Friday, December 21, 2012

The only way through is THROUGH

"Lord i have seen your goodness and i know the way you are Give me eyes to seek you in the dark And your face shines a glory that i only know in part and there is still a longing, a longing in my heart You revive me, You revive me Lord And all my deserts are rivers of joy You are the treasure I could not afford So I'll spend myself till i'm empty and poor All for you, you revive me Lord" -Christy Nockels, "You revive me" Is it easy to celebrate the goodness of God during difficult times? So many times we feel this is the furthest we are from Jesus, the furthest from His heart. How can this be as Jesus MOURNS? He feels our suffering and felt His own in our place in a human way. He knows what we will go through ahead of time and He feels our pain. Our little family has been hit HARD by the enemy lately, we lost our beloved friend and pet Flex, within days our house flooded and we uncovered mold under our carpet; ruining the carpet and forcing out our process of repair longer. It has been an exhausting month of December for us needless to say! We are thankful we found the mold, we are thankful that we had our puppy for three years, we are all healthy and happy. Sometimes it just seems the enemy just pushes and pushes and pushes until you think you cannot stand another minute in the furnace. The other day we had a sort of "family meeting" and as we sat down talking about dreams and goals and how we are pushing past barriers and dream stealers and my father in law said something that hit me to the heart from Jesus himself. He said, "I'm just really sad about what you guys are about to go through" this being said after all of the flooding and such... This is so like Jesus, He KNOWS what it's going to be like pushing on to our goals and living a life worthy of the calling that we have received. He FEELS our pain before we even know what's coming! "All my deserts are rivers of joy" This is my lesson right now, because I often lack joy when I get hit hard. I so badly want to be a Proverbs 31 woman in every way for my family, I want them to always see me laughing at the days to come! Because NO MATTER WHAT WE FACE WE NEED TO FACE IT WITH JOY! Joy of the Lord because each struggle, each pain, each difficult time will bring us closer to Jesus if we walk through it with JOY! This life is a vapor, it is so short- we need to choose joy because the Lord CAN DO SOMETHING WITH JOY! He wants to use us, He wants us to choose the supernatural joy that does not even fit the situation. Why am I happy about where we are in life? Because Jesus is leading my path and I am confident that it is moving forward and it makes me SO joyful beyond words that He sees me worthy of going through these trials! BRING IT ON! I'm going to be effective with my life, I'm going to be joyful when life chucks full on Bull crap at my face and I am going to show my children that no matter what JESUS IS RISEN and He is WORTH it! He went through much worse and He is worth much worse. Christians often say "don't ask for patience or God will strike you with lightening" I think that is total bull, He just allows you to go through things that will develop your patience! I WANT to develop my patience, I NEED to! I'm being real with you guys. So you have an illness, so you have a disability, so you are a single parent, so you live in a tiny home, so you have barely enough to scrape by, so you are spending Christmas without your family.... SO WHAT. That does not allow you an excuse to whine, it certainly doesn't allow me that either! I have spent way too much time whining instead of PRAISING! Thank you Jesus that you saw my circumstance, you KNEW we could make it together you and I and you allowed me to walk through this difficult time and LEARN. Lord please let me learn through these trials and learn to walk through them better next time. I've really been thinking about this lately. We often say things like "it's so hard right now, I've just got to get through this then..." Then WHAT? Does it get easier? No, it just gets DIFFERENT. People often wait to have kids until the "timing is right" I'm totally all for a few years with your spouse, but waiting until you have the right income, the right saved, the right house, the right car, all the gadgets, that day DOES NOT COME! Just the same with everything else, stop thinking about how much better it will be later and see how GOOD IT IS NOW! Even when it's hard, there is GOOD! God is GOOD! Remember HOW He is good this season, what HAS He given you? What incredible lessons have these difficult trials taught you? If it's nothing I can guarantee you a repeat, because you have GOT to learn! Look around, you're not alone even when your head tells you that you are. It may be hard to see right now, but you are surrounded by love and beauty. Jesus made you! He made you with a purpose! You're still on this earth so there MUST be something for you to do and you MUST be important and loved! Trust me, this is not the pot calling the kettle black, I certainly know this is MY lesson to learn eternally as well. Lord allow me this season to see YOU, to teach YOU to my children, to thank YOU for the gift of your beautiful Son that saved a wretch like me. Thank you Jesus that I am fearfully an wonderfully made with an incredible purpose and Lord do not allow me to rest until I have pushed through trial after trial and reached the gold. Let my children see that I am NOT a quitter, I am gentle, kind, loving, selfless, that I love you above all and that I love and submit to their daddy second above all. Let them see that he is the rock of this family and Lord strengthen him when the world would try to make him weak. Allow our family to flourish financially so that we may bless those walking through money trials. Lord to you be the glory forever and ever and I pray Jesus that our lives would be a testament to thousands and that someday your voice would ring true to thousands through our mouths from the stage you have called us to speak from. Lord you reign forever and today you are Jesus THE SON OF GOD an we praise you, teach us to lay at your feet and be thankful for the trials we walk through each day because we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish it's work so that we may be whole and complete NOT LACKING ANYTHING! (emphasis mine, James 1:2) Merry Christmas to you and yours, know that your trials are blessings, walk through them knowing that God thought of you highly enough to keep you on this earth to walk THROUGH. The only way THROUGH IS THROUGH!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Lately I've been spending time each day reading the updates of an incredible family facing serious tragedy back in Oregon. It has really made me refocus on the Lord each day and seek to find the importance and the gift in today. Are you a glass half empty kind of person? Boy i sure can be. I have been working very hard lately to change this about myself, i tend to analyze the negative before seeing the positive- making sure i see what worst could happen first and prepare for those results so that when i come through I'm not surprised and my whole person is in tact. This is so far outside the character of Jesus! Jesus was focused on RIGHT NOW with the goal of eternity for the children He so desperately loves. Certainly He stood up and stated the negative outcomes of foolish sin and behavior and called out people living these lifestyles, but His goals were to glorify His maker through His actions and bringing love and grace to those on earth. I don't feel as though my life honors Him as it could when i continually focus negatively. Today was just one of those days, you know what i mean! The two younger kids whined ALL DAY. It did NOT matter what it was they were whining and throwing fits and complaining and yelling and by bed time i wanted to THROW something through a window! But really, I am so blessed! My children are healthy and growing great, they are happy and loved, content and learning. They are adored and they know Jesus! What a gift they are to their daddy and I! Sometimes i get so overwhelmed by them i just cannot help it, but i try to remind myself that I am only human as well and my attitude makes all the difference. What we focus on expands, so I am going to focus on the blessings, just as this wonderful mother has done throughout watching her child fade away and go to join Jesus in heaven, because she is blessed, and I surely am as well.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Our friend Flex

I know this is way off track from my recent blogs, but as the scripture says, Matthew 12:34b For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The abundance of my heart right now is grief. It may sound silly to some of you facing much more serious loss, and I do understand ours was a pet not a person, but to us this pain is real. We have a good perspective on it, but unfortunately that cannot change our hurt. Many of you know that Bryce, my husband, became sick just months after our Lucy was born just after losing his job and insurance. During those three months of being in and out of the hospital Bryce had really began to feel defeated and was having a difficult time adjusting after he was home. He had been telling me for years that he'd wanted a Weimaraner and so I started to explore the option of getting him a puppy- to be his companion and to bring his spirits back up. This little boy was a blessings dropped into our lap, I'm sure of it! He was born to a beautiful mother that was intended to breed when she was older and so her puppies were purebred but unpapered thus making him thousands cheaper than Weims run. We went to see him when they were only a couple of weeks old in early May 2009 to see the little guy. Bryce was immediately attached to him, with ears to big for his body where he actually fell from stepping on them! He was one of the biggest puppies, as Bryce wanted a big dog. Over the next few weeks he would drive the two hours each way just to see him for an hour or so. He was hooked! This little puppy was his joy! He finally came home with us on June 12th at eight weeks old. Since then he has been the most incredible dog we've ever had (we love our Jesse, but he's more subdued). Bryce would take him virtually everywhere, they took drives together, went running, and he'd take him to Grandpa's Feed to get dog food and toys. Bryce bell trained him to ring with his nose when he needed to go outside (which got annoying since he'd ring it ANYTIME he wanted out!) Lucy has no memory of not having him in her life and often tried shutting him in her room to play. One of her first words was calling him "horsey" because he was so big! We went through many ups and downs with him because he became very sick a couple years ago and required immediate surgeries much like Bryce's. He would say that he and the dog were meant for each other, both healing from the same internal stuff. He always protected me and the girls when Bryce was on night shift or out of town, and he never let anyone near them in the yard. He had a very intimidating bark! When we decided to move here to Kansas, some of the pros we thought of were acres for him to run and play. So he rode in the main cab of the care with Jesse and the girls all the way here to Kansas. As soon as he saw that field he FREAKED! It was so beautiful to spend hours watching him run and play and explore 5 acres of land. He was a beautiful dog, shiny and happy, big and long, goofy and always always trying to scheme his way into your lap. He had a way of turning people into dog people and had a huge crush on my mom. For some reason every time she was over at our house he would not leave her alone! He kept following her and rubbing his head on her anywhere she went. I'm pretty sure she fell in love with him too :) Lucy and Brynlee were always dressing him up and riding him like a horse, to which he would just play along every time, he loved them. He loved them so much i know that at some point this will hit them and at least Lucy will understand the permanence and feel the pain of loss. Of course he did stuff to drive me nuts, but no matter what i loved him anyway and could never stay mad very long. We've been here almost three months and in the past couple of weeks he had been losing a lot of weight and drinking absurd amounts of water. The other day he began coughing up blood and just lay in the dirt, so Bryce loaded him up and took him to the Vet. The Vet immediately said it was serious at he was Forty pounds lighter than when we left Oregon. We knew, we just knew all day what this meant and that he wasn't coming home. It was a long day, but after the diagnosis of advanced Cushings and some other things as well- he needed to be put down and spared the pain. So i sobbed and sobbed and sobbed and hugged his neck and told him how much i loved him, and he did what he's always done- whenever i cry he comes up to me and looks right into my eyes as if to say he knows how i feel and he's there for me. Then Bryce asked me to leave and held him as he passed away... I swear if God sends animals during a time when people need unconditional love and humor, than this dog was certainly sent by him. He helped me get Bryce back to himself again, he brought us love and comfort, and plenty of laughter. He was a gift we cannot be thankful enough for. We are desperately feeling his absence already, and so unsure how to move forward from here but we are grateful for the joy he brought us, and for being Bryce's companion. We had so many dreams that included him, he shouldn't have died for ten more years at least. What a difference a day makes.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Husbands... and respect

