Wednesday, October 27, 2010


We use the word 'wonder' a bunch these days.
We say, "I wonder where the boys are?"
"Do you ever wonder what it would be like without sin?"
"It's a wonder that you didn't kill yourself on that jump!"

Today I'm using it in a whole new way!
How do I describe the amazing blessings of our God?
I'm in WONDER and AWE of Him and how He chooses to work in our lives!

Remember how this whole blog got started?
It was all about giving control back to God:
control of our lives, control of our fertility, control of everything!
Well... it's not finalized yet,
but all our ducks are in a row for the financial part of having a tubal reversal.

We're tentatively planning on the first part of December to fly to Mexico for surgery!
It's all just so incredible!
How God works in our lives to bless us and teach us new things just leaves me in

Monday, October 4, 2010

Am I teachable? Are you?

Just the other day a good friend asked me, "What's God been teaching you lately?"
Hmmm... good question. I know I had an answer, but it seems I'm too tired to remember it! Wait, maybe that was part of the answer! Yep, that was it... get to bed earlier so I can get up earlier and have that unbroken quiet time with the Lord. Well, at least that's what I think He wants to teach me, so I'd better start doing it!

That would mean that I need to go to bed now, and not continue to post.

So, I'll leave you with that same question I was asked...

What has God been teaching you lately?

I'm just so thankful that He's intimate enough with who I am to shape and teach and discipline and guide me! That's another thing He's been teaching me - Thankfulness! It's the best antidote for anger and selfishness and fear and depression and frustration and... and... and the list continues with self-centered emotions. He's so much bigger than my emotions, and my emotions are so deceptive!

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for conquering sin and death in my life and for raising me to eternal life with You! Thank You for giving me a new heart, and for leaving with me your Helper, the Holy Spirit! Thank You for being strong when I am weak. Thank You for being a sovereign, omnipotent, omnipresent, creator God who is holy and righteous and just and merciful! You are worthy of all thanks and praise! You alone, Father, deserve all glory!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Today I re-read one of Charles H. Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" devotionals that I had marked, it struck me once again as something I needed to hear. I thought I'd share it here and maybe the Lord will speak to you from it as well.
Continue in the Faith. - Acts 14:22
Perseverance is the badge of true saints. the Christian life is not only a beginning in the ways of God, but also means continuing in those ways as long as life lasts. It is with a Christian as it was with the great Napoleon: He said, "Conquest has made me what I am, and conquest must maintain me." So under God, dear believer in the Lord, conquest has made you what you are, and conquest must sustain you. Your motto must be, "Aim higher." The only true conqueror who shall be crowned in the end is he who continues until war's trumpet is blown no more. Perseverance is, therefore, the target of all our spiritual enemies. The world does not object to your being a Christian for a time, if she can tempt you to quit your pilgrimage and settle down to trade with her in Vanity Fair. The flesh will seek to ensnare you and to prevent your pressing on to glory. "Being a pilgrim is weary work and makes me wonder: Am I always to be mortified? Am I never to be indulged? Can I not have at least a holiday from this constant warfare?" Satan will make many a fierce attack on your perseverance; it will be the target for all his arrows. He will strive to hinder you in service: He will insinuate that you are doing no good and that you need to rest. He will endeavor to make you weary of suffering; he will whisper, "Curse God, and die." Or he will attack your steadfastness: "What is the good of being so zealous? Be quiet like the rest; sleep as others do, and let your lamp go out like the foolish virgins." Or he will assail your doctrinal sentiments: "Why do you hold to these doctrinal creeds? Sensible men are getting more liberal; they are removing the old landmarks: Fall in with the times." So, Christian, wear your shield close to your armor and cry earnestly to God, that by His Spirit you may endure to the end.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Vision for Church

... and for Family

Just wanted to share what we have come to see as the point of church, and since the elders and deacons of Household had already expressed it perfectly, I'll let them say it again for you all here:

"HOFCC was planted initially in August of 1998 in the home of Gregg Harris, an internationally recognized author and advocate of Christian home schooling and family restoration.

The new local church has been an attempt to institute several reforms of structure and doctrinal emphasis. From the very beginning, HOFCC has been age-integrated as a matter of principle. We choose to equip parents to train and include their own children in our church services rather than relieve them of their responsibilities by means of age-segregated youth programs. We do not offer a Sunday School, Youth Group or Children's Church service. Instead, we maintain a family inclusive and family uniting culture that draws everyone of all ages into worship, Bible study and partnership in advancing the Gospel together. If we hope to see families serving God together as a team, they must be equipped together as a team. That is what a Christian family household is— a team of believers living and serving God together.

