About Me

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Saint Joseph, MO, United States
I'm a stay at home Mom of two children and I have the unique privilege of being able to homeschool both of them. I am a stepmother to two older daughters one who is going to college. I enjoy shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, organizing, running, clowning, making soap, playing piano and lately painting with ASCP paint! I am learning to enjoy the little things in life and make the most of it...clinging to my Savior through the tears that life brings and enjoying his GRACE He gives us every day! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It was Worth IT!

Well, I'm sitting around looking at my four days of hard work...five if you count the time I spent at the store. This year I really enjoyed myself decorating...it helps when you have a new kitchen table where everyone can FINALLY settle around and be comfortable. After the millions of boxes have been brought down and then put back up again...after the exhaustion of the two Thanksgiving dinners, two birthday parties and now the aftermath...cleaning, grocery shopping, getting ready for more parties I'm reminded how attitude can change it all!

This week I have a lot going on, as well as next week, and the next week! Suprisingly I'm not stressed...YET....I say knowing that soon I'll feel my heart racing and this amazing urge to RUN around like a crazy person making sure that there are no "accidents" in the bathroom and that the toilet paper is filled in all three baths and that the napkins are so so and oh my goodness don't even stress about your food for the parties your going to or the decorations that your in charge of...and I'm thinking "Why did I say yes to that again".

In saying all that do you know what I'm happiest about doing? The part where I get to go clowning....yep! The part where I'm totally out there being "imperfect" in front of little kids...telling them about Christ's love with the fun of the balloon candy cane, facepainting and just TALKING to them and finding out what's going on. You see, they don't think of me as an adult and some of them tell me very INTERESTING things! Christmas time isn't the "normal" time you think of clowning but I have about two to three opportunities this month to do so and I'm thrilled to do each one because....its not about the FOOD, the DECORATIONS, how beautiful your house looks, or your Christmas card or how beautiful your children sang at the Christmas Eve service...don't get me wrong....those are WONDERFUL things! However, I think our Heavenly Father is happiest and we are used in the most unique ways when we step OUT of the way and let our Savior "use us" in ways that we don't normally think of being used. When we allow Him to lead us to help others who need it most, to look at others who are hurting, to always be aware of OTHERS!

I find myself stressing as I try to figure out the "perfect" gift for my children. Stressing as we Christmas shop and Ellianna runs the cart into a another shopper (yes, that did happen) the lady was gracious! Instead, I'm trying to remind myself to laugh, to enjoy, to remember that this Christmas I can't re-do, I can't say "DO OVER!". Ellianna will never be three again, Trey will never be 11 again and opportunities to serve certain people may be gone if we don't act...so, I guess what I'm asking is this.....Is it WORTH it to stress over a holiday that is a celebration of the Savior who came to save us ALL or do we want to stress over a table arrangement, a meal, the perfect house.....I just can't do that anymore. I want to be able to say "It was WORTH IT!" It was worth putting myself out there as Miss Dot. It was worth it to plunge deep in my pockets so that someone can have a Merry Christmas and see the love of Jesus through US! It was so worth it!!!

May His name be praised!

Friday, November 26, 2010

To Give and To Receive

Today has been a day filled with boxes, boxes and more boxes. I have heard grumbling from three children and the fact that we have SOOO many boxes of Christmas decorations. The results thus far is the front porch is decorated and the rest of the first floor is dressed except the kitchen and I haven't even begun on the trees. My house was in such disorder today that even my bassett hound looked at me in disgust and followed me for awhile...(you see her bed was by a ton of boxes and she was just wondering what was going on?) Finally in disgust she lay down under the dining room table and even she rolled her eyes at me!

As I continued to dig through the boxes I found more and more decorations that I don't use any more but for whatever reason can't bring myself to even let go of. They remind me of places I've been, memories I've made, milestones that I've crossed. You can't just throw those things away can you? Well, maybe the ugly cookie plate somebody gave us a million years ago...some things are better left forgotten.

I continued to decorate this entire day and as the day went by and I listened to my children playing outside I remembered how far we have come and how lucky we are. I remember the first Christmas that I learned to RECEIVE.

Receiving a gift for me was always easy because it came from someone that loved me, or liked me...and usually I had one sitting there beside me to give back to them. However, when I was a single Mom and I came back from living with my sister in Michigan I learned how hard receiving can be. The first realization came to me standing in a Target line with my parents. You see, I no longer had a car...couldn't afford one and was saving up money to get one but I had to find a job first and it took me TWO very long weeks. In the meantime I had very little left in my savings to buy diapers or food and was eeking by on "gas fumes." Still, I had my pride...generic diapers, some baby food and deoderant and razors is what I had on the belt ready to be rung up. My parents were in front of me and my father asked me quietly how much I had...I told him, I had enough to cover it but after that? Well, then I would be living on "fumes" My Dad took the divider and held it...he paid my bill....I bit my lip to fight back the tears...knowing I was proud my Dad said.."Don't worry, when you get your job you can pay me back." I nodded, bit my lip harder and told him thank you...by the way I did pay him back and he knew I would. There was also the apartment that he built for me and Trey to live in...yeah...that's a pretty big one to swallow...and there were the people from the church that I attended who brought cookie supplies for me to make cookies with Trey for Christmas. They knew I probably didn't feel like celebrating that year but what two year old doesn't love making cookies?

Those are memories that will stay with me forever. Those are hard times that not many people know about. Those at the time were hard for me to take, here I was trying to hold it all together and here were people meeting my needs. At first I felt embarrassed....I felt that everyone now KNEW what a loser I was and here was the proof! However, at the same time the burden that was lifted because I knew I was doing all that I could physically do and it wasn't enough to provide for my child and the frustration that came with that! To have your brother n law buy formula, diapers for your baby, to give you a job at his grocery store even though banking was what I knew and truth be told I was a HORRIBLE grocery cashier....so confusing the fruit, the tobacco and I NEVER drank alcohol so why in the world would I know the difference between hard liquor and wine coolers??? This was a world that I knew nothing of! I didn't want to know anything about it!

I can't even begin to tell you the people that have lifted me up in prayer, in monetary gifts, in babysitting my son and taking him to a pumpkin patch because I never would get the time to do that because I was working. THOSE are the things that are life changing! I will never forget those that helped us during those rough three years. I hope that I will never quit looking for those that are need that were like me....I will never forget!

