Living Intentionally

November 13, 2011

I love this time of year.
The weather teasing me with the promise of what's to come soon.
Busyness with a purpose.
Joy in giving and doing and being.
Praise oozing from each pore of my body effortlessly and unintentionally.

Any excuse to get together and eat is a good thing.
Seeing cousins playing, laughing, and catching up on the latest adventures of life.
Dressing up, looking pretty.
Being able to show off that 20 pounds I've lost this year!

Making memories for my kids.
Clinging to what my parents gave me as a child.
Making sure to carry on old traditions, 
even when it's difficult.
Knowing that my kids will have this to cling to 
when they are grown with families of their own.
Places and people will change, 
but the memories will be the constant.
Wondering, hoping my legacy will stretch into their legacies.

Realizing that each gift is from the Holy One.
It's the pure JOY of explaining to a curious toddler that
 the Creator builds everything 
through people with talents directly from Him.
Encouraging my kids to 
search for the gift designed especially for them alone 
and praying they realize the full potential boxed up in that offering.

It's not letting the season escape with a false meaning and purpose.
It's backing up and stepping away 
from what the world is trying to sell me.
And moving forward and stepping up
with purpose and awareness.
Balancing the hype with the sacred.
Enjoying the things that come that are fun, and fancy, and frivolous.
But remembering that it was born from Humbleness and Grace.
And the ultimate Sacrifice.

It's choosing to remember that sometimes, 
His living was almost as hard as His dying.
It's choosing to slow down.
To live consciously.
Choosing to take the time 
to honor the holiness, the traditions, my family.
Choosing to realize that no is as valid an option as yes is.
Choosing to give my kids something solid to hold on to, 
that they can give to their kids.

"Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God." 2Corinthians 7:1

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2


Wordy Wednesday

November 9, 2011

"Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night" even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:7-13


Too Early?

November 3, 2011

Definitely need a tree skirt.
I love ornaments in an apothecary.
It's not staying this way. I need to get a candle or something for the candle holder.
I whipped this up this morning and I love it!
I really LOVE decorating the mantle for CHRISTmas!
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11


Wordy Wednesday

November 2, 2011

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1Thessalonians 5:16-18


Choosing JOY

October 27, 2011

I hear a familiar scream.
fingernails on the black board kind of scream.
 For the umpteenth time. 
Because so and so did such and such
Self Righteousness.
Then I decide that it all ends.
With me.
So, I sit my littles down for a nice, long heart to heart. 
We talk about how it feels 
when someone is unkind to us.
We talk about tolerance.
We talk about how we are all sitting in a room 
that holds what should be the most important people in our lives 
(plus Daddy, who is at work.)
We talk about choices.
We all have them to make.
We choose our actions.
We choose our reactions.
Each choice is attached to it's own consequence.
Either good or bad.
We make those choices 
independently from other people's choices.
We talk about what happens when we die 
and stand (or fall) at the feet of Jesus.
We will be alone.
Unable to lie.
Unable to blame someone else 
for our actions or reactions.
Accountable for every single choice we've made.
We talk about living our lives in a manner 
worthy to be sitting 
at the feet of Jesus in the first place.
Eyes focused more on the destination than the journey.
And then. 
We talk about LOVE.
It is the greatest command we've been given.
As Jesus LOVED.
Not because it's earned or deserved.
Because Jesus said so.
We talk about choosing JOY.
Jesus first. Others second. Yourself last.
I am reminded today about 
by a very dear friend of mine. 
Life is going to be unfair.
It's going to be difficult at times.
We are going to face obstacles and trials.
We can choose to fall down the hill or climb the mountain.
The choice is ours to make.
And with it, the reward- 
good or bad.
What do you choose?

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34-35

"And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." Deuteronomy 6:5 


Music Monday

October 24, 2011

A big part of my relationship with Christ is praise and worship. It's often one of the most emotional parts of church service every week and many times music gets me through difficult days. It's a way for my soul to give voice to what my heart is feeling.

I officially declare Mondays to be "Music Monday" here at Calverette Chronicles. I will post several of my newest favorite songs for your listening pleasure {and mine}. I hope that you will be blessed!



