Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bags of summer 2012

I have regretted no blogging lately. Exploring doing via an app
:) Today

Camp was first, four oldest Deevers attended kids camp at our beloved falls creek this year . Massive baggage led to massive laundry.

The blue backpack belongs to our beloved Sarah Mcgough , summer children's minister -love her!

Red bag was an birthday present/announcement to my parents about sent last week. Informed them of our gift to dad for his 70th bday- a week in Florida with his 17 progeny.

And the cute blue purse belongs to my tween girl , we are dating this summer..more later on that!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What a mom really wants on Mother's Day

I told my neighbor/friend my plan. 

Go see my mom. Go on to see my friend in Joplin and attend an event she organized.  Then come back through Tulsa and see my mom actually on mother's day. Get away from my schedule for a few days.

"Well all I want from my family is for them to be nice and get along, " she said.

"Me too!" I replied.

And I meant it I could not think of a better gift you could give your mother than to love your siblings, respect them and speak kind, encouraging words into their lives that help them become better people.

So that's my prayer and hope that one day I'll be able to say I got my gift.

Then I got in that car and drove away from my first born and Mr. Incredible with the girls for girl night at my mother's house.

So what did my heart come away from the weekend?

Home is worth the investment, day in and day out. 
Changing the lives of those God's given you to raise. 
Children are a blessing. Really!
These are the things eternal, the things lasting, the things worth doing well. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Falling in Love Again

" The rhythm of relationship; gathering....going.....gathering....going "

On occasion our hearts break rhythm. Usually in the gathering. We must learn to gather well.

"Do two walk together unless they are agreed?" says Amos 3:2.

I agreed to walk with another by the snow covered oak tree several years ago .

But sometimes it's nice to dance rather than walk....

I have learned to fall in love again. I choose to.

I am grateful for the things that move me in that direction. Songs. Movies. Stories. Real People.

We dated this weekend. We are learning to date well. With a little help from some online sources.

Love is a choice, I read it here.

But not till this weekend did it click. I made a promise. So did HE.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”

I keep mine because God keeps his. Always.

1 John 4:19
We love because He first loved us.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The quiet

I awoke to nothing. Yet to many possibilities....

No little feet stepping toward my bed.

No cabinet doors opening, the independent ones looking for morning foder.

No showers going, no coffee brewing, no voices, no questions, no movement.

The children on holiday with cousins.

God bless Aunt Mandy. My soul needed this. This quiet. This morning of mine.

I wouldn't trade those crazy kids, the chaos or even the arguments. But one morning!

Rest. You need it. Of all the disciplines it is most divine. Schedule it if you have to.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I love Jesus more

I fasted for lent this year. First time. I was raised in grace, lent wasn't something we did. Fasting yes, but lent no. Dad fasts quite a bit. I used to fast when I wanted to lose weight. (and I wondered why it never worked?)

It was confirmed several times. So I made the Easter, or the end of lent, or passover, I was slightly confused. Thank goodness for google.

Born a gentile. Raised under grace. Lots of grace. I love the grace. Named a kid after the grace.

Thank goodness for the grace, tried to lead the Wed. night girls through the Seder/Passover Service. I will not disclose the animal name in which the bone came from. I am no professional at this. As Katie said 2 weeks ago while talking our way through Deuteronomy, "I would've been stoned by now". Grace is a beautiful thing.  I am studier of the law not a slave.

So lent. A time of fasting from something. What do I love? Coffee.

But I love Jesus more. 

So coffee it was.

First week was rough. But I love Jesus more. I wanted to want him more than coffee.

I have lived the truth...anything we can't hold to loosely we make the idol....anything we can't live without.....something we hide when he comes asking for it's surrender.....

So I would smell it, enjoy the fact that others were enjoying it, linger on the coffee aisle in the store, stock pile for when I could enjoy it again.

That's what I've learned. Rarely does God want to deny us good things forever, he just wants us to want him more.

Every time I'd think, "man, coffee would be excellent right now", I'd thank God for his sacrifice of Jesus, thank him for speaking to me, thank him for helping me SEE things. I'd thank him for making all things new, for hope, for healing. You get the idea...the desire for the thing prompted me to thank God.

So again I google...End of lent.....turns out it's not a set thing.

I wanted ceremony for the end.....

A Sunrise Easter Service....just me and God. A throw back to my childhood at Open Door Bible Fellowship.

That's me sitting on the front row with that fur draped over me. I was 8. Fake fur was in. We were building a building. I grew up under those pine trees in the back. They are gone now and so is childhood. For better or for worse.

I google sunrise times. 6:29am

It was really dark at 6:29am, usually it's a little lighter before sunrise.

Google again...Central time sunrise...

Ah that's better. 7:29am

Babies asleep, husband gone, I must stay near by. The backyard will do.

I read, I pray...

For the nations. (Countries of the World, do index for an alphabetical list)

For the lost.

