Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quick Hi!

Can you believe this is the first time I've opened my computer in over a week?  Seems like forever, but I've been so busy with family, bible studies, and sickness.  I also think God has been convicting me over this blog...silly, but true.  Am I doing this for me or for Him?  The answer wasn't a surprise ...for me, mostly.  It's so easy to get caught up in the number game and not wanting to disappoint those who are reading what I have to say.  A person can really get taken in by this online world.

Just wanted to pop in for a quick 'Hello' and to let you all know I'm still alive.  I've still got a sick boy, so I'm off to care for him!  Have a great day everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Season of Gratitude

This is a repost from last year at this time...I thought it was a good reminder for us all!

What does Thanksgiving mean to you?  Turkey and all the trimmings?  A day off work?  A time for family and friends to gather around the table?  Black Friday shopping?  Christmas music starts to play non-stop on all the radio stations?  These things all come to my mind, but this year I want it to be MORE.  I want to really celebrate Thanksgiving as its own day set apart from the other things that we may associate with it.  I want to make it a celebration of gratitude.  I found a definition of gratitude on line that really got me thinking:

GRATITUDE:  The state of being grateful; warm and friendly feeling toward a benefactor; kindness awakened by a favor received; thankfulness.

Did you notice words benefactor and favor received?  The celebration of Thanksgiving is a reflection of our gratefulness of all the Savior has done for us.  He is our benefactor and the favor we have received is the gift of eternal life that He offers to us!  How could we not want to celebrate this day in its completenes?  Not a hurried meal with our family so we can move on to the next event.  Not spending all day planning our shopping trip the next morning.  But being Thankful to the One who is our giver of life.  Showing our children what true thankfulness means...honoring Him for His kindness to us.  Don't pass by the day that has been set aside for us to say Thank You to our Creator! 

 I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us—  Isaiah 63:7a

THIS is what I am thankful for this year...
My babies last year...I've got new pics
coming later this week!


Friday, November 18, 2011

5 Minute Friday: GROW

Time for another 5 minute Friday.  Time when we just stop and write whatever comes to our mind for 5 minutes.  No over-thinking, no backtracking, and no editing.  This weeks topic is:  GROW!


Like a tree planted by streams of Living Water, I continue to grow everyday in the grace and knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ.  I began this journey as a seed of the harvest, who has been cultivated by the Farmer along the way.

From the seed, I became a sappling, tender, bendable, ever-growing...until my roots started to take hold and dig deep into the earth.  Stretching toward the Water necessary for my growth.  Without this Water, I would have surely withered away into nothingness.

Now, I stand tall by the River of Life, continuing to grow, to drink of the Water that has become my life source.  My roots continue to grow daily as I soak up the Sonlight and nourishment.  I pray I will continue to grow into a tree by the stream who is unbendable in the storm, who thrives in time of drought, and whose roots are so deep that I will never be swayed.


Now it's your turn:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday...

I feel like I've been on bloggy vacation this week!  Our Internet service was somewhat disrupted and I've not been able to post until today. 
Since I've been on, my Monday night ladies group has launched Beth Moore's James study-so far it has not disappointed.  In the first two sessions, I've learned so much about the man who penned the book we find in our Bible.  Some of the things I've learned so far:
1)  James was Jesus' half-brother and was an unbeliever for a time
2)  James was the first son born to Joseph and Mary
3)  James means Jacob in Hebrew
4)  Jesus appeared to James post-resurrection, but we're not told the details
5)  James became the leader of the Jerusalem church when Peter 'left for another place'

And I could go on...I love digging into Scripture and having my eyes opened to His truth!  I am so grateful beyond words to Him for giving me a desire to know and understand His Word for myself.

Continuing to count one thousand gifts...
#170  New (to me) truths found in His Word
#171  Protection from severe storms yesterday (I was on the treadmill with headphones on as a tornado   warning was issued in our area--didn't even know it)
#172  Therapists who give their time to work with Sam every week
#173  The progress Sam is making in therapy
#174  The specially wrapped gift from God our Sam is to us
#175  Mission trip with church family this summer
#176  The opportunity to take our oldest son on his first mission trip
#177  Chili on a rainy fall day
#178  Veterans who have given us the freedom to worship God as we see fit
#179  Opportunities to serve others this holiday season
#180  The blessing of work to allow our family to give excess to others

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 11, 2011

5 Minute Friday: Unexpected

Linking up with Gypsy Mama today for 5 minute Friday.  A place where you write on a specific topic for 5 unedited, unscripted minutes.  Today's topic is:  UNEXPECTED!

So many things come to mind with the word unexpected.  I don't hardly know where to start...

The adoption of our son, the miracles that took place along the journey...UNEXPECTED.

The birth of two sons, which we were told would never be...UNEXPECTED.

The path of a special needs child we walk everday....UNEXPECTED.

Cancer on both sides of our family, the loss of a mother so dear, the healing of a father...UNEXPECTED.

The grace we find in all we do, every step we take, each breath we draw...UNEXPECTED.

So much along the journey here has been unexpected.  Mostly, it all has.  It hasn't been what we've expected, but it has been what He planned.  Our unexpected has been His expected for us.


