Monday, April 30, 2007

Wisdom of the Weeds

We spent the day today working in our yard. We weeded, planted, mulched, fertilized, and seeded! And, whew, we're tired! As I was weeding, I was thinking about the weeds and how they can be an object lesson for sin. There are the obvious large, prickly weeds that instantly stand out. These are like those glaring sins that are ever so apparent in our lives, the "biggies". But, then there are those other weeds. These are the weeds that look a little like common grass, that are small, and usually go unnoticed until they take over your flower bed. These are the weeds that (I was surprised to find out) have the deepest roots. I was thinking that's like those sins that aren't as noticeable. They are the more subtle sins but their roots are deep and they do a lot of damage. They may not seem like a big deal at first, they don't look that bad, but they are deceiving, slowly, surely spreading their roots in your life. I was praying that the Holy Spirit would reveal to me the sins in my life that were like these weeds. I'm sure He's going to keep working on my heart revealing more and more sins. One that He brought to my attention was that I have been using business as an excuse for laziness. It's true that I am busy, but it's like that weed. It's not that noticeable, but it's roots are going deep and spreading to the rest of my life. It is definitely an area that I need to work on, I don't want to, but I need to. I think that's all I'll say on that topic right now, it's a little painful on the pride to be admitting this much to you all! I want to share with you excerpts from Ryan's sermon on Sunday night, but I'll do that tomorrow. Suffice it to say, it was amazing!

Friday, April 27, 2007

New Lion!

Rylie is a member of the Toys R Us kids club, so for her Birthday they sent her a $3 gift card. We keep forgetting to use it, until tonight. I asked her if she wanted to go shopping at a toy store. Her eyes got big and she said "yes, I want a lion!". I asked her if she wanted a different toy but she was insistent on a lion, "it's my favorite!". After an hour and a half of searching and playing with almost every toy in the store, Rylie found her lion. "New lion, Mommy!" She promptly gave it a big hug and said, "It loves me!". That cracked me up. She hugged and kissed it the whole way to the check stand. She proudly gave the checker her gift card (after she tried to swipe it in the credit card machine). I asked her if she was hungry for dinner. She said she was and that her lion was hungry too. I inquired of her what kind of food her lion likes to eat and she said, "he eats leaves". I didn't want to tell her how carnivorous lions really are. We got a Jamba Juice ("pineapple one Mommy") and her lion had to have several sips of it (complete with sound effects). She told her lion, "You're lion" and then she changed her voice to a roaring voice and said "You're Rylie" to herself as if she was the lion. It was so cute! Then on the way home she said, "Lion likes to play, jump, jump, jump (as she's making him jump) and he likes to hop, hop, hop". When we pulled into the garage she said, "Lion, we're home, I'll show you Rylie's house". The whole thing was adorable! She was conversing so much tonight, not just talking, but actually conversing. She is a lot of fun to hang around with! We are very blessed!
I should note that she had a lot of fun with her Daddy today too. I had to work and she and Ryan go to have a Daddy day. They also went shopping and bought Flushed Away, a new lamp (which she proudly showed me as soon as I got home), and they surprised me with a new electric hand mixer. It was very nice! When I asked her if they had fun today she yelled a very enthusiastic "yes"!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday Thoughts

My Grandma could still use some prayer. She hasn't started radiation yet, she's waiting for her doctor to set it up. When they did the MRI the last time, they saw something on her thyroid. They weren't sure if it was just scar tissue or more cancer, so Monday, they are going to do a biopsy of her thyroid. Please pray that it's not cancer and most of all for her and my Grandpa's salvation!
We talked in Flock Group tonight about how the focal point of the entire Bible is Christ. He is the theme, it is not about a bunch of rules that we need to follow to be righteous. This is something I know and I would tell you if you asked me what the theme of the Bible is. But, as Ryan was explaining this tonight I was convicted that I have been viewing the Bible as a rule book for quite some time. I have been reading it to find out what I have been doing wrong and what I should be doing instead. I'm missing the whole point when I view the Bible like that. In my heart of hearts, I think I'm scared in a way to read the Bible in light of it being a way to know Christ better. This is something I'll have to figure out and work on. I've really been struck lately that it needs to be about a relationship, not rules. I know I've mentioned this before, but it's something I've known, but haven't put into practice and the Holy Spirit has really been working on me in this area. I think it's easier to follow a set of rules, then to have a relationship that is unknown. It almost feels mystical in a way and requires a lot of faith. I guess that's what it comes down to, I need to have faith that I can have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe and that He can have one with me. It doesn't take as much faith to follow rules. Anyway, I'm on this exciting adventure to deepen my faith and my relationship with the Lord. I feel very vulnerable. Anybody have any wisdom for me?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Boating Fun

