GOOD day!!

Its my nature to be grouchy, but I have to make a choice
to have a
great attitude no matter what comes my way!
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindess, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
Galations 5:22





Sunday, December 7, 2008

"Christmas Can Be Hard On Relationships"

I copied and pasted this below (in green) from an email I got from Marriage Messages- I get these once a week and they are really good- I treasure the little nuggets of truth I get everytime. I wanted to share this particular message- it was good. You can suscribe to this FREE ministry by going to their website at www.marriagemissions.com



Christmas Can Be Hard on Relationships - Marriage Message #20

Celebrating the Christmas season can be hard on relationships -- particularly marriage. That may seem like a strange statement, but it's true. You would think the opposite would be true. After-all, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ -- "the Prince of Peace" should bring... well, PEACE!!!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end..." (Isaiah 9:6-7a)

The birth of Christ is the time when God appeared in human form. As believers, we know that this is just the beginning of His "increase". After His second coming, the peace of God will be fully realized. Yet as we celebrate His birth -- the beginning of His "increase", many of us mentally leave Christ in a type of manger setting (where He isn't powerful) instead of inviting Him to increase and grow in our hearts -- to live in and through us.

A good challenge for us is something that John the Baptist said, "I must decrease, He must increase." Is that how you are living your Christian life both inside and outside of your home? How about at Christmas -- a time when we (and others) recognize and celebrate the birth of Christ? Christmas can be hard on relationships because:

--- We try to do more than we can and should.
--- We get so caught up in the actions of others that we forget to live out the principles of Christ.
--- We allow ourselves to say and do things that don't reflect the heart of Christ.
--- We want to GIVE more than our budget allows. We WANT more than budgets allow.
--- We misplace our priorities. We must never take CHRIST out of Christmas.

So how do we change this? What can we do to make this a more peaceful season which reflects the heart and light of Christ in our marriage, our home, and outside of it?

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16).

The following are a few tips that you might keep in mind as Christmas is being celebrated all around us and in our homes:

--- Lower your expectations of making everything so grand. "Give yourself permission to avoid perfection like the plague. Remember, Jesus was born in a stall in a barn (cave). He came into this world in a place filled with the odors of any farm. He had no tree, no lights and no Christmas buffet" (John Thurman). Don't try to do more than you can and should.


Keep in mind: if you're too busy to be kind, you're too busy. We're promised in the Bible that God will not give us more than we can handle. If you're doing more than you can and you find yourself being unkind as a result, then it shows that you're being tempted to do more than you should. Ask God to show you how you can simplify things so the "fruit of the Spirit" is lived out in your heart and actions. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23).

--- Husbands, wives, children, relatives, and friends can be a blessing! But they can also complicate our lives as well and push at us in ways that cause us to lose sight of what's most important. Here are a few tips from counselor John Thurman www.johnthurman.net from his article "Holiday Stress Tips" (in quotation marks) that might help you, plus some we've added:

- "Regardless of what your therapist says, the Christmas season is not about problem solving. Deal with family issues another time. (Make this a holy day.) You have to choose how you are going to feel. You don't have to be a slave to old memories. ... If you're going to be spending a lot of time with family, be intentional about building in breaks from the family. The holidays can be a very special time for families to be together, but you don't need to overdose."

- Keep yourself out of places, to the best of your ability, where victimizing conflict can occur. Many times there is safety in numbers. It's something I learned with a family member who just wasn't safe to be with alone. My brother and I made a pact to watch over each other so neither of us would be alone with this individual. It helped greatly! "Gather on neutral ground -- meet at a place that belongs to no one. Include everyone that you can, and avoid posturing and fighting." "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18).


- Also, if you can't avoid certain in-laws and/or other family members, and getting together with them is a reality in your life, look for ways you can be a blessing and bring the light of Christ to shine through in the darkness. Do all "as unto the Lord." Through this you are participating in His sufferings. You are also participating in God's Kingdom work. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will now grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrews 12:2-3).

--- Don't allow yourself to be dragged into or to stoop to the level of being sinful in how you interact with others. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:29-32). "Let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification" (Romans 14:19).

--- Being a giver can be a wonderful blessing. "It is better to give than to receive." But keep in mind that sometimes unwise generosity can cause added problems later. It is better to give less and not break your budget, than to give more and put your family into depressive debt. Sometimes giving and accepting gifts that cost less, but are given in love are greater than gifts given where the price tag eventually becomes burdensome.

---"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God -- even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:31-33).

We pray you will poke holes in the darkness and draw together with your spouse to glorify God,
Cindy and Steve Wright

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Half Empty/Half Full

Is this cup half empty or half full?

Lately, I've been contemplative about what its like to fully have a THANKFUL heart.

I've drawn a conclusion that when I have a pessimistic outlook on any type of situation in life (the glass is half empty)- I tend to be more ungrateful. And when I have a optimistic outlook on any type of situation in life(the glass is half full)- I tend to be more thankful.


Half Empty- PESSIMISTIC:
I think about the times I look at my life "half empty". I can focus on the things I dont have, or the things that aren't complete, or aren't perfect, or aren't entirely fixed, or not organized. I also think of the bad things- my kids are misbehaving, my husband is not perfect, my friends never call, or even I can go as far as focusing on mistakes, or bad relationships, or past hurts, or missed opportunities. THEN I really can start to feel discontent. I get all torn up into millions of pieces of pitifulness and unhappiness. This is not good. I hate finding myself in this attitude.

