30 September 2005

sing the poems, free the butterflies

Kids are great. And they are so honest. That isn't always a pleasant thing, but its sweet. I love my kids (even though one sweet, small one is missing from this picture) and they remind me how blessed I am every day. Thanks to our friend Stephanie Bruener who took this picture while we were in Washington, in Dave's parent's backyard.

28 September 2005

words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm

I haven't written in a week, because I haven't trusted myself with thinking out loud. And those of you who know me know I'm very loud. I figured I would either complain, or avoid that by being fake. I don't like those options, so silence is better for a bit. Its been an interesting week, and its only Wednesday! Dave is finishing his first week at Target as I type this. It has been hard, but he has been amazing. He works from 10pm until 6am, sleeps a couple hours, and then heads out for landscaping work. If he's lucky, he gets a short nap when he's done, before he heads back to Target again. He is certainly tired, but he is grateful for God's provision and is willing to do whatever is needed for our family. I can't even begin to express my gratitude for not only his desire to work hard for us, but also his hopeful and positive attitude about a situation that doesn't seem ideal to anyone. He is so good, and I am so blessed.

I can see so clearly how God is using this time in my life to put so much of what I say I believe to the test. I like to call this "theology lab". What happens when I have to really act like I know God is sovereign? What about this hard day...did he really plan this hard day before the foundation of the world? I'm thankful to serve a patient God who loves me despite my reluctance to be a fast learner. I've been humming Rich's "I may falter in my steps, but never beyond Your reach..." Good thing that unlike us weird humans, God doesn't drop us just because we're stupid. And I can be very stupid.
So I am giving thanks tonight for every little thing I can think of. I guess I usually wait for the big, huge things to happen before I spend a lot of time being thankful. And that's not really thankful, is it? I'm learning.

22 September 2005

we are not as strong as we think we are

Wow -- its been a hard week. I think its been tough for a few weeks actually, but this one has been very not fun. Dave's been idle for a month now, which has been hard in so many ways, not the least of which is financially. He's been very frustrated, trying so hard to stay opimistic and seek God's face about our future. Things are picking up, at least for the next couple weeks, and lots of good possibilities on the horizon. He picked up a part time job at Target, working only nights, so he'll still be free for landscaping during the day. We are hopeful that this will help to ease the burden when things are slow, but I also worry about him being exhausted all the time. I'm so thankful he is willing to do whatever is needed for his family.

Henry and Carrie have been sick for a week now. They had colds and then developed pink eye, and have been miserable. I think Henry is starting to recover thankfully, and hopefully Carrie won't be far behind. Its so hard to see the little ones sick -- they have no clue what's going on and just sit and cry a lot.
We found out this week that Pawpop (Dad's dad) has cancer. I am scared and devastated. I don't know many families who have a man who is not just Dad and Grandpa, but a true patriarch so needed and revered by his family. My life has been so severely shaped and influenced by him that it is so hard to imagine not having that direct influence some day. My kids think he's their Pawpop, have no clue that he's really their great-grandfather. Its been such a blessing to have him so involved in their lives. I was very blessed to know one of my great-great-grandmothers (and have memories!), at least 5 great-grandparents, and all my grandparents. Ever since Grandad King died 3 years ago, I've had this slow, sinking feeling that its all downhill from here, and I'd be watching my grandparents leave us. Of course, you always KNOW it will happen, but the reality has been so unavoidable with Grandma June's Parkinson's disease, Grandma Lola's stroke, and now Pawpop. My heart breaks to think of them gone, and yet I am conscious now of making sure that my children watch me accept these changes with graciousness in my grief. They will too grieve, and someday grieve for their grandparents, and parents...
I hate when life is hard. I know that God seems to teach us the most when we can do nothing but lean on Him, and yet I hate it. I'm not sure how sinful that makes me, but there I am. I pray every day for the grace to not be so bad. I hope its working. In all life's madness, I remember that my summer in Romania we used to say "God is good...ALL the time". I need to believe that.

18 September 2005

no wits or whats about it

Ok, since CJ posted a favorite Shelley story on her blog, I'll share another (check Dok's world to read the other account). We love Shelley, and here's one reason why:

A few weeks ago, we're sitting in the living room, and Shell is telling us about her day at the castle (house where CJ works)...
Shell: We got fast food three times today! One time we got soft tacos from Taco Cabana!
CJ: No, Shell. It was from a "hole-in-the-wall" Mexican place around corner.
Shell: No, it was Taco Cabana! I could tell!
CJ: I placed the order Shell, don't you think I'd know??
Shell: But the tacos were wrapped in foil!!??
There's a prime example from Baby Princess. None of us knew that TC had taken control of the aluminum foil industry. Now we have been enlightened. Thanks Shell for your constant stream of entertainment for us!

11 September 2005

I need you cause you help me forget...

Uncoiffed, unpolished, here is the happy couple at the beach on the Oregon coast.

06 September 2005

I know that compassion is all out of fashion...

Dave and I spent the evening at the disaster relief center until about midnight. We were amazed at so many things. The workers are tireless for the most part, which is such a blessing to see. There is so much to do, but so little direction. These evacuees are confused, alone, and most with no prospects for their future. The children are scared and needy. I wonder what kind of process gets these people out and on their way. What way? Where is it?

I took a little girl, Jasmine, to the pediatric medical center that had been set up in the building. She had an ear infection and a high fever, wanted her Mom, but her Mom had dropped her off to us. She is 2. I sat with her while we waited to see the volunteer doctor (an orthopedist) to get her meds. She cried a lot, clung to me, asked where was her Mom and could she go home. Every time a doctor or nurse would get near Jasmine, she would scream and beg us not to hurt her. I assured her that we loved her and that we wanted to make her better. She just kept crying for her Mom, while her Mom roamed the halls...
There was a mother of 5 who had contracted the flu since the evacuation. Other than her 5 children (the oldest being 11) she came with no family or friends. At the Superdome she befriended a lady who helped her out a lot and stayed with her up until now at Kelly USA. But this friend has found family in Dallas and is leaving today. The sick Mom has been advised that she must go to the hospital -- they don't have the capacity to take care of influenza at the relief site. She won't go, even though she can barely stand, since there is no one to take care of her children.
I could go on and on. Its hard to know even what to pray for, other than "Your will be done". These people need so much, more than we can give them here. And of course, they need Jesus. And while we can't give them Jesus, we certainly can show Him to them as we love them.

05 September 2005

We don't need a lot of money, we'll be sleeping on the beach...

This is Carrie, the sand digger and eater.
Woo-hoo! In front of Haystack Rock, at Cannon Beach, OR.
Molly, the sand fairy.
Daddy helping his boys discover the ocean.
So, we're back home! Our vacation was wonderful, I can't say enough about God's goodness. The weather was great, the kids had fun, we had great Slaughter family time. The Oregon coast is magnificent, and the ocean is good for the soul. It was great to see the kids meet and love their cousins. They played so well together, and had fun building sand castles (I'll post that pic later), eating sand, flying kites, splashing in the 50 degree water, eating more sand, sun bathing, and getting lots of presents from Grandma and Grandpa. I'll post more later, but right now we're all also busy mobilizing help for the evacuees in SA. I'm more than willing to put my "regular life" on hold to help these people find any sort of life again. God is so good, and His faithfulness is evident to all generations.