I began thinking about this blog soon after writing my last one "Your children become what you speak over them" and really felt the subject important to touch on. I am confident in the things the Lord has appointed me to do and I know that this is one of them- marriage. Speaking on it, writing about it, and living it. Did you know that husbands also can become what we speak to and over them as well? Of course that is a universal statement about any relationship parent or otherwise, but do we put it into action? I have often experimented with this in my marriage, somewhat unintentionally and what I can tell you is that YES it certainly matter what we speak over them. When Bryce worked at the jail for three years I could DEFINITELY see the difference in him and his day when i would wake up and pray the armor of God over him. The days that i didn't were difficult on him. How often do we skip praying over them to only beg and complain whenever they ARE home? I know from my own marriage and also from others that this happens quite often. To us it sounds like a request, like we've done all the chores so why is it such a big deal for him to take out the trash? More often than not this becomes a huge argument wherein you spend an hour fighting about what he does for the family in comparison to what you do which leaves you both exhausted, him feeling like a failure and guess who takes out the trash anyway? YOU. Guess who feels bitter that he didn't listen to you again, YOU. When talking to newly married or soon to be married friends i often try to remind them that the walls in marriage are really built slowly with tiny stones and over time you cannot figure out where they came from but there you are living separate lives. I've been fortunate enough to have recognized this in myself early on and Bryce and I work hard to make sure there are never walls coming up anywhere. But really, that one incident can become a huge fortified wall over time! Why is it so important to you? I can say for me, my love language is acts of service, so to me him not automatically seeing the need and jumping in to take care of it makes me feel like he doesn't see how hard i work or care that the load is a lot to bear at times. When really he's walking in the door thinking about how draining that job was and just wanting to relax, chances are he's not even SEEN the trash! I've realized that on days when I feel like i really need his help I just decide i'm going to change my attitude and encourage him instead of choosing bitterness or begging. Those are the days when our marriage is incredible and he sweeps in excited and happy, takes out the trash while i'm in the other room and just blows me away! What a gift a good attitude can be. Instead of running through why he's frustrated me all day through my mind, i think about what a gift he is, what he sacrifices for me each day and how desperately he must want quality time with his family to recharge. I become determined to make that for him and more often than not I am the one who receives the blessing of that attitude shift even more than him! My heart changes to that of the Lord and i can see from his perspective what a gift my husband is. The point i'm trying to drive home is this: are you grateful for your husband? Do you spend time telling others all the terrible things he does not do or how lazy he is? Have you tried to ONLY speak positively about him? Men receive love by respect, and gossiping about your husband is the absolute slap in the face in disrespect. How can we expect our needs to be met when we have not even tried to be a "help meet" and spoken poorly of him to others? A good wife NEVER reveals her husbands weaknesses to ANYONE. I used to struggle a lot when Bryce and I would argue because i wanted so badly to talk to someone about it, but everyone I knew i was not certain they would encourage me to the feet of Jesus and submission, and so i told no one. For me it was better to deal with my heart with Jesus and my husband alone than to involve someone who might get the wrong idea about him and make a judgement based on my emotional opinion. I would wish for a mentor or woman that loved her husband in this way that i could speak to, but I was not SURE it would not effect their judgement of his and my first call as his wife is to ALWAYS build him up and never to allow someone else to be judge by something said of him. I believe women were created to be a help meet for her husband, to respect him and honor him, to look forward to meet his needs before he realizes he needs them, and to come along beside him in fulfilling his calling in life. We were not created to belittle him, to tell him about how he needs to lose weight or stop eating junk or get up and work- honestly we may feel like he needs to hear those things but THAT is not our job as his wife. We are called to speak life, to encourage, to uphold, to become the proverbs 31 woman. The easiest way for a woman to do that in my mind is first to learn to control her tongue, when she has done that most of the problems solve themselves! Have a heart of submission and love, to do whatever it takes to help him reach his goals, and help him find them if he is without any! We were created as a gift for our husbands, are we being that?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Your children become what you speak over them.

Think about it: If we become what we think about, which i've come to the conclusion after reading many books like "Secrets of the Millionaire mind," "Think and grow rich," "as a man thinketh," "God's creative power" and listening to "The strangest secret," that this is definitely true; what do our children think about? When they are young, still at home with us, what do they think about? Whatever we teach them, allow into their lives via friends, family, movies, games, parties etc, these things shape their young thoughts. If a child is spoken to in harsh terms and told they're always "naughty" what will they always be? NAUGHTY. Before you wonder where in the world i get this stuff, please remember i do have three children of my own! I can tell you honestly that each child was a different sort of baby, each pregnancy was different, and each of my children are different. I can tell you honestly- after reading these books and studying the power of words from the bible- i have truly understood what this principle has done for my own life. For example, when i was very young in school a teacher told my mom that i had not been tested but must suffer from a learning disability. As never diagnosed, the statement had already done it's damage as my mom then believed this about me and tried to help me through the next 12 years of school. As a senior in high school i received a 4.25 grade point average and STILL believed i was not a smart kid. I must not be destined for anything great. I was given a full ride to a small community college for sports and opted not to take it so that i could stay close to home in case i didn't "do well" in college. Just a few years ago i was praying about some things and as we were talking at a family event this disability came up and I decided to speak to my mom in private about it. After which she studied through the bible to write scriptures and prayers for me rebuking what had been spoken over me and speaking life. Since then i've not struggled with this thought in my mind even once, because the chain of the lie was broken. Now i don't share this with you to gain pity or to make you think that i do have a disability- my point is I did NOT have a disability, and I have never had a hard time picking things up, but because i believed this about myself from a young child it effected my success and my choices as i became an adult. I can even offer another example for you :) Each of my children slept through the night beautifully for 8 to 12 hours every night since the time they were 2 months old. Many many mothers believe that i am just "lucky" not to have one of their "problem" sleepers. This is SO untrue! I am the same tired, exhausted, desperate mother any of them were. And my children were breastfed before you believe they coma slept because of formula(which is not necessarily true for formula babies anyway.) After a few weeks i was healing well and needed to be close to my husband, to talk and laugh, and have our own space. Thus each of my children moved to their own rooms within the first month after birth. I know some of you co-sleep, that is just not me- and no i do not love my children any less. Each night when they would wake up i would go in and lean over to cuddle close to them while they were still in their crib, check their diaper, see if they were too hot, and prayed for them. I repeated over and over "I love you sweet baby, but Jesus created you to be independent from me and to sleep. He created you to need rest, and He created mommy and daddy to get time alone. You are fine, you are safe, you are loved and Jesus will help you sleep. When you need me, I am here, but you are fine and ready to sleep, goodnight I love you" and I would walk out and allow them to cry for a while before i went back in and repeated the same routine. Very quickly they were sleeping fine and no, they've never shown signs of attachment issues or anything. I truly believe that this is the difference between me and other moms who are always awake! I am not saying mothers that are awake all night with toddlers are bad mothers, I think they are actually quite excellent mothers because they desperately want to make sure their child is not abandoned and knows they are loved. I also have seen many that fear their child will not know they are loved if they are ever left to cry. I believe that how your child thinks and what they know of your love is dependent on how you speak this over them throughout the day, and gently allowing them to learn to sleep alone is only teaching them to choose and think independently of you. You can try over and over to lay them down and do exactly what i did and you can still not have the same results if you don't really believe your child can sleep. I read a profound thought in the book "God's creative power" that reads " Jesus said to me, 'I have told my people they can have WHAT THEY SAY and they are SAYING WHAT THEY HAVE.'" How true is this in our lives? I KNOW it's true in mine. If my child is being naughty, which is in their nature, i am telling people that they are naughty- correct? What if when they are naughty we correct the behavior as we should but we only spoke positive things about them? What would happen then? I have tried this many times and it has transformed the way i think of their behavior and their behavior changed as well! My children are incredible, my children listen, my children love Jesus, these are the things i repeat in my mind and often out loud when they are misbehaving because if God gave me the power to loose things in heaven and bind things on earth, good behavior i will loose and bad behavior i will bind!(Matthew 16:19) This works in every area, I personally am specifically focusing on financially, but it is generally universal! Where you are right now is as a result of how you THINK and then how you ACT! First we think, then we act, then we see the results of all of it and repeat it with disappointment. I don't know about you but i'm tired of this cycle! I'm tired of it for my children and for my finances, marriage, friendships, churches, any thing i interact with. The mothers I have most admired over time are those women who are not emotionally charged when their children misbehave. They are wise and generous, and their children grow up to be calculated and optimistic. They are intelligent and kind, generous and loving, and can adapt to any situation. The reason is not because they never misbehaved or those mothers were "just lucky" it was because they spoke good things over their children! They were patient and kind, and even though their children were difficult at times and stubborn just like ours, they grew up to be incredible adults! My husband and his sister are two incredible examples! These two adapt, are kind, generous, loving, confident and wise. I believe my brothers are also this way! Yes our parents made mistakes with us of course, but they always led us to the Lord and told us that we could do anything we set our mind to. We often think that statement is ridiculous but really we become what we think about, so it is true! There is nothing that makes me more angry than an older mother coming up to me saying things like "just wait until your children are teenagers" "Oh three girls, oh man your house will be terrible when they're teenagers" As soon as i walk away politely i say out loud quietly " I refuse to let them speak over my children in Jesus name those things are NOT my kids, my children will be INCREDIBLE teenagers and women of God!" Because in no way will i let someone else speak horrible things over my kids! I often feel as though i now understand WHY their children are struggling so much, they've had failure spoken over them! My point is to encourage you mothers and fathers, friends and relatives, that you can change the future of your children and those around you by speaking POSITIVELY over them! It will work the same in your own mind and heart, speak GOOD things over yourself and your finances and they will change! Don't complain, blame others, or act the victim- take responsibility for your part and start speaking LIFE about yourself and your children!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Settling in

