Thursday, November 10, 2011

Faith and Thankfulness in the Shadow of a Slow Heartache

I've had this post percolating in my heart all day long. While I'd rather not turn it into a blog entry for mass consumption, I can't ignore the pull to let the words spill from my spirit onto a blank canvas.

Here's the thing. I'm an eternal optimist. I don't struggle with faith in general. I take the promises in the Word and snuggle them up close to my heart. I believe them. I trust them. I'm not afraid that they won't bloom in due time-- because spring always comes-- even after the harshest winter.

But it's been a hard 2.5 years. At the end of the first year, I was saying, "It's been a LONG year." As year two closed in, I lamented, "What a rough two years! I'll be so thankful when we can move on." As we push toward year three in the mire, I can't help but feel a little battle weary.

Our journey has been so long and our story so very complicated. If I could put it into words, it would read more like fiction than reality. Only it's not. We've lived and breathed every last minute of it. And now, as the holidays near, I feel completely justified in throwing myself a little pity party as we're still waiting for a door to open for a new position for Jeremy.

In the midst of our lengthy season, my eyes have been opened wide to the needs that exist in the world. The hurt. The pain. The loneliness. The sadness. This season I am thankful for God's protection over our family and for the provision necessary to get us through this time. But this year too, I recognize how very difficult it is for so many people to find things to feel thankful for during the holidays. For once, I sort of understand why this season churns up feelings of just wanting to button up your heart and hide it away until the new year knocks on the door.

I don't want to do that. Well...not exactly. But I do see very plainly that for every single thing that I am thankful for this year, it's difficult to not recognize a lack of sorts too. I'm not saying (or even implying) that it's a bad thing to focus solely on our thankfulness, or that I'm not. I praise God moment by moment for His abundant blessings in my life-- of which there are so many. But this year, I do feel a little raw, vulnerable, sensitive and even a little disappointed.

So this season I'm going to invite God's promise to "work all things together for the good" (Rom. 8:28) to come alive in ways that I didn't ever expect. I will cling to faith that He has good plans for our family (Jeremiah 29:11-14). And I will do my best to choose thankfulness at every turn. This will be my final song:

You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I'm about to burst with song; I can't keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can't thank you enough. Psalm 30:11-12 (MSG)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Not Forgotten

Dear Blog,

I needed to drop in tonight simply to make my presence known. I promise that I have not forgotten about you or our blissful days together before the big move from Texas to Indiana. Right now my life isn't so conducive to blogging away for hours. However, hope is on the horizon! I look forward to returning soon with great new fodder to fuel our friendship. Please wait patiently. I will return. Cross my heart.

Missing you,

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Book, Fabric and Tanya Whelan

If you've been lurking around my blog for very long, you might remember that I have had a slight obsession with Tanya Whelan's "Darla" fabric line. It's amazing. I ordered yards and yards of it last year to make myself a quilt. Sad to say, I haven't made that quilt yet (but don't's coming for sure in the near future).

In the meantime, I want to show you this awesome book by Tanya Whelan. It's called Sew What You Love.

Will you show this book some love and head over to Barnes and Noble or Amazon to order your copy today? Check it out-- and then let me know what you love too!

*If you're interested in a free pattern-- and helping promote this great book, visit this post for details!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Country Air

This is the landscape that fills my dreams. These are the fields that bring deep still peace. The barnyard smells meander from a neighbor farm--hidden by corn and dirt and air.

Toads hopscotch down the gravelly drive. The silver grain bin holds treasure like an attic wonderland. Memories of days past float by in echos on the wind.

Hot dog roasts and home churned ice cream in the circle. I was maybe four. Too little to remember anything except the perfect simplicity of family laughing together. Joy of living-- near. Together.

It always draws me in. Like a magnet from the deep rich soil. Is my heart a compass?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Moment

Calendar filling-- square by square blue ink overcomes white space.

Blossoming life in stark contrast to the blank pages of the recent past.

Life marches on. Time never waits.

Wavering. Wondering. Hoping. Savoring.

Standing on the edge of something. Details still a haze. All joy present in the goodness of His provision.

Rest in the chaos. Blissfully simple life...

