Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pizza night!

Once a week we have a pizza night over here.  Usually we make two big Pizza doughs and then split each in half so we all can have exactly what we want.

But this last week we tweaked the tradition just a bit.  We added friends to the mix.  And we all made our own personal size pizza's.  The unanimous vote is that these two changes should become the new normal.
  It is good to have people in our house again.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers...
~ Hebrews 13:2a

Monday, October 29, 2012

And so begins our school year.

Man of the woods has been looking forward to this day for weeks maybe even months.  When the school books first arrived and I began planning out our days he begged to sit next to me and "just" watched of course every half a second he had one more excited question.

Here's how today went.  We practiced recognizing the letter Aa and the number 1.  We also worked on the shape triangle.  When all was said and down man of the woods reported it was a boring day.  I'm sure he's right on the level of actually learning new things.  However following direction, working hard at not crying when asked to do something he's not good at, and being pushed to use his imagination was good for him.  A bonus was that today's lesson included a maze one of his favorites!

Daddy and Laughter, can't you tell?

The world God gave us.

I think a bit of his "boredom" had to do with the fact that little brother is supper creative and loved all of the activities. Little brother didn't need to be told how to hold paper when cutting, and had no problem drawing a picture of him with Daddy...As you see above only Laughter could tell you it was him and Daddy. 

Man of the woods picture after much stress.

It's hard to tell but he circled Maine and New York the two places he knows on earth. (He tried to circle Hungary but then realized it wasn't on this particular map.

Where as Man of the woods a very practical guy was overwhelmed at the thought of having to draw him and Daddy without any kind of example or guidelines to follow.  While I'm a creative person when a teacher gave me assignments that didn't include precise directions I would become over whelmed, unless it was specified that I could let my imagination run wild.  In the end Man of the woods drew stick figures.  Which was totally fine with me since I myself can't draw anything more when it comes to people.  However, Man of the woods was completely stress free when it came to creating a picture using the number one as this task had an example to follow....

Just about perfect to the example shown.

...And well modern art maybe??

...And well Laughter is wild and free what else can I say?

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him...
~ Genesis 1:27a
2668.  Two boys created differently but exactly as should be.

Family worship.

We all love it when he gets out the guitar!

The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.
~ Psalm 29:11

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The importance of remembering rest

I am a very systematic person, so when I sit to study God's Words I do it through systems.  I don't often do topical studies as I find it very hard to keep the context of each writer in perspective.  Each book of the Bible, while today's followers use it to learn from, where in fact not initially written for us.  The writer had certain situations and a specific group of people in mind as they wrote.  When doing a topical study I have a hard time getting things straight in my mind.  Instead I read book by book focusing on the context of one book at a time.  There are many times I feel the need to dig deeper in those times I search the Bible as a whole to fully understand.  I research.  It is good. 

As I spent time in Budapest I was drawn to the windows as I felt they showed a bit of the soul of each of the designers.

These days I am reading Hebrews and for some reason this book of the Bible is a very confusing book to me.  As I'm here in this fog I see the need to research.  I'm finding that this book is just what I need in the now of life as it is pushing me to be a better follower of Jesus.

Chances are good that Hebrews was written to a group of people that were thinking about blending two different beliefs together, however Jesus says that only through Him can one enter the gates of Heaven.  Therefore the writer felt compelled to be reminded the people of the superiority of Christ.

In chapter four the author begins to speak of rest.  As I searched both the writers of old and the writers who Knew Jesus personally I was reminded of four things about rest.
1.  There will come a day when because of Jesus' death and Resurrection I will find a true rest where there will be no more pain.
2.  Until that day as I rest one day a week I need to remember it is not just for physical reasons, but it is also a day to remember the promise of the future.  In this remembrance my soul should rest from the pain and hardship life brings.
3.  All of life has a spiritual aspect that points to the Maker and His Son, if I am willing to see it.
4.  Because I am a friend of Jesus even the difficulties that life hands me is a little piece of Hope.

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
~ Hebrews 4:9

Saturday, October 27, 2012

EFA 2.23 - Friends, laughter & campfire coffee...

It has been weeks since an Epic Family Adventure has been logged.  This weeks is one for the history books.

There are a rare few that we would spend our sacred day with however once a year or so we do this spontaneous family day with my Sister friend's family.  This week happened to be one.  Since she hadn't yet seen my place they headed over here. 

I showed her the house.
We all explored the woods.
The men split wood.
The Momma's had tea inside.
The hoolies played. 

And then came the highlight of the day:  The zip line.

I hadn't yet tried it so us Momma's decided to give it a go.  When it was my turn the following things may or may not have happened:
~I may or may not have barely missed taking out her youngest child while seconds later flipping her oldest.
~I may or may not have taken out my youngest.
~Lastly I may or may not have been laughing so hard I peed my pants.
I'll let you come to your own conclusions...

