Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gomer's Shelving Things

It has been an eventful week here, friends of Gomer. In case you missed our blog yesterday, our beloved adopted children got married. You can see that here. Our hideous kitchen began birthing new life because of an amazing cabinet maker named Aaron. Because of these things and a small person growing in my uterus, I am sleepy. I thought about writing a blog about about all the places I would like to take a nap. Instead, I must tell you that we are very thankful right now. I think of all of the hard things that have gone on around us and the hard relational things we have had to do in the past few years. It has genuinely been gut wrenching, humbling, and healing. The reward is always worth the work no matter how hard it seems when you are in the midst of it. We press on to forgiveness. We press on to love and we press on to resurrection. Restoration always involves a stripping away, a death of flesh. 

When we first moved in this house, I had immediately wanted to rip out the cabinets and go to Lowe's and buy new. God told me that it wasn't restoration if I just went out and replaced everything. I kind of sat there a bit dumbfounded. How was I ever going to make use of these rotted cabinets? We did for 3 years. We really just stacked everything on the countertop because I had great fear of putting anything in the actual cabinets. As God set His plan in motion to give us new cabinets, I wondered about what He told me. Why would it have mattered if I replaced the cabinets since it was exactly what He was going to do anyway? I wondered if He really just wanted for me to wait and let Him do the work. I saw a picture of how it can appear that God is working very slowly in our lives under the surface because He wants us to truly take notice of what He has done. The truth, I believe, is that He wanted to do it. Any cheap cabinet I bought would be a Band-aid on a gaping wound. When God does a work, it is bone deep & transforming. So, I did a little math. I added up the manpower, the demolition, the electricians, the plumbers, the laborers, and the cost of custom cabinets like these in our area. I came to the conclusion that God gave us an $85,000.00 kitchen for $5,000.00. No one could ever deny that this was a fishes and loaves story. 

Here's what we have left to buy. So, feel free to order some paintings from Etsy or support Gomer.

 Floor $800.00
Knobs $500.00
Dishwasher $600.00
Glass (need estimate)
Garbage Disposal($200.00)
Countertop (unsure)
Backsplash (undetermined)

A little before and after for you.
Here are some knob choices. Help me choose between the next two for the kitchen doors. Send in your votes. There is a part of me that likes the one with the metal in the middle and part of me likes the clean, soft look of the other one. These are all from Anthropologie.

 What about this for the buffet in the dining room?
 This for the drawers in the kitchen?
 These will go in the laundry room. They make me happy and I think will make laundry more whimsical.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Going to the Chapel

A little over a year ago, a young man I know came to me and told me he found the woman He believed God wanted him to marry. He asked me to pray for them. he came to live with us. We spiritually adopted her. Then this Saturday, they got hitched. It has been the wildest of adventures and the most beautiful of restoration stories. God yearns to be gracious to us for sure. Here are some pictures for you on SnapFish

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Talk to me, Abba.

I have given you a beautiful ability to sit in My presence and wait for my answer. You often look for the people of this world to answer life's questions for you. The truth is that they cannot. Even when they give you a seemingly good answer, it is not My truth. Seek Me. Seek My Kingdom, Seek My righteousness. This is where your healing and righteousness will occur.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls," 
Matthew 13:45

For more on this segment, see this post.

Friday, March 23, 2012

French Dip Sandwich

This is one of my pregnancy cravings. The recipe you will normally find has sherry and shallots in it. I adapted it to the likes of our family. I added a clove of garlic and some delicious mushrooms. It is really quick and easy.
Brown your meat in the butter and garlic. You can also add a hint of pepper here. While this is going on, have the buns toasting in the oven at 350 with the cheese melting on the top portion of the open bun. 
 You can see it starting to change colors.
Prepare your consume (or beef broth) with mushrooms and pepper. 
Dip roast in sauce and place on bun. Scoop some mushrooms from the sauce and place on meat.
You can add a little extra cheese if you would like.
Close the sandwich and fill your dipping bowls to dip them into. This whole process is an average of 15 to 20 minutes and it is yummy.
Buon Appetito.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

There's a Cadillac in the Kitchen.

You know, I posted about how this all started. I asked God to restore the kitchen. I was just hopeful for some cabinets from Lowe's, but God took the small fishes we had and it feels like He parked a Cadillac Escalade in the kitchen. It's gorgeous. It isn't the same room. The bright light that emanates from every corner and all the built in cubbies for the dishes I have had in boxes since 2008 are amazing. It will be like Christmas getting all of this stuff down. This is definitely one of those more than you could ask or imagine things.
This is Aaron. He is an amazing cabinet maker out of Quitman, TX. You really have to come over and see the beauty of these cabinets. They are artistically hand crafted. It's gorgeous. Come over. Take a look.
 These beautiful cabinets are going to be the pedestal for my dream sink. Oh my stars. Is this really happening?
 Look at all of these beauties. Before there was just a scary cavity there. 
 This was the first thing I saw Wednesday morning. How grand!
 They are even putting cabinets in the laundry room. I had a ghetto wire hung with two nails for my clothes to go on. No more. There's going to be a fancy bar. I won't know how to act amidst all this glamour.

