Don’t you just love receiving those Christmas letters in the mail describing how little Johnny mastered the 10th level of TKD and how little Suzy performed the role of a butterfly in the year end dance recital? You may be one to compose such letters and if you are, I don’t mean to misinterpret your intentions. It is great to keep up with friends but what if we sent out a list of our blessings for the previous year instead?
So that is what I have decided to do in today’s post and I challenge you to do the same.
Here is just a small list of the many blessings we are thankful for at our house:
He allows us to continue our teaching ministries at HGBCS.
He has blessed us with good health.
He meets our daily needs and not always our wants – He does know best.
He blesses us with people who have taught us the value of true friendship.
He keeps our home safe.
He continues to keep our older cars running and even provided when one tried to give up the fight. J
He provides us loving extended family members.
He surrounds us with friends who have the courage and boldness to take giant leaps of faith.
He gives me the opportunity to do what I LOVE to do each day – teach!
He blesses us with family vacation at the beach every year – love soaking up sunshine in His creation!
He blessed me with a spouse who loves me unconditionally.
He gave us a fearfully and wonderfully made son who has a huge heart for his creator.
He continues to provide water….man, the drought this year has made me realize what a blessing indoor plumbing really is.
He blessed us with home filled with laughter and music and quality conversation.
He blessed us with a fridge and pantry that generally contains a meal or two and always a gallon of milk.
I am so thankful that for the blessing of freedom – we just don’t know what a blessing this is in our country. Lord, forgive us when we take it for granted.
He blessed all in our country with the freedom to worship – Lord, help us protect this right in our country.
He blessed us with a church that preaches the WORD and is not ashamed to take a bold stand in our community.
I am thankful that TWO of my very best friends EVER – have crossed paths with my family again. (We are more richly blessed because of it!)
Above all, through His son, Jesus, He provides us grace and mercy….so that we can begin each day with a fresh start.
May God bless you richly in the coming year and may you pause to count your blessings in the next few days.
Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Don’t you just love receiving those Christmas letters in the mail describing how little Johnny mastered the 10th level of TKD and how little Suzy performed the role of a butterfly in the year end dance recital? You may be one to compose such letters and if you are, I don’t mean to misinterpret your intentions. It is great to keep up with friends but what if we sent out a list of our blessings for the previous year instead?
Friday, December 21, 2007
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Don't you just love the Christmas story? Can you imagine being there in Bethlehem that night? I wonder how many busy townspeople missed out on God coming so near?
I have vowed to not do that in our home. I begin my shopping in September- sometimes earlier and I am always finished the day after Thanksgiving. For those of you who are retail professionals - we dub that day Black Friday.
I have the trees put up and the house decorated the weekend prior to Thanksgiving so that all of the extra stuff that can distract you is complete. That way we can focus on the true meaning of Christmas in our home. I really get disturbed to see how the prices escalate on the few HOT toys for the season or to see parents put so much emphasis on the items on their children's list. Don't get me wrong...we do Santa and we have fun with it but we keep it in perspective.
Christmas Day just comes too quickly....Don't you just love how for ONE day of the year it is as if EVERYONE worships? You see HIM in almost every face you see....and then after one reverent day - the world returns to its current state of "It's all about me!"
How about you? Will you be too busy to miss it?
Look for moments in the next few days when God will come near - reflect on them this season and savor them as we enter 2008.
Friday, December 14, 2007
I was reminded of that today. After running errands, we pulled in to the parking lot at Walgreens. I saw a gentleman who was collecting money for an alcohol and drug rehab program in a similar fashion that the Salvation Army collects during the holidays. Now I am not one to carry cash - we are debit card addicts - but there I sat digging through the contents of my purse, pulling change from every nook and cranny - including the console of our car. I passed a handful of change to my son and instructed him to drop it in the bucket as we entered the store. He did and began asking how long we were going to be in the store.
As we walked up and down the aisles, he complained - no I will be honest - he WHINED about being thirsty. To which I replied in my best mom tone - "Don't you think that I am thirsty too? I said that we will get something on the way out - now come on...I have to finish collecting the items on my shopping list."
We hurried along completing my shopping list, grabbing a Coke for me and a chocolate milk for my son, checked out at the register....and then the thought hit me that perhaps the gentleman outside the store was thirsty as well. As my son reached for his milk, I said take my Coke and on our way to the car give it to the man outside the store and tell him that Jesus loves him. He said, "But Mom, aren't YOU thirsty? Don't YOU want it?" I said, "I can wait and get something at home."
We exited the store and the gentleman thanked us again for our donation and I said, "We took the liberty of getting you a Coke - God bless you!" He thanked us and my son and I proceeded to get in the car.
As we pulled away, my son said, "Mom I know you were really thirsty and you gave that man your Coke. Mom, do you think after he drinks it, he will thank God for it instead of us? Cause it was really God who wanted you to give it to him and I know that is why you did it. I love you mom!"
What amazed me was that through all of it, I said nothing about feeling the Holy Spirit nudging me to share - it was my son's observation and analysis of the situation that impressed me and that he wanted God to get the glory and honor for my random act of kindness. (and rightly so...)
What will your children see in you this Christmas season? I want to be more like Him in 2008. Don't you?
