Monday, December 28, 2009

AMAZING RESULTS!

Have you ever wanted to have a makeover, but just didn't have the funds or the guts to go to a professional? No worries! Now, you can have a make-over in the privacy of your own home! That's right! I have devised a new plan to help those of us who don't get out much to lose 5-15 lbs. without diet or exercise! Amazingly the results are practically instantaneous. I call it the "No Sweat Makeover" plan. The steps are simple: DON'T WEAR SWEATS! That's all there is to it. Well, that and taking a shower, shaving, applying makeup, fixing your hair and actually putting on a dress and heels, but other than that - nothing to it! With this simple plan, you too can go from frumpy, bored housewife to half-way decent looking, bored housewife! I know, it sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? But it isn't! Act now before it's too late. Some restrictions apply.




Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Crash

Well, Christmas has come and gone. Much to be thankful for: faith, family, friends, etc. Today I feel completely depleted. I was going to write today about being an introvert, but I looked back in my posts and saw that I already had. Here's the link to that post. However, I'm going to write about it again today. ha ha!

Many people look forward to the holidays. So do I - to an extent. I thoroughly enjoy being with family and friends. However, it completely drains me! After shopping for gifts all week and being with extended family the past two days in a row, I feel lifeless. I have absolutely no energy, no drive, no desire to move. And that is very inconvenient. I mean, my house is a wreck and I NEED to clean it up! I have backed up laundry that needs to be washed. But those things seem so insurmountable to me today. All I really want to do is stay in my PJ's in the bed and watch mindless entertainment. I don't want to think, clean or cook.

I wish I were more like my husband. He is a work horse! If he knows something needs to be done, he just does it! He's also one who enjoys being around people. Social gatherings do not tire him like they do me. He doesn't understand how just simply being around a group of people can wear me down. Here's a quote from the book I talk about in the aforementioned post: "In general, extroverts don't spend much time stuck in a rut. They are up and going before they even think about it. But for the introverts, getting going can be like scaling Mt. Everest." That is so true!

Other interesting (to me) points made in the book on introverts is this: "Many introverts don't feel as if they know enough about a subject until they know almost everything." Again - so true! I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to do something, but didn't dare try until I "researched" it. I spend so much time on research when I could actually DO what I wanted to in the first place. Another quote from the book: "Extroverts like to experience a lot, and introverts like to know a lot about what they experience." I think I drive my husband and kids crazy because I want to know the history behind things. When we go on vacation, I want to see the historical buildings and read up on the culture of the area and so on. They, however, just want to GO and DO things!

Out of curiosity, I would like to know if you are an introvert or an extrovert, and what you think about the people who are opposite of yourself. If you need a little help to figure out what you are, here is a 'quickie quiz' that is taken out of the book I keep mentioning (which, by the way, is titled THE INTROVERT ADVANTAGE, HOW TO THRIVE IN AN EXTROVERT WORLD by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.):

QUICKIE QUIZ

Qualities A

  • Like to be in the thick of things
  • Relish variety, bored of sameness
  • Knows lots of people, consider them friends
  • Enjoy chitchatting, even with strangers
  • Feel stoked after activity, eager for more
  • Speak or act without needing to think first
  • Are generally quite peppy
  • Tend to talk more than listen

Qualities B

  • Prefer to relax alone or with a few close friends
  • Consider only deep relationships as friends
  • Need rest after outside activities, even ones you enjoy
  • Often listen but talk a lot about topics of importance to you
  • Appear calm, self-contained, and like to observe
  • Tend to think before you speak or act
  • Experience mind going blank in groups or under pressure
  • Don't like feeling rushed
Which list of qualities describe you best? If it's list A, you're extroverted. If it's B, you're introverted.

So, how did you score? I would like to hear your thoughts/feelings. If you're an extrovert, what do you tend to think about introverts and vice versa? I look at extroverts with envy. I truly wish I could just get up and go, go, go! I also wish that I could go up to any person and strike up a conversation. However, I tend to observe people for a bit and try to figure out where they're coming from before I feel comfortable talking to them for any extended amount of time. I've always said about my husband that he "has never met a stranger", and I wish I could say the same thing about myself.


Well, since I started writing today's post, I've actually set it aside to go start a load of laundry, unloaded/loaded the dishwasher, cleared the 'hot spot' in the kitchen, and dusted my bedroom. That is much more than I expected to get today. Of course, that's just the tip of the iceberg of what really needs to be done around here, but for now I'll allow myself to consider it a small victory.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

a nice day









Today the kids and I went to my grandmother's house for one of our Christmas get-togethers. It was a nice day, except that we didn't really have a long enough visit. I only see most of this side of the family once or twice a year, and an hour or two at a time really doesn't suffice. This year, my cousin Bryan and his wife bought us a gift, which isn't the norm. The gift was right up my alley! It was a basket of tea, coffee and chocolate with two mugs. It's as if they read my mind! ;0) I will thoroughly enjoy it.



They also bought my kids shirts - which they both really like.



Bryan is a hoot! He always entertains us with his silliness. He has an elf hat with elf ears that he wears.



The kids and I had to leave the family get-together a bit early. Haley had a piano recital in town. She has practiced her piece for a long time now and so she didn't want to miss the recital. She played "Concerning Hobbits" from the Lord of the Rings and she nailed it!


This is Haley, her piano teacher, Quentin, Jeff, Dawson's guitar teacher, and Dawson.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

To shop or not to shop...


I don't normally go out shopping on "Black Friday" because I can't stand the crowds and the stress. PLUS - I'm not a morning person, as most of you know, so getting up at 0-dark-thirty does NOT work for me. However, there are a couple of things on my kids' lists that will be at pretty good prices this coming Friday. I now find myself torn. To shop or not to shop? Online shopping is much more appealing, but I don't know if these same deals will be available online. A friend and fellow blogger, Mandie, informed me of the website that shows all BF ads, so that's how I found out about the great upcoming deals.