Unknown withstanding.

This post written to link up with The Extraordinary Ordinary's "Just Write" challenge. Join in?! Pretty please?

Just Write

Friday, September 9, 2011


During the 16 months that we spent down in Texas, I basically forgot what "overcast" looked like. You see, I'm especially fond of sunshine. But, I'll admit that it makes a grin spread across my face to look out the window on this particularly cloudy day and remember...the sunshine is just hiding behind the clouds. It hasn't left. 

How's that for a promise?

(Photo Credit)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The excitement and adrenaline of our big cross-country move has finally started to ebb a bit today. I knew that the moment would come, but I was hoping that another surge of "new" would carry us on through the home stretch.

You know: New state. New job. New place to call home. (the flow)

Instead, we're still just waiting patiently. The job hunt wheels are turning-- and that is encouraging for sure. But as we wait, our family is all spread out. Peyton is staying with my mom and dad because of his allergies while we're hunkering down with Parker out at my grandparent's house. It's such a blessing, yet we're all a bit off-kilter. There's just something irreplaceable about a routine.

We started homeschooling just this morning, and I'll admit, while it went swimmingly, it was a bummer to not have access to my drawers of supplies, my dry-erase board, wall-calendar, etc. But we're trudging forward. This time I'm not waiting on all of the pieces to be in place before we keep marching on (in a good sort of way).

We walk by faith, right?! He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. What an encouraging promise. Amen...let the river flow.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cousins and Mud Pies

This is Parker (and Peyton's) cousin, Claire. Claire is 4 months older than Parker. She's actually MY first cousin, but because of crazy age differences between us all in the family, she's my kiddos age! How fun is that?!

Parker and Claire decided to make some mud pies today 4-year-old style. Um...yum.

Time for a shower...

...with the hose! When the 100 degree heat follows you from Texas up to Indiana, you have to enjoy the sunshine and sprinkler time while you can. And after all, isn't that what Aunts are for? Thanks, Aunt Lori! 

(She's my aunt... and she just made the big[ger] move from Arizona back to Indiana-- we're all migrating back home! Yay! She's also my *much taller* twin.) 

Tomorrow the fun continues! 

In other news, we have the wireless internet all set up out here in the country, so hopefully I can pick back up on the blogging. I miss you all. ;)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Miss you!

We arrived safely in Indiana. I sure do miss you all, but for the short run, I'm working with a limited internet connection. I can't wait to update you. The weather is beautiful and the friends are bringing many smiles to my face! Yay...

In the meantime (until we "chat" again), keep those prayers comin'. Jeremy has an interview on Thursday. *Yay*...again.

I'll keep you posted. Miss you already...


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thank You, Mr. Penske...See You Tomorrow

Tomorrow we're getting up bright and early to head in to Tyler and pick up the moving truck. Do I hear a hip-hip-hooray?!

I miss my daily blogging, and by no means have I decided to stop just because my 30 days ended, it's just been a lil' bizzy around these parts.

No need to fret. Tomorrow we load Mr. Penske truck and come Friday morning, we're hitting the open road and trekking the 893 miles back home. Yes, home. (Aside: Please refer me to this post come February when I'm tired of dressing up like an Eskimo and hibernating in my house. Also, please remind me that it's no different from hibernating in the air conditioning in summer when it's 113 degrees outside in Texas. Because can add layers when it's cold, but even naked doesn't keep you cool when it's 113!)

Anyhow, I'll try to pick things back up when we get settled in. It'll be a few weeks of transition. We're staying with my grandparents until Jeremy has secured a position in Lafayette. Then, we'll be moving in to our new home-- which will deserve an entire blog post itself. Such a cool God-thing!

If you will, keep those prayers coming for our family. Jeremy has a few upcoming opportunities that we're cautiously optimistic about. It's honestly a beautiful thing to rest in God's perfect peace. We trust Him.

I can't wait to get up there and kiss my kiddos, pinch my nephew's sweet cheeks, schedule play-dates for my two peas, share my heart over coffee with friends, open our home to friends to watch some Colt's football, start a crafty-night with my cousin and some other precious friends, enjoy get-togethers with family...the list goes on and on and on...and it makes my heart overflow with gratitude.