Have a blessed weekend!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I am so thankful for the time that I have had with my son. As a teacher, I have a wonderful schedule. Tonight, we parked outside a pet shop and stood peering into the windows - watching kittens play. We giggled together and laughed as they tumbled over one another. And then it happened: "Mom, when can we get one?" Response: "When you grow up and get your own place, I promise to buy you one of your own. It will be my grandkitty - until then just think about what kind you want!" (Now for all of you cat lovers out there....I am not unreasonable...I feed the neighbor's cat instead of owning one....which with the costs of owning a pet these days...I feel that is a sensible thing to do.)
Back to thanksgiving - I have so much to be grateful for: a wonderful Savior, a terrific spouse, a super seven year old, supportive and generous parents and MIL, great Christian friends, a fabulous job, the opportunity to share Jesus with His little ones everyday, fantastic bloggin' buddies like you, a warm bed to sleep in, a comfortable home, and choices. We live in a country where we don't have to worry about IF we will eat - but we have a gazillion choices as to WHAT we will eat each day - and what we will do to entertain ourselves and how we will spend our money and time. I am so thankful for what God has given me and I pray that tomorrow will be a day for you to bask in the glow of HIS goodness. Happy Thanksgiving.
Until next time.....
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
While my grandfather was serving his country in Africa, my father was born. Can you imagine being drafted during your wife's first pregnancy and returning home when that child is almost 2.5 years old? Especially when communication was so limited. My father still has the telegram that my grandfather received in Africa announcing his birth. It reads: Son born. All well. (Seems that the message was brief due to the cost per letter to send the message.) Amazing, huh?
It is also amazing to me (especially since I have a gazillion pictures of my son) that my grandfather saw only one photo of my father prior to meeting him when he returned home. It was taken in my grandparent's backyard. My dad was sitting on the family piano stool and he was holding a pack of Camel cigarettes to keep him from crying. Boy, have times changed! Today, that photograph is proudly displayed in its original frame on my dining room wall.
Although my "Mema" grumbles EVERY TIME my Papa begins to share a WWII story, I think about how few opportunities my son will have to soak in the stories that I have heard throughout my lifetime. He told me today that she wasn't proud of him but he was glad that we were....which meant the world to me for him to know that we are - I know in Mema's heart of hearts that she is proud of him but after 60+ years of marriage, they don't always cherish each other as they should.
Be sure to teach your children to honor those who put their lives on the line to defend our freedom. We are so richly blessed in this country....be sure to thank those who have fought to defend her!
God bless you,
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Our child is being baptised tomorrow morning so we have a lot of family coming in today for the special event. At least the house is really clean and I can get busy planning how I am going to decorate for Christmas. Yes, I know , I get pressured to do it early when I see all of the decorative items in stores....I adore Christmas! I have been and always will be a kid at heart.
Well, enjoy your day and your worship tomorrow!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I hear parents say often that they need to withdraw their child from our private Christian school because they need a new car....I always think - yes, so do we.....but it is so worth the financial sacrifice that we make to have our son in private Christian school that we are content to drive those older cars. We will do whatever it takes to have him in a school that teaches biblical worldview.
We have learned that when bad things happen - they could always be worse and we try to let that always be our focus in the midst of all circumstances. I was so proud of my hubby for having a positive outlook on the whole situation today. (not his normal reaction but he is still growing too)Even though we could use newer cars, a larger home and MORE money, we have learned to be content and trust that God will remain faithful to us because we have committed to be faithful to HIM. But in the meantime, say a prayer for the old Buick...my hubby loves that car and I do hope she survives her flood.....
I will keep you posted -
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Our son would rather stay home than do anything else. When we returned from family vacation this summer, he said "Guys, it sure is good to be back home. I had fun but I missed this place." He LOVES staying home and would prefer to do so over a trip to Chuck E. Cheese - well, he would take a rain check on that one and cash it in at a later date. But for today, he would choose to stay at home.
I thought it was precious last night when I was just putting the finishing touches on my spaghetti sauce for dinner, he entered the kitchen and said, "Mom, may I set the table for a nice family dinner?" I said, "Sure." And then he added, "Is it okay with you, if I turn off the TV?" I said, "Sure," and then he added, "Can we light some candles?"
Now, I must admit by this time, I was thinking about how someday some lucky little princess is going to be so blessed to marry my little handsome prince - but you see, I was tired - my gut instinct was to say, "No, maybe next time, because I really didn't feel like digging out fresh candles." But then I was able to fast forward to a day not so far away that he will probably complain about having to eat dinner with us, and I savored the moment and said, "Let's do that....that would be nice."
As I reflected on this, I realize how secure he must feel knowing that his mom and dad really love one another and how secure he must feel to know that our home is built on the foundation of Christ. Not to mention, how secure he must have felt in helping put together a special moment for our family.
Folks, our children are only this age one time - no matter how tired or busy we are....we can't afford to not do it right. May we all be reminded of that today.
Praying for you and your family,
Monday, October 22, 2007
I am determined to get something accomplished today. Why do we moms feel such a sense of urgency to complete things on the to do list? I guess that is just who we are, isn't it ladies? Well, I just wanted to check in with you - I promise to post something a little more on the spiritual side later I am in the middle of a FANTASTIC small group study that I can't wait to share with you. I promise to do so soon.