Half Full-OPTIMISTIC:
And then I think about the times I look at my life "half full". I can medititate on the things I do have, and the things that are complete, and working. I also think of the good things- my kids do love and care for eachother, my husband is so genuine and loving, my friends really do care for me. I can trail off to meditate on the accomplishments, and tribulations, healing relationships, and opportunities that I've had. THEN I really can start to feel content. I get built up in joy and gratefulness. This is a great place to be.

God's Word gives us intruction as to how to view life, Phillipians 4:8 says: "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." I guess God knew that thinking of these mentioned things are better for our minds than the other things we can fill our minds with.

I've heard it once said like this "An undisclipined mind is like a battle field, the enemy can attack from every dircetion. A disclipined mind is like a mighty fortress, nothing can enter into it"

I want to challenge you all, to use Phillipians 4:8 as a filter, to purify the things of your mind. I promise, its a great path to having a THANKFUL heart.

Monday, November 17, 2008

TAGGED!!


So, I've been tagged by my pal (that I miss greatly)
Ashley.





I am to post 7 weird or random facts about myself. Here goes!


1. I really don't need alot of sleep, I can get an average of about 6 hours asleep at night and be fine. Works out perfect as a mom of four!!
2. I use to live in a children's home called the Methodist Home. An experience I will never forget. Maybe I will blog about it someday.
3. I really wish I lived back in the 1800's. For some reason I just desire that life- the dress, the daily life, the simplicity.
4. If you gave me to opportunity to swim in a pool of chocolate or ranch, I'd choose ranch for sure.
5. I have four tattoos: one little ladybug, two butterflies, and one clover. I use to have my tongue and belly pierced- but those can get taken out- the tattoos stay forever.
6. I married my sweet hubby when I turned 18. We have been married 11 years now, that makes me how old? And yes, our oldest is almost 10. We started out life young- and started a family early. (But wouldn't take it back for anything!)
7.I do not have one full-blooded sibling. I have four half brothers, and three half sisters. I was raised with my two of my half brothers. I've never met in person the others- only over phone and internet.

Now, I must tag 7 people. I tag Kathy, Becca, Steph, Annabeth, Angela, Becky, and Charity.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

CHRISTmas!!!!

OK...so I am gonna rant here for a minute. I got home today and unloaded my groceries and realized all the grocery bags that carried my groceries had "Have a Jolly Holiday" decorated all over the bag. What happened to "Merry Christmas"?!?

This bothers me.

SO much so- that Im thinking about not shopping there for the Christmas holidays.

Then I heard over my local radio station that the Focus on the Family sent certified letters to the CEOs and marketing executives of 33 leading retailers inviting them to share their plans to generously use the term ”Christmas” in their 2008 catalogs and Web publications. They also requested information about their policies regarding in-store use of the term “Merry Christmas.”

In exchange for an early commitment to use the term “Christmas,” Focus on the Family offered to share the decision's with the world early in the shopping season.

Eight of the 33 retailers replied with enthusiasm and stated their plans to generously use the term “Christmas.” In fact, a number of them intend to increase their use of “Christmas” this year.

The eight that plan to intentionally recognize Christmas are:
Best Buy
Cabela's
Kohl's
Lowe's
Nordstrom
Pier 1 Imports
Toys "R" Us
Wal-Mart

Focus on the Family qoutes "We trust these industry leaders will make good on their promise and publish “Christmas-friendly” material as they roll out their catalogs and Web sites. As you observe their “Christmas-friendly” approach, please thank them and patronize their stores."

GAP, Banana Republic and Old Navy were also kind enough to send a reply but did not convey a clear commitment to use the term “Christmas.” Rather, they communicated their intent to approach their marketing in broad and diverse terms.

They have not received a reply from the following retailers:
American Eagle
Barnes & Noble
Bed, Bath & Beyond
Bloomingdale's
Borders
Circuit City
Crate&Barrel
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dillard's
Eddie Bauer
The Home Depot
JCPenney
KB Toys
Kmart
Lane Bryant
Lands' End
Linens 'n Things
L.L. Bean
Macy's
Neiman Marcus
Sears
Target

After they review the publications for all 33 retailers, they will publish their ratings. Watch for the complete list and more details on CitizenLink.com.

TAKE ACTION
Since their staff can’t possibly monitor what’s happening in local stores across the country, please let them know what you notice as you visit these 33 retailers. They encourage the utmost respect and kindness, of course, should you offer any feedback to your local stores. You can e-mail them your observations.

As you observe the “Christmas-friendly” approach of these eight retailers, please thank them and patronize their stores.

Best Buy (612) 291-1000
Cabela’s
Kohl’s (262) 703-7000
Lowe's
Nordstrom (206) 303-6000
Pier 1 Imports (817) 252-8000
Toys "R" Us (973) 617-4040
Wal-Mart

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lose My Soul

I was in the car today, without kids (rare), and this song came over the radio. I turned up the volume to my Honda Odyssey van speakers and I was jamming!

But when I started to hear the lyrics, my heart started to soften..the song was so revealing I started to cry. Its a song by Toby Mac called "Lose My Soul" featuring Kirk Franklin and Mandisa.

You can hear it here:
Lose My Soul feat. Kirk Franklin & Mandisa / Afterparty (Portable Sounds Album Version)


Take a look at the lyrics:

Man I wanna tell you all something, Man.
Man I'm not gonna let these material thing's, get in my way, you all.
I'm trying to get somewhere.
I'm trying to get somewhere,
Thats real and pure and true and eternal.

