Saturday, June 28, 2008

Future Firefighter

This is my husband in uniform while volunteering at a local fire department. I love this picture for several reasons, but I like it the most, because while fighting a brush fire, I just so happened to call him. So that's me he's talking to on the phone.

Please pray for my husband. He quit volunteering for the department, but has since decided to go back to school and get his EMT license. Hopefully this fall is when that'll start. He filled out an application for a fire department that is looking for help, and hopefully will hear something within the next week or two. He knew that eventually he would have to pass a very physical test, and thankfully had been working out in preparation for that test, but he found out that test has to be taken in two weeks, much sooner than he thought! He originally thought he would several months to prepare. He's known about it for one week, so all this week he's really stepped it up in the workouts he's been doing. I have to brag on him for a minute, because I am so proud of him, and how far he's come. He began eating healthy this week...I mean Raisin Bran cereal, sandwiches with nothing but some meat and veggies, yogurt, and all water. He has also started jogging/walking. When he started he was only walking. He's gotten up to jogging about a mile and half, maybe more, then walking the last mile. He's also been working out with weights, and doing cardio.

Anyway, here's where the prayer part comes in. Please pray that he will get onto this fire department he's applied to. He really needs to get his foot in the door, and while it's a hike to get to this department, it would not be forever. He has a lot of training under him, but now he needs experience. I know that if it is in God's will for him to be hired, then he will be hired. I just pray that it's in God's will. I guess if he doesn't get hired, God may have something better for him. I love this man and am so happy that he is FINALLY taking some steps in having a career that he's only dreamed about. It's a neat story about how he got started down this path, but I won't go into it right now. Just know that God is good, and faithful to us always. Please pray for him when you read my blog, hopefully that'll serve as a reminder for you.

I love you Todd.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sleeping While The Wind Blows

I did not write this, but received it from a dear God~fearing friend by email. I hope you all enjoy.


"Sleeping When The Winds Blows"

Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He
constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to
work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that
raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.
As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady
stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the
farmer. "Are you a good farmhand?" the farmer asked him.

"Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired
him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to
dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of
bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired
hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up!
A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!"

The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you,
I can sleep when the wind blows."

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the
spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his
amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered
with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the
coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured.
Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away. The farmer then
understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also
sleep while the wind blew.


MORAL: When you're prepared ~ spiritually, mentally, and physically ~
you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through
your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had
secured the farm against the storm. We, as believers in Christ, secure
ourselves against the storms of life by grounding ourselves in the Word
of God. We don't need to understand, we just need to hold His hand to
have peace in the midst of the storms.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy Tuesday!

My kids are still asleep! It is 9:30, and all 4 of them are snoozing away! I just had to share that...I'm about to go make sure they're all breathing! Yes, I still do that. Call me a paranoid mom. I know.

I am finishing up the Epic Bible study this week, and we met last night. It was so good!! John Eldredge paints such a beautiful picture of creation, one that I know I don't take enough time to reflect on. When I read in Genesis, I read the part about how it all began, but then I jump ahead to Genesis 3, when the fall took place. John Eldredge challenged us not to jump ahead, but just to sit in Genesis 1 for a while, and ponder ORIGINAL GLORY. I had never heard that term before, and had most certainly never thought of it, but that is when original glory began. It helps me to picture my most favorite spot in nature (the beach or the mountains), and know how much more beautiful than that the garden of Eden was.

My study was so amazing last night...I'm going to Central church for it. My neighbor goes there, and she's the one who invited me to do this. I think I have found my forever Bible study gals. I love it there...they are so loving and kind, something that is so different than anything I have ever participated in. I will be sad when it ends next week, but rest assured I will be joining them again in the fall when they start another one!

We'll be small as we finish next week, about half the women participating are leaving to go on MAPS trips this week and next. My small group leader, Brenda, is going to Kenya on Thursday. She's really cute...57 years old and goes on these trips all the time. I would love to be like that when I "grow up"! The place I want to go to the most is to Jerusalem. I cannot imagine walking where Jesus walked. I don't know if I'd be able to even concentrate on what the guide was saying, I'd be so beside myself.

Alright, well my kiddos all woke up, and breakfast is calling my name. Hope you all have a blessed day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Even When We're Worms!

Job 25:2~6
"God is powerful and dreadful. He enforces peace in the heavens. 3 Who is able to count his heavenly army? Doesn't his light shine on all the earth? 4 How can a mortal be innocent before God? Can anyone born of a woman be pure? 5 God is more glorious than the moon; he shines brighter than the stars. 6 In comparison, people are maggots; we mortals are mere worms.


