Friday, March 30, 2007


I have always wanted to be a worship leader. For as long as I can remember, I have played piano and sung at the top of my lungs. When I was a child, I distinctly remember imagining audiences of thousands sitting around my living room so I could perform for them.

I was one of the star performers in the yearly children's musicals we did for our church of 300. My Gramma was in a singing group that had me sing the solo for their Christmas show one year. As a teenager I was involved in "Summer Funner Theater" here. It was basically a VBS with a show at the end, but every one required a lead...guess who did that? I also played keyboards and sang with the youth worship band every Sunday. Straight out of high school I had my job with the worship ministry and began singing on mics and playing keys on occasion. One weekend all the usual soloists were out, and I ended up with the special music. I sang Carolyn Arends'"Seize the Day" and had people come up to me talking about it for literally 6 months. When I went to Bible school I played with the worship band that toured. When I was at ORU I got more in scholarship money than any other pianist I knew, with the exception of the two prodigies who probably will go on to be concert performers. I'm a very good accompanist. At my church in Tulsa I played very frequently with the worship band, most weekends. I was going to play keys on their worship recording.

(I feel like Paul must have, recording all his qualifications and then saying, "Whatever was to my credit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ..." Bear with me here, folks.)

Then, it all stopped. In January, after two years at ORU, I just didn't have the money anymore. Nick and I were engaged and going to be married that summer. He still had a semester of school left. I was over two years from graduating. With a heavy heart, I called and quit everything I was committed to, and moved home. That was 2004. I think I've played for worship twice since then, and had a brief stint as the New Life choir accompanist. I also played for the youth choir for a year. But the thing that is my heart is worship ministry, and that has seemed to be on hold.

I've written about this some already over the past several weeks, because it has been on my mind a lot. I have children now, and I feel very strongly about staying home with them and being there to raise them. Nobody else can do my job. Why would God call somebody to worship ministry, and I was positive He had, and then bless them with children so they are unable to fulfill the first calling? I have always seen the two callings as separate.

A couple weeks ago I was finishing up the Bible Study I've been working through, and it was encouraging me to write a personal mission statement. I have always struggled with this, because my two missions were, in my mind, so mutually exclusive. How can children and worship ministry work together? Lack of distraction is so deeply ingrained in the way worship ministry should be done, and children are, by nature, distracting. I stopped reading and said to God, "How can I do that? I've tried." What I heard was, "Why are they separate?"

Seems simple maybe, but it has been a revelation to me. If my "calling" in this world is to encourage and exhort others to worship God, then that starts with my own children. Who in the world can I influence more in that area than my own children? This filters down into every area of life - encouraging them to live righteous lives so they have clear consciences, teaching them social skills so they can live in healthy relationships, even feeding them good food so their bodies are strong can fall under helping them to worship more effectively. I may not be able to get on stage with a band right now, but I can certainly create an atmosphere of worship in my home.

I think this is a message that most stay-at-home moms probably need. It's easy to lose your identity in staying at home. But, for most people there is something in the world that makes you passionate and energized. Maybe it is your kids, but most people I think need something more than that if they're honest with themselves. Most of us who stay home have skills and passions we lay aside in favor of raising our children ourselves, but that doesn't mean those cease to be part of who we are, it just means we don't get the recognition we used to. Maybe people don't know me everywhere I go anymore, but maybe I'm raising the next Darlene Zscech. Or maybe my time is yet to come again, and I will face it with a greater maturity, humility and understanding than I ever could have before my kids. Either way, nothing is on hold around here anymore.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Entertainment for a Thursday afternoon

This post is one of the funniest blogs I've read in a quite a while. I don't have this issue yet with my own kids, but I clearly remember having these arguments with siblings. The other one Holly came up with that wasn't mentioned was, "Mom! She's looking out my window!" Remember that, Holly?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hannah at the library

library, originally uploaded by sakalomi.

I think I've written before about my memories of the library. Somehow my incredible mother managed to take 5 kids to the library at least once a month. I vividly remember her telling us we could each get 10 books. I don't have a clue how she got 5 kids under 11 and 50+ books OUT of the library, but she did. I have loved books ever since. I read at 4 and was known to devour entire books in one sitting in late elementary school. I read several hours a day sometimes.

It was with those memories putting a smile on my face, that I took Hannah and Audrey to the library today. We had a great time. Hannah and I picked out three books to read. She carried them herself all the way from the children's section to the check out line. Then, when she saw we had to wait in line, she plopped down on the floor in the middle of everything, and began to look at her books. I still can't wipe the smile off my face.