Father God, I am clay in your hands,
Help me to stay that way through all life's demands,
'Cause they chip and they nag and they pull at me,
And every little thing I make up my mind to be,
Like I'm gonna be a daddy whose in the mix,
And I'm gonna be a husband who stays legit,
And I pray that I'm an artist who rises above,
The road that is wide and filled with self love,
Everything that I see draws me,
Though it's only in You that I can truly see that its a feast for the eyes- a low blow to purpose.
And I'm a little kid at a three ring circus.

I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
Don't wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.
I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
Don't wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.

(Mr. Franklin, Step up to the mic sir)

The paparazzi flashes, and that they think that it's you,
But they don't know that who you are is not what you do,
True, we get it twisted when we peak at the charts,
Yo before we part from the start,
Where's your heart?
You a pimp, hustler?
Tell me what's your title,
America has no more stars, now we call them idols,
You sit idle, While we teach prosperity,
The first thing to prosper should be inside of me.
We're free...
Not because of 22's on the range,
But Christ came in range, we said yes now we changed,
Not the same, even though I made a fall,
Since I got that call, no more Saul, now I'm Paul.
(YEP!)

I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
Don't wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.
I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
Don't wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.
Don't wanna walk away,
Don't wanna walk away

How do I sense the tide that's rising?
De-sensitizing me from living in light of eternity,
How do I sense the tide that's rising?
It's hypnotizing me from living in light of eternity,
How do I sense the tide that's rising?
De-sensitizing me from living in light of eternity.

(Lord what we gonna do,We're relying on you,
all eyes are on you Lord,
all eyes are on you, all eyes are on you Jesus.)

I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
Don't wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.
(Don't let me lose my soul, my soul.)
I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
(This is my honesty, Father, won't you cover me.)
I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
(Don't wanna walk away, and all those people say)
I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
(Don't wanna lose, I don't wanna lose my soul.)

Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world,
That fight for our love, and our passion,
As our eyes are open wide and on you.
Grant us the privilege of your world view,
And may your kingdom be, what wakes us up, and lays us down.

(Hallelujah, Don't wanna lose our soul,
No, Don't wanna lose my soul.)

Hey excuse me,
I'm looking for the after party,
Toby,
Ha ha, yeah, last door on the left, you'll hear it.
Thanks,
No problem.

Don't let me lose my soul, I never wanna walk away,
I don't wanna lose my soul,
No, no, no.
Don't let me, don't let me, lose my soul,
I don't wanna walk away,
Don't let me walk away,
Na na na na no,
Don't let me lose, my soul,
I'm never gonna walk away.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

OVERCOMING

Does anyone else out there have any fears? Any anxieties? Any GIANT problems that seem too big? I often thought "Am I the only one here struggling with this fear?"

Well- there is good news for those trying to overcome a fear--victory can be had.
God's perspective is eternal- and by His power, we can "do all things." "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

I am personally sharing with the world that I finally took action and have been spending some time at the dentist office. (after many years of pain, fear, anxiety, discomfort, and shame)

This entire process has been so hard, but I felt like the Lord told me "It was time" and He literally opened doors for me to be able to overcome this GIANT that has kept me in hiding for so long!! This has been my "skeleton in the closet" for some time now.

I took baby steps, with lots of urging (accountability) from family and close friends I called for an appointment to just a sit down and talk with a dentist. I felt a little more comfortable so I came back for a exam. After they looked over the results of the exam we met back for a consultation and laid out a dental restoration plan.


I am so excited that I'm on my way to a healthier mouth!
I cannot begin to list out all the emotions Ive been through just by taking this big leap! My perspective on dentistry has definitely changed.

My dentist is a nice woman who genuinely cares about my dental health. You all know my love for ladybugs? Well, since the office is of women staff only- they call each other Ladybugs- when I found that little fact out- I knew I was in the right place!

I am covered by a great dental plan at my hubby's work. I took on a 12 hour a week job this year to specifically pay for fees that insurance doesn't cover.. (I call my income- "teeth money".) I have to admit though, even with the insurance, Im still gonna have to pay out a bunch of money, but this is just another tool this GIANT has on me. I know the Lord has brought me here, and I know He will continue to help me conquer.

I will inform you all as things progress, I have a cleaning mid October, and my first restorative (3 1/2 hours long) appointment in November.

But as for you and your fears, anxiety, and/or GIANTS...Ask the Lord to give you power- and with that- take the baby steps that will walk you to VICTORY!
I promise you will be able to see the situation more clearly from God's vantage point!

Read more about David and how he conquered his fears and a GIANT in the book of 1 Samuel 17 of the Bible.
A point to ponder about this story is that David's faith in God caused him to look at the giant from a different perspective. Goliath was merely a mortal man defying an all-powerful God. David looked at the battle from God's point of view. If we look at giant problems and impossible situations from God's perspective, we realize that God will fight for us and with us. When we put things in proper perspective, we see more clearly and we can fight more effectively.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

DISCIPLINE---ouch it hurts!!

dis·ci·pline noun, verb
  1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.
  2. Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self-control.
    1. Control obtained by enforcing compliance or order.
    2. A systematic method to obtain obedience
    3. A state of order based on submission to rules and authority
  3. Punishment intended to correct or train.
  4. A branch of knowledge or teaching.
Recently, when Big D at the tender age of 3 gets a "correction" (spanking, time out, toy in time out) he gets upset and says either "Be NICE Mommy!" or "You hurt me!". (Perfectly innocent replies to that painful feeling of discipline.) We have actually started using the word "discipline", to help him learn that if he does not obey our rules, he will get "Disclipine". At times, it seems so hard for him to want to conform to our rules, he'd rather take the punishment- then give up the desire for wanting to do things his way.

