Monday, December 5, 2016

1 Peter 5

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

John MacArthur study bible- "'Casting means to throw something on something,' as to throw a blanket on a donkey. Christians are to cast all of their discontent, discouragement, despair, and suffering on the Lord, and trust Him for knowing what He's doing with their lives. Along with submission and humility, trust in God is the third attitude necessary for victorious Christian living."

How wonderful that we can trust Him with our lives and we can just continually come to Him with our burdens, sorrows, worries, circumstances, trials...knowing that He knows far more than we do, knows what is best for us, and will work all things for good. And in the future..."And after you have suffered a little while, the God of grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Very Good Question

"100 years from now, from heaven's perspective, what will we have wished we had done?"

~God Places the Lonely in Families: Adopting Through the Foster System by Adam and Jamie Clark

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Less is More

This struck me:

"The words rolled off my tongue with ease. It wasn't the first time I'd said them, and it wouldn't be the last. They were on repeat, one of a bevy of phrases I often used to carry my fears and plop them in my husband's lap when I was feeling particularly anxious. As I spoke this time, he just looked at me with sad eyes … silent. When he finally spoke, his words resonated deeply, 'Maybe our life is more about how we spend, than what we store.'"

How I do want our lives in this home and family we've built (the Lord has blessed us with) to be about how we spend it together rather than what we store here. It is a constant thing to give away things (I have give away bags going out frequently) so that we can spend more time with each other than cleaning and organizing all the stuff. It is my hope that we get even better at having less to manage and more time to enjoy each other. I also hope we can free up more and more time to be a blessing to others.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pursuing Love~November

Oh no! I almost missed November! It just got away from me. I don't know where November has gone. I didn't do so great on my October focus but it really ties in with what I want to focus on now so I'll continue there... Nonetheless, this is where I'm going to try to focus and pray about:

Pursuing passionate love

I was listening to a Sally Clarkson podcast when I was inspired to focus on this. Just today, Derrick randomly texted me this verse:

"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

After I read that, I continued my reading for the morning and it happened to fall on:

"Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God."  1 Peter 1:22


So awesome that the Lord put that on both our hearts on the same day!

In my John MacArthur study Bible, John MacArthur writes, "It is the nature of true spiritual love, whether from God to man or Christian to Christian,  to cover sins...It means specifically that a Christian should overlook sins against him if possible, and always be ready to forgive insults and unkindnesses."

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Dear Self,

Look, you have only 
got so many days till your midway.

Till you’ve heard almost half the morning doves you ever will.

Felt the sun on your face half as many chances as you’ll have, laughed half as many times as you’ll ever know — and who knows, maybe most of your God-blessed moments are already passed?" ~Ann Voskamp

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pursuing Love~October

I haven't forgotten! I just was having trouble signing onto my account. ;-) You thought I'd already forgotten myself? No. I'm still pursuing love but I have been physically and emotionally spent since school started back up. I am in the perfect training field for practicing and pursuing love- let me tell you!! Lots and lots of opportunities abound! I should be excited, right? Hmm.
I have something specific I'm pursuing this month and it has been going well and has been consistent so far. I won't go into specifics because my kiddoes do read this blog from time to time! :-) I also really hope to slow down, take a breath, and read over my past blogs on pursuing love. I hope to continue being intentional with those things. Can I be honest with you? My 1.1 readers. Sometimes I forget. I think other times I'm "not feeling it." But, I will continue on. Onward Christian October. Corny, I know. I'm tired. Note to self: Never blog when tired.

Love this!


Monday, September 19, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

On Forgiveness

Friday, September 9, 2016

On Santa Claus

In our family we decided not to do the the Easter bunny or Santa Claus with our kids. We just didn't want to confuse them when they found out they weren't real and leave them wondering if it was like that with Jesus as well. We also didn't want to distract them from Christmas being Jesus' birthday and Easter being about Jesus' resurrection. Here's yet another good reason for us! I love what Noel Piper said about Santa Claus! ;-)
"First, I think children are glad to realize that their parents, who live with them all year and know all the worst things about them, still show their love at Christmas. Isn’t that more significant than a funny old make-believe man who drops in just once a year?"