  Now it's your turn:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday...Aha Moment

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."  John 15:5

I caught the tail-end of Charles Stanley's broadcast this morning and he was in John 15 where Jesus is talking about the vine and the branches.  Dr. Stanley said something so profound to me I had to repeat it.  It was one of those light-come-on moments.  The kind where something clicks and speaks to you right where you are.
In the passage, Jesus (God) is the vine and we (Believers) are the branches.  The branches exist for no other reason, but to do the bidding of the vine.  The branches have no life outside of the vine.  If the branch is thirsty, it is the vine whose roots reach into the ground and give it water.  The branch doesn't worry if it is cold outside or how many grapes it needs to grow.  The vine takes care of the harvest and the vine weathers the cold, the branch exists for the sole purpose of bearing the fruit which the vine produces.
When we abide in the vine (Jesus), we can weather the storms life throws our way because we are grafted to the vine.  The wind may blow, but we will remain attached to the vine because its roots are deep and strong.  I know this in my head, but for some reason today this hit my heart.  Thank You Father that your Word is alive and active in our lives.

I know this isn't exactly the type of vine/branch Jesus was describing in John 15,
but what a representation of strength a root can possess and how it can
sustain it's branches...right through rocks!  God is awesome :)
Continuing to count one thousand gifts... #161  The Word of God
#162  Aha moments in life
#163  Our veterans and active service men and women who risk their lives for us
#164  Treadmills
#165  My children and the unique personalities
#166  Trash cans
#167  Christian radio
#168  A servant's heart
#169  The fact James (Jesus' brother) was an unbeliever at one time
#170  Hunger for the Word, the Bread of Life

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Word Filled Wednesday's been a busy week around here!  Little one sick with who-knows-what disease, a new bible study, and homework!  I am glad to pop in and be able to share a Word Filled Wednesday-I need one, how about you?
Over the past few days, I've had several reminders of how much is going on around us that may cause us to worry:  earthquakes, Occupy 'wherever', countries in financial ruin...even one of the media headlines on my email homepage said "Italy Financial Woes-  Why You Should Be Worried".  I mean really, people are already worried enough, let's get them even more riled up. 
But then I thought, what an opportunity for Believers to step-up here.  There is worry all around us.  This is the time we can say 'Why worry when you can pray?' (I saw this on a church sign today and had to use it).  We have an eternal hope.  We have the answer to all this mess going on around us-Jesus.  He is the Truth, the Light, the Way.  People are hungry for an answer.  They are searching for relief from their worry and anxiety.
This is our chance to share what we know to be true-  God see's all, knows all, and cares about what each one of us is going through.  Introduce people to the solution to their problems, the 'drug' for their anxiety.  You don't need Xanax, you just need Jesus!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"  Matthew 6:25-27
Can you see her, the blue-colored bird in the middle?  She appears to
be sitting on a nest without a care in the world.  I'm thinking
time to worry isn't on her to-do list today!
Linking up with Tracy at Winsome Wednesday...

Friday, November 4, 2011

5 Minute Friday: REMEMBER

The winner of A Christmas Lodge is Eileen from The Scenic Route-email me your address @!  I had to revise the way I chose a winner...I closed my eyes and pointed-not very original, but the other way didn't work either!

Linking up with Gypsy Mama again today for another 5 minute Friday.  This is a place where you just write for 5 minutes, no editing, no profound long-thought out writing...just from the heart.  Today's topic:  REMEMBER.

Remember the days when you couldn't do anything for youself?  When mommy had to feed you, dress you, and change you?  Those days are passing quickly for babies aren't quite babies anymore.

You, my oldest, don't need mommy to do much of anything for you-except feed you sometimes when we are in a hurry :)

My precious middle proud I am not to have to do as much for you these days.  You are gaining strength and independence every day.  We praise God for the miracle He has worked in your life.  We know He'll continue to be faithful.

And my baby.  What can I say?  You came into this world six weeks early as a scrawny, wrinkly, but oh so cute little fellow.  You have turned into a whirlwind, surpassing our imaginations as to how a 15 month old boy should act.  We finally had to put the cabinet locks, the ones which have been in the drawer for 7 years, on.  I actually have contemplated the 'baby-backpack leash'.

Remember these days.  They will soon pass and all we'll have are the memories.  Thank You, Father for the blessings of these boys you have given to me.  May I always remember.


Now it's your turn.  Give it your best 5 minutes, then:

1.. Link back here and invite others to join in.
2. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Life and Lesser Catatrophes- A Review

My Life and Lesser Catastrophes, Christina Schofield, 978-0-8007-9511-5I can say with all honesty, this is one of the best books I've read in a long time.  I stood in my kitchen, where I was supposed to be fixing up the coffee pot for the morning, and read the first 50 pages-and it only has 150.  It is that good.  Christina is real, matter of fact, and doesn't sugar coat any of the emotions she felt when her husband was paralyzed.  You can feel her heartache, anger, disappointment...she tells it all with a humor that is sincere.  She is someone you'd like to share a cup of coffee with and just feed off her energy.
I can't imagine walking down the road her family has, but I hope if I ever face anything like it I'll come out in the end with my faith intact and my love for Him stronger than ever.  I would encourage you to read this book My Life and Lesser Catastrophes, I can assure you that you'll never look at your circumstances the same or take your family for granted again. 
This book was sent to me by the publisher for review.

