Pages

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Not Burglerized, Toddlerized

Yesterday was one of the best days of my life.  We closed on our house, I saved $30 at closing, I saved another $79 when AT&T called me and told me they were waiving our activation charges, I helped someone buy their first home, our friends Gary and Stephanie took us to the Kari Jobe concert for Christmas, and then our friends Rob and Blythe took us to dinner.  It was as perfect as days can go.  Then at the strike of midnight my glass slipper came off and my carriage turned into a pumpkin…well it was more like 4am.
I awoke to the sound of something crashing in the kitchen downstairs.  So I booted Sam out of bed to investigate.  He found a 3 and a half year old covered head to toe in Krustez pancake mix destroying our laptop.  We were toddlerized.
So I have been up since 4am cleaning.  From the crime scene I can tell that Kael (the suspect) was trying to get his presents from on top of the cupboards.  So he climbed on the counter and in his attempts to get the presents broke the trim on top of the cabinets.  I also have determined that he is too short to do this from the counter which means he was standing on the microwave to accomplish all this.
When he was unsuccessful in his attempts to conquer the cabinets to claim the goods he gave up for much more destructive fun when he crossed the sink to the other counter to retrieve the laptop safely sitting on top of the refrigerator.  I don’t know how he got it down.  Doesn’t matter now, it is beyond fixing.
At some point either before or after this expensive play time he decided to have a powder party and coat the kitchen and couch in a nice layer of baking mix.
If it wasn’t enough that I am pregnant and having to pack to move.  Seriously.  Well, I still love him.  Mess is cleaned.  I am one tired momma.

xoxo
Ronda

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Counting on God

I was thinking about something the other morning as I lay in bed awake.  I was mulling over the saga that has become our home buying process of the house that we were trying to buy.  We got the bad news last week that they were cancelling our contract.  So we started the house hunt all over.  I told myself as I lay there, ‘well, I trust God.’ And then I thought to myself…that’s not good enough and a worship song we sing at church started playing in my head.  I’m counting on God, I’m counting on, I’m counting on God.  There is a difference to be between trusting God and counting on God.

I realized that I don’t count on, rely on, depend on, God.  I trust him, but then I push my way into things and make things happen and take great strides to have control over my life.  I made a conscious effort to count on God.  It was hard, really, really hard.  It was hard because I already had this idea in my head.  A beautiful little house, all trimmed out for the holidays, space for the boys to play and grow and room for new baby dumpling.  So when it got taken away it was hard for me to let go and count on God that if it was the right house he would make it right.
So I pushed a little (Ronda the Pusher) and I got a lawyer, and I looked at a bunch of other houses, and at the end of the day what I was left with was no house and no reasonable prospects.  What we had was perfectly priced, what we were seeing out there would stretch us beyond what would be wise.  It was hard on me.

Today I got a phone call, (Lori, I had a perm-a-grin for about a hour), from Lori, one of our realtors.  She asked me if I was sitting down…I was.  Then she asked me if I wanted to close next week.  YES!  Yes I would LOVE to close next week!!!
So right now I count on God, that if this is the right house for us, that he will continue to open doors and that Wednesday the 16th, at 4pm we will sign the loan papers and get the key’s.

What a wonderful day.

Oh and Baby Dumpling is due June 14th, I am only 9 weeks along so it is still early.  Will find out what baby dumpling is in probably 9-11 weeks from now…Sam hopes for a boy.  If my previous pregnancies are any indication then I would agree with him because this has felt identical.
And if your toddlers are needing something fun to keep em busy...Lima beans and muffin tins, let the fun begin!

Xoxo


Ronda

Thursday, September 29, 2011

God's timing is good timing

I learned a few things today…to be gluten free you must be made of gold, PURE GOLD!  Wowzers, talk about bucks.  I also learned that there is a high likely hood that I am pre-menopausal.  I will learn more when my blood work comes back next week.  And our adorable little house that was supposed to close tomorrow at 2pm is on hold again, for the same reason as before.  Title issues plague us; but that is ok!  I actually have an overwhelming peace about it.

Peace is awesome! Especially in the midst of upheaval.  I was up at 5am this morning (thank you Kael) so I decided to pack.  I have packed a ton, and I don’t really want to unpack any of it.  We will just learn to live with less.  I like how clutter free my house is right now.

The title officer was terrified to call me and let me know that it was delayed for a third time.  I think that I freaked her out even more with how calm I was about it.  She thanked me profusely for being so understanding.  She has been working very hard for us to resolve all this.  She is one of the last people I would want to dump on for this.  I am grateful for her and maybe my attitude will be a witness.

So please pray for a few things for us…that the blood work will come back with definitive answers so that my doctor can formulate a good plan, and that God will continue to give us peace regarding the house situation.  I would really like that to come together soon.

I don’t have much in way of recipes to blog about since I packed the cupboards.  So I will just end with God is good, and I am a very grateful lady right now.

Xoxo

Ronda

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The pusher rests...And God works.