Yesterday I had a day off! My parents asked if they could keep Rylie overnight on Sunday night and take her out on their new boat on Monday. We were a little reluctant about it, because we miss our girl when she's not there and my family has a history of disasterous debacles whenever there is a family outing. There was the time my brother fell and a stick impaled his calf and he had to have it surgically removed. Then there was the time he broke his arm, or the time my Dad capsized the boat and swallowed a bunch of gasoline from the motor. Or the time the freak windstorm raged through our camp site and a whole tree fell on our car. I could go on and on. When my family goes on vacation, the word spreads quickly and people start praying. So you can see why we weren't quick to let Rylie go on the boat with my family! She had a great day, she loved the boat and cried when it was time to get off. My Dad however, didn't have such a good day. On the maiden voyage of the boat he discovered that the person he bought the boat from had wired the steering wheel backwards so he couldn't steer the boat! Their trip was short, but for Abby and Rylie's first time on a boat, it was magical! They loved it!
Today, while we were shopping Rylie told me, "I'm going to go see Jesus". How do I respond to that? Good and a little wierd! I'm glad she wants to see Him, but I'm not ready for that!
She also said she saw Tinkerbell! "Look Mommy! See Tinkerbell flying in the 'ky!"

Monday, April 23, 2007

My Rylie Girl!

This picture was taken yesterday, before church. I thought she looked adorable in her fancy dress. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but the dress actually has a coat over it that is fancy like the dress. It came with a hat that she really wanted to wear, but it was too small to cover all that hair. It also came with bloomers that she proudly pulled on and said "big girl panties, just like Abby's". I didn't have the heart to remind her that she was still wearing her pull up under them. She quite enjoyed twirling around like a ballerina and watching her dress flow out. We have a Korean church that meets in our church after our morning services. The pastor and his wife of that church gave this outfit to Rylie for her first birthday, I've been waiting till it fit her. I remember thinking at the time that it would be forever until she could wear it. Now she's big enough! She is repeating everything, whole sentences! I love listening to her talk. She and I stopped at a garage sale yesterday afternoon and found her two new books. She was sitting in her car seat looking at them afterwards and saying, "New books, new books, new Dr. Seuss". I was so surprised, I hadn't told her at all that they were Dr. Seuss! She recognized the style and the picture of the Cat in the Hat (it was "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back"). I guess when Daddy reads her books he always tells her the author and the title. She loves reading and is starting to be interested in longer books now. I went through her bookshelves and pulled out the baby board books to make room for longer books. (I'm planning on doing a lot of garage sailing this summer and that's my favorite place to buy books!) It made me a little sad as I pulled out some of the books that she used to love as a baby. I just had to keep "Good morning Little Bert". That was her absolute favorite! She would have us read it to her over and over again! I love watching her little mind and heart develop! She is such a joy and blessing to us!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My Memory Verse

Philippians 4:5-7
"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday Thoughts

