Thursday, July 31, 2008
Me? Guilty about going on vacation and leaving my family behind?
Well, maybe for about five minutes.

Then I realized that while my friend and I were cheerfully stitching scrub caps in the upstairs bedroom, my youngest child took it upon himself to "feed" his brother's new aquatic turtles, Macaroni and Cheese.

By feed, I mean dump two full bottles of turtle food (one of pellets and one of STINKY shrimp treats) into the ten gallon aquarium.

We had to empty the tank, dump the bloated food and treats, scrub and clean the tank, gravel, and filter. Then we had to go to PetCo. Because we now had NO turtle food or water conditioner.

On the plus side, it was nice to run an errand with EJ. I don't get enough one on one time with him.

Mac and Cheese are now happily basking in their lovely clean tank.

In less than 48 hours I hope to be happily basking on the beach here.

  posted at 3:54 PM  

Sunday, July 27, 2008
With permission from my pastor
In his sermon wrapping up the book of Joshua today, Gregg said this:

When you write the story of your life, is God the hero?

I think I finally have a good answer for the question, "Why do you blog?". It's because I need to remember, in writing, all of His goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy, and His promises in, through and despite my circumstances.

  posted at 4:34 PM  

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
More about what I want to do when I grow up
Hmmm...the career options don't look all that great. That,or I'm being unambitious and lazy--at least by the standards of a world that tells me that I can do and/or be anything I want.

Did you catch that phrase? You know, "the standards of the world"? (Don't forget the "I want" part, either). At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if the problem here lies less in our squeaky finances and more in my heart.

Fast forward a bit. I'm having a heart to heart with a dear friend who is struggling with feeling unsuccessful compared to her professional peers. Another conversation follows with another friend who feels like at this point in her life "she can't do anything but be a stay at home mom and wife".

My question to both of them is this. What if this is all God has for you? If x is the pinnacle of your worldly accomplishments? Is it enough to know that you've been obedient to Him?

Then I realized that I wasn't really talking to them. That little gem was for me.

I'm human. The "temporary trappings of this world" look pretty darn attractive to me most of the time. It's hard to watch people around me enjoying some of the life luxuries that so appeal to me (Who knew Satan could appear in the form of a fancy vacation or front loading deluxe washer and dryer? Just theoretically, of course...) Money and the praise of men can be gratifying and useful.

But most of the most amazing things that have happened to me have little to NOTHING to do with me, or what I wanted.

I had no hand in my own salvation.

I didn't "want" to be a SAHM/Mom to more than a few/homeschooler/public schooler etc. I thought a high-powered medical career might be fun. But my heart was changed in a way that my flesh could never explain.

I had no desire to EVER go on a mission...but Uganda was thrust upon me in a way I couldn't ignore.

Writing a book certainly wasn't in my life plan. It was handed to me like a lovely gift.

Here's the thing. When I am removed from the equation--my striving, my desires--I can retain my passion for something while still leaving the results to God. In the end, it doesn't matter if this book sells twenty copies (all of them to my mom!) or hits the Times bestseller list. What matters is that all of us involved in the project were obedient to do what God told us to to--me to write out my musings, the ACWI folks to pray about and go forward to the project.

I can't compare what God has for me to what God has for someone else. Let me be very clear here. I believe that God calls some women to careers outside the home, and that if he calls them that they should obey that call. To ignore it is to invite misery and self-doubt (see above self-induced life crisis).

Paul sums it up like this:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
1Timothy 6:6-9
It's not what I do. It's my obedience and choice to put my shoulder to the wheel wherever God would place me. It's my contentment with the knowledge that The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. (Psalm 16:6).
It's not rocket science. I've stated more than once that I can be a little slow (stubborn) in these matters.

So for now, I am where I am, and obedience has to be, and is, enough.
Of course, there's always a postscript.
Once I repented of my discontent, doors began to open. There are some small, but compensated, opportunities for me right here at home that (get this) came to me--I didn't have to pursue them. They'll be up and running in God's time. There's the book. I'm available to do the legwork, but am excited to see what God will do with it.
Then there's the trip to the Mexican Rivera that my "baby" sister's treating me to...just because she loves me. Kind of a belated post-chemo celebration. Of course, with an agenda heavy on exercise classes, sunbathing, and reading, she gives me about three days before I start cutting her meat for her and trying to clean our room...
And this. The most lovely post card (email) from Him, in the form of an old friend:
Wow, Heather!!! I just finished reading Just Enough Grace and loved it. It brought some tears to my eyes as I related to your emotional struggles of cancer and joys of marriage. I sent it on to a friend too. She is now undergoing radiation (post surgery and chemo) for breast cancer. She has the same bold Christ-like spirit as you- and also a busy mom. Thank you for sharing your heart.