I like lentil soup...lentil soup?

All evening I've been singing a song that Ernie and Bert sing.

Bert: I like lentil soup
Ernie: Lentil soup?
Bert: Yes, I do...
Ernie: I don't really like any of those things...but!

I made lentil soup for dinner tonight. It was yummy, and Hannah even ate it. I was prepared to make her something different! Lentils are pretty cool little things. 28% of your daily fiber and 11g of protein in one serving.

I've been seeing them everywhere lately. Have you ever noticed that there are food fads? Like, sun-dried tomatoes and asiago cheese...that is SO three years ago! Anyway, I decided to try it. This recipe is really good.

The changes I made are:
Only one large onion - we're not huge onion people
One 14oz can of tomatoes - we're not huge tomato people either, and I didn't have a big can. :)
A splash of apple cider vinegar instead of the wine - I still don't have a clue how to buy wine, although I'm not opposed to cooking with it.
One cup of COOKED brown rice - add right before serving. Whole grains will make it a complete protein also. The recipe suggests adding cheese which would do the same thing and be pretty tasty, but it sure would make us all sick!

Try it - you'll like it!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

When I grow up

I want to write like this.

Oh Boy...

Swiped this from SaraW. Couldn't resist.

Ghostbusters Theme Song: In List Format

* Things I ain't afraid of:
o no ghost
* Strange things in the neighborhood (partial list):
o seeing things running through head
o invisible man sleeping in bed
* Things that make me feel good:
o bustin'
* Who you gonna call:
o Ghostbusters
o I can't hear you
o Louder

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Hannah has a very special relationship with Elmo. I have no idea what started this, but at this point it has developed into radar. She can find any Elmo in a 50 foot wide area. I came across this today. There's one birthday present down...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Slowing down

The temperature hit about 70 degrees here today. It was incredible.

Although it took us literally all day to get ready, at 3:00 I put Hannah and Audrey in the stroller, and took them to the park. To do this, I first have to push them up the biggest hill around here. This hill has deterred me several times when I have considered heading to the park. But today, with the sunshine and the warm breeze, it didn't seem bad at all. Once we got there, Hannah wanted to swing and I put Audrey in one of the baby swings as well. There were my two little girls, just smiling and giggling and enjoying the sunshine, swinging side-by-side.

We must have been quite a scene, because Hannah still has a little trouble walking on the playground sand, and I had Audrey on my hip. While holding Audrey, I helped Hannah climb up the steps and go down the slide. Multiple times, of course.

Nick has always been impressed at what I can pull off without help. My reply to him has always been, "A determined woman can do many things." I don't remember where I got that, but I doubt it's original. Determination has allowed me to move furniture and work long hours and stay home with two children under 2.

I'm beginning to discover something else that raising children requires, in addition to determination - TIME. Gone are the days when running errands is a quick process. Grocery shopping is most definitely a scene for us. I get out, put on the Baby Bjorn, put Audrey in it, then get Hannah out (which usually involves putting her shoes and socks back on while avoiding hitting Audrey's head on anything), hold Hannah's hand while we walk in or carry her on my hip WITH Audrey in the carrier. Once inside, Hannah goes in the cart. Lots of people have encouraged me to leave errand running to daddy - or to go when he can watch the kids. Some people I know even leave their kids with a babysitter while running errands. I don't fault them.

When I was a kid, we did everything with my mom. I can't imagine what it looked like for her to bring 5 children under 11 into the grocery store, but we did it every week. Everywhere we went - stores, restaurants, church - people constantly remarked how well-behaved we all were. We weren't the ones running the aisles with mom yelling and trying to keep us corralled. We sat in or walked next to the cart, sometimes begging for things, but we knew what was expected of us. This is what I want for my kids.

I think my point is this - it takes forever to do stuff, ANYTHING, with kids. But I want to involve them in normal life. It's becoming less about how many tasks I can accomplish in a day, and more about how I connected and trained my kids. This is tough for someone who has always prided herself on her efficiency. Kids don't care at all how efficient you are. I could finish all my errands in an hour before I had kids, now it takes me all week, but when Hannah looks up at me from her carseat and says, "Walk?" I love that I can slow down, realize the toddling speed at which she is able to walk will be fine, and say "Okay, you can walk." That grin is worth it.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

It's raining

I can't believe it! I cannot even express how ready I am for spring after about 3 months straight of snow. I've lived here for 15 years, and I do not remember a winter like this. Rain feels wonderful. Nick took Hannah out in it today and she absolutely loved it too.

