Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

Carefully burying their sister in the sand.

For more Wordless Wednesday go to 5minutes4mom.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Brian's Song

Over the holiday weekend our family watched the movie, Brian Song. My husband had seen the movie many years ago, but I had never watched it. The Chicago Bears has become my 10 year old son's favorite football team and so he checked the movie out from the library.

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

Walk Slowly

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.

Walk Slowly!

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

Family Memories

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

Increase My Trust

"Someone asked Henrietta Mears, the week before she died, "If you should have an opportunity to live your life again, which things would you do differently?"
Her answer was, "I would trust Jesus more than I have done this time." Corrie Ten Boom quietness and confidence is your strength.....Isaiah 30:15

Lord, increase my trust in you!

Friday, November 17, 2006

13 Things I love about my husband

Kim at Lifesong tagged me. I have to say this is one that I think we should all do. Whether we do it here or on a piece of paper, there is something that changes when we either write or verbalize good thoughts. I am reminded of what Phillipians 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." So here are those things which are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, a good report and praiseworthy about my husband.

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
and Pam

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I was going through my journals from earlier this year and found this entry written at the beginning of January. With the holidays fast approaching and a new year upon us, I thought I would share these thoughts.

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 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

"That she has trained her chilren..."

This quote was posted at GirlTalk yesterday. It is a powerful reminder to me today that I am to make my children obey. It won't just happen. This can be an incredible and sometimes overwhelming task that is before me. I lack the qualifications to complete the task and that is why I am so thankful today that I have Jesus. I couldn't do any of it without him. I will put this quote somewhere I can read it often in the midst of real life with dishes, laundry, and toddler to teenager living in my midst.

“That she has trained her children for heaven, rather than for earth, for God, rather than for man--she is the parent that will be considered wise at last. Train with an eye to my children's souls. We are made what we are by training. Our character takes the form of what mold into which our first years were cast. The path of obedience is the way in which He gives blessing. Determine to make your children obey you, though it cost you much trouble, and cost them many tears. Obedience is the only reality. The mark of well-trained children is that they do whatsoever their parents command them - cheerfully, willingly and at once."
John Ryle 1888

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The two headed monster

All week it is my intention to lead my children while at the table in discussions concerning areas which are "thankfulness" killers and to focus on a particular area in our life that we are thankful for?

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

Do not want what belongs to others

Each year at this time I begin to approach the holidays desiring to impart in my children what it means to be thankful and to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and make sure we do not put too much emphasis on what we "want" for Christmas and more on what we can do for others. We always explain that we have been given the greatest gift of all. It will never break, wear out, or get old. JESUS!

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

Veterans Day

Today I honor my brother. He serves in the army and is now in Iraq for another year. He was there two years ago for an entire year and we were so very grateful to God when he returned home to his family safely. We take so much for granted and all that we enjoy living in a country which we can worship God freely.
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.

Waiting on Him

Looking unto Jesus in prayer is a blessed training. Prayer without listening is like going to a person, asking questions, and leaving without waiting for an answer.

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

Renown for Good Works

I love this paragraph in the book Feminine Appeal, "What are we known for? How would our family and friends portray our character? As these people observe our lives, they should be more aware of our good deeds than our style of clothing, our talents, and abilities, our hobbies, or our standard of living. We should be RENOWNED for good works at home, in our churches, and extending into our communities. Of course, the goal is not to garner attention for ourselves, but to show forth the compelling power of the gospel."

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.

Renown for Listening

Upon picking my six year old son up from school he proceeds to tell me that the music teacher had said she would not give out instruments to those kids with their hands raised. He says to me confused, "aren't you suppose to raise your hand in school?" His older brother proceeds to explain that sometimes all the kids raise their hands hoping to be picked and the teacher doesn't want them to. With a confused look my six year old says, "Why?"

