Much like your parents attic, treasured memories lay within. So, wipe the dust off my ruminations and remembrances, sit back and enjoy!

Setting the blender on puree...

A few days ago, Lisa related in her blog about what a great weekend we had together as a family (Family movie night on Friday and a spontaneous trip to the Mall of America on Saturday) and how it feels that we are starting to come together as a family. I started writing this entry last Saturday on the way to MOA as Lisa drove...

This 'blending' of families is tough! Lisa and I read a great deal about blended families before we were married. We wanted the upper hand or at the very least, wanted to go into 'the blender' if you will, as prepared as we could be. The study we did together was called 'God Breathes On Blended Families' and the author's quote a statistic that said that it takes a blended family 4 to 7 years before they start feeling like a whole family. When I read that statistic, I know I thought, 'Well, we're going to be different...I'll make us different.' In retrospect, that's alot of pressure I put on myself and I took the control of that away from God. It wasn't long after we were married when I found myself running here and there, putting out squabbles, listening to how unfair something was.

For a time, there wasn't a day that went by that something didn't happened that chipped away at my vision of the family I wanted and knew we were supposed to be. Hearing comments like 'I wish it were still just us' or 'You did this, you ruined my life' would leave my spirit crushed and made me feel like all I was trying to do was for naught...all in vain.

I remember finally coming to God...I was tired, hurt and frustrated. He simply told me 'You're laboring in vain...' Oh, Lord...how could I have forgotten? The very foundation of the message Lisa and I had Pastor Sonny speak about at our wedding...Psalm 127:1 'Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain...' was brought to my mind. Who's building the framework of this family? Am I letting God, or am I trying to shove nails into the frame of our 'house' with my bare hands and shear force of will? He was right...I had taken the building of our 'house' upon myself...and I was seeing the fruits of my labor (or lack thereof).

I had been SO singularly focused on whether people where happy or OK and focused on if they were progressing according to MY image of where I thought everyone should be, that I had missed the slow blending that has been going on. In the months that have past since Lisa and I were married, we have seen our share of bickering, but we have also seen a bonding. Sometimes it's a couple steps forward...other times, it's a couple back, but God is build this house and besides, doesn't that honestly happen in families, blended or not, anyway?

~ V

Germaphobe?...Well, I am now!

Ok, I'm going to start right off with an apology for this post. Some people might call this a NO TOUCH subject, but honestly...well, let me explain.

Ok, you're out shopping (you know, it's Saturday, time to run your errands) and inevitably somewhere along the line nature calls...yeah, great...so you find the restroom, enter the stall...can someone PLEASE tell me why they insist on installing the TP dispenser 10 inches off the floor? And it's not just Wal-Mart or Target...EVERY place does! 10 inches off the ground makes it virtually impossible to to either A) Get a long enough piece B) Not touch the unimaginably filthy floor with the TP OR my hand...

It makes me shudder!

~ V

Quiet...too quiet

The kids are on spring break this week and you'd think that the house would be thriving with kids, friends, etc running around all day...that's not the case as Nick and Kyle went with their dad to Florida (lucky's!) So, it's been quieter...emptier.
I miss the boys...alot! and if I do, you can't imagine how Lisa feels...The boys are having a great time and we're glad they have the opportunity, but our home just isn't the same without them.

I wonder if God feels the same way about us...haven't prayed in awhile? Haven't read His word?? I don't know about you, but when this happens to me, I start to feel very disconnected and then I start to feel like I'm floundering...I NEED Him...every day, every hour, every minute...He miss's you and all you have to do is look up...He is there.

~ V

Happy St. Kilt...er, Patty's Day!!

Ok...It's St Patty's day and for those who know me well, should know that I can NOT pass up the opportunity to share one of my favorites...well, if not Irish, then Scottish!


~ V

The Plan, The Teens & Tweens, and the Apple

Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'

If you have followed my BLOG at all, you’d know that I have written about this passage on several different occasions. God is quite plain in telling us throughout His Word that He has plans for us and that those plans are to provide hope for a future that is in Him. During church a few weeks back, a young woman got up and shared this verse. She explained that the Holy Spirit had pressed this verse on her and after reading it, she admitted that she almost flippantly told God, ‘Yeah…you have plans for me…and?’ God came right back and told her, ‘No…you don’t understand. I, the Lord your God, have plans for you…when are YOU going to accept my plan and by faith, walk in it?’

