Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dream Big

There is a scene in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness where the main characters (Father and Son) are playing basketball together. The son (who is 5 years old) is telling his dad how he is going to be in the NBA someday. The dad responds with a reality check. He basically tells his son he has no hope of being above average in basketball because it is not "in his genes." The son responds by throwing the basketball away. Realizing his mistake, the dad pulls his son aside, "Don't let anyone take your dream away, even me."

I've been thinking about that scene today. I have a tendancy to be a dream-breaker. I tend to shoot ideas down quickly if I don't think they are realistic. I don't like to take chances and weigh the risks very carefully. Now there is a time and a place for reality checks, BUT dreams can be fragile and should be protected and nurtured.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" As a child this question holds endless possibilities. While many of them are unrealistic (i.e. astronauts and presidents are few and far between), does it really hurt to let my child dream an unlikely dream? I hope that when God gives my child a "big dream" I will not stand in the way with a reality check, but will cheer them on.

I also hope I will not stand in the way of my own dreams. Dreams can be scary. They often mean leaving your comfort zone and taking a risk. Going after a dream is very easy to write about, but very hard to put into practice. To never attempt, however, sounds worse. To make it to the end of my life and never have tried is something I do not want to experience.

If you have a dream, my advice is to pray about it, make sure it is a God-given dream (the other kind aren't worth pursuing), don't let dream-breakers get in your way and go for it. Then watch out, dreams really can come true!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown

Tonight A Charlie Brown Christmas was aired once again on ABC. I grew up watching this movie at Christmastime. It always makes me nostalgic. This year Mya watched it with me. It is so fun to introduce my daughter to Christmas traditions that I enjoyed at her age.

On another note, I was pleasantly surprised to see that A Charlie Brown Christmas is still being aired. When Charlie Brown asks if anyone knows what Christmas is all about, Linus proceeds to tell him - quoting directly from scripture (Luke 2 - "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night..."). Who would have thought that the same network that gives us quality programming like Desperate Housewives and Wifeswap would share with its viewers what Christmas is really about? Especially in a world where saying the words "Merry Christmas" is becoming politically incorrect, baby Jesus is being removed from public nativity scenes, and "Christmas" break is being replaced by "winter"break. Will this country someday just celebrate the "holidays" and take away Christmas altogether? I can get worked up just thinking about it...

...and then I remember that I serve a Sovereign God who is in control of this crazy, mixed-up world. He came to earth and confined himself to human form. He became a baby - a helpless, little baby - and was born in a dirty stable and laid in a manger. Because of that mind-blowing sacrifice, Christmas will always be Christmas - a celebration of Jesus birth. Praise God political correctness can never change that!

As I bring today's ramblings to an end I want to shout with Linus, Lucy and the gang,

"Merry Christmas Charlie Brown"

Thank you for sharing the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Christmas time is here! My goal this year (and every year for that matter) is to pass on the true meaning of Christmas to my kids.

Today Mya and I had a little conversation:

"So, Mya Christmas is coming soon. Do you know why we celebrate Christmas?"

To which she replied, with much enthusiasim, "PRESENTS!"

I think we have a little work to do. :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Words to Live By

It strikes me as ironic that the day after I write a post based on one of my grandpa's comments, I receive a booklet filled with them. Jill and Jeremy at The Manna Group asked Grandpa to write down his favorite sayings and then they typed it up. It is a great list. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you!
  • Assume people like you, until they tell you different
  • Our attitude determines our altitude
  • Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
  • Don't holler at your wife unless the house is on fire
  • Habits work for or against us. Form good habits.
  • As you sow, so shall ye reap
  • The little things we do or say make the big difference
  • Put round pegs in round holes and square pegs in square holes
  • Procrastination is suicide of time. Remember the three magic words: Do it now.
  • Plan your work and work your plan
  • Believe in what you're doing or STOP doing it
  • It is not so important what happens to us, as how we respond to what happens to us
  • People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care

Grandma had her own list - here are a few of her favorite sayings.

