Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Little Worship...

I love this song. It just so happens to be what we're singing in choir tonight, too. Enjoy!


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fun In The Sun

It's really sad that I think in terms of this blog. I've told you before that I am obsessed with it. Seriously. It's gotten so bad that I take my camera with me at all times. I never know when an opportunity will present itself to me, and how better to record it, than with a picture? So I can then post it on my blog. Hmmm. This is sad, isn't it?

On the way to havin' some fun in the sun. Well, sort of. It was only 70 degrees, but I'd promised 5 boys that I would take them all swimming, and I don't make promises I don't keep!


Graham and Drew...they DO love each other, they really do!



It was freezing. I think that is what Jonah was trying to convey to me through my camera.


See? I told ya. It was freezing. They would swim, and get out, swim, and get out. Poor Noah's lips were blue.

You know your boys are getting to THAT AGE, when they check out every girl that comes near. And check them out they did. I think Graham and DC were trying to push each other into the water here.


They had to feed the geese. And the few ducks that showed up. I won't post the next picture. As they were walking back to Mimi's house, they saw a crushed turtle with all its intestines spilled out onto the grass. Blah. It was gross. And Graham, my little mini me photographer, was just snapping away.


All tuckered out after a LOOOONNNNGGGG day of swimming.


And again...


and one more.


This was at the zoo the next day. They were looking at a lion that was sprawled out on its back like our cats do. It was pretty cute.


Lil Jonah bug just a walkin'.

The Bros. Love them to pieces, I do.


I love this picture, I took it in the petting zoo part of the zoo. The whole day was like this, perfectly gorgeous, ordained by God Himself.


Noah was looking at the little lamb that had just been there. It was precious. I love this shot of him. My little big boy.


On the train, because what in the world would a trip to the zoo be without a train ride? With Pappaw, no less.


Snow cones! Noah got the prize because he was the only one to finish his.


Contemplative Jonah. Doesn't happen very often. Him not talking, I mean.


It was the perfect day. Followed by another perfect day. Today. Each day in our story is a gift. Hope you enjoyed viewing some of my treasures. Love to all.

Good Morning, Glory

It's barely 8am on Saturday morning, and the rest of the house is still asleep. Jonah and Noah spent the night with a friend last night {Jackson}, and Graham and Drew invited a friend over {Chandler}. So with the 3 boys, it's still quiet.

We had the best zoo day ever yesterday. Everything was perfect~the weather, the crowd size, the sky, everything. It was like God ordained that day to happen just for me and my Daddy. All the flowers are bursting with color, and I saw things there in the landscaping that I've never noticed before. And trust me. I've been to our zoo a few {thousand} times. It's my favorite place. I'll post pics of it once I get a spare thirty minutes. {I hate posting blog pictures~it takes way longer than just writing. Because the pics never go where I want them. So hats off to you all who post pics all the time.}

Last night, Graham and Drew had a game. After the game, my sister, Trish, came back home with us. And stayed until 10:30. We sat out on my back deck and talked. And talked. And caught up on each other's lives. I love me some sister time. It was great.

In just a little bit, we've got to leave and go pick up Jonah and Noah. We're bringing their friend Jackson with us for the day. I am 98% sure that when we get done with baseball, there will be loads of water involved in their playtime. Fun times, people, fun times. The magic mixture for fun in the summer is sun and water. That's it. Pretty simple, huh?

We're off to Nana's and Big Daddy's for dinner tonight. Hopefully Mom won't get sick on us this time. :( I had to put her to bed last week b/c she was coming down with something. Well, I have to run. Chandler's mom is coming to pick him up in half an hour and he needs to be up and ready. So. To all of you who read this~have a wonderful Saturday with your family. Whatever that involves. Love to all!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Awe-Summm? Well, Not Really, But I'll Play

Here are the award rules:

1. List 7 things that make you Awe-Summm and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers you love (IF YOU WANT TO) =)

2. Make sure to tag the recipients and let them know they have won!

3. Also link back to the Queen that tagged you (I guess that is me???).

What makes me Awe-Summmm???

1. I love Jesus more than I love my life. And let me tell you, I LOVE my life. God is so good to me, a sinner saved by His amazing grace. If He can take someone like me, and transform me into who I am today, then He can do it for anybody.

2. My family and my friends are what keep me going. I have the best of both of those worlds. I love them all desperately, and could not ever in a million bajillion trillion years imagine my life without them.

3. My husband. And yes, while he is family, he deserves his own spot. I married the most incredible man, and I wish that I could say that for all the people I know and love. Todd is the most unselfish person I have ever met. He would literally give you the shirt off of his back if he thought it would make you better. I wish I could count all the times he's pulled over on the side of the road or interstate to help a stranded driver. If that ever happens to you, a face like his is the one you wish to see. He makes me laugh. He puts up with me. He gets me. He knows that I am not always pleasant, and he loves me anyway. In spite of. God showed me what His love looked like the day that I married my best friend, the one I laugh with, live for, love.

4. My kids. I have got amazing kids. I don't mean to brag y'all, but they are. I love the little guys so much that on some days, it feels like my heart is going to burst out of my chest. My heart is so full. I love hearing them play, laugh and run. They are my joy.

5. I love God's word, and I love studying it. I am not happy with where I am at the present moment, in terms of faith. I constantly want to be growing deeper and deeper in love with my Maker. I love finding truths in His word.

6. As much as I love my hubby and my boys, I love me some girl time. I have the worlds best girlfriends God could ever bless anyone with. Ahem. Christa. Rene. Leesh. You know who you are, and my life without you would be very boring and bland. You bring me joy.

7. I love to read. I love to read ANYTHING. The Bible, old hymnals, stories about how music was written and what the words mean, fiction, nonfiction, stories and books to my kids. You name it. ANYTHING. I am a huge book nerd. Library nerd. And I am proud of it. :)

Seven blogs I nominate: And yes I can count, but I only nominated six.

1. Alicia~this woman of God is a treasure to me. Though she is no longer local to me, I know she is there for me at all times. She moved to San Antonio a couple months ago, and while we were friends then, I feel like we have since become soul sisters. I love this girl. I cannot wait until she comes to visit this summer. I cannot wait to spend some time with her. Laughing. Joking. Talking. Maybe crying. Like when she has to leave. She's a great example of this: you never know what you have lost until you have lost it. Leesh, I love you to pieces and cannot wait to hug you!!!

2. Debi~my real life sister. Soul sista, as her blog states. She is amazing. She is older than me, and though she's in Florida, I feel like she's always a mile away. We can always ham it up and pick right back up from where we previously left off. She is a remarkable woman of God who just so happens to be raising the cutest nephew and niece a girl has ever seen. I admire her. I admire her strength, and quite honestly, I wish I was more like her. She is the funniest person I have ever met. Seriously. Love this chicka.

