Sunday, February 26, 2012

Three Hearts: Video Review

My family and I have just watched the movie Three Hearts presented by Samaritan's Purse.  Our hearts have definitely been touched!

Cissie Lynch, the granddaughter of Billy Graham, has just begun an internship with the Children's Heart Project.  This organization brings children from other countries to America for life saving heart surgeries they would never receive in their homelands. Cissie has helped convince a doctor in San Antonio to take a third patient instead of the two he has already agreed to.

That is when the story really begins.  We meet Otga, Uugna, and Toggie, three Mongolian children with life threatening heart defects.  Cissie's schedule conflicts with her husband's so she makes the decision not to go meet the children in Mongolia.  In her place however, 10 year old Garrett Ferguson and his family go.  Garrett has an amazing story that got him involved in the Children's Heart Project. 

The movie follows the three children and their mothers as they leave Mongolia for San Antonio. Viewers are allowed a peek into their surgeries and share in the emotional journey with the family and host families. We are able to witness the life changing power of Jesus.

This is an amazing, touching video. If you have not heard of Samaritan's Purse or what projects they are involved in, I highly recommend you check them out.

I am thankful to have received this video from Book Sneeze for the purpose of an honest review. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guess What

I have had something to say almost 500 times. 

Yes, that's right. I am approaching my 500th post.

So, I would like to know is there anything you would like for me to do to celebrate it?  As special topic discussed? A special giveaway?  Just curious as to what you would like to have here for that special post.

I do have a couple of special posts coming up from some friends at church.  They are working hard on those and I can't wait to share!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review: God Gave Us Love

Lisa Tawn Bergren's book God Gave Us Love is a small book about a big truth. 

Little Cub is having trouble understanding love.  The otters scare the fish away, she is annoyed by her siblings, and she thinks the love between mamas and papas is gross. It is through love, that Little Cub's Grampa teaches her about the many kinds of love and most importantly, about God's love.  Grampa even tells her, "Anytime we show love, we're sharing a bit of his love." 

Although this book is recommended for children up to 3 years old, it is a great book to share with older kids too.  It is a simple book of God's love that all ages should read. 

I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Press for the purpose of an honest review.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Frazzled Female Week 6: Near to the Heart of God

When I began this week's study (the final one), I had a very difficult time getting into it.  Quite a bit of it was about  depression, something I have not experienced.  I have had my share of ups and downs, a bit of the baby blue's, but never experienced true depression.  At first I couldn't understand how this tied into the last week of study (kind of depressing don't you think, to end talking about depression?)! 

I am by no means a medical expert and won't even attempt to give medical advice on the matter.  However, I will say that from what I have found 1 out of every 4 women will suffer from depression.  That would be the equivelent to 5 of the ladies I am doing this study with. 

Depression is not a weakness in character or spirituality.  It is not a cause for embarrassment.  It seems that depression is telling you that you have had enough. That emotionally, physcially, mentally you are empty.  You need to be refueled.

In 1Kings, Elijah had had enough.  He had been working for the Lord. He had been successful. When he was on his mountaintop after having the prophets of Baal done away with, Jezebel's threat became the breaking point.  He ran. He hid. He asked God to just let him die.

That was not the answer for Elijah.  It still is NOT the answer for us. 

Regardless of what pit we are in, regardless of how weak we feel. There is hope. There is an answer. It is found in Jesus!

Isaiah 40:29 says, He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases in strength. Verse 31 adds, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

In Isaiah 41:10, our Father says, Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Just because we are Christians, that doesn't mean our lives are going to be perfect, free from pain and suffering.  God never told us our journey would be easy, only that He would be there with us.

I know there are times that He seems distant. Our prayers aren't being answered. Things seem dim.  But there is Light!  God may not be ready to reveal Himself and His plan.  He may be readying us for something else.  During our Upward devotional today, we were reminded that God's ways are not our ways. When things seem to be taking forever or we seem to be in that pit, God is giving us time to think, time to pray, time to draw closer to Him.  We need to listen for that still small voice instead of seeking Him in the wind and earthquakes. 

The Lord is there. We just have to trust Him. We have to draw near to Him.

There is a scene in the movie Forest Gump where Forest is on his shrimp boat, and he sees Lt. Dan on the dock.  He waves and immediately dives in the water to greet his friend.  Forest was so eager to be near to Lt. Dan, that he plunged into the water and swam to him instead of taking the time to slow the boat down, guide it gently to the dock, and secure it.  We when watch that, we laugh and think how silly.

