Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Heard around my house....

Returning home from a visit with a friend, my 6 yr old (who should have been asleep) finds me and asks me to come lay with him. He returns a little while later saying , "come on Momma. I have a pillow laid out for you so your head with be cozy. I even laid it straight for you. Will you come lay with me now?" How can I resist that.

Boxes were delivered today with shoes for the boys and slippers for the youngest. After trying them all on, my middle son ran through the house urging them all to get their slippers on and they could be "slipper buddies". So funny!

The sounds of the Mr. Magoo Christmas Carol today. What a fun way to study a little Charles Dickens.

Excited talking about our trip to Ohio, the cold weather, whether it will snow and Christmastime in general.

We are a hub of activity here.

Praying you are enjoying the celebrations of the season and the joy of Celebrating the birth of the King. Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Looking forward to eternity...

I wish that I could say that I always am looking forward to eternity. In this busy world with responsiblities galore, I sometimes see it as more of an escape than the reality of a life spent worshipping the King.

My youngest son (6) recently prayed to ask Jesus to live in his heart and be his Savior. What a complete joy that is! Knowing that he made that decision on his own with conviction from the Holy Spirit. Wow!! How amazing that my husband was the one who prayed with him and that I had the fun of celebrating with him.

Now, I'm seeing the fruits of that decision. He has a real interest in eternity. Several days ago, he was asking us what heaven would be like. We told him we weren't sure and asked what he thought. He went on to share that he believed that God was setting up a house for he and his mom, dad, and brothers to live in and spend forever together in. I can't argue with that.

Today, he was asking if children can die and go to heaven. I explained that yes, they can. His sister, Abigail, died as a baby and now spends each day with Jesus. My sweet boy then asked, " when I get to heaven, will Abby be my sister again?" I explained that she was his sister here but when he gets to heaven, he'll get to meet her and she will indeed be his sister again. He went on to describe the number of people he couldn't wait to meet or see in heaven.

Once again, I find myself needing to take notes on how to live from my kids. My son is thoroughly enjoying being 6 and all that goes with it, however, he also has an eye on eternity and is waiting for it expectantly and excitedly.

Thank you God for the wise words that come from the mouths of my children. I am truly blessed.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Mom Heart Conference is coming.....

To Dallas in February 2010!!

This conference is a fantastic way to get encouragement in your walk as a mom, homeschooler, wife and daughter of the King!

I have attended this conference the past 3 years and I never fail to leave feeling as though I'm ready to tackle the hurdles I face, and ready to seek God in my homeschooling, mothering and in my relationship with my husband.

Here's a link for the pages pertaining to the Dallas event


I hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thoughts of Thankfulness...

Fall has blown in so quickly and time seems to be going with it so today, I'm stopping to think about what I'm thankful for.

the sweet words of my 6 yr old as he ponders what heaven will be like, the knowledge that that same 6 year old has chosen to follow Jesus.
The awesome responsiblity and joy that comes from homeschooling my boys.
My sweet 8 year old who requested his own devotion book
Watching that boy read his book, get excited by the message and discuss it with his dad (who has also read the devotion)
Planning for a trip at Christmas to visit family and the hopes for snow.

Beautiful changing leaves that can't help but point to a God who loves beauty and who showers us with His beauty!

Fantastic moments of worship throughout the day. A God who loves me!

There is much to be thankful for. What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I love my children. I would give my life for them and I tell them those things regularly. So, why is it that when I ask them (ok one of them in particular) to do something that seems out of the ordinary, he asks me if - it's safe, OK, alright, or whatever else he thinks to ask?

Haven't I told him that I love him and will protect him and provide for him? Haven't I always done that?

And then comes the whisper in my ear, "I tell you the same things, my child. Why do you question me? Haven't I been consistent? Haven't I always provided, protected and been there for you?"

And then I remember that my son, like myself, is a sinner filled with doubt and questions. He asks these questions of me just like I ask them of God.

Still learning........

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday....

