Sunday, August 15, 2010

Daily Bread

For the past couple of weeks I've been praying this little number out of Proverbs 30.

Give me neither poverty nor riches
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise I may have too much
and disown you and say, "Who is the Lord?"

I thought it sounded like a good thing to pray but mostly because poverty doesn't sound like much fun and daily bread sounded nice.

No more, no less.

no sooner, no later.

Just what we need, just when we need it.

Sounds good to me because daily bread has been in short supply around here. No matter how much we make in never seems enough. It's a cycle that has been playing out for about 15 years as my husband has tried everything he can to make a living as an honest auto technician. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Since he is not willing to compromise his integrity and he's tired of having his body broken we've decided to stop the insanity by changing careers. My husband is going back to school this fall. It is a career move he has always wanted to make and we could not be more excited.

But this week was a hard one. Another hard one. It's been slow at the dealership and since technicians basically get paid on commission it was another little check. I had a medical bill that was due and school fees for our daughter that I wasn't excepting. I knew God would cover it. I wasn't sure how, but I knew that He would.

Then we discovered that while we qualified for financial aid, we had filed late and our promissory note for the grants would not arrive in time. Tuition was due this week and in order to secure hubby's enrollment we would need to pay for the fall semester and be reimbursed when the grant came in.


We had just enough money left in our savings to cover the school and that basically brought us back down to nothing. I transfered over the last of our savings and contemplated seeking employment outside the home.

Daily bread is awesome.

I know God will provide.

I know he loves us more than the sparrows but, maybe I should change my prayer.

Would it be wrong to ask for weekly bread? or maybe a small storehouse?

Wednesday was grocery day and I was going to have to be creative with the menu. Can cheese and crackers pass a a meal? What if it's cheese, crackers and ham slices? While I'm bumping through the produce isle contemplating if corn on the cob can be a meal, I ran into a friend. She gave me a hug and $100. What?! She said that she and her husband had been praying for us and wanted to bless us in a tangible way. It was humbling, but I knew who was really behind it because that was exactly the amount I had to cut from our grocery budget for the month. Thank you Jesus.

Friday my husband arrived at school, checkbook in hand, to lay down the last of our savings and pay the bill. There was a line, so he stopped by the kiosk to check his financial aid status one last time. Of course, he discovered that the grants came through and the whole year was paid in full, just in time. Thank you Jesus.

Daily bread is awesome. I'm not crazy about the sate of our finances these days but I am also terribly honored, because I get to see God show up on a daily basis. but maybe I should start looking for a new verse to pray over...

Give me neither poverty nor riches.
for both will blind me

But give me only my daily bread.
and I will see the greatness of your care for me.

Otherwise I may have too much
and forget where my help comes from.

and disown you and say, "Who is like the Lord?"
When you are all I need.

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never go hungry,
and he who believes in me will never be thirsty
(John 6:35)

Friday, June 18, 2010

All things new!

Well we've been in the new house for almost a month and I cannot tell you what a blessing it has been.

We have some wonderful Christian neighbors who run an in home day care next door. I will admit I was concerned about this at first. I have a hard time letting my kids go. But standing out there this morning watching my three play with her four was wonderful. They are all between the ages of 18 months and 6 and each one has a buddy they get along well with.

They have learned about sharing, feelings and BUGS! Specifically rolly pollys and caterpillars. Every night both my oldest children say their prayers and thank God for letting us buy this house and for the friends they have made.

It is a blessing that I never had. There were no kids in the neighborhoods where I grew up and I had a really hard time making friends in my elementary years. So this is all VERY new to me. New and wonderful.

Speaking of new...Here's a quick list of a few things that are also new to me.

I love the way it smells, and that it is absolutely free.

I love the way that every time I do it I think of my grandmother.

I love that it has a rhythm to it. I love that it slows me down.

I can no longer whip through 5 loads of laundry in a day and will purposely not do wash if it is raining.

I am learning to working my schedule around God's schedule which is often times much, much slower than mine. I'm even starting to like how crunchy it is when it's done. For a wile I was popping it in the dryer to fluff it after it was dry but once you put it on it softens up really fast.

I started this crop of lettuce while I was still living at my Mother-In-Law's house. It has done so well and I will tell you the taste is out of this world. I really did not know that lettuce had any real flavor until I grew my own.


I've never had a garden of my own before. I've been dreaming about one for the past year, reading all kinds of books and catalogs, but there is nothing like getting your hands dirty. Besides the taste and the reward of actually growing something the thrift and the excitement of seeing actually food growing, having a garden provides endless conversations about God and His provision. There are lessons about sowing seed, and spreading truth, sharing our abundance with others and again slowing down.