  • Its what you learn after you know it all that counts
  • A good example can overcome a lot of bad advice
  • Getting back on the right track usually involves gettint out of a rut

Golden nuggets of wisdom to live by. For those of you who know my Grandpa, I'm sure you can picture him saying a few of these nuggets - I can. To me, the list conjures up wonderful images of my Grandpa, making them not just words to live by, but words to treasure.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Little Things

My grandpa always comments on how "the little things make a big difference." (He also uses the saying "round pegs in round holes, square pegs in square holes" - but that is a different blog topic!) As I live my life I see more and more how the little things of life DO make a big difference.

It is the little moments that bring the most joy. A musical toy that makes us stop what we are doing and dance for 10 seconds. A game of "drop the blanket out of the crib and laugh hysterically while mommy picks it up" before naptime. My son bringing me his shoes, "uh-uhing" at me , then taking them away again while I sit at the computer. A spontaneous daddy who takes his kids sledding in the dark for 20 minutes before bed. Hearing my kids laugh
as they play together. Making my kids laugh when I play with them. I could go on and on. I'm sure you could add a hundred other small moments that bring joy to your day as well.

Although the "profession of motherhood" consists of many mundane and never-ending tasks (i.e. keeping the kitchen clean and laundry), it is the little joys that make me so thankful it is my chosen profession. Sharing the little moments with my kids brings fulfillment that no other job can give. It is not an easy job (its the little things that can break you too!) but it is an important job. I need reminded of that when I get lost in the monotony of the every day jobs. I also need reminded of that when all three kids are crying at my feet (i.e. 5 minutes ago). And when ... lets just say I need reminded a lot!

It would be easy for me to get impatient waiting for the "big things" in life to happen, wishing away time with thoughts like "I can't wait for them to walk" and "I can't wait til they can feed themselves." The problem when I think that way is that it distracts me from the little things, the small joys that make life special. Pardon me as I end how I began, "its the little things that make a big difference!"

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow Days

Snow Days. I have memories of waking up to a snow-covered yard, running downstairs and tuning into the radio hoping that I would hear Gridley schools listed with the other school closings. An unexpected day off with a yard full of snow to play in made for a very fun morning! Tromping through snow drifts, catching snowflakes on my tongue, making snow angels, taking in the transformation of our yard into a winter wonderland - all special parts of a snow day.

I loved snow as a kid, still do. The first snow of the year is always exciting. This year it came in force! Kory's office closed down today making the snow day official. Our house feels especially cozy with the wind howling around us and the wintery landscape featured in every window. A game of Monopoly and a cup of hot cocoa seem like obvious choices to fill our time.

"Its beautiful" Mya observed as she gazed at our backyard covered in snow. She wanted to look out all the other windows in the house to see if the snow was there too - it was. She couldn't wait to put her snowsuit on and head outside this morning.

What a blessing to share the excitement of the first snow of the year with a child and enjoy an unexpected snow day with my family!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Day in the Life of Me

