Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What I'm Looking Forward To

I have no fun pictures to share!  So sad.  (A week of illness does that to one.)  I also have nothing fun to share that we've been doing, but it's okay.  I thought I would share about a few things I'm looking forward to instead.

One is coming up tomorrow night!  A few weeks ago at D-Now at our church for our youth, there was a competition the whole weekend that took place.  Being the complete opposite of competitive, Missy and I DID NOT TRY even a little to win, because neither of us cared about that.  We even laughed really hard on Saturday night, thinking we'd lose and telling the girls, "We're so sorry, we didn't win...but we talked about Jesus and we prayed for you!"

Well.  We ended up winning second place.  Our prize is what happens tomorrow night.  The church is treating our girls to Winter Jam in Tupelo, and I always look forward to spending time with them!


Here are a few of them, and more than a few are missing from this picture, but you get the idea.  I love them so much!  Of course spending time with them means spending time with this one.


No matter what we do, or where we go, we have fun together.  We love to laugh.  I am so thankful for this precious lady!  She is God's gift to me.

Another thing I'm looking forward to is Sunday~Drew's sixteenth birthday!  I will be taking him to get his driver's license on the Friday following his birthday.


Oh, Drewby.  Praise God I have made it through teaching TWO of my sons how to drive.  There were days that I thought for sure that Drew was going to kill us both.  Like the day he put my car into neutral, thinking he was turning on the blinker.  I am not even kidding.  I hit his hand so hard that I left marks.  I was afraid he was going to accidentally put it into reverse and that would have been terrible.  But we made it, and he has become a wonderful driver.  Thanks to my husband and my dad, too, for helping out tons in the department of teaching him.

I am so excited for him to have his first weekend as a driver!  I remember that time in my life so well.

Our church always has a women's retreat the last weekend of April and this year is no exception.  The past two years I've helped lead worship for it, and I look forward to that again this year.  This is always one of my favorite things that we do as a church family.

Also at the end of April, I am going on a quick one night trip to Nashville with some of my favorite people ever...my church people.  I did this last year when this conference was in Dallas, and we had a blast.  Here are three of the girls who went last year.  We also had another girl with us and my friend Lauri's son (she's on the right).  It was so fun!  Abbey and I *might* have sung songs from White Christmas and other musicals the whole way back.


And all this is just in April.  It's a busy month!  I'm looking forward to it.  Love to all!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

on this day


On this day, eighty five years ago, this young man made his appearance on this earth.  I love to hear him tell stories of his childhood, and what he most loved for breakfast (a biscuit and an onion), and how he fell in love with engineering while in the waiting room in the hospital the night his son and first child was born.  I love hearing how he and his best buddy Billy were planning to sign up for the Marines and a nice gentleman talked them into joining the Navy instead.  He and Billy were both on ships somewhere in a harbor in Japan and were flashing one another with lights from the top of the ship.  I love hearing him tell me how he came to love Jesus, and I love talking about Him and His word with him on Friday's.  And I love our Friday's.

This sweet man, Davie Lee, as his mom named him, is a man after God's own heart, much like the David in the Old Testament.  He loves and cares for his family and he prays for all of us faithfully, day in and day out.  He is in no way a perfect man, but who among us is that way?  He hasn't always made the right choices in life, and he will tell you that, but he knows that God has forgiven him and that he has been made new.

I hate that I won't see him on this special day, but due to all of us being so sick with the flu and because my sweet sister Terri cannot be around sickness because of her weakened lungs, we will not be celebrating with him today.  I am so thankful that his out of town kids are here and that he gets this day with them.  I am fortunate enough to be able to see him all of the time, so I am okay with us waiting to celebrate until next week.

Isn't he handsome?  He's pretty sprightly, too.  In his recent and older years, he has learned how to operate a smart phone and text.  He does Facebook (through his wife, not on his own account) and is pretty decent at technology.  He is a gifted writer and a professional (practically) at scripture memorization.  I am so thankful for him.

Happy birthday to you, Daddy.

On another note, it's almost April and that means time for a new scripture writing plan!

Here is this month's.


Thanks for reading!  Love to all.

