Monday, July 30, 2007

The Antelopes Made Me Cry

OK.  So I'm talking about antelope onions and I wasn't exactly crying, though my eyes were definitely burning as I was dicing them tonight.  But I thought it might get your attention and perhaps make up for the lack of blogging during these last few days.  How or why, I have no idea.
Apparently, I'm tired and have almost completely lost my mind!  (That should make my appt. with the psychologist even more interesting Wednesday!)  I have actually been getting quite a bit done (Thank You Jesus!!!) and I am very grateful for that. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll be packed on time Thursday.  I still have much to do to accomplish that!
So since I have some things to do (like deal with Mikaela who says she's having bad dreams right now) I'll leave you with this question:
When was the last time you REALLY thought about "John 3:16"?  I saw it (just the reference) on somebody's business card today and stopped to think about it for a moment.  As I recalled the verse I got teary thinking about God the Father loving the world so much, giving His Son to save us.  Those words haven't been the same to me since my kids--especially for some reason, my son--were born.  When I think of standing by and letting anybody hurt my children, I can hardly comprehend how God allowed Jesus to be beaten and die because He loved me and you and the rest of the world. 
John 3:16...  May it never lose its power.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Coleeny-Beany!

Today is my sister's birthday! I was inspired to write about her when I was cleaning some windows with my kids. You see, Coleen has always DESPISED cleaning windows outside because she can't stand spiders. : ) (Which is why she lives in the country now, I'm sure.) So every time I clean any windows (which, mind you, isn't very often) I think of her. Plus, it was a job that we frequently endured together... one of us inside, the other outside so we could get all the spots at once, you know.

Coleen is 22 months younger than I am and to the right here is a picture of Coleen (right), Greg (top), Brad (middle) and Kevin (bottom right). Oh, and that's me on the left. This picture was taken hmmm... probably when I was in around 5th grade (?) and Coleen was still SHORTER than me. (or is it shorter than I???) Anyway, by the time we were in high school, she was taller than I was. (I am now the shortest one.) So, besides the fact that she was taller and looked older than I did (which is a REALLY BIG deal when you're in high school and everyone thinks you are younger than you really are) here are some other things I should tell you about my amazing sister. First of all, she has 5 (FIVE!) wonderful children who I am priviledged to call my niece and nephews. (Yes, if you noticed, she only has one girl. That means she has 4 boys.) But that's really good, b/c Coleen and I were used to being around boys, seeing as we had 3 brothers, and growing up Coleen was never really afraid of boys like I was anyway. That's all I'm going to say about that. : )

She lives out in the country with cows (if I remember right, 2 of them are named T-Bone and Chuck), chickens, a couple of ducks and goats and dogs and cats (I think... I lose track sometimes.) She also homeschools the older kids. (I told you she was amazing! But no, don't worry, her house isn't always clean and she's not perfect. But she is amazing!) Growing up Coleen and I laughed and LAUGHED and sang and played together (and argued a bit, though we never could stay mad at each other for more than 5 minutes). We were pals and always glad to have each other at new churches or school or on campus in college. To me, she always seemed brave, though I'm sure it wasn't always the case. I especially miss singing with her (though I don't miss the clarinet duets...) She and my mom and I would sing at church quite often AND at home doing the dishes AND driving around town, not non-stop, but ALWAYS in 3 part harmony!!! Sometimes we would sing with our cousin Amy, too. The three of us will never again be able to sing "I felt every tear drop when in darkness you cried and I strove to remind you that for those tears I died" without LAUGHING and I can't even expain to you why because I just don't have time and you wouldn't understand anyway. (But I promise you if Amy and Coleen read this, they will be laughing right now!)

