Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I'll spare you the gory details, because I care deeply about all my readers (hey, that's just the kind of gal I am ;). But I will say this...Stomach bugs and small children, when combined, make for a very gross, smelly, exhausting day. Not a lot of fun.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Apple-y Day

This weekend we kicked off our love of Fall with our yearly pilgrimage to Ellijay in Gilmer County, the apple capital of Georgia. Every year since Isabel was a baby, we've gone to Hillcrest Orchards, where we enjoy wagon rides, pig races, a petting farm, watching cloggers, and stuffing our faces with all sorts of yummy goodness. A favorite treat of mine are the hot homemade apple cider doughnuts. Oh. My. Lord. I could eat my weight in those things. And usually do.

This year was the first year we actually picked our own apples. The girls are big enough to help us now. They had so much fun. We were even joined by some friends from church, Aimee and her lovely sister, Zinnia, and their kids. A good time was had by all!

As is also our custom, after visiting the apple orchard, we headed on over to Poole's Bar-B-Q, which, in my opinion, is the gold standard of barbecue. Trust me, you don't get barbecue like this anywhere near here. It's a shame we have to drive almost 2 hours to get it. Then again, seeing as how I lack the inner self-control for things like flan and apple cider doughnuts, that's probably a good thing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Way-Yay-ting is the Hardest Part

Waiting is a theme near and dear to my heart. Hence the name of this here blog. It seems I spend a good portion of my walk with the Lord waiting on Him, waiting for Him to move. Waiting for something to happen, waiting on an answer to prayer, or for a circumstance to change. However, I don't hear very many preachers talk about waiting much these days. I don't think it's a very popular subject. Funny, when you consider the fact that King David included the phrase "Wait for the Lord" in SEVERAL of the psalms that he wrote. Frankly, we don't like waiting. Waiting is hard. It's not fun. To us, it implies inactivity. Stagnation. I think we live in a society where we've come to expect instant results. And if we don't see immediate results, explosive growth, and huge impact we automatically (and incorrectly, might I add) assume that something is wrong. We want everything instant, fast, and easy. Instant oatmeal. Instant grits. Minute Rice. Quick Trip. Fast food. Easy Mac. I was just complaining to the Lord yesterday that no matter what we go through, the results that He seems to bring us come slowly, painfully, and sometimes in minute increments. Hard, slow, small. My question to Him then became, "Can we ever have something BIG, FAST, and EASY???" My mother and I once remarked how the "waiting for your ship to come in" dream that we often have in life is frequently fulfilled, not by a cruise liner filled with glorious riches, but rather a tugboat packed, seemingly haphazardly, enough with a just day's rations. And yet, that faithful little tugboat always comes.

Some might say my faith is too small. It may be. I won't try to argue that, because I can't tell you if it is or isn't. It's my faith, so it's really all I know. But what I think, is that it's not necessarily the size of my faith that matters (see Matthew 17:20), but rather where my faith lies. Namely, is it in God or in my circumstances? Is it in God or in myself? What He can do through me or what I erroneously think I can do for Him? Is it in the tugboat...or the Captain Who remembers me and graciously sends it in my direction?

This is what the Lord keeps bringing me back to: Keeping my eyes steadily fixed upon Himself. Upon His goodness. Upon His faithfulness. Upon His Joy. His peace. Not what He can do for me, but rather Who He is. This is why Paul could say "For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:11-13, NIV). That's how Paul could survive being shipwrecked, imprisoned, beaten, etc., with his faith still intact. And it certainly makes waiting all the more bearable.

I hear too much about "doing." Too much. What I don't hear enough about is waiting. I felt the Father speak to me this morning as I read these words from my Streams in the Desert devotional that,

"...the Spirit requires not only a service of work but also a service of waiting. I came to see that in the kingdom of Christ, there are not only times for action but times to refrain from action. And I also came to learn that a place of isolation is often the most useful place of all in this diverse world. It's harvest is more rich than the seasons when the corn and wine were the most abundant...Dear Holy Spirit, my desire is still to be led by You. Nevertheless, my opportunities for usefulness seem to be disappointed, for today the door appears open into a life of service for You but tomorrow it closes before me just as I am about to enter. Teach me to see another door even in the midst of the inaction of this time. Help me to find, even in the area of service where You have closed a door, a new entrance into Your service. Inspire me with the knowledge that a person may sometimes be called to serve by doing nothing, by staying still, or by waiting. And when I remember the power of Your 'gentle whisper' (1 Kings 19:12), I will not complain that sometimes the Spirit allows me not to go.--George Matheson

There is no place, I would rather be, Lord, than waiting for You. What else is there, really? Anything else is just an illusion.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You Know You Need To Get Out More...

When you start to develop a crush on these guys. Their show totally rocks, BTW. Their music is the most non-annoying brand of kids' music I've ever heard. My kids totally love them. And apparently, so do I.

