Sunday, December 27, 2009
I hope everyone has been enjoying their Christmas. Colin got up yesterday morning and said, "Merry Christmas, Mama. Oh, Christmas day is over so I probably shouldn't say that." I told him that was ok. We should celebrate Christmas everyday! He liked that.
What a sweet season Christmas is! Growing up, I knew that Christmas celebrated the birth of Jesus. However, as a Christian, it is even more special. God gave us His son as a gift. What an amazing gift! Having opened my heart and received that gift personally, makes Christmas even more special. I savor the sights, smells, and sounds of Christmas. I'm in no rush to take my trees down and put my decorations away. I guess if it wasn't considered to be so redneck, I'd keep them up all year! Yes, I did change my blog background, but I am hoping to see some snow before we head back to school on January 4. A girl can dream can't she?!?
Merry Christmas to you, everyday!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Guest of Honor: Jesus Christ
Date: December 25th
Time: When you're ready, ( please don't be late, though; or
you'll miss out on all the fun!!! )
Place: In your Heart...He'll meet you there ( you'll hear Him
Attire: Come as you are...grubbies are okay. He'll be washing
our clothes anyway. He said something about new
white robes and crowns for everyone who stays till the
Tickets: Admission is free. He's already paid for everyone..( He
says you would not have been able to afford it...it cost
Him everything he had! )
Refreshments: New wine, bread and a far-out drink He calls
living water, followed by a supper that promises to be
out of this world!!!
Gift Suggestions: Your Heart. He's one of those people who
already has everything else. He's very generous in
return though; just wait until you see what He has for
Entertainment: Joy, Peace, Truth, Light, Life, Love, Real
Happiness, Communion with God, Forgiveness,
Miracles, Healing, Power, Eternity in Paradise, and
( All rated "G" so bring your family and friends )
R.S.V.P. Very important! He must know ahead so he can
reserve a spot for you at the table. Also He's keeping
a list of His friends for future reference. He calls it the
( "Lambs Book Of Life" )
Party Being given By His Kids ( That's Us )
Hope To See You There!!!
got this in my morning email devotion and wanted to pass it on.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Santa showed up!
And this cute little elf!
Just before the last guest left, my boys crashed on the loveseat and couch. I spent the whole day Sunday on the loveseat, feeling horrible. Evidently, I caught a little something toward the end of last week when Carson was getting over his pneumonia. YUCK! Hopefully, I'll start feeling better soon.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
This is the tree in our den.
Now, if we can only keep the cat from tearing them down!
Someone we know and love is going through something, and we tell them what they should do.
Doing this though causes conflict. We become frustrated and that person becomes frustrated. Why doesn't he/she just do what we say?
Well, because we aren't in their shoes.
It is so easy to stand there and tell people what they should do, think, or how they should act. What isn't easy is to just stop and listen. A lot of times that is all we need to do (openly) to help someone. When I say openly, that's what they should see us do. We should be caring and compassionate with whatever they are going through. The best way to do that is to listen.
What then? How is listening and not telling them what to do going to help?
We should pray. We should pray for God's guidance for both us and that person. We should pray for His will to be done in that situation. We should pray for that person's salvation. Then hand it all over to God and let him work.
It breaks my heart to see my loved ones hurting. However, I don't want to make them hurt worse by my words or actions. All I can do is show my loved ones I love them. I may not agree with what they say and do, but I love them.
After all, I am not in their shoes.
One of the most difficult things that I have had to do in my prayer life is to ask God for His will to be done even if it is to take that person from me.
I remember when my grandfather was sick with cancer again. Selfishly, I wanted Pa here. I wanted to be able to see him. I wanted that Popeye kiss and those whiskers rubbed against my hand. Even more though, I didn't want him to suffer. He was so weak and feeble, nothing but skin and bones. He was my Pa Tootsie and I was his baby girl. Oh, how it broke my heart to see him in pain. When he died, I was mourned, but yet found comfort in the fact that he knew Jesus. That gave me peace. I still miss him. I still go to the cemetery. But I know that I will see him once again.