3. Jennifer~I graduated from school one year earlier than this girl. I wish we'd been better friends in high school, but let's face it: we were in high school. I love how this girly girl writes. She's charming, witty, funny, and as cute as a button. Her words are always amusing~she even cracks my husband up. I would love to get the chance to see her in person again~hint hint, Jen, if you're reading this~it would be great to catch up.

4. Patty~This sweet lady is a friend from the school where my kiddos go. She is someone I've gotten to know over the past 2 or 3 years, and the more I know her, the more I love her. Her words are always so refreshing. You literally never know what she is going to say next, and I could not love anyone more!

5. Rene~This girl will be my forever friend. We don't always talk. We don't see each other regularly. And yet we always pick right back up. She was the one who singlehandedly arranged for me to have meals delivered to me for 6 weeks after I had the twins. She is the kindest person that I know. It doesn't matter where we are in life~she will always be there for me. I hope she knows I will always be there for her, as well.

And lastly, but not least, my bloggy friend Dawn. I do not know this sweet lady in person, although I feel like I do. We first met through Beth Moore's blog, and then we started {didn't finish :(} a Bible study together last summer. Through the internet. I love reading about where she is in life. She is a beautiful wife, and mom to two of the most precious baby boys you will ever see. I am sort of re~living the boys' younger years through her. Some of her posts make me cry. In fact, a lot of them do. She is unabashedly in love with her Creator, and she loves all things related to Him, and learning about Him. She is an inspiration to all who read her words. God has gifted her with the ability to write. I sincerely hope that I get to meet her face to face someday. I know that if we met we'd be fast friends. And thank you, Dawn, for the sweet words you said about me on your blog.

I have to run, we have a softball game to watch tonight! Todd and the boys are itchin' to get out there on those fields! Love to all!!!

Book PREview #2

Thought I would share this...for you summer readers out there. You gotta love some summer reading. I know what will be in my hands all summer, can I interest anyone else in this one?

Amish Love

What’s all the hubbub about Amish fiction? Major media outlets like Time and ABC Nightline are covering it, and authors like Cindy Woodsmall are making the New York Times bestseller list regularly. What makes these books so interesting?

Check out the recent ABC Nightline piece here (http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=7676659&page=1) about Cindy and her titles When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and When the Soul Mends. It’s an intriguing look at Amish culture and the time Cindy has spent with Amish friends.

And don’t forget that Cindy’s new book The Hope of Refuge hits store shelves August 11, and is available for preorder now.

Happy Summer!

HaPpY sUmMeR!

It's official. We are out for summer! If you've ever seen High School Musical 2, at the beginning, the part where they're all chanting, "Summer! Summer! Summer!", that is what I felt like yesterday at 3:55 as I was waiting on that final bell to ring.

We got off on the right start by going to church and hanging with friends, then Graham and Drew invited DC over to spend the night. In just a little while, we're going to pack up and head over to Mimi's house to swim! Even though the high is only 80 degrees. They'll either have too much fun to notice that it's cold, or they'll freeze to death. And if they complain, we'll go back to her house to hang out.

So, rewind back to yesterday. I just about made a complete fool of myself over leaving that school. Mrs. Miles, Jonah's teacher, invited me back to her classroom before I left, but I got so choked up that I couldn't do it. It made me feel better that she did, too. I had to walk away. I did the same thing over Noah's teacher. I had to send emails apologizing this morning. I wanted them to understand why I had to just walk away from them. I hate crying in front of people.

Then to top that off, when it came time for all the 5th graders to leave the cafeteria, they all surrounded me with group hugs. I had a few that hugged me tightly and would not let go. It made my heart crack a little. Because THAT propelled me into thinking about next year, and the fact that this will be Graham's last year of elementary school. And the thought of me walking those halls without him there sends me into tears. Like right now. I don't know if I'll be able to handle it.

Well, enough of that sad stuff. This is supposed to be a happy post because it's Summer!!!! Praise the Lord for sustaining me through these past few weeks! I'm gonna get off this thing and go hang with my kiddos! Love to all!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My First Book Review

I am thrilled to be able to participate in something called a book blog tour. It's very simple. I respond to an email about whether or not I want to participate in a certain book blog tour, I get the book in the mail, I read it {or at least start it!}, then I write a review about it. So, if you are uninterested, bear with me.

I am reviewing a brand new book entitled, The Night Watchman. It's written by Mark Mynheir. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please click HERE.

The Night Watchman is about an ex~homicide detective forced into early retirement because of a painful injury. Retired, but working security on the side, he goes to work each day with a bad attitude and a bad hangover. When Ray discovers two murder victims in the place where he works security, he is forced back into work. The only suspect the police have is not guilty, and to try and prove the man's innocence, Ray Quinn unravels a murder mystery so deep that it threatens to unravel the Orlando political landscape.

Full of twisting turns and breathtaking suspense, this novel should definitely satisfy your summer reading craving. Happy Reading!

Our Last Day Of School!

Ah, blessed summer. The possibilities are endless. We're getting started off on the right foot. Tonight is church, tomorrow we're going to swim with Mimi, and Friday we're going to the zoo. Although, Jonah and Drew said they didn't want to go. They'd probably rather go see Night At The Museum. They have, after all, been walking around for 2 weeks saying, "Fire Power". I thought it was funny the first 213 times, but it quickly got old.

This weekend is baseball {!} and who knows what else. We're taking things slow. As in a few days at a time. I think I let summer get the best of me every single year, but I am determined not to let it happen this year. We'll take things slow, and spread events out, and see where that gets us. One thing I want to do is play at the park with flashlights. It just sounds like fun to me. If they don't get scared, that is.

Before then, however, we all have to endure our last day. So, in order to do that, I must get off of here. I hope you all have a blessed day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Things I Learned From A Show I Watch

It is no secret. After this weekend, marathon weekend, I might add, I have learned that I have a Jon & Kate problem. As in I like it so much, that now my kids are hooked, kind of problem. Again, Todd, please keep all sarcastic remarks to yourself.

I watched tonight's episode with my heart breaking into pieces. Too many times tragedy strikes a marriage, and couples take the easy way out, or so they think. The old saying, "The grass is always greener on the other side", is NOT true. And with separation comes all sorts of problems.

Anyhow, these are some things that this lovely couple has taught me. It is not rocket science. It takes time, effort, and a commitment. With those things, come marital happiness.

*Wives, do not EVER EVER EVER talk down to your husbands. No matter how mad they make you. No matter that they don't put things where they belong. No matter if they make sounds you don't like to hear.

*Husbands, don't ever take your wife for granted. She wants {needs} to be appreciated and romanced.

*No matter how much you disagree on something, don't ever get into it in front of the kids. It just makes them feel guilty for having to be there to witness the whole thing.

*Wives, don't nag the husband. Trust me. It's not gonna get done any faster with your nagging. In fact, it just may take five times longer. If you want something done, use your manners. You're never too old to say "please" and "thank you". A little appreciation and kindness go a long long LONG way.

