Thursday, February 26, 2009

She's Baaacccckkkk!

Proverbs 19:20
Listen to advice and accept instruction
and in the end you will be wise.

I am so blessed this morning to be able to write about how God has healed my family. It is not very often that a mom gets the chance to see God's hand at work so quickly. In this case, it is so obvious to me that God had His hands on this child and would not let me rest until there was a solution. Let me go back a few months.

Before Christmas, Doodle was really struggling with her temper. This has not been the only time in her life this was an issue, but this time was more intense. It got scary. I did not see the passion she normally has for life or the joy. This girl is a burst of energy in our home and suddenly she was a puddle on her bed or a fire raging in the home. Not the normal Doodle. Schooling became a nightmare and it appeared she was struggling with some deep issues that were over my head. So, I signed us up to go see a trusted Christian counselor together. I knew that we needed help to figure this out and I was willing to do whatever it took to help my girl.

So, after the first of the year, we went to our first session. At that session, we were asked if there were any meds that she takes on a regular basis. I told them she takes Singular and has an inhaler for her asthma. The light bulb went off with this woman. She told me there had been a link between mental illness in children and Singular. Now, I did not believe that was the only issue we were dealing with but I did feel a since of hope. I thought the Singular might have been causing the intensity of the rages but not the anger in and of itself. So I called the pediatrician and they removed her from taking this medicine. The counselor also gave Doodle tools to use, most of which we had taught her before, but somehow having this woman tell her, she did it. I am grateful she learned them regardless of who told her.

Jump forward six weeks, last night we had another session. As we sat there, I just kept thinking what an amazing God we serve. Since Doodle has been off this med, she is no longer raging at all. We have not had that issue since the beginning of January. She is using her "I feel" statements when she does get angry and is over it in 10 minutes or less. That is a miracle in itself. Her rages would last an hour to six hours at the worst.

Now, my girl is back. She has passion, energy, joy again. She is my Doodle once more. I am not saying she never has any issue with anger and never will again. That is not true. She has issues with her temper that she will have to work on for a long time, but she has the tools and her body will let her. As she sat there talking to the counselor last night, she beamed of how much better she feels. She kept saying she use to feel nothing but anger sitting on her bed all day and thinking of all the things that made her mad. I can confirm that to be true. The girl was stewing. But now, she said she feels that a curtain has been lifted and she can see the colors in her life again. I love that!

So, it is with much joy and great pride that I say, we have been officially released from counseling. The counselor feels we are on the right path and no longer need her on a regular basis. Obviously, if anything pops up, we will return. Until then, it is just so nice to wake up each morning to hear my girl singing again. (seriously, she is such a morning person and I am soooo not.) I am proud of her being willing to dig in with me and figure this thing out together. We both were praising God last night for His leading us to the counselor He did and for healing. I have so missed my girl.

Doodle is an entertainer. She loves to make me laugh. I have missed that in my life and have to say that it is a joy to have that back. So here is the tribute to my girl. This picture was taken when she told me she was going to go take a shower about a year or so ago. When she came out of the bathroom, she was suddenly snorkel girl! Cracked me up. She just kept talking to me like nothing was wrong. She has a gift to bring joy to others and I just so pleased to be able to see her using that gift once more. I did not realize how much I missed that in my life, but I did. It is such a blessing to have my girl back. Thank you, Jesus!


Psalm 71:23
My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you—
I, whom you have redeemed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Walk Down Memory Lane



Today's walk down memory lane was tough for me to decide where to head. As I started flipping through my pictures files, I soon figured it out. My joy in life is being home with my kids. I also find great joy in being an aunt to so many kiddos who I just adore. When they were all little, they were at my house so much. Now that I have two teenage niece and nephews, they are so busy and do not have as much time to come hang with "Neeny", which is what they call me. I think this picture speaks a thousand words. It may not be developed very well, but I still love it.


Here are 7 of the 10 cousins sitting on my back deck (before we painted:) eating apples. All the kids had been over playing in our backyard and the three moms were there talking. We use to take bike rides together and have milkshakes afterwards. Such fun! These kids were together so much, I think they thought they were siblings! Our house seemed to be the place to meet up.


