Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Thankful Project: #17- Surviving the Winds

Today lends to a whole new depth of thankfulness.  The safety of my family has become in my face lately.  I even told my husband, he needed to show me how to load a gun.  If you don’t know, I refuse to touch, hold, if someone else in the room besides my husband is touching it or handling one, I usually leave.  But there are personal fears that I WILL get over if it interferes with the safety of my family. 

But today I couldn't grantee her protection.  We were at church.  The sirens went off, the TV people were pleaing/crying/even praying that people make it to their basements in time.  The storm that was coming was deadly, and they knew it.  As a church, we sat in the fellowship hall, all together, checking and double checking that we saw everyone we could think of.  Nathan was holding Rue, and in my head I’m going over what I would do if something were to start…where I would jump.  We all calmed down when we starting hearing the reports of the sighting across the river. 

Dad told everyone, we had about 30 minutes to get home before the next cell would hit.  It would just be rain and we all knew that.  We had lunch with some friends, and when we got home we started to hear the stories…

One of my youth girls, Kiersten, lives in Pekin.  With in 4 streets surrounding her, three separate tornadoes touched down.  Her block of houses was one of a handful of house still standing within a quarter mile.  She, along with her family and her 16 mo old son, were minutes away from danger, but made it to the basement in time.  A few houses down, when she left to come to church tonight, they were still working at freeing a family with a 4 mo old; they were still stuck in their basement.  They have been evacuated until further notice because of a gas leak.  They also do not have power and water. 

One of the girls who has been apart of our Sunday school class is a teacher at one of the grade schools in Washington.  She is still clueless about any of her students. 

High school girls club volleyball tryouts were downtown at the RiverPlex in Peoria.  One of my co-leaders in youth group was there with her daughter.  They were with a friend that was literally shaking…His wife was out of town on business in Springfield.  He was with his eldest at tryouts while his 3 younger kids (oldest being 14) were at home in Washington.  He knew his kids were in the basement, but his world started crumbling when he found out the house just two houses down was leveled.  He left during those 30 minutes between storms and arrived home to nothing…no house…nothing. Kids were safe but nothing remained.  

My niece and nephew were in the basement of their house with their mom and came up to find two of their neighbors’ houses gone.  I can’t wait to hug them again. 

In my high school sports Conference 3 of the 8 schools are closed until they have power and stability for students to attend school.  My fellow athletic secretaries, Terri, Sherry, & Michelle, I’m praying continually for you.  My heart is breaking right now.

Pray for Washington; the hardest hit.  They have reported 1 death and 28 hospitalized injuries, 8 being classified as trauma.  Pray for East Peoria and Pekin.  I have a feeling this holiday season will be a little different around here. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day #12- It May Be Petty

FALL SPORTS ARE OVER!  Thank you, Jesus!  I know...I am supposed to love my job, but there is something so great about the end of my biggest season; football, boys soccer, golf, tennis, volleyball, girls swimming, & cross country.

Basketball starts on Friday.  That gives me T-Minus two days.  Let me take it in.  **Breath in***Holding breath...holding breath...***

The Thankful Project: Day #11: Psalms 91

I cant help but think of some people very near to my heart, that served their country or those who are serving right now.  To those who have served and those currently away from us, these are some verses I pray for you often.

I heard this story, too.  Not sure if it's true, but God can do anything so I don't doubt this at all.
" In World War I, the soldiers of the 91st Brigade recited the 91 Psalm daily. This brigade engaged in three of the war’s bloodiest battles. Other units suffered up to 90% casualties, but the 91st Brigade did not suffer a single combat-related death."

Psalm 911 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [a] 
2 I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, 
my God, in whom I trust." 
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare 
and from the deadly pestilence. 
4 He will cover you with his feathers, 
and under his wings you will find refuge; 
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 
5 You will not fear the terror of night, 
nor the arrow that flies by day, 
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, 
nor the plague that destroys at midday. 
7 A thousand may fall at your side, 
ten thousand at your right hand, 
but it will not come near you. 
8 You will only observe with your eyes 
and see the punishment of the wicked. 
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling— 
even the LORD, who is my refuge- 
10 then no harm will befall you, 
no disaster will come near your tent. 
11 For he will command his angels concerning you 
to guard you in all your ways; 
12 they will lift you up in their hands, 
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; 
you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; 
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; 
I will be with him in trouble, 
I will deliver him and honor him. 
16 With long life will I satisfy him 
and show him my salvation."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Thankful Project: The Weekend Edition

I know...I know... I missed Friday and Saturday.  I'm sorry.  Really.  I was up super late working Friday and yesterday, I was asleep in bed by 9:15p (I really dont feel very bad about that...)  I'm sticking with, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder..."  Did it work??

