Summer 101

May 31, 2011

Well, summer is here! Yesterday was the official kick-off for us. The pools are up and running. Everyone worked very hard to get rid of the tell tale signs of a long winter and we've got a sparkly clean big pool for the big kids, a wanna be sparkly clean little pool for the little kids (I try), and a beach chair with Momma's name written all over it!

I had originally thought that we'd focus more on school this summer, but, my heart has since changed her mind. I am going to spend the next week or so with Drake to help him finish up his school year because he has the hardest time to stay "on task". He may or may not have a little attention issue~ but it's nothing that I care to validate with some medical term. He just works best with a coach to help keep him focused on the job at hand. Karli can see the sun light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and she knows that there's a swimming pool there, so I'm sure she's going to work hard to "get 'er done"! {I can't believe I just said "get 'er done" in a blog. Aye.} As for my little Brantie, well, he's actually way ahead of the ball game. We've already completed one year of school and are several weeks into another, so, I am going to give myself permission to take it easy and not sweat "catching him up" from the extra year I spent on Kindergarten with him. Even by taking off from "book work" for the summer, we will still not be behind and he'll easily finish second grade well before next summer arrives! I'm not saying that we're not doing ANY school work this summer. I'm just saying that we're going to enjoy this summer first and school will take second place to fun time for a change!

I've often said that I feel extremely blessed to be able to spend so much time with my kids. It is certainly one of the big motivating factors in my decision to home school them. Even still, our days are quite structured and it takes a lot of discipline to be successful. I am beginning to long for the days of being able to just pick up and go visiting with a friend, or pack an impromptu lunch for an afternoon at the park. I want to be able to go for a bike ride on a whim or spend the day relaxing in the pool. I also want to spend some time teaching my kids about sacrifice. {Probably the most important Life lesson they can learn.} I definitely want to get them involved this summer in making meals together {Home Economics, oh yeah!} to bring to our elderly grandparents. They can get very lonely and just spending time with them chatting over a cup of coffee can be the highlight of their week! And I suspect that they can tell some really cool stories of their lives as children. {History lessons! wink, wink} It's becoming more real to me that one day soon one or more of my children will much rather spend time doing things "away from the nest" and I need to make the most of what I've got while I've got it.

This weekend was such a blessing to me. It was the first time in a very long time that we had no real commitments to take up our time. We spent this long weekend doing things around the house. Freddie and I were able to sit for several hours under the shade of the big tree in our backyard, enjoying each others company and the cool afternoon breeze. The kids played hard and we realized how awesome family time really is! Thank you, Jesus, for all your blessings! My cup runneth over.

"And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation." Genesis 2:2-3

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28


Blue Eyes Crying in the.....

May 26, 2011

I was watching the final Oprah show yesterday with Karli. She had no guests on her final show. She spent the entire hour talking to her fans, both in studio and at home. She expressed her appreciation and wishes. It was emotional, inspiring, and thought provoking.  Every so often, one of my boys would walk into the room and say, "Why are you crying, Mom?" To which I would reply, "Because I'm a girl, and that's what we do." {You can laugh at me if you want. It's okay. I know that I'm a dork.}

I actually am not a real sappy girl in comparison to some of my friends~ you know who you are! I don't normally cry very easily. But, Miss Winfrey got me thinking about my hopes and dreams for my own kids. She said some things that inspired me to want to be a better mother. Her sentiments got me thinking about
how much I want for them. Those thoughts and emotions reduce me to a blubbering fool immersed in a full blown ugly cry. The desire in my heart for them to know how much I care about them and how special they each are is overwhelming and I lose all my composure. Thanks Oprah!

There was one thing that Oprah said that really stuck with me. And it not only pertains to my kids, but, to all of us. She said "that we all share a common thread. We all want to know that we matter!" It is so true. We all just really want to know that we are important to someone else. We want to feel as though we are missed when we are not around. We want to know that we bring something valuable to our relationships. We want to make a difference to someone else. We want to be worthy.