Well the last four weeks have been a blur! As soon as we arrived the crazy began- within a couple of hours. Our little apartment has been under full on remodel and every single day we seem to hit snags. I am proud to say now, however, that our bathroom is FINISHED! For three weeks we had to run across the driveway and into the house if we needed to go, a lot like camping i'd say. Anyway, we're mostly settled into our new little "place" and beginning to imagine what a new routine is going to look like for us. Honestly... As that is good and necessary for me to step out of survival and into normal- I also am beginning to feel swamped by the emotions that i seem to have mostly not processed as of yet. Sometimes i'll just say to myself "i can't believe we just left everyone!" and it hits hard and fast. Yesterday my bestie and sister in law sent me a picture of her and my nieces and i just broke down in tears for quite a while. Just seeing them makes me feel like i could be there and reach out to hug them. Sort of like a tease i suppose. I knew this move would be difficult for us, Lucy has only known nextdoor to my parents as her home. We have spent our entire marriage in that same house, our girls were each taken to that home when they were born. We made a family there and five years of memories. Lucy has been really struggling lately missing her Ami- as they share the same first name they are also kindred spirits. Ami is her very best friend and it is finally starting to hit her that we're staying away. It has been especially difficult because my heart aches much the same as hers and i don't know how to help it heal. Isn't it incredible how the things we're called by God to do are not simple at all? And usually they make no sense to us until years down the road. When Bryce and I got married we had no intention of moving to my hometown, but the doors flung open and we felt like it was the right move. I never intended to stay so many years, but again we knew we were in the right place. Two years ago i began to understand why. It was to reunite my family. My big brother Matt left when i was a senior in high school and has mostly been removed from my life since then- not by choice but because he was airforce and often stationed out of the Country. During that time it was almost as if he were just gone, he was not a part of anything and when he visited he did not adjust well and we all fought the whole two weeks. So in March of 2010 when he and Lindsay married in Florida and moved back to our hometown i was a bit nervous but excited. He didn't know me anymore, and he didnt know much about Bryce or our daughter Lucy either. IT'd been so long since we held a conversation i was terrified to have him back. I also didn't know if i'd like Lindsay- we'd only spent a few emails worth of conversations besides her wedding week and we all know those don't show true character! In the two years since then I have found a best friend and the return of my big brother to his place in the family. I've watched as the Lord changed and molded the hearts of every single member of my family and been amazed that we are so lucky to have all of us together, spending every Sunday together, talking about the Lord- how to give more, serve more, grow more and learn more. Challenging each other and helping each other up. My brothers have matured into the men i always prayed they would, and two of them have met their match- and the blessing of those two friendships is more than i ever imagined! So i believe that time was to reunite, to grow and learn together, and to be in each others presence when we heard the call of the Lord, all together but all differently,as He sent us in new directions. That direction for us was clearly to come here, and as painful as it has been I am ever grateful for the Lords call on our lives and through this move he has walked beside me closer than ever and i have known His favor and His anointing. It's been an unbelievable ride so far and we know the best is yet to come! I am remembering Philippians 4:11 "I am to be content in all situations" and working hard to remember also that i am responsible for my own attitude, whether i choose to be offended or angry and working to keep emotions like those out of my marriage and parenting. What a gift to be under the wings of Jesus- we are flying high knowing that we're at the right place at the right time. For what we are unsure but we trust that it will all work out as it has a thousand times before when we've taken the leap- so here's to something being at the bottom to catch us!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Winds of Change

Ok. My life has been zooming by so fast lately that i've really not caught my breath in a bit! Bryce and I have felt the Lord calling us back to the mid west for a long time now, for certain since February but we knew it would not be until this summer. So much has happened since that time- we were convinced at one point that we made that all up and there's no way God would move us when we had so much great stuff happening here. During that time we decided to visit Kansas because we were just certain we'd not move and hadn't been back in a year. So in July we flew out and even on the plane i just KNEW we would be moving there, but the Lord had to open both of our eyes together and thus it took a little talking to, but Bryce and i finally agreed that yes we were to move and yes it would need to be soon. I suppose that brings us to now. We leave here, the beautiful Oregon coast, for Kansas in less than two weeks! It is absolutely a shock to my system still but so beautiful in many ways. My family has been nothing BUT support- and we'eve each dealt with the emotions of separation as they've come. I've come to know my very deepest friends here, though luckily they reside within my own family as my two sister in laws! My mom and i have also been very close since i graduated high school(we may have been too alike to enjoy each other before that ;))but we both agree that as it is good it has also kept us from learning and welcoming other friendships into our lives. Each of us has always been called into different types of ministry for different seasons and thus being together just can't really work! I never thought we'd have moved back to my hometown, but now having been back five years I can see how it was a season to establish our family and reunite our family after my brother was in the Airforce for six years. It's been an incredible time of growth, healing, and learning together as each of us has been iron sharpening iron, as the bible says. While telling people about this move, we have generally had great responses though some have been very sad for my family missing out on the growth of our three little girls. But something has struck me so strongly that I cannot be shaken from this decision- even if nothing else were fitting into place (which it all is)I know that our story is like that found in Matthew 25:14 in the Parable of the Talents. The Lord has given us much, and we are just sitting on the gifts we have for the world out of fear and possibly laziness. To whom is given much, much is to be expected. Thus the Lord has given us a calling and in order to live a life worthy of the calling that we have received (Eph. 4:1) we had better get off our behinds and get moving! We only have a short life to multiply what the Lord has given us to do and so far we've just slipped into comfort. The Lord didn't call us to be comfortable or tell us that it would be easy, just that we needed to do it. SO... Here we go! 12 days until we leave! My house is a complete disaster, I'm surprised that i've been able to put enough cognitive thoughts together to even write this, and there is SO much more to do! We would love your prayers during this time if you're the praying sort- if not support goes a long way as well! We are excited to break out of this cycle and spread our wings a little, we're ready to have Bryce be in a more positive, less taxing job and we're ready to see what awaits us on the other side. I cry thinking about every piece of this puzzle, my entire family, extended and immediate are almost all here in this area. But i adore Bryce's family as well, they have become as true as blood and I am thrilled to get some good growing time with them. There's a sermon out there by a guy named Brian with Hillsong church that is called "living in your own grace" and when i heard it i just could not believe how excited i was about it! My in law's certainly know their grace zone, their undeserved God given talent and are living in it! I know that we are called to come along side them and get rolling on some really great stuff, so stay tuned if you'd like to hear where we end up and how it's going over there! Also, if you need anything we might be getting rid of (pretty much EVERYTHING) we're having a Moving sale this saturday from 9am-3pm! Love you all, thanks for caring enough to read this mumbojumbo

