Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sugar, teeth and Jesus

I am over the top excited right now. Let me preempt it with this... it doesn't take much to get me excited. But this, this is HUGE! As of December 1, all of our dental work is now covered by our insurance. We have paid for 2 (TWO!) root canals (on the same tooth, nonetheless) out of our pocket. Those were some drawn out payment plans. Then, paid for a crown out of our pocket. If you're wondering, that's about 3K total. We realized with our children getting bigger we needed dental insurance. So, alas the one year waiting period is over. T-Pup is getting a cavity filled on Thursday and we have to pay a grand total of $25. And all of God's people said AMEN.

Speaking of God's people, this is who I hung out with this past weekend.

I was so privileged to go to Deeper Still with Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer and Beth Moore. And 14,000 women. I am still processing all that was spoken, but wow... the Lord knows what we need, when we need it. The hardest part of being in ministry to me is that you constantly pour into others, but it's not always reciprocated. I am grateful for a chance this past weekend that I could sit and be poured into.It was neat, in my prayer time last week I told the Lord I felt like my cup (Psalm 23:5) was empty. I long for it to be running over, but often times it seems like there is a small hole or 20 in the sides. At one point during the worship Saturday morning there was a picture of a glass on the jumbo tron with raining pouring into it until it overflowed. That was a precious moment. I feel like I've been challenged now to stay in His presence more to keep that cup full.

Before the event started Friday night, my sweet friends that I went with and myself ate at a restaurant called Brio. I had their Fettuccine Napoli which was divine. Then, heaven kissed earth. All of their desserts come in these little shot-glass type things. And they are all $2.50. I love me some dessert, but usually don't want to spike up the bill. $2.50 though, I could spring for. I had caramel creme brulee. LORD HAVE MERCY I about died in that moment. It was absolutely divine, perfect, lovely all at the same time. The flavor was strongly reminiscent of the dulce de leche ice cream I constantly ate in Costa Rica. Here is a picture that doesn't do it justice.

Phenomenal. Absolute perfection.

So, I'm feeling good this week. Spent some much needed time with the Lord, ate a divine dessert, and have 100% dental insurance. How's your week shaping up?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Place

video

Do you have a "happy place" that you retreat to in the midst of chaos? I think mine has been different places at different points in my life. Once it may have been a family vacation, another time it may have been remembering W and I white water rafting on our honeymoon. It's just a place you can close your eyes, and see in your mind. Since we got back from Costa Rica, mine has been the beach there. We went to Manuel Antonio, which is an area on the Pacific Ocean protected by the government. Monkeys, macaws and iguanas abound. The photo below is the hotel where we stayed, Hotel Karahe. After spending the week in dormitory style housing, this was a breath of fresh air. Each balcony has its own hammock. You walk through the garden, past the pool to the open air restaurant, directly to the beach. BLISS.


The past few months have been chaotic and overwhelming. This is where I keep going back to. It's actually strange to me because I'm not a beach person. 9 times out of 10 I'd take the mountains over the ocean. Until I found my happy place. The Lord keeps drawing me back there. And I'm okay with that.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lipstick!


What's the difference between a bulldog and hockey mom?


video

This girl is a mess. Oh, speaking of "mess," this summer when my brother returned from his deployment I was talking with two women and Sam came running up to me. I picked her up and introduced her, and at that moment she was quite the entertainer. I looked at Sam and said "you're a mess!" One of the women said "she's a mess? she doesn't look like a mess!" I was reminded we often speak a slightly different version of English here in the south.

I hope at least one person laughed at the Sarah Palin reference about the lipstick. I watched (and incessantly tweeted) about "Sarah Palin's Alaska" last night. I loved the show. How amazing would it be to take your children salmon fishing amongst bears? Or randomly say "Hey, kid! Let's go climb Mt. McKinley today!" It's the part of me that wants to be completely outfitted in Gore Tex boots, North Face clothes with a Marmot jacket and drink water from a Nalgene bottle all day. And apparently work at REI.