Lately, I've been feeling like my spiritual well has been dry. I know this is my own fault. I haven't been filling it regularly with the Living Water. I can make all kinds of excuses about being busy, etc. but they are just excuses. I do what I desire to do. But, this has been a new week and I've been working on filling my well back up. I want to share with you some of the things that have been pouring into my well. I do this mostly for my benefit, so it might seem random to you, I apologize for that.
Tonight, at Flock Group, Ryan shared with us his definition of love. It is a great definition, "Biblical love is unmerited, self sacrifice that is purposed on another's benefit for God's glory." God is glorified when we truly love another person, this needs to be our ultimate goal when we are loving someone else. We need to love sacrificially, the greatest example of this, of course, was Christ's willingness to become the object of God's wrath for us!
In Women's Bible Study we've been studying 1 Chronicles. Today we wrapped this book up. I realized that I learned a lot about the character of David. David was very human and yet God loved him very much. At first, I struggled with how he could have such a high standing with God, when he committed some pretty big sins (adultery, murder, etc.). It was neat to see though, how he always repented and God restored his relationship with Himself. God forgives us and He wants to have a close relationship with us. It was inspiring to study his life in a whole and observe his ups and downs and how he always came back into a right relationship with the Lord. I loved reading the Psalms in light of this and in light of the historical facts that were happening during the time the Psalm was written. It brings color to the chronicles. We started looking at 2 Chronicles today also. This focuses on the life of Solomon, David's son. From the very first verse of the book, we are reminded that it is God who makes us great! It is apart from our own foolish tendencies. I know I will have many more lessons that I will learn from Solomon's life, but one I learned today was that God blessed him with so much, but he took his focus off of God as the source of all blessings (David knew this to be true-1 Chron. 29), and just focused on the blessings themselves. It's a good reminder. I have so many blessings from the Lord. I need to focus on Him and how grateful I am to Him, not focus on the blessings and loose sight of God.
I have been reading Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. She has a quote in there that spoke to me about contentment and perspective. "Two women looked through prison bars, one saw mud, one saw stars." The right perspective is vital to contentment!
If you have read any of my other Thursday Thoughts, you know that I love my book of Puritan prayers, The Valley of Vision. This weeks prayer is entitled, "The Mover" and I want to share a few sections from it. "Thou dost not move men like stones, but dost endue them with life, not to enable them to move without thee, but in submission to thee, the first mover. . . Who made me to differ, but thee? for I was no more ready to receive Christ than were others; I could not have begun to love thee hadst thou not first loved me, or been willing unless thou hadst first made me so. . . Let wrath deserved be written on the door of hell, but the free gift of grace on the gate of heaven. I know that my sufferings are the result of my sinning, but in heaven both shall cease." Ryan and I have been discussing the juxtaposition (seemingly?) of election for salvation and/or free will and the sovereignty of God. I thought this prayer spoke to some of that. And, what a praise to know that in Heaven, we will no longer sin, nor suffer as a result of our (or others) sin!Can't wait!
Psalm 19 is such a rich Psalm! I wanted to share some thoughts from it with you all, but there is quite a bit in that Psalm (plus I had thoughts from Ps. 20-21 too). Also, this post is very long as it is, so I recommend that you read Psalm 19 yourself!
Thanks for listening to my random thoughts of the week!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Miscellaneous Musings

My Dad has been preaching through 1 John and focusing on the vital signs of Christianity, how to tell if you're a true Christian or not. Today he focused on the comprehension of truth. He said that the definition of truth is: "That which is consistent with the mind, will, character, being, and glory of God; the self expression of God. God is the author of all truth." It was a good reminder in this postmodern world, where truth is relative, that there is absolute truth and God is the author of that truth. There are a lot of false teachers out there and he gave a good reminder of how to spot them. He said to not believe what men have said about the Word of God over what the Word of God says about men. If they deny the preexistence and the incarnation of Christ, they are not of God. Good reminders! Thanks Dad!
I love how much Rylie is talking now! It's so fun to have conversations with her. The other day, I asked her what her favorite t.v. show is. She told me "Dora and Little Bear" and then said, "and you, Mommy? Your favorite show?" It was cute that she was conversing back and asking me a question. Last night we were snuggling in her rocking chair and talking about when she was a baby and I was feeling all sentimental and I was singing to her and she looked up and grabbed my face and pulled it to her and gave me a kiss. It was priceless! There are some moments that I will never forget and that was one of them!
Who do you want to win the Apprentice? I can't decide. I'm almost rooting for Frankie. I didn't like him at first, but the more I watch him, I think he would do a good job. He definitely has passion and enthusiasm.
I had more things I wanted to talk about tonight, but my brain is too tired to remember! I wish I could capture all of the things Rylie does and says to share them with you!
p.s. Luke came to church today! He looked great! He has a followup appointment on Tuesday, after that he should be able to eat solid food! Praise the Lord!

