Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Monday (&Halloween)

I am blessed to wake up to a new day.  Even when it's a Monday...really, don't you think the "Monday syndrome" is just a state of mind?  Every day has the potential of being a great day.  It's all about attitude. 

(That's what I always remind myself and my kids.)

I am so thankful for each and every day I get to spend with my kids.  I pray that the Lord helps me to enjoy each and every moment.  Even the chaos of Halloween on a Monday.  Even when I have yet to figure out exact costumes for everyone.  (We do not buy costumes...we always make our own out of what we have.)  Even when I haven't even bought our candy to pass out yet.  :-//

I will embrace my crazy, loud job.  I will remember to be understanding when they get so loud that my eardrums feel like they're about to burst.  I will remember what it was like to be a kid who LOVED trick-or-treating for Halloween. 

I will not stress about the state of my house, or the dog hair that I occasionally see float up as the kids run by.  The mess will always be here...the kids will not. 

I will not try to make gourmet meals for my family.  I will try my hardest to make them what they like.

I will love, love and love some more on each one of my family members.  I will not be short-tempered, and I will take the teasing that is so easily dished out to me with a better attitude.  I will remember that I live in a house full of boys.  I will remember that their brains work much differently than mine. 

It's going to be an amazing day.  Thank You, Lord, for the many blessings You have given me. 

(Thank you, Rene, for inspiring this blog post.:)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tears in my Soup

I cannot stop crying...for several reasons, but the biggest one of all is the fact that my high school friend's wife went home to be with the Lord this morning at 4:18.  I (and so many others) was praying for God just to take her as peacefully and as quickly as He could.  I am so glad she is no longer in pain, and that she has met Jesus face to face.

But as a Mom, my heart is completely broken. 

How many times do we complain about making lunches?  Going shopping for groceries?  All the homework?  The dinner we have to think up and prepare?  The cleaning, the laundry...I  could go on. 

I know I do.  But we are among the blessed. 

April would have given anything in the world to have a lifetime more of nothing but those things.  I can't help but feel incredibly selfish at all the moments I've taken for granted. 

I've only met this woman once, but I will think of her every single time I am about to complain about something.  I wish all of you could read her and Sam's facebook pages...the lives that have been changed because of the example of her faith are incredible.  I cannot stop reading them...thus, I cannot stop crying. 

And hence the title, tears in my soup.  I couldn't even eat my lunch because I keep crying.  Tomato soup with crackers loses its flavor when mixed with salty tears. 

Please continue to pray for both the families...the Kelly's and the Lowe's.  April leaves behind her husband Sam, Madily, Ainsley and Owen, a mom, a dad, two sisters, and all of Sam's family.  She was a wife, mom, daughter, and friend to many. 

Love to all. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heavy Heart

All funny stuff aside, I write this with a very heavy heart. 

I have a friend from high school who could really use your prayers.  Not only for him, but for his beautiful wife and their three precious children.  His name is Sam Kelly, and his wife April is dying of cancer.  Sam and April are fine, Christian people...and their journey through April's illness has been nothing short of inspiring. 

Even in the midst of her terminal illness, they want others to come to know their Lord and Savior.  April is a beautiful young woman...way too young to be fighting such a vicious cancer...who was first diagnosed a couple years ago with breast cancer.  She underwent chemotherapy and was in remission for about a year.  But then it came back, this time with a vengeance.  It is now ravaging her frail body.

She's been able to be at home, in a hospital bed these past few weeks.  Things have gotten progressively worse. 

Today they are moving her to the new hospice home here in Collierville. 

They had to tell the older kids last night as simply and in an as uncomplicated way as possible, what was happening to their beloved mom.  Their youngest is still a little too young to really grasp what is going on.  The girls are only 7 and 6, and the youngest is only 2. 

I cannot even imagine what this precious God-loving family must be going through...but if you are the praying kind, would you please join me in praying for the Kelly family? 

Her latest Caring Bridge journal entry asked specifically for prayer during the transport to the hospice home, and for no extra pain or anxiety for April. 

God be with them all...I know that somewhere in all of this, God has a plan for them.  It's hard to understand during times like this, but something good will come out of it.  He never does things without reason.  Please, please join me in praying for Sam, April, Madilyn, Ainsley and Owen Kelly.  If you want to read more about her story, go to CaringBridge.com and type April Lowe Kelly into the search feature. 

It's looking like she's not going to be healed, so I am praying for a quick and as painless as possible release from this earth into the loving arms of her Jesus.  