So here's the Weekend Edition

Day #8:  Friday
I am borrowing this one from Tricia MG.  IT WAS FRIDAY!  I love everything about what Friday means!  It's the end of a week and the day before Saturday.  To top it off we had nothing to do.  I had sweatpants on and was in front of the TV by 7p!

Day #9: I'm FREE!
Nathan and I have been working and working toward this day.  We officially have no EXTRA debt.  We have no credit card debt and no student loans... just the car and the house.  IT FEELS SOOO GOOD!  My student loan was shameful!  My graduation present was a Mac.  I loved it.  It was my baby!  I went to college and found this cat on the road, named her Forrest and took her in.  I grew to love her.  Many nights, I had a baby in my lap while i typed on my other baby.
One baby in the forefront & other in the back
One day, one thirsty baby spilled a FULL glass of water on the electronic baby who wasn't so thirsty.  Yes, Forrest is still alive.  I had to take the student loan out to purchase that MacBook Pro to finish school.  I finished paying for it yesterday.  Sad part:  Haven't had it since 2010... you've got it!  I've been paying on a computer I don't even own anymore.  Shameful.

Day #10:  My Other Kids
I have been working with the youth since I graduated in '08.  These past 5 years have taught me more about myself then the 6 years i was in the youth group.  Granted, those six year help me create some of my BESTEST friends and a husband, but these kids have captured me heart in a whole new way.  The way God has woven together a teenager is breathtaking sometimes. And when they are on fire and go to serve along side them, it's an experience that can touch just about anyone involved.

Spurgen Cook Out 2013 (yesterday)
Mission Serve July 2012
30 Hr Famine May 2011
Hawaiian Night February 2010

Dare 2 Share March 2009
  • They make me strive to learn more and more about God.
  • They keep me accountable even though they don't know they do.
  • They give me an excuse to still like kid stuff.
  • They help me feel less grown up.
  • They challenge me to know scripture.
  • They don't judge me for lack of intellect, and we work together at finding answers.
  • They astound me with their work ethic and roofing skills.
  • They call me out on things.  I need that!
  • They make me MANY times weep with anticipation as to what God has planned for them.  I hate to watch them suffer or search, but when God reveals something to them, you can see it glowing off of them.  
I will probably never know if or how I impacted them, but as I draw near to God he will continue to give me the words to say.  Before I got married, I used to say, "If I could just birth a teenager, that would be great!"  Well, Ruthie has made babies worth it, but I LOVE working with teens!  I hope it will be something God allows me to do for a VERY long time.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day #7: MOOOOOOOOO

This may be silly....But I own it.  I am so excited about the new one we got last week!  She's a Hereford heifer.  Please help me with a name!  When I look at her nothing is coming to me...

Nathan is also going to get ANOTHER tomorrow!  Our farm has increased 200%!!  

Thank you Jesus for a successful year!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day #6 The Ruth

Thankful does not even begin to describe the feelings I have towards this little gem I call my Ruthie May.  I know, I know… I talk about her continually, and when I’m not talking about her, I am posting pictures or a video of her or something she’s done. 

Needless to say, my child is smothered in attention (probably too much at times) and love because I just can’t help myself.  I can type here, that I am thankful for my daughter, but what I REALLY should be saying is that I am thankful for a God that love’s me so much that he specifically gave me Ruthie.  I don’t understand why it took me soooo long to grasp this, but why does God do anything?  To draw people to him; i.e. God gave me Ruthie so that I might draw near to Him.  Mission Accomplished over and over and OVER again! 

If you know the “Ruthie Coming into this World” Saga, skip ahead until words aren’t italicized anymore…

For the newbies out there just reading my blog, let me give you the 1-paragraph version of how Ruthie May Wineinger came to be.  So, there was this boy named Nathan…HA no, just kidding.  I meant literally CAME HERE!  I was 6 mo preg., going on a trip to Dallas with the youth group.  I start feeling really lousy but figure it was pregnancy stuff.  The day before we come home, we find out an offer has been accepted on our first house we planned to purchase; Move in date set Sept 1, Labor Day Saturday.  Come home, feel ehh for two weeks but make it to my 32 week apt. (Aug. 8).    Doctor finished the apt with strict orders to head straight to the hospital.  I had preeclampsia and was officially on bed rest until Ruthie arrived (due date Oct. 4).  After lots of tests, steroid shots to the tosh, and LOTS of tears, a C section was scheduled at 8pm on Aug 9.  On top of it all, Ruthie’s great grandma, Gma Sue, passed away at 4pm just 4 hrs before her arrival.  Ruthie arrived with general complications a 2 mo preemie would have, but fought with the best of them and won with only 20 days in the Neonatal ICU and arrived home August 28.  Oh, but don’t forget that move-in date!  We moved just 3 days later into a new (to us) home that was graciously cleaned and painted by a fearless team of women that came everyday for a week, while Mom helped me pack.