Have a great day!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Never before have we had such an opportunity to stay in touch...yet why are so many people lonely, so many spouses disconnected and so many families that spend so little time in meaningful conversation each day? And how is it that we can blog, chat on the cell phone, email one another, yet neglect to spend time each day with Him?
He's never too busy for us. But we drown Him out with or computers, ipods, tivos, DVRs and cell phones. He is still there - ready to provide direction, comfort and companionship. He promises in John 10:27: My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me."
May you be reminded by this entry that you are precious to Him. Quiet your spirit and listen to Him today. He is waiting on you and me.
Seek Him first,
Friday, October 5, 2007
We stay on the go. Hubby is taking a few classes and is in school many evenings throughout the week. That leaves me to run the errands. Our child is involved in gymnastics, tae kwan do and swim club. Yes, I know that it is a lot but as on OC (only child) I do what I can to keep him on the go and interacting with other children. We are seriously cutting two of those activities next year in exchange for guitar lessons, which PTL can be given during the school day. But for now, I will continue to shuffle him form one activity to the other in my taxi.
He is growing so fast this year. He is really developing a fantastic sense of humor. It is a treasure to be able to slow down and listen to his second grade jokes and celebrate what he is learning about the Lord this year. We moms guilt ourselves out of so much; many days I feel that other peoples kids get the most from me and my baby draws from the leftovers. But I guess it is that way with all of us - we give so much at the "office" that it is hard to "muster up" enough energy for home. But we have too....that time passes by too quickly.
It was so touching to see hubby sit down at the table last night and play Monopoly with our child while I was away leading a small Bible study group in someone else's home. Our child treasures those moments - not to mention that he delighted in beating his father in the game.
Laundry, dishes, and the remnants of their game of Monopoly on my dining room table await me. (and since turning 40, I have truly accepted that they can wait until I have a moment to do something about them.) As for now, I am going to enjoy being with my family.
Have a great weekend. I will develop a more spiritual post soon...after reading other blogs today from busy moms, I was in the mood to share on a personal level today.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Faith is an odd word. I thought I knew what it meant until I started thinking about how I was going to describe it to this group of ladies. We hear people say, "Keep the faith." or "You just gotta have faith." But what does it mean? The Bible uses the word faith more than 320 times. Then I thought, is faith the same as belief? So I looked them up and discovered that faith is defined as unquestioning belief and so then I looked up belief. Belief is defined as religious faith. So then I asked myself - Well, can you have one without the other?
A lot of people think that if you "muster up" enough faith - you will get rich, stay healthy and live a contented life....I think most of us are evidence that it just doesn't happen that way!
The faith described in Hebrews is not sugar coated. It is a tough faith - a constant commitment to hang on and believe God against all odds no matter what.
Faith most resembles a difficult race. Read Hebrews 12:1 and imagine yourself running a footrace with all of these "Faith Hall of Famers" watching from the sidelines - Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Moses, Joseph, Noah and more. I wonder what Father Abraham would think about some of our unbelief? How must we look to those who have been stoned to death for their faith?
As I studied this passage, I realize how much I have been blessed. I am ashamed when I read about what the Old Testament Saints accomplished. But the writer of Hebrews assures us that God is a rewarder for those who are diligently seek Him. Faith is a simple confidence in our heavenly father. In this race Ladies, no one loses. If we finish, we will get the reward.
How do you define faith?
Have a great day in Him -
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Today, as we finished up, a little girl approached me and she said, "Teacher, I just want you to know that I asked Jesus to come in to my heart this morning and He said, "Yes!" Now I need to know what I can do to get baptized!" Folks, how sweet is that - that she told me that Jesus said Yes! What a way to end the day - and then I wondered how often do we say "Yes" to Jesus?
Have a great day in him and look for ways to say Yes to Him today,
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Hubby received the following devotion in an email yesterday at work. It was too good to sit on so I decided to share it with all of you. It is the best explanation of why brothers and sisters need to encourage each other along the way. It is based on Deuteronomy 1:38. Here it is:
God employs his people to encourage one another. He did not say to an angel, “Gabriel, my servant Joshua is about to lead my people into Canaan—go, encourage him.” God never works needless miracles; if his purposes can be accomplished by ordinary means, he will not use miraculous agency. Gabriel would not have been half so well fitted for the work as Moses.
A brother’s sympathy is more precious than an angel’s embassy. The angel, swift of wing, had better known the Master’s bidding than the people’s temper. An angel had never experienced the hardness of the road, nor seen the fiery serpents, nor had he led the stiff-necked multitude in the wilderness as Moses had done. We should be glad that God usually works for man by man. It forms a bond of brotherhood, and being mutually dependent on one another, we are fused more completely into one family.
Brethren, take the text as God’s message to you. Labour to help others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumbling blocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road by degrees, but tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, and of the charms of communion with Christ.
Aim to comfort the sorrowful, and to animate the despondent. Speak a word in season to him that is weary, and encourage those who are fearful to go on their way with gladness. God encourages you by his promises; Christ encourages you as he points to the heaven he has won for you, and the spirit encourages you as he works in you to will and to do of his own will and pleasure. Imitate divine wisdom, and encourage others, according to the word of this evening.
Spurgeon, C. H.
What will you do or say to be an encouragement to those whom God allows to cross your path today?
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Mark 10:14 Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.
