This Abundant Life

This Abundant Life
"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pleasure in the Midst of Chaos

In my mind's eye, there is this picture of a not-too-fussy, but very neat and clean house with folded laundry in all the closets and weeks of dinners stocked in the freezer. The only mess that greets you in the bathroom is a wayward toothbrush or a haphazardly placed hand towel. Sure, the master bedroom has a toy, here or there, and some men's slippers placed where they do not belong, but it looks and feels peaceful and intimate. The only dishes in the sink are a couple of plates from the last meal, that didn't quite make it into the dishwasher.

In this home, children run and play and laugh...and their mother laughs with them. She's not in the Kitchen washing dishes that should have been done hours before. She isn't on her hands and knees by the foot of the highchair cleaning up what can only be described as an entire meal. She is not scrubbing a filthy toilet or folding basket after basket of laundry. It's all done.

But, there-in lies the problem. My Mind's Eye LIES.

My children only want to play hide and seek when our king-size bed (and the dinning room table) is covered with mounds of clean laundry, just waiting to be put away. My little ones only want to do face-painting or marker-using after the basket of blocks (and the basket of dirty towels) have already been dumped out and scattered throughout, not only, the toy room and living room...but also the kitchen and hallway.

In their opinion, the absolute ideal time to have a dance party is when I am, literally, in the middle of trying to make my very first pie, ever, and the kitchen looks like someone came in and took out every dish and measuring utensil, all the dry ingredients possible and every kind of dairy from the refrigerator, and just threw it all over the place.

And here, again, is the problem with my Mind's Eye. My Mind's Eye says I should play with my children when things are serene and quite lovely...and taken care of. I should not stop to play with them when, should someone be taking a rolling video of our surroundings, I would be found to be an entirely unfit mother, raising her children in utter filth and squalor.

I want the Target commercial. I want the Pinterest snapshot. I want the Real Simple Magazine cover. Then I'll play.

But, if I wait for these...I never play.

Lord, give me the courage to enjoy the Joy. Give me the energy to be diligent in working hard to keep my home as comfortable as possible...and the peace to be okay when it is not that way. Give me a Mind's Eye that sees the beauty in the Babies and sees that their smiles and laughter are, in no way, hindered by the banana on the leg of the living room chair.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Think on THESE Things"

I'm Thankful For...
  • Daddy finding Gwen's Ducky, in the park, just in time for bedtime.
  • My comfortable home where I can stay and play, rest, watch, surf, cook, and care for my crazies.
  • Pro-biotics, anti-biotics, yummy berry vitamins, elderberry syrup, and children's Tylenol.
  • My beautiful, silly, healthy...and exhausting children.
  • Frozen Berries
  • Bibles...scattered throughout the house, available at any time, to remind me of what is true...and what is not.
  • My husband...his diligence in providing everything we could ever need...and most of what we want.
  • The completely unchanging nature of the one and only True God...despite circumstance or emotion.

Friday, January 13, 2012

What Matters in Mothering...

"Learn to be a good shepherd to your children. Read the Scriptures and take them to heart. Don’t compare your little flock with the other flocks. Compare your flock with what God wants from you, not from what you think will impress others. Are you being faithful with what He has given you? That is what counts."
- quote from Shepherd Mothers Post @ FeminaGirls

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Few Recipes for Sharing

Contrary to what this post might look like, I have not been
cooking very much lately, but in the last few months, I have revisited a few recipes that are real favorites and I thought you might like to browse.

Remember, you will see ingredients here like Coconut oil, Sucanat, Kefir, etc. If these are ingredients that you are interested in trying out, these are easy opportunities to do so. But, keep in mind, you can always use the oils, sugars, etc. that you currently have in your home.

Also, I have stolen ALL of these recipes and have never come up with a single one on my own :).

Baked Oatmeal (at the bottom of this menu plan)

Sunday, December 04, 2011


We've been "busy" around here, doing things that are not actually very busy. I've kind of been taking things one week at a time...not because I'm so good at resting in the moment, although that is something I am making a real effort at, but mostly because this pregnancy has left me with far less (energy, health, sleep, brain power, "normal" feeling moments, etc.) than I ever imagined it would. But, I can already tell, this baby is going to be really cute...and beauty doesn't come cheap!

I love literature and poetry and the written word, in general, so NO, I do not think that pictures always say it best, but right now they certainly DO!

I truly wish that I could kid-nap a professional photographer with awesome camera equipment (like Amy Cooper over at Kacey Luvi Photography) and make her take pictures of us all day...not of the screaming or crying (or the kids misbehaving, either :), but until I figure out how to do that, these will have to do!

Preparing for our Jesse Tree/Advent Celebration

Being adorable and sparkly (or, in other words, constantly changing from one outfit to the other because, apparently, that's what Princesses Do)

Just being all cute (and dirty), in general

Enjoying some time with some precious Goffeneys...I'm pretty sure they love us, too, but were just a tad tired from travel :)

Got to witness my Nephew, Cohen's, baptism!