My only two living grandparents are my grandmothers. They are both not well. Granny Uhls has always been independent (as long as I can remember). She worked hard. She cared for her gardens and family. After Pa Uhls died, she moved to Florida. I was happy for her because this was one of her most favorite places. Yes, I missed her, but the weather and climate were good for her health. Since moving back, she has had nothing but health problems. When she has her "spells," I know it kills her daughters to sit by and watch. She won't let them call for help. She will just sit there until the pain is gone. To me, I ask, "What kind of life is that, waiting for the "big one" to just take you?" But then again, I am not in her shoes. I don't know what it is like to be older and not capable of doing all the things I've always done. I don't know what it is like to live without the love of my life.
My other grandmother has always seemed weak. Well, in my eyes anyway. I barely remember her being able to do things well on her own. I remember her falling, breaking her hip and since then always having trouble getting around. For years, her and Pa Tootsie sat there in that smoky living room together, her saying, "Well, Tootsie," and him fussing back, "Damn it Reece." They were always together. She took care of him and he took care of her. Then in 2006, God called for him. Granny has been alone in that house ever since. Now, to us, it seems as she has given up. She stays sick, she won't eat. Last week, she was put in a nursing home. How it breaks my heart that she is ready for God to call for her. But then again, I am not in her shoes. I don't know what it is like to have my children all grown up and with lives of their own. I don't know what it is like to have spent so many years of my life alone with my true love and then have him go Home to then be left alone.
I don't know what it is like......
I'm not in their shoes.
Selfishly, I do want my grandmothers here when Carter arrives in March. Selfishly, I want them to see my boys grow up and become strong Christian men.
Selfishly....I think I have distanced myself from my grandmothers since they have been sick. Do I risk taking my boys to see their great grandmother, risking the chance of her falling out in the floor with a heart attack? Do I risk taking them to visit with their other great grandmother to then have to give breathing treatments and Benadryl to stop the allergies and coughing brought on by the cigarette smoke and their weak respiratory systems?
Selfishly, we do things.
Selfishly, we say things.
Selfishly, we hurt others.
Selfishly, we pretend to put ourselves in their shoes to try to make them do what we want....for us. But what is best for them? God only knows. That is why we have to pray for His will to be done, not ours, but His. That is why we have to pray for discernment in these situations. We have to pray for the ability to bite our tongues and just love those people regardless of what our will is.
We are not in their shoes.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
he cannot see the kingdom of God.
As a mom, I can attest to the miracle of having a child. The whole process from conception to birth is a miracle. The transformation from an infant to a child is also miraculous. Each milestone my boys reach is a miracle. With this baby growing inside of me, I am blessed to be part of yet another miracle.
However, being born again is perhaps the greatest miracle. When we celebrate our physical birthdays, shouldn't we celebrate our spiritual birthdays as well, the day we were born again?
My spiritual birthday was June 18, 2004.
My husband's spiritual birthday was June 20, 2004.
Colin's spiritual birthday was October 28, 2008.
Being born again is a gift from our Father through Jesus Christ. Because of sin, we are unfit for the kingdom of God. We are separated from our Father in Heaven. However, because Jesus humbled himself and came to earth to become the sacrifice for our sin, we are able to have our sin washed away to be bound for life to our Father.
There were times in my life I never felt good enough for anyone or anything. There were things in my life I was ashamed of and felt those things made me unworthy. But the more I learned about God and the love He has for me (and you), the more I saw and knew that I was good enough for someone.....HIM. He had a plan for me. I had to realize too that Satan had a plan for me. I had allowed him to control my life and it was difficult to turn away. It was so easy to believe I would be made fun of, ridiculed, and still be a fool. But on that Friday morning in June of 2004, I made a decision. I decided to let God have control of my life. Yes, it was MY decision. No one could make it for me. At the time, when I decided to make a visit instead of a phone call, I was unaware of what was ahead of me. God knew, and He gave me the wisdom to turn my car around and go to my pastor's office. I can't explain how it all happened. I don't know why that day was any different than any other. I just know that a battle was going on that day, a battle for my soul. God was victorious.