So that is physically what happened…but mentally, I was a basket case!  I had not had a baby shower yet.  I already was convinced that I was not adequately prepared to take care of a child (Mom & Brittany were close, right?!) let alone a preemie.  But I wrote a lot…I blogged a lot.  I read the Bible A LOT!  And God just started revealing.  Now, I know that this is how I humanly interpreted what he was showing me, so don’t think that I portray God as a jerk…

  • Seriously Lindsay…where in the right mind did you think you were in control of what was going on?
  • Get it in your head VERY quickly, that this is not about you…this was never about you!  It was always about me.
  • You cannot not handle this on you own.  People say I won’t give you more than you can handle.  I have just given you a lot, and in order for you to handle this, you need to rely on me.
  • Um…she has red hair…I did listen!
  • Can you imagine moving into a house 9 mo pregnant?  Yeah, I didn’t want to see that either!!
  • Don’t worry, Grandma Sue got to meet Ruthie.
  • Good name, by the way!  I’m kind of partial to it… 
  • (Finally)  Your world will NEVER be about you again.  Learn this now.  Your world is about glorifying me through the raising of your children, the commitment to your husband and the spread of the Gospel through your words and deeds.

We serve a GRACIOUS God.  Everyday, I look at Ruthie and see God’s grace and majesty.  She is my little miracle baby, not because she was premature, but because to look at her and not see God’s divine will at work is impossible.

I don’t have much experience with parenting yet, 15 months on Saturday is still defined as “Rookie,” but I will challenge you, take a look at your kid(s) and be reminded that God put them in this world to do great and wonderful and multiple things, but for you, he created him/her ultimately to draw you to Him and praise Him!


There may be days where I grumble after sweeping up crushed animal crackers in the living room for the 3rd time, but my relationship with God is stronger because of you.  And, I pray daily for the time when you seek God and know Jesus in this way. 

Thank You for being my sweet Ruthie May,

PS (Shameless Advertising) Vote Ruthie for the Cutest Gerber Baby by clicking here!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day #5 Lite

Oh, how thankful i am for early bed times...SOOO Thankful!  Mama needed it tonight.

For your viewing enjoyment, in exchange for a long blog today, Nathan was showing Rue how to use a duck call...She kind of had it...  :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day #4- My Man

The love I have for my husband is like an iceberg; what is visible is merely a gimps into my vastness of how much I love this without being ooshy gooshy pucky lovey dovey... i asked to interview him :)

Ok... so this is how to differentiate the text...
Bold is Lindsay 
Italic is Nathan,
One Month in...August 2005

& normal is afterthought on the conversation

Can I interview you for my blog? 

Why?  What are blogging about? What are you going to ask me?

Nothing in particular, just a couple random questions…this is me trying to write a blog of how thankful i am for you...

As long as I can do it while lying in bed…

Ok.  Is there anything you don’t want me to ask?

I don’t know…

Do you promise not to respond in “hmm” or “I don’t know?”

We’ll see…I don’t know…(grin)

(Scowl) What do you think are your best qualities?

Hmmm…I’m a pretty good teacher and encourager.  Yea. You are a leader by being a do-er, by delegating, by stepping up to the plate and gathering others around you to learn.

Looking back three yrs, is where we are at what you expected?
Anderson Wedding 2007
I don’t know if I really had expectations. I mean, we have started our cows and we have a baby…business is going well...i think those were all things that I was looking to achieve. I can't say I really had a 3-year-plan...

What do you think 3 more years will look like?

2 kids,  (YAY!) a small heard of cattle, maybe a pony (Both Steve and Nathan are seriously thinking about pony for Ruthie/me) to round them up with (he said that one for me)…the family business is thriving…hopefully we will have completed all the home improvements you have on yr list. (cleared his thought in exasperation)

Hmm... Ok, what’s something that blows your mind about Jesus?

That he uses people that really, really screw up to make a difference. It's things like this that make me love you like crazy. You seek the best in people.  You give so many second changes and you are so grace-full with others.

Ok, on to Ruthie: What’s your favorite thing she’s doing right now?

The superman run. (No hesitation ..She walks around with her chin up and arms stretched back behind her and runs around…pretty humorous)

I want you to be honest, not because I’m doing the interview or anything but what 5 things you are thankful for?

