Thursday, December 10, 2009

Still Here

Hey friends, I am still here. Overwhelmed by Christmas but trying so hard to move past that overwhelmed with Christmas feeling and into that real Christmas feeling where you are immersed in the Jesus that it is all about? Has anyone ever had a Christmas like that? Please share your secrets.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fall

I love the fall. This is no big secret to anyone who knows me and today is the perfect fall day. Well it may be a bit on the warm side for perfect but I'm letting it go. So Noelle and I picnicked in the park today and then went for a 2 mile walk around the lake. The colors were lovely and I saw at least a million and a half turtles sunning themselves on logs. Also I was charged by a goose! That, I must admit, was not my favorite part.

On our picnic we were joined by some lovely ladies form our lifegroup and their kids. I am so extremely blessed by our life group and incredibly thankful in my heart of hearts that God put them into our life. For thanksgiving I have put up a thankfulness line across our bar area. I often like to hang things there for holidays because it catches the eye and adds to the decor. So anyway I (hopefully Kel too!) am going to use clothespins to put up pictures of things that we are thankful for. I will be putting them up there in some form for sure. Right now the sad thanksgiving line is empty, not because I am not thankful but because it's been one heck of a week.

Alright, well it's not much but it's a post.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If I have...

For lack of a better way to put it I can be a negative nancy. I am a pessimist. My glass is so often half empty. This seeps into all areas of my life. Home, family, friends, work, self, all of it is tainted by this gray lens through which I usually see my life. I focus not on the amazing things I am but all that I am not. When I eat a meal it's so often not an appreciation of where I am and what I have been given to eat as where I am not and what my grub isn't. When I am UCM I think of all the students I wish were there and the improvements we haven't yet made to the building. This list goes on and on and well... on. And needless to say I am becoming increasingly aware of it, even so much so that I am writing about it for your digestion. This brings me to my next point. I'm sorry. I am sorry for any time when I have cast a judgmental eye in your direction. When I surveyed your life and saw your flaws instead of the beauty weaved into you by our mutual creator. I am sorry whenI have vomited my own troubles onto you instead of hearing about the joys and struggles of your life. God is still cleansing the imperfections from my heart. And I am sorry (and happy) to say that he always will be. I will never be 24 karat Christian. Jesus will always shine through me like light through a dirty window. But this is what I have to offer today. A hope that the next student I meet will feel love because of our interaction and I will today and always look at you with all the beauty God put into you, and encourage you and love you just as you are. Thanks for loving me in spite of my judgey occasional bitchy-ness. Love, me.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Evening Thoughts

This weekend has taken me for quite a ride. I got in touch with a lot about myself, a lot that needs to grow. Parts of me that have shriveled up, parts that I realized I need strong and juicy in order to live life to the fullest, or live it at any level deeper than mere surface living. And who wants to live on the surface alone, I ask you? I heard an amazing teacher today at Lifechurch and one of the things she said that struck me was that our generation is lost because perhaps they were just preoccupied. She used the example of the lost sheep and talked about how that wasn't an evil sheep, or an especially naughty sheep, it just got caught up in sheeply things and didn't hear the shepherd's call. I feel like I have been overly caught up in sheeply things. Necessary sheeply things, but I put far too much emphasis in excelling in the basics. So yesterday I felt the shepherds crook around my neck yanking, but my little hooves seemed grounded in no mans land. The pulling and not moving action hurts, as you can imagine it would. It's this incompatibility, this fear that comes from realizing that you are here but knowing your heart you were called to be over there. So here I am moving a nervous hoof at a time toward where the shepherd wants me to go.

In the nonsheeply realm of life I am pretty happy, I love being a Mom. My heart for this little girl just gets bigger every day, to the point I am worried I will wake up one morning and see her grinning at me and it will explode completely. I suppose this is a risk that all Mothers take. In the exciting news bulletin side of things I am going home to Michigan on Thursday for a visit. I can't wait. I am leaving Kel behind which I don't love. I simply don't enjoy experiencing life without him. I like segments of life lived on my own so I have something to tell him about, I think we all need this if nothing else for dinner conversation, but large chunks of separation aren't my fav. But it's a good thing, all put together.