I sit here in awe filled wonder at the way God works in my life.  I push push push, and when I finally surrender He works and things work out.  When will I learn?

I have been working long hours at work so I haven’t even got to start my Gluten Free recipe week.  When I say long hours, yesterday I got to the bank about 7 minutes after 9am and I left work around 7 minutes after 9pm.  Today I had a 7:30am meeting and I finally left good old Liberty at 8pm.  Business is booming, and I am doing my best not to get behind.  A lot of people are counting on me.  Including a husband and two little toddlers at home who count on me for my time with them.  Balance is crucial.  So next week I think I will have to take a few days off. 

Good news is Kael’s bum is much better… and we have been diarrhea free for a few days now…that is a huge answer to prayer.  I still plan to do my Gluten Free recipe week, but as of right now with the hours I have been putting in I haven’t even made it to the Library to get a Gluten Free cookbook.  I will.  I am determined.

So what is all the push push push?  Well, I have mentioned here this last week that there were title issues on the house we are buying that had to be resolved before we could close.  I was tenacious with hounding people to make sure that no one left our file sitting around. Didn’t want any moss growing on it.

Another area I have been push push pushing is trying to find a company to ship our king size bed and mattress from Washington.  Can you say expensive?  I can… e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e!  So I decided yesterday that I would let that rest too.

And again, when I pause and let God be God, BAM!  My head nearly explodes when I get a text out of the blue from my sister that they are going to come through Joplin (from Seattle, Washington mind you) and drop off our bed.  And guess when…SATURDAY!  So I started thinking about how I would take down our queen and store it in the garage until the house closed…whenever that might be.

Last night I told Sam that this whole house thing could take months to sort out.  I told him that I was done pushing and that I was just going to pretend that we weren’t buying a house.  My friend Lisa text me late last night, about the time I was telling Sam I was pretending that there was no house, that she was rocking out some prayers for me; this was her exact text:

Rocked a prayer binding up hindrance and delay … I am already thanking Him for great news on this house.  Tigger style!  Can I get an Amen!

Amen Lisa, Amen.  The title company called me at 1:31pm today with the good news that we can close most likely (99%) on Friday at 2pm.  This was huge.  The title lady told me she hated to do it, but she pulled the Tornado card.

I was ok with that.  So now we get our house Friday, and our bed Saturday…Thank you Father.  You are so good to me.

I have a head ache building right now.  I am going to kick off my shoes, put on some sweats, and snuggle my babies.

My soul has been singing songs incessantly, and the ones that lifted out from my mouth echoed nicely in the empty bank tonight.

xoxo,

Ronda

And please pray for my good friend Stephanie who is sick with a nasty bronchial thing-a-ma-jig.  She isn’t feeling too hot.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gluten free: Gimmick or a God send? We'll see...

Kael woke up early early yesterday morning, but thanks to TEAM WORK!  Sam corralled the little man and got him back to bed while I got Caleb back to bed.  Caleb was roused in the repeated efforts to get Kael to stay in bed.  But then Kael didn’t get out of bed again until 6am.  Can I get a ‘WOOT WOOT!’
Today was a similar story but it was me being the corraller, enforcer, and finally at 5:40am I told Kael he did a good job and we came downstairs.  He is a good boy and I feel more rested.  My go-juice, Seattle’s Best Coffee, is kicking in now and my eyes are wide open.
My weekend was a pleasant little one.  I have a dear friend who is getting married this coming Saturday and he and his fiancĂ© asked me to take some engagement photo’s for them.  I was honored.  They turned out really good.  I am not a photographer…I just have a really nice camera (THANKS DAD!).
We went to our friends Steve and Angie’s for dinner Saturday night.  They are a wonderful couple and she made Zucchini Soup which I have never had prior to that night, but I plan to make and blog about it because it was delicious!  Creamy and delicate, beautiful in color and texture…yummmmmm.
Have you seen that movie Juila & Julie, oh if you haven’t you should.  It is really cute, and it is about food and blogging!  It is about a present day woman who starts making and blogging all of Julia Child’s recipes over the course of a year.  The story flips between the present day gal and Meryl Streep who plays Julia.  I enjoyed it.  And it gave me an idea…but I will be much less lengthy since I want to try something for a week and see if there is any weight behind it.  (for our family at least).
Kael has had chronic diarrhea (don’t worry I will bring this idea together in a second…I know what you’re thinking, ‘what possibly could Julia Child or that movie have to do with your kids bowel movements???’  Well let me tell you.
Upon searching the internet for answers as to why this could be happening I stumbled upon some answers that have me ready to try something new for Kael…Gluten Free.
I have in the past somewhat snubbed my nose at the Gluten Free diets since we went all natural and it seemed to really make a huge difference for Kael.  I felt bad for all the people who had omitted gluten from their diets when they maybe didn’t need to.  Gluten is found in foods processed from wheat…so basically everything delicious.  Bummer.
Celiac disease is what is behind it.  And Diarrhea is one, just one, of the symptoms of this disease which basically is like a food allergy to gluten.  So I am going to give this little thing a whirl.  I would be totally bummed if that is what it is though because I went to the grocery store yesterday and there was hardly a thing he could eat (or would eat…picky toddler).  Oh well, this morning his poo was actually totally normal.  So maybe we are past the problem.  We have been giving him Culturelle which is live cultures (like in yogurt) that you mix with their drink.  It has helped a TON.  Not cheap though, and I would just rather this yuckie problem get resolved.
Well, today I am getting a Gluten Free cook book at the Library (hope they have one) and I am going to see if it makes a difference for Kael, and his butt.  I will try it for a week and blog about it.  Just one week…can’t be too bad.  And if it works I will switch back to his regular diet for another week and see if the problem comes back.
I know that a lot of parents with Spectrum kids go Gluten Free…I think it is worth a shot for us to see if it helps.
Sunday was nice except we had to leave church because Kael was hurting kids in his sunday school class.  He wasn't sharing, he tried to choak a kid, and then he slapped a little girl right in the face.  Sam went in and gave him a swat (his teachers had already tried timeouts and nothing was working).  It was bad timing as we were just about to go on stage to lead worship.  As soon as worship was over we went and got him and took him home.
Children are a lot of work.  The young girls working at the mall yesterday were mortified, and I was mortified with them as both the boys Team-Worked themselves against me...but Sam got new shoes! :0)  I kept the little boys busy for him.  Grateful for the wisdom that came to this weary mother and I forked out the ridiculous $3.87 for a medium strawberry banana Orange Julius.  I don't ever remember them being so expensive.  Inflation I guess.  The little gal on the otherside of the counter stared at me in mild disgust as I held one toddler between my legs and one by mid arm while attempting to pay her. I looked her right in the eyes and said, 'don't ever have children.' She smiled.  I don't mean this of course, but I will say that it is 100% more difficult to raise children then I ever thought it would be.  Maybe it is just my children...but I doubt it.  Mom and Dad, you amaze me.
So…here we go Gluten Free for a week (I already failed this morning with him and gave in to his repeated requests for a roll).  Wish me luck.
Xoxo

