Thursday, July 31, 2008

I'm Better Now

Well, that last post showed how frayed my nerves were. I calmed down after all that praying and writing, and hugged the boys and told them how much I loved them. We have since had another talk about behavior, and after talking to my neighbor the 4 kid guru, all has been much more pleasant. It helped that we got out and did something different yesterday, as well. We went to the church to do the choir music, and I was sending them on errands left and right. There's nothing like feeling needed and responsible to make their day.

They also talked to a really cool guy at the church, Ben Fanning. They hung out in his office and did stuff with him...he even invited Graham and Drew to get onto facebook and chat with him. Not sure about that, BUT, he helped them as well. I used to love doing stuff like that...I would go to work with my dad and I would talk to one of the men that worked there. He would put up with me for hours on end.

Last night they spent the night with our friends...all 4 of them and never again, but more about THAT later...and today we're going to swim with Sunny, Holly and Andy. Tomorrow night, Todd is taking them all to Uncle Bob's farm for some work and fun. Work for Todd, fun for the boys. Well, actually, it's fun for them all....they get to ride 4 wheelers and tractors. I mean, it doesn't get any better. They don't know about this little trip yet, I may use it as bribery. =)

This weekend is the Beth Moore simulcast!!! I'm so excited...disappointed that not more people are coming, we've only sold around 150 tickets, but excited about what God is going to do. I cannot wait...I had a prayer meeting last night before church, and today I've been praying for all the women attending. I cannot wait!!!! I'm honored that my sister will be there with me...this kind of stuff always creates a bond.

Well, I'm going to get off this thing...I'm going to pick up my book and enjoy these last few moments of solitude before all the kids come storming in. Oh, one more thing...guess what we did on our night without the kids???? We went to church and shopped for school supplies. How pathetic are we?? The church thing can't be helped...choir practices on Wed. nights, and as for school supplies...well, I was buying for 8, so I desperately needed and wanted my man's help. Eight, you're asking?? Well, we let each of the boys get school supplies for one needy child. Our church is taking them downtown on Saturday to distribute. Every year, our church purchases around 300 backpacks, we take them home and fill them, then the church distributes them during sidewalk Sunday school. If this weekend had not already been planned, we would have been there helping, but plans had already been made. Anyway, the supplies are all sorted and waiting for their labels. I'm going to see if Todd will let me use their new label maker to label them all. Otherwise, I'd be labeling all day. You should have seen the mounds of stuff we had on our kitchen table...I should have taken a picture. Alright...goodbye for now.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kids

Do you ever have those days when the kids just drive you bonkers??? I love my kids, those of you who read this KNOW I love them so much, but they make me crazy sometimes. Just today, for instance, I had taken the boys swimming with my sister Tricia. When we were done, she left, and I headed upstairs to take a shower. Not a problem, right, because my kids are older and responsible. HA! I finished my shower and was in a nightshirt toweling off my hair when I heard Andy the dog barking ferociously. I peeked out my window and saw a big delivery truck with no name on it. Next thing I know, GRAHAM OPENS THE FRONT DOOR AND PROCEEDS TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH A COMPLETE AND TOTAL STRANGER.

It was Disabled Veterans, or someone like that, here to pick up a delivery I had scheduled. Which I forgot about. I was so completely flabbergasted, I didn't even know what to do. It's like I was watching someone else react to someone's horrible kids. =) I had Graham tell the man, "My mom will be with you in a minute", and made him shut the door. I rushed downstairs and barely opened the door (after all, I was in a nightshirt with a towel wrapped turban style around my head like Poonjab from Annie), and told him I was sorry, but I didn't have anything. Then I went off on my 9 year old, back talking, thinks he knows it all, is mean to his brothers, son.

I was yelling, I admit. I completely went ballistic on that child. I lectured on the importance of NOT ANSWERING THE DOOR, and especially not telling them, "My mom is in the bathroom getting dressed". I probably went way overboard and even told him that had that man been a bad man, he could have snatched Graham out the front door, stuck him in the back of that non-descriptive truck, and taken him somewhere and killed him. I was trying to make a point. And, that really could happen. Especially in today's world. I had him in tears, and Drew was just dumbstruck and stood there taking it all in. I think I made my point.

