Sunday, July 26, 2009

This Little Light of Mine...

I am guest posting on Who Says 8 is Enough today. My new blog buddy, Debi, is an amazing woman of God with a true heart for children and Life! She hosts Baby Picture Sundays and is taking a couple weeks off for packing and moving...ugh. That gives me unsavory flashbacks. Good Luck Debi! My prayers are with you!

"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" Matthew 6:22,23

We were praying this scripture over families during an intercession set at the Orlando House of Prayer - claiming purity and setting our hearts upon the Lord. And I was struggling with this question: How can we help our children's eyes remain good, bright? While we may try to shield them from the darkness of the world, they still have to live in it. We can try to guard their hearts, limit their exposure to media, keep them close. But, can any of that ensure that they will stay children of light? I repent of the hours I've let slip by while my own have been fed on Spongebob Squarepants and Star Wars. I desire that they would hunger after God the way they crave pepperoni pizza. I cried out, "Lord, how can I feed them LIGHT?" And you know what? He actually answered me.

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light" Eph. 5:8 and after that, "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house." Matt. 5:15

Oh! How I love when the Word of God becomes a conversation!

So, by keeping my eye good and being full of God's light, I can give light to my whole family. But, I can't keep it to myself; I have to let it shine and touch their lives intimately. I have to feed them the fruit Holy Spirit has grown in me: goodness, righteousness, and truth. But, it doesn't stop with me! Their light shines for me as well. How often has a black cloud over my head been blown away by the smiles, hugs, and bright eyes they have for me! How often has this happened to you?

I am so blessed and continue to be amazed by GOODNESS. Once again, I return to a simple Sunday School song: "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine! Hide it under a basket? NO! I'm gonna let it shine!"

Saturday, July 25, 2009

So Tired It Hurts

Do you ever have those days where it feels like you're dragging around the weight of the world? You start in the morning confident and positive, thinking: "this isn't so bad, I can handle it." Later, toward lunch time, the kids start whining for food and they're being so rotten you just want to put them down for naps without eating. When they do finally go to sleep, you're just so relieved and tired, you don't even want to eat. As the day wears on, that pain in the back of your head works its way solidly down your neck and creeps through your shoulders. You force yourself to eat, try some caffeine to see if it will help, but nothing does. You can barely move now because the world is heavy, and you are small. It doesn't help that 3 little ones keep hanging on to you. I love my family - I really do, they are my treasure on earth. But, these days make it hard to remember why. I think it's time to put the world down, let someone else handle it for a while, and get my husband to rub my shoulders. If he's not too mad from when I snapped at him a while ago...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Thursday

I am participating in a new blog party theme day because I think it rocks! This is hosted by Nicole over at What a Trip! She is a mom of 6, so she's a little behind me, but the youngest are triplets. I think she wins the prize. I thanked God every time I saw only one baby at the ultrasounds. He knew what I could (and couldn't) handle!

Anyway, I am thankful this week for many, many things. Little things like Sabina talking more completely: "I wanna banana." Also, big things like God making a way for me to spend mornings with Him at OHOP in the prayer room. He is meeting me there and starting me on journeys in the Word I never would have taken otherwise. I am thankful for libraries with Max and Ruby books by Rosemary Wells. I am so amazingly thankful for AIR CONDITIONING!!!

I also thank God that He brought us to Florida where we are having so many adventures. Outside & inside...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Missing the Kiddos

Well, it's true. I'm missing my 4 oldest kids who have been "away" on vacation to the Midwest for the last (almost) 3 weeks. True, I did get to fly out with them and spend time with Cecelia and Keliah while I was in Omaha, but I'm a bit "kidsick" (i.e. homesick). Antonio and Rocky went to Oklahoma almost right away to stay on the farm with my Aunt and Uncle. They'd already had adventures with horses, fireworks, fishing and a coyote-mauled kitten by the time I flew home. Plus, they got to examine Uncle Rodney's collection of rattles from the snakes he's killed so far this summer. Joy. The girls went to Oklahoma with my parents, my sister and her family a couple days after I left. They got some farm time in and visited all my grandparents that week. Now, the boys are in Lincoln with Nick's parents and his grandma for a fun-filled week. The girls have already managed a sleep-over at Aunt Holly and Uncle Michael's house with Sophia and little Hope. Today, they're having a Fancy Nancy party at Granny's house to be thoroughly girly and frou-frou. Soon, it will be their turn to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's and the boys will finally get to relax at Granny and Papa's house. Although, they've had this summer vacation planned so full, I bet there's not much time allowed for resting. My dad may think that would be a good idea, but if I know my mom she's got lots of interesting possibilities lined up already. Maybe a return trip to the zoo? Movie night? Activity time at the Library?
I just wish they'd write me a letter.

