Thursday, February 28, 2013

Desperate, Chapter 5

This chapter, "When the Dark Invades" was very helpful to me.  I mentioned when I first started this book that I've been super emotional.  There have been moments of each day that were filled with Light, but there were also some dark times.

The chapter made it seem completely normal -- that every woman struggles from time time.  What a blessing to hear that!  I know in my heart of hearts that I'm not alone, that I'm not the only one "failing" in this area.  But, my brain needs convinced from time to time.

Their main suggestion for "when the dark invades" is to hide away in God's goodness.  To quote them directly:

Hiding away in God's goodness and protection is an act of the will, choosing to turn my heart away from the dark and towards the light.

It seems so simple and intuitive, but when you're in the middle of the "fog" as I call it -- it's hard to remember.

While seeking the Lord in times like this is the main thing, they also gave a check-list (my favorite!) of how to assess your needs, including things like sleep, and exercise.

Finally, the chapter concludes, like all of them, with a video.  They all do a pretty good job summing up the chapter, but I particularly liked this one.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Myrick the mechanic

One of the other things Myrick got to do at the Discovery Center we went to a couple weeks ago was be a mechanic! Micah helped him change some tires. So fun!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Not to beat a dead horse, or anything...

This blog post  by Nicole over at was very timely, with my readings in Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe lately.

It's all good, but one quote:

So when the time came and it really was my kid screaming for Cheetos in Giant Food, my mom’s advice was invaluable: “You shouldn’t be embarrassed when your child disobeys in public” she said. “He’s a child and he’s a sinner. That’s what they do. You should only be concerned if you aren’t faithfully training him to obey in private.”
In other words, we aren’t parenting for the crowd. We’re parenting for an audience of One.

Hope you're having a good week!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Desperate - Chapter 4

Chapter 4, entitled, "Oh Right, There's Sin" takes a closer look at parenting the heart issues that I mentioned in my post about Chapter 3.

The main focus of the chapter seems to be Romans 7:19-20:  For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.  But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

Some quotes from this chapter that stuck out to me:

  • Honey, at what age did you stop sinning?  Because, that's when our children will stop.
  • We need to offer them loads of grace and affirmation, so that they can be confident that we get it and we are on their teams.
  • The home is a battlefield where sin and selfishness must be overcome, and that the taming, subduing, and civilizing of a home will be to a woman's honor.
  • He desires to give us the strength to bring life into our homes and redeem them.
  • But it is a choice you must make to not dwell in guilt, and to instead embrace God's helping hand.  You must choose with God's help to be a victor instead of a casualty.
Such good stuff!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Desperate - chapter 3

Before I start I just thought I'd share that my blog is now recognizing that I want to type the word "desperate" and auto filling it. Oh what it must think of me!! ;)

Ok- chapter 3 is "Formulas Don't Always Work." I kind of felt like last week's chapter didn't really apply to me, but boy oh boy was this one applicable!

I am such a scheduler, list maker, rule follower. To a fault, if I'm being completely honest. I joke about it regularly, writing it off as part of "my accountant brain."

But, in all truthfulness, this attachment to the ideal plan can be somewhat of an idol in my life if I am not careful. The whole, "man can not serve two masters" thing.

So, it was like parts of this chapter were written directly to me.

Sally, in discussing what Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and David were called to said, "None were called to do the logical or expected thing but rather to look to God, listen to His voice, and follow Him."

I love that that is true of my life as well. I don't have to have the whole day, week, year planned out in advance. Yes, it's good to not be negligent, but I need to be listening for God's call on my time and be willing to let go of my plans in favor of His.

But, what really stunk was realizing that I've tried to follow this routine/recipe addiction with my kids as well. In Sarah Mae's section, one quote that spoke to me was, "Our goal is always the heart. We think about how we can help our children understand their sin and then turn and follow good."

I know in my heart that that is my goal, but in practice I feel so far from it some days.

I think a lot of times my actions reveal that my goal is more to train my sweet little boys to not sin - a behavioral issue over a heart issue.

I should pause here and say that I realize they are 1 and 2 and I understand that a lot of what I am doing IS behavioral training, out of necessity. But, my confession is my heart attitude behind those goals. I like to think my motivating factor is because, "obedience is very best way to show you believe." By training them to obey consistently, cheerfully, quickly, and completely, I am preparing them to walk with the Lover of their souls.

But, on the hard days - my motivation is much more selfish. My head is dominated with thoughts of entitlement. I shouldn't have to pick up their toys. I shouldn't have to babysit them while they pick up so I'm sure it gets done sometime this decade. I should be able to have a phone conversation without being interrupted or having to correct. How ugly is that?