*According to Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages, find out which way your spouse needs to be loved, and love them that way. Embrace the differences between the two of you, and take turns loving each other in the needed ways.

*Take the time and the effort to have time alone together. Whether it's a date night, or 30 minutes spent talking without the kids underfoot. The other night after we all finished dinner, the kids all got up, and Todd and I just sat there and talked. It was wonderful. In fact, it was so great that when we got up, I said something along the lines of, "Wow, that should happen more often." I know that life happens, but don't so overschedule yourselves or your kids that you can't take that time. Todd and I NEVER {hardly} have date nights. It's up to us to make that time for each other.

*I have said it before, and I will say it again. The kids need to see you love each other. Todd and I always hug and kiss in front of the boys. So much so that they don't even flinch anymore. They always used to say, "Ewwww, gross", then walk away. They don't even say that anymore. If you hug and kiss often, you're less likely to stay mad about something. Because who the heck wants to kiss someone they're mad at? {BTW, this is the answer that won us the free copy of Fireproof, and entered us into the grand prize drawing on KLove. So apparently, it's good.}

*Appreciate the efforts your husband makes around the house. So what if the dishwasher isn't loaded exactly right, or that the towels from that night's showers are still on the bathroom floor? The fact is, if they do it, be thankful. They don't have to help at all. They don't even have to be home at all. And yet they are. Take the time to say {and mean} thank you.

*When he talks, listen. When she talks, listen and make eye contact. He needs your attention, and she needs to see your eyes.

I could go on, but I'll stop. I am no marriage expert. I know that once my marriage was shaky, and now it's not. I know that we both messed up in the past, and we still mess up today. But I know that we love each other. We are committed to God, and to each other. We are not perfect by any means, but we do what we have to do to stay in tune to each other. You are NEVER too old to learn a new trick.

Oh, and not all these things were gleaned from tonight's episode. Just a couple. The rest of them I learned through a Bible study that I did a few years ago called, Apples of Gold. It's based on the book of Titus: older women teaching a younger woman how to be a godly wife. A lot of these concepts can be found in the book of Proverbs. And yet some more can be learned from The 5 Love Languages. Marriage takes time. It takes lots and lots of work. And creativity. And fun. Now go and get to working, and have some fun along the way.

Happy Memorial Day!

I wanted to make sure my kids knew and understood what today was about, so we had a talk about Memorial day. Jonah wanted to know what army men did. As best I could explain, I told him how they were trained for several things, one of which was war {"what is war, Mommy?"}, but also real life. Hmmm. Don't know if I did that great of a job on the explanation thing, but I did my best. He got quiet, so I'm pretty sure I answered his question.

Noah was playing a game, and probably heard about one fourth of what I said, and Graham and Drew are still asleep. It's funny, because last night when the kiddos were going to bed, we had Jonah, Noah, and Andy. Andy went home. Our friend Marcia called, because Drew got sick. So Graham and Drew came home. We went from three, to two, then back to four. Guess it wasn't meant to be. Looks like Drew has strep. He has fever, and was crying over a sore throat. :( The doctor was nice enough to call in an Rx for him so we didn't have to actually go in to see him. Since Todd and Graham had it.

So. I guess we won't be doing much of anything today. My mom is sick, too, so we won't be going there. And with Drew sick, he won't want to go anywhere. I may make a run to the Kroger before the rest of this week gets under way. Looks like school is questionable for tomorrow. With Drew sick, he shouldn't go, yet I hate for them all to miss field day. So...we'll see. I may call my doctor back and ask his opinion on that. And since they're not doing ANYTHING at school, other than having fun....well. I don't know. The jury's still out.

Today, I am thankful for this country that we live in. I plan on taking some time this morning, and thanking the Lord for His hand over us. I am grateful for the men and women who have fought for our country, and for the ones who have lost their lives for our freedom. We are a blessed nation, no matter the rough times we may be going through. I am so thankful for this country that we live in. I hope that sometime in your day today you stop and take a moment to thank God for all He has given us, and all He has done in our lives. May He bless you all.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes...

At the dinner table tonight

Andy {Jonah's and Noah's friend}: " I don't like applejuice. Can I have tea?"

Jonah: "You don't like applejuice?"

Andy: "No."

Jonah: "What about the pizza crust? Do you like pizza crust?"

Andy: "No."

Jonah: "You don't like applejuice or pizza crust?"

Andy: "No."

Jonah: "All applejuice is, is water with apples in it."

*Sigh.* Aren't kids precious? This took place while I was away at an engagement party. Isn't my hubby just the best? Smile.

Hmmmm....

Do you think I have a blogging problem? I mean seriously. My life is not at all that interesting. Unless you count 4 boys 4 years apart interesting. Which this is the norm nowadays, so I doubt it. Right when I signed in to write this post, I noticed this is my 402nd post. Yup. I'd say I have a problem.

How's your weekend going? Mine is fabulous. I, no WE, got all kinds of stuff done yesterday. My wonderhubby cut the grass, front and back. Grass? Jungle, I mean. In the backyard, at least. Then he cleaned out the garage. I wondered if he wasn't feeling well, but I was scared if I asked him that it would go away. While him and the boys finished up out there, I finished cleaning the house, then cleaned the back deck. It looks so much better now. I'll post pics when I get some pretty flowers and such out there. I'm going to start an herb garden. Well, not a garden. I guess maybe I should call them herb POTS. Because, let's face it, my kids and I will kill the garden. I don't do worms/spiders, and they don't do pretty grass/flower beds. Maybe someday. But pots? I can handle little herb pots.

*Todd, please keep all sarcastic comments to yourself.*

I have some spare time on my hands because I woke up at the crack of dawn to make breakfast for Sunday school. It smells yummy. It's just a breakfast casserole~it has sausage, tater tots, eggs, cheese and bisquick. Easy schmeasy. Drew is about to start drooling. His tongue was hanging out as I told him what was cooking in the oven.

Well. Speaking of that, I'd better get off here and go check it. I have some really cute pics to post soon...if you're on facebook, go over there and look at them. Included in them is a picture that Graham made of the teepee he built to protect himself from the water war they had in the front yard yesterday. Pretty cool. Love to all! The timer just went off.....

Friday, May 22, 2009

Musings and Ramblings and Stuff

Happy Friday!!!!!! I am so excited it's Friday. Because one, that means LONG WEEKEND! And two, only 2 more days after today. Insert happy yell here.

Tonight {if Todd is feeling up to it}, he is taking the older boys to the races at Memphis Motorsports Park. Notice the parentheses. He woke up with a low grade temperature. :( So, if you would like, please pray for him. The tickets were free {Thank you, Big Daddy!}, and I would hate for them to go to waste.

If they go, Jonah, Noah and myself are going to go hang out with Mimi. Because she, too, will be alone. Papa is going to go with Todd. We're going in comfy clothes, and gonna eat comfort food and maybe watch a movie. :) This makes my heart happy. Girls night!!! Well, plus the little guys. But they're excited too, because I told them we could play Sorry. I am SO not a game person. Especially if it's one like Sorry that's probably just going to make me mad. Oh well.