I am about blogged out but am on my way to read what you have been writing. Also I started a food blog, surely it's linked somehow to this one... you'll figure it out.
With Love
Leanne Rae

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spiritual Milk Drinkers....

Well this post includes some references to breastfeeding so if you're not down go web someplace else.

I have been breastfeeding my daughter Noelle for about 10 weeks now. That's not that much time, in the grand scheme of life it's like a sneeze. But it has been the most amazing ten weeks of life I have known. Every time she is hungry and starts to exhibit those sure fire "mom feed me soon or I will go ballistic" signs I take the necessary steps and make sure she gets the milk she needs. Sometime not fast enough for her liking, but usually in two minutes or less . Sometimes, however, I need to burp her in the middle of the feeding or stop and switch her to the other side. When I do this, she has the tendency to cry and fuss and generally express extreme unhappiness that she is not currently chugging milk. The other day I was feeding her, and switching her to the other side and I told her (yes I talk to her all the live long day) "Noelle! For your entire life there has been food when you needed it, what makes you think today would be any different?"

THEN
GOD
SPOKE

I myself had spent my very own week freaking out about money. Worrying that perhaps someday very soon we would default on a payment, OR not be able to buy diapers, OR the car would break down and the repairs would be more than our emergency fund plus the savings we have to sustain us until I start getting a paycheck again.

"Leanne, you've been alive for 27 years. Have you ever gone hungry, without transportation, or had your household poop needs unmet?

Scripture tells us

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. ~Hebrews 5:11-14

To which I responded: "Wow God, please teach me more through Motherhood"

You see like my daughter freaks out when she stops eating for a nanosecond and is still hungry, so I when I see a potential problem in the distance or spill a drop of faith because of some small bump in the road act out like chicken little. It's NOT GOING TO BE OKAY! The sky is FALLING! The ROOF is caving in, The bottom has fallen out and this will end me!

But I am NOT an infant
I am 27 years of sustained healthy well-loved adult woman.
Who still freaks out with a "It's not going to be okay" mentality

This my friends is a value I do not want to pass on.

Dear Lord please be with me in this... help me to rise above it and show my children that you are the giver and sustainer, you are the LORD our God, and it will forever and always be more than just okay. Help me becomer a spiritual steak and taffy eater (you see these things take time to chew) so that my daugther sees it and follows in my footsteps.

And all Gods people, or at least this one said: AMEN.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Home Again Home Again

Well here I am in Michigan. I am enjoying a cup of coffee in a hoodie with the slider door open. The morning is nice and crisp and I am in my element. I am centered and there are so many paths I could go down today. The most likely of which is to the mall and lunch with my best friend Becky. I even have spending money in the budget. Wonderful eh?

The trip is going really well so far and I am just taking deep breaths and not letting my Mom or family get to me too much in a negative way. So my Moms house is messy and yes there is usually rotten food in the fridge but I've had multiple freak outs about it and it never does any good really. So might as well just deal with it and throw out the moldy hot dogs at the back by the 3rd jar of grape jelly and stop trying to figure out why my Mother and I are so drastically un alike.

It has been so good to see family and to make plans to share meals with people we love and watch them hold our baby and enjoy her simple beauty. Although after nine months of carrying her, perhaps her beauty is crazy complicated? I love her more and more each day. She is so laid back! She cries when she is hungry or has a dirty diaper or the two times I accidentally pinched her a bit with the car seat buckle. (For which I felt like the worst mom ever...) When we eat dinner she just sits and looks at us and at the lights above the table. Like she's part of the dinner conversation only she talks with her eyes and not her vocal chords... yet!

This town still feels like me, like I belong here. Don't get my wrong because Ada is better than I can imagine and the people that live there are a gift in my life. But when I drive these roads and pull into these parking spots and walk these streets and eat this food and have these conversations... I feel so safe, so unquestionable. No one could say I don't belong, no one can tear me down here, I am a fortress in Michigan, I am supported by so many people who love me so much. This feeling, this sense of belonging, it's so strong. Time and miles struggle to take it away. Will we end up here someday? I don't dare venture an opinion. For now I can tell you with a million percent assurance that Ada is where we live, and undoubtedly where we need to be living. And that my friends is enough for today.