Then I got to thinking last night... "oh no, I don't want my whole 34 Twitter followers to think I'm a SP devotee" so I tried to clear myself of any political admiration of her (in less than 140 characters!). But truly, I do admire her. Agree with all of the political stuff? Nah. But as I claimed last night, there is life outside of politics.

And here was our weekend:



And we did it all without Gore Tex, North Face, or Marmot!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Recap


The last month in pictures.



T-Pup played his best season of soccer ever. Of course, playing with dirt and rocks before the game helped his mind get in the game.

Sam turned 3. The week before her birthday party, her big brother went to spend the night with his grandparents. He quickly said "I'll pack my backpack!" and little Sam declared the injustice of the world that she didn't have a backpack. I reminded myself Christmas would be an opportune time to help a backpack needing sister out. But alas, her dear aunt surprised us at the birthday party.

"I can now unleash gangster moves out of my backpack. Come closer and I'll show you."

Iron Man (or for those of you who are blessed to see behind the armor, Tony Stark) came to see us for some trick or treating. He had his helmet and a smaller mask that came with the costume. He said "I'm scared to wear my real helmet because people will think I'm here to save the world, and I don't have time this weekend." Yes Iron Man, we know you are a busy man.

And also spotted trick or treating was a sweet little butterfly. And by sweet I certainly do not mean screaming until your butterfly parents agree that butterflies can take their wings off.


It's so hard to believe that it's November now and thus the beginning of our holiday season. It also means that W's semester is coming to a close, and can we all shout "THANK YOU JESUS" because my word, it has been a behemoth.

I challenge you to decide which of these photos were taken with my iPhone and various apps, and which were taken with W's fancy pants camera.

What's going on with you?


Monday, October 11, 2010

Hopscotch

With all the talk of Little Lady's room, I thought I'd share a darling photo of her (courtesy of my iPhone and Hipstamatic). Hopscotch is serious business for a princess ballerina.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Big Girl Room

When we bought our house nearly 5 years ago, we were a wee family of 3. Instead of having a guest bedroom, I gladly relinquished control of the third bedroom to my husband, who could use it as a home office. Well, a few years later our baby girl came. There was no rush to get her into her own room. She would be in a bassinet for a few months in our room. The next fall W started graduate school, so we both wholeheartedly agreed that he should keep the extra room for studying and um, QUIET.

Fast forward 2 years. Our kiddos have been sharing a bedroom and have done great. Until one night this past spring when someone coughed then someone cried. They started waking each other up every single night. I had a 2 and 4 year old who were like newborns in the night.

Thus, the room reformation was born.

Here is what we started with.


The room, our third bedroom, once all the furniture was removed.

The bed, graciously given to us by W's parents. This was the first bed my husband and his brother had as their "big boy beds." I think it's so neat that it's being used by the next generation of our family. The process of refinishing was time consuming, but not difficult. I aggressively applied three coats of liquid sand paper, then applied two coats of an oil-based stain killer/primer. Next came the paint and I used a specialty High Gloss Acrylic/Enamel. I probably used 3 full coats to achieve the look I wanted. The spindles proved to be the most difficult. I tried 100% to not have any runs, but painting one side of a spindle then switching to the other side (back and forth, back and forth) created a couple small runs. I didn't want to sand them out lest I disturb the other smooth paint, fearing I'd have to do it all over again. (Photo was after liquid sandpaper, with a touch of the primer on.)

The dresser. I used the exact same process with the dresser as I did with the bed, except one thing. I only used one coat of primer/stain killer. And you can tell. After a minimum of three coats of the paint, you could still see distinct grain lines. I (at that point) just kept on painting but feel confident a second coat of primer would have eliminated the grain strokes.

The bed. I was feeling crafty and made the canvas montage on the wall (based off her bedding).

Obviously before they were hung.

The dresser. What I had the hardest time with was the handles. Initially I spray painted them (what I thought to be) a light pink. The contrast between the white and the pink through made them to look like they were dipped in Pepto Bismol. And, they are brass--but I didn't sand them. The pink paint immediately started chipping/peeling off. I then got a textured spray paint that almost looked like sand. I sprayed on top of the pink with a little showing through... and couldn't decide if I loved or hated it. With the help of some friends we thought it made it a bit beachy... which is fine if it were, um, in a condo. It just didn't work for our big girl room. So, I took some of my white acrylic enamel paint and added some light green acrylic craft paint. I sponged it on the sand looking layer and it worked. It is so faint it's almost white, but enough that it's not.