October 17, 2011

My life has been very busy lately.
In a good way. 
It's been FULL!

Full of wonderful moments that I want to breathe in and etch into my forgetful mind for always.

Full of moments when I want to pull my kids into my lap and snuggle with them before they grow so big that they have to pull me into their laps instead.

Moments that I do not want to take for granted.

Moments that are full of love.
Both going out and coming in.

Moments that I am so excited to be a part of.

Full of grace. 
Oh beautiful Grace!

Full of thankfulness.

Full of inspiration.
Inspiration that is born from desperation.

Full of hope, rising from ashes.

Full of prayers for mercy.

There are moments where I am at a loss. 
A loss for words and a human inability to change painful reality.

Moments where I lose my patience.

There are moments when I need others.
And moments when others need me.

Our lives are full of moments.
We must make sure to live each moment in it's absolute fullness.
Our moments are numbered.
Let's not waste them.

I am trying so hard to keep the little things in perspective.
Spilled milk, is well, just spilled milk.

I'm not going to remember if I arrived 5 minutes late because I was following someone who was driving 15 miles below the speed limit.
But, my kids will remember if Mom was angry and intolerant.

I won't remember every little mess and mistake that my kids make.
But, my kids will remember if Mom was quick to forgive and gentle in her voice.

I won't remember going out of my way to smile at someone, or to say something nice.
But, maybe, my kindness made a difference in that person's life.

I struggle to speak lovingly to my kids ALL the time. 
I often allow my frustrations to be on display with them.
I don't consider how they interpret it.
It would destroy me if I thought that they were personalizing my shortcomings.
So, I need to make sure to be a little more careful.
A little kinder.
And keep every moment in perspective.

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galatians 5:13

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32


Let's Get Smashed!

October 14, 2011

Won't you please check out this post over at Finding the SONlight! And then go get smashed!

And here's a little lagniappe for your listening pleasure... 'cause that's the kind of girl I am. You're welcome.

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33

"The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is might; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." Zephaniah 3:17


Don't Get Me "Cranked" Up

October 12, 2011

crankyadjective- ill-tempered; grouch; cross

"Mom, why are you so cranky again?" And so begins the rant. Somebody please tell me that I'm not the only mamma who finds herself cranky more often than she'd like to be.

After telling my sweet little deaf children exactly what I expect them to do, I return to the scene of the crime to find that I was ignored, again. {Insert mild frustration.}

Then I step in what is {hopefully} some sort of super scientific sticky experiment honey. "Who had something sticky?", I ask. "Oh, I got myself some honey for my sore throat", Drake answered. And then I see it all over the counter, too. {Now, I'm starting to get more frustrated.} Can't they see when they spill something? What is it that prevents my kids from just giving the mess a quick swipe with one of my handy-dandy kitchen towels that always seems to be waiting begging to be used? {Feeling a little bit like they're taking advantage of me.}

Earlier in the day, there were NO more utensils. Not so much as a butter knife was clean. Now, I have recently had a conversation with my eldest about what to do when the dishwasher is full. There was a full on demonstration and everything. One pop quiz later and we've got a big, fat "F"- as in, Eat With Your Hands! {At this point, I am convinced that I am raising cave men.} What gives?

So, what do I do?  In the famous words of Dori: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."  So. That's what I'm going to do. Keep on swimming, oblivious to how many times I've just had the same experience. I'm gonna put on that smile and...

...and I probably should remember that I've not always been the most obedient child either. There's hope. There's always hope. And if I run out of hope, I can hire a cleaning service....

...or I can use my wit...

Mom: Don't think of it as cleaning your room, think of it as a treasure hunt and the prize is finding the floor!

What's your best advice? I'd love to hear it!

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6


Did I Just Say I'm Grateful for Wal-Mart?

October 7, 2011

Things I Am Grateful for Today...