Ive thought alot about his response lately paired up with my life. How I do NOT like discipline either:
~I haven't been running lately because its sooo painful to get up so early and run! (been going to bed late too)
~I dont like doing the dishes and cleaning up right after dinner because I "just wanna relax" for a minute- which turns into an all night relaxation until Im forced to clean up dinner the next morning so we can have breakfast!
~I hate dealing with our budget system, its too time consuming. But if I dont keep account- we wont have much savings and even might have to use our pricey overdraft protection!
~I'd rather be on Facebook than being diligent with my daily chores. Its nice to be able to
just sit while the boys are napping and do nothing!

I sure do have lots of great excuses to NOT be disciplined dont I? But what happens when Im not?
I suffer the consequences of low energy, weight gain, crazy hectic mornings, financial crunch, time wasted- low productivity- all things not so lovely...

Having no self-control and not submitting to a discipline life only results into
pain and suffering. One qoute a friend recently shared with me was from Joyce Meyer. "We must all suffer one of two things - the pain of discipline or the pain of regret & disappointment. The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment."

SO I find myself at a point where I have to make a choice to lead a disclipined lifestyle. Id much rather suffer the pain of discipline than the disappointment of all the consequences.

What about you?



Monday, August 25, 2008

A love song....

Im loving all of Brooke Frasers songs lately. But this happens to be one of my most latest favorite songs. (Came out in 2004- it took me this long to find it!) The name of this song is Arithmetic.
You know...I dont know for sure, but I think this was a love song written to God. Now, there are some words in the song that throw me off to think that its not written to God. But the more I litsen to the lyrics, I find out it doesnt matter, its a song I can sing to the Lord and mean it. But really, I think its a love song to our God. So beautiful and the lyrics are amazing....I have included them at the bottom of this post.
Let me know your thoughts.







I've been staring at the sky tonight
Marvelling and passing time
Wondering what to do with daylight
Until I can make you mine
You are the one I want, you are the one I want

I've been thinking of changing my mind
It never stays the same for long
But of all the things I know for sure
You're the only certain one
You are the one I want, you are the one I want

I've been counting up all my wrongs
One sorry for each star
See I'd apologise my way to you
If the heavens stretched that far
You are the one I want, you are the one I want

[Chorus]
I won't find what I am looking for
If I only "see" by keeping score
'Cos I know now you are so much more than arithmetic

'Cos if I add, if I subtract
If I give it all, try to take some back
I've forgotten the freedom that comes from the fact
That you are the sum
So you are the one
I want

When the years are showing on my face
And my strongest days are gone
When my heart and flesh depart this place
From a life that sung your song

You'll still be the one I want

You'll still be the one I want

You'll still be the one I want

You'll still be the one I want

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Brooke Fraser in Concert!!

Last night I went to a Brooke Fraser concert at the House Of Blues in Dallas with some girlfriends. I had such a great time! How often do you get to go out kid free and enjoy great music??




Brooke Fraser is an amazing woman with much faith in our Lord. Her lyrics to her songs are powerful. Below are links to some of her songs.












One is very powerful- our church even sings it- its called "Hosanna"- she sings it with Hillsong. She wrote the lyrics though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr_Oqun3CWo

Another song called Albertine, she wrote for a child she met in Rwanda. She basically says "Now that I have seen, I am responsible, faith without deeds is dead" Pretty good! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGx-xU6TnU8&feature=related

Another of my favorites is Hosea's Wife...which if you know the story of Hosea, he was called to be faithful to an unfaithful woman to repsresent Gods unfailing love. This is a video of her in concert.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v007w5ycsUI&feature=related

Hope you enjoy!



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Heartbroken......

Ive been following a blog by a woman that has truly inspired me. This woman named Licia works endlessly in a Rescue Center in Haiti that houses around 60 children that are sick and suffering from severe forms of malnutrition.

Today, a sweet little girl named Chabina died. She came in the center several days ago at 6 months old weighing only 10 pounds. She gradually got sicker and died.

So Licia posted on her site today the sad news of Chabina's death. Although she doesnt understand, in her agony she chooses to profess that God is good. She qoutes Psalm 28:6-86.

6 Praise be to the LORD,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.

7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.

8 The LORD is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one

I cant stop thinking about how much faith this woman has. And also how much this lady gives. Even though she is in such agony- she must continue on.

I am reminded of James 2: 14-26. It talks about faith and deeds.


14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

May we all be inspired by Licia and just like her, put our faith into action.

Licia's website is http://haitirescuecenter.wordpress.com/ Please stop by her site and encourage her.

Also, Kayla and Emily will be doing a Fundraiser soon to benefit this rescue center. Stop by soon to read more about it.



Friday, July 11, 2008

A good laugh!

Did you know Noah had a blog? As in Noah And The Ark? YUP! Noah has a blog and its hilarious! Check it out here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Counting my blessings!!

As it is, today is my birthday. I woke this morning at 3:30 am. A beautiful thunderstorm was coming in and I could hear the wind, thunder, and rain. I couldnt go back to sleep. So I took my time showering and then had a sweet quiet time.

My mind kept thinking about how amazing last night was, my children are off with their Papa and Granny for the night, and Joel and I had a great time together on a date to my favorite steak house- Logans. Then I was given a few gifts- one being a new camera and another being a footrub! Plus I was in bed by 10!! I kept thinking this morning of how truly blessed I am.