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Lately I've been thinking a lot about being greedy. I suppose it comes from our newest lesson we've had to teach our oldest girl Lucy. The other day she just would NOT share these random toys she had gotten attached to that day. Literally- a cup, a comb, two plastic rings, a baby crunchy paper toy thing and some random other stuff. Anyway her sister was trying to sit by her and play but Lucy was having none of it. She was screaming and crying and carrying on that Bryn was taking her special things. So Bryce tried the "stand with your nose in the corner" which she HATES, thus sometimes it is effective. Continually she would step out and go back to her selfishness. Tired of trying to help her understand the merits of sharing and how God shares with us, I asked her which was more important to her, sister or toys? When she replied toys i immediately filled with a mix between anger and defensiveness of my other daughter and complete and utter failure as a mother. Bryce and I stood up, and emptied her room and toy area completely of toys. The entire time she was screaming and crying so hard her dress was soaked and anguish had taken over. I knew in my heart it was right, because that was RIDICULOUS. All the while Bryn is trying to share her things with Lucy to help her feel better. Lucy was instructed that until she could learn how important her sister is and how to value people she would not have toys to play with. I have not regretted this decision as I've been able to watch a whole new girl appear of whom i am so pleased! Also during this time we've decided to take June off of Netflix shows and any movies at all (we don't have t.v.). I just last week decided i was also finished with facebook for a while. I really cannot describe the clarity i feel. It may sound strange but I am now able to see that we just got lost in the entertainment of stuff all the time we forgot how to be creative and use our minds to do anything. It's also quite remarkable how quiet God seems when you're so busy- and then suddenly when all other distractions are gone you hear him loud and clear and frequently. No wonder we've been waiting for answers for so long! We probably couldn't even hear what our next step should be! It has been beautiful to watch the kids invent new games, though i am much more tired these days being that they were getting out EVERY toy EVERY day! Until we took them away, then every book came out and was read, as well as all of the coloring books and couch cushions turned into forts. What a beautiful life we have! I just feel like i'm reveling in how lucky i am to have this time with my three beauties. I look at Lucy, then back to Avery and i cannot even believe she was once that small! It really is like a flash and they're grown- so i am determined to absorb them and all of their silliness while they're still confident to show it to me! The other day Bryce and i went on a date- SO good to have time together- anyways we were talking about the kids and i was saying our children are going to have some ridiculous stories on me when they're older. Honestly i suppose you'd have to be my child or husband to truly see what life is like here with me- a small glimpse- every single day at lunch time i sing the "peanut butter jelly time" song (on youtube) and dance around the house for them. They LOVE it (right now.) But I want them to know that being a goof is perfectly acceptable. I am comfortable with me, i am confident in myself and I want them to know they're secure in each part of their personalities as well. I suppose back to my greedy thoughts. I feel like we get so greedy all caught up in what "I want" and "what makes ME feel better" and all of those selfish things that we are just constantly satiating ourselves to the point of almost bursting. Then we just fall into a restless sleep wondering why it is we can't get our minds to relax, why we feel over weight and uncomfortable, why our children don't respect us and we realize we don't even know them, and why so many souls are so lost and alone. We just want to cover up worries, bury the bad and the heartbreaking and pretend something else is our life. We end up relating our situations with T.V. sitcoms and thinking somehow that's normal- but that was taped months ago with actors and half cardboard cutouts painted like a living room. I am so guilty of this- being selfish. Getting my own mind focused on whatever i want and being unwilling to change it. I catch myself actually going so far as to say "I just want to wind down and zone out on nothing." So i fill my mind with meaningless fake stuff like actors playing a role that's as real as the laughter in the background of it. Thus i am trying to learn the lesson Lucy has learned a week ago- to take away all those things i cling to and learn to also value relationships. My relationship with her, her sisters, my husband and so many others that i have "zoned" away from for a long time. I want to be a friend, and i can't do that if i'm so focused on "me" problems. The other day I was telling an old friend, whom is going through a lot of life changes at the moment, that they don't ever stop. So when you focus on your troubles and let that run your life thinking "when this is over I'll..." you'll never get there! I find myself doing that all the time! Because really when does it ever stop? When does it get easier, when do big things stop happening and things stop changing? Better yet don't we want to keep changing and maturing? I do! Thus I don't want to do that in my life anymore, I want to value those things in my relationship enough now to demand time for them.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Updates, MOPS, Chicks, etc.

I don't know if it's summer that helps my perspective, or just this season of life we're in right now- but I've just been so gratefully blessed by all the little things in my life. My girls are growing up so fast. It delights me to see them grow and learn new things, yet it also breaks my heart and i find that i am regularly fighting tears watching them grow. Lucy will be four in September. FOUR. Is that possible? I cannot believe time flew so fast. She has the most beautiful long shiny brown curly hair, sweet blue eyes and a paler skin tone. She is happy and organized, sweet and thoughtful, adventurous and a very very quick learner. She never misses a beat. She reminds me so much of myself as a child in her flair for the dramatic, it seriously makes me laugh. Brynlee is our sweet little comedian. She will be TWO next month! I look at how fast her hair has grown and listen to the little sentences she picks up regularly and I just marvel that she was once so tiny and is now getting so big! She is built more like her dad, long torso and short stocky legs. She's got his hair color (dark sandy blond) and my more olive skin tone. She is seriously the funniest child I've ever been around! She makes everything a joke, loves the outdoors and anything messy. She is trying to potty train a little here and there and it cracks me up, she even does THAT funny! She follows her sister everywhere yelling and trying to take her stuff and somehow blame it on Lucy and get her in trouble, sly little booger. Her favorite thing to say is "I love you SO much, across the river!" Of course it sounds more like "I yuv you O mush, cross da RIVA!" but you get what i'm saying :) And our sweetie little Avery... Oh my here i thought she would be our mellow kid and so far she is NOT. She is happy, don't get me wrong, but now that she's moving, she does NOT stop. She will just roll and roll and roll, and do that throw-the-head-back-into-your-chest-when-sitting-on-your-lap thing. She is going on SEVEN months old now! My little surprise, growing up so fast! She LOVES her sisters, wants to be where they are all the time. She is also a very vigorous eater since finding out table food was for her too, she will seriously scream at me until i stick some of my food in her mouth! She is fun, very happy, very sweet. Her hair is turning bleach white blond, so right now it looks really neat with the white roots and the darker dirty blond at the tips. The Lord has been showing me a lot of really great stuff lately. First, I really want to be an unoffendable person. I know it's not a word but the point is still made- I want to know who i am so confidently that I let any sort of offense roll right off my back. Those people tend to be easier friends. I want to be a better friend, i want to worry less that no one will like my goofiness once they see it and more that I am who God created me to be. I know there are people out there who need a friend, a friend like Jesus and maybe if i could look and act more like him I could be that type of friend. Plus it takes way too much energy and emotion to constantly feel like someone doesn't like you. I don't want people to feel like they have to be sensitive with me. Through that whole thing I also have felt for months like I am supposed to start a moms group here in town. I really have doubts that i'll be the right kind of leader for this type of group but nonetheless I will be doing what I'm told by the Lord and stepping out in faith. So, I am currently working to start a MOPS group here in Waldport. There isn't one for at least 50 miles and i know a ton of moms with youngens that need fellowship and friends (myself included.) My dear husband assures me that I am gifted in this area and can totally make this happen, so with prayer and obedience i am blindly stepping out hoping i'm not the only one in this area needing some camaraderie! What a gift Bryce is to me, always encouraging, loving and accepting. He confronts me in positive careful ways and is gracious to forgive and move on. I adore him, literally more than ever and next month we will celebrate FIVE YEARS OF MARRIAGE! They have been amazing years, and boy am i ever grateful that we waited for the right person and found each other on that plane to Africa. What an inspiring man he is! Also- update on our tiny farm, um i LOVE having chickens:) Everyone has been teasing me because of how i've adopted them as my own little youngens but hey, they don't have a mommy so i guess ill have to suffice. The other day the dog somehow got their pen door open and chased Missy out (my nickname for Mrs. Butterworth) and i had to follow her feathers, barefoot in the mist to find her huddling below the empty house next door. She ran FAST across the driveway toward my parents and into the hedge, but eventually i got her pinned down to the ground and put back i her house. It reminded me of Africa- trying to help the Komani people catch their wild chickens for a meal, they are FAST and very agile! Anyway, it has give us both the major desire to have more animals, more land, all of that stuff. We're natural born ranchers i suppose- so someday we hope to have a lot more going on! What a blessed life we lead, no matter whats around the corner (which we really don't have direction on where we're headed yet as far as new stages of life) we'll just keep on following and enjoying the moments we have together!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Back to Nutrition

Okay- so i may have sidelined my blog for a while- tangents are impossible to avoid in my head and apparently in my blogs as well! So... thus brings me to our next step toward total organic eating. In a small town it can work out one of two ways- either your grocery stores only have a tiny organic section and you don't have a lot of places to get stuff, but you can go to people you know who milk their own cows and goats, sell at the farmers market, or there is a town co-op you can order through. The other is probably that you live in a bigger city with natural food stores or larger organic sections in your Dillons or Fred Meyer. We have found an incredible co-op that probably also delivers to your state and possibly town- called Azure Standard. This co-op is based out of Oregon, my home state, and sells all organic natural foods. We have begun ordering almost all of our groceries from them and LOVE it! They deliver once a month and through co-op you don't have to pay shipping as long as your drop point makes the minimum(550 total, each order of 50). There are lots of co-ops out there, you just have to delve into some culture first to find out who knows about them! Our next step, as i prefaced, was picking up six little chicklets yesterday! They are SO cute! We have two black ones and four yellow ones that will be red when they are grown. They are just over a week old and live in my utility room in a red rubbermaid box under a heat lamp. Messy little buggers too! The girls love them! We already decided on names, because Bryce and I share a bizarre sense of humor- we have named the black ones Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Butterworth. Our red ones are named Myrtle, Gertrude, Ethel and Hortense. I know but old clucky hens needed older lady names, they're the only ones that fit! haha I know, i know you're wondering how weird we are... just don't ask, you may not want to know! Anyway, we figure in 9-12 months these organic fed little ladies will produce us about an egg a day each! Big brown beautiful organic eggs. If you've ever had one, you KNOW you cannot get an egg so good anywhere else! We decided we will keep them here but if family wants to put money in for food we will share eggs. Just an idea! Also i have stumbled onto a very rich and delicious food that the girls actually love! About a month ago my mom made us a snack out in the sunshine of apples and dates, they were SO good! When you eat a date and a slice of organic apple together- it tastes like caramel apples! My husband says I have a terrible sweet tooth, so finding something that's actually healthy and tastes sweet is perfect for me. My kids like them too, so I'll just keep them around. They are packed with fiber, iron, oil, calcium, sulphur, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and copper. Dates help in fighting a lot health problems. So try one:) We did a fast a couple weeks ago for Easter, I did a partial juice fast since i am still breastfeeding Avery, but ate only organic food and all natural juices we made ourselves with our masticating juicer (does TONS of things, will make pasta, nut butters, juices, grinds coffee beans or food, and will mill flour from grains). We broke our fast with organic foods as a church body Saturday night, but through that cleansing and commitment to eat so well I noticed that after that each time i have eaten food at a restaurant or anything that was GMO or not organic i got really sick! So it's amazing what an incredible change it does on your body. I feel so much more energized, my body has put on muscle much faster during resistance training and I don't have as many stomach problems from eating junk. I suppose that's all for today, but i must include this snippet of conversation i observed while writing this, all i can say is like mother like daughter.... I overheard Lucy while wearing just her panties standing on the couch swinging a cup around at a microscopic spider say this... "Dang it spider, i wasn't trying to hurt you, i was trying to kill you! You need to die, why cant i kill you, i need TO KILL IT, he's climbing quick, i have to kill it, oh no its running, i didn't mean to kill you, i want to kill you spider. Mom i meant to kill it but it didn't hear me! I want it OUT of the house, i'm gonna kill it RIGHT now. If he's gonna climb the wall i'm gonna nail him, oh no! I want him to die! i DONT WANT THE SPIDER TO HURT ME. Up spider up up up. Spider, up up find the mommy spider quick " all while weilding a cup that she keeps smacking into the wall... Finally i decided to put her out of her misery, "Lu do you want me to kill it for you?" And so i did and she felt much better, made me promise we'd never let one in the house again! Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Being real

I suppose it's okay for me to admit that my marriage is not perfect.
It's really amazing, what I believe to be a true and incredible gift from God. I also believe that the way Bryce and I walk through our marriage is the way God intended it to be. Pursue, pursue, pursue with a side of always working toward unconditional love.