May God continue to bless you, my faithful sister! I love you and see God at work in and through you and pray He will continue to bless you as you serve Him faithfully. Happy Birthday!!!!!
Love, Melissa

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Did I mention...

that we got a letter in the mail last weekend telling us our homestudy had been reviewed and we are now on the official waiting list to be matched with a child??? I still almost don't believe it because I didn't think we'd be on the list until our dossier was done. But I read the letter again yesterday and that's what it says! I still have a bit of scurrying around to do to get one more reference letter, copies of our passports, etc. for our dossier and I have to file our immigration paperwork (which is actually fairly simple, though quite expensive!), but in a couple of weeks we will enter a whole new period: WAITING. This morning at church during the pre-service prayer time we were in small groups and instructed to pray blessings over each other. The gal that prayed for me prayed for PATIENCE as we wait for our child. I was very grateful because from what I've heard, I'm going to need a lot of it. Back a while ago one night I had a very real awareness that I have another child over on the other side of the world that I haven't gotten to hold or see or smell yet. It's hard to fathom and the more it sinks in the harder it will get to be patient. I'm so glad God is in charge of the timing. It makes it easier to be at peace. Based on what we know, I still guess it will be 4-8 months before we are matched with a child and then 7-9 months before we get to bring him/her home. But only God knows for sure.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Time Warp

I have this wierd feeling again...  like I used to get around the end of each semester in college when I knew that finals week was coming and I wasn't ready with all of my papers or hadn't read the text books yet for the tests.  One of my nicknames back then was The Pro-Krause-tinator.  (My last name was Krause back then) and unfortunately I haven't completely kicked the habit.
When we went camping a couple weeks ago I was panicking at the last hours before leaving because I wasn't packed yet, even though I had been sure I wasn't running behind.  This is part of what's feeding my current state of pre-panic syndrome.  We're going camping again on August 2.  And I have a magazine article to finish editing, adoption immigration paperwork to file, a day-trip to Bakersfield, Toby's birthday and a psychologist appointment all between now and Aug. 2.  That's not to mention all the normal things like cleaning the house, church stuff, paying bills and feeding and clothing my family (with CLEAN clothes being the issue here) that are for me a challenge anyway.  And I REALLY don't want a repeat performance of my last camping packing job because it left me with ONE pair of tennis shoes for the whole trip, no toothbrush for Toby and not quite enough food (we bought a toothbrush and more food at the general store at the lake) and barely enough blankets--not to mention the frazzledness!
So I'm determined to do a better job this time, even though I have all these other things distracting me.  By the way, one of the reasons this is all so hard for me, I believe, is the ADD issue.  Dr. Amen has done some amazing brain studies that show people with ADD.  What happens is when they try to concentrate, the bloodflow to their pre-frontal cortex decreases dramatically.  That's the part of your brain you NEED when you're trying to think and prioritize and concentrate and figure stuff out!  It feels very often like I can think great when I'm relaxed, but as pressure starts to build, I stop being able to think clearly.  I feel like my brain is wandering around not quite sure where to start b/c everything looks sort of overwhelming and like it all needs to be done at once.  Then as the deadline gets really close, the last minute panic sets in.  THIS finally is what releases stuff like adrenalin that STIMULATES the pre-frontal cortex so I and others like me can finally think again!  : )  Do you understand now why I procrastinate???  There's more to it, but that's one piece of the story anyway.
I know, it's sort of hard to believe and understand if you don't suffer from it, but it's how I seem to work.  Another thing I've learned that makes it hard for me is my "job".  There isn't a whole lot of structure to my day and that makes it even harder to know where to start.  I'm not very good at structuring myself either...  never have been.  : )  Anyway, this is why I'm going to the psychologist on Aug. 1.  I'm going to finally get assessed by a professional (he's a Christian, by the way) to see if I really officially have ADD or not and to determine what to do about it.  I figure at this point I don't really have much to lose and if it could make this part of my life easier, I'm really ready to look into it.
If I don't post much in the next week or so, it's because I'm either working really hard or running around in circles like a chicken without a head (which brings up another great Bakersfield memory...  but I'll spare you that one.)  : )
Have a great week!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Well, God got out his pruning shears again and revealed some pretty ugly stuff in my heart last night.  As I was writing yesterday, I was thinking about the other things that can kill trees, like pests and diseases.  Apparently, God was too, and He determined it was time to remove a diseased part of my heart.  