I know that this is not the kind of scripture I would usually post on my blog. But how true is this?!?! God is so good, that He loves us even when we're as lowly as worms! He forgives us for the selfish, childish ways we act (when we get our feelings hurt and lash out), He forgives us for the not so nice things we say, He forgives us for our less than pure intentions.

Our pastor preached a really good sermon last night, about how we as Christians are called to RESTORE, not to rejoice over someone's falling away from Him, not to reveal when someone does something that is not pleasing to Him, not to reject someone because of their sin (for He calls us to LOVE EVERYONE), not to rehearse going over past sins, and not to repeat making the same old mistakes. God is the God of love, and because He first loved us, we should love others. Even those who strike against us.

This scripture spoke to me today...it's just another picture of how much God loves us, imperfect as we are. He will not treat us as we deserve (Job 42:8), but with as much love as He can muster. After all, He created us in His image.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jello, Sore Abs, and Kinky Hair

We had an amazing day today! We went to Mud Island in downtown Memphis, which come to find out, is completely free. The monorail over the Mississippi River cost $4 a person (well worth it unless you want to walk ALL the way over in the heat!), but the rest was free. This is a picture of the boys on the monorail. They were strangely curious about how it worked. I think they thought it would fall into the Mighty Mississippi. We went with my dad, aka Pappaw. We had a blast! This is them below!


The boys waded in the scaled down version of the river, and eventually got wet enough to cool off. They had their swimming trunks on, so at least they were comfy!



And Jonah had to be convinced to get wet. Imagine that.


Anyway, after lunch we were walking to a big area where they could go swimming, and Drew took a step onto what he thought was a solid surface. Nope, it wasn't. It was algae. The look on his face was priceless, and one I will never forget. We made some memories today! I haven't laughed that hard in quite a while! The pics are below. Notice Drew's (the one in the green shorts) sheepish expression!


And this is me, happily agreeing it is time to go home. It was getting hot, and my arms were getting sunburned. The whole day was overcast, until the last hour, and after paddle boating in the completely flat position of me laying down in the boat, my knees felt like jello, my abs were hurting, and my hair was getting kinkier by the minute. All recipes for disaster. Oh, and the paddle boat? The guy who was SUPPOSED to be helping was nowhere to be found...until AFTER I had to CRAWL OUT OF THE BOAT. My legs were shot. Did I mention that? Yup, we made some memories today, my friends.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Opinions Needed!

I just changed my template. Is it too hard to read? Please leave a comment, if it's too hard, I'll have to pick another template.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day! I sat most of the morning in the doctor's office, but praise God, all is well with my health! It was a routine checkup. My mom and I then had lunch, and I got to spend a gift card I'd gotten for my bday back in December!!! I got some great little shirts and a cute pair of capri pants! I NEVER shop for myself, just for my kids, so it was a treat.

Let me know what you think about the blog facelift. Love to all!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No Other Gods, by Kelly Minter

I am a huge fan of Bible study. I also love doing Beth Moore Bible studies. While looking at some options of her studies a while back, I came across her blog. I started reading it regularly and have been challenged in ways you would not even begin to imagine. If you would like to check her blog out, go here.

Anyway, she recommended that we all do a summer Bible study together, as an online group kind of thing. She recommended a study called, you guessed it: No Other Gods by Kelly Minter. You can go to Lifeway Christian bookstore's website to check it out.

I was not planning on doing this study, since I am in the middle of one right now, but Lifeway Christian bookstores offered a printout version of this study for those who weren't able to get it yet. I don't have it YET (notice I said yet Todd!), so I printed it out. I started reading it and was hooked. I could not put it down. So, now I'm doing two Bible studies this summer. This study is part of a "living room collection", so it's meant to be done with friends at someone's house, complete with food and discussion. I would love to do this with someone...any takers? Phyllis?

It is well worth the effort, I promise you, whether or not you're doing it with people or by yourself. It is challenging, and it stretches you beyond what you think you can handle. It brings lots of stuff into perspective, too, which is always fun. Let me know if you want to grow in God with me. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday


Hello! I hope everyone who reads this is having an amazing week!

I had a great devotion this morning...the subject was hospitality. The core word there is hospital which means to heal or to be cared for. I thought how much I would love for someone to be able to say that we are a hospitable family. Too many times I care about the condition of my house...whether it's straight, or clean, or if all the dust is mopped up off the floor. But what would I prefer? A perfect house, or one filled to overflowing with laughter, love, and friends? And don't forget all the little foot prints on the floor, and the doghair in the corners.