But one thing I'm learning from my side of this picture is this:

Walls between you and your spouse are built one stone at a time, most of them small and seemingly unimportant.

It seems like the walls start with just deciding you'll stay mad even though they've apologized, or allowing the other to walk out of the room sad and alone and leave them there. Going to bed angry might be one, or refusing to take their advice and change something in your life for the better.

I am amazed by how easy it is for our human nature to step in and push and kick and scream and throw our little fits at our partner and then still EXPECT THEM to come fix it. What effort did I put in? If I'm being stubborn and ungrateful, no matter how much pursuing he does I'll still be stubborn and ungrateful unless I choose to change my attitude.

So many times it seems that we think the problem lies in our spouse- THEY have GOT to change or this thing won't work. I've heard it from married couples before. If that's your attitude, no amount of changing on their part is actually going to help you. Until you step back and decide that no matter their response, you're going to choose love and forgiveness and serve however you can, your marriage will continue to be agonizing. I have seen, and found out myself that the best moments in marriage are when you've served and laid down your own life for theirs.

Thus i repeat, walls start with little stones, ones we think won't matter- hanging onto something we feel is important and bringing it up at a later date... "I'll do __ for him/her, but I will NOT do ___." My goal is to make sure those little stones get swept away every single time i lay them there, before any others can be piled on.

It's worth it, marriage can be heavenly, it can endure quite a lot and still survive- if you can get rid of those walls and be open and vulnerable enough to let your partner in, KNOWING they WILL disappoint and hurt you at some point, but if you can stay open through that the Lord will protect your heart and reward your patience and openness.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saying Goodbye

The Lord calls people in new directions in his timing it seems, not just when we're ready. Our beloved pastors for the past seven years have been called to a new place, for something truly incredible. God has opened so many amazing doors for them and I am so excited to hear what comes of it!

But... it has lead our church body into a season of grieving.

I walked up to their house Friday, knowing it would be the last time i saw them before they left. I saw Kelsey sitting on the porch and immediately I remembered the day they were introduced to our church as the new pastors, Kelsey wasn't much older than my Brynlee. I remembered babysitting her at my house, playing "house" with her and Ashley. I remembered getting in trouble for still picking her up when i was eight months pregnant with Lucy. I remembered watching them ride bikes at Diamond Lake years ago. I remembered roasting marshmallows at family camp, playing tag, and all the beautiful cards she's made me over the years. I stepped past Max and remembered going over for dinner when he had just come home as a tiny puppy, tried chewing on Lucy's shoes. A.J. is so grown up, turning into an remarkable man, with a deeper voice, tall and fast, sweet and handsome. I remember every time I see Ashley how difficult it was for Julie to cut her hair for the first time, it was the most beautiful dark ringlet curls, like my Lucy's.
Inside I saw us having dinner talking about our dreams for the youth group, for growth in the church, for giving. I saw Julie at women's retreats, on worship team and laughing together at worship practice, teaching us how to scrap, taking all my family photo's, coming to the hospital to see my babies, bringing flowers to me for each and when Bryce was in the hospital. I remember what it felt like to receive those flowers, a card and even money to help us through those months he was sick. How Arte came all the way to Portland to sit and pray and talk with us for a few hours in that little room on the seventh floor.
I remember the day Arte asked Bryce if he'd be the youth pastor. I remember looking to the front during "meet and greet" to see Arte with his hand on Bryce's shoulder teaching him and encouraging his spiritual gifts, helping to develop him. I smile seeing the circle of men praying over Arte before each sermon, men of God united by and sacrifice and brotherly love. I see all of the baptisms he's done, including my sister in law. I can remember all the times he got excited during a sermon, the jokes he'd make, the times he'd get choked up, the time he made Bryce eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
I know this doesn't mean a lot to many of you, so i thank you for allowing me to share my heart.
Change is so hard sometimes, it's overwhelming- it brings memories and images and hopes that feel lost. A leader leaving means saying goodbye, grieving friends, mentors, family. It has me really thinking about heaven though. Truly I know that it will never be the same when we do get to see this beautiful family again. They will only be visiting, with limited time. We were so blessed to have them for such an important and AWESOME season that we had them! Our church has grown so much it is ready to sprout and shoot out of the building- we've been filling up with barely standing room in the back! We've branched into lots of new ministries in our community, new events, a new love for Jesus that is infectious in all the good ways;). Weeping may remain for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning! (Psalm 30:5)
Heaven is going to be unbelievable, and I am so honored and excited to spend it with this amazing family. It might just be the next span of time we get to spend with them, but we will have eternity to worship together! They have been an inspiration, always focusing on love and eternity, reaching out to all of Waldport.
I have said goodbye to friends like these before. I knew at my Honor Academy graduation that we would never all be together again, most of them I'd never see in this life after that day. Yet there was joy even in our grieving because we'd met kindred spirits in our love for Christ and knew that no matter what we would all reunite at the banquet table someday and what a DAY THAT WILL BE!

Arte and Julie- It's been an honor to serve with you, you two are going with God and Canada won't know what hit them:) You are a force to be reckoned with. You have gifts that are effective and unique. You be used and equipped by the creator for every good work:)
Love you!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Definition: Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible.

This Greek word and variations of it are found throughout the New Testament. Agape perfectly describes the kind of love Jesus Christ has for his Father and for his followers:

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. (John 14:21, NIV)

I've been reflecting on this a lot lately, what would it look like to live this way? Sacrificial, unconditionally loving each individual you come into contact with, being selfless. I have a couple of close friends that have each been going through their own set of difficulty in/just out of marriage and it got me thinking. My heart truly aches for these people, marriage was meant to show the relationship the Lord has with the church, the beautiful way the church was meant to look out for each other, to take care of the needs of your neighbor without expectations in return. But how good are we at exemplifying this to our spouse?

Recently my husband Bryce has been working night shifts, which (for those of you who've never worked nights) means he's exhausted ALL the time and really has 1 less day off between shifts as he has to switch back eating and sleeping. This was the specific reason i drug my feet a little when he presented this idea to me back in September of last year when they began "bidding" for shifts. My husband works in corrections and nights bring a much needed relief from being called the most foul names from the most foul mouthed the county has to offer. I knew it would be good for him, help bring him back to his normal happy self, but i was being selfish and knew he'd sleep all day and we would literally have NO time without the kids on his work days. The Lord convicted me of this bad attitude and thus, i jumped on board with support. He has been SO much happier that it has been so worth it! But he has definitely been exhausted, worn down to the point that he passes out 20 minutes after he gets home and wakes up 20 minutes before he leaves. This allows me 40 minutes to see him a day (when the kids are awake and active).
I suppose i should get to the point of this back story- I do not like sharing my husband. It's really something i'm working on, but truth is I'd really like to hog him all to myself and handcuff him to me forever. He's really amazing, for all of you who don't know this- sorry he's been stuck to me for 5 years;) Anyway i will try and allow you time with him in the future, though i keep his schedule pretty tight only allowing a couple hours a week to be on his own (in case you're unsure, I'm TOTALLY joking). The man is amazing, he is giving and faithful, he does not ever doubt the Lord even for a moment. He can store incredible amounts of knowledge in his brain and remembers the events of the bible pretty dead on all the time! If you know me you know that I can't even remember which world war was fought where. SO this is incredible to me, i can try and make some sort of remark about history and he always corrects me gently. Anyway, he's hilarious, he's forgiving, he chooses not be bothered by little things and does not hold onto grudges or hurts. He is an awesome friend to many, a great mentor and a loyal follower of Jesus.
How in the world did I land him? I seriously ask myself this sometimes, it seems like every area i lack he is right there to balance it all out. I am sometimes unsure what i add to this equation. He always pursues me, in romance and in arguments, he weighs his feelings and thoughts before speaking. I like to throw up my defensive walls, skulk to my corner and think about what happened and why in the world i'm reacting so poorly.
Bryce has taught me the meaning of agape. He is selfless and loves me unconditionally, he sacrifices a lot for me.

