Sunday, December 19, 2010

30 Day Challenge

I need accountability. I need a deadline. I need self-control.
Today I took my Sunday School teacher's 30 day challenge. The class is on developing a devotional life. A discipline I stink at. But now I am committed. I have to report to the whole class in 30 days.
I pray that in these 30 days I develop the firm foundation I have been longing for. I want so much to build my house on the Rock. To not get to Heaven only to learn God never knew me.

I 'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 6, 2010

She was right

So, sometimes I think my sister exaggerates just a little bit. When she was talking about how emotional it was to see our little guys all up on stage singing about Jesus, I thought she might be a little on the dramatic side. She wasn't. Last night Josiah, Elijah, Isaiah, and John marched out to get ready to sing and I had tears streaming down my face. There they were, our little men, getting ready to tell us all to stay awake and be ready; the Lord is coming soon (or not if you ask John). And while they didn't all sing; they all knew the words (I've heard them all sing/shout/say them a few times in the last weeks). It was more than this mom could bear. It is all I desire in this world is that those four boys will be awake and ready to follow hard and fast after our Savior.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The thing is...

I really feel a little bit mad and maybe a bit disappointed and partially scared. I got what I wanted; I got a new job. I got to move closer to my sister and other family. It is what I have wanted. But, the house still isn't sold. There it sits in Minnesota. Our beautiful house, with the beautiful backyard and porch is just sitting there. Nobody wants to buy it. And I feel mad and disappointed and scared that the God who can do ANYTHING is not doing anything. He gives us glimpses of hope but the no offers come. I know in my head that what is coming on the other side will be beautiful and wonderful and full of lessons. It's my heart that is driving me right now. I can't get my head and my heart to agree so at night, when I should be sleeping I fret, and worry and pray some. Beg really. During the day when I should be thinking of brilliant ways to reach my students I fret about the money we are spending out of our savings. When I get home at night I have a pit in my stomach.
I don't know what to do about it. I know I will keep praying and seeking and knowing I love a God who is bigger than this.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dear Elijah,

Dear Elijah,
Five years ago today you graced the world with your presence. You didn't really want to. It took three days for you to be convinced that the world wasn't so horrible. Really, let's be honest, the doctor had to take you out. It amazes me that you are still a little reluctant to try new things but once you do you embrace them whole-heartedly. You shy away from talking to new people but once you do they are your friend for life. You care so much about others and always have something to share. It seems hard to remember a time when you weren't talking. It comes from me. I think I have always been talking too.
People say you are my mini-me. But we both know you are all God's handiwork. It brings me more joy than you know that you are putting God's word in your heart. At the end of a rough day, hearing you recite your AWANA verse brings me a smile. My prayer for you every day is that those words are imbedded in your heart and that you grow to be just like your Daddy. A man who loves Jesus more than anything.
For some reason this birthday makes me a little sad. You are hitting a milestone. Moving from toddler to boyhood. You are no longer that very "solid" bundle of smiles. You have grown into a boy. I just pray you will always give your Mom the hugs I look forward too all day. I pray that boyhood doesn't take away your desire to share every detail of your day with me.
I love you, Elijah. Happy 5th birthday.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Writers Block

I love to write, really I do. I have always felt such freedom in the written word. As a character in a book I just taught equates, writing is like talking. We all know I am good at talking.

But lately I have had no words. No thoughts. Nothing to say. I feel like I should have mountains of things to say. We moved. I got the answer, well mostly, to prayer I have had for four years. I am happy with my job. But I just can't seem to put words together. There is so much in my heart but right now it is just going to stay there.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A friend is....

  • Someone who seeks you out on the day of your Mom's funeral just to let you know she is thinking about you

  • Someone you can pick right back up with, no matter how long it has been

  • Someone you can laugh with about the silly things you did as a kid

  • Someone who rescues you from your kids when your husband is out of town again

  • Someone who pushes you to grow

  • Someone who loves your kids and tells you how good they are all the time

  • Someone who knows you are struggling and reaches out

  • Someone who is a sister even if not by blood

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rico Suave

Elijah has many talents and gifts but right now he is a little Rico Suave. In the past two weeks I have heard him say the most endearing things. Here are a few snippets.

"Mom, you are the best mommy I have ever had."

"Wow mom, you look very beautiful today."

"Daddy you should give Mommy a kiss."

"Here Mom, I saw this flower and thought of you."

"Mommy, you are the most beautiful mom ever."