I was reading another blog this morning, and she had this whole long article about the benefits of organic foods. Which got me to thinking. Not that I'm going to become this great, healthy, naturalist {thanks for that word, Shea!} kind of woman, but I think I may start shopping at our local farmer's market. For 2 reasons. It'll be cheaper, and it is more healthy. And it's just fun. I used to want to be a farmer after Mom and I left there when I was younger. I could still do the farmer thing now, I think. If we were somewhere cool. Not in Hardemon country, Todd. Somewhere cooler. Like in the hills of North Carolina, for instance. Wishful thinking. I can just see myself stepping onto our huge front porch {because what is a farmhouse without the porch???} and ringing my cow bell calling, "DINNER!", and seeing my beautiful family come running from their hiding place among those hills. Sigh.

Back to the farmer's market thing...I think I am going to do this with the boys this summer. And this weekend is Fetching Frenzy, which is picking your own strawberries for $1.88 a pound. You can find out lots by going online and doing a little research. Strawberries are way expensive at the Kroger and the Walmart. More than a buck eighty~eight, I guarantee.

So. All these plans. We'll see which ones I actually do. It is supposed to rain for the next, I don't know, hundred and seventy~four days. Or something like that. So who knows if we'll go pick our own berries in all that rain. And who knows about our last tball game on Tuesday. I pray it doesn't get rained out.

Well, I have to run. I did find out that Todd does have strep, but he's still going tonight. He's getting a shot and some antibiotics, so he should be fine for tonight. The good news is he caught it fast, and that shot will kick in after 4 hours. It's a miracle. I've witnessed it myself. So. Fun times ahead. Love to all and if I don't hear from you, have a fanTABulous weekend!!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

HaPpY tHuRsDaY

It's going to be one of those days....the good kind. I can just feel it in my bones. I have already prayed for all of you who read this to have that kind of a day.

I read a great devotion this morning, and without sharing the whole thing like I sometimes do, you can go here to check it out. This morning's devotion was about being a mom...most of us are not SuperMom, although I do know a few that come mighty close. Why do we hold ourselves so responsible to be the best at every single little thing that we do? I was convicted by this this morning. I think sometimes that I get really caught up in trying to be a certain kind of woman~wife, mom, friend~when I really shouldn't worry about any of that nonsense. I should instead just be my BEST. That is all I have to be responsible for. I require that of my kids in school, so why not require that same thing for myself?

Hmmmm, that was a good way to start my day. Really, it was. I will try harder to achieve this new goal that I have set before me....not to be the best at everything that I do, but to just give everything my all. My best. That is all that He requires of me.

So. That's all. Nothing revolutionary this morning, not that anything I write is ever revolutionary, but it's especially not so this morning. It was just something I wanted to share. It spoke to me as a busy {crazy?} mom, and I was wondering if a few of YOU could use the same devotion that I so badly needed. Love to all~I hope your Thursday is blessed, and as always, I'm praying for all of you who read this.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One Small Thing...

If you're ever heard of Compassion International you know that you can sponsor a child in another country. If you have thought about this, and would like to be a part, but can't because of finances, go take a look at the LPM blog that is on the right side of your screen. Scroll down until you see LPM {Living Proof Ministries}, read today's entry and leave a comment. You may win a scholarship to be able to sponsor a child. It's for one hour only, though, so hurry up and get on over there! Love to all.

Upcoming Memorial Day

I have just corresponded with the sweetest man ever through email. His name is "Poppa", and he's a friend of my father~in~love, Wiley. Wiley made such an impression on this man that he actually had Wiley's name tatooed on his arm! I guess it was a way to remember him. Anyway, it's people like this that make our country what it is today.

I know that we're all going through tough times, and things aren't all that great, but we still have our freedom. We still serve a God who reigns. And until the day He returns, this is where we will live, where we will make our homes. I'm going to share Poppa's email address with you, and if you have a spare moment, send him an email and thank him for serving our country. He fought in WW2, so he's an older gentleman, and this would probably make his day. I've shared this blog with him, and I hope he reads what I've written.

I am dedicating this post to him, and for all the other men and women {Daddy} who have fought for our country's freedom. And those who have lost their lives doing so. Stop and take a moment and thank them. It will bless them. Love and prayers to you today.

***Poppa's email~Poppa@copper.net***

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thoughts For The Day

1 John 2:5,6 But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives just as Jesus did.

1 John 2:12~14 I am writing to you who are God's children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus. 13 I am writing to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I am writing to you who are young in the faith because you have won your battle with the evil one. 14 I have written to you who are God's children because you know the Father. I have written to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I have written to you who are young in the faith because you are strong. God's word lives in your hearts, and you have won your battle with the evil one.

Verse 15: Do not love the world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Chapter 3:18 Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

Chapter 4:16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

Chapter 5:21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God's place in your hearts.

I pray your day is blessed.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Great Praise Song



I love this song. I cannot sing it without crying. There is something so powerful about the word YAHWEH. When I looked that word up on the online Merriam~Webster dictionary, it defined it as this: One entry found. God. Total union with God.

Hmmmm, do you think that's coincidental? I don't. I don't believe in coincidences. He is the Master Planner, the Author of all appointments divine. There is none other like Him. He is the great I AM, the MIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE OF PEACE. His name is so powerful that it makes evil forces flee, and causes Satan to cringe. There is nothing sweeter than His name.

Isaiah 46:4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:9~13 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. 10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. 11 From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far~off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. 12 Listen to me, you stubborn~hearted, you who are far from righteousness. 13 I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.

Isaiah 47:8...'I am, and there is none besides me.'

Isaiah 47:10...'I am, and there is none besides me.'

Isaiah 48:17 This is what the LORD says~your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go."

I hope this is a word for you today. It was for me. I take comfort in Him, my Rock, my Redeemer, my Strength and my Song. I am praying for all who read this today. Love to all.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

What A Great Weekend...

I was so proud of all the boys at their games this weekend. Graham's and Drew's team was amazing...especially at yesterday's game! I was totally that baseball mom who wouldn't shut up. :) Good times. It made it worth the effort of waking up at 7 on a Saturday and getting us and the kids out the door 45 minutes later.

After the game, Mimi, the boys and I all went to breakfast at Perkins. Yum. Todd couldn't come because he was working for the sheriff's department. After breakfast we went to Lifeway bookstore, because it was $5 fiction day. Good times, people, good times. I was like a kid in a candy store trying to pick out books. Love them, love them, love them. Noah and Drew walked out with their books without paying for them. So we had to go back in~2 SEPERATE TIMES~to pay for them. We found Drew's first, then Noah's. Needless to say, I told them they were not allowed to walk around with anything in their hands anymore. Because they get distracted by all the goodies at the register.

