Thursday, April 30, 2009

Some Words Of Wisdom I Stumbled Upon This Morning

Ecclesiastes 11:9 & 10 Young people, it's wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. 10 So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before you, is meaningless.

12:1 Don't let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, "Life is not pleasant anymore."


Mmmm, good words, huh? What does it mean, you wonder? Well, it's simple. Do not put anything/anyone above the Lord. I wish I'd known that in my teenage years. Well, I can't say that, because I did know it, I just chose to ignore it. Some people say that every teenager will experiment with drugs or alcohol. Is that true? I hope not. And I don't think so. I did. I regret it, but the past is the past and I am mercifully forgiven.

I pray my kids will follow these verses of wisdom King Solomon wrote so long ago. I believe that good behavior and attitudes from children is a result from the way they are parented. Let me say that again, worded a little differently. All kids need discipline in their life. I believe they actually crave it. It's like a baby who needs to be put on a schedule for the first year or so of its little life~they need that taught to them. I see this every single day of my life in the environment around me. Give a kid some love, some praise on how proud you are of them, and some consistency in their life, and you will see a new child emerge.

I like this verse, and I think it goes with what I'm talking about. I read it from my devotion today. It was on an entirely different subject, however, I think it applies to this.

Isaiah 61:3 {The Lord} will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.
{New Living Translation}

God takes something meaningLESS, and turns it around for good. Like in kids. If only everyone saw this in that light. Instead, doctors today diagnose kids as attention deficit disorder, or attention defecit hyperactive disorder. And while I am certain that in some cases this DOES exist, I wouldn't be so quick to believe it. When I was a kid these same issues were around, but were quickly solved with consistent discipline by Mom and Dad. Please don't think I'm making light of today's problems. There are some REAL problems with kids in this world, I just don't believe they're all ADD/ADHD. Call me naive, whatever...I think there are OTHER issues to be addressed.

Alright, back to Ecclesiastes...while life {SIN} feels good in the present time, its repurcussions do not. So I think King Solomon was telling us to remember this in the folly of our youth. And here is what an online dictionary had to say about the word folly.

fol⋅ly

noun, plural -lies for 2–6.

1. the state or quality of being foolish; lack of understanding or sense.
2. a foolish action, practice, idea, etc.; absurdity: the folly of performing without a rehearsal.
3. a costly and foolish undertaking; unwise investment or expenditure.

Are all youths going to act this way? Probably. They will definitely have their moments of wildness, and totally rebelling against their parents. Will they turn to drugs or alcohol? I don't think so. I guess it depends on what their foundation is based on. On WHO their foundation is based on. And this is why we are in church ALL THE TIME. I do not believe that someone will go to Hell for missing church, and I do not believe that drinking a glass of wine or smoking a cigarette will send you there. I do believe that we are called to place God on His throne~He is to be our number One priority. This is what the last verse is talking about. We are to remember Him always~so that our hearts will not grow old and jaded.

This is something close to my heart~obviously. Kids. I have 4 of them, I work with them, I believe that I understand them. I am their parent/friend/ally/and sometimes, voice. I am quick to jump out and defend a child who is wrongly treated. I am quick to stop someone from speaking harshly about them in my presence, because everyone, every CHILD is a child of God. I believe that they should all be loved and praised. Who of you reading this, STILL loves to hear a kind word spoken about you??? I know I do. I pray that the Lord recalls this to my memory everyday as I deal with almost 900 students daily. I pray that He gives me patience, love and kindness toward them. My face may be the only smiling face they ever get to see. Talk about getting to show them what the love of the Lord looks like. Isn't that amazing? Think about this today as you deal with kids {your own, or others} everywhere.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rocks In My Dryer


Seriously. Do you see how many there are??? I find stuff like this all the time, and the guilty parties are Drew and Noah. Noah had so many rocks in his pocket one time that I am shocked his pants were able to stay up. It's amazing. Isn't that a trip? It also explains why I have strategically placed glass containers overflowing with the the "goodies" they bring me almost on a daily basis. I love my boys.

Today, I am off and running once again. This has been a really busy week, I think b/c of teacher appreciation week. I will be glad when this week is over. But, onto bigger and better things. Last night we had such a great time at Jonah's reading party. His class was the only class to put on a reading party. They each picked their favorite book and read it aloud to a room FULL of people. Sweet little Jonah was so nervous. Enjoy the picture below.


Well, I have to run~I just looked at the clock! Holy macaroni, I have to be at the school in 15 to do fluency for 4th grade, and I need to finish packing my lunch. I hope you all have an amazing day! Love to all, and you're in my prayers!!!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Something I Feel Needs To Be Addressed

I read a touching story on another blog today, and it is something that I feel the need to post about on my blog. To read about it, how God can restore you, and rescue you from the enemy {Psalm 3:7 "Arise, O LORD! Rescue me, my God!"}, please click here. Take a moment and read this story. It does not end with the end of her post, the ending takes place when you can stand and victoriously say, "It happened to me, but I admitted my problem, I asked God's forgiveness, my spouse's forgiveness, and I can say that I am a changed man/woman." Claim it in Jesus' name, and expect it. God is the shield around you {Psalm 3:1}, He watches over you {Psalm 3:5}, and He will give you victory over all your battles {Psalm 3:8}.

Whew. Thank You, Jesus for using these words, because I know they are from You. You have impressed them upon my heart, and I pray that whoever needs to read about this today will do so, and begin the healing process. I ask this in Your name.

Well, okay, then. Now that that is said and done, how are you? I am wonderful. We survived yet another Monday. Only 4 to go, and S.U.M.M.E.R.T.I.M.E. I feel like singing the High School Musical 2 song that starts off with them all chanting, "Summer. Summer. Summer." I know, sad that I know that, right? Speaking of that movie, I have seen the first and second one, and it's just not right that I not see the third one, so although my boys are over that whole thing, guess who put it on her Netflix queue? Ummm, I'm not sure, but you may know her. Curly haired, mom of 4 boys, could stand to lose a few, loves to blog. Her name is Jennifer. I've heard she's pretty nice. Lol. Joking about all THAT. Well, I can be nice. I can also be Nazi Mom. Character flaw. Jesus is still working on me, so don't lose patience just yet. I am a work in progress, and He is currently working on putting a shield over my mouth { James 3:2 "Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way."}. I am working on O.B.E.D.I.E.N.C.E. and not listening to my flesh, but to the nudging of the Holy Spirit.

Wow, off on yet another random track. It's gotta be close to the end of the school year, because this is how I get every single May. Well, almost May. It will be on Friday! I lose all ability to focus and concentrate on anything else. I think I might have had issues with this before there were ever issues that anyone knew about. I turned out okay though, so no worries.

