Thursday, November 13, 2014

Still Here...

It has been a while, but we're still here! Occasionally in recent weeks I have journaled in my head hoping to find a time to transfer thoughts into type, but then the opportunity or the energy seemed never to come. I keep telling myself not to give up on this journal, just to write about the present and not feel obligated to fill in all the blanks.

But now there is a moment, at least to get started. I am watching over the kids as they play in our cold pool. They have wetsuits on and are cruising around on an unusable inflatable mattress before we throw it out. The boys are having a grand time; Olivia is frowning because she wishes they would just sit still and relax.

The seasons are changing, but we've had some hot days nonetheless. Marine fog has been rolling in at night, and our mornings have been blanketed under a tick duvet of white. It makes the atmosphere quiet, cozy, and relaxed. I'm thankful for this weather change, thankful for the atmosphere it brings. I think we all are appreciating it.

I have felt on the verge of burn out more than once this fall, like I'm tinkering on the edge of determined "I can do this," and fear of "I'm going to snap!" It does no good to rehash all the circumstances but it would seem that many areas of my life (spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, ministerial) have been under attack or strain. I feel weak, weary, and tired. Today there was something new, another unexpected trouble, right in the middle of the morning. Sometimes, though, there comes a point when it seems almost laughable because of the irony!

I had a little melt down several weeks ago. Maybe it was more like a tantrum. Sometimes I think the Lord needs to bring me to the end of myself so that I see my need for help. I have needed help but didn't want to admit it. I prefer to think of myself as capable, and the giver of help rather than the receiver. Then there's my husband, the perfect mate for me. He is so understanding. Maybe not in a way that says he gets me, but definitely in a way that says he loves me. More than once I have thought of the verse in Ecclesiastes 4 that says, "Two are better than one... For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow." He has made sacrifices for me that say he loves me, and I am so grateful for him and for the way he leads us.

The Lord always know just what we need and when we need it, so He also sent me my mom. She braved air travel in America where the English is harder for her to understand and she came to spend a week with me. She did not know how I had been doing or that I was needing help, and her visit (which are quite rare) providentially came at the very best time. She came and she served. She just lived with us in the midst of our normal chaos, helping out where it was needed. She ironed a heap of clothes, cleaned off shelves, helped prepare meals, managed the kitchen each night after dinner, and cheered me on with her encouragement. I finally felt like I was able to climb up and out.

So these are good things from God: humility, a loving husband, a serving mother. I can't help but so say that I am thankful.

There has been plenty of good in other ways. We hosted a game night for the youth group of our church last Friday night, and the whole evening was such a good time. There were kids everywhere in my house! I have committed to helping out with youth events - something that is so good on so many levels. A few weeks ago I helped to organize a beach night, and next month it will be a Christmas party. I've had fun doing it, our family enjoys those occasions, and Olivia has been so appreciative that I'm enabling relationships and social time for her. Besides serving the church, I hope to foster good friendships and to promote an environment within our family where my growing kids know their friends are welcomed in our home, and that we (their parents) are invested in the relationships they have with others. The youth leaders are pretty rad, too, and I enjoy getting to know them.

We have a few more weeks of sports left, but already things are wrapping up. Olivia's soccer team won their last play-off game last weekend. It was such a good season for her. She has come out of her shell a bit since the beginning of the season-- for her, girls are harder to play with/against than boys!

In other news from this week, Jacob swallowed his loose tooth at lunch time, and I pulled an old thorn out of his scalp. He wasn't surprised at all when I found it, and casually said, "Hmph. No wonder my head hurt." His head is such a attraction for injury: His nose and both brows are scarred, his head is recovering from a bad fall on the cement several months ago that left him with a temporary bald spot, and his eyeball was nearly shot with Andrew's arrow (it got the lower lash line-- imagine my fright when he came in with what looked like a bleeding eyeball). Some boys are like that. Injury finds them.

Also, Andrew's braces have recently come off. I'm still not used to his new smile, and his cuteness makes me laugh each time he does. He is finally getting over the awkwardness of flashing his new teeth. Now it he can only manage to not loose or break his retainer...

Most of the time my mom visited, one or both of our vehicles were in the shop. It meant there wasn't much opportunity for going out, but we did manage to make it to some tide pools and into the historic part of the city.

It's a boys' paradise.

Olivia's painting from an afternoon not too long ago. It reminds me of my home province, Qu├ębec.

I read this the other morning in a little devotional...

“ ‘Only trust,’ is Jesus’ word. ‘This is all I ask of thee, the utmost thing I require at thy hand. I demand no costly sacrifice, no wearisome pilgrimage, no personal worthiness, no strength, wisdom, or endeavors of your own. Only trust me. Only believe that I wait to answer prayer, that I am gracious, that I have all power at my command, that I have your interest at heart, there is no good thing I am willing to withhold, that I, and I alone, can guide your present steps, can unravel the web of your difficulties, guide your perplexities, extricate you form the snares that have woven their net-work around your feet, and bring you through fire and through water into a wealthy place. Only trust me!’ ”

Octavius Winslow

Morning Thoughts, 539

And to that I say a hearty, "Yes!" Life is wonderfully simple for those who belong to Him.



  1. Thanks so much for this Katherine! I really could not have read it at a more needed time - so encouraging! It has brought 1 Corinthians 10:13 to my mind also in that we all struggle with the same stuff - that "no temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man..."

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Brooke, and for your sweet comment. I always marvel that my ramblings here could be an encouragement to others!! And you are right: At the core, our "stuff" is all the same. It's such a comfort to know that Jesus Himself experienced it all, and now He prays for us on our behalf!

  2. So thankful for the help the Lord brought your way. Love the pictures and update.


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