Today is church!! I really need to be getting dressed instead of sitting here, but I wanted to write since I hadn't in a couple days. How was YOUR weekend? Anyone do anything fun and exciting? I am so thankful for so many things today. I can't wait to go practice my new habit. Love to all.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Challenge #1

"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wildnerness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."~Isaiah 43:19

I am going to start giving out a challenge every Friday. Today's challenge is this:

Buy some brightly colored index cards~because who doesn't love bright colors?~and write Scripture on them. At your local office supply store, you can buy a holepunch and little loose leaf rings that will hold them all together. Keep them in your purse. When you have some spare time, pull them out and read them!

I have done this for several years now, but today I began working on a set for my friend. She is doing the same thing for me. We're trading Scripture! How cool is that??? Try it, you might get blessed!

It's Raining. A.G.A.I.N.

Poor Graham and Drew may never get to play baseball game. I woke up praying that God would keep it away! They've had 2 games canceled because of it, and I don't want a 3rd. As of right now, our last game may not be until July. Who knows. Poor little guys.

On the other hand, I'm trying to be thankful for it, because I know the people in California sure would have liked some of this during all those wildfires. AND because it's great for our farmers...remember how bad the crops were damaged last year because of the drought? So, thank You, Lord for this rain. Even if it messes up baseball. Better to have no baseball than no crops.

So, what's on the agenda for YOUR weekend? We may have some open plans tonight and in the morning because of this rain. If we do, I'm not sure what we'll do. One thing I do know: the boys need haircuts. Graham's hair is so long that he can shake it. It's kinda cute. Well, not kinda, it IS cute. And Drew's about to be at the point where he can't see because of his hair hanging in his eyes. Well, just look at this pic at the top of my blog~it's from Mom's day.

Tomorrow, Todd is working the barbecue fest, so my friend Christa is coming over. We'll eat. We'll talk. We'll laugh. We'll have fun. We may or may not watch a movie. I love when she comes over. :) Time flies when we're together.

Jonah's sweet teacher, Andi Miles, had us over for dinner last night. And by "us", I mean all the ladies that helped in her class this year. There was a house full of us, plus some other staff from school. It was so much fun. I got to know Graham's apex teacher better because she was there, and it was fun seeing the inside of Mrs. Miles' house. Her room at school is organized chaos, but her house was different. She had all kinds of things that pointed out her love of teaching kids. She is one special lady. It was a blast.

Well, I could go on, but I'll stop for now. I'll probably write more later. I'm sure I'll have something fun and exciting to tell you about. Like how I did on my evaluation today {?!}. More about THAT in a later post. Love to all!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Little Fun For The Day

A couple of really cute things happened today, and I thought I'd share.

This sweet little girl in Drew's class was getting ready to leave the lunchroom, and she reached out to me and said, "Happy late mother's day", and gave me her 100 calorie pack of chocolate muffins. Yum! I love sweet kids. I had to love on her after that.

Today was Pioneer Day in 4th grade, and Graham was beside himself the whole time. He is a major history buff, and this is right up his little alley. So the last thing they did {after learning what their toys looked like, how they cooked, how they washed & shaved, and how to dig for gold} was watch a broom exhibit. The man was making good old fashioned corn brooms. So after watching the entire demonstration, Graham raised his hand and asked this: "If I were to go online and look this up from a different place, how much would THEY sell it for?"

Translation: "My dad has warped my mind so much that I know you are trying to rip me off, and I'm not buying into it. I don't like your price. So how much cheaper could I buy it online, because my mom doesn't clean good enough with the 30 brooms she has. I'd like to buy her this one."

The assistant principal all but dragged me down to the room and threatened me within an inch of my life, so I would sit there and watch it. Because Graham loved it so much.

One other thing I realized: Noah is incapable of earning the Super Dragon at lunch. :( He talks a lot, and fails to "pack up" properly. For those who are curious, Super Dragons {we're the Little Dragons} are passed out for good behavior. And I am NOT the giver out of them. Someone else is.

And The Countdown Continues...

For school to be out. I'm seriously over this year. We're ready for a break! It's funny because all the kids are really restless at the school. It's kind of like they're all just pushing their limits. I probably would too if I were them.

I had a LOOOONNNNNGGGG conversation with a friend yesterday about a lot of stuff that goes on at school, stuff that anyone can see who walks down the hall, and I really am thankful for the health {mental, emotional, physical} that God has blessed my children with. I think we all probably take certain things for granted, but I am grateful to the Lord for what He has given my family. I always say that we are in no way rich, but we are super rich in all the ways He has blessed us. And that is exactly how I want it.

I love the verse in Phillippians {I think} that Paul writes: "In all things I have learned to be content." Not many people can say that, and I know that I sure can't say that all the time. There are times when my flesh kicks in and I get jealous over a neighbor's new furniture, or new washer and dryer, or a gigantic house that one of my friends just bought. BUT THEN I remember that verse. And I remember to be thankful for the husband God gave me because he can fix broken things. And that is truly a blessing. He's saved us THOUSANDS of dollars over the last 12 years on our cars, and things around the house. He has given us a beautiful home to live in, one that may not be new, but one that I love. Because it's not about the house that makes the home~it's what goes on inside it. We often have it overloaded with friends and family, and THAT is what makes it our home.

I went off and started rambling again...my mind is wandering way off this morning, but I just feel the need to express my gratitude. Back to the school thing...only 9 more days! I am thinking that it may drag. Something you want to do really bad does tend to do that. I am also ready to start having friends over again. Since we have tball every Friday night {and sometimes baseball}, we've been too busy to have anyone over. :( That makes me sad because nothing gladdens my heart more than a house full of friends and laughter.

Well. I better get off here again. I have lots to do in a short amount of time. I'm contemplating going to the school early because 4th grade is having Pioneer Day today in the gym. Graham's teacher asked me to go, but I'm not sure if I really want to. Doesn't that sound awful? I probably will go in early, just not at 9. In order to do that, however, I need to get ready. So, au revoir, mes amis. {Goodbye, my friends.} Love to all.

***Interesting fact about me: I took 4 years of French in high school. I still use it occasionally. The boys thinks it makes me cool, and who wouldn't want to be cool in front of their 'tween boys? Because they don't think I am AT ALL. :(***

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Girls Night @ Bible Study

I love Bible study. I love what we're doing, and I love the girls participating in it. I LOVE our time afterwards, too. We eat, and talk, and just catch up on everybody's lives. It's like a girl's night IN. It always ends with Christa and me walking Asher around in her apartment complex. And talking some more. I love it. Fun times.

Do you ever reminisce about when you were young? My favorite thing about spring is driving with the windows down, and the music turned up. And laugh if you want to, but I especially love driving in a NORMAL car that I don't look like a mom in. I don't know why I even think of that, but I do. I love my kids, but I also love a little free time.