Ronda

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Oh my omelet!

Vegetarian Omelet
Good morning!
It is overcast out and it reminds me of Washington.  I think it might even be sprinkling out.  Hopefully it will clear up soon because I am going to go take some pictures this afternoon.
Kael woke up at 5am this morning.  Sam kept him up until 10:30pm last night.  Before I had kids 5am seemed ridiculously early…now it is like sleeping in!  Kael and I went to Walmart and stopped by the donut store.  I recently learned that my wonderful husband Sam loves maple bars.  I had no idea.  So I bought some and when he woke up this morning he got maple bars and a nice cup of home brewed Seattle’s Best coffee.  Perfect for an early fall overcast morning.  What a delightful way to start the day.
I made myself something a little bit healthier and I will share this super easy, highly nutritious treat.  I made a Vegetarian Omelet.  It was delicious.  I ate it and drank my cup of coffee and it was a perfect little morning.
What you will need:
2 whole eggs whisked together with 2 additional egg whites
1 teaspoon butter, I used a yogurt based butter that is a lot lighter in calories
1 tablespoon feta
½ zucchini sliced thin
¼ cup sliced mushrooms
Steak seasoning
½ tomato

I used two frying pans so I could do it all at once.  Put ½ teaspoon of butter in each frying pan to coat.  Add ¼ cup water to one pan and place each on medium heat.  Place your zucchini and mushrooms in the pan with the water.  Add steak seasoning to your taste preference. And let them get lightly cooked through.
In your other pan pour your lightly whisked eggs and add a little bit more steak seasoning.  Once I can see the bottom of the eggs getting cooked I peel up the omelet and let the uncooked egg pour underneath it.  I keep lifting up the edges and doing this.  I fold it over itself and make sure it is all cooked.
Place your eggs on a plate, top with your lightly steamed veggies, sprinkle with feta and serve with tomato slices lightly salted.  YUM!!!
Now I get to go play with toddlers and drink another cup of my ‘go juice’.  Have a wonderful day!!!
Xoxo
Ronda