What a great opportunity I have been given by God - the opportunity to teach his little ones! First graders are probably some of the greatest kids on Earth. They love school and they make you feel like you are a queen - just this week, I was at the front of the room hammering away at a math lesson - trying to explain to a classroom full of wide eyed first graders how many ways there are to make 8 -and I noticed that one of my students had her had raised - I sensed it wasn't urgent so I finished making my point and then I said, "Yes, Honey?" She whispered across the room - I just wanted to tell you that I love you teacher!" Now I ask you, how often does that happen to you are hammering away at your job? I am blessed - I am fully satisfied when it comes to my job!
Then this morning, while my little class is sitting at the feet of Jesus and I am sharing the story of the crucifixion - I was describing a little of what Jesus went through in his final hours. I told them that God could have made it stop - but He didn't - He did it for me and He did it for them and He did it for you too!
As I looked out into the faces of my little first graders, tears filled the eyes of one of my students. At that moment, I knew that she came to the realization that she needed a Savior - and she fell in love with Jesus right before my very eyes. As I watched the little tears pour from her eyes and trickle down her beautiful face, I couldn't help but share in her joy and you guessed it, I cried with her. But then we rejoiced with one another over her decision to follow Jesus. What an awesome day in the Lord!
Folks, it just doesn't get any better than that - I pray that you have a great Friday.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Yesterday, in our Sunday School class, we examined different miracles in the Bible. My group was asked to examine the miracle that occured with Elijah and the poor widow and her son. This is found in I Kings 17:13-16. Elijah instructed her to take the last of her provisions and make a small cake to bring to him and then afterward make some for herself and her son. Elijah told her that the bin flour and the jar of oil shall not be used up until the Lord brought rain and it was so. This was according to the word that God spoke to Elijah. So what would skeptics say about the miracles in the Bible?
Does God perform miracles today?
Yes, I do believe the Lord is doing and will continue to do miracles in our world. They are part of His great compassion of love towards us. They flow from Him without our permission and without our understanding. Miracles are not proofs of His power, but proof of His love. He simply loves us and gives us His miracles as He wills. It is truly amazing.
I witnessed a miracle when our son was born. Birth itself is a miracle but two years after my son was born God revealed a miracle to me that actually occurred at the time of my son's birth. My child comes from a long line of large heads - hubby and I have one, my father and grandfather have one - so it is only natural that my son would be born with a large one as well. Needless to say, after 18 hours of hard labor - we made a decision to have a c-section. Amazingly, even though I had to be put to sleep for it and miss my son's entrance into the world, I was at peace with it. Later, I would learn why.
Fast forward two years later - each time we went into the pediatrician's office, my precious baby was off the growth chart - yes, even his head. If you know us, this shouldn't come as a surprise. We are not petite people. But when our son was nearly two, his pediatrician grew concerned that he had hydrocephalus - but how could this be - my child was ahead developmentally and had talked in complete sentences since his first birthday. How could anything be wrong? A head CT scan would determine if everything was okay. So we complied.
The results came in and ALL that they found was a cyst or brain bleed on the left side of his brain. No problem, his pediatricians said, "We'll watch it for six months - do another scan in six months - and see if there is any change. WHAT? Sorry, doc, what first time mother is going to sit idly by and wait six months to see if something happens. I had asked to be referred to a neurologist but was told that it would be six months before we could get in to see a pediatric specialist since this was not urgent?
At the time, I was teaching Kindergarten in public schools and I had the son of a Nascar Driver whose wife was a former nurse. When I shared this with her, she told me to go to radiology at the hospital - sign out the xrays - and bring them to her. I did and she took them to Nascar's neurologist for him to examine. Two days later, the neurologist called me at school and without knowing the circumstances of our son's birth - named ALL of the conditions of our son's birth. And then he said words that I will never forget, "Had your son been born without a c-section, he would have been born with cerebral palsy."
You see, that day I learned of a miracle that God performed at the time of our son's birth. One that without our doctor's prompting for a CT scan - I would have never known about. If you know our son, it would be hard to imagine him any other way. Each time, I see him run, swim, play baseball, dance - I am reminded of what could have been and I am also reminded that my God still does miracles everyday.
If you or someone you love is eagerly awaiting a miracle of healing from God, remember that His answers may not come in a way that we can immediately recognize. After all, we weren't even aware this miracle had taken place until God allowed it to be revealed to us. But I BELIEVE in miracles - do you?
Have a great day in HIM!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Dr. Adrian Rogers was once asked by a fellow passenger what type of magazines he liked to read. He responded that he mostly read the Bible. The lawyer to whom he was talking said, "You mean in your profession you do not read any wider than that? How can you help people with their problems and needs? " Dr. Rogers responded with: "Man has only three problems: sin, sorrow and death. Every problem in the world is a subset of sin, sorrow or death and the BIBLE is the ONLY book on earth that has the answers to all three."
How wise! But why the war on the Bible? Because Satan hates it - he wants to see it destroyed. Some despise it - some destroy it - some distort it and MANY ignore it. Sadly, one of the greatest enemies of the Bible are those who call themselves Christians but only pay lip service to it.
Feelings are going to come and go, but the word of God never wavers. Is the BIBLE the word of God? Absolutely! Look at Jesus' view of the scriptures:
He acknowledged it as LAW.
He viewed it as the ultimate authority. When tempted, He said "It is written...."
He saw himself in the fulfillment of scripture.
He accepted it and ENDORSED it - Do we?
