Around Here Right Now…

My goodness, what a full, wonderful week!

I’ve found my fourth “pro” to coming home – my friend Nikki said, “It’s me, it’s me!!” And she was right – all these wonderful people in my life are definitely worth coming home to! We were only gone one week, but it is good to get back into routine, and to spend time with everyone we get to share life with.

Instead of sitting around, trying to write deep, thought-provoking blog posts, I chose to spend my week socializing, unpacking, and settling into routine, so I will end the week with a quick list of some things I’m enjoying right now:

1) Picnics in Heaven.

Kaylia has been playing with her Aqua Doodle mat a lot this week – she loves to get her Polly Pockets out and make up stories with them, using the colorful scenes around the edge of the mat. She kept talking about going to Heaven for picnics, which really confused me, until I went to get a closer look. Then I could see exactly what she meant:

Aqua Doodle

City and trees, sky, followed by more trees and grass, above the sky. Heaven makes sense! I love it that she thinks we go there for picnics!

Major problem with her new theology – we come back down when the picnic is over.

2) My new cleaning schedule.

I’ve never used a pre-made cleaning schedule before. I didn’t think I’d like it.

But while we were away on vacation, I stumbled across this schedule, which I bought at a hugely discounted price in a package with a bunch of other books I’d really wanted, and as I looked over it, I thought it would be kind of fun to try.

I’ve only been using it this week, but I can see how this could totally work for me! For some reason, I’m able to get a lot more done when I feel like someone else is “telling” me to do it! It’s also showing me how easy it is to break up big, time-consuming jobs into quick little jobs, done here and there throughout the day. I may not have time to clean out the whole fridge, but I can clean the top shelf.

I don’t like the idea of paying for a cleaning schedule, though, so here’s a link for a free one, if you feel like having someone else tell you how to clean your house!

3) Cream of Rice with Cinnamon Apples for Breakfast.

Cinnamon Apples

Oh, yum. I’ve eaten it every day this week. Gluten-free, and super cheap.

Just grind up rice in a coffee grinder, and cook it like you would regular rice (except it cooks a little faster, so it needs lots of stirring).

To make Cinnamon Apples, you melt butter in a frying pan, throw in an apple cut up in little chunks, and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Cook it until the apple is soft, and put it on top of the cream of rice. So delicious.

And now I feel really hungry for breakfast!

What have you been up to this week?

I Don’t Have Enough Faith

On Wednesday, I wrote brave words about teaching my girls strength through my weakness.

On Thursday, I broke down and wanted to take it all back, just for a minute….

Over the years since I first got sick, I’ve been prayed over many, many times for healing. I’ve been anointed with oil, and I’ve had hands laid on me, and great people of great faith have prayed boldly and confidently for me.

I’ve prayed for healing for myself far more times than I could ever count, sometimes with faith, and sometimes in pure desperation. But that miraculous healing hasn’t come yet for me.

And when I came across people who said, “Just pray with faith. If you have enough faith, then Jesus will heal you,” it always left me feeling like I wasn’t enough.

I wasn’t faithful enough, I wasn’t trusting enough, I didn’t believe enough, or maybe, just maybe… could it be that God didn’t care enough?

Other people got their miracles. Why couldn’t I get mine?

Waiting for a miracle brought me to a crisis of faith more than once along the way. But somehow, I always found my way through. I always hung on to Jesus, sometimes just enough to barely get by – but not enough to eliminate those lingering feelings of doubt that my sickness was my fault.

I didn’t have enough faith.

In the midst of my health issues, we were waiting for a baby. Two miscarriages, and it felt like no baby would ever come. But I kept begging and praying and pleading, and once again, it just seemed as though I didn’t have enough faith.

I didn’t deserve a baby, because I didn’t trust God enough.

But one day, as I knelt by our bed, begging God for a miracle, it suddenly hit me that He already was giving me a miracle – just not the one I wanted.

I was asking for the miracle of a baby, but God was giving me the strength to hang on, and somehow keep going, choosing Him even when things were hard.

Which was the greater miracle?

And so I tried to thank Him for the miracle of His presence and provision, even if it wasn’t the miraculous baby I was begging for.

But then, exactly two weeks after I was told a baby was completely, physically impossible, I stood in our bathroom holding a positive pregnancy test.

And I felt like I didn’t deserve it.

I hadn’t earned it. I hadn’t learned enough yet. I didn’t have enough faith. I hadn’t learned to trust God enough. I hadn’t found enough joy in the midst of this hardship.

But that day was the beginning of learning that I can NEVER do enough to earn it. I can never have enough faith, enough trust, enough of anything to actually deserve God’s mercy and grace and blessing.

