Saturday, November 28, 2009

Crazy Love

I just started reading "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan tonight. I am already blown away. And humbled by the fact that the God who created everything in this universe, everything that ever was and everything that ever will be, that He loves me, He cares about me.
There is nothing I have ever done or will ever do that can make me good enough for Him. I am sin; I am dirt; I am unlovable. But because of Him, because Jesus came to earth to take my punishment, I can become white as snow, pure, holy, righteous. Because I know Jesus, I am free. I am saved.

Not one part of me is worthy of that. But how amazing is it that in spite of everything that I am, God loves me and accepts me?

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we rejoice in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Romans 5:1-5  (I typed that from memory. Part of a study I'm doing and I memorized it.)

He gave me a mind. He wants me to use it to think. And most importantly, I should use my mind to find Him.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Romans 1:20-23 
He created everything knowing that we would look to the creation to find Him. There are so many who look at creation and refuse to see Him. That is so sad to me. He's everywhere, we only have to look to see.
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Psalm 19:1

God, the one who was and is and is to come loves me. It cannot get any better than that.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Second chances

I am just so glad that our God is a God of second chances.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Being thankful

Thankful: conscious of benefit received; expressive of thanks; well pleased.
Thanks: kindly or grateful thoughts; an expression of gratitude.
Thanksgiving: the act of giving thanks; a prayer expressing gratitude; a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness.

Psalm 50:14 Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High.

Psalm 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

Psalm 107:1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Psalm 30:12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Psalm 79:13 So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, Will give You thanks forever; We will show forth Your praise to all generations.
Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 
1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Revelation 11:17 We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
I have many blessings. I am so thankful for them all. But the one that matters the most is Jesus. My salvation is the biggest blessing in my life. Hands down. Nothing else even comes close. Praise God.
And just for information, my favorite thanksgiving blog post is at Knowing Norrah. Wonderful.

The one where I just babble

Okay, so I am not going to post anything with real meat. But how about some pictures? Pictures are always good. Here are some that the boys insisted I take of their blocks.

Frog was so proud of his "castles". He made several. And Dino made the ones below. It's so amazing to me how different they are. Frog made 3D creations and Dino's are flat. But they are all wonderful!

Okay, this one I just couldn't resist because, I mean seriously, doesn't he look like just the cutest little redneck boy you've ever seen, wearing his daddy's shoes and hat? And didn't I just write the longest run-on sentence in the world?

And for good measure, one more of the hawk. Which still isn't gone, but I haven't spiked it up lately. Hub says it looks like Dino has a dead squirrel on his head. It will be cut tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Not too shabby...

So, I've made 15 (well, today makes 16) days out of 24, which is 67% of the month so far. And, even if I don't post again for the whole month, it will be a 53% success rate. Not bad.
Buuuuuutttt, if I post more, my percentage will rise. Hey, if I post every day til the end of the month, I will end with 73%. Not too shabby.

So, what do I want to share tonight? Well, I have been in an online Bible study with some wonderful ladies. We have been studying in Romans, specifically chapter 5, verses 1-5.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Our latest assignment included drawing a representation of the verses. This is my picture:

The foundation is faith; without it, there is nothing else. The Holy Spirit is represented by the white pitcher, and it pours out God's love into our hearts. Our hearts are able to be filled because Jesus saved us. As soon as we believe, have faith, we are saved through Jesus. And at that point, God pours His love into our hearts and we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit.
Man, am I so glad to be saved!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Crazy hair night at AWANA resulted in this:

The red washed out very easily and the mohawk will be allowed for about a week. After that, Hub said it was enough. We'll see what Dino thinks. I hope it will be out of his system by then. If not, it's only hair.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yes, it actually does happen just like that!

I don't claim to understand it. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5  I don't claim to know why. “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. Isaiah 55:8  But I do claim that it's true. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

I spent most of last night in the emergency room. We went to church last night like always. The kids were in their AWANA groups. Hub came late because he had been at work. I went into the sanctuary at 7 for the evening service. About 20 minutes later, someone came in and got my friend and took her out. Then one of the deacons came in and told us that they thought her husband had had a heart attack. After prayer, I went outside.
In the other building, Henry had been playing ball and complained of feeling dizzy. Then he fell to his knees and grabbed his left arm and fell to the ground. Someone called 911 and then the prayer started.
The ambulance came within a couple of minutes of me going outside. Then I watched from outside as they wheeled Henry out and into the ambulance. When Jen, his wife, came out, I joined the other ladies and we prayed with her. We got the kids taken care of and then I went with Jen to the hospital.
Once there, we realized that Henry had not had a heart attack. After several hours and several tests, he was told it was vertigo and a migraine.
At one point, the nurse was in and Jen said, "I think he had a heart attack and we were at church and everyone prayed, and God took care of it." The nurse laughed and said, "I don't think it actually works like that." He said it with just enough sneer that I knew he wasn't a Christian. And as he walked out the door, I said, "Well, we know it does actually work just like that."

