"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Monday, June 29, 2009

We interrupt this blogger block...

I know I haven't been around much the past couple of weeks. I am experiencing some pretty annoying bloggity blockage. I have things I want to write about...just no motivation to sit down and apply.

To interrupt this blogger block I am now going to post some random pictures that I love.


When she was born, Abby was compared to Gene Simmons because of her tongue sticking out skills...She still has them.

I really love this guy. He's so darned cute, too.

This is my too-cute kiddo at one of his ball games. He had a great time catching and his team ended their season with an 11-2 record.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

This week I of course want to honor my husband.

I love that the following video is something that my man takes seriously. He knows that Kevin wants to be just like him, good or bad. I am so proud when my hubby sits down and helps him with him homework, shows him how to mow the yard and how to treat girls, but more importantly, I love that Kevin is learning how to treat women from watching the loving way his dad treats me in the little day-in-day-out ways, that God comes first by seeing his dad on the couch reading the Bible, listening to him pray at night and wanting to serve because he sees his dad serving the people in his life with a humble heart.







My heart just breaks with love to watch Bob with his little princess. It makes me so happy to see her wrap him around her little finger and how he is already teaching her how she should be loved by all those evil boys to come. I love to see his face light up when she comes running up to him when he comes in the door, how he thinks there has never been anything funnier/cuter/more precious/more blessed than the gift of our little girl. I can't wait to see their relationship grow as she becomes a little girl, a young lady, a teen and finally, a woman. We pray that God will do amazing things with her life, and with her Dad setting the standard, I know she will make God proud!



Happy Father's Day honey. I Love You!




Verse 1:
Gotta hold on easy as I let you go.
Gonna tell you how much I love you,
though you think you already know.
I remember I thought you looked like an angel wrapped in pink so soft and warm.
You've had me wrapped around your finger since the day you were born.

Chorus:
Your beautiful baby from the outside in.
Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again.
Go on, take on this whole world.
But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl.

Verse 2:
When you were in trouble that crooked little smile could melt my heart of stone.
Now look at you, I've turned around and you've almost grown.
Sometimes you're asleep I whisper "I Love You!" in the moonlight at your door.
As I walk away, I hear you say, "Daddy Love You More!".

(Repeat Chorus)

Verse 3:
Someday, some boy will come and ask me for your hand.
But I won't say "yes" to him unless I know, he's the half
that makes you whole, he has a poet's soul, and the heart of a man's man.
I know he'll say that he's in love.
But between you and me. He won't be good enough!

Friday, June 12, 2009

What Do I Know of Holy

This week has had me looking and seeing things in a new way. I guess you could say that my eyes have been opened to a small glimpse of how horribly self-important we can be.

All I can think to say is, God, I am so sorry for thinking I had you figured out, that I could fore-tell what you would do, what your plans are, or even how powerful you are.

We have seen nothing of God's power and plan. No matter how much we pursue him, we will never understand how vast and powerful and mighty and holy he is. I am so glad that this week I was reminded that it is ALL about the relationship with Christ, the worship of him with our WHOLE lives, the passionate pursuit of him in EVERY way.

God loves us in a way that is so big, we can only comprehend a small, small part. How comforting that is. No person on this tiny little world will ever compare or come close to God. No matter what happens, when we press into God, trust him and depend on Him, even though people fail us, God never will. And he will prove it, again and again.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~ Ephesians 3:14-19





For more glimpses into God's work in our lives, follow the link in my right hand column.

What were we going to do again?

If you are like me, you are constantly thinking of things that need done, but will be time/labor/money intensive. I have come up with a way of remembering what all those projects are, and also tracking where we are with money and materials for the project.

I bought a cheap spiral bound index card notebook. It is 3X5 so it is not too large. It has lines so it can be somewhat neat.

Each index card contains the idea for one project. I have ones that say: "Redecorate back entry stairs", "clean out garage", "make sitting area in back yard", "organize scrapbook items", "redecorate kitchen", etc...

They can be big projects or little. They all get put into the spiral. Then as time and funds permits, we flip through the spiral, find one we want to work on and have the funds and materials for, and go to work! When the project is completed we just rip the card out and toss it!

My husband gave the project spiral to our toddler the other day to play with. I told him that he couldn't get rid of it that easily, I would just buy another and re-write all of it.

He just laughed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Once For All



A three-word phrase divided into thirds and then
expounded upon...


Once:
This is my dream word. I would love to say something "once". Ask something "once". Pick up something "once".