Deactivation Station

For the time being, I have decided to deactivate my Twitter and Facebook accounts. Don't worry. I haven't gone off the deep end. I am just at a place in my life where the Isolation + Facebook + Twitter = Unhealthy Amount of Time Spent on Computer. Don't get me wrong. I am in no way anti-Facebook or Twitter. In fact, I love both of them and have logged many hours on each one. But I really feel that they should be a supplement to your social life, not a substitute. When you wake up one day and realize all your adult interactions are via Cyberspace, it's time to make some changes! Maybe I'll pick them back up later on. But for now, I'm taking a much needed break. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up when you see that Cyber Me has all of a sudden vanished from internet social networking. I'm still here. Still alive. The Waiting Room will go on. But I'll hopefully be interacting with some actual human beings for a change. They may be random homeless people in downtown Winder...But at this point, beggars can't be choosers. Ha!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happiness Is A Warm Couch

Most of you know how I feel about my couch. Well, I must inform you that it looks even worse now. Ren often asks me what would make me happy. I think I've found just the thing.

Great Interview

I am a huge Sara Groves fan. I have been since her album, Conversations, came out in 1999. I have always appreciated her honesty in her songwriting. She's a Christian, but doesn't sugarcoat things. I found this interview with her about two years ago, and it really ministered to me then. I stumbled across it again this morning, and it still blesses me. I find it encouraging to read that others have grappled with questions, and not always had immediate answers. It is also good to be reminded that God is still faithful, even in the midst of questions, doubt, and fear, and He will bring us through whatever storms we are facing. I hope it will inspire you, too.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Playing Hurt

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and I mentioned that I've been intentionally keeping my blog topics pretty fluffy lately. Talking about the weather, DVRs, and the Disney Channel is all pretty safe public forum fodder. You can talk about that stuff and stay pretty guarded. I also mentioned that if I got any deeper or more vulnerable than that, that I'd probably end up scaring or ticking off one or two of the 5 readers that actually frequent the Waiting Room. Truth is, folks, I'm not sure I can keep it up. Allow me some room to vent a little. Warning: Not for the squeamish or easily offended.

To be quite frank, life just sucks right now. There. I said it. You want to know what life with 4 small children ages 5 and under is like? You want to know what it's like with suffocating debt? You want to know what it's like living 30-45 minutes from everything, including the church that you love and helped build and would love to be more involved but simply can't imagine any way to make that happen? It sucks. All of it. Plain and simple. Think: HELL. Now, there are moments of sweetness and cuteness thrown into the mix for grins and giggles, but for the most part it's just plain hard. It's like being in Baby Boot Camp 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no break for lunch. There is no time off. There is no vacation. There is no pay. There is no peace and quiet. Ever. There's never enough sleep. There's never enough time to do...anything. Everything that you've assumed were basic human rights simply...aren't...anymore. I can't eat fast enough. I can't breath fast enough before someone else is needing something from me. Everything I clean needs cleaning 20 minutes later. I cook food for tiny little dictators who hate WHATEVER I put in front of them. I think it's safe to say that the majority of my days are largely joy-less. Good times.

It's Sunday and I'm playing hurt. I have to just keep rolling with the punches. I have to just keep moving. Sundays used to be my favorite day of the week. I loved going to church and serving and feeling like I was a part of something big. Having a purpose. Having a vision. Now, it's just flat-out painful. Painful because we live so far away AND our children are so young...and so many...it's just incredibly difficult to be involved in any capacity, which is our heart. Today, we had to listen to Oliver, who is in the throes of TERRIBLE TWO TEMPER TANTRUM TODDLER-DOM, scream at the top of his lungs for 45 minutes all the way home, even after daddy pulled the vehicle over and gave him an "attitude adjustment." That's a PC way of saying "spanking" for the layperson, by the way.

Nothing is easy right now. Nothing. I feel like I'm in a pressure cooker. Having 4 kids is tough enough as it is. I feel like one of the stressors we are dealing with would be enough to drive anyone insane. But our plates are loaded, and I've never felt so isolated or disconnected in my life. We still have two empty houses in Athens that need to sell. So that's, count 'em, THREE mortgages that we are servicing. With the housing market the way that it is, I realize that it's simply by the grace of God that we haven't foreclosed on any of them yet.

But am I really supposed to be smiling and singing "Hallelujah!" through all of this? I try counting my blessings...daily. We're all healthy. We have food. Clothing. And a roof over our heads. I get it. I try to focus on the things I can be thankful for. I try to see the silver lining--daily. And I am sure that in 5 or 10 years or so, I will be able to look back on this time and see what God is doing. But. Dang. Right now, I just don't. I'm sorry, but I want more. Like maybe...Oh, I don't know...some ENJOYMENT!!!!! I so relate to the Israelites in the wilderness. If I had to eat manna and quail for 40 years, I think I'd be pretty sour, too. They had just seen God miraculously deliver them from the hands of Pharaoh through a series of incredible events, culminating in the parting of the Red Sea. They saw what God could do. They'd seen His power firsthand. What I want to know is, at what point do my complaints start to be valid? How much pain does a person have to be in before it becomes legitimate enough to complain about? At what point does my hurt become real enough to acknowledge? At what point do I have the right to say, "Huh. This kind of sucks." And it actually count?

