Tuesday, December 30, 2008

finding joy

Sometimes its not a very easy thing, to find joy in every journey. This journey has been hard for me to find joy in.

We have left a wonderful church where we were growing and learning and being convicted on a weekly basis. We are struggling to find the joy in our home church, the focus for God's Work is not easy to see, the fire for God's Word is hard to find... I am finding myself asking God if this is really what He has for us. Is this His plan for us? I know I said I would take what I learned down in BB and bring it home with me.
Yeah~ um, thats easier said than done. See, for anything like that to work, you first have to have people who want change, and they don't. They don't want change, they don't want to be convicted, they don't want to search their lives and hearts to see where Christ is leading them. They don't want to be forced out of their comfort zone. And the reason I know this is because that was me 8 months ago. That was me that was sitting in the pew, making my "to-do" list for the week, writing notes to my hubby, picking apart the sermon, trying to stay awake.
I went thru all the motions of being there, but I wasn't there. I had become so bitter. I refuse to become that person again, to be that bitter person who has just given up. But I have to tell you, its hard not to get sucked back into that cycle of bitterness.
It would be so much easier to just sit back and say, "well, that's just how it is up here, " I don't want to do that this time around, I want to throw myself into this work with my whole being... but yet, I don't. I don't want to put myself out there just to get shot down. I am scared of being the one, the one who comes in and shakes things up, who shakes things up just to leave again. But I am more scared of coming home next time and not having a church to go to.
I am trying to find the joy on this journey home, I may have to dig deeper into myself and into God's Will for my life to find the joy this time. I will keep searching for the joy. If I can't find it, maybe I will have to make it...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Home for the Holidays

Well, for those of you who haven't heard, we are back in MN for an unspecified amount of time. Dennis' build down in Florida still hasn't started and his boss cannot justify continueing to pay his salary, we totally understand were he is coming from, he has already put alot of money into a project that hasn't even started. After getting more details we decided to leave all our summer stuff down there and we left my van down there too, so even if the hotel falls thru (his boss really doesn't think that will happen), we will be heading back down to FL to get the rest of our stuff :)

We decided to make the 28 hour drive home all in one marathon! It was a very long drive! I was so proud of the kids, not one complaint, they played nicely together, no fighting, hard to imagine with 5 kids in a vehicle for 28 hours, but they really do defy the normal :) Dennis was amazing, to drive the whole way! We got to the 694 bypass,saw that sign that said, "St CLoud, 47 miles," and we knew we could make it home! We turned on the AC (hard to fall asleep when you are freezing) and talked and laughed the last 2 hours of the trip :) We pulled in the driveway at 1:50 am :P the kids helped unload the truck and the pillows from the trailer, and then it was time to crash! D and I had hard time falling asleep, everytime we would close our eyes we felt like the room was still moving and swaying :P YUCK!!! I finally got to sleep around 5 am, then woke up a few hours later to 3 inches of snow on the truck and the wind blowing!! God really is good, He kept the storm away until we were safe in out home :)

Dad, Mom and Alan drove up after church and brought dinner! It was very appreciated!! The cupboards were empty and I did not look forward to going to the grocery store in the snow, I know, I know, I'll have to get used to it! But the 90 degree difference in 2 days is kinda hard on one's sytem :)

It was great to be in church Sunday night~ to see some of our friends and church family was a blessing. After getting groceries we drove home in the cold and blustery snow! "Welcome Home!!!"

It has been a very busy week so far, I think we have something going on everyday for the next few weeks!! And Dennis already has some leads on work to keep the $ coming in :) Always a good thing!

I miss our friends in FL, and our church family down there, but it is nice to get their phonecalls everyday :) It's very important to stay in touch with friends, otherwise we lose that closeness, and it makes for some akward silences when you find you have nothing to talk about anymore.
I will cherish the friendships I have made over the last 6 months.

The house is ready for Christmas~ the decorations are up, and I am in the mood to bake goodies :) So my busy week will just be getting busier!!

Well, I had better sign off~ so much to do, so little time to get it all done!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Family Portrait Time!!















Well, its that time of year again!! I love taking pictures of the kids, and I love the fact that I have been doing this with them since they were infants, so they are very patient with me and they put up with my hairbrained ideas :)

The only annoying thing for this years portraits-- I got home to download the pix on my computer and *BAM* half the pix were gone!!!! I was SOOOO mad! Oh well, I guess we will have to head to the beach one more time this week so we can get some retakes done. Oh- and I really wasn't pleased with any of Joseph's pix, so I plan on retaking all of his :P Can't you hear him jump for joy?!?!

