Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
We watched a re-make of the original movie made back in 1971. It was a great "real-life" story of courage, friendship, and an example of working hard even when you are not "the best", which is rarely encouraged in our current culture. He wasn't just worried about himself. I loved the way he made others laugh until the very end of his life.
Here is a great article I found for my son to read.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Christmas is coming...hopefully snow will be falling. The decorations, the smells, the gifts are all because of a loving God who chose to give the greatest gift of all, His own son!
Walk slowly and enjoy each moment! No matter what our circumstances we already have the greatest gift of all.
Walk slowly through your home. The hands that touch all the pretty decorations will not be the same next year.
Walk slowly through the stores. It is not about what we give, but what has been given to us.
Walk slowly through the parties and family traditions. People matter most to God. He died for them.
Walk slowly and look at the beautiful lights, savor the smells, and worship the King who came for us.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
For me, thankfulness is remembering. It is remembering all that God has done in my life. So today, before I get busy with all the preparations for our Thanksgiving Day celebration and creating beautiful memories with my children, "I remember..."
God's goodness and graciousness throughout this past year at a new church, new home, new community, new state, and in many respects a whole new world.
The wonderful people (family) that God has brought us to serve. We are so blessed!
The love in which our new church has bestowed on my family. It has been like none other.
The children God has entrusted to me and the amazing grace he gave them in making a major move at the time we did in their young lives.
Traveling across seven states just over a year ago feeling very surreal that all of my earthly possessions were on one truck and yet the only thing that really mattered in life was sitting in the seats behind me.
Our extended families unbelievable support to follow the calling of God as they released us to go where they knew distance would prevent frequent visits.
The families we left....the ones we had poured our lives into....the ones who gave their life to Christ...I will never forget!
For God's saving grace in my own life of which I do not deserve but I am so thankful!
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; His love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Many many years ago I purchased a book written by Shirley Dobson and Gloria Gaither. It was published in 1983, when Focus on the Family was still headquartered not far from where I grew up in Southern California. The book is "Let's Make a Memory" and has survived it's spot on my bookshelf after a hearty downsizing of my own library a year ago.
Even before my first child was born the desire to create lasting memories started me on a quest to find ways to accomplish this. I had wonderful memories of my own, but I knew those same events could not be repeated and I was now responsible for establishing them in my own home.
I pulled the book out today reminesing through the ideas we have incorporated in years gone by and the fun memories we have made together. I love traditions and we have many, but I realized somewhere along the road that traditions can change because life changes, but memories will last forever. So rather than be ruffled by changes in my traditions, today I looked for ways to create a lasting memory for my children and to begin some new traditions.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Today at Faith Lifts, Heather gives us a thanksgiving challenge.
This week is Thanksgiving. My challenge to you is to daily write down the small things you are thankful for. Not the obvious things, but the little things that happen in your life. Journal them, so you don't forget them. Truly appreciate them.
Expressions of gratitude and appreciation are discouragement killers. They take the focus off ourselves and put it on God and others. This morning in my journal I wrote some thoughts about "Thankfulness". According to Webster the word "thanks" means " to express gratitude to". Scripture is full of verses which reminds us to always give thanks to the Lord. One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:6-7.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We are not to worry about anything, but rather pray about everything with thanksgiving, we are to let our requests be known to God. It seems we often leave out this part. Too often we are focused on our needs and yet not on remaining thankful in the process. It is easy to worry about everything. It is easy to pray about things and not fully transfer the burden over to the Lord. When we pray and let our requests be known to God, and are thankful in the process, allowing our thoughts to focus on all that He has done, all that He has given us, and who He is, we than can experience the promise that goes with this verse. A peace that transcends all understanding and this peace will guard your heart and mind. Who would not want that? I know I certainly do.
Lord, today I am so thankful for YOU! Thank you for all that you have given to me and all that you have done in my life. I noticed just in writing these words my focus is no longer on my great need (in my ow
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Her answer was, "I would trust Jesus more than I have done this time." Corrie Ten Boom
...in quietness and confidence is your strength.....Isaiah 30:15
Lord, increase my trust in you!
Friday, November 17, 2006
1. He loves me! He loved me first! He prayed for us!
2. He is a wonderful father. He works really hard to let his kids know they are extremely important to him and we are his first priority.
