There are very few things in life that I regret.  I have always, even before coming to Christ, been the type of person who felt like every moment in my life led to this one, and this one is good, so why regret?

There are some totally awful things I wish never happened, but even those I can accept as turning points-things that changed my life into what it is now...

But it occurs to me after some study, that I have been deceived.  I have always prided myself on being a pretty smart cookie.  (Yes, pride comes before the fall...I'll get there)  I feel like I have a pretty high level of discernment and can pretty well smell BS when it's cooking.  I very much have that "sixth sense" and the proverbial "gut feeling." 

That's not to say I can't be fooled.  My own perceptions typically lead me to believe people think things that never crossed their minds.  Don't we all do that to a certain degree?  "Did you SEE the way she looked at me?  She hates me.  She has never liked me."  When, in reality, she just had a gas bubble and was hoping it wouldn't make a loud noise.

I'm rambling because I'm tired and it's been a long week...

Suffice it to say I let the devil or the world or whoever you'd like to blame trick me.  He tricked me into believing that the number of children I have (or was supposed to have) was a monstrous number and that I would be stupid to want more.  I was lied to and told that I would be at my max capacity for love at this number...maybe my max capacity for fulfillment, happiness, etc.

This week I was 4 days late for my period.  That is the 2nd time that has happened this year (the first was in January).  Both times I tortured myself, wavering between hope and berating myself for being stupid.  I skate a thin line between praying like crazy that I might be redeemed and not wanting to speak to God at all, for fear He's punishing me for last week's laziness.

Let me take a step back and say that is NOT how God works...just how my mind can make things. 

But after I started I sat down with God and I said, "I feel like I'm being punished."
And He said, "I'm not punishing you...you made a choice."
And I thought about all the ways God could over-ride my choice...vasecotmies fail all the time.
And He said, "are you unhappy with your choice?"

And you know what?  I am.  I regret.  And I feel like that stinking unicorn in The Last Unicorn at the end, after she's been human and she feels regret and longing.  And I feel like a melodramatic crazy who no one wants to hear talk anymore.  And I bottle it up inside and even from God, but the minute that I opened up and told Him that I regret, He opened up some answers to me.  This morning I read Galatians 4 and Isaiah 21.  What I love about reading in 2 separate places is that when He is talking to me, it hits me in the face like a 2x4, which is what I need at 6:30am.  If you read the same thing in 2 totally different locations, you can pretty much guess it means something.  Even a non-believer takes notice of something like that.

Both passages talked about satan lying and deceiving people and how God has pains like a woman in labor for His children when they are lied to and stolen from.


And so here I am...still regretting and not knowing what our future holds, (except amazingness!  I know that's in there) but so glad for a God who speaks to me right where I'm at.  Even if it blows to have to admit I've been tricked.



There is a serious drought going on here.  I'm sure by now most of you have seen it on the news or heard about it somehow, but Texas is about to break its own record for days in a row above 100 degrees.  Last week was nearly unbearable, even for me, with temps over 107.  I'm good until about 105...I've discovered that is my threshhold. 

As it turns out, *most* plants do not like that type of heat.  There are some amazingly resilient plants that thrive here, though.  I've shown pictures before of the Crape Myrtles, which bloom in the hottest part of the summer.  They are currently showing off splashes of pink, purple, red and every color in between all over town.  Despite no water, the pecan trees seem to be in perfect health, with tight green pods busy developing those yummy nuts we'll get to pick in late October.  Though my other plants are choking (I've had to be really careful with these guys, offering them water every night and shade during the hottest parts of the day)
other plants in the garden are absolutely thriving.  Like these guys:
Can you guess what they are?  PEANUTS!!!  These guys are so much fun!  I was spreading some composted manure the other day and accidentally pulled up a developing peanut.  SO CUTE!!  I love planting strange things so we can learn new things.  These guys are also pretty happy:
Since the heat kicked in, this jalapeno plant has been putting out much smaller peppers, but Allan said that if a pepper undergoes stress, it is even hotter.  I imagine these must be the hottest peppers on earth.  HA! 
These guys have required a tad more help and water, but LOVE the sunshine:
That box had sweet corn in it, and was a "three sisters" garden.  That means that the sweet corn takes all the nitrogen out of the soil, the green beans (or any other kind of bean, but we did green beans) "fix" the nitrogen in the soil with the nodules on the roots and also use the corn stalks as trellises and the pumpkin (or any other kind of squash, gourd or low laying vining plant) shades the ground to keep in moisture and crowd out weeds.  The corn is long gone (I left the stalks for the beans) but the pumpkin and beans are happy as ever with water every couple days.  Needless to say, nothing has flowered or produced in quite a while, but with the LOOONG growing season, these guys will have a chance to bear fruit before the first frost in November.  Also note the beautiful asparagus in the back of the box.  I love asparagus and as soon as we expand the garden I think that whole box might end up being full of it!

