About ME

Welcome to the Potter's Wheel! We are so glad to have you stop by! Although one may be tempted to think you are on a blog about pottery, don't let the title fool you! This is a collection, a chronicle so to speak, of my world as a piece of lumpy clay on the crazy spinning wheel of The Potter. It is my view, as I see it, while spinning wildly in what sometimes feels like an out of control ride at the county fair. Although it appears that way to me and to the casual observer, the wheel is under the full control and guidance of the One. The One who can take a lumpy piece of clay and eventually turn it in to something beautiful in His eyes. My stories will cover so many topics that I have tried to break them down in an easy manner with the tabs below. Look down now!!!! You will find tabs that cover FAITH, FAMILY, CANCER, HOMESCHOOLING, KIDS ACTIVITIES, AND ADVENTURES ON THE ROAD. The posts are best read under the guise of each tab instead of in chronological order. It is part of my LUMPY ADHD, so you will have to deal with it! I hope that something I write will provide you with a "golden nugget" to put in your pocket for your own journey. Get out your motion sickness pills...It is going to be a crazy ride.
Love ya, Lumpy

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bucket List

When I was diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago, I wanted to make a "BUCKET LIST".  Corny and overdone, YES.  However, when you are a faced with the question "What if I die from this horrible disease?" You start thinking of all the things you wished you did before you die.  As I started to make my list, there was a recurring theme.

 1. Visit the Grand Canyon
 2. Visit the Redwood Forest
 3. Go to the Gulf shore in Texas
blah, blah, blah...
As I wrote all of these desires in my raggedy notebook, I realized that one item on the bucket list could take care of several items at once.  With the killing a bird with one stone attitude creeping into my heart, so did the ONE and ONLY real bucket list item.  If I die tomorrow, I am so content and happy with my life, EXCEPT for achieving my goal to travel the country with my family in a RV.  So there it was, one item on the bucket list.  It seems so difficult to achieve five years ago.  

It has been five long years since I wrote those words.  It has seemed like it may never come to fruition at times.  However, now we are taking the baby steps to make this dream a reality.  Over the course of the next several blog posts, I will start to fill you all in on how we are making this dream a reality.  What steps did we/are we taking to make this bucket list a reality, will be described step by step.  Be sure to follow all of our updates under the Lumpy RV Adventures tab above.

Lumpy Out

Friday, November 28, 2014

Homeschooling a child with Sensory Processing Disorder

As mentioned in my previous post, I am also a home school mom. I didn't mention that my child is amazingly brilliant :) (smile...smile), but she also has some sensory integration issues. When I keep these issues in mind during our learning time, the difference in her ability to learn and focus on the given task is utterly amazing!

It has been really great to see what has been happening in the home school community when it comes to teaching our "unique" children. However, I unfortunately still find that there are many families that home school their children have been so "burnt out" by the public school system, professionals and for fear of labeling their child, they do not look at outside therapists as a beneficial part of the home school environment. (okay, that was a major run on sentence...sorry:))) I don't mean this as an offense at all to anyone, as I see how it is easy to close the doors on the public school system and any services that they may offer. However, there are so many relatively easy techniques, environmental adaptations and tools that can assist your child within their home school environment. By utilizing this information, your child's home school education and the level of your teaching can be greatly improved. In this post, I would like to "define"/explain the terms Sensory Integration Dysfunction or Sensory Processing issues. I will also be adding some links for several AWESOME books and resources that further defines the dysfunction and provides a wide array of activities that can assist children with these issues.

Do you see any of these signs of Sensory Integrative Issues in your child?

Overly sensitive to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
Under reactive to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
Easily distracted
Social and/or emotional problems
Activity level that is unusually high or unusually low
Physical clumsiness or apparent carelessness
Impulsive, lacking in self control
Difficulty making transitions from one situation to another
Inability to unwind or calm self
Poor self concept
Delays in speech, language, or motor skills
Delays in academic achievement

What is sensory integration?

The senses work together. Each sense works with the others to form a composite picture of who we are physically, where we are, and what is going on around us. Sensory integration is the critical function of the brain that is responsible for producing this picture. It is the organization of sensory information for on-going use in almost all tasks in our lives.

For most of us, effective sensory integration occurs automatically, without effort. For some of us, the process is inefficient, demanding effort and attention. When this occurs, the goals we strive for are not easily attained. Sensory experiences include touch, movement, body awareness, sight, sound, and the pull of gravity. The process of the brain organizing and interpreting this information is called sensory integration. Sensory integration provides a basic and necessary foundation for more complex learning and behavior.

For most children, sensory integration develops in the course of ordinary childhood activities. Motor planning ability is a natural outcome of the process, as is the ability to adapt our responses to incoming sensations. But for some children, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. When the process is disordered, a number of problems in learning, development, or behavior may become evident.

You may know a child who, although bright, has difficulty using a pencil, playing with toys, or doing self-care tasks, like dressing. Maybe you have seen a child who is fearful of movement; that ordinary swings, slides, or jungle gyms will generate extreme fear and insecurity. Maybe you have observed a child whose problems lie at the opposite extreme; uninhibited and overly active, who often falls or runs headlong into dangerous situations and has tremendous difficulty sitting still or focusing on a task. In each of these cases, a sensory integrative problem may be the root cause or at least an underlying factor.

Here is a very, very un-scientific explanation of how I see Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Please don't judge my un-scientific terms or descriptions, as this is the best way I have found to describe this disorder to parents. Imagine for a minute that our brains are filled with parking spaces, in which cars (sensory input and movement output) must move freely around the brain highway and park where ever is appropriate. Then imagine that a person that has a typical system, there is a very mature & experience traffic cop directing all the "cars" to the right spots. For example: The vision cars goes to the vision parking lot, the touch cars goes to the touch parking lot, the movement cars goes to the movement parking lots. All is well and good. Sensory Integration and Motor output occurs correctly.

Now imagine that in a child, they may get a Rookie Traffic Cop, who has no clue what they are doing. This Rookie has no idea at all which way to direct the traffic or when to know when a parking lot is either to full or completely empty. Complete havoc is wrought in the brain highway and parking lots. So as an example, I will use the touch parking lot. Tactile input is coming into the body constantly throughout the day, and the Rookie keeps sending the "cars" to the touch parking lots. However, imagine that the parking lot gets full, and instead of putting up a sign that says "LOT IS FULL", he keeps directing traffic there. Eventually, the parking lot is in complete chaos and can't fit even one more sensation in there. Then you as a parent, try to brush your child's teeth or put on a shirt with an itchy tag, and they go WILD with a full "flight or fight" reaction. As the "parking lot" can't handle even one more sensation, the brain sends a signal to react by crying, screaming, biting, hitting or running from the input. This un-scientific explanation would be called tactile defensiveness. The same idea would hold true for kids who are postural insecurity or can't handle movement at all. The parking lot is so full from the normal daily movements, it can't handle any more, so it sends out the message to react in flight or fight when the child is on a swing or slide.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, are the parking lots that the Rookie Cop forgets to drive cars too. So the input cars come in to the brain but are sent around to different areas and never park in the right place. This leads to the "non-registration" of sensory input. The brain is expecting a certain amount of input should be taking place for normal daily activities, but it isn't finding it in the parking lots. So the brain sends a signal out to get as much sensory input as humanly possible. This may look like: a child who can't sit sit, fidgets all the time, rocks or spins self frequently, hangs upside, one who puts non-food objects in mouth or chews on things, a child who has to touch everything and everyone in their space. This child may appear not to be paying attention to anything going on in the environment around them. However, the child may actually be paying attention but can only do so with the "EXTREME" amount of input going in the body.