Friday, June 12, 2009

First Friday Family Night

Well hey there from the middle of Friday night family time at the Penny household. I suppose I'm not being a good Mom blogging and netting in the middle of it, but Kel has the bean and Two movies in a row is hard for a busy-bee like me. We had pizza and ice cream, Noelle will get some later by proxy... ya know. Right now we are watching Desperaux and we just finished Fantasic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Motherhood is pretty good, the only real issue we are having is Noelle's weight. We switched to a Pediatrician today and he got her back on the ol scale. She is 3 weeks and 3 days and still 9oz below her birthweight. Additionally she has lost weight but grown 1.5 inches. So the dr said this is concerning, not alarming, but concerning. I hate that we're having this struggle. I am doing my best with feeding her (although middle of the night feedings are sort of hazy) But It'll be okay. I'd just rather not be having this concern at all.

Life is going to get pretty crazy coming up here. Sunday evening we leave for two weeks in Oklahoma City and then a few days after that we leave for two weeks in Michigan. For a time this was stressing me out but I am trying to make my peace with it.

Having a baby is such a huge event, I feel like I am missing out on the spiritual beauty of it because I am wrapped up too much in the details. I need to turn the TV off more, spend more time learning her, I feel like feeding her is a dance between the two of us and we need to learn each other. I feel like my blogs are so disjointed, sorry, focus isn't there right now but there are small fireflies of truth, I Just gotta grab up and use them to light up life.

Alright back to family night.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First mom-blog

Believe it or not, this is not the first time I've tried to blog since Noelle's arrival. I am doing so great, and loving motherhood and really everything that comes with. We have been home from the hospital two weeks today, and Noelle is two days more than two weeks old (16 days for those of you who can't read my typed math) I was so worried about postpartum depression given my families history of depression and anxiety but so far no sign of it. I am really doing well, not that I pretend everything is perfect or that we are in the clear for any of it but so far God has given me the grace for each day and that's all I am asking for :-)

There are so many people out there, who read this blog and who don't that I wish I could introduce to our lovely baby girl who is snuggling on my lap, but I am so thankful for the communication options we have in place.

So my days are all Mom ish now, and I am at home a lot, a lot a lot. I am still recovering from major surgery I know but I want my energy levels back NOW, I need them more than ever now. But I have to have patience, boo patience. We went to WalMart but that wore us out two days ago, 20 minutes in walmart put me flat on my back. So that's what I am working with right now. Not typical for Leanne at all.

Not to mention that in two days my Mom comes, then we go to Oklahoma city for nearly two weeks. Then a few days after we get back from that we go to Michigan for two weeks. Wow, then it's middle of July. I am not ready for the busy-ness of that.

Well I should go continue to be productive. Hi from my patch of Oklahoma to you, enjoy your day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Threads of love

I got a very special package today from some very dear friends back home. A garlic press, which is amazingly welcome in our house, and a handmade blanket. I smiled at the garlic press because I this of Kellye O every time I think of a garlic press so it's fitting that there should be a garlic press in our home from her. I draped the blanket over my (seemingly huge) tummy and told our daughter that someone loves her so much to use their hands to make this for her. And that;s just one of the reasons why Amber is a wonderful perosn. It just makes me feel like no matter where God takes our family the threads of love from our past are still interwoven into our present. I am starting to feel at home here more and more. Or at least at peace here, happy. But home is still home in a sense. If this makes any sense.

I have spent the last week or so of my life coming to terms with our sideways daughter and analyzing what this might say about who she is. Is she going to be difficult? Can I still feel like the mom I want to be with a c-section? An C-section was never what I wanted but if it can't be avoided I have to come to peace with it. And all the other unknowns that are flying around my head right now. I am praying for my faith to grow, to become more solid. There is so much at stake to be and to teach and learn. Bring it? Yeah... bring it on.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In America?