I also can't wait for my niece to make her grand appearance. Little Miss Crosby, we're waiting. ;)

OK, enough rambling for tonight. It's time to get some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a BIG day.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

There's More Than Corn...

You know you're singing the song (if you're from):


That's right. Consider this the "official" announcement. This Thursday (yep, as in 1-2-3-FOUR days from now), we're packing up the Penkse. And first thing Friday morning, we're queuing up the iPod and cruising down the road from Lindale back home to Indiana.

We can't wait to soak in time with our family and friends. Oh sweet joy...

I'll keep posting more details as I can, but for now all that I know is that for the first time in my entire life, I'm ready to drink in the rain, let the cool breeze sweep my hair across my face and just sit and be still with the Lord in the peace of the Hoosier countryside.

God is molding and shaping my heart into a new vessel.  Ahhh...seasons. Sweet, sweet seasons.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Love People

(Please forgive my lack of regular posts at the moment, with a impending move NEXT THURSDAY, blogging has fallen to near the bottom of my priority list until we're all moved and settled. I'll do my best to pop in when I can between now then, ok? In the meantime, maybe I'll go back and re-post some of the oldies but goodies!)

String of hearts
(Photo Credit)
As I was writing in my journal the other night, this list just started pouring out of my heart. I would love it if you would add on your comments too. Or feel free to link up to this post and blog about it yourself...

Love People
  • with reckless abandon
  • uncomfortably
  • who malign you
  • who you might not naturally be your friend
  • who don't "deserve it" -- because you probably don't either
  • who inspire you
  • who are broken
  • in uncommon ways
  • by being real
  • because you never know all of their story
  • because life is meaningless with loving kindness
  • without an agenda
  • because people are not projects

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Next Big Step...

I had more words to share yesterday, so perhaps I should have simply posted this news then. But, as promised, although it may not come out so neatly packaged today, I'll share some big news with you.

Come the weekend after next, we're finally packing up and leaving Texas. It's been a long 16 months here, and we've been ready to transition for some time. In the end, we were obedient to come, but with much relief, it's time to move on to the next leg of the journey.

Obviously, the next question is "Where are you going?

Honestly, we're not 100% certain. There is an opportunity that we're exploring in Nashville, TN. But also, God has arranged some really incredible details for a move back home to Lafayette, IN too. We're just waiting, praying and believing that a door will fling wide open in short order-- and once it does, that we will make no mistakes in whether or not we need to walk through it.

We are weary, for sure. The last two years have taken a major toll on us, and we're ready to move on and settle in to life. I'm so thankful that we rest in the shadow of a God who gives us shelter from the storms, because it's been raining here for a long time. Now, we're anxiously awaiting the sun to peek out from behind the clouds. The rains that have poured down will undoubtedly nourish seeds that were planted in our spirits years ago. It's simply time to let the Farmer tend to them as they take root, sprout and grow under his skillful care.

More details will follow in time, but the time isn't yet. For now, we just need  a wonderfully suited job possibility to come available for Jeremy. He loved what he did in pharmaceutical sales, but the industry is highly volatile (and we're not so keen on volatility at the moment). His last year was spent as the Director of Marketing for a nationally known nonprofit. If you happen to be aware of anything on that front, or if you  would like more details about all that is going on, I am happy to share with you in a private email. Just click here to shoot me one, or you can email Jeremy here.

I think I started keeping up with my blog at just the perfect time. It's such a reflection of my daily heart. One moment carefree and filled with joy and encouragement-- the next moment cautious and withdrawn, apprehensive of the journey. No matter what, I commit to honesty.

I love you all tremendously. It blesses me to share our lives with you. Isn't that really what the church is after all? Bearing burdens, living life, loving with grace fully extended...thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

And while I never suspect that our lives will be boring, I sure hope that none of our future big news involves moving again for another...say...40 years. Can I get an "amen?"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

News...on Monday

We have quite a bit of news to share.

But... I'm going to leave you hanging today.

(and probably tomorrow too)

Just roll with it, okay?!

Pop back over on Monday, and I'll fill you in on all of the details that I can right now.