I pray I will always give with a heart of love and knowing how hard it is to be on the other side of that gift. May we always love one another with a perfect love and when we see a need may we "meet" it without a second thought for that is what God has called us to do.

May His name be praised!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monogramming Anyone?

Lately, I've been getting into a monogramming "thing". It first started with a box of beautiful tissues that I was given by a friend while Mark was in the hospital. It had her initial on it and I just loved it. So, I went to my local Hobby Lobby and found that there were all SORTS of choices! Imagine my glee!!!!! So, I bought a couple with my lovely "S" initial and any time someone needed one (and it seemed that people seem to cry a lot around me lately) I wasn't embarassed to pull out my tissues that were practically rolled in a ball and pray there wasn't a piece of gum stuck to it...can you say..."No thanks, I'm FINE!" However, I noticed that every time I would pull them out my friends would give me a hard time...like...I'm so perfect my tissues even have an "S" on them. So, I decided to buy my friends some and then they enjoyed their tissues and so on and so forth...just something fun!

THEN, the sickness began....I got the "S" pillows, the "S" flag outside our home...attempting to bring myself to get the monogram rug. THEN, I brought it upstairs to the bedroom and got Ellianna's initials and then mine and THEN Trey's and Now I'm thinking I have two chairs that are new in the music room that should need them...so?

So, you ask what's up with my fascination? I guess it began with the tissues but then it became more of a.....answer almost a screaming reply to my son. For many children who lose their father's at very young ages their identity begins to get lost...they don't know who they are. For the longest time Trey couldn't even really tell you what his name was. So, I guess my monogramming "fascination" began with that. For him to be able to look at the pillow and trace the "S" and know that is where he comes from.....and that he should be proud of that....that he belongs and that its o.k.

So, I guess I'll be getting those pillows for the music room eh?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Britt Nicole - Hanging On (Slideshow With Lyrics)



If you've been riding in the van with me lately you know I can't stop singing this song. Even Ellie sings "ooooh ooooh oh" pretty good actually!

Today I found a Picture

This week for Trey's handwriting I am making him write his thank you notes to his dear friends who came to his party almost two weeks ago. In looking for more thank you notes I found an old picture that made me stop in my tracks! Don't you just love it when your going about your day and then BOOM! it's almost like a slap in the face.

The picture was of Trey who was one month old being held by me (who still had not lost the pregnancy weight) and his father Ron. There we were the perfect little family...frozen in time. I showed it to Trey so he could see how little he was and didn't realize that this would upset him....but it did. I said "you can have it, unless you think it will make you sad?" He handed it back to me without a word....I felt my heart tug but felt my mouth shut and figured that that probably should be where I left it.

This time 11 years ago I was in a hospital being induced for the birth of my very first child. After almost 24 hours of labor out into this world came Ronald Lee Hohman III also known as Trey....all 9lbs 2 1/2 inches of him 22 1/2 inches long! Yes, he was a big one! That is where our adventure began.

My sister called him "baby perfect". He slept beautifully, ate wonderfully, was so happy...hardly ever cried...completely content. He was PERFECT! Then of course he became a toddler and it all came to a screeching halt.

Trey and I are very close...I guess that's why it hurts me so deeply when I see him going in a direction that will only lead to destruction.

After Ron died and it was just Trey and I, I remember fighting with myself...."get out of bed...you have to take care of Trey!"

I remember my little boy putting his little hands on my face and saying "Don't cry today Mommy, its o.k!" I shook my head but inside I wanted to scream..."it doesn't FEEL o.k.!"

So, as I celebrate Trey turning eleven and that we have passed those horrible days but not forgotten who they have made us I'm thankful that God gave me a son like Trey, because without him I'm not sure I would have made it through. There were days that I just had to dig in inside and say GRRRRR and keep right on fighting. It was a strength I never knew that I had but I did. God gave me the strength to make it through when I had nothing left to give. He helped me see that this was a mountaintop but I could climb it and it would be o.k. He gave me a son who put his little hands on my face as a 2 1/2 yr old precious boy and say "It's gonna be o.k. Mamma...don't cry!"

I thank the Lord for my precious boy....even though lately there are days where I wonder...."where did he go?" but he's still in there....I'm still fighting and we will get up this next mountain to!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Lord...I'm weary!

Tomorrow is my son's 11th birthday. I can tell you that I'm so happy to see the age of 10 go by I can hardly stand it. This year has been a difficult year to say the least.

Today is.....not going well and its not even lunch. I struggle, I hold back the tears, I confess I have no idea what to do. I don't understand men....I truly don't. I don't know what boys think...truly I have no idea. The whining from girls is annoying but at least THAT I understand.

I used to be annoyed that when Mark came home he could just take Trey into the other room and he would have a "talk" with Trey and then everything seemed to go well for a couple of days....and then...here we are!

I can tell you that today I threw Trey a curve ball. I have to decorate the store this week so we have three days of school to get done in two. Lest you think that's insane we do five days of school in four every week. Well, I have him doing several subjects today that he doesn't normally do....you would have thought I wrote the lesson plans in Chinese! He just can't learn to be FLEXIBLE! Its spinning his little head into orbit....throw in his birthday is his tomorrow....he just got a game system he has saved his money up for forever to buy.....and Thanksgiving is this week, followed by another birthday party and then decorating for Christmas and you have a boy who is.....well....out of sorts BIG TIME!

So today, I'm saying to myself..."hand me more coffee and the chocolate"......and most importantly..."Do NOT engage!" Part of me wants to whine.."Why do I always have to be the bad guy?" I want to be the "fun" parent, but these are lessons I must get through his head if I'm going to teach him how to be a good Christian young man and today I feel like a great big failure! I feel that I'm in a tug of war and Satan is winning! I'm trying to muster up the strength to keep fighting but I feel it slipping!

Last week I had another mother who I adore and has five children of her own and she had a "Trey". She told me that I have got to find the "good" in some of the things that he does and really focus on that...obviously tackle the bad and punish it severely but TRY to focus on what he does well. So, I'm getting back "out" there and I've got my game face on! I'm praying to the Lord for strength and for Him to continue to change Trey's heart towards Him.

