March 10, 2013


After EIGHT YEARS of blogging in this space, I've decided to try something new.

Click on over to to find my new writing place!  I'm sure it will be evolving and changing over the next few months, but for now, me likey.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to make your way over there! I appreciate you muy mucho.


February 8, 2013

And So She Flies.

There is a story in the bible (Genesis 16) of a woman named Hagar, whose name means "flight".

She is a maidservant in the home of Abram.  Abram and Sarai mistreat her and things get awful and hard and so... she flies.  She runs away into the desert, trying to make her way back to the only other home she's ever known, to Egypt.

Things go from bad to worse as this pregnant woman, all alone in a hostile ancient world, picks her way back west through the desert wilderness.  The journey ahead is impossible, yet it is impossible to go back.  She finds herself helpless and hopeless, beside a spring near the road leading to Shur, all alone and scared.

God visits her there and tells her to go back and submit to Abram and Sarai.  He promises to bless her and increase her there if she does.  He promises to care for her, He lets her know that He sees her.

Yes, Hagar's name means flight, and am I really so different?  Everything in me pulls against where God has sovereignly placed me at times, and instead of submitting and serving in the chaos and difficulties that come my way, my natural instinct is always to flee.  To turn tail and run, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I withdraw into myself where I think no one can see me or find me and I wait... alone and scared, sure that I am unseen and unpursued and past all hope.  I nurse my wounds and justify my reasons and try to pick my way back to something or somewhere that feels more like home, but it's impossible to go back.  Rock. Me. Hard place.  And it's no one's fault but my own that I am there.

These past few weeks have been full of grumbling and fighting against the responsibilities of this place that God has sovereignly, in all wisdom and knowledge, put me. My home. These children. Those dishes. That mountain of laundry.  That food that needs to be bought and cooked so that I can do some more dishes and buy some more food to cook and do some more dishes and buy some more food and on and on and on.  It gets to the point where all I can think about is fleeing! Running! Hiding! Retreating until it gets easier and I can come back!

Hagar was a maidservant and am I really so different? ha! I feel like a maidservant sometimes.  (Meaning........ always. heh.)

When I get myself into this mindset, my eyes all cast down on dirty clothes and plates, I begin to feel very unseen.  I begin to feel like my identity is 'chore-do-er' and it's all I'll ever be until the day that I die.  Oh, how I pity myself then.  Poor, wretched little CinderEmery.  Unseen and all covered in soot!  Woe is...

And then, a light!  Blinding, searing, holy.  God comes to find me there- all alone in the desert wilderness beside the spring.  Go back!  Be fully there. Submit to the place I've placed you.  Humble yourself and serve Me, knowing I am good and that every dirty dish and every load of laundry is for your good!  Love sacrificially, because I have loved you sacrificially!  You do not serve a human master, an Abram or a Sarai or a Chris or an Ezra or a Myer or a Truman! You serve ME! The Living God Who Sees You! Go back. And I will increase you.

Oh, I could use me some of that increase.

Hagar sees God seeing her and so she leaps to her feet and names that well that she has collapsed by Beer Lahai Roi; The well of the Living One who sees me.  She drinks deeply her fill and turns back to the place where God has called her, swallowing her pride and identity and expectations and entitlements.  She goes back to the hard season, knowing in hope that God will keep His promises to her.

And God does.  He increases her and protects her and kings and nations come from that child inside of her.

Love is sacrifice.  It does not give up when things feel daunting.  And the only way to love like that is to BE LOVED like that.  To know the love that God has poured out upon ME.  And the only way to know that love is to fully understand the depths of what he did for me in Jesus.  Jesus is the Living Water from the well that won't ever ever ever run dry.  When I serve and submit to my family and my calling of motherhood out of knowing His great love for me, I increase!  I overflow!  I spill out to those around me and my joy is found in HIM, who never runs dry.

Joy that never runs dry.

Every single time I pull up my bucket- it's full.

Yes, Lord.  I need to drink deeply from that well.  I need to believe that You see me. That I am not just another face in the crowd to You.  I need to believe that you have placed me exactly where I am for exactly such a time as this.  This life and this family are no accident or chance of fate!  Increase my faith.  Empower my work. Your eyes are on me just as intently when I am scrubbing my floor as they are when I am singing on a Sunday... help me glorify you in both equally and all in between. Thank you for always coming to find me in the driest places and faithfully opening my eyes to see your true Well, right beside me, again and again and again.