I just went back into my bathroom, shut and locked the door (after shutting and locking the front door and telling Graham unless I told him to answer the door, that he was not allowed to do so again), turned up the radio and the hairdryer and just started praying. I literally did not know what else to do. Trust me when I say that this is not just about him answering the door today, it's a culmination of things that have been building up for a while. The boys (especially Graham because of his age) have become very disrespectful, and have been doing things they normally would not have done. They've been mean to each other, they've aggravated each other, Graham has taken up the lovely habit of talking rudely to me, they argue nonstop...the list goes on. They are not bad kids...at least they won't be when I'm finished with them...it's just like they've forgotten their manners. Mom and Phyllis, when you're finished laughing, you can finish reading this post. =)

I know these are things all kids do...I did them myself, and so did my niece and nephews. And I also know they could be a lot worse...I'm just venting. And admitting that maybe, after all, that I am the teeniest bit excited about school starting so I CAN HAVE SOME PEACE AND QUIET!!!!! Yes, I am human, and for anyone that has ever called me superMom...I'm not. I lose my temper, I freak out at my kids when I shouldn't, I lock them out of my room with the radio blaring, I will admit I have even been known to hide in the bathroom with the door locked so they would not come in and interrupt a telephone conversation. This is a rare moment, people...I am admitting all my flaws for God and everyone to see. This is when this blog takes the place of my journal...maybe I'll go back to just journaling for privacy...or maybe, if you know of another mom that is having a rough day with her kids, or if you are one, you can either encourage her or be encouraged yourself.

One last thing...I've been told it only gets worse, so those of you who know me and love me...pray for me. You think I'm joking, but seriously, I'm not.

Proverbs 4:1 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. 2 I give you sound leaning, so do not forsake my teaching. 3 When I was a boy in my father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, 4 he taught me and said, "Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 Wisdom is supreme, therefore get wisdom, though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 9 She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor." 10 Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. 11 I will guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.

So, in verse 10...I didn't know that King Solomon had a nine year old son named Graham. Hmmm......lol.......

Monday, July 28, 2008

126th Post

I cannot believe I have written that much. I must have a lot to say. Ha ha, not really. The bad thing about this blog is that it has taken the place of journaling. I still write in my journal, just not as much and not so much at length like I used to. I have actually turned my journal into a prayer journal. I write prayers out to God...there is something so cleansing about that. And I've always been better at writing thoughts instead of speaking them. I also still use my journal to write out Scripture. There is something very powerful about reading aloud God breathed Scripture as prayer.

For those of you here (in Memphis or around) who are reading this and did not get my email about the Beth Moore simulcast, WE STILL HAVE TICKETS!!!!!! I have asked, begged, and pleaded for you to come...and I will do so one more time. It's this weekend, people! I assure you, even if she ever comes to Memphis for a live event, it will cost much much more than $25! When I went to the Deeper Still conference in Nashville back in September, even though I was there live, I didn't actually look at her...I looked at the enormous jumbotron. I couldn't even SEE her without my glasses. Your life will be changed as a result of this weekend...and it's so awesome to join your girlfriends and worship together!! God is working through us ladies, I pray that you will make an effort to come and join us and see what God does! If you have questions or need more info, go here.

We had church yesterday. I don't mean we went to church, I mean we HAD church. God is moving in our church, He's making some changes, and He's pulling us all together as His body, and it is awesome! We had some anointed praise and worship...this is the third week in a row that I have cried like a baby. That's when I know that God is meeting us...you just can't help the tears that come. This was after an incredible week of family vacation Bible school, too. We had around 150 kids each night, and about 15 kids came to know the Lord as a result! Praise His name!!! It was so cool, too, that last night Pastor Ben had kids come up that wanted to pray for the first time to ask Jesus into their hearts, and we had some kids that went through Evangelism Explosion that came up and prayed with them! It was so neat! Of course not all the kids could pray for someone alone, there were 4 or 5 that came up and about 20 kids who went down to the front to pray, but they all gathered around and prayed as a group for these kids. Incredible.

