Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Big News

As many of you probably know, we've got big news. Matt has accepted the lead pastor position at a church on the northwest side of Chicago, IL. We will be moving in approximately 8 weeks. Wow, it was shocking to write that. Could you hear me take a big breath?

The process of candidating has been very thorough. We've been "active" since August, traveled with the kids out there twice, once by plane, once by car. I prefer the plane, in case anybody was wondering. Shorter duration of "in your seat" time for Izak, and that's just down-right good.

I feel like I have so much to blog about now that the information is public. So much about God's faithfulness, His presence which he has promised, my friends, new and old (Shout out to our NWCC blog-reading crowd! Don't be shy!). Also about keeping a secret, treasuring information, self-control, pacing myself, seeking God in the middle of the night b/c I'm so tired that I can't sleep (and neither can Libby). About my mother's heart for my children - this intense, fierce protective mechanism that I strive to manage. The old enemy, Worry. About growing up and deciding to implement what God has been teaching me about Himself, rather than lying around whining that God's just a big, fat meaney. About doing things with grace and kindness even when I have not one more thing to give. About the amazing man that I've married, his heart, his talent, his risk, his strength. I promised to go wherever you go. I want you to be reassured that it has been my privilege to follow your lead, even when it's hard.

I am buoyed up by the prayers of so many. I rest in knowing that my struggle with the bitter and my rejoicing with the sweet will be, at times, a group effort.

More on this all in the future. Today my son refuses to nap, so I need to go for now.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Toddler Flu Strategies

Once aware of an outbreak, quarantine the children. It doesn't matter because they'll get it anyways, but at least you tried.

Keep the noise level in the house low so you can hear the faintest whimper that precedes the "episode."

If you have hardwood floors, be sure you wear socks and shoes in order to sprint at maximum speeds to intercept the "episode".

Keep spare towels and bowls everywhere.

Once you are aware of an impending "episode", be sure you remove all comfort items (Blankie, Froggy, Duckie) to a safe place to spare them from an emergency washing.

Breathe through your mouth when in the midst of the battle, especially if you have a weak stomach.

Though you may grow accustomed to the whining, do not tune it out. You may miss an important clue as to the possibility of an "episode."

Think of Lysol as a type of perfume.

Watch the clock. At least you know it's time well spent. And then one day you can recount, "I remember when you were little and you threw up for 60 hours!"

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Sifted or purified?

The past few months have quite difficult. The Furrs have a looming issue, soon to be announced, that has compounded the severity of everyday variances of life. It has seemed like non-stop challenges, colic to run-on ear infections to the flu (currently). It is taking sheer willpower and grit to get out of bed and do the day.

A phrase has been running through my mind regularly, "You are being sifted like wheat... sifted like wheat." I attributed it to a verse somewhere in the Bible that referred to allowing the Enemy to have his way with us, perhaps a test of loyalty. Somewhere in my pooped-out, mixed-up mind I crossed some theology and came up with a dangerous concoxtion... "Maybe God has handed me over to the Enemy to be sifted, like Job." So one Sunday I asked a friend, "What's the context of the phrase 'sifted like wheat'?" And he reminded me that it has more to do with the day when God will separate those who say they follow him from those who will actually receive eternal life, a kind of "goats and sheep" thing (see Matt. 3:12). So does this phrase really have anything to do with the difficuly of life recently? No, absolutely not. The phrase has sought more to discourage me and defeat me than actually reflect the reality of God's presence with me amidst the current circumstances. Therefore, I think I can acurrately surmise that it has been the voice of the Accuser. He wiggled his way into a small crack and has been camping out.

Job, a man truly tested by God, said, "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me I will come forth as gold." (23:10) The last few days I have started to run a new thought through my head, "What if all of these trials are a process of purification? Not a test to see if I can 'hang in there', but an opportunity to throw off some of the things that hinder, or are dead weight, and become more like the Christ I claim to follow?" Now there is the hope that gives me the strength to wash the toddler's pukey clothes and nuzzle my grumpy,teething baby. It allows me to fall asleep quickly at night, lifting the paranoia that it's not a seek and destroy mission, but rather a time to draw off of the reality that I am His child and I will not be snatched from His hand. A time of affirmation, not despair.