I am really glad to live here in America. We have freedoms here that are unparalleled in other parts of the world. Don't get me wrong sometimes the greed and cosumerism we display on a daily basis embarasses me and I see us through the eyes of the rest of the world and well. We may have liberty and freedom but we have a few things to learn... That's not really what this is all about however.

I am currently re-reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini. (Author of "The Kite Runner.") I am re reading it bc I enjoyed it the first time and because I have yet to get to the library to check out a few more novels to see me through the days at my boring job. This book is about the plight of women in Afghanistan and the cultural norms that are in place which serve to make the lives of women harder. It's heroine who was born out of wedlock, is persecuted and considered "less than" because of her birth status. She is given in marriage by her insincere and absent father at the age of 15 to a 50 year old guy. And all that goes with married ... Her life is hard and she struggles through beatings, mistreatment and more than you can imagine.

And so I sit at my desk with nothing covering my head carrying my soon to be newborn daughter. Each of us two gals have an endless meadow of possiblities before us. I can still be or do whatever I want to be or do, do back to school for dietetics hopefully. And she can also live and grow, free and loved, with a father who doesn't send her away as an adolescent or treat her as anything less than a beautiful creation of God with the same rights as all the rest. I could have been born into anything, she could have been born into anything. If you are a women the same is true, if you are a man you could have been raised to believe truths about women which are quite different than the ones you currently hold. (which I hope are equalistic and biblical) Anyway, you weren't. I wasn't, and baby girl Penny won't have to experience it either. So today I am just thankful to be a woman in America. I am thankful for my husband, my education, and my upbringing. For my God, and I pray he is with those and shows himself to those who are so much less fortunate than I am.

So here's to pants, push-up bras, and the right to vote, and all the other (maybe more important :-) things we get to have as american women.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter

I love the power of Easter. I love the hope that it brings to my life, the realization of the hope that is with me all year long. We spend so much of our year focusing on what cannot be, what is broken, what is not. And then on Easter morning, God reminds me that because he lives, he will restore. We have nothing to fear. The words to so many hymns come rushing back to me.

- Because he lives, I can face tomorrow because he lives, all fear is gone, because I know he holds the future, and life is worth the living just because he lives
- No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me, from life's first cry to final breath Jesus commands my destiny.
- Where oh death is now your sting?

I could go on but those are the foam on the top of the mug of Easter hymns floating through me.

I love mixing contemporary worship in with classic hymns because I really do believe that some truths have already been perfectly stated. And I love that it brings me back to hearing my Grandma sing them in church as a little girl, and the smell of her Sunday coat, and the windmill cookies and orange drink after church...

But you have to apply it to your own life in order for it to resonate so here is my Easter hymn

Because he lives...
- The mental illness of my family has no power of the kind of Mother I am.
- I will get to laugh and cry about life with my Dad someday
- I will never let this life overtake me, and destroy my hope
- I will bloom where I am planted and stop lamenting about where I am not.
- I will not let worrying about potential problems steal the joy from my life
- I will demonstrate this faith to my children
- I will show them the love that runs between Kel and I and model for them what marriage in Christ lives like.
- I will fight to feel the hope and see the truth in each day
- I will keep going, keep fighting, and keep healing from whatever this life throws at me
- I will remember that because he lives restoration from the brokenness is coming for my sister.

I will live as one in-between salvation and restoration.

Because he lives.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunny Sunday Morning

I am trying to figure out if there is really anything new and worthy to write about or I am just up with the sun and feel like blogging. I am one of those morning people, I am unable to sleep in for the most part. Although this morning I think I could have but I woke up with a cough and have continued to cough since that lovely moment of awakening. Which is sad because the bed was warm and the puppy was snuggling with me and I was so comfy, but I didn't want to continuously disturb the peaceful ambiance with my hacking. So I got up and ate bran cereal with bananas on top.