Thankful Thursday...

November is the month for gratitude.   The month has beens set aside as a time to give thanks for all we have.  Even secular circles acknowlege this time of something or Someone bigger than themselves.  My question is, as Christians, should we only observe a season of thankfulness as the world does or should our every breath be one of gratitude?

He has given us the breath in which we draw life, the breath which allows us to live the life He has given to us.  Should we not be grateful to our Creator for each precious breath we are given?  Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to: 
Be joyful always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus
And again in Philipians 4: 6:
Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything, with prayer and thanksgiving make you requests known to God...

Time and time again, He has recorded for us in Scripture the words thanks (or thanksgiving).  I'm thinking He intends for us to be aware of the fact He is the giver of all things and He is the reason we are even on this earth in the first place.  Don't fall into the worlds trap of celebrating only a season of Thanksgiving.  Let everyday be one of gratitude, thanking your Father for all He has done and has yet to do for you, His child.

Continuing to count one thousand gifts...
#151  Christian bookstores
#152  Sam was able to climb the ladder and slide by himself at school this week
#153  Peanut butter french toast
#154  My new phone
#155 The ability to spend time with the family camping last weekend
#156  My flexible hours at my job
#157  Zach made A/B honor roll, after the hard time he's had so far this year
#158  New bible studies to help me dig deeper into the Word of God
#159  School pictures that show how much my boys have grown each year
#160  Big orange (hubby's truck) that is paid for...and is still running this month :)

Don't forget about the great giveaway of the DVD The Christmas Lodge...winner announced Friday-just leave a comment daily!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Whisper of Peace- A Review it isn't very often I find a book in which I have a hard time getting into.  I love to read.  I read cereal boxes, canned goods, name it, I'll read it.  I must confess the most recent book I was sent for review was not my favorite.  I've waited for so long to post about it because I hate to be negative about something I know took the author a long time to write and publish.  Then I decided it was best for me to be honest, right?

A Whisper of Peace, by Kim Vogel Sawyer, was well written, but the story line was really slow.  I  felt like I was in the Alaskan wilderness with folks and I couldn't get out!  I normally love her books, but this one was not my favorite.  The perspective of a missionary befriending the locals and becoming part of their culture was heart-warming.  Whew, I made it!  I hope I like all the other books I get sent to review!!!I was sent this book by the publisher (Bethany House) for review.

Word Filled Wednesday

Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his[a] holiness.

The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.

The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic.

The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.

The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare.  And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever.

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29

*Don't forget about the Christmas Lodge giveaway this week!  Just comment each day and winner announced Friday! 
Linking up with:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Love Like a River

He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas;  He brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers.  Psalm 78:15-16 

30 days of Thanksgiving...
We had a great time of family fun this past weekend in the Great Smokey Mountains.  It was a time to take a breath, rest a while, and soak in the beauty of God's creation.  The leaves were gorgeous (what was left of them after a cold front blew in) and it was just the right kind of cold...

We took the Great Smokey Mountains Parkway over the mountain to Pigeon Forge Tennessee and there is a river which runs the entire length of the highway.  I'm not sure what the name of it is or how far it goes, but each time we turned a curve, there was the river, still flowing with us.  This reminds me of God's love for us.  No matter which direction we turn, His love for us is always there...unfailing, always moving with us, always following along.
Have you made a turn in the wrong direction lately?  Turn around, do you see the river still flowing with you?  He will never leave or forsake us, no matter how far we stray, He'll always be right there calling us back to Him.

Don't forget about the great giveaway going on this week for A Christmas Lodge.  Just leave a comment every day this week and the winner is announced Friday!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mommy, Do We Celebrate Halloween? *Repost*

I posted this last Halloween and thought it appropriate this year too! 