For a while now off and on I have asked God to help me deal with my pride.  He heard me and answered loud and clear.  I'm won't go into all the details, but will say that I spent a good amount of time this morning grieving and repenting and trying to remember how to move on after I've blown it.  My pride got me into this mess and it is trying to keep me from getting out, too.  I feel so embarrassed and ashamed and disqualified and like I should have known better than to fall into this—not because I'm better than anybody else, but because I've been a Christian so long it just seems I should know better.  But that is my pride talking again.  It's so sneaky!  Telling me others are wrong one minute and telling me I shouldn't have messed up the next. 


I'm grateful for God's discipline and for his forgiveness and mercy and grace that I can absolutely count on.  He's dealing with this in me because He wants it out of the way so I can walk humbly with Him and be used by Him.  How incredible and undeserved is that.  


For years the following verse has been a challenge and encouragement to me.  It seems extra fitting today:  "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a HARVEST of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11


Amen & amen!  Thank you, Jesus, for your unending mercy and grace to me...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Too Much Fruit

One of the things I LOVE about summertime in the good old San Joaquin valley is FRUIT! About this time of year we have fruit coming out our ears, dropping off the trees and filling the kitchen. Farming is in our family's blood. My dad, grandfather and great-grandfather are/were farmers and Lowell's grandfathers were farmers too, so it only makes sense that on our little (almost) half acre lot we have 14 different kinds of fruit growing, not counting the tomatoes, peppers, squash and other stuff in our summer veggie garden.

But my point in telling you all this is not too impress you with our green thumbs. There IS such a thing as TOO much fruit. When you can't eat or freeze it or make jam or give it away fast enough, it just goes to waste. But there's actually an even greater danger. Too much fruit can break the tree branches.

When I was out picking peaches last week I was reminded of HOW IMPORTANT it is for me to let God prune me. Thinning out the activities of my life--even ones that appear fruitful!--is essential for my survival and my ability to continue to produce even better fruit. A while ago God did just that and I'm so glad I didn't fight to keep holding on when He told me to LET GO. There is also the reality that things sometimes have to die so the seeds can be planted and new things can grow from them.

How sad would it be if we were so determined to protect a particulary beautiful peach--so we left it on the tree as long as possible, protecting it from bugs and birds, and when it was so soft (and over-ripe) that it was about to fall off we picked it and brought it into the house to keep protecting it and we just kept it and kept it. Do you know what fruit smells like when it's started rotting??? It's so much better to either eat the fruit or let it drop and let the seed grow something new.

Well, I'm rambling a bit, but I feel so strongly that so many Christians are so busy being busy that we don't realize our branches are about to break (if they haven't already) because we are too busy bearing fruit that God wants us to let go of. In John 15 Jesus makes it quite clear that any branch that bears fruit needs to be pruned so it can be even more fruitful. Pruning is painful. But it is oh so necessary if we want to live fruitful lives.

Now, go eat a peach, or come get a plum or some cherry tomatoes from my house--before they're all gone! : )
Blessings to you today!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Morning Glory!

Oh you guys! Yesterday I got up and went for a walk. (Yes, that by itself is very amazing.) It was wonderful. I had some great worship music to listen to on my MP3 player (which, you know, makes me really cool with those wires sticking out of my ears and all, though not as cool as an iPod would make me) and it was nice and cool out and it was shady and all that made it really nice. BUT THEN!
I looked up at the sky and it was absolutely glorious. The picture above was taken when I got home and shows a little of what I saw... The sun was further below the clouds so the rays of the sun were shooting out through and above the clouds and it was magnificent. I was fairly overwhelmed with gratitude... for God helping me get out and that I was walking the right direction so I could see it and with the beautiful music playing in my ears... it was glorious.
As I looked at the sun I started seeing lots of sun spots whenever I looked away and it reminded me that the more I look at Jesus, the more I will keep seeing Him when I'm looking anywhere else. But like sun spots, Son spots will fade if I don't keep looking back to Him.
May you see Jesus today and keep seeing evidence of Him in everything else as well!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dirt and Deer and Bears, Oh My!

