Tag Archive | marriage

Fallow fields

 

 

 

 

wpid-20150503_175433.jpgThis is our garden. Well, it will be our garden in the coming weeks.

This patch of land has been covered for a year under a thick, dark, heavy sheet of plastic…anchored by an assortment of large rocks. While covering the land up kills the growth of weeds, grass and pretty much anything else- it also provided some time for the ground to rest and recover from the prior planting seasons. Last year, we didn’t have the opportunity to have a garden because of a series of events that took priority- so, we decided to cover our patch of dirt and leave it fallow.

According to Webster’s 1828, “Fallow” can mean a few different things:

-Unsowed; not tilled; left to rest after a year or more of tillage; as fallow ground; a fallow field.

-Left unsowed after plowing. The word is applied to the land after plowing.

-Unplowed; uncultivated.

-Unoccupied; neglected. [Not in use.]

I haven’t been writing on this blog so much lately. I think maybe God was urging me to plow some fields and let it rest for a bit. Neither unoccupied or neglected…nor unplowed and uncultivated. God has been teaching me a lot about being quiet. Listening. Watching. I am hoping for some clarity of purpose as well.

Fallow fields result in soil enrichment, improved fertility and reduces the build-up of contaminants and pests.

Much like my garden, I am waiting for the protective covering to be removed so I can receive some of the seeds God has in store for me.

New growth. It’s exciting.

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A few weeks ago, the kids helped me place some seeds into the seed cups to prepare them for their growth outside. They seem to be thriving and I am looking forward to a bountiful summer harvest! Today, these young plants have been placed outside so they can acclimate to the great outdoors. I am praying for strong roots before they are transplanted into the garden and bear fruit (or vegetables, as the case may be).

I am looking forward to the time ahead of me…resting…and developing strong roots as I Bloom Where I am Planted.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure- even during fallow seasons.

 

 

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I have really let myself go!

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My son painted the most beautiful picture of a cardinal in art class at school. It’s simple and vibrant. A brilliant red bird resting on a branch with snow falling in the foreground. I love the things that he creates.

When he brought it home…while I raved and gave praise over this mini-masterpiece, he did not. He said, “It’s really not that good, but…Well, I guess it’s OK.” WHAT?! How could he think that?

 

 

We have our children’s art on display all over our home; some framed and some hung with care on the refrigerator to be displayed for a time. This one needed to be framed. Yet, I knew the moment I saw it that it would occupy a special place outside of our home. It would go to Grandma and Paw’s house. Paw loves birds. He had a stained glass cardinal hanging in the window of their home for years and has a very large print of various birds in all colors hanging in their bedroom. Yes, this would be the right home for this very special bird…with someone who would appreciate the beauty of the bird and the loving hands that created it.

Sometimes I look at myself the way my son looked at that bird. “Well, I guess…I’m really not that good…yea, I’m just OK.” But, thanks to my kids I was able to see something this past week that I had not seen or appreciated in this particular manner before.wpid-20150402_154111.jpg

While I was looking for a frame to showcase his regal, red cardinal- I found a portrait. It was in a frame in the basement and tentatively appeared to be holding a print of a ship. When I took the backing off of the frame, I saw a portrait…one of me. It was taken around 1998-99 or so. I was about 60 pounds lighter (YES SIXTY!), I had longer dark hair and was dressed in what would have been my standard attire for work. Back then, I was a Marketing Representative for an insurance brokerage. I always had my hair done, nails done, and was usually pretty trendy (at least for the time). I was definitely a very different person. I was wrapped up in ME.

 

So there I was; face-to-face with myself. Skinnier, put together, dark-haired, well dressed me. My initial reaction was to adjust the t-shirt that I had paired with my baggy jeans.  Then, I took a peek in the mirror at the gray hair that I have surrendered to over the past four years. Yikes.

” I have seriously let myself go.”

Just for giggles, I carried this throwback picture to my kids. I braced myself for the reaction I expected and then showed them. The reaction I got was NOT what I expected.

“Wow! We like your hair so much better now. Mom, we love the way you look today better.”

What?? Are they blind? It must be time to see the eye doctor again! 

What I had expected to hear was “Mom, you used to be so pretty.” But, what I heard was just the opposite. And after the initial shock wore off…and as I looked at the picture again….and I AGREED.