This picture was taken when we had our second Cousin Sleepover at our house. Here all of the cousins were able to make it, which blessed us so much. My girls loved having everyone at our home. I adore that they did not care if someone was "too little" to play with or that they were "too big", they just played. I had 10 year olds playing with the 4 year old and loving it! We had girls playing game boy, we had boys beading. It was just them loving being together. At one point, I had 5 kids around my kitchen table painting, two of which were not happy that I had turned off the tv at that time, but loved it by the end.


Why is this so precious to me? I think I have always felt that these kids were my mission field. God chose me to be a mom to the girls in my home most definately, but I also have always felt a calling to reach out to these kids in a way I never had in my childhood. I loved having all of them over to play. I do recall being really tired, but I loved listening to them talk and giggle. I even enjoyed being able to redirect their conversations when needed. I didn't mind the time outs from time to time and I just loved seeing their eyes light up when they walked in our home. My kids were so blessed by the times we all spent together those early years. My oldest daughter still misses having them around because for the first 8 years of her life, they were here so much. Lately, due to busy schedules, shifts in family, parents work, etc, they are not able to come around as often as I would like. But when they do, we all treasure that time. My girls soak up the time they are here and I sit in my chair in my room, listen to the giggles, talking and know this is how it should be. My prayer for all of them is to be close as they get older. They may never sit at the back porch eating apples again, but I pray they will always be there for each other whether it is to take a stand for something they believe in, sit beside someone who is hurting or to share a giggle. I am thankful for the many years of listening to these kids share life and am so grateful to have the joy of being their Mom and Neeny. Now if I can just figure out how to capture the sounds of their laughter in a bottle for the days we need a good laugh!


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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday's Here! Time to Tackle Something!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Well, here we are again looking at another Tuesday. I have struggled to know what to tackle today as I truly have tons of projects that could be done. After considering my options, I have decided to attack the ironing. I tend to go with the "throw it in the dryer" mode, if it is something that will dewrinkle that way. Or I suggest another shirt if possible. I really don't enjoy ironing. So, I haven't done it for what seems like forever. Since that is true and since it was just his birthday yesterday, I thought I would continue with my thinking of ways to bless him and iron the shirts in his closet that need it. Little did I know that when I opened that can of worms, there would be so many shirts that needed it. Regardless, by the end of the day, maybe midnight, I will have tackled these shirts.


Update: It is done! Yeah!

21 shirts needed ironed


After watching Piglet's Big Movie with the girls, the job is finally tackled! I am proud to say that I have managed to tackle my second Tuesday job. Sadly, it takes gimics like this to keep me motivated.


Monday's Menu Planning

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This week we should be home more, which is great. We also have no sick kiddos, so that means we don't have to eat carefully again. Very grateful for that. So here is the week at hand, minus Monday since we already enjoyed that feast.

Tuesday: Baked Ravioli, salad, bread

Wednesday: White Bean Chicken Chili, Chips/Salsa

Thursday: Boiled Supper (my gram's recipe: polish sausage, potato and green beans), corn bread

Friday: Vegetable Soup, Cottage Cheese, Homemade Bread

Saturday: At a friends...I'll take something yummy

Sunday: left overs

Now I am hungry! I should time this post more carefully around my meals. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthday Revelations


What a joy to be celebrating my honey today. He is having a full day at work and off to Bible Study Fellowship, but we are still celebrating. The girls and I have been cleaning up the house so when he returns home, his "castle" will shine, or at least not be so yucky! We have also found a fun gift for his new laptop, made plenty of pictures for him. It has been fun to focus on him and what would bless him today, which reminded me, isn't that what I am suppose to do everyday?

As his helpmeet, shouldn't I seek to bless him in this way everyday? I know the world would say no, but I know God says yes. I am suppose to be focused on how I can bring joy to his life each day. I know he lives this way with me, so why is it so hard for me? Is it because I am so selfish that I can't see past my own desires to focus on his? Is it because I have convinced myself that I am so busy with the kids homeschool, cleaning, laundry etc., that I don't have time to focus on his needs in this way? I am not sure why, but I do know that something happens to me when I stop and make my man my main focus behind God. My heart changes. Little things that use to bug me suddenly do not. I have more patience when dealing with my kids. I find joy in doing the household chores because suddenly it is not about being "put out" to do this task. It is about bringing joy to this man who does so for me every single day.