Life is so short, friends...never take one single second for granted.  Hug and kiss your babies tonight.

Love to all. 

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."  Psalm 23

What To Write?

Camping trip
the huge tarantula we saw
sleeping in the bathroom (in chairs) with Noah
the taco soup that spilled all over everything in the trailer
how much laundry I did on Sunday
catching up on Bible study
missing my mom's in touch meetings for the entire month of October
friends
my recent pet peeves
making my two older boys car riders instead of bus riders
Bon Qui Qui...Drew's latest obsession (making his Auntie Debi super proud, I'm sure)
reality tv
sitcoms


These are all the things rolling around in my brain and somehow I just can't put the thoughts in a cohesive order to form a blog post. 

Maybe later. 

It'll depend on how much Bible study homework I get done today. 

Until then...Happy Tuesday.  Love to all. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall Break...Time to Leave!

We spent a good part of the evening last night loading the trailer.  Yes, we go camping pulling a trailer.  If we didn't pull the thing, we couldn't take all that we have to take. 

Todd and Travis were fooling around with the trailer hitch, so I was told that I could come in.  So I did.  To a huge mess of what looked like pee all over our kitchen floor.  We promptly got Andy out the door (because only he could produce that much) and started cleaning up.  Bless Drew's and Jonah's hearts.  They did most of the cleaning and I supervised, standing by with the washing machine lid open. 

We got it all cleaned up, though. 

I came in the living room to sit down and get on the computer for a minute.  Noah asked if he could have a glass of tea.  I said yes, so off he went.  Only to come right back and ask me could I please make some more, because there was only a tiny amount left.  Thinking that surely couldn't be right, I sent Graham in to double check.  (I had just poured another gallon in our new pull-out pitcher thing that Todd bought me.  That meant that when we ate dinner, there were 2 and a half gallons of tea in that thing.)

Guess what?  Noah was right.  And the huge mess that we thought Andy had made all over the floor was actually tea.  Not only had it been on the floor, it was also in the refrigerator.  And in the shelves in the door. 

The good news is that now my refrigerator is very nice and organized and clean.  :)

The bad news?  Well, all of the above.

Graham had poured our tea at dinner, and after you're finished filling the glasses, you have to make sure you push it back on the shelf before you shut the door.  If you don't, the door will bump the little spout, thus spilling tea all over sweet kingdom come. 

I'm done now. 

I'm enjoying a little quiet before I get up and start moving around.  I'm about to refill my coffee, and then I'll have to finish up on the last bit of laundry, then Todd and I have to pack.  I've made all my lists and checked them twice.  Have I mentioned how much work is involved going camping?  I'm trying very hard not to forget anything.  I keep adding little minor things...you know, like towels for when we shower. 

Well...I don't know when I'll write again, unless I can do it from my phone.  Which is quite possible, but I'm probably not going to do that while we're gone.  Enjoy the rest of your week (and your break, if your kids are off)!  I know we will.  I hope we don't freeze our tails off!  It was cold here last night, and that was all I kept thinking...

We'll be making some memories, for sure!  Love to all. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Break, Day 2

Today dawned bright and early...again.  :)  I'm having to wake up a little early because of my two little extra's.  No big deal, though...it just gets me up earlier to enjoy my first cup of coffee. 

I know...but I'm serious, unfortunately.  I think I'm getting old...when I look forward to going to bed at night so I can have that first cup of coffee the next morning. 

Anyway, moving on.  It is much cooler today (46* as I write this) and rainy.  The rain didn't come until closer to lunch time, though, thankfully.  Since I had seven kids in my front yard playing football.  (Graham, Drew, Jonah, Will, Drew C., Ethan, and Collin)  The other three were upstairs playing a game on the Wii. 

My dad called and rescued us from staying home...and invited us to lunch at Backyard Burger.  I love their blackened chicken sandwich...yum.  And Drew is in love with their chili.  Perfect for this cool day!

Now we're back home, nearing the end of a movie.  For anybody who hasn't seen this, it has to be the strangest movie I've ever seen.  Tron Legacy??  It's entertaining Noah and Myles, though. 

I'm about to leave and take Myles and Zander to get their hair cut.  I offered to do this since I have a little more spare time than my neighbors, Travis and Katie.  On the agenda for tonight is an easy dinner since we'll be spending part of the evening loading up the trailer for tomorrow. 