Friday, September 23, 2011

Homeless happenings and Toddler training

Good morning again.  Thank you for your prayers.  Kael slept in until 4:15am this morning.  But per a few parenting books, instead of getting up with him I had a glass of water ready for a drink, and a diaper ready for a fresh change.  After he had his drink and new diaper I put him back in bed, tucked him in and told him “it is still night night time Kael.”
I put him back in bed over and over again.  By 5:30am Caleb was awake too.  So at that point I finally took them both downstairs.  I will try again tonight.  I am feeling more empowered to be consistent.
On my lunch break yesterday I went to the Library and was able to buy a heap of magazines for a quarter a piece.  I am pretty excited.  I really enjoy looking at them for ideas on entertaining, house renovating, parenting, family time, recipes, crafts, etc…
Last night when I got home from work the little boys were so hyper.  I decided we needed to get out of the house and go burn some energy.  I took them to a park in Joplin that I have taken them to many times before.  Apparently since the tornado though the park has become a homeless villiage/drug deal central.  After about 8 minutes of play time I told the little boys it was time to go.  They both started crying as I hauled them back to the car.  I just kept my eyes forward and kept saying out loud to them that it was time to go change Kael’s diaper because he pooped.  This was true, but I also thought it would be a good deterrent.  Who wants to mug a mom with two little boys who stink like poop…well, hopefully no one, but I wasn’t taking any chances.  I got out of there.  Not going back either.
Lord willing we can close on our house next week and then the boys will have lots of new places to roam and have fun.
I am amazed that it is already fall.  My house smells AMAZING!  Bath and Body Works candles were burning last night in my kitchen and the smells were so delicious it made me constantly hungry!  I have the wall plug in making my kitchen/living room smell like apples and cinnamon…..mmmm….smells like fall.  Smells engrain memories.
The little boys are doggy piling on me right now. Better go.
Xoxo,
Ronda
Oh and doesn't this look like Paul!  Amy reminded me of this picture I found years ago, and it was just plain creepy how much it looks like my little brother...This is Prince Albert Victor.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Marvelous

 Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
Lord have mercy.
Here I am again.  Tired.  But I write to you with a grateful heart.
Kael is sleeplittle again.  Not sleepless, the boy is sleeping, but he is waking up consistently earlier then this little momma appreciates.  I don’t think he has slept past 5am in…well, a really long time.  This morning it was 3 am.  The last two nights in an effort to curb the waking trend we have kept him up past 9pm in the hope that we could adjust his schedule, but it so far has proven to be unsuccessful.  Pray for us.
I finally succumb to his persistent pawing this morning (an hour worth of persistent pawing to be exact) and crawled out of bed and followed him downstairs.  I sat at our table, wearily drinking my coffee thinking about our new house.  Many of you know that we are buying a house and the closing date, as of right now, is undetermined.  We were ready to close last week but when I called to schedule our closing appointment I learned that the title company was working to clear some issues on title.  This was news to me.  Apparently when the home was foreclosed upon the bank who owned the note failed to settle on a lien.  So until all that gets sorted out house is on hold.
 Adorable new house
I thought about this as I drank my “go-juice”.  Let me just pause and say, coffee is a gift from God.  I was thinking about how God knows why this is taking so long and how one day when I stand before him I will see how his hand was in it and how he protected us and I will be amazed at how he worked without me knowing he was at work.  Then I began to think…why don’t I just praise him now for how clever he is?  I already know that one day I will marvel at his mercy and grace, why don’t I marvel now?  So that is what I am going to start doing.  In everything I am going to marvel at God and the work he is doing.
You might be thinking right now, ‘duh’, and to you I would say, sorry, but sometimes I am a little slow.
I am marveling at God right now that Kael who gets so little sleep is a cheerful happy little guy who is growing and learning, and talking more and more each day.  I marvel at how far God has brought him this past year, and that by God’s mercy we have a little boy who loves and recognizes us and who since my Birthday has been calling me Mommy.  You don’t know how marvelous this truly is.  It is not easy to have a 3 ½ year old that can’t say Mommy.  But, now he can, and he does.  It makes my heart happy every time I hear him say “it’s a Mommy!”
This has been a busy month.  I turned 30, I had my one year anniversary at Liberty Bank, I went on a road trip to Chicago, I read through Paul’s letters to the various churches, and up through Revelation, and I have made several new friends.  God has been giving me a tenacious appetite for his word.  I crave his word.  I noticed that these past few weeks as I have been working longer hours at work that I have had less time to spend in his word.  And I missed it.  A lot!
I have a new Bible, fresh with no highlights.  I am excited to mark it all up.
So what does a tired lady who wants to stay fit without the fuss eat?  I know that was a terrible transition, but my exhaustion is seeping into my writing and my coffee is wearing off.  This is something that you will really enjoy if you like Chicken or Tuna Salad.
Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
1 can chicken meat drained
2 tablespoons of fat free or light mayo
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tomato sliced
4 leaves romaine or iceberg lettuce.

Mix chicken, mayo, salt and pepper together.  Line a lettuce leaf with tomato slices and top with a few tablespoons of your chicken mixture.  Fix shut with a clothes pin.  I served it with some whole grain Scoop’s.  YUM!
I have missed writing to you and sharing the happening’s of the Hickey Household and my sweet little life here in Missouri.  If Kael keeps this up I may be back for good!
Sending my love and prayers to my church family in Washington who is celebrating the blessed departure of Ray Gephart who went home to be with the Lord last week.
xoxo,
Ronda