Monday, March 28, 2016

back to normal (whatever that is)

Well.  Last week was pretty horrible, as far as weeks go, so today I am loving the fact that everyone seems like they feel good and the sun is shining brightly.  We all ended up with the flu, or renditions of it, and after a solid week of staying at home in my pajamas, I am ready to join the land of the living again.  I even missed church yesterday...and Resurrection Sunday is my favorite church day of the whole year.

It's funny how easily you can become depressed when sickness strikes.  Am I the only one that's like that?  I seem to be so good at having pity parties, and then it's like the Lord gently reminds me that He is the lifter of my head.  When I focus on circumstance, I can easily get overwhelmed.  When I focus on Him, my perspective shifts and I become thankful again.

I have a friend who always says that praise is her weapon of choice for fighting off the devil.  I have seen that statement proven true over and over again, sometimes I just forget to give thanks in ALL circumstances.  Last year I kept a one sentence gratitude journal for most of the year (I forgot some days) and I think that keeping that made me a different person.  I loved looking back through what I had written, even on the days when I was at my lowest.

It's really easy to give God praise when things are good...when everything is going our way and when our lives are all neat and orderly.  But what about in the bad times?  Perhaps that is one reason why I love the character of Job from the Old Testament.  Even when everything around him was destroyed, still, he gave praise to God.  I try to remember that and I try to always thank God for everything, and every situation.  I said I try~I do not always succeed at this, hence the pity parties I am so good at, mentioned above.  But the enemy is at work when we are weakened, and he is after the resolve that we have to spend time with God each day.  Of course he wants us sick and tired all the time (like when we're physically sick) so that we only have strength to get up and go back to sleep.  I'm not saying that sickness doesn't exist, just that when we are not well physically, the enemy thrives in our spiritual lives.

Even this morning, he was at work while I was not even awake yet...I had every intention of getting up early again and getting back on track, but of course I didn't.  I chose to remain in bed, getting a few last moments of precious sleep.  We have to make a choice and then we have to have resolve to stick with it, even when we're tempted to give in.  For me, getting up early is one of my greatest struggles.  As a homeschooling family, we do not have to be up early to start at a certain time.  Because of that, the boys often go to bed late and we all are able to sleep in each morning.  But early morning is when I get the most bang for my buck, so to speak, in my quiet time.  I am not distracted, I am not rushed, and all is quiet in my house.  I did finally get up (when Toddley got up) and had quiet time, but it wasn't the same as I am able to have when it's early.  But the choice and the obedience starts the night before me~do I read a book and fall asleep quickly, or do I watch episode after episode of Army Wives and keep getting sucked in?

The struggle is real, I'm just being honest.

I certainly am not perfect and I know that time and time again, I will fail at all of this.  But my sweet Jesus...He is my strength when I am weak.  He is my forgiveness.  He is always at work in my life, and at this whole sanctification thing.  He convicts me of sin when I do wrong.  He gently reminds me of His word.  He renews my life and leads me along the right path for His name's sake (Psalm 23). As I write all of that, I am listening to Chris Tomlin sing Good, Good Father.

Well, honestly, this is not the post that I had planned to write, but in sitting down to start, He led me a different way.  I pray that there is someone who needs to see this and to reminded that no matter the situation that you are currently in, He is good and He is in control.  I pray this encourages someone today.  Love to all.




Monday, March 21, 2016

the weekend

Our weekend was very low key and pretty boring.  Thank the good Lord that on Friday night I sent my friend Missy a text saying how much I hated basketball, because then she came over.  We went upstairs to the playroom to watch a movie, but we ended up pushing pause and just talking instead.  At some point the boys all came upstairs to be with us, and it was almost eleven thirty before she left.  That was the bright spot in my bleak weekend.

Because on Saturday morning, Drew and I were at the doctor's office.


He tested positive for the flu.  He just did this all weekend, because he felt miserable.

I went to get his medicine and some comfort food and grabbed a bag of my favorite candy while I was there.


I spent all of Saturday taking care of him and cooking, cleaning and laundering.

On Sunday Todd and Graham went to church, but the rest of us stayed home, and before they woke up, I watched the service at Bellevue on tv and had my quiet time.


I went to choir practice at three and came home and made dinner for Drew, while the rest of my family scattered like ants.  I'm so thankful for friends who help me with transportation when my husband works and when my son's Bronco is being repaired.  When the two thirteen year old's got home, we watched Passion Live, thanks to a friend of mine who posted about it on Facebook.