In the Bible, 1 Th. 5:16-18 Paul says, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus ."

So I thought I would take time this morning to count my blessings and thank the Lord for giving me a great life, and blessing me so much.

First off, Im so grateful for the God I serve, who isnt distant, who has delivered me from myself and the clutches of satan. He has given me a new hope and a bright future.

Im healthy! To which I am so thankful. I have no diseases or sicknesses. Sure I have an imprefect body- but I am thankful that my body can do the things it can do.

Im blessed to have such an incredible family:
~My dad and mom and my father and mother in law love me dearly and are always supportive, caring, helping, and thoughtful towards me, my husband and children.
~Not to mention the siblings I have- who have also given me great sister in laws! My husband also has given me more sisters and brothers too- all whom I adore! And with that I have so many special neices and nephews. I love being an Aunt.
~I also have awesome grandparents from both mine and my husbands family- who have taught me so much about life. I have awesome Aunts and Uncles, cousins- all who have impacted my life.

Im so incredibly appreciative and indebted for my dear husband- Christopher Joel. I know he loves me and our children so much, and is such an amazing provider! (not just financially). I couldnt have gotten a better father for my children. Thank you God for given me a patient, loving, hard working husband and partner in life. Im not sure what I would do with out him.

Im so honored to have four beautiful children. Two girls who are so bright and beautiful, helpful, caring-giving, and are such precious jewels that I hold close to my heart! Two boys who are so full of life and have given me a new perspective on life, they both complete our family.

Im truly fortunate for my life experiences. I would not be who I am without each and everthing that has happened in my life. All the good and the bad (sufferings, adventures, trials, special moments, training). With God help, I have used all these experiences to change and mold me. I am wiser!

Thank you God for our jobs! Im so thankful that Joel has a wonderful job at our church, which provides above and beyond. Im able to work at home as a full time mom, and still able to write curriculum- and my passion!!

Im so grateful to have so many friends. God has put people in my path that I will treasure forever. I have friendships that has withheld many years, friendships that are newer, friends from long ago, friends that are close, dear friends that are faithful and thoughtful. A few metionables- and clearly I couldnt mention them all. Megan, a friend Ive known since elementary school. We have been friends through all of our stages and phases. I really lover her like a sister. (Lylas!) Stephanie- a dear friend who almost knows more about me than my hubby! Im not sure what I'd do without her! A newest friendship I have enjoyed is Becky! Im so glad our paths have crossed and I hope we stay connected forever!!

Im sincerely thankful for all the things the Lord has given us. Our home sweet home, my cool van, all our furniture, my ladybug kitchen and red kitchen appliances! A nice washing machine and dryer! A Wii, nice clothes and cute shoes, a new tent, a great backyard and enjoyable items in it.

And lastly but not leastly, Im blessed that God gives us a Bible which brings life, a church with so much life in it, and for other things like sex, sunrises and sunsets, ladybugs, music, a sweet mini weenie dog that loves water (Daisy), cameras, flowers, air conditioning, coffee and creamer, playdoh, Bath & Body Works, push up bras, sweet tea, computers, mexican food, organizers/planners, and chocolate.

What a great gift- my life and all thats it in. Im so RICH I could not ask for more. Happy Birthday to me, thank you Lord.




Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer

...Well, its been a while since I have posted anything. Its just been too busy around here! Now its summer. And my oh my, Im not sure if things are going to slow down much.

Around this time last year I thought to myself "What in the world will I be doing with four kids home all day?" I think its important to have a relaxing fun-filled summer- but I want it to be purposeful as well. (Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.)

Last year I concluded on a few pointers- they worked so well- I am doing it again this summer. Let me share, and maybe you might glean from, or even tip in and share some of your grand summer ideas.

As I started to plan for the upcoming summer I FIRST, and foremost, PRAYED. I wrote out what are some of the needs of my children (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, academically) Then I set a few goals and wrote out a few mission statements for each child. Kayla and Emily are old enough to partake in this too. (They wrote out some of the things they want to do this summer, etc)

Then we ORDERED OUR SUMMER, by writing out on the calendar some vacation plans, and weekly schedules according to our goals and needs. So this summer, everyday in the weekday has a theme.
Monday-swim day at the pool, house cleanup.
Tuesday-Adventure Day (zoo, museum, water parks)
Wednesday-Schooling (Reiterating things learned last year at school- and strengthening in these subjects for the next year in a FUN ocean/beach theme)
Thursday-Kids Kingdom-summer--mothers day out, Friend Day.
Friday- Cook and/or Art Day- where we make something by art or cook and give it away to someone of choice. Sort of an outreach experience.

We also have a daily schedule where we do consistent things, like quiet times, breakfast, playtime, movies-computer, outside, reading (check your local Summer Book clubs- great incentives!), lunch, naps, snack, games, etc. Schedules are a must around here but they are also flexible.

IMPORTANTS!
~In order to be a good mommy all day- I must get some alone time in the mornings. Its my goal to get up, spend some quiet time with the Lord (so I may walk in the fruit of the spirit) and then I go for a morning exercise which really does give me more energy.
~I make it a goal to try to get some ONE ON ONE time with each kid- even if its at least for 30 minutes at two different times. Thats when I work on loving, encouraging, building up each child considering each of their love languages.
~Family getaways are always a good time to.. getaway and focus on eachother and fun. I encourage you to plan at least one- to camp, or stay at a family members out of town to visit their local zoo, or even take a day trip somewhere.