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oblivious

I had a minute to spare while a file loaded on my computer screen at work.  Life has been busy.  Life has been very busy; heavily loaded with work and activities which have resulted in minimal and inconsistent blogging.  While I waited on my customer’s information to fill the screen I grabbed the TIME magazine sitting on the corner of my desk.  Set there for clients to flip through if for any reason they should have to wait on me.  So today I flipped through it while I waited on them.  I stopped when I saw a picture of a little boy, 7 years old, completely wrapped in a beautifully colored transparent fabric, while two men poured what looked like gasoline over his dead body to prepare him for burial.  At the top of the page were the words Famine, and Drought.
There were more pictures of mothers as they clung to their starving children, skin and bones themselves.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to watch my children die of hunger.  This is reality and I was oblivious.  Daily I am oblivious.
Scripture in the gospels come to mind…whoa to the pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days…
It breaks my heart.
Praying for those who have nothing.  We are more blessed then we know, understand, or appreciate.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Near death, a mother's nightmare

I have had a few close calls as a parent.  Primarily with Caleb who was always a magnet for danger as a baby.  Kael with this Sensory Processing disorder, past numerous bumps and bruises from not being able to adequately feel pain, is usually not one to get hurt.  He is one tough cookie.  Yesterday he was one foot, one second away from being killed right in front of my eyes.  It was the worst moment ever because I could see it happening but I could do little to stop it.
I was outside playing with the little boys.  We live on a street without a fence in our yard (we are moving soon YAY), and cars often drive by too fast.  When I am outside with the boys I am usually standing playing referee keeping them inside a comfortable zone close to the house.  I was sitting on the edge of the driveway which is about 25 feet from the street and Kael started walking toward the road.  He was smiling at me as he walked because he knew he was being naughty.  I told him to come here now! He giggled and kept shuffling his dusty little feet through the gravel.
I knew this was a bad thing because I could hear a car in the distance.  I didn’t want to start running at him because I knew he would run.  So I stood up thinking I would calmly approach him like a wild animal catcher and gently corral him back to safety.  I didn't get that chance.  As soon as I stood up he started running toward the street.  So I started running and screaming and waving my arms.  It all happened so fast, but mathematically speaking I could see the vehicle coming over the hill and I could see where Kael was and the speed at which they were both moving and he was going to get hit if he didn’t stop or if they didn’t stop and I wouldn't get to him in time.
This seriously happened SO FAST.  They didn’t see me screaming and running and madly waving my arms.  They didn’t see Kael 3 feet, 40 lbs barreling toward them squealing and giggling as he ran.  I was right Kael would have been hit and killed.  He reached the street the very moment that they would have plowed into him, but he stopped.  His toes were touching the road, but he stopped.
It was the worst moment ever.  I understand that it could have really been the worst moment ever, but it was still the worst moment ever.
I could picture it over and over and over again in my mind seeing Kael getting hit.  I dragged him and Caleb into the house. Sam and I agreed that for now Kael can’t be outside.  He doesn’t have a concept of danger past he knows not to touch something “HOT”.  It is really a challenge to teach a child with SPD danger.  He also thought it was a fun game, mom chasing him.  He doesn’t obey me 90% of the time because he has very few consequences that actually bother him.
My heart still hurts.
I kept thinking about a two year old little boy in Washington in Tulalip who was hit and killed by a car because as he ran toward the road his family chased after him.  He thought it was a funny game.  So he ran faster and ran right into the street.
Kael was so close.  What do I do now?  How do I teach him?
Sam and I prayed for him last night and we thanked God for keeping him safe.  We prayed that God would send Kael a few angels to keep guard.  We are going to try and keep him out of danger as much as is humanly reasonable.
So if you see Kael duck taped to Sam or my hip, now you will know why.
Whew...Pray with me?
God, thank you so much for keeping Kael safe.  Thank you so much for not letting me watch my little boy die.  Please help me.  Please help me know how to teach Kael.  Please unlock his brain and help him to grow and learn more and more so that he can communicate clearly and be clearly communicated with.  Thank you for entrusting us with Kael.  We want to do a good job, but sometimes I don't understand the best way.  Thank you so much for mercy.
xoxo
Ronda

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Out with the old...