Gear up girls! Gear up!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How Time Does Go By

Here we are....the week of Thanksgiving! For me, one of the busiest weeks of the season. Most of you have your house to decorate and can obsess about it for a whole month...don't worry I do that to! However, this week I host Thanksgiving at my house (twice I might add) and celebrate Trey's bday (twice I might say again) and I have to decorate our store.

In decorating our store comes my insecurity...worrying about what others think as they walk in. Have I made a good impression to the community...am I helping my husband and painting him in the best light by the decorations that I have put out...am I reflecting all that I need to be?

As I started to go into panic as I realized all that this week would entail I decided to approach it completely different than I have before. This will be the first Thanksgiving/Christmas that Ellianna will truly start to understand. I can't tell you how thrilled I am about this prospect because this is my favorite time of year. Seeing her eyes light up and talk to me matter of factly reminds me of....well me frankly!

As Ellianna started getting excited about lights we saw up and all the decorations everywhere and talking about her pink Christmas tree it reminded me of when I was a little girl. I LOVE Christmas. My Mom is an amazing seamstress. She made the tree skirt, redid the ornaments so that everything would match (starting to see where my OCD came from) Our house always looked gorgeous on Christmas...candles everywhere, music playing and my very favorite memory.....our manger scene.

I would always play with this and never remember how exactly it was supposed to go back and always got into trouble for touching it....but I still always did...I couldn't help myself. I have the greatest memories with that manger scene and still feel myself as an adult being drawn to it every year trying to play with it...I have restrained myself thus far. I'm sure that the set probably isn't worth a ton but to me it is....I've danced in front of that manger scene, I've sang at the top of my lungs in my most dramatic voice singing "Away in the Manger". It's completely full of happy memories. It was right by the tree when I opened my first kitchen set and my stroller and buggy for my dolls along with my handmade crib my Dad made (he always made awesome things for me...don't ask me about my playhouse my older sisters get mad:)) it was right by the tree when I got my Barbie McDonalds, when I had to give my sister my brand new Barbie right after I opened it because I on purpose wrote on my sister's Barbie's legs with Sharpie (I'm sure she deserved it!) It was there the first Christmas I decided that I only wanted clothes (what was I thinking?) It was there when my son was born and enjoying his first Christmas when he was only a month old. It's always been there!

This year as I hear the grumbling of the children for the family photo and try to get the dog to cooperate at the same time as the kids for the annual Christmas card...I wonder what memories am I making for them? Are they enjoying the traditions that I set forth for them. Will they remember me having a "cow" because the house and the store aren't PERFECT or will they remember the warmth, the love, the joy that they had at Christmas time especially and the joy of celebrating our Savior's birth. Will they remember what we did for strangers or just what we got? Will they be the kind of adults that look to help others during this season or be the kind of adults always looking out for ME ME ME!!!!!!??? I certainly pray not!

As we get ready to bring on the PANIC....I can't find enough tinsel!!!!! Breathe in, Breathe out......remember how our Savior came.....it wasn't into supposed perfect surroundings.

This year as we come together as family and friends and continue traditions, and start new ones may we truly remember that its not about the decorations, the tinsel, the parties, the PERFECTION! It's about celebrating what the Lord has done for us and rejoicing together as family and friends.

I'm interested in hearing ya all's favorite Christmas memories!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Is there ever a good time?

This week I realized how much there really is to be done. My mind by 8am was going a bit crazy trying to figure out what should be done when and of course our lovely dog has an ear infection in BOTH ears and she also has an infection so she has to take medication twice a day and for those of you familiar with basset hounds....not an easy task. Needless to say with Thanksgiving day comes Trey's birthday and then decorating our store and our home and this year my husband said he wants the store to look REALLY NICE? Yes, I was a bit confused on that one thinking that perhaps is he saying it didn't look nice last year? I know that's not what he's saying its just code word for he wants BIG this year.

So, tonight I had everything planned just so so and tomorrow I had everything planned just perfectly...I even had two backups...but.....there was a hiccup I hadn't planned on. My dear Ellianna has been fine all week and in fact I have marveled at the absolute success we have had this week. Today I had got all cleaning done and painting done and was ready to have some kids over for play dates so that their Mom's and G-ma's should have a night that they could get things done but Ellianna had other plans....it first started with the gingerbread playdoh that smelled too good and she ate some of it and then she threw up....FABULOUS....I have three extra kids here and now I have one that has a bug of some kind...why don't I do them MORE favors????? So, phone calls to parents and then here we are trying to pick up the pieces and rearrange for tomorrow with chess tournament and I was going to be clowning but lets see.....blow on balloons when you might have a bug or facepainting on kids when you might have a bug....boy, I just keep doing people favors don't I?

So, my good intentions that I had planned for others don't get to be followed through and I'm feeling rather bummed. I'm also annoyed because I was planning on visiting with friends during a chess tournament tomorrow and I was totally excited about clowning tomorrow....even got a new wig and eyelashes and facepaints. So, here we are instead....laundry, clorox wipes, disinfecting wipes, purell and did I say laundry? Oh and did I mention Thanksgiving is a few days away as well as Trey's birthday? So, obviously my spirit is not in the right condition for being thankful is it? This surely couldn't be what He meant when He said be thankful in ALL things?

I assure you that right now I am not only irritated at my child being sick(not her of course, but the situation) and annoyed that there are people that I really wanted to minister to and now can't, and not being able to visit with friends and have some much needed "adult conversation" time just really is hard for me to swallow right now. I'm saying a great big HUGE GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

However, I'm thankful there is no fever. I'm thankful that Ellianna is only throwing up a little bit and is able to rest. I'm thankful she's in her bed upstairs and not in a hospital bed. I'm thankful that we have a roof over our head and not sleeping under a bridge. I'm thankful for the heat we are able to have coming out of our vents and I'm thankful for the friends and family that I have and most of all I'm so very thankful to be a Christian living in a free country.

So, there ya go...now to get it from my head to my heart when I so desperately want to yell......WAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Loud Silence: Write that Note when you feel that tug!

The Loud Silence: Write that Note when you feel that tug!: "Today I received a very special blessing. I was given a very large hug by someone who had been having a very bad, awful, no good week. My ..."

Write that Note when you feel that tug!

Today I received a very special blessing. I was given a very large hug by someone who had been having a very bad, awful, no good week.