I am not sure what I was thinking, but for some crazy reason, I made all 4 boys dental appointments for today, starting at 12:40. I may be there for three hours. Good heavens, surely I didn't do that. Maybe my hubby made the appointments, not me. Hmmm, I like that answer and will go with that one. So I have to check them out at 12 because it takes them 10 minutes to pack up and come to the office, and off we will head to Cordova. Drew's paranoid about getting braces today. I don't know why he thinks that, I told him that today was just a cleaning, but he was still anxious. Poor thing. I was that way when I was little. Heck, who am I kidding? I am still like that. I absolutely ABHOR {to regard with extreme repugnence} going to the dentist. Even just to get my teeth cleaned. Mom could NEVER tell me the night before that I had a dental appointment the next day, or I'd cry incessantly all night. She'd just spring it on me. I'm sure she's laughing as she reads this right about now. :)

Well, if I plan on eating before going to work today, I need to go. I hope you all have an incredible day! You're in my prayers today~love to all.

***One more thing~about the story on Lysa's blog, don't try and go through the battle on your own. Find someone in the church {pastor, mentor} and seek their help and accountability. If I can pray for you today, let me know, even if it's anonymously. In the book of Nehemiah, when he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, even the ones against his doing so "realized this work had been done with the help of our God." Nehemiah 6:1. You are not alone.***

Monday, April 27, 2009

My New Prayer & Favorite Song

Matthew West - The Motions
From the album Something To Say

This might hurt
It�'s not safe
But I know that I'�ve gotta make a change
I don�'t care If I break

At least I'�ll be feeling something
�Cause just ok
Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

Chorus
I don�'t wanna go through the motions
I don�'t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don�'t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

No regrets
Not this time
I�'m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love
Make me whole
I think I'�m finally feeling something

Take me all the way
Take me all the way
Take me all the way

Label: EMI Distribution

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Which One Are You? Which One Is Your Spouse?

If you only ever buy one book in your entire life, it needs to be the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I heard one time {a million times?} that you should love your spouse the way he wants to be loved, and vice versa. For example, my husband likes funny cards. I like the sappy, romantic kind. So, in order to compromise, we buy each other both kinds almost every time we have an occasion for buying cards. If you love your spouse the way you want to be loved, they don't get it. In what ways does your spouse most appreciate the way you show your love? Read an excerpt from the book The 5 Love Languages and find out...{I got this in a marriage devotion I get every morning}.

The Five Love Languages

• WORDS OF AFFIRMATION Compliments, words of encouragement,
and requests rather than demands affirm the self-worth
of your spouse.

• QUALITY TIME Spending quality time together through
sharing, listening, and participating in joint
meaningful activities communicates that we
truly care for and enjoy each other.

• RECEIVING GIFTS Gifts are tangible symbols of love,
whether they are items you purchased or made or are
merely your own presence made available to your spouse.
Gifts demonstrate that you care, and they represent
the value of the relationship.

• ACTS OF SERVICE Criticism of your spouse's failure to
do things for you may be an indication that
"acts of service" is your primary love language.
Acts of service should never be coerced but should be
freely given, and completed as requested.

• PHYSICAL TOUCH Physical touch, as a gesture of love,
reaches to the depths of our being. As a love language,
it is a powerful form of communication -- from the
smallest touch on the shoulder to the most passionate kiss.

In the book, you write down your answers and tally the score. I actually tied with 2 of these, which is common. It is a really great book, one that I highly recommend. I hope you all have an amazing Sunday, doing whatever you do. I am going to church and am ready to sing my little heart out in praise to my King. Love to all.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

One More For The Day, Because It'll Make Ya Laugh

After our baseball filled morning, we came home and just chilled. I had gotten really hot outside, so I had to lay down and cool off for a while. The boys decided to play outside in the water. They used their new water balloons {thank you, Mimi and Papa}, and filled a bucket with water and squirted each other. Fun times.

After I cooled off, Todd and I went outside to bathe the dog. Poor Andy. He really hates baths. I do, too, after today. At least the kind of dogs. Anyway, we're washing Andy {or is he washing us?}, and Andy is turning every which way. He's too heavy for me to be able to control him, so Todd had to stop what he was doing and yank him back around the other way. {You should watch us sometime and record it, we could seriously win a prize over how dumb I'm sure we look.} So when Todd goes to do that he lets go of the hose for just a second. And what do you think that hose did??? It went crazy for a minute, flipped back around to somehow face me, and drenched me in water.

I was too stunned to be mad, because while it's 80 degrees outside, the water was probably 60 degrees. It got me in the face and the top of my shirt. Luckily before we started, I took off the white t-shirt I was wearing and exchanged it for a dark one. Don't know why I did that, but I was glad, because all the neighbors were outside to watch us. And Brian across the street just started clapping. Beth came over and told Todd I had a witness in court, because he saw it all firsthand. When the shock wore off, we both just cracked up. What could I do?

For dinner, Travis and Katie had us over. Pizza from Pizza Hut, mmm. It's been years since I've had that kind of pizza. We had a night full of entertainment as we sat and watched them play a really crazy Wii game. And had fun laughing at Travis as he did the hula hoop on Wii Fit. Anyway, I thought I'd share our events for the rest of the day. Did I mention that it's never boring around here?

Here is the video of Travis playing Wii Fit hula hoop!

video

Blessed Spring



Baseball, anyone? So this is what it's all about, right here...my sweet babies playing some baseball. I told you~it's ridiculous how much joy this brings to me. Seriously. They have so much fun. My one complaint is that it just doesn't last long enough. I would love for it to last 2 months, instead of just one. Graham's and Drew's lasts 2 months, but they're older, so I guess that's the difference. Speaking of them...their first game was cancelled. I am so dissappointed. So were they. They still had to show up at practice in full uniform just in case, but, it was pretty much cancelled. So Todd took them to practice, Jonah and Noah are down at the neighbor's playing with Izzie, and here I sit in blessed silence. Ahhhh.

We went to my dad's last night. My sister Teri was here from North Carolina with her new husband, Wes, and we had dinner with them at Dad's and Sandy's last night. It was a lot of fun. We had the best chicken spaghetti EVER and bean salad and rolls. Yum. With cherry pie and chocolate oatmeal cookies for dessert. The boys had a blast playing outside. Todd played catch with them all 4 {which was a sight to behold because every time he threw the ball to a different child, he had to change the way he pitched}, and they played frizbee, and kickball, they chased bugs, they had a flashyard bug hunt{they were looking for lightning bugs, but it was too early}, they plum wore themselves out. It was like 70 degrees at nine o'clock at night. It was beautiful. That was probably the highlight of my entire week.

Teri and Wes head back today. I love that woman. I always forget how much fun she is until she comes back home, and you just pick right up where you left off the last time. She is very different~she definitely marches to the beat of her own drummer, but that's the appeal of her to me. She doesn't care what anyone thinks~she just does her own thing. I say this because her trademark is her hair~it's past her rear end. She wears it in this long braid down her back. Anyway, we had such a great time catching up. The last thing Graham said to her was, "So, we'll see you in another year, right?" I died laughing. Talk about making someone feel bad. She replied, "Well, I hope it's sooner than that." It's usually at least that long, sometimes longer. This time it's been about 18 months since I last saw her.