We will never know this side of heaven whether Henry had a heart attack last night, but we do know we serve a mighty God. And He answers our prayers. Always.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Can't pull myself away.

I tried to make a post last night but had computer issues. And that bothered me so much.
I know this isn't a big deal, and it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, but I wanted to make it to 30 days of posting. I try my best to be true to my word. So I want to do my best to make some kind of post every day, even if it's just a picture. But if it doesn't happen, well, that's okay, too. The main thing is I want to do my best.

So, NaBloPoMo Take 2.
And I'll even try to have a good post tomorrow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I give!

Alright, I give up! I cannot do this NaBloPoMo! I'm not cut out for it!
That is all.

I will be taking a few days off and who knows when I'll be back.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 11

Today, I am thankful for freedom. And for all the men and women who have fought in order for me to have it. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is November over yet?

Okay, this is harder than I thought it would be. And truly, not what I like. Once this month is over, I am so going back to my posting once a week or so. Well, maybe more than that, cause I do like to get my thoughts down, and I am finding that I would like to post more, but this once a day thing is not going to happen again.

Today, I am thankful for forgiveness. I wasn't my best self today, and there were times my family had reason to get mad with me. But they didn't. They let me do my thing and they got over it. They aren't carrying any grudges. I love that. What forgiving hearts they have.

But let us not forget the most forgiving heart of all. Where would I be if I didn't have my Lord and Savior, the One who always forgives, who forgives everything. As much as my family forgives, they are human. And as humans, we don't have the capacity to forgive every sin. But God does. And boy am I thankful for that. That's true love.

Monday, November 9, 2009

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 9

I almost forgot. And I'm not sure what I even want to write about today. I'm tired, I still have the last legs of a cold, and I am still a bit upset about a few things going on.
There's a relationship that I would still love to see healed. We don't have a pastor at our church. And there are a lot more things I would like to see changed at our church.
So, I have tons I could write about. But, I am really tired and that is overruling everything tonight.

But, I will write about Hub. Friday is his last day at his part-time job. He is finally going to have a full-time job with benefits! I am definitely thankful for that! He will start his new job on Saturday. It is with a large retail home store. He will be in the garden center. This will be great for him. He'll be working outside, using his knowledge of plants and still get to be around people. Perfect for him! And there are actually several other things that make it so wonderful: he'll be making a bit more money; there will be benefits; and it's only a few miles from the house. (he had been driving over 30 miles to work) So, things are looking up! He will have some adjustments and he doesn't like change all that much, but truly, we are so happy right now!

1 Praise the LORD!

Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
2 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!
Psalm 150

Sunday, November 8, 2009

12 years

Picture it: JCPenney, May, 1994, Break room
I took my break with Elizabeth and walked upstairs to the break room. There was this guy sitting there; he was wearing a pair of khaki pants, dress shirt and tie, and a navy blazer. I thought he was cute. There were about 5 or 6 of us in the break room and we all talked about nothing. But I thought he was cute.
That summer, we kept bumping into each other at work and sometimes at parties thrown by people from work. I still thought he was cute.

Then, November, 1994 happened. He finished student teaching so he was working full time. We knew more about each other by this point. We started eating lunch together with a group of friends. Then one day, Wednesday, November 16, 1994, it was just the two of us. We had a very nice lunch. The next day was my day off, but I made an excuse to come to the store, conveniently at the same time he was leaving for the day. We chatted; I got him to come shopping with me for the pillow I came in to buy. And eventually (seriously, it took him like an hour to get around to this) he asked me if I was free for the rest of the evening. I said yeah, and inside I was all like *****SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE*****!

We went to his apartment and I waited for him to change into casual clothes. Then we went to eat at Appleby's. Next, we went to my apartment to just hang out. We decided to go to a movie and saw "The Santa Clause." (which is very ironic now, since we don't do santa with the kids) It was a very nice evening and when it ended, he asked if he could take me to the party a friend was having Saturday night.