To further visualize a child craving to fill these empty parking lot, try to remember the last time you were at a really long boring meeting or class. Do you move around in your seat, switch the legs that are crossed, twirl your hair, chew your nails or on a pencil? These are all natural un-conscious strategies that we use to help us maintain our attention and focus. Children with "empty sensory parking lots" need to do what we do naturally and then 10 times more.

Obviously, I have used extreme examples here and again I say: UN-SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION!!! Please don't quote me to the medical profession :)

So the far reaching effects of a sensory processing disorder can interfere with academic learning, social skills, even self esteem. Research clearly identifies sensory integrative problems in children with developmental or learning difficulties. Independent studies show that a sensory integrative dysfunction can be found in up to 70% of children who are considered learning disabled by schools.

Early intervention can improve sensory integration in these children, minimizing the possibility of failure before it occurs. By interrupting the vicious cycle of failure, intervention to help children with sensory integration and learning problems may also prevent serious social problems later in life.

I am certainly NOT saying that all schools will be able to assist a parent in identifying an underlying sensory processing issue. The only benefit I could say would be that most schools staff an OT, PT or special education teachers who would pick up on some of the sensory signals demonstrated in a classroom. However, for the home school family, they may never be exposed to a professional who may recognize a child's "behavior" as being a sensory integration issue. The child may be falsely thought of as having ADD, ADHD or a learning disability. A home school mom may become extremely frustrated because her child will not sit for even brief lessons, has to move themselves and touch everything while doing lessons. Thus, is the reason for this blog. Sensory integration is a pretty key phrase out in the world today and most people may have heard of it. However, if there is one home school mom out there that reads this and sees her child in the description, and can be directed down a path for more information, my purpose is achieved.

There are many awesome support groups on line now covering sensory integration and a wide array of special needs. I will be recommending several excellent books that are parent friendly, that will help a parent to better identify sensory issues in their own child. I hope this post helped someone out there in "blog world:)!!!" Tune in next blog for "What you can do for your child if you suspect a sensory processing issue". Until then!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

To Halloween or Not Halloween?

It is the day after Halloween and I take a sigh of relief.  We made it through another October 31st.  We may get the occasional standard question for the next few days of "What were you for Halloween?"  However, it is nothing compared to the constant barrage that hit us through out the month of October.   Every October I struggle with the questions and doubts in my own mind if we are somehow ruining my daughters childhood memories.  Are we depriving them of endless fun and candy by making a deliberate decision not to celebrate Halloween with the rest of the world? 

I personally have very fond memories of Halloween from my childhood.  I recall my mom spending days working on handmade costumes for my sister and I.  She created amazing costumes out of random things around the house.  I had a range of costumes from a grandfather clock, a US mailbox, Ace from KISS, Robin Hood and so many more.  I loved Halloween.  I loved running around the neighborhood with our pillow cases gathering our treats.  I loved pouring them all out on the floor at the end of the night to find discovered treasures!  My only bad memory of Halloween is one of running up to a house to get my sugary fix, only to have the woman at the door yell at me to go away because they did not celebrate Halloween.  My little 6 year old brain could not wrap around such an atrocity.  Who does not celebrate Halloween? What?  The concept of not giving candy to cute thing munchkins in costumes seemed cruel and absurd to me for most of my life.  Then I became an Evangelical Christian and married my conservative husband.

We never really discussed Halloween until we had our first daughter.  As October 31st approached, I started to look at the adorable baby costumes to don on my child.  I dreamt of the day that I would plan and craft her homemade costumes that would create lifelong memories for her, just as my Mother had done for me.   Much to my dismay, my darling hubby was not on the same Halloween page.  He had witnessed firsthand the ugly side of Halloween while living in other parts of the country, where the evil side of Halloween were still demonstrated.  He saw churches burn to the ground, satanic worship and the evil side of this holiday.  His belief was firm, we would not be a family that would celebrate Halloween.  I tried for several years to convince him, it didn't work.  Then I searched for alternative ways around celebrating it as an Evangelic Christian. There were a few years that we would travel over an hour to attend "Christian Fall Festivals" on Halloween night, as an alternative to the traditional celebrations.   However, a member of our church pointed out that if something looks like a duck, quacks likes a duck and waddles like a duck.......it must be a duck.  So our Fall Festivals on Halloween night came to a screeching halt.   I love and respect my husband.  He felt strongly that our family should not celebrate Halloween, and I chose to respect that decision.   It actually took a missionary from Kenya, who was visiting our church during the month of October, to convince me that we should not in fact celebrate Halloween in the way our country does.  As he was making a plea for money to be able to feed over 400 children only one meal a day, he broke down in tears.  After his tears, he became visibly angry.  He spoke of his heart break as he drove around our New England towns witnessing the obscene amount of money Americans spend on Halloween.  Between the costumes, candy and decorations spent on Halloween, Americans spend millions of dollars each year.  As we are pouring our money into a "holiday", children in his country are literally starving to death.  He has in fact wrapped children in real death cloth, as we may do to our children who want to dress up like a mummy.   They consider themselves blessed IF they get one meal a day.  After listening to him speak, I never looked at Halloween the same way. 

Several years have past and now we have two children who constantly have to field the never ending questions.    Every October the sense of guilt returns to my heart.  Every time I hear my sweet girls respond with "we don't celebrate Halloween", my heart aches for my perceived memories that they are missing out on.   They often have the sad look on their faces as they see even their Christian friends preparing for Halloween celebrations and trick or treating.  Every October I count down the days until it is over, when it is November 1st, when we can start planning Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Don't get me wrong, we still have a  great deal of fun through October.    We strive to provide an environment that  makes room for ton of fun, while using the actual day as a teachable moment to celebrate God’s plan and purpose for our lives.We enjoy every other moment of Fall from apple picking, pumpkin painting, leaf piles and mulled apple cider.   They play dress up through out the year and attend dress up events at their church club program.  The club program has a special night in Fall for the students to dress like their hero.  My girls love this special evening. They have donned costumes of Bruce Lee, Queen Ester, Bethany Hamilton and more. We usually choose a special family activity to do together on Halloween Night to create other special memories for them.    We've had family game nights, movie nights, special dinners and this year we took them out to a Japanese hibachi restaurant for the first time.  We had a wonderful night.  The girls faces were so precious as they watched the chef prepare the food right at our table.   However,  from the hostess to the chef, the girls were grilled with why they weren't out trick or treating.  My oldest has  gotten very talented at answering the questions with confidence.  Last night, she purposely chose to wear a shirt with a cross and large letters that says "Born Again".   My youngest, still struggles with the concept.  She is the same age as I was when that "crazy, absurd woman" (remember her?) turned me away at the door because she didn't celebrate Halloween.  Oh my, am I that woman?  Are we THAT family?  Not exactly.    If we happen to be home on October 31st, I always have a big bowl of candy just in case we get some little costumed munchkins at the door.  

