Monday, July 28, 2008
I was cleaning out my files last night..what a chore, but it desperately needed to be done and I found letter a friend sent me on my 30th birthday. She was my youth leader when I was 16 years old and she knows me so well. It was such a God thing that I found this letter. I needed to hear her words again. She reinforced to me that my greatest calling is raising these wonderful children who are running around my house right now. Nothing in my life is worth anything if they do not fully know who the Lord is. I could reach out to hundreds, feed thousands and heal millions, but if my five kids don't know the awesome power of the Lord in their lives then all my healings and reaching out was in vain. Hugging on them, making sandwiches and brushing their teeth every morning is my calling right now. What an awesome responsibility to have! Sometimes when it gets a bit redundant and tiresome, we need to go back to that simple calling that the Lord gave to us. Our first calling is to them...to love on them, to show them the way of the Lord...for them to see His loving arms and how he has a destiny for each of them. I am humbled that God has allowed me to be there for these children. So, after you read this go love on your kids and know that this is where you are supposed to be. I posted a cute picture of my Essie Roo taken earlier this year. She has my heart!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The websters dictionary states that Quiver is, "a portable case for arrows." The word of God in Psalms says, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward, like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them..." So I put those together and imagine my quiver on my back with my arrows placed in them. I think that sometimes everyone has different size quivers...some are bigger than others and some might be much bigger. We have friends in Vermont who have twelve children...they believed in the theory, Cheaper by the Dozen. Is my quiver that big? Perhaps not. But would I ever put them down because of what they decided to do? Never. I think their family is awesome and exciting and they love each and every one of them. So, would I put down a family that only has one child? No way. Perhaps they thought that one was all they could handle, or they wanted to devote all their attention on one. For whatever reason they chose, I respect that. So why is it that because we chose to have more than two, or three or four we are considered "out of our minds" and "crazy." Decades ago it was totally normal to have more than four kids. A hundred years ago if you didn't have more than four kids than you were "crazy." Because of our culture, our mindsets have changed on family size. We have chosen to do more for ourselves, so it is almost culturally unacceptable to have more than three kids. What happen to the word where it is said that, "happy is the man who has his quiver full of them." A wise woman said to me this past year, "don't let anyone tell you when your quiver is full." That statement released me in my faith and my understanding. I truly believe that when I am done having kids, God will seal that with Matt and I and we will feel satisfied with how many arrows we have. So, we don't feel like our quiver is full...I am excited about that. Our children bring us so much satisfaction. Yes they are busy. Yes they are loud. And yes they do cost more money than the average family. But that's where God provides all of our needs. We watch the Lord work in our lives. Now do the same and watch him work. He is faithful until the end! Posted is a picture taken this spring of our little arrows...aren't they beautiful!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
When I look at my sweet baby boy, Judah David, his temperament is so perfect. God knew that he would be the fifth baby in this family and the third boy. What an amazing place to be. I told my friend today that he is either being loved on or thumped on...there is no in between. Judah is so easy going...he goes with whatever flow that is going on at that time. The kids always greeted him when he came down every morning...not just an expected "good morning", but a laughing, screaming, shouting, jumping "HELLO." And he would greet them with arm waving and loud chuckles. He expected this every morning. There is always someone to play with...someone to laugh with....someone to fight with...and of course there is always someone to love on him. Anytime he would get hurt or upset, there is always someone to swoop him up and kiss him. If he wants something, everyone is eager to meet his needs. But of course the flip side of this is that there is always a William who is willing to give him one swipe, or shove or hit when nobody is looking. Or they think he is big like everyone else and they jump just a bit too hard. Like I said, thank God for his easy going personality...if he was fussy one bit then he would have a hard time making it in this family. He was made just right for his place as number 5 in the Reynolds Nation.