After I opened my heart to Jesus that morning, my life was different. I felt different. I saw things differently. I thought, spoke, and acted differently. Of course it didn't happen all at once. It was a process. Just like when we grow as children, that is a process. We have to grow and develop spiritually just like we do physically. We can't compare ourselves to others spiritually just like we can't compare ourselves to others physically. We are unique creatures. We are not like anyone else. God made us special that way.
What better way to show we love Him than to accept the gift of His son Jesus Christ? We have to humble ourselves which isn't always easy. For me, I feel like I'm a pretty independent person. I hate to ask for help or let people volunteer to help me. It is difficult to say sometimes, "I've messed up. Please help me." We feel like a failure if we do. However, in God's eyes, I think we are a failure if we don't. He wants us to tell Him we've made a mess of things and allow Him to work through us. That is nothing to be embarrassed about.
As you celebrate this Christmas, I pray that you may also be able to celebrate the fact that you have a spiritual birthday. If you have not yet asked Jesus to be your Savior, I pray that you would humble yourself and do that. It will be the greatest decision of your life.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Friday was a beautifully cold day. Colin was ANGRY that it didn't snow more than what it did the night before.
Friday and Saturday nights, we went to Fannie Farkle's and The Village (2 of our most favorite places). The boys loved the Christmas trees and the fountain in The Village. The little scavengers were patting down their daddy for more coins to throw in the fountain.
Although we missed our families, we feel blessed to have had the chance to go on this vacation (I'm sure the last before our new little guy arrives).
Monday, November 30, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I think to a point, we all struggle with our prayer life. One of my struggles? I feel at times I don't pray enough. The Bible says to pray without ceasing. We can all find excuses on why we don't pray as often as we should. We are busy with jobs, housework, children, church, and other extra activities. But honestly, while we are busy with all of these things, we can still pray.
before getting out of bed
in the shower
while brushing your teeth
driving to work
on your break
while waiting on your doctor
when working out
while watching your kids at practice
while preparing dinner
when going to bed
we all put our cell phones away while driving
we spent less time online
we spent less time watching TV
turned the radio off while doing chores
and spent that time in prayer. I think the outcome would be amazing!
Prayers don't have to be extravagant. My cousin and I talked about humbling ourselves in prayer and what that really means. Do we have to always kneel? Do we always have to hold our hands a certain way? Do we have to use big words? I don't think so.
I think that to humble ourselves in prayer means
to acknowledge who God is
to thank Him for who He is and what He has done
to ask for his guidance by admitting we can't face life alone
to admit our sin and shortcomings
to ask that His will be done, not ours
to be honest with Him
My prayers are not always the same. Some are more formal than others. It depends on the main purpose of the prayer. My prayer for someone who is going through a difficult time is going to be different than the blessing for my meal. The prayer of thanksgiving for a good doctor's appointment is different than the prayer after I'm not proud of myself for my behavior or when I'm at my wits end and don't have the words to express what I'm feeling. Sometimes I talk to God has my father. Sometimes I talk to Him as my friend.
I think sometimes people do get frustrated with praying because they feel like their prayers are not being answered. This is when we have to step back and think (honestly) about what we are praying for. We are to pray for what is in God's will, not ours. If we continuously ask Him for things that are not part of His plan, we will be disappointed. God has 3 answers to our prayers: Yes, No, and Later. If we stop and think about the things we have prayed for and not gotten, we may see that those prayers were answered differently for our benefit.
In his book, Hope for Each Day, Billy Graham writes "Prayer isn't just asking God for something we want. Prayer should also include confession of sin and praise to God for who He is and what He has done for us. But prayer should also have an additional element, and that is thanksgiving. It is easy to be thankful when God blesses us with something good. But the Bible says that we should "give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for us in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessolonians 5:18). Thankfulness drives away a sour or prideful spirit."