I will probably struggle with this inner battle for the remaining years of my daughters childhood.  I am curious of how they will choose to celebrate or not celebrate October 31st when they become adults living outside our umbrella.  Will they think we ruined their childhood by not allowing them to go trick or treating? Will they harbor some deep seeded anger toward us over this? Do people think we are brain washing them or trying to force our beliefs on them.  Do I care what people think or should I care more about what God thinks?   These questions haunt me (pun intended) every year as the date approaches.  I do know that every year on the morning of November 1st, I feel relieved and relaxed.  In an effort to clarify my feelings, if only to myself, I chose to write about it this year.  

So here I am on November 1st, thankful that we made it through another year.  I think next year, we should make more of an effort to impress the missionary story on to the hearts of my children.    I think instead of taking them out for a fancy dinner and buying the extra bag of candy, we should make a  family donation to that missionary's school in Kenya.  

Happy November y'all...
Lumpy Out

Monday, April 1, 2013

Things are changing....

My posts have been very sporadic at best. I sincerely apologize for that!   My days, weeks and months seem to mush together and pass so quickly lately.  The last year my lumpy life has really been focused on my health, fitness, and changes in my lifestyle.  What started out as a week long Daniel Fast with our church the first week of January 2012, has turned into a 45 pound weight loss, complete removal of sugar and grain from my diet and almost daily HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. With these radical changes has come some wonderful benefits to my health in addition to my weight loss.  I can say that giving up sugar and grain has completely reversed my high blood pressure, removed my daily migraines and eliminated all of my fibromyalgia symptoms.   Due to the radical changes in my lifestyle, I have decided to add some new tabs/pages to the blog, which will include some of my fitness and food journey that has brought me to this new level of health.  I have included new tabs on top on the home page called Lumpy Food and Lumpy Fitness to chronicle this journey.  Many of my followers have joined my face book page just because they are my friends and want to support my blogging journey.  Others have followed me because I am a fellow homeschooling mom or for similarities in our faith or cancer journeys.  I hope to keep you faithful followers!  However, I am hoping to widen my audience to those who may be looking for support or guidance in changing the path of health they are on.  So things are changing a little bit  here at the Lumpy Clay Chronicle....I hope you stick around to see whats new!  I hope that my story can help someone else to start a new journey of health and well being. 

Until Next Time...
    A little less Lumpy Out

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The dream

The night darkness surrounded me completely.  I could only feel the rocky ground beneath my feet and the steady sound of a drop of water hitting the ground in the silence.  I wondered what the sound was, as I made my way toward it in an upward climb.  My clothes felt like a long robe or trench coat type of garment, weighted down with many objects in the pockets.  I couldn't see enough in the darkness to even make out what I was wearing.  Step after step, I climbed upward on the rocky slope toward the sound of the droplets.  The air was still and silent, except the steady beat of the drops, a few seconds between each one.  I felt my way along with my feet until I reached a plateau of sorts.  The dripping sound became louder and closer.

  I sensed something was directly in front of me, but I could not make out any shape in the night.  As I drew closer to the sound, I felt the need to fall to my knees.  A voice, whether it was in my own head or if it was an actual voice I do not know, told me to reach in my pocket.   My hand found a small, hard box, almost as heavy as a stone.  As I pulled it out and closer to my face, I could make out a word.   The word was one that described one of the most horrible things that I have ever done in my life.  The word is to horrible to even type on this page as I write this account.  I moved the box to the ground as close to the dripping sound as I could.  As the box lay there before me, for the first time I could see the drip of red liquid.  The drop splashed gently onto the little box, and in what seemed like a second or maybe a lifetime, the box vanished before my eyes. It was gone, just simply gone.   My heart raced at the thought of it.  Is it possible that "it" was really gone?  I felt a little lighter as I again reached in my pocket.  I found yet another box with another crime  I had committed, clearly carved into the top.   Again, the box disappeared as the red droplet splashed down.  It seemed like an eternity had gone by, as I emptied dozens and dozens of boxes from the pockets of my garment.  Each box held a name of the crimes I had been guilty of during my 32 years.  Each box disappearing, disintegrating into oblivion with the steady drips in front of me. As I watched the last box disappear, the air began to lighten.  I cautiously raised my eyes to the source of the drips to see His feet just above my head directly in front of me.  A slow trickle of blood running down the outer part of His leg, pooling there for a moment and then a steady drop onto the rocky ground below Him.  I fell forward onto my face, laying before Him, below the cross.

 I don't know how much time went by as I laid beneath Him.  I may have fallen asleep for five minutes or five hours.  When I awoke, He was gone. The darkness had fleeted, and the sky was clear, crisp and blue.   I was alone on the rocky hillside dressed in some type of  white garment.   My dark overcoat or robe that I wore earlier was gone.  I reached into the  pocket of this new garment, to find a pure, bright, sparkling piece of white paper that held my name.  Just below my name was written in crimson, "Washed by the Blood of the Lamb".   

That is all I remembered when I woke in my own bed the next morning.  It was a dream beyond any dream that  has ever danced in my head during my sleep.  It was a dream that I have never forgotten.  It was a dream that has defined my life from that day forward.   I was washed.  I was clean.  The sins of my life turned to dust with one touch of His blood.   Thank you Lord for showing me in a very literal way the awesome grace you have bestowed on me.  It has been more then twelve years since that moment.  I now live my life free of the guilt and the shame.  I am free of my shackles.
My "white" garment continues to get stained with my sin and mistakes.  I will never be sin free or perfect.  However, if I return to the cross whenever I get a new box of shame in my pocket, it will always disappear with one drop of His blood.   What an Amazing Grace. 

*Please see the video below, Sweetly Broken by Jeremy Riddle.  The words to this song are exactly what I envision whenever I think about this dream.

Sweetly Broken. The perfect song for this dream.