With Halloween right around the corner my kids are driving me batty wanting to know when it's trick-or-treating time!  Sam says he wants to be Robin for Halloween time and Spiderman for trick-or-treat time (you can't reason with a 3 year old that they are the SAME thing)!  All the talk about Halloween leads me to ask the question--do we celebrate Halloween as Christians?  Is it OK? 
Well, I googled the history of Halloween and found several different reasons as to why it started.  One of the most consistent was that it orginated as a Celtic festival that had something to do with crops and living/dead worlds overlapping on Oct. 31...Americans adopted the tradition of trick or treating and costumes first in the west and then it spread to the east.  Also noted that Disney firmly established the tradition in 1952 when they ran a cartoon called Trick or Treat.
In a book at Sam's therapy (I can't remember the name of it-I'll look Thurs.), Halloween is said to be a time to celebrate the fact that those we love who have died have gone to heaven and are enjoying eternal life.  It's celebration of what Christ provided for us when He died on the cross--eternal life!
I don't know how much of the research is true...just thought it was interesting.  I think that as parents it is up to us to decide whether to celebrate Halloween or not.  I grew up trick-or-treating and dressing up and I turned out just devil worshipping or witchcraft.  But you know your child.  I know that for us we celebrate fall.  I don't do Halloween decorations (except a cartoon ghost tablecloth) and we don't go to spook houses or watch scary movies.  We go to the fall festivals and the kids dress up.  We trick-or-treat on Halloween at the local Baptist church and neighborhood around the church.  I make sure to tell my kids that we are celebrating fall and not witches, vampires, or other scary things.
There are lots of things as Christians that we can do during Halloween time.  When carving a pumpkin, you can use the face to symbolize Christianity pumpkin carving.  The 'Pumpkin Patch Parable' by Liz Curtis Higgs is also a good book for kids about Halloween (you can get it at  Lifeway).   Another thing is to use the "Shine your light (Matt. 5:16)" saying with a carved pumpkin or picture (you can find this on Oriental Trading).  You can google 'Christian Halloween' and get all kinds of ideas about how to use this holiday for good in your child.
I know some will say that we shouldn't celebrate Halloween as Christians and I agree that we shouldn't embrace the world's celebration of it, but there are all kinds of ways to reach out to others during this holiday.  You can give out gospel tracts with your candy--you can get cute ones for kids at Lifeway.  You can host a fall festival with games and candy without costumes either at your home or church and invite kids you know don't know Christ.  The possibilities are endless!

My Superhero's this year (2011)-don't you feel safe?
Happy Fall Ya'll!!

Christmas Time's a Coming...and a Giveaway!

Step outside, take a big breath of cool fall air-what do you smell?  CHRISTMAS!  Yes, it's that time of year again.  Summer has come and gone.  Fall is on its way out, fading like the leaves and Christmas time is here. 
I love everything about the season:  family, serving others, giving gifts, caroling, and the movies.  Yes, I am a Christmas movie junkie.  Cartoons, love stories, National Lampoon's (hey, it's a classic), you name it-I love it!

This week, I was given the opportunity to review a great new Christmas movie by Thomas Kincaid, The Christmas Lodge.  Who knew the guy did movies as well a paint beautiful pictures?  The movie really got me in the spirit of the season.  Mary is a busy executive who longs for a simpler time in her life.  She runs into an old friend, Jack, and discovers he's remodeling the lodge her family stayed in when she was a child-Christmas Lodge.  A great story ensues, reminding us of what is really important in life...and who.
The movie is family friendly, with no innuendo's of any kind, clean romance, and faith is evident throughout.  What a relief to find a movie with values!

Now don't you want to see The Christmas Lodge too?  Lucky for you, I've got a copy to give away this week.  All you have to do is leave a comment here or on Facebook (as some of you don't leave comments here) on all the posts this week.  I'll be announcing a winner Friday afternoon.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services

mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:
"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday...

'Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.' Colossians 4:2

Ten years ago today, God gave me one of the greatest gifts, although I was completely unaware.  I married my sweetheart on this day, while Clemson played Wake was an away game, of course-the hubby still remembers.  We took a nearly empty airplane to Cancun (this was right after 9/11) and it was actually overcast/rainy the entire week we were there.  We got lost in the 'slum' area, didn't go on the beach, and went on a lagoon boat ride in the rain, but we loved it.  I don't even think the hotel we stayed in is still standing, lost in one of the hurricaines which hit Cancun in recent years.

We have had our ups and downs, tears and laughter, triumphs and defeat.... but through it all, we've stood firm to our commitment to one another and to Him.  We walk through our days together and I am so thankful to call him my husband.

Continuing to count one thousand gifts...
#141  my hubby (of course)
#142  my new phone (which doesn't work right now, but hopefully will tomorrow)
#143  this nosey baby at my side, digging in the drawers
#144  last soccer games of the season

#145  ready-made pizza
#146  hand-me downs from other people
#147  kool-aid when you run out of tea
#148  good reports from illness
#149  His faithfulness
#150  pumpkins :)
He'll kill me for this!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Word Filled Wednesday

Do you have a situation that seems hopeless?  One you are powerless to control?  Take God at His word today...He is faithful and true!

Friday, October 21, 2011

5 Minute Friday: BEYOND

Linking up today with Gypsy Mama for 5 minute Friday, a time where you write for 5 minutes with no editing or rewriting.  Today's topic is:  BEYOND.


Beyond this earthly life lies the unknown canvas of eternity.  We are all created for this eternity, of which there are two choices:  heaven or hell.  That's it, no second chances or re-do's...what is beyond here was set before time ever was.  Are you preparing for what is coming beyond?

He has given us breath for one reason:  to glorify Him.  We are not here for any other reason.  Not for our family, friends, success, material gain...just for Him.  He desires a relationship with us beyond any earthly attachment we could have.  Am I going above and beyond to cultivate a relationship with Him?

This life I've been given has been designed for me to go beyond myself and my comfort zone to love others with the love of Christ.  Getting uncomfortable for the sake of the gospel should be a given.  After all, the early church fathers did this without a second thought and they saw Jesus.  How much more so will we be blessed who believe (and act) who haven't seen?  Am I reaching beyond myself to love those around me?