...I had trouble editing this pic, but he has adorable eyes. He's pretty much the most adorable thing around...however, has was a little concerned about the water messing up his hair :).

Celebrating Thanksgiving and Papa's Birthday.
Guess who it is that Gwendolyn takes after...

...and getting to hang with my sister, Rebekah, and her boyfriend, Mark (He's a great guy!)

Carrying on one of the better Rehrmann traditions of Olive-eating

Taking on Zoo Lights as a Family

And, of course, making a breakfast of french toast and mac and cheese...the breakfast of champions!

I hope this time leading up to the celebration of Jesus' coming, has been fun, so far, for you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Advent Season

This picture has nothing to do with the post...he's just cute.

This year is when it begins! Bic and I are going to do an advent celebration with our children! No more waiting for all the pretty Crate&Barrel and Anthropologie ornaments to fill the Jesse Tree. Well, I'm waiting...not so much Bic. I don't even think he knows that I want them.

I still want those ornaments...and I'm going to get them :), but for now, we are going to use things we have around the house and celebrate the coming of Christ with treats, activities and the beautiful scriptures that God has already given to us. The Kids will love it...they don't even like Crate&Barrel and Anthropologie...silly kids.

I found a great (and FREE) resource with all the Advent readings and some extras. Check it out at Ann Voskamp's A Holy Experience Blog. By signing up to receive her posts, you get an extensive Advent Jesse Tree Printable, for Free! I've skimmed it and I am really looking forward to using it.

Our "Jesse Tree", this year, is a mix between a "calendar" and a "tree." I have a ton of small brown paper sacks and a bunch of varied Christmas ribbon scraps and I'm going to make a little bag for each day of advent and string them (with an ornament hanger) up on decorative garland on our book shelves. Inside I am going to put the scripture for that day and some sort of fun and quick little activity the kids and I can do that day...I still need some ideas for that, if you have any please leave them in the comments.

I saw one idea that said "eat a candy cane off the tree." My kids will LOVE that. fun. simple. delicious. Oh, I'll also number the bags (if I run out of time, it might just be with a Sharpie :). Here's the start...

Happy Holiday Fun planning to YOU!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holiday JOY

With the Holidays quickly approaching, I am so excited to really be focusing on My own little family. What are the traditions we want to embrace and enjoy? What are the things we are going to choose to let go of, in favor of what is best for the NOW?

If all we do from this day until January 1st is make sloppy sugar cookies at home and decorate our Christmas tree with the cheap ball ornaments and learn about Jesus and why He came...and it makes my children grin with joy...then that is all I need. But, by golly, I will make a few crafty plans and see what else we just might be able to accomplish!

Come along with me, will you? Come walk with me in this idea that maybe less flawless Pinterest photos and less never-ending Facebook posts, for comparison, is really what we need for a Very Merry Christmas.

Let me elaborate, lest I have already turned you off. ...I can hardly think of a more delicious reality than a beautifully-spread Christmas table...a sparkling tree that looks like it's been slowly crafted over many years, but with a fresh and chic look of a pottery barn ad...delicate, yet hardy homemade Christmas treats, layered in a multilevel display...beautifully and lovingly decorated and wrapped individual gifts hand-crafted for family and loved-ones.

I am a "nest-er" who loves the idea of decorating and...creating...perfect spaces and "moments". But, although there are many things that are good... not all are best. As wives...mothers...women who know and seek the Lord, it is our responsibility to figure out what is best for each season.
"And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching.
But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.
But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,
but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." - Luke 10:39-42
I look forward to the future seasons when there are bound to be more opportunities for spectacular spreads, and perhaps, this is that kind of season for You.

As for me, I'm not going to stop enjoying the creativity that God, Himself, has given me. But, since my natural tendencies are way more Martha than focus is gonna need to be in the direction of the sitting.

Here are couple of great Holiday Posts you may enjoy:
- FeminaGirls "Wrap up the Stress"
- Passionate Homemaking "Traditions: Choosing the Best for THIS Season"

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Hello Again...and Have Some Soup

Well, It's been three months since my last blog post. I figure, now's as good a time as any to get going again. I do so enjoy the Blog world, but lately my focus has been very single-minded.

I'm now 15 weeks pregnant and I've been very sick for the last 8 weeks of my life, with all-day, intense nausea. But yesterday I made soup...and it was wonderful!

Now, I've read many blog posts that start out by saying how difficult it's been for some woman in her first trimester of pregnancy, and yet she has managed to continue nourishing her family well, hosted a fundraiser for over-seas missionaries and just happened to have a little time and energy left over to knit new Christmas stockings for all 5 of her children. Believe me, I'm no stranger to the temptation to feel inadequate. But, lest my nourishing soup story and pictures of my darling children tempt you in the same way...let me tell you a little about how it's really been going around here....

