Thank you for stopping by! I appreciate your visit.
I go by Christine here, protecting our privacy with pseudonyms mostly for the sake of our children, who aren't old enough to give me permission to tell their stories.
I've given birth to six children, four of whom we're blessed to raise. They are (again, not real names) Peter, age 14; Paul, age 12; Mary, age 9; and Beth, age 7.
I'm introverted, a thinker and feeler, but friendly upon approach. I love babies a lot and children in general. My heart swells for the Lord, chocolate, books, praying, writing, trees, flowers, birds, farm landscapes, mountain landscapes, praise music, and every kind of delicious berry God created.
As a momma of four, I can't say enough good things about chocolate. On the roughest of days you'll find me sneaking baking chips out of the pantry. Somehow my kids sense the aroma of chocolate a room away, even though I always chew with my mouth closed. What's up with that?
I'm a Christian, grafted in at age 31 after a colleague impressed me with her joy, peace, and contentment, despite a life littered with tragedy. I asked her many questions and being an evangelist at heart, she faithfully answered every single one, mentoring me for two years. I read my Bible for hours as a new Christian, grateful for every morsel of wisdom. Then I married two years later, after which I had less time but still enjoyed the Word. I'm grateful for the time I spent alone as a new Christian, growing rapidly.
Two and a half years after we married I had my first colicky baby and went four months without opening my Bible at all. Ouch.
I was 33 years old when I married, something which even in this modern day is a little unusual. God made me wait until I was a growing Christian. Good plan, God. Thank you. My husband is referred to here by the ingenious name of "Husband". He loves us sacrificially, unconditionally, and is everything I've ever wanted in a soul mate. But no, he's not perfect.....just perfect for me. The fact that he went to Bible College and can answer virtually any Bible question I have is a wonderful perk, especially since I love to write about faith. It's not uncommon for me to ask him, "Where's the passage that says.....?" Or "What are the accepted theological interpretations of ....?"
Though, make no mistake about my comments above. Christian marriage is hard, and mine is no exception. We will finish the race, no matter how hard it gets. On that, we always agree, because our marriage means something to the Christian Church. It is larger than both of us...more important than our perceived needs. (That's not to say I advise anyone to remain in the same house as an abusive husband. Get out, if that is your reality.)
I love expressing my gratitude here for everyday blessings--gifts that make our short journey here on earth a joy-filled one. I believe that even in the midst of deep pain, blessings flow. We must acknowledge them, name them, and tell about them! It's a heart-changing exercise...and it's contagious!
Occasionally I mention our struggle with neurological disabilities, which two in the family have (ADHD, OCD).
In October 2011, when Beth was 2.5 years old, we learned that Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, a painful condition, affected her. She'll hopefully grow out of this sometime in childhood, with no long-term problems. 50% of children with her type, extended-oligoarticular, do grow out of it. Her treatment at this time includes daily naproxen (an NSAID), and doctors added methotrexate to her regimen in December, 2012, which is an immunosuppressant chemo drug used to thwart the auto-immune response that occurs in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. In February, 2015, Orencia, another immunosuppressant drug, was added. All three drugs target the inflammation that damages the affected joints.
In December 2011 we learned that her eyes are involved in the disease, which happens in 20% of the kids with her type, although regular exams since then have not revealed ongoing eye inflammation. Since the potential is always there, she sees the doctor for an eye check-up every 3-6 months. Untreated, intermittent eye inflammation could lead to vision loss and even blindness over time. Our Heavenly Father, who writes her story, helps us daily with the uncertainty, showering our family with grace as we seek to trust Him in all things.
My life story includes public school teaching, which I did from 1992 - 2001, first grade, full-time. Following the birth of my oldest in 2002, I changed jobs and began working part-time from home, visiting campus a few times a week as a homeschooling facilitator and enrichment-class teacher. When that became overwhelming--eighteen months after the birth of our second child--we sold our California home and moved to rural Ohio, where I've been a full-time mom since 2005.
I began homeschooling in 2007, and though it's not always smooth or convenient, I'm enjoying every minute of it--especially appreciative of the heart protection it provides our children. Our initial decision came after reading that 82% of public-schooled Christians walk away from their faith after high school. The influence of the world, with all its distractions, is just too much for most children, who are still developing their own personal relationships with God. Though we feel strongly about our decision we don't presume to think the Lord has this path for every Christian.
Occasionally I write about our lean-income journey. The Lord continues to supply all our needs though not always as timely as we, in our flesh, would like. We're learning that simplicity is a blessing.
The frustrations involved in being low-income really opened my eyes to abject poverty around the world. We are now faithful partners with Compassion International, as they seek to release children from poverty is Jesus' name. I love the work they do and thoroughly enjoy praying for and writing to the three international children God entrusted to us--one we sponsor and two we merely correspond with because their own sponsors can't write faithfully.
I love to write. More importantly, I need to write--for my sanity. Someday I hope to help support our family by generating a little income with my heart-felt words, while bringing glory to God. With littles around still that's probably in the distant future. There's so much to learn about the written word! It's exciting!
We have two other children not listed here. Our first baby, Isaac Abraham, conceived on our first anniversary, died in-utero in the year 2000. When a doctor told us during a 21-week ultrasound, "I'm sorry, but your baby has no heartbeat", a very dark year began--a year in which I asked the Lord many times to take me home. Starting that year still a baby Christian, I emerged from it a more mature, seasoned Christian (a journey I'm still on, with the "seasoning" coming in many forms).
Five years after the first heartbreak we lost another baby, this time at 10 weeks gestation. I was 39 and though heartbroken, I thought we were done. Thankfully the Lord had other plans! At ages 40 and 42 I gave birth to Mary and Beth, both unplanned. How they bless...every day! I'm a grateful Momma, though old and often stared at. Most people can't decide if I'm the mom or the grandma and though that's painful, it's part of the Lord's story for me and I embrace it. (Okay...I try to embrace it, along with general aging angst.)
I hope you find something that blesses you here, and once again, thank you for your time investment!
Contact info: christine4431(at)ymail(dot)com