And then the most suave of them all...

"Auntie Sara, you are so beautiful."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Is the grass greener on the other side?

The grass is always greener on the other side.
I don't remember the first time I heard the expression but I have used it a few times when students are wishing for an easier teacher, an easier school, or an easier life. I am about to find out if the grass is indeed greener on the other side.
For six years I have prepared for six different classes each day. I have often envied my public school teacher friends who only had to prep for one class and teach it all day long. For six years I have been the lone language arts/reading teacher in the building. I have often wondered what it would be like to teach with others who are in my area; to collaborate on best practices. For six years I have lived in one place while wishing I lived in another.
Now, as of August 22, 2010, I will get all the things I have been thinking about. But I can't help but stop and wonder. Is the grass greener on the other side or is it just different grass?
I am sure the root of this expression is in our human desire for something better or different than we currently have. I know mine has been. But once I stopped wanting something better for myself and focused on what God wanted for me; where God wanted me to be; and why God kept me where He did, the grass did not matter anymore. All that matter was that I walk on the path paved by a God who knows the end.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not Really 32

Today I am 32 years old. I don't really get worked up about age because it is just a number that doesn't really reflect how old I really am. How old am I really? It depends on the day. Lately I am certain that I am 14. Since I have that silly nervous feeling about making new friends. You know, the kind you get before you start a new school or move to a new town.
I remember being 14 and sitting in the car with my sister. We were driving to the first day of high school when I announced that she should turn the car around. "I'm not going." I believe were the exact words I used. I am sure tears were involved too, they always were in my "dramatic decade". Of course I went and it ended up being okay but I can still look back at those days and see that I wasn't really making friends but trying to keep "in".
I am hoping that 18 years of life has made me a more genuine person. One who is sensitive to the feelings of others and one that doesn't feel the need to "fit in"anymore. I am hoping that in 18 years I have become comfortable with being the me God delights in.
I hope so....

Monday, August 2, 2010

Through Elijah's Eyes

I let Elijah have use of the camera. I think I like the world through his eyes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Learning to Swim

The boys are in swimming lessons, the lovely kind where the parents have to get into the water too. It was long overdue for my cautious Elijah. His trepidation when it comes to trying new things made jumping into a pool enough to make him cry. But, knowing, the strong arms of Daddy would be his guide made it a bit easier. We finished our seventh lesson today and I watch my danger-avoiding first born jumping nearly across the pool to reach his father's arm, go under water, and come up giggling like the cutie he is. It made me smile; it made my heart smile.
I feel a little bit like Elijah. We are jumping into a great big pool of unknowns. People keep asking us what our plans are. When are we moving? Will our house sell in this market? What kind of a house are we going to get? Where will the boys go for daycare?
I don't know. I don't know the answers to any of those questions. I do know that I am believing God opened this door and that He will work out the details. I do know that God exhorts me to bring my anxiousness to Him. And I pray that like Elijah I will trust my Father.

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Parting is such sweet sorrow"

Dear Gethsemane friends,

Juliet nailed it when she said parting is such sweet sorrow. The term itself is an oxymoron because you cannot really have sweet sorrow. However, I do think that some partings are both sweet and joyful while at the same time bringing a heavy heart.
That is where I find myself. I will not be returning to teach at Gethsemane and that makes me sad because I love all of you so much. You have no idea how much you have blessed me, bended my way of thinking, made me laugh, created memories I will never forget, and pushed me to be a better teacher. I will miss each one of you so much.
My joy comes in knowing I am going where God has called me to go. The Anderson's are moving back to South Dakota. I will be teaching 8th grade Literature in a small town south of Sioux Falls called Harrisburg. This puts me in the same town as my sister and nephews and within ten minutes of everyone one else in my family. God has placed this call on my heart as my dear grandmother has gotten older and needs more care and as I experience how family can love each other.
I will continue to pray for each of you, that God's word is imbedded in your heart, that He makes your path straight, and that you will seek His wisdom always. I know God has plans for Gethsemane and I will always hold Geth in my heart. Please pray for me as I learn about a new school, learn about my new students, and as we try to sell the house.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4: 8-9
With Joy,
Mrs. Anderson :-)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lessons from the Black Hills

We spent eight days in the Blacks Hills. I learned many lessons while we visited GeeMa and GeePa as John calls them. I learned many lessons while we visited FCA Endurance camp as Elijah calls it (it is actually just FCA Camp).
1. A tractor is the most fun with Grandpa.
2.. Helmets are cute.