I've decided lately that I want to be better at Agape love, not only to my husband but to everyone i meet and everyone i know. I want to bring patience and honesty with me everywhere, sometimes sacrificing my comfort to bless those around me. There's a new song my dad played for me recently by Mac Powell "When love sees you" from the perspective of Jesus
"Tell me your story, show me your wounds
and I'll show you what love sees, when love looks at you"
This song really hit me, how am I really like Jesus if I'm not doing this? Do i make my life about this very thing, showing people what love sees? Do i love without concern of what others may think, or what might happen to me? Do i sacrifice the safety and comfort of my own "stuff" to find out what someone else might need?
I chose to start this new lifestyle in my own home. The other day Bryce was in the middle of his days off and just couldn't get himself to wake up, my heart was feeling hurt that he wouldn't get up and spend time with me- so i chose to wash, oil and massage his feet, and later give him a face massage as well as let him stay asleep until almost noon. I'm definitely not trying to brag on myself, my point to say that I felt amazing doing this, the act of choosing to bless him even when i wanted to be hurt made ME feel better! My heart changed to pure joy and love toward him, I was able to feel empathy for how hard he was working for me and the kids. He woke up at 11:30 feeling great and we had an awesome day after that! If i had chosen to be hurt all it would have earned me was a miserable day because he'd have felt bad but been unable to help his exhaustion. This way we both won, and i felt so good that i was able to help him relax and snap out of his tiredness faster.
We've been married five years, the most rewarding and incredible years of my life. He has taught me so many amazing things about the Lord, and our relationship has become deeper and more beautiful each passing day that we have together. We are flawed, we choose to be selfish at times, we refuse to let go of pride others, but one thing is sure- we want to be teachable, to learn wisdom, and to always strive to love unconditionally no matter what. Practicing this kind of love at home sets us up for success when we come into contact with people outside these four walls. I want my children to see me as ever learning and changing, striving to put others before myself each day.
God is so good, and the prime example of agape love. Marriage is supposed to exemplify His love for His bride- which i find that the church is often flawed in so many ways, ways that can be so offensive to those searching within its doors for truth and hope. Marriage can be this way too, we're searching within our marriage for truth and hope, and sometimes our partner responds with agape love, and sometimes we reject the notion and push them out with our desire for things to be "just so."
Truth is, the real church, the way God intended it, is NOT "just so." We cannot control it, and it really does not need to be controlled, it just needs to be loved. The church- those searching for acceptance and love from Jesus, just need those of us who are a part of it to sacrifice for her, to lay down our life and our comforts to unconditionally, selflessly love those who walk through our doors, and those in the world who will not.

Our goal is to Honor God. No matter the cost.
Elevation Worship, "For the Honor" is my very favorite song right now. Because no matter what God brings to my life- I would choose to Honor Him even if I had nothing. Even if i had everything. The only reason for my life is to bring Him Honor.

Friday, March 2, 2012

My mothers legacy...

Over the course of four years, since my first pregnancy with Lucy, my mother has become more my mentor, my friend, and my hero. She's always been these things to me, but becoming a mother myself put her in a whole new light for me. She has always been beautifully protected, knowing what lines to draw with your children to protect them from worry or guilt. As a child i always knew how much she loved me, how much she was willing to give up just for me, and sometimes how overwhelming four whining voices can be!
The moment Lucy was born my mom stood to my left, my husband on the right. I remember looking from my new baby, to my husband, and then to her- tears running down her cheeks at her pure joy at seeing her little girl give birth. In that moment i felt a connection to her I'd never had before, i finally knew what the love of a mother really was, the most intense feeling of love I've ever experienced. It us unlike the love i have for my husband in that she is our creation, the pure expression of our love for each other.
So many new stages have come and gone with my children, my mom has been there to listen to my anger, fear, tears and hopes. She encourages me to seek the Lord in how i raise my children, to be consistent and to love without holding back.
Just recently I was sharing with her how lost I become in the everyday at times. We have a schedule that just scoots the day by so quickly at times that i can't even remember what day it is and often wake up feeling panicked trying to recall if today is sunday and i need to get the kids ready quickly (this takes two hours with all three of them, and one of me to do all of it). My mom is amazing, truly she is and she knew my desperation from a heart of experience. A few days later she brought me a journal she had written when i was little, a raw deep expression of prayers from a young Christian mothers heart, to show me how she dealt with the things i'm going through right now. The Lord told her it would be okay, and she trusted me with her thoughts.
What a beautiful gift! It has meant more to me than words can express, as we tend to dismiss advice of old but this journal gives me the unedited version of my mothers stresses, hopes, dreams, fears and frustrations- the exact same ones i deal with on a regular basis. She's always told me that she'd parent as best she could and then pray that the Lord would fill the gaps each night as she counted her failures. I have done this innumerable times, feeling inadequate for the time i could have been playing but sat folding laundry, or should have spent time reading with them, teaching them letters or going outside.
Reading through her thoughts I am reminded of so many biblical words... Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He met Mary in her time of need, by our standards today she would have been judged poorly and looked down upon because she was an unwed poor, pregnant teenager. He has met every mother in every generation with the same burdens, hopes, fears, frustrations and hurts. He met my mom when I was little, and today I call her blessed for the sacrifices she made for me and my brothers. She always backed my dad up, she always loved even through complaints, she made sure we ate healthy, dressed nice, went and had fun, kept us safe from every bad character she could. She may look back and count the things she may have changed, but i look back and count the things i should have been more graciously thankful for!
Her words and my experience during those same years seem so different, yet in regards to us i see so much pride and love, she would have given anything for us and often did. When i was a teenager i remember trying to force her to buy herself socks and some new shirts, she just gave up any desire for new things in order that we would be provided for. It was beautiful, the incredible example of a mother that i get to follow and i know many others do as well. It reminds me that my time with my little ones is very short, my impact great, and their need intense. It reminds me that the things i feel have been felt by mothers across the globe for generations. It reminds me that God made a mothers heart exactly this way- to wake early in the morning thinking of her children, their needs, their desires, their precious spirit, that he created me to love my children with raw deep emotion, to guard my words as not to wound, but give them unabashedly to Him.
What an incredible season he has given me, and in this season i not only get to review my own thoughts and feelings, but i have hers to cry with, to agree with and to cherish as she spoke of her love for me each day. What an honor being called "mom" really is, I know when i say it to her it holds new meaning, and a new love.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Home bout "one who balances the world" can we change it?

If you don't have kids, you're seriously missing out on some incredible entertainment! Albeit expensive, it is fascinating to watch how quickly a child can demolish the order you may have assumed you could keep. I've decided it doesn't matter how many times i say "please excuse the mess" my company will probably never know that i had it spotless THAT morning, but two busy little ones later it looks like a hurricane came through. We call her Brynlee;)
I know a lot of people think being a "home maker" sounds like you sit around eating ice cream and gaining weight (only once a week) while your kids run around screaming and you yell at them to shut up while the you watch Law and Order. I promise, this is NOT what happens! Well i suppose those people may be out there, but if you want to stay sane and spend time teaching your kids and keeping your home clean you actually don't get more than five minutes to sit the whole day! I know i had more time to sit working at the bank than i do here. Between keeping accounts balanced, paying bills, checking the mail, doing the dishes and laundry (neither EVER end) cleaning up toys, feeding three children and sometimes i catch a meal a day, keeping groceries in the house and attempting to teach my kids a little "school" I barely have time to breathe! I honestly think breastfeeding allows me those few minutes where i have to say no, though i have at times been known to do this walking around and feeding other kids, pulling them out of high chairs one armed- come on don't pretend you wouldn't do this! If you can't believe what i'm saying, you must be the mother of only one child. When there are two or more, well then i'd like to see how well it works for you:)
I spend the day listening to stories of the ball, random naming of animals that all end in "Eni" like Seni, eni, lenny... And her valentine balloon named "ballelini" whom i have to tell goodbye and hello six times a minute. During these bouts of fascinating conversation i hear " Mom WHAT is that smell! FLEX you tooted!" yes our dog seems to crop dust every time he turns. Brynlee gets into EVERYTHING. I have caught her three or four times dunking her head into the dog water. Presently she loves to engage in conversation with words that make a tiny bit of sense mixed in with a lot of made up ones. I have to ask her "Do you want to get in trouble?" all the time, to which she answers "Newwww." I went to get a kitchen towel today and she had emptied the entire drawer onto the floor of their bedroom.
Siblings are interesting, and i'm delighted to get to watch them grow up. But to all of you who think being a "stay at home mom" sounds simple- think again. It may be rewarding, and wonderful, but it's certainly not a job i would describe as "easy!"

