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Monday, January 26, 2015

A Dirty Date...

I'm not exactly sure how I managed to talk My Love into this muddy date BUT, I did!!!
This past weekend, we were invited to participate in the Mud Run with our friends as you "run" a 5k course with the one task of being upright on two feet. After days of heavy rain, the BMX bike track was saturated in soggy, puddled-up mud and slippery grass with areas of pond-like puddles as well. Tim was thrilled. (insert sarcasm)
There were race bibs, you did sign a waiver and yes, there was a small group of other crazy people like ourselves that were eager to attempt this course. 
This was an official race!
The first lap, my girlfriend Christie laughed the entire time as Tim muttered happy thoughts which only made it harder to focus on staying vertical. I've never laughed so much during a race! Our shoes were seriously being pulled off as they got stuck in the thick mud then rinsed off as you splashed through deep puddles. The best way to explain my new running stance is arms out like you're walking a balance beam with occasional full arm waving to catch your balance once again. I can't tell you how many times I almost went done and watched others do the same. Addison was there to cheer Mommy and Daddy on as we charged through the bike course. 
In the end, all of us stayed pretty clean in relation to how sloppy the conditions were. Don't look too close at my toenails because I may still have 
leftover mud under a nail or too! 
Now, will My Love ever join me again on this sacrificial day date? Probably not. But, just as me strapping on a motorcycle helmet meets his love language, so does running behind me stomping through the mud.

 { Josh, Cole, Kyle, Christie & the lovely couple pre-race. }

{ The gal in blue mid-fall as she went down! }

{ Almost a mud facial but I managed to recover. }

{ He looks so excited. }

{ Not that dirty? }

Next months "Mud Run" date is February 21st: start time is at noon…
who wants to join me?
Cost is $10 cash...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bald IS Beautiful

Been there; done this twice before. Third times a charm.
Grandma is down three chemotherapy treatments and with that comes hand-full hair loss. That's quite common and Grandma was prepared with a beautiful wig in place along with a few hats. My mom held it together after a brief "I'm going to loose it" moment and continues to be the rock we all love and adore. 
Grandma was ready. So were my clippers….

 { Pre-buzz cut with mom - isn't she pretty?! }

 { Mid-cut; mid-sentence…go figure. }

 { Post-cut with her fashion forward wig. }

We love you so much Grandma! 
I know with your faith as solid as a rock and the family ready to hold you up when you're too weak to stand, we can conquer ANYTHING that comes in our way. 

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised."
Proverbs 31:30

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Purple Onion

It's been a bit since anything with meat has been attempted to be written here at "the broersma five". So, I cheated and copied from the Redeemed website to share a bit of my heart with you. Without disclosing names or information, I ask that you pray with our family today as we receive some heavy news about a family member and make some heavy decisions due to illness. This was written a few weeks back

   This past weekend I was standing over the counter dicing a purple onion. I found my eyes to instantly swell with tears as they burned from the pungent, raw smell of the vegetable. All I needed was a few diced onions and instead found my eyes to 
water hours later. 
Lately, there has been a wave of sadness, frustration and anger that has settled over me. So much so that I've been angry at God and challenged to even open the Bible. I find myself having these conversations in my prayer chair with God over why certain things are happening and feel the urge to fear over tomorrow bubbling up like painful, nasty  heartburn. The cancer diagnoses within my family, the state of our society, work pressures and worn out mommy drama, has my heart full of emotional distress. I confessed to My Love the other night that I just can't do any more cancer in our family. No one family should deal with it as often as we do!
 I see other women in marriages that are not fulfilled, husbands not leading and children suffering in the midst and my heart hurts for them. I see lives altered because of health or worse, death. I hear of stress at work, pressure from travel or unhappiness in the office and it's more burden to listen too. 
This year has been a great year, but I'm happy to bring it to a close.    
I love my job: stay-at-home mommy and full time teacher/trainer/event coordinator to three beautiful children God has perfectly placed in our family. This comes at a 24/7 price tag and no raise in the paycheck. I will be be the first to admit that lately I should be fired from my job as I've been worn out and not giving my all to the kids. I haven't cleaned as much as I should, haven't read to them as much even though I make them read to me or on their own, I haven't played as much with guards down and haven't taught them the best that I know I could.    
I take things upon myself that I shouldn't take as my own. Our Charlie struggles with reading, but excels in math. I take that as, "I'm not teaching him well enough. What am I doing wrong?" His tossing of the pencil and threats to run away to the neighbors to play forever are sent straight to my heart and makes me wonder what am I not giving him enough of to feel loved here in our home? When my heart is worn out, it's hard to see the good in everyday. Charlie IS reading…just slower than his older sister learned. He IS making progress; just with baby steps that sometimes stumble backwards for support or review. Charlie DOES love his family and home; the threats are only when he's caught in the event of dishonesty or middle of a fight with his sister. See? Once I stop and assess the situation, the moment doesn't seem so devastating. It's when I refuse to take the blinders off that I can only see what I'm focused on and hearing, rather than the perspective of what's been happening over time.     
When you walk through betrayal, you struggle with those emotions for the rest of your life. Trust is hard to earn and easily broken. The consequences of betrayal look different to everyone and I struggle with my own often. When I'm tired, burnt and yes, angry too, these struggles become extremely clear to me. I have to confess that my anger over the cancer in my family has recently been turned towards My Love. I'm sorry. I've let it stew inside and the devil has ran with it. I teach other women to take it to the cross and I myself, struggled in doing that these past few weeks. 
My heart was not in check with my words.    
When I found my tears welling up over a small purple onion, I let them fall with humility and asked God for more grace. I found it refreshing to give way to the tears that have been bottled up inside. Sometimes you just need a good cry to clear your heart and mind. As for now, I'm praying that God will speak softly to me and I will be able to listen to His gentle words. I pray that He will grant me more patience in my parenting, more understanding to my children, more grace for everyday and 
bless us with more family fun.     
So, please don't judge me because I'm confessing to a weak moment or sharing my struggles with you. 
Let's be honest…I'm sure you may wish you had a purple onion to cut too. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Photo Challenge for YOU!