That's about it for today.  It's been a great day so far...we're all just counting down until tomorrow when we leave for our camping trip!  We're all so excited we can hardly see straight.  Love to all!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Break, Day 1

It was a great day.  Our neighbors, Myles and Zander are hanging out with us today and tomorrow, as well.  Today, the only plans I had were to get out and enjoy the beautiful day that God blessed us with.  So, after some minimal housekeeping things (dishes, laundry, neatening up), we packed up our lunches and headed out.

I need to stop here and give Graham and Drew the credit for getting us out the door in a timely manner.  While I was finishing getting dressed, they were packing our chips, desserts and drinks.  :)

We went to Cameron Brown park, because it's not THAT far, and it's our favorite park.  We are creatures of habit, and we always start at the first playset and then end at the one near the exit.  They ate, they swung on the swings, they ran...I would say a great time was had by all.

We came home afterwards so Zan could take a nap.  While he napped, the other boys played Lego Starwars and Drew and I watched Paul Blart Mall Cop.  Until I got frustrated enough to turn it off because of our super sensitive blue ray disc player.  I think they finished it upstairs on the Wii...thank you, Netflix Instant Queue.  :)

After that I made our first night's dinner for our camping trip.  Taco soup.  With an extra dose of spicy.  It's going to taste great with the extra spice and the cold (close to freezing) weather.  I cannot wait.  Have I mentioned I'm excited???

I never in a million years would have guessed that I would become a camping junky.

With this being said, I will leave you with some pictures from our last camping trip.  I can't wait to add more memories to our next great camping adventure!  Love to all!







Too Many Subjects to Come Up With a Title

It's been a busy weekend!  We got our Fall break started off with a faculty and staff bonfire and hayride out at our plant manager's farm.  Mr. Ronnie and his sweet wife are precious to go to all that trouble for us.  There were a bunch of people there...if I had to guess, I would say there were definitely over a hundred of us...maybe even closer to one twenty.  Plus kids.  A whole lot of kids.  It was a great time to sit and get reacquainted outside of work.  The weather was perfect, cool and crisp...and only one kid jumped off the hayride.  The one who's mom had just told him not to jump off.  ;-)

We left Mr. Ronnie's and headed toward the airport.  As I was passing through Collierville (Mr. Ronnie lives in Moscow), I realized how early we were.  I got off the interstate and we made a pit stop at Sonic.  Everyone got a snack and we had to visit their bathroom before getting back on the interstate. 

We made it safely to the airport, but I got so confused in the parking garage.  A lot of it is under construction, so certain parts are open and some areas are closed.  For instance, the American Airlines entrance into the airport was roped off...so I tried to find a good spot that was well lit and close enough that we wouldn't all be freaked out.

Do you know how freaky the airport is at night?  When you're the lone adult with four kids?  At ten o'clock at night?  Creepy.  The kids were all on the verge of freaking out, and Drew had to pee four times in the 30 minutes we waited on Todd.  He does that when he's nervous...and for some reason, he was.

We finally were down to the last ten minutes, and we walked up to area that you can look out the windows.  We watched Todd's plane land...it was really cool.  Jonah said, "I knew that was his plane, I could see Daddy with my mind."

Sweet.  Never have I been so glad to see a person in all of my life.  I am so thankful that he doesn't travel often.  I would go nuts if he did. 

Saturday we slept in and hung around home for a long time, then we met up with the neighbors to talk about our upcoming camping trip.  We got all of our food ideas nailed down, and we put together a huge shopping list.  And yesterday, thanks to my awesome hubby and neighbor, Travis, they did just that.  Shopped their little hearts out.  I won't talk about the amount, though...it was enough to make my heart skip a beat.  Yikes. 

Yesterday we helped out in First Kids Church.  I love this time every month!  The praise and worship is amazing, and the teaching was so good yesterday that I forgot I was in "kids' church"!  Our leaders are amazing, wonderful people...with a deep love for our kids.  It's obvious when you meet them.  And they are so humble...my heart was blessed richly yesterday morning. 

Last night, my best friend, my mom, my sisters and my niece and I went to see Footloose.  Oh my GOODNESS GRACIOUS.  If you aren't planning on going to see that movie...you need to rethink that decision.  It was amazing.  I sang the entire time and laughed my head off.  I'd forgotten how funny parts of it were...it was definitely worth the $9.50 it took to get us in the door.  And coming from a gal that doesn't go to movies much (not because I don't love to, but because I don't love paying that price), that is saying a lot.  I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

So, here we are to Monday.  I have a few things to accomplish around the house today....laundry and cooking for our upcoming trip.  I think we're planning on breaking away at lunch time to go to the park.  I have two extra ones today...Myles and Zander.  I am praying we have a fun two days while I get us ready to go camping for four days and three nights.  I have lots to do, but hopefully the kids won't mind me being busy while they hang out. 

