Friday, January 13, 2012


I was robbed.

For a long time I have not wanted to admit this.  Because I didn't want to acknowledge that we live in a world in which I can be robbed and God is still good.

But I was still robbed.  And God is still good.

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
Job 19:25

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Remembering Olivia

Where has my little Livvie gone?  Where is the sister that belongs between the oldest and the youngest?  Where is the tiny bright one?

Olivia's death was so desolate because we thought she was to be our consolation.  We were determined that her loss would not be the death of hope as well.  We were determined that hope would continue on.

That's a lot of responsibility for a baby girl, but I think she would have been able to handle it.  I was so curious to see the woman she would grow up to be.  I could see a glimpse of it in the little person she was.

Olivia Hope, what more can I say?  You already know my heart.  Peace, little one.

But I am like an olive tree
   flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
   for ever and ever.

For what you have done I will always praise you
   in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
   for your name is good. 

Psalm 52:8-9

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I love the start of a new year.  It is fresh, full of possibilities, and a chance to begin again.  I'm also into making resolutions.  I am a person for whom the possibilities are endless, and I need the structure and discipline of narrowing my focus.
I have only one resolution this year.  
Not to be so hard on myself.
I also know that there are some areas of my life that I need to establish some convictions, but I wouldn't call those resolutions.  They are just part of fulfilling the big one.   Because in my world the possibilities are endless, I have a hard time making decisions.  Coming to conclusions.  Finishing things.  I am embarking on a journey in prayer and in the Word to establish God's truth in a number of areas in my life.  Being a mom who works.  How to manage our money with both discipline and generosity.  How far I need to go to ensure my family is healthy.  Being a person who makes decisions with wisdom and discernment, and not impulsively.  How to balance all the people and things I am responsible for, and to give each of them their appropriate place and energy.

I have felt a heart call to seek what holiness means.  What it means to live as a Christ-follower in this society, this time in history, the relationships in which I have been placed.  While this may sound counter-intuitive to my one resolution, what it means is that it forces me to learn how to run to the Lord's throne of grace and receive mercy in my time of need.  I don't know how to do that, but I sure do mean to find out. 

As far as taking stock of 2011, I would say overall it was "no better, no worse".  The areas in which we seek significant change still continue to exist.  No better, no worse.  What that tells me is that we haven't found the root causes yet, and if there's something I love to do, it is to seek out why things are the way they are.  The only area I would say that this doesn't apply is how we relate to each other as a family.  We delight in our children in a way that is better and better every day.  We have realized that the "keeping up with the Joneses" kind of world we are surrounded by is empty and false, and long for simplicity and sweet time together.  The Lord continues to be gracious to us in this area, but of course we always want more.

Practically, the significant event of 2011 I would record here would be Corrie's return to Dr. Hook early in the year.  He finally has a Ford with an auto-loader, a dream come true for him.  However, I wouldn't be surprised to see a change coming up soon, if the right truck comes along.  Or if the right job comes along.  While towing continues to be successful for him, it is at a cost of a lot of time away from his family.  We would like to see that change, if possible.  I also returned to work in February.  I returned to my same job and the Lord linked us up with a loving family close by who takes excellent care of our kids.  I think we have settled into an acceptable routine.  When I despair that I don't get to see enough of my girls, I remember that it is a gift that I even get to see them every day.  I remember that we have two more kids that we can only see in our memories.

As I was thinking of a Scripture to proclaim over the coming year, this one came to mind.  I am encouraged by the truth that God wants to refresh us from "the river of His pleasures".  Dear friends and family, it is our heartfelt prayer that you receive all the blessings God has in store for you in 2012!

Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens;
       Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
 Your righteousness is like the great mountains;
       Your judgments are a great deep;
       O LORD, You preserve man and beast.
 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
       Therefore the children of men put their trust
       under the shadow of Your wings. 
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
       And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
 For with You is the fountain of life;
       In Your light we see light. 
Psalm 36: 5-9