I want my husband to want to be with me before anyone else. I want my kids to love me because they can see how well I love them. I want my friends to appreciate me because they know that they can trust me. I want to be a helpful person. I want my experiences to benefit others. I want the wisdom I have earned over the years (however little or great) to not be in vain.

I don't know why we seek the approval of man so desperately. Feelings of not being good enough can have tragic consequences. It has lead many to depression and abuse- chemical, physical, sexual, self-mutilating. It can destroy a (wo)man's spirit so quickly and violently to a point where (s)he is no longer visible. This world can be a very cruel and trying place. But, we have hope! We have a living God who says we are worthy! So, when we are down, when we have those feelings of not being enough, we need only to remember the Man who gave all for us. And the thing is, He would have done it even if it were only for YOU.

Often times, we allow ourselves to sit and wallow in self-pity. What does that benefit? Do you want someone to pay attention to you because they feel sorry for you? I know I don't. There is no pleasure in receiving charity. You want to feel important? Then go out and do something for someone else. Make a difference somewhere. Change something for the better. It does not matter how small of a gesture you make. You will get back far more than you give. It's amazing how that works.

So, today, I challenge you to let someone know that they matter to you. Make sure your kids know that what they have to say is important. Don't let your spouse think that who they are is not priceless to your heart. Do something to make your friends feel appreciated. Love on someone who is sometimes difficult to love. Share some of your time with someone who is lonely. And even more, let them know that in the eyes of God, they are worthy!

"Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing." Philippians 2:3-4

"When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's judgement. For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God- all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God." Romans 5:6-11

"Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are." Matthew 6:26


Bring It On

May 25, 2011

Guess who's back? Did ya miss me? I've certainly missed blogging. It has come to be very theraputic. When you get all the thoughts and words OUT of your head, they seem to find perspective and serve as a means of accountabiity.

Something else that can be theraputic is an ocean breeze blowing over your body while your feet are buried in the sand and everyone around you smells delicious with suntan lotion! There's something relaxing about watching your big kids body surfing, the hunter fishing in the ocean for a new species of marine life never before discovered, and the baby swimming in a pool dug out in the sand just close enough to the sea to fill with water as the highest waves lap the shore. And as much as I hate the sand sticking to my hands, I kind of don't mind it so much when I see how happy it makes my kids.

We had a really good time. It was nice to get away from the day to day grind of real life. Even though the days started earlier than they do at home, it was okay. It meant more time for playing. And when it was all said and done, and it was time to head back to reality, we brought back living momentos of our vacation to somehow keep us there for a while longer. I'm hoping we don't have to make a super secret trip to the pet store to replace anyone who doesn't make it. Hopefully, their memories will live a long time!
It was a blessing to be invited on this vacation. We will not soon forget the fun times we had or the good friends we shared them with. I am filled with appreciation for the snapshots that are sure to be engraved in the minds of my children for a lifetime.

There were times when my kids fought with each other. Yes, they still had their battles of disrespect and intolerance between them. There were times when they got frustrated and selfish. But, what I will remember long from now, and hopefully they will too, are moments like this...
Our summer has officially been Kicked Off. It started in the grandest way. And I am determined to make this the best summer yet! It's going to take a little work on my part. But, it will be worth the effort. And I want to have many snapshots of this time to hold on to for life! So bring on the adventure! I'm ready.

"You quieted the raging oceans with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of the nations. Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy." Psalm 65:7-8


The "Rest" of the Story

May 18, 2011

Sorry my posts have been so scarce. There's a reason. I've been getting ready for this.....

I'll catch you up next week! Until then....

"Oh, how I wish I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest!" Psalm 55:6

"Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Mathew 11:28


Life is a Highway

May 16, 2011

You know how you can drive the same route, day after day, for years even, and not be able to take in all the little details along the way? You have to concentrate on the road, the traffic, the cars in front of and behind you and the daily scene becomes an insignificant backdrop; something comfortable and unceremonious.

Then one day, you become a passenger on the same familiar route. Suddenly, you see things that you've missed all this time. Hidden beauties scattered along the way weaved in and out of the landscape, now, new and exciting.