He just gives it anyway.

So I held our miracle baby in my arms, and I wondered if maybe, just maybe…God could heal me even if I didn’t have enough faith. Or maybe…He could be enough, even if I spent the rest of my life dealing with health issues.

Yesterday, my friend reminded me of this passage in Daniel:

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. (Daniel 3:17-18)

Even if He does not.

That’s what I’ve learned. I think it’s the most important thing anyone can learn about faith and prayer and miracles, this side of Heaven.

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He is so far above me, I cannot begin to understand.

Am I okay with not having an answer?

Am I okay with not getting the miracle I’m asking for?

I believe He wants to give great and wonderful gifts to His precious children. But we live in a fallen world. He calls us to bring His kingdom to pass here on Earth, but it’s still all fallen.

So one day He’ll come and clean up the whole mess, and redeem our feeble attempts at “kingdom here on earth”, and Anika and I agree that we will eat ice cream every day from that day on, and I’ll ride my bike a lot.

Or maybe we won’t, and we won’t even care. Who knows.

All I know is that I trust Him. I trust Him for the miracle. I trust Him if He chooses to skip the miracle, and waits to heal me on that glorious day when He returns, and I meet our two babies I’ve never known.

He is good if He saves me, and I trust Him if He doesn’t.

Do I have “enough faith”?

Nope, probably not. I don’t really have enough anything, but that’s okay, because Jesus is enough, and I’m hanging on.

And so every once in a while, I come across people who suggest that all we need is enough faith. And then, all I need is a quiet corner to wrestle down those doubts that have plagued me for years. I give it all back to Jesus again. I surrender my life again.

And I say, once again, “Jesus, I believe you can heal me. But even if you don’t, I’m still choosing to trust You.

I hang on tight, and then we do it all over again.


What are you holding on for today? Is it ever hard to keep believing that Jesus is enough, even if the miracle isn’t coming?

I know that some of these things are too hard, too personal, to be able to share with the general public in the comments section, but please know that if you ever need to get it out, and want someone to listen, you can send me an email. I’ll listen and pray, and hold on with you!

Longing For a Home

As the boxes pile up, and Ben comes home speckled with paint, the truth becomes a little more clear all the time: Home is neither here nor there.

We are disassembling five years of life year at camp, and getting ready to move on to that new house in Niverville. But when I met Ben there the other day, it all felt so strange. That was not home.

And then we drove two hours back to camp, and this didn’t feel so much like home anymore, either.

I’m feeling myself really wanting a home right now. I’m longing for a permanent kind of feeling, a nesting kind of feeling that makes me desire a cozy place to settle in and keep my family safe and peaceful. And it’s not going to happen for a few weeks yet, because the chaos is only beginning here at camp.

I feel unsettled, and it’s making me realize something about myself: The more I long for a place to feel like home, the more I am aware of how temporary any home is. I think we spend our time on Earth trying to fill that longing with all kinds of homes, and yet really, my true and final resting place of peace and safety is Heaven.

I don’t spend enough time thinking about that.

What would happen to me if I had no home? This time of transition and the feelings of being a little misplaced will last a short time, but would it be good for me if it stayed around longer? If I had no house in Niverville waiting for me to transfer my home-loving self to, would I be more open to longing for the things of Jesus, instead of trying to fill it with temporary, materialistic things?

I have never seen “transition” as a particularly desirable time in life. It is uncomfortable, unsettling, and change is brewing. It has it’s exciting parts, but I wouldn’t want to stay in it long-term.

But I’m wondering if “in the world but not of it” should be exactly that – a constant feeling of transition. Never really settling in, because none of this is the point anyway.

I’ve been trying not to wish away transition. I’ve been trying to learn from it, and use it to experience all the necessary emotions we are needing to process.

Maybe I need to see it as more than that. Maybe times of transition are a gift – a time when we can see this life with a little more clarity.

I love home. I see it as my very important job to teach our girls about family and home and traditions, and all that good stuff. I will continue to put effort into making home a happy, comfortable place.

But maybe we also need to be finding more ways to teach our girls about not having a home, and what it means to be here only for a time. To use this time and these gifts well, but not become too attached, because really, this life is just one big transition, and longing for home should really be about something much more eternal.

I remember reading what Franklin Graham wrote about his mother’s longing for Heaven. One day when the family was playing outside, he was thinking about some things he’d heard in church. He asked his mom, “Do you know when Jesus will come back?” And she said, “I don’t know, but I hope it’s today!

I want to long for Jesus like that! I want to long for my Heavenly home like that. “I hope it’s today!”

And in the meantime, we’ll enjoy the gifts and blessings of right now.