Alas, it is not to be
.

I have kids. I have a dog. I have a cat. I have a husband. I have a life! I will, for the rest of my life, repeat myself over and over, continually request that the lights be shut off before leaving the room, that the shoes of everyone in my family have a home and to please put them there, that the dog would quit scratching and the cat quit, for dear petes's sake! leaving "gifts" all over the house!


No matter how much I would love to never have to say something more than once, I have to remember that God grants me MUCH more mercy than I deserve. Every day I wake up and God starts over..."Remember I love you most", "Chose to honor Me today", "Let your love for Me dictate your thoughts, words, and actions".

"I forgive you".

How God must wish he only had to say these things once. But because of his infinite grace, mercy, and love, he says them over and over.


For: I love how I have people that are FOR me. They love me. They push me. They hold me accountable. They laugh with me. They cry with me. They take, they give, they sit quietly and let me just be.

They know all my ugly inside stuff and love me anyway.


They are never more than a phone call, text or short car ride away. It doesn't matter if they have been by my side for 3 years, 15 years, or my whole life. They have walked in front of me and led me when I couldn't find the way on my own, they have walked beside me and experienced all the things that make up my life, and they sometimes walk behind me, allowing me to blaze the trail, all the while willing to push me when I get tired, or help me up when I fall.

They are my people, and they are FOR me.


ALL
: This makes me think of the times when I haven't given my all. I struggle with that constantly. I sometimes give just enough. I sometimes give nothing. But I rarely give my all to something. I try to blame it on the quirks of my personality. "Focus is hard for me." "long-term projects are hard when you have ADD". "I just don't have a lot of patience".


Those phrases, and the ones that are just like them, that I utter and use as my handy go-to reasons when I don't FEEL like finishing, working harder, or changing myself, are just excuses for me not to give my ALL.


Praise GOD that Jesus wasn't a quitter. He had all the opportunity, the power and the right to say, "No. I won't go further. I have already worked, sacrificed, struggled to teach them, offered to lead them, proved that I love them, and still they want more of me. I can't. I won't. I'm going home".


But he didn't.


He saw our fate, our struggle, our arrogance. He saw our in-ability to help ourselves, our repeated fall into sin. He saw what it would take to save us and he didn't quit, he didn't turn away, he didn't make excuses. He gave ALL. For me. For you. For ALL.


For more Thursday 3Some Fun, head over to Wild Olive Shoot!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Run to You

There are so many things in this song that I really relate to right now. I will have to blog about it soon. All I can say is in the lyrics of this song I see my relationship with God, with my husband, my kids and my friends. I also understand the feeling of trying to run my life and having it run me instead.

I hope you love this song as much as I do.




For more great inspiring songs, follow the link in my right hand column.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

So Excited! New layout and banner!

I have changed my layout before, but this is the first time I have ever made my own banner! I struggle with all the technical stuff and generally just search around until I find something pre-made. (or I get my friend April to make it, like the seesaw picture!) I will even confess until just a few months ago, I thought HTML was short for "hotmail". It's OK. You can go ahead and laugh.

Anyway, I decided to figure this thing out. After about 4 hours and a lot of frustration, I finally figured out how to make the banner! It isn't super fancy, but for my first one, I think I did darned good.

The pictures are from 4th of July last year. That's the bad thing about me. I don't "pre-photo" pictures for holidays. I actually take them on the day of the holiday, then can't use them again until the next year. But, my kids are so darned cute that I am sure you won't mind!


Ya, that's all that this post is about. I was just really excited!


Thank you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday Unwrapped ~ Baseball

I spend so much time frustrated and worried and hopeful and disappointed during the school year. If I could take away Kevin's learning disabilities I would in a heartbeat. If I could make things easier for him, even just a little bit, I would give anything for it. But I can't. So we struggle, and fight, and give up and start over. And over. And over.

Summer is like a haven for us. Kevin can just be a boy. Going on field trips with his day camp. Hanging out at Nana and Papa's. Coming home from being out doing boy things covered in dirt and smiles. Swimming like a fish and turning golden from hours in the pool at the park. Weekend fishing trips with Grandpa and trips to the zoo as a family.

But best of all...he plays ball.





I took this picture while the coach was having a little chat with the boys and getting them refocused. I just love watching Kevin play baseball. He struggles so much all year to focus and comprehend and retain and keep up. Out on the baseball diamond, especially behind home plate as catcher, he finds his moment to shine. He is focused, purposeful, needed, dependable, and best of all, he is just one of the guys, working together on an even playing field. And by the way, this kid has a great arm on him!