Yesterday was a productive day indeed. We got a lot done and then I crashed on the couch. I have been sick all week and I overdid it, promptly followed by an evening of what I would call underdoing it. But today is still Sunday and there is no pressure to be up to anyone's standards. I would still like to grab some cough drops and head to church, I really love my church.

So I don't feel right entering Holy Week. I feel like it snuck up on me, I feel like my heart isn't ready. I never feel like I feel it enough to be worthy of what it's all about. Its gets lost in the busy-ness of what we are gearing up for or coming down from or just plodding along with. And then it sneaks up and surprises me with it's reality and I worry that I just don't give it the heart space that it is due. If you think about Jelly Beans more than Jesus, we have a problem folks. Not that I do but I wouldn't put it past me.

Also no one is having Easter dinner, that is strange to me. Last year when that was the case I made it for some friends in KY but here I figure everyone has an easter dinner place to be. And by dinner I of course mean sunday dinner which is a big meal centered around a big piece of shared meat served in the early afternoon. I'm game if you are.

I need a shower and I suspect the steam will feel lovely on my throat.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Simplicity

I have heartburn right now, I had to throw that out there before I get started. I have heartburn and I am not a huge fan. Also I am out of tums... boo.

The older you get the less you need. I mean who can figure out what to get their parents for Christmas let alone their Grandparents? I need less today than I did a year ago. This may seem ironic due to all the baby supplies that really are needed in the Penny household but a wave of simplicity has overtaken me. I love simplicity. I love simple flavors and clean lines. I like having less things to dust, never been a fan of the kick knack. I have willow tree figurines (3 of them and I have one twice ironically) Anyway Kel and I have been giving up 40% of our grocery budget for lent and we have still managed to eat fine and even healthy. We are not going out to eat, and we don't have the TV on. Instead a snapshot of our lives looks like Kel working on the Nursery while I sit here heartburning and blogging in the dark with our puppy Bella snuggling and falling off my lap. There is less lap room as I get pregnanter... poor puppy :-)

I am so happy right now. I really like I am under the tutor-ship of my God, who is shaping me to be... something... which I am totally excited about. I am clearly being shaped into a mother. I pray daily that God will prepare me to be the example she will need me to be. That she will see my faith that God will provide, that she will see the romance between Kel and I, that she will want to wear shoes like me, and walk like me, at least before and after she is a teenager.. I am still a realist don't worry :-)

Ooh, on that note I just heard a bang crash in the nursery which merits investigation.

I miss you friend from across the country. I would hug you and share a ... treat of some sort with you now if I could... Brusters if you are Danessa, Coffee if you are most everyone else, or just a board game and a brownie...

Goodnight. Peace of Christ to you.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blades of Grass

Life can somehow feel completely overwhelming, like when I sit and think about all that needs to be done before baby girl Penny arrives in May (most likely June if you ask me- Due May 31) Things like...

1) A mini Van or larger vehicle
2) a rocking chair
3) bedding for her crib
4) Bottles to drink out of
5) Clothes so she's not naked at least some of the time
6) a sink tub to stay clean in
7) A mom who feels prepared for all this!! :-)
8) Paint and some pretties in her bedroom
9) Pack n play to sleep on the go

I know there is more, I fear registering for a shower... Eek!!! :-)

But I am really trying to give it all over to God and just trust that he IS in control of every detail, from mini vans to onesies to my heart's preparedness to be a mom.

I am still crazy lonely for community here in Ada, we have a church home that helps and I really like a lot of the women that attend. Now I just have to stalk them and make them my friends! Not really, I know it's all a process that takes circa a year or more. I have small worries like, what if no one comes to see me after the baby is born? What if I need face to face Mom advice and no one wants to help. I just want someone to want... me. You know? We all feel that, the need to enter a room and have someone go Oh look (hugs) YAY! It's you!!! I lack that belongingness that I so deeply need here in Ada. And it will come, like all the other provisions that I have needed that have always been filled.