- A healthy family
- 2 jobs that are more than meeting our means

It can be silly things too.  It doesn't have to be so serious…

Our Wedding May 2010
 (Pause) I don’t know…I’m trying to think of something funny… (a quality that i ADORE in my husband...the desire to be funny when he's not that comical funny that others think of when people say someone's funny)
- I’m thankful for a wife that supports my hobbies and wants to go hunting with me and cooks the things that I kill
- I’m thankful for two dogs who are still in their pins right now.(Hasn't always been the case...)
- I’m thankful for a wife and daughter who love me with all their hearts even though they get frustrated

What was the hardest part about dating me?

Having to wait so stinking long make love to you.A quality that I utmost respect about my husband... that he WANTED to respect me AND himself!  Are we almost done?  

Yes...What is the most Ingenious invention ever?

The pillow…(PAUSE…he fell asleep thinking about the question…)

Hey, (poke) what’s your answer?

I’m waiting on a question…

Most ingenious invention…you said pillows…

Hmmm…(pause)either a pillow or a candle…that was kind of stupid. Why did I say candle? (He was talking halfway in his sleep)
His new MAIN SQUEEZE.  May 2013
To the best lover, the best leader, to the father of my child, and the keeper of my heart.  I thank God often that he let me be yours.  I love you, Nathaniel!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day 3

The Thankful Project: Day 3

So there’s this girl, and she and I are really….nothing alike.  We have known each other FOREVER! Like almost 30 years.  When we first met each other, things were generally cool.  We loved being around each other, and we shared lots of common interests…Barbies, house, dress the dog up in any baby clothes that would fit.  But as the years past, man…it was rough.  We fought with the best of them.  It was like Jerry Springer!  We bent kitchen appliances (supposedly…I really do not recall this at all!), threw each other’s things out the window, smack talked til the cows came home (or mom), *shiver* it was crazy! But we could never get away from each other.  She was always having crazy life experiences ahead of me.  I would ridiculously correct her as if I had experienced them, and then flounder in my stupidity when I was wrong or wave my judgmental finger at her nose when I was right.  I was quite the annoying little punk.  Then all would resolve and we would find ourselves up late nights talking or trips to the mall or well…anything where she would take me along, really. 

Then she decided to move out, towards Chicago.  I am all about change, so I wished her good luck and farewell and promised to visit her.  I thought our time apart would be good for us.  But after about a month, I was miserable.  My partner in crime was gone.  I called her up to chat, we met half way and visited off and on.  I realized very quickly without her there, I missed her.  I missed our drama, our late night chats, our random trips to town, I missed it. 

Life went one and all was the same with our visits and phone calls.  I had moved away by then with no plans to return any time soon, when I called her one day.  She had lost her job.  She was moving home, or to what used to be our home. I was so excited for her!  I thought this was going to be good for her…try something new around familiar people.  Then all soon enough, what I thought were my future plans, ended up falling though and I too, headed back to familiar lands.  And, after 7 years, she and I were together again. 

Yes things were different, but we still bickered with the best of them.  But the experiences we had lived through made our relationship something different.  It was more than just a friendship…it was a sisterhood.  And nothing biological.  Something spiritual.  Something both of us started to set at a high value, something unexplainable and totally natural at the same time.  And yet still we were really nothing alike.

Crazy enough, we got married within 5 months of each other.  We are raising our babies together now.  She has one ahead of me so I marvel at her skill and pray that when it’s my turn, she will be a phone call away to tell me what to do. 

I see only life in our future, but no change in the sisterly bond we share.  All be it biological, but more a commitment to be there for each other through everything.  The weepy phone calls, the last minute babysitting, Spoon River Drive weekends, the marital spats…EVERYHING.

Brittany, you are my partner in crime, my spiritual crutch.  You have more strength than I can dream for myself.  You are a wonderful and committed mother, though the battles press on for M and A.  You preserver in the hard times, and rejoice in the good.  You are my best friend, but more so, you are my big sister; I look up to you, I have and will continue to learn SO MUCH from you. 

You wrote this on the front of my scrapbook you made me for my high school graduation:

She’s the only one who could make me laugh uncontrollably at the dinner table by making funny faces.
She teased me about my taste and my first boyfriend, and then comforted me when he broke it off.
She offered me her clothes and advise even when neither suited my style;
She knows instantly by the tone of my voice when something’s wrong even though she’s miles away…
She’s the love of my life; she’s my sister

There is something the world will NEVER be able to take away from me, and that is my sister.

I love you, Sister! 