We got back yesterday from a 4 day camping trip at Hume Lake. The weather was beautiful, the kids were OH-SO dirty, and we saw LOTS of deer. One even wandered through the back of our campsite a couple of times. And though Stacie thought she heard a bear the first night, it turned out just to be somebody snoring. We were with our friends Stacie & Carlos Parra and their kids Natalie and Caleb and we had lots of fun swimming in the lake, hiking to the Little Brown Church, exploring Boyden Cave and Kings Canyon, getting sticky making smores, playing in the dirt, and just being together. I'd love to tell you more about it but I have a LOT of laundry to do and an ice chest to clean out. I'll TRY to post some more pictures later today (if I get the laundry done!)

Monday, July 09, 2007

So Grateful!

This morning I was reading Heather's blog. She has an amazing testimony and I am always encouraged by what she says. Anyway, Sunday she asked people to leave comments sharing how they had been encouraged by someone in life. I wanted to share what I wrote.

While I think of my mom first because she taught me so much about how faithful and good God always has been and always will be, I was struck this morning by how incredible my husband is. He is such a gift from God to me. When I struggled with post-partum and other depression in the last years, he was so patient and loving and helpful. He encouraged me to remember what the truth was and encouraged me to get help from a therapist when neither of us knew what else to do. He is so faithful to our marriage and guards it fiercely (in a healthy way!) He loves me and honors me and encourages me to pursue my dreams even when I think they’re unreachable. He is such a good father and is my partner until death to us part. God is my Rock, my Redeemer and Savior, but my husband is a great great gift to me. In the day to day
struggles of life when we let each other down and step on each other’s toes too often I forget to be grateful for him. Thank you for giving me a chance to remember. : )

I had been thinking lately that I talk a lot about my kids and myself on my blog, but not much about Lowell. He is an amazing husband and I'm so glad he's mine. : )

(I love you Babe!)

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Well, in case you didn't notice, today is July 7, 2007...... 07-07-07. Cool, huh? So I thought I'd tell you what I was doing this morning at 7:07:07 am. (Or at least what I think I was doing. I didn't notice the date until after 8:00 so I'm not positively positive but it doesn't really matter--except that I have to be honest with you.) ANYWAY! If I wasn't already working on it, I was getting ready to work on a new song. My family was all still asleep (as they are still now at 8:30am... and don't be jealous. MANY nights both kids wake me up because of dreams or tummy aches and God has rewarded my great night-time patience with the occasional nice quiet morning. I think you'd rather sleep well at night, right??? OK, where was I?) So God told me this morning to get up and write Him another song. I was quite happy to oblige. I haven't yet figured out how to get the music recorded and posted on here, so the words will have to do for now. This song is actually an old song revised. I wrote the first version of it probably 9 years or so ago. It was an amazing process because God gave me the chorus, the verse melody and the words for the verse at 3 different times and I didn't realize until sometime later that they all went together. It was really cool/amazing/exciting/wow. Recently I typed up all "my songs" and gave them to my mom for her ?0th birthday. (It doesn't seem polite to broadcast my mom's age on the internet, so you'll just have to guess.) But I couldn't find the words to this one and I couldn't remember them all. I think it was because it wasn't done yet. But I think it finally is. Yes it is a bit repetitive, but sometimes it takes hearing "Be still!" more than once for me to do it. Blessings to you all today!!! Someday I'll sing it for you... BE STILL “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:10-11 Be still and know, know that I AM God Be still and know, know I AM your Lord Be still and know I created you Be still and know I love you Be still and know, I AM Almighty God Be still and know, I AM your Righteous King Be still and know, I chose you Be still and know, I saved you Be still, be still Be still and know I AM God Be still and know you are alive in Me Be still and know you are forgiven and free Be still and know you are my beloved friend Be still and know you are my adopted child Be still and know you are a victorious saint As I give you strength you can do all things You are invited to boldly come before Me You are my bride. Do you hear Me? YOU ARE MINE Be still, be still Be still and know I AM God So be filled with hope Be filled with peace, knowing I will never leave you Be filled with strength Be filled with power, knowing I am at work in and through you Be filled with life Be filled with love. Shine my truth wherever you go Be filled with grace Be filled with joy, knowing who I AM and who you are in Me Be still, be still Be still and know I AM God Written by M. Ens 7-07-07 at 7:07am