Anyway, I'd better get off this thing if I want to get anything at all accomplished before the t~ball game at noon. I hear laundry calling my name, it seems to be getting louder. So, I hope to see you at some point this weekend...if I don't, then have a blessed weekend with your family. Love to all!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bear With Me

As I take my blog through change. Apparently, I am having issues with not finding the right background for my blog. I think I really like this the best. Any thoughts? Opinions? I'll take them into consideration. I do like this one lots, though. The print just makes me happy. I need some of that in my house.

Happy Friday to you all!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Little Encouragement

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Do you need encouragement today? If so, keep on reading. If not, well then...I guess keep on reading. Have you ever been angry? Had someone do something (or say something) to you and you want to lash back out at them? How many of US have? I say us here, because we've all been guilty of it. Whether you're sitting in traffic and have someone cut you off, or you're a frazzled parent who loses it over a spilled cup. We've all done it.

As I was sitting here this morning, itching to write, I prayed over what I would talk about, and out of nowhere came that verse from above. Thank You, Jesus, for instilling Your word deep in my heart. And I got to thinking...hmmm, maybe I need a lesson in this today.

Graham woke up at 7:25 this morning and immediately came downstairs saying, "Mom, I am so sorry, I am SO sorry." Just when I was thinking he was losing it and sleepwalking (and talking), he explained. "Mom, I forgot to tell you that I have environmental club at 7:45 this morning." Now, I must say, my reaction surprised me. I didn't get upset. I had the wherewithal to fix the boys' lunches ahead of time last night. So when I woke up, all I had to do was make the sandwich and stick it in their bag. Because I'd taken 10 minutes out of my evening last night and PLANNED AHEAD, I had oodles and oodles of spare time this morning.

Why can't we plan ahead to respond in love? We can. We definitely should. If we take a moment and ask the Lord for His guidance today, and ask Him to give us the wherewithal to love out (instead of lash out), how much better would our day be?

So back to the above verse: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, Lord. The meditation of my heart would be anything negative I was thinking about someone or something. And trust me, I can do some negative thinking. If I just ask for Him to dwell within me today, to be at the center of my thoughts, actions and being, my words and my meditations WILL be pleasing to Him.

So, like I had patience and love with Graham this morning, Jesus responds to us in that same kind, gentle way. This behavior pleases Him. It is exactly what He did by dying on the cross for us~He, even in death, said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

Will you join me in planning ahead today? Will you join me in making the choice right now, to let the Lord come out in me, through the way I speak? I hope so~I can't wait to see (and hear from you, hopefully!) how much better our today is from doing this one small, seemingly insignificant thing. I treasure you all in my heart and am praying for you today.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm Better Now

At least as far as my overloaded brain goes. I'm wrapping things up for teacher appreciation week, and I got all the snack schedule worked out. And it's Wednesday! Woohoo! I love Wednesdays. My sweet little first grade friends won't be there for lunch today, so it'll be sort of quiet in the cafeteria. And it buys me an extra 30 minutes of sit down lunch with my co~workers. You gotta love field trip days.

I'm so excited about church tonight. Music Man is off in the wild blue yonder filming an infomercial, so he gave us the night off in choir. I will be joining my women friends in their group meeting tonight, and cannot wait. We have an amazing new women's director, my good friend, Alette Shappley. That is the most on fire woman for God, and when you talk to her she is always saying things like, "Thank You, Jesus, Hallelujah, Praise You, Father"! Her joy is so contagious! I can't wait.

Today I am going to visit my 4th grade friends in Graham's class. Me and my friend Kelly are doing fluency for them today. I am excited for this because it's been about a month since I've done that for them. I miss having one on one time with them.

The little guys had a great time at their game last night. I will post some pictures tonight, or try to, at least. They are so precious out there on the field. And my little Noah slammed that ball last night. I was so proud. Jonah did great at stopping the ball~if only the kid he threw to had been paying attention! We have mostly young kids on our team, so the older ones will be the ones to carry them. There was this one poor little girl who cried the whole time. She kept wailing, "I want my mommy!" She thought everyone was yelling at her, but in fact we were cheering her on. Poor baby.

Oh, well, I need to get off of here and run to the bank. I hope you all have a fanTABulous day. I love you all, in the sweet name of Jesus, and am praying for you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Information Overload!

Yikes! My brain is so incredibly overloaded with all of it's junk that I'm about to scream!!!! AAAUUUGGGHHH! This is THE MOST busy time of year for me. I have teacher's appreciation week all week next week (how many times can I say the word 'week'?), and baseball starts tonight. I'm trying to get things taken care of for next week for all 8 (did you catch that, 8?!) of my assigned people. I think it's ridiculous what all is required of us, but hey, I'm not the main decision maker at CES. Hmmmm, just maybe....

Our kids are assigned not only their teacher, but 1 extra staff person as well. So our extra person for Jonah's classroom is THE PRINCIPAL. Are you KIDDING me???? The pressure is on. That will be all I say. The extra person for Noah's class is our sweet kindergarten assistant. They have to take a flower on Monday, send in 1 item per class on Tuesday for a luncheon, send the gift in on Wednesday, buy takeout lunch on Thursday and send thank you notes on Friday. Ummm, I love these people, but I appreciate them ALL year, not just for one week. And that's a whole lot for one week when you have more than one child. Anyway. I feel lots of overwhelming things because I'm the room mom. Times 2. I don't even know if the other room moms got the email with all the info. I did b/c I was pressuring my friend Libby at school who was in charge of it all.

To add to that stuff, I'm also coordinating snacks for the tball team. Which really is not a big deal, it's just one more thing for me to remember. I need a night out. Or 4. Or a trip. I mean a vacation. My doc always says that a trip with kids is just a trip...like a trip to the grocery store, but a vacation is one where the mom and dad go and the kids don't! Wishful thinking.

So, how's your week going? I felt the need to write all of this out, because even as I do this, it is slowly making me feel better. See? It really is an outlet for me. So thank you for your listening ears. Or reading eyes. Whatever. Can you tell I'm about at my wit's end here? Okay, I just took a deep, calming breath and slowly released it. I will be okay. I really will. If I can survive next week.

Oh, and if you also happen to be reading this and do not know yet (AHEM Bill, Mom, Phyllis, Wiley, Dad, Sandy) kindergarten is putting on a program next Friday May 1st at 9:15. It's in the gym. Remember from Graham and Drew? It's a slideshow and a play. Jonah is a frog, and Noah is a mouse. It's gonna be so precious. I can't wait. You can come find me and sit with me. I'll be the crazy mom sobbing her eyes out up front. Because I just canNOT believe my babies are almost in first grade. Holy cow. Where has this year GONE?!

Well, before I stress all of you out anymore about the craziness of my life, I will go. I have to be at the school in one hour, and I am not Biblically prepared yet. I need to go get that way. Love to all, I'm praying for you today!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Again! Words To Sweeten The Day

Psalm 40:3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.
4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols.
5 O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.
8 I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.
9 I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O LORD, well know.
10 I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
11 LORD, don't hold back your tender mercies from me.