Get in the word today and spend some time with Him,
Thursday, August 23, 2007
One of my favorite Japanese proverbs is: "Even if you sleep in a thousand-mat room, you can only sleep on one mat." Rather that settling for the ancient Japanese proverb, if you turn to the scriptures, you find a similar warning: "It is better to have little with fear for the Lord than to have great treasure with turmoil." Proverbs 15:16
I would much rather be married to a man who is happy than one who is miserable working 70 hours a week in order to acquire more. The virtue of contentment is one to be pursued.
I am fortunate that I get to do what I love each day. Since I left public school and began teaching in a Christian school, I can't wait to get back to the classroom each day to teach my first grade babies about Jesus. Don't get me wrong, I adored all of the children that I taught in public school. However, you can have so much more of an impact when Jesus is welcome in your classroom.
I am blessed to have one of the sweetest classes that I have ever taught this year. I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to teach nineteen precious children to love reading, writing, to solve math problems and explore the world through the eyes of God. But more importantly, I have the opportunity to show them that God has a plan for their lives. He has filled them with skills and charming personalities and I count it a joy to serve my Lord in my first grade classroom.
Please pray for me each day as I lead these little ones to the cross -
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I love this passage of scripture. The principles mentioned in these few verses of scripture are the key principles that work in every relationship. How can we help others come to know and love God? I am glad you asked....
First of all - we have to love the Lord ourselves and have a great relationship with Him.
Then - according to this scripture - we are to take His word to heart - DAILY. If we are to lead others, we have to be close to Him.
And if we are to lead others, we can only so that if we have a close relationship with them too. We have to have a family like relationship with them.
We have to relate our life experiences to God's word as we share our life experiences with them so that they can come to know and love God if they sense His concern to the details of their lives.
Ladies, this passage has become so real to me since I left the public school system to teach in Christian Education. The whole reason I even entered the field of education was about relationships. With end of year testing pressure and the No Child Left Behind act, I felt as though the time that I should have been given to build and nurture relationships with parents was stolen from me. When I began teaching in a Christian school two years ago - that passion returned. I felt like a first year teacher all over again because the focus there was on- RELATIONSHIPS.
I was blessed this summer to run into a great friend that I once taught with - the Lord blessed us with an opportunity to reunite and continue to build a friendship that we shared several years earlier.I am just in awe of how God has worked to reconnect us in various ways. It just reminded me of how important our relationships with people are - it is how we witness.
Witnessing seems to be such a hard thing for so many. But it is really simple: Love God. Love on others around you. Talk to others about God as a friend as you live out your life daily. That kind of witnessing is more powerful than any sermon ever preached.
What do others see when they look at you? Are you helping others to know and love God?
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Lord help us to focus on your blessings today,
Friday, August 3, 2007
I was challenged by a fellow blogger today to give my hubby - The Man of the Year Award. It seems that she was motivated ( Thanks Leigh!) to reevaluate how we in the blogging community speak of our spouses. So she created the Man of the Year Award - Congratulations Hubby! I can think of a thousand reasons that you deserve it!
To respond to this challenge today, I turned to a list of my hubby's traits that I keep in my Bible - at some point while praying for him, I made a list of reasons that I am drawn to him:
He provides me a sense of security, he is wise, sensitive, nurturing, has great morals, a strong sense of country - he loves conservative politics. He is devoted to family, quiet, and like a boy scout - he is loyal, kind and brave. He is a gentle giant - and handsome too! The amazing thing to me is that out of my list of 15 traits - only one of them was based on his outward appearance. Mama was right - it is what is on the inside that counts!
(Drum roll please....) But I give him the Man of the Year Award for his INTEGRITY!
Proverbs 10:9 says, "He who walks with integrity walks securely."
He understands that life is not about working countless hours just to have more. He understands the importance of his role as a husband and father and how important it is to be home with us as often as he can. And he goes about it in his own quiet, humble manner. Lord, thank you for blessing me with a loyal man of integrity. He is my Man of the Year!
If you were to bestow that honor upon your man today, what would you say? Click (on the centered title above) for Man of the Year Awards link and join me....your hubby will be glad you did.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
So we did a guest room makeover all in one day. (and just in time - my MIL is coming tomorrow afternoon.) While we were putting the finishing touches on the room, hubby said, "So what's next? I know you are planning ahead.." He is right - I have a wish list....two bedrooms and one bath to go. Hurry up, fall weather....it is too hot to do my outside projects now.
I have missed blogging this week but with all my projects - I have had a lot of time to talk to Jesus about my upcoming school year. I will be back soon. I have missed you!
Have a great day of worship,
Monday, July 23, 2007
The countdown is on and I have much to do.....I report back to the classroom two weeks from tomorrow and I have about four weeks worth of projects to do prior to a new school year. So if you log on and you don't see a new post, please come back again. Pray for me as life goes in "overdrive" for a short time. Love you all -
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Okay, Ms. Mary, here it goes.....When I think about the childhood homes that I lived in....it wasn't the houses that were important...it was the life that we built inside that mattered. My dad was in textile management at the time and we moved more than our share while Dad worked his way up in Industrial Management. What I do remember though is the character and charm of each small mill-run southern town that we lived in - life was the same day in and day out in each one.