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Okay, it is not the best picture...but it was taken on Mother's Day this year and it is my most recent picture. My mom and I...when Matt took us out for lunch. Let me tell you about my mom. Today she turns 61! I can't believe it. I remember when she turned 35 and I thought she was going to die. Well, I guess she made it a few more years and I am so glad. My mom has been through a lot over the years. She grew up in New York City, at a time when it was wonderful and safe to be. She remembers riding on the subway when she was only 12 and never being afraid. Sadly, because of life circumstances my mom had to quit school at 16 so that she could support her family. I always felt so bad for her because of that. But I do remember when I was young watching her study for her GED and then taking college courses. Her hidden strength was such a great example. That's why I was so proud when I got my bachelor's degree...she did everything in her power to make sure I finished. My mom's dad died when she was in her early twenties...he was her main support...I never got to meet him, and I sorry for that. And then my mom went through years of abuse from my own father...I can't believe she made it through all that and was an overcomer. My mom is stronger than anyone I know. Though she has had loss and has been wounded, she still persevered. She never gives up hope and believes the best for all situations...even if it doesn't look like it is going that way. My mom has lived with Matt and I for the past 5 years and it has been such a blessing. She spends time with my kids, she works on our property and is just a positive in my life. I hope that she knows that I care about her so much, and one of the saddest days of my life will be when she is gone. She always believes in me and will be the first person to tell me when I am wrong. Though we haven't always agreed, I know that she will always be there for me. I love you mom!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Well, I am sitting here with my kids still wondering if we are going to go swimming. The weather has been so unpredictable. Usually in the summer it will rain in the afternoon, but lately it has been raining all day or just cloudy and hotter than blazes. The humidity in Florida could kill you! I am watching my little Judah scoot around the living room...he is so sweet. He scrunches his nose up when he smiles, you could just eat him up. William is playing with his new blocks...he likes to build tall towers and knock them down. I know that one day I will miss his messes in my living room. He is so funny. Yesterday at breakfast I asked him if he wanted any more cereal and he looked at me with the most 'matter of fact' face and said, "no, I want pancakes." I laughed so hard. And then last night he was asking if I could take him to the muffin store. Does anyone know where the muffin store is? Obviously William thinks there is one out there. If you find it, give me a call!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Is this a face you would trust? Yes, he looks sweet, but don't be decieved...Just so you can have an idea about how crazy my house is sometimes, let me tell you a story from yesterday. After dinner last night we had some down time, so I was sitting on the couch and the kids were spread around the house. Next thing I know, I hear that William was in the fish tank. Bryn just got a new fish tank and they have been buying new fish for the tank. One of their fish had a baby unexpectantly yesterday...and Matt didn't have one of those containers to put the baby in to protect it. So he put it in the net, propped on the top until he could get the container after work. It was safe and snug all day. Until William. He decided to climb on some chairs, open the tank and fling the poor baby fish across the bedroom. Could you imagine what kind of ride that was for the baby fish? Only William in my house. He brings a lot of adventure around here. Pray for me, lol.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Here is my special boy, Caleb. Many of you know him...he has the most contagious laugh ever. He has big, grape cheeks when he smiles. He is such a giver and loves to be around people. As many of you also know, Caleb was diagnosed as mentally challenged when he was almost six. He had been in speech therapy for three years and we knew that he was severely learning delayed. When the final diagnosis came in we weren't shocked...perhaps, because we live with him and see his difficulties. We see him struggle to get dressed and put a jacket on. We see that he doesn't know direction, like behind and in front of. We seem him not able to process basic commands and we see him trying to understand basic boyhood stuff.
This past fall, at the counsel of our pastor, we put Caleb in school. He was placed in a wonderful ESE class with a few students, and then for an hour a day he went into my best friend's (Jessica) mainstream kindergarten classroom for an hour. A lot of you know that we home school and always planned on homeschooling all of our kids. It is our heart and conviction to do this. But the day we sat down with our pastor, we realized that we needed to put him in school for us, not for Caleb. After working with a mentally challenged child for over five years, I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. It is a daily struggle and it has had twists and turns over the past few years. Our pastor was concerned that we were so exhausted that it would affect our marriage and our other kids. So after a lot of hesitation and prayer, we put him in Edgewater Elementary in November 2007. And what a blessing it was. I received a break that I didn't know that I needed...I felt refreshed and was able to dive into the word and get a new faith for Caleb. I couldn't have done that with all the chaos that he caused around me. And then after healing services at our church in the winter, Matt and I were able to start believing for his healing. We know that God wants him whole! In his state of being mentally challenged, he will never be able to do what God has for him. I became violent in my faith for him! I took a daily communion with him to believe for his healing. And in the process, my heart softened for him. And we have seen some amazing results. He now is writing letters, words and can copy sentences. This is from a boy who couldn't write one letter. His ability to understand changed dramatically. He could color in the lines...he could ride his bike (he wasn't able to turn the peddle at all up until this point). And yes, it was so helpful having school...but it wasn't that really. It was our faith for him...our believing that God can heal the unchangeable...We know believed that Caleb didn't have to live a life of being inadequate. His destiny is stretched before him...and we can see it now. And yes, we still have a long way to go...but we know that it will happen. So, my prayer for him is that he will know and serve the Lord faithfully...and this healing that is taking place will be part of his testimony for others to believe for Gods healing power for themselves! And because of what God has done, we plan on having Caleb home with us this school year...with a new heart for me for my Caleb.