Somedays I think it would be better if I just didn't get out of bed. Let me tell you about one of those days:
  • 2:06 am Mya comes into our bedroom, wakes me up and tells me she wants to sleep in her sleeping bag on the floor
  • 5:35 am Mya wakes me up and tells me she wants to go back to her own bed
  • 6:00 am Kory's alarm wakes me up
  • 6:09 am Kory's alarm wakes me up again
  • 6:18 am Kory's alarm wakes me up again
  • 7:15 am The boys wake up with diapers so full, the diaper actually explodes (not alot of fun to clean up)
  • 8:20 am While checking my e-mail, one of the boys decides to turn the computer off
  • 8:57 am The house is too quiet, I go upstairs to discover Mya has opened my bedroom door and the boys are in my bathroom splashing in the toilet
  • 8:59 am As I get the boys dried off and out of my room, I discover Mya writing on a matte board I am planning on using to frame pictures of my angelic children.
  • 9:45 am I discover the boys behind the chair, pulling all of our CDs off the holder
  • 9:47 am As I am picking up the CDs I hear a crash as the boys knock our Christmas tree over (not our real one, thank goodness)
  • 10:38 am My palm pilot dies for no apparent reason - I feel lost.
  • 12:30 pm Mom arrives so I can go to a few appointments and grocery shop
  • 2:00 pm I make a quick stop at the post office - the only parking spot available is about 1 block away
  • 2:10 pm As I leave the post office a torrential downpour starts. I have no coat and no umbrella. I run one block to my car - losing my shoe once and arrive at my car looking like I just got out of the shower with my clothes on.
  • 2:20 pm I arrive at my eye doctor appointment looking like a drowned rat.
  • 4:30 pm I try to make supper while both boys are lying on the kitchen floor at my feet hysterical
  • 5:05 pm We start supper. Mya fills her mouth with carrots, realizes there is too much in her mouth and proceeds to spew them all over herself and the kitchen floor.
  • 5:06 pm The boys decide to join in the fun and throw their applesauce all over the floor as well as their spaghetti. (The comment could be made - "You could eat off of her kitchen floors.")
  • 5:25 pm Kory comes home to find a wife who has just stepped off the deep end (The phrase "one frie short of a happy meal" comes to mind)!

(Lest you think I really am going crazy, I must give a small disclaimer: I have not actually had a day like this, BUT all of the above scenarios have happened to me this week, with just enough time in between to keep me sane... barely!)

As Julie Ann Barnhill says "Motherhood ushers in (often with trumpets) a dawning awareness that things just aren't going to go as we'd first planned or imagined."

To that I say, "Hear, Hear".

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Peas are Always Greener...

So the old saying goes, "The peas are always greener on the other person's tray." Or something like that.

As our twin boys ate their supper tonight, Jonah took this old adage to heart. Ignoring the many peas on his own tray, he decided his brother's looked much tastier and so helped himself. Luckily Simon didn't seem to mind... this time.

Already I am constantly breaking up fights between the two brothers, one always wants what the other brother has. Their sister also seems to have this problem. Not only does she want what her brothers, friends, etc. have, she does not want them to have what she has! The other day on our way to her cousin's house she informed me that she did not want Paige to have any of her water.

Having kids has definately confirmed to me that humans are not basically good as some would have us believe - that nasty old sin nature is ingrained in us from birth and shows its ugly face very quickly. As much as I would like to believe that I have outgrown the behaviors exemplified in my children, I would only be lying to myself and to you. Although I have learned not to go around physically grabbing things from my family and friends and am willing to share what I have with them, I have found more subtle ways to be selfish.

For example, I can be very selfish with my time. In a sense I can grab time away from my children as they would a toy from a friend. Pushing them off when I have something I want to accomplish (blogging for instance :)).

I can be selfish with my conversations - directing the conversation to things I am interested in and accomplishing; not taking time to really find out how my friend is doing because I have things to share.

I could go on and on, the "self-stuff" (as Beth Moore calls it) in my life is unending. Although the daily battle of dealing with my "self-stuff" can be overwhelming and quite daunting at times, I am thankful for a Savior who forgives me when I fail and gives me grace to fight back.

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."

Matthew 16:24-25

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Trip to the Dentist

I was at the dentist today. I didn't really know why I was at the dentist until they shot me up with novacaine and pulled out the drill. I knew they had to do something besides a cleaning (I had that done the week before) I just wasn't sure what.

My dentist was very reassuring. "This is the easiest thing I do all day, " he said.
A little bit later, when my mouth was numb he said, "I just had to give a new patient bad news - he needs a root canal."

Lying there with two heads peering into my mouth, the dentist's and his assistant's, I felt a little odd. When he pulled out the drill, I wondered if my eyes looked a little panicked. I didn't feel panicky at all, but I wondered what I looked like to my dentist. "It shouldn't hurt at all," he said.