Lumpy Out-

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

warning....this is a filler post....warning

WARNING: The content in this post consists ONLY to fill space
Wow, so much for my goal of writing a post every Tuesday night!  What the heck happened there?  I just popped over to look at the page for a moment, and saw that my last entry was not even my own writing!  I had the most page views on this blog of all time on a post I didn't even write!   It has been a hectic several weeks since the "Olympic Athletes are Homeschooled" post. 
 The potter's wheel has been spinning so fast, that I haven't had a opportunity to rest my fingers on the home row of the keyboard.  My oldest daughter, aka The Bug has a very close friend who was stricken with Lyme Disease, that landed him in the hospital with Lyme Meningitis for over a week.  Visits to the hospital became our priority.  In the days following his discharge, he pretty much took up partial residence in our home while his parents returned to work.  I have been racing at a snail's pace to pull together our school curriculum and re-organize our classroom for the upcoming year.   I am longing for one of those "daily to do for school in a box" curriculum at the moment.  At times like this, I have to ask myself, "why did I ever give those up"?  Then our home was plagued with Strep, Scarlett Fever and double ear infections.  Last, but certainly not least, we were picked as the runners up in a photo contest to win tickets to the LIVE Stand Up to Cancer telethon in LA on September 7, 2012.  Thus, my writing has been.....natta...nothing...placed on the back burner on the blog stove to forever simmer away until I can get to it again.
I do have a few posts "partially" written.  They sit as drafts, waiting for my fingers to find the right keys to complete them.  They will be here soon.  I promise!  Until then, please accept this FILLER post, which may do nothing else but change the way my home page looks! 
Until a real post makes it way here....Lumpy Out

Thursday, July 26, 2012


"Mom, Mommmmmmmmmmmmmm.....Mommmmy, I need milk.  Mom, Mommmmmmy I need popcorn!!! Mom, Mommmy, Mom I have to go poop!  Mom, she is not sharing!  Mom, MOM, MOM, MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMY she took my toy!  Mom, mom, I want to watch Dora.  Mom, I changed my mind, I want to watch Pinky, Dinky Doo!  Mom, Mom, Mommmmmmmmy!!! Mom, can we have ice cream?"  "  I am picking up a wet towel and bathing suit off the floor for the tenth time, vacuuming the rice from the rice table spilled on the rug for the 100th time, and making a peanut butter sandwich.   Then watching my ten year old up on the counter emptying the snack cabinet of good sugary treats, spilling them all over the counter and while the tea pot is boiling over on the stove.  "Mom, is this a dinosaur??? Mom, is this a dinosaur tail? Mom, why is there a dinosaur in here? Mom, can I have milk now?"  I remembered that I promised my husband a bowl of ice cream 20 minutes ago, I  take the ice cream out but the door of the freezer didn't close for some reason.  Suddenly there is a crash and the sound of 50 frozen chicken nuggets falling on to the floor.  I scramble to beat the dog to the pile of frozen "doggie goodies"!  I don't make it.  The dog is swallowing frozen nuggets as fast as he can wrap his little doggie mouth around them.    I believe I have reached my limit.  I am done, cooked, fried, baked like a potato.   I decide it is time for a mini retreat to my throne room of somewhat solitude.  I can at least lock the door.  They can still knock.  I can still hear the M word through the hollow wood door.  However, I am alone, even for a brief moment.  I am alone. 

I reach for my a book from my private stash in the throne room.  It is not often I get to look at anything other then home school text books or level 1 readers.  I pick up a pick with a rather long title "Hanging on by the Scratch Marks My Nails Left Behind(Raw Faith)," by Elizabeth Chalker.  Elizabeth is a woman who has been plagued by debilitating illness for many years, she is often alone in a dark apartment, confined to her bed.  The book I am reading is a book of devotions of sort or her memoirs.  I randomly open to page number 402, I see the bold text FAMILY .  I chuckle.  Ha, ha....family.  Then I read these words, "What it must be like to have a husband and children-to love and be loved, a cohesive unit, connected by Him with a three braided cord where such oneness makes the ache of missing someone and wanting to be with someone so profound that the only remedy for such pain and emptiness is to be with the one who creates such to begin with.   I get such a "crisp, winter day with a clear blue sky, sun shining brightly, and fresh clean air feeling, as I imagine a family of my own.  I wonder what it is truly like to have children - these tremendously wonderful gifts-to love in that way-soaking in all of who they are and being part of who they become.   What a glorious blessing and miracle-of which I wonder if I will ever have the opportunity to receive."

I sigh.  I look up.  "You did that on purpose, didn't you?" I ask.  I already know the answer.  Of course He did.  

Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

I close the book.  I thank Him for my reminder, for my children and my husband. I say a prayer for Elizabeth and those women in similar situations, that may not ever experience the joy of their own children. 

 Blessings??? YES! 100% percent the best blessings the Lord has ever bestowed upon this lumpy piece of clay!!!  When I open the door, I step over the balled up towel on the floor.  I find my two girls engrossed in a bey blade battle in the playroom.  I crunch over the rice that has found its way to the floor again, and sit next to them.  "Can I play with you guys?" I ask.  "YES, MOMMY!!!" 

If you are familiar with bey blades....."3, 2, 1 LET IT RIP!!!"

Lumpy Out!

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Bug

When I started this blog, my intention was to write about the many facets of my life from my view on the potter's wheel.  My intention was to have some humor to go along with my many stories of being a VERY lumpy piece of clay.  However, due to the death of a friend and some other VERY DEEP insights, I have gotten somewhat side tracked.    I have been shocked at the sheer number of hits I have gotten already on this blog from 9 different countries, even though I only have 13 likes on my face book page (hint, hint...there is a link at the top of the page).    I haven't posted anything yet about my children, home schooling, being a military family or being the crazy ADHD woman that I strive to be!  So in light of that, tonight I am just going to brag on one of my brilliant daughters! 

Unfortunately I have seen first hand on other blogs the negative consequences of posting pictures of your children and their real names. So on my blog, you won't ever see an actual picture of my children or their names.  They will be known to you, as we call them in our house as the Bug and the Monkey.  The Bug is my oldest daughter of 10 years of age and the Monkey is 4 years old.  They could be identical twins if not for the 6 years of age difference.  However, looks are the ONLY thing these two wonderful creatures have in common!

  Bug has been an all out tomboy from the moment she could voice her opinion about her utter dislike for dresses or anything in the pink family.  Since she was two, she has played with legos, trucks, worms, mud and nerf guns.    She would rather put a frog on her head (which she has done),  then to ever wear a dress.  However, even as a die hard tomboy, she has the most gentle and caring spirit of anyone I have ever met.  She will do just about anything for anyone to make someone happy.  She is willing to give up luxuries in life to help someone else or raise money for a cause.    She is a sensitive soul, who would rather sit and snuggle with any member of her family then to watch a TV marathon of the Power Rangers.  Well............hmmmmm.....maybe not, I will have to rethink that last statement.