The world makes it tough on women to step into this role as helpmeet. It encourages you to take or demand time for yourself as often as you need it, go ahead, you deserve it! I fall into this trap way too often. I am not suggesting we don't need breaks, I am just saying that there are many of us who focus so much on "when do I get my break" that we forget why we are here. On days like today, I realize that if I would just serve Matt the way God wants me to, my joy would be complete. Matt already does a lot around here and with the kids, it is not about that. It is about my heart, my spirit within me. I am able to find joy in serving God through serving Matt with a cheerful heart. Plus, the bonus, I won't go into details, but suddenly I have energy to be the wife he desires.:0) God is good. What a gift to Matt for God to use his birthday to remind me gently of my hearts desire, to serve him with a cheerful heart and seek to serve God in all I do.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Memory Verse



This week I want to work on self discipline in two areas: eating and housework. So, with that, God has given me a great verse:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power,
of love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

My prayer is when I feel overwhelmed and can not focus on my task at hand, I will remember this scripture and keep going. It is a choice I have made right now to be out of control with food and lazy around the house. Yes, there are reasons I am tired or don't feel like doing stuff, but that is not how God wants me to react: caving into the laziness or the cravings. God is bigger than my hunger. He is bigger than my tiredness and I know if I call on Him, He will help me to get these two areas under control. I'll let you know how it goes! Have a blessed week in the Lord!

Be Still and Know that I am God!



BeStillSunday


Friday, February 20, 2009

Saturdays Psalm and Praise

Saturday Psalm & Praise


Lamentations 3:22-24

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

Psalm 117:2

2 For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD.

Psalm 57:10

10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

I think for the first Saturday Psalm and Praise post, I will stick with one of my favorite hymns, Great Is Thy Faithfulness. When I start to let the worries of today or the struggles of life take over, I just need to remember the words of this song: check out these lyrics!


Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Refrain

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Refrain



Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Husband Rocks My Socks Off!



I love to be among women who celebrate the man God brought into their life. It is a blessing to be able to share just what knocks my socks off...or should I say..."rocks" my socks off about my man. There are many things that make me just grin when I think of Matt. We met on a blind date and knew within two months that we would spend the rest of our lives together. What let me know that so quickly? I know it was God first of all, secondly, the man has a great sense of humor and a heart so generous that you can't help be swept off your feet. I remember my Gram telling me on our first date that any man that can make you laugh is a keeper because you need to have laughter in life to get through the tough times. I have found that to be so true. We have had our tough times for sure. Some that should have broken us. Yet that is not what God had planned and I am so grateful. Today, I want to talk about his heart.

I don't think I fully knew just how big this heart was until I saw him with his girls. Due to infertility issues with both of us, God lead us to the gift of adoption, which might break just any man, but I will never forget watching Matt hold his girls for the first time. The same man that can crack a joke about anything, stood before me with tears of joy running down his face. This man was not looking at some other man's child with sadness that we could not have "our own", this man was looking into the face of his baby girl. He felt content with how God brought us to parenthood which gave me such joy.
So jump forward 8 years, I was able to watch him see the emotional hurt in a 16 year old abandoned girl who was staying with us for a short time while the choir she was singing with stayed in town. He did not see that as someone else's problem, he saw that as God bringing her to us so we could step up and meet that need. Now, that has been a joy to do, as not only did we reach out to her, but we found out she had a twin sister. We knew if we were going to be connected with one, we would have to reach out to the other. So we did.
His drive in creating his family has been such an inspiration to me. There are men who have many children but never fully understand what it means to be Daddy. When I watch Matt with his girls, I see God's love for me. Nothing makes the girls feel safer than in their Daddy's arms. When they are hurt, they run to Daddy. When they find joy, they run to Daddy. That is how it should be. They are so eager to share what each day has brought as he enters the room after work. That truly is a glimpse of how I should be with my heavenly Father, my Abba. So, thank you sweetheart, for first of all loving me even when I'm unlovable. (not that I ever give you those opportunities. Ha ha!) Secondly, thank you for seeing God's plan as more than sufficient to bring you the family He wanted you to love. Thirdly, for giving the girls in your life a glimpse of how we/they are to see their heavenly Father. I am always eager to see what changes God will bring next to this man and so blessed to know I will get to sit right here with him to witness it all. Did I mention, my husband rocks?!