Speaking of our trip...I am ready!!  Now that everything is bought, it's just a matter of packing all of our personal stuff and getting it all loaded up and ready to go.  I have lists that have other lists.  I think I'm pretty well organized and know what all is going with us.  I hope so, anyway.  I guess if something gets forgotten, we don't need it.  ;-)

Well, I need a refill on the coffee.  And something just came on The Today show that I want to watch.  So, I'm going to go do that.  Love to all!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

wEdNeSdAy

It's going by fast!  Our last week of school before our fun and glorious upcoming Fall break. 

It's been crazy, and Todd is missing so much this week.  Why does that happen?

Last night was Open House at the middle school, and since he was gone, my mom went in his place.  She got to meet all of their teachers and walk the halls where 3 out of her 4 girls once walked. 

I'm the one one in four that did not attend there.  ???

I guess even back then, I had to be "different". 

Anyway, my sister Debi and niece Nicole got in from Colorado last night.  :)  It's been a whole year (almost) since I've seen them.  The boys always love getting an excuse to hang out at Auntie Lisa's.  And last night was no exception, although better than usual because of Nicole.  I get the feeling her and Drew could get into some trouble if given the chance.  ;)

We stayed out past their bedtime and finally had to leave because of unfinished homework.  I cannot BELIEVE teachers give homework on Open House night.  Seriously??? 

Mom stayed with us last night.  Bill was supposed to have gone out of town, but that changed at the last minute.  He just so happens to be filling in Todd's shoes this Friday for Dad's day.  (See?  He's missing that, too.)  I'll stop with the "he's missing that, too", because, really...I could have a whole pity party. 

On like how I hate sitting by myself after the kids go to bed. 

And on how even though he would normally not be here in the daytime, I am somehow bored.  And my house is even clean.  Well, mostly, anyway. 

And the fact that when I remembered to call him last night, I was about to fall asleep from exhaustion. 

And the way I miss his voice late at night when he tries to talk softly. 

And how he's not here to make my coffee.  (It's Biblical...He brews.  Hebrews.  :)

Or how he's not here to give me hugs right before I go to bed. 

And how I even miss his laundry...our loads are so much smaller without his clothes to fill up the washer. 

Really...I'm done now. 

See?  I'm starting to feel sorry for myself.  I prefer to be the one to travel...not the other way around.

Anyway, I'm going to go drown my sorrows in a bagel with cream cheese and a diet coke now. 

Love to all. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Umm?

No title.  Again. 

Just another "all over the place" post.  (I use the word 'random' too much, so I'm trying to refrain.)

It was a great weekend.  Kind of.  Saturday was miserable, but yesterday was on the up and up.  We spent the majority of the day with my sister, Trish.  The boys begged to go to her house, so we actually missed church and went over there instead.  (Don't tell anybody, okay?) 

She spoiled them with the food they love and lots and lots of attention.  She even gave me her spot on the most perfect-est nap couch I've ever slept on.  Squishy pillows and all. 

Almost makes up for the evil cats that live with her.  Almost. 

We went to church last night.  Jonah and Noah had AWANA, and Graham and Drew had youth.  I was by myself, going into a chili dinner, in a fellowship hall filled with people that I don't know.  I was desperately looking for someone to sit with...and finally, some friends walked in.  Curtis and Kitty let me sit with them and even introduced me to a new couple.  If only I could remember their names.  We had a time of hearing testimonies after the chili dinner (free and I didn't have to take a thing!), then ended in the big sanctuary to watch a sweet 6th grade girl get baptized. 

That's also where I picked up Jonah and Noah.  After Austin (the kids' pastor) baptized the girl, Noah leaned over and said, "Mom, I want to do that." 

:)  So...I guess we'll start talking about it and praying about it and meeting with Austin about my sweet baby boy getting baptized.

Today was a great day.  The weather was beautiful...sunny and in the upper 70's with an amazing breeze.  Perfection.  I hope it stays like this all week! 

The boys came home from school and have been outside almost ever since.  Noah came in and said, "Mom, I feel like I want to get ready for Halloween."  I didn't really know what that meant, but he finally told me he wanted to put out some pumpkins.  So we (THEY) brought in all the pumpkins we acquired from Tom's farm Friday night and I put them on the fireplace hearth. 

