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. :)


Fall Fun



Just wanted to pass on some pictures from the fall.  We have had good times together and stressful times together. ;)  I only have photos of the good memories, though.  But in the hard and in the good, God is faithful!  His way in higher and His training is sometimes rigorous and painful.  This morning I heard one of my favorite songs from my college years (oh so long ago!).  "Refiner's fire.  My heart's one desire... is to be holy, set apart for you, my Master...."  As I listened, I remember how fervently I would sing that song, truly longing to be His fully and purely.  At the same time, I mused at how difficult this past season has been for me as I have sensed I have been in the "fire" of His training and refining.  I still long for those things, but now I sing from a different knowing. I sing knowing some of the difficulty of living that holy, set apart life. He is carrying me through, giving me strength, and promising me victory as I keep looking to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith!

So here are some chronicles of our fall together.  
Silas lost both front teeth in one day!  He's a cutie!

We have enjoyed the eggs from our chickens this fall.  

Princess Sarah turned TWO!  She says, "My Happy Birthday!"  What a joy she is!




This little monkey turned 5!  He is also such a gift! 



We celebrated "Dino-style!"

Abby (the last of the October birthday club members!) celebrated her 15th birthday by taking these fun young ladies (an myself) to get (washable!) pink strips in our hair at a local Hair Salon to help raise money for a local lady fighting breast cancer. After hearing about it while getting a haircut, she concocted this creative plan and wanted to use her own birthday money to pay for the strips.  Love that girl! 
This beauty also had a birthday, but somehow we missed taking
any photos!  Shame on me! She had a fun outside group game
kind of celebration for year #17.

The growing-up-one with her oreo cake.

The landing is a fun lego spot for the boys.  Keenan graciously shares his legos often for play time with his brothers.



Monday, September 7, 2015

Saying Goodbye

The last night in Shell was memorable!  Abby and I were welcomed into Daniela's parents home.  First, we got amazingly beautiful manicures by Dani's sister.  Then, I gave Dani's mom lots of laughs and good memories by ignorantly pouring the 6 cup packet of instant coffee into my own cup. Finally, some of Abby's new friends came by to say goodbye.

Our last morning, we rose before the sun and set out for Quito on the long, weaving, mountainous roads.  We saw some new scenery as we traveled since we took a different way.  We were able to get a good look at Cotopaxi Volcano in the distance and as we climbed into heights, we saw the change in plant life to brown grasses.
Cotopaxi, covered in snow and still spraying out smoke

Since the Equator runs right through the northern part of Ecuador, Cris took us to see the monument that had been set up there.  It was neat to stand where the world is cut exactly in half, and in the process learn a bit about Ecuador's history.  
Translate: "'The middle of the world'- It's beautiful to be Ecuadorian."

Abby and I in front of the monument facing East.

Our fantastic hosts!

The early morning of the last day and the long, hard drive up to Quito, coupled with many hours of waiting in the airport and a 5 hour overnight flight to our first stop in the states meant that we were totally exhausted when our friend picked us up 2 hours from home.  The past few days have been a bit hard for me, particularly, as I catch up on lots of lost sleep, get over a cold I brought home with me, and get into a "groove" for the fall.  David and the kids did great while I was gone and I think he is about rested up and ready to dive deeper into school.  Abby seems to have stepped back into home life smoothly, and now we will begin asking ourselves what we learned during our adventures and how we saw God moving.  
Life is exciting!  God is amazing!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Being Tourists!

This part of Ecuador is amazingly beautiful!  We spent the past two days being a bit more touristy and exploring the area.
I crossed this very high, wiggly bridge!!  So we could see a famous and large waterfall.  It was especially wild on this day due to lots of rain in recent weeks.  

Here is part of the waterfall.  And you can see the stairs beside.  Abby and Cris went down there.

Here is a shot of one of the streets on which we shopped.

We drove way up on a mountain to experience this tree house swing.  Notice the clouds.  It was a very rainy day and the clouds were hanging down in the mountains.

Abby, Dani and her nephew took this cable car across the Pastaza River Gorge.  We rafted that river so it is much, much bigger.  It looks so small because it is so far down!

Today, after driving onto the military base, waiting for the plane to land so we could cross the airstrip, and hiking 1/2 a mile, we arrived at the little Shell zoo.  It was a beautiful hike through the jungle with a creek winding beside the path.  Some of the animals were just roaming free and some were caged.  We got to hold two kinds of parrots, feed a monkey, pet a small furry creature whose name I don't know, and watch as a puma and a different beautiful carnivorous cat were fed meat through the fence.  Pretty neat!

Finally, we hiked a mile or so, again through the jungle, to this beautiful spot where we picnicked and several in our company swam in the cold mountain water.

The last thing we did today was enjoy the company and cooking of Daniela's mom and sister.  She showed us how to make empanadas, and they were "muy rico!"  We also got manicures for $3 each.  A treat for sure!  Oh, and ask me about the coffee story.  Daniela's mom will not quickly forget me! ;)

Tomorrow we head for home.  We will spend a part of the day in Quito exploring before heading to the airport to prepare for our departure.  It has been a sweet time and I pray that all that God wants to do in our hearts and in the hearts of those we met because of our time here will be done.