The results of our efforts have been very encouraging. When families are willing to endure the transition back to a simpler and more Biblical way of gathering, they see a dramatic improvement in their children's love for God and His church. Men are drawn back into their Biblical roles as leaders of their own households and wives are restored to their Biblical roles as the helpers and companions of their own husbands. Sound doctrine is restored to its place as the treasure of the entire family and church planting missions become the natural result of healthy spiritual and numerical growth.

— the Elders & Deacons of HOFCC "

Depending on which side of the fence you're on, you may or may not like the term 'biblical role', but around here, we like it. In fact, we love it! There is something so right about doing what God created me to do, that in spite of it being absolutely counter-cultural and against how I was raised (not to mention that my natural personality fights against it) that I am filled with joy! Submission to my husband, being a keeper at home, training up my children - the joys and benefits are unbounded by this world. And my husband taking the lead, being that authority and protection for us, well... it's priceless!

The boys expressed it best the other day when we were talking about why I'm buying brown eggs these days, even though they are more expensive and we're trying to save money. (See, we teach budgeting, home-economics, cooking, and now we're working on communication) And my response was that I buy those eggs because Daddy prefers them. Nathanael was thoughtful for a moment, then spoke up with "I like Daddy preferring things more." At first I had a completely confused look on my face and then he explained. "You know, that Daddy prefers things." Sorry, not much help there, and then a light bulb. I said "Oh, you mean that Daddy gives his opinion more, or that he's more 'in charge', and that I do what he says?" And both boys chimed in with "Ya, that's it. We like him in charge!" And that was a perfect teachable moment to share with them how God made us each for different roles, and for most of out marriage I had been trying to take over Daddy's role, just because that was how I'd been raised. It was also a perfect time to apologize to them for how I had been hurting the family and teaching them by example a completely un-Biblical way to live in marriage , and I did.

I love homeschooling and being with the kids all day! How else could we all interact and grow and teach each other new truths?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Done Deal, well... almost!

No, we haven't had the surgery for the reversal yet, but it's as good as done! Charles and I are completely, 100% sure that this is the course God is calling us to follow.

Now I know that I could (and have) just turn this over to God and tell Him that I'm willing to be obedient to Him and if He would make a medical miracle happen, then I'd love to have another child. The problem with that is that I'm still hiding behind the 'medical miracle' thing. To demonstrate how serious I am about giving it all back to God, I want to do everything I can to show that I really do trust Him to be in control. And that's why we've decided to have a tubal reversal, to do everything physically possible to place it all back into His control. Yes, I know that He is more than able to open my womb without the intervention of the doctors, but is it really faith without investing myself somehow?

We just want to obedient to His call on our lives, and for us that means making whatever adjustments that takes in order to have a tubal reversal.

We're giving over our finances completely to the Lord, tithing with joy, paying off debt and saving for the reversal (net cost upwards of $7,000). I'm totally giving over my weight, repenting of chasing after food more than God and determining to live a more healthy lifestyle. I'm giving up my independence, submitting myself to my husband's authority and to God.
If God says to do it, we want to be a family that says "Yes, Lord. Yes!"

So now we're praying for the Lord to show us how to proceed and trusting Him to provide the means for which we will eventually be able to pay for this operation!
So, really, it's a done deal!

No, really? Did I just say that?

"So, I'm thinking that I should have a tubal reversal. What do you think?"

Yes, I really said those words to Charles just over two weeks ago.

Most of you are now in shock. Maybe I am too! Is that why I can calmly type away, attempting to put a bit of this down for posterity?

I don't know. What I do know is that the Joy of the Lord is my strength, and I'm filled with JOY! I know that my marriage is amazing, better than ever before, and my walk with the Lord very close and intimate. I'm
wanting to obey Him, and finding myself doing and saying things that the old selfish me would never have considered.

The Lord is faithful, ever faithful to lead us to Himself. I feel as if I've been blind and deaf with a heart of stone and now I can see, and hear and feel!
This is life!

Thank you Lord for this gift of life. Please guide and direct me to use it to glorify You!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Now? Did You say now?

Ok, so if you've read the earlier post, you may be wondering just what happened 11 days ago that made all the difference. Well... that's what I'm about to tell you!