Now it's your turn.  Pull up a chair and your keyboard and get to typing.  The rules are simple:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!
Today's picture is courtesy of my good friend Michael Charping.  He's a college student who has an eye for the beauty of God's creation.  Check him out at Charphotograpy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday...a Psalm of Ascents

'I will lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip, He who whatches over you will not sleep.  He who watches over Isreal with neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you, the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm-He will watch over your life.  The Lord will watch over your comings and goings both now and forevermore.'            Psalm 121

This is one of my favorite Psalms, I even committed it to memory earlier this year.  I get a little twisted up in my recall due to the numerous times the word 'watches' is used.  As I was repeating it this morning, I was struck with the desire to know what this word 'watches' means.  I did a parallel translation of the Psalm with several different versions and here are some of the other words that are used:  keepeth (keeps), preserver (preserves), protector (protects), guardian (guards).
These words present a glorious picture of what our Lord will do for us as His children.  He will preserve our lives,  protect us from all harm, guard our lives, and He will never sleep.  We will never be with our Keeper, even while we sleep.  If this isn't enough to make you grateful, then you need to get your meter checked out!


Continuing to count one thousand gifts...
#131  Aldi grocery stores
#132  Acting when I feel God's gentle nudge
#133  Changing leaves and seasons
#134  For the hubby cleaning the thingy that feeds water into my washing machine
#135  Napping boys
#136  Flu shot clinics for the kiddos that are ran smoothly (and with sweet nurses)
#137  Heat (even if it costs an arm, leg, and torso)
#138  Steady work for the hubby#139  Fall camping trips
#140  Fluffer-nutter's

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Word Filled Wednesday

Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  These commands I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them upon your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you sit down and when you get up.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Sam and Daddy (with Zach just out of the picture) spending quality time together!
 We had the opportunity to see the movie Courageous this past weekend.  I wanted to jump up at the end with a big "I will", but I restrained myself.  The statistics reported in the movie about fatherless homes were sobering.  Are you are Daddy (or Mommy)?  Take the time to make the most of the few years we are given with our kids.  They are the most important legacy we will leave on this earth.  If we lead them to a relationship with Christ, they will carry His name into the next generation. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Get Thee Up!

'And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?' 
Joshua 7:10 (KJV)

I don't usually prefer the King James version of the bible, mainly because I can't understand it, but I love this verse in the KJV translation.  Joshua is lying on the ground, wallowing in the dirt, crying out to God in his self-pity after Israel's first defeat.  And what does God say?  He doesn't coddle him or tell him he deserves his pity party...He tells him to 'get thee up'.  Have you ever been there?

We are doing Beth Moore's study of David (the re-vamped version) and the lesson this week used Joshua 7:10 and illustration.  She was teaching on Spiritual Warfare and I knew she was talking to me.  Isn't it great how God talks to us and even better when we listen?

She gave 4 bullet points based on 'get thee up' which pertain to us today.  In order to fight our enemy effectively we must:
1)  Wake up!  You can get up before the alarm, when it first sounds, or hit the snooze--wake early!
2)  Look up!  What is most important in your life?
3)  Stand up!   When you've done all you can...then stand.
4)  Dress up!  Put on your armor because you are a warrior called by God!
Simple, but oh so effective in the fight we face every day.  A fight for our testimony, our joy, our family, or anything else Satan desires to target in our lives.  He is not stupid.  He knows exactly where to push your buttons to make you ineffective.  Don't give him an inch...if you do, he'll be a ruler.  Get thee up, now!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

5 Minute Friday: CATCH

Linking up today with Gypsy Mama for 5 minute Friday, a place where you just write what is on your mind for 5 unedited minutes.  Of course, sometime those 5 minutes are broken up over the course of boys rolling, fighting, screaming, and needing Mommy-but who's counting?


Do you remember the days of being a carefree little girl, running through the yard playing catch me if you can?  I do.  I was the one who always got caught, but I gave a good chase, I think.  Our sweet Sam has Cerebral Palsy and he is at the age of playing those childhood games.

Only he can't keep up with the other kids.  He told us on the way home last night from big brother's soccer game that he couldn't run, everyone was faster than him-then the biggie--WHY?  What do you say to that?  The other kids are just older than you.  But that is a lie.  The fact is, he just can run as fast, and at this point they will always catch him.  I don't know why, that's just the way it is.

That is what I wanted to say, but as Mommy and heart-healer, I couldn't.  When he said the same thing again this morning, his Mommy reminded him that not to long ago we didn't think he'd even be able to walk.  But he can and he can run.  Not very fast, but he can run.  Mommy reminded him this is the way Jesus made him and He loves him just like he is....and so does Mommy and Daddy.

So it doesn't matter if he can't outrun everyone else and they always catch him, it is what he CAN do that matters.  And in Christ, he can do anything he wants.


This is what happens when you play one 'Catch' game to many!
Your turn: 1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back to Gypsy Mama and invite others to join in.
3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday...Is Your Number Up?

'Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.' Colossians 4:2

Yesterday, I wrote about the fact of how He has numbered the days of my life.  Tuesday, my number could've been up.  I was traveling home from my parents house when I came to an intersection I pass everyday.  It is in the country and I've learned to slow down there as sometimes people drive a little crazy out here.  As I looked to my left, there came a Jeep I could tell wasn't going to slow down.  They continued right on through the intersection without a glance, brake, or acknowledgement they almost killed me and my kids.

