Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hope Now

I have another song in my head today, 'Hope Now' by Addison Road. Here are the lyrics (and the link will take you to the video on YouTube):

If everything comes down to love
Then just what am I afraid of
When I call out Your name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I'm Yours

I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

When my life is like a storm
Rising waters all I want is the shore
You say I'll be OK and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow

You've become my hearts desire
I will sing Your praises higher
Cause Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
I feel hopeful today. Micah came home from the Denver mission trip yesterday, tired, dirty, missing his ipod, but home! Seeing Grace hug him and tell him over and over how she loves him was so sweet! Our family is back together! Micheal has been working almost 3 weeks now and will get his first whole paycheck this Friday and I get paid tomorrow. Funny how hopeful money makes you feel! I had a pretty great morning with Grace, no screaming, crying or anything! She's still kind of clingy when we leave her anywhere, but we think that's her reaction to getting used to Micheal being gone and hope it's a passing phase. And I feel hope from all the change I see in me! I know God is always at work, but when I see and feel the change in me, I am still awed by the very thought that the Great Big God of the Universe cares enough about me to not leave me the same!

And I'll detail those changes as I can put them in words. (Soon)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

God is so Good

Don't you love when God comes quietly and fixes something before you even knew it was broken? He did that for us recently. OK - He probably does it for us every day, all the time. But this time it was in such an obvious physical way that I couldn't blow it off as coincidence. We went out of town a couple weekends ago and needed a house/dog sitter for the weekend. So we found a young college gal who later told us that it's like being on a mini-vacation at our house (Really??? But I digress...) and of course I wanted the house to be reasonably clean before we left and she came. So... I decided to clean the oven. It had been hanging over my head for a while, the lumps of overflowing popover batter resting black as coal on the bottom of the oven a constant reminder of my less than stellar housekeeping skills. I scooped out the largest crumbs (a word that makes me feel better than lumps or chunks), wiped the inside down, hit the clean button, opened the windows & went to bed leaving the oven to busily bake away all the grime. Fast forward to the next day. I bake some bars for our small group. The oven will come on, at the default setting of 350 degrees, but when I try to raise the temperature it goes down. If I try to set the timer, the light comes on... it's definitely hosed up. But the bars bake just fine and we decide we can live with it for a bit until we can afford to repair it. Day two, the oven won't come on, every button we push just beeps like a Volkswagen car horn. Beep! (Not doing that!) Beep! (Nope, not that either!) Beep! (What do you need the light for? I'm not baking anyway...) Beep!... Dead, our oven is dead. The intense heat of the oven evidently fried the computer chip in the oven. The even worse news? It may be one of two parts; one for $260 which we don't have lying around as we are still on one income at this point and one that is no longer available which is super helpful. Our oven is a wall unit and replacements are around $450 & up. The good news? A friend who remodels kitchens & bathrooms had recently gifted us with an oven he pulled out of a kitchen, still works great, is white like the rest of our appliances, and fits perfectly in the hole in our cupboard. We intended to have this as an extra installed in our garage for the few occasions when an extra oven would come in handy like Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas cookie time... Our old oven has a few extra bells & whistles & might be a smidge larger inside, but I am keenly aware that the 'new' oven came at this specific time because the God of all creation even cares about whether or not we have an oven. We will probably still try to get the part and fix it (send donations to... just kidding!) and part of me thinks that this is a great opportunity, now I can get the convection oven I've always wanted! But in the quiet places in my heart & mind, I know that God has once again provided exactly what we need, even before we knew we needed it! God is so good!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Random Stuff, Playing Catch Up

Here's a few blurbs to catch you up, kind of in order of occurrence:
* Grace and I went to the circus. We had lots of fun, did not see any animals get mistreated, but had to stay in our seat the entire time to avoid the randomly wandering clowns (who were scary). Then Grace picked Famous Dave's for lunch and after, we fed the seagulls and threw rocks in the big lake at Canal Park. A perfect 'girl's day'!
* Micah had his last Jr. High band concert with nary an 'Eye of the Tiger' heard. Micheal taught him to tie his own tie.