3. Throwing rocks into the rushing water can entertain for many minutes, until your brother's hat almost becomes a mistaken for a rock.
4. Who needs a pool when a water fountain will do.
5. Toys are not necessary for camp as long as the golf carts are parked outside.
6. Toons are better with friends.

7. It is important to announce to everyone on the bus that they are indeed riding a bus.

8. Grandpa has the coolest job.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Me & Self-Control

1 Peter 4:11, "If anyone speaks [which is all of us], he should do it as one speaking the very words of God."

Nothing makes you feel more convicted than when the words you say to your children are the words God has been whispering in your ear for ages. Car rides to and from work have become excersises in how much Mommy can handle before she bursts. It is often not much after a day with middle schoolers. On one particular car ride John was practicing his shreek. It is a very good, ear piercing, shrill shreek. I was trying to control my voice and calmly was asking him to please stop. When that didn't work I raised my voice and said, "Stop it, you need to listen to Mommy." And as if on cue, God whispers to me, "Yeah, Suzanne, stop it, you need to listen to me."

I am supposed to be working on self-control this year but so far I have done a lot of talking to myself about it but not a whole lot of action. This part of myself is so dissappointing. I am a pretty abnormal statistic, one would think I could do this too. I often feel like Paul when he wrote about doing the evil he did not want to do but was unable to do the good he knew he should do (Romans 7:19). God justwants me to start. I don't have to wait until Monday. I don't have to wait until I start a new Bible study. I don't have to wait until I feel better. I don't have to wait until the TV shows are on summer break.

I just have to start. I just have to listen & obey

Monday, May 31, 2010

We all need a little grace

Chris has talked for a few years about trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon (THE race for marathoners. It is so exclusive that to enter you have to run another marathon deemed worthy and get a qualifying time). This year he decided he was going to do it. He would have to run a 3 hour 10 minute marathon. This is much faster than any other marathon he has run (although he had only run one true marathon race and another during his Iron Man). He choose the Fargo Marathon because he knew it would be flat, thus giving him the best chance to run the 7:30 mile pace he needed to reach qualifying time.

Race day started with a great blessing. Rain and clouds, which kept the predicted heat and gale force winds at bay. At mile 9 he looked like he was out for a jog with his buddies. At mile 17 he looked happy and settled into a good rhythm. At mile 19 he asked for prayer; his side was hurting really badly. He was unable to breathe correctly. And so we (his little cheering section of friends and Elijah and I) prayed. I kept praying as we drove to the Fargo dome to see him finish. I prayed and cried as the clock ticked to 3:10:24. He had missed his goal by 24 seconds and I was crushed for him.

Working our way through the crowds I finally got within shouting distance. Wanting to see if I had missed anything I asked, "Did you make it?" "I think so," he replied between labored breaths. You see, the Boston Marathon qualifying time must be within 59 seconds of your qualifying time. They call it the minute of grace. Chris qualified for Boston by grace.

Obviously a parallel can be see here. After the race, Chris talked about how great he had been feeling during his race. How he had even felt he could finish in 3:05 or so but then the wheels fell off. The side ache hit and then his legs were shot. As Chris describes it during the last 6 miles he was digging as deep as he could. Chris has steadfast perseverance. His ability to set a goal, train for the goal, and meet the goal is awe inspiring, but he said this was so hard because he knew his time was slipping away but there was no more in him. Chris needed God to finish the race. Chris needed God to qualify for Boston. And God wanted Chris to remember that. And Chris did.

We all need grace...."for it is by grace you have been saved..." We would be nowhere without grace. This race reminded me to be so grateful for that free gift of grace and to be grateful that it is not only for 59 seconds but a lifetime.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


So, I know it has been way too long since I have written on this blog. Over a month now. I just can't seem to get caught up, ever. My desk at work looks like the paper recycling barfed on it. To be honest, I feel like things are spinning out of control and that is something I am not good at. I need to be in control. But, as Beth Moore says, God will keep coming at you with the same lesson until you learn it. Apparently I have figured out yet that just because the hot water heater breaks, the laundry is a week behind, the driveway has to be redone, the wall in the bathroom is flaking, I didn't get a single interview for jobs I applied for, and my kids are not sleeping through the night because they are hacking with a cold doesn't mean that God doesn't love me.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another First

Be still my heart, by big boy just keeps getting bigger. Note the lack of training wheels.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What's it all about?