3. He likes to cook!
4. He is wonderfully helpful around the house.
5. He has changed many many diapers and never complained once.
6. He enjoys reading, playing games, wrestling, and spending time with his kids.
7. His smile! It gets me every time
8. He is kind, gentle, understanding and patient with me. Especially when I don't deserve it.
9. He loves the Lord.
10. He is the same at home that he is at church.
11. He is my husband, but he is also my Pastor. It has never been hard to hear the Word of God through him on Sunday mornings. I am so very thankful for this.
12. His commitment to our marriage and the thoughtful ways that he communicates this.
13. After 20 years with me.....He still loves me and tells me everyday.
I tag Julie
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I love to know the meaning of words. To go behind the word and find out what it is really saying. "simplify" is a new word in my life for this new year. It became the theme of our packing and preparing for our cross-country move from California to Iowa during the last part of 2005. I hope I can hang on to it. I was given one of those metal signs with the word "simplify". I currently have it displayed in my home as a sweet reminder of this season. According to Webster the word means - to reduce to basic essentials. It comes from the root word "simple" which again according to Webster means - free from guile, free from vanity, free from ostentation. And ok if you are thinking what I was...what does guile and ostentation mean. Well, according to Webster guile means - deceitful, cunning or duplicity. Ostentation means - excessive display. and of course vanity means something that is empty or valueless. So to sum it all up....Simplify (in my own words)
1. reduce to basic essentials....if you don't need it...don't keep it....give it away.
2. free from guile....be honest in EVERYTHING!
3. free from vanity....if there is no eternal value in something....don't place value on it.
4. free from ostentation....don't be pretentious.
I can break it down even further....
1. Don't let the clutter of life rob you of the joy we have with those around us.
2. Integrity starts in the home. If we are not honest our kids won't be honest.
3. Take care of what will last forever first...and than find the right balance in taking care of things.
4. Don't exaggerate the truth...or try to impress with stuff. Worry only about the One who matters most.
Wow, we have so many opportunities in our life to "simplify". Shortly after we moved into our home, I was putting away some of my things in a little curio cabinet. I had just finished and shut the door when my almost one year old at the time, Coleman toddled over to the cabinet door and began banging on the glass. Before I could turn around and remove him I heard a crash of glass. Coleman was fine. One of the shelves wasn't secure enough and everything on that shelf had come crashing down. The only thing that broke was our wedding glasses. I had an instant opportunity to be mad, sad, or a wild combination of both. But instantly I thanked the Lord that Coleman was not hurt and realized that although very sentimental..(they had our wedding date and names on them) they had sat in that cabinet for nearly 20 years and no one had ever looked at them or even used them. What would my children want most when we are gone.... the wedding glasses...or the understanding and knowledge and experience that their parents loved each other very much? You guessed it the latter.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Today's focus: God supplies a place for us to live and food to eat?
Tonight we talked about the two headed monster which will kill thankfulness at every corner. It is none other than jealousy and envy. This monster is not only one of the ugliest around, it can cause major destruction. We did not sugar coat its ugliness, we called it by name "sin".
Our conversation focused on that there are some sins that are not things we do, but things we think. Jealousy and envy are two of these sins. Jealousy makes us want to be the most important person in someone's life and causes us to resent any show of affection they give to another. Envy is the awful feeling we get inside about things, things that other people have and we don't have. The conversation was loud, lively, fun, and a reminder to me that I never want to stop doing this. Table time conversations give us such insight into our children's hearts.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Today our focus is "God supplies our need"
Many times I hear in my kids what we don't have, rather than what we do. Covetousness is an intense desire to possess things we do not have, which usually are things we cannot afford. We take our eyes off the blessings God has given us when covetouseness is given a place in our hearts.
An attitude of covetousness can creep into our hearts quickly. It makes you believe your clothes, toys, house is not as nice as the ones someone else possess. Or you complain to someone; "It's just not fair - everybody else got a new (fill in the blank) for Christmas!"
We need to be able to be happy for our friends when they have something we would enjoy having. There might be a time when we will have the same things, but if it never happens, we still have a long list of wonderful things to be grateful for.
Covetousness must not be allowed in our lives. It is like a cancer that begins small but grows to gigantic proportions. Jesus said the best way to overcome a spirit of covetousness was to realize that "one's life does not cnsist in the abundance of the things he possesses" (Luke 12:15) It consists in a relationship with Christ.
Friday, November 10, 2006
I am proud of my youngest brother for his commitment to serving his country. May God Bless Him today! I pray for his wife and two children as they go about their daily lives over this next year while her husband and their daddy serves our country.