* My husband got a job!!! After over 2 years (which has it's own separate story behind it), this is his 2nd full week back at work. He's actually back at the same place he left but in another department and they called him out of the blue wondering if he wanted to come back. Ummm.... ya-ah! He still had to interview and wait what seemed like forever to get the call back, but he's working! And I feel like I'm just finally coming up for air after a long, long time.

* We went to stay at my aunt's and she (86) and Grace (4.75) had this conversation while discussing a ragdoll in Auntie's bedroom:

G: What's that?
A: That's a doll my mommy made.
G: Is she dead?
A: Yes she is.
G: You're going to die soon, too, Auntie.

Nice. Luckily, Auntie thought it was funny and she's telling all her friends, who don't think it's funny, at all.

* Have I mentioned that my husband got a job????

* Grace has been watching other kids play their GameBoys at Gramma's and really wanting one. So we had Micah find his (which has been missing, but not missed, for at least 6 months) and we bought it from him for Grace. He had a bunch of games and we traded them in for little girl games like My Little Pony, TinkerBell, Disney's Princess... and had enough left over for a fun case and stylus, too! While we waited to be rung up, Grace paced around the store exclaiming, "This is the best day of my life!" She is definitely a girl whose love language is receiving gifts. It was so fun to see her so excited. Most of the parts are so small, she needed a place to keep all the bits. Auntie had given us a nice zippered bag with a vendor's name embroidered on it (where does an 86 year old get this stuff?) and I remembered a post I saw on a friends blog where she sewed a small pieced area over the silk screened info on some of those cloth bags you can pick up almost anywhere making them look FABulous. I decided to turn it into a special bag for the GameBoy. Here's a before shot:
And here's the final product:
And a close up of the large patch I made to cover the embroidered front:
I used a dish towel I picked up at a garage sale. It's been washed & dried on high heat so many times I knew it wouldn't shrink. I cut out the right size, doubled it, ironed it, turned the edges & whip stitched the edge with my sewing machine. Grace helped me pick the font & color for the words & the pictures & we printed it on some iron-on sheets I happened to have for the printer. Ironed the picture on then sewed the patch over the embroidery on the bag. Voila! A personalized bag. Grace is very happy with it and I hope it keeps her from losing those itty bitty games.

* I shopped with my stomach today and tonight we are having chipotle ranch center cut pork chops, my mom's potato & bacon packets, caprese salad and some strawberries I paid WAY too much for on the side of the road. But look at them! As this is only our 2nd or 3rd day that has been over 80 this summer, it will be weeks before we can pick at the berry farms up here.
* Micah is in Colorado with the Sr. High youth from church. His first missions trip, his first & longest trip more than an hour away from us & from home. A whole week of unloading the dishwasher ourselves. ;o)

* And finally, it's 85 degrees today and snowing in our yard.
The popple trees ('Popple' is a local term in the upper midwest for Quaking Aspen or Trembling Aspen. Populus tremuloides) in our yard do this every year. One day we come home and Summer SNOW! It blows everywhere, fills up the rain gutters and makes a winter wonderland in the middle of summer. The popples have 'flowers' of little, drooping grey 'catkins' that turn into 'fruit' of strings of light green capsules that apparently burst in a coordinated orchestra of fluff that carry the tiny seeds on the wind, looking for fertile ground. Snow! (As I type this, my hubby just coughed, gagged, and spit off the deck: they are easily inhaled!) Here's another shot of just one of the popples lining our yard.

And that's just a smattering of the Wilson's household lately! Whew! More to come... like Jon & Kate +8 (what is the deal there???) and bunches of other stuff like how hard marriage is (can I get an amen?) and 'Kids, Whose Idea were They?' Stay tuned!