One thing I do no relish is that sometimes you can work really hard, follow all the rules and even add in a heaping bunch of love, and in spite of all this. The rabbits might still eat the tops off your carrots.
The rain might wash away your perfectly planed rows, and some seeds just might never sprout. But I will keep working, keep sowing seed, and keep teaching my children. Because even though the sun is shining and the season is new, winter will be here before you know it and it will be time to slow down in a whole different kind of way.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Whoa! It's been a while since I wrote. Here's a quick catch up of the past three months. The end of February we moved from Florida back to our hometown in Wisconsin. It was a wonderful decision and we all instantly felt like we were home. Although we were not really. We moved in with my Mother-In-Law and spare me the jokes. She is a wonderful and kind woman and has made out transition back to the area a true blessing. Although it has been crowded and cramped and often looks like a tornado hit the place It has been nice to share in her company.

The first couple of weeks here were spent looking for a house. Since leaving Wisconsin three years ago we have been renting. First in the panhandle of FL then in an apartment near Clearwater. It was a hard transition. Besides leaving the only place i had ever called home, and ll my friends, and family I had left a beautiful century old home that my husband and I gutted and restored. I loved that house. I love the community we had in our neighborhood. I loved walking to downtown and all the shops. I really hated renting. I felt as though I had no roots and no community. The panhandle was hard because we were very isolated from town and had to drive everywhere. It felt so wasteful. The apartments were actually a little better but by nature they are transient. People come and go so quickly. We met and said goodbye to great and wonderful people. We were never meant to be at home there. It was a transition.

One night on a solo walk I broke down. Walking through the area with tears streaming down my face I cried out to God. "WHY would you do this? I've left my family, all my friends, all my kids friends, all my dreams and my beloved house!" The response I got was instant, crystal clear and cut right to my heart. Believe me this was NOT a common occurrence for me to "hear" from God so boldly and it struck me so strongly I almost fell over. It went something like this...

"Who's house was it that you lost?

You didn't own that house.

You made payments on that house but it was never yours.

Everything you have is mine. And I am loaning it to you."


Well that was a wake up call. And I needed it. Flash forward three years and now we are house shopping, again. My husband and I, however, have approached this new purchase entirely different. Instead of looking the biggest most impressive thing we could afford in the best neighborhood we want our new house to truly reflect who the real owner is. We want to set down roots on the only firm foundation. Of course a house is just a space it's the people in it that will reflect God's glory. But anyone who's been through a church building campaign knows that facility does help. So we had some specific things we wanted to achieve.

1. We wanted to have enough space to host people in our home and share the love of Christ.

2. A yard big enough to establish a garden and share the bounty of our provision.

3. A footprint small enough to not be wasteful with God's resources.

We began hunting right away but two weeks after arriving in WI I got a call that my grandmother in was dying and I drove, by myself with all three kids to Kansas to say good-bye (this should be a post in and of itself). When I returned my husband had found "THE HOUSE". I agreed to go look at it but honestly didn't even give it much of a thought. The space was larger that I had really envisioned and it was more than we had agreed to spend. The layout was good and although it was a large home it had all new windows and a brand new boiler for the radiant heat and no air conditioning (you don't really need it up here). All things that would be good for efficiency. The yard is large and sunny but with a large shade tree on half of it. There was a room that will function as a perfect play room right across the hall from the living area perfect for kids to play whole grown-up talk. it really was all the things we had been hoping for.

We decided to make them an offer. It was LOW. The house had only been on the market for 2 weeks and we knew our offer was low. We did not want to insult them but it was really all we could afford. Along with our offer we sent them a letter, telling them who we were and how much we liked the house and appreciated the great care they had taken in maintaining it. We told them about our kids and our plans for the place. To our surprise they accepted! They told their realtor that they knew the offer was low but that they loved our letter and wanted us to have the house!

God is so good. Although His plan is full of curve balls and adventure, I'm hoping that this will be our last move for a looooong while.

Of course this post does not even break the surface of what has been going on I'll post more soon but in the meantime here's a picture of our new "mission house". We are praying that we will continue to stay true to the vision God has planted in us. To live humbly and lightly, to share, give and love. To keep our doors and hearts and eyes and ears always open.
And if your ever in the neighborhood pop in!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Forgive me in advance

In less than 3 days we are off on another adventure. I am once again packing my household with less than 2 weeks notice to move our family across country. Even though it has been a whirlwind here I've have many moments to contemplate the three years we have been given here. Although I am happy to be headed back to my hometown there are many things that I will miss about Florida:

the constant sunshine

the sound of palm fronds in the breeze

the smell of salt air

swimming outside in February

The way the beach completely changes my outlook

the sound of quaker parrots and mocking birds

the smell of orange blossoms

sweet strawberries the size of my fist in March

fresh squeezed Valencia oranges

and most importantly the wonderful friends we have made.

It is an incredible blessing that in an area of the country where only 35% of the population consider themselves "religious" we have been surrounded by Christians who love the Lord and seek after Him. I love you and will miss you more than I can say please do not be offended if I do not say good-bye.

First of all, I'm not very good at it. And really, I don't believe it. It's so final, so sad, so lost. So rather than good-bye I will confidently say to my bothers and sisters, I will see you later. With the connectedness of the internet, telephone, skype, face book, blogger and who knows what else they will invent in the up coming years there is no reason for tears.