It was awesome hearing the Name of Jesus mentioned on tv, during the prime time hour.  Tyler Perry hosted and though it was different, it was really good.  This was the story of Him, but in modern day times.  Tyler Perry told the part about His crucifixion out of the bible, and did a great job.  It was a little watered down for my taste, but maybe it was enough to make people examine their hearts.

Overall, we really enjoyed watching.


And this morning, the flu virus claimed its third victim in our home, Graham.  I am praying the doctor will just call in the Tamiflu for him so I don't have to pay another co-pay and for the medicine.  Poor guy.  We'll come out of hibernation eventually.  Thank the good Lord for Netflix and for my library books that I'm flying through.

That was it for our weekend.  Have a great day!  Love to all.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Favorites


It's been forever since I've participated in a Friday Favorite's post!  I am linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this one.  Click on the name of her blog and you can go visit hers!

One.


I love to memorize Scripture.  It's seriously one of my favorite things to do, and I've gotten away from it in the past year and a half because my brain couldn't seem to remember anything.  Just a few weeks ago, in feeling major anxiety over something that I can't remember now, I decided I'd try again, but this time, I asked for God's help.  I do this to help me in the times when I'm anxious.  Some people take medicine for that, and I could probably stand some for my anxiety from time to time, but I do this instead.  In times when I feel myself sliding down that slope, I start reciting God's word.  So far I've memorized Psalm 23, Ephesians 6:10-18 and I'm working on Colossians 3, having already memorized the first eleven verses.  I use notecards to help me with this, because I can carry them everywhere.  Wherever I'm sitting, they're usually nearby.  Someone asked me for a strategy, and the only strategy I have is to pray first, asking God to help me to recall what I've learned, and I practice all the time.  I get my kids to help me out and I go over them with my friend who is doing the same thing.  Accountability is a huge help.

Perhaps you're reading this and you sometimes struggle with the same thing...may I encourage you to try this, if you're a believer?  I know that it brings the Father honor, because His word tells us to hide His word in our hearts.  When we ask Him for help with something that is in His will for us (that which is in His word is in His will), He will give you that help every single time.

Two.


At church on Monday, the ladies and girls in my church had a girls night out at the church to watch The War Room.  This is my favorite movie, and my heart filled with joy as I sat around those I love so much, and watched it with them.  These sweeties were some of the few seated around the table that I was sitting at.  They're precious and wonderful and I love them so much.

Three.


I did something for the first time ever this week on Tuesday, perhaps the most wonderful and new favorite thing I've ever done.  I met these two lovelies at Sunday's new house and we prayed over the entire house.  Seriously, we just walked all over and prayed in every single room, for the people who would enter, for the ministry that would take place and for the kids being raised within the wall and the parents who are raising them.  It was beautiful and moving and more than a few times, my eyes filled with tears over the words being prayed.  I love these two so much!  Abbey is on the left and Sunday is on the right.  Sunday is our youth pastor's wife at church, and her entire family is a gift from God and someone we've prayed for faithfully since before we even knew them.  They are wonderful friends to us and to my kids, and I treasure them.

Four.



I never played sports in high school, except for volleyball on occasion, and I am not competitive AT ALL, and because of those two things, this picture of our dodge ball team on Wednesday night cracks me up.  I didn't die, for one thing, so bonus!  My church is my favorite, y'all.  I know you can't tell, because I never talk about it and do anything there (sarcasm), but I thank God for placing us in this body of believers.  My pastor is my favorite!  When Noah asked him to be on his dodge ball team, he said yes!  I love that.  Not many pastors are so approachable like he is, and certainly not many teenagers could say that they know their pastor like my boys know theirs.  I thank God for him.

Five.


I saw this on the internet this week and loved what it says.  I've been seriously convicted over what I feed my mind with (books and entertainment), and though I've not stooped to the 50 Shades level, the books I was reading were not honoring to God, as in they didn't talk about Him at all.  I know this is such a private and individual decision (and NO CONDEMNATION for those who've not been convicted about what they watch), I'm just confessing to you what I personally do now.  For someone like me who loves books and television and movies as much as I do, I made the decision (after God convicting me) to stop all of that nonsense.  So now I read books that are by Christian authors.  I watch movies that are on the Hallmark channel.  I no longer watch my old favorite show (The Bachelor).  Instead, I watch news type things in the morning, my favorite shows on the Food Network and Fixer Upper on HGTV.