If I'd have been 3 seconds earlier, I'd have been right in the middle of the intersection this driver of the year barreled through.  3 seconds and our lives could've been changed forever.  This guy wasn't going 35, more like 55.  I didn't even have time to react.  I was so stunned, I just said, "He could've just killed us guys.  Thank You God it wasn't our time."  I think sometimes He shows us how fragile this life is.  We think we're invincible, but He reminds us time and again this life here is just temporary.  We have no idea how much time we're given here, but the time we do have, we must make the most of it.  Not by accumulating stuff, having a good time, or worrying about tomorrow, but by doing the business He has sent us to do.

We all have a different calling.  Some of us know what it is, others are still seeking our paths.  But if we are a child of God, one thing we all share is the commission to tell others about Him.  We don't all have to be career missionaries to be ambassadors for Christ.  We can show His love right where we are by our attitudes and reactions to things of this life.  Make the most of the time you are given...our days here are numbered and one day each of our numbers will be called. 


Continuing to count one thousand gifts...
#121  the fact He has my days in His hands
#122  the rain He has sent our parched land
#123  the anointing He has given those He's called as teachers of His Word
#124  biscuits and sausage gravy (and Dr. Pepper)
#125  fall fun
#126  good friends and great movies (Courageous this Friday with small group)
#127  peanut butter and honey sandwiches
#128  hand me down's
#129  a roof that doesn't leak
#130  a new Lowe's on our side of town (OK still 20 minutes away, but closer)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rest Assured

I had a conversation with our Worship Leader on Sunday about whether or not someone should take cancer treatments.  Now before I go there, I am NOT saying you shouldn't get treatment for your illnesses.  The questions was posed If the doctors tell you that you are dying from cancer, why would they want you to go through chemo?    As a nurse, I have a definite opinion on this issue, but as a family member, I have a a not-so-certain one. 

My Worship Leader had a great point.  I know Psalm 139:16: All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  His Word tells me here no matter what I do, I cannot extend my life beyond the point He has already set.  He then pointed me to 2 Kings 13:14 where we are told Elisha was suffering from the illness from which he died.  This reaffirms what was seen in Psalms.  Elisha wasn't going to be cured, it was his time.   

God knew when and how Elisha was going to die.  According to Psalms, He knew it before Elisha ever was.  The same goes for us.  If it's our time, nothing we can do will prevent the will of God from happening.  Why do we struggle, worry, obsess, and become enslaved to how or when we will leave this earth?  To me, it is comforting to know that He already has it planned out.  I don't have to help Him at all!  Rest in the assurance that your days are numbered by the very One who created you. 


Monday, October 10, 2011

Find Rest my Soul

Psalm 62:5
My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him.
He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

How long will you assault a man?  Would all of you throw him down----
this leaning wall, this tottering fence? 
They fully intended to topple him from his lofty place; they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. 
He alone is my rock and my salvation;  He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.

Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie;  if weighed on a balance,
they are nothing;  together they are only a breath.
Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase;
do not set your heart on them.

One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard:  That you, O God, are strong, 
and that you, O Lord, are loving.  Surely you will reward each person according to
what he has done.

Sweet Rest
 David talks about pouring our hearts out to God in this Psalm.  Pour out your heart to Him, only then can He fill it with Himself.  He can't fill what is already brimming with something else.  Empty yourself of you so you can have more of Him....
He also speaks of rest.  This Psalm was written at the time he was hiding in the cave from Saul.  I'd think he knew a little somthing about needing rest, wouldn't you?  He knew where to find his rest and it's in the same Person we can find ours today-God.  God alone.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday...and Biscuits

'The priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away."  1 Samuel 21:6

I am a true Southern gal and I love my biscuits.  I'll take them any way you hand them to me:  canned, frozen, or homemade.  But there's just something about a fresh, hot, dripping with butter (and honey) homemade biscuit.  There is nothing like it in this world.  My waistline is thankful I've never mastered the art of homemade biscuits, but I do know some folks who have (and I've tasted the proof).  Why settle for store-bought when you can have homemade?  I can't imagine any of the people I know who can make biscuits buying them from the refrigerated section at Bi-lo.

This is a picture of how we can treat the Word of God.  The Word is our daily bread.  Jesus calls Himself the bread of life in John.  The bread of the Presence offered to David in 1 Samuel 21 is the bread of the covenant He made with the Israelites.  It was a symbol to David of the covenant God had made with him that he would succeed over his enemies and would be King of Israel.  It was a promise of provision and faithfulness.  This same bread is offered to us today in the form of Jesus' sacrifice (the bread was His body, the scars forever being shown to God on our behalf).  Why would we settle for the bread of this world when we can have the Bread of Life?

Thank You Father that you became our substitute, our substance, our manna in the wilderness.  Continuing to count one thousand gifts...
#111  my daily Bread
#112  new seasons
#113 local Christian radio
#114  study buddies
#115  my vacuum
#116  cell phones
#117  Biscuits
#118  His mercy, faithfulness, compassion
#119  Farm Day
#120  our commercial trash bin (that someone else empties)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Slow Down...