Yes, I like the me now much more than the one in that picture. Sure, the superficial stuff looked great- but, I was my focus then. God is my focus now. My husband and kids are my ministry. It’s not about me anymore. I am genuinely happier and mentally and spiritually healthier now by a long shot. I have been gifted a loving husband and two amazing children and am blessed beyond measure. None of the blessings I truly cherish can be changed by gravity or age. Praise the Lord.

Could it be that my kids could see at first glance what I didn’t? They appreciated this old bird and the hands that lovingly created her. (ha ha ha! I couldn’t resist.) I know that my kids didn’t know me then – and I am glad. But, the thought that they can see and appreciate the Jesus in me is a thought that thrills me to my soul.

God is in control.

So I now, I will take a deep breath (inhale)…

…And I will say that again

…and I will rejoice in it…

“Yes…Yes indeed. I have seriously and thankfully let myself go.”

 

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalm 139:14

This is me. My five-year old daughter took this picture this past Friday while we were on a field trip. It’s the most recent image…not posed, not edited. Just Real.

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Two peas in a pod

Psalm 51: reflections in the spin cycle

Another snow day; the third one this week. I have been sick for two weeks and have so much catching up to do. When it snows and rains like this, it’s best to save the septic field and refrain from doing too much laundry at home. After being down and out- the laundry has piled up higher than the mounds of plowed and drifted snow. Time for the laundromat.wpid-20150306_104041.jpg

The kids brought books to read while we waited. I assured them that it would be a reasonably short visit because we could do the drying at home. I was completely taken off guard when they reacted the way they did. The books and coats went into a chair by the window…they flipped over two of the three laundry baskets…and each took a seat.

Front row for the big show.

He practically had his face pressed up on the glass the whole time and only moved away long enough to float to one of the other machines. When the spin cycle began, they were whipped into a frenzy! To them, it looked like the clothes in the machine had just disappeared as the centrifugal force pressed them firmly against the inner walls  of the 62 lb. capacity beast.  A young couple sitting nearby began to laugh…who knew that laundry could be such a wondrous and magical experience.

They had never seen a front load washing machine before.

Two hillbillies in the big city.

Laundry. They were mesmerized, entertained, and positively pleased as punch.

I miss those times. Two years ago I could look at a tree in a storm as the leaves turned up to welcome the rain…and see God. There was wonder in my coffee, the clouds in the sky…God was evident everywhere. Even in all of the chaos of life, I was the one pressed up against the glass watching in amazement and awe as the spinning melted into the walls and God was at the center. There are seasons. God is always present…always working…always active. Sometimes we sit at the feet of Jesus and learn…and watch. Other times we are Martha, diligently working on the things He has given us to do.

This Martha season has been complicated and blessed. There are tasks that He has placed in my path…people…needs. I have been listening, and started out following His lead quietly. It was awesome! I could see how God was weaving people and situations together- all in one load. But, then the spinning started. I’ve gotten caught in the spin cycle. I don’t want to say “yes”–I don’t want to say “no”. I am spinning with my back pressed against the wall and everything is being squeezed out of me. It’s too fast. I am tired. And I am too loud about it. I have been too loud about my feelings and frustrations. I have been too loud about some of the excitement in my world…good news and bad. I have quickly become overwhelmed and now I have found out that I am overwhelming people around me. I need balance…AGAIN. So now I am feeling a bit alone in the spin cycle and the anxiety is creeping in. Feelings. The reality may not be overwhelming, but when the feelings are added in- Satan get’s the upper hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

It’s time to very intentionally focus on God, not the things that make me anxious. [AGAIN] Not how I fail [STILL].

Psalm 51 is near and dear to me and I have found myself meditating on it a lot this week.

Just be quiet. That may be a good start. Oh, Lord. Please hit the reset button. My spirit is downcast within me.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

When everything has been squeezed out of me, there is a big void that only God can fill. I eagerly await that joy and willing spirit; His sustenance.

I have no idea what’s next. I feel like I haven’t had much to write here lately and am wondering if this season has passed, too. (The spammers have written more on my site than I have in the past year!)But, I will be still and wait. Maybe the spin cycle will stop- then, I can exit the spin and sit with my face pressed to the glass. When the spin starts again I want this perspective. I want this vantage point. I want to see all of the chaos melt away with God in the center – clearly. But, that’s what I want. I wonder what God’s plans are?

I have to focus on God’s plans. Not mine.

I must have FULL faith, because God is faithFUL. ALL THE TIME.

Pass it on

Blessings.