For my friend, I've learned got "make-ya-mad" news last night.

For my babies who need a momma to be momma not superhero.

There it is. The Heaven's declare....

I never get over the sheer beauty of the sun. Faithfully rising everyday. A reminder, HE doesn't forget. And neither should I , HE is coming back one day.

I remember the grace. I taste sweetness on my lips. He is good. He is God and I am not. He is worth the wait. He is worth anything I must give up. I love Jesus more.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easy come, easy go

She should be landing soon. Learning to walk on Asian soil. Not for a week but a year.

You know me and the bag thing....

These are full of calendars and markers and deflated soccer balls, games and gifts. All for 11 children on the other side of the world.

We had to walk over and say goodbye to her. 
We've watched her come and go across the street for 9 years.

Couldn't help but notice this on the car. Pretty good motto. 
It's what it's all about. 

Sara and her family about to leave for the airport.

I don't think I've ever seen Sara happier. The year will no doubt hold many challenges and HIS grace will be enough for every challenge but she's right where she is designed to be..

And so am I, regardless of what little lies I give thinking time to, God has me right where he wants me,  totebags and all. When it's time to do something different he'll inform me. Until then I'll keep trusting his plan and being a missionary right here praying for my friend on the other side of the world.

Follow Sara at

Do your self a favor and read this asap...

Good stuff. Have I said that I LOVE a good true story?

One powerful meal

Tomorrow night I will celebrate the passover seder meal with the wed. night girls. We'll remember the last supper Jesus had with his friends and the promise that he will drink that fourth cup with us again at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

But last night I ate with old friends. It was so nice.

I fixed chicken fried steak for the adults and steak bites for the kiddos. Corn and asparagus, a fresh citrus salad, gravy and buiscuits and my husband's mother's recipe for green stuff (a cool whip/cottage cheese/lime jello/pineapple thing). Complete with 3 different kinds of desserts. It was good.

I left the dishes for the time with our friends. Dishes will always be with me. They will not.

The conversations were wonderful. Only coffee would've made it sweeter, but I am fasting from that.

(My stash patiently waiting, ready for Sunday, I am assuming that's the end of lenten)

It was a night when you left you felt satisfied from physical hunger and soul hunger. When you were glad you were alive. When you have faith in God redeeming humankind.

Those dishes they didn't take too long...

The encouragement from the evening will last much longer.

It is why I cook. It is why I serve the food. That souls may learn of love. That hearts leave full.
It will be my life long mission- set the table, bring the food, & watch God show up!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The bags of my life....

This little bag goes with me everywhere these days....

I have begun invisiline. While painful the first week I have gotten good at taking them out. I brush and floss every time I eat. It's a great preventative against snacking between meals. Too much work!

And here is the only picture I'll ever post without my invisiline (which have a "ponic" in them for my missing tooth) Try not to laugh, I dare ya...

We were missing the same tooth, her's is nearly back in. She keeps hoping mine will come in. It's funny how this whole crazy no tooth experience has connected me with all the kids...they don't care all their friends are missing teeth. Another reason I love kids.

Spring break cleaning leads to blessing others with Charis' outgrown clothes.

A student brought this one in today....

I love it! 

Me and the wed night small group girlies are reading through the Bible this year, we finished Joshua last week, so many good life verses in Joshua. We link one word with each book, for me Joshua got the word, "enjoy". 

But it really sums up what God's been doing in my life. Showing me he is where ever I am. In the hard, the mundane, the good, the exciting, the silly and even the sad. The "with me" God. 

I am counting the gifts. Gratitude in all things. 
It's where I see God. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Saying Hello and Goodbye

"Guess what? First child due in Sept, " The message said. I am happy.

A photograph of a girl from long ago grown up before us now on facebook displaying her proud bump.

Another picture, the cake says "cut to find out what the baby will be" , Blue cake and proud papa's and daddy's smiling wide. Finally a boy!

A picture via text of a mom with her newborn. Home from the hospital with a child not of her blood. Faith made sight. A name is given and praise goes out to the Creator of all life. My heart feels like it's gonna explode. A mother recovering at home after abdomen cut, with arms empty.

Mothers in prayer for their kids. Tears for the hard, hands for help. Scripture for life. Friendship for the journey.

A hug from a student, moving to Texas. Last lesson.

Prayer for our neighbor. Ready to spread wings and fly to Nepal. Called to serve away from us.

I finally see Michael's Goodbye on the Office from last year.

That was my day.

Tears following a phone call. He died during the night. Oh how my friend loved her daddy. No more conversations, no more trips to grandpa's, no more Christmas' or dinners out. An abrupt end. I hurt for my friend.

Three new princess for my friend's home. Sisters together after months apart. Caring for the least of these. Pictures of fairytale plays and dancing to the praise music. God is good.

I try and hide tears during a lesson." I have to work and let some things go. I don't know how to tell you. " says the boy becoming man. We had a date every week for 7 years to make music, how could I not tear up at the end? I have taught and loved and pushed and watched and applauded....and I must say goodbye ?