Here it is. The deal. The scoop. The challenge for the next year. 
A photo a day with the help from the guide below. You can blog the pictures, Facebook tally your pictures or keep them private on your own computer. Looking back on the last year of our 365 project was fun, interesting and memories at a glance of what the year was like from day to day. This next year, I plan to do it a bit differently and will offer guides to give the project more structure. Some months will be similar to below and others may be themed by topic or color. Either way, I challenge you to take a yearbook of pictures for your own records and enjoyment. 
Snap! SNAP!
You can see our next year family project life photos by clicking 
on the button above titled, "365."

Christmas at a glance

Christmas was low key this year as we stayed home all day and honestly did NOTHING besides eat, drink and watch movies. It was extremely relaxing for most as Tim went stir crazy by noon.  The kids were not impressed with the jammie choice of the year and had fun building and playing with new toys and games. Nothing inspirational here today; just our day at a glance. 

{ The best we could do for a family photo this year. }

{ Turns out I failed with Christmas Eve jammies. Kids were not impressed with the "legging" style bottoms and Charlie thought they were ugly. My bad. }

{ Them sisters. Myriam was adamant that Addi sit on her lap for pictures.
The faces followed. }

{ Christmas Morning with stockings, cinnamon rolls, hot coffee and
anxious hands to open gifts. }

{ When Tim and I purchased this alarm clock, he didn't fully understand the memo about it being a gift for Addison. She's been patiently waiting to open this for a month! }

{ Loved Charlie's reaction to his Seahawks football helmet! }

{  Finally her own set of LEGO'S! }

{ Pretty sure this is the defense face and below the touchdown pass pose. Cute. }

{ Merry Christmas }

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"Can I pray for you?"

This last week My Hero had yet another test to prove that cancer has not taken over another area of her broken body. Her spirit is stronger than most, but after many years of treatments, pokes and illness things start to fall apart. After Friday's appointment, she was told once more that her tumor markers had gone up quite a bit. 
This is devastating news as it simply says that cancer is growing somewhere; it's just a matter of finding it. Playing Hide-And-Seek with cancer is no fun task and it wreaks havoc on your emotions. 
The one stable in all of My Hero's journey is her faith. She knows who calls her by name. She knows where her Home is and who she belongs too. 

Recently, Tim and I canceled our traditional insurance and signed up with Medi-Share. It took Tim six months of questioning the poor fellow on the other end of the phone to make the step of faith into Christian Care. I had many questions myself and had many moments of, "Are you sure this is the right step for us?" 
It wasn't until I was about to hang up this past week as I was asking more questions in regards to the first doctors visits, that I was certain we made the right choice. In conversations with my girlfriends or family members the question, "Can I pray for you?" comes up often enough that it doesn't leave me speechless. When I was done with all my millions of questions on Monday, the gentle, soft voice simply said before hanging up, "Is there anyway I can pray for you?"
I sat on the edge of my unmade bed with tears welling up in my eyes as the weight of too many diagnoses, unknowns of birth siblings and pain in other marriages had been collapsing me to my knees. 
I could only say "No, but thank you for asking," before the tears were going to take over. 
Medi-Share may not be the smartest choice in healthcare to the traditional insurance carrier. It takes faith to know that others in the program will pay each month in order to cover the many medical bills sent in every month. What we pay each month is tracked and we get to see the name of the family our payment assisted in covering another families bill. If we want to send a note of encouragement or additional gift we may.
In all my years of dealing with medical insurance, doctor bills and watching My Hero fight for prescription coverage and state coverage, never, have I ever been asked, 
"Can I pray for you?"
It took me by surprise simply because our society has tried to erase faith from the foundation of this countries beginnings. This was a great reminder to continue to fight for truth in our schools, government and holidays. It will only get harder which means we, with Christ as our foundation, must fight louder, with more boldness and speak truth, humility and show grace in everything we do…..
even if it's at the end of an insurance phone call. 

(Best part of this program is once you refer someone to Medi-Share and they actually sign up, you in return receive a $100 VISA gift card! Can't say Group Health, Blue Sheild or all the others we've had in the past have done that for us before. )