I am on fire today...I hope God will use me through this...please join me in prayer for this coming weekend at my church. I am praying that lives will be changed, and that we who go to that church will reach out to visitors in love and acceptance, no matter the background, no matter the sin. We are all sinners saved by God's amazing grace, all sin is the same in His eyes. I hope you all have a blessed Monday...God love you all.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lazy Day

I'm having a lazy day; it's almost 4 and I'm still in the pajamas I slept in. I don't feel all that great, so at least I have that for an excuse. My husband gave me his cold...and I told him not to kiss me with his cooties! Kidding...I don't know if it's a cold of sinus, but either way, I feel like my head is in a tunnel. So, we're being lazy.

Sunny, David, Andy and Holly came over last night....we just sat and talked because it'd been so long since we were around each other. Andy and Holly ended up spending the night with us. After they went home, the boys and I watched Dr. Doolittle 3, then we all snuggled together with Todd since he's working tonight. Fun stuff.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one crying over my babies starting school...I mentioned it last night, and Sunny started crying. She got me started, too, and David and Todd just shook their heads, started laughing and left us boo-hooing at my dining room table. We managed to stop, dried our eyes, and decided we're going to start a week day morning support group for each other. Coffee together, at least once a week, probably at her house since her kids ride the bus and mine are dropped off.

I'm trying to find the brighter side, people, bear with me. And if I call you crying, promise not to laugh at me!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008



I love this song! It's called Empty Me, by Chris Sligh (American Idol guy). Here are the lyrics:

I've had just enough
of the spotlight when it burns bright
to see how it gets in the blood
I've tasted my share
of the sweet life and the wild ride
and found a little is not quite enough
I know how I can stray
and how fast my heart can change

Empty me of the selfishness inside
every vain ambition and the poison of my pride
and any foolish thing my heart holds onto
Lord, empty me of me so I can be filled with You

I've seen just enough
of the quick buys of the best lies
to know how prodigals can be drawn away
I know how I can stray
and how fast my heart could change

Cause everything is a lesser thing
compared to You, compared to You
cause everything is a lesser thing
compared to You, so I surrender all

It's Almost Time

I took Jonah and Noah for their kindergarten checkups yesterday. Everything is a go for them to go to school now. Everything that is, but me. I have friends praying for me right now, that I'll be able to let them go without making a complete and utter fool of myself walking out of the building that first day of school. It just seems like yesterday when they were born. I remember holding them both in my arms at the same time, not believing that I had been blessed with 2 little bundles of joy! And I remember thinking how long away kindergarten was.

I know that they are ready...even if Jonah may have a bit of a separation issue. We've talked about it a lot, because I want him to understand that he will be leaving me for several hours everyday. He promised he wouldn't cry, but I don't have much faith in that promise. The good thing is that I did request their teachers, and I know he already likes his teacher. I just pray that he will get the one I requested!

Anyway, yesterday I took them for their checkups. It's good to know that they can both hear good, see well, and are in the normal range for weight and height. Jonah is in the 10th percentile for weight and height, Noah's in the fiftieth percentile. The doc. asked if there had always been that big a difference in them. It was interesting during their vision test. The nurse had me cover one eye so they could read with the other one. On one line, she told Noah to say what she was pointing to, and he just sat there. She said, "Noah, can you see that?" He answered, quite sarcastically, "Yeah, I can see it, I just don't know what it is." It was a picture of a teeny tiny flag. I didn't know what it was either. The nurse was kind of put out with him...she wasn't my favorite. Jonah had it easier because he watched Noah go first.

The doctor told them each (at different times) to draw a picture of either themselves or a family member. Noah did it right away without being told a second time, but when Jonah went to do it, he drew a stick person with just a head and no facial features. He gave the pen back to Dr. Fesmire, and when the doc. looked at it, he laughed and said, "Jonah, that's not good enough. Draw some more." Jonah said, "I'm tired of drawing." When I gave him THE LOOK he decided maybe he wasn't so tired after all. That child's mouth is going to be the death of him. We're having some issues on how he talks to adults, and how NOT to talk back. It's obviously not working yet. I did make him apologize, though, and then he straightened up.