Not to mention March is coming up and with that brings all the sadness of four years ago when my world was torn apart and then slowly reconstructed. I hate march, I was telling Kel last night that March is the month where I just can't shake how much it sucks. For me it's not Christmas or his Birthday, although Christmas comes with sharp pains of its own, but not like March. I want to be around family this March, to be with them because I know they miss Dad like I miss Dad. Or to be with the friends who held me up at the funeral, not try to explain this raw Dad-missing emotion to a new set of people. Twice removed, with more akwardness.

But for now it's still February and I think I will make my world famous waffles, regardless of how guilty I feel because they're not on Kel's diet plan. If we were in Michigan Grandpa would shove more waffles with more butter in front of him that I could possibly cook in Oklahoma so if I look at it that way, hey, we're coming out ahead??

Thanks for loving me, most likely from a distance. Right back at you I swear.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

sweet timing

It is amazing how the right timing makes the good things in your life even better. As I lay here on the couch feeling my baby girl kick with my puppy asleep on my arm I am amazed at how happy and relaxed I am with my life. I keep hearing about how crazy people think all our new changes are but well, we are so content. Any of these things at other times in my life would have been, and have been so negative. But for now, my life is bliss. That's all really... sigh...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good Morning Four Day Weekend!

Okay so I realized that there is no way I can really post this until I brush my teeth. And I should take my prenatal vitamin too or else I am totally going to forget.

Alright that is done. Well here I am on a Saturday morning letting Kel sleep another hour while I fiddle around the house and tidy and pee at least every 20 minutes because that is what you do when you are pregnant. We are heading into the city today to get some baby stuff and help Kel spend his Christmas Money, as well as have brunch with some great friends. I have a four day weekend, due to MLK day and then a random Tuesday off. I will have to work next Saturday but just 6:30 - 1 PM which is all reality isn't THAT bad of a day. Nice and short at any rate. It will be a busy weekend of getting things done around the house that we have neglected. We bought some paint for the living and dining room areas last night. I would like to hang some more pictures on the wall and then just start perhaps trying to sew some window hangings and bring the room together as it were. That will be truely lovely.

So we found out that we are expecting a baby girl this week. That new has come with a roller coaster of uncertainties and emotions. I am coming to find out that when you think about being a mother of a daughter you sort of immediately think about your own relationship with your mother and what was modeled to you, as far as mothering lessons go. I haven't always had the best relationship with my own mom and so well, I think some nervousness arises. I think of all the things I want to be for her, to show her, and then I worry about failing her. I want to show her strength, beauty, how to put on her makeup the right way, how to pursue what God called you to do with your life fearlessly, how to make things out of popsicle sticks and how to let it all out with a cry but then pick yourself and move on, realizing that it's really your only option. I want to make Dad's Christmas cookies with her and tell her all about how much her Grandpa would have loved her. What if something happens and I close off like my Mom... I shudder to think and I refuse to let it happen. I want to give her everything from me, not necessarily the best clothes (although hopefully we can save her a little embarassment) but My major concern is giving her the best of myself, being Leanne Penny as a mom in the best most God honoring way that I can. I can feel God molding me along these ongs I just pray that I stay soft and bendy to his will and teaching.

That being said I am off to buy something pink and indulge myself in all the excitement that comes with expecting our daughter. In all her beauty and and potential.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Home

Home is such an elusive thing in my life. Is it where the heart is? Is it where I grew up? I am writing this from my parents house where I have lived since sixth grade, up until I moved out anyways. However this house is not what makes home for me. The home in this house died with my father sadly and so I am a nomad when it comes to home. Home will catch up with me in miscellaneous places. Sometimes just being in a restaurant with family feels like home. Often times my aunt and uncles houses feels more like home than I realize. Home certainly is most often encountered in West Michigan for me but does like to sneak up on me at the Henson's house in Oklahoma City. The one thing I know is that I need to find a way to make where I live, feel like home. I don't want to live the rest of my life restless for the home I cannot find. I don't want to always find myself discontent with the address on my mail, wishing the bills I loathe came to a West Michigan address. I am hoping that one of the ways that God grows me in 2009 is to make where I am feel like home. Teach me contentment God, and please continue to weave Kel and I into a family. Allow this family to be the priority and help our new little house to bubble over with homey-ness.
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