January 17, 2013


The words that used to spring forth so easily are now a slow drip... drip... drip.  They are an echo in a cave and I feel so... quiet.

It's not the first time this cease of flow has happened in my life.  When I was little, all I wanted to do was hole up in my room and tap away my my gray electric typewriter-- writing God knows what, but feeling like if I didn't fill up some blank papers with ink, my heart would explode.  Words brought me life and joy and I proudly told everyone I knew I was going to be a poet.

Somewhere in the trenches of middle school and high school, though, the words ceased.  Over the years, I kind of forgot about writing.  I remembered my dreams of poetry and would giggle at the silly little person I used to be.  I was a grown-up now.  I was going to be... I dunno... a journalist? How does my hair look and why hasn't Chris called me exactly when he said he would?  And does anyone have any gum?

All it took was a little wrenching heartbreak to squeeze the words back out again.  We broke up and got back together and broke up and got back together and broke up and got engaged and broke up and got back together.  The words that got squished out of that chaos were raw and often had some music to accompany them- only to add melancholy to melancholy, you understand.  Spiral ring notebooks saved my life then.  I had to fill those blank pages with ink or my heart was going to explode.  And God met me there in between those blue and pink lines.  Those old notebooks are still my most prized possessions, because the ink preserved there literally brought me back to life.

But again, the words dried all up.  I was a married woman. A rescued woman.  And I'm supposed to cook food EVERY SINGLE DAY NOW?!  I should probably buy a pan.  I hate the grocery store.  Also, can we have some babies?

We had Ezra and moved halfway across the country to a place where we only knew one person.  I was a new mom in a new place and my family was now 20 hours away.  It wasn't until a painful and lonely YEAR went by out here in Oklahoma that I remembered what writing could do for my sad, overwhelmed heart.

This blog was born that year.  And once again, the therapy of writing saw me through, reminded me to laugh, and helped me sort myself out in a way that nothing else has every been able to do for me.  The community and support I found here are a huge reason why I made it through those beginning years of motherhood.

And now?  Now I am in a season of quiet, yet again.  But this time, I am aware of the void.  I am aware of what I am missing, and I feel it.  I have been wrestling with God about the sudden lack... is it just time to lay it down until He calls me back to it?  Do I struggle against the silence and force out words, even if there is no heart behind them?  (Please, Lord... anything but that.  Forced words for content alone make my skin crawl...)  I want the heart!  I want the joy! I want the words!

So, I pray for them.  And I wait.  Waiting on God is so very anti-cultural these days, yes?  Maybe He is doing a new thing in me.  Maybe I'm just strapped for time and energy at the end of a day of caring for three kids.  Maybe this season of contentment and bliss makes for bad writing.  Maybe I've said all the good things I had to say.

Maybe not.

These last few months have been some of the best of my life.  I am in a new home, out in the country, and I still have NO IDEA why God brought us out here.  But I do know one thing: He brought us out here.  And in these last few months I have come to know Him in a way I never dreamed possible.  There is straight-up revival surging through my heart and how do I even begin to wrap words around such a thing?  I don't understand it.  I don't know when it began and I don't know how it continues day in and day out, but I am a very different person than I was even back in June.

Things are changing vocationally for my husband.  Dreams are coming true.  Heart dreams, yes, but also DREAM dreams.  Like, dreams we had while we were sleeping.  Dreams that made no sense at the time, but now do.  I've been studying the book of Genesis weekly through an organization called Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), and it is flipping my whole world upside down.  I feel like I keep getting saved all over again and when no one is looking I tend to dance around in my living room like a total goon.  Because if I don't... my heart will explode.

GOD is becoming real to me, and everything else just seems to be taking a backseat to that for now.  And although I long for the words to return, I am not afraid.  I know that they will return, someday, somehow.  They always have.  What a sweet gift they have been in my life.  What a source of healing and help in suffering and joy.  I thank God for them, and I want nothing more than to honor Him through them, for all the days of my life.

ps. you can follow some of our more recent journeys via images on instagram- I post little snapshots there almost daily.  my user name is emeryjo.  