My heart had been burdened for this special lady all week and I kept praying for her throughout the week but I still felt that I needed to do more....so I wrote her an actual NOTE!

I know, the mind just is almost blown thinking that people still write personal hand notes to others and put an old fashion stamp on it! IT's true, the mail carrier's still like to deliver those! Lest you think I'm writing this to tell you what an amazing person I am.....you must not read this blog often because I'm so NOT!

However, I was struck by how so many of us are so disconnected from people now. I don't answer my phone while we are having school for obvious reasons but at the same time I will text just about anyone with whatever details that need to be known at that time regardless of us being in school...but a ACTUAL conversation? Well, who has TIME for that???

I read the other day that some people think that Christmas cards shouldn't be sent out that we should just email our greetings??? Email our Christmas cards??? I know some people do it and there certainly isn't anything wrong with that but seriously girls don't you super duper LOVE seeing how your friends and loved ones and their families have grown? Don't you enjoy getting an actual handwritten note from those you care about?

Have we become so disconnected from one another that we can't send a note? Have we become such a fast paced society with so many things to do and accomplish that people have become something on a To DO list? I'm GUILTY of this...but every time I decide to fight through it I'm always rewarded because an actual phone call or handwritten card showing someone that you care about them and love them is STILL such a wonderful gesture of human kindness!

I adore getting mail especially when its from those we love writing us to tell us that they are thinking and praying for us.

As I feel the holidays coming in and the stress starting right about NOW I'm reminding myself of an old rule I used to have: Write a note to those in need twice a week. That certainly sounds easy enough and many of us think we don't have time? It probably took me about seven minutes TOPS to write that note and I'm pretty sure that REAL GENUINE PEOPLE are worth that time.

So, am I trying to make you feel guilty???? WELLL.....no, I hate guilt....I just want you to realize that when you get the pull on your ear and you hear " so and so looks down today I should write them..." that yes, you should. You should do it EVERY time you feel "The NUDGE"

May His name be praised!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Afters - Light Up The Sky



Do you ever have a song that you keep hearing over and over and over again? Right now this song is the one that I can't get out of my head.

Light up the sky show me....you are with me! Just thought that maybe that today some of you may want to hear that....He is with you!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

O.k. I GET IT NOW!!!!

I'm a little behind in my Esther study so I sat down today to finish up some more and was blown away at the things that I read on the page....

I just want to write them down for you and listen to hear your responses and see if they were anything like mine.

These are all from Beth Moore...not my words but hers given to her by the Almighty and they are VERY powerful!

"Spending ourselves for something infintely greater still fans our parched souls with the God-given need to matter, but relieves us of the relentless pain of be the "It" person at the center of it." Can you say...um....thank you for that?

"What if we awakened to what a dream-killer perfectionism is? To how pitifully small and unworthy a goal personal greatness is? We were meant for so much more." HELLOOOOOOOOOO! Is anyone out there wanting to shout yet?

"Every one of us who embraces the glory of God as our purpose will end up doing great things precisely because we do God-things. His holy hand resting on the least act renders the ordinary extraordinary. Spooning soup into the mouth of the weak or manning the nursery so a tired mom can go to church are acts of high worship when offered in the name of Christ. He beholds the sight like a breathtaking work of art, tilting His head to study each subtle detail. "She has done a beautiful thing to me."" WOW! WOW! WOW!

"Those with the presence of mind and semblance of health are called to pour out the drink offering of their lives until the cup is overturned and every drop of energy slips-perhaps unnoticed, uncelebrated-into the bast ocean of earthly need."

These words were balm to my soul. There are so many times I get discouraged in serving.....This is what really matters....It is helping me so much to have that word picture in my head..."He beholds the sight like a breathtaking work of art, tilting His head to study each subtle detail. "She has done a beautiful thing to me."

Don't grow weary sisters!

It all Happens at Once it seems!

This weekend has been a bit of a blur but I'm not complaining it was a great weekend.

I was given the opportunity to take my son Trey along with seven of his friends to go rock climbing at a local gym. I was thrilled to see my son be able to be with his friends, not argue, encourage his friends and share. For some this may be a given, for me it was extra special because we have battled this many days....making friends, keeping friends etc....lots of prayer, lots of crying....

Last night I was given the opportunity to have a rare night with just my stepdaughters and husband. We could go shopping and eat in peace without Trey complaining about shopping, without Ellianna having a melt down that she couldn't run through the streets. Not that I don't enjoy my younger children its just that we are finding that some time away is good for all.

Then tonight my husband and I went shopping locally to a store that we had been told about by a friend and I was able to purchase a kitchen table that I have been looking for, for about six months.

Why in heavens name has this kitchen table consumed me so much lately? Well, its where we do school, art, playdoh, meals....a million things. I needed more room and I was growing frustrated that I couldn't find anything that would hold up well but not be to fussy because we aren't fussy people but still look really nice. The hardest thing for me about this whole process is my husband had decided that if we were going to do SOME of DAve Ramsey, we had to do ALL of Dave Ramsey. I must confess I have been pouting for several months about this very thing. I was upset because I felt...we don't have debt except for our house so WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL I WANT A NEW KITCHEN TABLE WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

So, tonight when we found not only the table that I have been searching for but a BONUS shelf that I will use as my hutch I felt a twinge of guilt....o.k. I felt VERY guilty. For months I had been annoyed at my husband and not being the "submissive" wife that I should be. I grumbled to myself but tonight.....it seemed the universe stopped and I'm pretty sure I heard angels sing and I'm pretty sure there was a BIG STINKING STAR over the table and as I GASPED loudly and tried VERY HARD NOT to scream so that the sales lady would hear me say..."ITS PEERRRRRFEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECT!" at what my eyes saw before me I also felt guilty.....this is so way more better (did I mention cheaper...and I know way more better is improper but go with me here for a minute)than what I saw six months ago and pouted that I couldn't have.

Then as I have been re-arranging things in my head before my hutch comes and planning everything out it dawned on me.....its kind of like when God asks us to wait and wait and wait and wait and THEN when we least expect it.....ANSWERED PRAYER! For me, tonight it was a kitchen table....silly thing I know......but....what about the big things? Yes, I think He works that way on the big things too!

May His name be praised!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Well?