A wrong combo of right theologial truths can be dangerous. Understand context, compare it against known truths, and get a real perspective on what God's doing.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Cop Out

My blogger friends, I'm copping out. I have been so wrung out lately that I haven't even been able to blog straight. I don't think a blog that simply says, "Duhhhhhhh..." would be worth much. I am tired at an cellular level. Sweet Jesus, please make my sleep feel twice as long, and my burdens half as heavy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Sailor, the Newfoundland Posted by Hello

Ahhhh... HOME!

We are HOME!! Boy, does it ever feel good. Yesterday we made the 9.5 hour haul home. The kids did well, not too much crying, only a few fits from Izak who did not want to be in his seat ANYMORE. It was very sad to walk in and not be greeted by Sailor's huge jumping body. I miss her, very much, but I'm glad she's with the Fishers. It was so funny, we saw Dave and Sarah (Sai's new owners) at Suzy's house Friday night for pizza. On their way out the door we were all hugging goodbye, and as Dave leaned in to give me a hug he said, "We love -" and I thought the rest of the sentence was "-you", instead it was, "-Sailor!" I had to laugh later. I love her too. It's a good match. :)

It was so nice to snuggle into our home on a Monday night and watch some football without Matt having to get up at 430a to go to church on Tuesday. I slept like a rock last night, Libby was only up at midnight and 430a (so I guess someone had to get up early, LOL). Today we're just lounging around; the kids can stay in their pj's all day, I don't care.

I walked through the house last night saying, "My house! My cupboards, my fireplace, my land, my kitchen." And I heard this quiet little voice in heart whisper, "No Heidi, these are not yours, these are Mine." My mom often reminds me of a quote she heard from Corrie Ten Boom, "I have learned to hold the things of this world very loosely because it hurts too much when God pries my fingers off."

Friday, November 12, 2004


Motherhood has made me pliable in ways I could've never imagined. For instance, I can sleep almost anywhere, on any surface, with little to no bedding. Hardwood, carpet (without or without pad), kitchen tile, not a problem. I can use almost any object for a burp rag, a diaper, curtains, my sleeve, the edge of the baby's Sunday dress. I can breastfeed almost anywhere. I've recently met a group of new friends and one of my first thoughts was, They may not know my name, or what I think about this or that, but they've probably at least seen my boobs. LOL. If you knew me five years ago you may bear witness to the change, the very good adjustment that mothering has brought into my life. Before kids I was rather fixated on a lot of things, most of which (retrospectively) were not important.

I have been keeping watch with Libby the last 24 hours. She's come down with a large amount of thick drainage, the scary kind.

4-Year Nursing School degree $80K
10 changes of scrubs $400
Littman stethescope (back in Buffalo) $100
Knowing what to do with your daughter's boogers... priceless.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The show on the road, splitting up the pack

We are traveling ~ again. This is our family "vacation", the first one in a long time. Moving around with two little ones is NOT easy. Izak has yet another ear infection, precipitated by allergies gone bad. We were in my home town for a few days so we were able to see an old time friend, FS, a family physician. He confirmed my suspicions. Libby spent Monday night waking every two hours and less during the night. I was convinced she was coming down with something too, but FS said her ears were fine. This is not my idea of resting, but it is a change of pace and scenery. Hopefully we'll be able to complete our projected trip... after last night I was afraid that I was going to have to head back home my sick kids. We're still not out of the woods...

I was looking in the little storage areas in the minivan door and I saw gallon ziplock bags. I started to laugh. Vacationing with babies may not be easy but at least I'm not pregnant. I am still finding my stash of ziplocks all over. I had to use them all nine months of pregnancy for the vomiting... I highly recommend the gallon size because you can at least get your face in it and prevent a super mess. Pregnancy - miserable. A vacation with babies - hard, but not miserable (yet).