Of course I would prefer a house filled with people and laughter, love and friends! If you love to "entertain" (which is what I call inviting friends over), then I challenge you to invite someone over this week. If you don't like to entertain, I still challenge you to do this. Pray about it, and see who God places in your heart. Chances are it'll be someone in need of healing, or someone who needs to be loved on. Call them, invite them over, and feed them. It doesn't have to be expensive, either. You can do appetizers or desserts only, whatever you decide is good enough for that person. See how much it blesses you this week, and watch and see what God does through you.

1 Peter 4:8~10 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Great Day

I hope you all got to celebrate Father's Day in some special way today. We had an amazing day. It started by all the boys giving Todd his cards and gifts while he was still in bed this morning, after of course, them marching in one by one saying, "Happy Father's Day!" It was great. He got some great cards signed by some great kids, a new John Deere hat (can I throw the old one away? Please???), and some great new work gloves. It was a wonderful day for him.

Last night we celebrated with my dad at his house. We had a cookout (Grandma Sandy almost burned the house down, but all the food was salvaged, praise God!), and the boys (all the grandkids) fished and pigged out. Daddy got some awesome new earphones to drown out the tractor noise, a book by Charles Swindoll called Elijah, and some movie passes. And I cried like a baby before and during the prayer. Grandma Sandy started it out by thanking God that we were all together again...one more time. It was very special.

Today after church we had lunch with the in~loves. We ate at Abners (thank you, Mimi and Papa for the coupons! We love free kids' food!), which the boys LOVED. It's probably their favorite place. We had a great time eating and talking. Papa got some cards and a way cool GPS system. I'm pretty sure he loves it...they've already used it several times!

Tonight, in lieu of church, we celebrated with my awesome step dad, Bill. I almost felt bad...he cooked on Father's day. Notice I said almost. He cooked an amazing meal, once again. Him and Nana put the pool up yesterday, so the boys got to swim, which they were thrilled about. We had dinner, and he got a little desk calendar with mood lifting jokes and funnies, a book, some cedar planks to grill salmon on, a Home Depot gift card, and 2 brand new Weeping Maple trees for the front yard. Wow, he racked up. It makes up for him having to cook!

We've had a wonderful weekend...this week will be the same, I am confident. Love to all, and Happy Father's Day to whoever is reading this.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another Post for Dads

I did not write this, I actually found it on the KLove website. You can go to on air talent, click on Jon and Sherry, then click on stories, if you want to read some more like it. The author of this is unknown.

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,

The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad

Author unknown

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dads

What Is A Dad?

A dad is the man who teaches his children to play ball, or who teaches his daughter how to catch.

A dad is the first one they run to when they're scared of something.

A dad is the kind of man who can cry with his wife during a touching movie.

A dad is also macho enough to protect his wife from fearing the worst about his future health.

A dad is the kind of man who will let his wife cry on his shoulder when she's eight months pregnant, can't find anything to wear, and can't get off the floor.

A dad is his kid's hero, and his wife's best friend.

A dad is someone who can do THE BEST cannonball ever.

A dad is the provider for his family.

A dad is the first one to push his wife out the door when he realizes she's "had it".

A dad is the kind of man who will sit and watch Hannah Montana with his wife, even after the kids have gone to bed.

A dad is the kind of man who would do anything to protect his family.

A dad is the kind of man who will do whatever he can to make a better future for his family.

A dad is the kind of man who only goes to see kid movies at the theatre.

A dad knows how to kiss a boo boo and make sure nothing is broken or protruding that shouldn't be.

A dad is the kind of man who stays up until the wee hours of the morning, just to win the bid on that lot of books his wife is dying to have from ebay.

A dad knows how to cook. And clean. And do the little things that matter to his wife...all without ever being asked.

A dad is someone who has more fun than his kids when they go to kids' camp every summer.

A dad is someone who is up on all the latest music, AND can jam to the Go Fish Guys his kids love so much.

A dad will watch White Christmas with his corny wife, even though he has absolutely no desire to do so. And he won't complain.

A dad is someone who not only takes care of his wife and his kids, but his parents, as well. (Not that they're old, just that they need help from time to time!)

A dad is not ashamed to wear the tie his kid made him during Donuts with Dad. And have the picture as proof that yes, he did wear a tie once!

A dad is good natured when his wife comes up with all sorts of nicknames for him...including one that Travis made up that he's not fond of. And passes them on to their friends.