I literally feel stranded on the side of the road with everyone passing by at a 100 MPH. And here's the thing, I certainly don't expect a bail-out. I'm not looking for solutions. I'm not looking for someone to wave a magic wand over my problems and make them all go away. We are in this situation, and we've got to just power through it. I just need some room to vent. I need some room to say, "EVERYTHING'S NOT OKAY!!!!!!" And for that to be okay.

And you know what? I know that we will be okay. I know that God will pull us through this. Somehow. Being around pain makes uncomfortable. And when someone's hurting, we just want them to stop it. It's a reminder that everything is not right with the world. But what I am learning through all this, is that when someone's hurting, they're not looking for you to say anything or do anything profound. They...I...Anyone who's hurting...All we really want is to know we're not alone. That someone gives a damn. That it's okay to vent a little bit. That is okay to be a frickin' human being. And that someone's listening.

They say pain makes you stronger. Bill Cosby says, "You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it." So, when all is said and done, and we make it through these less than pleasant circumstances, I am expecting to be the strongest and funniest woman alive!

Although, as I write this, Ren is watching a show about living life as conjoined twins, making all of my problems seem all of a sudden so...trivial. Of course!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Fa-all

Well, Fall in Georgia, that is. Meaning that it's been averaging in the 80s. We've had some beautiful weather here in Winder. The kiddos and I have actually gotten to play outside a little bit without the necessary shower and change of clothes afterwards. That's especially nice considering that getting the 5 of us dressed once a day is hard enough as it is! I welcome Fall with open arms. We've been cooped up in the house all summer, so this is a nice breath of fresh air. Pun intended.

Fall is my absolute, 100% favorite season. I love the cooler weather. Cooler weather clothes. The leaves changing colors. Apples. Apple cider. Pumpkins. Hay rides. And holidays that as a Christian, I'm not supposed to like, but totally do. Guilty as charged.

Abby Jean turned 3 months old on the 6th. I'm amazed that we've already reached the 3 month mark with her so fast. In another three months, she'll be 6 months. And in another 3 months will be Christmas. I always say, at the beginning of every September, "Christmas will be here before you know it!" And everyone always looks at me like I am crazy. Well, I may be, but that's beside the point! Mark my words, December will be rolling around in the blink of an eye and you will remember my profound words of wisdom. Naturally.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Have I mentioned that the wonderful, amazing and free DVR that we were given has already crashed? Yeah, it worked for about 12 hours. Well, to be fair, we were given the thing with the knowledge that it needed a new hard drive. And, Ren, forever the unwavering optimist that he is (trust me, it can be maddening!) set it up anyway believing that, somehow, those rules of broken hard drive-ness did not apply in the Buckland Realm of Reality. This awe-inspiring confidence of his has gotten us into trouble in the past. And it seems that we are being challenged with it yet again.

I will give him credit for trying. But now that he's out of town and we are thusly DVR-less, I am left shaking my fists at the heavens shouting "Throw me a frickin' bone!"

In my closet with the door closed while the children are napping, of course.

Everything Nice

Ren is out of town for the week, so I am juggling (literally and figuratively) 4 little ones solo. Let me tell you, it ain't easy. I have to make sure that one or two or three are settled first before I can tend to another one or two or three. This is especially tricky at nap time, bed time, lunch time, when I shower, brush my teeth, take any number of simple trips to the bathroom, any time I breath...or at any other time of day, for that matter. Well, today I had to get Oliver down for his nap. I sat Abigail down in her Bumbo Seat (I highly recommend one if you have a baby) in the middle of the kitchen floor. And this is what I came back to find:

Josephine is turning into quite the little mommy now that she's the oldest kid in the house while Isabel is at school. She even said she made sure to give Abigail "soft food." Now, the "food" was made out of plastic, but it's the thought that counts!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happier Days Are Here Again

I must give a shout out of thanks to Stephen Lowe who just gave us a ReplayTV DVR. He acquired it from the McCollums, so I must say thank you to both families for passing on a perfectly functioning, albeit six-year old piece of technology to a desperate family in need. Which goes to show you that if you complain loud enough, someone might just give you what you want in order to shut you up. And I can back that up with scripture, my friends.

It really is true that one man's garbage is another man's (and woman's) treasure. And by treasure I mean idol. And by idol I mean Ren and I have built a small shrine to our newest member of the family and bow down to it several times a day. Nah, I'm only kidding, but I did almost start crying when we got it up and running.

And how did our kids thank us?

By popping in a 17 year-old movie into the VCR.