As this morning came I have been fervently praying to the Lord. I am in a battle right now with my son's heart. For those of you who think that I mean he's just a "typical" boy...you are right...most boys are selfish, rude, and sometimes lie. My son is not BAD so to speak but my heart is so heavy for him.

Since we are able to homeschool I see him in all sorts of situations that when he went away to school I did not see. I see the way he reacts when he's wrong, how he is with his friends, how he is when he plays sports. For about two years this trouble has been brewing. He is a young man that is very smart but doesn't know when to admit he's wrong, brags to others, and thinks of himself first.

There are days I just want to sit down and cry.....I know what will come to him if he continues down this path. I fear the friends he won't make....I fear him being alone. My heart aches for my son. However, lately I'm seeing glimpses of the Lord working in his heart....for instance we bought half a cow the other day and he helped me carry it down to the freezer.....because I asked him to....but then.....he came down later to help me...without my asking...my heart smiled and I thanked the Lord.

I will only tell you that if Trey will listen to the Holy Spirit than he will be capable of great things I believe, but if Satan wins his heart......

I ask that today you join in with me for prayer for our children and teens because I believe we are in a huge battle right now for our children and sometimes Satan wins but if we pray and correct our children....even when its for the 100th time, I believe that God will have the victory and lives will be changed forever for the good.

May His name be praised!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm In a Hurry to Get Things Done!

This week I decided that I would take my friends advice and shop online and have the items delivered to my home. I cannot even tell you the true excitement I felt when that little red van came driving up to my home and two employees got out and carried my groceries INSIDE my house!!! Girlfriend it was like...."this must be what its like to be RICH?" o.k....I got carried away but seriously it was such a treat that for days I was on cloud nine telling everyone that I meant what an exciting thing had happened to me. O.k. I'm STILL talking about it!

Now today, I got to stay home ALL DAY! This means, that for one thing.....I was able to clean, relax, and my children were able to play with the toys in their room and be at home which is our "sanctuary". In the blissfulness of staying home today I noticed that my youngest is in a bit of a.....shall we say "funk"? Yes, it has to do with the weather and the sickness going around but I had to ask myself is it because we are just going and going so much that on days that we take to slow down my children seem confused??? I don't normally go somewhere every day but I have noticed that this semester with soccer and now gymnastics and all the things that I crammed in that we were way to busy and now I find myself with soccer over I'm feeling some weird need to "FILL" it????

I guess what you could say is that I'm really wanting and striving to make sure that I've learned to be content and to be STILL.

As I've learned to manage my time more effectively and making sure that I'm saying no to things that are at certain times and then having my GROCERIES DELIVERED I'm having time to do the things that are the most important....taking care of my children and husband and serving those who are hurting in our community....instead of running and running and running....I'm trying...I'll let ya know how it goes!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just Little Ol Me!

Honestly, I never expected anyone to read this blog and since I've started doing it in July I have received some pretty incredible e-mails from a lot of you. There were days that some of you shared things with me that my heart just ached at because.....I've been there. I know hurt, anger, frustration and I know what its like to feel very much all alone.

I feel privileged that you have shared some of your thoughts and your hurts with me. I feel honored to have reached some of you as deeply as I have and I'm humbled at the words that many of you have said to me encouraging me to continue.


I do know how amazing the arms of Jesus feel when your world is over, when you are undone. I have laid out on my living room floor and cried my heart and soul out almost sounding like a wounded animal the hurt was so deep. No human can heal that, no human hug can be a balm to that....no one can ease the pain like my God can. If you have never had anything happen to you in life that has caused you to lay prostrate on the floor and cry your very soul out to your Father in Heaven than....I'm happy that you've never hurt like that but at the same time I'm sad that you've never known what it is like to put your WHOLE heart and soul to God. To be that close to God and to actually FEEL His arms around me was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. When I became stronger and I couldn't "feel" him as much I was worried and kept trying to "feel" Him and realized later that it was me that moved not Him. He was always there, just I didn't NEED Him like I had previously "needed".

I'm not Beth Moore...I'm not that beautiful and tall...I won't ever reach as many women as she has...don't get me wrong I adore Beth Moore and would probably be "giddy" if I ever got the chance to meet her. However, God hasn't called me to be Beth Moore he's called me to be....just me. So, it is with humble heart that I come before you each time you read something I've written. I appreciate that you've taken the time to do so and I hope and pray that when you do you will be able to laugh and cry at my experiences in my "normal" life and you will be able to say "Hey, that's exactly how I feel at times!" and we can join each other on this journey and grow closer to our Lord every day. That's my prayer for this blog, not to have the most followers but to encourage and as long as I'm able to do that then I will continue.

May His name be praised!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Should We Ignore Our Ghosts?

Lately, I've been completely cleaning house. Not only have I been "cleaning" my actual house that I live in but my "personal house" so to speak. It seems that when its time for me to DEAL, it comes at me at the EXACT SAME STINKIN TIME!!!! I just want to say...."O.k. but do I have to fix everything NOW???"

As you all know my first husband passed away eight years ago...what you don't know is the song that Ron sang the night before he died. Ron was away from the Lord two years before he passed and our relationship was rocky at best. He was however going to church again and for that I was thrilled. He loved to sing and play the piano and we fought over who was the better pianist (the verdict is still out on that!) We went to concerts together and loved, loved, loved music. We sang together, we couldn't go anywhere without music being on. So, he was on a praise team at the church that he was going to and the song that he decided to sing was "I Can Only Imagine." I know that many of you have heard this song so much that many of us are like.....ENOUGH ALREADY!!! What cracks me up about this is that eight years ago no one knew it and still EIGHT YEARS later it is played EVERY DAY!!!! There are days that Trey and I laugh because every time we get in the car guess what song is on? I have told Trey that on those days I think that our "guardian angel" is thinking of us and that's his way of telling us. Some of you may find that disturbing and if so....I'm sorry you feel that way.

Today though I was really laughing.....Ellianna was in the middle of her gymnastics class and the equipment that she was crawling all over had Elkton MD written all over them...I just smiled to myself. I'm just sitting here minding my own business and here this is showing up in my face. I couldn't possibly understand why I was having all these reminders brought up...o.k. so what's up with Elkton MD??? ONLY that its this little town in Maryland right outside Baltimore where Ron lived! I couldn't understand why in heaven's name that I was thinking of him and then I remembered.....Trey....our dear boy Trey will be 11 this month.