A dad is man enough to be the treasurer of the PTA. (Imagine the man grunt that Tim Allen does on Home Improvement.)

A dad is the kind of man who take his wife to see her favorite band in concert...even though that $100 could have been spent on so many other things.

A dad is the kind of man who will let his wife decorate for Christmas even before Thanksgiving...even though that is his pet peeve.

A dad is someone his wife is proud of.

A dad is the man who walks in the door after a long day's work, and causes butterflies in his wife's stomach. Even after all these years (and kids!) later.

A dad is the coolest guy around, according to the way the kids' friends talk about him.

Todd, Thank you for being all of these things. I cannot wait to grow old with you. I love you with all of my heart. Happy Father's Day.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Epic

This is the title of the new Bible study I am participating in. I am VERY excited about this! Epic is written by John Eldredge, and if you can't do a group study, it's a great one to do on your own. The book and the guide are $3 each, so it's also very affordable. And, no, I am not being paid to endorse it. I wish.

Epic is about our life story. It opens up to where we think time began...Gen. 1:1, right? In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Wrong!

That was when creation began. God existed before creation began! In John 1:1, Scripture reads: In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

The point of the whole Bible story is figuring out where we come in. In which scene do we enter? He shows us that through the beginning of time, through God, our story has begun. In our small group tonight, we talked about our testimonies. That's a word I don't care for, but all it is is the story of how we got to where we are right now. We all have a story, and it's been planned since the beginning of time. God has invited us into this story of our life, and how we live, and what we do should make us ponder one question: am I living in God's will? Is all that I'm doing glorifying God, the Author and Creator of life?

I have only done Beth Moore Bible studies, so this is a refreshing twist. John Eldredge is great at painting word pictures, it's obvious that he knows a lot about, or majored in literature. He has a way of using a great epic movie, or book, and twisting it around to make us see that our lives are similar. There's always a beginning, an end, a plot, lots of characters and plots, and somewhere along the way, evil. What we do with our lives determines our future, and if we use our life to please God, we'll have the happily ever after most of us desire.

Even if you don't do the study, I strongly encourage you to read the book. But it makes GREAT topics for small group studies, as well, and one that men AND women would enjoy. Alright, I'll stop. Good night!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

In Full Swing

I haven't written in a little bit, so I thought I'd let you know what we've been up to. Not much. Well, just the usual summer stuff, anyway. We're not sleeping in so late anymore, Jonah has decided he likes to wake the whole house up at around 7:30. If he's up, I guess he doesn't want to be alone. The boys had friends over last week, enough so, that I decided we'd take it easy for a week. Friday, we went to the Pink Palace with my dad. We dug for buried treasure, and took a nap in the planetarium movie theatre. Me and Noah, that is. Something about the darkness and the reclining seats. I was out like a light. Saturday found the boys building sailboats with Daddy at Home Depot, ending the day in the water at Nana's and Big Daddy's. Today we visited a new church, more on that later, went to a Redbird's game, then ended the day at our neighbor's house at a cookout and swimming party. Whew, sounds like a lot, doesn't it?

We're doing more of the same tomorrow. It's too hot to do anything without water, and our neighbors graciously offered us the use of their pool while they work. The boys were thrilled, needless to say, and I am too! I will admit, I am using this as a bargaining tool to make them get along. They fought like cats and dogs all last week. Mostly it was just Graham and Jonah. Go figure. The two bullheaded ones fighting over everything. Pray for me, if you think of it this week. Pray that I don't kick them out to the curb. Not really, but they did work on their attitudes this weekend, so hopefully they'll be nice. Like I said, I now have something to bargain with. My friends kids fought all week, too, so it has to be the weather. At least we'll have something physical to do for a few days, that usually helps.

Sorry if I bored you, we've been pretty much taking it easy so far. I am taking full advantage of not having to follow a schedule this summer. Oh, one exciting thing for this week: Drew's finally having his birthday sleepover Tuesday night, so along with my children, we'll get an additional 4. He's excited about getting to torture Graham, whatever that means. I don't know if it's with pillows or what, but we'll find out....more on that, too, later. Have a happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Food For Thought

In honor of my friend, Bonita, I am in search of something new and yummy to fix for dinner for my family. I am stuck in a rut over what I make, and haven't even cooked that often in the last few weeks, other than hamburgers and hot dogs. My husband and kids would appreciate any way you can help out. And thank you, Bonita, for the inspiration. Let me know how your menu turns out with the fam.