We have loved meeting you and knowing that if/when we need an escape some cold February we will have a friendly place to visit. Likewise, Casa de Pompa is open to all of you anytime you want to go skiing, sledding, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, bike riding, hiking, picking wild flowers, pumpkins, cherries, apples or strawberries. If you have a thing for old red barns or spotted dairy cows I know just the place. I cannot offer you sandy beaches but and ocean of fall color and glacier carved hills, pock-marked with quaint fishing towns and lakes to kayak, canoe or water ski.

Hopefully we will meet again this side of Glory but if not then for sure again, and forever!



Wednesday, December 30, 2009

one day...

I wanted to share with you the last look at my house
just before I shut down for the evening.

a pile of dirty socks rest on the arm of the couch...

A pile of little people in the hall...

A pile of dirty shoes by the door...

An assorted pile of ponies and stuffed lovey's on my couch...

A pile of dishes, toys and towels near my sink...

It's a mess and I'm leaving it.

Even though I know I will regret it in the morning.

I'm leaving it.

Partially because I am tired and partially because it overwhelms me.

But mostly because I realize that someday the mess will all be gone...

and I will miss it...



...very much.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm sorry...

Why would I ever go anywhere without you?

You're so much like me.

You're practical and thrifty, you hold extra weight well, you're eco-friendly and at times can be quite fashionable. You get me. I’m sorry that I sometimes take you for granted. If I were a better woman I would take you with me everywhere. But I’m not. I forget you all the time. I have relegated you to one part of my life. To one lonely purpose...hauling groceries.

I love my green bags. You know those fabric bag thingys they sell near the checkout for 99¢ (1.25 if you're fancy). Not only do they satisfy my inner treehugger and end the paper or plastic debate but those babies can haul. I’m pretty sure I could lug a small child around in one if need be. You don’t have to worry about them ripping half way up the steps or make 60+ trips to retrieve plastic bags containing 3 items each.

Oh fabric bag, oh fabric bag how could I ever forget you. Next time I go to Target or the library, the post office or the craft store, please come along. I think we would be good for each other.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Blessed by the mess.

So here I am.

Having a lovely conversation with a dear friend over a cup of coffee.

Our kids are quietly playing in their room.

Not so quiet as to cause concern but not so loud as to prepare me for what I was about to see.

Friend and I were discussing issues of faith and parenthood, questioning our purpose and finding our place in God's plan. I have to admit that I've been in a bit of a funk lately. I'm not sure how else to describe it. I feel like something is about to happen but hasn't happened yet. I feel like I want to start getting ready for it but I don't really know what it is. I was wishing that God would show me the road map or give me something to do in the meantime. While we were engrossed in this discussion, my children were doing this:

Oh yes they did! They were calmly and quietly emptying the contents of their room into little buckets and dumping them in the nursery. Notice that I said this was my children. Our lovely friends were quietly playing Polly pockets on the train table.

Question solved. It wasn't exactly the task I was looking for but when life gives you lemons...

After our guests left (no sense in stopping a great playdate), I got out some buckets, spread out the mess and directed the kids to start sorting and filling. Levi was to collect the potato head's and play food. Ruby the clothing, socks, swim suits and underwear-yes they even emptied the shelves/drawers from thier closet. I was getting the books and cars and music stuff. Finn was just supposed to look cute and not eat the minuscule bits and pieces of Ruby's play sets.

Seriously can we talk about this for a second? What is it with these things? I'm not sure if anyone out there has any pull in the toy industry but can somebody please do something about the million piece play sets that are marketed to little girls? Most of them I are even too small to see let alone play with.

They are so small that they are usually unnoticed until we hear the chunk-clink-clink as they are hurled into the canister of the vacuum. At which point tears are shed over such a loved item. Thus causing me to rifle through the filth and find the neglected treasure. In case you have all boys or no idea what I am talking about here is a visual:

I included a dime, you know the original choking hazard, in the picture so you could have a reference for how small these items really are. I love the reality of these sets.

Please notice the tiny hypodermic needles, they came with a mini vet set and are half the size of the doll's arm. How is a doll supposed to administer a shot when the needle is the same size as her arm? I am also in awe of the tiny tea cups. I love that they have handles. As if you could actually use them! You would need to use a tweezers just to hold them up for your tiny dolly to take a sip! Of course all of this logic is lost on my child. She love the stuff. The smaller the better.

Now back to the pile. I'm feeling as though the original picture did not accurately convey the height of the pile. As we began to sort through it, it became to look something like this:

The plus side is that I had been meaning to sort through the toys in their room but was overwhelmed at the thought of starting. I could have been mad. I could have been embarrassed that they did this with company. I could have lost my cool. Or I could just go with it.

This was just the push I needed. I may not have the road map for life I was hoping for but at least I have something to distract me for a couple of days. And the kids room will be organized just in time to make room for new Christmas additions! I'll consider this an unexpected answer to prayer.