But get this....

Tonight, as I read John 21 as part of the Weekend Mini Retreat for my Frazzled Female study, I froze (and smiled) on verse 7: Therefore, that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.

Peter's Friend, his Lord, Jesus was there on the shore. He couldn't wait for the boat to be rowed in and secure. He immediately jumped and and swam to reunite with Jesus. 

To me, that is a beautiful picture.

A picture we could learn from.

We should eagerly greet Jesus each day.  We should make him a priority the number 1 priority in our lives. Like Mary and Peter, we should stop what we are doing and find ourselves sitting at his feet.When we do that, we will find that He delivers us from those pits, those caves we find ourselves in.  He keeps His promises to guide us and protect us, giving us strength and hope.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pie Anyone?

On Monday, we celebrated with students who performed well on their latest assessments.  They had the opportunity to "purchase" tickets to throw a pie at our principal.  Well, students began making special requests of faculty they wanted to throw a pie at.

 Pictured above is our Guidance Counselor, Principal, Assistant Principal, Me, and our PE teacher.
We had lots of fun. Our PE teacher was the big winner of the event as you can tell.  Colin was so excited to get to throw a pie at his mama!

Remember who you are

I am by far the most imperfect person in the world.

I lose my temper.

I say stupid stuff.

I am forgetful.

I mess up.

A lot.

However, ask my children and my students and you will find out that if I am wrong, I say I am wrong.  If I mess up, I admit it and apologize. I do what I can to "right my wrongs."

As a parent and teacher, I have expectations...for me and for my students.  Ask them what I expect out of them, and they can tell you.

So why am I discussing my imperfections and expectations?

Because tonight at parent teacher conferences, I was verbally attacked.  A parent, whom I have NEVER met, walks in to my room staring me down.  She eyeballs me until she finally decides to take a seat.  She then proceeds to tell me very vaguely things that her daughter has gone home and told her.  I feel my face growing red with embarrassment and anger. I am appalled at the things her child has accused me of.  I sit there trembling, not believing what I am hearing.  Because I would like more specific details, I ask if her daughter could come in to hear our conversation, and she refuses to let me speak to her.  As she continues, I interrupt her and let her know that I am blown away by the accusations.  I wanted to cry. I proceeded to tell my side of the story, what my classroom expectations are, what a typical day is like in my room.  I invited this mom to feel free to visit my class anytime, and to visit the classes of my other teammates, so she could see what goes on in the room.  She informed me of how busy she was, but she would certainly try.  I asked her to contact me immediately the next time her chid came home upset over something. 

But the whole time, there was a still small voice....Remember who your are. Remember who you are. Remember who you are.

As the parent spoke, I knew the truth. I know the kind of teacher I am. I know how my classroom works. God told me there remember who you are, and I did.

I was hurt. I still am. A little.

I asked God this morning to make it not matter. I want it to not matter, but evidently, I can't let it go yet. Why not? Because I have a question...What are we teaching our children?

Are we teaching them it is ok to tell lies on someone and your parents will defend you to the end?

Are we teaching them that we will (and can) take care of every little problem they encounter?

Are we teaching them that others are at fault and our children don't have to be responsible for their behavior and consequences?

What are we teaching our children?

I love my kids to death. The truth of the matter is they are not perfect. They mess up. They lose homework and get in trouble for not following the rules like everyone else's kid. Although I want everything to be all blue skies and sunshine for them, it just isn't real life. Regardless of how I try to protect them, life is full of hurts, pains, and obstacles. My job as an imperfect mother to imperfect children is to equip them with the skills and character they need to be successful, self sufficient individuals.

Furthermore, I will not wait 7 months into the school year to meet my child's teacher whom my child claims is picking on him. If there is a problem, a behavior in question that needs to be taken care of immediately, I will get the story from both sides before trying to intimidate another adult. I will not email my child's teacher to get him out of the consequences of his behavior or lack of responsibility.

What are we teaching our children?

Thank you for letting me vent. Thank you for allowing me to throw my hurt out there.

At the end of the day, I know who I am.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

A knock at the door (actually, the doorbell rang)

This morning, my doorbell rang.  Still in my pj's, I was greeted by Roscoe of the Bowling Green Hot Rods.  In hand were flowers and tickets to the Hot Rods season opener, a gift from my boys.  After Roscoe left, I remembered my camera.  Stink!