To my oldest son who turned 10 in July. I cannot believe that 9 years ago we were celebrating your 1st birthday after returning home from Russia with you a mere month earlier. You are my hero. You have endured more hardships in your young life than many will in a lifetime and you approach them with willingness, trust (in your dad and I) and with the most beautiful smile and optimism.

We are often reminded by others that you, my son, were blessed to come to live here with us. Leaving behind the uncertain life that faced you in Russia. I would contend, however, that we have been far more blessed in our life as your parents.

Because of you, my son, I know what bravery looks like. How encouragement should be delivered. How we should celebrate our small victories as much as the large ones. That a hug and a smile can brighten the dullest of days and that giving up is never an option. I look forward to what God has planned for you in the year to come and beyond. You are a treasure!!

What I know....

my life is often like a circus
my children are wonderful and I learn a lot from them
I have a husband who is patient and loves me as I am
That if I'm constantly planning the future, I might miss the beauty of today
I may be 41 but I wake each day feeling 18 (but thankfully wiser)
Contentment is a tough place to hang out but it's easier when I take a deep breath and am still
God is always good, always present and loves me (the bible tells me so)
That I have been blessed beyond measure and given more than I could ever have dreamt of in my life

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In Memory...

Abigail was born prematurely to Scott and I while we were in Russia adopting our oldest. She was, in fact, born almost 10 months to the day after our oldest in the same hospital in Orenburg, Russia. The first American to ever be born there. The six days following her birth were a whirlwind of phone calls and arrangements as we prepared to bring her home via a jet from Children's Medical Center Dallas. Scott had to go to Moscow to the American Embassy and get a passport for Abigail. He went on Wednesday and didn't make his flight back in time so he had to stay on Thursday too. He arrived in Orenburg around midnight on Thursday. We came back to the apartment to pack and prepare for the Medical Jet from Children's was coming on Friday. We were going to be leaving that day and Abigail would be flown back to Dallas and arrive here from Russia on Saturday.

We awoke that morning with mixed feelings as we were excited to be bringing her back to a country where conversations with the doctor didn't require a translator but with a measure of sadness as we faced leaving our son in the orphanage and returning for him in several months. It was the most difficult decision I ever faced and I was so torn.

On Friday morning, our translator, lawyer and driver came into our apartment and said nothing. I instantly knew that Abigail had died. In that moment the Lord provided great clarity and decisions were made. We received such an outpouring of love from those around us. Men and women who didn't know us 2 weeks before showed us kindness, compassion and love as we went through an amazingly devestating situation. We now found ourselves halfway around the world, without our parents or family and making arrangements for our deceased daughter. There are too many details to go into here but suffice it to say that God became real through the hands of so many people.

As I write this today, the memories are as real as they were the day they happened. Nine years ago today, my sweet daughter Abigail went home to be with Jesus. She was six days old and beautiful. She accomplished a great many things on this earth in her brief time. There is a measure of sadness at not having my daughter by my side but the overwhelming feeling that a beautiful little girl is spending time with our Savior this very day and that we will be reunited one day.

Living the Christian life is not easy, it is full of joy and struggles but God is always present and always good and our joy is in Him.

Today is not the easiest of days but I approach it full of joy at what God has given to me and full of the knowledge that He is good all the time. Amen.

Abigail Marie Cornell
May 20, 2000 - May 26, 2000

Monday, April 27, 2009


Heard around our house yesterday:

"What is a cocktail?"

Kid 2 - 8 years old "It's something in the ocean, right? You know, like a shrimp cocktail." which was followed with lots of laughter and a trip to the dictionary to see all of the definitions.

A devotion about confession, forgivenss and grace using The Prodigal Son as the example. What made it better were the answers and insights that three little boys bring. Priceless!!

Starting our Monday with thunderstorms, drawing and charades. What a way to start our "work week".

Hope your week is full of fun moments.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Birthday...

To my middle son. Today he is eight and an absolute delight. He is filled with curiosity, eagerness and a heart for the Lord.