In short, I try (in vain) to train them to do the very thing I've not been able to accomplish in my own life - not sin. When instead, I ache to love and serve them in such a way that it draws them to the One who is without sin and can "cure" them, and me!

If you're looking for this kind of brutal revealing of your sins, you can buy this book here. Isn't God good to continue growing us, not leaving me in my ugliness?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Unexpected Museum

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Micah and I got away for an extended date in this post.  But, I never got around to posting any more pictures.  I only have a few.   We hadn't planned to stop at this museum, but, as Myrick says, we were on "an a-bent-your."  Micah was kind of bummed though, because once we got there, we discovered it was closed!  He got out anyway, and walked around the outside of the building.

Then the man who runs the museum saw him and told us to come on in.  They weren't officially open, but they were there getting some work done, so he gave us a tour, and then left us to browse.  It was a treat!
 Crazy James Lane

Like my political rant face? 

This was one of the many contraptions they had in the museum.  I don't know why I thought it was so cool, but I did.  It's not a cooler, it's a "warmer."  Whoever "they" were, would heat that stock pot thing over the fire, and the put it in the "warmer" to keep it heated.  Seems pretty simple, but pretty useful! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

High Waters

And in keeping with the Mall theme...

I don't know why, but whenever we're at the mall, Myrick feels the need to hike up his pant legs. It's the craziest thing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mall Play Date

My post yesterday reminded me of some other pictures I'd been forgetting to post!  Sometime in January we went to the mall with a girlfriend, her two kids, and two of my nephews.

We got there a bit early, so Myrick got to play on the carousel.  And, by "play" I mean, he just kept going from one vehicle to another "riding" it.  If anyone ever tells him these things move, I will be very upset! ;-)

Every so often while he was playing, a sample of the music would play, enticing people to come spend money.  And, Myrick, of course, thought he caused it by pushing buttons -- every.single.time.  "I did it, mommy!  I did it!!"

"Whilst"?  Really?

Lest you think all we did was "ride" the carousel for free:

We also "rode" the massage chairs too.  ;-)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mall fun

Sunday afternoon fun with daddy.  :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Desperate chapter 2

Chapter 2 of Desperate is about our "Go-It-Alone Culture."

I didn't take a whole lot from this chapter, mostly because I haven't moved and have stayed around a lot of my childhood friends for most of my life.

In fact, I probably lean heavily the other way - depending too much on my girlfriends and not enough on my Savior.

But, I definitely think it's worth a read in this culture if constant movement. How hard it must be for those women who have to move so often for work or otherwise!

I am so thankful for my circle of older and younger women, and my peers, that's for sure!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bountiful Baskets

I am in a fruit and veggie co-op every two weeks. Part of the "membership" requires you to volunteer every so often, which is what I did today. This was "my take." :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

"Where is Emily?"

We went to see Naomi play her last home basketball game of her senior year. We told myrick we were going to go see Aunt Naomi play basketball, and he was super excited.

But then, on our way, he kept asking "Where Emily at?"  We were very confused, and he just kept asking.  We kept trying to ask different questions to figure out who Emily was, thinking he was a character from one of his shows, or something.  Then we realized -- he was trying to say "Aunt Naomi."  So sweet!  We spent most of the remainder of the drive telling him that she was waiting for her to get there so she could play basketball.  ;-)

Thursday, February 14, 2013


As is his custom, Matt ran to the refrigerator as soon as the door was open, and plopped down on his favorite seat, looking "pleased as punch" at his success.

In my normal mommy fashion -- I pulled out the camera to document his cuteness.  Will I ever get enough of that sweet chubbiness?!

And, as is Myrick's custom -- he could not stand a picture being taken when he wasn't involved.  Everything's gotta be even, ya know?

Oh how I love these sweet little men God has given me!  Happy Valentine's to you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Myrick the astronaut

We went to the Discovery Center this weekend.  There was a TON to do, so I'll probably post more pictures soon.  But, right as you walk in the door, there's a place to take your picture as an astronaut, complete with an outfit to wear.  Myrick could not have been more delighted!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Desperate, Chapter 1

Chapter 1, of Desperate, entitled: "Ideals and Going Under" was good for me to hear.

The chapter opens with Sarah Mae sharing what she thought mothering would be like.  If you can picture June Cleaver, then you can probably imagine the type of ideals Sarah had.

And, to be honest with you, my first thought was: "Who thinks that way?"  Who thinks they can have a hot breakfast every morning, dressed in your best, and a chipper attitude every single day?