  • a daughter who can (and loves to) make pancakes 
  • a husband who actually wants me to go to the hunting camp with him every weekend
  • the fact that said hunting camp is only 15 minutes from home.. aka I can go shopping while the boys go hunting and then drive over to eat a supper cooked over an open campfire and spend the night
  • the fact that I have a little wee one that provides a perfectly legitimate excuse for me to not have to go hunting with the boys
  • Goodwill actually has SALES! 
  • our security system which allows me to actually sleep at night knowing no one is breaking in through a window and stealing my precious kids from their beds across the house (and eventually, it will keep said kids from breaking out through the windows across the house)
  • coffee... particularly the chocolate flavored kind
  • a kid who is actually EXCITED to wear the pirate costume I just found in the back of the closet that "older brother" wore a couple of years ago
  • dancing costumes (that I paid way too much money for) that can (and will) double as halloween costumes this year for not less than one kid
  • did I already mention that Goodwill has sales? 
  • educational cartoons that are somewhat entertaining which allows me to feel just a little less guilty in the parenting department
  • the UpSideDown show only plays at night {Thank you Jesus!}
  • FALL weather
  • my church
  • portable DVD players for the car
  • older kids who can do Flash Cards with younger kids while Mom-to-pus works on other things
  • kids who are old enough to help with laundry
  • I still have at least one child who still likes me and says I'm her best friend
  • it's late enough in the year that I can actually start CHRISTmas shopping! What!?! WooHoo! Let's get this party started. Oh Yeah... ooops. Sorry about that. Really. I am.
  • I can punish my children with EXTRA CHORES! Dirty Microwave? I'm sure there's a naughty boy who can take care of that. Base Boards need some dusting? I've got a tooth brush and a sassy mouth to take care of that. (if you haven't tried this yet, you should! Hallelujah)
  • at least my 3 oldest can take care of bathroom hygiene (if you know what I mean. Nothing like hearing the sounds "Mommy! Come wipe me!" Oh yeah, you've got a visual now. You're welcome.) 
  • my husband will still compliment my cooking (I guess he's just glad that I cook and he wants to encourage me so I don't stop again. Nothing like a little unintentional "strike" to get some appreciation.)
  • technology... man, it sure makes my life so much easier most of the time. I don't think I could do chicken coops, cow patties, and vegetable fields. As shocking as this is for me to say... give me Wal-Mart any day
  • Grace 
"And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified." Acts 20:32

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work." 2Corinthians 9:8

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:11

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God," Ephesians 2:8


The Stepford Wife

October 5, 2011

I wish that every day I could sit down {in a quiet house} with a huge cup of yummy delicious coffee {that part is real, well, except for the quiet part} and write a blog post about how perfect everything is. I would tell you that our bank account is so full that I am forced to go shopping. I would tell you that on said shopping trip I found the most adorable clothes for my kids {that they all love because we share the same sense of style} and I got all these clothes for a steal of a deal! But, there was still so much money in my bank account that I had to look for clothes for me and the hubs, too! Which, yep- you guessed it! I got for a steal of a deal AND {here's the real bonus} they all make me look smoking hot! Oh, and while I was out shopping for clothes and getting great bargains, I stumbled upon the most gorgeous collection of fall inspired nail polish- wait for it- ON SALE! I would tell you how my Mommy-van {which gets excellent gas mileage} pulled into the parking lot of a home decor shop and once inside I realized that the whole store was on sale clearance {which is so much better than on sale} so I picked up some really cute items to decorate my home for fall and make it smell just like heaven! Oh, and before I left for this shopping trip someone called to beg me if they could have my kids for the day {ALL of them}! Oh. Yeah. Baby.

I would be able to tell you that on the days I am not out scoring deals on clothes and fun stuff, I am home schooling my four awesome children {okay, the four part is real, and so is the awesome part}. I would be able to tell you that I never have to remind them {after 8, 10, & 12 years} to brush their teeth EVERY day, their rooms are always clean, they never fight or argue with one another, they don't make messes when they eat, and they never procrastinate where school is concerned! I would tell you that my laundry automatically washes, drys, folds, and puts itself away while I am schooling the crew. I would not forget to mention that I have exclusive access to a little fairy who discreetly comes into my home several times a day to sweep and mop my floors. I would be able to tell you that my kids ease through their school lessons, and when they do need help, I completely understand the lesson and I'm able to explain it to them without having to teach myself the lesson first {and I'd always get it and we'd never have to wing it} before effectively explaining it to them. I would tell you that they've all memorized their math facts and they are natural born spellers. I would tell you that I've never been at the end of my rope and threatened to send any one of them back to public school via the big yellow bus that passes in front of my house at 6:15am. I would tell you that I am super confident in my parenting abilities, I never make mistakes, and my cooking is divine. I would also be able to admit that I am an awesome friend who never says the wrong thing, I am always respectful to my parents, I never let my emotions get the better of me, I know a lot about the Bible, I never sin, and I am well qualified for the Best Wife Ever award.