And then we come to the most lovely part of the garden (though it is all very lovely!)
I thought this guy was long gone, but suddenly the heirloom moon and stars watermelon plant decided to rebound and grow very vigorously.  It's flowering like crazy and it may be too late for it to actually produce any watermelons before the cool evenings come, but it's so beautiful I can't bear to take it out, so there she is...taking up space I'm glad to give her.

Why the garden post?  I haven't made one in a very long time and since NOW is the time for fall planting (crazy right?  I was surely not thinking about fall planting at 107!!) I've been out there a lot and really enjoying God's little garden during a crazy drought.  Some days I feel bad about all the water we're using (don't worry, our town is not under restriction and I only water late in the evening or early in the morning) but since we just have small raised beds, the water is not wasted and also only takes about 20 minutes a day.  We hope to install a grey water collection system soon so that all the laundry and dishes water will be used to water the garden instead of fresh, drinking water. 

So what did you plant in your fall garden or are you not working on one this year?  We've got potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, brussels sprouts, spinach and sugar snap peas planted so far.  We'll do lettuce, carrots and garlic as the season wears on.  Are you in the DFW area?  How are you dealing with the drought in your garden?  Which of your plants are thriving right now? 

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 

One last thought...it reminds me very much of a book we read for homeschool last year called A Question of Yams. 
"Kuri's father has planted their yams without praying to the spirits. The Head Men insist that the yams must be planted in the right way, but Father declares, "God is mighty," and he continues to plant their garden in the name of Jesus Christ. Kuri can't help wondering whether the Head Men are right. Are the spirits punishing him and his family? If the yams don't grow, what will they eat? Does he dare to be like Father and trust only in God? The day comes at last when Kuri must decide."

In the book there is a drought and all of the village people believe they are being cursed because Kuri's father didn't pray to the spirits.  They chant for rain and wait, but it never comes and their yams dry up, but Kuri's father sees that God is good because in the midst of the drought  the stream is still running.  They bring water to the garden every day and end up with yams to spare!  LOVE that picture!  True story, by the way.  Great book if you ever want to read it, too.

Love and miss you all!



So it has been a year since we found out that our baby would not be joining us on this earth.  You can read a little about it HERE if you're new or want a refresher.

I would rather be holding Josiah today than anything else in the world...nursing him and watching the 3 here give him kisses and talk about how cute he is.  But you know God...He's not going to let me dwell on the hurt for too long.  I have to look back and see all that IS because Josiah didn't come to us.

There would have been no trip to Haiti if it meant me being home with a 3 month old and 3 kids by myself for 10 days. 
And I can tell you that these kids lives were changed by my loving husband...no less than his was changed by them.

Diaper Solutions would not exist.  Nor the class that it was created for...Childbirth & Beyond.  I'm going to be teaching young moms about childbirth, natural parenting techniques and just generally loving on them and sharing the love Christ gives to me.  Words can't describe how excited I am about this class, either.

Friends...man...I've been a whiny brat this last week and God has brought to mind all the amazing people who have loved on me since last August...Melissa went through a loss with me and guided me and loved on me and I've witnessed her restoration and praise God for her and her testimony. 

Countless people have shared their losses with me, and I pray healed just a bit because of my all-too-often complete openness. 

Tristine, Sharie, Heather and Shanna are 4 I would not have met had we not lost Josiah.  And I'm so grateful for each and every one of them.  Tristine and Shanna are friends I've had the pleasure of meeting "IRL" and who will do ministry with me in this new class.  Sharie and Heather are friends who bless me from afar with their kindness and generosity and love when I'm going out of my mind and don't know where else to go. (When I'm too stubborn to turn to God first)

Renae, Jeff, Hope, Mary, Amy, Lisa, Trish...these are just a few friends I had prior to Josiah's departure who have pulled in even closer to me, despite my pain. 