My neighbor Katie came over and motivated me to get started on the decorating, so I asked Graham to help me get all the stuff out of the attic.  And proceeded to make Noah one happy little camper.  :) 

As I sit here writing this, there are pumpkins and scarecrows all around me, and I have a couple of Fall candles burning.  :) 

Happy sigh inserted here. 

Enjoy your night!  Love to all.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Friday!

Hmmm.  Apparently I've used that title quite a few times.  When I typed it in, Blogger remembered it.  Oh well.  It is!  A happy Friday, that is. 

I went to the Walmart this morning after I dropped the boys off at school.  I had to get our yummy fixin's for tonight's time at Tom's farm.  Hot dogs, buns, graham crackers, Hershey's candy bars, chips, dips...my kids are so excited.  We're going with three other families...the Stalls, the Dickson's and the Norman's. 

Heck.  Who am I kidding?  I'm probably more excited than them. 

I just really, really, REALLY want to get through this day in a big hurry.  I wish I could fast forward through the part when my kids are at school. 

Today, shopping for the s'more fixin's reminded me of how excited I am for Fall break.  We're going on an all-inclusive (exclusive, actually), relaxing, adventurous, three night, four day...

Camping trip! 

I am reminded of our most favorite picture book ever, A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee. 

I kinda feel like him sometimes.  When things are just so crazy and funny...

Anyway, this time around we're traveling close to 4 hours, to Blanchard Springs in the Ozarks.  This mama is so excited she can hardly stand it.  I was browsing their website yesterday and noticed that there is a 'black bear warning'. 

Hmmm. 

Jesus, please keep the black bears away! 

I say this all with tongue in cheek, because this is just adding memories for the boys.  :)  There are caves to explore, water falls and rivers to explore...I cannot wait.  C.A.N.N.O.T. W.A.I.T. 

:)

Well, lest I go on and on and on about this, I'll stop. 

For now. 

Happy Friday to all of you!  Love to all. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"I Bless Your Name"

There's a song that we would sing when I was in choir at First Assembly by Brooklyn Tabernacle called, I Bless Your Name.  I've been singing it all morning and just cannot get it out of my head.  Maybe a God thing?  I don't know...but in case it is, I don't want to pass up the opportunity to share the story with you. 

It's taken from the book of Acts, found in chapter 16, verses 22-26. 


"The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten.  After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.  Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose."

Are you struggling with something that you need to cry out to God about?  Do it...He's right by your side...just waiting for you to give it to Him.

I hope you enjoy the song.  Love to all.

Mixed Emotions

I am so thankful that today is Thursday and we're almost to our weekend.  However, I'm sad that on Saturday, Todd will be leaving for a week.  I always dread when he leaves because of how hard it is on the kids.  Remember that line from Steel Magnolia's when Dolly Parton's character tells M'Lynn that she doesn't let anyone cry alone?  That's me. 

If they cry, I cry.  As I was praying this morning, I got teared up just thinking of what is to come. 

One good thing is my sister Trish is going to ride with us when we take Todd to the airport on Saturday, and then she's spending the night with us.  She's so sweet...I think she's trying to make it less sad for the boys.  I'm thankful for her thoughtfulness. 

I know the week will go by really fast...mine always do, but especially the week he's gone.  My other sister, Debi will be coming home that week, and that will make the time really go fast.  The boys LOVE her (they love all their aunties!!!), and always look forward to when she comes home.  And she's bringing my beautiful niece, Nicole, who just happens to be Graham's and Drew's age.  Mike and Austin (her teenage son) can't come this time. 

Speaking of the sista's...if you are local to me in The Ville and reading this, the sista's and I are hosting a Girls' Night Out...a come and go jewelry party.  Debi sells Silpada and there will be drawings for prizes every 20 minutes.  Come on by and hang out...I created an "event" on facebook that gives the time and location. 

Well.  I guess I'd better get off the blog and get busy with my morning routing.  I hope you have an amazing, blessed day.  Love to all.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What's On My Mind

Fall!  I love this time of year (well, if the weather would get cooler!).  I love the changing of the leaves, the crisp air in the morning, how dark it is when I wake up...I love all of it.  Mostly, I love our traditions.  This Friday night, we're going to Tom's Farm for the fifth year.  I think we've been with our friends David and Sunny every year except for one...gotta love some good couple friends, right?? 

I love making new friends.  I've spent the better part of the afternoon texting with a sweet new friend...Shari.  :)  If you're reading this Shari, then know that I am so thankful for the chance to get to know you more this year!  I'm looking forward to breakfast with her soon...hopefully one day next week. 

