Friday, July 31, 2009

#29 A stroll to our neighborhood donut shop followed by a game of monster and virus tag at the park with my family of five. Oh, how I love unhurried time to play with my family.

For those of you interested in the Horner's various versions of tag...

Monster Tag. You have to be at a park with playground equipment. The person that is "it" is the monster and gets to make big, scary sounds as they chase everyone around. The person they tag is the next monster.

Virus Tag. Created by Jacob and named by dad tonight. The first person "it" tags someone and then two people are it. The team continues to add people to their tag team until everyone attacks the last man, frantically running and giggling around the playground.

Parents...it's no fun unless you play too!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Am I Enough?

I have always perceived myself to be a confident person. Well, at least I have been in my adult life. I struggled with insecurity and confidence in junior high (ugh!) but managed to overcome this struggle with support from mom and dad and other adult mentors along the way. Now, that is really not giving credit where credit is due, because certainly it was the Lord working through those people to instill confidence in a junior high girl's heart and mind. But, I didn't recognize that at the time.

Fast forward...about two months ago I had a big time struggle. Few, if any knew that it was going on because the battle was taking place in my mind. A lack of self-worth just seemed to pop up out of no where. Initially I thought it was some hormonal mayhem, but that's not really the struggle is it? The struggles in this life are not against flesh and blood (and hormones) they are against the spiritual forces of wickedness and the father of lies.

Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

John 8:44 "the devil...he is a liar and the father of lies."

God, in His forever mercy, placed a bible study (HERE) , a sermon (June 28-Teaching your kids about Honesty) , worship and some friends in my path at just the right time. (He is good like that!) I came to realize several lessons through some healing tears.

1. Be honest. Why do we hide our hurts from those that love us in an effort to keep up an appearance of perfection and happiness? It's disonest and it's sin. That kind of deceitfulness is like a destructive root in our minds. It can take over a garden of truth in no time at all. Opening up to these friends and my husband was vulnerable and at first seemed embarassing, but the result was freedom. I am convicted more strongly than ever to share our lives, the beautiful and the ugly, with trusted, Christian friends that can encourage us and build us up in truth.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up."

2. Live and speak truth to your soul every day. And, I mean SPEAK it out loud. We were wonderfully made (wrinkles and all) in the image of God. We were made by love and to love. We are made for a purpose. We can have full confidence in our salvation through Christ. We are not important because of our stuff or our appearance, but because the Creator created us uniquely and beautifully. Anytime my mind wanders away from this truth and into the "Am I good enough" camp we are letting lies control us instead of truth.

3. The world will work against truth every day. How many times a day to I overhear conversations that revolve around what someone has or looks like or wears. It's not that coloring my hair, botox treatments, a cute purse, make-up, a car with extras...are bad things. The problem lies in finding our worth in things. It's hard to resist the temptation when the world around us assigns value and worth to stuff.

Conclusion...I am enough, because Christ is everything in me. This is a gift of God, not a result of anything I try to be or buy or look like, so that no one can boast in themselves. By the way, you are enough too. Why? Because He created you!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our Gate

#24 I stopped folding laundry to play. Laughter from Zachary as the little piggy, "ran wee wee wee, all the way home."

#25 Giggles from my growing girl as we made faces in the mirror together.

#26 Hearty, silly laughter with a great big smile from Jacob as I tickled and teased.

#27 Jake's curiosity as he sits under a tree, asking confident questions and watching the handy-man put in a gate.

#28 Our new gate! Connecting not only our yards but also deepening the connection between our kids, our neighborly friendship, our hearts. We anticipate with smiles the knock of a friend at the back door, coffee breaks, a cup of sugar and God using those moments to knit our lives together with our neighbors, our friends.

Let me elaborate on the gate!

I have a dear friend in Christ, who I came to know through our common profession of being Physician assistants. We both love Jesus, family, medicine and we "happen" to share a small corner of our backyard fence. Our children love to play with one another, but neither one of us felt comfortable having the kids race around the block to get to the front door. So, we decided to put a gate in our back yards so we could easily run back and forth between our homes. You know you have a good friend when they and you want to make sharing your lives together easier. So, we have a gate. To me, it is so much more than a opening to our neighbor's yard. It is a desire to love our neighbor as ourselves and invite relationship instead of creating walls that keep other's out of our life.