Now, don't get me wrong I am thankful for my life with my husband that God has given me but there are times that little things like that happen that I think is God's way of giving us a little "wink" so to speak...letting us know that there is a special "guardian angel" that is thinking of us.

So, I guess here is my "wink, wink" back at ya!

The Hardest Part is........Waiting!

Today I feel greatly blessed. I was able to meet with the people that I am going to be spending eternity with and we had a great day together. I'm talking about the people that I go to church with!

This afternoon I was blessed to get two treats where I was able to visit with some ladies in our church over a new book that we are reading which deals with the Wounds of the heart. It was a very deep issue and one that I hope that we will be able to continue to learn a lot from.

However, as you all know I have been doing the study of Esther by Beth Moore. There is not to many things that I can say that are more amazing than the lessons learned from the Scripture and Bible studies with Beth Moore. I'm not worshiping her just very blessed by her teaching and understanding of the Scriptures and how she is able to apply it to my life.

For awhile now I have been praying to the Lord asking for guidance in a certain situation in our family. Our children have been praying, we have been praying. It's been neat how the Lord has laid the same burden on all of our hearts that are living in this household and even more exciting is the fact that Mark and I have felt that the Lord was telling us that He was going to be moving in a certain direction but we just didn't know how that would all work out. Even now as I sit here typing this I have no idea how its going to work out. It may be very exciting to see how it all unfolds or it may be that our role is to be much less in this certain situation. Lately, I have very fervently prayed that the Lord will guide us and help us with being content in the here and now. To RELAX! I'm always so ready for God to "hurry up and get this going!" Let's get a MOVE ON God!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!! However, God's timing is perfect! WE all know this but rarely do we REALLY FEEL it! This time however, I finally FEEL it! I am perfectly content in this situation and waiting on the sidelines trying to see how its all going to work out. Of course there is the negative side of me saying "Probably NOT going to be very exciting, probably God doesn't have anything really HAPPY going on for us." I call that side of my personality "the EYEORE complex!" However, today in Bible study I knew that God was telling me "SEEE, I said WAIT and this is why I said WAIT!".

We have friends that are waiting to hear about tests from the doctor, we have friends that are waiting to see what's going to happen in their business, we ALL have things going on in our lives that we are WAITING on. So, here comes the amazing Bible study. Wouldn't you know that that's what tonight lesson was on.

The verse that just POPPED off the page to me and the words that she said after that was like my "lightening rod" moment. "Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who WAIT for him. Isa. 30:18 She then went on to say that "We cannot fret our way to victory." Sometimes I just KILL myself with my attitude. I am just like saying "Seriously God FIX THIS RIGHT NOW!" Then my favorite quote of the evening "It's TRUST that turns it all around." Can you say WOW!!!

Waiting is so hard for me, but I have to believe that "Trust comes before it happens." (my second favorite quote of the evening) I trust that whatever happens will be the best for my family but in doing so the excitement is building just wondering how He's going to answer this prayer of ours. How is this situation going to turn out. Part of me is terrified and thinking that nothing will happen and it will just be a disappointment....the other part of me is......I can FEEL the answer coming soon and I really think its going to be a good one. However, if its not I will still TRUST Him. I will still WAIT knowing that my Heavenly Father wants nothing more for me than to trust Him and take hold of His hands and once I have finally done that....WOW that is True FREEDOM! I'm taking baby steps sisters.....baby steps!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Great Books!

For those of you who homeschool this may interest you maybe not.

Trey and I have really battled last year with his spelling and also with his grammar (oh my goodness) I had just pulled him from school and he couldn't tell me what a verb was much less an adverb and don't get me started on direct objects. Last year we used Rod and Staff and it is a very good solid curriculum with no frills. I personally like it very much. Trey however, absolutely hates it. He was in tears when he thought I might order the new one. My sister offered me this new english system and for us it didn't work but I think with Ellianna it will be perfect so for now I'm putting that one aside. However, once again my lovely Jessie Wise has come through with a fabulous book: First Language Lessons for the well-trained Mind. We are using level four and I can happily say "HE GETS IT!!!" Happy dance was going on when my dear boy knew immediately what an adverb did and what its job was and what a subject pronoun was! My heart beat faster!!! TA DAH!!!! We have a breakthrough!!!

We also use All About Spelling by Marie Rippel. This year we are on Level 5. Last year we had to go through three levels of spelling because he had not been taught phonics at all where he went and we were in BIG trouble but this year! HE GETS IT!!!!


Another Book we love, love, love is Writing with Ease by Susan Wise Bauer! LOVE HER!!! This is the most helpful book in helping Trey with dictation, narration and summarizing. It is FANTASTIC!!!!! In the beginning he would go on and on and on but now he's soo much better.

Last but not least if you are interested in History (which I wasn't until we started doing these) The Story of the World (again by Susan Wise Bauer) great map work, color page, weekly test, questions and again narration of the chapter he just read. Can't even begin to tell you what a great wonderful book this is! I already bought from my sister what we will need for next year.

Last but not least we use Teaching Textbooks for Math. Math is not my strongpoint so having this system has been great. He has a tutor and then quizzes on his computer program and it keeps track of his grades which I REALLY like and gives him opportunities to find out why he missed what he missed.

Latin still continues to be a struggle but we are getting there along with chemistry and geography and of course the dreaded handwriting. Anyway, so far we are very happy in what we are doing but I'm very aware that children change and therefore wanted to let you know what worked for us now and keep me informed of anything that anyone has used to help with Latin??? We have the whole program and here lately he even has the website that has games to learn the Latin words but still this is a subject we are continually struggling in.

Happy homeschooling!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blast From the Past

I have been burdened lately about an issue that seems to have been around as long as I can remember. It's an uncomfortable subject that not to many people desire to discuss but the older I get the more I see teen girls every year dealing with this.

I have discussed in older posts about my PAST struggle with an eating disorder and simply don't need to discuss it again. However, now that it seems to be popping its "ugly head" around me I feel the topic needs to be revisited. I am seeing more and more teenage girls dealing with this right now and it BREAKS my heart.

