Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Simultaneous Frustration and Deep Gratitude

     "God, I look to you.  I won't be overwhelmed.  Give me vision to see things like you do.  God, I look to you.  You're where my help comes from.  Give me wisdom, for you know just what to do... Hallelujah, Our God reigns..."
     After a slightly bumpy start to the day, and after a difficult few days of parenting, this is how we started our school day!  Usually, after breakfast and the usual too many reminders to get chores done and stop rough-housing, we gather in the living room for "focus time."  Focus time has shifted with the seasons of our family's life, but the main point is to look first to Jesus, before any other study is done.  This year we have been slowly walking through Mark's Gospel, as well as studying and memorizing Ephesians 6 (with our homeschool community).  But this morning, David read to us from his newest devotion book, and the theme was consistent with some other things I felt God has been speaking to us.  So we put on the above song and just gave God a few minutes of our attention.  It was so good for my soul!  And those words were just what I needed! God, I look to you!  You reign in complete control, seeing all, a very present help!  So I don't need to be overwhelmed.  My help comes from you!  Hallelujah!  God, you reign!  Over this world, my heart, my home, family.
     The parenting part was still hard, especially with one in particular.  But God, in His great faithfulness, when we ask, he gives!  And this week, I have been asking for strategy, wisdom with this kid.  And today, I think I got some.  For this, I am thankful, though I am bracing myself for the difficulty of new disciplines, both for myself and for this one. This one, who one minute is so sweet, thoughtful and helpful one minute, and angry, rude, and apathetic the next stretches me, breaks me, exasperates me, and causes me to fall at the merciful feet of my God and this child's God!
But all day long, as I help and watch my second born prepare for a trip to Ecuador, my heart has spontaneously rejoiced in God!  Oh, He is so faithful and kind!  My oldest girls are and are becoming some of the best young ladies I know.  I could gush about them for pages!  But I will not, for the reader's sake.  Rachel, in her first year at University of Louisville, is excelling. She is rocking her school work, which I never doubted she would.  She is driven, focused, overly so on most days!  But what thrills my heart more than anything, is that as she flys on her own wings, she is doing so with her heart, mind, and will fixed on Jesus!  She is finding Him faithful personally; She is exploring His great glory and goodness; She is searching for heavenly treasure!  And she calls me!  She talks to me.  We are friends. And Abby?  This time last year, she was so, so broken and angry.  Her sweet friend died was too young, and it crushed her.  And this mama watched, heart breaking, praying!  And in the last several months, I have seen a resurrection!  She is walking out healing with Jesus.  She is alive again.  And my tears flow, and my heart sings!
     I am sure I did some right things as I parented them.  I prayed.  A lot!  And that is the success!  I also made lots of mistakes!  I didn't know what in the world I was doing with these sweet souls.  I was learning to love Jesus and they came along with me.  And miraculously, God's faithfulness makes up for our lack.  And He is so, so kind!  How my heart rejoices!
So, as I wrestle through hard days with the younger kids, I look at what God is doing around me!  And it gives me so much hope and confidence! "God, I look to you.  I won't be overwhelmed!  Given me vision to see things like you do!"  Amen.

Laughter is Good for the Soul


video
This is for you, mom! And In-laws and anyone else who would want to see this sweet baby laughing.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I Have a Story to Tell

I have a story to tell.  It is not because I am the most talented writer.  It is not because more the a hundred people on the planet even recognize my name.  It is not because I have all the answers or have this crazy life figured out.  I have a story to tell because God is at work!  He is the main character in this story and I and my little brood are (mostly) happily following along.  I have a story to tell of His faithfulness, His kindness, His abundance, His mercy!  I do have a story, but I don't have much free time to spin the tales.  However, I enjoy recording snippets of this blessed life and want to make time to do so more regularly.  So... at the risk of not following through, I am committing to try to blog once a week- a cute picture, funny story, example of God's goodness, or thought from the quiet place with Jesus.
I have a story to tell... I hope my story will cause thanksgiving and joy in your hearts!

Abby the dancer!  She has been so committed to ballet this past year and is amazing!  God is stirring her heart and making her come alive in new ways that are so exciting to me!


Keenan, who joined the teens at our home, snuggling with newest "cute baby Aaron."

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Out of the Depths

Reflections from Psalm 130 and wrestling with hurt and sorrow...

Out of the Depths

Out of the depths of sorrow and sadness,
Where wave crashes over relentless wave,
And the air hangs weighty and dense.

Out of the depths of failures,
Where lies, like weeds, threaten to
Bind me forever to this moment.

Out of the depths of grief and loss,
An endless sea of nothingness,
Only the whisper of what could have been.

Out of the depths of frustration and anger,
Where hurt burns deep and throbbing,
And inner voices scream, "Enough!"

Out of the depths of shame,
Where my foolish choices taunt me and 
Threaten to define who I am.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Let You ears hear, Your hand reach,
And your unending mercy redeem.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Taking Off the Super Hero Cape!

That's right! I am taking off the super hero cape! No longer do I want to be revered as some super-mom capable of amazing feats. No longer do I want to feel the weight of acting like I have it all together because that is what is expected of me! No longer do I want people to hear how many children I have and see the blank I could-never-relate-to-you stares. I am a normal, fallible human mother! Not born on Krypton. Ordinary.

So... I want to address some common exclamations that I often hear when I disclose the number of children I have birthed.