Monday, February 13, 2012


After my children being sick many times i've decided... I HATE colds. I mean they may be a minor irritating thing to live with when you're adult but when your kid is sick... It's MISERABLE! I've even said to people " please DON'T bring a cold around Brynlee, I CANNOT handle Bryn sick!" She is seriously the most fun, easy, entertaining child when she's healthy, but when she is sick i honestly feel like sticking tacks in my eyes. She often wakes up hourly screaming, and the snot, ohmygosh i cannot handle snot and that is really the only way a cold has ever manifested in her body- through snot. Day and night she sneezes out huge amounts of it. She sleeps sucking on two fingers with the corner of her blankey under her nose so a snot scenario does NOT work for her, she ends up very angry and inconsolable except by Winnie the Pooh. Lucy, well she's actually very easy to take care of when she's sick. She'll get the same cold as a cough and stuffy nose.
Then there's Bryce. Gotta love the man. He always washes his hands, stays away from everyone, but in some ways he requires more work than the kids :) i say that lovingly and with his knowledge. So we fast forward a bit to this morning. I went to bed feeling great, got woken up at 6 by a text, then at seven by Lucy (whom has recently been opening her door and running into our room) upon waking up a decided someone must have forced acid into my esophagus and smashed my nose so that it is swollen. Luckily- Bryce is already mostly over this same cold, and the girls have not gotten it yet!It seems like i gutted out several daily servings of echinacea and goldenseal (seriously tastes like eating a dandelion weed), chugged Emergen C and bought stock in Ricola only to find that the tickle in the back of my throat decided it would climb up over night and take over. I always wonder why it seems my body doesn't know the rules of war and kinda figure out how to win against these things.
Anyway, I've tried pretty much every over the counter immune booster and germ fighter i can find and it seems none can completely do the job every time ( i really wish they could!)
Again i find myself praying "God PLEASE don't let Brynlee get sick!" Avery seems to be immune to all the junk we've had here since her birth three blessed months ago, Lucy is pretty normal with a cold, but Bryn oh God PLEASE don't let Bryn get sick!
Have you ever known a mom who goes through the baby blues and feels like throwing the baby out the window? It's actually quite common, the blues not the actual throwing of the baby. Well i never understood that feeling until she had her first cold. It's the most helpless yet aggravating feeling! I can't get her to calm down so i often want to stick her outside so that when she comes back inside she might be grateful for my embrace, instead of screaming through it. So I'll continue my plea's with God, hoping for all our sake that she doesn't get sick, if she does you'll be able to tell because i won't have slept but thirty minutes at a time, and my patience will be seriously lacking.

Well, since this sounds like a super complaint, I suppose i should end with some sort of positive inspiring thought. That way you don't leave thinking i'm insane or a terrible mother ;) I suppose my point is this: I, among many, see these situations as dire. Dire in the way that "i need my sleep!" or "I spent $30 on medication for symptoms," not actual life and death.Lately my mindset seems to have changed when it comes to this kind of thing. Don't get me wrong, I feel miserable and i also know that my whining is a little petty and a bit selfish. What I mean is, I have a home with heat, a warm cozy blanket to snuggle under, that $30 bucks for cough drops and meds, healthy food, an incredible husband to help take care of me, three beautiful daughters that are mine to nurture and love-but also do a good job nurturing mommy. I have been incredibly blessed! I can only imagine what a cold would feel like right now if i were homeless. I whine inside my head every time i go out to take out the trash! Which of course is full of wasted elements someone may have been able to use. It is so difficult to break the cycle of using and tossing everything! I can only imagine how a cold feels when you're living outdoors in the rainy cold, how your sleep would be almost impossible, how you'd wish you had a home, or even just that cozy blanket. Sometimes i may not feel rich in the traditional sense, but my life is so rich and blessed! I have a place to call home, and even several backups in case i ever needed to stay somewhere else. My children get to have two parents, which is hard to find these days.
So today, with my cold, I am grateful. I am grateful most for my salvation, that in Jesus i will not endure the miseries of being human forever, and with him I am always secure. I am grateful for my home, for the ability to pay my huge electric bill, for my family being close and settling problems immediately, for the love of so many. I am grateful that i have been given the know how, and the means to bless others, and i intend to do it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New direction...

Sometimes i wonder if there should be a limit on all the things i'm passionate about! But then the Lord was passionate about all the same things and even more!
For a few months now i've been praying a lot and feeling a distinct change coming. I know that the Lord has called my little family to huge things, and somehow seeing our life right now as it is is just NOT huge. We are in a season of growing young children, but that does not mean i need to be ineffective! The Lord is bringing me to a new place of challenge. There's been a lot of vision and dreams pouring out of my heart lately and i've been waiting to see how the pieces would fit together.
I don't like to seem like a fearful or worried woman, but i think i come off that way sometimes. I stay tuned into my own little world of consistent routines, and miss the higher mark.
Last night before Bryce left for work he was telling me the most heartbreaking story. I have the unique position as his wife in that his job reveals a whole new level of local heartbreak that i don't like to acknowledge. He knows that he cannot share certain details of crimes, the ones involving children namely, because i CANNOT handle it. But yesterday he was really bent up about a case he'd read. He began to share with me that the parents of an 18 month old boy (same age as our middle girl Bryn) thought he was the devil and so they beat him and left him to wander the streets... This is LOCAL! Not more than twenty miles from here! The parents are in jail and the child was found and taken care of, but it really got me thinking. I can't believe i've stuck my head so deep in the sand that i've missed the hurting and abused souls all around here. It seems that often we start thinking that others chose to get themselves where they are. Even so, no one "deserves" to be treated poorly because they're homeless, no matter how that happened.
My heart breaks easily, which in some ways is a gift from the Lord. I have an intense compassion that makes it so i often cannot sleep or really even cope. That is the thing that terrifies me, being vulnerable enough to feel others heartache so much that i'd rather stay at home with my girls and just enjoy every second i have. Unfortunately that won't teach them of Jesus by example, and it won't show them their mothers heart for the lost. I may not be good at witnessing in the way that my husband is naturally gifted at, but i certainly can serve and bring an element of compassion a lot of people tend to be missing. We see others as needy but somehow getting what they aught to as some sort of sick karma. If i were getting what i aught to i'd certainly not be where i am. Mercy is something we often leave behind in caring for the needy.
It has been on my heart so much so that i have been frozen in thought most of this day thinking of what i can do, what i can start here in this place where i am called to be today, to change the circumstance of someone around me. I've got some incredible ideas brewing, and i'll be updating soon on what those are.
I know that i'm not a perfect mother, but my children are incredibly blessed to be warm and fed, well groomed and clean, clothed in nice things, blessed with an abundance of toys, and most of all they know they are loved not only by me, or even relatives, but by God their creator who loved them enough to send his son to die on a cross. How many children these days are never taught this? How many are taught that life is about you you you, whatever you want, wherever you want to live, no matter the impact on anyone else. Not to mention the purpose in helping others that they miss out on. I don't want my children to see Christmas as presents, Easter as candy and dying eggs, communion as juice and bread, salvation as fire insurance. My children need to know that a Savior named Jesus came to this earth born to an engaged poor couple, born in a stable on dirty hay, wrapped in rags and set into a food trough. This Jesus grew up learning how to build things, speaking to large groups even as a child, blessing events by turning water into wine, touching diseased people with no fear or disgust, approaching those with disabilities as if they had none, because he healed them so they did not. Then, my Jesus died on two wooden posts in front of a bunch of mocking people, so that one day my children could FOLLOW his example and DO what he DID. He died so that they would get to meet their creator, and sing Holy Holy forever and ever.
What will i have to say when I'm called to give an account of my life? Yes Lord, i fed MY family, i clothed MY children, i served MY husband. All of that is important, but will i really have nothing else to say? I better have something to say, because otherwise I've shown God what he was worth to me, what eternity with him was really worth to me. He deserves the glory my sacrifice gives, he is worthy of my life being laid aside as i give whatever i can to serve HIS people, not just those he put in my household.
I know that having shared this that i will be receiving a counter attack before too long, but please keep me accountable to find my own purpose and teach my children HOW much i love Jesus, and guide them to find their own way to do the same.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Today i just felt like blogging about life...
Sometimes i can't believe such big dates in my life are already come and gone... graduation, getting married, the birth of our three beautiful daughters, two of my brothers getting married and starting their own families. It just feels like life passes you by so fast sometimes. I find myself gazing at Avery trying to suck in every breath of her infant stage like my life depends on it. Everytime she coo's from her bassinet i just can't help the smile that takes over my face! That sweet baby reminds me that life happens so fast. I cannot believe that just 3 1/2 years ago I was doing that very thing with my Lucy! And now i find myself taking short breaks from our games to get a little quiet for a moment. Not that her constant chatter and imagination bother me, it's actually that her incredible ideas and games sometimes overstimulate my brain! She can travel around the world in a game, and sometimes " to the center of the earth!" and she always wants one of us to go with her! We've been having weddings, a ball, and a lot of phone calls lately.
A vapor... seriously life really is so short! Sometimes i think on this and just want to run in and wake them up so i don't waste any of my time with them while they're still young. The fact that they desire to spend time with me is so precious i find myself wishing i could just hire a nanny to do all my chores so that i could just PLAY! I don't need help caring for the kids, I'd just have SO much more time to play if someone else did all my housework! :)
Yesterday Bryce and I were joking around about something, and after all these years we've gotten really good at our goofy banter, and he stopped after i said something and held my face and said " i just fell in love with you all over again." I swear i need to pinch myself regularly that i get to live with this man forever! Last week he brought me flowers for no reason, two days later he brought coffee and a bagel home to me, both after working twelve hours. He gets up early to spend time with the Lord and pray for us, he always stays patient and calm, never raising his voice or being angry. He treats our children with respect, disciplines by explaining himself first and teaching them how discipline is out of love. He is the physically strongest man i know and yet can be so gentle. The other day my dad said to me, " He is SUCH a good man. I am so grateful for him as a son and knowing that he is taking care of my girl so incredibly well." What a gift to have him in our lives!
I wonder sometimes what i'd do if something ever happened to him, and i'm really uncertain. I know the Lord has amazing things for us to do yet, but if Bryce went home to heaven before me, I'd try to remember the gift of each day with him. When i get up in the morning I set out to take in everything i can about him, we never stay angry, we always seek to learn from others and each other, we spend quality time finding things we enjoy together, and after five years i still get those same huge butterflies everytime he walks in a room, or i hear his voice, or even just smell his cologne or his skin on a shirt he left for me to wash. Life might be a vapor, but it's one i plan to breathe in as much as i possibly can!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vaccines and Disposable diapers...why i do neither with my kids