On Thursday night, Chris, Elijah and I were coloring Easter eggs. (John would have joined us as well but he had passed out from a busy zoo day and no nap.) Chris decided to check to see what Elijah knew about the upcoming celebration of Easter. Here's a transcript of their conversation.

Chris: Elijah, is Easter about candy?

Elijah: (thinks for a moment, he does love candy) No!

Chris: Is Easter about a bunny?

Elijah: (giggles) No!

Chris: What is Easter about then?

Elijah: uh....Jesus on the cross!

Yes, buddy no matter how hard the world tries to turn Easter into a consumer event it is all about Jesus and that cross. was even better when the next morning on the way to run errands Elijah started quizzing Chris with the exact same questions.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Three things to make you smile

1) Heard from the backseat this morning...."Hi puppy! Hi!". I turned to see what John could possibly be seeing that I was not to observe my baby peeking down his jacket greeting the puppy on his tee shirt.

2) Helpful, but directionally challenged....A bag of goodies I received from a student for Easter tipped over in the backseat on the way home. Elijah wanted to make sure I got all the pieces picked up. As I am blindly groping about he decided to lend a hand. "To your left Mom, by your pinkie." It was to the right but I love the idea.
3) Who doesn't smile at a bathtub picture.....

Friday, March 19, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Elijah loves to ask about our evening's cuisine and then give a critique. For a few months Chris and I have responded with, "We're have rutabaga!", to which he would respond with a sour face. I decided it was high time we tried this mysterious root vegetable. Here is the picture story.This is what a raw rutabaga looks like.
This is what a peeled rutabaga looks like.
"Hey Elijah, I dare you to take a bite!"
Cooked rutabaga
First bite....
Not bad!
No, not so much.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Knock Knock

The car ride to and from school is often filled with much silliness. The silliness has gotten rather hilarious this last week. Elijah loves to make up Knock Knock jokes. Here is a sampler, see what you think.

Knock Knock
Who's There?
House who?
House, why don't I have legs. (followed by a burst of laughter)

Knock Knock
Who's There?
Underwear who? (I don't like where this is going)
Underwear why fart. (again followed by much laughter)

The really funny part is that John has caught on. He sits in the back seat and repeats, "Now Not" until you respond with "Who's there." His response is always "Puppies"; after that he looses us with John-ese.

Oh, how I find joy in these little boys.

Monday, January 18, 2010


This morning at breakfast Elijah could not contain his giggles. He pointed out that the sweatshirt I was wearing had holes around the wrist bands. Shocked, I examined my sweatshirt. How could my beloved Champion sweatshirt have holes? But sure enough there they were, as plain as the nose on your face.

I guess I didn't see the holes because this sweatshirt has been with me for so long. It was a Christmas gift from Sara in 1994. The year that Champion sweatshirts were all the rage at LHS. I have dressed that sweatshirt up by putting a denim shirt under it. I have dressed it as far down as it can go by wearing it with sweats when I am sick. I have worn it while pregnant. I have worn it while healing from a broken heart. It has been to five states and seen countless chick flicks and action movies. I love this sweatshirt, we have history together.

I plan on wearing my Champion sweatshirt until it falls all the way apart, which could be sooner rather than later. Who knew a sweatshirt, worn nearly every week, could last 16 years.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010: The Year of Control

"Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control." Proverbs 25:28
Something serious has been revealed to me in the past few weeks; while I covet control, I lack self-control. As a result, my city is unprotected. In an effort to analyze where I thought God has been taking me recently, I spent time looking through my journals and it angers me that I continue to see the same issues over and over again. Please help me control my tongue...the food I tv I spend my time...blah blah blah.
It is time to get serious about breaking out of this pattern of lazyness when it comes to self-control. Because, I think, that is what it really is. I don't have self-control because I do not seek to fill my mind, my time, my heart with the One who will grant me the will to resist that which I should be resisting.
So, 2010 is the year of self-control. I can tell already this will be a battle that can only be won through Christ. Cookies, candy, sugar has never been so strong as it has this week. I cannot go anywhere without seeing something sugary to tempt me. But as Philipians 4:13 tells me I can do anything with Christ, who strengthens me.
I desperately desire to be able to look back on 2010 and say that is the year that changed it all for me. That was the year that God really took hold of my heart, mind, soul, and did a radical work in and through me. May it be!