Im sure there is more I could mention, but these things here for sure are the most important. May you all have the best summer!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or leave any of your very own summer ideas that work for you and your family!


Sunday, April 27, 2008

A forward from my weekly email devotional from Max Lucado. com

Thump-Thud, Thump-Thud

by Max Lucado

When a potter bakes a pot, he checks its solidity by pulling it out of the oven and thumping it. If it “sings,” it’s ready. If it “thuds,” it’s placed back in the oven.

The character of a person is also checked by thumping.

Been thumped lately?

Late-night phone calls. Grouchy teacher. Grumpy moms. Burnt meals. Flat tires. You’ve-got-to-be-kidding deadlines. Those are thumps. Thumps are those irritating inconveniences that trigger the worst in us. They catch us off guard. Flat-footed. They aren’t big enough to be crises, but if you get enough of them, watch out! Traffic jams. Long lines. Empty mailboxes. Dirty clothes on the floor. Even as I write this, I’m being thumped. Because of interruptions, it has taken me almost two hours to write these two paragraphs. Thump. Thump. Thump.

How do I respond? Do I sing, or do I thud?

Jesus said that out of the nature of the heart a man speaks (Luke 6:45). There’s nothing like a good thump to reveal the nature of a heart. The true character of a person is seen not in momentary heroics but in the thump-packed humdrum of day-to-day living.

If you have a tendency to thud more than you sing, take heart.

There is hope for us “thudders”:

Begin by thanking God for thumps. I don’t mean a half-hearted thank-you. I mean a rejoicing, jumping-for-joy thank-you from the bottom of your heart (James 1:2). Chances are that God is doing the thumping. And he’s doing it for your own good. So every thump is a reminder that God is molding you (Hebrews 12:5-8).

Learn from each thump. Face up to the fact that you are not “thump-proof.” You are going to be tested from now on. You might as well learn from the thumps—you can’t avoid them. Look upon each inconvenience as an opportunity to develop patience and persistence. Each thump will help you or hurt you, depending on how you use it.

Be aware of “thump-slump” times. Know your pressure periods. For me, Mondays are infamous for causing thump-slumps. Fridays can be just as bad. For all of us, there are times during the week when we can anticipate an unusual amount of thumping. The best way to handle thump-slump times? Head on. Bolster yourself with extra prayer, and don’t give up.

Remember no thump is disastrous. All thumps work for good if we are loving and obeying God.

Friday, April 18, 2008

EXPECTATIONS!!

"Expectations are just disappointments in progress"

Has anyone else ever heard of this qoute? Im not sure if I entirely agree with it, but in this certain angle of this post-Im in agreement. I constantly end up disappointed from the high expectations I have on others.

My downfall is these expectations are either too high or unrealistic, or are just uncommunicated.

In my mind, I put these high expectations on people, whether its job performance with coworkers, or peers to obtain the same moral standards, or family to always come through, or friends to always be supportive, or my children to always be well-behaved.. I could go on and on. These high or unrealistict expectations will lead me to
disappointment.
Im learning to consider a new point of view. For instance, I was recently disappointed over a certain situation with a friend. Her actions disappointed me terribly-more so because I expected something of her. Then my husband helped me realized there might be another perspective to look at. My view of her actions might not be the motive of hers. Does that make sense? My perspective doesnt always line up with reality. Its not my friends fault Im hurt or holding a grudge, it was my
expectations that got me hurt Im suffering from those high unrealistic expectations.

Sadly, my birthday or special holidays like Mother's day always tend to end up in disappointment--because the day never pans out the way I expected it to. Ive learned to communicate with my husband that I expect him to aknowledge ME specifically on Mother's Day. Clearly communicating and sometimes negotiating with the person I have the expectations with seems to help. That way we can all be on the same page.

Lastly, its also been EXTREMELY freeing to be able to hold things "loosely". To be flexible and thankful with whatever happens-happens. Its a mindset Im learning to obtain!

So the quote
"No expectations, fewer disappointments!" is something I try to repeat to myself often when it comes to these particular type of scenarios.

How do you deal with expectations and disappointments?



Monday, April 14, 2008

Refining Silver

Malachi 3:3 says: 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled some people in a Bible study and they wondered what
this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the people offered to find out the process of refining silver and
get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to
watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her
interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire
and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to
hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest
so as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she
thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and
purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that He
had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was
being refined.

The man answered that He not only had to sit there holding the silver,
but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the
fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would
be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How
do you know when the silver is fully refined?'
He smiled at her and answered,
'Oh, that's easy,' 'When I see my image in it.'

If you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye
on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.
Whatever you're going through, you will be a better person in the end.

'Life is a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you can only
spend it once.'

I recieved this is an email the other day, and thought I'd share. What a great parallel.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Being Sharpened.

Last Sunday, we were at life group (a weekly time a group of people meet consistently to fellowship and learn more about the Bible, and pray for each other) and the adults were all together in one room, and the children were all together with our wonderful children leaders Kayla and Lee in different rooms. Each week all the children list out any prayer requests. My daughter Emily's prayer request was "That my Daddy and Mommy would not argue all the time."


Now, when I first heard about this special prayer request from the children's leader I sort of laughed it off, thinking kids say the darnest things. Then on the way home it started to seep in my pores and I began to think "WHAT? We don't fight all the time! What in the WORLD is Emily talking about?!"