Also, the quilt hanging is so precious to me. I have a tender spot in my heart for handmade quilts and when Sam was christened a sweet woman in our church who works with all the local pastors gave it to us. A friend of hers made the quilt, and the detail and perfection is overwhelming. I hope Sam will cherish it as much as I do.

The reading nook/doll bed. A precious friend of our family gave both Sam and T-Pup these anywhere chairs for their birthdays. They love them, and so do W and I! They are so comfy and it's extra fun to bring them downstairs for a movie night. The doll bed was an unexpected addition, but another precious family to our family (who helped with the kids while we were in Costa Rica with their children) gave this to Sam. This was their daughter's baby bed, and she just started her freshman year of college at Belmont. The bassinet comes up and there is storage underneath which I love!

I love that everything has a story. Even the roller shades! We went with those because they are room darkening (obviously the picture is contradicting me) and more "energy efficient." Our upstairs rooms are hot in the summer and cold in the winter, so we've made a few changes to help with that this summer.

I STILL NEED CURTAINS! I have looked up and down but can't seem to find any that fit what I have in mind. I don't want valances but I don't want long panels. I don't want a solid but don't necessarily want a print. I've thought if I could find a nice light green then I could sew some cute ribbon around it, but haven't found a green that I like. If anyone has any suggestions, by all means, SUGGEST!

The end :)

PS: homegirl cannot part with all of the animals on her bed. She wants every.single.one. in the bed with her. I know the day will come when she will not want any, so I'm not pushing it :)

PPS: I want a vinyl wall decal with a scripture to hang above her bed, but can't decide on a scripture. Any suggestions on that?

The "real" end :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Singing in the rain

Singing in the rain, singing in the rain...


What a glorious feeling, I'm happy again.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

For the glory of it all


On our journey home from Costa Rica, we were delayed at DFW. We were allotted a little more than an hour to get off our flight, get through customs, go to luggage claim, go back through security and then catch our next flight. With 52 people. Oy vey. Long story short, a storm came, the luggage conveyor shut down, we missed our flight. One of our youth, Bert, had already scheduled to go to UT for his freshman orientation. There needed to be an adult traveling back with him, so I was nominated. We gate-hopped about 6 times getting on standby trying to catch a flight.

On the last gate of the night, I saw this man. I thought to myself that he looked familiar, but couldn't logically place him. Then, it clicked. I asked W if he thought said man was David Crowder. We all started analyzing and trying to decide if it was him or not. I finally pulled up a pic on my iPhone from google, walked up to him, and said "hey, is this you?" He laughed and obliged. We all talked for a minute and we told him how much we appreciated his ministry. So, we met David Crowder. Cool.

The entire 12 days before that in Costa Rica I'd listened to a song by DCB called "The Glory of it All." All week. Over and over each day. I was struggling with being away from our children and the words continually pointed me to the cross. I was there for the glory of it all. We were there for the glory of it all.

Since we've been home, we've had these crazy attacks from enemy. I mean absurd. Some of them have come from people close to us, and well... that sucks. It truly hurts. I mentioned in my post Cinco that your words are weapons. James chapter 3 verse 5 is one of the many scriptures that reference our tongues: "Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!"

And even when it hurts from people we love, we press on loving God with our hearts, heads, hands... for the glory of it all. As it says in the song "after all falls apart, He repairs, He repairs." If you've ever been of the receiving end of an attack like this, you kind of feel like your heart is in shambles. God is so faithful to repair though.

I get to continue to love these people in the midst of a forest fire of the mouth, for the glory of it all.

There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. Proverbs 20:15




Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cinco

I've started about 5 different blogs in my mind, yet can't seem to get them typed out. Upcoming (meaning you know, coming up in the next YEAR) I'd love to write about:

-My first DIY refinishing furniture experience for Sam's new room. (Her room, it's PINK! PINK, Mama!)