November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving in the Barn!

Thanksgiving this year was extra special because we got to host it at our new house!  We decided to make it something unique by setting it up out in the barn.  Being able to do this and use this space for things like this is really a dream come true, and one that I hadn't even taken into consideration when we bought this house.  I have always loved throwing parties, but have not done so much in the last few years due to lack of space.  I was actually studying Special Event Planning in college before I tapped out to get married and have the swooniest man on earth's babies.  (A decision I will never regret.  hehe)

We invited friends and family from near and far, and ended up with a perfect group of 10 for our sit-down meal.  It wasn't until a couple of weeks before the big day that I remembered the fact that there are only 5 mismatched dinner plates in my cupboard and even fewer matching glasses or silverware sets.  Yipes!

I found a set (of 10!) beautiful white dishes at the thrift store by my house, along with matching sets of glasses and some silverware.  I went to Ross and stocked up on a set of wine glasses.  After that I was able to focus on decorating and making it look cozy down there for our meal.

Chris and I went and picked up some old books from the thrift store to make some decorations out of.  With the pages of a couple of books and some staples and twine, we were able to decorate the whole barn in no time!  I love how everything turned out, and we had so much fun making all of our crafty projects.

On to the pics:

I gathered up some cool grasses and berries and leaves from my front yard to decorate the tables with, and made place cards for each plate with things that we are thankful for for each person who was coming.

We made this 'tree' out of branches we gathered up from the property and stuck them in an upside-down tomato plant cage that had been left down in the barn.

This was the table that held all of our delicious food.  I made that pom pom out of some paper I had laying around.  It's probably a good thing that I only had a little bit of paper on hand, or else I would have made about a majillion more.  I did not want to stop once I started making all these fun paper do-hickies. hahaha.

It was such an amazing day, and I found myself so incredibly grateful for these people and this place that God has brought our family to.  We moved here in faith, not really knowing what God had planned for us or why he'd led us all the way out here, but we have been blessed beyond measure in the few short months that we've been here.  I am so very thankful.

I hope all of your Thanksgivings were full of laughter and good food too!  Thank you to those of you who have contacted me and encouraged me to start writing here again over the past month or so... I find myself somewhat stuck, not knowing what to write and definitely struggling to find the time to even do so when I do have something to say... I am praying that God will give me words and time, and I'm trying to wait patiently until I feel released in those areas again.  Thanks for your patience and prayers as I try to work it all out.  I miss writing and I definitely miss staying up to date with all of you as well!!


October 4, 2012

A Country Hallelujah.

There's so much I want to say about living out here in the country, where there is room to roam and skies to awe, but it feels a little bit like trying to introduce you to someone I don't know very well yet. We are still just getting to know each other, the country and I, even though there is a part of me deep down that feels like I've been a part of this place my whole entire life.

It definitely has been a bit like a reunion to me. I grew up under big open skies full of fresh quiet air. My brothers and I, we spent countless hours prowling the sagebrush foothills- picking pathways through their mazes or sledding right over top of them when the snow got waist deep.

The giddy joy on the boy's faces as they pound the soft ground out here- scanning every stick for weapon-potential and testing every tree for climbability- makes my heart ring. The note it rings is an old one, one I haven't heard in awhile... it is one of carefree happiness, inspired by nothing but God's creation.

The air cools and the toys gather dust inside. There are just too many leaves to examine and too many rocks to throw. The Summer kept us cooped, but the Fall whistles for us to come out. We follow and explore and grow more comfortable with the nooks & crannies of the land.

For me, more than anything else, it is the sky. I am enraptured by it every evening, standing on the corner of the rock trying to press every color into my memory bank for all time, knowing that the very next night will find me there once again, doing the exact same thing. What a gift it has been, to enjoy the sky again. I have always found more beauty above my head than anywhere else, and for years I could only see slivers of my love- cut through with powerlines and blotted out by neighboring roofs. To see her again- all full and unblemished, is almost too sweet for words, and yet at the same time, it makes me want to write book after book after book after book...

I want to learn how to garden. I want to get me some chickens. I want to string long strands of clear globe lights from one end of this place to the other, so that I can still go on enjoying every inch of it after the sun disappears.