But, that's not my reality. I forget to pray sometimes. I lose my patience with my kids more than I'd ever like to admit. My husband and friends have had legitimate complaints about me over time. My momma should have washed my mouth out with soap more than once. I've wasted years NOT learning more from my Bible. As hard as I try to fake it, I have no clue how to do this parenting thing well. I often say the dumbest things. I have the roughest bark that I absolutely hate. I would like to give more. And as for housework, well, I do the best I can. Sometimes it's not enough and sometimes it's too much of a priority. Oh, and my gas light is always on in my Mommy-van. {I wish that weren't so close to the truth as it is.}

So. What does all of this mean? Am I just some unhappy ogre? {Dear God, please don't let anyone ever desire to use the term ogre to describe me. Amen.}  Doomed to a life of Less Than or Just Not Enough? Nope. Not at all. When I sit down to my computer each day, I am grateful if nothing else. I realize that, yes, there are some things that I don't have. But the things that I do have are of far greater importance and relevance. First and foremost, I have the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I've booked my reservations, I've got the confirmation number,  and my eternity has been paid in full. Thank you, Jesus! And I have such a wonderful family. My husband loves me. He really loves me. I didn't always know that I was worthy of being loved and for a long time I wasn't sure anyone would ever love me. But he did, even before I learned how to love myself. And from that love four beautiful, smart, interesting, loving, and amazing kids were born. I've never done anything to deserve them. Really. No one can ever tell me that they're not awesome because if you try, I will fight you to the death of one of us. I've also come into a circle of a few really good friends. Now, again, I didn't always have good friends. Actually, I've had some pretty crummy friends in my time. It took me a very {VERY} long time to be able to trust anyone in the friendship department. And I still have my reservations, but not with these girls. And even though we don't always agree, or we say some not so nice things to one another on occasion, we love each other and we do it well. And then there are all the temporary things that bless me, like safety, bills paid every month, food to eat, reliable Mommy-van, yummy candles, decent clothes {thank you GoodWill}, a nice home where my favorite people on earth lay their heads at night.

It means I am human. It means that despite all that I don't have, I will never forget what I do have. It means that even though I give it my all, sometimes I fall short. It means that if I am going to be happy I must realize who I am in Christ and forget about the world's standards.


The Door's Unlocked... Come On In!

October 2, 2011

Seasons are changing.
Fall is seeping under doors and through opened windows.
I love fall.
I welcome the energy she brings with her.
Full of Hope. 
Leaking Promise. 
Offering a fresh perspective on Life.
Something is different. 
Missing, almost. 

I'm busier than I ever remember being before. My calendar is riddled with appointments and schedules. I feel like I'm being robbed of the opportunity to breathe in the joy of just living. Even though I've said "yes" to things that I want to do and are important to me. 

My life is being rocked. Hard. My eyes are opened to so much struggle around me. There are several people that I know who are fighting like mad for their very lives and the lives of those they love dearly. Hitting close enough to home to leave my heart tender and raw. 

The devil is working overtime to attack me. Using my most precious relationships to break me. But you know what?  I am taking a stand against him. I've read the end of the book and I know Who wins! 

Today I make a decision.
I'm choosing to spend time with an old friend.
To enjoy her company.
Welcome Fall!
How I've missed you.
Come on in. 
Let's sit a while and share a cup of coffee
Let's take the kids outside for lunch.
Let's recognize the Joy found in the things that keep me so busy right now.
Let's take a walk. Slowly.
Let's pray together often enough that the devil gets sick of hearing it!
Let's find energy in the earth and the beauty of God's creation.
Let's not forget that God is still God, no matter how hard life tries to make me forget it.
Let's work on fewer commitments and more adventures.
Let's remember to smile.
And breathe.
And Love.