Anyway, it's funny, the twin thing, I mean. Their drawings were almost identical. Freaky, huh? Even their eyesight...that was identical. I think she said that their vision was 20/30, which is normal, I guess. They each had to have 4 shots. My poor babies. I don't understand why that can't be more spaced out so they don't have to have so many at once, but my other 2 did, as well. Jonah flipped out when he learned how many they were getting. He said, "She said I'm getting HOW MANY?????" Then the crying started. For BOTH of them. Once one cries, the other one still cries. Noah even cried while Jonah was getting his shots. Sympathy pains, I guess. Poor little Jonah worked himself up so much, he threw up before we left.

Well, all is better today, even though Jonah is walking around like an old man saying, "when are these shots going to stop hurting??" Motrin is the wonder drug.

Psalm 103

Psalm 103
1 Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. 2 Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me, 3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He redeems from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. 5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's! 6 The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly. 7 He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel. 8 The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. 13 The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. 14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. 15 Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. 16 The wind blows, and we are gone- as though we had never been here. 17 But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children's children 18 of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments! 19 The LORD has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything. 20 Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands. 21 Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will! 22 Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom. Let all that I am praise the LORD.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Quiet Time

Psalm 128
1 How joyful are those who fear the LORD-all who follow His ways! 2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. 4 That is the LORD'S blessing for those who fear him. 5 May the LORD continually bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live. 6 May you live to enjoy your grandchildren. May Israel have peace!

Psalm 130
7 O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows. 8 He himself will redeem Israel from every kind of sin.

Psalm 132
7 Let us go to the sanctuary of the LORD; let us worship at the footstool of His throne.

Psalm 133
1 How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! 2 For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that poured over Aaron's head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. 3 Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even live everlasting.

Psalm 139
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Psalm 150
1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! 2 Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! 3 Praise him with a blast of the ram's horn; praise him with the lyre and the harp! 4 Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! 5 Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. 6 Let everything that breathes sing praises to the LORD! Praise the LORD!


All this scripture is taken from the New Living Translation. I am choosing to praise God today, no matter the circumstance.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mamma Mia!

My mom, sister Trish and I went out last night. We had a really fun 'Girls Night Out'. It was also very expensive and will be a while before we do that much again. It's ridiculous how much movies cost now...$9 at our local cinema. As my mom said, you can buy the movie for that price! Which is a great idea...and which is also why Todd and I started getting movies from Netflix. We love us some netflix movies! It's become our new thing.


The night before last, we took the boys to see WallE. Call me crazy, but I was disappointed. I mean, it was cute because Disney and Pixar made it, but seriously. Bob went with us, and him and Todd said the whole dialogue consisted of "Walle". "Eva". And they were right.
Anyway, back to my fun girls night out. We ate dinner at Longhorn, oh my GRACIOUS, I have NEVER had a steak that good. I haven't had red meat in a while (last time was when Big Daddy fixed his boys steak), so I devoured it, needless to say. After dinner we walked around Pier 1...they have cute stuff. Made me want new dishes and new wicker furniture, which is why I don't go in there, but it was fun.


After that we went and saw the cutest movie...Mamma Mia! It was really good, it was a musical, which I absolutely love! The main people were Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep. It got on my sister's nerves (she's not into musicals, I think), but Mom and I loved it. It was filmed in Greece, so now I want to go there. See a pattern here? I want things I see! Seriously, I would love to go to Greece. I mean, who wouldn't want to travel to a place with turquoise water???
For now, I'll have to live vicariously.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

For You, Amy

Hey, Amy! Here is what I told you about. Proof that you have got to bring that baby to the zoo in the near future!!!



However, I DO NOT SUGGEST that you go now. Too hot, too smelly, too sunny, and did I mention too hot??? I went a couple weeks ago with my stepdad and the boys, and I thought we were all going to strangle each other. The hot~ness made us all cranky. For HOURS.
Love ya!




Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh, Yeah One More Thing

This is the artist that Todd and I love, Phil Wickham. He has a new live recording coming out on 08/08/08. To hear it, click on this image, scroll down on his blog, and you'll see a play button. Enjoy!





PhilWickham-Singalong

Quote

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh no, SHE'S awake."

This takes the award for the coolest quote ever. I don't know who said it, it doesn't matter, but man, don't you want to be known for that?!?! I know I do! That's what I picture Satan doing every time I complete a Bible study...I picture him shaking in his boots over the fact that I just got that much smarter in the ways of the Word! Praise Him!

Monday, July 14, 2008

What Kind Of Woman Are You?

I didn't write this, but this was my morning devotion. I thought I'd share it, because it spoke to me. Hope you enjoy it.

July 14, 2008

An Unhurried Life

Glynnis Whitwer

Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’ The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’ Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked.” Matthew 20:30-32 (NIV)

Devotion:

I am drawn to un-hurried people. I'm pretty sure it's because I'm the opposite - and wish I was more like them.

Unhurried moms take the time to explain to their kids where they are going. Hurried moms tell their children to get in the car and they'll find out soon. I think the children of the unhurried mom learned a bit more about their city, streets and addresses.

Unhurried women take time to chat with a tired sales clerk, and brighten her day. Hurried women rush in and out, glancing at their watches, and tapping their nails on the counter if there's a delay. I think the sales clerk got a touch of Jesus from that unhurried woman.

Unhurried women think about how to show love to others - whether it's picking out the right gift, a hand-written note of encouragement, or a phone call. Hurried women wish they had picked out the right gift, written a note, or made that phone call.

Although Jesus was busy, the Bible never mentions Him being in a hurry. Others around Jesus tried to hurry Him up, but Jesus refused to be rushed. He always made time to hold a child, touch a sick man or talk to a woman whose wrong choices ostracized her from others. Jesus could have hurried – He had more to accomplish in three years than we can imagine accomplishing in a lifetime. But He chose to put people over His schedule.


The solutions to a hurried life are simple, yet difficult to incorporate into a life that is addicted to rushing. For those of us who hurry out of habit, we must choose to slow down. We might choose to speak slowly, to walk slowly, or to eat slowly. We might get up 30 minutes earlier so that we aren't rushing our kids in the morning. We might have dinner in the crockpot so we can sit and read a book with a child, or chat with our husbands on the patio. We might not schedule business appointments so close together that we don't have time to ask a co-worker how his or her family is doing.

Some of us must address the issue of hurry if we are to live the grace-filled lives Jesus calls us to live. So take a deep breath, let it out slowly, pause to pray, and enjoy an un-hurried day.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for taking the time to show Your love for me today. Thank You for giving us Jesus – who modeled a life of love and patience. Help me to address the issue of hurry in my life, and choose to take the time for things that are important to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Our Weekend

Happy Monday! We had a wonderful weekend, I hope you all did as well. Well, the one bad part of our weekend, was after we left the in-loves house on Saturday, Phyllis got sick again...possibly with pneumonia. =( Tim, Todd's brother, his wife Tracy, and their son Nathan were here visiting from Nashville, so we spent Saturday over there with them. The boys got to swim together, and play, and had a blast. She was fine while we were there, but that night, she got fever all of a sudden.

The other sad part of our weekend, was yesterday. Our music pastor is leaving us, after 8 years of ministry. Him and his wife and kids are pulling out of Memphis on Thursday morning, to begin their journey to California. Right into the smoke. If you can remember, pray for them this week, especially for their 15 year old daughter, Abby. She's in complete denial that they're moving, and is not handling it well, at all. Fifteen is a tough age, in and of itself, but take away all her familiar surroundings, and it's enough to send her over the edge.