About two weeks ago as the boys and I were doing morning prayer during school, we somehow began discussing what an amazing thing is was that our friends, Mark and Kristy, were being obedient to the Lord and choosing to have a tubal reversal to let God be God over all their lives again. During that discussion it was mentioned that I had had a tubal also. The first things out of the boys' mouths was "I want more siblings. Are you going to get one too?" That caught me a bit off guard, though I had been thinking about the whole situation quite a lot since Kristy had told me about their decision. The boys were so cute as they excitedly discussed their orders for more kids, in what genders and hair-colors and numbers! I told them that the Lord was really working on me to see children as the precious gifts and blessings that they are and that they should pray about wisdom for Mom and Dad to make whatever decisions that they needed to make.

Well, their prayers went something like this, "Dear Lord, please be with ............... Please help us have a good day and get school done quickly. Please help ............ come to know you and pleeeeaaaaasse help Mom and Dad make the decision to have more siblings for us. Amen"

Every morning prayer time went much the same way, and the Lord was really changing my attitude toward His blessings in my life, and the boys' prayers were being answered in my heart. And in the middle of one of those pre-prayer conversations, the Lord spoke to me and said "You need to apologize to Charles." I had never thought of that before, but I was convinced that He was right. When I had my tubal, though we had previously discussed getting it done, I did not ask his approval before I scheduled the surgery. I had usurped his authority. More than that, though he had agreed that a tubal was the best course of action, he had not wanted me to get it done. I had seriously hurt him when I cavalierly scheduled surgery and then informed him about it.
So I told God, "Yes, I need to apologize. I don't feel that this is the time, so I ask You to show me when I should."

The week finished and I kept praying about when to apologize to Charles, but I still didn't feel the tug, so I waited. I wanted to bring up the subject of a reversal to see how he felt about it, but just didn't know how in any casual manner, so I devised a tricky plan.
(yes, I know that some of you are laughing and thinking 'now that sounds like Hanna!')

We were planning on taking the boys to IKEA for breakfast Saturday morning and then we'd all wander through the store since Charles had never been there, and we were shopping for a new mattress. I suggested that on the way we should do morning prayer just like on school days. I was driving and we began the pre-prayer review of what and who we needed to pray for and Mikey piped up with "and please help Mom and Dad decide to have more babies." The reaction from Charles was priceless as he was just a wee bit caught off guard! I don't think that I've ever seen his head swivel so fast from front to back or seen him straighten up so fast in all our married life! He then exploded with, "It would be nice to know about these things ahead of time!"

We had our prayer time, arrived at IKEA in time to beat the crowds and had a great breakfast, then a ton of shopping during which the kids were pretty good. By the time we were done there we were all pretty pooped out.

After we had got home from town, we had all our usual chores to still do, and as the evening wore on, Charles and I got more and more on edge with each other. I can't even remember what the argument was all about, but we both ended up in separate rooms grumpy with the other each other. I was sitting in the chair in the living room, knitting away furiously when the Lord said "Now" and I knew exactly what He meant. He meant that now was the time to apologize to Charles for the tubal, and I said back to Him, "Not now.... Really? Now? Oh (sigh) alright." So, I went in to the bedroom where Charles was folding clean laundry and I knelt down at his feet. I was so unnerved that I couldn't even look up at him. I apologized for usurping his authority, for being completely insensitive by not even asking him about scheduling the surgery and for taking control of my life and not trusting God with it.

And that's when freedom came!

I was telling not only Charles, but God as well, that I was sorry for my self-centeredness, that I was giving control back to God.

And my apology freed Charles of the hidden resentment that had been there the last 9 years and neither of us knew it.

We were both FREE! And nothing has been the same since!

I've given all my life to God and I totally trust Him with it. I've turned over my finances and my weight and my marriage and my children... all of it to God.

My marriage has never been better, truly! I'm so in love with this man who has loved and protected me all these years even though I grievously hurt his heart. He is leading our family and I'm submitting and loving it! And the boys are seeing such changes in us that they are making changes!

Oh, thank You Jesus for taking my place, for bearing my despicable sins and for conquering death so that I might be brought near to You! Thank you Lord for faithfully pursuing me all these years, for giving me eyes to see and ears to hear! Thank you for the blessing of each of the boys and especially for Charles, a man who models your love to us. Thank You Father, praise You Jesus! I live for You!

From there to here, part 2

During the late summer and autumn I was really wrestling with the question of "what is the goal of education?" We were homeschooling, and had a general idea of why we were choosing that course, but we really didn't have a scriptural view of education. So, we read this short little book by R.C. Sproul Jr. titled "When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling."

And it really got us thinking and asking questions and digging in to scripture, and we came to the conclusion that the 'education' of a child is the responsibility of the parents, it's real focus is always God, and it's a way of life, happening always - not just during "school".