Delight In the Lord


God keeps reaching out to me right now in various ways. I must be a visual learner because He seems to reach me greatest with pictures and videos! I ran across this picture that I had saved from earlier use in a newsletter. It says it all, doesn't it? Delight yourself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart! What an amazing promise! I think a lot of people focus on the "give you the desires of your heart" portion of this scripture. I want to focus on the "delight yourself in the Lord" portion. What would that look like for me? How do I delight myself in the Lord? I am not totally sure of that answer yet, but I do know it is putting Him first, above all other tasks on my "to do" list. It is not seeing my time with Him as a task but as nourishment. It is seeking His Word above all my friends advice. It is falling on my knees before the throne of God daily and worshipping Him as my Lord and Savior. For now, that will be my focus. I am eager to see where else He will take me as I learn to delight in Him and not worry about the my heart's desires. I think I have focused on that part way too long. Time to put God first and focus on that alone.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane


Today's walk down memory lane is so easy for me to decide what to write. I keep thinking about my girls in Romania. They are so far from us, yet I truly feel them with us often. When I am really missing them because we have not heard from them in a long time, or because we are doing something as a "family", I just stop and go through the pictures of our time together and am so blessed. So this week, walk with me as I walk down memory lane from our trip to Romania almost three years ago now.


Here our girls are getting ready to get on the plane. I use to love to dress them alike when we took trips so I only had to recall one outfit in case they ever got lost. Now we all giggle about these outfits a bit. They call them the Pepto Bismol Princess outfits. I love it! I don't care how bright they are, they looked so sweet. We had to leave for the airport so early in the morning and they jumped out of bed with no problem because they knew we were going to see their sisters. They truly were floating all the way to the airport. Matt had gone to Romania the November before, so he knew how long the flight would be and kept telling us to prepare for a long trip. That did not sway the girls. They were convinced if Vio and Gaby could do it, they could. Love that!

Once we made it to Romania, Matt started doing what he does best, cleaning teeth and occasionally pulling them. Here Doodle is helping him do his job. She was so excited to be his special helper. He also had our friend Gaby Simoc helping him.

While Matt was working on teeth, the girls and I were able to play. This picture brings back so many memories. Some may say that it really doesn't show much. You can't see who it is, but trust me, it is precious to me. Here Bean is playing with Alex. Why is this so sweet? Well, Bean is terribly shy. She never really left my side much. Here, we were only at Caminul Felix for about 20 minutes and she starts running off with the kids who live here. She felt safe. It was a precious moment for this mom.

There it is: the picture that touches my heart. This is the first time all four of our girls were together. This photo brings such joy to our hearts. Doodle could not be more excited. She is just beaming to finally have all of her sisters with her.

This picture is of a gypsy village school/church. We were visiting with the guy in charge of the school/church and looked back to see the kids with their faces plastered to the door. This was their safe place. They wanted to be at school and could not wait to get inside. I have often thought about this picture. It reminds me of how I should approach my time with God. Each day, I should plaster my face up against the window as I eagerly await God to open the door to gain more wisdom from His word.

Here we were with kids who have nothing and my head went to mommy mode for germ control! Not cool! God stretched me right then as I saw Doodle playing with the kids. It did not even cross her mind that the kids hands were covered with dirt and germs or that they did not have shoes or clean clothes. None of that mattered to her. It also did not matter that they did not speak the same language. To her, they were new friends who she wanted to share the love of God with. What a heart! This child showed her mom what being the aroma of Christ to others truly looks like. I was humbled immediately by my thoughts and took every chance I could to love on these kids. Below is a picture of the village we drove through before arriving at the school/church. I was humbled to see what people called "home". One thing Doodle reminded me of as we prayed for these people, they were happy. Truly, she is right, these kids had joy even if they did not have shoes or clothes. They were happy. That made me think, do I show that kind of joy with the life God has given me? Do I appreciate what I have in times of struggle and in times of plenty? The answer is truly humbling and something I still work to achieve.