The thing about these words is that they're all for us to hide in our heart. I love these verses, particularly verse 8. I found it before church started last night as I was sitting and reading my Bible. I love when God highlights a verse like that one for me. And He does that, if one jumps out at you, it's probably b/c He made you turn to THAT page and read THAT verse. I serve a mighty God, and today as you read this, I pray that He will bless you. May His face shine upon you as you sit and bask in His presence for a while this morning.

My Morning Devotion

I wanted to share this devotion I got from an email this morning. If you are interested in receiving this same one every morning, go to Proverbs31.org and sign up to receive this free service. This is for anyone who feels unloved, unwanted, or hopeless today. There is someONE who loves you more than anyone ever could. I am praying for everyone who comes across this today. Love, in Christ.

God Sees You

20 Apr 2009

T. Suzanne Eller

"And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows." Matthew 10:30-31 (NIV)

Recently Darrin came up to me in the hallway at church. "Ten years!" he said, grabbing me and crushing me in a bear hug.

Wow. Ten years. It doesn't seem possible. You see, ten years ago Darrin was 21 when he tried to take his life. Someone found him and called for help. The doctors said he's fortunate he didn't die, but for a long time after the attempt Darrin felt anything but lucky. It was hard for me to understand his perspective, but the fact that his suicide attempt didn't work was one more "failure" in this broken young man's mind.

Darrin left the hospital and came to live with our family for the next two years. We had a front row seat as we watched God perform a miracle. It wasn't easy, but Darrin began a journey to wholeness. He started to understand what it meant to be a child of God. He discovered who he was, separate from his past, separate from what people thought or spoke about him.

Today Darrin is a licensed pastor. He is married to a beautiful woman named Sarah. He is a father to three young children, and he loves and delights in each of them. His oldest daughter is named Abi, after Abba – Heavenly Father – a reminder that she is one of many gifts from God.

Darrin is healed in every way, but he has not forgotten where he once was and that's why he allows me to share his story today. It's also why he shares it one-on-one with others who find themselves in a similar place. This type of anniversary might be one that some would want to forget, but Darrin sees it as a day to celebrate life and second chances. His story offers a powerful message: that when others have given up on you , or maybe you've even given up on yourself, there is still hope.

For some, like Darrin, depression wraps around life choices. You may experience a chemical imbalance. Or, feelings of hopelessness might result from emotional or physical exhaustion. While it can take time to pinpoint the root cause, it's vital that you know from this moment on that God sees you. He loves you and He cares. He's a God of hope and healing. So today I pray that you will feel His arms reaching for you, just like he did my friend Darrin.

Dear Lord, I believe that today a woman is reading this who believes she has been forgotten. I thank you that You will wrap Your love around her and remind her that You are with her. May she know You see her, and that she is precious and valuable in Your sight. Give her hope, wisdom, peace and renewed joy, beginning today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Listen to our Radio Show for more encouragement about the Father's love

Hope in the Midst of Depression: How to Embrace Life Again by Mary Southerland

Defeating Depression: Real Hope for Life-Changing Wholeness by Leslie Vernick

Go to Suzie's blog to read an interview with Darrin

Application Steps:
We need to differentiate between a bad day or a series of bad days and depression. Dr. Leslie Vernick has created a test you can take called How Do I Know If I'm Depressed? to help discern the difference. Please seek professional help if you have three or more symptoms of depression.

When someone we care about is depressed, it is hard to know what to say. Sometimes we try to talk them out of it by saying things like:

• "Just trust God."
• "Just get over it."
• "If you would just do ..."
• "You have lots going for you. You shouldn't feel so bad."

These statements are not helpful because they make the person feel ashamed of being depressed. They want to get well, but it is usually not that simple. Instead, we can encourage them by first, listening. And also by:

• Giving a hug – touch is powerful.
• Letting them know you'll do whatever it takes to help, then do it. (Drive them to a counselor's appointment, pray for them daily, etc.)
• Let them talk, or cry.
• Ask them how you can pray for them, and write down their answer.
• Let them know though you may not fully understand what they feel, you care about what they are going through.

Reflections:
Do I believe that God cares about me?

Do I know the God of hope and healing?

Am I willing to take steps toward wholeness?

Power Verses:
Psalm 42:11, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." (KJV)

Psalm 71:5, "For thou art my hope, O Lord God: Thou art my trust from my youth." (KJV)

© 2009 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Did you ever watch Mr. Rogers? I didn't mean to get started on this note, but hey, why not? I did. Especially once I started having kids. Drew used to love it. The day that he died was a sad one in the Goodwin household. I was out to there pregnant with the twins, miserable, and he had to die on THAT day. Wasn't it emotional enough with me being pregnant? But about to pop pregnant? Come on.

I cried the whole day. And like three times my sister Lisa called me singing, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Won't you be mine? Won't you be mine?" And would DIE laughing. So hard she'd well....ya know. It was pretty funny, but in my sensitive emotional state, I couldn't appreciate it as much as she did.

Anyway, it's been a great day. I have that good ache thing you get when you work your tail end off. I cleaned the entire house, top to bottom. Well, bottom to top. Starting in the kitchen and the mountain of dirty dishes in my kitchen sink. Gasp! I know you're dying~if you know me at all, you know I passionately HATE dirty dishes in the sink. I am telling you, people, it was a rough week. I also straightened up the laundry room and cleaned the bathrooms. That does not happen that often. Especially the whole house thing.

We went to Mom's and Bill's for dinner tonight~roast beef, yum! And now we just got home. It's so nasty outside~I hope the rain ends tonight. Jonah and Noah have their first game Tuesday night, and I don't want anything to mess it up!! We're about to lay the kiddos down and settle down and...I don't know yet. BUT, I'm sure it'll be fabulous, whatever it is. Anything in a nice, clean house just rocks, ya know??? The boys haven't even messed it up yet. That being said, I'm gonna get off here and onto doing my Bible study homework. I'm way behind. Yikes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cool Thought Of The Day

I loved this quote I got off one of my my morning email devotions, and wanted to share.

"The day is coming when all the stuff you've striven, strained and stressed out to acquire will make no difference. Your résumé and job title will no longer impress anyone. No one will care what clothes you wore or what cars you drove, except your relatives who plan to wear them, drive them or sell them. If you're wise you'll plan to exit this life with a 'take away' that involves these three things: (a) Satisfaction, that comes from having fulfilled your God-given assignment here on earth. (b) Success, that's measured in terms of eternal rewards, not temporal ones. (c) Security, that comes from knowing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. These are the only 'take away' worth living for!"

Don't we all forget this from time to time? I know I do. I freak out over what my house looks like, or what I look like~and don't get me wrong. I'm not saying to let your house or yourself go to pot, take care of the things God has given you!!! I will still strive to make my house a home, and to look nice, but it's only for a short time that we'll have these "things". I much prefer this "take away" that the quote above speaks of. It causes me to wonder: am I giving God my all? Are you?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ummmm......