I got my hair colored today. It's blond. I haven't been blond in a long time. I don't think Nick likes it much, but he's afraid to say so. It's definitely different.

Drew Barrymore is on Saturday Night Live. I like her. She always seems happy. There's a lot to be said for being comfortable in your own skin. She seems to be.

Nick is currently sound asleep on the couch.

I really should go to bed since we lose an hour tonight. I don't wanna.

We're going to Nebraska to visit Nick's family and take part in our niece Becca's baptism next weekend. We haven't seen them in a long time, and the change of scenery will be really nice. The girls also get to meet Nick's grandma for the first time. She lives in Ord, Nebraska. It's a happenin' place.

OK, guess I'll quit procrastinating and get ready for bed.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


I've posted too much of this kind of thing lately - I'm starting to get bored with them. :) I really believe this information is important though. I had a c-section with Hannah, but would never do it again unless I had another baby whose life was in danger like hers was. Women who choose to deliver their babies that way baffle me, frankly. Not only do you have a newborn, but you've just had major surgery as well! I had what the midwife said was a rather painful, difficult homebirth with Audrey, but it would choose that a hundred times over before having even one c-section. Plus, as this article talks about, the risks multiply many times over with a c-section. It's not the perfectly safe procedure people want to think it is! Ok, I'm done now.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Elderberry and flu

This is something fairly new to me, but I got an email from an email list about it today. Here's an article about how Elderberry can help you recover from the flu within two to three days. I also gave it to Hannah when she woke up with what sounded like croup one morning. She never coughed like that again - it was gone by the next night. What I have cost about $20, but seems well worth getting to have on hand if someone in your house gets the flu!

And while I'm on the subject, this article about Tamiflu and flu vaccines sums up what I believe about those. Wash hands, carry wipes in the car to use after going places, if you do get sick use Oscillococcinum and elderberry as soon as you feel it come on. These are safe even for very little kids at 1/3 the adult dose.

OK. Done with my soapbox for the day.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


I'm currently working through the Bible study called, "Restore My Heart" by Denise Glenn. I got behind when Hannah was sick, and while trying to get caught up last night came across this quote:

"Letting Jesus change you with His word and take you where He wants you to go is the great adventure of this life."

I though it rather profound.

I was one of those kids who never doubted what God was going to do in the world through me. As an 18 year old, straight out of high school, I landed a job as the worship ministry secretary for Woodmen Valley Chapel. At the time, the church was about 5,000 people. The worship ministry had a database of over 200 volunteers as well as a full time staff of 5. I was the only administrative help for the department. I was in WAY over my head. But even so, they trusted me with the position.

For years, I daydreamed about starting a worship ministry of some kind. One that would send me traveling the world, playing and singing for thousands. Actually, I did do that some. I thought I had found my purpose.

Fast forward a few years. I currently have four private piano students, one of them being my little sister. My days are filled with diapers, laundry and messes. I'm pretty sure it's been just over 3 years since I played consistently with a band. I used to be on stage at least once, if not twice a week. I found so much of my value in that. It was who I was. I still have a heart for worship ministry, but my heart to raise my girls to be Godly women, and to be available for them is so much more passionate. Sometimes I begin to feel that I've left that other life behind for good.

Here's the kicker: my life is not on hold. As long as I continue to allow Jesus to transform me with His word, I'm moving forward. I have never made any decisions that I felt were out of God's will, so therefore this place I find myself must be exactly where I'm supposed to be - no matter what it feels like on some days. And for that matter, even if I had made poor decisions, God has a way of working things out for the good of those who love Him. He promised to do that. I can trust that He will. No need to second guess and wonder and feel left out. My job is simply to stay open to His word and the adventure He has for me.

Joy comes in the morning

So, life's not as bad as I thought. :)

Audrey slept 8 hours straight for the first time last night, the Bible study got postponed because of the snow, Nick worked from home this morning so he did the early morning diaper changes, and it's only 10:30 and Audrey's already napping and Hannah will be ready soon. Plus, the snow is already melting. That makes me happy too. I want it to be spring now!

I think it's great how just when you don't think you can do anymore, you (usually) get a break. :)