After leaving the gypsy village, I was really having a hard time. I cried on the bus back to the hotel. We were so blessed to have this opportunity, yet I was ashamed how I reacted initially. While that is true, I was amazed at my children. I see now why God says the little children will lead them. So I will follow.

The next stop was the baby hospital. This is where Bean was able to shine. She was only 5 when we went to Romania. Truly she was just a baby herself. (okay, well at least to me) At the hospital, we met babies who had either been very sick or had been abandoned because their parents could not care for them any longer. This hospital was nothing like what we have at home. The babies are not held often and do not get to bond with other people. Thankfully, that is changing as there are now people working to change that. Here, Bean is holding Rosalyn. This baby was crying for everyone until Bean held her. It is her gift.

Here we are again with a picture of our girls together. This was a special day. We had waited to have the chance to spend time with the girls. So after school one day, they made us lunch and took us to see their school and their city of Oradea. The buildings were amazing! I had not seen such architecture before. I felt as I was walking through a page in a history book. It is just beautiful. We enjoyed a pizza as a family. They ordered it the way they usually eat it...with french fries on it! We enjoyed it. After the meal, we walked some more and shopped together. Truly, this was the highlight of our trip. I will never forget what it felt like to have all of our girls together. The most precious picture I will have forever in my mind, I can share with you today. Here they are, hand in hand, walking through the streets of Oradea, Romania.

My heart will always hold this day close. When I miss these girls, I think of this day and know that one day, God will bring us all back together. Until then, we write via email, talk via instant messaging from time to time and very seldom receive a phone call. Most of all, we hold tight to the memories of our days together and know that love knows no boundaries.





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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesdays Tackled Project!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme


I really did not want to tackle this project. Truly, I had been stashing stuff around my desk for several days if not weeks! It was beyond gross. Truly, I can not tell you what stress that caused me everytime I went into the room. So here are the before shots...this is so embarrassing but good to be humbled. (love me despite my dirt! :0)

The desk! Ugh! What a mess.


The storage area for "office" supplies. Gross!

Now that we have that moment over, I must admit, I am glad to say that I not only tackled this project, it inspired my girls to tackle their desks as well! Lead by example! So here is the finished project and my girls desks as well. Good job girls!

The clean storage area!


Look at that desk! What a gem.


Doodle's desk....looking good!

Bean's desk is good as new!
Not bad for a first time on the tackling a project on Tuesday. Now I just have to come up with the plan for next week!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tackle it on Tuesday!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme


I am finding these little incentives very helpful to this disorganized mama. I don't know when I lost my ability to run this house as I once did, but somehow, clutter and poor time management have prevailed. So for my first Tuesday project to tackle, I choose my desk area. I will take a picture tonight of the before. Then I will work on it tomorrow and show you pics of the finished project.

Menu Planning Monday

Photobucket
Since I have had more time at home with sick kiddos today, I decided to get online and find the resources some of my other friends have found to help them get organized. So this is my first Organization Junkie post! (Thanks Lain!)

Obviously, we will be shaking up our typical menu this week as we have a sick kiddo and who knows who else will fall to the bug. Therefore, I have tried to keep it simple and quick. Here is what the crew will be eating this week:

Monday: chicken noodle soup, hot turkey/cheese sandwich for all that are well

Tuesday: chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans

Wednesday: chicken and rice, broccoli

Thursday: cheese quesadillas, rice and black beans

Friday: roast, potato, carrots

Saturday: left over roast

Sunday: ham, potato, cheese casserole, salad

I am so encouraged to be able to work on memorizing scripture more. I know I have had the chance to help the girls memorize their verses for Bible Bowl, but that is not the same. This challenge allows me to focus on the scripture God is wanting me to keep close to my heart. These are the promises of God that I need to bring to mind when I need a moment of truth. So this week, I am going to work on this verse: 1 Thessolonians 5:16-18

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

I love these reminders and I do need to be reminded daily to be joyful always and pray continually. I think I will see quite a difference in how I handle things that come my way as I put this verse to memory! Until next Monday, enjoy learning God's word.