Sometimes our lives are just like that. Sometimes, we're so busy with the day to day order of business busyness that the little things are lost on us. And then, sometimes, there are the nows that allow us to become the passenger. Right now, today, that's me. I'm the passenger. My prayer for today is that I soak in the beauty of life that I often miss. I want to appreciate the little things and relish in the gift of peace from Heaven that I've been given. I don't know how long it will last, because my kids will be awake soon, so, I must be careful not to waste it.

"So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life- whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not." Matthew 6:25-27


Let's Eat: Week 10

May 11, 2011

Watching My Weight Wednesday

I have been eating a Low Carb Diet for several months now. Since January 1st of this year I have lost 10 pounds. I feel SO much better about myself, but, I can't stop now. I have got at least another 3 pounds until I reach my goal weight, but, I could probably stand to lose a couple pounds beyond that.

I have never been obese. Most of my life I was able to manage my weight thoughtlessly. Actually, in high school, I tried very hard, unsuccessfully, to gain weight. Crazy. I know. I got married at 19 years old weighing about 97 pounds soaking wet. When I got pregnant I weighed about 107 pounds. I had my first child a couple of months before I turned 26 years old. Within weeks after her birth I was back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I gained 29 pounds in that pregnancy and delivered a 7# baby girl at 38 weeks. Two years later, my second child was born after a total weight gain of 39 pounds. No, he did not weigh 10 pounds more than his sister. He was 2 ounces bigger than his sister, born also at 38 weeks. Regardless, I quickly returned to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly. Like clockwork, two years later I delivered yet another baby, but, I only gained 19 pounds, proving to myself that when you're pregnant you're not really supposed to "eat for two". He was my biggest baby, at 7#9.5oz born at 38 weeks.  My third child was born weeks before my 30th birthday. The weight didn't magically fall off as it had the two times before, but, I certainly wasn't overweight by any stretch of the imagination. I had managed to hold on to a few extra pounds this time. But, after about a month or so of doing "Weight Watchers" I found myself super skinny- like, size 0 skinny. Let's just say that my love for food did not let me stay at a size 0 for very long. By the time I got pregnant for my fourth child, I was at my highest non-pregnant weight of 120 pounds. (I'm short, people! It looks worse than it sounds. Trust me.) I was already starting out heavier than I would like, so, I was careful and only gained 18 pounds. This baby was my smallest at 6#12oz, also born at 38 weeks. I weighed 138 pounds at delivery, came home at 128 pounds and stayed that way for 3 years! The weight took up permanent residence on my body! How does that happen? I just don't get it. Okay, so maybe the fact that I was 34 years old when she was born had a little something to do with it. Who knew that your metabolism actually reverses after 30? 

It has certainly not been easy or quick in losing those extra pounds. I have occasionally been hungry, unable to satisfy something in my head or my taste buds or wherever. I have had to be creative in "curing the craving". But, I am proof that it can be done! It just takes a little determination. I have four kids who are in an active love affair with sugar and all things delicious and fattening. I have a husband who can lose weight so much easier than I can. (And frankly, he looks perfectly fine to me just the way he is.) They love rice and gravy and all those other Cajun Carbs, too! I have found a way to adapt my eating habits without imposing on theirs. My kids know that there are a few food items in the house that are "Mom's Diet Food" and are off limits to them. (Trust me, they have plenty of other options.) The weight has been slow in leaving. But, I am not torturing myself in the process. Every few months I will allow myself a cheat day. But, more times than not, I still resist most things that are heavy in carbs, with few exceptions. This is a lifestyle. A change in habit. Yes, some days are harder than others. But, if you get really creative, you CAN absolutely push through with success.  

"Where's the recipe?", you ask. Okay. Okay. How about a simple lunch idea. I will often open a can of tuna, boil a couple of eggs, throw in a little mayo and mustard, grab a fork and forgo the bread. It's especially yummy if you dice up some raw onion and add it in as well.  Sometimes, if I'm especially lazy hungry and on the verge of fainting because I've gone too long before eating, I will open up a can of Armour Chicken Vienna Sausages and manage to get them down my throat. They are 0 carbs, and it's better than passing out. Plus, I will usually finish the "meal" with a tablespoon of Skippy Natural Peanut Butter, which is only 3 grams of carbs.