Truman tumbled right off this bridge the other day. He left a little Trumie-sized imprint in the foliage right below. I don't know why I'm even telling you that. He didn't even cry. The imprint he left behind is pretty much the only way I even knew that he'd plopped right off the edge- sort of like Wile E. Coyote's outline in the dirt every time he fell off those 6,925 ft. cliffs. haha.

S'mores are the new normal. Fireside date nights are the new 'dinner & a movie'. Everything out here feels slower, simpler. I must say, however, that the scorpions have been a little hard to get used to. (I spared you all the pictures I have of these evil little tiny-devils, yourewelcomeverymuch.) We've had the house sprayed a couple of times now though, and they are becoming few & far between. For all who may be curious: Wide Open Country + Little Country House = Creepy Crawly Central Station! (Carry the one.)

I am grateful. Very grateful. I feel so lucky to be here, and so incredibly glad that I am not the one steering this ship of life. If I'd have had my way from the beginning of this recent journey, we probably wouldn't have ended up here for such a time as this. God knows more than my heart does. He is wiser than my most far-reaching plans.


October 1, 2012

From the Other Side: Balancing a Newborn & a Toddler.

Someone recently asked me if I could share any tips that I may have gleaned from that season of life not long ago when I had a newborn and a toddler living under the same roof.  How did I manage?  How did I survive?  How did I keep my toddler from trying to roll the baby under the chairs or stuff his little mouth full of goldfish crackers?

I don't know how well I can answer that last two part question because.... well, those things actually happened, so you may want to ask someone else how to prevent such things.  hahaha.

There were a few key things that contributed to my survival during those first months with a newborn and an almost two-year-old in my care, however.  The first thing that I must mention is the Fisher-Price Rock n' Play Sleeper.

It seems so simple, but this thing really saved me- simply because it kept Myer from being able to get too friendly with (read: SIT ON TOP OF) baby Truman.  It kept Truman off of the floor, and I could plop that thing down in any room I wanted to be in, and even bring it outside!  It kept Truman propped up, which he loved, so he didn't fuss as he would have if I had just laid him flat in a pack n' play or a moses basket.  I loved this thing so much because Truman would also sleep really well in that upright position, so he slept in it next to my bed for the first two or three months as well.  LIFESAVER.

The next thing that really helped me was my ring sling. If Truman didn't want to be in his rock n' play sleeper, he was in the sling.  He loved being cozy in there and it kept my hands free to do whatever I needed to do around the house.  It also kept him out of the hands of mischievous Mr. Myer.

When I wanted Truman to have some tummy time, I waited until Myer was napping or I let him do tummy time on his mattress in his crib while Myer and I hung out and played on the floor nearby. 

Another helpful routine I found was letting Myer watch a movie or a show while I was making dinner.  I could put Truman's rock n' play sleeper in the kitchen while I cooked if he wasn't napping in his crib and cook while keeping my eye on the wee one.

The next tip I have for saving your sanity if you have a newbie and a toddler is to force yourself to get out of the house regularly.  Like, at least every other day.  Even if it's a walk around the block or a trip to a park or the bookstore or library, do it!  It WILL be awkward at first, learning how to manage the kids in a public setting, but keep at it!  (I wrote more about that transition here.) If you give up too quickly, your toddler won't have a chance to learn how to behave when you're out of the house and things will never have a chance to start getting easier.  You'll get better at feeding the baby while you're on the go and your toddler will benefit from the fresh air and exercise- and so will you!

For me, getting out meant: baby in the sling, with a diaper, wipes, keys, and credit cards in the little sling pocket. Myer would walk (if he could be easily managed wherever we were going), or be in the umbrella stroller (or grocery cart) if I needed him to be more contained.  These little outings did MUCH for all of our sanity, and kept us all in better spirits!

Lastly, I must mention how, in our household, maintaining our discipline routines with the older boys is what ultimately kept the clockwork running smoothly.  It is so easy to get lax with your older kids once a new baby comes along, but this is really a crucial season to stay on top of correcting your older children's behaviors so that peace and harmony can reign in your house.  Myer was testing alllllllll the buttons after I brought Truman home... trying to see what he could get away with... acting out and trying to get all my attention... but when he acted in a way he knew he shouldn't have, I made sure to put the baby down and discipline him in the exact same way I would have before the baby came home.  It took a lot of communication and explaining why we don't do certain things to babies, but with consistent loving discipline and communication, there was a lot more peace under our roof!