Another thing that I'm going back and forth on is a ministry opportunity that our Jr. High minister has offered. He has suggested that a group of people go with him to these BF sales and offer hot chocolate and snacks to the people waiting in line. He says this would be a great way to demonstrate the love of Christ, by being there to give rather than to get. I agree. I think it's a great idea! Again, I think of dragging myself out of bed in the wee hours of the middle of the night (is it OK to use those terms together?) and trying to overcome my grumpiness to demonstrate love. I'm not sure it would work. It would be like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker fighting! I'm ashamed to say that at that time of the day, I would look much more like the cold, angry shopper than the loving, humble Christ who died for my sins. I hate to admit it, but there it is.

I do believe that I have grown quite a bit spiritually in the last few years. However, I have a LONG way to go. A friend and I are currently reading the book, You are Gifted (see previous post). In the second chapter one of the discussion questions was "Do you feel you have already 'arrived' spiritually"? Heck no! I don't see how anyone could answer that one affirmatively this side of heaven.

Well, after talking this out with you all, I still don't know what I'll be doing on Friday morning. How about you? Are you going to venture out into the cold dark of night/morning to wait in line for awesome "deals"?

Friday, November 13, 2009

a new read

Sorry for not posting in so long. I haven't had any inspiration of late. However, I started reading a new book and I wanted to share the name of it with you. It's called You Are Gifted by Ken Hemphill (link is to Amazon). I've wanted to do another study on spiritual gifts as well as the role of women in the church. When sharing my desire with a friend at church, she asked if I wanted to study together; I immediately said, "Yes!". It's always so much better when their is someone to discuss things with and be held accountable to. This is our first week to get together and discuss what we've read. I will tell you that I'm very excited about this book. I have already read chapter one TWICE! The second time I went through and underlined and highlighted several things. My initial intention was to NOT write in the book at all so that I could share it on PaperBackSwap.com, but this book is a definite keeper for me! One of the things written in the book that really stood out to me is this: The author was talking about how the Jews were angry with the followers of Christ and accused them of pretty much rocking the world. The author then asks why believers today are not accused of the same thing. Great question! I've wondered this myself. Apparently we do not truly believe in the power of Christ and that this power is IN US, or else we would be really shaking things up. Hopefully I will get to the point of belief and begin exercising the God-given power on a daily basis.

Well, that's all I have time for today. I encourage you to get a copy of the book, read the Scripture the author uses, and ask God to shake things up in your life!

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Gov't Can - an amusing video by Tim Hawkins

Here's a link to a really funny video.

video



I tried posting the video itself, but it didn't fit properly on my blog for some reason. Anyway, the video is well worth your 2-3 minutes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spiritual Feedings

When reading my Bible, I usually don't read any commentaries because I don't want another person's opinion clouding my understanding of what the passage is saying. However, I did read a commentary on 1 Peter 2, and I'm glad I did because it actually flipped on the "a-ha" switch! 1 Peter 2:2 says, "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." How many times have I read and heard this passage? Multiple times, of course. I've been a believer for over 30 years now. Well, the commentary on this helped me to better understand the probable emphasis that Peter was trying to convey. I frequently use e-sword - it's a free service that you can download, and it has greatly helped me in my Biblical studies; I highly recommend that you utilize it. Anyway, while reading 1 Peter, I glanced at the Matthew Henry commentary that comes up on the side (I think it's an extra download that I added). Here are his observations on this passage:

"The apostle, like a wise physician, having prescribed the purging out of vicious humours, goes on to direct to wholesome and regular food, that they may grow thereby. The duty exhorted to is a strong and constant desire for the word of God, which word is here called reasonable milk, only, this phrase not being proper English, our translators rendered it the milk of the word, by which we are to understand food proper for the soul, or a reasonable creature, whereby the mind, not the body, is nourished and strengthened. This milk of the word must be sincere, not adulterated by the mixtures of men, who often corrupt the word of God, 2Co_2:17. The manner in which they are to desire this sincere milk of the word is stated thus: As new-born babes. He puts them in mind of their regeneration. A new life requires suitable food. They, being newly born, must desire the milk of the word. Infants desire common milk, and their desires towards it are fervent and frequent, arising from an impatient sense of hunger, and accompanied with the best endeavours of which the infant is capable. Such must Christians' desires be for the word of God: and that for this end, that they may grow thereby, that we may improve in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour."

This reminded me of when my son was born. He was ALWAYS hungry (still is, by the way) and I found myself nursing him every 1 1/2 to 2 hours! I was one exhausted mother. Remembering his constant hunger for milk and how I should be like that with God's word really got me thinking. Now I know that I should be well past the need for "spiritual milk" and require more "meat", this analogy still hit home with me. I don't think that I should cut back on the frequency of my feedings now that I'm spiritually older. If I picked up and read my Bible every two hours or so, how much more would I feel full? It's definitely something that I want to challenge myself to do.

This challenge reminds me of something I've asked my kids to do with me. I want us to log 100 things that we want to do before we die. You know, a bucket list. I've posted mine before here, but I don't think it was 100 things! I asked my kids to do this because I am daily striving to improve our home school experience. I want them to have a passion for learning and I desperately want to encourage them to strive toward fulfilling their dreams. It has also helped me to know my kids better. I've been surprised by some of the things they've come up with. Well, one of the things that I'm going to add to my list, is to increase the frequency of my spiritual feedings, and read my Bible at least every two hours when possible.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Does God Exist?

These videos are lengthy, but well worth your time. I only wish that I had known about this "debate" when it had actually taken place two years ago. Two episodes of Nightline's "Face-Off" discussing "Does God Exist". If you do take the time to view them, please share your thoughts with me. I can't help but wonder if those who believe other than I do feel that the people representing their beliefs were thorough and concise on defending them.