I grew up in the 70's and I honestly believe we were the last generation to enjoy the freedom to play outside without the CONSTANT supervision of adults. We had two rules regarding unsupervised play - One - you'd better run when Mama called you for supper and Two - you had better be in the front yard when the street lights came on at dark. We spent our day hanging out in the woods with neighborhood kids - it seems there were always plenty of neighborhood kids no matter where we moved. We swung from kudzu vines, created fabulous designer gowns from thick green garbage bags and held a neighborhood beauty pageant - the boys were judges and I always got my brother's vote - not because he adored me - but because he knew he had to live with me afterwards.
We spent the day riding bikes - with banana seats and wide low handlebars - to the top of the hill, skateboarding down the drive way, creating terrific new routines with our batons. We grew up in the disco era - we danced the Hustle and the Bus Stop and yes, I had a disco bag that crossed over my shoulder and slung low on one hip. We recreated the stage set of the Donnie and Marie show with just a white sheet as our backdrop and a plastic portable 45 record player - I was "a little bit country" and my brother was - well, "a little bit rock and roll." We were delighted with new toys which we didn't get nearly as often as kids do today. Two of the greatest inventions were: The BIG wheel and the lemon twist - and oh, I could bounce on a pogo stick with the best of them. We played Charlie's Angels - I was always Jill although I favored Sabrina more - my brother enjoyed the bossy role of Charlie - I had a thing for Farrah back then - we all did - I also loved portraying Jamie on the Bionic Woman - and you guessed it, my brother was the Six Million Dollar Man.
(My husband was the rebel - he said that he and his friends used to take a Light Bright and make a stage sign advertising "KISS" and put fake blood on their faces and recreate the stage set of KISS - whew, glad God had a better plan for him!)
Oh, the Light Bright....board games like Gnip Gnop, Kerplunk, Life, Operation....and the Barbie Townhouse with the drawstring elevator. When my bother wasn't looking, Barbie dated Ken in the GI JOE Camper instead of the sissy Barbie car - did I mention I was a tomboy?
Metal swing sets were the standard and the slides were well known for providing blisters on a hot summer day - there was no such thing as safety requirements - we were TOUGH kids. We actually slid on large pieces of wax paper so that we could go faster - and to think I never broke a bone - we took our fondness of wax paper and applied the same theory to fall leaves - we took empty cloth bolts from a fabric store and wrapped them with wax paper to sled down leaf covered hills in the fall. We tested our inventions out on a younger cousin and if she fared well, we joined her.
Thinking about all of these memories makes me sad for children today - they live in a world that is unsafe. My child will never know what it is like to romp around freely in the neighborhood. He is having to grow up in a generation that requires well planned, supervised activities. I feel for him. The only thing that he will be able to poke fun at is how technology has progressed through the years - he will joke about CD's like we do records and 8 track tapes. We were fortunate to grow up during a time when we had respect for our leaders and when people genuinely cared for each other - I remember where I was and how I felt when Elvis died and when I learned that Ronald Reagan was shot. It mattered - the media had standards back them - I still remember the shock and embarrassment I felt in the early 80's when the first feminine hygiene commercial was aired on TV - the New Freedom lady danced around and sang on that TV set while I nearly passed out from embarrassment and mind you, I was in the know - I read "TigerBeat and Teen" magazines for Pete's sake!
Where have we gone wrong folks? We once lived in a nation then where people feared God and tried to avoid sin. And today, as Dr. Rummage says, we live in a nation that celebrates it. We need to turn back - better yet, we need to look up! I want things to be better for our children. Let's do that, okay?
Have a great day creating memories with your family,
Thursday, July 19, 2007
So I did what any savvy Internet girl would do and I googled "salt". I was reminded of three things that salt does:
1. A little salt sets the flavor in food. Southern gals, have you ever tried to eat grits without adding a generous amount of salt?
2. Salt is a preservative. The pilgrims used salt to cure food to be used later. Oh, I do love my country cured ham to go with my grits!
3. Salt has healing properties. How many times do we tell our children how great the ocean will be for healing a freshly skinned knee 0r advise someone to soak a sore body part in salt water or rinse with salt water to heal a tender gum? Ever bought sea salt to smooth your elbows and heels, Ladies?
Committed Christians are similar to salt in the fact that:
1. We add a better flavor to the life around us.
2. We preserve the good of God's creation.
3. We bring healing to the hurting people around us.
Salt was a valued item in Jesus day. You often see where he used it in His illustrations to demonstrate the influence that Christians have on those around them. We are to be the salt of society- making positive contributions to society. We are called to be concerned and committed. When we are - Christ can use us to do a great deal of good.
How would you evaluate the strength of the flavor of your Christian life today?
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
In case you haven't read it, it is about a hungry mouse who knocks on the door, and the little boy in the story gives him a cookie. But when he gives him a cookie, he wants a glass of milk. He gets a glass of milk, then he needs to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn't have a milk mustache . . . he then notices that he needs a trim . . . he has to borrow the scissors . . .
It's a cute story. Most of the funniest bits are in the illustrations, which show a little boy being run ragged by the escalating demands of the mouse.
Why this thought today? Because it describes how we are in the world. In renovating the bathroom, I want a new bronze towel bar (40.00) but then if I do that - I need a new shower rod to match the new shower curtain and I want a new bathroom vanity mirror to replace the standard one that was here when we bought the house, but then I will want new lighting to match the mirror ( and if I change that lighting - I need to replace the one over the shower and then I will want a faucet to match all the other hardware and then I will need new cabinet handles to coordinate - oh the cycle is vicious. (And to think it ALL started with a $20.00 gallon of paint!)