And that was it. From then on, we were a couple. It took us about a month to have our first kiss and consider ourselves "officially" a couple, but that was all it took. From the beginning, I knew I would marry him. There was never any question in my mind. He says he thought the same, but he sure didn't share that with me. Men!

Fast forward a few years, November 8, 1997. A nice fall evening, the mountains were beautifully arrayed with jewel toned leaves, and even the highest mountaintops were dotted with snow. It was perfect. I married my best friend at 7:30 in the evening. It was a candlelit service. There were two songs sung. One was "The Wedding Song (There is Love)" ; the other was "The Lord's Prayer." The reception was small; hors d'oeuvres and a cake. And lots of fun fellowship. A day I will never forget.

I love you honey. Always. Thank you for 12 wonderful years and three beautiful boys.

This picture is from that first Saturday night, our second date.

And from our wedding:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 7

Well, not got much left in me tonight. I've got a cold and I'm beat. So, I'm gonna cheat again and post pictures.

Here's my guys in October 2007:

And October 2009:

My, how they've grown. I love these guys so much. I am blessed to be their mom.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Random thoughts

Have you ever thought about a word and wondered about it? And said it so many times, over and over, that it lost its meaning?

Today, I was thinking about the word bored. The boys will often come up to me and say, "I'm bored." (To which I usually reply, "Well, then, go and find something to do.")

But I started thinking about the actual word. Bored. Bored. Board. They sound the same, don't they? But all three words are different. I'm bored. He bored a hole in that tree. That board is splitting in half.
Wow. Cool. I like things like that. I find it interesting. But it is very hard to teach someone to read and spell with so many unique words in the English language.

Grocery. How would you say that phonetically? I'm teaching Frog to read and we say each letter's sound in order to read. But then, Dino is learning to spell. He can read exceptionally well, but his spelling needs some help. Grocery is one of his words this week. Another word is spry. That one is easier because it's still phonetic in pronunciation. But grocery? Nope.

Fun, huh? Things that make me think.

And oh, I almost forgot. My theme for the month, thankfulness. I'm thankful I have a mind that can even think of these things. I love word puzzles, number puzzles, just puzzles in general. And without a mind, I would have no luck figuring out puzzles. So, thank you Lord, for giving me a mind of my own to learn and reason with, and to solve puzzles.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

30 Days of Thankfulness: Tag fünf

Today, I am thankful for good health. For the most part, my sweet little family has been healthy. There have been some infected ears, an occasional bout of strep throat, one year of antibiotics for a urinary tract issue (thankfully outgrown), one UTI, and a host of colds. We had one surgery. Dino was born with two of his fingers joined and when he was 16 months old he had surgery to separate them. So, on the whole, healthy children and family.

But I have been down the road of unwellness. One of my step-brothers had some serious kidney issues as a child. He eventually went into kidney failure at 13 (I was 12) and was hospitalized. I can remember the day I found out. I was in 7th grade and finally at middle school. We got to change classes and all. :-) And in the afternoon, I got a message to go to the office because I was being picked up early. I tried to figure out what was going on but could not imagine. When I got to the office, my mom was waiting. She took me to the car where my step-dad and two of my brothers were waiting. We went straight out of town to the nearby children's hospital. For the next several months, that journey became very familiar.

My brother was in kidney failure. He spent quite some time in and out of the hospital. I cannot begin to give an accurate timeline. It is mostly jumbled up in my head. But the main points are that his kidney's were in such bad shape they had to be removed. Brother went on dialysis for some time until eventually he had a kidney transplant. My older step-brother was a perfect match. He had just become old enough that he was allowed to decide to be a donor. Praise God.

Since then, brother has had a few minor issues health wise, but he's had his new kidney for over 25 years now and doing well.

So, while we occasionally have some things that we have to deal with, on the whole, we have been blessed with health. And I am so very thankful for that.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Day 4: I'm cheating, sorta, and posting some pics. I am thankful for these little guys. And thankful that because we homeschool, field trips can be enjoyed by the whole family.

And sharks feel rough and sting rays are slimy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

30 Days of Thankfulness: Le jour trois

I first used the internet sometime back in '97 or '98. My best friend got it when she went back to school. I would go to her apartment and we would cruise around just to see what we could find. Back then, I heard about all these chat rooms, and I usually heard about all the not-so-nice ones. But, I didn't do much online then.

Fast forward to 2000. My dad bought me a computer because I moved back to my hometown to go back to college. I had to go online because so many of my classes required email communications. It was like a new world opened up. But I still didn't do much online. It was still dial up and oh so very slow. Then I got pregnant. And Boy! Did that change things.