It is hot outside. I think today it's 100% humidity here in the good 'ol South, and I cannot even walk outside without my hair frizzing up. It's useless to even try and tame it. It just grows bigger and bigger. The kids are being good sports about not doing much outside, but we're about to start getting cranky. I think on Friday, when dear Daddy comes over, we may go to the Pink Palace. They have a good IMAX movie right now, so I think they'll enjoy it.

Along with the food ideas, if you have any ideas to add that are either cheap or free, and fun for the kids, pass that along as well. I am open to any and all suggestions!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Quiet Time

2 Corinthians 4:6~18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 12: 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

My grandmother is close to going home to her Heavenly Father. I don't know why God left her here on this earth for such a long time, she's 96, but I do know that He has a plan (Jer. 29:11) for her. I take comfort in the verse above, 2 Cor. 4:16: though outwardly she is wasting away, I am trusting Him that He is renewing her inwardly day by day. My prayer is that when she does go home to meet her Father, that it will be quick and restful. I pray that she just goes to sleep one night, and wakes up in Heaven. I pray that this time will come quickly, so that she doesn't suffer anymore. I am ready for my mom to have comfort that has a new body in Heaven, and that she is dancing at the sight of God. I am ready for her to be with her husband again. My grandmother is a beautiful, sweet spirited woman who is more than ready to take up residence in her new home. When you remember us, please pray for my family...for comfort when she does pass away, and for Him to give my mom the strength she will need.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Favorite Things

1. Quiet...imagine that with all my boys running around! I'm surrounded by quiet right now.
2. The smell of fresh laundry
3. The sight of freshly folded laundry
4. The little feet I hear running nonstop
5. The sound of the boys talking at night in bed
6. The quiet time Todd and I share after they're in bed...either talking, listening to music, or watching a dvr'd show
7. The feel of my husband's arms around me
8. Todd's hands
9. Todd's hands with grease on them, knowing he'd once again fixed our car
10. Family...any and all
11. Friends you can laugh with, get mad at, get over it with, and cry with
12. Laughing until I cry
13. The sound of the boys' laughter...you know, belly laughing
14. My dad having a theological discussion with me
15. My mom calling to check on me when her baby is sick
16. Knowing my mom is being well loved and taken care of by her wonderful husband
17. Knowing my dad is being well loved and taken care of by his wonderful wife
18. Hearing my kids' excitement over grandparents coming to visit
19. Telling the kids he was my daddy before he was their pappaw
20. My mother in love calling to sing us Happy Birthday on our birthdays
21. My father in love being a good sport when his birthday dinner got canceled due to our leak, and turning around and buying us dinner
22. My in~loves for raising the man of my dreams, the best friend I could ever have, and the most wonderful, brilliant father any kid could ever ask for. Our hero.
23. My husband when he makes me coffee! You know, because in the Bible it says the man should make coffee. Somewhere in HEBREWS. lol.
24. Catching my kids being nice to one another at random moments
25. Hearing Graham explain to Drew about girls and what they like
26. Seeing Jonah and Noah hold hands because they're best friends
27. Reading the Bible first thing in the morning, while everyone is still fast asleep
28. Laying hands on my sleeping husband and my sleeping children, begging God to continue being gracious to us...especially with our health
29. Being closer to my husband after his surgery because he couldn't leave the house or me
30. Praising God next to my husband, knowing that he is praising that same faithful God
31. Knowing that my sisters love me...even when I'm dumb
32. Giving back to someone who is constantly giving to me
33. Being valued
34. Hearing my husband walk in the back door after a long day
35. The sight of a freshly mowed yard (thank you, honey, you always do a beautiful job!)
36. The smell of rain
37. The lush green~ness of everything after it rained
38. Coffee!!!!!!!
39. The smell of coffee
40. The satisfaction of having a clean house...for 20 minutes, then spotting all the hand prints that are back on the mirror! Like in the boys' bathroom...
41. Swimming!
42. Being tan enough to not worry about makeup...I know, I know, it's bad for me. But I use sunscreen!
43. Having a husband everyone loves
44. The smell of a clean baby
45. Hearing the kids scream, "DADDY!!!!"
46. Hearing the kids argue who loves us most
47. Having Graham hug me, saying, "You're the bestest mom ever." And truly meaning it.
48. Having a bunch of kids under my feet
49. Having the boys' friends over
50. Having the boys' friends saying they don't want to leave


This list is endless, but I'll stop. My Bible study is starting tonight and I have to go get dressed.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals  (and friends) for this post. This time last week, I was waking up in ...