In Awe... Again

I was on my knees, wondering what the future was going to hold.  With tears in my eyes and fear in my heart, I gave it up to Him, totally and completely, holding nothing back.   I surrendered all the control I thought I had, when in all actuality, I had none and asked once again for His provision. 

Today, I am left speechless and in awe....again, because He provides as he always does. 


Much Needed

As the speed of life kicked into full force after the nice relaxing holidays, we have for the past four weeks found ourselves running, running, running.   Not a pace I like to keep life at, but it seems inevitable right now.  So, we say a prayer, put a smile on our face and do the best we can. 

With a long weekend due to end of quarter for the kids at school and Mark taking a day of work, we have had three days to just take a breath and enjoy life again.   Friday we went to the cities just to get out of town for a little while.   It was a nice day away.   We didn't do anything majorly exciting to tell you about, just got away.     

Saturday I spent the day making a big pot of soup for dinner.   I have been craving this soup for some time, but with the busy schedule have not had time to make it.   My parents came over and we had a nice visit.  After a great workout at the gym and a great church service today, we came home and have done absolutely nothing except enjoy each other and doing the things we each want to do.  

Friday night as I was sitting next to Mark, he asked me what I was thinking.   I looked at him and for the first time in a month I could honestly say that my mind was calm.   It wasn't running with thoughts, schedules, work, etc.   It was quiet.   I savored the feeling.  Tonight as the weekend comes to a close, I am fighting the busyness away as my mind keeps trying to process the week ahead.   I know it is busy and we will be running like crazy again, but right now, as I sit in my family room with my kids playing wii and Mark reading a book, I am not ready to take on the week just yet.   Monday will come soon enough and I can process it all then.

For now, the calm is going to rule for a few more hours as I continue to enjoy the weekend that was much needed for all of us.


Can I Start Over?

My morning started with a stress-free morning in which I could just enjoy my children before sending them off to school.   After a 2 mile run at the gym, I was treated to a hydro-massage while listening to music:

Thinking that was one of the best ways to spend my morning, I was then able to walk with my mom and have some much needed catch up on life time, time we have not had of late.  

I am wondering if I can turn back the clocks and do it all again?  


An Amazing Man

Yesterday was Mark's birthday.   I cannot tell you how much this man means to me.   I know his presence in my life is not an accident, or just a chance, rather he is in my life because God brought him here.   Our lives would not have crossed paths otherwise I am pretty sure.   Through the years, I have grown to love Mark even more than I could possibly have known.   He is my biggest fan in life no matter what I am working on or trying to achieve.  Right beside me encouraging me and loving me through each success and failure that we have encountered, I have found self-confidence in life.  I love the conversations we have and the laughter we share. 

He is a great father to our children.  His first question upon entering the house every night is to ask the kids how their day at school was.  The requests to play games and spend time with him are not ignored even when he is tired from a long day at work.   Mark encourages the kids' interests and helps fulfill the desire to learn and find the information that they are looking for.  

Mark, I love you more than I can ever put into words.   On a day that celebrates you, know that you are loved and cherished, not only on your birthday but every day of every year.  Thank you for your constant love and support.   Our lives are definitely better because of you. 


I Think I Can, I Think I Can.... Right??

Here we go.   I am about to embark upon another journey, and truthfully, this one scares me to death.  Being a person who thrives on setting goals, I am in the process of setting a goal that I am both really excited and intrigued about and so completely terrified about. 

This past weekend a couple of friends mentioned that they were going to run the half marathon in the Med City Marathon.   I can't remember exactly how we came around to this, but all of a sudden one of them asked me if I would want to run with them.   I don't remember what I said at the moment because my mind was reeling.   "Could I actually do this?  I have thought about it before, but could I actually run half a marathon?" 

All day Sunday I processed what it would look like, the training, the time commitment, etc.   Talking with Mark and with my dad, both said sure, I could do it if I wanted.   Ah, there is the key, is this something I want? 

I won't go into the many hours of brain power I have put behind this decision, but as of last night, I told my friend I "think" I am going to do this with you. 

The "think" is in there because the race in and of itself intrigues me.   Last year E and Addy ran in the Kids Med City Marathon and loved it.   When E came home from school talking about it, I wondered if a marathon were something I could ever do.   As the months went on and May approached, I had done no training and really made no preparations for it.   So we participated in the kid's portion of the race and went on with our summer.  

When asked this past weekend if I would like to run in the race, it brought up the thoughts and feelings of I would like to do it, but will I like it?  I have never been in a physical condition to enjoy exercise and running.   It is not something I have developed the love for yet, but I am excited to see what happens when I do get to a place where I feel like I am physically in shape.   

The excitement is what I can accomplish with this goal.   I know that upon crossing the finish line, I would feel a great sense of accomplishment.   The fear is on the training and the idea of what if I get into this and I find I really dislike running?   Thirteen miles is a long time to run if running is not one's thing. 

Since I don't know if I like running or not, I am going to move ahead with the training and the preparations, and come May I may be running in a race, or not.   If not, I will have had months of exercise and there is nothing wrong with that. 

Now to get my running shoes......