Support Gomer's House.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Fringes of Grace

How do you view God? With grace, with pain, with fear? I am humbled under the weight of kindness to me each and every day. I have the pictures in my head that I react to sometimes. They were formed by the people in my life who were meant to care for me. Then God will show me, in some out of the ordinary way, that His grace is vast. It truly is beyond all measure. God is loving. It's hard to grasp when you have never felt lovable, but there He is. He allures us in the desert places and He won't leave us alone.

Today, I am thankful that God has not left me to my own thoughts. He never stops teaching me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Three Hearts

"Graduating college senior, Cissie Graham Lynch, granddaughter of evangelist Billy Graham, takes on an internship at Samaritan’s Purse working with the Children’s Heart Project. This project is dedicated to saving the lives of children by providing medical procedures that aren’t available in many countries. Cissie is charged with supervising the arrival and surgeries of three Mongolian children suffering from fatal congenital heart defects.
But the task is not easy and filled with unexpected challenges. Cissie balances responsibilities as a newly married wife to a professional football player and her tasks with the internship. Meanwhile the Children’s Heart team turns to a Texas family who travels to Mongolia for the adventure of a lifetime to help bring the children to San Antonio for their surgeries. In Texas, two host families make sacrifices to care for these children and their mothers, while a team of doctors and nurses volunteer their time only to stare directly into the face of life and death. How far would you go to save a life?
It’s a fight for survival, a fight of faith, and a fight for a new life for these three hearts."
Living outside of San Antonio and having friends involved in this project, I remember these kids being here and having prayed for them. I was not expecting to ever see the inside of the stories unfold. My heart is changed forever. Watching the anguish and the joy of these families who are trusting that these Americans are going to heal their children is overwhelming. The beautiful hospitality of the people who opened their homes to these families was deeply inspiring. Their faith in Christ is shown in this remarkable way that leads these Buddhist families to trust in Jesus Christ and to trust and thank Him. I cannot recommend this to you enough. Please watch it. Be challenged from your complacency and moved to heal the broken hearted. Be warned. If you are a parent, this will make you want to go to your children and embrace them.

This dvd was graciously provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers for review.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Let's Break Bread in Shiro, TX

Denbigh and our family seem to live in the car. We are always going from one worship gig to another. One road we travel frequently takes us through a little town called Shiro. This town has the best roadside plant nursery I have ever been to. I love it.

A little under a year ago, I noticed a little hole in the wall restaurant pop up. I loved the name, Let's Break Bread. We probably drove by it a handful of times. On our way home this last time, I asked Denbigh if we could stop. I looked them up online and low and behold they had a website and it was plastered with scripture. 

We went in and were greeted with lovely country charm. Our food was good, down home cafe style fare. The part I loved was how the owner took time to pray with us before we ate. It was beautiful. These two sisters quick their jobs in the oil industry to pursue something that honored God and family. What a testimony. Next time you drive through there, stop on by.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gomer's Siesta

Want to know what I got done here this week while my husband was away? I cleaned the bathroom. That's right. Marvel at my success. Well, being pregnant and having two small people in tow, I didn't get much done. Homeschool did abound and I fed my children 3 meals a day. I feel pretty accomplished. Since I can't nest inside our house, I was nesting outside by planting boodles of pink and white flowers. 

Last week while we were at Carolina Creek, the Nomads were in our house taping and floating our drywall. I didn't get a picture of it because, well, I wasn't here. I'll be sure and snap a picture of their finished product when I get down to the kitchen without a baby in my arms. 

On our old door, you have to turn the key the opposite way of what you would think you should and they couldn't figure it out. So, one of these seventy year old people shimmied through a window. I laughed so hard when Denbigh told me. Our house is high. It's pretty hilarious and amazing that they got in. The drywall looks amazing. You can tell they are meticulous about their service. 

That's my thrilling update. The cabinets are supposed to arrive next week. I will give them a big hug from you all when they arrive. Love to you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sanctified Mourning

I recently lost the last of my grandparents. My grandmother was 81 years old. I am telling you all of this so that I can process these strange emotions. I have had to process the death of my brothers. When you mourn an addict, you mourn much of their life that was lost also because of their addiction. There is, however, the childhood that you remember and the glimpse of who they were. I did not have even this with my grandmother. I really have never seen anyone so emotionally detached except on Court TV. Don't think she wasn't pursued with grace and compassion. Don't think she wasn't loved by a good man. She was just sick. Her mother had killed her father and spent her growing up years in the pen. Can you imagine how that would scar you? She had obvious emotional scars that she never dealt with and mental illness that she never addressed. So, I found myself upon hearing of her death, mourning the grandmother I never really knew even though she was right there. I found myself remembering my own painful childhood. I asked God to assure me that she was in heaven (since she had accepted Christ) and that she was okay. He did. God reminded me how far reaching His grace is. He led me back to a post I wrote about my brothers and Whitney Houston. "But the Lord." No matter the depths of despair, addiction, or mental illness, she is free to be kind in her Father's arms. She is released from everything that bound her in this life and can easily love. I cannot wait to see that.