I love this picture. It is such a perfect frame of their relationship. They had actually been playing and I was trying to get a picture of her squealing and throwing her hands up, but I caught this instead. One in a million, if I had wanted it I would have missed it shots.


I am so thankful that God has given Abby such an amazing big brother, and I am so thankful that Kevin has such a loving little sister. They are so connected to each other, it is a true blessing from God. I just pray that in the years to come, their relationship will continue to grow as a support and source of unconditional love.


How wonderfully wise and loving is the God that heard my "never again" but answered the prayer I didn't know to pray with a "yes" instead.

Set Apart ~ Part 2 (The Promises) Teen Devotion

Even though we know what God expects of us, our attitudes and actions, how are we supposed to measure up? I mean, sometimes it’s hard to even find something to praise God about, much less trust him when faced with really hard times or confrontation about what we believe.

So how do we? Know we can trust him that is? How do we know that we will be able to do it?

Once again, all of this week’s devotion is taken directly from scripture.


No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful;
he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are
tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

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.
~Philippians 4:8

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
~James 4:7

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
~Hebrews 7:25

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the
breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the
readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up
the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the
evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the
word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers
and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the
saints.
~Ephesians 6:10-18

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
~Galatians 5:22-23

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of
anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" Jesus replied, "I tell you
the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent
place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you
free, you will be free indeed.
~John 8:31-36

"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come
to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.
Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my
Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys
them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I too will love him and show myself to him."
~John 14:15-24

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace,
along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
~2 Timothy 2:22

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that
whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not
send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through
him.
~John 3:16-17


There is a common theme among all of the preceding verses. Each one is an indication of God’s amazing love for us.

How?
They speak of the power he gives us, the weapons and armor, instructions on how to find him when our thoughts are clouded, the knowledge that the power of God’s presence in our lives will be enough to send the devil running, God’s spirit to help us know and understand scripture and apply it to our lives(both as discipline and as encouragement), the fruits of the spirit that are ours from the moment we commit our lives to Christ, and the assurance that as long as we are pursuing God with a pure heart we can know that God is ready and willing to meet us in our struggle or pain.

The most important thing that we can remember is that God wants us to succeed in our calling. What is that calling? To love him, to worship him and to take the story of what he has done in our lives into the world, so that others can know that there is a hope and future.


And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all
times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
~ 2 Corinthians 9:8

Never Give Up


A three-word phrase divided into thirds and then
expounded upon...
NEVER GIVE UP

(Yes, this is supposed to be posted on Thursday, but I am horrible about remembering to do even the most daily activity, so this is really pushing it, but at least I got it done before I have to do the next one! :)



Never:

Most notably, I SWORE I would NEVER get pregnant again after I had my son. After being horribly uncomfortable the entire last trimester, massive swelling (men's size 13 sandals anyone? UGH!) post-partum depression, and just generally struggling with being a mom for the year that followed, I knew I would never want to go through that again. Enter God. Yep, you get your life right, your walk right and your marriage healing, and lookey lookey what God can do. Abby is a true blessing for a woman who was to NEVER be pregnant again.


Give:

I love to give. Might not be much, but I am definitely a giver. Everyone thinks that my love language is gifts but it sure isn't! I love finding out things about people, little things like favorite color, beverage, hobby etc. and then give them little gifts of encouragement when I think they need a little pick-me-up. I like sending cards for no reason. I like giving my friends treats. I love to leave milkshakes in the freezer at my friend's office for her to find. It sounds like I am really generous, but the truth is, I LOVE making people happy. It is totally selfish. I like to see the reactions, those are my favorite part. I wish I could say that I didn't need the gratification of knowing that they were so happy/surprised/pleased/encouraged. But I do. ah well.


Up:

I am always up way too late. I stay up because I love the alone time. I should be a good homemaker and clean or organize, but usually I just blog, watch videos or TV-online, take long baths, read or otherwise be very self indulgent. I hate that I stay up until the wee hours to get my alone time, but at this stage of my life, with my hubby, my kids, working and working in my ministries, it is what I have so I work with it. I generally write all of my blogs between 11pm and 2am. :) I have been more faithful to get to bed early the majority of the time, but sometimes I just need a little "stay-up" time.
Thursday 3somes are so much fun! Head on over to Wild Olive Shoot and meet my friend Leslie to join in!