Flu Bug Bites!

Poor Doodle woke up this morning with the flu! I hate that for her. Today was Father's Breakfast at our co-op and that is such a special day. We all bring in food and spoil the daddy's but the fun part is the kids get to show them what they have been working on this year. She was going to be playing background music on the piano during breakfast as well. So, now we stay put and decide if Emma and Daddy still go or we just all stay clear. I'll keep everyone posted.


Update: Well, Doodle is doing better, but just wants to be able to go to co-op. Bean woke up with a cough and runny nose so we are all home. Both girls are lounging by a t.v. right now. When you are sick with the flu, nothing beats movie day. We just do what we can and know we will catch up with other stuff later. So, I am doing laundry, cleaning the house for germs and of course, playing on the computer. Sometimes I think God gives us these days so we take time to be still. We just don't have a choice today. So we will hang out together, watch some movies, read some books, cuddle and clean. Those are truly my favorite days, minus the puke of course!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Date Night!

Did I mention I have a date tonight with my man? Well, if I didn't, I have a date tonight with my sweetie! Woohoo! I can not tell you the last time Matt and I went out on a date by ourselves. Now I do know the last time we went out with other couples, which is always fun, but seriously can't recall the last date night we had alone. So that pretty much tells me that it is way overdue.

We are headed out to Maggiano's for dinner and then who knows. Depends on how long dinner takes. Our girls are going to stay with some friends. We have started to swap kids for date nights. Not sure why it took us so long to figure this out but it is a need.

When you are married with kids, it is so easy to start to put the kids and daily life stuff first. I do have to say that is just not good. The kids and stuff will be gone one day and we have to take care of our marriage first. My parents did a great job of letting us know the best gift they could give us was to take time out for their marriage. I know that, I was raised to respect that and yet I still struggle to make it happen. Now, I will add that we are not in a state of crisis in our marriage so it gets easy to put on the back burner, but still, it is good to enjoy the good times together as well as pull together when stuff is happening.

So tonight gets to be a fun night for just us. We will probably go over the 7 questions we use to spark conversation about other things besides kids and also to go a little deeper with our talks than what we did last week. It has always helped us to stay focused on our marriage growing closer and closer to what God desired it to be. I am just thankful that I have a husband who likes to go out with me and enjoys talking with me about our life together. I am also thankful that my husband does not just take one day a year to say how much he loves me or to do something special. He spoils me throughout the year and it is not just with stuff. It is with the stuff that counts: love, time, attention, kindness, service, trustworthiness, sense of humor, joy, and more! We just enjoy laughing and spending time together and I am so excited to do just that. Can you tell? Oh, by the way, did you know I have a date with my honey tonight? Better go get ready!


AGMinistries.org: Marriage is between a man and a woman.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I found it!

After this morning's verses that God gave me, I was trying to find this hymn that I remembered singing when I attended BSF.(Bible Study Fellowship) It went so well with the scripture from 2 Timothy 1:12b: "I know whom I have believed and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day." As I stated earlier, God seems to be speaking to me through songs right now and it really doesn't matter to me if it is classical music, old hymns, or current praise songs. They all point me to my precious Jesus. So, here it is:

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

Refrain

But I know Whom I have believ├Ęd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

Refrain

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

Refrain

I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

Refrain

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.

Refrain


God Still Speaking Loudly!

I don't know about you, but God talks to me through many avenues. Sometimes, it is through my kids, husband or other family member and friends. Then there are times He speaks to me through the quiet of nature. Amazing! Recently, He has started screaming to me through songs I have listened to for years but maybe have not taken the time to really hear what He is telling me. This is one of those songs. I hear you, Lord!

