Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What are you waiting for?

I have something that I need to do and I don't want to do it. It involves taking an emotional risk with someone that is not entirely safe. I know that once I finally do it, I will be relieved. I even kind of know that this part- the waiting and dragging it out and dreading it- is probably worse than actually dealing with the thing. I read this today:
Jeremiah 1:17-19 Get up and get dressed. Go out, and tell them whatever I tell you to say. Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them. For see, today I have made you immune to their attacks. You are strong like a fortified city that cannot be captured, like an iron pillar or bronze wall. None of the kings, officials, priests or people of Judah will be able to stand against you. They will try, but they will fail. For I am with you, and I will take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken.

I love the get up and get dressed part. In my head I hear "Erika, put your big girl panties and DO the thing!". (I think I got that from Beth Moore.)

Jeremiah's task was much bigger than my own- so what am I waiting for?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Favorite Household Product

Today is a BIG cleaning day for me, and I'd like to take a minute to introduce you to the most amazing cleaning product ever. Really, if you haven't tried it, you must.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Big Boy

I am so proud of Carter today! He had impressions made for his hearing aids and did such a good job. Imagine having frosting stuffed in your ears- that is what it looked and felt like. Carter didn't even flinch. I know Jesus was there because sometimes Carter gags just looking at frosting!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Refugee Tuesday

Last year I was a part of a wonderful ministry opportunity that we call the Refugee Bible Club. This is an after school club for children who are brand new to the United States. Last year we had children from Iraq, Congo, Togo, Myanmar, Thailand, as well as other countries. We met every Tuesday afternoon to share the love of Jesus with these precious children by providing a healthy snack, game time, craft time and Bible stories. At least nine of these children gave their lives for Christ last year.

There are many ways you could be involved. We need drivers, snack providers, Bible teachers, greeters and about anything else you might have to offer. One great thing is that if you are a mom, you can bring your kids. Plus, what a great way to teach your children compassion for children in their own communities who have suffered much.

On Tuesdays, I will try to keep my blog updated with refugee information as well as updates from our Bible Club.

"He gives justice to orphans and widows. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. You, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt." Deuteronomy 10:18-19.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Follow ME

I have accomplished a goal I set for myself a few months ago- I can now run two miles (on a good day). For some of you, this is the puniest goal ever. For me, this is HUGE. I used to say "the only time I run is when someone is chasing me". Now, I own Saucony running shoes!

You know, when I first ran one mile, I was ecstatic. When I finally reached two miles, I was quite pleased with myself- until an ugly thought cropped up. A voice inside of me said "two miles is nothing, think of all the women you know who can run a marathon". I began wishing I could run a marathon and got down right discouraged when I thought "it is still so hard, after all these months of running, for me to run two miles, I will never be able to run a marathon". I felt like giving up. The joy of running I had felt was gone.

Then, I felt the Lord say to me, "Erika, did I ask you to run a marathon? Where did you get this idea that YOU should be running a marathon?". Oh. I guess I was comparing myself to my friends. The Lord impressed on me that I needed to keep my eyes on Him, not my friends. Oh, that is right! The Lord has given me tons of important work to do and that does not include training for a marathon at this time.

So, I have started just running for fun. No keeping track of miles. Just running for the exercise and sunshine.

Eyes on ME, Erika. Okay, Lord, eyes on YOU.

Friday, September 11, 2009

If You Need a Good Laugh-

(Before my home schooling friends think I'm mean, Tim Hawkins home schools his kids, so he can get away with this.)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Vegetarian for a Day

I've been hearing of a concept lately that involves going vegetarian for one day a week. I like this idea a lot. Sometimes I think about becoming vegetarian again (I did this once and the whole thing fell apart when I became pregnant with Evelea and craved hamburgers like nobody's business). I know I will never actually become vegetarian again because I already don't eat wheat or dairy, and Carter is severely allergic to nuts, and anymore restrictions would make meal planning total nightmare. Plus, I like meat too much. Things I like about about going vegetarian for a day a week:
  • health benefits
  • saves money
  • saves the planet
  • I get to use my delicious vegetarian recipes
Here is my Vegetarian Chili recipe to get you started:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 can 28oz diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
2 15 oz cans of black beans
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup canned corn
2 teaspoons of minced canned chipolte chilies
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed oregano
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in pan, add onion, red & green pepper, garlic- cook until tender. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chili powder, chilies,oregano, cumin and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to how, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stir occasionally. Stir in corn, cook another five minutes. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It Just Doesn't Get Easier

... but I do get wiser, mostly.

Yesterday, I took Carter to Lutheran General for a follow-up appointment from his tonsillectomy. We also met with the cardiologist briefly. There were times yesterday that I felt quite the expert "mother of a special needs child" and other times I had the helpless, I-just-got-kicked-in-the-gut-again, feelings.

Expert Mother said, "No, I am not going to allow Carter to have that particular blood test at this time. This isn't something he needs urgently and he has had too much trauma lately to put him through anything else right now."

Expert Mother said, "I would like to get a second opinion before he is fitted for hearing aids."

Fraidy Cat Mother left the cardiologist still confused about the course for restarting the medication. I knew what I thought was right, but chickened out on confronting the doctor and thought "I'll just call back later and figure this out."

At the end of our three and a half hours at LGH, I felt exhausted and exhilarated. I had stood up for Carter when it counted. I felt beat down with the knowledge that he probably does need hearing aids, but proud of myself for seeking another opinion (and a closer to home opinion).

Having a child with special needs can be very difficult. There is so much responsibility, so much research to do, so many appointments to keep. I need to find ways to encourage my son. Hearing aids are cute on a four year old, but require a certain finesse for the fourteen year old to feel good about himself while wearing them.

One thing the Lord keeps telling me is that I need to go to Him to refuel. He has given me this difficult life, and He has the power to make it beautiful. I want to be a woman at rest in the Lord. He is Carter's Heavenly Father. That is all I need to know.