I have written about them so many times before and have even shared quite a few with you. I know that my writing has been sporadic at best lately, but there is a good reason. I am really enjoying this summer. Not only am I counting more blessings, but I am trying my best to pass them on. When I took part in the study One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, she helped to really open my eyes to discover just how blessed I really am. And you are infinitely blessed, too! Even on the bad days. Furthermore, she added that when we receive a blessing we are not supposed to hold on to it with a clenched fist. We are supposed to open our hands and share those blessings…even pass them on to others.

wpid-20140705_183727.jpgThis is Cooper. There may be times when I mutter “dumb dog” under my breath, but he’s certainly not dumb. More of a goofball like me. He is actually very, very intelligent…maybe a little too smart for his own good. In the heat of the day, as the sun is beating on the sliding glass door in the rear of our home- I pull the curtain in an attempt to cut down on the amount of heat that radiates from that beautiful sun. There is a floor register just in front of that door and I am always careful to push the curtain behind the vent so the cool air can flow through our home unobstructed. Nice cooool air. What a blessing. It did not take Cooper long at all to discover that the cool air came out of that vent. For this friendly, four-legged fur ball- it was not enough to lay near the vent…or even ON the vent. He goes between the curtain and the slider and pushes the curtain out so it actually catches the air. He creates a climate controlled wigwam of sorts where he rests comfortably for most of the afternoon. Cooper is an air hog…a blessings hog.

Sharing blessings creates a ripple effect and that ripple effect is something I have been thinking a little about today. So, today I am going to come out of my wigwam and push the curtain back and share some blessings. Some that were shared with me…and others that were passed on.

A friend was given an incredible Bible study to review. The gift she received...she shared with others. As a result, I had the blessing of discovering my "places" and "passions" and look forward to owning and using my God-given gifts and talents. Thank you, Sharon!

A friend was given an incredible Bible study to review. The gift she received…she shared with others. As a result, I had the blessing of discovering my “places” and “passions” and look forward to owning and using my God-given gifts and talents.

 

A gift from a friend. While it was a token that reflects the relationship she and I have developed, it is also a reminder of how Jesus sees me. He knows it all and still loves me. A friend who sticks closer than a brother. Thanks Danielle!

A gift from a friend. While it was a token that reflects the relationship she and I have developed, it is also a reminder of how Jesus sees me. He knows it all and still loves me. A friend who sticks closer than a brother. And an encouraging card from a dear woman at church…that prompted me to send some cards of my own to the people around me who I love dearly.

My hubby is gifted in so many areas and I am so thankful that he knows how to do most things. He used his talents to install a new faucet for me...and I love it. His handyman abilities also gave him an opportunity to help another couple out this week as they begin their adventure in home-ownership. God has blessed him and I am blessed by him.

My hubby is gifted in so many areas and I am so thankful that he knows his way around a tool bench. He used his talents to install a new faucet for me…and I love it. His handyman abilities also gave him an opportunity to help another couple out this week as they begin their adventure in home-ownership. God has blessed him and I am blessed by him.

My kids have been at their Nana’s for two weeks. Initially, I had a list of things I wanted to do for me. I wanted to play golf, do some target practice, float in the pool, and start and finish a book. My first inclination was to take the blessing of a mommy time-out for ME. That quickly changed and the blessing that I received multiplied exponentially.

A friend read a book by Christian author Charles Martin called Where the River Ends. She passed it on and that was the book I started and finished while my kids were away.  I am so thankful she shared this author with me. I actually went to the library and got two more of his books...and have already finished one of those. Not only did she share the author- but, she gave me the gift of "down-time". In the evenings, snuggled up in the chair next to hubby while he read, too.

A friend read a book by Christian author Charles Martin called Where the River Ends. She passed it on and that was the book I started and finished while my kids were away. I am so thankful she shared this author with me. I actually went to the library and got two more of his books…and have already finished one of those. Not only did she share the author- but, she gave me the gift of “down-time”. In the evenings, I snuggled up in the chair next to hubby while he read, too. He has been trying to get me to do that for years. Quality time…what a blessing.

 

In invited a friend to play golf with me. Recreation sprinkled with exercise along with a healthy dose of laughter. Thelma and Louise style.

In invited a friend to play golf with me. Recreation sprinkled with exercise along with a healthy dose of laughter. Thelma and Louise style.