I can identify with that little mouse wanting and the little boy that is running around trying to keep up. I had to force my self to step back and remember that He will supply all of our NEEDS - not wants. "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:19
Ladies, can't we easily convince ourselves that we NEED something? But whew, I can get carried away in a project. I am determined to stay grounded and do it one step at a time. In the meantime, I think I will enjoy a simple cookie and count all my other blessings!
Choosing to focus on the needs,
Monday, July 16, 2007
My travels are over for a while. I have about three weeks left before a new school year begins for me and I can assure you that I have at least three weeks worth of projects left to complete. (But I HAD to blog first!) You understand, right? If you are reading this, please go to www.leighgray.com and read her post today. She is right on with what she shared today - even if you are not a blogger, think of what she wrote about in terms of your conversations with friends.
Anyway...on to why I gave this entry the title "Thumbs Rock, Mom!" We are doing a series in SS on "Knowing Why You Believe." Yesterday's topic was...If you were asked, Is there a God? - How would you respond? What evidence do you have? Very challenging for all of us. We talked about the cause and effect relationship and I was reminded of how each time I teach the unit on creation in my classroom - one darling always raises their hand and says, "But Mrs. S - where did God come from?" and first graders don't like the standard "You have to just have faith that He was already there!" because they will follow with "But how did He get there? If you have children, you know where this conversation is going. (always back to the original question until they get an answer that they are satisfied with)
But the cause and effect relationship is a great way to explain it - the effect is in Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The cause is the Creator - God caused it to happen - you have to have a cause to have an effect. Well, if you know me well enough, you know that I analyze things right down to the elementary level - always thinking about how I can share with both my child and my first graders. I want them to be so deeply rooted in their beliefs that when they encounter someone who expresses the theory of evolution - they recognize it to be baloney!
So as Mom, Sam and I went to the zoo on Friday - we talked about how God designed all of the animals. How He camouflaged the animals to protect them in the wild (He gave tigers stripes to allow them to hide easily in the bamboo stalks, he designed the bodies of penguins (one of our favorites) and sea lions to be excellent for swimming, He designed the giraffe to be able to eat from the tallest branches and gave them and 18 inch tongue to grasp a mouthful of leaves in one swipe, how He gave the elephant a little thumb at the end of his trunk to give him some fine motor ability to pick up an object as small as a peanut) Man, how can you go to the zoo and not marvel at His creation? We had a lot of fun admiring all of the animals.
Well, Sam is a thinker - the wheels are always turning and you never know what thought is going to pour out next. - He analyzes things like his Mom - he is going to be a great husband someday if he continues :) - On the way home, from the back seat of the van - some two hours later, he said, "You know Mom - THUMBS ROCK! - because if God hadn't given me these thumbs to grab things with, I would be just like some of those animals today - pawing at stuff!" Wow - he gets it! I pray that he will always marvel in awe at the world God created.
Have a blessed day in the Lord!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Leigh challenged me to list the five reasons that I "dig' Jesus. (and yes, Leigh, I was a little shy about using the some urban slang to talk about how I feel about my King of Kings - so I did what all good bloggers do and I googled the word "dig." Here is what I found:
"Literally asking someone if they enjoy something or if they are enjoying something at that moment. Asking another person if they are in favor of something. Asking if they approve."
So Leigh, we are okay, because we obviously enjoy our Jesus, we find great favor in Him and of course, we approve!
Then came my next challenge - HOW DO YOU LIST JUST FIVE REASONS FOR LOVING JESUS? But after two hours of pouring through scripture - I narrowed it down to my top five for this stage of my life - Here we go:
1. I "dig" Jesus because He first "dug" me. He is humble. He died a criminal death obediently on a cross for my sins. (Phil 2:8)
2. I "dig" Jesus because He is COMING AGAIN! (Titus 2:13)....we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. Aren't you glad He is coming? Keep your eye on the sky!
3. I "dig" Jesus because He is the ONLY WAY! (John 14:6) Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."
4. I "dig" Jesus because He is the WORD. (John 1:14) "So the Word became human and lived on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness."
5. I "dig" Jesus because He is my PRINCE OF PEACE. (Isaiah 9:6) "These will be His royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
So there you have it - five reasons why I "dig" Him. He is everything to me: He is my God, my Savior, my Mediator, Atonement for my Sin, my Advocate, my redeemer and my comforter. What is He to you? (consider yourself tagged and if you are a lurker - one who reads but never comments - you are welcome here - but you are tagged as well)
Do you "dig"Him too?
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Whoa - Did Dr. Brown preach a great sermon today! He challenged us the choice that we have daily - choosing whom you will serve today. So all day, I have pondered on this message and then I thought of this scripture found in Joshua. You see, many people treat Christianity as if it were a ONE TIME decision. Too many believe that once they receive Christ as their Savior - they are safe! Many are born again and then go on auto pilot. They establish a routine and fly in the holding pattern for the remainder of their time on Earth.
Dr. Brown said today when speaking on restoration - Don't ask God to restore you to what you once were - ask him to help you become what he means for you to be today!
