Thursday, November 10, 2011


Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Ps 46:10-11

This verse has been such a stronghold for me of late. The Lord is with me, I don't have to make everything work out. I can spend the last dollar I have, not make the right decision, or lose my temper. Those things don't thwart God. He takes care of His people, and I am His.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sudden Terror

A few nights ago, I had a nightmare.

In the dream, I was at a friend's house with my children. Brian had to run an errand, so he left  in the van and had to wait for him to come back. Our friends had recently moved into this house which was comfortable and nice, except for the roof and attic portion. There were many unfinished openings that led to the attic. A horrible faceless monster lived there and It continually let down a noose to snare the foot of any inattentive person. I was astonished that my friends continued to live in this house. In fact, they carried on as if nothing unusual was happening. Worse yet, I found that as I stayed there and visited with them I became distracted and was not watching my son. Numerous times the Evil in the attic nearly snared his foot to draw him into the attic and consume him. Finally I fled the house with the children.

When I woke up, I couldn't shake this dream because I realized that this nightmare was a reality-- we do have an Enemy who roams about, seeking to devour us. I also realized that I am just like my friends in the dream: distracted and forgetful of the very real and present danger. Brian and I prayed for Iain that morning and I've been praying frequently since then for him, that enemy would not ensnare him.

A friend passed this word of comfort along to me:

"Do not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
for the Lord will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught." Proverbs 3:25-26

Thank you Lord, for that promise. Please make it so for my son. Thank you for reminding me of the vigilance of our fearful Enemy. Thank you that you are on our side. Please protect Iain. Give me wisdom and watchfulness to keep him from danger. Help me not forget that this world, normal as it seems, has a lurking Enemy. Thank you that You protect us from him and that he is powerless against You. In Jesus' name, amen.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Whose kingdom am I building?

"Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven and let us make for ourselves a name..." Gen 11:4

Reading this, I have to ask myself a hard question: how much of my discontent in my life really boils down to this, to seeking my own glory? A lot, if I'm honest. Yes sometimes my circumstances are difficult. There isn't enough time or enough money to do what I want. But there is always enough to do what God wants, if I'm seeking his glory instead of my own.

Please change my heart Lord. Help me not want to establish my own kingdom and my own glory. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me. Amen.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mila Evangeline

My beautiful girl is here! She is a bigger blessing than I could have imagined. I'm so enjoying nuzzling her soft sweetness. My heart is overflowing with love and joy, despite the fact that I have more responsibility now than I know how to handle.

Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
 3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
-Psalm 127

 It is a blessing to know that just as she was a generous gift from God, He will also take care of us, even when I am too weak. So instead of thinking about all the things that I can't do, I'm just going to rest and know that God is my help.

Sleep in safety and peace, sweet girl. God has got you.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Friday, August 05, 2011

All Nora's words

The doctor's office asked us how many words Nora knows. We gave them a guess: maybe about 70.

But that started us counting all the words Nora says. We didn't count anything she says when she is just repeating what other people say; we kept it to words that she's really mastered, knows what they mean, and uses in regular conversation. The current count is 175! We read somewhere that the average 2-year-old knows 150 words. Nora is only 1 1/2 years old! What a verbal little girl we have!

Here they are, in no particular order:

mama, daddy, Iain, baby, blanket

get down, no, yes, sorry, please

thank you, church, bye bye, hello, night night (goodnight)

diaper, wipe, messy, yucky, pretty

bow, have it, go, let go, see you later!