They say that dentist have the highest suicide rate of any occupation. I don't know if that is true. In some ways it makes sense to me. They spend all day in these one-sided conversations. Pulling their hands out of people's mouths only briefly to allow them to respond. No one really likes being there. Do they see a lot of panicky eyes? I doubt they get much positive feedback from their patients "Great job with that filling Dr. - that was your best one yet!" - most people are probably just glad to be leaving. I think it must take a special person to be a dentist.

All in all - it wasn't too bad of a trip. He did his work fast and before I knew it he was sending me out the door with a loopy, novacaine induced half-smile on my face. "Just don't chew any food on the left side of your mouth until at least 5:00, we wouldn't want you biting your lip on accident."

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Paying Tribute

Every year Easter Seals chooses a couple from the Peoria area to honor at an event they call the Tribute Dinner. They pick a couple who has given much over the years of their time and money to the community. The theme of the event usually coincides with the couples' interests. Friends of the couple speak of how giving and worthy of honor they are. Usually someone of local renown shares some thoughts, last night it was Congressman Ray LaHood, a few years ago it was U of I basketball coach Bill Self. It is a touching event that raises a lot of money for Easter Seals.

I wonder as we sit at the table listening to people talk of the accalaides and accomplishments of the honorees what it would feel like to be honored in that way. To have people publically proclaim your virtues and your giving spirit. Do they look back over their life and feel pride at what they have accomplished? What do they say to each other when they go home? Do they feel successful and worthy of the praise they received?

I wonder what I will have to show for myself when I reach the golden years of life. What will people say about me? Will I have lived a life worthy of honor? Will I have made a difference? More importantly what will my heavenly Father say to me when I reach my eternal home? The words I long to hear someday are "Well done, my good and faithful servant." If that is my goal, am I living today with that in mind?

Lots of questions - only time will tell what the answers are.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wrestling with Boredom

With three children ages 3 and under, people comment to me all the time "Oh, you must be so busy." My "pat" answer usually goes along the lines of "Oh, I guess, busy in a slow kind of way." While my kiddies do keep me busy in the sense that I am constantly pulling them out of trouble (i.e. toilets), cleaning up messes and wiping up runny noses, we don't get out much. As they grow up and increasingly play better on their own I am finding myself with more and more downtime. Sometimes I feel bored.

I just read a quote on boredom I would like to share with you by Dr. Harold Dodds (I found it in the book Stop Pretending by Luis Palau.)

"It is not the fast tempo of modern life that kills, but the boredom, a lack of strong interest, and failure to grow that destroy. It is feeling that nothing is worthwhile that makes men ill and unhappy."

After that quote Palau references the verse John 10:10 "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." As Christians we were not meant to be bored. In other words, God is not the author of boredom, although he can use it.

I am learning that when I find boredom creeping into my life, when nothing feels worthwhile, something is wrong. Usually it means that I am neglecting my primary calling in life, my God. When our relationship is not where it should be and I am "failing to grow", my motivation can slide and life loses its joy. Sometimes it means that I am neglecting my primary task in life, my family. When I try to follow my own agenda and "put off" my children I loose patience and again life loses its joy.

And sometimes, it means developing an interest so that when I have downtime and my kids are playing on their own I have something to do. (Something besides the never-ending housework and laundry that is!)

I want to live out John 10:10 and live life to the full! And in that kind of life, there is no room for boredom.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Life in a Disaster Area

My kitchen feels out-of-control tonight. The counter is cluttered by an empty pizza box, plastic wrap from a dry cleaned coat, an Operation Christmas Child shoebox, a warm 2-liter bottle of Squirt, papers, dishes and a myriad of other odds and ends. The sink is filled with highchair trays (still holding this morning's uneaten waffles), plates, cups, spoons, and forks (dishes, dishes, dishes galore!). Let me say it again, my kitchen is out-of-control.