Monday, September 28, 2009

scrambled thoughts

Have you ever struggled with organizing your thoughts? Do you ever get so easily distracted that you can't complete a thought much less communicate it? Yeah, me too. There are a few things I've wanted to blog about, but when I try to express one, I start thinking about something else. I thought that maybe if I sat down and started typing them out, it might help - even if they are incomplete. Maybe I'll just post the thoughts without elaborating on them. We'll see how it goes.

Thought One: Why do we take for granted those closest to us?

Thought Two: Why do we stop keeping in touch with friends? For some reason an old pen-pal came to my mind last night. This was a person I went to school with for a brief period of time, but we really hit it off. After he moved away we kept in touch through writing letters (long before the days of facebook!). We did this for about two years, then all of a sudden stopped. For the life of me, I can't remember why.

Thought Three: Why am I stuck in a spiritual holding pattern - again!?

Thought Four: Why do I not do something (I don't like how I worded that, but can't think of a better way) unless I can devote ALL of my time to it? For instance:

I'm attempting to research and record my family's genealogy, but I've come to a stand still.
I started to look into "the Law" and why we no longer follow every guideline that was given by God (see this post) but because of the overwhelming number of verses that mention "the Law", I have not pursued that study. In my mind if I'm not able to sit down in a room full of open books, note pads and pencils with nothing else to do but study a particular subject, well then, I shouldn't even bother at all! I mean, I have children to teach, feed, etc. I have a house to clean, laundry to wash, groceries to buy, bills to pay. I don't have time to study my family's past generations or even God's Law for that matter! Seriously! That's how my mind works. I tell myself that if I can't give God at least an hour of study time, then I shouldn't do any. I mean, He deserves more than 5-10 minutes a day - that's an insult! So, I'll admit my short comings and refuse to play the "I gave God some time today" game (which is the reason for number three, I'm sure). Sick, isn't it? I know some of you will say this is the "perfectionist" in me. Here's a list of the ten telltale traits of a perfectionist.

I feel like a hamster in a wheel running, running, running, but getting no where!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

That Was Old Testament

I have been reading everyone's favorite book of the Bible - Leviticus. If you've read it you know that there are a lot of do's and don'ts (how to pluralize don't properly?). It got me to wondering why some of these don'ts have become "OK you can do that now". There are many people, and I have probably been one of them on occasion, who say something like, "Well, that was 'Old Testament'". Ohhhhkay - so just because it's in the OT means we should no longer abide by it?

Let me go ahead and tell you specifically what I'm wondering about. TATTOOS. Leviticus 19:28 says, "You shall not make cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD." Now, this is the only place in the Bible where I could find the word "tattoo". I don't know if God is talking about ALL sorts of tattoos that people get for any number of reasons, or if the emphasis should be placed on the part of the verse that says, "for the dead". Apparently this was a custom of pagans during that time and God didn't want His people doing that sort of thing. So, tattoos are OK if they're not "for the dead". This was just ONE of MANY laws given and for the most part, most of those laws are still, for the most part, observed today: Keeping the Sabbath (debate on which day is the Sabbath, but I won't go there), no idols, do not defraud your neighbor, do not hate your brother, do not practice magic or sorcery. These are just a few of the laws given in this specific chapter. There are many others like: no marrying your sister and such. There are also laws about not cutting your hair/beard a certain way. So I'm just wondering when it became OK to stop following these laws. Deuteronomy 11:1 instructs His people to "keep His requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands ALWAYS" (emphasis mine).

Some will argue that because Christ and died on the cross we are now covered by grace. I get that. HOWEVER, Christ said in Matthew 5:17-18, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

Paul tells us in Romans 3 that we are no longer saved by keeping the Law, HOWEVER, in verse 31 he says, "Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law".

Now don't think that I'm hatin' on people with tattoos. I'm not. I am only using this one as an example. I am simply thinking out loud here, which is usually dangerous in my case! I have not exhausted all of the verses in Scripture that deal with the Law. Honestly, I don't know if I can - there are SO MANY verses that talk about God's laws, which makes me again wonder why we do what we do today. Why do we fall back on the saying, "that was Old Testament"?


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

football season - yippee (insert sarcasm)

I live in the South, specifically Alabama. Football is a big deal here, to say the least. Anyone who lives here knows that a baby's first words must either be "Roll Tide" or "War Eagle" - forget "mama"or "dada". Also, if someone moves here from another state, it's expected of them to choose between the University of Alabama or Auburn. There's no being neutral around here!

When I was younger, football was more important to me than it is now. I was a sold-out Alabama fan. I wore the Crimson and White all through the season. I watched almost every game. I derided Auburn and Tennessee fans, just because it was expected. Why did I cheer for Alabama? Because my family did, why else? Did I know anyone who played FOR Alabama? No, but that's not the point, now is it? Wait, now that I think about it, I think I knew someone's cousin, or a friend of a cousin, or somebody who played for Alabama at some point in time. OK, now I feel justified. LOL!

So now that I'm all grown up, I wonder, what in the world is the big deal? Sure it's harmless entertainment (well, it's should be harmless anyway). I get that it's amusing to some. But the thing is, it's more like a religion to most people. It's even crept it's way into the pulpit for crying out loud! It really bothers me to be in the middle of singing praises to my God, worshiping corporately with other believers and then someone steps up to the podium and mentions Saturday's scores followed by hoots and hollers from the congregation. Come on! Can't we leave football on the field and reserve the sanctuary for more important, dare I say, HOLY matters?

If I've offended anyone, or hurt feelings, that's not my intention here. I just desperately wish that our worship services could be centered around, well... WORSHIP, but not the worship of any college football team.