And that lead us to look at parenting in general - what's the goal? During this time we were also encountering real rebellion and anger from our oldest son who was really pushing all the limits that he could. We didn't know how to handle what we were going through, yet what kept coming up was "What was our goal, our purpose in parenting? Whether he is in rebellion or not, what do we do?"
And we realized that the goal of parenting is not all that dissimilar with that of education. We are to raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Everything we do is supposed to lead them to the cross where they can meet and develop a relationship with their savior, Jesus Christ.

And during this time of trial with our son, I was reading "Created To Be His Help Meet," by Debi Pearl.In her book she really lays it out about putting our husbands and our children above ourselves, practicing joy and contentment, and the influence we have as wives and mothers. I began putting into practice some of the things she taught, and I saw some amazing changes in my family. Though, I think the biggest change was in me, as I sought to say 'no' to me and look to others' needs first. Of course I didn't always do what I should, but often I would, and the more I practiced, the more I could hear the Master's voice leading me down the path that leads to Joy.

Another big change in our life was switching churches. As the Lord was opening my eyes more and more to what I was called to (as a wife and mother), He gave me a vision for what this thing called family was all about and what it should look like. We had goals for the family, and frankly, the church we attended didn't support any of those goals. We found that we had so many more battles with our sons because of the church we were attending. So, we handed off our responsibilities within our sphere of ministry at that church, and we left!

A good friend of mine had strongly suggested that we try her church. She felt sure we would just love it and it would be a good fit for us. We tried it... and she was right! We love Household of Faith Community Church. Though we had thought we might be church-shopping for some time, we realized with the first visit that HOFCC was our new home. The entire atmosphere there is one of love and respect. Men are lifted up to lead, given good examples from other godly men, and as a whole they are about training up the boys to be men of God. The women are keepers of their home, schooling their children and respecting and submitting to their husbands, and they focus on training up their girls to be godly women.
There is such freedom in being under the authority and headship of my husband, functioning as God has designed me to be!

Maybe we all still look the same on the outside, but there have been big changes on the inside. Charles has stepped up to lead and to train his boys to be men of God. I am submitting to my husband (don't gasp in disbelief, just ask him, it's true!) and loving it. Nathanael is not rebellious and is really once again showing a deep heart for Jesus. And Mikael... well, maybe he hasn't changed as much, but he too is growing in Jesus and taking on more responsibilities and he's more giving.
All this has taken place through the power of the cross in our lives, showing us our sin and our deep need for a Savior, and by His power alone are these changes taking place!

From there to here, part 1

So, how did I get from thereto here?Not through my own power or direction, I'll say that right up front!

God really began working in my life....
Well, actually, a better way to say that is that I was finally becoming aware of God's working in my life, because He's been working in my life since before I had a life! He was moving me in new directions: giving me a passion for His Word and quiet moments with Him, speaking His direction for me in books that I could have been quoted as saying "I hate reading these books because if I really think about what they're saying, I'll have to change."

He also began asking me, "Do you love me?" and I answered "Yes, Lord, I love You." Yet, I always knew that my answer was only partly true. He also began asking me, "Do you love me more than yourself? Do you really trust me? Are you willing to take up your cross and follow me?" And I would answer, "Yes, Lord. I want to follow You. Of course I trust You."

Do we see a pattern here? I want to do these things, I want to follow Him, I want to love Him, but I didn't want to die to myself and give up things. I never had before. Why should I start now? And that's when all of what I had been absorbing and learning came to bear. I must die to myself (I had never really understood what that meant before) in order to even be able to truly love Him, to follow Him. I had to say 'no' to me before I could say 'yes' to Him.

And He is ever faithful!
I began to say 'no' to me and 'yes' to Him, and Joy would come flooding in! Yet, I kept 'forgetting' and would go back to selfishness, and would feel so distant from the Lord.

This yo-yoing back and forth happened all through the Fall and Winter until 11 days ago. That's when I finally really gave it ALL to God.

But I'm getting a bit ahead of my story, so I'll go back and fill in a few of the changes that were happening in our life during that time frame in the next installment!

A little perspective, part 4

After crying out to God, hearing His words to me, and then my heart-cry prayer, I was exhausted. By that time it was nearing 2 am. I stepped out of the Suburban for a breath of air before I curled up in the back to sleep, and the Lord blessed me with one of the most awe-inspiring sites available to us in Northern Oregon - a clear night's sky, filled with billions of sparkling stars, completely unhindered by any man-made lights from shining their brightest!

What a brilliant reminder that the God who breathed out the stars and set the heavens into place, was more than able to hold me together and bring me back to a restored relationship with Him!