Touch down! And my fingers hit the keys running.  I have missed you so much and yet for the most part not given you a thought.  And when I say you, I mean this little blog.  I think about you, my friends, all the time!  This blog since its inception May 1st of this year has been a huge blessing to me.  A way for me to connect with my family in Seattle, Washington, from Joplin, Missouri.  A way for me to share my journey as a mother, as a wife, as a child of God.  A way for me to share my passions and my desires, things that I like.  A place where I can give you a peek at my mind, heart, soul, and spirit.  Taking a week off has been a blessing also.  I have not been blogging very long, and if I am honest I will say right now that I don't like the word "blog." I don't like the way it sounds coming out of my mouth or the way my mouth feels when I say it... like "blah", "blog", "blagh", "bloug"... I like the word *glimpse* much better.  This is a glimpse of my life.
I love the Lord.  He truly is a spring of life inside me and a phrase that my heart always sings as if it is the chorus of my soul are the words "where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom," and I say YES and AMEN! to that.  He is freedom in a way that is nearly inexpressible, unexplainable, unimaginable!  When I feel tangled, torn, twisty, tired, defeated...I can call upon the Lord and he will unwind me, mend me, bend me, energize me, and remind me that in him...in him I am a victor.
I have continued to read through Paul's letters and I would strongly recommend it.  In as much time as you can spare from your life to take and just read them right through, do it.  It was such a new experience for me as I have been to countless Bible studies throughout my life, but I am ashamed to say that I used to rarely read my Bible outside of church.  God has given me a new heart these past few years.  It started with a glimpse of who he was.
I began to realize that God is love.  Not just love like empty words that are easy to type and easy to say, but 'oh snap! LOVE!' It is a love that the depths of which we cannot even begin to fathom.  As I am typing these words I am praying for you.  I am praying for you that God will minister to you his love as well.
Something Paul wrote to Timothy in 2nd Timothy jumped of the page at me.  Paul in the very first chapter reminds Timothy to fan into flames his gift from God that he received when Paul laid hands on him. 2nd Timothy chapter 1 verse       
What is my gift?  So I began praying.  "God what is my gift..."
I am praying he will show me my gift and that he will fan it into flames.  I am excited.
Caleb had a snot nose little cold bug this week, but he is recovering nicely.  Thank you to everyone who lifted the little dude up in prayer.  Kael had a bug too, the kind of bug that generates liquid..eh hem...no bueno and many baths, let's just put it that way.  He is starting to feel better too.
Sunday was a special day.  Sam's mom came from Tulsa and a few of us gathered at our house and we studied God's word together.  It was a really nice time of fellowship.  After she left we all sat around and Colby asked Sam to baptize him down at Shoal Creek.  He had driven down there earlier in the day and said he had known for some time that he wanted Sam to do the honor.  So we drove down there and it was awesome.
Out with the old...

In with the new.
"Brother's don't shake hands...Brother's gotta hug!"
The next day at work Colby was able to share with many of the other sales men at Fletchers about his baptism and what God is doing in his life.  Their boss Duce had a spark lit inside him.  Pray that God will fan it into flames.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  If you are tired and you are weary, there is freedom.  I want to tell you so sincerely that time spent with the Lord in prayer and reading his word is priceless.  Time well spent and will change your life.
I see glimpses of people in my mind right now...people who are just like me, people who are living just like I was living.  I had a form of godliness...I could talk the talk and even walk the walk, but I didn't have a relationship with him.  I didn't have an understanding of him.  I didn't have a reverence for him.  You get those things by taking time for him.  Taking time with him.
Thank you Lord.  I want to type thank you over and over and over.  My heart, my mind, my soul, my spirit, every fiber of my being is singing thank you.  Thank you for your grace and mercy to allow us the opportunity to come before you even though we are filthy rotten scoundrels.  Thank you that you have washed us so that we are as white as snow.  I am so disrespectful to you.  I am so sorry for that.  I can't wait until I get to heaven and I can just say thank you for eternity and praise you.  That probably sounds silly to anyone who doesn't know you.  It would have sounded like the correct Christianese to pump out if I would have said it in my past...but you have come alive to me.  I desire to know you more.  You are so intricate in your plan and it blows my mind.
Thank you for giving us your word.  Thank you that you have given us grace in that this is an open book test.  We can know you and know what is desired of us.  Thank you for sending us your Holy Spirit.  I pray that you will bless each and every person along with their family who read this prayer.  That as their eyes pass over each word you will light a fire in their bones.  Like a fire shut up in my bones, I want the world to know that you are God.  With a passion burning deep within fill me and make me new.  Jesus, Father, I am desperate for you.
And grace upon grace upon grace, bless the Lord, O my soul!  All that is within me bless his HOLY name.  Awake you sleepers!  He is coming soon.  Let's be ready.
xoxo
Ronda



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back in a few...

Hi Friends,
I am going to put the ole blog up for a week.  I just am swamped at work and life in general is fairly hectic.  God blessed us with a beautiful house and we close on September 26nd.  That is the most exciting news this week.  Kael has been getting up really early again so pray for me that I will be able to keep on keeping on.  Feeling a bit tired.  Especially this morning.
Couple prayer requests that came to me this week if you could lift up with me:
Julia, had a stem cell transplant in May.  Prayer for continued recovery and a clean bill of health.  Pray that her energy will return and she will be able to get back to work.  Julia loves the Lord.
Amy, that the cancer the doctors found in her brain will be gone by the next round of tests. Amy loves the Lord.
Brittany, had a miscarriage.  They have been trying for a long time to have a baby and the unexpected loss is very hard.  They are going to keep trying so prayer that the Lord will hear their cry and bless them with a child…or two J.
If you have a prayer request I would love to pray for you.  It is such a blessing to me to be able to lift up others in prayer.  I love praise reports too and testimonies of what God is doing in your life.
Father in heaven, you are so tender and loving.  I see your grace and mercy in everyday, and everyday I am so grateful.  Thank you for saving me, thank you for shining your mega beam light into my life and illuminating me.  Thank you for knowing me.  I love that you know me.  I feel so small at times, and yet I can get so caught up in my life, and my life's details that I get destracted.  forgive me for my distraction.  Forgive me for any complacency.  Please let me have opportunity this week to not only lift people up in prayer but to share your sweet message of salvation.  I pray that I will hear your still small voice and know your voice.  I am tired.  Give me strength.  I have so much work, thank you so much, it is all because of you that I have any work.  Please help me to get it all done and not miss a single detail.  I pray for Julia, Amy, and Brittany...I pray that during these times of sickness, loss, and confusion that you will bring healing, peace, strength, and clarity to them.  I pray that you will bless every doctor and every medical person that comes across their path and that they will be ministered too by these women's faith.  I love you Lord...I will talk you in a few, going to take a little nap.
xoxo
Ronda 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Far and wide: Bold and bright A testimony by Mindy Horr