-I deleted Facebook. Clearly the world must be coming to an end.

-We're officially a home educating family! It's going great!

-Your words are weapons.

-And the fifth must have had something to do with a little thing called my children. They're growing up before my eyes.

We'll see which posts come out when... they are in no particular order! Hope to hear from some of my abandon Facebook friends, too. Don't lurk, let me know you're there.


What's cooler than having your picture made with a cardboard fire cow?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

See Me Through

I have been listening to this song everyday for the past week. The funny thing is that I have had the album (how do you say this now that one doesn't actually have the CD? Album seems so dated.) for over a year yet have never listened to this song.

God knows just what we need when we need it.

Last week I was coming back to town and this song came on. I had to pull over until the tears ceased flowing because I couldn't see the road. There have been a few things so heavy on my heart lately and at this point I was finally able to release them to the Lord. It's funny how we try to hold on to things ourselves.

Ever since that point, I have felt so much freedom from these situations I was carrying. I have known the scripture "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" for many years, yet I experienced it in the purest form these last few days.

So, have a listen. I pray the Lord ministers to you as He has to me.



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our youth


One month ago yesterday, I stepped foot onto the beautiful soil of Costa Rica. I haven't stopped thinking about the trip since then. Now I know when people come back from mission trips each has a testimony, each has a story. I do have my story, but I feel like I have 13 other stories as well. What blessed me beyond belief was seeing our youth minister, seeing our youth bless others, seeing them be blessed.

For the past 5 years we have watched them grow up. We have laughed with them, cried with them, tried not to pull our hair out over them, loved them. They have matured beautifully into young men and women of the Lord.

Our church here is a traditional church. The Methodist church in Costa Rica was very charismatic. During the worship some people were dancing, some danced with flags. Many raised their hands in worship and were very passionate. Our first Sunday there was Father's Day and all the fathers came to the front. The children surrounded them and we all stretched out our hands to pray for them. W and I have been in every church imaginable, so all of this wasn't a shock for us. The youth, being in a different kind of church though, did awesome. They worshiped God alongside the Costa Ricans and never questioned the differences.

During the mornings when we worked remodeling the church, they gave it their all. Cleaning, scraping, sanding, painting...I never heard a complaint.



For 3 days a few of us worked on a gate in the back of the church. We had to clean it with wire brushes then sand it, then paint it. Both sides of this huge 12 foot wall. On the other side of the gate was an alleyway where homeless people would come and use the bathroom (both #1 and #2). It smelled awful. Doris, one of the women at the church came and power washed the #2s away but it was still rough smelling. Our youth pressed on, finished the job and had a great attitude the whole way.



I love these teenagers. I feel like they teach me how to be a better person and look to the Lord all the more. And they make me laugh :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Home School!



Have you ever categorized people? I know growing up there were the grunge kids and the preppy ones. In college there the working students and non-working students. As a young married couple, it was hard not to be despondent to see others with nice houses and new vehicles. Maybe it still is.

Well, now comes a new category in our life. Home education! Before I continue, watch this...




I, personally, am excited. T-Pup is excited. He can't wait to be able to read, and is already doing awesome with some basic phonics. He loves math. One of his favorite things is for me to make a little puzzle with different quantities of shapes on one side and the corresponding numbers on the other side. Can you feel my excitement?

I'm not so naive to think that each day is going to be a stroll through the daisies. Someone once told me with children some days are rocks and some days are diamonds, and you're reminded of the diamonds on the rock days. I can't help but think this will be no different.

Would you believe me if I told you everyone NOT in the home education arena whom I have told has asked me one question? Can you guess what that question is?

But what about his socialization?

Oh, I'm not worried about that. I'll open the blinds 3x a week for 10 minutes each. You can imagine the response that gets.

Why would I start prohibiting his socialization now? If you have ever met T-Pup, he is quite the socialite. And pretty darn cute, too.

No one (again, outside of this new category) has expressed any concern to me other than his socialization.

So, once again we see these categories in life. And once again, I feel we're on the road less traveled.