I hope these quick tips may prove helpful for some of you who are in the thick of that crazy season of life, or who may be approaching it in the near future! Please know you can always feel free to email me with any specific questions you have too - feel free to pick my brain!  (my email address is in the right hand column near the top of my blog page.) 


September 13, 2012


Today is the first day that feels like Fall, which just happened to coincide with a Thursday, when I have absolutely NO KIDS with me from the hours of 9:30-2:30. So far, I have dawdled long in a coffee shop and then the rain chased me home. I could see it in the rearview mirror all the way up the long straight road. When I got home, I flung open the windows and ran out to swing in the hammock- all goosebumps and smiles, as everything darkened around me. The trees were swaying and the barn was creaking and all the yellow leaves started twirling down around me, like snowflakes.

I'm living these days really trying to weigh down my moments with my full attention, counting gratitudes again and marveling at the skies. I want to view each moment of my day as a pearl to string. I want to stoop and pick each one up, rather than running full boar over top of them on my way to the next thing. Yesterday I was in bed, sick, all day long, but the fact that I got to lay in bed for 24 hours MORE than made up for the puking that had to come before it. haha. Only a mama of a gaggle of young ones could be truly GRATEFUL for being picked to have a 24hour stomach flu. I counted it. It was the 666th thing I've been grateful for since I started documenting them all sometime last year. (How appropriate.)

I started a new weekly bible study on Tuesday mornings that will be going through the book of genesis over the next 32 weeks. I loved the way the sweet elderly woman who spoke on the book said that genesis was much like the most important piece of a puzzle... not the corner pieces or the middle pieces, but the picture on the top of the box. The whole rest of the Bible makes sense and finds a place when viewed through the book of genesis. I'm excited to dig into a study again, chewing on words slowly and learning about the fathers of my faith- the giants who were nothing more than regular joes like me. Oh, and the free childcare doesn't hurt one little bit bit either. ;)

An older woman at my church approached me and said she wanted to offer to help me with the boys one day a week- watching them for a little while so that I could grocery shop or clean or just even... take a shower. The kindness of it overwhelms me to tears, and even though everything in me rebels at the thought of accepting such a gracious and free offer, I can feel God asking me to just receive it. In my receiving, I will be blessed, but so also will she! This is what the church does for one another... we see a need (was it the haggard look in my eye week after week that she noticed?) and we sacrifice our time and go out of the way to bear one another's burdens. We give up comforts and we offer (with joy and gladness, without any shadow of hesitation or reserve!) to come alongside and partner in life's difficult seasons. In fact, we insist upon it! We don't take no for an answer! We call and knock on doors and hunt down the needy and give of ourselves in practical ways. We bless and we receive. One will not work without the other, and so I open my hands wide. This season of three young boys has been beyond difficult, and many times I have felt squashed by the weight of it all, the daily monotony, the backbreaking effort it takes just to leave the house, but this kind gesture from a sweet woman at my church does much to bolster my morale and give fresh hope that I will indeed make it through.

I have a strong community around me that will never let me fall. They have my back, and I've got theirs. We serve a strong God.  Of what shall I be afraid?

August 29, 2012

True North.

Chris & I just got back yesterday from a fabulous trip to the central coast of california where we spent five of our most formative years of life together. To say it feels like paradise there - ocean breezes and warm sunshine and nightly coastal fog banks all mixed together with some of our dearest friends (like a big pot of Utopian Stew) - would feel a bit like an understatement.

We needed the getaway. Chris DJed a wedding out there on Saturday, and the rest of the time, we just wandered and explored and caught up with old friends. Our friends Cameron and Anna graciously arranged for us to stay in an amazing little bungalow across the street from them, a bungalow owned by The Pleated Poppy, which will tell you just how amazingly perfect and wonderful and cozy it was. Completely divine!