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1Corinthians 10:13

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world." John 16:33

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." Psalm 27:14


The Fashion Show?

September 28, 2011

I have all these grand ideas. Plans. Schedules. Charts. Notice the "s" on the end of each. Yes. I'm talking plural. My intentions are always true and pure. I want to make things run more smoothly. I want to give more. Complain less. Yell less. Be a source of more happiness. Be frugal and efficient. I have determination. I organize my thoughts and my life. At least I try to as best as I can. I make commitments to do X, Y, and Z. And then, a funny thing happens. Life gets me all tangled up. It swallows me. It beats me down and tears me up. I get tired. Lose my energy. And then, my grand plans get dropped by the wayside. Not on purpose. Not that I wasn't serious when I made "The Decision" to do "Whatever" it is that I'm convinced will enrich lives and bring glory to God.  I just realize that I don't always have as much control over things as I would like to think that I have. I cannot do it all all of the time. And I've discovered that sometimes, I'm not supposed to.

So, do I give up on it all? Do I quit trying? Throw away my lists and schedules and charts? {My kids are all on their knees with knuckles glowing white, praying to God that I do!} No. I won't quit trying. It's who I am right now. It's who I've been for a while. I just need to keep trying. Push past the way it feels forced when I'm trying something new. When I fail, I need to remember to forgive myself. It's not a reflection of who I am. It just reminds me of Who I need. "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil." Ephesians 6:10-11 I must recognize that I am not a failure, it's just that the devil is working overtime to sabotage all that is done in the name of Jesus. He strips us naked. But, you know what- I've been naked often. It's not such a big deal anymore. I just need to get Dressed again.

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1Corinthians 10:13

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope," Romans 5:3-4


Because I'm Worth It

September 26, 2011

Ever feel insecure?

Lately, I've been having long spans of time a few moments of insecurity.  Please, somebody tell me I'm not the only person walking around this earth who thinks that everyone else has it together with the sole exception being herself! Okay. I take that back. I do "know" of a couple of people that really are a hot mess. They don't have it together at all. But, I'm talking in general here.

I'd like to think that I am a strong woman. I can DO just about anything, including birthing babies without the aid of pain medication. (Sorry. I'm kind of proud of that one.) Anyway. Sometimes, I can't help but feel like just when I think I've got this "woman" thing figured out, Satan tackles me hard, throws me to the ground, spits in my eye, laughs in my face, and gives me a concussion. And, he's got it on video to replay the whole ugly episode for me {and everyone else who'll watch} over and over and over and ov.......!

Then, the thoughts come. "Am I doing it all wrong?" "What in the world was I thinking?" "What now?" "Why can't you learn to not talk so much?" "If only they knew you aren't as smart as you want them to think you are." "If only they knew how many times a day you fail." "If only they knew you are CLUELESS." "I bet she thinks I'm a dork." "Why did you say THAT?" "Oh, that was smooth." "She hates me." "I bet they're all talking about me behind my back." "You idiot." Yeah. The devil's beating me up all right. He's using my own fists!

I struggle with life in this fallen world. Sometimes, I invite the devil in and offer him homemade brownies. I listen to what he has to say about me. I take it all in. Every. Single. Word. And I start to believe it. He uses my whole life's experiences against me. Every offense I've suffered, every fear, every failure. He brings it up and uses it to shame me so that I will not have the confidence to stand up in this world and be a light for my Father.

I don't claim to know the answers. But, here's what I do know. The devil is a LIAR! He's got a job to do. He's got real estate to fill up. And time is a ticking. He does not want us to see us the way that God sees us. He wants us defeated and depleted. And here's what else I know: I am someone worth dying for.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1John 4:10



September 22, 2011

I read many wonderful blogs every day. Today, I'd like to share one with you. I hope you'll take a minute to check it out.

Life in the Parsonage

"You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord." Leviticus 19:18

"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35


Social Studies

September 21, 2011

I've been scarce here. This is why....