Have you ever felt the gentle (or maybe not so gentle) nudge by the Father to slow down a little?  I have.  Just recently.  I've had it before, but just didn't recognize it for what it was.  My Daddy telling His girl to take it easy because she couldn't do everything He had for her all at once.  I've been burning the candle at both ends.  Keeping up with work, kids, home, hubby, sports (for kids, not me), 3 bible studies, kid's church, praise team, youth, blogging and 2nd grade (again, for my son, but feels like for me too sometimes).  And guess what?  I got nudged.  I actually got sick, but it was my heavy push from Him to let me know I had to slow down or burn out completely.

For me, letting go of something others expect me to do is hard.  I am taking a little time to refocus exactly what He wants me to be doing.  First, growing in my relationship with Him is number one.  Second is caring for those He's entrusted to my care and being the helpmate to my hubby that he needs.  All the rest will just have to fall in line behind those two things.  I've decided to start blogging just 3 days a week, WThF, as those are the days I don't have to 'work' at my paying job :)

I am thankful He loves me enough to show me when I need to take a break.  Hopefully, I will listen!

Friday, September 30, 2011

5 Minute Friday: FRIENDS

Joining up with Gypsy Mama again for 5 minute Friday.  A place where you write for 5 minutes with no editing, no researching, just writing.  This weeks topic:  Friends...


One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24

Do you have a friend who'll stick with you no matter what?  If you were to fall into sin, a deep pit, will your friends stand by you?  If a calamity befell you, would they be by your side with just an arm of support?  Or would they be like Job's friends who had all the advice in the world on how to deal with a situation?

I'd imagine out of a group of friends, there would be one of each kind.  At the end of the day, there may be one or two still standing by your side, but then again, you may be left standing all alone.  As the verse above in Proverbs tells us, we can have a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Jesus is our Friend through it all.  He will not forsake us.  He'd be the one to tell us we really shouldn't wear that certain color top with our hair color.  A real friend.

So if you find yourself in a situation where your earthly friends have all but deserted you, look up, He is still there.  He will be the One who'll hold you up and be your support no matter what.


Your turn now.  Here's what you do:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday...

'Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.' Colossians 4:2

I am again thankful beyond words to my Creator who has given me more than I could have asked or imagined.  We sing a song at church entitled 'How Can I Not Sing.'  The words are a testament to His goodness, in the good, as well as the bad seasons. 

The name of the Lord be lifted up, the name of the King be glorified.
Your banner above the earth is great, Your love for Your people deep and wide.

Beautiful Jesus, how can I not sing to You?
I will open up my mouth, to tell all that You have done.
What kind of love is this, that You gave Your only Son.
Beautiful Jesus, how can I not sing to You?

How can I not sing praise to Jesus who delievered me?
How can I not sing praise for my Redeemer rescued me?

Continuing to count one thousand gifts...
#101  2 WII remotes
#102  crisp, fall air
#103  BBQ and bluegrass, for a good cause
#104  A sweet, smiling baby (even when cutting 2 molars)
#105  a hard-working hubby, who at times thinks he's still a teenager
#106  the Dollar store
#107  peanut butter sandwiches
#108  friday night homegroup with good friends
#109  His healing touch
#110  His timely Word to me

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hemlines and Hairdo's

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.  Luke 19:10

She walks into church, right down to the front row, and sits down.  She is different.  Her dress looks like one of those baby doll tops--the ones you're supposed to wear with leggings.  She has earrings in places other than her ears.  Her hair is a rather odd color of green.  From what you can see, beyond the tattoo's, her skin is pale, almost translucent.  What do you do?  Ignore her?  Go out of your way to be overly friendly to her?  Sneer at her?

Better question, what would Jesus do?  From reading the Gospels, I can pretty much guarantee He'd go right down, put His arm around her, say 'Welcome', and sit down.  This was His kind of girl.  She is most likely hurting, lost, searching...for something only He can give her.  Since He's not here (in bodily form anyway), it's our place to go to her, put an arm around, Welcome, and sit down.  This would make me uncomfortable.  I'm not used to folks that look 'different'.  I live in the South, we pretty much all look the same. 

God didn't call us to be comfortable, He called us to reach out even in our unease.  Next time you have a visitor at church, one who doesn't look 'just right' or fit the church mold, try going out of your way to speak to them.  Make conversation.  Be interested.  It's not all about us, you know.
PS- thanks for the prayers, I think I've made it back among the living ;)

Friday, September 23, 2011

5 Minute Friday: GROWING

Joining up with Gypsy Mama for 5 minute Friday:  write for 5 minutes, no editing, no proofing, just write.  Today's topic:  GROWING


These boys of mine are growing too fast before their mama's eyes.  The days of needing mama's help for everything is drawing to a close.  Bottles, diapers, late night feedings are all fading into a memory.  I must confess I am grateful to be rid of the middle of the night screaming sessions, but in a way I'll miss them.

The boy of my heart is growing into a fine young man.  He is 7, going on 17, and is in love with every animal he comes across.  He wants a lizard, I say how about a fish.  I can do a fish, I think.