The rawness and subsequent healing has really improved my relationships with almost everyone.  It would be impossible for me to list all the ways my life is better now than it was a year ago.  If nothing else, our loss has gotten me to read my bible and pray more faithfully and fervently and well, that is more than enough.  The rest is just icing on the cake.  "All this He does only because He is my loving Father; not because I have earned or deserve it." -Martin Luther

Do you remember that picture?  I took it when I took my weekend away last year.  I have stored in my heart a conversation with God I had that day and I don't think I ever shared it here....I'd like to share that now.  To everyone who has heard my diatribe this last week, I'm sorry.  Thank you for loving me through the hard times.  This story has become very clear to me once more.

I was hiking some pretty trecherous terrain up there, much of it steep and rocky.  I'm not very "in shape" and especially wasn't then, having been pregnant or nursing for the better part of 3 years.  The conversation was very childish, but here it is:
Me: "Oh Lord, please don't let me fall out here!"
God: "and if you do fall?  What then?"
Me: "I might get hurt..what if I bust my knee open?"
God: "then I'll pick you up and it will heal."
Me: "but then I'll have a scar."
God: "and?"
Me: "and then I'll have it to look at and always remember the time You let me fall and get hurt."
God: "or you'll always remember the time you fell and I picked you up and healed you."

Words can't describe how much I fell even further in love with my Lord and Savior that weekend.  I'm sorry to everyone who hates constantly reading about it here, but I have found the most wonderful gift...freedom and love and peace when I might have something less and what kind of a friend would I be if I did not share that? 

I love you all and I thank you each from the bottom of my heart for loving me through all of this.  For everyone who has given us prayers, condolences and hugs through this last year-thank you.  I pray you know that you will always remind me (even if we don't speak now) of the time God picked me up and healed me.  I know there will be hard days still...days I cry for my baby, but I'm so grateful for all I have despite the loss. 

Hugs and love to you all.


Time Suck

I think sometimes I live in a time vacuum.  It's a strange dichotomy, where days stretch on and on and I can not talk to someone for just a day or so and feel like I haven't talked to them in "forever."  This is probably partly because we live in a digital world, where we can send and recieve messages at a moment's notice and most everyone is only an armslength away from being contacted. 

On the other side of it I can look back and realize, "wow...Friday will be one year since we found out the baby was gone."  And it doesn't seem like it, because sometimes it pricks my heart just the same way it did a whole year ago. 

But here I stand...light years from where I was.  A million conversations that happened "forever ago" [last month] but a pain that is still so real a "whole year" later. 

And before anyone starts talking to me about how I should or shouldn't be or feel or talk, just forget it.  I've heard enough of everyone else's opinions on the subject lately.  If you'd like to show some compassion, I'd love to see it.  Because these days have seemed hopelessly devoid of it from people. 

But it all serves a purpose, because it's days/weeks/months like these that remind me of my true need for a loving, kind, forgiving God.  I'm so imperfect and I'm so selfish and flawed and not at all what everyone else needs me to be.  But I can rest in that place that is filled by the cross.  Praise God for that...I remember feeling like I might drown before I found Him.  I remember crying daily and feeling completely hopeless and worthless, but now I can cry and move on because every moment has a cross leading to the next-a cross that offers fresh starts and new beginnings.  I don't have to keep being the same pathetic creature this afternoon that I was this morning just because I already messed the day up.  Each minute is a new minute to start over. Now I can cry and move on because I know of my hope and worth in Him.

But sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I don't restart for a few days.  I sure wish that would be okay for some people.  But I'm not here to serve people, am I? 

Mindless ramble, I know.  Sorry.  I'm sure I'll have another on Friday or a little after that.  Keep the faith...the pastor found Allan's camera in his truck that we borrowed, so I will have pictures from Haiti soon.  So much going on...VBS, preparing to teach a childbirth class to pregnant teens, preparing for a new homeschool year with TWO students, a few minor home improvements, etc. etc. etc.  So many GOOD and WONDERFUL gifts from my Father.