Here's a post about another of my grandparents to cheer you up:

                            "Surely it was for my benefit 
       that I suffered such anguish. 
       In your love you kept me 
       from the pit of destruction; 
       you have put all my sins 
       behind your back."
Isaiah 38:17

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Talk to me, Abba.

Be gracious and loving to everyone you meet. Even when you don't feel like speaking kindness or offering gratitude, do it anyway. Don't let negativity steal life that I have intended you to live. Take each moment as a precious gift and use it to honor Me. Life is a vapour. Let yours leave a legacy that points others to Me.

"You are just a vapour that appears for a little while and then vanishes away."
James 4:14

For more on this segment, see this post.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Just A Minute by Wess Stafford

"How long does it take to make a difference in the life of a child?

For good or for ill, individual moments in a young person's life can make all the difference in their future. It may be something said or done by an adult who hardly thinks about it: a hug, a compliment, an intriguing question, a sincere applause. But in that moment, the child discovers who they are, what is important to them, why they matter, and sometimes even what their destiny will be. Most of us want to help encourage and build into this next generation, most of us see the need all around, but we just have no idea where to begin."

I have long been thinking about graciousness of speech and how we speak to others. In our consumer driven society, we generally take as much as possible from others to build ourselves up. We dismiss the small and the needy. This book was a wake up call to the American heart. What if we took a moment to invest, encourage, or delight in a child and that moment changed the course of their destiny? Dr. Stafford gives many examples in story form about the countless people that have been touched by simple encounters that changed their lives. He shows us how, from famous theologians to men like Adolf Hitler, simple words can engrain hope or despair in us. We must be quiet more when we feel the need to criticize and complain and be vocal more when we see the need for building up. May we be known for our love. 

Dr. Stafford is the CEO and President of Compassion International.

This book was graciously provided for review by Moody publishers.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Mochas and Javas in San Marcos, TX

I was going to tell you all about my homemade pot roast, but that'll wait until next week. Today, I am going to share with you about my recent excursion to Mochas and Javas in San Marcos. It was a fun little jaunt. First, let me tell you what you need to have a good time. You must have a lovely friend. Insert my pal Anne. Now, if you do not have a lovely friend, you should never review any establishment because your lame friend will ruin everything and cloud your review. Your friend must also be witty and funny. This will make coffee and food have a livelier taste.

Picture it, a crazy trail of turn after turn to get to this little coffee joint close to the campus of Texas State. It's in a little strip center. I park in front of a kolache place next to it and the people who work there stare at me in a "you better be buying a kolache" kind of way. I smile and ignore their grumps because I see my friend Anne.

We enter into the establishment. The atmosphere is more sophisticated than your average. It is low lit. There are business people about and studious people. Tiny lamps set the mood. The people aren't overly friendly. It's kind of like the Lancรดme counter where they act snobby so you think their stuff is really high class. The coffee didn't have fun names like Sugar Daddy. It was just a Caramel Mocha for me and a bagel with strawberry cream cheese. It was good. Anne has become some sort of Cappuccino connoisseur. She was telling the guy "more wet than dry." I had no idea what she was talking about. I then cut my bagel with a knife even though a bagel cutter was close by. Anne mocked me. A grumpy lady was angry at us for blocking the sugar, but we weren't actually. It was at the other end of the bar.

The conversation was lovely. It is truly a blessing to have friends who are seeking God in what they are doing and trying to become more like Him. I hope I do the same. During our talking our light came on and off about 46 times. It was odd. We decided we were light enough and the tiny lamp was intimidated. A man entered with a huge German Shepherd who sat next to me. He was a pretty dog, but I made jokes about it trying to attack me. Then, as quickly as it began, the witty banter trickled down. I can say I like the place as whole. It is a nice, elegant establishment. It's quiet, an introverts dream. If you go, let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Gomer's Making Headway

Well, friends of Gomer, we are moving right along in our bid to have a new kitchen. We are gingerly and slowly removing the paint around these windows so that we can restore them. As you can see, one of the panes was knocked out. It's an easy fix. They all need to have the old caulk cleaned off and be re-caulked from the outside. 

Sometimes, it's hard to live in a mess. You look at all of your stuff piled up and you just want to find a fork. We can never set our one year old down on the first floor. There is too much she could get into. There are days that I tear up because I would like to be able to find something, anything I am looking for. It makes you take a good, long look at yourself. Am I really this entitled? Do I truly allow a little chaos to make me weep? Yes. I'd rather be nesting. 

God brings me full circle about seven or eight times a day. I am grateful to have entitlement ripped out of my heart. I am grateful that the Lord has rescued me and brought me into a spacious place. There is always beauty in the struggle. There is a glint in the refining. When you get to get up and you have that dross removed, you think anything is worth it. It is.

foam board going up.
Foam board.
Here's my girls doing masterful works of art together.

Miscarriage | Infertility | Hope

I encountered Jesus as a young child in a church pew in the balcony of an old country church. Through a lifetime of trial, I knew he was the...