I knew the trip wouldn't be without its challenges, though, even before we'd arrived. It's a complicated thing and a delicate situation, this revisiting such a memory-drenched paradise shortly after having made such a choice as we did... to stay put in Oklahoma and try to remain faithful to the work God is doing here in this place, and in us. I got a hint of how hard it was going to be a couple of weeks ago, when I was sitting alone in a coffee shop for the first time in months, journaling about life. I was suddenly overwhelmed then with the realization that life back in those days was so incredibly carefree and I was SO surrounded by beauty all the time- and I didn't even appreciate it at all! As I sat and journaled, all I could think about was going back in time and shaking the shoulders of that young girl that I used to be and commanding her to soak up every moment of that season and that place! The regret was so real I could almost taste it in my mouth... it churned up my stomach and made me feel ill. The back-end of a brutal Oklahoma Summer seemed like a pit when compared to those rolling green hills and ocean cliffs that I drove next to all those years ago. Did I even turn my head to see?

God was so sweet in that moment though, He quickly turned my eyes from my past and pointed them right at my future... when all of this faded earth will be transformed and I will be with Him, my true home, forever. It was like He was calling all of my longing back to true North, and reminding me that the physical beauty of this earth is but a mere shadow of the promise that is awaiting the faithful ones of God. Talk about a perspective shift!  He was preparing me even then for the emotions that this trip would stir up within me.

It's hard not to doubt a decision to stay when there seemed to be an all-clear to go. I know in my head that we did the right thing, because God has never spoken so clearly to me about a thing in my life, but my heart is a brute beast and paces within me. There is so much of me that would have loved to move back to the mountains or the sea, but moving somewhere for the sake of mountains and seas is not the calling I have received in this life. It is a luxury that falls to the wayside when God speaks. I may be a stay-at-home-mom in the middle of America, but I am also very much a missionary. I go where God tells me to go, without regard to what I will feel or see when I look outside my window.

The gratitude I have for this community of people I've been brought to here in Oklahoma is all that I need to remind me of the good work being done in this place. When Chris and I left California all those years ago, we were deeply wounded people. We had been spiritually manipulated by a church whose name feels nothing short of ironic in hindsight. We watched so many of our similarly wounded friends reel and scatter over those following years, and some are only now coming back to a solid faith in God. Some never did come back. But we were plucked from that place of pain and deposited right into a place of healing and growth- one that I am not sure we would have found had we stayed.

Oklahoma is home. And it will be until God calls me elsewhere. It doesn't matter to me one iota what people may think when they look at the facts of my life on paper, or conjecture on the missed opportunities or location changes we have made as a family, because the Voice that I follow drowns them out so that I can't even hear the noise.  In having chosen to live my life as an offering to God, I have also chosen to give up a few things. Namely, the freedom to do whatever makes me feel the best and whatever makes me the happiest. My life is not about me at all. God forbid it should ever become so, because the day it all becomes all about ME is the day it becomes completely drained of love and worth.

Consider these words a sermon to myself.  I'm preaching truth to my heart in a season of doubt and forgetfulness.  That's why I write here... it's a place to record and remember truth as I learn it, so I will never be tempted to forget.

July 30, 2012

Under the Umbrella.

The past couple of weeks have been brutal.  The temperature gauge is soaring and the triple digit heat is making itself quite comfortable around here.  In fact, it has unpacked its bags and I heard it on the phone earlier, making plans for mid September!  The nerve!  Our beautiful green land is quickly browning in the sun and the plants and trees are curling in upon themselves.  They look like they are in pain.  A few days ago, the thought crept in: why did I not flee to the mountain air when I had my chance one year ago?  Why did I allow myself to stay in this place of unbearable Summer heat and dryness?  In the face of obvious providential leading, doubt screams.  It screams and it undermines- taking the goodness of God and attaching it's worth to the painted lines on a thermometer, the drawn elevation lines on a topography map.  Much like a conniving serpent attached it's worth to a piece of dangling fruit at the dawn of humanity.

If He is truly GOOD, He would let you eat that fruit, because you want it!
If He is truly GOOD, He would have led you to cooler air and scenic overlooks, because you want it!  You deserve it, after all, don't you?

Is He more good in Colorado than He is in Oklahoma?  Is He more good in a luxury loft than a forgotten prison cell?

Reason may argue yes, but God Himself tells us no.  His goodness is limited by no circumstance on this earth.  It is FOR us and nothing can raise itself up against it, try as it might.  Not trouble nor hardship nor persecution nor famine nor nakedness nor danger nor sword.  (Romans 8:28, 35-39)

I can not allow myself to do this again.  I can not allow myself to feel soul-dead and angry and miserable from the months of June to September.  It happens every year, and I'm starting to see the immaturity of it... the blatant distrusting of God in it... taking the pleasant from His hand and rejecting anything that smacks of discomfort or displeasure.