And I'm ok with that.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Catch up

I'm hoping our schedule has slowed down a little bit for the time being. The annual youth ski trip is now behind us. We had a great time! T-Pup got to ski and really enjoyed it. We all went tubing Saturday afternoon and W got a precious video of T-Pup as they were tubing down. He LOVED it! Sam on the other hand... well, we had to come back down on foot instead of a tube. Maybe she'll be a bigger fan of it next year. Or the next :)

I love my children dearly, but whew, a 2 and a 4 year old together makes a great combo for partners in crime. While I was in the shower yesterday they got into the kitchen cabinet and consumed about 20 Reese's cups (the mini ones). Maybe when they're 3 and 5 it'll be less eventful? Or not :)

Also yesterday held their first dental cleaning. Boy oh boy... they did not enjoy it. T-Pup has 3 cavities :( but I was really anticipating that. He has just started to love brushing his teeth in the past 6-8 months. Before that it was a battle. And by battle I mean holding him down in my lap, prying his mouth open, and getting what I could without the jaws of life closing in on my fingers. Sam on the other hand has loved all things dental since she could get into them. I wish I could count how many rolls of floss she's gone through to chew on. Wait, I can... 3. (3) 500 yard rolls of floss. 1500 yards of floss. Yep.

So, do you think the day he gets the cavities filled they will let us both have Nitris? That may be the only way I can get through it :)

On a more "me" note, I have been slap worn out lately. Physically and spiritually. Sometimes it feels like I give and give and never get back.... which I know isn't true. "You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over." There is always more of the Lord. Always. I read this last week and it brought SUCH encouragement to me:

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
Isaiah 40:28


He understands where I am (where my family is) and it doesn't tire him out. He continues to fill my cup, even when I don't realize it. Wow... I'm so grateful for that.

So, that's about the extent of where we are this week. W's spring break is next week so hopefully he can get some down time when he isn't working. And I hope to post a few pictures of the ski trip soon too.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Not Me! Monday



It's been a while since I played Not Me! Monday so I thought I'd join in today.

I recently did not find a steal on curtains for $8 each on jcp.com. I therefore did not decide to finally paint my kitchen, resulting in me not contracting out help...

And I most certainly did not make my hired help strip down to their undergarments to avoid any clothing casualties.

I do not absolutely love the way my kitchen came out.

I also did not find my son wiping a booger on my freshly painted wall behind my computer desk today. When I asked why he didn't go get a tissue, he did not reply "the wall is more fun."

And alas, I did not see this in the store and stop in my tracks to take this picture and drool. I do not hope the store still has this after Easter...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Youth Ministry

Hello! And a special welcome if you're coming from Kelly's Korner! My husband has been a youth minister for the past 4.5 years. I typically do not share much from our youth group or church here (note: very small town!) but if I could ever encourage you in any way I would love to. I love our teenagers dearly and love watching their individual (and corporate) relationships grow with the Lord.

My husband is nearly halfway finished with Divinity School, and after that... only the Lord knows. We take delight in whatever that plan is though... or at least I'm trying to get to that point :)

I am by no means versed 100% in the dos and don'ts of youth ministry, but I can tell you I love pouring into this generation. I so often feel inadequate when I don't have answers for them, but I rejoice in this scripture:

3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3


Thanks for stopping by :)

Michelle

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Three Cups of Tea

It was this past summer that I first learned of Three Cups of Tea. A family friend told me her church had just read Three Cups of Tea corporately. The adults read the actual book Three Cups of Tea, the youth read the young reader's edition, and the children read Listen to the Wind.

I noted that I'd like to read it but quickly forgot. Fast forward to this past Christmas. My brother actually told me he'd read it and that I should read it. My brother loves to read, especially things related to the military and history. This was the first time he'd ever recommended a book to me, so I took note. I mentioned to W I'd like to read it and to my surprise, he bought it this past summer right after said family friend recommended it to us.

Alllllll of that to say I read the Three Cups of Tea starting mid-January. One of our youth played in an honor band that was out of town and her parents were unable to be there the first night, so they asked me to go and stay with her in the hotel. I gladly obliged. She left for her band responsibilities and I crawled in bed with the book and made significant progress that night alone.