Matthew 22:39 "...And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cherished Moments

These are the moments a mother dreams about...

#23

video

Yes, this really happened and it was not staged!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cucumbers


Last week we got to experience the harvest of two cucumbers from our garden. This was my first year attempting a garden after my kids pleading and prompting. They each got to pick out something to grow. We chose pumpkins, carrots, corn and some cucumbers as well. Being a novice with gardening I grossly underestimated the size of garden I would need to grow these vegetables and my ability to grow something. I was hoping for a little green to pop out of the ground but instead we got a garden that could feed our neighborhood! We are having so much fun watching God take small, lifeless seeds and grow them into towering stalks and twisting vines that produce food for us to eat.

#19 Thank you God that you create something new and beautiful, full of life from what was dead and ugly. Thank you that you can teach me what you have done in my life from a cucumber seed.

#20 Thank you Lord that you created food that when we plant a few small seeds we get a bounty of food and inside each bit of food is a seed to provide once again. Cucumbers remind me of your endless provision.

#21 Thank you Father for making something like a cucumber exciting because we took the time to plant it, wait patiently as yellow flowers budded and finally see and taste the end product. You take your time in growing me and my children and every part of the journey; the planting, watering, weeding is important in getting to the final product.

#22 Thank you Abba for the joy in watching my kids' faces as they tried and tasted our harvest.




Who knew a cucumber could be so spiritual?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Look who is riding a bike!

video

I have not written about Zac in relation to his adoption for a long time. It most certainly is an important part of his life story, but has not seemed to be a huge focus for us lately. He is simply our son.

But, occasionally my mind wanders back to April of 2008 when our child's abilities and life experience was so different from what they are now.

Zac's gross motor skills were lacking when he came home to Omaha. He had trouble bending over to pick something up without falling and his gait was wide and a bit awkward. He also had very weak muscle tone.

My have things changed! He runs, wrestles and jumps. He legs, arms and chest have defined muscle. There is no stopping this ball of fire!

As you can see above his latest accomplishment (no doubt an effort to keep up with his brother) is riding a bike without training wheels. At 2 1/2 Zac had poor balance and body awareness. At 3 1/2 he is balancing on a bike, riding speedily and dismounting off the bike and landing on his feet because his legs are a little too short to touch the ground while on the bike.

We are so proud of him!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Toothless

We had a big event at our house last night...

Hallie lost her first tooth! After a weekend of wiggling it back and forth and spinning it around in her mouth Daddy gave a tug last night night and out popped her tooth! She was so, so, so, so happy! The tooth fairy arrived during the night and left $1.

I love the sweet memories that are made at our home everyday!

#15 Her first moments with a radiant, toothless smile.



We also just returned from a fabulous vacation with Ryan's side of the family. We spent a few days skiing, swimming, jet skiing, cruising, eating, talking and laughing at Lake Okoboji.

#16 The family that took me in as their own daughter and sister 11+ years ago.

#17 The peace of a sunset over water.


#18 My always silly, fun husband. He is always bringing a smile to my face and his childrens' faces too!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Abundance

Today I am grateful for the extravagant abundance that God pours out to me and family every day.


#8 Reading God's Word at my kitchen table as my children still slumber sweetly.
Being refreshed and challenged by quiet moments with Him. Reading without fear that I might be imprisoned or killed for my faith.



#9 Clean, cold or hot water in seemingly endless supply pouring out of a faucet in my home. So many live without this luxury.



#10 A solid home with a roof that does not leak, beds and rooms for all my children and me, space to be with others or space to be alone.



#11 A safe neighborhood where my children can play away from trash and disease.




#12 A closet filled with shoes to protect my feet. Not only one pair but many, and they fit!



#13 A pantry filled with food. My family has never been hungry for days, or even a day.



#14 Fresh, clean air to breath.


Lord, I pray that I would never become so accustomed to this abundance that I would grumble about it not being enough or take it for granted.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Nebraska

Thankful for...

#7 the Nebraska setting sun igniting the rolling green fields of corn with color. Breathtaking!