I feel the tiniest spark of hope, sitting here at my kitchen table, watching the sprinklers out front as they battle for green.  Everything is brown and crispy, except for where there has been regular water.  HELLO, SOUL! Are you listening?  WATER THYSELF!!  Duh.  I may be dry and weary, but that doesn't mean I can't ask God to show Himself to me- even in this (seemingly) brutal and ridiculous season of heat.

Does Summer teach us what it means to long for something?  To desperately wait for something like the earth waits for the rain?  Is it set-up to teach my self-gratifying soul what it means to actually THIRST?  To experience something in life that has no quick-fix or on/off switch?  Is it meant to draw me to a source of living water- one that isn't dependent upon fleeting clouds- as I watch the ground outside my window crack and split open like a gaping wound?

If it can help me find these things, even in the slightest way, then... God, let it be Summer all year long!  I need all the help I can get in bringing this soul toward maturity and casting off the wavering loyalty of youth.  This soul of mine is far too quick to stomp around its room- longing for mountains and wanting its mommy- the moment things get hard.

Would mountains or mommies finally satisfy this cavernous, aching soul of mine?  Would it bring the rest that it so unceasingly searches for- every day and with every breath?  No. Of course not!  There is only one thing that brings true rest and true satisfaction to a soul, and that is the One who authored it... who called it into being and knit it together in secret places before the world was formed.

I believe that God is in control of every drop of rain and every gust of wind and every shifting of a degree.  I also believe that He is good.  Consequently, I believe that I am in this place, in this season, for a purpose and a reason, and I'm ready to stop grumbling about the heat that comes with it.  I will choose to give thanks in the midst of heat domes and record breaking temperatures and brown overtaking green.  I will lift my eyes UP, and be grateful for the lesson of thirst, knowing the water I truly long for is ALWAYS raining down on me.  All I have to do is put my umbrella away.

"As a deer pants for flowing streams,
  so pants my soul for you, O God.
  My soul thirsts for God,
  for the living God.
  When shall I come and appear before Him?"

(Psalm 42:1-2)

July 20, 2012

Before & After: The Kitchen!

The first room I am going to show you is the kitchen.  When we first walked into this house, I had a really hard time seeing past this beast.  Luckily for me, however, my husband is a genius-pro-expert at "seeing past the colors" and really catching a vision for a room, even while it still looks like this:

The walls were yellow, the cabinets were red, and the counter tops (which climbed allllll the way up the back splash) were blue!

It needed a fresh coat of paint. On EVERYTHING.

My husband just so happens to be the best painting contractor in town, so he spent a lot of nights up here before we moved in spraying the cabinets and ripping the counter tops OFF OF THE WALLS. heh.

We were on a limited budget so we wanted to make sure we tackled the most important things first. 

The appliances were much newer than anything we'd ever had before, so that was a bonus.  (My previous appliances were older than brontosauruses' mothers!)

Truman didn't seem to mind the circus colors too much.  Oh, the innocence of youth! hahaha.

This may not look like anything too exciting to you, but let me tell you why this is one of my favorite parts of the new house: I can do laundry and still be inside!!! My washer and dryer in the old house were out in the garage.  You know... like where the bugs all lived.

I can now do laundry in a bug-free zone!  It definitely needed a little sprucing up, though.

My husband worked very hard, and this was our end result:

I'd like to get a colorful rug for the floor in front of the oven in here!

Our neighbor had passed away a couple of months before we moved, and his family was kind enough to share some of his beautiful belongings with us.  This kitchen table was one of them.  We loved him so very much, and the fact that we get to have some of his treasures in our new house means a great deal to us.

We will eventually completely re-do the counter tops and add a fun back splash.

yellow accent explosion!


My freshly painted INDOOR laundry area! Squeeeeeeeee!

These large free-standing corner pieces were in the living room at the old house.  They work perfectly in here as kitchen pieces, I think!

Knick knacks for dayzzz.

I love my cozy kitchen!

More rooms to come soon! :)