Friday, February 21, 2014

Made to Crave…

I admit my envy of a few friends that seem to be able to blog and document their children's  lives almost daily. I want to keep a record of what we have done and accomplished. Celebrating victories,  lamenting  defeats, rejoicing in sweet moments and braving honesty in the hard ones, are all things I’d like to preserve on this blog. Only, it doesn’t happen that way. Often it is because I don’t have the emotional margin to sit and put fingers to keyboard and review our day, be it a “good day” or a “bad day”.  As if I can really classify and label my life that black and white, and truly I pray my life is a spectrum of colors and grays. I digress. My point is to say that I want that luxury of energy and desire and time to blog our life.  But more than that, I want the energy, desire, and time to live a bloggable life with my family. Okay, so bloggable is clearly not a real word, but I’m running with it. I have found lately that all I have energy for is to wake up and keep breathing until I get to lay down to sleep. Anyone in this place? I want to do cool fun things with my family and have super neat pictures to share. Heck, at this point I just want to want to be around my family! Okay, I jest. I do want to be around my kids and husband, but not in the state of mind I currently hold. I want to enjoy them yes, but I want them to enjoy me. To be brutally honest, I’m not very enjoyable to be around as of late. Can I tell you I don’t like “playing”. What?! When did that happen? When did I get so crotchety that I would rather wash a sink of dishes or do a load of laundry than sit 30 minutes and play a make believe game of ninja princesses with my daughters? The truth lies in this, it takes way more emotional energy to do creative play than to mindlessly scrub a dish or fold underwear. But folks look at these faces…


Uuuuuuuhhhhhh!  How dadgum cute are they?! And I am missing it. I gotta get myself back from whatever sad selfish vacation I am on and rejoin the joy of my current life. That starts with  running to the Cross. I just need to sit in the shadow of the Cross and let my soul be healed and revived. I am committing to do that. I am doing that through a crazy journey I never dreamed I’d be on.

I’d like to introduce you to a little book called, Made to Crave, by Lysa Terkerst. My dear friend Julie asked me to read this book with her and do an online bible study. The premise of the book is that God made us to crave Him, not food, work, shopping…fill in the blank. The focus of the book is Lysa’s battle with craving food.  At first blush, I was all like, I don’t have a problem with food. Sure I’m at a weight that is not my favorite number, but I’ve had two kids and blah blah blah blah. I can rationalize my weight, I mean, I’m not obese, right? Yeah so, I read the first chapter and was still not convinced that I should do this book. Then I called Juile and asked if she was going to actually answer the study questions at the end of each chapter. Her response, “Yeah, I probably will.” Well the book says if you don’t answer the questions then you are wasting your time reading it. So I responded with, “I’ll do them if you do them and we can share with each other.” Julie liked the idea so I sat down with my bad attitude and began trying to answer the questions. The first question caused me to want to throw my Kindle across the room. It wanted me to “personify my craving”. I hated this lame book instantly. I skimmed down the questions to see that I would soon be talking to my personified craving and it would be talking back to me! I hate this kind of thing! Have I said the word,

L-A-M-E, yet?

Yeah so answering these questions led me to answers inside myself that were startling and unsettling. Here are my answers to just question 1.

Chapter 1

1. If I could personify craving based on my experience of it, what form might it take? I imagine that there is a black chain around my neck and there are spindly black hands and arms at the other end of the chain, tugging me into the pantry. The body of the figure is in the shadows but I imagine it like a Frank Peretii demon out of This Present Darkness. Creepy.

a. What does it do? It tugs and dances and draws me near to the pantry and fridge. Never like a harsh jerk but a steady pull and resistance. If I try to turn away it tugs on my chain and pulls me back. It hums or sings a little song so I am not afraid and I want to listen.

b. If I could have a conversation with it what would it tell me? It would tell me not to do this bible study. It would tell me I’m not obese. It would tell me to not worry so much and eat a little fruit now and then but don’t give up all the sugar because I like it so much and it is permissible. It would reassure me that during my period the sugar/salt craving is totally acceptable because after all it is my hormones talking and I can’t control that. It would say that I don’t have time to eat healthy or the money. NOR would my kids ever eat healthy food anyway. And fruit and veggies rot too fast. Plus, my portions aren’t out of control, I don’t actually eat that much.

c. The question I’d want to ask it is: Why do you care so much about what I am eating?

d. How do I imagine it would respond: I like keeping you in bondage, because God hates it! You help me hurt the heart of God!