Back to the sad part. We honored Kent and Kathy yesterday at church, and I cried just about the whole day. None of us in choir had makeup on by the time church was over. It was also one of those days when everything was just so anointed. We went to sing the first song, and I could literally feel the Holy Spirit there with us. He definitely met us there yesterday. I couldn't even sing, I just stood there and cried. The youth group just returned from a mission trip to England, and they've started this new thing that is really cool. They stand at the altar while we're singing worship, and in unity as a group, the youth pastor, his wife, and all, just stand there and sing, and pour their hearts out to God. It gets me every time. I always cry when I see that, and I love it.

Then last night, we had a concert of praise, and a farewell party for the Ferrin's. Again, I boo-hooed, even though I thought I was done. Kathy is very dear to me, we've become close through our Beth Moore Bible studies, and when we hugged, we just stood there for a few minutes and cried while Todd and Kent laughed.

I'm better today, though. We're going swimming with friends today, so we're excited about that. Tomorrow, Jonah and Noah have a friend coming over, then tomorrow night, Kent and Kathy's son Will is spending that night and all the next day with us. They're excited to have him over one last time... who knows when they'll see him again. So, we're off on another busy week. My house is an absolute wreck, dusty and in need of vacuuming, but I don't want to waste the time doing it. We're down to the last 4 weeks of summer, and I must admit, I am starting to freak out. I don't know where all the time has gone, but I am making it my job to make sure that these boys have nothing but fun for the rest of their time off. It's probably been one of the best summer's we've ever had, and that thrills me.

Well my sweeties are starting to wake up, so I will stop for now. I hope everyone has a blessed day and week. I'll write again soon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Calm In The Storm

Mark 4:35~41
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" 41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

Have you ever had fear just totally consume you? Had a 'moment' when you were weak, and let it just totally take over? I have. This one time a few years ago when it had iced over really bad, Todd, the boys, and his best friend, Bob, drove to someone's house. They had been gone probably two hours, when I started trying to call them. I couldn't reach either Todd or Bob, and this awful feeling just completely overtook me. I was terrified that they had been in a wreck, and I was about to have a full blown panic attack. Todd finally called me ten minutes after that (thank goodness it was ten minutes for me to calm down!), and told me that they'd gotten out of the truck to let the boys play, and they'd left their phones inside the cab.

No matter if we fear something like that, or an illness (again in my case when Todd was sick with the tumor), I can hear God saying to me, "Why don't you have faith in Me yet? Haven't you learned by now that I work on My own time?" That's why this scripture spoke to me this morning. So many times, all it takes is a deep breath, and a hearfelt plea to God. He will restore the peace within you, no matter what it is.

In my morning devotion, the subject was calm in the storm. In the book of James, God's word tells us to embrace trials. If we change our thinking and start looking at trials as an opportunity to grow closer to God, what peace it would bring to us! In 2 Corinthians 4:17, the Apostle Paul says that "our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory." How beautiful is that? An absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. Beyond our wildest dreams. No matter how big our trial is at the time we're going through it, in the end, it is only momentary and not as big as it seems at the time. Once we look back, we'll probably have what I like to call an "ah ha moment". Oh, so that's why I went through that. I have had many of those in my life so far, and many more will follow, I'm sure.

That book that Oprah endorsed, The Power of Positive Thinking, just makes me cringe. In the book, from what I understand, the author tells readers that if you think positively you can accomplish whatever you desire. Well, God is the power of positive for us as Christians. It says in His word, that if we think on it, and ask Him for it, and believe that we will receive it, we will. It may not be exactly when we want, or even exactly what we ask for, but God will work everything out in a way that will glorify Him. That may require us to change our thinking, or to change the way that we pray. For instance, when Todd was going to take that CPAT test last Sunday, I did not once EVER ask for him to pass it. I prayed that if it was in God's will, that he would pass it, and that if it wasn't, then he wouldn't. Well, I feel like (we both do, actually) that God has something else in store for him.

I love how God works...I love to stand back after something has passed and see why we were allowed to go through something. It is so cool to be able to witness God's glory. I have a situation that I'm praying about right now, and that is what inspired me to write this today. I pray that this will be read by someone who needs encouragement. I also pray that God will speak to the hearts of all who are going through a storm right now. May their spiritual eyes be wide open.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kung Fu Panda, Anyone?