In fact, let's not just limit ourselves to the kitchen, my entire house feels like one huge cluttered home - random toys in every room. As far as the eye can see, things that are not put away. "Go to your home" I yell, but nothing listens. My daughter looks at me and wonders who in the world her mom is talking to.

Life feels unsettled when my home is like this, especially the kitchen. When my kitchen is out-of-control, my life sometimes feels out-of-control. If that one room in the house (a control-center of sorts) is cleaned and every other room in the house is a disaster area, life still seems somehow manageable. But if the kitchen blows up - look out, Momma could go at anytime!

I remember growing up the best gift we could give my mom was a clean kitchen - I'm starting to understand. I would love it if my three-year old suddenly learned how to clean the kitchen and would periodically surprise me. What a glorious day that will be!

I suppose I should probably get up from this computer, walk in to that disaster area of a kitchen and get to work putting things (my life included?) back in order...

Yeah right, distraction sounds much better!

"Kory I'm coming - start the movie!"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Favorite Quotes

"It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth "thrown in": aim at earth and you will get neither."

"Most of us find it very difficult to want "Heaven" at all--One reason is that when the real want for Heaven is present in us, we do not recognise it. Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promises. The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love, or first think of some foreign country, or first take up some subject that excites us, are longings which no marriage, no travel, no learning, can really satisfy."

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same."

Quotes from the Chapter "Hope" in Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

I think in my own life I most recognize the "real want for Heaven" when I hear beautiful music. Sometimes music will awaken in me a desire, or longing that I know cannot be fulfilled on earth. It gives me the desire to make beautiful music myself to awake in others the longing for something more.

I will probably never be a musician. Sometimes I think I would like to be a writer, but I struggle with my motivation. Do I want to be a writer to win the accalades and praise of men? If that is the reason, then I pray I will never have success. Lately the thought has come to me that maybe by writing I could awaken in others a desire or longing for Heaven. I cannot do this through music, I don't have the talent, but maybe I could use words to point others to Jesus.

At this point I must make a disclaimer: As romantic as that last paragraph sounds (at least to me), I may not have the talent to be a writer either! In that case, I hope the talents I have been given can be used to point others to Christ in some small way. I may never awaken in another the longing for Heaven, but maybe I can at least help them discover those longings hidden in their own heart.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

About Me

Hi! I'm Megan. Although I go by Megs in blog-land and sometimes in real-life too. Welcome to my little piece of the world wide web. I'm honored you are here!

I started blogging in the Fall of 2006 as a way to "practice" writing. I never imagined the amazing community I would find as a result. I have learned so much from the experience of others and been extremely blessed by the comments left here.

If you are curious, here is a little more about me...

I am wife to Kory, a crazy-fun man who can always make me laugh. We get to share life together. We met in high-school via our church youth groups and clicked from the start. We were married in college, lived in the city pre-kids and currently reside somewhere in the middle.

I am mom to six special kiddos (who provide most of my writing material). They bring joy, frustration, laughter and tears and I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. I love being a mom.

Most importantly I am a daughter of the High King and a follower of His son Jesus. This is what gives my life meaning.

I have a passion for the orphan. Through our partnership with Lifesong for Orphans, our eyes have been opened to the needs of the fatherless and our hearts have been broken. In the summer of 2010 we embarked on a great adventure, when we adopted our daughter Suhn and brought her home from China. We found ourselves in China once again in the spring of 2013 to bring home our son, an "unplanned" adoption that God used to bring an amazing little boy into our family.

I am a life-long book worm. I love how books can widen our perspectives and change our thinking. There is power in story and I relish discovering the good ones.

I write about life, motherhood, faith, and adoption. I don't have any of it figured out, not by a long shot, but I'm thankful for a place to share what I'm learning. A place to share the whispers I hear in the everyday moments of life.

Thanks for reading along and sharing it with me.