 She currently has her green belt in karate and will often be seen performing kempos, combos and forms while we are grocery shopping.   She is extremely small for her age and has struggled with many learning issues.  Those learning issues and how we have worked them out, will be discussed on another post.   She also is a very talented artist of many mediums, and recently has developed a love for cake decorating and puppetry.   I believe if I had to pick only one thing that I love about home schooling Bug, is that I have the opportunity to explore these hobbies and interests with her.  I am so blessed that I can take the time with her, to develop these skills and to watch her face as she pours her heart into a project.  I will admit NOW that  I am so boldly SHOWING OFF  as I post these awesome pictures of her latest cake designs!!! Everything you see on the cakes are edible because they are sculpted out of chocolate or fondant (except for the candles and chopsticks).  Brag, brag, brag....yes, I am!  Did I mention she is only 10?

The crazy cake
Sushi Cake

Frog Family Cake
First Fruits Cake

First Fruits Cake
Karate Demo Team Cake

What I meant to say

  In regards to my post called "Is He first?"    I have had a few people say some things that made me realize that maybe I was not clear about what my point was in this post. I am certainly NOT saying that only the poor and desolate can put God first. I am certainly NOT saying if you are wealthy, you are NOT a good Christian. I was talking about your heart attachment to "stuff", not your actual accumulation of stuff. I was mostly speaking of my own "attachments" to my riches. The question in my mind is "if I had to give it all up to follow God's leading for my life, could I?" Am I too attached to wanting more "stuff" that I am not giving God my FIRST?

   It is EASY to say that I could or that I do, but do I really do it in reality? In regard to things other then material belongings, do I just squeeze in a scripture reading once a week or do I truly take the time to spend with the Lord on a daily basis? Do I get so caught up in the business of life ( taking care of my house, my children, my husband), that I don't take the time to spend with the Lord on a regular basis? Do I truly seek what He wants for my life or do I let my own self center-ness control what I do, buy, and say? I hope that clarifies what I meant! Please remember that these are only the random ramblings of a lumpy piece of clay. I am only rambling here from the potter's wheel, I am NOT judging or putting the desires or the thoughts of my heart onto anyone else. It is just what I am thinking about! 

Matthew 13:44-46
44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
I found this quote as a meditation on the above scripture:

"Discovering God's kingdom is like stumbling across hidden treasure or finding the one pearl of great price. When we discover the kingdom of God we receive the greatest possible treasure -- the Lord himself. Selling all that we have to obtain this incomparable treasure could mean many things -- our friends, job, our "style of life", what we do with our free time. Treasure has a special connection to the heart, the place of desire and longing, the place of will and focus. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure. In this parable what does the treasure of the kingdom refer to? It certainly refers to the kingdom of God in all its aspects. But in a special way, the Lord himself is the treasure we seek for. If the Almighty is your gold and your precious silver, then you will delight yourself in the Almighty (Job 22:22-23). Is the Lord the treasure and delight of your heart? "  from www.rc.net

Lumpy Out!

P.S.  I am in process of writing some home school and mothering posts!  I have not forgotten that I promised those!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is He First?

Original Image from Proverbs 31 Ministries

Jesus, my All in All.  A friend asked me today "Are you putting HIM first in your life? Before your husband, before your children, before your stuff?"  As I sat there proudly boasting my "I AM SECOND" bracelet as I just got out of my van with the "I AM SECOND" bumper sticker on it, I thought "Yeah, yes, yes I am!!!".   Our conversation then took us across many other topics, all the while, the Lord ever so gently tapping me on the shoulder and whispering in my ear. "Am I REALLY first?" He whispered.  "OF COURSE LORD!!!" I boldly retorted. 

Then He ever so gently reminded me of some recent "things" I have said, done or thought about.  A few days ago, I posted on my personal Facebook page: "You will never hear me complain about the heat, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Summer".   He reminded me that yes I do love summer, but it is easy not to complain about the heat when you are typing this blog post in an air conditioned room, have a lake to jump in a few hundred yards away, have fresh COLD water coming out of your tap into a cup that you have filled with ice from you electric freezer, and your husband is in the process of setting up a small personal pool for you and your children.   He reminded me how he has been prompting me to go on a mission trip to Kenya to visit a school for over 450 children that live where there is no running water, no toilets, no air conditioning,  and if they are blessed to eat one meal a day. Will you love Summer when the heat makes the stench of the raw sewage fill the air and into your pores?  Do you think you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Summer when you are in those conditions?     I will admit, I won't.  Do you know that the people that run that school and the children that live there, have absolutely NOTHING?  Do you know that THEY always put the LORD first and foremost?   He is their EVERYTHING. 

 He reminded me how He showed me a family recently that lost everything, including a mother/wife, an entire life's work and over two million dollars.  Although they lost everything, they were more at peace that any other family I ever met.   When they lost everything,  they put only one thing in their line of vision.  They didn't weep for the "stuff", they clung to the ONLY thing that can give us hope and peace.  It is not the "stuff" of this world that will ever give us that kind of peace.  They only turned to the ONE who gave them the "stuff" to begin with.  They now travel around in a camper, ministering to other people all over the east coast of the United States with their music, dance and glorious testimony. They even said that they had no idea when the last recession happened in our country, because they are not dependent on anything monetary or of this world.    They don't need "stuff", they have HIM.  

Then He reminded me of another blogger that I have been following for a while.  She is a fellow homeschooler, but more of the nomadic type.  She and her husband gave up everything they owned to live a nomadic lifestyle with their five beautiful children.  They sometimes went for many days with no electricity, took baths in a metal bucket heated over a fire and lived on the road.  They gave up all of their "stuff" to live free and follow Him.  They lived this lifestyle for the past several years.  However, in a horribly sad and sudden incident, their youngest child of 6 months drowned in a river and his father is being charged with murder.   WHAT? You scream, WHAT????  Yes, it is true.  Over the last few weeks I have been reading through my own tears, as her raw emotions pour onto a computer screen.  Guess who she is turning to in this storm?  As she blogs her way through her tragedy with so much pure love and confidence of where her baby boy is IN GLORY, she has gotten an onslaught of nasty remarks and comments.  However, she has found her peace and refuge in the ONLY one who can give it to her.  She has no "stuff", she can't turn to her husband, she can't turn to the world, she can only turn to the ONE.

My friend had asked me if God was first when I was going through my battle with cancer.  I said "Absolutely.  However, HE just was THERE.  It was easy.  I didn't make a conscious decision to put Him first then, He JUST WAS FIRST."  She said, "Well, He is still THERE.  Why isn't He first now?"   Hmmmmm....why?  I don't know.  It was easy when I first became a believer too, when He pulled me from such a pit of darkness and despair.  My testimony how He delivered me from that pit, however, is a story for another time. 

  Do you think it is easier when you are in a storm?  Is it easier when you have to cling to Him when your life DEPENDS on it?   Oh, how easy it is for me to SAY  that He is FIRST and the MOST IMPORTANT thing in my life,  when everything is going good.    It is easy to SAY that Jesus is First, as I am tethered to my husband, my children, my home, my "stuff" and the things of this world.    