I decided to go to Emily and get more information. I kindly thanked her for thinking of daddy and mommy, then asked her about the prayer request. I just wanted to get her perspective. "Well, you and daddy argue alot." those words cut through my heart as I asked her to give me a certain time she might have remembered us "arguing". Of course she couldn't think of a specific time.


SO later after the kids had gone to bed, Joel and I discussed this more. I had to put down all pride, hurts, and anger and really wanted to allow Emily to "sharpen" me. The Word, which is my source of Truth, says "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another". Proverbs 27:17


Honestly, Joel and I do not fight alot, but we did have to sit and re-evaluate to see what was Emily talking about. We concluded that even the slightest of arguments or any heated debates we have had in the past might appear to be an argument or fighting to our children. I'm glad they are sensitive to think of it that way- and I'm so thankful that we don't have full blown fights in front of our children.
(I'm not saying we're perfect, Im sure there has been times were we went a little too far in a heated argument.)


On the other hand, it might be good to have more "constructive" opportunities to show our children that debates and discussions aren't necessarily bad. People will not always agree, and its good to have these times to talk it out. This has also alarmed us to watch ourselves if things start to get heated between us- we should wait it out when the kiddos aren't around.


So I share this, in hopes that others might use opportunities like these to allow themselves to be sharpened. Its hard to accept it from a child, but who better, when its coming from such a pure place. Joel and I learned alot from that simple prayer request, and I think the Lord answered it immediately.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Music Monday: Your Music Geneology



OKAY! I have a HUGE embarrassing confession to make. Only because Im trying to help my friend Kat not look so bad. Check out her Music Monday.

One of my first albums I bought on my own were that of New Kids On The Block. But Im not even gonna go there. Im gonna really embarass myself- I had a huge infatuation with the one hit wonder KRIS KROSS. Oh my goodness- is this going to "date" me?

I must say, I am VERY thankful no one has ANY evidence I use to wear my clothes backwards at times, and would wear the KRIS KROSS paraphernalia. Although, other than my immediate family, a friend who knows me longer than any other, can testify I was such a dork! And Oh my goodness, she might even have evidence! But also, let it be known, this no way represents who I am today, nor does it reflect my character.

ANYHOO....here is one of their videos "Jump". Hope I this post helps somewhat save your image Kat!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pain is weakness leaving the body!

Have you heard that before? "Pain is weakness leaving the body."

I have been doing alot of physical activity (working out at Curves, playing soccer, remodeling-painting) and I am so sore! SO I keep telling myself this over and over again to sort of help myself deal with the painful thighs, sore shoulders, and aching muscles.

Hopefully I can continue to stay physical and it will all flee me!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Annoyances

Annoyance is an unpleasant mental state that is characterized by such effects as irritation and distraction from one's conscious thinking.

I get annoyed way too often.

Some major annoyances for me are outside noises
(dogs barking, music thumping), bad drivers (you know-the drivers who don't make a right turn until the traffic light turns green), selfish people (the kind that think only about themselves and it shows!).

Some minor annoyances would be my family (dont get me wrong-I love my family!), inconveniences (detours, spills, forgetfulness), a dirty house(which is often!).

I cannot seem to have a day pass without dealing with some type of annoyances.

What about you? What annoys you?


So, how do I deal with annoyances?
~I aknowledge it annoys me! I cant pretend it doesnt!
I take a mental note, and then tuck it aside so the annoyance doesnt take control.
~I try to diffuse the annoyance by saying something funny.
(That dog must be trying to communicate with entire the neighborhood!)
~I adopted this from my husband, while being annoyed, he says "THANK YOU JESUS." Thanking God in the midst can really help!
~At times, I just have to flat out ignore it. Somethings just dont deserve my time or reaction!


What about you? How do you deal with annoyances?




Sunday, February 24, 2008

Music Monday: Great Love Songs

Its Music Monday at Kat's place. Alrighty, I'm in this week!

Any song by Sarah Mclachlan in the late 90's would be considered a love song between Joel and I. We loved her music, and litsened to it often, especially when we wanted to think of eachother while we were apart. We still litsen to her today. She has a beautiful voice, and her music takes us back to our ealrier days together.

"Elsewhere" from the
album: "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" (1993)There is no great video for this song. But at least there is something on YouTube.



"I Love You" from the album: "Surfacing" (1997)


"Angel" also from the album: "Surfacing" (1997)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Disappointment................

I have recently dealt with some HUGE disappointments. Things just didnt turn out the way I/we had hoped for. One was personal, and the other was a disappointment for my child.

In the midst of coping, I thought I'd share how Im trying to not let disappointment get me down. Maybe this will help someone else out there!

~Giving myself some time has helped. A little time passed sure can help gain perspective.

~Its also important to express my "side effect" feelings. Such as sadness, anger, self-doubt, despair, and hopelessness
. My hubby is the best man in the world to share these feelings with.

~While we sometimes get stuck focusing on the here and now, our present situation isn't the end of the story. So I know that blessings are being disguised in these problems that have sprung on the disappointment.

~Im looking for way to lever the bad into a good. You know, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade? I have to be careful though, because sometimes this can be a fault- where the "fix-it" in me can get carried away.

~Staying positive has been helpful. Having a negative attitude wont help anyone. In the thick of things, I wanted to be outright UGLY! But, I kept going back to the qoute "Kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life."