When wondering what I could possibly write for my testimony that would explain everything that God has taught me, I was at a loss. How do I write about what brought me from when I was a little girl - trying to figure out why it was wrong that I played hide-and-seek when my parents closed their eyes during prayer - to now.

Then I figured, as the Mad Hatter would propose, I should "start at the beginning, and when I get to the end, stop." So, here goes.

As you may have read between those lines, I grew up in a Christian home. I owe much of my faith to my parents today, and I want everyone to know that having Christian parents can be the greatest asset to developing your own strong faith if you allow it. I say "if you allow it" because many of us let the shortcomings of our parents, or conversely, the strength of our parents' faith, determine too much of why or what we believe. If your Christian parents have failed at showing you the Father, remember - they are still human and are working out their salvation with fear and trembling. If your parents have succeeded, and shown you the unconditional love of an Almighty God - remember, their faith will not be enough to save you, you must make a choice to follow that same God.

All this to say, my parents, Cliff and Casey Horr, are the best people I know. Not best as in perfect, but best as in, I have watched them seek and choose the things of God every day since I can remember.

I was in the latter portion of those children above for a long time, living in the glow of their faith as I believe the Bible intends - one needs to know good in order to follow it. I allowed them to lead my own faith along behind them like a little stuffed animal led along by the leash of a child. But I had to grow up sometime, so I went away to school, and for a variety of reasons, some of which included wanting to follow God, chose Biola University. Ahem. It was in Southern California.

Now, those tumultuous 4 years in a heavy and exciting culture were more than enough to pull me away from God, push me towards God, and everything in between. I will say one thing about my time there, something that is exactly what I want to always connect with those years - God introduced me to beautiful, strong, vastly different women, who helped me through, grew up with me, and allowed me the first bud of what I like to refer to now as my "feminist" side.

I'm so sure that I may end up losing some of you at this point, but please, stay with me. As opposed to what many people think when they read the word "feminist", I am neither one who is fighting vigorously for women to be allowed the same rights, wages, and jobs as men. Nor am I one who scoffs at the attempts of men to lead the world, and claims that women could do better. I would actually like to stop this whole comparison and figure out something else.

From the very beginning in Genesis, God told us we were different. "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (1:27). There is something distinct about God's image that He put only in females, and it was put in me - but what is it? And THAT is what I'm all about figuring out. Not, how do I stack up against the image of God that was specifically placed in man.

I believe I've gotten way ahead of myself. Well, maybe not. This thought of femininity was racing through my head and heart about the same time I decided that Southern California was again pulling me away from God - not to mention I couldn't get an interview anywhere, was making balloon animals for tips, and was living on a sailboat near Venice Beach - I was making all the wrong choices. Not exactly where I saw myself post-a 4 year degree and a heart that knew better.

Along with three of my other friends, and with one waiting for us there, I moved to Korea in August of 2009 to teach English for a year. Reasons being: 1. I would have a job that would make use of all that school I had done, 2. I would finally be able to start paying off loans from that school, 3. I could save money once the loans were paid off so that, 4. I could travel.

I think, at this point, God must've been looking down and chuckling, saying "oh, that's cute, Sweetie, you think THAT'S why you're going to Korea."

Within the first month, I realized. Community.

I say this word with so many images racing through my brain, that it will be extremely hard to pinpoint where exactly it changed for me - from being just another word to describe a neighborhood or group of people - to being this vibrant, life-giving, moving thing that would replace the institution that church has become in an instant if people really understood what a church, as a body of people, was meant to be.

I've come to realize that I will never (well maybe not never but it will take quite a long time to) unpack what God was doing those long months in Korea. Months where I couldn't believe what I was a part of. Months where I would've given any thing to be out of it. Months where I felt both at the same time. Months where I knew, with every single atom of my being, that whatever this uncomfortable, awakening, and glorious thing was, it was from God. 

And it was God's.

There wasn't anything that any one of us there had done to orchestrate it, though God did use specific actions and words and emotions of certain people to be very instrumental in its growth. And, though there were a handful of men that God used as brothers in Christ to show me a good many things, it was the women He had placed around me to affirm and encourage me, that I, ME SPECIFICALLY, was someone that God NEEDED, to show an aspect of His image to those around me, for the glory of HIS kingdom.