I hope you are all doing well. We miss you and still treasure the impact you’ve made on our hearts and lives.
How can I not be content with my cup so full? With a God who even cares about my selfish cares and needs, despite my straying?
Thoreau is credited with saying that the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation. I don't have an issue with the quiet part, but the rest has to go.

Most of us will never be famous or rich, at least by the standards of this world. I probably won't.

But I can live a life of quiet inspiration, a life of godly obedience and contentment.
That great gain is enough.

  posted at 6:56 AM  

Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Strap yourselves's going to be a LONG post
If you've hung out here long enough, you know that my blogging can best (and most kindly) described as "erratic".

It's not that I don't have anything to say, but more that as time as passed (and my awareness of he TQ's readership and Internet prowess grows), I'm more cautious about using my page as a sounding general sounding board. As much as part of me would like to work through things in writing, I've learned that it's much more edifying for all involved (me included), when I pass what Heather would have initially said through the highly useful filter of Philippians 4:8.

All that to say that I think I've been more erratic than usual because I've been going through a life crisis of sorts. I don't think I'm special in this regard--it's pretty common for people who have been through life-threatening illnesses to evaluate their life choices. Ditto for those of us who stay at home and begin to see the world opening up for our offspring, especially as our (my!)friends return to the workforce. Throw in our current financial crunch (bad real estate market, unemployment recovery, medial bills...) and the looming university tuition for out oldest (egad, the next four years are going to fly by), and it would seem logical that I might want to reconsider just how I spend my days.

So, in typical headstrong bull, um, REDheaded fashion, I began a flurry of Internet research.

Option 1: Resume stymied career as occupational therapist. Okay, not the worst option. After all, I was good at what I did. However, in the decade since I've actively practiced, the licensing requirements have changed. Guess who was too "busy" with kids, homeschooling and cancer to keep up with them?? Oops. Bottom line would be a return to grad school. There's not one close in my field, and quite frankly, if I'm going to do the work of returning to school, I'll just suck it up and get my PA.

Option 2: PA school. Expensive, would require living away from my family at this point. Oh yes, my family. Did I forget that dh is gone 13 hours a day? Scratch PA school for now.

Option 3:Nursing school. Nearby where we live now AND where we could potentially live. But see the above husband gone thing. Hmmm...that door appears closed for now.

Option 4: Starbucks barista. Actually this could be a lot of fun. How many stores are going to hire someone whose availiblity is every other Friday (and only if dh doesn't get called into work) and Sundays after noon? Better put that one on hold.

Temporarily stymied, I tried a new approach, mainly what I should have done in the first place. (Gotta love the letter to the Philippians!).

To be continued....

  posted at 7:45 AM  

Sunday, July 20, 2008
Just alert enough to really process today's sermon...
The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?
Created by OnePlusYou

Hat tip: Sally

  posted at 9:23 AM  

Monday, July 14, 2008
The worst kept secret ever...

For all of you who oh so gently "encouraged" me to write over the years, check out what God has graciously chosen to do.

I've barely had to lift a finger...Keith and Libby, on the other hand, have been VERY busy.

Please pray for the team (Jennifer and Brian, too!) as this little project begins to bear fruit!

  posted at 6:57 PM  

Thank you to Rebekah at Sweet Tea with Lemon for this one!

1. Do you remember how you developed a love of reading?
My mom and grandmother are both big readers and library users, so I remember making trips there with them, laundry baskets in tow to fill with books. As I became a more independent reader, my mom would make up "summer reading lists" for me ("Here, read this...") of classics like The Good Earth.

Credit also must go to dear Mrs. Thomas, my third grade teacher. She would read aloud to us daily to calm down our restless and sweaty class after lunch. Her beautiful and clear voice introduced me to Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeline L'Engle, Judy Blume, and many others.

2. What are some books you loved as a child?
The entire Little House series (I wore the covers off of them), Harriet the Spy, Anne of Green Gables, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

3. What is your favorite genre?
Don't really have one. I'm voracious enough not to have to be picky about my choices. I simply read a lot. With one notable exception, I don't really like fantasy or sci-fi. I love novels that increase my knowledge of other cultures and time periods. Right now, I seem to be on a historical fiction and classics bent.

4. Do you have a favorite novel?
Too many to choose from!! For the sake of brevity, I'll share my "notable" exception to my general dislike of sci-fi/fantasy lit and say that I was blown away by The Time Traveler's Wife. I also love this book because it was a book both dh and I enjoyed equally (very rare in fiction for us)! I'm not crazy about graphic novel's either, but have been known to read them on recommendation--Maus made me cry, and the Newberry-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret was well, a winner for all ages.

5. Where do you usually read?
Any and everywhere. My bed, the couch, the bathtub (I'm guilty of watermarking more than one book!), in waiting rooms (Moffitt Cancer Center has a lovely take-a-book/leave a book program), on the soccer field (they don't play every moment, lol!), while waiting to pick my kids from activities, on the bathroom floor as the little guy plays in the tub (bliss on a cranky toddler/preschool afternoon!), poolside as my kids splash and play, just to name a few.