Monday, August 31, 2009

my daughter's blog

Evidently, blogging runs in the family. My daughter has had her own blog for quite some time. Now she has two! She recently started up a blog called "There and Back Again" in honor of the Lord of the Rings series. She is currently reading Fellowship of the Ring and so her blog is based on that book as well as the movie. I'm very pleased that she is reading this book and hope that she continues with the others in the series. Reading is a passion of mine, and I hope that Haley finds as much joy as I do from reading. I find that it's a great escape; who doesn't need to escape every once in a while? I hope you follow the link and leave her a nice comment or two. ;0) There's nothing like a little link love, you know?

Monday, August 24, 2009

warning to male readers - you might not want to proceed

I'm at a yucky place again. I'm not quite down in the pit, but I feel my feet starting to stick in the miry clay that surrounds the gigantic, dark black hole. This is when I start to do a spiritual & physical inventory of sorts.

  1. How's my prayer life? Check - I'm praying regularly.
  2. Am I reading the Bible? Check - I'm reading almost daily.
  3. Am I in fellowship with other believers? Check - I attend regular fellowships and meet with friends who hold me accountable.
  4. Am I in God's will? Check - as far as I know, anyway.
  5. Am I sleeping enough? Check - at least for the last 2-3 nights it's been good (except that I've had to take OTC meds)
  6. Am I eating the right things? No check - I've had too much junk/fast food in the last few days.
  7. Am I remembering to take my supplements? Check - except for the Kava Kava for sleep (I haven't restocked).
OK, so could eating junk food and fast food, OTC sleep meds be enough to start pushing me toward the pit? I don't know, really. It doesn't help, I'm sure. For the most part I think I've just got a rotten attitude. But then I have to wonder, "How can I have a bad attitude if I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing - reading the Bible, praying, fellowship with believers, etc.?" Then I ask, OK, (sorry about this, guys. I did warn you) is it that time of the month? I think it's coming up soon, but WHY and HOW can that make me feel so sad and angry? And how can I explain/teach my daughter to control her emotions when she begins this wonderful journey called womanhood? (grrrrr!) I get really tired of struggling with this month after month. I know that I need to control myself, but there are times when I feel completely OUT of control. It's almost as if another person takes over and I'm out-of-body hovering around watching this lunatic go around using my body, ranting and raving about stupid things and I'm helpless to stop it! Part of my mind knows this is insane - but that's the part that has been hijacked. It really is like Jekyll and Hide (except I didn't voluntarily ingest something to bring on this transformation). I have no hope for the future, either. From what I hear menopause is not pretty, either. Why do women have to deal with this mess?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

dreading the night

The title of my blog should be an indication that I have sleep issues. I've struggled with getting a good night's sleep since my teen years. I've tried many different things: warm baths, reading, aroma therapy, soft music, sounds of nature, exercising, medications, herbal teas, etc. Several of these things have worked, but only for a short time. I lie in bed and a plethora of thoughts will run around in a tizzy, much like ants do when their hills are disrupted. No matter how physically tired I am, most nights I toss and turn, envious of the sounds of slumber my husband and kids are making. I hear street noise, crickets and the wind - other sounds made only in my imagination. I picture family members living and passed. I worry if I'm doing enough for my kids, my husband, and my God. I think of what needs to be accomplished tomorrow. I recount my short comings and berate myself for my weaknesses. I try to sing myself to sleep. I try to pray but then my mind wanders and I feel guilty because I can't concentrate long enough to talk to my heavenly Father. I stress out that time is passing and I'm still awake at midnight, 1:30 a.m., 2:45 a.m., and so on. I hate that my mind won't cooperate but insists on rebelling against the moon and stars that indicate it's time for rest. I regret that I'm not a morning person like my husband, and that I don't get to see him when he's rested. I long to be different - normal.

So, even after a long day, I dread the night. But when I think of it, it's the morning I dread. That's when all the expectations begin again and I have no energy or drive to live up to them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

1st Day Back to School - take two


Technically we started school back in June; we just didn't continue it throughout the summer like I had planned. I had great intentions of schooling my kids year-round so that their brains wouldn't get all mushy and emptied of math concepts, etc. However, I just did not have the motivation to pursue that lofty goal, so here we are facing our first full-fledged day of education for the '09-'10 school year - AGAIN. I got off to a rocky start (no surprise there). There was this thing I kept doing with the alarm clock - you know, engaging the snooze button multiple times. After finally getting out of the bed, I started the coffee and while that was brewing I prayed. I told God that I just wasn't ready for this school thing. But He reassured me that He has prepared me to do what He has called me to do, so I prayed a few verses of Scripture and then I went to wake up the kids. I cooked them breakfast hoping that would get them off to a good start. They were very appreciative since breakfast around here usually consists of cereal. After breakfast, chores, getting dressed and brushing teeth, we began our lessons. First off - Bible. The lesson, which is the continuation of Revelation, went well. Then we tackled math. That's where it always falls apart. Math is the dreaded subject for my son (Haley's not crazy about it, but she deals with it). It would be amusing if it wasn't so frustrating. You see, as soon as Dawson cracks open the math book, his mind seems to go into a hibernating mode. He gets this glazed look in his eyes and his head starts to bobble back and forth, side to side. All of a sudden he reverts back to his pre-kindergarten days because he no longer remembers how to add or subtract, much less multiply, divide and convert measurements. My daughter experiences the typical after summer amnesia concerning fractions, so while my son is yelling, "MOM! I need your help!", she is also patiently waiting after yelling, "Um, Mom?! Can you help me, please?!" So I've got two different students in two different rooms yelling simultaneously for me to come wave my magic pencil over their heads in hopes that the numbers will start to once again move in choreographed precision. Thankfully I didn't lose my cool today. I just went to Dawson, reminded him that "Yes, you do know what 6x9 is, if you'll just try a little harder to remember. Oh, and keep your numbers IN LINE so that you'll know where everything goes". Then I went to Haley and remembered how much I hated working with fractions, but managed to help her with a few problems; I took a deep breath, and then silently said a prayer of self-motivation, "I can do this". One hour passes. Dawson is on problem, oh I don't know, TWO, and Haley is struggling as well, but has mercifully gotten farther along than her younger brother. However, Haley is doing two lessons a day compared to Dawson's one, so she will have more time to commit. Dawson still isn't near being done after an hour, so I tell him to stop for now, and finish it later, we have several other subjects to do. Reading, spelling, grammar, writing, history, P.E. *sigh* Day one - near completion, and it's only 3:20 p.m. But, that's what happens when you don't get started until nine o'clock in the morning.