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Confessions of a Blogger

That sounds so dramatic. Don't worry, this isn't going to be that exciting. : ) I just figure that since I actually have people reading my blog I should give you all something to read! : ) So here are some things I just need to let you know because even if I cheat when I'm playing a game I always admit it right afterward because I'm just like that. Here goes! Confession #1 - I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE! Scary, huh? (But I don't really know who you are. So don't worry too much.) You see that little box down on the left side of my blog that says "sitemeter"? Well, it means the sitemeter people are tracking how many people are visiting my blog. The first time I clicked on that box on somebody else's blog I was quite disturbed to see their sitemeter page with a little map on it with a red dot on Fresno CA and if I moved my cursor to the red dot it said "" which is my internet provider. Just a little freaky, people. I set up an account with them (after I got over the freaky part of it) so I could find out if anyone was reading my blog or not because if I don't get any comments I don't know if anyone is visiting my blog unless they tell me. And if nobody's coming, I might keep writing, but then again, I might not. Anyway, I have my sitemeter thing set so that nobody else can see my stats, but I at least know that there are a handful of you out there reading this. Someday you'll have to let me know why. : ) And I felt like I should let you know. Confession #2 - I HAVEN'T TOUCHED THE PUZZLE ALL WEEK. My husband would say that means I lied. I prefer to think of it as meaning I didn't keep my word which is different than intending to deceive you, but still not good. (Not that you are really going to be upset because I haven't done a puzzle, but still!) So I have decided I'm not going make commitments to "you" anymore because I don't seem to feel the same sense of accountability to "you" as I do to "real people" (not because you're not "real", but because I don't really know who most of you are.) : ) But by saying I'm not making any more commitments to you, I'm sort of making a commitment to you. SIGH. Confession #3 - MY KITCHEN IS A BIG MESS AND MY SON JUST TOLD MY DAUGHTER HE IS PREGNANT. Apparantly I need to stop blogging and tend to my motherly duties before things really get out of control around here. Bye for now!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

25 Years Later...

And I've almost completely forgotten where half the states in our blessed country are!Yesterday at a yard sale across the street I bought a US (including Hawaii, Alaska AND Puerto Rico) puzzle. You know, the kind where each state (except those teeny tiny New England states) are each a piece and they all fit together to form a big map (with some little maps on the side for the aforementioned non contiguous states.) (I should look those words up and make sure I got them right but I don't have time because we're supposed to be somewhere in 15 minutes.) (And I'm on the computer. Good grief.)

This being the week we celebrate our country's Independence I thought I should admit I have forgotten everything my 4th grade teacher taught me about where Alabama and the Dakotas and Iowa and Illinois are. Forgive me for being from a state that is so easy to find, but those other ones all get mixed up in my brain. SO I am determined to play with this puzzle every day this week (in honor of the 4th and 4th grade) and see if I can learn it again. Because even if I'm "only a housewife" (yes, yes, I know... I'm not ONLY a housewife and I'm not married to my house, BUT!) I should know where Missouri is!

Happy 4th of July everyone! And God bless America!