What Do I Really "Need"?

Today we received another letter from India.    Two days ago, a letter telling us about Vivek's bible studies that he is in and thanking us for the pictures from Arizona arrived.   This proves to me that the communication between us and our children is slow at best, being that I sent those pictures six months ago, but I am very happy that the pictures brought enjoyment to Vivek.   

The second letter brought a whole new dimension to what we as a family are doing for these children.   Part of our contribution to these children since we don't financially sponsor all of them is to send birthday money for each of them.   Today's letter was a thank you note for Vivek's birthday gift.   The letter reads as follows:

"I bought pant shirt, shoes and Jacket."

"I like it because my previous old clothes were torned from some places, I even don't have new sandle to wear on free time.  Winter season is near so I took shoes and Jacket as gifts from your side on my birthday.  For your love and care I with my whole family thank you for everything.   May God Bless you fulfill all your needs and worries. "

This letter arrives at our house on a week where I am wondering what life will look like in certain areas this year.  What does summer look like?  What about after that?   In reality, what matters is that God is providing.   My needs-- the basics of life-- are taken care of.   God has always provided and I need to have faith in that.  


Oh Yes They Are.....

A friend of mine told me this weekend that my children are exemplary.   Humbled but not wanting to exaggerate anything, I told her it was a big word for anyone.  

However, tonight my children proved to me that they really are exemplary.  While I was teaching tonight, they took it upon themselves to clean the toy room.   This is a job they absolutely detest.  It has created fights between myself and them and also between themselves.   But tonight in wanting to "make me happy" they cleaned it without me asking, and now.....  now we can see the floor and everything is organized, and now, as before.....   I am a mom of truly wonderful children.


Friday Already or Finally Friday?

This week has been crazy.   In one sense, I can't believe it is Friday already.  The days have been full and busy and flown by.   In another sense, it is Finally Friday.   Do you ever have a week like that?   

I made my goal of getting to the DAHLC every day this week.   Yesterday and today were obviously the hardest days of the week.  Yesterday I wanted to turn the alarm off and roll over rather than greet the day head on at 4:50 on a dark, cold morning.  But I made it and had a great workout and conversation with my dad.   Today was physically hard.  I felt like I was going to be sick, but I pushed through it and had my highest calorie burn day yet wrapping up the week with a grand total of 2,945 calories burned this week.   Knowing that number makes the early mornings worth it this week!   Every morning I tell E how many calories I burned at the gym and his supportive response is always "Wow, Mom!"   Today, my dear son, knowing I am always reaching for higher and better asked me if my next goal was to burn 800 calories in one day.   Today, that number didn't seem all that far away.... two months ago, I thought it was impossible.  

It was great to see most of my piano students again this week and see the joy in their faces as we talked about Christmas and what they did with their time off.   I loved being with my family and having time with them, but it is good to be back with my students again as well. 

I have been in the grips of a book that I could not put down.   It had me engaged to the very last page.   If you are looking for a great read sometime, check out Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.   Excellent read!   

Mark and I have had some great conversations this week about our family, our future, and about learning who we are and where we have come from.  

Today I am anxiously awaiting 3:30 when I will have my car full of women from my small group as we head to the cities for a weekend away.   The weekend has the promise to be a great weekend, and I am looking forward to some extra time with my friends. 

The week has been busy and eventful and there are some things that deserve more time and conversation about, but at this point in my day, they will have to wait.   I have to get my bag in the car and get ready to go!  


Back Into the Swing of Things

Two weeks have gone by since I have written.  It wasn't for lack of things happening in our family that kept me from writing, rather the opposite.   As I am sure happens to many people around the holidays, the schedule, the to-do list, and the errands kept me more than busy.    That was the first week of my two week break.    The second week, I took a whole week to be with my family.    I don't say that lightly.   Mark typically takes the week between Christmas and New Year's Day off and we spend the time together, but usually there are big projects to complete or I have a list of things a mile long that I want to get done during that time.  

This year was different.   This year, we spent time together focused on each other, and it was probably one of the best breaks (around Christmas) that we have ever had.   Our Christmas celebrations were all completed by the end of the day on Christmas Eve due to extended family schedules.   I woke up on Christmas day in a little bit of a funk due to this, but it ended up to be a really great day.   We headed up to my parents and had a quiet day playing the newest obsession in our family, Words With Friends.  Sunday began the week of time focused mainly on the kids and what they wanted to do. 

We went sledding with friends which included a snowball making contest and mini fight.  The weather was perfect with a bright blue sky, it could not have been a better day.   

We made snowmen as a family.   I hate to admit, it is the first snowman I have ever made it in my life, and it was so much fun.   The kids and I rolled a snowball so big that we could not move it any further.   Pixel was not sure who had invaded his backyard and barked at the snowmen at first. 

We played the new games that the kids received for Christmas which include Clue, Monopoly, Sorry Sliders, and Connect Four. 

Of course there were a couple games of Catan, one night with family and friends, and one night Ethan was able to join in much to his delight.  

The week break that we had together was the time our family needed to get back in sync with each other after the very busy Fall that we came though.    Hopefully we can stay that way for awhile!   :)