I hope I don't sound as if I'm disappointed in my kids, because that's not it at all. I'm very proud of them and thankful for them. It's just that being the sole responsible person for their education is daunting at times and I wonder why God has entrusted such a task to me. This homeschooling thing is indeed a calling. It can't possibly be done without the direction of God Almighty, at least not in my case, and when I have days like today (which is typical) it's all I can do to hold it together. Not because my kids are bad, or at fault, or anything on their part, but because of me and my insecurities and well, my selfish desires, if I'm to be perfectly honest. On the other hand, when I see their faces light up with understanding, I realize what an honor being their teacher is.

Monday, August 3, 2009

God told me to be quiet

Where do I start?

OK, about a week or so ago I was praying about a person who I think tends to ramble on and on and on. I was asking God to help this person realize what he was doing and to encourage him to, well - stop! While I was praying for this person, I also prayed for myself on this matter because I don't want to be guilty of doing the same thing. Well, during my prayer I felt that God was telling ME to "Be quiet". I asked God if He meant this literally, and He said, "Yes. Be quiet until further notice" or something like that. So, I took that to mean that He wanted me to take a vow of silence. I told my husband, my kids and two of my closest friends, so that they could pray for me and also so they would know why I wasn't talking. I had braced myself for this vow to last for an undetermined amount of time. All the rest of that day I refrained from talking. Instead, I prayed silently, read of a lot of Scripture and meditated on it. During this time I realized how much I ramble. I talk just to talk - a lot! Also, most everyone around me does the same thing. Are we afraid of silence or something? Are we afraid we won't be noticed if we're not making noise? I don't know. I had decided that I wasn't going to take the easy way out by isolating myself, so I went on to church that night and then to choir practice. It was challenging, but I managed to keep my mouth shut! During choir practice instead of singing, I sat in the back of the room and prayed for everyone who was there while also searching the Bible. It was an awesome time with God even though I was surrounded by people!

Now, I will also share with you that my family was not happy with my taking this "Be quiet" thing literally and seriously. For some reason they felt that I was deserting them or something. I'm still not quite sure why they felt this way, but it was a mutual feeling they all had. Maybe my silence made them aware of their non-silence? I don't know.

As I mentioned, I had braced myself for a long haul on this quiet thing, but the next morning the Lord gave me a peace about once again talking, much to my family's relief. My daughter asked me if I had learned anything. I told her that "Yes, I did." She asked me what it was, and I told her, "I talk too much, and so does everyone else!"

Well, the day after that, I was involved with a freedom appointment as a prayer partner. This is something from the Freedom in Christ ministries and I HIGHLY recommend it. During our lunch break we were chatting, and I started rambling again! I heard God's voice say, "Do you want Me to tell you to be quiet again?". So, I tried to be more mindful of speaking only when it was necessary. Let me tell you, this isn't an easy thing for me to do. I mean, after all these years of talk, talk, talk, it really takes effort to cut it out! One of the verses that I meditated on during all of this is Proverbs 17:27-28

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

I'm really trying my best to remember this and not talk so much. Have you ever struggled with this in your life?

Now onto the vacation... we were fortunate enough to be able to go on a five day/four night vacation to Gulf Shores, AL. We have dear friends who live near there and so we were also able to visit with them. We hooked up our camper and took off for the beach. It was a blast! My husband and kids absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the water, so going to beach was very exciting to them. I was satisfied just to watch them have fun in the surf (I don't like swimming with critters and such). Although, the sea is better than the lake since you can actually see what's in the water. Unfortunately there were a lot of jelly fish in the water, probably due to some stormy weather off and on. My son got stung several times, but it didn't keep him from going in again and again! I enjoyed watching the waves and taking pictures. I took way too many to share on this blog (over 300!), but I'll try and choose some of the best ones:


Beautiful shot (if I do say so myself) of seagulls in flight.

I was disappointed that the water wasn't the blue/green that I've seen in everyone else's summer shots this year. I think maybe it was due to the weather.

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Dawson showing me how big the jellyfish was that he saw (one of many).


Close up of a jelly - yuck!


Dawson going back into the water despite the jelly threat.

The only shot of me (or part of me, anyway).


I just like this profile shot of Haley.


Some pretty flowers we saw on the way back to the car.



My husband being silly.


A prettier shot of the water.


Good friends, good times.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

another birthday celebration








Monday we celebrated my son's tenth birthday. It was a pretty busy day. He invited his closest friends to go to the river with him and his dad. His sister and I stayed home to clean the house for the party. We had a great time. Hamburgers and hot dogs were grilled. Grandparents joined us for the dinner and the ice-cream cake. Dawson doesn't care for regular cake, so we always get him an ice-cream cake from Dairy Queen.

The night before his birthday, Dawson decided that he wanted to look through his baby book with me. Of course I was more than happy to oblige. What sweet memories we have of our children. I'm so glad that I took the time to record those things that years strip away from my mind's remembrance. Dawson was especially pleased that I had written my wishes for him. His daddy never got around to do that, and Dawson gave him a hard time about it - in a joking sort of way. When Dawson read the birthday card that accompanied his gift, he noted that his dad actually signed it along with a little note. He then said to his dad, "At least you signed my birthday card - NOT LIKE MY BABY BOOK!" It was funny. I was pleased to notice that Dawson took the time this year to actually read ALL of the cards he received. Most of the time, the kids just tear them open and toss them to the side so they can rip into the actual gifts. I guess it's a sign of maturity that he did that. Now I just need to get him to sit down and write thank you notes to send to everyone. Now that will be an accomplishment!