Greg Mortenson is a top-notch humanitarian. He tells the story of his mountaineering days, and how his failed attempt at K2 allowed him to stumble into a small rural Pakistani village. He was emaciated and the village nursed him back to health. He made a promise to them that he would return to bless them with a school.

And it all began.

He has since built not one, but fifty-five schools. The book chronicles his relationships, his love of the people, his marriage with his wife, and all that comes with living on the other side of the world from where your heart is.

Two of my favorite quotes are as follows:

Jake Greenberg, a thirteen year old from the suburbs of Philadelphia, was so fired up by reading about Mortenson's work that he donated more than one thousand dollars of his bar mitzvah money to the CAI and volunteered to come to Pakistan and help out himself. "When I heard about Greg's story," Greenberg says, "I realized that, unlike me, children in the Muslim world might not have educational opportunities. It makes no difference that I'm a Jew sending money to help Muslims. We all need to work together to plant the seeds of peace" (Mortenson 2006, 302).


Wow. From the mouth of babes.

And...

"Look here, look at these hills." Khan indicated the boulderfields that marched up from the dirt streets of Baharak like irregularly spaced headstones, arrayed like a vast army of the dead as they climbed toward the deepening sunset. "There has been far too much dying in these hills," Sadhar Khan said, somberly. "Every rock, every boulder that you see before you is one of my mujahadeen, shahids, martyrs, who sacrificed their lives fighting the Russians and the Taliban. Now we must make their sacrifice worthwhile, " Khan said, turning to face Mortenson. "We must turn these stones into schools" (Mortenson 2006, 330).


This story is abosolutely real and inspiring. I would recommend any who have an interest in the middle East and humanitarian efforts to read it.

My only grief about the book is that it is strictly humanitarian. I thought because the family friend told us her church read it that it would have some form of Christianity to it. Now, as soon as I say that I think "What is Christianity?" and I immediately think to James 1:27 and taking care of orphans and widows. There is redemption to it in that these people are being offered an education, which presents them with an option other than being paid to be a "freedom fighter." Yet as far as the gospel being presented... not happening here.

Alas, my two cents... or three cents? After all, it was Three Cups of Tea :)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Straight to my heart

A woman that I love and respect wrote this. I pray the Lord will speak to you through it as He did to me.

The Power of the Word

All of us have things (fears, insecurities, strongholds, etc. etc.) that we deal with on an ongoing basis or at least a season basis. We all start thinking about losing weight more seriously in the spring as we think toward that beach vacation, right??? We deal with feelings of loneliness or despair at holidays or birthdays possibly?? We deal with fears associated with a certain family relationship or event? I could go on and on with the scenarios, but the bottom line is that we all have "things" that we deal with, work through, or just endure until it is over.
Just this past month I have had to grab hold of the Word like I haven't had to in a long time. My thoughts and fears of childbirth once again began to wrap around my neck like a noose and try to strangle out anything I had conquered before in this area. I had so many people praying for me which was awesome. On my own though, I had to dig in and find a place of peace with God in my mind, my heart, and my spirit. This is not always easy to do because we have an enemy. Did you hear me? We have an enemy. His plans are to totally disarm us and to tuck our tails and run with fear. This is exactly what David was doing in 1 Samuel 21. He was running....running for his life from King Saul at this time. He was one scared young man and rightly so. The fear is real, no doubt. It is just what we do with it. David comes to Nob to the priest and starts asking for food for he and his men. Ahimelech, the priest, informed him that he had no bread there other than "The Presence...." the holy bread. Ha Ha Ha. This makes me laugh out loud. There is nothing we can feed ourselves with, no magazine articles, no Dr. whoever book, no "think myself happy" that will feed us and satisfy us rather than the presence of God, the very bread of God Himself. Then David asks if the priest has any weapons there. Ahimelech's response to this question is somewhat astounding, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah is here;...." What??? Come on!! The very weapon that David had used once before to cut off the head of his enemy, not to mention the enemy of his family members and his nation. The weapon, the sword we have is The Word... "it is living and active, and sharper than any two edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing of soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 And the beauty of it is this....we have used it before, many times I'm sure, to defeat the enemy. We know it works, we've seen the fruit of it, we've seen the power of it. I encourage you today, my sisters and friends, to use this weapon. Read it, memorize it, meditate on it, quote it to yourself and to the devil, quote it to your children and husband. It will begin to renew your mind and brighten your outlook. It will empower you to know that you can rise above these thoughts, feelings, and circumstances. I know for me it was such a lifesaver these past few weeks. It took me from turmoil to trust within hours. It took me from pessimism to peace. It is a mighty weapon and all we have to do is take it up and use it