Sailor, our Newfoundland, has a new home. She's gone to live with my SIL, BIL and niece, Becca. They are from West Michigan, living within 10 miles of where Sailor was actually born. Sai now has a country home with another dog, a chicken to chase, a lake to swim in, and a family who absolutely adores her. Word has it that when the family begins to rise and shine in the morning, Sailor goes around to all the family members, woo-wooing. She even burst in on Becca at 5 a.m. barking, insisting that she get up too. Saying goodbye was bittersweet, but it's good to hear that she's adjusting well. She's behaving in ways that lets me know that she's established her new wolf pack.

My mind is pretty numb right now, trying to process a lot of things. The kids are a great way to keep focused on the immediate and truly important things. And above all I know that God is clearly guiding. Yes, Sir, I am ready.

Friday, November 05, 2004

A fast of silence

Joshua 6:10 "But Joshua commanded the people, 'Do not give a war cry, do not raise you voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!'"

I love reading Francine Rivers. One of her series was dedicated to significant women in the genetic line of Christ. One of the books, Rahab, talks about the legendary story of Joshua and the fall of Jericho. Rivers observes that before the Israelites embarked on the mission of conquering a major city (mission impossible by human standards), God called them to a fast of silence. Joshua met with God, got his orders, came back to his people and spelled out the (lunatic) plan (see Joshua 6), and capped it off by saying, "And not another word until I say so." (Which, by the way, was 7 days later.) How erie would it have been to move around in all day in silence? Can you imagine how quiet the camp was at night? Over a million people, tents for miles, but not a sound. Perhaps a baby crying here or a cow mooing there, but not a spoken word. I wonder what they were thinking laying their beds at night. I'll tell you what I would've been thinking... "This is nuts! You have GOT to be kidding me! Joshua must have sun-stroked, and now we're going to suffer. I don't really care if we conquer that city; why can't we just settle somewhere else in the county and be happy? Abort mission! Abort!"

And that is why God didn't let them speak. Though I'm sure there were plenty who believed and were really jazzed about the hair-brained scheme, I'm sure I represent at least some part of the weaker, more faith challenged Hebrew clan. In order to prevent the disbelief, the fear and skepticism from taking over, God had them keep their traps shut. When I encounter situations in my life that are difficult, maybe even semi-impossible, what's my first reaction? Usually to call a trusted girlfriend and vent. Not to run to God, not to quiet myself and receive instruction, but to talk (also read as whine or balk or run my mouth). But God, who loves me and desires me to come to Him as first counsel, is working that out in me. I think it's a maturity issue, sure, but also one of spiritual discipline ~ and don't I just looovvee discipline.

So I have been in a season of a silent fast. Letting God hear my thoughts, see my tears, witness my struggle. And the strange thing is that even though others are becoming aware of it, the outcome is that I actually feel more and more alone. But I am finding that only God can counsel, comfort, and guide me. The silence is good, because the day is coming when God will say, "Now take a deep breath, Heidi, and SHOUT!"

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Two in the tub Posted by Hello

You know you have two in diapers when...

You know you have two babies in diapers when someone compliments you on your french manicure, and you realize that it's not a manicure... it's Desitin.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Dear Laura,
Thank you for your sisterhood. You, the one girl in a family of boys, you are my sister. Our link is not blood, but spirit. The invisible, invincible family of the King. We are royalty, dressed in robes of white, standing before our Father. Thank you for speaking to Him on my behalf. I'm mute at a time like this, nothing to capture the essence of my heart. But I know that you understand. You prayed this prayer with others, not so long ago. And in your selflessness you were able to breathe another breath of encouragement into my tired soul. When I needed to lean I knew I could come find you. Thank you for your faithful, kindred heart. XO