I have one of these who also dances and has a MAD Social Life....
Hopefully, I'll have more time for blogging soon!

"Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share," 1Timothy 6:18



September 19, 2011

You might remember that about a year ago I found a church that has absolutely captured my heart. Well, I have been going through membership class for the past few weeks and the pastor said something that I find to be quite interesting. 

He talked about how we as Christ followers will be in a relationship with each other for eternity. That's forEver people! That's like, never ending. That's like... well... you know! He talked about how we should try to get along in the here and now because we will be together for the ever after

That brings to mind a whole different way of thinking about our relationships. It can shift what we think is important now. It changes the perspective of how we pick and choose our battles. And it should change how we love and give. It should be less about now, and more about evermore. 

Then I thought about some who I love dearly. Some who I genuinely LIKE to be with- that I want to spend my forever with. Some who just make me happier. Better. Content. Relationships that ebb and flow with ease. And maybe I feel some sadness, because I'm not sure we'll be spending our ever after in the same place. We might be. But, I'm not sure. 

"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;" 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent." John 17:3


What Pre-K Looks Like at My House

September 15, 2011

Our Lesson on "Police Officers"

"Circles" (get it?)
Fine Motor Skills: Cutting (ugh)
Fine Motor Skills: Tracing
Weather: Wind
Weather: Rain
Weather: Rain
Weather: Snow
Feelings: Happy (they were supposed to be drawing what makes them happy)
Feelings: Happy (his "happy" face)
Feelings: Happy (her "happy" face)
Feelings: Sad (her "sad" face)
Feelings: Scared (his "scared" face)
Feelings: Scared (her "scared" face)
Aubree has a cousin who is 3 weeks younger than she is. His mom asked if I would "home school" him for preschool with Aubree and I am having so much fun teaching them both. They really seem to be enjoying it and they are learning a lot. His favorite part of school is when we sing and dance the "Hokey Pokey" {teaching them left from right}. It is really cute to see two three year olds shaking it! {I'm pretty sure they think it's pretty funny to see one thirty-eight year old shaking it.} I think that the thing that tickles me the most  is that during "school time" Aubree raises her hand and calls me "Teacher" instead of "Mommy"!

"Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it." Proverbs 22:6


Living a Life of jOy

September 12, 2011

I've been trying to teach my kids to live a JOYful life- Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. It can be a very difficult thing to accomplish. I've been thinking about how I apply this principle to my own life. If I'm being honest, I'm not doing as well as I'd like to be. Sure, there are many times when I "take one for the team" as they say, but I believe that I should be doing more.

I am making a commitment to take a month to pray for Others. I am just the teeniest bit frightened by my commitment. It's big. But, I'm going to give it my all. So, here's my plan....
I am going to focus on something BIG for someone different every week for four weeks. For example, I will pray for someone who is very ill or in a very difficult place in their life. Additionally, I am going to focus on one different person each day. So, one day I might lift my husband up in prayer. Another day I may pray in earnest for my mother. I will pray for my best friend on yet another.

I will also encourage my family to get involved. I will post the name of the "Person of the Week" and the "Person of the Day" on the refrigerator so that my husband and kids can also pray for them with me. As Christ followers, we are to go out and be the hands and feet of Jesus. It's time I get off my rear and do that. This is a small step, but I am so excited to see what happens!

"Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way." 1Samuel 12:23

"Never stop praying." 1Thessalonians 5:17

"And he said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'" Luke 10:2

"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." Colossians 4:2


Open Up the Sky

September 8, 2011

Today I'd like to share one of my absolute favorite songs with you. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do.

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22

"Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me." Micah 7:7

"Bus as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1Corinthians 2:9


Copy Cat

August 31, 2011

Bath time. I'm sure that many of you mothers out there know that anytime the bath water starts to run it's an invitation for little wee ones to get naked and hop in for a playdate with mommy. Well, my house is no exception. Every once in a while I put my foot down and demand a hot soak all to myself, but usually it's a nice time to connect with my kids with few distractions from the ins and out of life. Community baths end when modesty begins. So, these days it tends to be just Aubree who cares to take a dip with me.