The boy of my womb, the one they said would never be, is improving every day.  He walks without his walker, wears his braces, and charms everyone he meets.  This precious one I've prayed over, cried over, and handed over to the One who loves him even more than I do.

Last, the boy who entered this world six weeks early, a fighter, stubborn boy.  He is growing more independent every day.  Walking, opening every drawer he can reach, and just being all out nosey.  This will be our rounder....what a mess.

Each one different, each one the same in this mama's heart.  Growing....growing.....growing.


Your turn:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday...

'Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.' Colossians 4:2

Devote yourself to being thankful.  What does that even mean?  I've been hitting copy and paste on the verse for several weeks now and the words just hit me today.  Devotion is a strong word. According to the dictionary it means:  dedicate; "give thought to"; "give priority to"; "pay attention to".  God is commanding us to give priority to being thankful.  Wow.
I must confess I do not always do this.  I usually give thought to what I don't have or pay attention to the problems in my life.  He calls me to dedicate myself to thankfulness.  Not just one day a week, but everyday.  I should intentionally give thanks daily, in all things.  He has commanded it, therefore, I am to follow it.  Help me Father to be thankful every minute of every day.

Continuing to count one thousand gifts....
#91  Rain, rain, and more rain on our thirsty ground
#92  technology to allow Sam to wear braces without physically wearing them

#93  my snuggie blanket I cover up with on the couch
#94  cold medicine, tylenol, aleve, and flexeril
#95  health insurance, even if it costs WAY too much
#96  new car batteries
#97  leftovers
#98  free babysitters when you need one
#99  work for my self-employed hubby
#100  Scrabble :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pressing On...

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.  Isaiah 43:10

Thank you all so much for the prayers, I have felt each one that has went up on my behalf!  I am still feeling under the weather, but I know Satan would have me continue not to write if he had his way and I am not letting him get one up on me!
I wonder why it is hard to trust God with the things that happen in our individual lives.  I can trust Him in the global catastrophies, the sinful world we live in, or someone else's troubles, so why is it so hard to trust Him with our own problems?  I must propose it is because deep, deep down in the secret place of our heart, we really don't believe He cares about our individual struggles.  We have the head knowledge of how much He loves and cares for us, but somehow it has not sunk into our heart.
This is when spending time in His Word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers becomes SO important.  If we allow ourselves to give in to the desire Satan plants in our mind to think He doesn't have time or care for us, we can become isolated and be drawn into a web of fear and defeat.  This is the time it becomes a matter of choosing to believe Him and to let the things we know to be true about His character to guide our thoughts and lead us to victory.
So, this has been my struggle this week.  A tiredness I didn't even know existed came over me, my whole body ached, I was dizzy, and add a cold to the mix--I was done for.  Most of these symptoms are still here.  I have self-diagnosed myself (nurses love to do that) with the help of some labwork and the internet.  My auto-immune disorder has revved up and Satan has been trying to use it to drag me under.  But I am pressing on...I will not let him silence me.  I will keep typing as long as my fingers are able.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blogging Break

Hello friends!
I have been a bit under the weather these past few days, but hope to be back in the blogging world later this week or next week!  I'll still be following all my fellow bloggers :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Falls Like Lightning: A Review

I am prejudiced.  There, I said it.  Never thought I was until I got this book, Falls Like Lightning, to review.  How can you be prejudiced against a book?  It wasn't the book, it was the author, Shawn Grady.  He's a man, a fact which he can't help.  I have always overlooked books written by men as I thought, "How could a man write a book to resonate with a woman"?  I know, I know.  You've got Nicholas Sparks, Charles Martin, and so on, but I really had a prejudice against them.

I begrudgingly started reading this book and guess what?  The man can actually write.  And I liked it, really liked it.  The characters were real, even the woman.  It was thrilling, you could tell he came from a background of firefighting.  I can say, in all honesty, I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, fast-paced read.  Even if it's written by a man!

I was given this copy to review by the publisher.

5 Minute Friday: JOY

Linking up with Gypsy Mama for 5 minute Friday.  The rules are simple:  take 5 minutes to write, unedited, about a topic:  JOY.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  James 1:2-3


When I saw today's topic, my first thought was of my friend Angie who was diagnosed with lung cancer this week.  Next, it was found to have metastasized to her brain.  She went from being whole to being completely broken in the span of one week.  Angie made poor choices earlier in life and was living in new found freedom from addiction.  She was helping others find the same freedom.  Now this.

Joy can be found in this place though.  The testimony of a race finished well is sometimes larger than what we can do in years of service for Him.  I pray we, as Angie's church family, can help her to finish her race and hear 'Atta girl' when she arrives home, whenever that may be.

I also think of my mother-in-law who left us way too soon.  Too soon for us, I'm sure she wouldn't come back, even if she could.  She left us with such a grace and joy, a testimony of a race well ran.  The hubby's experience can give dear Angie's son hope and maybe a glimpse of the joy his mama will experience.

We don't know the why's of cancer, death, or any other trial we face here on earth.  But we can consider it pure joy when we face such trials because our faith is in Him who is our Deliever.


Won’t you link up with us?

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.