Love, the little sister


My wedding, 2010

Princeville football game 2006

she was 6 & I was 3

She was 4 & I was 1

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day 1 & 2

This time of year, I get on Facebook and start seeing these posts about thankfulness, and then I remember, oh DUH! It's November!  And then I'm a week late in starting something that I've wanted to do for the past two Novembers but I don't catch it in time.  But day two I feel is an easy catch so...

The Thankful Project: 2013 Edition

The Thankful Project is just my fancy way of putting a name to what other do in posting something/one they are thankful for every day of the month of November.

This actually fits perfectly, because Day 1 & Day 2 are married and are not one without the other.

So Day #1: I am thankful for... my father, Mark.

  • He's the strong silent type.  
  • When i was in middle school, for two years, he traveled for his job to New Jersey/New York every week.  He would leave Sunday night and come back Friday night. It was a hard season for the family, but he did it successfully.
  • He sat me down my senior year of high school when i was dating my first real boyfriend and told me to break up with him b/c he wasn't a Christian and Dad knew it was not going to last.  I didn't question him and picked up my phone.
  • On move-in day in college, he and I took trips up 13 flights of steps until it was my turn for the elevator.  AWFUL
  • I remember the day when we found out he got laid off his job of over 20 years.  I have never seen a more perfect true example of fear yet faith in God.  That was the day i saw my dad as a man and not as my dad.  Seared in my brain.    
  • He took me to Nashville for the first time to help me find a place to live during my internship.  
  • He introduced me to the best of BREAD, Chicago, and the Eagles.  
  • He tells the corniest jokes.
  • He knows Jesus.
  • He speaks everything in truth, love, and wisdom.  
  • Papa Mark loves his grandkids to PIECES!
  • Most of all, he loves me as his daughter.  He seeks to help me when i need it and encourage me when he can.  He has been my provider, and rescuer, and my true earthly father.  
I know that i am truly lucky to have him, and often times i took/still take him for granted.  Whenever i talk to friends from single mom homes or to others with a broken skew of a father figure in their lives, it doesn't take long for me to pick up the phone and call home to remind myself of the true blessing of a father my HEAVENLY Father gave me.

Day #2: I am thankful for... my mother, Shelley.

  • She is the ideal strong woman and she made sure to instill in my sister and I that we need to be able to take care of ourselves.
  • She worked our entire lives and i can, without a shadow of a doubt, tell you that her work never interfered with her first and foremost being my mom.  (although, we interfered with her work THOUSANDS of times...if i have to raise my voice in my cubical  you will NOT be happy when i get home!)
  • When my dad was traveling with work, she was our ROCK!  There is no other way to put it.
  • She put logic to my lofty dreams that ultimately was God's way of directing my path.  
  • She was a leader among the women at church.  Totally necessary for me to see the example she set of still letting the men lead the church with her supporting them through women's ministry.
  • She let me embarrass her.  We would always kid about how the parent was supposed to embarrass the the kid, but in our situation i was reversed.  
  • She cleaned me ears.  TRUE love!
  • She tucked me in the best...sorry Dad.  Even when i had the loft bed, she would pull out the chair to stand on it so she could hug and kiss me goodnight.  
  • Summer of 2005, I will forever remember the walk we took that decided me future.  I could almost tell you the exact date.  Although she was a woman of much logic, she told me to follow my heart b/c that was where Jesus was.  
  • My mom was the ultimate nurturer.  You saw her priorities very clearly and we were always close to the top.  
  • The day I went into the hospital, when I found out Ruthie was coming earlier than expected, she didn't have anything to say to me, but she sat there and cried with me.  We were both scared, and that was ok.  I just needed someone to be scared with me.  That's all it took for me to figure out that we were going to be ok.  
  • I got my hot bod from my mom.  :)  Thanks! 
  • I definitely hear things in what i say from my mom as I raise my daughter.  I seek her advise OFTEN now that I have my own diva daughter.  
Mom and I have always been THAT... a mom and her daughter.  But I can without a shadow of a doubt say she is a friend that i seek advise from, in love, in Christ, in how to get stains out of things, in EVERYTHING.  We are not the mother and daughter that are exactly alike (have you met my sister?!?!) but that is what makes me sooo grateful to be her daughter.  She is/was a HUGE influence on how I became the girl I am and have yet still to become.  I LOVE YOU, MOM!

I really love them tonight, b/c they took Ruthie for a sleep over :) But for real, these two beautiful, Godly people gave me an example of how to be a better Christian, wife, mother, person, employee, sister, etc.

**I cried through 3/4 of this post.  I hope this doesn't happen every day of this project**