It was a great day- I cannot believe we took pictures in the middle of November at the beach!!! I love Florida!!!

10 Things I am Thankful For:

1. family, thousands of miles seperating us makes me appreciate them even more.

2. the kids are doing good in school, and that they are able to complete projects independently.

3. my coffee pot and flavored coffee :)

4. that Snowball came home- silly how one gets so attached to those little furballs :)

5. lower gas prices!!! you never know where we will end up!

6. being a child of God- it is amazing how you can walk into a church 2000 miles from home and feel like you just walked into a family reunion!

7. God's provision- amazing how He can work when we are in His Will!

8. my kids- I know, "of course she's going to say that", but I really am thankful for my kids, I am glad we stuck to our guns and stayed consistant with discipline, even when we wanted to give up. I really enjoy my children, I love seeing them grow to be the people God wants them to be!

9. my mistakes, and the lessons I have learned from them. I pray they make me a better wife and mother

10. the sunshine!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

yum yum






okay- I haven't been good about blogging and here I am, going to blog about food :)

I made a yummy cake today- used a box mix, but instead of using all water, I split half water and half freshly squeezed ket lime juice :) I didn't know how it would turn out, but it turned out delicious! Then I used a lemon glaze recipe and subbed more key lime juice and zest for the lemon- put a dallop of cool whip on top and a cup of coffee on the side. Makes for a great dessert, and people won't even know you used a box mix, cuz you added all the yummy to it :)

Whenever I say "hotdish" people have no clue what I'm talking about, its a Minnesota thing I have found. They call them cassaroles, and they don't make them down here, everyone eats out :P I make yummy desserts and salads and hotdishes for activites, people are amazed that I cook!! I think its rather humorous :D Oh, and don't ask for a "pop", its "soda". I plan on making rice krispie bars for an activity Saturday afternoon, and chex mix for the girls' night out on Saturday night.

We drove to the Atlantic Ocean last week- it was beautiful, warm, sunny and they have awesome waves over there! You'd think I would learn when it comes to packing a beach bag to bring with everywhere! Yep, no beach bag, once again! And we had 5 kids that got soaked playing in the waves, and we had 5 kids who rode all the way home in tshirts and underwear :) Oh, except for Belle, she wears her swimsuit EVERYWHERE :)
It was a great day though.

Still waiting on Dennis' job. Still in constant prayer over it. we still have an amazingly awesome God who is in control over it all!! Even with a slumping economy, if God wants this for us, it will happen :) wow, what an amazing Father we have!!

I'm posting some pix of our trip to the east coast of FL- enjoy the sand, surf, and sun!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Its been too long....

Okay- I have been totally slacking on this blog. Its not like I can say I have been too busy or anything, just too lazy? or maybe its the fact that I really don't have much to update on.

Dennis' job still hasn't started and my life has been spent in constant prayer over this. I am leaning on God's provision thru all of this and have grown so much in Him! I cannot complain about where He has put us, He has to take us out of our comfort zone, away from those who love us most, so we can be totally dependent on Him and His goodness. I have come to accept this and I thrive on His daily blessings for me and my family.

We have had an amazing week of revival at church this week! I have been encouraged, broken down, and convicted on so many levels! I am amazed at His goodness to me!! I am "there" in my life!! I am at the point in my life where I am willing to give all to Him! I used to hide from messeges that I knew I would be convicted thru :P I used to try to be busy with something else so the Holy Spirit could not prick my heart. Why do you think I was in charge of so many things and working in so many areas? So God could not get to my selfish heart, so I would not have to give everything to Him. To be there, to be at that place, where I am totally His. It is a great and wonderful and hard and challenging place to be. I pray that I will always be there! And if I do falter, I pray that I will still have a tender heart that is thirsty for HIS working, that I will never harden my heart to Him and His convicting in my life.

Last night and today have been hard for me. I could not see God's working in our country. I was discouraged, disappointed, and down in the dumps about the whole thing! But I was reminded tonight of what a great man once said, " we have done our duty, the results are God's." I know I have done my duty. I know that I voted according to how I felt God's leading. Now the results are God's! He is in control!!!

WOW!! My God is big enough! He knows what is ahead for us, He will work His perfect will for us. I do know that America is being prepared for the great deceiver that is to come. I really do think that Jesus will be coming for His church soon! I know I am "there", because I am excited for this! I know I still have so many friends and loved ones that are lost, my heart is burdened for them and their families. I know God has given us so many things in prophecy to show us His working, and to warn us that our time is limited, we must take this seriously and tell others of God's love and the Gift that He has given to us. It is our duty to tell others how they can be saved, how they can know that they will go to heaven for eternity.