Congratulations Rachel and Luke!

Congratulations to our friends, Rachel and Luke who got married yesterday! We are so happy for them! Rachel has been a big part of our lives since she was a little girl, and has turned into a great friend! We love Luke but are a little upset with him that he's taking our Rachel away! (They are moving to the state he lives in.) They had a beautiful, Christ centered wedding and we were thrilled that they let us be a part of it! I did the guestbook and Ryan had the privilege of doing their very first communion as husband and wife (and he got to do their premarital counseling)! We love you guys!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Abby Pictures For Aunt Paula (Love You!)

Thursday Thoughts-Contentment

I think a lot of people struggle with contentment, especially women for some reason. I know it is something I struggle with. I read some things on contentment yesterday, while waiting for Luke to get out of surgery. I thought I would share them with you.
"Contentment is a state of the heart, not a state of affairs. . . At all times, in all circumstances, Christ is able and willing to provide the strength we need to be content. Contentment occurs when Christ's strength is infused into my weak body, soul, and spirit." (Linda Dillow, "Calm my anxious heart")
"Contentment is essentially a matter of accepting from God's hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good." (J. I. Packer)

Pam's Email Update About Luke

Yea!! Luke is home now! My sister-in-law, Amy, sent out an email yesterday telling about Luke's surgery but I thought I would give a few more details. The surgery was almost cancelled the night before but our surgeon moved his surgeries around so that we didn't have to put it off for a few more weeks again. So, Luke had Dr. Woods' second surgery of the day instead of his first which was a little harder on Luke because he had to fast for a really long time before the surgery. (About 11 hours). We were very happy that we didn't have to reschedule it again though. Luke went away with the surgical team without any protest and they had him to sleep about a minute after he left us. That was at two. The surgery started at about three and it was over just before five. Luke had a hard time coming out of anesthesia but once he had a few ounces of pedialyte and a few ounces of formula and the other pain meds kicked in he slept pretty good for the rest of the night. In the morning Luke was a slightly drugged version of his normal happy self. He was pulling off his heart monitor leads and blowing raspberries at the nurses and doctors! They said he was ready to go once they pulled the drain from one of his incisions and pulled his IVs. He was happy to get rid of all of that stuff. So, we came home at noon and Luke has been resting most of the day. He is only on baby Tylenol and Motrin. He is a champ and we are very proud of him and thankful to the Lord for this chapter to finally be coming to a close. Luke will probably be able to eat baby food tomorrow and we are all excited about that! (Especially Abby and Luke!) Speaking of Abby, she also did really well with all of this. She gave her brother hugs and kisses before the doctors took him to "cut him". Then she went into his recovery room after his surgery and sang songs to him and "petted" him. She is a good sis! I wanted to thank everyone again for all of the prayers. God truly does hear and answer the prayers of those who love Him. He brought Luke through this even better than the doctors had hoped for. They did the whole surgery thorascopically and his recovery time in the PICU was less than half as long as they had anticipated. God is good! Thank you all again, we are blessed with such good family and friends!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Luke's Going Home!

Luke is doing so good that the doctors are going to discharge him around noon today! Praise the Lord!

New Blog

I have a friend, Stephanie, who has been a friend and a little (adopted) sister to me for years! She was our neighbor growing up and has remained a part of our family. We were even in each others weddings! She and her husband, Ryan, are currently living in North Carolina getting prepared for the mission field! Ryan is in aviation school. I just found out about their blog, - go check it out! They could use a lot of prayer as they prepare for this awesome service! (It's also going to be under "My Favorite Blogs", so you can look at it anytime!)