*However, it never stopped us from having their picture taken with Santa and Uncle Ryan!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Menu Plan 9/5-9/10

Trisha Yearwood's baked bean/beef casserole
Squash with cheese
Fried peaches
Trim Healthy Mama Tilapia Veracruz
THM Roasted Nonstarchies-Squash, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli 
Trim Healthy Mama Salad in a jar (Bible study night)

Trim Healthy Mama Chicken Jalapeno Popper Soup
Friday- Pizza night
Trim Healthy Mama Blt Frittata
THM Sweet Potato Bar

Trying this for lunch-
Trim Healthy Mama Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad

Main grocery items:
eggs (and some boiled)
baby tomatoes
green onion
leafy greens
rotisserie chicken
balsamic vinegar
walnuts or pecans
green olives
kalmata olives
Finely grated parmesan cheese
Greek yogurt
green apple
cottage cheese
bbq sauce
8 or so sweet potatoes
2 1/2 lbs chicken breast
2 lbs tilapia fillets
Seasoning blend (frozen diced onion, celery, and pepper)
2 poblano chilies
5 large ripe tomatoes
2 limes
6-8 jalepeno peppers
2 red bell peppers
2 bags frozen cauliflower florets
4 cups chicken broth
8 oz. cream cheese
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
another rotisserie chicken or chicken breasts
jar of salsa

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Peacemaking for Families: A Biblical Guide to Managing Conflict in Your Home by Ken Sande

I have only cracked open this book and started reading the preface of this book. I haven't even finished the 2nd paragraph and have already found something valuable!

"We can be peace-fakers, denying that we have problems, always giving in, or becoming distant from family members."
~Sadly, I'm pretty good at this one. :( Often I call it being "longsuffering" but then I find I've been letting things build of for a couple of weeks or so and explode with the things I've been "longsuffering" over. Hmm. In times like that, I find I've really been walking in my own strength than giving it to the Lord and truly forgiving.

"We can be peace-breakers, relying on manipulation, a sharp tongue, or overt anger to compel others to give in to our wishes."
~Yep! I have trouble with this one too! I am thankful that I have grown in this area over the years and pray I continue to.

"Our third option is to use the conflicts of family life to become peacemakers, drawing on God's grace and practicing the powerful peacemaking principles He has given to us in His Word. This approach may require a lot of work and change, but it is the surest way to preserve your marriage and see your family mature in love, in character, and in its witness for Christ."
~Now this. This is the one we want to see in our home. :)

The first chapter is called, "Marriage Means Conflict..."

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Pursuing Love ♡ September

Colossians 3: 1-17 And so this is what I want to focus on this month. I have already been put to the test and failed! It's been rough making the adjustment of beginning the new schoolyear. It didn't help that we went to Tennessee (though worth it) and got behind on co-op work. The kids have had a heavy load putting almost 2 weeks of co-op work into one week. It has me stressed. We have had some "storms" in the house and I have felt discouraged. :( But it does show me my desperate need for the Lord and I am crying out to Him for help as a mama and a wife. I want to keep focusing on not saying anything negative to or about my spouse because, well, that is just priceless. I want to put off anger and some of the "talk" I've heard coming out of my mouth. I want to put on kindness, patience, a compassionate heart, bear with these others in my home, and forgive continually. I also want to look back at my August commitments for pursuing love and apply them. 

I was interrupted with a couple of moments to apply these things even as I wrote this post- one a fussy toddler+ and a grumpy bigger kid.I'm going to try and see these trying times as "opportunities." These are opportunities to put God's word into practice. I am praying for God to use these to grow me and to grow the ones in my home too. It is here that I believe we should love the best, to be authentic in this home, so that we can then go and show Christ's love to others outside of it. There is nowhere to hide here. These people see all our flaws, our ideosyncracies, our failures... But may this place be a place where kindness, compassion, love, forgiveness, long suffering, understanding grows more and more. May we learn to reflect and imitate Him well...someway, somehow. By His doing.

Put On the New Self

3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christwho is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.On account of these the wrath of God is coming.[c] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice,slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[d] with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,[e] free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,compassionate hearts, kindness,humility, meekness, and patience,13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Marcy Jo's Mealhouse