Since Todd, Graham and Drew are at camp, and lonely old us are stuck at home, I decided to make today a day all about Jonah and Noah. I did whatever they wanted. I even let them talk me into them having something weird (or nothing at all, in Jonah's case) for breakfast. Noah's wasn't too weird, though, he wanted cheese toast. Anyway, I promised them last night that I would take them to buy a toy today. This was after Noah told me last night at Baskin Robbins' that he wanted to go to the store and buy something with his nickel. What day and age are we living in?!?!?! Since WHEN does a nickel buy anything??? I was prepared to lay down the bucks, but all the picked were 2 farm animals each. I was pleasantly surprised.

Anyway, we did what they wanted today. They wanted toys out of the attic, so I let them get the ones they wanted. They wanted to play farm starring Todd and Bob (imagine that), so they occupied themselves for 2 hours. Then, much to my astonishment, they MADE THEIR OWN LUNCH!!!! No I did not ask them to do this, they just surprised me. Even if it was only cheese and crackers, still! They even cleaned up and everything!

After lunch, they wanted to swim, so we did. Even if only for one hour...that's almost not worth slathering sunscreen all over them. But, this was their day, so I went with the flow. We got a surprise visit from Mimi after we came home, so they had fun with her...and Papa, since he came right behind her. They had dinner with us...and I let my 5 year old twins crack open the eggs we had with our breakfast. Am I brave, or what?!?! They did great, though! Graham won't usually let them get in the kitchen, since that's his domain. Thank you, Big Daddy. He'll get over it. Graham, not Big Daddy.

I decided to take them to see Kung Fu Panda after dinner...who can resist when your dad in love can get you tickets for $2? Even if Jonah DID sleep through the majority of the movie. I sure hope he sleeps tonight!!! The movie was great if you have kids (or even if ya don't!) that haven't seen it yet. It was funny...Jack Black played the voiced of Po, the panda. While Jonah was blissfully sleeping, Noah and I watched the dragon warrior defeat the evil one. I could not help but laugh at the panda as he tried to get in shape for his upcoming fight. I was strangely reminded of my husband nearly killing himself last week, in preparation for the physical test he took on Sunday. It was funny, and very ironic. At the end of the movie, Noah was yelling, "Yeah! The panda won!! Mommy, Po won! I knew he could do it!!!" Talk about the gift of encouragement. Everyone laughed at him...there were 3 teenage boys, and another mom with a little girl. Noah really gets into his movies, ya know? Kind of like DrewBear. Speaking of him, he's going to be SO MAD at me that I went to see that without him. That's 2 movies he's missed out on now, Kung Fu Panda, and IronMan. No, we're not mean parents, Graham got to see IronMan at a sleepover. Todd is going to have to take him to see that one next week.

Well, that was our fun and exciting day. It really was. Tomorrow, we're off to work at the church, then we're going to see Jonah and Noah's new love interest, Carly.

Psalm 30

Psalm 30:1 I will exalt you, o LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. 3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave, you spared me from going down into the pit. 4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. 6 When I felt secure, I said, "I will never be shaken." 7 O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. 8 To you, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy; 9 "What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness: 10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help." 11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Notice the boldness and italics in part of this scripture...I praise God that my brother in law is alive and well and able to still live. Jim was in a very bad motorcycle accident on Saturday afternoon, and by all means should not be alive. But God has a purpose for him, and spared his life. He took a turn a little too fast, apparently, and went into the grass. Then he jerked the bike back onto the road, and the bike just started flipping. Once he stopped rolling, he could not breathe. There was a man on the ride with him that just so happened to have medical training, which is totally not coincidence, but GOD!!! Jim couldn't breathe because one of his broken ribs had punctured his lung. The man put his arm under Jim's head and just held his head in his arms, saying, "You gotta breathe man, try to take some slow breaths." He continued to talk to Jim until the ambulance got to the scene. They decided to airlift him to a trauma hospital in Florence, Alabama, due to the extent of his injuries. Originally they told my sis, Lisa, that he had a shattered shoulder bone, three broken ribs, a punctured lung, and fluid in his other lung. They also thought he had internal bleeding. BUT GOD is good, and faithful, and turns out there was no bleeding, no more fluid in his lungs, he is NOT getting pneumonia (which they also thought he was developing), and he does NOT have to have surgery on his shoulder. Praise God! I am totally claiming this Scripture for Jim's life.

