Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reasons We Face Adversity

Derrick shared his book called, A Guide to Biblical Manhood by Randy Stinson & Dan Dumas with me. Funny isn't it? ;) He said it has some good childtraining principles in it. I am actually reading the whole thing because it's really good and is applicable to me also, though I am not a man. It is written by men that take very seriously being "Doers of the Word for the sake of the Gospel." They are very inspirational. They said some very profound things about why we face adversity.
They stated that even as people redeemed by Christ we can't help encountering the thorns and the thistles of a fallen world. They listed four reasons:
1. Our individual sins, coming from our own hands (breaking the law, overspending...)
2. Paul said God can bring adversity to shape us for ministering to others who face trials (2 Corinthians 1:3-9). This is my favorite reason! ;)
3. To keep us from boasting in our own strength (2 Corinthians 12:6-10).
4. To suffer for Heavenly purposes with God choosing not to show us why. Then they went into Job suffering even though he was a "blameless and upright man." They said, "We also see that God permits Satan to destroy the blessings Job has gained as a way to see if he has the character to still trust his maker." Job proved "rugged enough in his character and trust in God to stand firm and to choose worship over complaint."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Liv's Sticker from the Doctor

The kid's and I just think this is really funny! Before Samantha could read she had picked a sticker out for Liv at the doctor that said, "I'm a Big Boy!" We thought it was really funny that day because she didn't realize it. Fast forward to last week and we saw a sticker just like it and the kids wanted to pick it for her again for a good laugh.

Gift #10 The Scenic Route

The Scenic Route
We took the scenic route to the doctor last week. I love going down those roads instead of taking the highway.

Gift #9 God's Handiwork

God's Handiwork Reading my Bible this morning I watched the sky change several shades. I thought about the miracle of God's creation. How He turns on the light slowly when it is time for us to start a new day. I saw the naked trees dead, awaiting new life when the season changes. Now I see the birds flying to them. I looked at my skin and thought of the way He has knit us together. The way He has made us to look. Last night the children and I looked at Jupiter that was visible and shining SO brightly by the moon. For two days we will be able to see it. Even the Heavens praise Him! Psalm 89:5 I thought of how everything in the Bible is true. We can't even see the world rightly without it~ His very Word. Why do we rush about our days without stopping to see or think about His miraculous makings? We don't even see it. Days spent in a fog. Why do we get angry and in bad moods? Why do we sometimes bite and devour each other? "This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24 Oh, God, please give us eyes to see. Please help us to take joy in our days. To glorify You in doing so.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Gift #8 Meeting Precious Spirits

Meeting Precious Spirits
I love it when I first meet someone and they are so warm and friendly that I feel like instant friends. I met two of these precious spirits last Sunday. After Sunday school we have fellowship and food in the gym before the service starts. The kids come except for Livi who normally stays in the nursery. For some reason a worker brought Livi to Derrick. I don't know why because this never happens but I'm glad that it did. Derrick gave Livi to me so I started walking her around the gym while the other kids ate. I normally would have just sat down with them. Livi sparked a woman's attention and she came and started talking to us. I was planning on walking Livi so I didn't really plan on engaging in conversation and I guess I was just going to just say a friendly "hello" and be on my way. But, she pursued me with conversation. So, I introduced myself and asked how long she had been at our church and she explained she was staying with the pastor for the weekend and just came to visit. I talked to her a little bit more later in the hallway walking to the service. Livi had cut our conversation short when she started throwing a fit because I stopped walking. I also briefly messaged with her on facebook. But, what stood out about her was her joy. And her words are so encouraging and uplifting. She was refreshing, like water in a dry and parched land. She shared this verse with me: John 14:5 "...he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." She said she was learning it didn't matter if she had all her kids (she has 6) in order and her house clean but that apart from Christ nothing is being accomplished for eternity. She said, "May you find fulfillment in your home as you abide in Christ and watch Him work mightily in the hearts of your children.
.." I know she has got to be a blessing to all that she meets. What a beautiful fragrance of Christ she is. She WEARS the gospel. I wish I knew her. I wish I was like her.