The Frazzled Female Week 5: I Missed It!

No, that wasn't actually the title for the week.  I actually missed our group!  Is that even legal for the leader??? 

Carson, bless his heart, is sick.  So yesterday about 10am, I called to make an appointment to see his pediatrician.  When the lady answered the phone, I totally quit listening. All that I could think was, "That's strange. They never answer. It is always automated."  I told her, "I need to make an appointment for this afternoon for my son."

All was quiet. Then I heard, "Your sooonnn?"

"Yeeesss," I replied, wondering why she was stretching out her words.


Then it hit me. "Oh, I have called the wrong doctor, haven't I?"

With laughter, "Yes, ma'am you have!"

Oh, girl, you didn't! Oh, girl, I did! I called my OB/GYN to make an appointment for my 5 year old son!  Yes, I did!

After the laughter died down, I finally got Carson an appointment to see his doctor at 4:30 yesterday.  We actually got in at 5:30. Finally got home at 7:00.  What a long afternoon. 

Thankfully, Hilarie and Edie took charge of bible study.  Thank you, my BFF and my big sister I never had! I can't wait to hear how it went.

Back to week 5....It was actually titled I'm Frazzled

Yes. I am. Are you?

The Defrazzler for the week was to make time to do something for yourself.  Oh, that was so hard for me.  I have this obsession with feeling guilty when I think of myself.  However, I decided since it was strict instructions, I could do it. 

I decided to take a LONG, HOT BATH BY CANDLELIGHT. Oh, I immediately thought of how relaxing that would be.  I was so excited, and a little guilt stricken, to tell Jeff what I HAD to do.




Not that he didn't try to help me. Jeff even asked me if he could run the water for me.  But it wasn't a good time.  The kids were still hog wild and I knew I couldn't relax with "MAMA!" coming from the otherside of the door.  So, it never happened. 

I actually tried getting in a little needed physical activity.  I got 5 whole minutes on the treadmill.  Carter threw a fit.  Wanted on there with me.  So, I got off. Guess it was bad timing.

I know I need ME TIME. It is just so hard to find it.

The rest of the week's lesson focused on me (or you if you are doing the study) as an individual. 

In 1 Corinthians 6:19, we are reminded that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. 

Stop and think about that.



Are you getting enough sleep?  Eating and drinking well? Are you getting your daily exercise?  Are you stressed due to your schedule or unconfessed sin or burdens you refuse to let go of? 

So many things affect our relationship with Christ.  All of those things I just asked can affect your closeness to him.  Now I'm not the healthiest person in the world, but I know when I neglect my body, I am not connecting with God like I am supposed to. 

One thing that we need to be aware of as well is our unconfessed sin.  God will not bless us if we don't confess our sins to him. We can't grow spiritually without doing that. 

The last thing that really struck me was the last lesson: MY IDENTITY.  We had to think about who we are.  Here is how people know/recognize me:

Colin, Carson, and Carter's mom.  Do you know how many times I have heard, "Mom, that is (fill in the name of one of my kids) mama.

Jeff's wife


Barb and Jerry's daughter

Doug's sister
No one has ever said, "Yes, I know you. You are a child of God."  In reality, that should be the first thing people say when they hear our name. That should be what defines us. Not our careers, our hobbies, or our families. 

Each of us was knit together in our mother's womb. Each of us are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Each of us, if we have surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ, are a part of the family of God.  That alone is what should stand out about us.

As Christians, we must hold our heads a little higher, but not so high as to look down on others. As Christians, we must speak a little softer, encouraging others and leading them to Christ.  As Christians, we must remember how we got here, not by our works, but through the blood of Jesus on the cross.  As Christians, we must remember who we are.... We are sons and daughters of The Father, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. 

That is our identity.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Thank you so much for your kind words and congratulations.  We are so very excited about Jeff's move into the Chaplaincy.  It has definitely been a long time coming.

Here's what I know (understand) so far.

He is at drill this weekend with his unit in Nashville.  Jeff was told this would be his last drill with that unit. He is not to report until he receives orders to go to his new unit (since he is in the reserves, we stay put as a family). We are hoping it is just across town from his current unit.  That's what was previously "in the works."

Jeff must retake his oath of office.  This will be done once he receives his orders. We won't have a big fancy ceremony like the first time. 

He is now deployable.  If his new unit gets deployed, know! We won't go there until we have to!