"You say, 'Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food.' This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them."1Corinthians 6:13

"Those who think it is all right to eat anything must not look down on those who won't. And those who won't eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them." Romans 14:3


Book Review: The Sacred Meal

May 10, 2011

The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher

I grew up as a Catholic and can remember the priest sitting me down and explaining to me at seven years old about the body and blood of Christ. I remember that it was something holy that you are do every time you go to church. I remember the ceremony behind the sacrament. I knew that it was very special, but, I wasn't sure why. Later, I converted to a religion that does not celebrate communion weekly, but, a few times a year instead. Then, still, there was no deeper explanation of this practice other than the basic "Do this in memory of Me." 

This book was not necessarily easy for me to get through, but, I don't know why. The information is not presented in a way that is not easily understood, nor is it is filled with boring facts. Once I convinced myself to open the pages of the book and read, I did find it interesting, and in many cases, enlightening. The author presents compelling points of view and biblical tidbits that apply to communion that I had never thought about before.  There is a lot of food for thought and an elaboration of communion, beyond the body and blood of Christ. Nora Gallagher shares her intimate experiences of The Sacred Meal with the reader, and challenges you to move past the moment of communion and bring it into the world with you into your daily life. Her point of view of communion moves past just the remembrance of The Last Supper and what it meant then and now. It goes deeper and challenges you to search for the bigger picture. 

I was really excited to see the Study Guide at the end of the book. I think that it would make an excellent small group study book. The Sacred Meal is not a gripping page turner, but, it is, in my opinion, a really good tool for those who are sincerely interested in spiritual growth.


I'm Just Saying

May 9, 2011

I was listening to a song the other day and these words pierced my heart and convicted my spirit:

"Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree And took the nails for me"

You know, we are all taught that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, suffered, was crucified, died, was buried, and on the third day, rose from the dead, and is seating at the right hand of our Father. He died so our sins would be forgiven. Most of us accept it as truth. But, all too often, we give IT little more thought than when we open the water spigot to let the water out. We turn the handle, water comes out, we turn it off. The End.

Listen, HE died because of MY sin. And YOUR sin. What does it mean when we continue to sin, especially knowingly? Isn't it a "slap in the face" to our Lord Jesus Christ? " * Oh, I'll just have a few drinks. * Oh, well, just a little white lie. * He made me mad, so he deserved more than to be cursed a little bit.  * Oops, I forgot to pay for such & such- oh well, they get enough of my money. * She blah blah blah blah blah....." 

We will not be able claim ignorance when we stand before the Judgement Seat of the Father. Our lips will be unable to lie and our sin unable to hide. Jesus died because of those few drinks, that lie, the angry and rude behavior you think someone else deserves. And. We. Keep. Doing. The. Same. Things. Over. Again. We spit in the face of Jesus as He hangs dying on a cross with our selfish ways of thinking. Our lives are really not our own. We owe our very breath to Christ!

Think about this: If we lived in a culture where your sin were punished by hanging you on a tree with nails driven through your feet and hands, wouldn't it cause you pause before action? I suspect we'd all think twice before any wrong-doing, real or perceived. We'd carefully weigh the perception of our actions and the consequences of our anger and our desires against any temporary benefit of "satisfaction". So, I ask you, what's the difference? You hanging on a tree, or Jesus? He loved us so much that He hung there. He took the nails for me. But, it was our own sin that put Him there. I am so grateful that I don't have to pay for my sin. But, I need to remember that it was a REAL debt, paid with REAL blood, on a REAL cross, by a very REAL man!  

I'm just saying.

"Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them. So that we have stopped evaluating others by what the world thinks about them. Once I mistakenly thought of Christ that way, as though he were merely a human being,. How differently I think about Him now! What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun." 2Corinthians 5:14-17


The Army Crawl

May 5, 2011

I am an emotion-led individual. It can be both a blessing and a curse if I'm not careful. It's gotta be in my DNA because there are a few emotional women scattered around my family tree eating the nuts! With that being said, I may or may not have birthed an emotional child. But, it wasn't a girl. Yep. I've got an emotional boy. Believe me, his is all BOY, nothing sissy about him, but he tends to be in tune with his heart more than some people are. And just like it can be a beautiful thing in my life at the right time, it is often a beautiful thing to be his mother because of it! Now, for the flip side... you knew it was coming.

The other day, he got into trouble about something and his heart told him to go into full emotional break-down! I'm talking dragging himself on the floor in shambles kind of sobbing. Pure and utter devastation! He managed to army crawl (like any good man would do) to his room and try to pick up the pieces of his heart in earnest. A short time later he came to me and said, "I'm sorry, Mom. I went into my room and asked Jesus to come into my heart and help me to not do that, but, I don't think he did. I pray and I pray, but God doesn't help me."

So what does all that mean? When we pray and God seems to not answer, what is that? Do we stop praying? Well, some of us do. Some of us lose our faith while waiting for answers to our prayers. We've all got to understand that sometimes when we pray the answer is going to be an immediate "Yes! I was waiting on you to just ask Me." Other times, the answer is "No. I'm sorry. That's not the best option for your life." And still others the answer is "Not now." How do we remain diligent in prayer? How do we keep our faith strong during those times of waiting, not sure if God is even listening to us? How do we keep from throwing our hands up in the air and saying, "Why pray at all? God's gonna do what He wants to do when He wants to do it anyway." Am I the only one who's ever felt that way and has had to struggle to pray? There are times when I even find it almost impossible to pray for others in their times of crisis and desperate need.

I think that it's a test of my faith and strength. I whole-heartedly believe in God. I believe what the Bible tells me, without a doubt. But, I must be careful not to become complacent and lose my line of communication with my Father. I have to keep the Evil One from flooding my mind with laziness and despair and feelings of unimportance. I have to fight him off and see him for the Liar that he is!

My God is graceful and merciful. He tells me that He knows the plans for my life. They are plans for good and not evil, to give me a future and a hope! (Jeremiah 29:11) I have to cling to that promise. He is truthful. He is loving. He is omniscient. I have to be willing to follow Him wherever He leads me. And I know that it may often be up the hill, through the brush and thorns, in cold and lonely darkness. But, He will go with me the whole way!

So, what do I tell my son, who feels as though God is not hearing the heart-felt prayers of a ten-year old boy? I tell him the same thing I have to keep telling myself.

"Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1Thessalonians 5:17-18

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

I think that we need to remember that we are not only to ask for what we need, but, more importantly, we need to praise God and thank Him for all that He has already given to us and spared us from! We need to pray with a grateful and humble spirit.

"But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty, if you are pure and live with complete integrity, he will rise up and restore your happy home. And though you started with little, you will end up with much." Job 8:5-7 

When we pray, we must also examine our own lives. Are we living for our own benefit? Are we greedy in our intentions? Are we selfish in our desires? Or, are we seeking God's will for us?

So, today, on this National Day of Prayer, I will find time to be alone with my God. I will pour out my heart to God in thanks for every single thing He has given me. There is so much in my life to be grateful for. I think we all tend to forget how bad things could be for us. We take for granted the freedoms we have in this country. Even in this struggling economy, we are far richer than most! I will remember to thank Him, also, for all that He has spared me from. I do not know these things, but, I am certain He has constantly intervened against evil to protect me and my family! I will be sure to thank Him for all that He has planned for me. And I will pray for you. And, finally, I will include my kids in this holy prayer time. I will lead them by example. I will feed their little souls with the hope and peace that comes from prayer. I hope that you will join me.

And as for tomorrow and all the tomorrows that follow? Well, I will keep on praying. I will army crawl when I must, but, I will keep on praying!