  As I was just finishing that last sentence, the thunder just sounded loudly out my window, I panicked for a moment thinking the power might go out. HA, HA....so dependent on my "stuff".

My "stuff",  aka known as power, is probably about to go out for a while, so I will finish up.   In my heart of hearts, I want to put the Lord first.  However, I would be lying if I said I wanted to go through any of the storms I mentioned to be able to accomplish it.  I pray that He shows me how to AXE through the tether of my "stuff" (stole that line from my pastor...) and be completely and 100% dependent on Him, even when I am not in a storm.  I want HIM to BE first, not for me just to SAY He is first.   I pray the same for each and every set of eyes that are reading this.

Until my power is restored.....Lumpy Out!

****Addendum to this post: 7/20/12:   I have had a few people say some things that made me realize that maybe I was not clear about what my point was in this post.   I am certainly NOT saying that only the poor and desolate can put God first.  I am certainly NOT saying if you are wealthy, you are NOT a good Christian.  I was talking about your heart attachment to "stuff", not your actual accumulation of stuff.  I was mostly speaking of my own "attachments" to my riches.  The question in my mind is "if I had to give it all up to follow God's leading for my life, could I?"  Am I too attached to wanting more "stuff" that I am not giving God my FIRST?   It is EASY to say that I could or that I do, but do I really do it in reality?   In regard to things other then material belongings, do I just squeeze in a scripture reading once a week or do I truly take the time to spend with the Lord on a daily basis?  Do I get so caught up in the business of life ( taking care of my house, my children, my husband), that I don't take the time to spend with the Lord on a regular basis?   Do I truly seek what He wants for my life or do I let my own self center-ness control what I do, buy, and say?  I hope that clarifies what I meant!  Please remember that these are only the random ramblings of a lumpy piece of clay.  I am only rambling here from the potter's wheel, I am NOT judging or putting the desires or the thoughts of my heart on anyone else.  It is just what I am thinking about! 

P.S.  If you want to know more about the ministry I AM SECOND... here is the link  http://www.iamsecond.com/   or if you want to learn more about the family of musicians I spoke of, here is that link http://theskys.org/  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So it's Tuesday

Addendum to this post: I first published this last Tuesday night.  The next morning, I read it again and decided to delete it because of lack of  "substance" and "inspiration".  I read it to my husband the other night.  He said that he actually enjoyed it and I should not delete it.  Today, a fellow blogger posted "Random Weekend Thoughts".   I was inspired by that post.  I am writing for me and my Lord.  If my readers enjoy my posts, that is AWESOME.  Obviously that is what I want from this blog.  However, if no one jumps up and down with inspiration after reading this post, then that is okay as well.   This particular post is about my dependence of the Holy Spirit in my writing.  My "inspirational" posts are totally dependent on the Lord.  However, I have decided it is OKAY to post just my random thoughts or ideas.   So this is one of those posts.  Read on if you want.  If not, that is okay too! -Lumpy-

When I first started this blog (many, many moons ago) about 3 weeks ago, I made a commitment to myself and to the Lord that I would write at least one post a week.  I decided that Tuesdays would be a good day.  Why Tuesday?  Your guess is as good as mine!  It sounded like a reasonable goal at the time.   So here I am, on a Tuesday night, with the rest of my family snoring away, the blank computer screen staring at me......  my fingers poised so eloquently over home row. 

It is waiting.  The keyboard is waiting.  Waiting for some flash of brilliance to pour from my fingertips on to the page.  It is not happening. Sigh.   Every post until now has truly been Holy Spirit inspired.  I could feel the Holy Spirit pouring out each and every word from my finger tips.  Ummmm....calling the Holy Spirit.......are you here?   A little help here........... ummmmmm.....

I hope you know I am joking (well...sort of)!  I know that the Holy Spirit didn't go off on some vacation to Maui or anything.  I know that He/It resides in me 24/7!  However, maybe He/It is on a coffee break?

So as I was typing the above words, this scripture came to me..... I am sure I am applying it totally inappropriately, but it made me smile.

John 3: 6-8 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

Apparently at the moment I,  "cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going"........

So I, LUMPY,  being of NOT so sound mind, and  feeling a little mischievous at the moment, will officially post this entry on TUESDAY.  I am keeping my word.  I am keeping my commitment.   However, I can not in good faith post anything truly meaningful or awe inspiring, while I am of the mind that I think the Holy Spirit is on a coffee break. 

Until the coffee break is over OR next Tuesday....Lumpy Out

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Legacy of Love

Proverbs 31: 28  
Her children arise and call her blessed;
Image from www.thestarlitecafe.com  

I was lost in my thoughts, tears streaming down my face.  "When I die, I hope my children will feel that way about me.  Will they?  Will they be able to say those type of things about what I (Mom), taught them?"  I know, it is probably a little morbid to be thinking about the day my children are standing before a podium in front of a crowd (well I hope there is a crowd anyway), saying good bye to me at my memorial service.   As morbid as it sounds, it  was one of the many things I was thinking about during my friend Linda's memorial service yesterday.    As I described in my last few posts, Linda passed away from cancer on June 24, 2012.  Yesterday was her memorial service.  Linda and I had that special bond that only people who have been battling cancer together can have.   I can't say we were really close.  I can't say that I knew her as much as I wish I did.  I am closer to her adult children, then I was to Linda.  However, after listening to her daughters describe the intimate relationship they had with their mother, I truly wish I took more time to get to know her heart.  

They described the feisty, rebellious and intense way about her, but also all the things that she pressed into their hearts.  As the above scripture describes, her children arose and called her blessed. Her daughter Liz listed so many things that she learned from her mom, I wish I had written them all down.  She taught them to always wish on a shooting star, always get down on your hands and knees and play with little children, to find a child's laughter contagious, to never worry about things because God is in control, to never grow up or take life to seriously, to always share and give your everything to others, that their beauty is on the inside not outward appearances, to always say "I Love You" and to be strong and courageous women.   Wow.  

After the service, one of Linda's cousins described her to me; "she had an image in her heart of how she was going to raise her children, and she could care less if everyone on the planet disagreed with her".  She was an early rebel of the traditional education system, and home schooled her children before home schooling was thought to be kind of "cool".  Whatever rebellious ways that society thought she had, in my opinion, she certainly did it right by her children and the Lord. 

 As I listened, I was making mental notes.  I want to be that kind of mother to my children.  I want to make a lasting impression on their hearts.  I pray that God uses me while He is molding, throwing, shaping and spinning my two little lumps of clay.  I pray that every day I press love and lessons into their little beings.  However, don't get me wrong, I know that Linda was not perfect.  I KNOW that I am and always will be a FAR, FAR cry  from the "perfect Proverbs 31 mother".    As I am typing, I am reminded of my recent Facebook post:  
"Seriously....if someone video taped me today, they would lock me up in a straight jacket and force an IV drip of Ritalin and Xanex!!!! Wow..." 

