the things the world constantly argues about Him--his diety. Here He is, addressing the seven churches, all with his own different names for each one, like "The Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire," "him who has the sharp, double-edged sword," "the First and Last, who died and came to life again," "him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David," "the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation." There isn't any hem-haw. He gives His names yet does not deliver them in subtlety like he did on earth.

This tremendous balance; it seems so simple now. The Lion and the Lamb. He is everything, he is my very life (colossians). Every aspect of it. I am so glad I know both, both aspects to who Jesus is. I am so glad that He is the one and only true God. I am so awed that he was so humble yet is so very great. I look forward to seeing this Man that I love who died for me, come back with all his tremendous might and even anger, carrying out justice without even a sidewards thought. What a unique, perfect Man this is.

Obeying Him is Sooooo easy. Seeing things in a perspective of faith is so easy. Why? Because I have seen His power. I know He is in control. Yes, of everything I could ever experience or worry about. Wow. It's so different, I wonder how any Christian would ever get by without such a book of "Revelation." It's almost a spoiler to the visionary path I was plodding on. I thought only cheaters used shortcuts.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Family vacation bible school

Ben (my husband) signed us up for VBS, for the whole family, last week. I've never done anything like this before. It was three nights, from Tues-Thurs, and I wasn't excited about it. No, I wasn't feeling very good each night, and didn't have the strength to waste on fluffy stuff.

However tonight at the end I had a highlighted moment. When we walked in Steve said, "Hey Ben, can you play Jesus? Our Jesus dropped out at the last moment." He said sure. I said to him, "Oh, you'd be so good! I always said you looked like Jesus, didn't I?" Back when we were dating, I told Ben that he had the face of Jesus. Ben said, "What? Nobody knows what He looks like." And I said, "But your face is just how I imagine him looking like." It was one of the things, back then, which I thought was 'a sign' that I was meant to marry him. Silly. Anyway.

At the end of the session during the wrap-up time in strode Jesus to the podium, and Ben discharged Jesus' words of love very well. Then he stood to the side as the speaker continued to talk. The speaker invited everyone afterwards to meet Jesus or talk to the pastors of our church.

As the speaker was finishing up, Liz, our 1+3/4 yr. old girl got up out of my lap and started running. She saw daddy. Ben saw her as she ran to him and he picked her up and the whole room went "Aww." Wow. That is when I was touched. "Do not forbid the children to touch me." And I haven't spoken with Ben yet if it was his own initiative or someone else's, for the idea of afterwards walking around the room, greeting the people. But the way Ben did it was so loving. He took delight in the children most of all, and reached out to them even, all the while holding Liz. Wow. Perfect.

I care so much about body language saying things more powerful than words ever could. And I care so much about children knowing that they are loved. So for me, this was quite awesome, and I will have to tell Ben tomorrow how inspired I was by what he did.

Training Potties

Right now I am potty training 3 babies at the same time on M-Th. The plan was to keep a diaper off on one kid, knowing that he'd be uncomfortable going not in his diaper, therefore be forced to use the toilet. Nope. Today he broke new ground, literally. Another baby said, "poo poo," so I did an appraisal, and in the middle of the living room carpet, was a HUGE bowel movement. Time for plan C.

I got them all three in bed for their naps, took a sigh of relief, and turned to walk in the kitchen. And there in front of me was the cutest thing I think I've seen: Three little baby toilets, all lined up in a row; a Potty Train.


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