I don't have a title. I feel too much pressure to always have to figure out a title for this thing. So. Now that that's said, it's Thursday! Only one more day! Today was good in the land of the kids...the test was easier and much faster. Thank goodness. I had lunch at my somewhat normal time and was able to be in the cafeteria the whole time. Not that I wanted to so much when the 3rd graders came in, but hey. There are some boys and a couple girls that drive me bonkers. The majority being in the same class, God love the teacher's heart.

Anyway, here I sit, in the quietness of my house before the kids come home. And I am enjoying every.single.second. Because once they come home, it's a whirlwind of unpacking folders and lunches, throwing away trash, refilling drink bottles for tomorrow, getting them all re~packed, signing papers and agenda books, then thinking of what's for dinner, preparing the dinner, eating the dinner, and off to baseball. For Graham and Drew, anyway. Then it's clean up, showers and pj's, and some family time. Doing....I'm not sure yet, but I'll let ya know.

In the meantime, my house sits, collecting dust. And I don't have time to clean it! I will on Saturday, though. If better things don't call my name. Well, I have to run now...it's off to get the kiddos and to figure out dinner! Love to all!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

HuMp DaY hAs ArRiVeD!

You have no idea how bad I need this week to be over. Actually, the next 5, but who's counting? We're down to like 22 days left of school, only 5 more Mondays! Thank You, Lord! I am so bad every year at this time~everyone usually is, but man I have major spring fever every April. Just give me my family and uninterrupted time together, and I'll be fine.

TCAPS were uneventful today~much easier today than yesterday. Today we did math. And I mean "we". It's as hard on me as it is the kids because I have to sit through the whole blasted thing! AUGH! Why did I agree to proctor? Because I was needed, nevermind. At least we're halfway through!

I am so glad tonight is church, I need some time with Jesus so bad. My dad once told me that going to church on Wed. night was like going to the gas station to fill your tank with gas. Jesus fills me back up each Wed. night, and if I miss that then I feel empty. Plus, you get a yummy cheap dinner with family and friends, and you get to visit with all your other friends during practice. Choir practice, that is. It's so much fun.

On another note, I am so thankful for the friends I saw at the school today who volunteer their time. Heather in the cafeteria with me EVERY SINGLE MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY WITHOUT FAIL: God bless you. You do not know what I would do if you stopped. You make it more fun on the days when you're there, too. I appreciate you so much!!! And my friend Karen in the health room this afternoon~she is so great with those kids. And Phyllis, for coming and volunteering in the health room every month as well. God love you all. You make our life easier...I can honestly say that since I am now on the other side! You are all much appreciated.

Well, I gotta run and get my babies and get us all filled back up for the remainder of the week. Love to you all....you're all in my prayers today!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Inspiration Has Struck

One more quick little cute thing:

Nana and Big Daddy came over and joined us for dinner tonight and after they left, we settled down to watch Free Willy. Have you seen it? It's such an awesome movie. I've seen a hundred times at least. So anyway, we're watching the movie, and it comes to the end where....

SPOILER ALERT: STOP HERE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW!


Jesse sets Willy free in the ocean. Graham heard me sniff and asked me if I was crying. I wasn't, I told him, I just had a runny nose. And Jonah says, "Well, I'm 'bout to.", and bursts into tears. All because they were letting Willy go. I told him it was ok, that I've cried in the movie before, but that Willy was happier now because they were setting him free to be with his family again. And he was better.

Just thought I'd share.

A Teeny Tiny Lil Favor...

The next time you read something I've posted, will you scroll all the way down and click on the "follow" button? I'm just curious to see how many read this, and how far out it goes. I would greatly appreciate it, it only takes a sec, and you can follow publicly or anonymously. Thanks, y'all!!

Oh, and you'll be glad to know that I am in a much better mood now. It must have been a sugar low, or somethin' b/c I AM NEVER CRANKY. I'm standing back now and waitin' on that lightning to strike. Lol. Love to you all!

I'm Baaaack

I know. Seriously. This has to be my all time record for not posting. Call it what you may, but I have been enjoying my family to the fullest and have not had a spare second. That and writer's block.

I know it's now Tuesday, but we had the greatest weekend. You heard about Friday earlier. On Saturday we got to church at 9am for choir practice and the big Eggstravaganza was at 11. They had so much fun~even if the hunt itself was a bit on the babyish side. That may have been our last year to hunt for the older boys...I felt sorry for the kids, for all ages, the eggs were just tossed on the grass. It was sad. Graham looked at me and his expression said, "are you kiddin' me?" But they still had fun with their friends and on the inflatables. Fun times.

Saturday night we dyed eggs! I love doing that. Even Todd joined in on the festivities. We had a yummy dinner of buffalo bites (TGI Friday brand, called ANYtizers) and celery sticks, then went on a bike ride. Actually we ate, then dyed the eggs, THEN went on a bike ride. My butt still hurts. I think I need a new seat.

After everyone was squeaky and clean we settled down and watched Bedtime Stories. Have you seen it? If not, it's totally appropriate for kids and a great movie~Todd and I cracked up in several places. I'm thinking about watching it again. Or buying it, b/c some you just should.

Sunday morning was church! I was not disappointed, friends, it was the best service EVER EVER EVER. If you didn't come and I invited you, shame on you. You really missed out. You'da definitely been blessed, ya know what I'm sayin'? Sorry....I think I'm sounding eerily like my sister Debi~I just read her blog, and she KILLS me. Anyway, I invited several peeps, but for whatever reason~they didn't come. It's ok. I'll choose to let it roll off my back and not be offended, b/c SERIOUSLY I've invited them a hundred times. Jesus is just so good and I want to share Him. I don't want anyone to accuse me of keeping Him all to myself. And I don't know how people don't want Him in their lives and choose to ignore Him. But...

We~the choir~got so blessed it wasn't even funny. The songs we sang were amazing, once again all thanks to the Music Man. He's so talented. We had a LONG time of just praise and worship, a message, and more praise and worship. In the middle the Music Man had these people on stage giving their cardboard testimonies. It was very powerful. The signs said stuff like, "Broken marriage and divorce for 2 years/now restored, addicted to gambling and pornography/God delivered me from it and called me into ministry, lost parents within 1 year at the ages of 22, 14, and 9/God sustained us and kept us together!" You get the drift? I bawled the whole time. Really. Good thing I had lots of kleenex.

After church we ate lunch with Mom and Bill~yum~then came home at 5 and watched Beethoven's Big Break. Thank you, Mr. Easter Bunny. Well, in our case anyway. Todd bought it. It was cute. Except for the middle part when I fell asleep and missed it, the rest of it was cute. Not as cute as Bedtime Stories, but hey. What can ya do? The kids liked it.

Our week is going....not fast enough, but it is. This is tcap week at school. It is ridiculous. I've never been on the employee side of it, and let me tell you~it is complete and total chaos just about. The kids are all freaked about doing bad, some cried, some got sick, and NO ONE was where they usually were. One thing I have learned in working for the public school system is flexibility. Work where needed, don't complain, and don't expect it to ever be "normal" again. I have tremendous respect for all administrators in our school~one in particular, the "TCAP Nazi" she is so affectionately called. It's crazy. But it's like a well~oiled machine, and somehow, everything just kind of flows. Don't ask how, but it does. The one great thing about this week? NO HOMEWORK, somebody shout AMEN!