It is true. There are many days that I exist on chaos.  I wonder if I am making a difference in their lives?  Do the daily challenges and the mundane tasks of motherhood  prevent me from being the mom that they deserve? There are days when I fail at "playing" with my children, because my ADHD and chaos keeps me occupied in daily household chores.  Existing in my ADHD and chaotic world does not always lend itself to being anything that remotely resembles the  "Proverbs 31 wife and mother".   I often find that I put the pancakes away in the silverware drawer instead of the refrigerator or spend 45 minutes looking  for my cell phone only to find it was in my hand because I was talking on it.  There are more days then not that my girls are wearing mixed matched socks and a dirty shirt.   How can I teach my girls how to be GREAT, when I am barely I can barely get out of my own way? 

Then there are days that I am chasing two laughing lumps of clay down a sandy beach and playing in the salty waves.  There are days that I lose count on how many times my girls throw their arms around my neck just to tell me that they love me.  There are days that I watch their little faces brighten when the "light bulb" goes on during a lesson.  There are days that I KNOW that God hand picked me to be their Mommy. I know that this is where the Lord has planted me.  I will be committed to "blooming" where I am planted.  If making endless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is what the Lord has called me to do, then I will make the BEST PB & J's that I am capable of making in this season of my life.   I am the gardener and they are the seeds, and I will tend to the garden that the Lord has entrusted to me.   I think that is what my friend Linda got right.  I think she raised her children as she believed the Lord led her. She might not have been the perfect mom, but she was committed to instilling a love and a faith of Jesus in their hearts.   It is because of that love and faith, all the other things were absorbed like water in a big sponge. 

A quote from one of my favorite books, Mothers of Influence says this,   "Our mothers are our first teachers. They teach us to eat with a spoon, wash our hands and share our toys.  But first and foremost, our mothers are the keepers of the flame of our faith, teaching us to know, love and serve God. Their influence in our lives is too valuable to calculate.  The ripples of that influence through the generations are inestimable".

Thank you Lord for Linda's legacy of faith and love that will forever dwell in the hearts of her children and her grandchildren.  May her lessons ripple through the generations of her family line.  Thank you for entrusting my precious children to me, even though I am a lumpy, bumpy, chaotic, ADHD piece of clay.  May I seek the Lord's  guidance every day, in even the most mundane tasks like matching socks.

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is calling to be made....so until next time...Lumpy Out..

Monday, June 25, 2012

A time...

Ecclesiastes3:1-4 – To every thing there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.

I have a zillion blog posts swirling in my head that need to find their way to the keyboard.  However, this mornings post is only to say goodbye to a friend, who lost her battle last night.  It is not time for a post, it is time to grieve.  This picture was taken by Long Island Sound this morning, right near the hospice center where died.  This picture gave me such peace to see PINK lightning right in the area that she walked through the gate to Heaven.
Picture by Kelly McGuire

until another time....when it is time to post....
Lumpy Out

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stop that truck! The license plate said G-U-I-L-T

Proverbs 17:22 - "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." 

   The other day, I started a blog post about having joy and laughter during my cancer journey.  It is based on the above scripture and is chock full of laughable funny moments from my journey.  Then I spent a day in a place I have never been in my life.  A friend of mine Mother is dying from cancer.   She is most likely in the last day's of her life right now at Yale's Cancer Hospital.  So as I was walking through the halls of the Cancer Hospital, a 18 wheel truck somehow got in the building and ran me down. All I saw was the license plate with the big letters G-U-I-L-T.

  It was the first time in 2 1/2 years, I felt GUILTY for being a cancer survivor.  I was so OVERWHELMED with this feeling that it took my breath away.  For the last 2 1/2 years I have proudly worn my purple survivor shirts, donned my survivor pins/ribbons and had my survivor rock in my car.  I was proud to have survived this horrible illness.  Then came the TRUCK.  My head was filled with guilt and shame as I looked in each room.  People who looked so small, curled into uncomfortable positions on these huge hospital beds,  things beeping,  and tubes connecting them to at least 5 machines.  All these people are in the last days of their own cancer battle and the families by their sides grieving the coming loss.  These people are no different then me!  Why did I survive and they aren't?  I have nothing to be "proud" of!!!! What a jerk I have been!   Oh man, did those thoughts take over my head and worse...took over my heart.
For the last two days, I have been allowing those thoughts consume me.  It has not been a fun battle. 

Finally, I confessed these thoughts to a very wise friend of mine.  She said in quite a firm voice (it may have even been a slight yell) "YOU HAVE TO GO BACK TO HIS SOVEREIGN PLAN!!!  You are here for His PURPOSE.  They are there for HIS PURPOSE.  Each person, survivor or not, is playing out their own roles and purpose in LORDS SOVEREIGN PLAN.  God is NOT the author of GUILT!  So STOP it right now and fulfill your purpose."  Okay.  It is not so easy to do.  When the G-U-I-L-T creeps into my soul, I have to say SHUT UP and go back to see His Sovereign plan for my life and those around me.

For less spiritual counsel, I talked to my wonderful oncologist at my follow up appointment yesterday.  His take on it was that, what I experienced is similar to that of a PTSD survival guilt.  He explained that we as a society are charting new discoveries in cancer and the feelings associated with cancer survivorship.  Never before in history has there been more people surviving this horrific disease.  This is a GREAT thing.   He said that my Joy during my battle was contagious and it DID impact many of the people I met along my journey.  I should not take that Joy lightly.  He also said,  unfortunately there are thousands of people dying every day from cancer and if you succumb to that reality and pain for each and every life, you will be forever lost in sorrow.    There are also  thousands of people surviving every day.  There are also thousands of babies being born each day.  You must move forward with each wonderful day that you are allowed to be here.  

  Funny thing about God, He always gives you the right person or right scripture at the right time to remind us of His plan and purpose for us.  As I said above, my "draft post" about Joy had the scripture from Proverbs, but also in the draft it had another one that I was sure how I was going to apply it to my "funny" post, but I copied and pasted it just in case I figured something out.  As I was writing THIS post, I remembered it.

 "Nehemiah said, 'Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.'"   Nehemiah 8:10

I may NEVER know why God allowed me to win my cancer battle and not allow my friends mom and thousands of others not to to win theirs.  However, I do believe he has a plan for each and every one of us.   So I will do my best not to grieve, but to SHARE my "food, sweet drinks and JOY" with those who have nothing prepared.  My strength, my survival and my JOY only comes from the author and giver of life.  I can not feel guilty for being alive.  I just have to make sure I give credit to the one who deserves it, not myself!  I have to make sure that I am thankful for each day He gives me to share His LOVE and His JOY.   I must seek His face and His purpose for each remaining day I have here in this earthly body.