Luke's Surgery Went Great! (This is my email that I sent to everyone)

Hi all! I'm writing on behalf of Pamela because she's staying the night with Luke at the hospital. For those of you who haven't heard yet, Luke's surgery went wonderfully well. The time was delayed a bit, due to having to wait for his surgeon to get out of the previous surgery, so it didn't start till almost 3:00. It lasted about 2 hours, which was the minimum length they said it would take. They were able to do the surgery thorascopoly which meant he only had to have 3 little incision holes instead of them opening up his chest and cracking his ribs. That was a praise! The surgeon said that Luke did great and there were no complications. The surgery was very successful! He has a drainage tube coming from his chest and if that continues to drain well through the night, they will remove it tomorrow and he could go home as early as tomorrow! Another huge praise! He is now in the PICU (another praise, a room opened up!), and is in some pain, (poor little thing even whimpers in his sleep! ) but they are increasing his pain meds. He was able to take some formula and some pedialyte and should be able to eat real food tomorrow! All in all, he is doing incredibly well! Matt and Pam wanted me to thank everyone for your prayers and love and support! Our God is great! Please also remember Matt tomorrow in his presentation phase of his fire department interview. Pam will be trying to get some rest tomorrow morning, as she'll be at the hospital all night tonight, so if you want to call, you might want to wait until the afternoon. Thanks!
Love, Amy

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Raspberry Pie Face and Luke News

Rylie loved Easter leftovers for dinner tonight, but especially the raspberry pie! She was extra excited when she saw the whip cream! I realize in subtle ways everyday how she is growing up before my very eyes. I was watching her play today with her dolls in her dollhouse. In her sweet little girl voice, she said, "I put the blanket on you. Night, night baby". And leaned over and kissed the little doll. A couple of months ago, she would have said, "blankik, night, night". She is talking so well lately, using full sentences. She has a very sweet, tender heart. She is constantly bringing me her toys or sharing her food with me and telling me, "for you, Mommy". Whenever someone gives her something, she makes sure I get to hold it or have some of it. When she was taking her bath tonight she told me, "Love baby Luke, I miss him". We haven't been able to spend time with him or his family for a couple of weeks because he has had to be in quarantine so he could be healthy for his surgery. His surgery is tomorrow at 10:00. The hospital called Pam tonight and changed the time from 8 until 10. As of right now, the PICU is full, so Luke might have to go to a regular room. Please pray that a bed in the PICU will open up. If he's in there he will have more attention and it is more sterile. Please pray for Luke during the surgery and afterwards while he is recovering. I will do an update whenever I get home from the hospital. I asked Rylie where we are going tomorrow, she said, "hospital", I asked why, she said, "Baby Luke 's heart be fixed". We prayed for him and she said, "Jesus take care of him". We know He will!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

He Is Risen!!!!

Happy Easter! I am so thankful that Jesus didn't stay in the tomb, but that He rose again on the third day! He is alive! Or as Rylie told me in Sunday School, "He arose!" Speaking of Sunday School, her teacher (Jacki) was telling the kids that people are bad and that's why Jesus had to die on the cross. Rylie gets out of her chair, goes up to the front of the class where Jacki is, and announces very loudly to her whole class, "My Mommy is bad!"! Thanks sweetie! (I don't know what Ryan's been telling her!)
We had a great Easter lunch with Mom and Dad and Elisa, Bryan, and Gabe. We had lots of good food and fun! Hope you all had a great time today and took a little time to reflect on the reason for the day, He is alive!

Friday, April 6, 2007

We Have Poop!

I'm sorry if that title is offensive, but I am very excited! Rylie went poop in the potty today! This is the first time she has done this and it's a big potty training milestone! I was at work today, so she was with my Mom. My Mom knew it would be a big deal to me. She had Rylie call me at work and tell me! I told Rylie how happy I was for her, she was very proud of herself! Two days ago, I put her in panties for about an hour. Right away, she wet them, but then after I put clean ones on her, she stayed dry for a long time. Yesterday she went pee three times on the potty after she initiated the trip to the potty. Today, other than the poop, she went pee everytime she sat on the potty! Once again, I'm sorry if this post is offensive or gross, I never imagnined that I would be excited about bathroom functions, let alone talking about them to everyone! But, now, I'm very excited! Any other Mom's been there?