Now, I’ve read this scripture countless times, but God, through the testimony of this girl, revealed a perspective that I had never considered before. God, in His infinite wisdom and all encompassing love, has a plan for each and every one of us. It’s not some vague, general, meandering plan, but one that has been customized for you…for me…but the deal is this, we have to decide to accept, claim and walk in His plan. God doesn’t force us to accept Him, nor does He force us to believe or accept the ultimate sacrifice His son Jesus paid for us and He’s not going to force us to accept His plans for us either. As with salvation, this is a choice we have to make...follow His perfect plan, or follow our imperfect one.

Why is it that we feel we know what’s better for our lives than God? It’s funny…we experience this very thing from our own kids…we don’t know what we’re talking about, or we’re ‘not in the know’, no matter how you cut it, our kids feel they know what’s better for themselves than us and we, well, we’re just clueless. It doesn’t matter that we’ve been down the same roads and that we have the advantage(?) of knowing the pain and disappointment that often comes from ignoring the wisdom of our parents. And on the flip side, I now know what my own parents must have felt at those times…fear that he might not make it on his own…frustration over her lack of motivation to get good grades…If he’d just take school seriously…if she’d just take my advice…and God says, ‘Hmm, apples don’t fall far from the tree…’ Wha?...Hey! I was talking about my kids! And He says, ‘Yeah, so was I!’


~ V

Come on Baby Light my Fire…

The last couple of days have been in the 40’s and I’ve been LOVING it! I actually saw a couple of Robins in our yard…so either it’s official and spring is here, or those two Robins are total bird brains! Anywho, I am here to make an official proclamation (if you were here, you could hear the fanfare trumpets and timpani drums): I hereby declare Friday, March 6th, the official start of the 2009 grilling season! During lunch (yes…I actually get to have lunch with my wife almost every day!), Lisa and I talked about what to have for supper and that’s when I said that it’s nice enough out, we should grill. You should have seen her face light up! You would have though I offered to take her on a cruise or something! We decided to have grilled Salmon and veggies. Salmon is something that I’ve never enjoyed in the past, but honestly that was just Salmon patties…(shudder). So baked or grilled Salmon is something Lisa introduced me to, and I really love it grilled. We’ve tried several recipes (Mediterranean herb or Rosemary), but tonight I left it up to Lisa and she proposed a simple house seasoning and butter recipe. Honestly, I was a little skeptical because I AM so picky about fishy taste, but it turned out perfect! It was moist and flaky and it was obvious that the Salmon was very very fresh as it tasted clean and YUMMY!

So…all of you barbecue and grilling enthusiasts, it’s time! Fill up the tanks, stock up the Kingsford, clean up the surface and fire up the grills!

Grill long, and prosper!

~ V

30 hours a day...

Ok, bear with me…add this up:

.5 - Wake-up and get kids started/off to school
1 - Get ready for work
.5 - Drive to and from work
9.5 - Work (on average I work 8 to 5:30)
1 - Help/make supper
.5 - Clean-up after supper
1.5 - Fix/repair something in or around the house or computer or car
1 - Deal with an issue (with 7 people in the house, there’s ALWAYS an issue)
1 - Get the little ones ready for and in bed
1.5 - Get the older ones to bed (yes…it takes longer!)
7 - Sleep

So, what’s that come to...25? Yeah, I’m quite aware there are only 24 hours in a day and yes…it’s not this way all of the time, but I think you get my point! Where’s my time spent in God’s word or prayer? Where’s the time spent with Lisa that I SO treasure? Or time to read or to BLOG or to…well, anything else? Honestly, it’s not as bad as all of that, but there ARE days that really do come close. There is SO much more I want to do…feel that I NEED to do. I’d love to try out for the agency’s yearly musical production, but where would the time come from? What would I have to sacrifice in order to commit to rehearsals? Time with the kids? Lisa? God? I’m simply not willing to make that sacrifice. This blending of two families is challenging enough as it is…I need to be here to grow Lisa’s and my relationship and nurture my relationship with her boys.
And so, as David did in Psalm 57:2, ‘I cry out to God most high, to God who accomplishes all things for me.’ And almost instantly, the Holy Spirit brought Luke 12:31 to mind…’ But seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.’ …Um, honestly was that necessary? OK, maybe I did deserve that. I seriously wonder if God ever gets tired of me forgetting the basics and acting like I’m wandering around a darkened room…

What do I need to do, oh Lord? Give me wisdom…Your wisdom, Your peace, Your grace! Oh, and while you’re at it…can you give me about 30 hours in a day??

~ V

New look...

Just a quick note to announce the new look of my Blog. I feel the background and image, better reflects the title...hope you feel likewise!