I say this all the time but I often feel that I have gained a much better perspective of my relationship with the Lord by having children. They challenge me with their words of piercing truth. Their innocent questions of extreme depth and their ability to love me despite all of my faults. They look to me for guidance and I often find myself being led by them. How amazing that God would provide me with such a humbling and educational experience rolled up in the sweet gaze of my children.

I am extremely blessed to be a mom to them and I know I've been entrusted with a great treasure.

How thankful I am for my middle son and how I look forward to seeing what God will do in his life. If his years thus far and the sheer volume of lessons he has taught me are any indication, I am prepared for an exciting adventure.

Today I will be hugging them all, but squeezing my middle son a little tighter as he moves a little further in his race (Hebrews 12:1). May he experience the love of Christ daily and may I be an example of His love and grace in my days with him.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Prolonging the inevitable

Ok. We all know that whenever there is a schedule to be followed, something that needs accomplishing or, we're in a hurry, that it invariably prompts the best, most complicated questions from our children.

So it was this day when we were trying to prepare for bed. I was helping my boys get themselves into the shower when such a moment arose. My son looked at me and asked a question about something that makes him uniquely male. No, I'm not talking about his ability to think entirely different than me but rather something a bit more fundamental.

Ok, now that you know where we're going, the conversation went a little like this. "Mom, what is this part called?" I respond with the appropriate name thinking I've handled that well. And then, I hear, "Mom what is is for and what is in there?" Sigh.

Again, I provide a reasonable response and give the most generic answer I can, "It's part of the man's reproductive system." Ok, now I'm beginning to feel like I'm at a tennis match. Unfortunately, the volley continues. I just want him to get himself in the shower so we can move forward. But here comes the ball again.

"But mom, what does it do?"

I've a feeling this is going to continue for a long time so I take the tack that any parent would or perhaps should, "That is a good question but this is not the best time to talk about that. Let's get finished in the shower and we can discuss it another time."

Ok, I brace myself for another question, or a response I'm not ready to deal with and I hear, "Mom, was it a scientific question?" I look at my son's face and it is lit up with anticipation of my response and I tell him, "Yes, it was a very scientific question." He is now beaming, climbs in the shower and goes about his business.

I am now trying not to laugh too loudly, breath to heavily or allow my children to hear me praising God too loudly. Here I was waiting for a question answer session that could perhaps be neverending and my sweet son simply wants to know if it was a "scientific question". Amazing.

I know there are times that the Lord has things for me to do and sometimes, just like my kids, I'm not ready to or just don't want to so I hope to prolong the inevitable with distractions. How often do I barrage the Lord with questions in my prayer life and fail to listen to what He is saying? I may not be seeking explanations about how things "work" but I come to Him seeking answers when it's not where He wants me to be.

Why is it that my children can be so much more gracious than I? My son was getting the gentle nudge toward what I had planned for him and rather than get angry or try to continue, he simply wanted a little verbal pat on the back as he went about his way.

Unfortunately, I don't always proceed so quietly when I am gently nudged to the plans the Lord has for me. I'm ashamed to admit that I sometimes go kicking and screaming.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:10-12

The Lord loves us and does have plans for us. We may not always want to step out and do what He wants us to do but He wants us to. And, if we listen closely, I'm quite convinced that He is gently nudging us and saying, "That was a great question but let's do this first and talk about that later." I know I've heard Him say it to me. It is my prayer that I can be as gracious as my children, accept the gentleness and trust my Father as he points me in the right direction.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy birthday to you!!

My youngest turned 6 yesterday. He's a big boy and has run around the house telling me that he can't wait until he's 19. I suck in air, and try not to watch as his life flies by.

What is it about all of us that makes us wish for the next milestone? Why is contentment such a hard thing?

I would like to believe that it's only my children who struggle with this but I would be lying. Contentment is often elusive but can be grasped when a concious effort is made, on my part.

For today, I will try to revel in my youngest sons new grown-up status and try desperately to enjoy every last second of 6.

May you find contentment in your life today.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Help for the Humble

I'm a mom of 3 boys. So, it is no exaggeration when I say that if I had a nickel for everytime one of them said, "I can do it myself", I wouldn't be blogging from my livingroom but rather a lovely mountain cabin somewhere.