The rest of this entry will be dull compared to the zip line story, but is equally important.  It's a record of life and friends...As I've been remembering in this little part of my world these days I have seen the importance of both record keeping and friendship building.

That's what we did.  We built a fire where our two families blended, mine may or may not have stood out a bit with exaggerated tears, but other then that we blended taking another step in bonding our friendship together.

After bellies were full the five hoolies played like only little boys can while we parents sat staring into the hot coals drinking the best camp coffee ever talking of life. 

It is a gift to have others willing to walk with us.
Each one helps his neighbor and says to his brother, "Be strong!"
~ Isaiah 41:6

2662.  A spontaneous family day shared with Sister friend's family.
2663.  Zip lines.
2664.  The best campfire coffee ever.
2665.  Childhood fun even as adults.
2666.  Bonding around the campfire.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Little wonders of God.

In this little corner of my world so often I am raw about my pain, but sometimes I need to step outside the pain and the hard seasons of life here allowing myself to see the wonders of God.

Margrit Island, budapest Hungary

As I remembered the "big" wonders of God in my last post, today I will remember the "little" wonders of God.

Margrit Island, Budapest Hungary
2646.  Smell of freshly made bread the last touch to making this new house my home.
2647.  Silhouette of my husband laying next to me in the dark.
2648.  Beautiful reds & yellows hanging off the trees complete with the smell of cut wood drifting thought the crisp air.
2649.  Broken friendships restored.
2650. Sipping hot coffee wrapped in a blanket on the deck watching 5 boys play while chatting of life.

Toalmas Hungary
2651. Sister friend to bring normalcy to my life.
2652. Sound of the chainsaw & the clunk of the ax.
2653. My hands stacking wood so comfortably. It's been too long.
2654. Two little boy helpers.
2655. A toy wheelbarrow just big enough for one split piece of wood at a time.
2656. Grandma J's prayers for me an mine for the last 10 years.

Toalmas Hungary
2657. Friends who will pray even if that all I say.
2658. Good men stopping by just to encourage my husband.
2659. Unexpected man time leaving me to go to the local craft store buying many of my Christmas gifts.
2660. A warm fire to come home too.
2661. Being reminded of Grace, Joy, Thanksgiving.



Thursday, October 25, 2012

God of wonders.

At times I need to sit with a cup of tea and remember the wonders of God.  Will you curl up with me on this fall day in front of the fire place to remember with me. 

Oh and grab yourself a cup of tea the water is hot.

I remember the time:

~ He healed my eyes from blindness.  To this day the problem is a mystery, but there are pictures and many doctors proving there really was a problem.  In fact I had no idea there even was something wrong until my eye doctor became concerned.  God healed my broken eyes without any explanation.

~ I spent three months in Hungary with no money what so ever.  I prayed each day as I put my pants on, being able to see the light through them, that God would hold my pants together just a little longer because I was unable to buy knew ones.  He provide not only pants but also paid bills, and allowed me to buy the basic of needs during that time.

~ I learned that my son's milk allergy would required a special formula costing us $300 dollars a month.  God provided for one month with two checks of over payment one from our delivery doctor and another from our car insurance which was a direct withdrawal.  Other times he provide with others who felt they should buy a case for us.

~ Just like any other bill, showing that I am in fact an adult, each month I plug away at paying off the expenses of delivering our second son.  One day as I opened what I thought to be my monthly bill from the hospital my mouth dropped as I read that the $1300 I still owed was taken care of and I no longer needed to pay the remaining sum...Nothing I had prayed for just a reminder that God is the God of wonders.

~ For eight years we've had a burden to bring people into our home to live with us.  One day out of the blue we received a phone call offering us a house for a time with the condition that we let anybody who needed a place to stay to come into our home.

And you?  What wonders has the God of the heavens and the earth done for you?

Isn't it refreshing to remember?  We should do this more often.  Come whenever you please and we will sit to remember.

I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
~ Psalm 77:11

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pushed back to Grace.

I am a most forgetful human being.  I forget so quickly that all is a gift. 
Life is a gift. 
Breath is a gift. 
Pain is a gift.
My never leaving dark illness that is for now laying asleep tucked in tightly, a gift. 
All is a gift. 

Last night I had was given the gift of sitting in the front row watching my favorite musician give a concert.  As I sat watching his fingers knowingly run across the keyboard I was reminded again of Grace and how quickly I forget.  All I could do was say Thank you to my Maker for so many gifts.  I realized even in my darkest times thank you had been on my mind, but somehow in the busyness of life I have forgotten all that He has done for me. 

I wonder why it is that I need pain to push me back to Grace, to open my eyes to each gift, to move my lips to say these two life changing words; Thank You.

May I always be learning Grace.  May I always be practicing "Thank You".

But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
~ Hebrews 2:9

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Today we resigned

Today was a hard day for me.  To watch my Strong man stand in front of the church we love as he told them he would be resigning on October 29th.