And in between, I read.  For years, I've only listened to K-Love, and I'm listening even more now, because most of what is on television is pure trash.  I'm holding myself to a high standard, because Jesus held me at a pretty high standard by dying on the cross for my sins.

I am no goody two shoes, I assure you.  Of all the wretched sinners in this world, I am the chief.  There is nothing good in me, except for HIM who dwells inside me.  Apart from Him, I am nothing, and I give Him all the glory and honor and praise for bringing me up out of the miry pit.  I mess up daily (sometimes, minute by minute) and I am ALWAYS going back to apologize.  But He is working on me and in me and He is changing me constantly.  That is why I do all of what I write.

He is my very favorite.

Six.



On a much lighter note, can time just please stop?  Y'all.  I thank God for making the mom of these boys.  In all their teenage yuck and drama with girls (of which I am over), they give me such joy and wonderful moments of laughter, and sometimes moments of complete and total exasperation.  I love them.  They're my favorites.  We birthday celebrated last night at Toddley's parents house for them, because there was sickness last week and they'll be gone for Drew's birthday.

Thanks for reading my blog!  I pray your weekend is wonderful and restorative.  Love to all!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Prayer

At our church the other night, our ladies and teenage girls got together and had a movie night.  We watched The War Room.

That is the most inspiring movie I have ever watched, and no matter how many times I see it, I do the ugly cry every single time.  It just touches the very depths of my heart, and I am always motivated in my prayer life after seeing it.

This week was no different.  I feel so blessed to have sat with my mom, my sister, a dear friend and a bunch of teenage girls and watch it with them.


Aren't they precious?  I love them so much, and I pray for all these girls, and the ones who aren't pictured or who couldn't come, daily.

Y'all.  Prayer is vital.  It's the key that unlocks the resurrecting power of Christ Jesus that lives in us.  Most of us don't use it, though, and that's where this blog post comes in.  I use a prayer notebook on most days to help guide me along in praying.  It might sound silly, but my mind gets so distracted while I pray, and before I know it, I've given up and moved on to getting dinner started.  Having this notebook on the table in front of me keeps my thoughts moving right along and I use it as a guide.  I confess that on some days I am so tired, I just read right from the very pages and pray with my eyes open.  This tool that I use is scriptural.  All that is within the pages are the very words inspired by God, and I pray them out loud for myself, my husband, my kids, my extended family, my church, my friends, the government and missionaries.

In looking online this morning, I found the website from where you can get all of the free printables that I have in my notebook.  A lot of these come from a book by Sylvia Gunter called Prayer Portions, and some of what I found and use are from the Missional Motherhood blog and from Donna Gaines.

If you are at all like me and you struggle with this, I am posting the link from where you can see for yourself how I pray.  Click HERE.

I pray this encourages you and motivates you to get serious about prayer.  Love to all.

Monday, March 14, 2016

a week away

My goodness.  Apparently sometimes I just totally neglect the old blog and don't sign in for more than a week.  I will start off where I left off, more than a week ago.

Last weekend we had D-Now at our church for the youth.  What an amazing weekend!  There are so many little things that God did among so many of the groups.  I was talking to a friend about all of it last week....apologies were said to teenagers and relationships were restored, forgiveness was freely given, old grudges were cast away, barriers were broken between some of the students and God...I am telling you.  He did so much.  I am so thankful that He not only heard every prayer that we uttered but that He went above and beyond in answering them.  He is so good.

Here are a few pictures.






I was with the eleventh grade girls.  This last picture of Missy and me cracks me up....we were sitting in a little corner of this green field behind the church, and we felt like we were invisible.  People kept walking right by us and not seeing us or talking to us, but we were fine with it!  We were just sitting up on the hill laughing and talking while the girls did the games on the field.  (#leaderfail)  We didn't care about the competition part of the weekend, because honestly, both of of us couldn't care less.  How is this for irony?  We won second place.  Not only did we win second place for the weekend, the church is treating the girls and us to Winter Jam in Tupelo in a couple of weeks.  I do not know how this happened, us winning second place.  We are still cracking up over the whole thing.

It was an amazing and fun weekend.

This is one that I am eternally thankful to God for.


I love her so much.