I thought about that and how different my role is today than what He called us to do ten years ago - to pack up our home and move to Charlotte for hubby to surrender to full time ministry. I said I would NEVER.......yet here we are. God spoke - we obeyed. And then I think about how I said I would NEVER abandon my ministry in the public school system to teach at a Christian school....yet here we are (yes, hubby is there too) God spoke - we obeyed. You see, He knows what is best for us and we trust Him. And oh, how He has blessed us with wonderful opportunities to minister in the current place that He has us! Where we would be had we not surrendered? ohhhh, the what ifs.....
The definition of born? (the beginning of a life long process NOT the end) What if hubby and I had chosen to stay in a holding pattern? Following Jesus started with a single choice BUT it is followed by a life time of choosing to live for Him DAILY.
I do not want my life to become such a routine that I make choices out of habit. Worse, I do not want to walk around on auto pilot. All the power of God is available and waiting for us to make a choice. What will you choose today?
Father, thank you that we do have a choice. Help us to see the opportunities that you have before us. Keep us off of auto pilot, Lord. Give us even more passion for what you called us to do so that you get the glory and honor for it ALL Lord.
Friday, July 6, 2007
I had the honor of marrying my high school sweetheart after a seven and a half year courtship. We have now been married for 16 wonderful years. Shortly before we married, I remember us sitting down to talk to Rev. Peurifoy (a dear, sweet family friend) who performed our ceremony. He shared with us the secret to his successful marriage in the following verses in the 5th chapter of Ephesians:
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." vs. 22-24
(If you continue to read through verse 33, you will see what Christ intended for our roles in marriage to be.)
Now those words don't sit well with many today - but if you know who you are in Christ they are not offensive. Our world has made them this way - the world has imposed a selfish twist on this biblical passage. It has taken this to mean that the husband should be domineering, self centered, indulgent, demanding, etc. But actually in these verses it means caring, sensitive, devoted, serving and looking out for his wife's best interests.
Wives, God didn't intend for us to be inferior or second class in our homes. We are to be responsive, faithful, committed, loving, etc. What God created as our assets, man treats as liabilities in our relationships. How tragic it is when couples lose their roles in marriage because of worldly pressure. They rob themselves of having the kind of relationship that God calls them to enjoy. Where are you in your marriage today?
Pray about the kind of relationship God intended for the two of you to have and WORK on it -
You will be glad you did and your children will be too!
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
I will never forget my 30th birthday...three fellow teachers and I ventured to NYC to take in a Broadway show, tour the WTC, visit NBC studios, wave like the crazy people that you see outside the TODAY show each day and take in the sights and sounds of the BIG APPLE. But of all of the things I experienced during that trip - I will never forget the impact that Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty had on me. They had to drag me back to the ferry at closing time.
It was because I have always valued my freedom. And there I stood gazing up at the very symbol of freedom that greeted the millions that came to our country seeking that same freedom. Touring the museum at Ellis Island and viewing how immigrants sacrificed to come to our country in pursuit of the American Dream gave me such a deep appreciation for my freedoms in the USA.
As we pause from our regular schedules today to participate in patriotic celebrations, let us remember the sacrifices made by our forefathers - The vision that they had for religious freedom and independence. The way that they put their lives on the line to sign the Declaration of Independence. Teach your children about the sacrifices of those men that make America what she is today.
Give thanks for the brave men and women of our military who serve so that our freedoms are protected. Pray for continued success in Iraq and peace in their efforts. Pray for our nation and her leaders. And above all, praise God for the greatest freedom that we have in America - the freedom to worship and pray when and how we wish. God bless America!
Enjoy your freedom in Christ today -
Here is a great idea to do with your kids on this week to have them participate in an act of kindness for a soldier.Go to www.anysoldier.com Choose a soldier to adopt this week. He/She will have posted items that they are in need of if you wish to send a care package. If not, at least have your child write a letter or send a card thanking them for protecting our freedoms. Anyway, all the FAQ and info is there - get on board and thank a soldier!Once you select a soldier, you will receive an immediate email with the soldiers address. Encourage your children to pray for that serviceman/woman daily. Be a blessing to someone who sacrifices for you each day!Happy 4th!
Posted by Kim at 1:16 AM 2 comments
Monday, July 2, 2007
One of Dr. Rummage's key points was that we have a choice daily - do we choose Heaven or Earth? and that set me to thinking about how I manage my time. Don't get me wrong, blogging is a wonderful thing but I can quickly lose track of time in Blogland. That's my reason for this late post today - I tried to prioritize my day by the things I had to do first and then reward myself with blogging. So don't feel like you are last priority - you are my reward! :)
When is the last time you read a passage in Zechariah? Well, if you look at Chapter 4 verse 6 it says - "Lord, help me to remember it's not by my power, nor by my might, but by your Spirit that I accomplish anything worthwhile."
So many things seem little - a warm smile to a stranger, a kind word to someone visiting your church, cookies to welcome someone to the neighborhood, a call to say How are you? and you really WANT TO KNOW how they are, looking someone in the eye while they are talking to you....an extra moment to recall a favorite scripture, a prayer on behalf of a friend when they pop into our memory....
Discipline yourself to do the small things first. I challenge you to remember to do the"small things" - they are far more important than you think, and they open the door for you to have larger opportunities to minister in the future.
What "small things" would He have you do for someone today?