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Well, I am back from my night stay at the condo on the beach...and I am so tired. This morning, we even got to watch the sunrise...after staying up all night. We hung out...and talked, and talked and talked. We played a game and we watched the movie, P.S. I love you. So, first thing this morning we decided to watch the sunrise instead of going to sleep. It was a blast hanging out at the beach ...goofing off by the cold water and playing around. It was fun to be young again...kids left at home with dads and able to just have fun and not take care of someone else. We ate lots of junk...laughed our butts off and it is awesome to have great fun with friends. We got to know each other so much more and God strengthened and started new friendships. He is able to be in the midst of all our life situations. So, happy birthday best friend. I love you!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Well, another week gone...as fast as the last...how does life go so fast? The kids were busy this week at the pool. They are so tan...they look like they live in Bermuda. So, as we go into the weekend I am going away for the night. My best friend, Jessica, is turning 35 this weekend! I can't believe it. We have known each other since high school. She is so dear to me...the person I can confide in, vent at, laugh with and really look up to. She has been such a blessing to me! I have changed as a person because I know her. So tonight we are getting some friends together and hanging out a beach house...to watch movies, swim, eat, play games and just have a blast. No kids allowed! No one asking to have a drink of water, or go potty...and no little Judah saying "mama" at 6:30 am. So, onto the weekend...I am taking my camera, so I will post pictures this weekend! Hope your weekend is great.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Let me introduce you to my nephew Joshua Logan. Here he is yesterday at the pool...the day he moved from Florida to Ohio. His mom came and picked him up because his relationship with my brother and his father has been strained. I was only 17 when he was born, but let me tell you that my heart became alive that day in December of 1992. I adored him from that day on and his smile would make my heart sing. I told him yesterday that he was the first person that I said I love you to. My family didn't ever say those words, even though I knew that they loved me. But when he was born I told him those few words every time I saw him and from them on it became easy for me to say them. They were actually the last words I said to him yesterday. Now I am able to say them to friends and family with ease. That's why I say he opened my heart up! Now that he won't be around all the time, I will miss him desperately. I told my husband yesterday that I felt like I just let one of my kids go...that's how important he has been to me. I used to call him Pookman and he still calls me Auntie. So, I say goodbye for now to him and for him to know that I will pray for him everyday...that he will serve the Lord always and that he will always seek the Lord first. He is one of the smartest kids I know and he has the potential of the world before him. And thank you Josh for letting me love you and for opening my heart up! Auntie
Here is Josh with Zachary and Xavier at the pool The gang is (almost)all here...William, Caleb, Bryn, Xavier, Josh, Judah, Zachary and Esther
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Here they are on the night of the fireworks. They were quite full of themselves, and so excited to wear their flag t-shirts. We are headed to the pool this morning...our normal summer activity! So, off I go...be back later.
Monday, July 7, 2008
So, it is Monday afternoon...the kids have been busy beavers today. I think they are coming off the high of the weekend....which was wonderful. We went to the beach on Friday..for the first time this summer. The kids had such a wonderful time. Even baby Judah loved it. So we were there all Friday morning. I will post some pictures, as soon as Matt brings home my cord to transfer them on. So after our great morning we came home and relaxed. Then Matt grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and we headed to the riverside around 7:30 for the fireworks. We talked to some friends and family and enjoyed the whole show. The baby was tired by then, but it was such a wonderful holiday. The rest of the weekend was relaxing and enjoyable. So, I start this week out with thoughts on intentions...I am changing my whole thought process...if we don't live an intentional life, our life will sweep right by us...the kids will grow up, and we will grow old...so boring...I want to have great intentions every day, and see them through! So that I am where I am supposed to be at the right place and right time...so, how can you change your life to be intentional?
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Well, here I am and I really don't know what I am doing. I have read several blogs the past few days from friends and I was encouraged to set one up...so here it goes. Be patient with me and know that I will make mistakes...see you soon!