I was a proctor in a 2nd grade class~the one I so did not want to be in but would have never said that out loud!!! But I was in there and am all week, so that's why the no writing thing has taken place. Well, that and laundry I had to do yesterday. It went ok, although my feet are KILLING me from not sitting down for um, 5 hours straight, minus the 10 for lunch. I know, I know, stop the complaining. Ok. I'm done.

I am so excited about tonight. As soon as I finish writing this, I'm headed upstairs to put on my flannel pj pants, a sweatshirt and my warm furry crocs. We're having loaded baked potatoes for dinner. And pizza from Dominoes. It's customer appreciation day there today and tomorrow, and medium pizzas cost $3.99. Anyone want pizza for dinner??? I think we're gonna watch another movie, too. I'm not sure which one yet, but I'll figure it out. As long as all the kiddos agree, that's what I always say.

Well, it's been great catching up, but I must go. I need to go change and leave to pick up the boys. Phyllis, this one was for you. I hope you enjoyed it~I think I'm in rare form today. Hope I didn't offend too many people. I hope you witness the love of Jesus today. And forgive me for the complaining thing. I am not perfect. I have always said that, but now you have witnessed it. Thank You, Heavenly Father for Your mercy on me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's Our Friday!

This week went by in the blink of an eye. Monday flew because of the kindergarten field trip, and the rest is a great big blur! I love weeks like that! My hubby is working for the sheriff's department tonight, so rather than being alone, I asked my amazing friend Christa to come over! I love girlfriend time! She comes with Asher the wonderdog, Andy's best friend.

While we're waiting on her to get here, the boys are occupying themselves with Drew's new Star Wars mold making oven. It's the boy version of the easy bake oven. I am waiting on the chicken spaghetti to cool off, then I'm going to let the boys eat their dinner while it's piping hot. Yum. It's a great recipe if you're interested. Maybe in a later post. It's super easy.

Tomorrow we're going to my dad's for a picnic. The boys are going to fish with fresh crickets {blah}, and he's going to grill us some hot dogs. That is their idea of what Heaven will be like! Tomorrow night we have a Good Friday service at church, then Graham and Drew are sleeping over at a friends. Saturday is dress rehearsal for Sunday and our annual church family Eggstravaganza. Fun times, I tell you. If you're looking for something to do Sat. and you're in our area, I can let you know some more details if you're interested.

Well, I'm going to feed my babies. They're all practically panting, they're so hungry. Imagine that. Happy Thursday to you all, and have a blessed night!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter

I have been saying that this is my favorite holiday, and it is. I am totally fascinated with it~the customs, traditions, meanings, all that is associated with it. I did a little (ok a lot) of research and thought I would share how it all kind of ties together. If this subject does not interest you, then stop reading here!

Passover is closely related to Easter. The actual date of Easter differs each year, but it is determined by the Passover calender. This year, Passover starts tonight at sundown, Wednesday April 8th, and will end at nightfall on Thursday April 16th.

Passover, quite literally means, "The hovering over and guarding of the houses of the Hebrews". This comes from the book of Exodus, but is also mentioned in Numbers and Deuteronomy. The passage in Exodus was when Pharaoh was ruler of Egypt. During the time when the Lord sent the ten plagues to Egypt, the tenth and last plague was the killing of all firstborn sons. The Lord protected the Hebrews during this plague, and He hovered over their houses and guarded them.

How did He do this? He had told them to take a lamb, to slaughter it, and to mark their doorways with the blood of this lamb. Do you get this??? How closely this is related to us? We are cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and NOTHING can take that away from us.

So back to this...there are fourteen days of Nisan (which is from the Passover calender and it is March and April). During these days, the feast of the unleavened bread is also talked about in the Bible. This part I did not research, but I do know that Jewish people today still celebrate with this feast. They eat motza bread instead, which is...you guessed it. Bread without yeast. I also know that when the Hebrews were to flea from Egypt and return to their own country that God had promised them, they had to do so hurriedly. They didn't have time to wait for their bread to rise. So maybe I did research that part. Anyway, isn't that interesting? And especially because it's still carried out even today!

So how are Passover and Easter related? Well, in Christianity, Jesus is the paschal lamb, or the Korban Pasach in Hebrew, which means Passover sacrifice. See how it's all coming together? Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, the paschal lamb. He was this because He died for our sins.

1 Corinthians 5:7&8 say this: "Get rid of the old "yeast" by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been "sacrificed" for us. 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old "bread" of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth. *New Living Translation*

Another thing that ties together is the Last Supper. In the Synoptic Gospels {the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke}, it says that Jesus' last supper was a passover seder, which is a Jewish ritual feast. Do you think this is why we celebrate Easter Sunday with a huge feast with our loved ones? Hmmm....I'm growing more and more fascinated.

One last thing, and I will stop. It really has nothing to do with Easter, but with spring. Do you know the phrase, "spring cleaning"? Well, this also came from Bible times! I'm laughing here, because God is just good, do you know what I'm sayin'??? Think back to the feast of the unleavened bread. Not only were they NOT to eat bread containing yeast, it was not even supposed to be in their homes. Chametz is what it was referred to as. They also had to throughougly clean and scrub their homes during this time, because it was to be NOWHERE. So, even today, we still do this!!! Isn't this amazing?

I told a story, and I am ending this, I promise. This is it. The first night of the Passover is when the Israelites fled from Egypt to return to their homeland, the land that YAHWEH had promised them. According to what I found on the internet (Wikipedia), YAHWEH is one of the many names they used for the Deity~God. And I thought of the song that we never got to sing in choir, about Yahweh~the words are "Yahweh, our Lord is coming".

I am floored by my God this morning. Yes, He is Yahweh, and yes, He is coming. Let it be, Lord, let it be. I may continue with some more tidbits tomorrow. Hope I didn't bore you too much. Love you all.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Tuesday!

Isaiah 60:1~5 "Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the LORD rises to shine on you. 2 Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the LORD rises and appears over you. 3 All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance. 4 Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. 5 Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy, for merchants from around the world will come to you. They will bring you the wealth of many lands.

Isaiah 61:3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In the righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

v. 10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels. 11 The Sovereign LORD will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.

Isaiah 66: 1&2 This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that? Could you build me such a resting place? 2 My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken!

Psalm 5:1~3 O LORD, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. 2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. 3 Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

v. 7&8 Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your temple with deepest awe. 8 Lead me in the right path, O LORD, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow.

Psalm 8:1 O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens!

Psalm 9:1&2 I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. 2 I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 18:1~3 I love you, LORD; you are my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. 3 I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.

Psalm 23: 1 The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. 6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 34:1~3 I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. 2 I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart. 3 Come, let us tell of the LORD'S greatness; let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 42:1&2 As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. 2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?

Psalm 48:1 How great is the LORD, how deserving of praise, in the city of our God, which sits on his mountain!