Thursday Thoughts - Kind of

The bulk of Thursday Thoughts is postponed until my thoughts are comprehensive. However, I do want to mention a couple of things:
First, Happy (belated) Birthday to Dan and Clayton! It was such an amazing gift three years ago to Dan to have Clayton born on his Birthday (way to go Sara!). When I called Clayton to wish him "Happy Birthday" he said, "Aunt Amy, it's my Birthday NOW!", with all the excitement of a three year old!
My Grandpa now has a lump of some sort in his breast tissue! He had to have a masectomy a few years ago (yes they do do them on men too) and he's now having some pain. He has to have an MRI. Please pray for him and his salvation. We should be hearing any time if my Grandma still needs radiation, and when.
Please keep praying that Luke will get over this little cold so surgery can proceed next Wednesday!
For some odd reason, Rylie had a complete meltdown in the bathtub Wednesday and was terrified that there were sharks in her tub! I have no idea where she got that notion! She was sobbing! Then I put her on the potty and she said, "Sharks in potty?" When I assured her there weren't any, she said, "Sharks in sink? Sharks in my towel?" She finally said she needed to be a towel baby, so I told her that she had to take a bath before she could be a towel baby, and that worked. The whole rest of the day, whenever she would talk to someone, she would say "no sharks?"!
The picture from the Wordless Wednesday post is from Key Center, WA, near Gig Harbor. Our friends have a vacation house there that they let us use for free. We've been going there (as a family, and as a couple) for over ten years!
Rylie has now learned that Jesus is God! I don't think she understands all the ramifications of that, but at least she's getting used to the fact. During our Women's Biblestudy she's in the nursery with "Auntie" Susan. Susan has decided to teach these little ones during that time instead of just watching them! I'm so thankful for that! Yesterday Rylie learned about Samuel. She told me "he obeyed God". It's so exciting to watch her learn! She really wants to help around the house too. Last night we were playing with stickers together and I said that I need to get up and clean the house and she said, "Mommy, I'll clean the house!" It was sweet. She brought me a sippy cup the other day and I told it was dirty and asked her to put it in the sink. A little while later, I found it in the bathroom sink! She told me the other day, "Mommy get your broom, my toes are dirty"! She says so many adorable things during the day, I wish I could remember them all to tell you!
I'll work on my usual Thursday post later! Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Luke News, King Felix, etc.

Luke's surgery has been rescheduled for next Wednesday instead of this Thursday. There was another baby that had a more emergent need for surgery and the PICU was also full, so Luke got bumped. But, it's a blessing in disguise because Luke is starting to get the sniffles and this gives him time to get better before the surgery. Keep praying for him and Matt and Pam.
Grandma's recovering great! Thanks for all your prayers!
We love King Felix! He is the starting pitcher for the Marineers (for those of you who don't follow baseball), and he is only 20 years old! He is amazing! Yesterday, opening day, he had 12 strikeouts no runs alowed! This has not happened since 1967! He is also one of the youngest starters for an opening day! Of course the M's won yesterday and as I'm writing this they are in the bottom of the 9th and are up 4 on the A's! (And by the way, Eric and Dad, this is better than that other team on the East coast that exists solely for the media. "America's Team" my big toe! Rylie had it exactly right today when she said, "Boo Yankees!"!!!) Sorry for that rant (really only a minor rant, I could go on. . .)! Kudos to Dave Niehaus, he has over 4,000 broadcasts for the Mariners under his belt! I know it's spring and the sun is starting to shine when I hear his voice!
I want to recomend a web site: It has great craft/activity ideas for kids. You can even search for ideas that are specific for a certain age group, holiday, or season. They have free printables, and a free email newsletter also. It's worth checking out. Tomorow Rylie and I are going to try out a craft idea that I read about using uncooked rice that I dyed with food coloring. If it turns out, I'll post pictures of it. I'm wanting to do some homeschooling with her now, anyone have any good ideas of craft projects, lesson plans, etc.? I know she's only two, but she really wants to learn and she's grasping left/right, shapes, colors, numbers, etc.
(Mariners just won! They're starting off the season on a great note, 2 and 0! Go Mariners!)
My brother is in the hiring process for a professional firefighter postition, a Lieutenant actually. He has made it past the first round and now has to give an oral presentation next week. If he makes that then he will have an interview with the Chief. Please pray that he gets this position!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

New Blog

My oldest friend, Wendy (not in age, but in longevity), has just started her first blog! The link is under "my favorite blog" tab, but I'll also give it to you here: ! Check it out!