I went to church feeling very discouraged and left feeling very encouraged! It is wonderful to be in God's house with other believers, and to be in His Word. He is truely an awesome God! And I am looking forward to His working in our country! I am so happy that I am a child of God and that my Father is bigger than anything this world can throw at me! I will praise Him, like Job, I will praise Him thru everything. Thru trials, thru tribulation, Job lost everything, and yet he still praised Him. I want to be like Job.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

From Homesick to Discovery

I guess you can say I am officially homesick. I miss my mom and dad. I miss my own house, the smells of MN. I miss having a friend to talk to.

We found out that it may be another 2 months before D starts on his hotel. Which means we may be down here a whole lot longer than we had originally planned. Figure the build may take up to 12 months to complete, and if it doesn't start until November.... well you do the math. We are praying D can get the bulid done in 7-8 months like he did in Red Wing, then we have the chance of being home in July or August. Worse case, we'd be home in Nov. of next year.

His boss doesn't seem concerned about the delay. He told D to "enjoy your wife and kiddies". We can look at it as a paid vacation, and enjoy our time as a family. But it is hard to sit back and enjoy when you're not used to sitting back :)

I have been learning to "let go and let God", not an easy thing to do in my obsessive compulsive life. But I can see Him working in my life and in my heart. I can look at this experience and worry and fret, or I can look at it honestly and realize that God is supplying all our needs. He must be up in heaven , shaking His head at me. I know that when I am worrying and freting that I am taking the glory of His works away from Him. I know that I must pray, then give it to Him, and quit obsessing. If I am worrying about it- then I am telling My Father that He is not big enough. But my God IS big enough!! I am working on these things, daily, it seems.

My mom told me something the other day that helped me so much- she told me to remember that GOD sent us down here, not work. That statement freed me from all the anxiouty I was going thru at that time. To remember that it isn't about D's job, its about God's Will for us down here!! To think that we are not crippled by the job at this time, maybe He wants us for something else down here!

I feel as if I am on a discovery, a discovery of God's Will for my life.



I am content knowing that this is where He wants me for now. I will try not to be too homesick. Maybe He is preparing us for something, something that we may not know yet, but something that He has planned for. I am looking forward to seeing my mom and dad next month. The kids want to show them our new life down here. Its so different than our life before- although I think it more of a difference in our hearts, a change that one may only see if they look very closely.

So I very quickly went from "Homesick to Discovery", in just a few short paragraphs, its funny how that can happen:) I am looking forward to all the things that God has in store for us as I learn to give Him the glory, all the glory. And as I learn to let go and let God.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Fun

We have been loving spending time at the beach! I could get used to this very easily :) I'm sure I will miss those brisk fall mornings, the smell of apple pie and candles burning, the beautiful colors, always changing , the first snowfall of the season... but I'm liking my surf and sand and sun right now! I must say- I miss my kitchen at home, and all the colors- the greens and browns and all the wood, I miss that. I am surrounded by WHITE!! White walls, white cabinets, white tile. white white white!!! I guess its a Florida thing... if this was my house, it would painted, like, right away!! I talked with a nice lady at the beach yesterday, she came up to me and commented on my children--- I guess she watched Lexi tidy up the blanket and towels on the beach, and she folds towels a certain way (the same way I fold towels and the same way my mother folds towels:), she thought that was so funny, cuz it is the same way she folds towels and her family thinks shes nuts cuz she's so particular about it. Any way- I thought it was so cool, she called my kids "Beach Children", those kids who could live at the beach and always be content and happy just being there. I love having beach children :)We spent the whole day at the beach yesterday- from right away in the morning till we had to go home for supper, I guess I should have packed two lunches to bring with. I could live there all the time- I am starting to wish we had rented a home closer to the coast. Only until we have a hurricane come in, then I'm happy that we are where we are :) Well I am off to the beach-- I'll make sure to check in later!
video

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Do you see Christ in me??

I was challenged tonight to ask those around me, saved and unsaved, friend, and neighbor, if they can see Christ in me.

So can you?

Can you see Christ in me? In my life? In my talk? In my attitude? In my everyday walk? Oh I pray that you can.

