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!