I am pretty handy with tools and am not afraid of a little sweat on my brow. With some paint and a pry bar- I took the opportunity this week to help others in need. Working along side of others, I was able to use my talents and had the bonus of spending some time with some pretty outstanding ladies. I helped …but, their company was a blessing that you could not place a price tag on.

And still counting…

2533. A sermon that is RIGHT on for the day and moment.

2534. The kids little voices on the other end of the phone. And they are having so much fun.

2535. Revelation in scripture: A treasure trove in the story of Joseph.

2536. Jumping into a pool fully clothed to escape the heat.

2537. Dinner with a friend

2538. Lots of quiet time with hubby.

2539. A day to sleep in

You don’t have to have experience with tools, or a strong back, or ample money or food to be a blessing to someone. Sometimes a smile or a word are all that we need to pass on. PASS IT ON.

Jesus said, “…Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Don’t be greedy with those blessings -Pour them out! Step out of that comfortable, cool wigwam and let that blessed air flow all around you and waft onto others. Offer that refreshment to those around you today.

What blessings have you received that you could share with others? How about your salvation in Jesus Christ?

Have you counted your blessings today?

 

Hitting my stride

As I stood at the kitchen sink, washing up after dinner-I could see them clearly. They were swinging. Higher and higher. She jumped off the swing and began to run. Oh, her run. It’s so free. It makes me smile. She has a quick step and she tends to throw in a little skip or two to vary her step. She runs…and runs…and runs. She has two speeds: Off and On. As a matter of fact, at the library on Wednesday I had to caution her to slow down. Her response? “But, Mom…I am so excited!”.

sheruns

Thinking about her…running…excited…and RUNNING. Kids. Seriously- think about it…they RUN seemingly non-stop. Our little family participated in a 5k on Saturday. We have done this one for the past three years. The first year, I had both kids in a jogging stroller. The second year, our son “graduated” to walking and our daughter floated from stroller to walking and back again. This year, all four of us suited up; some to walk and some to run. Afterward, I was chatting with a friend and was telling him how proud I was of our son. He had run his first race with his father. My friend kind of chuckled and said, “And because he’s young he will probably go home and run another five miles in the back yard.” So true.

So as I watched her scamper around like the vibrant, energetic four-year old that she is I wondered…When do we stop running? Why?

Somewhere down the line we slow down, become more focused on “things” and “stuff”, worldly responsibilities creep in and consume our time, we smile less and complain more and even worry a little. Why is that? You’d think that as the days pass on- as we get one year older and one year closer to the Lord- it would be more natural to speed up instead of slowing down. That’s a lot to ponder.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

 Recently, I started walking through a Bible Study called “Restless” by Jennie Allen and I have been nothing but restless ever since. In the video, Jennie opens with a story about running that really opened my eyes. (Maybe that’s why watching my daughter run struck me the way it did.) I will refrain from writing a blog on the race…because, frankly my sweet sister in Christ, Danielle, has already made a masterpiece of that in blog form.  Anyways, while walking through the study last week, I had a restless revelation. After talking a spiritual gifts test (again) and reflecting on past hobbies etc…I came to the conclusion that I was wrong. Last week, I had no clue what my gifts and talents were. I thought I had none. Sure, I was good at stuff…but, did I have a spiritual gift that could be used to serve the Lord? What is MY purpose? Through this study on that particular morning I discovered that not only was I wrong, but I was wrong and actually USING my gifts and talents. While there are some areas that I need to allow God to fertilize and plenty of room for growth…I am blooming where I am planted. I was blown away. When I sat down to speak with my hubby about my discovery he said, “You really sell yourself short. I think that makes it harder for you to see the gifts and talents God has equipped you with.”

There is much, much more to this particular restlessness that I am experiencing, but it was too much for one post. I wanted to share this part today because I am excited. After beginning the race as a young girl- RUNNING; I stumbled and spent many years of watching the race from the sidelines. I re-entered the race with a cautious walk and eyes wide open, but I think in this portion of the race I have finally hit my stride! (At least in my current season.) To have confirmation from the Lord during that study and prayer time was just what I needed to hit that stride with the confidence I should have. IN HIM.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds

Hebrews 10:22-24

I have always loved that word…”Unswervingly”. Part of the purpose I believe God is pushing me toward is “how we may spur one another on” and I am excited to see what’s next.

Drenched by a slow drizzle

One of my friends sent me a text…”when it rains it pours”. It sure seems like that when the rain comes.