Once Monday came, my house needed a good cleaning.  I did only that all day long and it was nice having it all done at the same time.  That lasted for about all of five minutes, because then the dogs and the boys came back home.  Lol.

On Tuesday, Todd woke up really sick.  And proceeded to stay that way all week long.  I took care of him the whole week and sprayed everything down with Lysol, and tried to rework the birthday plans.

Because these guys turned thirteen on Thursday.


We were going to have a family party, but we had to cancel because of Todd being sick.  Instead, we went to eat dinner at Pyro's, with some friends from church.

Then on Friday, this one turned seventeen.


But in between their birthdays, Graham had major car problems and his Bronco broke down at our homeschool group and stayed that way until the next night, when Todd and a friend from church went and worked on it enough to get it started and back home.

I ran all over town, it seemed, on Thursday to do an errand for my husband, and to rescue Graham and Drew, and that night I went to bed at eight thirty.  But then my sister called me, and we talked for the next two hours, but it was so worth it!  We NEVER get to talk for that long, and we had such a great conversation.  I miss you, Lisa!

On Saturday, Todd felt human again, and took Jonah and Noah to get their birthday presents.  They got phones!  They're a tad excited about them.  ;)  They went from having no phones, to having the nicest phones in the family.

Also, last week, I worked on memorizing scripture.


I'm memorizing Colossians 3 with Abbey and a sweet teenager named Katie.  :)  So I went over and over and over all these cards.

That's about it for our week...in the middle of all this, our town just about flooded everywhere with all the torrential rain we've had, but today the sun is shining and I am praising God for this new week.  I hope your day is great!  Love to all.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

prayer request

This upcoming weekend is a huge youth event at our church.  D Now stands for Disciple Now, and it's a weekend long retreat of sorts, for all of youth.  The retreat part is local, though.  All the youth will stay in host homes for Friday and Saturday nights, and all our meeting will take place at church.  It's an intense weekend of pouring into teenagers.  This is only my third year to participate, and I am excited about our days together.  I cannot wait to see what all God does, because we have been praying for this for so long!

Here is where I need you.  Please help me pray:

That kids would be saved.
That relationships would be restored.
That students would learn dependence upon prayer and a passion for God's word.
That students would have a heart to tell everyone of the hope of Jesus.
That there would be no sickness, injuries or pettiness.
That God would give students CLARITY on His plan in their lives.  (The theme is Clarity.)
That God would give students a desire to go and make disciples.
That all the adult leaders would be in unity.
That more students would sign up!  God knows who needs to be there.  The last count was 120.

My boys will be there, and of course, I am praying all of this for them every bit as much as I am praying this for ALL the students.  But man, has there been major warfare this week.  There have been issues with sickness, gossip, torn relationships, division in some of my boys and their friends, and just plain ole meanness and madness.

Of COURSE there has been warfare this week before this huge event.  I was reading (and memorizing) Ephesians 6:10-18 yesterday, and I read (again) that our battle is NOT against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, the world powers of this darkness, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.  Satan is a roaring lion, and he is prowling around, seeking someone to devour.

Well.

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16:20).

Will you join me in praying this over all our students this weekend?

I would be ever so thankful.

One more thing...


"May the LORD be praised, for He has heard the sound of my pleading."  Psalm 28:6

Thank you.  Love to all.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

some things

Happy March!  Before the rain started, when I woke up this morning, I could hear birds chirping...and that makes me think that spring is nearby!  I love this time of year.  It's also birthday season in our family!  Birthdays start next Thursday and continue until April third in my house.

Because it's late in the morning and I need to get moving on laundry and copying school work for my boys, I am making this short and sweet.  Here is the Scripture writing plan for this month that some of you have asked about.


I had to catch up a few times in February, and I'm sure I'll have to catch up some for this month, too, but by the end of the month, I was back on track.  I love doing this!  It only takes five to ten minutes each day, and in the writing process, you are hiding God's word in your heart.

Care to join me?

Oh, and also...


It's Super Tuesday.  Don't just vote!  Pray first, ask God to show you who to vote for, and ask Him for wisdom.  THEN, go vote.  I use the bible as my measuring tool for voting...if you are a believer, I challenge you to do the same.

Love to all.

things that make me happy

Yesterday's post was long and detailed.  Today's will be short and sweet.  Here are some random things I've loved this week. I...