Psalm 61:1~4 O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! 2 From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, 3 for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. 4 Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!

Psalm 66:1&2 Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth! 2 Sing about the glory of his name! Tell the world how glorious he is.

My pastor did this on Sunday~he had us repeat{shout!} these after him. They're all praise to God from the book of Psalm. It can be really powerful! I encourage you to say them aloud in praise to Him as you read them...He loves to hear His own word spoken back to Him in praise! Part 2 will come tomorrow...

Monday, April 6, 2009

What's Up?


This was what Drew looked like when he woke up this morning. Much improvement since the previous post. He is fine, I am happy to report. He hasn't had a headache all day, and it's not that swollen anymore. It only looks swollen shut first thing in the morning. Isn't he purty, as he would say???

I enjoyed another field trip today. Today was Jonah's and Noah's turn, and their field trip was to the Botanic Gardens. It is so beautiful there. It was cold today, but still pretty. They had such a great time, we all did, but their favorite thing was riding the bus there. They slept on the way back to school. They were exhausted. We ended the day out with lunch together in their classrooms. Fun times had by all.

I checked Jonah and Noah out because, after all, it was field trip day, but also because Jonah had a doctor's appointment with the urologist again. It went well~I saw what he meant by him not being sure if there's a kidney or not...there does seem to be one, it is just smaller than the other one. The left one measures at 8 cm and the right one, if that's what we're seeing, measures at about 5 cm. So. That's that. He wants him to have one more test...a renal (sp???) scan. They will give him an iv and inject dye into it. We will then go to the doctor that we saw today, and by that time the kidney(s) will have started to filter it, and it'll give the doc an indication of whether or not the right one is functioning. Worst case scenario, if there is no kidney, it still stays there. It's not bothersome, and the doc and Pediatric's Association tells us that we do not have to alter his lifestyle. If he wants to play football, then so be it. We'll schedule this test sometime after school ends.

We froze our behinds off at ball practice tonight. It was sooooo cold. And sooooo windy. The wind was what was so bad. We had a couple new kids show up tonight~Todd went Saturday and only had three kids come. If this is any indication of what is to come....well, then I don't know what. At least the 2 tonight were new to him. They did great, considering the cold temps. It was great. Jonah and Noah did great...I can't wait till the games start!!!

After practice, we went to Wally World. Todd and Graham went in and got a few things and took forever to come out. So Graham comes running out and asks, "Mom, do you have your purse?" To which I answered, "No." Graham told me that Todd left his wallet home as well. Lots of good they do us at home, huh? Not a minute later, Todd and Graham walk back out...with the groceries. There was a man standing in line behind Todd who asked him how much he needed. Todd figured he thought he needed a couple dollars, but it was $25. The man put his stuff with Todd's and told the cashier he would pay for it all. Todd tried to stop him, saying it was no big deal, that we could go home and get his wallet and come back. But the man insisted, saying, "Consider this a favor from a friend in Jesus." Can you believe that?!?!?!?! Good people DO still exist! We can't quit talking about it. I was reminded of the Bible verse that says to watch how you act because you may be entertaining angels unawared!!!

So, how was YOUR Monday? Mine was fantabulous. This is the best week...it's holy week. I love, love, LOVE this time of year, friends. It is all about Jesus, and what He did for us. I want to encourage you to find some time for Him this week, and thank Him for what He has done for us and in us. And if you're not planning on it, please consider going to church if you usually don't. What an amazing time for His children to come back home to Him! I love you all in Christ, and am praying for you this week. Be blessed.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

So On The Day After His Birthday, He Got Another Present....

This. It is our first official goosegg. Poor thing. Todd sent a picture to my email, and I just about croaked. It looks really nasty, doesn't it? Poor little guy. Todd said at first, it was just a scratch but just a few minutes after that, it turned into this. Todd said he immediately took him inside the church and got him some ice for it. Drew took it like a champ~he didn't get upset, and he's still playing. He didn't have his glove up over his face, so the ball collided with him. I'm wondering what his eye will look like later today...

We survived the sleepover. They had a blast. They had to lay down at 11:30 because all of the boys, and I do mean all 7 kids, had baseball practice or a game today. One of the boys had a tournament. It only took them 10 minutes to fall asleep. Drew had a great day yesterday and an even better time last night. Aunt Lisa made him a baseball cake to top it all off. We went to her house to eat and open gifts, and to wish Jaret a happy birthday, as well. Him and Drew share their birthdays.

Today, I'm just hanging around home doing some things while all the boys go to practice. Jonah's and Noah's first practice is today too, and they are beside themselves. They've been ready since 7:20. Tonight Todd's cousin is getting married, so those are the plans for tonight. Church tomorrow! Church has been ahhhhmazing lately, so I can't wait for tomorrow. Well, I'm going to go make beds and fold some clothes. I just thought I'd share our first goosegg with you all. Love to all and have a blessed weekend!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jesus

The Word for Today
with Bob Gass - Friday, 3rd April 2009

Good morning Jennifer
Peter heard him say, 'It is the Lord'... and jumped into the water.

After the disciples had fished all night, catching nothing, Jesus said to them, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat" and they caught 153 fish. That's how it works; one word from Him and suddenly everything changes for the better.

Then we read, "The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord!' As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, 'It is the Lord,' he… jumped into the water" and went straight to Jesus (John 21:7 NIV). Notice, Peter had to decide whether to leave his fish and go to Jesus, or stay behind and enjoy what he'd worked hard for. It's a test we all face when we've accomplished our life's objectives, our nets are full, and we've finally 'made it'. The challenge is - do we stay and guard our blessings, or go overboard for the Lord and commit ourselves fully to Him?

Paul briefly refers to his career success: "You know my pedigree… from the elite tribe of Benjamin… defender of… my religion… meticulous observer of… God's law" (Philippians 3:3-6 TM). Career-wise, Paul was doing well. But listen to him now: "Things I… thought were so important are gone… dumped… in the trash so that I could embrace Christ" (Philippians 3:8 TM). Paul realised that his true identity lay not in his accomplishments, but in his relationship with Jesus. Do you feel that way? That night it probably felt like Peter was forfeiting everything, yet when he reached the shore he found Jesus busy - cooking fish! Whatever you need, God has it. Whatever you give up, He will repay many times over. Whatever you're willing to walk away from ultimately determines what He can trust you with.


*I love this story! It made me thank Jesus this morning for His grace and love, and it makes me want to keep running to Him with my arms wide open. Be blessed today, friends.*

HaPpY bIrThDaY, dReW!

Nine years ago today, Andrew Myles Goodwin entered into my life. I have not been the same since! I should have known that he would be the "different" one, because nothing about his delivery was normal. They gave me an epidural, but it didn't work. He was also almost a whole pound more than what Graham had been~he weighed in at just under 9lbs. He was the one baby that I actually nursed, but {and you're gonna laugh here b/c he's still the same today!} it wasn't enough for him! So he got both! That cracks me up. Maybe it was a sign of what was to come...