True, I've gotten to talk to all of them on the phone, but a letter is something special. I better write one to them today!

They'll be home in a week and 2 days. My parents are flying with them to have a vacation of their own here in Florida. It's been almost 7 months since they saw Carlo, Luca and Sabina, and I know my mom is dying to teach the word "Granny" to Sabina. I've been trying to tutor her a little. So far, though, all I've gotten out of her is "Yeh-yeh" the name for Grandpa on "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan" on Nick Jr. The bilingual Chinese-American adorably kawaii show is totally addictive and I think my 3 youngest love it as much as lollipops. It's certainly as sugary. (I have not been paid for or asked to mention this show.)

Anyway, as I was saying, I'm missing my big kids a bit. Yesterday, I resorted to Antonio's favorite exclamation: "OH! Dis!" It was slightly nostalgic and made me giggle. I better get on the ball and get the clean sheets on and restore their rooms to temporary tidyness. The next week and 2 days is going to fly by and then we will be restored to normal chaos.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Flying with Daddy

Towing the plane out to the tarmac. Daddy is so strong!

Last week, I had the exciting privilege to go flying with my Daddy. He joined the Air Force straight out of college to be a pilot and realized his dream by flying B-52 bombers. However, most of his career in the service was on the ground, "flying a desk" as he called it. He retired just after Nick and I got married and has since done quite a bit of flying. He's taught private lessons, even did a stint as a charter pilot, and is currently working at the Aero Club on Offutt Air Force Base as chief flight instructor. (I may have that title wrong, but believe me, it's something equally impressive. ;) Anyway, my dad, Jim Newman is a pilot and occasionally does some joy flying, especially when the grandkids are around. He's also the pastor of a church, has been married to my mom for 35 years and has 9 grandchildren. Quite impressive, no?

The view up here - river, crops, roads, God's good earth

It was fun to go up with him in a tiny 4-seater for about half an hour. We flew from the base (on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River), over to the outskirts of Council Bluffs, Iowa where we (kind of) saw my parents' house, then south a little to see the bluffs, farmland, the Platte and Missouri rivers join, a racetrack, and even a golf course with the Omaha skyline on the horizon before landing again. The engine was noisy so we wore headsets with microphones to communicate. Keliah's voice was heard often, I think she was getting a kick out of it. She even asked quite loudly when the radio chatter was going to stop. Daddy said he thinks that the controllers must go home tired out from talking all day. (I think sometimes that happens to Keliah, who doesn't want to talk to me on the phone. What, you're eating bagels? "Yes." Are you having fun? "yes" Did you ride the horse? "yes" What's up with that?)
Cecelia and Keliah - enjoying the flight

I only had one moment of fright during this time. When we were about to take off, Daddy turns to me and says, "If my seat for some reason falls back suddenly when we take off, just pull this black knob so we don't flip over." Uh, okay. Inside, I'm praying this doesn't happen because my brain would probably freeze!
Thank you, Daddy, for a great day. It was a great chance to appreciate the glorious beauty God has created for us to enjoy. How green the grass and fields! How lovely the winding river! How amazing the farms and roads, bridges and cities that we small humans have created with the talents God has given. And, how incredibly blessed I am to have you for my earthly father. Love you!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wonderful, so wonderful...

Above you'll see Cecelia (8) cradling her new little cousin, Hope, during our recent visit. Do you see how amazed and in awe Hope seems while looking at Big Girl Cecelia? Can you tell the love and tenderness, even protectiveness, Cecelia feels toward newborn Hope?