Just for smiles

This video will forever warm my heart. I have had a crazy week this past week, and I could watch this over and over again to laugh and be joyful.



And this is the recreation (recreation? re-creation? help!) of it. How incredibly fun.




Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Eww Mommy, blood!

It is 0900 here in the South on a cool, rainy day. T-Pup crawled into our bed around 4 this morning, thus sending me to the couch. I must confess when I walked into our bedroom at 8:30, it was dark and cool and you could hear the rain hitting the windows... I was slightly envious it was him that was still sleeping and not me.

Yesterday while I was making his breakfast he said to me "Momma, do you know I like to drink maple syrup out of the refrigerator when you're not looking?"

Hmm... that explains the excess bouncing the last several days...

Later we were reading in the Bible. We have the Big Picture Story Bible and really enjoy it. T-Pup loves for us to read the Easter story...over and over again. Last year I thought "I really wish we could read something else"but then got convicted... what better to read over and over again besides the story of Jesus rising from the dead?! As our Bible says, He is our forever king.

I continued reading yesterday about when God's people come to understand.



Jesus opened up God's holy book
that had been written long ago.
He started with the books of Moses
and then the Prophets and the Psalms.
He showed them everything
that was written there about him.


So then we get to the next page...

In it were many word pictures that proved
he must die to pay the penalty for sin.

"Mommy! What is that? Why is there blood?" Well bud...

Wow. I studdered through it somehow, but how do you explain the blood of the lamb as atonement for sins to a 4 year old? I eventually said "Jesus' blood covers all of the things we do wrong" but was quickly interrupted with "But I don't like blood!" I hope it wasn't a cop-out, but I told him I knew it was hard to understand now, but one day it would make more sense.

The fact is, it's still a wonderful mystery to me.

What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.

I pray it will always be a wonderful mystery to T-Pup, too.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Going Rogue

A goal of mine in 2010 is to read more... to read more in the Word, to read more with my children, and to read more on my own.

I am proud to announce that we no longer have cable television so that alone should help in my quest for more reading.

I've just finished Going Rogue by Sarah Palin. I'm pleased to offer you my thoughts of the book, as amateur as they may be.

I so appreciate Sarah. She has my respect as a wife and mother. I absolutely love that she never pretends to be someone else. Even back in the days of serving on the Wasilla city council she marched to her on tune. While on the city council and when she served as Mayor, the practicality she governed with merits respect. I've worked in my small life with 3 different campaigns on 3 different levels. There is a whole lot of brown nosing and compromise. Politicos on every level live in their own little worlds and I feel Sarah shattered those walls in every position she has held, even as the VP candidate with Senator McCain.

What I really respect was her decision to resign from her position as Governor of Alaska. She put her interests aside for the best interests of her state. She saw the bigger picture.

The main thing I dislike about the book is the name-game. Good qualities or bad, she lists many names. You can eventually differentiate the personalities of the "characters." I understand they are a part of her story... it just seemed a bit gossipy at times.

There is so much to learn from Sarah Palin. I hope there are more people like her in the world. I would now love to go to Alaska and just hang out with her for a week and see the state, so long as she didn't ask me to eat fish. I'd more than willingly try the moose and caribou though!

Please read the book and then I'd love to converse with you about it!

Up next I'll be reading Three Cups of Tea. I'm really excited about this one.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thinking of Boston

video

We really had the best time. And with our freezing temperatures here, I know it's all the colder and snowier there than it is here. We watched this in front of Faneuil Hall. Precious memories!