So last night I was driving to Bible study with all the windows down, and listening to my new cd that Todd bought me. It was great. The music was awesome, all upbeat and just good. And in case you're dying from curiosity, I was listening to Francesca Batticelli. Good stuff, people. I especially love it when I can sing along with the music...which I could because she's alto. Anyway. Just thought I'd share that.

Last night we gave one of the girls in our group, Ashley, a personal wedding shower. The next time she joins us, she'll be married. So we got her some goodies. Or her almost husband some goodies. Whatever. She was cute about it~all modest and embarassed. Those were fun days, weren't they?

I got home a little after midnight, and needless to say, did NOT want to get out of bed this morning. Lucky for me, Bible study happens once every other week, not every week. I'd be exhausted if that were the case. I am SOOOOO not a night person. Ask Todd. I'm usually in bed by ten every night. Now that I have to get up and function properly the next day at work.

So. I guess I'd better get off this thing and go try to wrestle my kids into getting dressed for school. And speaking of THAT, we have 10 days left! Hallelujah!

Oh, and just because it makes this post more fun, Drew told Todd and me this morning that he wants to be a hobo when he grows up. He asked Todd if he could be one and travel on a train, and Todd said yes. So Drew calls down the stairs, "Dad, is there a bathroom on a train?" Todd replied, "Yeah, but since you're a hobo, you have to travel on a cargo train, and there's not one in those." You ready for this? So Drew says back, "Oh well. I'll just pee in the car."

***Sigh.***

Monday, May 11, 2009

So Is It Gonna Rain, Or Will It Be Shine?

Poor Todd has only been able to play one softball game because of all the rain we've had. He should have played 3 by now, but what can ya do? Here's hoping that tonight his game will happen!

It's been a Monday, has it not? I would love to say that I'm relaxing after a long productive day of cleaning house and folding laundry, but such is NOT the case. I am, however, resting with my feet up since they're killing me after all my walking. :)

I'm enjoying a little peace and quiet before all my lil' tornadoes come bounding through the door. I am leaving and picking them up about 20 minutes early today, because I have to run an errand for the school. Since the errand wasn't complete, I was told to leave and come back later to pick it up. So if it gets my boys out a little early, then so be it!

I also wish I had dinner all planned out for tonight, but that's a negative too. I am thinking about having those leftover hamburgers and hot dogs we had Saturday night. I was sick to my stomach and couldn't eat mine, so maybe that's what we'll have. I plan on relaxing some more after dinner, because this just feels way too good.

My little Andrew was not a happy camper at lunch today. I don't know what has gotten into him, but he's been so pouty. I can't stand when he's like that. He wanted me to let him get some chicken nuggets instead of his sandwich, but I told him no. Maybe that's what did it to him~but if that is true, then he needs to learn to get over things. Turkey. His teacher had a nice thing to say about him today {to counteract the not~so~nice thing she said about him the other day?}. That was a pleasant surprise~it was him being funny. Imagine that. They were playing Around the World, and he kept on making this silly face that cracks her up. It was nice of her to tell me that~she could have kept it to herself, but maybe she sensed I needed to hear that about him. He's been a bear lately. I am seeing a change in him and his attitude~can we say "change"? I don't like this~he's almost to 4th grade, and we all know how THAT has been this year.

On the upside, he is still {for the most part}, happy go lucky. Not uptight at all, just sulky when things don't happen his way. I can hear you laughing, Wiley. I know, this is tough for you to imagine {waiting on the lightning to strike me}, but it's true. Pay backs are not fun. And not fair. They get all this from Todd, not me! I was a perfect little angel. Ahem.

Well. I'm going to read now. I have several books waiting on me to just pick them up and start them, so I need to finish the one I'm currently reading. More posts are coming about the books I'm reading~I somehow got signed up to do blog posts about books, and review them. In return, I get free books! Woohoo! So. I'm off to do just that. Love to all.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

About The Same As My Children Standing And Blessing Me

While they didn't quite say those words, I have never felt more loved than I felt today. Let me begin by explaining that Graham picked out a heart necklace to buy me for Christmas. For mother's day, he found matching earrings, and that is what the boys got me. Todd bought me a purse that I asked for~and while it is adorable, I am going to return it for the other blue one I originally wanted. This one is really cute, and I tried it on, and I do love it but it's not very comfy. You cannot carry a purse that's not comfy. This is okay though, because what is not to love about a little shopping trip?

So today, I sat all day. The sisters, Mom and I decided we were not going to lift a finger in the kitchen and bought barbecue for lunch. Lisa even bought the cupcakes {pupcakes, as Jonah calls them}. It was pure H.E.A.V.E.N. The men cleaned the kitchen while we sat and chatted in Lisa's formal living room. Again~it was Heaven. We thoroughly enjoyed our day together.

Tonight ended my day by Trav and Katie bringing over the yummiest pupcakes ever. Strawberry cake mix with chocolate icing~complete with little bits of strawberries in it! Y.U.M. As I enjoyed their company tonight, and enjoyed the kisses all my sweet boys lavished on me, I realized that while they didn't actually "stand and bless me" as Proverbs 31:28 states, that this was their blessing to me. Loving me. I can not think of anything more perfect than today.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Things My Mom Taught Me

How to be a mom
How to love unconditionally
How to diaper/feed/burp/clean a baby {because I thought I knew and I so did NOT}
How to manage baby/house and stay sane~at least, reasonably so
How to treasure all the little moments
How to be the whole wife/mom package, all wrapped up into one
How to make the kids feel special in their individuality
How to nurture them when they were well, and when they were sick
How to cook like a good 'ol Suthun girl should
How to take pride in my own home, and make it into our family retreat
How to make memories with them~good, old fashioned traditions for each season

There are so many more things that she showed me by example. My mom was the mom that my friends were always jealous of. She was the one who packed the best lunches ever, the one who dressed the coolest, and the one they wanted to be around. She never missed a day cooking me three meals a day~we did not go out very often, most nights she had a full meal on the table. On the table. Not buffet style on the counter. She believed in family, and eating together was never NOT an option.

When I grew up, got married, and started my own family, she showed me that it was impossible to break a baby. She showed me how to do it all. She showed me what love looked like the day she held my firstborn. I remember telling her that I didn't think it was possible for me to love another human being as much as I loved Graham, and with tears in her eyes, she looked at me and said, "Now you know how I always felt." It was a day that changed me forever, and one that brought me closer to my Mom.

I have cherished the relationship we have together. We are very close, I talk to her on the phone at least once a day most days, sometimes two or three. If something good happens, she's the first one I want to call. If I am sick, she is still the one I want. There is no one else like a Mom, especially mine. Mom, thank you for all that you have taught me over the years, and thank you for still being my Mom. I love you. Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thoughts

I wish I could tell you all of the events that happened in my day today to make me post this blog. I'm sure on some piece of paper, however, that it says that I am not to mention anything pertaining to one of the students at the school where I work. I'm sure it's got my signature to back me up. So because of that, I will not tell you all the details.