Church.  I am such a church girl.  Love everything about it...the sermons, the fellowship, the feel of family I get from there...I love all of it and I can't wait till tonight!  Youth for Graham and Drew, M&M's for Jonah and Noah and Bible study for this mom in need of some refreshment. 

Singing...I love to sing and miss it.  Well...I miss being on a praise and worship team.  Our church does things a little differently, and there is not one of those.  But also, as much as I love to sing, I felt like I needed to be in a Bible study more at this present moment.  And I am loving it...so don't feel sorry for me.  This was my choice. 

Oreo's...and how happy they make Noah.  Especially the Halloween ones...the stuffing is orange!  He's in heaven. 

Tattling...I hate it.  Absolutely, completely and totally h.a.t.e. it.  My kids drive me nuts sometimes...and sometimes when they think I'm not around, they're mean.  Like Graham...I cannot stand his attitude and how he thinks he can just be mean because he's the oldest.  And trust me...we are going to have a little talk about this with Dad tonight after church.  We have some attitude adjusting that needs to be done around here, and it's going to be done before Todd leaves me for a week this Saturday.  ://

Well...I have to run.  I guess my kids want to eat before church...and if they do, I need to get busy!  Love to all. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lots of Good Things

I love candles.  Do you?  I love this one, especially (it's my newest).  I bought it last week.  It's a fall one, which makes it even better.  The reason I'm lighting candles in my home is because of a blog that I read called Women Living Well.  If you want to check her blog out, scroll down the "What I Love to Read" column on the right and find her blog. 

Courtney (the writer of the blog) gives a 31 day challenge for us to make our homes more peaceful.  I almost wrote peace-full...I think that would be more appropriate, don't you?  Every time I light this candle (at least once a day), I pray for God to remain the light of our lives...in our hearts and in our home.  I pray that God will keep our home warm, inviting and full of His glorious peace.  I pray that God will bless all of those that walk through our door.  I pray that God will remind us to keep the peace as parents, and to soften our tones of voice.  I pray that He will rule in our hearts and in our home for all the days of our life...that we never know even one day without Him at the center of us. 

If you want to, join me in this 31 day challenge...it's changed my way of thinking and it's reminding me to pray more over my home.  Our sanctuary.  Our refuge...our safe place.

 
Today is our fifteenth wedding anniversary.  I can't believe we've been married for all those years...that's a pretty big number.  Especially because we're still young.  -Ish.  :)  Our marriage has had its ups and downs, but God's grace was sufficient, and He brought us through it all.  I was talking to my Dad on Friday about all the amazing things God has done in our lives.  He's restored our marriage, He healed Todd of who knows what...he had a tumor in his stomach that I believe God shrunk.  God has provided for us financially when we couldn't think of a way out.  He's been our Healer, our Sustainer, our Prince of Peace when there was conflict.  He's been infinitely good to us...much more than we deserve.  For this and a lot more, I am thankful. 

The picture (above) is because that was what was waiting on me on my bathroom vanity when I woke up.  And the "Jenny" is a name that only he is allowed to call me.  Nobody else ever calls me that.  (Well, sometimes Tricia does, but mainly it's Todd's name for me.)

This picture is part of a God thing.  I love God things!  What I mean by that term is something only He could do.  No other explanation fits these little (and sometimes HUGE) moments.  I lit my candle this morning and was praying for the peace that exceeds anything we can understand (Phil. 4:6 and 7) to rule in our home this day.  After my prayer was done, I opened to day 4 of my Breaking Free Bible study homework.  Check out that title: To Experience God's Peace. 

Isn't He something?  I took that as a word from Him today...my precious Savior, my Redeemer. 

Lastly, this is a picture of one of today's verses in my homework.  In case you can't read it, I'll write it out. 

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.  Isaiah 54:10

If you get nothing out of this random post but one thing, let it be that God's peace for those who walk with Him will NEVER be removed from us.  He alone is our peace.  Our safety.  Our refuge.  No matter what comes your way, He is right there beside you...if you believe in Him and if you walk uprightly with Him.

Isaiah 57:2 "Those who walk uprightly enter into peace;...

Do you know Him?  Are you walking with Him?  Is He your One, your Only?  Your Savior?  Your Redeemer?  Have you asked forgiveness?  Have you asked Him to abide in you all the days of your life? 

I hope so.  I really want all of you in Heaven with me someday.  Love to all.