Jeff has already completed Chaplain School so we don't have to go through all that again.   He will continue his AT (annual training) and all those other meetings/conferences/trainings he must go to.  Our fingers are crossed for Orlando this summer!

So basically, we just wait to see where the Army places him. We wait to see where God leads. We wait to serve. 

I am very proud of my husband. He is not the same man I married.  God called his name and he answered. 

Thank you for your prayers and support these past 3-4 years.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

It is Official

Today, Jeff got the call.

He is now



Army Chaplain!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Book Review: How We Did It

If you are like me, you often seek ways to lose weight and become a healthier, better you.  And if you are like me, you find yourself gaining those lost pounds back and then some. We wonder how some people lose the weight and keep it off.

In her book How We Did It: Weight Loss Choices That Will Work for You!, Nancy B. Kennedy shows how people have lost weight and kept it off.  We've heard of Weight Watchers, The Atkins and South Beach diets, and even faith based programs such as First Place 4 Health, but maybe we've never really understood them and couldn't see them working for us.  Well, Kennedy takes the guess work out of searching for the right weight loss regimine.  In each chapter, she explores how people used similar methods to lose weight and maintain the loss. Real people talk about what got them to the point of obesity, what ah-ha moments got them to open their eyes to their problem, and how they found success. 

I really learned alot about the different methods of weight loss and what would work for me.  I think this would be a great book for anyone looking for just the right weight loss method. I highly recommend it to those who are willing to make a change for a better life. 

I received a free copy of this book from Leafwood Publishers for the purpose of review.  I was not required to write a positive review.

The Frazzled Female Week 4: People are getting on my nerves!

Last night we had a wonderful meeting.  I have to say, I LOVE ALL OF MY FRAZZLED FEMALES!  We laughed, we shared, we cried.  How wonderful is that!

One thing I learned this past week is "GET OUT OF THE WAY."  Take mySELF out of the equation.  Focus on God and my people problems will work themselves out (He will be the one taking care of them, not me).

Hilarie put is so well last night when we were talking:  It isn't like people wake up in the morning and say, "I'm going to get on (insert your name here)'s nerves today," or "I'm going to hurt (insert your name again)'s feelings today."

What happens is we let them do that to us. 

One of Cyndi Wood's "problem solvers" was to MAKE IT NOT MATTER.  And you know what? That is a really good idea, to pray and ask God to make things that shouldn't matter to us not matter.

This Bible study has been so amazing to me for me.  I feel like I am growing. I hope it shows. 

by the way....the crash the Saturday was my elephant table. Either he tried escaping or one of the boys knocked him over.  What do you think?

Saturday, February 04, 2012

It has been Monday all day long

But wait!  Isn't it Saturday????

We had a 9 am basketball game in Portland this morning. Evidently playing yo-yo is more important because that's what the basketball players were doing instead of hustling to get ready. 

Right before we walked out the door....drip drip....rain was dripping in our bedroom.  Nice, real nice! 

So, then I get a text from Colin's coach at 8:57 wondering if he is coming.  We walked in at 8:58.  Did I mention we had a 9:00 game?

When we finally get home to get ready for Carson's game and get Colin ready for his DAR/JAC reception what do we find???? The living room ceiling leaked as well and Colin's shelf in his closet fell. 

So that was the noise that scared me to death last night!

For now, we are praying the rain is over. The insurance company set us up with a guy from Bowling Green and he will be here Monday.  I've cleaned almost everything out of Colin's closet, and we need a new shelf.

Oh, no. I just heard a crash!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Book Review: I am Second

Like me, you have probably seen the billboards and the bumper stickers that read I am Second.   At first, I didn't know what it all meant until I looked it up online.  I was amazed at the stories I came across.

Needless to say, I was very excited to read and review the book I am Second by Doug Bender and Dave Sterrett.  This book is filled with the stories of many people who lived their lives for themselves.  Then at some point, they met Jesus and began living for Him, making them second. 

There are the touching stories of mighty athletes and greedy business people.Those who tore away from religion. There are stories of those broken by drugs, alcohol, and abuse.  The stories of those ravaged by the pain of divorce.  All stories of people who lived a life focused on self.  But each story unique in how these broken sinners came to know, love, and surrender first place to Jesus Christ.

Each chapter includes a QR code to scan to watch the video of that story and stories like it.  The websites are also available. 

This is an amazing book that is sure to touch the heart of those who are already second and those that need to be.

I am thankful to have received this book free from Thomas Nelson for the purpose of an honest review.