I will tell you that my heart was so filled with the love and the grace of Jesus Christ, that I couldn't contain the tears that kept threatening to spill. At one point one of TA's asked if I had allergies because my eyes were so red. I told her maybe, just because I didn't feel like giving an explanation.

My day got progressively better. All the 4th grade teachers are probably mad at me, but still, my day got better.

To top all that off, my kids ROCKED the baseball field tonight. Jonah got about 6 outs, and Noah got about 3. They were amazing. Aunt Lisa was the lucky charm. Not Uncle Jim. And speaking of aunts and uncles, can I just say that I miss my sisters? I need some sister time. Ahem. Debi. Trish. Lisa. I could do some Madea, if y'all want to take me up on this. Hell~ur.

For anyone that prayed for me yesterday and today, thank you. God is good. ALL the time.

fRiDaY!

Other than the fact that now Jonah and Noah are arguing {hey, at least it's not Graham and Drew}, it's Friday! Woohoo! I wonder if it's possible for your kids to drive you to insanity? I think mine are trying. I really do. After I posted the blog yesterday, I thought my day would be sooooo much better. I spent time praying and reading the Bible, but for whatever reason {the world tilted on its axis, there was a full moon}, it did NOT happen. It actually got much, much worse. I got so upset at work that my blood pressure shot up, I turned purple in the face, and I started shaking. Trembling from disbelief.

I'm glad to know it wasn't just me~my coworker had the same thing happen to her. Somedays I feel like it's just me. It was not a health issue, it was a lack of discipline issue. Well, that is all I will say on THAT subject. Onto another subject now.

We had to go to the school last night for the book fair, and for the PTA meeting. Jonah got awarded the citizenship award for the entire year in his class. Him and his sweet little friend, Ashleigh were Mrs. Miles' recipients. My heart was all swelled up inside. It was a really nice ending to my day. Well, I have to run and get the boys ready for school...I thought I would write for just a minute before I started my day. Love to all!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Typical Thursday

Ever since I was in junior high school, I have not liked Thursdays. It's just such a blah day. Not hump day anymore, not quite Friday, and it always seemed miserably long. This morning started off what I would like to call a typical Thursday.

Lest you think I am Supermom/woman, I assure you that I am not. I have told you that before through these words, but in case you didn't believe me, I will give you an account of what I look like on days when I am just NOT in a good mood. I am really opening myself up here, by the way. Going out of my comfort zone.

The day started wrong~I love to get up extra early so I can have some quiet time, but it just never works out that way. I did not want to get out of bed. Once I did, I showered quickly, then came downstairs to pack lunches. I then started thinking about tomorrow, and what I had to pack for the kids then. Tomorrow was supposed to be Field Day at school, and I was going to hang out with them and picnic with them after, but due to the Noah and the ark~like conditions we've had, they decided to postpone it. So that got me in a bad mood. Because MAN I was looking forward to not working tomorrow. Oh well, right?

So the kids wake up and start coming downstairs, and I start handing out plates with biscuits and orange juice. Two of the kids didn't want biscuits~Drew and Jonah. Drew opted for yogurt {nice and easy}, Jonah opted for grits {which requires ME preparing it}. I didn't say anything, I just made the blasted grits and handed it to Jonah. Which led me to the realization that we're out of ice. Are you kidding me?! I mean that's typical if you have a house full of people, but for just the 6 of us? Oh, wait. That IS a house full of people.

Jonah looked at me and said, "Mom, what I am going to do? They're too hot." I told him just to wait it out and blow on them, and eat them when they cooled off.

So then Drew and Graham start arguing. And keep on and keep on. Not really, but it just seemed like it. They were elbowing each other, and making rude comments about pausing the show they were watching, and it just got on my nerves. Then Drew starts to tell me this joke, and Graham says, "STOP! You're not telling it right!" Drew ignored him and just rolled right along. Then when he finished, Graham starts to tell me the joke and made another rude comment {which I've probably blocked}, and I actually said these words: "I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE JOKE. All I care about is that you 2 need to stop arguing. If you are done with your breakfast, then go upstairs NOW."

So that scared the daylights out of all of them and they all headed upstairs. I walked in the kitchen to get a much needed refill on the java and to get the laundry out of the dryer to take upstairs to fold when my husband said this: "I don't get lunch anymore?" So I said, "Well, you would, but I thought we were out of lunch meat. But then I found this." And I pulled out the meat so he~I mean I~could make the sandwich. DO YOU KNOW WHAT HE SAID NEXT? "Well, I don't need it today." WHY DID HE SAY THAT, THEN? Todd, I love you. I'm just blogging here. I would have happily {ahem} made you a wonderful, nutritious lunch. Without being mad or complaining. And please leave all sarcastic comments to yourself.

So I go upstairs after that. And do you know what I heard???? Graham and Drew arguing AGAIN. I swear if I hear, "GRAHAM STOOOOOOOP" one more time, I'm gonna scream. Graham was aggravating Drew. AGAIN. I was about to lose my cool and make use of the sign above my bedroom door that says, "Beware of attack mother".

I also have to tell you why I was upset with Drew. I have to back up a bit to yesterday afternoon. His teacher comes up to me and says, "I need you to talk to Andrew. He's got the mindset that it's May and he's done with school. He is not completing his work." THE WORDS THAT CAUSE EVERY MOTHER TO CRINGE WITH EMBARASSMENT. So when I asked her what work she was talking about, she said it was homework. Well, I wouldn't go as far as she took it, but he has forgotten his folder and books like 3 times in about as many weeks. I call that Mayitis, but who am I?

I told her I would talk to him, and I did, and I threatened to ground him from his still shiny new electric scooter. So last night he has the nerve to ask me, "Mom, what did you do with my folder?" A.U.G.H. I told him it wasn't mine, I had done nothing with it. He forgot the blasted folder. AGAIN. Mrs. Plummer is SOOOOO going to be upset with him. So I had to make good on my threat, and for one day {more if him and Graham don't stop their fighting} he is not allowed to go near the scooter. Which I really feel is punishing me more than him because now I have to listen to him whine about the fact.

So, this morning all of this intensified my bad mood. Poor Jonah and Noah. They had to hear the lecture {just in case they were tempted to act out}, but were pretty much blameless. For the moment. So Jonah comes in my bathroom after I had gone off on his older brothers with this huge smile on his face. And says, "Mom, don't I look good today?" Those are the words that just make it all go away, ya know? Well, that and prayer. I realized at that point that I had not taken the time to pray yet. If you don't think prayer makes a difference, I am here to tell you that you are sadly mistaken. I surrendered all of my bad mood to God, and as I am sitting here writing this, I am laughing at my morning. Do you think God has a sense of humor? I sure hope so.

**Lord, thank You for Your grace. Thank You for taking my burdens away from me. Thank You for giving me the joy of my salvation. I love You, Lord.**

Psalm 68:19,20 "Praise the LORD, praise God our Savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Our God is a God who saves!"

Proverbs 13:3 "Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything."