I hold a hand of another mother as she tears up, waves of grief from the loss of a mother. There are no answers only childlike faith from long blond haired girls that seem to know nana's ok in heaven with all those who have died before.

That was my week,  so far....

We are always saying hello and goodbye. People come, people go. This is life. Yet the realization brings no less hurt.

I have to come to believe loving means letting go.

To love your child is said to be like having your heart pulled out of you and walking around, and eventually walking away. As soon as we are born we are destined to die. It is fact. The time between, that's our lives. The people we love along the way are gifts. But we will at some point have to let them go.

Loving means letting them grow up.

Loving means trusting God when fears rise and they are half a world away.

Loving means letting them leave this world.

We are still called to love. Hurting is just part of the process.

Tis better to have loved and lost that to have never loved at all.
- Lord Alfred Tennyson

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What ya see when you turn the TV off

I held my ground. 

No TV. Not today. There's more to life. 

Go find it. 

It wasn't 5 min. later. 

MOM! look....

Amazing things are all around us. 

But we are too busy wasting time on lesser things. 

This lead to the all important phone call to tell Granny. 

Granny loves birds. 

And to think, we could've missed the gift that had landed right in our front yard and the extra gift of a phone conversation with our beloved Granny. 

Alive and alert to all the gifts, 

the totegirl

Friday, March 9, 2012

If I were...

If I were 4 I'd be doing this...

every day....

If I were a teenager I'd be doing this...

as much as I possible could..

If I were in my 20's I'd be doing this....

for as long as I could...

But I am not 4, 16 or 23...
those years have come and gone for me...

And this is my life...

(shopping and couponing, try and ignore the massive amt of nyquil)

Glamorous isn't it?

I am 34 in case you forgot. 

And I am right where I am supposed to be.
Don't always feel it, I choose to believe it.

acts 17
26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ 

Ephesians 2
10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What's in the book bag....

Ah.... the word book bag means something so totally different for me than a lot of my friends. I like to hang out with younger people still in school and I have several friends in college and some going back to school, working full time and mothering....God give 'em strength- that's hard!

For whatever reason I have been reading like crazy recently. So here's what's in the bag...

I am also listening to the Bible on my smart phone too, usually during commutes- our small group is reading through the Bible this year together.

This isn't a true "read" it's a Bible Study but there is more reading in this study than her other ones, none the less this one is changing me...if I let it....some days are easier than others but James is packed full of proverb like verses on how to live out your faith.

The beginning of the year found me in this...

Oh my, do I love Ann. I will say it takes a while to get used to her writing style, and there's so much depth to it you have to read slow. It's a cross between a story of her life and the spiritual discipline of giving thanks. I will be referencing it for awhile.

My dearest friend and I finished our book at the end of January (more later) and I decided to read the only other book like ours on the market....

I LOVE a true story. I am glad I didn't read it before we felt the call to write our own story because she does such a good job I wouldn't have thought we should not write. An excellent read even if you've never lost a child. Many of our fellow human beings have and it's just nice to acknowledge their pain even when we can't change their reality.

Then I read this right around Valentines....

The only fiction I've read, Kingsbury is often predictable, but very modern and a quick read. Several years ago I started the REdemption Series. I read all 14 books in 3 months. Since then she's done 2 more series and this is the third book in the Bailey series. I'd love to sit and talk to anyone who's read it, there's one more book due out end of the month and I have so many ideas as to how this epic love story is going to end....

After that I picked up this one night....

One of the ladies that proof read my book suggested it. WOW.  James McBride grew up as the 8th son of Ruth McBride JOrdan. She was a Russian immigrant and grew up Orthodox Jewish in Sulfolk, VA in the 30's. Her story and her son's (growing up with 11 brothers and sisters after losing their dad to cancer with mixed race in the climax of the American civil rights movement) are told simultaneously. What I didn't expect was the faith aspect that was clearly how they survived. 
I LOVE a true story where Jesus gets made to be the hero.

And lastly I finished this just last night ...

From a friend at church. NOT DISAPPOINTING!! So glad I read it before seeing the movie. The book is their story of a God ordained courtship, real tragedy and the real people who God used to help them keep their original vows when she lost every memory of her husband but not her faith. Somehow I doubt all that makes it to the big screen. The reviews of the movie don't look good and Channing Tatum was terribly disappointing in Dear John (Nicolas Sparks book) 2 years ago. But the book!! Read it in one evening, LOVED the fact that they are from the same decade that I fell in love, their 2nd wedding was same summer as my own. When you are falling in love  you are kinda tuned out to everything else going on in the world. It amazes me that I missed this story that year.

 I was also in college at the time carting around the purple high sierra back pack with books I didn't want to read. I have never, not once regretted getting a bachelor's degree.
 For those still adding books to the pile of want-to-reads hang in there. There is a season for everything.