Well, she and I were bathing and the dialogue went something like this:
Aubree: "Mom, remember when we were playing like you were my baby daughter and I was cooking?"
Me: "Yes." 
Aubree: "Wanna do that again?"
Me: "I'd love to!"
Aubree: "Okay baby. Let's have a bath."
Me: "Mommies don't sit on their babies."
Aubree: "Give me a hug you sweet girl."

So, the play and the banter continued back and forth for a little while. Then, I decided that my muscles deserved some rest time of their own after what I'd put them through a few hours before at the gym. Luckily for them, I have this wonderful soaking tub and I found a nice little spot to put my head back and close my eyes and check out for a few minutes while Aubree was busy "being my Mommy". So she takes the wet washcloth and pours water on my stomach to wash me. Then she says, "Okay baby. Now you wash Mommy." And she leans back on her hands like she's relaxing and closes her eyes. Just. Like. Me. I laughed very hard! I'm talking a belly shaking from my gut laugh. It was so cute and so funny! But, I quickly realized... she is learning exactly how to behave from ME. That was a very sobering thought.

Note to self: Make sure your behavior is worthy of being copied at all times.

"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." 1Corinthians 11:1

"When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, 'Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should also do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.'" John 13:12-17


19 Reasons Why....

August 29, 2011

Nineteen years ago today I was a 98 pound bride with nothing but hope and magical dreams in my heart and my head. I was eager to start a new life and close the book on what had been a difficult journey up to that point. I was head over heels in love with a boy. He had the potential to make my life or destroy it. I was searching to find myself- in him. I was 19 years old then. Barely. Still a kid. No wonder I had no idea who I was or who I wanted to be. But, I did know one thing- I LOVED that boy who said that he loved me, too!

Since then, I've discovered who I am- I am the daughter of the King of Kings. That's why I can be a good wife to this really groovy guy who rocks my world. We have been through so much over the past 19 years. Some of it was absolutely dreamy. Some of it was like a nightmare. But, we stood by each other and held on tight when there was not much else we thought we could do, because at the end of the day we really did love each other. And sometimes that was all we had.

Today, in honor of our celebration of our love for each other,  I would like to share  
19 Reasons Why... 

I love you because

  1. Karli Blayne
  2. Drake William Elie
  3. Brant James Lee
  4. Aubree AnnaLynn
  5. You loved me when I didn't even know how to love myself.
  6. You work hard so that I can stay home and live MY dream, and you never complain.
  7. You don't have problems with self-esteem, mine or yours.
  8. The first time you kissed me I literally felt my heart melt and pour like warm coffee throughout my whole body into my toes.
  9. You almost always spend your Best Buy Rewards on me instead of on yourself.
  10. You push me to be better than I think I am.
  11. You think I'm hot.
  12. You've got the cutest boyish smile that you flash at the perfect time.
  13. You are the most amazing Daddy to our kids!
  14. Wherever you are is the only place that it feels like home to me.
  15. You are smart.
  16. Most mornings when I wake up the coffee is already made.
  17. Being a couple is still as important to you as being parents.
  18. You eat pretty much anything I cook.
  19. You use reverse psychology on me even though we both know exactly what you're doing and it always works!

Happy Anniversay, Freddie! I love you even more today than I did all those years ago. I thank God for you every day and I pray for many more healthy, happy years together!

"Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." There fore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Genesis 2:23-24

"In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church" Ephesians 5:28-29


What's Your Name?

August 28, 2011

Okay. I think I am probably going to be judged here, but, here goes anyway. I am a Big Brother fan. There. I said it. Not always proud of it. I know it's not the most wholesome TV show. (Honestly, it's slim pickings out there in TV land.) Often, it is a really good lesson in how NOT to behave. But, it's entertaining nonetheless.

If you're not familiar with Big Brother, it is a television show where contestants are locked in a house full of cameras and microphones, completely secluded from the outside world. They must compete with other house guests for a chance to win $500,000. It's always interesting because you just never know what to expect and the show has even adopted a motto of "Expect the Unexpected". They play games to compete for power, luxuries, safety, privileges, and food.

