Monday, November 30, 2009

Boys

I love this guy.
And this one....

Oh, and their dad isn't too shabby either!






Can't wait to meet the new little guy in March!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How is Your Prayer Life

A few days ago, I had the chance to sit down with my cousin and talk. Something we never get to do. I was humbled that she felt she could talk to me about a burden she was carrying. She was struggling with her prayer life and just felt like maybe she was going about it all wrong.

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.

Pray
before getting out of bed
in the shower
while brushing your teeth
driving to work
on your break
at lunch
while waiting on your doctor
when working out
driving home
while watching your kids at practice
while preparing dinner
when going to bed

Imagine if
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

Everyday is Thanksgiving

If you haven't already, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. We should be thankful each and everyday, not just on Thanksgiving Day.

Before playing the video, mute the playlist at the bottom of the page.






Friday, November 20, 2009

One of these days

I'm going to write a book. You see, my life is worth living, so I have plenty I could say. Like:

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

Questions

Lots of people have been asking questions about how Jeff joining the military will affect our family.

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

It is Official!

Last night was Jeffrey's oath of office ceremony. What a wonderful evening we were able to spend with our family and friends. We were blessed to have so many share their talents at our celebration. My aunt Connie made our wonderfully delicious cake (some couldn't decide which was better, the service or the cake). Our friend Leslie sang for us and the Wilshire family video taped the service and took pictures. Bro. Copass did a wonderful job speaking. The ladies from Jeffrey's Sunday school class hosted the reception. What a blessing that was as it was one less thing we had to worry about on an already busy day! God has certainly placed a loving group of people in our lives. I think the ceremony really helped people understand exactly what a chaplain does. Colin had created a powerpoint in honor of his daddy and it was shown at the end of the ceremony. He was such a big boy! All three of my guys were dressed alike and looked handsome. Carson slept through most of the service.

Jeffrey has posted more on his blog about the ceremony. He has also posted some pictures from the evening. Click here to check them out.

After the ceremony/reception, we went out to eat with some family and friends. After we sat down, a man came up to Jeffrey, shook his hand, and thanked him for his service. WOW. I was humbled. That one moment, made the entire night all the more real. It was the icing on the cake that told us, yes, this is what you are supposed to do, to go out there and make a difference in the lives of others by serving God and our country.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Big Day Ahead

Saturday is the big day.  I can't believe it is here.  In a way,  it seems like it has taken forever to get to the point, and then again, it seems like it has gotten here so quickly.

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.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Chaplain Update

The whole Chaplain "thing" (not sure what else to call it) started out slow and discouraging. Just seemed like it would never happen. Now, things are moving quite quickly. In fact, on November 14, we will be having Jeffrey's swearing in ceremony at church where he will take his Oath of Office. He has started his own blog to share his process and adventures with other Chaplain candidates, our family, and our friends.



Please continue to pray for us as we continue this journey.