Lumpy Out....

PS If you enjoy reading my posts,  please LIKE my FB page, so I don't have to keep posting on my personal page too!  Don't want to overwhelm people double posts LOL  Here is link to page:


Friday, June 15, 2012

This is ABSURD....you can stop the wheel now!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Really God?  I know I have some lumps and impurities to work out, but do you really need to KNEAD me this hard?  My first reaction was to laugh.  It was just absurd!  ABSURD!!!  "Works for the good of those who love Him.....HA! Yeah right!"  Yes, I really did think that.  Yes, I really did laugh at the absurdity of it.   I had really believed those words from Romans 8:28 for the last year, while I prepared myself and my two young girls for my husband's deployment.   We had read scripture, gone to counseling as a family, enlisted help and prayer from our church family, and planned out an entire year of activities while he would be away.   I wasn't going to enjoy the year, but I was well prepared and I truly believed that it ultimately would "work for the good".   So, it was just ABSURD that I was hearing the words "You have cancer", only one month after my husband left for the Middle East. "Okay Lord, what the heck are you thinking?  How is this going to work for the good?"  It was so so absurd, I laughed out loud.   

My husband left for deployment on August 9, 2009.  Sometime during the end of August, I noticed a lump at my sock line on my left leg.  I brushed it off as still being fat after the birth of my second child (it was a year and half later, but it sounded good to me at the time).   I always hated my thick ankles.  I was never able to wear one of those delicate anklets that graced the legs of many women.   So now I had more reason to hate my ankles, one was bigger then the other!!!   A couple of weeks went by and the lump continued to grow steadily.  While at a check up for my girls, I mentioned it to their Pediatrician.   She sent me over to her husbands office (he was my Doctor).   First I had an x ray, which didn't show anything abnormal.  They decided to be diligent and send me for an ultrasound the next day.   When the call came in with the results, I laughed.  They were 99% sure that I had something called a "Soft Tissue Sarcoma".  Cancer.  Absurd.  I had CANCER during my husbands deployment. ABSURD. Boy, did I want to jump off this stupid potter's wheel at that moment!  I think I had just about enough of being shaped, molded and spun around.  Thank you very much.  Lord, you can stop the wheel now, I am ready to get off!!! Again, I say ABSURD!

The next few days were a blur.  In hindsight, God was working for the Good.  It was hard to see at first glance.  In the next few posts, I will share all the blessings he poured out on me during one of the most difficult year of my life. We often hear people say that the God of the Bible no longer works miracles.  I mean, really, when was the last time you saw a sea parting in two or a person being raised from the dead?  Those "big" miracles don't seem to happen these days.  However, I learned in my cancer journey that He is still the God of miracles, He does have His hands on every tiny detail of our lives, and His angels are ever present with us each day.  I say that, not because I was cured of my cancer, but because I witnessed first hand His  presence with me every single day throughout my battle.  

So do you believe "that in all things God works for the good of those who love him"??   Before you answer quickly during a "blessing" time in your life, think to a time that seemed so far removed from any obvious blessing. Remember a time in your life that you may have lost a loved one, went through a divorce, or a horrific illness.  Maybe you are are in one of those times right now.  If you are, you probably are wishing you could get your hands on me, so you could pound the crap out of this piece of clay who is talking about "the good"!!  It is okay.  I would have wanted to pound me too, if I read this blog that day!  Are you or were you able to see past the pounding, kneading, painful throws of your clay,  to what could be a beautiful, purposeful clay jar?   It is not easy to see what He is doing while you (the clay) are being molded by the Potter. Why? Because it hurts and it makes no sense to us.  However the saying goes...

Only GOD can turn a MESS into a MESSage, a TEST into a TESTimony, a TRIal into a TRIumph, a VICTim into a VICTory. GOD is GOOD…

He can actually do that.  It is not easy to see during the painful process of being molded, pulled, broken and thrown around on His wheel.    However, if you look closely enough, you will see His fingerprints on the clay of your heart, especially during the hardest times of your life.

 image from http://sadieyates.blogspot.com

Until next time....Lumpy out....

Thursday, June 14, 2012

They call me Lumpy!

Since this is my first entry in "The Lumpy Clay Chronicles", I suppose an explanation of the blog name is in order.  First off, let be clear on one thing,  I am a not a potter. I know nothing about pottery or making pottery. Once, in my early twenties, I took an official pottery class.  I was REALLY bad at making anything useful out of clay,  Everything I tried to make just fell in on itself back into a lump.  Aside from being a bad potter, I got kicked out of a class for making an "off color" joke.  As soon as the joke left my lips, I knew the instructor and the "older, wiser, and skilled potters" did not appreciate my humor.  I don't think most of my readers will appreciate the joke either, so I will spare you the details.    Okay, I wasn't OFFICIALLY kicked out, it was only  a "suggestion" that maybe I wasn't cut out for pottery. I left class with three very lumpy paper weights.

Around the same time as my experimenting in the world of pottery, I was a college student who had just lost a great deal of weight on Weight Watchers.  My friends and I went shopping for some spandex pants (LOL it was the late 80's, spandex was all the rage).  Anyway.....in my new thinner body, I excitedly tugged and pulled a pair of shiny, black spandex pants over my legs.  Much to my dismay, when I looked in the mirror, instead of a sleek, smooth spandex figure staring back at me, all I saw was LUMPY.  In a moment I would regret, I expressed this adjective describing myself  to all of my friends.  The name stuck.  For the next 10 years, I was known only as LUMPY. Ironically, many years later, my name came back to haunt me when I became LUMPY with cancer (that however, is for another post).  

 So how did I come up with the name "The Lumpy Clay Chronicles?"  I am SO glad you asked!!!  The blog title is based on two scriptures that mean a lot to me.

 "Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand."  Isaiah 64:8

image borrowed from Danny61@wordpress.com  

      "We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure." 2 Corinthians 4:7a 

  I am only a lumpy piece of clay in the Potter's hands. My lumps and bumps have shaped me into a somewhat funny, ADHD, right brained, chaotic, eclectic,  cancer surviving, homeschooling mom of two wonderful girls, and wife to an American Soldier. I am trying to  live my life as a lump of clay waiting for His hands to mold me and shape me into what He wants me to be. On the few occasions I was almost a "jar"!!! I was so close.  However, similar to my own pottery experience of the clay falling in on itself to become a lumpy paper weight, I did the same thing!   I chose to  jump off the potter's wheel,  creating many cracks in my pottery. However, He loves me enough to pick me up and place me back on the wheel time after time.  So here I am, blogging world!!!  Are you ready?  I have many tales from my view here on the Potter's Wheel.  I hope you enjoy reading them, as much as I enjoy writing them.    I have stocked up on my Dramamine.  I get a little motion sick when trying to type and spin at the same time.