~Lastly, and most importantly I find comfort in the Word of God. Which is my source of Truth. I was reminded that "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God"

Then I came across 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal"

God's plans are nearly always bigger than we think. The sting of our relatively short-term disappointments in no way compares to the ultimate hope we have in Him.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Cross Walk"

I have recieved this is numerous emails, and have seen this posted on some blogs. I like this illustration so much, I decided to post it her for all of you! At times we might complain about the cross we bear, but dont realize its preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see ahead- but we cannot.
















Saturday, February 16, 2008

7 Weird Things About Me

Okay, so I got tagged by my good pal gwsas, and here I am posting seven weird things about me. I couldn't think of alot of weird things, so I had to ask my family. Funny thing, they couldnt or didnt want to mention many weird things about me.

So, here is what we came up with.

1. When Im trying to figure out which direction Im heading, I cant say it in this order "North, East, South, West" I have to say it in this order- "Never Eat Sour Worms" Something I learned in grade school. I actually read that another person has this same issue!
2. My hubby thinks Im weird because I think out loud.
3. Kayla thinks Im weird because I have tattoos.
4. I think Im weird because I enjoy plucking hair...off of me and people around me, not Joel's favorite.
5. Also, I always have to wash my dishes after I wash my dishes. I hand wash each dish, then I place it in the dishwasher to be washed. I like having extra clean dishes, or I must have trust issues with the dishwasher!
6. Once a week I like to stop by a blog called PostSecret. Its a place where people send in their secrets. I find it extremely fascinating. Caution- enter the site at your own risk, at times the content can be a bit risky.
7. Lastly, I talk to the other drivers while Im driving (whether its in my thoughts, or I say it out loud). Sometimes, I dont say nice things, and to be honest Im working on that, especially when in the car the other day Kayla said "oh come on car, would you move over!"


There you have it!
I now tag my oldest, bestest friend who is now a new blogger Megan
And I also tag my sister in law Becca.

Favoritism

fa·vor·it·ism [fey-ver-i-tiz-uhm, feyv-ri-]
Pronunciation
–noun
1.the favoring of one person or group over others with equal claims; partiality: to show favoritism toward the youngest child.
2.the state of being a favorite.

Have you ever experienced this thing called favoritism?
Either yourself being partial or bias to something or someone?
Or have you been a victim to such discrimination?

More than likely you have answered yes to both these questions, because we are a fallen people who live in a fallen world where selfish intentions can motivate us, or sin can blind us to such partisanship.

I have recently experienced favoritism, and it does not feel good. So out of my emotions, hurts, and anger, I chose to look up what the Word says about favoritism. And I found these verses in the book of James, chapter two:

1My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism.

8If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. 9But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

WOW! For some reason reading this passage has given me so much freedom and peace. On Bible Gateway (one of my favorite online Bibles) you can search favoritism, and find there is so much written about it. Click here to see.

Does God show favoritism? I dont think so! The Word, which is my source of truth, says in plain words "For God does not show favoritism." Romans 2:11

So, as the commandament goes "Love your neighbor" I must choose to show mercy and forgivness to those who trespass against me, and hold no judegement OR discrimination for their acts of favoritism, for I would want the same for myself.

Plus I know there is only one Lawgiver and Judge- God. We will all stand before God's judgment seat. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's heart. (Which convicts me to keep a clean pure heart!)

What more can I do? Except share this enlightenment with all of you!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Music Monday: Musical Guilty Pleasure

I havent jumped in on Music Mondays yet, so today I thought I would......would come clean. I have ridden myself from alot of secular music just because Im in a season where I need to feed my soul. And some of the music I like is sort of like "junk food".

Im more of a hard rock/punk rock kinda girl. I like Metallica, Tool, Beastie Boys, Ozzy Osborne, the Cure. Honestly, I grew up on this stuff. (Seriously, my mom recently went to a Tool concert-she is still a hard rocker!)

So I choose to play a song called "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica, and a song called "SABOTAGE" by the Beastie Boys.



Sunday, February 10, 2008

A nightmare.....

I woke myself up a little after midnight from my own agonizing crying.

I was in the middle of a nightmare.

It had been three days and my two baby boys were still missing! Joel and I had left them both in the car while they were sleeping, the car doors were locked. Someone stole the car, and took our two precious boys with them. There was no sign of the car or our boys. And it was day 3. The reality had sunk it that I couldnt care for my babies, were their needs being met? Had they eaten? Have they had diaper changes? I couldnt hug and comfort them, The dead weight reality of lack of control as a mother for my children was so unbearable that I bursted into this overwhelming cry out of my gut.

Which is what woke me up. It took me about 5 minutes to regain my emotions after my husband kept reassuring me it was just a dream. I checked on my boys and realized everything was okay. BUT I just couldnt go back to sleep. And I couldnt stop thinking about how real my feelings were.

Then I began to realize that my nightmare is unfortunatly a reality for some people. In this world, even in our country, and in my state, children are being abducted. I went to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website and was overwhelmed by the amounts of missing children.







Half of me wanted to click out of the site, and ignore that there is such a thing, its that self-defense mechanism we all have to ingore and push away the things that hurt. But instead I chose to push on and look at the children missing in my area. It hurt, and I can only imagine the hurt the parents and family must be feeling.

I am writing this post to encourage you to go visit the website just as I did. At least we can look, and try to keep a visual in our minds, because you never know what kind of opportunity we might have to help a missing child. OR we can even pray over the children and their families. There is also more you can do to get involved. Click here to find out more. Above is icon for National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website, just click on it and it'll take you to the site.



BTW.. I felt this post was so important, I posted it on both my sites.