For real!

September 30th, 2010

A distressing fact has recently come to my attention!

Someone told me she is intimidated by me and has viewed me as perfect.

<gasp of horror>



This dear young woman does not know our family in real life yet, of course!  And her confession sparked a good conversation!

Random thoughts~

~I assumed that others assumed…that since we are a family of twelve ordinary sinners of modest means (five of whom are ages four and under until John Michael turns five next week) living together night and day in an elderly 1300 square foot home in a world that is groaning with labor pains, a big part of our daily life is necessarily a noble but unsightly war against a superfluity of dirt, disorder and foolishness! Yes, assumed without detailed descriptions or pictorial proof.  Any true beauty that shines forth from this unlikely setting looks like a miracle of grace!  Because it is.

~As for which pictures I post…I have a choice.  I could look for and work toward and take pictures of the ugly, or the beautiful.  I choose to focus on the beauty and not on the stink bugs or stinky laundry, the toddler squabbles, the corroding metal kitchen cabinets, the late-night frustrations over deep wranglings with philosophical questions, the dust bunnies that reproduce prolifically in dark places, the pitched battle against discouragement over failure, the forever and ever amen to-do lists, the character flaws and personality tensions, or the old towel that lives wrapped around the corner of our leaky refrigerator!

~Just writing out that much gives me the shameful feeling that I’m planning a pity party and inviting friends.

~And anyway.  When I see something that needs to be done, my first thought is not to grab my camera.  My first thought is to do the work that needs to be done.

~Many of you are our friends in real and living color, and can readily see that our treasure is in earthen vessels, and that the excellence of the power is of God and not of us.  If anything good, true or beautiful comes out of this family, it’s because our God is gracious and merciful! Praise Him!

Anything worthless?  We’ll take the credit for that.  Ooooh yes!

~If this blog has created a false impression that our family is more than it is, or criminally suggested that God is less than He is, and attempted to steal His glory for ourselves, may it die a thousand deaths and never again see the sun.

All our duckies in a row?  No!  But thank you, Jesus, for the beauty that You are and the fullness of joy you freely pour out onto us, your former enemies, both here and hereafter!

“I long to make some return, but have nothing to offer, and can only rejoice that thou doest all, that none in heaven or on earth shares thy honor;

I can of myself do nothing to glorify thy blessed name, but I can through grace cheerfully surrender soul and body to thee,

I know that thou art the author and finisher of faith, that the whole work of redemption is thine alone, that every good work or thought found in me is the effect of thy power and grace, that thy sole motive in working in me to will and to do is for thy good pleasure.

O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much about man’s creaturely power and goodness, when, if thou didst not hold us back every moment, we should be devils incarnate.

This, by bitter experience, thou hast taught me concerning myself.”

~Valley of Vision

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8 Responses to “For real!”

  1. Ilisa says:

    I hear you!  You are just truly blessed, as we all are if we choose to see it!  I just love all the kids!  So much work, yet so fulfilling (to me anyways).

  2. Shari~hotfudgecustard says:

    I think the “goodness” we see in you, the grace of God showing through, is what we onlookers want to see in our own lives and in our own difficulties.  When I’m cranky with my kids or they are cranky with each other, I want that same power and grace to swoop in, into me and into them.  As we watch you through this blog, we admire and long for what God is doing in you, and has done down through the years, to bring strength to this season of your life.

    Praise the Lord!  All my inmost being, praise His holy name!  He gives strength to the weary!  And I’m not sure He is as concerned with dust bunnies as we are sometimes.

  3. Shari~hotfudgecustard says:

    P.S.  I would love to know how to tell Peter and James apart and which one is which.  At some point I imagine that is important to a twin, for people to know who he is.

  4. Susanna says:

    Shari, in the pics above, Peter is wearing the dark green and James is wearing the light green.  Peter was born first, and is bigger and darker-skinned and more stolid and quieter and slower-moving.  James is smaller and fairer-skinned and more sensitive and louder/more talkative and more fidgety.  They are in the stage where just about everything they say is cute and/or funny, so it’s double the fun!  (As you know, being a sister “twin mom!”)

    I’ll try to remember to label them from now on. :D

  5. Tami Swaim says:

    HA that’s “funny” you got the stink bugs too!  No, I’m not going to post photos of the stink bugs that we have, taped to the sliding glass door for scientific observation nor the one that we froze in water ~ Never do this by the way!!  The stink is amplified by the ice crushing in on it.  Sounds cruel but we’ve decided to have some fun with something that is actually a bit annoying.  I mean, I would LOVE to be able to open my sliding glass door off my kitchen by it’s continuously “guarded” by stink bugs.  Oh and stinky laundry! We’ve got loads of that too, but yeah, you won’t see me posting any of that either.  After all it’s been raining and the only place to hang it is in the damp lower level~no complaints though~ just no photos of it!
    All those wee ones in your photo minus Verity were standing by the door when I made my swing by.  I just peeked in and was over come by how cute they all are.  I really do love having at least one toddler and baby around.  There’s something special I think about having toddlers and babies at the same time…too precious!

  6. Marilyn Osborn says:

    Christ in you…the hope of glory….Love your heart, friend.  Love it, love it, love it!

  7. Susanna says:

    Tami, I’m sorry I missed you!  Joe said you were in a hurry, though.  Verity is enjoying the mobile–thanks for loaning it! Also thanks for the “new” noisy toy for a little variety here. Wtg with the de-cluttering, you won’t regret it. :)

    (Yep, at least one toddler to make everyone laugh, and at least one baby for everyone to cuddle!)

  8. Amy Morris says:

    Just wanted to share, we also have one of those towels on the floor around our leaky frig. yet also feel very blessed:) Your not alone!

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