Two stories to tell in illustration, and then I'll conclude.

I think it was the third or fourth week after I'd arrived in Korea, when I experienced my first outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Not on me, but for me, from someone whom I barely knew. Our group of teachers, recruiters, friends, and family all gathered together to worship, pray, and just fellowship, during which this man was given a vision for each of us in the group. As I listened and watched the reactions of people I'd known for years, and people I'd only known for weeks, I was skeptical yet intrigued, as I'd never grown up in a charismatic environment. Yet, when he came to me, the words that he spoke gave me goose bumps and brought tears to my eyes.

"Mindy, I had this vision of you, with your ponytail being tossed about in the wind, and your heart yearning to be taken more seriously then the little girl that everyone sees you as. You have such wisdom and maturity, but you're afraid to use them because you're young, and look even younger, and feel unqualified to speak up. Don't."

How could he know what I'd never voiced aloud to anyone, ever? How could he see to the very core of my insecurities, see everything that was limiting me from stepping into that person God needed me to be? Truth is, he didn't. But God showed him. I believe this with my whole heart.

Through this word, and the people present who had heard it, over the next several months I was given the space in which to practice at being a fully functioning part of the body God was forming in Korea.

Yet I still battled timidity outside of that core community. February rolled around, and our group of women gathered for a women's retreat, in which we were all asked to petition God for a new name. What? No, not like Samantha or Allison, but what would God call us to, or call us for, that we hadn't ever considered being. I was at a loss.

I wrote down every word I could think of in a journal. What had I not asked God for? Believe me, I'd asked for a lot. Doesn't mean I'd gotten them all, come on - patience? - that's taking forever.

And then it hit me.

There was one thing I'd never thought to ask for, and it makes sense, seeing it was the one thing that I didn’t WANT to ask for. So I wrote it very little at the bottom of my page.

boldness

I'm not sure if my writing it smaller made me feel better or not, but it's quite comical when I look back at that journal. And in looking back, I wonder when it started happening. It wasn't immediate, and it wasn't all at once. About two months after returning to the States this last fall, I found myself talking with a friend and I heard myself speaking the name of God quite frequently and with a familiarity that was as comfortable as my best friend. Speaking in awe and adoration of all that He had done. Not hushing down my voice to an almost whisper because we were sitting in a smaller Starbucks with tables closer together. And it wasn't just this one time, one place, one friend. I looked back over the last months in Korea, the 3 months of traveling, and the two months of being home. When had this become normal?

I think my mind did a double take. Was this boldness? Wait a minute. I wasn't standing on a soapbox, shouting to the world to listen to me. But I was living a life that naturally brought about these conversations, whether I started them or someone else did. Me, bold? That was all God.

So where have I come - from that little girl hiding behind the speakers with a grin to now seeking out ministry with women wherever, whenever and in whatever capacity I can.

I am no longer my parents' faith. I am no longer a girl who is content with people knowing I'm a Christian because my dad is a pastor. I am no longer an opinionated woman among a wealth of immature men. I am no longer a spectator of the Spirit moving in others. I am no longer a sitter-byer as someone more qualified steps up.

I am a talmidah of my Rabbi Jesus. I am a girl whose greatest desire is to continue stepping into all that God has equipped me for. I am a strong, intelligent woman, made of the image of God who needs to encourage the men around her to seek out who they are in God's image. I am being moved by the Holy Spirit for His purposes that have Kingdom value. I am entrusted with much and much is being required of me.

This isn't the story of how I became a Christian. This is the story of how I've become who I was always supposed to be - a woman who knows the purpose and plan for her life is something that God is so fiercely passionate to see through, how could she not succeed?

This is the story of how I became me. And am continual becoming.

So, sorry, Mad Hatter, there is no end.

Mindy Horr, a BOLD woman of God
Dearest Mindy,

I praise God this morning for the BOLD woman that he is developing within you.  That in your boldness the gospel will be shared and your testimony will grow and grow.  I love your last line and you are right…there is no end.

As I sit here and think about your words and your journey’s that you have taken in your life I have a moment of pause and awe.  What an amazing adventure.  You are so blessed to have these special times, special adventures, and faraway travels.

So often we get stuck in a rut, in a place, in a time, and we don’t look outside and realize that the world is a big place and that God is wrapped up in hearts all around it.  Grow where you are planted, is a saying that I have been told, and I love it.  You must be planted in a flower pot, and you get to be taken many places.

I loved looking at all your pictures on Facebook.  They scream character!  Excited to see where the Lord will take you.

I just realized that Kael was being very quiet.  Too quiet.  Here is what I found…



Looks like Momma needs to run to Walmart and get new make up.



Oh joy!




"Hey you in the 'tighties' what do you think you're doing?!?"  And my I just say, getting make up off a toddler is not easy.  I triumphed, but it was a trick.


Lord bless you little lady!  Bold and bright.

Xoxo

Ronda