Little i

5 May 2009

Marybeth Whalen

"He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:30 (NIV)

The other night my husband and i were at an event where the words to the worship music were placed on a screen for all to see. But this night i noticed something: every time they used the word "I" on the screen, it wasn't capitalized. My editor's eye was drawn to this glaring error, and i spent much of the time that i was supposed to be singing trying to discern why they had done this. Oversight? Trying to be cute? It bugged me.

Then i felt God's whisper to my heart, causing me to go a bit deeper. "Why are you stressing about capitalizing the i?" He asked me. "Why does it need to be capitalized? Who decided that? Maybe these folks recognize that "i" am not important -- but I AM is."

While i am not proposing a little i revolution -- shaking up tradition and causing a crisis in the grammar world -- i am wondering, what does a little i life look like?

Sacrifice? Surrender? Slaying self? Setting apart? Seeking Him? Serving others instead of doing what i want?

This little i thing could catch on. It should catch on, because it's the life Jesus called us to. We don't need to be capitalized. We need to be small, insignificant -- just a jot and a tittle, the littlest marks in the alphabet. Instead of a capital letter that announces our importance. At least, that's what i am learning these days -- and trying to live out.

Sacrifice, surrender and servanthood are hard. But i know that's what God calls us to do; laying down our wants, needs and desires and straining towards His.

Dear Lord, I want to make Your name famous and mine unimportant. Help me to be mindful of my tendency to make things about me. And help me Lord t o keep the focus on You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
i am not but i know I AM by Louie Giglio

Share with your children the joys of focusing on the Lord with The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt

God desires all areas of our lives to be set apart, even our finances. Read Marybeth's story of surrendering to God in this area in Learning To Live Financially Free by Marybeth and Curt Whalen

Visit Marybeth's blog

Application Steps:
While not capitalizing your "i's" might not be proper or practical, journal some ways that you can consciously choose to make Jesus become greater in your daily life as you become less.

Reflections:
Do you struggle with taking the focus off God and putting it on yourself? Are there certain times or situations when this happens for you? What can you do to change your response when this happens?

Power Verses:
John 3:31, "The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all." (NIV)

© 2009 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Confession

I have fallen off the wagon on my Bible reading. I am resolving to change that. Sure I read a passage here, a passage there, but Music Man personally asked us last week to give God our best three: prayer, praise, and time in the Word. I think I got that right. I wasn't actually in practice. I was there but unable to go up to the choir room. Long story.

So this morning, I spent extra time in God's Word. I picked up in Esther. I am following the schedule in the back of my Bible, in case you're wondering, because I seem to do better doing it that way. I love the story of Hadassah. She was so full of doubt as she went before the King. But the Lord showed favor to her, and King Xerxes loved her the most out of all the young women who went before him. And, "for such a time as this" {Esther 4:14}, she was Queen.

Born Hadassah, then later becoming Esther {star}, she truly shone in her day. Not by her might, but in the Lord. He gave her the strength and boldness she needed, when she needed it. How cool is that? I love this story~and it's one close to my heart. Often I am too scared to speak my faith out loud, but I have been praying for God to give me this boldness that I need. And I think He's working in me. I pray that He continues to do so, and that I am open to what He wants me to do.

I am praying for all of you today. I pray that God's word comes alive in your lives.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Afternoon I Spent With My Kindergarten Friends

I am so blessed as a mother with children at our school. I have never had a teacher that I didn't love dearly. Jonah's teacher, Andi Miles, is no different. I spent the afternoon in her class, because that's my chocolate after a day in the loud, disrespectful cafeteria. I love those sweet kiddos in her class.

I walked in the door, and they immediately started yelling, "Mrs. Goodwin! Look at our new butterfly!" A butterfly {2 actually} came out of its cocoon sometime over the weekend. The 2nd one came out sometime between 9 and 2 pm today. They were stepping all over themselves trying to show me the butterflies first.

After I did some favors for Mrs. Miles, I just stayed and hung out. Abby wrote a song and sung it for us. It was about being scared, but when your friends came around, everything was better. Zack showed off his butterflies and caterpillar that he made over the weekend. Mrs. Miles talked about Jonah and how he got a compliment from the preschool teacher today. This morning, as they were walking outside to the playground, Jonah went up to Ms. Gilbert and said, "I just wanted to thank you for wiping off the slides for us so we could have recess." Can you hear my heart cracking open? Oh, and he and his sweet little friend, Ashleigh, were nominated for that class's citizenship award for the year.

I will be sad to say goodbye to this class as our year draws to a close. Mrs. Miles told me today that she's never had another class quite like this bunch. I don't know that Jonah will ever have the kind of year that he's had this year. The kids in his room are so different~diverse in backgrounds, personalities, and appearance. There's a great mixture in there. I wish they could move up to first grade together as a class. Sigh.

Remember when I was wiggin' out over them starting kindergarten? Well, now I'm sad over it ending. Go figure. I'll be glad for summer, just sad that they're ready for first grade. And fourth grade. And fifth. This next year will be Graham's last in elementary. Yikes. I don't want to think that far ahead yet. I'll panic on ya at a later date. For now, I'm gonna go snuggle with my babies. I mean big boys. :(

Kindness

Kindness is defined as the act or the state of being kind and marked by charitable behavior, marked by mild disposition, pleasantness, tenderness and concern for others. Some synonyms for this word are benignity, benevolence, humanity, generosity, charity, sympathy, compassion, or tenderness. *Wikipedia.com, Dictionary.com*

Kindness is told in the story of Tabitha in the New Testament. Acts 9:36 says this about her: "There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha {which in Greek is Dorcas}. She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor." When the news of her death traveled, two men were sent to Lydda, where Peter was, to go and get him and bring him to Joppa. Tabitha greatly affected her community~in the most positive way. When she died, the room was filled with mourners, for she had touched them all in countless, selfless ways. Peter brought her back to life, and news of that miracle traveled fast. Because of her life, people came to know and love the Lord.

The gift of kindness is every bit as important as other spiritual gifts. I think we all have this gift within us, don't you? Sometimes we may have to dig deep to find it, but we are all perfectly capable of displaying this for the world to see. I love this quote: When I stand before the throne of God on the day I get to Heaven, I would love to be able to say, "Lord, I don't have anything left in me. I used every last gift and talent you blessed me with."

The next time you go to speak a harsh word, remember these words instead:

Proverbs 11:17 "Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you."

Proverbs 16:24 "Kind words are like honey~sweet to the soul and healthy for the body."


Don't react foolishly to situations~no matter how frustrated/tired/fed up you are, your words can bring life or death to a heart. James was not joking when he wrote that in his book. The tongue can be evil, or it can be holy. Watch your words, and watch your actions! People everywhere are watching how you act~give them nothing negative to say about you.

I pray these words make their way to you today, and I am praying for you all. May God bless you today and every day this week.




Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals , and friends, for this blog post.  We've had a great week around ...