I scoured the internet for all things pregnancy. I found all these sites and some had message boards. Wow! It was so addicting. But even then, I still stayed in an observing role. I could not get involved; I lurked. My first son was born in late summer 2002, and by then I had found this one site that I really liked. It was a journal site for ladies trying to get pregnant, pregnant, and moms. When Dino was a couple of months old, I signed up and started my first journal.

I still didn't get too involved. I would write in my journal and read other journals, but I never commented to the other ladies. So I stayed under the radar. Then I discovered that this site had some message boards. I finally got up my nerve and posted. It was nice. But withing a few months, they shut down the boards. The journals moved to another place but the boards were gone. A few ladies moved their board and I followed, but back to lurking now. I wanted to join in on stuff but they all seemed so tight and I just felt awkward. Through these ladies I read my first ever blog. Wow! It was April 2004, and Frog was on his way. I was still journaling and lurking. But spending ever so much more time online. Yes, again, very addicting. I continued this pattern for the next couple of years. I became totally engrossed in infertility blogs. And through them, mommy blogs. Some of those blogs I still read though I don't have as much interest anymore.

When I got pregnant with Monkey in the summer of 2006, something changed. I found myself wanting to belong to a group somewhere. By this point, I knew several people, in real life, who had met friends and even spouses online. I knew it was possible to find true friendship online. So, I found a group of ladies who were all pregnant and due at the same time as me and, what else, I lurked. I actually posted in the group once or twice the entire pregnancy. Way to get involved. But once our babies were born, well, that did it. The original group was 75+ members, but through a series of events, a few of us found our way to another site and 11 of us have been a tight-knit group since August of 2007. I love these ladies! Oh my, I cannot even tell you how blessed I am to have them in my life. We have been through so much together: all kinds of baby issues, losing a child, divorce, losing a parent, having a loved one get arrested and put in jail, deployment, losing a job, so many things. Our bond is so tight that I know I will be friends with these ladies forever. They have my heart. I was lucky enough to spend a weekend with 7 of them awhile back, and it is my hope that I will get to meet the other three in person someday soon.

And now, I am blessed again to have gotten to know some more ladies online. There is a small group of ladies I met through another blog and we have started a bible study together. And I have read more in my bible since meeting them than I have in awhile. They inspire me and make me want to be a better Christian. But even with that, I am even more blessed to know them and be encouraged by them. This group is amazing. Through them, I have gotten the courage to start speaking up and being a light for Jesus. I am getting so that I am not as afraid to proclaim His truth wherever I need to. And there is also excitement. I can't wait to find out what God has in store for us. I know He brought us together for a reason and I've already been blessed so much, I can't wait to see what's next.

Friends are wonderful. And I am so thankful that through this wonderful technology I have been blessed with an abundance of friends. ♥

Monday, November 2, 2009

30 Days of Thankfulness: El día Dos

Today I am thankful that I have a personal relationship with Jesus.
There have been many personal issues today that have really hurt me. I have cried much more than I would like. And through the hurt, anger came. I was ready to just lay open some wounds that have been buried for years.
I prayed. I talked to my best friend, Jesus, and He said wait. And I did. And I am calmer now. I am willing to be the salt and light in the world. There is nothing that will be gained by me opening up the past. It will only cause more hurt. And God told me to honor this person, and so honor him I must. Even though he doesn't deserve my honor. But God commanded it. And because I have a close relationship with God, I can do this. I can honor a person who has done little to honor me, who has hurt me more in my life than any other person ever has. I can forgive and let it go. And I am going to apologize for my part in this issue and leave it at that.

The lightness I feel right now is astounding. I feel free. With Jesus by my side, I can do anything. And knowing that He is there and always ready to listen is so comforting. If I didn't have His friendship, I would be lost. I thank Him that I am not.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 1

Well, I made a list of all the different things I wanted to write about this month. I tried to think of all the things I was thankful for, and tried to prioritize them, arrange them in just the "right" way. But then today happened and I realized that I don't always have to do things "just so"; so I'm not.

Nothing in this world can touch my salvation. Nothing. It is definitely what I am the most thankful for and I was going to make this wonderful post about it; kick off this month in a grand fashion. And I will eventually make that post.
Not today.

This was today:

Today, I am simply thankful to be alive. God has given us the very breath we take all day long. And today, I got to go to His house and worship Him without the fear that I would be persecuted. I had enough to eat. I was able to spend the day enjoying His beautiful creation with people I love. How could I not be thankful? Life is good. God is even better.