We studied Acts 26 tonight- the last 15 verses. Do you know that its not about how we began our walk with the Lord- it is about how we will finish. Paul, he started out with a bang- his conversion was miraculous!! But it wasn't about how he started out- it was about how he finished, his heart was so full of joy and peace from God. And he so wamted everyone to have that very same joy and peace!! I always viewed those few verses where he stated he wanted everyone to be like him (excepts for the bonds of course), as being very pious. But he wasn't. He wanted everyone to have the joy and peace and love that he was so filled up with! He didn't necesarily want them to be like him, but to have what he had! He had a Saviour. A loving Father.

It is heartbreaking to read those verses when King Agrippa states that he was "almost persuaded to be a Christian". ALMOST?? How Paul kept from shouting with frustration I do not know. To be almost persuaded, but lost. I fear that for so many of my friends and loved ones. To be almost persuaded, but yet to be lost to eternal damnation. Oh if I can beg of any of you- if you are not saved, please make that decision to become one of God's children!!

And if you haven't a clue as to what I am talking about, then I guess I have my answer. I have not shown Christ thru me. I have not been the witness that I am supposed to be. I have not made HIM the center of my life, if I had, then HE would be in everything I do and say. And you would surley see HIM in me.

I think this may be something I need to make a priority in my life. Paul was not afraid of what others thought of him, Festus said that Paul was a "mad man", crazy man!! If one would think of me as crazy because of my convictions, because of my joy, because of my witness,because of my God, then I would gladly wear that badge.

We are to be a peculiar people, I think I need to work on that. I think I need to be more perculiar to the world, so they may see Christ. To see that I have something in my life that makes me different. Peace, content, joy, love. Things that only God can give. These things will be so profoundly abundant in my life as I draw closer to my God! I pray that the next time I ask the question, "Can you see Christ in me?" there will be no hesitation, you will be able to say "YES!! Christ is so much of you, that one cannot see where Christ starts and Shanan stops." that is my prayer, that I will become more like Christ, so everyone who sees me will be able to see Christ shining thru my face, my smile, my life. You will see HIM in me.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Update





Well we have been in our new home for a month now- wow, has it really been that long?! We have settled into the house and have found a great church. The kids are already making new friends and we are starting to figure out the city a little more.
The pool is a favorite way to pass the time away. I love the ocean, but everyone else would rather swim in the pool :)

Dennis still hasn't started working. Its becoming long and he is getting very bored with staying home. I have enjoyed having him here! He spends a few hours a day in the pool with the kids, which they are loving! Still waiting on word when he will start- the only bad thing about him not having started yet is the fact that it means we will end up being down here that much longer. He is already saying we will have to make a trip home to MN at some point. To see family and friends and just to be there. We are already thinking we may end up being down here until next August.

Brooke may end up celebrating 2 birthdays down here. Poor girl, has celebrated the last 2 birthdays away from family and friends, and she has been very bummed out about that the last few days. I am just so happy that Uncle Alan will be maiking the trip down here to celebrate her birthday with us- it means so much to her.

Alexis got her hair cut! The first time she has ever got it cut, she has hed a few trims over the years- maybe an inch at a time, but this time we cut off about 13 inches!! Yikes!! She loves the fact that it no longer weighs her down in the pool, and it looks so much healthier. But I am already thinking... it will be grown out again, I miss her long curly locks too much!!

Belle got hers cut too, she had the same style cut last summer, so it isn't such a shock to my system to turn and see her short hair.

Michelle is off at camp this week. She is 13 hours away, in NC, at the WILDS camp! I have to think that this is why God sent us down here this early, just so Michelle could go to the WILDS. It is such an awesome opportunity for her, one that she may never have again. I am praying that her heart will be softened and decisions will be made for the LORD. I talked to her Monday morning, before they got there, everything seemed to be going fine, she has made a really good friend. They seem to hit it off really good, Michelle is more adventerous and Tina is more timid, so Michelle encourages her to try new things and Tina keeps Michelle on the straight and narrow :) Can't wait to see the pix and hear all about her adventures!! I will post some pix next week. We have gotten updates from one of the boys with a contraband cell phone * shhhh* he says everything is good, Michelle and Tina are attached at the hip and doing great.

It is suppose to be a beautiful day in FL today- hopefully we will see the sun for a few hours at least!! Its the rainy season--- which means it rains everyday, and everyday is cloudy and overcast :( Morning are usually beautful, but by 2 o'clock-- in come the clouds, then the thinder starts booming, and pretty soon, we have an all out storm on our hands! Craziness I tell ya!