We need some practice. We have prayed so much without listening that we do not always hear the answer immediately. Then we must wait upon the Lord. This waiting upon Him is a blessing in itself. Corrie ten Boom
....they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.....Isaiah 40:31
Lord, teach me to pray and teach me to listen and understand Your sometimes still, small voice.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Encouragement and planning are two more ways that I can show kindness to my family. Proverbs 12:25 says, "that a good word makes the heart glad, while anxiety causes depression. I would like a sign that says. ONLY GOOD WORDS SPOKEN HERE!
I love what she says about planning. "Planning is not only necessary for heading off danger but also for initiating good. Good works don't just happen. We need to plan and prepare for them. And I must say, this type of planning is a whole lot of fun!" And I agree wholeheartedly. Looking for ways to bring my family happiness is oh so much fun. Praying for, listening to, greeting and encouraging my husband and kids prepares my heart to plan something that will bring them happiness. We live in such a self-centered culture that it is not often we find those who are looking for ways to bring happiness.
We have many opportunities throughout the day to listen to our kids. This is one area my own mother encouraged me in when my first child was born. Although the conversation in the car was fun listening to, it is not always that way. It takes a huge effort to listen, making eye contact, not interrupting, and being attentive so much so that we want to hear everything. It also takes patience when their young. The payoff is when you really want them to talk, if they know you have always listened, they will be more inclined to share.
In the book she states, "Careful listening will also encourage our husbands to bare their souls to us. It will motivate our children to share their innermost thoughts."
Another opportunity to show kindness to my family.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Today Theo is 10! He is the oldest boy in our family and a true joy! He is my tender hearted little man. From the moment he was born he has always had a tender heart towards others. It has been fun watching him grow from little boy to a bigger boy. He is extremely responsible, helpful, and sometimes wonderfully patient with his younger brothers. He loves basketball, baseball, and soccer. And soon it will be football! I look forward to seeing the awesome work the Lord has for this young man. But in the meantime I shed a tear or two today because another year as gone by too fast. Happy 10th Birthday Son!
Friday, November 03, 2006
Katherine at Raising Five tagged me. I started writing this list a few weeks ago but had stopped. It just plain felt weird....
These are pretty boring but weird to some nonetheless.
I don't like shopping - but I love getting new things.
I like to do laundry every bit of it - doesn't mean it is caught up.
I love books - especially "old" books and if I shop an antique store, a book store or stationary store is where you would find me.
I like history, geography - yes I want to know everything about a place.
I don't wear necklaces. Don't like the feeling of something on my neck, but I love bracelets, rings, and earrings.
It doesn't have to be Thanksgiving to have pumpkin pie - 1st choice of pies
I love everything about the beach including the sand, the smell, the waves, the saltwater...everything. I should live there.
I loved to square dance when I was in elementary school. Everyone else hated it but I secretly loved it.
I still twirl the fine thin hair on the side of my face. I have since I was little. I did it when I sucked my thumb. I gave up thumb sucking, but don't plan on giving up the twirling of my hair.
There you have it.
'The man needs the help; the woman needs to help. Marriage was created by God to provide companionship in the labor of dominion. The cultural mandate, the requirement to fill and subdue the earth, is still in force, and a husband cannot fulfill this portion of the task in isolation. He needs a companion suitable for him in the work to which God has called him. He is called to the work and must receive help from her. She is called to the work through ministering to him. He is oriented to the task and she is oriented to him.' (emphasis mine)
Douglas Wilson, Reforming Marriage
When we understand that our main objective as home managers is to be oriented to our husbands, this clarifies our responsibilities. We can easily determine what we should do and how we should do it by asking ourselves, 'What will most help my husband?' The answer to this question is usually obvious and uncomplicated...
Orienting our lives to our husbands not only helps them, but it helps us as well. When we adapt our lifestyles to serve our husbands, it helps to keep our schedules manageable. Oftentimes we feel pulled in multiple directions by the demands of family, friends, church, school, and community--not to mention our own desires. We try to please everyone, only to feel frustrated and frazzled at the end of the day. However, when we build our lives around helping our husbands, all other 'needs' have to assume their proper place on our calendars--that is, if they even belong there at all.
So why don't we ask our husbands today how we can best help them? And let's not assume that we can ascertain their preferences through this one-time inquiry. Rather, we ought to frequently solicit their thoughts and opinions so we can manage the home to their liking."
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—