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

Renown for Greeting

What a gift of happiness I get to bring to my husband and children by greeting them warmly in the morning, on the phone, and especially when they arrive home. When others show up at my door I usually always greet them with warmth and excitement. Yet I am grieved to think of the way I have failed to welcome my own loved ones at times. I get so busy with what needs to be done and I behave sometimes like they have interrupted me. This is simple, easy and yet could have profound effects in the area of bringing kindness. So I am trying a little experiment. (don't tell my family) I am going to be intentional in my welcoming them home. No matter what I am doing, or what time of day it is I am going to stop and bring hugs and a greeting. I saw a glimpse of the benefits of this over the weekend. My daughter was out late two nights with a musical performance and cast parties. She had planned rides home, so it wasn't necessary for me to stay up but I couldn't go to bed until she was home no matter what. I chose not only to wait for her but to welcome her warmly and made myself available for her to talk and share about her evening. After the second evening she thanked me for waiting for her. I knew at that moment I created a wonderful memory. This is one of those rare opportunities to create memories that doesn't cost me anything other than being kind. It would bring me no greater joy than to hear my children say, "when I arrive home my mom always has the warmest of greetings".

Renown for Praying

In the next chapter of Feminine Appeal, Author Jerry Bridges is quoted in an explanation to distinguish between kindness and goodness which are often used interchangeably.
"Kindness he says, is a sincere desire for the happiness of others, and goodness is the activity calculated to advance that happiness"
I especially appreciate the practical ways she encourages us in bringing joy to our families through goodness. She says, "We should be women who are known for praying, greeting, listening, encouraging and planning. "
I have asked the question of myself, "Am I renown for bringing goodness to my family in these areas?" I have taken one area each day this week to evaluate how effective or ineffective I am as a wife and mother in these particular areas.
Carolyn Mahaney says, "And who better to pray for them than us? No one knows our family members the way we do. No one is more familiar with the unique temptations and pressures they face. No one can pray for them with keener insight or greater compassion."
I count it a privilege to pray for my husband and children. We should remind them often of our commitment to praying for them. When I know someone is praying for me I am more likely to ask for specific prayer. How comforting for our family to know they have us anchored in prayer for them. What Joy!

Monday, November 06, 2006

He's 10!

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

What makes me smile!

Have a great weekend!

Nine Weird Things!

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 Honor of Working at Home

When I think of being a homemaker, or as Titus says, "working at home", I usually go directly to the role of "housekeeper". But a better definition or description of this verse would be "Home Manager". In her book Feminine Appeal , Carolyn Mahaney brings clarity and simplicity to this role.
"Scripture has provided a job description for us as managers of our homes, and it is surprisingly simple, We are to be our husband's helper (Gen. 1:26-31; 2:7-25; 1 Cor. 11:8-9). As Douglas Wilson elaborates:
'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
(Moscow, Ida.: Canon Press, 1995),
p. 16
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."
I once observed a husband ask his wife to join him as he ate his dinner. She abruptly said, "No, I need to finish the baking for an upcoming bake sale." I watched as he continued to plead with her about sitting down with him. I think he was often left to eat alone due to the time he arrived home from work, while she went on with her household chores. She continued to list out all the things she was needing to finish. I happen to know she ran a tight ship in her home. It was very orderly and clean. The meals were always prepared, the laundry done, and the kids taken care of. I admired her domestic skills. But what I remember most is the look on her husband's face. I also remember the day my husband called me to say that our dear friend had unexpectedly died while at work. She was now a widow with no one to sit and eat dinner with.
I recently asked my husband what he would like when he arrives home. How could I best serve him? His answer was not what you would expect. It had nothing to do with cleaning or cooking, but rather he wanted the family to be engaged in something together. So at least 2-3 times per week I try and have everyone doing something together when my husband arrives home. I plan ahead what that might be and I am ready when he gets home. For example it may be preparing the meal together which he loves to join in and help ( I usually plan something he likes to cook hint hint), playing a game, reading, even watching a movie. (he will join us and than allow me to go and finish preparing dinner if need be). These make for the most peaceful and productive evenings in our home. My day becomes focused and has a purpose. My husband feels honored, my kids feel loved, and I am completely satisfied as the manager of my home.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Help and My Security

1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Psalm 121