I am sure this has changed him...near death experiences tend to do that. All day Sunday, he couldn't stop crying and just thanking God for sparing his life. They transported Jim by ambulance last night to Methodist Germantown, and he is feeling much relief knowing that he is in his own hometown, so his kids and family can see him. I cannot imagine the experience he has been through, but God obviously has HUGE plans for this man and his family.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Twin Brothers


Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Last night we went next door to swim and eat with Travis and Katie. Travis was throwing the kids in the pool, and then he started jumping in while holding them. He did that with Jonah, and his floatie came off. Now they both swim, but the floaties are just what I make them use while in the deep end. Anyway, Jonah started to panic, and in the meantime, started going underwater. (We were all right there and there was no chance that anything was going to happen.) Before any of us could do anything, Noah takes off running, saying, "I got him, I got him!" and jumped into the pool. He swam straight to Jonah and proceeded to pull him to safety. How's that for "closer than a brother?" I think that scripture is meant for twins, by the way. Todd and I just looked at each other and shook our heads, thinking how awesome twins are.

I had to share that story, it's one I'll always remember! Love to all!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

To Be Continued

The cute blog was having technical difficulties, and was impossible to read. I will change it back to the cute one once it's back up and running.

Oh, and an update on Todd...he did not pass the test today (Sunday). He's o.k. with it for several reasons, but mainly because in not even two weeks time, he has lost weight, and gotten on track with getting in shape. He went today and gave it his all, but God has something else in store for him, something even better, I'm sure. What happens now, you ask? Well, he leaves to go to camp with the boys tomorrow, and won't be back until Friday. He will be giving his hard~worked body a rest during the next five days. Well, as much rest as he can, since camp is nothing but tons of land on tons of hills. Once back to his normal schedule, he will continue training. Just not as much in such a short time.

Thank you to all of you prayed for him today, he felt it. We had people EVERYWHERE praying for him...people in Tennessee, Missouri, Texas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Alabama, you name it, if we knew someone there, they were praying! It was cool...we both sat and cried this morning over all the support and love he's gotten from his friends and family. We love you all, and thank God that we have you in our lives.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Like Father, Like Son

I thought you would enjoy seeing how much Jonah loves his daddy. These pictures were taken last night...it was one of those really nice nights, and we were all hanging around outside, talking to the neighbors, and Todd decided to give his car a bath. Jonah came up to me and asked, "Mom, can I wash my car, too? It's really dirty." To which I could not refuse him. After all, he does EVERYTHING his daddy does. See the proof below.

These other pictures are from yesterday at our neighbor's pool. I think I finally have the delay figured out on my digital camera! Finally, after how many years?!?! This first one is Graham.
This next one is little Jonah being his sweet little carefree self.


This one is of all the boys...I could never get the timing right on my camera with Noah and Drew jumping in...so I just took one of all of them.

AND this last one is what I did while they swam! I actually laid out and read a book. And this book is wonderful, I highly recommend it!
Have I mentioned that I absolutely LOVE summer?? If not, I LOVE SUMMER!!!!! The pool we swim in is in my neighbor's backyard. Travis and Katie Katie (as the boys call her) live right next door and have become wonderful friends to us. Katie is the one who invited me to her church's ladies Bible study, the one I will probably make my new lifelong habit. I hope you enjoy the pics. Love and blessings to all!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Song You Have To Hear!

Happy Independence Day! My blood does not flow only red...it flows red, white and blue. This is the boys' current favorite movie, so this in honor of them. And it's pretty stinkin' cute. Go grab the kiddos and tell them to come and watch. Love to all, and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!