As my husband put it this morning working on staff was like going from the minor leagues to the major leagues. Everything is a season and our season of major leagues is finished.  Our ministry is changing in that we are switching from the church side of Orange to the family side of Orange.   

While we will be volunteering in a new way this is not the reason for our stepping down, merely a way to stay involved in our local church.  We gave the deacons a detailed letter explaining our reasons and gave them permission to share the letter with anyone who asks.  After you have read it we will be happy to talk with you about it.

Lastly I would like to clear up a bit of confusion that many have come to me with.  We absolutely did not resign from our staff position to begin a new ministry.  While we have been given a house in which we can do what we love by allowing people into our home we never thought we would also be stepping down as the Youth Director.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage.  But everyone who is hasty comes to ruin.
~ Proverbs 21:12

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A season of small

Everything is a season, right? 
Are not all season good?
Here is how I came to a season of small...

All pictures are of the Andrassy Castle in my Hungarian home town.

I once had this dream. I would be a missionary. Since I loved to organize that would be my job. First I would start small organizing work assignments for others and then organizing whole departments and then going all over the world from one campus to the next organizing. I wanted big. What little I tasted of this dream it was good, so very good.

Welcome to the Castle Foyer.

My last two years in Hungary I began having another dream. This dream was much, much smaller. It went something like this: I dreamed I would move back to Maine somehow buy a big old house. Actually I had my eye on a big old victorian style house where I could have broken people who needed a place of spiritual rest and healing come live life with me. It was small. If it ever happened I knew it would be good. But big was what I wanted. I had already tasted it, being totally and fully energized by the work I did. I knew big was for me. I knew God had made me to do big things. It was going to be good.


Little did I know God would take all my finances away sending me back to Maine. In turn leading me to a man who had the same small dream I had allowing us, to together, begin following this dream.

Dear, dear friends that words can not describe my love for each of these people.

Recently I had the chance to step back into my big dream life doing the same work I had done in the past.  Let me tell you it was good.  It was energizing and refreshing.  When you're surrounded by people who dream big how can you not be energized.  As much as I thrived off of it I learned big is not for me. I want small.  I want the details of life.  I want to intimate relationships with people who are fighting to live a normal life dealing with the daily junk that is handed to them.  I want to be with the abused, and broken.  I want to serve the poor.  I want to help grow those who have just been introduced to my bestie, Jesus.  I want small.  I want daily.  I know it is good.

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.  Be hospitable to one another without complaint.  As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
~ 1 Peter 4:8-11

Monday, October 15, 2012


I'm a processor and I'm still processing the three weeks I spent in Hungary.  My perspective on much of life has changed and soon I'll write more on that, but for now, I'm happy to be with my three men.

Kid size mugs & chocolate eggs with a toy inside.  The boys loved it.
The first few days were very much like the movie, "It's a wonderful life" after I arrived home.  Even though I was there it was more like looking through a window watching all that was going on inside.  The two hoolies had grown more then I anticipated.  Strong man knew where things were kept leaving me to be the one asking where this is and where that is for everything.  (In case you forgot the men moved while I was away.)  To hear, sit, and listen to stories from each of them I realized that all three of my men had grown and changed in some way.  To be honest I was a bit sad to realize I had missed being apart of this growth.

A few nights after I had arrived home as I was tucking Man of the woods into bed he asked his first question about my trip.  It was the last thing I would have ever thought he would ask me, "Mommy, tell me about your friends in Hungary."  He didn't care about the Castle or my adventures just the people.  I smiled as I want my boys to always put relationships first.

Not only are wood stoves useful for heating, but also for roasting marshmallows.

I also realized I had forgotten just how wild my smallest boy really is.  The innocent messes he gets himself into.  One day while eating french fries he decided to try some of his brothers mayonnaise on his fry.  After he dipped the fry he began talking holding it close to his face, a little too close actually, as he smeared it all over.  Instead of crying as he would have three weeks ago he calmly asked for help cleaning it off.  He then switched hands and continued on in his conversation to do the exact same thing on the other side of his face.  Completely innocent, never trying to make a mess and yet finding himself in two just in the matter of minutes.  A very mild predicament for this boy, but still a good reminder as to how he keeps me on my toes.

It is good to hold little hands and to be the center of these boys affection.  After church this past week Laughter gave me a kiss followed with, "I kissed you because I was thinking about you while I made this picture for you."  And Man of the woods today at lunch said, "Momma maybe there are other women who love Jesus just like you and have lived in Hungary that I could marry when I grow up."

It is good.
Motherhood is good.
Being Strong man's wife is good.
Home is good.
Right where I'm at is good.

I have also learned more of the love of God.  Isaiah writes, "A mother may forget her child, but God never will" (Shandy's version).  I can't imagine forgetting my child and to know that The King of the heavens and the earth's love runs deeper for me then my love for boys.  This thought kind of blows my mind.