 It was a dream! :-) Derrick had a seminary conference in Nashville at Opryland. We were staying in a log cabin on the lake at Arnold Air Force Base.On the way I looked up how close Marcy Jo's Mealhouse would be. It turned out we would only be an hour and 20 minutes away so on the way home we took the backroads and stopped by there! I thought that we'd probably get to meet Marcy and was excited about that. I thought there could be a possibility of seeing Heidi Feek because she had been working there (she no longer was). I joked that we may get to meet Rory and said we'd have to go very early because I knew he used to go early for coffee when Joey was there. We got the cabin cleaned up, packed the evening before, and laid out our clothes. I joked saying, "You're not going to wear that to meet Rory are you?! No, let's find something else!" Cameron piped up, "I want to wear my super hero shirt to meet Rory!" He had his shirt that says, "My dad is a super hero!" We got up just after 5 a.m. to make it there early. We didn't actually drive away from the cabin until about 6:20. We were there in the 7 o'clock hour. We walked in and immediately scanned the place for any sign of Rory. Nope. A lady sitting at the door said, "Oh wow! You are living my dream! They are so beautiful  (the kids). I wanted 50 children and my husband wanted we had 2!" I said, "Oh, so you made a bit of a compromise, right?" She said, "Some kind of compromise! Haha!" She was a lovely lady. Her husband came back to the table. Marcy was there (!) and told us we'd be seated shortly. We went out on the front porch. I would've waited for hours and the wait wasn't even long. I wanted to go upstairs to the gift shop. So we all did. We looked at t-shirts, coffee mugs, jewelry, guitar picks...Then they called us. We were walking down the stairs and there was a stir. The kids were saying, "Mom, Rory's here!!!"No way."Rory and INDY, Mama!" I got to to the bottom step and looked the direction they were. Sure enough! I couldn't believe it. This was even better than the time I ran into Garth Brooks...or Flea! See

Joey + Rory are so special to me not only because I love their music, but they have shared their lives, they have been authentic, they love the Lord, and they loved each other and others well. They have been such an example to me. If they weren't famous, I'd still want to be around them. It's not their fame that makes me interested in them. For the same reasons, I love the Duggar family.

I looked at Rory and smiled and he smiled back. We went to our table and had to stop ourselves from staring at Rory and Indy after smiling and laughing and watching Indy. I ordered the best omelet I've ever had in my life, the kids had a cinnamon roll and biscuits and gravy, and Derrick had Stuffed French Toast. I I could hardly eat my breakfast. We wanted to say hi, dreamed of getting a picture, but we also didn't want to bother Rory because we know that happens to him all the time! Marcy came and asked if we were going to get a cinnamon roll saying it was the best part and I told her we really enjoyed watching her on the Joey + Rory shows. So cute but, while we were still eating, little 3-year old Cameron pointed over at Rory and said, "Mom, Rory's here!" I guess he knew him because I'm always playing Joey+Rory videos or their Dvd.

Suddenly Derrick said, "I think he's leaving soon so you better go say hi." I saw the woman that had greeted us and her husband were talking to him. She came over and started talking to me and I said, "He's here!!" because I had said earlier that we had hoped he would be. She started telling me about the (19?) rescue animals they have in Indiana. All of a sudden, Rory was standing in front me and his phone was recording us!! I was so confused and must've of  looked dumbfounded on what he was recording! I was thinking in my head and forcing myself not to say aloud, "Aren't WE supposed to be taking pictures of you?! I  turned and there was Marcy holding Indy and guests admiring her right behind me. Wow! Talk about finding the courage to speak to Rory! 

I took the girls to the bathroom which was right by Rory's table. Then I tried to let Rory finish his conversation with the man with him at his table (Derrick said he looked familiar, a man from Kansas, Ok) I told him that he and Joey really impacted us and to love each other better and to love my husband love like Christ. He thanked me and shook my hand. I said I joked with the kids about not wearing certain clothes to meet Rory and Cameron wanting to wear his super her shirt. I said, "This is a dream! I didn't think you'd actually BE here though. He said he hadn't been coming there and was rarely there. Later I found out that Bailey and I both prayed him there. :) The man with him said they'd just flown in from Arkansaa and they made him come. There seemed to be a sadness about Rory. I'm sure he's hurting pretty good. :'(

Derrick was at the table talking to the man from Kansas, Ok. Still talking with Rory, he actually asked all the kid's names and then Derrick (I think) asked if we could take a picture with him. He said yes and he and Indy stood with us. The man with him asked Marcy to turn around and took hers too. Then Rory stood there and asked all the kids their ages. It was wonderful! In the words of Bill Gaither, they are the "real deal." :-) 

*Derrick and I did have one regret about this wonderful event. Derrick said he wished he would've prayed with Rory and I wished I would've told him we're praying for them and had acknowledged the pain he's going through.  

Colossians 2:13-15

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Menu Plan 8/29-

Cornbread for me/ french bread for everybody else
Fruit salad

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

“I would encourage them that no matter how bad things get, there is always a way through.  Someone said the other day: pray for a miracle and paddle like heck to get to the shore… I want to encourage people that if they’re going through a hurting time, they need to get out and help somebody else… as you do that it will lift your spirits.   Barbara Johnson

Cousin Amaya

Born on Bailey's due date, July 18th (his birthday is July 23)! She is so precious!

Mia's Photo Shoot at Gigi's