Then, I realized, that even though my ideals didn't included having my pearls on, they are just as unreachable.
I still tend to think I can run my house on a schedule, regardless of how many times it's not worked.  Up at 5am, exercise, shower and dress, devotions and an hour of work done before the kids wake up at 8am for their pre-planned (not necessarily hot!) breakfast, and out the door by 9am to do an errand or two before our daily play date.  Oh, did I mention that somewhere in there I would have gotten lunch prepped too so that when we arrive back home at 11am, we can have lunch before the kids go down for naps?

If that doesn't seem unattainable to you, please do not comment.  Cause, in my house, with two very curious, energetic boys -- it never happens.  And, I'm now content knowing that it's not realistic.  PLEASE do not burst my bubble! :)

So, where's the hope?  Chapter 1 goes on to remind us young moms that the hope is in God.  If we can view mothering as our highest calling -- a very worthy, though tough, pursuit -- then we can forget the impossible ideals, and cling to the One who is changing us through these struggles.

So good.  Can't wait to get a chance to read Chapter 2.

In the mean time, co-author Sally blogged about this chapter over at I take Joy.

She posed some additional questions, including:

What are your biggest disappointments over how you expected yourself to be as a mom compared to your reality?
Oh man, oh man.  I thought I would NEVER struggle to truly enjoy my kids.  That I would ALWAYS want to stop what I was doing to read that same book 10 times in a row.  that I would ALWAYS want to have my kids working right along with me in the kitchen -- I mean, who cares if things get messy?  I'll just clean them up when my scheduled house straightening rolls around.

How do you most need to adjust your expectations and find a way to enjoy this stage of your children’s lives?
I think mostly I need to remember that mothering is what God is using to make me more like Christ.  And, really, isn't that what I want?  Some people I know have much harder things they're going through in order to be changed, and yet I get to spend my days with 2 delightfully curious, energetic boys!  A true blessing!

I need to stop beating myself up over having a pour initial attitude once in a while.  Instead, I'd like to focus on the times when I am able to adjust the attitude, and get it right.  I need to remember that the Lord is using my poor attitudes to grow my children up, too.  How good it is for them to see the right way and wrong way to handle things.  I so badly want to model how to adjust when things don't go our way. And, how to confess when we make mistakes. So hard, yet so necessary!

If you've decided to read along with me, I'd love to hear what you think, either in the comments, or otherwise.  :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013


We went out for mexican for dinner one night this weekend with some of my family, and it was a lot of fun!  True to my pregancies: Myrick filled up on chips, salsa, and queso, and Matt could not get enough meat!  I love getting time with my three favorite men.  :)

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Desperate: Introduction

OK!  A few days (try,  a week and a half) late, but here I am to tell you what I thought of the introduction to Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.

(If you don't know what I'm talking about -- feel free to read my previous post.)

Sarah (co-author) posted on the introduction over at her blog, and posed these questions:

How did the introduction speak to you?

If I'm going to be completely real, I have to say -- I bawled through the foreword of this book, and the tears didn't stop flowing as I continued through the introduction.

I mentioned in my first post a couple days ago, that this book could not have come at a better time for me.  (I LOVE how God uses friends in my life to share His words with me.)  I opened my mail that day, and laughed and then cried at the title and the sweet note inside.  "Magen, I hope you love this book; it has been a huge blessing and encouragement in my life!  I am praying for you and your role as wife and mother in your sweet little family!"

I've been on an emotional roller-coaster the last couple of months, and up until that point, I hadn't told anyone, including this friend.  I just kept thinking, if I pray hard enough, spend more time in the word, and put on my "big girl panties" then everything will be fine.

Receiving this book was like receiving permission to let my guard down.  To share with this friend, and others, that I really am struggling.  I've got all these systems in place.  I wake up early, exercise, shower, eat breakfast and have a time in the word before Micah even walks out the door lots of mornings.  It seems like everything is going along swimmingly, all morning long.  The boys wake up, I get them breakfast and get them dressed for the day, and send them on their merry way to play while I tackle some things for my business.

Where are you most feeling Desperate right now?

Somewhere along the way, though, I invariably start getting a panicky feeling.  Even changing that obviously stinky diaper can feel very overwhelming at times.

The title stuck me as so fitting, cause I can't seem to find a better word to describe my feelings, than just DESPERATE.  Desperate for a break; desperate to be refreshed; desperate for things to change.

I'm hoping this book will help me re-focus on God, His promises, and the great provisions He's made for us young moms in the "older" women around us.