The past two weeks have been tough. I could compare myself to Job, but that would be ignorant. While hubby’s company seems to be struggling, he still has a job and we still have a roof over our heads. We have to dig up the front garden so we can get to the foundation to take care of some leaking or seeping there. Last week, our pup was sick and our septic system went into failure. We cannot do laundry and must wait another week until they can come do the perc test…which includes digging up a substantial portion of our front lawn. I cringe at the forecast of rain because that directly affects the root issue. (sigh) Our daughter is not feeling well and we just can’t pinpoint the cause and I have been struggling with a sinus and ear infection. As a matter of fact, we have been in a doctor’s office every day this week except Monday. The timing of the mounting medical expense is not good. After all, this septic thing is not going to be cheap. BUT, God has always provided for us and He is walking us through one step at a time. Until now, I had been taking everything in stride. After all, God is and has been very good to us. There are others around us who are struggling with life threatening illnesses and much larger struggles than the issues I just mentioned. Job? No. I have not lost my whole family…only one very important member.

It was supposed to be Spring Break. We were staying with family and were going to go to the zoo and maybe take in some museums. Yet, one thing after another seemed to de-rail that plan. On Tuesday, I tried to drive home with the kids but couldn’t go through the tunnel because of the pain in my ears and sinuses. The route we chose was so congested due to accidents that we finally turned around and stayed one more night. It was nice. More time with family and another night of antibiotics was just what I needed. The next morning we set out to go to the zoo, but ended up in an Emergency Care place instead. After a lot of tears (from me…not my kids) we finally made some headway and had lunch with a friend. Then I got the call…hubby said when he got home from work, he found our 11-year-old dog collapsed on the floor. He was struggling and things didn’t look good. I put the kids back in the car and we finished our drive. He called again when we got into the immediate area. The vet thought that Muddy had a tumor that had suddenly burst…his body temperature had dropped drastically and we had to hurry. The hardest part…telling our son that we were on our way to the animal hospital to see our dog for the last time. The second hardest part…watching my hubby cry as my son sobbed. The worst part ever…Muddy still had a fighting spirit and was trying to get up off of the floor as we lay there with him. He looked scared. But, I am so glad that this all happened suddenly and he didn’t have to suffer for a long period of time.

One rain drop at a time…a slow drizzle over the course of weeks. Now I am saturated…heavy…sad…worn. Like a sponge that has been completely immersed for a period of time, I need to be squeezed. A hug, maybe. I need God to wring me out. I am thankful for the truth speakers in my life: the ones who point me back to God when I am too focused on my stumbling feet. Especially the one who reminded me that my focus had shifted. I normally try to dwell on the positive and through God’s grace I had managed to remain a Philippians 4 girl.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Yes, my friend was right. I am looking more what is wrong this week and allowing that cloud to cast shadows on the abundance of what is good and right in my life. But, I have to be real with you- I am struggling this week. Walking with God doesn’t mean everyday is happy and sunny. Walking with God means that when it rains, God is the umbrella that gives me protection. Those periods of rain have the potential to result in beautiful growth.

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Matthew 7: 24-27

It’s not a matter of if the storms come…it’s just a matter of when. When the rain started falling and the water began to rise I looked down…I guess that’s natural. However, now I choose to rely on Him and not myself; Upon the strong foundation that HE built.

If you have been with me from the start of this blog then you know that I am a mom like many others. God teaches me through experiences with my kids, shows His face in the simplest of places and through everyday experiences. I love sharing those things…the good, the bad and the ugly. Most of those blogs include a positive lesson…something that God has shown me that I need to work on…or some affirmation or empathy. I struggled to write this particular blog today because, frankly, it’s a big downer. I am down but I am certainly not out. It’s time for me to start documenting my blessings more diligently again. Let’s get real-there is not one catastrophic event in this whole post. It’s not pouring…it’s just a slow and steady drizzle.

Then comes a blessing…the first one on the list as I start counting again. A sweet, small voice singing quietly in the back seat of the car. She sings like an angel. Do you know what song she chose?

Nothing could be closer to the truth. Amen.

Please pray for me this week. Pray for our daughter and her tummy troubles. Pray for our family as we try to deal with the loss of our “first child” and fuzzy companion. Pray for hubby as he endures challenges at work and at home. There’s a lot going on here and our sponge is saturated at the moment. Pray that the Lord will embrace our little family and squeeze out some of this heaviness today.