It would be good for us all to remember this and to reflect upon the purpose of our prayers.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
The logic of a three year old says, that "Whatever," is a bad word, but "Whatever you say," is ok regardless of the sarcasm added to either.
The logic of a seven year old believes it is better to let a sore, loose tooth dangle back and forth for days than to pull it and deal with 30 seconds of bleeding regardless of any deal that could be made with parents, grandparents, and the Tooth Fairy.
The logic of a fourth grader is that, "I'll use my teacher's example for my answer so I will get a good grade." Low and behold said teacher refuses to accept the work. Said student then changes one word. Therefore, we now know that "the giraffe has a special adaptation called a death roll. When in danger, the giraffe bites its predator and rolls on the ground with it until the predator dies. The giraffe can then eat the other animal." Same student on previous test draws and labels the life cycle of a baby. Although incorrect (again), the student did know that it is better to get pregnant as an adult. Teacher still doesn't quite know what the arrow coming from between the pregnant person's legs was. She was too afraid to ask.
When talking about marriage, a 9 year old student says, "I can't get married. I'm not 15 yet! And then I can't get married until I have kids." Um, yea....
I know that these things are great!
How do I know? I've washed one in the washing machine, of course! The seven year old owner had no idea where it was. Yet, Mom heard it clanging against the dryer as she threw wet clothes inside. With water dripping from the flash drive, Dad placed it in the refrigerator to draw the moisture out. Mom was amazed at that trick (Dad is so cool)! After a few hours, the flash drive was as good as new. The seven year old owner was VERY lucky!!!!
We have a visitor in our home. You may remember hearing about him in the Bible. Lazarus is leaning against the wall in my utility room. You see, he has had difficulty being raised from the dead lately. Hopefully, he will be fixed soon. His getting a bit creepy watching me come in the back door in the afternoons.
Parents DON'T know how to drive. I don't know how we ever made it anywhere before our children were born. These back seat drivers are great. They know exactly how to get to school, church, and the Chinese Restaurant. Parents should ask directions before leaving the drive way. Seems children are quite amazed, however, when parents go an alternate route and still get to the intended destination!
Former neighbor almost calls police on possible burglar. She puts down the phone when she realizes it is just the dog peeking over the 6 foot fence. Another neighbor asks, "Did you hear that old woman outside about midnight banging a pan? She is crazy!" Embarrassed dog owner replies, "That was our dog throwing his water bowl against the patio door and on the patio." Dog owner must get out of bed one night to toss a metal chair over the fence because the dog is tossing it around.
You see, I have so much I could say. I'll stop here for now, but I could always go on!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The most common question is, “Do you have to move?” No, we don’t have to move. He is supposed to be placed with a unit near us.
The second question is always about boot camp. His initial training is not the regular boot camp that most soldiers go through. He will definitely be doing physical activity to help stay in shape, but a lot of his training will be for his specific calling, being an Army Chaplain.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask one of us. You can leave me a comment here or leave one on Jeff’s blog. We want everyone to understand what this journey will consist of.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The boys are excited. They have their own Army uniforms they will be wearing. They will look very professional during the ceremony!
I still can't get over the work God has done in our lives. I look at where we were 18 years ago when we started dating. Then 10 years ago when we got married, 7 years ago when Colin was born, and 3 years ago when Carson was born. This was never our plan. It was HIS plan. All we did was trust and obey.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Please continue to pray for us as we continue this journey.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
YES! We are having another boy! We are excited, thrilled, overjoyed, and mostly BLESSED! The ultrasound today showed a very active, healthy baby boy.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made your works are wonderful. All the days ordained for me were written inyour book before one of them came to be. ( Psalms 139:13,14 & 16 )
As you celebrate this news with us, please pray for sweet Stellan. Although this is a family I've never met, I do pray for them often. As a mom, I can't imagine going through what this family goes through. Please pray for his healing and strength for his family.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." ( Jeremiah 1:5 *NIV )
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:1-10
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply." Genesis 1:27-28
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.