Casting Crowns - Who am i ( LYRICS ) --- Algen Llano

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God's 2X4

Lately I have become more aware of how far away from God I had allowed myself to become. I know that I have always loved Him and had faith He would do what He promised. That has never wavered, however, my time with Him has, my reading His word has and my serving Him at church and being a part of the body certainly have both suffered. Most of all, my devotion to seeking Him daily has taken the biggest punch in the gut. Well, in trying to redirect this issue, as I know there is no hope on the road I have started down, I am amazed at how God has spoken to me. Here I am the one who has walked down the thorny pathway I have chosen and He is the one pursuing me! Isn't that just God!

This morning, I sat down to have some quiet time before I started the day with the girls. Here are the scriptures He led me to:

Joel 1:3 ~ Tell it to your children and let your children
tell it to their children and let their children to the next generation.

Joel 2:12-13~ Even now, declares the Lord, return to me
with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and
mourning. Rend your hearts and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your Go
d, for He is gracious
and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in
love and He relents from sending calamity.

Aren't those amazing!! As if those would not have been enough. I pick up my devotional and read the title for this morning "Reigniting the Fire"!!! Can you believe that!?! Only God could orchestrate that to get my attention in such a mighty way. He then gave me these two verses in 2Timothy through that devotional:

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity,
but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:12b I know whom I have believed, and am
convinced that he is able to guard what I
have
entrusted to him for that day.


Again, only God. Not only did He speak to me in a mighty way, but I know what I am to do. I am to rend my heart and return to my God with fasting, weeping and mourning. I am to stand strong with that spirit of power . I am to use the spirit of love with those I come into contact with on a daily basis. I am to use the spirit of self-discipline to get back to where I left the right path.
I am to be confident in whom I serve and know He is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for today. Then, I am to tell my children!!!

How can I tell you what this gift has given me? I think I have been emotionally dead for a time and didn't realize it until my oldest daughter was struggling. Thanks to the 2 x 4 God uses with me from time to time, I see that I am not who she has always known me to be. I not only became emotionally dead, but spiritually stagnant. There is nothing worse than luke warm to God. Yet, here, he was able to be slow to anger with me and full of compassion as He showed me where I need to be and what I need to do. I am a sinner, saved by grace by a God who meets me where I am and continually shows me grace I do not deserve. What a mighty God I serve!

Precious God, I pray I never wander so far that you
decide to not seek me.
Lord, thank you for not only taking
me back but for showing me the way back
to your loving
arms. Light the fire in me Lord, that only you can do.
I am yours.
I am willing to serve and to do what you desire.
Show me and guide me as we take
this journey together.
Thank you for never leaving me even when I chose to ignore

your tugging at my heart to spend time with you again. Prick
my heart if I ever
start to wander off the path that leads me
straight to your arms, Lord. For there
is where I am safe,
there is where I am filled with joy and confidence in what
you
ask me to do, there is where I am strong. Today is a day of
rejoicing!
You are good, Lord. Your love is everlasting
and it is powerful. You are my rock.
You are my strong
tower, my refuge, me Abba. You are the great I AM,
mighty and powerful in all you do. You are the Alpha and
Omega, majestic and worthy of much praise. I praise you
today, Lord, as I sit here a woman awakened by your love
and discipline. You are my Holy and Mighty God whom
I will give much praise. In Jesus most precious name, Amen!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Curly Top!

While Doodle was at Matt's office this morning finishing her school work, an arrangement we all have found just divine, Bean and I enjoyed our leisure Tuesday morning together. Last night, she asked me to roll her hair in the sponge rollers to see what would happen. We have not used them in a long time. (I think recently we have been talking about her hair being so curly as a little girl that she really wanted it back.)