I've spent most days sitting on the couch...sitting, not laying, because that would just make the nausea worse. I can't even count the number of hours of television my toddlers have watched and the extent of my care for them has been diaper changes and some food...when absolutely necessary. I've been eating all the food that is easy and quick and full of unhealthy ingredients and simple carbohydrates...not because it makes me feel good, but because it requires less of me.

The Pastor's wife had to take over leading my bible study and I have basically been ignoring even my closest friends just so I don't have to have much conversation with anyone and, last week, my husband took it upon himself to scrub the toilets because he just couldn't take it anymore. And, if you know my husband, you know how bad things must have been for it to have come to that!

But, this day, I went to the store...I purchased real food and I made soup! I've been craving Paradise Bakery's broccoli cheese soup every day, so when Sarah from The Littlest Foodie shared a recipe from the Mangio de Sola blog I knew I had to try it! It really hit the spot and it's so good for my body (and my baby) to be eating this kind of nourishing meal. Take a look here if you want to try it out!

And, here's a few pics of my babies...because they are just so dang cute!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Our Good Friends, the Williams', took us on vacation this year. It was the first trip we took with our kids...our first family vacation...and they were the perfect family to help break us in to the "this is no lounging-by-the-pool-with-a-book-and-cocktail-in-hand type of vacation."

No, seriously, we had a blast. Ricky and Cara are the most laid-back people we know with the most precious children we know. They make everything easier and more fun. It was so wonderful to create memories with our babies while they are so little. It was so awesome for Gwen to play with her best friend, Clair...and for Augustine to follow little Ricky around to see what big one-and-half-year olds know how to do.

I loved spending some girl time with Cara...talking about silly and serious things and getting to stay involved in each others real lives. And, of course, Bic and Ricky are NEVER at a loss of things to connect them together and make them laugh.

The Little Dudes

That's our Girl! How did she get so BIG?


BFFs! They have been since the beginning.
These girls know that there are some people you just "click" with.

They are, however, not so great at the picture-taking.

There he is. All tired out after he destroyed the couch with his banana.
Don't work too hard there, buddy.

We Love the Williams'! Thank you for your friendship!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Perspective Gained

I had to stop in the middle of an exhausting day, yesterday, to re-read this post from the Femina Blog. Really Cool.

Perspective can be everything. Take a look!

The Kelley Family's Story about Bringing Isaac Home!

Check the Kelley Family's story about adding this Precious baby boy to their Family!

Grab This!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Bear Fruit: NOT a Command

I wanted to share with you our Church's sermon from yesterday. Even a person with a Mature relationship with Jesus Christ can mistake mis-information or nearly-truth, for truth.

Pete reminded us that there is no command to Bear Fruit. Jesus does not say, ", you, go bear fruit." He says, "Abide in me...and you will bear fruit."

John 15:4,5
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."

I know there is a lot of "fruit...tree...branches talk here (and even more if you read the whole chapter). But, this was a analogy very real and understandable to the people who Jesus was speaking to. They understood this very well...their lives depended on their crops bearing fruit. There was no Fry's or Safeway around the corner (neither is there one of those around my corner...but that is an entirely different subject for me to complain about at a different time).

Anyway, If you want a better understanding of "vines" bearing fruit...come on tomato plants are pitiful. They are bearing about 1/3 of the fruit they could be...and one plant has NEVER born any. It's because I have neglected the pruning altogether and their climbing structure is pitiful and falling. The vine is weak and the dead branches are chocking out the life from the good branches.

But, that's okay. My tomatoes don't matter. But I matter. My abiding in Christ is directly related to my experiencing Joy.

Pete's Message was a blessing to me...convicting, encouraging. He reminds me that my struggle is not with anxiety...or anger or with being a servant, or with patience. My struggle is in abiding in Christ.

I thank my God that He has provided all I need to be able to abide in Him...His written words, translated and easily accessible...His people, to love and encourage me...His Spirit, already indwelling me, revealing what is true.

Take a little time...while you are surfing the net, looking for coupons, reading Facebook statuses or looking at posted pictures of someone's family listen to the talk. I know you will be as encouraged as I am!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Time With My Man

This last weekend was so wonderful. My husband took me to my favorite Resort, here in Tucson. It was just a couple of nights, but it was AWESOME. It definitely refreshed me and excited me to dig in deep in my roles as Wife, Mom and Keeper of my home. But, it also left me wanting more...more sunshine, more quiet moments, more clean, white towels...and more of my man. Sometimes he gets lost beneath the little tower of snotty noses, piercing screams and potty dances.

I love those little crazies and I missed them, tons, just being away for such a short time...but I'm on a mission now...I want to steal some of those moments from them...and give them back to him.