I was not the "typical" sterotype of eating disorders. Most girls that suffer from this are straight A students (I didn't fit that bill) They strive for perfection in every aspect of their lives. They feel guilt when they don't succeed. Once they realize that they have no control over certain aspects of life they turn to food which is something they CAN control. In my battle with this I learned that there was a "release" of guilt after I engaged in this activity. I would "allow" myself a cookie or "treat" if I felt I "deserved" it. The thing is I rarely felt that I "deserved" it.

There was a time when certain things were not allowed in my house and I can say that now after over sixteen years I can have a scale in my house with it no longer being a difficult thing to have. I no longer constantly think about it or have to get on it to see how much I've gained or lost. In fact, I hardly remember that it is there. However, it was a long hard battle and lasted from my junior year in highschool clear through college. I sought biblical counselling and spent much time in prayer and self evaluation. Learning that I'm a gem in God's eyes and that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made." There is absolutely nothing about my physical appearance that He would change. Knowing that as an adult is much different than knowing that as a teen. I wish I would have had that TRUE understanding of His love at a young age like I do now.

As I watch these girls struggle with the same things that I had I wonder what we can do to change the same things from happening. For me, it was words that were said that kept echoing in my head over and over again. It was me who was mine own worst enemy.As I look at all these young girls at homeschool group at youth group I wonder what I can do to help them not continue down this horrible downhill slide! Shouldn't I compliment these young ladies when they look so cute and when they've done so well instead of totally rolling my eyes at how loud they are as I walk by or how they ALWAYS stand right in the middle of the hallway. Shoudln't we be encouraging to these young girls. When we see them falling shouldn't we be pulling them close asking how they are, trying to see what's going on? Shouldn't the "we" be "me"?

The bottom line is this: eating disorders come from an issue of wanting to control our environment. There is nothing scarier than entering this world as a teenager you are going from a protected environment that we call Mom and Dad. We enter the big bad world and find it very scary. We decide that we are making plans right now that are going to AFFECT the REST of our lives! As a young teenager it can be absolutely terrifying and horribly paralyzing. I remember fearing so badly that the rest of my life was going to be so horrible if I made the WRONG decision. Obviously as an adult who has gone through quite a lot in life I can truly say that God has pulled me through and I'm a much better person for the "refining" that I have received. However, I can also say that I'm very happy to be sitting on the other side. It is wonderful to be able to say that God has given me victory but I'm not so vain to say that in Satan's ear thinking that he can't try to pull me back into my very old habits.

So, what got me through the battle? A lot of prayer, a lot of dealing with "my junk". Most importantly I learned very quickly that the world doesn't revolve around me. I realized that my problem was taking my eyes off myself. As I did this as a college student and as I still try to continue to do this as an adult I realize how quickly I can get stuck in the muck! I can feel bad about my stomach after having two large babies and then go clowning at Camp Quality for children who have cancer? Or going to a church in a poor section of town where these kids don't get balloons or their face painted. So, how in the world can I complain about these "little" things that bother me with people who have BIG things to complain about and don't? It's overwhelming me my selfishness when I take a big step back.

When I start getting a little whiny and overwhelmed for me I know its time to clown. When I'm getting down on myself it means that my eyes are totally closing in on ME and I MUST get out in our community and focus on what's really important in this life!

So, I guess my babbling boils down to this: When I feel my world closing in I need to look "OUTWARD" and most importantly these girls that are watching us.....oh my isn't that scary to think? These girls watching us MUST see us serving, they must see us as balanced adults who can reach out to them and encourage them.

Being a woman in this scary world...especially a Christian young lady is no easy task and I hope to be the kind of woman that shows these young girls that they are beautiful, wonderful young ladies and they don't need to impress anyone. The only thing that matters is our relationship with our Savior, being a Godly woman and having our heart tender to what He wants it to be. May I learn to be that kind of woman....36 years later....we'll get there someday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's Coming!

Due to my new laid plans girls I actually have a clean house, dinner ready and children who have had all their lessons today and are all caught up with school. I'm feeling VERY happy right now and all is right with the "my little world." I'm actually able to SIT and enjoy before 12am!

My son will be eleven years old two days before Thanksgiving. As always his birthday always comes at a crazy time which makes birthday parties interesting and then of course I'm stressed about Thanksgiving dinner which due to Mark's mother who is not well enough to travel to KC we have at my house (which is fine) because you all know that I thrive on stress and making everything PERFECT especially amazing centerpieces etc. (don't be to impressed yet there is an attempt every year not sure I've succeeded!) However, I do enjoy having it here because I very much like my home and like it to be full of company especially during the holidays.

I'm trying very hard this year to enjoy the seasons as they come. We do not listen to christmas music UNTIL the day after Thanksgiving. I need to enjoy my pumpkin pie and have my children write on leaves things they are THANKFUL for and enjoy being together! I'm trying to this year let the kids help me more in my decorating (I think I will just buy a big tree for the second floor and they can do what they may and I'll just fix it when they're sleeping?) No???? well at least give me something for trying?

I want you to know that this year I will be trying to take it SLOW, enjoying the season, teaching my children its not about them but about HIM! It's about rejoicing in the Savior's birth not that my house is "dressed" amazingly. It's not all teetering on whether my dinner is amazing and how many people said that my decorations were fantastic and how slim I looked in that black dress or how chubby I felt I looked since I had that extra slice of pie.

This year.......(and I'm starting early) I'm going to BE STILL!!!!!

Homeschool Changes

It's taken me about a year and a half to get it! I have finally come up with a solution!

Since we homeschool I have decided that we can take those early morning appointments at doctors, dentists, etc. but then realized that by the time we get home its time for lunch and getting my children re-grouped to concentrate on lessons is IMPOSSIBLE!

So, I have come to the realization that we are going to be very strict about. We don't receive phone calls from a certain time to a certain time and we no longer make appointments until after 1 at least. I have also started running errands in the evening and even doing library time in the evening. It has resulted in three solid days at home which has allowed me to do more crafts with Ellianna and baking with both children and cooking for several days so that our Mondays through Wednesdays (which involve gymnastics, boy scouts, homeschool classes, choir and piano lessons) can not be as stressful and allows me to breathe on the other days without being filled with errands for the household.

So, if you are new to homeschooling than that's what I've learned and if you have done it for a hundred years and are shaking your head that "yes Jamie EVERYONE knows that" than good for me I finally caught up!