I have a list of thing that need to be done today- laundry, floors need to be mopped, carpets need to be vaccumed, vents vaccumed, furniture dusted, bathrooms cleaned--- and it goes on and on!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Musings....




Okay, here are just some random thoughts:

People that don't understand that "green means GO" really bug me
Florida sunsets are gorgeous
time is not always the same in every culture
I am very thankful for my children- God has blessed us beyond measure
no matter where you are, you are "home" with other believers
God's Creation is indescribable
I have decided having a pool in the backyard is a priority;)
I am not looking forward to school starting this fall
family is precious
Michelle is growing into a wonderful young lady


I may add to my musings, these are just a few things that have popped into my head the last few days!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

All Settled In!









well, we got to Bradenton Monday night! We decided to drive all the way in 2 days! We weren't able to get into our new house until Tuesday morning, we had to meet with the realtor to get our keys and sign some final papers. We also found out we don't have water yet :0 I guess the neighbors were all watering their lawns out of this outdoor water supply, so the owner had a block put on the water. We are managing just fine- good thing theres a pool in the backyard- at least we can flush the toilets with the water from that! We are fully settled in- I got everything unpacked yesterday, and we all slept great last night. On the agenda today is 1) WATER!! 2) find one of the churchs on our list, then we plan on taking the kids to the Gulf!!

Oh- we also made it to D's new jobsite- only 15 minutes away, and a pretty easy drive to get there! Everything is lookin' good at the Anderson house!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

FLORIDA!!






Yeah! We made it to FLorida! We just crossed the state line-- palm trees met us at the border, and lovely moss hanging from stately trees!! 200 Miles to Tampa where we will stop for the night- still some miles to put on today- but we're in FLORIDA!!! :)

Georgia








We are driving thru Georgia! Already have gone thru Atlanta- whew! And we are hoping to get into Florida tonight. Everything is still going well- its a lot more hot and humid down here than what we are used to in MN :O BUt we will get used to it in time. Ummm, the dirt is red down here, we drove thru some mountains, it was beautiful! Of course I'm a nervous nelly and was freakin out thru them- it would be an awful place to brake down, let me tell ya'! People drive like idiots down here- I guess there is a reason we call it "MN nice", there is just no common courtesy on the roads down here.

Okay, license plates: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia, Massachusets, Colorado, N. Carolina, S Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Virginia, Nebraska, Missouri, Florida, Tennesee, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Maryland, Kansas, Conneticut, Wyoming, W. Virginia, Pennsylvania, Utah,Mississippi, Kentucky, Arizona, Arkansas, N Dakota, S Dakota, Texas, Maine, California, Lousiana, Alabama, and for the Canandian ones we have Quebec, Ontario, Alberta,

We have counted 94 U-Hauls, and 60 WalMart trucks, and Dennis has counted 41 "slug bugs" and 13 Porshes!!

I'll post some pics later!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

17 hours on the road :0






Okay- we have been on the road for 17 hours! Of course there is time that needs to be accounted for with gas stops. We are over half way to our destination, and have found a hotel to spend the night in. We are staying in Nashville TN for the night! Wish we had the time to enjoy the sights, but we are excited to finish our journey and find our new home! The cat made the drive just fine, the kids have done wonderfully! They didn't start getting crabby until about 7 o'clock tonight- you can figure that is after 15 and 1/2 hours on the road, so not too bad to my way of thinking! Joseph asked me, very quiety, "mom, when do you think we can start looking for a hotel?" I thought it was so funny, he didn't want to seem whiney, but yet he was SO sick of being in the van!

If any of you have been on a long road trip you'll be able to understand what I mean when I say that it takes some time to get my "land legs" back, after being in the van for that long of time, I have a hard time when I'm back on solid ground, and I'm not moving at 75mph. It is such a weird feeling-- like I'm in slow motion and the world is spinning around me at full speed. Not a fun feeling:} The kids don't seem to be affected by it, but Dennis and I felt just sick when we got to our room tonight. Hopefully tomorrow won't be so bad.

Pray that tomorrow will go as well as today did. That the kids will still be as excited to finish this journey as they were to start it:) That the cat will be able to settle down and not make himself sick, (I feel so bad for the poor little guy).
Pray that D and I will get a good nights sleep so we will be in good moods tomorrow.

Oh-- final count for the day on Walmart trucks- 41
on U-Hauls- 47
on D's "slug-bugs"- 24
I will write all the license plates that we have seen in the morning:) I left my paper in the van, and there were too many to remember!

Well Goodnight everyone!! I will check in in the morning and update you on the last half of our journey!!