Thanks again for sharing another happy time in my life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

not living up

Well, my husband shared with me yesterday that I've let him down concerning our garden this year. I feel bad about that, but my heart hasn't been in it this time around. You see, I was late in planting, then it rained and rained and flooded the garden. Then the rain ceased for a long time and well, it just hasn't been as great as last year, so I haven't been consistently tending to things. You can barely see one of the plants because the grass is so tall! I think next year I won't be using horse manure to fertilize it. The manure has way too much grass seed in it and it's too much work. Another thing I won't be using is those wire cage thingies that are supposed to support the tomato plants. They are just not sturdy enough and now my plants are bent over once again, making it difficult to actually find the tomatoes. The only thing that has really produced well this year are the bell pepper plants, and boy are they producing! My cucumber plant didn't make it at all, so I'm missing out on the fresh cucumbers this year. The corn has also been a disappointment, but in a way I'm glad because like I said, my heart isn't into it and if I'm glad I don't have to do a lot of freezing.

I really do hate that I've disappointed my husband, though. I semi-jokingly said to him, "I can't be all things to all people!", but he didn't buy it. *sigh* I will have to invest more time and money into the next garden. I intend to put down weed control of some sort, like plastic or a bunch of mulch or SOMETHING. I will still stay away from poisons though, because that would be defeating the purpose of growing our own food, if you ask me. I'll also try to start another compost pile and keep it going this time.

OK, so enough rambling about my short-comings for today. I apologize for not having anything more interesting or entertaining to share with you. My life has been rather ordinary lately, which can be a very good thing because that means there are no crises happening!

If you haven't watched the video I shared in the previous post, go ahead - you'll never forget it. ;0)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Breakfast Song

I can't believe I've never heard this one before. A friend of mine sent me the link. Another thing I can't believe is that I listened to it in it's entirety! After you watch it, tell me if you think this song is meant for celebration or if it's the blues - I had a hard time figuring that one out. Oh, and you're welcome. ;0)


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day 2009


Today is the day we celebrate the independence of our country. It's always been a special day to me. It's another opportunity to spend time with family and friends and to remember the great people who have made America the free and awesome country that it is - all by the grace of God. This year it means even more to me as I think of my brother who is currently serving in the Army, stationed in Korea. It's sobering to think that he might soon be put into harm's way in order to continue the fight for America's freedom. Freedom comes with a cost and can never be assumed.

I know I don't have to remind those of you here live in America to stop and think of the cost of our freedom. I'm sure all of you have at some point today, or will before it's over, given thanks in your hearts to God Who has blessed us with a life here, and also say a prayer for those who continue to serve and fight for us all.

God bless America!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Miracle Worker

Group picture

Scene 1 Helen as a sick baby

Scene 2 Helen older and running wild


Anne Sullivan locked in her room by Helen.

Last Friday my family and I went with a group from our church to the birthplace of Helen Keller, Ivy Green. This time every year there is a reenactment called "The Miracle Worker". It's about the life of Helen Keller - at least up to the point where she finally understands the meaning of words and sign language. I've wanted to go see this play for a very long time, and I was so happy to go with my family and friends. It's not a very far drive from where we live, so I don't know why we haven't gone before. It takes place outside, and being in Alabama, it's rather hot and sticky this time of year. We were all a bit uncomfortable, but just thinking about having to wear the wardrobe that the actors did made me feel better. All of the actors did a wonderful job. They were very believable in their characterizations. There were two ladies who interpreted the play in American Sign Language, and they kept my attention for the majority of the program.


Interpreters
Haley and Anna with the main characters.

The place was packed full of people. Next to me sat a woman whose daughter was born deaf. The mother had the measles when she was pregnant with her. Her daughter, who is 43 years old, sat next to her. I started to sign with her and enjoyed being able to use what I know of the language. It's not often enough that I get that chance. Of course I fumbled here and there because it's been so long, but I think I muddled through pretty well. It's always nice to see the smiles on the faces of a Deaf person when someone hearing knows their language. It makes me want to pursue interpreting all the more. One day, Lord willing, I'll get to that point.

By the time the story of Helen reached the climax of her finally grasping the meaning of words, several of us were in tears. Helen's story is simply amazing. She not overcame the obstacles in her life, she triumphed over them! She achieved more than most hearing and seeing people ever dream to accomplish. An absolutely amazing woman. And of course the tenacity and loyalty of Anne Sullivan is not to be overlooked. They were quite the pair indeed!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"I'm burning!"

Even though I posted an entry only yesterday, I felt the need to share this news report with you. It's about the young lady who was shot and killed at one of the Iranian protests. I'm sure you've heard about it already, but what has torn at my heart today was reading her last words: "I'm burning! I'm burning!" The lady was shot, yet she says, "I'm burning!" Could it be that she was already in her eternal state? This thought frightens me to the core. Every day I go on living without fully realizing the eternal consequences we will ALL face. I guess because my eternity is secure I don't live my life here with urgency. Shame on me! This woman's friends and family are heralding her as an angel, yet is she burning in hell now? To man it doesn't seem just for "good people" to be sent to hell, yet the Word of God makes it clear that "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and ALL men are without excuse because God has made Himself known to us through His creation (Romans 1:19-21). But God doesn't leave us without hope. Christ, God's only Son, died for us! "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die." (Romans 5:5-7) This young woman might have died for something that was good, but Christ died for all of the sinful people of this world! For her and the very people that put a bullet into her body. Christ died for me and for you. It's all well and good for me to blog about this, but when am I going to LIVE like people are dying?!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the LORD talked with Moses

I read Exodus 33 in my Bible today - several times. I was intrigued by this passage. The LORD is having a conversation with Moses, telling him that he and the Israelites are to leave Sinai. God is extremely angry with the Israelites because they were impatient and made a graven image to worship in His place - a big NO, NO! Moses begs God not to destroy them, but then when he goes down from the mountain and sees for himself what the people have done, Moses becomes extremely angry! That part actually takes place in Exodus 32. In chapter 33, the verses that enchanted me the most were 9-11, "And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at teh tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." I started wondering how in the world Moses had grown so close to God that he had the privilege of talking to Him "face to face, as a man speaks to his friend". Now I know that they have been through a LOT together, what with facing Pharaoh, the plagues and leading millions of people out into the desert. But still - "face to face, as a man speaks to his friend"! That astounds me! Then later on in the chapter (vs. 18-23) Moses tells God that he wants to see His glory and God allows Moses to see His back as He passes him in the cleft of the rock! How awesome is that?!