My girlfriend Allison is also blogging about this over at if you'd like to read more.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Like brother

I tried really hard to capture Matt's pure joy at being able to brush his teeth just like big brother, but I just couldn't do it! You'll just have to take my word for it -- he was super excited. :)

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Desperate Book Club

A good friend of mine recently sent this book to me:

If you click on the image, it'll take you to to purchase the book.  This is my referral link.  Not sure how all that works out yet, but I think I'll get 4% of the purchase price, if you buy through that link.  I am NOT a sales-man, though.  No pressure here!  :)

This book could not have landed on my door step at a more opportune time for me, but that's probably a future blog post.

It sat on my night stand for a few week waiting to be read.  Then, the same friend told me about a Book Club that the authors are putting on over at their blogs.

Sally Clarkson at I Take Joy

Sarah Mae at

So, I decided to jump in!  I'll try to blog about each chapter as I finish, but I'm a bit behind.  Sarah Mae started with the introduction on January 29th, and will do the even chapters on her blog on Tuesdays.  Sally did Chapter 1 on the 31st, and will continue to do the odd chapters every Thursday until we're finished.

Today's chapter 3, but obviously, it's not too late to start!  Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

"What a mess!"

Well, at least it's a neat mess.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Monday, February 04, 2013

Even If

I am loving this song right now.  Every time I hear it, the Lord uses it to remind me about His character, and the things He's asking me to cling to in these weeks.

"Hold on to what we know is true of You are."
     The song refers to several attributes of God, including His immutability, His goodness, and how He is loving, faithful, mighty and trustworthy.  I have found so much peace over the last several years focusing on the attributes of my faithful Lord.  But, lately, God's been calling me to dig a little deeper.  Specifically, if I believe these things to be true of God, then I can trust that the promises He has outlined in His word are also true.  I can cling to such things as:
     Romans 10:9 - If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
     Galatians 6:9 - Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
     Philippians 4:19 - And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
     James 1:12 - Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

"We know Your heart."
     That's such an amazing truth tucked in, almost as an afterthought in this song.  Did you catch it?  "We know Your heart."  It's stated so matter-of-factly, yet God has been teaching me about what an amazing truth that is.  The creator God, the one who formed the universe, so desires a relationship with me, that He has revealed His heart to me, through his Word, Christ Jesus.  That takes my breath away when I dwell on it.

"You're working all things for our good."
     This is almost a direct quote of Romans 8:28, and another promise to cling to.  But, what it reminds me of is my current mantra:  Everything that happens is for my ultimate good, and His ultimate glory.  I don't know who originally coined this, but I have claimed it as my own.  When the days get hard and I'm not sure I can continue, this phrase helps me take my mind off the temporal and put it on the eternal, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  The work is done, and my obedience is my reasonable service of worship to the One who has accomplished the work.

"Even if the healing doesn't come"
     This phrase is my only "beef" with the song.  I know they had the best of intentions when they wrote these lyrics.  There is much to be said about pressing on in life's trials, even when there is no end in site.  Even when there's no hope for the future, God is still good.  Such a great message for this lost and dying world.

BUT -- that's just it.  For those who have claimed the promise found in Romans 10:9, there IS healing.  It's not an earthly healing and so it's harder to grasp.  But, if we put our trust in the God who is faithful, loving, trustworthy, the God who has revealed Himself to us, and has made great promises to us,
healing WILL eventually come.

Revelation 22: 1-5
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

And THAT my friends -- is a fabulous thing to cling to!

Here are the Lyrics, in case you don't want to watch the video:
Sometimes all we have to hold on to Is what we know is true of who You are So when the heartache hits like a hurricane That could never change who You are And we trust in who You are  
Even if the healing doesn't come And life falls apart And dreams are still undone You are God You are good Forever faithful One Even if the healing Even if the healing doesn't come  
Lord we know your ways are not our ways So we set our faith in who You are Even though You reign high above us You tenderly love us We know Your heart We rest in who You are 
Even if the healing doesn't come And life falls apart And dreams are still undone You are God You are good Forever faithful One Even if the healing Even if the healing doesn't come 
You're still the Great and Mighty One We trust You always You're working all things for our good We'll sing your praise 
Even if the healing doesn't come And life falls apart And dreams are still undone You are God You are good Forever faithful One Even if the healing Even if the healing doesn't come
You are God and we will bless You As the Good and Faithful One You are God and we will bless You Even if the healing doesn't come Even if the healing doesn't come

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Friday, February 01, 2013

Hand print

As Micah would say, "This is why we can't have nice things."