I've been trying to wrestle with them through this statement for approximately 8 years and at times I've been successful and other time failed miserably. Another opportunity arose at the Costco foodcourt earlier this week. I was sharing a frozen yogurt with my two youngest boys when I tried to help my youngest dig deep into the yogurt to get to the vanilla. At which point I hear, "I'm a big boy, I can do it myself." I remained calm and quickly thought, "Lord, how to I get through to him"?

I shared with my son that I recognize he's a big boy that I'm aware that many times he can, indeed, do it himself. This time, however, I was trying to help because I love him and knew that I could get the coveted vanilla better than he. I went on to tell him that everyone needs help and it is an act of being humble. I stopped, quickly replayed what I just said and said, outloud, "Huh". To which my almost 8 year old asked me "what?".

I explained to him that God had just taught me something. God is always teaching me something through my children but he just happened to be there to hear me wonder aloud. We seem to be such a self-sufficent society. We revel in our ability to "do it ourselves". We are awarded various ways for this ability but as I reflected on what I had told my son, I realized that this really all comes down to pride and our sin nature.

I'm all for our children learning to be independent from us. It's the kind of self-sufficency I see day-to-day that disturbs me. Merriam-Webster defines it like this -

self-sufficency adj. able to maintain oneself or itself without outside aid ; having an extreme confidence in one's own ability or worth

I want my children to be independent and able to think and provide for themselves. Believing that they are the only ones who can accomplish things or that taking help is a form of weakness is another story. The bible has a lot to say about being humble:

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.Psalm 25:8-10

The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.Psalm 147:5-7

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.Matthew 23:11-13

Webster tells us this, "Humble: not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive"

Accepting help is a good thing. Hard to do in our pride but pleasing to the Lord, I believe, and an act of being humble. It's a good thing and something I hope to cultivate in my boys. In this world where "I can do it myself" seems to be a mantra, may you be compelled to allow someone to help you. You just might be giving someone the opportunity to be blessed too.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Flawed but useable...

I admit that I've never really cultivated the idea of a quiet time with the Lord. I became a follower of Christ at 7 yrs old but a quiet time is something that has never been established solidly in my life. So I find myself, at 40, working at developing this most wonderful habit. I've always prayed throughout my day, talked about the Lord to my boys but that time of sitting still, reading His word and hearing the Holy Spirit speak to me has been a struggle for me.

So came this morning and I was determined, not by guilt but by deep longing, that I was going to start this day with a quiet time. I got up at 6:20 as my husband left. Got my bible and "Daily Light" devotional book and started. The reading today was about running the race set before us. Throwing off those things that hinder our running and seeking the Lord. It was a great reminder of what we are called as believers to do.

"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind...I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

I was reminded, humbled and inspired at the scripture I read. I proceeded to prayer and had a list of those people I wished to prayer for. I found myself praying for my oldest son, who has autism. Prayer for his current treatment using homeopathy. Prayer for healing for his body. Prayer that his speech would become more "typical" in sound and cadence. I have not prayed for better speech because of embarassment but because I recognize that he has begun to notice that he sounds different or is frustrated when he isn't understood. I stopped for a moment and I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, "Moses". I nodded and found myself opening my Bible to Exodus 4:10-12.

Moses said to the Lord, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." The Lord said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

God can use my son, speech issues and all for His glory. He can give him the words to say and isn't that the message for all of us. We are all flawed. Some of us have physical issues, some are our own attitude or feelings of inability but God can use us all. If we are willing, it doesn't matter what problems we have in the flesh, He is more than able to use us, even in our weakness.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in wekanesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12: 9-10

Paul has is right. Christ's power is made perfect in our weakness. God doesn't ask us to be perfect, he asks us to be willing.

Autism is definitely a weakness in my sons life, but God can use even that to be glorified and to spread His message of hope.

May you find joy in your weakness today as you see Christ's power made perfect in your life.