1) “You must have so much patience!” FALSE! Actually, I entered this world and lived a large part of my life self-centered, impatient, and easily angered or offended. When I gave my life to Christ, He began the work of cleansing, changing, renewing my mind and heart. And He is still in the process! I am a work in progress, just like you! I have good days and bad days. I react in my flesh some days and am not the patient, self-controlled mom I long to be. Patience is important, by not a prerequisite for parenthood.   If you want to be a good parent to as many children as you have been given, you just have to have a heart yielded to Jesus.  He works in us the character we need.

2) “I could never do that!” NOT TRUE. Actually, if I can do it, anyone can! I didn't set out to have a big family. However, when I gave my life to Jesus, I gave ALL of me to Him. My heart, my mind, my body, my dreams, my choice about marriage, career, and family. I even gave him my womb. It was an intentional decision that David and I made at the beginning of our marriage.  He got to choose how many children we had, just like He got to choose where we would live, work, etc... I have never found in Scripture where I am supposed to consider my own comfort! That is a hard thing for us to swallow, but true.  This life is not about what I want and how comfortable I am.  As followers of Christ, we are to give our all.  How that looks exactly in each person's life is between him and God. But for us, it was important that we allow God to make the decision if and when to bring life. He is far more capable of big decisions like that than we! Additionally, God gives us the strength to do anything He calls us to do! Any act of obedience is accompanied with the grace and strength to follow through. I am not a special breed because I have allowed God to have control of my womb! I am a woman who is seeking to love Jesus with all that I am. We can all do that!

3) “I have a hard time with my (fill in the blank... 1 or 2 or 3) children!” Being a mom is hard, no matter how many you have. (Actually, being alive is hard!) When I had just a few, I felt like my hands were full, then, too! Of course, having a wide range of ages and stages brings its own challenges. But don't downplay your difficulty by my house full. By doing so, it closes any real conversation between us about motherhood. You can say it is hard, and I can say it is hard, and we can relate and encourage each other! Also, don't look at the difficulty of your current situation and decide that no further movement is possible. When I got pregnant with my last one, I was so fearful and anxious. The one previous had been SO hard, crying constantly, not sleeping well into the first year, sick often, and just before I found out I was pregnant was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I didn't feel like I could handle any more! However, I made a vow to the Lord, and by His grace I intend to keep it. I trust Him! Even though I felt overwhelmed and incapable, I knew His grace was sufficient. Months later, after she was born, I stood in my kitchen and cried tears of joy that I had let God make the decisions. She has brought SO MUCH joy to our home! Every one of my other kids has engaged intentionally in her life and it is so beautiful! If I had had my way, we never would have experienced these things.  Trust is such a beautiful thing.  



In conclusion, I want to live only as a child of God! I am not a super-woman. I am not amazing apart from God's grace. I am not immune to the frustrations and sins of all humans. I am a woman, seeking to love God with all my heart in this crazy world. I just happen to drive a 15 passenger van! Oh, and by the way... there's gonna be one more Trimble in this house. Crazy! And Wonderful!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Advent

Well, the holidays have come and gone.  Thanksgiving was a whirlwind of family fun in SC, but it was worth the hours of driving.  We made sweet memories!  Thanksgiving is my favorite family holiday.  

"Sweet girl" in her "candy shirt, which she loves.  It was appropriate around Thanksgiving.
After Thanksgiving, we started preparing for Christmas, the coming of Christ.  We decided to have an Advent party (just us!) and decorate and read the first of the Advent devotionals so as to set our hearts to seek Jesus above all.  We used a new resource this year by Ann Voskamp, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift.  She walks through the main stories in the Bible as they point to the coming of the Savior.  

Picking out a tree!  "Daddy is strong!"





Let the decorating begin!  





And... the silliness!  Abby was the photographer for the night and I am glad (except that there are no pictures of her).  I never would have taken pictures like these silly ones, but I am glad to have them.  They show the personality in these kiddos!





Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Where will we lay our heads?

Well, the Trimbles planned, packed, and traveled toward another camping adventure this fall.

After laboriously choosing a site we all liked, we unloaded and began to put up the tents.  Not very long into this process, David discovers that he had all the parts to our big tent except the poles!  Hmmm.... The tent is not very useful without them.  What to do?  David decided to drive to Walmart and purchase a new tent.  But the one he bought, which we really did not need as we have two large tents already and several smaller ones, was smaller than the one we had planned to sleep in.  The girls had their little tent, but the remaining 7 of us had to squeeze, along with our air mattress (a girl's gotta sleep on something semi-soft!) and Sarah's pack n play (she needs to be confined to sleep best!) into the 6 person tent!  We were like sardines... but we did it!  And we didn't even freeze in the mid- forty degree nights because for the first time ever we had a space heater!  We carefully carved out our precious space so that we could still use it even in the tight quarters.  Maybe we are getting wimpy in our older age!  But we really enjoyed our time together!



That is not a trick of the camera.  That marshmallow really is that big!  At the boy's pleading, I bought the giant "campfire" marshmallows.  All the kids enjoyed them, even the big girls!
The cutie with her huge sugary treat!

Keenan and his giant "S'more" with his oversized marshmallow!



Checking out the mill at the State Park.

Fall colors on one of the dozens of grinding stones lining the walk ways at the mill.  I found them laying just like that. :)