Monday, June 15, 2009

semi-unaswered questions


For the past several weeks I have been reading the book of Acts. My initial reason for re-reading Acts was to remind me of how the Early Church started; but instead of focusing on that, I was drawn to the Holy Spirit. Now, my purpose for writing this post is not to confuse anyone, instead my intention is to hopefully talk things through for myself. And if anyone has any Holy Spirit inspired feed-back to share, I would be grateful.

You see, I've been perplexed about something. It started with some verses in chapter 8. I read about some people in Samaria who heard Phillip preaching the good news. They believed and were baptized. Later, Peter and John go to see them and realize that the people had not yet received the Holy Spirit; they had "simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 8:16). Then in verse 17, Peter and John placed their hands on them and THEN "they received the Holy Spirit". This is also mentioned in Acts 19 verse 12 in Ephesus. Paul asks some, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit WHEN you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." Well, I found these verses curious, because back in Acts 2 verse 38 I remembered reading "Then Peter said unto them, 'Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." So, why is it that the Samarians in chapter 8 believed and were baptized did NOT receive the Holy Spirit? After weeks of reading, re-reading, doing word searches, and praying - I STILL DON'T KNOW. The only thing that I think might be the answer is in Acts 19. In this chapter, Paul asks some Ephesian believers if they received the Holy Spirit WHEN they believed. The Ephesians answered the same way the Samarians did in chapter 8. They said that they "had not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit". Paul then asks them what baptism they received. They replied that it was John's. Paul explains to them that the baptism of John was one of repentance and that they needed to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. So, they were baptized in the name of Jesus. Paul places his hands on them and then they receive Holy Spirit. After which they spoke in tongues and prophesied. What I gathered from this is that some times people hear the Word and are convicted, but they still might not completely understand what they're feeling and doing. So maybe the people of Samaria and Ephesus in these verses were like that and just needed to hear the message from someone different before they completely understood and then could genuinely believe and be baptized. Again, I really don't know.

Another thing I thought while reading about the Holy Spirit in Acts is that I can understand how some denominations believe that the Holy Spirit can only be obtained through the laying on of hands, because in many cases in this book that's exactly what happened (Acts 8, Acts 9:17, Acts 19). However there are also verses that clearly state that the Holy Spirit is received through repentance/belief (Acts 2:38-39, Acts 10:47, Acts 11:15).

Well, there you have it. My semi-unanswered questions with regard to the Holy Spirit. I do not doubt my God at all just because my little brain can't comprehend every detail. I trust that He will reveal to me in His perfect timing what I need to know and understand. I'm thankful for His Word and for the Holy Spirit in my life.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

interview with satan

I couldn't sleep and I needed a laugh, so I went to tango.com and watched several videos. This isn't the funniest one I saw, and in a way it's NOT funny, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Georgia Fun


This past weekend we went to Georgia. The main attraction for us was to see my brother, Daniel, in his Army boot camp graduation. The ceremony itself was very short. It had to be moved indoors due to threat of rain, so they were not able to do all of the gun and tank demos that were originally planned. It was still a pretty nice ceremony, though. I was very impressed by the intensity of the soldiers' response to their drill sergeants and in their reciting the Army creed (I think it's called a "creed"). Anyway, we are very proud of Daniel and his accomplishments. Pray for him as he will be stationed in Korea.

We stayed at a campground about 30 minutes from the Fort Benning Army base. It was a pretty nice campground. It had a beautiful swimming pool that we had to ourselves for the most part! The facilities also included a small gym, a sauna, massages were available (for a price, I'm sure), a lounge with big screen cable tv and coffee bar. The price of the stay included cable tv and wireless internet. We really like to rough it when we camp, you know. ;0)

The day after the graduation, we went to Atlanta, about an hour drive away, to see the Georgia Aquarium. It was very enjoyable (once you got over the sticker shock!). The tunnel was the best part. Being underneath all of those sea creatures was very impressive. It's the closest I will EVER want to be to them. The manta ray was my favorite; even though they are kind of creepy, I still think they're beautiful to watch as they glide through the water. The kids favorite part was the touch pool where they could pet the sting rays (stingers removed) and small sharks. We enjoyed a 4-D 15 minute movie but had to pass on the Titanic film because it was extra $$$.


All in all it was a great few days. More happy memories were made.

We celebrated two birthdays while we away - my daughter's birthday was the 5th and my husband's was the 7th. Also on the 7th, my brother Daniel got married while he was home. We weren't able to make that ceremony because, well, we didn't know about it until Thursday and we had already made plans to stay in Georgia until Sunday! Oh well, I guess we can't always make it to every thing. This Friday, Lord willing, we will be hosting a family gathering for Daniel before he takes off to Korea. It will be sad to see him go, but like I've said, we are very proud of him.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

13 and counting


I'm writing this today because on Friday I'll be in Fort Benning, GA (Lord willing) watching my brother, Daniel, in his Army graduation ceremony. That same day my daughter will be having her 13th birthday! Where does the time go? I still remember being 50 lbs heavier while carrying her around inside, wobbling with every step I took and hoping that "today's the day", yet terrified at the same time that it would be. She was due (supposedly) on May 25th, but decided to hang around a few extra days, so I was really, really ready for her to arrive.