Okay, i know both of these subjects can be met with mixed emotions. Some people are staunch believers in vaccines as well as the convenience of disposable diapers. I just want to share with you moms out there my experience with both and the studies i've done to back my reasons up. I have no desire to upset anyone, but i do think being informed as a mother is very important, especially these days.
First: Disposable diapers. I know of two different treatable kinds of diaper rash that my children have had. One of them is a yeast reaction that can be treated with any yeast infection cream, and also a general diaper rash where you'd use desitin or something with zinc oxide. Both of these tend to come from food reactions, at least they have seemed that way at times. Both of my older girls, however, has had one that was so bad and so red that nothing was touching it. Brynlee had that this past week while i had her in disposables to try and get rid of it using cream(you can use some creams with cloth diapers if you use a barrier so it won't clog them up, i just didnt want to hassle with that). So i started to think about it, you know what? Disposables are made with Chlorine and other harsh chemicals that when mixed with the ammonia that urine turns into can create a chemical burn! As soon as i put Brynlee back into cloth it was gone within hours! I started doing some research and found several articles listing different harsh chemicals and examples of lab rats that had increased eyes, nose and throat irritation and symptoms of asthma just being NEXT to these diapers! Not only are cloth diapers affordable and save you TONS of money, they also prevent your child from being exposed to harsh chemicals, perfumes and things that cause asthma. Also they don't break down in the land fills and the manufacturing plants that make them pollute the water systems surrounding them.
I know i sound like a total hippy right now but bear with me! I've gotten really into natural parenting as it allows ME the control of what my children are exposed to and not someone else. It puts ME in the driver seat to their health. Not that i'm really gung ho on everything, but i'm really trying to adjust our life to the healthiest it can be in all regards. If you think about it, how in the world did our parents' generation end up so much healthier than we are? With less disease, less autism, less infertility... It has to be effecting us somewhere we don't know about. It's not like we're signing up for it, it's got to be somewhere we don't even realize!
Thus bringing me into a very touchy subject: Immunizations... First of all we've all heard the reports about Autism and it's increase linked to vaccines. Pediatricians will avidly deny this, but i encourage you to do your due diligence for your child before you sign them up for a bunch of needles into their tiny little thigh. I have personally been bullied on this subject by SEVERAL different pediatricians and have decided i will most likely NOT find anyone in the traditional medical field who will agree with me on it. You'll also see a lot of reports of people being confronted by the police at their door telling them to vaccinate their child... this is really scary to me that we've come to that. What happened to the days that you actually got to parent your own child? Choose what's best for your child... Now it seems there's a government regulated opinion of what is best for YOUR kid and if you don't bow down and do it then they'll threaten to take them away. When Brynlee was just a couple months old we found that she had a little skin abnormality that never even got noticed for a couple months. At this discovery the Dr. actually told me that she SHOULD call DHS on me to do an investigation to see who had abused her! I broke down in tears right there, being my first realization that my word and my heart for my children is not good enough anymore. Somehow i have to defend myself and show that i'd never let anyone hurt them. They said maybe it could have been someone that babysat her... Trust me when i say there were NO signs of abuse, not a single problem with pain or any indication that it was any injury or fresh problem. She was BORN with it. This is just to illustrate where we are today. Maybe you haven't dealt with this problem with your pediatrician- and that's great for you! But it's happening. Luckily DHS was never called, we saw a specialist twice at a children's hospital and they determined it was absolutely fine. Soon after we switched to a new Dr. though the situation didn't change much.
I have done extensive research and i encourage you to do the same before you have your child vaccinated. Find out what is in them, what they protect your child from, and read the stories about babies that have died from getting too many, the raids that are being done to force you to vaccinate... This is a problem to me, a serious one. I have used dr. tenpenny (google her) for information, as well as they update new articles everyday with pertinent new changes in government and things that go against the natural way of things. You'll be alarmed at what you find!
I am attempting not to get myself flagged here, i don't want to divulge too much information, but i do want to encourage you to protect your child and research the things you use and approve for their care. Choosing diapers and shots are as important as who you allow to babysit them, what you feed them, keeping them warm and clothed... Know what they're injecting into you little ones, PLEASE. Also, if you have mysterious rash's on the baby... try to keep them out of disposables and see if you get that resolved. Read the chemicals that are in diaper wipes and know that disposables are made with polyethylene and polypropylene plastic with bleached paper pulp, AGM (a gelling substance), petrolatum, stearyl alcohol, cellulose tissue, elastic, and perfume.
Blessings to you and your little ones, and if you need help locating good cloth diapers- check my two earlier posts!
P.S. Got my new Best Bottom diapers and they are AWESOME! So worth the money, amazingly narrow, soft, versatile and SO easy to do! Check them out at!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cloth Diapers...Information overload!

Sometimes i SERIOUSLY cannot stop laughing listening to him play with our girls. The man is hilarious! Currently he and Lucy are "playing animals" and he is playing with a green triceretops he has named "tremble"(because he's continuously saying "tremble before me") and is using his best nasally British Forest Gump accent narrating everything he's doing. If you can picture it! He then goes between his "tremble" accent and the snake he's named "steven" who has a terrible lisp and imitates the honey badger video on youtube... oh my goodness it's a sight to behold for sure! He is now flying Brynlee around like a jet plane, which is forcing adorable baby girls giggles out of her! Our little adventure girl!

Oh the entertainment at my house! I have to hide stuffed animals from Lucy right now because her collection of ones that MUST sleep with her expands by the hour! Its a little difficult to keep track of all of them and somehow, in the dark of night, she will yell from her room every single one that's missing, how she knows? I have no idea! She cant SEE them!

I am ordering another set of cloth diapers today! it's safe to say i'm addicted! :) They're SO adorable! All of my cloth has been purchased from two different websites: and
The order i just placed is from nicki's. Nicki's carries the "best bottom" diaper, which is a wipe-able cover, snap in insert so it wont move around, and one size-so it's adjustable from birth to potty training!
My guide to diaper buying would be this: If you want to only purchase diapers once-the most economical and easiest fitting way is to only get "one size" diapers. I also recommend pocket diapers, or covers with a number of different insert possibilities. You can get "all in one" diapers, but these take more time drying and have to be tossed in the washer immediately, thus meaning you need to buy a lot of them and they're more expensive.
I have purchased a LOT of different kinds in completely different price points. The pocket diapers that are lined in Fleece are my favorite because they keep moisture away from the skin and solids are really easy to get off of them when baby gets older. I also prefer snap closures as i've found the hook and loop tend to wear a lot faster and also my kids started to pull them off even under their clothes! I have done Pre-folds with Snappi's and LOVE them. My only complaint being that baby can feel the wetness faster-but you can buy a roll of 5 fleece liners from cotton babies to lay on top of these as well to help with that. They are definitely affordable and awesome burp and cleaning cloths as well! You can use any cover with these- my personal favorites being the "flip" brand from cottonbabies.
I have two different brands of "pocket" diapers and like them both a lot for different reasons! I have "Sunbaby" which are actually made in China and thus are very inexpensive. They are narrower diapers, have an extra leg snap for tightness, have fleece lining and very cute prints! I paid $66 for 12 of them! They are great but after a year of usage i do tend to get more leaks. I only use these during the day and are great for newborns as you change them all the time! The other brand of pockets i have are the BumGenius 4.0 one size. These i LOVE because they DO NOT leak! They are wider, a little more expensive but are an American company with some of the product coming from Egypt. They come with two soakers, a one size (snaps down three sizes or all the way out for large) and a newborn small one. I double these together for an all night diaper. I only wish i had the snap version instead of hook and loop!
I also have a random set of Bummis super whisper wraps when i bought a "try it" kit to see if i liked it. These came with 2 small size covers (only fit up to like 6 or 8 months) and 6 unbleached pre-folds and a Snappi.You can get all of this stuff in all organic but mine are not. If you're not sure how to wrap a prefold around a baby I have read lots of blogs and videos on how to do this, easy enough to figure out! It seems like different wraps work best for different kids. I use the traditional one with my girls.
I suggest when looking for the best deal- get covers you can wipe out, a mixture of inserts of any brand and cost and a snappi and you can make anything work! You don't even have to snappi the prefolds, you can fold them in thirds and lay them inside your cover.
You can make your own wipes by cutting flannel into squares, easy enough!
For those of you who don't like the idea of cleaning poop out of diapers (for breastfed babies you don't have to do ANYTHING, just toss them in the pail and wash as is!) When they're older and have solid poop it will generally come off on its own, but they do sell sprayers that attach to your toilet that make it easier, or little spatula things, or even a biodegradable flushable liner that you can buy and lay inside the diapaer, that way it all comes out without any touching. None of it freaks me out after three kids and numerous poop in the tub, the floor, and the panties experiences with Lucy and Bryn.
For traveling they have hybrids- meaning you can use a disposable insert with your cover as well. I have used those as the "Flip" system has this option and they work pretty well. Also you can get a small size "wet bag" to keep in your diaper bag so that it wont smell everything up or get it wet, these bags can be tossed into your load on laundry day. I've never messed with purchasing a "diaper pail" and all that, i just use a sterilite storage container from Wal Mart with a snap on lid and keep it on my drier. It never smells back there and has never bothered me!
I just read about a great wash cycle aid for smells and such today as well- using 3 tablespoons BAC-out and 3 Tablespoons detergent in a soak for a couple hours once a month on wash day, then just add an extra rinse. I bought some Country Save detergent from a local health and organic food co-op we have here in town (if you can find one of these, through church or health food store- JOIN! This one is incredible and we are LOVING it!).
So there's my pretty complete list. It's a LOT of information but i put it ALL down so you can refer back if you have any questions. I've tried a lot of different stuff but the easiest set i have is the wipe out covers and different inserts!