Prayers still appreciated. 

I love you guys. ;)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Search and Rescue

Sometimes I feel the battle rage within my own body. My emotions play tug-of-war with my head. Truth resonates in words and promises that He spoke over me so many thousands of years ago. Yet, my weary heart cries out in despair for a release from the torturous unknown. And still, He whispers...
embrace 3726
(Photo Credit)
  • The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorry with it. Prov. 10:22
  •  Indeed let God be true, but every man a liar. As it is written: "That you may be justified in Your words, and may be overcome with you are judged. Romans 3:4
  • And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he's listening. 1 John 5:14
  • Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
  • And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those we are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
  • You will keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
  • Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen, it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1
  • So chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love...Never be without it! Colossians 3:12-14
  • For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end...and I will turn away your captivity and restore your fortunes. Jeremiah 29:11-14
Thankfully, the truth wins every.single.time. Eventually my emotions submit in either a fit of exhaustion or a surrender of will. But most importantly, my longing is to please God. Not out of fear of judgement, but because I know that he loves me more deeply than anyone-- anyone-- ever could.

Faults visible. Fears evident. Shortcomings bared. It doesn't matter. He is on a search and rescue mission. My God rescues me from myself at every turn. He carries me to the expected end. He turns away my captivity, purchases my freedom, and restores the storehouse of my fortunes.

When night falls, my soul rests peacefully in His strong arms. I am spared.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gifting Peace {Day 29}

A Friend who offers truth, packaged in grace, gifts me with peace.

He gifted me that exotic pleasure.


"I am leaving you with a gift-- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid." John 14:27 (NLT)

Undeserved respite.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Biting my lip

Biting Lips...
(Photo Credit)
Nope, I'm not trying to keep quiet about something that I really want to spill on. (Well, maybe I am, but that's beside the point.)

Seriously, I'm talking about BITING MY LIP. The painful, cant-stop-chewing-the-inside-of-my-lip style "biting my lip." Ouch.

Ever since I was a little girl, if I was worried or stressed out by something that I didn't even realize, I would start subliminally chewing away. I don't realize that I'm doing it-- until it hurts. By then I can't stop myself. But once the stress withers away, the gnawing resides. I'd like to stop chewing on my mouth soon, so you get the picture, right? Prayers appreciated.

6 Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.7 Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. 8 Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.9 Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.  Philippians 4:6-9

City Craft, Dallas {Day 28}

So by now I can safely assume that you are all sitting on pins-and-needles just waiting to hear all about my trip to City Craft, right? Ok, ok...maybe not. But regardless, here it comes. If fabric doesn't make you feel all tingly with excitement, feel free to breeze right on by today. 

Here's how it all began. So there's this little blog that I follow. Her name is Dana. She makes things. LOTS of things. Hence the name of her blog. MADE. Well, a few weeks ago, Dana blogged about "Shopping for fabric in Texas," (click the link. read it. it's good news.) and when she highlighted a fabric store in none other than my SMU years neck-of-woods (seriously, I'm pretty sure that no one who lives around there uses terms like "neck-of-the-woods", but I'm a country girl from Indiana, so I get a pass), I knew I had to get there-- and soon!

Without further ado, I present: City Craft

Table of books, patterns and sale fabric scraps! Delish!

Eye Candy still my beating heart.

Pattern wall

I even spotted my favorite fabric ladies patterns!

Loved this display. There was a jelly roll down there that I should've snagged. I can't even remember what line it was, but I think a trip back is in order.

Huge rolls of laminated prints. I foresee a a hand made rain slicker in Parker's future.

One happy, happy bloggin' momma!

Listen to Dana! Go to City Craft (or you can order from them online). My only disappointment was that they only had a teeny tiny selection of knits-- and I'm feeling partial to knits these days. But the good news is, I came home with this: 

 I'm about to hop into the sewing room now to start on the first piece of Parker's Winter Wardrobe!

(P.S. Please forgive the icky photography. I only had my phone camera...but let's be honest, it wouldn't have been any better with my little point-and-shoot either. I'm patiently waiting to find a good camera one of these days. Until then, you get to be the recipient of laughable photography. Enjoy the giggles.)