I won't bore you with gorey and boring details of my labor, but I will say it was an extremely long ordeal, but it was oh so worth it! Dwight and I elected NOT to have the doctor tell us if our baby was a boy or girl, but I KNEW with all my being that she was a girl. When the she was born and the doctor said, "It's a girl!" I was elated! Then when we heard her cry it was the most beautiful sound I'd ever heard. Her voice was raspy and deep for a girl. In fact, all our family and friends on the other side of the door thought we had a boy instead. When they found out she's a girl, my best friend said that she has an alto voice. ;0)

Well, here we are 13 years later. I can't say enough good things about my daughter. She is such a joy and a blessing. God has enriched our lives so much because of this precious girl, or I should say "lady" now. She is loving and kind, talented and intelligent, and she is even very responsible. She is trust worthy and respectful of others (with the exception of her brother from time to time, but that's only natural). She has yet to demonstrate your typical teenager's attitude and I pray that she never does.

Today she wants to get her ears pierced. We will be going to pick up her friend and then we'll head to the store. I was the same age when I got my ears pierced and so I told her years ago that 13 was a good age for something like that. She's also excited about this year's birthday because she will be old enough to get her own debit card. Since she is very responsible, we're going to allow her to do so. Her brother, on the other hand, probably not when he's 13! ;0) Isn't it funny how different our children can be sometimes?

Well, thanks for going down memory lane with me and sharing the joy of my precious daughter. I simply cannot thank my God enough for her - for both of my children. It was the birth of my children that brought me so much closer to my heavenly Father than I ever thought possible. I can see so much more clearly how much He loves me and why.

Thank you, Father, for the gift of my children. I pray that Dwight and I will raise them to be godly, holy followers of You and Your Son. Amen!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's all the fuss?

I've been dealing with anger lately. It manifested itself to the point where it has caused marital conflict. Things finally came to a head one day last week and I had no choice but to deal with this anger head-on. I went before the Lord in prayer. I read many passages of Scripture. I listened to Godly council via Beth Moore studies online ("Every Day Offenses" and "Offenses That Devastate"). I requested prayer from close, trusted friends. I attempted to fast (but I didn't make it past the afternoon due to a throbbing headache. I've never been able to fast, but that's a different topic). I finally came to a point where I was able to admit - I was harboring anger. I confessed it before the Lord and repented.

Why am I sharing this with you? I've always been an open book when it comes to my struggles and I don't intend on stopping now. I know that I learn and am encouraged when others are open with me and I believe it's biblical (my interpretation of Eph. 4:2, Col. 3:13 and Romans 12:7-9). So I wanted to share with you the Bible verses and some of the insight I received that helped me:

Proverbs 19:11 "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." The word "overlook" means "To move beyond it".

James 4:1-2 "What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask."

There was quote that Beth Moore used, "Bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die from it."
Matthew 6:9-15 "... forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" and "For if you forgive others their sins, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others... neither will your Father forgive you."

II Corinthians 10:3-5 talks about strongholds. A stronghold is when we become mentally hung up on something. Unforgiveness is a stronghold every time.

Matthew 6:13 is "sandwiched" between verses talking about forgiveness. Matthew 6:13 is the verse that says, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." So, if we do not forgive, then we can't expect to avoid temptation and deliverance.

"There is nothing that has greater capacity to lead us into temptation than unforgiveness."
"Every time we refuse to forgive, Satan will outwit us and he will have a scheme." Both quotes from Beth Moore, based on II Corinthians 2:10-11 and Hebrews 12:15.

It's never fun admitting sin - never. But it's much, much worse holding onto it. I'm so thankful that when I confess my sins, God is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins (I John 1:9).

Let me end with another quote from Beth Moore (sorry to those of you who don't like her) "We are never more Christ-like than when we forgive."

Luke 23:34 "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Field trip fun

The kids and I went on our last school field trip for the '08-'09 school year. We went to the Shiloh National Military Park to see where one of the many Civil War battles happened. It was a beautiful place, so open and green; but thinking of how many men died there in that one place was quite sobering. Civil War history (well, history in general) has always fascinated me. I try to comprehend what the real reason behind this war was. I still read conflicting reports and information regarding this. My post today, however, is not about why the Civil War occurred, but rather the outing that my kids and I had with other families from our home school cover.

The day was as beautiful as the scenery. Low 70's with a breeze and full sunshine. The tour entailed viewing a 25 minute video on the Battle of Shiloh. It was a video from 1957, so the quality was not very good. After the video we went to see a man dressed as a Confederate soldier give a rifle demonstration. He also explained the purpose of his uniform and gear.


Next we toured the cemetery where the Union soldiers were buried. The Confederate soldiers who died there were left in the mass graves that were dug for them - sad. After the cemetery walk we went to the book store and looked at overpriced souvenirs. Thankfully my kids didn't bug me to buy them anything (even they knew the stuff was overly priced). A picnic lunch was enjoyed after the brief shopping. The kids played freeze tag for several minutes after we consumed our lunches. Oh how I wish I had their level of energy!


Finally we loaded up in our vehicles and went on the driving tour of the rest of the battlefields. We saw monument after monument and canon after canon. The last site on the tour was the "Bloody Pond".



After leaving Shiloh, we decided to stop in Corinth, MS to go through an interactive museum. There we read even more information regarding the Civil War. It was here that I read a few things that I had never heard before, which causes me to question the whole "why did this happen"? This was a small museum, but packed full of information including several copies of letters and diary entries from the soldiers and their families. The kids viewed a couple more short videos and listened to some "eye witness" accounts portrayed by actors via recordings.

We finally started back home. This was almost a three hour drive one way, so our entire day was taken up with this one field trip. It was enjoyable and educational - just what a field trip is supposed to be!