Have a lovely day and remember chocolate can help a lot of days go better:)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Are You a Godly Wife?

Today was our weekly meeting for "Mom to Mom" in our homeschool group and I will say that on todays topic I was not real upbeat for it. I mean I was sure that Proverbs 31 was going to be thrown in there and that we should LOVE and HONOR and OBEY our husbands and inside I was like....(lets be truthful here girls) inside I was like totally whiny "OK, do I HAVE to???" However, as soon as this dear lady got up to speak I knew that we were in for a treat.

She begin by telling us she had six children and had been married for over 30 years. What struck me the most was her humble spirit and how that she so wanted to be able to be a Godly wife to her husband. She told a story that I will share with you because it absolutely made me sit there with my mouth open and my heart touched and my spirit softened and left me feeling VERY CONVICTED!!!!! She stated that her two oldest girls still lived at home and were in the medical field and her husband had hurt his thumb and her daughters were concerned about it and her husband looked at her and said "I'm afraid that I might lose my nail after milking and may have to come find you about two in the morning for a bandaid." She said her first reaction inside was to say "I NEED my sleep PLEASE don't come bother me!" However instead she said that her heart was convicted and she replied "It would by my HONOR to get that bandaid for you especially since you are out there working so hard so that I am allowed to stay at home with my children." Oh my heart was broken and I gasped aloud because......GIRLS! I so don't DO THAT!!!!!!

Lets take a trip down honesty lane shall we??? First of all when it comes to nursing count me out. When I'm sick leave me alone o.k.? Don't bug me! Throw me a glass of water and ask me every couple of hours if I need food etc but other than that LEAVE ME ALONE! My husband on the other hand is NOT that way. When he asks for something and he is sick I'm rolling my eyes so bad that I fear at times I might get a headache from the constant rolling. I want to say "seriously? you need me to get what?" After hearing her speak I am praying for a heart that is kinder, a voice that is gentler and a spirit that is more understanding. My husband works six days a week and from about now until Christmas Eve works long days with difficult at times people. He does it all so that I might stay home with our children and NOW takes on more responsibilities so that I can homeschool.

So, tonight when he had a meeting for his employees here at the house and I was out shopping I remembered that he had said last night that some ginger ale to go with his oj sounded good since he had a cold right now and I actually remembered to get him some and you could tell when I got home how happy he was that I had done that.

Now, I ask you, something that little goes a really long way imagine what it would do if I actually started listening more and being more appreciative of my husband and respecting him more and honoring him more.....WOW! I better get working now!

Today several of the ladies said something that continued to ring in my ears all evening: When your children are gone it will be you and your husband and do you want to KNOW him by then or do you want to look at him as a stranger because you have been so wrapped up in your children?

I want to be an example to my children of what a happy marriage looks like. That is the legacy that I want to leave them. The legacy of a Godly home and unfortunately it starts with ME!!!!!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Am I on tv?

Do you ever have a day that is so bizarre that you think to yourself "Ok seriously, is there a camera crew around because this is insane!" I'm sure that you know what I'm talking about! This is a rather common occurrence in my home...Ellianna is having a meltdown or decided to make some new creation in the toilet and here comes Trey oblivious to the fact that I'm cleaning up something disgusting while trying to talk to Ellianna about how naughty and not to mention DISGUSTING that was and he says "Mom, can I upload this new app its free? Mom? Mom? Mom? Hey Mom?" then of course the c. phone rings and someone comes to the door and the dog starts barking, my husband is on the phone (you see Trey answered it maybe hoping his Dad would have the answer about the free app) and now needs to talk to me about something at the store? Meanwhile, I don't know how many spiders we have seen Mr. Orkin man and no I don't care at the moment and can everyone just FREEZE and be QUIET!!!!! I cannot be the only woman out there that had days like that and here lately quite a few just like that.

Today, today I wanted to quit! I wanted to just quit being a Mom and walk away from it all. Don't ask me about having another piece of candy because its only 9:30 in the MORNING!!!!!! and what do you mean Trey you have only one subject done and its almost 10am. This was a difficult day of whining, complaining and downright rude behavior. I had to give my son severe consequences and seriously started crying because of the events of the day. My husband when he came home asked me about my day and when I started to almost cry as I spoke he KNEW that I had HAD it!!!!!

I get annoyed at life and how that no matter how hard we try we cannot escape the past. I'm having such a hard time getting my son to see that we can't live in the past, we can't think that if events in life would have been different that we would be happier. I don't know the right answer to this question but I do know that God makes no mistakes and we cannot question what He allows. I say that sounding rude and insensitive. I'm not saying we have to like it or understand it and I'm certainly not saying that I haven't been confused, angry and almost turned the other way and said I don't care about God anymore but that is a place I refuse to go to again. (I pray) Today my son looked at me and said "If Daddy wouldn't have died than things would be better." I have to say that I just looked at him and said "what would be so much better?" He didn't have the answer, you could tell that on his face he was completely confused as what the answer could be.

The problem is this.....we think if this or this would happen I would be happy. If I had this to overcome I would be happy. Happiness is found only in turning that burden that you carry and hold onto so hard to our Heavenly Father. I'm convinced that what we cling to the most is what will make us the happiest once we let go of it. Fear, perfectionism......I lay it down everyday.......and sometimes I have a day where I don't pick it back up but most days.......I do.

I can't MAKE Trey not blame God for taking his Dad who he only knew for two years and now feels cheated that he didn't get to meet and he is very angry. I also can't let bad behavior be tolerated because I feel sorry that he had to go through that. However, my job as his mother is to point him to the only one that can heal those hurts...I can't do it. I can hold him when he cries, I can explain things to him as clearly as I can and I can even buy him all the video games in the area but if he decided that happiness only will come from those things that he cannot ever have,
than he will never find contentment and ultimately true joy.

I am on my knees a lot lately for my children and I expect I will probably stay there for a bit. The hardest things about being a parent is teaching them and disciplining them but THEN WAITING to see if they also have a HEART for the things of God or just the head knowledge. Teaching them to be people to put others first, respecting others, being friendly, being polite, not bragging these are issues we constantly work on but there comes a time when they must make the decision with their HEART and their MIND that becoming more like Christ is where true happiness will come.

May His name be praised!