Drew was an incredible baby, he always had a smile on his face. He never got colicky like his big brother did, and he was easy to please. Again, this is still what he is like today! He LOVED getting into all sorts of things and was creative in the way he played from the very start. He loved to wear a long~handled bowl on his head, and he loved to hide in my cabinets. This one time when he was one year old and standing but not walking yet, I found him standing in the middle of the kitchen table, reaching for the string to turn the fan on. That was the kind of kid he was. He also has talked since he was eleven months old~no joke. He would say, "I go 'side." and that would mean he wanted to go outside. He actually translated for Graham all the time. Go figure.

Drew has brought sunshine into our lives~he's a joy to be around, and you NEVER know what is going to come out of his mouth. Last night he was cracking Todd and me up~so hard that we were crying. He is hilarious. He has a knack for making everyone happy, and old people love him. He also loves them. This one time this little Down's Syndrome boy kissed Drew on the lips and I asked Drew what he did, and he just smiled and laughed and said, "Nothing. He was just happy." I love my Drew.

Well, I have to get a start on our day~Drew has requested McAllister's for lunch. He wants a French dip roast beef sandwich, chips, and root beer. He also requested a cookie cake. So I'm going to deliver. God love him. Food makes him so happy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ummmm???

I don't know what to write. I know what I want to write about, but will not do so. I have prayed, I have released some pent up frustration, I have emailed a friend and asked for her to pray, now all that's left is for me to write. I love Jesus. He is so kind to take the burdens off of my shoulders and to put them onto His. I will serve and love Him until my dying day.

Do you ever feel frustrated about anything? Do you ever pray endlessly over something, only to keep being disappointed time after time after time? I feel that way. I felt that way tonight. BUT GOD {those are my favorite words!} is bigger than all of that, and He will be glorified in some way throughout this time. I know He will. That is the only thing that helps me feel better.

Moving onto another subject, Noah and I are downstairs watching The Incredibles. This is my all time favorite movie. Ever, ever, ever. Disney/Pixar outdid themselves with this movie. It's so good and so suspenseful that you forget you're watching a cartoon. I still want an Incredibles tshirt. Someday, I will have one. Muah ha ha ha. Imagine the deep voiced laugh there.

Todd took Graham and Drew to Sports Authority to buy cleats and sliding pants for baseball. He bought Jonah and Noah some pants, too, which they will be thrilled about. He also bought them a new bat this week~he just informed me how expensive kids were. Then Graham pops up in the background saying, "But Dad, it would have been lower if you hadn't bought you a pair of cleats." Kids. I love when they rat out the offending parent! They are really fun. Jonah and Noah are currently running and sliding on the floor, testing to make sure their sliding capabilities are all they're cracked up to be. And so far, they are.

Baseball season has started, my friends, and I am so excited. I love all things related to this sport. The cleats, the pants, the jerseys and hats, the dirty faces and bodies, even their grubby little puppy dog smell. I love mommying me some little boys. Well, I am gonna hang out with my babies for the rest of this stormy night. We're going to finish this movie together and enjoy being a family. Love to all and good night.

My Current Favorite Song




Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What I Did Today

We had an amazing day together, Drew and I. It was the perfect day for a walking field trip. It really could not have been any better. It was cool at first, but in the sun it felt great. By noon it had warmed up and it felt amazing having the sun beam down on us like that. It was gorgeous. Mrs. Claney, the principal, very graciously gave me the day off. Her words were, "You work at your kids' school, you are entitled to perks like this." I feel blessed.

Of course you know, I am going to post me some pictures. I got there 20 minutes before the kids (I cheated and drove because of my foot), and to pass the time, I took like 30 pictures. Of the most beautiful church. This first one is actually not a church anymore, but a renovated steakhouse. Hmmmm....and a very pricey one, I might add. I do not see a night here in our future. At $120 for 2, it's not all it's cracked up to be, I'm afraid. But it's still nice to look at. I love the red door.
These next pictures are of the first place we went and visited~St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. It was built in the late 1800's, and lots of it are still the original building. Like the windows, the bell, the inside ceiling. The lady officiating the tour told us that last year when they had the new roof put on last year, they discovered that the only roof on there is just that...from the inside of the church, while undergoing that roofing process, they could actually see through to the outside. So this time, they laid down lots of plastic first, then the shingles.


This is what I picture the Garden of Gethsemane to look like. Only bigger, better and prettier.




This is the "Jesus window", which is the first thing you notice when walking in. It symbolizes that all of our attention should be placed on Him alone. Pretty smart folks they were, back in the late 1800's. I want a Jesus window in my house.

This is the "Bible window", which is the last thing you see when walking out. This symbolizes the fact that we should open God's word every single day of the week~not just on Sunday! Again...hmmmm.

This is a cool shot of the train they toured. I had fun playing with the new (well not so much) camera. I love photography, too, and this beautiful day we had inspired me. I'm seriously thinking about having some of these shots (or one of the other 60) enlarged and framed. I would much prefer something original like this hanging in my home than something meaningless.

Drew and his friend, Drew C. Another Drew C., I might add!

Cutie in a cool phone booth, posing like always!

I love this clock, and thought the picture turned out really cool. Another one I'd like to have framed. Or drawn on canvas.

Me and the almost~birthday~boy! We had an amazing day, one that I will never forget.

I love days like today. My feet hit the floor, and I knew it was going to be "one of those days"~the good kind. It's funny how we know so soon in the day, too. And either it is, or it isn't. I've said this before, and I'll say it lots more, but my pastor says that the most important decision we make everyday is our attitude. We can choose to let things bother us, we can choose to get mad and sulk, or we can choose to have joy~the joy in our salvation that God gave us! When you stop and think about that, how can we NOT be joyful?

Todd likes the phrase, "keep smiling", and I do too. It's hard to let the world and all its troubles get to us when we're smiling, ya know? I have bad days, trust me, I have bad days. Ask my husband, he can attest. BUT I know that it's only temporary. A friend on facebook asked me if I ever had a bad day. That's why I'm writing this now...because I do. I just take my focus (or try to) off of the situation, pray about it, release it to God, then put all that attention on Him. I love to praise Him in whatever I go through~and by giving Him praise amidst my problems~it's powerful, let me tell you. I think He blesses those who bless Him, and besides my family, the biggest blessing He has given me is joy. I feel like a new woman.

Well, having said all THAT...our day was fantabulous. I always feel refreshed after spending time with Drew because of his carefree little self. He can get into a bad mood faster than I can blink, but he's so easy to please. He has pure, unadulterated joy, and I love it. He laughs a lot and loves life. He can put anyone in a good mood, just by being around him.

This is the week for field trips~Graham has one on Friday that my dad is accompanying him on, and Jonah and Noah have one of Monday. Graham is taking a walking field trip to the Wolf River preservation area (a 2 mile walk), and Jonah and Noah are going to the Botanical gardens for a butterfly exhibit. That one I cannot wait for...rest assured, more pictures are to come.

Well, I hope you have a marvelous evening doing whatever you may decide to do. Love to all and good night.

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 ...