So, we did roll it and then took it out this morning. Boy did that girl have curl!! It was so sweet. As I stood there combing my fingers through her loose curls, I suddenly was taken aback. This is my baby. When we first laid eyes on this precious girl, the first thing I noticed was all that precious black hair. It was so curly and she had so much of it that it looked like a little black helmet! Just too sweet. Today, that little helmet has grown and she has the gift of growing her hair very long then donating it to Locks of Love. We are in transition again.More important than the little helmet of hair growing, I realize that my girl is getting to be quite the little lady. She is aware of what is "pretty" and what makes her feel that way. I am constantly working to remind her that we need to realize our beauty does not come from outside. No amount of pretty make up, name brand clothes, stylish hair can cover up an ugly heart. God wants us to shine from the inside out. When we serve Him with all of our heart and we love others with our all, we so shine for Jesus. This little girl shines for Jesus very quietly. Very few people get the gift of witnessing this gift. When she feels safe with someone, she just serves them until she knows they are content. This is seen when we have friends over with small children. No one asks her to watch them, but she does. No one asks her at co-op to follow the toddlers around to make sure they stay safe, but she does. No one asks her to bring Daddy a blanket when he is sleeping but she does. So, while we are still working on speaking to others when spoken to, I think I am so blessed to see the heart behind the little curls. And while I really don't care if her hair is straight, curly, polka dots, I have to admit that it was such a sweet gift to her mama today to see her sweet little face in curls again. It just took me back to sweet memories of my little curly haired girl. Thanks Sparky!

Spring Fever!





It is official. We all have spring fever. God has blessed us with wonderful weather to get outside and "blow the stink off" as my grandma would have said. I'm really not sure what that means, but I think it has more to do with our attitudes than our actual "stink". Regardless, I am so happy to see my girls outside playing together and not fighting over who was the last one to get to play first on the computer or picking the songs to dance. What was even better, when I went outside I noticed that they were wearing each others softball helmets. Now to some people this may not be a big deal, but to my girls, well, lets just say that they struggle in sharing still. It is always something we are working on and it is such a blessing when they do it without being told. They have enjoyed getting out the skates, basketball, and softball gear again. Now they are headed back out to play in the fort. They have decided to make homes for their dolls. I think what I love about being home most is these small moments. I adore that they shift gears so quickly. I think it is just great that they enjoy such a variety of activities. Now I think I better go help them with their "doll roller coaster". (aka, dolls in box down slide)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Blog~ same ol' stuff


While it has been some time since I have sat down to update people on what is happening in our home, I think the odd thing is not much has changed! We are still homeschooling both girls. We are still in the same co-op, which is a huge blessing to all three of us. We are still active in church activities and Bible Study Fellowship. We still have girls who enjoy ballet and swimming. We still have the same struggles with domestic duties we always have. We are still blessed with so many close friends who remain constant in our life. We cherish those relationships. Matt and I are still odd in how we prefer to hang out together rather than with other people. No one makes me laugh like him and no one makes me feel as secure in my faith. God knew what I needed in my life when He brought me my man.




With those constants in our life, we also have some new adventures. We have a new church home. We are now members at Indian Creek Christian Church, called the Creek. The pastor's preaching is just amazing. He is gifted in making you really dig into scripture and see what it says. I appreciate that he preaches from God's Word alone. No other book is needed. Praise God he speaks from scripture and not from "feeling". With a new church home comes new friends. We are enjoying seeing who God places in our life. With each new family, we find such a blessing in our little world.

Secondly, Doodle has joined the Precious Hearts Dance Ministry team this year. She tried out this past summer and was asked to join. That is a commitment on her part but also on the part of her family. We take her for practice every Saturday at 8am. Did you hear me...8:00AM!!! So Bean and I are finding new ways to entertain ourselves while she is practicing.


Thirdly, the girls are both involved in Bible Bowl at the Creek. This has them learning portions of scripture to then use in a quizzing format. Kind of like Brain Game for Bible. (if that makes sense) Anyway, both girls really enjoy it and we have found out that Doodle thrives on the pressure of the game. She really does well. Bean really enjoys hanging out with her friends and has found that "winning" is not all that matters to her, which is awesome! I think it is a gift.

Lastly, this year of changes in churches has brought back the fire I missed in my life...that passion for Christ. I had forgotten how much I thrive on being able to dig into the Word of God and see it work in my life. I can not tell you what being spiritually dead did to me. I had become so stagnant and to be alive again is amazing. Not sure when that happened, but I do know that I feel again and I am awake to see what God is doing around me. I hear his small whisper in my life and I feel the thunder when I choose to go another way. God is my constant. He is the rock I cling to when my life gets crazy, which it inevitably does. I think the best thing I can say about the past year is that I am alive in Christ!!!




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