In the morning I awoke to the sound of the rushing river, and the sun softly glowing just below the eastern ridge-line. I sat at the picnic table refreshed, and I penned these words:

"August 4, 2009
You are the lifter of my head. Your lovingkindness is better than life and I will praise You, my lips will praise You.

You are with me always. Matt. 28-20

All things work together for good to those who love You. Romans 8:28

Greater is He who is in me that he who is in the world. I John 4:4

Thank You for restoring peace to my soul!"
God has faithfully worked in me since that night, and He has made me new. I am completely changed and I live for His glory!

A little perspective, part 3

Here is an excerpt from my journal. It was written that night, on the East Fork Hood River in a little campground, in our Suburban in the presence of Almighty God. These are lyrics from several Tenth Avenue North songs.

"Please don't fight these hands that are holding you. Yeah, My hands are holding you."

"I've been holding on so tight, look at these knuckles , they've gone white
from fighting for who I want to be, I'm just trying to find security
You say let it go
You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the ones who lose control
You say you will be
Everything I need
You say if I lose my life it's then I find my soul
You say let it go."

"I'm there in your sorrow
under the weight of your shame
I'm there in your heart-ache
I'm there through the storm
My love I will keep you by My power alone"

and I finished with this prayer:

'Father, hold me until I settle down, then please speak your love and peace to me!
I love you. Please increase that love. Tear down my idols - at least expose them to me so that I might tear them down. Let there be only You!'

And He has answered!

A little perspective, part 2

It was mid-July, 2009, and Charles was again being charged with all sorts of infractions and insubordinations.

And I was mad at God.
I felt like a little girl throwing a temper tantrum, held safely in Daddy's arms, beating her fists on His chest, yelling her anger at the injustice.

This time I pursued Him in the solitude of the mountains and rivers. On August 3rd, 2009, I took a long drive, with no real destination in site, but needing to get away from the Hatchery and finally give God a chance to talk to me.

I drove up Mt. Hood, checking out the sites as I went. The view from Timberline was amazing, but unfulfilling. The view of the Mountain from Summit Meadows was breathtaking, but only briefly. Finally I quit puttering around and just asked the Lord to show me where to drive.

I followed Hwy. 35 around the Mountain and north toward the town of Hood River. Just after having crossed the East Fork of the Hood River, I came to a small, unimproved campground, Nottingham by name. I pulled in, hungry for peace for my soul, and the campground was right on the river, so I thought I might find refreshment there.

The Lord is faithful, ever faithful and I praise Him!

There were only a couple other people in the whole campground, and most of them chose the northern loop to stay in. Only one family was camped in the southern loop, and I chose a beautiful spot backed right up to the river, all blanketed in fine gray/black sand.

There were no distractions as all I had with me was a sweatshirt, the big picnic blanket that's always in the back of the Suburban, a big water bottle, my Bible and notebook, and some CD's. I sat at the picnic table, listening to the rushing water, watching the sun set behind the mountain. Then, driven into the Suburban by the mosquitoes, I put in a CD, picked up my notebook and started organizing my thoughts.

I cried out to God and He spoke to me. I heard His answers in the songs on the CD. I read His comfort to me in His Holy Word. I felt His presence as I poured out my heart to Him... and then I just listened.

A little perspective, part 1

In September 2006, Charles interviewed for a Tech 2 position, a promotion from his current level of Tech 1, on Oregon's North Central Coast with the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Cedar Creek Hatchery in Hebo became our new home in late October 2006! It was quite an adjustment to all parts of our lives, but we grew to love it there (in spite of the rain!).

We spent the next 2 years there, getting involved with a local church body, growing to love the people in the Church and the community.

In spite of almost everything else growing phenomenally well (the kids, the grass, the flowers, the garden and the mildew), our faith and personal walk with the Lord did not. And somehow we were blind to that fact.

November 2008 brought persecution and changes to our life that we never envisioned facing. Charles took a demotion and transfer to Sandy Hatchery in Sandy, OR. in order to keep his job and provide for his family.

The Lord sovereingly moved us here, of that we are sure.
And during all that turmoil and stress, we daily saw God's ever merciful hand of provision upon us! He will do whatever it takes to capture our hearts, and that took really shaking up our world.

At first it really seemed to work, getting our attention, that is. Yet, soon we were back to our nominal Christian state. We were plugged in to a Mega-Church, attending regularly, involved in groups and discussions and activities. We joined a homeschool co-op and the boys played league baseball so we were busily getting to know people in the community.

And we forsook a real relationship with the One whose blood purchased every good gift we were enjoying for a facade of morality.

And persecution came again.
Thank you, Lord, for faithfully pursuing us!