This is a portrait of me (all of us) and God. I am amazed and in awe of God - Big, All-Powerful, Incredible God. How can it be that I am made in His image? How can I compare to Him in any way? And God - well, of course, he sees me with love and tenderness. He cradles me in a sweet protective embrace. He also recognizes my holiness and knows how much I still have to grow. He knows I am destined to become more like Him; I just can't see it yet since I am so small and immature.

Oh, Lord, I love you. Let me see with Your eyes for just a while. I could use some sight-seeing time of the AWESOME!

There is a great worship song called Beautiful One with the words: "Wonderful, so wonderful is Your unfailing love; Your cross has spoken mercy over me. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart could fully know how glorious, how beautiful You are." This is how I feel today. Actually, the whole song's lyrics are exactly what I'm talking about! "You opened my eyes to Your wonders anew, You captured my heart with this love,'cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as You."

My heart is full of Him.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Baby Picture Sundays - Gimme Some Sugar!

This is Sabina the day after Easter - the chocolate bunny didn't know what hit him. ;)
I realized in all the really cute pictures I have of her, she has some kind of sweet substance around her mouth. Now, when my Grandma asked me to "gimme some sugar," she wanted a kiss from her grandbaby. More than likely, if I ask Sabina to gimme some sugar, I'll get some candy with that kiss.

Hmm... I do really like chocolate kisses.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

This is my sweet baby niece, Hope, on the day I said good-bye. She's a pretty emphatic napper. It was so great to see her and hold her and revel in the newborn-ness of her. There is something magic about babies. Anyway, I had a great visit with my family and even snuck in a brief visit with my in-laws, who are big blessings. My sister, Holly is handling the transition from being mom of a preschooler to being mom of 2 (one of which is totally dependent, and the other making a big adjustment to life as "not the baby") very well. I think as soon as her stitches fully heal, she'll be ready to take on this new life with all her usual passion! Please continue to pray for Hope's right ear. They have an appointment with a specialist in September to determine if her inner ear is developed, and what the future looks like regarding her ear. Her ear canal is closed, so right now we don't know if she has hearing on that side, or not. Her other ear is perfect, though, just like the rest of her.

I'm glad to be home with Nick and my 3 little ones. They handled my absence well, but BOY, have they been clingy the past few days. On Thursday, they fought to sit on me. I spent a good part of the day watching Noggin with 3 kids laying, sitting, squishing on me.

I'm excited to be getting back to OHOP too. I will be spending a lot more time in the prayer room starting Monday. I need to concentrate my prayers and do the work God is calling me to! The whole family will be attending the set from 10-12 every Monday morning, so look out - here we come! We really feel like we should have the kids in the prayer room more, raising them up "in the temple" as it were. Hopefully, we'll have a crew of Samuels who will know the voice of God.

I'm gonna wrap this up and spend some QT with my Sweetie. Come back this week to hear more about my adventures in Omaha & Lincoln. Blessings!

Monday, July 6, 2009

On Vacation...

I feel bad about not posting for a week! It's been a crazy time, though. We had a houseguest from Kansas last week and then I flew out on Wednesday afternoon with our 4 oldest kids for Omaha. They get to have lots of fun visiting with grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins - not to mention long-time family friends in the midwest during the whole month of July. I flew up here for the week to visit with my parents and especially my sister, Holly, and her family. Her new baby girl, Hope, is 2 weeks old today! She is a doll and is good at sleeping and eating! Her big sister, Sophia, loves to tell everyone that they have a new baby girl. She also likes to be just a tiny bit bossy about how to act around Hope. But, hey, that's big-sister perogative, I think. I will have to post pics of them after I get home on Wednesday night because I forgot to bring my camera cord.

I'm packing in as much fun as possible over the next couple days, so you probably won't hear from me till Thursday or Friday. Tomorrow's schedule includes: a short sight-seeing flight with my dad who happens to be the pilot and my 2 big girls, a call-in meeting for OHOP, spending the afternoon with Holly and Hope, and possibly eating out and watching Monsters VS. Aliens. My time here is flying by, but I miss Nick and my 3 munchkins. It will be good to see their little faces again. In the meantime, I'm really not missing the mountains of laundry, dishes, and messy diapers. Please pray for Nick as he is doing a great job with them on his own. Thank you!