Later at church that Sunday night an elderly woman approached me to ask what I was crocheting. She told me a story about her sister's quiltmaking and she was so precious.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gift #7 Crocheting with my mom

Crocheting with my mom My mom came over and we had a Cracker Barrel dinner and she taught me how to crochet! I am so excited and have plans to make blankets, pot holders, bookmarks...This is my first project- a baby blanket for Samantha to use for her dolls. It was such a sweet time with my mom. Crocheting makes me feel so much like a mama. ;)

Gift #6 Little Acts of Kindness

Little Acts of Kindness
Bailey had made the little house at quiet time. He wanted to lay it next to Samantha with a little chocolate in it for her to wake to.

Gift #5 Sick Little Ones

Sick Little Ones Not that I like them being sick but I like how soft they are...and taking care of them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gift #4

Treats from France. Anything from France. They are special because they are sent to us from my brother, sister-in-law, and the cousins-Mia, Caden, Alyssa, Emma, & baby Powell (on the way!). I can't actually eat these chocolates because they are not gluten-free but I love to have them around the house to give the kids a treat. They are so fancy. Some of them have cute, little fringes on the wrapper and the others are a Christmas mix Lili brought back. The Christmas mix had some that looked like ornaments and you could actually hang them on the Christmas tree if you wanted. The kids already ate those up. Anything they send whether it be a shirt, tea, chocolates, cereal...seem so fancy and are so special. I have this honey tea that they sent and it is my favorite tea, next to the Apricot Caramel Torte Teavana discontinued. So, I guess you could say it IS my favorite tea now!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gift #3

Curling up with a warm, cozy blanket and reading a good book.

California Trip (continued)

Our California Trip with Lili while Derrick was deployed to Cuba (continued). On the way home- Rainforest Cafe in Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, and the Big Texan (a steakhouse famous for their 72 oz. steak.)

Gift #2 Trials and Pain


Yes, trials and pain. Why? Because they bring us closer to Him and make us more like Him.

I don't think I've ever heard more honest words than these written by Ann Voskamp in her book, 1000 Gifts, "For years, I have pulled the covers up over my head, dreading to begin another day I'd be bound to just wreck. Years, I lie listening to the taunt of names ringing off my interior walls, ones from the past that never drifted far and away: Loser. Mess. Failure. They are signs nailed overhead, nailed through me, naming me. The stars are blinking out. Funny, this. Yesterday morning, the morning before, all these mornings, I wake to discontent of life in my skin. I wake to self-hatred. To the wrestle to get it all done, the relentless anxiety that I am failing. Always, the failing. I yell at children, fester with bitterness, forget doctor appointments, lose library books, live selfishly, skip prayer, complain, go to bed late, neglect cleaning the toilets. I live tired. Afraid. Anxious. Weary. Years, I feel it in the veins, the pulsing of ruptured hopes. Would I ever be enough, find enough, do enough?"

I was stunned that she admitted that. Or that she felt that. More specifically, that she said for years of mornings she has woken wanting to die. I haven't felt that intense but have had moments that I long for Heaven. If you look at her blog and peek into her life she seems to "have it all together." She says she's a mess. I can relate to that. I have said before I am like Sidney in the children's book, Sidney and Norman by Phil Vischer. But to hear someone that looks like they "have it all together" say that?

The truth is I could have written these words myself, only not quite so eloquently. I can also relate with her wanting to live fully. To cherish these fleeting moments we have. Even to embrace the pain caused by living in a fallen world. I have learned so much about things such as love and forgiveness through the trials God has allowed in my life. He has used them for good. Always for our good. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Thursday, January 5, 2012

1000 Gifts Gift #1 Family Time

I am inspired by the book, 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp! I haven't even read it yet but hope to soon. This is a list of my own blessings and they are in no particular order.

Family Time.This was a fun Saturday! I had already been cleaning inside the house and Derrick and the kids asked me to come help them rake the leaves. I really didn't feel like it but they begged me. Once I got out there I really enjoyed the family time. It was good exercise! I loved just being together and doing something outdoors. The kids played in the wheelbarrow after our work was done and they had so much fun. I loved to see the way they smiled when they got pushed in the wheelbarrow.