Friday, Jesus, book, Bible, peepo (peekaboo)

Peekaboo (our dog), rabbit, sheep, chichen (chicken), cow

moo, sobbies (strawberries), toast, milk, water

thirsty, Mila, sister, shhh, come up

more please, hungry, Word World, watch (as in look), watch (as in wristwatch)

look, riding, whee (swing or slide), ball, bosch (baseball)

jammin' (pajamas), dress, shoes, on, off

dog, funny, quack-quack (what a chichen says), ee-i-ee-i (farm), hat

glasses, eye(s), nose, ear, mouth

kiss, belly, feet, toes, hand

head, hair, all right!, wuv you, pants

hurt self!, broken, oush! (ouch), dolly, sleepy

bug car, truck, outside, flower, wash

this bear, eat, uh oh!, munch (lunch), phone

nana, stinkies, cracker, hot, ships

cookie, apple, bike, read, stop

help, oh cool!, giraffe, monkey, lion

hippopotamus, gentle, Nora, sit down, fall

clean up, here, open, bop bop (drink), horses

bounce, bouncin', gabbage (garbage), fish, aweshome! (awesome)

shirt, chin, cheeks, guys, house

take that, talking, train, close, deer

chair, seat, gun, bird, airplane

coming, bite, good, growl!, light

ambulance, fasht! (fast), goin', chop!, drivin'

what's that?, done, do it!, elk, other one

fix, hit, now, aw!, covers

game, clothes, tiger, food, cryin'

kick, stroller, pen, climb, strap

doctor, how are you? good, run! yay!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us.  --Oswald Chambers

These words opened my eyes today. I realized that in so much of what I do, I'm striving to get good enough at it to not be dependent on God. I feel like I should be able to clean my house, raise my kids, cook good meals, minister to friends, disciple my children, and love my husband all on my own strength. I am disappointed in myself when I try my hardest, fail, and have to stand with tears streaming down my face imploring the Lord for help. I didn't realize that I was trying to escape dependency.

I look around at everyone else and I feel exceedingly deficient. They don't seem to need to pray find their odd shoe, or break down in the grocery store trying to decide which toliet paper to buy. Then there are the people who seem to go above and beyond-- they have beautifully decorated homes, children who are well-mannered and well-educated, they are debt-free and running successful businesses.

I have so many ideas. I want to write. I want to take pictures. I want to create a beautiful home. I want to teach my children. These things are good, and are part of my calling. But they aren't the point. God isn't waiting for me to get my act together. God wants me to wait on Him and cry to Him, even though it hurts my pride.

I've spent a lot of time lately telling myself "It's only a season, it's only a season." But dependency isn't a season. It is my life. And I think I'd better get used to that, instead of fighting to prove that I can do it all by myself, and of feeling that I should do it by myself.

What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. -- Oswald Chambers

Monday, June 06, 2011

Surprised Again: Proof That Our God is Not Small

So as everyone who knows me, or has seen me lately knows, I am pregnant with our third child! Marvelous, mysterious grace of God!  

He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD! Psalm 113:9

We know we are expecting a daughter in a little less than 10 weeks time. Here is a note I wrote for facebook to announce our choice of her name:

So we've finally decided on a name for our daughter.  We like to name our children based on the meaning of the name, which can be challenging. There are so many names that are beautiful that don't have a meaning we like and names with wonderful meanings that are just impossibly ugly.

After talking about what we wanted this baby's name to mean we kept coming back to the idea of abundance or overwhelming fullness. As most of you know, we aren't supposed to be able to have children, and Iain was adopted as an embryo. His birth was the result of many tears, prayer, pain and money. But God remembered us, and a healthy boy was born! Elinor was a surprise after 6 years of infertility and we thought: God is good. Look how he has turned our sadness into joy. But little did we know that God planned to do more than we could ever ask or think, and we found ourselves expecting our third child. This verse kept popping into my mind:

"Surely your waste and your desolate places
   and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,
   and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
 The children of your bereavement
   will yet say in your ears:
'The place is too narrow for me;
   make room for me to dwell in.'
Then you will say in your heart:
   'Who has borne me these?
 I was bereaved and barren,
   exiled and put away,
   but who has brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone;
   from where have these come?'"
Isaiah 49:19-21

We laughed in disbelief over Elinor's birth, we struggle to process the overwhelming gift of this new child. We feel stretched thin and inadequate to hold this gift in so many ways. And we feel deeply blessed that the Lord would deem it good to give us a new baby. Truly we can say:

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

So we began searching for names that meant abundant, full or rich. We came across Horeb (horrible!) and Revayah (revile?). Then we came across this psalm:

  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
         So are the children of one's youth.
   How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
         They will not be ashamed
         When they speak with their enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:4-5

How fitting that this psalm out of any of the other instances of the words full or abundant would be the instance of the word full that prove to be our baby's name. The Hebrew word is melah. We are naming our third child:

Mila Evangeline Douglas
"The Lord has filled me with his good news"

"The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people..." Luke 2:10

We look forward to meeting Mila (pronounced with a long e sound, meelah) in person somewhere around August 11, 2011.

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
         You have anointed my head with oil;
         My cup overflows.
    Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
         And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." Psalm 23:56-6

Our Joie

Nora is now 17 months old and big for her age. She's in the 80th percentile for weight and 77th for height. After all the trouble she had gaining weight in the beginning we are thankful for her robust health now. Robust is a wonderful word to describe our daughter. She has a zest for life and a fearless determination that is both a blessing and a curse. She loves babies and cars and the two men men in her life: Daddy and Iain. Her vocabulary is immense! As I recall, Iain was still fairly quiet at this age, but Elinor is adding multiple words a day now. Here is a sample:

Ee-ya: Iain (sometimes you can hear the final consonant)
Mee-wa: Mila (Daddy has taught her this word even though she has no idea what it means)
bop-bop: drink
bwankey: blanket (she is nearly inseparable from this lovey)
ba-car: bug car (she loves to "count" VWs with Iain as we drive around town)
fWOWr: flower
hungwee: hungry
pwettee: pretty
peepo: peekaboo (the game)
pee boo: Peekaboo (our dog)
bosh: baseball (This is the name of Iain's favorite player. Whenever a game is on TV Nora says: bosh!)
uh ho: uh oh
oosh: shoes
foo: food
ish: fish
mo mee: more, please
ba: ball
ni ni: goodnight
hew wo wo: hello
bye bye (she will say this automatically if I say "Talk to you later!")
NO!!!!!!!!! (she loves this one)
Yesh: yes (sometimes accompanied by both arms straight up in the air)
Oush: ouch
dentl: gentle (we've been trying to teach her this as she loves to wrestle and hit!)
no: nose
mou: mouth
whee: slide
gey dow: get down

She is our little firecracker! We love her sparkle and vibrancy and pray for wisdom on how to direct her strong will into the Lord's will. I love that she'll always be strong and not be afraid to tell people no, something her Mama isn't very good at. She is a great argument for genetics as she takes after her Great-Grandad, Grandpapa, and Daddy in looks and personality. She is her Daddy's girl and it is a delight to see them enjoying each other so much. We are so blessed by our little surprise!

Life, Interrupted

Its time to come back to the blog. Yes, I'm busy. No, I'm not sure who reads this. But I have a terrible memory and I need to express what God is doing in my life. So I make no pledges of fidelity or regularity in posting, but I am not dead yet and neither is this blog. :)

Tomorrow is Iain's 5th birthday. What a sweet celebration. It's just good to sit and bask in the goodness of the Lord that I have a smart, funny, sweet son who loves trains, tow trucks, ambulances, and VW Bugs. A boy who is as full of contradictions as I am, wriggling and complaining in church, and yet also making up his songs of praise to Jesus. A boy with chocolate eyes and an electric smile. A boy who loves his two sisters with all his heart even though the youngest hasn't even arrived yet. From roughly 80 cells created by strangers, to a freezer, to my womb, to the contemplative little boy that I hug and kiss every day, who tells me he loves me "a million eighty-four, a million eighty-four, a million eighty-four" every night at bedtime.

Thank you Lord Jesus, for remembering my son and watching over him all the days of his life. Thank you for this beautiful gift of love and grace to me. Help me to teach him Your ways. Amen.