Anyway, this season has not disappointed with an interesting and eclectic cast of characters. One house guest in particular is named Jordan. She has played and won Big Brother in a previous season. She does not have a mean, vindictive bone in her body and I genuinely like her a lot. There is another woman in the house named Shelly. She is the mother of an eight year old daughter that she had to leave behind for the summer. So, there was this competition where everyone competed for "the power of veto" (which can be used to save someone/themselves from being evicted from the house) but, each competitor also received an additional prize, either good or bad. Okay. So Jordan wins "24 hours in solitary confinement that includes a phone call from home". By this time, any house guest would consider solitary confinement a small price to pay for a phone call from home.

Listen. I went on a cruise for 5 days and I called my kids EVERY SINGLE DAY! By the second day, I was literally crying every time I sat still long enough to let myself think of them for more than 5 minutes.

Imagine how precious that phone call would be to ANY mother. Including Jordan's mother on the outside who has not spoken to her daughter in forever! But, my sweet little Jordan decided to take one for the team and she gave Shelly the phone call from home! Without a moment's hesitation. I heart her! (By the way, Jordan ended up winning the sentence of wearing a "humilitard" for a week! She was still unfazed.)
On the front is an arrow pointing up saying "I'm with Stupid" and on the back it reads "Kick Me"

Yes, Jordan and Shelly were in an alliance trying to keep each other safe in the game until it came down to brass tacks and they were forced to fight for themselves to win. But still. Jordan demonstrated unselfishness, true friendship, and human compassion.

Fast forward. Shelly has now flipped sides against Jordan. After bawling her eyes out from being SO GRATEFUL for what Jordan did for HER. Proclaiming that she would NEVER forget the kindness shown.... blah blah blah. As soon as Jordan turned her back Shelly jabbed that sweet little sugar booger with a knife. (Okay. Devil's advocate. Shelly is playing a game to win money to benefit HER family.)

I get the whole family comes first thing. I have a family that I would die for. And I would not die for very many people. But, isn't there a different way? Can't you still put YOUR family first and still be loving and loyal and compassionate and respectful to your friends?

We all fail in the friendship department from time to time. But, I want to consistently be more of Jordan than a Shelly. I want to be there for my friends when they need me. I want it to be as natural as breathing in and out. And when it's not, I want to do it anyway. I want the choice to be a no-brainer. Honestly, it's a wonderful feeling to be that person that someone turns to when they need someone. It's an honor and a blessing. It fills me up.  But mostly, it's who God would want me to be.

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:13-15

"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt." 1Samuel 18:1-4

"Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad teh Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great." Job 2:11-13


Where I Want to Live

August 24. 2011

I was having a conversation with my mom the other day. She was having a really bad day and got a little snarky with me. Now, not too long ago, this would have not ended well. I would have taken offense, become disrespectful and angry, and it would have certainly ended in hurt feelings on both sides of the phone.

But, this time was different. I heard God say to me, "You should not take this personally." So, I did something that I would normally not do. I just said, "Mom, what's wrong? That's not like you to snap like that." And you know what? It was not me. She was dealing with things within herself that had nothing to do with me. Because I was able to stop my instinct and respond differently than I would have before, it allowed a door to open to a new place in our relationship.

I have been focused on my own Growth over the past year or so. I have been hungry to learn as much as I possibly can about how I should live my life so that it is pleasing to God. So often you hear that "you just have to accept Jesus into your heart". And that is true. But, if He's really in your heart, then His character should start flowing through your veins and oozing from your pores. Slowly at first. But, eventually, it should be a controlling factor in your thoughts. It should stop old habits and replace them with new perspective. It should be the driving force that allows you to put your tail between your legs in humility when you need to apologize or concede. It should cause your reactions to be less automatic and more deliberate and loving. It should be what propels you to take the more difficult path- the one that pleases our Savior. I've found that I should not try to live like the only important thing is to have Jesus in my heart. I want to find my home in His heart!

I still fail. My imperfections and impatience still burst through the surface and leave ugly wounds from time to time. But, I am growing. Still. And even though it has been very painful and difficult at times, it is worth it. To see where I am now and how my life is better for it makes my heart smile. And I've only just begun!

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2Peter1:3-8

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2Corinthians 5:17