6. When do you usually read?
Mostly during afternoon rest times and in the evenings (in the tub and in bed), but I grab time to read whenever I can.

7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
If I'm reading a non-fiction book, yes. If I'm in fiction mode, no. Again, I'm a crazy fast reader (and blessed to comprehend pretty quickly, too), so I kind of do fiction the way some people eat potato chips.

8. Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
Nonfiction takes more concentration than brain candy, so I force myself to slow my usual pace. I try to read non-fiction only a chapter at a time so that I can digest the information given to me. I also tend to highlight/make notes in nonfiction. The only time I've ever taken fiction notes was when I had a paper to write or when I had the awesome privilege of helping to review a draft of Amy Wallace's second novel, Healing Promises.

9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?
While I indulge in a few paperbacks in airport bookstores (I've often run out of what brought to read by that time!) it would be wasteful for me to buy novels. We're big library patrons and have been known to have over a hundred books out at a time between our five library cards! Nonfiction I tend to buy our borrow (but I don't highlight borrowed books!).

11. If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them?
The Little House books, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, the Anne Books, tons and tons of classic children's books (Eric Carle, etc)... TQ has also read Tree Grows in Brooklyn , Pride and Prejudice, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The Hiding Place.

Now that my children are getting older, they share books with me, and I'm loving it! TQ and I are both reading Rebecca and My Sweet Antonia this summer and are working our way through the IB summer reading list (I'm skipping the graphic novels...), and I suspended my stance on sci-fi long enough to read through some of her favorites (the Uglies series and Wicked Lovely). Eeyore, Jr. loves the Redwall series, so I've read through a few of those as well. I also made sure that read the Harry Potter novels concurrently so that we could discuss them.

12. What are you reading now?
A Rose for the Crown (historical fiction about the mistress of King Richard III), The Autobiography of George Muller.

13. Do you keep a To Be Read list?
Only in my head. I do try to keep up with summer reading lists (Sunshine State books, the IB summer list, Newberry and Caldacott Award winners, etc.), but dh is much better about that than I by far! I also read the books sections of my newspaper and magazines, and make mental notes during the book features on my beloved NPR news programs.

14. What’s next?
My Antonia, Middlemarch, and whatever swag Amy throws my way from the convention and retreat she's been attending here in Orlando this week!

15. What books would you like to reread?
I regularly reread all of my favorites. Stepping Heavenward is especially good when I need an attitude adjustment! When I struggled with decreased concentration and illness during chemo, I reread the entire Anne series, most of Jane Austin's novels, the Time Traveler's Wife, Amy Tan's novels, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and many, many, other "old friends".

16. Who are your favorite authors?
Again, too many to name. I love Jane Austin's quick wit and social satire. I'm blessed by John Piper's voice of wisdom. While I didn't love Atonement, I think McEwan is a wordsmith who handles the English language with incredible finesse.

I'm tagging...well, it's too darn hot to make anyone do anything here! I do think that Susan, Sally, Laurie, and Amy would enjoy this, but no pressure. Leave me a comment if you decide to play along.

  posted at 8:45 AM  

Wednesday, July 09, 2008
A belated Happy Fourth of July

And a huge thank you to Steve and Laurie for showing us a lovely holiday weekend! Don't we look cute (and patriotic) in our red, white and blue? Just trying to make Sally proud.
Posted by Picasa

  posted at 2:22 PM  

Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Sour Dairy Products and Sweet Memories
One of my least favorite things to do as resident hausfrau is to clean out our fridge.

How does it get so grimy in there? If any of my lovely readers hold the secret to keeping a fridge clean, please comment post haste. (You're disqualified if you only have contentious grown-up type people in your house).

Despite the gross-out factor, it was a great time to pray for my friend Christine. She took on the nasty job of cleaning my fridge once or twice when I was too sick or pregnant or busy with a fussy newborn to even think about it. Her act of service is etched in my heart.

Similarly, I can't eat or peel a peach without thinking about Niki and Sally cleaning and freezing a case of peaches that came in the same day that I had to have home health start my first trimester IV. My lemon tree in Phoenix brought to mind Marc and his sons, who planted it for me after ripping out an agave. Chicken tortilla soup tastes like love--my friend Pat made vats for our family during chemo. My front landscaping makes me smile as I am thankful for my dh and his friend Steve who spent Christmas Eve sweating to put it in.

So, can you guess what my love language is?

Speaking of love languages, I owe my husband a belated thank you and I love you for sixteen years of marriage. Who knew we'd still be growing up together after all of these years? Happy Anniversary!

  posted at 12:30 PM  

About Me


I'm a work in progress, a stay at home mom of four, a beloved daughter of the King.

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