WHAT?!!! I have an issue with food? Seriously? And did you catch the answer to “d”…my craving tells me that it is there to hurt the heart of God. Spiritual Battle anyone? Gear up! When I was typing that answer, I didn’t know what I was typing until I was done. Like I was reading the screen eagerly anticipating what words would appear, as if I wasn’t the one typing it. Oooooooo, spooky I know. But when I finished typing that answer, I jerked my hands away from the keyboard like it was on fire, shoved my chair back, and dropped my jaw. Instantly I was furious! Friends,  if there is one thing that gets at me; it is when the enemy uses me as a tool and I don’t even know it! I am not  someone’s puppet…only I am. Well I was. When I say this book is life changing for me, I am not being pithy or light. I mean it. It is a hard journey of self revelation and I don’t know where I am going, but I’m going with God so it really doesn’t matter in the end. I have a lifestyle that needs to change. That is no easy task. Really, it is impossible.  But not for Jesus!

In just a few short weeks I am finding my energy and desire for a joyful life with those I love. I’m not super-dee-duper mind you, but I am on a new trajectory that gives life, not steals it. God has been so faithful and he has brought about many changes within me. I am thankful.  Please keep me in your prayers.

Romanian Friend for Noah

Daniels story raeghan copy

Cuddled among all these Romanian orphans is my new babysitter...Raeghan. Serving in a Romanian orphanage this past December, Raeghan brought the love of Christ to these kids. When our small group found out she would be travelling to Romania we partnered with the Bread of Life organization to send shoeboxes of gifts to this orphanage. I asked Raeghan if she would be able to know who got our box and if so, could she take a picture of that child? And I told her, if that child wasn’t sponsored, we’d consider sponsoring them. Noah was thrilled at this opportunity. He picked out all the items for our box, we built a box for a 10-year-old boy. Sadly, Raeghan said that all the boxes were put in a big shipment and it would be impossible to know which child got our box. Bummer. So I included a note with our box to let Bread of Life know that we would consider sponsoring the child who got our box, if they didn’t already have a sponsor. I sent the box and didn’t think of it anymore.

Daniels story meet daniel copy

The end of January brought us the letter above and these three pictures! Isn’t it just like God to give us exactly what we deemed impossible...a photo of a boy, Noah’s age, with our shoebox, who does not have a sponsor. We were floored at the infinite power of God! Noah was thrilled! I had to laminate the pictures and letter so he could hang them on his wall. I called Bread of Life to see about sponsoring Daniel. Debora answered the phone and within about a minute she asked me if my son’s name was Noah. What? Ummm, yes. This dear woman had already linked Noah’s name with Daniel’s praying that we would sponsor him. Then she told me, “the rest of the story.” When she got my note about sponsoring a child she quickly picked three boys she thought would be good choices. Upon arriving to Romania, Debora told her counterpart about the potential sponsorship and offered only two boys names. Her Romanian colleague chose the boy  Debora said she would not have chosen. So Debora asked “Why Daniel?”  The response was this, “Because Daniel doesn’t really believe in all this Christian stuff and he really needs to know that someone out there  really cares about him.” When they gave Daniel our Christmas box they watched him carefully but discretely. Debora told me they could see on his face he was starting to believe. They said the gift had a big impact upon Daniel and they began praying furiously that our family would sponsor him!  I asked if I could send a small gift to him and she responded by telling me that Daniel’s birthday was the day before, Feb. 9th. Meaning, I could send him a larger gift of clothing and some other small things. Noah and I can’t wait to go shopping. The Lord is so good!

Here is Daniel’s letter to Noah…

Dear Noah,
Hello, my name is Daniel and the Bread of Life Orphanage is my new home, for the last few months. I am very happy but in the same time, surprised when I get a present, the gift from you and everything that you have included for me is very nice and I like it very much.

Like you, I also like Legos, and I can’t wait to play with the Legos you sent for me.

I am very happy that we are the same age because we can communicate together and find out interesting things from one another.

I want to thank you very much that you want to help me, to have a better life here.

                    With love,     

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Williamson Christmas Gathering

Yeah…so I’m a bit behind. If you enjoy seeing holiday stuff, stay tuned. I’ll be posting a flurry of holiday stuff I am just now getting around to doing.

We all converged on Suzy and Kenneth’s home, December 21st, to celebrate together. It was a great visit! The kids all played together independent from Eric or I! Yaya fell in love with her cousin, Carson, which is sorta okay since they are in now way related! Eden loved running around with all the boys and taking pictures on the “Red Couch”.  Sweet Halli some how was able to procure ALL her siblings, save two. She came with 4 children in her car! We were able to get a picture of Fay and Elwyn with all their great grandchildren. A first for sure! Later we went back to Fay and Elywn’s home to spend some more time with them. It was a blessed day!

Williamson gathering 1 copyWilliamson gathering 2 copy