Let's Eat: Week 9

May 4, 2011

Watching My Weight Wednesday

No recipe today, but, rather, a new snack! Listen, we all munch between meals. That can be the downfall of any diet. So, for that salty craving, I've discovered this little beauty. Zero Carbs, people!

"You say, 'Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food.' This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them."1Corinthians 6:13

"Those who think it is all right to eat anything must not look down on those who won't. And those who won't eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them." Romans 14:3



May 3, 2011

friend- a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile; a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard

acquaintance- a person known to one, but usually not a close friend

We all have friends and acquaintances alike. Some have more than others, but, usually our "Friend List" is significantly shorter than our "Acquaintance List". I, personally, have a very short friend list. I have about four really close friends, plus my husband, who know me intimately, emotionally speaking. They know how I work. They know where I'm weak. They celebrate my strengths. They can be trusted with my heart. And I know them the same way. I've formed a special fondness for each one of them. They have become a happy part of my life.

Recently, a dear friend of mine confided in me how someone dear to her said something in the name of "honesty" that was very hurtful and, in reality, untrue. Our friends count on us to be honest with them. It's natural. It's expected. It's the basis of trust and respect. But, should you ever sacrifice your friend's feelings in the name of honesty? Listen, we all need to be very careful and ever mindful, no matter how close we are with our friends, to never say anything to hurt our friends no matter what our opinions might be. It's just not acceptable. The world is brutal enough, the voices in our own heads are brutal enough, that we don't need anyone else, much less someone who is supposed to love us so much, to be cruel and hurtful, no matter how well-intentioned. Our job as Christians and women, is to lift each other up. There are many waiting in line to squash us down on their desperate climb up the ladder of  life.

If we have a hard time treating our friends well, how do we fare where our acquaintances are concerned? I recently read something along the lines of this: Be careful how you behave today. You may be the only bible someone ever reads! What a great reminder of how we are to conduct ourselves during our waking hours.

It's not always easy to be nice. Hey, I have been accused many times of being blunt, rude, and unkind. I am making an effort to change this perception of me. It's strange because I have never been super confident, boisterous, or mean within the confines of my heart of hearts, but, I'm certain that I've come across that way more than once. I have got to make an effort to be aware that there are circumstances in the lives of people I encounter that I have no clue about. You just never know what secrets are hidden behind closed doors; what demons are fighting within others' hearts and minds.

As we go out into the world, let's try to put our instincts of unkindness and intolerance aside. Let's all try to remember that our words and actions could very well do either much harm or much good. Let's all make an effort to extend the benefit of doubt in all situations and show the love of Christ everywhere we go. You may never know how it will impact someone's life.

"They must not speak evil of anyone, and they must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone." Titus 3:2

"In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them." Philippians 2:4-5

"But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law." Galatians 5:22-23


The Good Ole Days

May 2, 2011

I'm sitting here this morning, feeling very grateful. There are so many things that I don't have, that I wish I did have. But, the things I do have are far more important than anything I'm lacking. I learned firsthand a few years ago just how little in terms of material things that one person really NEEDS. God is always so faithful and graceful. He has provided abundantly for my family.

How much of our time is spent chasing rainbows? I'm guilty of looking past the present to the newest desire of my heart. The "smoking hot shoes", or "cool sunglasses", or "Power Wheels" for my baby 'cause every girl  needs a motorized ride at three!

I am being convicted to still myself in prayer. I'm missing a greater, deeper connection that can only be found there. I'm also being led to see the present for what it is- a gift! It's not something I have to get through to get to the next great thing. It's what I am going to miss in a few, short years when my kids set out on their own journeys. I don't want to miss one second of what I have now! I want to be sure that my "nows" are not filled with only "clean your rooms" and "take your bath" and "did you brush your teeth?" I want my kids to know how much I love them. I want them to feel my adoration and respect. I want their childhoods to be a magical gift of learning and discovery, time and love. I don't want to forget that these are "The Good Ole Days".

"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

"These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God." Titus 2:4-5

"Fathers, don't aggravate your children. If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying." Colossians 3:21

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." Psalm 127:3